Rant: Dressing for Unseasonable Weather

Listen, we feel you. We’re sick of talking about the weather too. At this point, we’re seriously thinking about starting a class action lawsuit and make Punxsutawney “Fibber” Phil rue the (Groundhog) day he ever missed his shadow. Last time we’re ever going to listen to a rodent. So yes, we appreciate that it’s confusing to be donning your Canada Goose in the Easter Parade, but this is no excuse for some of the sartorial disasters we’ve been spotting around the city.


You’re telling us. 

Sandals + Snow = mortal enemies 

Thankfully the days of trudging through snowbanks in our Sorels seem to be behind us (until October, at least). While this may seem like a sign to call up your pedicurist and break out your new sandals, but please, for the love of all things holy, don’t. Use this as a chance to wear your suede booties without fear of slush. Sport your spindliest stilettos and stare straight ahead – there’s no ice in sight! But when Mother Nature plays an April Fool’s joke on us and delivers flurries in the “springtime” maybe skip the gladiator sandals.  
Cute look from our style icon.
Who wears short shorts (in 10 degrees)? 
Raise your hand if you’re sick of wearing black tights? While we’re eternally grateful to Joe Fresh for keeping us stocked up on affordable, durable stockings all winter long, we are sooo ready to show some skin. That being said, we also realize that immediate gratification is a plague destroying the fabric of our society. There is nothing more infuriating than seeing a pair of Daisy Dukes atop pasty white legs the very day the temperature hits double digits. Start with some bare ankles and slowly work your way up. While you’re at it, invest in some self-tanner for the (20 degree plus) day you debut that pretty little sundress you picked up in January.

Nice day for tanning, bro. 
A little jacket wouldn’t kill ya. 
In high school we remember asserting our independence by refusing to zip up our winter coats or wear toques. As adults, we’ve suffered through enough bouts of flu to realize how idiotic this is. We’ll give people the benefit of being caught off guard (we’ll get to this more later) by the temperature to excuse why they’re shivering in their jean jacket waiting for the streetcar. However, in this unpredictable April we encourage you to borrow an autumn style trick and layer, layer, layer. Throw a chubby knit sweater on under your jean jacket, if you’re insistent on packing away the parka. Unlike weight loss, it’s always easier to lose some layers than add them on. 

Saturday night steez.

“Always prepared.” The Boy Scouts of America & you
We’ve got a crazy idea: let’s all adopt new New Year’s resolutions. How about we resolve to check the weather forecast before getting dressed in the morning? You know, the weather forecast; the thing you can find on the news. Or on your phone, the Internet, in the newspaper or on the radio. The greatest thing about this is that you’ll stop having people stare at you in disbelief on your morning commute or suffer the indignity of having us write a blog post making fun of you, ever again. Happy spring!

Happy trails!

Rave: long weekend

The first long weekend of spring! You can practically taste the beer on the patio now.

Whether you celebrate this time with Easter eggs, Matzoh balls, splashing colour on someone’s face or some other way, enjoy this day off by taking a walk outside, scout out some crocuses and be thankful that it seems (fingers crossed) that the snow is gone for the year.

Rave: TV Show remakes that need to happen

Some people scoff at Hollywood remakes, thinking they are unoriginal and redundant, but maybe some things are just too good to let go of. Okay, so we agree some of them are actually the worst but we are really excited about the upcoming Girl Meets World and the return of Arrested Development. Here are some other shows we believe deserve to be reincarnated: 


Breaker High


Nana,
nanana heyhey!
We cannot think of a single reason why there is no longer a
show on TV about teenagers going to high school on a boat. People WANT to see that. It has all the drama and adolescent
turmoil of your favourite teen dramas, with a spicy nautical twist. Also, if
the original Breaker High helped propel Ryan Gosling
into megastardom (um, Young
Hercules
?)
who knows what young
heartthrobs a new incarnation of the show would produce?

Third Rock from the Sun

Who didn’t love this quirky fun lovin show about a misfit
group of extra terrestrials with the same mission we all have – to try and
understand the human condition (deep, right?). We believe planet Earth is ready for the second coming of the Solomons.
A lot has changed since the series ended in 2000 and it would be interesting to
watch the original cast reprise their roles to see how Dick, Sally, Harry and
Tommy would fare in a world with iPods and Justin
Biebe
r. We would love it if Dick
could rekindle his romance with Mary
Albright
(even though he erased her memory, MIB style) and bring back Larisa
Oleynik
as Tommy’s love interest. Truth Time: We really just want to see
more JGL.

Gilligan’s Island


We are not talking
about this (or LOST for that matter). It would be cool to see a reboot of this classic
set in a modern era. We’re sure a killer
cast could breathe new life to the archetypal characters in a way that honors
the original. What would happen if a
three hour tour went horribly awry in 2013? Would the professor be able to fashion an iPad out of a coconut? Only time will tell.  
  
X Files

Guys-the truth is STILL out there. The recent real life will
they/won’t they rumours
about David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson got us reminiscing about our
supernatural sleuth pals Mulder and Scully. Without giving away too many
spoilers to all of you who are only now halfway through the series on Netflix (we feel
you), we are dying to know happened between then and now. Plus, David Duchovny’s
hit Showtime dramedy Californication
was great, but the last couple of mediocre seasons have left that cancellation
axe dangling pretty perilously and we’d just really like to see him settled
already
.

Supermarket Sweep


If we have to watch one more reality TV show called Extreme Couponing or Help! I Live in a Supermarket Dairy Case
(sidebar: only one of those shows is real. Guess which one!) we might have to
cancel our cable. What happened to good
old-fashioned quiz shows and shopping sprees? All this TV show remake needs is a perfect host – we nominate Dustin
Diamond
. Until the TV Gods hear our plea, we’ll be stuck running up and
down the aisles filling up carts and looking for bonus prizes. 

What shows or movies would you like to see remade (or left alone*) for our next edition? 
*creepy cat eaters can stay in 1990

Happy holiday Monday!

With the last long weekend of the summer coming up and the season coming to an end, we began to reflect on what a truly awesome summer of cottaging, food, weddings, travels and city adventures it has been. To celebrate our favourite season, we thought we’d share our favourite summer 2012 moments in photos. We hope everyone enjoys the rest of their long weekend!

Rave: Wllm Shkspr’s Wrks works the crowd at Casa Loma

Perhaps the book of the Bard need not be found in every
hotel room, as the actors 
at the Classical Theatre Project’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare exclaim it should be, but we think you should find
yourself
catching this show before the end of August MMXII.


We jumped at the chance to see a Toronto trio perform the
wildly successful London parody, a.k.a. The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr
(Abridged)
, and found ourselves happily situated at the castle on the hill. The
pithy script is a winner and actors Matt Drappel, Jeff Hanson and Kevin Ritchie
thoroughly exercised their right to improvise. They peppered in remarks on Rob
Ford and Canada’s Olympic performance while commenting on their own need for
laughs with the same self-deprecating humour the Brits are known for.



The light-hearted show took the audience from Romeo and
Juliet
to Titus Andronicus the cooking show to Othello the rap song. In dealing with the
comedies, which we were told are actually not as funny as the tragedies, all
the plot lines were tied together and told as one story. The abridged version
of Macbeth was an amusing testament to English sentiments towards the Scottish
and led into the swift demise of the plays Julius Caesar and Antony and
Cleopatra
. The histories became a football match, likely the first one that has
made us chuckle. The show closed with Hamlet. Three times. Once abridged, once
again at breakneck speed and, finally, backwards.



Complete Works will return to Casa Loma on Wednesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 29
with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Without a doubt we recommend this show as
the perfect Wednesday evening diversion. We have a few tips to offer as well
(garnered from our own errors as the best advice is). First, arrive early.
Stadium style seating is not available at this venue and you’ll want a clear
view, those seated in the front row also have a more interactive experience.
Second, bring bug spray. The late summer mosquitoes can be quite pesky at
the luscious grounds. Third, be prepared for sore cheeks. Ours still hurt from
laughing!  

All images courtesy of Classical Theatre Project.

Rave: Magic Mike

When we were offered tickets to check out the premiere of Magic Mike (courtesy of Warner Bros.) we jumped at the opportunity. A rom-com combined with a good-looking cast about an all-male revue? We’re in. 



Off we went, popcorn in hand along with our good friend Paul to check out the flick. Below we give you a he said/we said review of various aspects of the show – as we don’t want to give too much away!

On Channing Tatum:
He said: “Loads of charm,
and a hint of that deceiving bad boy-actually-good attitude that just
won’t quit, much like his ass. Obviously, the best dancer and, yes, when he
dances it’s like you’re watching Step Up 2: The Streets one though.”

We said: “We didn’t blink. Between his dancing and abs, he had us at ‘hello’. Well done, Channing. Well done. Now, take your shirt off.” 

On Cody Horn: 
He said: “The role of Brooke (Cody Horn), The Kid’s sister and
Mike’s love interest, might as well have been cast with Kristin Cavallari. I
mean, I just can’t deal. Olivia Munn, who plays risky bisexual Joanna and has
an affair with Mike pre-Brooke, might as well have taken the entire lead to
herself.” 


We said: “Meh. She didn’t do it for us as a female lead. Between her permanent frown/scowl and no-fun attitude, we just couldn’t figure out why this (hot) stripper with a heart of gold was going for a girl like that.” 
Nudity:
He said: “There is a ton of butt cheeks, and bare chests. A few
boobs for good measure. But sadly, the only penis you get to see is almost out
of focus and in a pump. (Yes, a penis pump.)” 


We said: “It was done as tastefully as possible. There was serious eye candy and come on, we are talking about male strippers here.”


Performance
sequences: 
He said: “The ‘performances’ keep the movie afloat because – hah
– as if you would come for anything else. There are some bigger numbers, and
none will bore you. A big plus: smaller montages give a glimpse into the
various acts they perform, each based on traditional male archetypes:
firefighter, doctor, cop, basketball player, etc. Sometimes, you don’t even see
them take anything off. Expect something like this
 and this.
Actually, it’s more like male burlesque, and heavy on the funny factor because,
well, assless leather chaps.”


We said: “There was a great variation in the routines, which, as dance-based movie aficionados, we can appreciate.  We were particularly fond of their ‘It’s Raining Men‘ routine, with Channing’s solo act to Ginuwine as a close second. We went on a cross-country journey with these guys as we saw cowboys, Tarzan, and hip-hop dancers, (oh my!).” 



Story and script:

He said: Mike describes the appeal of stripping as ‘women,
money and a good time.’ That basically sums up the movie. What they don’t tell
you is that it’s set to a soundtrack of drugs, booze and dubstep. And the
conflict is forced at best because, well, just wait until you see the
ending.” 


We said: “Again, it was a story about a male stripper who discovered friendship and good times but more importantly, himself. Aww.”


Does
it live up to the hype/trailer:

He said: “In the era of easy access Internet porn, the trailer
promised the flick would be visually stimulating. And yeah, it lived up to that
promise in spades but with no real climax. There was no promise of a real story
either, so that checks out. But once it’s over, it’s over – just like the
trailer.”



We said: “We went in with lowered expectations, especially in relation to the story line. While the plot followed your standard rom-com format, it was a fun flick to watch, despite the whole Cody Horn element.”

Overall
sexiness:

He said: “I would have liked more screen time with the other
guys. Tatum is hot, sure, but you can only look at his face for so long. Also,
director 
Soderbergh sorely under-used Pettyfer and Rodriguez’s sex symbol
potential. And, as I’ve found with male stripping, sexiness is sacrificed for
humor because, well, you decide.” 

We said: “We agree with Paul. More Manganiello, Bomer and McConaughey would have been nice. We also thought Munn was lovely and would have been a better fit for the female lead.”


Final
thoughts:

He said: Soderbergh is Soderbergh, and he tries to
bring his trademark mix of depth, intrigue and action to a script
that simply can’t support it. You can tell he really tries to stylize the film
in his own way with his sequencing and camera choices, but he’s trying to reach
a level of intellect that no one ends up caring about because – hello! – ABS.
If Gus Van Sant directed this, now that would be some grimy hot realness and
we’d be seeing the full frontal. Still, it was fun in a way that Showgirls and
Striptease and Burlesque was fun.”



We said: “It was fun! Soderbergh brought us some good laughs, we danced in our seats, we (almost) cried and we had a good time watching theses abs. We mean dancers. Just don’t expect a sequel. However, we will want to interview Matthew McConaughey’s children once they watch it.” 


Haven’t seen the trailer yet? Check it out here.









Rave: Learn to like running

We have a love-hate relationship with running here on the fourth floor. Love: being completely energized and refreshed post-run (and post-shower), knowing you just burned a couple hundred calories, and that muscles-are-sore-in-the-best-way-possible feeling. Hate: being a sweaty, red-faced mess in public, being unable to catch your breath, and feeling like you may die at any moment. Some of us are newbie and/or wannabe runners, and wanted to share our tips for how to actually like running… or at least stop hating it.

First thing’s first: Don’t underestimate the power of a brisk walk to warm up and post-run stretching. This article from the Globe and Mail notes pre-run stretching can be counter-productive and compares stretching to piece of gum. “You put it in your mouth and chew it for 10 minutes – then take it out and stretch it. Voila! It stretches with ease. Take that same piece of gum out of your mouth and put it on a table, then try to stretch it 10 minutes later when it’s cold. It stretches with resistance and snaps. Muscles work very much the same way.” Try these post-run stretches from Huffington Post.





Next, have realistic expectations and set a goal. You will not be able to run 5k right off the bat, and if you try, you will most likely never run again. Ease yourself into it with an app like Couch to 5k, a running program designed to get just about anyone from the couch to running five kilometers or 30 minutes in just nine weeks. It alternates walking and running intervals, gradually increasing the run over nine weeks, until you are able to run 5k or 30 minutes non-stop. RunKeeper is another cool app that lets you enter a target pace at the start of your activity and get coached on whether you are ahead/behind that pace through your headphones, along with tracking how far you went, how long it took you, and the route you travelled. 







RunKeeper app.

Running is easy on the wallet given it’s free and you can do it just about anywhere, but we do recommend investing in a quality pair of shoes, if nothing else. A good pair of shoes will absorb the impact on your bones and joints, saving your knees and shins. We like Reebok Runtone – the airpods on the outsole create micro-instability, activating your muscles as you stabilize yourself, while the synthetic mesh offers breathability for your feet.

Something else worth investing in, especially for our larger-chested friends, is a decent sports bra. Our friend at Happy or Hungry who has big nungas herself (as she calls them), has done the research and recos the Ta Ta Tamer from Lululemon. Cheaper bras are okay for strength training and yoga, etc. but you’ll definitely want to keep strapped in on the run, so it’s worth the trip to Lulu.

Ta Ta Tamer II from Lululemon.


Some other easy ways to enjoy your run include making a killer playlist (try not to listen to these songs until your run so you are pumped when you hear them!), listening to an audio book, or catching up on Mad Men (when on the treadmill). Basically, make your run interesting so you’re not focused on the hard parts. Switching from the treadmill to an outdoor jaunt can help too – a change of scenery can do wonders.


We’d run every day if this was our view: shirtless Matthew McConaughey.

And remember: You don’t have to run fast. You just have to run.