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    She’s aware it’s all been done before…

    2011 - 12.28

    The past week has been absolutely incredible. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I’ve had the best week of my life – which is saying something, because my life is pretty okay.

    Tuesday was the first day of Hanukkah, which was very exciting. My half-Jewish boo had never celebrated before, so I decided to surprise him. Thanks to Aidan and Dan for helping a shiksa out. The variations on the classic dreidle games were particularly fun!

    We’d given each other a bunch of hints about each other’s presents, but he was still super pleased. Day one was cookies and a mixed CD (because no one had ever given him one before?!) He was pretty ecstatic…

    Wednesday was the second night, and my gift was a little self-serving – I took him to the Sloan charity show with Ohbijou and the RAA. I had to work until 8:00, so I missed Bonjay’s set and most of Ohbijou by the time I got down there, but it was really nice to have a reunion with all the ghosts of Sloanies Past. So many people from the message boards were there – Martina, Maddie, Cameron, Sideburns Dave, Adam, Nick, Alicia, Ruhee, Nat… plus people like Rochelle and Jess who were there purely for nostalgia. It was Harold’s first Sloan show and his first time meeting a lot of my Sloan people, and I was really anxious. Sharing a life-defining music experience with someone is a lot of pressure, and I was hoping so much that I hadn’t hyped them too much.

    As if seeing everyone who made high school bearable for me wasn’t enough, Sloan – my favourite band for most of my life – played their album One Chord To Another all the way through. I’ve seen Sloan 39 times now (you could say it’s borderline fanatic) and Wednesday was still my first time hearing some of my favourite tunes – G Turns To D and Take The Bench caused particular fangirling with Maddie. Much to my delight, they had a horn section (!!!) playing on Everything You’ve Done Wrong and Take The Bench. It was unreal. They also brought Leslie Feist up to play on She Says What She Means. I’m kinda glad they emphasized that it’s 1996 and not anytime after that, because Feist playing on any of the breakup songs Chris wrote about her might have been awkward.

    Harold had a good time – he said that the trumpet parts would actually be somewhat challenging to play, and that Sloan were an ideal mix of tight musicianship and relaxed attitudes. It’s his first real rock show in four years (jazz kids, amirite?) and I am pretty thrilled he enjoyed himself. Not understanding my Sloan love has been a dealbreaker in the past.

    Thursday was our weekly #loserkaraoke (Jess’s first! AWWW!) and it was Y week – the regulars do this thing called #ABCKaraoke, which means that each week means a new letter. I sang “Your Song,” (the Ellie Goulding version) and that actually seemed to go well – better, at least, than my attempt at “Guns and Horses” last year. Harold finally sang “Best I Ever Had” by Drake after his Y song. Pretty okay? Pretty okay! Gabriel was a complete sweetheart and gave me a vegan baking cookbook for Christmas, which means that he will get to sample everything. I want to learn to cook and bake more in the new year, so that’s perfect.

    Post-karaoke, we did our third night and proper gift exchange. We’d given little hints, and I guessed mine properly – he’s taking me to Halifax for reading week! I have waxed poetic on my Halilove before, and this will be my first time returning to the promised land since 2008. I’ve also never been during the winter – at least we miss hurricane season! I want to find a place to rent skates and visit Java Blend and spend a whole paycheque at Strange Adventures. We’re also fulfilling a longtime fantasy of mine: we’re taking VIA rail to get there. I’ve always had a not-so-secret fascination with eastbound trains (in part thanks to Suzanne Vega) and to finally take one is a dream. We’re flying back four days later via Porter. I am not a good flyer, so a friggin’ prop plane isn’t the ideal, but it’s hard to resist their boxing day sale!

    Oh, and we made it facebook official. Such a thing, you guise.

    Friday was Zaira’s birthday party in the deepest, darkest Etobicoke, wherein Paul (whose blog is one of my favourites and makes me green with envy at his workstation), Zaira, Harold, Sean Ward and I watched Home Alones 1 and 4. Sean went off on a rampage at YTV for cutting off the emotional climax of the first movie to play a Justin Bieber song in its entirety for no reason, and Zaira’s sister was kind enough to give us a lift back to the subway. Harold opened his fourth gift (underwear – heh heh heh) and we discussed our impending trip out east in more detail.

    Saturday was Christmas eve, and I got to spend it with my mother, brother, Harold, his mom and a puppy. Gift #5 was two ties, both skinny. As much as I love a good fondue, it’s obvious from my smile that the puppy was my favourite part.

    After dinner, my mother and I took part in my favourite holiday tradition: the Late Christmas Eve Shoppers Drug Mart Run. On Christmas Eve every year, we visit the 24-hour drug store and watch as all the drunk losers remember last minute to buy a gift for their ladytypes. There is nothing as SMH-worthy as seeing a thirty year old Jesse Pinkman type grabbing a bottle of Shania perfume and an extra-large box of condoms with the smuggest grin in the world. Ugh.

    This year, though, was disappointing – most of the customers were women who looked like they were there because they didn’t have anything better to do. That was a little sobering, because Mom and I definitely fell into that category… yet another tradition potentially ruined? C’mon!

    Christmas itself was better – we slept in, opened our stockings and gifts (we toned down the consumerism this year, which is great. I really don’t have room for actual stuff). Mom and Brian-Sean made breakfast (which included an Epic Meal Time-inspired dish called Jack Daniels candied Fake-on that all but glued my insides together).

    Brian-Sean’s girlfriend came over and we gave her the gifts we’d gotten for her, and she helped clear out my Goodwill/junk jewelry box. Yay! I really am trying to clear out everything I don’t need. I’ve got a move out deadline and ~2 years is going to come faster than I think. (Yay for being grownass?) Harold joined us for dinner at the Delta Chelsea, where the food was okay. Buffets in general aren’t inclined to deal with my fleshless diet. Still, it was nice being able to spend Christmas dinner with so many of my favourite people. I got back to Harold’s place, where we celebrated the sixth night. I gave him a frame for the fractal print I made him for his birthday, as well as the offer to put it up for him (so handy, you guys).

    On Monday, I went and saw The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo with my lady Samantha. I read the novel two years ago and only remembered the most basic of details, but I didn’t hate the adaptation. At this point, Fincher is the only one I’d trust to adapt any novel, especially if it’s dark and not particularly deep. Daniel Craig was yet again an intelligent, well-dressed man who fights evil while drinking expensive alcohol and seducing every woman on-screen. I guess there are worse reasons to be typecast. I do like Salander as a character and it did make me want to give the trilogy another go.

    And yesterday? Well, everything is back to normal. I have a few things coming up for which I’m pretty psyched, but the holidays are coming to an end. School resumes in less than a week and I’m only kind of looking forward to all my new classes. Still, with Halifax on the horizon and both jobs picking up? Everything is coming up Allegra.

    She Says What She Means

    2011 - 11.07

    Goodness, people on the internet sure are being nice to me today!

    When I woke up, I remembered that it’s the birthday of one of my favourite people of all time. Chris Murphy of Sloan (the bassist of my all-time favourite band, for those few who don’t know) turns [redacted] years old today, and historically November 7th is a day of small celebration for me. In the past few years I’ve gotten promotions, good grades and met some life-changing people. November 7th treats me well.

    In addition to hundreds (!!) of blog hits since the launch yesterday, a lot of people have been linking to me through twitter, facebook, and their own websites. I really do know the best people. If I don’t have you in my blogroll, leave a comment and I’ll fix that immediately.

    today has been so productive already. I earned another top mark in my favourite course (a practical, upper-level Institutional writing seminar), owned a quiz, and sorted out some academic and financial issues (Thanks, York Professional Writing Department!). Getting shit done (GSD for short) is one of the best feelings in the world.

    In other awesome famous-on-the-internet news, TheGridTO did a profile on my karaoke crew, and guess who was singled out as a highlight?

    I’m especially excited when a girl—who might as well have been Parker Posey in Spring Breakdown—turns the place into a gay nightclub as she jams out Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R” while the crowd throws their arms up and encloses her in looks like a throwback to MuchMusic’s Electric Circus.

    Dudes. DUDES. I WAS JUST COMPARED TO PARKER POSEY. Let’s ignore that her character in that movie was a thirtysomething uptight office manager who eventually lets loose. Well, I guess I WAS in business attire…

    There are 7.5 hours left in the day. Let’s see what else I can do. Maybe I get to see James this evening after a million months. Maybe I’ll go play with some puppies. Maybe I’ll just watch Sloan videos…

    You’ve unlocked the Restraining Order badge!

    2011 - 11.07

    FourSquare is a handy stalking tool. I can’t imagine it having any other purpose. Ostensibly, it’s a fun mobile app that a person can use to keep track of where they go and where their friends are going. I suppose it can also be used as an advertising for businesses. I, as a recovering High School Stalker as well as a collector of neckbeards, see it only as a way to know exactly where someone is at any given moment. That, frankly, is terrifying.

    I have an account. I held out for so long for exactly that reason, but gave in when I upgraded to iOS 5. I have 26 friends who more or less could follow me wherever I go, if they so chose. I could return the gesture. I know where my friends live (“Moxie Crimefighter just checked in to The Moxie Mansion! She’s the mayor!”), when they’re home, and when they’re not home.

    This is one freakin’ step away from a seriously messed up episode of Criminal Minds. A serial killer checks into his victim’s house and posts “A stupid dead girl lives here!” as a comment before bludgeoning the victim to death with her own Blackberry. For bonus points, he returns to the scene of the crime every day in order to steal the mayorship. At best, knowing when people are or aren’t home makes burglary easier.

    I know people with 2,500 “friends.” People I don’t know try to add me every day. Why would someone invite that kind of invasion? People you don’t want to see can show up anywhere you are, and it might not be coincidental.

    Obviously, my house isn’t a searchable location. My boo’s building, however, is. I spend a lot of time checked in there, and even then I’m uneasy. I could take issue with 26 people (whom he may not know) having access to information that he didn’t reveal. He says it’s no big deal, but I’m not so sure. I am also the mayor of my place of work. Anyone who wanted to follow me there, though, would be sold a pair of high-quality glasses.

    I had a friend of a friend send me a request a few weeks ago. I said yes, despite only having met him once. Within a day, he showed up to two different spots that I’d checked into. When he followed me to a third, I engaged him in conversation and he left, awkwardly. I deleted him as a contact and all is okay. It could have been much worse. That dude was probably just socially awkward. Not every person on the internet is.

    I’m just glad that 4sq wasn’t around when I was in high school. I’d be in big trouble. Natalia joked that my high school self would have had the worst intentions and very unsubtle check-ins.

    The Allegra who uses FourSquare is not someone who ought to have the privilege. Therefore, for the sake of my safety, sanity, and battery life, I’m deleting my account. Farewell, fountain of too much information. I knew ye well.

    Welcome, dudes and mitches.

    2011 - 11.06

    The original title of this post was “Something clever to come. Or maybe I won’t.”

    So this here is my fancy new website. It’s got a real URL and a mostly-customized theme thanks to Gabriel, who saved me countless hours of pulling out my hair and tapping keys at random hoping to find the secret “MAKE A BLOG” button. He’s a pretty okay dude, you know?

    I’ve had about a hundred blogs in my life. Music blogs, rant blogs, quotation blogs… but dammit, nothing worth maintaining. Blogs are what make people cool, right?* The only really consistent thing about my web presence is my username, Capnallegra. The origin of that (which involves Unfortunate High School Allegra getting the better of some bullies AND pre-dating the pirate trend by at least a few months) is sure to come. If I’m good for anything at all, it’s a story. These opinions are mine, and most of the vernacular is mine too.

    Sit back, relax, and enjoy.

    The macular degenerate

    *Blogs may not make you cool, but they get you into parties.**
    ** Which may or may not be the goal all along.