Friday, August 29, 2014

Video Vendredi

For my American readers, Vendredi is Friday in French.

I was recently reminiscing on 80's music when I realized how good Duran Duran was. Not just good in a nostalgic way that demands that everything I loved in the 80's was good-- from fluorescent leg warmers to Flock of Seagulls hair-- but genuinely terrific. Their first album was weird and dark and a lot less teeny-bopper than the later stuff was to become. I spent ages in a YouTube black hole proving that to myself. To spare you (although most of my older friends wouldn't mind too much) I posted 2 of my favourites from their first album here to show you. You wouldn't know these unless you were an old school fan but give them a chance.

This is "Careless Memories"

And this is "Is There Anyone Out There?"

Put aside the dated clothes, Carleton Banks dancing and crispy hair and really listen. I honestly think this band got a raw deal and was sorely underrated in terms of musicality. When the teeny-boppers latched on (because of their good looks, lets face it... who else but Simon LeBon could pull off that sweet sweet headband?), they became an 80's punchline the way One Direction is today. And they didn't deserve it.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

My reactions to the new Lay's chip flavours

Every year Lay's comes out with 4 bizarre flavours for Canadians to try and vote on. I know it's a marketing gimmick because even though they say they'll start producing the winning flavour, I never see it again. Where's my Maple Moose from last year, dudes? It was so great... maple barbequed moose-meat flavoured chips? What's not to love? They do this yearly so idiots like me will buy 4 bags in one go of the most outrageous flavours. I mean who buys 4 bags of chips at one time if you're not hosting a Super Bowl party? I rarely buy big bags of chips like this in the first place.

So this year they released 4 more flavours for the weak minded such as yours truly. What follows is a photographic review of each flavour. 

I started retching after 1 chip and had enough after about 5. Never have I hated a chip more. Seriously, whose idea was this? They were as sweet as a cinnamon bun but crunchy like a chip. They broke my brain and ruined my colon. Vile.

I just got a tee shirt that described the flavour of these chips perfectly. Meh. They weren't terrible. In case you can't see the bag clearly, they're tzatziki flavoured.

Getting warmer... I really thought I'd like these the best. Poutine is my most favouritest thing in the world to eat. But alas, the tinge of bacon (which I love separately, don't get me wrong, just don't mess with my poutine) made them less yummy than I'd hoped.

We have a winner. I didn't expect it but these jalapeño mac and cheese yummies are my favourite. I'm not usually a fan of the humble jalapeño but these really rocked my socks.

And there you have it. I tried these chips so you don't have to. And sadly, I'll probably never see these mac & cheese chips again but honestly, that's fine for my waistline. Next year they'll probably have another 4 bizarre flavours to test my already sadly lacking will power. Maybe chicken nugget with honey mustard dipping sauce? Banana cream pie? Salted kale? Mulch?

The mind boggles.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

At 2:01 today I...

Okay, you caught me at the Mall. Again.

I was checking out the new food court. For real.

But to give me some credit, I was only there looking for a shower curtain. Yes, I tried on shoes and bras but only left with a shower curtain. See?

Okay, in the interest of transparency, there is a packet of hooks and a toilet paper holder in there too. So sue me.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ah, the life of a blogger

A few weeks back I was contacted by someone offering fashion show tickets. Because I'm a blogger I get a lot of requests to write articles about female LBL products (light bladder leakage, and I wish I was kidding) or interview someone, or visit some place, or use some product in exchange for writing a favourable. I very very rarely comply because I realize a few things:

1) I'm not that kind of blogger. If they knew I only write about myself and my family they wouldn't have even sent me the invite in the first place. Pushing products is not my thing
2) Let's be honest, here. I'm not that good a writer. I can be slightly funny sometimes and I occasionally exhibit flashes of poignancy but I'm not a reviewer or critic in any way shape of form
3) If they actually read even one blog post, they'd see that I have very few followers and none (sorry guys) who have much influence on, well, anything (sorry again)

So when I got the invitation to go the the Mercedes Benz Start Up fashion show I thought two things. One: that it was a scam and it was really the front for a human trafficking ring. And two: that they sent the invite to the wrong blogger. After I quick check to confirm they weren't having the show in a numbered shipping container down on the docks, I sent an RSVP. What could it hurt?

It was the coolest thing I've ever been to. I got to wear a full face of makeup, a funky outfit and my Fluevogs. I drank 3 glasses of really good wine (gratis), had amazing little apps (also gratis) and hobnobbed with the fashion elite of Ottawa. Unfortunately I had no idea who anyone was but they sure looked spiffy. My plus one Marianne was also looking pretty great.

Me and Marianne look blurry but trust me, we looked FLY (yes, I'm aware that no one says "fly" anymore). How do I know? Someone said they liked my style. A stranger. At a freaking  fashion show.  

The tall coney thing is chicken mousse and the little cupcakey thing is smoked salmon.

Risotto. There was also scallops, and lamb and sliders but I was quickly becoming the idiot in the room taking photos of her food.

This fashion show was legit, people. It was the semi-finals of a competition to find Canada's most talented up and comer. Do you realize they also have to submit a business plan as well as the designs? These kids work hard and they are so dedicated. And because of my vast knowledge of the industry (what with several seasons of both Project Runway and America's Next Top Model under my belt, I know of what I speak), I was invited to rub elbows with these people.

I was too intimidated to talk to anyone but my gorgeous plus one but there was a guy named Lou that introduced himself to us. He was wearing blue shoes, people. Blue leather shoes. He sat beside us in the front row and told us that he discovered Ryan Gosling around the time of Breaker High. Uh huh. Then he went on to pull a photo of Ryan Gosling off his phone showing him wearing a dance show costume and posing with Lou's wife (also beside us). Crazy! After a quick Google search at home, sure enough the guy is a real deal talent agent and promoter. Damn... if only I had brought my head shots. I hear that Hollywood is always scouting plus-sized, nearly elderly, bald, Black actresses/models to make their products fly off the shelves.

Me and my agent Lou. 

So anyway, I'm going to stop automatically deleting the marketing emails I think don't pertain to my blogging style and just go for every reasonable offer that comes my way. And if that finds me on a container ship halfway across the Pacific on the way to meet my new husband, so be it.

The winner was VAIKEN clothing.


Trying (and failing at) a serious model face. It's so unlike me to not be "grinning my teeth" as my mum used to say.

I wasn't going to but I have to include one video. This is the RUDYBOIS collection. I think about this fashion design thing a lot like the way I think about meat. It just magically arrives at the grocery store on styrofoam trays. There is mild surprise every time I realize that there's an animal attached to bacon.

I'm forever amazed that people actually sew clothes and they just don't show up fully formed on the GT Boutique shelves. Clothes actually start as cloth. It's even in the name...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

At 2:01 today I...

Was pretty impressed with my kids. I had sent them out alone to take care of their bus passes without having given them any information about how much it costs or what to do. I only told them where to go. When they left I realized how much I do for them. Ordinarily I've have driven them there, talked to the guy behind the counter myself and paid. This time I just said "go to Lincoln Fields and see about your Presto cards"

And they did. I  really have to stop babying them. They are all teens now. And look. Successful mission... they came home together AND they are still smiling. Lessons learned all around.

They were all looking in different directions and making faces so I said "say cheese" and Henry said "Monterrey Jack" which cracked them all up

Monday, August 18, 2014

Let's see...

Elliott's back from cadet camp, that's new. He has been away since the end of June. The afternoon he came back, he greeted us with plenty of hugs then went for a shower. Within 5 minutes of the water going on, there was a knock at the door. It was one of Elliott's posse Owen. Yup, life was right back to normal. He even stayed for dinner. Then he and his friends (of course, others showed up after dinner) went out and stayed out until way after I'd gone to bed.

It's just like he never left.

kxx (yay!)

Multitasking both Facebook and bagpiping in Scott's office

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Train tickets: $180 each
Downtown Toronto hotel room: $280
Two One Direction tickets: $200
New polka-dotted Doc Marten boots because she "had nothing to wear": $180
Concert t-shirt: $45
Seeing your only daughter so happy she does this...


Well, not really. It cost a flipping fortune but dammit, she loves us.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

At 2:01 today I...

realized how interesting it would have been to have taken a photo on my actual birthday at 2:01. It didn't even occur to me until a little while ago. Well maybe next year. Today at 2:01 I was cleaning house. Something that has been left almost all summer. I've been so busy I've barely had time to feed myself let alone swiffer the hallway.

Just a small sampling of the clothes I've just been dropping on the floor instead of putting away like a good girl.

I just realized that I may have a photo from what I did on my birthday even though it's probably not exactly at 2:01. And for the record that day I paddled a 90 minute round trip in an outrigger canoe, went to see Guardians of the Galaxy then had Chinese food for dinner. So yeah...

This boat is called the Black Jack. It was taking people on tour (the steersperson didn't appreciate me taking pics while I was supposed to be paddling but come ON. Look at it!

This was the view from the master bedroom of the manor house on Pinhey's Point.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Everything's coming up Karen!

I feel ebullient today.

Word of the day:
  1. 1.
    cheerful and full of energy.
    "she sounded ebullient and happy"
    synonyms:exuberantbuoyantcheerfuljoyfulcheerymerryjollysunny,jauntylighthearted, elated; More
  2. 2.
    (of liquid or matter) boiling or agitated as if boiling.
    "misted and ebullient seas"

I'm going for a Colour Vibe 5K run tomorrow morning, I've had the best summer hanging with Audrey, I've gone to concerts, seen Broadway style shows, I've travelled, shopped, seen people I've missed, lazed around, seen lots of movies, Doctor Who is about to première, and it's not over. My birthday is Sunday and I'm expecting good news early next week. I'm over the moon. Plus my amazing friend Kellie dug through a bin of Cokes at the store and gifted me this bad boy:

You'd think "Karen" would be easier to find but up to the other day I had never seen it. Yet I had an "Abdul" in my hand the other day.

So how's your summer going?


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

At 2:01 today today I...

Got caught loafing. The family went camping yesterday so I'm left to my own devices. In this situation I do the same thing every time. I make a long list of things I want to do like laundry, baking and cleaning, which I promptly ignore to power watch Orange Is The New Black. Oh well...

Sweats, no makeup and lazing around at 2 in the afternoon? Perfect.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Civic Holiday

So today is a holiday for Canada (first Monday in August). I'm of two minds about this holiday. Part of me says "yay holiday" but other part says boo... last long weekend of the summer. The weather is getting cooler too. I slept with the windows open last night and not one bead of sweat hit my pillow. Poop.

So if you had the day off today, I hope you had a great time. And government, if you are reading this (and you aren't), can you please give this holiday a name? Civic Holiday is the naming equivalent of Main Street. Let's have some imagination...


PS: Just did a bit of googling and found out that here in Ottawa, the holiday is called Colonel By Day after the man who engineered the Rideau Canal. This is all well and good but it's up to each municipality to call the day what they want. What? Seriously? In different places it's called:

British Columbia Day
New Brunswick Day
Saskatchewan Day (Can I say that spell-check wanted me to replace Saskatchewan with waste-basket. Make of that what you will)
Heritage Day
Natal Day
Simcoe Day
George Hamilton Day (I assume it's not after the famous actor/tanner)
Joseph Brant Day
Founders Day
McLaughlin Day
Alexander Mackenzie Day
James Cockburn Day
Peter Robinson Day
John Galt Day

Whatever you called it, hope it was fun.