Saturday, August 1, 2015
Girl Drink Drunk: Bear Flag Dark Red Blend
Even when things are looking down, there are two things I can’t live without: booze and smokes. I had smokes, and I had twenty dollars left on my credit card for booze. I went in the liquor store and started poking around, after a while one of the employees came over and was like, “hey, can I help you find anything”. I said my usual, “nope, I’m doing okay” when what I meant was, “can you point me in the direction of the shitty wine? Not that bad wine, I want the really shitty wine.”
Bear Flag is actually one of my favourite winemakers because it tastes good, it’s fourteen bucks, and it gets you fucked up. It’s not great wine by any means, but it’s affordable and it doesn’t have that tangy, acrid taste that makes your eyes screw up and your tongue turn inside out that most wines under twenty bucks seem to have. Plus it has a really cool label (why do you think I bought it in the first place?), there’s a picture of a bear on it, bears are pretty great. I didn't take a picture of it, but it was pretty cool.
I also really like dark wines. This is more flavoursome than Bear Flag’s normal red blend. It’s got a sweet, smooth vanilla flavour that is really nice. I brought it up to my mum’s the following weekend and tried to get my brother to drink some proclaiming, “you should try it, it’s really bold.” I’ve always found the word bold really irritating when used to describe something you eat or drink, so I started using it ironically (another word I downright hate the misuse of, and subsequently misuse myself just because it gets my point across), and now I can’t stop.
Recommended for people who people who only have twenty bucks to spend at the LC and want a nice glass of bold wine. You will still have six bucks left over for other things, like groceries or whatever.
Bear Flag’s website is here and is also really cool.
Saturday, July 25, 2015
The Worlds of Science Fiction (Part 2)
"A Saucer of Loneliness" by Theodore Sturgeon
Theodore Sturgeon is one of my all time favourite writers in any genre – he is classified as a science fiction writer but his style and subject matter is often hard to pin down to anything so specific. Sometimes very dark, sometimes really sweet, his stories always illicit a strong emotional reaction from me, even when they’re barely comprehensible.
This story is about a woman who is touched by a flying saucer while walking down the street one day and receives a special message. Afterwards, people view her only as the woman who talked to the flying saucer, and her life becomes a toilet flush of sadness and isolation. It’s a weird story, and beautiful in its weirdness. Sturgeon has a way with words that’s simple, and fantastical, and dreamlike, but also very real. “The novels were alright for a while until she found out that most of them were like the movies – all about the pretty ones who really own the world. So she learned things – animals, trees. A lousy little chipmunk caught in a wire fence bit her.” It's elegant but also frank. I think that juxtaposition is what I like so much about Sturgeon's work, and this is a great example of it.
"Now Let Us Sleep" by Avram Davidson
About a guy who visits a planet with no resources or strategic value, inhabited by a race of semi-humanoid aliens called Yahoos. Passing space ships stop on the planet to let their crews “blow off steam” by hunting the Yahoos and raping their women. The guy is upset by that and attempts to do something to stop it, with mixed results.
I really like science fiction stories that get into the ecology of alien worlds. Even if I don’t really care for the story, I find it interesting (and that’s pretty much how I got suckered into finishing Dune. It’s the worms, man). I did like this story. It was a little heavy handed maybe but it was good.
I also have some pretty strong thoughts on conservation and the fact that humans are super shitty to pretty much everything that's alive, so this story got me in the feels pretty good.
"The Ugly Little Boy" by Isaac Aasimov
I had read this story before, in one of those books that was one book on one side and then you flip it over and it’s another book on the other side (the book it was attached to was The Widget, The Wadget, and Boff by Theodore Sturgeon, I think I've made my feeling about him explicitly clear), and didn’t really like it a whole lot.
It’s about a time travel institution where plant, rock, and animal specimens are pulled out of prehistory to be studied. One such specimen is a small Neanderthal child who is put under the care of a nurse and taught to act like a human. After several years of bonding with the boy, she learns that the institution needs the space more than they need him and is planning on unceremoniously dumping him back in his own time despite him no longer having the skills needed to survive on his own.
It’s actually a good story and pretty well written, the setting is interesting and the conflict is both believable and heartbreaking. If it were written by somebody who had ever met a woman, I might have liked it.
It’s just that the main character, this nurse, is such a lame cutout of 1950s misogynist femininity. Okay, she’s maternal, that’s the point of the story, I have no problem with that, but it gets turned into this whole "women are so sentimental" thing which is grating to say the least. Plus she's got this weird, creepy infatuation with her boss, she gets really disappointed when she finds out he's married, and then acts really catty towards his wife and son. Coz, you know, that's what women do, we fall in love with any man that pays attention to us, even if it's in a professional setting. It's surprising that there wasn't a scene in the story about how she had mixed feeling about going to work for the institute because she couldn't bring all of her shoes.
Anyway, not a bad story, that stuff just annoys me quite a bit.
Any stories you want to recommend to me? Or maybe you're incensed that I slammed Isaac Aasimov? Either way, leave me a comment, yo, we can talk about it.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Cool Antique Stores in Halifax
McLellan Antiques and Restorations 2738 Agricola Street When I went here I read "restorations" as "restaurant" and didn't realize my mistake until I left the store. So I was pretty confused while I was in there. My apparent inability to read aside, this place has some really nice stuff in very good condition, and it smells like wood polish which is nice for sure. I would definitely buy from them, everything looks gorgeous. It's also very expensive but I'm guessing not overpriced for the quality.
Finer Things Antiques and Curios 2797 Agricola Street Right across the road you've got Finer Things which is more the kind of store you would expect - there's stuff everywhere, on the floor, on shelves, piled on top of other stuff. There's big stuff, nice stuff, expensive stuff, found stuff, anything that could be considered antique or collectible in any way, it's there. The childhood hoarder in me is delighted by stores like this coz yeah it's packed with stuff but it's all so meticulously organized. If I could get my house to look like that I'd be happy.
|They had this really cool zebra head which I would like to own some day|
Zion's Gate Boutique 47 Williams Lake Road I read about this store in the Rotary News and to be honest I was expecting a little more. Something sort of like a curiosity shop, and less like yet another curated thrift store. It's also really small and the owner is right there so it's like you can either awkwardly make small talk or awkwardly not make small talk. Either way it's kind of weird. That being said, it is the only store where I made a purchase on this particular excursion.
Plan B 2180 Gottingen Street
|More taxidermy I want to buy|
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Internet Wishlist: Animals On Everything
Zebra Print Racer Back Top
Source: The 15 Dollar Store
Price:: 15 Dollars
Phat Stripe Brown and Black Pants
Price: $135.92 CAD
Relic Penguin Coin Purse
For whatever reason, most girls have an affinity with some kind of cute and fuzzy animal. My grandma was into hedgehogs. Some girls like everything to be kitty shaped. I like penguins. I have a penguin towel, I have penguin binoculars. I need somewhere to put my change, why not a penguin change purse?
Source: Bealls Florida
Price: Out of stock. Fuck.
Price: $51.19 CAD
Shark Shower Curtain
Another animal I like is, ironically, sharks, eaters of penguins. What's cooler than taking a shower with a shark on the curtain? Nothing, that's what.
Price: $28.98 plus shipping
Black and White Butterfly Earrings
Price: $43.81 CAD
Vintage Pie Plate with Recipe
Price: $15.48 CAD
Sunday, June 7, 2015
TRESemmé Split Remedy Shampoo
Now, I feel like it's important to stress the fact that I'm not stupid and I understand that the science behind split end repair shampoos is a bit spurious but I was out of shampoo, and I had a coupon, and my hair is a fucking mess, and I didn't think that there was any possible way it could make it any worse.
So I crossed my fingers and hoped that shampoo wasn't one of those things that only worked if you believed in it, like Tinkerbell and Jesus. Did it work? Let's find out together!
So, here's an extremely, uncomfortably, close-up picture of my hair before I started using the shampoo. My hair has suffered probably a decade of abuse from bleaches, dyes, the sun, and god knows what else.
Still some split ends there. Also pictured: the duct tape corset Zoe and I made (which I will post about later) and my shamefully messy house.
Split ends are still there. I'm getting better at taking pictures of the ends of my hair though.
And today, there are still split ends in my hair. A lot of them. Soooo the shampoo didn't work. When I say it didn't work, I mean it didn't "repair" the split ends in my hair. It still made my hair clean and smell nice which means it does work as a shampoo. It could be argued that I didn't use it correctly (I didn't use it in combination with the conditioner, for example). It could also be argued that it's not really possible for a shampoo to "bind split ends". Either way, this didn't put me off of TRESemmé's products by any means, but I'm not any more likely to buy them than before. Once this bottle runs out I'll be back to buying Herbal Essences.
*Sort of. What the bottle actually says is this: "Reduces up to 80% of split ends after 3 uses, with continued use when used with TRESemmé Split Remedy Conditioner vs. non-conditioning shampoo" which, as far as I can tell, means it might do something. And it also might not.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Planters from Recyclables
Over the winter I moved into my own place which has little in the way of garden space so I started growing stuff inside. Most of what I planted was originally kitchen scraps so I'm calling the whole thing learning experience. So far, so okay.
I had a few planters left from my old place and I bought a couple more at Canadian Tire and Halifax Seed but the cost adds up pretty quickly when you're trying to grow a bunch of different things so I repurposed some containers I had lying around into new planters. By which I means I dug a bunch of shit out of the garbage, poked holes in the bottom, and went to town.
This stuff doesn't look great but it is functional. Some things are, of course, more functional, or easy to work with, than others. And that's why I'm sharing my insight with you, gentle reader, so that you may learn from my weird mistakes and enjoy the piece of mind that comes from not paying for stuff you can make yourself out of garbage.
The first thing I tried was an ice cream container which was the best of all of them. The one I used was made out of that plasticized cardboard stuff so it was really easy to poke drainage holes in the bottom. Since this was my first one, I underestimated how many holes I needed to poke in there though so I did end up with a bit of a drainage issue. My advice: poke a shitload of holes. Poke holes in the sides. Since the material is coated in plastic it has no natural drainage or absorbency.
This was the end of a celery I bought at the store. This container worked really well actually until I left it too close to the baseboard heater and it basically melted. I think it was too hot for the celery also and it died. So, yeah, don't do that.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
The Worlds of Science Fiction (Part 1)
One of the books she pawned off on me was The Worlds of Science Fiction, a collection of short stories which I have never seen before but is still a fairly apt assessment of my tastes. I love short stories since I am really busy and have a hard time getting through a whole novel. Lately, I get about half way through a book and then have to take it back to the library and then put a hold on it and then forget to check my e-mail and then the hold expires and so on and so forth.
Anyway, short stories. The highlights are below.
"Babel II" by Damon Knight is about a dude who, while selling photographs and models to an interdimensional alien, inadvertently triggers an event which renders all humans on earth unable to understand one another. The story really gets into detail the problems that would ensue in such a scenario (for example, all airplanes are grounded because they have no radio communication). I liked it because it presented me with an idea that I hadn't really contemplated before and I had no idea where the story was going.
"Memento Homo", about an elderly spacer on his death bed, was a nice read and I got really excited because it was by Walter M. Miller and he's a really good writer. "'All You Zombies--'", about a time traveler who is his own mother and father is a weird enough idea that I spent a lot of time thinking about it and discussing it at work, but I got really annoyed because it's by Robert A. Heinlein and I really don't like his writing.
The other stories I read so far are nothing really to write home about. I'm only about halfway through the book now and will post again when I'm finished.
Sunday, March 22, 2015
Binge Watching Friends on Netflix
Anyway, he wasn't home, and I wasn't at work or school which doesn't seem to happen very often, so I figured I'd do a little baking and get the apartment cleaned up a bit. As I was scrubbing with a folded up corner of paper towel and two different types of cleaning spray, trying to figure out how to get the little specks of dirt out of the latches on my windows, I recalled when the guys I hang out with back home told me I was the Monica of our social group. At the time I thought that designation was totally unfounded - me? The Monica? Surely not. My favourite character had always been Phoebe. But quickly I realized that between my neurosis, and my love of all things food, the comparison was pretty on point.
With that seed planted in my mind, I remembered that Friends is on Netflix now. So, at the risk of screwing up my boyfriend's recommendations, I settled down to folding laundry, doing yoga, and watching Friends, which is basically what I envision stay at home moms do from the time their kids pass the fuck out to the time their husbands come home.
It's been probably two or three years since I've watched an episode of Friends (whenever the last time I lived somewhere that had cable was). But the episodes and the characters are so ingrained in my mind - like many children of my generation, television practically raised me. And Friends premiered in '94, when I was three. It's just always been there.
It's weird going back and starting the series from the beginning coz first of all the girls' fashion sense is just so innately nineties it's adorable.
|i think my mom actually has this same top in the back of her closet|
One of the other things I noticed watching the first season is that, you know, Ross used to be fun. He had a zest for life. He made jokes. He had a pet monkey. He... he did fun things. In later seasons, it seems to me, repeated heartbreak and emotional trauma turned him from that loveable nerd, to a whiney, obnoxious husk of a man. To that point, I'm pretty sure the first use of the word "friendzone" was used to describe Ross' relationship with Rachel.
These are the things I notice now. Now that I am not three. I only watched maybe fourteen or fifteen episodes, which seems like a lot but I had it on in the background all day while I did other stuff. I've been very careful with Netflix since the time I was living with my first set of roommates and I sat and watched Pokemon on the couch for, like... a long time. I didn't move. I couldn't control myself. Anyway, I've treated Netflix somewhat like cocaine - it's alright to dip your nose in once in a while, but when you're naked on the couch in a pool of your own sweat for days at a time, then it's time to stop.
Another thing I noticed today (about Friends, not... whatever that last tangent was about), which of course totally blew over my head as a child, was that the Friends are surprisingly non-judgmental about sexual promiscuity. It seems to me that every show has something negative to say about that (for example, I've been watching a lot of Frasier lately and on that show Roz is almost constantly badgered and harrassed about sleeping with lots of dudes. Mostly by people who call themselves her friends. Also her boss. Ha ha, it's funny coz she's a slut. /sarcasm). From what I've seen so far, Friends doesn't really go there. The girls date (and presumably bone) lotsa different people. So do the guys. It becomes a joke with Joey but it's not really chastised so much. Sexual conquests amongst the Friends are applauded, both male and female. That means a lot to me. I've been pretty sensitive to women's issues lately, to the point where I feel personally attacked and threatened whenever any woman is judged by the number of men she's slept with. I realize this is probably a topic for another post. What I'm getting at is that it's nice to watch a sitcom and not feel gross because the girls get referred to as garbage to be picked up. I'm pretty sure it passes the Bechdel test too, I wasn't really paying attention but I think it does.
So that's what I have to say about that. Even after twenty plus years, Friends is still a pretty good show.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Wednesday Wishlist: Mostly Leather
Leather Bean Bag Chair
Source: Restoration Hardware
Price Tag: $795 for 'antiqued ebony'
Faux Leather Skinny Jeans
Source: The Outnet
Price Tag: $90
Steel Boned Corset
Source: Corsets Queens
Price Tag: $89.99
Leather Jacket with Fur Lined Hood
Price Tag: $2,125
Source: Nordstrom Rack
Price Tag: $39.20
Source: Scary Threads
Price Tag: $45
White Ball Python
Source: Reptiles by Mack
Price Tag: $449.99
Bride of Frankenstein Phone Case
Price Tag: $20.87
Vintage Movie Cover Yoga Mat
Source: Cafe Press
Price Tag: $83
Kitty Speed Bump Scratcher
Price Tag: $39.25
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
5 More Books That Changed My Mind
A Canticle for Leibowitz - Walter M. Miller Jr
Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Breakfast of Champions - Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Doomsday Book - Connie Willis
Let the Right One In - John Ajvide Lindqvist
here). I thought it was so weird and fucked up and unique I immediately wanted to read the book. It took me two or three years to get my hands on a copy - the libraries didn't really seem to have it until the American remake came out so I had to wait for that. It was worth it. The novel dives into places I can't really begin to describe. It's beautiful, it's touching, it's gross and violent. Parts of it made me feel sick. Most of it made me feel extremely uncomfortable. Like I was witness to something I wasn't supposed to see. It does a really good job of capturing a certain time, and a certain place, opening with a description of the suburb as a land of failed potential, and just building it from there, getting more and more depressing and horrible to the point where death by vampire almost seems like a release. I would venture to say it's the best vampire novel I've ever read, not only because of it's rather unique subject, but also because it's not really a vampire novel. It's a great novel, with a vampire in it. It's just so crisp and the characters are so realistic and so shitty. Another unique thing about it is the neutrailty. The main character is a little kid who gets bullied, but it doesn't really sympathize with him any more than it does the kids who pick on him. They all have their own shit going on, they're all horrible and flawed humans, all victims of the time and the place. It's interesting and I've never read anything quite like it.
So that's what I have to say about that. Did you read any of these novels? Agree with me? Think I'm full of shit? What books changed your outlook on life? Why not recommend me something, friend. Go ahead. It's free, and it's anonymous. It'll be our little secret.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Girl Drink Drunk : Ravens Wood Petite Sirah
Excuse me for any spelling mistakes and glaring grammatical errors, I'm writing this on my phone coz my computer "failed to start" today. I used to panic whenever that happened but now I'm kinda like "meh, she'll run tomorrow".
aaaanywho, this wine was on the special rack on valentine's day and it had a cool label and it cost more than twelve bucks so I figured it'd be a nice treat and picked it up.
I don't actually know what the fuck a petite Sirah is but it sounded to me like a little shiraz and I like shiraz so why not.
It lived entirely up to my expectations. It's rich and smooth, almost like drinking cream, with a fruity undertone, really tasty, much like a shiraz. It's Not quite as heavy though, which is quite nice. I rather enjoyed this wine, would buy again.
Ravenswood is a California winery and produces several other wines which I may well try in the future. They also have a partnership with the sriracha people? So presumably that means there is wine infused chili sauce somewhere out there? My birthday's coming up in like six and a half months, just sayin.
Ravenswood can be found online here.
Friday, February 20, 2015
Girl Drink Drunk: Abbot's Delight
I decided to try this drink because
a) I went from a long distance relationship to a cohabiting relationship and that deserved celebrating,
b) I was broke from paying my fines and had no booze except for this big ol' bottle of Frangelico which I had moved at least twice, and
c) I wanted to know if I could make a drink out of Frangelico that doesn't taste like a hazel tree's ass.
I found the original recipe in this book (I bought it with points I earned doing surveys online, no word of a lie). The only place I could find it online is here. You can translate it out of Japanese yourself you lazy fool. I tweaked it a little bit to suit my tastes, thusly.
|My phone takes shitty pictures|
Abbot's Delight (makes two)
3 oz. Frangelico
6 oz. pineapple juice
2-3 tbsp plain balkan style yoghurt
Dash of angostura bitters
A fuckload of ice
Slap that in the blender, push the button until sufficiently blended (I'm waaaaaaaay to impatient to wait for it to be smooth. I don't give a fuck about big old chunks of ice and fruit and shit in my drink. I imagine that's why I hated working at a smoothie place), then pour it into the fanciest glass you can find and drink the fucking thing. I jammed a maraschino cherry in there coz I had some, not that you can tell, they always sink to the bottom.
|Super fucking fancy|
I found this drink was actually too sweet and fruity and nutty at the same time. It kinda made me sick. But the yoghurt settled my stomach. In hindshight I think vanilla yoghurt would have been nice, but I usually only ever buy plain coz I hate fun.
Anyway, it got me a little buzzed and the Frangelico's finally gone and done with which was the main point so I'm gonna call this a success. Over and out.