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Sep. 1st, 2012

Saturday musings

First things first - it's Bring Back the Porn day at InsaneJournal, and you can find it all at [info]bbtp_challenge (master list). I even got my act together this year and wrote Our Scandalous Days Behind Us about the secret sex lives of the inhabitants of Downton Abbey. I've never written these characters before, so I'd love to hear what you think.

Second, Doctor Who's back! And I thought it was both frustrating and fabulous.

Third, I'm excited that I just this minute ordered Space Fluxx after playing a similar game (Martian Fluxx) at a friend's birthday last weekend. Anybody ever played it? I'm crap at card games that require you to remember numbers and stuff, but this is fun and silly and the rules change often enough to suit my limited attention span.

I thought I deserved a little gifty for myself because fourthly, I dyed my hair a colour that can only be described as "shit brown." It was supposed to be a lot lighter - I didn't want to go darker because I had such trouble getting it out the last time I dyed my hair black - but this is almost as dark as the black and not nearly as pretty. Am now contemplating pink or purple to fix this. But at least the profusion of white hairs I'd gotten in the past two weeks are gone, as is the source of the white hairs, so that counts as a win.

Fifth, there's really no fifth, other than that I'm relaxing tonight with some Upper Canada Dark Ale, cuddling a kitten on the couch beside me, and exploring Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Youtube. I don't know much about hip-hop so I can't say how unique Macklemore is, but I find his music so moving in how he's using it to say something important, whether it's speaking out for music or for hope in his community or against consumerism and disconnectivity, or here, with SAME LOVE, for gay rights and marriage equality.

And if you want one more, this vid left me in sappy tears, partly because I got the worst homesickness for Seattle but also just because of the joy and the potential he sees in the kids, and in what they can become, and his acknowledgement that it won't ever be the same and the RKcndy's not coming back, but they need to have something like that too, they need that chance.

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend!

May. 2nd, 2011

I swore I wasn't going to care (but then hope does die last)

From this...

...to this...

The lovely [info]aldiara translated the lyrics so we could wallow in the pain together. (Which was magnified a thousand times when she compared them to the lyrics of Unzertrennlich.)

You’ve long been guiding my hand
I write the way we were in the sand
What you liked one moment ago, the sea takes away
Write deep within the water, cut my feet
I can’t do more than that anymore, for
Everything we were, the sea takes away
I’m not who I used to be, so
Exhale me
Wash me up to shore, for everything we
Wanted, the sea takes away
Burn me out like a too-proud cliff
As ghosts and ruins were ground to sand by the sea
You see I wish we’d done this differently
See how we end up in ruins
See how we fight for nothing really
You know it’s hope we’re
Giving up last

(German lyrics are here.)

And now I need to be writing trip report editing novel instead of moping and comfort-eating crisps. Stupid Show. Hopefully this will be the last time I have to say that.

Aug. 3rd, 2010

IJ journal layouts

So I know a few of you new folks ([info]geekchick1013 and [info]tree1970 I think, and someone else who I can't remember) have been struggling with prettifying IJ layouts. This is not on! Would there be anybody interested in a tutorial on this? I'm not an expert on it by any means, but I have fumbled through enough to know how to do some stuff, and maybe others who are more experienced could chip in too.

Is there any interest in this?

Also, I cannot stop looping this song. Headphones make this magical. )

Jul. 29th, 2010

Seeing an old love again

I just came across The Libertines - Still The Greatest Rock'n'Roll Story Of Our Generation and got doused in a huge wave of nostalgia.

I discovered the Libertines in 2005. The fact that they had already broken up didn't stop me from becoming completely obsessed. I was living on a little beachhouse at the time, downloading every bootleg from Albion Arks over the most sporadic Internet on the island, reading every article I could get my virtual fingers on, and blasting "Up the Bracket" out my glass-less windows at passing tourists. And somewhere in there, even though the band was no more and those once kindred spirits were growling from opposite corners and still reeling from that fuzzy messy line they'd drawn between love|hate, you could still feel that genius that had sparked when they came together.

When I play them now, that spark of genius is still there, even though my obsession has faded. I love how they never shied away from what was real, how songs like "Can't Stand Me Now" and "Music When the Lights Go Out" are almost too personal, yet touch something in so many. And this article gets that. (And yeah, I know comparisons and saying "this band's better than this other one" are pointless. It's a bit like DeRo, in a way, you either get it or you don't. You can think the songs are nice and the boys cute, but if you don't see that that's not their essence, it's not something you can be convinced of.)

I'm honestly not sure why I felt the need to share all this. I think it's in lieu of that long-ass meme that everybody else is doing, that I just don't have the time or energy for. But here, have one of my favourite pictures:


May. 19th, 2010

Tomorrow, there'll be sun

Up today, a song that no one would expect you to love: Tomorrow by Andrea McArdle. I don't know if anyone would expect me not to like this song (even if it does shatter whatever tough grrl image I hope to project), but I don't think anybody knows how much I love it. See, Andrea McArdle was my first girlcrush, and I didn't even realise it until years later. I saw her sing this song on the Tonight Show when I was 13 years old; somehow I got a recording of it on my little cassette tape, and I played it every single night before going to bed. I wanted to be her best friend, I wanted to give her kisses, I wanted things I didn't even know that I wanted and I loved her so much it hurt. I begged my mom to take me to NYC to see her perform in person, but I got the standard answer of "people like us don't go to New York/Europe/anywhere interesting at all ever."

Then I grew up and became a punk rock girl and would have denied to anybody that, once upon a time, I couldn't go to bed without hearing this voice singing me off to sleep.

May. 17th, 2010

If things get real promise to take me somewhere else

At this point, it should be painfully clear that I have commitment issues and cannot even stick with a meme for 18 days. I'm going to catch up with two today.

A song that makes you fall asleep: I'm nervous about flying, so whenever I'm on a long-distance flight, I put on this CD, take a sleeping pill, and have myself a glass of wine. So I'm not sure if it's the song (Feeling Oblivion by Turin Brakes) or its accompaniments, but whatever, it works like a charm. (And I was tickled to see that this video is all from the air. Absolutely gorgeous!)

A song from your favourite band: Favourite band? I've always thought that was the hardest question in the world. But my longest musical love affair has been with the Velvet Underground, and all their solo projects. Since their videos generally suck, have a slice of Velvet Goldmine sparkle instead. (And oh, it's been such a long time since I had a chance to use my Venus In Furs icon. I've missed it!)

May. 14th, 2010

Bist du da...

Oops! I missed yesterday completely (what did I do yesterday? Oh yeah, lookie!), so today I'm playing catch-up...

A song for a certain event: So many, but I'm going to go with the terribly predictable right now, Unzertrennlich, because this is a beautiful video. And I think you all know the certain event. Aldi and I were watching together as it aired, literally crying with happiness, and hardly believing that after so many months of working on EKP -- which we began expecting nothing to ever happen again! -- that this story was really coming true. So yes, the event was a plotline on a soap, but it was so much more.

A song you can dance to: Just listen to Living With the Dreaming Body by Poi Dog Pondering and try to keep from moving. Like they say, "it's hard to be with one when you're in love with another," but you might as well dance about it.

May. 12th, 2010

Mi corazon tiene la culpa

Very quick update today, with a song from a place. I wanted to choose some bachata, which always reminds me of living in the Dominican Republic where it was played from morning to night. This is one of my favourites -- Antony Santos' Corazón Culpable (Guilty Heart) -- but unfortunately it happens to be accompanied by the cheesiest video in the universe. I advise you to turn up your speakers, click on the video, then step away from the computer. Pouring yourself a rum and coke while you're up will get you in even more of the island mood.

May. 9th, 2010

Music for the morning

I thought I'd start off the day with my music meme, before life gets in the way. My happy song is Downtown, by Petula Clark, of course. Do I really need to explain why this song is happy? Just listen to it!

But I can explain why I love it so. It was released the year I was born (yes, older than dirt). Before I was born (when she still had time!) my mom made an amazing baby book for me. Part of it was dedicated to happenings around that time, and this song was the first one listed in the music section, surrounded by her fashionplate-quality sketchings of Twiggy-like models in houndstooth swing jackets and flamboyant hats and miniskirts. She loved the song and used to belt it out, and I still hear her voice instead of Petula's to this day.

(Well. That was unexpectedly appropriate for Mother's Day, wasn't it?)

Aug. 3rd, 2009

Big Bang and Loud Jams

The Merlin Big Bang previews are going strong and I just posted mine! I can't wait for Wednesday when the site goes live!

Also, it's probably too late to be playing this so loud. The Oasis Song )
Sorry, neighbours, I hope you're Amanda Palmer fans...

Jun. 13th, 2009


That's the secret word for this weekend. Last night [info] - personalparaka and I went out for her birthday. We started with pizza at the International Elvis Sighting HQ (aka the Newport), then wandered down to Westfest, a really sweet little all-Canadian festival. Jenn Grant, the new love of my life, was playing, and she was fabulous and darling and I wanted so much to bring her home with me! Instead I came home alone and engaged in youtube stalking:

Her band last night was pared down -- just herself on guitar, a fiddle woman, a guy on stand-up base, and another on bass clarinet with detours into xylophone. And help from the crowd. It made for a great sound, and a really mellow evening as we watched the sun go down.

(I also snagged a free CBC button, which pleases me in a more nerdy way than it probably should.)

Over the past few days I've made some writing progress. If I can just wrap this one scene up tonight, I'll have three more left. Granted, they're the biggest action scenes in the whole story (96 pages of build up before anything happens is fine, right?), plus I need to fix the smut, and come up with a title, and about a zillion section headers, and ... *breathes*

And I'm bummed right now because I'd like to read through the whole thing on one go, but my ancient printer is not working. :( It's not reading any black cartridge. I've replaced it twice, and no better. (But that's nothing compared to my panic today when my computer told me that Rodney [my external HD] was connected, but blank. OMGNOES! Fortunately it was just having a brainfart and when I restarted it remembered, "Oh right, I do have 500MB of your most valuable information here, sorry!")

OK, I'm not to think of technology now. Oh, right, sociable, yes. Tomorrow is Slasher's Brunch, yay! Get to see my girls! *cuddles* It's been too long.

And, um, that's my news, I believe. I hope everybody's enjoying the weekend!

Oct. 6th, 2008

I always wanted you, I only wanted more than I knew

Liz Phair's Exile In Guyville came out 15 years ago. That was a real time of transition for me -- I'd just left a place I loved and moved to a place I despised; where I'd been surrounded by political activists and cultural literates, I was suddenly in a desert, both literally and figuratively. I only lasted four months in Tucson, but I remember three things fondly from that time: Brisco Co. Junior, the beginning of my friendship with the Ex, and the album that I completely wore out by a woman who was so shy she could hardly perform on stage but whose songs perfectly spoke to where I was in those days.

Liz Phair is revisiting the album in some live performances (how I wish I could see one!) and NPR has her October 5th concert that you can stream. I'm listening to it now, and boggling to think it's been 15 years! (And crazy that I remember all the words!)

In much more current news, yesterday I enjoyed an impromptu Ottawa Slashers meeting. It's so much fun to squee over True Blood and bitch about SGA in person! The outing was followed by a little shopping research trip to Venus Envy. I'm quite tempted to get a Hitachi wand in their xmas sale, although a bit disturbed that my mom had one (she kept it in her drawer by her heating pad, and I never, ever asked...)


The NDP asked if I could put up a window sign and I said sure, so for the past week I've had Paul Dewer staring at me. After doing some running around a little while ago I was hot and sweaty so I took off my top. And saw dear old Paul leering. :( I had to move the sign to the kitchen window.

Jul. 2nd, 2008

Sights and sounds

My writing muses have been blocked for weeks now, sacrificed on the altar of capitalism, heartlessly butchered by my clients and their unpardonable crimes against the English language.

But there's hope in sight! This picture inspired this drabble ... and might inspire more. Harry looks so beautifully crushable!


Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová recorded a song for Strangers, an Israeli indie film. It's stunning, this mixture of clipped Spanish guitar sound and flowing harmonies. I've been looping it for the past few days:

The Swell Season: One More Word.

Jun. 23rd, 2008

Home again, home again

I've been back for a few days actually, but it's been a little hard to step back into my online life. This always happens when I'm away from my beloved laptop, I actually start reading real books (finally picked up The Yiddish Policeman's Union) and cleaning the apartment and crazy stuff like that. But that is NOT to say that I didn't miss you all! I do ... I just feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of catching up. Soon enough I'll fall back into my compulsive IJ ways I'm sure.

The conference was excellent though. We had some great "field trips" to college campuses and talked to a lot of people in the biz -- I'm certain it's going to help loads with my clients. And aside from a few people who just really enjoyed hearing themselves talk (nothing turns me off faster!), it was nice meeting my fellow consultants. In fact, much as I usually hate (and fear and dread) networking, I would've liked another day to get to know some of these people better.

And Chicago itself was fantastic. The Art Institute was a bit of a bust since most of the exhibits that interested me were closed for construction (should've checked that before I left), but Second City was lots of fun, and just walking around the city is always a thrill. And I think I gained 10 pounds from all the incredible meals. We had a fabulous dinner at Osteria Via Stato -- they made this one dish, parmesan-crusted sweet onion, that was quite possibly the tastiest thing I've ever put in my mouth. These thick slices of onion were grilled until they were practically carmelized and then drenched in cheese, and the combination was heavenly!

So food good, company good, ents good. However, I did notice something disturbing: how completely segregated Chicago is. Everywhere we went it was white people being served and people of colour doing the serving -- not once did I see those situations reversed. And it wasn't just me; the other foreign consultants noticed it as well. I haven't been to Chicago since 1997, and I don't remember being as aware of it then, so either I was just unobservant or it's gotten worse. It was kind of creepy, though.

And somewhere along the way I exposed myself to some funky germs that sapped my energy and made me all sniffly. Sleep seems to be keeping it from developing into a full-blown cold, though, and that's where I'm headed soon. But I'll leave you with some fun links I've stumbled across:

These people are definitely kindred spirits: Typo personalities

Another Doctor Who trailer. Now with 25% more Ianto! And creepy Dalek voices. (And have the last two eps not just kicked ass, I ask you?)

A music rec from my brother direct from N'awlins: The Zydepunks. They describe their music as "New Orleans, Cajun, Irish, Breton, Klezmer, Slavic, Zydeco in six languages." I've been listening to 'Madeleine' all night.

Missed all of you!!

Jun. 11th, 2008

A quick escape

I don't know about you guys, but I could sure use a spot of beauty today. Here's Vanessa Mae with "I'm a Doun For Lack of Johnnie" -- a hauntingly lovely song and some amazing capoeira choreographed in the background!

Jun. 2nd, 2008

It's far too Monday for a title

Today I trudged across town to the bus lost-and-found to see if they might have the keys I lost last week. I went through a HUGE box with probably 100 sets of keys from May alone, but no joy. What kills me is that I was basically going just for my mailbox key (my landlord gave me copies of the doorkeys) but this box was full of car keys (many with their autolock buttons attached), office keycards, stuff that people really need! Wacky!

I procrastinated on the way back, wandering through the mall, trying on a few things that looked horribly unflattering. Not that anything's flattering after the winter binge, I seem to now be shaped like a carton of Ben & Jerry's, but this season's fashions are especially cruel. Normally I wouldn't care a bit, but I'd hoped to find something professional-but-cute for my work conference in a few weeks. I'm okay for one day, but the other I'm apparently going naked.

[info]omarandjohnny? Warriors still coming out to play?

And hey, it's music meme time:
1. Reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. List (and upload, if you feel like it) 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Post them to your journal with these instructions.

[info]ladybelz gave me "D":

Finally, no surprise to anyone, but apparently I talk too much. (Ganked from [info]aristoboule.)
Do you talk too much in your blog?
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

My fic journal's 2096% longer. ;)

Hope you all survived Monday in one piece!

May. 30th, 2008


[info]omarandjohnny has become my musical conduit, she's always got the good stuff. Yesterday she posted this, and I have listened to it about a hundred times since. (My neighbours must really hate me.) This is Out of the Blue, Oxford's a capella choir, doing "Throw Your Arms Around Me." It's just the most beautiful arrangement ... and I still can't believe the beatbox/conductor is doing all the percussion himself! Incredible!

I ripped the MP3 from the video; the quality's not the best but it's not bad, my neighbours can attest to that: Out of the Blue: Throw Your Arms Around Me

And I just realised that Luka Bloom covered this song, his version's lovely too: Luka Bloom: Throw Your Arms Around Me

Apologies for spamming the flist today. I probably won't post tomorrow. Unless Doctor Who is really good. And since it's the Steven Moffat episode (*squees*) it probably will be. Sorry!

ETA: Doh! Almost forgot! I posted the 2nd chapter of The Hogwarts Reunion Is When Everything Changes (And Torchwood Is Ready). So yeah, if you're on those asylums, I really spammed you today. Hopefully you'll forgive me with my offering of smut.

Apr. 13th, 2008

My lazy Sunday

GIP! Look at the gorgeous wine icons that [info]aristoboule made for me! I'm just thrilled iwth them, they're so pretty! They're grabbable, but be sure to credit [info]aristoboule for her lovely creations.

Last night's concert was fab! We got there just shortly after the doors open and managed to nab the last table, then chatted sci fi with [info]westmoon's brother and his partner (who both wore the cutest fedoras, and I want one now). After Steve Dawson's band (with the most jubilant drummer I've ever seen) warmed up the crowd, Danny Michel came on with just his guitar and tons of stories. His original songs were excellent, but during the encore he did this piano cover of "China Girl" that was really something!

Tonight I'm watching Metroland. You've got to love Christian Bale with bad '70s hair. And Emily Watson with any kind of hair. There was a scene I loved. Teensy spoiler, nothing about the plot. )

And here is something truly wonderful: An Engineer's Guide To Cats:

Apr. 12th, 2008

Night on the town

Some awesome impromptu plans just popped up: [info]westmoon has an extra ticket to see Danny Michel tonight at the Black Sheep Inn up in Quebec -- should be a brilliant show.

So right now I'm drinking buckets of coffee to stay awake. I couldn't sleep again last night, so instead of tossing and turning I got up and cleaned my closet until 6am. I'm exhausted but it feels good. [info]aristoboule you'll be so proud of me: I threw out three forests five shopping bags of old grad school notes and articles. I only kept a few things I wrote, conference papers and a few class papers, just to remind myself that once upon a time I was smart!

Today I've got three songs for your springtime listening pleasure:

Iron & Wine: Faded From the Winter: Kind of the way this grey day feels: needlework & seedlings in the way you're walking to me from the timbers, faded from the winter
The Magnetic Fields: One April Day: Bright and bittersweet, as only Stephin Merritt can manage.
Márta Sebestyén: Tavasz, Tavasz (Spring, Spring): This is a Hungarian folk song, I don't honestly know much about it, and I'm not a huge fan of this arrangement, but I adore Márta's voice.

Now I must run, have to battle the hair and watch the new Doctor Who and sort out the clothing situation. Hope y'all are enjoying the weekend.

Feb. 24th, 2008

Wow! Just wow!

I can't believe it: Glen Hansard won an Oscar! I'm giddy as can be!

I didn't see the awards show, but I heard that Jon Stewart let Marketa give her acceptance speech. That makes me all kinds of happy. Here's hoping it shows up on youtube soon.

And since I have a slew of new friends who haven't heard me pimp The Frames ad nauseum, I've uploaded the most amazing song you'll ever hear:


Trust me, you need to hear this song!

ETA: I love youtube! The performance and acceptance speeches are already up. And Glen's got his battered old guitar. *loves*

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