Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Outfit of the Day - Office-Appropriate Batman

I'm a pretty firm believer in the theory that you can wear practically any t-shirt paired with a skirt and a cardigan and it instantly makes it office-appropriate.  Possibly because it's a theory that I came up with because I wanted to wear t-shirts to work.  Still, it makes sense.

I got this Batman shirt at Target in the summer, and it's become one of my weekend staples - I like that it's obviously a Batman shirt, but that it's different and colourful and not just your standard yellow symbol on a black shirt.  Not that I don't like those shirts too, but this one is just a little more fun I think.  I'm still getting used to tucking shirts in, but I've been doing it a little more lately with a skirt and it does make for a cleaner line.

T-Shirt - Target
Cardigan - Old Navy
Skirt - Maurices
Shoes - Old Navy

Monday, 15 September 2014

Treats of the Week - My Brother is Famous

Fall always seems to have a habit of arriving with an exclamation point - suddenly, FALL!  I love the fall, but I'm still not quite ready to accept it.  I'm still stubbornly wearing bare legs even though it's freezing in the mornings - can't quite pull out the tights yet!  Here's your treats!

  • So my brother Matt has basically always been cooler than me.  Now it's basically cemented since he's in the new Waka Flocka music video.  You can see him stage diving at 2:54.  This will no doubt launch his career as a professional wrestler - he has pretty perfect form in that stage dive!

  • I went to see Lewis Black on Saturday night, after months of anticipation.  It was an awesome evening - he did a full 90 minute set, which was a really solid.  I know I've said it before, but I love seeing live comedy and hope to be able to see more and more of it.

  • While I was out on Saturday night I got the best kind of compliment - the stranger compliment.  Some lovely lady took it upon herself to compliment my jacket.  There is nothing better than the stranger compliment, because they have nothing to gain from it.  Just putting that positive energy out into the universe.
  • I'm starting a LOST rewatch and I'm really looking forward to going through the series again.  Hard to believe it's been 10 years since the premiere.
  • I finally got around to meeting my friend's adorable new baby - only took me almost a month to get over there after a slew of complications on all sides.
  • Vivian and I had a nice little pizza party with our buddies on Friday night.
  • One of the JPs at my work the other day had a sticker on his hand that said "Well Done".  I kind of teased him about it before court and he told me his granddaughter had put it on his hand because she thought he was doing a good job.  So he wore it all day, all through court saying it was more important that she see that it was still on his hand at the end of the day than him feeling silly about it.  He's a pretty great guy.
  • I've been catching up on The Leftovers finally (I will probably be done with the first season tomorrow) and I've been quite enjoying it!  It's odd, and the pacing is a bit slow, but I'm enjoying the character development enough to stick with it for another season.
  • Is there anything better than getting ready to go somewhere and being able to really take your time?  I love to put on some good music and just take my time getting showered, dressed, doing my hair, makeup, the whole deal.  It's basically the ultimate luxury in my life at this point.  Doesn't happen too often, so I relish the opportunity when I can.

Compliment a stranger, give them a treat for the week!

Thursday, 11 September 2014


Coincidences are weird.

So last Friday I watched the HBO documentary "Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart" because I'm a sucker for an HBO true crime documentary.  It was interesting, and it was a trial that I didn't know much about beforehand.  During the documentary, they interviewed Joyce Maynard, because she was the author of the novel "To Die For" which was inspired by the Pamela Smart trial.  You may remember that it was also a movie starring Nicole Kidman.

Then last night I was watching the documentary "Salinger" about, obviously, J.D. Salinger.  And again, there was Joyce Maynard.  Apparently she lived with Salinger for a period of time.

Then today I went to the library to pick up my book for book club.  (Admittedly very late, since book club is meeting on Tuesday, but whatever)  And what is our selection this month?  "Labor Day" by Joyce Maynard.  And yes, it irritates me to no end that I'm not including the "U" in labour, but I can deal with it.

So what am I to take away from this?  What is the universe trying to tell me?  Am I supposed to read more of Joyce Maynard's work?  Do I watch far too many documentaries?  Or is Joyce Maynard just a bit of an attention whore who pops up in an excessive amount of things?  Discuss.  And tell me about your weird coincidences out there in the universe.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Closet Round Up

Yes, it's that post you've all been anxiously waiting for.  Every year (I think this is the third or fourth time I've done it?) I do a post where I assemble all of the clothes that I own.  Why do I do it?  Certainly not to show off.  I do it because it holds me accountable for the clothes that I wear and don't wear.  Putting them all up on the internet for everyone to see makes me reconsider if I really need to hold onto that extra shirt or if I really need that dress that I keep but never wear.  Plus one of my New Year's resolutions was to only buy clothes that I really love and that make me feel my best, so it all fits.  Also it's a little more interesting this year to see how much my wardrobe has changed since my surgery.  I feel like I'm still trying to figure out what works and what doesn't, but it's been nice to not be quite as restricted.

Here goes.

12 Dresses
These are in heavy rotation.  There's only 2 dresses that are too fancy for wearing to the office and only 2 other ones that I sometimes second guess wearing, but everything else is a total staple that I can grab and go with.

7 Graphic Tees
As I type this, there's a new shirt on its way from TeeFury, but we'll pretend that isn't happening.  This is basically what I wear on weekends.  Sometimes I'll mix up some of them with work clothes (like the red True Detective shirt, or the vintage Kennedy Space Centre shirt) but for the most part they're not really work appropriate so they're a treat on the weekend.

9 Real Shirts
As in, shirts that aren't just t-shirts.  It's been fun to be able to wear button down tops again, since that was always something that was difficult before my surgery.

12 Tank Tops
Here's a category that hardly existed last year.  It's been so much easier for me to just throw on a tank this summer, I've really enjoyed it.  They're just so easy to dress up with skirts or dress down with jeans.  I know it's not a big deal for everyone, but it was really fun for me to be able to have cute little racerback tanks.

7 Plain T-Shirts
Just good basics to have around.  Most of them are from Maurices, which has become my new go-to for basic tees.

2 Blazers, 2 Vests
All new this year - I've really enjoyed having some fun blazers to wear with skirts at work and then just skinny jeans on the weekends.  Just as easy as throwing on a cardigan, but so much cuter!  The vests have been fun too, especially with dresses.

2 "Goodies"
Ah, the good hoodie.  The one on the left is my same old Dharma jacket that I've had forever, and the one on the right was purchased out of necessity while on vacation.

10 Skirts
Loosely categorized, these four are primarily winter skirts, except for the black one.  I wear the black skirts year round.  Sadly, the brown "leather" one doesn't fit currently.  Stupid non-stretching material.  I'm keeping it around until I find another one that I like just as much though.  Or until I lose a little weight, whatever happens first.

These ones are mostly summery skirts, again except for the black skirt which works year round.  The bottom two have been awesome for this summer - perfect with tees and tanks.

The grey striped skirt is one of my favourite things that I own, and the polka dot skirt always gets compliments, but I find it a little weird to wear because of a stupid waistband.

3 Pairs of Pants
Yup, clearly I favour the skirts and dresses over the pants.  I've still kept it to just the one pair of jeggings (which are from Maurices and are amazing and I love them and need them in black), then my real jeans from the Gap, and a pair of Lululemons.  The Gap jeans have become my gauging jeans - as long as I can still fit into those jeans then I'm good.  They're a size smaller than a lot of my other clothes, and don't have a huge amount of stretch to them so they keep me in check.

2 Pairs of Shorts
This is the real weak link of the wardrobe for me.  After the scorching summer we had last year, I figured I had better suck it up and buy some shorts.  I'm not a big fan of shorts.  I don't really like the way they make me look, even though they can be useful.  So I got the black pair from Smart Set as a kind of work-appropriate dressy pair, and then the jean pair for whatever else.  I don't really like either of them though.  Somehow they both feel like they're too big and too small at the same time.  Blech.

9 Cardigans
No one ever has enough cardigans.  I often have one stuffed in my purse, just in case.

1 Real Sweater
The only non-cardigan sweater.  I was actually on the verge of getting rid of this before the surgery, and now it's one of my favourite things.

11 Pairs of Tights
A winter staple - and it's kind of annoying me that there's only 11 pairs and not a nice, tidy dozen.

In the shoes department...

4 Pairs of Flats
I keep it pretty basic anymore.  I find that having leopard print flats (and yes, I have two pairs), a black pair and a cute colour that can work with pretty much everything covers all my bases.

2 Running-type Shoes
Just my Target style Converse and my Toms.  I haven't quite figured out how to wear the Toms yet, but I do like the look of them.  And I'm realizing now that I didn't take a picture of my old crappy running shoes that I use to cut the grass, but you get the idea.

3 Pairs of Heels
My one pair of dressy shoes, and then two pairs of espadrille wedge type deals for the summer.

3 Pairs of Boots
The grey boots and the brown boots have proved to be super versatile, and I'm glad they're still in good shape for another winter.  And in very exciting news - while I was writing this post I thought I would try on my old Docs that I've been dragging around even though I haven't worn them in years.  I thought they were too small for me now, but they actually fit perfectly!  Hooray!  So I'm going to get some new laces for them and see if I can mix them in again.  The 90s are back, my friends.

2 Pairs of Sandals
I've been living in those gold gladiator sandals.  I'll be sad to see them get packed away for the winter.  These are my second and third pairs of sandals for this summer though, which is frustrating.  I hate having a pair of sandals die on me before the summer is over.  Also, sandals always look gross in pictures.

1 Rain Jacket
I got this in the spring from the Columbia Store.  I get a pass to the Columbia Employee Store at the factory in the spring and fall and have been using it not only to get Vivian's stuff but also to try and get one nice thing for myself each time.  This rain jacket has been perfect - super lightweight, but totally waterproof.  I'll have it for years.

1 Leather Jacket
Oh my leather jacket.  I don't know if I'll ever part with it.  It's been so good to me, I just love this jacket.

1 Dressy Winter Coat
My lovely green coat was a lovely Christmas present.  The colour is perfect.  I wish that the button placement was a little different though - I might see about getting an extra button added to help it out.

1 Heavy Duty Winter Coat
This one got a lot of wear last winter.  Normally it's just for shovelling show, but there were lots of days where I needed it just to get to and from work.  I'm hoping to get a new winter coat this month with my Columbia Store pass since this one is from my first year of university in 2001.  Please note the interior pocket for a Discman.  That's how old this coat is.

1 Vintage Jacket
I just don't know what to do with this jacket.  It's never fit right, probably because it looks homemade.  For whatever reason my forearms are too big for this jacket.  It fits everywhere else, but it's tight on my forearms.  So weird.  I can't bear to part with it though - how I can I slim down my forearms?  Any thoughts?

1 Kind of In-Between Coat
Just a cheapy one from Old Navy, it's got a fleece lining to make it a 3-in-1.  It's just a nice one to throw on for raking leaves and things like that.

So that's about it - my whole wardrobe!  I didn't take a picture of my snowpants or anything, but I got myself a good pair of those from Columbia too and have been one of the best purchases I've ever made.  I figure these posts are either extremely boring or extremely interesting to people.  I know that I would like to peek in someone else's closet, so hopefully you enjoy it!

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Fifteen and Fifteen

So I've gotten tagged in those "List 15 movies/books that have influenced you" deals on Facebook, and so of course I figured I would do my lists here instead so they can be complete with links and whatnot.

I tried really, really hard to stick with the rules of just listing the first ones that came to my head and not going back to do any revisions so of course I basically immediately second guessed the entire thing.  But in any event, here we go.

15 Books That Have Influenced Me

Teeth, by Hugh Gallagher - Kind of a random choice, but I've read this book probably four or five times.  It's not particularly groundbreaking, but it's a quirky coming of age story that I have always loved.

House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski - Hands down an all-time favourite.  You don't just read this book, you experience it.  You get completely lost in it the way the characters get lost in the titular house.  Seeing this book on someone's bookshelf scores MAJOR points with me.

Only Revolutions, by Mark Z. Danielewski - While Danielewski's second novel couldn't quite stand up to House of Leaves, I still really enjoyed it as another literary experience.  It's a hard book to explain, because there's no right or wrong way to read it.  You can read it backwards or forwards or upside down.  I would like to try reading it again and see how different of an experience it can be.

Invisible Monsters, by Chuck Palahniuk -  I love the way that Palahniuk plays with different devices in all of his books, and Invisible Monsters stands out as one of my favourites with its use of "cut to/jump back" etc. to play with the timeline.  I've yet to read his Remixed edition of it, but it's waiting for me on my shelf!

Rant, by Chuck Palahniuk - My other favourite Chuck book surprisingly isn't Fight Club, but Rant.  His version of an oral history.  I loved how grand it seemed and over the top, even for Chuck's stuff.

The Contortionist's Handbook, by Craig Clevenger - I went through a period of time where I was tracking down books that were recommended by Chuck and his fans.  This one has to be my favourite from those lists.  This story of a man creating new identities for himself as he flees from life to life is well worth a read.

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger -  Yes, The Catcher in the Rye.  It almost seems cliched to include it here, but I really do love this book and have read it so many times my copy has practically fallen apart.

1984, by George Orwell - Another one that I turn to every few years for another read.  It only gets more relevant.

Lord of the Flies, by William Golding - I hated this book in high school, but later fell in love with it.  Every time I go back to read it I pick up something new that I hadn't noticed before, and that's truly the sign of a good book.

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern - I've only read this book once, but as I was reading it I knew I would read it again.  I wish this circus was real.  I want to live in this book.

The Killing Joke, by Alan Moore - I love Alan Moore, and this Batman story is considered a classic for a reason.  Do yourself a favour and check it out.

Watchmen, by Alan Moore - The graphic novel grand daddy.  I'll be honest - sometimes I like to watch the movie and follow along with my graphic novel in hand.  Because I'm just that nerdy.

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline - A truly original story, even though it's packed full of references to other things.

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie - When I was young I read about a million Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books.  I'd gotten to the point where they were boring and predictable, so someone pointed me in the direction of Agatha Christie.  Thank goodness they did.  And Then There Were None remains one of my all-time favourites.  I can remember being so absorbed in this book that I wasn't even aware of people talking to me.

As I Lay Dying, by William Faulkner - Not a book people typically read in high school, but I had a teacher who was passionate about it and I fell for it too.  The multiple, unreliable narrators is right up my alley and this is one that I can pick up and just start reading at pretty much any point.

15 Movies That Have Influenced Me

The Matrix - The Matrix is usually my answer for all-time favourite movie.  I'll never forget seeing this movie for the first time, not really knowing anything about it and walking out of the theater with my brain basically exploded.  I've seen it at least a dozen times, have read several books outlining the philosophy of it, and have watched multiple commentary tracks.  So yeah, I'm a fan.

Jurassic Park - Dinosaurs + John Williams score + Jeff Goldblum = a damn near perfect movie.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - True story - I watched this movie every single day after high school for over a month.  Ferris Bueller is still basically the coolest person ever.

The Dark Knight - There are few things more stunning than Christopher Nolan's opening sequence in The Dark Knight.

Batman - Michael Keaton is my favourite Batman, because he made such a good Bruce Wayne.  He struck that perfect balance of comedy and drama and I'll love him forever.

Fight Club - David Fincher is one of my favourite directors, and Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favourite authors.  Therefore this has to be one of my favourite movies.

The Graduate - I saw this for the first time in my Sociology of Film class in university.  I instantly fell for it.  Young Dustin Hoffman, a flawless soundtrack, and that heartbreaking moment of uncertainty at the end.

Back to the Future - I feel like this one just gets better with age.  Even as we approach 2015 (I had better have a hoverboard next year) it doesn't feel stale to me.  It's just a perfect adventure.

The Big Lebowski - I have such fondness for this movie and all its wonderful strangeness.  If I could only pick one Coen Brothers movie to watch for the rest of my life, it would surely be this one.

Big Fish - Oh what a lovely, heartbreaking movie.  Again I went into it not knowing too much about it and walked out adoring it.  While it's tough to pick a favourite Tim Burton movie, I have a real soft spot for Big Fish and it came to my mind before Edward Scissorhands.

Pleasantville - A movie about people who get magically transported into a favourite TV show.  Obviously I love this.

Clerks - My man, Kev Smith.  I not only love the movie for what it is, but I love the movie for what he did to get it made.   

The Royal Tenenbaums - No one knows how to craft a world quite like Wes Anderson.

Shaun of the Dead - Maybe a bit of an odd choice, but I adore this movie.  It's so funny and clever and was just such an awesome introduction for me not only to Edgar Wright, but also to Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

The Princess Bride - As you wish.  Such a big part of my childhood, and I can still get lost in this movie.  I can't wait to show it to Vivian when she's old enough.

Of course I immediately regret this whole thing.  I obviously need more movie choices - there are too many good ones left out of here!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Treats of the Week - Happy Birthday, Jenn!

This past week not only included run of the mill treats, but was also my dear Jenn's birthday and housewarming celebration!  And so, just for her, the very first treat will be to wish my Constant a very happy birthday.  Anyone who puts up with my ridiculous texting (and even encourages it) deserves only good things.

And so, lovely, here is a dancing Marnie gif, just for you.

In other treat news...

  • I went to see the 30th anniversary re-release of Ghostbusters and it was just as awesome as I remember it.  I was especially digging that crazy cool style that only Annie Potts can pull off.  The beers after the movie weren't too shabby either!

  • Vivian's first day (and second and third days) of school has gone off pretty much without a hitch so far!  I'm so relieved that she's enjoying it!
  • I saw a random guy strolling down the street today with his headphones on, just air drumming away.
  • My mom paid for my groceries yesterday - just a few things for lunches this week, but it was very nice and much appreciated!
  • I have been making some serious headway on clearing out my PVR before all the new fall tv shows come back!  Priorities!
  • I did a terrible, terrible thing and ordered the new Pretzel Crust Pizza from Little Caesar's.  It's ridiculous.  It's a pretzel crust, then a cheese sauce instead of pizza sauce, then more cheese, and pepperoni.  The whole thing is ridiculously salty and delicious and I basically hated myself after eating it but now I want another.  And it was only $6!  Hot n' Ready!  Dangerous, dangerous stuff.

On that greasy and delicious note, have a treat-filled week!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Very Vivian - First Day of School!

Well, it happened.  Vivian is officially in Junior Kindergarten and has had an awesome start!  Her first day went off without a hitch, I'm so proud!

In typical Vivian fashion, she picked out her own outfit for her first day.  She usually picks out her own clothes these days, and I don't really care whether things match or not.  Vivian is Vivian, there's no fighting it.  So of course she paired a leopard print top with a skirt with hearts on it.  As you do.

We walked her to school for her first day, but going forward the daycare will be dropping her off and picking her up at school.  She seemed excited, marching all the way there with her Monster High backpack, but I was worried that when push came to shove there might be some tears.

We were waiting outside in the area near the doors to the kindergarten classrooms, not really knowing what to do.  There are four kindergarten classes at her school, so it was a little bit of a free-for-all.  After a bit the early childhood educator who is assigned to her class came over to introduce herself.  We chatted for a bit, then she took Vivian's backpack and asked if she wanted to go with her.  That was it.  Vivian was gone.  We stood in the yard for a few minutes wondering what had happened - was she in the class?  Should we go in and say goodbye?  Was she okay?  But we figured that it was safest to just leave her be and head out.

When it was time to go pick her up, she had her little face pressed against the door and was ready to run out to see us.  She seemed to have a great day - she told us all about going to the library and how she got to play with Play-Doh.  Of course she was tired - she pulled her "I just can't walk" stunt and wanted to be carried to the car, but beyond that she seemed happy and excited.  Her dad and I took her to McDonalds for a special dinner so we could all sit to hear about how her day went.  It sounds like her second day went just as well, but I'm a little concerned that next week will be a different story, when it sinks in that this is what happens EVERY DAY.  I'm also dreading packing her lunch every day, but that's a whole other issue.  Vivian has some awesome teachers in her classroom, so I'm sure we're going to have a great year!  I just hope they can handle her!

Jacket - Osh Kosh
Top - The Children's Place
Skirt - Old Navy
Shoes - Columbia