Tuesday, 31 July 2012

7 Books That Shaped Me

Hi all,
I wanted to take a moment today to write about some of the books that I feel have helped shape me as a person. Whether they reflected something in my life, or steered me toward a new hobby, these books stand out to me out of all the books on my shelf as the ones that are so me.

I was inspired to write this post by Becky Bedbug's "Books The Shaped Me", which was in turn inspired by a recurring feature in Elle UK, 7 books that shaped me.  I tried to par it down to 5 like Becky, but I felt like I was being too exclusive, so I'm going to go with the original 7.
Because I am inclusive.
And not at all indecisive.

Monday, 30 July 2012

My Weekend in Retro Specs v.3

Hello and happy Monday! 

I had quite an eventful couple of days, which is why I slacked so hard on responding to comments (all caught up now!), reading blogs, and all that good stuff.  This was a weekend of determination and celebration, people! 

I apologize in advance for the text heavy nature of this post. I left my nice camera at home and took it all in in the moment this weekend (okay and some iPhone snaps too!)

I headed into Toronto this weekend, as my very dear childhood best friend had her bachelorette party.  I can't state enough how totally wigged out I was over this, and really, still am.  The girl I was sewn-at-the-hip to for seven years is getting hitched.  It blows my mind.  It blows my mind even more since we haven't managed to get face to face for like... six years...
I was so incredibly happy to be invited along to celebrate, because man, what an incredible milestone, and what an incredible lady she's become.  We're lucky in that though we haven't lived close enough together to manage to see each other on the regular in years (especially through university and doubly so now), I find it just as easy to talk to her as it was when we were 11 years old being major dorks together.  I'm so glad she's got a major-dork dude to nerd out with for the rest of their lives :). I actually got their wedding invitation in the mail today, and damn if that sucker doesn't have a TARDIS on it.  Nerd love, guys.  It's the best kind.

Since I knew that the bachelorette party would involve a big commute, I didn't fill the rest of the day with many social engagements (well, the whole weekend was pretty quiet socially, actually!). I managed to have some tea with my Mum, and check out a vintage/second hand shop that recently opened in the neighbourhood, where we both found some treasures.  If you're in Toronto, check out Gypsy on St.Clair west, it's a total goldmine and it's reasonably priced too! The weekend contained a lot of shopping actually, as I have a function on Wednesday that I had to purchase a special outfit for.  You can expect a write up and photographic evidence later this week! 

Vintage finds from the St. Lawrence Market

Sunday included a greasy spoon brekkie with my Dad, step-mom, brother and sister, a trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario (aka the AGO), some vintage shopping, and finally getting to see The Amazing Spider-Man.  Not too shabby! We went to the AGO specifically for the Picasso exhibit, whom I had quite the obsession with as a child.  Yesterday really reaffirmed for me that his cubist period is totally my favourite! There were so many inspiring pieces, and seeing them all with a non-artist was so fun; Ephraim claims that my insights into his work really affected how he viewed the exhibit.  Is there anything better to hear than thatWe spent the whole day downtown, with a brief stop at the St.Lawrence Antique Market, where I wasted no time in buying a scarab beetle ring, new vintage shades, and a gift for my Mum (haha you'll have to wait till December! Cruel, I know!).  Neither of us were particularly enthused with Spider-Man, but it had to be seen.  While Batman is my superhero (err hero-philanthropist?), Spiderman is Ephraim's, so it really wasn't a film we could miss.  And I do like me some Emma Stone. 

How were your weekends? Did any of you get to celebrate a milestone in a loved ones life, or have the opportunity to learn more about a hero of yours? Or, you know, just veg out and watch too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yeah, weekends are the best!  


Friday, 27 July 2012

O.O.T.D: Plaid Shorts and Funny Faces

Here's a simple little outfit from earlier this week.  We were teching one of the last shows of the season, and hot as it can get outside, that theatre was freezing!! Knowing this, and knowing I was going to be in that icebox for about 4 hours, I figured I'd put together an outfit that I could cozy up, or cool down in.  Thus, heavier shorts, a t-shirt, and a long cardigan.  I also had a scarf in my purse, just in case it was really frigid, but luckily I didn't end up needing it. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Veggie Eats: Zucchini Parmesan and Asparagus

I've been a vegetarian for... oh, 8.5 years now, and recently I've been feeling like I'm relying a bit too much on soy products to make simple, delicious and nutritious meals for myself.  While this worked pretty well in University (especially since my omnivore roommate and I typically cooked "family style", so my dinners had to be accessible to meat eaters. 
Plus, you know, generally those meals turned into carb-loaded deliciousness.  Which I love.  But I'm trying to diversify a little bit.

Anyhow, a little while ago I finally made Eggplant Parmesan for myself, and it was a revelation.  So crispy, cheesy, and with some spicy sauce...mmmm! I had intended to do the same yesterday, but my grocery store was all out of Eggplants.  And the Zucchini was looking pretty sad.  But I figured I'd be frying it anyway, so I brought two home. Also, Asparagus was on sale, and for the first time, oh, ever, it caught my eye.

I need to tell you something.  I have lived the majority of my life thinking that I hated asparagus.  Like, truly loathed.  It was the vegetable my step-mother made all the time when I was growing up, and to me it became synonymous with bitter, chewy, stringy, brown-green grossness.
Turns out I'd just been eating improperly cooked asparagus, because this was delicious.  And such a gorgeous vibrant green! I mean seriously, how could you not just dig in?!

Check out some photos and my recipe after the jump!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

O.O.T.D: Just a Little Light Tresspassing

Here's a simple outfit from this past weekend.  Ephraim and I walked through around the path in the woods behind my house, and came across the historical site, Butler's Burial Grounds. Now, strictly speaking, I'm not sure that we were welcome to walk around the grounds as there is a fence around it, but the chains and padlock weren't fastened, and there were plaques inside, so we had to check it out.  You can see a couple other pictures from that day here

The Deets:
Scarf: Vintage
Tunic: bodyblue
Shorts: J Crew
Tights: Topshop
Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell

Of course, some hooligans had to spray paint a historic site.  It must be so incredibly boring to be young in this town.  Speaking of which, we came across some kids on this walk, that we had seen at the Stagecoach restaurant in town the day before.  These two young boys (around 12 or 13?) had a balloon with a penis on it (because this is the most hilarious thing ever), who threw it into the restaurant, basically.  Anyhow, these boys recognized us and exclaimed "We're those kids!". Yeah.  Way to be known as the kids with the "dick balloon".  You're practically famous.  Apparently they had stuffed the balloon between the legs of the bronze statue of GB Shaw in town.

But that's not funny, because obviously Shaw was well hung.



Monday, 23 July 2012

My Weekend in Retro Specs v.2

Hello, and happy Monday!
I hope you had a pleasant weekend.  I stayed in Niagara, so things were fairly quiet. I got out to see The Dark Knight Rises (to a theatre 1/3 full, thank you Niagara Falls! I'd love to gush about some design stuff, because Batman is my favourite superhero and I LOVE the art direction of this series, but spoilers suck, so I'll wait!), I enjoyed the trees blooming in my front yard, walked to a nearby historic site, and enjoyed beautiful sunsets.  I also tried a new neighbourhood pub, The Sandtrap.  As it turns out, they have a lot to offer vegetarians, plus they are located well within walking distance from my house.  Score! 

I also tested out my new Belgian Waffle iron, which I purchased in preparation to have a couple friends out to Niagara in a few weeks.  And also I love waffles.  So, uh, there's that, too. If you follow me on instagram (@efgerofsky) then you'll have seen the delicious evidence. Berries and maple syrup are absolutely required. Makes me miss the "breakfast massacres" had with friends: so many breakfasts foods, and no survivors. 

Here are a couple photos from my weekend.  Did anyone else take advantage of the slight dip in temperatures and enjoy a nice walk? We're up to 40 degrees with the humidex again today, hopefully that breaks in a nice thunderstorm some time soon

Saturday, 21 July 2012

O.O.T.D.: Preteen Princess Party

I hope you're all having a pleasant weekend, I know I certainly am thus far! I attribute a good chunk of this to the fact that I got try out my new Belgian Waffle iron this morning, and man, it was magnificent.  Magnificent and delicious

Anyhow, I decided to wear an outfit to work yesterday that came to me laying in bed the night previous.  Can we claim it came to me in a dream? That just sounds so lovely and whimsical.  And though the outfit got me no shortage of odd looks at work all day (come on folks, this is theatre, we regularly create weirder shit than this!), I got tons of smiles on my walk to and from, and hey, it sure cheered me up on my day of set drafting (autoCAD is my sworn enemy).

Though I failed to get a decent full shot, I have some nice details to share, as well as a picture that I feel nicely expressed the stark existential horror that is the mass of my hair.  I am defenseless to its will and desires, and it may very well be out for world domination.  Fear it.  It cannot be tamed.  

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Roadside Treasure

I found treasure on my walk home! I had stopped off at the yarn/fabric store in town intending on starting a sewing project tonight after work, on my walk home.  It was all rainy and crowded out so I walked up a different street than usual to get home, and saw this old floral couch at the side of the road.  Being a terrible dumpster diver, I had to check it out, and found this beauty in a cardboard box on the couch.  I had to rescue it from the rain, so home it came.

O.O.T.D. Evening at the Irish Harp

I wore this outfit to work, and then out for dinner and drinks with the girls from work at a local pub called The Irish Harp. They might know me by name at this particular establishment, because there's nowhere else in town to get a decent veggie burger. 
I had a production meeting in the studio theatre that day, and as I knew I'd be running around the space, making wild gestures and saying to directors "Like this?? You know??" a lot, a bun and the little shorts I am wearing under that little dress were a little necessary.  I swear this dress gets shorter every time I wear it, but I love it, so I'll just demote it to a tunic when it gets really out of hand. 
I'm also learning this week how hard it is to take your own photos and have them turn out. So here is the cream of the 120 I took. 120.  Unreal.  When I flipped through them on my camera really quickly, it was like a stop-motion film of me being awkward.  Amazing, obviously.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

DIY: Button Up Shirt to Skirt

Hi All!

I have a ridiculously easy DIY to share with you today! 

I found recently that I have tons of fabric laying around, without projects to their name. Likewise I had very few skirts in my closet, so I thought, why not solve both problems at once? So, I grabbed this shirt that was collateral damage from having to thrift for supplies for Ephraim's Christmas present with Ephraim (sneaky sneaky!) and made it into something useful!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

My Weekend in Retro Specs v.1

I know, I know, it's Tuesday. Seems a little late for a weekend roundup, doesn't it?
Well, I think I needed to look back on some photos from this weekend to brighten up the mid-week.  Early week.  Oh boy, it's going to be a long one, isn't it?!  Despite a less than stellar trip into Toronto (meaning the actual commute; roughly 4 hours door to door), I had a great weekend, and really managed to squeeze every bit of fun out of it I had hoped.

I finally made it out to the Toronto Fringe Tent for a beer, which I seriously needed after that ridiculous GO train trip, followed by very late night sushi because...well, see above.  NOTL doesn't really have any sort of food you could call ethnic, so I try to get my fix when I'm in Toronto. Burritos and sushi and curry, oh my!

Saturday included a trip to my Dad's new house, which has a spectacular garden, so I took tons of pictures.  We even ate outside, which was just great.  Actually, I spent a whole lot of time outside on Saturday, and I loved every moment.  I even managed to go out for a good walk with Ephraim in the morning.  Well, I say with, but really he was running, I was walking, we headed out together but did our own thing.  It was really nice, even if it was hot as Hell.

My high school era friend Alice Zilberberg had a solo show opening at Bezpala-Brown Gallery, and I was so pleased that I'd be in Toronto for the reception.  We checked that out, then headed down to the Beaches to finally go see Moonrise Kingdom at Toronto's oldest cinema, The Fox. I loved the flick, by the way.  I think Wes Anderson's got more visual style than a lot of film makers could ever wish for. Anyhow, that night concluded somewhat like the previous, with beers at a bar for Ephraim's good friend fiance's people.  I've been lucky enough to meet some very fine folk through that man!

Sunday was spent catching up with good friends, including a long overdue trip to the mall with Caroline, also of the high school era.  We've only made and remade these plans for 2 months, so I was so happy to finally pin her down for myself for a couple hours.  We always have a good time.  I also tried on these ridiculous (and by that I mean amazing) 6" heels which I stomped around in in Topshop and growled "feeeaaarr meeeee!!!".  I want them in my closet. They only had the left shoe in a box.  Can you believe that? We searched that store high and low, and even looked at the mannequins' feet, to no avail.  I left them my number, maybe they'll call? ...Maybe?

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Canada Day Long Weekend and Being the New Kid

Hello Friends.
I know that the long weekend was already 2 weeks ago, and I haven't a whole lot to even show for that time, but what I lack in showing I hope I can make up in telling.

I had a lovely long weekend up in Muskoka, at E's friend's parents....cottage? Collective of cabins? Renovated-once-was-a-mini-resort? This little oasis was on an island on Lake Muskoka, so we had to be ferried in, which I thought was GREAT.  I've always dreamed of having a cabin on my own little island, and I could sit and read books with my feet in the water, and walk around my whole personal island in about 3 minutes flat.  Well, this wasn't a personal island, but we certainly felt closed off from the rest of the world (save a few runaway dogs who decided we were more fun than their humans). 

watercolour on the dock / croquet match from hell / burgers on a train car / shooting the potato cannon

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

O.O.T.D. His Girl Friday - Opening Weekend pt.2

This past Saturday was the culmination of The Shaw Festival's second round of openings.  I had the pleasure of attending the opening for the short lunchtime show Trouble in Tahiti, and the evening opening performance of His Girl Friday.
Naturally, with such a busy day, I didn't manage to get any snaps of my afternoon outfit to Trouble in Tahiti (that's right, 2 outfits in 1 day.  Why? Because I like to be fancy and stuff like that) but I made a point to capture the evenings ensemble. Well, my trusty photographer (though not by trade) boyfriend E was in charge of the actual camera operation.

I always make faces this cool. Always.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Good News Everyone!

Just a wee update on the 24 hour playwriting competition:

I did it.  I wrote a play in 24 hours.  Well, I started a little late, slept a bit and still had to do some other stuff, so I wrote and edited a 32 page (8000+ words!) play in about 18 hours.  18 hours!!

I'm quite proud of the piece I produced, and I eagerly await the results, which are announced next Wednesday.  I know a lot of people competing, so I hope I get to celebrate for a friend!! (or myself, that would be cool too, you guys...)

I learned some great things about the way that I work, and how to keep motivated on a seemingly impossible task.  Very much a good use of 24 hours. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

And should you happen to be in Toronto, be sure to check out some Fringe shows and support your local artists!


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

In Preparation for the Spontaneous

Toronto's Fringe Theatre Festival launches one of its most exciting traditions Tonight (can you sense my anxiety?!) at 6pm: The 24 Hour Playwriting Competition.

I've got a fridge full of healthy snacks and easy, tasty meal options that will keep me going, a possible concept, an acceptance that the 4 mystery items could take me in a different direction, and a list of the time it takes me to travel to each coffee shop in town AND their hours.

As a person who doesn't typically identify themselves as a writer, why would I compete in a competition whose sole goal is to write an entire play - that's an introduction, ascending action, climax, denouement, and conclusion - in a meager 24 hours?