Celebrity stories and gossip that make you go "W.T.F?"

Thursday, March 31, 2005

TTC strike

So the TTC is deciding tonight if they are going to go on strike or not. How do I feel about this? Shall I share my morning commute with you? Keep in mind this is not a combination of mornings, NO! this is what happened just this morning.

I get on on Sheppard like I do every morning and take the train North to Finch two stops, stay on the train at Finch which is the last stop and then continue to go south around 254 stops to Osgoode station where I work. It is worth the long journey. It is worth securing myself a seat. Especially this morning it was extra worth it.

I open up a new book this morning on the subway. Nothing like a new book. Especially when you get the distinct feeling it is going to be brilliant or life altering in some small way. A book is needed for the long subway ride to ensure my sanity and a hopeful escape from the other sardine packed commuters on the train.

So around Lawrence a gaggle of teenage girls get on engrossed in a very LOUD conversation about their like, lame fathers, like, unfinished homework and like the cute boy they just saw get on the like northbound train. They are clad in catholic school girl uniforms which who are we trying to kid are borderline porn gear. Especially since these particular girls are wearing skirts so short I almost thought I was admiring a new tartan belt that had somehow taken storm in the fashion, I was was their actual skirts. Yikes. I make a mental note to Thank God yet again that I don't have a daughter. So like, anyways, they are like totally talking loud and like really really irritating me as I am reading the same like damn like paragraph of my great new book over and over for lack of concentration. I am trying desperately to tune them out. Like totally like bloody like impossible.
The thing is they really DO want the entire planet to hear their conversation, their drama, their dimwitted opinions and views on important things like the orange powder on Cheezies, their creepy neighbour Mr. Perv oh and like who could forget like their unbearable mother who like dresses like she is like 25 and is like so embarrassing.
I mean really. SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!! I want to scream it from the rooftops SHUTUP!! I DON'T CARE!!! But, I ignore it and try to pretend I am better than them because how hard they try they are simply not going to distract me.
I hate to admit I actually get used to the horrific giggling and high pitch squealing and finally sink into my book .......until we hit Eglinton.

Eglinton. Some people get out (unfortunately for me , not the school girls) Alas, more people get on. Most grumpy, carrying laptop cases, briefcases, knapsacks, camping equipment (WTF?) anyhow what kills me is most of this items they are carrying look like they are empty. What is the laptop case.....for show?? Anyhow, two young men wearing suits too big for them stand right in front of me. I do not lift my head. I am determined to get into this great book. The two men begin to talk about work, business, finance, their recent promotions, their perfect lives, how important they are.......I mean I am really holding back the vomit. I am praying at this point for the teenyboppers to squash these guys and take their place. One of the Doogie Howser banker types proceeds to make a call on his cell at Summer Hill station - which is NOT an outdoor station.
My I wonder, these phones are really getting high tech. (Yeah, right!)
He is trying to pretend he has a call. He is really important.
News flash. You are riding the subway during rush hour and the person behind you has their breifcase up your ass - chances are you AIN'T all that important.
Thankfully here comes BLOOR in sight with a whole crammed platform of hopefully some normal people. My fingers are crossed.

BLOOR the train conductor shouts over the speaker. Why does he sound drunk?? Hmmm. He sounds mad too. Drunk and mad at 8;15 in the morning driving a train. This can't be good.

So here is Bloor, the doors open and 5 million people push their way out to be replaced by another 5 million people who rush onto the train like they are running from the mafia or the F.B.I. ......Bloor is a cultural station for me because I always imagine I am in China. China is severley overpopulated. Every subway station in China must be like Bloor. I shudder and go back to my book.
There is a woman crammed in front of me and her knees are knocking into my legs and her empty knapsack is bouncing off my elbow to the rythym of the train being driven by the drunk ttc conductor. Did I mention he also seemed mad?
Anyhow, yes, I am trying to ignore these silly distractions. I finally cannot take it anymore and at College station I look up to reveal the face of the accused personal space invader. She is staring at me like I am the one with the problem. She is miserable looking and I assume she probably has not had a coffee yet this morning or any type of human contact for years....which by the way is not my problem. She is glaring at me! The nerve! I look around. Not alot of space but, she does have space to move her knobby knees. Damn her. As if to taunt me even more, she moves even closer to me. So close I can smell some type of cheap soap - At least she washed herself sometime recently - The knobby knees are right into my leg now.....I am just about ready to ask her if she would like to sit on my lap when suddenly I hear him.

A crazy man.
No not, the driver.
He gets on at Dundas. I hear him before I see him. He is talking wildly to himself, banging the glass and spitting. Woohoo, I close my book. This is getting good now.
And then it happens.
Like it happens everytime.
PEOPLE - When a crazy person gets on public transportation DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT. I see it all the time and there is always someone who does. Someone really stupid.
So someone makes eye contact. A woman. The man starts yelling at her "What the F are you staring at you FN &^^%!!!! "
I must admit. I saw it coming.......I also saw the next person who got it coming.....who didn't learn from the first idiot.
Then the knobby knee woman finally went to get off at UNION......Just as I stretched my legs out I heard him giving her the business too. "You stupid FN &%% What the hell are you staring at?? Mind your own ^%^%DAMN Business!"
I cannot help it and begin chuckling to myself.
He told off ole knobby knees.
Goody for me.
I open up my book yet again to PAGE one and pretend to read just to avoid eye contact with the deranged man. (See how smart I am)
It works.
He gets off a stop before me.
I finally get to my stop and the conducter yells out OSGOODE! He no longer sounds drunk, in fact he sounds like he is sobering up.......and he sounds even more angry.
Time to go!

So you see, I am begging for a strike!!

I think we could all use one.


Saturday, March 19, 2005

Celebrity fashion

I just finished watching a STAR special on badly dressed celebrities. It was ugly. Aretha Franklin in a big white puffy sleeve dress, Gwen Stefani in a blue fur bra with hair to match and Tara Reid in an awful pink cutup top. (Both boobs covered for once)

I must say that although about 50% of the worst dressed celeb's choices were obviously in bad taste I found that I did like alot of the styles they were wearing. Some of these people would look good in a garbage bag and I found it difficult to find a flaw in their fashion sense.

Examples? I am glad you asked. Sarah Jessica Parker. That woman would of given Princess Diana a run for her money (God rest her soul) if she was alive. Anybody who caught even one episode of the series "Square Pegs" has watched SJP (Sarah Jessica Parker) morph from a teenage dweeb into a fashion goddess. She always looks different somehow yet we immediately know it is she. Her body is perfect even more so after the birth of her son. (Bitch) She suits any colour, style, fabric, hairstyle.......I could go on. She is the queen. She is far from beautiful, almost would be invisible in a potato sack. I said almost. She is a fashion designer's dream. Whoever said the woman makes the clothes was right. When it comes to SJP anyhow.

Next, Halle Berry. The woman is flawless. She is blessed with both a beautiful face and a body to match. I have always adored her fashion sense. She looks good in an evening gown, jeans, track pants and I would be remiss not to mention how wonderfully she fills out her intimates.

Third place for me goes to Hilary Swank. She is so understated glamourous.......a look that is oh so hard to pull off and she always carries herself with elegance. I have loved every gown she has every donned (Including the pink mini with the tulle that the STAR special criticized just now) I mean she can really pull it off.! At least I think so.

Now, for the honorable mentions in my book. (Not in any particular order)

Jennifer Aniston - I always gush that I love her clothes when I watch the FRIEND'S reruns. I know, I know, It is not really Jennifer but, the character Rachel. So, I guess I love the fashion flare of the person who dressedthe character Rachael. I am sure Jen had a say and is somehow responsible. In real life she is quite often photograped in cargos and a t-shirt which she still looks fantastic in. Oh, and have you seen her at the Emmy's??? She cleans up real nice.

Gwyneth Paltrow - I admit I have never been crazy about her and never really got the hoopla.... I can admit however she the main course normally where fashion plates are concerned. I will even forgive the see through dress goth look she sported once at the Oscars. I mean ninety nine percent of the time the woman is polished and chic so I have to give her props. Besides, she dated Brad Pitt so she must be doing something right. (Jennifer married him and she also got my props above but, if you are waiting for me to find something positive about Julette Lewis's style....who also dated Brad you will have to hold your breath........for a long time......I ain't doing it)

Gwen Stefani - Although I wouldn't wear a good ninety five percent of what she does......I still have to mention her. She takes risks with fashion and has a tall, svelte body which she works hard for. She manages to show alot of skin without giving the impression that she is a wannabe stripper. She also has her own clothing line and from what I have seen it looks funky. Her best fashion accessory hands down? Her husband Gavin.

Jennifer Lopez - The "Bennifer" stuff aside.........remember, I am talking fashion here......the woman may not be able to hold on to a relationship, get nominated for an oscar or live down her title of "Booty Queen" But, one thing she almost always gets right is her look. Or should I say looks - one minute she is a classic beauty in a chiffon gown, the next she is playing basketball in the hood in a velvet track suit. She always is perfectly manicured with her lovely bronzed skin and you will never find a hair out of place. I got the french manicure but, there are not enough assistants in the universe to have me looking like she does on a daily basis. Even if there were......who has the time??

Oprah Winfrey - How could I not mention Oprah?? Divine Oprah. She is the hottest she has ever been and over fifty. This is normally when things go down hill for us mere, not Ms. Winfrey!! Oprah used to always stress to people that it takes hours for her to look like that. The point is with the power, influence and money this woman has you would think she wouldn't bother (Martha never used to) But, baby.........she does and we love her for it.

Princess Diana - Deceased but, not forgotton. It is because of this lovely princess I started noticing if my socks matched each other! She made coordinating outfits seem effortless. I was able to catch the Princess of Wales exhibit when it came to Toronto last year. It displayed photos, memoirs, childhood letters, videos, her toys and yes, oh yes........a whole room for her magnificent wedding gown. (I don't care what ANYONE says there will never be another wedding dress like it !) My favorite room was the room displaying her various fashions that including a short note about the engagement she wore the outfit to, who she was with, etc. Each garment was displayed in a case and beside the case was a photo of the princess in the ensemble. It was then that I realized how drab the outfit that I once thought was spectacular was without Diana in it. It was like seeing a Christmas tree without the star on top. The clothes were missing their spark. Missing what made them come alive.......Diana.

Ofcourse there are some really great dressers in Hollywood and I am sure I am forgetting to mention some high rollers when it comes to being a fashionista. But, that is why they call this a BLOG...... I am rambling and these are the first people who come to mind. You may use the comment section to comment on someone you really admire or who you think has great style.

I am personally glad not to be famous. When I go out grocery shopping in my oldest ripped jeans, go out in the morning to grab the paper with no makeup on or have a huge zit on the end of my nose.....I don't have to worry about ending up on the news for having bad fashion sense.
None of us are perfect. Besides, I am positive that if I left the house dressed badly or in last season's sandals surely my husband or one of my friends would have some sort of intervention.

Wouldn't they???

At least none of my friends have the surname Blackwell!!

Have fun with your clothes and express yourself!



Thursday, March 17, 2005

My name is Linda and I am a magazine addict.

I have a magazine addiction. I love magazines! I had a particularly good "magazine" day today. One of my fave's "In Touch STYLE" is twenty five cents this week. Can you believe it? If the voice of reason hadn't been with me today I would of bought fifty of them. I mean what a steal.
There is no other feeling then getting a new glossy magazine and snuggling up to it on the couch after work, after dinner - only after all the dishes have been cleaned, put away and the dog has gone for her nightly walk.

Ahhh.... my indulgence and goes great with a hot chocolate. Even better if the hot chocolate has marshmallows in it. Yum.

Although I would NEVER turn away any genre of magazine I must admit I am a sucker for gossip mags. In Touch, In Touch STYLE , STAR, US weekly. (Yes, in that order and only because the first two are listed are a mere $2.99) And really, what is $2.99 but, a small price to pay when you can be part of Brad Pitt's life in some small, shallow way?? If I am really having a good magazine week or bad......depending how you look at it because I am withering my money away...that means I will have all of those magazines. Sometimes I am still hungry for more stories, photos, celebrity fashion and then ......and only then might I pick up an ENQUIRER...Hey desperate times call for desperate measures. Besides, I wear dark glasses and a scarf when I buy those types of reading materials. After all, everyone knows that those are fluff and the content is simply not true and all the other ones are. Any decent magazine addict knows that. Really.

So the depressing part of being a magazine addict - especially when you are addicted to the weekly publications (Which I am ofcourse) - is that when you do end up buying the latest In Touch, US weekly and STAR in the same week you realize after you finish clinging on to the last page that you basically read the same stories three times over. I justify this simply by pointing out that the photos are different. Yes, they are quite often wearing the same clothes but, if you look closely it is a different shot. Sometimes that different shot makes all the difference.
Well, to people like me at least.

I have never actually calculated how much I spend on these unneccessary (Did I say that?) publications. I am afraid to in fact. I probably could have a villa in Europe, a swiss bank account, a closet full of Jimmy Choo get the idea.

It is my little indulgence. I try to walk by the magazine stands, I really do. Sometimes I am actually successful. Sometimes I can get some back issues from various members of my family. Quite often we get together and do magazine swaps. We all exchange piles of the exact same magazines. I get home excited with a bundle and realize I have already read them all. I hate when that happens.

People think that mag rag addicts like myself have no life and need to live vicariously through others. I can assure you this is not the case. I have a happy, full, busy, eventful life. With the life I had led, I could have my own magazines. (If you know what I mean) ...So NO that is not why I buy them. Do I buy them because I am obsessed with movie/rock stars.........not really. I mean obviously I have an interest in what they are wearing and who they are doing but, I wouldn't say I am obsessed. I just like to be in-the-know so to speak. So, why is it that I have this compulsion, this disease??

Enquiring minds DO wanna know.

And baby, I got an enquiring mind.


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The secret to feeling thin

I have found the secret to feeling thin. My friend recently lost a fair amount of weight and is now a size 3 at the most - she is five foot six. The girl is thin but, looks good and is happy which is all that counts. She was at my place recently and brought 4 pairs of pants and a pair of jeans which no longer fit her. She asked me if I wanted them and if not, she was going to put them in The Goodwill. At first glance I was smitten. Some really cool pants and the jeans were to die for. I absolutely love clothes.! Yes! Yes! I say. She says to me they will be big on me a little but, I am welcome to them.

I quit smoking a year and a half ago and started working out like a fiend. I have been doing alot of weights and as a result I have gained weight. Most of it muscle but, also my body has changed shape. My legs got bulkier, my back bigger and my butt higher. Therefore my pants are - not very comfortable to be honest. I promised myself I would not buy bigger clothes as then I would admit I am comfortable with my body which I was not. I vowed to lose some weight and all I really wanted was my current wardrobe to fit me properly. I am working on that now and at first it was difficult but, I am doing well and have lost a little bit of weight.

So getting back to the pants she gave me. I notice they are a size bigger than I currently wear. I decide to try them on. WOW...........So this is comfort. I feel fabulous. They are loose, they are hanging comfortably, not digging into my stomach like all the others. I am free. I am finally free!! Everyone I try on just keeps getting more and more comfy. Is it because this is the size I am meant to wear? Am I in denial? I am afraid at first to wear them as it suddenly feels and looks like I have lost ten pounds. I am afraid I will pig out just because I could in these pants and not feel the slightest bit uncomfortable. To my surprise, food is the last thing on my mind. I feel good, I feel slim, I feel comfortable. Life is good. This inspires me to eat healthy and actually stop eating when I am full........what a concept.

Ah! Power to one size bigger!
I really must Thank my friend :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Booze Cruise

People..... Don't ever, ever, EVER let your daughters go away during spring break. Sometimes it is referred to as March Break or reading week. Reading week my ass! I just came back from a 3 night cruise that left California and docked in Baha, Mexico for a day. I travelled with several hundred college students and it was definitely an experience I will never forget.

The things I witnessed were disturbing - even more so because nobody intervened, there was no voice of reason and it was like a bad car accident. You know you shouldn't slow down and look but, you are human and can't help it.

These people were drunk all day. They went to bed drunk, woke up drunk, swam drunk, danced drunk, ate name it. Also let me just explain to you that this cruise also had families aboard. Families with small children. Impressionable young children. Some of these children witnessed what I witnessed. There were seniors on board, young newlywed couples, pregnant woman, newborn babies, couples having anniversaries, people celebrating their 40th birthday and a family reunion or two. Some of these people also witnessed what I witnessed.

I won't get too much into details but, lets just say "Girls gone wild" Ain't got nothing on this. Yes folks, this is the future generation, some of them may be running the country one day (Hopefully not this one although anything would be an improvement. Perhaps they will become parents, lawyers, doctors or teachers.

I can understand someone having too much to drink and throwing their inhibitions out the window. I always say "Nothing surprises me" and apparently I am lying.

We went on a tour the Saturday inside of Mexico - as part of the tour they took us to an open air flea market in Mexico. It was fun and on route to the flea market the guide explained the city to us and gave us a history lesson in culture. After the flea market and STILL PART OF THE TOUR (Important to emphasize this) We were dropped off for an "Authentice Mexican lunch" Consisting of nacho chips, some salsa, guacamole and chopped tomatoes (Gee, all the stuff you can buy at Dominion). We were dropped off at a restaurant slash bar and left to fend for ourselves. I am travelling by the way with a girlfriend who is a year older than me. We both snack on our stale taco chips and hear music blaring from upstairs. We both enjoy dancing and think........Hmm - we have a few hours before we need to get back on the ship. We go upstairs and enter the bar area. It is so packed it is beyond a fire hazard. I guess all the Mexican fire inspectors were busy .......anyhow, nothing could prepare us for what we were about to see.

It is ONE O'CLOCK in the afternoon (Must emphasize this point also and you will understand why) There is a space at the bar which we head over to. We are surprised we get a spot as this place is so busy so we excitingly jump in. My friend orders a marguerita. I cannot tolerate alcohol on a good day but, hey I am on vacation. Sure, why not? I have one as well. The glass the bartender gives us our drinks in is bigger than my head. (For those of you who know me......I got a big ass head. I have a big ass too but, that's another blog)

The music is blaring and my friend and I smile at each other. People are dancing, smiling, having fun, the music selections are all of my favorites. I have found my people. Until.......From the corner of my eye a young lady (Well, she isn't a lady for'll see) Makes her way to the bar and whispers something to the bartender. Next thing I know he is lifting her over the bar on the other side of where we are standing. She gets on the bar and starts dancing. Pretty harmless no?? Oh, wait for it. Then another girl gets lifted on the bar, and another, and another. There was finally around 6 girls dancing on the bar. I've seen Coyote Ugly so I get the concept. Yeah, whatever. I take a sip of my marguerita, I take another........instant headache. I give the ten gallon drink to my friend and tell her I cannot drink it. I guess these six girls on the bar have had several of the ten gallon margueritas. It all happens so fast. People are cheering, yelling things, suddenly they are screaming and going nuts. I look up. Three of the six girls are topless, two are kissing each other and the sixth has her jeans half way down her bum. This simply cannot be! I look over at my friend who's jaw has nearly hit my knee.......and yes, I am standing.

Before either us can say WTF??? (What the f___) The entire bar seems to suddenly have video cameras going, flash bulbs and the "dancing girls" seem to be everywhere. On the chairs, on the staircase to the washroom, on the window sills. It is one drunken flash nude fest.

Again, let me remind you. It is one o'clock in the afternoon. What time did these people start drinking I wonder? Where are their parents? Are any of them parents themselves? (I shudder at this) Why is nobody stopping them? How can this be allowed?

I glance over at my friend who has gotten over the shock and is now snapping photos like a mad papparazzi person. She explains to me when she sees my horrified expression that she has never seen anything quite like this and needs to capture the moment on film.

My head hurts and everyone is screaming. I need to pee. Bad. I walk through the drunken crowd in a haze from the cigarette smoke and proceed to the bathroom. I won't elaborate what is happening on the staircase but, it involves several young females (19? 20 Years?) , whip cream and some wagging tongues. I pretend this is a natural sight for me and go into the woman's bathroom (I told you, I had to go BAD) Once inside there is a huge lineup of girls. Most of them very young that were wearing less than a streetwalker would. Their mascara is smeared, hair is rumpled and they are all talking in that loud drunken stammer. All I can hear around me is giggling an flurries of "Oh my God, I did it! I don't care, like, I don't know anybody here, like, anyways!" As I am thinking to myself, yes, this is true they don't know anybody but, have they never heard of six degrees of separation?? Someone they know is bound to see them, a friend of a cousin of a boyfriend of a sibling of a coworker of the grocery know how these things work. Besides so many people are filming the shenanigans and taking pictures these girls will be a sad email joke or on the internet surely by dinner time!

I do my business and meet up with my friend again. She is three quarters through her marguerita and has not started to attempt the remainder of mine yet. We agree to leave straight away. As soon as she finishes the drinks. I notice now there are a different set of women on the bar. I also notice that it seems the majority of these girls have had work done (And I don't mean on their house) These are young girls! Surely they have not finished growing yet? What surgeon would do this to them! They are tall, short, fat, thin, very fat, blonde, brunette, redheads, caucasian, black, spanish, oriental........they are people's daughters, girlfriends, cousins, confidants... and they are completely hammered and exposing themselves to the world. Nobody seems concerned. Except for me and my friend (Who is still snapping away photos - to show the guys at works she says)

I urge her to finish her drink so we can leave. I can feel it getting ugly. Really ugly and it does. In the far back corner there is a group of girls doing things to each other I have only ever saw on late night showcase. (I turned it there by accident and then the converter ran out of batteries of course so I had to leave it on the channel......) This is the innocent part. There are three or four guys standing in front of them filming, there are dozens and dozens of other guys ogling and hollering encouragement. My stomach turns as I notice hands groping and pulling at body parts on the girls. The hands belong to some of the ogling perverts. The girls continue to "perform" in their drunken haze as they are prodded, grabbed, name it.
I frantically look around for the bouncer. A bar must have a bouncer. This must be stopped straight away! I scan the crowded room and yes! YES! There is a bouncer. I can go and tell him....why is he doing that? The bouncer is holding up a very heavy woman, turning her upside down and sticking her crotch in his face. The crowd surrounding this bizarre scene is going nuts!
I have had enough. I point to the grope fest in the corner and say to my friend "The line has been crossed and we must leave immediately" Thankfully, she agrees and is equally shocked and disgusted and we leave.

According to other guests on the cruise ship, this behavior was going on at the pool (Luckily we both were bloated and crampy and decided not to go to the pool that day), The disco (We missed it because we left early to get an early night) And several other areas of the ship. Apparently, it happens all the time. Not just because it was spring break, however, it was worse and much more abundant due to this. Apparently these short weekend cruises are know as booze cruises and to my suprise many people we met admitted they knew about these traditions and behaviors before they boarded.

Apparently one woman broke down at the pool when she saw some of the girls being so brazen and sexual. The woman explained that when she was a young girl she got very drunk one night and ended up being gang raped by four guys. She didn't even flash them or behave badly but, she was with some girls who did. The sights on the ship flooded horrible memories back for her.
She was very upset and angry at the girls for their behavior and irresponsiblity.

I was sad. The woman's movement went back centuries for me. How will we ever be taken seriously now? These young girls have NO idea what their mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers went through for equality. Sadly, I think they thought THIS was empowerment. They thought they were in control. I read stories and saw television specials like Maury Povich and Heraldo about spring bread rape. It is a major epidemic that nobody talks about. Let me stipulate that I do not think ANY MAN HAS A RIGHT to rape a woman but, I must say that after what I say, AND I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM SAYING THIS...........No wonder it happens! And what about the innocent girls who are in the wrong place at the wrong time???

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't ever let your daughters go away during spring break! No matter how old, how sweet, how innocent, how perfect, how angelic she is!!! Look what happened to me. I ended up in a bar and will be scarred for the things I witnessed. I knew when it was time to go. (In fact we should of gone sooner) Will your daughter leave in time???


CUZ I SAID SO.............Linda