Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Stench of Model is in the Air!

Ah, Canada's Next Top Model, though you have yet to air a single episode, I am in love with you. Your America's Next Top Model pedigree, your host, Tricia Helfer, one of my favourite Canadian models, and one of the few model-actress hybrids that does both more then well (ah, Battlestar Galactica!), your co-opting of the very orange Jay Manuel as a guest judge - how can you not be a winner?

Add to that a seemingly excellent online partnership with Yahoo Canada, and all I have to say is that you will make the insanely hot and sticky summer to come enjoyable. Even more so then Rockstar: INXS did last year. And me? I will take joy in mocking recaps after every show. Especially since the competitors? Look even less like models then last season of America's Next Top Model. Daria Werbowy, Jessica Stam, and Linda Evangelista, they most deifinately are not.


You have been warned.

So lets get down to it with a mess of introductory links:

Competitor / Judge blog listings via Yahoo 360 - currently empty:I am holding out hope that my ANTM boyfriend, Nigel Barker, will make an appearance. But I tend to hope that about pretty much every situation.

Monday, May 29, 2006

I am the Girl Who...

Thinks that ending a very serious business meeting with a high five is an excellent idea.

Loves excellent skirts made in even more excellent fabrics.


Skirt, worn today, by Love Life

Tries to have dark chocolate every single day.

Hates the lull between TV series ending in May and the summer oddity shows beginning in June.

Is afraid at just how bad the summer is going to get with the hot and the humid and the sweat and the gross.

Is a monkey.

Who are you?

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Because I am a Copycat

And because I love the visuals, I copy the Kate and present to you, via Aharef, the DOM structure of Its A Monkey.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I Love the Smell of Diesel Exhaust in the Morning

Since the last time I waxed spoke-etic, the instances of me on my baby bike have been, well, nil. After I picked up my bike from the shop, I headed on over to NYC. And then the weather here, following my return, became all kinds of mid-autumn and rainy like a son of a bitch. Was my furnace still on and kicking in this week? Indeed, it was.

But this morning? This morning, that all changed. The first ride of the season is under my belt, and it was excellent. Well, except for the fact that the first really lovely weekend of the spring also brought out the crazys cruising garage sales. And the big old trucks driving out to construction sites, making me wish for a Michael Jackson mask as they left fumes from their exhaust pipes in their wake. But for all of the complaining, it felt good, really good, to just be out sweating in the wind and the sun.

I love the cycling. And I think it might love me.

And now for something random: MTV Canada is just airing season 2 of Laguna Beach. I nominate Jason as the biggest douche to ever make an appearance on reality TV.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Canadian Online Shopping is a Sorry, Sorry State of Affairs

So I've started to compile a list of online retailers that are either based in Canada or will ship here. And I give those links, now, to you. Please feel free to add in the comments section! And no, I haven't ordered from most of these sites. But give me the cash, and I will.

Clothing / Jewellery / Accessories - Canada

Cosmetics - Canada

Foodstuffs and Kitchen Things - Canada

Housewares / Stationary / Gifts - Canada

Online sites based in the USA - will ship to Canada

Monday, May 22, 2006

All I Need is a Life to Match the Clothes

Remember a few months ago when I fell in love with a lurvely chocolate brown sequined BCBG skirt that I found on EBay? Remember when I was outbid on that skirt, and reacted with dramatic tears and pretend fist shaking?

I do. And I clapped with glee when that skirt, this time in inky black, came up for auction this week.

Guess what will be making a home in my closet when it arrives at my house next week? Lookee!

Of course, I reckon I'll have to find me a clever seamstress to shorten it a wee bit, to make it hit as high at the knee as it does on the leggier-then-I mannequin, but, damn, I am delighted.

I also have no place to wear it. Would someone please help me do something about that?

Friday, May 19, 2006

Ohhh, Just Like Mom Used to Make!

Okay, not so much make, more like "cover my pillows with".

Perhaps that calls for an explanation. Or perhaps not, and I will leave you in a state of mystery! But then you will call Mystery Inc, and they'd not only solve it, quick-like and crazily, but the case would also probably end up with a crotchety old man behind bars.

So tell you, I shall.

Last night, Brad and I ate at the Rice Bar (Note: their site seems to be down right now, but it's worked for me in the past). Upon entering the building, I saw some interesting textile art displayed on one of the walls. And my interesting textile art, I mean a series of 70s-style pillowcases strung up on a piece of rope.

Two caught my eye. Why? Because even though one was in green, and the other was in pink, I could tell that they were the missing siblings of the blue and orange sheet sets that my brother and I had when we were kids.

Here - I circled the one of the cases that I'm talking about. Stiped body! Floral boarder! Oh, my.

Thanks to Eye for capturing the wall! Now go and read their review of the place.

And no thanks to people not setting up a sheet set archive site. Because Googling "stripes" "floral" "pillow" "sheet" "70s" doesn't return nothin' but crap.

Also, the food? Very much excellent, my friends. I had the brown basmati with pan fried tofu, asparagus, soy and ginger sauce, and toasted garlic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

To: Rosemary

From: Melissa
Subject: Your ill advised decision to get off the Q-Tip train

Just what do you think you're doing? You're willing to leave John Cusack scene recreations behind you?

I am aghast. In fact, I don't even know who you are anymore.

Bonus link: Read about the life of the Better off Dead Camaro post-production

Monday, May 15, 2006

Flushing with Pride

Dr Plumber, report to Home Depot, STAT!

Ah, emergency plumbing, how I both love and revile you. Last night, in particular, with the love and revilement. Why? Because the toilet that I'll be chucking out following the July bathroom renovation has developed a slow fill problem. In order to combat the issue, last night at around 6:30PM, I got me a screwdriver and started adjusting the screw that controls the water level in the tank on the float (no, not THAT kind of toilet related float. You have a dirty mind).

Turn, turn, SNAP, what the hell?

15 year old plastic breaks far to easily, I think. And I was faced with no longer a slow, continual fill, but a balls-to-the-wall rushing continual fill.

Excellent. If by excellent you mean GoodGodDamn. And I do.

I dropped to the floor, and turned off the water supply to the commode, and ran to call Home Depot to see if they were still open. Thankfully, those suckers know that suckers like me tend to plan badly and attempt repairs at stupid times, and had set store hours to accommodate. And so I ran over, bought a new float mechanism, and returned to my home, sitting on the floor, reading the installation directions.

1) Turn off water and empty tank. Dude, already done.
2) Uninstall old float mechanism. With a little muscle and a monkey wrench, check!
3) Mop up all the water that streamed onto the floor from its hiding place in the tank when you were trying to empty it. Ha, great. Check.
4) Install new float mechanism. Check.
5) Turn on water. Done, and done.
6) Flush toilet far too many times for the following reasons: too much pride at having performed a sucessful surgery; paranoia that none of the parts have been screwed in tightly enough, resulting in flooding fear. To date, flooding has been successfully averted.
7) Shake fist at toilet for the need to fix something that will be smashed to pieces in a few short months.


The end.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Renovation Diaries: It's a Go!

After finally getting estimates back from all of the companies that I brought in to take a look at my bathroom, I settled on and signed a contract with the one that made me feel the most comfortable. Hot damn!

I'm very excited about the vanity that will be eventually living in there, even if the custom cabinetry is going to be at least 8 weeks before it comes down the line. So much so that I drew a picture in MS Paint for you.

The cabinet will be made of maple, and stained in a brown/black with the excellent stain-name o' Espresso. The pulls will be long and thin and stainless steel. Two drawers, to doored cabinets, and two large open spaces beneath the drawers. The best, though? It will be suspended from the wall. Suspended!

The top will be in a formica (I know, but the marble? Mad pricey. Especially for a place that I don't intend on dying in) called Mineral Spa, a bone with darker bone flecks that make it look like a natural stone.

Check it:

The top will have square edges, and butt up right against the wall without a backsplash, which, I think, will make my stupidly angled wall on the right side of the vanity look lovely. Not to mention how excellent my sink will look on top of it.

I can't wait for July!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

This Ass? It is Made of Pansies.

The crazy rain has made me reschedule tonight's dinner. Because the traffic driving into the city? Too much for me to take.

I am a horrible friend, I reckon. Whoops?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

BlogHerNorth - Can I Get a Hell Yeah?

Previously, on It's a Monkey (and, the notion of a geek-ass (BlogHerCan!) shoot-off BlogHer conference in Toronto was discussed.

Today, the planning process got itself publically kicked off.

Visit Register. Keep up-to-date on the happenings. And then come up to kick it (ha, I said "kick it". I so hip. Ow, my hip hurts) in the fall!


Completely unrelated, I'll be a-dining at Rice Bar, Brock Shepherd's (formerly of Azul) newish place, tomorrow night. Neither I, nor my lovely Brad-type companion, have been there before. I know one of you Toronto and area kids must've in the near past. Personal reviews would be greatly appreciated.

I am now wondering what it is with me and grain-based food named food places this month. Bread Bar, Rice Bar...I feel like I must hunt down an Oatmeal Bar to round out the experience.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Iron Chef America, Battle: What the Fuck?

Having been unleashed from my chatty shackles of not chatting about the Susur Lee v. Bobby Flay battle on Iron Chef America that aired on FoodTV Canada this weekend, I find myself with little to say. Except, seriously, what the fuck? Okay, and also: Seriously, what the fuck.

The result? Battle: Bacon = A tie.

Ties? They stink. Especially when the judges expressed the following sentiments over and over regarding Lee's work: amazing and interesting. But interesting in a "toooooooo crazy for TV!" kind of way. Lee and Flay tied scores on flavour, and Lee was awarded more points for originalty, but lost out to Flay's standard and boring plating.

Granted, I may be more then a little biased, what with Lee being my chef crush, and my historical belief that Flay is an asshat of monumental proportions, but please. Giving Flay higher plating marks was insane. Look at the plates that were set down on my table on my last visit to Susur, and you tell me who knows plating. Susur knows plating, that's who.

For your reading pleasure, here are a few articles and interviews with Lee surrounding the Iron Chef experience:

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hospitality Blogging, NYC

Because a few of you out there have been remiss in viewing the Susur Lee Iron Chef America episode that aired this weekend, I am restraining myself from talking about it here. But confidential to you slackers: That shit won't watch itself.

So why don't I talk a bit more about NYC? Don't mind if I do. Unfortunately, no pictures as I left my camera at home, but it my Thursday Brad's Birthday Dinner plans go as planned, I'll hopefully have an excellent food photo essay for you by the end of the week.

And so we begin...

I stayed at an excellently pretentious hotel called Hotel QT. No "the". Darkly lit corridors, and even darker elevators. I had to stoop and almost smash my nose against the panel to figure out where the button for my floor was. It was a hipster haven, it was, and it was wonderful. I think my most favourite thing about it was the wee fridge (NOT an honour bar, an empty wee fridge!) that was built into the bathroom vanity. But more on that later.

After getting settled at the hotel, I headed out to fill my belly at Zen Palate, and excellent and reknowned vegan / vegetarian restaurant and cafe. I had the assorted steamed vegetables with red and brown rice, and a couple of amazing rice paper taro rolls.

Afterwards, I headed on over to the Food Emporium, to stock up on supplies - organic yogurt, Bare Naked granola, natural peanut butter and massive amounts of fruit - to fill that wee fridge. There's nothing better then being able to have breakfast with having to pay attention to your appearance in order to make an appearance at a restaurant. Not to mention having excellent fruit snacks available throughout the day.

That evening, I met up with friends at Bar Nine. It was a relaxed, casual place that was pretty cool, until a jazz fusion band took the stage. Porn bass (you heard me right - porn bass)? Thank, you, but no.

The next day, I lunched at the vegetarian restaurant and tea house Franchia. The warm vegetables in cold rice paper rolls and spicy mustard sauce, accompanied by a salad with creamy citrus dressing, were the perfect counterpoint to an unseasonably warm, though beautiful, afternoon. The surroundings were absolutely serene and lovely, and I was refreshed.

For dinner, I returned to the vegan raw food restaurant, Pure Food and Wine, but visited their Take Away storefront instead. I revisited their excellent vegan sushi and tried out their spicy thai lettuce rolls. Excellent, if a bit messy, and definitely good enough to make me accidentally purchase a Eat Raw, Live Long t-shirt. Which may also have tickled my double entendre fancy.

That evening, I met up with friends at the Beauty Bar. Outfitted like a beauty parlor, with a manicurist on staff, the place was awesome. And had glittery paint stripes on the walls!

On Friday, the conference catered in lunch, and damn, did they do it right. All of the food was organic, and all but 2 options were vegetarian as well! I had a couple of vegetarian sushi hand rolls, red lentil salad, carrot salad, raw hierloom baby carrots and steamed asparagus.

The first part of the evening, was spent Gstaad. Again with the hipster mood lighting, this time in the unisex bathrooms, but the rest of the place really appealed to my love of clean lines and urban un-clutter. PS: Swiss! But no cheese. Or watches. Or knives. I wish to see a rumble involving cheese. And watches. And knives.

Dinner was at Bread Bar at Tabla, which I had visited on my last visit to the city. Because that place? I was still occasionally having dreams about it. The food is served family / tapas style, and was just as excellent as my previous visit. We ordered Saag Paneer Pizza, which did crazy things to my tastebuds, channa masala, onion rings, baby bok choy pakoras, yogurt pilaf rice, 2 naans (rosemary and garlic), and an order of tandoori calamari.

Saturday's food haul was disappointing in comparison. Lunch at Au Bon Pain at Laugardia? Don't even look at me, you sad pile of foodstuffs, you.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Running on Empty

What is it about traveling that is so very exhausting? I was so pleased to be able to sleep in my own bed last night, but it made me realize just how very, very tired I was. And am.

Which brings me to my current dilemma. I purchased the most horribly tacky and hilarious birthday present for Brad: the scrolling LED belt buckle!

I want to preprogram it, but my brain is slamming up against a brick wall. Help?

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Did New York Eat You Alive?

No, no, but, goddamn, has it kept me busy. And happy. Which, let me tell you, surprises me, as NYC has a tendency to make me feel compressed and hateful with the rushing and too many people in not enough space.

The Good Experience Live conference was amazing. Mark Hurst of Creative Good was one of the best hosts that I have ever encountered, and though a few of the speakers were outside of my area of interest, a number stick out as people that I'd pay to see speak again. Hell, that I'd pay to sit down at a table and have a coffee with. Because I am a librarian, here is a link list of those people:

Add on to that amazing weather that allowed me to stomp about the city every day, excellent restuarants (Pure Food and Wine's take-away joint, Zen Palate, Franchia, and the Bread Bar at Tabla), awesome shopping, and most importantly, and most fun, getting to spend time every evening with the most excellent people ever.


It makes me sad to have to hop on a plane this morning. It really was that excellent of a trip.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Streets in New York Are Busy and Loud

I am in possession of the gift of stating the obvious. I'm seven floors up in my hotel on 45th St, and I keep being awoken by car horns and people barking like dogs. Oh, those crazy theatre goers!

My hotel is so very pretensious and excellent, I can't even begin to tell you. I am sad that in an effort to "pack light" I left my camera at home.

While foraging for food after check in, I walked down 45th, and came across a massive gathering at Broadway. People from all sides of the street were standing, neck crained, excited, with cameras at the ready, at a flotilla of parked black SUVs and a whole department of police officers surrounding them. Because I am nosey, I accosted someone with a walkie talkie and asked what everyone was waiting for.

"Tom Cruise", he said.
"Fucking Tom Cruise" I muttered, and ran away, very quickly, so that Cruise wouldn't have the opportunity to make me a baby carrying Scientologist fiance.

End Day One summary.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Keep Your Pimp Hand Strong

I give to you Pimp My Snack. A piece of UK brilliance, the kids chattering in the Pimp My Snack forums goad each other into creating homemade, crazy ass huge versions of store-bought snack foods, documenting the process from ingredients to comparison photo finale.

Take a look at some of my favourites.

I fear this site because it gives me ideas. I love this site because it gives me ideas.

Monday, May 01, 2006

You Found Out...I've Got a Crush. On. You.

Before we start, a bit of housekeeping: Blogger has improved it's comment-spam-blocking powers, so I've up and changed the comment feature on It's A Monkey. You no longer have to be a registered user to comment, but still have to use the enter-this-random-word verification to post.


Some of you may be wondering why I haven't mentioned Rick Springfield's performance on the Daytime Emmy Awards on Friday. Let me just say that I only recently pulled out of the swoon it put me in. See for yourself, why don't you?

Note: the below links will open up an html page with an imbedded media player, but will not automatically start playing the clip. So press start, already.

Springfield Daytime Emmy Performance - Before the opening credits roll (Windows Media file)
Springfield Daytime Emmy Performance - Post opening credits (Windows Media file)

I must stop talking about it before I fall into swoon again.


My chef crush, Susur Lee, will be battling proven asshat Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America on Food TV Canada this Wednesday, at 9PM EST.

I have no idea when the show is set to air in other areas, as's ICA page seems to not want to reveal that information. Sigh. But seriously, I implore you to watch.

Oh, Susur. I wish for you to cook every morsel of food that I will ever eat for me from now on until the end of time, the end.


And finally, the a killer bunny from the Monty Python Plush Toy line.