Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Painful Process of Writing, or how to be simultaneously defeatist and egotistical.

Mariner Chic

Nautical shit is cool: old maps, compasses, fishermen, knots, old ships, diving watches, Breton stripes, booty. Lately I've been fixated on recapturing the magic of a perfect ivory cable-knit cardigan I bought at Value Village when I was a teenager. I might need to take up knitting.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

1963: Dinosaur models on the hudson river, en route to the 1964 New York World's Fair

1965, New York World's Fair, Brontosaurus dismantling operation on the Sinclair Dinoland Pavilion

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Cure for a Bad Day

The cure for a bad day can come in many forms, depending on just how awful your day has been. If we are talking extreme public embarrassment that ends in tears, the only solution is a glass of wine. If you were forced to spend a day dealing with irrational or idiotic jerks you have no choice but to devote your evening to breaking some serious shit. If you are exhausted and cursing your non-19 year old body for not bouncing back from a hangover from drinking on an empty stomach days ago, one of the best cures is a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. Cures such as this do not require fancy ingredients (but they help, depending on the severity of the situation). When I was a child, tomato soup came from the red and white labelled can. but these days I prefer something less preserved and lower on the sodium (this just reiterates my non-19 year old status, doesn't it?).

Some people get fancy with their grilled cheese, but when you are searching for comfort all you need is a nice slice of aged cheddar and two pieces of bread. I like to make my grilled cheese with a leftover baguette, the tiny rounds are perfect for making many tiny sandwiches, which, due to my portion control issues, feels more satisfying to consume. You can saute some apples and add that to your pre-grilled cheese sandwich as well (highly recommended). For a nice pot of tomato soup all you need is a can of Italian plum tomatoes, some chicken broth, fresh thyme, and garlic. Puree, boil, simmer. Finish with a splash of cream and more thyme. I like to add noodles to my tomato soup, anything from small alphabet pasta to orzo is acceptable. My personal favourite is moose-shaped pasta from Ikea. They have antlers. You understand.

Pour a bowl of hot tomato soup, dip with your tiny baguettes. Repeat. Bad day resolved.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Not so fast, Sheen. Or should I say CARLOS ESTEVEZ?

A few weeks ago I read an overly dramatic article about the end of Tiger Woods' career (one of many, sadly). Once upon a time he was a little Caublinasian kid that decided to forego college for a brilliant golf career. Years later he sleeps with a bunch of cocktail waitresses with stripper names, cheats on his wife, and now he is the guy whose entire life is in the toilet. His tarnished reputation means he will never win another Masters! His career is finished and he should be publicly shamed! Tiger's indiscretions are, for some reason, unforgivable in comparison to other jerk celebrities.

Everyone is so quick to demonize poor Tiger, but why is no one attacking someone like, oh I don't know, CHARLIE SHEEN? You know, that crazy offensive dude who BEATS HOOKERS? Why are we not more angry about that? Why is it that this guy verbally and physically abuses his wife and calls her a whore and yet somehow no one marks this as the demise of Two and a Half Men?* Yes, I understand that Charlie Sheen does not pretend to be an innocent, aw shucks golfer. But does that make him less of a terrible person? No! The answer is no! Embracing a "bad boy" (that description is so gross and sexual and it creeps me out to even say it because Charlie Sheen is chubby and mean) image should not absolve you of alcoholic rages and voicemail tirades. If you're gonna have a coke problem and be mean at least be Robert Downey Jr.!

*For the love of god, when will someone cancel this sitcom?!

Books & Brunch

Brunched today at Seattle's Oddfellows Cafe: perfectly seasoned eggs, spinach and ham in a little skillet with a strong cup of coffee. The room is the sort of ancient, lofty, brick-walled space you rarely find in Vancouver, and a lovely setting for a morning meal.

Oddfellows also happens to be right next door to the new Capitol Hill location of the Elliott Bay Book Company, from which I managed to escape with a single purchase:

Friday, September 3, 2010

Style Icons: Back to School Edition

In honour of September, four academic style icons:

1. The cast of Dead Poets Society

Their late 1950s wardrobe of sweater vests, blazers, striped ties and horn-rimmed glasses is both a poetic ode to the colour burgundy and a telltale reminder of the self-esteem issues and suicidal tendencies lurking beneath.

2. Moira Kelly in With Honors:

The epitome of grunge-era Harvard cool. She's like the Winona Ryder that no one remembers.

3. The cast of Picnic at Hanging Rock

A cautionary tale about the dangers of class field-trips and hiking in the Australian outback in lacy white dresses. Also, the pan flute magic of Zamfir:

4. Ali McGraw in Love Story

Ali McGraw totally deserves her own entry in this category, but as Jennifer Cavelleri, she's the epitome of Radcliffe College nerd-chic. Her glasses blow my mind: