Mob Rule: Part 15
Sex in Vegas, Blood in New York
Jack and Vanessa get to know each other in a Biblical sense while an unholy gang war starts to ramp up on the streets of the big apple
By John Armstrong
Some time later I called the desk and asked them to tell Mr. Cohen we had been unavoidably detained. I lit a cigarette one-handed, as the other was trapped from the shoulder down beneath a large mound of hair snuggled into my chest and portions of a beautiful face peeking out here and there. “This is exactly what I swore to my mother I would not do,” she said. “‘Mind you don’t get swept off your feet by some fancy hoodlum and wind up on your back’, she said, and here I am, on my back.” She tugged the sheet towards her. “My mother also believes the Catholics are taking over the world, through numbers. That’s why the Pope’s against birth control.” “Absolutely true,” I told her. “We’re in a race with the Chinese for domination. It’s why the Earth tilts on its ...
A Haunted House of Commons
Halloween on The Hill
After a gruelling campaign and a hard-fought battle, half the capital looks like an Edvard Munch painting or a Walking Dead extra, but everyone will look right at home on All Hallows Eve -- a night that gives everyone a chance to wear a mask and ask for handouts
By Chris Lackner
OTTAWA -- With many incumbents swept away in the Liberal tide, there are plenty of long-faced ghouls and goblins wandering Parliament Hill these days. On Halloween, they’ll be able to blend in. After an epic campaign full of tricks and treats, the kids in the red costumes went home with the biggest haul on election night – enough to gorge themselves for four years. But Halloween provides a well-deserved gift to Canadian politicos of all colours. After being stuck playing themselves for 11 weeks, they can wear any mask for one special night. The faint-of-heart can become the fearsome, the politically dead can rise again as the undead – and Canadian pollsters can finally show ...
Our Brand is Crisis: A hopeless campaign
Bullock bulldozes a pile of political cliché
David Gordon Green attempts dark satire by placing two American strategists in a South American bullring, but despite some sharp lines and sharper clothes, there's no matador's grace in this ritual slaughter
Movie review: Truth, not black and white
Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford take us back to the 2004 CBS News scandal that saw senior producer Mary Mapes and veteran anchor Dan Rather pushed under the campaign bus
Burnt cooks Cooper to a golden brown
Iron pecs Chef
Bradley Cooper brings A-lister status to the world of rock star chefs, completing the ancient circle of food worship, and the gods who let us pleasure in the flesh
Mob Rule: Part 14
What happens in Vegas...
Jack and Vanessa get a massage together, but if they don't get the message you will: He's strapped on his Doc Holliday double huckleberries, and he's ready for whatever happens next...
By John Armstrong
Normally I wouldn’t fall asleep while someone is kneading and stroking me and anointing me with oils, but I somehow managed it. I was in a half-dreaming state the details of which are not suitable to go into here, and only awoke when urged to turn over, something I found with some embarrassment I needed to do carefully. Vanessa was making very interesting and encouraging moans of contentment practically in my ear which didn’t help matters any. My masseuse showed admirable professionalism by completely failing to notice anything was amiss while casually folding a large towel and laying it on the sheet just where it would do the most good. When they had done about as much as was possible unless we were going to give up on a any semblance of a purely ...
Pop Culture Decoder: Sexy Halloween
Why the media recycle the same damn story every October By Misty Harris
Halloween is surely the most frustrating night of the year for actual hookers – and the riskiest one for men seeking their company. This should not come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention in the last two decades. And yet. Every October, it’s the same thing: newspapers, media sites and TV news stations all clamour to report on the sexualization of Halloween. While they aren’t necessarily wrong in identifying this phenomenon, it’s hardly news. At this point, “sexy Halloween” falls into the same class as Nicki Minaj’s butt: significant, but nothing we haven’t seen before.* So why does the media keep recycling the same story, year after year? Let’s decode. Low-hanging fruit: We all know that sex sells. And in reports on the tawdriness of Halloween, sexual imagery is practically a journalistic requirement! Not featuring photo evidence would be akin to reporting ...
The Sick Days: Part 11
It was the Last Drink on the Table
The rush of daily journalism faces off against the need for a daily dose of prednisone as a cub reporter tries to make it from the all-male east bureau to the doors of One Yonge
By Shelley Page
A tip came in that had front-page potential, handled right. I begged the bureau chief—who held a scrap of paper covered in sketchy details as if it was a treasure map—to let me check it out. It was my first week as a full-time reporter at the Toronto Star and I needed something out of the ordinary. As I raced down Brimley Rd. towards the Scarborough Bluffs, the steering wheel of the 1978 blue and white ‘Star car,’ quivered like I was pushing a power mower. I had to keep pulling to the left to keep it heading straight, straight toward the lake. The tipster, Bill Shillabeer, waited at Bluffers Park, a sandy beach beneath the towering bluffs. “Where is it?” I asked, breathlessly. A reporter must strike a balance between ...
Ode to Leila and Her Butter Patties
What makes china fine
Packing up mom's possessions can mean a rediscovery of life's simple pleasures, such as solid and generous friends, sipping tea from flower-like cups, and tiny little plates used solely for butter.
By Louise Crosby
My mother was raised on a farm in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, near the town of Aylesford. She attended Acadia University in nearby Wolfville, where she met my Dad. They got married in 1949 and proceeded to have four children as they made their way west and settled in Ontario. Mom is now 89 years old and, following the death of our father, Ron, earlier this year, she is about to sell their home and move into a seniors’ residence. Her name is Leila Kathleen. Her sister is Iona, their mother was Etta, and she had aunts named Marjorie and Mabel. She came out of a farm culture, where people made do, lived simply, and held to strong values. She painted watercolours and taught piano, and was a wonderful mother, sweet and full of ...
Get all pesto with a ritzy risotto
Oven Risotto with Kale Pesto
Treat your vegetarian friends to a bright green dish that will not only fill their tummies with a healthy treat, it will lift their spirits with its lush color as it comforts the soul with its warm, cheesy texture
By Louise Crosby
Round about this time of year, with the winter chill setting in, it’s nice to get away, not necessarily to a warm, sunny beach, but somewhere with a different view. Not too long ago, I went with two friends to New York City and got a whole new world. As anyone who has spent time there will know, it is a noisy, exciting, inspiring and exhausting place. And the food is delicious if you find the right spots. My friends are vegan fitness trainers whose idea of a perfect Sunday morning is to run a half-marathon or sprint up and down the CN Tower. So we typically left our hotel room in the morning and didn’t return until late at night, having walked at a fair clip the entire day to our various destinations. There was a ...