Friday, October 23, 2009


There is a product from Neutrogena that deals with both wrinkles AND acne.  The ad says, "How is it at my age I have to worry about wrinkles AND pimples?"

So true.


I may have inherited fine hair, canckles and an inability to curl my tongue, but I did luck out on the skin gene.  I have very British peaches and cream skin. My mum has it.  Her mum had it.  And I assume my great-grandmother had it.  Very few wrinkles, normal skin texture, creamy tone.  Yes, I am very lucky.  Except for one very ANNOYING thing:  I STILL GET ZITS!


Again, WTF?

I am 30!  THREE ZERO!  And I feel my pimple growing capability has gotten worse as I have gotten older.  How is this fair?  I always have one on vacations - in Cape Cod the one on my chin was so huge we called it Ernie.  And I always have one for days on set.  Without fail, when I book a job I always book a zit too.

But here is the other issue:  body acne.  ICK.  I know no one talks about it, but we all know it happens.

I work out a fair bit and sweat profusely.  This has caused a problem on parts of my upper back.  The horror!  I shower but still get the blasted things where my Lululemon T-Top sits.  I beg the Engineer to pop them but he refuses (I have a friend in Vancouver who LIVES to pop zits) and says it is worse for the pimple.  But I have one so bad right now that even he thought it needed some probing.  Gross.  What do we call zits on the back?  Backne of course.

I once got a zit on my breast.  Boobne.  Sometimes they happen on the chest.  Chestne.

Now here is one that is the most horrific of all.  Assne.  That's right, zits on your ass.  GAH!  I have only had two.  Once when I was at school in London.  I thought a spider had bitten my lower left cheek because the offending mark was so big and it hurt.  But when I showed a friend of mine she sadly informed me it was a zit.  WHAT?  On my butt cheek?  The second time?  Right now.  God, how do we get zits on our butts?  Does Neutrogena make a cream for that??

I sort of want that $200 zip zapper thing from Sephora.  Is it worth it?  I don't know.  I still have yet to find the perfect eliminator of pimples.  Keihl's is okay.  That Jessica Simpson stuff is apparently good as a spot treatment but crazy drying.  Tea tree oil?  Paper bag?  Toothpaste?

I think I would rather have wrinkles that god damn zits.  It's been 15 years!  Stop torturing me you horrible red sacs of puss!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Mosquito that Almost Killed Us

The Engineer nearly dumped me last night.  Apparently. I was asleep.  He nearly broke up our three year relationship over a . . . . . . .  mosquito.

That's right, I tiny, but annoying, insect.  He was going to let this blood sucker break us up.

Why you ask?

Because it was my fault there was a mosquito in our home to begin with.

We have a window in our bedroom that is above my desk.  I love to have my window open to let in the glorious fall breeze.  This window has a screen.  And you have to put the screen in when you open the window.  And sometimes I forget to put the screen in.


In Vancouver I don't need a screen!  I like the window to be open wider than the screen allows!  It was so freaking cold here that I thought all the mosquitos were dead!  It's October!

So many excuses and one itty bitty, teeny tiny, but horrific mosquito.  This mosquito is an asshole.  I have about seven bites on my arms from last night alone.

Anyways, the Engineer really hates the mosquito.  He goes to bed with a toque pulled over his eyes, a long shirt and then cocoons himself in the duvet.  At about 4:30 last night he sat up straight in bed, turned on the lights and yelled a very loud curse word.  I sleepily peeped my eyes open.

From my view he looked ridiculous.  Sitting up in bed with a toque sitting haphazardly and trying to locate the mosquito.  He sort of looked like a cat.  You know how they jerkily move their heads around when they are following a fly?  That's what he looked like.

And he was MAD.

He stormed out of bed, went to his office (to do what I have no idea), so I turned off the light.  He stormed back in, turned the light back on and proceeded to check his Blackberry (because mosquitos hide in them).  I could sense he was mad, and sure it was my fault, but he looked so ridiculous that I couldn't help by start laughing at him.  And it made him laugh (he told me this morning he was fake laughing  - lies).

He killed what we think was the rogue mosquito and went back to bed.  It took me until 5:30 to fall back asleep.  Now it was my turn to be mad.

This morning, he informed me that he was sooooooo mad at me (for not putting in the screen) that he was considering breaking up with me (apparently what he was doing in the office) but didn't want me telling people he dumped me over a mosquito.  Because it was over a screen, he said.  Yeah, because that reason would be so much better.

So now I can't whine that I have bites all over my arms.  And I will never ever forget to put the screen in the window.  In fact, I am sitting in front of it now and a lovely fall breeze is blowing my curtains.  We also have to assume that New York has mutant mosquitos that NEVER die.

God, I hope he doesn't see the hole in the screen in the bathroom.  He might go crazy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kitchen Scraps

A friend of mine (who starred with me in my very first short film) is releasing a cookbook that he wrote (isn't it incredible when people surprise you?) in Calgary tomorrow night at the Cookbook Company

The book itself is call Kitchen Scraps and he has a blog of the same name.  Pierre's done a great job of fusing recipes with amazing and fun illustrations.  Recipes like BLT Kama Sutra and Pantalone's Golden Saffron Coins (an ode to T&S and our intermediate year at the BFA- thought you would appreciate it) all with humorous art.

The book has already been released in Vancouver at Barbara Jo's

Go support a good Canadian boy!

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Opening Christmas Day! Finally the trailer is out!

And what's the biggest lure to seeing this film?

The fact that it's Heath Ledger's last?

Or it's Terry Gilliam?

Or it's supposedly his best film?

All good reasons, but the best one being that I make a small, but oh-so-important, appearance! As the British salesgirl :) I get kissed by Russians.

Eat Local

I have a slight tendency to only talk about food in New York.  But do not be fooled!  Great food exists absolutely everywhere.  So you don't only have to be in the Big Apple to get fat.

One of my most favorite places for eats in Vancouver is Edible British Columbia at the Granville Island Market.  Started a few years back by local chef  Eric Pateman (who also happens to be one of the nicest people I have ever met) to showcase unique food products that were 100% made/grown/thought of in beautiful British Columbia.

My mum and I jumped on this bandwagon back in the early days, when my mum found out that Edible BC holds an event called Cooking with BC's Best dinner series .  Basically what happens is that you enter Granville Island at the back door after closing (sort of fun to be in the market when NO one is there!), warmly welcomed by Eric or one of his team (we used to get reusable bags - I don't know if they still do that), and you find a seat at a table set for about 12-14.  Each week, a local Vancouver/BC chef creates a menu that uses all local products.  The menu consists of at least three courses.

The eaters don't cook the food, it's a cooking demonstration.  Which is fine by me.  Because while we watch the chef at work, Eric is liberally pouring a local wine that befits the course.

Our first chef belonged to the Fairmont YVR (he is no longer there if you go looking) and spoke with such passion and enthusiasm about the food he was creating I found it quite infectious (in fact, I think this is when my true foodie nutbar came out).  Suddenly, I realized that not only do we have incredible food in BC but the work that goes into creating those dishes means that we still get top food at a great price.  Affordable in New York?  fugetaboutit

Since my first evening, I have been back several times.  The most entertaining was Vikram Vij of the famous Vij's.  Not only was Vij amazing to watch and listen to, but the food was OUT OF THIS WORKD.  As was the wine!  Eric was as liberal as Vij and the Engineer and I left full and slightly tipsy.

 In fact, Vij gave us all second helpings to the point that the whole table was full.  But his rice pudding dessert was so incredible that when I noticed the lady next to me couldn't finish hers I asked for it.  Even though I thought I might explode, I ate her helping!

That night was so great that now you have to win a lottery to see Vij.  It was also so great because Vij was being filmed for the Food Network and I made it on TV!  Making roti.  Well, more like ruining roti and screaming.

The dinners are an amazing deal at around $90 per person.  Don't forget, it's all local food, you will be full, and each course has a BC wine to go with it.

The other great thing Edible BC does is food tours of Vancouver 'yum' spots - like Chinatown, Little India and Commercial Drive.  Again, the knowledge is so great and you will learn so much about a spot of town.  I have been going to Chinatown since I was a kid but until I went with Edible BC I had no idea what or why some of the odd things existed at Chinese markets.  Even the Engineer didn't know and he's Chinese!  Plus we ate ALOT.

Edible BC also has gourmet kayak weekends, personal 'chef for a day' lessons where you walk around the market and device your own BC menu (I did this and it was so wonderful),  and whiskey dinners.  Not to mention the storefront that stocks all that is fabulous about BC.

It's seriously a treasure and will give you an appreciation for what BC offers to the world.  Hmmm, I'm sort of homesick just writing this.

So go and get fat Vancouver style!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Day at the Park Sounds so Easy

Yesterday started off as a perfectly wonderful fall day.  Not a cloud in the sky, slightly cool crisp air, and a need to get out into the world.  The boys and I embarked on an adventure to Prospect Park - the Brooklyn cousin to Central Park.

It's a good twenty-five minute walk from my house, so already I feel we are getting appropriate exercise.  Then again I own a half-Jack Russell.

We stop at my favorite, Bergen's Bagels for a creamy coffee and a plain bagel toasted with light butter.  Mr. Mop is also a fan of the bagel and now knows this place.  As I carry my bag to the park, he jumps up trying to snatch it for himself.  In fact he was once successful and got over half my bagel.  Now I stuff it in my bag and hide it from him.

The boys and I meander through Park Slope.  Glimpsing all the lovely Brownstones with their Halloween decorations.  The sun is sparkling through the golden leaves.  All is well.

We find a bench and eat our bagel.  Yes, our, I shared it with the boys.  We watched people pass by and it was clearly old lady day at the park.  All these shuffling biddies strolled, in some cases wheeled, their way past us.  Arm in arm, gossiping away in Russian.  Some stopped to pat Mr. Mop on the head.  It was sweet.

Such a lovely day.

We strolled over the greens, headed to a forested area where I looked forward to letting the boys off leash (illegal after 9 am).  Teenagers were playing, girls screaming as boys played pranks.  I smiled.  Oh those were the times.  Mums played with their children in strollers, toddlers toddled around on their new found balanced feet.

What a lovely day.

I found the sought after privacy of the forest and let the boys run.  Mop was especially thrilled with his new found freedom.  He bounded and jumped and rolled.  So cute.  I noticed some dogs behind us so veered us onto a more private path.  Just me and the boys in the sun-filled forest.

Fall is magical.

But like all things serene and lovely when it comes to being me, it all cracked.

Firstly, Mr. Mop dashed to a mudhole so he could drink some water.  My newly bathed, white dog didn't merely sip from the side, oh no.  He bounded into the muddy water.  Awesome.  He squelched around so that his paws and face were completely black.  This made him more hyper.  So he ran around like a crazy idiot with mud flying from his body.  Then when I didn't think he could get more dirty, he rolled in the dirt and leaves trying to get the mud off of his face. Super.

Secondly, I discovered what made this path so private.  It's for horses.  That's right.  HORSES.  Luckily I saw him before my dogs did so was able to grab them in time.  This didn't stop them from barking their heads off as he passed.

One would think I should be smart enough to now leash my dogs.  Ummmm.  No.

Thirdly, what comes with horses?  That's right.  Horse poop.  If you have ever read my blog you know my dogs have a horrible love of horse crap.  The found a fresh new pile and went to town.  Then came me running behind them yelling to 'GET AWAY FROM THE POOP!!!".

Apparently eating feces makes both my dogs extra hyper.  So now they are running in circles, going nuts.  I am trying to get them back on leash but neither will come to be.  And we once again enter a public area.

Just as Mr. Mop is coming to me he sees . . .  the horse.

Fourthly, Mr. Mop tears after the horse barking his freaking head off but not before . . .

Fifthly, crossing a road in front of a truck carrying park people.  They begin to yell at me to get control of my dogs.

Sixth:  Brooklyn runs after Mr. Mop, I have to scream at the truck to STOP.  They are still yelling at me, Mr. Mop is circling the horse going nuts, and Brooklyn is running in his famous circles in front of the truck barking his head off.  The horse for the record, and its' person, were awesome.  They just stood still.

There are people looking at us now, including other dogs.  I know that my dogs will go crazy at these other dogs so my only option is to run screaming down a pathway because I know the boys will follow me.

I am wearing a bright pink sweater and my face is the same colour.

Predictably, the dogs follow and just enough that I can turn around, grab Brooklyn and throw Mop into an Alpha hold.  The horse continues his way, the truck shakes their fists at me, and the other dog owners stare at me in horror.

My task at hand is to make sure Mop is obedient.  He's gotten too hyper, he is out of breath and his heart is racing.  Being on his back calms him down.  I look at him and note that his beard is FULL of horse poop and he smells like s*^t.


Clearly, I put the leashes on.  Find a lake and dump the both of them in it to clean off horrible horse poop.

Then I look up.  

We are so far into the park that I am lost.  Clouds are taking over and this lovely fall day has turned into horse s*#t.

As I make our way out, we walk pass the NYPD trailers for horses.  That's right.  The horses were police horses.  Awesome.

Twenty minutes later I find us on a road and as we are walking down it, the god damn horse is heading towards us. Like Thelma and Louise, I veer off the path and back into the forest.  There is no freaking way we are running into him again.

Eventually I get us out of the park.  And so far from home that I am forced to pick up my mud-covered, horse pooped dogs and carry them into the subway.  This makes them panic so they claw me. Exposing my bra and belly to the entire car of the 'F' train.  On top of this they REEK.

They slept for the rest of the day.  And I vowed never to take them off leash again.  EVER.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I am a big fan of sausages.

Sadly, I am not supposed to be eating sausages because I am trying to follow the Mediterranean diet.  And as much as those hailing from the Mediterranean have so much going for them, I feel they missed out when they didn't put sausages in their diet.

The other day, in voice-over class, a girl had to do a read that was on the more sexual side.  She said she felt awkward because being 'sexy' wasn't her thing.  Another student suggested she imagine the microphone was chocolate or silk (I clearly do not love silk enough to think it would induce a sexy voice.  Give me cotton, it's the fabric of our lives), another suggested thinking of her boyfriend or a tropical beach, and without thinking, looking off into space imagining it myself, I said 'think about sausages'. Everyone cracked up.  Apparently they thought I was making a dirty joke.

I wasn't.  I was imagining a good Cumberland.

Once at brunch I asked the server how big his sausage was.  The entire table tried to suppress giggles and he nearly choked.  Not realizing my faux pas, I explained I wanted to know if I should order one or two.

After every wedding, I always insist on breakfast sausages.  It's the best way to quench the champagne tummy.

So this means I am always on the search for the perfect sausage.  As well as recipes that contain them.

If you trust my judgement and you love sausages, I suggest you try these places:

1.  Oyama Sausages at Granville Island in Vancouver
This place is AWESOME!  They use all organic meat from the Okanagan.  And not that I am all about organic, but they have a mandate to pasture raise the animals and I swear you can taste the happy meat.  Also, they have incredible recipes and variety - like butter chicken sausages and honey garlic pork sausages.  Plus it's a family run business with incredibly friendly staff.  They will give you samples and the owner is so boisterous he practically insists on taking as much sausage samples as you can handle.

2.  The British Butcher Shoppe (North Vancouver)
My mother found this place.  Being British born she is always in search of the perfect Cumberland/Lancashire Link/Northumberland and meat pies.  Again, this is a locally owned shop where the sausages are made on premises.  And get this:  THEY ARE NATURALLY LOW IN FAT!!!!!!  That's right friends!  LOW in fat!  It's because he chooses quality cuts of meat.  While you're there, you can stock up on other British favorites.  They have great steak pies, boxes of Cadbury Roses, tins of PG Tips, and British rashers (the best bacon in the world)

3.  McLean Sausages
These are organic turkey sausages available at the local grocery store.  Not only are they super tasty, but they are low fat and work really well in jambalaya - because chorizo is hard to find in Vancouver (British Butcher Shoppe has them!) and high in fat.

I love my sausages on the BBQ and then I eat them with tomatoes.  Tres yummy.  My other sausage meal ideas come from my lesbian crush:  Martha Stewart.  I don't care if you think she is an uptight preppy, this woman has wicked recipes.  Actually, it's her Everyday Food magazine that I love.  I get mine every month and look forward to seeing it in my mailbox.  They are available near magazines at the grocery store OR you can get all the recipes online:

I love jambalaya - really easy.  I use Uncle Ben's spanish rice (it's already got the spice in it) plus I throw in more veggies than it usually calls for.  And of course, YUMMY sausages!!  The most amazing spice comes all the way from the homeland:  New Orleans.

FYI - Whole Foods carries great sausages too!

I think it's time I hunt down the best of NYC when it comes to this perfect tubes of meat.  Ideas?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween = Excuse to be Slutty

As we continue our search for our Halloween costumes, I am once again shocked at how Halloween is simply an excuse to dress in a costume that is as slutty as possible.

I have no idea why this surprises me.  I remember my first Halloween in Vancouver.  My boyfriend and I went all out and rented costumes.  It was his first and only Halloween (Australian) and we wanted it to be special.  We rented Scottish costumes - he wore a kilt and I was a Scottish wench.  My friends were a princess and a prince.  Our dresses were to our toes and our boyfriends were wearing a skirt and a tunic. So at least they were slutty.

We went to the Commodore because we thought that was a good idea.

I have never felt so overdressed in my life.  There was a girl who wore leaves.  THREE leaves!  I had on a bonnet!  Needless to say, I have never made that mistake again.

Going to bars on Halloween are many levels of wrong.  One being, I am not out there to get laid.  Two, I wear costumes so that I can be dressed as something I never ordinarily can.  Like being a flapper girl.  I feel like if I wanted to be a slut I could dress like that everyday.  And three, bars are full of drunk idiots.  A few years ago, my Halloween friend T (of princess fame) went as Persephone and her husband as Hades.  No one got it.  They thought she was Eve.  Alas, she wasn't wearing only three leaves so I have no idea how they drew that conclusion.  Plus she was holding a pomegranate.  Clearly we were not dealing with a Greek mythology reading crowd.

Every store is full of these slutty costumes right now.  I think there is something wrong with them.  As I went through the rack the other day these were my choices:
- slutty Alice in Wonderland
- slutty Little Red Riding Hood
- slutty Strawberry Shortcake
- slutty Cinerdella
- slutty Dorothy
- slutty Goldilocks

You get the picture.

Oh and they don't term their costumes as 'slutty', they are called 'sexy'.  I feel like turning all my childhood stories into tales of slut is  . . . . wrong.

My personal favorite?  One of the brands at the Halloween store was called 'Trash Lingerie Halloween Costume'.


I'm a prude and I don't care.

Bollywood Bridesmaid Part Four

So we've got the outfits (gorgeous by the way), we've got the treats stuffed, we've started the parties.  What's left?  Oh right.  Time to get married.

The night before the wedding, there was yet another gathering at the BB's house for her family.  I tell you, the poor mother who has to have her house clean and food ready at all times, it must be stressful.  All this ceremony and celebrating stems back to when the bride would be traditionally leaving the village never to see her family again.  Horribly sad. Luckily the BB was just moving ten minutes away.  But tradition is tradition.

So the night before the wedding rolls around.  And I am scrambling to find yet another Indian ensemble.  Luckily Indian dress is a tunic - so one size fits all.  A good thing because the BB is a size two.  Tonight there is more food, more dancing and a ceremony that involves using coloured shaved coconut placed in a specific design under a canopy of fabric.  Beneath this, the bride sits as those around her sing and members of her family feed her sweets.

The other white bridesmaid and myself asked why this was done.  'Tradition' became the stock response at this point. Seems to be that although steeped in ceremony, no one has a clue why they do anything.  Fair enough.  Why do we have confetti?  I actually know but that's for another entry.

So anyways, here we are.  Singing and eating sweets.  The sweets were really good. I kept eating mine before it was time to give them to BB.  Someone finally explained the sweets to me: you feed her sweets to that she enters the home of her husband sweet. I shoved a big old chunk in her mouth because she has a tendency to talk back.

Then it's her turn (or her mother's, I forget) to tie bracelets with tiny bells on everyone. This is the bond of the bride's side I think.  You aren't supposed to cut it off, it is supposed to eventually fall off.  That sucker stayed on longer than my henna.

There was dancing and the family gave her money.  Lots of money.  Like lots and lots of money.  I guess that's how you can afford to feed hundreds of people everyday.  Back in our Arabian tent with the hanging saris, her uncles sang as they put bracelets on her.  I don't know why this is done.  But it was fairly emotional, her mum was crying, her uncles were crying.  And it's her job to sit there and look somber.  Sort of weird if you knew her.  On top of all of this, there was family drama that I sort of got caught up in.  But that's a private story - so I will leave it up to you to imagine craziness going along with all this ceremony.

Remember what I said about pretending to be a culture you're not?  AKA henna lady?  I still stand by it but once again must reiterate that a culture does love it when you ask lots of questions and try to fit in.  The uncles loved me.  My attempt at Bollywood lessons, my enthusiasm for saris and galabjamuns, and my new trick:  imitating Indian speech by wiggling my head and saying the Punjab words I was fed.  I'm not above being a party trick.  Everyone loved this new (and slightly offensive I think?) talent. For the record, I didn't come up with it myself.  One of the bridesmaids taught it to me and then all the cousins joined in.  Whenever BB was stressed, I got to do it in order to make her laugh.  My one duty as bridesmaid:  keep the BB smiling and deal with all the craziness happening around her.  I definitely got myself in the middle of family drama and quelled situations wherever I could.

At this point, I am so stuffed with samosas (fried by one of the aunts in the cold Winnipeg garage), butter chicken (catered) and galabgamuns that I fear I will turn into fried Indian dough myself. Once again, thankful for the tunic.  It was all washed down with homemade chai tea that was DELICIOUS.  I went to bed that night with dreams of Bollywood stardom and little Indian elves dancing dances of happy chai times.  No, I was not drunk.  And what time did we get up?

Five AM.  That will be part five

The Future of Parenting

Dogs are like training wheels.  Having them gives you a glimpse as to what it's like caring for something, other than yourself, 24/7.  You have to feed them, walk them, make sure they are healthy and well-behaved, and make sure they learn not to poop in your shoes.  I don't really have to teach them how to read or ride a bike or have moral obligations to the world (other than not biting bulldogs heads) so they are not exactly like having kids.

Hence the training wheels.

Not only does it give you an idea as to what it will be like having kids, it gives you a glimpse of what sort of parent one will be.

I forced these dogs on the Engineer.  I clearly remember us sitting at sushi with my friend A and having her list all the pros and cons of having Mr. Mop.  She was trying to convince me to give him to someone so that we only had one dog.  The Engineer also thought this was a good idea.  I can safely say all three of us are now happy I did not follow her advice (four if you include Mr. Mop!).

Anyways, these dogs were forced on his lifestyle.  But a year and a bit later, I know he has formed feelings for these fuzzy muffins.  Just last night as I read on our bed, I saw him sitting watching the game with Brooklyn cuddled up on his lap getting a tummy rub.

It has also meant that he has started to co-parent with me.

I have seen our future.

The Engineer will definitely be taking the role as disciplinarian.  He is the one who consistently scolds the dogs and keeps rules rigid.  Dogs on the bed?  NEVER.  They get a firm 'off' (or now he just has to say their name) and they will jump off.

I am sure you wonder why they keep jumping on the bed if he keeps the rule rigid?  That would be my fault.

I am the sucker.  I am the one who laughs when Mr. Mop jumps on the bed yet again and calls it 'determination'.  I love Mr. Mop's 'determination'.  When he is forced to stay in the backseat but is so determined to be in the front that he wiggles out of his seatbelt and jumps through between the headrest and door of the passenger side.  Determination.  Or when he jumps over the hump from the hatchback and because he is attached to a ring via his harness, the poor dog simply hangs over the seat.  The Engineer tells him to get back, I laugh at his determination.

When I am a mother of human babies, I will be forever undermining what we've 'taught' them.

Mr. Mop had a scolding just yesterday for something.  I forget what now.  Anyways, he looked so sad at the Engineer that I scooped him up and gave him a cuddle.  The Engineer told me that now he'll think that if he wants me to cuddle him all he has to do is something bad.

I cut around his eyes the other day leaving them a bit crooked and long on the side, so it makes him look like he has 'worried' eyes all the time.  Worried, sad eyes.  Who wouldn't be a sucker for that?  Oh right, the Engineer.

We worry for the day our toddler paints the walls with finger paint or our teenager steals our car.  The Engineer will give them their punishment and I will sneak into their room later with cookies.

So that's it folks:  if you are curious as to what sort of parent you and your partner will be, go get a dog.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Office Wedding

Did you watch it?

Did you cry?

Did you laugh?

Well I did.  I love love loved it!!  I loved the Youtube dance - can you imagine being the 'Forever' wedding that is now on The Office?

This is all I really have to say.  I was just so happy and it was a perfect little wedding.  I just wish now that we could all go to the reception.

Man, I wish I was on that show.  It's got to be the funnest show to be on.  Or 30 Rock.  Or my new favorite Glee.

But if you can't be in the show what do you think is the next best thing?

Being a part of a live studio audience!!!

There is a BRAND new CANADIAN show that is being filmed in front of a live studio audience!  And guess what the name is?  ALWAYS A BRIDESMAID!  Can you believe it?  When I heard the title I  nearly fainted.  That's me!

My friend is writing an episode which is super exciting.  I just think it's exciting that someone is keeping the funny in Canada.

I urge all you Vancouverites to write to the email address and go to a FREE taping!  FREE!  FREE!  Go support Canadian television, especially one that is about weddings.  HILARIOUS!

Ye Olde Medieval Fare

Oh noooooooooooooooo.

That's pretty much all I have to say.

Last Sunday was a fun-filled day in New York City.  Starting with brunch in Queens with our friends who just moved into that borough. Welcome back to NY C & T!  I had French toast stuffed with Greek yogurt.  Oh yeeeeeeeeeeeees.  Tres delicious.

I was anxious to get going because I wanted to see a medieval costume demonstration at The Cloisters WAY uptown.  I learned about said costume demonstration when I was at the Cloisters a few weeks ago (for those who don't know - the Cloisters are part of the Met.  It was built in 1935 to house the extensive medieval art collection, notably the Unicorn tapestries - it's amazing).  Anyways, I was there.  

I went to listen about the medieval house.  It was a children's tour.  That's right, I toured along side five eight year-olds to learn about what the Medieval home used to look like.  Jokes on you if you laughed  - all the other adults on the tour were as equally interested as myself.  In fact, they asked more questions that I did.  Of course they were the parents of said children and therefore didn't appear creepy like me.

My tour guide told me to go on the adult costume tour at 2pm.  Fine.  I did.  But it was not nearly as much fun and the other kids asked inane questions (why is there always some bozo on tour who tries to contradict the guide?  If you already know things then why are you on the tour? And NO, it wasn't me).  

Anyways, she mentioned the demonstration she was going to have soon.  I take great interest in history.  Especially in historical costume.  So I thought this sounded great.  I should have listened to her voice of derision as she explained the demonstration was merely running along the upcoming Medieval Fare, but she was not affiliated with it.

Hint number one.

I thought the idea of a Medieval Fare was quite fun.  I like fares.  I like medieval history.  Do I not own a book entitled 'Medieval Lives:  Pastimes and Pleasures'?  

Hint number two that this was a bad idea was the group of three rather large and frightening looking women stuffed into brightly coloured velvet corsets spitting on the A train.

I missed the demonstration.  Stupid A train.

But heck, I was in time for the Medieval Fare.  The day was a perfect autumn afternoon and Fort Byron Park is lovely.

Oh god.  I had NOT expected what I ran into.  

Okay, I know that these things are famous for being geeky.  But heck, I'm a geek right?  I'm a history nerd.  

Oh noooooooo.  

I was not prepared for this level of geekiness.  I feel I could have collected enough oil to last a lifetime of Italian cooking from the collective collection of hair grease in this park.

That's mean.

And unfortunately true.

My first complaint:  the medieval fare is rife with historical inaccuracies.  Sticking 'ye olde' in front of something does not make it Medieval (for the record, this exact line was used in Season Two of 'Big Bang Theory' but I said it before I saw it.  If you watch that show you now know that if I quoted Sheldon on my own, I must be on some level a huge nerd).

I suppose it would be ridiculous to actually hold a historically accurate Medieval Fare.  It would be (a) incredibly smelly (b) probably a bit violent and (c) there would be no Gandalph's walking around.

Clearly this event is meant for kids.  Or should be - note to creepy fifty year-old men who come to leer at heaving corseted bosoms.  There were kids everywhere dressed as little knights, princesses and fairies.  My personal favorite was a little Buzz Lightyear with a painted on moustache.  Very Medieval. (sorry the photos aren't great - I felt like a pedaphile.)

I suppose this is sort of a bitchy entry.  Yes, I am judgmental.  But my day of Medieval costumes with actual historical facts was robbed and I was forced to walk around with people who thought stuffing a pointed hat on their head and watching falcons made them from the Middle Ages.  Or worse, the woman who tried to bring Bud Light into the Cloisters.

I don't know what's worse:  Bud Light at a Medieval Fare or someone who thinks it's okay to bring a plastic cup of horrible American beer next to a tapestry preserved from 1382?

Suffice to say, I will still get lost in my historical fiction, endless reading of Wikipedia and viewing of History Channel's Middle Ages documentaries. 

I am a true historian.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Searching for Halloween

Halloween marks the night the Engineer and I first decided to test the 'relationship' waters (you can read it in July 07 - The First Kiss - I am trying to link it but I haven't quite figured out why it doesn't work yet).

Anyways, it's a special holiday for us.

Every year we try to go as a matching costume.  It just never seems to work out.  The year after we got together I was a Bollywood star and he was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  Last year I was the devil and he was an American (don't ask).  So this year, we are really trying to be a co-ordinating couple.

Our initial idea was Buddy Holly and a Poodle girl.  Mostly because I want to wear a poodle skirt and he likes Buddy Holly.  I didn't say we were original.

I've been trying to get him to lock down this costume idea and actually get it.  I realize Halloween is a month away, but I DO NOT want to wait until the last minute.  No matter where you are in the world, waiting until the last minute is chaos.  In New York, it's anarchy.

I wasn't prepared last year for how seriously this city takes the holiday.  There is a massive parade where the costumes are AMAZING.  Like just the people watching.  In Vancouver, there would be a few amazing costumes.  But here?  All of them.

There are several Halloween stores, unlike the one on 2nd Avenue that has a bouncer come Halloween, but there is one that is most popular.  The weeks leading up to Halloween gets this store busier and busier.  To the point where the line-up to get in is over a city block long!  GAH!

That is why I want to get the stuff now.  I don't like crowds.  Plus I don't want to be left with the lame costume of  . . . .  I don't know what.

Anyways, I convinced the Engineer to go in.  I have found a great Cleopatra costume at Target for $30 so I thought he could be Mark Anthony.  Or at least get him looking at ideas in the store.

Oh god.  You think I have ADD?  Get the Engineer in the crazy Halloween store.

I was walking around pointing to all the costumes when I noticed he wasn't with me.  I found him in the Ninja section.  I pointed out that I suggested he go as a Ninja and he flatly refused.  Gazing at the wall of fake swords and knives he says, 'you didn't tell me there were toys'.

Already exasperated, I told him he could be anything he liked if he wanted to play with toys.

Dragging him away from the Ninja, I found a great Mark Anthony costume.  He doesn't think people will get it.  Also, the Roman helmet didn't fit his big head.  I put the Pharoh hat on him.  He looked ridiculous.

I continued searching but lost him again.  He found a gun.

I suggested a gangster.  He told me to stop suggesting things.

I found the poodle skirt.  Super cute.  But the only 50's options for him were a nerd costume (I pointed out he already has that one.  Ha ha ha.), a greaser leather jacket, or a plaid blazer supposedly Buddy Holly.  He refused to wear it.  He wants a yellow cardigan.

I thought it would be cute if I went as the Statue of Liberty and he went as Uncle Sam.  He said he did the American thing last year.  Besides, we're in NYC so it would be stupid to be the Statue of Liberty.

Harry Potter?  We could be Hermione and Ron?  Nope.  But he did play with the broom and wand.

I found a really cute Marie Antoinette costume.  He said 'bleck' to the matching French King costume.  Yes, he actually said 'bleck'.

I put a general's hat on him, he could be George Washington.  Again, the hat didn't fit.  What is with this guy's head?

Dorothy and the Tin Man?  No.  Too gay.

Aladdin and Jasmine?  He actually liked that one.  Too bad the costume for Aladdin was $100.  Also, isn't dressing as a Disney princess couple more gay than Wizard of Oz?

I found a lederhosen that he was actually quite into.  I could be Gretel.  But again, no decision.

I kept looking while he found another sword and gun.

We left with nothing. I know him.  He's going to leave it until October 30th.  And then he will say, "we should have gone as Buddy Holly and the poodle girl.  Why didn't we get the costumes?".   You may ask yourself, "why don't you just got get the costume yourself?".  Ummm, he's weird when it comes to things like this.  He likes to be involved. I just wish he would, you know, get involved.

My Jenna Crush

One of my favorite shows on television is The Office.  The Engineer and I are both equally obsessed with it (our other favs include 30 Rock, Big Bang Theory, and SNL).  In fact, the Engineer has oft said, 'what happens when we don't have 'The Office''?  Not we as a society, but we as a couple.  Our shared love of this show is the only thing holding this relationship together.  JJ.  We also have waterslides.

Anyways, I love the show.  I love the American version more than the British version.  Which coming from me, is a lot. I never prefer American over anything British.  Except beef.

I love Steve, I love Dwight, I LOVE love love Jim Halpert (he's on my list, not John, but Jim the character) and I love Pam.

aka Jenna Fischer.

I love her for several reasons.

One:  she is not the typical Hollywood starlet.  She's normal looking and is pretty in a way that your best friend is.

Two:  She's actually talented.  Yes friends, she got that job on merit, not breast size.

Three:  She writes a blog about being Pam where she is completely candid about her struggles to get where she is, about how fun her life is (and how much she appreciates it) and talks about the best bargains she recently picked up. Like $30 jeans?  This girl makes a ton of money now, but still gets excited over cheap jeans.  LOVE IT.

Four:  She worked really hard to get where she is.  It took years.  It gives me hope.

Five:  Her engagement story.

Which is the point of this entry.

The Engineer and I watched her on Jay Leno last night (sorry Canadian friends, I linked the video but it probably won't play in Canada) talk about her recent engagement.  It was hilarious.

Firstly, she talked about getting the ring.  They had been talking about getting married so decided to 'check out' rings in New York.  Jenna fell in love with an antique ring and quickly realized that antiques are one of a kind.  Therefore, her bf had to buy it there and then.  So she left the store, getting her finger sized on the way out, and pretended to call a friend.

I started to laugh.  I looked at the Engineer - see?  I'm not the only one who is crazy.

Jay (who is laughing at her) then said, 'so did he ask you when he got out of the store?'   Of course not, he waited until they got to Paris.  Paris?  Did you tell him to do that?  Jenna started to laugh.  'Well, I made it seem like a really good idea.'

So it wasn't a surprise then?

Again I looked at the Engineer.  He shrugs and admits he knows I am not the only one who is crazy, he just thought I was crazier than most. Jenna proved that I am definitely not crazier than most.  I am equal crazy, or less.

Like Jenna and her fiance, we too are going to London next year, it is close to Paris . . . .

Anyways, I thought it was great that some woman admitted on Jay Leno the antics us girls get up to when it comes to getting engaged.

For other Office fans, Jim and Pam are getting married on Thursday.  One hour event!!

Bollywood Bridesmaid Part Three

Basement Decorated.  Check.

Henna done.  Check.

Food ready.  Check.

Tall blonde girl dressed in Indian clothes to fit in better.  Check.

Ready for party number one.

On the first night, all the bride's family comes over.  As well as the groom's if I recall - but they are a bit . . . what's the word?  Party Poopery.  So they only came over for a bit.  Also, BB's family is Sikh and groom is Hindu, so slight cultural clash.

Anyways, the whole family comes over.

Besides feeding BB when her henna was being done, my other mission was to help the guys go buy the alcohol.  Okay, fine, I sort of made it my mission.  Part of me wanted to return to the liquor store of my youth, because now I was legal.  The other part was in search of pink champagne.

I learned an interesting thing:  Indian men are allowed to drink and it's no problem.  Us girls had to be a bit more sly.  Too bad sly is not my thing.  I kept refilling BB's small glass with the champagne bottle hidden under my tunic.

The woman all sang in a corner. I asked what they were singing.  Apparently, they sing songs lamenting the loss of a daughter.  Hmmm, uplifting.

They gossiped and chatted.  The men upstairs BBQ'd and drank vodka.

Then the food was served.  AT ELEVEN!  I had already sort of stuffed myself with small appetizers and more Indian sweets but the smell of the curries was just too darn good.  That is when the two parties joined as one.  Oh the bond of butter chicken is so strong.

And then we danced.  Good thing I had been taking my Bollywood dance classes to prepare for this moment.  Unfortunately, my retention of dance is very small and I could only remember two moves.  However, it was still impressive to all the aunties that the tall white girl was so enthusiastic about dancing.  Note in the picture how badly I stand out.  I was literally a foot taller than most of the women.  So there we all were, the women singing, dancing and clapping - walking around in a circle.  The other bridesmaid who was white and me were so amazed at the colour and the tradition that this wedding had so far.

The men came down to join in the fun.  BB's cousin right off the boat from India (her words, not mine) was VERY excited to dance.  In fact, he kept making grunting noises and then doing push-ups.  Well, I love a challenge. So I matched his grunting noises and did as many push-ups as he did.  Hmmm, I just realized he hadn't actually challenged me. However, this was received with much laughter and applause.  'Oh you silly blonde girl' is what I suspect was the feeling in the room.

Anyways, we danced late into the night and then party number one was over.  The groom was not at this party - I think they had a groom's party somewhere else.  It's all very separate.  Except with me, I like to bridge gaps.  I was the only party go-er who kept bouncing from the ladies basement to the backyard.

Well to be fair, it's where the pink champagne was being kept.

Bollywood Bridesmaid Part Two

Okay, I realize part two is very far away from part one.  In fact, the wedding happened over a year ago.  But now that I am retired, I have to drag out these wedding stories . . . .

So where were we? Oh yes, I had just had my leggings/tunic made larger (always humiliating) with my dad who had to pull the too-small garments off of me with his eyes closed.

Fast forward to arriving in Winnipeg for the event.  The FOUR day event!  We whities totally do it wrong. I am all about the four-day party.

Anyways, the bride picked me up at the airport (this is what I love about this friend, we rarely see each other and in this case I think we hadn't seen each other for three years but it felt like we were kids again) and whisked me right to her house and put me to work.  HA!  I definitely earned my keep on this one!

The family of the bride (and the groom) spend much time in the home of the bride's family.  So Miss Bollywood Bride - to be known as BB from here on in - had hung saris from the ceiling and placed lanterns everywhere.  The effect was incredible, as if we were being transported into Aladdin's cave.  BB told me Aladdin wasn't Indian.  Whatever.

Okay, so we spent the first night stuffing things with Indian sweets.  I got into trouble because I kept eating, instead of stuffing.  To be technical, I was stuffing, just not the little boxes.

I also ate chicken curry and chicken wings and some samosas.

BB's mom was pleased to see that my appetite was still as big as it had been when I was a kid.  Great.  I'm glad that I will forever be remembered as a piglet.

Anyhoo, the next day was henna day in preparation of party number one.  We eagerly awaited the henna lady - which is quite the trade if you ask me, I am fairly certain BB spent upwards of $700 for the day - who arrived all dressed to the nines in her glorious sari, with bindi and bangles.

Did I mention she was white?


White lady who was born wrong colour worked on BB for FIVE hours.  FIVE!  GAH!  I fed BB when she was getting her arms done in the most elaborate and beautiful pattern.  Henna lady kept going on about all the Indian festivals, the latest Bollywood movie, her favorite star, being Hindu, and the best Indian music.  She even talked about her own Bollywood wedding.  I was confused.  So was BB who kept glancing at me.  I thought perhaps Henna lady had that Michael Jackson skin condition that turned her skin white?  BB's dad has it, it's entirely possible.

But no, she was white.  Her husband was white.

Now don't get me wrong, I am all for taking on other cultures.  I mean I take Bollywood dancing my self, Jai Ho is playing on my iTunes right now, I love butter chicken like the next Indian.  But there is a line between appreciating a culture and pretending you are that culture.  As much as you want to, you sort of . . .  can't.

I once made the mistake of saying I want a Chinese name in front of Engineer's parents.  When I left they were concerned.  They wondered if I thought I was Chinese?  I also can't say 'Oy Vey' in Williamsburg or at the Pickle Guys.  The Jewish people will take offense.  Trust me.  No matter how good your intentions are and how much you love another culture, the culture itself won't let you in.  They'll love if you participate and learn about them, but try to join them and it's sort of offensive.  It sounds ridiculous when my dad says 'ta' (the Brit way of saying 'thank you'), the Engineer can't wear a kilt and learn the highland dance (actually he probably could).  Japanese people loved it when I put a kimono on, but if I actually wanted to wear it in a serious way, and not for their amusement, it was a no-no.  Besides, kimonos look best on Japanese women.  Kilts look best on Scotsmen.  Saris look best on Indians - just look at me compared to BB.

Maybe I'm wrong. I probably am in a way.  But Henna Lady was very odd.  BB almost wanted to point out that she was white.  Had she looked in a mirror?  Plus BB doesn't really like people talking to her.  And this lady didn't shut up.  So I fed BB galabjamuns and tea while we put Oprah on trying to drown the chit chatter of Henna Lady.

She sure rocked the henna though.


Still haven't figured out.  Tell your Hindi friends to hold on!


Now if you have Hindi friends who want to read this blog, they can do - it's now available translated.  Where? I am not quite sure.  Oh wait, I just figured it out . . .