Friday, August 31, 2007

beginnings and endings

This afternoon, I split from work a little early. I took a 1/2 day so I could get a few errands done.

One of the errands involved stopping off at the card shop. We're going to a wedding tomorrow and I hadn't yet picked up a card to go with the gift for the bride & groom. While I was in the store, I also had to pick up a sympathy card. I'm sending the card to a very lovely lady I know who just lost her husband of 55 years.

While I was in the store, I didn't really think about it but now, sitting here at my desk, looking at the two cards, I'm thinking about beginnings and endings. How much joy the soon-to-married couple are experiencing, contrasted against the pain that this woman must be feeling, faced with such a tremendous loss. I don't really have much more to say about it, just was thinking about it and thought I'd share.

the good and the bad

I look forward to seeing this. It's almost unbelievable to me that it's 27 years since Ian Curtis died.

'It felt like someone had ripped out my heart'
Ian Curtis's story has become rock legend - but his three bandmates lived through the sad reality. As a new film about Joy Division opens, Paul Lester hears how they wish they had understood his cries for help

Paul Lester
Friday August 31, 2007

Tony Wilson, their label boss, is dead now. So is their manager, Rob Gretton, and their producer, Martin Hannett. Their lead singer, Ian Curtis, tormented by epilepsy and torn between his wife and lover, hanged himself on May 18 1980, on the eve of their first US tour. But in Anton Corbijn's new film, Control, Curtis, Joy Division and their extended Manchester family live on.
It is the second major film about these four northern musicians, their home town and the characters in their orbit, following Michael Winterbottom's 2002 movie, 24 Hour Party People. "It's amazing enough to have one film made about us while most of the principal characters are still alive, but to have two films is quite bizarre," says Joy Division/New Order drummer Stephen Morris. He adds that a third "biopic" (a word everyone in the band loathes) was mooted at one point, and that a feature-length documentary, simply called Joy Division, will go on general release just after Control.

For bassist Peter Hook, the documentary, which will be premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in October, is the perfect companion piece to the movie. "I couldn't believe how well it goes with the film," he says. "It captures the Manchester of the 1970s so well. Control doesn't feel like the end of the story; the documentary closes things off perfectly. But Anton's film is more chilling. Towards the end, it felt like someone had ripped out my heart and was stamping on it. To be honest, when [the Joy Division song] Atmosphere came on, I thought I was going to throw up."

According to Bernard Sumner, Joy Division/New Order's guitarist (and unofficial musical director, making him one of the key figures in the development of electronic-based rock music of the last 30 years) it was only right that Curtis should provide the focus for Control.

It was also crucial that "the story should be allowed to tell itself, before any kind of self-expression from Anton", he says of the Dutch director, whose photographs of Joy Division when he was an NME photographer set the austere, modernist tone for the post-punk era. (Control is filmed in black and white.)

"Ian is the central character, not Anton," says Sumner. "I think people want the story. I really like the look of it. That's pretty much how it was, really. Maybe the band's characters have been suppressed a little. We were more youthfully idiotic than that. But we had a serious side. We stamped our personalities on the music of Joy Division and it sounded heavy. But we weren't really heavy people. I'd had quite a tough life up to that point. I'd had to cope with a lot of death and illness in my family from a young age, and that maybe gave me a bleak outlook on the world. But looking back, we were flippant and playful. It's just that, when we got in the rehearsal room, that's the music that came out of us. Overall, these aspects of the band are captured very accurately in Control.

"The guy who plays Ian [Sam Riley] has done an amazing job. Ian had a very explosive side that only comes out once in the film; his way of dealing with problems was to explode. But human beings are complicated creatures. It's impossible to capture every single facet of someone's personality in a film."

Corbijn, who makes his directorial debut with Control, was drawn from the Netherlands to England in 1979 by Joy Division's spectral music and Curtis's haunting voice. Within 12 days, he had taken the now-famous photograph of the band in a subway passage. He is astonished by how closely Riley resembles Curtis, and delighted that an unknown actor assumed the role with such precision.

"Sure, we looked at some better-known actors: Jude Law was one of the names mentioned early on, but not by me," he says. "Sam comes as close as it's possible to get, I think. It's really uncanny." Control is based, in part, on Touching from a Distance, the memoir by Curtis's wife Deborah. She visited the set a few times, Corbijn says, and saw Riley playing her husband: "By the end she was calling him Ian."

Corbijn says Control takes its title from two elements: the Joy Division song She's Lost Control, and from Curtis being "something of a control freak, although the one element in his life that he couldn't control was the epilepsy". But why is it more about Curtis than Joy Division? "Because I was interested in the story of Ian Curtis. Joy Division are covered in the story but I wasn't interested in making a rock movie. The appeal of the film is far beyond Joy Division. It's a three-sided love story and a human drama."

The drama begins with the 17-year-old Curtis in his parents' Macclesfield flat, dreaming of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, applying eyeliner and secretly smoking fags. Within five years, inspired by a Sex Pistols performance at Manchester's Lesser Free Trade Hall, he has become a star in his own right. By the climax, driven to the brink by illness and torment over his divided feelings for his wife and Belgian lover Annik Honore, he takes the decision that gives the story its tragic denouement and affords him legendary status.

Corbijn is certain about Curtis's motives for killing himself. "Being torn between two women would not normally be a recipe for suicide," he says. "It was the epilepsy that unravelled him. The drugs he had to take for that had such incredible side effects. Combined with alcohol, that gave him heavy mood-swings. But if two women love you, that doesn't mean you're going to kill yourself. It comes from somewhere else.

"I think he was caught up in this obsession with becoming someone. He was drawn to legendary rock stars such as Jim Morrison. Poetry and music became his focus. And something came over him when he was on stage. That made him enigmatic for people watching. He was mesmerising."

In Control, Curtis is portrayed on his last night alive, listening to Iggy Pop's The Idiot and watching Stroszek, a 1977 movie by Werner Herzog about a man from Berlin who is released from prison and goes to America in the hope of finding a new life, before committing suicide. The parallels between the character and Curtis, a day away from Joy Division's first US tour, are obvious. "I wouldn't want to speculate," says Corbijn, "but maybe other things - the music he was playing, the film he was watching, the alcohol - contributed to his decision. Maybe there was something in him that wanted a finale."

Sumner, Hook and Morris were all mortified, sitting through Control, that they couldn't see just how much pain Curtis, who had previously attempted suicide in April 1980, was in.

"The police described it as a textbook case: suicide brought on by depression, well-documented by his cries for help," says Hook. "Unfortunately, we were all too young to understand."

"This sounds awful but it was only after Ian died that we sat down and listened to the lyrics," says Morris. "You'd find yourself thinking, 'Oh my God, I missed this one.' Because I'd look at Ian's lyrics and think how clever he was putting himself in the position of someone else. I never believed he was writing about himself. Looking back, how could I have been so bleedin' stupid? Of course he was writing about himself. But I didn't go in and grab him and ask, 'What's up?' I have to live with that. Watching the film, there were moments when I wished I could have stepped into the film. Unfortunately, you can't."

"We never really listened to Ian's lyrics, to be honest," agrees Sumner. "At least, we never sat there and analysed them. It's a bit like reading your friend's letters, I suppose. But when he died, I did go through his lyrics and find myself thinking, 'Oh, God.' You look at it through a different filter because of what happened."

So why does Sumner, who became Curtis's successor as the singer in New Order, believe it did happen?

"Ian's problems were insurmountable. Not only did he have this hideous relationship problem, he also had this illness that he contracted at 22. And it wasn't a mild form. It was really, really bad and it occurred frequently. Then he had this explosive personality. The epilepsy must have cast a shadow over his future, particularly his future with the band, and his relationships cast another giant shadow. Plus, he felt extremely guilty about his daughter Natalie [13 months old at the time of his death] because his relationship with Debbie was deteriorating. I remember him telling me he couldn't pick Natalie up in case he had a fit and dropped her. That really disturbed him. At that age, no matter how mature you feel, that's a bloody lot to have on your plate.

"Then he was in a gigging band. Before he died, we'd spent four years becoming Joy Division. It revolutionised all our lives because we were small-town boys: Steve and Ian came from Macclesfield; Hooky and I were from Salford. We'd spent two years playing dives and dumps, and we were finally on the cusp of becoming really big with a tour of America. Nowadays, people fly to New York every day to go shopping. In those days it was a big thing. We were all so excited about it. But, for Ian, there was the thought of going over there and having fits in front of people during a gig. Sometimes a drumbeat would set him off. He'd go off in a trance for a bit, then he'd lose it and have a fit. We'd have to stop the show and carry him off to the dressing-room where he'd cry his eyes out because this appalling thing had just happened to him. The heavy barbiturates he was on seemed to compound the situation; they made him very, very sad. I just don't think there was a solution to Ian's problems."

And yet, in the wake of Curtis's death emerged New Order, who affected British electronic dance music as powerfully as Joy Division did UK guitar music.

The band acknowledge that the shift from Joy Division to New Order saw a transition from dark to light; the three surviving members, augmented by Morris's girlfriend Gillian Gilbert, managed, either by accident or sheer force of will, to create coolly calculated yet wrenchingly emotional pop from the wreckage.

The story of Joy Division and New Order has gripped music fans for nearly 30 years, but this summer it seems, at last, to have ended. Just when you'd imagine a film about their early lives might bring them closer together, New Order have split up. As Hook, currently in dispute with Morris and Sumner over the band's future, puts it: "We're fighting so much at the moment." But Control reminds him of the contribution these warring partners have made to the culture.

"It makes me realise that that part of my life was very special for a lot of people. It helps to remember that when I'm going through a lot of shit in my life like I am now. When I feel like I've achieved nothing. The break-up of a relationship is always difficult, especially a 30-year one. When I look at the film, it makes me realise that Joy Division changed the world. That's fantastic."

All three members agree, more or less, on Joy Division/New Order's position in the scheme of things. "When I listen to Nirvana, I hear [New Order's] Ceremony bass line on quite a few of those songs. So I'd have to say, yes, we are the missing link between the Beatles and Nirvana," says Hook. "I'd agree with that," says Sumner, who declines to comment on the split. "But really I think we were a strange anomaly that came out of the north and south of Manchester that just happens to have had some profound resonance with people. When we wrote our music we had no idea it would have that effect. Seeing other people play it in the film made me realise how great it was, and is."

"It's not for me to say whether we're the most important band since the Beatles," says Morris. "I just happened to be in a group whose music I loved. When you're doing it, there's no intent in terms of being historically important. I can only see it as a time of my life that has now been documented in two films. But it's horrible to think that someone has to die before they make a film about you."

· Enhanced versions of Joy Division's albums are released by Warners on September 10. Control is released on October 5. The documentary Joy Division will be out in 2008.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

patrick & the stand gt

patrick & the stand gt
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I think I mentioned the other day that I've been going through some old photos this week.

This is a favourite of mine. I know exactly where it was taken and remember taking the photo but, for the life of me, cannot recall the date. I know I have a flyer from the show floating around here somewhere which will, one day, tell me the date, but until I find it, I have to accept that I am getting old and that dates will sometimes slip my mind. yuck.

As I was going through photos, I stumbled across a whole bunch which I had taken at Alfies (a pub on campus for those of you not from the greater Kingston area). I took me several minutes before I recognized that the band in the photos was Pluto. I could barely remember the show (and no, I wasn't drinking to excess) and hardly remembered the pictures. I do remember that they slept on my floor that night, and during that weekend, my roommate moved out. I recall us all going to breakfast the next morning too but the show was not something I remembered. And where are they now, anyway, right?

Don't know if I'll be scanning the Pluto shots but I know that I have a bunch more stand gt photos so watch out!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ebay strikes again!

Ebay strikes again!
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I got another new purse in the mail today.

It's lovely and quite compact (but in a cute way that still leaves me room to get all of my stuff into it) and black and shiny. This particular purse, a "Sam" by Kate Spade, retails for $190. $190!! US Dollars. For a purse people!! This one is very gently used and I paid $22.11 for it. Seriously, designer gear on Ebay is the way to go if you like stuff like this. I bought a knock-off Kate Spade bag on Canal Street in NYC two years ago and paid $16 for it. For $5 more I got the real deal!!

I was happy to have a good mail day today because the boys are still hammering the shit out of our street. They are totally focused on the area directly in front of our house right now so it's particularly distressing. We are hopeful though, that the mess will move on down the road by the beginning of next week. It's all been painfully slow moving although, in some weird construction universe, I'm sure this seems to be fast.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

so I suppose you want me to paint your chair

My nerves were completely rattled by the construction tonight. Every night it seems like they stay a little later and little later. Tonight it was almost 5:45 p.m. before they stopped.

Honestly, if I were at home all day, I think I would go insane. I feel a little nuts right now and they've been gone almost 2 hours.

Oh well, I'm not whining anymore. Let the whining be replaced with laughter. This has always been my favourite "Gavin" sketch. enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2007

mellow monday

I had a really hard time this morning. I didn't want to get going, I couldn't face the fact that it was Monday again.


We had a nice weekend, a little bit busy, a little bit lazy. A good combination actually. I felt rested this morning and I hadn't felt that way on a Monday in a long time.

Anyway, in honour of mellowness and the fact that it's Monday again, here's something mellow and very beautiful.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

old photos

We found a box of old photos in the basement this morning.

I've been sorting through them, scanning some and cringing over others. I'll be posting some of them on flickr soon. In the meantime, the photos reminded me of this:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

mud slick

modern taxi cab(s)
Originally uploaded by Julep67
We ran into our neighbour on our way out to get groceries earlier. His daughter is on night's this week and her bedroom is in the basement of his house. The whole room has been shaking for her all week because of the construction. Last night, we took a good look at the equipment they are using and I see that they have a huge drill like thing that they are using to chip through the layers of limestone. Our house will likely be shaking all week, next week.

The rain we've been waiting for finally arrived, at approximately the same time we pulled up our street with our groceries in tow.

Absolutely pour is really what it did. We need the rain, I'm not complaining, but it is really making the already messy construction site into a huge mud slick.

Oh well, I think we're home again for a while. I reall don't want to go back out there again today if I don't absolutely have to.

Friday, August 24, 2007

poop and scoop

poop and scoop
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Getting out of our yard this morning was fun.

At the edge of our front lawn, there is a bit of a drop and then it's a mixture of ripped pavement, gravel and mud. We finally got some rain yesterday so it's really wet and slippy. Not really great turf to be handling in flip flops.

On the way to work this morning I commented to Mark that I don't know what we'd be doing right now if Joe were alive and still living with us. I think about this because we have a number of elderly folks on our street. They are pretty mobile, we see them walking up and down the street every day, or did before the construction. One nice lady in particular who lives 3 doors east of us, walks 2 or 3 times a day and I haven't seen her in a couple of weeks. She uses a walker and I'm sure she couldn't navigate across the lawns with it.

Progress huh?? The rest of our neighbour's hedge was torn up today too. It's all piled up in our driveway. Fortunately, it was humid here today so the roots and stuff are still damp from the rain but I don't know how much longer they can survive like that. It would be a pity if he lost the hedge and I think it may come to that.

I'm trying to figure out right now, how we'll get groceries into the house tomorrow. I guess we'll figure it out when the time comes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I just realized that it's thursday


For some reason, I got it into my head that it was Wednesday night. It's not. It's Thursday, almost the weekend. Wow.

Now, I don't like to wish the week away. I say that all of the time. But some weeks, working weeks I mean, are better than others. This particular week has not been particularly marvelous.

Having said that, I'm loving my red purse. I took it to work today and it held all of my stuff just perfectly. A friend of mine has made me promise that "should I go before her" she can have it. So there ya go, somebody make note: if I die (ooh, almost typed dye - should I colour my hair?) before Kirsty, the red Coach bag is hers!!

A while ago, I found a copy of a live performance of Ms Winehouse. It was taped in February, at the Paradiso in Amsterdam. She performed a cover of a Zutons song, Valerie. I instantly loved the song and eventually found some Zutons tunes and enjoyed them too. When stuff like that happens, musical dominoes, I'm happy. Thinking about all of the news about Amy lately though, makes me not so happy.

To me, her voice is so beautiful that it literally makes me well up when I think about what's doing to herself. Hopefully, she'll change direction and not head down an all too familiar road to ruin. I know she's pretty fucked up but I can't help but love her.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

sweet sixteen not m16s

sexy lady bits and sexy man bits too...even you must be into you...if you're sick of me posting flight of the conchords...well, suck it!

shakin' all over

just like a star
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Our house is shaking a little right now. Vibrating more really.

I cannot believe the size of the machines they are using on our street right now. They are huge and smelly.

Really smelly, like diesel fuel and exhaust and cigarette smoke. It's not a healthy combination, it's driving my allergies a little nuts actually.

They should be gone in 10 minutes or so. I'm so glad that I was on vacation last week and not this week. They started hammering into the pavement at 7 a.m. today. 7 a.m.! If I was home trying to sleep in or, heaven forbid, was sick, I'd be annoyed.

In other news, I know I seem all-consumed by the noise outside, my red Coach purse arrived today. It's so much more beautiful than I expected and it's larger. I thought it would be a little tiny thing but it's not. It's a great size and I already love it. As much as a person can love an object anyway.

I won two more auctions and I'm still waiting for those to arrive, another Coach bag, this one in black, and a Kate Spade Sam bag, also in black. I can't believe what deals I got on them too. Sometimes, Ebay rocks.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

good news

HBO was smart enough to pull their heads out of their asses and order up a second season of FotC!! I'm so happy that they didn't meet with the same fate as Lucky Louie!!

HBO renews cult favorite "Conchords"
By Nellie Andreeva

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter)
- HBO has renewed its Sunday comedies, bringing the rookie "Flight of the Conchords" back for a second season and handing out a fifth-season pickup to "Entourage."

Both shows are slated to return with original episodes in 2008.

While the renewal of the Hollywood-centered "Entourage" -- one of HBO's most popular series -- was widely expected, things weren't that certain for "Conchords," a quirky half-hour about two New Zealand musicians struggling to make it in New York.

The show starring the music-comedy duo of Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie quickly developed a cult following but came up short of the broader appeal of "Entourage."

The pickups follow HBO's recent decision to cancel David Milch's new drama "John From Cincinnati" after one season and renew "Big Love" for a third cycle.

Next for the premium cable channel is the return of critics' favorites "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (September 9) and "The Wire," the debuts of "In Treatment" and "12 Miles of Bad Road" and the controversial "Tell Me You Love Me."

"Entourage" will compete for four Emmys next month -- best comedy series, supporting actor for both last year's winner, Jeremy Piven, and Kevin Dillon, and guest actor for Martin Landau.

Monday, August 20, 2007

welcome to my driveway

welcome to my driveway
Originally uploaded by Julep67
This doesn't look too bad, does it?

From a distance it seems like there is a little bit of ripped up asphalt at the end of our driveway. There is a 8 inch drop off though. You can't see it (and I wasn't going to get any closer than where I was standing) in this photo. The big trucks are out there right now, moving stuff around.

Our next door neighbour, Pat, has a beautiful hedge on his front lawn. I'm not sure what type of hedge it is. If it helps at all, it's the same kind that my grandfather had at the house my dad grew up in. I guess that's not actually helpful at all unless you know where exactly in Smiths Falls my dad grew up. It's lovely and Pat takes very good care it.

I watched, with my stomach in my throat, as this big digger thing ripped up the sidewalk a mere inches from the hedge. I hope that they don't destroy it but I have a feeling that they might. Mark told me that Pat is pretty upset about it but you can't do too much about it, unfortunately.

Kinda like how we can't complain about parking on the street right now. You just know too, that the city is going to do an amazingly shitty job of paving the portion of the drive that they muck up. I know that this will happen because it happened at our old house when they put in new sidewalks.

Oh well, it could be worse I suppose. Instead of living with minor water main repair inconveniences, we could be trying to survive a hurricane or a flood. It's all about perspective.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

roger, the gold fish

roger, the gold fish
Originally uploaded by Julep67
When we moved into our house, the folks who we bought it from left behind a tank and five goldfish. The "leader of the pack" of these fish was a cool guy we named Roger.

The first summer we had the fish, two of the five died. Roger thrived though, him and Skid and Mojo (the other two) seemed to be doing really well.

As you may know, goldfish love to dig around in the gravel in the tank. They are looking for stray bits of food and they pick the rocks up with their mouth and spit them out again, with a fair bit of force at times. Roger loved to do this, he did it so much and with such vigor that he injured his mouth last year. Eventually it healed but he did it again earlier this summer. This time though, it never really healed properly.

While nursing the injured mouth, he developed a fungal infection. We isolated him from the other fish about 10 days ago. Mark started treating his fungal infection and while he still had his appetite, Roger was a really sick guy.

This morning when I went to feed him, I discovered that Roger had died through the night. We're both a little sad about this. I said to Mark that we could have taken him out of the big tank last summer and let him live in a gravel free zone. Now, that may have allowed him to live longer but would he have been happier? Without friends to play with and rocks to throw around, he might be healthy but he might also be miserable and lonely.

Anyway, I just felt like I should tell you all a little bit about Roger because he was a really cool fish and I know that we're gonna miss him.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

kitchen door after

kitchen door after
Originally uploaded by Julep67
what a difference a little bit of paint makes huh?

the whole corner of the kitchen is brighter now. I'm really looking forward to doing the front door now cuz it looks soooo good.


Friday, August 17, 2007

fugly door

back door before
Originally uploaded by Julep67
gross huh?

Both it, and the front door need a coat of paint. I only got this one done today because there is major construction going on in front of our house and I didn't want the dust and crap which is flying around to get into the paint.

I'm not sure why we let it go for so long but I tell ya, it's going to be so nice when it's done!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

sick in the head

Poor Mark.

This weather we're having is killing him. He had a migraine yesterday and today. This morning he went to work but I had to go pick him up after a couple of hours because he was so sick.

All afternoon there was a thunderstorm warning in effect but I don't think we'll be seeing any rain today. The pressure is there, outside I mean, but it doesn't want to break. Poor guy, he's sick sick sick right now.

Anyway, because I've been distracted with poor Mark, I leave you with this. Another little nugget of memories from my high school days. enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Originally uploaded by Julep67
Is it really schadenfreude if you feel a smidgen guilty for taking a pinch of glee in good news about someone you don't care about?

now, bear in mind please, the "good news" is merely a rumour. the gossip did make me smile however so, I think it still counts as schadenfreude.

I don't know if it's all that bad to smile and laugh a little when you hear something nasty about a person who has gone out of their way to cause you (me) pain.

for the moment, I think I'll take the glee. the whole thing could turn out not to be true anyway. it is true though, it'll be a case of "reaping what you sow" for sure.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

our street has a fancy porta-john

I am up way past my bedtime.

Now, you might ask me why I still have a bedtime when I'm on holidays. Well, I have been sticking to my routine as much as possible (as far as bedtime and awake time goes) because Mark's still working and it wouldn't do me any good to stay up late because I'd not be hanging out with him and that's no fun, is it?

Tonight I've been scanning photos for a friend. I'm helping her make a slideshow for her wedding. Our old flat bed scanner actually chugged along pretty good tonight. I scanned about 90 photos in about 90 minutes. Not terrible huh?? Of course, my eyeballs are about ready to fall out at the mo so I think I'm heading to bed.

Other than that, today was a pretty lazy day. I watched a couple of movies (Sherry Baby and Fuck). They were both really good although Sherry Baby was a bit of a downer, an excellent film but not exactly a comedy. The lazy days are good, I'm enjoying them and I think I'll actually feel rested up when I head back to work next week.

Monday, August 13, 2007

put me in coach!

Originally uploaded by Julep67
So, as you have probably noticed, I've been doing some "sponsored" blogging for the past few months. When I started doing it, I didn't really think that I'd make a tonne of money but I thought it would be cool to see how much I did make.

Well, since the end of April (when I started), I've made a few bucks and until today had only purchased 2 things with my extra change (the money goes into my paypal account). Today, I splurged a little (not a lot, I spent less than $60) and bought myself a "previously owned" red leather Coach bag. I've never owned a real Coach bag before. The only ones I've ever seen up close have been purchased on Canal Street in New York.

It's beyond cute. I got it on ebay and I cannot wait for it to arrive. So, even though some of the sponsored posts are better than others, it's all worth it when I can buy myself a present like that. Must scoot now, ebay's a-callin' ...there's a black Kate Spade bag hollerin' my name!!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts

I never knew that Merv was one of the voices behind that little gem. I was sad to hear that he passed away. When I was a kid, we watched his talk show and I loved him when he was on Fat Actress a couple of years ago. Rest in peace Merv!

Creator of Wheel of Fortune dies

Merv Griffin, the US entertainer who created the game shows Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune, has died aged 82.

He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer earlier this year.

Griffin was known for his self-titled TV series, which ran for more than 5,500 editions in the 23 years to 1986, and had spells as an actor and singer.

But devising the quiz shows secured his financial future, after he sold the rights to Columbia Pictures and kept a share of the profits.

Jeopardy was first broadcast on US television in 1964, while Wheel of Fortune made its debut 11 years later.

Griffin bought a hotel when he tired of trying to invest his money, having been "so bored" spreading his fortune across bonds and stocks.
"I said, 'I'm not going to sit around and clip coupons for the rest of my life,'" he recalled in an interview in 1989.

"That's when Barron Hilton said, 'Merv, do you want to buy the Beverly Hilton?' I couldn't believe it."

But Griffin did acquire the property for $100m (£49m), and then spent millions more dollars completely refurbishing it.

Further profits were made following the purchase of Resorts International, which ran casinos and hotels from Atlantic City to the Caribbean.

He told Life magazine 19 years ago that the "gamesmanship" in such business deals "parallels the game shows I've been involved in".

Born on 6 July 1925 in San Francisco, Griffin's first job was as a singer on the radio programme San Francisco Sketchbook.

According to his website, within two days the programme was renamed The Merv Griffin Show, and soon afterwards he was earning in excess of $1,000 (£490) a week.

He became the featured vocalist in Freddy Martin's big band, before topping the US chart in 1950 with a version of novelty song I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


water main construction
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Late this afternoon, a little tired from too much time spent in the sun earlier, I watched "Friends with Money" on cable.

I thought that I'd enjoy it because I really like Frances McDormand and Catherine Keener, not to mention the lovely Joan Cusak.

Boy, was I wrong. It had a few good moments here and there and really, Jennifer Aniston was even okay in it but the story just wasn't happening. I got what they were trying to say but it was a little slow moving for me. Also, a couple of the plots were never really resolved, at least not to my satisfaction. I'm sure there are some folks out there who enjoyed it for me, I'd rate it with a "meh."

Tonight, we're planning at "Studio 60" marathon. We haven't seen the last 7 episodes yet. I doubt very much that we'll get through them all tonight but at least I know that I'll be entertained. I'm disappointed that it got cancelled but not entirely surprised. I think it's a little too clever in parts to be allowed to succeed.

Friday, August 10, 2007

cheesey friday

For some reason, I can't get this fotc line out of my head: "will someone please remove these cutleries from my knees"

Everytime we watch their HBO show, or anything else with them in it, Mark and I find ourselves in tears because we are laughing so hard. I love when that happens!

Mark is working a half day today. He worked until noon and then was taking the cab for a wash and then an oil change. The plan is for him to be home in an hour or so. While he's been working, I've been puttering around the house. I got the laundry done yesterday and today I've been doing some dusting. I'm a little disgusted by how much dust has accumulated in the house. I have a pretty high dust threshold too, it has to be pretty bad for it to really bother me. The stirring up of the dust is making me sneeze a tonne too.

Our plan for the weekend is to do very little. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous, just like last weekend, so I'm thinking we'll be out on the deck or in the pool a lot. Speaking of that, I think I'm going to head outside right now.

I'll leave you with a little cheesey Friday fun:

Thursday, August 09, 2007

the birthday girl

the birthday girl
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Happy Birthday mum!!

Today is her birthday and we stopped by for a little visit earlier this evening. From what we heard, I think she's been having a super birthday, as she should!!

For the first time since the water main construction started, our water was turned off for a while this afternoon. I had just put a load of laundry into the machine when I heard a knock at the door. The fellow said it would be off for about an hour but it was less than that, maybe only 45 minutes.

So far, I am happy to report that the construction folks have been polite and courteous. I'm not sure if I'll be feeling this way when they get to the section of the street in front of our house and we're not able to access our driveway but so far, I can't complain.

clear air!

exploding wave petunia
Originally uploaded by Julep67
The clean air has returned to our sunny little town.

I was pleasantly surprised this morning in the garden. I went out back to water the garden and was hit with a lung full of gorgeous, clean, cool air.

It's incredible what a different a day makes.

I can't wait to spend the better part of today outside, breathing fresh air. What do you have planned?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

dog day of august

I think that today turned out to be one of those "dog days of august" that we hear about.

I say this because I ended up having a big huge nap this afternoon and it seemed to be very dog-like behaviour.

This morning, I was up early and took Mark to work. Later on, I went out and did errands while it was still all cloudy. Despite the clouds, the humidity was insane and I kept thinking that everything I bought, even stuff which didn't need refrigeration, was going to melt before I got it home.

Eventually, the sun came out and the heat was oppressive. Mark quit work early and we went out for lunch. On the way home from the restaurant, we talked about getting into the pool for a while. What we ended up doing was crashing out for 2.5 hours. I'm so glad we did. Neither of us slept well last night for no apparent reason. Right now though, I'm feeling chilled out, rested and relaxed.

yay for naps!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


I had a dentist appointment today.

The appointment was for 11:30 a.m. I was having a filling done.

At 12:12 p.m. they took me into the doctor's room.

At 12:26 p.m. he finally saw me.

The filling went well, he's a good dentist and all. I just wasn't impressed to be kept waiting for so long.

The freezing is almost out of my mouth right now and my mouth hurts.

I know I'm whining, I'm sorry. I just think that if someone is going to make your mouth hurt, they shouldn't keep you waiting for almost an hour to do so.


Monday, August 06, 2007

top of the world

us on the observation deck
Originally uploaded by Julep67
Well, we may not have been exactly at the top of the world (we were at the top of the Empire State Building) but we felt pretty good when this photo was taken. Fortunately, we still feel pretty good, 8 years on.

That's right, it's our anniversary today. 8 years. How the hell did that happen?

At times, I find it hard to imagine that we've ever been apart because it feels like we've been together forever. At other times, it feels like the 8 years has just flown by like minutes.

Either way, I'm very grateful to have Mark in my life. I'm pretty sure he feels the same way too. We're pretty lucky and we know it and that's probably one of the reasons why it's been so good.

rest in peace lee

Singer songwriter Hazlewood dies

Singer and songwriter Lee Hazlewood, best known for his work with Nancy Sinatra, has died of cancer, aged 78.

Hazlewood wrote and produced many of Sinatra's most famous hits, including These Boots Were Made For Walkin' and Some Velvet Morning.

He also produced Duane Eddy and Gram Parsons, while a number of solo albums brought him acclaim in his own right.

He died peacefully at his home near Las Vegas, his manager said. He is survived by his third wife and three children.

"He was my friend and my mentor," said Nancy Sinatra, who released three albums of duets with Hazlewood. "I always felt safe with him.

"I will miss him terribly," she added.

Hazlewood's manager Wyndham Wallace said the crooner was "without doubt one the most maverick and talented people I have ever met".
"He meant a lot to me long before I had the chance to work with him. His death is a tremendous loss for the music community."

Hazlewood's hits with Nancy Sinatra in the 1960s and early '70s included Jackson and Did You Ever?

The pair's close working relationship led to him producing Something Stupid - the duet Nancy recorded with her father Frank in 1967.

In later years, Hazlewood became a cult figure amongst alternative musicians.
In 1999, he returned to the stage with a sell-out show at London's Royal Festival Hall after being invited to play by Nick Cave, who was curating the Meltdown Festival.

Diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005, Hazlewood gave away his gold and platinum discs to friends outside the music industry and started worked on his final album, Cake Or Death.

Hazlewood's family have asked that people wishing to honour his memory make donations to the Salvation Army. Tributes can be left on the singer-songwriter's Myspace page.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


fence and vine
Originally uploaded by Julep67
So it happened.

I was stung.


it hurt so bad.

it's sort of my fault but still, did the hornet really need to sting me, on my neck of all places!?

I was closing up the shed tonight and slammed the door a little hard. This must have startled the hornets and one flew down from the nest and got me in the neck. At first, I could hardly walk. I got up to the deck and rushed past Mark. I needed to get into the house. I could feel the stinger, or so I thought. I was sure that it was sticking out of my neck.

I got into the bathroom and couldn't see anything. My neck was sore though and I had a burning sharp pain where I'd been stung. I could feel my neck and jaw getting stiff and I had a sudden vision of me sitting in emerge tonight. Fortunately, the numbness went away and eventually, the stinging stopped.

I have big red swollen spot at the moment but it's not sore. Guess we'll need to deal with the nest. That was a little too close for comfort.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

hornet's nest

hornet's nest
Originally uploaded by Julep67
if there is a text book description or a photo of what a perfect summer day should look like, I'll bet that it looks a lot like today did.

After several super hot, mega sticky, humid days, we had a full day of clear blue skies, fresh air and warm temperatures. It was not stifling, you could actually breathe. The sun was lovely, not oppressive.

We were in the pool on three different occasions and spent the bulk of our day outside. We came in a little while ago to make some dinner and to avoid the mosquitoes which, I'm sure, are out there now looking for me.

Speaking of neighbours, do you like this little nest? We're inclined to leave it be. We had one last summer and the hornets left us alone. We figure that if they aren't hurting us, we should leave them be.

Of course, one sting and the whole game could change. For now, we are having a peaceful co-existence in the yard.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Originally uploaded by Julep67

guess what?

I'm on vacation.


My vacation started at 4 p.m. today.

I do not have to return to the office until August 20.

I am a happy girl.

Hope you're happy too.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

pancake thursday

chocolate chip pancakes
Originally uploaded by Julep67
I'm not really having pancakes today but I thought I'd share this photo. It's a little too warm to be thinking about pancakes today.

All week, I've been pretty lucky. I haven't had to venture outside too far while I've been at work. Basically I've been able to hop from air conditioned office to air conditioned office. This morning I had to walk across campus, through the construction zone, to get to a meeting.

The walk over was no problem. Easy to get through the construction, not a lot of fumes, a little bit of a breeze. No problems. Coming back though, all of the machines were awake, there was dust everywhere. Cigarette smoke was all over the place too, the construction dudes must need to smoke while operating heavy machinery. They must go hand in hand. Between the diesel fumes, the smoke and the super thick hot steamy stuff that passes for air, my friend and I were almost gasping by the time we got back to the office.

No fun, not a bit.

On an up note, the city has started to rip up our street. This morning, we saw them cutting into the pavement on our way to work. Mark noticed it before me actually. My focus was on the boat by the side of the road. I should have realized that it was our neighbour, pulling his boat. He'd stopped to get the skinny from the road crew. Tonight, we saw that the new water main stuff (concrete tubes wrapped in bright blue plastic) were piled by the roadside.

Should be interesting. If nothing else, at least we'll (hopefully) get a freshly paved street out of the deal!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Originally uploaded by Julep67
It's practically past my bedtime but I wanted to share this.

One of my photos is now in the Schmap guide to Montreal. In February 2006, we took a roadtrip to Montreal to see Belle & Sebastian. The morning after the show, we went to Ben's Deli for breakfast. It was a delicious breakfast and it was a Monday morning so we really didn't think much about the place being almost completely dead. We thought that it was kind of nice to have the restaurant practically to ourselves.

Several months later, around Christmas I think, someone on Now Public asked to use of my Ben's photos for a story they were publishing on how the place was having labour disputes and would probably be closing. This spring, we heard that it had closed. It made sense to me that it would. Last month, when we visited Montreal again, this time to see the Polyphonic Spree, we didn't even bother going by Ben's to see if it was open.

I'm guessing now that it must be open again or they would not be listing it in this guide...or maybe they would, just to mess with the minds of tourists.

Anyway, go check it out. it's kind of cool to see Mark and his beard in the directory!