Monday, September 29, 2003

Another nice chilled weekend; lots of dvd watching (X-Men, Serial Mom), a birthday party in Levenshulme, where I not only met a Torontonian (a rarity in Manchester), but one from my old stomping ground at Roncesvalles. On Sunday, The Matrix Reloaded at the IMAX at the Printworks - amazing on such a big screen. I would have been totally swept away, except for the idiot family next to me who apparently thought they were on a picnic and spent the whole time stuffing their faces with packet after noisy packet of sweets and crisps. I leaned over and glared icily but got a blank stare in return. Sigh.

Worth noting - Manchester finally has its own Lush on Market Street where Evolution used to be. (Beware - horrifically ugly website...) Also, the sadly missed Les Delices de Champagnes (as reviewed in my coffee page), which disappeared from the Triangle several months ago, is re-opening soon on Deansgate at John Dalton Street in a much bigger location.

Speaking of food, the Manchester Food & Drink festival starts on Wednesday. Hopefully I'll be checking out some of the events and writing about them here... £1 for a pudding at the Market Restaurant is especially tempting.

Friday, September 26, 2003

I was really excited today, because the long-promised cafe in my work building finally launched this morning. They tied it in with the Macmillan coffee morning to raise money, so I bought £1 worth of tickets for the tombola. No such thing exists in Canada, so for those that don't know it is "a game in which numbered tickets are bought from a spinning cylindrical container and small prizes are won when the numbers on the tickets are the same as the numbers on the prizes." Phew! This being the budget version though, we had to pick 10 pre-folded tickets out of a bowl yourself. Anyhow, I started checking my tickets and had a look at the goodies. They actually had TINS OF TUNA as prizes. What's up with that? I didn't win anything, but all the grannies there were cleaning up. How do they do it? Not that I wanted the single salt shaker or the bottle of fake Tia Maria...

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Not only do I love Christopher Guest's films, but my dad was a 60s folkie (and still is!) - his record collection is full of LPs like Mitch And Mickey's - and his own band, We Three (not to be confused with We Five of A&M fame) used to play at coffee houses in Toronto. So there was no way I could wait until the UK release date (16th January) to see A Mighty Wind. I've ordered the region 1 dvd, which is out on Friday - £14.99 post paid from cd-wow incidentally.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

I'm really not that gadget-y of a person, but I've been lusting after the ruby red Siemens SL55 all day. I mean, just look at it - it's so swish and pretty. And tiny. And also £300. Sigh...

p.s. Actionetting in London was very good - I'm going to try and sort out a few photos soon.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Was it the lap dog shrieking that passed for acting, the clothes (so bad she made the outfits in Showgirls look classy), the bad boob job, the boot-leather tan or the cruddy Transvision Vamp cover boasting a video full of high kicks and splits a la Parker Posey in Waiting for Guffman? Whatever it was, someone had finally had enough of Jennifer Ellison.

Monday, September 15, 2003

A few things:

I'm performing with the Actionettes again this coming Saturday (20th Sept.) - the theme is "Boys" and it'll be an extra special night since the Action Men will be making their debut. I have no idea what sort of thing they'll be doing - it could be mod boy type routines, or maybe Lee Hazlewood stylings... but it should be fun. Me, I'll be airing a brand new number - the fab "You just gotta know my mind", as done justice in the 60s by Dana Gillespie or Karen Verros.

It's the usual venue - Water Rats in Kings Cross (328 Grays Inn Road), 9 pm start, £4 in, Leffe on tap, first set at 10:15 and the second at around midnight. Lots of alcohol, glitter and dancing! And I'll finally get a chance to wear those vintage op art earrings I picked up ages ago...

Also, we were thrilled when the Victoria Baths won the BBC Restoration contest last night. All of the buildings deserved the cash in one way or another - but I can't deny that I wasn't pleased to see a North West building win. Mind you, I could barely hear the telly because 808 State were playing right outside as part of the In the City street festival. (And no, they weren't that great - too many weird guitar solos and not enough of the old hits, sadly...)

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Star sighting...

OK, I'm not exactly Hollywood or celeb spotting happy, but I have to admit I got a kick out of it when Jude Law swanned past me last night on the set for the remake of Alfie.

For the last couple of weeks, the production company has been transforming a section of Manchester's northern quarter (High Street and Hilton Street) into the streets of NYC, which is where the updated version is set. They've done a brilliant job, down to the traffic lights, fire escapes and mud splattered New York Times paperboxes. Shops have been transformed into bagel bars, diners or even a fabulous Marimekko - I really wish they were staying that way! It's all so authentic that it made me feel quite homesick - after all, there are certain things that all North American cities have.

Anyhow, the first day of filming was on Monday but we didn't manage to swing by. But last night, I got back from a meeting in Liverpool at about 6:30 so we decided to stop by on the way back from Piccadilly Station. We weren't sure how close we could get, and spotted security guards about a block and a half away from the action. Either they let us pass, or they didn't care - but we managed to get on the corner right across from the cafe where they were filming the last scenes of the day. Suddenly, Jude Law sailed out of an alleyway (very glam!) and walked right past me to the set. He was very short (aren't actors *always*?), had very long feet, looked very sharp in his suit, seemed to having a good laugh with everyone on set and probably looked very handsome indeed if he's your type. There were a few other people who were obviously Ac-tors too, but I didn't recognise any of them. No sign of Marisa Tomei or Susan Sarandon though - they're also on the imdb cast list.

So we stood in the early evening misty rain, which looked surreal coming down under the huge crane lights, and enjoyed watching the organised chaos that is a huge film set do their thing until it started getting too soggy to be fun. Not bad for a Tuesday!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Lots on this past weekend - a (sadly) disappointing Soulsavers at Night and Day on Friday, but onto better things on Saturday when we went to see Cypher which was every bit as good as the reviews promised. Afterwards, we checked out a free soul/hip-hop night at the Contact which was completely dead when we arrived, only to be packed out 10 minutes later. We suspected it was more of an aftershow party, but no one seemed to mind us being there and it was a nice and different way to end the evening.

Sunday was the first open day for the Victoria Baths, which is a finalist in the BBC Restoration programme and hoping to snag the £3-4 million prize to help meet the £15 million they need to restore it fully. After getting lost by taking a bus that didn't run quite as close to the baths and wandering back through Levenshulme and Longsight, we made it eventually and had the grand tour. My favourite bits were the beautiful stained glass and an amazing early jacuzzi called an Aerotone. An interesting fact: the main pool was for 1st Class Males, who got first dibs on the fresh spring water used to fill the pool. That water was then filtered and went on to fill the next door 2nd Class Males pool, before being filtered one last time for... the Ladies pool. No thanks! Luckily the plan is to re-open the main pool and the Turkish baths for everyone to use, with the rest of the building as a sort of Healthy Living Centre (not unlike where I work at the moment, with things like free computer classes, yoga, playgroups, etc.) which sounds good to me.

The final is on September 14th and the voting line is 0901 077 77 77 (calls cost 30p...)

Thursday, September 04, 2003

I've just read about Sophia Coppola's new movie, Lost in Translation, and I'm desperate to see it already. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson star as two lonely travellers in Japan estranged from both their spouses as well as the culture around them. The soundtrack has original songs by Kevin Shields and Air, as well as tasteful choices from Broadcast, Phoenix, My Bloody Valentine and Jesus & Mary Chain. Talk about my dream kind of film - could it be any cooler? There's a good interview with Scarlett and Sophia in this week's eye magazine here. The only problem: there doesn't appear to be a release date for the UK yet. It's showing this week at the Toronto Film Festival though... I'm very tempted to head for the airport.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Hooray! If you go to the Actionettes photo page, the snaps from the summer special in July are up now, including a few of me. (ahem!) Gosh, but didn't everyone look amazing in their dresses...

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Spotted today in an ebay feedback forum "best ever feedback" thread:

"Complaint: Buyer doesn't understand how buying works. Is possibly a member of O-Town."

If you didn't laugh, I'll blame the flu-like haze that's taking hold of my brain.

Ugh. I feel like I'm coming down with something, so I'll keep typing to a minimum and just suggest that you check out Super Happy Fun, a fantastic site that sells dvdr versions of hard to find movies for really cheap. I'm very tempted by Bunny Lake is Missing... but maybe not Cool as Ice.