Friday, April 29, 2011

It's a great day for millinery

5:56 a.m. Kate's in the car! She went for the Grace Kelly look -- good call. That's what you wear to become a princess. I hope this spells the end of the strapless trend in wedding dresses for a little while.

I've been up since 5:30. The good china's out, the tea's on, and both the Queen and I are wearing yellow.

Update: For more on my extremely important impressions of the Royal Wedding, pop over to my Twitter feed!

Double update! The Toronto Star issued a special commemorative coin! I will try very hard not to lose it.

Triple update: Grace van Cutsem rules:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

There's still snow in the colonies

I'm in Huntsville, Ontario. There are patches of snow on the ground. We're elbow deep in preparations for the royal wedding tomorrow. My Nana gave us a quick tutorial on how to sit whilst drinking tea (ankles crossed). My sister briefly read a recipe for scones, then seemed to get bored and wandered off to do something else. My niece is safely asleep in her Disney Princess sleeping bag. I'm enjoying this history on the creepy history of the royal family, watching as much pre-wedding coverage as possible and eating pie. That is all.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Very Royal Weekend

Dear readers,

As many of you may know by now, I am flying to Canada tonight then driving up to Huntsville, Ontario to watch the Royal Wedding on TV with my Nana. Stay tuned for frequent updates on dresses (mine -- what, I'm going to dress up too, you know!), the tea I drink, the amount of whiskey I pour into my tea, and what I put on my crumpet.


Spinster Aunt

Monday, April 11, 2011

This just in: girls can drink whiskey now

According to my good friends at the Canadian Press, women are just discovering this awesome new thing called bourbon.

"I think there's this sense of relief that finally we were at a point where we can be taken seriously as women who enjoy bourbon and the lifestyle that accompanies it," said Mary Quinn Ramer, a founding board member from Lexington.

And man, what a lifestyle it is. It's pretty much all success all the time.

Here's another fun fact: "Bill Samuels Sr., concocted the Maker's Mark recipe in the 1950s, but it was his mother, Margie, who coined the brand's name and came up with the idea of adorning the bottles with dripping red wax."

I'm thinking Mama Margie's "idea" came about kinda like this: "Oh fuck me, I spilt the goddam wax again!"

Monday, April 04, 2011

Insidious (2011)

Insidious is a tautly-crafted, old-school, genuinely terrifying movie.

Some of the crappier reviews of Insidious throw around the word "cliche" but don't you believe it. Don't believe the inept and condescending critics who say things like "you'll like it if you've never seen a horror movie before." Genre is wasted on these dorks, who prissily sit there and tick off the things they recognize from other movies. Yes, the film references other movies in a fan-boy kind of way. Deal with it.

As for those who complain the scares are lame, well -- ! The much-derided baby-monitor scene spooked the hell out of me. I don't know, I guess I find simple things like demon voices on baby monitors frightening. I'm a simple woman, I guess. But the scene I really, really, REALLY loved more than anything else in the movie was the one in which the weird midget guy starts playing "Tiptoe through the Tulips" on the record player while Renai (Rose Byrne) is outside putting out the garbage. I love the way it's shot, with her hearing the record before glimpsing him through the window. I love the use of sound in both these scenes. (One critic said the film relied too much on sound. Say what?) And what about the scary old lady in the photos, getting closer in each picture? How on earth can anyone not find these concepts, these images, scary as hell? And don't say it's because you've seen a lot of scary movies before. If a 19th century newsie ghost started fucking around with your record player, you wouldn't act so cool.

Things do break down a little in the third act, I will concede that. I can see the necessity of the father fighting for his son, I liked the romp through the haunted house, I even liked the twist. (Again, as with the whole genre-versus-cliché argument, there's something satisfying about a twist that you see coming.) And oh how I loved all the ghosts crowding into the house. I don't know that I would have given up that pleasure, even though I sort of wish the story had diverged after the seance scene. (How I would have done it? Let the demon posses the boy, kill the boy. Maybe I would not have gotten a PG rating.) The break-down, as I see it, only stems from the necessity of tying up the story. In other words, there's less of that amorphous creepiness I so enjoy, and more plot strands dutifully tied up. It doesn't feel like a climax so much as a chore duly executed.

Luckily for me, the rest of the film more than makes up for the imperfect third act. The true genre pleasures are all present and to those who decry them as clichés, I have to ask them: "How would you have done it? What totally original spin on the concept of haunting would you have come up with?" Or, more theoretically, "Does it make you happier to deny yourself the pleasures of genre than to immerse yourself in them?" Likely I would be greeted with silence. But not an ominous silence because, you know, that's totally been done before.