Happy Birthday To Me
October 9, 2014 § Leave a comment
Lucky number thirty-three! I’m on a plane to spend my birthday (and Nick’s on Saturday!) with my family for the first time in five years. We’ll also be celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving while we’re there. I can’t even wait to hold my new niece and nephew!
Smell ya later, NYC.
My Favourite Things of 2013
December 19, 2013 § 4 Comments
Can you believe there’s only a few weeks left of 2013? You know what that means: time for a recap!
Before I do my personal Year In Review, I like to do a round up of my favourite things of the year including books, music, and more. I know, I know, usually they each have their own post, but I’m a mom now and don’t have time for such things. So let’s get down to business.
Atoms For Peace – Amok
Lorde – Pure Herione
Grouplove – Spreading Rumours
Diarrhea Planet – I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams
Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana
Baths – Obsidian
Nick Cave – Push the Sky Away
Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks
On And On – Give In
Young Magic – Melt
BOOKS (not necessarily released in 2013, just read in 2013):
Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith/JK Rowling
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Tell the Wolves I’m Home – Carol Rifka Brunt
The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt
Where’d You Go, Bernadette – Maria Semple
This Is The End
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
(Note: In my opinion, this year’s offering of movies was pretty dismal. I’m guessing my actual favourite movie of the year is still to come. Possibly Anchorman 2 or Her.)
30 Rock (for the series finale alone, which made me cry. Why did it have to end at all?!?)
Breaking Bad (ditto, minus the tears.)
House Of Cards
Big Bang Theory
Orange Is The New Black
August 6, 2013 § 2 Comments
Nick and I went to Chicago’s Lollapalooza three years ago and had a blast, but this year, being nearly 7 months pregnant, I sat it out. It’s hard to help but feel a little sad you’re missing out on bands and fun, but my legs, stomach, and well, my entire body, thanked me for staying home while Nick went without me.
Also, now that I’ve found the entire sets in HD from The Cure and Nine Inch Nails, I’m spending the morning watching some of the few bands I’d have been most excited to see there. Now if only I could find Cat Power’s…
The Cure’s 2 hour set
Nine Inch Nails’ 1.5 hour set
Siamese Dream Turns 20
July 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
Happy 20th birthday to one of the best albums of the 1990s, and in my opinion, of all time.
Siamese Dream trivia:
- Right before the release of the record, Smashing Pumpkins were hyped to be “the next Nirvana”.
- Today was the first song written for Siamese Dream and although it sounds upbeat, is actually about depression and self mutilation.
- The band was highly dysfunctional at the time of recording: Jimmy was battling heroin addiction, James and D’arcy had just broken up, and Billy started seeing a therapist to help his suicidal depression.
- After Jimmy disappeared for a few days on a drug bender while recording, Billy “put the hammer down” and made him play his drum parts for Cherub Rock until his hands bled.
- Billy overdubbed his own playing on top of James and D’arcy’s for much of the album.
- Billy worked overtime, practically living in the studio. He and producer Butch Vig would sometimes work on the same 45 seconds of a song for two days to get the sound Billy wanted.
- Butch Vig stated as many as 100 guitar parts would be compressed into a single song.
- The album took 4 months longer to record than it was supposed to and went $250,000 over budget.
- This is untrue.
February 28, 2013 § Leave a comment
During my second year of college, I got into Conor Oberst‘s mostly solo, emo-masterpiece Bright Eyes BIG TIME. When he joined social commentary rock band Desaparecidos and released “Read Music/Speak Spanish”, I loved having a punk alternative to his soulful sad songs.
I have seen Bright Eyes live many times. When I was 20, I saw him play the Horseshoe in Toronto then drove with four friends to Montreal the very next day to see him again. (I also got up the nerve to introduce myself to him and tell him I loved the new record before that show. On stage, he told a story about a Canadian girl who offered to marry him so he could live in our country instead of America. All of my guy friends thought that was me, and I never corrected them – until now.)
Although Desaparecidos did tour briefly, I don’t think they ever came to Canada so I never saw them. I was so happy to finally get the chance to see them live last night at New York’s Webster Hall. They were great! Lively and passionate and spot on with every song. Not to mention, they played all their old songs, with just a few that I believe to be new and a cover of opening band/their best touring friends Joyce Manor.
Sorry for the vertical video – I was holding my phone out over the balcony and didn’t feel comfortable holding it sideways! Also the floor was actually bouncing with people rocking out. What a great show!
P.S. I was standing a few feet away from Conor before they played in the VIP area and, yes ladies, he is still a cutie pie.
February 4, 2013 § Leave a comment
I’ve come along way from being that music-obsessed teenager; who spent all her spare time playing in a band, listening to music, and filling up video tapes with music videos recorded from MuchMusic. I wanted to go to every concert, despite being under age and not having any money. I was pretty one dimensional back then, but I’ve since developed other loves like yoga and photography, even love for cities like New York, Toronto, and Paris.
However, music will always be my first love. And that’s why while watching the new documentary Sound City on Saturday afternoon, I got chills. You can’t explain to other people, just why music is so important, they just have to get it themselves. This movie, a brainchild of Dave Grohl (who is clearly good at EVERYTHING), is by music lovers, about music lovers, for music lovers. If you’re a music lover, you have got to watch it.
Obviously, you should watch this in a theatre with a good sound system, but if it’s not an option, you can buy it online.
2012: A Year In Review
January 3, 2013 § 1 Comment
2012 was “The Year Of Yes” for Nick and I. We wanted to make it the best possible, doing what we wanted when we wanted, within reason, of course. This attitude led to some pretty great moments and incredible experiences. I also fell even more in love with yoga, specifically Ashtanga, and turbocharged my practice into a 4-5 times a week affair which led me into new poses I never expected to be able to do. There were sad moments this year too, especially in February, but overall, 2012 was the best one I’ve had in years.
– On Friday the 13th, Nick & I went to see/experience the incredible Sleep No More.
– That same morning, I danced my heart out before 10am at Creative Mornings with Girl Walk All Day.
– Filed for an LLC and made my business official. No more freelancing for me!
– The beginning of the month, my family faced a tragedy. Jenn’s nearly full-term baby suddenly passed away a week before her due date. We’ll always remember Everett, even though we didn’t get to meet him.
– Nick and I met my parents in Jamaica for a sunny vacation.
– I flew to Canada for a week-long visit, where I stayed with Jenn and her family. This included lots of playing with their new puppy, Biscuit.
– I tried an incredibly challenging Soulcycle class – right after Jake Gyllenhaal worked out in the same room.
– Mad Men season 5 premiered and I fell in love with the show all over again.
– Flew to London for a long weekend. We got to see Nick’s client Frank Turner headline his first arena show and Abbey Road!
– I helped set a record at the World’s Largest Rainbow Parade RecordSetter Event.
– Finally bought a bike worth more than $100. What a difference!
– Spent a weekend in Ohio for Alex and Erin’s lovely barn wedding.
– Started a subscription to Lancaster Farm Fresh weekly vegetable share and farm fresh eggs. Best decision of 2012!
– Had a quick trip to Toronto to see Frank Turner and Baroness, along with some friends and family.
– Saw an amazing Radiohead show in Newark.
– My sister Jenn came for a weekend visit!
– The first Long Island beach visit of the year with Kate.
– Gave a sweaty-faced testimonial in a video for my favourite yoga studio.
– Went to the Governor’s Ball Music Festival on Randall’s Island solo, but met up with many ex- & current TAG friends and my good Torontonian bud, Travis Bradley!
– Took a weekend road trip to Baltimore with Kate and Bryan. Survived the worst thunderstorm driving conditions on the way there so that we could see fish in their aquarium, go to a baseball game, and eat at a Brazilian steak house.
– Celebrated our second wedding anniversary with Nick by getting massages. So goooood.
– Rewrote my NYC + Brooklyn City Guide, complete with different categories, to appease all the NYC visitors!
– Went to Massachusetts to visit Nick’s best friend Mike, but we also went WHALE WATCHING! I saw humpback whales for the first time and it was one of the coolest moments of my life.
– Finally upgraded from a Blackberry to an iPhone.
– Collected a ton of paperwork and “proof of relationship” to renew my green card and have the conditional status of my permanent residency removed. Filed it myself and felt very accomplished.
– Flew to Toronto for a 10-day visit that started with a Bachelorette Party Cottage Weekend for Julia! Was so incredibly happy to spend 4 days in a cottage with some of my best friends that I only get to see a few times a year.
– Julia and Jay got married! I was so happy to be able to celebrate with them and stand up for Julia as a bridesmaid. I was also pretty happy to partake in the best dance party in years at their reception.
– Finally succeeded in doing headstand in the middle of the room! I have still never fallen (knock on wood).
– Celebrated a great 31st birthday.
– Helped Nick celebrate his birthday and had our first joint birthday dinner ever with some of our best friends.
– Went to Chicago to see Smashing Pumpkins in their hometown!
– New York got hit by Hurricane Sandy. We hunkered down, but were very very lucky to not have any damage.
– My parents came to visit us for the first time since we got married!
– Went to a special Creative Mornings talk by George Lois at the Met.
– Kate and Bryan got married at city hall!!! They were engaged for over 3 years before finally tying the knot at Manhattan’s city hall and now they are pregnant!
– Saw Neil Young & Crazy Horse with Patti Smith at Brooklyn’s new venue, Barclay’s Center.
– Nick and I flew to Sweden for a long weekend to see his band Ghost. We were so happy about this opportunity, even though it was a whirlwind trip!
– After a few months of practicing, I was finally successful in doing a real Ashtanga back bend!
– Celebrated Christmas with my family in Oshawa and Fenelon Falls.
– Flew home from Canada on Boxing Day then flew to Paris less than 2 days later! Celebrated New Year’s Eve by adding a love lock to Pont de l’Archevêché. Romantic!
If you finished this post, I applaud you! How was your 2012?
A Weekend Trip To Sweden
December 17, 2012 § 7 Comments
Sure, it sounds a little crazy to take a weekend trip to Sweden, especially the weekend before we fly to Canada for Christmas, which is followed immediately by a New Year’s Eve trip to Paris, but we did it anyway! Why? Because there’s only a few weeks left in The Year Of Yes and we’ve got to make it as incredible as possible.
Nick and I took the 6pm flight from Newark on Thursday, which landed us in Stockholm at 8am Friday, Sweden time. We took the very speedy and enjoyable Arlanda Express train from the airport to Stockholm City and enjoyed a 20 minute ride with views of snow and snow-covered trees.
We immediately checked into our hotel which was walking distance from the train station, and after barely sleeping on the plane ride there, fell asleep for a couple hours. When we woke up around 2:00, we realized from the amazing view from our room that the sun had begun to set. Apparently the sun sets at about 2:45pm in the winter there! This was an interesting addition to our bodies’ confusion of what time it was.
We decided to venture out and find some lunch/dinner/breakfast/whatever meal it was supposed to be at this point, and found this great area full of shops.
Oh, Conor Oberst is big there too.
Even though I felt like I should be eating meatballs and lingonberries, we ended up eating fajitas. 500 dollar fajitas! Just kidding, it was 500 kronor. $1 USD = roughly 7 kronor. Which means these fajitas were still pretty expensive.
We left our meal and decided to explore the shops. Then it started snowing!
Big, fluffy, pretty snowflakes.
Found a mall with some great stores, including an awesome designy-type, full of fun trinkets.
Including the “i-Woody” wooden iPhone for kids. Made by “Donkey”.
Chocolate balls are huge there. Like giant donut holes, covered in crunchy, minty things. Yum!
I loved being able to shop at Vera Moda! As soon as I saw a giant photo of Alexa Chung outside the store, I knew it would be good.
We relaxed in our hotel room that night – our very Swedish, subtly well-designed hotel room.
And enjoyed being dressed in matching flannel.
Saturday’s outfit. I was so glad I packed my Tretorn boots. We got up fairly early to say goodbye to Stockholm and take the train to Linkoping.
The train stations and airports in Sweden are awesome. Very clean and modern, with great and subtle design. This room was designed to be an “oasis” to relax in while you were traveling. It played bird noises from speakers so it sounded like you were in a rainforest.
Maybe we could go to Uppsala instead to visit Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist?
Nope, we are going to Linkoping to see Nick’s band, Ghost!
They were debuting their new stage show with the new (but equally terrifying) priest outfit.
Hard to see, but the “white Papa” priest was saying goodbye to unveil the new “black Papa”. Their fans went bananas. It was interesting to experience a show in Sweden. Although a show full of metal heads, everyone was pretty respectful and well-behaved. Swedes are awesome. And also really good-looking.
Some backstage doodles in Ghost’s dressing room.
After the show, we went to the after party, but only after hanging around the venue after the show had ended for way longer than expected. We both knew we weren’t getting a decent sleep since we had to leave our hotel at 5:30am to head back to Stockholm for the airport. We just went with it and ended up talking Batman with the singer of Watain while he tried (unsuccessfully) to get me drunk on gin.
(Beer can-filled snowbank in front of the venue)
And just as quickly as we arrived in Sweden, we left it, landing back in New York around 1:00pm. Nick and I are both so grateful for the opportunity to visit, even in our overtired state. We would love to visit again someday!
Bricks and Mortar
November 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Cancer Bats‘ new video makes my heart happy. These hilarious headbangers proudly show off their favourite Toronto restaurants, venues, and shops like Town Moto, Lee’s Palace, The Horseshoe, Bikes On Wheels, Sneaky Dees, Honest Ed’s, Suspect Video, and Sonic Boom. Consider this your guide to Toronto, courtesy of Cancer Bats.
There couldn’t have been a more perfect video for a song called “Bricks and Mortar”!