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Poor Old LJ

I'm sorry livejournal, it seems tumblr has taken over at last. It's not even that I post anything over there either, but it's where I probably will when I do. It's also where all the people have gone. I don't think I've seen anything on my friends page apart from an rss reblog in months. It's a bit sad. I am sorry we have grown apart. You were always there for me, deal Livejournal. Back in the deep angst of teenagedom and the insanity of university, the multitude of "eljays" with a mosaic of privacy settings and a variety of themes (personal blog, angst blog, busking/travel blog, stream of consciousness/figuring-out-my-throughts blog). From learning the hacks like custom mood themes to sticking with the same icon for years... Ah Livejournal.

I suppose this means we're through (for now). You know I'll occasionally visit, and maybe even update once in a while. But, really, I believe I have migrated away.

Find me now at prettyfrocks.tumblr.com

Up up and away!
I am listening to the Amelie soundtrack at the moment, and there is no way I'm not watching it when Josh gets here.

So! September! Too cold to busk! I had an awful and depressing time looking for a job, but am now decently employed full-time at a bakery in the Byward Market. Every morning I hope to find better employment, but by the end of my shift I am pretty confident that I can do this job for a year(ish) and not lose my mind. I work the counter, fetching pastries, slicing bread, ringing up the till, making espresso, cleaning up, etc. I get lots of opportunities to practice and learn more french, though for some reason everyone speaks spanish. I also get to walk through Centretown, down Sparks, past the War Memorial and the Chateau Laurier every day. Sometimes I stop on the way home to sit and read in the red Adirondack chairs near the NAC/Congress Centre/War Memorial and read. I love this city.

I might be apartment hunting again soon. I'm still itchy and want a clean slate.

Oh! And this weekend is Oktoberfest! Because I'm volunteering tomorrow I get in for free for the rest of the weekend! I was originally planning on camping there, but that might be a bit much. This year I will definitely remember mittens though.

There. September.

Seasons turn

It may not be fall officially yet, but it certainly feels that way. It makes busking more challenging. Apparently the rest of this week is supposed to warm up, though, so that'll be nice.
I won't be heading to Saskatoon for quite some time now- my place on their waitlist is far enough back that I won't get in 'till next fall. So now I am spending much of my time applying for jobs. Every kijiji and JobBoard posting that I qualify for (and some that I don't), and won't lose my mind doing gets applied to. I am not even remotely keeping track of them all. I've got two interviews tomorrow, so my fingers are crossed that I will have something before it gets too cold to make money busking.

Right, I am hungry and possibly high on modpodge fumes, so I am gonna go eat pizza cones.
Peace out, folks.

The Fall of Sparks Street

So, I mentioned a while back that Sparks street now requires a licence. Well, turns out they are enforcing it even when there are no festivals going on. And after many people inquiring whether I'd be busking at BuskerFest, well, how about I just repost a rant I wrote in response to one such question:
I have kind of a hate-on for the Buskers Festival and Sparks street in general. Sparks street has no idea what busking is, chases legitimate buskers off their street (as of this summer) unless they pay $100 for their licence (I believe the byward market licence only costs slightly more than that- and has foot traffic for more than two hours a day). My biggest peeve is that any time they have an event, rather than support artists from Ottawa, they import "buskers" from Toronto. Every. Time. Gah! It really gets under my skin. It's funny, because it's not even the city, Sparks St is privately owned, so they can do as they please. It would be fun to get all the awesome performers and artists to do a counter-buskers fest down Bank. They have a grand total of three local performers at the official "International Buskers Festival". And if any local performer wanted to, you know, actually busk, they would be kicked off the street in a heart beat.

They have one of the city's historical streets hostage and are just starving it of any chance at culture.

Save Sparks Street!

Unrelated to this (or possibly related, as they also busk by Bank and Queen, a block from the damnable Sparks St), check out The Four Roads: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Four-Roads/308771839186772 They are some cool kids from the UK playing around Canada. I have enjoyed listening to them while I was busking myself. Give 'em some love (and some coins if you see them playing!

EDIT TO ADD: http://goo.gl/maps/BmVlq here, have a map of places I think are the best to busk. Also, keep and eye on http://www.ottawafestivals.ca/ festivals are excellent places to busk!

On dealing with hecklers

So I am getting better at this- not breaking character when being heckled. I am still far from perfect, but compared to past years I am doing stellar. Most people are not trying to be dicks. Most people simply think they are funny. They all think their joke is completely original and freaking hilarious. Or they actually don't notice I am a living person covered in paint. Or they are just drunk and dumb. But after working a 7-or-8 hour day (opening the store for 9am after an hour's commute), and at the end of 'shift' of busking, I am just tired and sore and my patience is pretty worn out. An impatient living statue. All of the contradictions, right here. So while I yell a "what the hell?!" at someone who yanks the flowers out of my hand and keeps walking I don't curse and quickly get my stuff and get back into character. I've cut back to just saying a simple "rude" (without moving anything but my lips) when someone grabs me or my props or jumps at me etc.

Sometimes, though, I really need to ask someone to back off. And this is the tricky bit. I am at my politest (and remember I work retail, I can be polite to nearly anyone), and just say that I am very sorry, but I am going to have to ask you to move. That this is my job, and I am not trying to be mean, but I really need to get back to my act/not have someone immediately beside me smelling like booze and talking at me, blocking my hat (maybe not that last bit). Of course, it doesn't matter what you say to an unstable, drunk, homeless man who has spent the past three days telling people he is going to marry you. Inevitably you get threats, and insults and cat calls and slander to passers-by (passers-by can clearly see he is drunk and lives on the streets, so they don't give it his words much credit).

The other issue, where I lost my temper tonight, is when people just ignore you. I had a man standing beside me (like, scant inches away), doing his own statue bit. Drunk as all hell. His friends put weeds in his hand. After a decent period of time I gave him the spiel- please back off, jerk- but nope. He keeps on statuing. So I let off. Not long, no swearing, but still. It's just infuriating to be mocked while your feet are in serious pain, you are exhausted all manner of other regular busking things. Ung.

So, dealing with hecklers? I am steadily improving, but still have a ways to go.

True Patriot Love

I suppose I will begin with the obligatory I-am-really-bad-at-updating-this apology. Sorry. Things happen, and then they are done, and then they are past and I don't feel like writing about them, or I don't think anyone will care to read them. And then there's too much to update on and I just shrug and say that nothing really's been up or happening. I do this in real life as well. If I haven't seen a friend for a while my answer to "what have you been up to?" is inevitably "meh, nothing."

So what has been up? Well, I am still working occasional shifts at the store, due to a few staff member having big bad things going on and I'm not about be a selfish jerk about it. That being said, it's only a few shifts a week, and most of those shifts still allow me time to busk.
Busking itself goes well- Canada Day is tomorrow and Bluesfest starts next week... I busked both Westfest and Rib fest. Westfest was wonderful, as always, with families and happy people being lovely. Ribfest was decent, got told I need a licence to busk on Sparks street, since Sparks street doesn't seem to understand what "busking" is. I don't mind. I can just as easily busk just near Sparks, on Queen, or Metcalf or Bank. Or, you know, all of the fesitvals everywhere. Ottawa is brilliant for festivals. Something is always going on. Anyone who complains nothing happens in this boring city is clearly not paying attention.

In other news, my roommate has decided to move back to Toronto, meaning I have the apartment to myself while I find someone new to share rent with. I am interested to see just how messy or clean I am on my own. So often dishes remain undone as I don't believe they're mine or the floor is filthy even though I don't wear shoes in the apartment. We shall see! No excuses! Tonight I made two cakes (one gluten free), and accosted the floors with broom, swiffer, swiffer wet things, and diluted bleach. They will stay clean dammit!

There, that should tide my anxious readers (ha!) over until I am full of Bluesfest rage!
So Battleship delivered on its promise of ridiculousness and explosions. It was actually incredibly entertaining, I must say. I think next time I see it I will have to be playing a drinking game, though.

Oh, so I quit my day job. Yup, this summer I am busking full-time. Here's hoping that all our rain happens at night! I just can't stand being inside, working my retail job, watching beautiful sunny days pass me by. I've been at the store for almost five years, with only 9 months or so off to travel/live in the UK. Even the best retail job (which this was), is too much after that long. So I am trading last-second customers and unreasonable complaints for regular compliments and encouragement. I still have to put up with abuse- maybe even more- but the positives so far outweigh the negatives. And, hey! It worked when I was travelling the country! So, yeah, praying for warm sunny days.
I am terrible blogger. I don't think I'm even a blogger. Maybe when I have to reprint my business cards I'll transfer away from livejournal so folk stop giggling at me when when see that's where I'm at. I probably won't though, because, well, it's me.
So busking season has officially started! Protip! Don't wear Keens or other super-support or whatever shoes/sandals! I still haven't got feeling back to part of my big toe! Bare feet for the win! You can move your feet and toes easily and without passers-by observing! Please note that bare feet are a terrible idea on milk crates, though. I am very pleased to have replaced the milk crate with ye olde reliable stool. The very same stool that wandered around Canada with me. We have a pretty good thing going.

In other news- Comic Con! Ottawa's very first! It was pretty freaking amazing. I love being surrounded by folk odd the way I am odd. Promdemonium was the same thing. If I could take all the people who went to both events, I believe would could set up an incredibly successful and freaking rad commune. True story. On the cosplaying front, I have learnt a very valuable lesson: always, always make sure you get 4-way stretch fabric. It is the most important thing ever. The second most important is to always make sure you have a needle and thread about your person. Safety pins are not so safe around your upper thigh.

Moving on! I've read cards for paying customers a few times now. It's nice to be confident in one's skills, even if they are really weird ones. I unfortunately told one chick that she was about to go through a really crappy break-up, another lady that she should totally go for it and retire (I didn't know that was something she was considering), another lady that the things she is worrying about so much are going to be just fine. I like playing with my cards. Even the one's I'm not entirely familiar with, like pentacles, are still really... I don't a way of saying it without sounding completely crazy... friendly? Anyway, it brings in a few extra dollars every now and then. Maybe I'll set up in the market one day when I don't feel like wearing a ton of paint.

I actually managed to avoid and dodge this Ani Difranco binge for a few weeks! But as that's what I'm currently listening to, with no desire to change the music, it's probably back again for a bit. And I am totally okay with that.

I'd talk about my social/personal life, but I'm really not going to. 'Cause I doubt it is of interest to anyone but myself and, well, it's not for your ears, my lovelies (I like to pretend I have lovelies, just go with it, okay?)

I love this photo.

Asking Too Much

Another year with terrible weather on April 20th. Every year I intend to busk for the hordes of pot enthusiasts at Major's Hill Park and Parliament Hill, but every year the weather has been too cold and/or wet for me to be able to. It's a shame, as we would all win: I would make some cash and the high kids would be entertained. Ah well, maybe next year.

The Ani Difranco binge comes and goes. Life wavers between vast expanses of frustrated boredom and too much socialising all at once that makes me swear I'll really make it as a hermit this time...
Oh, and I have been eating terribly, drinking too much, spending too much money and I think this stuffed-up-sneezing-allergy-thing is from my roommate smoking on the balcony, which I am not about to ask him to stop. I am hoping my body will just get used to it in the near future.
Tomorrow I am going to wear a ridiculous blue dress with my hair as big as I can get it and dance and get pretty stupidly drunk. Because I am classy.
It's 2:30 in the morning and I cannot sleep. I don't know why I can't sleep, as I was up fairly early, and had quite a full day. When I lie there trying to sleep, everything seems to become unreal. The world around me, my memories, myself. All that I know feels like it was simply a dream. The past few days- as I lie in the dark- seem to have not happened.

It's all so odd. Up until recently, I've not had a problem with sleeping. In fact, I am quite good at it.

Maybe I need more physical activity during the day? Eat better? Nothing that I can fix right now, unfortunately.

So I'll just ramble away on livejournal, in the hopes that I will bore myself into blissful drowsiness.

(It's not that I am desperately tired and cannot sleep- I am just not tired right now. Which is not so great, as I know I definitely will be tomorrow. Blast!)


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