Thursday, 26 January 2017

I'm Going to Make It Through This Year

It's late for a wrap up post, but things have been busy and I've had a hard time trying to sum up the past year. I feel like most years, I've had at least one or two major events that really stood out and marked that year; graduations, moving to a new city, first visit to Europe, cross-Canada & US road trip, finding love. While this year had a lot of good moments, it seemed like I've finally settled into a routine and tried to work on myself, mentally, health-wise, and work-wise, rather than try to focus all my energy on one specific event. I feel healthier and more confident in myself going into 2017; I spent time looking after myself and my health (I got some insoles to help with some foot issues, I started seeing a physiotherapist to work on some issues with my jaw and my shoulders/back, and working towards fixing my persistent allergy issues, among other things!) and feel a lot more confident than I have with work and am getting a lot better at not getting as stressed about the little things. Some of the high points of the year: Went to Montreal and Quebec City with my boyfriend for our one year anniversary and had a great time. We went to A CAT CAFE and hung out with SO MANY KITTENS. We also got to see Brand New (my third time!) I was in a Taylor Swift cover band and we played a show to over 500 people; definitely the biggest crowd I ever performed for! We did 2 sets of songs and had 3 costume changes, it was a blast. I finally went to Salem for Halloween; it wasn't quite what I was expecting, but we had a good time. Plus we found the wiggly bridge, which was awesome. I went on a road trip through New England and visited a few places I had never gone to before on previous trips - Burlington, Kennebunkport, Orono, and Portsmouth. Here's to another year of growing and improving!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

I Put A Spell On You

This past Halloween I decided to skip the house parties and instead head down to Salem, MA for the weekend and finally cross off another item from my list!

I've been to Salem several times before (and one of those was this past August) so I was already pretty familiar with the town and what to see and do, and so was my friend, so we skipped a lot of the museums that we had already gone to but there were lots of really cool Halloween-specific activities happening that we were able to take advantage of!

The highlight was attending a screening of the 1922 silent film Nosferatu in an old church with a live organist. It was such a cool experience and one that I'd love to see more communities put on (they had also done a screening of Phantom of the Opera a few weeks prior that I wish we could've seen!)

The town is definitely overrun during the weekend - a busy street that usually takes a few minutes to walk down took us a good half hour or so due to the amount of people checking out different shops and the pop-up market, so if you're planning to go during Halloween weekend, make sure you're patience supply is full up!

Some of the highlights, other than the screening, included seeing everyone's awesome costumes, a free screening of Hocus Pocus in the town square, all the awesome pop-up shops, and Count Orlok's Nightmare Gallery wax museum that has some really cool classic monsters and for the weekend, Tony Moran - the face of Michael Myers in Halloween - was there for photos and autographs!

I've still yet to do a ghost tour in Salem despite visiting several times (this past summer it was POURING rain so we skipped it and this time around we filled up the nights with activities like the screening) so I'd love to go back a fifth time to do one of those - have you done one that you'd recommend?

If I go during Halloween again, I'll make sure to book way in advance (we had a hotel about 20-30 mins away and then left early the 2nd night to stay in Portland with my friend because of the cost & availability) so that we can stay downtown and also have a lot more money saved up to get to do more of the activities like ghost walks, magic shows, and masquerade balls!

Definitely one of the best Halloweens I've had!

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

E.T. Phone Home

I finally watched E.T. for the first time and holy shit you guys, that movie gets DARK. Why did no one ever mention the fact that Elliot almost dies!? And E.T. technically dies! I'm so glad I never saw this movie as a child!!

It's strange because for a lot of movies on the AFI 100 list, especially those that came out in the last 30-40 years, it feels like I've already seen them even though I haven't because they're so prominent in pop culture, but I honestly had never even heard mention of those scenes before!

Enjoyed the movie a lot, though - laughed out loud at several parts, got choked up at a few, can definitely understand why it's on the Top 100!

Monday, 22 August 2016

No Cell Phone Zone

I recently went on a road trip through New England (which was fantastic!) and took this chance to cross off my "unplug for a week" bucket list item. I'll admit to cheating a bit here - I still checked the internet a bit (mainly for address/direction/activity purposes) and texted my boyfriend a couple times a day to let him know that I had made it to my next destination safe and sound, but other than that, I didn't check social media, I didn't read any blogs, I didn't scroll through Buzzfeed for an endless amount of hours and it felt so GOOD.

I thought that I would feel anxious being so disconnected and constantly be reaching for my phone, but when I got back home, I decided to keep the no-social-media rule going for another few days because it just felt so much less stressful to not be constantly checking to see whether or not I had some notifications (especially since I wasn't worried that one of them would be work-related).

In a few weeks, I'll be heading into the busiest/most stressful time of the work year, so it felt nice to have this time to disconnect before the onslaught of texts, calls, and late night Facebook messages from people asking myriad questions.

I think I'll be taking a few days a month to just completely disconnect; especially since I won't need to rely on my phone to get me places/know where to go in a new city so I'll be able to do a true, full disconnect. And I have to say, I'm actually looking forward to the next time that I'll be able to do this for longer.

PS. Before heading out on the road trip, my boyfriend showed me how to change a tire! So that was another item I was able to cross off. Easy peasy.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Vanity Fair

I'll keep this one nice and short. Unlike Vanity Fair.

It has taken me about 3 years to finally finish this book because I kept being so bored by the book that I couldn't read more than one chapter at a time, and didn't want to pick it up. There were so many times where I'd be reading and then realize 3 pages in that my mind had wandered so much that I had no idea what I had just read.

I think some of it comes from the fact that there were so many characters with the same name so it was difficult for me to keep track of who the characters were.

I did start enjoying the book more around the last 100 pages or so, but at 806 pages, I wish it hadn't taken so long for me to start finding it interesting.

But the important thing is that I'm now one book closer to reading all the books on the 100 Books To Read Before You Die list.

Monday, 23 May 2016

She's Called Nova Scotia

Like last year, work allowed me to cross off one of my bucket list items by having our festival in one of the places I've been meaning to visit. This year, the festival was in Cape Breton - but also like last year, when we were in St. John's, I really only got to see the conference centre and a few venues and didn't really get the chance to experience the area on its own.

I got lucky that I had about an hour, early in the morning before any of the events kicked off, where one of the shuttle drivers offered to take me on a small tour of Sydney, which was really very nice of her and gave me a bit of a sense of the town. Still, I wish I could have spent another week or so and explored the Cabot Trail and a few other spots throughout the region.

It's still a goal of mine to drive through the Cabot Trail during the fall some time when the leaves are changing - unfortunately, the fall has always been the busiest time of year for me - first with school, then working for the Symphony with the season beginning in September/October, and now working with a music festival whose application period is September-October.

I'll make it one of these days, though! But for now, at least I had the chance to get a bit of a taste of the region and can, technically, cross it off my list.

Another quick update: I watched a few more of the AFI Top 100 films...and am still trying to finish Vanity Fair. I'm about 600 pages in and have about 200 more to go. I'm bored to tears every time I read it which is why it's taking me so long but I am determined to finish that damn book by the end of the summer.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 28 December 2015

Another Year Over

As usual, here's my year in review along with goals for 2016:

Year in review:

+ Week long road trip in California was amazing and included visiting cities I had never thought of and had always bypassed on previous trips.
+ Two fun trips to Toronto - it was the first time I actually really enjoyed myself in the city
+ Finally got to see Dashboard Confessional live and it was perfect
+ One Direction trip was amazing (and the concert as well, of course)
+ Saw a bunch of other bands I've wanted to see: Taylor Swift, Glass Animals, Tanlines, Real Estate, The Cribs, Counting Crows, Skylar Spence
+ Ate Krispy Kreme and In N Out Burger several times
+ Finally went to Medieval Times!
+ Rocked my first ECMW as staff member
+ Lived out my dream of becoming a karaoke host (even though it was short-lived)
+ Three super successful Taylor Swift tribute nights
+ New Hampshire vacation was one of the best vacations I've ever had and I finally had made it back to Funspot
+ Finally lived on my own again
+ Met my boyfriend which was probably the best part of the year tbh - this is, hands down, the best relationship I've ever been in.

I typically end up making a list of 10-15 goals for the upcoming year, but after realizing how little of these items I actually accomplish and how that ends up making me feel like I didn't accomplish anything, even though I did, I've decided to scale that back and just choose 3 goals I think I could actually accomplish, so here they are:

1) Eating healthier most of the time by cooking more often and eating out less (and making more Sunday lunches which will help with saving money and eating healthier while at work!)

2) Being more active; whether that's just walking more often or actually going to the gym/taking classes - anything, really, so long as I'm making an effort to do more than the nothing I'm doing now.

3) Keep my finances in check - I really want to get out of debt and make an effort to start actually saving.

There are a few things I'd like to do in 2016, mainly travel outside of Canada again, dye my hair blue or purple or grey, and finally start on the hair removal train, but those top 3 are things I am really going to try to work on as actual goals.