Monday, 29 February 2016

Treats of the Week - Leap!

Happy Leap Day, everybody!  Leap Day should probably be a holiday, since it's not a real day, amirite?  I felt like I was dragging all day, but that was most likely due to staying up too late last night watching the Oscars.  Tomorrow we get into lousy Smarch weather - should make for an interesting month.  It's my busiest month for school - I'll be done classes soon and then just working on my major research paper (research proposal due this week!) so the end is in sight!


  • Coming home to this little bit of custom Monster High art was a treat for both Vivian and myself!

  • It was indeed the Oscars last night, and of course I watched.  I won my office's Oscar pool too, by some miracle.  I'm always torn on picking who I think will win versus who I want to win.  I didn't reach my goal of watching all the nominated Best Picture/Acting movies this year (I fell short on Trumbo, Bridge of Spies, and Creed) but I still felt like I made a good effort.
  • Vivian loves to dress herself, and I love to see what she comes up with.  The spring-like temperatures yesterday must have inspired this ensemble - that's flowered pants, with a flowered skirt, flowered dress, and then a flowered hoodie to top it all off.  

  • Also in Vivian news - I managed to talk her into cleaning out her room this weekend.  She's been asking to rearrange her room, so I said we would have to clean it and get rid of some toys first.  I was surprised at how agreeable she was with it - she had no problems parting ways with a significant amount of toys.  We ended up with one garbage bag full of garbage, and another full of donations, and I no longer feel like pulling all my hair out when I walk into her room.
  • I deposited a cheque by taking a picture with my phone for the first time the other day - THE FUTURE IS NOW.
  • I finally have all the pieces assembled for my taxes.  Usually, this is an exciting time of year since I typically get a good refund.  I'm pretty nervous this year though - the strike and an increase in freelance work means that things are kind of all over the place.  Fingers crossed I can still pull off getting the roof replaced!
  • I mentioned above that I have a research proposal due this week, which I was really stressed about.  I got some informal approval from the head of the program though, and he seems genuinely excited and impressed by my topic.  I still have to put the whole thing together, but it was definitely a weight off my shoulders to see "That sounds like a very interesting subject!" in his email.
  • Rrroll up the Rim has been a bit of a bust for me (only one free coffee and one free donut) so I'm glad that this week is free coffee at McDonalds week to help get over the defeat.
  • I got some awesome new pins today, but I'm planning on putting together a full post about my pin game later this week, so you can find out more about them then!
Enjoy the last couple hours of your Leap Day, everyone!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Treats of the Week - It's been a week

It's been a lovely Reading week - I had some evenings where it felt so strange to just not be doing anything.  I could lie in bed and just watch tv until I fell asleep without thinking about journal articles that needed to be read or things that needed to be typed.  It was a much-needed (and very well-timed) break.  Back to reality this week though - court is back in session and I'm back in class tomorrow.  In the meantime, I didn't end up with too many treats this week, but here's what I've got.

  • I checked out the Banana Republic Factory Store the other day, which is normally a hot spot for me but I've avoided it lately.  I did find a great score - a blazer that was originally $119 marked down to $20.99.
  • Saturday had perfect weather - especially for February.  Made me feel much better about the parking ticket I'd gotten.  The afternoon was spent doing some shopping and wandering around the Brydges Street Antique Mall - I'm kind of regretting passing up these midcentury tea cups and saucers.

  • I finally, FINALLY got my first semester tuition reimbursed.  I'm definitely glad that there is an education reimbursement program through my work, but the process seemed to take forever.  It came not a moment too soon since I need to shell out $500 for the deductible to repair my car.  It also allowed me to finally make good on some of those "I will pay it this week, I promise!" moments, as well as picking up a couple of treats for myself.  Nothing too crazy - mostly just lapel pins and postcards, because I'm super cool like that.  I'll show you once they get here!
  • It was my sister Courtney's 30th birthday on Friday, so we had Chinese food and cherry cheesecake to celebrate on Sunday.  For whatever reason, I never feel old when my own birthday comes around, but when my brothers and sisters have their birthdays it makes me feel crazy old.

  • It was a super busy weekend with a show at Call the Officer (Operators!) and Scots Corner for a friend's birthday on Saturday night.  Did I perhaps have more drinks than I should have?  Well, what does "should" mean, anyway?  I had fun and got to hang out with all kinds of lovely people, so that's all that matters.
  • I finished watching Flesh & Bone the other day - Centre Stage it is not!  I actually quite enjoyed it, but it is definitely more towards the Black Swan end of the ballet entertainment spectrum.
  • I scored some tickets for the Death From Above 1979/Eagles of Death Metal show coming up in May.  I'm still blown away that Eagles of Death Metal are touring so soon after the Paris attack and can't wait to check out the show right here in London.  There seems to be a lot of great acts coming through lately - good for my calendar, bad for my wallet!
Back to reality this week - research proposal for my major research paper due next Tuesday!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Treats of the Week - Reading Week

Oh man, have I ever been looking forward to this week!  Not only is it a short work week (thanks, Family Day!) but it's also a Reading Week and a court closure week.  So I have no classes and no courts this week.  I still have to work (boo) but it should all make for a nice, chill week where I can get caught up on some stuff and wear jeans every day.  This is especially nice after a weekend of terrible winter weather and one of the worst drives I've ever done.

  • I'm watching the Grammy Awards as I write this, which I don't normally do.  I'm basically only watching it because I want to see the Lady Gaga tribute to David Bowie and the couch is comfortable and my book is within reach.  I'm glad that they're performing a song from Hamilton though, since it seems to be the only thing that matters in pop culture right now and I really don't understand why.
  • I went to see Snoop Dogg - sorry, DJ Snoopadelic on Wednesday night.  I was really looking forward to it, since I had seen him in concert years ago at a stadium show but this was a small, club show.  I knew he was doing a DJ set and a live set, so I assumed it would be him spinning a few songs and then doing his thing for a few songs.  This was not the case.  Instead of mixing tracks and playing obscure old school numbers like I expected, he basically just hit play on an iTunes playlist and hung out behind a laptop.  It was ridiculous.  I still had a great night, but beware DJ Snoopadelic unless you're just looking to dance to the same songs you can hear anywhere.
  • This Kate Spade clutch is amazing and I want it in my life.  Damn you, Fashion Week for making me want all the things!

  • Indeed, Friday night was one of the top three worst drives I've ever done in my life.  Somehow I managed to get home while focused on the road and singing along to Say Anything to keep me sane.  When we made it back to Strathroy I detoured to the Superstore to see if the wine shop was still open.  I had to stop myself from hugging the woman working there after I exclaimed, "I just drove from London to Strathroy in the worst weather and I am so glad you're still open and I need any wine you have."  
  • My brother and his lovely fiancee had the family over on Sunday night for dinner.  It's so weird to see my brother being so domestic, but it was a really nice night.  We had antelope roast too - I'm not a huge fan of venison, but this stuff was great.  
  • I went to see Deadpool on Thursday night and it was really great.  I mean, it's basically what you hope it will be so it was a success.  I was more excited about the girl serving me at the concession booth though.  We bonded over a shared love of mixing popcorn and peanut butter M&Ms.  Then I realized her name was Talia and that her favourite movie is The Avengers.  (I love it when they list their favourite movie on their name tags.)  Obviously I had to give her a hard time for being named Talia and preferring a Marvel movie over DC.
  • I'm actually caught up on my freelance typing stuff - huge weight off my shoulders and hopefully now I'll actually get some cash flow coming in from it...
  • I don't do Valentine's Day.  I always seem to be broke this time of year (and this year is no different) and it just seems unnecessary after the holidays.  It's fun when you're a kid, but it's just not something I do as an adult.  I did, however, appreciate my hilarious Facebook Valentine from my dude.

Have a week, guys!  If you need me, I'll be reading and wearing my slippers at work.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Treats of the Week - Karma

The week started out well enough.

It was a busy week, but nothing too strenuous.  I was definitely looking forward to the weekend though.  Friday was great - errands, good day at work, productive, nice dinner, good company, the whole thing.  Then on the drive home I noticed a funny sound coming from my car when I would hit a bump.  Turns out some douche canoe decided to hit my car in a parking lot at some point and didn't feel the need to leave a note.  Not just a bump or a scrape, but hit it hard enough to scrape off a bunch of my paint and leave a paint transfer from their vehicle.  Hard enough that I'm looking at a $500 deductible now to get my new car fixed.

Yeah, that was enough to sour my weekend a bit.

Luckily, it was somewhat balanced out by an unexpected cheque arriving in the mail.  Not enough to cover the deductible, but it was a pleasant surprise that will definitely help me get through the week.  And hopefully the prick who hit me will have karma come back to them too.

Things that were actually treats this week...

  • Not only was this week's episode of X-Files hilarious and amazing, it also gifted us this lovely shot of Mulder.

  • Rrroll up the Rim to win is underway and I've already won twice!  Somehow I even managed to win on my very first cup!
  • I've been scratching some more Oscar movies off my list - this weekend was Carol and Steve Jobs.  I'm going to have to step up my game to watch everything in time though - I still have quite a few to get through.
  • I had some great local beer this weekend - both at Toboggan (love love love love) and from Forked River Brewing.  I stopped in their retail store on my lunch break and wasn't sure what to get until this super knowledgeable retired dude enthusiastically explained how amazing every variety of beer is.
  • While doing my readings for class this week I came across the word "pernicious" in two separate articles.  Triple word score.
  • I got these great vintage London postcards on Etsy to add to my collection - the old Howard Johnson and downtown London.

  • I was a freaking champ at getting work done this week - like sitting down and typing 50 pages in a sitting.  It felt great to be so productive.  I spent Saturday working in the Brescia library, which I love because it's so quiet and bright and has such a relaxed atmosphere.  So relaxed, in fact that there was a dog just chilling in the library all day.  I covertly took a picture, sorry my orange juice cup was in the way.

  • So I've been saying for ages that there needs to be a streaming site for all the episodes of The Simpsons, but one that allows you to search by quote to find the episode you want.  Well apparently I should have gotten to work on that because now there's Frinkiac where you can search by quote to find screencaps.  Episode streaming has to be next.
  • I promise not to do this too much, but LOOK HOW CUTE MY NEPHEW IS 

Hope you guys have a good week - and if you see a red vehicle driving around with unreported damage on it, let me know!

Monday, 1 February 2016

Treats of the Week - February, Apparently

The calendar says that it's February, but the thermometer doesn't seem to agree.  It was a balmy 8 degrees today, which is insane.  I have been enjoying the mild winter, even though it's kind of terrifying.  While it's been nice to not have to worry about driving to work every day, I could kind of go for a snow day.  Just a whole day snuggled up in the house with coffee and books sounds pretty delightful to me.

  • I finally made it out to B&L Antiques on Hamilton Road in London and was not disappointed!  Not only did I find another J. Moriarty London print (this time Sir Adam Beck's House) but I also found this nice little postcard of the St. Thomas City Hall for $1.  They also have these amazing HBC posters from 1970 that are just beautiful.  The pair of them are $295 and totally worth the money, but I've caught a bad case of the poors so I'll stick to my $1 postcard.

  • Back in the fall Jenn went to Austin and brought me back a cute magnet as a souvenir, as she often does.  Of course I dropped it in my car and immediately lost it.  I worried that I had dropped it outside of my car and it actually ended up lost forever, but it finally turned up in my car this weekend!  I figure it must have been stuck to a mechanism under the passenger seat and was finally shaken loose by the snow brush or something.

  • I did lots of visiting this weekend, including going to visit my friend Amanda and her new baby, Leo.  Vivian was quite charmed by him, but didn't want to hold him.  I made up for it by holding him basically the entire afternoon that we were there.

  • You know how sometimes you're really stressed out about making a phone call but you finally get up the courage to make the call and then it turns out to not be a big deal at all and there was nothing to stress about and you feel like you maybe can adult just a little bit?  I had one of those moments today.
  • Bored Elon Musk continues to be one of my favourite Twitter accounts.  I still don't really "get" the whole Twitter thing and just check it pretty sporadically, but I do enjoy his ideas!

I think that's about all I can come up with - I just spent the better part of the last hour on the phone with Bell because apparently unplugging your modem to rearrange furniture is a terrible idea.  Ugh.