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Monday, 7 April 2014

The Amazing Ross Sisters and Family

I don’t often brag about our showbiz relations, but there is talent in the family.  Well, it could be family…..I haven’t checked out that branch yet.

Just take a look at the Ross Sisters.  Are they fabulous or what?  Living pretzels!  I could do that if I wanted to.   So could my sister.  I guess it would seem kind of weird in the office though.  They normally frown upon this sort of thing.

The sisters were named Betsy Ann Ross, Veda Victoria (Vicky) Ross, and Dixie Jewel Ross, who used the stage names Aggie Ross, Maggie Ross, and Elmira Ross respectively.  Aggie, Maggie and Elmira.  I can see why they changed their names…..Betsy, Veda and Dixie doesn’t have that theatrical flair.

You should try this....

According to a note I found at home, my brother thought “Betsy” would be a good name for me.  Of course he was 7 when he wrote it and I was just born.  Can you imagine going through life as “Betsy Ross”?  Maybe the “flag” Betsy Ross could stand on her stomach too but never had her picture painted that way. 

I don't think Betsy Ross' Granddaughter was
as flexible as the rest of us.  But, I could be wrong.

I must get back to working on the family tree.  I still have to check on Katharine Ross, Marion Ross, Shirley Ross, Bob Ross (the painter in the family before me), and Diana Ross (another name my brother thought would be good).  Maybe we’re all just one big happy family.  

Monday, 24 March 2014

Selfies - You Should Probably Keep Them To Yourselfie

There are way too many "selfies" out there of people having breakfast, at their desks, sitting on the bus.....oh God I'm falling asleep just thinking about it!  Just because you can.....(if you know what I mean).

OK - I can see why Ellen did it for the Oscars. People wanted to share this photo on Twitter because it was, after all, the Academy Awards and it was entertaining for those of us (goofs) who stayed up for the show.  Something to do while we waited for the good parts.

Good example of a "Selfie"
And see.....they all look good and well, famous.  No eggs dripping from their chins or lint on their suits.  (Although we all know the dresses, tuxes, and jewellery were on loan).  Still.

But this "selfie" business is getting out of hand.  Waaaaaaay too many!  Apparently, all these photos people are taking of themselves (for no apparent reason) is becoming a problem.

From the International Business Times

According to psychiatrist Dr David Veal: "Two out of three of all the patients who come to see me with Body Dysmorphic Disorder since the rise of camera phones have a compulsion to repeatedly take selfies.

"Cognitive behavioural therapy is used to help a patient to recognise the reasons for his or her compulsive behaviour and then to learn how to moderate it," he told the Sunday Mirror.

I haven't looked up "Body Dysmorphic Disorder" yet but it can't be good can it? 

Anyway, I don't see what the big deal is.  People have been doing this for yonks, even without smartphones.

Selfies by Rembrandt, Renoir, Van Gogh and Picasso.  
The difference is (besides the obvious), the artists didn't send their faces to all their friends and their friends' friends because their friends and their friends' friends probably didn't want to see their faces first thing in the morning.

I would love to see your selfies if you're standing beside the Queen, the Pope, an alien or anyone of similar interest.  Also, count me in on your mailing list if your face shows up during an event similar to VE-Day, an Aznavour concert,  anything Paris related or the Apocalypse.  Any photo that includes only you with your arm stuck out just enough to crop the shot to your face at

I bet you're wondering why I was reading the International Business Times.  Ha! Me too.

Friday, 21 March 2014

It Just Shows to Goya

Isn't it funny how one thing leads to another, especially in the middle of the night.....I mean, if you can be bothered and don't fall asleep before the iPod runs out of juice. 
The Third of May 1808, The Execution of the Defenders of Madrid
Francisco de Goya

Recently I got to thinking about all the artists I know but only in the "Art History 101" sort of way.  Take for instance Goya.  I know his paintings, particularly "The Third of May 1808", but Manet did a similar subject and really, I thought it was superior to the Goya. (I know, Goya fans will be ticked).  Anyway, I sort of dismissed Goya for a while.

Execution of Emperor Maximilian by Manet

I plead ignorance.  I'm really not up on my Mexican history of the period so I went to the library and  before I nodded off I Googled "Maximilian". 

"The sentence was carried out in the Cerro de las Campanas on the morning of 19 June 1867, when Maximilian, along with Generals Miramón and Mejía, were executed by a firing squad"

All this to say that I thought both paintings depicted the same event which they don't.  (I really should have taken a better look).  Goya's depicts the execution of, well, people we don't know.  Manet's depicts Maximilian himself (not that I know him - I'm just saying). 

Well so.  See how confusing this can be?  I mean, they're wearing the same shirts! And grasping this, especially in the middle of the night is tough!

Then, Picasso had to get in on the act.  His "Massacre in Korea", according to the art experts,  was influenced by Goya's "The Third of May 1808".  How come they don't think the influence was Manet?

"Massacre in Korea" by Picasso

Anyhoo, I'm still not too up to date on the whole Mexican thing because there are way too many dates/characters/political issues for me to grasp while trying to get to sleep, but I may check it out again some time.

I wouldn't hang any of these works on the wall.  OK, I probably would - but only because they're by famous artists.  Execution images really don't fit in with our decor.  Anyway, if you happen to be up in the middle of the night and are tired of Bejeweled, maybe you'd give me the abridged version of this whole thing.  I'm too tired to think about it and am moving on to something easier.  Maybe the Paris Commune.  It's more familiar territory.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Down With Gluten!

There is no gluten in our house…..we’re totally opposed to it. We are anti-gluten, and proud of it. Even the cat food has no gluten (so it says on the can - we haven't tested it)!

Anti-gluten protest.  Year unknown. 

I didn’t realize how creepy gluten is until I started seeing all the GLUTEN FREE diets popping up all over the place.  The grocery store must think pretty highly of this because they charge twice as much for anything with gluten removed.  (Sort of like Diet Coke used to be - less calories, higher price).

Travelling a problem?  NO!  Even the airlines are getting in on this!

Wow!  I wonder if they'll fling it at you like they do with the pretzels. 

They should at least have a fence!

Our main concern is what to eat in France.  Luckily there are a lot of restaurants in Paris that are gluten free.Pastries, baguettes and all those fabulous things come without the dreaded gluten! 

A few ideas -

Restaurant et épicerie sans gluten

It says it all in the name.  You would think it would be Nonglu, but I guess they know best. We are absolutely going there!

16, passage des Panoramas – 75002 Paris - tél. : 01 40 26 41 24

Helmut Newcake
A few steps from the Canal St. Martin. These people really know how to remove gluten without losing the good stuff!

36, rue Bichat Paris (75010)
MÉTRO : Goncourt & République
tél: 09 82 59 00 39

Thank you, My Deer
No, they don't serve deer.  They serve delicious looking things all "sans gluten".  YAY!

112, rue Saint Maur
75011 Paris, France 

I'm hoping these restaurants have wine.  We're gluten-free but we're not crazy.

We'll be checking out these restaurants on our next visit.  I can hardly wait!

For more ideas on gluten-free Paris, check out David Lebovitz's site - he's the best!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Leonard Cohen's Hat

Saturday night was "Nuit Blanche" in Montréal.  Fantastic.  Art, music, food, drink and the museums and galleries were open until all hours.  A great time was had by all.  What's not to like?  It's free, it's fun and provides some light on a cold February night.

 Rides and music and all those things I mentioned above

Lots and lots of people

That's all well and good but look what I got to see!  

Leonard Cohen's hat and guitar!

It was on exhibition at one of the shows we stopped in to see and....WOW!   Now how fantastic is that?  (Oh yes....there were other things there too). 

I must ask the CBC if they'd like me to cover some events for them.  I think I have a knack for this sort of thing.

Friday, 14 February 2014

From The Heart

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Wish I were in Paris
How about you?
Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Thinking of Catherine....Deneuve That Is

When I was a teenager, I didn't realize Catherine Deneuve was an actress.  To me she was the fabulous model for Chanel No. 5.  Catherine's face was plastered in every magazine and her nose was never more than a few inches away from a Chanel bottle.  Who wouldn't want to sniff No. 5 all day?  And.....get paid for it!

Sometimes she had a feckin' big bottle of Chanel.  They kept it away from her face though - she'd look silly.

I admired her hair color. Champagne blonde and never greasy. Apparently she did it that color because she thought it looked great on Marilyn Monroe. (My middle name is Marilyn but that's where the similarity ends. I couldn't even spell "Marilyn" until 5th grade). I remember buying some L'Oreal to get that fantastic hair color but it ended up being ORANGE. Apparently I read the instructions wrong.  But that's happened to almost everyone hasn't it......

Deneuve sat on Louis Vuitton luggage a lot. I like that. I can't afford LV luggage and when I sit on other people's I've noticed they get really ticked.

Catherine is now 70 years old and is still stunning.  She's the epitome of elegance.

She doesn't take any guff either - from Wikipedia:

Deneuve is a longtime cigarette smoker and has expressed her frustration with the increasing bans on smoking. During a press conference held in  Madrid , she was told to put out her cigarette and refused by saying she would pay the fine instead. "I think it is all very excessive",  Deneuve told reporters.

Ha ha ha.  OK......I know it's not funny.  Cigarettes are bad for you......blah blah blah.......still......she's Catherine Deneuve and she knows it.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Real Life Versus Hollywood Villains

While watching Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid the other night, I got to these notorious people were all ugly as....some ugly thing.  Surely robbing and killing people would be bad for the complexion.  Wrinkles and all......but....

The real Butch wasn't bad looking at all.  He had rather a nice face.  Friendly.  He wore a hat and suit very well.  I don't know if he rode a bike as well as Paul Newman, but I guess it wasn't a job qualification - he had a horse.

Same goes for the
Sundance Kid and Etta. Very elegant robbers.  Of course they didn't have wardrobe people brushing them off every five seconds, but I think they looked grand.

Surely it can't be the same for all villains can it?  So I checked out Bonnie and Clyde -

Same deal.  Clyde had a bit of an ear thing going on, but Bonnie was really pretty.  As a matter of fact, she looked more delicate than Faye Dunaway. 

I'm going to have to watch more of these films.  Oh I know, crime doesn't pay.  After all, they all ended up getting caught and came to a bad end.  An early eternal end that's for sure.  Still, the moral of these stories would come off better if the real life criminals weren't sooooooo good lookin'

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

There are Cons and Cons.....

No beating around the bush.....

I went to see "American Hustle" and thought it was a pretty crappy con.  Maybe I missed something.  Would people pay money to help them get loans, get zero in return, and just let it go?   No one sitting at their door (they weren't hard to find......they had an office for God's sake).  No retaliation whatsoever?  Not one single person giving them a hard time?  And, I didn't care about the characters....if they got caught....fine.....if they got away.....fine.  Whatever. 

You guessed didn't you?  Somehow I just didn't get this film. I felt conned out of the ticket price.  (You don't have to write - I know I'm in the minority.  I didn't even know it was a comedy until it was announced for the Golden Globe Awards). 

But, I love a good to restore my faith I returned to "The Sting".  Best Picture of the Year in 1974 (is that possible?) starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford. 

Paul Newman (as if you didn't know)

This is how con men should dress

Now this movie has a great con.  In fact, there are several cons going on.  Newman and Redford don't have it easy either!  People are shooting at them, people are pissed - just as it should be!  And of course we all wanted them to succeed.  They're NEWMAN and REDFORD!  Of course we're on their side!

Next I'll watch "The Usual Suspects".  There's a major con going on (although it's not a "con" film).  I won't even mention the characters because it's just such a clever plot and I don't want to spoil it.   If you haven't seen the film, you should!  It's a tougher movie from the others, but a great one.

Kevin Spacey in "The Usual Suspects"

In two days they'll be announcing the nominations for the Academy Awards and I know everyone will be gushing over American Hustle.....except me.

Fine.  I'll just sit there and criticize the gowns and hairdos.  It's the only reason I watch anyway!  Let's see who can top Cher this year!

Cher -

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

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