Posts Tagged ‘girliness’

I am not, nor have I ever been, a girly girl. The closest I ever came was a weird era in the late ’80s where I insisted on wearing skirts and dresses all the time while climbing trees. I’m not sure why I thought this was a good idea as it resulted in many ripped outfits or my ass hanging out half the time, but I guess as a five-year-old, I wasn’t that concerned about wardrobe destruction or panty-flashing.

Anyway, one of the few offerings I made to the altar of estrogen growing up was being a pretty avid fan of the Sweet Valley series. I’ve mentioned this before, but I followed those Wakefield twins through thick and thin. Grade School (Sweet Valley Kids), Middle School (Sweet Valley Twins), High School (Sweet Valley High) and Post-Secondary (Sweet Valley University), we went through many years together. Common sense and continuity be damned! The Wakefield girls were my girls . . . And man, were they ever mean girls sometimes! I’ve only realized this more as an adult, but what sanctimonious little pricks they were to some of their friends. I mean Lila was generally thought of as “the group bitch”, but she was the respectable kind of bitch. In that way, she was kind of like Sweet Valley‘s own James Spader. She didn’t hide the fact that she was an asshole under a bunch of bumbling and cutesy gestures ANDREW MCCARTHY– she owned it and you knew what you were getting with her.

Anyway, my lovely and much more girly sister-in-law reminded me of the series again this morning when she posted a link on my Facebook wall to an interview with Francine Pascal (the all-knowing creator god of the Sweet Valley Universe) who was talking about this . . .

*And the angelic choir sang the praises of the Wakefield clan*

I wasn’t that excited about it because this book is practically Sweet Valley folk lore at this point. There has been talk time and time again that there was going to be a book following the Wakefields & their plucky pals post-grad, but the reports were always riddled with errors and the release date of the book was never firm, so I was sceptical the thing would ever see the light of day.

Until, apparently, now because, unbeknowst to me, the book was released yesterday and my nearby bookstore has 43 copies of it! Hells ya!

So needless to say, I will be heading over to the bookstore at lunch because Sweet Valley, she is my lady crack**. I am so addicted to the ridiculous, manufactured drama of it that I need . . . nay, have to read what happens to those blonde bitches next! Woot! So excited! Trashy book, here I come!

(A reading and a detailed recap will be coming shortly.)

*And something that I didn’t mention in my Andrew McCarthy Sucks! post but that I should have was that, when Andie and Blaine (blech!) finally get back together and kiss and whatever, they’re in like an alley or a parking lot or whatever with none of his stupid jerk friends around so he’s still ashamed of her! Pretty easy to deliver big speeches about how much integrity you have when you don’t actually have to have any balls to back it up, eh Blaine? At least Danny Zuko who, don’t get me wrong, I also have problems with danced with Sandy in front of everyone at the carnival thingy! Bah! HATE!
**You know, I just realized that by calling a post “Lady Crack,” I am probably opening my blog up to a bunch of really unsavoury blog search terms but my brain is so clouded with happy ridiculous thoughts that I don’t care. Sorry, perverts!

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While there are many good things about living in Canada, one of the things that sucks is that there a good many stores that Americans have that we don’t.

One such store is J.Crew*. I am kind of obsessed with J.Crew as I have bought a few things on trips down to the States and they’ve all been pretty cute and lasted me a long time.

However, the thing that I absolutely love the most is the dresses. In real life, I’m not an overwhelmingly feminine person, but there’s something about dresses that I love. They seem to keep everything tucked away just so that I actually like how I look in them as opposed to pants which oftentimes make me feel misshapen (according to the pant people, I should be my height but heavier or my weight but shorter.)

Anyway, this morning I got an e-mail from J. Crew about their new stock so I popped over to look and ended up crushing on two of their new dresses.

First a blue one . . .


I am a sucker for a blue dress and this one is no exception. Usually, I like a dress with more structure and straighter lines, but I love, love, love the soft gauziness of this one. It looks like it should be worn walking through a field of wild flowers or something.

Then, a fuschia one . . .

fuschiadressAgain, not really the type of dress that is typical for me, but I like the colour and the kind of cute Parisian look it has to it. I don’t even mind the asymetrical bow on the front which, if you know me, is a big deal because I hate, hate, hate bows**.

Way, way back in January, I was hoping I might get a new job so I could buy yet another dress from J. Crew but as that doesn’t seem to be happening right now (stupid crappy job market!) I had to put that plan on hold. Will things pick up in time for me to purchase one of my new obsessions? I guess we’ll have to wait and see***!

* My number one obsession used to be Anthropologie, but the shopping gods were nice enough to put one of those in Toronto a few blocks away from my work. However, I have only been in once so far because I know if I went more often, it would leave me destitute (with a really kicky wardrobe!)
**I hate bows so much that, if there is even a tiny bow incidentally sewn onto a piece of underwear I’ve purchased, the first thing I do when I get home from the store is take out my nail scissors and hack the thing off. What the heck is it with lingerie manufactures sticking bows on everything? Are they worried that people won’t get that we’re women if our bras are bow-free? Because, seriously, I thought the boobs would help cancel out those worries.
*** However, if some kind Samaritan happened to have some extra cash lying around and wanted to make this size 6 blogger very happy, I wouldn’t object.  😉

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(Someone I know quoted this line this morning and it made me laugh so I’ve used it as my title. I think I need to watch Office Space again soon as my own office is almost as quirky.)

So, as you may have noticed, I kind of took last week off from here. I’ve got to say, it was kind of nice. I’ve been feeling kind of frustrated and burned out recently, so it felt kind of like a relief to me to not be beholden to anything for a little bit. No regular blogging. No list items. No nothing.

Instead of that stuff, I’ve been putting my energy into trying to change my day-to-day situation (a.k.a. the gig). I am probably a bit of a bonehead trying to initiate a search in a competitive field during a recession, but as I am feeling myself inching towards a breaking point, I know that I have got to try.

I hate feeling bored and unfulfilled.

I hate having to constantly pick up the slack for others (someone called in today for the sixth day this month).

But most of all, I hate waking up every morning with that feeling in the pit of my stomach. That horrible, sour, “Oh please, not there again” feeling.

I hate that feeling, not only because it’s causing me to pop antacids all the time, but because this is coming from a job that I used to love and that I consider myself good at. I love working hard and sloughing through a bunch of work. I mean that rush and sense of accomplishment you get when you cross the finish line is awesome. But when you feel like you’re by yourself when you’re supposed to be part of a team, it sucks tremendously.

Anyway, there have been some recent developments that give me hope. One, the department I work for is talking about hiring another person so at least there might be someone else starting that can be trained to help with some of the craziness (I’ve worked the last two busy seasons understaffed which is not fun) and two, there have actually been a couple of breaks in my search.

One of course, was the Penguin gig and then the day after, I found a posting for one at Kids Can Press which would also be pretty amazing since I have long been interested in working in kidlit.

However putting aside shop talk for a minute, this weekend was actually quite a bit of fun and helped to ease some of my tension as of late. On Saturday night, Boy and I grabbed burgers at a deluxe burger place (35 different kinds) with our friends Jack and Sally and after dinner, retired to our cleaned up place to play Left 4 Dead/talk about wedding stuff. Both Boy and I are in the wedding party for their Halloween nuptials and as a former wedding vet (I actually blogged for a popular wedding site for a time), Sally and I discussed some of the stuff that needed to get done in the next seven months. I’ve got to say, it was kind of nice to be on the other side of things for a change. As much as I loved our wedding (and I totally did), having some distance from the stress of planning definitely makes it easier to deal with.

Then, on Sunday, we went to see Boy’s brother Logan get his black belt in Muay Thai kickboxing. I had never seen Logan do any of his martial arty stuff before, but it basically confirmed to me that:
a) I am incredibly out of shape.
b) I am now related to someone who could easily be a character in Street Fighter.
I mean, Logan is naturally very mild mannered, but his skills in ass-kickery are a bit intimidating to someone whose only natural means of defense are pinching and extremely bony elbows.

In any case, that is where things stand right now. I will hopefully get the chance to write again later about silly things like Ron Perlman and annoying hipster hair dressers, but I figured at least a minor update was in order.

Hope everyone else had an awesome weekend and look forward to “seeing” some of you at tomorrow’s book club! 🙂

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An Evening Apart

Boy is headed out for dinner/drinks with a local work colleague tonight so it seems that I will have the apartment to myself tonight. And, you know, I have to say, I’m actually really looking forward to it.


When I was 11 years old, my parents first gave me a key to the house and so I got used to having at least four hours a day to myself. I would spaz out to music. I would watch horrible tv. I would create little blanket/pillow coccoons to read inside of. It was just a great dose of quality me time, which is something I crave to this day.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with Boy. He’s amazing and the only person I have ever been able to stand having continuously in my personal space.

But sometimes, it’s nice to have little breaks from each other and go on separate adventures. Having different experiences gives us something to talk about and when we get back together at the end of it, it’s that much nicer because absence has made the heart grow fonder.

So when I wrap up work in about an hour, I’m going to make the most of it. I’m going to hit the grocery store to pick up some of my favourite foods, maybe hit the video store and grab some movies and then I’m going back to the apartment to kick it with the cat and have a girls night in!

Awesome. 🙂

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Way, way back in the day, I loved me some Sweet Valley books like you would not believe. When I was little, my mom worked at a bookstore so I would either sit on the floor by their section reading them (a major bookstore faux pas I know) or I would devour the stripped cover copies my mom would bring home for me.

Once she moved on from the store, I continued to buy them because I was totally enamoured with the twins’ world. I mean, what was not to like?

1) They were sisters and I was an only child.
2) They always had cute boyfriends (Todd Wilkins! Ooh!)
3) They often went on adventures.

As I got older, I progressed from age appropriate series to  series, but I ended up stopping sometime in the 7th grade when Sweet Valley University got a little too dull to read anymore*.

Anyway, while the last orginal Sweet Valley book was published in 2003, with the increasing popularity of chick-lit books for teens, Random House seemed to think it was time to revive the twins and in April 0f 2008, reissued the first Sweet Valley High book, Double Love, with updates for a modern teen audience**.

However, unfortunately for everyone’s favourite blonde twins, the books weren’t selling that well and, this month, the reissues were canned after just six books.

On one hand, I can totally understand this since kids are used to stuff like Gossip Girl now (which is supposedly full of sexual intrigue while the sexiest thing that happens in SVH is that Bruce Patman undoes Jessica’s bikini top), but on the other hand, I kind of feel sorry for the books because I grew up with them. Plus, they didn’t even get into the bat$h!t insane territory of Sweet Valley books where the girls were fighting off psychotic dopplegangers and face stealers and werewolves, which seems kind of a shame.

Alas, poor Jessica and Elizabeth, I knew them well*** but now their exploits have been relegated to the bookstore discount bin! Pity.

* I did however read the book in which a barely legal Jessica got married and had the sex (OMG Teh Sex!), and, even though the mention of it was pretty modest, I hid it at the bottom of my book bag for fear of it being discovered and being labelled as a perv.
** Meaning no more references to the girls wearing jumpsuits or going to the roller disco with their friends.
*** Yes, I know this is a misquote of a famous line from Hamlet, but I figured if I was already changing it to reference a teen series, I might as well just go with it. In for a penny, in for a pound.

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A snippet of a conversation I had with my mother on Friday when she called my work:

Mom: I haven’t seen you in a while. We should get togther.
Girl: Sure, okay. But I’m really busy this month so it’ll have to be in February.
Mom: Whenever we go will be fine. I just need some girl time. We can go shopping, grab some drinks and then we can go see that Revolutionary Road movie. Your father won’t go see that with me because he doesn’t like the way it looks from the trailer, so I need a movie buddy.
Girl: Well Mom, I’m kind of on board with dad there. The 30 second tv  preview for that thing makes me want to start popping Prozac everytime I see it, it looks so freakin’ depressing. Seriously, I would rather see Bride Wars* than that painful looking thing.
Mom: Oh good! I wanted to see that too!
Girl: (headdesk)

Between manically depressive suburbanites or shrill shrieking brides, I am not sure I picked the lesser of two evils. Maybe I can hold her off until that Shopaholic movie comes out . . . at least then, if it’s bad, I’ll still have pretty clothes to look at . . . What do you think?

*Question to Rotten Tomatoes: Since when does “You could do worse in Hollywood’s dumping ground” count as a positive review? That’s like saying “There are worse things than being punched in the face”  – I mean, I’m sure there are, but would you needlessly subject yourself to being punched in the face when you didn’t have to? Especially when the punch in the face would cost you $13? I beg of you, movie reviewers everywhere, please stop making excuses for mediocrity; it will just make things worse in the long run.

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Okay, so I said earlier when I was talking about the subway man that I hate the movie Grease and I feel the need to justify this hate because I know a lot of people love that movie and probably think I’m a monster for loathing such a candy colour piece of pop perfection. But I have a legitimate reason, so I thought it best that I explain myself before the internet tomatoes start to fly.

Just to set the scene, when I was like 15 or 16, I used to babysit for these two adorable little blonde girls Barbie and Betty. They were the sweetest, nicest little kids ever and looking after them was the easiest job I have ever had. So their parents go out and as they’re leaving they say, “We got the girls a movie. Feel free to throw it into the VCR later.” (Yes kiddies, I am from the era of VHS tapes). The movie, of course, was Grease.

Somehow, over the course of my life, I had managed to avoid any sleepovery occasion that would have required me to watch this movie, so I was actually kind of happy at the prospect of seeing it when we popped it in.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of the movie I can get behind. I can get behind the message that dropping out of school is a bad idea because I think that school is important. I can get behind the song making fun of Sandra Dee because I enjoy snarky songs. I can even get behind the casting of a 34-year-old Stockard Channing as a teenage because I do generally like her as a person (I mean I’ve never seen her name on a movie poster and gone squealing with happiness into the theatre, but she seems like a perfectly nice lady). What I can’t get behind is that crappy and completely wrong ending.

If you’ve never seen it, let me fill you in. Danny Zucko, a greaser biker guy, realizes he’s been an asshat to poor Sandy Olsson, a cute little prep girl, and so he throws on a preppy little letterman sweater and goes off to the school carnival in hopes of finding her. However when he gets there, he finds Sandy waiting for him and all tarted up in those pants they had to sew her into.

So what does he do? He whips off his preppy little sweater, symbolically abandoning any of his relationship compromises, while Sandy just stays in the pants, now having to embrace a whole new persona just to date a guy with creepy looking hair!

Now I realize Sandy couldn’t really have flung off her pants, because that would have been awkward and unseemly*, especially for a movie that was theoretically set in the 1950s, but the whole thing bugged the crap out of me when I first saw it, especially when I saw how Barbie and Betty were reacting to it, because they totally loved it and thought it was awesome that Sandy was such a spineless wimp.

I don’t really consider myself a feminist in any sort of flag-waving militant sense, but I absolutely hate any time any piece of media depicts a girl putting up with crappy behaviour or completely giving up/changing a part of herself to be with a guy. It’s totally wrong and unfair and infuriating because it’s the kind of stuff that subconciously passes down from generation to generation. “If I keep my mouth shut, never eat on dates and get a makeover then that guy from school will like me!” And how messed up would that be, an entire generation of women wearing troweled on makeup while they mutely eat dinner salads ?

So boo-urns to you Grease! Until I see a version where both Danny and Sandy “shape up” and treat each other right, I’m not a fan.

*Although if they did a remake of it now, with how blase people have been since the Lindsay/Britney cooter flashings, the pantless thing would probably be a lot more acceptable.

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