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Wednesday, 21 September 2011

How Not To Make An Impression On The In-Laws

See that guy giving me the bunny ears?  That's my boyfriend and since I kind of like him, I want his parents to kind of like me.  This is a story of how to make that not happen.  Not. at. all.

We had been dating for a few months but were afraid to get serious because I'm a stupid Canadian and he's a smelly Englishman.  Eventually, though, he took the plunge and brought me up to Leeds to meet his dad.  Big step!  I was understandably nervous but I thought with my abundance of natural charm and tendency to drink too much wine with dinner I'll be just fine.  I was wrong.  I made polite small talk with his dad and his dad's wife, let's call her Linda.  Because her name is Linda, so that seems reasonable.  Anyhow, I was busy charming the pants off Dad and Linda at dinner, and Linda's kids and grand kids for extra measure.  Especially the grand kids as we had very similar taste in Disney movies.  

We were sat around the table discussing intellectual topics and I was using big words to show them how smart their son's new girlfriend is when someone said: "So many German soldiers died in the first world war, and most of them were Jewish."  Inside I thought EUREKA!  Perfect set up for one of my hilarious jokes, of which I have many.  Enter Lisa: "Well, most of them were going to die know.....Hitlerrrrr!"  To truly get the idea of how truly stupid I am you must understand that I said "Hitler" in an obnoxious, sing songy voice.  Damn all that red wine.  Nobody laughed as hard as I did, but I figured maybe my humor was too advanced for these neanderthals.  We carried on chatting through the rest of dinner with me completely oblivious to how embarrassed I should have been.

After dinner, I popped outside for a cigarette and Ben joined me.  
"That was quite the joke about Hitler, honey"
"Hah, I know.  I'm hilarious, your family is going to love me."
"Lisa...they're Jewish."

Oh. My. God.  What have I done.  My boyfriends parents think I'm racist!  I've known them for less than twelve hours and I've made a mockery of one of the worst injustices in human history.  I couldn't exactly go, "Linda, I'm so sorry I sang Hitler in your face.  You see, I didn't know you were Jewish."  Nope, there is no recovering from that.  Thank god they live far away.

I won't even go into the time I waved pork scratchings in a Jewish mans face while exclaiming "Try them!  They're pig skin!"  

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Why I'm Glad I'm Not The Prettiest Girl In The Room

We've all seen them.  The girls with flawless make up, perfectly styled hair and sky high stilettos that make their legs look a mile long.  Any girl who says she's never wished to look like that is probably lying.  I'm certainly guilty of it.  But while I may sometimes long to look like that, I have no desire to be like that.  That look does not come easily.  It's the result of hours of preparation, hundreds of dollars spent on make-up, clothes, tanning, you name it.  Don't get me wrong, I like to get dolled up and I like to look nice but I also like to look like myself.  More than that, I hate stressing about how I look.  I'm the kind of girl who wakes up at a friends house and lounges around in pyjamas all day with a cup of tea.  I can't even imagine waking up and rushing to the bathroom with my arsenal of beauty supplies to ensure nobody sees me with my "real" face on.  I don't even carry make up in my handbag.  A statement some girls would probably find really weird.  I am not afraid to go out of the house without make up on.  To be honest, I find it a bit sad how many girls are.  It's a source of pride for me that I look pretty much the same when I wake up in the morning, maybe just a bit spottier!  

The strangest of all is that we're not doing it for the boys, and a lot of girls don't even do it for themselves.  They groom, pluck, sculpt and camouflage to compete with other girls.  If you see a girl prettier than you she's a bitch, a whore or a snob.  If she's uglier than you she's a dog.  Well, I'm not buying into this shit anymore!  I refuse to say bad things about other girls.  When I see someone "prettier" than me, I'm going to compliment her awesome hair.  I am perfectly happy not to be the prettiest girl in the room.  Let them spend an hour on their make up and silently judge each other, I'm going to go play Guitar Hero and be confident just the way I am.

Monday, 19 September 2011

The Ultimate in Bathroom Graffiti

I've mentioned before how much I like bathroom graffiti.  People bare their souls while they bare their bums.  Good times.  I think it's really sweet that someone wants to give you something to read while you pee.  I was in one (uber hipster) bar that had stalls covered in "WU TANG CLAN FOREVER!".  So funny.  Last Friday when I went to go watch my friend Doobyis rap, I totally met my bathroom match.

Pardon the blur, I was drunk and really excited.

It's going to be a challenge finding a bathroom that tops this one.  Challenge totally accepted! Also, listen to Doobyis. He's awesome.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Real Life Disney Princesses

Like most girls I am obsessed with Disney, especially the princesses.  What's even more amazing is that they're real people!  What you don't believe me?  Think no normal human being can have such perfect hair, amazing make up and be so beautiful?  Well, thanks to photographer Ryan Astamendi, you better believe it!

Ok, I know she's not a princess, but this is spot-on!

If you're interested in seeing more of his work and other artist's interpretations, check out The Art of the Disney Princess
 It looks so cool!  It's amazing to see how many people have been inspired by these iconic characters.

I know what you're thinking now.  Sure, they look like the princesses but can they sing?

This amazing lady is Traci Hines and she is a princess.  She's got the voice down perfect, her hair is always flawless and she styles it all herself!  Really inspiring stuff.  What's even more amazing....she likes my nails on Etsy and wants me to design some for her upcoming photoshoots!  I am SO excited to be working with such a talented individual.  She doesn't just sing the little mermaid, so head over to her youtube channel and get ready to be amazed!

What's that weird feeling in the back of my head?  Oh yeah, it's my brain forming ideas for a Halloween costume!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Style Inspiration: Zooey Deschanel

This fall I am all about channeling Zooey.  She manages to look adorable and chic without flashing a lot of skin, which is important to me because I hate being cold.  Why do you think I'm fleeing Canada in three weeks?  In her new show. The New Girl, she even rocks some massive glasses, so she's basically me.  Only with shinier hair, bright blue eyes, less 20 pounds and plus a strange similarity to Katy Perry.

I should probably start chasing boys around shouting "Hey Sailor!  Wait...come back!  It's cute when she says it!"

What I admire about her, (aside from her hair...did I mention how nice her hair is?) is that she's well put together when she's just out and about which is really the true measure of style.  If you look good on the red carpet, it means you pay someone cool to dress you.  If you look good in the queue at Starbucks, it means you're cool.  I don't even go to Starbucks, so I'm extra uncool.  But if I did, I would rock this little outfit:
Ahhh, I'm so excited for it to get colder so I can live in shorts and tights.  It's my version of being a never nude.

I need to get me some shirts with cute little collars and cute heart pins.  Etsy, here I come!

If I'm going to properly steal her style, my curling iron is going to be getting some major action.  And I am totally fine with that.  

Seriously, this girl probably sleeps in her tights.  I fucking love it.

I'll probably pass on the dungarees, but how cute are those braids with dainty, curled ends!?

So here's the plan.  Lots and lots of black tights, cute collared shirts, cute cardigans, poufy high-waisted skirts, and curls with loads of volume and bangs.  It's gonna be awesome.

Then we'll be bestest friends forever.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Books That Will Change Your Life: Weetzie Bat

photos by wildfox, of course!
Francesca Lia Block is easily my favorite author of all time.  In her first book Weetzie Bat she uses her prose to create vivid, magical imagry of a "jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city" where "you can buy tomahawks and plastic palm tree wallets at Farmer's Market, and the wildest, cheapest cheese and bean and hot dog and pastrami burritos at Oki Dogs".  Her characters are strong, exciting women who see the magic in everyday life and the wonderful, weird people they meet along the way.  It's a story that manages to be magical and glittery, but edgy and punk rock at the same time.  It also doesn't hurt that they all have an amazing sense of fashion.  The girl pictured above is Wildfox's interpretation of what they think Weetzie would look like, eating one of her beloved Oki Dogs.  That's one of the things I love most about novels is you can make the characters out to be anything you want in your head!  I've spent hours scouring deviantart for people's different interpretations of the characters to see how their ideas vary from mine.  

It's a book that teaches you to dream, to look beyond the ordinary to "Wish on everything. Pink cars are good, especially old ones. And stars of course, first stars and shooting stars. Planes will do if they are the first light in the sky and look like stars. Wish in tunnels, holding your breath and lifting your feet off the ground. Birthday candles. Baby teeth."   To see the magic in the world.  Weetzie has a life we all dream of filled with delicious food: "a picnic of salsa, home baked bread still steaming in it's crust, hibiscus lemonade and cake decorated with fresh flowers", amazing clothes: "sometimes she wore Levi's with white fringe sewn down the legs and a feathered headdress, sometimes old fifties taffeta dresses covered with poetry written in glitter" and the kind of love that all teenage girls (and maybe some of us older ones!) dream about: "He kissed her.  A kiss about apple pie a la mode with the vanilla creaminess melting in the pie heat. A kiss about chocolate, when you haven't eaten chocolate in a year. A kiss about palm trees speeding by, trailing pink clouds when you drive down the Strip sizzling with champagne. A kiss about spotlights fanning the sky and the swollen sea spilling like tears all over your legs."

How could you not want to read it?!  Oh did I mention it's only 70 pages?  Fret not, Weetzie Bat is the first book of five in the Dangerous Angels series and they are all just as good as the first.  They tell the stories of her daughters Witch Baby and Cherokee as they grow and struggle with love, music and personal identity.  The fifth book, Baby Be-Bop, gives more insight into Dirk, Weetzie's mohawked, gay best friend.  FLB was never afraid to tackle serious issues such as homosexuality "Any love that is love is right", suicide "Grief is not something you know if you grow up wearing feathers with a Charlie Chaplin boyfriend" and having children "There are way too many babies.  And diseases.  And nuclear accidents.  And crazy psychos.  We can't have a baby."  But no matter what trials and tribulations befall this adorable, luminescent family everything always seems to turn out happily ever after, or at least...happily.  Which is really what we all want, isn't it?

Her books can be kind of hard to find in bookshops, so online is your best bet for purchase.  
Weetzie Bat is just the first book, Dangerous Angels is a collection of all five books and Necklace of Kisses catches up with Weetzie when she's older and having a midlife crisis.

You can find Francesca Lia Block online on her twitter or on her blog

Read it.  It will change your life.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

A Guide To Underwater Cameras

I finally got my waterproof camera developed!  Taking underwater photos isn't as easy as I thought.  Posing for them and snapping both have some significant challenges.  For example, it's kind of hard to keep your eyes open underwater and not make this face:

Another worry is the dreaded bubble moustache:
Actually, on second thought, I kind of love my bubble moustache.

No, your best bet for cool underwater photos (assuming you don't have a flowing Alexander McQueen maxi dress) is stupid faces...

Yoga poses...



Or just leave your face out of it!

They're definitely worth buying if you're going somewhere wet and wild.  We had so much fun splashing around taking all these pictures.  Which reminds me of my last tip...if you want to see what you're taking a picture of, make sure you put on some goggles!
That's kind of what the Caesar's pool looked like after a couple Cranberry Mojitos.

Friday, 9 September 2011

It's My Dog's Birthday!

So she's allowed to sit like a total weirdo!
Yep, my Lily is thirteen today.  It's pretty impressive in dog years!  I'm just worried she'll turn into a petulant teenager and start telling me I'm not her real mom.  So in honor of my baby, here's a little pic spam of the cutest little black dog in the world.

She's really stubborn...
Makes some horrible faces....

and is constantly licking me....

But she's my baby and I love her!
Lulu's jealous because she doesn't have a birthday.  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Best Movies of the 90s (as chosen by me!)

As a child of the 90s, movies from this era are like comfort food for me.  Familiar, funny and no surprises.  I know that this decade had lots of intense films like Schindler's List and The English Patient, but when I was nine years old that wasn't exactly where my interests were.  These movies are perfect to watch when you're feeling grumpy, just got dumped or battling off a cold and a bad case of the "woe is me" disease.  I defy you to watch these and not feel like a giddy pre-teen afterwards.

Empire Records (1995)
This lands very high on my all time list of favorite movies.  I kind of can't even watch it with other people any more because I turn into one of those annoying fans who pre-laughs at the jokes and says every line along with the cast.  I've always enjoyed movies that just focus on one awesome day from start to finish.  You can watch Liv Tyler strip for an aging pop star, drool over Johnny Whitworth's spot on portrayal of an angsty 90s boy with a crush (AJ) and memorize every clever thing Lucas (Rory Chocrane) says to annoy your friends with later.  Oh, and you'll also be dying to quit your job to work in a music store.  I've done it, it's not exactly like the movie.  You spend all day trying to convince people not to buy Nickleback albums, not dancing to Gin Blossoms.  Which reminds me....the soundtrack is a perfect collection of amazing 90s indie.  Ten out of Ten.  If you don't watch the movie, make sure you catch the soundtrack.  PS: I am so obsessed with this Empire inspired editorial Erin Wasson did.

Wayne's World (1992)
I used to watch this, rewind it and watch it again.  Over and over and over.  Why my mom allowed me to waste entire days watching the same movie is beyond me, but I suppose when you're watching Wayne's World it's never really a waste.  This film single handedly reintroduced Bohemian Rhapsody to an entire generation, and if that's not a good enough reason to watch it, I don't know what is.  In fact, let's watch that wonderful scene now.

Ah, wasn't that magical.  It's just two guys who are best friends having fun with their stupid TV show, we should all be so lucky to have a friendship like Wayne and Garth have.  It's so much fun watching your favorite movies years later so you can understand all the "adult" jokes that flew right over your head as a kid.  "Chinese huh?  I'll have the cream of sumyoungguy"  Heh.  Also, soundtrack on this one is killer as well.  Seven out of Ten.  That might end up being a note on every movie....the 90s had awesome soundtracks.

Now And Then (1995)
Yes, a 90s movie set in the 70s.  A coming of age story featuring an all star cast including Christina Ricci, Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnel, Thora Birch and loads more.  There is nothing quite like the bond among thirteen year old girlfriends.  The girls are trying to raise money for their tree house and in their attempt to collect the money, wacky hijinks ensue.  Imagine That.  It's cute, fun and will give you the burning desire to call up your middle school friends and ask her to make a scrapbook with you.  Then you'll remember that she was probably a bitch who sent you notes in class telling you that you bell bottoms and squishy gel flower shirt didn't match.  Just me, then?  Shut up, junior high was a rough time for me.  I didn't have Christina Ricci!  Soundtrack full of cute 70s hits?  Eight out of Ten.

Romeo + Juliet (1996)
Oooooh, Leo is so dreamy.  Kiss my hand, Leo!  Me too!  No seriously, that was me shouting at the TV the entire time I watched this movie, and I don't even like guys with long hair.  What I do love is modern adaptations of Shakespeare and this one especially because they manage to completely update the story while retaining the original dialogue.  Educate the kids a bit, but put lots of guns and cute boys in so you can hold their attention.  Fantastic.  I wouldn't suggest this one after a break up, for obvious reasons, although it might cheer you up to know (spoiler alert) they both die at the end.  Yaaaaay romance!  (PS.  Soundtrack = awesome, obviously.  Garbage, Radiohead and The Cardigans?  Ten out of Ten)

Idle Hands (1999)
I really, really love a good stoner comedy.  This one featuring a stoner who is so damn lazy that his hand get posessed by the devil and starts killing people against his will.  It features Seth Green at his hilarious best, and Jessica Alba before she got all famous and insufferable.  Well, she's still kind of insufferable but she looks really good so we tolerate her.  Wow, I think I just summarized her entire career.  Devon Sawa stars as our high satanic hero and his acting is amazing.  No, really, it is.  You try and pretend like your hand is moving without your control and see how believeable you can make it!  All in all, it's hilarious, easy-watching fun.  The so-so but it still has Rob Zombie, The Ramones and Sublime so I'll give it a six and a half.

Clueless (1995)
You didn't actually think I would forget Clueless, did you?  Oh where to begin?  Cher's amazing outfits, Brittany Murphy as a scruffy, grungy loser or Dionne, who will always be the coolest woman ever!  This movie pretty much defined my generation.  Every girl at school wanted to be Cher Horowitz.  Wanted to dress just like Dionne, and I love that fact that in the above photo she is wearing a velour, collared sweater in California.  Oh, 90s fashion, how you make me giggle.  The soundtrack features both Coolio and Radiohead, so naturally I'm giving it an eight out of ten.  It was also how I started my enormous, painful, ongoing crush on Paul Rudd because....really...look at him.
He is such a Baldwin.

Dazed and Confused (1993)
Another stoner comedy that focuses on the last day of school in 1976.  This movie makes me envy my parents SO much that they got to grow up during this era.  It focuses on Randy "Pink" Floyd, a jock who secretly hangs out with the stoners and slackers much to the disapproval of his football coach.  It touches on all the classic high school cliches: the geeks trying to fit it, the nervous freshman, bitchy senior girls and creepy older guys who love high school girls because "I keep getting older, they stay the same age."  Gross.  It also features Ben Affleck as an absolute jackass named Roy.  He plays it so well, it kind of makes you wonder if he's a dick in real life.  The soundtrack is the ultimate classic rock collection.  Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Kiss, Foghat, Alice Cooper and loads more.  It's a ten out of ten, for sure.  

Ever After (1998)
I don't like romantic movies and even I'm not immune to the shmoopy romance of Ever After.  Drew Barrymore was a 90s queen and her characters are just so darn relate able.  It's another update on an old classic, this time re-telling the classic Cinderella story, only this one is a bit feistier than her Disney counterpart.    Her father dies and she's left with her evil step mother, but she's a strong willed little shit and manages to snatch the princes heart away from her step-sisters.  It's a feast for the eyes and has a genius twist of Leonardo Da Vinci as her fairy godmother!  So clever.  The soundtrack, unfortunately, sucks.  It's all score music and Enya, a complete bore.  Stick with the movie and you'll be covering yourself in glitter and speaking in a crappy english accent in no time! 

Right, I still have more movies to review but I have to go to work so.....stay tuned for part two!
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