Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Come Outside & Breathe In, Relax Your Arms & Let Me In

We've all got it. Old junk lying around, possibly in drawers (y'know, the aptly named "junk drawers"), stuff we never use again. Have you ever noticed that a lot of it is just old, obsolete technology?

I'm guilty of this. Currently, there's a drawer in my bedside table that holds not one, not two, but three old cell phones, old chargers, MP3 players, and similar items. I seem to like holding onto these things; in previous years I had kept old cameras, a VCR (some of you are too young to know what that is - I might cry just thinking about that), and other ancient relics.

Here are a few examples of mine. Oh, the shame. The horror. The stupidity of keeping a broken phone.

There's just no point.

Well, here's an opportunity to "Break Up With Your Stuff", and possibly win a little something as well. is spreading the message of recycling electronics with a short video that
shows the potential consequences of being someone that stores old out-of-use gadgets around their place.
Yes, that means you.

Many of us have no idea what to do with all of this old tech - they don't belong in landfills, they're actually items that can be recycled. 80% of people aged 18-34 says they would recycle a water bottle, and 40% say they would recycle their old electronics. And yet... only 20% have actually done it. Visit to find the secure drop-off location closest to where you live and get rid of some of that old junk. Make room for new junk!

I showed you some of mine, now show me yours: Tweet me (@ShambledRambler) with a picture of your outdated electronics, and mention @ecycleOntario and #BreakUpWithYourStuff. You could win a $50 Visa gift card.(Possibly to buy new electronic gadgets that will be obsolete in a few years? It only seems right.)

I look forward to the photos! Good luck.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

You're Far Beyond A Visible Sign Of Your Awakening

Life's been pretty busy lately - work has been absolutely hectic, and I haven't had a lot of time to get away from my to-do list. Luckily, Samba Days gave me the perfect excuse.

This time, my Sambassador duty included heading over to Chi Spa for a much-needed massage. Yeah, I know. Tough life. But after a morning of meetings, yet another 5am wake-up call & then getting caught in a downpour, I was more than ready to turn off my brain for awhile. I likely forgot to turn it back on.


I visited the spa as part of the Samba Days Gift Card Offers which, as the name suggests, make an awesome gift. (Hint hint, Father's day is coming up - don't buy into the macho hype, men need spa massages too. Trust me.)
No photos past this point. Shhh.

It served as a good reminder that I need to stop and chill out every once in awhile. Forget the phone, the computer, the work, and do something for myself. (What I'm really trying to say - more massages!) It's important, and I know a lot of people like myself who fail to take that time. I'm sure I work a hell of a lot more productively with less knots in my neck and shoulders.

To take advantage of this for yourself, or buy a gift for someone else, visit the Samba Days Deal Boutique and check out all the options. If massage isn't your thing, there are tons of restaurant cards. Who doesn't like food? (Bet your dad does. Yes, another reminder that Father's Day is next month. You won't forget now. You're welcome.)

Fast forward a bit and I'm in St. Catharines visiting the folks for a few days, and hope to make time for some more relaxation in the form of patios, beer, and awesome people.

See ya in awhile, Trawnna.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I've Got A Good Mother, & Her Voice Is What Keeps Me Here

On or around Mother's Day, I tend to post my favourite mom-related songs. Unfortunately, they aren't always so mom-friendly, and my own mom isn't really a fan of 'em.

Today, I'll continue that tradition. And, for my amazing & awesome mother, I'll add some specifically for her that are more "aw" than "rawr".

But first - Danzig. Because I still belt this out on a regular basis.

Next, the one my mom likes the least - Tracy Bonham's "Mother Mother":

I can't really leave out Pink Floyd, can I?

On a nicer note, the Spice Girls thought their moms were lovely people.

Back before email and Facebook, Ozzy gave his ETA via song. Very considerate of him:

My mom is more of a McCartney fan, but as a Beatles lover I'm sure she digs Lennon just fine:

 Boys II Men loved their mamas. I know this because they sang it. In harmony. Harmony doesn't lie.

And Jann Arden had a good mother, so that's nice. I have one of those, too.

Therefore this one's especially for you, mom.

Happy Mother's Day, mom! Thanks for everything, always. Love you.

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm A Sure-Fire Assassin, Not So Sure Of What I'm Meant To Do

It's no secret that I have a fairly substantial list of talented female musicians that I consider my "girl crushes". That's a terrible way to describe them, as it's more of a crazy respect, a good dose of awe, and maybe a slight wish that these women were my best friends, girlfriends, or a big ol' blend of both. Really, these women just kick ass.

And at the top of my list, Brody Dalle has been a mainstay for years.

Back when Brody fronted The Distillers, I was hooked as soon as I heard them. This chick was a badass, and at the time there seemed to be a severe lack of these tough yet accessible women in music. She was unapolagetic and refreshing.

Coral Fang became the soundtrack to an old summer breakup (which was fitting, as they recorded it the same year as her divorce to Rancid's Tim Armstrong), and to this day I can throw that album on and change my mood completely. It's an automatic SLRDP (Solo Living Room Dance Party, for the uninformed) every damn time.

The Distillers

Fast forward a few years - the Distillers broke up, Brody put out an album with Spinnerette, married Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age (and yes, I'd marry them both.), had a couple of adorable kids with him, & went solo. Just this past week she released her debut solo album, Diploid Love.

And all is well with the world.
Best. Couple Ever.
She played The Horseshoe this past Wednesday as part of Canadian Music Week - somehow it was my first time seeing her live, and  it was as amazing as I'd anticipated. A good mix of her new tunes, old Distillers & Spinnerette songs, and typical Brody badass-edness (it's a word. Shut up.).

I should be nice and spare you my awful blurry shots from the evening, so here is a stolen one.

The Horseshoe

If you haven't had a chance to check out the new album yet, do so now - fans of Brody will love it, and non-fans might just hop on the Dalle bandwagon. Join us. It's nice here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

When I Am King, You Will Be First Against The Wall

It's a long-standing joke among some family members that my dad stopped sleeping once both of his daughters were living in Toronto. When I started living alone over three years ago, that probably didn't help matters much either. Sorry, Dad.

It isn't about being overprotective or convinced that I can't take care of myself - my parents worry about my safety mainly because they're not here; they can't always know that I'm safe. And that incident with the cab driver a few years back didn't calm their worries by any means. Neither do the reports of assault that we constantly hear about. But if those kinds of things are going to keep me locked up in my apartment, afraid of what may happen, then what's the point of living here at all?

Option #2
Lately a lot of articles have popped up about a new free service called Kitestring. It's pretty simple - you set up emergency contacts and an emergency message, then let the service know you're heading out. You set the time (depending how long you think your trip from A to B will be), and they text you when that time passes to make sure you made it to your destination safely.

If you don't respond, they let your emergency contacts know by sending out the message you set beforehand. You can use it via browser or text.

The default emergency message

On Saturday night I decided to give it a try. I had set up my contacts a few days prior, saved my emergency message, & had the Kitestring number on my phone. I was taking a cab home from downtown and gave myself a one-hour window to get there.

This is how it worked:

Because I texted "Ok", they knew I was home safe and didn't need to send a message to my emergency contacts.

Easy peasy.

Though it may seem like it, this is not a sponsored post. Kitestring has never contacted me, or vice versa. I just think it's a simple tool that can offer a bit of peace of mind - both for ourselves, and for those who worry about us.

So go forth and be safe, my grasshoppers. Because even if no one else does, your ol' pal Kris cares about your well-being (and your ability to go out and grab a beer without worry).

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