Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year!

From what I can gather, people seem to have had a pretty shitty 2013, and although I definitely had some low points (deaths in the family, mental health issues, handful of close friends moving away, work-related stress, the clusterfuck that was Halcon…) but I have to say that overall, I had a pretty good year:
  • I finally graduated from university, and with highest honours at that. Summa cum laude, bitches! 
  • After dreaming of going to Europe my entire life, I finally made it over…twice. UK (London, Bath, Cardiff) and France (Paris & Dijon) in the summer, and then a mostly spontaneous (and very short) trip to Brussels & Bruges for my 25th birthday a few weeks ago.
  • I finally went on the damned Harbour Hopper.
  • I organized a successful fundraiser for local women’s shelters in response to the Chris Brown concert that had been announced (and then cancelled). We had a sold out event and raised over $2,000 for three shelters: AdsumAlice Housing, and Bryony House.
  • I officially moved into a cute and cozy 2 bedroom house with my boyfriend. Said boyfriend was named the 5th best Canadian guitarist by CBC (last year, but still!) and one of 2013’s 10 Key Artists of the Year!
  • I got to relive prom at the Big Gay Prom and replace the horror that was my actual prom with a super fun night with friends. I officially retired my prom dress afterwards (I had managed to wear it about 7 times since prom.)
  • I finally got to see a Lichtenstein exhibit, at the Tate Modern.
  • I basically joined a girl gang that revolves around our love for red lipstick, cute lingerie, and all things internet. Someone called us “the epitome of crush-worthy Twitter” and I’m okay with that.
  • I finally have an actual full-time permanent job in the music industry.
  • I got to go visit one of my best friends in Philadelphia, which included my first ever IKEA visit and a trip to the Mutter Museum and the Crystal Lake Diner.
  • One of my favourite people in the world came to visit and we made our annual trip to Peggy’s Cove for wave watching and lobsters.
  • I finally got to go to a secret bar
  • I organized a successful fundraiser for my work, raising almost $60k. 
  • I went to the Doctor Who Experience! 
  • I saw Bleached, Parquet Courts, Jokers of the Scene, and The Undertones in Europe.
  • I went on more boat rides than I probably ever have in my life. (so, like, 3. But still, they were nice.)
  • I had another successful Halifax Pop Explosion experience.
  • And most importantly, thanks to my trip to Philly, I was able to eat Count Chocula again for the first time in about a decade.
So I guess I should probably have some resolutions, so here we go:
  1. Read More.
  2. Become more responsible with money.
  3. Watch 30 of the AFI Top 100 movies.
  4. Be healthier. 
  5. Be more creative, whether that be by taking up some sort of hobby like knitting or starting a band again.
Along with, of course, trying to cross off some more bucket list items! 
Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

Now, although this wasn't on my bucket list, I should mention that I decided to go on a relatively spontaneous trip to Belgium to ring in my 25th birthday. I don't really know why I picked Belgium, since it wasn't one of my "must go" travel destinations, but I'm really quite glad I went. I think maybe since I didn't have super high expectations, my trip ended up being full of great surprises and I rarely felt disappointed.

I had the chance to go on a chocolate tour and make my own chocolate, watch a master chocolatier do his thing, and taste sugarless chocolate as well as the most expensive chocolate in Brussels. 

I had Kriek (cherry beer) which is probably the only beer I'll ever enjoy, and then found a can of Duff in a convenience store, so I drank that, too. (One step closer to being a Simpsons character, finally.)

I went to an ice sculpture festival based on the new Disney movie - Frozen (which I made sure to watch a few days before leaving home) and it was beyond what I imagined. I may or may not have almost teared up because of how magical it was.

I made a side trip to Bruges for a day, where I met some new friends who sang happy birthday to me at the stroke of midnight while I took a shot of some sort of apple liquor and then took me out for birthday breakfast Belgian waffles in the morning. 

I spent my actual birthday at the opera. They performed Hamlet (although it'd be hard to tell, considering it was mostly shirtless dudes in leather pants with glitter on their faces or black leather pig masks.) Luckily I had mostly gone to see the inside of the gorgeous La Monnaie opera hall, so despite not enjoying the opera itself, I loved looking at the beautiful architecture.

On the flight home (which was terribly long thanks to the 4 hour layover in Paris followed by the 8 hour layover in Philadelphia), I had the chance to actually cross off a list item - I watched The Sound of Music for the first time! (#40 on the AFI list). 

Since I'm officially on Christmas vacation, I'm doing my best to cross off at least 3 more of the AFI movies from my list. We'll see how it goes.

Happy Holidays!