Rain, rain, go away

So we meet again.

I’ll get you next time gadget!

Erm, I mean, happy Friday folks!

First I would like to send a giant hug to all of you who live on the east coast.

I hope you are all safe and sound and have escaped Sandy’s clutches with minimal damage.

Mother Nature’s wrath is most muted here out west; although the weather is absolute rubbish, we are lucky enough to be dealing with nothing more than a tepid drizzle (so constant you’d think that our city was built smack dab in the middle of the world’s most anemic waterfall.)

But really, ho-hum, pigs bum, it’s all one.

So this Fry-Up is dedicated to all you who call the sweet sights of the Atlantic Ocean home (especially my beautiful big sister who rode out the storm in her Brooklyn flat. Love you sweet K with all my heart!)

Double rainbow.

Sometimes I wear an outfit that is made up of so many colours that it looks as though Picasso painted me.

I always become so much more aware of my multi-hued clothing as we enter the winter months, as it seems that all the other individuals who work downtown dress in progressively grayer and grayer tones.

This is not a good idea folks.

My rule of thumb is never dress the same colour as the weather. That’s just too depressing for your own good.

Today the women handing out the free newspapers at skytrain nearly flipped their wigs when I showed up in my poppy coat and fuchsia skirt.

“Oooooooeeeerrrr,” one exclaimed. “Look at all your colours!”

“That’s one way to keep your spirits bright!” The other laughed.

I cannot argue with this statement.

Plus, wearing an outfit that pretty much pulsates colour makes it incredibly difficult for cars to miss you when crossing the street.

Because it’s all well and good to look like the work of a Spanish cubist – but as my parent’s would always say: safety first kids!

Safety first.

Next!

Sweet tooth.

So, on Monday night I ventured out for some fab pub trivia, with some equally rad folks.

(Spoiler alert: we won! Taking Care of Quizness – the team’s name – really was taking care of quizness. Also, I may or may not be a good luck charm, as every time I’ve gone the team has emerged triumphant, either richer – in both money and spirit – or stocked with free booze.)

Now, given that I live in New Westminster, and the trivia was in the very heart of Kitstilano (a very posh, very yuppie neighbourhood of Vancity – enter at your own risk, lest you succumb to the clutches of Starbucks, Lululemon, and overpriced baby paraphernalia) it’s pretty necessary for me to drive, unless for some strange reason I feel like subjecting myself to a good hour and half of late night bus riding, post-game.

(For what it’s worth, I haven’t yet had any desire to pursue this experience.)

Anywho, what I’m trying to say here is that I drove to the pub.

As I was motoring into the city, I took the opportunity to absolutely blast the kind of music I don’t normally listen to when other people are in the car with me (as it would seem as though my loved ones are much more discerning when it comes to their musical tastes.)

When I’m all alone, on my own?

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: I blast the absolute crap out of the cheesiest, most inane pop you could ever think of.

For instance, I managed to listen to this song three times driving to and from the pub:

And as I was chair dancing like a chair dancing thing, I began to mull over why it is exactly that I love this stuff so much, and how is this representative of my life overall.

In both music and food I have a penchant for syrupy sweet junk.

As much as I love healthy food and good (or whatever my be the musical equivalent to “healthy”) music, I really, really like crap.

I mean, life is all about balance right? And as long as I remember this, I’ll probably be okay.

Plus, I probably couldn’t stop if I tried.

(And I probably won’t try.)

English Breakfast.

I’ve written a few times before on ye olde Rant and Roll about how I am a bit of an anglophile – ie. there are many, many things about British pop culture that I love.

For instance, almost every concert I have attended over the past ten years have been bands from the UK, most of my favourite TV shows originally aired on (or continue to air on) the BBC, and I’d wager a fair guess that the majority of the dudes I’ve gotten all shirty over for, oh, I don’t know, my entire life, were born “across the pond” (in the parlance of our times.)

M and I just started watching Life on Mars on Netflix. We’ve only seen a few episodes, but so far I’m really enjoying the series.

If you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Sam Tyler – a policeman working in Manchester – is hit by a car in 2006 and wakes up in 1973. We don’t know if he’s in a coma and is dreaming everything, or if he’s actually been transported back in time.

The show is funny and witty and infuriating and has some of the best tunes I’ve heard on a television program in a long time.

If you have a chance, check it out.

If anything, it will make you want to get a really sweet leather jacket.

So that’s all she wrote you beauty cats!

Enjoy the weekend, stay warm, dry, safe, and sound.

I wouldn’t wish it any other way.

Don’t forget. I’ve got bionic hearing.

Hey you beauty cats.

Well, another day, another dollar. I’m not sure about you folks, but I am absolutely knackered. Thank goodness it’s Friday. And a long weekend at that!

It’s Thanksgiving up here in the Great White North (GWN) which means that over the next three days there will be an extra serving of turkey on dinner plates across the country.

For us (quasi) veggiephiles, Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to go double duty (or just completely bonkers) on the multitude of multi-coloured tubers and gourmet gourds, so readily available around this time of year.

And goodness knows I plan on eating myself into a sweet potato stupor come Monday, mid-afternoon. Airing on the side of caution, if one of you could check in sometime Tuesday morning just to make sure my glucose levels have returned to normal I would really, really appreciate it.

(If I don’t respond, please contact that appropriate authorities.)

One million thank yous!

In the meantime, let’s get started on this Friday’s Fry-Up.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Guess what I did?

Check out MAH NEW HAIR!

As a treat to myself for my success at the half-marathon last weekend I got it cut and dyed professionally.

Professionally! For the first time ever!

I’VE MADE IT TO THE BIG TIME MOM!

Meep.

As you may remember from my post last March, all previous attempts at colouring my hair had been self-initiated (with varying levels of success.)

The lows were, erm, very low.

So, I vowed I would never again colour it again with dye from box. I’ve done my time wearing Dexter gloves and ruining M’s t-shirts.

And may I just say, I LOVE the results.

I’m digging the bangs, I’m digging the colour, and my ends no longer look like I stuck my finger into wall socket.

I also totally cracked up when why stylist told me, “You look like Jesse Pinkman’s dead girlfriend.”

Oh I certainly do.

Only, you know, less addicted to heroin and making much better life choices.

I am, after all, a role model.

Next!

Weirdos, weirdos, everywhere

I recently started watching Freaks and Geeks on Netflix. It’s pretty freaking awesome (no pun intended.)

Bill is hands down my favourite character. I just know that if I was fourteen years old I would be head over heels in love with him.

Check out his fancy moves:

I have to say I like the “Geeks” story-line much more than I like that of the “Freaks”. There is only so much James Franco I can take. And I just not that big a fan of Lindsay and her freak-chic slumming ways.

Is that harsh?

Eh, whatevs.

On the other hand, the trio of Neal, Bill, and Sam is just perfection.

I certainly wasn’t the coolest ice cube in the high school tray (my penchant for the musings of long dead Russian communists and nihilistic German misogynists didn’t exactly ingratiate me to a ton of suitors) but even though I wasn’t exactly on the same level as these three nerdos, I sympathize with them entirely.

The brilliance of their friendship warms my heart like mad.

It almost, almost makes me yearn for the days of braces and topical acne gel.

ALMOST.

Onwards!

Bradbury, you evil genius

Given that I’ve been keeping up an intense reading regimen, I’ve been reading a ton of Bradbury.

Just today I finished The Illustrated Man.

All I can say is: HOW CAN SOMEONE WRITE SO WELL ALL THE TIME!? HOW?

How could this man describe things in such unimaginably beautiful ways – describe all things in such heart-stoppingly fantastical language – in a manner that never, ever gets tiring.

In a manner that is never, ever trite.

It is never too flowery, it is never overkill.

It is always perfect.

His words tie my stomach in knots, they bring tears to my eyes; they make me think. They make me fear. They make me nervous for – I don’t know what.

They make me question my life, question my writing; they make me want to be a better writer.

They make me want.

“They moved down the echoing throats of the castle, level after dim green level, down into mustiness and decay and spiders and dreamlike webbing.”

And so I dream.

I dream of this webbing.

I dream of the stars.

I predict a riot

Today I arrived home from work and M asked me to help him clean out the shower’s grout lines.

Now if that isn’t sexy talk than I don’t know what is.

No?

Not sexy?

Well then. Colour me surprised.

Anywho, I wasn’t about to say no, seeing as how he’s done such a bang up job with the overall project, but I wasn’t exactly keen on the thought of grout retraction – I had a long day (and equally long week) and I was wearing one of my favourite “spring” work outfits and I didn’t want to muck it all up.

Although my overall tip top impression of my get-up took a bit of a hit when, after remarking that he liked my hair style, M told me that I was reminding him of “you know…that character from Kids in the Hall…you know the one. The one with the ponytail.”

Erm.

It’s unfortunate to say, dear readers, but I do know the one.

And it’s not good.

Not good at all.

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with Darill, please consult the below video:

Not exactly the apex of coolness.

Not exactly the look I was going for. But thanks for playing “man for whom I’ve pledged my troth for the rest of my life”!

Egads. Can’t a girl catch a break?

So after I told M that I don’t know where my self-esteem would be without such positive reinforcement on his part, I sucked up my pride, and stripped down to my unmentionables, and got down to business.

ON REMOVING THE GROUT! Get your minds out of the gutter!

Don’t think I don’t see you over there, you with your head circling that sewer drain!

Seriously though – I won’t go into much depth on the subject, but suffice to say, I absolutely love doing household chores in my undies.

Like, LOVE it.

(My neighbours I’m sure think I’m bloody bonkers, so I always close all the blinds before doing a really big clean. Then I proceed to skulk around my darkened home, brandishing cleaning supplies, vacuums, mops, and garbage bags.)

I worry that I just a couple steps away from becoming a Matthew Good music video here folks.

Anyway, I’m getting dreadfully off topic here.

What I found interesting about the process of working in the bathroom, was how  just the simple, repetitive motion of removing all that clay was actually a really good exercise in winding down, and of letting the events of the week go.

Clear out the grout – clear out your head.

(I won’t lie, knowing just how stellar the finished project is going to be was also a solid motivator for not only doing the work, but doing it well.)

Almost there. We just need to grout the tile, but it looks sooooo pretty!

So now that’s it’s done, I’m able to do what I was hoping to do as soon as I arrived home – put on some of M’s old clothes, chillax to the max, and eat all the junk I bought earlier on in the day.

That’s right folks: chocolate covered marshmallows. WITH SPRINKLES!!!

NOM.

Amen.

As a brief postscript to this post, can I just wax eloquent (briefly I assure you) on two things?

The first is how the television show NUMBERS is so uncomprehendingly awful. And Mr. M LOVES to watch it, despite the fact that he too cannot stand anything about the program.

It’s almost as if he’s developed some crazy perverse, car crash fascination with the whole show.

I, on the other hand, I cannot understand how anyone can watch it, perversity or not. The writing is so bad it drives me absolutely batty.

But then again, I’ve been known to watch some pretty polarizing programs myself, so who am I really to judge?

Hmmm.

Nah, I’ll still judge.

The second is that I am finally getting the chance to see one of my all-time favourite bands on Saturday night.

I’ve got a date with the Kaiser Chiefs, and I am getting my mad dance skills prepped for a night of top grooving.

The only cricket in my soup bowl is that I am going to be going solo.

Have any of you gone to a concert by yourself before? If yes, let me know, and send along any tips you may have.

I’m really not so fussed, but still a little nervous.

If it gets really bad, I’ll just show up in my underwear.

And start cleaning.

All aboard the mother ship

When I was in grade five, I wanted to be an FBI agent when I grew up. More specifically, I wanted to be Dana Scully.

She was my hero of heroes. Smart, witty, gorgeous, with the enviable talent of being able to chase down bad guys, or aliens, or fat sucking monsters wearing five inch high heels, traversing through the darkest parts, of the scariest nights, with nothing but the aid of an industrial strength flash light powered by what, if I had to wager a guess, was probably a car battery.

MONSTER.

The lady was not to be trifled with.

In my memory, The X-Files was the show to end all shows. Episodes varied on a scale from creepy to downright terrifying (with a few comedic gems thrown in to keep viewers on their toes); it had great writing and fab acting; the cast was chock-a-block full of beautiful people, and the main characters exuded enough sexual tension that it was all you could do not to shout out “JUST DO IT ALREADY!” at your TV.

(Full disclosure: I wasn’t doing that when I was eleven years old. That came after years of watching Mulder and Scully cast smouldering glances from a distance, and you know – puberty.)

Now the show is available on Netflix and I find myself watching old episodes. It’s funny, remembering how hugely invested I was in the lives of the characters, how freaked out I would be when I went to bed on those Sunday evenings, post-show, and how I desperately wanted Mulder and Scully to hook up.

Seriously. I really, really wanted them to get together. I desperately wanted them admit how much they loved each other, and, ahem, get it on.

In the parlance of our times, I “shipped” them, as a couple.

Dana + Fox 4EVA

Unsure of the definition of “shipping?” An excellent definition can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shipping_%28fandom%29

I read a really hilarious article on the blog Jezebel about a week ago about television show “shippers” – and I found myself reminiscing about little old high school me – so content to pine away for the fictional love of two fictional people.

It’s a pretty common, not to mention wide-spread phenomenon; individuals ship pairings that range from the conventional, to the downright erm-we-should-probably-be-calling-the-men-in-the-white-coats-now-that-we’ve-crossed-this-line.

Different strokes for different folks and all that jazz I guess – but some of the crap out there is downright BIZARRE.

My first memory of shipping a couple is from the hilariously cheesy kids show Ghost Writer that aired on the Knowledge Network (here in Canada) from 1992-1995.

The plot revolved around a close-knit group of friends that lived in Brooklyn, NY. These young detectives solved crimes with the help of an invisible ghost that would give them clues by re-arranging letters on posters, or notebooks, or menus (or whatever.) The premise was beyond hokey, which for us darned kids meant it was epic in the extreme.

Dana Scully may have made me want to become an FBI agent (crushing blow that it was to find out that there would be a snowball’s chance in hell, what with me being Canadian) but this show (along with Penny from Inspector Gadget, Nancy Drew, and Harriet the Spy) definitely planted the crime solving seed.

I’m also pretty sure  that the ridiculously chaste kiss shared between Alex and Tina was the first public display of affection I witnessed on the old boob tube, and I LOVED them as a couple.

LOVED. THEM.

After ye old implosion of quality X-Files programming post-fifth season (circa 1998 – coinciding with the series’ move to LA) I continued to watch for a while but eventually lost interest, in both the plot and the relationship between the two main characters.

For many moons I didn’t yearn for the development of a TV relationship. I didn’t watch much television for pretty much the next decade (M and I were on a pretty strict movie-only diet in terms of watching things on screens.)

I was ship-less and fancy free.

It wasn’t until a friend of M’s and I gave us the first three seasons of Battlestar Gallactica that it began again (and in earnest at that.)

P.S. Box sets are pretty much the greatest gift you could ever give to someone trying to finish their first semester as a grad student! (Between BSG and entirety of The Wire Mr. M ordered over Amazon, it’s a bloody miracle I finished all of my term papers, let alone made it to any of my classes.)

Anywho, the couple that I am about to admit to shipping (and shipping like a madwoman at that) always made (and still makes) me feel a little weird, or at least gives me pause.

Okay.

The slow-developed (and ultimately heartbreaking) relationship between William Adama and Laura Roslin nearly well did me in during the year or so I spent watching that show.

GOOD GRIEF. The love. THE LOVE!!!

I felt like I was going crazy at certain parts of the show’s run, what with how badly I wanted them to get married and live happily ever after. (A lot of this probably had to do with the fact that I couldn’t stand the majority of the characters on the show, wasn’t all that connected to the plot line, and didn’t really care whether or not the cylons wiped out the entirety of the human race, and crowned Lucy Lawless the Warrior Queen of the galaxy.)

I watched the show, because I really, really loved the connection between the Admiral and the President. And I also wanted them to, ahem, get it on.

(I’m not a pervert I swear.)

Plus I have this weird thing for Edward James Olmos, despite the fact that he’s about six hundred and ninety two.  (Still not a pervert, I promise you.)

He’s just got such an awesome voice.

Right.

Moving on.

Currently, the couple that puts a giant, stupid smile on my face is Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. This is (in my opinion) the best show on TV at the moment, and these two characters are both bloody hilarious, but also honest, sincere, and adorable in terms of their love for, and commitment to one another.

Love it.

Love love.

Also, TREAT YO SELF.

Skinamarinky, dinky, dink, skinamarinky doo -

So why do we ship? Why do I ship? I think it depends on what was going on with me during that time of my life when I found myself attracted to the (thought of) these relationships.

I think a part of it stems from something – whether it is a characteristic, or a situation – that I identify with; something about the relationship is representative of me, or my relationships, in some way: be it something I yearn for, have, take strength from, or heck, maybe even shy away from.

So what about you, my lovely readers?

Are there any couples that you love, or that you tear your hair out wishing they would get together?

And if you do, what is it about that relationship that speaks to you?

Besides of course, watching them, ahem, get it on.

Between a rock and a hard place

Hey friends –

Does anyone have some extra coffee beans to share? I’m feeling lethargic as all get out, and the idea of round-the-clock java is becoming more and more appealing each time I blink (because for serious, the levers on my eyelids don’t seem to be working at the efficiency I am used to around here. Can I also get some WD-40, stat?)

For the past week I’ve been running myself ragged at the gym, (DAMN YOU TEAM AMERICA! Your inspiration will be the death of me!) pretty much to the point that I am almost too exhausted to sleep at night .

I know, I know – this sounds absolutely absurd, but it’s true. As of late I am having a heck of a hard time getting (at the very least) an uninterrupted six hours of sleep. Add this to the fact that we had a full moon last night and well, it’s a feat and a half that I actually managed to catch a dozen winks (let alone forty.)

Walking to transit today my mind was in a bit of a fog. Standing on the platform, I felt like a living statue, hard-rooted to the structure of the station, the tracks, the rails – waiting for a ride I couldn’t possible ever take, bolted in place.

I wish I could say that this meditative mood had lasted the entire ride into work.

Seeing this I though 1.) Man, Nashville`s uniforms are pretty ugly...2) Wait, - this article is about what!?

This, alas, wasn’t the case. In truth, I was blasted from “blasé” to “blazing” in two seconds flat, from the minute I sat down and unfolded my Metro newspaper and saw this:

Now, in case you cannot read anything beyond the headline (due to the overall crap quality of my phone’s camera) it must be pointed out that, unfortunately, this is not an article covering the dynastic civil wars for the throne of England that were fought betwixt 1455-1485 by two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet (whose heraldic symbols were the “red” and the “white” rose, respectively).

I mean, it’s totally easy to see how one would jump to this conclusion, right? Because in truth, what else could the author possibly be referring to?

Sometimes, my naiveté astounds me.

So it would seem as though Canada is finally making that last fateful leap into the twenty-first century (or you know, fully endorsing the complete – moral and otherwise – bankruptcy of humanity) by getting it’s very own edition of The Bachelor.

Ugh.  Just typing those words makes me feel like I need to go barf in someone’s shoes.

Now, it’s no stranger to those who read this blog that I am a pretty big (self-fashioned) champion of women’s rights, both here in my native land, and across the globe.

That I live in a patriarchy is a truth – that I refuse to be silent about it, is another.

To me, there is pretty much nothing as blatantly anti-women as this shit-stain of a show.

This is how I look at it:

Let’s take a notion, one that is not only incredibly antiquated and destructive, but also pervasive, accepted, and continually propagated: that a women should find love, at whatever the cost, whether it be through public humiliation, or violence against others, or by fulfilling degrading and infantilizing stereotypes – because sweet mother of pearl, the fleeting, scripted affection of some third-rate sports start/actor/steel conglomerate tycoon is better than nothing, AM I RITE LADEEZ?

Let’s take this notion, exploit it, profit hugely off of it, and then make it seem as though we were doing the contestants a favour, because they’re all just back-stabbing, fame-whoring, ditzes, who were probably on the path to Nowheresville, AM I RITE VIEWING PUBLIC?

See, this is what really kills me about the whole situation. Either way, you’ve roped women into coming on the show because either 1.) social pressure has led them to believe that because they are of X age and single, they are fated to a life worse than death-by-trash-compactor (à la Star Wars) because they have yet to find and secure a partner, so in order to stave off said horrifying fate, they find themselves willing to do anything or 2.) we’ve created this horrifying counter culture where people love to watch individuals (both men and women) who equal parts fascinate and repulse them. Random Dick and Jane’s are catapulted into super-stardom for acting like amoral idiots, careening around our televisions with their private parts, vomit streaks, and prowess for poor decision making on display for all the world to see (or laugh and point at) – to the point where people are willing to sign up for these shows because they know it will make them famous.

This says nothing to the fact that the crazier they act, the more famous they will become, up until their saturation of trash media becomes complete, and then the backlash will begin, and a collective amnesia will fall upon the masses and no one will be able to remember why they even liked them in the first place, which will serendipitously take place around the start of the next season of America’s Next Top Bottom Feeder.

And so the cycle continues.

The second part of what kills me about this show, is knowing that the reason they keep coming back (seriously, it’s like Jason bloody Voorhees somehow managed to reincarnate himself into a TV program here) is that women watch it.

And they watch it in droves.

The fact that this is a successful, long-running show because of its popularity amongst women kills me.

Why does the degradation of others give us such personal satisfaction? Is it because when we construct the perfect other, it gives us a pass from objectively looking at ourselves? Is because giving in, or even becoming a part of the problem, is so much easier than working towards an attainable solution?

Like I said up-thread, I am a champion for my sex through and through and my belief that these shows are poison to the advancement of our cause, in no way changes this –  it just adds a new layer, or dimension to the situation.

In all honesty, it makes me feel like a bad feminist.

How do I fight for autonomy and choice, while at the same time, stomp around lambasting both the women who go on these shows, and the women who watch them?

I suppose at the root of it, I just really wish that we lived in a world where these misogynist cultural memes didn’t exist, let alone thrive.

This ad was also on skytrain with me today. It sums up pretty well how this whole thing makes me feel.

Then no one would be involved and I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmingly conflicted.

Further, this phenomena makes me questions other elements of our society – how damaging are these types of programs for men? And what kind of screwed up social expectations geared towards males do they highlight? What kind of lessons are we teaching, promoting and reinforcing that are damaging to the entire human population?

These shows are brutal, bar none hands down for everyone involved.

Seriously, it only reinforces my belief that we need to drop the ideas of raising “good girls” and “good boys.”

We need start working on raising “good human beings,” period.

Come my one hundred and tenth birthday, I don’t want to be lying in the comfort of my deluxe iron lung, watching a woman’s heart break in half, because some cyborg cosmetic dentist dumped her in front of twenty billion people (and taking into account what I imagine will be people’s thirst for brutality, she’ll probably be literally dumped into a pit of starving lions, or anacondas, or fox news correspondents – what have you.)

And believe you me folks, there’s not enough coffee in the world for that.