Thursday, May 30, 2013

Things I'm Into Lately

I wanted to blog this week but I couldn't decide on a topic so I decided to lump together a bunch of stuff I've been into lately or haven't liked or just have interacted with and formed opinions on. I split it into categories.

Lately I have been really into salads. This quinoa salad is a favourite at our house.

and so is this new chickpea edamame salad (I found the recipe on Pinterest)
They are easy to make, filling, have lots of protein so they are energizing but they feel light and fresh so they're perfect now that it's getting warmer!

I spent all week watching Season 4 of Arrested Development on Netflix (we didn't binge-watch on Sunday, but watched a few episodes each night after supper and finished last night.) I really liked it. It took me a few episodes to get into it but I thought it was very smart and well-done, and I want to rewatch to pick up on all the little things I missed the first time (but I am not quite ready for a rewatch yet.)
I loved the season finale of How I Met Your Mother. I thought the big reveal was perfect and the fact that Simple Song by The Shins was playing just added to my pure joy.

I saw the new Star Trek. I liked it but I probably won't watch it again.
I saw the new Iron Man and I really, really liked it. It was awesome.
I watched Ruby Sparks a couple weeks ago because it came on Netflix. I liked that one a lot. Paul Dano is great.
I watched the new Woody Allen one (actually, maybe he has a newer one since..) To Rome With Love. Didn't like that one as much. I don't really like Jesse Eisenberg and I can usually take or leave Ellen Page and they were the main characters so that kind of ruined it for me.
I recently re-watched The Descendents because Stephen hadn't seen it yet and I wanted him to because Shailene Woodley is starring in a few upcoming book adaptation films that I am excited for, and I really really like that movie and she is fantastic.
I recently bought the BBC Anne of Green Gables movies in a boxset at Costco which was very exciting for me because I freaking loved them as a child and love them still, but I haven't had a chance to watch them yet.

I listened to the new She & Him and didn't care for it. I didn't really like Volume Two, either, but I loved Volume One when it first came out. I'm not sure what it is now...maybe I am upset that they haven't matured and it's two albums later but it's kind of backwards to say "I don't like this album because it's the same as this other album I like from years ago.." so I'm not sure.
I still haven't seen The Great Gatsby but I listened to the soundtrack and like it for the most part.
I just discovered that the main guy from Edward Sharpe, Alexander Ebert, has a self-titled album out under the moniker "Alexander" and so I've been listening to that and I really like it.

I am currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides which is wonderful but I've been reading it forever because I am so slow and it is long and I've been doing other things with my time.
Some new books that have come out recently that I really want to read are Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger and The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini but I probably won't buy them for a while because I still have a lot of books on my shelf to read.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Recommendations

I worked at a book store in high school and one of my favorite parts of my job was recommending books to people. It's fun and I miss it so I made this.

Let me know what you think because I might want to do more of these. Or if you have a book you love and are looking for something similar, maybe I can recommend something. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Office Series Finale Reaction

     This morning I finally watched The Office series finale. I got my dad to record it onto his TV because I don't have cable and last week I saw in the promo that there would be interviews with the cast and things that I didn't want to miss by watching it online. So I watched the one-hour retrospective they did, with interviews and clips, then I watched the finale.
     I loved it. I laughed, I cried. It was wonderful.
     I think every single character got the best ending possible, and it felt like the writers really made it for the fans. I was so happy and sad, and I just enjoyed it a lot.

     This has been my favorite show for years. Seasons 3 and 4 are my very favorite, I re-watch them constantly. Sadly, for the past few seasons (especially since Steve Carrell left, and even more since BJ Novak and Mindy Kaling left) I feel it's really gone downhill. Season 8 was horrible, and this last season was pretty hit and miss for me. Well, with the finale, I was able to put all the disappointment behind me and I will have nothing but fond memories of this show.

     In the retrospective episode, I found out that when John Krasinski got cast, he was a bartender and when Jenna Fischer got cast, she was actually a receptionist. This was what started their careers. In the finale, Jim has a monologue that said, "Even if I didn't love every minute of it, everything I have, I owe to this job... this stupid, wonderful, boring, amazing job." and that felt true not just for the characters, but for the actors themselves.
     Another monologue of Jim's that I really liked was, "Imagine going back and watching a tape of your life. You could see yourself change, and make mistakes, and grow up. You could watch yourself fall in love, watch yourself become a husband, become a father. You guys gave that to me. And that's an ...amazing gift."  Again, it felt like the speech was referring to their real lives. This was their job, their life for nine years.

Speaking of the retrospective, I also watched this video. They had a 3 part cast farewells series on their youtube channel, but this one was my favourite because it was Rainn, John, and Jenna. ("J, P, and D - the three amigos")

     My favourite moment of the finale was Pam's talking head with the flashback clips of the coal walk, and her and Jim's love developing, etc.
"I didn't watch the whole documentary. After a few episodes it was too painful. I kept wanting to scream at Pam! It took me so long to do so many important things. It's just hard to accept that I spent so many years being less happy than I could've been. Jim was five feet from my desk and it took me four years to get to him. It'd be great if people saw this documentary and learned from my mistakes. Not that I'm a tragic person, I'm really happy now. would just...just make my heart soar if someone out there saw this and she said to herself, 'Be strong. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Conquer your fears. Just go after what you want. And act fast because life just isn't that long.'"
Pam is my favourite character, and this speech was just beautifully written and Jenna Fischer did a great job delivering it and the clips edited over it were perfect. I loved it so much.

A few more quotations that I loved:

"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them." - Andy

"No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home." - Creed

"There's a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn't that kind of the point?" - Pam

I really loved this show.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Birds flyin' high, you know how I feel.

Sun in the sky, you know how I feel.

Breeze driftin' on by, you know how I feel.

It's a new dawn.

It's a new day.

It's a new life for me

and I'm feeling good.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Climb

I am in the exact same place I was a year ago, which is frustrating. (I don't mean physical place, though that, too.)
A year ago, I had just moved out here and I didn't know where or if I'd be teaching in the fall. And lots of my friends who wanted jobs had them lined up, and lots of my friends who didn't want jobs yet didn't understand my frustration and impatience. Eventually, it all worked out.The Monday after my graduation weekend, I got a call for a possible job, and on the Tuesday I went for an interview and got a job teaching in my two major areas, in my town. So I went into the summer knowing I'd have a job in the fall. And I've been teaching there all school year and I freaking love it.

The job was originally supposed to end next week, on the 16th, because I'm covering a maternity leave, but the lady wanted to stay at home with her baby for longer so I get to stay until the end of the school year (which is the end of June). But so far, I have nothing lined up after that. And most people are in the same boat because public schools are government-funded and nobody finds out until later this month how much money they get for next year, which determines how many people they can hire etc etc etc. So it will be a while before I know anything for sure. But still.... I am super impatient and I want to know NOW.

I spoke to my sister last night and she is in a similar situation. She is not exactly where she wants to be and although in her case she knows she'll end up there, she is impatient and wants to be there now instead of waiting.
My sister believes everything happens for a reason and there are forces in the universe guiding us towards our destinies and if we think positively, the things we want will happen.
I don't believe any of that, but our conversation did help put things in perspective for me and remind me that when things are out of my control I just have to do what I can and focus on the things I can control instead of driving myself crazy worrying about the bigger things.

So I made this for Lisa. and for me.