Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Team Opera Semi-Final, Take Two

This Wednesday is our second chance to take the diamond and battle it out for a place in the championship game and the chance to once again win the coveted Toronto Arts League Cup. Unfortunately, Veronica's wand is in the shop and she can’t use it to say “Accio Cup!” and alas, we will have to work for it the old fashioned way.

This year, as last year, will be that much harder with the loss of some heavy hitters and reliable fielders on game night. We most certainly have our work cut out for us. The team we’re up against is a pretty solid team infield and outfield. They have solid hitters and their short stop will catch just about anything. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve beaten them before and have beaten them for the championship title, so it’s not insurmountable. Especially with our two newly acquired girls who have provided depth where we didn’t realize we were lacking.

Some people might wonder how such a ragtag group of ball players (or wannabe ball players) could come together and play so well as we do, but when we’re on our A-game, we’re pretty unstoppable. Despite our diversity, the simple fact that we make the effort to bond on and especially off the diamond makes a huge difference. Each year we attend a Jays game together and at the end of the season, we have a team party. What makes for better bonding than getting drunk together?

We must admit that at the beginning of this season, Veronica did not want to play. She wasn’t into it and hated not being able to do anything useful other than being the mandatory 3rd girl so we didn't get an auto out. Though nothing has changed, somehow her enjoyment of the game has been revived and that makes all the difference. (Co-editors note: Ashley finds it necessary to state that Veronica's baseball skills have vastly improved since our initial season and therefore, this previous paragraph is to be taken lightly.)

So come Wednesday night, think of us as we don our team uniform, tighten up our cleats and take to the field ready to win our chance to reclaim our rightful title of Champions. Stay tuned for the triumphant update.

Friday, August 20, 2010

MOVIE REVIEW - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

We see a lot of movies, so it’s not surprising that we would eventually see the latest in the Twilight Saga - Eclipse. Having been disappointed by the wildly anticipated Twilight, we didn't expect too much from this 3rd installment, keeping in mind that nothing a director can put out will ever beat our own imagined perceptions of these now iconic characters. We’re far from your cookie cutter girls and are hard to please.

Overall, the story from novel to screen has gotten better. But the glittering vampire bit has gotten old, and fast. The acting in these ‘films’ are wholly wooden and uninspired. With maybe the exception of Taylor Lautner and a handful of the others. The leads are just awful.

The one redeeming thing about this film was the inclusion of the background stories for the other and decidedly more interesting vamps. Jackson Rathbone’s acting chops got a real workout in this one - he had actual lines rather than just tortured looks of immense constipation.

Any girl who willingly goes to see this is well versed in not only the dialogue but the story itself. Having read all the books more than once, we weren’t expecting anything new or Oscar worthy. Eclipse continues with the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle. Jacob can’t accept the fact that Bella has chosen Edward over him. Bella is certain, that is - as certain as a teenage girl can be, that Edward is the one, meanwhile harbouring feelings for Jacob that she can’t explain.

Since her last appearance, the villainous vamp Victoria has been busy creating and amassing her army of new born vampires in her last attempt at exacting
revenge over the Cullens. This of course catches the attention of the Volturi who are keen to see how it’ll play out without intervening on the Cullens behalf. We were expecting a much more satisfying fight when the Cullens and the Wolves of the Quileute tribe band together to save the sleepy town of Forks, Washington from the hungry new born vamps. This was nothing more than a ploy for Victoria to get at Bella.

As this infectious vampire phenomenon continues, it doesn't look like we will be escaping this twitwat franchise anytime soon. And while we hate to admit it, when Breaking Dawn hits theatres, we will be there, heads held high. Unlike some, which never fails; those very unwilling boyfriends who some stupid girl has dragged into the theatre with them.

Now, we’re not prudes or above torturing our lesser halves, but we draw the line at this. Never would we ruin a very girly movie by dragging the balls with us. The girl next to us did just that and throughout the entire movie he did nothing but groan and complain. Very loudly. Not saying that we didn’t do the same, but we didn’t disturb other movie goers who were perhaps more into it.

Maybe next time she will realize her boy aint no Edward Cullen.

photo credit: google images

Monday, August 16, 2010


In lieu of a much talked about but unsuccessfully executed girls cottage week, we decided to plan a mini summer getaway at the beach for the day. We were looking for a location that wasn't too far of a drive, but was far enough that we could leave our worries and responsibilities back in the city where they belong and remove ourselves from the hustle and bustle completely. After some research and discussion, Turkey Point was the decided upon destination.

Veronica was somewhat of a native to the area, having camped at Long Point for many years, and her knowledge was welcomed as she navigated Ashley's little white Sunfire along the way. Of course, we didn't take into consideration the previous day, Friday the 13th, which made Port Dover a bit of a nightmare to drive through with the remnants of burly bikers scattered throughout the usually quiet town for the pd13 festival. It was, however, quite a scene to pass.

Arriving at the beach relatively early, we were able to snag a prime spot along the sandy shores where we promptly laid out our beach towels and stretched out to take in the scene. While the beach got busier as the day went on, it didn't feel overcrowded and we were still able to relax without much interruption. The water was a little on the chilly side, but that didn't stop us or everyone else from going in.

While Lake Erie doesn't necessarily have the nicest ring to it, Turkey Point offers a lengthy sand beach that stretches out into the lake itself, making it possible to walk well out off the shore without losing your footing. Just be sure not to go too far or you'll end up in the channel among the boats and seadoos.

Up the road a little from the beach is the Turkey Point Camping Grounds, where you can book a site for the night or just borrow a day lot for an afternoon picnic, which is exactly what we did. Unpacking a lovely picnic lunch with far too much food (Veronica is the foodie, after all, ensuring we never go hungry), we were able to enjoy the scenery around us in almost perfect peace.

The camp grounds also featured hiking trails, which we took advantage of in our non-hiking gear. However, the sights were a little misleading as we realized the apparent Bluffs overlooked a small cottage area, not any water as was expected.

Highlights of the day included the stereotypical old man sporting a way too small speedo (sorry, no public photo out of respect to the nearly unmasked man). The dead carp floating near our beach area, a carp that may or may not have provoked a girlish scream out of Ashley as she nearly stepped on it when running into the water. Not getting rained on at all despite the fussy weather.

All in all, Turkey Point was a great little location that we were happy to have stumbled upon, not too far but just far enough to make the trek out of the city worth it. We will definitely be making this a yearly adventure.

other images (c)citygirlscapes

Friday, August 13, 2010

SOUTH PACIFIC - AUGUST 12, 2010 @ the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

What better way to start this blog than with the classic story of love and loss during World War II? On Thursday, August 12, we went to see Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

To properly prepare ourselves for a musical night, we stopped for dinner at Sushi Time to split a bottle of wine and some raw fish. It’s been a love hate relationship with this particular location for a while now. While we enjoy the meal, the service always seems to be sub par. Thankfully all was right last night and our waitress was on the ball. We split a bottle of red wine (a must) and a variety of sushi while discussing our expectations for the show… and how to approach our first blog post… before heading down the street to the theatre.

Generally considered to be one of the greatest musicals in history, South Pacific weaves together the stories of a motley crew of sailors, nurses, officers, natives and a fugitive Frenchman all looking for love and solace on an island in the South Pacific. While battling the Japanese and their own racial prejudices, each character is forced to take a hard look at themselves and decide what is most important.

We have only been to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts once before, but hold the theatre in high regard. The seats are comfortable (but not too comfortable that you find yourself dozing off during scene changes) and it’s fairly spacious. Our seats last night were in row V, near the back of the theatre, in a secluded section for just the two of us, which created an eerie familiarity to Muppet favourites Statler and Waldorf.

Our biggest issue with these productions is the strength and quality of the singing. We have seen some questionable casting choices throughout our theatre going, so it’s always nice to be presented with theatre veterans who can carry the show without trouble.

Carmen Cusack falls easily into the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush, a self-proclaimed hick from Littlerock with a booming, soulful voice who innocently catches the eye of Frenchman Emile de Becque (played by Jason Howard). Despite cautionary tales about de Becque’s questionable history, Nellie can’t escape his charm and falls madly in love with him.

But it was the allure of Anderson Davis as Lt. Joseph Cable that grabbed our attention. The moment he stepped onto the stage over the fake beach in a pair of aviators and a leather jacket, we swooned. I believe there was even a hushed “Who is that?” muttered in between school girl sighs. And that voice!

Of course, Jodi Kimura as Bloody Mary and Matthew Saldivar as Luther Billis had the audience in stitches with their comedic and enthusiastic performances. But it was the stereotypical little old lady struggling with the candy wrapper seated behind us that brought tears to our eyes as the result of uncontrollable silent laughter. Her struggle lasted a good seven minutes as she desperately tried to break into a package enclosed with very loud and crinkly plastic wrap. Just when you thought she had stopped… it would start again, inflicting another fit of muffled giggles. It wasn’t until an usher asked her to stop and the first act ended that we were able to collect ourselves.

All in all, Dancap's reinvention of South Pacific was well done. The production and key players all added to the romance, splendour and beauty that is South Pacific. This is a limited engagement in Toronto but is the perfect ending to the Summer. Having seen all Dancap stage productions (most recently, Miss Saigon, Toxic Avenger and Jersey Boys), they’ve exceeded our expectations each and everytime. Every performer is strong in not only acting but singing as well. Their ability to transport us from our seats right into the heart of the story in front of us makes each ticket well worth the going rate.

If you haven’t seen South Pacific yet, what are you waiting for?