Found! My Sweet Jams…

I am feeling so incredibly triumphant right now! Which is remarkable given the hectic and scattered day I’ve been having…

Ever since we moved back in May, I have been looking for this goddamn mixed CD. Why is it even important, you ask? Surely you must have made it with the songs in your own library? Songs which you undoubtedly have access to and could burn onto a new CD, yes? Actually, it’s important because the Magpie made it for me as a 25th birthday gift. It is divinely original, it cannot be manufactured again. It simply cannot!

So I got the CD at the end of April and lost it at the beginning of May… which means I really haven’t even had time to appreciate it. I can’t believe it’s been lost this long though. I absolutely abhor clutter, so it’s not like there were a lot of places for the friggen’ thing to hide in my apartment. All summer I would go through these bouts where I desperately had to find it, but couldn’t. I would get this feeling, like this time is the time. Today is the day I find this CD! But I would always come up empty-handed.

I was seriously considering the possibility that maybe I left it in D’s old car, which has since been sold to my parents, and that by now it had been tossed in the garbage. I imagined the little happy face on the cover all smudged with crud, wasting away in a landfill, lost to me forever. But then this nagging feeling that it was still within my reach would prevail, and I’d start my search all over again.

I’m forever misplacing my things. Which is strange, given how orderly and meticulous I am with certain things. Until D put the key rack up in the front hall for me, I never knew where my keys were. I never know where I’ve last placed my favourite necklace, my metro pass, important documents for the impending tax season, or my iPod. When I need things, I just scramble around like a maniac, cursing ferociously, until they’ve finally been located. One morning I almost walked out the door to work barefoot, until D reminded me that shoes are a necessity on the subway. I’m so bizarrely orderly and absent-minded at the same time.

I may not work through all of these issues today, but for now, I’m very pleased to announce that after months of fruitless searching I’ve finally come up successful! Buried in an old Coleman cooler with stacks of other CD’s, video games, books, and other hidden gems, my mixed CD gazed impassively up at me. As if to say, “I’ve been here all along, silly!” I lifted it ever so gingerly from the cooler, ran my fingers wondrously over its beautiful handcrafted cover, and then lovingly promised to never misplace it again.

When the Magpie gave me this CD on my birthday I was so totally excited. I greatly value all of the mixed CDs that people have given me over the years. It’s one of the most unique gifts you can get. There is no other CD on the planet with these exact same songs. Who isn’t touched by the offering of sweet jams, all of which have been expertly engineered with you in mind? Heartless jerks, that’s who.

So now that your interest has been appropriately piqued, I present you with the contents of this jealously coveted gem:

  1. Drain You: Nirvana 1991
  2. Pretend We’re Dead: L7 1992
  3. Violet: Hole 1994
  4. Deceptacon: Le Tigre 1999
  5. Downtime: The Gandharvas 1997
  6. Oh Mandy: Spinto Band 2006
  7. Close to Me: The Cure 1990 (re-release)
  8. Divine Hammer: The Breeders 1993
  9. Take Me I’m Yours: Squeeze 1994 (re-release)
  10. Ramble On: Led Zepplin 1992 (re-release)
  11. Only Shallow: My Bloody Valentine 1992
  12. Undone: Weezer 1994
  13. Blimps Go 90: Guided By Voices 1995
  14. Little Trouble Girl: Sonic Youth 1995
  15. Alone & Annoyed: Eric’s Trip 1996
  16. Homeboy: Adorable 1993
  17. I Am The Resurrection: Stone Roses 1999
  18. Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying: Belle & Sebastian 1996

These are “songs that I like that are mostly from the 90’s on your 25th birthday” quoth the Magpie. She knows that the 90’s is my favourite decade of music, and so she gifted me with the songs that she considers to be quintessential 90’s tracks. There are a few exceptions, but awesome ones. I had no idea who The Gandharvas were until I met the Magpie, and I must say they have very quickly jumped to the top of my list of favourite bands.

I have been irrevocably affected by their awesomeness, and The First Day of Spring will haunt me forever. Although this song isn’t on the disc above, I recommend starting there for your first taste of The Gandharvas:

I’m touched by the amount of time that she spent making me this wicked CD, and I am so happy that I finally found the fucking thing! I’m so excited to listen to it again and to discover its greatness. It’s just what I needed to melt away the stress of the day. This is no small win, it’s a tremendous victory! My finest conquest of the day, and validation that my frantic searching was not in vain.

I would definitely recommend that you seek out these tracks and give them a listen. Go forth and explore some wonderful new music! Or fall in love with old favourites all over again…

I wish you groovy listening, friends.

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Hot Hot Harp

It’s a long weekend this week, so lots of good things to take stock of, but there is one thing this week that hands down made my day most of all and has earned a spot in the blog.

I’m working with the Magpie again, which has been truly wonderful. She cites moving to Toronto as the best decision she’s ever made in her life, and since I’ve known her has been incredibly encouraging (if not blatantly overpowering) in her suggestion that I move here too. A most fruitful decision indeed.

Moving to Toronto has been so refreshing and rewarding! There’s always something to do, someplace to be, and  someone to catch up with. One of the best things about it has been getting out during my lunch hour and exploring. At my old job our office was located in an area dominated by other office buildings. There was absolutely nothing worthwhile within walking distance of the office. If you wanted to go get lunch you had to have a car, and sadly I do not. On occasion I would grab lunch out with the other girls, but it was always a scramble to get food and bring it back in time to scarf down quickly at your desk. You weren’t really allowed to take a leisurely lunch.

Now, I can stumble out the office door and there are hundreds of options at my fingertips! I literally cross the street and encounter tons of choices. It’s so wicked! Because I had conditioned myself to work through lunch and not find any enjoyment in it at my old job I had these lingering pangs of guilt about getting out during lunch hour at the new job. A few weeks have gone by and I’ve gotten more used to popping out the door and not feverishly watching each second tick by on my watch, stressing that I’ve got to get back to my desk and not selfishly pilfer company time.

Case in point, this week. Everything is still very new to me, so I get pumped up over the littlest thing. I think it’s been fun for the Magpie because my shiny, wide-eyed, virginal view of the city mirrors back everything about it that she fell in love with too. This week, she decided that we could afford to take our time and head to Kensington market for lunch. We hopped on the street car, sailed through Chinatown (loved it!) and then strolled the streets of the market.

So colourful and wonderful! Amazing treasures to be found! This place is an explorer’s dream come true to be sure.

We had lunch at a place called Grilled Cheese, as you may have guessed serving up delicious grilled cheese sandwiches. Picture it, fluffy texas toast crisped to perfection with a melty, gooey cheddar middle about an inch thick. Golden brown and laden with rippled chips and a crunchy dill pickle, we had found euphoria on the workday lunch hour. We sat outside on a picnic table in the sun chatting and laughing.

After lunch we walked back through the market, and there I beheld the most pleasant sight of all the day’s outing: the hot harpist.

It’s very common to walk the streets and see people playing guitar and singing their dirges for a buck or two from friendly passersby. It is not common to see a gorgeous specimen of a man plucking tenderly at a harp in the noonday sun. That is something remarkable. Naturally I started drooling, what is a girl to do?

The best part about it was as I was gawking and walking, the Magpie was laughing heartily, as is her way. When I asked her what was funny she said “oh that guy behind us was saying to his friends ‘Who knew that the harp was such a good way to get chicks!’ What a Beavis thing to say!”

We had been a bit too leisurely and hastened our pace to get back to the office, but when we got back not a single person seemed to notice or even care that we’d whiled away a solid hour and then some at the market. This was the most glorious moment of all this week: the wonder of exploring the market, feeling the noonday sun on our faces, and oogling the hunky harpist had finally helped me let go of my guilt over enjoying my lunch hour.

I’ve shed the last vestiges of conditioning from my old job. I’m no longer hindered by guilt about living my fucking life. Work can wait for me, I won’t be rushing my lunches anytime soon.