Friday, 29 June 2012

Sir John A. MacDonald to Victoria: Let's Discuss This Whole Independence Thing Over a Couple Drinks, and by Couple, I Mean, I'm Just Going to Get Schmammered Again

So, it's Friday, and the start of the Canada Day long weekend! I get early dismissal, because you know, sometimes having a real, legit, adult job is like being in the second grade! For those of you who don't know, Canada Day is pretty much like Independence Day in the states, except minus the whole being traitorous little upstarts and starting a war over taxes thing. We asked nicely for independence and Queen Victoria, because she was really cool, gave it to us and everyone's favourite historical alcoholic Sir John A. MacDonald, also known as Canada's first Prime Minister (unless you're one of those people who think Louise Hippolyte Lafontaine was the first (I'm of this camp. I mean come on. He was all like "responsible government" this, and "political reforms after 1837" that. And he was besties with Robert Baldwin who was kind of badass) . Doing it right since 1 July, 1867.

Now, I'm not really that patriotic. Sure, I like being a Canadian, but I'm more likely to roll out British bunting and continue celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee than I am to parade around with a maple leaf drawn on my face. To be quite frank, I think overly patriotic people are terrifying, and also, there's that whole concept of and debate surrounding nationalism that is just too much for my little early modern brain to handle. Anyway, I digress. Basically, Canada Day means I get an extra day in the weekend where I don't have to be a grown up or wear pants. I will gladly take this in exchange for singing "Oh, Canada" (with the old lyrics of course! who said we had to seperate church and state? Psh, give me a break) for 30 seconds. What this also means is that it's really hard to be motivated when you know that in a mere hour and half you're free.

Now to the point: I have found an amazing video on YouTube that I am oh so kindly going to share with you all to kick start what is shaping up to be a pretty kick ass long weekend. It's called Beauty and the Beat, and I have no words to describe it. You just have to watch it to believe that it happened. Also, God Bless America for producing such fine thespians.

Oh and one more thing: Obamacare!

Happy Canada Day and Independence (also known as we decided to rebel against our rightful king and country and technically could have been hanged as traitorous rebels) Day. Just kidding (kind of). You know I love my Southern neighbours (for the most part)!

That is all.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Muesday: "Your Costume is a Tub...and Bubbles. Lots and Lots of Bubbles"

Hello my pets! I'm stuck at home sick. What better way to spend my time recuperating than to write this Muesday post. I hate being sick and I haven't had a cold in a really long time, but as The Boy likes to tell me, my fast and furious lifestyle had caught up to me. He says I'm sick because I don't eat properly (toast is most definitely a meal) and because I don't get enough sleep. I hate to admit it, especially because I know for an absolute fact that he will gloat, but I think he's right. I think my mantra of "do all the things" has finally caught up with me and my body is now punishing me. So, here I sit, all snotty and sniffley trying to get rid of my cold by the sheer force of my will and lots of tea. But after an exhausting weekend at the Pink Ribbon Pin Up Calendar shoot, I am more than ready to rest.

Speaking of the Pink Ribbon Pin Up shoot, it was the most fun I've had in a really long time. It was actually amazing. It was lovely to meet a whole bunch of other breast cancer survivors, and get all dolled up. It turns out that I am Miss March. However, I think the most fun for me was getting to be someone completely different and do something that 3 years ago, I would have balked at doing. It was quite funny when the designer and the lead on the project was introducing everyone and saying what each survivor would be portrayed as, and when they got to me, I didn't have a costume. My costume was a tin tub and lots and lots of bubbles. If you had asked me 3 years ago if I would be comfortable being completely nude in front of a bunch of strangers, having my picture taken, I would have said hell no. But, once you've had breast cancer, everyone has seen you at least partially naked at some point in time, and it's not that big of a deal. It was actually quite empowering for lack of a better word. I am so excited to see all the shots that they got and to see the final product! And, because I love you all so very much, I am sharing a few teaser pictures with you to tide you over until the actual calendar comes out. You better all rush to your local Safeway and pick one up when they come out in September!

Now, as most of you know, I am a reality TV junkie. The trashier the better. I love the ones that feature competitions, mostly because I like to see all the talent out there. Now, if you recall a couple seasons ago on American Idol, there was this amazing contestant named Casey Abrams. He played the stand up bass, and a bunch of other things, all on top of having this great bluesy, jazzy, distinctive sound that really made him stand out from the typical bland, cookie cutter pop contestant. I remember being super bummed when he was voted off, because I honestly felt that he had what it took to win and to produce a great album. Well, today his album dropped and lets just say that I am anything but disappointed. The album is self titled and produced by Idol judged Randy Jackson, and has, what I believe to be the quintessential summer song! So, today, I am sharing with you all the dulcet tones of Simple Life by Casey Abrams.

Until next time duckies!


Friday, 22 June 2012

The Book Is Always Better. Also, People Are Idiots.

I used to work at this bookstore called Chapters. It's part of a chain of Canadian bookstores under the Indigo brand. For those of you who have never heard of Chapters, I also like to call it hell, except with more books. How can a place that is filled with books be hell you ask? Because of the people that would come in to buy the books. Working at a bookstore you have the nightmarish task of interacting with some of the world's stupidest people. Do you know how many times someone came up to me and said "Hi, I'm looking for a book"? No shit Sherlock. You're in a freaking bookstore, of course your looking for a book. If I had a nickle for every time someone asked me for help, but didn't know the title, or the author, but knew what colour the book kind of was ("Hi, I'm looking for a book and it's pink". I kid you not, this happened, and what's worse, I actually managed to find the book for them), I would be a freaking billionaire. Nothing is more frustrating than having to deal with idiots while having to be fake nice to them the same time. I am sure that by the time I was done working there, I was giving customers the look of death.

But, I think some of the most memorable momements and by memorable I mean moments of sheer stupidity that I have ever witnessed while working at Chapters was when people thought that old books were new books. It's just so mind boggling that people are THIS dumb! I don't know if anyone else remembers this, or if it's just me because it was always horrific, but Oprah used to do this thing called Oprah's Bookclub. Now, one month for her book club she chose Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. This book is not new. This book was written a really freaking long time ago (well, the mid to late 1870's...or 1877 to be exact). It is not new. However, because Oprah basically bastardizes everything she touches, and because people (cough, women, cough) think she's god, people couldn't get enough of it. I had so many people asking me for that "new book by someone named Leo Tolstoy". I actually think I did a face-palm the first time I heard that. They would also ask if he "had any new books on the way". My usual and quite snarky answer: Leo Tolstoy has been dead since 1910, so no. No he does not have any new books on the way.

It is experiences like this that made me realize that the majority of people are inherently stupid. That's not to say that I don't do and say some questionable/dumb things every once and a while, but I like to think that it occurs less frequently for me than for the vast majority of the population. So keep in mind the next time you go into a book store, to make sure you do your research and know the title, the author, and quite possibly, when it was published before asking for help. It will save people like me from doing you bodily harm.

But that's not the point of this post. The point of this post is directly related to Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, as in, I'm really freaking excited for the screen adaptation of it coming out in September! Holy shit it looks amazing! I can't wait! Jude Law, Keira Knightly, Matthew MacFayden, and a whole slew of other awesome cast members will make this just fan-freaking-tastic. Also, speaking of book to film adaptations, keep your eyes peeled for Victor Hugo's classic Les Miserables coming out in December! If Anne Hathaway doesn't win an Academy Award for this, I don't know what else she can do.

At the end of the day though, remember that the book is ALWAYS better!


Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Muesday: Calendar Girl

This is basically what me and Gingey are like. I miss you friend!

Update: I found those amazing men's soccer shoes that apparently just don't exist for women (way to fail Nike Soccer) in childrens! It's a good thing I am the size of an average 8 year old and can still wear children's shoes!

Remember that movie Calendar Girlswhere those women posed nude in a calendar to raise money for a charity and were super successful? Well, I'm going to be to be in a calendar kind of like that, except with way more clothes. That's pretty exciting, at least according to me! It's called the Pink Ribbon Pin Up calendar and features breast cancer survivors as pin up girls. I don't know what month I am going to be, but I do know that I am the youngest survivor that is going to be there and apparently I am going to be in a bathtub with bubbles (also, thanks to The Boy who is totally okay with this). How this is going to work I know not, but I think it's pretty rad, mostly because I have a thing for the old pin up girls from the '40's, '50's, and '60's. If I thought I could pull it off, I would totally get a rad tattoo/sleeve of a pin up girl. Unfortunately the fact that I am super indecisive and change my mind about things a million times a day, means I won't ever actually do this. The calendar will be sold nationwide at Safeway's (because they are super awesome and are helping to pay for this amaze-balls calendar) in the month of October (breast cancer awareness month, or the month in which breast cancer is shoved in my face from all angles and people feel the need to shower me with clothing heavily featuring the pink breast cancer ribbon that I won't actually wear because it's ugly and I don't need a reminder. If I wanted to be reminded, all I have to do is look in the mirror, but thanks anyway) with the proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for research and other charitable like things. So keep your eyes peeled for these in the coming months and make sure to pick one up if you can, mainly because I'm going to be in it. Kidding! Because it's for a great cause! But seriously, make sure you get one...

Speaking of being indecisive and unable to make a decision, something I believe to be a key attribute of a legit adult, making me not a real adult by any means, I can't decide what song I would like to share with you all today. I am torn between an old Canadain group who gets me all nostaligic for the days when I was 18 and stupid (well, not stupid per se, just not as smart as I am now), and a new-ish British singer/songwriter who is absolutely splendid, and a ginger. So I have decided that I am going to share both. Think of it as an extra special treat because you're all awesome, and because I am trying to buy/weasle my way into your love and affections.

The first song I am going to share is by one of my favourite Canadian bands (and yes, I do realize that I say that about them all) called Stars. Their album Set Yourself on Fire was probably played about a million times the year and the year after I graduated high school. One of my best friends, Kass and I just couldn't get enough, and now everytime I hear them I think of driving around aimlessly with her in my first car (affectionately called the Yeti becuase of these hideous furry seat covers I had) looking for things to do in Edmonton/Sherwood Park (something that is a lot easier said than done). Since then, Stars have released several albums, but Set Yourself on Fire remains my favourites. So today I give to you One More Night off of Set Yourself on Fire.

The next song I am going to share with you is by a British artist named Ed Sheeran. He's this great singer/songwriter that my sister actually introduced me to, and he's amazing. He's also a ginger, which makes him endearing because some of my favourite people are gingers (isn't that right Gingey?!). He's got this amazing voice and the way he strings notes together is masterful. He's kind of like a mix between Jason Mraz, William Fitzsimmons and Joshua Radin, kind of like if the three of them had a red headed love child. I also had a difficult time picking just one song to share with you all, so I put the album on shuffle and the first song that came up is the one that I am sharing with you lovlies (see, the whole indecisive thing again). So enjoy Grade 8 off of his album +.

Have an awesome Tuesday lovlies!


Monday, 18 June 2012

The Pretty Shoes Shouldn't Just Be for Boys: My Mad Football Love Euro Cup 2012

Why don't they make nice soccer shoes for women?! Why do boys always get the awesome ones?! It's not fair!

How excited am I that Euro Cup is on?! Really freaking excited! I love soccer, or football for all you Europeans, and I don't know what I would do if I wasn't still playing. For the past three years I have been spoiled by some amazing soccer matches. 2010 saw the World Cup in South Africa and a heartbreaking loss for my beloved Oranje, to La Roja. Then last summer there was the Women's World Cup, in which the Japanese women's squad surprised everyone and beat the USA (thank god! there is nothing I like better than watching both Abby Wambach and Hope Solo lose. They are honestly the most overrated female players of the game! If your going to be cocky as shit, at least have the skills to back it up like Marta from Brazil), and now, I have Euro Cup 2012, and I am completely obsessed! I unfortunately have to be a real adult and do work at work during the day at this job of mine, which means that I can't stream the matches, but I can have the live score update going and even though I can't see it at the moment, I sit on the edge of my seat, cheering for my teams.

Now, with that being said, I have a bit of a beef with whoever determined the teams that made up the group. Who's genius (and by genius, I mean stupid) idea was it to put both Germany and the Netherlands in the same group? Or England and France? Seriously! This makes me so mad! I want all my favourites to advance, and now, because the Netherlands haven't won, they won't move on. I was so torn watching the Netherlands and Germany play. I love both squads and I couldn't decide who to cheer for. It's like when parents have to choose a favourite child. I can't handle it.

Also, I would also like to say how incredibly jealous I am of the skills that these players have. Seriously, I would given anything to have half the talent that Arjen Robben or Robin van Persie have in one of their feet. That would be amazing.

I know that many people think soccer is an incredibly boring sport to watch and of course, I beg to differ. All I have to say is that if you fall into the category of people who don't have a mad love for the beautiful game, just give it a chance. Sit down and try to appreciate the level of fitness, and skill that it takes to play such an awesome game! I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy at least a little bit of Euro Cup 2012 before it's over.

I know I've shared this before, but I am going to share it again, mostly because it's completely awesome! I hope everyone has an amazing Monday. See you lovelies tomorrow for Muesday!


Monday, 11 June 2012

Muesday: I'm Confused as to Why You Like Me. I'm Not Complaining

Remember that time I was all like "Hey, things are awesome and lovely and I want to talk about them, but I can't becaues it's not the right time"? Ya well, I can talk about it now, sort of. But first, let's discuss the following (which will hopefully lead into what I can kind of talk about):

Can I just take a minute to discuss the whole concept of first dates? Is there anything more strange, awkward or stressful than a first date? I don't even think a thesis defense or presenting a paper at an academic conference would be as stressful. At least you have had tons of time to research and prepare and you have a general idea of the questions that the committee/panel might ask you. But first dates have the element of the unknown. I was talking to my good friend Rico, who told me that first dates are exciting. My response: an emphatic "no, no they're not". They are stressful, at least for someone like me who on a fairly regular basis, doesn't really have any idea what's going on around me. I kid you not. I once had no idea that I was on a legit date. I thought we were just friends, hanging out watching Star Wars (I had never seen them). I was very mistaken. So, not only do first dates require me to actually have to try and figure out if it's a real date, but it also means that I have to be on my best behaviour. This is a lot harder than you would think. I lack a filter. I say what I want, when I want. Tact and subtlety are not my forte. It's very difficult for me to remain on neutral subjects and to not have every second word be "shit" or "fuck" or "dammit". Also, I sometimes tend to forget that people often have no clue what I am talking about, and that they might not be up to date with current events, new literature and music or random things in general. Also, they tend to look at me funny when I use phrases like "it's better than a unicorn covered in chocolate and diamonds". It takes a lot of patience and gumption to want to date me, mostly because I am absolutely ridiculous. It's because of this that I wonder why people like me, and what would possess someone to actually ask me out. Thankfully, there is someone out there who does, and who doesn't mind that I inadvertantly insulted him the first time we met, and then proceeded to put my foot in my mouth (not literally of course, that's just unsanitary) all night. I think he maybe had some kind of fever that made him delirious/deaf to what I was saying. That's the only logical explaination I have as to why he wanted to go on a date with me. But I do have to give him mad props because it was a pretty awesome date (not the easiest accomplishment considering it was March and it was Edmonton. Also, I actually legitimately knew that it was a date and everything! Go me!), and have been seeing him ever since. He's pretty awesome, and doesn't mind when I say silly things, and he tries to make sure that I subsist on more than just tea and toast. Also, from here after he will be referred to as The Boy. He's also one of the reasons why I have been slacking on the whole blogging front (mostly because I wanted to talk about how awesome he is but the timing wasn't right, and I couldn't, so it was easier to just not...just in case), that and the fact that as soon as summer hits, my life goes into overdrive. But I'm honestly, not complaining because right now, my life is pretty awesome.

So don't worry lovelies, I will try to be better at writing things out for (hopefully) your enjoyment, and potential bemusement. But until I make good on that promise, I am going to get on with Muesday. Today, I am going to share with you Breath of Life by Florence + The Machine. Don't judge, but it's off the Snow White and the Huntsman soundtrack. The Boy and I went to see it this past weekend, and while I think the film could have been cut down by a good 20 minutes, it actually wasn't bad. Kristen Stewart did a decent job of not overly butchering her British accent, and Charlize Theron is too beautiful to be allowed, and makes one kick ass evil queen. But for me, the best part was when the credits were rolling and the dulcet tones of Flo and her machine started. It's an amazing song, almost a mix between No Light and Seven Devils off her last album Ceremonials. I hope you all enjoy it if you haven't listened to it yet. And if you have, you can listen to it some more.

Happy Muesday lovlies!

xoxo Leah

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Muesday: Face Meet Palm. Also, Guy Fieri Needs to Change His Hair

I am nothing short of a hot, disastrous mess at life and I have spoken many times of the fact that I have no life skills. I'm all book smarts. Baby Jesus and good genes gave me a decent brain that has the ability to critically think and pull out random historical/political/whatever facts at parties. You need me to write you a 15 page paper discussing the impact of colonialism and industry on an indigenous economy by Thursday? No problem. You want me to transcribe those court documents from 1561 that really just look like squiggly lines with maybe an inappropriate stick drawing in the margins? I've got you covered. But when it comes to actually surviving in the real world I fail (and yes I know that this sounds very redundant to other posts I have done before, but I swear it's slightly-ish different). I am so much a failure that I can't even remember to check to see if what I am eating has something in it that could potentially kill me. Case in point: There were some lovely cookies sitting on the counter at work for the staff to enjoy and as I was making myself a delicious steaming mug of David's Tea, I thought to myself., "that half a cookie looks delicious and would make the perfect addition to your mid-morning snack". So I picked it up and started to enjoy it, not paying attention to the fact that my lips and tongue were starting to swell uncomfortably, until the very last bite when I bit into an almond. Yes, the girl with the nut allergy was too stupid think that these cookies had nuts, and decided to play Russian roulette with her life and eat it. A little bit of panic mixed with a face palm and a bendryl was the next order of business. I even went so far as to mention it to a friend who also has a pretty severe nut allergy (let me tell you, it makes trying to find places to eat a real adventure when we go out), and he was pretty concerned. He asked if I had my epipen. The answer: carrying around an epipen would be the smart, responsible, adult thing to do. Of course I didn't have my epipen. So I suffered uncomfortably all day. I've also learned a very valuable lesson. No, it's not carry an epipen around with me like my doctor wants me to, it's to not eat the cookies with the nuts in them (hey, baby steps...don't judge me. I can only handle being and adult for small periods of time). Now that I think about it, this is kind of like that time I was allergic to halloween. I really need to look into getting that bubble to live in.

On another slightly unrelated, but not entirely, note, I am obessesed with the Food Network. You'd think that a girl who can barely boil water, and who is probably the pickiest eater in the entire world, would not really take a liking to the Food Network. But I love it. It makes me want to learn to cook, but only for a minute, because I remember that it takes time, and patience, and you kind of have to like it. These are three qaulities I do not possess. Also, watching these shows makes me not want to be a vegetarian. Watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives really gives me a craving for a pulled pork sandwhich and a burger, neither of which I have ever had in my entire life. But they look delicious and Guy Fieri really seems to enjoy them...although, I'm pretty sure he won't enjoy the quadruple bypass I am almost certain he will need in the probably not so distant future. Can I also just say that he needs to really change his hair? Last time I checked he wasn't part of the Backstreet Boys circa 1999. Just saying...

Anyway, for today's Muesday I am sharing with you a song from the new Brandi Carlile album. It's brand spanking new out today, and I don't feel as if I have listened to it thoroughly enough to give an in depth, informed opinion. BUT, from my cursory listens it's pretty amazing. Classic singer/songwriter with just the right amounts of grass roots rock and roll, with perhaps just a tinge of blue grass? Anway, I really love what I have listened to so far, so I hope you all enjoy Hard Way Home off her new album Bear Creek.

Also, listening to her new album makes me really sad that I couldn't get tickets to Folk Fest. Damn those Folkies are bat shit crazy! Like legit crazy about their folk music. I also just kind of wanted to see the crazy old as the dawn of time hippies. Oh well. There's always next year.

Happy Muesday!