I Hope The Smoking Man’s In This One…

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In the fall of 1993 I was introduced to 2 of my all time favourite TV characters, Mulder and Scully. I was at my friend Karen’s house to watch a movie on a Friday night and she asked if it would be OK if she put on this new show she had started watching instead. Karen was a year older than me and I thought she was THE coolest, so I of course let her put it on. The X-Files was definitely spooky for a 12 yr old, but my fascination with all things paranormal made it quite easy for me to become super obsessed with everything about this show. The episode Karen put on was called “Eve” and is still one of my favourite episodes of the show. It’s not a coincidence that I am now obsessed with a show called Orphan Black. Also about clones.

With this wave of television reboots going on the last few years, it has been a bit tortuous waiting for this one to come on. I have so many great memories attached to this show, in particular finding a kindred spirit in my best friend who is far more obsessed than I could ever hope to be. When it started again a few weeks ago, it was so bittersweet because while I was ecstatic to hear the theme song (in it’s original form!!!!!!), I knew it was only 6 episodes and that seemed like such a tease. For the legion of fans that begged for this to happen, they couldn’t do a few more? Even 24 got 12 episodes! (I don’t even want to talk about the new reboot 24: Legacy. It’s not 24 without Jack Bauer.) After a disappointing “Babylon”, I am hoping the finale will be a bit more satisfying and perhaps leave it open for some more? WITH Mulder and Scully of course.

It’s funny how a little television show could mean so much to so many people, but it really does represent several significant times in my life. Those last few years of elementary school feeling a little weird and out of place but alright with it, becoming friends with one of the most important people in my life and many a night in high school dissecting Mulder and Scully’s relationship, whether or not aliens really exist, whether or not someone like the Cigarette Smoking Man existed (and if he was watching us right now….), and if anything on TV would ever be as good. It was a great time in my life.

With the finale of this new season airing tomorrow night, I am hopeful that the response will bring about some more episodes. You can’t deny the chemistry Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny have; it’s still so apparent after all these years. And pretty hot. It would be unfair to not continue to share that with us crazy fangirls. We want more!!

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Goals and Vodka

A new year, a new set of goals. It’s not that I actively try not to reach goals I set, I just think I have tried to set ones that are too broad and probably not reachable in a year. Which can be a little disheartening. I thought this year I might try to make a smaller set of goals, a little more specific, personal changes rather than actual goals. Every new year comes with hopes of losing 10-15 pounds, completely overhauling my diet and exercise regime with little regard to life and its way of derailing all those things. I set an unrealistic goal for something and then get completely angry at myself for not achieving it. I really can be my own worst enemy.

I have definitely made some changes in the last few years that were long overdue. I do care less about certain things (stop eye-rolling all of you, I have made progress, although small, it’s still progress!) and I started reading more like I used to; in bulk. That one was hard to get to, and more so because I used to be an extremely avid reader. Then there were those years in my twenties when I didn’t read one book. The little book club I belong to has brought back my love of reading and I did manage to reach my reading goal I set for 2015, plus one extra book!

2016 will be full of milestones for us; Sophie will be trying some really big and new things, I will be celebrating a 20 year anniversary with an important person in my life, and Rob and I will be celebrating 7 years of marriage (which some call the worst year of a marriage– I’m optimistic; we got this one). So in the spirit of being realistic and trying to make real change in my life, here is my list of “goals” for this year:

  • I am going to read way more. I am aiming for 25 books this year. It’s a lot seeing as how I only read 13 last year. But a few girls in the book club have provided some motivation with their 52 book goal, so I need to try a little harder!
  • I will start swimming again. I have my equipment and no further excuses. It used to be such a big part of my life and it was something that I could lose myself in for a few hours. In the slightly more chaotic life I lead now, I could use a little of that losing myself, if only for a couple hours a week. It takes care of my annual weight loss goal and with something I love, rather than feeling forced into a work out routine that just won’t last.
  • I am going to listen to more music and watch less TV. I know this one will be hard. I REALLY love TV. But with Sophie showing a lot more interest in music and learning to play instruments, I want to try to broaden my musical horizons a bit and listen to a bigger variety. Except country. I do have limits.
  • I will let things go. I have a tendency to hold onto stuff. Not necessarily grudges, but I just stew about things. Conversations, texts, books, news etc. It’s not entirely my fault; my Scorpio nature makes me extremely passionate about, well, everything. It’s hard for me to just brush it off and move on. I stress. But it’s something I have been working on and I have improved, but it needs to be more of a priority this year. I can’t be the girl that has a heart attack before she turns 40.

Mostly I just hope everyone will be healthy and happy this year. No major illness, no major drama. Just easy and happy. A girl can dream…..and drink vodka. There’s always vodka….

Cheers to a great 2016!!

 

 

First Crushes

You always remember your first crush. I was slightly boy crazy as a youngster and I had several obsessions with various movie stars, musicians and athletes (still do…). But we all had one weird crush, usually when we were very young, that was either someone waaaaaaaaay older or, you know, animated.

He-Man

My first crush was He-Man. Yes, He-Man, or Prince Adam, in his cartoon form. Weird, no? I suppose not that weird given that I was 5 and She-Ra and He-Man were my heroes. There is a picture somewhere of my 5th birthday, in which I am wearing a very pretty dress with my hair all perfect holding up my Battle Cat and He-Man action figures with Castle Grayskull in the background, gigantic smile on my face. My parents are the best. I now appreciate how forward thinking they were back in the 80’s- not once did I ever hear either of them say “those are for little boys”. They totally enabled my weird crush.

Sophie, much like her mommy, seems to be a bit on the boy crazy side too. She thinks everyone is “so cute” (note: she seems to be developing a crush on The Rock as well). I’d like to say she is starting too young, but when I was 6, I spent the reception of my cousin’s wedding chasing a little boy around, trying to kiss him. I was way more aggressive back then. And more successful. I could outrun most of the boys, so they really had no chance.

Sophie informed me a few weeks ago that she has her first crush. Yes, it really was that blunt. When I asked her who it was, I was a little surprised. She whispered “Terry Fox” and that she had a BIG crush on him. After which she covered her mouth, eyes wide in embarrassment, and ran out of the room. Terry Fox?! That was not who I expected. She had been talking about him a lot and I noticed that she kept the big sticker with his picture on it from the run, in her room, on her mirror no less. I sat her down and asked her what made Terry so special that she had a crush on him? I mostly wanted to know why she knew so much about him. And why she flipped out when I tried to move the sticker picture of him. She said they talked about him at school and Nan showed her the made-for-tv movie about his life a few weeks before in anticipation for the Terry Fox Run at school. She then told me that Terry was special because he had cancer just like Nan and he was running to help people and she thought that made him nice. Heart. Melts. How can you even question her choice after that? Most adults can’t even look for those things in another person, never mind a 5 year old. I asked her if she knew what happened to his leg and she said yes and that she didn’t care because he could still run farther than her. She also doesn’t seem at all deterred by the fact that he passed away. She is in love. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw what she ordered from the book flyer at school. Rob did the ordering so I had no clue what she asked for. Terry Fox, Marathon Of Hope. And Pete The Cat, of course. She sleeps with the Terry Fox book now. The crush intensifies.

First crushes are adorable and fun, and I love that my daughter chose such an inspirational person to crush on. Unlike her mother, who chose muscles, a tan and royal status….

46…

Well America, you have outdone yourselves once again. In the wake of yet another school shooting tragedy, you allow another one to happen simply because of your inability to see that change is necessary and needed right quick.

I was browsing through Twitter only to see the headline that Northern Arizona University has become the 46th school shooting in the U.S. this year. 46. That number is a little shocking. Especially for something that could be preventable. Why is this not happening in Canada? From what I understand, we like guns more than Americans do. People say it’s a difference in our cultures, but I don’t buy that for a second. It’s a difference in legislation. Paperwork. Screening. I am no expert, but it seems like there are a lot of holes that are easy to get through in order to get a gun in America. Why has no one has been able to just take the reigns on this and say “no more 6 year olds being shot” and just make the screening process tougher, make the laws tighter with harsher punishments for infractions? Or they could take a look at my favourite solution provided by Chris Rock: make the bullets $5000 a piece so there are no more innocent bystanders.

I don’t want people’s rights or freedoms being impeded in any way, but where is the line? When so many other developed countries are not having this issue, wouldn’t you start to think you’re doing something wrong? But in the grand tradition of American smugness, they think this is just a cultural issue and banning guns won’t do anything but take away those ever precious 2nd Amendment rights. I suppose you have bigger fish to fry than just school shootings if it’s specifically your culture causing violent outbreaks. Sounds like you might just like killing each other to solve disagreements.

I am not trying to step up on a soap box or spew information about something I don’t know a lot about. I am just a nervous mother who tries desperately to avoid the news because I don’t have the words to explain to my 5 year old all of the atrocities we commit against each other. I am grateful everyday that I am Canadian and 46 school shootings is not my reality. But it’s just too damn close. Get your heads out of your asses America and find a solution now. 50 million kids are depending on you to keep them safe while they become the future of your country. Don’t fail them.

The King of Cocaine Meets Netflix

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A comment made in passing about a show on Netflix has, of course, turned into my new obsession. Thanks to a rave review from a coworker, I decided to give “Narcos” a watch. Damn you Kirsty. Damn you.

I. Am. Hooked. It happened quickly and hard. I have always had an interest in the Pablo Escobar story, as he was quite a fascinating man. A scary, psychotic murderer, but fascinating nonetheless. It is almost as interesting to see the take on the behind-the-scenes goings on. What the Colombian government was up against. How Escobar tried to become President, and was eventually kicked out of congress. How he later tried to negotiate multiple times with the newly elected President. How the DEA and CIA pushed their agenda to the forefront. It has turned into a story about the drug trade and what it does to everyone, not just about Pablo Escobar.

A couple of fun facts I found: The character nicknamed ‘The Lion’ seems to be a take on Johnny Depp’s character in “Blow”. They refer to him as a real pretty boy who was the first person to traffic pure Colombian cocaine into Miami.

We are also briefly introduced to a character named Barry Seal, who was an American pilot working for the Medellin cartel smuggling drugs into the U.S. This is the character Tom Cruise is playing in “Mena”, which is filming right now (and has been in the news recently due to a plane crash involving crew members). Seal became an informant and supposedly worked as a secret ops pilot for the CIA. Unfortunately, he was exposed as an informant and was eventually shot to death by the cartel.

I imagine that this story won’t sustain too many seasons, but I am happy that they are going forward with Season 2. Perhaps a page from “True Detective” and take a look at other criminals in history each season?

Now, an important reader poll:

How much does Wagner Moura’s version of Pablo look like Vincent Chase’s version on “Entourage”?! It was the very first thought in my mind when he came onscreen: This is what the “Medellin” makeup team were attempting to do, but failed miserably at.

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Wagner Moura

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Vincent Chase in “Medellin”

Am I right? I thought so. I have to say, networks like CBS and ABC need to step up their game. Netflix is creating quite an impressive list of original shows. One of the best I have seen in quite some time, “Narcos” is definitely worth a watch. Just not before bed. Weirdest dreams ever.

Oh My God, I Have A 5 Year Old……

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It’s so difficult to grasp that it has been five years since I gave birth to that sweet little face…..well, the rest of her too! I sometimes find myself just staring at her wondering how time moves so quickly once you become an adult. Remember when you were five, waiting for Santa to show? It seemed like the last few days before Christmas would just crawl by and it was never going to happen. Now things like holidays come and go in milliseconds. I feel like after I turned 25 everything has become a hazy blur.

Except that face. That face is not a blur in my mind; it is my most favourite thing to think about at any given point of the day. I didn’t know it was possible to love another human that much, and I have a pretty awesome husband and family. But along came Sophie and she somehow made it possible to feel that way.

I don’t always love being a mom (judge if you want, but I guarantee many others feel like this too); I work, so I feel a lot of guilt all the time which I hate. And sometimes I yearn to be selfish again and put myself first, which also makes me feel guilty. But that perceptive little girl has the best radar for this guilt and will always pick that moment to tell me that she loves my curly hair or that tadpoles grow bones and become frogs. It melts away the guilt and the need to be selfish and all I want to do is tell her how amazing she is and buy her a pony.

For five years, amidst all the blur around me, I have watched Sophie become independent and well spoken. She is a comedian and a drama queen. A practical joker and a bleeding heart for anyone sad or hurt. Smart and sassy. Sweet and immeasurably beautiful. While there have been ups and downs and plenty of mistakes over these years, those are the things that stand out.

To my amazing daughter on her fifth birthday, I only have a few words of wisdom that your Nan imparted to me over the years. She is wise and you should always listen to her. Always.

1) Never let anyone dictate your worth. You are priceless.

2) Always be kind to everyone, even when you don’t want to be. Or they don’t deserve it. They might be having a worse day than you.

3) Never EVER hide your intelligence. Anyone who needs you to shine less with them is not worth being around.

4) Tell the truth. Lies always catch up with you eventually.

5) Make good decisions. You have a brain, don’t be afraid to use it. (ie. Call me at 3 am to pick you up instead of getting in the car with someone exhibiting questionable sobriety. It makes for a funnier story without an ER visit, trust me!)

I am excited to see what the next five years will bring, but sad that she is slowly needing me a little less every day. I only hope that she will still want to spend as much time with me when she is 10 and 15 and 20….

Happy Birthday Sophie!!

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Boo!!!!

No, I am not a ghost, although I did pull a bit of a disappearing act on here (I’m sure all 15 of you loyal readers were waiting patiently for my return), I am hoping to post a bit more and disappear less.

So, let’s catch up. Since March I got a new car (well, Robbie did), got mono, gained 15 lbs, did a (moderate) overhaul on my diet and exercise regimen, camped, bitched about Environment Canada’s inability to predict the weather, hiked, stared at my pool impatiently, watched Sophie kill it in soccer, dealt with a scary family emergency, camped some more, hiked, swam, saw Dave Matthews Band (with Tim Reynolds, FINALLY!), tanned, swam, tanned and hiked! Whew! It all went by so unbelievably fast. Except the mono. That shit seemed to last forever.

I am hoping August will bring more pool time, especially now that Sophie has decided to teach herself how to swim. I should never have been surprised that she would teach herself, since she is as independent as a 4 yr old can be, and just as willful to boot. She was going to do it when she was good and ready and not a minute sooner. We are now working on somersaults and handstands. It hasn’t even been a week. I guess I should have expected this, but she legitimately seemed fearful of going under the water! Her swimmer DNA mixed with the “Kyriacou effect” (extreme stubbornness) eradicated any fear that was left, that’s for sure.

In the next few weeks I am hoping to actually write about a few things I did this summer, along with some pictures, so stay tuned. I will be back with a much better post. I swear, it won’t be in 3 months!