Saturday, October 31, 2009

Barb's Halloween Party

Barb and I go back a long way. She moved from Winnipeg to Toronto in the early nineties and her first job in the city was editor of the newspaper I wrote for at my college. Every year, Barb has an amazing Halloween party. She goes to so much trouble decorating her already beautiful home, and she makes yummy food. I'd love to go back when the lighting is better and take some pictures of her Day of the Dead objects. I'd forgotten how much stuff she has and I spent a fair bit of time last night, drooling over her Mexican art.
Amy Winehouse taking a swig of Blue Lagoon from a Windex bottle.
Leprechaun pimp with hairy chest joins in the merriment.

Barb made a lot of seventies finger foods using recipes from her Manitoban mama. These delicious squares were called Mary Vickers. Barb also made her famous spinach brownies.
Giant spider devouring her art.
Every nook and cranny had been decorated. She even had little candles burning in the basement washroom that nobody seemed to be using.
Bat-tastic chandelier.
Inflatable eyballs. If I could get my hands on these, I'd leave them hanging in my classroom all year.
Barb by the stove. Yes, that's her own hair. She looked amazing. Four people came to her party dressed as racoons. The theme was "Creatures of the Night."
Last year, this man was a French maid with fake boobs. He told me that he thinks he has a chest fixation.
Pippy hits the sauce.
Ancient Egyptian love.
Still life with booze.
Gorgeous food table before being attacked by hungry people in outrageous costumes.
Barb and her true love - Bono. This was shamelessly Photoshopped. One day he will come to his senses and leave his family for Barb.
Barb's famous guacamole.
Little skeletons hanging near Chinese lanterns.
Candy galore

She has these amazing wicker corn husk lights around her kitchen window.
Move over, Martha.
Jim and Tammy Faye Baker in better times.
Barb, flanked by a couple of freaks. I'm the one on the right. I was supposed to be a university professor, but the caveman wig and beard was a bit over the top. I felt more like my dad in the stuffed Cosby sweater.
Thanks, Barb! You're the hostess with the mostess.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Funny

I survived Halloween Friday in my class. I now have to go and choose a costume to wear to my friend Barb's shin dig tonight. Here's something to laugh out loud at. I know it was so YouTube six months ago, but you still gotta lol.

Here's something else that almost makes me soil myself from laughing so hard.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pyrex Pour Moi? Oui!

I love this community of thrifty bloggers. Since I started blogging back in the spring, I've felt like I've made a whole bunch of buddies around the world. It's like a support group for people who just can't help peeping through musty garages, church basements, and thrift stores on the off chance there might be something old and irresistible up for grabs.
One of my new thrifty friends is Vonlipi - the Pyrex goddess from Quebec. Yesterday I found a parcel notice on my door. I couldn't make it to the postal outlet because my husband had the car and was working late. We picked up the parcel tonight. You won't believe it.
The postal outlet was at Shopper's Drug Mart. After showing proof of identification, the lady at the desk brought out this big-arsed box. I had Duncan with me and as we weaved our way through the store, he kept bonking his head on the box, it was so huge. We were both laughing at the insanity of it all.
Inside the box were hundreds of foam peanuts and other types of padding.
I also found a pretty card. My stationery is never this pretty.
Inscribed, was a sweet message from a sweet woman who loves all the same good stuff I do and also has issues with Go to fullsize imageSYTYCDC's Jean Marc Genereux. "We've been on this journey together, but you're going to have to step it up and get in the game if you want to take it to the next level of dance. You'd better bring it. I love you man... Now let's give it up for Sho-Tyme. He's the baddest choreographer. Sho-Tyme - I love you man."
Inside, I found this insanely pretty Pyrex casserole dish. I love it! Thank you so much Vonlipi! I will treasure this always. I have to say you did an awesome job packing this. The only thing crazier than being sent Pyrex in the mail is having a pie sent to you, which my Memphis-dwelling sister did a few years back when I asked her what Chess pie was. We're all nuts.
Vonlipi, here's what you'll be getting soon - the Snowflake Pyrex casserole that I scored recently that you don't have. You need it and by golly, you will get it. I think I can reuse the box you sent mine in, with all the packing. I wish I had a neighbour as funky and fun as you. Think of all the laughs we'd have driving to Value Village and making fun of contemporary dancers!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wall of Voodoo "Museums"

Yes, I've posted my song of the week, but I'm putting off marking right now and I thought I'd share another one of my all-time favourite songs, along with a few memories. Hearing an old song is like passing by an elderly woman who wears the same perfume that the librarian wore back in elementary school. It's kind of comforting.
Wall of Voodoo were an L.A. band in the eighties. Their music is hard to describe. I guess you could call it B-movie soundtrack meets surfer twang. The original line-up of WOV featured Stan Ridgway on vocals. I liked this line-up the best. They were so deranged. When Ridgway went solo, Andy Prieboy was brought in to sing. It was still the same great band, but slightly more polished - at least on vinyl. Marc Moreland is my favourite guitarist of all time. He played choppy and melodic guitar like no other and received little acclaim. He died in France several years ago after a lengthy illness. He never made it back to America.
When the second line-up of Wall of Voodoo released Seven Days in Sammystown, I ran out and bought the album. I played the hell out of it on my brother's turntable. Every song was amazing. I was in grade nine and I remember humming the songs as I was forced to run laps in gym. I hated gym.
Here's "Museums." It was probably my least favourite song off the album at the time. I've come to love it 20 + years later. I love Moreland's guitar playing, the melodic keyboards, and the lyrics. They make museums seem very romantic. I guess they are.
Sorry, no visuals to go with the song. Just hit play and file some papers or something. P.S. The Killers totally stole aspects of this album on their second record, including Brandon Flower's string tie, etc. I guess that's flattery.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Song of the Week #17 - The Killers "Smile Like You Mean It"

I like The Killers because they write melodic pop/rock songs. I became so bored with grunge bands in the nineties. When The Killers emerged at the beginning of this decade, their sound seemed like a throwback to New Wave. I also like Brandon Flower's singing and fashion sense.

Here's a great song for vintage lovers. "Smile Like You Mean it" is all about the ghosts of past relationships and places. I still think of the house I spent my childhood in and kind of resent the fact that strangers had taken over the space and done things to it. My grandmother lived on the bottom floor and I have a recurring dream that she's still alive and living in that big old brick house in North Toronto.

I'm less attached to the house in Scarborough that we moved to when I was a teenager, but I completely associate that house with my teenage friends and boyfriends. Aren't those memories powerful?
Great song. Great lyrics.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

American Cheese - Help Me Out

To all of my lovely American followers, please help me out. What the heck is American cheese? We were watching Drive Ins, Diners, and Dives tonight and some cook said, "I insist on American cheese." Is American cheese the same thing as cheddar? My husband is English and in England, cheddar is just that cheese that originated in Cheddar. In Canada, cheddar cheese is the basic type of cheese you get if you ask for cheese on something.

Would an American reader please respond?

Goodwill by the Pound Pt.2 - Dance Your Pants Off!

I waffled over whether or not to drag Sonny Jim out to Goodwill by the Pound today. We spent last night with him at a Chuck E. Cheese birthday party for his friend, and I took him to his school's Fall Fair this morning. No, I'm not a negligent parent, but I still needed convincing. I phoned my sister and she told me that her friend's son spent his entire early childhood in thrift stores and he turned out fine. I crushed my guilt like an old cigar stub and off we trudged to the middle of Scarborough.
The Midland bus dropped us off at Emblem Street, or Avenue and we strolled down one of the bleakest streets I've been on. I didn't notice how grim it was when we came by car in the summer.
"I want to go home," said Duncan, as we approached the big Goodwill sign. "There might be some cool toys there," I offered. "Besides. We've come all this way. It will be fun."
We were greeted by Richard Simmons' Dance Your Pants Off on top of the VHS table.
How did such a chunky guy become a fitness guru?
I then spied the most hideous ceramic doll known to humanity.
"I come from the planet Thingwrong. Take me to your leader and get me some hair."
I then found a mental health DVD hosted by Joy Behar after hours of plastic surgery.

I can't actually show the best things I purchased because it's going to be a surprise for someone. I'll dish later. I did, however buy a few goodies. Books were .49 each. The whole thing came to $5.60 - not including the very cool things I can't show right now.

Duncan learned about Terry Fox at school and he picked out this book about our national hero. The illustrations are a bit cack-handed, but the story is powerful.

Funky, retro housewife alert! I scored this Erma Bombeck boxed set for forty-nine cents. Yes!

The stories look very funny. I'll start reading At Wit's End tonight. The beginning starts with an anecdote about sleeping in and discovering that her son had written some disparaging remark about her housekeeping using his finger on the dusty table top. How can I not read on?

I remember the Bowl of Cherries book from when I was a kid. I think my mom read it. Sooner or later, we all turn into our mother - unless your mother was a sociopath that you could never learn to love.

I liked the cover of Journeyman. Doesn't it make you wonder if he gets it on with the femme fatale he's staring at? I know, I know - it might be his sister, or a nun in casual attire. But you were thinking it too.

I was disappointed that I didn't get the protractor and all those other useless math gadgets inside this compass tin, but I did get some old Canadian Air Mail stickers. Woo-hoo!

I found this old science poster for glass. I might just put it up for decoration in my class. I can just hear one of the instructional leaders asking, "How does it connect to the grade 5 curriculum?" Hmm... I just think it looks purdy.

After the suburban wasteland that greeted us on our way in, I discovered this beautiful crab apple tree hanging over a creek, on our way out.

A duck sent us on our way. I'll be back for more discount vintage treasures.

I should end this post on this natural note, but I can't resist...

About Me

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I'm a slightly off-beat Toronto-area teacher who enjoys writing and photography. I come from a family of collectors and now I'm dragging my own family around to yard sales. It's just a bit of fun. Enjoy the scenes.