Friday, June 29, 2007

Brylcreem and Brooches on AMC

Just watched a promo (a "making of" ) on AMC for Mad Men - a series by Matthew Weiner.

It takes place in 1960 at a top New York ad agency and details the work and personal lives of the men and women that make up the company.

Of course, I'm completely in love with the idea of it. I was so glad to hear the confession by Weiner that he's a bit of a fetishist for the "look" - going so far as to make sure the fruit in the fruit bowls on set were the right size for the era. It looks perfect. I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that it's good and complex and deep too. The promo did it's job - I am looking forward to watching the premiere episode.

My only concern is how they will manage to tell the stories without unintentionally condoning the reality. If, as they say, they are treating the sexism and racism of the time period accurately then the show might not actually provide a lot of roles for actors who are not white men. You see where I'm going? I don't want revisionism in drama, don't get me wrong. I'm just a wary of opting for a setting that might inadvertantly provide the same roles it did then to actors now - although I am sure the writers took this into consideration.

In one clip from the promo, the main ad man, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) talks to a black waiter in a restaurant. The white maitre d' comes by to make sure the waiter isn't being "too chatty" - and Dan, surprised, assures him they were just "having a conversation". Realistic and sympathetic - but the black actor (in 2007) is still playing a waiter. Granted, this is not the only role available to him anymore - and perhaps there is much more to his character and his storyline than I glimpsed. But it still gave me pause.

I guess Sopranos had similar issues. If you were an Italian actor, hurray. If not, please move on to the next show, thank you. But I don't think that should've prevented the Sopranos from getting made. And I wouldn't want to prevent Mad Men from reaching screens either. Like I said, I'm eagerly anticipating it and I certainly won't judge it till I've seen it.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, emerges from Mad Men. Will it be popular? Will it instill a certain nostalgia in young white guys for a time that perhaps looks pretty swell from the outside? Will it influence women's fashions? (We've already been tilting towards belted waists and Spanx.) Will it push smoking back into vogue among a certain set? The repressed office atmosphere of the time - rampant with casual sexual harrassment - will be an interesting contrast to today's office equality with-a-broader-cultural-side-dish "raunch"*.

One scary thought - what if this is just Entourage (a show I can't watch more than 20 seconds of) set 47 years ago?

As you can see, for all my love of Nostalgic Americana, I have reservations about the actual conditions of the time. So now I wait till the show airs.

Anyone up for a premier night cocktail party? Suits and frocks required. Gimlets served.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Books, Books, and More Books

I went to Indigo's website and checked when the 2008 Writer's Market comes out and how much it will be.

Then I noticed at the bottom of the page, a little section called "May we also recommend?" based on, I presume, what I had clicked on.

This is what it said:

May we also recommend...

Dead Reckoning by Robert C. Brewer


UFOs - 7 Things You Should Know by Robert C. Brewer.

At first I thought this was some sort of omen (Publishing is deadly! You seem delusional!), but I soon realized that the compiler of "Writer's Market 2008" and the other books share the same name save one initial.


Ran into friend and former Starbucks regular, S., yesterday. She is a voracious reader and asked me what I'd been reading lately. I've been reading Agatha Christie. (So had she!) I read all the Poirots (I think) when I was quite young and now I'm old enough to appreciate Miss Marple. So far I've read:

Murder at the Vicarage - a very funny book, narrated by the Vicar of St. Mary Mead and the first Marple book
They Do it with Mirrors - takes place at the Serrocold home for delinquents that Christie set a few mysteries in
4:50 from Paddington - a murder witnessed as two trains pass in the afternoon

If I could, I'd read them all in Harper Collins' hardcover "facsimile editions" (click any of the above). They've re-issued some Marples and some Poirots with fantastic old covers. They're not cheap, but I did find one at a used bookstore recently.

I haven't watched any of the BBC series with Geraldine McEwan yet, but I hear it's very good. It airs on CBC and PBS too.


Also read:
Mobile Library: The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom

Still reading:
Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

To be read:
Enemies; A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer

To write:

So, what are you reading?

Note: As for whether I purchase used/new books; today I made a decision. Books by dead authors (or out of print books) I can buy used. Books by living authors I'll buy new or borrow from the library. I think it will ease my conscience. I'll let you know.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Public Service Announcement

I needed a plumber.

I thought about it. I decided to check the website for that show, Holmes on Homes, 'cause Mike Holmes seems straight as an arrow, and if he recommended a plumber, hopefully they'd be honest. There is a list of contractors on the show's website, so I clicked plumbing on the scroll-down menu and contacted the first one on the page. The plumber (who is actually the guy that does the work on the show) came in today and he was FANTASTIC.

He was Mike Richter from DanMac Plumbing and Drain Services Ltd and he was super nice, smart, efficient, honest, friendly and very reasonable. I will definitely call him again if I ever need a plumber. They're based in Etobicoke, but I suspect they serve the entire GTA.

There you go. Isn't that the most useful information you've ever gleaned from this blog?

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Just bought Dan Ho's new book, "Rescue from Domestic Perfection". I'd never heard of him before. Apparently he's going to have his own show on the "Discovery Health Channel" - I hope that doesn't ruin him.

The book is wonderful. I feel like it reminds me of how I used to think about style. Somewhere along the way, I started feeling "if I had more money, everything would be prettier" - which is definitely not how I grew up. Even my parents got a bit caught up in the past decade with cooking shows incessantly showcasing gadgets and appliances.

Anyhow, Ho's philosophy is both old-school and refreshing. In terms of stuff, he asks you to evaluate what you own based on:
1. Singularity - is what you own original or someone else's idea of what's "stylish"?
2. Legacy - could you pass it on? would you want to? would anyone else want it?
3. Adaptability - do you have a kitchen gadget that does only one thing that you use once a year? (and... why?)
4. Value - not just cost, but "aggravation" value - is it worth it for you to grow your own tomatoes if you're just going to spend more energy and time and money fighting bugs? maybe you'd prefer to buy them from a farmer's market insetad?
5. Emotion - what is your emotional resonance to your belongings? did you inherit a weird china pattern from your grandma that you stash away? Ho suggests you use it and let it remind you of where you came from and who you love

I'm only half-way through the book, but I already feel somewhat liberated from both the insidious expectations set up by home & lifestyle magazines,and my own expectations. I'm reminded of why I have a blue and yellow and periwinkle and red apartment (yes, for real). And why I have a collection of "adopted" chairs and red mugs that match nothing. Beyond that, though, the book constantly reminds you that the point of it all is love and joy - as corny as that may sound. The point of having dishware is so you can eat on it, and enjoy doing so with family and friends. So simple, so obvious, but good to read nonetheless.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Summer in the City

Denis McGrath has a pretty good analysis of the Eckler/Apatow knockoff knock down on his blog, Dead Things On Sticks. Eckler's own missive at Maclean's is here.

The Toronto Fringe Festival is starting up soon. I plan on seeing James Gilpin's Bride of Sasquatch. Beatriz Yuste is a funny gorgeous woman, and I'm going to try and support her. Check out the "Bride of Sasquatch" facebook group or the Fringe program for more details.

The Worldwide Short Film Fest runs June 12-17. Time to start perusing programs.

Lastly, the Luminato festival is on in Toronto right now. The programs are so varied and each sounds so fantastic that reading the website makes me dizzy. There are both ticketed and free events spanning dance, music, literature, theatre, visual arts, and "celebrations". Tonight Lila Downs plays at Harbourfront (free), and the National Ballet has a live simulcast of their performance at the Elgin Theatre (free, but tix required). All in all, from what I've seen and heard from others, this is a festival worth keeping.

I almost forgot! Booked!, "a new reader's festival" is on now too! I've missed most of it, but there are still two days left, including A Tribute to Stephen King tomorrow at the John Bassett theatre.

Please comment on what you've seen or intend to see!

As for books, I've been on a bit of a nonfiction kick, reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. It is absolutely fascinating, and very worthwhile if you want to learn a little bit about your own subconscious. I've reserved his previous book, The Tipping Point from the library.

I also read Oliver Sacks' An Anthropologist on Mars. In the past year or two I have developed an intense fascination with neurology. Sacks deals with seven different cases in this book, which is a really interesting overview of several neurological disorders, including Tourette's and Autism. I found that when I was done, though, I wanted to research some of the cases in more depth on my own. I think I'll have to clear a whole shelf as I go through Sacks' books. Some good companions to 'Anthropologist' are Dr. Temple Grandin's own book , Animals in Translation, as well as the documentary and website of Dr. Duncan McKinlay, Life's a Twitch.

Right now I'm reading fiction again: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I'm only a third of the way through, but it's terrific. I wish I'd read it five years ago.

As for the writing, I've got 62 pages to go with the first draft revising. Not bad, but not great. There are two parts of the manuscript that desperately need surgery of some kind. I'm just not sure which kind. And if I amputate, will I have to write up a whole prosthetic to help the thing walk? What? You got a problem with my metaphors? Huh?

Ok, let me know what events you're attending. Or don't. Toronto's not that big, I'll probably see you there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Sound travels strangely in apartment buildings. I know this. I know that the hammering that feels like it is RIGHT behind my couch could be coming from anywhere in this building.

When I had full-time jobs that took me out of my apartment this wasn't a problem. There would be the odd tapping and banging, but nothing to get me irate. I invented a character to explain the various sounds away: the Carpenter Chihuahua.

Often, the tapping was light, and then there would ocassionally be the sound of a bell bouncing around on the floor - that is, my ceiling. For some reason, a chihuhua wielding a small hammer came to mind. Perhaps he built curio cabinets. Or mini race-tracks for his little cars. And obviously he had a collar that had a bell on it - which he did not wear, but rather, constantly pushed out of the way.

Now, however, I am home, and the incessant tapping, banging, hammering (not loud enough to really complain about, not long enough to tune out - just these short bursts) is making me CRAZY. It's beyond curio cabinets. He's obviously building wooden maquettes of the wonders of Europe. He probably on to Pisa now. Jerk.

And what do I do? Stalk each corridor till I locate the sound, then call security and say, "I know where the chihuahua is!"?

No, I'll just stay here, going crazier. Screw him. I'll teach my cat how to use a jig-saw and make metal sculptures so there will be grrrinding metal and screeeching metal all day long and then we'll see who's crazy.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Miracle Water

50 Cent share of Vitamin Water just went up.

When I saw everyone drinking those in L.A., I should've known, I should've known.

Oh well...

hat tip "haute gossip" via "hip candy"

Monday Morning

I usually keep this post apolitical, but there's nothing like silencing dissent old-school to leave a bad taste in your mouth after breakfast. (It wasn't just my attempt to add both strawberries and maple syrup to my oatmeal.) I'm not a fan of Chavez, in case you don't glean it from the link.

Belatedly, on a similar topic, blogger Sandmonkey has decided to shut down for his own safety while the State Security buzzards circle overhead. He added one more post after the one I link to wherein he describes his reasons in more detail.

Well, topics to research, articles to write, progress to make...

Thursday, May 10, 2007


melodramatically swooning on chaise lounge, hand fluttering up to forehead

I haaaaate revising. I looooathe it.

I'm not really on a chaise. I'm at a cafe on Santa Monica called "Cafe Marco". Fun vibe, full of folks on laptops, free wi-fi. I've been sitting here revising for an hour.

I also eavesdropped on two men talking about parrots while waiting for my coffee.
I also ruined my iced coffee by putting Splenda in it. I keep trying to like Splenda, but it tastes dreadful.

I also found this article about opposums and their genetics at the Globe and Mail website.

Now I'm going back to revising. Really.
No, I'm lying. I'm going to add one more thing:
I also bought this skirt at Target the other day, and I'm wearing it now and I loooove it. I looove it as much as I haaaaate revising.

Ok, there. That's all. Poor pitiful woeful me will go back to her dreadful wretched revisions now. sniff

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

R.I.P. Isabella Blow

Sadly, the style-eccentric with the eye for impeccable talent, Isabella Blow died Monday May 7th. The Los Angeles Times obit is here and it seems to be (at a glance) less salacious than The Daily Mail from the U.K.

I was shocked to see Ms. Blow mentioned in the past tense - I'd only ever seen her in clips on fashion television shows, but she seemed like a force to be reckoned with. Apparently though, behind the panache she had suffered from ovarian cancer and depression.

I expect that Vogue, Tatler, and plenty of other fashion mags will write up tributes, and we might hear from Alexander McQueen and others whose careers she helped fledge.

I only knew of her through television, websites and magazines, but I'll miss her. Like Kevyn Aucoin, she made her mark in an industry that sometimes seems to favour gimmick over quality, by always honing in on quality. She was a muse, an icon, and a guard of high standards. I think I'll wear red lipstick tomorrow in her honour.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Slurpee Sadness

I went a-walkin' in Los Angeles today. I walked and walked to get my free comics at Meltdown the comic book store (not to be confused with Meltdown the grilled cheese emporium).

It was hot out and as I neared the 7-11, I thought, "I haven't had a Slurpee in years". So I went in. Imagine my horror when I discovered that
(a) the Coke flavour wasn't ready yet
(b) there was NO SPRITE flavour (?!), and
(c) all the other flavours were either revolting or trying to be healthy

Crystal Light Sugar-Free Raspberry Lemonade?
Tropical Orange Full Throttle Frozen Fury (with ginseng, taurine, caffeine, and guarana) - like a slushy Red Bull? What's a "tropical orange", anyway?

Anyhow, all the other flavours were unappealing, so I chose the raspberry lemonade, and it was vile. I threw it out at Wendy's, but kept the Spidey cup, and bought myself a Frosty instead.

The difference between American and Canadian slurpees are here: "...the Canadian product is heavier and wetter, the difference being that the American product is injected with air and is therefore drier. This is why you can feel that itch in the back of the throat when you drink it--that's the air bubbles. The American stores have been using Cornelius equipment where as in Canada we have been using Taylor for years . Although both machines perform for their specific markets, they do create different products".

That explains part of my revulsion. Remember when you could just mix Coke and Sprite and know exactly how it would taste?

Also, did you know that Winnipeg, Manitoba is the biggest consumer of Slurpees in North America? Someone's already making a documentary about it. I wouldn't have predicted Winnipeg. I guess Tim Horton's didn't open enough locations there or something.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Fly Sweater

Remember those Weight Watcher's Recipe Cards from Pound?

This is very similar, but in sweaters.
So painful, but so good - and it's spawned a 'send your own hideous sweater pic' site called The Sweater Guy.

Oh, I had some bad bad sweaters in previous decades... but luckily for you, I don't have photos of them. Synthetic yellow with silver threads, a fuzzy white one with a primary colours house scene (kindergarden teacher hott), and the "gee, I hope this makes me look feminine enough so that a boy looks twice at me" pink Cotton Ginny. I wore the pink Cotton Ginny monstrosity EVERY FRIDAY FOR A YEAR, so a certain boy in grade 8 in a particular class would notice me. It didn't work. Luckily.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


I'm sitting here, using ALL my ENERGY to write a new first chapter for the book. I've written 122 words and I hate each one.

I think, "Arrrgh, this is like bloodletting". Then it occurs to me that bloodletting is actually easier. In bloodletting, the leeches do all the work. In revisions you do all the work.

I say, bring on the leeches.

Too Much Information

If you know me at all, you probably know I'm a little bit obsessed with hair. Here are some places I've discovered on my travels that I thought I ought to share with the general public. Only read if you're as obsessed as I am.


1) Gregory Parvatan cuts curly hair and knows what he's doing at Rapunzel in Toronto. I'm sure I've mentioned him before.

2) In Vancouver, Granville Street hosts clubs, bars, crepes, and Sugarbox. I didn't go there, but they seem to know what they're doing, and were very nice in returning my phone call.

3) WAX on Melrose in Los Angeles. Horrible horrible website, but beautiful salon (like stepping into a Wedgewood place setting), with extremely COMPETENT and well-mannered estheticians who do what they do VERY WELL. I HIGHLY recommend this place. They've been written up by Daily Candy and were featured in a funny article in L.A. Weekly.

One of my estheticians there said that she moved to L.A. from Oakland, where she worked at her parents' salon for ten years. She said, "When I moved to L.A., I worked at an eyebrow salon, where all I did was wax eyebrows. My mother couldn't believe I could make a living off of just eyebrows, but that's L.A.".

4) And speaking of specializing, there's also Queen Bee in L.A. They only do bikini and eyebrows. Again, I haven't been there, but they seem to talk about waxing like they take it seriously. And really, if you're going to pay someone to rip your hair out by the root, they better take it seriously!

There, that's my good deed for the day. You're welcome.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Live Longer, But Don't Sing Happy Birthday

I found this website called Unhappy Birthday.

It is a satirical rally for all of us to uphold the copyright of the song "Happy Birthday". It even suggests we pay ASCAP personally when we sing it, and tattle to Time Warner when others do. It's a funny idea - to drive both ASCAP and Time Warner crazy by deluging them with reports of copyright infringement every time people sing the song in a restaurant.

The most galling info on the site is here, though:

"While the copyright should have expired in 1991, copyright has been extended repeatedly over the last quarter of the twentieth century and the copyright for Happy Birthday is now not due to expire until at least 2030."

There are three links on the site that offer more on the history of the song.

If you want to think more about it, there's a wikipedia page for the Copyright Term Extension Act. And there's an article from two opposing views on BBC news page from 2004.

One of the arguments for copyright extension is that people live longer than they used to. Since copyright expires 50 years after the author's death, I'm not sure how this is supposed to matter.

Anyhow, isn't time we just open-source a NEW happy birthday song? Why do we need to sing a happy birthday ditty owned by Time Warner? There are different songs in other languages anyways. Let's just stop singing "Happy Birthday" in English, and let Time Warner hold on to a worthless ditty.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Heart and Club, Light and Sugar

"The moth flies at night in June and July and is attracted to light and sugar."

Subtitute my name for "moth". That could be my company - Industrial Light and Sugar.

The above is a random wiki find. I was searching "quinoa" which turned out to be a type of "goosefoot" which is eaten by the larvae of certain "lepidoptera".

Random + Nerdy = Joy!

This picture, below, is not the Heart and Club Moth, but it makes for a cooler picture! Good thing I don't publish the news. Learn more, if you're so inclined, at "Your guide to the moths of Great Britain and Ireland".

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring in Vancouver

Sad parachuter,
Forlorn amidst sakura,
Fading with blossoms.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring at the Farm

It's neither winter nor spring here in T.O., but it's definitely spring over at Farmgirl Fare.

She has posted the cutest picture ever!

Jon Katz and his Donkeys

Over at Slate, I occasionally find myself following the story of Jon Katz's move to the farm, and subsequent acquisition of two donkeys.

His latest piece is The Donkey Who Couldn't Stand Up.

I like it. There's a link in the story to his earlier pieces too.

Go and read them. You'll feel better.

(And don't worry, the above clip-art was free.)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Show Me the Bunny

Don't ask me how I found this.

You know when you just need to see a picture of a bunny? No?
You back there - yeah you, trying to sneak out of the auditorium - you know what I'm talking about.

Just for you, here is a gallery that will show you random house rabbit photos. All you have to do is click "show me another photo".

That wasn't random enough for you?
Here's some more randomness:

(1) Here's a link from the Sugar Association regarding sweeteners on nutrional labelling and calling for more clarity:
Help them eschew obfuscation on food labels.

(2) Tom Ford finally buttoned up his darn shirt. Not that I like him any better for it, but thank the Lord for small mercies.

(3) A List of Things New Mac Owners Should Know.

Go to Kingston! See Fine Acting!

You don't get out enough.

So, make some plans with some friends, and drive out to Kingson and see some theatre.

Kingston Theatre presents Bernard Shaw's "Candida" at The Vogt Theatre. Buy tickets here or call 613-544-2021.


I got cornered into joining Facebook.
It's a weird tentacled social interface.

I'm not sure if it's worthwhile... yet.
I think if real face-time with somebody comes out of it, that'll be cool.

Facebook seems like yet another place for me to make social faux-pas.
When you try to quit Facebook, one of the reasons it lists - 'cause you have to tell them why you're quitting - is "Causing too much social drama in life".

Which begs the question, why bother?

Though somewhat aimless, it's kind of addictive too.
With a blog I get to babble on as much as I like, and you can either read or not, as you like.
Facebook is sort of a conversation, but it's mostly shallow conversation - like waving to a lot of people as you pass each other on the street. What do you think?

Anyhow, Fast Company is featuring Facebook and it's creator on their newsstand cover, and there are some blog posts by the author here. They ask, "how much money is Facebook worth?" while I ask, "how much of my time and energy is Facebook worth?" It doesn't have the nickname "crackbook" for nothing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


So, I gained weight in Vancouver. Not that much, but enough to bother me. I haven't done anything about it yet. However, here at Stumptuous, is a jaw-dropping and eye-opening post which includes photos of cross-sections of a woman's thighs and hips. If that doesn't motivate me, nothing will. As a woman, I'm blessed with fat to spare, which is natural, but I just don't want the current extra helping.

Anyways, that'll be the last time I blog about weight. 'Cause pink blog + shoe posts + weight rants = a bit much even for me. It sounds like the Lifetime network around here.

hat tip Mich, of course.

Human Foosball!

From Squiddity, a link to a HUMAN FOOSBALL court.

This is genius! This is a game I could PLAY - no running around!

The only drawback is the little figures on the actual foosball table are usually in better shape. Or at least, better shape than I'm in!

Foosball, by the way, is table-top European football - aka soccer. It's fun even if you play really badly... not that I'd know anything about that.

You and Her and Everyone You Know

Miranda July, writer-director-actor of the 2005 buzz-collector Me and You and Everyone We Know has a joyously low-tech-style website up for her new book of short stories, "No One Belongs Here More Than You".

I really liked Ms. July's film, but even if you didn't, you should still check out her website. It's been the highpoint of my day.

Hat-tip: Ludickid

Question: If I upload a publicity image to my laptop and then post it here, is that still stealing bandwidth?

Need a husband? Like "Entourage"?

I hate "Entourage". I can't watch more than 15 seconds without frown-lines deepening all over my face. It makes me misanthropic, and by that, I don't mean loathing humanity, I mean it makes me hate men. But I digress.

Boy genius, Ryan has linked to the Economist's View blog which refers to a February 2007 National Geographic map of the distribution of single men and women in the U.S.

Ryan feels vindicated - he knew there was a shortage in L.A., he just couldn't prove it.

The b/f and I debated the meaning of this map. My initial reaction was, if all the guys are like those on Entourage, then the gals are likely to leave. Possible. His theory was that if all the Pretty Girls and Homecoming Queens move to L.A., they make the normal-looking girls crazy and they leave. Alternately, the description from Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fits too:

"I mean, it's literally like someone took America by the East Coast and *shook* it, and all the normal girls managed to hang on."

Ok, ok, I'm kidding. Mostly.

One other theory I had was entertainment & video games vs. publishing & fashion. I have no research, but if more men are in the former and women in the latter, then it might explain SOME of the distribution. I really don't know.

It's a lonely-looking map for heterosexuals, I'll say that much. Time to start the lame ice-breaker games. Somewhere in Kansas.

People with Arches - Pay Less!

I have flat feet. I can't wear those cute little Audrey Hepburn-esque ballet slippers. My feet look like two loaves of Italian bread if I do. However, you out there might have arches, and if so, check it out, yo. Payless is following the lead of H&M and "Tarzjay".

Payless" has hired some designer I've never heard of from some label I've never heard of, to design them some wicked shoes & bags!

There are some heels in the collection, yes.

But I've declared a moratorium. (Lavish gifts still accepted.)

So, no, I can't wear them, but maybe you can. And check out the cute li'l clutch too!

Of course, they're all man-made materials or fabric, so forget about your toes breathing. But, for a pair of cute slides and purse for under $40, it's not bad. Not bad at all... The only thing you need now is a friend with a yacht!

April Snow Brings... What Exactly?

My friend's last day in Vancouver looked like this:

Words do not suffice.

Now I'm back in Toronto. Again. Looking towards L.A. - again. Toronto is cold and windy and snowy and rainy. Not very nice, but still home. It has an energy, a pace, that will always feel comfortable.

Since my last post, I read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Well worth the read.

More pics and reporting soon.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Bill Hartman on Pantone 16-720

So M@rla posted a comment at Maspik that linked to Bill Hartman with a really good summation of women's so-called fitness magazines. Mich (at Maspik) has blogged this topic before, but I like the way Mr. Hartman lays out the goods.

Not that I work out anyways, but y'know, I like to stay current.

running and ducking before some fit person hits me with a nerf bat

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Picking Up New Slang

Smarty Cows is officially my new favourite term.

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Yesterday I debated the importance of joy and sensuality in food against the idea that food is only fuel.

And today, I feel vindicated by the following study:

Women who included high-fat dairy foods in their diets had less risk of anovulatory infertility.

Of course food is fuel; I don't advocate eating french fries and cake all day. Well, not every day.

However, to feel guilt for choosing a regular potato instead of a "superfood" like a sweet potato, or to always shun peanuts in favour of almonds, 'cause almonds are "better for you" takes away the spontaneity and joy of eating. What if you just feel like eating peanuts? Doesn't our own history as a species indicate just how well the body can survive on limited staples?

Sure, I'll add brown rice to my diet - but I won't give up white rice. And I fight the creeping guilt I feel with all the so-called "nutritionally empty" foods. I grew up with white rice and I was a pretty healthy kid. I believe in moderation and seasonal eating, and above all, enjoyment of food. So go out, have that full-fat yogurt or chocolate shake and think of me.

This is hypocritically pomegranate sorbet, but it's the only photo of ice-cream on my computer.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Original Score and More

Penelope looks sweet in the pink, even though it's an ashy pink. Hugh Jackman is a hunka hunka burnin' love (I said it) as always, but what's goin' on with his hair?

Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire look like they're about to break into a little song and dance number - they're so Cute, both of them. Like they've been teleported from a 1920s vaudeville show. Kirsten's dress is original, and very her, and a nice change from the off-the-shoulder and strapless numbers, but I still don't like it.

A steal for original screenplay - Little Miss Sunshine. Very nice speech.

I received an email with a thumbs-up report of Reese Witherspoon and yes, she looks gorgeous. I still like her Golden Globe yellow cocktail dress more, but the night-coloured ruffled edging on her Oscar dress is a sexy frill to a classy dress.

Better go see Dreamgirls. I like musicals anyways. Beyonce hasn't been spotted in red in a while - looks good. And this song is such a great showcase for her voice! I'm impressed.

Anika Noni Rose's red dress (for the performance) is divine. A little "Night Splendor Barbie", but still, it does what it's meant to do.

Checked the "Fug" blog - Naomi Watts is preggers! Oops - that's exactly who should wear an empire waist! "My badliness." She and Liev Schreiber make a cute couple.
The question though (am I just out of the loop?) - is J.Lo officially pregnant?
I think certain members of the audience perhaps do not know that Travolta is in Hairspray - maybe they think he just came out?

Queen Latifah's dress is beautiful.

Commercials again, so here's what my fortune cookie said:

A loved one's concerns are of utmost importance at this time.

Uh, aren't they always? That's a totally redundant fortune for me.

Will Smith just introduced another montage, that I didn't quite catch the director or the point of.

Kate Winslet looks well-dressed as always. The mint green is refreshing, though it's not my favourite colour. Not the best dress ever.

Jodie Foster looks divine! A little Sarandon on the bodice, and a little dated Lisa Rinna on the hair, but over all, when she walked on stage, she warranted a wow.
Helen Mirren's awesome win - with purse and earring in hand.
Diane Keaton looks amazing!!!

Oops - got a phone call - and missed blogging to the end. (See, I do have friends.)
Forest Whitaker's speech was beautiful and inspirational.

I predicted Departed winning - my phone conversation partner was predicting The Queen.

Alright, that's it. Any further thoughts I have on dresses, speeches, etc. will be posted another time. Or never...

More Oscars

The babble while the winners go up to the stage is intolerable.

But I'm glad Ennio Morricone is being honoured.

I'm surprised that Clint Eastwood would repeat the common mistake of not wearing glasses if one needs them to read the teleprompter.

I wonder if the price on the Morricone cd set at Indigo will go up now. Hm...

Mais, c'est Celine! Qu'est-ce qu'elle fait ici? I wish she was singing in French. Is it just me, or does Morricone look like he's trying to figure out why someone put lyrics to his tune? Or is he wondering wether the contract served him well for the royalties on every copy that Celine sells? I'm so cynical. The bottom of Celine's dress is un peux etrange. Like she's wearing a bustle. This song is not moving me at all.

Clint should've taken that opportunity to have someone fetch his glasses.

I like the fact the Ennio is not trying to speak English, but is expressing himself in the language he is most comfortable in.

Aw, and his tribute to his wife is gonna make me cry in my noodles.

Down to the Count

Please don't let Abigail Breslin win. I don't like it when kids win Oscars. It just doesn't make any sense. I think children see acting differently than adults. I think it's a very different process for them, and it's not comparable.

I haven't seen any of these films except Little Miss Sunshine.

Jennifer Hudson is so sweet! I'm glad she won, even though I haven't seen Dreamgirls. And it was moving to see Beyonce tearing up a little, which I'm assuming was out of empathy.

I do want to see Babel.

Eva Green's dress is nice, but choosing the colour putty is a bit evasive somehow. I like the risk of wearing something that looks ethereal and vaguely barnacled. Gael Garcia Bernal looks unsexy, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't invite him over.
I didn't catch what the short doc that won was about. I'm curious about all of them.

I'm not a big fan of Seinfeld, but he's being alright with his little, no, I take it back. I'm anti-litter in a severe way.

More in another blurb.

And we're back

Naomi Watts and Robert Downey Jr.

Weird - R-Dow is biting Patrick Dempsey's look, no?

Naomi Watts looks rather muted and somewhat ill-put-together. ( Did I just make up a word?)
The yellow is not as good as last year's Willams or Blanchett, but empire cuts are never my fave.

Damn, I hate the orchestra cutting off groups of winners!

Deneuve looks very classy. Is that Watanabe with her? Hott. I love that Isla and Sacha are yakking it up from their seats and yelling "Bravo!" when the camera's on them! (And yes, I am on a first name basis with them. What of it?)

Nice montage - I've even seen some of the films!

I tried to rent The Garden of the Finzi-Contini's once, but it was dubbed, not subtitled, so I returned it. Golly, I have so many films to see. Oh, lord, and the Bicycle Thief always tears my heart out.

Yay, it's CATE! She's a goddess - her and Clive can out-hot Brangelina, I think. Look at'em!
Cate, while again, not at her most dramatic, strikes a nice balance between flowy and edgy in that deep gun-metal colour.

The German director leaping out of his seat made me smile. Oh, he's so passionate - how lovely. Is this the first time someone's thanked Ahnold in an Oscar speech.

And Ellen's changed velour tux. More in a bit...

Emily Blunt and Anne Hatahway

Anne Hathaway looks exactly how she always looks. Nothing new. Black and white and a bow. Feel like I've seent his before.
Poor Emily Blunt has been brainwashed by L.A. Look at that fake tan. I'm not sure how I feel about the metallic blue. Actually, as the camera dollies back to her, I quite like it. I'm giving it a chance.

Typically, the costume designer is wearing a quirky little tux! Good short and sincere speech though.

EEK! It's the Cruise. Wow, Sherry Lansing is getting a humanitarian award? Who knew.
I'm impressed, but her speech sounds a little like a Bat Mitzvah speech. I can't judge, I've taken to passing out while public speaking.

Ooooh, Gwyneth kicks ass. And she knows how good she looks. The colour is smashing, and the hair and make-up is very Old Hollywood. I'm always so grateful to hear people like Rachel Weiss and Gwyneth Paltrow speak so well.

Another Pan's Labyrinth win. It's a lovely movie, but it's definitely not my favourite, and I had a specific problem with it. I don't think it will win Best Picture.

Gonna snarf some food (it's finally arrived).

More Oscar Free Association

Cameron Diaz is apparently getting married after the show.
Ok, ok, she looks mighty fine, but she's not taking my breath away.

Ha! Ben Affleck introduced as a screenwriter. Whatevah. And he is SO phoning it in. Blah.

Awright, they got me with this very adorable writery montage. And I usually don't like montages much. But they shoulda used some footage of Diane Keaton from Something's Gotta Give.

gasp Helen Mirren looks like a dream.

Tom Hank's hair is turning slowly into John Travolta's.

William Monahan is endearing.

Will the food I ordered ever arrive - oh, sorry - that has nothing to do with the "Ox Cars".

Meh. More commercials.

Oscar Blogging

Watching the Oscars makes me nervous. I only started watching around the sound-editing.
I'm watching them alone this year. so I've decided to blog them at the same time, 'cause the Fugster's current blogging isn't doing much for me.

So far, Rachel Weiss looks immaculate in silver platinum. Not daring, but I doubt there's been much daring so far, what with the stylist takeover of Hollywood in the last decade.

Jennifer Jessica Biel doesn't do much for me generally, but she does look gorgeous, if slightly casual in the fuschia jersey halter dress. Her arms rock, as always.

Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio standing side by side is like a study in large heads. Every year Leo is looking slightly more like Orson Welles. Which I dig. Al Gore, despite his good intentions, still creeps me out. Leo reveals his good boy side by calling Gore "sir". How cute is that!

More after the break. Links later when I find dress pics to link to.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Vancouver Pics & Cat Blogging

Here's That Clear Day - Late Afternoon

These Photos Really Don't Do The View Justice

Cat Blog... doo dee doo...

(Link hat tip to Squiddity & Bro.)

Cat Physics

Can someone please explain to me what is happening in this photo? Why is the cat's reflection stationary while the cat herself is blurry? This deserves an equation, no?

Lately my luck has been off. To whit, this past week included:
Broken glass in the dishwasher
Bugs in the broccoli
Cat pee on the sofa
Rental car collision

Please send good vibes in my general direction. (Yes, yes, you could help people who really need it instead.) Heck, do both!

Off to buy Cat Physics for Dummies... Have a satisfyingly restful weekend, everyone.

Friday, February 23, 2007


I took a picture of these two at a nearby Tim Horton's a few weeks ago. I like that their hair colours match their respective sweaters - though, to be fair, the guy's hair isn't technically green. I asked their permission to take and post the photo, but I interrupted their conversation and made them self-conscious in the process.

And I wasn't imagining it - there are fewer 'Tims' here than in Ontario.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

On a Clear Day

Today was absolutely the most beautiful day I've seen in Vancouver. The sun shone all day and giant cumulus cloud hung mid-way above the horizon, accentuating the mountain tops below them and the startling blue above.

I had to drive to Richmond this morning to be trained on a box office ticketing system. Did I mention I was volunteering for a local film festival? I've met some fantastic people while providing myself with the option of ongoing procrastination, and plenty of shortcuts to insanity.

What? What about writing?

No, I haven't got much done. But I'll make up for it. I promise.

To distract you, here are a lot of pictures. None of them are from today, though. Luckily, the battery in camera was dead while I was driving, 'cause I seriously would've taken photos while driving on the Granville Bridge. The view was breathtaking. In hindsight, photography while driving is probably not the wisest activity to undertake. So here are some of the photos I have taken in the past four weeks.

The lichen and the mushroom photos are for Tammy. I'm sorry the mushrooms on the stump photo isn't better. It was taken in Stanley Park, and the battery died right after I snapped that shot.


A View from Stanley Park

Mushroom Blur

Lichen II or "Muppet Trees"

Totem Zoom, Stanley Park

Title Not Required

More Water


Yes, But Do You Love Each Other in Esperanto?

Even More Water

Back in the Day, A Sculpture Could be Called This Without Sounding Provocative

I Had Never Seen Wood Ducks Before

That day I also saw a heron and two eagles.

Large Container Ship Prompted Thoughts of Consumerism and Globalization

The View From the Living Room Where I Am Residing

Coal Harbour Sea Walk

City of Glass

Wall Motif

Coal Harbour Seawalk II

Full Moon

They Just Call It De Dutch

De Dutch II

Horseshoe Bay

Nancy Drew, but Shannon Falls

Can you believe I bothered to steal that joke? Like it's not lame enough?

Breakfast in Whistler or Do Not Question Good Fortune

The View during Breakfast was Better than this Photo

The following photos were taken last Sunday on the way to the Chinese New Year's Day parade.

On the Way to Chinatown

Reflection of an Ice Pig or How Not to Take A Picture

It's okay to take photos of other people's children if they're this cute and blurry

This Kid's Braid was Fake and Attached to his Hat!


Hello Doggie

Lion Feet

Cool Dude Taking Photos

That's the Falun Dafa group drumming in yellow behind him.

Hipster Dude with Pinwheels on his Bike

Choy Cheng (Thank you, Google)

Choy Cheng - Zoom

Year of the Very Modern Pig

That was in a shop window.

Red and Green

That's it for now. I hope that will keep you entertained for at least three minutes.