Monday, August 30, 2010

Blog challenge #17 - My Top Ten

17. Top 10 websites you use

This question is kind of vague so I am going to tackle it as a best as possible. Is it 10 websites I use for entertainment, for shopping, for wasting time or just that I general.

I dunno, so let's go.

1. Nutsie

I love using Nutsie to listen to music and discover new bands. You simply sign up, start searching for the music you'd like to hear and then add it to your playlist. In the past the playlists would run uninterrupted. Now, they add in songs the systems thinks you might like. Sometimes they are dead on and sometimes their suggestions are awful. If I am listening to Jewel/Sheryl Crow/Lisa Loeb, why would they suggest Gun & Roses? Wtf?! But, it's still a handy dandy way to get your music fix without having to download a program or songs. I like that I can just log in and listen, no matter where I am - work, a friend's house, home...whatever!

Here is what I am listening to right now!

2. foodgawker

Is it weird that I love looking at food? I hope not because if so, I'm not the only one. This website is devoted to pictures of food which then link you to the recipe. This is great when you need inspiration and there is a handy search function as well. As my eating habits and life style have changed over the last 8-9 months this website has been a huge source of help. It's helped me discover new and interesting foods that fit with my low glycemic/no dairy life.

3. Kijiji

If you've been keeping up with this blog, you'll know that I love decorating my apartment but I especially love doing so with used furniture. It's not that I don't like new stuff (get me in an Urban Barn and I'll drool all over the merchandise) it's just that I have a budget and like a challenge. I love the thrill of finding a piece of $5.00 and making it look like $500.00. I also find that the more limited my resources, the more creative I get. Kijiji is definitely addictive, as I scroll through daily looking for furniture (even when I'm not buying anything). Some days it's like Russian roulette and other days I know exactly what I want to find.

4. Apartment Therapy

Speaking of decorating, here is a great site of inspiration from people whoa re facing the same challenges as you - apartment living, small budgets or trying to be green. Whatever is keeping you from having the home you want- nay, deserve, this website will show you how it can be done. Mostly user based and definitely photo based. Everything has pictures, which are perfect for inspiration.

5. Deviantart

Great for a constant flow of original art all the time! Whatever your style or tastes, you'll find it here. Be warned though, artists are natural pervs which means lots of boobies! haha

6. Hark A Vagrant!

I love web comics but this is definitely one of my favorites because it often involves literary characters or characters from History and making fun of them. This is no end of fun, for me.

7. Sartorialist

On the eve of my trip (I am leaving for Europe tomorrow) this website is definitely coming in handy. The Sartorialist (Definition of SARTORIAL: of or relating to a tailor or tailored clothes; broadly : of or relating to clothes) is a great place to see what is fashionable right now. Of course, tastes differ, but the tone of this website overall is worldly and cultured. You're definitely not going to find any Ed Hardy bullshit here. I check this site out weekly and, although I don't always love what I see, it definitely makes me think about different styles and looks more then I might if I had never saw them.

8. Cracked

This is the remains of Cracked magazine (which was very similar to their rival, Mad Magazine). But the website is wholly an improvement. Hilarious articles, comics and videos, this former magazine reinvented itself like a god damn phoenix. Definitely a good time waster or conversation start. Many of my boyfriend's paragraphs start with, "So, I was reading on Cracked..." Either that or Popular Science.

Every other website I use is more just for communication and keep in touch.

Twitter - Shantique and you can be bored with me in real time!

Blogspot - where I follow plenty of other bloggers while effectively ignoring writing in my own.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Weird Realization

James Van Der Beek

Plus the dead kid (simulated, obviously) from "Stand By Me"


You've seen it! You can't unsee it!

What I am basically saying here is that James Van Der Beek is a necrophiliac. Make of that what you will.

Blog Challenge #16 - Get The Tissues Out

16. A song that makes you cry

How about a song that *doesn't* make me cry. I am a total sucker for good lyrics, powerful message and a beautiful harmony between voice and instrument.

I'm not going to try and explain why each individual song makes me cry because, to be honest, sometimes I'm not sure. I just know some songs make my throat burn up and no matter how hard I swallow that feeling doesn't go away until I give in and let a couple tears fall. Some songs are very personal and some are just beautiful. The End.

Father and Daugther by Paul Simon

This video is retarded (though I actually liked the Wild Thornberrys show)

Lyrics that knock my over the edge:

But you don't need to waste your time
Worrying about the market place
Try to help the human race
Struggling to survive its harshest night

Crown of Love by Arcade Fire

Oh Win Butler, you break my heart. I've only seen Arcade Fire live once but it was strange witnessing the juxtaposition between Win and the rest of the band. Their celebration of cacophony was perfectly balanced by his calm, sad tone.

The kicker:

You gotta be the one,
you gotta be the way,
your name is the only word that I can say

Somedays by Jacksoul

I know. My taste is kind of schizophrenic but I think most people have huge varying degree of music that appeals to them. Anyone who limits themselves to one genre gets my pity. Extra sad points go to this song since Jacksoul (Haydain Neale) passed away last November from lung cancer.

Here come the waterworks:

Stopped dreaming of your face
Now I don't dream at all

And I Am Telling You by Jennifer Hudson

I don't care who you are, this song is amazing if only for the vocals (though there is so much more to it then that). I think it appeals to the stubborn woman in me who thinks that I can will things to be the way I want them to be.

The one line that always gets me:

Stay, stay and hold me

Totally mess by this point but I can easily cheer up by watching Will Smith sing this on "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air".

Falling Down Blue by Blue Rodeo

Blue Rodeo seems to me the quintessential country band that hits the notes and the twangs just right so that you ache. Perhaps they're not classic country but this song might as well be "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" by Hank Williams (which is absolutely poetry and I suggest you take a listen here if you've never heard it).

Heartbreak lines:

I won't sit here staring
At nothing all night
Bleary-eyed greeting the dawn

Okay, one last song (out of hundreds...cause it doesn't take much for me to cry).

Take It All by Marion Cotillard

I would totally enter into a polygamous relationship with both the actors in this video. I have such a girl boner for Daniel Day Lewis it's disgusting. And all things Parisian attract my regard so a major girl-crush on Marion Cotillard goes without saying. Of course, I'd keep Dave around cause I need my red headed viking fix to balance out all the brunettes in this equation.

The line that breaks:

I watch you rise,
I watch you fall
while I am standing with my back
against the wall.

Now, incase you're feeling a little down, I highly suggest you watch the next video as it will cheer you right up!

There - now don't we all feel better?

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Top Five Fave Music Videos...with car crashes in them

This is a weird list. A morbid list. A very specific "who the fuck cares' kind of list.

I was listening to some music on Youtube the other day and just started thinking, "Jeez, some of my favourite music videos/songs all have car crashes in them....weird."

That's it...that's the thought. It wasn't profound or deep. I should've been working instead of thinking of this stupid shit but here we are.

This is in no particular order but just some videos I enjoy that also happen to have wrecks as part of the theme.

1. Wrong by Depeche Mode

This is the only video I could find that I could embed. Skip to the 0:30 mark to see the video (instead of some guy with a possible glandular issue and/or addiction to Cheetos.

I love that this video is disturbing and without any dialogue or back story, has built suspense and a protagonist within a minute.

2. My Favourite Game by The Cardigans

This band does not get the air time they rightly deserve. But every jerk probably thinks that about bands they love, so I'll shut my mouth on that subject. This video is another one from the disturbing category. Just as reckless as the first one only on purpose and deliberately with a good old fashion game of Chicken in the desert (just like mom use to play).

3. The Scientist by Coldplay

I found a version in which someone reversed this video, which obviously ruins the whole lip-syncing effect. It does get down to the knitty gritty much faster though and is more in tune with our current subject. I definitely suggest watching the original video first if you've never seen it.

4. What It Feels Like For A Girl by Madonna

I love Guy Ritchie's films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch so a part of me loves this video. But I kind of run hot and cold with Madonna and the weird quasi British accent in this video irks me. I have to admit though, I LOVE the look she gives at 1:54 to the cops.

5. Mr. Writer by The Stereophonics

Ahhh...creepy clowns, snow globes and a slow motion car crash. The perfect storm! I love this song without the video but the video definitely adds something. It actually makes me want to dress up as a creepy clown for Halloween (yes, I am already thinking of Halloween. I started thinking about it on November 1st last year). But if I did the clown costume, even if it was extra creepy, people would probably think I was a Juggalo and those guys are assholes (although, the throwing stuff at Tila Tequila thing amused me, despite my pacifist leanings.)

I'm not sure if looking this ridiculous is worth getting to pelt Tila Tequila with rocks.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Let's Play Catch - Up

I'm totally going to cheap out and just play a quick game of catch up with some of questions I've fallen behind on.

Let's hope my answers suffice.

4. A favorite television show -

I don't have cable but I do try to keep up with a few shows either online or by purchasing the seasons as they come out. 30 Rock and The Big Bang Theory are 2 good examples. I also love cartoons so I like to keep my dvds update to date on The Venture Bros. And my main addiction on tv is Jeopardy! It makes me want to have cable but then I talk myself out of signing up for it.

5. Share your favorite recipe -

My favourite recipe of what? There's so many to choose from, to be honest. I love looking up new food recipes and trying them out. Especially as my diet changes (I keep my foods low on the glycemic index and found out I'm lactose intolerant so avoid a lot of dairy now). Something I could eat every day though is braised brussels sprouts.

1 lb of brussels sprouts
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can sweet corn, drained
4/6 slices of bacon, chopped
salt/pepper to taste

Trim the bottoms off the brussel sprouts and the outer leaves. Cut in half, length wise.
In a pan saute some nice thick cut bacon on medium
When the bacon is soft and has rendered some fat but not fully cooked, add the brussels sprouts.
While the brussels sprouts soften and the bacon renders more fat, chop up onion and add to the pan (along with a drained can of sweet corn, if you'd like)
If the brussels sprouts are still firm or raw looking, add a couple ounces of water to help soften/steam them.
The brussels sprouts should look like wilted cabbage when done.
In the last few minutes, turn the heat up on the pan to get a nice golden brown tinge to everything and then serve.

6. A moment you wish you could relive -

My first and/or second Savage Garden concert. I barely remember everything but I know it'd be worth reliving as they were both amazing. I was just a young teenager though and was so awestruck I've forgotten most of the details.

7. 5 things you could not possibly live without.

1. My sister! I can't ever imagine being without her. Everyone else in the world could die and, although I would be sad, if I had her I'd be happy eventually. But if she ever died, nobody can replace the bond between twins. 2. My family. I have a hard time understanding when siblings aren't close to one another or when children don't speak to their parents. I mean, I don't talk to my dad often but he could hardly be considered a parent since he didn't very little in regards to raising me. I talk to my mom every other day though. 3. The ability to reason and read. I know that those who are dumb are usually too stupid to realize what they are missing out on but I'm grateful for having a brain and knowing how to use it (for the most part) 4. My sense of humor. It's what makes bad things come to pass and good things even more enjoyable.

8. A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life.

Dear Bryce Courtenay - Thank you for writing The Power of One. How it changed my life I cannot say because it is so deeply ingrained in my mind and my being that it guides my actions before conscious thought does.

9. A photo you took.
Fuckin' hell I take so many. Here is a semi-recent one I took last month that I like.

10. A photo of you taken over ten years ago

I'll have to get back to you on this one.

11. Write a letter to yourself. Answer it a year later

I'll do this a year from now.

12. Write 100 things about yourself.

Holy crap this list is demanding

13. 10 things you can’t do anymore

1. Monkey Bars - I friggin' loved 'em. I could skip 4-5 at a time cause my arms were pretty long for my age (thanks to height). I still have calluses from playing on the monkey bars.

2. Eat dairy haha. Well...I can still do it but I don't cause it makes me sick.

3. The Bridge - when you bend over backwards and arch your back so that you make a lower case n with your body. I'd love to be back in shape enough to do it. I think my continued weight loss and some yoga could get my there. Oh, back in the days when I was a bendy kid.

4. Dye my hair pinks/blues/greens/whatevers. When I go back to school full time I will definitely be dying my hair crazy colours again.

5. Knit - I've been taught 2-3 times and I always forget how to do it after a while. Haha oh pathetic.

6. Go to school for free haha I miss going to Art class and English class everyday and having the teachers and supplies at my fingertips.

7. Enjoy a potato or a real slurpee - sure I could have one but I can't enjoy it cause I know it'd be wreaking havoc on my blood sugar. So, I just avoid 'em all together.

8. Regain faith or confidence in someone once they've broken it but that is something I can work on and eventually fix.

9. I can never be rick roll'd for the first time again - so sad!

10. Wear crazy heels like I use too. Sprained my ankles one too many times.

14. A vacation you would like to take

The one I have planned starting next week for starters. Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. After this vacation I have many more dream vacations. Australia! Belize! UK/Ireland! Italy! Greece! I want to see so many places it's dizzying. I love knowing Dave is just as keen to travel as I am and that we're able to save and make goals together like we have.

15. A person you admire - Leo Tolstoy. Beautiful words. Beautiful mind. Beautiful actions.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blog Challenge = Fail

Haha...I am horrible! I don't want to excuse it but I will explain it.

I've been on a day time project at work for the last week and is it ever messing with my routine and schedule. I mean...I like the fact that when I get off work the sun is still out and about and stores are still open. Working days has it's advantages but I am definitely use to my 1pm-10pm work schedule and this 7am - 3pm (or 8am - 4pm) is messing with me.

So, I haven't kept up with the blog challenge. I think what I will need to do is do a MEGA-POST in which I play catch up and answer all the questions.

In other news, the nice thing about working mornings is Dave is on nights right now so on his days off he is up all night and when I wake up at 5am or 6am, he makes me breakfast while I get ready for work. It's nice having him see me off in the morning, before he goes to bed. Then he sleeps all day while I am at work and is up by the time I get home so we can hang out, run errands, relax and have dinner.

3 more days of work (including today) and I am off on Friday and going camping with my brother, his wife and their two daughters plus Dave, of course. Can't wait! I also get to see a lot of my cousins as it's a family reunion at a lake in Saskatchewan.

Then, in 15 days I am off to Europe for 2 weeks! Yay! Dave and I did some math and budgeting for our trips to make sure we were still on target or, at least, close to target. Eeeek! I am so excited! I've spent my whole summer saving and still trying to have fun and it's finally all coming to fruition.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blog Challenge Day Two and Three already I am cheating at this thing. Yesterday was day 2 of my blog challenge and what did I do instead of write...I went to 7:30pm haha. I know, I am terribly lame. I am not use to getting up at 5am and I fell asleep.

But, I was actually planning on combing day 2 and 3 because my favorite movie *is* my favorite book as well. And's not Twilight. *retch*

My favorite book and movie is "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. It's the story of a young British boy named Peekay growing up in South Africa. He deals with racism, social injustice and learning to be strong. I wish I could say Peekay is a real person but it's a fictional story. However, the events his story are based around and the story itself is very real and he is real to me.

I remember being up very late one night when the movie came on tv, it must've been during summer vacation because it was 3am and my sister and I were watching TV. This movie had just begun and we got caught in it immediately. It's 3 hours long and I remember struggling to keep my eyes open as it came to the half way point. Chantelle and I were wondering how long this epic movie was going to last but not wanting to turn it off. When my brother Kane's then girlfriend (now his wife), Keltie came in the door I recall her asking, "Oh did Kane lend this to you?" A huge sense of relief because now we could finally go to bed and just borrow it from Kane to finish it. Oh Joy!

I borrowed it from Kane and I never gave it back. It became my favorite movie and that Christmas I got my first copy of the book. Of course, they were quite different from eachother. The book went into more detail and had characters the movie never mentioned like Hoppie Groenewald who essentially inspire Peekay's journey through out the novel. Interestingly enough, the movie added a love interest which was not at all present through out the novel. I remember enjoying the love story in the movie but discovering how much more enjoyable the book was without the subplot of romance.

Over the years, I've owned 3 copies of the book and all have been destroyed or lost. The first copy from Kane I read so many times it eventually fell apart (though I still have most of the pieces as it is precious to me). The second copy, a hard cover version which was a gift from my ex-boyfriend, was left in Colorado when we broke up. This wasn't on purpose though, as I was unaware when I came to Canada for, what I thought would be a visit, that I would actually end up moving back to Edmonton. The third copy, which I still have, was semi-destroyed by a flood in my first bachelor apartment upon moving back to Canada. The pages are wrinkled and dyed blue (as the blue dye in the hardcover seeped into the paper). I keep my eye out for a fourth copy in the used book stores but until then I am content with my blue version.

If you're ever interested here is a link to the movie Trailer or I'd be happy to lend you the dvd (for those of you that I know and live in Edmonton).

And if you'd like your own copy of the book you can find it on Amazon (this being one of my favorite versions of the cover).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blog Challenge Day One

Anne Shirley of Green Gables and I have very little in common. I am brunette while she is, much to her chagrin, a red head. I have three siblings, including a twin sister, while she was a lonely orphaned child. She grew up on an island in the country with the ocean at her doorstep and I was surrounded by an ocean of prairie and city streets.

But Anne and I do share a few traits. A love of nature, of whimsical places and ideas and a passion for literature. We also tread on common ground when it comes to teachers. There is no tepid. There is only all encompassing adoration for a teacher or utter disdain. She had her Mr Phillips to hate and Miss Stacey to love.

In every grade and every school, I found a favorite teacher and always in a different subject. One year it would be my English and the next it was my Drama teacher. Though, I have to admit it was never my Math teachers. I guess I couldn't get past my hatred for Math to enjoy the teacher forcing me to learn something that didn't come naturally to me.

Even recently, when I was upgrading my education, I got a girl-crush on my English teacher. Old habits die hard and it was easy for me to start the whole process of wishing we were friends. I just thought she was *sssooooo* cool because she was close to my age, got to teach English all day long and was writing her Masters on Canadian poet, Al Purdy. It probably only added fuel to flames that she was funny, swore as much as I do, hip and didn't care if I was late for class or left early.

Though, I've hated teachers as well. Thankfully, I have such a terrible memory, which is especially good at forgetting the awful things. I recall hating my grade 11 social studies teacher (but have forgotten his name). I didn't hate him the whole term...only near the end when we had some sort of disagreement in which I stormed out of class and refused to enter again. I had 6 or 7 classes left to finish the term (and I would've passed, though it would have been a low mark) but I was/am stubborn and was standing by my principles (though it's been so long I can't even recall what the debate was about). I never returned to his class and would've had to take Social Studies 20 all over again were it not for the fact that I quit school in Grade 12 first term.

I've never regretted quitting school. I've got a well paying job, I work in a nice office and generally am at the same level as others my age who have a diploma and a degree of some sort. I only lamented that quitting school meant not being with my teachers. And even now I still fully toy with the idea of becoming a teacher myself. Art or English, I can't decide. Maybe it's my turn to know the love or hate of a classroom full of students.


PS. Claudia - I don't remember Mr. Smith. What did he look like? I love Mr. Mills at McNally. I would've married that short, pudgy bastard just because he made me laugh so much.

I Am A Thief

I've stolen an idea. I stole it from my friend Claudia and her blog(in which she borrowed it from someone else as well).

In an effort to create some structure and continuity here, I am going to join the blog challenge and write an entry everyday for the next 30 days.

Here is the list of topics I will be tackling. I will keep them in this order and address them as such. Claudia already has a head start on me, but this is definitely something I am looking forward too.

Instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, I've got a list of topics presented here to inspire me daily. Let us hope I can rise up and meet this challenge!

1. Write about some of the teachers you had growning up and why you did / did not like them
2. A favorite movie
3. A favorite book
4. A favorite television show
5. Share your favorite recipe
6. A moment you wish you could relive
7. 5 things you could not possibly live without
8. A thank you letter to someone who has changed your life
9. A photo you took
10. A photo of you taken over ten years ago
11. Write a letter to yourself. Answer it a year later
12. Write 100 things about yourself.
13. 10 things you can’t do anymore
14. A vacation you would like to take
15. A person you admire
16. A song that makes you cry
17. Top 10 websites you use
18. Top 10 products you use
19. Post 3 pictures of yourself that you normally would NOT share
20. A hobby of yours
21. Something you know you do differently than most people
22. First 5 things you do every morning
23. A way in which you want to be remembered
24. Write about your most embarrassing moment.
25. Write about a day in the life of your pet.
26. A childhood memory
27. Write about all of the items in your junk drawer
28. A scar you have and its story
29. Write about each of the places you've called "home."
30. Write about how much you love something that you know no one else will love.