Thursday, October 23, 2008

Check it out:-Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

For those of you who love Buffy and Firefly (and for those who have never heard of them), take a look at Joss Whedon's new creative endeavor Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me... It was much better than Cats. Did I mention that it was a musical? Directed by Joss Wheden, and written by Joss Wheden, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon, and his girl, Maurissa Tancharoen, the three episode series was released on the web in July for a limited time (a month). Nathan Fillian (as the hilarious and vapid Captain Hammer), Felicity Day (Penny) and Neil Patrick Harris (as Doctor Horrible) are uber talented and have lovely voices. There is, in fact, nothing wrong with the star-crossed, misdirected but lovably sarcastic Dr. Horrible. He really could do so much better than Penny. You can now buy the series on itunes and there is a full fan site to creep on as well. I am hoping for a t-shirt for Christmas.

RIP David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace
Originally uploaded by Steve Rhodes.

David Foster Wallace killed himself on September 12, 2008.
He died more than a month ago and I still feel raw and unable to truly verbalize the deep loss I feel. I was and continue to be shocked at my own sense of loss and how large it must be for those who actually felt his personal presence-who knew him, loved him, held him. I never got to hear him speak, I felt I had time, that it would happen at some point.

I have started reading Infinite Jest for a fourth time. I will make this year the year of DFW. I will read/reread all of his fiction, non fiction and speeches. I will pay attention and take what I can and commit it to memory.

I am so deeply saddened at the thought of his pain, at imagining what he must have felt at the end and I am so angry that we suffer so. That still, depression is a disease that is managed by guesses and trials. I hope that he has found peace. That is all he was looking for.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Check it out-Culina Cafe

I stopped by one of my favorite Edmonton restaurants the other day for lunch: Culina Cafe. I used to live in the area and ate there at least once a week for a year or two. I think they actually might have been a little irritated at my regular presence and photographic recall of the menu. But, as always, things change-I moved, stopped eating out regularly, and just stopped going to Culina. And Culina just kept getting better. Owner and chef, Brad Lazarenko, has opened several other restaurants, expanded into BC, and still, Culina's food is simple, local, and delicious. Typically, the meals are breathtakingly beautiful as well as tasty. Most dishes base their flavor on fresh ingredients and are bolstered with clever taste pairings and subtle sauces. As usual, after my meal I felt wonderfully satisfied, healthy, and yet, still pampered.

The meal pictured here is the chophouse tomato and steak salad, with onions, blue cheese, spinach and a citrus dressing. Wow.

This week is the last week of Fork Fest, a celebratory week of menus presented by Original Fare -a consortium of Edmonton's local food entrepreneurs, of which Culina is a part. Meals are either $20 or $35 and are lovingly prepared to knock your socks off. So, go check it out.

Fork Fest 2008- Culina Cafe
first course: salad of romaine, cranberries, almonds, corn & feta, tossed in a sherry vinaigrette

second course: almond crusted red snapper served on a warm chickpea salad(couscous, peppers parsley & harissa)topped with avocado sour cream

third course: blueberry shortcakes with lychee cream

Price: $35.00

Thursday, June 19, 2008


6th Severed foot found on BC coast

Story Highlights
  • At least five other feet since August have surfaced off Canadian shore
  • The latest foot showed up in a shoe, authorities say
  • It could takes weeks or months to use DNA science to identify the body parts
  • Mystery has garnered attention around the world
See my last post on this

Monday, May 26, 2008

My new boyfriend

He has EVERY human emotion.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Check them out-Paper Lions

P.E.I boy band Paper Lions was the opening band for Cake (who, of course, rocked) last week at the Edmonton Event Centre, and I was blown away. Originally the band was called Chucky Danger and released a few albums under that name. There is nothing on the website about exactly why they chose Paper Lion (a book and later movie by and about George Plimpton joining the training camp of the 1963 Detroit Lions, on the premise of trying out to be the team's third-string quarterback) as a name. Plimpton's shtick was apparently questioning "How would the average man off of the street fare in an attempt to compete with the stars of professional sports?". Perhaps they are demurely suggesting that they are merely pretenders? They may have a ridiculous flair for the dramatic, and are prone to some serious guitar masturbation, but Paper Lion earns the right to stunt with the best of them.

First, the lead singer's (whom I think is John McPhee, but I can't actually confirm this anywhere in the sites), voice is a luscious and rich tonal mix of Luke Doucet, Bono, Ben Sures, and maybe Rufus Wainwright. His is the kind of voice you just can't get enough of. These guys are a young floppy haired and sweater/corduroy jacket wearing bunch of cuties reminiscent of a number of floppy haired '60's bands but also of bands like Hot Hot Heat and Franz Ferdinand. Their music is eclectic and varied and borrows from multiple eras and genres. And they are shit-hot musicians. At one point ( I wish I could remember the song) everyone switched instruments so that the drummer could play a bongo solo. They are hot, they have a wicked website, their videos rock, and they are playing Spruce Grove, Alberta on July 1st. Check them out.

Things that make you go hmm....

VANCOUVER - Police said Thursday another severed human foot has been found in British Columbia, the fourth such incident in a year.

Are you shitting me? Sorry, I know this is slim pickin's for blog reading but I heard this on the radio this morning and I can't get it out of my head.

Monday, April 28, 2008

20 year anniversary of "Chucks"

I bought a pair of black low top All Stars yesterday. I paid way too much for them and I felt an acid build up in my stomach supporting Converse (which is of course, NIKE), but I closed my eyes and bought them anyway. I need sneakers. Everyday weekend running around shoes that weren't my actually running shoes and that I could slip on and off at the back door. When I saw them I had a pang of worry that I couldn't carry them off anymore. This was quickly replaced by a "Fuck that!" and so I sat through the humiliation of having some barely conscious baggy-panted dude in a striped referee's shirt ask me what size I needed. "Dude" brought me the shoes and then instantly ninja'd away to text his girlfriend and I tried on my Chucks.
I got my first Chucks in Grade 12 in 1988. They were red high tops and my boyfriend at the time gave them to me because they didn't fit him. He also gave me a pair of green low tops which didn't fit well but I bore the pain anyway. I went on to get all-black high tops in New York that I wore all the way through the early nineties. I saw Seaweed and SNFU with those shoes. I saw The Jesus Lizard and left before this unheard of band, Nirvana, played. I threw up on those shoes, spilt fish and chip batter on them and sloshed beer on the toes. I was wearing those Chucks when Bill Stevenson from ALL said he wanted to sleep with me.

And so with "Dude" no where in sight, and my nine year old daughter offering encouragement, I walked up to the counter and bought the overpriced and exploiting fuckers. Fuck they feel good. And you bet your ass I can pull it off. I just wish I didn't feel so dirty.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Infinitely worth it

A friend on mine called me a liar on facebook today. I have Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace listed as one of my favorite books. His note:

You're a liar. No one has read Infinite Jest.

Which is hilarious because it is probably mostly true. Infinite Jest is huge.
HUGE. It is like 2000 pages of small 10pt arial font densely compacted. It is an epic travel over four or five years of a young brilliant, drug experimenting Tennis hopeful, Hal Incandenza, in the "near but distant future". Oh, and it is about his family,friends and intertwining plot webs that connect randomly or nonrandomly over the course of these few years. Once you pick up the book and weigh its tomeishness in your hands and flip open the pages to the see the tiny tiny font, you also realize that the main chapters are really only a thousand pages. The second thousand pages are FOOTNOTES. Yes, footnotes. However, unlike most footnotes(which don't usually appear in long fiction anyway), these tell more detail of the plot in focus and begin to weave other plot angles all on their own.

The characters are brilliantly funny and tragic, the drug excursions are hilarious, and Wallace's "near but distant future" is so creative and satirical that it is both ridiculous and totally believable. To get you started, Hal starts out the story in The Year of Glad. Yes, the US (who has cluelessly convinced Mexico and Canada to form the "Organization of North American Nations" or ONAN) has finally sold the Year Calendar to corporate sponsors to make money. Just wait for The Year of the Tucks Medicated Pad.

Infinite Jest is old. It came out in 1996 and I probably read it the first
time in 1997. Yes, the FIRST time. I have read it three times. One, because I have a shitty memory and the thing is huge and two, because it is that fucking GOOD. It is my deserted island choice.

So, Buy it and read it. I dare you. And then let me know, because I have actually never met someone who has read it- and I LOVE talking about it.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Don't it take your breath away?

I learned a startling fact today. Next year more Alberta women will die of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) than of breast cancer. COPD is a potentially devastating breathing disease that causes lung damage and obstructs, or 'blocks' the airways. COPD is sometimes called emphysema or chronic bronchitis.The main symptoms experienced by patients with COPD are shortness of breath and limitation of activity .

The Lung Association of Alberta and NWT posted a Lung Association Report with the following:

The statistics on women and COPD paint a disturbing picture:

  • In 2005, 425,300 Canadian women 35 years of age or over self reported a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (1)
  • In 2003, 4,383 women died from COPD in Canada (2). As a comparison, in 2003, 5,060 women died of breast cancer (3)
  • COPD affects 4.8 per cent of women, 3.9 per cent of men (4)
-Lung Association Report 2006

November 20, 2007
New Lung Association research: Millions more may have COPD than previously estimated
Findings show deadly breathing disease remains seriously under-diagnosed

Ottawa, ON, November 20, 2007 – Startling research findings released today by The Lung Association demonstrate that as many as three million Canadians may have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Canada's fourth leading cause of death. This is nearly double previous estimates and includes over one and a half million (1.6 million) undiagnosed Canadians (1) and one and a half million (1.5 million) who say they currently suffer from this chronic lung disease.

The research also shows that the disease is highly prevalent among younger Canadian baby boomers - one in seven Canadians aged 45 to 49 (375,000) may have COPD.

This research confirms recent global prevalence data published in The Lancet which states "…evidence suggests that rates of disease (COPD) are generally underestimated."

Friday, April 11, 2008

Introducing...The Meatkini!

Seriously now, what the hell were they thinking? The latest episode of America's Top Model apparently consists of a photo challenge of shooting a meat themed series in a meat packing plant. Yes, that is a meatkini she is wearing as well as a meat bandanna. First of all, while I can attempt a nod at the artistic brilliance of the look and the creativity of tailoring, this just grosses me out: Me, who loves steak, loves a good meat plate, who friends have affectionately dubbed "Meat Whore". I would never wear a meatkini. The whole thing is disgusting. This is waste, consumption and materialism at its very strongest and you can't tell me that that was the artistic point. There was no satire or social commentary meant-this is just producers trying to make money and get youtube hits.
Sigh. and here I am giving it all attention. I need a shower.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Feist: finally gets what she deserves

There was a time, back in the dark, dank Repulik nightclub in downtown Calgary, that I wished Leslie Feist would stop screeching and sing some words. More accurately, I wished she would take her hot little punk rock self and go attract punk rock boys somewhere Vancouver, or Greenland. I admit it, I was jealous. Now, however, I count her as my number one favorite Canadian artist, male or female. She is a talented musician, she has a voice that inspires thought, brevity and motion, and she has brought back into fashion the texture and fabric of old sound and voice. She integrates the best of old recording sound and song with new techno and creates something palpably raw and smooth. So, good for her for winning Junos. It is too bad the Americans couldn't see fit to recognize her for what she is.

Read more

Thursday, April 03, 2008

How to get your students to tell you to "F off"

NAIT's ANTI "Potty Mouth" Campaign:
As if we need more to shake our head in wonder at, NAIT has just launched the first wave in their new "professionalism" campaign geared towards teaching students the proper way to behave in school. The first in the series focuses on profanity or "potty mouth" as one poster cutely puts it. "dress", "behaviour" and "cleanliness in the cafeteria", are apparently themes to come in the future.

I am not even sure where to start with this: the bad clip art and terrible messaging used for public distribution in an institution with over 70, 000 students; the concept that somehow a lame, insulting and condescending poster campaign is going to seriously cause anything other than an outrage; or that the communications director thinks that this is a really exciting series. Really?

I really hope there are some loud reactions to this. I will keep you posted.