november 2001

click here for permalink November 26, 2001

Winter is truly upon us here in Vancouver. We have the mildest climate in all of Canada, I know (that's a disclaimer to anyone tempted to remind me of my good fortune as I bitch about being cold or rained on or windblown...

I know that it sometimes starts snowing in September "back east" where most of my father's side of the family lives. I know that temperatures regularly plummet into the negative 30s in Alberta and other central provinces, and remain that way for months on end... But I think I get my inner thermometer from my mother's side.

My mother and grandmother consider winters in Tucson (their current home) almost unbearably cold, but the summer months, when temperatures reach — and sometimes remain — at a smokin' 120 degrees (F), can be just as unbearable.

For me, the perfect climate is Miami (South Beach, specifically!)... Although, if I lived there, I'd have a hard time getting any work done unless my job description specifically required lying on the beach (or by the pool) all day, eating at fabulous supermodel-infested restaurants with live grass growing out of the floor and dancing all night at clubs with (close friends of) Madonna, J-Lo and Ricky Martin.

click here for permalink November 25, 2001

I've seen a lot of movies lately. No, not "Harry Potter" — I have a feeling I'm going to end up giving old HP the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" treatment, where I wait several months until every, single one of my friends has ravingly recommended it and it's no longer showing at even the most derelict, suburban theaters before I eventually give in and rent it on a rainy Saturday afternoon, only to fall asleep every time I try to watch it and finally give up, returning it when the late fees eclipse the rental fee.

What I did end up watching was "Memento," which was fucking awesome. Many of my friends have been raving about it too, but luckily that didn't dampen my enthusiasm to see it — in fact, I think it was the dubious "benefit of the doubt" review given by a couple of friends who tried to watch it last weekend — after a very long party night that rendered them incapable of following cinematic intricacies more complex than those in, say, Encino Man (which I also watched this weekend) — that finally convinced me to watch it. If you haven't seen it, and you enjoy movies that make you think, cringe, gasp with shock and wrinkle your brow in confusion all at once, you should definitely make a point to see it. Bonus: it prominently features the tan, beautiful and bare-but-for-tattoos torso of Guy Peirce — who was also tan, beautiful and frequently bare-but-for-stage-makeup in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (and LA Confidential, in which, sadly, he was rarely shirtless).

Recently I've discovered that our new cable channels are a goldmine of 80's and 90's classics, — just this week I've enjoyed (as background or otherwise) such nostalgiac treasures as Pretty Woman, Some Kind of Wonderful, True Lies and — almost to my embarassment — Satisfaction, the all-girl-band, Summer '88 cheesefest that launched (or, more likely, failed to derail) the careers of Justine Bateman, Julia Roberts and Liam Neesan.

The icing on that Betty Crocker SuperMoist lineup was definitely "Modesty Blaise," a 1966 British spy comedy based on the comic books of the same name. I grew up hearing about the character from my mother who was a teenage fan of the James Bond-esque femme fatale/theif-turned-spy, so it was with great surprise that I ended up catching it on the "Diva" network today. If it's not a cult classic (and I'm pretty sure it's not — at least, not on this side of the "Pond"), it should be; modern day spy-spoofs like Austin Powers and Zoolander are blatantly Modesty Blaise-ian in tone and style, whether they know it or not. The best part was watching a very young Terence Stamp prance around looking very much like a young Simon Le Bon — who knew he was ever that cute? Or that young...

click here for permalink November 21, 2001

The wildlife in Vancouver is out of control. I got nothin' against wildlife, but this is the fourth time in as many years that I've been — what the hell, let's be dramatic — terrorized by a wild animal in an urban setting...

Okay, one was in Whistler, which is arguably a very rural area that has been taken over recently, and rather haphazardly, by humans. So, the hungry black bear in Whistler, I understand. But what is the deal with the fucking raccoons?

Last week, coming out of my building, I was stopped in my tracks by a giant raccoon standing about four yards (that's "metres" for my Canadian brethren) away. I stood still (wouldn't want it to think I was trying to "corner" it) and waited for it to go away... wild animals are supposed to flee at the first sign of a larger carnivore, right?

Well, he(?) didn't seem to think so. Instead, he arched his back menacingly and gave me a stare that said, unmistakably, "Bitch, get the hell outta my driveway."

Naturally, I complied, scurrying around the side exit, hopping into my waiting escape vehicle and tearing off to a chorus of "did you fucking see that?!"s.

click here for permalink November 20, 2001

As I waited for Interac approval at the cash register of my local corner store, hands resting on the counter, I received an unexpected but very sincere (if nearly indecipherable) compliment from the lady behind the counter...

She's a sweet, older woman who always says something nice when I'm in her store — in English so charmingly imperfect as to remind one of a female Yoda. As I reclaimed my (approved) card, she suddenly noticed my green-and-black checkerboard nails and uttered a surprised laugh followed, upon closer inspection, with a mystified smile. "Why not?" she said, "Is young time... everything try."

Ah, yes. Words of wisdom, those.

click here for permalink November 11, 2001

Just over a year ago, I was the best email-buddy an absentee-friend (or relative) could ask for... For a few years anyone online had my extremely divided attention for eight hours each and every day...

Now... after a lifetime of letter-writing and answering the phone on the first ring, unemployment has turned me into a complete hermit with dwindling conversation skills. Heh... but I'm not complaining... just apologizing! I've got emails "flagged for follow up" and messages in voice mail transcribed onto a spiral note pad awaiting the day when I'll feel like chatting — and the longer they sit there, the more I feel I owe in the way of a response, which makes it that much harder to sit down and do it.

I've started sending little "I swear I will write you the letter you deserve" notes to people as a friendly stalling tactic. The worst part about this is the implication that I must be terribly busy if I don't have time to sit down and email someone! Have I been busy? I can't account for a hell of a lot of my time, now that I think about it...

Well... I've had this ridiculous cold for a few weeks now... it was bad the last week of October, now it's just a cough, but it's a hell of a cough... if you heard someone cough like this in a movie, it would be your first indication that they won't see the end credits. But I've heard it out there, too... not just on my friend who caught it from me whilst attempting a Florence Nightingale.

Since the beginning of the month, I've also been helping some friends get settled into new apartments and this, if you know me, is not as simple as it sounds. I have a bizarre sense of what's "fun" for one thing... come over on a Friday night and paint your kitchen because the old tenants left the cupboards oatmeal-grey while the walls are sparkling white? Love to! You're too busy to unpack? I'm there... elbow-deep in crumpled newspaper and a smile on my face.

My mother says that I used to entertain myself as a very young child by organizing her closets, starting with the one thing I could reach, the shoes. I would pair up, then perfectly align all her sandals and boots, arranging them by color, then style, an order that made perfect sense to me.

As I got older, I moved on to her jewelry box - and this, I remember... I would sit on the floor or on her bed while she got ready for work or whatever and I would go through each of the three little drawers, untangling necklaces and pairing off earings, separating gold from silver, making little piles of beads, rings, bracelets and chains.

I'd create a little system of organization, like the top drawer was for earings and rings, second drawer was necklaces and bracelets, third drawer was for odd things like an heirloom brooch or a turquoise pendant with no chain or that tiny china cat of mine that was always in there, reclining on his back in untold luxury.

The funny thing was, no matter how often I did this, there was always the need to re do... almost like we had this symbiotic relationship via jewelry box whereby she would leave it in disarray to give me something to do and I would organize it, ostensibly, so that she could always find her things.

Well, now that my apartment has been painted and redecorated so thoroughly — and repeatedly (thirteen months off does wonders for the "do-it-yourself" attitude!) — it's like a showcase for Mr. Pink's and my combined decorating talents. Our friends get ideas when they're here. Sometimes, they go off and implement them on their own... but, most of the time, not. Heh.

The other day we left one finished apartment project, having helped paint my girliest friend's bedroom this gorgeous, deep rose color (every room got overhauled, but I'll leave it at that!) and headed straight over to meet another friend whose bare walls awaited the hanging of heavy framed mirrors and wrought iron-framed black and white photos (yes, you could probably say he's the manliest of our friends).

Now that everyone's all settled, we're kicking back... awaiting dinner invitations...