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Preview: The Frog's Eyebrows

The Frog's Eyebrows

Updated: 2017-11-11T20:43:18.652-08:00


Blog from the Road III


Next to the huge statue of Louis Riel outside the Manitoba Legislature.
Who's seen Guy Maddin's "My Winnipeg"? What did you think of it?

The Fashion of Doctor Who


Next year Doctor Who will turn 50 and I'm really looking forward to seeing what the BBC has planned to celebrate it.If you've never seen an episode of this cult classic, either the new version or the classic one, then you've truly missed seeing some great television.What is it about tuning in every week to watch a daft old man fly around time and space in a magic box that has made it last for so long and to gain in popularity every year that it's been broadcast?Well, it's more than just a children's show and it's more than a sci-fi show. Every week you can watch a brilliant adventure unfold before your eyes (or from behind the couch) as you watch the Doctor and his companions battle monsters and save the world. It's just good fun to watch, even when the budget only allowed to wobbly sets and aliens made out of tinfoil.But I like to think that what has made Doctor Who last for fifty years is the Doctor's fashion sense. He is truly a unique style icon. Remember that every time the Doctor regenerates, he's never really himself until he has the time to select a new outfit that fits his new personality.One.Ah yes, the befuddled and grumpy Edwardian grandfather look. The First Doctor wore plaid pants (almost all of the Doctors have worn plaid at least once) a frock coat and a string tie. He was also the first Doctor to experiment with hats, including a Stetson. Because Stetsons are cool. Perhaps because he was so young, this is the only Doctor who would regularly change his outfits in order to blend in the the local environment that the TARDIS had accidentally landed in. And this is not the last time that we will see the Doctor in an Edwardian style outfit, since it is ordinary enough to not seem too strange but unique enough to stand out in a crowd.Two.The Second Doctor's look can best be described as a cross between a hobo and a clown. Or Chaplin's Llittle Tramp character in space. He is the first Doctor to have bigger on the inside pockets to hold useful objects, like a yo-yo and his flute. He would also wear a giant fur coat, and you know how I love my fur coats. While outwardly childish and forgetful, the Second Doctor was really quite cunning and forceful.Three.I would like to describe the style of the clothes horse that was the Third Doctor as bitchin'. This is the rock 'n' roll Doctor. From his frilly shirts to his velvet suits and from his giant bowtie to his capes and fluffy hair, this is one cool cat! And let's not forget Bessie, his bright yellow car and his penchant for wearing fedoras. Plus, he's the only Doctor who would regularly change his outfit throughout a season. Watching a Third Doctor serial makes me scour the vintage shops even harder in my quest for the elusive perfect velvet suit.Four.The most recognizable of all the Doctors, Four is also the most worthy of the label "style icon". The Fourth Doctor was the most unique in terms of looking like you would imagine a weird alien Time Lord type of chap to look. From his long coats (I need a purple frock coat! Why can't I find one?) to his tweed trousers, vests and crumpled fedora, he's really got a stylish look going on there. Plus you can dress up like him everyday and never get bored of wondering around town in it and offering jelly babies to random strangers.But really, the Fourth Doctor is all about the scarf.Tom Baker's long scarf really said a lot about the Doctor. Weird, slightly ridiculous, outwardly showing little purpose, but you'd be lost if it suddenly disappeared.Five.The Fifth Doctor is my all-time favourite Doctor.I love his cricket outfit, from the running shoes to the stripped pants to the celery in the lapel to the Edwardian frock coat. Seriously, what is it about the Doctor and his love of frock coats and why aren't they easier to find? At first glance, you might think that the Fifth Doctor would look ordinary walking down the street, but then you see the eccentric touch of the celery in the lapel and you think again.Six.Oh, poor number Six. The Eighties were really hard on you. Just look at the patchwork coat[...]

Blog from the Road II


View from the Top of the World at the Centre of the Universe. Now at the Forks.
Let's see you non-Canadians figure that out.

Blog from the Road


Trying on helmets at the War Museum in Ottawa.

Vintage Books {A Moveable Feast}


I decided to finally read Hemingway's memoirs of being a young writer in Paris in the Twenties after getting my DVD of Midnight in Paris recently. I'd been meaning to read it for a number of years, but I just kept putting it off because I've read a couple of his novels and I really don't like his writing style.
Hemingway wrote in simple sentences.
And this book is no exception.
Hemingway hated adjectives.
And descriptions.
He wrote to show you people, events and places. Not to tell you of them.
He was also very much a man's man.
However, I liked A Moveable Feast and you have to read it.
It's a fascinating memoir of how Hemingway was training himself to be a great writer by living in a small flat with his first wife and child, struggling to get by and yet still making himself write all day and every day in order to publish stories here and there.
You really get a taste of what Paris must have been like during the heyday of the Lost Generation of writers and artists that had gathered in Paris.
And there are also the stories he tells of the famous people that he was friends with. There are tales of him drinking with people like Ford Maddox Ford and Ezra Pound and borrowing books from Sylvia Beach's Shakespeare & Co. His and everyone else's hero-worship of James Joyce and a great chapter on how much Gertude Stein's lectures and advice meant to everyone. But the saddest story of them all are the chapters about his friendship with Scott Fitzgerald and how his drinking affected him, which is worth reading the entire book just to get to.
I wish that more Lost Generation writers had written memoirs about the Twenties in Paris. It was a truly a Golden Age and a unique period of creativity and a wonderful times to be alive and I'm sorry I missed it but I know that we must live in the present and visit the past through the texts that they left behind.

Daily Outfit


No, I don't just hang out in the cemetery randomly. Okay, I do sometimes. However, I've been slowly learning how to drive in the cemetery. It's great. There are hardly any people to not run over, no cars and there are roads and corners to go around in.

Cardigan: thrifted
Skirt: thrifted
Tights: Hue
Shoes: Bloch

I decided to follow Casey's tutorial and add a Cupid's Arrow to this plain black cardi and I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

In other news, I'm leaving tomorrow for my two week vacation.
I've decided to have an adventure. So, I'm going on the greatest journey that a Canadian can take in a lifetime.
Okay, maybe not the greatest.
I can't afford the greatest.
I'm going on the greatest Canadian journey that I can afford to take.
Let's go with that.
I've scheduled a couple of posts for when I'm gone and I'll have pictures when I get back.
Does anyone know if I can buy Remix vintage shoes in T.O.? Or maybe just a pair of saddle shoes?

I Spy With My Little Eye


Given my affinity for the Sixties Spy-Fi genre, I have gotten a number of requests to write something about I Spy, which ran for three seasons from 1965-1968. I only got into I Spy recently, since I tend to watch parodies and slightly surreal spy shows and movies like The Avengers and Derek Flint. But I really adore I Spy now that I've started watching it.If I were to compare it to another spy-fi show, it would be Danger Man, in terms of it's realism. You wont find any gadgets in I Spy. The two characters rely on using their wits and intelligence to get them out of sticky situations. There's one episode were they break out of a locked room using some dry ice and saltpeter.Here's a clip of Scott and Kelly breaking out of jail. width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">Now, why do I love this show?Well, a couple of reasons.The first is the relationship between Scott and Kelly. Bill Cosby plays Alexander Scott and Robert Culp plays Kelly Robinson, they work for the American Government as secret agents using the cover of being tennis bums to cover up their jet-setting ways. The focus of the show is really on their buddy relationship. Their hip banter back and forth is a bigger draw for watching this show than the espionage is. Kelly is the athletic playboy who's after the girl (most of the time) and lives by his wits. Whereas Scott is the working class Rhodes Scholar who speaks several languages and is more pragmatic. But these two different people complement each other it make their partnership work. It also helps that Culp and Cosby were actual friends and their amazing chemistry together is genuine. Kelly and Scott treated each other as brothers and you knew that by the end of the episode, no matter what they fought about or if anything tragic happened over the course of their assignment, they would end up together. Plus, they always worked together, which I like better than U.N.C.L.E., since Napoleon and Illya would spend most of every episode apart and you never really got to know their characters.Here's a clip which sums up how much Scott and Kelly really cared for each other. width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">Now, why should you watch the show if you don't really like spy shows?Well, for the reason why this makes the show almost entirely unique in the history of American television.It's filmed on location.Actual, exotic locations.If Scott and Kelly are escaping the baddies by running across rooftops in Hong Kong, they are actually running across rooftops in Hong Kong.If they're chasing someone on a Vespa in Rome, they are actually navigating Roman traffic.You want to see Vegas back when it was cool in all it's neon glory?Watch this show.You want to see what Hong Kong looked like before the Chinese took it over and built skyscrapers? Watch this show.You want to see Venice with a slightly higher water level?Watch this show.You want to see San Francisco in the Sixties?Watch this show, baby.You want to see what everyday people wore and how cities looked on an ordinary day in the mid Sixties?I know you do.Screw Mad Men.Watch I Spy.I said earlier that this show is based on realism because of it's lack of gadgets. Well, it's much more than that. I said in my post on Danger Man that John Drake is more realistic than James Bond and it predated Bond on the screen. Well, I Spy is in direct contrast to the massively popular Sean Connery period. There are a number of references in it's pilot "So Long, Patrick Henry" (which was actually written by Robert Culp) to James Bond in order to highlight the direct contrast to James Bond. Bond is a fantasy, But Scott and Kelly are real. I Spy shows the tough, gritty world of being an agent. Yes, there is world travel and beautiful girls, but sometimes the girls are the enemy, or they die or th[...]

Before The Parade Passes By


A couple of years ago I took the interwar lit course at uni and it's topic was The Great War and Shell Shock. The professor devoted a full month to discussing Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford, which no one had ever heard of before. It has never been out of print but it has never been a best-seller. But it has been hailed as one of the greatest English novels of the Twentieth Century, which I would have to agree with.Parade's End is actually four novels, published separately but meant to be read as one volume. They are:Some Do Not... (1924)No More Parades (1925)A Man Could Stand Up (1926)Last Post (1928)I have struggled since I began this blog to write a post about this novel since I began this blog. It's just so hard to put the plot and what the author is saying into words. So, here goes.Parade's End chronicles the life of Christopher Tietjens from his life just before the outbreak of the war, to his service on the Western Front and his life after he returns and tries to find his place in a society that has no need for his character and what it stands for.Tietjens is "the last Tory". And by Tory, I don't mean a member of the Conservative Party, I mean a Tory as opposed to a Whig. Just look it up, it's to hard to explain succinctly. Tietjens is a brilliant government numbers man, a member of the landed gentry, an officer and a gentleman and the last Edwardian. Or at least he was before 1914. After the war he is still the same man, but the problem that he faces is that the Twentieth Century started while he was serving at the Front and by the time 1918 roles around and he returns from France, everyone who acted like him and held his values had either been killed or were too old to have a meaningful place in society. For Tietjens, the Twentieth Century is embodied in the two women in his life. His bitch of a wife Sylvia, a vindictive and sadistic socialite who is determine to ruin both him and his entire family history and Valentine, a high-spirited modern woman and a suffragette whom he meets during the war and whom he lives with after the war in an unconsummated relationship.In the book, Ford wrote that the effect of the First World War was "a crack across the tabletop of history". And in a sense, it was. It ripped an entire society from the stagnate past and thrust it into the modern world in the space of just four years. Nothing would ever be the same and this was the message that Tietjens finally begins to understand by the end of the book.But what is the book about? Well, that's rather hard to explain. To begin with, Ford began writing it during the war, but didn't finish it until ten years after. The plot is hard to explain because Ford is one of the first writers to employ that oh so modernist method of time skips. The narrative, like memory itself, jumps around from different times and places and it is only at the end that we finally get the full picture of just how much being in the war had affected Tietjens.Parade's End is about trying to capture and explain the world that Tietjens comes from, the world that was lost so suddenly in 1914. In a nutshell, Parade's End is about the end of an epoch and it is an attempt to recapture what was lost: lost time; lost friends; the loss of a generation of young men; the magic of the past; the ending of parades; the end of the natural officer class; and the end of a way of life.Remember the last episode of Blackadder Goes Forth? That is what this book is about. It is about those officers who went Over The Top and survived and came back to discover that after the most horrific experience in human history (up to that point) they had no place in society.I wouldn't say that I liked my experience of reading Parade's End. I didn't enjoy reading it, but I was engrossed by it. You have to read it in order to understand fully the effect that the Great War had, not only on those who lived through [...]

Recently Embroidered


This year, I've been embroidering a lot of little quotes to hang on my limited wall space. I love embroidering text above all else, mostly because I am unable to draw and there are just too many wonderful modern and vintage patterns floating around Flickr and Etsy to choose from.The above is from this title card from The Plastic Age, which I really want to see, since it stars Clara Bow. It hangs above my perfume bottles on my dresser.If The Princess Bride had had a musical number, it would have been the most perfect movie ever! It also has my second favourite sword fight scene. My Dad's hobby is calligraphy, so he wrote this out for me and I embroidered it.Here it is in context, above one of my bookcases.Ernie Kovacs -television's original genius. I love Ernie Kovacs. I think he's hilarious and perhaps one of the two true geniuses that television has ever had. I'm working on a post about him that I hope to have written by the end of the month.I found this frame at the thrift store after I had finished it and I popped it in because I thought the matting made it look like it was on the television screen. It's on the wall next to my TV.I thought my bathroom (and by bathroom I mean literary a closet with a toilet in it) was a bit plain, so I decided to dress up the walls by embroidering two phrases from vintage matchbooks on scraps of floral fabric. I wrote down "Ceiling Fan and Radio in every room" ages ago on my list of stuff to embroider. I don't remember where I saw it, but I could have sworn it was from a post on motels from Millie Motts.Don't they look nice on my wall?I was re-watching my Beyond The Fringe DVD for the millionth time a few weeks ago and during the "Words and Things" sketch, Jonathan Miller said as an example of everyday speech: "There's too much Tuesday in my beetroot salad". I thought it was so absurdly wonderful that I immediately started embroidering it. width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Murphy Brown is Kick-Ass!


I have a confession to make: I can't stand the Mary Tyler Moore show. I realize that it is a important show in that it had the first single, independent career woman as it's star, but I never found the Mary Richards character to be a great role model. She was just too weak and dull.Now, Murphy Brown is more than just a role model. She's a kick-ass role model. And she changed the face of American television. There are still some aspects of her character, mostly her razor-sharp wit, that hasn't been seen on television since.Murphy Brown aired for 247 episodes from 1988 to 1998. It's first episode began with Murphy, a forty year old, single, award-winning and famous investigative journalist and a co-anchor on a live newsmagazine show called FYI. Murphy returns to work to find that the show's producer has been replaced by a young Yale grad called Miles Silverberg, who is a naive, over-achieving yuppie and knows almost nothing about producing a news show. The Network as also added a new member to FYI, the Pollyanna-like Corky Sherwood, a former Miss America, who is perpetually perky and knows nothing about world affairs. She does those light stories about puppies and decor they show at the end of the hard-hitting FYI episodes. The pilot takes place on Murphy's first day back at work after she has been in rehab for alcohol and cigarettes.This had never been done before. Normally it's the male characters on a show that have a drinking problem and have just turned forty and have no intention of getting married. But here, it was a woman and a famous woman at that, at the top of her profession and played by a famous actress (Candice Bergen). Rounding out the cast of characters are Frank, the show's undercover reporter and Murphy's best friend, Jim Dial, the stoic veteran anchor, Phil the owner of the bar next to the studio in Washington D.C. who knew everything about every political figure for the past fifty years, especially stuff that the public didn't know and Eldin, the philosophical artist that Murphy hired to paint her house in the pilot and spent the next six years painting murals all over her house. He's my favourite character in the show.But over the course of the series, Murphy Brown as a character is about more than just a recovering alcoholic. She is intelligent, works very hard at her job, takes her duty as a journalist very seriously, loves pulling pranks, slops around the house in pyjamas, becomes a single mother, stands up to the Network suits on several occasions, deals with breast cancer in the final season and loves Motown with a passion.The reason why I think that Murphy Brown is a better role model than any other character on television today is that she stood behind her principals, even if it would cost her her job. Murphy Brown was made just before the news and the world of the journalist changed dramatically with the popularity of 24 hour news networks and everyone getting a summary of the news from the internet as it happens. For Murphy, being a journalist was about getting a story or an interview on the air, without compromising her ethics. Even if it meant landing in jail for not revealing her sources.Murphy is also tough as nails. She got to the top of her profession on her own merits and isn't going to let anyone treat her as a little lady. All this being said, Murphy Brown is also a hilarious sitcom that has really aged well. A lot of sitcoms get old and unfunny really fast, but not this one. Even it's topical political satire is still funny. It also deals with some issues that aren't present in today's shows and it also assumes that the audience is actually paying attention to what's going on.Murphy Brown is still shown on reruns on a few channels, but it's largely forgotten today, and I really don't understand why. The first season was released on Region 1 D[...]

I'm Back


I haven't been around blog land at all this year. How shame-making of me.The hours at the store where I work have been cut back and moved around, so I've been working almost exclusively the night closing shift for the past three months and nights are the time when I feel the most creative, in terms of writing. I tried writing during the day before I have to go to work, but I've been distracted by rearranging my room. I live in an attic, so my room is quite oddly shaped and there is very limited wall space, but I finally figured out a plan to fit all of my stuff (at least the stuff that I didn't get rid of in my six month downsizing project).What I have been mostly doing instead of blogging is watching a lot of TV. My library finally has a decent amount of complete television series on DVD, so I've finally been able to watch the TV shows that I've always been meaning to watch, but could never find a copy of. And I've gone through a burst of embroidery projects that have been on my mind for quite some time.I feel that last year, I focused too much on my Cinema Tuesday series and less on other aspects of the vintage lifestyle. Mostly the television and music aspects, which do take longer to write a post of, particularly if I want to screen cap a TV series. So I've decided that for the rest of 2012, I'm going to limit Cinema Tuesdays to just three films a month in order to focus on writing on a wider range of vintage topics.As always, I'm open to thoughts and suggestions. Outfit Details:The sweater, skirt and belt all come from the thrift store up the street from my house and the shoes are from Bloch and they are the perfect ballet flat. I thought the sweater was a bit boring on it's own, so I freehanded some embroidery along the neckline. Because I can. The necklace is from this lovely shop on Etsy. A lot of people of asked me about the meaning behind the small flower on my necklace, since I do wear it everyday, but if you've seen Harold and Maude, you'll understand.I have a new television post that I'm preparing for tomorrow, but in the mean time, here is a random picture of one of my cats. Her name is Ruby (after Ruby Keeler) and she's a polydactyl cat, meaning that she has extra fingers on each of her paws. And if you've seen my FB profile, she's the one on my head in my profile picture. I've tried to get a picture of her sister, but she's small and quite shy.[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Tootsie}


1982's Tootsie tells the story of Dustin Hoffman playing a struggling actor named Michael Dorsey. He's actually an excellent actor and everyone, including his respected agent, admires his work. The problem is that he can't hold a job down because he's such a damned perfectionist and no one will hire him because he's just too difficult to work with. He's also almost 40 and hasn't had an acting job in four months.His friend Teri Garr has an unsuccessful audition for a role on a soap opera called Southwest General and both out of desperation and in need of raising money to put on his room mate's new play, he decides to audition himself.Using his skill of doing his own makeup, Michael becomes Dorothy Michaels, flunks the audition, tells the pompous director to fuck himself and is hired by the female producer.The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot director is played by wonderfully played by Dabney Coleman, who also played a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot executive in 9 to 5What makes this film great, aside from being hilarious and the hijinks that ensue from Michael working in drag and trying to maintain a personal life is that you tend to forget that Dustin Hoffman is playing Dorothy. You forget that this is a man playing Dorothy, he's just that good at it.My favourite character is this film is Bill Murray playing Michael's room mate. Bill Murray was a big star at this point, but he's wonderful in this small role and apparently he improvised his lines.Dorothy Michaels objects to most of her lines and the way her character is written, so she makes up her own lines and turns the character into a tough, well-rounded woman, which you don't normally see on soap operas. As a result she becomes America's hottest new actress.On the other hand, Michael falls for Dorothy's co-star and new best friend Julie, a single mother in an unhealthy relationship with the director. And Julie's widowed father falls for Dorothy.Hilarity ensues."That is one nutty hospital" width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Some Like It Hot}


According to the American Film Institute, this is the greatest American comedy ever made. I would have to agree with that. Mostly for the punch line and more so for Jack Lemmon's reaction to it.Set in 1929's Chicago during the days of prohibition, jazz and gangsters, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon play struggling musicians Joe and Jerry. They witness the Saint Valentine's Massacre and are seen by "Spats" Colombo (George Raft who was a close friend to several gangsters) and flee for their lives. Dressing up as Josephine and Daphne, they join an all-girls band which is headed to Florida where they meet Marilyn, who plays Sugar the band's singer. Joe does an impression of Cary Grant in order to romance Sugar as a millionaire with a yacht and Daphne is romance by Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown). But then Spats and his gang turn up in Florida for a mob convention and all hell breaks loose.The film isn't strictly historically accurate, but who cares. This is a Billy Wilder comedy at it's best!Another thing I love about this film is that you can tell that Tony Curtis is really playing the sax."Look how she moves. It's like Jell-O on springs.""Just keep telling yourself: you're a girl!"This is actually the Hotel Del Coronado in southern California, which you can still stay in today."We named the oil company after them""Zowie!"Don't you think that for 1959 this dress is terribly daring, even shocking? Actually the whole movie is rather shocking for 1959. You have the romance between Osgood and Daphne, Sugar has stated that she's lived with a few saxophone players, Joe is a womanizer and then you have this dress which doesn't leave anything to the imagination. Some Like It Hot didn't receive approval for the Production Code and was condemned by the League of Decency and was one of the films that contributed to the end of the Code. This is another excellent reason to watch this film."I'm engaged""Congratulations, who's the lucky girl?""I am!"Best punchline ever! Mostly for the look on Jack Lemmon's face. width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Thoroughly Modern Millie}


I've loved this movie since I first saw it when I was six. It's truly delightful! Thoroughly Modern Millie is a 1967 light hearted spoof of the Twenties, complete with slang, speakeasies, flappers and title cards. I love the title cards! Julie Andrews plays Millie, a Modern who's determined to be an equal of men and marry her boss, regardless of love. Mary Tyler Moore plays Miss Dorothy, a rich orphan who's determined to keep her curls and write cheques for cab fare. James Fox (who's brother Edward stars in The Day of the Jackal. Watch it, you'll never look at a melon the same way) plays the adorable and carefree Jimmy Smith, who is more concerned with climbing buildings and getting Millie in his "employer's" red roadster than with actually working. And Carol Channing plays Muzzy, I wanted to be her when I grew up, but alas, I have yet to find a multimillionaire. And in her last movie, Beatrice Lillie plays the unforgettable Mrs. Meers.Millie is a girl from a small town, trying to make it in the big city as a "stenog" and decide whether she should keep pursuing her swell boss Trevor Graydon who calls her John or if she should be poor but loved with her beau Jimmy Smith. Helping her on her adventure is her new best friend Miss Dorothy, who never carries any change with her. And along the way the girls get mixed up in a white slavery ring. But there's a happy ending for all.This isn't really a cross-dressing comedy, but James Fox does wear a dress near the end and Carol Channing is a gay icon.Okay, I just wanted to screen cap the fantastic costumes.(borrowed from Andi since I have no idea how to stick images together)"Sad to be all alone in the world"Best elevator ever!I love the top half of this dress, it's too bad we never get to see it in full"Raspberry!"Can you say Safety Last! reference boys and girls? width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Victor Victoria}


For those of you who have not seen it, Victor Victoria is Blake Edwards' 1982 remake of a little known 1933 German film of the same name wherein a struggling light opera singer named Victoria (Julie Andrews) meets up with Toddy (Robert Preston) a struggling gay cabaret singer who comes up with a brilliant money making idea. Turn Victoria into Victor, the world's greatest female impersonator and "he" becomes the toast of Paris, provided no one finds out that "he's" a phoney. Matters are of course complicated when James Garner shows up, falls in love with Victoria and doesn't approve of her "woman pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman" lifestyle.I love this movie! It's hilarious, the suits are gorgeous and the interiors are stylish. Plus, I love the character of Norma, pretending to be Jean Harlow in Dinner at Eight. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Daily Outfit


In continuation of my tradition of wearing seasonally inappropriate garments, I'm wearing an embroidered peasant top with split sleeves in December. Who cares if it's 2 below out and it gets dark in the middle of the afternoon, it's pretty damn it! And that's what tights and a fur coat are for, right ladies?
Outfit Details:
Top: thrifted
Skirt: vintage, the label says "Mister Leonard" and it has a hip pocket!
Hair Flower: I made it myself
Tights: Hue
Belt: thrifted
Shoes: Bloch, the perfect ballet flat!

Yesterday was my birthday. I'm now 23. I went to the staff holiday party last night and wore a fabulous black dress from Stop Staring! but alas, I forgot to take pictures. I will the next time that I wear it.
I've decided that this month's theme for Cinema Tuesdays shall be Cross Dressing Comedies. The first post will be up sometime tomorrow night.
I'm starting to prepare my themes for 2012 already. My, how the year has flown by. Are there any suggestions?

Cinema Tuesdays {An Affair to Remember}


An Affair To Remember is Leo McCarey's 1957 remake of his 1939 film Love Affair, which starred Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne an is in public domain. In general, the only remakes that I find acceptable are ones in which the director is remaking their own work and this is an almost scene-by-scene remake. But in colour and with Cary Grant.You probably already know the story, either from watching it or from Sleepless in Seattle. Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr meet on an ocean liner but both are involved with other people. The first half of the movie is a romantic comedy with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr falling in love amidst witty dialogue. They agree to sort their lives out and meet on the top of the Empire State Building in six months. The second half is more of a romantic drama, but with a happy ending.I love the Grandmother.Cary Grant: Style Icon width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Harold and Maude}


I once got talking to one of the shop assistants in my favourite vintage store about Harold and Maude and we both agreed that it was one of the most optimistic films ever made and that the daisies speech is quite profound. If you haven't seen this 1971 cult classic, then you are truly missing out on a cinematic treat.Framed by a fantastic soundtrack by Cat Stevens, Harold and Maude tells the story of two funeral crashers who form an unlikely bond. Harold is an 18-year-old who is obsessed with death and is looking to gain some form of meaning and purpose in his life. Maude is a wise, carefree and quirky 79-year-old who lives a life rich with meaning and purpose. Harold is part of a generation that can see no purpose in life and therefore cannot see the meaning of life. Maude contrasts Harold's nihilism by having endured and survive the horrors of the first half of the century and sees the meaning and purpose of her life is to enjoy each and every day and to seek out new experiences in the short time that we all have on earth.Did I also mention that Maude lives in an old train carriage? Wouldn't that be an awesome place to live in?Despite it being a cult movie, Harold and Maude is quite hard to find. There is a torrent out there. The Region 1 DVD appears to be out of print and therefore expensive. However, the Region 2 is quite cheap. But I really think that it deserves to be re-mastered and issued by Critereon. I'd buy it, wouldn't you? width="500" height="284" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Classic Television {Maverick}


As I'm sure you're aware, the most popular American television shows in the '50's and '60's were Westerns. I'd never been a big fan of the classic period of Western films from the '30's-'50's until I took a course in the Appreciation of Westerns, which was my favourite class in university. However, I've never liked Westerns as a TV genre. I find them to be dull and predictable as they always seem to involve the self-righteous cowboy/lawman having a shoot out at the end with the guys in the black hats.But there is one Western show that I love, mostly because it has as it's basis the one aspect that is sorely lacking in Westerns -a sense of humour.Maverick (1957-1962) tells the story of two wandering poker players/occasional con men/jack-of-all-trades named Bret and Bart Maverick, played by James Garner and Jack Kelly. The Maverick brothers, more so Bret rather than Bart, are not the typical Western protagonists. They aren't heroes, nor are they anti-heroes and they certainly aren't villains, although they occasionally break the law. They are very definitely reluctant heroes. They usually save the day for someone, even though they were just in the random town because they were looking for a poker game.Bret and Bart do not look or act like typical Western heroes. They wear snazzy waistcoats, clean suits and ruffled shirts. They rarely sport a gun because both are terrible shots and it would ruin the line of their suits. And Bret always wears a black hat, and we all know that's what the bad guy usually wears. They actively avoid getting into fisticuffs wherever possible, because they're cautious rather than cowardly. Plus, it's dashed difficult to get a suit cleaned and pressed in the Wild West. Not to mention a frilly shirt!Maverick was originally supposed to be about Bret, who is the funnier brother. Remember when I did Comic Western month and I said that the characters that James Garner played in Support Your Local Sheriff and Support Your Local Gunfighter were Bret Maverick, but with different names? Well, that's because James Garner has brilliant comedic timing and facial expressions and is so good at playing this character that he kept reviving it. Anyway, Maverick proved to be instantly popular as soon as it aired and since filming a TV Western episode every week is so gruelling on an actor, the producers decided to give Bret a brother named Bart so that production could alternate between James Garner episodes and Jack Kelly episodes every week.Bart is the slightly more serious brother and acts a bit more like the traditional Western hero, especially when it comes to women. The best episodes are when both Bret and Bart are both on screen, either working together or in competition with each other and you can see just how marvellous and funny the chemistry between James Garner and Jack Kelly is.Every week, Bret or Bart usually find themselves in a situation where either their money has been stolen or they feel obligated to help someone (usually a pretty, but troubled young lady) or they find themselves stranded in a random town and need to come up with a scheme in or to raise some money to play in a high stakes poker game. The funniest episodes are when all three occur in the first act. Bret and Bart often find themselves in a moral dilemma where their desire to help someone with a worthy cause (or who's blackmailing them) gets in the way of their plans to a) make a profit and b) not get killed. They try to ensure that both will be the outcome of their plan, but they will always put part b ahead of part a. They aren't cowards, but "As my[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {All That Heaven Allows}


From 1955 and directed by Douglas Sirk, All That Heaven Allows tells the story of a widow with two grown children who finds romance with a handsome, younger gardener, despite the objections of her two dull children and the gossip and bitchiness of her small, New England town, which is ruled by the country club.I was a bit surprised to find that Criterion had restored and released this film on DVD. It is, after all, a romantic melodrama and not an award winner. After watching it, I understand why. As with most of Douglas Sirk's films, the sets are fantastic and the colours are stunning. However, it also encapsulates the 1950's obsession (particularly among the suburban, WASP-y, upper middle class communities) with conforming to the status quo, despite personal desires. Jane Wyman breaks off her romance with Rock Hudson because of the rumours spread by the town gossip and her friends, and by him not "fitting in" with the country club set, even though that is what first attracted her to him. And of course, by her dull, small-minded children, who wanted everything to stay just as it was, even though they now live in New York and are building their own lives, away from a mother and a hometown they rarely visit. And of course, Rock Hudson is not interested in making money (shocking!), he just wants to do what he loves and he's younger than Jane Wyman. Actually, Rock Hudson was only eight years younger, but still, shocking for 1955. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

Classic Scents {Shalimar}


(source)Given the number of articles I've been reading of late about the regrettable change that the perfume world is undertaking by replacing natural notes in timeless fragrances with synthetic substitutions and thereby destroying the complex blend of the symphony of notes that make up classic perfumes (and by perfumes, I mean actual perfumes not those candy scented "celebrity" perfumes that you see advertised today) I thought it was high time that I start a series on Classic Scents, before they are forever altered.I love vintage perfumes. Yes, I did start wearing a scent daily in high school. A classic perfume is the easiest way to embrace a bit of vintage style everyday, regardless of what you might be doing. Yes, I still do wear perfume everyday, even at the grocery store where I work. Although you should own a wide variety of perfumes in order to mix it up everyday (whether you buy them yourself or you get them as gifts -a bottle of eau de toilette makes a timeless and much loved gift) you will, as I have done, gravitate to one in particular as a signature scent, because you should have a favourite perfume.Shalimar is not a daily perfume. Although, if you are brave enough to wear it everyday, I applaud you.(source)Shalimar was created in 1925 by Jacques Guerlain for the House of Guerlain. The name "Shalimar" means "abode of love" in Sanskrit and was inspired by the gardens of the Taj Mahal.Shalimar is described as an Oriental and exotic fragrance. The three notes that make it what it is are the zesty bergamot, the unexpected civet and the sensual base note of vanilla.Famous wearers of Shalimar include Gina Lollobrigida and Rita Hayworth.Shalimar is a complex, powerful and yet warm scent. It's feminine, powdery, opulent, soft, striking, sweet, spicy and above all, mysterious. It smells overwhelming at first, but as it's symphony is revealed as it is exposed to skin and air overtime, it becomes warm and inviting, while still maintaining it's complexity. This is the perfume one should wear for a night out on the town. Or to spice up an ordinary day of running errands.(source)What are you're thoughts on perfume, vintage or otherwise?[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Now, Voyager}


"The untold want by life and land ne'er granted,Now voyager sail thou forth to seek and find."~ Walt WhitmanThis 1942 romantic drama (which I'm sure you've already seen or at least heard of) was the biggest hit of Bette Davis' career. She plays a spinster who's life has been dominated by her wealthy mother, who's a real bitch. She had Charlotte in her forties and never wanted her in the first place, reminding her of this fact at every opportunity, and has treated her like a servant for her entire life. Not surprisingly, poor Charlotte finally has a nervous breakdown and is sent to recover at Claude Rains' (and his velvet voice) sanatorium. Away from the control of her mother, Charlotte loses weight and gets a makeover. As a final test of her new found independence, she goes on a cruise to South America, where she meets her fellow passenger, Paul Henreid, who's married to a manipulative, jealous and a real bitch of a wife. He can't get a divorce because of his devotion to his two daughters, the younger of whom is also an unwanted child and has some serious emotional issues from being unwanted and unloved by her mother.Naturally, Bette Davis and Paul Henreid bond and fall in love and have one of the sexiest sex scenes where Paul Henreid lights two cigarettes on a moonlit balcony and gives one to Bette Davis. Fade Out. Cut to the next morning.Of course they can't be together, but Bette Davis does expertly develop Charlotte as a character throughout the movie, gaining her independence, going against her tyrannical mother's will and eventually "adopting" Paul Henreid's daughter and by the end of the picture, they finally reach an understanding regarding the state of their relationship. width="480" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

The Man Who Never Was


Let me tell you a tale.In April 1943, a body of a young Royal Marines officer washed up on the coast of Spain. Amongst his possessions were two letters from two very high up commanders, hand written and on authentic stationary, casually mentioning the cleaver rouge that they would pretend that they would invade Sicily from Africa, but they would really be sending the Allied forces into Greece and Sardinia. The body was properly buried by the "neutral" Spanish and the letters were carefully copied by the Spanish and passed onto the Nazis before the corpse's personal effects were returned to the British.Sounds like someone majorly fucked up in allowing such sensitive information to be placed in the hands of Nazis. Or like something out of a work of fiction.Wrong.This was actually a very careful and methodic plan, concocted by the Department of Spying and Cleverness in order to deliberately mislead the Nazis into thinking that the Allies would not attack so obvious a target as Sicily.It was called Operation Mincemeat and it was the single most successful act of deception in the entire war. It made Operation Husky (the invasion of Sicily) a success and saved thousands of lives and is one of the major factors that helped us to win the war.Sixty years after the plan was thought up of in the secret Rooms 13 and 39 of the Admiralty, the whole truth and the extent of preparation for Operation Mincemeat was carried out successfully, not to mention how much Churchill was relaying on it, has finally been revealed through declassified documents and meticulous research by Ben McIntyre in last year's book Operation Mincemeat.The book itself is a fascinating and thrilling read and I do highly recommend that you read it. On several occasions as I was reading it at work, coworkers would ask me what the book was about. When I told them, they either said "Oh, so it's fiction, eh?". But it's not. Or, at least, not entirely.Operation Mincemeat was the brain child of an intelligence officer called Cholmondeley (who went off the hunt locusts in Arabia after the war) and he got the idea from a memo by Ian Fleming (who did intelligence work during the war and got the idea for creating James Bond there) who in turn got the idea from a forgotten 1930's detective novel. So, you see, Operation Mincemeat is not a work of fiction. It is a deliberate work of fiction, to cover up reality, and was based on a work of fiction.Cholomondeley and his colleague Ewan Montagu (who's brother was the top British spy working for the Soviets) worked deligently for months in order to create "Major William Martin" and make him into a real person. Their work included obtaining a suitable body from a coroner named Bentley Purchase (that's his real name), planting false personal letters, bills and theatre stubs on him (all real and authentic), giving him a personality, girlfriend, photographs and a stuffy father. They also outfitted him with a uniform that had been broken in by Montagu and some underwear that had belonged to a dead Oxford don and finding a submarine to transport the body to a specific point off the coast of Spain where a major Nazi spy just happened to be living and they then announced the death of "Major William Martin" in the Times, ironically in the same edition that also carried the news of the tragic death of Leslie Howard.All they had to do was sit back and wait to see if the Germans had bought the story and letters hook, line and sinker.Which they did.Operati[...]

Cinema Tuesdays {Indiscreet}


This 1958 Stanley Donen film stars Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in their second pairing together as two older and somewhat wiser lovers. She is a famous stage actress, who is depressed over the thought that she might be alone for the rest of her life. Enter her sister and brother-in-law, who introduce her to a successful businessman turned diplomat. It's love at first sight.Only Cary Grant says that he's separated and can't possibly get a divorce.But no matter, and the couple enter into a few months of happy romance, while being careful to retain their reputations. He takes the flat downstairs and uses the services stairs rather than the elevator. Isn't that nice of him.But then the brother-in-law reveals that Cary Grant is not married at all! In fact, he's determined to be a lifelong bachelor!"How dare he make love to me and NOT be a married man!"What will Ingrid Bergman do to get back at Cary Grant?I think that Cary Grant is at his most charming and understated comedic best in this role and according to the IMDb trivia section, this was his favourite film of his, which is reason enough to watch it.See Cary Grant do the Duck WalkMy favourite part of this film (aside from Cary Grant) is Ingrid Bergman's absolutely gorgeous apartment! Just look at the design, the mix of old and new and the colours. And the doors. I love the doors!Here is a clip of the famous bed scene to get around the censors. What is odd for a Code film is that it's made completely obvious and referred to multiple times that the characters were sleeping together but there were no consequences that came of it. width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="">[...]

All Hallows' Eve


I hope that everyone had a happy and safe Hallowe'en this past weekend.
This being the first year since I got too old to go trick or treating (or rather I didn't get too old, my brother got too tall) that I didn't have a paper to write, I thought that I simply must do something.
So, on Friday, I went out to the Halloween Special of the Taboo Revue, which is Vancouver's longest running burlesque show. It was beyond brilliant! So many great performances, a lot of them featuring zombies and voodoo, because zombies are just so much awesomer than sparkly vampires. Can't wait for next year's show.
As for Hallowe'en itself, I went to work and I did wear a costume. And by costume, I mean I went for a Land Girl look and wore my snood and new wool trousers from Heyday. And by costume, I mean I wore my normal clothes.
I then changed into my fabulous record skirt and biggest petticoat, which is the only day of the year where I don't get strange looks while wearing it, actually a lot of people wanted to have their picture taken with me as I was waiting in the train station downtown. I only wore it because it was warm enough to not wear a coat over top and I was refusing to spend any money on a costume this year. Why buy a costume when I can wear my normal clothes? I went with my friend Courtney on the Haunted Trolley Tour, which is a tour on a trolley that goes around downtown, through Stanley Park, then up to this cemetery and then back to downtown, finishing off at the Police Museum (which used to be the morgue and the coroner's court) and pointing out houses were hauntings and gruesome murders have taken place. Because hanging out in a graveyard and an old morgue on Hallowe'en night is what cool people do.
Apart from a couple of snaps for the Facebook, I don't have any pictures to share on the old blog. But I should probably go back during the day sometime and take some photos of the Police Museum with my proper camera, since it is my favourite museum in Vancouver.
What did you do for Hallowe'en?
The theme for this month's Cinema Tuesdays shall be An Affair to Remember. Expect the first movie pick shortly.