Archive | August, 2011

Wednesday Weeping — Black Eye Edition

31 Aug

Another tale of childhood tragedy from our friend Martha.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I have a brother. He’s eight years older, which means I spent most of my childhood tirelessly getting him to like me. At first I tried all of the oldest tricks in the book: giving him my best Halloween candy, getting him the last kool-aid jammer (remnants from our vacation to America – they weren’t available in Canada yet!), and offering up my leftover pizza.

But my seven year old self learned that kool-aid’s only going to get you so far. Eventually I knew I had to pull out the big guns if I wanted to be the coolest sister.

One night, my brother had a friend over. Boys being boys they were bragging about their newest muscles, and how much weight they could lift. It was my mistake, or good fortune depending on your view point, that led me to walk into the room. I heard my brother say, “I could totally bench-press my sister.” I knew this was it. This could be my moment of glory. I envisioned it going something like this: a few easy bench presses, a confetti cannon, a round of hearty celebrations, and just like that, I’m the best sister.

So of course I agreed. I mean really, how could this go wrong?

He’s poised for the lift on the spare bed. I climb up. First lift goes off without a hitch. So, to prove a point, he does it again.


That’s the sound of my face hitting the bedside table. Not just my face, but my eye. An instant shiner. In grade one. I looked like an original badass.

The next day at school started like any other. Writing in our daily journal about what’s going on in our lives. Of course I covered the events of the previous night, complete with a hand drawn picture of my eye and my brother flexing.

No, child services didn’t show up at my house. I just got this lovely reply from my teacher:

“Don’t worry Martha, you can barely see the black eye. Your face is healing nicely.”


Wednesday Weeping – School Supply Withdrawl

24 Aug

It’s that time of year again. Back-to-school time.

As a child, one of my favorite summer activities, bar-none, was school supply shopping for the year ahead. Each summer the school would distribute a list of the requisite supplies for each grade – no two lists were the same – and my little heart would be set aflutter when I read the list and gleaned clues as to what was in store for me that year. Double-pocket folders (that meant creative writing was in store), 10 duotangs (ugh, duotangs, worst school supply ever, frequently used for organization of math work sheets), a few campfire notebooks (hello spelling tests), pencils (PLEAAAAAAASE can I have the automatic-click kind?) and of course a box of crayons, colored pencils or markers (I always begged for markers, I always got pencils – at least I wasn’t stuck in crayonville… unless of course you’re talking about the 64-pack with the sharpener built in to the box, then that’s a whole different ballgame).

Other kids were going shopping for new back-to-school clothes, but for a large part of my education I went to a school where uniforms were worn, so fashion wasn’t high on my radar at the time. (Those who know me now may argue that it still isn’t).  I was ALL about the school supplies. As the years passed and I got to highschool the supply list became more do-it-yourself, mainly lots of binders and looseleaf, but I always managed to spice things up a bit.

Erasable pens?  So cool, yet so ineffective. White-out? So good for writing the names of your latest crush on things. Locker organizers? The epitome of junior-high chic.

And the rolls-royce of school supplies… the 5-star binder. Remember that thing? It weighed a friggin’ ton and had more pockets and secret compartments than a teenager could ever find use for. I’m pretty sure mine had a mirror in it too. You could carry your whole life in your 5-star binder. Those were the days.

Now as September rolls around, and school supplies populate shelves everywhere, I can’t help but feel nostalgic (and a bit sad) about those back-to-school shopping marathons. The feeling of fresh scribblers, the smell of new erasers, the unbridled joy of getting a new backpack or lunchbox… that kind of bliss is hard to come by in our daily nine-to-fives. Now with the internet constantly at our fingertips, I wonder if kids these days even get a thrill out of the old tools of the trade. (Did I just say ‘kids these days’?! Wow I’m old.) I for one still love a good trip to Staples, but the rush just doesn’t compare to what it used to be. What’s a girl to do? Maybe I’ll go buy myself a new pencil case to ease the pain.

School supplies were like crack to me. Some may say I wasn't the coolest of kids.

A New Lily? A look at TV babies of the past.

23 Aug

Television has been pulling this since the beginning of time. Babies are cast, and then it’s realized that babies don’t do much so they’re swapped with older doppelgangers.

Recently it was announced that Modern Family was going to replace the baby that plays Lily – Cameron and Mitchell’s adorable adopted baby from Taiwan – with four-year-old Aubrey Anderson-Emmons. I was quite sad to hear this as I felt that part of Lily’s charm was the fact that she was a silent accomplice to Cameron and Mitchell’s hilarious agenda to be the coolest gay Dads around.

Baby Lily - We will miss you!

But baby Lily’s departure from the show made me think about other kids who have come onto the scene only to be replaced by more interesting older versions of themselves.

Let’s start with Boy Meets World. When the show started, Corey and Eric had a charming little sister named Morgan. Morgan was Eric’s ticket to the ladies. She was adorable and hilarious but yet her time came to an end so soon.

Morgan Matthews - wingman extraordinaire.

Anyway, in the middle of the second season of Boy Meets world Morgan disappears without any explanation. Then miraculously in the fourth season she returns as a much older version of herself. Cory greets her saying “Long time no see!” to which pre-teen Morgan responds “That was the longest time out I’ve ever had!” Well played, Morgan. Well played.

Next we must take a look at the tortured world of soap operas. It is well understood that nothing that happens in soaps makes any sense. People get possessed, lost in fields where they meet their blind soulmates, and people frequently don’t die – but other people think they did. But the most puzzling mystery of all is the insanely speedy growth of children into adults.

Let’s take Nicholas Newman of Young and the Restless fame. Wikipedia has December 31st, 1988 listed as his birthday, but in 1994 Nicholas was replaced by the then teenage super-stud Joshua Morrow (Editors note: Joshua Morrow is still a super-stud). Regardless, Nick Newman SHOULD have been seven years old in 1994 but instead he was 16. Today Nick should be 33 but instead he is 38. Who the hell is in charge of math at Y&R anyway?!

38 year old super-stud Nick Newman

Interestingly enough while Nick Newman has been aging at an insanely rapid and (albeit confusing) pace and impregnating the likes of Sharon Collins – the rest of the show was moving like molasses running uphill on a cold day. I guarantee if you turn on the Young and the Restless today you will be caught up on the plot line with 4 minutes.

The only child that seems to have been able to hold down a long-term spot in the limelight was Full Houses’ Michelle Tanner.

Doesn't matter if you don't think this baby is cute. This baby is a money maker.

The Olsen Twins were not the cutest babies in the world – but somehow Miller-Boyette Productions knew they were ugly ducklings and let them flourish. I’m not sure how you go about starting a production company at the age of 7 – but if I could turn back time I would likely follow in their footsteps and do the same.

So all of things brings me back to the replacement of Lily. Where could Lily be in ten years from now? Coining catch-phrases? Making billions? Working the drive-through at White Castle? Now we will never know…

Big Day Downtown 2011 Launches

18 Aug

We at are always happy to find out that we have fans – in fact, we love it! (We have been called a lot of things but modest is not one of them.) When the kind people at Downtown Halifax asked us to take part in this year’s Big Day Downtown promotion we couldn’t have been more excited, because one of the other things we really like is spending money that isn’t ours.

Last evening we attended the official launch at the Middle Spoon, it was a great event with lots of delicious treats. So if you haven’t been to the Middle Spoon yet, I suggest you make it a priority. We were given our Big Day Downtown Visa and instructions to go out and have fun. We are excited to start planning our activities, but we are also hoping that you, our readers, can offer some suggestions!

Tell us some of your favorite things to do in downtown Halifax and keep checking back to find out what we’ve decided on.

Movie Review: “Cashback”

15 Aug

Cashback” is a 2006 film by Sean Ellis that recently made its way to Netflix Canada. Intrigued by the poster (potentially NSFW), I gave it a shot.

Ben breaks up with his girlfriend, realizes he can pause time, and looks at a bunch of exposed boobies.

For a film that’s impenetrably crass, Cashback manages to be the least titillating film involving excessive quantities of exposed breasts that I have ever seen.

Have you ever looked at an artist’s work, full of paintings of nude women, and wondered, “Did they just get into art because they wanted to see naked girls?” You may, as I have, immediately attempted to ignore this feeling and imagined that it’s only a way for you to excuse your own lack of creativity (not to mention meager charm). Cashback instead demands that the viewer embrace this feeling as the only way to appreciate the film at all.

This is a drama/comedy so lacking in wit or intelligence that one wonders if there could possibly be any other motive behind it beyond the opportunity to pay beautiful women to expose their breasts. The audience’s only purpose is to bear witness to this awkward transaction.

In the scene that first demonstrates Ben’s ability to pause time and disrobe (and draw) his paused victims, a supermarket aisle is shown containing four stunning women in various levels of exposure. These women are the type that you only see rarely, and sport the sort of carefully selected beauty typically reserved for actors in the pornographic arts. And yet here they are, and we are expected to believe that, not only did they all end up at the same supermarket on the same night, but in the same aisle at that.

The sheer unbelievability of it all defies even what one might be used to seeing in porn. Who are these people, and are we really expected to believe that they’re real?

In almost every scene containing women, the person in charge of casting made every effort to ensure that only improbably pretty women made it into frame, but made no similar attempt for the men. It is so noticeable that it becomes everything the film is about.

But it gets worse than that. Ben, the main character, also narrates flashbacks to his young childhood where he is obsessed with girls of perhaps 10 or 12 years old. Once again, we’re left to wonder who was in charge of finding “beautiful” children, meant to be sexualized and studied.

And let us consider for just a moment that Ben can pause time. And, essentially, he only uses this incredible power to draw naked strangers. Surely the filmmakers could make some attempt to justify this, full of revisionist symbolism, about how this demonstrates how we all waste the time we’re given and the privileges we have, etc. etc. Or even that Ben cannot, in fact, pause time, but it is just his rampant imagination and insomnia that grant him the ability to think he has. But that explanation would fall as flat as every other component of this movie.

Of course, brooding voiceover fills most scenes, ostensibly to deliver the insights that the film does not contain (about anything, let alone life or love).

In the end, this is a film in which nothing interesting happens among a cast of boring characters, where the least absurd element is Ben’s ability to manipulate the fabric of time.

Easter Seals Drop Zone

4 Aug

The Easter Seals Drop Zone is one of the most exciting fundraisers that takes place in Halifax. Every year you see those crazy people rappelling down 1801 Hollis and wonder – what is this for? Well, wonder no longer. Our awesome friend Jenn Holland is participating in the 2011 Easter Seals Drop Zone so we got the scoop first hand.

First and foremost Easter Seals is an amazing charity that helps make life a little easier for children and youth with physical disabilities.

Jenn is a huge advocate for children with disabilities to be active and have the resources to do so to the best of their ability. Easter Seals provides their services across Canada and she wanted to be able to contribute to their cause, even if it means rappelling off the insanely high building at 1801 Hollis St!

After seeing the hype and excitement surrounding last year’s Drop Zone event Jenn knew she had to take part.  (Even if it means scaring her Mom a little!)

Jenn is well on her way to achieving her fundraising goal of $1,500 but could use our support to ensure she meets her target. So check out Jenn’s fundraising page here and donate what you can! Then on September 24th – 25th be there to cheer Jenn on!

Wet Pants Wednesday – Wednesday Weeping

3 Aug

Today’s post is brought to you by @MarthaGallagher

Like many children of the 90s, I was eagerly signed up for Brownies by my parents. I didn’t mind attending the weekly troop meetings, and actually really enjoyed the experience. Camping, cooking and competing with the other girls to have the most badges (just so you know, I totally did) –  it was all right up my alley. So, needless to say, I was pretty excited when our troop announced they were hosting our annual sleepover. There were so many fun times to have: hide and seek in an empty school, crafts, ghost stories, and ample opportunity to stuff ourselves with pizza and pop.

On the day of the sleepover my parents dropped me off at the school with a knapsack, sleeping bag and starry eyed visions of the best night ever. The evening went along as planned, with an abundance of fun times and squealing girls. As we got closer to bedtime the leaders let us know what the ground rules for the night would be. We had to stay in our sleeping bags, and couldn’t leave the gym. All of these rules seemed fair, and with that we went to bed.

Everything was going well until about 2AM when I groggily realized I had to pee. The only issue was the bathroom was outside of the gym, precisely where they told us not to go. In my mind I envisioned alarms sounding and lights flashing as soon as I opened the door to the bathroom. I expected the police to burst in and put me in jail for being a delinquent who obviously could not follow rules.  I laid in agony for what surely felt like a lifetime for my seven year old bladder. Finally I couldn’t wait any longer.

That’s right. Surrounded by a group of my sleeping peers I wet myself. Luckily no one noticed. I was able to change into dry clothes and lie in silent mortification for the rest of the night. Perhaps the most traumatic part of all was that I ruined the book I was reading. To this day I still don’t know how “The Haunting – The House of Cherry Street” even ended.

I couldn’t have been more relieved the next morning when my parents showed up to take me home. Naturally I was in a rush to escape my pee-soaked prison, so if I would have had my way we would have thrown everything in a garbage bag and escaped post haste. Of course my mom wouldn’t do that. Everything had to be packed up in an orderly fashion. As she bent down to pick up my sleeping bag, she noticed it was damp.

“Why’s your sleeping bag all wet?” she innocently asked.

“We’ll talk about it in the car, Mom”

I never advanced to girl guides.

You Deserve a drink

2 Aug

At, we really love YouTube. Charlie Bit my Finger, My Drunk Kitchen, those crazy Honey Badgers, Rebecca Black, Epic Mealtime. You name it, we’ve probably seen it, and probably loved it.

So, when someone passes along a video that we’re unfamiliar with, and it turns out to be abso-freaking-lutely hilarious, it’s pretty much better than birthdays, Christmas, and a 99%-off sale all rolled into one.  

If you’re not familiar with Mamrie Hart, then allow me to introduce you (figuratively of course, I don’t actually know her, but I would like to – Mamrie, if you’re reading this – I think you’re glorious and we could be great friends.) Anyway – moving on.

Mamrie has a Youtube series in which she mixes (very strong) cocktails and dedicates them to celebrities of her choice including Oprah, Cameron Diaz, and Snooki.  She also lays down some of the most entertaining puns you’ve ever heard. All the episodes are fantastic, but my current favorite has to be the Harry Potter episode. Prepare to be stupefied as she mixes up some butterbeer that will have you yearning for a trip to Hogsmeade (or perhaps just the liquor store).

So without any further ado, please enjoy Mamrie’s hysterical antics in ‘You Deserve a Drink’. I know I did.