Category Archives: entertainment

A couple of firsts….

Was up bright and early this morning to get to a local movie theatre!  I won free tickets to the preview of The Spy Next Door and we were asked to arrive between 9 and 10 to pick up our passes for the 10 am screening. This was the first time I’d ever been to a movie so early in the day, and it was actually kinda great.  I won a family four-pack, so we invited friends to join us.

The film was entertaining, in a family-friendly, clean, no big surprises way.  It’s a Jackie Chan flick, set in suburban California, with kid-scary Russian bad-guys, a single mom (Amber Valetta) with three kids, and a neighbour who’s a spy masquerading as a worker in a pen factory (Chan).  His spy cohorts include Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez.  The kids were charming, there were some laughs, and everything turns out in the end.

Our friends were celebrating their 22nd wedding anniversary today, so we wandered a block north to a favorite Dim Sum place for lunch and conversation.

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When we got home, Z pulled out his new hair cutting kit

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and asked me to cut his hair.  He found it on sale at Canadian Tire after Christmas and  thought it’d be great to save the cash from his regular cuts by having me handle it on his behalf.  It was a little nerve-wracking at first, but once you get the hang of it, it went quite smoothly.  I even did this eyebrows and a few other spots that men need to tend to as they get older.  I must say, I did quite a good job, and may consider doing Michael as well, if he wants, LOL!

For the rest of the afternoon, we just vegetated on the sofa reading the papers and our books.  I’m still getting through The Experimental Man

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and Z is reading Logicomix:  An Epic Search for Truth

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, a graphic novel about Bertrand Russell that I just got from the library and that he’s really enjoying,

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Welcome all Company Girls!
Coffee
–1–
The resolutions are going pretty well.  I have pretty much stopped eating after 8 pm, with one exception one night when I grabbed some chocolates from a tin that Alex had left in the living room. And last night I gave in to a fruit and nut bar in my bedside table, just before bed. Without even thinking about it.  But I’d received it from Santa in my stocking, so I should get some credit for over two weeks of self-control.   But to be honest, I’m not really missing no food after 8.
–2–
I’ve been getting a brisk 30 minutes of walking in every day with Wilson.  He’s a pretty good companion, although he does a lot of recreational peeing and doesn’t like all the salt they put on the streets.  I bought him some little balloon-like slippers called Small-Pawz at my local pet store.  I haven’t tried them on him yet though…maybe today.
–3–
I’ve been hitting the sack every night at 10 pm, although not turning the light off.  I can’t fall asleep without reading before bed, and can’t seem to get myself INTO bed before 10.  Maybe I’ll try for 10 minutes earlier per day, so that I’m prone by 9:30 and lights out by 10.  But I”m really liking the extra sleep and am much more energetic.
–4–
I’ve been successfully keeping a running to-do list on my iPhone and feel like I’m accomplishing things in a more timely way than before.  I”m using an app called Task Pro from the iTunes store and it’s working well.  It allows me to split larger tasks into sub-tasks which is great.  I’m working on remembering to put stuff in it, to keeping my brain empty of to-dos and having them all in the list.
–5–
declutter groupOrganizing:  This is going a little slower, but now that our house guests have gone, I’ll be able to get down to business.  I’m using ideas from the weekly Clutter Diet program, Home Sanctuary’s Small Things, and My Simpler Life’s Declutter Calendar.  My resolution is to do (at least) one of these things each day.  I’ll also be participating in a Declutter online group starting January 18th.

–6–
My hypertension management goals are to reduce salt, go down to one cup of coffee per day, and ditch the alcohol for a couple of week.  So far, it’s been four days and I”m feeling okay.  I wasn’t a big coffee drinker to start with, so it wasn’t a huge deal to reduce my intake from two cups in the morning to one.  I felt mildly disappointed that I couldn’t have a glass of wine at 5 pm yesterday, but had a(nother) glass of ice water and the feeling passed.  I’m avoiding my regular trail mix snack (for the salt), dropping deli meat and reducing cheese.  We don’t eat a lot of other processed food, and I don’t add any salt at the table, so I think I’m okay there.

–7–
This has been a fun week for contests.  I only enter those that are really easy and don’t require onerous activity on my part.  I won a family 4-pack of tickets to preview the new Jackie Chan movie The Spy Next Door.  It’s tomorrow morning, and we’ve invited some friends to see it with us as our kids are otherwise occupied.  These were courtesy of a new radio station that I’m enjoying, Vinyl 95.3.

Then yesterday, I won a pair of tickets to a preview of High Life, a Canadian comedy set in the 80s that looks really funny.  Except I have a Catholic Women’s League executive meeting that night, so probably Z and Michael will go.  A hard call:  toker-movie vs Catholic service club meeting.  LOL!  Here’s the preview.

Seven Quick Takes Friday

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Welcome all Company Girls!
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–1–
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The resolutions are going pretty well.  I have pretty much stopped eating after 8 pm, with one exception one night when I grabbed some chocolates from a tin that Alex had left in the living room. And last night I gave in to a fruit and nut bar in my bedside table, just before bed. Without even thinking about it.  But I’d received it from Santa in my stocking, so I should get some credit for over two weeks of self-control.   But to be honest, I’m not really missing no food after 8.

–2–
I’ve been getting a brisk 30 minutes of walking in every day with Wilson.  He’s a pretty good companion, although he does a lot of recreational peeing and doesn’t like all the salt they put on the streets.  I bought him some little balloon-like slippers called Small-Pawz

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at my local pet store.  I haven’t tried them on him yet though…maybe today.

–3–
I’ve been hitting the sack every night at 10 pm, although not turning the light off.  I can’t fall asleep without reading before bed, and can’t seem to get myself INTO bed before 10.  Maybe I’ll try for 10 minutes earlier per day, so that I’m prone by 9:30 and lights out by 10.  But I”m really liking the extra sleep and am much more energetic.

–4–
I’ve been successfully keeping a running to-do list on my iPhone and feel like I’m accomplishing things in a more timely way than before.  I”m using an app called Task Pro from the iTunes store and it’s working well.  It allows me to split larger tasks into sub-tasks which is great.  I’m working on remembering to put stuff in it, to keeping my brain empty of to-dos and having them all in the list.

–5–
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Organizing:  This is going a little slower, but now that our house guests have gone, I’ll be able to get down to business.  I’m using ideas from the weekly Clutter Diet program, Home Sanctuary’s Small Things, and My Simpler Life’s Declutter Calendar.  My resolution is to do (at least) one of these things each day.  I’ll also be participating in a Declutter online group starting January 18th.

–6–
My hypertension management goals are to reduce salt, go down to one cup of coffee per day, and ditch the alcohol for a couple of week.  So far, it’s been four days and I”m feeling okay.  I wasn’t a big coffee drinker to start with, so it wasn’t a huge deal to reduce my intake from two cups in the morning to one.  I felt mildly disappointed that I couldn’t have a glass of wine at 5 pm yesterday, but had a(nother) glass of ice water and the feeling passed.  I’m avoiding my regular trail mix snack (for the salt), dropping deli meat and reducing cheese.  We don’t eat a lot of other processed food, and I don’t add any salt at the table, so I think I’m okay there.

–7–
This has been a fun week for contests.  I only enter those that are really easy and don’t require onerous activity on my part.  I won a family 4-pack of tickets to preview the new Jackie Chan movie The Spy Next Door.  It’s tomorrow morning, and we’ve invited some friends to see it with us as our kids are otherwise occupied.  These were courtesy of a new radio station that I’m enjoying, Vinyl 95.3.

Then yesterday, I won a pair of tickets to a preview of High Life, a Canadian comedy set in the 80s that looks really funny.  Except I have a Catholic Women’s League executive meeting that night, so probably Z and Michael will go.  A hard call:  toker-movie vs Catholic service club meeting.  LOL!  Here’s the preview.

A lot of nothing.

This weekend, Z and I were on our own, in our home, for the first time in a long time.  With Alex at Queen’s and Michael away at band camp for four days, we had the weekend to relax in peace with no demands or responsibilities to anyone but each other (and Wilson).

Friday night we ate leftovers and vegetated in front of the television. We awoke late on Saturday (late for us is 8 or 8:30) and read the papers until after noon.  More leftovers for lunch and then we headed out to Yorkdale to see The Informant! which was remarkable.  We knew nothing about it, other than it had been highly recommended by some friends, and we both loved it.  It’s a hard film to describe, and won’t appeal to everyone, but it was perfect for us.  We wandered around the mall for a while afterwards and then headed home.  We made some nachos and read/watched TV.  Sunday was choir practice, mass, bagels and then an afternoon of reading and napping.  We headed out to the Bistro on Avenue a few blocks away from home for some beer, wings, jalapeno poppers, and caesar salad (that would comprise our fat grams for the entire week).  We shared a KitCat on the way home, and are watching the premiere of Battle of the Blades, the Canadian reality show pairing figure skates (female) and hockey players (male) for some ice dancing. So far, it’s pretty entertaining.

When I write it all out, it sounds like a whole lot of nothing, but it was a great time to reconnect and just be together.  We checked in with Alex a couple of times, and Michael gets back tomorrow, so normal life will resume.  But it was a great little break.

A lot of nothing.

This weekend, Z and I were on our own, in our home, for the first time in a long time.  With Alex at Queen’s and Michael away at band camp for four days, we had the weekend to relax in peace with no demands or responsibilities to anyone but each other (and Wilson).

Friday night we ate leftovers and vegetated in front of the television. We awoke late on Saturday (late for us is 8 or 8:30) and read the papers until after noon.  More leftovers for lunch and then we headed out to Yorkdale to see The Informant! which was remarkable.  We knew nothing about it, other than it had been highly recommended by some friends, and we both loved it.  It’s a hard film to describe, and won’t appeal to everyone, but it was perfect for us.  We wandered around the mall for a while afterwards and then headed home.  We made some nachos and read/watched TV.  Sunday was choir practice, mass, bagels and then an afternoon of reading and napping.  We headed out to the Bistro on Avenue a few blocks away from home for some beer, wings, jalapeno poppers, and caesar salad (that would comprise our fat grams for the entire week).  We shared a KitCat on the way home, and are watching the premiere of Battle of the Blades, the Canadian reality show pairing figure skates (female) and hockey players (male) for some ice dancing. So far, it’s pretty entertaining.

When I write it all out, it sounds like a whole lot of nothing, but it was a great time to reconnect and just be together.  We checked in with Alex a couple of times, and Michael gets back tomorrow, so normal life will resume.  But it was a great little break.

Film Fun – Part II

Alex got a call and email from the casting company for his upcoming stint as an extra.  The email had details about wardrobe requirements.  The scenes are set in winter, and he needs to be wearing his school uniform, plus bring two sets of winter outerwear (jackets, scarves, hats, boots, etc) and two sets of (winter) street clothes.  There are some specifications about colours of the clothing and a directive of “no logos”.   No cellphones and no personal cameras on the set….a big disappointment to all the lads, I’m sure!

We had been advised that, because he is under 18, he would need a guardian on set for the entire day.  This struck me as odd.  This boy has a driver’s permit, has travelled internationally on his own, and will be heading off to university in a few months.  I haven’t acted as a “guardian” for these types of things for years.  (I still do his laundry and cook his meals, though!)
The casting company sent a second email today advising that they had checked with ACTRA and extras over 16 don’t need a guardian so, other than getting him to the set at 6:20 a.m. on Monday morning, I’m off the hook.  I’m assuming that they got some pushback from other parents on this topic and decided to determine what the actual regulations are in this respect.  I was not looking forward to cooling my heels for 12-14 hours on Monday.
Sounds like a fun day for a 17-year-old though!

Film Fun – Part II

Alex got a call and email from the casting company for his upcoming stint as an extra.  The email had details about wardrobe requirements.  The scenes are set in winter, and he needs to be wearing his school uniform, plus bring two sets of winter outerwear (jackets, scarves, hats, boots, etc) and two sets of (winter) street clothes.  There are some specifications about colours of the clothing and a directive of “no logos”.   No cellphones and no personal cameras on the set….a big disappointment to all the lads, I’m sure!

We had been advised that, because he is under 18, he would need a guardian on set for the entire day.  This struck me as odd.  This boy has a driver’s permit, has travelled internationally on his own, and will be heading off to university in a few months.  I haven’t acted as a “guardian” for these types of things for years.  (I still do his laundry and cook his meals, though!)

The casting company sent a second email today advising that they had checked with ACTRA and extras over 16 don’t need a guardian so, other than getting him to the set at 6:20 a.m. on Monday morning, I’m off the hook.  I’m assuming that they got some pushback from other parents on this topic and decided to determine what the actual regulations are in this respect.  I was not looking forward to cooling my heels for 12-14 hours on Monday.

Sounds like a fun day for a 17-year-old though!

Film Fun

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is currently filming in Toronto and Alex has been cast as an extra! His school is being used as a location in the film, and the casting agency was in the cafeteria one day last week signing up some of the lads for filming next Monday.  Because he’s under 18, they couldn’t take his photo at the school, but he filled out all the paperwork and emailed them a photo from home. Sunday night he got the word that he was cast and that they’d call him Friday with further details.

Needless to say, he’s ecstatic.  The film stars Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) and is directed by Edgar Wright of “Shaun of the Dead” fame.  
Watch for this guy!

Film Fun

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is currently filming in Toronto and Alex has been cast as an extra! His school is being used as a location in the film, and the casting agency was in the cafeteria one day last week signing up some of the lads for filming next Monday.  Because he’s under 18, they couldn’t take his photo at the school, but he filled out all the paperwork and emailed them a photo from home. Sunday night he got the word that he was cast and that they’d call him Friday with further details.

Needless to say, he’s ecstatic.  The film stars Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno) and is directed by Edgar Wright of “Shaun of the Dead” fame.  

Watch for this guy!
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Why am I still sick????

I succumbed to the colds that have now felled three of our four family members.  I started feeling ill on Wednesday and I seem to be stuck in this cold rut, not feeling appreciably better from day to day.  I’d just like to move into the runny-nose-but-otherwise-fine phase that I can deal with.  Congested head and chest, plus overall germy-sick feeling is getting old quickly.  Z has feeling better, with just a chesty cough remaining, and I’m about 2 days behind him, so I’m hopeful for a midweek uptick.  

That being said, I drugged myself up and headed out to see Jersey Boys with my sweetie on Friday night and it was the bomb!  An absolutely terrific show with music that reverbated in my brain for the next 24 hours or so.  
Our niece Magali was in Toronto on business late last week so she stayed the weekend with us.  On Saturday we headed to the Markham Fair for a little taste o’ the country.  It was chilly but we met up with Z’s cousin and his family and had dinner at their place afterwards.  The cold weather felt good on my sinuses and I was feeling rather fine by the end of the evening.
Sunday morning dawned and I could hardly drag myself out of bed.  I spent the day on the sofa, reading and letting my family cook for me.  This morning, I’m still feeling low but will try to pull it together to get down to Mike’s school and pick up his at-home-tuba so that he can start practising.