Geist Review

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416260471_370So this happened: someone reviewed Say Wha?!

It’s published in the recent edition of Geist Magazine, which Wikipedia (and we all know how reliable that is) calls “Canada’s most widely read literary magazine.”

This is great since my audience straddles the literary and comedy communities. However, I’d say the majority of Say Wha?! attendees are more likely to go to a literary festival than they would a chain comedy club. My people are more David Sedaris than Dane Cook.

Now, I’m not normally into reading reviews but since it so rarely happens for Say Wha?! I thought I’d check it out. Also this magazine was delivered to my house last week.  So… here’s the review for all to see. There are some errors which I’ll address after you’ve read it – no skipping ahead!

Geist Review

Errors:

1. There were other readers at this event besides me and McNeil. Brad McNeil did read from Susan Boyle’s autobiography, but it was the talented local reporter Emily Elias who shared Miley Cyrus’s book. You can read my recap post here. Most notably missing from this review was Cameron MacLeod’s reading of R. Kelly’s autobiography Soulacoaster, which I’ll be podcasting in the third episode of Say Wha?! The Podcast this Monday.  I’m assuming this reviewer didn’t stay for the whole show or she would have mentioned this because it was very entertaining.

2. Word choice. Brash? Am I really brash? Lovely – yes. Young- I’ll take it! Funny- I hope so! Brash? I looked it up, it means: “Self-assertive in a rude, noisy, or overbearing way.” Oh my! I’ve never been called rude before. What a c*%t. This reviewer also said I dropped a lot of F-bombs, which I think is relative.

Also ‘groovy’ is not the word I’d use for the Cottage Bistro.

3. I never said she ‘made out’ with a bear, the lead character is Bear has SEX with a bear. At least she tries to when she pours honey on herself. AND that F-in’ book won the Governor General award in 1976, … so much for the standards of the Canadian literary community.

P.S. Y’all know that when I wrote c*%t it was a joke, right? Phewf.

How To Pick Up Topless Dancers Review

While looking for material for my comedy show Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing, where funny people share terrible books, I discovered this pink-covered terror by searching random terms in Google Books. God bless the search function.  

The first time I shared Derek Evan’s manifesto at Say Wha?! was sometime in 2010. Back then I only had the Google Book preview for material. 

Luckily that gave me enough material to do a solid 10 minutes on the show. Over time, I was compelled to know more and dive deeper into the terribleness of this book. I was blessed again when the Kindle edition came out. That’s right, I put down $5 of my hard earned money to share this information with you. You’re welcome. 

I can tell you, in my expert opinion having spent over two years looking for terrible books, this is the worst non-fiction dating advice book I have ever come across. 

The author Derek Evans comes across as a sociopath, or at the least severely autistic, as he breaks down step-by-step how to interact with a topless dancer (or any other female on earth). Every action is broken down from how you should prepare yourself before visiting a club (visualization exercises and what you should wear) then he gets down to the nitty gritty of interacting with the opposite sex  (make eye contact and smile). 

Derek Evans, has written many dating books on diverse topics like How to Seduce Hot & Sexy Beautiful Women, How To Pick Up Women in Night Clubs, How to Select a Dating Service, and How to Improve Your Golf with Self-Administered Hypnotism, all published by Gemini Publishing Co. which is associated with GetGirls.com – a website eternally stuck in 2001, which calls itself the “World’s Leading Source for Seducing Women.” 

WHAT THE BOOK COVERS

Sure fire? 

The beginning of the book describes what a topless club is all about, incase you’re a minor who has never been to one. He instructs about the best and worse places to sit in a topless dancing bar which are exactly the same places as in any other establishment; avoid tables near the bathroom. 

He breaks down the types of women that choose Topless Dancing as a career, they include: The Man Hater, Lesbians and BiSexuals, Gold-diggers, The Young and Inexperienced, and the High and Loaded dancers, among 12 other types. 

He gives the reader lots of ‘sure fire’ tips like conversation topics for topless dancers, because these women are unlike other women in the world. Why are they different? Well, as Evans describes them, they are “bimbos, airheads and not the most intelligent women you will ever meet.” Because their “intelligence may have been altered by drugs, too much alcohol, coming from a dysfunctional family, no education, low self-esteem, or she may be naturally stupid.” Really guys, Evans has 20 years of experience picking up Topless Dancers. 

 Just like conversation topics topless dancers need special dates to be asked out on. Here are some of his “sure fire” suggestions: dinner theatre, jet ski rides, go carts, kite flying, hay rides and of course, the classic tattoo date.

OTHER BRILLIANT ADVICE FROM THE BOOK

 * “Photograph Naked Topless Dancers Women in this industry “love” to be photographed, it feeds their neurosis that they’re something more than some bimbo showing her tits off to the public. They can live in a dream world thinking that someday “they’re gonna be a star” and they’re just waiting for the right break. Nothing could be further from the truth because basically men want to screw them and see their naked bodies. Still they think they are on their way to some destination or other, like the next Cindi Crawford or some whacked out dream like that.”

* “Bring a “Laughing Machine,” with you to topless clubs.  They are battery operated and loads of fun to make dancers laugh.  You can buy them at your local novelty shop.  They come in a cloth bag and you just push a button and they start laughing like crazy.” Really? REALLY? 

 * “When you go to a club, dress like a biker with lots of leather.  Dancers love leather!” 

 * “Wear a button to topless clubs.   On your button it will say, “I love topless dancers.”  Where do you get these custom-made buttons?  Look in your yellow pages under “Buttons.”  Also you can do a search on google.com and plug in the word: custom made buttons – There you will find tons of companies that make custom made buttons.”  Custom made buttons, you say? What a novel idea!

* He tries to sell readers a pheromone cologne called “Liquid Magnet,” which “works on blondes, brunettes, redheads, whites, blacks, Orientals, Indians, and Hispanics…virtually any dancer who comes within “sniffing distance” of your undeniably masculine scent.” Does this remind anyone of Anchorman’s Sex Panther? 

* By far my favorite quote from the book: “I think it’s safe to say, if you bought a book on picking up topless dancers, you masturbate and perhaps too much.”

THE REAL SAY WHA?! MOMENT

For me the biggest Say Wha?! came when the book advocates rape. Yes, it does that.

Under the Chapter How to Get Topless Dancers to Go Home With You he suggests that you invite her over for a hot tub party. 

“If you don’t have a hot tub, I would suggest that you invest in one. Why? Take it from me, there’s just something about lying in hot tub sipping champagne or margaritas that makes dancers lose their inhibitions.  Don’t be surprised either if she goes topless or even nude in the hot tub.  Can you just imagine yourself in your hot tub with a naked topless dancer?  Just keep feeding her champagne or margaritas and make your move. You should be able to score if she’s attracted to you or so drunk she doesn’t know what she’s doing.” 

Still interested in this ridiculous book originally published in 1996? I suggest you read the Amazon reviews. 

Globe and Mail Book Reviews

In April I pitched a review of Fifty Shades of Grey to the Globe and Mail, instead they got me to review two comic novels. Here they are. It was wonderful to read two intentionally funny novels for a change.  

Globe and Mail – The Daily Review, Thursday, May 24

Two satirists named Christopher

Published Online Wednesday, May. 23, 2012 5:00PM EDT

They Eat Puppies, Don’t They? By Christopher Buckley. 12 Books, 352 pages, $28.99

Sacré Blue: A Comedy D’Art, by Christopher Moore. HarperCollins, 394 pages, $29.99

The theme of the book is fabricated fear. The Senate nixes defence project “Dumbo,” which kills a lucrative defence project for Groepping-Sprunt.

Firm CEO Chick Devlin instructs Bird to grow American fears about China so Groepping-Sprunt can get funding for another top-secret U.S. defence system. Enter Ann Coulter-inspired Angel Templeton, a sexy, military-minded woman with a PhD, an eight-year-old child and a closet full of miniskirts.

Bird and Angel must set out to find – or create – a motive for war with China. Then comes the answer to their prayers: The Dalai Lama gets sick while visiting the Pope. It’s just food poisoning, but Angel and Bird leak a story to an Indian website, The Delhi Beast, offering an alternative explanation: The Chinese government poisoned him. After all, “the Dalai Lama is the one thing with China that the Americans actually care about.”

Meanwhile, members of China’s Politburo Standing Committee, who “look like a delegation of identical, overpaid dentists,” surround Fa Mengyao, president of the People’s Republic of China (who has nightmares about seeing the face of his dead father on a dumpling). The president is a moderate, but some of his party feel that killing the Dalai Lama might not be such a bad idea.

The American-Chinese relationship is timely fodder for a political satirist. Buckley’s humorous take on serious issues such as China’s treatment of Tibet, America’s financial dependency on China, and gun-toting flag-wavers are what make this book worth the read.

Christopher Moore set out to write about the colour blue in his “Comedy d’Art,” Sacré Bleu.

Set mostly in Paris during the Belle Époque, the novel opens with the murder of Vincent van Gogh, a typical Moore-ian twist. Lucien Lessard is a baker and aspiring Montmartre artist. When Lucien first hears of the death of his friend van Gogh, presumed to be a suicide, he seeks out Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, famous for his paintings of the Moulin Rouge, diminutive stature and love of women and booze.

Lucien and Henri develop suspicions about the true nature of van Gogh’s death. As they start to seek the truth, they unravel a mystery that has lurked for centuries in the shadows of the art world: a gnarled character called only Colorman has been providing artists with unique paints that have mystical powers like the ability to stop time.

Complicating the story is Juliette, a muse of exceptional powers, who walks back into Lucien’s life. Lucien begins to paint like he never has before, causing him to abandon his familial duty of testing baguettes by getting hit in the head with them. Matters are complicated when it’s revealed that the muse is entangled with Colorman.

At times, Moore’s characters are themselves thinly painted. Juliette, the main female character, amounts to nothing more than a glorified sex object. Her attraction to Lucien is barely justified and underdeveloped. Moore’s de Toulouse-Lautrec is restricted to two modes of operation: fornicating and drinking. It’s amusing at first, but the joke gets old after the first 100 pages.

Despite this, Moore’s story is impressively crafted. He takes the reader back and forth through time, weaving through memories and impressions to unravel the mystery of the Colorman.

Art lovers will appreciate the appearances of the Belle Époque’s iconic creative community, including Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Degas and Cézanne. Full colour pictures of their great paintings appear in the text, and Moore populates the book with characters inspired by them. The attention to detail runs throughout the book, right down to the rich blue text the words are printed in.

Sacré Bleu is an art-history lesson, paranormal mystery and love story, combined. Like a Monet or Seurat painting, it works from far way, even if up close it can be a bit of a mess.


Fifty Shades of Say Wha?!

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If you missed last night’s Say Wha?! show, you missed my reading of 50 Shades of Grey. There is just too much bad/goodness in this book and too much hype around it not to share it with you, my lovely blog readers. I did live-tweet my reading of the book and got some positive feedback, but I feel the need to provide you with a further explanation of the latest literary sensation. It will blow your mind.

50 Shades of Grey by EL James is the New York Times best seller in fiction right now (combined print and e-books). The Trilogy of the Grey Stories (this title along with Fifty Shades Darker - and Fifty Shades Freed are the top three sellers in e-book fiction.

Right now I am thanking goodness for e-books because my litearary/comedy show Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing (where comics read from and comment about the worst books ever published) is about to reach further into the depths of cray-cray than I ever imagined. Granted, Fifty Shades is on par with Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover.

Written by EL James, a TV executive and mother of two, who developed the “Grey” books from fan fiction she wrote online in tribute to Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” novels. The book was published by an Australian publisher in early March of 2012 (that’s only three weeks ago!) and then was bought for six-figures by Vintage Books, a subdivision of Random House with a hardcover release date in April 2012 (so soon!).

Because of this crazy (not quite cray-cray, but still ridiculous) hype over the last few days, top executives from Warner Bros., Sony Pictures, Fox, Universal and Paramount are trying to get the rights to all three books.

But what is this “mommy porn?” book about?

Plot Summary … ish by Sara Bynoe

SPOILER ALERT - This contains major plot points and highlights some awful writing, but it doesn’t get sexually graphic. I’ve saved that for you and your e-reader – go and enjoy it.

Anastasia Steele, a 21-year-old student, living in Vancouver, WA in the year 2011, who trips over her own feet, blushes a lot, rolls her eyes a lot, has never been drunk at the start of the story (but is almost a lush by the end), drives an old VW Bug, Majors in English Lit, is obsessed with ‘the classics’ – especially British/ UK writing, she has a killer body, but doesn’t care about/have clothes (although, apparently she wears the ‘bo-ho’ look well), may or may not be a poor (but her Mom has a pool), is just about to graduate University, and move to Seattle.

Our ‘heroine,’ is sent by her roomie/ best friend, Katherine Kavanagh, (sometimes Kate) to interview Christian Grey for the University paper because Kate (the valedictorian, of course) is deathly ill (not really) and cannot do it herself.

When Anastasia Steele arrives to his Seattle office she meets a handsome, grey-eyed, 27 year old billionaire of a … manufacturing company? farming? investing?- it’s not really clear what he does, but he’s rich and he has a thing about not wasting food.

Instantly Anastasia and Christian have a ‘charge’ between them. He is ‘beguiled’ by her in ways that are never adequately explained – just like Edward’s attraction to Bella in Twilight is just something you have to accept. Naturally, the hottest man on the planet likes the girl no one has ever noticed before; this is how you write romance, people!

Christian also talks in the most formal way I have ever heard anyone speak in the Pacific North West; which is known for: being the worst dressed place on the planet, Starbucks, rain and pot. Where he got his prim and proper formality we’ll never know. It’s all “Miss” this and “Mr.” that. It’s also pointed out early on that he is a “control freak.”

Cut to the meat of the story. Christian Grey wants to enter a Sub/Dom relationship with the girl that’s never had a boyfriend in her life (despite having two other decent men in the story madly in love with her). To heighten the stakes Mr. Grey has written up a contract that outlines all the rules of being a Dominant and a Subordinate (for anyone who’s entered the new millennium unaware of the S&M community). Important note about the contract: no fire play and no fecal matter will be involved. Phewf.

The virginal (of course) Anastasia is torn because this is a frightening situation, but he’s a billionaire, and “for the first time in 21 years I want to be kissed.” Really? Oh yeah, and she’s also never masturbated. Never in her life!

Christian then buys Anastasia a Mac Book Pro to research Sub/Dom relationships on the Internet, because she’s a university student whose never heard of this, who also doesn’t own a computer. WHAT?! She’s graduating University this week and she doesn’t own a computer? Are you freaking kidding me?! She goes for a run with an iPod prior to him buying her a Mac. Where does she upload the songs from?! Gah!!!!

She then mentions several times that she will only uses this top of the line Mac to search the Internet and to email him. GAHHHH! Is this supposed to make me hate her?! Because this was the point where I really wanted to slap Anastasia … and Christian.

He also buys her a Blackberry, so he can keep in contact with her at all times. Like I said, he’s a control freak. Or just your typical Dom.

While emailing Christian questions about the Sub/Dom relationship he shows up at her house twice, minutes after she emails him. Apparently Anastasia and Katherine don’t have a lock on their front door.

Shortly after a date with Christian where he sees that she drives a VW Bug, he decides her car isn’t safe so he buys her an Audi. At this point the book is like Pretty Woman (the movie) on speed, and crack, except that there’s no piano sex scene. Wait, that happens later.

At one point he takes her on a date to his apartment in Seattle by flying a helicopter from Portland himself, at night.

When he finds out she’s a virgin he’s super pissed off because he wouldn’t have asked her to be his Sub if he’d known this. Luckily he soon “rectifies that situation,” by having the first vanilla sex in his life. Why is that? Because he was seduced by his mother’s friend when he was 15 years old into a Sub/Dom relationship where he was the Sub. This went on for six years. Guess what her name is? Mrs. Robinson.

Oh yeah, and when Ana gets to Christian’s house she sees his sex dungeon. Or as he calls it the ‘Red Room of Pain.’

The first few times they have sex he leaves his shirt on. I don’t care how hot he is, this is never a good look on a man. Later when his shirt does come off, the author doesn’t even describe his chest at all. That’s terrible writing! Eventually there is mention of some spots (possibly cigarette burns) on his chest, but this never gets explained. I guess we’ll have to read further into the trilogy to find out more.

Thankfully, Mr. grey-eyed Grey wears a condom every time they have sex, which is a lot. But like any red-blooded American man he pays a doctor a lot of money to come to his house one Sunday to put Ana on the pill. He announces this by saying, “are you ready for some contraception?”

Christian takes a keen interest in her cycle, then after she’s taken two birth control pills it’s – ahem – open season. Because that’s how birth control works, right? Immediately? I thought so.

At graduation, Christian Grey hands out degrees, because he’s so important to the University, and then he meets Ana’s father (okay, not her real Dad but the one she grew up with). The two are starting to enter a ‘normal’ relationship and Christian is experiencing a lot of firsts. First time sleeping in the same bed as his lover, first time being photographed with a girl by his side, first time meeting a girl’s parents. This gives you an indication about his twisted sexual history. See, he’s just never known the love of a good girl before!

Anastasia moves to Seattle with Katherine, who by this time is dating Christian’s brother. Of course. They live in a modern loft by Pike Place Market that Katherine’s parents have bought for her. Naturally.

Throughout the book Ana hardly ever eats or has an appetite. This concerns Christian, and me; it’s a bad example for women to follow, then again, Anastasia Steele is hardly a role model. She’s incredibly naive and extremely jealous of every woman Christian has ever been with before.

On most of their dates they always eat first and then have sex. How many of you listen/ read Dan Savage, who coincidentally lives in Seattle? He always stresses fuck first, eat later. If Christian was in the Sub/Dom community of Seattle, don’t you think he’d be aware of Dan Savage’s advice? I rest my case. This book is terrible. But, wait, there’s more!

She meets his family: Mom, Dad, brother (whom she met earlier) and his sister that lives in Paris. She goes to his parent’s house and is the first girlfriend they have ever met. Another first! When she goes to Mr Grey’s parent’s house Ana doesn’t wear underwear underneath the halter-top dress borrowed from Kate; apparently Ana doesn’t own any clothing of her own. After dinner they have sex in the boathouse.

This is where the books really ventures into kink and they start to play with sex toys: floggers, those balls that you stick inside your vagina, and mild spanking.

Finally, Anastasia gets back to work and goes on two interviews with local publishing houses where she wears another one of Kate’s dresses, “a black pinafore over a white blouse,” like some sort of servant from the 1900s. At least it’s not a halter-top.

Then Anastasia goes to Georgia (the State, not a new character with a ridiculous name) for some time away from Christian, his contract and his Red Room of Pain, to visit her mother. Of course, Christian wants to fly her there in his private jet, but she refuses his charity. When she checks in at the Seattle airport she finds that she’s been upgraded to first class. Guess who did that? None other than the best boyfriend/Dom in the world! In the first class lounge Ana gets a manicure, massage and two glasses of Champagne. Really? The first class lounge Sea-Tac has all of that, and it’s on the house? I call bullshit. This is what I got when I Googled ‘First Class Lounge Sea-Tac.’

While in Sea-Tac’s amazing first class lounge this gets written: “I open up my MacBook, hoping to test the theory that it works anywhere on the planet.” Ugh. Anastasia clearly has no idea how computers, let alone travel, works.

The whole time Anastasia is away trying to clear her mind about this situation she’s constantly emailing and texting Christian. Her mother and her talk about a lot of things and Ana gets some motherly relationship advice. “She is on her fourth marriage. Maybe she does know something about men after all.” I don’t think this line was meant to be ironic.

Of course, Christian shows up in Georgia then meets and charms Ana’s mother. Ana and Christian also have sex in his incredible hotel room. Of course.

Blah Blah Blah. The story goes on, this time with more angst, and a little dark night of the soul.

The sex gets a little rougher and Ana still won’t sign the contract. She wants a normal relationship with this “fifty shades of fucked up” billionaire, but he won’t budge, despite experiencing so many ‘firsts’ with Ana already.

I won’t spoil the ending too much for you, except to say it involves a spanking and Ana leaving him. Oh yeah, and she got a job at a publishing house.

What Really Bothered Me About The Book aka What Made It So Good For My Say Wha?! Show

There are a lot of sex scenes – so many I stopped counting. In each of them there’s about four pages of build up (taking off clothes, showers etc) and then about 200 words of sex. Always Christian is ready for round two INSTANTLY, like in the next paragraph. This book is not just fiction, it’s fantasy.

This book was clearly written by a Brit who didn’t do her research, then published by Australians who didn’t know what they were talking about. I hope the Vintage editors can comb through this atrocity.

British Examples

* “I’m not keen on coffee.” She prefers tea, English Breakfast.
* She’d rather go to England than Paris.
* She once refers to pants as “trousers.”
* She says she’ll go “fetch” things.
* On the plane she takes a “carry on rucksack.”
* She refers to flying from Seattle to Georgia as ‘crossing the continent.’ I’m sorry but 70% of Americans aren’t even aware that they are part of a continent.
* She says, “it’s nice to feel mollycoddled sometimes.”

Things They Think Are Sexy That Are Not

* “Holy Crap, he’s wearing a white shirt, open at the collar and grey flannel pants that hang from his hips.” (FLANNEL? Really? Well, it is set in Seattle. But in not 1993!)
* Converse shoes are mentioned frequently. I think these shoes have a cool brand feeling but are NOT sexy.
* Halter tops. Anastasia Steele wears at least three halter dresses and a halter-neck tankini (Hello 1993).
* Pig tails. In 2011 did you ever see a girl the age of 21 in pig tails? No, it’s not in the context of a Catholic school girl fantasy.
* 27 year old Christian Grey (born in 1984) likes Bruce Springstein. “Gotta love Bruce.” I don’t buy it. There is no irony in this book.

Repetition

Thanks to the search function on my Kindle I know that Anastasia Steele talks about her ‘inner goddess’ at least 60 times.

Here are my favorite examples:

“My subconscious screams at me. My inner goddess is doing back flips in a routine worthy of a Russian Olympic gymnast.”
“My inner goddess is doing the meringue with some salsa moves.” (Why not just the meringue?)
“I examine the list (referring to the Sub/Dom contract’s acceptable bondage positions), and my inner goddess bounces up and down like a small child waiting for ice cream.”
“My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”
“My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.”
“My inner goddess is doing the dance of the seven veils.”
“My subconscious has passed out, and my inner goddess is endeavoring to look brave.”
“My inner goddess has a ‘do not disturb sign’ on the outside of her room.

This book was tremendous fodder for my comedy show and I’m so thankful for it.

Even the Character Anastasia Steele Has a Say Wha?! Moment

“He reaches between my legs and pulls on the blue string – what? – he gently pulls my tampon out and tosses it into the nearby toilet.” (Note: this is not a good for your plumbing. Christian Grey should know better.)

But all of this pales in comparison to my biggest issue with this book:

Anastasia Steele, who lives in 2011, wants to get a job in publishing, and just graduated University without owning a computer or having email. WTF?!!! How is that possible? She owns an iPod!

Now, to its credit, there are moments when the book is kind of hot. It’s pretty hard to read a book with so much sex and not get turned on. I lost count but I think there’s at least 15 sex scenes, compared to 3 in other romance novels I’ve read. The downside is that it’s so completely unbelievable you’re thrown right out of the story. How they hope to make a movie out of this, I don’t know. Then again, people liked Twilight.

I will leave you with this brilliant line:

“I could gaze at him all day, but I have needs – bathroom needs.”

TMI- Stripped Review

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File this under Too Much Information or an in-depth salon review.

Recently I’ve started committing myself to grooming my lady bits. It’s something I started when I began a swimming regime two years ago and have kept up for … other reasons. Last month I was devastated when my favorite waxer told me she was leaving town to move to Northern BC with her husband. I let the five weeks pass then panicked when I realized I hadn’t found a proper substitute yet. Then somewhere in the blogosphere I came across Stripped Wax Bar.

Today I rang them up and was pleasantly surprised that they had an appointment available.

My first impression was that Stripped was very … Yaletown. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just a Main Street kind of girl. Granted there are no waxing salons on that street that I’d trust my hoo-ha to just yet.

Stripped is clean, modern looking and unlike most of Yaletown it has no touch of pretension. As they say on their website, “Catering to both ladies & gents, Stripped is an exclusive wax bar that believes in no fuss, no frills and no unwanted hair.” Perfect!

Whenever I go to a waxing salon I’m always neurotically judging the cleanliness of the place. Stripped passed my test. They even have boxes of baby wipes convienently placed in the bathroom and waxing rooms so that clients clean up before, which I’m sure makes things much easier for the waxer.

The rooms were sterile looking with bare white walls. It had a very hospital feel to it. Well, what I’d like a hospital to feel like; there was no lingering fear of death or disease.

House music pumped through the building as I looked up to a white ceiling, that could have used a better, less-blinding light. One might expect softer music for a waxing salon like the sound of waves with pan flutes or birds with a harp. I actually prefer dance music, it’s easier to keep my mind distracted.

My waxer was named Lisa and I have never had an easier wax. Sure there was pain, but it was fairly nominal. Either I’m getting better at this or Lisa does a very good job. She even waxed parts of my thighs that my old waxer ignored. I left feeling relaxed and very clean. For only $20 for a bikini and $35 for a Brazilian this is a place I’ll be coming back to again!

INFO

Stripped Wax Bar
1226 Hamilton Street
(Between Drake & Davie)
604.681.8660
www.getstripped.ca

What’s Hot Right Now

Live in Jeggings? Please don't.

One thing really struck me about fashion while I was in NYC. This Fall could be the worse season yet. Why is that? The rise of Jeggings.

They’re part jeans, part leggings, and completely ridiculous on anyone who isn’t a waif, model or girl under the age of 12.

Since Jeggings have been so popular (apparently) the next step, of course, is Treggings; the bastard child of trousers and leggings. I haven’t seen these personally but from crawling around the blogosphere I understand that they look like corduroy, leather and wool. Now corduroy and wool, I understand but leather? Are we talking about the tiny  American Apparel shiny tight pants that Beth Ditto seems to enjoy. I suppose the effect is the same as layering opaque tights but has added benefit of circulation.

Treggings by H & M

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse …

That's right. The 80s can't be back again until we've seen FLORAL JEGGINGS! Oh, the horror!

The sad thing about all this is that jeggings, to me, are so 2008. I was in Northern Ireland and all the 20 year old pregnant, smoking, drunk girls were wearing them in Derry. Don’t believe me, check out this old post.

Now you know what’s hot right now… er, what was hot two years ago. Or 30 years ago.  I’m Sara Bynoe, with my eye on the street; you’re welcome!

My Career?

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For ego's sake.

A friend of mine just taught me about Googling myself. Yes, I’ve done it and you probably have too! What I didn’t know that my similarly ego-driven friend taught me is that you can search for items from the last 24 hours, week or month. Wowza! It’s so much better than the regular Google search. How did I live this long and not know this?

So, I was searching with the hopes that I could see Say Wha?! covered in blogs world wide when I came across this little posting about my ‘career.’ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

From Laura at Metroread.com

For anyone who’s ever wondered about the transcultural potential of teen angst, they would certainly need to talk to Sara Bynoe . Although it would be a stretch to say that she’s made a career out of it, she has made it part of a long career of very interesting pieces of projects.(1) All together, they create an image of what might be a great comic talent lurking in the world.(2) Based in Canada, she travels all over the world, (3) with some very exciting projects, and all of them are unusual.

Some are plays, some are projects, and all of them feel sort of like what the most incredibly talented people might do after the rave is over. It’s not pretentious enough to be termed post-post-melancholic, or even hyper-ironic, but it does have traces of the smartest art that is still able to maintain its comedic edges. (4)

One of the most eye and ear-catching of her projects is a poetry review called Teen Angst . It’s a pretty brilliant little idea, and one with lots of room for wild and radical collaborations from everyone who was ever young and wearing too many black clothes. When it came to London last year, it was a moment where cultures across oceans could come together and commiserate on how bad love can be. (5)

This city is, of course, no stranger to the sentiment. Even though it’s got hundreds of years on North America in terms of a history of people speaking English, the sounds are still very much the same. There are some differences, and it might come down to the same differences between their versions of English that keep some people confused, and some people charmed. For anyone who’s ever spent too much time in a hotel, London is a great place to be any time. And when it comes to teen angst, one could stay in and ruminate over lost love, or hit the streets and do the same, because misery loves company, and it’s even better when it starts to turn funny. (6)

Footnotes by Sara Bynoe

1- Really? I’ve had a long career? I have a career? This counts? Oh thank goodness! Oh, I also thought I was still young-ish.

2- I’ll ignore the ‘might be’ because I certainly am lurking -waiting for my moment to ambush the world. Or more appropriately I’m clawing at the door to get in! World, when will you see me as the great comedic genius that I think I am behind closed doors!?

3- Sure, if you think of all the world as Canada, Seattle, LA, NYC and London then yes. Also note: I’ve traveled more extensively than that, I just haven’t performed elsewhere …. yet. (For bookings please contact my agent).

4- That’s what I’ve been aspiring to do – the smartest art. Which is to day the ‘art’ that I create seems to have no genre except to say it’s awesomesauce and makes people smile.

5- I did eight Teen Angst readings during my year in London. I really wonder which one this woman was at. Book Club Boutique? Latitude? The dodgy little pub by London Bridge where that woman sang a song with the line ‘maggot filled corpse of death?’

6- Yes! This is exactly what I want people to take from Teen Angst. Feel sad, then laugh about it later.
Thank you Laura, whomever you are for your time and critique of my career. My ego really enjoys the validation. Especially because it means more coming from you, a dweller in that world across the pond, than it would coming from any lowly Canadian. Cheers!

Book Review

I Don’t Care About Your Band by Julie Klausner

I’ve dated countless disappointments; fauxhemians, moody artists, narcissistic actors, bi-polar designers, and other emotionally unavailable men. I’ve spent a lot of time standing to the left side of a stage because I dated musicians. Some of them are nobodies, some of them are has-beens and one of them performed in the closing ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympics (big whoop). So you can see why I was instantly drawn to Julie Klausner’s dating memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band.

In her book, which is really a collection of personal essays, Klausner recalls the low points in her history with men; from the lessons she learned by Kermit and Piggy’s dysfunctional relationship to her many, many one night stands with writers, students, pornographers and criminals.

Klausner has credits from TV Fun House (SNL) and the Upright Citizens Brigade and her writing, as you’d expect, is tight and comedic. Her descriptions these types of men are bang on. I alternated between completely identifying with her experiences, cringing at her most disgusting sexual encounters (cold sores and bedbugs!) and feeling sorry for her (cold sores and bedbugs!). Although this book is promoted as a humour book I found myself more often gasping in horror than lol’ing. Then again, I think I’ve only ever lol’ed from two books ever.

Klausner’s stories in structure are almost formulaic: she meets some guy randomly (through MySpace, at a gig, set up through a friend) they exchange a series of texts or e-mails, they meet up for a drink or something even more casual, she goes back to their place, judges them based on their furniture or collection of DVDs/books, then has lame or awesome sex with them. Then the guy does something ‘crazy.’ Luckily Klausner, a likable character and very forthcoming about her own issues, engages the reader with savvy insights and witty asides in her storytelling.

Klausner is smart to acknowledge that she didn’t want her story to have a Hollywood happy ending (‘and now I’m finally in a successful relationship’). Somehow she finds herself enlightened which assured me that she’ll no longer pay for a cab in the middle of the night to go to some loser’s apartment (ladies, myself included, take note).

As much as I am jealous that I didn’t come up with this idea first (particularly the title), this book will probably inspire me to write some of my own stories (actually, I already have).  A fun and easy read I Don’t Care About Your Band has given me the reassurance and proof that the more you insist being treated well (aka basic human respect) the better relationships you will attract. If only I could go back in time and give this book to my 13 year old self before I ever started dating musicians.