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On Your Way to Becoming an Eco-gay

In: Politics & Issues, Stephen

Everyone is jumping on the green bandwagon these days. Yes it is a bit trendy right now, but don’t underestimate the power of the green movement. Yes I can spend a little extra to buy phosphate-free detergent and feel proud that I’m saving our aquatic ecosystems, that’s easy. But there are more impactful ways to make a difference that require some initial coordination and could shake-up your daily routine, but once you’ve got your routine down you’ll be well on your way to becoming an Eco-gay. Here are some simple ways to look great, feel good, and help the planet out while doing so.

Getting there:

  • Yeah, it’s not exactly the most glamourous ride out there, but public transit a great way to get to work stress free. Put Kings of Leon on your iPod, pick up a newspaper, get on the train or bus and relax, you’re on your way. You might even find love, if you have the balls.  Hey, if Carrie Bradshaw can do it in heels, so can you.
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Last week, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) provided me the opportunity to see a screening of the movie Precious, directed by Lee Daniels (of Monster’s Ball, The Woodsman, Shadowboxer fame). While this movie isn’t out and showing in theatres across the continent yet, no doubt many of you have heard something about this film. There is a lot of buzz out there surrounding Precious, not only because it’s one of Lee Daniel’s films that is being heavily promoted by Oprah’s Harpo Productions, or that Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz have supporting roles, but because this movie is so gut-wrenchingly brilliant, hands down. I wouldn’t be surprised if this movie gets numerous Oscar nominations.

The screenplay Precious is based on the novel Push by Sapphire. The storyline follows Clareece “Precious” Jones as she navigates her way through adolescence. It’s a story about growing up, love, courage, and taking responsibility for one’s life. However, Precious is no ordinary teenager. We meet in her native Harlem during her sixteenth year as she is pregnant with her second child. Both times she was impregnated by her father, who still remains her mother’s boyfriend. Precious is obese, illiterate, and living in an abusive household. She yearns for a better life, but sees little hope.

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Behind the Cast: Time To Slow Down A Bit…

In: Behind The Cast, Stephen

Wow, what a rollercoaster these past few weeks have been! I’ve had my birthday, celebrated the Dans’ birthdays in Seattle, gone to see Kylie in Las Vegas (which, I’ve decided deserves to be its own post, so stay tuned, that will be forthcoming!) and went to work somewhere in between all of that. It’s been exhausting, but incredibly fun and memorable at the same time. Lots of good times with lots of great people :)

I’m actually looking forward to getting back into a routine though as the weather cools down and things start to move a bit slower. In fact, autumn is my favorite season just for that reason. While I love going out partying it up and “killing the goose” from time to time (and that has been more often than not recently!), I love hanging out with friends and just watching TV or cooking dinner together. While summer is go go go, be outside, go to the lake, Pride Seattle, Pride Vancouver, summer BBQ’s, more parties, running outside, soccer outside, etc, autumn provides me with the time to slow down a bit, go to a few yoga classes, read a few more books, and as the weather cools, spend my time indoors cooking some great food and maybe drinking some wine and playing board games with my friends and family. I fully plan on sharing some of my favorite recipes with you all – I make a mean turkey chili!

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Birthdays are a time to reflect on your life. And unfortunately for me, living up to my astrological sign, I self-analyze to death so there is way too much reflecting going on for my own good! What have I accomplished? Where was I last year at this time? Where do I want to be when I’m 30, 40? How am I going to get there? I celebrated my 27th birthday this week and proceeded to cycle through all of those questions in the week leading up to the big day. Where is my career going? Where is my life going? What do I want to do ultimately? What makes me happy? Have I progressed much from where I was last year? Two years ago? I didn’t have any of the answers really, I mean I have an idea of what I like, where I’m going, what makes me happy, so I continue to feel a bit uneasy and say that maybe in the next year by my 28th birthday I’ll have it all figured out, but secretly I know I’ll never have it all figured out. You’d think that’d give me some sort of comfort, but it doesn’t really.

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Colourful Laughter at Black Comedy

In: Stephen, The Arts

“I’d like to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.” How can a question so seemingly simple become so complicated, convoluted, and conflict-ridden? Well, after watching the Vancouver Arts Club Theatre’s “Black Comedy” and the short curtain-warmer “The Marriage Proposal”, it begins to make a little more sense. The father-daughter-son-in-law triangle is explored in both of these plays, each written in an entirely different time and place, yet touching on very similar themes. It’s classic in-law family dynamics at its best.

The show begins with a short one act play titled “The Marriage Proposal”. Evidently, if you are heavy into the arts scene and the history of theatre, this is a classic piece by Anton Chekov written in late 19th century Russia. The story is centred around three characters: a father, his daughter, and their neighbour who wishes to marry her. None of them, by the way, are remotely attractive, and all of them entirely desperate, which makes it all the more funny. While the story is simple, the acting is not. All three characters are larger than life, each with their own brand of wacky Eastern Europeanness. The actors are so over the top with their physical acting and their costumes; at one point I think all three were either yelling, shrieking or crying simultaneously!

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And no, Adam, it’s not because my boyfriend recently moved to Toronto. GUH! I’m referring to all of the new ways I can navigate my way around the city and beyond without my own personal vehicle. As a result, getting around town for this car-less eco-gay recently got a lot easier.

The biggest change to Vancouver’s infrastructure recently has been the construction of the 19 km long Canada Line opening this past month. The trains are spacious, fast, sleek, and most importantly, air conditioned! I was so impressed. Vancouver can finally take her training bra off and trade up to a C cup: we finally have what feels like a ‘big city’ rail system. The other day I zipped out to Richmond for some cheap dim sum, picked up some $2 stationery at Daiso, then headed over to the Vancouver Airport to their “Viewing Lounge” to watch airplanes land and take off (Full disclosure: I’m a nerd). I can’t wait for my trip to Vegas in early October with Kevin and a couple of our friends! Not only will do we have tickets to KYLIE (can’t even handle it) but we are planning on taking the new skytrain link out to the airport! My excitement could only be further amplified had we got to stay at the Airport HoJo. But seriously, it’s pretty cool to walk a block to the train station, pay $3 and end up at the airport in 20 minutes.

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My Lakeside Lit: Bright Shiny Morning

In: Stephen, The Arts

Kevin and I just got back from 10 days at my family’s cabin on the Sunshine Coast. It was blissfully serene and the perfect backdrop for a little sunning and reading. I usually choose a novel with some oomph and some legs behind it; usually found at my local bookstore’s bestseller section. This year was no exception as I had 5 minutes to make a decision on a book before jumping in the car to make our ferry reservation on a Friday afternoon. I chose “Bright Shiny Morning” by James Frey based on its place on the bestseller’s rack and the fact that it had one of those “(insert favorite bookstore employee) Recommends” stickers on it; incidentally we also made the ferry- but just barely.

The first thing I noticed from the outset was the author’s unique writing style. Frey uses a gritty, direct language throughout his novel which took a few pages for me to get used to, but soon grew to enjoy. It really fit well with the flow of the novel and speaks to the nature of the characters and, in my opinion, made them more dynamic. Editor’s Note: If you enjoy proper punctuation and are a stickler for sentence structure, you will not have an easy time with this!

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Stephen is… Lost in Antarctica

In: Gadgets & Tech, Stephen

Maybe it’s just me, but lately I feel like I’m getting a little overwhelmed by technology. I just think there comes a time in a human being’s life where we reach this saturation point with a lot of things: we run too far, too fast, and we feel like we’re about to die; we drink too much and we puke; we stay up too late and we collapse from fatigue; we have too many freakin web-based communication tools and profiles to manage and during a dramatic psychological meltdown we sell everything and hop on the next ship to Antarctica and live amongst the penguins- the non-tweeting kind. 

You all know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s like how the heck do we manage to keep everything going? You’ve got your cell phone, your facebook account, your twitter account, your online-dating account, your work e-mail, your personal e-mail, that personal e-mail account that you haven’t used in years because you’re embarrassed by the address (something like twinkle_sparkle_glitter_735@…) but it was the only thing you could think of at the time that no one else had and you just can’t get rid of it because there are still a few people out there that send mail to it and haven’t bothered to change to your new e-mail address even though you’ve told them on numerous occasions. It all gets a little overwhelming, especially when your real life gets busy.

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