Any day, January.

All photos by me, Jan. 28th 2011, Verdun, QC.

A !

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Cold Weather Comfort

My bathrobe has replaced my apron when I’m cooking as it’s so cold in the apartment. The blond kitty is better but has developed a need to be on a lap at all times.

Today is marginally less cold than yesterday, so I’ve hazarded a vintage dress instead of jeans. Sweater and thermal tights are still on the go.

Ramen at Kazu!

Veggie hot pot at Kazu!

Had a warm soup lunch date with Jess yesterday, which was wonderful! We visited the Japanese restaurant Kazu which I’d heard about over on a few different blogs and was not disappointed. Delicious! They sell beer, too, for you lushes.

Jess is a sweetheart and brought me a few things for my birthday/Christmas. Check out the title of my next diary and that hand-drawn fish pedicure picture, why dontcha. I’ll be reporting on that soon enough!

Best present of all, though, was this awesome sound machine which features sound bites like drum rolls and gun shots which will be most entertaining when chatting with me mum later!

I hurt my back somehow and it is painful to inhale or exhale too deeply, which sucks bigtime for singing. To mend myself, I watched Martha Coolidge’s Valley Girl (1983) which features my main man Nicolas Cage. Way more nudity and Nicolas Cage in this flick than the John Hughes flicks that start rolling out the year afterward. I think it’s telling that I’m getting older when I relate more to the main protagonist’s hippie parents than the love struck teens.

So, home recordings/driving practice/singing in abbreviated hiccups-a-go-go. Stay warm!

A

I caved.

Photos by Erin Ross, taken on the green line of the Montreal metro, around 1a.m. or so.

This past summer, I promised myself not to buy any clothing first hand unless I’d checked into the garment’s manufacturing history to see if it was ethically made. Well, I up and broke my vow recently. A couple of weeks ago I was downtown shopping for a gift along St. Catherine’s street and I popped into the Simons department store to see if they had what I was looking for (my first mistake). While looking for the gift, I happened upon a cute jacket (pictured above) on a sale rack and decided to try it on (second mistake), and the cuteness/sale combo led me to justify purchasing it (third mistake). The temptation was just too much- I wanted a new jacket and there it hung in front of me. It is a truth universally acknowledged about northern climes that no matter how lovely an outfit might be under a jacket, the exterior view can just mess the whole effect right up. Just ask Canadian kids on Halloween as they stuff their little monster and fairy costumes into or over snowsuits: it is just not quite The Thing.

For the past two of years I’ve been rotating two jackets that I just haven’t been inspired by lately and when I saw this black wool number with gold military-style fastenings and shoulder action with a greatly reduced price tag, I couldn’t resist. Two of the buttons were hanging by threads, which made the whole thing feel a bit more D.I.Y., as I’d have to repair the damn coat before wearing it. I figure that it’s best for me to keep this all in perspective: my consumption level is quite low and I usually wear only second hand, vintage and ethically made garments. The outfit above is a good example of this: I wore boots, a scarf and a vintage fur hat that I picked up from a clothing exchange last year, a purse from a friperie along Wellington St. in Verdun, a t-shirt I purchased from a local screen printing collective, a vintage cardigan that I  borrowed from my partner, and jeans from Jeans Jeans Jeans from last spring. Even my underthings were given to me from my family over the holidays (sexy, non?).

There. I’ve confessed. But I still endeavour to stick to my principles as best I can, promise.

A xo

Stuff I Like Today

1. Wayne Coyne’s speaking voice. I’m not trying to be creepy; the man should have his own radio show. Just listen:

2. Sun City Girls tune Ben’s Radio from their 2010 album Funeral Mariachi (review here on Tiny Mixtapes).

3. All the vintage clothing modeling Jenny has been up to. What a flame haired babe!

Jenny for Citizen Vintage

4. The astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson whose fun interview and lovely smile lit up The Daily Show (Tuesday Jan. 18th).

5. Receiving a gift of a book from my local bookseller Encor’Lire after seeking it out. Have you read this article about Vilette vs. Jane Eyre?

5. Fuji Hakayito/Cotton Mouth/Reversing Falls show at Casa del Popolo this Saturday!

Mister Prince is sick.

Ash (a.k.a. Mister Prince a.k.a Prince a.k.a Falcor a.k.a Professor Sniffsalot-Currently-At-Work-on-His-Thesis-About-Sniffing) is under the weather and needs to stay at the vet’s for a couple of days for observation. He’s been sick to his furry belly for a few days and needs to get hydrated and well again. Feel free to put your good vibes out into the world for our youngest and furriest!

Note: All of these photos were taken with my laptop over the last couple of years!

DEMO

Erin gave me Marnie Stern’s Demo for my birthday! Soooo cool. It comes with a digital download and the cassette itself is a peppy crayola green colour. Hurrah!

“2006 solo home recordings from the #1 DYI SHREDDER of all time. Different versions of some of these songs ended up on Marnie’s 2007 debut In Advance of the Broken Arm.” Dog Daze Tapes

Twennie Niner, part two.

Look! New guitars! My father collects guitars and he gave me two from his collection this past weekend, for my birthday. One is a simple USA-made Fender Telecaster and the other is a 1970s Miller acoustic, which is similar to a Martin in sound and style. I am a lucky lady! As Erin and I investigate new guitar sounds, having a brighter sounding Tele (thanks to the single coil pick-up) is a nice option. My main guitar is a Godin Exit-22 series solid body electric, which has a humbucker pick-up setting which affords a rich, bass-y tone.

Mike is The Best.

I spent time with my Mom yesterday and Mike made us a delicious chicken cacciatore dinner before we watched the Golden Globes. Thank goodness for Ricky Gervais and booze, non? I loved Kyra Sedgewick’s dress most of all. More Hollywood geekiness over on my Tumblr. Can’t wait for the Oscars!

A xo

Twennie Niner, part one.

I turned twenty-nine years of age this past Saturday! The last year of my twenties, as Mike likes to remind me. In this final blustery year, I am bolstered by my prudent career choice and ability to consistently get carded wherever I go! Instead of getting messy for my birthday celebration like I did, oh, last year (we were on tour), I went out for dinner with Mike and our Goode Neighbours, Erin and Justin. I had a ball choosing  the place, soliciting friends and receiving many recommendations for bring-your-own-wine locales. In the end le Quartier Général won out (thanks to Alex C. for the recommendation!). Please excuse any blurry photos and impressionistic descriptions of the dishes we ordered, it appears that we were perhaps a bit messy, but just a bit.

Erin as hand model.

Lovely bottles of wine chosen by Justin!

Le Quartier Général has two dinner services, one at 6pm and the other at 9pm, and as we wanted to linger after supper and wanted lots of time in advance to get dressed/watch football, we went with the later seating. The chalkboard menus and charming waiter let us know about the table d’hote where one can add $12 to a main dish ($25-29) to include a soup or salad, an appetizer and dessert with tea or coffee, which we all went for and did not regret one bit!

Two of us went for the soup: cream of corn with cumin

The other two for salad: a simple yet delicious balsamic vinagrette, more vinegar than olive oil.

Crab cake!

Octopus with baba ganoush, chickpeas...Mike's piece was a whole lot bigger than Erin's here!

Veal with parsnips and something lovely underneath that we think are mashed jerusalem artichokes

Beef (medium rare) with aged Quebec cheddar and red wine mushroom sauce and mashed potatoes

Bass with little neck clams!

Rabbit stuffed with rabbit confit and chorizo sausage atop pureed beets and a lovely brown sauce of some kind.

Bugs never had a chance.

Creme brulee!

Thick chocolate mousse with blackberries!

Nougat ice cream! Yum.

I ordered the rabbit and liked it very much, though I did pass over a duck with mint dish that sounded divine. I always order the duck so I was giving a new dish a go, you know?

I was pretty pleased with the whole evening. We cabbed back and forth from Verdun in the slippery snow and we had a lovely time getting dressed, getting tipsy, getting fed and then getting back home for some TIVO-ed football and Gwyneth Platrow on SNL (pretty boring). I wore a new Beatles-esque military jacket I picked up recently (more on this later) and my Lalouka skirt and Erin wore a lovely muted peach shell with a gold dog pin. The men were handsome beardos, as usual. No great photos as the wine got to us sooner than anticipated, so here are some of Erin’s “hipstomatic”iPhone pix back in VerFun post dinner.

A xo

Mike, Chester the neighbour dog and me on the Goode Neighbours 60s divan

WHOYOUCALLINTHIRTY?