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I first heard Beirut at a street festival

- by admin

I was standing in a back lane eating the tiniest radishes that I'd bought from a girl who grew them in her backyard and looking at hand-made soaps and someone started playing it on a boombox that they were carrying around with them like it was the 90's.

That summer I was living in my tiny one-bedroom apartment in Roslyn Manor and the next time I heard it was while drinking sangria in my claw-foot tub trying to fight off the sticky summer air.

My apartment overlooked a narrow courtyard and the apartment across the way was playing it with the windows open.

We all had our windows open that summer.

In the still-warm days of early fall I went camping at Grand Beach with a huge group of girls that I barely knew and in the evening we made spaghetti squash over the campfire and drank wine out of a bag and the next day we went to the nude beach and danced with nothing but sand on our bodies.

While we were dancing it came on the iPhone playlist we were listening to and I sang along through my wine-induced haze and ate cherries from the a picnic basket that also got covered in sand once the wind began to pick up.

I was single, then, and the autumn days were long and beautiful and the nights were longer and even more beautiful and as the winter came and I found myself in love and at the start of something new I heard it one last time at a bakery sharing a slice of key lime pie and drinking coffee.

We watched scattered snowflakes and I felt as though I was closing one book and opening another.

Hearing this song again today for the first time in years it's hard not to feel that way again.

Funny what music can stir in yr heart.

Tags: Music Thoughts


Week(end) wrap-up

- by admin


I'm writing this on a Sunday night in my fleece-lined leggings and one of John's sweaters. I've been largely absent since last week (except Hip Hop Sunday, of course) because I wanted to spend a weekend getting back in touch with the other parts of my life that I let lapse sometimes.

I went to the gym Fri/Sat/Sun which felt amazing; I've been going a lot more regularly and in addition to feeling a million times better I'm seeing results both in how my body looks and in terms of my strength. This week I learned that 5lbs more weight can make a huge difference in how I feel after lifting weights!

Last night I stayed in and worked on an old painting I started months ago. I'm awful for starting an art project and letting everything else in my life get in front of finishing it, so it felt great to sit down and actually work on it again. Btw, all my painting are for sale so if you're ever interested in buying or commissioning a piece, give me a shout!

Today was simple: sleep in, gym, client work, some Wii, and a nice chat with my dad. After a few busy weekends, and feeling under the weather last week, it felt great to "reset" -bring on the workweek!

Here's what happened last week, too:


Last Thursday I tagged along with The Campfire Union crew to check out Complex Games' open house in their gorgeous office space in The Exchange District.


It was packed as eff in there -it got even busier after I took this photo!


I've been playing hermit a lot recently so it was great to get out and catch up with some familiar faces, like Kieran and his lovely girlfriend Alex!

Afterward we went home, ordered some Ethiopian through SkiptheDishes and caught up on American Horror Story. I'm obsessed with the new season!

Also if you're into podcasts and beer, and like podcasts about beer, John and I were recently on an episode of PubChat! Give it a listen here.


Hip Hop Sunday: Drake - Started from the Bottom

- by admin

Okay so Drake isn't really "hip hop" but I discovered this amazing Drake Paper Doll that CBC Music put together for Toronto Fashion Week and am obsessed with it

especially the "Sad Drake" face you can use Untitled

and, apparently, this totally repetitive song with this ridiculous video

which I've never watched before today, and am now obsessed with

because how Canadian is it to party in a Shoppers Drugmart?


Living on Lenore

- by admin

I've been living in a lovely house (aka The House at Bear Corner, if you ask John)

for almost two months now.

It's been a huge adjustment for me.

I used to always say "I'll never have roommates again, f that noise"

which of course wasn't true because I had a brief stint with a really nice girl in my old apartment before I moved

but this is different -this is a big, busy house with lots of traffic and action and emotions

(mostly mine)

which have mostly been emotions around things like

where did my favourite mug go?

am I hogging the kitchen too often?

why are there dishes left in the living room?

do I even have "alone time" anymore?


how long is the blanket fort staying up this time?10801932_10154864862610323_3578621124192642311_n

(This has been a bit of an adjustment, to say the least.)

Last night, after coming home from the gym and chatting with Alex

then hanging out with John and Les

I started making dinner in the kitchen by myself

listening to whatever came on my iTunes and puttering about while it cooked

and Les came back downstairs with a bowl of soup for me

for no reason

which was so sweet and thoughtful and made me feel really wonderful

and I realized that I'm finally starting to settle the fuck down about things

because living in a place that pushes my boundaries and

-for a while at least-

puts me out of my comfort zone of "My Apartment With Just My Things My Way"

is proving to be such a great experience, and a wonderful opportunity to grow.

Here's to my first winter on Lenore -hopefully the first of many.

Tags: Life


What Happened to.... The Lo Pub?

- by admin

"It was a shithole, but it was our shithole"

is what owner Jack Jonasson had to say about it in this very sweet and moving little video from The Uniter about my favourite, now-defunct, watering hole The Lo Pub.

Lo was located in a HI Hostel a few blocks away from the UW campus and it's where I spent the majority of my spare time as a first-and-second year student.

I made a lot of memories in that tiny, often over-crowded, noisy little bar.

It's where I attended my first Secret Handshake.

It's where I met Colin and got to know him, Kevin and Adrian who I count as very dear friends to this day.

It's where I saw too many bands -both good and abysmal- to count at this point.

It's where my friend Skot Deeming threw his gr8bit and Data Dance shows.

It's where the Winnitron Indie Arcade Machine lived for a good long while.

It's where I met Abstract Artform for the first time, before he whisked us away into an evening of beers and way too good karaoke.

Most importantly, it's where I spent a lot of time hanging out with people that I loved, and a special place that will always hold so many memories.

Here's a post that I wrote when the Lo Pub closed; it's still hard for me to read.

Places like the Lo Pub live on in our memory and our collective consciousness. They remind us of times, thoughts, and feelings that we let slip away in our day-to-day lives.

Every time I go by the space where my the Lo Pub used to be, my heart swells with pride and also breaks a little bit, and I mourn for the days spent over beers and vegetarian poutine at my favourite shithole.



- by admin

_MG_8801It was my birthday yesterday

I'm 27 now.

Which isn't a huge milestone but it gave me pause to sit back
reflect, think
on the year that's come and gone
and how crazy things have been.

I was fired from my first big-girl job
I left a long-term relationship
I lost a lot of so-called "friends"
I've been called all of the awful things you can call a person
and then some.

I cried more than I ever have in my life.

But in all of it I managed to find so much.

A 9-5 that challenges me and is allowing me to grow
Freelance work that's engaging and exciting
Gaining new friends
realizing the amazing potential in older ones

Opening my heart up to someone new

which was the scariest thing of all

but obviously the most rewarding.

It's crazy to think that
not too long ago my dad was sitting in a hospital with my mum
holding her hand as I was being born
instead of golfing
on November 11th, 1987, in Winnipeg, Manitoba

which is the craziest thing of all to consider

because when the fuck hasn't it snowed on my birthday?

Tags: Life


Peter Capaldi did the sweetest thing

- by admin

by sending this video to a 9-year old Autistic boy, as The Doctor, to help him cope with his grief.

Screen Shot 2014-11-08 at 5.29.08 PM

Once again showing us what kinds of wonderful good the internet is capable of accomplishing.

New life goal:

- by admin

to have a statue of me placed at a famous historic site à la The Hoff.

Tags: Wtf-2


Hip Hop Sunday: NWA - Express Yourself

- by admin

This is what I'll be listening to this afternoon while I bottle my first batch of home-brewed beer which is pretty cool.

Wound up getting up early for some reason and used the time to write my review for The Spill Magazine, schedule some Facebook posts for a client, and make a crazy breakfast based on my favourite (kale-based) dish at The Tallest Poppy.

The extra hour is doing me good.

Happy (Daylight Savings-Inspired) Hip Hop Sunday!


yr girl Shaner

My skin is stained with fake blood

- by admin

which got me a couple of weird looks at the gym today -especially the giant red line down the side of my face, but, oh well.

It was worth it to dress up like zombies and hand out candy last night though.

I hadn't handed out candy to kids since I lived with my parents and since I live in a really family-friendly neighbourhood I expected kids to come in dozens but they didn't which surprised me. I was also unimpressed with the groups of older kids who just showed up at my door wearing regular clothes and a weird hat or necklace or whatever.

Are kids these days really that lazy? I wore my witch costume back-to-back for like four years because my mum said I was "too old" and still went out.

Even I knew that no costume meant no candy, duh.

Anyway. I also experienced this moment:


Kids these days!

Once the trick-or-treaters died down we inhaled chicken and a few drinks and headed to The Park Theatre to check out Evil Dead: The Musical which was un-fucking-believeable.

We had front row seats in the Splatter Zone because obviously that's what you do at a show like that.


The opener was an Elvis impersonator who shot fake blood onto the crowd by jerking off his fake-blood-filled watergun. He also threw stuff like fake spiders and snakes into the crowd and (almost) did the splits. It was incredible.


The show was phenomenal of course. The actors were great, the songs were hilarious, and it felt like the perfect thing to do on Halloween.


By the end of the night were covered in fake blood and my face hurt from laughing and smiling. Perfect.

Hope you had a Happy Halloween, too!


yr girl Shaner

Tags: Halloween Life


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