Saturday, August 18, 2012


Click on it to make it bigger.

the queen's jubilee.
family reunions.
the beach.
loving where I live.
food trucks.
research team meetings.
favourite people coming home,
and leaving again.

it's not quite over yet. but it's close. 
but that's okay, because our end of summer trip is one week away.
and man - was it ever an excellent summer.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Once Upon a Time Magic....

From left - Jiminy & Geppetto / Dr Whale  aka David Anders / Storybrooke Town Hall with LVD / Me + Car / Josh Dallas / Henry + Book) 
Click on it to see it bigger!

So today "Once Upon a Time" was filming in Ft. Langley. I had missed them filming there other times and totally regretted it when I was watching the episode. 

I got there, saw all the sets and was pretty excited. We were taking pictures with everything - including the flipped car (and yes, I see the irony, considering my own car once looked like that). It was crazy to see it all unfolding in front of you and wonder what it meant to the next episode and the story as a whole.

And then the fairy tale came to life and they started filming scenes. Prince Charming! Henry with his book, Dr Whale (David Anders of "Julian Sark" Alias fame), Jiminy Cricket & Geppetto. It was truly magical. We couldn't stop gasping. Geppetto even waved at us. It was hard to take it all at once. 

There were two girls that were there since 9 am. I'd like to say I thought they were crazy, but truth is, sometimes it's fun to get that excited about something. Chances I'll be "set-hunting" in the future? Pretty high I'd say.  

To see the professional photos (not taken frantically on my iphone) check out #yvrshoots photos. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Confessions

I originally saved this post as "April Confessions" then never posted it. Then I had it labelled "May Confessions" so now I'm determined to sneak it in under the wire. Here we go...

1. I'm kind of over Stadium Concerts - I realize that this kind of makes me sound pretentious. I'm just starting to think the whole thing is a little overrated. I mean, its impossible to see the musicians, it costs $100 for balcony seats, and you're stuck in your seat with lame aisle lights shining on you (okay, not every time but this does happen). And sure, you could pay $100 more to see the band, and be closer to the action, but that's kind of insane. I know it's really indie to say that $30 concerts are the best thing ever. But I'm starting to think it might be true. It's just hard to get that concert magic on a huge scale like that. I'm not saying I won't ever go, it's just not going to be frequent.  

2. I've been listening to One Direction - so before you start thinking I'm a total indie music snob. Yes, it's true. I don't know what it is, but I need that One Thing.  You just lost any respect you had for me right? But hey it's kind of catchy and I'm not too pretentious for pop music. This British round of boy bands (One Direction & The Wanted) is kind of rad.

3. George Clooney may be loosing his top spot. I don't know what's happening but my top hollywood man-crush title might be going to someone else. And I have to say, it's feels unexpected and strange. I didn't see it coming at all. But that's how love works sometimes isn't it? 

4. Most of the traditional reasons to have children are totally lost on me.  Yup, it's a doosey. Some of the popular reasons I've heard - "you're going to be all alone when you're old" or "you get to see what your child will look and act like" seem pretty ridiculous to me. I could give you a speech why both of those reasons seem unbearably selfish to me. So I've started my own list - which is probably equally ridiculous but at least I believe in it. Don't go jumping to conclusions about us having children here please. Because at this particular junction, I think the opposing list is still much longer, but it's a start at least. I probably opened a giant can of worms on this one, but there you have it.

5. I really hate conversations when you have to ask all the questions. This week I was trying to evaluate why this one conversation I had felt so flat. After debriefing it, the answer came - it was because the other person didn't ask any questions. I tend to ask quite a few questions in conversation. In fact when I enter new social territory (it was marriage before, now it's babies), I feel like I need to make sure I have a good line-up of questions ready to go. I know that is the extreme end, and some people aren't natural question askers (Matt claims he isn't a natural at it). But there's something about at least attempting that I think makes all the difference. It shows that you care about what they're about, and you want to know more. I've heard the "they'll tell me what they want to tell me, I don't need to ask the questions" position before. I get that in theory, but I stand before you - as a classic "heart on my sleeve" individual and I don't even want to start talking your ear off with things you didn't ask me. So maybe it's worth the ask? End rant.

So there we have it. Another month of confessions. April missed, but May under the wire. I'm always a little afraid to hit "publish" on these posts, but I do it anyway. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


So two things happened this week:

1. I went to a "alumni night" at my old youth group 
2. I got an invitation to my high school reunion 

And this got me thinking/talking about life in high school. It's amazing what the different reactions are when you get invited to a reunion. Some people passionately don't want to go back and re-live those terrible memories, and some people can't wait to go back. And it's not always who you would expect to be in each of those camps. 

Bu in any case, these type of events bring back memories, and you start to remember who you were. And some of those memories are fun, and some are not. In the parking lot tonight after the youth reunion, we talked about how in high school it's easy to get trapped into having to be one thing...

the quiet one, the social one, the partying one, the funny one, the academic one, and the list goes on.

And as much as we emphasize individuality all the time, it's like you haven't learned the complexity of identity yet in high school, so you stick with your little mold even if you are pretty sure you are more than it. 

And then there's me, I'm in that camp that hesitates to go to my high school reunion. I don't like the thing I was there, it wasn't me all. I have a friend from high school - who only knew me in that social context - and she told me last year that she thought I was an introvert. If you know me for 10 seconds you know I'm not an introvert. And I realized, that was the only place she knew me - in the high school social environment, where I wasn't myself at all. 

So now I don't want to go back. I don't want to have to explain that I became a teacher, and now I'm not teaching anymore. I don't want to explain that I am trying to sort it all out. I don't want to feel like that lonely kid in a giant building again. I don't want to explain this non-linear life. I want an easy packaged answer, but I don't really have one. But as my very wise friend said in the parking lot tonight:

Maybe having an easily packaged answer at your high school reunion is just the adult version of living out a teenage stereotype

Kind of brilliant right? So there you have it, that's my thought for the night. Maybe it's okay if our paths are a little less linear than we'd like, because we're discovering that we're more than one thing. Now if I can only bring myself to RSVP....

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Seriously Macleans?

Oh Macleans - Hunger Games fear mongering? Really?

I didn't see any covers when Twlight was out that said "Your daughter wants to date someone that could kill her" which let's face it, was a lot more screwed up. 

Isn't it interesting what we see as "inappropriate" for teenagers? I mean, here we have a novel which is basically a modern, reality TV show version of "Lord of the Flies" and we're scared to let them read it? Remember when we all read that at 16? It was okay then. Now, it's just scarier because it's related to our time. Or maybe because there's cameras and the kids are trying to kill each other on TV. Isn't that the point of a good story though - to teach you something, to subtly point out the folly in our lives. I remember when I was reading these novels and I asked Matt:

"Is the point of fantasy novels to teach us something about our world without pissing us off?"

And of course I knew this. But the point is, these books drilled it home for me again. They say something without having to finger point. Okay maybe there's a bit of finger pointing, but mostly it's us extrapolating what it means about our society.I don't know about you - but that's the exact kind of book that I'd want teenagers to be reading. 

The actual article is a little less "fear-mongerish" than the cover suggest, but it still had that vibe. But then, that's the media isn't it. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

April Playlist

So I kept hearing a friend of mine referring to his "dropbox" playlist. And I have dropbox, and there is lots of music I am loving right now. So I thought I would give it a shot too. I stuck to about 5 artists, so you get some range, and they're the ones on repeat for me recently.

Florence & The Machine 
Nothing really needs to be said here - we all know who Florence is. It's taken a while, but I'm totally into the new album now. These are my two faves.

  • Florence & The Machine - "Never Let Me Go"
  • Florence & The Machine - "Shake It Out"

I am so obsessed with these guys right. Ever since "We are Young", I just couldn't get enough of that anthem. Some say they're like Queen, others say Mika, and maybe even a little Lion King.  It's sort of odd and intoxicating all at the same time. There's a bit of poetry in this pop too. And I love that.

  • Fun - "Carry On"
  • Fun - "Some Nights"
  • Fun - "Why Am I the One"


Everywhere I go, I'm hearing this guy now. My friend bought tickets for his show for us a couple months ago. And now those $20 tickets are worth $150. But we're not selling them, we're going. I think that is evidence of how much I like this guy.
  • Gotye - "I Feel Better"
  • Gotye - "Eyes Wide Open"
  • Gotye - "Somebody that I Used to Know

"New Motown"
Not really a single artist, but something I'm loving recently. The "Motown resurgence". There is a lot more I could put on this list, but we'll start here. 
  • James Hunter - "Carina"
  • Aloe Blaac - "I Need a Dollar"
  • Mayer Hawthorne - "The Walk"

Of Monsters & Men 
Already posted about these guys. But I'm still loving them. The show got cancelled. I was heartbroken, but it's rescheduled, so here's hoping for the best.
  • Of Monsters & Men - "From Finner"
  • Of Monsters & Men - "Little Talks"
  • Of Monsters & Men - "Love, Love, Love"
  • Of Monsters & Men - "Six Weeks"

If you want all these songs as mp3's, send me an email. Remember that? When we logged into our email instead of just going on facebook?


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday Morning Haiku

I am comforted
by the sound of dishwashers
and laundry cycles. 

(strange, but true)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Confessions

Just thought I'd sneak it in before the month ended. Here we go:

1. I find it hard to go to our church these days. Yup, started with that doozey. I am yearning for change there, and see it on the horizon but it's just that waiting game that's hard these days.

2. I have a resignation letter to write (School District), and so far I've only gotten to the header. I just hate change you see, so even if it is necessary, good change, I resist it. I know the new chapter of my life needs to begin but it's still not easy. I thought it would be easier to be honest, but these things surprise you sometimes. 

3. I am really bad at being home alone - Matt's back on night shift, and I am really terrible at just spending the evening home alone. I plan a million events throughout the week - like literally every night out. Then I end up feeling super tired all the time. Tonight I finally did it - with the exception of picking up my dinner (one goal at a time here, I wasn't going to attempt to cook too). And I was productive even! So here's to progress maybe. 

4. I totally buy into pop culture phenomenons - and by this I mean, I wish that I were standing outside waiting for the midnight premiere of the Hunger Games right now. Instead I am settling for opening weekend Saturday so we can make a party of it. I guess there are some caveats to this one. I had extreme dislike for Twilight, but I still had to know what's going on. So I read and watched them all. I just hate being out of the loop. I also kind of love being a part of something big, especially if there is a great story behind it.  

5. I really love The Hunger Games - I guess this isn't much of a confession. But what I mean to say is, I have been almost giddy for two weeks about it. I've watched every clip possible, and have just tried to stop thinking about it because I'm too excited. I know this is probably a set-up for disappointment, but I'm hoping for the best. It's just so great when people have read the books and are so keen to discuss, and see the translation to screen. Post Harry Potter, I had no idea when I was going to feel this way again. And sure, its only a fraction of that, but I'll take it. 

6. I really hate it when people use Social Media to advertise - obviously we can't escape it, but the principle of it kills me. It's like they think we're being tricked somehow because the ads are on our twitter feed, or because they have a facebook group. Umm, we get it. You're trying to sell us something.Today I saw someone was at a "How to Use Pinterest for Business" seminar and I wanted to gag. Of course they want in. But I'm going to be straight with you here - the minute I start seeing tupperware or product placement on my boards, you're getting un-followed. I see enough of that everywhere else. I want it saved for beautiful things.

7. Multi-Level-Marketing just KILLS me - while we're on this selling rant, I'm going to go here too. There is one particular product that has been particularly flogged the last couple of weeks - a health product (aren't they all for your health though?) and I've had enough. It goes against everything I fundamentally stand for - using your friends as sales targets. I mean if people want to buy things off their friends, go for it. Let your friends approach you. But just stop "pitching me" - if I wanted that I'd go to my realtor's free Christmas tree event (which I avoid at all costs). Obviously there is always going to be friend/business crossover but I'd just like to see a little more respect I think. Whew, feels good to get that off my chest. I have a lot more observations on this, maybe it'll get it's own blog post one of these days. 

I think we're going to end on that rant. I think its likely I'll chicken out and revise both #6 & #7, but I'm hoping I'll be able to stand my ground. I was talking with a friend this week and we concurred that the best blogs say what they're really thinking. So there you have it. 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Music Review: "Of Monsters & Men"

I just bought tickets for 50% markup for "Of Monsters & Men". Normally that's totally against protocol for me. I am totally committed to only paying the ticket price.  But here's the thing -  I can't stop listening to these guys, and I know I'll regret it if I don't go see them in 2 weeks when they are here.

They've been dubbed "the new Arcade Fire" and the "Iceland's Mumford & Sons" by Rolling Stone. Since those two bands are both in the top 5, I had to hear these guys. And of course, the Iceland connection makes you think of Sigur Ros, another favourite. So take a listen, and if you're really keen, why not buy some 50% mark-up tickets (still only $36) to come see them with Matt & I at the end of March. 

Check it out - their top single "Little Talks". But pretty much the whole "Into the Woods" EP is awesome.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Film Review: Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol

I know - film review is a bit of stretch, but it's for the sake of categorization. I could probably write a whole post just on that poster - I mean look at it, the hood, the smoke...but I digress. I think this is going to be less of a review, and more just a series of observations. Here we go. 

1. Have you ever noticed how crazy Tom Cruise looks when he runs? I've thought it looked a little funny before, but in this movie it's a whole new level of hilarity. Honestly, I think it's worth going to see this movie just to see this running. It's like something stuck up the back of his pants.  

2. It seems that we've caught up to the technology of Mission Impossible. Remember when the agents had all these cool gadgets and your mind reeled with possibility? Well now they have iphones and ipads, and we have those too. A countdown clock on an iphone? Really? You can do better guys. 

3. "Your Mission Should You Choose to Accept It" - I also loved this when I first heard it, but when you think about it - it's kind of silly right? What are you going to do? Say no? I know it's from the original TV show and all, but let's all just admit, it's pretty ridiculous. And of course they had to say it about 10 times in this movie to remind us we were watching Mission Impossible. 

4. I love Simon Pegg. Maybe it's because he's British, or because he's in Hot Fuzz, but I really love that guy. I'm glad he was in this movie to provide some good non-Tom moments. 

5. Tom Cruise is just too weird. I thought I would give him the benefit of the doubt and try to forget how weird he was for 2 hours. But I couldn't do it. He strutted around in white jeans. His hair was straight out of the 90's - all colored and flowing. It all felt so "try hard". And this is coming from someone who really loved him back in the day - I remember thinking I would love him forever when he rode into the sunset on that motorbike, but alas, his weirdness is just too obvious now to overlook.

Summation: it's a decent "action movie" for your money. All the things you'd expect - hanging off buildings, fast cars, explosions. And hey, those things are pretty fun. But depending on how you feel about Tom - it is kind of a distraction. In spite of the criticisms above, I did like it - and it provided some excellent joke material on the ride home. And let's face it, sometimes that's the most entertaining of all. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February Confessions

It's February right? Now I can do a new set of confessions. It's a bit early for it I know, and I may have more to add, but I think I'm going to go for it. 

1. This "Lion King Surrey" joke going around is kind of bugging me. Typically I wouldn't want to give a "reaction" because the angry reaction just makes you look silly. But here's the deal - to me it seems like the lowest level of humor joke, like "oh Surrey sucks" - as if this is a joke we've never heard before. I just think - Surrey isn't so bad, and you can do better than this kind of joke. Reach a little higher. Come on. 

2. I am starting to have "Driving to White Rock" resentment. I never thought it would happen, because I love White Rock so much. But this week for example, I've had to drive there every night and it's kind of starting to irritate me. It used to be the other way around and I resented driving to Langley, but I'm afraid the switch might be occurring. I'm always happy when I get there though, so maybe I'll just try to remember that on the drives.

3. I think it's time for me to break up with U2. Yeah, I said it. I think it's over between us. We had a good 15 years together but I think it's time. When songs come on the radio, I switch them off. They used to be my first answer to "my favourite band", but I'm not sure they are even on the list. I hope this doesn't make me pretentious. It's just crept up on me and I can't deny it anymore.  

 4. One of the reasons I like house hunting is because you get to peek into other people's homes. That's kind of weird right? Or is this true for everyone? I sort of like thinking about who lives there, why they would have chose that sofa, or that colour for the wall. It's like this strange little insight into how people live, and I kind of like imagining their lives. This is either really creepy or a great inspiration for a book of short stories. 

5. I like reading Bestsellers. I'm reading one right now, and really liking it. It's true - probably the last 5 books I have read have been Bestsellers. And sure, they got to be bestsellers for a reason, they're pretty addicting to read. But something about it makes me feel kind of cheap, like I should return to my English major roots and started reading something of "substance". But then I remember - that's just being pretentious and I go back to reading what I want. 

There you have it - the first round of February confessions. I guess they're more statements than confessions, but it's a way to collect some random thoughts together anyway, and isn't that pretty much what blogging is? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January Confessions

Inspired by a friend's blogged January confessions, I figured I'd do some of my own:

1. I've watched the last scene of the final "Sherlock" episode 4 times already. And it makes me tear up every time.

2. I've been on a low-carb, low-sugar diet now for 2 weeks and the thing I can't stop thinking about is Cinnamon. So I've maybe had a few Cinnamon Swirl cookies along the way. 

3. After watching The Descendants and The Golden Globes in the same weekend, I think I can safely say that my love for George Clooney is as strong as ever.

4. I've joined a Yoga class, and I find myself looking around most of the time wondering if they are all hippies.

5. I don't like Italy. There, I came out and said it. I know it's not really connected to January, but the cruise ship incident has made me think of that country often. And it's true. The police are mean, people steal things from tourists and the food is overrated. 

6. Since joining Pinterest a week ago, I've checked the boards about 5 times a day. I am totally addicted. As a result, I've also been thinking a lot about crafting. This is unprecedented. 

7. I still watch Glee. And Will's proposal this week may have brought a tear to my eye. 

8. We got the Telus guy to come fix our internet, because it needed to be faster to use our hacked program (Plex) on the Apple TV. We didn't tell him that though. 

9. We just cleaned the Lazy Suzan cupboard in our kitchen for the first time since Matt moved here 2 years ago. 

10. Matt & I have been devising a plan for 3 weeks on how to move the abandoned vehicle parked next to me in our parkade. We're thinking of pushing out in front of the fire hydrant. Any help you'd like to offer would be great. Any takers? Ha. 

And that's it I think. I know - they could have been a bit "juicier". I'll work on it for next month.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Film Review: The Descendants

Well you know me - I can never resist the opportunity to see George on the big screen, even if the movie is terrible. Thankfully in this case, it wasn't. 

The story is about a man living in Hawaii with two daughters, and his wife has suddenly gone into a coma. There is also this secondary (and very interesting) plot line about his decision whether or not to sell "one of the last pieces of unspoiled Hawaiian land" that has been passed down in his family for generations.  

Now I'm going to be straight with you - it moves pretty slowly. You spend a lot of time looking at Hawaiian scenery and watching conversations with a person in a coma. It's from Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways), and you can definitely tell by the pace in which he tells the story. This man cares about detail more than he does about tearing through scenes. So that might scare you off right from the start, and if it does, well I understand. 

But if it doesn't, you might want to give it a shot. I found the characters and the dialogue to be "real" in a way that is pretty rare to see on screen. The conversations get awkward at times, and you wonder the character would say something so stupid, or inappropriate. The reason it's so jarring is because we're used to things "sounding" nicer on screen. But I found refreshing. The plot line also takes a few turns towards the unlikely but somehow it didn't feel contrived. So if you think you can handle the pace, some tears, and some language go for it. 

I think this reviewer sums it up best:

"And what The Descendants dwells on, better than any film in years, is how, just beneath the surface of that teenager who seems a shrugging idiot or that woman who seems an everyday mom, rustles an undergrowth of pain, or loss, or heartache". 
-Brian Gibson

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Let's try something

I had a realization today, you know what would be great for the blog? Reviews! You can't do reviews effectively on a twitterfeed, or on facebook. It seems there might still be some things for which blogger is the best medium. So I'm going to try this - do at least one review a week. Not because I think my opinion on things counts so much, but because it will bring me back here and who knows I might even end up doing other blogging again. 

Also, I've been toying with a New Year's resolution that goes something like this - "be more than your job". What if, when people asked you what you "did", you answered with more than just what you did at work all day? Because I don't know about you, but I think I'm more interesting than what I do at work, even though that can be interesting too. I think I'm just going to experiment a bit, start answering differently and work on having cool things to answer with. 

So, here we go, my first review of something that I enjoy when I'm not working: 

BBC's "Sherlock" (TV) 

I know your mind is probably immediately jumping to Robert Downey Jr pretending to be Sherlock Holmes, which we both know he isn't and that's a review for another day. But what I'm talking about here is the the brilliant series released last year by the BBC starring the incredibly talented Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (soon to be Bilbo). 

Obviously it wasn't a very tough sell - being British Literature and all. But they've done something very interesting. They've set it in modern times - but maintained the spirit of the original. And somehow, it works exceedingly well. For example, Dr. Watson has just come back from fighting in Afghanistan in the original story, and same goes for the new modern tale. An old "timekeeper" is now a cell phone. The story is obviously so beloved by the creators, that they know how to make it work today without sacrificing the details. 

I guess good reviews should be balanced.One downside is that elements of Sherlock's brilliance can sometimes be missed because he speaks quickly. Sometimes its a bit hard to follow, but then I'm not as quick as I could be sometimes. There is also an interesting "BBC visual effect" that shows writing on the screen when the character's receive texts. I found it a little distracting at first, but now I'm into it. And maybe a little too much makeup? That's all I've got.

So if you like mystery stories, cleverness, and British things, this show is for you. Even if you only like two out of three, you'll still like it. And you're in luck. The first season has three 90 minute episodes and you can find it on Netflix. The second season just started, and I've got them if you want them.