My favourite album of 2013

I don’t keep up with current music the way I used to. That happens in your 30s when you’re not in the entertainment industry. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it will.

When I heard that Monster Magnet (Wikipedia entry) – one of my all-time favourite bands – was releasing a new album and doing a North American tour, I got a little excited.

Here’s how I told Sean:

Texting with Sean about Monster Magnet
Good thing I know how to get caps lock on my phone.

By the time I got home from work, Sean had already purchased tickets to the show. He’s good like that.

I listened to the pre-released tracks online, put the release date into Google Calendar and scoured music blogs for any information I could get on Last Patrol. On release day, I purchased the album from iTunes as soon as I got home from work. I’ve played it constantly ever since.

An aside: Tracking and learning about music (and everything else) is so much easier in the internet age. That really makes me appreciate the work and effort music (or any pop culture) superfans put into their fandom pre-web. Zines and tape-trading took more effort and likely cost more when you don’t include computer/smartphone/internet costs (since those are used for more than supporting your fandom). Think of the postage costs alone!

The concert date rolled around and I was getting a little worried. The show was on a Tuesday night and it was going to start late. Going to work after a late night isn’t as easy as it used to be. Sean and I arranged for a friend to babysit. I was looking forward to having a night out with Sean to see a concert that I was really excited about.

My early morning after a late night never happened. The show got cancelled the day before it was scheduled to go on. Suck it, influenza. Sean and I were bothΒ  disappointed, but probably not as much as the guy I saw on Facebook. He said he was flying in from Thunder Bay just for the show. I really felt for him – I’m not sure if he was able to cancel his plane ticket.

Sean has recently gotten back into vinyl and he’s been expanding his collection. As much as I appreciate digital music and its portability, rock music sounds so much better on a turntable. Sean picked up the vinyl version of Last Patrol, and the gatefold really makes the artwork pop. This record was pressed on orange vinyl, which makes it extra cool. Sean’s turntable is set up in our mancave and I snapped some pictures of the album last night (click for larger image):

Monster Magnet's 'Last Patrol' on vinyl
Rock music really does sound better on vinyl.

Have you read this entry and still not looked Monster Magnet up on Youtube? Here’s the official video of the first single, ‘Mindless Ones’. If you like your rock music heavy and with a bit of trippiness, you will like this.

Do you pay attention to music? How do you keep up with your favourite bands? Tell me about the music you love.

Do you exercise at home? I need advice.

Sometimes I feel like my body is just something that carries my mind around for me. My mind-body connection is tenuous.

I’ve decided that this is the year I’m going to get more active. I have a sedentary lifestyle – my work and my hobbies are very computer- and technology-based. Except for reading, which exercises my mind. So my mind is reasonably sharp, but my body is…less than sharp.

I’m fat. Most of the time I’m okay with it. Well, maybe ‘okay’ isn’t the right word. I don’t beat myself up about it too much. Not openly anyway. I believe in buying clothes that fit me as I am, not buying clothes I’ll shrink into someday. I believe in small improvements, not complete short-term overhauls I cannot possibly maintain.

But sometimes, I wish I didn’t have to eat to stay alive. That makes me so angry. The act of eating is – and should be – a pleasurable one. A life-sustaining act shouldn’t be filled with such guilt and shame and neurosis.

I know I need to move more. I’ve spent the last few weeks (months? years?) figuring out what I’d like to do to be able to introduce more activity into my life. Everything I want to do seems to have barriers: too expensive, not enough time, worry that I will look stupid in front of people who I wouldn’t give a shit about if I wasn’t feeling so vulnerable in front of them.

I can’t sit at my desk and listen to my ass grow bigger without trying to do something about it. I need this body for a long time.

So for now, I’ve decided to go with streaming fitness videos at home. I don’t want to buy a pile of DVDs, do them a few times and never use them again. I also figure I can start exercising in my bare feet at home – I haven’t had a good pair of running shoes in years. I’ve found a few sites online that I can join to access full-length workout videos in a number of genres. I’m also considering a Fitbit – I’ve heard good things about them, and seeing the stats of how much I move (or don’t move) in a day may encourage me to move a little more. That can’t be a bad thing.

Flora recently discovered my yoga mat and she likes to “ex-ter-cise” on it. (I love how she says exercise, and I never correct it.) She got it out to do some yoga (her latest issue of Chirp magazine came in and it featured simple yoga poses). She’s pretty good. I asked her if she’d do exercises with me, and she said she would. We’ll see if that happens or if it turns into me exercising and her doing colour commentary on my technique.

If you’re a fitness video junkie, which ones do you like? I like yoga and am intrigued by Pilates, but I know I need to do more traditional cardio stuff too.

Any advice is welcome. This stuff is so new to me, and maybe just a bit intimidating.

Winter is still fun, but spring would be welcome any time

This video was taken last Sunday, which is an eternity in the world of online videos. I’m posting it anyway because looking at us having fun in the snow reminds me that winter isn’t 100% terrible.

I am so sick of winter. Fortunately, I’m not sick of making a jackass of myself for my family and the internet in general. You’re welcome.

Snow Angels from Melissa Price-Mitchell on Vimeo.

When I told Flora that I’d make snow angels with her, Sean wanted to be sure to capture it for posterity.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada
This work by Melissa Price-Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada.