Thursday, April 27, 2006

Scary Story

Last night, the girl in the apartment across from me had her boyfriend spend the night. At 4a.m., he fell out of bed with an epileptic seizure. She started screaming. Paramedics came. Still in some sort of epileptic shock, the boyfriend started yelling at the paramedics.

The walls are vey thin here. I didn't hear a thing.

Scary, huh?

Describing singleness

I've recently discovered that good does come from reality TV. The unscripted words that come out of people's mouths are brilliant! I was talking about this with Joel yesterday, and we came to the conclusion that if I were to write similar phrases in a script, producers would most likely scrap the lines for being unrealistic.

On American Idol this week, Kellie Pickler was talking about the love song she was about to perform. She sang Unchained Melody (from the pottery-scene in Ghost, naturally, as my generation can't comprehend that good music existed before their lifetime).

Asked if she was single, she replied, "I don't have anybody to play pottery with."

Priceless. Too bad she butchered the song.

The things you can learn for 29¢

I love reading magazines. I inherited this from my father. Scoop, the tackiest (and only) Canadian tabloid, was selling for 25¢ this week (with 4¢ tax). I don't know why. Something about customer appreciation. Well, I fell for its cheapness. And now I'm determined to make it worth my money. I must have learned something within its 98 pages:

1. Brad Pitt has a mohawk. Brad's over 40. Can you say "mid-life crisis?"
2. Robin Williams called Steven Harper a "Bush baby."
3. It's cool to show off your shoulders.
4. Some people, after spotting a celebrity, write into tabloids to tell everybody where the celebrity was seen. I guess it's so I can say, "I ordered the same latte Julia Roberts ordered at the very same Starbucks she ordered it from. Three weeks later."
5. The Friends cast is following in the footsteps of the Seinfeld cast. Nowhere.
6. The term "It Girl" was created to describe Clara Bow in the 1920s. I learned something!
7. This magazine is indecisive. They list the top-26 women of the year (it's only April) followed by 24 runners-up. I think they just found 50 pictures in their archives and thought, "Well, they're all pretty and famous. Maybe we should just make a list of them."
8. Kate Moss was caught on camera with the same handbag SIX times!
9. Lipliner is out.
10. Sharon Stone is insane.

Okay, so it was maybe worth 3¢. I'll try to use some of the pictures in a cut-and-paste project or something. A collage of blonde hair?

At least it has a crossword puzzle.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who needs to work when ice cream is free?

Today I arrived at work to the raised eyebrows of my bosses. Apparently I was supposed to be psychic enough to know that there was no work for me today. I managed to find four hours of work to do (to make my commute in the rain worth it), and then I walked the cold streets of Toronto with a free Ben & Jerry's ice cream. It's funny how free ice cream on a cold windy day can still make everything all better.

There should be free book day at Chapters.
Free CD day at HMV.
Free movie day at Famous Players.
Free rent month at my apartment.

Money doesn't buy happiness. Free stuff does.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Don't Let Tom Cruise Name Your Baby

When Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple a couple of years ago, it raised a few eyebrows. The meaning, at least, was pretty obvious. And most of us got over it. Mostly because Gwyneth is not annoying.

Then comes Tom's baby. Suri. He said it means "princess" in Hebrew. Then the press exposed the fact that people who actually speak Hebrew aren't familiar with the word. For those of us who've read the Bible, Sarah is the princess name.

Then came the news that there was such a word after all. Tom was redeemed. A linguistics professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced that Suri means "Get out of here." The Japanese meaning is "shoplifter". It's bad enough this poor child has an insane father. Being called "Get out of here Cruise" has got to suck (although it quite appropriately reflects how most of us feel about her over-exposed parents).

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for not calling me "Freak Show Superstar" or anything.

the V.I.P. treatment

Today I went to the movies with my brother (It was his birthday, and we saw The Inside Man. I highly recommend it).

The important part of this story is that we had free movie coupons cut from Cheerios boxes. When we got to the theatre, we noticed they had V.I.P screenings listed. I asked if we could use our coupons there, and the wicket girl just shrugged and said sure. So we did.

The V.I.P. theatre has extra-plush seats. And only seating for about 20. It's what you would imagine really rich and famous people might have in the entertainment wings of their estates. There is a coatcheck. They take your concession order so you don't have to stand in line. The washrooms are fancier. They take you to your seat. It's very impressive. All for the price of a box of Cheerios (and I got to eat the Cheerios too). Very worth it.

I could totally grow up to be a Yorkdale snob. Living off the back of cereal boxes.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's Raining, It's Pouring

Why is it that when it rains, I don't feel like cleaning? Somehow the outside weather dictates my ability to function within my apartment (while at the same time, holding me prisoner inside).

I tried to write today. By hand. I managed about 10 pages. The computer can get tedious after spending all day every day staring at a screen. I have the horrible habit of turning every piece of dialogue into rejected-Gilmore Girl diatribe.

So now I'm eating dark chocolate and trying to find something on TV that mildly entertains me. Pretty in Pink is on, but I only find it depressing. She takes a pretty dress, transforms it into a shower curtain-looking montrosity and still gets the guy. I looked pretty good at prom, and got no one. Someone at university said I looked like Molly Ringwald. Haven't figured that one out yet, but I've decided to take it as a compliment. Now, where is my Andrew McCarthy?

Maybe the sun will come out tomorrow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Bubble Girl

A quick note.

If you're in the grocery line ahead of me, don't turn around to talk to the person behind me, sandwiching me between the two of you. Especially if you're a heavily-scented individual who likes to speak loudy and swish your ponytail in my face every time you turn around. Leave me a personal bubble of at least 18 inches. Please.

That is all.

I take it back.

Okay, so the earlier "frikkin' cool" comment about Dolly Parton was premature. Her book My Life and Other Unfinished Business just tricks you into thinking that she's cool in the first few chapters so that you'll read the rest of it. I got duped. She's married and she sleeps with other men. Apparently God lets her.

And why does every autobiography address the diet of the author as if I want to eat like them? Or even look like them? I have never wanted to look like Dolly, Kirstie Alley or Carnie Wilson. I also take serious issue with "chew but don't swallow" advice. It's called an eating disorder, not a diet.

Moral to her story: Cheat, starve, and surgically enhance yourself. Make up your own religion and set the goal of superstardom for yourself. And it's totally okay to get your tubes tied without consulting your husband. Live happily ever after.

I'm not one to usually backpeddle, but just because I read the book doesn't mean I endorse it.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Smoking Is Cool

Go see Thank You For Smoking.

The funniest movie for people with brains ever. It can't be easy to write a movie that's perfectly politically incorrect yet completely unoffensive.

And Aaron Eckhart is a genius. Yes, a sexy tobacco lobbyist.

And Katie Holmes didn't make me think about Tom Cruise and all the nausea that usually follows such a train of thought.

And Adam Brody needs to realize he's way too brilliant to still be on The O.C.

And William H. Macy says, "The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese."

Go see it. Take up smoking even.

- My Mommy say smoking is bad for you.
- Oh, is your Mommy a doctor?
- No.
- A scientific researcher of some kind?
- No.
- Well then she's hardly a credible expert, is she?

Memoirs: Truths and tabloids

My dad reads everything. Always has, and probably always will. Maybe this is why I've always loved libraries. Books make you smart. And smart people are cool. Unless you're Paris Hilton (see previous post).

I made the ridiculous resolution to read 100 books this year PLUS the entire Bible. Well, I think I'm a little behind, but I'm still trucking through (okay, I'm only on books 18 and 19 - and in 1 Samuel). At least it keeps me hanging out at libraries. Which, as a general rule, are pretty cheap places to hang out.

I really like reading about people's lives. Even more, I really love autobiographies. I think you learn more about someone hearing their stories in their own words than reading some "unauthorized tell-all" by Jude Law's childhood neighbour or something. What they choose to disclose (and not), the tone they take, it's all so very revealing.

For those who haven't picked up an autobiography lately, I'll help you out a bit. Here's my notes on the lives of the quasi-rich and famous. Read at your own risk.

Sean Astin (There and Back Again: An Actor's Tale) - Whiny boy: "My childhood wasn't perfect, then my career wasn't perfect, then Rudy was underappreciated even though it was the greatest movie ever made, then they didn't pay me enough for LOTR even though I'd never heard of the books but I'm such a brilliant actor I bet you couldn't tell and now my career has to rock forever because I do and if it doesn't it's not my fault."

Cybil Sheppard (Cybil Disobedience) - Insufferable: "My beauty is my curse. I've always been beautiful. No one looks past my beauty. Bruce Willis wanted to sleep with me but I said no. I could have said yes. But I'm too sexy. Did I mention I'm beautiful?"

Michael J. Fox (Lucky Man) - Who doesn't love this man? He's just so gracious and thankful and non-evil. I might hug him if I see him. Yes, I think I will.

Rosie O'Donnell (Find Me) - She manages to balance between her cutsie-talk-show-host persona and her more recent bitter-lesbian-don't-tick-me-off personality. A pretty fair look at her life, I think.

Kirstie Alley (How to Lose Your Ass and Regain Your Life) - My friend Andrew is obsessed with Kirstie, so I figured I'd give her book a spin. Okay, here's some advice to future writers: Don't write about how to get skinny when you're not skinny yet. And telling me what you ate doesn't qualify as a tell-all. Talk more about Ted Dansen. Or the Olsen twins.

Tatum O'Neal (A Paper Life) - I know it's one-sided. I know she's probably the most frustrating person to be friends with. But if I ever meet her father, I will punch him. Right after hugging Michael J. Fox.

Carnie Wilson (I'm Still Hungry) - Newsflash: Only take her advice if you're ready to starve a little and pose for Playboy. Skinny people are happy. Just ask the starving children.

Joan Rivers (Bouncing Back) - This is an advice book. I didn't realize this until I started reading it. Don't take advice from a woman whose face is made of Silly Putty.

I'm now reading about Dolly Parton (she's so frikkin' cool, I had no idea. A fantastic storyteller), and then comes Eddie Fisher (because I want to be Debbie Reynolds dancing with Gene Kelly - yes, this all makes sense in my little brain). I'm sure I'll tell you all about them later.

Okay, so none of these people are considered the greatest people who ever lived. Unfortunately, most of history's greats didn't write about themselves. So I have to read regurgitated research (which I do, but it's not as fun as the autobiography).

Maybe I'll write my story one day. And then people can judge my sentence structure and inclusion of the Exacto-knife story.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Me and Paris Hilton

I can't believe that my first blog is going to be about Paris Hilton. She represents everything that I'm not. She's about nightclubs, sequins and dogs in her handbag. I'm about rented DVDs, sweatpants and a good cup of tea. And yet here I go...

Paris Hilton showed up on the cover of Maclean's magazine this past February. "The Money Issue" boasted the headline that "Money Buys Happiness." I suppose this is true if, like Paris, shopping sprees and being all shiny and sparkly makes you smile. Personally, I find Paris to be one of life's greatest mysteries. If I was born into ridiculous wealth, I wouldn't be wasting my time with drunk quasi-celebs, bubblegum pink accessories and reality TV. I'd be hanging out in the Hamptons, taking up horseback riding, learning to paint and reading the classics. Would the wealth be buying me happiness? No, probably not. Buying me laziness? You bet.

Sure, I understand that financial insecurity can be a source of pretty significant distress (I only had 2 1/2 hours of work on Thursday - a little unsettling). I also read that beyond an income of $50,000 a year (I'm almost halfway there), studies could find no corelation between wealth and happiness. Martha Stewart doesn't strike me as a bundle of joy; I think I'd be happier with small-town life than a Trump penthouse.

I'm part of the "debt generation." I'm supposed to ignore what I make and spend what I want. Unfortunately for my coolness factor (or lack thereof), I have this odd sense of obligation toward financial responsibility. In an effort to live within my means, and start paying off my student loans, I am presently the victim of a $7 haircut and am trying to figure out if I can justify owning a third pair of pants.

This blog is my story. I am NOT Paris Hilton. My apartment is smaller than her closet, and she probably spends more money maintaining her not-quite-Barbie appearance than I make in a year. Is she happier than me? Sure, I'm not dating the ex-boyfriend of an Olsen twin, but you won't find any evidence on me in your local porn shop.

Does money buy happiness?
Can I survive in the city without much of it in my new post-school world?

I guess it's time I find out.