Tuesday, December 24, 2013

We Kissed On The Corner, & Danced Through The Night

Y'know I like my traditions, especially when it comes to Christmas.

So here's the yearly Christmas post, complete with the same song I post every year.

I hope everyone affected by the ice storm (the GTA and everywhere else) is staying safe and warm. Hopefully those without power will have it restored soon. Though I have to admit that it's been nice seeing everyone with power offering their homes to others. Way to prove that the spirit of the season still exists!

To you, and everyone else - Merry Christmas from me and Daisy!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

You Tell Me I'm Low Cuz I've Slept On The Floor, & Out In The Woods With The Badgers And Wolves

It's no secret that we humans are kinda sorta really evil and take pleasure in exploiting our dogs' bad behaviour. Yep, I'm talkin' about "dog shaming". If you dig dogs, then you know you find them hilarious.

Well, I've neglected to give Daisy a proper shaming. And I intend to rectify that.

So allow me to present to you...

The Ghosts of Shame Past - Daisy-style:

Multiple times. It was almost impressive if it wasn't such a pain in the ass.

(Though one time she went into the fridge and had a beer waiting for me when I got home. It's like she understands me or something.)

....and disgusting.

"What is my foot touching? What is my foot touching?!?!"

It's nice to be loved.

Except when there's pee involved. (I'm refraining from R. Kelly comments at this time.)

It was similar to a Christmas-time Easter Egg hunt, but with ham... and vomit. Ho ho, gross.

These are only a few examples of Daisy's shame - I decided to spare her the embarrassment of publicizing them all.

Because let's not forget, I'm not completely innocent myself:

Like I said.... humans are evil.

Happy Shame-mas, everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

To Be Vulnerable Is Needed Most Of All, If You Truly Intend To Fall Apart

It's the end of the year & everyone is putting out their "Best Of" lists, especially lists that involve the best albums of the year. But I'm not a joiner, so I'm not doing that.

Ok, so I kind of am.

I figured I might as well post about a few notable albums that came out in 2013. But before everyone jumps on me for not including certain albums, let me be clear - this isn't technically a "Best Of" list. It's merely a few albums that came out this year that I dig (or that Rdio tells me I listened to on repeat while dancing in my living room. Rdio knows things.) So yes, some albums are missing. You'll survive, my dear fellow music snobs. 

Alright? Alright. Let us commence...

Notable Mention #1:

Queens of the Stone Age - ...Like Clockwork

Apparently I'm incapable of not loving anything Josh Homme does (including marrying one of my all-time girl crushes), so it's not surprising that I loved this album right off the bat. It's the same kickass Queens of the Stone Age as their other albums, but with an extra element that seems to give it even more dimension. Maybe it's maturity, maybe it was the long wait between albums, I can't be sure - but this was one of my favourites this year.

Notable Mention #2:

The National - Trouble Will Find Me

Since I already dedicated an entire blog post to this album months ago, I don't need to say much more about it. I love this album, we all know it, so re-read the post about it if you need to be further convinced.

Notable Mention #3:

Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks

I may get some flak for this one. I expect that.

A lot of NIN fans (and definitely all the NIN non-fans) weren't overly thrilled with this long-awaited album. We expected a lot. We wanted to be blown away. And , for the most part, we weren't. I'll admit, at first listen I wasn't completely hooked. But sometimes that's the mark of a great album - it changes as you listen more, it becomes  good as you start to notice the nuances and technical parts of it.

So it took a few listens, but I became a fan of Hesitation Marks. There ya go. It's notable. (And their concert was pretty darn notable as well.)

Notable Mention #4:

Local Natives - Hummingbird

If you don't know Local Natives, you should. Their first album, Gorilla Manor, was great one as well (my favourite song on that one is "Airplanes", if anyone was wondering. Oh, you weren't? Fine.)

Hummingbird, however, hooked me right away. It's still a constant in my daily Rdio playlists. Plus, they're fantastic live - if I was rating concerts of 2013 (which could potentially be another blog post. Sorry.), theirs would be at the top.

Notable Mention #5:

Hayden - Us Alone

Hayden may also be a contender for "Most Mentioned Musician on Shambled Ramblings in 2013". Yeah, so I saw him a few times this year. Big stages, small stages, living rooms, shaking my hand, whatever.

All of that was spawned by this album. It came out at the beginning of the year, and fans couldn't have been happier. It's a more mature Hayden, certainly. But it's also still the Hayden we dig from long ago.

And, because this list was tougher than I anticipated (damn you, talented artists!), here are some added notable mentions to the Notable Mentions. Y'know... in case you require more music, and I didn't supply enough:

Arctic Monkeys - AM
Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt
Arcade Fire - Reflektor (formal wear not required.)
David Bowie - The Next Day
Dinosaur Bones - Shaky Dream
Daughter - If You Leave

Now I need to go lie down, in preparation for the yelling and berating I'm certain will be coming from those of you who feel that I left out important albums. I'll be expecting you.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Let Me Grab Your Soul Away

This video has been circulating online a lot, as well as another poem that extols the virtues of dating girls who read.

Have a look, if you need reference:

I agree. You should date a girl who reads - and I mean any and all types of books. But I have my own reasons why.

Firstly, what makes me an expert on bookworm chicks? I am one. I grew up with my nose constantly in a book, I spent my formative years checking stacks of them out of the library weekly, and all those books are the reason I knew I wanted to be a writer from the age of 5. And so I wrote.

Belle. That bitch loves the books.
Though recently I had a year or two where I didn't read quite as much (the quiet gave me anxiety), I've finally obtained my Toronto library card (yes, I moved here in 2008. I know, know.) and have gone crazy with the books yet again. To prove my bookwormery, an outline of what I'm currently reading:

  • Light and Shade - Brad Tolinski (a Jimmy Page biography)
  • The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
  • Bossypants - Tina Fey
  • Lean In - Sheryl Sandberg (I'm female and own a business. It's an obvious choice.)
  • Torment Saint - William Todd Shultz (an Elliott Smith biography)
  • Everything Is Perfect When You're A Liar - Kelly Oxford 

So there ya go. And with all that experience under my belt (the experience of being female, and that of being a bookworm), here are the real reasons you should date a girl who reads:

- Chances are, she knows proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (Notice how I used the Oxford comma there? Yeah, me too.) She can send you messages that convey actual emotion and meaning, not simply a series of letters that make no sense, such as (and this pains me greatly): "IDK, I'm like soooooooo xcited LMAO it's srs bsns kkkk??? [insert strange emoticons here]." Ouch. That really did hurt. And I'm still not entirely sure what it meant.

- She can probably tell stories in a way that keeps you interested, since she's learned the art of storytelling over years and years of absorbing various types of tales. "I went to the grocery store, and BOOM! There were the watermelons. Larger than my head, and greener than your face when you've had too much to drink." Yeah. Life's exciting like that.

Johnny reads. But we assumed that anyway.
- When she has a good book on the go, she won't nag at you for going off and enjoying your own hobbies. It gives her time to finish the book. Go build your model planes. Go watch men fight each other in tight shorts. Go play video games. She'll probably join you later, but right now she's gotta read.

- She's constantly learning, and is knowledgeable about a wide array of subjects. I'll use myself as an example: Life of Pi taught me that I'd never survive on a small boat with a rare tiger; Anthony Kiedis' biography taught me about... well, Anthony Kiedis; Alias Grace taught me about Canada in the 1800s, and Romeo and Juliet taught me that communication is pretty important in a relationship, or both of you nitwits will wind up dead. See? Learning!

Snoop reads. He should start a Snoop Bloggy-Blog.
 - Contrary to weird popular belief, girls who read aren't boring or necessarily prudish. We're normal. So maybe we'll read a book on our way to meet you to go skydiving/streaking/bull riding, but that's just making good use of our time. (Plus it helps to keep creeps away from us on public transit. We're not stupid.)

- Even though a woman likes books, she is still a woman. So for the "boob guys" and the "butt guys" mentioned in the video above - girls who read also have those things. In fact, we have all the woman-parts we're supposed to. Huzzah! They're not sold separately; they come included with the female bookworm package. Imagine that.

- We are awesome.

Marilyn Monroe thought reading was hot.
But at the end of all this, you shouldn't date a girl just because she reads. That's a silly reason, and hypocritical on my part since I don't exclusively date men who read. Would you date a girl just because she can play a bit of mediocre guitar, fold her tongue into three, and sing "O Christmas Tree" in German? You're damn right I just described myself.

The point is, you only need to date a girl because you dig her - and if she reads? Well, that's just a fantastically awesome bonus for you. Trust me.

(And for the record... no, I've never read, and never plan to read 50 Shades of Grey. Sorry.)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And The Worry Cracks A Fracture From Your Hip To Your Chest

Every day I have a long To-Do list that I follow - and I'm noticing that most days "blog" is on it, but rarely crossed off. I'll get emails and messages, asking why I haven't posted and if I'm ok. But the truth is, I go through periods where I just don't feel like blogging.

And the beauty of it? I don't have to.

There was a time in my bloggin' life where, if I didn't post at least every second day, I'd get anxiety that I was lagging and not providing enough content. That feeling would nag at me, even when I had nothing of note to write about. It took awhile to get to a point where I no longer cared, and decided only to post when I felt like it - even if no one bothered reading anymore. It didn't matter.

And this is something I worked to adapt into the rest of my life.

A fun by-product of an anxiety disorder is feeling crazy pressure and panic to do things that you think you're supposed to, or that others are expecting, even if they're not necessarily things you truly need to do. There's also a huge feeling of guilt that comes along with it, and that can be a driving force for the anxiety. This was my daily life, and to some extent still is (thanks brain!)... but last year I read an article that made far too much sense, and forced me to sit back and think about everything I was doing purely out of guilt, anxiety, panic and pressure - and what could be erased.

Dogs do what they want. Dogs are happy jerks.
Think of all the things you do every single day. The notable things, the seemingly insignificant things, all of it. Are there items on that list that you dislike, or that you feel negatively toward? For each of those things that you don't like doing, really ask yourself how many of them you absolutely have to do. Chances are, you're doing things & going through motions that you don't need to, just because you feel like you should. (Work stuff notwithstanding - I'm sorry if your bosses are assholes, but you probably have to do what they tell you. Or quit.)

There's a quote that floats around the internet regularly; it's something similar to "walk away from what no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy". Well, I'd implore you to do that for every aspect of your life. Seriously. All of it.

Are you pretending to like sports to make someone like you? Stop pretending - it's useless. Skip a workout because you wanted a nap? Forget the guilt, you deserved that nap. Work out tomorrow. Did you hang out with a friend who constantly puts you you down and makes you feel bad about yourself? Ditch 'em. Real friends don't suck. Do you go out to bars all the time because you think you're supposed to at your age? Stay in. Your couch loves you like no one else.

You get the idea.

In other words - you don't answer to anyone. Audit your daily life. Live by your own needs, wants, & expectations and (as long as it doesn't hurt anyone) to hell with anything else. Get rid of the extra useless crap - you're not the subject of this week's Hoarders episode.

It takes a lot of time to re-evaluate, but it's pretty darn worth it.

(And yes - this entire post was a long-winded written excuse for why I sometimes don't blog. Because hey - I felt like it. So I did it. See how that works?)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Happy Christmas Your Arse, I Pray God It's Our Last

Well, it's December (or Decem-Bert, as I've now dubbed it).

We're into the Christmas countdown, for those that celebrate.
Last year, Daisy learned to hate Santa.

While I may not get into the holidays like I used to, with a two-month countdown, infinite lists, and overdone decorations, the past couple of years have found me re-gaining my spirit.

So on Sunday, I watched Bad Santa, decorated my apartment with a few items (and managed to break an ornament with my hair - that takes skill, alright?), and I think I'm getting into a Christmas state of mind.

The Goetz girlies with awesome head-wear.

The next few weeks will be a whirl of plans - gifts, figuring out when I get to go home, making lists of awesome things to cook and bake (because apparently my somewhat recent affinity for cooking has turned me into a crazy person)... but it's missing something.

A Christmas playlist. The perfect one, no less.

I need to curate the best Christmas/Holiday-related song list ever, and I want your help doing it. So wontcha help a chick?

We'll start the list off with some of my perennial Christmas tunes:

The Pogues - Fairytale of New York:

I post this every year at Christmas, and I'll likely do it yet again this year. You can argue that this song isn't overly Christmas-y due to the "old slut on junk" and her "scumbag maggot", but I like it.

Trans-Siberian Orchesta - Carol of the Bells:

Carol of the Bells is one of my favourites as it is, but this version also appeals to my regular music tastes. Rock and/or roll, reindeer-style.

Run DMC - Christmas In Hollis:

A classic. Well, at least for anyone around my age.

So what would you add to this list? What are your must-have tunes for this time of year?

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