Currently: January 2017

Currently

watching: A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix

I read the books and was a fan, but never watched the movie adaptation. I had zero interest in the film adaptation, probably due to the casting of Count Olaf: Jim Carrey. He’s ruined so many of my favourite things by starring in film adaptations: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol. So I chose to skip A Series of Unfortunate Events.

However, when I heard Netflix was doing an adaptation, and that Neil Patrick Harris was starring in it as Count Olaf, I was really excited for it. And it’s been decent so far, and I have zero casting complaints.

We’re recapping it over on Snark Squad, so if you’re a fan or just checking out Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events for the first time, join us.

 

reading: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

 

This is the fifth book I’ve read so far this year. It’s something I borrowed and is not something I’d pick up normally, but I’m working on broadening my reading choices.

I’m also reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. It is the fourth and final book in the terrible, horrible, dumpster fire of a book series the Twilight Saga. Why? Because we’re recapping it on Snark Squad. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are to be finishing these books.

listening: Fire in my Soul – Walk Off The Earth


The latest single from Walk Off The Earth. I may have mentioned that I’m a fan of all their work? Covers, original songs, it’s all good. So when I saw on Twitter that they were going to be releasing a new single, I couldn’t wait. I like the feel of this tune.

 

making: Labels

For Christmas, my mother gave me a label maker. And that might seem like an odd thing to be excited about, but I was super excited for it. I’ve been using it to organize all of the important papers, contracts, manuals, warrantees, and other documents in the house. It’s a system I’ve been using at work to keep track of templates and master copies of things and it translated really well into a system to use at home. Nerdy and OCD enough for you yet?

 

feeling: Cold

Winter is my least favourite season. I’m just not here for these long nights or freezing, sunless days. And I have the worst time keeping warm. I layer on the clothes, the blankets, I even own and make use of a Snuggie.  But I just can’t seem to get comfortable in the winter, temperature-wise. Is it spring yet?

planning: A retirement party

Not mine! (If only). My mum is retiring this year and we’re working on planning her a bash to celebrate.

 

loving: Spending time with my niece

I haven’t actually talked about this on my blog too much, which is surprising because it’s been such a huge change in my family life, but my brother and sister-in-law had a baby this summer. I am so in love with my little niece and am really enjoying being an aunt. It’s also been really cool to see my other brothers embrace their new role as uncle. It’s been awesome and I’m so lucky to be living close to them and her. I don’t know my other niece and nephew very well, and spending all this time with baby Squish is something I’m really loving.

 

What are you guys up to lately? Let me know!

 

And then it was 2017

It’s 2017! Somehow we managed to survive the dumpster fire that was 2016. As per usual for me, I attempted Nablopomo in November. My goal for Nablopomo 2016 wasn’t to blog every day in November, but to blog a few times a week, every week in November. I felt pretty good about this goal.

And then the American Presidential Election happened and I sort of lost my will to live.

Okay. I’m being a little melodramatic, but honestly. What the fuck happened there, America? You guys okay?

For me, I was sort of at the end of my rope with coverage of the Human Cheeto. And it was depressing to me that so many people looked at this dude that was dumb, hateful, misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, bigoted blowhole and say ‘He’s the better choice.’

So after his election, the realization that he wasn’t going away any time soon, left me feeling really overwhelmed. It was depressing. Disheartening. Anxiety-inducing. It was triggering to see a man that bragged about sexual assault, spewing such hate and bullshit being given such a large stage to continue to bully and harass people. And this guy wasn’t even going to be my president.

I was worried to see the trickle down effect he was having. Hate crimes were being committed in my country in his name.

I ended up having to take a bit of a media break. I avoided watching the 24-hour news stations. I switched the TV or radio off if there was coverage of this dude. I ignored the click-bait articles.

In place of those things, I spent a lot of time doing other things. Reading. Working with my hands. Visiting with my family and friends. Spending time with my newborn niece. It’s amazing how newborn baby smell and cuddles can lessen anxiety symptoms.

My media diet definitely helped me feel less overwhelmed, less disgusted and less anxious. It’s not realistic to ignore the news. I actually believe it’s important to stay aware of what’s going on in the world around us. But like everything else, it’s important to keep a balance about media consumption.

Have you ever had to take a break from the news media, or social media to keep your sanity? I want to hear all about it.

 

Friends, don’t fuck this up.

Oh my god

I am so very happy to see that November 8th has finally arrived. And I’m not even an American. I will not be voting today. I will not be getting a new leader of my country today.

But the American election season has been an ugly, triggering mess ever since a certain individual declared his candidacy and I am so glad to see the end of it.

When I look at the two candidates, I’m confused as to how this is even a race. Now before you start in on your tired argument…

hold on

Yes, Hillary is a politician and has probably been involved in questionable stuff. And yes, she’s a woman and some people don’t like that. But like, guys. Guys. Look at your other choice.

dumb people

Seth Meyers did an excellent job of spelling it out:

 

…How is this a choice?

Get out and vote today, American friends. This is a big one, and it’s an election you don’t want to sit out or throw away by spoiling a ballot.

You guys can do it. I have faith in you, because President Melting Hunk of Uninformed Apricot Jello doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue:

And I only have so many guest rooms if this doesn’t work out for you all.

 

And then it was November 5th

The past few years, I have tried and then failed miserably at Nablopomo (National Blog Posting Month, where the goal is to write a blog post every day for a month). I’ve often used it as a way to try to get back in to blogging in a more regular way, while enjoying the whole community around it.

I’ve been busy and distracted lately. I hadn’t even really thought about Nablopomo this year, until a friend on Twitter tweeted about it. She was asking if anyone participated in Nablopomo anymore, as it was coming up fast and she hadn’t seen anyone talking about it.

I think she received two replies to that tweet.

And one of them was from me. I said I would give it a try yet again this year, even if I didn’t make it more than a few posts.

Then November 1st came and went, and this blog sat unattended, as it has since August. Oops.

So having failed the whole ‘blog every day’ thing before it even started, I’ve instead decided to use Nablopomo as motivation to get some writing goals accomplished.

In no particular order, they are:

  • To finish my next recap for The Snark Squad
  • Finish writing two pieces for the different things I contribute to
  • Try to write 2 blog posts for this very blog!
  • Research and write two articles for my B2B blog

I know I’m certain to complete one of those goals, because I have a hard deadline for one of them. Is that cheating a bit?

Don't even care!

Cool. I don’t care if it is.

I also want to try to read some of the posts from my friends that are participating in Nablopomo and support their awesome work at doing the thing that I haven’t been able to stick to!

Have you ever finished a thing like Nablopomo? Tell me all about it so I can marvel at your awesome dedication.

Oh and if you’re Nablopomoing, let me know in the comments below so I can read your words.

Happy Nablopomoing!

 

 

4 Female Protagonist Types I See Over and Over Again

I always have the worst time finding summer reading. I tend to go for easier, lighter reads in the summer and I try to avoid rubbish books. No vampires or werewolves. No more futuristic dystopians. No teens dying from cancer or car accidents. No books centred on abusive relationships. It’s my summer vacation and I don’t want to be reading anything that’s triggering or going to make me anxious.

BOOKSSSSS

I was starting to think that maybe I was a little too picky about my summer reading choices, but then I talked to my 22-year-old cousin and she found she was having a similar problem. She was having a hard time find books to read, period. All she wants is book characters to relate to. We talked about it and came to the general realization that there are protagonists that seem to have thematically similar conflicts that break down depending on the age of the protagonist:

The Teenage YA Protagonist

Books where the protagonist is a high school student, dealing with the transition into the ‘big’ world of high school or starting at a new school. These books usually involve a conflict around an ugly duckling finding herself and her first boyfriend. And spoiler alert: the boyfriend is usually a garbage human.

Examples: Twilight, Willow, Beautiful, Chasing Boys

The College YA Protagonist

Books where the main character is dealing with the transition of either going off to college, leaving her home behind. The conflicts of being out on her own for the first time and the mistakes she makes while she strikes out. These books sometimes feature a love triangle between a high school boyfriend and a new, more mature, college romance.

Examples: Dearst Clementine, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before

The Adulting Protagonist

Then there seems to be a bit of an age jump there, and the next kind of heroine we encounter are the post-grads, trying to land her first big ‘real job’ and the hilarity that ensues with that transition. I feel like the subtitle to most of those books could easily be ‘Adulting is Hard’. These Adulting protagonist have love stories that usually see the protagonist getting engaged at the end. Usually, to underserving, terrible boy characters. It’s kind of depressing.

Examples: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Devil Wears Prada, Post Grad

The Balancing Act Protagonist

Then we get to the stories about married women who are struggling with balancing their lives, trying to manage being a ‘good’ wife and mother, while also a good friend and being a rockstar at work. Sometimes, the major conflict is with their husbands, and on the occasion, the heroine is realizing she’s married the wrong man. Sometimes, that conflict comes from the fact the main character has prioritized their jobs over their families, so their husband’s fragile egos are hurt.

Examples: Shopaholic Takes Manhattan, Everyone Worth Knowing or pretty much anything by Marian Keyes

Prove me wrong, books!

I guess that if you’re looking to create conflict in stories, while avoiding dark or heavy stuff, you’re only left with relationships, maybe?

I feel like I’m asking for the impossible trying to find something to read that is easy, fun, while at the same time skipping those more traditional, almost formulaic plots. I could do without these characters that revolve around a female protagonist’s romantic relationship or finding the balance between keeping their romantic partner happy, while also being happy themselves. I’m looking for more from my books, you guys.

Am I being too harsh about these kinds of protagonists? What kind of books do you like to read during the summer?

Or even better… do you have a book recommendation for me? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Currently and comments

You may have noticed a slight change over here on the blog. That’s because I finally decided to catch up to 2012 and have changed the way people interact with my blog. I’ve been familiar with and using Disqus on other sites, and I know my friends over at Snark Squad use this tool, and I like the way it works. So I finally implemented it here on my own personal blog. Hey, maybe I’ll even post more frequently here. Who knows! Anything can happen.

Anyway. As per usual when I’ve been away for a while, let’s catch up with a Currently Project post.

Currently

watching:

Gilmore Girls on Netflix. All day, everyday.

GG

Okay. And real talk: I was kind of looking forward to the premiere of one of my favourite guilty pleasure shows: The Bachelorette. But I’m two episodes in and it is probably the worst season ever. And it’s the Bachelorette so that is an incredibly low bar, I know, but still. The Bachelorette isn’t likeable like last year’s (Kaitlyn was the best Bachelorette ever, and you can’t convince me otherwise. I will fight you). But you don’t completely hate her, either. The bachelors have the combined personality of a cold bowl of soup. Not exactly compelling trash TV.

reading:

The graphic novels I was given for my birthday. I was spoiled this year. I’m getting stuck into Hawkeye and Guardians of the Galaxy is next.

listening:

I’ve had the same few songs on repeat. JT’s Can’t Stop The Feeling, Walk Off the Earth’s cover of Let it Go, and Dodged a Bullet by Greg Laswell. The Greg Laswell tune was featured on the season finale of The Blacklist and it is just an awesome, awesome song. Take a listen:

 

And because I can’t resist the opportunity to share with the world the brilliance that is Walk Off the Earth, here’s their cover of Let It Go:

 

making:

Plans to try out the new hard rootbeer and training modules for  teaching my client how to post on his new website.

feeling:

A-okay.

thumbs up

planning:

Projects for the summer because I don’t know how to vacation.

loving:

The sunshine, longer days, and the Gilmore Guys podcast. I wasn’t totally sold on this podcast at first. I gave it a go a few times and just couldn’t get through an entire episode. I was going to quit them, but then my friend recommended I skip their first season. I tried it again, starting on season two, and I’m so glad I did. The guys really find their groove as time went on and the podcasts are great.

What have you guys been up to lately?

It’s not easy being the Other

In case you’ve never seen my bio, met me IRL, or read my Twitter feed… I’m a Toronto Raptors fan. I’m one of those long-standing, loud and proud fans that fell in love with this team long before they started winning. Before Vince Carter was a household name, and here I am long after Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach. Still a huge fan.

If you’re familiar at all with the NBA, you probably know that the Raptors have been a bit of a joke among the league. That they’re terrible. That they don’t ‘have it’.

Shut up, Pierce.

ESPN even had a poll on their website, once the Final Four was decide, asking who was going to win the championship.

The Warriors.
OKC.
The Cavs.
Or… Other.

Seems like everyone outside of Canada was counting the Raptors out.

But on Friday night, as I watched my team loose in game six of the Eastern Conference finals, I felt so proud of my team.

Well, okay, if I’m completely honest, if they’d gone on to the finals and won it all, yeah, I could probably muster up some more of those feelings.

But yeah. I’m pretty damn proud. This was a hard fought, amazing ride of a season. Many records were broken and everyone kept saying the Raptors couldn’t do it. They were going to be swept by Indiana. We were never going to beat the Heat. Even after a few years of some terrible post-season runs, the fans were getting nervous.

We went from worrying about having to face Chicago in the first round of the playoffs to being two wins away from the finals. Two wins away. From the Finals.

As a long time fan, it was awesome to see the fanbase grow as new people started to get onboard, started to discover this team. To see what a great franchise the Raptors are. To see what it’s like to have a group of likeable players. To see what it’s like to have a team that actually wins. (Sorry, Leafs fans. Couldn’t resist it).

And finally, after spending so much time having to defend and justify myself for being a Raptors fan, the rest of the world is finally starting to notice the Northern uprising. We’re no longer just the other team. We were one of the final four. We’re earning respect. I mean, even the self-appointed basketball King is taking notice:

We’ve built a good thing here.

And you can probably still hear us, the fans, still chanting, even two days after the end of one of the most exciting seasons in franchise history came to a close.

So don’t count us out. We the North. And we’re just warming up.

 

Hello, it’s me.

My host sent me an email in early January to remind me that my domain for this blog was expiring. It was a nice reminder that I had a blog, but it was also a reminder that I had a blog and wasn’t actually… blogging.

awkward

I honestly spent a lot of time thinking about whether or not to renew this domain. I haven’t posted regularly in a few years. I hadn’t written at all in 2016 yet. And people keep telling me blogging is dead. That no one blogs anymore and even if they do blog, no one is reading them. So why bother?

Good question. But I’ve always liked the idea of having an easy way to self-publish and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to ditch the posts I’ve collected here.

Clearly I decided to renew after all, because you’re reading this (All two of you! Hi, Mom!). I’m going to get back into this blogging business slowly. So I’m starting off with a currently to catch you up!

Currently…

watching:

Lots of basketball. A little bit of baseball. And Big Brother Canada. Yes, it’s awful. Oh, well.

reading:

New Moon. Wait, stop. It’s for a good cause, I promise. My friends and I didn’t suffer enough when we recapped Twilight back in October… Someone thought it would be a good idea to recap New Moon, so… welcome to my hell. Or better yet, check out 31 Days of New Moon over one the Snark Squad website.

I’ve also been reading the Black Widow graphic novels by Edmondson and Noto. They are excellent.

listening:

Basically this song by Walk Off The Earth on repeat:

making:

A lot of my spare time lately has been spent developing two new websites. And a few other projects for a returning client. It’s been all work and no fun. But I genuinely enjoy building these things. I’m getting nothing but sexual harassment from my day job, so I’m delving deep into the things that are restorative to my mental health and that’s building and designing.

feeling:

I’m feeling okay. My day job is just not what I want to be doing with my life, so I’m trying to squeeze every last second out of my time spent away from work. I am tired of winter. I am tired of my job. I’m tired of a bunch of things that I can’t really control. It seems like the closer to being done with all of this, the slower time is going. I’m trying to stay focused on the light at the end of this long, long tunnel. We’re getting there.

planning:

What I’m going to do once my contract at work is up. It is going to be so good, you guys.

loving:

Reading and BookTube. I’ve been watching a lot of my amazing friends creating some awesome content. Their videos are making me want to read more, which is something I’ve not been doing a lot of lately.

What have you been up to lately?