July 2008


I will confess that I have read the first three volumes of the “Twilight” books by Stephanie Meyer. They aren’t particularly well written but they are kind of addictive, like a bag of potato chips, they are all delicious, empty calories. The books chronicle the adventures of Bella who discovers that the super hot guy at school and his family are vampires, and some of the local native community are werewolves. Poor Bella, she must decide between hot vampire Edward and hot werewolf Jacob. You can sort of see why these books are so popular with teenage girls, and they are HUGELY popular with teenage girls.

Meyer’s latest book in the series “Breaking Dawn” comes out tomorrow at midnight. The media are claiming that this is the biggest and most anticipated book since Harry Potter. I don’t think these books hold a candle to the Harry Potter series on any level, but it’s always good to see people get excited about reading. Chapters Indigo book stores across Canada are holding “Breaking Dawn” events at their stores tomorrow evening. There will be masquerade parties, themed drinks and prizes, and the eager costumed attendees will be able to get a copy of the book at midnight. I’m torn between thinking this is kinda lame and kinda fun, but it’s great to see the release of a book turned into an event.

Oh, yeah, the first book in the series “Twilight” is being turned into a movie opening in December and the internets are abuzz with every little piece of information that the fans can get ahold of. I guess this is quite the phenomenon, isn’t it?

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Photos by Matt O’ Sullivan at The Narrative.Net

Had a strange and wonderful lunch today.  I went to Caplansky’s Deli in the Monarch Tavern at College and Clinton in Toronto.  The Monarch is a dark old tavern, which represents the best of the hodge podge melange of Toronto.  Zane Caplansky has now opened his deli in the Monarch, serving delicious home made smoked meat (a cross of the traditional Jewish deli sandwich with a southern bbq taste).  It’s a really strange set up.  Caplansky’s is a separate venue from the bar.  So you order your sandwich, (don’t forget the delicious fries, pickles and coleslaw) from the Caplansky’s waitress, but you order your beverages from the Monarch bartender, and you pay them both separately.

The Monarch Tavern has a long tradition of allowing outside food to be brought in to eat with your lunch time beer, and that tradition continues.  So enjoy eating your smoked meat sandwich while watching the people around you.  There’s the Zaydes in their leisure suits (one was wearing an excellent green one) and hipsters enjoying the jewish deli, local workmen eating their Bitondo’s calzones, and secretaries enjoying their San Francesco sandwiches, all under the same roof.  It’s Toronto at it’s finest.  And Zane Caplansky is a treat, he’s so enthusiastic about what he’s doing, smoking his own meat, making his own mustard, that he’s a delight to talk to and if you’re a smoked meat fan (I have to confess to be a corned beef girl, myself) you’ll be looking forward to coming back for more.

Caplansky’s Deli in the Monarch Tavern-12 Clinton St., 416-500-3852, Tuesday to Saturday, noonish to 9 p.m.

Larry Doyle is a writer for the Simpsons and has a long and checkered past working in TV and film. I Love You, Beth Cooper is his first novel.

I Love You, Beth Cooper is a classic tale about that momentous life moment, High School Graduation. The last night before we head into the unknown future, leaving our high school selves behind forever. It is one very long day in the life of Dennis Cooverman, nerd and class valedictorian. Dennis decides to confess his love to Beth Cooverman, head cheerleader and most popular girl during his valedictorian speech. The rest of the book is about how his night unfolds after that speech. I Love You covers every graduation night cliche, underage drinking, awkward teenage sex, the convergence of teenage cliques for one night only, it’s like every John Hughes movie rolled into one and it acknowledges it in a wink to the readers. It’s this wink that is the problem with the book. It’s a mostly fun read, and well written but like most drunken teenage nights of mayhem it goes on too long. I was exhausted by Dennis’ evening about 75 pages before he was. Each chapter begins with a cartoon picture of Dennis who gets progressively more beat up as the night goes on, and a quote from a character from a teen movie. I found this to be very distracting. Every chapter I was reminded me that this was a send up of every graduation comedy that came before it, I just wanted to get into the story and enjoy it for its excesses, not be reminded that this was a story that had been told many times before.

Ultimately this book says nothing new about the graduation story, and isn’t quite over the top enough in exploiting it’s cliches, to be the ridiculous parody it’s trying to be.

I give this book three worms out of five.

Next up on the nightstand: The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.

The pressures on us modern singletons is almost unbearable. Where and how will you meet Mr Right? It’s so hard to meet people these days it seems like the only possible option for meeting someone is online. But I’m not comfortable with the idea of meeting strangers online, that’ll happen over my cold, dead body. Does that mean I’m destined to be single forever? Not if I’m a Zombie it won’t. The web serves every niche, even the undead.

Check out the site here

It seems like every Monday I feel like I’ve completely run out of ideas for stuff to post.  I need one of these installed in my bedroom.

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