Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Let's All Go to the Movies

We're finally to the third item I had the chance to scratch off the other week!

So I learned to love going to the restaurant by myself, but for some reason I always held off going to see a movie by myself. I'm not really sure why, to be quite honest, especially since you don't really socialize while at the movies what with the talking-at-the-movies-is-super-rude thing. Alas, I had always felt a bit of anxiety going to see a movie on my own.

So on the drive home from Fredericton after the Avett Brothers concert I felt like I should try to scratch off one more thing from the list with the extra few hours before having to drive back home. I realized Paranorman was playing early in the afternoon, so I gathered up my courage and headed to the theatre.

Actual photo*
*Not actual photo
Now, when I meant to "See a movie in a theatre by myself" I meant as in I would go there by myself and watch it in a crowd, but being that it was a Sunday afternoon with a movie that had already been playing for a few weeks, I was actually the only person in the theatre for the first little bit of the trailers. I think there ended up being about 8 people at the end.

The movie was really great. Funny, witty, interesting, and with heart. All the good things you need in a nice heartwarming kids film. You should see it if you have the chance!

As for me, I quite enjoyed the experience of seeing the film on my own. I don't know if it would be much different in a more packed theatre, but I think I'll be going to see more movies on my own from now own!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Quick Update

My journey to finally finishing my BA is going well, if you consider "going well" meaning that I have an oral presentation and an essay due tomorrow morning that I still haven't started yet.

I work better under pressure, anyway. Or something.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

So When You Run Make Sure You Run to Something and Not Away From

Last week, I had the chance to cross off three of my items, as mentioned in the previous post (I promise I'll try to do at least 3 entries/week from now on). The second item I crossed off was finally seeing The Avett Brothers live.

When I first moved to Halifax in the fall of 2007, I had never spent more than 5 days away from Moncton. My first week, I tried to get familiar with my new home by wandering around the downtown area, and visiting some spots that had been recommended to me. One of those was The Black Market. It's more of a bohemian vibe that isn't so much my style, so I don't go often, but there's always some neat accessories and knick knacks. They were playing The Avett Brothers' Emotionalism. I had never heard of them before, but went home and found it right away, and it quickly became one of my favourite albums ever.

A few years later, I did my first cross-country road trip. I did Saskatchewan to Victoria all by my lonesome and after a more or less awful time in Edmonton (at no fault to my incredibly wonderful and talented host, Doug Hoyer and his very sweet family who were beyond welcoming), I decided to cut my time in Edmonton short and go to Jasper and Banff for a few days instead. For some reason, I never even thought of going to see the Rocky Mountains when I was planning this trip, but looking back, I can't imagine the trip without them.

I didn't think I'd have much of a reaction to the mountains other than "oh, cool", so I was surprised at how emotional I got when I first saw them. The Avett Brothers' "The Weight of Lies" was playing when I first saw their peaks from afar. When you're driving across the country by yourself and you see something as beautiful as the Rocky Mountains for the first time in your life while listening to a song that starts off "Disappear from your hometown..." you're bound to shed a few tears.

So there. The Avett Brothers will forever be associated with moving to a new city on my own for the first time, and driving across the country for the first time ever - something I had dreamed of for years but never thought I'd have the guts to do, let alone by myself.

So when I heard The Avett Brothers were going to be playing The Harvest Jazz and Blues Fest in Fredericton, I knew I had to go. I got my ticket, booked a hotel, and prepared to cry my eyes out while seeing one of my favourite bands play some of my favourite songs of all time.

Wish this was an actual ticket rather than a print out, but what can you do?

There were a few songs I really wish they had played that they didn't:
  • Colorshow
  • Die Die Die
  • All My Mistakes
  • Famous Flower of Manhattan
but overall it was a fantastic set and the solo rendition of The Ballad of Love and Hate with just a spotlight was a definite highlight. Although part of me would have really loved to hear The Weight of Lies, I'm kind of glad they didn't play it, because I probably would have lost it and started bawling my eyes out.

They were amazing live (and considering it was about 33ยบ with humidity in a giant muggy tent I'm surprised they had as much energy as they did) and I really recommend seeing them if you have the chance.

So thanks, Avett Brothers for being amazing, and thanks Harvest Jazz and Blues for bringing them down and making this girl happy. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Feelin' Bad Looks Good

The past week was a pretty great one for crossing things off my bucket list. I did 3 things that I can cross off - so let's start at the beginning.

Wednesday night it was The Dome's 30th anniversary - a few of us were going to go and I figured this would be my chance to finally cross that one off the list, but things came up and I couldn't go anymore, but I still wanted to cross something off my list. Wednesday night is a big karaoke night in town, so I forced myself to get dressed and dragged out some folks to come watch me scratch something off the list - Singing Crazy by Aerosmith dressed like Liv Tyler in the video with scarves wrapped around the mic stand.

I don't know where I decided that that was something I needed to do before I died, but I think I just always thought it'd be a really epic karaoke song to do (and I tend to just do awful renditions of Will Smith or Run DMC or Blondie so it was pretty out of my comfort zone).

Now, I thought that she was wearing a pant suit with a tie, but I was wrong. Really wrong.

Pant suit and tie, bright silver bra - same thing, right?
So I didn't really get the dressing up part quite right, but considering I don't think I'll ever be caught dead wearing that in public, I thought that since I actually ended up dressing like Alicia Silverstone does in the video, it was good enough.

Unfortunately, there are no videos or pictures from the evening, but I can assure you it went swimmingly, and I think Steven would have approved of my zebra print scarf choice. The karaoke version actually cut out my favourite part of the song (I NEEEEED YOUR LOOOOOVE, HONNNAAAYYYEAAAH!) but overall I think I knocked it out of the park!

So bam! I get to cross that one off!

I'll dedicate actual posts to the other 2 throughout the week, but in the meantime, I leave you with this - the best Aerosmith song ever made that features Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone in the video:

Monday, 10 September 2012

School Spirit

Today was my first full day of classes. What did I learn?

  • I should have picked my classes sooner
  • Taking 4th year classes in your last year is only a good idea if you actually have any desire to still be there rather than just forcing yourself to finish because writing a bunch of 12 page papers and reading one novel a week is not something you want if your mindset is just to "get in, get out, get it over with"
  • My motivation is at an all-time low

I was hoping that, knowing I was so close to finally graduating, I would be more motivated to get it all done and over with this year. Unfortunately, I ended up picking my classes rather late in the year (except the one required class I knew I needed to graduate) and was kind of just stuck with what was left that fit with my work schedule. I already dropped one of the classes and am considering dropping a second.

I thought some of the classes I had would be interesting, but the professors are either very new and therefore very nervous, or very monotone, so I don't think they'll end up being very engaging or interesting in the end, which is disappointing.

Knowing that I'm working in the industry I want to be working in without a degree and knowing I could probably doing more if I didn't have to bother with being in university is going to be tough to feel like it's actually important and valuable to finish this year.

If anyone has any tips and tricks on how to stay motivated in school when your heart isn't in it, please let me know, because I'm going to need all the help I can get to cross Getting my BA off this list.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Be True to Your School

One of my bucket list items is to finally get my BA. I originally intended to become a teacher, but then at the beginning of my 3rd year I had zero motivation or desire to be in school anymore because I realized I didn't want to teach after all. I felt like I was wasting my time studying English and French, because what the hell else would I do with those degrees? So I quit. I took some time off and worked and travelled, then went to NSCC and graduated from the Music Business program at the top of my class with honours.

I'm an overachiever and a perfectionist, but also incredibly lazy. So I tend to procrastinate or just straight up not finish things and then feel this overwhelming guilt and anxiety that I'm not "being the best I can be". Even though I think my arts degree is mostly worthless to me as far as the industry I want to work in goes, I will feel like I am somehow letting down the universe if I don't finish my BA. The entire universe. So I'm going back so that I can tie up loose ends and take that weight off my shoulders.

Also because of the office supplies. I'll take any excuse to buy new office supplies.
I need 5 more classes to graduate, so I'm splitting them up this year so I can work my actual real life adult job part-time during the school year. I have a feeling I'll have even less motivation this year since I already have a job doing what I want to be doing with my life (working with a music organization), but I really want to be able to just get it out of the way and not have it lingering in the back of my mind all the time, so I'm determined to quit dicking around and finally graduate this year.

Today was my first day back. Note that I only have a few books so far - that's because I already didn't go to two of my classes. So, obviously, it's starting off well. To be fair, this is already much better than when I originally started my 3rd year - I woke up covered in bruises and blood from a particularly wild drunken evening and didn't even get out of bed, so y'know, going to even the one class is progress! Focusing on the positive!

I had a good excuse, though - I promise! I went to NSCC to talk to the new students about my time and what I thought about the program and what they should expect. I forgot to mention a few things I wish I had, so here they are:

Chantal's Music Industry Tips
  • Why are you on here reading this? Go out - go see shows! Go to events! Go to conferences! You   should be going out as much as you can, especially if you're just starting out. Get your face out there, talk to people in bands, talk to the people working at the venues, make connections, ask to volunteer. Connections are the most important thing when you're starting out. Even regardless of the connections, we have a fantastic music scene for a city our size, so go enjoy it!
  • You don't have to be an English major, but for fuck sakes, pay attention when you're sending emails, building your website, sending out resumes, etc. Nothing looks worse than a website or resume with a bunch of typos - especially if you're doing something on the marketing/publicity side. If you're expecting people to pay you to promote someone, you better be sure you can promote yourself properly first. First impressions are important, and even though the music industry is easy-going than some other industries, being professional is still essential.
  • If you're a cocky asshole who puts other people down and are generally awful to be around, people will be a lot less willing to help you when you need it. In fact, they'll probably looking forward to seeing you fail. So be nice and people will be nice back.
  • Show up on time.
  • Don't be a dick.

Monday, 3 September 2012

The Art of Losing

One of the items on my list that'll take more work than some of the others is my goal to get back in shape. Just to give you an idea of how active I used to be, here is a list of some of the things I used to do when I was younger...

  • Dance (jazz, hip hop, modern, and a very short stint doing ballet for about 3 years)
  • Golf (4 years)
  • Soccer (9 years)
  • Volleyball (2 years)
  • Softball (1 year)
  • Swimming (5 years)
  • Gymnastics (4 years)
Here is a list of some of the fitness activities I do now...

Right before the start of high school, my anxiety disorder sky rocketed and I pretty much had to quit every sport I played. I used to be pretty small, but I gained about 30 pounds in just a few months, along with losing pretty much any endurance and flexibility I used to have. I've been trying to get back in shape again for years, but I never stick to it. I was doing great a few months ago before summer started - I had lost almost 8 pounds in 2 weeks just from eating healthier and exercising a bit in the mornings, but then exams came along, then I got sick, and then I injured my foot to the point where I could hardly walk. After a month or so of not exercising anymore, I found it really hard to get back into it once I was feeling better again. I've been walking to work to at least get a bit of exercise in, but it hasn't been helping much. 

Right now I'm the heaviest I've ever been in my life - 156lbs. Despite the fact that I think about 20 of that is from my tits, I'm  still about a size 9 or 11 in pants where I used to be a size 5 or 7 just a few years ago (although I have an ass now, which is a welcome new addition). It was a little easier to pretend that I hadn't gained so much weight this summer because I was wearing a lot of dresses, but now that it's getting cooler and I'm realizing I can't fit into any of my jeans anymore, I know something needs to change. I'm hoping to get back to the size I was a few years ago (while hopefully not losing too much of my T&A in the process).

I started exercising again this weekend and trying to eat better. Someone I follow on Tumblr has lost a ton of weight over the last few months and mentioned that she eats oatmeal for breakfast every day, so I started doing the same and adding strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. I've been trying to drink mostly water instead of pop, too.

Other than just losing weight, I want to be in better shape over all; be stronger, be more flexible, the ability to walk more than 3 flights of stairs without getting out of breath. A few of my bucket list items include things that'll hopefully help with the process (try a yoga class, start dancing again, learn how to swing dance, etc) so I'll try to do at least one entry per week on my fitness progress and try to keep it interesting and maybe motivating?

My goal for this week will be to walk at least half an hour every day. 

If you have any ideas for weekly fitness exercises or challenges I should do, please let me know!