We Heart Abcakes & Tacos

Tonight is the final Presidential debate. The only debate I've watched was the much discussed VP debate a few weeks ago. I arrived home from work just before 10:00pm and thought I would relax with some TV. Everyone else was already occupied so I actually had control of the remote. Imagine my delight when I found "Aliens" playing on one of the movie channels! My best friend Jess texted me to ask if I was watching the debate and when I responded that I was not ("Aliens" was on and the debate was nearing its end), I was promptly told that I needed to tune in immediately. Jess loves "Aliens" as much as I do, and in school she was my loyal and hilarious debate-watching partner. Yes, debate watching is an event and an art form, especially when you watch back to back airings of the 2008 VP debate and Canadian PM debate and decorate your living-room with flags made out of bristol board. That being said, had this demand to tune in come from anyone else, I likely would've ignored it but I knew Jess was to be trusted here. Thanks to her I was lucky enough to catch the always juicy abortion question. No thanks to work, I missed out on hearing Joe Biden say malarky. 

In my current sickly, robot-voice state, this post of terrifying art is the most comment I'm currently willing to make on the upcoming election. I was just cruising around Twitter when I found this page, and I don't know exactly what made me feel like sharing it with you. Perhaps it was the expired Buckley's that I choked down.

Choosing a favourite was nearly impossible, but here's a little sneak peak to really get you salivating for some politics. I think the reasons for my selection are obvious.


More Books You May Enjoy

The Internet is a place of diverse and endless subjects. Anyone who hasn't been living in a cave for the past decade knows that the Internet is also a place of diverse and endless advertisements. Sometimes they are in-your-face banners, and sometimes they appear in the form of the slightly more inconspicuous product recommendation. My emails to friends often contain wide and strange assortments of subjects and I've always enjoyed the website recommendations that Gmail suggests for me by picking up keywords in my correspondence. A few years ago while I was in school, I wrote a post about the interesting assessment that YouTube made of me based on its video suggestions. Amusing as the assortment was, I think that considering the selection of videos on YouTube a person would have to display incredibly suspicious viewing habits to be red-flagged. But the other day, I was presented with perhaps the most troubling product recommendation I've seen to date, and it came from Chapters.

I absolutely love Chapters and, even more, I love ordering books from the Chapters website. This is probably because I enjoying receiving mail so much. It truly is a dying practice. So, I occasionally receive emails from Chapters regarding promotions or certain books, and a section of "More books you may enjoy" is included at the bottom. More often than not, the books listed there are books by authors I've searched and it's common that they're books I've already read, so it's not the most useful tool for me. This particular email's recommendation maintains that uselessness, but I cannot figure out what triggered the selection of these three books and, more importantly, these three subjects:

Diet & Weight Loss, Self-Help, and Christianity. Plus, there's a horse on the cover of the middle book! (We all know how I feel about horses.) I thought Chapters knew me better than this. If I was asked to list the Top Three subjects that I'm least interested in reading about, I would probably spout these off without even thinking. "Clowns" and "Ventriloquism" would round out the Top Five. What is Chapters trying to tell me? Does it think I need to diversify? Is it judging me? Mocking me? Honestly, I'm kind of scared.

False Endings

As some of you may know, I'm finally reading The Hobbit. Before taking on this surprisingly tedious endeavour (I really should have read it approximately 15 years ago), I was reading Killing Yourself to Live by Chuck Klosterman. As I read this book a few months ago, I was listening to Metric's album Synthetica for the first time. Just as the album ended I realized I had come to the end of a chapter. This seemed a very minor coincidence in timing and did not register as more than a brief realization until I turned the page and quickly learned that the silence in my headphones signified the end of the book despite the collection of unread pages still remaining before the back cover.

I'm going back to tell this anecdote because I heard on the radio that this week is Pet Peeve Week. When people or situations that right now I couldn't actually reference require me to state a pet peeve, I can usually only think of one standby: when people say "seen" instead of "saw," but that's not really a pet peeve - I absolutely hate when people make that mistake. It insults me to my very core. Truthfully, I don't think I have any pet peeves because for me that term isn't a strong enough representation of how I feel about such scenarios. I'm either indifferent toward something (which is rare) or very passionate (or at least very passionately vocal) about something. A false ending in a book falls into the latter category.

A false ending is when the extras at the end of a book trick you into believing there is still more of the actual story to be enjoyed when you've reached the book's true ending. These extras include, but are not limited to, appendices or indexes, and excerpts from other books by the same author or publisher. The deception is not one I take lightly and it leaves an indelible mark on my otherwise enjoyable experience of the book.

On the surface, my anger toward these endings does center on the deception - the feeling of being duped - but I think the greater issue is the lack of closure that is created. Reading a book is an emotional investment, and we subconsciously prepare for the end. We feel the story arc winding down, the necessary loose ends are tied, the right amount of answers are left unknown so we feel the lives of the characters continue long after we return the book to the shelf, and we get ready to say goodbye. The promise made by the those extra pages gives us hope for just a little bit more before the end. Maybe there will be a epilogue. But then, when the end comes earlier than you anticipated, you are deprived of experiencing the true closure of the story.

I like to be prepared, and I like to be in control. When I read a book, I want to be surprised and moved by what the author has written, not by the book's tricky construction. An apocalypse, I should think, would bring about similar issues of closure. We would prepare for the end, but then suddenly find ourselves needing to cope with a post-apocalyptic existence that we assumed was merely a distant hope (or fear). Thinking about life beyond the end is a slippery slope but, alas, there's still something to be said for always being prepared...

Happy Thanksgiving

For me, Thanksgiving seems to mark the beginning of the holiday season (the weather gets chillier, the leaves change and fall, Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, and before you know it Christmas is here). But around here, it’s a mere blip in the much more celebrated season of hunting.

Now, who would’ve thought that I would ever be interested in hunting? I can hardly sit still for a few minutes, I never shut up, and I get bored very easily. And yet, I make it work. I first became interested because Ryan loves hunting and was very excited to include me. My continued interest, however, rides on three things: the opportunity to buy a new outfit, my desire for a bear rug, people’s reactions when I tell them I have a gun.

Shopping for my own hunting gear was not as much fun as I anticipated as I ran into two main obstacles. The first obstacles was that most stores have an extremely limited selection of women’s clothes. Even at Sail, I found one sad rack. Just because I’m a girl, doesn’t mean I need pink logos and v-necks. Why would I want a v-neck?! It’s not unreasonable to expect pieces that aren’t long and boxy, but this was my next obstacle: much to my dismay, hunting clothes are supposed to fit loosely. Even though I made fun of the pink accents, I admit that I wanted a cute outfit but Ryan insists that tight clothes are not hunting appropriate. I left with only a pair of pants and a hat, so my outfits is still a little mismatched. Next time, we’re making the trek to Bass Pro. They have a women’s section and I remember a large portion of it being Under Armour.

We’re currently in the middle of deer and bear seasons. We’ve been successfully baiting a family of bears for several months, but those crafty bastards must know when the season starts because they’ve been MIA ever since opening day. The raccoons, however, are still feasting regularly. I’m still set on having a bear rug so my fingers are crossed that the bears get hungry and wander back in our direction before the season ends.

Our Backyard Bears - Mama & Cubs
As a child I was incredibly cautious, so I doubt my parents expected that I’d ever want to operate firearms. I’d like to think my father is quite proud. Despite friendly words of caution from his co-workers, Ryan gave me a gun for my birthday (for some reason they felt it unwise to arm one’s girlfriend or wife and suggested jewelry instead). My family likes to joke about how hick that is, but I’m quite certain that there are few things more badass than I woman with a gun.

After all this about hunting, I must admit that all of our holiday food is store bought. I wish you all a very happy and delicious Thanksgiving weekend, and hope some people are getting to enjoy multiple dinners as I am (three in total). Be thankful for plentiful food, wine, loved ones (furry ones included), stretchy pants, and not having to rely on the hunters in your family to bring home dinner.


View from the tree stand

I'm Baaaack!

I know, I know.  It's been far too long.  Honestly, I'm not sure what I've been doing that's been so important to have kept me from this blog, but it's time to get back to business.  Writing has fallen to the bottom of my priority list and that's just no longer acceptable to me.  I've been collecting ideas and writing sporadically so I'll be easing back into regular blogging as another creative outlet.

I've been putting a lot of thought into what I really want to be doing for work and I can't ever get myself away from writing.  There are so many options and possibilities but I'm still struggling with how and where to focus my efforts.  What I have decided is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is to blame for my desire to want to be a writer.  Growing up, my younger brother and I watched the 1990 movie a lot and the character April was undeniably cool.  She was a reporter in the big city, she got to hang out with the turtles, take down some bad dudes, and she even managed to bag bad-boy Casey Jones.  While The Wizard of Oz was probably my favourite movie as a child, Dorothy didn't really provide me with any career options.  I already lived in the country, and travelling to different magical worlds via twisters is just not a via job choice nowadays.  So there you have it: pop culture continues to be the higher power that guides me through life.

It already feels good to be back and perhaps there's a design facelift in my blog's near future as well...

Stay tuned ;)