Saturday, July 28, 2007

Happy Anniversary

I spent the day at the Beaches Jazz Festival with my parents. I considered it quite an honour, actually, considering today was my parents’ 28th anniversary and they had every right to spend the day without children. And yet, because my parents live by a general rule of awesomeness, they warmly welcomed me to tag along. And so I did.

We pretty much hung out at the festival from 11am until 8pm, so I’m not going to try to sum up all the music we heard. I will say that it was fantastically diverse, the musicians each had a pretty dynamic stage presence, and that it was a far better day than sitting alone in my tiny apartment watching reruns on TLC :)

Some highlights:

  • David “Ziggy” Walcott from Barbados. He rocked that steel drum. I’ve decided that I want his band to play at my wedding. Not that I’m planning a wedding….
  • Bonerama. A band of trombones. Who knew trombones could be so cool? When I was in school, trombones were the off-key instruments that existed for the mere purpose of emptying their spit valves on the tenor sax players in front of them. I played tenor sax.
  • I was sitting on the grass, listening to one of the bands, when I felt a strange glob on the back of my arm. My arm (and shirt) had been attacked by purple paint. Some kids were painting a mural behind me, and one of them went a little Jackson Pollock and flung the paint behind them. And onto me. I’m just thankful I decided to change my shirt at the last minute this morning into an older one.
  • Dinner at Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Dr. Draw. My parents have been singing this guy’s praises for quite some time, so I was thrilled to finally hear/see what all the fuss was about. The guy is a mad genius. I was exhausted just watching him. He’s a jazz violinist rock star, that’s who he is. Even his classical stuff was intense, with his band rocking out as if they were on stage with Mick Jagger. I don’t know where he gets his energy, but if he could bottle it, I’d be a customer. Three thumbs up (I borrowed an extra thumb, that’s how great it was).

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for having an anniversary. Your marriage makes me want to get married. To Dr. Draw (kidding).

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Confessions of a Rarely Dangerous Mind

Bubble Van

I saw a blue Toyota Previa today. For a brief moment, I thought my parents were driving by. They haven’t had the Previa in years. It’s so weird. I feel as though that specific make of vehicle belongs to our family.

Burrito Boyz

Yesterday, I was waiting for a friend on a street corner for about three minutes. She was coming to the city to take me to see some experimental short films (that included Fred Astaire montages, so I was happy). As I waited, I heard a guy from behind me saying, “Hey.” For some reason, I assume that every “hey” in Toronto is intended for me. I turn around, only to be reminded that the majority of “heys” are spoken into cell phones and not directed at the people around them. I see the guy talking into his phone, so I turn my back and keep waiting. But then I do a double take. There was something too familiar in his “hey.” Something too familiar in his posture. It was Ben Mulroney. Ben Mulroney was thisclose to saying “hey” to me. He kept walking and talking, straight into Burrito Boyz. At this point I get quite excited, as I’ve heard great things about the restaurant but was never sure where it was. Ben’s hair may be on par with a Ken doll’s plastic painted-on ‘do, but he showed me where to get burritos, and for this I will be eternally grateful. Or at least temporarily amused.

The Name Game

At work today, I walked up to a coworker and indulged in a slice of humble pie like no other. I looked her straight in the eye and made my humiliating confession: I didn’t know how to pronounce her name. We’ve worked together for over six months. We eat salads together. She gave me her hair stylist’s number. I even trained her. But every time I needed to speak to her, I made sure I caught her eye with a brief wave, and then proceeded to chat without calling her by name. As time went on, my embarrassment grew, and I felt less and less comfortable talking to her. Didn’t she notice that I never addressed her? That I only used her name in emails, where pronunciation wasn’t an issue? So today I bit that proverbial bullet and asked her. And she told me. And all is well in the world of office conversations.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Prison, Anyone?

Okay, so Paris is out of jail, Lindsay and Nicole are probably going to jail, and Britney's not far behind. Maybe this video will give them hope. There is a place for the criminal with pop star tendencies: the Philippines.

The strange files I get at work from the Philippines are starting to make sense....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just Some Thoughts.

  1. Rainn Wilson spent last week directly across the street from where I work. I did not see him. I did see a U.S. Postal Box prop outside of the club they were shooting in, however, and one of the crew members smiled and said hello.
  2. I prefer Mission: Impossible (the ‘60s TV series) over The Mod Squad. In case you were wondering.
  3. Go see Hairspray. So. Much. Fun. Finally, a movie musical that delivers. And there’s a pink Cadillac with fabulous fins in one of the shots. My dream car.
  4. If John Travolta and Christopher Walken were my parents, I would be in therapy. But funny therapy.
  5. Christianity Today’s movie critics are my soul mates. They agreed with me about Rescue Dawn and Hairspray. As they did with Children of Men and Pan’s Labyrinth last year.
  6. There were no tomatoes at Food Basics today. None. No cherry, plum, roma, hot house or vine-ripened. Pathetic.
  7. There was no tuna at Food Basics. There never is. I think this is the sixth trip in a row where I’ve left tuna-less.
  8. I need to build some muscle. I think my arms are getting skinnier.
  9. I’m completely enthralled with Scoop on the Food Network. I want to invent a Haagen-Dazs flavor too.
  10. Sometimes I get weird food cravings. This week, I just had to have a McCain’s Deep ‘n Delicious chocolate cake. Fortunately, it was on sale and I found a coupon. Cake for less than $2 makes me happy.
  11. In three days, I will be celebrating the 7-month anniversary of my relationship with my yellow umbrella. His name is Bert (as he reminds me of Big Bird. This makes sense in my head).
  12. Five days ago was the 11-month anniversary of my last birthday. Which means you all have less than a month to prep for the big day.
  13. I’ve been Diet Coke-less since Thursday. There was an intervention at work.
  14. I baked a great chicken dish today with mushrooms, onion, zucchini, and diced tomatoes. I’m lazy during the week, so this way I have a pre-made lunch for the first couple of days.
  15. Weekends are too short.
  16. I miss my old bus driver. He was on time and made fun of me. The new guy is late and polite.
  17. Seventeen is my favorite number. So I will end here.
P.S. Mandy Patinkin mysteriously quit Criminal Minds. His rumored replacement? Geena Davis. Man, TV world is so weird. Maybe I could replace Grissom.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Handbags and Prison Camps

Thanks to the rain, a headache and a lack of any motivation whatsoever, I spent yesterday on my couch. It’s quite unfortunate as I had four separate invites for yesterday and I ended up in sweat pants and eating cereal for dinner instead. Oh, well.

Today was a bit of an improvement in my social life. I met up with a friend at church (Yay! I finally have a friend at church!) and then went out with her and her friend for lunch. And her friend brought two friends who were visiting from Australia. So everybody was meeting everybody for the first time. After gorging myself on fried dumplings and bubble tea, I said goodbye to my new friends and ended up shopping in Yorkdale.

I need a new bag. The zipper on my big brown bag is gone, and the one I’m currently using is cute, but more of a tote for my lunch than a handbag. And then I saw the “50% off” sign at Holt Renfrew. I had never been in Holt Renfrew, so I thought I’d be adventurous and try something new :)

I walked over the sale table. I immediately knew which bag I wanted. I knew it would be leather, so I was mentally preparing myself for a higher-than-usual price tag, even with the sale. I was not expecting the sale price to be $1100.00!!! Yes, folks, this bag first retailed for over $2000. Needless to say, I ran out of the store.

I felt a little sick over the idea that someone would waste so much money on something that only needs to carry your crap on the subway. Or in your limo, I guess. Maybe it's because I’m trying to maintain a greater worldview when I shop I’m just extra sensitive at the idea of spending the kind of money that could feed multiple families in a Third World country on something that’s so trivial. And whoever does buy it will probably buy the next “It” bag next season. I saw a father in the store, trying to get the zipper fixed on his daughter’s designer bag. At least when the zipper broke on mine, I could reason, “Well, I think I got my $40 worth.”

Bagless, I headed to HMV and scooped up the Newsies soundtrack. It seemed impulsive, but I’ve been secretly looking for it since I was 15. So if planning a purchase for 8 years is impulsive, yes, that was me. I also picked up some super-discounted jewelry at Le Chateau, a discounted shirt at Jacob, and then headed to the movies.

I was debating between Ratatouille and Sicko. And so I chose Rescue Dawn. I realize that no one’s heard of the film (it’s only in limited release right now), but as a faithful Christian Bale fan, I’ve been anticipating this one for a while.

Two thumbs up. In some ways, Bale’s career seems to have come full circle, with this role almost being a follow-up to Empire of the Sun. Except now, instead of being an aviation-crazed British kid in a confinement camp in China, he’s a German-born American pilot shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War. They’re both in love with the skies, have incredible survival instincts, are charming and fiercely loyal, and refuse to accept the fate they’ve been dealt.

It’s pretty much a Bale movie. Aside from the odd establishing shot, I think he’s in every scene. Sort of like Tom Hanks in Castaway. And like Hanks, we see his body becoming more thin and frail as the story develops. The emaciated physique’s not as distracting as it is in The Machinist, nor is the production value as glossary as American Psycho, so Bale’s performance is what the critics are gonna have to reckon with here. One day his Oscar will come. Oh, and Steve Zahn is incredible. Who knew? I mean, sure, he was genius in That Thing You Do!, but wasting away in a POW holding camp? I guess he has range after all.

It’s based on the true story of Dieter Dengler, although some who knew the men featured in the film have protested at the inaccuracies. Supposedly the crazy-ish, Marilyn Manson-type prisoner was really a pretty nice guy. But for a movie, the character was pretty dynamic. Maybe it should be called biographical fiction. You know, like Capote’s “non-fiction novel” In Cold Blood. I’m a fan.

Speaking of Capote (Sorry, this blog is longer than I thought it would be), I saw Infamous this weekend. The real unfortunate thing about the film is that Capote was released a year earlier. And it’s pretty much the same film. Infamous has better pacing and is far more entertaining, but Philip Seymour Hoffman is far and above the greater Truman. Perhaps it’s because Toby Jones has freaked me out ever since he peed against the stone wall in Ever After. And Jones didn’t require the radical transformation Hoffman did. Infamous also had brilliant performances from Sandra Bullock and Daniel Craig. But Capote told the Clutters’ story better, including more of the murder investigation and less of the name-dropping gossip that Infamous got caught up in. If the two movies were spliced together, the resulting movie would be sensational.

This was too long. I don’t feel like editing. Feel free to read every other word. I guess if you made it to the end, it’s a little too late for that, huh?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bits & Bites


I like compliments that aren’t super-predictable. “You look nice” doesn’t always cut it. A guy once told me that I “clean up nice.” That didn’t really work either. He’s now married, so I’m hoping that he’s found a better line since then. An old guy at church told me that I had a light about me. I smiled, but made sure I didn’t smile too much.

My bus-stop friend, after our discussion of my film-set dreams, tried to tell me I looked nice today with, “When a single young movie star sees you, he’s going to scoop you up and take you to Hollywood.” So I said, “Okay.” Now I’m waiting to see if she’s a prophet. I just hope the young movie star is a little more John Krasinski and a little less Jesse Metcalfe.

My Hero

The company I work for has been acquired by Elevation Partners. So I now work for Bono. Another dream comes true. Man, I need to start a new wish list.

When the White Man Says Go

I started crossing the street today while the red hand was flashing. I wasn’t quite halfway across when the white man appeared again. Yep, it went from “slow down” to “walk” without ever stopping and allowing the light to change. Crazy Toronto.

Fed Up

I had an amazing sandwich today. The Healthy Butcher makes organic chicken sandwiches that exist on a taste level I did not know existed. I’m slowly going organic, I think.

And my new favorite restaurant is Lettuce Eatery. Because I love lettuce. And here, I get to indulge. Like a kid in a candy store. Or like a young woman in a salad store.

Wow. Organic chicken and massive salads. I’m sure some of you are captivated.


Lately, I haven’t been very impressed with myself at work. I can feel myself sinking into “disgruntled employee” mode. So I decided to voice some concerns to my boss before I blew up or sunk into depression. We ended up chatting for an hour and I feel valued and appreciated once more. Apparently I’m not the only one who’s slowly going crazy. There’s joy in joint misery. But now that I work for Bono, there’s nothing to complain about anymore.

P.S. I asked for a transfer to the Dublin office that does not yet exist.

Gene Kelly, Where Art Thou?

Last night, I went to the outdoor dance festival Dusk Dances. So much fun. My friend Meredith came down (her brother was in it), and I had a lovely evening in the park. One dance in particular had a great Gene Kelly-and-Donald O’Connor vibe to it. Almost magical. For a moment I felt like a soccer mom, lugging a lawn chair across the massive green in the muggy evening air. But to be a soccer mom, you need a kid. And a van. And a license. So I guess I have a ways to go….

Monday, July 09, 2007

I could never date a weatherman.

I’m starting to develop trust issues. Every morning, I make the poor but optimistic decision to dress according to the weatherman’s forecast. So this morning, after three different meteorologists told me that my day would be filled with showers and storms, I abandoned my skirt-and-cute-sandals idea for the camp-counselor-chic baggy khakis and old runners. These particular khakis make people stare at my bum. Not because it’s amazing, but because they can’t find it. My trunk is junkless. But enough about my backside.

It didn’t rain. I even walked around downtown after work today, hoping to get caught in a downpour and thus making my grubbiness worth it. Nope. Perfectly dry. And now it will probably rain tomorrow, again threatening to demolish any trace of style I pretend to have….

My Weekend

Quite some time ago, my mom tried to sleep over at my place. “Try” is the key word here. I don’t think either of us slept. The place was hot, the boy next door left for the weekend after cranking his stereo and making my walls vibrate all night with hard rock, and Mom kept waking up in pain from trying to spend the night on my mini-loveseat. It was one of those experiences that made it easy to write off any future overnight guests.

This weekend, we gave it another go.

My mom spent the past week at her mom’s, and then bused it to Toronto early Friday evening. I met her at the station, and we took the subway over to my place. Of course, Mom also got to experience one of my strange transit conversations, sitting patiently through a stranger’s recipe for a veal dish I should make for my mother. Yeah. Too bad I don’t have red wine, peanut oil, flour, veal, or three hours to make her something neither of us really wanted to eat.

We dropped her stuff at my place and walked over to the ghetto Food Basics near my place. We made salad and fresh green beans before spending the evening playing Scrabble and eating no-name Pringles (which taste just as good as the real thing).

The whole point of the weekend was my birthday gift for my mom. I gave her an IOU for the Titanic Exhibit at the Science Centre. Fortunately, the Science Centre is only about a 15-minute bus ride from my place. After a reasonable good night’s sleep (Mom got my bed, I got the yoga mat. I don’t do yoga. I guess it’s a Pilates mat. And I slept quite soundly. And the boy behind the wall was silent. And the A/C was working), we headed out with our packed lunches, ready to learn.

I highly recommend it. I think both of us were quite inspired by the stories being told. The exhibit quite effectively focuses on telling the stories of passengers instead of just focusing on ice, steel and horsepower. When you enter, you’re given a ticket with a passenger’s name on it. Throughout the tour, you’re constantly on the lookout for your person. We were both ridiculously wealthy first-class passengers (Did you know that a first-class ticket would cost the equivalent of $75,000+ today?) By the end, you discover your fate. I survived. Mom chose to die with her husband. Two thumbs up (for the experience, not the death). Learning is cool, kids. When I was in the fourth grade, I was in a drama club where we would pretend to be on the Titanic. I can only imagine what we looked like, screaming while running on an angle, preparing to meet our fate during recess. (If you go, be sure to check out the Titanica feature playing at the Omnimax. Also excellent).

We ate lunch in the courtyard, wandered through the Science Centre (although I wasn’t quite as into trying to beat the world record in high jump as I was in elementary school, nor was I super-intrigued by random sparking wires), and headed out. We visit the small quasi-ghetto mall nearby and walked home with ice cream comes. Dad met us at my place and we ordered pizza from the place across the street. It was surprisingly awesome pizza. The place has 72 toppings. And I don’t need to write down the number, as I can just look out my window and dial.

It’s such a blessing to be able to host my parents. And such a relief to know that overnight guests aren’t quite as impossible as I once thought. If I could get an accurate weather forecast, all would be right in the world.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

I Want Red Shoes.

Side note:

I haven’t been very good at blogging consistently, and I feel that too much has happened and too many thoughts have whirled through my brain to adequately catch anyone up. Then again, this is my blog and I’m under no obligation to turn this into a day-by-day journal. In fact, I once thought about starting a completely fictional blog. Could be fun.

Real blog:

I read fashion blogs quite often, so I think I’ll dedicate this particular entry to my life as it relates to fashion. No parties with Vera Wang this week, but I thought about fabric a little:

  • Bruxy (my pastor) wore a jumpsuit today. A prison jumpsuit. In orange.

  • I prayed over a pair of pants this week. Yep. Salad dressing threatened to destroy them. Stain remover didn’t work, and then it started to discolor the fabric. All is perfect now. No thing is too small or unimportant.… (I would also like to give a shout out to the Spray ‘n Wash people. When I’m famous, I will be your celebrity endorser. Along with my deals with All Bran, Dr. Scholl’s, Smarties, and the public library).

  • Re: Concert for Diana: I didn’t catch the whole thing on CTV, but I saw a few sets. I love William (and how he was rocking out: dancing to Nelly Furtado and clapping during Natasha Bedingfield, whom I adore. So many guys think they're too cool to move to music. Which makes them very uncool. Plus, Queen Nadine Elizabeth just sounds right), but I still want Harry’s pink shirt from the Matt Lauer interview. Men, pink is the way to go. Very European. It makes you smarter and more charming instantly.

  • I bought a handbag. I’m taking it back. I liked the color in the store, but next to my actual wardrobe, it looks like an old white bag that’s been stained by years of nicotine abuse. Gross. I don’t have a picture of it. It’s last season’s model, so there are no online pics. Yes, I Googled the thing.

  • Toronto now has a Forever 21. It’s pretty much H&M out of L.A. instead of Sweden. Cheap clothes, runway knockoffs, long lines. And because it’s new, my size is gone in almost every style.
  • I have two new scarves from Kensington Market. I think I collect scarves. I can't help myself. At least I wear them and don't just stash them in a closet. Andrea was my stylist last Saturday and introduced me to my dream pair of jeans. That I cannot afford. And so I will dream of them as I wear my salad dressing-free pants. I wrote down the brand (Fidelity), style and size in case I ever run across a garage sale or something....

  • I need a haircut. I’m thinking of the look below. But with my face. RenĂ©e and I both want to be British, so I thought it was appropriate.