If all else fails, you can count on me

Well, it’s been a year and a day (or three weeks if you will) since I last wrote anything in this electronic diary of mine (I actually like to think of it as a modern day papyrus scroll), and instead of lamenting the ever-quickening pace of time and space as I do at the beginning of all of my ramblings, I will instead just get to THE FACTS.

1.) Gold medal games.

Marc and I woke up at 4am last Sunday to watch the Canadian men take on the Swedish team in the Olympic gold medal hockey match.

I’m not going to lie, I nearly gave up on the entire venture the minute the alarm went off. Four o’clock in the morning is just TOO. DARN. EARLY.

After I managed to temporarily muzzle the buzzing, Marc leaned over to me and whispered, “Is this actually happening?”

To which I replied, “Fifty-fifty.”

But in the end, it only took me a couple of minutes to rustle myself out of bed and get ready to face the still-darkened sky (not to mention the influx of snow that had begun to fall sometime earlier that night.)

The previous day I had bought pain au chocolate for Marc and I, as well as the friends who had so generously offered to host the game, and I grabbed the bag of pastries before heading out into the blackness.

(Marc elected to catch another thirty minutes of shut-eye, explaining that he would meet up with us at the start of the second period.)

My eyeballs nearly fell out of my sockets when I arrived at Greg and Daniela’s place and saw them both in regular clothing. You couldn’t have gotten me to change out of my pajamas for all the cocoa-filled croissants in the world.

But they’re pretty relaxed folks, and know my habits well, so neither were deterred by my lack of formal dress (or really, any dress at all.)

Over the next three hours we drank buckets of coffee, nibbled on baked goods, and cheered as Jonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby, and Chris Kunitz secured our second straight Olympic hockey gold.

And then I went back to bed.

Which after drinking my body weight in coffee was not the easiest of feats, let me assure you.

After I work up, I couldn’t stop thinking about Par Marts, the Swedish coach, and just how much he doesn’t fit the mold of what I imagine a hockey coach to be.

So I made this:

46385800

Am I the worst?

Perhaps.

But either way, I am totally okay with it.

2.) Lip-synch offs.

So, I’m not a big fan of most American talk shows. As a dedicated, long-standing fan of The Graham Norton Show, I feel that most product offered on this side of the pond is, to put it delicately, sub-par at best.

However, I have to give credit where credit is due, and tip my hat to Jimmy Fallon for all the hilarious things he does with his guests. (Not to mention the fact that he somehow got The Roots to be his back-up band – a feat so nuts I’m like to believe that Beelzebub will be getting a huge influx of souls sometime in the next fifty years or so.)

For instance, this lip-synch off:

Oh. My. Goodness.

Despite the epicness of Paul Rudd’s Freddie Mercury, I am not afraid to admit that I like his Tina Turner better.

Those handshakes?

Brilliant.

3.) MY CAT.

She’s up to something.

IMG_20140226_212646

Though I’ve yet to figure out what.

4.) This darn crazy world.

As I race about daily in my own little self-contained ecosystem, I have such a hard time processing everything that is happening outside of the petri dish that is my life.

Every time I read anything news related my heart just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces.

To combat this journalistic-propelled malaise, I have been running like a running-thing and spending all of the time with my brilliant, inspiring, and totally bonkers husband.

All we can do is focus on doing as much good as we can (starting with the petri dish!) and hope that our efforts will create spill over, and inspire others to affect change.

5.) This guy

And if all else fails?

I’m just going to follow this dude’s lead:

That’s right.

SUPERGEIL.

Putting on a show

On Wednesday I pulled a King Lear and went for a run in a storm.

(Unlike Lear however, I managed to keep all of my clothes on.)

There really is something to be said for powering through totally crap weather. But then again, there is also something to be said for knowing when to say ENOUGH.

Of course, today is absolutely blooming gorgeous (though still chilly to the bone) so I’m excited to be out and about, actually feeling some of that sunshine on my face.

In other BIG NEWS – yesterday I purchased tickets for this year’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

YAY!

This makes me SO EXCITED.

Oh Ashland – I love you with so much of heart that none is left to protest!

This of course means, that the I won’t need to keep running in the rain to get my regular dose of old Willy Shakes. This year we will be seeing King Lear (my absolute favourite tragedy, I CANNOT WAIT), along with Cymbeline and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

MEEP.

I love this production company SO MUCH it is hard for me to appropriately communicate just how much I am looking forward to this trip.

Much like last year, we will be camping, but unlike last year we will be driving straight to Ashland (with perhaps a stop in Portland because, you know, PUT A BIRD ON IT) and staying the length of our trip in the town.

This will be my fourth time at the festival, (and somehow my third time seeing Midsummer!) and I am basically already bouncing off of the walls just thinking about it.

Because dudes – I LOVE SHAKESPEARE.

Lovelovelove him.

It.

His plays.

(Or what you will.)

See what I did there?

Fry-up time!

Don’t give me that lip.

Currently I am obsessed with red lipstick. If I could only wear one piece of make-up for the rest of my life, it would be my choice.

HANDS DOWN NO CONTEST.

(Although you would probably also have to pry my NARS blush from my cold, dead hands.)

There is just something about a strong lip that makes me feel like a super hero. I like to imagine that when I am getting ready for work in the morning, I am magically transformed from glowering ork to ethereal Galadriel – so terrifying and mesmerizing I am, in all of my splendour.

ONE LIPSTICK TO RULE THEM ALL.

Uh.

Reign it in there lady, reign it in.

But serious, if you were to look in my purse at any given time, I can guarantee that you would find on average three different lip products, of varying degrees of red (I like blue undertones the most – nothing too orangey or brown because GALADRIEL DOESN’T MESS WITH THAT STUFF.)

IMG_20130322_131409

And I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

Coming attractions.

I love Jean Reno.

Is that weird?

It might be a little weird.

But seeing as though I cannot properly answer this question, if you lovely people could weigh-in, provide your two cents, opine on the subject, etc., etc., it would be much appreciated.

But I really love him.

Like, a lot.

Playing dress-up.

One of my favourite books of all time is The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi. I could wax long and eloquent FOR YEARS about why this is one of the most brilliant and beautiful stories I have ever read – so while that post percolates away in the recesses of my brain, take my word for it when I say that you must read it IMMEDIATELY.

One of the characters Eva is always waltzing about her East London flat in these amazing maxi dresses, so when I saw this piece the other day, my immediate reaction was:

BUY IT! PRETEND TO BE EVA!

BUY IT AND THROW GLAMOUROUS EAST LONDON PARTIES!

image1xl

I mean, I would probably have to procure some headscarves, and maybe a couple of pairs of over-sized earrings to really pull off the entire ensemble, but I think that owning this dress is definitely a step in the right direction.

I’ll let you know if I take the plunge.

So there you have it beauty cats!

Are any of you planning on catching any of the Bard this summer? And what makeup (if any) turns you in a battle prepped warrior?

Do let me know – because after all, we’re in this good fight together.

Keeping them in stitches

Big news sports fans!

IMG_0368 - Copy

I have been invited to perform a set at the upcoming Vancouver ComedyFest!

Oh. My. Goodness.

You might have guessed that I am more than a little excited.

But what else can I say? It’s only been two months since I started this journey to Stand-Upsville, USA (Stand-Upsville, Canada just doesn’t have the same ring to it) but every step has been simply tip top, candy shop.

To be completely blunt – getting up on that stage and telling jokes is pretty much the greatest adrenaline rush that I’ve ever known.

It’s interesting: I’ve written at length about the runners high that I’ve experienced, both on training runs and during races, but this sensation is something completely different.

Right before I go up on stage I get so cold that I can hardly stop myself from shaking like a mad shaking thing (imagine me as a Polaroid picture, if you will.)

My teeth chatter, my knees lock – I sometimes even lose partial circulation in a few of my fingers. Seriously, I never know if i’m going to turn to stone, or just pass out.

But after telling that first joke, and getting that first laugh, I might as well be flying ten thousand feet above the city, whizzing past cloudscapes, dodging meteor showers and shooting stars.

I go from living in a block of ice to feeling like every fiber of my being has been set alight, set on fire.

Simply put: it feels good. It feels like it fits.

Now, please don’t take this as me saying that I am some kind of professional or unstoppable hot shot. I full-on recognize that I am greener than the Jolly Green Giant’s left thumb and still have much to learn.

I’m just so happy that I finally got up the courage to take the plunge.

I mean, since my days as an absolutely barmy little girl I have always loved to make people laugh.

Some of my earliest memories are of sitting in a room – yammering on like a monkey in a tree – playing comedian for a group of adults and absolutely relishing in the attention.

I learned quickly that if I was smart and deft enough, I could get away with saying terrifically mad things, just as long as the end result was a solid guffaw (or guffaws.)

I might not have been born a drama queen, but I developed the sensibility at a very early age.

As a dreadfully self-conscious teenager, the only way I was going to get through my awkward high school years was to constantly crack jokes and make people laugh.

And now, my delightfully hilarious husband and I are in a constant battle of one-upmanship to see who can give the other person a laugh-induced hernia first.

Sometimes when I am working on bits, M and I jam on the joke together and I am literally left breathless (but also thinking HOLY SMOKES WE ARE DEFINITELY THE WEIRDEST COUPLE IN THE HISTORY OF COUPLES.)

I can only hope that my brand of humour has the same effect on the audiences for whom I perform (the breathless thing that is.) I really do try and present a show that is both funny, smart, and thought provoking. Seriously, for me, I like nothing more than a joke that makes me think, and makes me continue to think.

And this will never stop being my goal every time I set foot in front of a crowd, in front of a microphone.

Well, that and keeping my knees from knocking together too hard.

Because goodness knows, I bruise so very easily.

All the colours of the rainbow

Hey gang.

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel the urge to dress like Amélie?

I do.

So this past Wednesday I put together this little outfit:

IMG_20130109_133207

I snapped this photo whilst out on a walk-around of Forever XXI’s latest megaplex, a monstrosity currently talking up a huge chunk of (incredibly valuable) downtown Vancouver real estate.

FYI – upon dressing myself this way, I had no choice but to help a blind man make his way to the metro station, all the while whispering in his ear, describing all the comings and goings of the busy streets we travelled.

Okay.

So that actually didn’t happen.

Ho hum, pigs, bum.

Anywho, I only found myself at Forever XXI because I had a lunchtime hankering for some dressing room mischief, and I had arrived with the express intention of trying on absolutely bonkers clothing.

However, this plan fell by the wayside pretty quickly, as upon my entrance to the store I was greeted by a number of darling dresses, and I realized that I would much rather try on a bunch of adorable pieces than wreck myself laughing over a completely crackers floral jumpsuit.

(But only just.)

I scampered about, scooping up a few things here and there, and eventually purchased two dresses, of which the following is one:

IMG_20130109_131539

I actually wore this dress last night at my stand-up show, along with a black and gold sweater, and brown scarf.

I like to think that I looked like the most beautiful bruise in the world.

And guess what! I’ve been booked into doing two more shows this month, so I’ll be jamming tonight AND on the twenty-fifth. Meep.

Even cooler? These are both Friday shows, which I can only surmise to be proof of the fact that I’m moving on up in the comedy world.

Oh baby.

So in honour of Friday awesomeness, let’s get this fry-on on the stove.

Colour me surprised.

So I was loitering about Sephora like the creeper that I am (okay, I was actually just using the store as a short-cut on my way back to work from lunch) when I saw this:

IMG-20130108-00232

HOW TERRIBLE IS THIS – I CAN’T EVEN.

Thirty new shades you say?

Why, how utterly generous of you Clinique!

I mean, had I been in charge of this campaign I would probably have gone even bigger and marketed the whole thing as: “Fifty shades of beige!”

Good grief.

I mean, first, how many different variations of white can a company possibly make?

Maybe Clinique should spend some of their research and development dollars on creating a product (or, you know, products) geared toward the myriad of women out there whose skin tone doesn’t fall under the general category of “eggshell.”

Canada is pretty darn multicultural. The concept of diversity (and the fact that when diversity exists it should not be ignored) isn’t that hard to understand.

If anything, advertisers should be interested in providing a diverse, inclusive product, seeing as though it’s pretty common knowledge that the larger client basis a company appeals to, the larger their revenue.

Honestly, I totally get the creeps when confronted with this kind of crap – like when I see nylons or pantyhose (PS I HATE THIS WORD SO MUCH) labelled “flesh tone.”

Flesh tone for WHO?

I tells ya – white privilege. Coming to a store near you.

Next!

Feeling crepey.

Sunday morning, post-rain soaked run breakfast of strawberry Nutella crepes and coconut water.

IMG_20130105_130727

NUFF SAID.

Bergman chic.

I took a photo of this sweater in H&M the other day because this style will never stop making me laugh.

IMG-20130108-00231

I believe Noel Fielding put it best, when, wearing a sweater very similar to the one above, he said that he looked like a 1970s Swedish film director.

And I will never stop thinking otherwise.

Also, if you are unacquainted with the absolute madness of Mr. Fielding, I would recommend introducing yourself as soon as possible.

Maybe start out with a little Never Mind the Buzzcocks, then make your way over to the IT Crowd, and then finish off with The Mighty Boosh.

Disclaimer: the latter show is totally nuts, so if you don’t like anything as odd as Kids in the Hall, this might not be the stuff for you. Just stick to Buzzcocks and IT Crowd.

So that’s all she wrote, you beauty cats you.

The west coast weekend weather is supposed to be off the charts brilliance-wise.

I wish you all the same, and more.

Always, always more.

I read the news today, oh boy

I try to live my life free of binaries.

That they exist I am sure – that our entire social (nay global?) make-up is dependent on them I am convinced.

They are malleable, overarching scapegoats, (or get-out-of-jail-free cards) that limit the scope arguments, constrain the parameters of research, and stop each and every one of us from ever diving into the very deepest depths of self-analysis.

And try as I might to do away with them, they are almost impossible to get away from, let along ignore.

Because boy do we love them:

Black-White; Good-Bad; East-West; Heaven-Hell; Rich-Poor; Madonna-Whore

Spring has sprung, but my spirits have sunk.

The reason that I am thinking about this, is because the events of the world have got be feeling pretty blue.

Seriously dudes, I am bummed out.

If I have to hear one more time about how Syria (or Somalia, or insert “disaster-prone war zone here”) is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis, I am going to go ballistamungus (my code word for BAT SHIT CRAZY.)

On the BRINK of crisis?

If these catastrophic situations are looked at (by zee experts) as teetering on the verge of collapse, well then, I think their rating system is just a tad out of whack with reality.

No joke, I really want to get on the blower with the UN and have the following exchange:

United Nations (UN): Hello, United Nations.

Ethel the Dean (EtD): [thinking to myself] Woah, that was easy.

UN: Hello?

EtD: Yes hello! I’ve noticed that lately, your organization has been reticent as-all-get-out about describing the situation in Syria as an actual humanitarian crisis. This whole “will-they-won’t-they” game you seem to be playing has got me awfully curious.

UN: Oh?

EtD: Yeah. You see, I’m wondering what actually has to go down in that country for you to determine that it is undergoing a legitimate crisis, you know, in your expert opinion.

UN: Erm…

EtD: Because you guys also have a pretty solid track record of not doing squat when it came to other emergency situations – most notably (off the top of my head) in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia – so I’m wondering what’s got to give, for the Syrian people to maybe receive a little love from either Ban Ki Moon, or if he’s too busy, maybe Navi Pillay.

UN: […]

EtD: I mean, isn’t it time that we all just come out and said it? That your organization, as a global actor, is basically impotent, incompetent and incontinent?

UN: […]

EtD: WELL, CAN’TCHA?!

I assume that at this point I would be hung up on. But you get the picture.

Urgh.

(p.s. that’s a really long video, but it’s one of my all-time faves. Plus I’ve been feeling super Daffy-esque today.)

Adding to my overall malaise, is the overwhelming sense of unease I got from watching the film “Inside Job” last night with Mr. M.

If I wasn’t sure that Wall Street, government, and academia is dominated by a small, incestuous group (of heavily recycled) money-hungry sociopaths, well, I definitely am now!

Plus, I cannot even begin to describe how heartening it was to read this morning on the metro that Vancouver is getting its very own edition of The Real Housewives franchise.

That sound you’re hearing is me barfing in the CEO of Bravo television’s shoes. Oh, and my heart breaking.

Also, the hoof steps of the horses ridden by the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

What a swell crap-storm of cacophonous bile! Bring out the conductor and play on maestro!

To try and lift my spirits out of the giant dumpster of doom, when I arrived home from work today I decided to make my terrific, and tantalizing banana bread.

Bananas! In pyjamas! Are baked into this bread...

I have a couple of recipes that I would classify as old hat (but in a non-pejorative sense) – more so that I’ve made them so many times that I have committed them to memory.

When Mr. M and I first moved in together, I couldn’t cook for the life of me, and the only recipe book we had was “Loneyspoons” and The Joy of Cooking. Often times the only ingredients we had in our pantry fit the bill for the book’s banana bread, so I became an expert really quickly.

We never had anything for The Joy of Cooking. Seriously, who cooks squirrel?

(As an aside, M received the The J of C from his parents as a  high school graduation gift and he would like to reassure them that we have used it many, many times since its appearance of his bookshelf.)

Oh yes, we have no bananas...except we do and they will make something delicious!

Anywho, my banana bread is pretty healthy in comparison to other recipes, using yogurt instead of oil, and it doesn’t call for too much sugar and butter.

Plus it tastes bloody good.

Whip it! Whip it good.

Two summers ago, I got many of my work mates hooked on the stuff, and would often have to parcel out the goods a little at a time in order to ensure that everyone got a chance to have a piece, lest the greediest goons took all of it on the first go (or plating).

(In my opinion, it’s that little pinch of cinnamon I’ve added to the ingredient list that just might push it right over the edge.)

So coming home, I quickly assembled my ingredients and got to work.

Hard at work.

I was all excited to listen to some sweet, sweet CBC as I worked, but unfortunately the news proved to be far too depressing for me to make it longer than three minutes.

Instead, I settled (and by settle I mean happily took part in) a hilarious conversation with M that revolved around photographs, dish towels, cat food and sushi orders.

Bake me a cake as fast as you cake...

What proved even more delightful was that the outcome included some tasty, tasty treats from Okonomi sushi, just up the street from us.

Now we are sitting down to another night of Netflix documentaries – tonight we are watching “This Film is Not Yet Rated.”

I know that the subject matter will probably make me think, cringe, laugh, squirm – but hopefully not cry.

But even if I do, I just need to remember that it’ll be okay.

Because there’s always banana bread, sushi, and fake phone calls.

Breathe. Believe.

Not necessarily in that order.

And maybe, one day, not necessarily fake.