mmm, ginger snaps... one of my favourite cookies. i make health-style ones for the baby, in the ongoing half-hearted effort to keep him from finding out about sugar. my mum got me some great alphabet cookie cutters, so i thought - perfect! a way to make him eat healthy stuff and learn something at the same time!

but yikes, just try getting the dough out of these suckers...

i had to coax each part of each letter out with a chopstick. ugh. i did one alphabet's worth (plus one extra "r") and then gave up...

... and made people instead!

health-style baby gingies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 tbs ginger
1 tsp mace
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs baking powder

combine first four ingredients. sift dry ingredients together and add to wet ingredients to make a stiff dough. chill in fridge for half an hour. roll out to 1/4" thick, cut out whatever shapes cause you the least stress, and bake for 12 minutes at 350F.


smells good, sounds better

my final tiff movie excursion was with erin to the extremely awesome sounds like teen spirit: a popumentary. think about all of the things that make the annual eurovision song contest great - the costumes, the dance moves, the glorious cheese from the continent that brought us limburger, corvo, wensleydale, gruyere, and mimolette - and multiply those factors by a thousand for the goodness of junior eurovision - open to entrants aged ten to fifteen. these kids pour their hearts and souls into their music. twins with accordions! dancing sisters! some are shockingly professional, some are shockingly adult, but most are just kids, full of enthusiasm and hope. the film settles on four entrants - a band from belgium, soloists from georgia and cyprus, and a girl in a bulgarian band, with others making cameo appearances along the way. all of the glorious angst of teenhood is here, along with some really touching stories. it breaks your heart to watch basically an entire georgian village cluster around a fuzzy tv set cheering for their girl, especially knowing the recent troubles the country is going through. riveting, entertaining stuff.

so that's tiff. back in the real world, there is an arbour loaded with grapes that need harvesting; i brought a few in today.

and then an entire crate full.

so far i have made grape pie (!) and a lot of juice. let's see if i get jam made before the rest rot!


i love serbia

so here was a film i almost didn't see - almost didn't even look to see it was *about* due to my anti-bleakness sentiments - based on the title alone: tears for sale. probably about child trafficking or something equally horrible and dire. i get enough of that in the newspaper. but i checked the synopsis anyway, just to be sure.

and hm, it sounded interesting. and it was, it was!

visually arresting, engaging characters, compelling plot, completely bonkers. i loved it.

set in serbia roughly after the first world war, tears for sale takes place in a mountain village with only one man left - the others all went off to various wars, never to return. the local economy depends upon the vineyard, which the second last man, in trying to protect all the helpless women, sowed with landmines (you can guess how he met his end); during the harvest season, the remaining women draw straws to see who will attempt to enter the fields for reaping. there are a lot of funerals in this village, and our two heroines - orphaned sisters - work as professional mourners, offering a variety of services (sobbing, tearing of hair, face-scratching) for a fee. at the wake for a soon-to-be customer, she makes the girls promise to lose their virginity to the village's last man, a frail elderly fellow. he dies (although not necessarily in the way you'd expect), and the girls are sent away to find a new man for the village - not an easy task in the repeatedly war-torn serbia (and one of the brilliant things about this film is that it is anti-war in a completely non-didactic way - it is just a huge celebrations of life in all life's crazy exuberant grandiosity). tears for sale is a road-trip, a love story, a magic-realist experiment, and just plain awesome. i hope it gets distribution, it would be a shame if it got passed over for being too obscure or something.


the morning after

okay so yesterday was my first tiff film and i thought seeing a film at 9:30 pm and going to a clothing swap at 4 o'clock in the afternoon was a perfectly reasonable plan and would allow me to go home between to drop off my stuff.

ha. not when there was vinho verde involved.

anyway, last night's film, in keeping with my policy of going to see stuff that isn't likely to end up in wide release, was still walking by japan's hirokazu kore'eda. a drama that explores 24 hours in the life of a family that lost one member decades earlier, its gentle humour was a little more subtle than i was looking for, considering the content of my bloodstream. i think i would have enjoyed it more on a rainy sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. sad as it is to admit, i had enough to drink that i don't have much to say beyond that.

i can, however, say that when i get my swap loot (left with our charming hostess) i am keen on doing some recon, most especially using a black leather skirt in size huge - which the donor had also planned to use for sewing projects, before eventually admitting to herself that it just wasn't happening.

i also got a top back that i had passed on at a swap a couple of years ago - when i was getting bigger and it didn't fit right - but now that i am smaller than before post-baby, i am thinking it could be quite cute.



the film festival has officially begun for me: i ate about ten thousand pastries today at brunch. got to chat with lots of people i like (karen hines, the makers of cattle call and pat's first kiss, shane smith whom i met when i worked on wsff, etc. etc.) and drink several dozen cups of coffee which was extra-good as i fell asleep the night before remembering that i had polished off the very last bit of coffee that morning and there wasn't any left in the house.

after the brunch there was the traditional tiff dollarama field trip, at which i bought some crafty supplies, and a side trip to kitchen stuff plus, where i bought a much-needed mandolin for half price!

then after erin and i picked up our tickets, we found a set of tickets to the gala for the secret life of bees, a film which neither of us really cared to see. after a brief dither (use them? sell them?) we decided to track down headset lady, and just as we did, she was set upon by an anxious-looking woman who had dropped her tickets. she was extremely grateful to us, and i'm sure that karmic retribution will ensure that we win the lottery or something in return.


oh, wow.

i'm the last one to know as usual, but i just heard that the jim henson company is producing a film version of edward gorey's the doubtful guest, to be directed by brad peyton! so excited to see three favourite people (dead or alive) on one project! yay. here's a clip of some of brad's earlier work to give you a taste.

in other news, i finally got around to installing the zipper in the boy's blue jay cardie, but it is still too hot here for him to wear. if it doesn't get really cold really soon, i'll have to put it straight into storage for the grandchildren.

also, tiff is just starting! whee. i won't likely get to do much with the bambino around, but i am brunching with filmmakers tomorrow, so that's some free food at least. i was offered a ticket to see the women, but like everyone else in the office, i turned it down.