January 30, 2009

Done Done Done


So the strike's over, but given the result, it seems to me that this could have been decided TWO MONTHS AGO.

Regardless, it's done. Hopefully normal service will be up and running within the month. I know it's supposed to take about a week to get basic service together. And if I may say, the O-Train is already set to go - I call that an argument for more light rail.

I'm really excited about the gig this weekend. There's more information here, and the event will benefit the Cornerstone Women's Shelter.

It looks like Valentine's Day will be pretty rad this year too - first, bowling (I'm terrible but I figure everyone else will be too) and then I'll be popping over to BobCat to do a little intro for the Peter Elkas show. THE EXCITEMENT. And neither of those things are typical lovely dovey activities. Done and done.

A reader has requested that I actually talk about songwriting, because, you know... I'm a songwriter. So I'm going to give it a shot, even though it can be a tricky thing to explain in type, or even in person. First I will attempt to write a song, since it's been a few months, and then I'm going to write out the process as best I can. Hopefully it won't suck ass.

Then I will resume talking about what happens in between songs and gigs - eating, drinking, bitching about the weather and playing with my dog. My new favourite walking music. The usual.

Tonight should be fun - I'm off to my favourite cafe for some artsy goodness. Then I will celebrate the end of January, because that's something to celebrate, am I right?

January 28, 2009

Lazy #2


Of course it follows that after I make a post about how nice it is to be walking an hour a day, the universe opens up and dumps a crapload of snow on me. My walk home today was a bit disorienting - no clear sidewalks, crazy blowing snow, and even my darling goggles got fogged up. I did not enjoy it, for the first time in a while.

Oh well. Two more days, and the week is done. I can make it.

I'm pretty bad about posting pictures on this site. This isn't because I don't want to - I really enjoy having photos to illustrate a post. I'm just lazy. I upload my photos in high quality files that take ten million years to process through Blogger, and I sometimes don't want to wait before publishing. The easy thing to do would be to cut down the size of the pictures, which I did do before my laptop was hit with a virus that knocked out all the programs I set up. Now I'm just, uh, REALLY lazy (at least I'm honest).

Weird... Laziness seems to be the word of the day here on Sesame Street!

Anyway, I have a backlog of shots, so I'll put a few up as my apology to you for my absolute lack of drive.

It's so cute when Morty's teeth get caught outside his lips! He looks so bad-ass!

Actually, having a bulldog has made me way more confident around big aggressive-looking dudes when I'm out and about. Morty seems to sense evil and puts on his toughest glare right when I get nervous. He's the best sidekick EVER. Although I realize he's a big chicken in the house, I also wouldn't want to fuck with a medieval fighting dog who was bred to kill bears and crush leg bones with his jaw.

Well. That was a cheerful way to end this post.

January 27, 2009

Who Knew?


I've come to the surprising realization that I'm really enjoying the walks to and from work. This is especially bizarre because, well, I hate the cold. Hate it with a passion.

But I'm enjoying the walks so much that I don't think I'll get a bus pass when the strike ends. I can rely on the occasional bus ticket instead and save some money for as long as I can hold out. I may also do this next winter, but we'll see... I would need a couple of things first:

- A serious winter coat - not like the thin wool one I'm sporting this season (not made any warmer by the layers of Morty hair it attracts)
- Snow pants, because I am a fashion icon (and also because -35 is too cold for pants and thin silk long johns)

Here are some of the benefits I get from walking to work, also in list form:

- I get to listen to more music than I did when I was busing. This is a big deal for me. I start off my day in a good mood and finish it in a better one. Bey-on-ce! When the new K'naan comes out, I'll be set for life. (The more I look at my playlists, the more I think it's funny that I play the banjo)
- Exercise for one hour a day? This never happens otherwise. Amazing.
- Fresh air! Also rarely happens, because I am a severe homebody.
- My walking route is actually very beautiful and it makes me appreciate my neighbourhood even more.
- I leave the house only ten minutes earlier than I did when I was busing, and I get to work at the same time. Who knew I spent so much time waiting for the bus?

Winter is already chipping at the edges of my brain, but January is in its final days and I can TOTALLY rock it through the next two months of pain. February and March? I'm going to fuck you up, so don't push your luck.


Since you are all wondering, Morty's balls (or lack thereof) are doing well. The bruising is almost gone and he's cheerful most of the time. While his amorous approaches haven't stopped per se, he already seems to listen more and doesn't whine as much. Strange to have the house so quiet. I keep thinking something is wrong.


Valentine's Day is coming up, and my BH and I are making our customary plans not to celebrate. I don't even know when we started this, but we've never been fans of the typical lovey stuff. Especially not on the typical lovey day. I think this year I'll go bowling with a bunch of ladies.

Insert "playing with balls" joke here.

Jesus, January is shaping up to be Month of the Balls here on Hella Stella. You're welcome!

I had Big Plans this weekend, but I sort of dropped the ball.

First I missed the 80s party that I actually bought an outfit for (LAME) because my BH was sick and my Morty was stitched. Home I stayed. Now I have to return a hideously awesome pink blazer with shoulder pads to Value Village.

Then I slept in so drastically that I missed the parade for Chinese New Year. I was so excited to go! Double lame!

Things I actually got done? Well, I reorganized my cupboards, which was stupidly fun.

I helped my BH shave his head. Also fun. And SEXY. God, he is attractive.

Hung out at Raw Sugar and made eyes at the cake.

I inspected Morty's stitches and bruising and gave him all sorts of noisy kisses. Speaking of which, Morty needs some visitors this week and next because he's not allowed to go to the dog park until he's healed. So neighbours? Feel free to cuddle the puppy, is all I'm saying. He would love to love you.

I picked up my folks from the train station and heard about their European vacation. Although the term "European vacation" sounds very posh and fancy, their version of it sounded stressful and rushed. Next time I'm on vacation I hope it can actually be relaxing. Nobody wants to come back from holidays with no money and more worries.

January is slipping away, but it will certainly end with a bang. Tomorrow's budget should be a nail biter for political junkies and annoyed Canadians alike. And maybe the bus strike will end before the snow melts!

Perhaps February will be less of a write-off, but I doubt it. This winter will just have to be one of hibernation. I will be a hermit until May, and then I'll emerge from my cave with a bottle of wine and a party dress, screaming for the sun.

January 24, 2009

Cheering Up Morty - Post Fixing


January 23, 2009

Back to Normal


Morty is fixed!

When we picked him up yesterday, he was not a happy puppy. He does this thing when he's really upset that sounds like a cross between a howl and a gurgle. The minute we opened the door to the vet after his operation, we heard the infamous gurgle/howl echoing through the halls.

"Yes?"said the vet technician. "Can I help you?"

"We're here to pick up our dog."

"Which dog is yours?" she said.

"The one making that terrible sound."

He was sad and confused all evening, and I hated seeing him in such a state. It was depressing and I regretted getting him fixed at all.

This morning was a different story. Guess who just tried to hump my leg? Morty! He's obviously feeling much better. He'll have to take it easy for a while, but he'll be back in the game soon. And I have a feeling he won't stop trying to sex up everything he sees.

My folks get back from their vacation tomorrow, which means we can't do our laundry at their house anymore. I know, it's very First Year University of me, but not having a dryer in the winter is hard with two adults and a messy dog. Perhaps I can get one more load done before they get back....

Is it just me, or is January going by really quickly?

January 21, 2009



I've done several things in the past few days, although I can't claim that any of them are particularly exciting.

Probably the funniest: I pulled a muscle trying to escape one of Morty's violent humping sessions. No, I really did.*

I also slid down my front steps.

Minutes later, I slid down the metal stairs near my house and erupted into giggles when I reached the bottom. I don't know why I laughed, because my brain was thinking, "Today is going to suck SO HARD."

I watched Hook, Chocolat and You've Got Mail in one night. Hook is such an awesome movie! And Phil Collins does a cameo that I only noticed now after watching it approximately a hundred times during my youth.

I re-organized my spices.

Wow, after reading this post again I realize that my life is officially boring. Maybe I'll dye my hair and get that shoulder tattoo I've been dreaming of. I obviously need to shake things up.

For those of you who want to break out of the January blues, I'll be playing a lovely mini-gig NEXT Sunday (haha, thank you Amanda... I must have hit my head sliding down those stairs). Here are the deets:

Sunday, Feb. 1, 2pmBywords Warms the Night (fundraiser for Cornerstone Women's Shelter)Swizzles Bar and Grill, 246-B Queen Street, between Bank and Kent

Perhaps I'll see you there?

* Speaking of which, Morty's getting fixed tomorrow and I'm nervous for him. He loves his balls! I feel so bad taking them away! What on earth is he going to obsessively clean now?

I'm trying not to think about it too much because it makes me sad.

January 18, 2009

The Downgrade


Today my BH and I were going to take a day trip to Montreal. We had a puppy-sitter all lined up, the car was ready, and we were looking forward to a day away with nothing to do but wander.

For a variety of reasons (not the sexy kind; think puppy pee and family drama) we were kept awake until about 3:30 am last night and were so wiped this morning that we couldn't go.

I guess we *could* have gone, technically, but who wants to be in Montreal with a headache and a grouchy disposition? Not me.

We decided to make the best of it and vowed to make waffles and go to Sexapolooza.

That was quickly downgraded to French toast and laundry, because I didn't want to whip egg whites and neither of us were looking presentable enough to leave the house.

I didn't really want to whole day to be a waste, so I flipped through some cookbooks and threw together a big chipotle chili with eggplant and spinach. Here I am, 5pm, eating chili and drinking beer, trying to stave off the headache that always follows a night of no sleep.

It's snowing out and the weather seems to be a bit milder than usual.

I don't feel angry about the bus strike anymore.

The house is empty except for me and my beer.

Everything is quiet.

I'm pretty happy with how the day turned out. It's no Montreal, but it's not a shit sandwich either (Zoom, that one was for you).

If you don't have Megacoat, try wearing the following:

silk long johns
thick jeans
fleece over-sweater
wool coat
giant thick scarf
wool hat
leather fleece-lined mitts
ski goggles
bad-ass winter boots

I thought people would stare at me in this getup, but as it turns out, no one gives a shit when the weather gets this cold. People will wear whatever they can to stay warm, and if that includes giant ski goggles, so be it. I can now safely say that I walked 40 minutes in -26 weather (which apparently felt like -39 with the wind chill) and I was toasty warm except for my thighs.

I couldn't feel my thighs at all.

No, seriously, I kept hitting them with my mitts and I couldn't feel a fucking thing.

But now the feeling is coming back! Tingle tingle.

Next year I hope to buy a longer coat so that I don't lose my thighs in a tragic walking-to-work-in-the-cold accident.

Now if I can just survive the walk home....

January 13, 2009

My Poor Body


Christmas is bad for the bod.

Besides the massive, rich, buttery meals and the fact that I eschew exercise for the entire month of December, the chocolate is what kills me.

I get so much chocolate for Christmas/Hannukah. I adore chocolate (perhaps everyone in the world has figured this out) but this year alone I amassed:

one toblerone bar
two chocolate "A"s
one box of brandy beans
one cocoa camino bar with almonds
one organic chocolate bar with ginger
several containers of chocolate bark (my fault - I made a lot and then didn't give it all away)
one bag of Hannukah gelt
one box of Lindt filled chocolates

As of right now, I have made my way through all of it and am finishing the final "A".

You see what I mean?

I would resolve to cut down, but I know myself. That will never happen. It's easier just to give it away when I have too much, and try not to buy any on my own.

It would be especially nice to get myself back to the gym at some point too. Perhaps the only upside to the bus strike is that I've been getting about an hour of walking in per day.

Oh, did you hear about the deep freeze that begins tonight?

Maybe I'll be trying to cut down that hour of walking after all, if I can. This evening will be spent trying to find myself a pair of ski goggles to wear on my trek tomorrow. Because there's nothing worse than crossing a busy intersection with eyelashes that are freezing together.

It's funny, but people who aren't from Ottawa might read that and think I'm joking.


EDIT: Milan has helpfully reminded me that I have forgotten to include a delightful box of chocolates that came all the way from Vermont. I had them for breakfast one day.


January 12, 2009

Three Wigs, At Least


Since my rush of gigs this fall, music has slowed to a crawl.

It's fine - my brain hasn't really been down with planning and booking and all that jazz. Other than snagging a few winter gigs (including one for Bywords on Feb. 1, come on out!), I'm happy to take things a day at a time.

Except that sometimes I remember why I love to play, and why I sometimes get the urge to book every show I can get my hands on. I had such a reminder this morning when I was listening to the new Beyonce album at max volume.* There I was, head bopping to the music, fists pumping in the air, and I started to plan out my next musical venture: a Beyonce cover band.

Granted, both my previous bands featured Destiny's Child covers at one point or another. It was good, clean fun. They were even good, clean songs (we obviously didn't cover Bootylicious).

But a full Beyonce cover band? My heart swelled as I imagined the outfits, the wigs, the dancing and the SYNTHESIZER. I started making the musical arrangements in my head, trying to place everything, trying to figure out how many instruments I could fake on my keyboard. The keyboard I don't own and would need to buy to pull this off, but hell, isn't Beyonce worth it?

Then I started to get that rush I used to get when I would plan shows. All the searching, coordinating and pretending to practice. Aaah, I can't wait.

Whether or not this comes to fruition, it's been worth it just to remember that I love doing what I do.

All I need now is a wig or three.

*Surprised? I love Beyonce. LOVE HER. There's nothing wrong with a mouthy banjo player crushing on B the Diva. You know it.

Click here for a fabulous Beyonce song that is part ironic, part sarcastic, part demeaning and ALL GOOD.


Just a heads up y'all. Zoom has made a tofu-related bet with me that she will lose, and I can say this with full confidence. Not only will she lose, but upon losing she will need to post a video or either her or Duncan doing something amazing, and potentially acrobatic.

You're welcome.

This bet was made at Raw Sugar Saturday evening, when Zoom, the GC, my BH and Milan all shared a table. Which reminds me... Milan, can you pretty please write a post about those crazy birds that can't seem to stay alive? That shit is seriously funny.

January 9, 2009

Do What In The Streets?


For a sick gal, I was pretty productive today.

I slept, on and off, whenever I needed to. That's probably why I can finally breathe through my nose and I don't feel nauseous anymore.

When I had spurts of energy, I cleaned and organized. I think my BH is fifty-fifty happy/sad when I do this: I'm one of those cleaners who needs to tear the room apart while I'm doing my thing. When I'm finally done, it's immaculate, dust-free and highly organized. But if you catch me halfway through? You wouldn't be able to see me for all the mess.

I'm about 90% done, and things are looking pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Shit. That reminds me that I still need to vacuum. It'll have to happen tomorrow, because my BH is passed out on the couch with Morty. That would be a crappy way to wake up...

Tomorrow I'm driving my mom to the train station to catch a shuttle to Montreal, where she'll then catch a plane to Italy! My dad is already there, and they'll be gallivanting around for a couple of weeks before they finally head home.

It's weird to think that my dad is in some random Italian city by himself; my mom is the one who usually takes care of planning, maps, contact info and finding food when they travel. He's only been alone for two days, but I can only imagine how it's been so far. He has a great story of doing Italian street theatre when he was a young pup, and his main job was to announce to the gathered crowd that someone important is coming. I guess he messed up the lines, because he told the crowd: "It's time to piss in the streets!"

Aw, I love my dad. Besides, any concerns I have for his safety are probably misguided, seeing as how he grew up in bike gangs and has a way of chatting people up, even in strange lands. He has some even better stories about Greece... Tales for another time?

All their Italy talk made me want to travel again, so my BH and I are going to take... A day trip. Because that's all you can do when you're po'.

January 8, 2009

Caught It


I have caught the sick.

When I was asked if I have a fever, I said "No, thankfully! Just a lot of congestion!" and touched my forehead superstitiously. Then I noticed that indeed, I have a fever.


Time to head back to bed with my pup and some tea.

January 6, 2009

Fit For A King

I am dreaming of a king-sized bed.

I KNOW. They are huge, unnecessarily big, really. Why would anyone need a bed that big?

Lucky for you, I can explain.

I share my double bed with my loving partner, and occasionally my loving bulldog. My BH has enthusiastic conversations in his sleep, and often sleeps on the diagonal. ON THE DIAGONAL.

Morty has enthusiastic drooling sessions in his sleep, as well as nightmares, often kicks me in the face, and of course.... He is dramatically flatulent. Without fail, every time he lets one rip, he has conveniently positioned his butt to be facing my nose. All I hear is the dreaded "ffffftttt" sound, like air being let out of a balloon. Then it's an apocalypse for my lungs, and my eyes water.

He is also a giant, and lately I have woken up to find myself without blankets, one leg off the bed, clutching the corner just to stay on the mattress. Inevitably, Morty and my BH are comfortably snoring away in the remaining 90% of the bed.

So I started fantasizing about a king-sized bed. Not for this apartment. Maybe not even for the next one. But someday, I would like a huge bed where my sweetheart and I can sleep comfortably, along with any dogs, cats or babies that are hanging out with us at the time. I've thought about a queen, but after sleeping in one this past New Years and STILL ending up with the farty end of the stick, I'm stuck on a king.

I'm picturing a sleigh bed in black, but my taste may change over the next ten years (approximately how long it will take me to afford a king-sized bed).

January 5, 2009

A New Year


My vacation is officially over.

I did amazingly little over the past two weeks, but that's fine because I got to sleep in and nap whenever the mood struck. That's really all I wanted. Some cuddling with my boys, some snoozing, and good food.

Now I am back to the grind and trying to manage the hundreds of e-mails I happily ignored at the office. I am so tired today; I guess I should have tried to get myself back on a normal sleeping schedule before coming back to work.

So, it's 2009! I was toying with the idea of a 2008 recap, but honestly? 2008 will always be the year of Morty. I spent the first part of the year dreaming about him and tracking down the perfect bulldog pup, and I spend the second half of the year mopping up pee and getting humped on the leg. It's been great and I still can't believe this little dude is mine.

2008 also brought me a new apartment in a great neighbourhood, something which I am very thankful for.

2008 was also my best year for music: my songs were played on national radio, I did some high-profile gigs, and I made some great musical connections.

I have no idea what 2009 holds, but I can make a few guesses. Note: these are not resolutions, per se. I've never been good at resolutions, and besides, obsessive list makers make resolutions every second day. There's no need to make extra work for myself.

My BH has another year of school after this one finishes, so until that milestone hits, we'll be focusing on getting him through and keeping our expenses down. It almost sounds silly to say, considering how tough Christmas was on the credit card this year, but anyways... It's the goal that matters. I'm not giving up on it.

I'm also not planning to record this year, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to do more writing in preparation for a busier time. I'm not even expecting to book that many gigs in 2009, something I decided a few months ago, since I tend to overdo it and then burn out. Enough of that. I'll be a little choosy and pick gigs I'm really excited about.

I'd like to do a better job at organizing and de-cluttering my home. Moving into a one bedroom apartment from a four bedroom home can be tough - it never feels like I've cut back enough. Onwards and upwards! One day, a clutter-free home will be mine.

(Here's where I admit that buying a used dryer might help me with this goal. 80% of my household clutter is made up of drying racks)

Finally, I'm going to continue my slightly-psychotic house savings plan. I'm halfway to my base goal, which makes me very proud, although it's ironic that I'm not planning on actually buying a house for a while. I'm just planning ahead, is all.

Since several of y'all are checking out your horoscopes, I figured I'd give mine a try. It's pretty cheerful, actually.

Because success planet Jupiter enters the career area of your chart in January and forms a series of alliances with artistic Neptune, your creative talents will be much in demand this year. A new direction beckons, one that will mean working with different people on different kinds of projects, and you will discover skills you never knew you possessed. Something that happens around the time of July's eclipses will remind you that there is more to life than worry and work. Your role on life's stage will alter in the coming months, and employers and other important people will have a growing influence on your fortunes. The kind of influence depends as much on you as on them.

Hmmm, maybe I should book more gigs in 2009 after all....

Here's to 2009 and all the cool stuff that's coming down the pipes!

Hello my dears.

It seems that, although I assumed my vacation would not get in the way of my posting, it most certainly has. Luckily, this saves you what would have been a few mundane entries about what I'm reading and when I woke up and how I like to iron my tablecloths (David Sedaris, 11:30am, often and with lots of steam).

Since tomorrow is my last day of holidays, I will hopefully hop back on the blogging wagon and make up for lost time. Although, I'll be returning to work with about a thousand e-mails waiting for me, so maybe that's a bit overly optimistic.


I just made and ate a killer spiced carrot soup with caramelized onions, and in a perfect world, I would now bundle myself up and go meet Milan for a beer with my BH. However, my BH is asleep, and Morty is asleep on top of my BH. They are both snoring. Phone calls, hot food and poking has failed to rouse them. So I'm wondering what it's going to take, I guess. Brownies? I don't have time to make brownies....

Hopefully you are all transitioning nicely out of holiday mode. I am heading back to poke those boys awake.