Zack and Miri Make a Porno

I think we have reason to be excited about a Kevin Smith movie again. (Has everyone erased the memory of Jersey Girl yet? Sorry... maybe I shouldn't have brought it up? Think about Rosario Dawson, quick!)

If I haven't made you watch this trailer yet, do it now.

MANSCAPE! Still laughing over here...


Madame Butterfly - Opéra de Montréal

Forever an audience junkie, I was lucky enough to see Madame Butterfly at the Place des Arts last night. Despite my runny nose, I was totally enraptured by the magnificent visual display and the evocative voice of soprano Hiromi Omura.

A stage built over a pool of water. Floating candles. Fluttering blossoms. Fire-red kimonos. A trembling Butterfly finally seduced by Pinkerton. The mingling of voices when Butterfly and Suzuki sing the flower duet. The shuffling of the servants' feet. The quick steps of the little boy who played Butterfly's son, and the way Butterfly sometimes covered his ears tenderly with her hands to prevent him from being startled by her enormous voice. And what a tremendous ending...

Povera Butterfly!

Lessons that modern girls can draw from Madame Butterfly.
  • Get over him. Seriously. Stop staring into the distance, put on some rouge, and go out.
  • If you're a single mother, abandoned by your lover, and a nice, wealthy man wants to marry you, consider it.
  • He won't always be calling you "Little flower". Don't be upset by this. You won't always think of yourself as the "happiest girl/woman" either. No need to panic or reach for a dagger.
  • Don't change your religion for any man unless you really, really want it. When he's gone, you don't want to be stuck with god(s) you don't like.
  • Handsome is as handsome does.
  • Stick to your girlfriends always.


Photo shoot: Day 3

The original casting call asked for "Tina Fey meets Amelie Poulain meets Maggie Gyllenhaal". Frankly, if anyone else bagged the role, I would have been ruffled in the feelings department.

When I sat down to the first interview, they asked me why I was auditioning. I replied with a little swirl of the hand around my face and said, "Heeelllooo?" How could they deny my Tina-ness?

Tonight we took the last set of photos for the advertising campaign. It's been a pleasure and a delight from start to finish. The only aspect that's been somewhat surreal is being on the other end of the creative stick.

In my non-supermodel job, working on creative concepts for advertising campaigns is par for the course. Although my opinion was solicited on some aspects of this campaign, for the most part, most decisions were made without my input.

How many buttons to unbutton? The board had already decided.
Will she speak with a little accent? The board has spoken!
Does this show too much leg? Board says yes!

My only big decision was whether I was thirsty or not.

The fruits of all my supermodel labour will be premiering in a week or two. Keep an eye on this space.


Facebook alerts and Gmail

Does anyone else have this problem?

I don't actually receive a Facebook alert at my personal email account for every message that I receive on FB.
Sometimes my Gmail account is totally inactive, but when I log into FB, I have several messages waiting.

On occasion, I'll even receive the alert several hours - or several days - later.

I've done some rooting around and can't find an answer. Can anyone tell me...?

Is it Gmail? Or is it Facebook?

Random observations

  • Notice that you don't see anyone looking at photos anymore? No more moms coming out of the pharmacy, bag hanging open, brand new pictures of Junior already being shuffled in her hot little hands? No more teenage girls sitting in cafes with sheafs of vacation snaps, squealing at the cute boys, warning each other not to get their fingerprints all over the photos? That's because it's all digital now.
  • Celebrity is different in Quebec. I cross paths with actor Eric Bernier regularly in the Plateau. Musician David Bussières, of Alfa Rococo fame and brother to actress Pascale Bussières, lives two doors over. Summertime means spotting Leonard Cohen in various eateries around Portuguese Park. They seem to be happy, relaxed people going around the business of their lives. Nobody accosts them or tries to peek into their grocery baskets. They can pick their noses as merrily and as frequently as possible. I'm sure Brangelina would kill to have even a tenth of their freedom.


Housewarming party tips

Busy, busy day today. Pendaison de la housewarming is tonight, and I need to empty the fridge, stash the breakables, get ice, etc.

I awoke early, my brain already running through a shopping list before my feet hit the ground. I've been keeping a steady pace since then, but my brain is dwelling on more bittersweet matters as I putter and neaten.

There are a lot of important people that won't be there tonight - whether it's a question of distance, previous engagements, or social damage control. So this post is a shout-out to everyone that can't be here tonight. 

You're being missed hardcore and I wish like crazy that you could be here. mucho. xx

Now excuse me while I go buy some cushions (people have to sit somewhere, no?)

To end off, here are some Martha Stewart entertaining ideas that won't be wowing guests at my party tonight. Just because I'm not inclined to make a flag sheet cake, that doesn't mean my readers shouldn't have the opportunity to learn how. So patriotic!

NB. Exciting news! I seem to have received a comment from someone I don't immediately recognize! I have deduced that the comment was written on a French keyboard - tell-tale space between the last word and the exclamation points - but beyond that, it could be just about anyone. Whee!


Online poll question

Yes, I watched the finale of Grey's Anatomy, (does anyone still care about Meredith and Derek? YAWN) and yes, I've had a hot bath, so those events may have indeed precipitated this burning question.

What do you do when you realise that there is someone you just can't do without?

Or what have you done. Or if you had a big Hollywood budget, what kind of extravagant gesture would you come up with?

I expect stories. Suggestions. Advice, Comments. Seriously. This is life or death here.


Darjeeling Limited

While preparing dinner this evening - stuffed artichokes, yum! - I watched The Darjeeling Limited. I wanted to see this movie for several reasons:
  1. To block out my distaste of "Life Aquatic"
  2. Because I like India
  3. Because I like Owen Wilson
  4. Because I like darjeeling tea
Although I wasn't wowed by the film overall, there were several parts that I did like.
  • The moment when Rita, the stewardess, is standing in the door speaking to Jack - did you notice that in the mirror behind her in the room, you can see her long exquisite back and just a whisper of her bum?
  • The Hotel Chevalier short that opened the film - and the film itself - is essentially about gestures and the meaning we attach to them. I kept getting the breath knocked out of me for the smallest gestures, the tiniest of movements. Natalie Portman depositing her perfume bottle in the chest. Jack clicking through to the song of his choice on the iPod. Natalie Portman keeping her socks on.
  • And Natalie Portman just knocked me out. I found the whole scene really sexy. How often do you walk up your street hoping to see that person sitting on the curb, waiting for you? How often do you wish the phone to ring, an unexpected call from that person, informing you that they're coming over right now, whether you like it or not? NPortman coming through that door - unapologetic about not wanting him a month ago, about the men she may have slept with in the meanwhile, about wanting him now and that's all that matters - was pure sex. It was charged and hot and it made me start casting hopeful glances to my front door...
  • The funeral for the boy, and all those gorgeous brown children with dusty faces
Surprisingly, it took me a long time to figure out the whole literal-and-figurative baggage imagery. Nearly made me drop my mango when I did. So sneaky.


Welcome to AdrianaPalanca.com

Maybe it's the flush of writing my first short story in a long time, but I'm definitely having delusions of grandeur.

I've bought my domain name - www.AdrianaPalanca.com - whee!

Not only does this mark the beginning of the official Palanca brand, but it's also going to make it easier for y'all to find me. I'm right here!

Thanks to GoDaddy.com for taking my money - and to Fadi for the technical help.


Sex ed - 1980s style

I have often told the story of the sex ed video I watched in elementary school, joyfully repeating the lines that have remained etched in my memory even after 20+ years.

Some of you doubted my story. Many just didn't want to believe. But thanks to YouTube - I have found my proof.


It must also be noted that Henry Winkler - The Fonz - was also a part of this video.


New music from Australia and...

A musical selection brought to you by McG:

Visit the Cut Copy MySpace page to sample some summery fresh tunes from the Auz sweethearts.

Don't those synths remind you of the 80s? Very listenable. Very danceable.

Also, check out the Concert a emporter on the Blogotheque website.

The one featuring the National and the Arcade Fire are beautiful - I still have goosebumps.


It's not that funny, people.

Ho deciso di scrivere un articolo in italiano. Lo so che la maggior parte di voi non capite l’italiano, allora lo farò breve.

Ho visto un annuncio pubblicitario per il ristorante Mikes. In quest’annuncio vediamo une bimba che dice, “La gondola, papi? Capisce?

Io non capisco perché tutti pensano che “capisce” è una parola cosi buffa.

Abbiate visto troppe puntate di “The Sopranos”?



Heard on 30 Rock

The funniest thing ever written, and uttered by Kenneth Parcell, the perfect NBC page:

“Mr. Lutz. You ate all my parakeet’s medication, and thanks to you, Sonny Crockett has been having seizures all morning."

Oh Tina, let's be friends!

Playing with Google Analytics

The best part about installing Google Analytics has been tracking which key words have generated my blog on the results page. Just a few notes:
  • My thanks to the person who finds me almost every day with "adriana palanca!" - 44 times in the last month. I love the fact that I am worthy of an exclamation point.
  • Every now and again, someone enters the term "palanca feet". The number one result when you search for that phrase leads to a website featuring pencil drawings of men with enormous penises. I mean ENORMOUS. If anyone can explain this, I'd be very interested to hear you out.
  • Although "Borderline movie" and "moonwalking bear" generate quite a lot of traffic, the top keywords that lead to my blog have to do with hair - "stop picking hair", "stop picking stomach hair" and "stop picking feet" (the feet again...)
And thanks to my readers in Germany! Willkommen! I don't know how you found me, but I'm glad you did.


Favourite quotes from other blogs

I know some amazing writers. Here are some excerpts.

Funniest: SoulAfrodisiac - "Monday Madness"

R Kelly and his pedophile ass: I am hoping that this is the last time that I even have to give any kind of attention to this idiot on my page. I do not and have not supported this man on his musical journey for a very long time now–genius or not. I believe the last album that I own from this sicko is The Chocolate Factory and that's only because I had to review it for a magazine. There is no way I would spend money to help his defense team get him off! So to think that this idiot had the nerve to try and get his trial delayed YET again, just proves to me that he has something to hide. And now news surfaces about a young lady who is going to testify to being a participant in a three way with The Pied Piper (he obviously didn't think out that nickname properly) is on the horizon. Oh boy, Robert–just say it was you and deal with the consequences that your peeing-on-young-girls nasty self got into. Dutty, just dutty.

Sweetest: Eventually Clever - "Tarantino Parenting"

I’m long past my wide-eyed fixation with the Tarantino oeuvre (though I confess that Death Proof looks pretty sweet), but soundtracks keep running through my head, and I’m passing them along to my children.

Smartest: Anne Chudobiak - "Awkward a la Montreal"

also recognize one of the authors, although it takes a while for me to figure out why. I don’t know him, but I know his features. I’ve seen them on his young son. Once, at the library, when Junior was going through some kind of violent preschooler phase, he’d leapt out of the stacks to attack a younger, smaller, infinitely more fragile toddler, whose mother, my friend, promptly freaked out, making me feel sad for the author’s wife. The kid hadn’t really hurt anyone, and it was definitely my most memorable trip to the library ever. I’d seen her wandering the streets alone with him, waiting for him to outgrow that particular phase. That was a long while ago now. Last fall, when my daughter went for her first sleepover, her friend’s older brother invited a friend, too. It was the library attacker in a much calmer, happier, more mature form. He had the top bunk. By all accounts, it went well. I believe there were pancakes for everyone in the morning.

Sharpest: Cinoche Teloche ou Fardoche - "Vantage Point"
(also merits best integration of video)

Je n’étais pas allé au cinoche depuis au moins 7 jours alors je me suis dit allons donc voir une marde.
Mon choix s’est arrêté sur Vantage Point.
Vantage Point de Pete Travis est un film qui sous ses allures ambitieux et maitrisés n’est rien d’autre qu’un thriller mal foutu, très mal écrit et platement mis en scène.
Le problème avec les thrillers ou films policier américains de nos jours c’est que depuis la série 24, tout doit être rapide, bien orchestré et haletant. Le spectateur en demande toujours plus et souvent, comme c’est le cas ici, toute logique est laissée au vestiaire au dépend de pivots scénaristiques qui ne tiennent pas la route ou de rebondissements surprises stupides et inutiles. Comme si on se disait qu’en donnant au film un rythme effréné personne ne s’apercevra de l’incohérence de son ensemble.


Hello Vitamin Water!

Whenever I go to the U.S, there are two products that I immediately procure:
1) Orbit gum (mint mojito, if I can help it)
2) Vitamin Water

Not only are we Canadians being deprived of two really delicious products, but now I also discover that the Vitamin Water website kicks our Canadian asses design-wise as well. The site is so bee-yoo-ti-ful, I wish I could make out with it.

Why aren't we producing websites like that?

Or commercials like these, for that matter:

Oh, Snoop, you're so wacky!


Photo shoot: Day 2

So it's over (sigh), but what a fun ride it was. And the photos are gorgeous - thanks Thomas!

The most interesting aspect of this project has been watching how a professional photographer captures a whole world in a tiny frame. How he uses light to capture the sensuality of an elbow or the doubt in a cocked eyebrow. I looked at the images and marvelled at this person captured by the lens.

Is that really how I look?
Do I really do that with my nose?
How did the camera find out so many things about me?
Why does it seem as if this person is far more interesting that I am in real life?

Reminded me - once again - that we always underestimate/mistake how other people see us. Our facial expressions - our bodies - are very strong transmitters that send out clear messages to those willing enough to pay attention.

So be willing to listen, okay?

And now back to the business of managing my mundane life. Someone should really vacuum around here...

Here's something for you that's far from mundane...


Photo shoot: Day 1

That was seriously fun. And I looked so cute!

Today I was photographed by Thomas Konigsthal Jr. at his studio in St-Henri. Since our goal was to capture the central image for the poster, I spent the entire day in bed. If he wasn't taking pictures of me in various supine positions, the whole lot of them (photog assistant, artistic director, project coordinator) were floating off to see the snaps, check the light, etc. I was actually obliged to remain on the air mattress and not move a limb for up to 20-30 minutes at a time.

Sweet, sweet napping ensued while George Michael crooned on the stereo.

The afternoon shoot involved me doing precarious and wacky things in a tight silver skirt and high heels. F. fed me pretzel sticks in between takes. I am half-excited, half-cringing at the prospect of seeing the photos. The quality will undoubtedly be excellent, but I hate to see myself in pictures sometimes. With my nose that looks too long. Or my mouth that looks too crooked. Or my face that looks too crinkly.

Best thing I heard today? Thomas: "Turn the clicky knob."

I love learning new lingo, don't you?

Only one more day of shooting. Must get to bed early again to avoid looking like hag tomorrow. I'm pooped from all that posing. Modelling is hard.


Photo shoot: Prep

For those of you who haven't heard - I'm going to be in an ad campaign.

(it's ok, just laugh it out, the thought of my being a model is rather funny so don't be embarrassed)

I haven't really discussed the details in order to preserve the campaign's punch, but as the photo shoot is tomorrow and Saturday, I think it's safe to start leaking some details.

Today I went shopping with F. (the project coordinator) and S. (the stylist). S. was able to guess my skirt size in a half-glance and correctly estimated by bra size despite the jacket and scarf. I was in awe of her from moment one. The day consisted of following the amazing S. from shop to shop as she impeccably chose the exact right item for my character. Close-fitting silver skirt. Fitted white shirt. High-heeled Mary Janes.

If you're at a loss as to who we are trying to emulate with these clothes, think about it a little harder and it should come to you.

In short, I spent a lot of time in changing rooms, happily slipping in or out of whatever was given to me. Although I am generally not a big fan of shopping, it was a thoroughly pleasant experience. And not only because we were able to find everything we needed (as S. confirmed, "the shopping goddess was with us today").

I loved it because I was not required to be intelligent or charming or talented. I could be a totally empty vessel, valued more for the sum of her limbs than for the contents of my brain. Today, I was no more than hips, waist, breasts, shoulders, calves and feet. All that mattered was how I looked. Not once did I have to think about trains or analytics or whether it's better to write website in one word or two (one, obviously).

I think I may have successfully *turned off* my brain today. And it felt good.

Tomorrow: they dress me up and take pictures of me all day. Wheee!


Two days in Paris

No, I'm not planning a trip. I just rented Two Days in Paris, the movie last night.

I went in with a strong suspicion that I wouldn't like it (you know how picky I am about movies - sometimes I find it best to go in with a few preconceived notions so if it's really bad, I'm not too disappointed, and if it's really good, I'm pleasantly surprised). When the movie opened and Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg started playing out their relationship, my suspicions grew.

I put down the coconut sorbet and looked at my blinking phone. "Is anyone else seeing Woody and Mia here, or is it just me? Who can I call?" Visions of crashing and burning blurred my vision.

But I liked it. Like Mikey liked Life (speaking of a mouthful).

Although sometimes the conversation seemed a little forced-dramatic (especially during the *sex* scenes - which, let's face it, could have been drawn from Annie Hall), I found the dynamics between them to be genuine. Their relationship was portrayed tenderly - even at their worst moments, when the pain was greatest, the camera still captured them compassionately. As in the last conversation, when Julie Delpy says, "And then Jack said something that hurt my feelings." She doesn't have to tell you what was said because it doesn't matter.

What matters is that sometimes, people in love will inevitably - and not necessarily on purpose - hurt each other's feelings.

Delpy didn't try to paint either character as all-bad or all-good. She didn't want you to take sides. Both were flawed, both made mistakes, but no fingers were pointed, no generalizations made about gender. If anything, I was relieved that for once it was the woman who found herself telling lies to protect her relationship.

It's a movie about how hard it is to have a working relationship. About how much effort it takes to keep it all afloat. And I could appreciate that.

Hopefully, what the movie says about Parisian taxi drivers is not true. Brrr!


Energi to go update, Part II

The best thing about the Energi to go - great for travelling!

In fact, the second iPod Energi to go that was sent to me will soon be travelling to Argentina with Porkchop and family!

(I will try not to dwell on the fact that a piece of technology is better travelled than I am)


My other careers

I always said that if I hadn't been a writer, I would have either been:

1) a baker of bread
2) a restorer of old things
3) a cutter-up of bodies (I was into forensics way before CSI)

But after having visited a few architectural and landscape design studios on Sunday, I think I may have discovered a fourth... a maker of scale models. When I saw those models of gardens and community centres, I knew that I too could find great pleasure is cutting tiny strips of paper and folding them onto a pin to make a tree. Or cutting and gluing strips of cardboard to make the walls of a new summer chalet. The thrill I got to see tiny balconies cut from plexiglass! So tiny. So happy.

 Did I mention that I'm baking bread tonight?

NB. Any good book suggestions? Although I still have a lot of my Renoir book left to read, I'm running low. I wanted to get that bio by Diablo Cody. Any other good suggestions floating out there?


Adriana Palanca got into trouble yesterday

...and may I serve as an example to you all!

I totally got nabbed for not declaring all purchased goods at the Canadian border yesterday.
Car searched. All three of us were separated and "interrogated" separately. I was asked to partially undress.
Paperwork was generated. And now my file has been tagged so that whenever I cross back into Canada (for the next two years), I have a greater chance of being searched all over again.

Rest easy people, your tax dollars were hard at work this weekend.

The upside is - while stripping for the nice Customs officers (ladies, of course), I was able to pull the Victoria's Secret underwear I was so ineffectually "hiding" from the depths of my bra (one in each cup) with all the flourish of a practiced magician. They seemed unphased, but I was mightily amused.


My name is... hey!

Thanks to H, the engineer and resident South American expert in the office, I recently discovered the concept of the simple machine, i.e. a tool that requires the application of a single force to function. There are six of them: the inclined plane, the wheel and axle, lever, pulley, wedge and screw. As *simple* as they may seem, they were the basic tools that built the pyramids.

Furthermore, all tools that we use today are some version of these six simple machines.

In Spanish, as we already know, lever is 'palanca'.

So as it turns out, my name also means 'simple machine' and 'tool'.

Despite the obvious euphemisms for 'dumb', I would like to once again emphasize my name's powerful ability to move objects of great weight. To underline my point, I will quote Archimedes, who once said, "Give me a place to stand and with a lever I will move the whole world.”

Dadme una palanca y un punto de apoyo y moveré el mundo.

Be careful world - I'm moving you!


The urge to blog, or why everyone just wants to feel important

The urge to blog is no different than the urge to sing or clap along to the music at a concert.

Isn't that why we love the concert-going experience? Being that close to a band that you love, feeling the music strumming your insides brings you closer to the music, closer to feeling like you are part of the band. It also makes you feel as if you are part of the sound, that people are listening to your noise and are inspired by what they hear.

Blogging is much the same phenomenon. The Internet is an integral part of life. We use it to work, we use it to communicate, we use it to make our lives easier. The Internet has also turned unknowns into cult icons and launched the already-famed into the stratosphere. The Internet is the ultimate rock band, and we want to be a part of it, so we blog. It draws us closer to the limelight, it makes us feel that we have something to say that may inspire others.

But of course, the problem is that - much like in a concert - we are just one of many. How to distinguish one's self? Is it even necessary to distinguish one's self? Perhaps the sound of all those voices, all that noise, mixing together is what makes it all sound so beautiful.

(Minus the ardent supporters of Mariah Carey of course)