i heart learning

i heart learning

Saturday, April 30, 2011

happy slapping

Kale, Matt and I are doing some compositing for a film called 'Happy Slapping,' a feature length scripted film shot entirely on an iphone.

Today I learned what 'happy slapping' actually is - and it is not happy at all. It's ironic - like calling a really tall man 'Shorty.'

Happy slapping is a fad in the UK that began back in the mid 00's where jerks assault an unsuspecting random victim by slapping them, and another jerk records it on their cellphone camera. They think it is funny and spread the videos around via YOUTUBE. Typically it is done by teenagers - whom I find to be some of the scariest people on earth. I get more nervous passing a pack of teenagers than I do passing  pack of wolves.

I do not wish to post footage of it on this blog because it makes me sad. It also makes me want to learn jujitsu so I could open a can of whoop-ass if anyone tried this on me or in front of me to someone else. There is plenty of footage where the attacker messes with the wrong dude and gets a smackdown. That is less sad but sad all the same.

Whatever happened to classically funny videos like poop dollar?

Or why has no one created a 'happy candies!' video where someone runs around making people happy with sweet tokens?

Check out this video instead. It is what happens to your face when you get slapped. We humans are more elasticky than I thought.

latest entry EVER

It is kind of a lame-o learn but never become a Goldilocks and 'test' out someone's tempurpedic mattress after a late night out. You may not leave their bedroom until 6.46am, when it finally decides to release you from its magical sleep spell. This is precisely how i have ended up writing this latest entry I have ever written. Turns out Carl's bed was 'not too hard, not too soft, just right.' Stay tuned for a legit learn for the day when i think of one....

nothing like waking up in your party dress
Oh yeah! I learned that acupuncture can cure the likes of 'incurable conditions' like high blood pressure, vertigo, migraines, anxiety, musculoskeletal problems....

Nelsons Mom Suzanne was telling me because she is going for treatment for her insomnia.

Maybe Suzanne should try Carl's mattress. 

Friday, April 29, 2011

not orchidding you


I learned today how to keep an orchid alive.

I am not the friend of plants - i managed to kill a plastic one once.
My flower caretaking skills consist of sticking them in a vase and waiting for them to die; fingers crossed they make it through the week.

For me, candy is a much more sensible gift (although it's chance of making it through the week is also pretty grim)

Tonight at Dales I noticed how wonderful his orchid is. It is the most vibrant shade of pink and hangs lopsided like a plant from Dr. Seuss' imagination.

 I wanted it in my home, but the last three orchids I have attempted to raise ended up turning to flower dust. They crusted like petrified mummies, and crumbled when even looked at.

When I paid Dale an orchid compliment he said his trick was to feed it two ice cubes a week. And that's all the care it needs. The ice cubes melt slowly, giving the plant time to digest the water in droplets. Very very clever. (Of course this is the lazy persons way to keep it alive - but hey, I'm a lazy one)

Didn't someone say once 'if you can raise a plant you can raise a baby?' Looks like I will be able to raise a baby now! Let's just hope the baby can also survive on just two ice cubes a week...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

USA pay kinks my day

Today I had to wait in line at the Bank.

It was hell on earth.

Usually at the end of such lineups there are fantastic things worth waiting for. Rides at Disneyland, sample sales, American Idol judges. Don Bluth.
But not today - I was simply waiting forever to speak to a teller so I could ask for permission to access my own hard earned moolah. Alls I have to say to that is thank goodness there isn't a toiletry bank where I need to wait in line to ask permission to use my deodorant or lip balm.

I'm an ATM girl. A normal bank transaction for me is quick. I go in, use the ATM. I'm gone in 60 seconds like Angelina Jolie.
But today there was a little glitch in my routine when the ATM accused me of having 'insufficient funds' when I knew I had very very sufficient funds.

So in the lineup I waited, festering about the bank obviously still holding a cheque that I cashed a million years ago. I daydreamed myself yelling 'unacceptable!!!' at the possibility of the tellers inability to give me my own money. Then of course I daydreamed the teller cowering behind her desk and curtseying. 'Yes ma'am - we will fix it right away ma'am.' Yessir she was going to get some two cents.

But obviously when it was my turn I was very sweet and composed. Everyone knows you attract more bees with honey than vinegar.
The teller explained to me that because I cashed an American cheque in what i thought was a time-saving ATM, there was actually a 30 day hold on it.

30 day hold on American cheques cashed in the ATM! So now that I have learned that, what is the lesser of two evils for the next time?

1. wait in line to cash the cheque at the teller?
2. wait in line after cashing the cheque in the ATM?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

lessons from a celebrity

Normally when a celebrity talks to me it is through my television. But today a celebrity and I spoke face to face. And better yet - he taught me something new so I can brag about it in my blog!

"Perfection is the enemy of progression."

My friend Alain Zaloum the director and celebrity taught me this expression today. He first heard it at a conference starring a woman from the 'ebay' family. He likes it a lot - and found two ways to mention it today during lunch. I like it too, and think I shall use it as my mantra when I am Q-tipping my ears or doing my makeup. Who ever said lipstick needed to be exact?

Alain insists he is not a celebrity. But Celebrities-Galore.com - numerology of the famous disagrees. Therefore I disagree. The site states clearly he's a star - and have even given a detailed breakdown of Alain's personality according to his number charts. They would not have done that if he was just a John Smith Joe Blow. Alain you are so modest!


ALAIN did you know you have the same life path as Hitler, Helen Keller and Louis Braille? And that anyone in the world (men and stalkers included) can test their love relationship compatibility with you?  Now that's fame.

 Readers were going to google image this pic after anyways. Sorry, Alain. Stardom means privacy and discretion get thrown to the wind. 

Alain also taught me some sound writing advice today that is wonderful and I will employ as I blog.

'Don't write what you know - know what you write.'

Thanks AZ! xo

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I want an old guy in my pocket

Today I learned about Bill Cunningham. I head never heard of him.

He is the sweetest 80-something year old and I want to squeeze him and keep him in my pocket.
He is one also more reason that my first time visit to New York City is long overdue.

I was invited tonight to a documentary premiere about Bill called 'Bill Cunningham New York' and was blown away by his genius and humility. If you are into fashion, photography, NYC or sweet old talented men you have got to see this doc! It is inspirational!

Bill is a fashion photographer for the New York Times who rides his bicycle all over NYC in his blue jacket taking photographs of people wearing interesting street fashion. His column is called 'On the Street' and the New Yorkers love him.

Check out a slideshow of his work

He says the streets 'speak to him,' and he has been doing it for years. Designer Oscar de la Renta has said "More than anyone else in the city, he has the whole visual history of the last 40 or 50 years of New York. It's the total scope of fashion in the life of New York."

If I ever go to NYC you can bet I'll be dolled up in my streetiest of street fashion and loitering in his favorite picture-taking hangouts. Even today I funked myself up in a gorgeous outfit by Mosaik Montreal just in case dear Bill could see me through the projected image sitting in the corner of the dark theater. http://www.mosaikmtl.com/

take my photo billy boy
**photo by Sebastien Roy

I wish I was as clever as Bill. Maybe I'll try being the Bill Cunningham of my neighborhood. Of course in St. Henri I'd likely get a fist in the face - so there would be a few minor differences. I'll be on roller blades wearing a trench, and my subject will be the fur fashions of street cats. Oh - and I wouldn't be as humble when people offered to pay me. You know - minor stuff.

Monday, April 25, 2011

President's choice

Today I learned that the 'President's Choice' ice cream is really just the 'Chapman's' ice cream undercover: totally and completely the same recipes, tastes and colors. Not even the packaging is different, just the label design.

The friend of the brother of a woman working at the Chapman's factory told me this as I was gobbling it down today, as if i hadn't just eaten half a pig, potatos, parsnips and pauliflour for Easter supper (The P alliteration there was just too good to ruin with a C).

I don't discriminate. I would eat ice cream even if it came from a little blue ziplock inside Jeffrey Dahmer's freezer. So the 'PC' brand is just fine and dandy with me.

Pass me the ice cream...right there between the skin tags and the  man parts

I know you no-name advocates are feeling a great sense of vindication right now, thinking this Chapman's thing proves that the nameless stuff is just as good as the brand stuff. I have to admit it's great ammunition for the next time Nelson gives me the stink eye when serving up a pate chinois from the signature yellow box.

But before you start doing the 'I told you so' dance, know that it is but a small victory. No name has a long way to go before it can compete with all brands. The real victory will be when the President Chooses to make some high quality toilet paper or Q-tips.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

bloody diet

Vampires have a blood diet...

And now so do humans.
The only difference is vampires have to know what blood type they like, while humans have to know which blood type they are.

I learned today about the blood type diet.

I am not one for diets. I tried the cabbage soup diet once. It lasted approximately 24 hours - 13 of which I spent sleeping. My awake time was spent as the incredible hulk, throwing temper tantrums and breathing heavily a lot, a direct result from depriving my body of carbs.

My only relief was after eating one of those huge oatmeal cookies that my hulk self got ultra violent with a vending machine for.

I thought I did pretty good with the apple diet. I lasted a whole work day until my allergy to apples got the better of me and I had a large rash all around my mouth.

And I would never try the candy diet. Candy is much too much a part of my life to risk getting sick of it permanently.

This blood type diet is interesting. It appears to be a science, letting you know what foods are best based on you as a biochemical individual. It's not just about weight loss, but eating properly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I have no clue what blood type I actually am, but if I had to guess I'd start with Type B, for Becca.

I would switch diets but my latest one has been working for me. The 'don't be a pig diet,' where I get to eat whatever I want but in moderation.

bloody dieting!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

skis are not forever

I am very happy that it is spring.
But I am very unhappy that it is spring.

On the happy note - the snow is gone. Spring means rollerblades, tennis, and boyfriend blazers. Trade in those bulky Sorels for cute flats!
But on the bad note - spring means the snow is gone and my ski pass I swore I would use everyday was used only twice this season. I needed to use it 5 times to break even-steven for the price I paid for it. I beat myself up with my mind as i spring-cleaned my unused equipment back down to our lonely storage space yesterday.

I was consoled by reminding myself that my new skis, poles, boots and goggles would still be their next year, and every year after that for the rest of my life.

Then I met Adam. The consolation crusher.

As I was relating this waste-of-money-but-oh-well-skis-are-forever tale to a group of bbq-ing friends tonight Adam burst my bubble of naivety faster than you can say 'becca's $120 in the hole!'

Adam: You'll change your skis in about three years.

Me: What are you talking about?

Adam: ski equipment - it's only good for like a 120 days of skiing

me: WHat? No, You just wax it then and they're like new. Our family used the same skis for like 15 years!

Adam: no they're no good after 120 times Their cores aren't good anymore after that.

Turns out Adam knows what he is talking about. He sells ski equipment for a living, and has skied his whole life.
Bummer. I had justified going into more mastercard debt this winter by convincing myself that skis were a once-in-a-lifetime necessary purchase. 

I suppose the one perk to all the non-skiing I did this season is that at this rate my next pair of skis will be purchased in 2061.

Friday, April 22, 2011

dessert dislike

i never dislike dessert. It is my favorite meal of the day. I devour desserts like yesterday's cupcakes. remember?

Look how my jaws tear through the paper flesh! I'm a dessert animal.
Up until tonight I didn't think it was possible to dislike a dessert.
But it is very very possible.

I do not like Indian desserts.

I was at an indian themed dinner party at Emily's. She built the theme around the fact she just moved there and has no furniture yet. We ate on the floor, on pillows that were on an indian blanket, that was on a mexican blanket, that was on a persian rug.

furnitureless is the best time to have an authentic indian dinner party.

The dinner was amazing. Jen brought the dessert, which she bought from a local indian owned dep.

google image jalebis

This is a Jalebis. It is a traditional east indian dessert that I am glad I tried, and glad I never have to try again. It is actually that yellowish/orange. And it tastes like pure oil, that's honey flavored to mask the pure oil texture.

It would not be fair to write off all indian desserts had this been the only one at the table. But there were three more funny unnamed tasting sweets that did not tickle my taste buds. One looked like a small twinkie but yellower like homer simpson (this google pic does not do the hue justice):

one looked like a date square:

and one looked like fudge.

Each bite of each dessert was like the experience of drinking what you thought was water that turned out to be vodka.

They say you have to try something 8 times to know if you like it or not. So I ripped the desserts it into 8 tiny bites and nope, confirmed they will never make it to my recipe box. All six dinner guests unanimously agreed that indian night was a super success dinner-wise - but dessert did not make the cut.

snake charming
zen tricks
Thank goodness Jen was smart enough to bring ice cream 'just in case.' Zoe was just as clever, and brought a cookie filled camembert wheel.

Invite me to an indian dinner? anytime.
Invite me to try jalebis again? I already did 8 times. that was more than enough.

मैं भारतीय मिठाई नफरत

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

secret ingredient

To start off, a virtual high-five is in order for my success in being able to post before midnight!

Now onto today's learn!
Today I learned the bizarro secret ingredient to making tastelicious red velvet cupcakes.

The secret was love of course!
Oh - and vinegar. Now what the h-e-double hockey sticks is vinegar doing in my cupcake recipe? I like vinegar. But I like it as the secret ingredient to make baking soda volcanos or potato salad, not my sweet little sugar fixes.
I made red velvet yellow velvet cupcakes with teal icing today with Kim using Tanya's recipe. We worked very hard, and put flour on our clothes and cheeks to prove it.

***objects in sphere were more delicious than they photoshop appear

I was very skeptical as we poured the clear but potent liquid into the batter.  It was one of those 'which of the ingredients is not like the others? Which one of these ingredients just does't belong?' moment. It smelled funny. "TANYA!!!!! it smells funny!"

Maybe I just don't bake enough - apparently vinegar is in a lot of cookies and cake recipes. It reacts with the baking soda to jumpstart a carbon dioxide chemical reaction that helps batter to lift as it bakes. And I totally had to paraphrase that last sentence because baking is a foreign language only to be understood by bakers.

I pulled a Jack Sprat and licked my paper platter clean. 

High-five to me for getting to bed at a decent hour tonight!

cold feet

I have cold feet.
Not about getting engaged - for that my feet are very very warm.
I mean literally.
My feet are seriously cold. And they have been this way since 1995. I am always searching for ways to get them warm - I burned a hole in my sock one night when I slept with a hot hands pack.

Tonight I learned a home remedy trick that I am testing out right now!

Step 1
get your pepper grinder and a pair of socks ready.

Step 2
pull a Snooki and get grinding! Don't forget to shake your sock like a polaroid picture after.

Step 3
Oh yes. Time to put your footsie in that sock! We aren't making puppets, here. (on the counter is optional)

Step 4
Repeat with your other foot, rub them together and wait for the magic to happen.

The home remedy also suggests that cayenne pepper will do the trick - but I'm afraid you might get a two-for-one special with that one: red hot feet and red hot stains all over the place.

I do feel a slight warming sensation, kinda nice - but nothing that is going to properly melt these ice cubes. This pepper trick might be best after a hot foot soak, to keep feet warm.

Tonight I'm going to bed with salted licorice in my mouth and peppered feet in my socks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'cause my ha-ma-na-ma-nnaaaayy

On my way to Molly's oil change today, I gave a my abs a good workout singing along to Britney Spears' 'I'm a Slave for You' pumping on my iPod. 

It is my favorite Britney song because of the little nintendo noises in the background. It's like I am collecting coins, blowing warp whistles and green pipe travelling all at the same time.

The 'I'm a Slave' lyrics are not hard to remember (and for those with Stockholm's syndrome they should be even easier), but there is that one line that is undecipherable. 

Aren't you curious to know what that means? When it gets to that part I just sing 'cause my ha-ma-na-ma-nnaaaayy!' because that is what it sounds like. And although it is popular to make songs with phonetic sounds like Annie Lennox's 'do-be-do-be-do-do-do  ahhuhhh' or Rihanna's 'umbrella, ella, ella, a, a, a - I do not think this was Britney's intention. 

Maybe once the mumbled lyric is interpreted it will prove Britney is deeper than Deepak. It could be some profound statement that's been buried under nintendo beeps since 2001. I must know!

So today learning the proper lyrics  to 'I'm a Slave for You' was at the top of my list.
Here is what a Britney Spears Whisperer posted online.

Baby, don’t you wanna, dance upon me, 
(I just wanna dance next to you) 
To another time and place. 
Baby, don’t you wanna, dance upon me, 
(Are you ready) 
Leaving behind my name, my age. 

uh huh. Deepak she is not. It appears the slurred code lyrics 'cause my ha-ma-na-ma-nnaaaayy!' translate to I'm a naughty underage girl who shouldn't sing about being naughty and underage. 

That being said, I still love her.

... and I still love when people sing the lyrics to any song wrong. For those of your who do not know, Elton John's song is about a tiny dancer, not a Tony Danza.

Monday, April 18, 2011


I had to do a video blog tonight.
I am in much too much of a rush to get back to the online game World of Warcraft that I learned how to play today.

whew! I just learned how hard it is to do a video blog entry!
Did you notice how bored my co-host in the background was?

Check out my bloopers that didn't make the cut. (there are 3)

WARNING TO JOJO: Expect a lengthy talking-to next time you get together with Nelson. He is less impressed than stella about this new learn today. I spent all 2 hours of Celebrity Apprentice glancing at my new character Luucinda the gnome.

Here is Luucinda the Gnome Mage from Sauramar.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

10:53 AM

There has been a mystery to my life going on for as long as I can remember; whether I was born February 28th in the AM or PM.

No one who is supposed to remember remembers. Mama forgets. Papa forgets. Sisters don't care.
Thats what happens when you are baby #3. Your parents just remember the fact you were born, not details like the time of day. Being baby #3 also means you only get two newborn pictures in the back of a photo album (when your older siblings got 2 albums each for their first day of life).

Even my lovingly hand embroidered baby blanket forgets.
It reads I was born at 10:53   M.  How convenient.
The telling A or P has managed to unstitch itself and fall off,  leaving no telltale holes of where the embroidery might have originally been.

I am sure if my family and I tried hard enough we could rustle up some paperwork or my birth certificate to put this to question to bed, but none of us have ever cared enough to root through old boxes or check hospital records. And so the mystery has remained.

Until today. I have learned my official time of birth.
Got a call from my Mom at noon saying...

MOM: Hey Bek, you were born in the AM.
ME: 10:53 AM?
MOM: Yeah I found your baby book in storage and it said you were born in the AM.
ME: Woah! I have a baby book?
MOM: Yeah you do.
ME: That's new. And here I thought I had like just those 2 pictures in the photo album.
MOM: Well...you practically do. Theres not much filled in here, let me tell you.

Ah. For a second there I thought I also learned that baby #3 got more infatuation than I thought.
False alarm.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

are you afraid of the dark?

If you are Canadian, then you must live in an igloo, say 'eh?' alot, and survive on poutine.
Those are our typical what-we-are-known-for stereotypes.

I learned about a new Canadian stereotype today.

I am not sure how it came up at lunch, but Jen (2 days in a row you teach me something missy!) mentioned that Canadians had the stereotype of all being afraid of the dark. Or at least the Thai people were under this impression when she went to Southeast Asia a few months ago.

It might be a valid stereotype. Maybe thats why YTV came out with that Canadian series 'Are You Afraid of the Dark.' I know I am Canadian. I know I am terribly afraid of the dark. I let my mind wander and I think I am being broken into or summoned by spirits. Until I turn on the light and see stellabijou playing with plastic bags.

I am most scared in the dark at my parents place when I have to walk up the basement steps and it is dark beside me. I half turn and walk up sideways like that sideways walking crab.

I am not the only one. Kim the Canadian admitted at lunch she is afraid. And so did a few other Canadian people. And I know positively my sister Jessica is terrified of the dark and Canadian. 

Look how menacing I am in the dark.

Amazing how a little light turns me into a sweet princess.

This stereotype makes some Canadians very upset. A few defensive comments online were

"Hello! We live up North where days are very short and mostly dark!"

or my personal favorite -

"Many Canadians are miners! They go down into deep dark holes all the time for heavens sake!"

My theory is that stereotypes exist for a reason.
There must be some canadians who love the dark - just like some Philippinos can swim - just like some Brits have nice teeth - or just like some asians must have failed math.
But my guess is the majority of peoples in these territories do not, can not or have not.

lets have a vote in the comments - I will start

Thursday, April 14, 2011

sugaring off and vaseline

Jen said today she was planning to go 'sugaring off' this weekend.
So I had two choices.

1. Say 'Oh how fun!'
2. Ask 'What is sugaring off?'

In the half second that I silently mulled over my options, three potential definitions flashed through my mind simultaneously, like his life flashing before a dead man's eyes.

  • It could mean she is going skiing one last time for the season (at Sugarbush Mountain)
  • It could mean she is involved in a baking contest. or a candy eating one.
  • It could be another way to say 'f#$% off'

Maybe it meant something sad - like she was starting a no sugar diet. And in that case, my saying 'Oh how fun!' would be totally inappropriate. No sugar is not 'oh how fun!'

So I opted for option 2. Leaving myself wide open and vulnerable to Jens criticism and eye rolling. She did not disappoint.

ME: What's sugaring off?
JEN:Are you serious?
ME: Yeah..what is it?
Jen: Becca! Sugaring off!
ME: what is it?
JEN: have you seriously never heard of it before?
JEN: Everyone knows what that means.
ME: ....
JEN: It's when you go to the sugar shack and do the whole maple syrup thing.
ME: Oh. I like that. Sugar off.

It turns out 'sugaring off' is the correct term for what I call 'sugar shacking.' Visiting the places where maple syrup is produced, taking the tour through the woods, eating tons of mapley brunch stuff and eating fresh syrup off of popsicle sticks in the snow.

That is twice within two weeks Jen has helped me to become a better Quebeccor.

Maybe I can teach her that 77% of the worlds maple syrup comes from Quebec so sugaring off is a must! Or maybe I can teach her a thing or two about vaseline.


I also bought a tub of vaseline today for my dry dry nose, and I thought to myself 'What in the heck is vaseline used for anyways besides lipbalm and nose lube?'

I learned that it is the ultimate beauty tool:

You can use it on your eyelashes to make them thicker and longer. 
You can use it on split ends
You can use it as shaving cream
You can use it for cuticles. 
You can use it to get an even tan
You can use it as stain remover 
You can use it as makeup remover.
You can use it to tame unruly eyebrows!!!
Theres more - link here to see 50 uses.

It is no wonder that Tyra Banks is America's Next Top Advocate of Vaseline.


I know my nostrils really adore the stuff.

super sight

I never wear my glasses. They give me a headache and make me look like Bubbles' sister from another mister.

As a child they were my best friend: crooked and dirty as an algae-filled fish tank they sat upon my cherubic face, from sun up to sun down. I got them at 2 years old. Before that, my world was made of colors and shapes. My mother was a mere blob, and I guess I used my senses of smell and touch a la Helen Keller to determine who she was. My statement 'mummy you are so beautiful' after putting my first pair on proves just how blind I had actually been.


As a teen I fell victim to glasses dysmorphic disorder - where I saw myself as a hideous beast-monster that no boy found attractive - and I switched to colored contacts.


In my early twenties I stopped wearing both glasses and contacts altogether, and started to seriously develop the super power of focusing my eyes. People do not believe me, but I can see at like a 20/20 vision when I flex an eye muscle. And with repeated flexing over many years, it has become natural to me. I don't even realize I am flexing, until I put my glasses on and my eyes go back into their relaxed state. But lately I have realized that even super powers need a break once in a while.


Even though I ditched glasses as a permanent fixture years ago, I still purchased new ones for as long I was still riding the 'Daddy's insurance' train. My latest pair is about 3 or 4 years old, and I have probably sported them like 3 or 4 times.

They have been impossible to wear. Even though they were custom fitted to my face,  they still give me that unbearable behind the ear headache after two hours of wearing them. The same headache that those cheap plastic headbands give you. Then off they come, back into their unscuffed case until i am up for torturing myself again.

But today I learned that if I wear them long enough the headache will dissipate. For the past three days I have forced myself to wear them at work, hoping they would save my neck by encouraging me to sit ergonomically. I still do not know if they help my neck, but 3 days seems to be the key to making me a headache-free woman!

Headache mystery solved.
Just like a pair of new boots. They leave you all blistered until you break them in.

I had no idea how deprived I have been until now.
'Mummy, HD is so beautiful!'