A Week of LIVING

The last nine days have been insane and busy busy busy, and they would be capped off by a SUPER moon. Obviously.

ANYWAY. Yes. Let’s start with Friday.

I’ll start off with saying that, despite my finances/lack of connections, I spend an inordinate amount of time amongst fancy people. Example A: Friday at the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert. On Thursday night, I was surprised by an offer of FREE BOX SEATS at said show, and obviously I accepted with an, “Eeeeek! Yayyyy!”. Basically, these box seats included a kind of refuge room (full of fancy free alcohol) and a line of good seats with a decent view of the stage. The opener was the internet-loved Sleigh Bells. While their set was okay, it was fascinating to see how guys reacted to them. The lead singer of Sleigh Bells is a (very pretty) woman, and the clear disgust/lack of interest of the men surrounding me reminded me of something Chrissie Hynde or someone said about having to dress as undesirable as possible in order to be taken seriously on stage in the rock and roll world as a woman. Maybe the guys simply didn’t like the cloudy/electronic vibe of Sleigh Bells, but I suspect there was something else going on there which is sad. Anyway! Red Hot Chili Peppers were excitable, cool, in tune, and completely not what you would expect almost-50-year-olds to look/act like. The opening chords of Californication sent me into uncontrollable sobs for some unknown reason, and everyone in the crowd was clearly having a great time. While stadium shows can suck (it was at the Air Canada Centre, where I’ve only been for sporting events), it was fitting for a band that has been larger than life for years and years. I missed seeing the sweat beads and little things that I love about being up-close at live shows, but the music satiated enough and I had a good time.

Fast-forward to Tuesday.

I spent the weekend recovering/hibernating/feeling old, and by Tuesday I was ready to start my week of ridiculousness. This started with a visit to a taping of George Strombolopolous(sp?) Tonight, which was awesome. My University roommate and I were herded into a line in the gutters of the CBC building (I think it was underground, hence the lack of windows), and we were given little introduction cards to fill out with questions like, “What are you listening to right now?” and “What else should we know about you?”.  Minutes later, my friend stopped in the middle of the sentence, looked past me, widened her eyes and said “AHHHH.” I snapped my head around and noticed what she was reacting to: George! In person! As he walked towards us, I managed a “Hey George, how are you?” and something, and my friend said I was acting very nonchalant even though I was a freaking out fangirl on the inside. He said something about rehearsing, stood there and said other things for a minute, then was gone. Ah! Not long after, our line-up was ushered inside the studio, which was very dark, simple and chic looking. The first guest was Kevin Newman, who is very popular amongst my journalism friends (who am I kidding, almost all of my friends are journalists). Their conversation was super interesting, and sooo relevant to my life right now. Kevin talked about the Canadian vs. American identity, and how the media is changing and growing everyday. It was super interesting and I was sad when it was over. The other guests were author A.J. Newman (the guy who wrote about living biblically), and former Governor General Michaelle Jean. All of the conversations were really great and it made me miss journalism (a bit). During one of the breaks between interviews, the television version of a hype man came out and started working the crowd. With a stack of the audience-answered introduction cards in his hand, he pointed out a few strange ones. Obviously, I was one of them. “Someone said they can’t ride a bike,” he laughed. I bowed my head and put up my hand, and said something like, “I got in an accident when I was little and it scares me okay!” Yeah. My voice was about 8-octaves higher than usual and I said that sentence in record speed, but whatever. I would totally go to a taping of George again. It was a long taping, but it went by fast and the interviews were wide-ranging and fascinating at points. Recommended! Plus, it’s free. Bonus.


On Hump Day I went back into the city, this time with my Mom, and attended a taping of the long-running general-interest talk show CityLine. It was “Family Day”, which is directed to parents of young children and completely irrelevant to both my Mom and I, but this particular taping covered everything from puppy-training to cooking. Fun! Unlike at the George taping, there were some hardcore close-ups of my smile-plastered red face during the CityLine show, which I can only hope will be edited out. We were gifted with all sorts of swag, which was awesome even if a lot of it was kid-oriented (hello, fancy diaper bag and bottle of Nesquick!). I enjoy watching the process of what it takes to put on a television show, and I think that’s why I like to go to tapings. Plus you often get free stuff and sometimes learn stuff, and experiencing new things always trumps sitting on the couch doing nothing! Okay, not always, but you know what I mean.


On the weekend, I had excitedly ordered a ticket to Shut Up and Play the Hits, which was almost sold out and only playing three times in Toronto as part of the Hot Docs Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. I was pumped because SUAPTH is a documentary about one of my favourite bands, LCD Soundsystem. Actually, it’s not so much about the band as it is about their final show, which took place at Madison Square Garden in NYC last April. I was devastated I couldn’t attend due to an exam on the SAME DAY (uggggh), but managed to catch the live stream which I laughed/cried through and thoroughly enjoyed. So much joy! So bittersweet. The documentary was just as joyful and bittersweet, and it was interesting to get a little into the head of James Murphy. The movie cuts between an interview of James by Chuck Klosterman, parts of the live show, close-ups of James’ adorable dog, and slow-motion shots of crowd in (and possibly on) ecstasy. I really, really liked it. The cool thing was that after the credits rolled, the filmmakers from the U.K. did a Q&A after. They talked about how they were planning on doing the doc even before the final show was announced, and how James was quite involved in the process of making the film (he even did the sound-mixing). After the show, I headed back to the hostel I was staying at. Yes! I stayed at a hostel in Toronto for two nights. Why, you ask? Well, none of my friends have apartments in the city, and the GO Train back to the suburbs ends at midnight. As hipsters/young people tend to operate in the nighttime hours, that simply wasn’t going to work. The movie didn’t end until midnight, and my Friday-night plans were set to go until 3am, so I booked a 10-bed dorm at a hostel (for almost the same price as a GO Train ticket, I may add). While bunk beds and plastic pillows generally suck, it almost felt like I was travelling again, which was odd and exciting.


My Friday night plans were a tiny bit nerve-racking, so I spent the day aimlessly walking around the city/shopping with no intention of buying. What were my nighttime plans? Well, remember how I said LCD Soundsystem is/was one of my favorite bands, and a man names James Murphy was the lead of that band? WELL as luck would have it, the day after I watched as James made coffee, played with his dog, and rocked thousands, he was doing a DJ set FIVE minutes away from the hostel I was sleeping at! Eeeek! I was excited but nervous, because despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find anyone willing to attend the show with me. Ugggghh. BUT I have lived and I have learned. For years I missed show after show because nobody would attend with me, and I regretted it every single time. No more! Going to anything after-dark is nerve racking, not because of the danger factor but because people tend to congregate in groups as the sun goes down. While I’ve been to a concert alone before, it was different because everyone is there to listen and watch. The same isn’t true for DJ sets, where the main goal is to dance dance dance/socialize/drink/watch the stage sometimes. Despite this, I went and I had a great time. It was basically the closest I’ll EVER get to a disco, and it was awesome. I danced until the sun was almost up, and I was even told I had “balls” for coming alone. No, I do not have “balls,” but as I get older I’m not willing to give up on things I genuinely want to do just because I might have to do it alone. It’s scary but necessary, and worth every stomach butterfly. Pretty soon, I’ll be moving to a city where I’ll be completely alone, and you bet I’ll be experiencing everything that city has to offer, alone or not. This growing up thing may be awkward and frightening, but I’m learning to adapt and dance away the growing pains.

Now it’s Sunday and I’m readying myself for going back to work. This summer will be an adventure, both personally and professionally, and I’m prepared. Bring it on, world.

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