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Showing posts from July, 2010

Parachute: An Actual Album Review

I knew nothing about Parachute except for the songs I was listening to* off their album "Losing Sleep." But as I lay on the floor with all the lights out, that didn't particularly matter.

What did matter was the debate in my mind - Do they remind me more of Michael Buble or Maroon 5**? Can I even define a band as a cross-breed of those two?

I have decided that the answer is yes, I can. And I did. Just now.

Parachute's lyrical ballads "She Is Love" and "Be Here" make me think of Buble for some reason. I can't pinpoint it exactly, but I think it has to do with the story and the heart that come through so strongly. I'd love to hear these songs performed in a little corner bar. Lights dim in a smoky interior, packed with people sitting around tiny tables, squished close to the stage.

On the other end, it only takes the first three notes of "She (For Liz)," "Back Again," or "Blame It On Me" to think you may be listeni…

Empty Threats, Insults, Creeperville (round 5)

Nadine is getting meaner this week.

her: "Going to get laundry. I'll be back. Maybe."
me: "What, like you're going to get killed getting your laundry!?"
her: "Maybe I'll run away."
me: "Why? We've got a good thing going here!"
her: "Well, maybe sometime if I'm mad when I go get laundry..."
me: "Remind me never to fight with you on laundry day."

(on the topic of her boyfriend)
her: "Two years ago, I wrote a blog post on how unemployment is not a deal breaker... I'm glad I could follow through on that."

me: You'll really like Amelia.
her: I'm looking forward to stealing all your friends.
me: (tips head to the side, looks sideways at her)
her: Or sharing them?
me: Yeah, let's go with the option that means I'm not left lonely.

me: "I'm not sure if I want to shower today or not...I don't really need to be clean."
her: "You don't ever need to be clean. You don't hav…

Scott Pilgrim Is In My Head

Last week, I wrote, Scott Pilgrim lives in my world. I also said that I had low expectations and that the only thing realistic about the graphic novels was the setting.

I am changing my tune. The more I read, the more I like. And the more I read, the more I wish we could all deal with our relationship drama/baggage with some cartoon-style super-hero knock-out fights. It just seems so straight forward.

Last night, I was walking to Union Station, and a girl passed me on rollerblades. She had a messenger bag, and her hair was two-toned. I almost called out after her, "Ramona!?"

Scott Pilgrim is in my head.

Never before have I made plans to read an entire comic book (graphic novel) series. Never before have I made plans to see a movie that corresponds with a comic book series. Never before have I downloaded all the free trailers to a movie from iTunes.

I thought about this last night - What comic books did I read as a kid? What comic book movies have I seen? These are the lists I ca…

Art on the Walls

There is art on the walls which means we are officially settled in. Nadine and I hung it ourselves.

See how good it looks:

Just kidding. This was part of our (Nadine's) brilliant DIY plan* to make sure things ended up looking right. We traced and measured, hung the "plan" on the wall, made sure it was nice and level, put in the nails, and voila. The real result:

I also made a collage for my room. And hung up two photos I had intended to give a friend in BC before I left. Oops.

*After we high-fived each other, Nadine suggested we should start a DIY blog.
Entry #1: Herb Gardens - We've No Clue What We're Doing.
And now, Entry #2: Art Hanging - Math Matters.

Scott Pilgrim Lives in My World

I am a wannabe hipster. I've known this for weeks now, if not months. But it was confirmed today when I picked up Vol. 1 of the Scott Pilgrim comic book series. Or, as we sophisticated hipsters like to say, graphic novel series.

Despite my general dislike for anime characters with eyes the size of pies, the belief that comics are for kids (Persepolis is an exception), and the apathy of my generation (as personified in Scott Pilgrim's life), I got a little sucked in.

Here's the thing: Scott Pilgrim lives in my neighbourhood. He shops at the Goodwill store I bought dishes at. He walks past the Pizza Pizza I walk past. He visits my branch of the Toronto Public Library. He's in a believable space. My space.

So now I have high hopes* for this 23 year-old bass-playing, video-game-loving, unemployed comic book character. I hope that he goes for it, jumps the obstacles standing between his current reality and "true love," and that they live happily ever after...In To…

Life is Rarely Boring (round 4)

her: "Don't mess with Uncle Jesse!"
(of Full House fame)

her: "I think because you're single now, you totally have permission to flirt with Donald Miller."
me: "Well, thank you for granting that."

me: "I decided not to apply for the drug mule job. Maybe if I'm still looking at the end of the month..."
her: "It's better than stripping."

her: "I wouldn't want to go on a date with my BOYFRIEND in the pitch black..."
(referring to this reality TV show. Worst idea ever? Possibly.)

me: "(elaborate boy-meets-girl story of impossibilities) ...and maybe then we'll fall madly in love. (pause) Just kidding."
her: "You don't have to say Just Kidding at the end of that. I support it.

her: "He's like Santa Claus - slightly gay, slightly a non-white Santa. In an orange robe."

("Hannibal is a human thrill ride." - Howie Mandel)

In c…

Reality Cheque

If I don't look, it can't hurt me, right?

Unfortunately, I need to buy groceries, so tomorrow I will take money out of my account, and there is this piece of paper that will spell out the truth for me. (A reality cheque, if you will). The big question I need to answer is, after I pay for August's rent, will I have enough money left to pay my credit card bill?

I have never actually wondered about this before. Or probably I have, but it was as a student, and I was more comfortable with being broke. Everyone was, and I hadn't known anything else. So it was not quite as humbling/humiliating.

I am not deeply worried this time around. I know that one way or another, my bills will be taken care of...a friend just told me about this thing called a "grace period" with credit card bills. Turns out I have longer than I thought to get that paid. And I will work again soon. It just might not be quite as easy as I'd hope.

(Too bad this pile o' cash is no longer on …

Women I Want To Be (There Are None)

Chatting with Alasdair this afternoon, and we came 'round to talking about the future, and all the exciting possibilities that exist (a common topic in my life right now, as all that exists is "possibility"). Our conversation went thusly:Alasdair:have you heard of kevin kellyhe's the kind of guy i want to be.4th person to be on the internet... i have not heard of him before, but i DO know of several of the organizations he's been involved with.and it sounds like he might love Jesus? Alasdair: he certianly does he was interviewed on TAL about it not listened to it yet though me: sweet. i need to find some women i want to be like. i don't know any. i have been thinking a lot about what i want to be in my life for this next chunk of time...but not about anyone whose example i'm really impressed by. i just googled "women i want to be" - not an impressive hit among the results. Alasdair: hahaeveryone has flawsme: no, not even that - i mea…

Disappointed by US Tax Laws (Because I Have a Dream)

I have a dream.

A few weeks ago, I sat on a park bench as storm clouds rolled in. I was reading a Pulitzer Prize winning collection of short stories. And it was making me angry. They were well written, don't get me wrong. But they were depressing. Hopeless, even. And that got me to thinking...again.

With all the reflecting and thinking and praying and major life transitions over the last several months, I've become more convinced of my love for the arts and the potential they have to be so much more than they often are.

I want to be a part of that. Not just on the sidelines, cheering people on (although that is important), but right in there, creating art that speaks of life in all its glory: pain, mistakes, hurt, redemption, hope, beauty...

I have ideas about how to get there, but there are no guarantees. And although I am in a "risk-taking" stage of life, I have a feeling it would take an army of cheerleaders to get me moving much faster. Which is why I was so excite…

Hope Doesn't Float: It Grows

I have been thinking a lot about hope this year.

My thoughts are decidedly Jesus-based, but I think that as humans, Christian or not, we're wired to look for hope. We need hope, and the fact that we don't do well without it says something to me. I'm not sure what, but I could get lost in all these thoughts. In fact, I have been...

Back in May, I was drawn to Romans 5:1-5, and ever since, I've been mulling it over. And over and over.

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

These have been my thoughts/qu…

Out of Context Quotes (round 3)

Nadinecontinues to entertain.

her: I once developed a crush on a boy because I saw him ironing. And then I saw him take out the trash.

her: I'll never be one of those girls with an hourglass figure and a 24" waist. 24!?! That's like the size of my head! If I'm lucky...

her: I don't ever want to be a child star.
me: Um. I think you're good to go.

As a general rule, I like heterosexual men. Clay Aiken was an exception. And Neil Patrick Harris.

Is it weird that I found a rehab centre I want to go to?

me: Maybe your doctor's right. Maybe you should just start having sex.
her: Maybe I will...maybe I will.
me: Don't do it! Don't doooooooooooo it.
her: Don't worry, I won't! (pause) I don't have blinds.*

her: Polygamy is on my mind!

*our blinds, purchased over a week ago, are lying on the floor, awaiting the mechanical expertise of a man or woman better than we. If you are that person, we will repay your helpfulness somehow.

Life Lessons from My Girlfriend's Boyfriend

I paid no attention to the description of Mike Birbiglia's show when I bought tickets to see him this past weekend. He could have been scheduling shows about airport pavement and I would have paid to listen...By the time I went, I had learned that the show, called My Girlfriend's Boyfriend, tells the story of his courtship with his wife, Jenny.

I wasn't expecting my faith in love and marriage to be bolstered by a comedic monologue. Especially after Mike tells the audience that he and his friend Andy successfully stopped or postponed 5 marriages after college. But in this series of flashbacks, rabbit trails, and major moments in his relationship with Jenny, there is

hilarity (seeing people makeout is "like watching a dog eat spaghetti"),
drama (of his seven reasons for being anti-marriage, he is most passionate that people should not fake religious beliefs simply to have a ceremony in a building),
empathy & sympathy (red flag #3 in a relationship...she doesn't…

On a Budget

Being unemployed means I can't just drop $10 here and another $10 there on all the new music that I want. But I am building up a list of albums to buy someday soon. They include:

Shout Out Louds

Sleigh Bells
(are you happy, Alasdair?)

Ginger Ninja
(discovered yesterday via Jackie)

Hot Chip
(LOVE the chorus - "I want to be your one life stand...")

Greg Laswell

If I had an income, the other thing I'd like to buy is a good lens for my SLR. Then I could take more effortless photos like this, because the camera does all the work. I just push a button.

The Prude

Job-hunting on craigslist and kijiji is both frustrating and fascinating.

I didn't apply for the PA job that hinted at "extra expectations" in keeping with its "more than generous compensation package" and concluded, "If you're the right person for this job, you'll know how to respond." Sketchville.

But today, I seriously considered applying for this job. It looks like an obvious adaptation of Big Brother. Let's take the most opposed people we can think of and throw them into a room together!! I am not at all the person they'd expect to apply, and that is what would be amazing.

Reasons I thought I'd apply:
It would be fascinating to be behind the scenes on a reality TV show.I think the other people would intrigue me. Why do you do this?
Who doesn't want to be on TV while they're young and still have their looks?I might actually have some good conversations with my co-stars. Maybe I'd make a friend or two.
I would bring drama,…

Couch Conversations (round 2)

I have a feeling these are going to be regularly occurring posts. I also feel the need to include a brief disclaimer: all of these are being quoted out of context and are not to be taken seriously.

her: I don't want him to think I'm using him for his muscles or big van.
me: Meh, don't worry about it! He's just using you for your lips anyway.

me: I don't ever want you to be afraid of me, okay?
her: Just don't walk into my room holding a knife.

me: Well, I think that's enough breaking hearts for one day. And it's not even noon.
her: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. You should join them.

me: You're hilarious.
her: The nice thing about having a roommate is that I get to share these thoughts. When I lived alone, what was I going to do? Write a list of "funny thoughts I had today?"

her: I've never had a broken heart, but I have had it drop-kicked across a field, where it landed in a mudpit.
me: laughter.

Lovely Day

Started this morning with a call from my beautiful friend Laura in Vancouver. She makes me miss BC, although I am incredibly joyful to be here in Toronto.

After we hung up, this song popped into my head.

I borrowed this album from my friend Meredith in 2004 and never returned it.
That's right, Kirk Franklin. I still listen to your classic gospel hits.

But the first version of this song that I ever learned was by Out of Eden, the Christian response to Destiny's Child. I had this album on cassette, and would rewind over and over to hear this song. I think gospel music is the main reason that I wish I were black. (am I allowed to admit that?)

Solidifying the greatness of today, I had this conversation as I handled towels to our overnight guest...

"What is this?"
"A washcloth?"
"What's a washcloth? Like, what do you do with it?"
"You use it to wash your body?"
"Wow! White people! I feel so cultured!"

Can't wait for Vanessa and Jesskah…

A Picture, A Song, A Link

I discovered thxthxthx back in May. At the start of June, this entry caught my eye. I've been saving it for an appropriate time. Like today. My weeks of weepiness have waned (I'm sooooooooo good at alliteration), and I could replace Leah's name with my own.

img source

This morning I was praying, telling Jesus that I want my life to start moving forward - it feels as if I have been waiting for the last several months. Waiting for work to be done. Waiting to move. Waiting for a place to live. Waiting for a new job. These things have been happening - slowly. And it has been good for me. But now I feel ready to dive into things, to have commitments and relationships and places that I see God working. The song that popped into my head as I wrote all this is a classic Christian rock piece from a decade ago.

One of the funniest moments of Canada Day with Nadine's family. As blogged by Nadine. Apparently vomit is a major deterrent to violent crimes...

Oh, and Happy Canada Day

Yesterday I went to a farm to celebrate Canada Day (although I think we celebrated people's birthdays more than the country's). I went with a friend and left with 25. By the end of the evening, they were laughing at my laugh (the one my family calls "the guinea pig laugh") and teasing me and hugging me and telling me to come again.

This is how much fun I had:

Wait a second... that's what you're thinking.

I was too busy playing soccer to get photos of all the fun we were having, but despite the bruises on my knee and shin, a torn toenail, a splinter, and a probably broken toe, it was a blast. Check.

This marks summer #2 that I have broken a toe playing some sort of sport/game in bare feet. You think I might learn. Maybe next summer will be different.