Monthly Archives: January 2012

Jumping on the Band Wagon, by j

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“Let’s try a role play.”

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Ruby Watch Co., by m

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I was fortunate enough to have the pleasure of accompanying my parents to Ruby Watch Co. last week, the restaurant owned and operated by Food Network chef Lynn Crawford. We started off the night with AMAZING cocktails (mom had something delicious that had carrot and ginger in it, I had a caesar-style cocktail with horseradish vodka). Next, came the awesome food:

Raw Sharon Farm Mushroom and Pickled Onion Salad

I was obsessssed with the pickled onions and the huuuge chunks of pancetta.

Mom’s not a huge fan of fennel, so needless to say I hadn’t tried it before. She was right on that one; nothing to write home about.  But the celery root with gruyere cheese was TO DIE FOR.

After this course, we had Niagara Gold cheese, by Upper Canada Cheese Company.  It went really well (as did the whole meal) with the Rosehall Run Pinot Noir (2009) that we drank!

Vanilla Citrus Pot De Creme

I really could’ve stopped after the cheese, but then dessert came! J would have loved this one (kind of like a creme brulee, but without the crispy top!). All in all, the dinner was awesome, and the atmosphere was just as sweet! I’ll go back ANY time, mom!

PS: Photos by Dad!

Lana Del Rey, by m

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My mom called me last week and basically said, “Did you watch the latest internet sensation ruin her career on SNL over the weekend?”. I hadn’t. I like SNL, but I never see it. Let’s face it, at 11pm on a Saturday, I’m generally either blackout or snoozin. Hehe.
Since my mom has gotten better over the years at recognizing what’s trending (less LL Cool J, more Lil Wayne), the comment resonated and I ended up googling the whole thing this weekend.

Lana Del Rey...from the neck up, she's all Adele

From the neck up, she's all Adele...from the wrists down, Rihanna

Lana Del Rey’s album drops at the end of this month. She’s been uploading what she calls “video collages” to YouTube for the last few years, and eventually set them to music that she wrote and recorded.

Her SNL performances were mediocre at best (lack-luster-off-key-snooze-fest), so I guess I agree with all the smack-talkers, but the thing is…I think I might love her.

Sure, she sometimes sucks when she sings live. She knows it too, saying in a recent interview, “I think that the people who have been listening to my music for a little while know that I’m more of a writer and, like, a studio singer…you can’t expect too much from my show”.  She’s well produced. Her millionaire daddy plays a huge role in marketing her career. And her manager was the one who made the decision to ditch her hum-drum name, Lizzy Grant.

But just LISTEN to the (studio produced) music!  I’m kind of in awe. I could care less about everything else when I watch her videos.  Whether it’s the pretentious “video collages” or the recently released (and very carefully produced) video for her latest single, “Born to Die”…I can’t stop watching.  I can’t actually figure out if it’s because I like the way the music sounds, or if she’s a really clever pretty-girl-who-sings-about-sex.  Either way, I’m a little dumb-founded. AND I CAN’T STOP SINGING ALONG.

“Video Games” (and a lot of her other music, like the song “Blue Jeans”) reminds me of Johnny Cash and the word “drawl” [a perceived feature of the English language, generally indicated by longer vowel sounds]:

“Born to Die” makes me think that she wants to be a little like her fellow New Yorker, Gaga, but with more “drawl”:

SNL “whoopsie”…too much DRAWL:

Beauty and the Beast 3D, by a

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What was the first movie that you ever saw in the theatre? For a lot of people, it’s one of those things that you always remember, like when you got your very favourite Christmas gift as a kid, or the time your sister almost killed you when she instigated your first anaphylaxis. Thanks, M.

For me, the fist movie I remember going to see in theatres was Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The year was 1991 and I was but 3 years old.

Classic VHS cover.

It scared the shit of me.

Not the whole film, obviously, as I would then spend the the next few years perpetually dressed in the canary yellow ballgown (Thanks Mom!) that Belle wears during the pivotal ballroom scene.

Nope, I’m talking about the scene in which Belle snoops around in the West Wing (gawd, you have no respect for other people’s/beast’s property) and uncovers the enchanted rose, only to be chased out by a beast with temper issues. It was loud, it was intense. I nearly crapped myself.

I actually had a little bit of anxiety walking into the theatre the second time around; I didn’t want to relive that trauma. At home is one thing, but on a big screen where you see every drawn incisor, (this time, they were 3D!) I felt 3 years old again.

But I soon forgot all of that once the film actually started. I was hit with such a wave of nostalgia that I almost wanted to leap out of my chair and start scatting along with the opening instrumentals, which were so familiar. Everything was as if I had just watched the movie yesterday, from the dialogue to the music, to the quirky attributes of the film- I even remember thinking as a child how hideously inapropriate the cleavage on Gaston’s groupies were. Ahh, memories.

The great thing about this brand new 3D re-mastering was that even though the film and it’s story was so familiar, there was so much more to look at and experience. Disney has plans to re-release several more of its classics into theatres using 3D to make it new again, including The Little Mermaid and Finding Nemo (we saw a preview for the latter; that one is going to be so cool).

Even though it appears to be a blatant money grab from Disney (it roughly takes about half a year to remaster their 2D films into 3D, with a resulting $100 million dollar profit, as The Lion King raked in), I find it exciting that I can experience these films again in a big, theatrical way. I hardly ever shed tears when watching films (barring Titanic, the last minute of that movie always gets me, damn it), but I don’t know where all of these emotions came from when watching the movie. When the Beast gives Belle the library and the feelings start to show (J would like to point out, I’m sure, that this whole story is a crock and is merely a blatant example of Stockholm syndrome), or when he sees Belle come back and finds the power to fight back Gaston, or when she thinks he’s dead and professes her love for him, I was actually getting emotional. For a cartoon.

This 3D doesn’t mess around, so be warned if you never want to look like an blithering idiot next to a 5 year old’s birthday party.

Beauty and the Beast 3D was worth every penny of the $14 I spent on a ticket. You might feel the same way, should your favourite Disney princess return to the big screen.

What Disney movie you would like to see the most in 3D?

 

An Open Letter to: The Jackass that Tried to Intimidate Me, by j

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Dear Asshole:

Thank you for your email.  And your five minute phone message.  And for berating my colleagues.  But for future information, if you have a concern, issue or problem there are a few crucial steps for you to remember.

1.  Be concise.  Nobody likes a rambler.  Say what you mean, make a plan, move on.

2. If you have an issue with someone in particular, it would be best to talk to them directly.

3. If you are unhappy/frustrated/upset, say so.  Do not try and distract me with silly concerns.  Be an adult and tell me what you need.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: berating someone and trying to cut them down only makes me (and others who hear your rambling, irrational and idiotic ranting) feel sorry for you and want to throw a bushel of rotting avocados at head.

And as an aside, sending me emails that have no punctuation, spelling errors and no capitalization stops me from taking any concern (no matter how bizarre) seriously.

You look like and idiot, especially when you spell the wrong word over and over.  Know that I take pleasure in the idea that you are not only spiteful, but you’re dumb.  Really dumb.  Like, can’t-write-an-angry-email-without-looking-like-a-douche dumb.

And finally, don’t you ever, ever, EVER think that you can cut me down, ridicule me or embarrass me because I am not doing what you want to do.  Your attempts at making me feel inadequate fall short.  In fact your irritating voice mail message only further proved to me that I am glad that I don’t have to deal with you.

I can imagine after pulling a stunt like that one you are used to intimidating women.  Well, on behalf of all the women you tried to intimidate this week- it didn’t work.  You didn’t make us feel like we were doing a bad job.  You didn’t make us feel like we didn’t know what we were doing.  You just reinforced what we suspected at the beginning of the week: you’re a moron.

So, don’t try and use your big voice, big company or demanding tone to try and make us feel stupid.  It doesn’t work, we see right through your pathetic attempt to posture for position.

And on top of that, just because we are in the “not for profit” sector does not mean that we kiss the feet of anyone who wants to throw their useless crap at our feet.  We are not that desperate for what you have.  We are not that hard up for anything that we need to take your brand of Grade A shit.

Just because people are poor does not mean you get to treat them like they are less than worthy of respect and kindness.  You might have been pleasantly surprised that you would have experienced both if you had not been such a horse’s ass.

For the next time, if you have something that you don’t want do not try to act altruistic and donate it.  You’re kind of transparent.

Did you get all of that?  Spell check is your friend.  Say what you mean.  Remember your male privilege.

Sincerely,

Your friendly social service provider

P.S. Fuck you.

Review, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, by m

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About a month ago, Lioness: Hidden Treasures was released.  It’s a compilation of eleven previously unreleased tracks by Amy Winehouse.  I got my hands on a copy about  a week ago.

You never know how to feel about potential cash grabs from record companies, but I just watched  a quick documentary on her VEVO account about the making of the album, and it seems like the producers that worked closest with her chose the songs really carefully, and with a lot of heart. They say a lot of the songs were done in just one take, sometimes recorded on the fly (like “A Song For You”, which was recorded as she unpacked sound equipment in her attic. She sings and she slurs and she cries and she talks about the singer Donny Hathaway. Really emotional, but refreshing to hear something that isn’t auto-tuned to death).

There are new versions of my favourite songs of hers on the new album: “Valerie” and “Tears Dry on Their Own”. On her last album, Back to Black, her producer remixed her lyrics for “Tears Dry on Their Own” with the music from “Ain’t no Mountain High Enough”.  The music served as a great hook, but now we get to listen to the song as Amy wrote it.

She covers “Our Day Will Come”,  “Girl from Ipanema”, and “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?”. You can’t listen to her sing that last one without admitting that she  had the kind of talent that you might only witness once in a generation…

Worth the download, good for a listen on a Sunday afternoon 🙂