Saturday, November 29, 2008

Whoa, That Took A Left Turn....

Below is an actual conversation, transcribed verbatim, between myself and the adorable dude at Global Pet Foods who sold me my kitty litter:

Me: Do you mind if I get a loonie (that's our dollar coin, for you yanks reading my blog) for these 4 quarters?

Him: (flirtatiously) Yeah, I do mind... But I'll do it for you this one time I guess.

Me: (flirtatiously back) Well, thank you. I know it's a huuuge inconvenience so I really do appreciate it...

Him: Yeah I mean, it's really putting me out. But I'll do it. I just won't, you know, like it.

(He flashes me a sly grin as he's dropping the quarters in his till, but mistakenly drops one on the floor as he's putting them away)

Me: Oops! Man, I'm making you bend over now even!!

Him: (without missing a beat) Oh, I always have to bend over!


Me: Oh. (Awkward laugh.)

(And yes I do know I owe this blog a proper post, as well as a recap of the rest of my California vacation AND a recap of my most recent vacation to Chicago... But it will have to wait just a tick tock as my evenings and weekends are filling up fast and I intend to ride the wave of fun for as long as it lasts... You understand, don't you?)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


So I think most of my readers know that I always try to find the silver lining when bad things happen to me.

Losing my Ipod in a sewer? Hilariously random.

Losing my glasses in a cemetary? An excellent opportunity to talk about The Vaj and innapropriate porn.

Losing my adorable in a freak encounter with scissors? Compare to mushroom cut and let giggles ensue.

But today I've met my toughest match yet. Picture it:

At about 9.02am I get an email from a colleague about going to get gourmet poutine for lunch. Clearly, this set my day off to an awesome start (fries + poutine + gravy = Jesus' special gift to me) - I attack my to-do list with zeal, make some challenging phone calls I've been putting off until I was in a greatest-ever-nothing-can-get-me-down mood, and had a mini-heart-to-heart with a friend in need so I could pass on some of my poutine-inspired positivity.

So lunchtime rolls around and we set off with zeal for the Gilead Cafe, home of the city's trendiest and (apparently) most delicious poutine. We were discussing taking the streetcar over when my pal Erika realized she didn't have any change for the TTC. Because I was in such an amazingly good mood, I offered up a tradesies - her bills for my tokens. We did the exchange, I put her crisp fiver in my wallet, and put my wallet away in my bag. About 5 minutes down the road, just after we exited the sketchy stretch of street outside my office (I call it hobo-ville, and I actually think I'm describing it kindly) and entered the swanky Victoria & King swath of stores that sell expensive things I'll never need, I realized my purse was feeling really light. I scanned my brain thinking about what I might have forgotten at home this morning that normally would weigh my bag down (book? keys? vitamin water?)... and realized I had forgotten nothing.

And then a wave of panic hit me: where's my wallet? Do I have my wallet?

After a frantic search, examing every pocket, every nook, every cranny, even my friend's bag I realize it's gone.

Motherfucking GONE.

I deduce it must have fallen when I put it back in my bag. I was in such a poutine-induced trance that I wasn't paying much attention and might have done the old mistaking-where-the-actual-hole-is game (that'swhatshesaid) and missed the gaping mouth of my purse and it slid to the ground.

Or I got pick-pocketed.

In which case, have fun QuickFingers fucking MacGee because I had $5 in there and cancelled my cards within 5 minutes of realizing the wallet was missing. So, you know, enjoy my fucking pocket change. I hope it buys you your dreams. Or at least 1/2 a latte from Starbucks. Asshole.

I see no silver lining, just a lot of really fucking annoying bureaucratic red tape. And no ID for my trip to Chicago next weekend (aside from my passport, which is at home THANK GOD). And a new health card that expires every 5 years. And a lot of missing shit that I can't remember I had in there and probably won't remember until I get to Blockbuster to rent Superbad for the 50th time and realize I no longer have my Blockbuster card.

And honestly? Not helping that it's freezing and rainy and dark already and it's only fucking 4.53pm.

I want to be back in California, land of light and sand and beach and James Van Der Beek. Land of places my wallet was. Land of tan and giant pancakes.

Land of Britney's vagina.

(Hey, at least I tried.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

This Is How We Roll VIP Stylez

Rikki & I were exhausted after a weekend full of friends, fun times, and a funny man named Mraz, yet we got up fairly early and hit a local WeHo (that'd be West Hollywood for you non-LA types) hot spot called The Griddle Cafe (you may remember I mentioned in an earlier post that I had recently been reading about it in Kevin Smith's diary "My Boring Ass Life" - not going to lie, I was hoping to run into him and tell him the segment from An Evening with Kevin Smith wherein he regales the audience with the story about his wife cut his peen open with her gyrating changed my life - in a bad way - forever).

I'm not exagerating when I say that the portions at The Griddle are ridiculously big. Like, I-can-only-eat-1/4-of-the-plate big.

My peanut butter crunch french toast........ swooon!

After we've eaten our body weight in batter and bread, we head off to the WB Studios on the other side of the hill just off Olive. It's here that we find out that VIP essentially doesn't mean anything except that you get sat directly behind the camera and never get seen on air (I blame my haircut).

The show itself was.......... interesting. Mostly because OF COURSE the day I go is the big Ellen Election Special where she chatted about issues that I have absolutely no say in. I gamely tried to look as American as possible (it involved not mentioning poutine and pronouning sorry "sawry") and be on my best behaviour (the audience was given a stern lecture that we were not to touch Ellen at any point when she danced around us).

The highlights of the show for me, in no particular order, were:

-Bill Maher calling Sarah Palin a bimbo. I'm not sure if that made it to air (doubtful), but it was hilarious and kinda true?
-Anderson Cooper & The Case of the Bad Satellite Link In: they had to film his section twice because the first time the audio kept cutting out and we couldn't understand him. It was the only time that Ellen was really "off book" and not going off a teleprompter for her jokes (I was surprised, actually, how scripted the show was) - and she was actually pretty funny with her ad libs.
-the apres-Halloween segment where she went through clips of her staff trying to scare her and her trying to scare unsuspecting audience members by waiting for them in a bathroom stall. Note to readers: if it involves anyone falling, anyone being scared, or cats doing anything cat-y, I will love it (I thusly assume Ellen must read my blog so she knew what to show to make me laugh. Obvi.).

All in all, it was a pretty cool taping to be a part of, but it felt kind of lifeless on the whole. It was like a little machine plugging away and it didn't seem spontaneous or fresh. I have a feeling it once was, but since she got insanely popular she's had to cater to the suits and "deliver a product" (that's LA speak for shut up and bring in the big bucks, biatch). I did appreciate that she came out after the show to thank the audience for coming in and for any travel anyone did (cough TORONTO cough).

Tired after dancing and staaarving despite the biggest breakfast known to man, Rikki and I decided to hit the town and look for some Mexican grub. After poo-pooing a place called Greg's Tacos (uh, no thanks, Greg...) we settled on Pink Taco, which we had passed the day earlier on the way to the beach in Santa Monica.

I'm not going to lie, I had serious doubts about the quality of the Mexican food at a place named after The Vaj (uh, sorry - named after an actual type of taco??! yeah....) at a restaurant that is owned by someone who has been all up in Lindsay Lohan.


It was actually fucking delish. I have dreams about the carne asado mini taco I had, they were that good! And I tried Mexican coke for the first time and I have to say it's much MUCH more delicious than regular coke, and it is "healthier" for you, too (I use the term loosely, obvi). So if you are in Century City at all in the near future RUN don't walk to Pink Taco. Oh, and if you can buy me one of the Pink Taco hats while you're there too that'd be great..........

That night we headed out to catch Kyle Riabko's set at The Mint.

After hearing such good things about him from my music friends for so long, I was excited to check him out. I thought he sounded great in Spring Awakening so I knew regardless I was in for a treat. And even with these high expectations, I have to say that he blew me away! He plays guitar like a fucking champ! He is far and above one of the best guitar players I have ever seen play, and he can sing and act to boot (not to mention he's fucking adorable!).

After the show Rikki & I decided to grab a drink while Kyle was chatting with some fans who came out. Rikki challenged the bartender to surprise her with a bevarage and so, feeling adventerous, I jumped on that train as well.

... And then I got sorta drunk? Which made me just stupid enough to have the following conversation with Kyle when he finally came over to Rikki & I:

Kyle: Heyyyy, Rikki!
Rikki: Hey---
Me (interrupting): You're a very good humper! (Touches his arm casually.)
Kyle (awkward): Yeah.
Me (realizing I'm a total fucking idiot): I was, uh, just joking! (Touches his arm again, awkwardly)
Kyle (to Rikki): I thought you lived in Chicago?
Melissa (dies).

Ha. I really should get a shirt made that says "I say inappropriate things. Feel free to ignore me", just so people know what I'm all about before I can open my mouth.

I didn't feel too badly about myself afterwards, though, because I rememebered Rikki's "awesome" (I use that word loosely) parking job outside The Mint earlier:

There was literally less than an inch between my beloved rental car and the van we parked in front of. While Rikki congratulated herself on a parking job well done, I said a few Hail Marys and thanked my lucky stars that we didn't hit the car.

And with that, Rikki's portion of my Big California Adventure was just about over. We were up at the ungodly hour of 4am the next day to get Rikki to the airport in time for her to get home to Chicago and vote.

Up next? What does a lonely Canadian do when her friend leaves and she has to fend for herself in LA?

(Hint: it involves her 7th viewing of Wicked and trying not to get mugged at Hollywood and Highland.)

Sunday, November 09, 2008





The entire reason for this blogs existance - nay, for MY existance - was just validated today by one of the best and absolutely least expected things to ever happen to me.

You should probably take a minute now and sit down for this.

Are you sitting?

Good, cause I'm about to blow your motherfucking mind.


Let's do that one more time, just to be sure we're all on the same page:


I'm not joking, not even a little bit.

Michael Cera.

My boyfriend.

Was on a plane with me to Toronto tonight.

Seriously??! Seriously. What are the freaking odds??! It blew my mind.

Me and my boyfriend Michael Cera and our sweet 6 hour journey to heaven are proof that God exists and has heard my prayers (ie reads my blog!!!). Dreams do come true, people. Miracles happen.

I'll be back to fill in the details (do you want to know what colour socks he wears? what he watches on tv? I have all this and more to tell you!) once I get through the last week.

In the meantime, though, let's just all rest easy with the fact that this miraculous event happened at all. It's like the second coming, only more adorable.

Cougar? Swooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooon.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What Do Teenage Sex and Losing a Flip Flop Have in Common?

No, not Britney Spears!

The right answer: Rikki & me!

Sunday and Monday were busy days. We checked out of the hotel (and Rikki scored us free parking, proving yet again that you don't mess with Chicago............ unless you want to pay to stow your car) and headed downtown to see the LA stop of the Spring Awakening tour.

I have been a little, um, obsessed with this musical since it was recommended to me. It combines everything you could want in a musical: good lyrics, good music, and lots of sex. More specifically, illicit teenage sex! It's like every cougar dream I've ever had come true in musical form and needless to say I've been looking forward to seeing it for quite some time.

I am happy to report that it didn't disappoint. The staging was really unique and the cast universally phenominal. The deal was even sweeter as Rikki knew the male lead, Kyle Riabko (confirming that Rikki is the most musically hooked up girl in Chicago). He's actually from Saskatoon, believe it or not - and I don't think I'm exagerating when I say that he's probably the best thing ever to come from that town. Not only is he adorable but he's got the voice of and angel and the acting chops to boot (and I haven't even told you about his incredible guitar skillz yet!!).

......... and we got to watch him hump his onstage love interest. Like, hump. No "creative" staging, no expressing sex through song, or lighting, or innuendo. I mean full on exposed breast, hiked up skirt, pants down, I see Kyle's butt kind of humping. Cougar? Swoon.

He's 21 in real life, so it's totally legal in case you're wondering. (Even cougars can't be too careful!)

So after what was clearly a great afternoon, we headed to Santa Monica beach for some quality be-one-with-the-water time. We missed the majority of the sunset but I broke out my tripod and did a mini-photoshoot with Rikki. She was thrilled:

Rikki: Are we going to have to do a photo-shoot?
Melissa: Yes.
Rikki: ... Really?
Melissa: Yes! Now go and walk over there.
Rikki (silently walks over there): Okay? Done?
Melissa: No.
Rikki: You're going to have an entire album on facebook about me, aren't you?
Melissa: Ha! ... No?

Rikki got her flip flop stuck in the sand and like a good friend I took pictures of the drama as it went down instead of helping.

I also got some group shots out of the shoot. It was a very intricate process whereby I framed the shot ever-so-carefully, set the timer, and then booked it over to Rikki (who was pretty far away since I was using a zoom lens) just in time to get my adorable face on before the camera clicked.

The results were, huh, varied.

I fared slightly better at capturing some of the details of the Santa Monica pier.

The last one is actually the reflection of the ferris wheel in the sand/wave. I know, I know: photographic genius. And I didn't even lose my glasses this time out!!!

So that was Sunday. Ells Degens is next up, along with a review of Pink Taco (the restaurant not, uh, the lady-thing).

Oh, and before I go, check out this interesting storefront on Fairfax, south of Santa Monica in Little Ethopia (yes, they have one of those here. Along with a little Armenia??! I thought that that existed only on 30 Rock, but apparently not?).

Firstly, and I'm just going on gut instinct here, The Magic Comb seems like the kind of reputable hair establishment that would not give a lady a mushroom cut when she asks for adorable. And if the worst did occur, the situation would quickly be remedied with some of that hair they have for sale or via magic (it says it right in the title!).

However, I have one lingering question: what and the sweet fuck is "Indian Hair" (quotations theirs, not mine!)??! I mean, I can guess what Indian hair might be, but "Indian Hair"? Is it not real indian? Not real hair? And why is it $400??!

If you have any ideas, pleeease enlighten me in the comments section of this post.

(And yes, this is just a shameful way of me asking you my lovely reader to post comments. They make me feel happy and you want me to feel happy, right? RIGHT??!)

Friday, November 07, 2008

You Like My Moves, David Archuletta?

Today the road trip moves north from San Diego to LA. After de-glitterizing ourselves and peeling off the spandex, Cheryl, Rikki and I piled into the car for the 2 hour drive to Hollywoodland. It was a fun ride full of good tunes and good laughs. Did you know that Rikki can fly like the wind? 'Cause she can. And, for the record, it makes me laugh so hard I cry.

Did you know that the only thing as good as seeing Jason Mraz in San Diego on Halloween is seeing Jason Mraz in LA the day after Halloween? He played to a sold-out 5800 capacity Greek Theatre, and it was one of my absolutely favourite shows (he played Bella Luna and I STILL loved it, that's how much fun it was). We had pit tickets, so there were only about 100 of us crowding the area around the stage. It felt more intimate than any other concert J concert I've been to (well, except for our LRCs... you can't really get more intimate than our living room...), and yet it was the largest crowd.

If you've ever been to a J concert with our crew you know that we have a lot of coordinated dance moves. We do it because they are fun and because we like to piss off the aggressive teenagers behind us by blocking their camera shots. Unbeknownst to us at the time, however, a few celebrities were in attendence at the show (David Archuletta + family, for one) and were probably wondering what and the fuck we were doing. Or thought we were groupies (it's called SUPERFANS, people. Groupies sleep with the band and we just....... make up dance moves at the shows. Ha!). Whatever, David Archuletta, you're just jealous because your biggest superfan is your DAD.

Anyways, it was a great show, capping off a great run of shows, and I had a blasty with my girls. Cheryl was off to Berkeley the next morning, Cat was off to New York, and Rikki and I were off to see Kyle Riabko humping onstage.

More on that (and my embarassing Kyle Riabko humping story) later.

Today is my last full day in LA and my heart is a little sad about it. I'm going to go drown my sorrows buying screenplays at Samuel French and then reading them at the beach.

No big deal. Beeeeeeeeach.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Trick or Treat! Or, Halloween Is More Fun with Poofy Hair.

I have some extra time tonight so I'm going to get started on the beginning of the trip....

After what seemed like 5 hours on the plane, I landed bright and early in sunny California, picked up my rental car, and headed south for San Diego. I was still pretty sick and sounded like a man but soon realized the curative powers of taquitos and started to feel better. My buddy Kat had a colour guard practice so I headed out for Jamba Juice, Target, and the Beach. In other words? The Holy Trinity of What California Means to Me.

I got to the beach a bit late so the sun was pretty much down by the time I arrived. It was also super cloudy so my shots are all a little... mysterious looking.

After some quality time communing with the water and the strange asian dude who skated by me with his leg up in the air whilst listening to techno beats, I headed over to Target......... and got totally lost on the way and ended up at Jamba Juice. Lemons? Lemonade (smoothie)! After some hardcore sipping and shopping, I headed back to the high school to pick up Kat.

FIRST MAJOR DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CANADA AND THE US: The football field was fucking triiiiiiiiiiiiicked out! Lights, bleachers, scoreboard, you name it, they had it. It looked like Raptor's Stadium, only outside and with less purple dinosaur. I can say with outmost confidence that we in Canada do not supe our fields up that much. I blame it on the snow and our and love for anything indoors covered in ice.

After practice Kat was nice enough to take me around for a mini-tour of downtown San Diego and can I just say? ADORABLE! I know I use that word a lot lately (I blame the recent, um, interest in Michael Cera for it), but I really mean it this time. And plus the downtown core was crawling with nasty girls not wearing pants for Halloween so you know that if I can overlook that little tidbit I truly think something is beautiful. I think what won me over was that they had actual gaslamps lighting some of the streets! I liked the vibe, very old-timey, very Interview-with-the-Vampire (have I mentioned that I am sorta obsessed with vampires? I blame Twilight and True Blood.... swooooon).

We finished up our tour just in time to pick up Cheryl & Rikki from the airport and then head over to In&Out for some burger animal style. (Didn't know that there was an animal style optsh? I guess you have to be in with the Cali crowd to know that. No big deal.). Deeeeelish. Then it was off to bed for me while the ladies chatting with our sexy friend Conor in Australia via Skype. Because they are true friends, they took pictures of me sleeping and sent them to Conor. (But don't worry, I am plotting my revenge.)

Now, Halloween! I haven't dressed up in YEARS so it was a nice change to get gussied up with the girls. Even better? We got to go to a Mraz concert afterwards and celebrate in style.

And without further adieu, I will reveal the much-anticipated Halloween costume idea:

I dressed up (if you can call it that, I call it simply being true to the voice in my heart) A COUGAR.

Ha! It was like my every dream come true, from the blue eyeshadow to the leopard headband, to the creepy homemade t-shirt. We went with a Mraz-theme so we ironed-on different saying to our shirts for the various band members/instruments. And, because we like to go whole hog, we even made up personas to go with our shirts (and by we, I mean me and I forced said personas on my ever-so-patient friends).

Rikki was Argentina, where the g(spot) is silent. She had "sTRUMPET" on her shirt.
Kat was Vienna, sausages (no big deal). She had "HIT THIS" on her ass.
Cheryl was Asia, where this is always a happy ending. She had "saXXXy" on her shirt.
I was Venice, take a ride down my canals. I had "Master my low end" on my shirt.

The show itself was lovely. I had never seen J outdoors so it was a real treat. We sang, we danced, we did not steal things because it's wrong. We also took some group pics but as I was weilding the camera I am not in any of them. A kind stranger offered to take a picture with me in it but, well, judge for yourself how it turned out.

Here's the one I took. Much better!

Post-show we all ran out to grab some Denny's and I discovered the most amazing thing: potachos. It combines my two very favourite things in the world into one exciting dish: pot and achos. It's also described as having "lots of cheese" so I was very down with it. I ended up doing a bacon-hashbrown combo though as I needed my protein/grease fix to better fight my cold. The potachos had to wait.

All in all, it was a great first 2 days to the trip. And lucky me I still had the LA show and 2 extra days with my girl Rikki to look forward to.

Big shout outs go to Philly & Jon Koch, the SoCal Mraz mainstays and all around cool folk. Both of them were kind enough to pose for pictures with us, despite the abundance of spandex and glitter.

Also mad propz go out to Tab & Kevin for being adorable and awesome and to Kevin espesh for looking most like the person he dressed up as for Halloween (next time I vote more underwear, though).

Alright the Laugh Factory and Jon Lovitz await! I'll be back with more later!

Dude, I'm JUST Like Perez Hilton!

Whoa! EVERYONELOVESMELISSA coming at you live from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at the corner of Sunset and Fairfax. AKA Perez Hilton's old "office". I never thought I'd be here, it's kind of blowing my mind.

Let me give you a visual. I'm outside on the patio in the shade sitting beside an adorable guy (probably gay, he's too well dressed to be a straightie) wearing jeans, a tight black shirt, and a cute fedora. He's on a Mac, and I'm jealous. I'm staring out across Sunset Blvd at the Director's Guild of America. If I see Steven Spielberg I'll shit. Seriously. I look slightly to the left across the street and I see the Griddle Cafe, which I recently read about in Kevin Smith's memoir My Boring Ass Life. I ate there the other day and saw the lead singer from Fall Out Boy (he's short and has weird hair) and ate the bigest portion of french toast I have ever seen or put in my mouth in my entire life. I'm going to head back over there after I finish my Pumpkin Iced Latte and this blog.

Down the street a ways is the famed Chateau Marmont. I say it the french way, but if you want to sound very LA you should say "Maaaarmooonte". I haven't seen Lindsay Lohan coming out of it yet, but I hold out hope. I'm thinking of planting a baggie full of white powder by the foot of the mountain to see if I can lure her out...

Past the Marmont is Avalon, Skybar, and a bunch of teensy taco places. And this resto/bar in the theme of the wild west... ??

Basically everything here is over the top. Nothing is quiet, or subtle, or normal for that matter. I think this city's motto is go big or go back to Canada.

I've been to the beach a couple of times (once in San Diego and once to Santa Monica). The beach in LA was.... different. It had all the beauty but about 100 times the strange. There was a dude on a bullhorn screaming about Jesus and how gay marriage was an abomination under God??! I wanted to shove a hot dog in his mouth to shut him up but he had these 2 tough guy thugs protecting him from the wrath of passerby. I was about to risk it but then I remembered that this country doesn't have universal health care (...... yet! GObama!!).

I've decided I'm going to start at the beginning of my trip and fill you in day by day. I've been ridiculously busy and expect to remain so until I leave Saturday afternoon.... So I'll try to post again ASAP but I make no promises....

Just to whet your appetite, though, here's what I have on tap for the rest of the week:

TODAY: a taping of the Bonnie Hunt show this afternoon followed by a show at the Laugh Factory (a 5 minute walk from my cousin's house!) starring Jon Lovitz.

THURSDAY: a taping of the Craig Ferguson show followed by a show at the iOWest (yay!!!).

FRIDAY: a taping of the Jimmy Kimmell show and a trip out to Venice Beach to take pictures of all the shiny muscles

SATURDAY: squeeze in one last breakfast at the Griddle Cafe and celebrity spot before I head back to reality.

Oh? And just in case you think that this is it for trips for me for the rest of the year....... I'm going to Milwaukee, Chicago, and St. Louis in 2 weeks.