Tuesday, January 31, 2012


I meant to post these pics awhile ago...Stagg and I were extras in a commercial for Mike Ditka. Ditka is a bit of a hero for a lot of people in Chicago. Stagg was pretty excited about not only being an extra but also getting to meet Ditka...and later telling his dad about making a commercial. We've got soem friends who work at Ditkas so we got to spend a whole morning with the staff and have a great time seeing a commercial being made which Stagg had never had that experience before.

One of our perks was a nice big meal before filming.

Well that is Mike Ditka behind the bar but I am too far away...I was nervous about taking pics anyways.

Our buddy Carlos. You can see how mischievous he is right?

The stars of the commercial...the directors got Stagg and one of the waiters wives to get into a scene with Mike Ditka. Okay, they picked the skinny people. So while they were in the shot Mike, Carlos and I stood on the side and looked at each others pooches: laughing, keep the chubby people out of the close ups!

I thought about these pictures this week because I was at Ditkas restaurant last Friday for a birthday party...I will post those pics tomorrow...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Coming Home From Work....

Also getting ready for work. I have a couple of jobs and one of them is bartending. The other night after I got ready for work..with lots of eye liner...and after my shift...Stagg came to pick me up from work.

What am I doing? I am standing on the bench on the subway line. I love that the trains in Chicago have little kiosks with heat lamps. It has been so cold that I've been climbing up to get closer to the heat.

Angel Pavel

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Fruit Of Our Labour

Remember last year just about this time...we pruned our friend Gardenia's orange tree? Here are the oranges this week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Co-Worker

I love finding out about peoples skills that I work with...she's got a voice!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dub Step

What I have usually called "drak rave" has kind of merged or become what the guys I work with call dubstep. I've been very glad for these guys getting me to look deeper into this facet of dance music...but here are the more mainstream songs right now...

Usually around 140bpm in tempo, the unifying sounds within dubstep are always bass and sub-bass.

The music ranges in style from melodious instrumentals to dark, techy and distorted numbers.

Many UK grime mc's also mc over dubstep tracks, although grime and dubstep should not be confused.

Dubstep is usually mellow and generally has a well paced structure to each song. Grime beats are generally more disjointed, the overall production level being grittier than that in dubstep.
from Urban dictionary

Dubstep is a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South London, United Kingdom. Its overall sound has been described as "tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals".[
The earliest dubstep releases date back to 1998 and were darker, more experimental, instrumental dub remixes of 2-step garage tracks attempting to incorporate the funky elements of breakbeat, or the dark elements of drum and bass into 2-step, which featured B-sides of single releases. In 2001, this and other strains of dark garage music began to be showcased and promoted at London's night club Plastic People, at the "Forward" night (sometimes stylized as FWD>>), which went on to be considerably influential to the development of dubstep. The term "dubstep" in reference to a genre of music began to be used by around 2002, by which time stylistic trends used in creating these remixes started to become more noticeable and distinct from 2-step and grime. It was labels Big Apple, Amunition and Tempa that began circulating the "dubstep" term.
From Wiki

The above song is probably one of the most popular and most heard versions of a dubstep piece.

and here are Skrillex and Deadmaus

Sunday, January 22, 2012

On Making Art

"Don't listen to your peers, don't listen to the authority figures in your life, your parents, and don't listen to the culture. Only listen to yourself thats where you're gonna find the truth. The idea of making money, the idea of becoming famous, the idea of being powerful is in essence meaningless. It's only that you are happy and you can only be happy when you do what you love." George Lucas

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow, Gears, And Other Stories

Well just to catch up...Stagg is still juggling midnight shift. Its a rough shift but he's doing okay. I am juggling job options and underemployed but with some work at the same time. It's snowing like crazy today. I had to run errands and go bank and pay some bills. We are in a grind and just trying to stay good-natured about the whole thing. Of course, the car wouldn't start today so we had to walk and public transit it ina city slowing down to another grind with the weather. anyways just a funny story I landed up having a conversation with a fellow who has three families he's supporting. His sons family in Ukraine studying medicine. His wifes family and their daughters family. His wife is from Canada and when he heard I was from Canada he was delightfully honest with me. "I hate Canada!" I just started laughing. He said he went to Canada and felt like he was in a cemetary. Nothing happens, no people, he can't communicate with Canadians. They are nice, wonderful people but so slow and simple. Nothing happens. No excitement. " He added, "It takes so long to have a conversation and find out something about a Canadian...in U.S. everyone tells you who they are and what they want now now." I was dying of laughter. And funny enough on one of my reality shows the other day a stylist show on Bravo, the star stylist Brad is from Canada. His mother and sister were visiting him in New York and they weren't excited about much...and Brad told them some of his exciting news and took them around the city. They were nice, and easy going and enjoyed hearing about him dressing famous people and they enjoyed their meals in NYC. He said, "well thats about as excited as a Canadian gets."

Monday, January 16, 2012

From Manufacturing Economy To Service Economy

"The parallels between the story of the origin of the Great Depression and that of our Long Slump are strong. Back then we were moving from agriculture to manufacturing. Today we are moving from manufacturing to a service economy. The decline in manufacturing jobs has been dramatic—from about a third of the workforce 60 years ago to less than a tenth of it today. The pace has quickened markedly during the past decade. There are two reasons for the decline. One is greater productivity—the same dynamic that revolutionized agriculture and forced a majority of American farmers to look for work elsewhere. The other is globalization, which has sent millions of jobs overseas, to low-wage countries or those that have been investing more in infrastructure or technology. (As Greenwald has pointed out, most of the job loss in the 1990s was related to productivity increases, not to globalization.) Whatever the specific cause, the inevitable result is precisely the same as it was 80 years ago: a decline in income and jobs. The millions of jobless former factory workers once employed in cities such as Youngstown and Birmingham and Gary and Detroit are the modern-day equivalent of the Depression’s doomed farmers.

The consequences for consumer spending, and for the fundamental health of the economy—not to mention the appalling human cost—are obvious, though we were able to ignore them for a while. For a time, the bubbles in the housing and lending markets concealed the problem by creating artificial demand, which in turn created jobs in the financial sector and in construction and elsewhere. The bubble even made workers forget that their incomes were declining. They savored the possibility of wealth beyond their dreams, as the value of their houses soared and the value of their pensions, invested in the stock market, seemed to be doing likewise. But the jobs were temporary, fueled on vapor."

Excerpt from an excellent, and brief, article in January's Vanity Fair. I think it's fantastic and worth your time to read.

(I am in the weeds...sorting my office and paperwork out and hope to not be AWOL much longer...)

Sunday, January 08, 2012

My New Friend, Rob Lowe And His Stories I Only Tell My Friends

I was in New York the month or so of Rob Lowe's sex tape scandal and a local station would play the tape every night at midnight. I remember my reaction to the scandal that Lowe was taking a lot of flak because one of the women was underage. I thought the whole thing was dodgy because no one was taking the other woman to task. After all, she was the same age as Lowe and also involved with an underage person.

I love Rob Lowe and I was very excited to finally get my paws on his book. I read it all in one sitting yesterday because it is just so fun, juicy, charming and the stories are recalled with a good sense of timing and delivery. I feel like I am now buds with Lowe. Lowe has been in several of the classic movies of the 80's and 90's and in likely, the best tv show ever written and produced to this date, The West Wing. Lowe focuses on about two dozen key moments and stories in his life. I am left feeling like I wonder what he didn't tell us because I have the feeling this guy has a lot more amazing events he could share. I hope for a sequel!

Lowe has a firm understanding of the changes in pop culture since he was 15 and 17 just starting out, how his appearance has affected his life, and how crazy mad-assed his luck has been in so many ways and with so many people. This guy had such a focus about wanting to practice his imagination and acting since he was a little kid that it feels as if his focus because a magnet for a vsion quest. the weirdness that his mum moved him to malibu and he grew up hanging out with the Sheen and Penn kids. That he ran into Liza Minelli when he was 10 in a hotel lobby with his mum.

I felt an affinity with Lowe's hostory as a kid of divorce who sought solace in the arts. I could relate. And we moved to the west coast from the cold eastern places to arrive ina surreal world of hip counter-culture west coast pathos at nearly the same time. I loved his descriptions of Malibu in the 70's.

Lowe comes across as he appears in interviews...refreshingly polite and positive and unpretentious. I loved every word and even read the acknowledgements at the end of the book. Lowe is hard and self-depricating about himself...but he very kind and compassionate about other people. This was a great way to spend an afternoon with hot cuppa tea and blueberry scones. Fun!

I've included a couple of pics from the movie The Hotel New Hampshire which is a movie I adore based on a book I adore even more. The movie bombed and although it may not be super strong at every turn it is a beautiful version of a wonderful novel. It's worth a watch if you've never seen it because trying to film a John Irving novel iand comparing movie versions to his novels could be a major rewarding past time.

Gorgeous today and he is as compelling to me now as he was way back in the 80's. Lowe co-hosted with Kelly Ripa on LIVE last week and he was fantastic. Polite, with a touch of the bad boy and grown up humour.

I love this movie About Last Night. I may have seen it 50 times.

The four stars of About Last Night. Jim Belushi, Elizabeth Perkins, Demi Moore and Lowe. I watched this a few months ago and it was every bit as wonderful as the first time I saw it. I think it's a true classic love story and about friendship and life dating.

Another movie I have watched many many times, St. Elmo's Fire.

I LOVE how Rob Lowe looks for his role in Californication. HOT!

Friday, January 06, 2012

More Wade...Peyote To LSD

Peyote to LSD from Wade Davis on Vimeo.

In this feature length documentary, renowned botanist, explorer, and author Wade Davis, follows in the footsteps of his mentor to experience for himself the mind bending discoveries that Schultes brought to the western world. Get an insight into native...

Oops, this video won't work here so here is the URl video spot

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The Sacred Headwaters

CBC Books - Wade Davis and the 'twilight shadow of hell'

I really recommend following the link above and watching the interview with Wade Davis. Wade Davis wrote one of the best and one of my most favourite books ever....One River. If you haven't read One River you have missed one of the greatest experiences. Just go and read it right now! (I once read it aloud to Mister Anchovy's father).

Wade is a fantastic storyteller and adventurer. He lives right in the area where I went to high school and has recently written a book about the three main rivers of northwestern British Columbia and their threat by corporate mineral digs. He also has a new book about mallory and climbing Everest with some great insights into the minds and motives of the explores after World War 1.

"Because it's there," is what Mallory famously quipped upon being asked why he intended to climb Mount Everest. "It kind of distilled the essence of pure desire that led these men to Everest," Davis said. Mallory led expeditions to Everest in 1921, '22 and '24. "In '21, just to find the mountain they had to walk 400 miles off the map," said Davis. "In 1924, when [Mallory] made his final attempt, he was seen going strong when the mists rolled in and enveloped his memory in myth. A big question for mountaineers has always been 'Did he get to the top of the mountain before he died?'"

Davis thinks it's quite unlikely that Mallory made it to the top in the end, but that isn't the important part of the story to him. "I'm interested in the spirit that carried them on," he explained. "I had this feeling that all that generation had gone through the agony of the First World War, and not that they were cavalier about death, but in a way death had no hold on them."

For Davis, the research to complete this book was harrowing. "[It] was like a journey through the twilight shadow of hell," he said. "The war had such an impact on every single phase...so my thought was that life mattered less than the moments of being alive. Because of their experiences in the war, Mallory and his colleagues were willing to accept a level of risk that might have been unimaginable before the war. And it was that kind of risk and that kind of courage that Everest demanded."

The quest to conquer Everest was also, in a sense, an attempt to escape from humanity. "In the wake of the war there was a chasm that existed between the men that lived at the front, and those that stayed home and profited from the war," said Davis. "So after the war, there was this feeling of wanting to get away...In a way, that's what Everest became: a sentinel in the sky."

The sheer toughness of these men continues to amaze Davis. "These guys were from another reality," he said.

Monday, January 02, 2012


For the first time ever...my sister, The Underground Baker
  • ....got a parcel to us before the holidays. It's been a long standing joke about her and I giving each other winter holiday gifts in July. She got us a beautiful skull motif apron which we set to using immediately. Stagg is chopping vegetables for the crock pot.

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