I’m not a car person, but…

…I totally want a Mini. I’m not sure when it started, I’ve wanted one for a while. Not in a serious way really, I just think they’re cute and I like that they look different in a world where cars are starting to all look the same.

A few weeks ago we went to the Edmonton Motor Show. No reason, we just enjoy trade shows. This was the first year that the Mini Cooper area wasn’t in a corner and crowded with people. I had sat in one a couple years ago (I have a really blurry photo to prove it) and seem to remember it feeling kind of cramped. When we found the Minis this time the first one I sat in was the Mini Cooper S and again I felt very cramped. I didn’t sit in it very long and I probably could have moved the seat down more, but width-wise it just felt tight.

2015 Mini Cooper

My awesome memory can’t remember if the second one I sat in was the Countryman but I did sit in the regular Mini Cooper. Right after I sat down and shut the door I fell in love. It was so comfortable to sit in! It’s hard to describe what exactly made it comfortable since I was only in it a few minutes. The seats were lower to the floor than in our current car (VW City Golf) but not so low that it felt like sitting on the ground. I even checked out prices after we got home and have been mulling it over. So far I have no plans to get one, but who knows.

Other than the mini I’ve only ever really liked one of the older Ferraris (we missed the room with all the ‘exotic’ cars when we went so I didn’t see any Ferraris) and the Chevy Corvette, but I have no desire to own either one. I did enjoy looking at the yellow Corvette at the Motor Show.

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Another cool thing we saw at the car show:

Coca-Cola Trailer

If I had won the lottery I totally would have bought that Coca-Cola trailer and truck.

Happy Record Store Day!

Who doesn’t love vinyl? Well, to be honest I was indifferent about it until I moved in with R. But now I have about a dozen records of my own (maybe more) and hopefully will be adding another one or two today. So Happy Records Store day!

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(just a side note, that George Michael record on top of the pile in the picture is not mine…there are nine Disney records on the bottom of the pile that are mine. That was just our haul from the Vinyl garage sale a couple weeks ago)/

I am obviously not a blogger

But I want to be. I just have a short attention span and think too much when I’m trying to write a post. My plan for this year was to post once a week, that seemed achievable…or not. Every time I’ve tried to write a post I get three or four sentences in and either get stuck or distracted.

I use to love writing. Granted it was creative writing, which is a lot different than blog post writing. I do want to share with those interested or at least use my blog as an obsession outlet. I want it to be something.

I will grant myself a little slack, it’s not like I’ve been doing nothing all those hours I could have been blogging. I cook dinner almost every night (by choice, I actually enjoy it much of the time). I’ve had a visit from a friend I don’t see often that took up a whole weekend. Work combined with my commute, which is almost an hour and a half long, makes for a long day so there is some needed computerless rest. And then there’s all the Agents of Shield I had to catch up on (but that is for another post…hopefully) and Legend of Zelda gaming while listening to Songza. There’s been a little bit of crocheting in there too, but not much lately.

Maybe I’m just in winter hibernation mode (which involves a lot of comfy pants, cardigans and curling up in my chair). Whatever the case, I’m not giving up. I have three draft posts in the works and at least one other post I want to do. But who knows what life will bring. The most important thing is that I’m happy and content with my life right now.

Now here’s a picture of a squirrels butt, because every blog post needs a picture.

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Zelda Challenge – Beginning of the Legend

Last weekend I started my personal challenge to play all of the Legend of Zelda games in the order they were released 1. Of course the first game is The Legend of Zelda, originally released on the NES in 1987 2. I am playing the virtual console version as I cannot at this time justify buying the cartridge.

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I’ve played this game many times, and remember enjoying watching my Grandpa play it when I was young as well. That being the case, I remember where all the dungeons are and most of the secrets. I also apparently have a routine when I begin the game of getting the wooden sword (because it’s dangerous to go alone) and then going north from that first screen. Always north. I don’t know why, it’s just what I do.

In the dungeons there are a few things that I habitually do. First, I have to go to every single room on the map. I also like to kill every enemy in each room, although apparently the need to do this eventually goes away around dungeon 6. At this point I am on dungeon 8…or did I beat dungeon 8…I can’t remember now. There are so many things said by the random old men and women that never made sense to me until now. It’s very weird to think back on being confused by things like “Master using it and you can have this.” (as a kid I was trying to figure out who the Master was) and “There are secrets where fairies don’t live.” And those blocks at the beginning of every dungeon, I only recently realized they were actually dragons and possibly some kind of fish gargoyle, not just randomly coloured squares.

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I do hope that the result of all of this Zelda gaming will result in me getting all of the games played before the new one comes out (or at least before I buy the new one).But in the end I am having fun and that is all that matters!

Notes:

  1. This only includes canon games released on the Nintendo consoles
  2. In North America

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from Lamb by Christopher Moore.

The angel has confided in me that he is going to ask the Lord if he can become Spider-Man. He watches television constantly, even when I sleep, and he has become obsessed with the story of the hero who fights demons from rooftops.”

It was surprisingly hard to find two sentences on one page that could express the humour in this book, but I giggled at this line. There has been laughing out loud (and stifling of laughter when in public) while reading this book. I believe this may be my favourite Christopher Moore book. Or tied for first with Fool…I can’t quite decide. Still a third to go and enjoying every page!

Things to Attempt in 2015

I created a Pinterest board last year called ‘Things to Attempt in 2014″. I didn’t do any of them (except starting the 52 week savings challenge which only last about a month an a half before I quit). I figure it never hurts to try again and so I have a new board for 2015.

 


Follow Carla’s board Things to Attempt in 2015 on Pinterest.

Currently there are nine things pinned to this board: (in no particular order, although #9 is the one I really hope I accomplish)

1. Snowshoeing – This is something we wanted to try some time this winter. So far it has not happened, it hasn’t been a great winter for that around here (lots of warming and melting). Still plan on trying it eventually.

2. Night-time photography – I’ve done a little of this in the past, but not seriously. My hope is that there will be enough camping this summer that I get to dabble more this summer.

3. Start one of my photography projects – There are a few ideas I’ve had to do a series of photos. I am very lazy when it comes to my photography and I’m hoping that by choosing one of the projects it might kick start

4. 26 Books to read in 2015 – I won’t be able to do all 26 (what with my ‘only reading books I already own’ resolution) but I’m going to see how many books I have that will fit the categories, mostly because lists are fun.

5. 30 Days of Lists – I just found this recently and it sounds like fun. I like lists.

6. Finish my blanket – This is going to happen…probably after many months of instagram photos and bitching on twitter.

7. 52 Week Home Organizing challenge – I’ve already technically failed this one as I’ve only done one of the challenges (kitchen drawers), but I’m going to keep the list and see if I can eventually get

8. 52 Week Money Saving Challenge – Never hurts to try this. This year I’m just picking whichever amount I feel like putting in every week rather than following the numbers. So far so good!

9. Play all Legend of Zelda games – This is a brand new one I just added this past weekend. I’ve started playing QuizUp and was slightly bothered by my lack of knowledge on the subject of Legend of Zelda. Really this is just an excuse to get to play all the games again.

If I complete a few of these I will be happy, if I attempt all of them I will be happier. And I may add more things as the year goes on. Do you have any plans for 2015?

My One Resolution for 2015

I’m not really one for resolutions, though I always make one up for the fun of it. This year I’m actually going to try and stick to my resolution, even though it is going to be extremely difficult for me. I have resolved to only read books I already own…and not buy any more books this entire year.

It’s only been a month and so far I’m not freaking out, but I do look longingly at every bookstore I see. I love books. I love reading them, I love having them, I love shopping for them. I made a stack of books I own but have not yet read by quickly scanning my messy book shelves and have at least 30. I didn’t count. I also know I missed quite a few.

Some of the books I own but have not read

Some of the books I own but have not read

All that being said, just because I can’t buy them doesn’t mean I can’t buy them for other people. Or that other people can’t buy them for me. I have a feeling I will be asking for nothing but books for Christmas this year.

Do you make resolutions?

Work-in-Progress Wednesday

While I find my blogging groove there will probably a few meme-type posts every month. This time I’m going to go with one my friend Grace does (although she has way more to write about that I do). My work-in-progress is my Irish Shamrocks Afghan (click here for pattern from Mom’s Love of Crochet). If you follow me on instagram you’ll have seen pictures of the blanket (and my pirate sheep hook, which I still love, thank you Grace!) and you will no doubt see many more.

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I have a thing for Ireland (and Celtic) things. I can’t remember how I found this pattern, there’s a good chance I just googled Irish crochet, but I’m so happy I did. It is the first pattern I started that was a bit more complicated than just rows. I worked on it for a while and then decided to make a shawl for my cousin’s wedding. After I finished that I think I kind of took a bit of a break from crochet (that shawl was a pain) and then I decided to make some crochet gifts for Christmas. It’s been a long time since I did any work on it until this past week.

Now I am determined to get it done (or at least a good chunk of it done) before I pick up another project. So far I’m about 25 rows in, not even halfway through. Looking forward to getting it completed, but there’s still a long way to go. I’m really just glad that I got back into my rhythm over Christmas and am enjoying crocheting.

Favourite Reads of 2014

Rather than list every book I read this year (although there wasn’t a huge amount) I thought I would pick some of the ones that were not my normal horror reads. I enjoyed every book I read this year. Some were a little more difficult to get through than others (I’m not good at non-fiction) but all of them were enjoyable. There are no spoilers in this post, just general mini rants.

1. The Three MusketeersAlexandre Dumas

This was probably the most surprisingly enjoyable book that I have read in a long time. I have read a few classics, including Dracula and Frankenstein and could not believe how long it could take me to read such a tiny book. With the Musketeers I was surprised at how easy and fun it was to read. I believe this has a least a little bit to do with the translation that I read (done by Will Hobson) which was published by BBC this year. Since one episode of the BBC tv show The Musketeers sent me on a bit of an obsessive kick (as is usual when I like a show), I bought the tv show cover. It was funny and fast paced and at no point did I get bored. I have added Count of Monte Cristo and the remaining two books of The D’Artagnan Romances. I think I should probably read at least one more book by Dumas before I add him to my favourite authors list.

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon

I read a lot of reviews saying this was a terrible book and a lot of reviews saying it was a wonderful book. I read it because I’d seen a preview for the stage show when I went to a National Theatre Live screening and thought it sounded really interesting. It’s one of those books that I knew the title and cover from my days working in the book store, but never actually knew what it was about. I found it to be a really interesting read. It is very different and I can understand how some people may have trouble reading it. I liked how unique it was compared to everything else I have read.

3. Beyond Belfast – Will Ferguson

This is the book that took me the longest to get through, but not for lack of interest. I just seem to have trouble getting through non-fiction books. It’s the fault of this book (after only about maybe 50 pages…possibly not even) that I decided, while enjoying some Twisted Lemonades on our single camping trip last summer, that I wanted to go on a trek. Not the Ulster Way (although it would be freakin amazing), but something I could finish and be proud of. We decided in 2016 we are going to do the West Coast Trail in BC (Canada). But I digress. Will Ferguson is a very good writer and put a lot of interesting history into this book as well as blood, sweat and tears I imagine. I have always been fascinated with Ireland, but tend to lean more towards the Republic Of as apposed to Northern. Some of the stories were shocking and heart-wrenching (I’ve never known much about The Troubles so it was mostly new to me). It was definitely worth the time for anyone who enjoys a bit of history with a bit of humor.

4. Some Buried Caesar Rex Stout

Why did a girl who reads mostly horror fiction and fantasy (but really mostly Stephen King) pick up an old mystery novel? Timothy Hutton. It’s all his fault. I use to watch a lot of A&E back when it was mostly American Justice and Cold Case Files, but they also use to have some good shows. One of those shows was Nero Wolfe (I think I saw it on A&E anyways, my memory is not always reliable). I’m not sure if I had liked Timothy Hutton before, but I ended up with a serious crush on Archie (his character in the show). It was an amazing show, but not something I would normally be interested in reading. I expected it would be boring, to be honest. And there was a bit of dryness to it, but I think because I had watched the tv show and had the voice in my head it made it quite enjoyable. I seem to remember some of it sounding a bit ridiculous, but all in all it was a fun little read. And I have two more Nero Wolfe Mysteries in my house…somewhere.

5. The Illustrated Man – Ray Bradbury

I had never read a Ray Bradbury book in my entire life until last year when I read The Martian Chronicles (prompted by my enjoyment of the radio dramatizations of some of his stories), but I had read one of his stories. The Veldt is one of the few short stories I remember reading in school that I absolutely loved and it was in this book. When I found some of his books on a discount book website I figured what the hell. He is an amazing writer. I like the image of the Illustrated Man to connect all the stories (although I’m pretty sure there was a lot of space stories in this one too). I was reading some old tweets earlier and apparently I was thoroughly creeped out by one of the stores, but I cannot remember anything about it. Of course the best part about not remembering…rereading!

Those are some of the books I read this year. I also read books by Stephen King, Joe Hill and John Lindqvist (three of my favourite writers). I also read my first Dean Koontz book, Odd Thomas, which was a good book, but I’m not sure I like Koontz’s writing style (couldn’t tell you specifically what about it). I also am having trouble remember if I read more books than I had on my Goodreads list, except that 20th Century Ghosts was the last thing I read. By the way, I am terrible and keeping my Goodreads account updated.

I have now got myself thinking about what I want to read in the new year, but I think I will leave that for another post.

What did you read this year? Which book was your favourite? Any surprises?

Goodbye 2014

This year has been a great one for me. Thought it started off with three months of unemployment (which admittedly I really did enjoy and still kind of miss) it has ended with a full-time job. We got to see a lot of family during the summer, with a wedding back home in Victoria as well as visits here in Edmonton. And there’s all the little things.

We went back to Canmore twice this year. Doesn’t seem like the trips were so close together, but my photo meta data says 2014 so I guess it’s true. The most recent trip was just a quick getaway with some hiking and a delicious breakfast in a french restaurant. The first trip we went up the gondola and walked out Lake Louise, which is one of the more amazing things I have done since we moved to Alberta. Canmore is becoming a favourite quick trip place, a small place with great food and close to the mountains.

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I saw a lot of shows, concerts and movies this year. The big one this year was Wicked. I went with my cousin, who already loved the show, having no knowledge of what it was about or sounded like other than what I saw on the tv commercial. As I am a bit of a musical lover and suspect there will be a lot of mention of what I think of Wicked in other posts. I will say that it was much better than I expected (I usually am not as into the ‘happier’ musicals) and I was a little bit shocked that by the end I really felt more sorry for Glinda than anyone else. The cast was wonderful, the set was beautiful and as a whole it was amazing.

Keeping with the Musical theme, I also got to see two stage musical stars I never thought I would ever have a chance to see live. First there was Lea Salonga, who is my favourite voice from any musical I have ever heard. She came to town with Il Divo, who I have no interest in but thoroughly enjoyed. Her voice was as amazing in person as it is in any recording I’ve heard. The most recent concert I saw, again with my cousin, was Colm Wilkinson. I found out he was coming to town when I decided on a whim to look up what was happening at the Winspear theatre. For anyone who doesn’t know, Colm Wilkinson is the original Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, as well as having played the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera. And the best part of the entire concert…he can still hit the note (I realize this will mean nothing to anyone who is not a huge fan of Les Mis, but it needed to be said).

I also saw four National Theatre Live encore shows. These are live recorded broadcasts of stage shows in London. I saw my first one, Coriolanus, last year in February because it starred Tom Hiddleston. It was amazing! R even enjoyed it enough to go to a couple more with me. I also saw King Lear and Streetcar Named Desire (starring Gillian Anderson who was brilliant) with R. The third, which I went to by myself, was Frankenstein starring Johnny Lee Miller as the Monster and Benedict Cummerbatch as Frankenstein. I have realized that I really do love theatre and hope to go to some live shows here in Edmonton, but also to more of the National Theatre Live shows too.

Some other things that happened, in no particular order: I started to crochet more, we decided that we want to do the West Coast Trail in 2016 (for my 35th birthday) and did some light hiking on the weekends in the summer, I read Three Musketeers which is now my favourite of the classic books I’ve read (and was an obsession for a while), I finally got R’s old Lego for Christmas, I got to see the Canucks play here in Edmonton (and they won, YAY!), I signed up for Lootcrate (just missing the Funko Pop Groot :() and I watched a squirrel lick mayonnaise off a jalepeno. Oh Yea, and I got a (blurry) selfie with this guy:

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Those are the things that stand out from the last year of my life. They seem a bit small, but they make me happy. And I know I’ve missed a lot of things. I’ve had a very happy year and have noticed I am a lot more positive and less stressed. I have also given in to my inner fangirl and not longer tone down my geekiness as much as I use to.

Goodbye 2014, I hope 2015 is half as good as you were!

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