Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm drinking a caesar right now...

.and it's three p.m. Excuse if this post reads a little melodramatic. Emo on a Saturday.

One week in Rome. Probably the most amazing of my life. Every street, every corner, every inch of it is beautiful. Even the striking unioners' protest signs fit in with Rome's inredible backdrops. Even the stray cats have a sophisticated charm. Hell, even the garbage bins were cool. We ate and drank like kings. Our hotel room was upgraded to a suite, so we had a sprawling balcony with a view of St. Peter's. We watched a three hour lighting storm move across the sky from that spot, but weren't touched by one drop of rain. I was blessed by the Pope -- a thrill for any good Catholic girl.

But the best part? Each decadent minute was spent with the most hilarious and agreeable travel partner anyone could ask for.

I'm officially a sap.

I am so grateful for the chance to go. Who knows where I'd be now, if my life wasn't transported to Qatar. Sure, there are gripes about living in a sandbox, but when you're a mere five hour flight from Italy, Africa, the Maldives...and you can take time off to go to these places, it's hard not to feel really, really lucky. I feel lucky.

Okay, enough of that. Let's get back to the fun business at hand. So many cool things have popped up on the Interwebz the past few weeks. Let's explore.

First up, is an article by Canadian journalist, Deborah Campbell on "the most hated name in news," Al Jazeera. Deborah wrote most of this while embedded in Qatar for a few weeks. I had the pleasure of hanging out with her a few times. She's young, attractive and brilliant. She's been everywhere and has seen so so many things. She calls herself an "amateur anthropologist," a term I'm kinddd of in love with. You can find a lot of her previous works online. All of her past stories for the Walrus are here. Her aticles are the kind you want to print out and enjoy with a cup of coffee (you can also buy the latest issue of the Walrus, which would love your support). As a Canadian women I'm really proud and awed of all she's accomplished. Check her out.


Do you write run-on sentences? Do you use a comma when a period will do? Do I? According to the National Post (and my twitter crush, Grammar Girl) you are probably part of the Facebook generation. The generation (my generation) who is solely responsible for the erosion of the English language. Please. People have been crying about the degradation of language and grammar for years. It's always the younger generation's fault. Because every person over 40 uses correct grammar 100% of the time, and people 25 and under are fools. It's as if once you turn 40 your spelling and grammar become impeccable. Lies!

I just checked my facebook wall and inbox and took an impromptu survey of the way young people write. Most of my friends actually sound like snug fitting smarty pants. Gasp! Then again, maybe we're just the clever ones.

Fellow young people- let's strike back at our critics. Avoid lazy fingers. Take an extra thirty seconds to capitalize your wall posts. Think for a minute about what you want to say. Then re-write it. Edit yourself mercilessly. Don't give the grammar police an inch. We're smart and we know how to express ourselves like civilized people. Stand up for yourself poindexter! Now read #99 of Stuff White People Like to understand this rant.

On the same thread, check out Copyblogger's list of the top ten blogs for writers. People love lists.

What else has caught my attention of late?

Well, I'm obsessed with literal versions of music videos on YouTube. Ever wish songs just sang what was happening in the music video? Well now they do! The best is probably Bonnie Tyler's Total Eclipse of the Heart. Link is here.


Did you see Pete and Trudy's charleston on Mad Men? If yes, then you have been witness to the best minute and a half of television from the past ten years. It is perfect.

Video here. Look at their fancy feet. I want to be them! I keep replaying the dance over and over in my head. In fact, in Rome, I tried to recreate it (solo) on our balcony after day champagne and night vino and FAILED. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stop me if you've heard this before

It has been a good week for uncharacteristic human behaviour (aka gossip). Serena Williams and her meltdown. TIFF ’09. Kanye West not caring about white people. 

Are you expecting me to talk about Kanyese and T.Swift like everyone else? Or to make fun of Serena (I wouldn’t, still love her) or to whine about how I’m not at TIFF this year, while last year’s TIFF was like two weeks of pop culture nerd heaven. I met the cast of Degrassi! They are all four feet tall and smoke.

I would love to talk about those things, but don’t hold your breath. I would love to talk about how nobody effs with Taylor Swift but how this is the best thing to EVER happen to her career and that even an apology written in ALL CAPS can’t save Kanye now. I would love to talk about how Swift is a total class act and that if I had a kid I would totally let her listen to her music and read her twitter thoughts, and not just because she writes country songs. In fact, I’d love to talk about how I might just buy some T.Swift records now and play them for my kids later because you know the stuff they’ll listen to is going to be even more vapid and skanky than Miley Cyrus and those offensive womanizers, the Jonas Brothers.

Monkey puppets.

I would love to talk about these things, but everything that can possibly be said about the VMAs fiasco has already been said while I was sleeping. Even people who live blogged the awards/US Open/TIFF aren’t giving us anything original. There are just too many damn voices on the Interwebz. This one included. But try and shut me up world, just try

And since I’m expressly not talking about Taylor Swift (19 year-old badass), I’ll talk about something else. Herr go….

On vacation in Toronto this summer, my friend Meg asked a question I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. It was, “if you could live out one completely unrealistic profession, what would it be?”

My answer: Actress.

Meg’s answer: Broadway actress (she would make a fantastic Anne of Green Gables).

So we’re both attention whores. Who knew?

DKM’s answer: Baseball player. Obviously.

Your answer? Probably a Cookie Monster.

After thinking about this for some time, I'd like to tweak my answer slightly. I would still choose actress – visions of grandeur and fluffy dresses and mobile phone throwing persist, of course. Specifically, I want to be an actress who wins over David Letterman. One of my most unrelenting daydreams involves walking onstage at the Ed Sullivan Theatre and sitting next to Dave in a small black dress and incredible shoes while making him chortle. I’ve spent hours going over what I would say to get him to laugh instead of belittling me like he does with Paris “I’ll buy you a parakeet” Hilton, Renee Zellwegger and Farah Fawcett (that one time).

Dave doesn’t like every actress. That much is clear. His favourites are probably (because I’ve totally asked him, ugh I’m so nerdy),
Julia Roberts  and Drew Barrymore. And you can stop right there with the “but Drew Barrymore showed him her boobs” rebuttal. I wouldn’t have to flash Dave to win him over. His love for Drew goes way beyond that infamous interview. I mean, Courtney Love did the same thing and she doesn’t hold rank on the Late Show at all.

Just the other day, I thought about how cool it would be to insult “that hump” Jay Leno on Dave’s couch and watch his delighted/horrified reaction. Then I started thinking about how alienating Jay Leno would be like alienating all of NBC, and how I’d never get to guest star on 30 Rock that way. That’s probably the only reason people are so nice to Leno, right?** Fool needs to stop stealing Conan’s thunder. 
**Everyone except Howard Stern and Rosie O’Donnell who called him a robot on Stern’s radio show. Awesome!

Clearly, I’ve thought about my famous action plan and how not to have a bunch of stage hands write an
open letter about how I’m “as ungracious a person as you can ever fathom.”  And my famous action plan is really a complicated roadmap to Dave’s heart in disguise.

Hey, I said 30 Rock! Have you seen the website where a fan wrote down
everything Tracy Jordan said in season three? The lines are there without context. It’s brilliant in a pathetic fan boy kind of way. I’ll wait here while you go look. Not going? Here are my favourites:

"I watched Boston Legal 9 times before I realized it wasn’t a new Star Trek."

“I hate to see you like this, Ken Doll. It’s like an owl without a graduation cap. Heartbreaking!”

“Well, if all you want is a hug from a black person, maybe you should just host the Price is Right.”

What is this, Horseville? Cause I am surrounded by nay-sayers. Wordplay!

Aaaand I’ve exhausted everything there is possibly to say about celebrities today. I should probably go read the Bible or something of substance. Somebody buy me a parakeet.

**TIFF Update.
My mom ran into Marlon Wayans who told her that Michael Jackson was no pedophile. I think that case is officially closed. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Celebrities are pretty dumb pt. two

Somebody gave Lindsay Lohan a job. And it’s not an acting gig. Please. People aren’t that dumb. Aside: don’t tell me she was good in Mean Girls, anyone could be funny delivering Tina Fey’s lines. Have I said that before? Am getting repetitive in my old age.
Lindsay’s new job isn’t as an actress, or a spray tan schlepper or a Japanese commercial fool. Lindsay is now the artistic advisor (whatever that means) for Ungaro.

Lindsay released a statement today and it sounded exactly like the typical canned quote you can expect from a celebrity when someone hands them a clothing line.

To me, the publicist celebrity always sound subliminally defensive when introducing a line. It seems like they know they are an undeserving joke, and must spin extra hard to justify this privilege. Take me seriously, people. Please!

There’s something I’ve noticed about these statements. Every celebrity fashion line announcement has at least one of these components:

1. Fashion has been my passion since I was little
2. My line will be different from all the rest, but I can't exactly tell you why
3. I actually, totally for realious work on the lines myself. Seriously.

Don’t believe me? Be careful, I’ve been Googling.

Let’s start with an easy one. Here’s Lindsay’s statement:

When I’m involved in a project, I give my all to it. I feel like there’s a correlation between everything I do, whether it’s pop music or film. I’ve always played a big part in what I wear, the costumes. Clothing is something that’s so expressive in so many ways. It really interests me. To be in a position where I’m working with a fashion house in Paris sets it apart from every other celebrity brand.

You can always count on LiLo for an amazingly incoherent quote. Seriously though, Ungaro signed her to a multi-year deal. Multi year. Lindsay Lohan. 

This is the same girl who guest hosted Project Runway a few weeks ago and the only criticisms she could offer were…. “Oh. I like that,” or “no, I don’t like that.” "Cross-stitching??"

Her brain is mush, but LiLo can’t possibly be the worst celebrity fashion designer. Not while Heidi Montag exists, anyway.

Fashion is something that’s always been a passion of mine. I really look forward to creating an affordable, fun and sexy line with Anchor Blue. I plan to get my hands dirty on this one. This is something I have always wanted to do and Anchor Blue has enabled me to be an integral part of the design process. Each and every piece will have my initial input, feedback and final approval stamped all over it.
-Heidi Montag

Heidi gives me reason to live. Want to see what affordable, fun and sexy looks like?
I’ll take seven.

Next meathead please….

Everything I do has always been about my music. Now, for the first time, I’m branching out. I work on the clothing line every day – it never ends, but it’s fun work. Designing is an ongoing process. And it’s all I wear. I don’t shop anymore. My favourite item in the line is a black hoodie, because I perfected it to exactly how I love hoodies – slim and long and the hood is like, huge.
-Avril Lavigne

Clam up, April.

I was inspired by so many fun, wonderful things as I was recording BITTERSWEET WORLD and it’s been great to carry through those inspirations into these new shirt designs I hope my fans love this album and rock out in these shirts!
Ashlee Simpson

A plug for her crappy album AND clothing line in one statment? Queen of the blowhards.

The company that I want to start should be ethnic. I think there is a (growing) awareness and people are opening their eyes about the world and the environment.
Michelle Rodriguez.

Do you think Michelle woke up that day and was like, “I’ve got it! Ethnic! The key to fashion is ethnic. I’m brilliant. Time to get wasted.” A prize for anyone who actually knew Michelle Rozriguez had a clothing line.

"This line is my main focus right now. I can't draw at all, so I won't be doing any sketches, but I am learning to sew. I think it's important to know more about the whole process of making clothes. The collection—which includes mod frocks and menswear-inspired separates—will debut in September 2008. I want people to see these clothes for what they are, not just another line designed by another celebrity. I want the line to be taken seriously.
-Rachel Bilson

So she can’t draw and she can’t sew but she is focusing really, really hard. Four hours a day of staring and pointing. Bilson, you might look like a puppy dog but I can still see right through your flimsy charade of ineptitude.

I love creating looks that are all about personal expression and individuality. Collaborating with Max Azria has been an amazing experience and I’m really excited about launching this line with Wal-Mart.
-Miley Cyrus

This is the least irritating quote of the bunch. Miley Cyrus…for the win? I’m confused.

Just once I would love for a celebrity to announce their line by saying, “I have no effing clue what I’m doing, but these corporate dumdums threw a bag of money at me. Let’s do this!”

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

After all, tomorrow is another day

Apple's announcing something tomorrow. It may or may not be iTunes9, which may or may not be the future of online music creeping. As I posted on August 12...

The Interweb rumour mill tells me iTunes might take the leap into social media. Apparently users will be able to broadcast what they’re listening to, buying, etc. on social networks. This is fantastic news. If iTunes social media gives me full access to what my friends are listening to (not what they want people to THINK they’re listening to) it will be creep heaven. “Wow, Lindsay sure listens to a lot of Jonas Brothers.” “Um, Danielley- I didn’t know you were so into Christian Metal and pornographic audio books. You’re a complicated soul.”

Ohhh the possibilities.
Potential review of iTunes 9 coming soon. Hoorah!

Ramadan is great

Remember how I said Hack the Bone would get back on track during Ramadan’s lackadaisical working hours? I was wrong. To prevent future eff ups, I’m never going to set any goals for myself, ever. That’s the guaranteed road to success.

Things have been crazy busy. I’m trying to ‘earn’ my trip to Rome next week by working extra hard. Then I play Risk.
Ten days later and this game is still going on. I'm the Red Coat wannabe colonialists.
I've also been shopping. Ramadan sales are incredible. All of the money I’ve saved by not eating and drinking has gone directly back into my closet. Call me vapid but you should see my shoes and suits and dresses and bags! It is sooo easy to justify spending money in Doha.

This is my usual train of thought while trying something on:

I shouldn’t spend this much.

It’s designer and on sale.

70% off of Armani is still a lot of money.

But I’m bored and I work really hard.

Don’t you have a wedding to save for?

I live in the desert. I deserve this.

Anddd repeat.
So that’s what I’ve been up to.