November 29, 2009

Bon Weekend


I had a really great weekend.

The Colombian was in town. Seeing as how we get to visit about once a year, it was pretty nice to see him. The second he walked in the door, Morty showed him his bum and wouldn't move without a good pat. It's like a toll at our apartment.

Luckily, The Colombian is highly skilled at doggy bum rubs.

My gig in Wakefield was really fun... The room was packed with regulars and the bar was charming. It seems like the kind of place I'd want to hang out if I lived a bit closer. People seemed to like my set, and my buddies played super well too. Below, Ashely, Brian, Chris and Neil.

A fuzzy picture of Brian and I, which is good, because it means I don't mind posting it here.. :)

On Saturday, I finally got to try out The Imperial. They had some nice looking things on the menu, and some fine looking posters on the wall. Some of them made me laugh...

The Imperial is located next to Barrymore's, and it's just the kind of spot this neighbourhood needs. They has some really nice herbal teas, too. I had the rosehip one, and it kicked ass. Give it a try if you go!

I got the veggie breakfast, which I think looked better on paper than it did on my plate. Not that it was bad, but my bread was dry, as was my frittata and my beans. I think with some tweaking they could have a really stellar thing going on, but some butter for the toast would be a good first step. I'll be back to try things out when they've gotten the hang of things.
This weekend was my last solid gig booking for a while, minus some small fun things in December. I'm hoping the winter will give me time to write some songs, and play some nice little shows here and there.
So... Just throwing this out there... But do you think we are looking at a green Christmas? I'm starting to wonder.

November 27, 2009

Unexpected Fun


Admittedly, I didn't know what to expect from the gig last night... I had been given very little information about it, and there was virtually no promotion around town. I had low expectations, despite being excited to play at the NAC again.

Maybe it was the fact that I had no idea how the night would go, but holy, that was an awesome gig. The crowd was very receptive to my set, and they bought me out of CDs. I had brought most of a box too - pretty unexpected. I'm usually surprised if I sell a couple in a night.

Now I have enough cash to cushion the Christmas rush, and some extra to put aside for Japan. This is a much appreciated break from the norm. I was starting ot get anxious about the inevitable spending on the horizon.

Tonight I'm taking it easy. I went to bed pretty late because of the show, and I've been hurting all day because of it. I think I'll do some laundry and then go to bed. EXCITING TIMES.

Tomorrow I'm playing at this great venue with my dear cuz. And did you guys know that there's an Ottawa version of the TED conference coming to town? It's called TEDx Ottawa and it looks like I'll be playing at the after-party. Tres excitant.

In the spirit of TED, Here's the link to one of my favourite talks with percussionist Evelyn Glennie. Enjoy!

Some quick things while I'm rushing around:

1. The Colombian arrives today. God knows when I'll see him, because his planning sucks so majorly, but at least we'll be in the same city for a few days. I wonder if I can get him out to my Wakefield gig on Saturday.... Actually, never mind. He'd arrive four hours after the show was finished. (Oh hey, I'm playing in Wakefield Saturday. Y'all are invited, as always.)

2. I'm playing at the NAC Fourth Stage tonight in a benefit for a public school's arts program. I love playing the Fourth Stage, so I'm thrilled. Also? Christmas dinners are piling up, so I could use the extra cash. I sure hope the audience is in the mood for CDs.

3. While I've been obsessed with Dan Black's Un record for some time now, I've entered a whole new level of appreciation for him lately. Partly because I think he's a fantastic songwriter, artist and all around crazy dude, but also because I can't seem to cover his songs. Usually I can manage a pretty decent cover, but every time I play his stuff, I find myself longing for his version. He's just so GOOD. I can't pull off what he pulls off. I love you, Dan Black. Please keep making music. Also, Cocoon and Let Go break my heart into a million pieces every time I listen to them.

4. Christmas baking has begun, and I'm getting fat. I'm not usually one to care about a few extra pounds over the holiday season, buy holy fuck dudes, it's not even December yet. Must slow down. There's delicious curves, and then there's delicious curves, if you catch my drift.

5. I have a couple more gifts to order, and then I'm all done my Christmas shopping. Packages seem to be arriving in the mail every second day. It's excellent fun.

6. Grant applications are making my brain ache. I'm making several backup plans in case I need to finance my own recording again, even though that will make me so much more broke than I am right now. It's going to be quite a process, so be patient with me. I'm thankful that my BH will be working soon - all the more room to funnel money into my music addiction!

November 23, 2009

A Few Photos for You


My BH's sister very sweetly bought Morty three stuffed rats for him to play with. When the pup fell asleep, it was difficult to resist lining them up. As in, impossible. Gaaah, the cute!

Milan's birthday is coming up, and since he'll be out of town, my BH and I gave him his present early. It may or may not have been obscene.

But we'll go with a 'yes' on that one.

Aaaand Morty's sweet mug.

Sigh. I could just give it a big kiss.

November 20, 2009

The Wonderful Billy Bragg


Oh my God. I love me some Billy Bragg.

And I love him even more for doing this.

I'm thinking of you, striking buddies! Let's celebrate with one of my favourite ditties, shall we?


November 18, 2009

Flu of the Brain


I don't know what's gotten into me. I just scrubbed the kitchen floor and cleaned out my oven because I had nothing else do to.

Usually when I have nothing else to do, I devour my chocolate stash or I watch a movie. As long as it involves sloth or greed, I do it.

Maybe I have swine flu of the brain?

Now I have a sparkly kitchen, with the only downside being that I raked my hand across some broken glass during the mad clean and now I have teeny cuts. Boo.

This weekend seems blissfully clear of obligations. Do you know how happy this makes me? SO HAPPY, let me tell you. Obviously it's my own fault that I tend to over schedule, but still. An empty weekend just looks so good right now.

Maybe I'll clean the bedroom. Or maybe I could do what normal people do and procrastinate all the things I want to finish.

Holiday prep is going well. We have a homemade wreath, we have highly alcoholic mincemeat for pie making, and I listened to my first Christmas CD yesterday. It's choral Christmas, so it doesn't always sound super festive (often Gregorian and depressing, as it turns out), but still. Tres excitant.

One of my BH's gifts came in the mail today, and I ordered his main present yesterday. I'm already having so much fun. Thank goodness for internet shopping.

I should go pass out now, since chiseling layers of grime out of my oven managed to exhaust me. As a parting gift, I leave you.....


That's how you know I love you.

November 16, 2009



Oh, the Cameron gig was fun. Other than getting to visit with Shawna, which is always a highlight, the night just went swimmingly.

Before the show, Shawna, Brian and I grabbed some dinner at a local restaurant called the Village Idiot Pub. The food was great, and Sook Yin Lee wandered in halfway through the meal. I tried very hard not to picture her as I remember her in Shortbus, but that turned out to be impossible.... As you can imagine. Try not staring when you've seen someone doing hot, graphic things on screen.

The gig was campfire themed, so Shawna had bought mountains of marshmallows, mini cereal boxes and trail mix to decorate the tables. She also set up her laptop to play a fake fire! Brilliant. Both her and Brian 's set rocked my socks off. We all stayed up way too late and dudes, I am SO RELIEVED that I booked Monday off from work. I can't imagine having to function normally after having so little sleep.

The crowd was great... And I got to visit with some lovely people. HSB had recently moved to Toronto, so he came and somehow got me to see how many marshmallows I could fit in my mouth (five, which seems low to me, boo). Every seat in the house was taken and we may have actually made money, even with the car rental and restaurant visits.

Aaand, that's all I've got. More soon when my brain starts working. Tah babies!

November 13, 2009

Wish List


My BH asked me what I would like for Christmas, and the answer turned out to be surprising.

I keep a list of potential gifts for him that is as long as my arm - I'm always coming across things he would love, and every time I do, I write it down. It's all about the lists with me. Without them, I would never remember anything.

I thought I had a similar list for myself. I told him as much: "Oh, I'm easy to shop for. I can send you a bunch of ideas if you want... I have lots of fun things bookmarked."

But when I went to send him this supposedly long list, I realized that I was completely wrong. All my bookmarks and wish lists, Etsy, Amazon, eBay, etc, were full of things for other people. Seriously, just STACKED with ideas for friends and family. I had the occasional cookbook marked for myself, or a print that I thought was special, but that only accounted for about 5% of my stash. It was a weird thing to realize.

I threw together a few ideas and sent them his way. There are always practical things I like... Books, a deep lasagna pan, silver earrings (I love me some silver earrings), a trip to the spa. Nowhere near the collection I thought I had, but that's okay. I would be thrilled if he made me dinner, with no need to spend money, but I know he's not going to settle for that.

In the meantime, I am having a blast getting his Christmas gifts together. He's the only person I go nuts for during the holidays, so I'll cut myself some slack... I'm pretty tame the rest of the year. And it's not even that I'm spending much money - I'm just excited because I know he'll really like his presents.

Next in my holiday planning: mincemeat pie. My mom made us a wreath out of the vines in her backyard, so we're getting there bit by bit.

What can I say? I love this time of year. After I cut mall shopping out of my Christmas routine, I started to ADORE the holidays. Now I have a low-stress, handmade-heavy, food-centric season to enjoy.

I'm pretty happy about it.


Not sure if I'll be able to update while I'm gigging in Toronto this weekend, so have a great couple of days! I'll see some of you at the show!

November 11, 2009

Dipped in Chocolate


Since buying my Super Blue Jeans, my shower water has been running blue. Other than that, I've got nothing terribly exciting to report.

I had coffee today with a girl I used to live with. It was great - she e-mailed out of the blue (why not, everything I touch is blue these days, har har) and asked to meet up. She said since she left Facebook, she's felt out of the loop with her old buddies. We chatted for ages and then she came over to meet Morty. The second she walked in the door, he put his head on the ground and his bum in the air, and just waited for her to come give him a pat. It was obscenely cute.

I've been having these bizarre dreams about work lately. They seem to coincide with how busy I am at the office. There have been two dreams in the past week alone, so you can imagine how crazy things are. One was depressingly boring, featuring my shy coworker and I in a meeting. Last night's dream was more interesting - my work team was having a dinner party, and I was serving the food. I asked if anyone wanted dessert, and the same shy coworker asked for marshmallows dipped in chocolate. I thought that was a bit demanding, but made them anyway. After all, I was the hostess.


I never know whether or not to tell people when I've had a dream about them. I don't want to sound creepy, but who knows how they will take it. That being said, every time I've mentioned to a friend that they were in my dream, they've been pleased. I guess it's all about the content. Heh.

Tomorrow is choir practice, and then I'm off to Toronto! It's going to be one fun gig, let me tell you. I've also decided to cover Pink Floyd, because.... Well.... Because I can.

November 9, 2009

My Blues

I'm a jeans girl, through and through. If I have a choice between jeans and any other pants/skirts, I'll choose my blues.

This created some problems when I first started working a desk job. I bought several pairs of fancy dress pants, knowing that I would look more professional if I got in the habit of wearing them during the week. But then? I stopped caring. Harsh, but true. I'm just so much more at ease when I'm wearing jeans. They are more comfortable, they are warmer, and they don't look dirty when Morty brushes against them in the morning. These are important things. Also? Even when I force myself to wear dress pants, it's still not enough to disguise the fact that I am a bit of a scrub.

Anyway. I bought new jeans this weekend, because all my old pairs are torn and faded. These are nice and dark, comfortable, and nearly appropriate for the office. The catch? They are so dark that the dye is running. My legs are a weird shade of blue. My hands are blue. When I scratch my nose, it smudges blue. I'll have to wash them several more times before the colour sets. But you know.... Blue hands and all... It's still worth it. All hail comfort!

This weekend was great. First there was the bloggers' breakfast, which was especially fun this time around. Raino's girls asked about Morty* within seconds of my arrival, which thrilled me to no end. I got to chat with all my favourite folks, and the food wasn't bad either.

Sunday was wonderful. I went over to Brian's house, where we proceeded to drink, eat and record music. In reverse order, now that I think about it. I've got demo version of two new songs, which is so crazy exciting.... We even put some harmonies on. Just imagine what I'll be able to do when I set myself up with some recording gear this summer! Drooool.

I'm spending this week preparing for my gig in Toronto this Saturday. I'm hoping to practice the shit out of my new songs with the hope that I'll remember them during my set. We'll see. At my last gig, I somehow forgot how to play Running Shoes. When I apologized to Brian afterwards, he kindly said, "It wasn't a mistake... It was just a new arrangement."

Kind. Very kind.

*It doesn't fit cleanly into this post, but I have to mention it anyway. My BH and I were walking Morty down the street when we stopped to chat with Megan and Shelley. They were clearing up old grass and leaves from their yard. They had put all the debris in a nice pile, about to be loaded into bags. As we were talking, Morty went over to the pile, sniffed it, straddled it, and peed all over it. "Is he peeing??" Shelley asked. I was mortified, no pun intended. Luckily for me, Shelley and Megan both had serious work gloves on that hopefully protected them from Morty's, um, contribution. Morty looked SO PLEASED with himself...

November 6, 2009

The Magpie


It appears that choir practice is becoming my therapy.

I had a long day at work yesterday, and then came home to a crappy landlord situation that required me to FLY OFF THE HANDLE. I was so tired from the day that I considered, quite seriously, missing practice.

Luckily, my BH pointed out how little time I've got to learn Magnificat before the performance in December. I threw on my coat and boots, and headed out into the rain to get to the church. The walk was wet and cold, and I was feeling a little grumbly.

Of course, it was all worth it when we started singing. Something wonderful happens to me when we hit perfect, five part harmony.... The floor hums, the echo sings, and I'm completely at peace with the music. When I left at the end of the night, I felt rejuvenated.

This is the part we practiced the most. It gives me goosebumps.

As well as having a great choir practice, I wrote another new song. It feels wonderful to be writing songs after having writer's block for so long. I don't even know what changed to make it happen, but I'm so thankful. I feel functional again. It's amazing that I can actually cope better with my life when I'm being artistic. Or... Maybe that's not amazing at all. Maybe that's what art does to people. Am I right?

Anyway, the new song is tentatively called Bait, Line, Hook. It might also be called The Magpie. We'll see. This Sunday, I'm heading over to my fabulous cousin's place to record some of my new songs. I can't wait. :)

November 5, 2009



I know it seems that I fell off the blogging wagon after Halloween. That's because I did. Yes indeed.

I've been wanting to blog, but my day job has been kicking my ass. My manager is away and my supervisor has The Flu. That means I've got a whole lot of work to cover. I'm also preparing, albeit in chunks, for my Toronto gig in a week and a half. There's just so much to take care of! Holy brain explosion!

Once the Toronto visit is done, I've got a gig at the 4th stage, a gig in Wakefield, and a good friend's birthday. And that same weekend? The Colombian is coming to town. I'm so excited to see him that I've already started having dreams about it.

Basically, November is nuts. I love it, but I'm a little frazzled.

Anyways. I'm excited for my supervisor to come back from the depths of the Sick. I'm excited to finish my Christmas shopping. I'm excited for choir practice tonight.

And I'm excited to sleep the fuck in this weekend.


November 2, 2009

As Fun As It Looks

Hope you all had a wonderful Halloween. I sure did!