Thursday, July 29, 2010


So the Kings of Leon were regally fantastic last night. They really are better live than on disk. The whole thing was very rock and roll, die hard fans filled the Molson Amphitheater (like to the brim) huge screens were erected but played only in black and white. The lead singer was working through a cold which did nothing but make his voice more rustic and beautiful. It was all good, well all except the lawn was very far back from the stage. Luckily  I had no intention of sitting still and we snuck as far forward as we could ending up middle centre, we couldn't have had a better view point.

The show was a great length and the crowd were hugely responsive, even the new stuff they played kept people motivated which is a risky move for any artist. My favorite moment of the night was when they played 'Where is my mind' by the pixies which is a massive tune anyway but they really brought something to it, of course when they played Use Somebody the place went crazy and I started sending voice clips to England to show off. The whole night was great and the atmosphere was really sparkling, mimicked perfectly by the fireworks at the end of the show. My brother used to live for the end of shows, it didn't matter what we were watching if they had fireworks or those sparkly tinsel things that fall from the sky he was a happy camper.

Of course the booze at the amphitheater is some ridiculous price, I don't understand why they are so keen to exploit you like that, they are already making a packet from the show why they need to charge you twice the normal price of a beer is beyond me. But hey 11 dollars a beer is better than no beer right - glass is half full kind of moment.

This coming weekend is a long one, as in we get the Monday off too, I am so broke I'm not up to much, but seeing as I am moving soon gotta start packing at some point.

Hope you are all well! love and kisses meryl x

PS: Today's Picture is actually from the show :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Hurt Locker

So I'm not a war film person, in fact the only one I've ever really enjoyed is Apocalypse Now, and really how couldn't you. So when my room mate brought home Hurt Locker I just wasn't in the mood to watch it. Nevertheless he put it in the dvd machine for him to watch, and by the first five minutes I was completely hooked. The film is spell bounding. The suspense is crazy and the direction is divine. It manages to give you this insight into how frightening every day of a war must be, while touching on how the horrific things these soldiers saw drove them to fight harder. I was literally on the edge of my seat every time they diffused a bomb, and the fact that the soldiers could never really be sure who was working against them and who were just civilians meant I got overwhelmingly nervous through a lot of the film.

In my own mind I am of course anti-war, as the old saying goes it is old men talking and young men dying, but sometimes I feel this demeans the soldiers. There are people in this world who lay down their lives everyday to try and save lives, who fight for freedom and keep the peace and I think being anti-war doesn't have to mean I'm anti soldiers.  So I have decided to do the whole Red Friday thing, it's not exactly a massive contribution to my country but it is so easy to do it is embarrassing I haven't already done it.  If you don't know about Red Friday, and I am sure you do, you can click here it will tell you all about them and what else you can do to support the troops.

Alright that's all from me today,  tonight I am off to see the Kings of Leon, woohoo and I am sure I will have a lovely blog all about it tomorrow, and I'll probably want to do some sort of Kings of Leon Thursday where I only wear black - just kidding


Meryl xx

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jitterbug Blog

So today I had a coffee after not drinking caffeine for just over a year, I am so jittery if you gave me a pen I could draw you a Spirograph without any equipment. Yes I feel awake, but almost too awake. I think I shall have to go back to not drinking caffine because the head rush it is giving me is making me giggly with an underlying dollop of hysteria, which lets face it doesn't go down massively with the old work colleagues. 

On the plus side tomorrow I am going to see Kings of Leon, which is super exciting as long as there are no birds near the amphitheater - look how up to date that joke is. Obviously keeping birds away from an amphitheater isn't an easy task with the sky being - well pretty big at least, but if they need any help I'm happy to oblige.

So the coffee is keeping me awake and the news is keeping me stressed out which means my blood pressure is probably sky rocketing, in particular this story got me boiling. For the 99 percent of you out there who did not just click on the link I will summarize. The story is about a priest, who to welcome new member to her congregation gave a man and his dog a wafer for holy communion. Now even for the large population of you out there who believe in Jesus and the bible surely there is the understanding that a wafer is just a representation of Jesus, wafers eaten outside a church don't have the same connotation and they certainly aren't made from his skin so why get so upset that a wafer was given to a dog?

My favorite part is a quote by Cheryl Chang from our very own Anglican Network of Canada who said, and I quote 'I don't recall anything from the scripture about Jesus dying for the salvation of our pets'. Funny that because from what I've learn't Jesus was actually pretty cool, he talked about the heavenly kingdom being inside ourselves and giving away our material possessions and helping those in need. He also talks about how important community was and told stories about Samaritans who would help out anyone that needed it. What I don't understand is how all of this translated into pouring money into the Churches and wearing expensive gold representations of Christ around your neck to show your faith. By his own teachings wouldn't Jesus be annoyed that people were wasting money on trinkets instead of giving that money to the poor. Wasn't he this representation of humility and removal of material distraction.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe his main message was that humans can eat wafers and dogs can't, and if that is the case perhaps all these people have a right to be outraged. If it had been OK for pets to be included in communion he would have said so, and that is what we should be concentrating on.

I'm not trying to bash religion, well obviously I have, but religion in its purest form is lovely and promotes caring and community and all things good. Somehow people have ruined it, by taking from it only judgment and hatred and anger. A priest was welcoming congregates to her church, which are institutions constantly telling us Jesus is waiting with open arms, maybe I'm not in a position to say but an educated guess would suggest that her actions wouldn't cause Jesus to walk off in a hissy fit.

Well anyway, those of you off work enjoy the sunshine and those of you who arn't don't drink any coffee it makes you mad!!

Meryl xx

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Decision Time

My friend Zina is terrible at making decisions (sorry mate) but she is. To be fair to her, for some reason she does keep coming to these forks in the road where she has to choose paths, but as she said herself all decisions require of you to pick one thing over another. I make fun of her a lot but really when it comes down to it being indecisive is a common trait and I think we all wonder about those sliding doors moments when you life could have gone in a completely different direction.

In the grand scheme of things decisions don't matter, whatever you decided was and is the right decision, simply because every path you have to choose from contains another multitude of paths that will late split off even further. There are very few decisions that lead you in completely opposite directions but plenty that make you feel that way.

I'm trying to sound wise but the only advice I had for Zina's big decision was to try and do what makes her happiest, but then realized that choosing what makes you happy opens up a whole new plethora of questions, rather than helping you make a decision. In my life I make decisions really quickly, which isn't always a bonus. I try really hard not to think too bigger picture because then you end up saying no to things you really want to do based on a future that can change all the time, but I have to admit this is only a good process if everything works out OK. I could very easily be stuck on the other side of a quickly made decision wondering why I didn't think it through first and then act, so I guess there is no really smart way to make a decision.

Wow,  this hasn't been a very good blog has it, I was hoping to think of something to say to Zina to make her decision making a little easier and instead I've talked myself round into thinking it is impossible to solve. I guess I will end it pretty swiftly by saying whatever decision you make will be amazing, whatever you choose will bring new things and lots of changes and hopefully lots of fun, and hey even if it doesn't so what, we only get to live once (minus James Bond) so why not make the most of the highs and the lows no matter which one we prefer.

Ok, thats probably the smallest amount of help I've given someone while trying to be nice, only beaten by the time I held the door screen open for someone who was painting before realizing the door was being held open by a large piece of wood anyway - I still don't know why they let me find out about it on my own, no body could have said something?

Summerlicious Tonight!! - Which if you don't live in Toronto you won't know about. It's amazing really, all these restaurants in the city open their doors to the less well financed and offer plates of their menu for a set fee. Basically you get to pick a plate from each course and try them, for about $35 dollars. I'm excited! I'll let you know how it goes xx

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Very Big House in the Country

So yes ladies and gentlemen I went to the country. I'm not going to lie it was a very scary experience, no fences, no street lights and no noise. At night it was very very dark and very very quiet and when I say there were no cars I could have counted them on one hand. But all stereotypes aside I really enjoyed it.

I was lucky enough to go back for my friend Jen's family reunion and to say they were a welcoming family is an understatement. I don't know if it is people in the country or just the Colenutts, but family meant something to them and they had hundreds of stories about the things they got up to when they were youngsters. Everyone got along really well and people were camping on the 3acres (yes acres) of land that surrounded Jen's house. The biggest difference between the country and the city is the buildings, here in Toronto it is almost impossible to see the horizon unless you go up a very tall building but in the country you can see to the end of the world just standing on your feet. Plus there are lots of fields, like lots of them everywhere you look, if you imagined the amount of starbux that litter the streets of TO and trade them in for fields that doesn't even half the number of them scattered around the countryside. It seems like a silly observation to make seeing as the country wouldn't be the country if it was full of buildings, but there is something strange about not having neighbours or having to drive to next door that spooked me when I was out there.

The main advantage of fields and no street lights are fireflies and stars. Fire flies are my new favorite thing in the whole world, they are truly magical. Tiny specks of gold light up the fields and then disappear before your eyes, swirls of golden light are just everywhere you look. They kind of mimic the stars out in the country, the sky is just full of them, having no smog to contend with. You look out to gold dust and up to star dust, night time in the country parallels no other. It's dead silent too, so when we went to have a bonfire all you could hear was the crackling of burning wood and bull frogs croaking, it was a very peaceful experience.

They also drink like fish in the country, well maybe it was just us city folk letting go, but I woke up to a Jello shot on Saturday and didn't stop drinking until well into the next day. This I use as my excuse for accompanying Jen over to where the family were camping and scratching on the tents to scare everyone, I promise it wasn't me it was the alcohol.

So I guess it's 'Country 1- 0 City' although it was nice when we arrived home. The city may not have fireflies and be filled with smog but it is also filled with noise and activity and hums with excitement. There is a calm that comes with knowing the city is always awake, always alive and kicking. It reconects you with the world and makes you realize people everywhere are always doing something. The country promotes calm through actual calm and quiet but the city does it by making you believe anything is possible and that progress is natural. I wouldn't say the country is backwards, but it does promote tradition and familiarity which the city only dables in, if the city is where the future is made then the country is a reminder of where we came from.

I think I have come to the conclusion that you need a little of both, if you remember where we were when we were self sufficient, when we used to grow our own food and live in these communities who cared about each other, then there is so much we can learn. In many ways within that idea lies a smarter and greener future but I don't think this gives people the right to slag off the city. The city has a lot going for it too, it's multi cultural and diverse and has found a way to make sure that anyone from any background can have the future they want, provided they are prepared to work for it. Plus the city at night may not light up from the stars, but the buildings and the street lights create a glow of their own, one that could challenge Van Goughs stary night even if it doesn't promote the same idea.

Ok I'll put a lid on it, a quick thankyou to all the Colenutts for having me this weekend and to Ira for driving me there with out crashing. I had a great trip

Hugs and Kisses

Meryl xx

Monday, July 19, 2010

Consider Yourself Our Mate

That there is Jack Wild, my very first crush. I've still got a bit of a soft spot for cheaky chappys but it must have all started with the Artful Dodger. Oliver Twist is one of my favorite films of all time, it was a huge production filled with excellent songs and London spirit and to be honest Jack Wild's Artful Dodger really made the film for me. It was the confidence with which he played the part, you wanted to be his friend, you wanted him to take you back to Fagen and you even wanted to help him pick pocket down the streets of London.

I watched the film very recently and although there is a huge amount of comfort in it, every time I watch it I feel the film becomes more sinister. This has a lot to do with how much stricter we are on violence in children's films nowadays, you are far less likely to see a woman being bludgeoned to death in a Disney film than you used to, which is a crying shame really. Joking aside films like Oliver Twist and Pinocchio and even Dumbo to an extent would not be made today, there are very few children's films that show heartache or separation or violence, which is weird because the world we live in now seems to be so prone to fear mongering.

Anyway my new favorite moment in Oliver Twist is where you get to see the dodger reacting to Bill Sykes hitting Nancy. There is this moment when the Artful Dodger looks up to the man he sees as his role model and looses all his respect for him. It's a great way to deconstruct Bill Sykes character very quickly as he goes from a hero to a threat in an instant, and in his panic at getting caught he becomes a coward and a brute rather than a trickster who has one-up the upper classes.  Maybe I'm reading to much into the whole thing, but Oliver Twist is a great example of doing bad but being good. So often in life we are put into circumstances where we must do what we can rather than what we should, or as J K Rowling put it, we must choose between what is right and what is easy. Fagen's kids weren't bad, they were just lost and alone and trying to survive, to be bad you have to really mean it, you have to become Bill Sykes. 

This whole post makes me sound like I've done something bad and am convincing myself I am actually good but I promise if that is the case it is subconscious at best. In other news I did get to go to the country this weekend, and will be writing all about it tonight to post for you tomorrow. I didn't stand at the window and sing 'who will buy this wonderful morning' but where I went was so beautiful I bloody should have...can't wait to post up some pictures.

Hope all you weekends were lovely, even if you didn't see any fireflies. - yes London friends FIREFLIES
More on that tomorrow

avec beaucoup d'amour Meryl

PS Jack Wild went on to do Pufnstuf, a children's television show about a magic talking I'm not making this up check it out here, careful thought it will mess with your mind.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lizard Heat

Did you know to keep their body temperature consistent Lizards face their chests towards the sun until they are the correct temperature and then they turn away? It is my estimation that it would take a Lizard about 2.4 seconds to get it's body temperature right in the current Toronto Climate. Or more simply put it is bloody hot. My friend Grace keeps telling me to stop complaining, to embrace the heat and enjoy it because the winter will come and the snow shall fall, but I'm finding it all very difficult. Especially in the night time.

In other news Paul the octopus was right, Germany went down in the last round of the world cup, god he's a smart little octopus. I'm not going to dwell on it too much because this will be the third blog about octopuses and I don't want to become typecast.

Other than it being a million degrees, the city actually looks really nice in the sun. It doesn't matter how many years I am here I always get that 'I'm on holiday' feeling when the sun shows it's face. After taking a short walk at lunch I walked past a cafe and saw the new NOW magazine is out and in another blog related coincidence Louis CK is covering this weeks issue. There is an amazing article all about him in there which I would recommend reading and once again I shall pretend to myself that I am heading the news by reporting it first.

On the other hand I thought I was first on the scene with Paul the octopus, but my friend Sian had already heard about him way before my last couple of blogs, I am now feeling super competative with her friend Paddy to bring her wacky news before he does. He obviously doesn't realize he is in this competition which, I'm not going to lie, kind of gives me an upper hand but a girl has go to do what a girl has got to do.

Anyway, just a short one today folks, the heat is slowly melting my keyboard and now I only have the top two rows to work with

hope you are all feeling well lo_e a_d kisses

_eryl xxx

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Say Hello to Sunshine, Sunshine

Today I was wondering how exactly I was going to top my post on octopuses and to be honest I can’t. Unless in the next few hours a giant human eating octopus descends upon the city it seems unlikely that this one is going to be as eccentric the last. However I would like to talk about

Oh my god I am sorry to stop mid sentence but you are never going to believe what just happened, a new article about octopuses was just posted on the BBC website. Sometimes I worry I am in a Truman show-like environment where people watch what I am doing so they can freak me out.  Sometimes I don’t worry about it. Anyway the article is about Octopus mating habits and it’s not massively interesting but it will be the first discovery they have made to help them understand how exactly deep sea octopuses reproduce. It’s been a very octopussy week hasn’t it. Maybe I will have to make that my new item.

Back to what I was saying, I would like to talk today about Louis CK. Now if you haven’t heard of him before then you are behind and you really need to do some catching up so that you aren’t shunned by society in the future. Louis CK is one of the funniest men in the whole wide entire world. I went to see him last year with my room-mate and laughed so hard I had to take a time out. Amazingly my extremely kind and loving brother bought me tickets to see him at the comedy festival this year, as a thank you for MC-ing his wedding, and now I get to see him THIS SATURDAY at Massy Hall.  I am so excited I even refused to watch his new sitcom to prepare myself for the Gala. He is hosting it, which means I also get to see a whole line up of other comedians too including Jimmy Carr, it’s just going to be so good I can barely breathe.

So yeah this was mostly a show off blog, well not the octopus thing that was more sort of sharing of information but I hope you aren’t too jealous and that your Wednesday is going well, try not to melt in the weather, and drink lots of water so you don’t die

Hugs and Kisses Meryl

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Psychic Octopus and Such Like

So Germany have a psychic octopus, yes that sounds made up but it isn't. They asked him to predict who would win in the Germany vs Spain football match, and the little blighter only went and predicted a Spain win, he should be hung for treason. Apparently he has a 70 percent success rate, which sounds high but I probably have about a 70 percent success rate in predicting the world cup too.

My favorite bit of the story is that they set up two glass tanks, one with the Spanish Flag and one with the German flag and asked (yes asked) the octopus to pick up a clam from the tank of the winning country. Octopus are mostly head, so I can imagine they have a rather large brain, but to believe an octopus can reason any of this through is a stretch even for the eagerly imaginative like myself. The world is a bizzar place.

Next up a welcome return of the re-occurring item CHOCOLATE NEWS. I paused there for applause. Beijing is adding a new section to it's Bird's Nest stadium showcasing a miniature replica of the wall of china complete with terracotta warriors made entirely out of, you've guessed it chocolate. They have decided to add a 20,000 square meter exhibit made entirely of chocolate to attract interest of children all over the world. They are also opening workshops to show you how to make some of the chocolate decoration and to be honest I kind of want to go. They are doing a very similar thing in Taiwan, with a new art exhibit featuring important parts of Taiwanese and Chinese culture being reproduced in chocolate for people to go and visit. The whole world seems to have gone chocolate crazy!

I once left a twix in my desk at work over the weekend and when I came back it had melted into the shape of a mud puddle...does that count as art. I bet it would at the tate modern.

Ok hope you haven't melted in this weather! The weekend is supposed to be cooler so just hold out, or come to my house, the basement is lovely and cool

xxx meryl xxx

In case you are wondering - the octopus favored Spain over Germany...I guess I'll be eating my words if he is right...if he is wrong I am going to go out and eat calamari.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Super Proud

So every now and then you get to have one of those weekends you know you will never forget for a hundred million years and this weekend was one of those for me. My brothers wedding was such a beautiful experience, it went from being carefully written out and timed events on a page to a magical evening filled with love and family. I think any event that is fueled by sharing in love is going to be a success and Olie and Jenny are so very in love that the event felt like it was fueled by a jet engine.

Every single person that spoke at the wedding spoke beautifully and everyone that contributed went above and beyond! We all got to share an incredible moment, and for the first time I realized what weddings are all about. Previously I had thought weddings were all about politics and inviting people who convention dictated you had to, rather that people you wanted to surround yourself with forever, but I was humbled. Every person that came, whether they were close to the couple or not seemed excited that they were embarking on this adventure of marriage together, there was no jealousy or judgement just love and best wishes.

Of course I got to spend time with my family from England, and weirdly I can't put into words how truly fantastic it felt. Even for the short time they were here, the feeling that everyone was back together was overwhelmingly delightful and I found myself giggling even when my uncle pushed me in the pool fully clothed.

Excitingly I got to take them all to the pride parade where we mostly baked in the 900 degree weather and saw more penis's that I had advertised before we left the hotel, but the vibe Pride puts out is infectious and everyone seemed to enjoy watching the city rejoice in equality and love. To make up for the overly hot wait, I took the fam to get bubble tea (which sounds like I paid but was prevented from doing so by aforementioned pool pushing uncle) and to watch the disgusted faces of my English peeps was a truly priceless moment. Once they had gotten over the initial textural shock of a bubble tea they were converted and we were all a little more refreshed while sitting in the air conditioned cafe.  My cousin couldn't quite get past the tapeoka bubbles and then managed to cause the watermelon juice to shoot up through her straw and all over her shirt, so she was allowed to refrain from finishing hers, but my Auntie gets the real shout out because hers was lychee flavoured and tasted like eyeballs.

After a sad goodbye I was still in time to join some friends for the last few hours of pride. Which were immense, I think Toronto should close it's streets and let people dance and drink every weekend because it is so much fun, especially with the weather being so nice.  Pride is always fun, and it is a welcome reminder of how lucky I am to live in a country that chooses to treat all it's citizens equally and give everyone the same rights. Put like that is seems a little insane to imagine anyone fighting against that cause, but there are still a bunch of them out there and I'll just have to hope that like in the movies Good prevails over Evil.

I hope you all had a HAPPY PRIDE and that this weekend was full of fun and laughter. I just want to say thankyou to everyone that made this weekend amazing, I am so very lucky to have such an incredible group of family and friends!

All my love, hugs and kisses Meryl xxxx

PS: I found out my cousin Robert is also a huge Doctor Who nerd, it's got to be in the genes, I was loving it!!