Sunday, December 18, 2011

Watch This: Ready or Not

 If any of you grew up in Canada and were a preteen somewhere within the years 1993 and 2010, you might also have grown up watching a certain Canadian kids television program called Ready or Not. If you are American, you might have seen it on the Disney Channel between 1996-1997. I stumbled upon the show in maybe 2005 - I had come home from school and was flipping channels and it was playing as a rerun on YTV. I think it was the episode when Amanda decides she wants to live in a mall. That sounds really cheesy, but I loved that episode. In fact, I decided right then and there that I loved the whole show.

Over the years, I have attempted to track down the various stations it was playing on, at the various weird hours, so I could collect all these episodes on VHS tape and then later, on that magical invention that is the PVR. Over the last six years I have seen it go from being a show in the YTV lineup to a Sunday morning only show on Showcase, to a daily after school show on BBC Kids to a weekly show on The Accessible Channel, where it was in described video for the visually impaired, but I watched it anyway. Now, it seems that it is nowhere to be found on Canadian television. But, you can still watch every episode on youtube, and I highly recommend that you do.

Maybe I should backtrack a little and talk about what exactly the show is, before I get into why I (and I'm sure so many other people) love Ready or Not. The show is about two best friends Amanda and Busy and there lives in a Toronto suburb, and all the problems that go along with being twelve and learning 'the ways of the world'. Amanda was a shy, nerdy and very dramatic Jewish girl with long blonde hair and straight bangs I would die for and Busy was a practical tomboy and drummer with curly black hair and a large Italian family.

One of the best parts of the show is how they captured the different family dynamics in the girls' homes. Busy's brothers were loud and obnoxious, but they weren't reduced to one-dimensional characters for a cheep laugh like in so many sitcoms and in Amanda's home, the arguments her parents had were very realistic and their eventual separation never came as a surprise. There were no bumbling fathers or impeccably wise mothers ala Lizzie McGuire or The Weekenders (although these are shows of which I have fond memories) - nobody was there just to get a cheap laugh or be that token sassy friend. If the show was funny, it was funny much in the way life is funny; by accident or in hindsight.

The absolute best part of the show, however, was how they portrayed friendship. Busy and Amanda are two very different people, but they share that unbreakable bond that only seems to come from growing up together (or maybe sharing a near-death experiencs or a summer together at camp). The two girls aren't always surrounded by people - in fact they don't even have that many friends except each other. I never really understood all those other tv shows that have characters with four or five best friends and a million acquaintances who invite them out all the time. I think tv likes to trick us into thinking having only a few friends is abnormal, when really you're lucky to ever find a few really great friends. I think I heard a news program about that on CBC radio once. Either way, I loved loved loved the fact that they didn't have a ton of friends or a lot of popularity. They were just normal girls.

Anyways, I always loved the girls' friendship, They would drag each other to swim meets, karate classes, modeling auditions at the mall or the store to buy tampons for the first time, in that way only a best friend can force you to do something.

The show also dealt with a lot of issues that other childrens' shows would never touch, except maybe Degrassi Junior High. The first episode was about Amanda wanting a bra, even though she didn't need it, in another one Amanda and Busy walk in on Amanda's parents having sex on a Sunday morning. In He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, Busy and Amanda find out their karate teacher is gay and they start to wonder if that means they're gay too. In another, they go to a grade seven party (uninvited) where there is drinking. In one, Busy even starts smoking because her older brother does (this is one of the season one episodes, too). They even talked about female masturbation (a topic rarely discussed on any show, except maybe Sex and the City, let alone a kids tv drama) and how it was PERFECTLY NORMAL. I'd like to see Sex and the City even try to be as cool.

Maybe it all makes it seem like the show is trying too hard and trying to teach too many lessons, but I don't think so. The show never ended in a lecture about how smoking is bad or sex is for married adults or other such 'force the message down your throat'-type crap, it just showed how a kid might handle the many situations that arise in life. And many, if not all of these situations were things that actually do happen in everyday life.

I also LOVE looking at the sometimes awful, sometimes too good to be true fashion choices the girls made. Neither one was ever particularly fashion-obsessed (except maybe Amanda in "Poor Little Rich Girl") or stylistically-gifted, but they sure dressed a lot more interestingly than I did in grade six. My grade six wardrobe consisted of grey sweatpants an a matching size extra large men's grey hoodie and running shoes. Some days I switched it up with Adidas track pants and an over-sized mens t-shirt to hid my nervous sweat stains. Did I ever mention that I was incredibly popular in grade six?
Amanda and Busy. Amanda in a velveteen blossom hat and Busy in her usual baseball cap.

Oh the plaid and bergundy and the Canadian tuxedo. And the awful sweaters!

Vests vests vests

This is probably one of my favourites of Amanda's shirts. Elephant vest, more denim and a madras vest over a plaid shirt (how very bold of you, Busy).

Chrissy, the popular, bitchy grade 7 girl. I love how she wasn't tall and stick thin. She could be popular and be curvy and have a round face. Her hair is an object of fascination.

Scrunchies... enough said.

Amanda gets a makeover.
Amanda's bedroom - one of my favourite parts of the show. Purple vest, orange blouse.

More Chrissy. Temporary tattoos and Chrissy's minion. I'm pretty sure my physics teacher has the same shirt as the photographer on the left.

Terrible sweatshirts that I want. More of Amanda's bedroom.

Needless to say, I recommend that you watch Ready or Not. Go start the series now!
The first two seasons are soo good. It starts going downhill in the third and the fourth and fifth are really not so good. Like many teens, the girls become snotty, self-centred and boy crazy. The sincerity of earlier seasons is lost and the girls lose their complexity and become one-dimensional, as do the plots. Strangely enough, the series loses its 'edge' - they dealt with drinking and smoking and sex when the girls were twelve, and yet when they are fourteen and fifteen, all they talk about is animal rights activism and the rivalry between Busy's father's butcher shop and another one. Needless to say, things get dull. But, I urge you to watch any way. The first two seasons make up for the lameness of its final seasons.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween isn't over until I say so

For Halloween yesterday I went in pretty much the same costume as I wore in my last post like three weeks ago, but I had on drag-ish makeup and wore a "turband". Sadly, I was the only person dressed up in all of my classes :( I was shocked by everyone's lack of Halloween spirit! Come on guys, step it up! DON'T YOU KNOW IT(was)'S HALLOWEEN!!! I didn't even take any pictures yesterday, so there won't be any evidence of my Halloween spirit. My Halloween night consisted of watching Community and RuPaul's Drag Race at my friends house, so that was preeeetty greeeeeeat. Look at me stretchin' out them vowels. But, no it was awesome.

I wasn't ready to give up Halloween yet today, so I put on my best version of a 'modern witch' outfit for school. It's the same blouse as I wore for my costume yesterday and it's perty dern sheer. When my mom picked me up from school, the first thing she said was "Your shirt is transparent. That's a bit innapropriate" and I said "But moooom, everybody else is doing it!" and that was the end of that. Peer pressure saves the day! But actually the number of bras I can see through peoples' shirts everyday is somewhat appalling. The one thing I can say in defense of the trend is that it is COMFY.

These be my pumpkins. I was impatient and the result was a one eyed cat and a Jordy cyclops pumpin. the nice one was carved by my friend.

Shoes thrifted Aldo, pantyhose from Joe, skirt from H&M, thrifted shirt, Forever21 blazer, my grandma's old necklace, Urban Decay eyeshadow as lipstick.

Oh yeah, my hair changed colour, too. It's been like this for a month, you just couldn't see it underneath my wig in my last post. My roots are growing pretty quickly, but I like them for two reasons: one, my head isn't too blindingly pale and reflective now that there's some darker shade underneath to neutralize it; two, my roots are a handy dandy guide as to how quickly my hair grows!

I'm really excited for this weekend because Im going to be shooting a short film for my art portfolio feauturing my amazing friend Ayla. I'm hoping it's going to be really innocent and girly and creepy (in the style of the Fitzgerald sisters' death photo montage from Ginger Snaps) at the same time, so check back in the future for at least some photos, if the video falls through! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Religion, Philosophy, UFOs

 I was feeling down in the dumps today because I'm exhausted and it was miserably grey outside. To pull myself out of the doldrums, I rode my bike a half hour to the nearest Value Village to get my Halloween on. I had been planning on going as a fortune teller and I already had most of my costume, but I really wanted a wig. So I bought one. I'm not sure whether this is my official costume, but I had fun wearing it around my backyard taking photos. I really love the sheer button-up.

Everything is thrifted except for my boots (Spring, but they pinch my toes and I wear them anyway) crystal ball (found in my house) and headband (made by me). Wig is "Alter Ego" Value Village brand.

I'm feeling pretty spooky 'n whatnot so here are my 5 of my favourite Halloween movies/episodes:
1. Psycho
2. Sleepaway Camp
3. Something Wicked This Way Comes
4. My So-Called Life Halloween episode
5. Goosebumps "The Haunted Mask"

I'll probably think of even better ones later, but 'whatevs', as they say.

What are you going as for Halloween/What are your favourite Halloween movies?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sad songs and insecurities bing bang boom

I've been terribly busy with school and such lately and I haven't really had too much time to blog. I spent the weekend in my grandparents' small town a few weeks ago and I took a bunch of pictures with a disposable Fujifilm camera. I also finally got around to dyeing my hair. My friend bleached it for me, but we got freaked out and took it off a bit early. It was quite yellow so I toned it twice with Manic Panic Virgin Snow then gave in and covered it in Pretty Flamingo for three hours. It turned out kind of strawberry-blonde/pinky peach. I like it, but I'm not so sure how long I'm going to keep it. I have grad photos in just over a month, so we'll see if I dye it back to 'normal'.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Love potion no. 9

Time for a Halloween costume inspiration post! I know it’s still September, and early September at that, but I’m already excited for Halloween. It might be because our major thrift store chain always puts up their Halloween costume stock out at the end of August. In any event, I always get excited for this holiday really early and then my enthusiasm dwindles, but then it pops right back up just about the week of Halloween and I have no time to get an adequate or appropriate costume together. Last year I was a poorly-sewn Care Bear because I decided I should sew a costume the week of Halloween. And I have very few sewing skills. But I am not going to let that happen this year! I will be a proactive Halloweenie. 

Considering all the witchy, gothic vibes that have been floating around on peoples blogs and tumblrs all year, I have been really inspired to go as an over the top witchy, gypsy-ish fortune teller. With plenty of outrageous makeup and accessories, a wig and turban, of course. But that’s just one idea. Maybe I’ll do a different costume-related post every so often leading up to Halloween... But maybe not. 

Inspiration photos from (in order) : 
Green eggs & sam, King Top Takeaway, Abolish Humanity, In The Follies, Lost In Lingo, Miss October77, Yes, I Love Too Much, Fortune Telling Gypsy from Something Wicked This Way Comes, Betsey Johnson Spring 2011 RTW,
Meadham Kirchhoff Fall 2011 RTW, Marlena from Self Constructed Freak, Stella Rose, Tea For Two and Stella Rose again.

I'll do an actual costume and makeup post once I have decided on my costume and gotten all my shtuff togetha and when it's closer to Halloween.