Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Religious Experience

I’ve discovered this year…or perhaps I’ve always known…that the Christmas tree is the closest I come to a religious experience. I love everything about the process.

I love going to tree lot and making Jon hold up a series of trees for me to consider. I take the choosing of a tree very seriously. I’m looking for something specific (which is why Jon has to hold up so many options). Obviously we must first cover the tree fundamentals: size, shape, and breed. I’m very partial to the Charlie Brown breed of Christmas trees. I don’t like long needles or trees that are too full. But aside from those details the tree needs to have some personality to it. For example, my tree this year can be likened to a fat-bottomed girl. I love her even if she takes up a bit too much space.

Then I love it when Jon brings up all the tree decorations. Admittedly I love that because those boxes are heavy and I don’t like doing it myself. But then I love unpacking everything. I’ve inevitably bought something new the year before and I’m always so surprised to find it in there. This year I had clear lights. My coloured lights of previous years were a patched up set of hand-me-down lights that were starting to lose their sparkle. They now festoon my cubelette and my tree is aglow with bright new clear lights.

Then, once the tree is festooned with glitter, I love to sit next to it. I just love it. I plug it in as soon as I get home and I try to be as close to it as possible all night. However stressed out I am about cleaning my house before Christmas or finding the time to make three trifles all that just melts away when I’m next to the tree. It’s like a portable spa. With less rubbing, obviously.

Ah, Christmas. Don’t you just love it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dear Mr. Firth

Dear Mr. Firth,

First, let me start off by saying that I have always considered myself a fan. Sure, a lot of your characters are quite similar but I imagine it’s difficult for you to break out of that typecasting. You’ve got to go where the money is, right?

That being said….I have a request. Now you now how much we love your Darcy characters. I mean your Mr. Darcy in the BBC miniseries of Pride and Predjudice was so spot on it’s nearly impossible to read that book now without imagining you as Mr. Darcy. Just for a little contrast here I can barely conjure up an image of the girl who played Elizabeth. She was really just okay. And the actress who played Jane? Let’s be honest with ourselves…not pretty. And I’m not just saying that all actresses have to be beautiful…but her character is described as the beautiful sister. So unless it’s some sort of “British thing”, um…no.

But I digress. In addition to your wondrous performance as Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, you have provided us with several other memorable romantic characters. Yes, yes, you play the villain now and again but Bridget Jones’ Mark Darcy? That character was so unbelievably swoon-worthy that it wiped the rest of your repertoire off the map.

Which brings me to the point. I hate to do this Colin, I can call you Colin can’t I? What I would like to ask is if you could please consider…thinking about…well, stopping.

I know, I know. It’s a huge favor to ask. It’s just that…well, I for one can’t take it anymore. You are too perfect. Mark Darcy is the ultimate man. Tall, handsome, gentleman-like manners, sensitive, sweet smile, yummy accent. Now if that wasn’t bad enough, add in great kisser and an implied fantastic lover.

Now please tell me Mr. Firth, how is a regular guy supposed to compete with that? That’s right, there is no competition.

So what I was hoping is that you could just dial it down a notch. Just a notch. Don’t turn it right off or anything but just key it down. Throw some bad acting in, or pronounce a couple of words in a really obnoxious manner, develop a lazy eye, something, anything!

I and women everywhere will thank you.

Love and Kisses,
Amanda

Friday, November 02, 2007

Top 5 List #4

Top 5 things to do with a Friday afternoon off:

5. Napping – right? Because who doesn’t love a little disco nap before heading out on the town on a Friday night. And then you have time to eat and shower and generally beautify without feeling rushed. So this one is really only good for people who go out on the town on a Friday night.

4. Chores – because everyone hates doing chores on the weekend. But a Friday afternoon off is like free time. Scrub that bathroom, do those dishes, mop that floor…and then be done for the weekend. Ah, satisfying…and yet, highly unlikely to actually occur in the real world.

3. Extra-Marital Affair – I mean, holy convenient Batman. Hubby’s at work, you’re not…what better opportunity to get a little on the side. Only problem, you don’t really get that many Friday afternoons off. How easy is it to find a 3-times a year afternoon lover?

2. Masturbating – because who has the time on a day to day basis? Not me certainly. But a Friday afternoon off allows you the freedom to really take your time with things, you know? Really slow things down and maybe get to know yourself a little better.

1. Drinking and/or Drugs – Because when you’ve got 4 hours to kill what could be better than kicking back with Dirty Dancing and few cold brewskis. Or your crack pipe. I mean, nothing else is going on right?

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Top 5 List #3

So it looks like we're going to have to make a new agreement. I think that we'll have to agree that I never promised to post 5 lists this week. Let's all agree that what I obviously meant was I was going to post 3 - 5 Top 5 Lists this week. Can we all agree on that? Good.

Top 5 things you can say to a coworker to ensure their dislike of you:

5. “I see you’re working that homeless chic look today”
4. “Don’t you think that sweater is a little young for you?”
3. “You got assigned to Project X? You? Really? Huh”
2. “Does it bother you that the rest of us are just so, so much younger than you?”
1. “Personally I think it’s really brave of you to wear a tube top, saggy polyester skirt and gum boots to work. Most people would find that outfit inappropriate outside of their home, with the blinds drawn, and literally not even one possible chance that another human being would ever possibly see then in that outfit. I mean you basically look like a fat, cheap prostitute with bad hair and suspicious body odor. I actually have to look away every time you walk past my desk because when I do accidentally look at you I throw up in my mouth a little. No seriously, you actually physically make me gag, that’s how revolting you look….actual gagging is happening over here. But like I said, it’s very brave of you.”

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Top Five List #2

So, I forgot yesterday. Look, let's not let this come between us. I'll make it up to you. Let's make an agreement. I'll post two, that's right...two, blog entries today. Are we all agreed? Good.

Top 5 activities to engage in when you’re feeling down

5. Sad Movies – because sometimes when you’re feeling blue what you really need to do is cry it out. But sometimes you just can’t get there on your own. I recommend: King Kong (why? why? why couldn’t we just leave him in peace?), Life is Beautiful (apparently even if you’re in a concentration camp), or The Notebook (or any other aching type of love story).

4. Shopping – nothing fixes a good down home blue like some solid retail therapy. New shoes, new purse, new book, soap. I mean, really, anything works.

3. Playing the Piano – or if you don’t play the piano, playing whatever instrument you do play. It takes a lot of concentration and is something that you can easily get lost in. This is my go to activity when I’m feeling blue but I’d rather not be (as opposed to the movie wallow above).

2. Casual Sex – I’ve never actually tried this one myself but it seems very popular. I see all sorts of depressed looking girls desperately advertising for sex at bars. I assume that the sex ultimately cheers them up?

1. Drinking and/or drugs. Again, a very popular pastime. I was going to go all “positive” here and say exercise…because magazines are always telling me to just go for a run and I’ll feel sooooo much better. No, I won’t. I’ll feel sweaty and fat and ungraceful and, frankly, a little too bouncy. No thanks In Shape magazine, I think I’ll just keep drinking my troubles away like the rest of the world, thank you very much.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Top 5 List #1

Let's make an agreement. This week I'm going to write a useless top 5 list every day...okay, every business day. That's 5 top 5 lists for your reading pleasure. Now you have to read those lists, that's your part of the agreement. Good? Are we all agreed? Good.

Top 5 movies where people overcome obstacles through dance

5. Dirty Dancing – Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze manage to overcome class differences with their touching and awkwardly erotic final dance number.

4. Save the Last Dance – Julia Stiles comes to grip with her mother’s death and ultimately honors her memory with a kick-ass modern dance audition piece for Julliard. Oh yeah, she also overcomes opposition to her interracial relationship by demonstrating her ability to get jiggy with it at the local “Negro” club.

3. Centre Stage – While Jodi Sawyer is very pretty she’s not very turned out and she may, in fact, have bad feet. Oh what’s an aspiring ballerina to do? Dancing what she feels and a liberal dash of lip biting combine to catapult her career into being a principle in Cooper Nielson’s new company. Suck on that ABC.

2. Take the Lead – Antonio Banderas dances the hottest damn tango ever with some blonde chick. The rest of this movie is fuzzy for me; I don’t think it was very good. But I was left with the impression that obstacles were overcome and dance definitely had something to do with it.

1. A Chorus Line – I can’t even begin to go into it here. Every single person auditioning for this Broadway show is trying to overcome some neurosis. These people do nothing but overcome obstacles for the entire 113 glorious minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Interpretive Dance in Your Life

Don't you wish that you had more interpretive dance in your life? Be honest with me here. When you're feeling low does anything feel better than swaying along to Sinead O'Connor's Nothing Compares to You, belting out the song lyrics and allowing an expression to come across your face that indicates that you REALLY MEAN IT.

And when you're totally jazzed, those brief moments when you're on top of the world is there anything better than belting out Love Shack by the B52's while acting out your interpretation of what it's like to be in that little old place where we can get together?

And can you really, truly sing along to a song by Bonnie Tyler without clutching at your chest and gesturing towards your imaginary audience. Can you? Really?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Seriously?

Seriously? You expect me to blog? Do you have any idea how busy I am? I've got pants to hem, cocktails to drink, and Chopin to learn. Plus I don't have anything actually interesting to say. And nobody really reads this anyways. Except for my faithful few friends. And I can just be boring with them in person!

Monday, August 20, 2007

My Superior Attitude

My three faithful blog readers will remember my entry about last year’s Catties…right? Well I believe I said there was no way I was dragging my ass out this year. So, obviously, Saturday night found me at everyone’s favorite awards show. It was a bit of a downer for me this year. Maybe it was because I didn’t help coordinate the awards at all so I had no sense of ownership. Maybe it was because I didn’t do any shows this year and therefore had no potential wins to look forward to and no loses to bemoan after the fact. I feel that to truly enjoy an awards show you have to be invested in it; you need to really care whether somebody wins…or loses.

I just couldn’t get it up this year. Oh, I tried. I tried my best to get my hate on for my usual punching bags but it wasn’t working for me. I tried to feel satisfied when they lost, and lost, and lost. I made all the right comments and I tried my very hardest to find that superior feeling but I couldn’t find it anywhere, not even wedged down in my toes.

But without my superior attitude I’m just left standing in a room full of people that I don’t really know and probably don’t really like. That they don’t like me is assumed, I am the bitch that criticizes their shows after all.

I really hope that I was just having an off-day. Without my bitterness and resentment I’ve got no comedic material. I’ll be lost for conversation. I’d lapse into a silence from which I may never emerge. Depression would slowly overtake me and I would emerge a nice person who simply nodded along and agreed with whatever you were saying. Shudder.

Nothing like the Catties to fuel my existential crisis.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Live from the Calgary Fringe - August 11

Chatting with theatre friends and acquaintances reduces my "blogging" time. I thankfully make my way to a new venue. Not that the Legion isn't a charming space...oh wait, no, it is an underfunded shit hole. The Max Bell Lobby converts fairly nicely into a theatre. A few strategically placed blacks would have helped, of course, but heaven forbid the fringe spend money on something other than their staff. A light stays on directly over where I am sitting. hmmmmm....my view of the stage is blocked by a large head. If only they had brought in some risers I could actually see the stage.

The show breaks my losing streak and I'm now 1-4. What a relief. I mosey downstairs towards our meeting place. Soon I will dissect this night of theatre.

One show left to go...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Live from the Calgary Fringe - August 10

Here I am at the Royal Canadian Legion. As expected there were problems picking up my badge at the door. Who is not surprised? Me.

The Legion is still open and functioning as a legion does. It's very strange to have people drinking and smoking and chatting loudly behind the "theatre" seating. Aha! A badge has made it my way courtesy of the Man himself.

I'm sitting awkwardly behind the director. I know him but I don't think we like each other very much. He's hard to read and his reasons for not liking me may, in fact, be entirely snobbery.

The signage on this venue was terrible espeically given the construction outside. The show will start momentarily and there are still legionaires drinking in the back.

There are 10 people other than me here and the director and his wife are irritated (thinly veiled) that the legionaires in the back are "watching" the show for free. As if they asked for their legion to be invaded by this festival. 4 more people roll in and it becomes obvious that every person here except me and one awkward bald man are a friend of the actor or director.

A lame announcement tells us that the show is beginning (only 5 minutes late).....

Post-show I stumble off for sustinenance in the form of diet coke and a dry rice crispy square. Mediocre theatre always gets me down. I head back in for my second show.

I sit alone in the lobby admist schmoozing. LBH should know who I am but doesn't, of course. I look conspicuous writing in my little notebook. I should be writing my review for the last show I saw but instead I'm distracted by the schmooze happening all around me. More vague theatre acquaintances fill the tiny lobby space contributing to my growing feeling of unease. A migraine slowly builds behind my left eye. The urge to have an anti-social screaming outburst passes.

I am back in the same uncomfortable wooden chairs. I sneak a covert sip of Diet Coke. I like the inky flow of my pen and I hope against hope that this sketch comedy won't disappoint. In an unfilled theatre people choose seats right next to me and suddenly I'm surrounded.

The show starts....

I'm 0 for 2 at this point. I head off in search of Mr. Rose and food. Footloose people block my way and I'm sucked into a whirling vortex of conversation. Some good may come of it.

I arrive at my third show with friends in tow. A waste in this crowd where no false celebrities are present and my shield is not necessary. My energy is flagging and the migraine pounds now. Lights go down and we eagerly? await the start of the show.

I'm 0 for 3 and it's late. I hope against hope that my second day at the fringe will redeem this long and questionable night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Random People

What's the deal with random people who stop to talk to you when you're sitting on your front porch reading? I mean, seriously, do I look like I want to talk to you? Do I not appear to be already engaged in an activity?

And, furthermore, why are you asking me about real estate prices and rental rates in Calgary? What the fuck do I know? Have you heard of the internet? Though the internet is not always a reliable source of information, in this case...it is!

Why me? Why always me? I've checked my reflection in the mirror, I'm not very friendly looking. Why not talk to the dead lady next door? She's old, she'd probably be content to chit chat away with you. Right? Old people love chatting with random strangers, why not hit her up for information? You can't tell that she's dead. Not right away anyways....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Landing Strip?

What is this? I mean really, what the hell is this? Do I look like I need a guide? Does my vagina look like it needs a landing strip? Who's ridiculous idea was this? Do I lose points for going outside the lines?

I am amazed at what people get paid to come up with.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Sitting Around

So I'm on vacation for the month of July. You would think I'd be blogging like mad but no. Instead I mostly alternate between sitting around and feeling guilty for sitting around.

Things I have done with my time off so far:
- watched 13 episodes of Heroes. Time well spent I think. When I like things that Dan likes I secretly shudder a bit...fear of being too similar to a person I dislike and pity I think. But there's no avoiding it. Heroes is an awesome show as is pepperoni and feta cheese pizza.
- honed my mad Sudoku skills. I'm into the 2 star advanced level in my book. I'm sure that this is somehow connected to my secret superpower that has yet to reveal itself.
- made Jon a meal. It was french toast and the second and third batches were actually cooked all the way through!
-........

I have a whole big list for this week. I can tell you'll be waiting with baited breath to see if I finish my list of chores so I'll be sure to update you on that.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Famous Couples in Literature Part 1

Famous Couples in Literature
Part 1 of however many I get around to writing

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy (as realized by Colin Firth, of course)

I'm convinced that these two are actually the pinnacle of romantic couples. There is nothing that is not perfect about their relationship.

Firstly, as with any good love story, they must overcome obstacles. Now, admittedly, his obstacle is that he's a jerk. He would be difficult to like if he wasn't so deliciously handsome and British. Her obstacle is ultimately a failing of character as well. Why on earth does she believe what Wickham tells her about Mr. Darcy? She's inclined to believe him because he's all smiles and based on nothing else really, and that's just being stupid.

Secondly, they fall in love early but don't realize it, mistaking their passion for hatred. They think they hate each other but that's just the fire. You can tell that when they do get together it's going to be hot, hot, hot. And hotness is a big factor in the perfect couple. When all is said and done every other character will have a dull sex life. Most of the other couples don't really like each other and that's guaranteed bad sex, or like Jane they are gently in love and will have sweet, boring sex for the rest of their lives. Mr. Darcy and Ms. Bennet are going to be mad, passionate, animals in bed. They will devour each other, the verbal foreplay itself would be a site to be seen. Seriously. Hot.

Thirdly, now that they've overcome some obstacles they can undergo a change. Ultimately Mr. Darcy's change is the pinnacle of sexy. We see him back on his home estate where he is actually, shock, relaxed. In this moment we realize he is the perfect dichotomous man. He is the stiff, formal, British gentleman....but he's also a caring, kind, open man. Here is a man you take out in public and who will be perfectly acceptable in polite company; then he will take you home, rip off your petticoats and have you in a hot scene by your estate's lake.

Fourthly, and sometimes the most difficult step. This is certainly where most modern romances fail. You are now required to pine for your love. You must have a moment of realization but before you can act on it another obstacle is thrown in your path. This is critical now...the obstacle cannot be something that will affect your love. You can't, for example, have the obstacle be that he buys your bookstore and bulldozes it to build a giant chain bookstore...that is an insurmountable obstacle and that guy is a jackass. No, your obstacle can be a ruined sister though. Why? Because Mr. Darcy has already come to terms with his faults. He underwent "the change" and so the obstacle becomes immaterial to him. His only concern now is to perform the grand gesture and wait for the love to come rolling in. But a key factor is that time must be allowed to pass here. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are apart for several weeks after they discover their love, this allows us the time to yearn for their coming together. Very clever Jane Austen, very clever.

And finally, the love comes together. Ideally this should happen at the very last moment possible. Ideally we don't see any sex. It's nigh impossible to capture the perfect sex this perfect couple will be having and therefore we shouldn't even try. We do require a kiss of course and that has to be hot, hotter, hottest. We need to be left with the perfect couple riding away into the horizon leaving our brains working overtime to fill in the gaps of this perfect couples lives together.

Just to recap, we've got the 5 steps to forming the perfect couple:
1. Overcome Obstacles
2. Feel the Passion
3. Undergo a Change
4. Pine for your Love
5. Surrender to your Love

Of course there are many types of romance couples, I'm not sure how many but I'm sure it's less than 5. I feel like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet really are the top of the heap but you may disagree.

Up next...star-crossed lovers (yup, they'll end up dead fo' shoo')

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Next Door Neighbour is Dead

My next door neighbour is dead. A few months ago the police showed up at my door at 9 in the morning. They pounded and pounded until I answered, very unnerving actually. Anyways, they asked me a whole bunch of questions about the last time I had seen my next door neighbour.

My next door neighbour is a little old stooped old lady who seems to wear the same polyester dress and grandma nylons every time I see her. Which is apporiximately 5 times. I have been living in the house for 3 years and I have seen my neighbour 5 times.

So when the police asked if I had seen her in the last week my answer was obviously no. But I pointed out to them that I probably hadn't seen in many months since she appears to live alone and never leave her house.

So I assumed she was dead in that house. I had to leave for work and didn't get to see if the police broke down the door. But since then there are always more lights on in the house. I figured that she had died and the house was empty and they had one of those automatic light switcher oner things...so the house didn't look empty.

I've been waiting for this nasty grandma house to go on the market. I think the nasty grandma house is one of the best deals you can get. They're overcrowded, stuffy and smell like, well, grandmas.

So you can imagine my surprise when this weekend I look out the window behind my couch and what do I see but by dead next door neighbour. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that obviously she's not dead as she's walking around the side of her house, talking to the grass cutting boy, and picking some tulips.

But the reason I looked out that window is because Tybalt (Prince of Cats) is giving out the most deep, menancing growl I have ever heard. This is a cat who spends 90% of his time pasted against any open window to watch the goings on of the outside world. He's the cat who looks at you longingly, wishing you would come up to that window to pet and play with him. He is the definition of a people-cat. He loves people.

But not this old lady. The entire time she was outside he was frozen in place growling and glaring at her.

Why?

Because as I mentioned before, my next door neighbour is dead.

And only the cat is smart enough to figure it out.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Customer is Usually Wrong

Where did this "the customer is always right" mentality even come from? Have you met most humans? They are stupid. Not just a little either, usually they're a whole bunch of stupid.

In a follow up question, when did it become appropriate to treat customer service staff like they were less than human beings? Yes, I will grant you that most people working in customer service are as stupid as the customers they serve. But really shouldn't we have a base level of decorum no matter how stupid the person across from you is.

Furthermore, there is an easy way to deal with poor customer service staff. Rather than yell, and bitch, moan and whine, berate and harangue...why don't you just talk to their manager. When you're in the store politely ask for the manager. If they are not there ask for their name and phone number and call them later. You can also stop patronizing that business. Seriously, there's 1001 coffee shops in Calgary. If you don't like your local Starbucks girl why not go the Second Cup 2 blocks down?

Aside from how to complain, as a customer you need to enter a store with these thoughts in mind:
1. I am not, in fact, royalty and don't deserve for any reason to be treated as such
....

huh. that one just about covers it actually. And don't forget that the customer is usually wrong, whether or not they want to admit to it. And do you know how you can know this to be the honest truth? Since when are people willing or even able to admit when they're wrong. Oh, that's right...never.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Parent Doth Protest Too Much

Have you noticed that parents are trying just a little too hard to convince you. Methinks the parent doth protest too much.

You know the ones I'm talking about. God forbid you be married and childless when talking to one of these people. They enthuse and rant and profess their undying love for children, their children. "I didn't know life until I had kids", "Absolutely nothing is comparable to the experience of having children", "There was no meaning in my bleak and dreary existence until I pushed a human child from my loins".

I'm sure you've encountered one of these people. You can recognize them by a faint glimmering in their eyes. That glimmer is what is left of their personality. They hate their lives but cannot admit it. Because admitting that you're not interested in having children, especially after you've had one, is just not done.

Now, the real question is...are those people trying to convince me to have children in 'misery loves company' sort of way....or....are they trying to convince me not to have children. Do they recognize that I'm an intelligent person who can pick up on their subtext of misery? Are they trying to send me a sign, the only way they know how?

I think they are. Because I think there is still a human inside that parent somewhere, no matter how deep down they might be buried.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Amanda is...

wondering if cash is an appropriate wedding gift for a sister-in-law who is hard up for cash (and lives in a 400 square foot apartment)?

Friday, April 27, 2007

Face to Face (with people you'd rather forget)

I wish I had a diary so I could go home and write in it privately. It would go something like this:

Dear Diary,

Remember that guy I was telling you about? Well, I hate him. I know, I know, I should just let it go. I would be a happier person if I could let go of my rage. But I just can't. I'll think that it's over, that I've forgotten about him and then BAM! I run across something that brings it all back home.

Diary, sometimes I think the internet is a bad thing. I don't want to decrease distances...many times I want to increase them. But blogging and online communities, they're designed to put you face to face with people you'd rather forget.

So, you stumble over these people and you read their thoughts and their conversations and then, at last, you alight on what you were looking for. The vague reference to yourself. You knew you were going to find it. And when you do, you are just as angry as you thought you would be. And you want to punch that sonofabitch in the mouth.

Why are some people able...even after much time has passed...to get me all riled up? Why can't I calmly read their bullshit story and smile serenely to myself, knowing that they are full of shit. Furthermore, why can't I just let go. Actually not care that they were an asshole to me then and would be an asshole to me now if I let them.

At this point in my fictional diary entry I would probably ennumerate the dude's bad traits (e.g. fatness, baldness, dumbness) just to make myself feel better. Secret bullying.

Fuck. I hate that guy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Hulk-style Rampage

After a long bout with Facebook, I'm back. Facebook tried it's best to eat my soul but I'm pretty sure I've escaped it's evil clutches...at least for now (shhhh....don't tell Facebook I said this). But now, on to the post....

Marketing
I have a degree in it so you think it's something I'm interested in. Lately it's mostly been making me sick to my stomach. I attended a workshop yesterday that really drove home for me just how fucking sneaky and manipulative marketing is. I can't stand it. I hate being sold to all the time. My life is filled with so much clutter and pressure to consume. Can't I have a single moment where nothing around me is trying to sell me something?

One of the most offensive things is that most people don't even realized just how much they're being sold. And even if you recognize an advertisment you don't get the full extent of how much that message is tailored to force you to listen. You may even have the gumption to think that you are smarter than these advertisers...well, you're not. Not by a long shot. They have got you by the balls...or dewflap for the ladies.

And don't even get me going about imbedded advetising. Product placement makes me want to go on a Hulk-style rampage.

ps. I'm still thinking about Facebook

Monday, April 09, 2007

Facebook

Oh facebook, why must you be so tempting. Give me my life back!!!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Standing Ovation

Gather around children. Amanda's got a serious rant on today. This past week I went to see three live theatre productions. Only one of these productions was less than 3 hours long. My ass? She does not thank you.

Now these productions were of varying quality, ranging from the extremely poor to the kinda weird but very captivating to the pretty good but kinda long. Now I know that my opinion about theatre doesn't matter more than anyone elses (except Kirsten's) but....no, wait. My opinion about theatre does matter more than some. Why? Because I see a lot of fucking theatre. Now, whether or not something is to my taste or your taste is up for grabs...but the basics? I know the basics.

I'm veering away from the point here. Let me bring it back around. Let's get to what we're really here to talk about today. What's on the minds and in the hearts of theatre buffs the world over.

The standing ovation.

Wikipedia has this to say about the standing ovation:
A standing ovation is a form of applause where members of a seated audience stand up while applauding. This action is done on special occasions by an audience to show their approval and is done after extraordinary performances of particularly high acclaim.

Extraordinary. You heard it here first folks. Now please follow this through to it's logical conclusion. You stand for a performance that makes an impact, a performance that is unforgettable, a performance that moves you.

It is inappropriate...nay, it is wrong to stand because:
a) you feel obligated
b) you know the lead actor
c) you directed the play
d) you are glad it's over

I assume that was what was going on this week, because neither of the two shows I saw that received standing ovations deserved them.

Oh yeah, that's right. I'm vocalizing my opinion that shitty theatre and only pretty good theatre don't deserve your standing ovations. What are you going to do about it? Nothing of course.

Do you think the world would be a better place if we are nicer to each other? Well you're wrong. It'd be a fucking boring place.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Tribute

As per usual, everything good I find on the internet I find because Meganude tells me about it. This is only one of the many excellent reasons to have 'Nude as a friend. She's all young and shit so she's all up on what's hip and happening on the web. Or at least I hope she is because I certainly don't know what's going on and am blindly following her lead.

My latest obsession: food blogs. I have perused quite a few and have landed on Smitten Kitchen as my absolute fav. I love this woman. How does she have time to do all this cooking and photographing and blogging in addition to her full-time job???? That remains a mystery to me. A crazy thing has happened though...she has inspired me to cook. I know, it's crazy! I should have told you to sit down before I revealed that. No one was more shocked than me.


Here was my first attempt, it was a tasty pasta and roasted tomato thingy that was both quick to make and totally delish. Yum! There is sure to be repeat occurances of this one! I'm always on the hunt for tasty, quick, meatless dishes that fill me up. The only downside? The pasta was a bit clumpy, I think I did it in too small of a pot. I even made my own bread crumbs instead of using packaged ones. She was right, it tasted better and was super easy to do.



This was followed by a desire to make a good homemade mac n' cheese. In the end, this mac and cheese was pretty tasty but I was incapable of eating an entire bowl of it. I could feel my arteries clogging as I attempted it. Soooooooo very cheesy. I recomend this as a side dish!






And of course, always on the hunt for the perfect chocolate cookie recipe I tried out these. Extremely good was my verdict. Now the real question is...if I wanted chocolate chip cookies to be more chippy, why didn't I just add more chips? This recipe calls for 2 cups of chips (most recipes call for 1 cup). Sheer genius. Soft, chewy and oh-so-chocolately. I may have to go make some right now actually...





Also made but too poorly photographed to be viewed: Vodka Cream Penne which I liked better as leftovers the next day (the taste mellowed out a bit), and Banana Bread which was so widely loved and admired (well, does my hubby and my co-worker constitute a wide audience?) that it has replaced my current BB recipe.

So there you have it, my tribute to Smitten Kitchen. The woman who has made me actually want to bake bread...without an appliance to help me!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rapidly Approaching 30

Reasons why I would be a good Mom:
- I always know where stuff is, even if it's been put back in the wrong place
- I'm very bossy
- I bake cookies

Reasons why I wouldn't be a good Mom:
- kids kinda freak me out
- kids can be kinda boring after about 30 minutes
- I like being able to fall dead asleep in less than 5 mintues and staying that way for 9 hours

This came to mind becuase I freaked Megan out last night with another "I'm pregnant.....ha!" scares. The first time I did it to her she reacted horribly and since then has apparently been working on a more appropriate (re: happy) response.

Anyways, I'm always on the fence about the whole kids issue so I figured I should approach it Gilmore Girl's style with a classic Pro/Con list.

Right now I'm working on two lists, the "would I be a good Mom" list and the "do I want to have children" list. Both are equally important I think.

Can you tell that I'm rapidly approaching 30?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ever So Scholarly

Last night I attended one in a series of much-lauded lectures on Shakespeare. Yes, yes, I know it makes me look ever so scholarly to be attending lectures. I'd heard so much positive buzz about the lecturer and I've been hankering to get back on my project of reading the entire works of William Shakespeare (I think I'll do a less prolific playwright next).

Anyways, as it turns out I had some major deja vu when I found myself nodding off halfway through said lecture. The seats were comfy with nice high backs, the room was warm and cozy and the dude on stage was like, a thousand years old. I'm sure he's a nice chap but he's not exactly a captivating speaker.

In the end I think that both Mr. Rose and myself were a bit bored. I theorize that it was boring because I'm so familiar with the Scottish play and perhaps I should give it a go with a play I'm less familiar with. That way the whole explaining the plot bit won't be so dull.

Ummmmm....yeah. Last week was soooo very long and yet nothing of real note happened. Aside from the stir and dunk which was moving and life-changing. If by life-changing I mean that I can't seem to burn that image out of my mind. Dear god.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

A Terrible Networker

I'm a terrible networker. Of course I have always known this to be the case but I am always somehow hoping that secretly, magically I will have morphed into a wonderful networker overnight.

This never happens of course. Instead I find myself adrift and awkward at any number of events. I cling, cling desperately to any familiar face...or in this case, Megan. I have nothing to say to these people. After introductions where do I go? And why are they not armed with dozens of dazzling conversation topics?

My worst moment was attempting to converse with some lady from a PR firm. Once we'd covered who we all were a dead and emtpy silence descended upon the "conversation". I must say, the 'Nude wasn't a lot of help either. I expect more pizazz and sparkle from my younger collegues, flash your boobs, troll for job prospects, anything!! 2 mintues of bad "conversation" and awkward silence later I nearly died of relief when she left to get a bevvy.

I think I need a new industry or profession.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Best-Weight-Loss-Ever Flu

I'm on Day 4 of what I'm calling the "best-weight-loss-ever" flu. Over the past four days I have managed to hold down 12 soda crackers, 6 Nice biscuits, 4 pieces of toast, 2 bananas, 1 can of vegetable soup and 2 eggs. I figure that's about 1500 calories tops. Just think how svelte I could be if only everything I ate made me feel like yakking. I'm going to patent this flu and make a fortune...I think...

The side effect of my severely decreased caloric intake of course is that I'm having trouble forming complete sentences, walking in a straight line, being alert for more than 5 mintues, supporting the weight of my own giant head, being nice to anybody, hiding my disdain for people who shouldn't know I disdain them, having facial expressions, bathing without injury, safely operating a motor vehicle, recognizing loved ones, and correctly identifying myself on the phone.

But every diet plan has side effects, right?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

blogupdate

I was going to post a blogupdate with revealing photos from Breakfast Bash 2007. Unfortunatley, someone only sent me photos where I look mildly retarded and I'm unwilling to post those.

I cannot do blowjob lips, that's for sure.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Breakfast Blow Out!

Wow, that was fast. Megan and I clearly need to be some sort of party-planners. I'm sorry the other ladies didn't get any input...oh wait, no I'm not. I'm a very controlling person.

Picture this: 5 ladies in their pajamas. I assume MegaNude will be sporting the shorty robe and I plan to wash Big Blue in anticipation of her appearance in formal company. I'm really hoping the twins will sport matching full suit 'jams of some kind. Hard-to-nickname friend doesn't get a cute costume description because she doesn't read my blog.

Our main course will be pancakes ('nude swears she won't serve us the burnt/raw cakes of yore). I'm thinking about supplementing with eggs, muffins, fruits and other assorted breakfasty delicacies. Our beverages of choice will be the Brown Cow (it doesn't get more breakfast-y than kahlua and milk if you really think about it) or the Mimosa.

In addition to our gigalo, our main entertainment will be Breakfast at Tiffany's, The Breakfast Club, and Breakfast on Pluto. Only one of these movies involves a transvestite cabaret singer.

Yeah, I hear what you're saying. We could just go to ye olde pubbe and grab a pint, but that's not really an event is it?? No my friend, it is not. They'll be talking about Breakfast Blow Out 2007 for years to come. What's that? Who will be talking about it? Well never mind that...details, details. I'm sure someone will be talking about it. Right?

uh......

awkward.

Girl's Night

I'm trying to plan this girl's night for this Friday and I'm struggling. I feel like we need a theme and since Kim shot down our "movies that move us by showing people overcoming obstacles through dance" theme I just don't know what to do. I've got a line on a cute gigalo that could keep us occupied all night long, but again, I feel like Kim might shoot that down as well. (He's really reasonably priced too! If you're one of those awkwardley old virgins give me a call and I'll hook you up...special discount for you!)

Girls? Any thoughts?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Take the Hint?

What's worse than waiting outside in the cold for 45 minutes for a bus? Waiting outside in the cold for 45 mintues for a bus and having 3 seperate people try to have conversations with you even though you're listening to an iPod and reading a book. Here is a bold likeness of my third stranger conversation:

Stranger: Do you know what bus goes up to Westbrook?
Me: No
Stranger: oh.....have you lived in Calgary long?
Me: Yup
Stranger: oh.....I've noticed that people in Calgary don't know where stuff is...(nervous laugh)
Me: Uh-huh
Stranger: yeah, I ask them but they don't know...(long rant about people not being able to give directions followed by longer rant about bus drivers not knowin' nuttin' about nuttin')...you know?
Me: uh, yeah. (pointedly) I actually make it a point not to talk to strangers.
Stranger: I'm going to purposefully overlook your quasi-polite suggestion that I move along and instead will continue to babble to you about the unfriendliness of Calgarians.
Me: yeah. I'm not comfortable talking to you so I'm going to take 5 small steps away from you now. take the hint?
Stranger: Why do you keep moving away from me as if you're uncomfortable talking to me?

At this point I pulled out my nunchuks and beat the man to death.

I'm not a very friendly person.

Monday, February 05, 2007

16.5/24

In an attempt to kick February off with a bang, I attended Dirty Laundry's 24-hour soap-a-thon this weekend. I only managed to watch 16.5 hours but Mr. Rose was a trooper and managed to be the only audience member that lasted for the whole 24 hours. I don't know how he does the things he does.

The overall audience attendance was a bit poor. I think part of the trouble was that the performers were faltering in the afternoon of Day2. People joining in at that point would have maybe stayed if the show was engaging. The major plotlines had fallen apart though when most of the major characters had left (it picked up again when they returned at the end). I also wasn't a big fan of the Day 2 director, she just doesn't have the same kind of energy and seems to miss out on giving the show the flow it needs.

I really like the concept of the show though, and I was totally impressed that 3 of the actors stayed in for the full 24 hours. And really, overall, I was laughing for at least 10 of those 16.5 hours. What more could I ask for in a weekend?

I hope they do it again next year! Perhaps they just need to recruit a few more people to bulk the numbers up a bit on stage. They could also probably do a bit more work on promoting the event. I think Mr. Rose and I decided that the pricing strategy was a major problem. It was unclear and seemed to discourage people from just dropping in for a few hours.

Oh Dirty Laundry, how I've missed you. Sunday nights just haven't been the same.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Lounging About Eating Bon-Bons

I'm wearing the Tommy sweater so I thought of blogging. Tragically, I seem to have nothing of note. I haven't really done anything or hated anyone lately...it's all very mundane. I'm feeling very lazy lately. All I want to do is nap, sleep and read. Other than working, working, piano, and board meetings (the unavoidables) I have really done nothing this month other than lounge about eating bon-bons, napping, and reading bad fiction.

This weekend I decided to break the cycle by doing some shopping. Excessive consumerism and I have such a love/hate relationship. All that reading was using my brain and expanding my lexicon so I decided to simplify and purchase some TV on DVD.

Hello Arrested Development. So funny. Although someone just told me that they only made two seasons of it (I'm always behind the times). (Saying hello to Arrested Development reminded me of saying hello to Jazz which made me sad because I only have one can left in my fridge, I'm saving it for a special occassion)

So, uh, yeah. That's about it. I bought a funny show so now I'm lounging about eating bon-bons, napping, reading bad fiction, and watching Arrested Development.

Oh January, why do you always have to be so dull?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Down the Tubes

I'm already starting to slip. You can see how long I can keep a resolution for. The first couple weeks of January are so easy. "Why did I even have to resolve to do this?", you think to yourself, "this is easy, surely I'll have no problems staying on this train." Then mid-January hits and you start to forget the urgency of the resolution. Finally late January arrives, all sparkly and spring-like, and you realize you haven't blogged in over a week. Just one more resolution down the tubes.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Sweater is...Tommy?

I've already confessed this to the people I care about so I think I'm ready to go public. This weekend I bought a sweater at the Bay. It was 60% off (I love Bay sales) and it's a really nice sweater. Great colour, nice pattern , excellent neckline, well-constructed. Even boys have commented that it's a nice sweater, boys who have never commented on any other article of clothing I own. If I stay this round and "jolly" I could potentially wear this sweater for years.

After purchasing the sweater I wore it 3 days in a row. I saw all different people on all 3 of those days (except for Mr. Rose of course) so it's not like I was repeating the outfit with any given group. Anyways, that's what I do when I really like a new piece of clothing (or a new shoe, purse, accessory....). It's like I'm 8 years old again, I could just wear the same outfit all week and be happy as punch.

Back to my main thread. To my dismay, my lovely new sweater...is Tommy. And I found it's little Tommy branding, TH stitched in dark blue thread near the cuff. Almost unnoticeable, it's true, but a constant reminder.

But here in lies the problem...I think designer clothes are frequently better made. There, I've said it out loud, there's no going back now. They use better materials and garments are usually just constructed better. I love my Reitmans but really the clothes are ultimately very factory style. A bit generic with no real understanding of design.

sigh.

My name is Amanda and I've owned a Tommy sweater for 4 days now. Whew, it felt good to let that out. I hear it only gets easier with time.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Idiots Need Not Apply

Have you ever spent some time reading lots of different people's blogs? Normally I don't, because, well I don't really like most people and reading the blogs of the average man leads me to have an even more negative opinion about the state of mankind.

However, things are slow today and I think we all know that Fridays are not good days for starting projects. A friend of mine had turned me on to this blog called Violent Acres (I don't know the addy but if you google it you will find it).

sidebar: what did I do before Google? I don't even know

Anyways, Violent Acres is a pretty entertaining blog. She gets all worked up about different shit and explodes her "offensive" opinions pretty loudly. I always love a self-proclaimed bitch, though she does spend too much time defending herself (while talking about how she doesn't have to defend herself). So, she's not quite the blog perfection I'd like but is entertaining nonetheless.

She has led me into this whole world of blogging that I didn't really know was out there. It seems like these people are trying to gain fame and notoriety through blogging? wtf?

I think that the internet may have deproved (you know, rather than improved) us as a collective. Most people are idiots, right? I think we all agree on that (unless you're one of the idiots in which case I'm very sorry but you should probably move along. your kind aren't wanted here). Well, now these idiots have these little blog worlds where they can obsess endlessly about the potential gender, age, name, political affiliations, etc of some random blogger.

ummmm....who cares? Who cares what Violent Acres name is? Who cares if it's a he or a she? Why does it matter? It's the internet. This may shock you but people don't always tell the truth on the internet. I know, when I figured that out it totally blew my mind too.
And furthermore, how do you think you can gain fame and notoriety by blogging about other people's blogs? I think that internet fame and notoriety (for what it's worth, which frankly is not much at all) comes from people who have a real talent getting some much-needed exposure. Talent is the key there. Idiots need not apply.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A Good Movie Cry

Last night I watched the first movie to make me cry in 2007. Not bad considering we're only 10 days in. And it wasn't one or two tears either, this was a major cry.

I love a good movie cry. You know how you get that feeling building up inside, nothing is wrong or bothering you but you just need to cry. I can never start those things spontaneously so I always need a good movie to spark it.

I'm not sure if this one was building up or if I was just so affected by this movie. Now when I tell you what the movie was, you won't understand. A virtual silence will follow as you try to comprehend what I've just communicated.

Let me preface this by saying that I didn't even want to rent this movie. I was picking out some 7-day releases and needed to fill out a 6-pack. Frankly, Mr. Rose had to pressure me pretty hard to rent it and even then it was accompanied by much sighing and eye-rolling on my part.

I didn't even plan to watch it in one sitting, ridiculous 3-hour long epics. We watched the first half in little half hour bursts over a couple days. But then....I was enthralled. I started crying at the midway point and couldn't stop until it was over (stop watching that is, I stopped crying many times...the giant bug scene didn't prompt many tears).

Ready?

The movie was King Kong.

...

...

...

I know! I'm just as surprised as you are. I cried for like 15 mintues after it finished too, and I knew how it ended! When I woke up the next morning my eyes were all tired and sore and worn out from all the crying. A giant ape did me in.

But it's just so tragic. And so true to what I believe. Human beings are terrible, terrible creatures. Selfish, greedy, so far out of tune with nature and so far out of touch with the world we inhabit that it's a wonder we've survived. Oh Kong, the last of your kind...and to die such an ignominious death. Oh Peter Jackson, if I loved you for Lord of the Rings I've moved up to some other level of vague unattractive-celebrity love for King Kong.

*sniffle*

King Kong. Rent it immediately and report back. Was is just a desperate need to cry or is this supposed "dude" monster movie really a hidden weeping gem?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Awkward Encounters

Speaking of awkward encounters in the condom aisle, I had one last night. Mr. Rose and I were doing a little drugstore shopping and since I decided I wanted a break from pumping my body full of hormones we had to stop off in the protective services aisle.

Now the following encounter was really my fault. If we had just got down to business we would have moved on in time. But, of course, I get all distracted by the ridiculous names for lube.

Anyways, we're pondering our choices...having not purchased said product in many years we find ourselves baffled by the level of choice offered. So, I'm holding a box of textured (apparently for my pleasure) condoms when around the corner comes this guy we sorta kinda know. He's one of those overfriendly, space-invading type of dudes who is too familiar given the level of our relationship.

ummm....awkward. Except, I'm not 16 years old. I am a 28 year old woman who was embarassed to be holding a box of condoms. We have a brief awkward conversation about the price of kleenex and Mr. Rose and I extricate ourselves as quickly as possible. We finish our shopping in a hurry and rush out to the car.

Once we're outside I think of two things. The first is that it's ridiculous that I could find it awkward to be caught in the act of buying condoms at my age. And the second is that I was so uneasy that I just threw some random box in the shopping basket without any consideration. I know it's ridiculous to be uncomfortable and yet I was uncomfortable.

By today it's just funny and so I must spread my awkward moment far and wide. Enjoy masses, enjoy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Unfinished Projects

Is it possible to change? I mean really change. If you decide you don't like where you are at or where you are going can you make the necessary adjustments to alter things. And what happens if you know that you want change but you don't know what that change should be or how to achieve it?

I watched this ridiculous home decorating show this afternoon about minimalist design. The host was a complete idiot who didn't seem to actually understand what minimilism was about. Whenever I think about my taste in interior design I always assumed that my problem was a lack of funds. I mean how can you really do interior design if you can't afford to buy what you want?

But I was thinking about window treatments and it struck me that even if you gave me a stack o' cash I would have no idea how to design window treatments that accented my sofa and really made my natural lighting pop. I would be one of those people with money but no taste. I think I would have to hire someone to do my interior design.

And that's sad. I always thought I was one of those people who could do interior design. But looking around my living room I see that is not, in fact, the case.

My life is filled with so many unfinished projects. Things I "don't have time for anymore". Things I start and then drop halfway through. I do things half-assed all the time, which is odd because I prefer a full, rounded ass.

For some reason I just can't commit.

Am I a minimilist? A cynic? An optimist? A pessimist? Who knows, I can't commit to any one.

The "back to work" blues strike hard and swift, and apparently emerge as a design crisis.