12: Big Head!!

I have been watching Swamp People. The History Channel show about gator hunters in Louisiana. In the first episode, one of the hunter groups was searching for the infamous Big Head, the biggest gator they had every seen before! Big Head, I thought. That could be my nickname. I could be infamous. 

this is troy. (spoiler alert) he caught big head. 

Proof That I Could be the Canadian City Dwelling Big Head:

Now this might appear to be photographic evidence that I have finally found a headband that fits my head without giving me a headache, but THAT WOULD BE AN INCORRECT GUESS. In fact, this is my sister's belt. 


they call me big head. 


11: Oh My Word, I Got Some Sweet New Kicks.

Shoes: Lavish and Squalor 
 ahhh sheeeeeeeeeeit!

Shirt: Zara Jeans: Banana Republic 
Necklace: Forever 21

:Book Recommendations:

Nev on the Newest Sookie Stackhouse Novel: "Did she just call her downstairs area a 'yahoo palace'? Why am I still reading these?"
Nev's Sister on The Hunger Games: "They should just refer to him as 'Useless Peeta'.  Useless Peeta was carried for half the book."


10: Coca Cola

Last night at work someone was taking pictures of our Coca Cola napkin holders. They look like that. I would have taken my own photo, but my phone rarely has signal let alone camera capabilities. 

Now this might not directly support my point, but I think it ads* to it: Coca Cola's ad campaigns must be header by a real-life Don Draper. They are amazing. 

Imagine some kind of cave dwelling, raised by wolves, Blast From the Past or Encino Man (basically Brendan Fraser) type fellow who has never had a Coke before. Imagine trying to describe the taste/appeal of a Coke. 

"Y'know, it's like brownish sludge water and it fizzes and it's only good cold and if you leave it too long it gets syrupy and molasses tasting at the bottom and it can clean blood off the highway and grime off a penny and apparently it used to be medicinal but now it's just delicious and refreshing, but not actually because I think it dehydrates you." 

If you are actually aware of the ingredients, you might have a better "it's a caffeinated, caramel infused, carbonated beverage" description, but I doubt that would be the first thing anyone not working for the Coca Cola corporation would think of. 

Honestly, I will go out of my way to go to a place that serves Coke. Not only do I find Pepsi** sweeter, but their ad campaign is mean and petty. Here's one 1983 slogan: Pepsi: "it's cheaper than Coke!" Plus they have all those ridiculous anti-Coke ads:

Seriously? Seriously. Is that the best you can do? The only redeeming Pepsi commercial is the one with a young James Dean dancing. 

And I'd still never order one. I would probably just buy a Coke and watch East of Eden again. 

Coca Cola advertising, on the other hand, doesn't feel like it's trying to be cool and rely entirely on celebrity endorsements (not that they never have used them); they just make me feel happy and instill in me a desire to share things and love my neighbour. 

Coca Cola ads really don't sell Coca Cola, they sell happiness. 

Sometimes when I watch ridiculous cleaning advertisements (a.k.a. not the ones that I love, which are all ones where inanimate objects are personified: the lonely dustmites, the spongemen paper towels and the cleaning products jealous of the magic eraser) I think about how they might have affected television watchers when television was a new thing. 

When I watch a woman put a plate with cake on it into a dishwasher, turn on the dishwasher and then reveal an immaculate clean plate I think:
1. Bullshit. 
2. Did you really just waste a cake?

But what was it like before that? What was it like pre-advertisement cynicism. Did 1950's housewives watching similar commercials have completely different internal monologues? Did they perhaps not worry about the cake and actually believe the product?

"My lord, she is putting that entire cake in that dishwasher. Oh, that just won't do. Surely, there will be cake leftover after the cycle is up...  Oh gosh, it's clean. Not only if it clean, it's perfection. The dishwasher dissolved the entire cake! This is magic! This is magnificent. I must have this dishwasher! Jean, are you watching the television at your house? Did you SEE this dishwasher they have?"

The only ads that pull me into the world of naive enthusiasm are Coke ads. They make me think: "Yes, I could have a rooftop summer party with a dozen  friends and two dozens cokes!" 

Yes, maybe I will. Yes. With Polar bears and penguins and robots that hug me. Yes.

**If you look at one of the logos long enough  (or more than the obligatory three seconds) it doesn't even look like a word anymore. 


09: Adventure!


Hat: The Hudson's Bay Company Sunglasses: H&M/Forever 21
(It's like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern , who can ever remember which is which?)

All you small-headed people don't know how easy you have it. It is so hard to find a Nev sized hat. Today we went on a visit to Historic Unionville founded in 1794. 

I took pictures of strangers' homes like a big creep and the car was moving so all my photos are slightly lopsided and I tried my amateur photoshop hardest to make it not so.

Historic Unionville Train Station!
It has felt like a small town Canada pop culture type of week and this day trip fit in pretty well. I imagine Anne Shirley getting off the train to meet Matthew Cuthbert and it looking a little something like this, except less decrepit.

That being said, my knowledge of Canadian pop culture regarding rural areas has been proven to be incredibly limited. 

It first became apparent when we were discussing "Canadian Celebrities" visiting workplaces.  My most exciting one was cashing out Colin Mochrie in an HMV. 

He always keeps a straight face! He is amazing! This isn't even one of those things where I'm biased because he is Canadian. I swear. 

Then my friend mentioned the time that the actress who plays Emily of New Moon's best friend came into her Shoppers Drug Mart and it was just so over my head. I could not tell you what the chick who played Emily looked like, let alone her best friend. I could barely get through those books. 

Then at work a few days ago, my co-worker burst into a big smile and whispered "Canadian celebrity!" (apparently, with Canadian Celebrities "Canadian" is a necessary precursor to the Celebrity part). Again, I did not recognize the woman, only to be asked "Jeez, didn't you ever watch Anne of Avonlea?" 

No, clearly I did not and yet I still get excited to make Anne of Green Gables allusions in Historic Unionville.

"Oh Diana, you are my bosom friend!"
Dress: H&M Belt: Gift Purse: one of those Bags Bags Bags! stores in the mall. Shoes: BIRKENSTOCKS!

"You'll find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair. People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is." 
-Anne Shirley 


08. I am no longer the saddest person in this house!

Gloriosky! No, but really look at my sad face. My knee was messed up. My doctor had to "squeeze me in", which turned into "I am not familiar with this injury. Here is a pamphlet from the seventies on knee exercises and go across the street to the sports medicine doctor". Sometimes, I worry I am not getting the best possible healthcare our free healthcare system is offering! So I went across the street, booked an appointment, came back the next day and was told "you have runner's knee". I have literally run twice in the last month and now I have runner's knee. Pathetic. 

Even though my doctor told me I should not wear a knee brace, because it "tells the knee that it's cool to be weak", I wear one incredibly loosely on the days my knee really hurts AND THIS IS WHY! 

If you have a knee brace the bus driver will lower the bus for you so that getting off is easier! 
If you do not have a knee brace every single person trying to climb the stairs behind you will give you dirty looks and make ticked off noises because of how slow you are going!   

Ergo shorts lend well to knee brace outfits. 

Shirt: Anthropologie Blazer: Mendocino Shoes: Converse Shorts: Gap Knee Brace: Mum

This was my dance of "it can't get any worse than this, I suppose. It did, I totally sick a few days later. One of those "my throat hurts so bad I can't drink, eat, sleep or talk".
Originally the traditional flannel Grand-father shirt was designed for ease of wear for the Irish working man.

Big Al loves grandfather shirts (I can't even bring myself to post a picture, click on the link). He says that they are the perfect shirts. His reasoning is that mill workers used to wear them and they are extremely comfortable and durable. We rarely match outfitwise. However, this shirt semi-persauded me to go in for the no collar look, so I guess grandfather shirts have something going for them.

Earrings: Etsy

Fortunately, I passed my illness on to my sister and the two days of lying on the coach watching television and dying gave my knee time to rest up. Success! I don't know how people without siblings get healthy, it's so much faster when you have someone to pass it to. 

Now that I no longer look in the mirror and think I am wearing a wig, I fuckin' love my hair. It's so bright and I'm so ready for summer. I've already started a list of things I want to do before school starts. My main goal is to accidentally get a tan, as in "I'm having so much fun and being so outdoorsy that I am two shades darker and I didn't even try!" 

Television-wise, I just finished Being Human, Sherlock and Wonderfalls. I will post about them asap and I'm reading Hunger Games, because I want to know what everyone is talking about.


07. Old Outfit, Not Sure About It!


Lacey Shirt: H&M Black Skirt Thing: My Sister's Closet Boots: Idk Necklace: Banana Republic

The Same Rings I Wear Everyday: Pinky Ring from My Mom, Claddagh from Big Al

Ring That I Switch Up: Forever 21
And a close up of one of my most favourite necklaces ever! !

So I have recently been reading a lot! And not books for school! Just books for Nev! It makes me so happy and I have a 45 minute subway ride to work so I feel like I'm accomplishing something instead of just sitting. 

Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown 

In grade four or whenever little Canadians start learning depressing historical lessons of oppression, our teacher told us that 75% of Canadians over a certain age (I can't remember, perhaps the age of twenty, perhaps twenty five, perhaps 20% of Canadians over the age of 75, it's hard to recall specifics) did not know who Louis Riel was. All of us ten year olds who had just read six whole pages about Riel in our textbooks were appalled. "There are Canadians who don't know who Louis Riel is? Horrific" we shuddered. After all, Canada became a dominion in 1867, we don't really have that much history to forget about and y'know, how do they not know who Riel is? Even us ten year olds knew and we would remember for at least a few months. 

So as soon as exams ended I started looking through my library holds. The beautiful thing about the public library is that you can make a list of hundreds of holds and keep them "inactive" and then as soon as you feel like reading one, you make it "active" and since you've had it on hold for so long you're now at the head of the hold line of over a hundred people (yeah, I'm looking at you, Hunger Games). So I made Louis Riel active and realized "I kind of know who he is. He was Metis, he spoke French, he started a rebellion against something and then he was killed". 

After reading this biography, I feel like a whole lotta Louis Riel was left out of elementary history class. All of that Christian prophet stuff, I do not remember at all and honestly, after reading the book I saw Kate Beaton's  comic strip about it and I feel exactly the same way. If Gabriel Dumont led the rebellion, that would have been an entirely different rebellion. Comic book wise, it was really good. It was interesting and informative and kind of made me hate John A. McDonalds. So uh, Bravo Brown? 

Nine and a Half Weeks by Elizabeth McNeill 

I haven't seen the movie. I have it somewhere because young Mickey Rourke is in it (be still my heart), but I haven't actually watched it yet. As soon as I find out that a movie is based on a book, I can't watch it until I read the book. It's just a thing that shouldn't be done (unless of course it is a book that I would never want to read, a.k.a. Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson?, yes I will see the negatively reviewed Something Borrowed, but no no no on the novel). 

I don't think I could ever read Nine and a Half Week again. I don't gravitate towards upsetting books and so I can't really compare it to others, but the only other books that made me feel so physically nauseous were Let The Right One In and Blindness. I knew it was about a sadomasochistic relationship, but I guess I didn't realize the extreme to which those relationships can go. It's interesting, it's well written, it draws you in, but when I got that far in I felt sad, I felt humiliated and I felt sick. I think I'm going to wait a little while before I watch the movie. 

And just for funsies, some more Happy Endings love:

I cannot wait for you guys to meet Toby! Oh my God, we are into all the same things: the home shopping network, baby animals on the internet. He even thinks it’s cool that I needlepoint.”

“I gotta tell you, it sounds like you’re dating my grandma… This guy’s a hipster, Penny. All those things you like, he likes them ironically.”

So sad. So accurate. And mostly sad. They're not letting her dance or have fun or be enthusiastic. All of things that I like about television characters! 


06. Uncle Shelby!

“Anybody can write a realistic account of his first post-graduation summer of growing up and making love, but to make such a story the stuff of legend, as Chabon has done here… takes something close to genius.”Playboy

This isn't a post about Michael Chabon; it couldn’t be, I haven’t even read the book yet. 
This is a post about Playboy.

I have incredibly mixed feelings regarding Playboy: it’s this giant contradiction that I can’t help but love. I never look at it as a magazine or as porn, it doesn’t feel like either. It feels like a fantastical ridiculous lifestyle. “Once a playmate, always a playmate.” 

And it is, it’s the perfect contradiction: nude pictures of “girl next door” types. The archetypes of “boy next door” and “girl next door” are epitomized by Becky Thatcher and Tom Sawyer in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. What mental imagery! Playboy is a fantasy of what if the Becky Thatchers of the world wanted to pose in magazines. There are old interviews with Hugh Hefner about the “good girl” image the playmates were required to maintain and the rules concerning their dating habits. I can’t even describe how that makes me feel, but it sure as hell interests me.

Three ridiculous reasons why I love Playboy:

1. The girls. Clearly not all of them. I do not know who all of them are, but there are several who just come across as so kind and rational and Canadian (and the whole not being ashamed of your sexuality is a big plus). Now I realize the Canadian thing might just seem to come out of left field, but being Canadian is something worth bragging about. Not all the playmates I like are Canadian. Bettie Page wasn’t, Jayne Mansfield wasn’t, Holly Madison isn’t, but Shannon Tweed is and Pamela Anderson is and reality television’s greatest shit disturber Jayde Nicole is. The main reasons I like them are fairly stupid: the house Pamela Anderson lived in when she was on MtV’s Cribs is the reason why I like her, it was so floral and lacey and throw pillows everywhere, it was like she was living in her great grandmama’s house. It was awesome. Shannon Tweed doesn’t even need to be explained, watch Family Jewels, watch Detroit Rock City, watch that episode of Murder She Wrote that she was on. She’s a badass.

2. Old Playboy issues. If you find a used book store that sells them, pick some up. The hairstyles alone are worth a gander, the jokes and comics are just as bad as they are now and the advertisements are superb. Both the general product ones (“Four out of every five doctors, prefer the smooth taste of Marlboros”) and the specifically Playboy ones: ‘What sort of man reads Playboy?” Answer: jetsetters.

Two Examples of Playboy humour
A smoking advertisement.
3. How else would I find out what to read? Popular book lists never help, I don’t want to read Dan Brown or SMeyers; Oprah lies to me all the time and the last time I asked the public librarian for a recommendation she gave me Stargirl. I was seventeen and completely insulted. Playboy has/d great authors writing for them.

A list of contributors of one issue of Playboy. Nabokov! Bradbury! King! Kerouac! Wodehouse! Shelby!
Illustration by Robert Andrew Parker that accompanied The Eye by Vladimir Nabokov
Visually, it's pretty stunning. 

The left is an article comparing Lincoln to JFK. The right is from the collected book of Shel Silverstein's travels for Playboy. Oh, this is slowly going to turn into a love letter for Shel Silverstein, but how can it not? A big part of why I like Playboy is really Shel Silverstein. I love that I grew up with his poems and that while his work for Playboy is different, some of it really isn't. I bought one issue just for his fable Lafcadio: the Lion Who Shot Back. His first children's book! Published in Playboy. Amazing. 

I read all of his books and poems when I was younger and I remember the day that the vice-principal came on the PA to say that Shel Silverstein had died. Whenever someone says "I should have...", in my head I hear ("all the would coulda shouldas laying in the sun, talking about the things they woulda coulda shoulda done, but all those would could shouldas all ran away and hid from one little did."). Shel Silverstein is a big deal. Shel Silverstein can make you like Playboy and let's not forget...

let's not forget. Shel Silverstein wrote "A Boy Named Sue". Do you hear that voice? It's like Allen Ginsberg unique and crazy good. If Shel Silverstein = Playboy, then I'm listening to what Playboy has to say about authors. So, come at me, Michael Chabon. I'm taking you on. 

Oh and back to that Canadian thing. Best (and least Scandalous) Issue Cover Ever: 


05. new hair

I'm still in "holy shit, am i wearing a wig?" phase, but that'll pass.

Big Al and I have turned into the saddest possible couple: he messed up his leg at the 5k run last weekend, I did something to my knee yesterday. We're both limping and stairs are a nightmare. Hopefully tomorrow the podiatrist will be able to fix me (also known as "do not put off picking up your orthopedic insoles for two months. Being flat footed is a semi-real condition, Nevena!")  

I'm working on my next text focused post: it is entirely about Playboy and entirely unscandalous. What a feat! (Although it will probably be delayed by a mountain of photos of the mountain of pastries my gramma and I are making tomorrow). 


04. brown hair it never gets dirty, the longer you wear it the stronger it gets

my last day as a brunette. 

(this photo is from a few days ago, but it will not stop raining and i do not want a depressing rain photo)


03. it's raining, it's pouring, i can't take decent photos

$1 SODA SUMMER DAYS! BIGGER THAN MY HEAD (and my head is enormous).

Pants: Anthropologie Tank Top: Gap Cardigan: Gap Shoes: Converse

I think my photos are slightly less awkward when I am given a prop. 

Pant Details. Look at that bow! Look at that pattern! It's springtime!
Earrings: Greek Jewelery Shop in Athens. Greek alphabet. 
Necklace: One of those outdoor jewelery kiosks downtown. 

It's been super gross and rainy lately. I want to wear dresses, but the only warm day was the day of the charity run I did and so dresses were not a go.  Today I'm spending the day inside doing some work for my dad, so perhaps I'll break out a nice computer outfit. Until then...

here is a undisappointing visual image from a wholly disappointing season of Supernatural.