Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I Bet When I Leave My Body For The Sky, The Wait Will Be Worth It

Yesterday was a day full of music news. That's the kinda day I like.

To start... Nine Inch Nails is back. Let that sink in for a second.

New lineup. New tunes. Global tour. I'm sad to say I've never seen NIN live, and Trent's announcement means I can change that. It's a long time comin', since the days I used to sing 'Head Like A Hole' on my swingset as a little girl (Pretty Hate Machine came out when I was 6, so you do the math. I'm almost 30.)

Aside from that? The National will be here for NXNE, and are putting out a new album in May. Arts & Crafts added Stars to the Field Trip festival lineup (which makes me wonder if they'll be adding any other acts...).

And, though the news didn't come yesterday, Pearl Jam will be putting out a new album soon and touring in the fall. Add that to the news that unreleased Mad Season stuff will be coming out as well, and I'm a happy chick.

So while it looks like I won't be at the Deftones show on Friday, the promise of new tunes and great upcoming shows are enough to make me feel a bit better.

And in case you haven't seen it yet - Bowie released a new video yesterday, featuring Tilda Swinton and directed by the ever-amazing (and Canadian) Flori Sigismondi. Have a look:

Thanks for feeding my obsession this week, music world. A tip of the high hat to you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

At A Time In Their Lives When Music Was Everything

It's no secret that I have a music obsession. I've blogged ad nauseum about it.

I've managed to make that particular obsession a key player in pretty much every aspect of my life. It's even a big part of my job, especially now that we're working with more & more musicians, music-related projects, and events (like the monthly Full Card Friday - happening this Friday February 22nd. Get on guestlist, & I'll see ya there!).

Since I'm properly learning guitar these days & getting back into writing songs and possibly creating my own "thing", I pay even more attention to the music I listen to. I absorb it, soak it in. The subtle things like a strum pattern, quiet harmonies, or new, creative use of an instrument just blows my mind. The obsession has absolutely worsened. And I'm ok with that.

Though sometimes finding the right people to come along to live shows is like pulling teeth, I've promised myself that this year I'll go to as many concerts as possible. See big acts, small acts, my old favourites, and new bands I've never heard of. At the moment I'm searching high & low for tickets to the sold-out Hayden show at the Dakota tomorrow night (which is proving impossible). It just reminds me that I've already let too many good ones go by without seeing them, and that is just not ok.

But my long-winded ramble aside, there is a point to this post. Other than to (yet again) point out that "I dig music" (and yes, I am a Golden God), I'm always on the hunt for great new tunes. So I turn to you guys.

What are you listening to? Who should I be adding to my daily playlists?

Share some new music with your ol' pal Kris.

(p.s -  for any of you Nine Inch Nails fans - this is hilarious.)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

My Heart Is Yours, It's You That I Hold On To

Uh-oh. A single chick writing a blog post on Valentine's Day? This'll be ugly.

Sad. But also true.

If that's what you're thinking, don't worry. It won't be a bitchfest about my relationship status, or how V-day is a fake holiday. Really.

Truth is, I like Valentine's Day in my own way. I may have magically been single on this specific date for the last 2 or 3 of them, but I still dig the idea behind it. I love love, and am a fan of celebrating that no matter what company invented the holiday. What's better than being crazy about someone who is crazy about you? Nothin'. Except maybe Big Macs, but that's a very different, delicious kind of love.

If you're with the one you love most, you are lucky. I tend to think today is just about acknowledging that (but doing it all year is a smart idea, too). I'm really not one to require cards, chocolates, flowers, or fancy dinners. Knowing someone cares for you trumps all of that stuff. It's pretty simple.

So don't bitch about the "gimmicks", the pressure, or the cost. None of that is even truly needed; it's irrelevant. Just show some appreciation for someone. Because everyone, including us sadly single jerks, has someone, somewhere who cares.

Even if they're four-legged and small.

An unwilling Volunteer Valentine.

Happy Valentine's Day. I love you all.

...ok maybe, not all of you. But some of you. At least one. I'm pretty sure my parents read this, so... yeah. That's a minimum of  two.

Anyway, happy V-day. I like you as a friend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I'm The Dirt Beneath Your Feet, The Most Important Fool You Forgot To See

If you've been on the internet at all, you know that today is "Let's Talk Day", a day where Bell donates to mental health initiatives whenever their hashtag is used, & when Bell customers text or make long-distance calls. It's a day to "talk about mental health".

While there's some backlash because it can be seen as a marketing scheme (and a damn effective one, at that), I am all for anything that encourages the public to be open about mental health.

Marketing or not, Let's Talk.

As you likely know, I blog often about the fact that I've been dealing with depression and an anxiety disorder for a very long time. In fact, I don't think there was ever a time they weren't a big part of my life. Reading things I wrote when I was as young as 8, I see that the depression and anxiety were always a factor. I just didn't understand what they were.

When I was younger I was ashamed of the way I felt, and believed something was terribly wrong with me; I was so different from everyone. I thought that people would view me negatively if they knew I wasn't "normal" like others. And because I remember how that all felt I've made a point, as an adult, to be open about my disorders. There shouldn't be stigmas - these things say nothing about our value as people, but they're the things we suffer from every day. And sometimes we need help.

I've done the medication thing. I've done the therapy thing. I've done the exercise, the creative outlets, coping mechanisms, and everything else we are told can help things like depression and anxiety. While some of these may help alleviate the symptoms, those who suffer from these disorders usually have to deal with them for life. We do our best to find ways to cope. For me, because of the past year I now know that I'm capable of being happier and more in control, and right now I'm striving to feel that way again.

Everyone is different - but we all have something to deal with.

Find comfort in small things.
I'm glad to see people are taking part and talking about it. But I hope the conversation will continue past "Let's Talk Day", and become something we're always open about. I have been talking about my own disorders, breakdowns, and low days for years and I'm not ashamed of it anymore.

So keep talking. We're listening.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Watch The World Explode From Underneath Your Glow

Snow. Yes, my Southern Ontario friends, that's what you see out your window. We live in Canada, and it happens.

What most of you are not used to is being house-bound. A lot of people had snow days from work, school closures, plans cancelled, or a weird, irrational fear of frozen water falling from the sky. And now you have no idea what the crap to do with yourselves since you refuse to leave your house.

Well, I can help.

Hermit Expert, at your service.
We all know that I often go through random bouts of hermit-life where I refuse to leave my house for anything but dog walks. So I guess you could call me an expert on the subject, maybe even a genius. Maybe. But here are some things you can do to occupy your time while the weather kills your social life. (And anyone calling it Snowmageddon is getting a slap in the face from me, ya dig?):

1. Watch Horrible Movies

That's right, I said horrible. The kinda movies you're almost embarrassed to be watching. The ones that make you yell things at the screen like somehow the awful plot twists are an actual personal insult to you. Why? Well, you don't want to watch the good ones that might make you cry - because once you realize that you're sitting alone in your living room, crying, you'll start to question your life choices. Really.

Boo-urns to bad movies.
2. Re-organize Every Damn Thing In Your Home

Seriously. I did this last month. Every room, every drawer, every cupboard - even everything on my computer and every single one of my emails. All. Friggin'. Organized. You may feel slightly crazy while doing it, but it passes the time. And when you're done, your mind is clearer. Clear enough to think "Holy shit, I just spent Friday night organizing my spoons and forks. I'm going to die alone."

3. Read.

Remember books? Yeah, they still make those things. And no, Twitter is not a book. Some of my favourites are The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, anything by Klosterman, and Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is always fun. But you can also read the entire collection of Sweet Valley High books in a matter of hours. Not to say that I've done it... but I've done it. Those damn Wakefield twins are full of hijinks and other bullshit.

Books. They're made with paper now.

4. Skype With Another Shut-In Loser

Misery loves company except when you have to actually be near another person. So yay internet, Skype lets us talk to people without actually having to personally interact with them. You can bitch to each other about how you're, like, so bored... and how you're totally missing whatever event was cancelled due to snow. If you're really reaching, yes - Skype counts as socializing. So you're not a complete loner yet.

"Lemme hang up and call back!"

5. SLRDP (Solo Living Room Dance Party)

This term is trademarked, it's mine. And I have 'em all the time. Throw on some tunes and dance around like an idiot. The dog might judge me, but no one else can. As they say, dance like no one is watching... and the guy in the house across the street DOESN'T COUNT.

6. Leave The House

The fires of hell are not waiting for you outside your door. You can leave -  you have that option. Throw on your snow boots, grab a hat, bundle the hell up, and go walk somewhere. Walking is safe, and surely there's somewhere you can go within walking distance.

But if that all seems too frightening, then please refer to options 1 through 5. And if you're smart, you planned ahead and are stocked with beer and bad food.

Camouflage dog on duty.

  Happy snow day, hosers.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You Are Not To Blame For Bittersweet Distractors

A recent email exchange with Masuka got me thinking a bit - why do so many people ask if they can see me cry?:

Masuka - So can i make you cry? I wanna make you cry.

Me - No thanks. I'd rather not. I'm certain you could, but I also might punch you if you try.

Masuka - I wonder if i could make you cry without even saying anything? A challenge!

Me - I'm going to punch you. Why would you want to make me cry?

Masuka - I like to see you vulnerable. you always have this big girl wall up

Me - Yeah. So people can't hurt me. But they do anyway, so yay! You don't wanna see me cry. People think they do, until they see it... then they don't know what to do. It seems like a fun project til you actually get me crying.
So don't.

Ah, the walls. Yes... I have many. Apparently so many that the majority of people in my life have never seen me cry. My own cousin, who I've known and been close with all my life, did not see me cry until 2006. My "big girl walls" as Masuka calls them are there for a reason, as some way of protecting myself - but the reality is that they aren't very effective.

Truth? I'm normal. I cry. When things go bad, I cry constantly and randomly. No control. This past month was a rough one, and the crying became so random that I started to worry about hormones. Surely, something was wrong with me. And there was - the problem is that I feel stuff, guys. I don't mean to alarm you, but it's true. Your ol' pal Kris has these crazy things called "emotions".

So while I often act like I don't give a shit about most things, there's a good chance that I actually do. And my barriers and walls tend to be no more protection than a cardboard fort (and way less fun).

Normal bitches cry sometimes.
But for all the people who have asked me to cry in front of them because the idea of me crying is such a bizarre thing - sorry, it doesn't really work that way. If I allow myself cry in front of you, it means all my walls and barriers are down, and I am actually, honestly vulnerable in front of you (yikes). You must be pretty important. There aren't too many of you.

And Masuka? I'm not crying 'til you do. Take down those big girl walls!

Friday, February 1, 2013

I Wanna Fly Above The Storm, But You Can't Grow Feathers In The Rain

Not too long ago I blogged about sometimes wanting to be completely off the grid & disconnected. Well I partially got that wish, whether I really wanted it or not.

The universe works in mysterious ways, and this time it worked in such a way that had me forgetting about my cell phone taking up residence in my back pocket last Friday night during our Full Card Friday at Velvet. And so, into the bar toilet my phone accidentally went (and don't worry, I'm a germaphobe. That phone has been thoroughly disinfected, cleaned, and had its demons exorcised.).

There wasn't much I could do, as I had to finish my night, but by the time I got home I freaked out a bit. I was too stupid to know that you're not supposed to test the phone to see if it works, so I did. And it worked for a second, then died. So into the rice it went - whole grain Minute Rice, for you foodies who hate the crap I eat.

It stayed in that rice for three days. Three long, disconnected days.

I still had the internet at home, yes. But not having access to anything on my phone was a strange, unnerving feeling. I couldn't receive calls. I couldn't text. I couldn't do work from my phone while riding on the TTC, and I couldn't be sure that all of my 3.6 bajillion photos would be retrievable. What if it was permanently broken? Oh, the panic.

And all of this made me feel stupid.

We're all pretty damn lucky to have the kind of technology and comforts we have. Losing my phone to a cellular swim gone wrong was not a life or death situation, and yet I panicked. I wasn't isolated - I had the internet. I had ways of communicating with people.

After the three days of cocooning in rice, I was happy to find that my phone worked again. It was a relief, yes. A lot of my job depends on my phone.

But since then? I find that I check my phone less. I don't need it at my side every second. So, in a very odd way, I thank my own stupidity and the seemingly-clean bar toilet. They helped me to disconnect.



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