Animal House

My friend Chelsey and I were exchanging a few messages about the fact that the house she rents with her husband is going for sale.  What an inconvenience, especially if leaving is not your choice.  I gently brooch the subject: “Could you buy it yourselves?” She says that the house is a cool $500,000.  To which I reply ‘What? You don’t just have half-a-mil lying around?’.  How embarrassing for her.  I said this outright to which she begged me not to spread word, for she feared she’d never be able to show her face at the yacht club again.  And I don’t blame her, she is the belle of the ball when it comes to being a seafaring siren.


But she’s not the only the gal at the club, and to be frank, she often struts about like she owns the place, which obviously she doesn’t because she can’t.  Like…what do you want to do when you want to buy a house? Save for it? Get a loan? You don’t just buy places to keep your expansive shoe collection? Buy a flat in London because you go there once every two years?  Buy a beach house in Fiji, just cause you’d like to go to Fiji someday? How does one live?


This information could really elevate me to a higher level of popularity at the Boca Del Rio Club.  Not that I need it.  People know me there.


Truth is, I don’t have half a million myself, I don’t even have five dollars.  I don’t even own that captain’s hat.  So, what does one do in this kind of economy?  Just take it? Just pack your bags and slink away because your landlord wants to lose the pleasure of receiving your measly rent cheque just so he can make half a million, when you know he probably paid $50,000 in 1960?  Yeah, that’s called injustice and I don’t think she should take it. I tell her to look on the bright side.  “I totally smell a ton a wacky hi-jinx where you can deter potential buyer”.  Oh the hilarity.  “Isn’t that the theme of Animal House?” she responds.


Confession time. I had to confirm with IMDb whether that was the general premise.  It’s not exactly my friend’s case, but I think it’s fair to take those subversive shenanigans and use them as the basis of our war against the real estate crazed owner.  After all, not only did I learn about the general gist of the film, which I saw many, many years ago, I realized that this movie is actually a rather big deal.

 In 2001, the United States Library of Congress deemed Animal House “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. It was No. 1 on Bravo’s “100 Funniest Movies.” It was No. 36 on AFI‘s “100 Years… 100 Laughs” list of the 100 best American comedies. In 2008, Empire magazine selected it as one of “The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

So, clearly “Animal House” is a commendable source, and it’s just the beginning.  What other crazy things could we do to scare away potential buyers?  Just spit-balling here, but I think a meth lab would be a great start.


She asks whether I could commit to chemistry classes at night school . I don’t know how to make meth…apparently neither does Chelsey.  You think you could get two attractive intelligent women in a room together and scrape up half a million dollars and a meth lab.  Sadly with us, you’d get spare change and a delicious smoothie.  But maybe that’s the problem.  We’re not bad ass enough.  We’re both married women, we keep our houses clean, pay our bills, and live generally quiet lives.  Therefore, we must go under the radar.  Create super identies, in which we could really do some damage…without ruining our credit rating.  Chelsey will be Anastasia Beaverhausen…


and I will be Shanequa la Fontaine,  and neither of us are going to take anymore of anyone’s nonsense.


As of this press date, Chelsey-er Anastasia is trying to rustle up some rough and tumble boys who can be fast and loose with some cans of spray paint.  This could help with our meth lab cover.


To that end, I think we should get cute kittens to run said meth-lab.  Mostly so we can get on with our daily life.  And second, so if the cops bust in, they’ll be so knocked out by the kitten in the charming glasses and think. “I’m going to let this go, but being this adorable should be illegal”.  Also, because I really wanted to find a way to include this picture in today’s blog.


As for me, let’s just say that  Shanequa’s got her work cut out for her.  I’m going to scrounge up a pack of loud mouthed ne’er do wells. Preferably, chain smoking night owls, that get into passionate, profanity laced arguments at four in the morning.  When all is said and done, we could devalue the property so much,turn it into such an animal house, that they could buy the house for a cool buck fifty.  Wish us luck.  It’s about to get raw like sushi.

3qyyutImages Courtesy of Google

Analog Girl in a Digital World

As you can tell, though I am immersed in the technological, social media world, I am firmly grounded in a retro-vintage kind of realm.  My friend Elaina had made mention of this the other day, the irony of my new lifestyle.  I mean, I still have a land-line.  I buy minutes for my mobile phone at a gas station.  People ask me for my number, and I give my home number, forgetting that people don’t really call each other anymore.   I heard on CBC2 that apparently it is considered poor manners to leave a message on someone’s mobile voice mail.  Oh brother.  What is happening to the world that you can’t leave a meandering message?


I miss that…the phone ringing and the mindless gabbing.  I have one friend who does not have a mobile phone, and she even leaves me messages on my answering machine.  (I really appreciate that girlfriend!)

yellow pin up

Though my career is becoming extremely internet dependent, I still yearn for the retro elements of past eras. I miss record stores, good manners, doctors recommending cigarettes, and rotary phones.  I used to own a fire engine red rotary phone, which I loved…you know, until you had to call a government agency and you had to, oh I don’t know…press one or something.  And then you find yourself screaming “I JUST WANT TO TALK TO A REAL PERSON” into your vintage phone.  Which is not look I was going for.


So, as it stands, the land line is feeling a bit shipwrecked.  There’s not a lot of incoming action.  The occasional long distance calls, and a lot of telemarketers and my mother.  Oh, and my one friend without a mobile phone.  The phone rang the other evening, and I was preparing myself to politely dismiss someone selling products direct from their office in a call center in the third world.  And then I realize that I am getting a text message.  Through the land line.  This happened once, the summer before, when I was living at my parent’s house.  Twice the phone rang, and a robot voice asked me if I could “possibly switch shifts”, and the other time to invite me to some “candle party”.  This must be nice for folks like Rosie from “The Jetsons“; times must be tough for futuristic characters whose present is not as futuristicy as once predicted in the past.  But I must admit, I have to wonder if the robots ever see the scripts and say…”I couldn’t possibly say that”.  For when I accepted the text through the phone, I was asked a most personal question.


“What kind of IUD do you use…copper or hormonal?”.

I’m sorry, but did a robot just call me to ask about my method of birth control? Can robots even get pregnant?  And…if it wasn’t a nosy Rosie calling me about the brand my uterus prefers, who would text me that?

phone girl

Luckily, the caller had the good sense to send an email as well. And so a memorable conversation was carried on via instant message.


I offered the best advice I could, made recommendations with care.  And ultimately, I suggested that when the day came, to make sure you have a pashmina and large sunglasses for before, after, and hell, even during.  Because it’s dignified.  Because it’s a little bit ladylike. Just because it’s fabulous.  I’m kind of old school that way.


All Images Courtesy of Google

Something Borrowed

A movie can be so bad that it can somehow become good again.   “Something Borrowed”  is not one of those movies, but despite my cynical sensibilities, I absorbed the film like an unquenchable sponge. Essentially, it’s about two life-long, but totally different besties. An imminent wedding.  An unspoken love. Lying. Cheating. Choices to be made! You know, the standard cinematic experience.


But, what totally saved the film was good ole John Krasinski.  That little cutie pie is always welcome at my table.  But seriously, I don’t want to gush, but as an actor he is endearing, humorous, and and wholly likeable.  He is good as a lead, like in “Away We Go” or “Leatherheads”  but he’s perfect in supporting roles, like “It’s Complicated” or this little gem of which I am currently speaking.  Every time he comes onscreen it’s like “Thank God you’re here, Kate Hudson can hardly move her face, and she’s stinking up the joint with her acting”.  But then again, I’ve had a soft-spot for him ever since “The Office”, a program I have a particular fondness for.


When I lived in the yellow apartment that overlooked the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, I had a neighbour named Glenn.  We met, not as most neighbours do, in the staircase, or in the lobby, but when I knocked on his door with a crisis.  A fashion crisis.  As I recall, he stood there, in a backwards cap, shorts and a hockey jersey. I was wearing a ghastly kimono, but was fretting over which shoes to wear with the ghastly kimono.  He stared at my feet, frowning at the thought of having to choose.  He made his suggestion, and I offered my thanks, spun around and went back to my apartment.

And then we were friends.

He was much older than I, in his forties when I was in my twenties.  He worked from home, and had his finger on the pulse as to what interesting music was out there.  He downloaded scads of amazing albums–of fantastic artists that no one has ever heard of.  I’m going to age myself a bit here, but this was in a time when it was relativity unheard of to get television programs on the internet.  But this guy…my god, this guy had anything you ever wanted to watch ever.  You make a vague reference to a album you haven’t heard in years and the next day it would be taped to the front door. It was an education is popular culture.  We developed a mutual fondness over the American version of “The Office.  I was seriously into the will-they or won’t-they storyline with Jim and Pam.


My poor neighbour was having his own will-they or won’t-they concerns about us.  But to me, he was the best friend a girl could have.  Which of course, is the last thing a man with a crush wants to hear.  I once came home with another man, and as I was walking up the drive, I noticed  my neighbour peeking out the window. He was watching us like he was the Grinch sneering over Whoville.  And it was then that I knew that we couldn’t really be friends.


And as you do in your early twenties, when faced with discomfort or adversity, you shove a handwritten note under the door explaining why you can’t hang out anymore.  And then, the waters were muddied, and I lost a kindred spirit.  But then again, it does tie into the notion that men and women can not truly be friends.


Jim and Pam were friends, Harry and Sally were friends. In “Something Borrowed” , Rachel is mooning over her best friend’s fiance, (who in flashbacks we learn was equally as smitten with her and equally as incompetent as her to make a move).  Meanwhile Rachel has a wise-cracking, super supportive friend in Ethan, who–(I’m spoiling it, don’t worry, it’s not much of a surprise) professes his love to her, saying “You are home to me”.  And she’s like, “Yeah…but I’d really rather just break up this engagement because that makes for a better movie”.


And it breaks your heart when someone professes their love to you.  You wish that you could accept it.  Love them because they love you.  Because you already know them.  Because they live next door.  Because it would be easy.  But the heart wants what it wants, and in that equation, there are an awful lot of nice guys who confess romantic feelings, and are rejected for the sake of some jack-ass that will never treat her like they would have.


I bumped into Glenn a few weeks later, in the stairwell.  I was heading down with books, he was coming up with groceries.

“Hello”, I smile.

“Hi”, his response is so terse it comes out almost as a ‘h!”.

“How are things?


“That’s good”.

There’s a silence, and the awkward jingling of keys.

“How’s…how’s everything going with Jim?…With Jim and Pam?

He smirked.  “They just can’t seem to work it out”.

“Who can?” I shrugged.

“Maybe…come round and catch up…with Jim and Pam”.

“I’d like that”.

And I barreled down the stairs, off to catch the bus.  I knew I’d stop by that night, sit on his couch and watch “The Office”.  I knew that we’d be friendly again, but not really friends.  We did not belong to each other, we were simply on loan.  Something borrowed until the real thing came along.

eathen from something borrowAll Images Courtesy of Google

Good Intentions

This weekend is crazy busy, two shows and a festival, so while I will not be writing today, I am going to leave you with a short film from friends of mine have made, “Bar-Intender”. It’s sweet and very funny. Enjoy, and I’ll be seeing you soon!