Monday, September 29, 2008

How to Fight Like Butch Cassidy

Indulge me a little. I'm in Newman mode.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford: Best. Duo. Ever.

Oh, and William Goldman's pretty good at telling a story too. By "pretty good," I mean "awesome." The Princess Bride doesn't get enough love. I know it gets a lot, but it's still not enough.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alma: Jumbo the Elephant

I wanted to tell you a story this evening. But one wouldn't come. And then I remembered that there's a brilliant one you should all read. Will Gibson, a coworker of mine/subtitler extraordinaire/writer/creative guy (that's a technical term), is the creator of a comic that needs your love.

So read it. Become a fan. (Yes, there's a "Become a Fan" button.)
Canada, 1885. On assignment from the Society for Psychical Research, Edmund Mallory finds himself stranded in St. Thomas, Ontario, due to the arrival of the Greatest Show on Earth, P.T. Barnum's circus. With time on his hands, he sets out to gather local tales of the strange and unusual, only to find himself quickly embroiled in a web of mystery and deception. As Jumbo, the world's largest pachyderm, lays dead, it is up to Mallory to uncover the truth amidst the eldrich blasphemies, mysterious women, and ethereal ghosts that haunt the hallowed halls of Alma College, a proper school for girls.
Yes, St. Thomas is scary. Enjoy.

P.S. Will once shot a commercial in which I consumed an entire box of President's Choice Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookies while made up to look harrowingly ill. (Class project. Don't get too excited.) I was a computer virus. Eating cookies.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman: 1925 - 2008

"If my eyes should ever turn brown, my career is shot to hell."
~ Paul Newman
Goodbye, Butch Cassidy. You're already missed.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Notable Quotables


I was walking past two young men on their smoke break. I wish I had heard more.

"I thought I lost my virginity...."


Two guys getting off the subway, deep in thought. Obviously.

"Happiness is happiness. I mean, it doesn't matter if you think it is or isn't, you know?"


A tween girl on her cell phone. Loudly.

"Is Katrina a weirdo? Do you think she's weird? I think she's weird. I told her that you were weird."


Me. On the phone with a friend. Talking in circles.

"Yeah, he should be obsessed with me."

(I don't normally quote myself. But she told me to.)


McCain. Debating. Sounding a little like the man who came before him.

"...beyond his wildest explectations."

Yes, explectations. It's the word of the day.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Rare Survey

I rarely fill these out. But because this one didn't ask me about my crush or what my last text message was, I figured I'd give it a go....

If you were one of the Seven Dwarfs, which one would you be?

Dopey. Because I'm beardless.
Doc. Because I wear glasses.
Sleepy. Because I am.

Have you ever thrown popcorn at someone and then pretended it wasn't you?
No. But I was with a group that was almost thrown out of an East Side Mario's for throwing peanuts.

Have you ever flown first class?
Nope. But I have flown WestJet.

Would you rather surf in California or ski in Vermont?

Hmm. Well, I know I'd rather ski in California than surf in Vermont....

What is one topping you MUST have on your pizza?

Cheese. Meat. Vegetable.

Do you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction books?
Non-fiction. I'm a little obsessed with biographies. Although an excellent novel is priceless.

Would you rather read books or magazines?

Both serve unique purposes. But books.

Have you ever seen a shooting star?
I have. My first was in PEI. All I remember is sitting in a lawn chair, staring at the sky.

Have you ever had your cheek pinched by a relative?
Probably. Most likely by a tiny relative grabbing at my face indiscriminately.

Have you ever torn your pants in public?
I can't remember. I do remember ripping a huge hole in my shirt hopping the school fence.

Do you know how a bill is passed in Congress?
Vaguely. I'm more familiar with Canadian law. You know, I'm hip to the Parliament/House of Commons scene. Sort of. Not at all.

Do you know the difference between a conjunction and an adjective?
Yes. Grammar is my life.

How many times a day do you brush your teeth?
Two to three.

Do you chew on ice?
Maybe. Only when there's some left at the bottom of the glass and I'm bored. I don't actually seek out ice just to chew on it.

Do you watch TV or read before bedtime?
I watch TV in the evening, then read in bed.

Are you allergic to anything?
Not that I know of. Although I used to lie and say I was allergic to turnip. But when you're 7, no matter how passionately you tell your parents this, they never believe you.

How many times a week do you wash your hair?
Usually seven. I think the record is 9 or 10. But that was a crazy week.

Do you own any plaid pants?
No. But that is a brilliant idea. I should re-embrace my seventh-grade wardrobe. (The standout was the navy sweatshirt with the appliqued plaid heart on it that matched my flannel pants.)

Have you ever been in a natural disaster (flood, hurricane, etc.)?
Not quite. I've watched a lot of movies, though.... Yeah, I'd get back together with Bill Paxton, too, if we survived the worst tornado EVER together. Seriously, I would.

Have you ever had food SO bad in a restaurant that you sent it back?
Nope. Although I pretended my impossibly hard dinner roll was a drumstick and rhythmically banged it on the table for a bit. Highly amusing. And I left a restaurant recently when I was unimpressed with the menu.

Have you ever touched a live chicken?

What about a live turkey?
Nope. But I've stuffed a dead one.

Do you sleep in pajamas?

Yes. Or some combination of old comfy clothes that I now call pajamas. Oh, and a shirt that was banned from the University of Guelph. Illegal p.j.'s rock.

Can you touch your toes without bending your knees?
On a good day.

Did you just try it?
No. Sheesh.

What is the opposite of a hamburger?
A black hole.

Do you talk in your sleep?

I don't know. I live alone.

Have you ever played in the rain?
Yes. But I have yet to sing in the rain. Or kiss an upside-down Spider-Man in a downpour.

Have you ever had a Mexican jumping bean?
No. But I've had tacos. And jelly beans. Separately.

If you didn't have any bread, what would you use to spread butter on bread?
I don't understand. There is no bread, people. Get over it.

Have you ever swallowed your gum?
Yes. If I die before my 98th birthday, blame it on the small lump of aspartame in my stomach.

Have you ever been ice fishing?
No. I haven't spent much time with folks who fish. Yet.

Where is the most inappropriate place your cell phone has rang?

Church. Although I did get a text while I was out for dinner with a rather spectacular someone. It said, "Go get him, girl." And believe me, I tried.

Have you ever called 911 by accident?
No. I've called 411 on purpose, though.

Have you ever gone whitewater rafting?
No. I've been down the Lazy River at a water park. Does that count? I also canoed over a couple rapids once. I think.

Have you ever faked sick?
I've exaggerated mild symptoms :) I was a drama major. I can be Ferris Bueller if I need to be.

Can you do a flip on a trampoline?
Maybe back in the day. ("In the day" = "Are you kidding me?!")

Have you ever surfed?
...the World Wide Web! I'm so cool.

Have you ever fallen off a horse?
No. But I've been on one. And I've been told to "get back on the horse" and to "hold my horses" and to stop "horsing around" and to "never look a gift horse in the mouth"....

Have you ever had anyone tell you that your fly was open?

Oh, probably. Clearly, I got over it.

Have you ever successfully pogoed on a pogo stick?

Define "successfully." I am not dead. Or broken. That equals success.

Do you eat breakfast?
Every single day. I'm addicted.

Would you rather shave your head or stop talking for a year?
Bald is beautiful. Silence is deadly.

Have you ever sleepwalked?
I don't think so.

Can you flip your eyelids up?
Not without surgical intervention.

Are you double-jointed?
No. But I have multiple joints.

Have you ever gotten gum stuck in your hair?

Have you ever thrown up after a roller-coaster ride?

No. But I threw up after a Ferris wheel ride. (It happened to be immediately after a ride on the Scrambler, which came immediately after the Gravitron, which happened to be the first ride after my dinner of hot dogs.)

Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit?

No. Sheesh. That's like asking a dog if he's eaten human food. Oh, wait....

Can you pick things up with your toes?
Define "things." Because I can pick up a sock that's lying on the ground, but I can't pick up a contact lens.

Did you just try to do it?
No, I'm just super-smart and can figure this stuff out in my head.

How many foreign countries have you visited?
Is the United States of America foreign? Someone, please take me away.

Would you rather clean the bathroom or the kitchen?
Whose bathroom? Whose kitchen? I just cleaned my bathroom. So I suppose I should say kitchen to be fair.

Have you ever jammed a puzzle piece into a puzzle to "make it fit"?
Not on your life. I play by rules, folks. And each piece has a very special place.

Would you blow your nose at the dinner table?

Depends on who I'm eating with, I suppose.

Have you ever slipped in the bathtub?
I don't think so. I have slipped on a banana peel, though. Which was amazing. Cartoons are based on my life.

Have you ever locked yourself out of your house?

Yes. And then broke into my house by climbing through my brother's bedroom window.

Have you ever made a semi truck honk?

New Years Day. Mid-late '90s. I stood alongside the highway, in my pajamas, in the snow, and made trucks honk at me. I had the world's most fascinating adolescence.

Would you prefer to go through life with a huge nose or crossed eyes?

How huge? How crossed? A classmate of mine in the second grade asked me why my nose was bigger than everyone else's. I didn't have a very eloquent answer. I should have said, "All the better to smell you with, my dear."

Would you rather jump into a dumpster or a vat of honey?

Dumpster. Seriously, folks, you could DROWN in honey. All you need is a shower and you've recovered nicely from dumpster-diving. And then hop over to the vat of honey with a plate of warm toast and you're good to go.

What is your favorite breed of dog?
Cartoon. (Snoopy. Clifford. Lady. And the Tramp.)

Have you ever licked the tip of a ballpoint pen?
No. Have you?!

Have you ever eaten frog legs?
Nope. I'll save that experience for France.
P.S. Anyone wanna go to France to eat frog legs?

Your absolute favorite shirt is dirty. Would you still wear it?

I have nothing against wearing non-favorite shirts. And maybe. Is it borderline wearable or beyond the point of no return?

Have you ever put your tongue on a frozen pole?
No. I learn from the mistakes of others.

Have you ever blown bubbles in your milk?

What did you call your baby blanket?
I don't believe I called it anything. I was a baby.

Have you ever worn bell-bottoms?
Most certainly. I had shiny silver ones. I was the coolest ever. But nothing beat the silver platform shoes with foam soles and Velcro straps.

Guys: Have you ever been in the ladies' room?
Girls: Have you ever been in the men's room?

Yes. Because there's never a line for the men's room. Sure, it might be a little sketchy in there (Do you men not take Aiming 101?), but I'd take immediacy over cleanliness most days.

Have you ever smelled your own feet?
Yeah. One of those "Shoot. Do my feet smell? Will HE smell them? Should I go with socks and shoes instead of sandals?" moments.

Did you just smell them?

Have you ever broken a mirror?
Yes. On purpose, even.

Have you ever fallen asleep during a movie in the theater?
Yes. It was a Bourne movie, shamefully.

Have you ever bathed a dog?
No. Now ask me if I've ever had a dog to bathe.

Have you ever used a slingshot?
Probably. And probably quite poorly.

Have you ever gotten something stuck up your nose?
No. Man, I need better stories.

Have you ever sucked your thumb?
I cut my thumb and sucked on it to stop the bleeding. That counts, people.

Can you read while traveling without getting sick?
What kind of traveling? What kind of reading? Don't cram me in the back of a vehicle with no air circulation and expect me to read the classics in super-tiny print. But the front seat? Or on a plane? Pass the Coupland.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not Much Has Changed

Sometimes I feel as though I think too much. I plan out my future, including the actions of those I've never met. I plan out insightful things to say if ever I were put in that situation, but rarely find myself there. And if I do, I never fail to be a moron.

~Nadine, almost 16.
(Journal - June 4, 1999)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Five Thoughts

  1. If I put makeup on at 6:30 am, I wash it off and reapply before going anywhere in the evening. I'm pretty sure Revlon isn't designed for an 18-hour day. Plus, washing my face plays tricks with my brain. I forget that I'm tired and think that I'm about to start my day all over again.
  2. Greg Brady creeps me out. You have no idea. I think it's the fact that he once dated his TV mom. Or that he's just plain creepy.
  3. Today I met someone and thought, "Wow, he looks like a good-looking Lyle Lovett." Is this even possible?**
  4. The Bible + new friends + homemade chocolate cream puffs = a pretty great Tuesday evening.
  5. I was a vegetarian today. Accidentally. Somebody, kill me a chicken.

**I've since changed my mind. He looks like Chris Isaak.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boy Meets Girl: A Character Study

I don't know where to begin. Oh, I know. Here. Seriously, you're going to need a recap. Because my life is one fantastic soap opera. And it's all my fault.

As I type this, I'm not sure how I feel about technology. About social networking. About the instant and all-too-easy access I have to strangers. Because when my interest in piqued, I may find them. And then find myself in some tangled web of awkwardness that has me breaking up with someone I don't even know.

We went for non-coffee coffee. (We met at a coffee place where we skipped the caffeinated options). Conversation came easy. Perhaps too easy. I caught myself thinking, "Wait a minute. There's no way I'm actually this charming." But maybe I was. I'm learning. An hour later, as I headed home, I knew that something was off. That even just a non-coffee coffee was inconsistent with who I am. And was an awkward nonnegotiable rejection waiting to happen.

It's fun stepping outside of the comfort zone, embarking on a little adventure that involves flattery and intrigue. But when I acknowledged that my initiative in the situation was out of character, a loud voice echoed in my swirly-whirly head, "It's called character for a reason."

When my heart is firmly in one place, ignoring it for a moment or two is pointless. Eventually it will rear its head. Yes, my heart has a head. Which is confusing, considering my heart and real head are often at odds....

So I chose to be the jerk rather than the liar.

I had nothing to offer. I had no business chatting up a much-older stranger I saw-but-didn't-meet in a bar. I had no intentions beyond a hello, and there I was, suddenly being pursued by someone who had every reason to expect otherwise.

So I apologized and let him go.

He was gracious, subtly hurt, cut me free, and we reverted to stranger status. A de-friending on Facebook was included. Which I find oddly amusing. I'm not sure why. I'll probably need therapy one day.

I will slowly learn my lessons the hard way, waiting for that miraculous two-way street where affection is reciprocated and awkwardness is at a minimum. Or at least forgiven. And where missteps and gaffes aren't significant enough to get in the way of the real adventure.

Ah, girls are confusing. To every guy I've ever known, I apologize for my contribution to the mixed signals and inconsistencies that my sex has thrown at you. For the sudden shyness, the over-thinking, the cynicism, the coyness....

I am tired of the game. I always lose.
Men, if you stop playing, so will I.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Good Day

  • Brian McLaren speaks. Love him. And then he sings to us.
  • Twisted Frosties for lunch.
  • Holding a $1000 Ferragamo bag. And stroking it. And walking around with it. And putting it back. (That was the discounted price.)
  • Walking past a movie set. Hoping that something will explode. Nothing does.
  • High tea at the Fairmont Hotel. Eating berries and crumpets and scones and finger sandwiches and pastries. And maple maple tea. Yes, two maples.
  • Making two new friends. Which makes the new-friend toll reach 5 for the week. Although the first new friend of the week also become my first un-friend of the week. More on that later.
  • An hour-and-a-half walk home with my Imax-Jesus friend.
  • Exploring the brand-spanking-new Shoppers on the Danforth. Four liters of milk for $2.99.
  • The Emmys. In pyjamas. All cozy and content and slightly gown-obsessed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

It Happened Last Night: Brooke Fraser. Again.

She belongs in a another era, no?

I saw Brooke Fraser last night. I'm pretty sure that twice in three months is a record for me. And it's one I'd have no problem breaking, as I'm pretty much an addict now. Love her. As should you. But I don't love her in the way a crazy fan in line professed to, sheepishly admitting that he announced to his friends he was going to marry her before discovering she was, in fact, already married. A real fan would have done his research. Sheesh.

(No, the glasses aren't real. She threw on over-sized plastic frames to distract us from the fact that she wasn't wearing makeup. And then told us all that she wasn't wearing any makeup. 'Cause that's the way she rolls.)

I think I prefer her live. Her album is amazing, but she has a rather oddball sense of humor and inspiring musical proficiency that makes her even better on stage. And her voice is clearer and gutsier and all-around more remarkable when she's in the same room as you. Except when she's cracking up during the first verse of "The Sounds of Silence." Or trying to sing "O Canada." But that's all part of her charm.

Highlight? "Love is Waiting." I love the verses. So much so that every time I hear it, I wish I had written it. Or at least plagiarized a couple lyrics in a conversation I had not all that long ago. I believe this is the first tour with that song on the set list. Mostly because she doesn't know what to do with her hands. (It's the only song that doesn't have her playing the piano or guitar.) So she improvised:

It's my caution, not the cold....

Okay, I'm done gushing now.
I need to learn to play the guitar.

The end.

It Happened Last Night: Matt Hires

He's young, super-talented, a little shy and completely endearing. But not in a cuddly way. In a cool way. There is a difference. And not Jonas Brothers-young either. Whew. I'd sign him to my label if I had one. And I may have met him. And I may own his EP. And I may have quickly fired a text message to BC to confirm his cuteness. Maybe.

Oh, how I fall victim to the "acoustic guitar + boy" combination. Especially with material like this:

Honey, let me sing you a song
And listen to my words as they come out wrong
But don't run away, run away this time

Honey, let me look in your eyes
And you open them one at a time
But don't look away, look away this time

I should have written that song. Especially the "as they come out wrong" line. But he got to it first.

Honey, Let Me Sing You A Song - Matt Hires

Check out his MySpace page. Be his friend.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"Rock & Roll"

This song makes me happy. It sounds like summer.

Eric Hutchinson, this may be the beginning of a beautiful friendship....

Sorry for all the YouTube-ness as of late. I'll tell fantastic stories again shortly. I realized that some of the adventures I intentionally neglected to blog about in the past few years are now blog-able. With time comes a distance that makes stories less incriminating. And less obvious. So maybe I'll tell you about the way-too-small sexy jeans in the bottom of my dresser drawer sometime....

Oh, and, Michael, I thought you'd like to know: Tom Jones is coming out with his first U.S. album in 15 years. With original material. And Bono and the Edge guest on it. So I may have to listen to it. Many times. (source)

Monday, September 15, 2008


(I make no excuses for the cheese. But I do acknowledge it.)

American boy bands, take note. This is how you do it:
  1. Wear suits. Slick back your hair. Girls like grease.
  2. Sing something ridiculously catchy. Pretend it's also ridiculously deep.
  3. Half dance. Like you know how but don't care enough to overexert yourselves.
  4. Keep the girls super-stylized and synchronized.
  5. Hug like men.
  6. Smirk.
And yes, that's the same Ronan who got stuck in my head earlier. He's stalking me. As men tend to do.

"Love You Anyway"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Red Light

Best song ever.
Or at least best song for a Sunday evening.
In September.

I heart Jonny Lang.
I want him to teach me to play the guitar.

The video below is from 1997. He was 16. And brilliant. Intimidatingly so. At 16, I was actively avoiding practicing the piano....

Lie to Me

Bend It Like Bells

The weatherman lied. Again. He told me that today would be dark and rainy. It was bright and sunny. I can't keep up.

I went for a jog this afternoon, after having shamefully slept in for far too long. I've decided that Tuesday nights are not meant for parties. I couldn't slow down to recover until now. And I'm still a little dazed and confused. But then, since when am I not?

Back to the jog. Or power-walk/jog. I don't want to give you the impression that I'm an athlete just yet. I was exploring a foreign-to-me section of my neighborhood when I came across a soccer field, packed with young families. And as I huffed and puffed along the sidewalk, I eyed the tournament and thought, "I want that."

And then I started arguing with myself:

"But you hated soccer."
"No, I didn't."
"Remember the time you scored on your own team? And you were the goalie?"
"Shut up."
"More than once."
"Fine. But I still had fun."
"If you consider public humiliation fun."
"It can be if it's followed up by an ice cream cone."
"You lost every game."
"Winning isn't everything."
"What about the year your coach died?"
"That's not a good reason to give up on a sport. TV characters die and I don't stop watching TV."
"Look at those socks. They're sweaty."
"They're cute."
"They melt your shin pads to your legs."
"War wounds. I can take it."
"You don't really want that."
"I do."

I change the song on my iPod. I can hear the happy cheers of overly enthusiastic parents, siblings and teammates.

"Fine. Maybe I want the chair on the sidelines."
"You'd have to lug that chair from field to field."
"I lift light weights for a reason."
"There's no shade there."
"I can wear a hat. And sip water."
"Like a soccer mom."
"You don't want to play kiddie soccer, you want to take your kiddies to soccer."
"You're dreaming of the minivan now, aren't you?"

I speed up, actually running now. I pass a family of four, water bottles in hand. The kids shouldn't be walking on the concrete with their cleats, but they are.

"You want that."

True Lies

Lying has been on a mind lately. Not the telling of lies, but dealing with them.

I'm sure some of you have heard about the "Healer" thing. Or the Ray Boltz thing. If you don't walk in certain Christian circles, these things mean nothing to you. That's okay.

I'm not angry. I have no right to be angry. I'm just burdened, sitting back and watching God's children suffer. I don't know what it's like to live a lie. I've told lies, but never defined myself by an untruth.

I'm not easily shocked by imperfection. I expect mankind to be a big jumbled mess of screwed-up-ness. Not that I'm pessimistic, just very aware that this world is broken. And maybe because I'm preparing for a quasi-friend (someone for whom lies come all too easy) to see her world crash down on her, taking out a lot of innocent victims in the process, I am all the more ready to love a man who hit rock bottom first. (I wish I could elaborate, but she's literate. And this is cyberspace, where my words can live forever. And I don't think that her reading about herself here will be all that productive.)

I just pray that her lies will unravel into truth. Somehow.

It's easy for me to forgive Mike Guglielmucci. Sure, his cancer story moved me, but I wasn't personally connected or harmed by his tale. It's his wife I'm broken for. His family. Maybe it's so black-and-white for me because there is no course of action beyond choosing to love and forgive. Were he to walk through my door this evening, I would offer him tea, sit on the floor with him (more comfy than my little couch), and just listen and let him cry.

And while I can extend grace to a stranger, the real challenge comes when I'm face-to-face with a calculated falsehood that could obliterate the unsuspecting. Will it be as easy when it gets personal? When its time for fecoventilatory collision? When I may be called to participate in the cleanup?

I do believe that Mike Guglielmucci's lyrics still ring true. And that God doesn't walk away just because we do. I believe that a new kind of healing will come. One of heart and mind. One of eternal consequence.

Just because Mike was living a lie when he wrote it, I cannot say that God had nothing to do with his song.

I believe You're my Healer
I believe You are all I need

I believe You're my Portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus, You're all I need

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Dream Dress vs. Sweatpants

I thought I was going to a party tonight. It has been canceled. I was actually quite relieved, as a shopping excursion yesterday (meant to infuse my wardrobe with a cooler-than-usual factor) ended rather pathetically. I tried to keep track of how many clothes I tried on. I think it was 51. Or 52. I bought nothing.

I wasn't all that upset about it, just a little weary. And then I went home and raided my closet and actually discovered a couple of combinations that could have made me look semi-fabulous.

At some point in my evening at the mall, I thought I found my dream dress. It was a blatant ripoff of my favorite frock from the Fall 2008 RTW (ready-to-wear) lines. Le Chateau isn't Michael Kors, but it was so close.

This is the runway version of the dress.

It made me look like a slightly overweight linebacker in drag. Pretty impressive, really, as I don't typically categorize myself as such. So I'm glad I tried it on. I'm no longer wondering, "What if...?" Of course, this doesn't mean I've given up on the Kors dream. Just the cheap version.

(The dress, without the belt, is $1895.00. Yes, I looked it up. The belt is $395.00.)

I love fashion, despite all the shopping frustration I endure. I saw Clueless twice in theatres. For the clothing. And for that fancy closet/wardrobe-software system. I still like plaid skirts because of it. And I saw (and own) The Devil Wears Prada, again, because of the clothes (and the post-school, pre-life-crisis issues so wonderfully explored). I know some girls consider cute leading men as eye candy. I think I prefer Chanel.

Speaking of Chanel (types the seque queen)...

There's a bio pic coming out. About Coco Chanel, not Karl Lagerfeld (the current art director for the House of Chanel). And Audrey Tatou is starring, which I love, as she's gorgeous, French (as opposed to an American butchering an accent) and actually resembles the icon.

Head on over to MovieZen for more.

Here's my favorite vintage Chanel look in recent memory. Because it's very Audrey. Hepburn, not Tatou. I would chop off my hair if I had that face too. And/or if I were paid millions to do so. Or thousands. Or hundreds. Or dozens.

It's raining. Again. I'm in sweats. And I'm comfortably a fashionista in my own mind while typing this in old pink slippers that need replacing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th, 2001

It's been seven years. I was eating a bowl of Raisin Bran. My RA ran into the lounge to find me curled up on an over-sized chair with my breakfast.

"You'll never believe what just happened."

I didn't. None of us did.
And then I spent the day staring at a television. Not blinking.

[BOY] asked me where my God was today.

He was holding the hands of the people who miraculously got out of the building alive.
He was in the voices of the crushed victims whose cries attracted their rescue.
And he was weeping. I could almost hear it.

~Sept 11th, 2001 (Journal)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It Happened Last Night: "Che" After-Party

If the following becomes an incoherent rambling, I apologize. I'm typing this after merely two hours' sleep last night. So what makes sense to me is probably a foreign language to the well-rested.

Matt Damon didn't show.

Benicio Del Toro did. As did Steven Soderbergh. But we didn't exactly hang out. Apparently there are bodyguards to protect me from the advances of everyone's favorite Puerto Rican....

It was cold out last night. And it was late. I'm usually in bed by 11, not venturing out to parties in Liberty Village. But I make exceptions to my own rules every once in a while just to keep things interesting. So when I (and my lovely date Andrea) arrived for an 11:30 dinner, my already-altered reality just accepted the fact that at the table in the corner sat Steven and Benicio. Why wouldn't they be there? Isn't this how the world operates after I fall asleep?

I spent the majority of my evening mingling and chatting and not remembering names. Thanks to a strategic coffee earlier in the evening, I was alert and upbeat and highly amused by the strangers cleverly intercepting my path.

See, I'm not used to this, the cute-boy-approaching-me-to-actually-talk-to-me thing. Because in real life, it doesn't happen. In real life, it's crazy men on the subway who spew out incoherent semi-suggestive compliments. But at VIP events, encouraged by ample wine-consumption, the schmooze is quite the thing to behold. I see how it could be addictive, this lifestyle of hobnobbing. Of course, it's all rather superficial and nonsensical. And occasionally veering into Awkward City. But it still beats Tuesday-night TV. By far.

For the sake of blog efficiency, I'll try to boil down my evening to some specific observations.

I have a wine strategy. It took me two hours to drink one glass. This was completely intentional. You see, if you have a drink in your hand, no one tries to hand you another drink. It also gives you something to hold onto (I never know what to do with my hands) and, when conversation lulls, you can sip. It's the ultimate accessory, I tell you.

Tips for the boys:

Sometimes a perfectly charming stranger can quickly overstep the charm boundary and expose a lot of pent-up hostility and insecurity, probably without knowing it. A tip to the men out there: We love being called beautiful, but don't then talk about how you feel sorry for the ugly ones. We girls stick together. I don't want to know that you're judging us. Insulting someone else does not compliment me.

Another tip: Never ask a girl what her dress size is. Seriously. Or what her eye color is. Especially if she tends to talk with her eyes open. Nor should you start listing off assumptions and observations: "I bet you're the quiet, conservative one, right? I have this theory: writers are either extremely sane or extremely insane. I bet you walk that line...."

If I tell you my friend is not my sister, she's not my sister. "You two have the same nose." Oh, now that you mention it, she IS my sister. And every girl dreams of a man staring at her nose.

It's official: Brits take the cake when it comes to drunken charm. Once again, the highlight of my night was a Hugh Laurie-esque Englishman helping to strategize how we could take out the bodyguard and then monopolize the attention of Soderbergh. I believe YouTube-friendly violence and a reenaction of Lord of the Rings was involved in such a scheme. Wit and charm will keep my attention. Especially when there is no sleaze whatsoever. And how can Brits retain such a vocabulary when inebriated? Ah, the mysteries of life....

George Stroumboulopoulos showed up. Exactly two seconds after Andrea said, "Wouldn't it be cool...?" he was there. And then he was gone. The end.

Benicio and Steven stayed long after us. At one point, they left their exclusive part of the patio to mingle with the common folk. Of course, this meant that certain scandalously clad women chose to move in. So we did not say hello. Because Benicio and I each have own reputations to uphold. But really, what would I have said? "Uh, I didn't see your movie. But I like Traffic. I think. It's been a while...."

So we left without any significant celeb-interaction. But a good time was had by all. And I felt unusually pretty all night, satisfied that I decided to grin and bear the bare-legged situation in the cold air. Because Andrea was right, black tights would have made me look like a witch from MacBeth (okay, so she didn't word it like that....)

The film festival wraps on Saturday, so if there's any more partying to be done, it shall happen soon. I'm not sure if arriving home at 3 on a weeknight is the smartest idea ever, but now I have a story to tell: "I once walked past Lou Diamond Phillips at a party...."

I should sleep now. After Ben Mulroney stops stalling and makes Theo the Canadian Idol.

Read the recap of last night over at ShoeMinx.

Note: the pic of Rachel McAdams is from the screening, not the party. I would have died.

And if you don't find Del Toro particularly attractive, I'm usually of the same school of thought. But the man has presence. Seriously. There's a magnetism about him that makes complete sense of all the weakened knees.

I'm soooo officially a writer now. But if you say you write for The Daily Pump, be prepared for questions about footwear. Clever ones, like, "What do you think of Soderbergh's pumps?" Over and over again....

Monday, September 08, 2008

It Happened Tonight: Nothing

It's pouring, contrary to yesterday's forecast of this evening. This is why weathermen scare me. They smile their perfect cheery smiles, look me in the eye, and lie to me. Sociopaths.

I thought I was going to a party tonight. But apparently, had I gone, I would have been the only one there. So instead of shooting the breeze with John Malkovich right now, I'm sipping tea and getting ready to watch the final Canadian Idol performance show (for my cute little Idol blog) before heading off to bed.

The plan is to maximize on sleep tonight. Because, tomorrow, for the first time in my 25 years, I'm going to an event that doesn't even start until after 11. On a weekday. I may be insane.

But would you risk the consequences of sleep-deprivation for a late night with Matt Damon? See, I would. And so I shall.

I really should watch a movie at the festival, instead of just hanging out with those who make them. Last year I watched I'm Not There, mesmerized by Cate Blanchett (and completely enamored with the casting choices of Bale and Ledger pre-Dark Knight). The year before, I saw my own name flash on the screen during the end credits before donning my Sleeping Dogs trucker hat (I heart swag) and catching up with a crew I have not seen since. And then there was Harsh Times. I just sat there alone, terrified of the man who would be Bruce Wayne. Not a fun one, folks. I'm sure I've seen more, but my brain is failing me right now. How rare.

Speaking of casting (I rock at the segue. I actually steered a conversation with "Speaking of calcium" last week), there a hilarious rumor started last week about Cher being cast at Catwoman in the inevitable Dark Knight sequel. But, hey, I bought Blanchett as Bob Dylan. So, really, I'm gonna stay out of this one.

Read the buzz over at MovieZen. (Cher has since denied this. But actors are like weathermen. They lie.)

And I'll blog again once Benicio Del Toro and I are besties.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Band From TV

Today's guilty pleasure: Band From TV.

At the 2-minute mark, my TV boyfriend, Zac Levi (you know him as Chuck) rocks out.

And yes, the lead singer is Bob Guiney from The Bachelor. Random.

Band From TV is:
Greg Grunberg (Heroes) - Drums
James Denton (Desperate Housewives) - Guitar
Bonnie Somerville (Cashmere Mafia) - Vocals
Bob Guiney (The Bachelor) - Vocals
Hugh Laurie (House) - Keyboard
Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives) - Vocals
Jesse Spencer (Desperate Housewives) - Fiddle

Special guest Adrian Pasdar (Heroes) on bass guitar.

Jorge Garcia (Lost's Hurley) recently sang with them too. And Hayden Panettiere often shakes her annoying booty on-stage with her Heroes costars. If I were on TV, I'd join. Except that I'd have to kick Hugh Laurie off the keyboards. And I don't think I want to do that. Hmm. I've heard Teri Hatcher sing. I'll take her place instead.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Don't Live in a Real City

A martini is not a martini without an olive.

That, at least, is the thinking of a true connoisseur.

And to Siouxland residents, many of whom consider themselves connoisseurs of fine food, a city is not a city without an Olive Garden. So as of Monday, Sioux City becomes a real city.

What for years has been a local obsession -- the OG's manicotti formaggio, chicken vino bianco and zuppa toscana driving Siouxlanders to Omaha and Sioux Falls -- has become a reality.

Sioux City Journal

I went to the Olive Garden for the 13th birthday. Shortly thereafter, the restaurant disappeared from my province. And I cried on the inside.

If anyone wants to sweep me off my feet, pick me up for a spontaneous road trip to Buffalo. Just for Italian food. And I will love you forever. Or at least blog about it. And maybe write you a song.

It Happened Last Night: SCANDAL!

Okay, so it wasn't a literal scandal. It was a party dubbed "SCANDAL!" And I was invited. As a VIP. I hope you're impressed.

It's film-festival mania in Toronto right now, and I'm happily immersed in the chaos thanks to my ShoeMinx job. Instead of being on the periphery as I have every other year, this year I'm in on the party-circuit action. So last night, I showed up at a tabloid-themed swankified affair and sipped wine on a patio with the beautiful ones, all with ridiculously amazing résumés and connections.

I'm not necessarily an expert at the introduction. Or the schmooze. But I met some of the most impressive game-players I've ever encountered.

  • "This is Nadine. She's our darling writer....[insert a really impressive intro that I didn't know I was deserving of]."
  • "Oh, you're with [guy I apparently work for but have never met]. You should head over there. Please enjoy the open bar." I'm led away from the common folk to the VIP lounge.
  • "This is ****. He married [British beauty], the supermodel. He's filthy rich. He drives [list of Ferrari-type vehicles]. And now he's bloody drunk."
  • "He was the lawyer who successfully sued [major tobacco company]. The movie The Insider was based on him. And now he's the man behind [shoe company]. You know, the ones [insert hip-hop celeb] wears."
  • "Come with me, darling." After kissing my hand, he leads me through a crowd of people. The guest list looks like a model-casting call. "What can I get you? Vodka? Wine? Oh, you must." He pours me a drink and then acts interested in my little career, despite him being lauded internationally.
  • "See that man? He's, like, the most successful independent-film producer ever. He's worked on [insert intimidatingly endless list of movies I actually quite enjoy]."
Last night, I made the transition from subtitler-who-writes to writer. I'm no longer boxed in by the world of grammar-correction and reading-speed violations; rather, I'm a freelancer with a pretty cool assortment of jobs and am completely justified in hanging out with industry people. Of course, if such an excursion were to become a regular thing, I would need to update my wardrobe. But that's a sacrifice I'm more than willing to make.

P.S. I officially prefer drunk Brits to drunk non-Brits. The charm factor is actually increased with alcohol. Instead of the scumbag factor associated with Canadian frat boys and sleazy old men.

P.P.S. That said, I still prefer sober-anybody to drunk-anybody.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Girls Are Evil

As my contribution to a super-deep conversation about finding love on reality TV, I sent an email to my coworkers that simply said, "Girls are evil."

And Dave, always ready to back up such statements with proof, quickly validated my little sentence of truth.

This is what happens when you work with people who have mastered Googling and spend all day researching quirky unconfirmable facts. ("Abdula longbata" is not the lower part of the brainstem, Brendan Fraser. Sheesh.)

Dave, you should really revive your blog. In the meantime, I'll periodically blog on your behalf.


Blinded By the Light

I went to the optometrist today. It had been exactly two years since my last appointment (I remember explaining to the glasses lady that I needed the new specs for a film premiere. Yes, I measure time by film-festival adventures. And Brad Pitt arrives in town tomorrow....) and I was eager to update my glasses with something new. The recent tragedy that was sitting on my frames was never quite the crisis it could have been knowing that I had an upcoming appointment with the eye folks.

I find eye exams stressful. I want to get it right. I'm suddenly in high school again, desperate to get a perfect mark on a pop quiz. I will read that bottom line. I will. And when I'm given two lenses to compare ("Which is clearer, 1 or 2?"), I get nervous. What if I make the wrong decision? The options have such slight variations. Maybe I don't think there's a difference when there really is.

And every year, I'm convinced I'm significantly more blind than the previous visit.

There was no change. Whatsoever. I have the eyes of 23-year-old Nadine.

She then put drops in my eyes. I already have large pupils. If I'm super-tired and my eyes a little red, it's easy for me to look like an abuser of questionable substances. But really, I'm just big-pupilled. But apparently they're not dilated enough for her to look into. So she stung my eyes with her evil eye drops and told me to return in 15 minutes.

Slowly the world got foggy. I could no longer read. Lights bothered me.

She took a picture of the inside of my eyeballs (very cool, but cost an additional $16. I'm a sucker for anything that's supposed to help in medical diagnoses) and sent me on my way. So while my eyes were ridiculously healthy and impressive, I was walking around with doctor-inflicted beer goggles on.

I tried to shop before heading home. But I couldn't read the price tags without taking off my glasses. And I couldn't see where I was going without putting them back on. And I felt too zoned out to actually care about fashion. So I went home.

These magical drops last for two hours. Two hours. I don't have two hours to sacrifice to such nonsense. And so, because I couldn't focus well enough to write, I decided to go for a walk/jog.

Have you ever tried to jog with your eyes closed? Not so much fun. But even the overcast sky was too bright for me. I was in awkward squint mode the entire time.

Aside: Don't put the nano on shuffle when pretending to get in shape. Because first the Newsies soundtrack will make you want to knock stuff over and cause a ruckus, and then William Fitzsimmons will make you want to curl up on your bed and cry over your parents' divorce. And my parents aren't divorced. Fitzsimmons' parents are blind. Maybe I was bonding with them subconsciously.

Eventually I just cranked up the Hairspray, let Zac Efron convince me that I can't stop the beat, and pounded the pavement until my eyes slowly adjusted to life on this planet.

Post-exercise, I made my most successful batch of sweet-potato fries ever (with cinnamon!) and sat here, at my computer, attempting to be a copy writer. But my head. It hurt. Like it was being squeezed between the arms of a pair of glasses that don't have to be replaced after all.

Maybe I'll buy some tortoise-shell frames anyway. And embrace my inner Tina Fey/Lisa Loeb/Buddy Holly. Because I want to be a smart funny writer. Or quirky heartthrob musician.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Happy Wednesday, all.

I should be writing right now. I mean, yes, typing this does constitute as writing, but I'm not exactly making money with these words. And so the almighty paycheque must dictate priority.

So while I'm researching eco-chic weddings, I'll leave you with a fun little trip though cyberspace....


You know the drill. Head on over for my summer box-office wrap-up. I didn't see many flicks this summer (shocking, I know), but I didn't need to. The Dark Knight was amazing. Iron Man was surprisingly great. Indiana Jones was fun. And Wanted boasted some very creative gun violence. What more could I demand of the theatrical experience?

The Daily Pump

The Toronto International Film Festival is coming. Tomorrow, in fact. As prep for such an event, I've posted about footwear greatness at the Venice Film Festival. Toronto may be a little less glamorous, but it will be exponentially more amazing. I promise.

project wedding

Just in case you're following my writing career, my first wedding-planning articles are up.

Creating the Perfect Seating Chart
How to Budget Your Time at Your Wedding

More shall follow, I assure you.

Great Covers

And for fun....
(stolen from the perpetually awesome this is reverb...)

SeeqPod - Playable Search

Just Say No

I've never done drugs. This is why.

Well, I'm off to be productive now....

Flash Those Pearly Whites

Some of you must be wondering by now, "Whatever happened to those Listerine strips you were sent in the mail?"

And the rest of you must be wondering, "What strips? Listerine? I am so confused."

Not all that long ago, I was sent a Whitening Listerine (TM/MC) Quick Dissolving Strips kit. Because I'm super-influential and will spread the movie-star-smile secrets to all of you. Obviously. But I didn't want to wax poetic about a product without trying it out first. Call me old-fashioned, but I'm a "horse first, cart second" kind of gal.

Here's the deal:

They work, but very subtly. You're not going to walk away with a white-blue smile. But they dissolve in your mouth, so there's no messy cleanup. The initial sting on your gums (I have sensitivity anyway) quickly disappears, and the odd taste stops bothering you by the third day. For my first experience with a whitening product, I was reasonably satisfied. Of course, if I was days away from my film debut, Vogue cover shoot or even my wedding, I might opt to take the professional-whitening route.

If you want your own free samples, sign up here. I have a few remaining sample strips to hand out, so my lovely coworkers should anticipate Listerine presents tomorrow.

Smile, folks, regardless of enamel shade.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A Lesson in Vanity

Today, I had my eyebrows threaded. It sounded like something very trendy and hip and Yorkville-approved. I convinced myself that perfectly shaped brows would make my eyes pop and my hotness quotient increase exponentially. Sure, I've plucked them myself, but I wanted the magic that only comes from a pro.

I specified that I like bold brows. Thick but not unruly. I wanted a little sophistication above my eyes. She agreed. She even repeated every request, impressing me with her active listening.

And then she went to work, ripping tiny hairs out of my flesh.


I have uniformly and unnaturally skinny brows. It would have been easier to just shave them off and draw a pretty curved line in their place.

I am not designed for vanity.

I should go live in a hut in Africa. Away from mirrors.

Or get long bangs.

Don LaFontaine: 1940-2008

The world just got a little quieter.

LaFontaine, known as the "King of Voiceovers," died Monday afternoon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. LaFontaine's agent, Vanessa Gilbert, tells ET that he passed away following complications from Pneumothorax, the presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity, the result of a collapsed lung. The official cause of death has not yet been released.

Over the past 25 years, LaFontaine cemented his position as the "King of Voiceovers." Aside from being the preeminent voice in the movie trailer industry, Don also worked as the voice of Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, as well as for CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and UPN, in addition to TNT, TBS and the Cartoon Network. By conservative estimates, he voiced hundreds of thousands of television and radio spots, including commercials for Chevrolet, Pontiac, Ford, Budweiser, McDonalds, Coke, and many other corporate sponsors.

He recently parodied himself on a series of national television commercials for Geico. At last count, he has worked on nearly 5000 films, including appearances as the in-show announcer for the Screen Actors Guild and Academy Awards. Based on contracts signed, he has the distinction of being perhaps the single busiest actor in the history of SAG. Don is survived by his wife -- singer/actress Nita Whitaker, and three children: Christine, Skye and Elyse.


Don LaFontaine will never record my voice-mail message. Nor will movie trailers ever be the same. And I won't tolerate the impersonators.

My brother experienced a spontaneous pneumothorax a few years ago. Scary.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Third-Grade Book Report: Little Women

I found a book report in a stack of childhood memorabilia. Apparently I read Little Women in the third grade. I was pretty much the most brilliant child ever.

Below are my 8-year-old thoughts on the book. Unedited.
The main setting in the story is in the cozy little home of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. And there was Meg's house when she was married, which is called "Dovecot." There was the big and roomy house where Jo stayed in New York for 6 months. There was also Mr. Laurence's mansion.

Beth - kind and willing to give and share. She is loving and sensible. She's wonderful to be with.

Meg - likes to be by herself and act like herself. She's a loving and kind mother.

Jo - always wants money. She makes her own clothing. Tries to be as kind as she can.

Amy - joyful most of the time. Young and gentle. Laurie can only fill the hole in her.

It started on Christmas, when the whole household was cozy. But it didn't stay that way. In the story, their bond dies, Meg gets married, has twins, Beth dies so everyone is upset. Their father comes home from war, and Amy gets married so Jo is left all alone. She goes to New York from Christmas to June. She meets old Mr. Bhaer and falls in love with him and Jo gets married to him.
I rated the book a ten out of ten. Which I still would, although for wildly different reasons.

"Their bond dies."
"Jo always wants money."
"Laurie can only fill the hole in her."

Apparently I've always have a flair for the dramatically (and occasionally inaccurate) written word.

The above picture is the exact version sitting on my bookshelf. It was my mom's. There are a few black and white pictures inside, but she colored them in with pencil crayons when she was a little girl. She was a good colorer. In case you were wondering.