Today is my 32nd birthday. And that's just great. No major plans, but that's what happens when you grow up. As a gift to you, please enjoy all the Empire Records gifs I could find. Because why the hell not.
It's been a pretty quiet season for Fall TV - all of those shows that premiered, and thus far only Manhattan Love Story has been cancelled! I was reading a report that the networks are holding off on cancelling things not only because of DVR numbers, but also because they're wary of the lineup they have for midseason and so it may be safer to stick it out with the initial shows. Madam Secretary - I've actually really been enjoying this show! It's a bit of a surprise for me, but I am keeping it around. Tim Daly in glasses? I'm not mad at it. The show has an awesome cast - it's one of those shows where I'm constantly saying "Oh, it's that guy!" You know, people like Bebe Neuwirth, that luck bastard who is married to Christina Hendricks (also known as Geoffrey Arend), and Keith Carradine. I'm a few episodes behind, but I'm sticking with it.
Mulaney - Ugh, Mulaney. I wanted to like this show so much, but I just don't think I can do it. I might give it one more episode, but even that is being generous. I'm sorry Nasim Pedrad, I tried!
Gotham - So far I've been quite pleased with Gotham. I like the direction they're heading, and I am loving the casting. I've heard a few people complain about the overall aesthetics of the show, complaining that it's not dark enough, but it doesn't bother me. I find the colours can be a little bright in some scenes, but I wonder if that's a stylistic choice? That the city hasn't truly gotten as dark as it will become? Maybe I'm overthinking it. Probably.
Scorpion - I like this, but don't love it. It's entertaining enough, especially to have on in the background while I'm folding laundry or something. I don't like how they continue to hit us over the head with "They're wacky geniuses! They think differently than the rest of us!" but I suppose that's to be expected with a new series. It's been given a full season order now, so I'm more likely to stick with it, but I wouldn't be surprised if the episodes start to pile up on the ol' PVR.
Forever - A pleasant surprise! I wasn't expecting much from this show, but I'm really enjoying it! I like to say it's like a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Sleepy Hollow. I really like the supernatural storyline, and the case of the week structure keeps things fairly light. Plus, it's a pretty darn good looking British guy who is regularly naked in the water, so there's that.
Selfie - I don't know why everyone is hating on this show so hard. Everyone seems to be dumping on it just because of the name. Really, it's not a bad show. It's not the greatest show either, but it's cute and somewhat charming, and it regularly makes me laugh. I'm sticking with Selfie! Maybe I'll start posting selfies while I watch Selfie - so meta.
The Flash - So my PVR screwed up and didn't record the first two episodes. I could have looked for them online, but instead I took a risk and just watched episode three. I didn't have a problem following it, but I'm not completely attached to it yet either. I'll be keeping this one around though!
Marry Me - This is kind of another "like, not love" situation. I love Casey Wilson - LOVE her. And I definitely won't give up on the show simply because I love her that much. But I feel like they just have a few bumps to smooth out before I can love the show. It seems a little bit all over the place, and it seems like there are too many other wacky characters - there doesn't really seem to be a "straight man" in any of it. Hopefully it settles into a good rhythm soon - I am loving Tim Meadows as one of Casey Wilson's dads!
Red Band Society - I watched the first episode and then bailed. I just, I don't know. It felt a little too try-hard for me. I'm sure it's a great show for some other people, just not something I wanted to stick with.
The Mysteries of Laura - Same for poor Laura. I watched the first episode and bailed. It wasn't that it was terrible, it was just too meh for me.
Stalker - I'm enjoying this one more than I expected, but I might have to slow down on watching it since I had a super creepy dream last night about someone hiding in my basement and sneaking around my yard.
How To Get Away With Murder - Eh, I'm on the fence with this. It has all those fun Shonda elements, but at the same time it's just not quite gelling for me. Maybe it's the legal side that's annoying me? Everything seems to happen ridiculously fast on the show - they're in court all the time, but also in class and working around the office. I don't know how many hours they have in a day, but I feel like it's a lot more than I have. I'm not loving the whole "flashforward" plot either - it's just not drawing me in. I might give it a few more episodes, but at this point it isn't something that I look forward to watching.
Gracepoint - Full disclosure - I haven't watched this yet. My plan was to just wait until after the whole 10-episode series has aired and then watch it as a marathon. I'm hearing such terrible things about it though, I might just drop the whole thing so as not to tarnish my memory of the sublime Broadchurch.
Bad Judge - This is kind of my guilty pleasure show. It's ridiculous, to be sure, but there's something about seeing Kate Walsh in this role that works for me. They seem to be pushing it to be even more ridiculous, which is working for it. Sometimes a show needs to decide if they're just going to go all-out bonkers or not, and that is definitely the way to go for this one. My favourite line from last week's episode was when it was suggested that she needs to carry a gun for protection, and her response was, "Are you kidding? You've seen me at McDonalds at the breakfast cut off, you can't add a weapon to that equation!"
A to Z - Oh it's just oh so adorable, isn't it? I'm on board for this one, but I do feel like they're trying just a little bit too hard to be the next How I Met Your Mother. Half hour comedies though, I do love them.
Constantine - I was pretty impressed with the pilot episode - the effects seemed decent, and the plot moved along nicely. I liked the bit about his business cards - I hope they're able to keep that wit going. It's also a bit of a LOST reunion with Harold Perrineau and Jeremy Davies. It's always hard to say after only one episode - but I'm pretty hopeful about this one, especially since there isn't much else on on a Friday night.
I hope everyone got out there today to cast their vote! I was lucky enough to be able to vote online, so I got mine taken care of last week. It will be an exciting evening of politics as the results start to roll in!
Here's the treats of the past week!
My Aunt Jill has been battling breast cancer, so it was some wonderful news when she texted me this picture this week. She's finished her radiation treatments, and that's the point when you get to bang a gong at the hospital to signal that you're no longer a cancer patient, but officially a cancer survivor! Treats don't get much better than that.
Pepsi Next is my new favourite thing. I gave up artificial sweeteners a few months ago (I don't think I ever blogged about it, but I probably should) so it's been a struggle to balance my love of carbonated beverages with being a grown up and realizing that I can't just chug regular pop all day long. Pepsi Next is sweetened with stevia and natural sugars, so it makes for a good compromise. It's 100 calories a can, and pop is still a treat for me now, but it's nice to have a case in the fridge in case I want to have one every now and then.
Avengers: Age of Ultron has released their first teaser trailer and it's pretty darn nerdarrific. I love how Disney goes out of their way to remind everyone that they own all the things by using the "I Got No Strings" song from Pinocchio.
'Tis the season for scary movies! I'm not a big scary movie fan, but Jenn and I hit up the John Carpenter double feature at the Hyland on Friday night - the original Halloween and The Thing! I had never seen The Thing before, and really enjoyed it, although my ass didn't enjoy those Hyland seats for a double feature. I also watched Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (by myself in the middle of the day so it was safe) because I have a soft spot for that series. It wasn't the greatest, to be sure, but I really like the way they weave a continuing plot through all of the movies.
Sunday was a beautiful fall day, so my friend Amanda and I loaded up all the kids (her three, and I had Vivian and Lucas with me) and did the whole pumpkin patch extravaganza. It went surprisingly well for us dragging five kids around!
After our pumpkin-fueled trip, we ventured to Toys R Us, because we're masochists apparently. The clerks in the store were all dressed up for Halloween, and when we ventured into the My Little Pony section, there was a girl working who was dressed up as the Equestria Girl version of Pinkie Pie. I got all excited and called Vivian over, "Vivian, there's an Equestria Girl here!" and Vivian was pretty impressed. The girl was excited too, because she said not many people had understood her costume. Costumes are infinitely better when people know who you are.
Sweetie, darling there's an AbFab movie coming out! I LOVE Absolutely Fabulous - it's so hilarious! I often think to myself "Looking good, feeling great, looking good, feeling great" when I need a little boost! I just found out that the movie is coming out, but apparently it's been long-rumoured. I will definitely be there - with drink in hand!
This is one of those outfits that I never really could have pictured myself wearing, but here it is. That chambray shirt I got from Target was a little bit bigger than I would have liked - which is entirely my own fault because I just grabbed it off the rack and didn't try it on. Still adjusting to these button shirts since the surgery. But the fact that it's just a little bit big makes it ideal for knotting. I got the dress at Target too (uh, and the shoes. I might have a problem.) and I'm like 80% sure it's a dress and not a nightgown. It was on a clearance rack, so it was a little had to tell. It's super comfy though, and the whole deal made for a good late summer/early fall kind of outfit.
The dress is cute, but just a little bit shapeless. Knotting the top over it helps to accentuate the waist in a way that I think Stacey and Clinton would approve of.
At least, I think it works. What say you guys?
Whole thing is from Target, top to bottom. I need to mix it up.
I like to say that my house is often messy, but not dirty. It's hard to keep things in order all the time with an almost-four-year-old and two stupid cats who climb all over the furniture and lose more fur than I imagined possible. That being said, I like to keep things tidy for when company comes over, but I have certain guidelines.
Rule 1 - My house will be clean the FIRST time you come over. If you've never been to my house before, then I will go all-out for your first visit. Floors will be mopped, windows cleaned, things vacuumed, dusted, bathroom sparkling, the works. You get to see my house looking nice and clean once. After that point, all bets are off. The point is that you saw my home as it could/should be. Now you know that I'm capable of cleaning, even if it doesn't appear like I've done it on subsequent visits.
Rule 2 - At any one point in time EITHER my living room, bathroom, or kitchen will be clean. I feel like as long as one of the three is clean, I'm doing okay. Having two or three of them clean at one time is asking for a lot.
Rule 3 - If I'm expecting a guest, I will at least make a quick effort of cleaning up the bathroom. Even just a quick wipe with a wet wipe on the counter to make things seem presentable. But if you come to my house and the shower curtain is pulled closed then that means that my shower is gross and hasn't been cleaned. Closing the curtain is my way of "cleaning" that.
I can't be the only one with bizarre and irrational cleaning guidelines, right?
I haven't been doing too much thrifting the last little while - I tend to avoid them around Halloween. They're too busy, and picked over, and I find they don't put out as much of the regular stuff to make room for the costume stuff. It makes sense, and I appreciate that it must be a very busy time of year for them, but I'm in it for the random treasures. Here are the few things that I have found lately!
I scored another tray for my Wall O Canadiana that still hasn't happened yet but I'm working on picking out a paint colour. I couldn't resist the little brassy beauty with the provincial flowers! Plus, Mountie. I love me a Mountie. $2.99 at Talize for this one.
I found these book ends at Value Village and am still annoyed that they each had a different price on them - $3.99 on one and $5.99 on the other. The logic was that one of them was in better shape than the other, but I reasoned that they're a set and should be priced as such. They ended up giving them to me for $3.99 each, but I was still annoyed.
This bowl was one that I saw, and was immediately drawn to, but put it down and wandered away. I have a lot of bowls (damn vintage Pyrex being so cute!) but I just couldn't stay away from this one. I wandered on back to it and took it home - I couldn't resist that black and gold geometric detail. I asked Vivian what we should keep in it, and she said candy. I don't disagree. $3.99 at Value Village.
Brass animals are becoming harder and harder to come by since they've been all the rage in the blogosphere. I come across a lot of the usual stuff, like the swans and cats but I prefer to focus my attention on the more unusual pieces. I thought this little pelican was unusual enough to join the menagerie. He's in need of a good polishing, but other than that he fits right in. $3.99 at Talize.
See? He's chilling withe the unicorn and the dinosaur. Totally normal.
Now this is exciting, and it wasn't even my find. I have a friend who has a pictographic map of London, and I am basically plotting an elaborate heist to steal it. So when he came across a similar map of Windsor at Goodwill, he was nice enough to pick it up for me.
I'm hoping that the information on the map - made by Archar Inc. out of Scarborough - will help me find a London map of my own.
I actually don't know much about Windsor - I think I've only been there once or twice. But I do love those graphics! Here's some of my favourite locations.
Apparently maps like these were very popular in the 70s and 80s. I think they should make a comeback!
If there's one thing that Kevin Smith is, it's a storyteller. The man can weave a yarn like few others. I love hearing him get excited about an idea and just push it to its limit, no matter how ridiculous it becomes. That's why I love his movies, his podcasts, his books. Last summer, I listened to Smodcast #259: The Walrus and the Carpenter, wherein Kevin and Scott Mosier discussed an ad where someone had posted seeking a roommate - but with one caveat. The roommate had to be prepared to dress and act as a walrus. Yes, the ad ended up being a prank, but they took that idea and by the end of the podcast Kevin had come up with an entire movie based around this insane idea, and encouraged the audience to tweet their approval for a movie with #walrusyes or #walrusno if they thought they were crazy. The story goes that Kevin began working on an actual screenplay for the movie as a distraction while he was awaiting approval for Clerks III. Once he realized that there was an audience for the movie and that it could be made on a small scale, with a small budget he went for it.
There are few filmmakers in Hollywood who would go out on such a crazy limb, but he did it. The film is supposed to be bizarre and unforgettable, and I am dying to see it.
Much to my excitement, there's a chance it will be coming to London at the Hyland Cinema. The Hyland is one of my favourite places in London, and I try to support them as much as I can. I don't even smuggle snacks there - that's how much I love it. They are trying to screen the movie on November 28th at 9:00 p.m., but they need to have 100 advanced tickets to make it happen. Currently, there are 4 tickets sold. That would be 2 tickets for me, and 2 tickets for Jenn. So, that's where you guys come in. Be one of the other 96 people who are going to be there that night. Be as cool as I am.
You can pre-order your tickets here. If they don't sell enough tickets and have to cancel, the money will be refunded so you have nothing to lose! That night is also the retromania movie night, and they'll be showing The Matrix after Tusk, so it's basically my perfect evening.
Come on. It's a movie about a guy being turned into a walrus that is based off an idea from a podcast. How do you not want to see this?