Thursday, 28 May 2015

Outfit of the Day - Strike Style

It's been a whole lot of picket duty for this gal.  And I have to say, picket duty sucks.  I'm all for our right to strike, but picketing is brutal.  I'm walking about 10 kilometers before 11am when I'm on duty.  And it isn't a nice walk - oh no, it's strolling back and forth on about a 200 m stretch for three hours.  Next week we increase to four hour shifts!  Hooray!

Needles to say, I'm starting to miss my work clothes.  I'm sorry to everyone who has to hang out with me this weekend, but I'm probably going to be fancier than I need to be.  Dressing down is fun and all, but I miss my fancy stuff!

And so, here is a stunning example of strike style.  Please note the glamorous running shoes, stained green because I wear them to cut the grass and my Converse were hurting my feet.

The shirt is new at least - you can't quite tell in the pic, but it's Han and Leia's "I love you" "I know" in the style of Roy Lichtenstein.  A few people at the picket line seemed to appreciate it, so yay for that.  I've been wearing a tank top most days, but today wasn't supposed to be quite as hot in the morning so I went for the new tee.

To accessorize the ensemble, I went with a stylish and sporty bag compliments of the Thames Valley Neighbourhood Early Learning Program.

This is my life now, guys.  It's not pretty, but it is casual.

Tee - TeeFury
Pants - Lululemon
Shoes - Nike

Monday, 25 May 2015

Treats of the Week - Strike!

So I'm on strike.  And it's super weird and frustrating and scary and uncertain.  I had to report for picket duty this morning at 8am and have a couple of other picketing shifts this week.  I don't deal well with uncertainty.  If I knew how long this was going to last I would be much more at ease with things.  Hopefully it's only for a week or two, but time will tell.  And just to add a little extra fun to things I seem to be coming down with some sort of bizarre flu deal.  You know, something perfect for walking around outside for three hours at a time.  Ugh.

Treats are definitely needed to try and maintain some sort of positive outlook, my friends.

  • Truth - I bought this wine just so I could make the joke that Honey Badger wine is for when you don't give a shit.  It's not very good wine, but it made for a good Instagram.

  • At the mall the other day I saw a woman chase down a trio of teenage boys because one of them dropped $15.  There are still good people out there.
  • I've started rewatching 3rd Rock From the Sun on Netflix as my new falling asleep show.  Oh young Joseph Gordon Levitt.  I had such a big crush on him when the show was on, it's so comforting to know that he turned out to be so awesome.
  • I've been wanting a different kitchen table for ages.  The little round one just wasn't working.  So when I found this adorable vintage pink table from Back to the Fuchsia, I couldn't resist.  Love it!

  • Got my first pizza of the year from Oh Pizza! in Port Franks!  there is nothing better.

  • I know I post this every year, but I am obsessed with my mom's lilacs.  They are such a rich, deep purple and are so fragrant.  I almost feel bad cutting them because it just looks so pretty.

  • Yes, I'm still obsessed with Mad Max: Fury Road.  But maybe I love Mad Max: Furry Road even more.  Impurrator Furriosa, anyone?

  • This is a product that actually exists, and I clearly need it.

  • It's always nice when you loan your external hard drive to a coworker and they completely understand you.

Have a great week, guys!  If you're out on Exeter Road in London I'll be picketing at EROC on Tuesday and Thursday from 8am-11am!

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Outfit of the Day - Paul Newman

A couple of weeks ago, my favourite vintage shop - Lovesick - closed its downtown London location.  Before she closed up shop I stopped in a couple of times and managed to find some treasures.  One of my final purchases from her wasn't even vintage, but a handmade Paul Newman necklace.  She had a bunch of necklaces featuring different celebrities and I wanted to get some more when I went back but she had already packed them up.  Apparently she will still be selling them once she gets her Etsy shop up and running though, so I'll be sure to pass along the info!

So why Paul Newman?  Paul Newman is not only one of the handsomest men to ever have existed, but he's also one of the finest human beings.  A wonderful, talented actor who was devoted to the same woman for 50 years and purveyor of fine salad dressings where 100% of the proceeds go to charity.  Yes, Paul Newman was one of the good ones.  So I am more than happy to wear an image of young Paul around my neck.

I've worn it a few times, and I love seeing people try to figure out who is on the necklace.  I mean, people tend to look at my boobs anyway so they might as well be looking at a necklace.  I wore it like this the other day to work to dress up an otherwise pretty ordinary and comfy outfit.

Those Seychelles shoes are worth their weight in gold, by the way.  I wear them a few times a week and they are so freaking comfortable and go with everything!

And the man himself.  I mean, come on.

Necklace - Lovesick
Cardigan - Old Navy
Tank - Joe Fresh
Skirt - Old Navy
Shoes - Seychelles 

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Pop Culture Question

Typically, I have a pretty good memory.  Especially when it comes to random pop culture knowledge.  Is this particularly useful?  Not always, but it makes for fun conversations.  There is, however, one pop culture question that has remained unanswered, like a splinter in my mind, driving me mad.

I already asked Morpheus.  He was no help.

The issue is this - I have this memory of an animated TV special called Bill (dot) Odenkirk (dot) Com.  I don't remember if it was actually written out as or what, but in my mind the "dots" were prominent.  If the name sounds familiar it's because Bill Odenkirk is a writer and producer on The Simpsons and Futurama, as well as being the brother of Bob Odenkirk - better known as everyone's favourite criminal attorney, Saul Goodman.  So it would make sense that at some point, Bill Odenkirk might have produced an animated special.  In my mind, it was a bunch of different shorts mashed together, kind of like an early Robot Chicken.  It would have been on when I was in high school, so think 1996-2000ish when a title like would have been kind of cutting edge, I guess?  It's so bizarre - I have asked several people about this special.  Several people whose pop culture trivia skills are also nothing to sneeze at.  Nothing.  I can't find anything about it online - it isn't listed on his IMDB page or Wiki or anything.  It's like it didn't exist and I made it up, but it makes sense that it could have existed.

As I write this, it occurs to me that maybe I saw Bill Odenkirk's name listed as in the credits on a Treehouse of Horror episode since they mess with the names there, but that still doesn't explain why  I have such a strong memory of a special.  In my mind's eye I can see it listed in an old issue of TV Guide.  This was before program guides on the TV, kids.  I remember going out of my way to watch it, so I must have heard about it somewhere.  I feel like it was on FOX too, which would also make sense for his background.

Help me out here.  Anyone else remember this?  Or is this a false memory and I've discovered a glitch in the Matrix?

Monday, 18 May 2015

Treats of the Week - May 2-4

Hello, friends!  It's been a delightful long weekend, capped off by a very long day spent with five small children at African Lion Safari.  Therefore, it is 8:30 and I am in bed typing this up with a beer by my side and will no doubt be asleep in the next hour.

  • Our trip to African Lion Safari went really well - the kids had a blast, our timing was pretty much perfect, and the weather was awesome.  I rode one of the elephants with the kids, but mom dropped the ball on getting our picture.  So long, precious memories.

  • The big news in London this week is IKEA and DSW are coming to town!  I'm so excited for the IKEA in town, even though it's just going to be an online pickup location.  There's so many times that I want to just get something small from IKEA (usually picture frames or something) but don't want to make the trip all the way to Burlington to get one. 
  • I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road not once, but twice.  And I would go again in a heartbeat.  This movie is two hours of the most beautiful chaos I have ever seen.  Go see it, immediately.  I'll go with you.
  • I feel like I could talk about Inside Amy Schumer every week, because it's just that great.  This week's episode included Bill Hader though, which really upped the hilarious ante.
  • I may have impulsively bought this tote bag from The Bloggess.

  • Last night we said goodbye to Mad Men, and I thought it was such an elegant and perfect sendoff.  I need to rewatch it to really unpack it, but I was so pleased to see so many of my favourites find their happy endings.  
  • When I first got CraveTV I was super disappointed that it wasn't set up to be able to work with the Chromecast - so I was irrationally excited when I opened it this weekend and saw they'd updated it to be able to cast!  Bring on the Deadwood marathon!
  • There are lilacs everywhere and it makes me exceptionally happy.
  • Gatherings that include drinking outside, impromptu dance parties, and Scattergories?  Bring it on.
  • I'm always a fan of seeing strange and unusual movies ("I myself am strange and unusual") and this weekend's viewing of Phantom of the Paradise definitely fit the bill.
  • Why yes I will take a picture whenever I see a Tesla around town.  That's what all the coolest people do, right?

That's all for today, guys!  Wish me luck - by this time next week I could be on strike!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Very Vivian - Field Trip

Last week I joined Vivian's class for their second field trip of the year.  It was just in town, but it was a really awesome event and I'm so glad I got to go!  Strathroy hosts the International Emergency Response Day and they put on a great event for the kids.  Agencies from all branches (police/fire/ambulance/military) are represented and available for the kids to talk to.  They also have some mini demonstrations and vehicles out for the kids to climb into.  Everyone was so friendly and informative, it was really great for the kids to see so many different agencies in one place, all schools should go!

I do love me a Mountie, and so does V!

I was pleased to see that some of the officers I know from court were there to represent London Police Services.  

The kids got their faces painted by some of the military representatives.  I kept teasing Vivian that I couldn't find her because she was camouflaged.

The whole thing was really hands on.  Trying out the fire hose was quite the popular attraction!

It was a really great event to teach kids about the members of our community who keep us safe, and about some of the other agencies that we don't typically see.  There were representatives from the Ministry of Natural Resources, and even from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Center.  There were all kinds of specialty vehicles on display, including some from Detroit Police.

From what I can tell, it's a Strathoy-only event, and it seems to happen on a Wednesday in early May each year.  I'm not sure if it's always the first Wednesday or not, but there's also a parade that runs through town.  When we first moved to Strathroy I remember hearing the sirens and having no idea what was going on!

I'll definitely make a point of bringing Vivian in the future, whether the school organizes a trip or not.  It's a really great way for kids to learn about safety and who you can trust in your community.  Plus bonus points for a really educational field trip!

May Thrift

I did a little wander around the Brydges Street Antique Mall last week, and then I went back again this week for some of the things I passed over!  I just got that urge to check it out last week - and I try to go with those urges in case there are treasures waiting for me!

I want/need a new kitchen table and kind of want to get a retro dinette style table.  I had an amazing read and chrome one back in university, but sold it.  Ugh, the hurt.  I loved this little blue one - and someone else must have because it was gone when I returned.

Hanging way up high I spotted my favourite - the Middlesex County Courthouse!  It was hanging too high for me to see a price, and it was too large to fit on my Wall O London, so I left it behind for someone else to love.

I spotted this set almost immediately - sure I have way too many gold and black bowling themed glasses, but I don't have any in this pattern and I certainly don't have any in a carrier!  I had to make it mine, obviously.

So much Pyrex, so little time.  I keep going back and forth on what patterns I want to collect.  I love this Friendship pattern, but it seems to be pretty highly sought after and is always pricey.  But so pretty!

Ugh, this is a heartbreaker.  So I found this bowl and I love it - that zodiac pattern is pretty amazing.  Here's the thing though - I came across it this time and it was $14.  But I've seen it before, and I know that it's actually a chip n' dip set and there should be a smaller bowl to perch on it.  The last time I saw it as a set it was way out of my budget for that day, so I let it go.  Now here it is again, but incomplete.  So once again, I walked on by.  I came to my senses a few days later and figured that half of the set is better than no set at all, but alas she was gone.  I'm definitely kicking myself over this one, guys.  So now I'm just hopeful that it will come back to me once more, and hopefully as a reasonably-priced complete set!

Oh yes, hello wall art thing that I take a picture of every time I'm in!  I love you, but I still don't want to pay $70 for you.

Another little dealio that would work well on my Wall O London.  It was cute, but a little rough, and the plaques looked like they were plastic, not metal.  It kind of seemed like someone pulled some plaques off of a reserved parking spot, threw them in a cheap frame and then wanted $20 for it.  Maybe another time.

This little chain made me laugh, because the opposite side of it says "Bar is Closed" but why would you ever need that side?  It was $8, and I almost bought it both times I stopped in but ultimately decided against it.

I rather enjoyed this little piece of the procession of King George on his visit to Canada, but I thought it was a little overpriced for the size, and considering the fact that the frame was held together with tape.

This little beauty almost escaped me.  I found this painting of the criminal courthouse here in London and obviously wanted it immediately.  But I balked, I thought it was a little much for what it was, and the scale seemed a little wonky in it.  So I put it back, but luckily it was still waiting for me when I returned.  And 25% off nonetheless!  Welcome to the Wall O London, little guy!

This little set of Anchor bowls caught my eye initially but I didn't scoop them up until round two either.  I like the little domino pattern on them, and they're a nice little size for snacks on a table (bowl of nuts, anyone?) or for like yogurt or ice cream or something when a cereal bowl is just going to be a crazy situation.

This flag was hanging in a case right at the front - you know I love me those crests.  It seems awfully big though, so I'm not quite sure what I would do it with it.  I might have to rescue it another day though.

These industrial cabinets were new on my second visit - I love them!  At $120 they're not unreasonably priced, but I don't really have a space for them right now.  I love the storage options inside though - could be awesome for organizing a craft space!

I came across this little wooden card box on round two.  Not really anything spectacular, but I liked the graphics on it and thought the idea of having a little box just for playing cards was kind of cool.  In my grand basement plan there's a bar and a games table, so why not keep a special little box for playing cards?  I think I was mostly mourning the loss of the zodiac bowl, so I grabbed this instead.

And for someone who doesn't really play cards, I seem to have quite a few decks.  I wasted no time at home storing my two coolest decks in here.  The box actually came with two vintage decks, but they weren't anything super special to me, and have since been relocated to the box from my iPhone.

Happy hunting out there, friends!  Yard sale season is almost upon us - who's coming out to Kilworth Yard Sales with me???

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Tattoo You

While I am (very) far from an expert on tattooing (although I did write some papers on body modification in university) I wanted to throw together a quick post about the process to get my new tattoo, mostly as a way to shout out to my artist and the great studio.  I've had enough people ask about the process that I figured it might be at least semi-interesting.

So I've wanted to get another tattoo for years.  It was just one of those things that always seemed like I didn't have the money to drop on one at the time.  I got the bug real bad this time though and made an appointment for a consultation at True Love Tattoo before I could talk myself out of it.  It can be quite the waiting list to get to one of their top artists, but because my design was going to be fairly small and simple I went with one of the newer artists.

My artist was Garth Stone, and I really enjoyed working with him.  He's been tattooing less than a year, but I really love what he came up with and he was super nice.  I went in with a few different hawk designs that I liked.  Mom has always wanted us kids to get a hawk tattoo, so I figured I would start there.  I had a bunch of different images, but wasn't totally sold on any one design.  I wanted something that was graphic and modern, but retro at the same time.  Nothing too realistic, and nothing too tribal.  I really liked the look of some Charley Harper designs, but we settled on this Brendan Wenzel illustration.

We both really liked the idea of it, but wanted to clean up the design a bit - taking out the exaggerated talons and eyeball.

It only took a week between the consult and the appointment, and we were set to go.  Although I had been quoted 2-2.5 hours of tattooing, it ended up only taking just under an hour.  Garth was awesome - I'm a fainter, so he was really good about making sure I was feeling okay, but didn't feel the need to talk the entire time.  If I was quiet, then he was too.  

While I had originally envisioned it with some colour, Garth thought it would work better in blacks and greys and making use of negative space instead.  I really went in trusting my artist.  I didn't want a tattooer, I wanted a tattoo artist.  And I wanted him to feel comfortable with what he was putting on me.  My theory was that he's the artist, not me.  He knows his capabilities and his limitations.  So why not put him in charge of what he's doing so I can get the best result possible?  He seemed really grateful that I was so secure about the process and really just trusted him to do his thing.

I'm really happy with it - and now that it's through the peeling and the itching phase, it's looking better than ever.  There's one spot on the eye that took a little bit longer to heal than the rest, but I think that's just because of how deep it went there.

I went with my inner left forearm.  No particular reason, it really just felt right.  I like that it's easy enough to cover if I really wanted to (I wear a lot of 3/4 sleeve tops anyway) but I can see it too.  My other "I was dumb and 19" tattoo is on my back, and I always forget that it's even there.  It's nice to be able to look down at my arm and see this funny little guy hanging out there.  And I love how his feet will stick out from the sleeve of my shirt.

Up next?  I'm thinking a typewriter, as you can probably guess from my Pinterest board.  Now that I'm comfortable with an artist, I will definitely be going back to Garth and will feel more at ease just throwing out the idea of a typewriter and seeing what he comes up with.  If you're looking to get tattooed this summer (and really, why wouldn't you?  It's awesome.) give True Love a call, and be sure to tell me all about it.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Treats of the Week - Nachos and Patios

Is anyone else finding it a little disconcerting to see magnolia trees in bloom with 30+ degree days?  She's been hot out there, friends.  I'm not complaining though - I would cut my grass 10 times before I would go back to shovelling.  Hope you all had a lovely Mother's Day and were nice to your mommas.  On to the treats!

  • Mindy Kaling released the cover of her new book - Why Not Me? - set to be released in September.  Can't wait!  It definitely helped to soften the blow about the cancellation of The Mindy Project (come on, Hulu, save it!)

  • In other book news - Gemma Correll has a new book coming out, The Worrier's Guide to Life.  I basically need it immediately.
  • All of this lovely weather has meant some perfect patio conditions.  London is weirdly into their patios, so scoring a table at some of the more popular ones can be quite the feat.  Jenn and I were lucky enough to not only score a prime spot at Barney's on a Friday afternoon but we also counted man-buns, watched the patio cheer for a passing ice cream cart, and saw a Lamborghini cruise down Richmond Street.  Plus, we ate these.  A fine evening indeed.

  • I finally made it down to the Arts Project to check out the Ting Festival on its final day.  I didn't take any pictures (I feel super weird about doing that at galleries) but the Selfie series was my favourite.  If you missed it this year, be sure to check it out next year!
  • It's so bizarre, but all of a sudden my maple tree is covered in leaves.  I swear just a couple of days ago it was still just buds and now all of a sudden it's all lovely and full and shady.
  • After years of friendship, I finally met Jenn's brother.  I've met pretty much everyone else in her family, but her brother remained as elusive as the Polkaroo.  When we happened upon him outside of the movies I was so shocked that I almost went in for a hug.  Almost, because I'm still kind of weird about initiating physical contact like that.  But still - it was exciting.
  • When parking downtown I always avoid the paid lots and try to find a spot on the street.  The pay and displays are annoying and expensive.  But when I'm running late for Graphic Novel Group, I usually just cave and pay for the full day.  Imagine my surprise on Saturday when I rolled up and there was a display ticket for a full day of parking waiting in the machine!  I don't know if some good Samaritan didn't use their full day and put it there for me to find, or if the machine accidentally spit out two passes or what.  I'll take it!
  • Vivian had her field trip on Wednesday right here in town to the International Emergency Response Day.  It was a fantastic field trip, and I'm going to write up a separate post about it, but look at how adorable this pic is.  I love how the guy on the left is totally Dudley Do-Righting it up.

  • A few weeks ago I was at my mom's place and she wanted me to put together a bike and a scooter for the kids.  After she asked me to do it, I noticed that she changed the TV to Man of Steel, in an apparent effort to sweeten the deal.  This past Sunday I was in the living room and she changed the TV to V for Vendetta before she left the room.  Mom sure knows me.

Have a sunshiney week, friends!  Remember if you're hitting the patio to bring your own sunscreen!

Monday, 4 May 2015

Treats of the Week - Nerdiest Weekend Ever

Holy crap, I have a sunburn!  And it's awesome.  As much as sunburns are the worst, it's always kind of nice to get that first one.  That first sweet, sweet burn of Vitamin D.  It has been a lovely week, and an even lovelier weekend, my friends.  Treats?  I think so.

  • I went to Burrito Boyz for the first time (I went for burritos twice this week.  I regret nothing.) and they might be my new favourite burrito place if only because you don't have to pay extra for guacamole.
  • Why yes, I'm mature enough that I take screencaps when someone tells me I'm right.  Sweet vindication, indeed.

  • I tried out some local beer from the Strathroy Brewing Company and was quite pleased!  I like supporting local business when I can, and the fact that I could mix and match my own little 12 pack was even better!
  • I finally got my first pair of prescription sunglasses and they are awesome!  It made it so much easier to be out and about all day on Saturday without my contacts making me crazy.  Even better?  The case is adorable - loved those Kate Spade details. 

  • Yes, indeed it was Free Comic Book Day on Saturday!  It's been a couple of years since I've made it out and I'm so glad I got to hang out with a great group of friends and enjoy the nice weather!  I picked up lots of great new books - including the one I really wanted, the preview to the Fight Club sequel (first issue of Fight Club 2 comes out May 27th - can't wait!).  If you've never been out for FCBD, you should make an effort next year.  London does an awesome job of including all of downtown and making it a huge event.  You can hang out with me, I will make it even more fun.

  • Who else got to enjoy FCBD?  Why the cutest little Wonder Woman in all the land!

  • So this is a thing that exists in the world.  And I ate some.  And it is an unholy combination of meats and cheese and I think I liked it too much.

  • Vacillating between crippling self-doubt and obscene amounts of self-confidence is pretty much how I live.  So this handy little Venn diagram really spoke to me.  (Also, you do not want to know how often I screencap things from Instagram.)

  • I wandered around Chapters on Friday night and bought a book I had been eyeing up from the bargain section - The Invention of Murder: How the Victorians Revelled in Death and Detection and Created Modern Crime.  Because, yeah, nerd alert.  When I took it up to the checkout (it was only $5!) I had the sweetest little old woman cashier.  She was so excited about my book - she just had to know where I found it.  She had a whole system in place for remembering books to go find.  After my receipt had printed, she printed a second copy for herself, tore off the bottom section with my banking information on it and just retained the top part with the title and ISBN.  She then very carefully recorded where I specifically found it ("Was it on a table in the bargain section or on a shelf?  Which section?") and popped it in her pocket.  She told me she doesn't get a paycheque because of all the books she gets and I absolutely believe her.
  • I went to see Avengers: Age of Ulton on Saturday (because again, nerd).  It was good, but not great.  There were a lot of elements I really enjoyed (Vision was awesome, and I loved the running bit about Thor's hammer) but overall it felt a little too long and like there was a little too much going on.  I might have had a hard time with it since I also rewatched the first Avengers the night before.  Still, it was a great night and was made even more fun by the outing for shawarma beforehand.  Because obviously.

Hi, I ordered my shawarma wrong and ended up with a platter of food instead of a convenient wrap.
  • All of this lovely weather meant that it was time to cut the grass on Sunday.  I might hate the chore of cutting the grass but it beats the hell out of shovelling.

  • An adventure out to Call the Office last night (yes, I went out on a Sunday night.  Today was rough.) was an awesome time with awesome people, but it was made even more special because I found the Fight Club haiku written in the bathroom stall.  It really is the little things.

Have a treat-filled week, guys!