Tag Archives: tiff

Tuesday 10: Post-Vacation Double Edition

Favorite Celebrity Meetings/Encounters

  1. Shaking David Duchovny’s hand
  2. Smiling and waving at Colin Farrell and receiving the same in return
  3. Meeting Zoe Bell after Bitch Slap
  4. Meeting and being wished a happy birthday by James Purefoy
  5. Holding his lighter, pack of cigarettes, and rubber rat while director Jaume Balagueró signed an autograph after [REC] 2
  6. Meeting and getting photos taken with Alex Van Sprang and Stefano DiMatteo after Survival of the Dead
  7. Meeting and telling Minae Noji how much tinier she is in person
  8. Meeting Erin Cummings and Julia Voth and, when I told them the photo was for my husband, having them blow kisses at my camera
  9. Being thisclose to George Clooney
  10. Sitting near Michael Moore during Vengeance

Favorite Movies Seen at TIFF*

  1. The Trotsky
  2. The Men Who Stare at Goats
  3. Soul Kitchen
  4. Daybreakers
  5. Vengeance
  6. Triage
  7. Jennifer’s Body
  8. [REC] 2
  9. Cleanflix
  10. Solomon Kane

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under list, personal, toronto international film festival


Song Lyric of the Day:

Little Red Riding Hood was followed / Little Red Riding Hood’s / Grandmother was swallowed / Sleeping Beauty got sick / From her stepmom’s wicked trick / It’s not nice / She ate the apple slice / The dwarfs put her on ice

Sunny & Share Love You / “You Gotta Suffer a Lot to Be Happy“*

I somehow managed to blog pretty frequently throughout my vacation, but the second I got home? Coma time! I got home Thursday morning, showered, and fell into bed around 10:45AM. I didn’t wake up until 5PM. Back in bed for the night at 11PM, which is earlier than I go to bed on worknights, and I didn’t crawl out again until 1PM Friday afternoon. Made it upstairs to the couch, where I passed out again around 4:30PM. I obviously missed out on the party animal gene. That, and going non-stop for a full week running around Toronto wore me the hell out. Totally worth it, though.

I came home before the end of TIFF to celebrate my birthday with the spouse, and he not only treated me to a lovely dinner (in spite of an absentee waiter) at Naples Italian Restaurant, followed by dessert at Cafe 4 (because of said absentee waiter, we skipped dessert at Naples) but got me some kick-ass gifts, too. After weeks of me going on and on about wanting the new Kings of Leon album, Only By the Night, Rich gave me that CD as well as two others by the KoL. He also gave me my first digital picture frame, which I’m very excited about. No idea what photos I’m going to load on it, though, since I take pictures of everything. And the big gift: my very own bike. It’s been years since I had a bike, so I’m looking forward to biking around with Rich. We’ll be picking up my training wheels next weekend. (Thanks also to the family for my awesome DVD box sets and Best Buy gift cards.)

Saturday Rich and I met up with my family at Market Square for the Hola Festival. Much fun and empanadas was had by all. OK, I’m the one who had the empanadas. Those things are like crack. Tasty, tasty, deep-fried and meat-filled crack. Once we got home, you guessed it — I took a nap. I’ve been feeling much livelier since yesterday, although my first day back at work was lonnnnnng.

Later on this week, I’ll be writing mini-reviews on all the movies I saw at the Toronto International Film Festival. I just need to gather all my ticket stubs to refresh my memory. So … many … movies. In the meantime, I’ll post a Tuesday 10 list tomorrow morning relating to my experiences at TIFF. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a seriously pissed-off puppy whose forgiveness I’m trying to earn. Seems leaving my furbaby for a week did not sit well with El Troubacabra.

*Fantastic song featured during the closing credits of the Hung episode, “The Rita Flower or The Indelible Stench.”

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under hola festival, personal, toronto

Flying High on My Birthday

Song Lyric of the Day:

My thoughts are with you / Holding hands with your heart to see you

Earth, Wind & Fire / “September

It’s 2:56AM and I’m wrapping up the last of my packing before I go wait for the car that’s going to take me to the airport. My last movie here at TIFF was the fun, scary, exciting Solomon Kane. Definitely one worth seeing on the big screen, in no small part because of the lovely James Purefoy. Me: Hi. I loved the movie. It was great. JP (smiling): Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it. Me: Can I trouble you for a photo? Today’s my birthday. JP: Oh, I bet you say that to all the boys.

Me (jokingly): I can show you my license if you don’t believe me.

JP (laughing): That’s not necessary. Of course you can. And happy birthday to you.*

James Purefoy and yours truly. And notice I don’t look like the Puerto Rican Casper.

And as lovely, talented, and friendly as Mr. Purefoy is, today the boy I’m most excited to see is the blue-eyed one waiting for me at home. And I can’t wait.

I’m home. And, lord, is it nice to be back. I’d forgotten how wonderfully soft my slippers are, and it was great sleeping in my own bed again. I got into bed approximately 23 1/2 hours after I woke up for the last time in my hotel yesterday. To say I was tired was an understatement. Sure, I didn’t need to pull an all-nighter to squeeze in one more Midnight Madness film, but it was absolutely worth it to see my new friends one last time, enjoy a fun fantasy movie, and, well, look at that picture above of me with James Purefoy. When’s that going to happen again, right?

Now I’m upstairs, watching my puppy chewing on a bone. I think he’s a bit ticked off at me, which is to be expected. I suspect Troubadour will forgive me later tonight, though, when I sit in his favorite corner of the couch with him. And when I bribe him with the new squeaky, stretchy gecko toy I brought him as a souvenir.

I’ll try to post my rundown of all the movies I saw in the next day or so. I saw so many movies that I’ll have to pull out all my ticket stubs to refresh my memory. That’s the way it should be after your first film festival, right?

And before I forget, thanks so very much to everyone who left birthday wishes on my Facebook wall. It’s been a great birthday so far, indeed.

*OMG, James Purefoy wished me a happy birthday!

Bookmark and Share


Filed under birthday

TIFF, Day 7

Song Lyric of the Day:

When Im tired and thinking cold / I hide in my music, forget the day / And dream of a girl I used to know / I closed my eyes and she slipped away

Boston / “More Than a Feelin’“*

I’m tired, guys. Really, really tired. I say that with a smile on my face, but I definitely expect to be in deep hibernation this time tomorrow in my own bed. Know what I’ve missed the most these last few days? Not a who but a what: my foot massager. Granted, Rich, the furkids, and my family are all tied in a very close second place, but hugs aren’t going to make my feet happy. My foot massager will. At least the blisters on my feet are finally starting to heal up. Dr. Scholl’s shoe inserts + polysporin = miracle cure.

The last few days have been a blur. Not surprising, really. I had a blast meeting the cast of Bitch Slap the other night, which included the very nice, beautiful, and accommodating Erin Cummings and Julia Voth; Minae Noji; Ron Melendez; and stunt coordinator (and personal hero of mine) Zoe Bell (Zoe Bell!!!). It took me a second to realize the also-beautiful (and hilarious) Ms. Noji is none other than Dr. Kelly Lee on General Hospital. She laughed when I told her she looks taller on the show than she is in real life; she said she hears that a lot. Mr. Melendez was very sweet (and incredibly good-looking) and even took two photos with me since our first one was not the best (of me, that is); he played Dr. Archer on General Hospital: Night Shift. (Hear that? I’m pretty sure that’s my sister Vanessa screaming.) And when I approached Ms. Bell for a photo, she said, “Oh, call me Zoe,” to which I may have replied “I love you” in response. I do remember telling her how underappreciated I think stunt performers are, though. (Rich knows that’s my fantasy acting gig: to get paid to learn how to beat the living shit out of someone. How fun would that be? Well, for me, anyway.) I know I look paler than death here, but keep in mind that I’d been out and about all day and this was after 2AM in the morning, so here I am with …:

… the gorgeous (and tiny) Minae Noji

… the also gorgeous and gracious Ron Melendez

And now I’m off to another movie, Leaves of Grass, after which I’ll return to my hotel room to finish packing everything up. After that, it’s Kamui at 9:15 and Solomon Kane for Midnight Madness. That’s right — I let the gang talk me into pulling an all-nighter. I’ll probably get out of the movie around 2AM or so, and then my car will be here to pick me up at 3:30AM to take me to the airport. Have I mentioned how happy I am I don’t have to go back to work until Monday?

Bam! Me with …

… the gorgeous and totally bad-ass Zoe Bell

Getting ready to head to the Varsity 8 to see Kamui at 9:15. After that it’s Solomon Kane at Midnight Madness. To say I’ll be dragging tomorrow is such an understatement. I’m packed (save for the Macbook, of course) and have freshened up so hopefully I won’t feel too grubby by the time I get to the airport in approximately eight hours. I’m also going to the effort of putting on foundation in case I’m lucky enough to get a photo taken with James Purefoy later. Looking like the Puerto Rican Casper in photos is getting old.

*From the hilarious movie The Men Who Stare at Goats

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

TIFF, Day 5

Song Lyric of the Day:

Stand tall / Doll you make them feel so small / And they love it / The boys wanna be her / The girls wanna be her / I wanna be her / Yes I do

Peaches / “Boys Wanna Be Her“*

Another day, more movies under my belt. It’s funny — I just spoke with Rich a little while ago, and he said that I’m not updating enough because people keep asking him what’s going on with me. Which I find very flattering, of course — I’m happy people are enjoying reading about my trip. So since tonight is my biggest between-movie gap so far (my next movie is at midnight), let me explain why I haven’t been able to update ye olde blog here that often.

Today was my fifth day here in Toronto. I’ve watched 14 movies so far, including having skipped about three in order to rest my blistered, bleeding feet or nap. That’s right: On my fourth day in, I hit the proverbial wall. So I grabbed a nap and woke up an hour or so later disoriented and unsure what day it was. I made it to Capitalism: A Love Story, but was too tired to hit The Loved Ones at Midnight Madness. I haven’t been to New York City in three years, but this trip has more than fit that particular bill. I have walked miles — yes, miles since arriving here on Thursday. Movie theaters are several city blocks apart, so I have to factor in the walking time along with the anticipated wait time with regard to when my movies are scheduled to start. For example, tonight I’ll be seeing Bitch Slap at The Ryerson. That’s exactly a five-minute walk from my hotel. So I’ll leave my hotel at about 11:15PM or so to get in line. I’ll sit on the side of the sidewalk, chatting and making new friends like I’ve been doing throughout the festival so far (the native Torontonians and Canadians I’ve met have all been so nice), watching something on my iPod, Twittering, or reading (if there’s enough light). Sometimes I do all those since I’m in line so long. About 10 minutes before the movie is due to start, we’re let into the theater. Seating is on a first-come basis, but as long as you’ve got a ticket you are guaranteed a seat.

If I’m seeing a movie at the AMC, that’s about a 10-minute walk. If I’m seeing a movie at the Winter Garden/Elgin, that’s a 15-minute walk. If I’m seeing something at the Varsity, that’s at least a 20-minute walk. And since my handy-dandy camera goes everywhere with me, as does my large travel bag, toting my Macbook around is out of the question. So I blog/upload photos whenever I’m back in my room. And not unconscious.

I’ve walked so much while here and spent so much time in movie theaters, in fact, that eating has become secondary. My hotel room doesn’t have a fridge or a microwave, so I grab food on my way to or, more often, back from a movie. This whole trip, I’ve had two pop tarts, three small subs, two large slices of pizza (which cumulatively amounted to half a medium pizza), a chicken Caesar wrap, two Twix bars, a few sodas, half a bag of popcorn, chocolate milk, and lots and lots of bottled water. Keep in mind that that’s everything I’ve eaten over the last five days. I honestly think the adrenaline and excitement have stymied my appetite. Shame that feeling won’t last once I get home.

That said, as exhausting as it’s been walking all over this very cool city on my bloody stumps (read: feet), I’m having a BLAST up here. Ten years ago, this kind of trip would’ve been unimaginable for me: I was a happy little hermit with very few friends, who kept to myself; I was incredibly introverted. Like cripplingly introverted — seriously. Now I’m making friends in whatever line I wait or whichever auditorium/theater I watch a movie. I’ve not only reconnected with my high school/college friend, Sanjay (check out his Midnight Madness blogs — the man has had maybe six hours of sleep total so far); our mutual high school friend, Eric; Suzanne from Pennsylvania and John from New York, friends of Sanjay and Eric’s who are now friends of mine, too; and others, including Bill and Leslie; Big Al; Gisele; Huck and Barb; and those whose names I either didn’t get or just can’t remember at this time.

When I go to the Midnight Madness movie, like I will tonight, I get back to my hotel between 2:30AM and 3AM. Depending on how wired I am, I may not fall asleep until about 4AM. Then it’s up at about 10AM if my first movie is at 11AM, and so on. Tomorrow my first movie is at noon, so I’ll probably get up at 11AM and be out the door and on my way to the theater at about 20 to noon since it’s playing at The Ryerson.

I hope all that helps explain why blogging has been uber-lite this trip (unlike my Twitter account, which automatically updates my Facebook page).

I have managed to take tons of photos (shocking, I know), many of which are already on my Flickr page. I’ve also shot lots of video which I will begin posting once I’ve had a chance to watch some of them.

I managed to find out where the celebrities in town for the festival pass their time (i.e., not mingling with us hoi polloi); I’m going to try to venture in that direction over the next couple of days, when I go souvenir shopping. The only times I’ve seen celebrities so far have been when they’re walking the red carpet on the way into a premiere, during Q&A discussions after movies, and on their way out into a waiting car after the movie. That said, I was in the front row for the David Duchovny/Demi Moore movie The Joneses yesterday and managed to get to the stage immediately after the Q&A, where I got Mr. Duchovny’s attention and told him how I enjoyed the movie and what a big fan of his I am. He shook my hand and thanked me. I TOUCHED AGENT MULDER. I honestly thought I might piddle afterwards, I was so giddy having met him. And, yes — he looks absolutely gorgeous up close. I also got within two feet of George Clooney the other day and got photos of Colin Farrell as I passed him on the way into Triage. I also met and got photos with the lovely and gracious Alex Van Sprang and Stefano DiMatteo from George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead. DiMatteo even teased me and Suzanne with a line from the movie, holding up both his hands and saying, “Five minutes and I change change your lives forever.” And after Daybreakers the other night, Sanjay not only introduced me to and photographed me with the Australian identical-twin directors, Michael and Peter Spierig brothers, but got them to autograph a mini-poster of the movie for me, too. (Thanks again, Sanjay!)

Since I’m not sure when I’ll get to post in this much detail again this trip (I still have eight movies to go), I’ll leave you with a few photos. I’ll do my best to upload the latest batch to Flickr soon.


Colin Farrell (taken as I was being pushed past him.)

Stefano DiMatteo and yours truly.

Alex Van Sprang and yours truly.

The Clooney (look, Ma, my first paparazzi shot!)

*From the Whip It soundtrack.

Bookmark and Share


Filed under toronto, toronto international film festival

TIFF, Day 4

Song Lyric of the Day:

I will find you, I will heal the ruins left inside you / Cause I’m still here, breathing now / I’m still here, breathing now / I’m still here, breathing now

Low Shoulder / “Through the Trees


While I’m enjoying the Toronto International Film Festival immensely, it is exhausting going to this many movies. I would bet money that Rich just laughed his ass of at that. The blisters on my feet are re-aggravated after today, to the point that I just faux-drunkenly limped home from George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead. I may have to skip a movie at this point just to update ye olde blog here about the movies I’ve seen the last two days. For now, I’ll just say that I was thisclose to George Clooney (pix to be posted later) and almost thisclose to Colin Farrell (pix to be posted later). And I enjoyed meeting a couple of the actors from the movie tonight, with whom I had my photo taken (yes, pix to be posted later).

Going to try and grab some sleep now, since tomorrow starts with my earliest movie yet, The Men Who Stare at Goats, at 11:30AM. And then I have four more movies after that.

Have I mentioned that doing nothing but watching movies is exhausting? It’s sooooo much fun.

Wow. Barely six hours of sleep is not enough here. Which of my five movies to sacrifice today? OK, four — I’m definitely going to The Men Who Stare at Goats. I’m thinking it’ll be buh-bye to The Joneses, much as I’d enjoy seeing David Duchovny in person (if he’s here). Decisions, decisions.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under personal, toronto

TIFF, Day 3

Song Lyric of the Day:

I take one more step / I’m lacing up my gloves / Well I’m better off now / Don’t, don’t talk down to me / Your head is moving side to side / Our temperatures rise / I hear the Devil outside

The Stills / “Don’t Talk Down to Me

I got back earlier tonight from watching Daybreakers than I did from last night’s Midnight Madness screening. I’m still really, really wired, but I’ll work on a recap later, after I’ve gotten some sleep. Thank God my first movie today isn’t until 3PM.

I’m only blogging at this hour since I didn’t want to forget which song I heard tonight that I wanted to use as my Song Lyric of the Day.

Now to try to fall asleep …

Four movies on tap for today: The Hole, The Secret in Their Eyes, Triage, and George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead. Unfortunately, after looking at the schedule, I think I’m going to have to skip The Secret in Their Eyes since it will still be playing when Triage starts. Time to look into the ticket exchange policy …

*My favorite song from The Trotsky. You can listen to it and see the video here.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under personal, toronto

TIFF, Day 2

Song Lyric of the Day:

You hit me once / I hit you back / You gave a kick / I gave a slap / You smashed a plate over my head / Then I set fire to our bed

Florence and the Machine / “A Kiss With a Fist (Is Better Than None)*”


I’ve been awake for an hour now, having gotten into bed around 3AM after watching the Midnight Madness movie Jennifer’s Body (which is awesome but didn’t even start until about 12:20AM) and then staying for the Q&A with the director, Karyn Kusama; writer Diablo Cody; and stars Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, and Adam Brody (who is hilarious in the movie). Here’s a pic, mostly for the spouse to enjoy. And I’m sorry, honey — I couldn’t fulfill your, uh, special request because (1) I couldn’t get anywhere near Megan Fox and (2) really, I just don’t want to be arrested.

Left to right: producer Jason Reitman; writer Cody; actors Simmons, Brody, Seyfried, and Fox.

My first movie last night, An Education, turned out to be much better than I’d expected, thanks in large part to Nick Hornby‘s (I was a few feet away from NICK HORNBY! squee!) script, the direction, and the cast, including the scene-stealing Alfred
Molina, who had the funniest line in the movie. The movie manages to be an affecting coming-of-age story without being a coming-of-age story, and was a lot funnier than I think any of us anticipated. The fact that it turns out Nick Hornby wrote the script was a wonderful surprise.

Left to right: writer Hornby; actors Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Dominic Cooper, and Alfred Molina.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grab lunch on my way to see

Finishing a sandwich before heading to my next movie, Hadewich. After that it’s on to The Trotsky and Daybreakers. My first movie today, the documentary Cleanflix, was wonderful. It was a really fascinating look at the “clean” movie movement, which arose out of a desire to service Utah’s overwhelmingly Mormon population, which is forbidden to watch R-rated movies. The filmmakers, Andrew James and Joshua Ligairi, took a subject that, in the wrong hands, may have come across as boring and preachy, but instead made it into an enlightening, entertaining, and funny movie. It’s the kind of documentary my Aunt Bea, a devout film lover, will devour.

And now I’m off to see Hadewich. Until I can post again, check out my pics I’ve posted so far. Captions and descriptions to come later, but there are enough recognizable faces in them that you’ll figure most of them out.

I almost forgot — I noticed a lot of people have stopped by to read what I wrote about Adam. Along with his friends and family, I’m thinking about him today, too. Much love to you.

*quite possibly my favorite song on the awesome Jennifer’s Body soundtrack

Bookmark and Share

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Toronto-Bound: TIFF, Day 1

Song Lyric of the Day:

Cowboy heroes / Cops and robbers / Glamour and strife / Bigger than life! / Sitting in the darkness / What a world to see! / Let’s go to the movies

Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney & Ann Reinking / “Let’s Go to the Movies

Up bright and early today. Off to the airport!

I’m going to do my best to blog/Twitter throughout since it’s what I do. I document everything. I should’ve been a documentary filmmaker. Anyhoo.

You can check back here for updates, follow me on Twitter, and check out my Flickr albums (although give me about a day before any new pics are uploaded).

Ah, I already love Toronto. It’s a gorgeous day here as I’m writing this from THE BUS to my hotel. The nice, clean bus with free Wi-Fi. Woohoo! I’m taking advantage, obviously. To that end, be sure to check my Flickr album in a little while for the first batch of photos.

I’ll try to update here and there throughout the day, so check back later. Maybe I’ll have my first celebrity-sighting in the meantime.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under toronto, vacation

The ABCs of My OCD

Song Lyric of the Day:

High Anxiety / It’s always the same / High Anxiety / It’s you that I blame / It’s very clear to me / I’ve to give in / High Anxiety / You win

Mel Brooks / “High Anxiety

In case you’re new to my blog or haven’t popped by in a while or are just really good at tuning me out when I get all repetitive-like (I’m looking at you, dear), I’m heading off to Toronto tomorrow for the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s pretty much all I’ve talked about lately. And to say I have ants-in-the-pantsitis is a complete understatement. I’m basically bouncing off the walls since the last vacation I enjoyed was our amazing trip to Uruguay last March. After that trip, Rich and I stayed much closer to home, and this year we’ve only gone away together for a grand total of two nights, once to Chattanooga for Valentine’s Day and then to the amazing Creekwalk Inn for our 9th wedding anniversary in April. So am I ready for a vacation? You bet your ass I am.

As I wrote the other day, it’s something of a tradition for me to freak out a bit before going out of town, whether it’s for an overnighter or for a longer trip. I blame it on my selective OCD. I say selective because, while I don’t need to tap the lightswitch 18 times before leaving a room or, say, blink three times and spin in a circle every hour on the hour, I do have my quirks. One of those quirks is making list after list of things to prepare for vacation, things to take on vacation, things that need to be taken care of around the house, bills that need to be paid, etc. And I have a thing about taking extra underwear on a trip. I’m not talking the recommended extra pair or two, but almost a whole week’s worth of extra undies. Rich likes to tease me about that hypothetical underwear dilemma/nightmare, the one that’s hovered in the back of my mind for every trip over the last dozen years or so, that will lead me to need all those extra undies. I shudder to think what that might be, should that particular catastrophe ever strike.

Pre-trip freakout rituals aside, my day-to-day OCD quirks are limited to two things: my alarm clock and the front and back door locks (okay, three things). I have to check my alarm clock several times before I can rest assured that I set if for (1) the correct time and (2) the correct time of day. As in AM instead of PM. That little mistake has made for a few bad days over the years. I won’t get started on how I used to obsess over the volume of my alarm, but ask Rich how many mornings he’s had a heart attack as a wake-up call and you’ll get the answer to that. As for the locks, Rich knows how much of a trigger this is for me. All he has to do as I’m, say, drifting off to sleep, is casually whisper, “Goodnight, and are you sure the front door/back door is locked?” knowing full well I’ll hop out of bed to go check right that very moment. I think he — and the dogs — think it’s funny.

My packing is about 85% complete, so all I have to do tonight (besides freak out and inadvertently annoy the spouse) is double- then triple- then quadruple-check everything*, amass all my electronics (laptop, DSLR, digital camera for shooting video, and iPod), finish rewatching Being Human (ahem), and make sure my earplugs and sleep mask are at the ready for when I’m settled in on my flights. Because for me, flying is a time for sleeping. I’m not there to socialize with my seatmate(s). So I swaddle myself in a blanket — covering my neck, of course — pop in my earplugs and put my mask on. Sure, if the plane — God forbid — starts to go down, I’ll hold my seatmate’s hand and be their best friend to the bitter end, but until then? I’m napping.

*Underwear counting included.

Bookmark and Share

Leave a Comment

Filed under personal, toronto, travel, vacation