The Shoebox Project

My shoebox

Last month, I was approached by a great (and big hearted!) friend, Sarah, to participate in the Shoebox Project.  The Shoebox project “is a non-profit initiative that asks people to fill a shoebox with little luxuries (valued at $50) and deliver it to a drop off location in their community. Local volunteers deliver these gift boxes to women living in shelters during the holidays and throughout the year.”

Sarah enlisted approximately 30 of her friends to put together a shoebox each.  It was fun!  We compared shoeboxes at our office to see what each of us was giving and went shopping for items on our lunch break together.  And, as friends told friends and family about the initiative, the beautiful Sarah managed to collect no less than 70 boxes for women in shelters!!  What a feat!

Thank you Sarah for sharing and leading this amazing gift giving opportunity.  We are all better off because of your gesture.

Shoebox Project(Photo via Sarah)

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THIS and THAT: Art Spiegelman/Comic Girl

THIS

spiegelman_art

This weekend marks the opening of the Art Spiegelman exhibit CO-MIX: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics and Scraps at the Vancouver Art Gallery.  Spiegelman was first recognized for his work through the underground Comix scene of the 1970s.  He went on to complete Maus in 1991, a graphic novel in which races were depicted by various animals, telling the story of his father’s experiences in and survival of the Holocaust.  In this Pulitzer Prize winning novel, the narrative was not just in the dialogue; imagery played an extraordinary role as well.

He also created the Garbage Pail Kids trading cards (!!!!).  My inner 7-year-old is exploding.

I don’t know that much about Spiegelman (shame) so I am very excited to be learn more about his genius today at the VAG and expand my knowledge of comics beyond said trading cards and the 300 issues of Archie’s I read when I was 12.

MAUS

(first image from Lambiek.net; second image from Wiki)

THAT

One of TOPSHOP‘s newest and most exciting trends, Comic Girl, is a series of dresses, tees, sweaters and socks that borrow imagery from comic strips.  An hommage to Liechtenstein’s paintings, Batman comics and others, these prints and colours definitely make dressing up more fun.  You have absolutely no excuse to wear beige, people!

Boom Boom Dress

Kaboom Tube Skirt

(Above photo by Tony Vu; second photo via TOPSHOP)

Sources: Wikipedia and Simon’s brain

Happy Saturday! xo


Vanimaux II Opening – Thursday, August 2nd

The always lovely work of Ms. Rachelle Simoneau will be showcased at Remington/Gam Gallery from August 2nd to August 16th.  She has contributed her work to the animalistic Vanimaux II, a group show centred on Food, Fur and Foraging.  Rachelle was kind enough to take time from her busy Parisian life to tell us a bit about her role in the show:

SZ – How did you get involved in this group show?

RS – Katie Stewart, Editor of Sad Mag, approached me with the idea of shooting this famous store called Deyrolle in Paris for their Vanimaux issue.  Everything in the Vanimaux issue was shot using film, no digital allowed, which kind of pushed me back in love with film again!

SZ – What did you photograph?

RS – Deyrolle is full of insects, shells and taxidermy animals.  It’s now one of my favourite places to visit in Paris.

SZ – Sadly, you won’t be able to attend the show.  When will you visit Vancouver again?

RS – I hope to have some adventures in Vancouver next year!  I miss that city!

Hey Readers, if you’re looking to do something cool that is free, come to the opening this Thursday between 7pm and 11pm to drink local brew, see the latest Sad Mag issue and appreciate all the fine art on display at Vanimaux II.  Other artists contributing to the show include: Jeneen Frei Njootli, Jeff Dywelska, Sarah Clement, Julie Andreyev, Angela Fama, David Ellingsen, Lenkyn Ostapovich, Cody Brown, Sara French, Christine McAvoy and others.

Summer Saturdays: Laneway Markets in Mount Pleasant

My lovely friend Jess told me the other day that she wants to get married in an alley.  With string lights and unlimited booze.  I love the idea of creating an unexpectedly beautiful space with an area that we associate with garbage bins and stray cats.

When I returned home from seeing her in NYC last weekend, I found a poster on our building entrance announcing Livable Laneways‘ night market initiative Paths to Plazas.  In an effort to improve public space in Vancouver, the alley west of Main just off Broadway will be transformed into a bustling public space with local businesses, urban farmers, artisans, hula hoop demonstrations, installations, musicians and more.

Every Saturday has a different theme; from this Saturday’s Art Market to next Saturday’s Smoking Sausage BBQ Cook-Off.  Swing by between 5pm and 10pm for some food and good times.  Look out for me…I’ll be in the one who is over dressed and overly loud.  xo


Tokyo Part Ichiban: Sounds

I’m back from Tokyo but am still there in spirit (and sleep schedule, damned jet lag). It exceeded all of my expectations and surprised me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Some of my biggest surprises were the sounds of the city (or lack thereof).

The Streets and Subways:

For being the largest metropolitan area IN THE WORLD, Tokyo can be amazingly quiet. I believe we only heard two cars honk and one baby cry (which turned out to be a white baby, mind you) during our entire visit. The city is incredibly efficient, organized and clean and offered many moments of serenity in what I thought would be a crazy concrete jungle.

The (there’s no fancy way of putting this) Toilets:

My bottom will surely miss the heated seats but I was astounded to see a computerized hand rest with an assortment of little buttons offering various options, one of them being a music note that makes “flushing sounds” to mute away any undesired noises. Now that’s something many office restrooms would benefit from.

The Music Scene:

While I was disappointed to learn that I was missing both Morrissey and Noel Gallagher by a matter of days, this eternal Britpop fan got her fair share of Oasis, The Smiths and then some being played everywhere from bars to underwear shops (these are my kind of people). But the biggest treat came from a local band called Molice that we were fortunate enough to catch on our last night in Tokyo, at a tiny venue in Shibuya area called O-Nest. (I was thrilled to hear that there were over 80 music venues in Shibuya alone – again, my kind of people). Check out Molice’s track Ms Panic, my favourite performance of the night:

Fortunately, I get to feed my J-Rock fix tonight at the Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver for Next Music Tokyo vol 4 (exquisite timing). Join me  for performances by the Zazen Boys, group_inou, Charan-Po-Rantan and Praha Depart! Show starts at 8pm, advance tix $8, more info here:

Mata nee! (see you soon)


My Fave Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve spent half of my adult life having people steal my jokes and gain all the credit due to their better joke delivery.  Friend, you know who you are.  I guess it’s some kind of karma then that I’ve been posting others’ delicious recipes on Superfora and reap all of the glory.  Today’s recipe is no exception.  It was passed on to me by the baking genius herself, Lyndsey, when I inquired about an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe for Simon.  In little time, I’ve gone from baking for my man to baking for co-workers and friends.  Frequently.  These oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are now semi-famous.

If you do it right, they end up a bit crispy on the edges yet chewy in the middle.  Below is the recipe followed by play-by-play photos so you know how much work to expect.  Note: An over-the-top animal print outfit is optional.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature (take the butter out in advance so it will be room temp by the time you start baking)
  • 1 cup sugar (I add slightly less)
  • 1 cup brown sugar (ditto, I add slightly less than a cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, maybe a bit more
  • ½ tsp of nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups oats (Quaker quick oat)
  • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups chocolate chips (eyeball how much you want)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (not necessary if you have not-stick sheets). Either with a mixer or by hand, cream together the butter and the sugars in a large bowl until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and the vanilla extract.
  2. Next, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat the flour into the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
  3. Stir in the oats and chocolate chips by hand.
  4. Drop 1-inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet, placing them about 1 1/2 inches apart so they have room to spread.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
  6. Cool on baking sheet for at least 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Stuff yo face
(All photos by Simon)
There you have it.  I’ve used these suckers for several occasions and they work like a charm every time.  Now go make your friends happy and bake them some goddamn cookies!
Thank you, Lynds! xo

Tokyo Rising

The day is finally here! I am a few hours away from departing for my heavily anticipated trip to Tokyo, or as I like to call it – the future. I’ve been dreaming about this day for years now – the food, the fashion, the fanatically fast pace. Finally, my community college courses in Japanese are about to pay off. Konichiwa! Konbanwa! Kanpai! Kudasai!

In preparation for my trip I’ve been doing my mandatory research consisting of best shopping spots (Shibuya – here I come!) and best eats (thank you Anthony Bourdain). But this great little doc featuring Pharrell Williams on Tokyo post 3/11 earthquake has me most excited about simply observing the people and getting a glimpse of their culture. Also, Tripple Nipples look insane live.

Sayonara peeps! See you in a few weeks!