Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Summer Movies 2015

This weekend kicks off the Summer Blockbuster season and I am ready to be at the movies as often as possible!  Because, you know, if plans don't involve movies or food or both I don't really know what to do with myself.

So, here's a list of the movies I'm excited for this summer.  I tried to keep it to the big ones, since it's so hard to keep track of release dates with some of the smaller indie titles.  Here goes!

May 1 - Avengers: Age of Ultron - You'd better believe I already have my VIP tickets ready for this one!

May 1 - Welcome to Me - I hadn't heard of this one before I started putting this post together, but it looks pretty adorable.

May 15 - Mad Max: Fury Road - Oh man, my expectations are sky fucking high for this one.  Like I'm checking the showtimes multiple times a day just waiting for pre-sale tickets to go up for this.  If I could only see one movie this summer, it would be this one.

May 15 - Pitch Perfect 2 - And to balance out all of the Mad Max insanity, we have Pitch Perfect 2 coming out the same weekend!  Aca-awesome!

May 22 - Tomorrowland - Yes, it looks super weird.  Yes, I'm in.

May 22 - Poltergeist - I'm not a huge horror movie fan, but I do like them when they're well done.  I also enjoy anything with Sam Rockwell.

May 29 - Aloha - Oh I'm such a sucker for Cameron Crowe movies.

May 29 - San Andreas - Obviously I need to see The Rock save the world.

June 5 - Spy - Okay, bear with me.  It looks goofy, but the cast is great and I totally trust Paul Feig at the helm.

June 5 - Love and Mercy - Oh man, John Cusack and Paul Dano both playing Brian Wilson?  You'd better believe I'm into it.

June 12 - Jurassic World - YOU GUYS it's Chris Pratt and the Raptor Gang.  I want a Raptor Gang.

June 19 - Inside Out - This just looks all kinds of adorable.

June 26 - Ted 2 - What would summer be without brainless comedies?  There's something about hiding in a dark air conditioned theater and just turning off your brain for a little while.

July 1 - Terminator Genisys - This one could really go either way.  But Emilia Clarke looks like a complete and utter badass and THAT is totally worth the price of admission.

July 1 - Magic Mike XXL - Oh yes, there will be a girls night in order for this one.  I can't wait to see Joe Manganiello attempt to dance again.  And he will look so much worse compared to the all-mighty tWitch!

July 10 - Minions - Again, adorbs.  Gotta love movies for Vivian that I'm actually excited about seeing.

July 10 - Self/Less - I'm hoping this is good.  Something tells me it could go completely off the rails though.  Maybe it will be a good cheap drive-in movie?

July 17 - Ant-Man - I've been seeing a lot of predictions that this is actually going to be the better Marvel movie this summer.

July 17 - Trainwreck - All bow before Queen Amy Schumer as she brings Approachable Pretty to the world.  (For the record, I've been saying that I'm Approachable Pretty for years so she and I should probably just be best friends.)

July 17 - Mr. Holmes - I love Sherlock Holmes, in any incarnation.

July 24 - Pan - I'm on the fence with this one.  I love a good Peter Pan re-telling, and visually it looks pretty great, but I know there was a lot of controversy during production - especially concerning the casting of Rooney Mara as Tigerlily.

July 31 - Southpaw - That is one jacked up Jake Gyllenhaal.  He is such a wonderful actor - I really do appreciate his talent more and more with every movie.  I'm really looking forward to this one.

August 7 - The Fantastic Four - Yes, Marvel movie number three this summer.  It actually looks pretty great.  I'm really enjoying Miles Teller lately.

August 7 - Masterminds - I don't even know what to say about this one, but I know I want to see it.

August 14 - Straight Outta Compton - You had better believe I'm going to be digging out a Raiders jersey to wear to go see the most bio-pickiest biopic that has ever been made.  The trailer looks really over the top - but is it going to be over the top good, or over the top bad?

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

How I TV

So I had a great big blog post written up about how I've kind of changed the way I watch TV.  It was long, and rambly, and overly complicated - much like myself.  I find it really interesting how much technology has changed and how we have adapted along with it.  However, I realize that not everyone enjoys waxing philosophical about media consumption quite like I do.  That's okay though, guys.  You're still cool.

So instead I'm going to try and break it down into some bullet points of how I've changed my TV consumption for my other TV fiend friends.

  • Basically around Christmas I realized my TV watching was out of control.  Instead of trying to keep up with everything week to week I just started stockpiling my hour-long dramas.  At this point, I have about 150 hours of TV stored on my PVR and external hard drive to burn through.  That will probably be a project for the summer.
  • While I was foregoing my weekly dramas, I kept up with the half hour comedies.  Half hour comedies are totally comfort food - I love just throwing them on when I only have 22 minutes before bed or something.
  • With all that time freed up, I started burning through whole series instead.  I've been downloading a lot of stuff (shhh) and streaming it from sites like Netflix and Popcorn Time.  I also have Crave TV now, which I've really been enjoying.  They have a great variety of stuff from Comedy Central, Showtime, and HBO and it updates really frequently.
  • Because Crave TV is only available for me as an app on my phone, I got a Chromecast so I can stream it from my laptop.  You guys, the Chromecast is awesome.  I can start watching something on my phone or laptop on something like YouTube or Netflix or CraveTV or even off of my external hard drive and then just "cast" it onto the TV over the wifi.  This is perfect for my basement TV since I don't currently have a wifi Blu-Ray player or any other device attached to it.  They're only like $40 and I strongly recommend them!
  • I did drop my cable package down to basic, and I really didn't miss all the extra channels.  I was quite happy to wait a day or so to download or stream things, and Vivian didn't notice a difference either.  I did come crawling back for Mad Men and Game of Thrones though.  For those shows it wasn't even about watching it when it actually airs, but the fact that I really enjoy watching it while texting other people for their reactions.  It's my ritual.  So for the summer, I'm bumped back up to having a billion channels that I don't watch.  I intend on dropping it back down though - probably after the new run of True Detective.
  • I have also cut back on a lot of the more mediocre shows.  There is just so much quality programming out there that I haven't yet seen, I felt like I was wasting my time on mid-level cable shows.  Once I trimmed things down on my PVR it was easier to cut even more shows once I saw them pile up.  If I felt dread about muddling my way through the next 12 episodes of something, I would just delete it.  I can always go back and catch up later if I need to.  Some shows that got the cut like that?  Revenge, Reign, How to Get Away With Murder,Grey's Anatomy, Scorpion and a bunch of others that I can't even think of right now.  
  • On the whole, I've realized that I have serious problems with the traditional 22 episode cable season.  It's just too much.  It waters down storylines and just seems like it's there to make the most money possible instead of being about the storytelling.  Give me a quick paced 8-13 episode season any day of the week.  Because of this, I've become a lot more likely to take a chance on anything that's presented as "Event TV" or "Limited Run".  The new series Wayward Pines is starting in a couple of weeks and is being billed as a 10 episode limited series and I'm really excited about it.  Knowing that a show is working towards an end goal makes a huge difference for me.  It feels like the creators care about my time, so I am more happy to invest it.  If that makes any sense at all.  
So yeah, this still ended up kind of long and rambly, but that's where I'm at with TV these days.  There's been a lot of days where I haven't watched any of the new stuff on my PVR and end up just Netflixing in bed instead.  There's just so much good stuff out there, and more and more being released every day.  It's hard to keep up with it all, but I'm up for the challenge!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Treats of the Week - I got a win

"I need a win" is a phrase I use often.  It's not one that I particularly enjoy using, because I try not to be the kind of person who wallows or is generally pessimistic.  But sometimes things get you down and you just need a win.  You guys, I got a win.  After applying three times, I was finally selected as one of the City of London sponsored employees for Western's Diploma in Public Administration program.  It was something I really wanted - not only because I love school and would love to go back full-time, but also because I've been discouraged at work lately and really wanted to feel like the corporation was supporting me and wanted to see me do well and go far with them.  This is the win that I needed - made even sweeter by the fact that there is a lot of upheaval on the horizon for my workplace and this is going to be something that should help me weather the storm ahead.  So yay me!  Also, this gives me the perfect excuse to start looking for a super cute new laptop bag and to start buying up all those awesome Kate Spade office accessories I love so much.

And now, friends, here's the other treats from this week!

  • After working a court in Stratford I decided to swing by their Maurices.  When I went to change room I stopped in my tracks when I saw that my sales lady had written my name correctly on the door without me telling her.  When I asked her after what made her go with the I-E spelling she said she was about to do E-Y and just felt like doing something different.  Obviously I told her she's a psychic and that she made my day and bought a whole bunch of things.

  • My favourite vintage clothing shop, Lovesick, closed this past week.  She's going to have an Etsy store soon though, so she's not gone for good!  While things were all marked down to 50% off I finally scored a Samsonite train case of my very own!  I gave it to Vivian for some of her little toys, but I just might have to steal it back!

  • Since I finally got  my passport renewed, a trip to the States was in order with my friend Amanda.  Our adventures across the border are always interesting and this one was no different.  Dinner at Olive Garden, wandering the mall and Target, a quick run through Barnes & Noble and Kohl's, followed by some late night grocery shopping at Meijer.  We can accomplish a lot in a very short amount of time, and it's so nice for us to get out without all the kids in tow!  Needles to say I'm now happily stocked with all kinds of yummy foods from 'Murica.

  • All of that Tahiti Treat was courtesy of another friend, Dawn, who was kind enough to grab me five 2 liter bottles the last time she went to the States!  I have decided that I will drink it all with Malibu Rum, because I'm a grown up.
  • Also in the States I finally got the maroon Chucks over which I had been obsessing.  It only makes sense that I would find them a week after I had accepted that I wouldn't be able to get them and got grey ones instead.  Such is life.

  • The Jared Leto Joker has been revealed and while I wasn't crazy about it at first, I'm warming up to the idea more and more.  I guess it boils down to the fact that I really like that Ayers is going in such a different direction with the character.  And if that is the look that he was going for, then Leto was perfectly cast.  I reserve judgment until I hear the voice/laugh though!

  • I love following artists on Instagram, and Gemma Correll always makes me smile.  (P.S. - my phone was at 100% at 10:53 a.m.?  I clearly must have just gotten out of bed.)

  • I got this awesome rolling cart in the States for Vivian and I love it!  I totally started a whole reorganizing/purging domino effect too, which is much needed this time of year!

  • I actually made it outside to do some yard work this past weekend, and even though I'm not a big fan of yard work (like, at all) it was really nice to just be outside, even if it was to rake.  It looks like I'll be doing a lot more of it soon though - probably going to have to start cutting the grass next weekend!
  • I got a couple more things hung up on the old Wall O' Canadiana.  It just makes me so happy having all those pretty things hanging up around me - especially since I'm spending more and more time in my home office these days!

  • Before I even found out about my acceptance to the DPA program, I went a little notebook crazy at Chapters on book club night.  I mean, who can resist cute notebooks, especially when they're on clearance?  Maybe I didn't need all of them, but dammit if they don't make me happy to see them sitting on my desk.  I probably need some pretty new pens to go with them now though...

I think that's it for this week, guys!  It was another dumb week where I didn't take notes as the week went along so I was relying on the evidence in my phone!  This week is going to be exciting and treat-tastic though - it's Free Comic Book Day on Saturday and I hope to see lots of you out and about!  The weather is supposed to be beautiful and the nerds will be out in full force!  

Hope you all get a win this week, guys!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A Hypothetical Question of Morality

I like to think that this blog isn't just a place for me to be ridiculous, but it's also a place for serious ethical questions, as in this post of yore.  Yes, yore.

I come to you today with yet another question of scruples - entirely hypothetical, of course.

So let's say there was a particular jacket you had been pining for at Banana Republic.  You'd visited it in store.  It was soft and lovely and oh so perfect.  And even though it's completely trendy and every store seems to have some version of it, this was the best possible version.  Of course, it was priced accordingly.

Then let's say there came a day where it was 41% off.  And suddenly the jacket seemed within reach.  Perhaps after much thought it was finally placed in the virtual shopping cart.  Maybe that happened a couple of times, but you made sure that there was only one in there when you hit that "Order" button.  The confirmation email came through, shipping notice came through.  All was well.

While awaiting delivery perhaps you had some second thoughts.  The dreaded buyers' remorse.  Was it really a necessary purchase?  Will you get enough wear out of it?  Should you have just cheaped out and gotten a $40 version from H&M?

Then it arrived.  And lo and behold - there are two packages.  Two identical jackets.  Two packing slips, with identical information.  By all appearances, it would seem that somehow the order was duplicated, resulting in two deliveries but only one transaction appearing on the banking information.

At that point, what do you do?  You have two jackets - and have only paid for one.  Do you keep the other one?  Save it to sell on Kijiji?  Give it to a friend as a gift?  Attempt to give it back to Banana Republic, explaining the situation and insisting they not refund you any money?

Or do you just return one of the jackets, just to see what would happen.  And maybe if that were the route you were to choose, do you gleefully celebrate in your awesome new free jacket when you see the transaction reverse?

Please, tell me what you would do in this entirely hypothetical situation.

Monday, 20 April 2015

Treats of the Week - Tattoos, DMX, and Movie Trailers

I seem to have survived that sinus infection/truck that ran me over last week.  It was a rough week, I'm not going to lie.  Luckily, it seemed to have turned around with a pretty great weekend that felt like the first weekend of the summer in a weird way.  The weather was beautiful, and I ended up with lots of awesome plans with friends that led to some good times and late nights.  Bring it on, summer.


  • As all you Facebook/Instagram friends know, I got my tattoo on thursday.  I love it, I'm super happy with it.  Mom has always wanted us kids to get hawk tattoos and I'm thrilled with how mine turned out.  It's healing up pretty nicely - really peeling today though.  I'm trying not to pick at it, but it's oh so tempting.  Peeling skin always reminds me of that scene in The Craft when Neve Campbell's characters scars go away.  Anyone else?  No?  Just me?  Figures.  I think I'll do a separate post about the tattoo and the artist since I was so happy with how it went.  Already planning the next one!

  • I haven't found any myself (damn, Strathroy Superstore!  Why you gotta play me like that?) but I have heard that pink grapes are out in stores!  My favourite spring/early summer treat - can't wait to get my hands on some!
  • I made it out to Graphic Novel Group this week for the first time in ages.  It was so nice to get to see everyone again and hang out for a nice lunch afterwards!
  • I love sharing fun things with people.  If we text then you are sure to get nerdy blasts of information about movie trailers that have been released, funny gifs, things to buy, people to follow.  Not only did I get to tell Jenn about the amazingness that is Jerry Melo, but I got to see her reaction when she checked out his Instagram.  I most definitely recommend it.

  • Speaking of movie trailers, it's been a crazy week with the release of the new Star Wars trailer, the trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Fantastic Four, and now Jurassic World.  It's going to be a crazy summer for trailers and movies!
  • Jenn and I went to see Purple Rain on Friday night at The Hyland's Retromania.  It was a blast - I had never seen it before so it was quite the rollercoaster of emotions, complete with purple glow sticks.
  • I finally caved and got myself a pair of Chucks since I was being mocked constantly for my Converse One Stars.  Bunch of jerks.

  • Jenn and I also deemed Friday, April 17th to be DMX Appreciation Day.  I highly recommend that you make any day a DMX Appreciation Day.  I would be prepared to see more random days like this in the future.
  • That plaid dress that I impulsively purchased arrived and it is AMAZING.  It fits so well, and it even has pockets!  I can't wait to bust it out.
  • I made a trip in to my favourite vintage clothing shop, Lovesick, the other day.  She's closing her doors - this is the last week.  So if you want something, you'd better make it in!  I got a hipsterrific bag, plus some cool jewellery.  Obviously I needed a necklace with young Paul Newman on it.
  • You guys - I took a legit nap on Saturday.  I never nap.  But after a very late Friday night, it was necessary.  I set an alarm, turned off the ringer on my phone, took off my pants and got into bed.  No Netflix, no nothing.  Just went to sleep for an hour.  IT WAS GLORIOUS.
  • Mad Men is 3 episodes in out of the final seven.  I'm not ready for it to end!  I loved the final line of this week's episode when the realtor tells Don, "Now we just need to find a place for you."  Oh Mad Men, always with those loaded lines!
Have a week, everyone!  I'm off to try and finish my book for tomorrow's book club meeting!  Always the procrastinator!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Treats of the Week - Found on my phone

Hello friends! I hope everyone is enjoying having their windows open like I am! I'm actually suffering through a sinus infection and am not doing much of anything. Basically my brain is useless (I very nearly fainted at work today, and was very grateful to a friend for getting me a coffee to try and perk me up) and so instead of having a nice list on my phone of treats I decided to do something a little different and just sift through all the pictures and screen caps on my phone to try and piece together the last week. 

Here goes - what was lurking in my phone this week. 

  • I'm getting a tattoo on Thursday (Yay!  Another reason for taking it easy tonight so I'm not sick for Thursday!) While talking to my brother yesterday we had a conversation about his tattoos which I thought was funny enough to jot down for a blog post or something.  His goal is to have all tattoos he will regret.  He's basically the coolest person I know.

  • I'm obsessed with my new jacket from Banana Republic - and through a bizarre twist I'm pretty sure it ended up being free.  I'm going to do another blog post about that one - just need to make sure it goes well for me first!

  • I can be extremely weak-willed, which is why a conversation about plaid on Facebook quickly turned into me impulsively buying this dress.  Because I need summertime plaid, obviously.

  • Even though this news isn't quite as exciting now that the episodes have been leaked, but I did get to watch the screeners of the first four episodes of Game of Thrones.  I got to see them because I have a super cool friend who gets the actual screeners from HBO.  Nothing nefarious here!

  • Vivian had her first dance competition yesterday and it went so well!  I was so impressed with the whole atmosphere - everyone is so supportive and considerate.  I loved getting to watch so many of the other dancers, and Vivian was just transfixed.  She really does love to dance.  My favourite routine was "Demons" from our studio, Andrea's Dance Studio.  I mean, they had full-on scaffolding for their set up.  The kids are insanely talented - I love watching their acro routines!  (The picture was just from them setting up the scaffolding - I can't wait to see them perform it again at the recital in June!)

  • And there's my favourite little tiny dancer with her medal!  Vivian and Blair's routine took first place in their category - Diamond award!  They were so proud of themselves.  I just love to watch them dance - I get all weird and choked up just watching.  (Ooh, cameo appearance of my new jacket!)

  • With the awesome weather yesterday we even made our first trip down to the lake.  Even though it was still crazy cold in the water it was so nice to just feel the sun and get my toes a little wet!

  • I have a habit of taking screen shots of things so I can remember to look them up later.  This documentary, Life in a Day, sounds pretty awesome.

  • Similarly, I also want to read this book.

  • There are all kinds of new emojis available on iPhone now but the selection is still sorely lacking!  No tacos!  No nerdy emoji!  No crossed arms!  No crossed fingers!  No eye rolling!  No pinkie swearing!  I've got this pic in my phone for pinkie swearing text emergencies though.

  • I've been wanting to get a new purse and had been considering getting this one, but as soon as I had mentally made the decision I started getting all kinds of compliments on my current purse.  Maybe it's a sign to stick with what I've got?

There you go, friends!  Some treats of the week from what I could gather from my phone.  I'll try to do a better job of keeping notes this week - hopefully my sinus infection clears up enough that I can formulate full thoughts in a couple of days!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Treats of the Week - I remembered it was Monday!

Hello, Friends!  I hope you've all enjoyed your long Easter weekend!  Somehow I ended up with an excess of free time this weekend and managed to have one-on-one hangout time with five separate friends!  This is basically unheard of in my world.  A good weekend indeed!  And even more treats!

  • ALL OF THE SNOW HAS MELTED OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY.  This is extremely exciting information.
  • I went to see Furious 7 on Saturday with Kimberly and it was everything we were hoping it would be.  It also made us both cry.  Fast and Furious movies are a real rollercoaster of emotions, yo.
  • I got a new laptop after sorely needing one for a few years.  It's nothing too fancy, but it seems to do the trick of helping me get some work done and also watch some movies!

  • Did anyone else see these messages on Netflix on April Fools' Day?  They kept popping up for me, and I haven't seen them since.  There was "Do your homework" "Go back to work" and "Go outside" for sure.  Well played, Netflix.

  • Have you watched the newest trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road?  If you haven't, you need to go and watch it right now.  It looks bonkers good - and I'm even more excited that Tom Hardy is reportedly on board for more movies!

  • I managed most of a Godfather marathon this past weekend - well, two thirds of one at least.  That one is a long haul.
  • I also got around to watching The Babadook, which I quite enjoyed.
  • I finally tracked down some Tahiti Treat and have been hoarding it away in my fridge waiting for just the right time to enjoy it!

  • It never fails to amuse me when I see a bunny on Easter Weekend - it's the Easter Bunny!

  • This smiley face was also pretty excited about the Easter Bunny - and her sparkly new shoes!

  • And of course it was the return of Mad Men for the final episodes.  I'm not ready for this show to end, but I'm glad they're not going to drag it out any longer.  Jenn and I celebrated the event separately, but together.

Have a great (and hopefully short!) week, everyone!  I love that four day weekend of Easter - definitely helps to break things up!  Some fun things on the go for this week too - including Vivian's first dance competition!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Outfit of the Day - The Best Top Ever

Lately I've been making an effort to buy some nicer clothes.  Not necessarily be a label whore or anything, but basically I discovered the Banana Republic Factory Store and realized that I can spend the same on those clothes that are well made and will last and fit better than on Old Navy stuff that will just fade and fall apart and I end up not liking it after a couple of months anyway.

Anyway, look at my pretty Banana Republic outfit!  I wanted something new to wear for the big night out in Windsor for Amy Schumer with Jenn.  Nothing too fancy, but something nice just to make myself feel nice.  Obviously this required a hotel room photoshoot.

I had this initial idea of wearing this striped peplum top from the Gap that I had ordered, but it was terrible.  Luckily as I was throwing that in my virtual cart I also took a chance on this green top from Banana Republic.  I had seen it in the store (the real one, not just the factory store) and thought it was interesting but was one of those tops that look super weird on a hanger.  I figured either it would be awesome or a disaster so I took a chance and ordered it.

It's really drapey and open at the front - like I had to put Jenn on boob patrol to make sure things didn't get crazy.  If I was wearing it to work or something I would definitely wear a nice camisole underneath, but for a night out I figured I would just wear a pretty bra and go with it.  It's the prettiest deep green colour and it's so soft and flattering!  Jenn even deemed it to be the best top she has ever seen me wear - high praise indeed.  Also notice the feet?  I bought myself these Seychelles shoes that I had been dying for - and they are so freaking comfortable, they're worth every penny.  I have worn them a million times already.

The outfit ended up being perfect - comfortable, flattering, fancy but not too dressy.  It was just perfect for the night.  And I ended up with a new profile picture out of it, which never hurts!

Top - Banana Republic (I couldn't find it on the Canadian site but here's a link to the UK one.)
Jeans - Banana Republic (Those were a $20 find at the factory store!)
Clutch and Necklace - Banana Republic
Shoes - Gamble by Seychelles