Thursday, July 31, 2008
I spent a lot of time cruising around makeupalley.com. Any time I'm in the market for makeup (or any beauty products) I try to go on there to see how people have reviewed whatever it is I'm thinking of buying. People on there have their own language, and one of the first terms I deduced the meaning of was HG. Holy grail. As in, this is the best blanketyblank I have ever used and I will keep buying it for the rest of my life. Before yesterday, I had never had one of those moments.
Enter Shu Uemura eye shadow in ME Brown 850. (Choir of angels sings here.) It has an overall rating of 4.9/5. I somehow discovered it on the internet and decided I had to have it, so almost two months ago I went to the Shu Uemura (I love saying that name) counter in Holt Renfrew and asked about it. They put me on a waiting list. A waiting list. It came in on Sunday, I picked it up. It cost thirty dollars (with tax). I was a little overwhelmed. I brought it home. I put it on. Holy cow. Holy grail. It is the most perfect eye shadow I have ever worn. A shimmery taupe with the faintest hint of violet that brings out the green in my eyes. When I put it on, it makes it look like I have naturally beautiful, shimmery, colourful eyelids. Tasteful. Lovely. All the boys will like me.
Alright, so it probably won't change my life, but it does make me feel nice. And, while lots of people my age easily spend $30 in a bar every night, I rarely do. So I don't feel too bad for spending it on an eyeshadow once in a while.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Go Fish, a little fish shack on the seawall between Granville Island and Kits beach, with the most delicious beer battered fresh fish with lovely chips.
A long walk along the seawall to Mario's for really deliciously rich chocolate ice cream (but I wanted two flavours. They won't do it with one scoop, and two scoops was six dollars!! No way!).
Then back to Xine's house to watch a girly movie. In this case it was Definitely, Maybe. Cute. Interesting dynamic between father and daughter. I liked that it was a romantic comedy about a dude. 3/5 stars.
Poppy seed bagel with smoked salmon cream cheese and a cup of coffee with Xine at Solly's. I love Solly's.
THEN! Lunch with Sally at Szechuan Chongqing, which was fully delicious. I went at Lesley's behest, and it was delightful. She recommended the crystal shrimp dumplings, the deluxe tan tan noodles, and the fried canneloni with soy sauce. So much carbohydrate! So satisfying! The shrimp dumplings were huge and delicious, the noodles were the perfect spiciness, and the canneloni were the most perfect texture. Yum! Sally's first dim sum!
... I leave in three weeks. I'm fitting in all the awesome Vancouverness I can (especially when it comes to Asian food; I'll go for dim sum at least once more, probably twice). Sigh sigh again.
Oh, and tomorrow = Batman. In Imax.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
That said, I'm going to watch a comedy tonight. Tootsie. Somehow I've never seen it. Could be because I was about eleven months old when it was released.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Also, I know Batman is out, and I know I haven't seen it yet. I've decided I need to trek out to Richmond to see it in Imax (and maybe get cream puffs), so I have to wait until next week. Sigh.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
And then I decided to take a picture of me today. Actually I took 66 pictures, and this is the best one:
My hair is getting close to bombshell length! It's the longest it's been in years! I'm so excited!
The shadow of lace curtains cast against a sleeping body. A teabag spinning in its cup. If you notice things like this, the tiny miracles of living, you will at least like (if not love) this film.
The Double Life of Veronique is by Krystztov Kieslowski, whose Blue, White, and Red I've been meaning to see for years and years and years (even more so now that I've seen this one). It was released in 1991, when I was nine, so I will forgive myself for not seeing before today. It is the story of a woman who is, somehow, simultaneously living two lives (I think the mechanics of this are left up to the viewer, as to how and why this is possible, or if it even is), one in Poland and one in Paris. It is also a love story, and in this aspect it reminded me a lot of Amelie (although I suppose it should be the other way around, as this film most definitely came first). This is a quiet, beautiful film about the wonder of life and love, and about looking at the world in slightly different ways in order to really see it.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
If you have an affinity for weird new-age-ish babble the way I do, I highly recommend Sonia Choquette's The Psychic Pathway: A workbook for Reawakening the Voice of Your Soul. Maybe I should read it again, start seeing auras or something like that.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Fresh, local strawberries, sliced up and mixed with yogourt.
And a half a brownie (that was too sweet for me on its own; I prefer my brownies dense and dark) with a dollop of the peanut butter I keep in the staff fridge.
All eaten al fresco.
Monday, July 14, 2008
It took me a surprisingly long time to figure out that blinds were printed with a faux-view, and that we weren't really in the Chinese countryside.
Gratuitous food shots now:
Thursday, July 10, 2008
They can get me this ring for a present. Sigh. Rich (and otherwise awesome, kind, funny, smart, cute, etc etc) boyfriend, where are you?
This reminded me of one of the books that I've noticed on the New Book shelf lately. "Have you seen that book, Sex with Robots, or something like that?" One of the librarians (who we hadn't realized could hear us) piped up from her office, "What do you guys think about that? I saw the author on Jon Stewart."
I hadn't read the book, but my first thought was that it would be an alright alternative to human prostitution. I find the idea of having a robot friend even weirder than having a robot lover, buying a piece of metal and plastic that agrees with you, and makes you margaritas on Friday after work... huh.
All this made me want to write some Science Fiction. But not boy Science Fiction, with guns and action (not that it's just for boys... you know what I mean). Just a regular novel, with regular characters, who fall in love, get married, get divorced, rob banks. With robots. Just some characters who are robots. I think it would be pretty great.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I first fell for Zooey Deschanel's voice when I heard her sing in Elf. She has such an old fashioned, amazingly-textured timbre. I've been figuring out Google Reader over the last couple of days, and going over some of the back-(b)log I haven't seen before. A Cup of Jo post from March sent me skipping over to the Merge Records site where I could listen to Miss Deschanel's project with Matt Ward, She & Him. I'm pretty in love with their first record, Volume One. Pretty! Pretty awesome!
Monday, July 7, 2008
20. Dazed and Confused
19. Bridget Jones' Diary
16. Boogie Nights
14. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
13. Kissing Jessica Stein
11. Beetle Juice
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
8. When Harry Met Sally
7. Monsoon Wedding
3. Strictly Ballroom
2. It's a Wonderful Life
1. Annie Hall
But. I can appreciate amazing style, and amazing fashion, and I love other people who look effing cool. You can find many of them here.
(This blog came by way of (Into) the Fray, where Lady Smaggle commented, and I followed the link to her blog, where she led me to Face Hunter. Just in case you wanted to know.)
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Caramel Pecan with fleur de sel - dark chocolate ganache with roasted pecans and soft caramel, dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with a touch of fleur de sel from Brittany.
Balsamic Honey - soft caramel with rare firewood honey and aged balsamic vinegar.
Pistachio Marzipan - delicate almond marzipan with pistachios from Sicily and a hint of kirsch.
Thomas Haas. I have heard time and time again that they have the best chocolates and pastries in the city, but they are closed on my days off, and they close at five thirty the rest of the time. Ana and I finish work at five on Saturdays, so on the way home we decided to have an adventure. Even though neither of us knew exactly where it was, Ana must have some kind of psychic chocolatier sense, and we pulled into the parking lot at about five twenty-four.
The delicious sounding things at the top of this post were the three chocolates I chose ($1.05 each, but soooo worth it). I also got a twice baked almond croissant, which was dense and chewy, with a gorgeous crusting of roasted almonds. I brought them all home to have a semi-balanced dinner of salad, croissant, organic homo milk (oh wait, they don't call it that anymore, it's 3.25%), and my lovely little chocolates. It was delightful. If you are in Vancouver, ever ever ever, I highly recommend it. North Vancouver, actually. You'll need a car. It's almost enough to get me to drive.
I really want to try the Aztec hot chocolate mix.
- seeing things made by nature in the shape of hearts, like leaves and petals.
- the sound of rain outside my window.
- a really great doughnut
- coffee with cream
- the word Bali
- watching kids dance
- TV on DVD
- going to see movie matinees, alone, especially on a weekday
- the movie Nashville, by Robert Altman
- 50s rock and roll
- almond croissants
- the colour teal
- zen circles
- black dresses with kimono style sleeves
- things made of cotton
- flannel sheets
Friday, July 4, 2008
I wish I had met Jim Henson. Ask me who I would bring back to the earth if I only had one choice, and it would be him. I'd ask him if he could take me to his muppet studio and I'd watch him work. If he liked me, and we got along, he might give me a muppet that I could be the voice for. He would teach me to work and he would give me a job on "The New Muppets Show: A Revival" looking after some of the smaller muppets, thinking of story lines and song lyrics.
The only problem is, I'm not that good on voices, but I could think of muppet scenarios. I'd love that. Maybe I should write to Brian Henson. Maybe he'd be interested in some of my muppet scenarios for whatever muppet programs he's putting together.
How the Light Gets In is by M.J. Hyland, and is the story of a sixteen year old girl from Australia who is on a year long exchange to the US, just outside of Chicago. She thinks the new life will be the answer to all her problems, but she's wrong. With a burgeoning alcohol habit and awful communication skills (though she writes wonderful notes to her host family members), the year is a trial.
I'm only halfway through, so I don't know how it ends, but I love it. I love the voice of the narrator, Lou.
Amanda, I think you would like it.
I wish I could reread my favourite Douglas Coupland novels for the first time. My picks: Microserfs and Girlfriend in a Coma.
p.s. I saved the book for my break, don't worry. I won't get fired. Hopefully.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I love them. But I will never talk about it again because I don't want to become known to them as a crazy stalker fan.
They're alright, I guess.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I've been itching to do something with watercolours recently, so the other day when it was super sunny I pulled them out and sat out in the back yard in the grass, doing little paintings. I quickly realized (as I do every time I try to paint) that realism is not my forte, and I am more of an abstractionist. So I just played with the colours. When I brought them inside I decided to trace all of the shades with black pen, because in my world almost everything looks better with a black border. I kind of like how they turned out. They remind me of maps of imaginary places. This one is my favourite.
Almost in my mouth.
I've been bugging my mum to make cream puffs for what feels like decades. They are my favourite dessert. These cream puffs aren't distinctly Canadian, they are actually from a New York Times Cookbook from 1961, but we ate them at our Canada Day barbeque, and they were delicious.
Here is the recipe (my first recipe! I'm so proud):
Cream Puff Shells
When cream puff paste is baked it is one of the apparent miracles of cuisine. The paste expands to many times its original size and a mass of air occurs in the center. Nonetheless, it is one of the easiest of foods to prepare. The only "secret" is to add the flour all at once and fearlessly to the water-butter mixture. Cream Puff paste is not only baked; it may be deep fried to produce air-filled beignets souffles.
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1. Preheat oven to hot (450 degrees F.)
2. Combine the water, butter and salt and ring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture leaves the sides of the pan and forms a ball around the spoon. If a ball does not form almost immediately, hold the saucepan over low heat and beat briskly a few seconds. Cool slightly.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, an dbeat until mixture is smooth and glossy after each addition.
4. Drop the mixture by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet, leaaving two inches between the puffs to permit spreading.
5. Bake fifteen minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to moderate (350 degrees F.) and bake until no bubbles of fat remain on the surface and the sides of the puffs feel rigid, about thirty minutes longer. Cool. Cut a cap off each puff and fill with pastry cream. Replace the cap.
That's the end of the book's instructions. Instead of "pastry cream" we filled them with strawberry whipped cream (which is my absolute favourite). To make this you whip cream with a little bit of icing sugar (this is always a point of contention in my house, I only like a very little, others like a lot). Drain a package of thawed frozen strawberries (in syrup) and mix only the berries (not the liquid) with the whipped cream, folding them in.
Oh, the recipe book says this will make 10 large puffs, but we had a bunch of people coming over so we made smaller ones, baked them for a shorter period of time, and ended up with 25 small/medium puffs.
Happy Canada Day!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
When I was a kid, my mum seemingly only had one tape that she listened to in the car. That was Huey Lewis and the News, "Small World". So today, as we played in the kitchen (more on that later), I put the CD on. I still know all the words. I love it. Not even ironically.
I don't know why it's taken me so long to start watching this show. I've been looking forward to it for so long, and now, in the damp heat of the long awaited Vancouver summer, I've gotten started. I made the mistake of watching the first episode right before bed last night, totally creeping myself out, but today, when it was too hot to go out into the real world, I spent the afternoon watching episodes in bed with the fan on and the covers off. Alexandra told me a while ago that the show involves lots of awesome food shots. It makes me hungry. But then, you know, the murder scenes kind of curb my appetite. It's confusing. But I like it.
Watch the opening credits. They are so good.