Thursday, July 31, 2008

british invasion

When I was fifteen, I was known as "the Coldplay girl." The manically obsessed, poster-hoarding, freckled-faced nerd who bought every b-side the day it was released. I cried when I procrastinated too much for tickets to their Edmonton show. I cried again when I got tickets to see them in Las Vegas, but the kind of cry where you can't contain your joy. I went with my mom to the concert, bought the merch, and wrote the review (which, by the way, was my first published work... in the Edmonton Journal).

Well, I did a little grave-digging and dusted off a little gem I found on an old external hard drive. My portfolio from my application to the Journalism program―the original review. I planned to post it for your viewing pleasure, but I didn't want to lose any/all two of my dedicated readers and decided sternly against it.

Coldplay last Wednesday however, is way deserving of the praise my high school writer's hand doled out, and much, much more. Who else can cater to nine-year-olds, their moms, and the people with good taste in-between? Sure, the show sounded a little more Bono-infused than I'd hoped, and I left wishing they'd played more of their older repertoire, but I'd known that I would before I walked in the door (two songs late, I might add). But if that was the worst of their musical catalogue (IMO), then they're a stellar bunch of lads... it's not often that you hear a true, unpracticed had-to-be-there encore where one of the most technically perfect bands of our age loses tempo, but it's moments such as these, when they play their first beautiful song about a beautiful world, that you hear the genuine passion. They're brilliant musicians alone, and collectively it's mind-boggling.

After his little stint, I'd say even Will Champion could go solo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

but we're doing it so well

Tomorrow, I'm going to get a fake i.d.

Sure, after many turnaways at Picadilly's, and turn-arounds at the LCBO, it feels legit to be legal here, but it's time I upped the ante a bit. 19? Pff... 21? It's not Vegas, but it'll do. I'll take a gamble with my pride if it means getting into any NYC hotspot or cool dig that I/we choose.

The four of us get in far, far too early on Thursday. We'll probably be groggy like pre-6 a.m. coffee, but unwilling to sleep. Me, I'm unwilling to unpack. It'll be my third ride on the Greyhound in less that a week. I'm not really living at my place, I'm not really living away from home, but for once, I'm really living. I'm not working, nor worrying, I'm just doing it all, and doing it now, as I please.

And as unproductive (and unfamiliar) as this slacker lifestyle may sound, I feel like, for once, I'm getting the most out of summer months.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

another one bites the dust

Hayden P. or LiLo? You decide.
Ugh, and she was so loveable in Remember the Titans.... yet another hopeful child star, ruined.
... whooo's next?!


On a vacation once upon a time, a friend set me straight while I was greedily snapping photos of all my surrounding scenery―"Pictures look better with people," she instructed. When I got my photos back from the trip, the first forty or so were fast-flips, "nice" but nothing more, but the rest, after receiving her wise words of wisdom, were pictures worth a thousand words, or at least a second glance. Lesson learnt, I'm not saying that you need to cover the Eiffel Tower with a close-up of your giddy face for it to be picturesque, or even that every last picture must contain signs of human life. No, not at all.

BUT, when I see entire Facebook albums (frequently under the titles of: "Random, [insert name here]'s Random Pics, or RANDOM NITES OUT!!!) which consist of the following (and include captions like "BONNYVILLE!!!; the beautiful scenery [thanks, tips], and, my personal faaav, ... the lack thereof. Yep, the picture's boring enough that there's no possible description)... it makes me squeamish (part because I'm guilty of wasting my own time browsing, and partly because it's just morally wrong). But don't let me do all the talking... see the horror for yourself:

Now, by NO MEANS am I suggesting that it's even acceptable to post four, or even TWO albums of one night at the bar with you and every party pal from frosh week smiling with your eyes shut and a Smirnoff Ice in hand, because really, a) you're trashed and probably don't look that good, b) the photos all look the exact same except for stage of your drunken eyes and the fullness of your drink, and c) it invades my news feed religiously, ever Sunday morning. Drinking doesn't have to be in moderation, but pictures do, for Chrissakes!

The moral of the story?
Stop wasting precious Facebook bandwidth and go back to Photobucket where no one cares. Or, at least, where no one with unimaginable amounts of spare time and a high fever will have to see them.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Lately, I've been spending a lot more time downloading .torrents than spending downtime downtown, browsing record shops. My personal theory firmly states that more of my dirty, sexy money goes direct to the artist when I pay for their concert ticket than when I give way to their greedy record label by buying their overpriced merch. I'd drop twenty bones to see a show in a heartbeat, but fifteen for a c.d. means I'm more likely to open my web browser than my wallet. It's about as illegal as finding those under-the-table tax breaks you know your parents willingly take. And if my mom says it's ok, than it is. I harbour no modern guilt for my mass downloading.
Well, Tuesday, I was feeling lucky. I'd spent the last few days saying 'hell yes' all over again to Guero, and was reminded by a friend that Beck's new album hit stores that very day. It could have been the B.C. booze, it could have been one fall too many off the boat, but personally, I think the Modern Guilt got me inside HMV. On my way out I noticed the wonderfully psychedelic cover of Ratatat's new rousing record. Impulse struck, and I took both up to the counter. The cashier was your typical mall-music-store geek (fortunately not of the overbred emo family), drooling over b-sides and the latest LPs, and man, did he drip when he saw my selections. An initial burst of pleasure with the first CD, and when he flipped over to see the second I swear, he could barely keep it in his pants. He wished happy listening as I walked away, reasserted and highly confident in the brilliant, undeniable taste in tunes I already knew I possessed.
Me and my dad walked away, me feeling satisfied, and maybe a little proud. I mean, not that I had bought (er, Daddy had helped) a brand-new CD, but I'd make the day of an overly-enthused, small-town music geek. And once we put the futuristic sea chanties of LP3 on the stereo out on the water, my day was made, just as well.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Wish I Had Met the Walrus

I've been yearning to watch the full-length version of this animated short since it came out last fall. Finally, a heads-up on YouTube gave note of the hippie shrine, online, in it's entirety.
God bless John Lennon. (and Josh Raskin)


Today, I couldn't sleep past 10.

I leaped out of bed, laced up my runners, got on my (dad's) bike. I went uphill, then downhill for an hour, and came back inside only to go back outside, out on the water. We went tubing to tunes, and as Mick Jagger crooned, "am I rough enough?"... I slid off the inner tube in sync with his "ooh," and with the aid of my lifejacket, popped my now-throbbing head above water. I came back inside again, and left within ten minutes, with dripping-wet hair only to drive, to sip and sample wine at one of the World's Top 5 Vineyards (at least according to Travel & Leisure), which in reality, made my head pound a little worse. Mission Hill Winery offered "gorgeous, breath-taking views" of the Okanagan Lake, and rows and rows of grape-vines made me want to lay down and nap. Which I, and my little sister did. We lied on the grass and stared at the sky. Got up and ate and ate again, playing dumb to the fact that we'd have to wear our barely-there bathing suits, baring our near-bulging bellies in a few hours. We shopped and strolled the town. We'd scarcely stopped all day in the plus-35, dry heat. And when we came back to our beach home, I caught myself complaining to my dad, like I have (too) many a time.

"I'm bored," I whined, slouching, sinking into the corner of the elevator.
"But you haven't stopped all day," he says, rolling his eyes.
"I know, but...."and I gave up on my defense. All around me is green, lush, summery, just as I've been yearning for... but where is the flashing, scuzzy "Zanzibar" sign. No angry, road-raged, sun-scorched drivers. No 10-dollar pitchers of headless beer. No homeless men to dance with on the streets at night(!).

Parents.... they just don't understand.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vicious Cycle

Last summer and this one as well, I've been considered a "server", dropping, cheap eggs and otherwise mediocre eats. Last week, I vetoed the online shortcut and opted in favour of the full-fledged, 3-hour Smart Serve licensing class. 'Smartly', I biked sans helmet, in a dress too short for walking, showed up sweaty and inevitably tardy, only  to be told things I already know, and have practiced (however illegally) from the comfort of my very own neighborhood restaurant. Someone copied answers from my government-issued exam, and I left my workbook behind at the practice bar in favor of the faster ride to the real thing. I left the TIB and biked Bathurst to Bistro as per usual, where an spiked Iced Tea would sit, ready to refresh me. I learned just a half hour ago how the 4 shots in one drink would put me and my BAC (which is blood alcohol concentration, not consumption by the way) at precisely double the legal limit.... and I saw that drink sitting there in all it's glory, completely disregarding that my chugging would make me an unlawful, illegal cyclist. Not that's thats ever mattered (read: riding through gardens and throwing bikes over suburban fences in the home-town). 8 ounces and 2 hours later means either a) I'm a standard college student, or b) I'm borderline bar ejection. Who knew it was legal to have intoxicated individuals in the bar? Uh, is there any other point?
 Last time I sat my booty (shorts) at Bistro, I was booted.
 This time, the laconic 'tender gave a wink as he called my posse 'smart girls' for cutting off soon after that last pitcher. True, it's tough to make the call when four shots costs a dozen dollars, but with work and working out and never sleeping in? The sky started spitting the second we stood from our chairs, and I hopped on my bike and headed east. The rain picked up quicker than my speed, and I booted it back, catching drops in my bangs and on my legs as they pedaled with a strange drunken confidence down College. Sure, I took a few confused, nay, misjudged turns, but the ending result was undeniable. Biking through the lit-up quad, surrounded by flowers and that fresh, summer rain smell, I felt no guilt, no remorse, just pleasure. I forgot my iPod and instead, sang on the bike ride home. A little solo karaoke never hurt anyone.