Tag Archives: Madonna

Dear TIFF

Dear Madonna: A hydrangea by any other name would smell like your spent panty liner. Don’t kid yourself. You simply stink.

It’s TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) week in my fair city. Nobody loves the hobby of celebrity watching more than me, I won’t lie. They are not so easy to spot as they are shrinky-dink versions of what you think they might be because you normally see them in a confirmed and designated spot where they take up the entire confined space that is your tv set or cinema screen. They are ENORMOUS in there. And luminous. But in real life, they don’t stand out that much. A few years back a friend and I went to Yorkville to “starwatch”, and as soon as we got to prime territory, I spotted one. She wasn’t wearing makeup but she had an “entourage” with her, all of whom were laughing at what appeared her witty rapport. Her wingspan was possibly a half a block wide.

“We just passed Maggie whatshername,” I nudged her as we were walking west along Bloor Street.

“Who?” She whipped her head around.

“Maggie Gyllen-something, she was in that movie where she was a perverted secretary and she has that brother, Jake, with eyes too close together, in that movie with Jennifer Aniston where he killed himself, ugh, I forget the last name…” Bear in mind, I am trying to explain this pre-Brokeback Mountain.

“No way, that’s not her,” she says.

“Yes, it’s her! It’s the Film Festival, we are in front Holt Renfrew, why wouldn’t it be her?” Seriously, it’s not like I told her I saw the Easter Bunny. Maggie Gyllenhaal, as though she appears from vapours on special command by a sorcerer from Planet Prada. Celebrities are not regular folk, let’s just say it right now. Maggie G-Hole`s shit doesn’t stink and I will tell you why: I have learnt to spell her last name since that day. I do not know how to spell my own mother’s maiden name, true story, because there is an “i before e” scenario that I never remember is part of a rule or the exception. Later that day, we both concurred that we did indeed see Nick Nolte and he was drunk. We gave him a toonie for a cup of coffee, he looked like he could use one.

I`ve become less enthralled by this whole TIFF thing as the years go by, only because it’s become so popular. I’m a star-ho but I’m also a snob because I went to film school. It`s all pompous semantics. Movies versus Films. What’s the difference? You “rent” a movie but you “watch” a film. Let’s make a metaphor: The first is a hooker, the second your neighbour’s wife. Movies are disposable, films are coveted. One plays every second weekend on Peachtree, the other you saw only once, one Tuesday afternoon at a film festival, like the TIFF. And you are lucky if you ever come across it again. Never on Netflix, which is run by the Taliban, so you are left with only foggy film memories. I’ve got a whole archive of cinematic favourites stored in my otherwise dimly-lit theatre of grey matter. As a film buff, I have these fan letters:

Dear TIFF: Keep on trucking and keep your eyes on the road. This isn’t Hollywood.

Dear George Clooney: Shave the “beard.” We all know the truth.

Dear Brad Pitt: It’s okay, we all make mistakes. Add some Borax to your bathwater and it will wash off. Just go home. To Oklahoma! Love you!

Dear Ryan Gosling: Call me!

Kristin’s Hot Spot

What is all this yoga, yoga, yoga?  It’s everywhere you turn, you can’t throw a dumbbell in a gym without hitting someone sitting cross legged with their eyes closed.  They are the yogis and they are taking over the cityscapes, they walk amongst us, on subways, in coffee shops with their yoga mats rolled up like machine guns.  We scowl at them and they smile back serenely, as though their higher power can control the weather.  They are young and old, rich and poor.  In fact many of them are celebrities.   They love to go on talk shows and have the host fawn over them about how young they look.  It’s not the Botox, Restalyne, or dermabrasion they talk about….it’s yoga!  Here’s the proof:

This is Raquel Welsh:

and Madonna:

sorry, my bad, this is Madonna:

and even Lindsay Lohan:

Actually, I’m not entirely joking….Lindsay is attempting “Awkward Pose” and she doesn’t even know it.  In fact, most of us do yoga and are unaware of it, when we breathe and stretch.  Yoga is the state of union between two opposites, mind and body.  I stumbled into my yoga practise Lohan-style a few years ago after I broke my wrist and cracked my tail bone trying to get on my bike after some crazy beach party that included tequila shots…..dumb dumb dumb, I know.  But like with all acts of stupidity, a lesson will follow.  It’s as though the gods were watching me and trying to point something out because my accident occurred right smack dab in front of The Beaches Bikram Yoga studio.  For months I would walk by and say to people:  “This is where I broke my wrist!”  Finally, I decided to actually go in the place.  I had taken yoga before (in a church basement with Peakfreans and tea served afterwards)  so I wasn’t a virgin, or so I thought.  When they called it “hot yoga” I assumed they meant “groovy.”  It turned out hot means 106 degrees.  And it also turned out not all yoga is the same.  I later learned there are different kinds of yogas, some examples Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha, and Bikram.  Bikram is a method of yoga created by Bikram Choudhury as a series of 26 postures and practised in a heated room in front of mirrors….yikes!  The yoga practise http://www.bikramyoga.com/ has studios all over the world and it is taught by instructors who have to go to special teacher’s training for two months.   Bikram, who is still around and in his 60s, has some cultivated eccentricities that would rival Joan Crawford’s and her stance against wire hangers.  It is Bikram’s way or the highway and what ever you do, don’t wear anything green.  I had the priviledge of attending one of his seminars when he came to Toronto a couple of years ago and yes, he’s crazy but he’s also really cute and funny.  I respond well to bossy people because I am the youngest of 4, and I learned early on that doing what you’re told is the first phase of detachment which is an important element in practising yoga.  Being forced to curl up in a ball and be my brother’s footstool while he watched The Brady Bunch was my first foray into the discipline. Bikram is 90 minutes and following the dialogue is really all you have to do.  Some of it is counter-intuitive, like no fidgeting when sweat is dripping in your ear and only breathing through your nose when it is blocked. Every time I go, I learn something new and old , and borrowed and blue. In fact, I might marry Bikram.  I have been going 6 years to the Beach studio and I now think of it as an oasis and a sanctuary.  The studio is bright and spacious and the people that run it are fantastic and friendly http://www.bikramyogatoronto.com/ .  If you can do this in the heat, you can probably do almost anything.  It does a lot for your flexibility (a millimeter at a time) but it does do more for the mind than you could imagine.  “It’s so boring,” some people complain.  Conquering boredom is one of my greatest achievements that I learned through yoga.  The litmus test is that when I go into an office waiting room, I don’t automatically lunge for a dog-eared 4 year old copy of Golfer’s Digest.  I can just sit and stare at a point in the wall and think about nothing, which is a good thing because spend an hour in my brain and you’d be trying to sedate yourself.  I encourage anyone and everyone just to try it, $20 unlimited for a week….it’s cheaper than basic cable!  Oh, and now when I walk by the joint, and having long forgotten about my broken wrist, I say : ‘This is where I do my yoga!”  I am yogi, hear me roar.