Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: Midnight In Paris

This week my local theatre showed Woody Allen’s newest creation, Midnight In Paris. The film stars Owen Wilson as a washed up hollywood screenwriter who spends his time fantasizing about the past, in particular Paris during the 1920’s. He and his insufferable bride-to-be, Inez (Rachel McAdams), are in Paris on vacation which provides plenty of opportunity for Gil to reminisce on the golden past as well as ample time for Inez to berate him for it as he tries to write a novel instead of another hollywood-worthy screenplay. Gil spends his vacation tagging along, whether it be with his overtly right-wing conservative in-laws buying obscenely priced furniture for their future home, or Inez and her friends Carol and Paul as they tour Paris. One night Gil escapes his fiancée while she goes off dancing with Paul and Carol, and finds himself, fairly intoxicated, on the steps of an old church. When the bells strike midnight an old car drives up and takes Gil away down the street but when he exits the car he discovers that he has been taken to the place he always dreamed of and finds himself in the 1920’s. Gil returns several nights in a row and Inez and her parents become suspicious. However, the phrase “I was out dancing with Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald” does not bode well with his fiancée. His several trips back to this era introduce many well known characters that any writer today could only dream of meeting. If you ever wonder what Woody Allen dreams of at night, this film is probably an accurate representation. 
The theme that is evident in Midnight in Paris is the idea of nostalgia, especially for a time or place we’ve never been to before. Woody Allen explores the idea that no matter what time you believe was the golden age, those who lived during that time will long for a different past themselves. When Gil begins to fall for Adriana, a former mistress of Pablo Picasso, he is really just falling in love with the idea of Paris in the 1920’s. He soon discovers that Adriana believes that the 1890’s were the golden age. By incorporating historic figures into the story it engages the audience and further proves the point that there is no such thing as a golden age and that it is purely self-constructed. From Salvador Dali to Earnest Hemingway, Gil’s midnight trips to the twenties are like Night at the Museum for aspiring authors. 
Woody Allen is a story teller, whether it be directing, writing, or acting, and this film is no exception to his style. The story is the heart of the film and by bringing the lead character into the roaring twenties the audience follows. It is believable because the concept of nostalgia is not foreign. Though the past is concrete in the sense of what happened, happened, it is malleable in that we can choose to portray it however we wish. Though Midnight in Paris is classified as a romantic comedy, this is far from a simple chick-flick, a well-written reflection on our obsession with the past.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Jane Eyre



The latest showing at my local theatre's film society was the newest telling of Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. It would be possible to spend this review picking apart the book versus movie details but instead let’s just look at the film for what it is. A quick summary; essentially Jane Eyre, orphaned as a baby, grows up with her aunt, Mrs. Reed, a poor excuse for a caretaker and just an all around distasteful person. Jane attends an all girls school where her already dreadful childhood continues, as her best friend Helen dies of consumption leaving Jane alone again. Eventually, Jane works in Thornfield Hall and comes to know Mr. Rochester, the owner of the estate, whom she begins to fall in love with. This film took the opportunity to rearrange the chronology a bit which lets the audience look at the story differently. The novel is told from Jane’s point of view and by inserting the snippets of her dismal childhood into scenes where she is older, it shows the effect that her upbringing had on her personality. From the beginning Jane is never reluctant to say what she thinks and the film really emphasizes that aspect of her character. From the way she acts around Mrs. Reed as a child to her first interactions with Mr. Rochester, when Jane has something to say she does not hesitate to say it.
As a major period piece, Jane Eyre has a lot of offer in the way of cinematography. It opens with sweeping landscapes of Britain as Jane makes her way to the Moor House in a storm, and continues to take advantage of the beautiful setting throughout the film. Perhaps the element that most draws us into the 19th century is the score. Dario Marionelli, who also composed the score for Pride & Prejudice (2005), did an impeccable job with it. The musical compositions add a whole other layer of depth that this film really needed to immerse the audience in the era of the story.
With all the production details very well executed, the excellent acting was just sort of a given. Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland) was perfectly cast, in my opinion. She had just enough spunk without seeming sassy; simply refined. Mr. Rochester, played by Michael Fassbender, was her perfect opposite really. And as for Judi Dench, well she doesn’t really need any applause. She was fantastic and brought life to every scene appeared in, the few comedic moments that exist in this film are thanks to her brilliance. The one thing I wanted out of this film that I didn’t get however were more scenes between Jane and Mr. Rochester. I felt as though their relationship was a bit rushed and perhaps more scenes of them together, instead of some of the flash backs to her childhood, would help explain their relationship. All in all this film was a beautiful period piece if nothing else, a perfect dark film for a rainy day, and a worthwhile addition to the film society’s line-up.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BEDA Day 31: FIN

Alas, it has come to this. The last day of Blog Every Day August 2011. Over all I think it has been a pretty good experience and I would definitely recommend it if you're looking for a good way to write more or get motivated to write. It takes a wee bit of discipline but as long as you have steady internet access you're pretty much set to go. Especially if you are new to the world of blogging (like myself) it's a good way to learn what you like talking about even when you have nothing to talk about.

And now a look back at this August in which I asses the pros and cons of BEDA.

One of the best things about BEDA is the fact that it makes you write every day, or rather you have to make yourself write every day. This is good for two reasons, the first being the self-discipline aspect of it and the second is that the writing daily becomes a sort of brain exercise, like doing a sudoku or something. Besides the advantages I listed above BEDA also helps you develop a writing style if you're new to the blogging world. Even when writing a post is the last thing you want to do if you make yourself do it it's definitely worth the extra effort (even when you read it the next day and it sounds terrible).

The main negative side to blogging every day is exactly that, blogging every day. Some days you just feel completely uninspired and that's why every once in a while there are some just plain crap posts within the month. The other bad thing I suppose would be if you manage your time poorly (like me during the summer) and you're rushing to finish your post before you fall asleep.

Overall though this has definitely been a worthwhile experience and I definitely say try it if you haven't already. Of course you don't have to do it during a month that begins with 'A'. Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is coming up this November as it does every year, another good writing exercise, though much more daunting then a simple blog post every day. Who knows maybe I'll give that a go.

If you were awesome to stick around this month and read even the worst of the worst posts I just want to say thanks a heap. I start school tomorrow so I'll be back with posts as soon as I get settled in, just not every day.




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

BEDA Day 30: Migraines < Fun also Home

I was doing so well. I haven't had a migraine since June first (which was my graduation day). Well that streak was broken today. If you have migraines you know they suck and if you don't well then, you surely don't want them. Things could be worse.

In other less whiney news I am officially back in my native land where I will be living for the next four years. Being back in Canada is nice. For one thing the weather is gorgeous, I forgot what a breeze felt like living in the South for this long. I have this bad habit with the U.S. and Canada where when I'm in one I can always think about the good things about the other. The classic "grass is always greener" problem if you will. But I am trying to not think about that this time around and I have a pretty positive attitude about starting school here in a day. I just have to remember that there are things I love about both places and things I don't love so much.

I thought that Canada would always be home. Where particularly in Canada I can't pin point. I think it may just be the culture in general. I've only lived on the east coast in a couple different towns but I've spent a ton of time in British Columbia because I have family there, and I feel like it's part of that feeling of home as well. However now that I'm back in Canada for university doest mean I am home for good. I will still be going home when I go back South for Christmas with my family. But that's just it about home, is it's not the particular physical place that makes it home but the feeling that you have when you're there, wherever that may be. Mostly it has to do with the people but sometimes it's just simple things, like a cup of Tim Horton's hot chocolate or reading bilingual road signs. I watched this interesting video about 'home' and what it means recently. If you find this subject at all interesting you should check it out here.

I'll be here this time tomorrow with my last BEDA post of 2011. Get excited folks.

Monday, August 29, 2011

BEDA Day 29: Road Trip Part Two

We're still driving as I'm typing this and I may not get to my grandparents until after midnight so i have to type this on my phone before we get to the border because I won't have 3G in Canada. Cool story right? 

Continuing with the assumption that I'm an expert on road trips today's post is another key tip. You're going to be on the road for quite some time so make up a game or something silly to do or count along the way. For example for this trip up the east coast mum and I decided to count the number of towns between Virginia and Pennsylvania that ended in 'burg'. We counted fourteen.

Though they may be random these easy games or competitions can keep you occupied if you find yourself looking at the clock every few minutes. If you can't come up with an original game ispy or the liscense plate game are always safe bets. These don't only keep the passengers occupied butt they also keep the driver awake which is always good. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

BEDA Day 28: Road Trip Part One

I have really crappy hotel internet so we're going to keep this short.

Today consisted of twelve hours of driving, which went fairly smoothly minus one construction zone. As a seasoned pro of road trips I can say that one of the most important aspects to driving for a long time is music. Ideally you have an iPod and an auxiliary cord but if you're me and your car doesn't have an auxiliary port so you have to resort to good ol' fashion CDs. I realize you can use the adapters that work with radio stations for connecting your iPod but those drive me crazy because I have to change the station every ten minutes. So as for music choice, I don't have that many CD's in my personal collection but what I did bring along some older CD's (not like classics old but like I've owned them for ten or more years old) such as Brushfire Fairytales by Jack Johnson and Room For Squares, John Mayer's debut album. They are both great albums and I would highly recommend them for not just traveling but just good listening in general. Also along with us for the ride, Brett Dennen's most recent album, Lover Boy and Norah Jones' compilation album, Featuring. For sentimental value I brought the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants soundtrack. Besides triggering immense nostalgia this album also has some great songs. It used to be a car staple with my mum and I before we used our iPods in the car. Finally I brought Adele's 21 but unfortunately the truck's CD player decided that it didn't work with this one. As a tip I'd say six CD's definitely aren't enough but if you've got minimal supply of music on CD's at least pick some albums that you're willing to listen to on repeat, that is if you're not a fan of the radio.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BEDA Day 27: A Story of How I Failed

That's right kids, it's time for another exciting story of today's events. Please note that this story is filled with hyperbole and is meant to sound overdramatic. Because dumb stories are just better that way.

So as I've mentioned approximately 8324298374 times I'm leaving for university tomorrow (the road trip portion of the journey) which made tonight my last dinner with my family all together until Christmas. So I thought to show the parental units that I am a responsible adult and in fact ready for the real world that I would cook us all dinner. You see this going badly already don't you. Yeah I was still pretty doped up on optimism at this point so I thought everything would be just peachy. Alas, no.

I decided quesadillas as the meal of choice because they're fairly simple and we had left over chicken. You can't really screw much up with quesadillas. I mean the chicken was already cooked so salmonella was out of the question. All I had to do was successfully grate cheese, cut vegetables, arrange them on the tortilla and cook them. I grated the cheese successfully without grating my knuckles off, and chopped the vegetables without catching my fingers in the mix, I arranged the perfect proportions of the ingredients onto the tortillas. Still nothing has gone wrong. I'm on top of the world (hyperbole).

One last step, I must successfully get the uncooked quesadillas from the plate to the frying pan, flip them, and get them back onto the plate. I was really quite simple. I lost a bit of cheese out of the side along the way but the first quesadilla was a success. And the second. Only one more and the dinner would be complete (dramatic music begins to crescendo in the background). My parents would know their daughter was ready for the real world because she could successfully make quesadillas.

Well you already know this story ends in failure so I'll just let you off the hook now. The third and final quesadilla was sizzling away in the frying pan and was ready to be flipped. So I took my two spatulas (two you ask, yes I had a system, okay) and began the flipping process. And then I moved my hand just a wee bit to close to the frying pan and burned my finger. Badly.

So that's that. My finger hurts as I type this up and it'll be nice and blistered for university orientation. Oh well, a good story to meet new people right? Yeah let's go with that.

Friday, August 26, 2011

BEDA Day 26: Five Things I'm Looking Forward To

(This topic was taken from the trusty 365 day challenge)
University Edition! 


1. Moving in to university: Have I mentioned lately on this blog that I'm moving into university? Maybe once or twice. In any case, I am looking forward to the moving in process, and I am mostly eager to see what my dorm looks like and what my residence is like. I've visited it once last year but very briefly and I never actually saw the kind of room that I will be living in so it's like a fun surprise. Hopefully my keyboard will fit. That's really my only worry.

2. Making new friends/ meeting new people: I generally consider myself a pretty friendly person, though I'm not extremely extroverted I do like meeting new people and freshman year at university is pretty much made for that.

3. Taking a photography course: I've been interested in photography since probably ninth grade but I've never actually taken any classes or learned anything technical to do with it. It's just sort have been a hobby. But that will no longer be true after this semester because I'm actually going to take a real life university class (huzzah) in film photography. I'm excited to maybe know a little bit of what I'm talking about when it comes to photography now.

4. Working on the newspaper: I want to get involved in several extracurricular actives at my new school but newspaper is number one on the list. I've been considering journalism as a potential career path so I thought I'd test out that idea by participating in the school paper. Not to mention I'd get to put my learn-ed photography skills to the test.

5. Taking classes I'm actually interested in: Besides the photography course I'm also taking courses in other subjects I'm really interested in the main being anthropology and political science. Anthropology has some really interesting extra reading and human culture and it's nature really intrigues me. Concerning poli-sci, though I've taken it during my time at my American high school I never really learned all to much about my Canada's political system because I moved away after eight grade. It feels appropriate that I should   know the workings of my own country's government if i'm going to major in international relations.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

BEDA Day 25:Irene and My Upcoming Road Trip

Just sitting here watching the weather reports on the impending hurricane Irene and realizing that getting to my university by move-in day is going to be a bit of a challenge. Turns out that the path of the hurricane is pretty much identical to the path of my road trip. So we might be delaying the trip by a day at least to try to avoid the direct storm. Though I worry about driving through where the storm has passed through, flooding and damage and such could block roads. Of course safety takes priority over getting to school on time but I don't have to be there until Thursday so I should be fine, I just have quite a few things to get straightened out once I get there that I might not have time for now.

Other than realizing I might delaying my road trip departure today involved more packing, more baking and more X-Files watching. Ah, the life of an almost college student. Todays creation were simple (but tasty) sugar cookies, no picture my apologies. Since I last reported that I was enjoying The X-Files immensely I have fallen more in love with it. It has a much more connected storyline than I expected it would, and it ties events back to earlier episodes. The plot is a lot more complex than I anticipated. I thought the show was more case by case, serial episodes but in fact that is just one element of the show.

That's all for today. If you're in the path of the storm, make sure to stay safe and take all the necessary precautions.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BEDA Day 24: Thoughts on Tea & Toast

Disclaimer: The bias towards the excellence of tea may or may not be influenced by the writer's current beverage in hand.

As it is late in night and I am still currently skyping with an awesome person  so we have decided to do a collaborative blog post on two subjects in which we are particularly knowledgable: tea and toast.

Midnight tea. Is there anything more comforting? The correct answer is no. Whether you're a strict addict to one flavor (orange pekoe) or have half a shelf in your pantry dedicated to various flavors, some of which you have yet to try, tea is a "hug in a cup" (-The Mentalist). When the *age old* question "coffee or tea" arises how can you choose coffee when tea is just so, mellow. (If you choose coffee we can still be friends, it's okay). Sad? Drink some tea. Stressed? Drink some tea. Happy? Drink more tea. These are the answers that will assist you through life.

Need a snack with your tea? Try toast (it's the greatest thing since sliced bread... get it.. oh god). Peanut butter, cinnamon and sugar, NUTELLA, curry (asian-bias), the choices for what to put on your toast is endless. As a side note, honey, toast and tea may be the best combination of goodness ever created.

This has been thoughts on tea and toast with Allison and Halley. Join us next time when we discuss other facets of our extremely exciting midnight thoughts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BEDA Day 23: Le Rambles

Fun Fact of the Day: Today I asked my brother if I could have his iPod touch because he's getting my iPhone when I go to university (because it costs a lot more to use it in Canada) and he was like "Yeah, sure, except ever since we came back from England it the calendar believes it's 1970." So what basically happened is that my iPod is time lord. That's my only conclusion.

Other than that hilariously awesome tidbit today involved unsuccessfully trying to visit my old teachers, eating a lot of blueberry tarts, watching Fringe and 500 Days of Summer for the millionth time and bidding a temporary farewell to yet another of my good friends.

When I can't think of interesting things to blog about during this lovely month of BEDA I've turned to a 365 Day Challenge that I saw on Tumblr a couple times, today I was in this boat so I was scrolling the 365 different topics and I came across "describe your future wedding". How? Am I the only female that hasn't spent any time thinking about my dream wedding, because when I read that I really couldn't think of even what my eight-year-old self imagined as her dream-wedding because I'm pretty sure she didn't imagine it. Unless of course I have forgotten, in which case, I still can't really take a guess at what it might have been. I feel like that's something that a lot of little girls and even teenagers do, but I just haven't. Not because I'm "some sort of crazy marriage-hater" (-27 Dresses) but because it just hasn't crossed my mind.

On a some-what related note, when I was a pre-teen I went through a phase where basically all I watched were Discovery Kids and anything on TLC (strange I know). Coincidently the only show I was really opposed to was Say Yes To The Dress (Toddlers and Tiaras wasn't on yet, don't worry I would've been opposed to that too). And again, it wasn't because of any dislike towards marriage or weddings, it just seemed like all the women on that show were unfortunately bitchy.

Well this has been a BEDA post with no point, by Allison. Join us tomorrow when I talk about my vague feelings on another randomly chosen subject.

Also, I'm tempted to make a Toddlers & Tiaras rant post at some point. So, get excited for that.

Monday, August 22, 2011

BEDA Day 22: Baking Stuff!

So since pretty much all of my friends have left for college because it starts earlier here than it does where I will be going, I've had to find hobbies to occupy my time with other than pestering my friends to hang out with me. Just kidding my friends love me.... when I annoy them... :)

Anyway,  my hobby of choice for the past week or so has been cooking and baking. Which is weird because I'm pretty terrible at it. Or was terrible, I'm getting better. I love food so that's a good start to taking up cooking as a hobby right? Good enough for me. 

Today I made a blueberry crumble. The recipe for which can be found here. It's really easy to make (and that's coming from someone who makes Kool-Aid explode in the microwave) and really delicious. And no out of the ordinary ingredients. 

Here's proof that I didn't screw too much up:




Sunday, August 21, 2011

BEDA Day 21: Packing & Other Pre-Uni Thoughts

Packing. I did a lot of it today. I don't actually leave for the long road trip to where I'm going to school until next Saturday but my mum is on a work trip all of this week so she wanted to help me do it today. (cool story bro)

I like organizing things so I didn't find packing to unenjoyable, it was just things like having to pick what piano books I was going to bring with me that I had trouble with. It's hard to foresee what I'll actually use and what will just take up space but I'm pretty much the anti-pack rat so letting go of clothes and packing minimal make up isn't that hard. The hardest part really is knowing how much space everything is going to take up and where I'm going to put it because I have never been in the dorm. Also, I have no idea what life in residence is like (or uni at all for that matter) so I'm never sure if I'm packing all the right stuff. (That's not to say I haven't read the "what to pack" lists that my dorm has on their site, because I have). It's just those little things that I'm sure I'll figure out once I get there.

I haven't really been nervous about going to university. More excited really. I am anxious if I'll get enough sleep the first week and if I'll have enough time to get settled in between all the activities they have planned. I'm not a huge fan of non-stop parties and activities but as long as I have a moderate amount of down-time I should be good.

I'm not worried about making friends. I'm pretty alright at that, at least I think. I've moved before and have managed to meet pretty awesome people so I hope I can do the same at my new school.

Packing has worn me out. Goodnight people that read this.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

BEDA Day 20: Jack Johnson Stories

A year ago today I attended a Jack Johnson concert and that whole experience was heaps of fun and has many stories that go along with it so I thought for today's BEDA post I'd share those stories and perhaps talk about Jack Johnson and his lovely music.

My friends and I went to see the concert in Atlanta which was about a three hour drive away so we had planned to leave straight away after school and get there at about 6:00, then have dinner and be at the concert by 7:30. Like most good road trips our plans fell through quickly when about an hour into the drive it started poring  rain followed by thunder and lightening. This slowed down the traffic a bit but we figured we could just grab something quick for dinner and we'd still make it. Finally we got to the outskirts of Atlanta but with the unfortunate combination of a thunderstorm, rush hour traffic and regular ATL traffic, we were stuck in a parking lot on the highway. So for two hours we sat in anticipation in the car with about a mile left in the trip. I spent most of the time refreshing Jack Johnson's Facebook page where people in the same boat as us were posting things like "don't start without me I'm stuck in a traffic jam!"After parking in a field and trudging through mud, we finally got there at about 8:30 with the mindset that we had missed a good chunk of the concert. Alas, we did not! We did miss A.L.O opening for him but we caught most of G. Love (who was amazing) and the skies cleared up so all was looking up. The concert didn't really start until about 9:00 and they played a pretty long set. Jack Johnson sounded just as great live as on the record and his whole band was really great. Zach Gill, who plays piano and various other interments for the band, is not only a brilliant piano player but also has a lovely voice. Paula Fuga joined him on stage for a few songs as well as A.LO. and G.Love. But back to fun story time, like I said the sky cleared up and as the sun set he began to play the song "Banana Pancakes" who's opening line is "can't you see that it's just raining...", well apparently Jack Johnson is pals with mother nature because as soon as he uttered those lyrics the sky opened up again and it began to pour. Unfortunately, our seats missed the awning by about two rows, fortunately, we had ponchos. Some people might let the rain get them down, not this crowd. I'm terrible at estimating numbers but this amphitheater was huge and everyone there was just stoked to be there. After the rows of seats stopped there was a grass hill behind us where people had formed a mud slip an slide. Also, after it began to rain it seemed that at least three songs talked about rain. Coincidence? Probably.

The amazing experience, that was this concert was just a reassurance of my love for Jack Johnson and his music. I'm incredibly tired so instead of going into analytical detail about why I love his music so much I'm just going to leave you with some of my favourite lyrics of his:

"We're clever but we're clueless. We're just human."


"Well You can't blame me, says the media man
Well I wasn't the one who came up with the plan
I just point my camera at what the people want to see
Man it's a two way mirror and you cant blame me"



"There were so many fewer questions
When stars were still just the holes to heaven"

Friday, August 19, 2011

BEDA Day 19: The X-Files

As I have proclaimed by love of the nineties and sic-fi television previously on this blog you probably wouldn't be surprised to hear that I'm a fan of The X-Files. Now I'm not going to say I'm a hardcore fan who has watched the show from the beginning. I wasn't even a year old when the series began. The only sci-fi I was watching at a young age was E.T. (I went on the E.T. ride at Universal Studios recently and oh my gosh was it ever awesome- sure it's aimed to please small children but I was thoroughly entertained). Back to the topic at hand, I picked up The X-Files near the beginning of this year because my brother had watched some and recommended it. Also it was conveniently playing from the beginning on BBC America. As I do with television, I got into it fairly quickly. The leads are strong and determined and the subject matter is just plain awesome. You really can't go wrong with aliens, well unless you go wrong, then it sucks big time. But X-Files does everything right in the alien department (so far at least) so it was easy to get sucked in. Along with being generally awesome in the alien department this show does actually provide a good scare if you're watching it late enough at night. It's a good show to watch with a cup of hot chocolate.

Though I've only made it about half way through the second season the thing I love best about this show so far is it's themes, which are (not) coincidently it's catch-phrases as well. "The Truth Is Out There" I mean it just sounds pretty epic to begin with but that phrase definitely sets the tone for the show. The idea that there is always something more even when they don't have proof gives this eerily hopeful tone to the show. Mulder (David Duchovny) often repeats "I Want To Believe". This phrase adds to the hopeful thought that something is out there though they may never know what it is and society tells them otherwise. Deep Throat, a mysterious liaison who appears through out the first season, often says "Trust No One", which contradicts the hope that the other two themes convey. Mulder, though he is the believer and Scully the sceptic, even begins to repeat this phrase. These three lines are repeated often but no so much as to beat you over the head. Just enough to convey a message, which is to say, something is out there.

I was glad to find out that there are in fact nine seasons of this lovely show so I should be kept entertained for a while.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

BEDA Day 18: Inspiration

You know those days when you don't feel all that inspired. Today's BEDA post is suffering from that. BEDA's supposed to have a few crap days right? To hopefully bring a stop to my creative-block this post is going to be a compilation of things that I find creatively inspiring in the current moment. (Not going to pretend I didn't steal this type of post idea from owlssayhooot). I suppose I should let you know that these photos have nothing to do with one another. I've been cooking and taking pictures of people more often more lately and there's some art and other photography thrown in there.



















































































Sources:
http://adoring-emma.tumblr.com/post/8564434772
http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/08/16/two-minutechocolate-peanut-butter-cake/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/33890032@N04/3154751412/in/photostream/
http://rubischanelle.tumblr.com/post/9075467732/tornado-dam-you-photo-source-national
http://strawberry-bubbles.tumblr.com/post/9099954776/moody-sky-by-12x07#notes
http://lovefromwatson.tumblr.com/post/9053173987
http://brittlepearl.tumblr.com/post/9077625056
http://amyblogschow.tumblr.com/

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BEDA Day 17: Belated Bossypants Talk

When I heard that Tina Fey was releasing a book earlier this year safe to say I was pretty excited. Tina Fey has been one of my favourite comedians and writers ever since Mean Girls graced the movie screens and I couldn't wait to read the stories she had compiled from her life thus far. You know authors that when you read their work you hear their voice in your head, or you just know that it's them very distinctly, Tina Fey is like that. Her writing style is uniquely hers and that works especially well when she's telling personal stories.

The book covers her childhood, adolescence, college years, SNL and Second City, and motherhood and in each section stories that only Fey could do justice. I think women will find this book more enjoyable just because of the nature of some of the stories (I don't know how much men like reading about getting your first period) but in regards to women it's enjoyable for teens or adults. Not only is Tina Fey relatable she also tells ridiculous stories that make you feel a bit better about your own embarrassing childhood. Besides being incredibly human and down-to-earth Tina Fey does what she does best in this book, make you laugh. There should be a disclaimer on this book that warns those readers who do not like to be thought of as weird to be sure to not read this book in a public place. You will laugh out loud, I promise. I read the majority of this book during several long car rides in which my parents became increasingly worried for my sanity as they heard sporadic outbursts of laughter. Once I made my mother read the book shortly after, she understood.

If you're looking for a fun read, hilarious stories and insight from Tina Fey, you need to read this book. I hope that this isn't a one time autobiography and that Fey will continue to put her intelligent writing to use and publish more books.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

BEDA Day 16: Things That Make Me Happy


I've decided to make a list (which I will continually add to) of simple things that make me happy. Here's a snippet of the list so far.
  1. Finding old National Geographic magazines in waiting rooms: I'm a huge National Geographic junkie as it is, so much so that I casually refer to it as "Nat Geo" in normal conversation. So needless to say when I'm in any waiting room I jump at the chance to pass the time by skimming through one. On a related note, on a list of things that make me extremely unhappy, would be waiting rooms, I hate them. Even better than finding just any National Geographic is finding a vintage one. It doesn't happen often but when it does it's awesome. I was sitting in a waiting room last September because I got bit by a spider and my leg kind of freaked out, unfortunately a construction worker sort of sawed his leg most of the way off right before I walked in so the wait was five hours, (a lot more unfortunate for he than I). But in the five hour wait I got to thoroughly read an issue from 1987. 
  2. John Green’s live shows: I've mentioned before how much I love engaging in the YouTube community and I don't think this bullet needs much explaining. He's one of my favourite authors and never fails to say eloquent and interesting things off the cuff in his live shows. My favourite aspect of these live shows though has got to be when he reads excerpts from essay and poetry. I get really particular about reading out loud and I can get distracted if something about the readers voice is off but John Green's voice was made for reading. If he wasn't already an award winning author he probably could have made it big reading audiobooks. 
  3. Quoting Easy A: Pocketful of Sunshine, the letter T, Melody Bostic, pre-cocktail-party-cocktails. The options are endless when quoting this incredibly well written comedy. It's beginning to reach Mean Girls status in my books. 
  4. Grey and rainy days when you have nothing to do: On top of finding rain extremely comforting I also immensely enjoy the feeling of having absolutely nothing on my to do list. Mind you, it rarely happens, but it sure it nice when the occasion rolls around. Besides just rain I really enjoy grey weather because it's easy on my eyes. Coming from Atlantic Canada, my eyes are used to grey skies and get a little overwhelmed when I have to spend summers here in the Southern United States. Curling up with a good book on these kind of days can't be beaten. 

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    BEDA Day 15: off-to-college-month

    I'm not going to be home tonight so I have to do my BEDA post now, hooray! Basically I'm in this very unique phase in my life where all my friends from high school are leaving for college (and I am too of course). This is strange not only because we're all going off to different ends of the earth but because we all start school at different times so the entire month of August has just become a month of sad goodbyes. I know it's not goodbye forever but it's certainly a substantial amount of time. This Saturday the first group of my friends left for school. That group included one of my best friends in the world so needless to say I'm feeling a bit strange knowing I won't see her until Christmas. This Saturday the next group of my friends left along with three more of my best friends. It's a strange feeling that's for sure. Because part of me is excited for new collegiate adventures and the other part wants the comfort of old friends.

    Despite the weirdness that is this August I'm managing to enjoy every last minute I have of summer with my friends. For example in a couple of hours I'm having a photo-shoot with some friends then we're having a chick flick sleepover because sometimes you just need one. (Hence blogging now). If you are heading off to your first year in college, or have already done so, then you know what I mean. It only happens once and it's not one of those things you're meant to get used to because of that. I'm sure there will be a lot more talk about heading off to university because that's happening at the end of August for me, so look out for that.


    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    BEDA Day 14: Thoughts on flawlessness and media

    There will be more to come on this subject as I have been thinking about it quite a bit lately but for now I'm just going to post a bit a of response to emilythebravee's video in which she talked about her flaws.

    Emily mentioned that people were sending her messages saying things like “I want to be you” in her live show and even before she made this video I had been thinking a lot about this subject. Because I find that I’ve been seeing a lot on Tumblr as I’ve become more addicted (shamelessly wasting time on the internet) I’ve seen people tag posts of their favourite celebrities with the word “flawless”. Originally I thought, of it casually like “oh that’s cute or funny” or whatever but then I started thinking you know if people keep doing this maybe they actually think those people are perfect and fail to remember that they're just people too.
    She mentioned in her video and I agree, I think its important that we remember that we are all flawed so we can focus on what makes us awesome. I have been thinking about this a lot lately (doing a lot of thinking apparently...) after I saw a Seventeen magazine book in Barnes & Noble that was apparently things that teen girls worry about and question. It made me think, do we really ask these questions naturally or does media tell us to. I remember discussing this in my government class a couple of years ago but I never really came to any definite conclusion. I don’t really know if there is one but the topic of flawlessness and viewers idolizing makers makes me really want to find one.
    YouTube is different from television and movies and traditional media because we have to ability to show the viewers our flaws and extend beyond just makers and viewers. We can form friendships and have discussions and that’s what so awesome about this community. 

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    BEDA Day 13: The Help (another review)

    I realize it's probably not such a great idea to write reviews right after I've seen the movie but what the heck.

    I have not read the book (yet) but my mum has and she loved it so we thought it would be a good mother daughter movie night. My mum described it, after we left the theatre, as "not a one tissue movie". So with that, yes, it was a sad film that dealt with some sensitive issues but in such a way that had you laughing and clapping one scene and tearing up in the next. As with all good movies it had a lot to do with the casting. I could talk about how awesome I think Emma Stone is but I did that yesterday with Crazy, Stupid, Love so I'm going to talk about the women who played Aibileen and Minny.

    Aibileen is incredibly kind and loving and a true mother but is also broken as it is revealed not to far along that she lost her son. She has spent the majority of her life raising white children as do all the maids in this film but it is different for her as she loves them as if they were her own. Viola Davis did a beautiful job and made every moment she was onscreen full of emotion. A lot of characters in this story have heartbreaking pasts (and presents) but I think hers got to me the most.

    Minny definitely got the most laughs out of the audience, even resulting in applause in some scenes. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'm just going to say she's got spunk, and a lot of it. Minny's storyline becomes interwoven with Celia, another one of my favourite characters (I have a  lot okay). Again, without spoiling anything I think Celia's story is incredibly heartbreaking but also heartwarming how Minny is able to help her and be an amazing friend to her in a society where is was unheard of to socialize between races. Celia doesn't once treat Minny any differently because of her race, in fact she gets upset when Minny tries to tell her that they are not meant to eat dinner together.

    I really just wanted to talk about those characters because I thought they made the movie for me. Additionally, Allison Janney was fantastic as always, and Bryce Dallas Howard played a very convincing bitch. If you are going to spend your money on any movie in the next while I definitely think anyone can appreciate this film. I expect to see it at the Oscars (or at least hope).

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    BEDA Day 12: Crazy, Stupid, Love

    I just wanted to say first thanks to those of you who have left comments recently. I have noticed and read all of them. I'm just not sure how to respond to them because I'm a n00b.

    So as I said yesterday, I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love with my best friend as our last movie night for some time as we are both going off to college. We both needed a good laugh and a quality chick flick and we got what we wanted a bit more. I'm not going to lie a good part of the reason I wanted to see it was because Ryan Gosling was in it and promised to remove his shirt. I'm shameless sometimes what can I say. Also I love Emma Stone, I think she's fantastic and her comedic timing is brilliant. Oh and you know Steve Carrell. He's pretty cool too. To top of the cast, Julianne Moore (who I had seen in 30 Rock- season four I believe) played opposite Carrell and she was a fair match. So needless to say the cast alone was fantastic and were definitely a major contributing factor to what made this movie great.

    Beside the fantastic cast, the best part of this movie was it's ability to bring comedy into an otherwise really shitty situation. The movie opens with Emily (Moore) asking for a divorce from Cal (Carrell) and though this is really sad the film deals with it in such a way that lightens the mood with comedy while still having the problems at hand seem genuine and real. One of my favourite aspects of the film was Cal's son Robbie who is thirteen and his insight into love and the idea of soul mates. As someone who doesn't entirely believe the concept of soul mates Robbie did a pretty good job of convincing me they did exist for everyone.

    Hannah and Jacob's relationship isn't really developed until quite far into the film but it's well worth the wait. Without giving much away I just wanted to say that I love Emma Stone more with every movie I see of hers. And she and Ryan Gosling work perfectly together in this film.

    I don't want to spoil the plot so I'll say no more other than there is a twist, which makes me happy, like it's not just another generic romantic comedy, the plot is actually interesting. If you're looking for a fun movie with a five star cast and just all around awesome I'd definitely recommend it.

    BEDA Day 11: Not So Blank Slate

    I realize this is technically late but I'm still abiding by my before I go to sleep rule. Basically as long as I write a post for every day in August I'm good. I'm a cheater I know.

    I just got back from seeing Crazy, Stupid, Love with a best friend of mine who I'm not going to see until Christmas and I was originally going to write a review but then I watched the latest video from a YouTuber named Luke (username: imbitingmytongue) and naturally I commented on his very thoughtful video but then my comment was way to long so I decided to turn it into this blog post. (Cool story bro.)

    He talked about going to new places and actually feeling more comfortable. I feel the same way. Maybe it's just because I'm from a small town then I moved to another slightly larger town. I don't want to say I got tired of the people or the place because I didn't I just love the feeling of going somewhere new even if it's just for a short time. The feeling of  not knowing anyone is unsettling to some people but I find it refreshing and pleasant. That's why when people ask me if I'm afraid for university or going somewhere new I'm say, no of course not. It's like a breath of fresh air to think that you know absolutely no one where you're going.

    It's not like I want to move to new places and drastically change myself and be someone new (because I find people always so "oh you can be whoever you want to be in a new place") because I feel like you change gradually as a person, it would just be fake if you changed your personality just because you could. Once you've been in the same place for a long time (whatever that may be from person to person) you get in this groove, the way you act with your friends, who you talk to , what you think about people. When you go somewhere new you have this 'blank slate' that everyone talks about. But the slate isn't entirely blank. You still have all your memories and feelings from the places you've been before that change your view of the place you go next. So maybe the reason it feels so refreshing and comfortable to go to a place where no one knows you is your unique view of that place based on where you've been before.

    It's 1:30am sorry if this doesn't make sense.

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    BEDA Day 10: Ingrid Michaelson

    I was sitting at my computer, as I do, thinking of what I wanted to blog about today and Ingrid Michaelson's cover of "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" came up on my Tumblr dashboard. And now I'm having a little listening party to her amazing tunes. So that's who I'm going to talk about today, Ingrid Michaelson and her beautiful music.

    Ingrid Michaelson is in between indie and mainstream (I feel like a hipster using those words but they work in this situation). She's not a starving artist but you don't hear even her singles on the radio. She appears in Old Navy ads or good chick flicks from time to time but she's not a house hold name. If I were a musician I feel like that's where I would like to be. Ingrid Michaelson has the three things that matter to me most in an artist, good songwriting, good live performance, good music.

    So let's start with the songwriting. Ingrid Michaelson's lyrics are brilliant. Most of her songs are pretty simple in their structure and her lyrics reflect that same simplicity. 

    Once I made a man all out of snow
    He had the darkest eyes and a button nose
    I told him all my sadness and my fear
    And he just listened with a snowy ear

    But when I came around the next day
    My friend had gone and melted all away
    I saw his eyes lying on the ground
    I made a sound that was something like crying

    Oh, one day you will go away from this
    Oh, one day you will know we're men of snow, we melt one day

    (Men of Snow)

    What I like most about her lyrics is that they tell a story along with the message that she is trying to convey. I find song writing is a lot more meaningful when there is a story to be told and she does it beautifully. I chose those lyrics because they're a good example of that storytelling as well as the meaningful messages that are often embedded in her music. If you haven't heard it I recommend listening to Men of Snow

    As far as her performance is concerned, I've never physically seen her live but I've watched enough YouTube videos of her live performances to say that she is just as good as she sounds on the record. That means so much to me especially now when it seems like everyone on the top ten are auto tuned. She also has a really great stage presence and is really funny. She feels very camp-counselor-esque with her live performances, always trying to get people to join in and sing along. Also she plays the ukulele really well, and that's awesome, 'nuf said. 

    Finally, she makes good music. The whole experience of listening to her albums is pleasant. From the lyrics to the music to her lovely voice it's just nice, easy listening, quality music. Her songs are usually ukulele or piano based and all around chill, even the upbeat ones. They promise to put you in a good mood.  

    As a side note Ingrid Michaelson has done some amazing covers. My personal favourite is her cover of Parachute.*

    *Edit: She actually wrote this song but Cheryl Cole covered it first then her, so technically it's not a cover. I forgot that sorry :|


    Tuesday, August 9, 2011

    BEDA Day 9: Guilty Pleasure Television

    As made pretty obvious by this blog I'm a pretty avid watcher of television and movies. If you need more proof than the numerous mentions of it on here, yesterday my two friends and I got through Fellowship of the Ring, Easy A (for the 239847th time), Zombieland and Scott Pilgrim versus the World. I see most of the television I watch as fairly quality, but every once and while you just need a good old trashy guilty pleasure show. I have found my new guilty pleasure in Switched At Birth on ABC Family. 

    I normally stay far from any program affiliated with ABC Family but I had seen that several people I follow on Tumblr were watching it so I thought I'd give it a go (I'm easily persuaded to new television additions). Also once I found out that one of the main characters was deaf I was really interested. I honestly don't think I've ever watched a show where that was a main theme or topic. 

    Basically here's my view on the show. I find the story lines that deal with Daphne (the deaf girl) really interesting and they actually teach you a bit about the deaf community, as it were, as well as what it's like to be deaf, or you know, as close as a abc family can come to attempting that. I also like Bay's (the one Daphne was switched at birth with) story, though I find her a bit on the bitchy side. The downside to this show is the unnecessary dramatic story lines that the adult characters have. Not much to say about them other than their pretty overdramatic and the characters seem to change emotions and views really quickly. 

    I've gotten through the first four episodes and I'm going to continue watching because I'm genuinely interested in the story lines of the deaf characters. I know an ABC Family teen drama isn't exactly the place for fine education on the subject matter but it gives a fairly good overview of the subject. Also, Emmett is hot. If you watch the show you were thinking to. 

    Fun side note that's somewhat related: While I was in Paris a month and a half ago I was walking through the backstreets behind the area where Notre Dame is looking for a restaurant and I walked down this tiny street where someone had parked a car right in the middle so no one could pass by and around that car were a bunch a people gathered and talking to each other, but I couldn't here any conversation. These people were all deaf and were having some sort of gathering I guess. I walked through the group of people and maybe this sounds really weird but it was just so interesting to see how you can communicate with signing. Anyway, I'm pretty lacking on this subject but I just wanted to say that watching the show definitely gives you a different perspective about communication.

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    BEDA Day 8: The World Doesn't Suck

    If you spend some time on the internet in places such as Tumblr or Twitter you would have experienced quite an explosion of horrifying pictures of the London riots today. Tons of people reblogging and retweeting these frightening images as well as posts that acknowledge that we hope those in London are safe. The same wave of horrific photos and posts happened during Libya's crisis earlier this year. Now don't get me wrong it's completely expected and warranted that everyone be aware of and spread the word about these issues but I find when this happens I see a lot of additions to posts that say things like "the world is a disgusting place".

    I just wanted to say no, the world is not a disgusting or terrible place, those people are doing disgusting and terrible things. It angers me that when a group of people or even just an individual does something terrible that people respond with negative views on the entire human race. It's unfortunate that one idiotic act can make people forget all the good things people do and sum up their feelings with things like "their is no humanity left in the world". I think it's important that we remember that acts committed by a few do not reflect the intentions of the whole.

    My thoughts go out to those in England.

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    BEDA Day 7: Places to Reside

    It's listy-bloggy-time! That's a thing now.

    Here is a list of places that I would like to live at some point in my life. They range from cities to countries depending on how specific I am about that particular place. Just because they're on this list it doesn't mean I want to live there forever I just want to spend some time there or maybe I just think it's pretty.

    1. Massachusetts- Ever since watching Dawson's Creek (which yes I realize is filmed in North Carolina) I have been keen on the atmosphere that surrounds Cape Side (fictional, I know) and I just think it's a lovely place.
    2. San Fransisco- Everything about the look of San Fran just oozes quirky and I love that. I have never been but I have a great desire to take a California road trip and listen to nothing but the Beach Boys. I should write a blog post about how much I love the Beach Boys. Also trollies, I want to ride them.

    3. Coastal Australia- Besides being obsessed with Australian accents and just the notion of anything Australian I've always wanted to learn how to surf and surfing in Australia would essentially be the best thing ever. At the beginning of the summer my friends and I did a "in five years time" thing in which I won, most likely to marry an Australian. I think living here might help me on this bet.

    4. Bath- In my travels to England and Ireland this summer I had the fortunate experience of visiting the gorgeous city of Bath. The unfortunate part however was however was that the visit only lasted about three hours. It was only a short stop on a bus tour that took us to Winsdor Castle as well as Stonehenge. Needless to say those three hours were enough to convince me to move in. Though this might have to be a retirement residence because it's rather pricey to live here.

    5. Santorini- Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants aside, I've always thought Santorini is a beautiful place but unfortunately during my tenth grade trip to Italy and Greece I never got to go to the islands. I was there when I was about four but I obviously can't remember too much. Besides the fact that it's a gorgeous place I also want to live in a country where English is not the primary language to take me out of my comfort zone a bit. Also, it would be fun and interesting to learn Greek. 

    Saturday, August 6, 2011

    BEDA Day 6: The YouTube Community

    Something I've been thinking a lot about lately is the YouTube community. I've been easing into the idea of making regular YouTube videos for a couple months now and I think university is a pretty solid time to start. The idea of creating conversation rather than just complementing was brought up by one of my favorite not-holy-cow-popular YouTubers, emilythebravee. She's really fantastic. If you've never seen her videos you should do that. I had been thinking a lot about the idea of YouTube for more of a social networking and starter of discussion modem after Kayley Hyde, owlssayhooot, posted a video in late April basically saying that she wanted to see more videos that sparked conversation and thoughtfulness and what not. I just wanted to throw it out there that I think this is awesome and I want to help it happen. I'm going to  take my many scatterbrained lists and actually start making them into videos. That's partially the reason I'm doing BEDA to ease myself into this whole process of expressing myself somewhat-eloquently online. I've been half-way there for quite some time now on the whole YouTube thing for a while so we'll see how it goes. But I think that it's definitely an underused resource for not only meaningful conversation (I'm not talking deep insightful just mildly interesting) but also a stronger community surrounding those conversations.

    Please note that this does not in any way mean all my videos (or even a small percentage of them for that matter) will be the bud of intellectual conversation. I'm aiming for a fraction to be potentially eloquent.

    BEDA Day 5: Nerdfighters IRL

    So tonight I went to my friends belated surprise birthday party and it was awesome for two reasons. One, because the theme was stereotypical Mexican stuff because she's Mexican and we're hilarious and two, because I found out that one of my friends is a Nerdfighter and I met another mutual friend who is also a Nerdfighter. 

    This makes me happy because just learning that people in my own "irl" friend group are Nerdfighters makes me think, "I knew I was friends with these people for a reason". Not that I don't love my non-nerdfighting friends. Also I had never met a Nerdfighter IRL (besides my friends that I introduced to Nerdfighteria) before so meeting this mutual friend was super cool. We did the gang sign and everything it was awesome, I geeked out. 

    I'm really hopeful that I'll meet random people in public wearing a pizza John shirt or something at some point because I just want to flash them the gang sign and yell DFTBA to a stranger and it be completely normal. Oh, the things I dream of. 

    In regards to Nerdfightastic adventures at university this fall I hope to meet some or at least introduce some people to the wonder that is Nerdfighteria. On a closing note John's VidCon thought from places video was beautiful and just reminded me what an amazing community the Green brothers have created and how lucky we are to be apart of it.

    If you're still reading this and you have no earthly idea what I'm talking about visit www.youtube.com/vlogbrothers your life will get a whole lot more awesome. I can assure you.

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    BEDA Day 4: Wild Target

    Fun fact coming your way, I enjoy movies, a lot. So I'm thinking a lot of these BEDA posts might just be film review type things. I just finished watching Wild Target starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Grint, so that is what I'm going to talk about.

    I love British comedy. I might love British comedy more than American. It's just so different and quick and dry and I love it. Wow I am feeling quite descriptive today. So if you too are a fan of British comedy you will possibly find this film as enjoyable as I did.

    It centers around a hit man played by Bill Nighy, a thief, Emily Blunt and a random guy, Rupert Grint. Seriously they didn't really give much background information into Rupert's character other than the fact that his name was Tony. Emily Blunt probably churned out the most laughs in this film. While I'm sure the writers had a lot to do with the humor Emily's comedic timing is brilliant and her character was just crazy enough that she was still a believable individual. What was great about her character was that she was outwardly crazy while the hit man (Bill Nighy) who was protecting her was crazy in an inverted way if that makes any sense. They balanced each other out by contrast and made their whole relationship that much better. One of my favorite parts was when Bill Nighy's character (who I'm going to continually refer to as "Bill Nighy's character because I can't remember his name) takes Rose and Tony to his old home to keep them safe and he gets mad at Rose and calls her crazy. My favorite line comes in when Rose retaliates by saying "You shrink-wrap your furniture"! I thought that was absolutely hilarious but also it served purpose to further the character development of Bill Nighy's character.

    The only complaint I have about this movie was the ending. I didn't like that the hit man and Rose end up together. I don't think they elaborated enough on their relationship for it to work out perfectly like that. I also just found it a bit weird because part way through the film he thinks he's gay then all of a sudden he's in love with Rose. But that's it complaint wise. Other wise I thought it was completely hilarious and story was good enough where the action wasn't hard to follow but it wasn't void of plot either.

    As an added bonus to the comedy the Bill Nighy's mother is pretty hysterical. Even a bit scary at times, but mostly funny.

    Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    BEDA Day 3: 1920's Murder Mystery Parties, I love my friends

    It's my summer before university and I'm eighteen so I should be partying hard and breaking some rules right? Au contraire my friends. I am a very fortunate teenager that has the pleasure of having amazing friends that plan things like 1920's "Who done it" murder mystery parties. For fun.

    Because today is Esther Day and we are supposed to tell those whom we love that we love them I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell my amazing friends that they are amazing and that I love them. (I love my family to for the record this post is just more friend oriented. More specifically my American high school friends. Love my family. Love love love.)

    I feel very lucky that I have nerdy friends that aren't ashamed to do things like plan elaborate murder mystery parties and get dressed up in flapper dresses and suits and make up characters and them dedicate themselves to that character for an evening. And all for fun. I love that we can get really enthusiastic about movie premieres and freak out over silly things and that we're quite a large group of close friends. Most of the time it's just a group of three or four that share the same interests or same silly things but my friends from high school are quite numerous and we all genuinely love hanging out and enjoy the same stuff.

    It will be strange moving back to Canada next year without them but I have faith that we'll stay connected. My Canadian besties can vouch for me that I am pretty good at staying in touch. Also, Skype is a beautiful thing.

    This is a really non-eloquent post (as I assume a lot of BEDA will be) but I just wanted to throw out some appreciation for my American friends. They do not forget to be awesome.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    BEDA Day 2: My Photographic History

    When I got into the second year photography class for the fall semester I found out I needed a 35 mm film camera. So I just got it today from a relative and turns out it's actually my mother's university graduation present from 1983. First reaction: AWESOME. After I found out mum had two extra lenses that went with it needles to say I was pretty stoked. With my film camera added to my collection I realized I'd be going to university with four cameras. So what am I going to talk about today, photography, why I love it and how my hobby has grown over the past few years.

    My family go our first digital camera when I was probably in fifth or sixth grade and though I had previously used disposable cameras for camps and such this is when I first started enjoying taking pictures. It didn't help that I never really liked being in photos so naturally I was the one who took them.

    I got my first camera in ninth grade (I still have and use this camera frequently today) and that's when I really started taking more pictures and getting more into it. I spent a fair amount of time perusing the National Geographic website and in 2008 subscribed to the magazine. My love for this magazine has yet to diminish. It's still my dream job to work for them.

    After a year and half with my Sony Cybershot I realized that I really enjoyed taking photos even if they weren't top notch. For my sixteenth birthday my lovely mother bought me my first SLR camera, a Nikon D5000. It's sort of my child. I've had it for two years now and I can say it's probably one of the best gifts I've ever gotten. Also I can get into football games for free if I say I'm taking pictures for the yearbook with it.

    For a good chunk of my early photos I mostly took pictures of wildlife. Flowers and birds in particular. I think I sort of got stuck in a rut, if you will, of the same subject matter so I've been trying to take pictures of things I wouldn't ordinarily take pictures of. Also people. I always admire quality pictures of people because I am not talented in that front. I think it takes a specific eye to see how people are going to look in a picture. Especially when it's freelance and not modeling. Modeling is a lot easier because you can tell them what to do and how to move but out in "the real world" you have no control over that. I'd like to take more pictures of people (that actually turn out well).

    So there you have it. A sort of comprehensive but not really history of my photographic style, or something.

    What I love about photography, which I think is probably true for a lot of people with this hobby, is it's ability to capture a completely unique moment in time. Also I think it's a bit underrated art form in some respects because nowadays anyone can just pick up a camera and take a picture but I don't think people realize how much effort goes into truly beautiful picture (not referring to mine I'm talking the professional stuff). That's not to  say I don't think any one shouldn't just pick up a camera and take pictures. I encourage it. But at the same time you've got to find the balance between capturing those unique moments and sitting back and actually living in the moments themselves. Well this has been scatterbrained. But no time for editing.

    BEDA Day 2. Out.

    Cowboys & Aliens: Sort of a Review (already sucking at BEDA)

    I went into the theatre not really knowing much about this film other than it promised me two things: cowboys and possibly some aliens. I was completely game if that was all I got from the film but in fact it was really entertaining and just the reassurance I needed after seeing Transformers 3 that large action sequences could, in fact, be properly paced.

    Basically this "review" if it's even that will be separated into two parts, you guessed it, cowboys and aliens.

    Let's start off with the wild west aspect of the film. This film was essentially the perfect story for the special effects and design departments.  Explosions and gunfire were abundant so if you're looking for action,  you're not short-handed by this movie. The set and costumes were classic and spot on. Everything looked great. After seeing this movie I would really like to see some more modern filmmakers take on the wild west because the technology we have now can make the classic western look impeccable. So basically looks and special effects get a check in the cowboy department. The cowboys themselves were pretty great too. Sometimes I find it hard to get attached to the characters in action-based movies but Jake and even the minor characters were believable and I actually rooted and worried for them. One random character trait that I was unsure of was Jake's (Daniel Craig) age. Because he's seems to be romantically interested in Ella (Olivia Wilde) who seems to be about 25, and he calls Harrison Ford's character "old man" but Daniel Craig is not that young himself. Other than that detail the cowboys were pretty convincing. One minor character who stood out to me was the young boy, he was brave and intelligent and reminded me a lot of the child from Cormac McCarthy's The Road.


    As for the aliens they weren't as convincing as the cowboy aspect of the film but they weren't terrible. They were definitely surprising at times but not overly scary. It could have been scarier. Concerning the actual look of the aliens they were pretty classic "scary monster alien" type but they did have arms within their body that came out if they opened up their chest, which I thought was pretty cool. But other than that they weren't overly creative with the design of the aliens they were fairly generic.

    That's all I've got to say about Cowboys & Aliens right now. I might talk about the overall theme and more about the character tomorrow (or today since it's past midnight...) but here goes nothing with the whole BEDA thing, I'm off to an unfortunate start.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Belated Epiphany

    Less than two weeks ago while I was in London I saw what I'm considering to be the best play I've ever seen live and that is Much Ado About Nothing by of course William Shakespeare. Out of all the Shakespeare plays I had to read during high school this play was my favourite. I may be a bit biased to this one because the assignment that went along with the reading was to turn this play into a tragedy and make a movie, and I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to write a script and direct a movie. 


    A few months ago I started listening to Mumford & Sons and basically just fell in love with their album. You know how there are certain artists where their lyrics just sort of jump out at you. It's more then just listening to enjoyable music you actual listen to what they are saying. I feel this way about Mumford & Sons.


    To connect these two ideas, when I was in London I had Mumford & Son's album Sigh No More essentially on repeat, and when I was sitting in the theatre listening to David Tennant and Catherine Tate make the audience roar with laughter I started recognizing phrases. "Man is a giddy thing..." David Tennant asserted as Benedick. I thought, gee, that sounds familiar. 


    And then I had a lovely little epiphany while watching the play and I realized that Sigh No More (the song) is chalk-full of references to Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing in particular.


    Now I realize I'm not the first person to come to this conclusion. (Trust me I googled it when I got home and yeah, tons have people had already analyzed it to death.)


    I could go all AP English Literature on this blog post right now and analyze the lyrics and Shakespeare's writing  but I'm not going to. However I do want to talk about the stanza from which Mumford & Sons got their album title. 


    "Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
    Men were deceivers ever,-
    One foot in sea and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never.
    Then sigh not so, but let them go, 
    And be you blithe and bonny, 
    Converting all your sounds of woe 
    Into Hey nonny, nonny. 
    Sing no more ditties, sing no moe, 
    Of dumps so dull and heavy; 
    The fraud of men was ever so,
    Since summer first was leafy: 
    Then sigh not so, But let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
    Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into Hey, nonny, nonny."

    Balthasar, the bard, sings this in the presence of Don Pedro and Benedick. If you haven't read or seen the play Benedick is essentially a cynic who states that he will remain a bachelor for eternity and that bachelorhood is underrated, yada yada yada. This stanza is, as it often is in Shakespeare, ironic, because Benedick says shortly after that if it were a dog that howled those words it would be hanged. Benedick is just a cynic. He doesn't believe half the stuff he says by the end of the play because, well, he falls in love. So as much as he wants to disagree with the falseness of men's appearance or statements, he can't deny that he has done the same.  

    When you listen to the lyrics of Mumford & Sons and their spin on that ballad the speaker is apologizing after the fact whereas Benedick comments on this idea before he falls in love. The lyrics to Sigh No More point out that though man may falter and sway that once he has been in love that will set him free. And that's just kind of lovely. Shakespeare wrote and Mumford & Sons restated that "Man is a giddy thing". The definition of giddy is Having a sensation of whirling and a tendency to fall or stagger; dizzy. Essentially man may stagger or fall but with love his is firm and free. How lovely is that


    Sorry if this turned into less of a blog post and more of a English paper but I'm okay with that. What matters is the message that both Shakespeare and Mumford & Sons are trying to convey with their writing, or what I perceive it to be I suppose. 


    *Also, Shakespeare created the model for all chick-flicks with this play. I admire him for that. Just another something to add to his checklist of things he started. 


    Serve God love me and mend
    This is not the end
    Lived unbruised we are friends
    And I'm sorry, I'm sorry

    Sigh no more, no more
    One foot in sea, one on shore
    My heart was never pure
    And you know me
    And you know me

    And man is a giddy thing
    Oh man is a giddy thing
    Oh man is a giddy thing
    Oh man is a giddy thing

    Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
    It will set you free
    Be more like the man you were made to be.
    There is a design,
    An alignment to cry,
    Of my heart to see,
    The beauty of love as it was made to be



    -Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons

    Monday, June 6, 2011

    Summer Television: 90's nostalgia

    Summer has officially begun. I know this not because of the return of my freckles, or the increasingly drastic difference of the tone of my skin on my arm as compared to my stomach, or the dreadful heat, but because of the return of the frosted-tipped, wise-cracking Pacey Witter.

    At approximately this time last year myself and a friend decided to watch Dawson's Creek for the sole reason that Joshua Jackson of Fringe was in it. That's still a pretty good reason if you ask me. As I eased in to the angst-filled, bowling-shirt-ridden show, I began to feel this ridiculous sense of nostalgia for the 90's. I felt like I could have fit right in. I mean, you obviously didn't need any sense of fashion, ill-fitting clothes and mis-matched patterns were the norm. I could work with that. What still fascinates me about the clothes of the nineties was a lady's ability to wear a shirt that was both too large and too short at the same time.

    This summer I'm also continuing my way through three other 90's shows; The X-Files, Felicity, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Now I probably won't finish them all by the end of the summer but when I do have time to have a  good television marathon, these will be my go-to shows. There is something about television from the nineties that attracts me to it. Perhaps its the awkward phase of style where the eighties faded away and all that remained were some reject patterns and the left-over plus size shirts. Or maybe it's the cheesy dialogue that seemed so much more abundant during this decade. Of course I was too young to determine if this on-screen cheesiness was as apparent in every day life.

    After all this nostalgia and interest that these shows have brought up in me, I believe that one of my favourite things that they all have in common is the lighting, colouring and overall tone. It's as if the nineties had their own colour palette. In fact I believe all decades or time periods do. And if you can think in terms of colour palettes then perhaps you get why I love that of the nineties. Or maybe you think the colours were gross, that's a possibility too.

    It's strange how these shows can make me nostalgic for a time that I really don't have that much recollection of. Seven years is a long time sure, but they are not that useful for keeping memories when they're the first seven years of your life.

    Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    Thoughts on Graduation

    While standing in the unbelievably long line in what the administrators so dauntingly called "The Tunnel" behind the stage, the boy who stood alphabetically beside me said "You know, this is where all good movies start." After someone else sarcastically added "Yeah like 300 or Spiderman" I began to assess the truth in the first statement. I immediately jumped to Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants 2, because it's based off one of my favourite book series (and I can relate pretty much anything to those books). I imagined Bridget, Lena, Carmen and Tibby in their caps and gowns and how their stories unfolded separately but still intertwined after that day. 

    Or Felicity, mind you it's a television show, but still it begins with Felicity's graduation ceremony where right then she makes the impulsively foolish yet brave decision to follow her high school crush to New York City for university. And as I stood in that long cramped tunnel waiting for "the rest of my life to begin" all I could think was "gee I could really use a snack, or some air conditioning". It was rather anti climactic how it hadn't hit me yet that my first twelve years of education were complete. Maybe it was because I never thought that I wouldn't finish them. I never once considered dropping out, certainly not during high school when I had made it so far. And who really thinks about dropping out in elementary school when you can go to school to colour and hang out with your friends without arranging a play date. 

    As I waited to begin my march to "Pomp and Circumstance" I felt that I should be feeling something more that what I was at the time. I was excited to see my two friends give their speeches as Saludatorian and Valedictorian, and I was excited to see what the diploma looked like, but apart from that nothing. I was waiting for a wave of "HOLY CRAP I'M GRADUATING" to wash over me but, nothing.

    As I watched my friends give remarkable speeches I was not only proud of them but I was proud of us all, not for sticking it out necessarily because I knew we could all do that, but for doing it all together. I haven't met such a large group of people that could stick together so well and just generally enjoy each other's presence and want to succeed together. 

    Even though I have still yet to have that epic wave of realization that I've graduated high school I have come to the conclusion, or more so I've reminded myself that the most important part of this twelve year journey was the excellent people I've met through out it all. Whether it be the kids I played with in the sand box on the first day of primary or the ones I walked with at graduation, the people have meant the most to me. 

    I can't say I remember every face that I've had the privilege of encountering during these twelve years but I know they've had something to do with who I am as begin the next four. I'll keep you posted when I realize that I've graduated high school. Perhaps it will be when I see the picture of myself shaking the principle's hand as I receive my high school diploma or maybe when I walk across the stage to receive my university diploma. Who knows.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    I have a lot of things I want to do.

    I have a lot of ideas. A lot of projects that I want to start, do and complete this summer.

    For example I want to write in this blog. Which I am currently succeeding at but once this post is up I'll need to actually organize and articulate my thoughts so that this little project can continue along with many others.

    But I don't want this blog to be just a summer thing. I want to write and get the most out of writing. I want to get my thoughts on virtual paper and express my ideas and share my ramblings. But I also want to enjoy it.

    As for other projects. I want to vlog, or video blog or make videos on YouTube, however you want to phrase it. I've been brainstorming ideas for a few months now and of course I've been inspired by the awesome that is the Vlogbrothers but I want to put my ideas into action. I'm hoping that by making this post it will help me remember all the things I want to do. Vlogging is up there on the list. What I like about vlogging is the community that has sprung up around it and especially in Nerdfighteria. I think sharing opinions and more importantly listening to others is a part of everyday life and to be able to express and exchange these opinions on forums such as YouTube is grand.

    I also want to take more photos. Photography is a completely different form of expression and it means something different entirely to me than expressing yourself through writing or video.  When you take a picture you depict what something else is expressing but with your own twist or angle or movement. Does that make sense? I've decided that starting June first I want to produce one quality* photo every day.
    *Quality as defined in my mind at any given time that day.


    Fourthly, oh goodness this is becoming a list, I want to read. A lot. As much as I can possibly read. Which given my snail's pace might not be a whole lot for the average eighteen-year-old female, but that won't bother me as long as I know that by the end of the summer I have read all I possibly could, and enjoyed it. Don't worry. There will be a comprehensive reading list posted soon. There will probably be quite a few lists on this blog, as my mind works solely in list form.

    Next, I also want to keep up a "Why Today Is Awesome" notebook. Inspired by the 5AG of course. I consider myself I fairly happy person. I mean I don't exactly have anything to be tragically upset about. But there are certainly days in everyone's life where it's not all rainbows and puppies. I think keeping up this journal could do no harm. Also, I like doodling.

    Going along with doodling, I also want to draw more. I'm not particularly amazing at drawing or painting or that sort of art, but sometimes a piece or two will turn out better than expected. So plan to at least sketch more than I normally would. It's got to be good for your brain or something right?

    Now that I've laid out at least a rough outline of what I want to do with my summer, I must put these ideas into action.

    Mind you, this isn't everything I want to do this summer but these are new projects for me. Besides photography and of course reading I really haven't done any of these things on a regular basis. Other adventures on my list include, learning a bunch of new pieces on piano (a list will surely come of this), continue teaching myself guitar and ukulele, and watch several television series in their entirety (also list-worthy).

    So if you're along for the ride I'll be sticking around for a while. I've got a lot on my to do list.

    Shall we recap?

    Blog, vlog, take photos, read, keep up with a "W.T.I.S." journal, doodle.