Thursday, October 6, 2011

Journal 70 Favourites part one

I know that I've done alot of listing lately. It's helped me clear my head. My thoughts have been so random and unstructured that I've had trouble maintaining a narrative lately.
Reasons? The end of summer, maybe, and all the clarity I get from hours on the rooftop on the weekend, alone with my thoughts, letting them unfurl, the hot weather and sunshine making me grateful to be alive. I know everyone loves autumn, fall, what have you, and I have NO argument
against its undeniable beauty and the crispness of the weather. As a person who is forever over-heated, believe me, I adore the temperatures in fall. But the winter looms, the darkness comes so quickly, and I lie in bed in the morning and face the day and sometimes it's just a bit much.
In an effort to remain positive, I tried to compile the things I like in a simple list, with reasons behind them all.

Category: Movies/TV
The Real Housewives of New York
I can't help it. I love all things New York, but these women take the cake. Their constant efforts to remain young and hip remind me that growing older takes grace and stamina, and acceptance. Not plastic surgery, fake friendships, and lies. I watch these women as they dance with youth, live in a state of perpetual denial, and drink away their problems. Who says that reality tv doesn't have lessons for us?

Law and Order UK
Watched 2 back to back eppys last night. Wow. Less emphasis on the crime, more on the people, very British, very play-wrighty and very un-American. For instance, last nights' second eppy was about a young man accused of killing his pregnant fiancee. He had been convicted as child of being an accessory to a murder, so of course he was already guilty in the minds of the police and the lawyers prior to even being charged. But it wasn't that simple. He had a crazy therapist who had murdered his fiancee and framed him, because she was in love with him. And she had no qualms about letting him go to jail, because she could still treat him. In the end, all this unravelled for her, and the young man was free to go. Except that he was found hanging in his cell in the prison where he had been awaiting trial. His young lawyer, who idolized Ben Daniels' character in the eppy, was disillusioned. And Ben Daniels' character didn't just miscalculate a case--his actions indirectly led to someone's sad death, and a fellow professional who looked up to him, who was just starting out, was left feeling bereft. The American show, which I do love, could have never achieved this kind of under-played pathos.

Til Debt Do us Part
First of all, I love the host/money-queen-supreme of this show. At first I could not figure out her background. Her accent, to me, had a tinge of the Irish, and her manner--strong, informed, and 'on it', did too. But a friend of mine shared on FB that Gail is Jamaican! She is amazing. She takes couples to task about their shoddy finances, their treatment of each other, and their staggering consumer debt. I also admit to a fascination with this kind of dirty laundry. It's like looking at other people's homes. What DO they do in there? I punish myself routinely for buying anything on a credit card. At one point during my early adulthood, I went almost ten years without a proper vacation. If I didn't have the money for it, I didn't have it. And it blows me away that these are COUPLES, often both with very healthy incomes, and that each bill is SPLIT in half for them. I have paid all my bills, the whole bill, on my own, for the entire time I've lived by myself, all in all about twelve years. It's eye-opening to see the attitudes in our society about consumer debt, and how much money we collectively waste on STUFF.

I preface this by saying I have alot of trouble sitting still for a movie. Chick flicks are not in my repetoire, and neither are romantic comedies, or tragedies with all their fake, phony emotions.
I gravitate toward movies revolving around work, action that requires intelligence, character-building, and with Mike, horror. I can't watch them alone, but with him I can sit through them. Odd.

Devil Wears Prada

Clothes, clothes, hairstyles, more clothes, make up, a job from hell (no comment), and the type of boss that ends up being the person you learn the most from. I remember my early-career years so well. When a comment could move your neurotic 20-something self to tears. Where a client had the power to ruin your day.
Ah the 20's. So long ago. Thanks be to Christ.

Wall Street
The greedy, unbridled 80s. What a decade to have started a career.

Plot-driven, riveting. People need their kids to watch this today. It never gets old.

I wrote a whole blog on this a little while back. I never get tired of it.

Female frenemies(!)at their finest. I also love Winona Ryder. And all the colour-coded clothing.

French, gorgeously shot, quirky, out-there, and just plain original. My favourite type of movie. Tugging at my heartstrings while taking in beautiful scenery, colours, and characters. No North American could have made that film. NO ONE. We're too self-obsessed half the time to bother with the world around us.

I'll move on to something more important: BOOKS.
I can't do the entire list justice here, so I give you my summer reading schedule from July 2009. These are books that I turn to when I really don't know what to read, and I own all of them, and re-read them from my library. (Yes, I have a library. It's in my dining room. It's part of my ever-evolving experiment to decorate with books, and I've colour coded them and and also grouped them by theme. Fascinating stuff, I know. I'll have to get a pic up here).

I did my top ten websites a couple of months ago.

And no matter what I do to this post, it doesn't want to cooperate in terms of list-spacing. I've given up. But my favourite websites are on there. is a new one I've discovered, fyi. And on all the plethora of 'amateur' design blogs out there, I can spot when they've stolen their photos from this site.
I look at this site ALOT.

Reebok. (obvious reasons. Best shoes--Runtones. Best lightweight running jackets. Tops. Gloves. Shorts. You name it. Yes. I love Lulu lemon too. BUT COME ON. It's insane in there. See my next entry).
Costco. I am telling you--workout wear/pajama/outdoor coat/ heaven. Also, biscotti, vitamins, hair products, coffee, guacamole, hummous, contact lens solution, socks, dishwasher detergent. Anything, everything. Under one cost-effective roof. So amazing.
Bath and Body Works. Great perfume, lip gloss, hair products again, lotions, candles, all in scents that give fruit-haters like me a new lease on life. Except they discontinued the Summer Vanillas. Not happy. Victoria Secret has a great line of lotions and perfumes, too.
MAC. There are 2 Mac counters I love. 1. In the Bay on Richmond Street, where a red-haired make up artist effortlessly picked out my best shades without batting an eye (Mulch, Ember). 2. Maine Mall Macy's where a lovely man named Michael picked out Lady Grey eyeshadow pallette and Courdroy. All winners.
Old Navy/Gap. They tie for "basics". White t-shirts, black dress pants, workout pants, pajamas again, black skirts, bikinis, summer dresses, underwear. I am a complete bargain hunter when it comes to clothing. The less I spend on an item, the prouder I am. So I go to Gap outlets.
Zellers. See Costco and Old Navy/Gap.

Walmart is hard for me to shop at. The closest one to me is a behemoth of a store with record-setting line ups. And they have all those boycotts. So Walmart is not on here. When I visit the States, my go-to is Target. Hair colour, make-up, creams, more running gear, tank tops, all of it. Super cheap and lots of sales. Last time I went when I was in Maine, Mike was tired so he decided to have a snooze in the car while I shopped. I told him I'd be back in ten minutes.
When I returned, forty minutes later, $ 200 dollars had been well -spent, and Mike had had a nice nap.


Ok, Part two of this mindless posting will be forthcoming.
I think I'm going to explore holidays, wine, and running routes in my next post.
Stay tuned.
Also, I love hearing about people's favourite ANYTHING. Remember those email quizzes back in the day your friends and you would send to each other to 'get to know each other better' and all fill in, competing as to who had the funniest responses? The tagline would be something like "Fill this in to get to know your friends better!" and one of the questions would always inadvertently begin with "What is so and so's middle name?" and I would realize I didn't know ANY of my friends' middle names. And then they'd fill it in for me, and I'd forget a few days later when the next quiz arrived.....

My middle name is Ann, just in case.

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