Monday, August 31, 2009

Weeeeeee! Zodiacs are the only way to travel!!!

I have mentioned before that my job is pretty cool in that I get a lot of free sh*t right? Or to be a little less brattish about it, I am given the opportunity to experience a lot of what the city has to offer on a complimentary basis. Well, last week was totally no exception to this as I spent the afternoon and early evening cruising up to Indian Arm on a Zodiac at about 35 mph.

I, along with some of my work peeps, was given the chance to go out with Vancouver Fastboat Adventures - a newish company run by the good folks who operate Vancouver Whale Watch. Based out of Coal Harbour, they run 2 types of tours - one that goes around Stanley Park, English Bay and Granville Island and the other that goes up to Indian Arm - a little slice of perfection just outside of the city. Only 12 passengers per trip along with your friendly captain and knowledgeable naturalist who knew a few things that even I didn't know (and I know lots of trivia about the city, trust me).

If you weren't aware, Indian Arm is literally a hidden gem in Vancouver. Only 20 minutes by boat from the city, it is like being in the middle of nowhere - so beautiful. Under the Iron Workers Memorial Bridge we went, zipping past the fancy homes of Deep Cove and onwards to Wigwam Inn. Once you are deep in the inlet, many of the houses and cabins that dot the coastline are water access only and there are a number of awesome remote campgrounds and waterfalls. So pristine and peaceful and spectacular. Many people kayak in - it takes about 4 hours or so if the currents are being cooperative. There are places in Deep Cove (like Deep Cove Kayak) that can gear you out with everything you could need for a day, or a weekend on the water.

Once you reconcile with the fact that you have to wear those horribly unflattering full body flotation suits and settle in, it is super fun. The water was pretty calm, so there were no problems with the rocking and the nausea that I normally get on the water. I wish I could have driven the boat, but i didn't even ask. I love driving Zodiacs - it reminds me of the 4 months I spent living & working in the Caribbean. So much fun! I like going faaaaaasssssst on those suckers. I miss it :(

We saw quite a bit of wildlife - mainly seals. Tons of seals. Quite a few momma and baby seals who fled from us as soon as we got to close. Except for the ones in the photo above. They were quite comfortable around the boat, until we got too close..... then they scampered off. Also around Stanley Park there were salmon jumping out of the water. I have never seen anything like it. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see one of them. Cool eh? I wish one of the little buggers had jumped in the boat.... and then into our bellies! Sadly, you are not allowed to fish in that particular section of water......

We went right by the very active BC Hydro Power Station. Apparently this is a jellyfish hotspot in BC. Who would have known? It was amazing. Thousands and thousands of the little buggers. Regular ones and the ones that look kinda like blood clots. Creepy and fantastic. According to the naturalist on board with us, they are attracted to the Hydro Station. Something about the fresh water, salt water blending together and making them crazy. Very cool to see.

I would like to take credit for these photos, but sadly I only had mu i-phone with me and it doesn't take quite as good shots as my friend Robin's camera. She is the talent behind these snaps! I love these two with the sun setting and the cloud formations over the bridge. So pretty right?

Vancouver Fastboat Adventures is super fun. It is a great way for visitors and locals alike to see the city from a completely different perspective. many people who visit Vancity have no idea that something as amazing as Indian Arm is so close! And I am sure that tons of locals like me had no idea that it was sooooo pretty up there.
If you get a chance, head out on the water with Vancouver Fastboat Adventures. Lots of fun!


I Cannot Comprehend The Cuteness!

Alyson Hannigan was spotted out and about in Santa Monica over the weekend with her precious little cherub Stayana. I mean, isn't she just the most adorable? We haven't seen to many shots of her around the interwebs, as Aly and hubby Alexis have been careful to shield her from the photogs. But occasional shots should be encouraged - simply because there are no words for the extreme cuteness.

Look at that face. And those chubby little arms and legs. She melts my cold black heart. She really truly does. So much cuteness! It should be illegal. Okay, gushing over.

Alyson is back at work on the set of How I Met your Mother, which comes back for it's 5th Season on September 21st. I love this show, it is super funny and is finally getting the props it deserves with a best comedy Emmy nomination. Of course it also stars the man who needs to be my gay best friend Neil Patrick Harris.
Not only is NPH hosting the Emmy's, he is also the reason I will be watching American Idol this season - simply to see his guest judging duties. I heart him so much.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alien Baby For The Win!

There are at least 3 movies coming out this year with the number "9" in the title. It is a little confusing to remember which one is which. 2 are actually called "9" and "Nine" respectively. Argh. This makes my brain hurt. Maybe it is something to do with it being 2009? I don't know. Anyways, that is kinda off topic. District 9 is the first to come out and I finally go around to seeing it yesterday.

I gotta say, I really didn't know that much about it going in. However, the marketing campaign, which was fantastic completely intrigued me - ads on buses and bus shelters all over the city. Amazing marketing - kudos to the peeps that came up with this!

"Aliens become refugees in South Africa where they are kept isolated from any human contact. While being contained in the refuge being ignored of their welfare, their weapons become the sole interest of Multi-National United (MNU). But only one man , Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), can activate these weapons. He becomes hunted for and only one place can give him refuge, District 9."
This was by no means a perfect movie. A number of plot points made me go hmmmmm. But overall I was impressed. The style of the film won me over - part faux-documentary, part action, part science fiction, part social commentary - all good! It is such an interesting idea. What would mankind do if aliens arrived on earth, not to fight but because they had nowhere else to go and were dying?

Made on a fraction of the budget of some of the other movies that were released this summer, with no star power to speak of (except for Peter Jackson behind the scenes), this is the action movie that will be talked about in months and possibly years to come. You can see it as simply a rip-roaring alien movie, total escapism with cool guns and cute little baby aliens. Or you can analyse every scene and debate exactly what social commentary the filmmakers are trying to make. Or both.

Setting the film, not in New York, or London, or Sydney, but in Johannesburg - a city that has a well documented history when it comes to race relations was genius. And I am sure that was the point. The humans in the film really aren't that sympathetic. Most of them are assholes actually. In spite of the ick factor of the "prawns" about half way through I found myself rooting for them instead of the humans. Again probably the point.
I really enjoyed this film. A movie definitely worth seeing on the big screen. Great story, awesome effects, solid acting all around. I am expecting a sequel oh in about 3 years.


Where in the World is Jake Ryan?

I have had a $50 Gift Certificate for HMV burning a hole in my wallet for the past few weeks. I've been completely indecisive and been unable to choose what to purchase. Do I go with Season 1 of Mad Men? Or Veronica Mars? Or Skins Volume 1 (which is $52! - yikes)? Or do I try and add to my movie collection..... I have a ton of movies on my must own list that I have yet to purchase. Argh....... Decisions. Decisions. I should probably mention that I have tons of DVD's. I am more likely to buy than rent a DVD. I am okay with this. My bank balance and visa bill are not so much.
As always I wandered around the store for about 30 minutes, looking at the DVD's and hoping that I would be inspired. Nothing was grabbing me. I was about to walk out the door emptyhanded and there it was:
OMFG! How totally perfect. I am kinda embarrassed to admit that I do not own any of these movies. In spite of my respect and love for the man and his movies, my John Hughes collection is kinda lame. Not any more! And it comes with it's own cute little lunchbox. Love it. love it love it.
With the rest of the $$$ on the Card, I went down a completely different route with Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys and the classic Reservoir Dogs. 12 Monkey is probably my favourite Brad Pitt movie - simply as it proves to me that he is more than just a pretty face. He is awesome in it. And I am a total sucker for Bruce Willis - he was my heartthrob action star growing up - never into Steven Seagal or Sylvester Stallone. Bruce Willis made me swoon.
Watched 16 Candles last night. Remembered the total dreaminess that was Jake Ryan. As always, ignored the obvious douchiness of some of his actions - ummm he pretty much pimped out his girlfriend to the geek and gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted to his passed out prom queen girlfriend. Everything is forgiven when he shows up at the end, looking all perfectly dreamy and shy, with his hands in the pockets of his 501's. Sigh. And the final scene of the movie, with the two of them perched on the table in his mansion, with a cake that I like to think he baked himself. Swoon.
The intelligent part of me knows that he is not real. But the teenage girl in me likes to think that this could have happened. The most popular boy in school is totally gonna dump his hot blonde girlfriend with the banging body, for the awkward, oddball sophomore who has red hair and freckles - gasp! Ummmm, yes, in the fantasy world in my head, this could happen.                            And where is Jake Ryan now? The perfect high school boy was played perfectly by Michael Schoeffling who was last seen happily married with 2 kids, living in rural Pennsylvania, running a hand-crafted furniture store. Yes, he is a carpenter, he works with his hands. He is almost 50 now. He left Hollyweird in the early 90's after forgettable roles in a number of equally forgettable films (except Mermaids - loved him in Mermaids). He is a notoriously hard man to track down, with GQ calling him the "Salinger of male model/actors" after they were unable to track him down in 2002.
Jake Ryan was the perfect high school boyfriend. He sat atop the pedestal we teenage girls placed him on and ruined high school dating for us all. We compared all our boyfriends to Jake Ryan, and although I can't speak for all girls, I can speak for myself - they all failed in comparison. I wonder if I could sue the estate of John Hughes, Michael Schoeffling and/or the production company for false advertising?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oasis.... Brothers In Arms.

Word on the interwebs is that the pioneers of 90's Brit-Pop - Oasis are no more - again. In an official statement on the band’s website, Noel, 42, wrote last night: “It’s with some sadness and great relief to tell you that I quit Oasis tonight. People will write and say what they like, but I simply could not go on working with Liam a day longer....Apologies to all the people who bought tickets for the shows in Paris, Konstanz and Milan.”

The band was scheduled to perform in Paris on Friday night, but opening act Bloc Party announced to the crowd that Oasis would not be appearing on stage. People thought it was a joke until the on stage screens declared that there had been "an altercation with the band" Yowsers! According to the Twitter page of Amy MacDonald who was performing at the same festival "Oasis cancelled again with one minute to stage time! Liam smashed Noel’s guitar, huuuge fight!”
Noel released a more detailed statement on the Bands official site earlier today morning entitled "Tales from the Middle of Nowhere". Here it is in its entirety:

"Dearly beloved,

It is with a heavy heart and a sad face that I say this to you this morning. As of last Friday the 28th August, I have been forced to leave the Manchester rock'n'roll pop group Oasis.

The details are not important and of too great a number to list. But I feel you have the right to know that the level of verbal and violent intimidation towards me, my family, friends and comrades has become intolerable. And the lack of support and understanding from my management and band mates has left me with no other option than to get me cape and seek pastures new.

I would like firstly to offer my apologies to them kids in Paris who'd paid money and waited all day to see us only to be let down AGAIN by the band. Apologies are probably not enough, I know, but I'm afraid it's all I've got.

While I'm on the subject, I'd like to say to the good people of V Festival that experienced the same thing. Again, I can only apologise - although I don't know why, it was nothing to do with me. I was match fit and ready to be brilliant. Alas, other people in the group weren't up to it.

In closing I would like to thank all the Oasis fans, all over the world. The last 18 years have been truly, truly amazing (and I hate that word, but today is the one time I'll deem it appropriate). A dream come true. I take with me glorious memories.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have a family and a football team to indulge.

I'll see you somewhere down the road. It's been a f**kin' pleasure.

Thanks very much.


Ooooh. "Verbal and violent intimidation"? WTF is up with that. Damn! I thought my brothers didn't get along, but they got nothing on these two! Founders and brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher never had a super close relationship. To be honest, they seemed to hate each other most of the time. This is not the first time that sh*t like this has gone down with the band, and perhaps it won't be the last. But for now at least, it seems that Oasis are no more. I was a fan of their first album, but in subsequent years I wasn't able to get past the brothers dickish attitudes and huge egos. For me, they were not so talented that I could forgive them being total assholes. In spite of what they said, The Beatles they were not.

We shall see if this break up sticks. Reports have been swirling in the UK for months regarding the future of the group. Apparently the brothers had not been on speaking terms for quite some time, and only saw each other on stage. They are probably better off. It wouldn't really be any fun having to perform on stage with someone you aren't even speaking with!

Rest In Peace Oasis. Don't Look Back In Anger.


Sarah Michelle Gellar - Fashion > Comfort

Sarah Michelle Gellar met up with a few friends for lunch on Friday at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Moncia and I gotta say you go girl for wearing those heels when you are clearly very very pregnant! I personally have enough trouble ever wearing heels that high, let alone when you are about 12 months pregnant! But I am a sneaker kinda gal.

SMG is due to give birth to her first child with Hubby Freddie Prinze Jr this fall. And she looks amazing. Skinny jeans, hawt black heels - everything is a fashion win! I am very much looking forward to her popping out her little munchkin - I am sure he/she will also be a fashion do!


Why is this guy still single? He is such a catch

I saw this gem on the interwebs the other day. It's from a while ago, but I think it is getting it's second wind on the social media sites. Apparently Dimitri approached Olga on King Street (Toronto) and began hitting on her. In an effort to get rid of him, Olga gave him her business card. These are the actual voicemails that Dimitri left for her in the coming days. They are awesome. I am thinking of cancelling my trip to Boston and NYC and heading to T.O. just to find this amazing specimen of a man..... What a catch.

Olga did not call back....... the saga continues with this......

I love it. So all my single ladies out there.....don't fret. There are still amazing men like this out there. And maybe you could be lucky enough to meet him and be elegant enough to capture his attention.
The more I listen to this, the more I love it. This guy is awesome. Why is he still single? And why can't I meet a winner like this? Although I am on medication and wouldn't really consider myself psychologically normal. Hmph. And I am also super passive aggressive and don't return phone calls in a prompt manner sometimes. Damn it, another great guy slips through my fingers.

Friday, August 28, 2009

You MUST see The Cove

Last night I ventured out on a school night to finally see District 9 with my friend Kent. We had been trying to see it for a week and showed up at the theatre to find that that it was pretty much sold out. Boo to that. We bought tix anyways and figured we would see something else if all that was left was crappy seats. Then we were very strangely followed up the escalator by the (?) Manager of the theatre who proceeded to natter at us incessantly about how District 9 was the sleeper hit of the summer, that it had been sold out for 2 weeks blah blah blah. Weirdness. Complete and total weirdness.

Anyways.... no decent seats so we went and saw The Cove instead.

We had both wanted to see it, but I knew it would be a hard movie to watch and thought I would have a chance to prepare myself for it. No such luck.

The Cove is an astounding piece of investigative journalism with the heart of an action thriller. Led by Louie Psihoyos, leader of the Ocean Preservation Society, and Richard O'Barry, an internationally recognized authority on dolphin training who is best known for his work on the 1960's TV show Flipper, the film follows a high-tech dive team on a mission to discover the truth about the international dolphin capture trade as practiced in Taji, Japan. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The Cove is also directed by Louie Psihoyos, who brings confidence and precision to his insider's account of this life-or-death covert operation. A celebrated photographer who has created images for National Geographic for 18 years, Psihoyos captures the magnificence of the dolphins themselves and the ocean that surrounds them.

The Cove is probably the most important film I will see this year. It won the Audience Award at Sundance this year, and is likely to garner an Oscar nomination in the Documentary Category. Everyone should see this movie. It should be required viewing for any human being. It will devastate and anger you. There are five minutes in this movie that will sicken you.

Yes, Ric O'Barry is a little paranoid. But his paranoia is warranted. He is questioned repeatedly by the authorities in Taiji and is followed everywhere he goes. The guilt that he feels for his role in human kind's fascination with dolphins is palpable and is clearly the driving force in everything he does.

Some have said that what takes place in Japan is no different from a slaughterhouse. That the only reason that we are so up in arms about this is because Dolphins are cute and adorable. And to some extent, that may be true. But these are wild creatures that are being herded into a cove and butchered in the most inhumane fashion imaginable. There is also extensive research and anecdotal evidence demonstrating not only that these creatures are self aware, but that they have an intelligence that perhaps rivals our own. O'Barry speaks of one of the Flipper's recognising itself on TV and an Australian surfer tells an amazing story of a dolphin that T-Boned a shark that was hunting him while he was surfing.

This practice is beyond comprehension. Every year 23,000 Dolphins are slaughtered in Japan. The slaughter is hidden from public view in a secret cove, but the evidence is clear as the ocean honestly looks like it has had red paint poured in it. And why? Money. Dolphins are sold to "swim with the Dolphin" programmes and amusement parks for upwards of $150,000 each - of which both the fisherman and the town get a cut, The remainder are killed and apparently sold for meat - in spite of their often toxic mercury levels.
And the fact that is is condoned and supported by the Japanese Government and media is horrifying. Not only do they condone this barbaric practice, they also "pad" the International Whaling Commission by bribing impoverished nations to vote in their favour. The fisherman in this village are not sympathetic in the least, hiding behind the excuse that this is a cultural practice that Westerners do not understand, showing their anger and contempt at the film crew being there. Everyone involved seems determined to keep this slaughter a secret, not only from the world, but even from other Japanese citizens, many of whom seem unaware that this practice is taking place.

This is not an easy movie to watch. It produces a visceral response in many people. But it is a movie that you should watch. It is a film that is designed to awaken the activist in us all. No-one - human or otherwise - has a right to treat another creature in such a callous and cruel manner. This practice continues in Japan. It is scheduled to start again in September. Unless the world does something about it.
Check out this site for how you can get involved:

The Volturi are Revealed

A number of new images of the Volturi were released to the interwebs today and I for one say meh. If you were not aware, the Volturi are a powerful coven of Vampire's that will be making their first appearance in The Twilight Saga - New Moon. They would be considered the underlying "Big Bad" in the entire Twilight series and play a small but important role in both New Moon and Eclipse, before really settling in as the non-villainous villains in Breaking Dawn (this is Stephanie Meyer after all, and there is no actual physical confrontation in Breaking Dawn - don't get me started).

Led by Aro (Michael Sheen), Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower) and Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl), the Volturi also includes twins Jane (Dakota Fanning) and Alec (Cameron Bright) and guard member Demetri (Charlie Bewley).

These official images are kinda cheesy no? With the exception of Aro (top left) and Jane (bottom left) I actually find the styling and poses pretty lamorama. Especially Caius (middle) and Marcus (top right). But these are simply publicity stills and if memory serves me correctly, many of the images from Twilight were incredibly yawn worthy also.

The stills from the actual movie are a lot more reassuring. I love the look of the Volturi chamber, although it is a lot less dark and gloomy that I was expecting. And I don't care that Dakota kept her blond hair. The look on her face and her vivid red eyes are amazing and menacing and I can't wait until she has Robert thrashing around on the floor. Sadly it will be in pain and not in ecstasy.
And again I say, I am not that fussed about the Volturi. They are in the film for a heartbeat. If they screw it up, it certainly won't be the first time a minor character in a book has been f*cked up royally in the film version. And it won't be the last.
November 20th. That is the day I will be drunk at noon with Nicole, surrounded by teenage girls who will be creaming their panties and screaming like lunatics every time anyone under 30 with a penis comes on the screen. Sigh. At least we will be drunk. For Twilight, we drank a bottle of wine in the theatre. We are thinking we may need more for New Moon.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fox TV had a Brain Tumour for Breakfast

I have said before, that I am incapable of picking my favourite movie. But if I had to pick my all time fave, I would be very hard pressed to look beyond Heathers. If not my favourite, it is most definitely one of my top five.

It was subversive, before making a subversive movie was considered cool. And before making a subversive black comedy became the mainstream in Hollyweird. Dark and twisty, but laugh your ass off funny. Shocking and amazing all at the same time. My favourite quotes from any movie come from Heathers. I will always have a special place in my cold, black heart for Winona and Christian - because of this movie.
Thankfully, over a month ago the rumours regarding a sequel were shot down in no uncertain terms by director Michael Lehman. Sadly however, Fox has just announced plans to develop a contemporary TV version of this cult classic. Sigh.

To those in development at Fox I say Why are you pulling my dick? Oh and also, WTF? Followed closely by, F*ck me gently with a chainsaw. Listen up kiddies, if you can't even say "F*ck me gently with a chainsaw" you should not be making this amazing movie into a TV show.

Why do TV executives insist on f*cking up good TV shows and movies. Reimaginings and reinventions are a tricky tricky thing and must be handled very very carefully. Look at "Kath & Kim". The Australian version is hysterical and amazing - Kylie Minogue guest-starred for f*cks sake. The US version was neither hysterical nor amazing. It barely rates a mildy amusing and meh! I will admit that some work (BSG comes to mind).
Fox will royally screw this up. We all know it. This will not be very. I feel it in my bones. No Lunchtime poll required. This is going to suck balls. And we will all get paid in puke as a result.
Many more quotes I could whip out, but I gotta motor if I wanna get ready for District 9 tonight.
Heathers the TV Show - Don't do it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New York Quiveration

I am heading to the East Coast in October. 5 days in Boston catching up with my friend Kazza (also known as Karin) and then 5 days in New York. I am super excited, cause I love New York. I was there for 12 days around this time last year, and I couldn't get enough of it....... the theatre, the shopping, the busy of the city was amazingness to me.

Last time I was there I saw 6 shows on Broadway - RENT (3rd last show on Broadway), Wicked, Legally Blonde, Xanadu, Spring Awakening and Spamalot. Payed full price only for Rent and Wicked - the rest were half price through the TKTS booth. I also saw the Dave Matthews Band at Madison Square Garden. Yea, I did NYC well.......and am still paying it off. eek!

So while I am there this time around, I am super lucky that there will be some outstanding theatre available to me. Nosebleeds seats all around, but I do not care.
First off I will be seeing Jude Law in Hamlet. He has been on the West End in London with this for a while and has been getting rave reviews. I love Shakespeare and Hamlet is definitely one of my faves. I studied it in school and it was one of the plays that I totally "got" ya know? I could immerse myself in it and read it over and over and over again and find new ways to look at scenes. And now I will be seeing Jude Law as Hamlet in NYC! Holy Mother F*cker! Hells yes!
I am also insanely excited that I will be there during the 12 week run of Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig in "A Steady Rain". You may have to pick me up off of the floor - because, sigh. This is a 90 minute 2 man play that sadly doesn't involve any nudity or even making out by the 2 leads. Damn it. Instead it is about 2 Chicago cops who have very differing accounts of a call they answer. It sounds very dark and twisty and I cannot wait!

Here is the first publicity shot released for the A Steady Rain, which apparently just started rehearsals. Gotta say, I am not sure if I am digging Craig's Porn stache, but whatevs! This is gonna be amazingness. I am in the total nosebleeds, but I don't care. To see these 2 on stage is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity! The only thing that would make it better is the aforementioned nudity and/or Hugh Jackman-Daniel Craig make out session.

I am not sure if my loins will be able to handle the quiver in October. I may actually experience an explosion in the loin area due to the quiver.