My Top Picks for Rifflandia 2014

If you live in Victoria, BC and run in a crowd of music snobs like I do, your social media feeds probably look something like this:

Rifflandia Super Pass for sale: $75 obo. Please someone, take it off my hands. 

Rifflandia just keeps getting bigger and worse. 

Rifflandia, proving that underwhelmed is, actually a word. 

Haters gonna hate. I don’t think there’s anyone out there would whole-heartedly argue that the line up this year is awesome, but it’s not the worst. There are a few gems amidst the noise. And if you bought your Super Pass early (or get one for under market value from a jilted fan), then it’s definitely worth the money spent. Here are the 10 bands I’m most looking forward to seeing:

Lightning Dust. Their new stuff doesn’t really sound like their old stuff which I’m madly in love with, but whatever. This is still going to be a highlight. Sunday 3:30pm at Royal Athletic Park

Reuben and the Dark. I’m a fan of this band. I love this style of music. I’m happy it’s having it’s time in the spotlight. Friday 3pm at Royal Athletic Park

Zeus. This is the best cover song of all time.  Sunday 1:15 at Royal Athletic Park

Pickwick. Love these guys. Friday 12:30 at Alix Gooden Hall

Old Man Canyon. I just heard this for the first time while doing my Rifflandia research, but I love it. Friday 9:30 at Public Market

Death Cab For Cutie. C’mon. If you’re under 35 I know you secretly liked these guys 8 years ago when they were actually relevant. I sure did. And I’m going to love seeing them play Saturday 7:45pm at the Royal Athletic Park.

Fox Glove. I’ll admit that there’s a bias here. One of the members of Fox Glove is my coworker and friend. But still, how beautiful are they? Thursday 11:30 at Studio CMCT

Dum Dum Girls. Kurt is freaking out about these guys. I think this could be one of the top shows of the festival on Saturday 5pm at Royal Athletic Park. 

Danny Brown. I don’t actually know anything about Danny Brown other than he didn’t show up to play Rifflandia last year, and when he was in Canada a few months ago he said he was never going to come back. I also know that people who have good taste in hip hop are pretty stoked to see this guy on Thursday 10:30pm at Phillips. I’m pretty sure that everyone with a wristband is going to try to be here, so come early.

The New Pornographers. Classic Canadiana on Saturday 5:45pm at Royal Athletic Park. 

 

 

 

 

 

Read this: The Girl Who Was Saturday Night

Read this:girlwhowas

“You’re mistaking happiness for unhappiness. That’s why the French are so melancholic. Everything beautiful makes them cry. They invented existentialism as an excuse not to love their wives” 

And this:

“We left the motel one afternoon and went for a walk in the park. The clouds were like a group of sheep that was gathering to be shorn. There was a scent called Five Minutes Before It Rains. If you put it on your neck, whoever kissed you would cry.”

And this:

Children who just wanted a few more minutes were still outside playing. Their mothers’ voices were calling them in were like pieces of paper. The wind crunched them up and threw them away before they could get to the children’s ears.”

And this:

“There was a poster of a heart on the wall, held up with thumb tacks. There were little names of the parts of the heart with arrows drawn to them: Aorta, Obsession, Right Ventricle, Sentimentality, Pulmonary Artery, Pathos, Pulmonic Valve, Sadness, Romanticism, Delusion, Love, Hatred, Superior Vena Cava.”

And this:

“Up until 1932, unpasteurized milk weeded out the weak. Only the strongest little babies survived in Quebec. The greatest strongmen in history were born in Quebec at the beginning of the century. They swallowed boiled eggs whole. They lifted washing machines over their heads. They attached buses to their belts and walked down thee street. Louis Cyr was the strongest man who ever lived and once lifted eighteen men on his back. Once milk became pasteurized, poets were able to live past three months. They were all over Montreal with their pale skin and giant eyes. The poets and the strong men never had any idea what to make of one another.”

And if you’re like me you’ve already fallen in love five times over with Heather O’Neill and her latest book, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night. Her follow up to the perfect Lullabies for Little Criminals. If I’m honest, I didn’t like this book as much as her first (one of my all time favourites), but it was still unbelievably beautiful. The Girl Who Was follows around the disheveled and dysfunctional lives of the barely adult children of a Quebecois folk legend. The story is great and everything, but it’s her emotional metaphors that get me. Each page left me feeling romantic and nostalgic and overcome.  So beautiful. Go read it.

Happy Sunday

A Special Song. How do I even explain this? You know when you hear a song on the radio and you know that there is someone out there who, when they hear that song, start thinking fondly of you? That’s a good feeling. There’s got to be a word for this in some other language.

Country Strong THIS MOVIE IS ON NETFLIX AND IT’S SO SO SO SO GOOD. It’s probably my new favourite. Katie has seen it 5 times. And last night I had a dream that Garrett Hedlund texted me asking for advice for fun things to do in Houston, Texas, which is not really right because he’s Katie’s movie star boyfriend not mine (mine is Tom Hardy).

Colleen Weekend. My boyfriend was out of town this weekend and while I missed him, being alone was kind of amazing. I did activities such as: running trails, getting a massage, loading the dishwasher without being told ‘I’m not doing it efficiently’, listening to CBC very loud, eating cheese, practising a cat eye, sleeping in a diagonal position on the bed, seeing some girlfriends, and watching so much TV. Once again, it was amazing. I’m ready for him to be home now though.

Amy Peohler. She rules.

NYFW. That stands for New York Fashion Week, which I don’t actually care about. I’d live in courdoroys and crocs if I cared less what people thought. But my best friend Katie is there right now, being the amazing hair stylist that she is, so that’s pretty freaking cool. If you do follow fashion, check out Alice + Olivia and I bet they’re models have the best hair do’s of them all.

How to make the most of the last long weekend of summer (with pictures)

1. Make it an extra long weekend. Take Friday off work. Leave a couple hours early on Thursday too.

2. Assemble some of the people that you love the most. Board a boat to Vancouver, specifically a boat with an all-you-can-eat buffet. Try to out eat one another, even though you know deep down what a bad idea this is. This always is.

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3. Meet a few thousand other people in a beautiful park. Drink cider, smile and enjoy some rock and roll, specifically Jack White.

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4. Head downtown to a place with cheap eats, good beer, good tunes, and great people watching. Head to a place like The Factory. Stay until you’re all so tired your conversation slows and your eyes rarely leave the music videos playing on the TV’s.

5. The next morning have breakfast at a cafe like this one. Don’t be ashamed to be the only one who orders a treat. Enjoy your mango mousse while your friends sip their boring americano’s.

6. Make your way to Granville Island with another favourite person who you haven’t seen in months. Watch her flirt with the French guy at the cheese shop as he lets you try every single cheese. Purchase his four favourites to go along with the rest of your picnic fare. Picnic.

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7. Walk the Sea Wall. Try to pretend it isn’t raining.

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8. When you can’t pretend any more, go see your friend’s latest purchase–a Gastown loft. Feel beyond proud of her as Vancouver real estate is something you  have to work hard for. Have your first coffee from Revolver, the nearest coffee shop to her house. Slowly, through traffic, take her up on her offer to drive you to the ferry.

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9. Take a boat to Saltspring Island.

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10. Hug your boyfriend. Arrive at your perfectly set up campsite. Drink red wine. Eat chocolate. Lose over 1000 games of crazy 8’s in a row. By the time you finally win a game, by the time the tables turn, you’ve had too much red wine to continue the streak. Climb into bed happily.

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11. Despite some rain and being vastly unprepared for a camping trip, somehow put together a breakfast of champions.

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12. Plan to meet your friends at the market the exact moment a 2-hour long torrential downpour begins. Against all logic, search for them in the pouring rain. Almost get grumpy, but nip it in the bud with a beer and a game of Uno. Wait out the storm.

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13. Find your friends. Sip wine. Mistaken Identity and Garry Oaks Winery are good places to start.

14. When the sun comes out say fuck you to the storm and drink blackberry beers on the Rock Salt patio until it’s time to move inside for dinner.

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15. Back at the campsite, find the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Play 20 questions and laugh your head off until it’s time to go to sleep.

 

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16. On your last day on the island, explore. Eat, drive, hike. Pick a few blackberries. Make your way home.

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17. Once you’re home, even if the rain has stopped and the sun is doing it’s very best, pretend that it’s storming outside. Curl up on the couch and watch more TV than you should, first at your own home, and later with your best girlfriends.

18. Spend the last day of the last long weekend of the summer at the beach with some of the best people in the world. Eat a lot. Try stand up paddle boarding for the first time. Try Oar Boarding. Sit in the warm sand until the weather turns. Feel like you’re bearing witness to the changing of the seasons.

 

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19. Go home to the one you love. Eat unhealthy food. Watch an unhealthy amount of television. Fall asleep in the arms of your favourite person.

20. Begin counting down the days until summer 2015.

 

August Money

I, personally, find it super interesting to see how others spend/save/indulge. You might too. Here’s what went down with my cash in August. 

I spent a lot last month. As if I’m the only one. August, you aren’t cheap.

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Fixed 35%
The usual mortgage, insurance, utilities, etc.

Travel 24%
Where did I go? Not Europe or Hawaii or Japan, as this number would indicate. Nope. In fact I didn’t even leave British Columbia. I welcomed August in the Okanagan where I splurged on wine and bubbly whenever I had the opportunity to. I had a very splurge-y 24 hours in Vancouver visiting some old friends from high school. And I wrapped up the month with another night in the city seeing Jack White and a couple days on Salt Spring Island. I also totally emptied my travel savings account.

Eating 11%
Groceries. Mostly for me. A little bit for Kurt.

Good Times 11%
Both my restaurant and my drinks budgets were the highest they’ve been all year. Like significantly higher than any other month. It was fun though. With summer coming to an end I expect this spending will drop back down again…until December.

Looking and Feeling A+ 9%
There were some crazy good sales at Shoppers Drug Mart in August. The spend X amount and receive a gift card for X amount kind. So I stocked up on all the vitamins, sun screen, moisturisers and make up that I needed. I spent a lot, but I also saved $50 thanks to the gift cards so I’m going to call it a win.

Saving 8%
Thanks to automation I put 9% of my monthly income into savings each month and I always intend to put aside a little more. That didn’t happen this month because I was too busy taking trips and eating in restaurants. Next month. (The 8% instead of 9% is because I spent more than I earned in August).

Other 2%
Charity, parking, household.

Summer Reads: Cheryl Strayed Edition

Wildwild

At first I was like, a woman goes on a long hike by herself? Boring. And then everyone was like, no it’s really good. She faces challenges and the hike helps her. And I was like what kind of challenges? And everyone was like her mom dies and she does drugs and her relationship ends, and she went on the hike to find herself. And I was like, yeah that sounds hard, but not uniquely hard. She must be crazy pretentious to feel she had to write a book about it. And then everyone was like, shut up and read the book.

So I read it. And I didn’t put it down until I was finished. I couldn’t. Because that’s how good this book is. Wild is so captivating and well written and just beautiful that I fell in love instantly. I loved it despite it being one of my least favourite genres. By now I’m sure most people reading this have all ready read it, so you get me. And if you haven’t read it, I absolutely recommend you pick it up today.

 

 

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Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar

After Wild I couldn’t wait to read Tiny Beautiful Things, a series of letters from Strayed’s online advice column Dear Sugar. I related to exactly zero of the letters requesting advice in the book. None of them. However, I took something from each and every beautiful response. Each one inspired and encouraged me. You know someone is a great writer when the response they provide to  someone mourning the death of a 50-year partner (something I know nothing about) touches you in such a way you have a new confidence in wherever it is you are in your life.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially to anyone going a transition or facing a life challenge. And if your particular transition or challenge isn’t touched upon in this book, it won’t matter, you will still put it down as inspired as if it had.