Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Too Lazy For Pie?!

The most disturbing verse in the Bible:
Some people dig a fork into the pie
but are too lazy to raise it to their mouth.
Proverbs 19:24 (The Message)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Auditions

I love audition tapes. But not bad American Idol auditions. Acting auditions. Maybe it's the former drama student in me, but I love figuring out what it is that gives one actor the edge over an other. I want to know why Jessica Biel didn't get the Agent 99 role in Get Smart. (Okay, that's easy. Because she can't act. And isn't funny. And can't act. And isn't Anne Hathaway. And can't act....)

Evangeline Lilly auditions for Lost:

What I love most about this? She's mourning Jack's death. Yes, folks, he was originally going to die in the pilot.

Crazy that this was her first audition, huh? Love her.

Oh, and Matthew Fox auditioned for Sawyer!

Hugh Laurie auditions for House:

I firmly believe the show could not exist without him.

Zachary Levi auditions for Chuck:

Can you imagine being sent the script for Chuck? How could you not audition? And if you didn't get the part? An eternity spent in tears.

Zac had nothin' to worry about. It's him.

P.S. He's been cast as the "dashing bandit" in the new Disney musical, Rapunzel. Chuck sings! And the songs will be written by Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Newsies). I will watch.

Rachel McAdams auditions for The Notebook:

I would love to be a casting director, discovering brilliant talent and giving young actors their breakout roles. I heart McAdams. She doesn't reek of fakeness. Just loveliness. (Yes, I just coined the phrase "reeking of loveliness.")

Note that both women featured in this post are Canadian. Not intentional, but fun.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's On My Mind

Stuff I'm thinking. On a superficial level. That's as deep as my brain goes this evening. It's a little sore.
  • Dancing with the Stars has lost its novelty. I don't care enough to accidentally watch it.
  • I suddenly like Castle. I think I'm obsessed with anything writer-related.
  • Paul Gross on Eastwick = poor man's version of Jack Nicholson. Too bad. I once loved Paul.
  • I need to learn css and html and everything code- and design-related. My ideas cannot magically appear without knowledge. And so I shall learn.
  • I will not write a 650-word article for $4. Now you know.
  • I took Tylenol tonight. I haven't had a headache in months. It's been so long, I'm not even complaining about this one. I figure it's time.
  • Coffee will be waiting for me in the morning. Yes, folks, I have an official writing-related reason to leave my apartment.
  • I need new shoes. But writers don't need shoes. We just need slippers. Shopping trip averted.
  • The new "cocktail lounge" across the street is actually a sports bar. I am so confused. If I need to hang out with questionable characters late at night, I'll stick with the pub next door. It has karaoke.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoons No Longer Incude Naps

I'm pretty exhausted. It's a happy exhaustion, the kind that comes after a long, full day. And because I'm overwhelmed at the thought of writing anything creative and quirky and inspiring this evening, I'll recap my day for you. And then I'll go to bed. Deal?

Prologue: Last Night

Last night was a late one. By choice. I hung out with Nathan and Sam (my brother and his girlfriend) at Sam's new place, eating pizza, watching State of Play (highly recommended, especially to writers and Rachel McAdams fans), and speculating as to what some people might assume "my type" is. I'd love to know. What sort of fella do people think I'd want to spend ridiculous amounts of time with? If you say "nice boy," I might vomit.

As I was leaving, I met a group of tall, handsome, drunk gentlemen in the elevator. They invited me to go out with them. I declined. I'm starting to develop a complex; I attract crazy strangers. (Hint: "drunk" is not my type.)

The bus was late. I was home by 12:50. I was in bed by 1:30.


This morning, I chased the bus and made it to church early so I could dedicate my morning to adorableness in the nursery. Twin toddlers, both extremely blond (one with curls and one without) teetered around in their matching BabyGap hoodies. My heart melted. And then I tried to teach them about the Ark of the Covenant. Epic fail.

I went out for Thai food with Nathan and Sam and friends (a fantastic married couple) from church. I really like peanut sauce. And mangoes. And fun people. So lunch was a super-success. (Using the taps in the restaurant's washroom was not a success. Apparently you need an engineering degree to wash your hands.)

We headed to Word on the Street, a book and magazine festival celebrating its 20th year. The books were not free. Nor were the magazines. But someone did give me a mini chocolate bar. While at the festival, I met up with a friend from college and a friend from university. Delightful. I like watching my worlds collide. As an added bonus, I also saw Polkaroo. And Margaret Atwood.

Post-books, we headed over to Kensington Market to buy tea. After much searching, we found my favorite tea place. It was closed. While disappointing, it prevented unjustifiable splurging. Had I brought my camera with me, I would have snapped a pic of the larger-than-life Scrabble game that took up the middle of the car-free street. But I didn't.

And after five-and-a-half hours on our feet, we called it a day. As we made our way to the subway, we ran into another friend and her boyfriend on Yonge Street. Because I know everyone who lives in Toronto.

So now I'm sitting at my desk, thankful for ice-cream trucks, old friends and new, frittata leftovers, and the promise of fast-approaching sleep.

Next weekend is Nuit Blanche. I don't know if I'll survive.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back to Marshmallows

I'm pretty good at being poor.

When I was in university, I had no money. I was a scholarship kid, letting random organizations financially reward me for being smart. My first year ended up costing me a total of $63. This included my phone bill. I've never been handed fistfuls of dollars by mommy and daddy or trust funds when times got tough.

(I'll never let my mom live down the summer she sent me $20 when I had a mere $13 left in my bank account. On the bright side, I lost 5 pounds.)

When I was in my third year, I was broke. Really broke. No one knew, because there was no need to stress people out when I wasn't stressed out. God provided. I didn't starve. And I graduated. Happy ending. The only notable moment of poverty-induced unhappiness was a trip to my local grocery store. I was craving sugar. Desperately. It was nonnegotiable: I needed my fix. And I wanted a lot of it.

Sugar is expensive and unnecessary. It's the first thing I'm cutting out of my current shrinking budget. And I understood that then, too. But I needed that quick high. Must have been essay-writing time.

So I bought the largest bag of no-name marshmallows I could find. Pure sugary goodness.

Watch these kids. I understand their pain. Sometimes you just need a marshmallow.

Oh, The Temptation from Steve V on Vimeo.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Another Chapter for the Memoir

The end. Also known as "the beginning."

A few months ago, I quit my subtitling job of four years for a slightly more lucrative position at an online mall. "Editorial Assistant" was good for the ego, and granted me the financial security that allowed Fridays off for writing projects. Some of you envied me. Others applauded the move; I was finally moving up in the big bad workplace world.

But something was off. I was going through the motions, dragging myself to work every day. My daily routine felt destructive to my spirit. I operated in a state of defeat, mourning stunted creativity and envious of those who thrived at their day jobs. I just wanted to write.

Fast-forward to last Wednesday.

When I left the office on September 16th, I left it for good. I said goodbye to my "grass is greener" gig with no backup plan. I am free-falling career-wise, and I'm excited to see where I land. But maybe insanity does that to a person.

I've known this for a long time: None of my dreams line up with conventional 9-to-5-ness. And at 26, I'm already weary. I'm tired of having those dreams nag at me. Of having tiny regrets start to creep into my daily life. I don't want to sit back in 20 years and ask myself why I didn't just quit my job and go for it.

So I quit my job. And I'm going for it.

I'm a writer. The kind who likes to see "By Nadine Bells" printed alongside her words. I have a unique voice, but I never market myself. I'm not sure why. I'm about to find out. And I have a million little ideas swirling around in my head that I've never pursued, mostly for a lack of available time. Well, I have time now. No money, but time. And time IS money. So really, I'm set. And I'm already comfortable with the idea that most of you won't understand this life upheaval. That's okay. To the few who do, I love you. Honestly. I could hug and kiss you all. Right. Now. (Or maybe give you an awkward high-five. Whatever.)

This is also my opportunity for that life makeover that everyone secretly wants. No more excuses. My schedule is what I make it. Already I'm penciling in regular exercise, time with God, healthy-meal prep time, piano breaks and jaunts to my local library.

I'm starting to feel alive again. And that's priceless.

My name is Nadine and I'm a freelance writer.

P.S. Will write for rent money.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Life as a Movie: One Week Ago

I survived the beginning. The middle. And last Wednesday, I left Meryl Streep sitting in the back of the limo and walked away from it all.

Welcome to the big beautiful question mark that is my life. Details will follow.

YouTube Wednesday: Sam Tsui

I know it's not Tuesday. I make my own rules. And then I break them.

This kid is my hero of the day. Or heroes. Seriously, watch these. And then pick your jaw up off the floor. Whew.

(Don't tell anymore I spent most of my afternoon watching this guy's YouTube channel. Sigh.)

Don't Stop Believing

Have you seen Glee yet? No? WHY NOT?! The musical is back, folks.

Michael Jackson Medley

Can I Have This Dance?
(High School Musical 3)

Poor Zac and Vanessa can't compete. And it's their song.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 2009 Primetime Emmys

Emmy-viewing stream of consciousness. From Orillia.
  • I heart Neil Patrick Harris. So much. Opening number = success.
  • Tina Fey looks abso-freaking-lutely amazing. Better every year.
  • Neil said "dagnabbit." Officially my favorite person EVER. For now.
  • "Here's hoping Kanye West likes 30 Rock."
  • Tina Fey and Jon Hamm. Together. The way things should be.
  • "Comedy is just drama with less smoking."
  • All the Supporting Actress nominees are wearing hilarious eyewear. I don't know why. But I like it. (Amy Poehler's idea, apparently.)
  • Kristin Chenoweth is adorable! "I'm unemployed now, so I'd like to be on Mad Men. I also like The Office and 24." I think we'd be friends.
  • Comedy writing....30 Rock. I weep for Flight of the Conchords. But I'm still happy. Happy weeping.
  • Jon Cryer wins?! Oh, Duckie.
  • Justin Timberlake should quit music and become a regular SNL member. Just sayin'.
  • Toni Collette: "This is insanely confronting." WHAT?! But okay.
  • Blake and Leighton cannot dress themselves. They're better in fiction.
  • Rob Lowe. Turned down Grey's Anatomy for Dr. Vegas. Ha!
  • I love Steve Carell.
  • Alec Baldwin?! Again?! I still love Steve Carell. And Jemaine Clement.
  • Reality TV. Hmm. Jeff Probst. I approve. Sort of.
  • Jeff just told me to do what I'm doing. The whole "go for your dream" thing. Thanks, Jeff.
  • The Amazing Race. I can live with that. (Anyone wanna be my partner for next season's race? I'm good with heights if you agree to eat the weird-animal testicles.)
  • Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. Sigh. If I ever end up married to someone I need to walk a red carpet with, I hope we're like them.
  • I want to watch Grey Gardens. Let's have a Little Edie party, shall we?
  • Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer make an appearance. I heart everyone.
  • Jessica Lange. I still want to see Grey Gardens.
  • I've never understood the Kiefer Sutherland appeal. Maybe I should watch more 24.
  • Grey Gardens. Okay, okay, I get it. I'll watch it.
  • I should probably watch Little Dorritt too.
  • Jon Stewart's writers win. As they should.
  • The Oscars' opening number just won an Emmy. "This is ridiculous." I'm still impressed with Hugh Jackman's song-and-dance skills.
  • Ricky Gervais. He should host the Academy Awards. Or anything. Maybe just host a dinner party and invite me.
  • Yay for The Daily Show. Jon Stewart can join Ricky and I for dinner.
  • MICHAEL EMERSON!!!!!! Please watch Lost, folks. Please. One season left.
  • Cherry Jones. Supertalent.
  • In Memoriam. Sarah McLachlin is exquisite. And there are too many deaths. I don't like it. Stop the dying, folks. (RIP Michael Crichton. Patrick Swayze. David Carradine. Natasha Richardson. Paul Newman. Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Bea Arthur. Walter Cronkite. Michael Jackson....)
  • The Mad Men writers win. I would toast them, but my Diet Coke is empty. As is my ice-cream bowl. Someone, get me more ice cream!
  • Glenn Close is a glorious example of how to age. I'd be happy to look that elegant...tomorrow.
  • Glasses. Everyone is wearing them. EVERYONE. So I'm halfway to an Emmy already.
  • Bryan Cranston. Two years in a row. For a show I've never seen. "I feel like Cinderfella."
  • Bob Newhart = wonderful.
  • Best Comedy: 30 Rock. Tina Fey forever. I want her dress. And her career.
  • Sigourney. I like that she wore red with red hair. (So did Debra Messing. Also gorgeous.) Two thumbs up.
  • Best Drama: Mad Men. Cheers.
The end. You have no idea what just happened. So let me sum up:
  • Neil Patrick Harris makes me want to hug the world.
  • Writers who win awards make me want to write and win awards. Or write and win paychecks.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It Happened Last Night: U2

When the stage starts smoking, you know something awesome is about to happen. And it did.

I highly recommend spending a Thursday evening with 60,000 strangers. Preferably ones who freak out with united enthusiasm for "Mysterious Ways." (Oh, and make sure that you spend that same incredible evening with your dad.)

Seeing U2 play live has been on the bucket list since the list's first day of existence. And now I can die happy. As if Bono knew the importance of such an event, he sang my dream set list.

The acoustic rendition of "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" was breathtaking. I'm still intimidated by last night's flawlessness. It was seamless, passionate and straight-up rock 'n' roll. Both spectacular and intimate.

An open roof. A packed Rogers Centre. One thunderous voice singing "Amazing Grace." A cappella. Followed by "Where the Streets Have No Name." Chills.

P.S. The Edge wore plaid. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Swayze

Yesterday was a sad day. Patrick Swayze died. And while I've never been a real Swayze-swooner, I will always have a soft spot for Johnny Castle.

(He was married to his wife Lisa for 34 years. He was only 57. That's some crazy/awesome life math. Here's the couple dancing together. Sexy.)

The Dirty Dancing soundtrack is a classic. Did you know that Swayze WROTE "She's Like the Wind"? Take it away, Pat....

Somewhat related: I don't understand why weddings seem to dictate the playing of "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." It sounds more like an anniversary song to me.

I'd rather play Dirty Dancing's "Yes" at my wedding. Lyrically it seems far more appropriate. Even though such appropriateness might be slightly inappropriate. But not really. Because I know what you'll all be thinking. Creepy friends. Stop thinking about my wedding night.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monitor This: Flame-Broiled Blogging

Has your monitor ever rebelled against you by bursting into flame? Mine has. This evening. And now my apartment smells like burnt wires and dead computer.

Toby MacBook sits back and laughs. Stupid PC.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Best Sandwich Ever

This is suddenly a food blog. I apologize. Unless you like food. In which case, you're welcome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomorrow's Haircut

The Sienna Miller look. No hairbrush required.

Earlier this week, a phone conversation with my mom:

ME: I'm getting my hair cut on Friday. To look good for Bono.
MOM: I'm pretty sure he won't see you way up there.
ME: Sigh. I know.
MOM: He's a married man. He shouldn't be noticing.
ME: You're right. I should wear a ponytail so I don't distract him.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Journals: 1999 - 2001

It had been a good long while since I'd cracked open an old journal. But now that I'm back in writing mode, I'm suddenly inspired by the frustrations and infatuations of the teenage me. Yep, I'm my own research.

For the sake of my own dignity (and the privacy of the unaware), I won't publish the journal entries about the "perfect" young man who knew how to iron and who hated processed cheese. My standards were hilarious when I was 16.

I could so easily write a book on how the lives of teenagers are not unseen episodes of Saved By the Bell.

~ June 4, 1999

Most awkward sentence ever:

I should probably be feeling violated or something, but I feel pretty.

~June 4, 2001

I could have been a rock star at 18. But I said no.

Not many people are stopped in a RadioShack and asked to record with a bunch of strangers. Yep, God has the most awesome plan for my life. It felt like tonight he confirmed that.

~June 15, 2001

Brains are still sexy.

He creeps me out. He's all muscles. (I mean, instead of having a brain.)

~June 24, 2001

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: Randomness

Next Time I Fall

This song popped into my head the other day. I don't know why.

When I was little, Peter Cetera creeped me out. Mostly because you can see saliva spewing from his mouth when he enunciates in the official music video for this song. And when you're 10, that's the grossest thing EVER.

(YouTube must think so, too. That video is suspiciously MIA.)

Like a Donut

This is pure genius. If you didn't have my childhood, I ache for you. Watch at 2:10.

I may have gone to a Donut Man concert when I was 13. By choice. Without parents. That's right. No one dragged me.

Would You Rather: Gaga vs. Bolton

Lady Gaga wrote a song for Michael Bolton. My brain just imploded. I. Don't. Understand. Is this a career-killer-comeback song in one?

"Murder My Heart"?! Sheesh. Give me a midnight and a piano and I'll give Bolton something to cry about. Uh, maybe.

P.S. Best Michael Bolton moment: the opening of The Crying Game. "When a Man Loves a Woman" plays over the credits. This is brilliant by the end. Trust me.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Cupcake of the Day

Mmm. Yes, please.

Maybe I should host a Cookie Monster Party. B.Y.O.M.*

*Bring your own milk.

Friday, September 04, 2009

"That Girl"

Last night, I wasted a good hour just waiting for the phone to ring.

I'm that girl. The one mocked in romantic comedies. The lonely girl on a Friday night, anticipating a call that doesn't come.

I wasn't expecting a call from a boy. That would be too much. Just a girlfriend who said she'd call back. And didn't.


P.S. Someone told me that I remind them of Gossip Girl's Blake Lively. I'll assume that's a compliment and not a jab at my character.

Home Office Inspiration

This weekend, I will be at home. This is by choice. I refuse to let you feel sorry for me. Music will blare. Dark chocolate will vanish. Decisions will be made.

Some of those decisions will have to do with creating a workspace that's both lovely and functional. Others will have to do with purging my darling apartment of unnecessary clutter. This includes the closets. The sheet music. The stacks of unsorted paperwork.

Believe me, you don't want to be here for the chaos.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Today is the Day

This song was my pep talk today.

I was having a "reevaluate everything" moment a few days ago. I thought about the people I admire most: the dreamers, the risk-takers, the God-trusters. Conversations in the past month or so have been reinforcing my desire to fearlessly embrace life's great adventures. And while it's easier to say than translate into reality, I really do having nothing to lose. If there's ever a time when I can throw myself headfirst into the great unknown and madly pursue whatever it is that makes me tick, it's now.

Today is the day, indeed.
I putting my fears aside
I'm leaving my doubts behind
I'm giving my hopes and dreams to You

I'm reaching my hands to Yours
Believing there's so much more
Knowing that all You have in store for me is good
Is good

Call Me Lucy

My life is still like a movie. Assume away.

P.S. I don't own a pink dress.
P.P.S. Nor do I frequently hang out in closets with pants-less men.
P.P.P.S. My FAVORITE Sandra Bullock "Lucy" is in While You Were Sleeping. I'm pretty much her. Minus the coma guy.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

YouTube Tuesday: (500) Days of Awesome

I stole this from Beth. Because I have no original ideas today. And it's Tuesday, thus requiring some sort of YouTube element here.

This is the best scene of the summer. (Not taking District 9 into account. That movie just kind of hovers above the rest.) I find it hilariously appropriate, as I'm about to turn off my computer and curl up with Sex God. I highly recommend chapter six to all of my girlfriends. And to my future husband. Just sayin'.

P.S. Go watch (500) Days of Summer. Or don't. I'm not the boss of you. But if I were.... I'd make you see it. Twice.

Almost Jerry Maguire

I think I'm going to start blogging cryptically, using screen shots from popular movies instead of filling this space with words. This way, you can come to your own creative conclusions, assuming that my life is far more sensational than it actually is. Everyone wins. I think.

Deal? Deal.

P.S. I miss the pre-crazy Tom Cruise. He was pretty awesome, wasn't he?