8.30.2009

Two words I bet you never thought you'd never hear to describe the documentary The Boys: HOLY FUCK

About a week ago on CBC Radio 1 (I believe on Q, but I can't really remember) I heard an interview with two guys, Greg and Jeff Sherman. They were talking about a documentary they made about their fathers Bob and Dick Sherman, who wrote pretty much every song in every Disney movie during the late 60s/early 70s. I was starting to fall asleep during this interview, so all I really took from it was that it was 100 minutes about the guys who wrote It's A Small World. Later in the week I remembered that interview and thought "let's check what my good friends over at The Onion AV Club thought of it". Turns out they, and pretty much every other movie critic loved it, so on Friday night I crawled up to Yonge and Dundas Square (Toronto's shitty version of Times Square) and bought a ticket to see The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story.


Holy Fuck.

This was seriously the best movie I have seen in a long-ass time (and I saw The Hurt Locker, friends). This is a near-perfect film. I cried about 4 times during it, and left the theatre feeling really sad. These guys wrote some of the best movie songs of the 20th Century...wait, no, scratch that. Some of the best songs, period. But overall, it's an amazing story about two brothers who are super different, not friends at all, didn't speak to each other outside of work. Also they were bffs with Walt Disney and there is some BEYOND adorable footage of him in the film too (sidebar - can I get on a soapbox for a second? To all the people who talk about Disney being a multi-billion dollar evil corporation: go see The Boys. I think this movie was made for you. To remind you that you are a smug prick, yes, exactly).

Maybe I'm biased about The Boys: my favourite era of Disney films is definitely the late 60's/early 70's, when the films were really story-driven: One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, The Jungle Book, The Fox and the Hound, The Rescuers, The Aristocats, Robin Hood. It just seems that eveything before that was very Princess-driven (aka Life sucks till you find a rich man) and stuff after was very slick (slick, but good - I won't hate on Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid, which kick so much ass. Did I just say that The Little Mermaid kicks ass? Ugh, I think I did. Someone hand me an Ed Hardy du-rag to mop up my rediculousness).

Anyways, here are a few songs from the Sherman brothers' catalogue that are amazing and really adorable:


"Mother Earth and Father Time"
- Charlotte's Web
Quick fact: after Disney died, the Shermans started to hate Disney a bit so they left and went out to other studios. They scored Charlotte's Web, which is a great movie if you have never seen it. Also, I'm of course referring to the 1970s animated one and not the 2007 one with Dakota Fanning (lame). Anywhogivesashit, I LOVE this song; so much so that I would love to have it played at my wedding. This is the song Charlotte sings to Wilbur right before she dies. OUCH. My baboon heart - she hurts just thinking about it! I couldn't find the original from the movie, so instead please enjoy this crappy collage of fat-college-girl pictures of fairies and nature and shit.


"Feed the Birds"
- Mary Poppins
In the film they talk about Mary Poppins a lot - it was their most successful score - but I learned that Disney's favourite song (of any Disney song) was Feed the Birds. Oh. My. God. Could you pick a more depressing song to have as your favourite? Walt Disney was goth before goth was goth. Sidebar - Feed the Birds is a really beautiful song.


"Hushabye Mountain"
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Oh hello, it's another amazing lullabye, courtesy of the Sherman brothers. I wanted to post this song as well to compare to Feed the Birds. They're essentially the same song, right? Well...yes and no. There's something inherently depressing about this one. Where Feed the Birds has a sort of positive, storytelling element to it, Hushabye Mountain is sort of bleak and hopeless. Am I being smart? Oh shit, I think I am. I better move on before this shit becomes a thesis paper.


"Let's Get Together"
- The Parent Trap
Okay, this song wouldn't be nearly as cute if it weren't sung by Haley Mills (aka Miss Bliss!) but this song still works. Also, how cute is The Parent Trap?? I need to start basing a lot more of my clothing style off that movie.


"Heffalumps and Woozles"
- Winnie the Pooh
Two words: FUCKING. SCARY. This song really freaked me out when I was little (I'm sure I'm not the only one). But now that I watch it 20 years later...it's actually pretty tame. Something else I learned? A Heffalump is an elephant, and a Woozle is a weasel. I'm slow.


"Everbody wants to be a cat"
- The Aristocats
TELL ME THIS SONG ISN'T AMAZING. Do it. I'll wait. If you can look past the very (ahem) gentle stereotyping of characters, you can see that it is a fantastic song. How can you argue with lyrics like:
Everybody wants to be a cat
Because a cats the only cat
Who knows where it's at



"Scales and Arpeggios"
- The Aristocats
This is just adroable.


"I wanna be like you"
- The Jungle Book
Find a kid out there who doesn't know this song. Exactly.


"Up Down / Little Black Raincloud"
- Winnie the Pooh
This is what I like most about the Sherman brothers: they were terrific at making sad lullabies (Feed the Birds, Hushabye Mountain), upbeat danceables (I wanna be like you, Higitus Figitus), and then sweet little short songs (Scales and Arpeggios). The work they did for the Winnie the Pooh series is just that: perfect, short little sweet songs. Little Black Raincloud is just too precious.


"Substitutiary Locomotion"
- Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Love love love this movie and everything about the songs in it too, but this song sticks out to me. I think it may be the same reason I like Let's Get Together: the person singing it. Who doesn't hate Angela Lansbury?? Who? A soulless bastard, that's who. I also like it because it seems like a b-side from Mary Poppins.


"Higitus Figitus"
- The Sword in the Stone
This was one of my FAVOURITE movies when I was a little girl. Yes, I said girl. I think all kids could related to Arthur: he was awkward, 12-years-old, not sure of himself. I really do weep when I think that The Sword in the Stone was replaced by High School Musical. Ugh.


"Me Ole Bamboo"
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Without this song, we wouldn't have the song below. They are both near-perfect songs.


"A Bag of Weed"
- Family Guy

Conclusion: get out there and see The Boys as soon as you can. It's really terrific and way less of a waste of money than The Time Travellers Wife. Plus, the film is filled with great interviews by Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds, Ben Stiller, Roy Disney, Jonathan Landis, Leonard Maltin, etc etc, why am I convincing you? Go out and watch it!

8.21.2009

The Toronto Garbage Strike of My Dreams that Never Was

Note: this report was written for VICE back in July and was (sadly) never used. Meh, thems the breaks. Also note: summer is almost over. WTF? In 10 days it's September. DEEPRAYSANG!!!


Well, after 39 uneventful days, the garbage strike in Toronto is over; nobody got the plague, rats didn’t take over the city, and the piles didn’t start talking like they do in Fraggle Rock. In case you were unaware, the city organized public dumping sites where you could drop off your trash instead of letting it fester in the sun in front of your house. It was actually a pretty good idea; instead of hot plastic bags filled with diapers and apple cores melting into your porch, you can bring them to a fenced-off area of a city park and let the raccoons have at it (we all win). I thought it was a great idea, but apparently I was the minority. Every night on the news there would be a new group of concerned citizens weeping for our parks, bitching and moaning about it like they were experiencing hurricane Katrina, anguishing that ‘the real victims here are the children’. What? Really? Is the garbage introducing the neighborhood children to drugs? I don’t live near any of the dump sites, so I wanted to see first hand whether they as horrific as people were saying they were.

HYPOTHESIS

The Toronto dump sites will be so gross and brimming with so much hot garbage that I will inevitably vomit several times.

PROCESS
I went to three city dump sites and rated them on the following: what it smells like, how strong the smell is, size of the heap, whether or not I would live in the trash pile and/or eat from it. Also I took my friend Katie with me to help me rate the garbage; she grew up on a farm and her parents own a McDonalds, so she is a great judge of smelly shit.



CHRISTIE PITS
This is a great park, so I was a little bummed out when I heard they were going to make it a dumping ground. Most of the cry babies on the news were from the Christie Pits area, so I was very excited to see how much of a shit-show we had here. Katie and I had to ride our bikes all the way to the north end of the park to find where the dump was; it was hidden pretty well and had little to no real impact on park life at all. Kids were still playing at the playground and there were two baseball games going on.


SMELL NOTES: The garbage here just smelled very damp. That could have been from the rain a day before, so I won’t count that. In general, the garbage smelled like when you go away for a couple of days and forget to empty your trash before you leave.
SMELL STRENGTH: We gave it about a 1.5 out of 5; you could smell it when you got up close, but not very well.
SIZE OF THE HEAP: It barely filled an outdoor hockey rink
LIVEABILITY: Hells yes I would live here; before they put the trash down they laid out tons of plastic to protect the floor, and all the rain made it into one huge slip-n-slide.
DINING: I don’t think I would scout for food here because there were too many flies.
VERDICT: Unimpressed. Chinatown, on its cleanest day, is worse.

MOSS PARK
I was living for the day we got to go to the Moss Park dump. I was expecting a ton of crazy stuff. Instead we got a very friendly volunteer named Brian who was more than happy to give us girls a tour of his trash heap.


SMELL NOTES: Peat moss and cedar chips. It smelled like my mom’s garden
SMELL STRENGTH: Oh my god, nothing. Even up close you couldn’t smell anything. The smell of cedar was a bit overwhelming at times, but how can you complain when the park that usually reeks of urine now smells like Muskoka. Brian told us that the garbage from the hostels and men’s shelters could smell pretty gross (read: poop-soaked pants) but I didn’t see any evidence of this, so I will just assume this was his way of flirting with me.
SIZE OF THE HEAP: It was pretty big. The piles were at least 8 feet high and took up half a football field. Very tidy and well organized.
LIVEABILITY: I would absolutely live here; it’s all gated off like a rich person’s house. Fancy. The grossest thing we found here was a dead bird, and that’s old hat to a cat owner.
DINING: Moss Park is located across from a Popeye’s and I found several boxes of leftover fried chicken in the trash…so yeah, I would definitely eat out of the garbage here.
VERDICT: I didn’t think it was possible, but the dump actually made Moss Park less scary.


LAKESHORE
Where else but the vast wasteland of shitty beach and highway underpasses would we find our third and final dump site. It was actually a super-smart idea to close off a dead-end street like Villiers and let people dump at will – I mean, nobody in their right mind hangs out underneath the DVP or around Cherry Beach. It’s creepy around there. Fuck, I could imagine Leatherface touring Villiers Street with his real estate agent and telling her “Marge, don’t bring me to these shitholes anymore, okay?”
SMELL NOTES: It smells like Lake Ontario. No matter how much steaming hot, turgid garbage you dump, the Lakeshore will always smell like dead fish
SMELL STRENGTH: Very strong. The garbage smell and the lake smell have come together and mated and given birth to a smell far worse than your nightmares.
SIZE OF THE HEAP: I’m pretty sure you can see the lakeshore dump from space. It takes up a full city block.
LIVEABILITY: Actually…yes. You get used to the smell eventually (how else would you explain so many people buying condos down on Lake Ontario) plus someone had put up a tent/lean-to that would make for a very comfortable hobo-house. One caveat: my scalp suffered from a significant amount of fly bites, so I would recommend shaving one’s head before moving in to prevent lice.
DINING: Bitch please! There was better food at this dump than there is at my apartment. Full bags of chocolate chip cookies, bottle of half-finished Pepsi, a whole watermelon. If it didn’t reek so hard of inside-out fish, I would have brought a date here for dinner.
VERDICT: I ripped open one bag for fun and found a perfectly good pair of jeans and a half-used box of condoms. If I had found a mattress, I would be giving my 30-days to my landlord as we speak.


CONCLUSION
God Toronto, what’s wrong with you? This could have been the garbage strike to end all garbage strikes: sewers backed up for miles, a thick cloud of rotting meat and produce fumes lingering overhead at all times, Road Warrior-style self-made gangs wandering the streets. Maybe I was asking too much; I just assumed (and I’m sure you did too) that the garbage strike would turn Toronto from a bland and inoffensive city into a poverty-filled dystopia nightmare. I didn’t even barf once. Shame on you, Toronto, shame on you.

All photos by the amazing Katie Hinks.

8.11.2009

The ABCs of not eating like S-H-I-T

Hey guys! Welcome to the middle of summer! I don't know about where you live, but here in Toronto (stalkers, write that down) it is a very hot, ultra humid 30 degrees. In American temperature, that's about Detroit, although up in my bedroom ( a converted attic) it's somewhere between Miami and Satan's nutsack. And as I sit typing on my bed, I recoil in horror at the thought of how much sweat my mattress has soaked up in the past month (well...I suppose sweat really would be just the tip of the iceberg. I like to imagine Horatio Caine shining one of those CSI black-lights against my bed; the lit-up stains would be so bright, it would be like when the Nazis look into the Ark of the Covenant).

Anysorrytogrossyouout, I'm sure you're wondering about that title. Yes, this summer I decided to go on a diet. It wasn't really about losing weight - I'm soft, but not hideously so, and I'm comfortable with my body. But I was feeling really sluggish and tired all the time. Not to mention somewhere in May I invented a sandwich called The Crispy Yellow (grilled cheese made with garlic butter, dipped in yellow mustard) which had become a very real staple of my diet. My food pyramid looked a little something like this (sadly the only joke is at the top):



Yeah, so it's no wonder why I was a little thick around the waist. I was eating McDonald's cheeseburgers as snacks. AS SNACKS! Are you hearing this? Who am I, Jughead Jones?? So yeah, I knew that if I kept up this way I'd be on a very fast train to the Town of Never-Get-Laid (it's in 30-Cat County, just outside of The People's Republic of Crying Yourself to Sleep). Anyways, here are the ABCs of being on a diet, Mayor-style...

A is for Agitated. Holy fuck, if you though I was a bitch before...I now make Katherine Heigl look like a choorch. I didn't realize my body was so dependent on processed cheese (what a sad addiction).
Also for: Ass. Goodbye ass! It was great knowing you; see you on the other side, little buddy!

B is for Blender, my new best friend. When in doubt, put something in a blender and call it a smoothie.
Also for: black coffee (my bff)

C is for Calories. Ugh, I hate that I actually look at the calorie part of food packages now. For instance, my favourite yogurt is 35 cal. per serving. I used to think that calorie counting was for anorexics and new mothers with post-partum. Apparently it's also me.
Also for: carrots, chick peas (my favourite way to get protein), chicken (you can eat it in so many ways! Grilled! And...grilled!), cherries (note: don't EVER eat a full bag of cherries. You will get the shits for 8 hours afterwards. It will feel like your ass is dying)

D is for Desperation. Before I went on this "clean eating" fuckery, I purged my kitchen of all bad food. The only thing I can eat are things that came from a tree and things that have a mother. One night I got so desperate for something sweet, I went into my baking cupboard and ate all the chocolate chips. I should mention that these weren't Chipits-brand chocolate chips; no, these were Bulk Barn Immigrant's Choice Chalk-o-latte Nuggets. I ate them all. They were delicious.

E is for Egg McMuffins. I MISS THEM SO MUCH!!!
Also for: energy. I have a lot more energy. I don't get winded going up the stairs anymore.

F is for Fat. I'm less fat. I'm also less F.A.T. (please see notes on Mo'nique)
Also for: fan (the love of my life. It's too fucking hot in my room)

G is for Gandhi. With all the pseudo-fasting I have been doing, I know totally know what Gandhi went though, and guess what? Homegirl was a whiny bitch. That's right, I said it. It's not that bad. Know what cures a case of the sore tum-tums? YouTubing "baby goats". Not only do you forget about the aggressive, tight pains in your abdomen, but you get to see cute lil' can-eaters hobble and hop and bring a smile to your gaunt face.
Also for: gravy (I miss gravy)

H is for Hallucinations. When you take out essential fats and calories from your diet, you will start to hallucinate and see things. This is because your brain is missing significant lubrication in the fatass-cortex. It's all science. My hallucinations could also be from inhalants, but for that I can't be sure.

I is for Irrational Thoughts. I haven't been thinking straight since pumping my guts full of fibre, which is the only way I can explaining liking Pitbull's Calle Ocho (on another note, I think I may have a brain tumor).
Also for: It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. When I need to take my mind off my shitty no-fudge diet, I watch Sunny. It makes me forget my problems, even for a little while (like when they show comedies to people in prison).

J is for Judge Judy. JJ isn't the same now that I don't binge-eat through my Hour of Judge Judy Power on Fox-29. I used to sit there and gorge on candy as she dealt her swift and fair justice on the Turds of America. Now I just sit on my couch, blank-faced, eating baby carrots.

K is for Knife. I have found that, when in doubt - cut it out. If you cut vegetables and shit in different ways, it makes them fun to eat. THIS JUST IN - I'm a fucking 5-year-old.

L is for "Lifestyle Change". My mother tells me that what I'm doing isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle change. What? It makes it sound like I woke up one morning and said "you know what? I think I was born in the wrong body. It's time to start living my life as a man" and then everyone around me keeps assuring me that they "support my lifestyle change".

M is for Measuring. I have been told that when you weigh yourself, it only makes you depressed. Instead you are supposed to measure and chart your results. I know, that sounds so lame, but it actually is helping quite a bit. I have lost 5 inches around my waist, so that's a little victory for me.

N is for Nectarines. When I eat fruit, I need something that will satisfy me and be palatable. Bananas fill me up, but they taste like diaper fillings. Grapes are delicious, but they never satisfy me. Nectarines, thankfully, are both tangy and heavy. I also like their aggressive snap when you bite into them.

O is for Oral Fixation. I definitely have one (NO JOKES). I find I work better if I have something in my mouth at all times (KNOCK IT OFF) so I like to keep something low-cal near me to put in my mouth (ENOUGH). It used to be candy, but now its a tblsp of peanut butter. I can suck on it for a good 30 minutes (MUST...NOT...MAKE...RUDE...JOKE...)

P is for Poo. I'm not going to lie, people, pooing has become so much easier and enjoyable. My ass is like a Slip n' Slide.
Also for: potatoes (pretty much the only carb I eat now), popcorn (I went to the movies this weekend and I was sharing a bag of popcorn. I was being really good and would just take a small handful and eat each piece slowly, but deep down inside there was the voice of Old Mayor screaming "CHOKE BACK THAT SHIT LIKE YOU MEAN IT, BITCH!!!!")

Q is for Queen. This diet has made me as uppity and bitchy as an old Queen.

R is for Retard. Is it socially acceptable for someone to date a person with Down Syndrom? This has nothing to do with the diet, I'm just very curious.

S is for Slim Fast. I need something to keep me full from 8am to noon (otherwise I will get the PF - pudding fear) so my breakfast is a smoothie made from Slim Fast powder, skim milk, and frozen fruit. Sometimes I get jazzy and fuck around with coffee and Slim Fast, which is delicious and works like cheap speed.
Also for: skim milk (so fucking gross), stevia (which is an all-natural, calorie-free super-sweetener. I put this in my coffee instead of sugar)

T is for Tuna. I'd estimate that I have eaten a whole dolphin from all the cans of tuna I've ingested.
Also for: Taco Salad (aka Mexican Weight-Watchers. It's the only salad I'll eat), thinspiration (pictures of a sick-looking Lindsay Lohan usually do it for me).

U is for Uterus. Since I have given up Diet Coke (well...not really given it up. I still drink it, but not every damn day) my uterus actually has a chance at making a baby friend in it someday. I don't want one now, but it's nice to know that my baby-house hasn't been totally destroyed my DC.
Also for: underwear. My American Apparel underwear fits me again (which is good, cause I love looking like a fat hooker)

V is for Vendetta

W is for Wedding Dresses. This is what I don't get, okay? I am the laziest (LAZIEST) motherfucking bitch around, and even my sorry ass is losing weight. So why do I always see fat cows on Facebook in ill-fitting, too-tight wedding dresses? You couldn't cut Doritos out of your diet for 3 months? That's just too much of a goddamn sacrifice?? Good lord. I mean, I don't even have a reason to lose a bit of weight, but I sure as hell know that if I had to get my ass into a wedding dress I'd be on the Kate Moss diet of 3 C's and 1 V (coffee, cigarettes, champagne, vodka)

X is for XXX. That's right, once I lose some chunk, I'm going straight to hard-core porn. KIDDING! Like I have the money for implants.

Y is for Yeah I hear ya, single moms. Do you know why poor kids are usually fat? It's because good food is pricey. I was saving a shitload of drinkin' dollars by eating processed cheese, Kraft Dinner, Diet Coke, hot dogs, Pop Tarts, and bulk candy. The last time I went to the grocery store my bill was $40 and all I got was tomatoes, yogurt, and fish. Is that nonsense? CAN I GET A FUCK YES?!?!
Also for: yogurt. I have cultivated a relationship with Source yogurt. That shit is scrumptious, 0g fat, and 35 calories. Sometimes I like to mix in a little frozen fruit so it eats like a meal. Which reminds me...I miss Chunky soup.

Z is for Zits. My skin is really amazing since I started eating so many vegetable and drinking a shitload of water. My face is smooth and emotionless, like Nicole Kidman.