Friday, November 24, 2006

And Who Do You Think You Are?

So the other day, after much tomfoolery and many shenanigans by people who made us wait for them to go to the theatre and then bailed out anyway (not bitter), myself and several other queens went to see The Queen; The Movie. It stars of course, Dame Helen Mirren. I remember her first from SOS Titanic and then fell in love with her in Teaching Mrs. Tingle. That was your usual alright Hollywood suspense movie that was ruined with a happy ending. But up until the last moment, she played that manipulative bitch like no one else could. Lovely.

I quite liked the movie. No one, the Queen aside, really knows how she felt or what happened at Balmoral after Princess Diana died. The movie wasn’t melodramatic nor did it demonize (except for maybe Prince Phillip) the royals. It didn’t hide the fact that Diana was the ex-black sheep of the family but it didn’t dwell on it either. I think it did a good job of portraying how someone who has known nothing else their entire life, was forced to face the reality of a changed world. A bit sad that.

Lord Fauntleroy makes the point that the monarchy serves no real purpose in today’s world. In the film, Cherie Blair sums that argument up by saying the royals are “lazy freeloaders up on their 20 000 acre estate”. That may be so. I would argue however that they do make England unique in an ever increasing homogenized world. No matter where I have been, from a desert in India to a market in Guatemala, Coke, Nike, Disney, Pepsi, McDonalds etc. have managed to make the world a little more ‘average’ no matter where you go. The Royal family helps Britain stand just a little taller than the rest. Mind you, my taxes don’t pay for their lifestyle, so I really don’t get a say.

Anyway, I find myself increasingly confused by Dame Mirren’s performance. Last week, I looked at the cover of our local entertainment rag and saw Daniel Craig (the new Bond) at the Casino Royale premiere meeting the Queen. I looked at it and thought, “That’s not the Queen. She doesn’t look anything like Helen Mirren.” Not living in the UK, we don’t see many images of Her Majesty in the papers and Helen was just so good, I can’t help but think of her as the Queen from now on.

And every time I go to pay for something or do laundry, the face on the money means nothing to me anymore. Where is my calendar girl? Where is the new Queen? A loonie with Helen on it is the way to go I think.

Don’t get me wrong. I would like nothing more than to meet the Queen and even by chance get invited round for tea. No need for laughter. If the movie is at all accurate, Elizabeth is a more modern woman now. Who knows, she may even be flipping through blogs as I write this. Hmmmmmm. Leave a comment your Majesty and I’ll be right over. I have my own gun for a hunting party and make a lovely pie for tea.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Better Late Than Never

I know I am a little behind schedule here, but, well, I had too much candy to eat first. Another Halloween has come and gone and all I can say is “thanks” to the usuals for making it such a great night. Bloody cold, but great.

This year we paraded up and down Church Street as Linda Richmond (KitKat) and Judy (Cell Phone Boy), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (The Boyfriend) Cyndi Lauper meets the Grim Reaper (CJ), The Headless Horseman (Lord Fauntleroy) and Chocolate from the Moulin Rouge dressed as Krishna (yours truly). Notably absent were the Girls in the Dollhouse. They hosted a pumpkin carving party on Sunday, but they were missed at the annual festivities.

All Hollows Eve fell on a Tuesday this year; a most inconvenient day of the week for those trying to plan parties. Of course all the “big” events would be on the weekend before. One however, still must make an effort on the big day regardless of whether it is in the middle of the week or not. Or freezing cold – which it was! Especially for those of us with no shirt. At least it didn’t rain as was forecast.

We went out Saturday night and on Tuesday. Apologies again to Cell Phone Boy and Mitch for the whole smoking incident; my bad.

I have to thank Cylinder (look honey, your own blog name!) for helping me with my costume. Not only did she lend me her jewelry and wedding dress– the only thing that kept me somewhat warm that night – but she also helped me shop for accessories. When I first explained to her what I was doing she said “go to Gerard or better yet, Islington and Albion”. I asked her where specifically and she just told me to go to the intersection itself. Somewhat bewildered off I went.

Now, I consider myself well traveled. But have you ever felt like the odd man out? It was like driving from Canada to Mumbai in about 20 minutes. I parked my car and started to walk about. At first I thought people were staring because, well, whenever I meet someone less fortunate than I, and let’s face it, who isn’t? (Kidding, if you haven’t seen Wicked, please do, then you will get my reference.) Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, I thought perhaps I had a booger sticking out of my nose or toilet paper stuck to my shoe. But no, it was because, as one of the clerks pointed out, they “don’t see a lot of white people around” that area.

Add to that, the fact that I was trying to buy accessories to make me look like a bastardized version of Krishna, and you can imagine it wasn’t the most fruitful of trips. Tail firmly tucked between my legs, I retreated. Cylinder giggled as I told her the trials and tribulations of my trip and generously offered to take me to the “right” places.

Eager beaver that I am, I insisted we be there at 9:00 on Saturday when the stores open despite Cylinder’s telling me “they’re Indian, they won’t open before 11:00”. After a two hour coffee, I conceded that she was right. In the end I got all that I needed, with her translating along the way, and had to restrain myself from buying more

Friday, November 10, 2006

If Zanzibar can do it.......

Down with the Plastic Bag!!!