Sunday, September 27, 2009

Girl, put your records on..

"...tell me your favourite song. Just go ahead, let your hair down..."

While I was in Nova Scotia, chillaxing with Mama Gagne's side of the fam jam, my cousin Cate and I stumbled upon a musical jackpot.

My grandpa has quite the collection of old vinyl in his living room. I've always seen them laying around every time I've come down to visit, but I never took a genuine gander at them. Usually I'm too busy playing Scattergories or some silly homemade game (think Hedbanz minus the bands and plus some hobo Post-Its) to even think about them. However, this trip Cate and I found ourselves mysteriously drawn to the stacks of vintage tunes.

At first, the collection seemed kinda old-folky (i.e. way too many Barry Manilow and Willie Nelson records). But on further inspection, I started to uncover gem after gem of old-school musical delights. The delish selections included Judy Garland at Carnagie Hall, Dolly Parton's Greatest Hits (UNOPENED!), the My Fair Lady soundtrack, Blondie, The Sound of Music, Jesus Christ Superstar and lots of Frank Sinatra. Needless to say, we were in love.

Under a contagious spell of blast-from-the-past euphoria, Cate and I spent most of our days in Wallace dancing around like Lindsay Weir in the presence of a Grateful Dead record, our arms swaying aimlessly and our eyes closed. Of course, we went back to playing our game of Spit or Clue as soon as anyone else entered the room, but we still managed to do some serious head-bobbing while we played.

Just as I thought my love for the Wallace musical library couldn't grow any bigger (my heart was already getting quite crowded just being in Nova Scotia again), I found out how much my grandpa loved that we were getting into the records. My cousin said she overheard him telling someone he had been thinking about selling the property again but after he saw us getting all excited by the vinyl and "getting into the spirit of the place", he realized how stupid he was to even think about selling. How adorable is that? If I had known putting on a Dolly record would get him to see what I've seen in the place my whole life, I would have put down my trashy books and playing cards way sooner.

Mood Music: "Althea" by The Grateful Dead

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Gleeking out!


Mood Music: "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys

Monday, September 21, 2009

Diablo Cody is totally boss.

It's been over a week since I spoke to the coolest woman alive and needless to say, I am still freaking out.

My only goal at this year's TIFF was to meet Diablo Cody, my favourite writer, in person. I staked out red carpet sitch before the Jennifer's Body premiere (at the Ryerson Theatre!) avec my similarly celeb-crazy friends but alas, Diablo dodged the fan area and went straight for the press. I was totally bummed but I went to see the movie, hoping that it would help me forget how awesome it would have been to talk to the woman who made Sunny-D and hamburger phones cool again. However, everytime I heard Megan Fox or Amanda Seyfried whip out a wickedly witty Diablo-fied quip in the midst of the teenage bloodshed, I couldn't help but wish I'd somehow found my way into the press area. My insta-regret expanded even more during the Q & A, when she declared that she would make JB "children's toys" and "fruit snacks" if the movie did well at the box office.

As we left the theatre to head home, I saw the usual crowd of fanboys and girls huddling around the exit to the Rye Theatre, hoping to snap one final shot of Megan Fox. Suddenly, I realized that this could be my chance to see Diablo, one last time. Yelling some sort of muffled version of "Hold my stuff!", I ran into the crowd and immediately made BFFs with some girl in front. I had laringitis at the time, so I asked her, in my sorta pubscent drag queen voice, to call out "Diablo!" at the top of her lungs and hold out the magazine I had with me if a short-haired blonde chick came out. And being the BFF that she is, she screamed for Diablo, until she gravitated towards me.

My hands shaking and my voice as high as it could go (think about RuPaul level), I handed Diablo my copy of her latest EW column. She smiled and said she was really surprised and flattered that I read her articles. I told her that I also read her book and that she was ridiculously witty and awesome (I know, smooth, right?). Then she took a picture with me! Just as I went to say thank you, she got whisked away to talk to some other fans. I was too starstruck to even mind.

Mood Music: "You Belong with Me" by Taylor Swift

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh no. I gotta go. Back to schooooool. (AGAIN!)

School started today and while many of you have already been entranced by the reality of the strangely comforting feel of new textbooks, fresh Hilroy lined paper, mechanical pencils that are actually filled and highlighters with ample ink, I can't seem to get my mind off movies.

The beginning of the school year always kickstarts my cinematic libido because just days after we step back into our respective classrooms (or labs if you're science-y), the Toronto International Film Festival starts. Although TIFF pretty much owns my (and now, many of my friends') soul in September, you don't have to go a big film fest to get your movie fix before school actually gets hard.

When I'm not perusing and schmoozing (near) the red carpet scene, I like to indulge in some classic school themed flicks and TV shows. Even though most of us hated at least part of our high school (or university) lives, there is something wonderfully homey about getting all nostalgic and looking back on growing up. Even if involves reminding ourselves that we were a brain, a basket case, a princess, an athlete or a criminal back in the day.

In honor of one of my favourite genres (if not my favourite), here is a list of my top 10 shows/movies that will teach even the most angsty teenager that high school can be the most bittersweetly awesome place to re-visit. Wedgies, pop quizzes, awkward crushes and all. Enjoy em' while you don't have five essays to write.

1. My So-Called Life

In my humble opinion, this series is not for everyone. If you have adverse reactions to excessive amounts of plaid, Jared Leto or introspective reflections, then you will hate everything about Angela Chase and her so-called friends Rayanne Graff and Rickie Vasquez. But if you've ever hung out with someone you parents didn't like, referred to your crush by his full name (and only his full name), slipped up on a test, felt completely ugly because of a tiny pimple, turned your back on an old friend, or dyed your hair a obscure shade of red because your raggedy old one was holding you back, then you will have a time with this show.

2. Freaks and Geeks

Judd Apatow gave the endlessly lovable (and recognizable!) misfits at McKinley High School Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" as a theme song but, this show is anything but poorly regarded. Freaks and Geeks is a cult favourite, and with way too many reasons to count. From the first minute of the pilot, when the camera pans away from the unrealistically lovesick quarterback and his cheerleader gf on the football and down to a group of most likely stoned guys ranting about parents and the importance of Led Zeppelin, you know this is a special show. And it just gets better from there. Well not really. Nothing goes right on this show. Teachers don't treat everyone equally. Parents don't stay together. Romances don't blossom gracefully (try not to cringe when Linsday and Nick (Linda Cardenelli and Jason Segel) goes from sweet to helplessly awkward in the span of one Styx song). Parties aren't really that fun. Best friends don't last forever. It sounds upsetting, but with Apatow and Paul Feig at the helm, it's downright hilarious.

3. Election

I am incredibly biased because I pretty much worship Reese Witherspoon, but by god, why didn't the woman get an Oscar for this movie? I mean, she played a mean June Carter but, this performance is even better. She IS Tracy Flick in this movie. And Tracy Flick is not a likable person in any way shape or form. Very unlike Reese.

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV series)

You either get Buffy or you don't. But if you get it, you're head-over-heels in love with it. And how can you not be, really? The whole fighting demons gimmick is really just a metaphor for dealing with all the crap that high school throws you. But it's so much more kickass when the crap comes in the form of assorted creatures of the night.

5. The Breakfast Club

Don't you forget about this movie. Only a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie would, and you my friend, are not a neo-maxi-zoom-dweebie. Well, that is if you've seen this movie. If not, then I really can't save you from geekdom. Just accept your fate and maybe one day someone will write a really great movie or show about your life set to a wicked Simple Minds song. (R.I.P. John Hughes.)

6. Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Sean Penn was really a funny laidback guy once. Hard to believe, I know, but it's true. Just ask Mr. Hand. Oh, and when you see him, say aloha for me, m'kay?

7. Clueless

I first saw this movie the summer between Grade 1 and Grade 2. My parents were stupid and let me choose the movie. They said I could see pick either The Great Panda Adventure or Clueless. To my six-year-old self, the choice was obvious (The poster had three cool older girls wearing boas and talking on cellphones! Like the pandas had a chance! As if!). The minute movie started, I wanted to be Cher Horowitz (The girl had a computerized outfit selecter!) so I went out and bought myself a fluffy pink feather pen and started saying things like "I'm outie!", "Whatever!" and using terms like "Betty" and "Baldwin" in my day-to-day life. I was sure if I started then, I'd be so ahead of the game when high school actually came around. Once I hit Grade 9, however, fluffy pens were out, the Baldwin bros weren't hot anymore and Alicia Silverstone was barely on anyone's radar. But even though my dreams of becoming Cher have been crushed forever, I love the movie more now. Watching it as an adult is totally different. I actually get the jokes.

8. Donnie Darko

Time travel. Giant Bunnies. Wormholes. Patrick Swayze. Sparkle Motion. Genius.

9. Heathers

WARNING: This isn't another fun teen romp. It's about suicide, Diet Coke-heads and underage sex. And it's absolutely hilarious. Heathers certainly isn't for everyone but I say if you can't handle sharp dark humour mixed in with your teen love triangles and cafeteria gossip, then what's your damage?

10. Glee

I've only seen one episode of this musical-dramedy but I'm in love with the witty High School Musical goes Freaks and Geeks vibe it's giving out. They are showing the second episode tomorrow night on FOX so it's the perfect time to catch up!

BONUS: Grease 2

Okay, so I know everyone is crazy about the first Grease, and I totally get that (I dressed up as a Pink Lady back in Grade 6.). But Grease 2 tackles some issues Danny and Sandy wouldn't have even dared to talk - let alone sing - about when they did their stint at Rydell. I'm talking musical interludes about reproduction, the best ways to turn bowling terminology into sexual innuendos, rock-a-hula-luaus and masked biker dudes. Oh, and a snappy number about going back to school. What's not to quote endlessly?!!

Mood Music: "Church Clothes" by Matt Nathanson

Monday, September 7, 2009

Freaky geeky..

Once upon a time, a nerd of a young gal named Emily happened upon a book entitled Geeky Dreamboats on ModCloth. Immediately, she fell in love.

But even though her nerdtastic yearning for this truly important text grew larger every day, Emily never expressed my her true feelings to anyone, except maybe her good friend, the favourites section of Internet Explorer. Today, after months of fantasizing about uncovering the wonderful nuggets of geekdom nerdy man-boys like Jemaine Clement, Michael Cera, John Cusack and Andy Samberg have to offer, her friend Priya surprised her with a copy as a super-premature b-day present (her big day's in November). It was a geek-boy miracle.

The End.

P.S. - I can't stop wondering if I wrote this book in my sleep.

Mood Music: "Kiss With a Fist" by Florence and the Machine (NEW FAVOURITE SONG.)