Summer jams, women, & iguanas…

Now, if I remember correctly this is still a lesbian blog. Though I did clear out my spam comments today, and judging by the amount of Viagra ads, I wasn’t so sure if this blog is still for the sapphically inclined or for those with small penises (mine has yet to grow in, so I did the ad companies a favour and clicked a link or two, you know, keeping my options open). Despite the prevalence of little blue pills, I will continue to bring you pictures and music that may, hopefully, get you an erection, however small.

I’ve spent a lot of time on trains over the past week, and while I was traveling alone, I was not alone. No, friends, I had my trusty copy of NYLON. I tend to read magazines cover to cover, especially when Karen O is on the cover. I won’t pretend like I didn’t pick it up solely for a couple glimpses at Karen, but I do like NYLON, so it’s not like it was Quilt Mag (though I’m sure Karen quilts like a maniac).

Inside NYLON, I found the usual suspects, and some bands I was already listening to (it’s great for my ego), though when I brought up the acts at numerous casual get togethers (Little Boots is my new safe word), no one seemed to know who I was talking about. So, to prepare you for the inevitable sexual encounter at a trashy bar, here is what I’m listening to, and what you should be listening to if you want me in your bed.

First, we have Lissy Trullie

Lissy’s EP Self-Taught Learner is definitely on loop right now, and listening to her is a little bit surreal. Had no one told me she was a chick and I heard this song, well, I wouldn’t be very sure. She has this deep, but not overly raspy, voice, and, as you may have seen, a pretty androgynous look. It’s danceable indie rock, and I try to start singalongs whenever Boy Boy comes on. You should too. 

Next, Little Boots!

Victoria Hesketh, better known (I hope) as Little Boots is a pretty awesome chick. Her new album Hands is hard to comment on for me, though. As with most albums, there are only a handful of songs I like. I’d say 50% of the album is solid, as she is a synth pop vocalist, it’s easy to miss danceable when trying to add deeper lyrics, and I think that’s what happened on this album. The beat on the good tracks will blow you away, I was listening to Hands on the train back from Toronto, and had to disregard the general public as I did my chair dance. It was not pretty, but I’m fine with that. With tracks like New in Town, Stuck on Repeat (the Fake Blood remix is great too, less road trip, more club-lite), Symmetry and Mathematics, Little Boots should definitely be on your summer playlist.

Then we have Phoenix

Phoenix has been on rotation since Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix came out, and I was smitten with 1901 for a good while. 1901, however, doesn’t give you a feel for the whole album. With tracks like Liztomania, and Rome, Phoenix played a little with this album. The overall flow is good, and the collection of tracks is definitely sensical, but the aforementioned songs are decidedly more summertime dance oriented (you know, when you kick up your heels and spin around in circles… though I don’t advise doing those simultaneously).

More music to come later, I don’t want to give away all my secrets, because, you know, I’m so secretive like that. I mean, I don’t tell anyone anything. Too much? Okay. I know what you’re thinking now “what about the iguanas?” Well, I can’t get anything past you, can I? I spent four minutes of my life today listing to I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here. I don’t know if you’ve heard this song, and I am kind of hoping you haven’t; it’s a Spencer Pratt rap. Yes, that Spencer Pratt.

Badass, Spencer, badass. The iguana comes in when you see the lovely video, featuring Spencer and Heidi in a car, Spencer and Heidi with a snake, Spencer with a spider, and Heidi being sexually suggestive with what looks like a small lizard. Oh, and a good portion of the video is spencer rapping at an iguana on a rock. Enjoy…?



Back with some homo lovin’

Hello, internet stalkers! Now I know what you’re thinking…

Oh, great, Lauren’s going to tell us she’s coming back again and then she’ll update once a month, only to promise more updates.

Well, yes, that is what I’m doing. Except for the monthly updates bit, of course. I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been, and I am wondering the same. Of late I’ve been trying this whole “face to face interaction” thing, which, by the way, is far overrated. So, in light of that epiphany, I’m back! I just got back from Toronto last night, and I’m still in recovery mode. Between drinking far too much Pink Elephant at Ronnies, watching a chick from Brooklyn pet her lucky horse broach(sp?) on Jeopardy, and dancing it up at College Night at the Barn, I’ve been running myself into the ground. And by the ground, I mean a lot of party-related troubles. 

I have a stellar sunburn from doing rooftop yoga at my dad’s Roncesvalles loft, I have blisters from wearing in my new half cabs, and I seem to be in a persistent state of hungover-ness (which is the medical term). But, it’s been fun. Now that I’m back at home, I seem to be getting my shit together; Jesse and I are moving in together, I’m getting paid to learn French (thanks, Quebec government!), and all seems to be well in the world of Lauren. So, naturally, I have come back to my little nook in the blogosphere, cozied up with Craigslist, and I am scouring the Internet for new music and gay-related things… like, say, Current‘s new segment, That’s Gay.

Yes, Current seems to take up far too much of my life, and yes, it’s probably not healthy, but neither are many other things I do, like smoking, making left turns on Renee Levesque, and drinking Pink Elephant. At least I can share Current shows with you, blowing second hand smoke over the Internet is a very tedious process, and I just don’t have the lung capacity, anyways.


Zach’s here & throwing off my “game”

He's a real double threat, I guess.

He's a real double threat, I guess.

My dog (or my mother’s dog, if you want to get technical about it) is at my loft for the next two days.  And while I love him, and I used to spend all the time with him, my mother and sister’s general neglect for his overall happiness and well being has, seemingly, turned him into some vicious little monster. Thus far, he has caused my elderly, and I mean very elderly, bunny to almost have a hernia while reaching speeds of what seemed like 25 km/h. We also headed over to Trinity Bellwoods today, because that’s Zach’s favourite park. He used to live me once upon a time ago, and we would, quite literally, head to Bellwoods 3 times a day. He doesn’t exactly have the greatest bladder control.

     But I digress, today at Bellwoods, four girls (which I saw out of the corner of my eye or otherwise) checked me out, either that or couldn’t stop staring while they tried to get their head around the fact that someone would exit their home in such a ridiculous get up as the one I was sporting, all of the four (which I was aware of) were consequently turned off by my maniac dog barking at them. The thing is, Zach is half pomeranian. So he’s around a foot tall, but when he gets going, he goes for one of two things, the first of which being the jugular, the second of which being your eardrums. He is very good at attacking both in ways you won’t soon forget about. So there go my chances (because clearly had he not barked I would’ve gotten everyone’s numbers…).

    Speaking of getting people’s numbers, yesterday I was at the Fetish Festival on Church. Which I stumbled upon while I was going my 15 km timed ride around the city, and since I figured that fetish festivals=nympho’s, I grabbed my number one wingman Matthew Gray, and took it to the streets. We were in Slack’s, I was checking out the crowd, and he was making googoo eyes at the bartender, when he made me a bet. This isn’t verbatim, but I will use quotations none the less:

Matthew: “Lauren, if you don’t pick up a hot chick here, you’re buying me a round of drinks!”

Lauren: “A round of drinks implies I’m buying drinks for more than one person, way to go.”

    I agreed to his little “bet”, ignoring the fact that the bet was, all in all, poorly phrased. And I started to take it seriously, once I realized I may have to shell out $4 for a beer he probably won’t finish, when who calls? My sister. Saying she’s coming over, and she’s bringing the dog. The bet was off, I went home alone, and she ended up staying at my mom’s either way. What a bogus fetish festival.

     On the bright side, I pondered what my fetish may be while I was at the bar, and I re-realized that I love women who ride bicycles so much that it must be a fetish. That’s right, if you are a woman of the bike riding variety, I am more likely than not attracted to you. Unless you have poor taste in shoes, than you are either voided, the only exception being if you ride a fixie that you built yourself… Hot.

(First posted: 18/08/08)

So unsightly

What is with the terrible braze-ons on every road bike I come in contact with? Today, I nearly gave up the search for the perfect fixed gear frame after visiting seemingly infinite used bike shops and thrift stores all around Toronto. Seriously, I visited at least 8, and got laughed out of one, because apparently it is ridiculous for me to ride a road bike on the road. As opposed to riding a mountain bike, on the road… and not on a mountain. Which leads me to the next point that I didn’t want to talk to before right this second, mountain bikes. Why is it that you can buy mountain bikes in near every bike store in Toronto? Mountain bikes are straight forward machines, shocks and seat posts aside, they are to be ridden off road. I feel compelled to knock the brands which play into common consumer misconceptions, so I will. Bike treads, who needs them? Not you. Not unless you have a cottage in Muskoka where you will not be riding on the road, then you can ride a bike with treads there. Wide, knobby wheels are actually worse on pavement than tires with no tread what so ever simply because of surface area in contact with the ground at any given time. Plus it takes far more effort to pedal one of those knobby-tired bad boys up a series of hills, you know what I mean?

Secondly, you do not need shocks. Yes, there are potholes everywhere in this pristine city of ours, but they are (for the most part) not going to kill you, or cause you to make impact so incredibly perilous that you will need your shocks to cushion the near-deadly blow. I’ve now forgotten what I was talking about before, so let’s continue on the logical path, starting an entirely unrelated paragraph.

    Speaking of unrelated, my mother keeps calling me, and to a lesser extent, my father, about the fact that I refuse to return her calls. I will not cave, unless there is a Pista involved. And even then, I will give her 30 seconds per dollar spent. I actually should put that into play. Regardless of the fact that under any other context, I would’ve sounded like a cheap whore. Long and short of it, I will not be calling my mother. What would I call her about? “Hey, just calling to call, actually I’m calling about you calling. Could you stop? Don’t call back! Oh, and this is Lauren.”

    So, tomorrow I’m going on a U of T campus tour (what a seamless segue from such a touchy paragraph), even though I have never wanted to go to U of T before in my entire life. Nor do I think this tour will change my mind, I’m pretty much going to flaunt my superior educational endeavours, as well as the fact that my city of residence has more gay bars then their city of residence. Which, if we’re going to be honest here, is all that matters when someone chooses a city to live in while they further their education. 

    I promise I will make a list of things to blog about on my Stickies tomorrow. Probably. For now, I’m going late night back alley bike frame searching, I mean, it is recycling day.

    And I’ve also been browsing the FixedGearGalley far too often, looking at people who powdercoat their vintage frames white, accompanied by white Deep V’s, drop bars with, wait for it, white tape, and finally, a Brooks saddle! I bet you didn’t see the Brooks coming, eh? Don’t you know by now, Spontaneity is my second middle name.

(First posted: 11/08/08)

Can’t rain out this parade

Mother nature, if you read this blog, which you should. I have a few suggestions. Firstly, I would like to trade in however much good karma I have accumulated over the years for one day of this month that it will not rain on me during a bike ride around town. That being said, August has just begun and I have been caught in 4 rainstorms thus far, 3 of them being torrential, 4 of them being trips of over 10 km, and, as per usual, I have almost died on each trip. Thus the urgency of this plea. 

    Speaking of urgent pleas, what is going on with Craigslist today? And I’m not talking the whole site, I love Craigslist, I’m talking the only page not working is the Toronto bikes for sale section. Which leads me to be depressed, and subsequently click on the “casual encounters” tab. See what you do to me Craigslist? If I can’t get one fix (actually that’s kind of a pun), I will find another, significantly more destructive, one. And eBay is not helping me either. Where are these incredibly tall people who ride 65 cm frame? Where? Not here, I’ll tell you that much. I suppose I have short legs, or something, because I fit a 50 cm frame, and there are none of those on the market. Although someone did try to sell me what I could very easily call the ugliest Raleigh I have ever straddled. Not to mention the fact that it would cost me a little more than a pretty penny, more like 35000 pretty pennies, before tax. Yikes! I’m pondering the new KHS at Urbane now, it’s 500 or so, incredibly light, and doesn’t involve digging through old junkers all day long.

    I’ve realized recently that bicycles have taken over my life, as well as my blog, to the point of unhealthy obsession. Yet, I still maintain that I can both have morals and check out bikes. Today this incredibly good looking girl in a plaid shirt on a vintage bicycle smiled at me seductively as I rolled by, I wish there had been 12 broken beer bottles right there so she would’ve come to my rescue. But that is neither here nor there, the fact is that if you appreciate bicycles, you start making roadside acquaintances, even for a brief moment which renews my faith in the sense of community thrust upon you once you become a bicycle commuter and enthusiast. All I need now is a fixie, so I can be like the new guy on the block who you always see driving a Corola (okay, so my Marin is not exactly a Corola, more like, a new Altima), but you know they have a 1960’s Ferrari in the garage under a car cover. And if you didn’t just figure this out, I used to be a car fanatic in the 8th grade. So I have makes, models, wheels and horsepowers engrained in my head, to the point that I speak automobile fluently.

    Anyways, what I meant to post about was how bad the weather is and how much finding an old track frame is sucking. But I’ve been lead astray all because of the cute girl on the bike, one would think I would’ve learned by now. I think I will just start dumpster diving, or alley surfing late at night, on recycling days, for discarded gems. I actually stumbled upon 2 unlocked road bikes outside the coffee shop across the street from my building 2 nights ago, and I will say that I showed enough restrain to not steal them. Okay, so they weren’t my size. But I could’ve sold them on eBay, or Craigslist, if the bikes section ever becomes active again. None the less, I did not steal those beautiful specimens, which shows restrain, let me tell you. I’m going to stop now.

(First posted: 10/08/08)

TWB, trannies, and New York, oh my!

Yesterday I finally had a minute to go to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore on Harbord St. In all honesty, I’ve been dying to go for months, but I’ve just been so busy lazy. Anyways, enough with the self deprecating realization and more with the reaction explanation. I loved it. There were feminist, pro-gay bumper stickers, and the walls were literally coated in books by women, books for women, books about women, and even books attempting to deconstruct men (good luck.), and the long and short of it was that I was thoroughly impressed. However, I don’t think they were too impressed with me, I had been biking all over the city, taking the worst routes, most of which led uphill or into potholes, and I came in dripping in sweat. Hopefully someone found it sexy. Or in the very least, tolerable.

    I ended up picking up my first ever edition of Curve, and a book on gender studies, and I felt pretty good about myself. I’ve been dying to pick up Curve, but, surprise surprise, most magazine stores don’t really carry it. I guess I’m not exactly the target audience of most conventional retailers. Actually, I’m starting to think that not only am I not the target audience, but I’m, even more so, the audience that they don’t want hanging around their stores. What’s with the lesbian hate?

    In other news, I am blogging, yet again, from the airport waiting room. This time I’m waiting for my plane to come in for New York. Matthew and I are going to be at the Hudson until Tuesday, which means I may be missing a date or two this weekend (yikes!), but I’ll recover. I’m really excited for New York, the last time I was there I went with the hipper, and better off, members of of my student body. This time, we’ll be sure to be sipping lattes and people watching in the gaybourhood. How exciting! I’m really excited to take in all the local colour.

    Speaking of local colour, I was at a tranny bar last night! It was my first time, and I actually liked it quite  a bit. The bar’s called Play. And I’m not too sure if it’s just an all around tranny-friendly place, or it was simply tranny-performance night, but I have a soft spot for the trannies. And they have a soft spot for wind machines, apparently. There was a wind machine on the side of the stage where Matthew & I sat, and the performers just loved the wind machine so much that they ended up looking our way a whole lot, and I made “significant” eye-contact with 2/3rds of them. Love me some trannies.

(First posted: 24/07/08)

Snip, snip.

I woke up this morning, ground up some Fair Trade, organic, light roast coffee, boiled some water, French pressed and sat down on a chair across from the couch. Only to be told that I need to get a job and move to a shitty, subpar apartment. Why? Because I “cost too much” according to my mother. And any money that goes towards me is actually money that could be in her pocket, so I need to cost nothing so she can get more plastic surgery, or something.

     I don’t understand that woman. She’s suing my father for the entirety of his retirement funds, and also for all the money that’s supposed to be going towards my tuition. In essence, every cent that would have ever gone to me she believes belongs to her.  So I’m done with her. I’ve made up my mind, and I’m done with her and her fucking deceptive bullshit. I don’t want to hear from her, I don’t want to see her, if I were to run into her in the street, I’d shoulder slam her and keep on walking.

    My mother is the same woman who sent me to therapy, the same woman who tried to drive me off the road and threw plates at me and told me she was going to jump off a bridge and that it was basically my fault when I was 12 years old and oblivious, is taking away my future. I’m done. I’m not putting up with her for one more second. This is the very end of my traitorous relationship with my mother. She is dead to me as of a minute ago.

    This whole escapade has made me appreciate my nature so much more, and made me realize that if I don’t become self sufficient, and quickly, that I will have nothing to fall back on. Because everything I thought I could fall back on has been stolen from beneath my feet. I can depend on no one, and I’ve known that since I was 9 years old and she would threaten me into doing my sister’s projects for her so she wouldn’t fail and she could watch television all day and still reap the benefits of having the gifted kid marks. The days of me depending on anyone, even though I had recently learned that I could lean on my father, or at least I thought I could, are over. 

    I’m a little disappointed, because I didn’t really want to go back to being tortured-loner-by-choice Lauren, but that seems to be the way things keep working out for me. I’m so happy that I’ll be out of Toronto next year, because then she can’t show up at my doorstep and pretend like she’s a victim. 

    Anyways, I guess this series of events has given my new lease on life a kick start, I’m just hoping I won’t become terribly bitter and have to own 12 cats in order to make up for the friends I’ll probably lose in the process.

(First posted: 18/07/08)