May 29th, 2007
So, at lunch I went down to the Sephora at the Eaton’s Centre to get a 5-Minute face done as part of a promotion for Carmindy’s The 5-Minute Face: The Quick & Easy Makeup Guide For Every Woman. And boy, it was fun. Almost as much fun as learning to do the ‘smoky’ eye when I went to MAC for the ultimate girlie make-up party.
While the look that I wanted, according to the makeup artist (the retro 60s face from the book) would take more than 5 minutes (shockingly!), she did do a lovely job of smoothing out my skin and giving me a mini-smoky eye. Even though I already know how to do that, I did manage to pick up some tips that will help with the Brigitte Bardot-inspired look I am going to try out this week.
Carmindy, of course, is gorgeous, and was helpful with her tips; she was also telling everyone that women have got to stop putting themselves down (I’m paraphrasing), and enjoy their beauty (and again, paraphrasing).
Although I did have a moment of panic that she would take one look at me and say, “Yup we need to get you on the show right away…” On the whole, for a lunch-hour break, it was totally fun.
May 19th, 2007
I can barely believe that it’s Saturday again. The week flew by at light speed and I haven’t even been home long enough (other than sleeping) to update anything. So, because today should be spent writing so I have something to send my mentor by the end of the weekend, I’m updated via a quickie list. Had I had time this week, all of these would have been separate entries, so I apologize for the brevity.
1. This was the week of author events through work. I attended four of them in three days. The first, a forum to launch Michael Chettleburgh’s Young Thugs, was very interesting. I even learned that there were Irish gangs in Toronto in 1850. Another thing for my list to investigate because I think it would make a cool story. Then I went to two different events for Daniel Handler: a Lemony Snicket cocktail party, and an event at the Andy Pool Hall to celebrate his novel Adverbs. But my favourite was the underground club party for Richard Flanagan, author of The Unknown Terrorist, where Russell Smith mildly insulted me before carrying on his way and doing a superb on stage interview with the author, who, by the way, read Chekhov as preparation for writing about the women in his novel. That made me want to take him out for dinner and listen to him wax philosophical for hours.
2. Gilmore Girls is over. I managed to watch the last episode but only after begging my RRHB to remember to tape it before he went off to his second job on Tuesday. I was chatting over email with Kate who pointed out that it’s actually kind of ironic to see every single episode of a show and then forget to tape the very last one. She’s right, but I was just so busy this week that a number of things slipped my mind. I felt very ho-hum about the finale. Even though the show has absolutely gotten off track as of late, I’m still not 100% convinced it should have been over. And how they dealt with both of the relationships, Luke and Logan, was ridiculous. Regardless, it’s one less hour of television I’ll have to keep up with in the fall.
3. I finished reading Chantal Simmons’s Stuck in Downward Dog. I got a little teary at the end, and it was refreshing to read a chicklit novel where ‘getting the boy’ wasn’t the central focus of the story. I liked how the book was more about a journey for the character into herself versus a more stereotypical journey into the right relationship. Anyway, that’s book #33 for the year. I’m also halfway through about a half-dozen other books that I’m hoping to finish this weekend up north while my brother and RRHB are watching Pan’s Labyrinth.
4. Yesterday afternoon, our summer hours started. I had some work to finish up so I didn’t leave right at 1:30 PM, but I did manage to make it to an afternoon show of Away From Her, Sarah Polley’s directorial debut. Based on Alice Munro’s story “The Bear Came Down the Mountain,” I felt like it was a solid adaptation, if Polley did take some liberties with the story’s point of view and tended to sentimentalize where the author had been tack-sharp. I found some aspects of the film a bit overly dramatic but Gordon Pinsent and Julie Christie were just so good that I was willing to overlook the bits of the movie that just felt too forced. Grant reading “The Cinnamon Peeler’s Wife” really? Regardless of how much I love that poem, the can lit overtures in the film were a little, well, eye roll inducing. But I don’t want that to deflect from the fact that Away From Her is a film I would highly recommend as counter programming to the glut of American multiplex blockbusters hitting the streets every week or two.
5. I saw yet another specialist this week about some lady problems I’ve been having. Needless to say, a lot of what I’m experiencing is probably a side effect of the methotrexate, which doesn’t make it any easier to take. I’m also getting frustrated because I can’t seem to loose a single pound. Eating better, riding my bike, dance class, pilates, and still over the course of the last few months, I am the same chubby -bloated sick-looking girl I was when I started. I’m very frustrated about all of that but I have to say that if it’s the medicine at least I know that I’ll be off of it in the next six-to-eight months and maybe then the weight will start coming off. I can’t stand looking at pictures of myself though, which is annoying because everyone and their uncle seems to update Facebook with a million different albums. Anyway. I really liked this doctor very much and feel like she’ll be extremely helpful when it comes to this particular problem that won’t seem to go away. I have to say that even now that the disease is in remission technically, I’m dead sick of all the treatments. It’s been three years of different medications, difficult side effects, and I’m just plain tired of it all. And the mood swings with everything else combined has just about caught me by the fray of my last rope.
May 9th, 2007
After work yesterday I went to the Toronto launch of Chantal Simmons’s Stuck in Downward Dog. Held at Kultura, a swank restaurant on King Street East, it was one of the more inventive launches I’ve been too in a while (nothing can hold a candle to the Raw Shark launch, but you know it’s hard to beat a art-installation shark boat).
In addition to the fab venue, the entire party was full of swag. And really awesome girlie swag too, from OPI nail polish to Cake nail files, from eye cream to lip gloss to these cute little flower broaches, it was incredible. Essentially, they handed you a beautiful bag and you just filled it up with what you wanted, as much as you could carry.
I’ve been looking for a sweet little chicklit book to sort of soothe my manic work-related reading, and although I didn’t pick up a copy of the book at the launch, I am still going to add it to my TBR pile for sure (Scarbie said she’d loan me her copy). And it was delightful to see some friends too, which is always the best thing about a book launch.
I also got a chance to briefly say hello to Chantal Simmons on my way out, and she looked just so lovely: she was wearing a gorgeous strapless pink dress with these wonderful silver shoes. If I was any bit of a fashionista, I could explain it in more detail, except I will add that she was as lovely to meet as she was to look at. Does that sound corny?
I felt like quite the frumpy grandmother among all the lovely ladies in my Lululemon biking pants and my oxford shirt. Note to self: always bring along extra clothes in the summer in case there’s an event you need to go to after work and your biking clothes just won’t cut it. Sigh. What can you do, really.
On the whole, I think it was the right way to launch a chicklit title, with a martini named after the main character, lots of great girlie swag, a room full of lovely book people and an author who seemed happy and excited about it all.
October 28th, 2006
The cold is hanging on for dear life. It’s highly annoying and I am quite sick of it. So as much as I wanted to see Margaret Atwood, there was still a part of me that longed to crawl up in my bed and not leave until Monday morning.
I am very glad I went to the reading though. Atwood read from her latest book, Moral Disorder, and told a lovely story about how she borrowed or used the title from Graeme Gibson – it was the name of one of his novels, but as he had stopped writing fiction, the title had languished until Margaret Atwood asked if she could have it. It’s nice to note that even creative (and I am loathe to use the word) geniuses still look around for inspiration and/or input.
Annnywaaay, the story she read was about a high school English teacher, two students (the female protagonist and her boyfriend), and a Robert Browning poem called “The Dutchess”. It was hilarious and she cracked up in the middle of reading it, both because it was a funny story and, I would imagine, because she was talking about a real person. The audience giggled when she giggled. We were giggling with Margaret Atwood.
The rest of the night followed suit. Margaret Atwood, sharp as a tack, laughed all the way through the interview, cracked up, made jokes, mimed smoking dope and generally proved she is one of the smartest people, well, ever. I had never seen or heard her in person before so I never realized the extent of her grand old sense of humour. Of course, she was serious too, but in the end her wit won me over—dry, brittle as a bone but not quick to break, it was kind of like watching your favourite kooky aunt do a comedy routine after having one too many glasses of wine. It was bloody brilliant. She had the audience eating out of her hands.
I can’t get over how great the festival was this year.
Now, I must stop blogging with the Blackberry as my thumbs are about to fall off. Damn internet isn’t working at home.