April 7 – Water Bottle

Apr 6

Today I’m giving away this water bottle.  I have several so this is definitely a spare.  Also it’s one of the early ones that was identified to have a liner that might contain Bisphenol A (BPA).  See yesterday’s post.  Like the plastic jug from Saturday, I will pitch this too.

Happy Sunday.

April 6 – Plastic jug

Apr 4


Today I’m giving away this plastic pitcher.  I think it was a hostess gift for an event at my place about 20 years ago.  I don’t use it, although I remember matching glasses that I don’t seem to have anymore.

I am pretty sure this is the kind of plastic that was made using Bisphenol A (BPA).  Wikipedia describes BPA plastic as clear and tough and used to make things like water bottles.  Canada was the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance (possibly the only environmental leadership the Harper government will show).  It has hormone mimicking properties so is particularly hazardous to fetuses and young children.

I’m going to throw it out.  If it goes to Goodwill, it could end up on some kids’ kitchen table full of Kool-aid.

Fun Fact – If you’re wondering if you have BPA plastics in your house note the following from wikipedia, “In general, plastics that are marked with Resin Identification Codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with the Resin Identification Code 7 may be made with BPA.”


April 5 Film Friday – 1993 Festival of Festivals Program

Apr 5 - Film Friday

Today I’m giving away the program for TIFF 1993.  This year was also very rich. It has been almost twenty years since I saw these movies but I still have vivid memories of most.  Also, three of my top picks were Canadian, that doesn’t happen very often.

Short descriptions because there were so many good ones, and a favourite…

Love and Human Remains – Denys Arcand’s well told story of three young people trying to start their lives successfully in Montreal.  I remember thinking the script was as cutting as Thomas Gibson’s cheekbones (I also remember Janet and I passed him on Bloor street the day after seeing the movie and he’s really tall).  I also remember the line that got the greatest laughs in the movie was a withering insult to Toronto.

The Piano – I loved this movie.  I love Jane Campion and Holly Hunter, I wish they both did more.  I loved the music – although I know it was polarizing and a musician friend hated it.  This movie changed how I saw Harvey Keitel (honestly, had you ever thought of him as sexy before that seen in his hut?).

Belle Epoque – Maybe not as artful as Almodovar, but funny, lush, beautiful film-making.  One of Penelope Cruz’s first movies and it came out the same year as Jamon Jamon which wasn’t in the festival but was funny and sexy and was the first time she worked with Javier Bardem.

Trois Coleurs – Bleu – I wrote last week about Kieslowski.  This was my favourite of the Trois Couleurs, his trilogy based on the French flag colours and the representation of liberty, equality, and fraternity.  Bleu is about freedom, kind of.  Juliette Binoche plays a woman coping with a shattering loss and finding a path away from it.  Beautiful.

The Wedding Banquet – It’s probably obvious to you now that I have some favourite directors.  Ang Lee is one of them.  This movie was very funny, and like Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, found clever laughs in the foibles of family, generations and tradition vs. progress.

The Hawk – This movie has stayed with me.  Helen Mirren plays a wife and mother of two in an unhappy marriage to a bit of a rotter.  What transpires as the story is unveiled is very haunting.  She is so ordinary and believable in this role, it will deck you.  No spoilers though, hopefully it will come to Netflixand you’ll get a chance to see it.

Temptation of a Monk – To be honest, I don’t have that strong a memory of this movie but I love the director, Clara Law, and I remember that I thought it was pretty racy for a Hong Kong festival movie.

Mustard Bath – A great story about a young Canadian man who grew up in colonial Guyana and is now studying to be a Doctor in Toronto.  He returns home to Guyana following the death of his mother.   Michael Riley played the lead and told a funny story at the Q&A about having to take a prosthetic penis in his suitcase for a scene in the movie (I won’t say what happens there), and getting caught up in security having to explain things.

Cold Comfort – A Canadian movie from 1989 but featured in a special series on Canada in this festival.  Ten programmers each chose a Canadian movie they thought was under-appreciated and deserved another look. Cameron Bailey was the programmer who chose Cold Comfort.  It’s a very oddball story, made believable because of Maury Chaykin.

My favourite –

Naked by Mike Leigh.  This movie was raw and sharp.  The amazing David Thewlis makes the film.  His eyes and physical presence do a lot of the work but he also gives monologues that kind of rip your heart out.  It’s also funny and empathetic that is unique to Mike Leigh movies.  He has a very signature approach to film making.  He’s a realist, his characters are very flawed, not very attractive, and often very cranky.  He’s an experimental director too and I’ve read that he often works without a script or other conventional things like that.  This is a great example of why you go to a film festival.  Naked probably didn’t last long in distribution, assuming that it got a deal at all, but everyone who did see it loved it.

April 4 – Tea Pot

Apr 3

Today I’m giving away this excellent tea pot.  It has a built-in infuser, makes enough for a large mug and was a gift from a good friend who I am actually seeing tonight.  I’m giving it away because I keep re-breaking the lid every time I use it.  I repair it and then break it again.  It is kind of driving me crazy so I’m putting it in the Looney Tooney sale box for my nephew.  I now use a cheap little pot that I bought at T & T but it makes great tea.

I will explain all and ask for forgiveness when I see her tonight.


April 3 – thermal cup, no lid

Apr 2


Today I’m giving away this thermal cup.  It was from a globeandmail.com promotion which makes it about 12 to 15 years old.  I used to use it because the narrow bottom meant it fit in the small cup holder in my old car.  I don’t know where the lid went, it’s pretty useless without it.  I know… why do I still have it?  Truth is, it was tucked in the corner of an upper kitchen cabinet and I don’t get up there all that often.  I should probably pitch it but I’m putting it in the Goodwill box because you never know.


April 2 – Collapsable water bottle

Apr 1


Today I’m giving away a foldable or collapsable water bottle.  As you can see, it’s still in the packaging and has never been used.  I don’t know why, but I have three.  One was a gift, one was swag and one I bought a long time ago for a trip to a third world country and never used it.  I think this one was the gift but I chose this one to give away so that it can be regifted to someone else.  It’s going in my nephew’s Looney, Tooney sale box.

It’s freezing here today.  Make it stop.

April 1 – Audio Cable

Apr 5

Happy April Fools, I thought of posting a picture of my house just to get a rise out of you, but I didn’t get to it before the noon deadline (did you know that April Fools is only for the morning?)  So for real…

Today I’m giving away this audio cable.  It is unopened.  I don’t know where it came from, when I bought it, if I bought, or why I have it.  I don’t even know what it’s used for.  It doesn’t appear to connect to any of my portable devices or my computer.  It doesn’t connect to my television.  I think I could plug one end into a stereo and the other into something else to get the sound through the stereo, but I only do that with my iphone or ipad and I already have the cables for that.

It’s going in the Goodwill box, unless my brother in law wants it.

March 31 – the last installment in clothing month – jeans

Mar 31

Today I’m giving away Gap jeans.  I wear jeans a lot, at least two or three times a week.  I usually have a couple of pairs in rotation because I wear them so often.  I am aware that this may reflect a lack of imagination on my part but I came of age in the seventies when they were a uniform.  I love them, I’m comfortable in them and I still think a pair of excellent jeans looks better than an okay version of anything else.  These were a favourite pair that I just wore out. They’re quite thin in the bum and knees and lose their shape by noon.  I know some people are going to think I’m crazy for getting rid of old jeans, since they’re good for any dirty work that needs doing, but they aren’t the only pair of old jeans I have so I’m getting rid of them.

I can’t buy Gap jeans anymore, they changed their fit (or I’ve changed mine?) because I always walk out of that store empty handed.  I, along with many I know, continue the search for perfect jeans.

March 30 – Clothing Month – Ralph Lauren Pants

Mar 30

Today I’m giving away brown Ralph Lauren pants.  I have had them for about 10 years but they haven’t been worn much and they’re a pretty classic silhouette, slim leg, the waste not too low.  It’s hard to look good in brown pants, these have a nice cut and fabric, but I think if they were any other colour I would have worn them more.  I always felt suburban and dull when I put them on.  It didn’t matter what I wore on my feet or on top, it didn’t change the meh feeling as I walked out the door doubting my choice and then living with it all day.

I’m putting them in the New Circles box.  I think some women look beautiful in brown, just not me.

Catching up on Saturday – had a surprisingly busy day.


March 29 – Film Friday – TIFF program 1994

Mar 29 - Film Friday

Today I’m giving away the TIFF 1994 program.  What a year.  I have to change the format of my post because there are way too many movies to talk about.  I’ve done more of a list with shorter descriptions and followed the programming themes to make it easier.  There were many more movies that year that didn’t even make this list??

I will say I saw most of these movies in the festival but I know of two that I saw later on that year when they got distribution.


Whale Music – For me, one of the many great soundtracks from a Canadian movie, and the first time I understood what an incredible actor Maury Chaykin was.

Eat Drink Man Woman – From Ang Lee.  Beautiful insights into the universal themes that emerge as families age – generation gaps, fears for your children’s future, the absence of a lost parent.  And the dinner table!  A masterful storyteller on only his third feature.

Vanya on 42nd Street – I never saw My dinner with Andre so I didn’t know what Wallace Shawn and Louis Malle could do when I walked into this movie.

Muriel’s Wedding – Has anyone had this much fun in a movie theatre since?  It also made me not hate Abba.

The Burning Season – There are a lot of great movies about South American uprisings and political battles.  They make for some heroic characters and big scale drama. This one is right up there.  Also, it starred Raul Julia.

Bullets Over Broadway – Everyone thinks John Cusack should have had a better career, including Woody Allen.  He was great in this.  Remember, “don’t speak…don’t speak”.  I sat a couple of rows behind John Cusack for this screening.  He’s really tall and blocked the screen a bit, but I didn’t mind because he was so cute.

Special Presentations

Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle – I don’t know if this is as good a movie as it should have been but I’m obsessed with Dorothy Parker and I loved that someone wanted to make a movie about her.

Three Colours:Red or Trois Couleurs: Rouge.  I love Kieslowski and should probably have dedicated this entire post to him and his movies.  This was the last instalment in the Three Colours movies, Blanc and Blu came first.   He also made The Double Life of Veronique and the Decalogue, of which you cannot say enough.  Always say yes if you get a chance to see one of his movies, especially if you love movies, he’s the master’s master.

Perspective Canada

Dance Me Outside – My introduction to Bruce McDonald and I saw it kind of by accident.  It fit an empty time slot and in those days you could do that spontaneously.  Drama and tension on the Rez – also, I just noticed that Mychael Danna contributed the score.  (He just won the Oscar for Life of Pi)

Exotica – Atom Egoyan doing some unsettling story telling…for a change?  I love Bruce Greenwood in this movie.  He’s tense and uncomfortable, so watching him, you are too .  I saw this movie after the festival.  I think when I read about it in the program I was dubious, but the buzz and press compelled me after the fact.  Even now when I look at the program, I don’t know if I want to know this story.

Double Happiness – How great is Sandra Oh when she has something interesting to do.  I don’t know how good the movie was, but she was great.

World Cinema

Heavenly Creatures – Australian girl goes a little crazy.  My first time seeing Kate Winslet and the first Peter Jackson movie I saw.  Still a haunting and unsettling story about what young minds are capable of.

Moving the Mountain – Michael Apted makes amazing documentaries, not just the 7 up series (although I have seen all of those).  This one follows a brave young man during the Tiananmen Square uprising and massacre.  Remember how heartbreaking that ending was after a few months of hope and tension.

Il Postino – What a beautiful movie and I love Philippe Noiret.  I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that it was this movie that introduced me to the poet Pablo Neruda.  A story well told.

First Cinema

The Buddy Factor, better known as Swimming with Sharks.  I loved this movie.  I loved to hate Kevin Spacey and have always kind of hated him in every role I’ve seen him in since.  I loved the insider view of the movie industry.  I loved the revenge factor.  I won’t say what else I loved because I don’t want to be a spoiler.  If you haven’t seen it, do.

Hoop Dreams – I always try to see documentaries about sports, they’re so emotional and suspenseful and you get to live vicariously through an athletes commitment and sacrifice, victory and defeat.  This one is no exception.  It’s a great movie, and if you liked it, you should also see Undefeated which is on Rogers on Demand right now.

Once Were Warriors – So many themes going on in this completely engrossing film about a troubled Maori family living in Auckland.  It will make your family feel pretty calm and healthy by comparison.  A really impressive first feature.

Clerks. – Natural, unaware, funny, and ground breaking, Kevin Smith’s first movie, and maybe his best (or tied with Chasing Amy).  This may be the movie with the biggest “cult” following of all time, it’s probably more of a demographic cohort.

And my favourite

The Shawshank Redemption – can you believe this was a first feature?  Frank Darabont went on to make the Green Mile and The Walking Dead among many other things.  Who hasn’t loved this movie?  It was perfectly paced, emotional, redemptive and believable.  I don’t think I saw it during the actual festival – I’m pretty sure I jumped on the bandwagon later with everyone else.




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