Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, March 31, 2006

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Mama Mia

Full body babushka crush.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Clearly, I Am Running Out Of Things To Talk About

Miscellaneous List of Stuff

  1. Just finished watching America’s Next Top Model and cannot wait until next week’s episode. SOMEBODY collapses and I love me some drama.

  1. Talked seriously with the Firebug Tenant Upstairs last night and he apologized profusely for being such a dumbass. Apparently he has been warming his clothes on his gas heater everyday since November (Persistent Stupidity!) but for some reason last week they caught on fire. Fantastic. He promised to never put ANYTHING near that heater again.

  1. My knockers are still rock hard resulting in sleep deprivation. I hugged my mom the other day and caused bruising. I keep on inviting people to touch them to feel just how hard they are. Once people get over the revulsion of the thought of touching my boob and actually touch it they get all grossed out again. It is kinda cool.

  1. My beloved cat Yoshi, at the ripe old age of eight years, has suddenly decided to start scratching the couch after NEVER scratching any furniture her whole life. Why this has spontaneously become a good idea to her I will never know. She still gives her scratching post and mat a good workout so their neglect isn’t an issue. I am pretty cheesed off about this new development. I am hoping it is momentary insanity caused by Spring Urges Not Acted Upon or something like that.

  1. My brother and his girlfriend/wife bought a new house last week. Their first. Buying property in my city is akin to signing your life away along with your first born and a kidney or two. I simply don’t know how people afford it. They are excited yet nervous of the financial sacrifices. I suspect eating might become a bit of a luxury around their new digs.

  1. I have started brand new brain medication and the anxiety is slowly melting away. *big sigh of relief*

  1. Sadly, I have run out of things to tell you.

Monday, March 27, 2006


You would never know it from the photos I post on my blog but I have actually studied photography for two years in high school as an elective and then continued on in college. I simply cannot calculate how many hours I have spent in the darkroom developing film and pictures. Thinking about it now this may be why I managed to stay out of trouble during those rebellious high school years. In my late teens and early twenties I used to occasionally take photos of bands both for their promo shots as well as in concert for the local music newspaper. I never got paid but rarely had to pay a cover charge or buy a drink when I went to check out music. It was a pretty sweet deal.

If you had asked me as a teenager what I wanted to be when I grew up I would have told you a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine. I was that into it.

When I was taking photography classes in college it became more and more expensive with Kodachrome slides and special papers and chemicals and colour processing costs. My fairly rudimentary 35mm SLR started showing its limitations more and more and I slowly stopped taking photos. I think it was when my camera shutter started acting up and a new camera was suggested that I stopped altogether.

So years went by and while I took photos with a little point and shoot instamatic at family gatherings and such I never really went back to the type of photo taking I loved.

A couple years ago I spent a fair amount of change on a Canon Power Shot S400 Digital Elf that came highly recommended to me and I have to say, overall, I remain unimpressed. I loath the shutter delay and have never quite figured out how to wrestle total control over all its functions that I am used to having with my old SLR. I kinda miss looking through a viewfinder and fiddling with shutter speed, aperture and focus. I guess ideally I should splurge and get myself a sweet digital SLR with lightening fast shutter response but after being unemployed for over a year with my cancer stuff that is not a possibility in the near future. However after the camera part is purchased the cost of digital photography is mercifully cheap which is perfect for my circumstances.

I am often very inspired by some of the exceptional photography I see on many blogs I visit as well as tales of Flickr walks and such. It makes me want to get out there and utilize the camera that I have yet I am still discouraged with the quality of shots I get at home. I simply don’t feel comfortable with my camera and have never felt very creative with it. I bought it as a tool for my job and have not moved past that initial designation.

The other thing I wonder about is how much you all fiddle with your pics in Photoshop before you post them. That is another thing I wish I knew more about. I have always wanted to take a Photoshop course but they are unbelievably expensive in my city. I could never justify it since I never needed it for a job or anything like that.

Has anybody else out there had similar difficulties moving from a 35 mm to digital format in photography? Any tips or secrets you can pass along? Any words or advice or motivation/inspiration? What camera do you use? Do you love it?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Protective Mommy

I planned to write a post last night but got distracted by a hallway chat with my next door neighbour. We can spend hours talking about our cats, other neighbours, music, clothes, diets, boyfriends and hair. You know. Typical girlie stuff.

My next door neighbour (NDN) and I are the two old time tenants in the house with the suite downstairs having had five sets of occupants over the last eight years and the suite upstairs having seven tenants in the same time frame. NDN has lived here for about 8 years and I have been here for six. When I first moved in everybody was very friendly with each other but over time and tenants that has changed to where we barely talked or knew each other for long periods of time. Right now we all are on pretty friendly terms but my NDN and I are still occasionally shocked by some of the behavior we see from our present neighbours. The guy downstairs is only twenty one years old and pretty flush with cash. He and his friends are big drinkers and party a fair amount. So far the cops have been called to his place three times for rowdy behavior. Once by me and twice by other people in the neighbourhood. Not cool. He used to live upstairs last year for a brief time and had a puppy. This poor dog would howl at all hours because Owner Boy worked 12 hour shifts and never took him out. It was a disaster. Eventually he got rid of the dog, moved out for about 6 months and then moved back in downstairs. The guy is nice enough and means well but just does weird things.

The house we all live in is an old wooden 100 year old Victorian. I would say our chief safety concern in the house is fire. This place would go up in flames in mere seconds. NDN and I are very paranoid about this and I think we are right to be. When Owner Boy lived upstairs with his puppy during the cold months he would constantly leave for his 12 hour shift leaving the gas oven lit and the oven door open to keep his puppy warm. I can’t tell you how many times NDN and I would meet in the hall with both of us smelling gas and have to break into his apartment to turn off his leaking oven which had blown out. No matter how many times we would tell him not to do it and that the damned dog had fur and would be just fine on his own he would leave the next day with that oven going. So NDN and I would break into his apartment everyday and turn off the oven as soon as we heard him leave. He never said anything about this and neither did we. Eventually it got warmer and we didn’t have to do it any more. Fortunately for us the downstairs suite has an electric oven, better heat and no puppy.

So the guy who lives upstairs now is a real enigma. He is in his late 30’s or early 40’s and is very nice and friendly. To talk to him he is absolutely delightful. However several times a month NDN and I are woken up by him coming home staggering drunk in the wee hours. I am then woken early in the morning with the lovely sounds of him puking his guts out before he leaves at 5:30 am for his job. We are also very aware of which of the alternating weekends his two t’ween aged kids come for their daddy visitation because the whole house rocks with them running around like savages. They rarely leave to do anything so the poor kids are bored out of their mind in that tiny dreary apartment. Because of the apartment layout upstairs I get to hear him yelling at those kids for two whole days. It really bums me out. Yet when he talks about them he is so obviously the proud daddy.

This guy also admitted to me that we probably got mice because he had left several bags of garbage in his apartment for “a while.” Fabulous. Why would anybody do this?

This morning I was woken at about 5:15 am with the sound of this guy running across his apartment. Just as I was wondering what was happening the smoke detector in the hall went off. I quickly got out of bed and started getting dressed when I heard NDN and Owner Boy in the hallway trying to figure out what was going on. Then I heard the guy upstairs apologize about the noise and he said something about his heater and then the alarm stopped at that point. So I went back to bed. It has been cold the last few days so I assumed that he lit his gas heater (it is an attic apartment so no actual heating vents go up there hence they have a fixed gas heater for the suite) and some hot dust triggered the smoke detector. Later this morning NDN called and gave me the whole story. The guy had put his clothes on the gas heater “just for a few seconds” to warm them up and forgot about them causing them to scorch. Holy fuck! How stupid and dangerous is that? Why would anybody do something so risky?

What would you do? Don’t suggest moving as my rent is affordable and I can’t leave. Would you verbally give him shit? Would you write him a nasty (but carefully worded) note of displeasure? Would you tell on him to the landlords?

I am freaking a little here. It could have been a total disaster. My biggest fear is that the house will burn down when I am not home and Yoshi would perish. If that happened I would hunt down and kill with my bare hands whoever was responsible. I am not kidding. I would kill them.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dude Looks Like a Lady

You might have read my post last week all about how my life in the film industry ruined my ability to shop my future husband into the poor house. A blessing in disguise? Perhaps. Yet it brought forth some other warmer memories that I wish to share with you. It also will illustrate how totally suggestible I am.

On this one film I worked on part of my job was following a half dozen drag queens around the set making sure they were happy and healthy little campers. I helped them open their Diet Coke cans as they had very long false nails and couldn’t do it themselves. I also stole straws for them from the Starbucks to they could drink their Diet Cokes without ruining their lipstick. I had a little area all cordoned off where they could hang their feather boas and replace their platform shoes with comfy sneakers in between takes. I cinched up corsets and zipped up dresses. Basically I was their bitch.

I have to say I have never worked with a more delightful group of people. They were unfailingly polite and thankful for my assistance. These guys would come in at the crack of dawn every day and slather on a full face of make up, style and don a towering wig and wear laced up undergarments and impossible high heels that would make a regular lady weep. And they did it with a smile on their faces and never a complaint. They were constantly cracking jokes which made me spew root beer out of my nose every day. I, frankly, fell totally in love with them all.

I wish I could post photos of them as I would love you to see how gorgeous each and every one of them was but I have no way of contacting them to get their permission. Let’s just say they did “women” better than women did. I would come to work and feel so drab and unladylike and, well, butch next to them. Their charm was so infectious I slowly found myself starting to become a drag queen myself.

I started to seriously believe that I needed a wig or three. DESPERATELY needed. I spent many a day off browsing online for Perspex platform shoes. Fishnets tights became almost irresistible to me. I am the proud owner of not one but TWO feather boas. Hot pink and brilliant orange. I found myself shocking friends and family repeating all the risqué banter I heard everyday on the set. I began to think about what singer I could lip sync to and dress up as. Cher or Madonna? Bette or Liza? Hmmmmmm… Who do I look like most?

After the film ended I slowly lost these urges and returned to my normal regular make-up wearing ways. I didn’t buy false eyelashes or Marilyn Monroe halter dresses. I stopped going to drag shows and calling everybody a C*NT. (Those drag queens have filthy mouths.) I became a boring old girl again. Being a drag queen is a lot of work.

I think I’ll leave the dressing up to the guys.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Spreading The Blove

I need you all to take a short trip over to ScottyGee's place and see what he is up to. He supported an old girlfriend through her cancer treatment a while back and has sure been sweet to me while I was feeling pretty rough. Now his mom is doing chemotherapy for ovarian cancer and totally kicking ass all the way through it. This guy does not shy away from the scary 'cancer' word.

ScottyGee is joining a team at The Relay For Life to benefit The America Cancer Society raising money to find a cure for this crappy disease. Go and read his blog and support him if you can. Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And Your Total Is...

I was going to go shopping today but I just didn’t have the stomach for it. I have to be in the mood to try things on and today I woke up and it was cold out. Even in a sauna-like changing cubicle there is no way I am taking off my pajamas. That would be because I would have been too cold to get dressed into outside clothes to go shopping in the first place. I have the luxury of staying in my comfy flannel PJs today and dammit I am going to stay in them.

I used to like window shopping and going to the mall for fun. I would browse and wander and peruse the racks of clothes without a care in the world. Now I shop like a man. I only go when I desperately need something and only then will plan an almost guerrilla type assault on a set number of stores where I might have the most luck. I have a strategy and I stick to it. There is no leisurely lunch or break of any kind. I go in, do my thing and get the fuck out.

So what made me change my consumer ways? Shopping for a living.

I have been a prep costumer several times and that means I get a very long list from a costume designer to buy supplies or clothes for actors. Usually the instructions are quite detailed and specific but sometimes they don’t really know what they want and you have to read their mind. The designer might say get something for a secretary. Or a hooker. Or a soccer mom. I would have read the script to get an idea of the character but sometimes your idea of what they would wear is not what the designer had in mind. So to cover your ass you have to get options. Lots of them. Something to cover every contingency. You might get the same blouse in several colours. Or get a business suit, a bunch of separates AND then casual options. Designers change their mind every second. Kinda hard when you have to read that mind on a regular basis.

So you shop and guess and then second guess yourself and then buy everything that might work and then buy it in a range of sizes. Once the outfit is picked by the designer you then have to take EVERYTHING back that didn’t work for a refund (stores LOVE YOU when you return several hundred dollars worth of merchandise) and try to track down several identical articles of what was chosen for multiples. Every costume must be backed up with several more exactly the same just in case something happens to the original. Or if they do stunts in it. Or if they need to age the costume for the movie. Stuff like that. That is why it is best to buy in chain stores so you can snap up every size 2 they have in the city.

I have had days where I have had to drive in terrible traffic for hours to go to every corner of the city to get those special brand of nylons the actress will ONLY wear in that ONE specific colour. And then run back across town to find that only pair of size 10 loafers available in the city inconveniently located in a far off suburban mall. I have spent hundreds of dollars on parking dutifully keeping every receipt so I can write it all down on my expense report at the end of the day. I have wept when a store said they had that impossible to find sweater in beige but their version of beige was really khaki and I was back to square one again.

Once I was shopping for wardrobe for a child actor and had to get the usual amount of multiples. I can’t tell you how many times I was asked if I was the mother of twins or triplets. I kept on explaining I was buying for a show but the next cashier or lady in the line up behind me would ask me again and again. I got home later that night and there was a message on my machine from VISA. I called back and they asked me if I had shopped that day, describing the bitchmillion stores in this one mall I had visited. I explained the situation and was surprised to learn that there had been a store detective following me throughout my entire shopping trip as well as out to my car to get my license plate. Apparently buying 3 pairs of identical sneakers and other such items was considered suspicious behavior. The mall security had called VISA on me. Jeeeez.

Here is another typical story. A designer had found a blouse in Banana Republic she liked for an actress. Except for one thing. She didn’t like the sleeves. So we had to track down every spare shirt in the city so the seamstresses could use the shirts to make new sleeves for the blouse. We literally bought every shirt in the province paying extraordinary sums to get these blouses FedEx’d to the office ASAP. So the seamstresses picked apart dozens of shirts to get enough fabric to replace the sleeves in the original blouses. I think there was maybe five or six of this shirt needed in total for the actress. This designer really liked multiples. Probably two or three would have been ok. So the shirts were re-designed and the actress tried them on. The designer decided she didn’t like the new shirt sleeves so we had to call every Banana Republic in CANADA to find 5-6 of these blouses in the right size with the original sleeves that had turned out to be exactly what the designer wanted after all. Except a week or two had passed and these shirts were mostly sold out in the size we needed. So we bought up every one we could find in any size available and the seamstresses picked them all apart and recreated the original sleeve again and sewed them on to the blouses. Seriously. This really happened. An $85 shirt literally cost thousands of dollars for the show. It turns out the sleeves where never shown as the actress ended up wearing a jacket. The scene the blouse was worn for ended up being about 10 seconds long. You really didn’t even get a good look at the stupid thing. Sadly, this is far too common in the film industry.

I have to say that despite the stress and angst I do like shopping for films a lot of the time as it gets me out of the office and I can play my tunes in the car as loud as I want. If your day isn’t too hectic you can secretly squeeze in trying on a great pair of shoes that you saw when buying boots for the lead actress. Just don’t let the designer see your personal purchases in your car. Mind you she probably bought herself an entire wardrobe as well as got a mani/pedi and a massage on company time that day. She probably managed to sneak those receipts though accounting too.

I would probably like personal shopping more if it was on somebody else’s dime. I should have stuck it out and become a designer.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Do

Well, I got all girlie today and had my hair cut and coloured. My hairstylist friend said that my hair had grown out beautifully on its own and not much needed to be done. Good. We decided to put some slices of copper colour through the front and some slightly lighter brown on the back. I took pics but they are terrible and you really can’t see much. She styled it all spiky which was cute but not really my thing. I am a sleeker and flat kind of gal. Anyway, here it is both ways. You can’t see the colour but I will try to get a good shot of that in the sunshine. Whenever that rare occurrence comes again. It was just nice to get out and do something fun and frivolous. I had a good time gossiping and reading fashion mags.

Not bad for a Monday.

Here it is spiky.

I like sleek. So does Yoshi

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Snooze Zone

I have spent a lovely day at home cuddled up in bed reading. With the cat, of course. My most favourite thing to do. It has been cold, stormy and snowy out. positively vile. Very unusual weather for my city and even stranger for this time of year. This winter has been so mild. I had forgotten that this kind of thing can happen. I had a very productive day yesterday and my brain and body co-operated and allowed me to get a whole pile of stuff done. It seems just when I think things can’t be any more unproductive I manage to get it together and have a normal day. I also watched a locally made indie film called Hardcore Logo. I had seen it before and it is always good for a laugh. It is a mockumentory of a punk band touring Canada. I recommend it if your local video store has Canadian indie films.

So, have you read any good books lately?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Complimentary Tranquillizers

It is sad. I was thinking about what I could post about today and I suddenly remembered this great story. I started forming the tone of the story in my mind as I usually do before I sit down to type and, hmmmmm, I started thinking to myself that the story seemed a little familiar. I wondered if I had ever mentioned it in a comment or something. Nope. Totally wrote about it already. I had to look. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and I am starting to repeat myself. Oh god.

I wish I could say that I immediately thought of a brilliant new story to write about for your reading pleasure but that didn’t happen either.

Life is, well, boring right now.

I suppose after what my last year entailed this is a good thing.

But not fun for you guys.

So I am going to give you a run down of my last few boring days and you will just have to deal with it.


Hold on. I have to go look at my Day-Timer to see what I did. It is that memorable.
Ok, I am back. I tried to watch a couple DVDs I got from my mail-in rental service and both sucked so bad I just put them back in their envelopes and mailed them off unwatched. Then my mom popped over for a visit and we talked about mundane life stuff. After she left I went downstairs and started doing some laundry.

*Mrtl Style Tangent*
I have this total pet peeve with my neighbours. The majority of them will go down and start a load of laundry (or five) and then just abandon their stuff in the washer/dryer. I HATE IT when I have to haul somebody’s clothes out of the washer and/or dryer because I KNOW it is not like they just leave them for an hour or two but there is ALWAYS 3-6 abandoned loads in varying states of dampness/mildew/crispy dryness piled all over the counter and machines and those loads will stay down there for several days, if not WEEKS, before they are collected. And this usually happens only when the owners go down to do more laundry so those old loads are quickly replaced with new abandoned ones. Doesn’t anybody run out of underwear? I have a weeks worth and then I am FORCED to do laundry. Let me tell you if I was manager of this place there would be a 48 hour time limit and then any left laundry would be chucked in the garbage. I am a hard-ass that way.
*End Mrtl Style tangent*

I wrestled with several piles of homeless laundry to get my 3 loads done in a timely manner. Everything was dried and removed from the premises by night’s end.

Later that night I chatted with my upstairs neighbour in the hallway who I am pretty sure is the most heavy-footed individual on the planet. He is a very nice guy so it is difficult to loathe him. However, I managed a fairly healthy hate-on the next morning when he started dragging furniture around his apartment at 8:30 am. On a SUNDAY, people. That could get you killed in some neighbourhoods.

So here we are on Sunday.

I did a very tidy job of frittering away several hours on the computer. I have no recollection of what I did exactly but before I knew it it was time for The Oscars. I was planning on boycotting the whole thing as I inevitably find it very dull but since it didn’t really interfere with my later TV watching plans I turned the sucker on. I was not disappointed. Two words – BO-RING!! I have to admit that I have not watched most of the movies nominated. I guess I could blame that on my cancerous year but I rarely see films in the theatre anyway. Don’t know why. Usually by the time I decide I should see the film it is gone. I am not that spontaneous, I guess.

I made channa masala (curried chickpeas) for dinner and I then watched Bad Boys 2 for the single reason that it features a small role with my boyfriend, Henry Rollins. He was on the first 15 minutes and never seen again. I didn’t know this and watched the whole damned thing. Not great. Then I watched a show about cancer. Then bed.

I know. Really exciting.

Today I read blogs, watched talk shows, and ate curry leftovers. I made an appointment to get my hair cut next week too.

The truth is that my anxiety is very bad so staying close to home is very comforting right now. It also doesn’t help that I have no money to do fun stuff like see movies or shop or eat out. Home is a good place for me right now.

But this makes for a very tedious blogging for you.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Crush Your Cat's Head Friday-Tradition

Back in my day we didn't crush with knitted scarves or headphones. We crushed with our bare hands and that was good enough for us.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Not Just Another Day

So today is my birthday. I am 37 years old. It is also rent day which doesn’t seem fair. It is pretty nice to be having a nice healthy birthday this year, though. I had a family dinner on Sunday where my mom made a fabulous British Roast Beast Dinner. I am vegetarian but I love the Yorkshire pudding and gravy part. Mmmmmm. Everybody else gets the meat part. I am not a huge celebrator of birthdays so today will be spent at a doc appointment and then probably some sushi for dinner at my parent’s place again. The best gift of all is that America’s Next Top Model is on tonight. We get to find out what all the old contestants are up to. Next Wednesday the new season begins. I can’t wait.