Rez Morning Routines

My mornings have drastically changed since the start of the school year. They’re more interesting and just as confusing as why cats chase laser pointer beams.

The first month, I always wanted to be on time for class. Coming from high school where you have to be on time, I thought if I was late once, it was all over. Nowadays, I like to take my time and be a bit late for class. The cool thing is all my teachers don’t have a problem with me showing up a few minutes past the hour. Where am I when I should be in class? I’m in line at Tim Hortons or enjoying my shower too damn much to rush. This doesn’t mean I don’t care; I definitely do give a shit about my schooling since it burned a hole in my wallet. There are just some days where I like to take it slow.

Since I’m a hard person to wake up in the morning, I have an iPod docking station with an app set to get me up an hour before class starts. Five late classes and one missed class later, I’ve learnt The Asteroids Galaxy Tour and Bob Marley aren’t the best artists for “wake up” music. Lately, the old iTouch blares “Baby, One More Notch!” by Blind Witness. Nothing says good morning like a 20-something-year-old French-Canadian yelling “Tabernak” at me.

Aside from pounding caffeine into me to get me energized for the day, I’ve tried and failed with different techniques. Exercise didn’t mix with an early morning wake up and yoga told me I couldn’t balance. Even if I added them to my daily routine, I don’t think I’d be any more ready for the day.

One time, I woke up thirsty and being the kind of person that hates tap and bottled water, I broke out the Brita filter. Being half asleep, I wasn’t exactly all there. Next thing I knew, I was back in my bed with the sheets all over the floor and some wetness on my Ghostbusters t-shirt. Apparently, while I was in zombie mode, I turned the shower on, put some clothes next to the sink and plugged in my Nintendo 64. I still don’t know how I accomplished that but I was pretty proud I could do more half asleep than fully awake.

Overall, my routine is pretty basic. Wake up, check emails, shower, bathroom stuff, eat, head to Tim Hortons then to class. I don’t know how I got through high school on four hours of sleep without a large double double. Since I live in Rez, I can easily go back to my room during one of my four-hour breaks after an early morning class. However, when noon rolls around and the caffeine kicks in, I can’t bother dragging myself back to my room for a mid-day nap. Living right beside the school also pisses my friends from Mississauga and Burlington off when I tell them how hard it was to get to class. Can’t wait to see what mornings are like when I start on the Sheridan Sun.

– Matt Main


Belated Interview with: Strand of Oaks

It was a week before Christmas when I saw Strand of Oaks perform for the first time.  I actually didn’t intend to.  We’d planned toarrive fashionably late to the Wooden Sky show so that we wouldn’t have to sit through the interminable opening act.  I should have trusted the guys in The Wooden Sky to line up a decent opener.  In the future, I won’t blow off opening acts for events such as this.

We arrived late, of course, and stand in the back of the church, surrounded by the guys from the main event.  Eventually, we find a seat on the bench of the organ in the back.  We’re elevated above the audience, the acoustics are spot on in this sublime little church in the heart of Toronto.  Around us the world rages on, and for the next few hours, we’re completely isolated.  This sounds fantastical, but at times the room seemed to shimmer with the crisp notes of a lone electric guitar.

Tim Showalter, a short, stocky, long-haired guy in skinny jeans is filling the room with unexpectedly sweet notes.  Even after the show, the lyrics stuck in my head.  Of course, it may have been the best show of 2010 for me.

I managed to catch up with Showalter about a week later.  And for a long time I didn’t write anything about it.  It was a rough night, I had an interview right after my chat with him that didn’t go nearly as well, and I didn’t think I could do Showalter or Strand of Oaks justice.

But I’ve been listening to his albums pretty steadily since, and being a supporter of his Kickstarter project I’ve just received his demo tape of his new album Pope Killdragon.  It’s personal, and in many ways it’s quite different from his final product.

Showalter is personable, a Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania native, he’s a schoolteacher turned musician.  He’s personable in a way that puts people immediately at ease.

The problem with writing about Strand of Oaks or Pope Killdragon or Leave Ruin, is that you can’t come close to explaining it.  It’s sad in a heavy way, but an uplifting way as well.

Pope Killdragon is a sad album, not as sad as his first album Leave Ruin, but sad in it’s own way.  The song, Daniel’s Blues, is a fictional account of Dan Akroyd after the death of John Belushi.  The story had intended to be humorous for a tribute record for a friend, but ended up sad and melancholy.

“When a comedic actor plays a dramatic role, it’s so much more poignant.  Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love is heartbreaking,” says Showalter.  The beauty of absurdity is that it’s often linked so primarily with sadness.  We share the same views of how tragic the profession of comedy is.  Sometimes the funniest people, are the saddest.

“There’s beauty in obtuse things.  I honestly don’t know what some of the songs are about, I have a feeling, I don’t know specifically, they don’t have to hear me complain about a particular break up, they can make up their own story,” says Showalter.

“I don’t think a lot.  I don’t overthink.  I don’t think they’re good or bad, I just wrote it,” he says, explaining that a lot of the songs aren’t necessarily allusions to anything specific.

Showalter has a sort of free-form approach to music, it seems like he can play so casually.

“I worry about my guitar coming unplugged or will my pedal stop working not about will I sing well,” he laughs, on the topic of stage fright.

“World war one vets explained all the awful stuff they’d seen through fantasy,” explains Showalter, perhaps hinting at where his stories take root.

“Sauron was J.R.R. Tolkien’s answer to Hitler, raising orcs and what not.”

It feels difficult to really do justice to what Strand of Oaks is really capable of.  Check out his albums here!

– Bryan

Sheridan Fashion… Ryan – Art Fundies

– Steph Martyniuk

Grammy Fashion Do’s and Do Not Do’s

Ah the Grammys! Always night for some badass fashion. (Lenny Kravitz. Need I say more!?) Some celebs reallllly nailed it! My other top choices:

  1. Pop princess Selena Gomez who killed it in a gold J. Mendel. What a beautiful girl seriously, stunning.
  2. Ryan Seacrest’s babe Julianne Hough rocked a bold printed Malandrino number.
  3. Everyone should consider entering his or her next party in an egg. That’s all I’m going to say.
  4. J.Lo . Dang! Girl worked it in a long-sleeved silver Pucci. Those legs! A real woman right there.
  5. Jennifer Hudson in Versace. She’s looking soooo good lately. The dress, the hair, the shoes, the jewelry.  Amazing.

However… some just didn’t impress:

  1. Really Nicki Minaj? (Lady Gaga: ’09 ACE gala anyone?) Its been done. As much as I love Givenchy… just no.
  2. Although I’m quite the fanatic for shear clothing, I really didn’t enjoy Rihanna in John Paul Gautier. (but ask any male and they’d probably have a different opinion…)
  3. Miranda Lambert failed miserably. That dress. Ohhh that strapless dress did not fit her… at all.

Speaking of Miranda Lambert failures, that performance of  “house that built me” was just so boring. Snooze fest indeed.  My favourite performance on the other hand, even as short as it was, was John Mayer, Nora Jones, and Keith Urban’s take on “Jolene”. Ugh it gave me chills I loved it SO much! The Rihanna, Eminem, Skylar Grey, and Dr. Dre mashup was super good too, along with Mumford and sons who were amazing as always! Totally upset me though that they lost for best new artist to… wait what was her name again?

To sum the night up, the fashion (for the most part) was a hit and the performances impressed. But Seth Rogan totally stole the night for me. Ohhhh Miley.

– Steph Martyniuk

Sheridan Fashion… Megan – Visual Merchandising

– Steph Martyniuk

Do We Really Need a Day to Celebrate Love?

I was in the bathroom of a swingers club just outside Toronto when I really started giving thought to Valentine’s Day. I was on a documentary shoot as an extra with some fellow students. A gorgeous blonde haired, blue-eyed friend of mine was fixing her make up in the mirror. When I asked her what her and her beau were doing for this magical, annual day of love, her answer was nonchalant.

“The thing is…. We don’t really care about it,” she said in a voice that was almost a whisper of confidentiality. It was like a secret that she did not care. In fact, she couldn’t give a flimsy paper heart or an overpriced box of chocolates about it.

On the other hand, I have a friend, and this friend is single. She hates February the 14th. No, that’s not right. I would have to say she loathes it from the top of her head to the core of her being.

Going out with her around this time is hazardous because anything pink or red might make her gag. She’ll roll her eyes at cards, and the very mention of the day itself makes her cringe. Forget about any kind of love song. She’s not alone. I know a people who have plans to sit around with their single friends and be bitter.

What the f$#! is the deal? The dating girl couldn’t care less, and the single people have to sit around and hate it?

Single? You spit on Cupid.

In a relationship? It’s just money you have to spend. Bingo.

This is what we call common ground, kids. This is a complete revelation on behalf of this day, which has been the subject of love, and possibly even more hate over the years.

My totally bitter friend said that even if she were in a relationship she would hate today because it’s commercialized. My dating blonde friend realizes it’s hype.

Lisa Simpson said it best: “…it was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney, homogenized, and sold off piece by piece.” Every word in that sentence summarizes V-Day to a T.

Yes, the corporations pump cash into today and they play your heartstrings like an electric violin. The thing is: WE ALL KNOW IT. We are smart capable human beings who know we’re being sold stuff we don’t need. These are syrupy messages of what the media thinks real love and true romance is, dyed a blinding pink or purple and covered in sparkles. If we’re all aware this day is essentially mass manufactured why do we care? Why don’t we just treat it as another day?

We give corporations too much power if we know this day is just about cash flow and it still gets us angry, depressed, upset. There is one way to have a possible happy Valentine’s day.

Whether you’re seeing someone or you’re doing the single salsa, don’t buy cards or candy. Tell the people in your life you appreciate them with your words. Sit down to coffee with your parents, your best friend, your roommate and tell them why they make your life better without so much as a single bouquet of roses.

-Riley Wignall

Sheridan Fashion… John – Art Fundies

– Steph Martyniuk