April 2013


Botched Mila Kunis interview goes viral

Anyone who has been on the handling side of a microphone or notepad can tell you that meeting big names can be very intimidating.

When this inexperienced BBC Radio interviewer sits down with Mila Kunis to talk about her new movie he manages to derail the interview so badly that it turns into amazing comedy.

The young man ends up describing the debaucherous activities of his mates and making not so hidden attempts to ask the actress out on a date.

By the end Kunis seems to be enjoying learning about the pub and football lifestyle of this young Brit and declares the messy interview to be her favourite of the day.

Some guys have all the luck.

Bic Pens – for women

There’s finally a pen designed for women. I came across a video of a segment on the Ellen DeGeneres show and as always, with her wide-eyed innocence, she really put this bizarre product in its place.

Come on, a pen for women? Because we have more delicate, tinier hands than guys? Because we’re not able to wrap a couple of fingers around a great big guy-pen? Maybe it’s so that the good people at Bic can make pink, girlie-girl pens. Nope, that’s already been done. Although at this moment, as I look at the pens in my pen cup on my desk, I see no pink ones. I’ll have to go to the Bic store and pick up half a dozen so I never run out.

Seriously, what kind of baloney is this eye rolling marketing scheme? Are there really still guys on Madison Avenue who think this kind of marketing will appeal to any of us? I understand that there are still lots of products designed for women and lots more designed for men. I’m not looking for all of us to be identical here. But when it comes down to a product that’s so unisex, I’m appalled. And so, apparently, is Ellen. Have a look at her video here.

I wish I could bring some company to their knees and make it a joke at the same time just like Ellen does. There’s no greater put down than having people laugh at you, or at your pink pen.

I’m not alone with my shock over this foolish marketing. Shoppers have taken to the reviews section of Amazon to write hundreds of snarky, and often sarcastic, “reviews” of the pens.

“Finally! For years I’ve had to rely on pencils, or at worst, a twig and some drops of my feminine blood to write down recipes (the only thing a lady should be writing ever),” the reviewer wrote. “I had despaired of ever being able to write down said recipes in a permanent manner, though my men-folk assured me that I ‘shouldn’t worry yer pretty little head’. But Bic, the great liberator, has released a womanly pen that my gentle baby hands can use without fear of unlady-like calluses and bruises. Thank you, Bic!”

“My drawings of kittens and ponies have improved, and now that I’m writing my last name hyphenated with the Robert Pattinson’s last name, I really believe he may someday marry me. I’m positively giddy. Those smart men in marketing have come up with a pen that my lady parts can really identify with.”

Reviewer Dan Kaufman wrote, “Men, don’t stand for this. Aren’t there enough products specific to women already? First it was tampons, now these pens? What other products will I have to suffer the indignity of being unable to purchase just because I’m a male person?”

Come on, Bic. Hire someone with half a brain for your new products department. Find someone who’s not a total sexist, someone who actually has contact with women in today’s world.


Toronto’s Best Patios

Spring is here, the snow has started to melt and it is now time for Canadians to start heading out to the patios. Enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine at some of the best patios that Toronto has to offer for lunch or dinner. You’ll love the atmosphere and the downtown locations.  Here are my top three patios.

1. Mill Street Brewery Pub

Located in the heart of the Distillery District, this quaint pub overlooks the cobblestone streets. The atmosphere outside is more relaxing and not as noisy as the interior. The patio is surrounded by creativity and a village with historic architecture. In case you want to head inside, they offer beer samplings and a brewery tour.

2. The Bedford Academy

If you’re in the Annex, be sure stop at The Bedford Academy. Although you may think it would be crowded with University of Toronto students, this is not the case. They tend to attract young professionals with a mix of students. The patio itself is relatively secluded and tucked away behind trees and greenery. The environment of The Bedford Academy is eclectic and the tables are near the mansion. The street is quiet and you don’t even feel as if you’re in the city.

3. Grenadier Cafe

Overlooking High Park is a beautiful and family friendly cafe. There are gardens nearby and the cafe has a beautiful wooden deck. It is reminiscent of eating out at a Provincial Park without leaving the city. The proximity is great for a walk or run in the park or watching Shakespeare in the Park. There is also parking nearby for the restaurant, which is an added bonus.

With the temperatures rising and the gorgeous patios that Toronto has to offer, it is hard not to go out for lunch or dinner. You won’t be disappointed with the scenery or atmosphere when visiting any of these three patios.

An open letter to the kid I may never have

Dear Daughter/Son (But I’d want a daughter more):

How are things?

I guess I should introduce myself. I’m your non-existent mother. I say that because we may never meet, because you may never exist, so I’d prefer to remain ethereal and somewhat magical. This isn’t a letter to mothers who have come before me or women who want nothing more than to be a mother. This isn’t a letter about the right to have you, or if I would or not, it’s a confession mostly.

I am sorry I may never have you. Currently, my age is 28, old enough to have you, and yet I still don’t. Here are some of the reasons:

Financial stability is out of the question as I am an arts worker, so there’s that. Being a Canadian actor is amazing when you get to work, but what good is living pay cheque to pay cheque when you want to raise a child in a world with financial certainty? (Well, as certain as it can get. Although I’m sure I’ll be fine— I’ve purchased cheap stocks that can only go up with Blockbuster, Atari and Enron.)

Then there is the shudder I feel in my bones at the thought of another human living inside of me. It actually makes me think of that scene from Aliens. This is in no way natural for me to think this way, right?

Not to mention the fact that overpopulation is at an all-time high, so even if I were ready to have a child, I’d probably adopt to cut down on our carbon footprint. You see? I am nowhere near ready to have children when I’m more concerned about eco-conservation than the want to grow a family.

Essentially, right now, I just can’t. And I’m sorry for that.

Dear little one, if you are to be born in the future, when things are different, I’d like you to know this:

I love you. I will always love you. I will do anything and everything to protect your heart from breaking, grow your mind to the best of its abilities and set you free to develop your own character and sense of being. You are worthy of great things, but keep humble as to not piss off anyone (and try your best during your teenage years). Stay positive as best you can. Be realistic and logical, but dream and vie for those dreams to become your realities. Spread kindness. In this, you will find love and your life will be full and rich regardless of finances.

Forgive your mother for her inability to get her ducks in a row upon the status quo calendar, and know that when you do come into existence one day, there will be no person loved as much as you.

I look forward to the day my fears dissipate and the stork brings a little baby to my doorstep. That’s where babies come from right?


Yo Mama.

Age ain’t nothin’ but a number

Betty Jean McHugh shows no signs of slowing down as she keeps setting world records in her age group. The widowed mother of three and grandmother of four, who has called North Vancouver, B.C. home for most of her life, set over 30 world records in distance running despite not discovering the sport until her early 50s.

Known in running circles around the globe as BJ, McHugh was born in Stanwood, Ontario in 1926, moving out west as a young woman with her future husband, Bob. She worked for many years as a registered nurse before retiring and channeling her energies towards running. Last month at the Honolulu Marathon, BJ set her most recent world record in her age group (85-90) with a time of five hours and 12 minutes.

BJ’s next race will be a half marathon in February and the BMO Vancouver Marathon in May. She looks fit and carries the same youthful gait as at an interview last year. I can feel her strength and confidence in her laugh as we chat over coffee.

BJ says, “Honolulu is my favorite destination marathon, which I have run seven times. I won my age group every time.” She says, “This is my first time I didn’t walk it. I just kept running. It is my favourite because I am never sore. It’s a warm climate and a beautiful start. This time there were three generations in our family who ran it.”

Her 58-year-old son Brent ran the marathon in three hours and 38 minutes; her granddaughter Ava, 21, running her first marathon, finished in four hours and 53 minutes. BJ says, “What was special was having the three generations there where my son was the first one to cross the finish and he would then run to meet us as we got closer to the finish and bring us in.”

BJ runs with her friends during the week for one hour followed by going to the gym; on weekends she does her longer runs. She keeps the same routine each week and on Saturday nights she has steak while on Sunday mornings she has waffles.

A truly Canadian proposal

In what could perhaps be the most Canadian of proposals, last Saturday Jaimie Baisley got a Roll up the Rim prize not listed on the side of the Tim Hortons cup.

When she and her boyfriend, Jeff Chapman, were enjoying their Saturday Tim Hortons coffee she rolled up her rim and got the unfortunate “please play again” message.

Her boyfriend asked her to roll up his rim and, lo and behold, there was a message of a different kind underneath: “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”

Baisley wasted no time in saying yes and posting up photos of the winning cup and ring to her Twitter feed for all to see, even getting a message back from Tim Hortons telling her that she had indeed rolled up a winner.

Join the conversation on our Twitter and Facebook pages to let us know what you think: would you say yes to a Tim Hortons proposal?

9-Year-Old’s Kickstarter Campaign Goes Viral

UPDATE APRIL 19: This project closed with a whopping $24,534 funded. That is almost 30 times the original amount requested, and the mom in charge has widely been reported to be a millionaire. This doesn’t pass the smell test. Rich folks — send your own kids to camp instead of duping others into giving you 24 grand.

Remember being nine years old? Who can forget the millions of fantastic ideas you had every day, the limitless energy, those mean older siblings who told you that you weren’t good enough, and raising $15, 000 in a project to prove them wrong.

Wait a second. No, there was no 15 grand back in our day. Kids these days…

Mackenzie Wilson is, however, a Grade 3 who has the fortune of living that money padded life now.

“My name is Mackenzie Wilson and I’m 9 but because you have to be 18 to have a project on Kickstarter, I’m partnering with my mom, Susan Wilson, who told me to say she’s 29 but I made her a birthday cake last week so I know she’s 43,” she explains in the online profile which you can check out here.

After her older brothers told her that she couldn’t be a role playing game developer, she and her mother started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the $829 needed to attend RPG STEM camp.

Of course, one look at her Kickstarter page (started under her mother Susan’s name to circumvent the 18+ age requirements of the online community) and it is clear that she has the kind of parents who would do the entire science fair project and put the kid’s name on it to ensure an A+. I’ve yet to see a real life 9-year-old make a tongue-in-cheek joke about their mother’s age like Mackenzie does in her opening preamble, but hey, maybe kids have gotten wittier since my day.

The campaign to get Mackenzie to camp went viral and surpassed the $829 mark by a long shot, and as of press time the donations are at $14,878.

What exactly a 9-year-old is going to do with that much money is anyone’s guess, although we’re sure that Mom is probably pretty grateful for the windfall of cash.

Join the conversation with us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what you think. Should there be limits to campaigns like this? Do you think mom and dad will use the money as intended for their daughter’s tech education? What the heck will a 9-year-old do with that much cash?