Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Flashback 002

I always have this idea in my mind that I'll take a road trip where I stop at some unplanned road side attraction and it never really happens. That being said, I always assume that these unplanned stops will involve excessively large statues of unimportant things, so I've always wanted to take my picture with something that's on the "World's Largest" list.

Luckily, on my first go around through Canada and the States, I kind of hit the jackpot - I saw the World's Largest Thermometer (Barker, California), the World's Largest Nickel (Sudbury, Ontario), and the World's Largest Cowboy Boot* in Edmonton, Alberta.

Edmonton was kind of a bust overall - I had planned to spend 4 days there but just wasn't feeling it, so I decided to leave early and go to Banff and Jasper instead (very very good decisions). But, one of the good things about my time in Edmonton was spending a bit of time with my friend Doug who was able to take a few hours to bring me on a drive across the city and show me some highlights. He drove me to the cowboy boots and took a picture of me with them! Bucket list item achieved!

Doug also left me with 3 great CDs he made me for the trip. One of them was a fantastic road trip CD that opened up with The Day We Hit the Coast by Thrush Hermit. I listened to that a lot when I ended up in Lake Louise the next day. It was pretty fitting, see for yourself.

The following year, the first stop we made before starting our month-long trek across the States was to Nackawic, New Brunswick to see the World's Largest Axe. Another great photo op!

Posing for pictures with disproportionately large things is hilarious. You should try it some time! Sure, it's cheesy, but if I've learned anything, is that you shouldn't sacrifice a good time and great memory because you're scared to look like too much of a tourist.

*Apparently the boots in Edmonton are actually a foot shorter than the ones in San Antonio. That being said, they seem to get around this by calling it the World's Largest Western Boots while SA calls them Cowboy boots. Either way, it was huge.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


Today was more or less a snow day - the schools in the area were closed, except the universities, but my classes were done at 12:45 so I decided to spend the rest of the day in bed watching movies.

In one of my classes, we watched a scene from The Heiress starring Montgomery Clift and Olivia De Havilland since we're studying Washington Square by Henry James. It got me in the mood to watch a classic black and white film and figured this would be a great way to cross off a movie from my AFI list.

I decided to go straight to the top and watch Citizen Kane for the first time.

I feel like I was expecting more - not that I didn't like the film or thought it was bad, but I guess since it was at the top of the list and has been such a pop culture powerhouse I was expecting to be blown away like I had never been before. I think my expectations were just too high. That being said, after reading about the revolutionary cinematography and effects used in the film, I can see why it would be placed so high on the list based on the influence it had on film making alone.

I do have to say, though, that it bugged me throughout the film that these people are trying to figure out what Rosebud means since it was Kane's last word, but how do they know this? There was no one in the room! The nurse/maid didn't come in until after he had already fallen down and died. According to IMDB the butler was in the room and we're supposed to be seeing this from his perspective, but I'm not sure about that. I feel like that's something that someone just decided after the fact to cover up that big goof.

Things I can't criticize: The poster. Old movie posters are the best.
They should start making them like this again.

I'm not sure if the fact that I already knew the "twist" regarding who/what Rosebud is affected my viewing, but I still enjoyed it regardless. And as you can see, I didn't reveal it here, but y'know, even if I did, Schulz did it first.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Flashback 001

I've been neglecting this blog more than I'd like and most of that comes from it being winter and not having the energy to do a whole lot from my bucket list. To try to get around that, I'm gonna start a Flashback series, detailing a different item I've marked off in the past. Most of these took place during one of my two road trips across the US and Canada, so it's also mostly a huge nostalgia trip for me because I can't afford to travel right now, but hopefully it'll also be interesting to you and help me get my writing back on track!

So first off, I've always wanted to go to Roswell. Not that I have any kind of real belief in aliens or anything (although I do think that the likelihood that we're the only sentient lifeforms in the entire universe is pretty unlikely, I'm just not ready to get any tin foil hats out or believe that the government is hiding aliens from us or whatever), but I've always thought it was something that was so prevalent in pop culture* that I really wanted to check it out some day.

I was surprised at how much everyone embraced the whole alien thing in Roswell. They really took every single opportunity to remind everyone that Roswell is THE place to be for alien enthusiasts.

Case in point: The light fixtures on the side of the roads downtown

And this Coca Cola machine
They definitely had one of the coolest McDonald's I've ever stepped foot in, though. It was in the shape of a UFO and everything inside was space-themed. We ate in the PlayPlace because it had a bunch of awesome statues everywhere.

I'd be lying if I said we didn't listen to Will Smith's Men In Black the entire time we were driving around. This was mostly my decision and I probably annoyed the hell out of everyone else while doing this, but whatever. There are certain songs that need to be played at certain times and that is one of them.

We couldn't leave Roswell without visiting the International UFO Museum, so we woke up early in the morning to check that out before hitting the road for our 8 hour drive to Tucson to check out Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin.

I have to say that it was unfortunately one of the most disappointing museums I've been to. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it certainly wasn't what we found. The entire museum was almost exclusively newspaper clippings of articles written about aliens and people saying they think they saw a UFO in the sky, etc.  and posters of movies featuring aliens. I could have just looked that shit up on Google, y'know?

The Main Event, so to speak, was a display with about 4 alien figures and a spaceship that had dry ice come out from the floor every 15-20 minutes.

Overall it wasn't a total bust, there were some funny/cool wax figures and whatnot, but compared to all the other amazing museums and exhibits we had checked out during the month we were on the road, it was definitely the least impressive. That being said, it was only $5, so I can't really complain.

We didn't attempt to find Area 51 or the supposed UFO landing site or anything because, as I said, we had an 8 hour drive ahead of us, but driving through New Mexico never loses its appeal to me. It's so different than anything I'm used to back home, so I always have such a great time just looking at the scenery pass by.

If you have a chance to stop in Roswell some time, I'd recommend it. I wouldn't plan an entire trip around just that, but it's definitely a cool spot to stop for the night if you have the chance!

*Most things on my bucket list involve places I want to visit/things I want to do in certain places that are pop culture references in some way or another. 

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Let Us Be Elegant or Die!

I finally finished reading Little Women over the Christmas break. I say finally because I was supposed to have read it for my History of Children's Literature class 2 semesters ago. Despite not reading the last 12 chapters or so, I still did pretty well on the exam, so I guess it didn't matter much that I hadn't actually read the book. I do find it slightly funny that the only book I've ever not read in its entirety for a class ended up being a children's book.

I don't know if it's because I am an adult and should have read this as a child, or because I couldn't help but roll my eyes at how dated the concept of women's roles in this book are, but I didn't enjoy it. I realize that it's a classic and that little girls everywhere read this book and it remains a lifelong favourite, but I just couldn't get into it. 

I need something more to reel me in than a story about girls whose biggest issues in life are dressing well for the party, having the best table at the fair, and making sure that they remember to dress up for their husbands after taking care of their twins all day while he's off hanging out with the neighbour-lady (because clearly it's your fault that he's hanging out with her in the first place, surely you should still make sure to look your best after taking care of two small children all day and cleaning and cooking while he doesn't help whatsoever at all, etc.). Oh, sure, a sister dies, but I felt absolutely no attachment to the character so I really didn't care much. 

It's also one of the first times I've ever read a decent-sized book solely on my computer rather than as a physical book, and I have to say I really didn't enjoy it. This probably explains why I don't own a e-reader or kindle or what have you. 

Anyway, so it's over. I can cross that one off from the list of 100 novels BBC thinks I should read, and good riddance. I'll probably still watch the movie with Kirsten Dunst, though, because my love for Kirsten runs deep.

<3 <3 <3