Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Songs: In the Mood

A friend recently asked his Twitter followers what albums got them feeling hot'n'heavy. That's where the idea for this week's Sunday Songs came from. These are the songs that, ummm, (close your ears, Mom!) do it for me... yeah. I realize they may not have the same effect on everyone, so this list is purely subjective and for entertainment purposes only... enjoy (responsibly).

Get Up- Chk Chk Chk!!!

Rock'n'Roll Fantasy, Pink Mountaintops

Do Me Baby, Prince

Ambulance, TV on the Radio

Emancipation, Moving Units

Feel Like Makin' Love, D'Angelo

I Do What I Want, When I Want, Xiu Xiu

Soon I'll Be Loving You Again, Marvin Gaye

First Breath After A Coma, Explosions in the Sky

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fiction: Better Here Than There by Alex Snider

Another day, another spring blizzard! Winter doesn't seem to be going anywhere and for those of us who long for the days of summer so we can switch up complaining about the cold to complaining about the heat  I've come up with a lil' list of books about vacations gone horribly horribly wrong that will sate your desire for mojitoes on the beach (mostly).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

We Need to Talk About "Lolita" by Alex Snider

Lolita is a book you read twice, three times, four times but never once. Reading Lolita once will leave you feeling sorry for Humbert Humbert, blaming Dolores, resenting Nabokov for making you a little hot under the collar (only for the first half, the 'tease' leaves you wanting the rest of the novel), in other words: you will miss the whole point.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Snow What?!

I took a walk after dinner this evening with my camera in tow, and I only slipped and fell in a snow bank once! My lens, thankfully, survived the fall, and so did I. The cold, wet consequences of my trek were well worth it, though. I got a few good pics of what I hope is the last snowfall of the season. Although, it is so pretty, I almost wouldn't mind if this weather stuck around a bit longer...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Songs:And Now For Something Completely Different

I can't really explain this week's Sunday Songs. Blame it all on Rebecca Black. Celebrity culture and consumerism and the weirdness of human behaviour is just on my mind. They're not all songs, for one thing. This is a small, random selection of the things that have held my attention or fascination (or were just plain weird) this week. Mark Flood/Fluid dons a Charlie Sheen mask and raps (Amazing.). A lady shows her man her armpit and laughs (odd). A man dresses up like a leopard (terrifying). Rye Rye likes hardcore girls (awesome). and Serene Branson sings. Sort of (weirdly compelling). As a companion piece, Brett Easton Ellis shares his thoughts on Charlie Sheen over at the Daily Beast. I'm not a BEE fan by any means, but he has some interesting things to say about Sheen. I don't totally agree, (I think Sheen needs help and also um, needs to stop beating up women) but they are interesting. And it's got me playing "Empire/Post-Empire" with everything now.

So, Rebecca Black: Empire or Post-Empire?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fiction Friday: Alternate Titles by Alex Snider

Hahaha, doesn't this make you want to... I don't know... weep?
 Set someone on fire? Bemoan the kids today?
Don't you hate it when you pick up a book with a title like A Good Man is Hard to Find, thinking, "I know! Good men are totally hard to find! It's like this self-help book was written for me!", then you get home and start reading and, bam, it's not a self-help book at all! It's a story about a horrid family and their annoying grandma who get whacked by some escaped convict! Instead of feeling that there is still hope and you could still meet a good man, you feel a little sick to your stomach (in an awesome way, because Flannery O'Connor is the best ever!) and then you think, "boy, I sure wish all novels had titles which perfectly illustrated the content so that I may never be misled and confused again". Well, that would take a lot of the fun out of titles and really, you should read the synopsis next time but just for funsies I have made a list of novels with better titles stolen from other novels.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The 100 Bestest Ever Male Characters In Movies Ever by Alex Snider

Orson says relax
Total Film recently released the top 100 greatest female character list or as I think it should be called, "Dude, it's so awesome when chicks I want to bang kill people!" and it inspired me to come up with my list of the 100 greatest male characters which, like the sacrificial virgins to a volcano, shall be released every full moon in installments of ten.

Women Rule, Dirtbag!

basically, the best 8min of television, ever.

I love everything about this. Riot Grrrl, Bikini Kill, Pat Benatar, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith... there's a revolution going on out there... and it's about women taking control!
(via WWAATD)

Who Was this St. Patrick Guy, Anyway?

You're probably too drunk on green beer or Guinness to even read this right now, so why don't you come back tomorrow when you're sober- no wait, better give yourself a day off tomorrow and come back the next day, you know, when you're feeling more like yourself again...

Hey, you're back! Did you have fun? Good. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, St. Patrick! What was his deal? He was Irish, that much I know. Wasn't he the guy who led all the children out of town with his flute? Oh, no, that was some other guy... okay, I have no idea then. Maybe it was snakes? To Wikipedia, I go!
Get outta here, you no-good slithery snakes!
Let's see now, so it turns out that Saint Patrick wasn't Irish! I know, right? It's not known exactly where he was born, but it was definitely either Scotland, Britain or Wales. He was actually captured by Irish marauders when he was 16 and sold into slavery, the poor little guy. He was sold to some Druid dude named Milchu, and little Paddy (oh yeah, his name wasn't actually Patrick, it was Maewyn Succat, but for our purposes, we'll refer to him as Pat) was his slave for 6 years, until finally being told by an angel to run away, he escaped (on literally, a wing and a prayer) and headed on a boat back to Britain.

Now, during his time with the Druids, Pat got really into God. He prayed a lot. I mean, it's not like he had much else to do while he was out in the fields all day tending his master's flock (let's just hope all he did all day was pray...). He also learned the language and traditions of the people of Ireland, and decided it was about time those barbarians got some God in them. So, when he got home he went immediately into the priesthood, and then started gunning for a posting in Ireland, so that he could return to convert the pagans. He eventually did get sent back, and the first thing on his list of people to see and things to do was to find Milchu and give him a piece of his mind. Apparently, though, he didn't want revenge, he just wanted to save the guy's soul. Milchu got wind that his slave boy had returned and was looking for him, so he just went ahead and killed himself. Seriously. Seems a bit extreme, doesn't it? He was either really scared that Pat actually wanted revenge (and so, I imagine this Milchu character must have been a pretty cruel guy) or, he just really didn't want to have to listen to any of Pat's proselytizing (and I mean really, who could blame him?).

So, after that little setback, Patrick continued his mission to convert the Irish to Christianity. For someone who ended up becoming their patron saint, he sure wasn't treated too well while he was there, often getting beaten, robbed, and probably nearly executed! Not to mention that nasty little detail about the kidnapping and slavery... which is probably why Patrick believed that owning another human being was, you know, like, wrong? And that actually caused a bit of tension between him and the church, which took another 1000 years to get around to condemning slavery. Anyways, judging by Ireland today, Patrick was pretty successful. It is pretty ironic (maybe more like in an Alanis Morisette kinda way, though) how he's celebrated around the world today, though. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been totally cool with the drunken belligerence and public urination  that one usually encounters on March 17th. My worst experience with St. Paddy's Day was taking a vomit-smeared bus home at 2am. Literally, the floors, seats, and poles were covered in vomit. Where was my luck o' the Irish then, huh?

Oh yeah, the thing about single-handedly banishing snakes from Ireland? Probably never happened. Seems there weren't any snakes up there in the first place. So, maybe the snakes are a symbol for the Druids? Or maybe he just made it up. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to banish all the giraffes from Ecuador (sainthood, here I come...)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Stolen Moment From The Lives of GB and Al #54

It's just another rainy Wednesday morning, and Al and GB are both sitting on the daybed in their living room, each on their laptop and in their own little world. Unbeknownst to either of them, their separate worlds are about to collide...

Al looks up from her screen, turns to GB and says "Whoa, did you know that Tess Lynch, that writer I've been obsessed with lately, is actually Jane Curtin's daughter?"

GB practically jumps out of her seat and literally screams "OHMYGOD!" And then, "WAIT, DID YOU SAY JANE CURTIN? OR JANE LYNCH? JANE CURTIN OR JANE LYNCH???" Al confirms that she did, indeed, say Jane Curtin. Al is understandably just a tiny bit confused by GB'S reaction.

GB notices the look of bewilderment on Al's face, so goes on to explain that she has just spent the last 20 minutes tracking down an episode of Quincy, M.E on YouTube that has been haunting her since she was 15. This has led her to reminisce about other crime procedural shows of the 1970s, like The Rockford Files, CHiPS and, especially, McMillan and Wife, starring Rock Hudson and Susan St. James. GB then remembered what a total babe Susan St. James was, so started looking for pictures of her on Google, and even added quite a few to her queue on tumblr. Then, she came across a pic of St. James with Jane Curtin from their Kate and Allie days, which she immediately posted on her tumblr, and started reminiscing, about what a kick ass show that had been, and how awesome Jane Curtin was, and was totally about to check and see if the series was available on DVD, when Al looked up and said:

"Whoa, did you know that Tess Lynch, that writer I've been obsessed with lately, is actually Jane Curtin's daughter?"

Yeah, that all just happened.

Other things that GB learned about Susan St. James today:

- She has the best name ever. It's almost as fun to type as it is to say out loud
- She was born in Rockford, which is funny, because this all started with The Rockford files, which she wasn't on, but she starred opposite Rock Hudson on McMillan & Wife
- S St. J was a guest host on SNL (where Jane Curtin got her start) in 1981, where she met her third husband Dick Ebersol, who was executive producer of SNL at the time, he is now chairman of NBC sports.
- Ebersol and two of their three sons were in a plane crash in 2004. Sadly, their youngest son Teddy (14) and two others, died. GB is still really sad to hear about this.
- She is a vegetarian and an activist and holds 5 honorary degrees

Things GB learned about Jane Curtin today:
- Her name is spelled C-u-r-t-i-n, not C-u-r-t-a-i-n
- Jane Curtin was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Which is apparently a very nice place to live.
- Like Susan St. James, jane Curtin is also married to a television producer, Patrick Francis Lynch. They met at a hockey game in 1975 and have a daughter, Tess Curtin Lynch, who writes for one of our favourite websites, This Recording, and is tight with our other girl crush, Molly Lambert. Also, if Jane Curtin had taken her husband's name, she'd be Jane Lynch!
- Curtin was raised Catholic, and while we have no idea whether she is currently, she was practising at the time of her SNL days, which we imagine would have been difficult, given the infamous partying that was going on at the time. She's also been an ambassador for UNICEF and has an associates degree from Elizabeth Seaton Junior College (although we don't know what area the degree is in, but it's probably something awesome)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Readers, Friday Fiction; Friday Fiction, Readers by Alex Snider

I used to work in the fiction section of a bookstore and my favourite thing about the job was that I (along with other Fictionites) got to come up with ideas for themed tables, complete with the thirty+ titles needed to necessitate an entire rack, I mean table. We would track the sales for our tables and get to hang out and explain the theme to customers; it was always super gratifying when someone would understand the sometimes cryptic signs and want to talk to us about the tables we had lovingly put together.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Alternate and Equally Valid View

As a counterpoint to my previous post, I thought I'd share a part of this post by s.e smith of this ain't livin', who writes about leaving the Feminist movement behind. I fully support this decision and feel it is important to share these words with you, as there is an undeniable and urgent need for systemic change from within. As proud as I am to be a Feminist, we must always remember that Feminism has a history of transphobia, classism, racism, ableism, and homophobia, and I will always understand why someone would choose to distance themselves from a movement that has historically excluded them.
"So many disabled people, nonwhite people, transgender people, people of colour, poor people, adamantly refuse to identify with feminism in its current incarnation in the United States. ‘Feminists’ talk about this in the sense that we’re all really feminist in how we think, behave, and act, we just have some irrational resistance to the label. No, we’re not really feminist. The model of feminism we see is one where oppression perpetrated in the name of ‘activism’ is acceptable, where casual ableism, racism, classism, transphobia run so deep that many of us don’t even bother to point it out anymore. The model of feminism we see is one where a handful of people profit at the expense of others. And that’s not how we think, behave, and act. That is not what we believe."

I strongly encourage you to read the full post.

Happy International Women's Day! And Feminist Coming Out Day! by Rebekah Hakkenberg

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, a day created to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women around the world.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Songs:90s Nostalgia Edition

Full disclosure: The Much Music Dance Mixes of the early 90s were as important to me in my musical development as my very first Kate Bush album, my fan-girl obsession with David Bowie, and the hours I spent in our basement singing aloud (like, really, really loud) to 1)Wild Cherry's Play That Funky Music 2) Debbie Boone's You Light Up My Life, and 3)The Original Canadian Cast recording of The Phantom of The Opera. Yes, I still know every single word to both "Whoomp, There It Is" and to Andrew Lloyd Weber's cheesy 1986 musical.
All this reminiscing about the music of my preteen years has led me to this. I'm sorry/You're welcome.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Weekend Wrangle

It's the weekend! Hurray for all you saps who have gone all 9-5 and get to have things like health coverage and weekends and water-cooler talk about Criminal Minds, you get to have two days off to do fun things like go for hikes and swim with chimps (obviously, I have no idea what people do on weekends other than study and work and I'm just jealous and am beginning to think that I'm going to have to work weekends forever to support myself while I go after my craaaaazy dream of being a writer not to mention that I'm not even working today but I do have a huge take-home exam which I'm impressively procrastinating on -- I feel weird writing an exam in my pj's and sleep lines -- but I digress...).

So, without further ramblings, here are some of our favourite internets-things from this week that you can read whilst eating bonbons and chortling over New Yorker cartoons...

The Truth in True Grit: Or, Everything I Really Need to Know About Postmodernism I Learned From Joel and Ethan Coen Max Weintraub Art:21 Blog. Kinda feel like the title on this one says it all...

Blue Femin-ine Angela Januzzi We Who Are About To Die. Ever said something like, "gah, what is up with Indie movies and their fucking cardboard women characters who are little more than fluffers for their very sensitive, emotionally broken, pent-up, misunderstood, awkward, workaholic male counterparts"? Then this here is an article you want to read! Also, read this one from The Atlantic first.

Ask an Abortion Provider Dolores P. The Hairpin. Litmus test: if this doesn't make you well-up, you might be a monster! Everything that needs to be said about abortion is in this amazing post -- if you read nothing else from this round up, read this!

Supreme Canadian Overlord, Stephen Harper, takes another step in the direction of dictator:

And people at CBC, CTV, MacLeans, Globe and Mail, even all the Suns are calling bullshit. Note to the Tories, if even your sensationalist lapdog media sources see this "rebranding" as fucked up, ur doing it wrong. I feel like there will definitely be more to come on this one...

Also, someone of the mainstream media noticed that there is a genocide in Canada in which 500-2000 Aboriginal women are missing and/or murdered. Long fucking over due, but thank you Globe and Mail and Andre Picard for finally calling attention to this travesty. Maybe next time, it could be placed somewhere other than the Life section. Here are some other links where other people are talking and have been talking about this atrocity: Black Coffee Poet, No More Silence, Missing Justice, Native Women's Association of Canada. (Update, just realized the Globe and Mail article is not from this week, it's actually from 2009. Yep, that's how much the mainstream media cares about Aboriginal women. Well, that shit really brought me down.)

For anyone keeping track, the zombie apocalypse is nigh. Start planning a survival strategy; I hear that rural communities are your best bet for survival -- lots of farming equipment, gasoline and provisions.

Our favourite Toronto blog, Little Red Umbrella, has posted their second list of songs to dance around your apartment to, so get on it, jump on it, something something something...

Favourite video that mocks horrific reality TV show of the week: I want to be Tom Hanks' friend?

And, finally, we'd like to say that we do not approve of all the LOLZ, Charlie Sheen is WACK business; dude has issues but he also BEAT THE SHIT out of many, many wives, girlfriends and escorts. And, he SHOT Kelly Preston, so there's that. *UPDATE* Thank you to our super-friend, Ethan , for giving us a link to this amazing article by Anna Holmes about why Charlie Sheen's looooong history of domestic abuse is ignored.

Well then, have a great weekend everyone; I will think of you all, often and fondly.

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Stolen Moment from the Lives of GB and Al #33

The following is a true story.

I had just arrived home from my beloved Nabokov class and all my lil' synapses were firing. We had been talking about Lolita and my professor sent us home to read Poe's Annabel Lee, from which my boyfriend had referenced from frequently throughout Lolita.

I cracked open my Poe anthology and expressed my desire to create a database for a catalogue of all the short stories we have so that I could easily find what I was looking for (I stand by this idea, I just need someone who is good at computers to do it for me...). Rebekah looked up the story and low and behold it's actually a poem, which she found online precisely at the same moment I found it in the anthology and then we...

(What happens next is something I'm not proud of... Except that I am...)

... Read it together, aloud, each taking a line at a time.

Yep, that just happened.

And, we may or may not have used funny voices.

Happy Friday, everyone.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cage Rage or NO, NOT THE BEES! Posted by Alex Snider

Photo from the Nic Cage Fan-club page on (yep)
What could be a better way to start the day than to watch five minutes of Nicholas Cage, esteemed actor of such silver screen gems Ghost Rider and The Sorcerer's Apprentice (I kid, I kid, Moonstruck was a-ok), losing his shittttttttt.

This video has it all and it combines my favourite things: maniacal laughter, bear costumes and montages; if I were Oprah this would be one of my favourite things and somehow I'd figure out how to make a cashmere blanket from it so I could cloak myself in it's gloriousness.

Best montage of our time? Best actor of our time? Or just someone with deep rage issues?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lest We Forget Judge Dewar is Criminally Negligent... by Alex Snider

 Photo from CBC
Just so no one thinks we've gone soft what with all the pretty pictures and Ninja Turtles, we want to remind you all to keep on the Judge Dewar business. The Winnipeg Sun is alleging that he has been all about rape-apology in the past but I can't find any further confirmation and since it's the Sun, I'm a little wary (not that I am not one hundred percent positive that he's a completely incompetent turd with an extensive history of misogynistic and reckless rulings who should be removed from the bench I just want to hear it from someone with an ounce of journalistic integrity).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oh yeah, pictures!


A Jose Canseco Bat?

Top five ways in which the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie has greatly influenced my life:

  1. They reference two of my favourite books, War and Peace and Grapes of Wrath, and considering that I watched the movie a hundred billion times (I actually memorized it and still can recite that scene where Michaelangelo orders the pizza -- "and nooooo anchovies, I mean nooooo anchovies". Yes.) would be really be a surprise if those two references planted the seed which would eventually blossom into a full-fledged biblio-obsession?
  2. Inspired my adoration for the lovable and charming party animal. Michaelangelo was my first crush. Yep, I had a crush on a turtle. There was an episode of the cartoon where they all became human and Mikey was a skateboarding dude and I fucking loved it. Incidentally, I also had the hots for Peter Venkman from the cartoon Ghostbusters, what a fox.
  3. I still have trouble turning my back on any of my belongings outdoors because I saw the Footclan at work and man oh man, those guys were gooood. The montage scene where the news report is playing over a bunch of young ruffians just liftin' stuff left and right? They steal a lady's TV when she just turns for a second!
  4. Pretty sure that my primal desire for an old dilapidated farm house complete with a claw-foot tub and peeling plaster stems from April's place where the turtles and Casey hide out. Ah, the romance!
  5. Well, it's a toss up between my insatiable hunger for 'zah (seriously, HOW GOOD IS PIZZA??) and how the voice in my head is usually either in an Oprah or Splinter voice, specifically I'm always reciting "and four baby turtles..." or "I made a funny" to myself. 
Here's my favourite five minutes of the movie (oh man, when the pizza falls on Splinter's head? Classic.):

Side-note, how much does Casey Jones look like Elliot from Law and Order: SVU???