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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.

    I met my love at Pizza Corner

    2011 - 11.10

    I’ve never been much of a traveller. I took my first trip when I was 18 and had an unfortunate time. Somehow the beauty of Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco were all shadowed by family drama, poor planning and being surrounded by people who obviously didn’t like each other very much. The flights (six in all) were so rough that I vowed never to fly again. Saying that seemed a lot more doable than vowing never to talk to half of my family again…

    As soon as I got back, I met a dude and fell in love (he won’t be named, but he’s in my blogroll). Though he was living in Toronto for school, he was a born and raised Nova Scotian. He knew I always wanted to visit Halifax, so he whisked me away to meet his family for our six-month. Halifax was everything I’d ever imagined it to be. For a nineteen year old girl, in love for the first time, nothing was more magical than the salty atlantic air. I felt like I was in a Joel Plaskett song as I found all the landmarks made famous by Murderecords artists. To his credit, the boy put up with my fangirling and was an adequate tour guide. Sure, I couldn’t eat anything at the Chickenburger and the weather alternated hourly between -5 and 40 degrees, but I WAS IN HALIFAX. TRUE LOVE IN CITY FORM. THE PROMISED LAND. THE MOTHERLAND OF EVERYTHING I LOVE AND HOLD DEAR. HOME OF DOUBLE BRIDGES, FERRIES AND THE HIGHEST-GRADE TAPWATER EVAR.

    I was only there for a long weekend, but in those three days I felt like my life had been leading up to my arrival at Stanfield airport. I didn’t get to go exploring for myself, but I wanted to come back as often as I possibly could. I got to see Sloan play for free; we walked hand-in-hand through the Public Gardens; we climbed cliffs overlooking the bluest water I’d ever seen. I saw the city responsible for producing Chris Murphy and Joel Plaskett and Rob Benvie and Matt Murphy. Everything about it lived up to the hype, which was such a feat considering it was the only city I’d ever wanted to see apart from my hometown. I regret that I didn’t take ANY pictures, but I remember everything so vividly.

    Okay, that was a lie. There’s one photo worth sharing…

    It’s not easy being this cool, even while riding an orange electric bike.

    It was even better the second time I got to visit – the same boy’s family brought the two of us back for an entire week the following August. Armed with my camera this time, I documented everything. We explored more of the nightlife, we tried more food and saw more sights and were just MORE. We weren’t really on a time crunch, so we relaxed and went EVERYWHERE.

    That guy and I broke up over a year and a half after that second trip, and I still haven’t been back. At least once a month I will look at Porter flight prices and sigh wistfully. It wasn’t about him, and it had run deeper than the connection to my favourite musicians. Halifax and I have a connection, and I feel a wanderlust so powerful that it takes all the self-doubt I can find to convince myself I shouldn’t.

    A good friend of mine, Bevka, just moved to the 902 a few months ago for grad school. I’ve been dying to visit her. I just spent a week in Scotland this summer, though, so I can’t justify it to myself yet.

    Sean Ward is not helping the situation at all – he’s in NS covering HalCon and posted this on my facebook wall:

    My wanderlust has officially been reignited. I have to get back to the sea…