My industrial age

Between walking through the tunnels between subway tracks and what is shaping up to be a year of (new) post-punk, I declare 2018 my industrial age. Lovin ma life for a moment, WTF.

My newfound affection for my super cool (yet comfy and cute) steel-toed work boots coupled with my contract at the TTC is reviving (or at least reminding me of) my (long dormant, like so many things within me) love of industrial things. So many doors I want to go through! So many mucky things I want to check out. So many rusty things I’d love to take pictures of. I referred to it recently as getting my first industrial-photography hard-on in a very long time.

I didn’t want to leave the tunnels, coated in soot, the dearly departed squirrel (from who knows how many years ago) was no deterrence. After two days of being traumatized by stories of injury and death due to subway unsafety, either from not following rules, or due to those yet to be developed, had put me off some. But once I was down there, it was a blast.

I don’t mind how dirty my hood got. I struggled for a moment with not clearing off my nifty new clean boots after they were intentionally stepped on by a coworker. A rite of passage, another told me! He looks like Bowie’s long-lost cousin, so I actually couldn’t possibly be more touched. The name of his retro-punk band is fantastic too. Suicide pact survivors. I bow to him with respect. My respect isn’t the easiest thing to earn (or maybe it’s too easy, I’m not exactly sure, though I do know I’m picky and particular when it comes to deciding if someone is seriously cool).

Having a train go by less than a foot in front of your face is pretty invigorating. Only slightly terrifying, though if it was going faster I could see it being far moreso. Even at the 15 km/hr it got my heart rate up.

From other technical writers, to trainers, to the super green co-op students in my class, I have  enjoyed the many people I’ve already met. I like hearing their stories, how they got to where they are, their hopes and dreams (or what they once were) in addition to getting a sense of them personally. They all have unique personalities and it’s nothing like starting at a typical new office so far. The real work has yet to begin, and my real team yet to be met in the context of work (I’ve met a few of them already, me and my groundwork, anxiety’s best friend), but I’m hoping things keep rolling the way they are. Slick and smooth, or grimy and clunky, as they should be in a train-in-a-tunnel context, I suppose.

The Soft Moon has a new album out in February and a show in March.

Preoccupations have a new album in March and a show in April.

Cold Cave and Trust may also have new releases too.

And I’m doing my first review in well over half a year for these newcomers to the art-of-old-made-new game. They may not look the part at all, bunch of super-young super-hipsters, but they’ve got the sound down pat. Smack dab.

So there is no shortage of new atmopsheric, dark and gothy post-punk! Let’s just hope it doesn’t suck. A lot of these artists are on their third or fourth album, and they’ve managed to continue to hold a place in this difficult listener’s black heart thus far. All this coupled with my industrial looking wedge rubber boots is making this really feel like my industrial year.

Who says you need people to have fun? (Me, usually, actually).

Thankfully I’m well equipped for this industrial age, drenched in perpetual lonliness and cloaked in black and grey. And it’s a true Canadian winter, so painful cold and all-around dreary days abound. Dark tends to be my light, so I’m hoping for a bright (figuratively!) year ahead. Of course, this may not last, so I thought I should commemorate the sentiment while the surge of joy and optimism coarse through me, like that poor squirrel before the 600 V power traction rail got to him. Yeah I know what it’s called. It’s not always the third rail, so that term is inaccurate apparently. It’s cool knowing such things. I really look forward to learning more and hope I manage to crush my job and win my boss’s heart over with my wit, charm, and stellar work ethic. Just need to find my way around that nastiest of nasty softwares.

In a lot of ways, I’m more alone than I’ve ever been, and longer than I’ve ever been as such. Yet things seem to be turning around. Ramping up. Dare I say, soaring?

Here’s to hope (and dread and gloom too). The higher the heights, the harder the crash, bang, (ka)boom. But for now, I’ll coast along up here, trying to battle my usual theme song. Doing a decent job, but I’m old (and wise enough?) to recognize that it’s early. Yet.



some days, you feel like you must have been some kind of Hitler in your past life

I don’t know why these videos won’t embed today. It may be specific to Pet Shop Boys videos, I now realize. As it’s weeks later, I was able to post videos in my latest post, but these ones still won’t work. Even when I retried them. Kinda funny too, as today I feel more like I was some kind of a something-not-so-bad in a past life instead. Or like all my pain and suffering may be earning me something. Finally, but I digress…
What have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?
My song today. My face looks as severe as Neil Tennant’s too. Our hair looks a bit similar today! The frizz is on over here. He pulls it off much better tho.
And then YouTube put on the song I was a one-time karaoke star to! “West End Girls”.
Annnnd “It’s a Sin”. My dad’s fave! Especially the part where he speeds up. “EverythingI’veeverdone,EverythingI’lleverdo”. Which is kinda funny, as later in life, that was something I got a kick out in 80s music too. I have realized or remembered so many things we have in common now that he’s no longer with us. I guess this song is fitting today too, for me to wonder what I have done to deserve this, everything I long to do, no matter when, or where, or who, must be a sin. So I look back upon my life, forever with a sense of shame. I’ve always been the one to blame.

New baby

Comes into the world and all this g-emo (cursed combo of goth+emo) can think to say is,”Tell it to cherish the years free of exams and before life brings out its crushing cynicism.”


For me, those days probably ended shortly before (or after) R.E.M’s fantastic album Monster came out. In the golden year in music that was 1994. At the ripe old age of 11 for me. So long ago, I’d totally forgotten about it. Until the fated day I was distracted from studying from my first wretched mid-term exam in a decade, drenched in emo, and YouTube thought it was appropriate to mess with me further by taking me back.

Both a blessing and a curse, like so many things as of late. And maybe like the baby too. I digress. People don’t like it when you’re down on babies. But no one reads this, so I shall speak my mind. Those poor babies, good luck to them down the line. Trying to learn the things they aren’t, tho they paid so much to, then trying to find jobs (through shameless self promotion, faking it, and people they ‘know’ vs. skills). Form meaningful, lasting connections with people they can trust, who aren’t looking to just gain something superficial or cruel from them. I imagine it will be infinitely worse than it already is. It’s gotten so much worse than it was several years ago. There’s that cynic tho. Maybe the baby will be JUST FINE (and who knows, maybe even dandy too).

And even if not. For now, baby has nothin to do… ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh!

off-topic (when everything is supposed to be on)

And particularly troublesome, as old-me has come back to haunt me. And old-me was not only almost always off-topic in a sense, but also proud of that overall sense of being.

Strike plus an odd encounter at a reunion show for a band I wanted to see for a decade and thought I never would, brought a lot of the past up. Near suffocating in intensity. There was nostalgia, regret, and a million other emotions all at once. Unsettling and off-kilter and balance obliterating – it was all of those. It felt like the umpteen-thousandth mid-life or identity crisis I’ve suffered. On the cusp of trying to reinvent myself to be successful. To pretend I’m not any of the creative or emotive things I once was, and am only the cold marketable ones I felt I should embrace.

And it makes me wonder, will such disconcerting crises ever end? Maybe if one day, certainty comes to pass. At this point, however, it’s kind of a myth to me.

Zombie of my former self is wreaking havoc on present-me’s best intentions. Rendered incapable of studying, I just spent some time justifying the (accidentally) inappropriate domain name for my professional blog.


Starting with how my first gmail account (from back in the days when you had to be invited to Gmail by your uber-elite techy friend) took its name from a Stephen Malkmus song, “Vague Space.”

Do you want to know where it stands right now?
Do you really care what, when, why, or how?
I came to crave your spastic touch
The honest way you move is too much
Before we can change we could levitate
Erase mistakes of the forest greats
Fermented minds could make them shake
Permission granted for the wolverine stakes,
A Love to tear you off
The formless matters of the brain
Inequality of the drifting chain
A moment I could learn to love
The salutations to the levels above
We’ll split the difference, call it quits
This is no new romantic blitz-krieg
Pull off the foil and watch it break
A whisper’s crushing all the sympathy gates
A Love to tear you off

And from there, going on to include a link to one of my favourite Pavement songs:

Can you treat it like an oil well
When it’s underground, out of sight?
And if the sight is just a whore sign
Will it make enough sense to me?
Pretend the table is a trust knot
We’ll put our labels down, favors down
I’ll watch some yards of twine unravel
And you’ll never get it back
It’s what I want (it’s what I want)
It’s what I want (twine comes down)
It’s what I want, it’s what I want
Don’t you know, I could make you try
Make you try, make you try, make you try
Well, I’ve been down, the king of it
It is all I have, I’ve been down
And I could wait to hear the words
They’re diamond sharp today
I could open it up if it’s up and down
It’s what I want (it’s what I want)
It’s what I want (twine comes down)
It’s what I want, it’s what I want
Don’t you know, I could make you try
Make you try, make you try, make you try
Well, I’ve been down, the king of it
It is all I have, I’ve been down
And I could wait to hear the words
They’re diamond sharp today

Like so many things in the days that have recently come to pass and wreak havoc on poor, unsuspecting, me (with my over-functional messed up amygdala that hijacks and runs the rest of my brain to ruin), this domain-accident led to guilt. And that old familiar need to explain where I was coming from (despite knowing it never gets me anywhere anyway).

Malkmus’s lyrical abstractery is very anti-tech comm. And even more so, anything vague is supposedly the absolute antithesis of all things tech comm (which is what my blog is for). As is anything inconsistent, casual, cool etc.

Yet, to be honest, I’ve seen little evidence of other professionals in this field living up to such claims…. It seems like a lot of talk and little walk. I’m losing some of my faith.

Which makes me think of this song. Which my dad really loved.

Food Series – Fruit – Pineapple

Pineapple. The plastic one taken as a token of the deceased grandmother I had not been close to. That had denied the cancer that claimed her blood cells. Taken also were two mixing bowls, two chipped plates and a squirrel painting she’d done. Most embedded memory of her – telling my father I’d been picking at foods when he worried about my chubbiness, pre-puberty. Grade 4. The same and only year, two boys fought over me. It was carrots I’d taken. The pineapple hung by stoves, gathering grease and dust in kitchenette after kitchenette over my “formative years” in Montreal. Wiped with a damp J-cloth occasionally. Receiving questions, but mostly compliments, from the many singular, often one-time or short-lived guests that passed through my place. Cool girls. Cute boys. None of whom were keepers, or the marrying type.

Pineapple juice with Malibu. Vice while bartending, even if it was the drink of choice of Texan housewives with whom I had nothing else in common. Sweet tropical smoothness. Add blue curacao and vodka to make a blue lagoon. With Galiano – a take on a Harvey Wallbanger called “slow bang up against the wall” or something to that effect. My favourite drink of all drinks for a span of time.

Pineapple a mess to cut. Skin coarse and hairy. Mole-like holes. Mixed into vanilla yogurt. Or skewered and dipped in chocolate.

Pineapple lip gloss drying out on my lips as you leave me. Or I leave you and you say it’s perfectly okay. Say you wouldn’t ask me to stay. Because you’re an unmoving Pole. And they don’t swing that way.

Food Series – Fruit – Grape

Grape. Classic. Koolaid, Jello, Jolly Ranchers, Pop Rocks and Ring Pops. Welch’s and icewine. The white grapes in the linguine with vodka sauce and… maybe blue cheese? I never got to try at the ex’s restaurant worked in. We went once, for my birthday, never to return. Me left wondering about this pasta forever. Much earlier…The summer of sour grape blasters. $5 for a box at Au But, the wholesale warehouse in St. Henri. Tongue roughened. Stifling high-ceilinged room. Crazy lady down the hall. Window could only open a crack. Writing daily, transcribing nutsness to paper. Cabin fever without the cabin. Fever of no ventilation. Microwaved hot dogs cut into pieces and frozen corn. My favourite meal of poverty from my youth. Pita pizzas for a lone guest from out of town. But once. Or the 2 in unconventional relation of relations with. Contemplations of breaking into Bjork concert. The feminine dream boat from high school magically became mine. One illness replaced with another. Heath replaced with the cold of winter. Bundling in 10 layers to walk 45 minutes uphill. To the dream boat’s mile-end apartment. To watch him and his friends play videogames amidst warm smoke. Saves the Day and Superdrag. A move to a slightly saner , more spacious space.

Food Series – Fruit – Lychee

Lychee. Favourite fruit. Sticky sweet true candy of nature. Odd appearance that puts many off. Causing them to miss out. Bumpy, rough, brown shell protects transluscnt jelly-like pulp around a bitter black seed – oval-shaped evil eye in its centre. Lychee the reflection of nasty evil in the centre of good. One must eat around it carefully. Martinis and bubble tea. Precious. Short, finicky season. Shipped from Asian for brief mid-summer stint. Searching China town in burning heat. Easily and often missed. Canned ones a poor representation. A fragrant liquor called Soho. Too syrupy sweet for most. Combined with grape Sour Puss, the result is a martini called Barbie Doll. At Crabby Joe’s with half price appetizers on Fridays after 9 pm. Luxurious lychees. $25 for a net. Often eaten sitting on floor, with fan blowing on me. Eating the whole net at once, trying so hard to stop, to save some for a friend who hasn’t tried them yet. And failing.