Thursday, July 31, 2008

Looking For a Bike in a Bikestack

Have you ever searched through 2400+ bikes, looking for one red-and-white Schwinn that disappeared two years ago?

I have.

It was not there.

Sarah, I like to think that someone innocently and unknowingly bought your bike off the sketchy dealer. That your bike is the tool that gets him/her to an ultra-important lifesaving job every morning. Maybe your bike has helped save kittens. Feed the homeless. Perform brain surgery.

The theft of your bike may have been the best possible thing for mankind.

image source

Good Enough For a 6-Year-Old

Today, I indulged in a yogurt-honey-banana concoction that took me back to grade one. The year I learned that a perfect summer's day was 23 degrees Celsius. The year Jim Henson died. The year I starred as Goldilocks in our class play.

My best friend was a boy. We were best friends in kindergarten, boyfriend/girlfriend in the first grade, and husband and wife in our make-believe world. And he lived in a church.

You would think that the pastor's kid wouldn't be impressed by church architecture, but his converted home (the master suite was the balcony) was the coolest building I had ever been in. And the kitchen was elevated, where the platform once was. Instead of preaching, there was cooking. "Give us this day our daily bread" indeed.

I loved his mom. She was a gentle, soft-spoken woman with curly hair. I've always wanted curls. And one day, she sliced bananas into our yogurt, drizzled honey over it, and served me the greatest snack I'd ever had. A treat I still crave 20 years later.

(His father was another story. The kind of story that deserves its own blog entry. Or novel.)

I haven't seen my church-dwelling friend since the fifth grade. But he'll always be my first husband, albeit a pretend one.

And as the most awkward segue ever, I read about the origins of the honeymoon today (I was talking about fake husbands and honey, so this is almost related). Abduction and mead. Very romantic. I need to get myself a Viking.
The honeymoon
The more I research the origin of the honeymoon, the more I wish I was a Viking. (To be fair, everything makes me wish I was a Viking.) Legend has it that Northern European men in the mood to marry used to abduct their wives from neighboring villages and take them into hiding while the bride's father and brothers hunted them down. This hiding period came to be known as the honeymoon. How romantic.

The name itself came from a drink the bride and groom would share — mead — that was made from honey. Couples would drink a cup of mead per day during the first 30 days of marriage, presumably to take the edge off the wife's recent kidnapping. (Admit it. There's a part of you that longs to be kidnapped by a take-no-prisoners Norseman who never wears shirts. I know how you women think.)

In a twist of fate that surely has generations of Viking fathers rolling over in their fiery ship graves, many parents now pay for their daughter's honeymoon. (To keep up with modern times, perhaps we should rename the whole tradition boxedwinemoon. I'm just throwing that out there.)

Side note: Apparently you can write like a blogger on What could have been an informative little piece of journalism reads as pretty on her toes-ish, don'tcha think? I need to line up a writing gig like that. Side comments about Vikings and renaming the honeymoon as "boxedewinemoon"? I could do that. While eating bananas and honey.

image source

Canada Geese: A Horror Story

When I was little, I went to the zoo with my family. We were picnicking in a grassy area. I was eating French fries. And suddenly, a Canada goose was staring me in the eye. And then it snatched the fry out of my mouth, almost kissing me. Or almost biting my face off.

To this day, the Canada goose remains the only reason I would ever take up the sport of hunting. And enjoy it.

This poster for the Canadian Filmmakers Festival is almost perfect. Because there's truth in it. Her expression does need a smidgen of more terror in it, though. Had Hitchcock directed a horror flick entitled The Geese, I would probably consider it the most terrifying thing ever to grace the silver screen.

See all the posters here.
Thanks, Dad, for the link.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"I feel the earth move under my feet..."

I lived in British Colombia when I was in the sixth grade. And instead of fire drills, we had earthquake drills. I'm pretty sure the school was still capable of burning to the ground, but no one seemed too concerned. The risk of the walls shaking was of greater importance.

My classroom was in a portable. I remember the teacher pointing out the seam down the center of the floor, the very place where the box I called homeroom would split in two. My desk straddled this line. I was going to die.

The drills had us diving under our desks at the sound of an alarm. And then, when the fictional quake subsided, we would walk out the back door in single file, and line up in an open field. Two students were assigned to grab the emergency kits at the back of the portable. These were large duffel bags filled with the necessities required to calm your average trauma-overcome 11-year-old.

There was a Ziploc bag for each student. In this bag was a mini care package: a granola bar, a family portrait, and a love note from parents. I assumed it was an "in case your parents die and you want to cling to a generic note of affirmation while chewing on some sticky carbs" package. I would only read the letter if I was the sole survivor. And so I hoped that granola bar would go stale. And that the letter would go unread. And that the photo was at least somewhat flattering. Yes, at 11, I wanted to look good, bright blue corduroys and all.

The earthquake didn't come. And we all survived British Columbia.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Trustworthy: An Advil Adventure

An elderly woman stopped me as I walked by Shoppers this evening. She was standing outside the door, looking confused. With her was a small dog. Not handbag size, but certainly not large enough to hold his own in a sidewalk confrontation with another canine.

The woman needed to buy Advil for her niece. Liqui-Gels. But the dog wasn't Shoppers-friendly. And she wasn't about to leave the pup outside. Clearly, she hadn't thought this through very well.

So I took action. And I took her cash.

I sped through the store. It was a challenge. I was on a mission to bless a stranger. Someone who had no reason to trust me. And in the blink of an eye (I don't blink very often), I was handing her a bottle of Advil, her change and a receipt.

She smiled, thanked me and walked away, her little dog in tow.

Sometimes you just have to notice the adventure in front of you. The one in little-old-lady form. Especially on ordinary Tuesdays.

It's reassuring to know that I give off a "trustworthy" vibe. Or at least not one of pure sketchiness.

Stephen King Is My New Mentor

Stephen King,
On Writing

It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support-system for art. It's the other way around.


You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair -- the sense that you can never completely put on the page what's in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.


The road to hell is paved with adverbs.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Desert Song

There are no words.

Bring The Rain is one of my favorite blogs. Because it breaks me daily. It's raw. It's vulnerable. It's honest. And it brings me to my knees.

I've never lost a child. But lately, I've been learning a lot from those who have. Learning what it is to be broken without being defeated. Learning what it is to just be real. To scream at God and worship Him at the same time. Because He can take it.

Ghost Towns

Packed up, moved away, runnin' from the past
Leaving behind the dusty dreams and broken glass
Used to be a busy town
Now everybody passes through, but they don't stick around
~"Nobody Home," Amy Grant
I love the abandoned and derelict. Boarded up buildings fascinate me. I want to explore. To uncover haunting little mysteries now forgotten. To revive that which was once loved. listed the 10 Most Amazing Ghost Towns. And I want to go. Now. Someone, let's tour the world in search of shells of life, where time now stands still. Some proposed stops along the way:

Kolmanskop, Namibia

Craco, Italy

Kadykchan, Russia

Check out the rest here.

Shadows of the past makes my head spin. I want to know more. I create histories that never were. I rebuild in the back of my mind.

I am inspired by the emptiness.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Defying Gravity

I want to be Idina Menzel. Not because she's married to Taye Diggs. But because she was Elphaba, the woman who would be the Wicked Witch of the West. And in case you have forgotten, I consider Wicked to be a perfect slice of Broadway genius. I could listen to the soundtrack on repeat. Especially the above song. And it still makes me feel like a 9-year-old. In a really good way.

And now there are rumors, not surprisingly, of a film adaptation. Because everything gets adapted. You'll probably see On Her Toes hitting cinemas in the next decade.

I'm a little torn about the idea. I'm all up for spreading the "Defying Gravity" love, but I don't want studio execs screwing it up, casting Miley Cyrus et al to appeal to a younger crowd. Check out my MovieZen post for my thoughts.

P.S. Do you not absolutely adore Kristin Chenoweth? She completely deserved her Emmy nomination for Pushing Daisies.

P.P.S. I miss acting. And tonight, I'm almost craving the stage.

A Weekend in the Life of a Non-Blogging Blogger

  • Leave work.
  • Pickle Barrel. Because I quite enjoy both pickles and barrels. And the company that is associated with such a combination.
  • Food Network marathon. I would eat dessert nachos. In a heartbeat.
  • The B&B is in full operating mode. Welcome, Christianne.
  • Get on the bus. Notice stain on capris. A friend from college happens to be on the bus. With a Tide To Go pen.
  • Kensington Market. And playing hide-and-seek with a bubble-tea place. We win, but it takes a while.
  • St. Lawrence Market. We partake of as many samples as possible. Most of them cheese.
  • Splitting souvlaki and Greek salad. Naming the leftover olives.
  • Gelato as it storms outside. Ferrero Rocher makes the rain more endurable.
  • My black umbrella has a name: Ebeneezer. Because it's old, cheap and gloomy.
  • I have a crush on a robot. His name is Wall-E.
  • The Old Spaghetti Factory. Deliciousness. The waiter says I remind him of a Heather. He stares at me all night. I like to think that Heather was the love of his life, the one who got away. In reality, she's probably locked up in a women's prison somewhere. I have a fleeting thought of leaving behind my number on a napkin. Just because it's the most out-of-character thing I could possibly do. But I don't.
  • Yonge Street is closed so that grown men and women can manipulate large praying-mantis puppets in the name of comedy.
  • The Eaton Centre closes at 7 on a Saturday. You learn something every day.
  • Starbucks is not closed at 7. I am treated to a lemonade concoction that is both amazing and completely new to me.
  • Bus station madness. A hug goodbye.
  • Deflating the guest bed.
  • Sleep. A little.
  • Miss the bus.
  • Church with Wendy. Second time in the same calendar year. Last time it was Vancouver. Airplanes are my favorite invention.
  • The A/C kicks in eventually.
  • Apparently Richard Gere is King David?!
  • Spinach and feta omelet on the patio. A heart-to-heart in the sunshine.
  • Magazines and naps. I think a decent measure of a friendship is whether you're comfortable hanging out and just napping the afternoon away on big comfy chairs.
  • Adventures in hauling luggage to the subway station.
  • Blogging (a little) in pajamas. Sleepy but content.
  • Deliberating between watching Mad Men's second-season premiere, playing the piano, reading and sleeping. Sleep always loses. Then again, I did doze off earlier....

Friday, July 25, 2008

Randy Pausch: 1960-2008

Randy Pausch died today.

Randy Pausch, the Carnegie Mellon professor who became a YouTube phenomenon with his "Last Lecture," died Friday of complications from pancreatic cancer. He was 47. He died at his home in southern Virginia. [...]

"I knew what I was doing that day," he wrote in the introduction of his best-selling book, also titled The Last Lecture. "Under the ruse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children."


I'm glad I spent a sick day with him once upon a time. Because, sure, his lecture was for his kids, but it was also for every 20-something daydreamer in need of a challenge.

Watch his last lecture here. Cry a little. And then go live intentionally.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

If I Die Before I Wake...

Amy: I don't wanna die. I've never even been kissed. I've waited my whole to be kissed, and what if I miss it?
Laurie: I tell you what. I promise to kiss you before you die.
~Little Women
I love that Laurie kept his word.

Given only weeks to live, Reece Fleming proposed to his 'special friend' Elleanor Purgslove at a laser tag party.

After she accepted, their parents arranged a make-believe wedding at Reece's home in Mackworth, Derby. He died the next day with his family.

Reece's mother Lorraine Fleming said he told her, "I can go now" after his wish had been granted.


And I love that Reece Fleming's parents understood the importance of certain childhood dreams. At the age of 4, he was diagnosed with leukemia. Four years later, he was losing the battle against cancer. He was given only weeks to live.

His mother and stepfather wanted to help him do everything on his little bucket list. He wanted to marry his sweetheart. And so at 8 years old, he did.

Reece didn't have that great unknown we call tomorrow. But he had a pretty great today.

When I first saw this episode of Touched By An Angel, I sobbed. And while it fails to move me now the way it first did, I'm still touched by this fictional tale of a dying boy with a few simple dreams and a mother who had the courage to make those dreams come true. She finished the song she wrote for him. Even though she knew doing so meant saying goodbye.

I pray that I'll never have to bury a child. But if I must, I hope I can put my pain aside enough to honor the dreams of a precious one without much time.

image source

Fictional Ink

Another blog post about tattoos. This really should stop. And it will. Soon. But a viewing of Wanted put ink on my mind. And once I learn to curve bullets, I'll head out and permanently brand myself.

I am woman enough to acknowledge Angelina's gorgeousness. I am. But in Wanted, she is so painfully thin that I almost don't believe she's capable of holding a steady gun.

Angie, eat something. Please. No, I'm not trying to sabotage you out of envy. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is an example of your optimal stunningness. Go back there. You have three daughters now. Set an example.

But I digress. Back to tattoos.

Over at MovieZen, I count down my favorite tattooed characters. Or at least my favorite tattoos on fictional characters. Unsurprisingly, Guy Pearce takes the top spot. Because Memento was probably the first film that blew my little chronological mind. Fortunately, the reel operator noticed early on that he was playing a flipped version of the movie and corrected the error before confusing me further. It's one thing to see a movie that's backwards. But one that's backwards and inverted (I consider it inside-out) is a little too much for me.

I had a roommate one summer who wanted a tattoo of a squashed bug on the bottom of her foot. Brilliantly painful idea. With a little bit of pointlessness thrown in.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sesame Street is the new SNL

Have you seen this? Sesame Street is now the coolest show to guest-star on. Feist is totally charming. And the song is so perfect. If I were a parent, this would be on repeat in my living room. But since I'm not, I'll only play it once an hour or so.

And because Neil Patrick Harris is suddenly on my super-cool radar, check out a preview of his upcoming Sesame Street appearance here. He's a shoe fairy. And since I'm now obsessed with footwear, he may be my new mascot.

(Thanks, Dad, for the link.)

Holy Awesomeness, Batman!

I saw The Dark Knight. I may see it again. Because it's almost too big to take in in a single viewing.
  • Do not take your children. They will be traumatized.
  • I winced. I shuddered. I laughed. I was emotionally involved in a movie based on a comic book.
  • Heath's performance is NOT overrated. So if you're anticipating awesomeness, it will still exceed your expectations.
  • I'm on Team Christian, so don't bring up the alleged assault incident around me. I'll get defensive. The whole accusation sounds straight-up Sketchy McSketcherson.
  • The next film needs a woman. A great complicated woman. Perhaps in a cat suit?
  • Katie Holmes shot her career in the foot when she fell for a tiny, crazy Scientologist. She could have been in a great movie.
  • Aaron Eckhart is underrated. He's been steadily solid since Erin Brockovich (forgiving him for The Core, naturally).
  • Morgan Freeman is my dream dinner-party guest.
  • If Christopher Nolan were to call me, I would be Batgirl. In an instant.
The movie is dark, yes, and also quite complicated in its morality. The whole thing is an exercise in philosophy and psychology. So if you don't want to think about your own moral code, this movie might frustrate you a little.

If I were a member of the Academy, I would give Ledger an Oscar. Not because he's dead. But because his performance is astonishing. Every. Single. Detail.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Frappuccino

I had my first Frappuccino today. And probably my last.

It was too good. It was gulpable. And I'm not the sort of gal who can afford to spend ridiculous amounts of money on highly caloric beverages that can be consumed in under 30 seconds.

I like black coffee. And the occasional glass of wine. I can't gulp them. I must sip. They're better financial investments, as I end up enjoying them for significantly longer than their sugary alternatives. Plus, the antioxidants in said drinks make me feel sophisticated and healthy. And grown-up.

But milk-based sweet drinks? Gone, baby, gone.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

How Not to Decorate

Today I went to a decoration service at the cemetery where my grandmother is buried.

We did not wallpaper her tombstone.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Will Blog for Shoes

More posts from your favorite blogger are up over at ShoeMinx. I feel like a late bloomer in this whole shoe-obsession thing. But I'm certainly getting the hang of it. And I'm starting to wonder if my InStyle subscription can now be considered a tax write-off.

See that red sole? I believe I should add "wear Louboutins" on my Bucket List. Not buy. Just wear. So if anyone's up for a fancy trying-on-shoes-without-buying excursion, let me know.

Anne Hathaway is still gorgeous
Heidi Klum is "auf" to the Runway
Leighton Meester: Shoes to gossip about
It's Miller Time
Vanessa Hudgens is not wearing sneakers

Most of these can also be found at The Daily Pump.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 18, 2008

"It was a dark and uncomfortable night...."

Early this morning, I walked past a man sleeping on a bench. The air was hot and humid. And he looked oddly comfortable. And for the briefest of moments, I wanted to curl up on my own bench and sleep the day away....

Once upon a time, I spent the night on a picnic table. Not on the tabletop. On the bench. And while the day had been steamy, with nightfall came the cold. But I was too focused on balancing my slippery sleeping bag on the narrow slab of wood to curl up in a ball or find a greater source of heat.

I couldn't sleep. I think I was in New Brunswick. Maybe Quebec. I'm not sure. There was a concrete building behind us, a hub for truckers in need of a shower. So as I lay there, staring up at a black sky, I determined that this would be a great location to be murdered.

Off the highway. A truck stop. Picnic table. Midnight. A 17-year-old missionary was smothered to death by her own sleeping bag. No one heard her scream.

As I lay there, I noticed a moving shadow. A hooded figure slowly circling the few of us who thought that waking up under a blanket of dew would be more exciting than sleeping in vehicles. Around and around he went, watching us. At least, I think he was watching us. If I were to be murdered, he would be the one to do it.

Realizing that my fate was officially out of my hands, I fell asleep. Awkwardly. Only half on the bench. Almost frozen.

As the sun woke me, I noticed that I wasn't dead. Not even bleeding. And at breakfast, upon recounting my dramatic tale of the menacing stranger, I was sheepishly interrupted by the young man eating cereal beside me.

"I couldn't sleep last night. So I thought I'd walk around and make sure you girls were okay."

My villain was actually my hero.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"I've Got a PhD in Horribleness"

The story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to.
I'm addicted. My affection for Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has reached a level of ridiculousness. Have you been watching? The first two acts are now available online. The third is coming on the 19th. And then it will all disappear at midnight on the 20th. It's a magical blog, really. And I expect you to be watching it.

  • I enjoy seeing NPK (Neil Patrick Harris) embracing the lab coat again. But with goggles this time. And singing.
  • I appreciate the laundry obsessiveness. Although Hollywood makes laundromats far sexier than they really are. My life as a laundress was rather non-eventful in the romance department. Although I did sit on a machine and eat ice cream. So I almost understand. But a song about laundry day? I'm sold.
  • Nathan Fillion is a genius. I would claim him as I do Bale and Gosling (picking the underrated actor before he hits it big), but Joel introduced us, so I can take no responsibility for my fandom. I would be a cowgirl in space if it meant fighting alongside him. And I would bake him a pie in a heartbeat.
  • Whedon is also a genius. If he and Abrams collaborated, the planet would explode.
  • I use the word "genius" too often. But it's not my fault that a handful of them got together and made cyberspace significantly cooler.
  • I would totally watch a Broadway version. I would even camp out for tickets. Just to hear NPH sing: "And Penny will see the evil me / Not a joke, not a dork, not a failure / And she may cry, but her tears will dry / When I hand her the keys to a shiny new Australia"

And because I'm psychic (or a Google queen), I predicted the awesomeness/horribleness over at MovieZen. (I wrote the post almost two weeks ago. I sensed it was coming.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Lazy Blogging

I'm going to bed right now. But I feel as though I should post something. It's a habit I'm trying to start: daily blogging here.
  • So go watch this. It will change your life. Or at least amuse you. We'll discuss later.
  • This article makes my brain explode a little. Thanks, Dad. "There is nothing suspicious about the death." Riiiiiiight. Note to self: Don't get decapitated in Hampshire. Other note to self: When feeling homicidal, you know where to set up shop.
  • I was sent a very official-looking contract this evening. A writing contract. So exciting and intimidating and hilarious. I shall explain after I sign it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Permission to Fail

I was going to respond to a recent comment, but realized my response was quickly becoming too long for the little comment box. So I'll post my thoughts here. Thanks, Walking Church, for identifying the burden of the pedestal:
I don't like that burden much - it seems so unfair - I am just a redeemed man who makes his share of mistakes - most of the time 'a great guy' but frequently humbled by looking at the 'jerk' in the mirror. I guess I believe I have tasted mercy and need to extend it.
Just for the record, I don't walk around assuming men are jerks. Although my motto in high school was "Not all boys are jerks; some are dead." Until a guy snapped back with "Not all girls are dumb; some can cook." In fact, I'm pretty good at giving guys the benefit of the doubt. And more often than not, I'm the one defending the boyfriend or the husband when the girl is frustrated (or homicidal).

Not all that long ago, I had to confront myself (which can be awkward) after making a rather uncomfortable assumption about someone. In a moment of painful honesty, I knew that my disappointment had absolutely nothing to do with him. I was merely comparing him to the man I thought he was. Or wanted him to be. And that wasn't fair. Because the version in my head DOES NOT EXIST. And no one wants to be weighed against fiction. It's brain porn.

It's easy to blame Jerry Maguire for what's happening to our expectations. Too often, women become the walking wounded after investing their hearts in anticipation of a "You complete me" moment that never comes. Because, quite frankly, no broken human is going to complete another broken human. Complement? Sure. But not complete. And one of the hardest things to do is accept that a certain level of dissatisfaction comes from a need for the eternal.

I love how Bebo Norman describes it:
Loneliness is really the issue here, and loneliness doesn't discriminate. It bites every soul created with that God-shaped vacuum inside. It's common ground, really. For believers and unbelievers alike. Because we all know, whether we admit it or not, that regardless of how beautiful and full the relationships in our life may be, there's something else we long for. Something even more beautiful. Something even more full.
One thing I've learned in recent years (I do learn on occasion) is that men are just as insecure as we are. That no one has any clue about anything. And as women cling to romantic notions of the perfect man, men stumble around, feeling more and more inadequate. I've had so many conversations with frustrated souls about how men can't step up because they don't feel they're good enough. He wants to have it all together first. He wants to be proud of his life before he can share it with anyone. He wants it figured out.

Secret of the day: No one has it figured out.

And that's not what I'm asking for.

I'm looking for that messy*, imperfect, vulnerable guy seeking after God's heart.

*Maybe not literally messy. Just we're-on-this-crazy-adventure-together messy.

Fail - Kendall Payne

I love this song. No pedestals. Just learning to love in spite of and because of failure. I think it's time to start giving each other permission to be imperfect. (I'm not endorsing the jerk, but I'm willing to forgive the man who acts like one.)

The end.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Q: Where Have All the Good Men Gone?

A: Grocery shopping.

I was in line at the checkout. There were two people in front of me. First in line was an old woman fumbling with her change. Between her and I stood a young man with very good taste in groceries. Roasted chicken, arugula and Camembert. If he had asked me over for dinner, I would have said yes without hesitation. Because I judge people by their culinary style.

At this particular store, customers bag their own groceries. As I was typing in my PIN, the boy with the groceries of greatness finished bagging his food. The old woman was still working on hers. So he put down his things and offered to help her.

After he left, the woman commented, "The young men here are so great."

The cashier and I chimed in unison, "Not all of them." I surprised myself with my reaction. Fortunately, it came off as funny and not bitter. Because I'm not bitter. At all. But the cashier was. Or at least broken.

"I don't know any great men. The only good man in my life is my son."

She's younger than me. And alone.

The old woman was happily mumbling to herself. "He must have a wonderful mother." She was still talking about Mr. Arugula, but she very well could have been talking to the cashier.

So after loading my produce into my canvas bag, I turned to the single mother:

"I guess you'll just have to raise a great man."

She smiled. "The greatest."

The Wonder Twins Have Arrived!

And Brangelina fans rejoice.

Side note: I don't think I'll ever mesh my name with someone else's. I mean, what if I fall for a Fred? Fredine? Nafred? Uh, no thanks. Of course, if I'm famous, I won't have control over the matter....

So Angelina had her babies. Time stopped for the briefest of moments. And then news outlets went crazy. Because this thing called birth is new. Or at least long-awaited. It's like the sequel to Children of Men. Knox and Vivienne are somehow the hope of our planet.

I find it hilarious that magazines have to tell us that there's a wedding trend. Or a get-skinny trend. Or a baby trend. Because I'm quite certain that marriages, diets and childbirths are a reality in every season of every year, among the famous and non-famous alike.

But if you call Brad Pitt "honey," following trends isn't enough. If you're part of the elite superstar class, you must up the ante. Which is Oscar winners get married multiple times. Starlets compete for the most-emaciated award. And when the A-list get pregnant, they go for the multiple.

Check out MovieZen
for my twin watch.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

He's Free Fallin'

Some songs are almost about me.

This song felt like my song today. Especially John Mayer's mellow version (below). Which, I know, is probably an insult to the perfect original version. But still. That voice is key.

So I was going to post the lyrics. But then I realized that, to be accurate, I'd have to change the lyrics. And then the song lost its poignancy and became a joke.

That's my story.
Happy Sunday.

She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus, and America Canada too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis Bono
Loves horses wombats, and her boyfriend her dead boyfriend too

I do love Elvis. And non-dead individuals.
And I'm the good girl. Sigh.

What "On Her Toes" Looks Like

This is my blog in a single photo.
From boopsiedaisy's Etsy shop.
This photo is a close second.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Them Kids

This is stuck in my head. So I shall spread the catchiness with you.
Coolest music video of the day. Or week.

I heart Sam Roberts.

Hot Wheels

I don't typically take pictures of vehicles. My cool-car radar is often in a state of malfunction. But yesterday it kicked in. I saw a cool car. And so I snapped away.

I'm not sure why they're spending so much money promoting a flick that will break a pile of records regardless of publicity stunts. But I quite enjoyed checking out Bruce Wayne's ride. Unfortunately, the Caped Crusader was not on hand. I checked.

Do I want to see The Dark Knight? Maybe.*

*Maybe = YES.

(Check out my MovieZen entry on the parenting priorities of The Dark Knight's cast.)

I caught a screening of Wanted last night. Highly recommended for those of you who are over the age of 18 and appreciate watching gunfights of creative awesomeness. (And you don't mind rodents being used a weapons. Or having fate dictated by weaving looms. I kid you not. It's an action film about weavers.)

I am James McAvoy's character. Before he discovers he's an assassin. I'm still the stuck-in-a-cubicle version.

Inspirational quote of the night:
Six weeks ago, I was ordinary and pathetic, just like you.
~James McAvoy as Wesley
Go see it. Or wait for Batman. Whatever floats your brooding-hero boat.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

She Walks Like a Lady. A Lady Who Reads.

I went for a walk after work today. At first, it was just to avoid waiting for the streetcar. But then I couldn't stop. I started to understand Forrest Gump's endless run.

My little walk became a two-hour-plus trek through the city.

There's something about sunshine and fresh air that makes me feel alive. I was in a zombie-like state of exhaustion for most of the day, so this new exhilaration wasn't something I was about to cut short. How tired was I today? Let's just say that I forgot how to wash my hair this morning. I remembered to rinse, but I forgot to lather. It wasn't until I was blow-drying my hair (and already running late) that I realized I had neglected to go near the shampoo. Yes, I washed my hair with water. I need sleep.

And so I walked, thriving in the outdoor air. And conveniently, this walk took me past bookstores. Three of them. And I spent money. In two of them. Not much, though (I conveniently discovered unused gift certificates in my wallet). And while it seems impulsive, these little treasures have been on my wish list for some time. So I consider the purchases well-planned and productive in the scheme of my week. And there will be a return on my investment.

ProBlogger is one of my favorite blogs. I'm a daily blog-stalker. Darren Rowse is an Aussie pastor-turned-full-time-blogger with a super-brilliant blog about blogging. He's also one of the guys behind b5media. And he's written a book. A book that I now own. So if you see changes here at on her toes, blame Darren.

And you know who Stephen King is. Misery didn't exactly paint a lovely picture of a writing career, but his book On Writing is a classic in the trade. And I like classics. And I think he knows what he's talking about when it comes to career stuff.

But before I read (or write), I shall sleep. And use shampoo.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Keepin' Up With Me: Wednesday's Links

I gave a homeless man $5 today. And he handed me back a toonie. He takes his business seriously.

"Honest to blog."

I'm a blogging maniac. And I'm slowly branching out into the world of celebrity-footwear cyberjournalism. So check out ShoeMinx. You can check out some of my slightly snarky obversations here:
And are you reading these? Anyone? If I'm not posting here, it's because I'm elsewhere in the blogosphere.


My pick for Idol thus far is Theo. Because he wears scarves. Oh, and he's awesome.
(Piano in A + Guitar in B = Winner)

Other online tidbits:

Quote of the day:

"Men should always change diapers. It's a very rewarding experience. It's mentally cleansing. It's like washing dishes, but imagine if the dishes were your kids, so you really love the dishes."

- Chris Martin tells the new issue of Blender

Six Degrees of Me

I can play Six Degrees of Separation with any actor, not just Mr. Bacon. And sometimes, I can even connect myself.

(A walk down blogging lane would remind you that Gene Kelly and I are thisclose.)

Read and be amazed.
Check out my entry at MovieZen for the details.

And no, I didn't choose the sweaty shirtless pic. So stop judging me. Yes, you.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chuck + Hellboy = Greatness

As you all know, I heart Chuck Bartowski.
And I'm secretly quite fond of Hellboy. Okay, maybe not secretly.
And tonight I'm on a bit of a post-someone-else's-ads kick.

I'm over it now.
I'll be original tomorrow.

P.S. I would buy the lunchbox.

Facebook Knows Me So Well

Christian Single?
Then what are you waiting for? Join ChristianMingle!
~Facebook ad
Why is Jesus winking at me?

Monday, July 07, 2008

Someone Else's Prince Charming

I was waiting to cross the street, my mind preoccupied with thoughts of blog entries, Pilates and massive salads, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him. He was on the other side of the road, waving wildly. Suddenly, despite the red light, he starting running through the intersection, dodging traffic, toward me.

He spoke with his hands, which did little to distract me from the tie-dyed neon mess of a tank he was wearing. All that was missing was his fanny pack. I'm sure he just forgot it at home. And while I'm not opposed to scruff, his was more "sleazy midlife" than "cast-of-Lost ruggedness." In his thick European accent, he enthusiastically asked me (while nodding his head, a sneaky strategy when trying to convince someone to agree with you):

"Would you like to take me somewhere? I am a baby-making machine."

I have nothing against babies. I quite like them. And I hope to have some of my own one day. But I'm not sure I could have someone who wears a neon shirt typically described as a "wife-beater" as the father of my children. Nor could I explain to my young'uns that their daddy first met me by jaywalking. I cannot endorse lawbreaking. Besides, I'm old-fashioned; I would prefer to be taken rather than do the taking.

So I smiled and politely declined the opportunity. Fortunately, a lovely lady in a lovelier dress than mine arrived at our little corner.

"Ah, she's nice, no?"

I had to agree.

The light changed. I walked away. And even while waving goodbye to me, he was eying his new object of infatuation.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tattoo Advice

Today I saw a tattoo that was too small.

I know that sounds a little weird coming from someone who probably won't ever get one (I can barely decide what to wear in the morning. How would I ever decide on something permanent? I'm far too much of a long-term thinker, anticipating wrinkles and stretch marks), but I think people really need to consider proportion and location before getting inked.

It was a name, quite small and in cursive, on her bicep. But it was pretty much just an illegible smudge. It was as if she wanted something little and inconspicuous, and yet she put it in a rather obvious spot. It should have been significantly larger. Or on a wrist or ankle or hip bone where tiny tattoos fit quite nicely.

And that is your tattoo-placement lesson. If you're going to tattoo my name on your arm, do it like you mean it.

If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, I would consider running out and getting a tattoo. Of course, if I really was going to die tomorrow, there would be better things to do with my limited time than hang out in tattoo parlors....

Whatever Happened to Colin Hanks?

Bud Brumder: A writer? What do you have to write about? You're not oppressed. You're not gay.

I'll admit it. I loved Orange County. Because it was a smart teen movie disguised as a dumb teen movie. Because Colin Hanks had the everyman approachability of his father without being, well, his father. Because, at 19, I was not allowed to have a crush on Tom. It violated my nine-year rule. And my no-married-men rule.

Also starring in Orange County is Schuyler Fisk, Sissy Spacek's daughter. I'm slightly fascinated my the spawn of Hollywood's A-list. Specifically the talented, non-rehabbed ones. You know, the Bryce Dallas Howards. Even the Mariska Hargitays. But not Kate Hudson. I don't think we would be friends.

And new on my radar is Mamie Gummer, Meryl Streep's daughter. And as is the trend, I've blogged about her over at MovieZen. So go read it. And then when she becomes famous in a year or so, you can claim you anticipated such a rise to stardom.

Mr. Burke: Now, when I say "Romeo and Juliet," who comes to mind?
Dana: Claire Danes?
Mr. Burke: That's right, Claire Danes. Who else?
Chad: Leonardo DiCaprio.
Mr. Burke: Right. Who else? Well, you know, someone else was involved in that movie who, in some ways, is as famous as Leonardo DiCaprio. And his name is William Shakespeare. And some great movies have been made based on his plays: Hamlet, West Side Story, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Waterworld, Gladiator, Chocolat....

Saturday, July 05, 2008

I Am George Bailey

In the past few weeks, I've connected with really random film scenes. I mean, really random. Like View from the Top-Good Will Hunting-Shopgirl random. And no, I'm not a flight attendant in therapy for having an affair with a much older man. I relate in tiny, non-obvious ways.

Maybe I'll explain later.

There's a scene [below] in It's a Wonderful Life that used to frustrate me. Mostly because I couldn't understand why silly Violet didn't want to run off with George. And then it frustrated me because I saw a bit of myself in her. And I didn't want to be Violet. As has been established previously, I want to be Mary.

The scene popped into my head today. Out of nowhere. And I realized that I'm no longer Violet. I'm George Bailey. I, too, am "tired of just reading about those things." And right now, I want to take my shoes off and walk through the grass.

Queen of Wishful Thinking

Oh, William. He covered "King of Wishful Thinking" on Wednesday and it's been in my head ever since. The above video isn't from the concert at El Mocambo, but it's pretty much what went down.

The original video of the song is here. It's cheese in video form. Just to warn you.

I am the queen of wishful thinking. Which is dangerous. Because, as Beth Moore so eloquently puts it, "A rebellious child of God prefers pleasant illusions over truth."

I'm pretty good at thinking. I do it a lot. Although I've recently discovered that thinking does not necessarily equal processing. I can think about something without digging very deep. It's more like a daydreaming mode that I hang out in. Which is probably the worst place to keep my head. Because I end up, to borrow a lyric from Bebo, "no farther forward, just farther along."

So the plan is to move forward. To stop this wishful thinking and go have my adventure. Not that I'm going to stop thinking. Just the pointless, wistful nothingness. Dreams are still important. But not when they hold me hostage.

Things I have thought today:
  • Why does my brain like to confuse Morgentaler and Kevorkian? I do know the difference. Perhaps it's because their surnames each have four syllables? Or there's the death thing....
  • Spiritual farting is annoying. So stop it.
  • I should start a washroom franchise. For those walking around downtown in need of facilities.
  • I should sleep more.
  • How does one become a shoe addict? Can I take a class?
  • I'm higher maintenance than I like to believe. But lower than I was. I'm probably medium maintenance.
  • Why do people respond to graffiti on bathroom doors? And ladies, you don't have to draw me a picture of fecal matter. I know what it looks like. No wonder guys are so confused by girls. We want roses and we draw poop.
  • My piano needs a name. Because he's my boyfriend as of late. We spend plenty of quality time together late a night.
  • Can someone be stalked by a country?
  • I need to get in shape. For real this time. Maybe. No, stop that. For real. Discussion over.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The Cost of Marriage: Subway Edition

I overheard a fascinating conversation on the subway today. I wish I was wearing a wire. Because now I only recall fuzzy little fragments of what could have been a really fascinating look into the lives of strangers.

Two women, one a married Christian, the other a single Muslim, were riding the TTC together. The single girl, probably barely 20, rambled on immaturely about her impending marriage. A marriage that sounded more real than wishful thinking but less real than one an engaged woman anticipates. Perhaps she was seeking an arranged marriage. Or she was just jumping way ahead of herself. I have no way of knowing.

I'm the single girl who probably has little grounds for handing out marital advice, but I'm pretty sure that even the most knowledgeable of counselors would be waving every red flag she could scrounge up. Don't get married, child. You. Are. Not. Ready.

Her thoughts on marriage:
  • I just want someone who's nice. And not controlling.
  • I don't want to have to do anything.
  • I want him to have the money. I want him to have the good job and to pay for everything. In my religion, my money is my own. I don't have to give it to him. I want to keep all my own money. For me.
  • I don't mean that he has to do everything, I just want him to think that he has to.
  • If I don't get married, I'm going to have to move to Calgary with my parents.
To her friend:
  • [RE: finances, household responsibility, children] You talked about that stuff before you got married?
  • How did you bring that up? Isn't it weird to talk about that stuff?
And her friend gently told her about premarital counseling at her church. She told her how easy it was to talk about the important things. Because you have to talk about them. And you actually want to talk about them when you're with the person you're planning a future with.

And the little girl looked baffled. Like someone who was looking at snow for the first time. Here was a woman who shares her money with her husband.

Dear future husband, you can have my heart AND my cash.

And yes, I realize that I called the same person a woman, a girl, and a child. Because she was all three. And should probably move to Calgary with her parents.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

It Happened Last Night: The Encore

It Happened Last Night: Brooke Fraser

She makes the kind of music that sounds like a pop marshmallow has dropped into a folk hot chocolate and become a warm, spicy chocolatey broth.
She was spectacular. As was expected. And instead of inarticulate gushiness, I shall leave it at that.

Love her.

It Happened Last Night: William Fitzsimmons

william: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, melodica, banjo, mandolin, vocals, programming, production, arguably inappropriate lyrical self-disclosure

William is the last guy at the campfire. That's how I describe him. After everyone has had their fun, played their little ditties and headed off to their tents, he's still strumming away as the embers fade, baring just a little too much of his soul beneath the midnight sky to the sleepy few remaining.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I. Am. Canadian.

It's still Canada Day, but in my little world, it's over. And it was good.

And now I'm sleepy. Because sleepovers are novelties when you live alone.
And now I'm sunburned. Because talking in the sun without pausing for the SPF was a brilliant idea at the time.
And now I'm full. Because all cakes should be made out of ice-cream sandwiches, chocolate sauce and Cool Whip.

And all is well.

If you head over to MovieZen, you will be reminded that our holiday is but a blip in the week of Northern Hemisphere holidaying. With the July 4th weekend (which oddly starts with a Wednesday release) comes Will Smith. And Hancock. And a lot of people will go. Because it's common knowledge that Big Willie is Mr. July. And we probably shouldn't mess with that.

Although I will. Wanted, anyone?

But not until I get some sleep.