Sunday, August 24, 2008

Things I Don't Understand (Part I)

1) Because you want to SMELL like a High School Musical

2) I'm not opposed to spaces or design or guys or books. I'm just opposed to the advocacy of egregiously poor taste defined as "for men".

3) Why is the poster for TIFF 08 so boring this year? Am I the only one who finds it boring? Maybe having crummy eyesight and occasional attentional difficulties does not make me the biggest fan of "blurry" as a design choice.


Sometime around the year 2000, I worked on a children's show. The show was an adaptation of a popular series of children's books. Its main flaw (in my opinion, which no one asked for) was the casting of the Asian-Canadian character with a white red-headed kid. But my little story is not about poor casting choices on low budget Canadian TV. My story is about donuts.

I worked in the production office. Like any production that shoots on locations, we had location guys (or gals, but these were guys). The cars they used to scout and prep locations were rented. The rental guy came every Friday and dropped off an invoice. With the invoice, he brought a large box of donuts.

They were the best donuts I had ever tasted. I tried to memorize the address on the box, because one day, I said to myself, I would go out there and buy a dozen myself.

Eight years later (that is, today), my friend invites me to a movie at The Queensway - a theatre in Etobicoke. Suddenly, I remember that the Best Donuts EverTM were from Etobicoke! What was the address? Royal Oak? Royal York. But what was the name of the place?

I google. I find a list of bakeries and one stands out:

SanRemo Bakery

I know this is it. This must be THE donut place. I phone to make sure.

"Yup, that's us," the saleswoman says. "But we make our donuts once a day, and they sell out pretty fast. Do you want me to put some aside for you?"

So I go. I have a divine "mixed-berry" jelly donut. I had waited eight years for it, and it lived up to the memory. That's serious quality.

They opened the bakery in the '60s and it's still family-owned and operated. The donuts are only 80 cents each. You should go.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Reading & Writing

I'm taking a Fiction course through Gotham Writer's Workshop online classes. It's been a good kick in the pants and the homework has forced me to examine my writing in a healthy back-to-basics kind of way.

Maybe I'll post some bits of my homework later.

I'm also taking a Sketch Comedy course through Bad Dog Theatre. I took it more because the teacher (Rochelle Wilson) is an excellent teacher who observes well and critiques helpfully and fairly, rather than a burning desire to write sketch com, but despite my initial reservations ("why did i sign up for this? i have no time! etc."), I'm going to go ahead and see if I learn to write funny. Hm.

As for reading, the recent pile has been:

My Miserable Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy by Andrea Askowitz
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller
and stories by ZZ Packer and Tobias Wolff

On the Amazon wishlist, I keep looking at this funny book, Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog. It's about "diagramming sentences" - an old grammar-teaching tool I had never heard of.
It sounds like the kind of thing I would have loved learning at school.

I'm glad I've been writing more. I just wish I knew how to write and work and sleep at night.


This is turning out to be a three-wedding summer. Weddings are interesting social rituals, and generally of the more joyous and festive occasions, so I'm ok with that.

I know one couple who, last summer, had a NINE-wedding summer so I consider myself lucky. I get to enjoy myself at some lovey-dovey festivities and then I have the majority of weekends to myself.

In honour of all that, I am reading Marriage: A History (except with this cover). Author Stephanie Coontz examines marriages from earliest recorded history to now, and pulls from anthropology and sociology (and history) to examine the state of marriage now (around the world) and how we got here.