semi-annual

today is a day of listening to 1990s-era Madonna, wearing a t-shirt that features a kitten wearing a cowboy hat riding a shark that is vomiting a rainbow in space, and wasting the afternoon away.

I haven’t been writing this year, like…nearly at all. There will be no more volumes in the Love You to Death series, which I am pretty OK with. It was a lot of work, and it was a good run — and goddamn if the Season Five book isn’t jam-jam-jam-packed with awesome interviews and a flipping foreword by Kevin Williamson which still boggles my mind when I think about it — and now Vee and I are freebirds flitting around, looking for new branches to perch on. The shitty thing about not doing another book with that lady is that man, I don’t talk to and email her every day all day. (Miss you, Vee.) (I am going to iMessage you right now.) (Okay, better.)

It’s a weird place to be writing-wise, I tell ya. I started writing my first book back in 2008, I guess it must’ve been, and for the next seven years it was a writing marathon party. And now? What the heck do I do with myself? I took an art class. I hang out with my pals. I wonder what I’ll write when I write again.

Rambling blog posts without purpose seem like a pretty good place to reboot, right?

xo

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red lips and rosy cheeks

This blog, never well attended to, is now mostly just German men talking about how much they love Chace Crawford in my comment section. It’s been so long since I’ve been on here that I plum forgot how to log on. Geez, Calhoun. Get your shit together.

Since last we met: I moved from the far east end of Toronto to the west end, right around where I went to high school and I keep having flashbacks (and echoes…) to this or that teen life experience. Which I do not mind at all. Plus: good Polish/Ukrainian restaurants where pierogies can be acquired and eaten. Now I have a roommate and a cat roommate and laundry right in the apartment and a yard and it’s basically paradise.

Since last we met: Love You to Death 5 came out, and it’s my favorite cover since maybe my season 1 book, and it’s chockfull of interviews — like, brimming with ’em — and I’m very proud of it. Would make an excellent holiday present for the TVD person in your life, no? Yes yes yes. Buy them allllllll.

It’s been strange times to not be writing about The Vampire Diaries this season — I just watch the episodes. I am not even watching TVD live, due to cable budget cutbacks. (New apartment costs a wee bit more than former apartment, ergo…) So, like, I do not even know what is going on in TVD fandom. It is a very strange feeling, friends. But I gotta say that having those eight or so hours back in my weekend — it took a while to rewatch the episode making copious notes and then writing 2,000 words about it for Vampire-Diaries.net — is a very strange feeling in a good way. Yesterday, I just popped by my sister’s and played Go Fish for hours. A surprisingly dynamic game, Go Fish.

Now is the time of year when I race to finish my Goodreads challenge, and I have been blazing through some great books by clever women (Roxanne Gay, Amy Poehler, Lena Dunham, Caitlin Moran), but have now turned to my TBR pile of mysteries. Flavia DeLuce awaits…

Oh and to answer the search term I saw whilst approving Chace Crawford German Love comments, “what college did crissy calhoun go to?” well, I went to the University of Toronto, Victoria College, for my undergrad and got an honors BA specialist in English (after futzing around studying film and art history too), and then a few years later, went to Centennial College for the publishing program (which is how I winded up with my gig at ecw, where shockingly I have been working for just shy of ten years. Ten years!).

xo

teaches of peaches

i cannot stop saying shiz. my mom said “sizzle this shizzle” over the weekend (referring to our steaks going on the hibachi).

gossip girl starts on Monday. dig that. here is what i hope happens in season 2: Lily and Rufus get back together, maybe not til the end of the season for more tensiony buildup; Dan realizes he is NOT the most understanding person in the world; Jenny gets a real, not gay-but-also-homophobic boyfriend; Blair gets everything she ever wanted and more; and Serena gets to star in a remake of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, have her own designer perfume, date the biggest rock star in the world, model during Fashion Week, and . . . oh all that happened in the books already. YAWNsauce.

i watched all the bonus features from the season 1 dvds the other night and they are PRETTY GOOD. the fashion one is excellent and i think that i could be best friends with the costume designer Eric Daman. except i would have to increase my style factor by the power of 97. (that’s a lot.)

the other day when i went grozzery shopping w/ S.D., i somewhat idiotically bought one of those 3-litre baskets of peaches AND one of tomatoes. that is a lot for one girl to eat. especially when she is mostly too lazy to bring lunch from home and sometimes eats dinner out? breakfast right now: 2 peaches. LUCKILY they are flipping delicious. i guess that is one of the bonuses of having a family: you do not have to eat all the peaches and tomatoes yourself.

next DDPP is September 20th.


i have had Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends” in my head for the past week. Guess what. That is just fine because I love that song. In factual factosity, I am listening to it right this second. I am also drinking coffee from a tiny little coffee cup that was stolen by someone at some point from the University of Toronto. It has their crest in blue on one side: a dead-looking beaver, some books (open), and a crown on top. (The tree that normally is on top is absent.) Why do I always blog about coffee mugs? Perhaps I have found a new niche for bloggery?

blair and chuck are sad that summer is nearly over. i am not that sad? i like fall and have new boots to wear. i have two pairs of them. for real. it was a happy birthday mistake but now i am the somewhat-bashful owner of two colours of the same pair of boots. oh let me find you a picture. here are the two colours: brown and “cognac.”


Pretty nice, right? they are slouchy. happy birthday to me. no matter how low key i try to be, my birthday is always a two week+ affair. Gary Garrow is right. i am still happily receiving cards and trinkets winging their way to me from my International Besties, those living and travelling abroad.

I guess it’s time to buck up and get down to work. This weekend I will be: (1) proofreading, (2) flipping thru “final” pages just in case mistakes were missed (like the misspelling of an editor’s name…ahem), (3) cleaning, (4) visiting pals I do not see nearly enough, (5) working on my not-so-secret project, (5) eating peaches and tomatoes or getting fed up and throwing them from my fourth floor balcony onto the unsuspecting dog walkers in St. James Park.


i watched 2 old episodes of 90210 the other night and I couldn’t believe how enjoyable it was. I have always loved that show but it is like getting in your Tardis and going back to grade 8, watching that shiz. i used to have a picture of Dylan and Brenda in their prom outfits hanging in my locker. they looked happy but i knew how complicated their relationship truly was. (who remembers how Cheryl Hickey used to say “back to bev hills in a moment”?)

my hopes for the New Nine-Oh are not too high but you can bet your bottom dollar I will be watching on Tuesday night. If they give enough screen time to Brenda and Kelly, I will watch FOREVER. If it’s too much with the new teens and they are not awesomesauce, I will quit like Kelly ditched that cult and those diet pills.

I will choose me.


"i tried my best / but your head is such a mess"

the one good part about having a cold: you get to play kleenex basketball! i am pretty good. i would say 9 out of 10 go in the basket. i am my own dream kleenex basketball team. i am #1 (of 1). this week i learned the word “sensorium,” as in “I have a clouded sensorium.” it seems weird that i didn’t already know it but! now i do. this has been a funny cold, where besides the kleenex basketball, my only other symptom is the sensorium fail. so i just feel dopey and fuzzy all the time. it makes typing hard. good thing words and accuracy are not important to my job! ha ha. poor suckers of books i worked on this week!

i am listening to a great Madonna song right this second called “Keep it Together.” and it’s her 50th birthday! it’s my 49th on Monday. we are both Leos, which is a pretty cool sign because of the lion. otherwise I think it’s suppoed to mean I am bossy and like gold. which is only half correct. one time my friend’s mom gave me a book about Leos and she had gone through making notes beside bits of info that said, “This is so true!” “Just like you!” “Interesting…” and so on. It made the book worth reading! Another time she did a tarot card reading in her car in the parking lot of the Ajax GO station. We were waiting for my train to arrive and take me back to Toronto. Her reading said that I would work in the arts and maybe that I would find true love or something. Half true again!



i am listening to the playlists i made for my friend Erino’s birthday this year: The Future Is T-Rex (top/left) and The General’s Breakfast (bottom/right). They feature: songs by everyone we’ve ever seen live together (or nearly seen), songs we sing at karaoke, songs i only know because of her love of musical theatre, songs that remind us of the now-defunct Om festival and old work places, and a song that she is really good at singing in her parents’ suburban living room. that is “part of your world” and at one time i had the whole thing on my voicemail. it was fucking funny and great.

another time, way back in the day, one of E’s friends (was it Kerry C?) organized a Talent Show in celebration of her birthday. This is a great idea and should be done more often. Clairey and I did a dance routine to a medley of pop hits: Electric Youth (Debbie Gibson), Monkey (George Michael), Crazy: The Stop Remix (Britney), Sometimes (Britney), um…crap that’s all i remember. what else, Claire? Anyway, we wore matchy outfits and it was great! For the Monkey part, we did monkey arms and noises and then monkey danced from side to side.

who is coming with me to Fan Expo next weekend? so far the answer is NO ONE. crap crap crap. it was so fun last year, you guys. but a bit pricey. maybe i will just dress up as a BSGer and stay home and watch Buffy all day knowing that there are thousands of others in my city that day who know that is an awesome thing to do.

i fly like planes

good morning kidlets. happy Simcoe Day to those in Ontario and not at work. John Graves Simcoe was the first Gov-General of Upper Canada and abolished slavery in U.C. long before it was in the Empire as a whole (according to Wikipedia). We have had Simcoe Day in Toronto since 1869. That is kinda awesome! Way better than when I found out, while living in the Durham Region, that Lord Durham was a frakker. Tho I can’t remember why now…that was way back in the early ’90s. for real. (oh man i had a dream last night that some 11-yr-old boy was walking behind me and being really annoying and then i called him a motherf’ker. oops.)

i am reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan (Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.). It’s pretty darn good! I am going to give it a go: eat food instead of food products, invest more time and money in food and preparing my food myself, and try to eat meals at a table (not a desk) and not alone. So hey! Invite me over for dinner! actualement, I am going to try and trick my family into having dinner together more regularly. i bet they will like it.

it’s really & truly absurd that I don’t eat more fresh and locally grown produce when i live spitting distance from the st. lawrence market. i could go there in the morning before work! the downside of reading this book is it makes drinking and enjoying Vitamin Water near impossible now. Thanks Michael Pollan.

last night I watched Be Kind, Rewind on rogers on demand. it was pretty sweet — Jack Black was a weirdo, Mos Def was a charmer, and i did some good all-alone-laughing-out-loud (GAALOL). way better than my last encounter with Jack Black, Margot at the Wedding, which was terrrrrible. What an indulgent piece of boringosity that was. sorry Noah Baumbach, you had one movie in you and that was it. for now. as director. i just imdb’d him and he wrote (co-wrote?) The Life Aquatic. and that was magical.

also I saw TWO movies at the Rainbow in ONE day: Step Brothers and Mamma Mia! One boy movie and one girl movie. The audience at Mamma Mia! was unbelievably entertaining. they kept talking to the movie, answering questions posed by Pierce Brosnan to Meryl Streep for her, shrieking with delight, and during the credits when there are ABBA-style performances by the cast, people actually yelled at the screen for more! and then clapped! It was really charming. but man that one went on about 40 minutes longer than was strictly necessary. (meh on Step Brothers; rent it and you’ll have a grand time.)

my talented cousinko just went up on myspace with her musique. you should have a listen here.

time to do some vacuuming! then some CFA’ing. then some GG’ing. then more acronyms. what is the difference between an acronym and an abbreviation? this is something i knew before and have now forgotten. hold please; reading. an acronym IS an abbreviation. but it is an abbreviation that is pronounced as a word, e.g., NATO, versus an initialism where you say the letters, e.g. U.K. (so please change that above sentence to “then more initialisms.”)

that’s enough learning for one day, right gang?

xo

i am using my favourite mug and making all the other mugs feel inferior

Listening to: Santogold, Santogold. Fabbity fav song so far: “Creator,” but that’s the one i knew from before.

Would like: blog readers to post their favourite artists/songs in the comments area because i need some fresh fresh fresh dope beats to drop in my ears

Just watched: the last three episodes of this half-season (4.0) of Battlestar Galactica. i now call it Battlesmash Galacticar so much of the time that I have to think *extra* hard to say it right. you guys were wondering about that, right? i don’t want to be spoilery so let’s just say that this show does not let up. it just smashes around making everything more awesome. (much like our pal t-rex.) i need to watch this season again (well, the whole series again) and really do some thinking cuz there are some BIG ideas in there. like, what is the meaning of life? big ideas.

me and bro Toe were having a mortality discussion on the train ride to Montreal last week. my argument was based entirely on what (Caprica?) Six had said about what ‘life’ means to Cylons because of their ability to download (i.e., a cylon never dies, his/her consciousness just goes into a new [and identical to their previous] body). then i realized i hadn’t actually THOUGHT about it; i was just repeating what a fictional roboto lady said on the idiot box. (but i bet she is right…and i’ll make the same argument next time i’m in that conversation.)

ANYWHOzy.

Re-watching: Season 1 of Gossip Girl and knowing I love it. This photo (to the right) is currently my ‘puter’s desktop. Because (1) it’s a good photo of my GG peeps, and (2) Erino and I walked in that exact SAME spot on the Coney Island boardwalk mere weeks ago. It’s glorious there and I wish the Donald Trumps of the world were put in a box and not let out. Then all the hundreds of teenagers could still hang out there on Friday afternoons, jumping in the water, going on the rides, getting snacks, and making some noise. But noooooooo, it’s gotta be fancy-ass condos for fancy-ass people. See I don’t like real-life rich people, just fictional rich people teenagers with excellent clothes and dialogue….

today i am going to a cottage because that is what ontarians do in the summertime. we go to cottages. this cottage (which my friend’s parents built a few years ago) is more like a new house with nice clean hardwood floors, A/C, full-on bathrooms, comfortable big beds, italian kitchen gadgets, and giant windows. so you don’t have a buggy dirty stay. and then you jump in georgian bay.

hearts and anchors

good morning, kids. i am (voluntarily) listening to hannah montana & miley cyrus songs. oh yes indeedy do. the books i work on truly and sometimes long-termly (oh it’s a word) influence my outside-o-work life: listening to heart and sabbath and miley, playing scrabulous, wanting to learn tae kwon do, and to dress up as a chicken and wrestle while people throw tortillas at me and a punk band plays. oh ecw, you are such a wacky wonderful place to work.


today is the first day of a WHOLE WEEK OFF from that worky. the plan: go to the eastern townships tomorrow to have a hangout with the extend-a-mix family. i plan on jumping in a lake as often as possible. i’ll have to grab a good book for le reading. but what? no
gossip girl novels on hand…

i just finished Pulpy and Midge (par Jessica Westhead) and it was a delight to the max. It’s a story about a man (Pulpy) who works in a dullsville office, and his wife (Midge), and the new boss and the boss’s wife, and the secretary receptionist. Simple story in an unglamorous setting but i was sooooo tense (in a page-turning, suspense novel way) reading it. Coach House just won the Premier’s Award for being awesome and they are having a good sale so you could totes go buy P&M right NOW.

MoCCA seems like ages ago now but i never told you how it went: it was aces. i truly do love that festival. turned out that i had excellent and talented neighbour tables. Exhibit A: the Snake Oil series by Chuck McBuck. Exhibit B: JP Coovert’s comics (from One Percent Press), particularly when doubt comes busting through the door, which m. and i suggest we send out in lieu of rejection letters.

i am having minor brain fail trying to remember all the things i’ve been meaning to blog about over the past few weeks:

  • go see Get Smart, it’s f’n funny;
  • the 8th Georgia Nicholson book, Love Is a Many Trousered Thing, is just as double cool with bells as the first one;
  • So You Think You Can Dance is once again and always the best competition show on the telly (tho I don’t have clear favourites like I did last season with Sabra and Danny);
  • I think Maddie is a perfectly good name, despite Madeline being (according to erino) a vair, vair popular name these days;
  • my friends’ babies and kids are really and truly impossibly cute and charming, nary a weird-looking annoying one amongst them;
  • allergies suck the bag;
  • that expression is weird;
  • Oil of Oregano has saved me from countless colds;
  • Vitamin Water is the glory-glory-glorious best beverage ever: sometimes drinking water is boring, most times juice is too sweet, V. Water is the perfect middle ground plus vitamins that I prolly don’t need but who cares! i need a case of this stuff;
  • Mindy Kaling (Kelly from The Office) has a blog where she talks about stuff she likes to buy, which Work E. told me about . . . nine hundred million J.Crew.com purchases later, I can’t visit her blog cuz I am too easily swayed to spend money I don’t have; on the plus side I now own the best girly shoes I’ve ever owned. Witness (mine are different [red with more polkas and a yellow strap] and 500% awesomer):

oh man i am sure there are other things i should tell you but it’s time to trip over to the st. lawrence market for bagels (for train trip sandwiches for me and my bro) and other good things. i feel like cooking a fresh and delicious dinner tonight; i’ve been lax in that dept lately. wish me good luck and gods speed…