C’est L’Halloween

I don’t know about you guys, but today really kicked my ass. I had lofty goals of coming home from work and finishing an awesomely hilarious post about zombies I started this weekend, but instead I just lay on  the couch, ate pizza and watched 3+ hours of entertainment news programming. (Side notes: how is Chris Brown still a free man? Julianne Hough is an idiot, and I cannot wait for baby WildKis.)

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Anyway, since I stupidly vowed to write a blog post every day this month, here is an awesome link that’s been making the rounds on Facebook today-

‘C’est l’Halloween’: the story behind the greatest French Halloween song ever

Those who know, know. And if you don’t know, now you know.

I don’t even know what I’m saying anymore.

Read the post, watch the vid, feel nostalgic, get in the Halloween spirit.. and maybe sing and dance a little. Or don’t- and say you did. That’s cool too.

Question of the Day: Did you take french classes in school?

Demons Are A Ghoul’s Best Friend

There are few things in this world I enjoy more than a well-executed pun.

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While some may consider puns lame or cliché, I find them to be one of the most creative and ingenious comedic devices; a true triumph of the English language.

That’s why I was so excited when getting my daily caffeine fix, I happened upon this amazing advertisement:

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Instagram – @breezyk1

Well done, David’s tea. Well done.

This inspired me to search for more hilarious Halloween puns. Since it’s Friday, and I don’t have five things we could all use a little laugh, here are some of my favourites:

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Or What about some punny Halloween costumes? Like

…Joey Ramona Quimby

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.. Bea Arthur

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…. Dumbledora The Explorer

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…..Gingerbread Man

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and my own personal favourite:

Lil’ Wayne on The Prairie

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Question of the Day: Are you dressing up for Halloween? What are you being?

Throwback Thursday: Halloween Candy

Halloween is right around the corner, and since I’m too lazy busy deciding which ironic Halloween costume to wear (Miley Cyrus wrecking ball?

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Or Baby North West?),

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I thought I’d go into the vault and pull out this little gem I first published back in October, 2011.

Originally part of a feature I did called Turn Up The Good: Turn Down The Suck, where I profiled a few things that were good, followed by a few things that sucked (genius, I know), this post is all about my favourite thing in the world (besides wine) – Candy! enjoy.

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Halloween is by far my favourite holiday of the year. Not only does it give you free license to wear whatever the hell you want and call it a “costume”, it’s also the day on which such A-List celebrities as Vanilla Ice, Rob Schnieder and (drumroll please)…. yours truly, were born. So that’s why, for this edition of Turn Up the Good, Turn down The Suck – I thought I would focus on one of the best parts of this glorious day: CANDY.

Halloween breezyk circa 1989

As a child, I put the “anal” in “analyze”. This was especially true of Halloween. I would return from trick or treating, dump my goods on my bedroom floor, and proceed to spend hours poring over my loot and categorizing its contents; determining which pieces were to be consumed first and which saved for later. By the time I was done constructing all of my little piles, my room looked like an episode of Hoarders: Buried Alive- but it was worth it. My rationing ensured that I would be adequately supplied with candy until Christmas (or at least until my older brothers got a hold of it.)

Sure they look cute… but these boys CANT BE TRUSTED

Anyway- as evidenced by my story, not all Halloween candy was created equal: so here I present to you a list of the best (turn up the good) and worst (turn down the suck) of Halloween candy:

Turn Up the Good

1. Full Size Chocolate Bars: otherwise known as the holy grail of trick or treating. Like unicorns (yes, exactly like unicorns), these were scarce. Neighbourhood kids would discuss which houses were giving full-size bars away, and make special trips just to get them. God bless these generous individuals.

2. Reese Peanut Butter Cups: I realize this one is slightly subjective. You can feel free to insert your favourite fun-size chocolate bar here- but damn I loved me some Reeses. Guaranteed to make the top cut of any sorting round.

2. Full Cans of (NAME BRAND ONLY) Pop (None of that No-name cola shit): I hesitated to add this one, simply because of the sheer weight these puppies add to your treat bag. However, it’s a cross I was always willing to bear in order to have unlimited cans of Pepsi at my disposal throughout November….

4. Homemade Shit: This makes the list due to its elusive nature. Homemade cookies? Quaint little bags of popcorn tied up lovingly with ribbons? CANDY APPLES? Sure they all looked amazing- but kid, you might as well just forget about it. If your parents were anything like mine, all that gloriousness was being thrown in the trash faster than you could say “this isn’t actually a costume“.

Homemade halloween treats- I salute you. Though your creators may be creepy, and you may contained concealed razor blades- your potential deliciousness transcends.

Turn Down the Suck

1. Rockets: AKA a cheap-ass waste of valuable treat bag space…. or, as a friend of mine rightly clarified: “a waste of EARTH space”.

2. Mollases Kisses: You know the ones I’m talking about. A sort of caramel/tootsie roll/ black licorice hybrid that have been around forever, and for some reason still persists. These choking hazards shouldn’t be given to CHILDREN- they should be reserved for old men who are missing most of their teeth so they can kill some time. I’m not feelin it.

3. Unmarked bags of potato chips: This was always a crapshoot. Emblazoned only with the “Hostess” or “Humpty Dumpty” logo all over them, you never knew what you were going to get. You risked wasting potential treats if you opened it up and didn’t like that kind, and for the weirdo kids like me, this created a nightmare for categorization.

Like this… EXCEPT NOT

4. Non-Food Related Items

Pencils, erasers, religious pamphlets… basically anything that made you roll your eyes behind the mask of your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume and go “REALLY?”

Bitches be fundamentally misunderstanding the concept of Halloween, yo..

Question of the Day: What were your favourite/ least favourite Halloween Treats?

Premature E-Publication

I accidentally hit “publish” on a blog post before it was ready this morning.

The whole experience was shocking, terrifying, embarrassing, and all sorts of other negative emotions ending in “ing”. Sort of like when you inadvertently hit “reply all” on an e-mail.

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A few years back, my roommate, who was also my coworker at the time, accidentally sent an e-mail intended for me to our entire company. That’s over 2,000 people in multiple offices around North America. Although the e-mail itself was relatively innocuous, I still came home to find her in bed, curled up in a ball of shame and self-loathing, wailing “I’ll never work in this town again!” into a pint of Haagen Dazs.

That’s sort of how I felt this morning. How could I possibly have sent this piece of nonsensical drivel to 1,592 inboxes? With one fell swoop, my carefully constructed curtain of thesaurus words, platitudes and strategically placed GIFs had been lifted – exposing me for the fraud I am deep down inside.

I was certain my short-lived career as a mediocre blogger was over.

The funny thing is, though, that before I even had a chance to mark the post “private” (which took me like 10 minutes, since I’m kind of a Luddite) I actually received a few “likes” and comments on it.

My first thought was that these benevolent commenters felt so sorry for my epic fail that they simply wanted to ensure I didn’t impale myself over any sharp objects in my apartment. However, it occurred to me later that perhaps they just hadn’t been reading that critically. Maybe they just identified with the overall subject matter of the post (which was about invasion of personal space), and didn’t care that much about my sloppy sentences or lack of hilarious GIFs.

I guess the point I’m trying to make here, is that we bloggers shouldn’t really be so hard on ourselves. While quality is important, it’s not the be all and end all. 99% of your readers don’t care about consistency of tenses and appropriate use of semi-colons; they just want material they can relate to.

……and maybe the occasional Paul Rudd dancing GIF:

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Question of the Day: Have you ever had a premature e-publication? How did you feel?

10 Second Book Reviews – The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

It’s now week 42 of my 52 Books in 52 weeks challenge, and I’m clocking in at 37 books read so far. Not bad, but not exactly on pace, either. Truth be told, I’m starting to freak out about all of the ground I have left to cover. At this point, I think I need to either give up my social life entirely, or read nothing but illustrated novellas with 18 pt font for the rest of the year.  

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I digress. The point of this post is (shockingly) not to discuss my failings and insecurities, but rather to review this lovely little book I read recently:

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The Rosie Project centers around Don Tillman, a 39-year-old genetics professor who is somewhere on the autism spectrum- he just doesn’t know it yet. Don has only two friends, is ruled by order and routine, and, most relevant for our purposes – has never been on a second date.  

Citing scientific evidence that “married men are happier and live longer”, Don sets out to find the “perfect” wife by creating an extensive, detailed questionnaire, asking everything from “average alcohol consumption” to “do you eat Kidneys?” (correct answer: occasionally). Women who do not score 100% are summarily disqualified.

Don, however, is forced to reconsider his “Wife Project”  when he meets Rosie – a smoking, drinking vegetarian who is chronically late and (gasp) has tattoos!

I don’t need to tell you that this plot has all the makings of a great, offbeat romantic comedy- and in fact it has already been optioned by Sony Pictures. The book, which originated in Australia, has been published in 38 countries and has quickly become an international sensation.

Although I’m usually sensitive to hype, I can’t deny that I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun, easy, read, and an unusual take on a classic love story. This is also the first book I’ve read with a character on the autism spectrum, and I found that aspect fascinating and intriguing. 

I give it: 4/5 Intellectual dachshunds

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Question of the Day: What’s on your night table these days?

(BOOKS! I MEAN BOOKS PEOPLE!)

Fancy A Spot of Tea?

I don’t know about you guys, but I love a good tea party.

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As a little girl, I hosted them on the reg. I had a miniature table and chairs in my bedroom solely for that purpose, and had no fewer than 6 different tea sets on rotation at any given moment. I would serve “tea” (Sunny Delight) and “crumpets” (cut up Toaster Strudels) to my distinguished guests; a rotating cast of my favourite toys du jour. Regulars included:

  • my Cabbage Patch doll Celine Ilse (apparently she was French Canadian??);
  • a talking Teddy Ruxpin, that, looking back was completely terrifying;
  • an incredibly sexist Teen Talk Barbie that said things like “Math is hard!” and “Will we ever have enough clothes?”;
  • myriads of My Little Ponies;
  • Quints;

Remember these weirdos?

…and just to add a little masculinity to the mix, several of my brothers’ G.I. Joe figurines.

Yep, it was a real equal opportunity affair. 

Since apparently throwing lavish gatherings for your stuffed animals is no longer “socially acceptable” after the age of 12, I’ve experienced a marked decline in the number of tea parties I attend in my adult life. 

That’s why I was beyond excited when one of my coworkers invited me to an afternoon tea party at her house last weekend. With real live humans!!

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The invitation indicated that the dress code was casual, but that “Fascinators were encouraged”.

Challenge: accepted. 

Somehow, despite being neither British nor fancy, I have managed to accumulate a sizeable collection of obnoxious head pieces over the years. (I don’t know what this says about me as a person. I don’t care to find out.)

I thought about pulling out this one from the tickle trunk:

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But instead opted for this more understated headband variety:

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….paired with a giant (faux) fur vest and a fancy-ass brooch with a horse on it.

What? Don’t be such a neigh-sayer. 

I also upped my accessory game with my new bracelet stack; because nothing screams
class  like 18 lbs of gold-plated joo-ree you bought from the Shopping Channel.

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I arrived,dripping in elegance, to discover that the hostess had prepared an amazing spread of treats:

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Seriously-  it was insani-tea!! (Sorry. I’m done with the puns now).

Besides all of this glorious food, she also brewed some delicious loose leaf tea which she served in these fancy little cups.

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There were seven girls in attendance, and we snuggled up in the living room and spent a few cozy hours munching on macarons and dishing about men. The weather outside was terrible and rainy, but I didn’t really mind, because it sort of made me feel like Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.

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Because I am delusional.

………..And then the Chardonnay came out. And I think my story ends here.

Question of the Day: Have you ever been to a tea party? High Tea?

Friday Five – Music, Movies and My New Vacuum Cleaner

TGIF Guys!

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Time for some random things I’ve been thinking about this week:

1. Dyson Vacuums

In what was potentially the most grown-up purchase I have ever made, I bought a Dyson Vacuum online yesterday.

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Yes, my life has really come to writing about vacuum cleaners.

I mentioned to my coworker that I needed a new vacuum, and she directed me to the Dyson refurbished site where you can get refurbished vacuums with full warranty at discounted prices.

Not gonna lie, it was still a substantial investment (for the price of this puppy, I’m expecting it to be gilded in solid gold); but apparently Dysons are like the Cadillac of vacuums and have all sorts of crazy features and European technology. Do any of you guys have one?  Is it going to change my life?? Cause I’m beginning to wonder if I should’ve just sprang for Rosie from the Jetsons instead….

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2. This Song

3. 15 Reasons To Live

I saw this documentary last week at The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto and really enjoyed it. It’s by Canadian filmmaker, Alan Zweig, who was inspired by a list his friend wrote of his 15 reasons to live. Zweig set out to find a story to match each one, and compiled them all into this lovely little film. While I enjoyed and identified with certain stories more than others, I would still recommend checking it out.. especially if you need a good ugly cry. (Toronto showtimes here)

4. My New Writing Class

I recently started a new writing class at The University of Toronto, and our first assignment was to write about our first memories. I assumed we would just hand them in to the teacher, but NO. Instead, we did a “self-editing exercise” where we handed our stories to the person on our right and had THEM READ IT ALOUD.  I was like:

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SO nerve-wracking, guys. I almost ran screaming from the class right there on the spot, but it actually ended up being sort of helpful-  you got to hear how your story sounded from a (somewhat) objective perspective, and which parts worked and which fell flat. Still, though, I think for now I’ll stick to hiding behind my screen

5.  Misguided Running Aspirations

So I signed up for a 10k race on November 3rd. I don’t know why. I guess I just hate myself.

friday7 Also, it gives me an excuse to eat an obscene amount of pancakes afterwards.

Stacks on stacks on stacks

Stacks on stacks on stacks

Anyway, now I have to train for this noise, which is even more painful than usual for two reasons:

1. My headphones broke last week, and I have since  been using the Air Canada in-flight variety. They have a maximum volume of like, 2, and make everything sound vaguely underwater. (Headphone suggestions ??)

2. I accidentally washed a fuchsia Lululemon top with the rest of my laundry the other day and turned ALL of my workout clothes a slight tinge of pink. I now feel like the Elle Woods of mediocre running.

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So yeah, I’m feeling pretty good about this!!!

Question of the Day:

Have you ever taken a writing class? Do you want to?

P.S. If you haven’t already, please go read my post about Scott Jones and support him!