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The Bee’s Knees – Ex|Rated

3 Oct

“Andi was an incredibly difficult, but sexy woman who, frankly, smelled better than any human I’ve ever met since.”

OK, boys and girls, confession time: Who here has Googled the name of your current main squeeze? Taken a quick spin on the information highway for dirt on your date before you agree to dinner and a movie? Chances are, you have – it’s the responsible thing to do, after all. Just like you wouldn’t go into a job interview for a dream position before researching the company, you shouldn’t jump blindly into a date or a new relationship before doing some serious recon of the online variety.

We’ve just discovered a new website that makes it that much easier to suss out whether you’re about to date a chump or a champ from the people who know best – their exes.

Ex|Rated (http://exrated.co) enables you to become a member and submit reviews of your exes. The good, the bad – share it all here.

Dated a basket case? This is your chance to anonymously warn the intarwebz not to make the same mistake. Screwed something up with Mr. Perfect? Make sure to let other ladies know he’s a catch.

Upon perusing some of the user-generated “reviews” we were pleasantly surprised to see that most of them are quite positive. Turns out that people aren’t as critical of their exes as one might imagine.

“I would go at it again without question.”

“Don’t let her make you tacos. Learn to cook and you will win her heart.”

“Awesome body, big boobs, and super nice. She’s kind of a hippie but really goes out of her way to make people happy…”

“If you’re givin the opportunity to sleep w/ him, take it!!!!!”

Pretty much the equivalent of a five-star review on Yelp right there.

This Needs To Stop – Check-out Ignorance

7 Sep

Look how happy this lady is. Clearly she's never been in my check-out line.

If choosing the slowest-moving line at the grocery store was an olympic event, my apartment would be full of gold medals. I am the god damn Michael Phelps of inefficient grocery line selection. If you ever see me at Sobeys or the Superstore and I start moving towards one of the lines, even if I am the only person in that line and every other line is 20 people long, save yourself – DO NOT GET IN MY LINE!

This unfortunate affliction is something that I have had to come to grips with over the years. Trainee employees – my specialty. Extreme couponers – my habitual line-mates. People paying in pennies – my everyday grocery experience. While these characters don’t necessarily expedite my food-shopping habits, they are not the subject of today’s rant. No – this one goes out to a very special guy (who represents many just like him) – the ill-prepared grocery shopper who exists in blissful ignorance of other shoppers and their lives/schedules.

On a recent trip to the grocery store, I was in the line behind a young man. He had a fair number of groceries to purchase. He stood there staring in to space as the cashier rung his items through. He did not put the grocery separator at the end of his pile (a red flag moment).  As the last of his items were scanned, it occured to him that he needed another item. “Oh one minute,” he grumbled. “I need to get something else.” The cashier started blankly. Those behind him in line did a simultaneous eye-roll.

I’ve been in his shoes before,  realizing that I’ve forgotten an integral grocery item after I’m already in the line. In this case I either a) run like a crazy woman and grab my required item in record time, returning to the check-out before the last of my items is scanned, OR b) just accept that I screwed it up, and come back for that item later. The problem was, this guy’s stuff had already been completely rung in. He left the line anyway, perusing the aisles in search of that one last product. I assumed that whatever he was going back for was an essential ingredient. A minute passed. 2 minutes. 3 minutes. In the context of a grocery store line, this is a very long time. He finally came back, and placed his can of Pringles with the rest of his order. The cashier rung them in. Then he opened his mouth again.

Oh, I’ve got some coupons.”

Um…Ok,” muttered the visibly frustrated cashier.

They’re in my car. I’ll go get them.

ARE YOU F%$#ING KIDDING ME?! He took off towards the parking lot, appearing to be in no particular rush. A few minutes later he returned with a handful of coupons. He turned to me and laughed, “You guys probably hate me right now huh?” Oh buddy. You have no idea. Based on the absolute effery of this dude, the line behind me had thinned out. In all my years of grocery shopping I have never felt quite so homicidal.

If going back for the Pringles meant that you might get swarmed by a mob of angry grocery shoppers, would you do it?

Finally he paid, grabbed his bags and exited the premises. I purchased my items with no further incident and started walking home. As I headed up the hill, long-awaited groceries in hand, I watched as this guy drove away in his shiny sports car. I should have said something to him, or thrown something, but my rage consumed me. So for this young man, and the people like him that I’m sure I will continue to encounter, here’s a little cheat-sheet for you on grocery check-out etiquette.

#1 Make a list. Figure out what you need. Put it in your cart. Buy it.

#2 If you miss something on the list and you don’t realistically have time to go back and get it without seriously putting the efficiency of the line in jeopardy, come back and get it later.

#3 Ask yourself this question – “If I was the cashier, would I want to punch a customer in the face for this behavior?” If the answer is yes, cease that behavior immediately.

#4 Other people have lives too. We are all on a schedule. We all have places to be. Your time is no more important than anyone else’s. So please, grocery shop accordingly.

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.

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!

You Deserve a drink

2 Aug

At ThisNeedsToStop.com, 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.

This Needs to Stop: Vibram Five Fingers

21 Jul

I have spent the past seven years mocking Crocs and the people who wear them mercilessly. But I must confess: I still remember the very day I almost bought a pair for myself in a moment of confusion.

It was the summer of 2004 and I was living in PEI. I had been seeing these colourful shoes all over the place and had heard people raving about how comfortable they were, how they are hypoallergenic, how easy they are to slide on and off. My feeble, easily influenced mind decided that owning Crocs was a good idea. One day, while out browsing in some of the shops along the Charlottetown waterfront, I found a store that sold Crocs and chose a bright pink pair from the display.

I was in line to purchase those Crocs when I looked at them. I mean really looked.

And a little voice inside my head screamed at me. “For the love of Jesus, you’re about to spend 30-some dollars on PINK RUBBER CLOGS. Put them back on the rack and go get a box of wine instead.” And I did. (It was Hochtaler, for the record. And I mixed it with medications and I shouldn’t have done that and later that night I tried to beat up a girl for liking the Montreal Canadiens.)

Maybe I should have just bought the Crocs.

ANYWAY! Fast forward seven years and all sorts of good things are happened. My mental stability has been restored, for one. Crocs are mostly a thing of the past, which is also a blessing. However, there’s a new kid on the block that is causing me some grief.

Vibram Five Fingers are beginning to crop up in local gyms and on running trails. Apparently, the five fingers design allows feet to move more naturally and freely. I say it assists people who make it a point to go out in public looking as stupid as possible to achieve their goals of looking hideous. If you were out to win a gold medal in Fugliness, they’d be perfect. Otherwise, NO.

I don’t even know what to say about these things other than they’re ugly, they shouldn’t be worn in public, and if I see you wearing Vibram Five Fingers at the gym I am going to walk over and drop the heaviest dumbbell I can lift on your ugly sock-shoes. That’ll teach you to choose hideous footwear. Whatever disdain I used to harbour for Crocs and those who wear them has been shifted – and amplified – for VFF. Just say no.

Help me get my short film made!

11 Jul

Four years ago, Chris Van Patten asked me if I would like to adapt a short story I’d written into a screenplay.

Me and Chris meeting in person for the first time.

Chris and I had met on a the forum for the scriptwriting software Celtx. Back then, Celtx was just in its beta stages, and we were both alpha testers on some of its early versions.

We seemed to have similar tastes and interest in film and filmmaking, and we struck up a friendship. Over the years, he and I collaborated on a few blog projects, kept polishing some of the scripts and script ideas we’d had, and became fervent supporters of each other’s crazy dreams and projects.

Just last winter we met for the first time in person, after having been friends for over six years.

And now, after all these years, we’re the closest we’ve ever been to getting our film made. We just need your help.

We have the script. Chris is ready to direct. We just need to get the attention of Celtx Seeds and show them that we’re ready and able, and have tons of support behind us, to get this film made.

So, please share this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX7_PRhUi8s&feature=youtu.be

Please leave a comment of support on the video, too.

Thank you!

The Bees Knees – The Big Easy edition

22 Jun

New Orleans, or the Big Easy as many call it, is quite the city – I can sum it up with a few words: deep fried food, cheap booze (that you can drink anywhere), live sex shows and jazz.

I found myself there last week for work and I figured that it was my duty to see the sights and learn more about the city. I have selected a few of the highlights but I must also be honest in saying that while there are lots of really great things about the city, there are also some serious drawbacks. The major issue being that the city is rather dirty and isn’t the safest city I have ever been to. But I suppose that these things are to be expected given the city’s history. But that being said, there are lots of great things to do while there. Here are a few of my favorites:

The Acme Oyster House – I saw this place on Man vs. Food, and I couldn’t pass up the chance to check it out. It was fantastic. Great atmosphere, and the charbroiled oysters are worth the trip to New Orleans. While I was there, a man was attempting to eat 43 dozen oysters, he only made it to 36 dozen. Jeez, couldn’t finish the last 7 dozen?

Yo Mama’s –

I found this place on Yelp, once again a lifesaver when you travel. Yo Mama’s is considered one of the best burger places by locals and visitors alike. It’s super small spot, sort of a dive bar (ACDC was blasting while I was there). But the servers are fantastic and the food is even better. And you get a YO Mama joke on the bottom of your bill – what’s not to love?

Booze – Much like Vegas, you can drink anywhere you like in New Orleans, in fact most stores that sell booze have bottle openers at the cash. I got myself a frozen drink in this fancy plastic cup, and guess what? I got a free shot with purchase. Free booze for buying booze, nothing wrong with that logic.

Cafe Du Monde – is a coffee shop on Decatur Street in the French Quarter. It is famous for its cafe au lait and French-style beignets. They come in orders of 3, so I assume they are suggesting you share. I didn’t – get over it.

Bananas Foster – is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with the sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, and then the alcohol is added and this is when things get interesting. The dessert was first created at Brennan’s Restaurant in New Orleans in 1951. Since trying this, I can no longer eat bananas without the above additions, so I might be in a bit of trouble.

Louisiana State Museum – Before (During) After – I had a chance to take a quick look at this exhibit while I was in town. Having seen a good deal of news coverage, you think you have an idea what it was like, but really we have no concept of the destruction or the lasting effects Katrina has had.

Happy Birthday Sarah!

12 May

Today is the birthday of Sarah Carver.

Almost a year ago Sarah and I met. We became friends almost instantly (well, I told her after knowing her for about two days that we were going to be friends one day. She eventually relented).

Soon after, Sarah met Amy and Sylvia, and the four of us became the wacky team you know today.

And, today, we wish Sarah the most fabulous of birthdays ever. She deserves it.

If you don’t know Sarah well, you’re missing out. She’s hilarious, witty, incredibly smart, and an amazingly caring and supportive friend. When you need help, Sarah’s got your back. When you’re in a good mood, Sarah’s in a good mood with you. She’s the kind of friend that people talk about when they talk about that friend of theirs that’s always around to help. Always there when you need them.

In tribute to Sarah, please watch her two favourite YouTube clips. Have a laugh, and raise a glass (later on today. It’s probably too early right now) to Sarah Carver, the best friend a person could have.

Bee’s Knees: NYC Edition

6 May

I recently spent a long weekend in New York City with my lovely hubby. Let me preface by saying few things cushion the blow of entering a new decade like going to one of your favourite cities for a few days. I forgot about turning into an old wizened troll and was able to focus on fun things like eating cupcakes and buying stuff.

This was my second time in New York and it was just as much fun this time around. I will never get over the sheer size of the city and the fact that there’s just so.much.to.do. I think you could spend a solid six months there just looking at things and still not get to do everything.

The trip started off on a promising note with an early celebrity sighting: Julian (Jean Paul Tremblay) of Trailer Park Boys fame was on our flight. He did not have a rum and coke in hand, sadly, just a BlackBerry. However, this would be our first and last celebrity sighting of the weekend unless you count the Naked Cowboy in Times Square. I didn’t see him, however Peter spotted him doing his thing when he went to pick up our Broadway tickets. I was in the hotel room soaking my feet in the bathtub. (Do NOT wear Zellers flats when you’re going to be spending 12 hours a day walking around. THAT needs to stop).

Some NYC Bee’s Knees highlights include:

Modern Art.

  This is a thing. This is a stack of hay bales at MoMA. Yes, this is art. OK, apparently there’s a needle hidden in it somewhere, (get it, needle in a haystack?) But yes, you too can create your own modern art masterpiece. All you need are some bales of hay.

Barbie Worship.

  Yes, that IS a life-size Barbie house inside Toys R Us! This two-story masterpiece caught my attention but I didn’t go inside due to throngs of excited little girls (and moms) on the loose.

Magnolia Cupcakes.

 Hubba hubba. I remembered these babies from Sex and the City and added them to our “must do” list before we left for New York. Definitely worth the wait in line.

This Needs to Stop: White Castle

 One of the top three worst meals I’ve had in my life. Definitely the worst that didn’t end in legit food poisoning. So bad, in fact, I have an entire post on my blog dedicated to the atrocity.

We did other things than eat, look at toys, and make fun of art. We saw the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Lion King on Broadway, actual “real” art at MoMA, went on a carriage ride in Central Park, and did lots of walking and shopping. I feel like Ann Taylor Loft deserves an honorary Bee’s Knees on account of everything in that store being completely adorable and appropriate for work and for fun things. Bring ATL to Canada!