Roll the clip

Alright folks, let’s get a few things straight.

Today is September 20, 2014.

We are approximately three days away from the beginning of the Autumnal season.

I am twenty-nine years of age.

You are whatever age you currently are.

This is where I am sitting:


Everything is both beautiful and terrible. Everything is both unadulterated brilliance and unmitigated bonkerness.

Everything just is.

Sometimes, whenever I start to get really down by all of the fuckery that seems to dominate our world’s discourse (not to mention actions!), I just really try and focus on all the amazing, beautiful, and breathtaking things and events of which I am privileged enough to both behold and partake.

And sometimes, I just think about the quiet world of my early morning, pre-work runs.

When the sky is a mottled blend of purples, pinks, greens, and blues.

When the sky is the most beautiful bruise.


I run down along the boardwalk with my heart in my throat, and my tears in my eyes. My legs feel as though they are six miles long, and my arms pump, just like my blood pumps, and everything feels right and strong.

And I know that I am flying.

Sometimes I feel silly and trite writing again and again what it feels like to run. How propelling myself forward as hard and as fast as I possibly can brings on such infinite joy.

But I can’t.

Just like running itself, I cannot stop.

I cannot swallow these words.

They are a compulsion.

They are a joy

Work has been a little batty of late (50+ hour weeks), spent zipping about like zipping things (zippers!!).

However, seeing as though my fellow colleagues are gentlewomen and squires of the highest order, I cannot bring myself to complain.

The fact that I am passionate beyond a thought about my job and the work that I do is, of course, another boon.

However, this is not to say that we can’t have a great laugh at our own expense, especially in the lead-up to a very large event, of which we have been working on since March.


Case in point:


I, like we all, have the capacity to be a grumpy cat.

Hence, I am actually grumpy cat.

Remember movies?

I do, but barely.

And this leaves me feeling a little melancholy.

Because movies used to mean so much. They used to mean so much to me.

I recall the first movie that I ever saw in a theatre.

Beauty and the Beast was everything a movie should be (in my very discerning six year old mind). It was funny and scary. There was a beautiful, brilliant, strong female lead who loved to read and who wouldn’t take crap from all the ridiculous idiots who populated her “provincial town.” She, rightly, loathed Gaston, and held her own when it came to The Beast’s infantile temper tantrums.

In truth, it’s probably the only Disney princess flick I’ll ever be okay showing my future kidlets (but that’s another post for another time.)

I am fairly certain it was my nanny Suzanne who took me to the movie, and it was her gift to me on my sixth birthday. We went to the old (and now sadly demolished) Capital Six, back when Granville Street was in its full grunge-tastic glory.


The first “grown-up” movie I ever watched in theatres was when Shona Langmuir, Patricia Beckerman (aka “The Girls”), and I went and saw The First Wives Club when we were in grade five.

Note: please let me emphasize the term “theatres” in the above sentence. My family were rather lax when it came to flicks seen by us kids, and we were viewing adult movies at a very, very early age. I remember watching the Fugitive on Easter Monday in grade two.

Nothing like collecting a bunch of chocolate eggs and then sitting down as a family to watch Harrison Ford clear his name!

Good grief.

But I digress. Holy damn did I ever dig The First Wives Club. Sure I didn’t get a lot of the jokes, and the scene where Brenda eats dinner by herself absolutely destroyed me. But it didn’t matter. It was three women who loved each other, out in the world, kicking ass and taking names.

Too this day I re-watch it at least once a year.

You don’t own me!

Looking at both this film and Beauty and the Beast would you say that there seems to be a pattern emerging as to the type of movie that really resonated with my younger self?

Oh to be that wide-eyed, bushy-tailed, newly emerging feminist!

There are so many more movies that, collectively, with the thousands of books, songs, and other miscellaneous artistic detritus that I’ve encountered and loved along the way, have helped inform who I am as a young woman today.

For instance: I LOVE Forrest Gump.

Next time you see me, ask me to quote the entire movie. I will do this for you.

I also love Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and A Fish Called Wanda, and I will always adore Hugh Grant in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

I saw Amelie in grade eleven with my first boyfriend and spent the entire summer pretending to be her.

I adore Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy. My favourite of the three films being the darkest and most brilliant black comedy of all time, “Blanc.”

I will go to my death extolling the cinematic virtues of The Big Lebowski. For me, nothing will ever be funnier than this brilliant pieces of the Coen Brothers subconscious. I quote it all of the time and there are total parts of my and Marc’s vernacular made up solely by movie lines. I can also never look at a bowling alley the same way again.

It’s weird.

I love dramatic films as much as I do comedy, however I just am never one to really revisit these masterpieces, and as such they don’t influence my life to the degree as my favourite comedies.

And it’s not as though these two genres cannot exist simultaneously. In no uncertain terms are they are not mutually exclusive concepts.

It just takes one hell of a filmmaker to pull this off.

(Like the Coen Brothers.)

But isn’t movie watching also so much about the experience? The memory of that time spent in the theater? Where you were? Who you were with? Where you were in your life?

Probably one of my most cherished movie related memories is from the first few months of Marc’s and my courtship. Only four months into what is now an eleven year love affair, the two of us went to see Love Actually on a dark, went and very cold Vancouver November afternoon.

I had spent the night at his place and, because I was in my weird “only skirts, no pants” phase, I was wearing a pair of his cords because I didn’t have a clean pair of tights. They were absolutely huge, and I looked a bit of a sight. We had spent the morning at a community theatre on the Westside where I auditioned for a part in an upcoming play (spoiler: I didn’t get the part!), and then had bussed downtown. Arriving at the theatre (also the Capital Six!), we ran up the escalator so we wouldn’t be late for the previews.

I so wish I could properly communicate how much I felt watching that movie, sitting next to the man (the boy!) for whom I felt so, so, so strongly.

My body completely electric as I held his hand, I laughed at Bill Nighy’s amazing portrayal of Billy Mac and felt my heart break and break and break for Emma Thompson.

I just loved it.

I hate that I am even typing this, but for me, at that moment in my life, love truly was all around.

(I’m sorry!)

But it’s true.

And that’s why movies matter.

And why, despite the fact that I never go to the theatre anymore, and I only use my Netflix to watch old episodes of QI and MI5, I’ll never let them go.

I couldn’t even if I tried.

Such a smooth operator

Yesterday I drank a beet-berry smoothie.

It was weird.

I really like beets. And I really like berries.

But mixing the two together in a smoothie was a little like drinking a (strangely sweet) emulsified garden.

That is definitely one sentence I never really imagined I would ever be writing.

Thank goodness that the drink was at least red, because goodness knows I cannot abide a green smoothie. Anytime I see someone sucking down some horrid kale-spinach concoction, I always think the same thing:

“It looks like they are drinking a salad’s tears!!”


So anyway, the following facial expression pretty well sums up how I felt the entire time I was consuming the beverage:


Not good. But not bad either.

Just strange. Really, really strange.

I’m fairly certain all of you are staring at your computer screens thinking: WHAT THE HECK IS SHE TALKING ABOUT?



I mean, what I’m trying to say – in the most roundabout way possible – is that my life at the moment feels like one massive beet smoothie.

Ya know what I mean?

I’ve been feeling all over the place of late, stretched a little too thin by the GIANT ROLLING PIN OF LIFE and I’m having a little trouble trying to keep myself together.

And I really hate it.

I really hate feeling like I don’t have my stuff together.

But mostly I despise feeling like I don’t have my stuff together when my stuff IS actually together – all neatly folded away in colour-coordinated drawers (or hung on sweet plastic hangers, and not those awful cheap wire ones that always end up sagging in the middle) if you get my clothing-storage-focused drift.

Seriously friends – WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

It’s like my Type A insanity is at an all time high.


For all you other TAers out there, how do you cope when you’re certain your manic perfectionism is taking over your life?

Normally a solid week of 9 pm bedtimes has me feeling right as rain, but I’ve having a hard time getting myself together this time. Any advice you have to help me stop BEETing (heh) myself up would be much appreciated.

In the interim, shall we see what’s frying up on YE OLDE FRIDAY STOVE?

Forsooth, and forthwith my good chaps!

Clean as a whistle.

Exhibit A:

IMG_3204 - Copy

Now, normally I wouldn’t get all shirty over a pre-washed bag of lettuce, but TRIPLE WASHED?!

Come on.

How dirty were the leaves to begin with? And how anemic was the water spray that they were using? Where you using something other than water to begin with? Who was doing this washing?

This notation had me so freaked out that the entire time I was eating my salad all I could think of was: I AM TOTALLY EATING ALL THE RADIATION AND OR COMPOST.

Compost salad!! AHHHHHHH!

Side note: Am I the only one who eats the entire bag whenever picking up one of these things for dinner? I always think that it will last me at least two servings, but nope! I hoover that stuff down like it’s a beet-berry smoothie.


Guns a-blazing.

So just the other night I finally sat down and watched Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

I remember when it came out and it was THE FILM amongst all of my guy friends (it, and Boondock Saints.) I don’t know what exactly it was that made me so resistant in the first place, but for some reason I just never got around to viewing it.

Over the years I somehow began conflate it (and other works by GR) with the films made by Quentin Tarantino, which only hardened my resolve never to watch it.

I won’t get into a diatribe on the subject, suffice to say that I don’t and most likely will never enjoy Mr. Tarantino’s films, as I believe him to be a psychopath.

Anywho, back to Lock Stock – this film is hilarious! Great acting, awesome directing, and really interesting cinematography.

I loved how every scene looked as though it filmed through the filter of a really dirty window. Or the bottom of a wine bottle.

Also, Jason Statham is hot.

Like, a lot.


Nap nap nap.






I don’t know about you folks, but I think I’m going to be following Nymeria’s lead.

What are your thoughts on squeaky clean lettuce leaves? Are you a fan of Guy Ritchie’s cinematic oeuvre? And what are you plans for the weekend?

Put up your feet, and rest awhile.

Mixed Nuts

This weekend was as jam packed as an unopened jam jar.

It was a really great mix of time spent with friends and family, excellent food, and of course beauty, brilliance and hilarity.

Here are a few highlights from the past two days:

Brilliant brunches.

Bean Sprouts.

Smoking smokers.

Post-Prometheus chai.

Dream House.

Dream lunch.

Super dog.

Secret messages.

Yesterday was Italian Days along the length of Commercial drive. Luckily the rain stayed away and we, along with M’s sister V, her partner J, and his parents E (alias Darth Gruyere) and C, walked the length of the street, taking in all the different sights, sounds, and smells the festival had to offer.

It was a really lovely way of spending an afternoon.

(Though next time we are really going to need to get our mitts on some cannolis. And by some, I mean all of them. And by mitts, I mean mouths.)

On Saturday night M and I went to the pictures and took in Ridley Scott’s latest oeuvre – Prometheus.

Going to the movies is always a bit of a trip for us because we pretty much never go anymore.

Like, ever.

This is a bit strange because at the beginning of our relationship you would be hard pressed not to find us in a movie theatre at least once a week. (M was even a projectionist at two of the local independent theatres in the city during his undergrad.)

Now, we maybe take in a film twice a year at most.

I suppose we’ve just lost that interest. That spark.

(Perhaps we’re just waiting for the mother load of a movie to blast us back to our former selves? We’re not sure.)

Either way, this trip we did not hit pay dirt.

My tweet that night summed up how I felt (in under 140 characters) about the film: I LOVE Alien/Aliens, but – there’s a reason why they’re separate movies. Trying to make both at the same time just doesn’t work. #prometheus

If you want a much longer take on how I felt about the movie, please read this absolutely brilliant and gut-busting hilarious review by  Henry Rothwell.

It’s magic.

And (in my opinion) bang on.

In terms of tough mudder: t-minus less than two weeks to lift off!

Yesterday I had one cracking run. I completed 15.4 km in 1:08 – one of my fastest runs to day. And that was after running 12 km on Saturday, combined with my circuit strength training.

I’m feeling really strong, and goodness knows the callouses on my hands are forming personalities of their own.

I can’t really tell you guys how stoked I am to drive up to Whistler and see what the course has in store for us.

I mean, don’t get me wrong – I, under no circumstances, believe that this is going to be a walk in the park. I know full well how greweling the entire experience is sure to be.

But heck if that doesn’t make me any less excited!

I am ready to get my mudder on, and get it on hard.

 Tonight Mr. M and I ate farfelle with vine ripened tomatoes, kalamata olives, fresh basil, and paremesan cheese. We watched Sunshine.

It’s still cold, but things are slowly changing.

When you’re moving this fast, they’re bound too.

Take this pink ribbon off my eyes

So, as many of you know, I take great pains to work against institutionalized misogyny every single day of my life (much to the chagrin of both my lifespan and mental health.)

Last night I went to a special screening of the movie Miss Representation, a film that, according to its website:

“Explores how the media’s misrepresentations of women have led to the under representation of women in positions of power and influence.”

Now, being the hardened, calloused feminist that I am, much of the information presented in the film was pretty old hat – it wasn’t shocking or disturbing – instead it just served as a means to reinforce truths of which I am already (much too) aware.

That the patriarchy exists. That both men and women actively engage in the perpetuation of this system.

That the media makes millions of telling women that they are not good enough, and that they will they ever be good enough.

(And that they are worth nothing more than the sum of their physical parts – a conceit continually advocated by media conglomerates, advertisers, and the like.)

HEY LAIDEEZ! We even have chick chocolate now! Eat this and be a SEXY CHEEKY HOT FLIRT BECAUSE THE MENZ LUV IT.

This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy the film. (However I actually don’t think it’s really a type of film that you “like” or “don’t like.”)

I believe that it puts forth an incredibly important message – and one that should be talked about by all individuals, regardless of gender, which is that in order to change these destructive, social (and political, and cultural, etc., ) institutions we must, MUST work to empower both young women, and young men.

This is a two-pronged process.

If we hope to move ahead from the place where we find ourselves today, we must start promoting both agency and literacy amongst our youth, as these are crucial factors in terms of not only advancing the position of women in North America (and of course in other areas of the world) but of advancing our society as a whole.

Honestly, so much of it comes down to education.

And reading.

And the stories that are told.

Stories about humanity – not necessarily stories about “men” and “women.”

I mean, how else are youth going to engage with the idea of equality?

How else are they going to develop the critical thinking skills required to operate within the social systems that openly advocate and reinforce inequality?

My husband (who is one of the coolest feminists I know) is also an educator, and one of the hardest battles he wages with his students is trying to engage many of them in literature they study.

Seriously, he will tell you point blank: not many kids reads anymore.

And because of this, young people are less and less likely to dissect the different messages that bombard them twenty-four hours a day, through an ever growing number of media – be they traditional or new.

They are less likely to deconstruct the stories – the tropes, the stereotypes, the norms, the systems – they are exposed to each time they flip the channel or open that web browser (let alone question then!)

Because when we watch television, use the internet, listen to music – these are passive media. We are letting these things happen to us.

With reading you are problem solving, forming hypothesis, and working through content – (yes I am aware that this is highly dependent on the material you are engaged with – but on the whole, I’m apt to believe that reading is a much healthier intellectual pursuit that ye olde boob tube or the interwebs.)

And the great thing about reading is, you get to find out what you like, and then make informed choices from that experience – as opposed to being told what you like (which is basically the main reason that TV exists, and increasingly more and more the internet) and making decisions based on what you think is right for you, and not what you know is right for you.

(I honestly have no other explanation as to why anyone would ever sign up for reality TV.)

Now, I’m certainly not saying that as long as every kid grows up reading a book a week, engrained sexism is magically going to disappear.

Nor am I saying that TV AND INTERNET ARE BAD.

(I have made my feelings quite clear about that sometime last November.)

It’s just that when there is nothing to balance out, or neutralize so much of the awful messaging that plagues those two platforms, (platforms that are owned and controlled predominantly by old, white, men  – a group I would wager is predominantly adverse to change) it is incredibly difficult to evolve.

Instead, these norms are recreated and reinterpreted in perpetuity.

And that, as the movie successfully points out, is something that is hurting us all.

And this, unlike the movie, is something I don’t like.

Golden lads and girls all must, as chimney-sweepers, come to dust

Last night I watched Werner Herzog’s documentary Into the Abyss.

It is an amazing film, though disturbing. In fact, I went to bed feeling very strange.

Mr. Herzog’s films often leave me feeling profoundly unsettled – their subject matter, his style of direction, his narration, his score – all of these elements combine to create a film that rattles something very deep inside of me.

It’s like something has been jarred loose, and I cannot put it back in place.

And I’m nervous – because I’m not even sure from whence this piece of me came.

If you have ever seen any of his films, you will be familiar with one of his trademark styles – how he purposefully lets his shots linger, long past the point of comfort.

Instead of cutting away, the camera will remain focused on the person, or the scene, and as a viewer, it makes me squirm; I find myself willing for him to move on.

Indeed, the longer he stays with the shot, a feeling of perverse voyeurism begins, and takes root inside of me.

I feel as though I have no right to see these moments, these snapshots of humanity – raw, stripped, debased, terrifying, beautiful, maddening, heart breaking – scenes that in any other film might end up on the cutting room floor.

But it is also these moments that – no matter what my stage of discomfort – envelope me is a perverse majesty, luring me into the film.

In fact, they transform me – from disconnected bystander, to active participant.

No longer a passive observer, disconnected from the film, its subject, and its characters, I am forced to reconcile how  my judgments, my reactions, my questions fit into the movie’s narrative.

Where do I fit in this conversation?

Into the Abyss focuses on two inmates: one is on death-row awaiting execution in a Texas penitentiary; the other is serving a life sentence. One crime; two sentences.

The film explores, in a very subtle and yet incredibly powerful way, the question why people, and the state, kill.

Why do people die? Why do people live?

Who decides who dies and who lives? And why?

The film is structured is such a way that we absorb not just the heinous, senseless crime that these two men have committed (for which neither shows any remorse, nor do either of them admit guilt) but also the broader (and yet incredibly insular) world that contributed to the crimes.

A so-called “civilized” society that is unable to tame a chaotic nature driven to seed – one that is reflected in an endless cycle of broken homes, abuse, unemployment, casual street violence – a warped world where two eighteen year old boys would kill three people for a red camero.

Where two young men are convicted of the same crime, but only one is sentenced to death.

Both have killed, but only one is killed.

Although the question is never expressly asked in the film – indeed Herzog never reveals his overall thesis statement – you cannot stop asking yourself, why?

Again and again this question: why do some live, and others die?

Indeed, I find this query arresting.

And it keeps coming back, over, and over again – presented in different incarnations, addressed to different situations, but always the same: no matter what the reasoning behind it blind rage, capital punishment, war, pre-meditation, revenge – how do you kill someone?

Why do you kill someone?

This system, the institutions we have devised to support life – call it the state, call it society, call it government, call it the law, call it civilization – these are not infallible, impartial machines.

They, like human beings, are susceptible to bias.

Sometimes they are as equally chaotic as the world they are meant to discipline and punish.

They are flawed.

And like human beings, they kill.

And by the end of the film, after conversations with lawmen, a priest, the convicted killers, bereaved family members, and a former prison guard, we can look at this unthinkable crime – these three murders, and their inherent meaningless – and at the bottom of it all, we do not see redemption.

We do not see hope or forgiveness, renewal or compassion, regret or acceptance.

We see only time and emptiness.


There is life.

And there is death.

Two powerful forces – forces that exist with or without us.

Who lives and who dies?

This is something we must never decide.