Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

it can always be worse

With a roommate who spends half of her time uptown, and the other half at work, a boyfriend in another province, and HBO Canada on demand, I spend a lot of my time by my lonesome. Although I do, for the most part, treasure the solitude of an empty condo, a vacant kitchen, and a solo sleeping arrangement, I can’t help but feel lonely every once in a while. We’re talking innocuous isolation, nothing too Howard Hughes-ish, but certain seclusion nonetheless.

I can't afford to 'socialize' every night, and AV & SNP can't be expected to ditch their families and lovers all the time. So, the other night, like many nights, feeling low, and lonely, I propped my laptop on the pillow next to me in bed. I clicked on google videos, and typed ‘documentaries’ into the search bar.

(FUN FACT: I often fall asleep to the sound of a documentary. Something about the pace and the Mr. Movie Phone rhetoric sends me adrift in only a matter of minutes.)

This night, however, I reviewed my options. The Patriotic Doc? No thanks, Michael Moore. The Farce Doc? I watched Colbert already. The Conspiracy Doc? I said no thanks, Michael. Jesus. Doesn’t anyone else want to win an IDA in this lifetime?

But there, three pages in, I found my treasure. It’s called “Guys and Dolls”. I clicked it, and suddenly, my loneliness was pacified, placated and, POOF, gone for good.

Click here to kiss self-pity goodbye, and feel instantly, unequivocally better about being alone.

And if you’re not alone, watch it anyway, and share the absurdity with a friend. It’s that good.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

another dawn, another dollar

Over the course of this weekend, I've gained an entirely new respect for hookers, and pushers, and owls, and ER doctors – or any form of nocturnal vocation that I've never seriously considered. Worry not, though. Naturally (and gratefully), my weekend has been consumed by a commission that is socially and morally docile, or at least more so than a few of the aforementioned pursuits. Be it respectable, legal, illicit, or amiss; if you're working overnight, I salute you. Nothing says a 'job well done' better than just barely beating the sun home. And while I'm sure the weekend will catch up with me shortly, I'm happy to forfeit Sunday morning, readjust my clocks, and count out my money.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

salon 1504

Yesterday, the great and powerful Nathan Rival visited my apartment again, tools in hand and ready to work. This time, however, his mission wasn't my mane, but rather the lovely locks of my charming friends.

Both Alison Violet and Sarah were in desperate need of a haircut. Alison Violet, in an attempt to grow it long, had left her tresses untouched for over a year. Sarah, who cuts more frequently, required some reshaping – and both of them needed it now.

The girls arrived at two, jumped into my shower, and then, one after the other, sat down with Nathan at my kitchen table. After some chit-chat, and a short but uncomfortable trip down to Russ' for "necessary supplies", the chopping and coloring began.

For Sarah, it just took a few quick clips of the shears.

"Eventually," she said, "I want it to grow out and look like this."

In order to do that, he would have to realign her asymmetrical style, and crop it evenly on both sides. According to him, in just a few more months she should be well on her way to Lanphear-land.

Alison Violet's requisite enterprise, however, wasn't as speedy. In fact, it took quite a while. But, good things come to those who wait, and furthermore, those who wait for Nathan. Known for her lengthy ginger hair, AV wanted to give her colour some much needed consideration. After a quick jaunt to the salon supply shop at Dundas and University, Nathan and AV returned with two tiny boxes that would, somehow, create the perfect colour.

Middle part, side part, middle part and four hours later, AV revealed her nouveau coiffure – in timely accordance with her upcoming birthday, to boot.

(You should give our guy a try.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the most famous banana

Now I can say, I knew her back when.

a lot off the top

Home is where the heart is, and today, where the haircut is too. When you combine heart and hair, you get Nathan Rival.

Ever since Nathan decided to emancipate himself from the confines of the salon, he's been clipping my locks dans la maison.

I should be getting my haircut every five to six weeks considering the preferred length, however good cuts, like anything these days, aren't exactly cheap.

He arrived at 2:00, and I offered him a coffee. Stirring in a pinch of Bailey's, which he so conveniently produced from his stylist's satchel, we started to talk crop.

"Nathan," I said, "I look like George Harrison."

He explained that my usual style, an inventive take on an almost-sorta-maybe-bowl cut, can only grow into one thing: a real, live, early-to-mid 90's, bona-fide Jonathan Taylor Thomas bowl cut. That can be dangerous.

"With frequent haircuts this can be avoided," he said.
"But, on your budget," he continued, after surveying the status of my refrigerator, "I'm afraid the only way to dodge this is by cutting it a bit shorter to begin with."

And so we did. As it turns out, a bit to a hairdresser is a lot to a real person.

At first, I was shocked to see the hair on the floor. I was bounded by a moat of brown fluff pooling at my heels. I began to worry. If all that's down there, then what's up here?

I listen to the sound of the scissor, then the razor, then the scissor again for twenty-five minutes before he even let me touch.

Finally, after a wait that felt like forever, he walked me to the mirror.

"It's short," I said. And it was.

Two hours later, it still is. It hasn't grown at all since he left, but the cut itself is growing on me more and more by the second.

It really accentuates my... skull.
Adrian will love that.

And, if I go take a shower, put on a bra, and apply some makeup, I'm sure I'll love it too.

Because no matter what, no one can cut it like Nate.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

forever (too) young

After a heated conversation about the cheapest wine that money can buy, I decided to show Tara, a fellow economist, how to penny-pinch with Pinot. After all, we're facing a recession people. We shouldn’t be buying anything that doesn't come in a tetra-pack.

At the LCBO, we meander through rows of premium, top-shelf beverages, until finally reaching the back. There, lining the rear wall, in all of their screw-off cap glory, are the thrifties. After pointing out which ones taste like anti-freeze, and which ones are passable, (I'm quite the coinsurer considering that weekends happen, well, weekly) we take our $7.00 selections to the counter and prepare to pay.

There, we meet a female employee. Her unplucked brows confront us. We greet them. Hello, unplucked brows. Then, in the chestnut tradition of a customer service worker, she sighs heavily, bringing attention to her colossal, heaving chest, as it nearly busts through the plastic buttons of her government issued uniform.

"ID," it said.

I can count on one hand just how many times I have been carded in this city. Lucky for me that I can, because apparently a Manitoban ID just doesn't cut it around here.

Every time I show my ID, people gape in horror and disbelief, as if I were presenting them with a Musiak shrunken head or a copy of David Gest's autobiography. It's a Manitoban age of majority card. It shows that I'm 21. It's not a dead baby, so don’t look at me like that.

Then, of course, they always ask me for another piece of photo identification, like a driver's license. I tell them that I don't drive. Again, they look at me blankly. If only I knew sign language for: what don't you get?

"Why don't you have, like, a drivers licence?"

Quick pause. I make it look like I'm actually considering her query. As if this is the first time I have given the question any real thought. Hmm. Good question, Beast. Why don't I?

But I'm not.

I don't drive. Never have, and now that I'm in a city dominated by fixed-gears and streetcars, I probably never will. Me behind a wheel might look an awful lot like this.

"Health card?"

"Here it is," I say, laying it down in front of her.

"Well, like, where's the picture?"

"It doesn't have a picture," I say.

"Why not?"

"I'm not sure," I say.


"Am I going somewhere?"

"Well, like, without photo issued government ID, I can't sell you this here wine, eh."

Using the tips of my figers, I slide my age of majority card closer to her. Perhaps her eyebrows have obstructed her vision.

Alas, they have not.

"I already told you, we can't accept that," It says, exposing it's leathery tongue.

"Why not?"

"Because it's from Manitoba, and we're, like, in Ontario."

WE ARE!? Well, shit. All this time I thought I was in Churchill, and that you were a fucking polar bear.
As if that's some sort of argument anyway. I don't know what kinda Rod Sterling books they're reading over there in community college, but as far as I know, geographic location does not inform whatsoever on time or space, with the exception of UTC, of course.

Sensing my annoyance, Tara lightly pulls at my elbow.

"Lets go," she says, guiding me away from the liquor store Yeti, empty handed and red-faced. Once we are safely outside, she turns to me with a kind smile and suggests, in her signature 'half-full' kinda way, that I take the dispute as a compliment.

"I'm too young to be flattered by a situation like this," I say.

"Yes, you are," she says. "Be happy about that."

And, oddly enough, I was. Thirsty, but happy. I have the rest of my life to pick fights with everyone, and get drunk on Tuesdays. (I do plan on having a husband and children, at some point.)
But for right now, I'm thrilled to just be young and happy.

Young, and happy, and thirsty.

Friday, November 14, 2008

such nachus

Who knew yids looked so good in couture?

This month, Harper's Bazaar has chosen to drape one of "the chosen people" in nothing but the best.
Here, Sarah Silverman sports everything from Bottega Veneta, Dolce and Gabanna, Chanel, Fendi,
and, fellow heeb, Marc Jacobs.

I'm just kvelling.

modesty is for ugly people

And she says she'd never model.


This is AV. Believe it or not, these shots are pseudo candid. While directing, filming, and starring in her own petite montage for school, an old friend, Matin Pezesghaad, came by to watch her work.

He brought a camera.

This is what happened.

Somebody get this girl an agent, already.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

smell me

Tasting and touching is so overrated. For many, smell can be one of the most powerful senses. It can be nostalgic, or cathartic, heck, it can be a serious aphrodisiac, too. I'm somewhat of a junkie when it comes to perfumes. You name it. I've owned it. I can peg a bottled fragrance on just about anyone. Show me a billboard and I probably can't read it. Speak to me in a crowd and I probably can't hear you. But wear a perfume anywhere in my basic vicinity, and I can usually track you down. The gift of compensation, I suppose.

Just as I associate many smells with individual people, places, or times in my life, I would like others to be able to do the same for me. I love that when I smell Tom Ford I think of Tara, maple syrup or vanilla bean reminds me of Michelle, and Benson and Hedges reminds me of my mother (and I truly mean that affectionately). Being an eau du toilette aficionado, I've gone through so many scents that it would be impossible for anyone to appoint any one bouquet as being exclusively mine.

Thus, I am on the hunt for a signature fragrance, as it were. Suggestions are warmly welcomed, but for the mean time, a list of scents that I either:

a) already own.

b) have owned at one time.

c) would consider owning, and adopting as my permanent preference, in the very near future.

Creed, Spring Flower

I have always loved Creed because it's a scent that my Pop used to wear. It has forever been marketed as a unisex fragrance, but the brand has been in a constant state of evolution, and has presented a few more femmy variations to choose from over the years.
Truth be told, they can incorporate as many "flowers" or butterflies or unicorns as they like, but at the end of the day, all Creed smells very much the same – which is a more of an accolade to the product, than it is a criticism of the brand.

Bond No. 9:
Silver Factory

Oh, Andy Warhol. Ever such a consumer's trend. Fortunately for me, and my buyer's conscience, this fragrance is a part of a line totally inspired by the city of New York – and not just Andy. The Warhol thing just happens to be a coincidence. I swear. Chris suggested I give this one a try. Although unmistakably masculine and woody, the overall tone incorporates lavender, and a bit of citrus, and isn’t as alcoholy as other cologne- inspired-perfumes.

I like it. A lot.

YSL Elle

I have always been a bit perplexed by the packaging of this fragrance, being that the letters Y, S and L usually evoke images of long, androgynous women in perfect pant suits and black lipstick. This scent, just like its name, is unmistakably girly. I've worn it before, and enjoyed the piquancy of the perfume just after it had been freshly sprayed. Although, after a few hours of wear I start to smell less like peppery patchouli, and more like a pretty princess.

Dior Hypnotic Poison

Call me a bubbie if you like, but I just adore this scent. The perfume reminds me of something warm, and I don’t care what; Hot chocolate. A bathtub. A puppy. I don’t know. But I do know that it might be exactly what I need to stay cozy in the frosty winter to come.

DSquared sheWOOD

As a response to their first fragrance for men, heWOOD, DSquared has just recently introduced it's sister scent. Literally. The dynamic duo said this in a press release about their new perfume:
"We started from a men's fragrance and made it feminine. We didn't start off by saying let's do woman's fragrance. It's not that girly that we can't wear it, I like doing fragrances that are a bit more unisex. Both of our scents are complementary and timeless."
Thankfully, the smell isn't nearly as boring as their press kit. As a matter of fact, it's actually quite delicious.
sheWOOD? Oh yes. I would.

Friday, November 7, 2008


A few salvaged snapshots from the month(s) thus far. Truly, I'm not one for tardy photo-posting, and furthermore, these photos aren't really mine. In many of these photos I appear to be unhappy. Don't be fooled. I was just being "fierce".

The pictures belong to a certain forgetful girl who left them/keeps leaving them at my house, and has asked that they see the light of day before the content becomes socially obsolete, if it isn't already.

Alas, just because they're captured by a disposable camera does not mean that they're disposable memories. So here they are. Weeks old. Out of focus. But too funny to forget completely.

SNP, you're very welcome. For all that you do, this shrine is for you.


The Toronto Star reported today that one of my most admired farces, The Office, is Manitoba bound. Next Thursday, Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, will haul his entire team across the boarder for an all-expenses-paid staff convention in Winnipeg. (Clarion, anybody?)

It's about time.

A surprising fact; it's been argued that Winnipeg is actually the feature film production capitol of Canada. Once we realised that slurpees are actually four billion calories each, we decided to set our sights on something a little less fattening, but equally as toxic. The city that used to be the slurpee capitol has since moved on to a more lucrative designation. Hollywood...ish. However, there has been no glory to this gambit yet. This is because viewers don't actually recognize that the setting is, in fact, not Chicago, nor Boston, or even New York City (yes, we've posed as the big apple) – but rather Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Where's the pride in that?

I'm sure any kid who grew up in Winnipeg remembers that Simpson's episode where Homer and the kids are driving on the highway next to another family car. Suddenly, through the open window, we hear the father in the other car stomp on the breaks and shout "THAAAATS IT! BACK TO WINNIPEG!" before turning the car around and speeding away.

The thrill of hearing my city's name uttered on international television sent shivers from my little ratty pony-tale, down my underdeveloped spine, all the way to the tips of my bad-ass Velcro runners with lights on the heels. Ah, so we're not a lost civilization after all!

Sometimes, a Jeopardy contestant will stare blankly at Mr. Trebek before buzzing in with "uh, what is Sah-skah-shoo-wahn?" whilst I stand red-faced and yelling, "WINNIPEG! WINNIPEG!"

Christ. Everyone knows that the Cree term for muddy waters was the primary factor in the naming of the settlement of Winnipeg. Right?

Wrong. And it's really too bad. There's a lot more to my great city than an Old Navy and the "Bar I" patio.

The fact that Winnipeg will be visibly acknowledged on one of my favourite shows reaffirms my pride as a Peg city lass. Sure, they'll likely mock all parts of the city that I hold near and dear to my heart -- The Forks, Assiniboine Park, the corner of Portage and Main, Tijuana Yacht Club -- but a little self-deprication is always good for the soul.

So, if you were raised on Fred Penner, have ever eaten at Ami's, puked at the Pyramid, or bought pot at Sir John Franklin community centre, I encourage you to tune in on the 13th along with me.

I have a couch and cable, so all "Friendly" Mantiobans are welcome.
Except Russ. You're from Carmen. That doesn't count.