27 March, 2011

open letter

dear american apparel,

please stop with your ads already. they make me profoundly uncomfortable in a way i am unable to articulate properly which just adds to the discomfort. at their best they're ugly and at their worst they bring to mind the sort of second rate porn from third world countries where the end result, rather than arousal, is pity. your clothes are poorly made, unforgivably unattractive, deeply unflattering and let me tell you, if i want to see "real" people in tight ugly clothes, why, i can just go to wal-mart, or, in a pinch, strip down to my plain jane underwear, strike an awkward pose, make a "don't give a fuck" face and look in the mirror - yes, i realise i am not 21 and an aspiring mime in new york city, but it'll be close enough.

please and thank you,


p.s. obviously, i'm not the only one who feels this way. sorry to be obvious, but something about ironic hipster nipples in my face first thing in the morning just threw me off.

not dead or anything

since we last talked i have watched packers pack and loaders load, scrubbed every surface of our little abode, been fed and housed by the incomparable r&k and then more of the same by the ever patient b&l, been driven across vast mountain ranges in a broken volvo-beast, fed rather unexpectedly amazing frites* in the middle of mountainous nowhere, gazed with fond affection at the fuzzy cattle on highway 1a west of cochrane, embraced the soothing familiarity of the southern alberta foothills, arrived in edmonton to a gloriously sunny spring day and then was kicked right in the ass by a return of a winter so vicious and unpalatable that it spurred me to a buddhist-like** one-with-the-weather thing, in which i am learning not to kick at that which is unkickable.

we have moved into our transitional housing unit. unlike our former ocean-view home, this one boasts a charming vista of a parking lot, under-lino rot in the bathroom, a fridge whose shelving conspires to dump my liquid dairy products on the floor with punishing regularity, a kitchen cabinet door that fell on my head and a mental institution bathroom wall colour so utterly horrific that i repainted it the following day***. luckily, the place kicks ass in the location department, being mere steps from pretty much everything that counts, like a year-round indoor farmers' market, a repertory movie theatre, cafes, pubs, shops, an organic supermarket where one can purchase very very expensive pears, roughly seventeen new vietnamese restaurants where one can be fed well for very little, a jazz club and half a dozen theatres. also, the rent is cheap and the landlord gave birth to me almost 40 years ago. granted, this can be a blessing or a curse. will keep you posted.

i am now running around and getting us organized while squeezing in as much baby time as i can (yes, my aunternal instincts are in full swing). despite our sadness at leaving one of the most beautiful places on the planet and our amazing friends, old and new, there is a great degree of comfort in coming back to a place i know so well. and so, with all its goods and its bads, i am home.

* they were so good they transcended mere french fries

** one can still aim high while failing spectacularly, no?

*** the colour of choice was a warm pretty grey called for some random reason 'chinchilla white' proving once and for all that chinchilla are indeed colour blind.

16 March, 2011

the one about the dream about a very small ape and a very sexy man and some beets for roughage

last night i dreamed two things of some importance.

one, was a very small gorilla. it was roughly 5 inches tall fully grown and it climbed all over my hand, tickling me with its fur. it was adorable and gave teacup pigs a run for their money (do teacup pigs have money? if not, why not?).

the second thing was nathan fillion serving me what he called porridge, but what actually consisted of oats, soba noodles and big slices of pickled beets. it tasted exactly like what you'd expect a mixture of oats, soba noodles and big slices of pickled beets to taste, i.e. not very good.

unsurprisingly, i was rather angry at Night Brain for bringing in the extremely delicious nathan fillion, and then having him serve me odd and rather disturbing foodstuffs, and doing it fully clothed. Night Brain, you've aced casting, but you really need to hire some better script writers, because this thing was worse than avatar, and that, my friends, is saying something. yes, Night Brain - next time you blow the budget on the big guns, i want to be able to walk away with something other than a wondrously bizarre breakfast recipe, if you know what i mean, and i think that you do, what with being my brain and all.

07 March, 2011

strap on a pig, and let's head for the hills

have you ever visited the sartorialist? it's essentially a blog by a guy (i think it's a guy, from rumours and hints i have picked up through my aimless flâneusey wanderings through the blogosphere (also, i just checked his bio)) who takes pictures of the fashionable folk in their natural habitat. sometimes he posts pictures of actual fashion shows in which, invariably angry teenage models are made to wear kitchen appliances wrapped in purple fur and stick-on eyebrows of blue patent leather (or, better yet, no eyebrows at all, because eyebrows are so circa '83) because, presumably, designers want to see how far they can take this shit before someone stops and says, "now hang on a minute! that looks like rubbish! and it costs more than i make in a year! what the...?" most of the time, however, the pictures are of "real" people if by real you mean the entitled rich bastards who think it beneath them to buy discounted last season's prada purse because it is so last season.

these people are not just rich, though! oh no! they are also dead stylish! they wear yellow tights with teal pumps and a twinkle in their eye. they wear furry hats with earflaps with a versace suit. they drape their bodies with several artfully mismatched oversized sweaters over a vintage urine-splashed tutu with rubber boots. they are hip. you can tell they are hip because they rarely smile. smiling is a dead give-away of being madly unhip. unless, of course, you are smiling ironically, appropriating the technicolour facial expression of mccarthy era united states, all "cocktails before noon" sort of happy hausfrau type of thing, if you know what i mean.

there are women in large sunglasses and very very high heels pretending to get on bicycles, because they are french and nothing stops the french from getting on a bicycle. there are people wearing things six sizes too large just to fuck with your mind. there are women pairing hideous acrylic suits from the 80's with chunky knitted hats to show how daring they are with their fashion choices. there are women in bathrobes heading off to a job in the factory while their men go to war. there are bemused hasidic jews. there are men in suits whose sleeves and pantlegs are too short because some clothing designer ran out of fabric and started a trend that makes everybody out there look like a fucking hobbit. there are even what appear to be to my untutored eyes actual street people.

granted, there are some pretty neat and original looking folks on these pages as well (you can go find them yourself, do i have to do everything around here?), but the thing that gets me (ooh, ooh, tell us the thing! tell us the thing! very well, i shall tell you the thing) is that every post has close to a hundred comments, some more, some fewer, and all of them (well close to 98.74% at last count) are gushing and superlative: "magnificent!", "stellar!" "a brave statement about world poverty and crime using three kinds of plaid and a beanie!", "gorgeous, simply gorgeous!" even when the picture is of someone who apparently removed the insides from a camel, wove a gown out of the remains, dyed it chartreuse, covered it in sequins and wore it with a black fedora and 70's disco roller-skates. i mean, COME ON!

is this a giant joke that the fashion industry is playing on us, aided by the sartorialist and all of the audience is going along with it for fear of being seen as fashion black holes who actually like their sleeves to cover their wrists? or is it the other way? is the fashion industry dead serious? is it the sartorialist who is exposing their idiocy and the audience goes along to be cool? or is it a third way (don't worry, this is my last option, i'm getting sleepy) is it the audience who is engaging in some fairly complex and subtle social critique and all of their "splendid use of corduroy!" comments are really sleekly ironic and darkly condemning of the whole consumerist nature of the whole game? yeah, i didn't think so either, but to see nearly 100 comments of such enthusiastic praise makes me somehow feel that i'm being let down by my audience. come on, you lazy bastards! tell me how awesome i am! to help get you in the mood, i shall end with a gorgeously lit photo of mr. monkey, sporting the latest in orange latex headwear, spring 2011 - it keeps the rain out and makes your hair fall out of your head, and if that ain't fashion, i don't know what is:

thank you.

p.s. yes, i have the sartorialist bookmarked. what can i say? i loves me some fashion!

05 March, 2011

and that's how it is.

5 minutes ago on skype:

moi: you have to watch this. it's hilarious. a gave it to me.

mr. monkey: she's into british humour, is she?

moi: yes, most definitely. we watched hot fuzz together. it was hilarious.

mr. monkey: yes, i saw it. it was very good.

moi: you saw it and never told me about it? if i see a good movie i tell you about it!

mr. monkey: yes. generally, i'm a bastard.

sweet lord, is it hot in here or is it just the sheep?

1. i still feel the need to dance. jools, wait for me, i'm coming soon and when i do, you can take me out. then again, going out dancing in the midst of an edmonton winter (yes, i am aware that it's march. ever been to edmonton in march? exactly.) can be a trifle challenging: attempting to unearth a sexy sleek booty-shaking self from under several layers of sorrel boots, drymax socks, moisture-wicking long johns, fur-lined pants and hats with earflaps is not easy.

2. i have had one glass of wine and feel totally hooped. you can hardly blame it on lack of practice. hey! i know! let's blame the fact that i spent all day on an open-computer exam on jurisprudence. no, i don't know what that is either, and i got 97% on the exam! and it only took me 7 hours! 7 hours of perusing government websites, dental hygiene publications on ethics, continuing competence (i promise to continue to be competent!), restricted duties and all manner of fun and exciting things that are even duller than teeth. imagine that: duller. than. teeth. i know!

3. i have (re)discovered a sympathetic soul recently who not only has a strikingly similar taste in music, films and highly inappropriate humour, but also manages to lust after the exact same fictional men. there is also the bonus of her being a hoot and then some! this sort of thing is rare and i appreciate it. i really, really do. she got me addicted to black books and i strongly encourage you to go and get yourself a fix. seriously now. GO!

4. a and i have come up with a couple of things that hipsters have failed to appropriate in their annoying ironic way: acid-wash jeans and comb-overs. if you're a hipster who's had it with the 80's glasses and tiny john deere t-shirts, have at'er. and i'm not talking about skinny acid-wash jeans either (a just informed me she spied one in vancouver on a recent outing): it's got to be the real thing, all tapered and acidy and hideous. as for the ironic comb-over, i think it's an idea whose time has come. come on, COME ON!!!

5. this. (tony, the vocalist is martina sorbara. go figure! she's shaved her armpits too!) i cannot stop listening to it. see 1. above. i can totally see myself rhythmically shedding my mukluks to this tune. in fact, once you go away, i will crank up my i-pod and rock out in the kitchen. oh yeah.

04 March, 2011

boys of summer (and other seasonal afflictions)

i was a late bloomer. my first boyfriend and my first kiss was...whoa! wait a minute! my actual first boyfriend and my actual first kiss were actually in kindergarten, so i suppose i was more of a junior hussy than a late bloomer, but then many many years passed before it happened again, so you can take it any way you will. here, for your reading enjoyment, is a crash course in my love life. enjoy.

after my high school boyfriend j broke my heart, i recovered by bawling a-plenty, staring at walls and giving up jesus. don't know if the latter two really did much for me, but the first was a great help: my sinuses have never been cleaner.

then came my wild years.

first, there was that guy who was a friend of a friend and damn sexy he seemed. he wore a great big furry hat with a sense of panache and what girl can resist a furry hat or sense of panache? not this one, apparently. he also kept a stuffed wombat in his car.

then there was the one who looked like this (still does, i imagine; that kind of look does not go away with age). we got along great and when we passed the two week mark, he dumped me unceremoniously (i found out later he had a two week limit). whatevs, who wants to be dating jafar for any length of time? i imagine the parrot would get annoying.

after this came a profusion of meaningless sex relationships. some even with musicians. i strongly discourage you, my poultries, from dating musicians. their egos are dangerously large and their attention spans dangerously short. also, they think they are very sexy. they are sexy but never as sexy as they think. in unrelated news, it was at this time that i learned to get sound out of a saxophone.

there were scotsmen and irishmen, and men who used black garbage bags as their shower curtains (that didn't last long). there were men who turned out to be great friends, and men who turned out to be something else entirely. there was even a frenchman who "forgot" to bring a wallet to the date and still figured he'd get some; he didn't. let's be honest, it was a fun bunch of years.

one cannot forget the men i let take me out to dinner during my lean years. i am not proud but i was very poor. i suppose i ought to have simply carried a sandwich board that said "WILL DATE FOR FOOD".  just so you know, though, that is all i did. this girl has some standards. i figured what they got was an evening out with a pretty young thing, and what i got was a hot meal. no other currency was exchanged, if you know what i mean, and i think that you do.

then came the day that i walked into a repertory movie theatre and locked eyes with the handsome man behind the concession counter. i looked at him, and knew then and there that he was The One. he was indeed: The One guy i truly regret dating. he was handsome, intelligent, almost twice my age, and absolutely insane in the medical sense of the word. a decade later he was still stalking me and he is The One reason i have had an unlisted phone number and the highest privacy settings on facebook for years. as you can imagine, i no longer believe in love at first sight.

after this, for safety reasons, i dated a man with a gun. a mountie's life was not for me so after 3 years of fun, driving around in police cruisers and much drama, i ran away and went back to school. there i met mr. monkey who's not a musician, not certifiable and does not own a gun. it was not love at first sight, but i suppose i just sort of grew on him. we've just passed our 13th dating anniversary and are in our tenth year as mr. and mrs.

your turn.