Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dear "Aughts"

I'm on my way to a New Year's party, but I felt the need to post some kind of commemorative post here.

Dear "Aughts",

Thanks for all of the good times and good people. I'm really into the way we're wrapping up our time together. There were some rocky days in there, but also a lot of awesome. This came mostly in the form of amazing people, with amazing food being a runner up. Some amazing books and movies and places were also present.

I feel too overwhelmed by everything that happened between us to even try to make sense of it all. My whole adult life so far has been spent with you... Look at me getting sentimental (pretty rare, except where sports movies are concerned).

Anyways, this is just to say thanks. I wish you all the best in your retirement.

Yours fondly,

Ange

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gift

December 25: Gift. What's a gift you gave yourself this year that has kept on giving?

The day after.

I'm sitting here in my room, my bed piled with presents. As per usual, I've been spoiled this Christmas. (Thanks.)

But what have I given myself? I'm quite fond of gifts to oneself, especially for birthdays (the birthday outfit is a favourite of mine), though Christmas usually ends up with so much money being spent on other people that there is not really any to spare for myself. Oh right. I just remembered the big chunk of money I spent on a dress a few days ago.



BCBG consistently has my favourite party dresses, and I think this is the sexiest dress I've ever tried on. I tried it on and at first I thought (and stated): this looks ridiculous. The bottom half is layered, ruched and billowy. Standing in my bare feet, I thought it made me look like I had a tiny top half and a giant bottom half. Add heels, however, and it just worked. Wary of the slightly high (but on sale) price tag, I wavered. Yes. No. Yes. No. Maybe. No. Yes.

Yes.

It's one of my few "grown up" purchases (I definitely haven't made it to the mattress or couch stage yet), and I'm very excited to wear it. Actually, I was planning on buying a party dress sometime this Christmas since the King's YAS ball is coming up, and last year I felt seriously underdressed. Now I just need some new shoes (I realized the other day that I own no heels. None.). And maybe a lipstick.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Car Ride

I absolutely love riding in cars. Although I hate driving (will not, do not), I love the feeling of being in a car and watching the outside go by, settling in and relaxing. I'm sure it's whatever settles babies and gets them to sleep, still doing its work on me. I am having a hard time picking just one car ride that I loved this year. I will go with two scenarios.

Whenever my dad drives me home through an empty downtown and across the Lions Gate Bridge at night after we've spent an evening together. I feel so warm and content and safe (and no, this is not an explicit attempt to get you to drive me home more often, dad. It's true.).

Driving around with Tiffany running ridiculous errands in Halifax. Usually we end up stopping about 8000 times. It's so mundane, but with the music and the laughing and the ambling pace I love it. Oh, also the long drive we took to Tiff's family cottage, despite the fact that it ended with a flat tire in the middle of the night.

I love riding in cars with people I love.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Shopping

December 18 Shop:

I have a nice set-up, in that I get paid for my job in residence in room and board, so I don't have to stress too much day to day about the cost of groceries or rent, and I can spend little pockets of money on things that I love (and others that I don't). So here are the top ten things I spent money on this year.

10. Library fines. Working in a library for 5 years left me... even less likely to adhere to library due dates. Unfortunately, I now have to pay the fines I accrue.

9. Going to movies. This is one I haven't actually spent as much money on as I would like to have, meaning I haven't gone out to see as many movies as I wish I had. Although there are so many opening on Christmas that I want to see, so I can still spend more this year. Yay.

8. St. Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale. Best beer. Mmmmmmm.

7. Yarn &c. I've spent $60 in the last two days on yarn - then again, I tell myself it will go to make Christmas presents for multiple people. If I can get things knitted in time.

6. Make-up. I've been living a relatively make-up free existence this term, but every so often I get cravings for new pots of colour to smear on my face (so weird, when I really think about it). Last spring saw a concentrated interest in blush. I'm not sure why. Yearning for the flush of youth? Possibly.

5. Christmas presents. Yipes.

4. Flights. Being bicoastal is oh so glamourous. And pricey.

3. Tuition. And books. For school, not fun books. Okay, a couple of fun books.

2. Coffee.

1. Food. Being fed in the residence meal hall can only go so far in nourishing my body, not to mention my soul. This year saw a brief affair with Smartfood (the white cheddar popcorn. Sounds healthy. Not so much.), and the continuation of a long standing romance with dim sum, sushi, and spicy noodles from Chabaa Thai. And chocolate.

Word or Phrase

December 17 Word or phrase: 2009 was lovely.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

2 in 1: Packaging and Tea of the Year

Whoops - missed yesterday's Best of 09 prompt. And am now running off to buy the right size of knitting needles for a project I'm about to start.

December 15 Best Packaging: A friend of mine was staying with me, and he drank one of those little bottles of Glenfiddich that comes in the tiny cardboard cylinder. He left behind the cylinder, which I immediately recognized as the perfect chopstick holder. It's about 2 inches in diameter, and about 5 inches high, and while it's obviously a whiskey container, I've been on the lookout for the perfect decorative paper to hide its provenance and doll it up a bit.

December 16 Tea of the Year: ...I love tea. I haven't discovered anything that has absolutely rocked my world this year, so I'm going to go with the classic favourite, Earl Grey. I tried it with lemon and honey for the first time this year, and it was delicious. But usually I'll go for just milk. And a cookie.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rush


December 14 Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?

I'm thinking back and realizing that this has, for the most part, been a really relaxed year. The good thing about that is I haven't had any real lows, but I haven't had many high highs, either.

Okay, after thinking about this for a few minutes, I am going to go with: stepping off the plane, by myself, in Montreal. I've traveled alone before, and I highly recommend it, because the fear adds to the excitement and the relief of realizing that you are fine, and you are capable of navigating new terrain. I was only by myself for about an hour, between getting off the plane and arriving by shuttle at the bus station where I was met by Kat's lovely friend Lauren. I spent that hour (and the next few days) surrounded by newness, and I absolutely love that feeling (that rush) of knowing that I am seeing or doing something for the first time.

When it comes down to it, I look back at my life and so many of those rushes I can remember are associated with travel. All of my senses are engaged with the new places I go - I feel myself expanding with tastes and smells and sights and sounds and feelings. So a thought for 2010 (and the rest of 2009): seek out more of these experiences, even at home. Try new dishes at new restaurants, seek out new neighbourhoods, try new things. Try to bring that complete sensory awareness to my everyday life. Feel more rushes.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Catching up to the best of 2009: the best change I've made to my home

I haven't been blogging much. I've been feeling this two way pull between wanting to write more, but wanting to write more extensively (bigger ideas, more research and time and thought dedicated to posts) - which means that the little things that I usually post about feel insubstantial and get lost, but I don't actually write the long things, and so I don't write. I've decided enough is enough. I've been thinking for a long time about developing a group culture blog, something where my more substantial posts can go without feeling the pressure of having to post something every day, but I still love my little nook here, so I'm going to try to just post things without worrying that they aren't smart or interesting enough. I'm smart and interesting!

So, as a jump start, I'm going to try the best of 2009 blog challenge (discovered via Mennogirl's post), which immediately intrigued me. I'm a little bit behind (there is a post for each day in December), but here goes:

December 13 What's the best change you made to the place you live?

I'm so happy to be back in my little suite at King's (for anyone who isn't aware of this, I have a job that I love in residence at a small university in Halifax. The only downside is I don't have my own kitchen. Oh yeah, and I can't have a pet. Oh - and people can be really loud when they drink.). I have just enough space for me, with a big window that looks out onto the quad where I can watch the leaves change and the snow fall and the magnolia tree bloom. It came fully furnished , and the furniture I have is not what I would call my style. A big maroon couch and a maroon and gold chair, with mismatched wood shelves and drawers and cabinets. Still, it feels homey and bright and comfy, which is most important to me.

Being that I am a grad student, and that most of my money goes to school related expenses (tuition, coffee, beer, thai food), and also that Halifax is most likely not my permanent home base, I haven't spent a lot of time or money on decor. I also really appreciate... sparseness. Not in a cold, clinical way - it's just that I don't go for things that aren't perfect (according to my sensibilities). I want one perfect thing, not a bunch of random things I think are pretty cute. This year I decided that I needed to inject slightly more of my personality into my home, but in a way that would go with my inherited furniture. I managed to find two pieces (don't I sound professional?) that go well with the current feel, but make it feel more like home and a little more me.

I lived without cushions for the first year I spent here. I couldn't find anything that went well with this weird maroon and gold theme, so despite the fact that I love cushions (especially for cuddling when I watch movies), I went without. This year I decided that had to change. Wandering through the Superstore (my favourite store ever, although I can never actually find clothes I want to buy), I came across a set of red and purple graphic print cushions for... $15 I think? It was one of the best finds ever. They wouldn't necessarily be what I would choose if I were starting from scratch, but they are actually quite suited to my style, and they go with the rest of the stuff in my living room. Yay. Plus, they make perfect laptop perches when I am sitting on my couch (a la now).

I also bought a framed Tree/Buddha print from Winners for $20 that now sits on my bookshelf and adds some interest/texture.

And probably my favourite change to my home is not actually one I made. It is thanks to one of my favourite people, who knew I was in love with a ridiculously expensive candle from Aveda (apparently they only sell them over the winter holidays), and surprised me with it for no good reason. It was the best, most surprising gift, and I was giddy for days. Honestly, it smells so good. I'm addicted. I light it and my whole room smells like warmth and love and spice. Pretty much everyone who comes in comments on how good it smells, even hours after the candle has been put out. I was never much of a candle person before, but this candle makes my home feel so much more... homey. Ha. Sensuous. Warm. Relaxed. All of the best things.

Despite the fact that it is nothing like the home I would create with unlimited (or even slightly less limited) time and funds, it is my perfect little nest for now. I love being here. That feels so good to say.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anchor Archive Zine Library

photo by flickr user lyndall musselman

Yesterday was completely rejuvenating.

While my roots are firmly planted in punk rock, I've been feeling old and staid lately. This is mostly because I no longer delight in standing and head-bobbing (or even dancing) at shows that are crowded and late at night; I would almost always rather be eating cheese and talking with friends in a cozy living room, or reading, or even (gasp) sleeping. I despaired in my facebook status the other day about the fact that I think I look more conservative than I really am. My hair hasn't been a colour other than its own natural brownish shade for at least two years (which could not have been said for it between the ages of 12 and 25). I have a typical grad student uniform of jeans and t-shirts and cardigans. I have no tattoos (yet) or other distinguishing marks that can call out for me, "Hey! I'm rad! I like the same obscure awesome things you do!" Does any of this matter? No. Does it feel like it does? A little.

Yesterday I visited the Anchor Archive Zine Library. A tiny, ramshackle little space that abounds with energy and verve and personality, the kind that I've felt to be a little lacking from my everyday existence. I've been spending so much time with my computer and blogs and google and online databases and so on and so forth, that it was incredibly nice to be surrounded by paper. I spent an hour or so being trained in how to catalogue the zines, and then I set to work going through them. I love zines. I love that people can put their stories onto paper and send them out into the world and we can share them and pass them on and draw and create - and they don't have to be epic. Just stories and thoughts and drawings and ideas.

It was a reminder of that sense of community I found when I was 14 and going to shows all the time. A reminder that I should be using my hands more - and not just for typing. A reminder that the world doesn't end outside my neighbourhood - there are amazing people doing amazing things everywhere.

The fact that zine libraries even exist has just brightened my existence considerably. Plus, I now get to add "Zine Librarian" to my resume - and I so will.

So: if you're in Halifax - go check out the Anchor Archive Zine Library. If you're outside of Halifax and you have copies of your zines (you know who you are), send them in! We don't need to be famous novelists to write and share and connect. Just write something down and let someone else read it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This is stunningly, awesomely beautiful.



Also: I'm done school (for the semester)! Any awesome things (that don't cost money) that I should be spending my time with (according to you)?

(Video found via BOOOOOOOM.)

Contact

Email me at thenewisthetrue (at) gmail .com
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Toronto, Canada
I think I might be addicted to books. And noodles. I need the ocean. I want to know everything. Almost. I love love. And loving things. Like love. And like.

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