Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Birthday Bucket List Check In

Someone asked me how my challenges were going last Saturday. I gave some wishy-washy answer; the truth was I didn't have a clue. That's why I do a monthly review.

If you haven't seen it before, on my birthday I set a number of goals for the year. This year it is "35 While 35;" the challenges are divided into seven areas, spiritual, relationships, adventure, hobbies, culture, health, and second chances.

The Key
plain text = not started
green text = started
purple text = completed

1) Choose My One Word for 2017

2) Read the New Testament
I'm in Luke

3) Explore Contemplative Spirituality

4) A Day of Silence

5) Be Thankful

6) Time with My Dad
Over five different days Dad and I put together a number of Ikea and Ikea like furniture. We also saw another football game.

7) Friend Reunions
It was a reunion with NS friends but still a reunion

8) Attend a Family Reunion
Attended my father's mother's family reunion

9) Send Christmas Cards
It's a bit early

10) Go on a Date
There was a meal, a walk in the park, then up a mountain, we got lost and two hours later found ice cream. It was a great time. It's a platonic relationship but it was a fun outing.

11) Take a Risk
The risk was overcoming my fear of driving in cities, especially new cities. I drove into downtown Montreal during rush hour traffic...twice.

12) Go on a Road Trip
I've been on five road trips since my birthday, 1) Mark East 2) Move from NS to Ont 3) Family Picnic 4) Kingdom Bound and 5) to NS and Back.

13) Go Camping
So, I intended the challenge to mean tent camping or in the woods. However that did not happen this summer so I am going to count sleeping in a cabin at Kingdom Bound as camping (and be more specific next year).

14) Be Upside Down
There were a few times I was upside down while at Kingdom Bound, at Darien Lake. This was one of them. There is a video of me still on someone else's phone.

15) Be Outside Canada
Darien Lake is in New York, which is not Canada so one trip crossed off four challenges.

16) Try Something New

17) Join a Club/Group

18) Cosplay as a New/Different Character
I've been dreaming about ideas. It's a start.

19) Try Bullet Journalling
I've used a bullet journal style journal to track my food log and other vegan related lists.

20) Create a 40 Before 40 Challenge List

21) Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

22) See a Musical
Mum, Janna, and I saw the Stage Prophets production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dream Coat

23) Participate in a Reading Challenge 

24) Go to a Ballet
I saw Sister dance in The Little Mermaid present by her ballet school

25) Attend a Convention

26) Be a Vegan for 40 Days
I am three days away from finishing my vegan challenge.

27) Keep a Food Journal
During the vegan challenge I've also been using my bullet journal to record a food log. I will count this as finished when the vegan challenge is over.

28) Complete a Pull Up
I have used the monkey bars to start practicing. Right now I can dangle/hold my weight for five-ish seconds. It's small but it is a start.

29) Dance

30) Run 5 km
I've bought new running shoes and have the form for a 2km or 5km neon walk/run happening near the end of September.

31) Finally Paint This Canvas
The canvas has been located. There was concern that it had not been packed on moving day. I am thinking about painting a tree.

32) Finish Four Children Stories

33) Make a Video

34) Draw More
I've had two sketches finished so far.

35) Grow Something to Eat
I planned a garden and it's doing well. I expect that I should be harvesting some produce this week.

Thirteen challenges completed!Dancing and happiness.

There are twelve challenges started or in progress.

Leaving ten challenges left to begin. Still not bad for four months into the year. With eight months left I this is still my best start. However, the some of the challenges have me second guessing if completion is possible. Challenges 1 and 23 won't begin till January and aren't a problem. I'm not worried about the silence, Christmas cards, trying something new, or joining a club challenges either. The video and the stories aren't impossible and yet seem two of the hardest. The real struggles are the convention and dance challenges. I had worked out how to achieve both but neither fit my budget and I am realizing might not happen.

I'll keep thinking, the next check in will be September 26th.

Daily Salad #55

Almost a rainbow salad; the "purple" is missing.

It is okay, the only issue, some of the lettuce from my garden is very...bitter? Sharp? Sour? I can't discribe the issue. It's something and it's not my favourite something.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook 180

FOR TODAY: August 28, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... night

I am thinking... organizational systems and creative projects

I am thankful... for my new church family

I am wearing... navy tee with jeans

I am creating... nothing at the moment, but I was looking at a scrapbook tonight and am thinking about adding a few pages.
I am watching... The Pretender with Mom and the 90s X-Men on Netflix

I am geeking out... on Aquaman, I picked up Aquaman 1: The Trench (New 52) last Friday night and then Aquaman 2: The Others (The New 52) on Wednesday. I am really enjoying the stories.

I played... DC Deck Building Game, Escape, and Mystery of the Abby

One of my favorite things... comic book stores. On Wednesday Sister, four of her friends, and I made a day visit to Ottawa to see every comic or game shop we could find in Ottawa. There were six stores plus a trip to a Chapters.

Verse of the week... Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”.
Song of the Week:... this is my favourite song right now

In the Kitchen... nothing overly exciting to talk about, I have been making mashed potatoes with a bit of Caesar dressing. Thanks Donna for the tip.

From the Garden:... it's almost time to harvest the eggplants!

A few plans for the rest of the week:...the week is pretty quiet with regular routines but we're going to visit extended family on the weekend.

Happening On The Blog:... I've been wanting to blog but there is so many little things happening that I seem to be in bed when it's time to write. I did take a few salad pictures this past week and even they didn't get uploaded. I think I need a better plan, I'm blaming the silence on summer. This week the regular series will be back: Daily Salad and Thankful Thursday. Wednesday Art is still on holiday till September. I still have the Suicide Squad review to write, my last vegan challenge post, a 35 Challenge update, and I am thinking about an article on why I like DC Comics.

A few pictures to share:...

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sister Movie Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

Sister got back from her three week adventure yesterday. To celebrate and because sister bonding needed to happen we went to see Kubo and the Two Strings tonight. It was the best movie we've seen this summer and one of the best stop motion animations of all times. We highly recommend that you see it.

Since the movie is worth seeing and still very new we've tried to avoid spoilers and plot details. There only specifics we give are three lines we found humorous.

If you haven't heard of it, here is the trailer:

Sister: Everything about this movie was amazing from the plot to the voice actors to the editing. I loved the beauty of each scene, the sass of Monkey, and gorgeous music. 

Me: I completely 100% agree. I loved if from the loose "don't blink" It had the a beautiful story that was woven into a wonderful movie through excellent writing, music, and talented animation and the right touch of creep and danger mixed with love and forgiveness. It got me in the feels. It was touching, heart warming but with a bitter sweetness of a story that isn't just sunshine and rainbows.

There were so many great moments; I laughed so much. A moment that stood out was the first time Hosato, voiced by George Takei, spoke. His first words were "oh my!" as only George Takei can say it. I lost it.

Less Than Good:
Sister: there wasn't anything I didn't like.

Me: This isn't a fault with the movie, I couldn't place Beetle's voice at first. It was familiar but my brain wouldn't let it go till I got that it was Matthew McConaughey.

Enjoyable Lines:
There were so many good lines, the writing was the perfect balance of humour, sass, and endearing moments. Choosing the greatest line seemed an impossible task so instead we decided on two we still remembered.
Kubo: "Do you say anything encouraging?"
Monkey: "I encourage you not to die."
Me: "I have a question, if you are Monkey and I am Beetle, why isn't he Boy?"

Sister: 5 shamisen (Kubo's traditional Japanese guitar) out of 5
Me: 4.9 origami warriors out of 5

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thankful Thursday #208

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...for more rain, my garden is so happy
  • ...for games with new friends
  • ...for fun projects with my dad
  • ...that Mom had a wonderful visit with her sister and brother and made it home safe
  • ...that Sister had a wonderful visit with our cousins out west and made it home safe

Daily Salad #52

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Daily Salad #50

After a few days without any large salads I was happy to make this apple, walnut, and bacon salad with a mix of baby spinach, mixed greens and romaine lettuce, yellow peppers, an wax beans.

The very best part was the apple was one of the galas that I brought back from the Annapolis Valley.

Friend Movie Review: Star Trek Beyond

Two weeks ago I went to see Star Trek Beyond with Nova Scotia friends. They were gracious and let me pick the movie; I was a very excited Trekke. Sadly, Duane couldn't stay for dinner after so I don't have his thoughts on the movie.

Warning: There are spoilers ahead.

Alice: Right at the beginning Kirk is giving his captains log and says "this is beginning to feel episodic" which was a fun call out to the original series. The new girl, Jaylah, and Scotty were the best part of the movie. I would watch a whole movie of just those two having adventures. There were a few good nods to the episodic history. The first part of the movie was slow but once had explosions started the pacing improved. There is this moment when Krall appears to have a change of heart and is going to help stop his weapon from killing everyone. I was realized that that was not the case; he was going to try and fight Kirk again. It would have cheapened the movie if he suddenly changed his mind.

Aurora: I loved music even though there was a Guardians of the Galaxy meets Star Wars. The plot was also decent.

Me: I seemed to enjoy bits that my friends didn't. I liked the referencing of bigger universe, the moments taken to grieve Ambassador Spock as a tribute, the foreshadowing of important things...even when you knew it was going to be used later (like the motorcycle). In the moment of watching I thought it was paced well. There were a few that on thinking about I thought were more clever, like the Uhura trying to give the necklace back to Spock. It was a quick sign that the relationship had ended but it isn't till later we learn that the point of that moment is to know that Uhura has a necklace made with tractable Vulcan rock. I loved Jaylah; I wasn't sure if I would from the previews if I would like her. She was so much better than I expected. I loved her dialog with Scotty, I loved her character arch and backstory, and I loved her fight scenes. I also loved how she knew language was because her "home" taught her and that "home" was a crashed Federation ship that tried directly back into main plot. I also liked the Kirk's bike diversion and the whole rescue.

Less Good:
Alice: The pacing of the first part was slow and boring; it was almost too late by the time things picked up to save the movie. While I liked the "episodic" reference there were too many reminders of the bigger Star Trek universe along with heavy handed and poorly executed set-ups. There is a female officer in green (not sure if she's named) couldn't act. Her emotions never matched the scene. The most obvious was her "assistance" the rescue. And with everything the crew went through, all the deaths that happened during the attack, crash, and slavery it is impossible that none of the main named characters died. Especially Uhura, her actions and boldness should have gotten her killed.

Aurora: I had the same issue with the start, it was slow and boring. Not only did none of the main characters not die, no one looked seriously banged up from the attack, crash, or enslavement. Everyone should have been caked with dirt, had tears in their clothes, noticeable injuries, and less that pristine hair and make up. How is Uhura's hair not a tangled knot by the time Spock rescues her? The weakness of the station felt very much a repeat of the weakness with the Star Wars death star. We need more original ideas. Also the Sulu character, who has been a played as straight by George Takei suddenly being given a husband felt like a forced LGBTQ inclusion and an attempt to probably honour Takei for being openly gay. I already knew Takei did not appreciate the change in the character. This is a comment from his interview with Hollywood Reporter “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry, Star Trek creator]’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.” Having seen the few scenes with the husband I agree. It was clunky and took me out of the movie to think "oh yeah, this is a nod to Takei."

Me: I wasn't bored by the start but as soon as we were talking about the movie I began to think how the start could have been better. There was a lot of dry set up like Kirk and Spock each planning to leave the ship. If writers/director had moved the ship emergency from the space station to a bit earlier and had the crew save the alien on route to York, there would have been action to break up some of the exposition and also given a better reason for the Enterprise going out so soon after docking. Why Kirk had to go seem like a stretch however if he had they saved the injured alien and made first contact, there would have been more of an obligatory "let's finish this last mission" mindset which would have makes more sense to me. Another thing that made little sense to me was Krull. I didn't get his motivation. Once we learn his backstory it make less sense and more mental leaps. It was the weakest part of the movie for me. I also don't get how Krull discovered the ancient weapon or amassed such a loyal army or where all the pilots that flew the bees were when not flying.

We all discussed Krulls' appearance returning somewhat human. My theory for his evolving looks is the ancient-eternal-youth-death machine; each time it is used it fills the host with the victims life/maybe DNA. Over the decades that Krull kept using the machine his very core changed with each a new species killed. He starts returning to human because he was flooded with DNA from the Enterprise crew.

Final Rating:
Alice: 3 sentient popcorn out of 5 (there were talking popcorn in the Cineplex preshow)
Aurora: NCC1701 -C (That's the 4th Enterprise out of 6 ships)
Me: 3.1 red shirts out of 5

A Question:
During the crew rescue, were any red shirts beamed up/saved?
We couldn't remember but we don't remember seeing any.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thankful Thursday #207

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...for rain
  • ...for new opportunities
  • ...for the public libraries
  • ...for friendly people
  • ...for other geeks
  • ...for things to think about
  • ...for my bosses

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Daily Salad #49

 And then...banana splits :)

Monday, August 08, 2016

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The Simple Woman Daybook 179

FOR TODAY: August 7, 2016
You can find the more daybooks at Simple Woman's Blog.

Outside my window... Dad's flower garden and dusk

I am thinking... about pacifism

I am thankful... for adventures and GPS

I am wearing... navy shorts and a grey tee.

I am creating... a friendship bracelet for my sister 

I am reading
... the same things I've been reading for weeks. I also "read" three audio books on my travels. The current books: Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus, I am loving this book. The Rhythm of Prayer: A Forty Day ExperienceThe Books of the Bible, and The Amazing Spider-Man: Edge of Spider-Verse

I am watching... The Pretender with Mom and the 90s X-Men on Netflix

I am geeking out... on comics. Last week while in NS I pick up three months worth of comics. So much fun catching up on stories. Working really hard not to add more titles...I going to add more titles.

I played... a new game about deep sea diving and Hobbit Love Letter

One of my favorite things... this woman

Verse of the week... Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.
Song of the Week:...

In the Kitchen... I cooked my first zucchini from my garden! I've also been trying kale chips with kale from my garden. So far there have been two attempts and I am going to continue working on the recipe.

From the Garden:... its green!
The garden is happy in spite of the drought conditions. Mom and Dad ate the first tomato while I way away, I've had harvested the spinach and some lettuce. And of course the previously mentioned zucchini and kale were delicious. 

A few plans for the rest of the week:... tomorrow night I am volunteering with the church's outreach team to hand out water at a soccer game. Tuesday I am watching Liam and checking out one of the "near by" comic stores. It's only 45 min away (this is one of the reasons I miss NS). I am not sure what the rest of the week looks like

Happening On The Blog:... there will the be the regular series: Daily Salad and Thankful Thursday. Wednesday Art is still on holiday till September. There will be two movie reviews, Star Trek, watched last Tuesday and Suicide Squad, which I'm seeing this Tuesday. I also want to write a conclusion to the vegan challenge and something about my garden.

A few pictures to share:... from the Herman Edger the Gnome's adventures

Daily Salad #47

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Friday, August 05, 2016

Sister Movie Review: Ice Age -Collision Course

Last Monday (July 25th), Sister and I went to see the newest Ice Age: Collision Course. I didn't realize this was the fifth installment, not including the TV holiday shorts. I completely missed four and was confused by some of the new character. I don't think that hindered my comprehension of the movie; it just meant there were more characters to spread the humour between.

Spoiler Warning: through out the review we could give away plot or humour details.

Sister: It was well done. It was childish but still enjoyable.
Me: It was funny, dumb funny, but still funny. It was also nice to see the prehistoric squirrel have a role in caring the plot however ridiculous it might have been. I did like the squirrel and Buck (the weasel) and inside Buck's mind with Neil deBuck Weasel.

Less Than Good
Sister: I liked it for what it was so I didn't notice anything wrong with it.
Me: The story didn't have the heart of the earlier movies or a point. Even the family arch of Manny letting go of his only daughter felt cliché. The squirrel, which is always enjoyable, didn't have any surprising scenes. Most of his nut antics I had seen in previews. I can't even comment on how wrong the space/creation scenes were; I laughed but so ridiculously wrong. There were also so many characters to keep track of that some of them felt pointless.

Favourite Line
Sister: "I didn't know sucking was strategy" -Granny
Me: "Here he is. The master of meditation. The supreme sovereign. The Shangri Llama!" -Brooke

Favourite Character
Sister: Sid
Me: Buck

Final Rating:
Sister: 4.5 Buck predictions out of 5
Me: 2.3 Shangri Llama yoga positions out of 5

Daily Salad #45

After four days without salad I was so happy to make one for lunch today. It was simple but very yummy.

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Thankful Thursday #206

This week I've been thankful...
  • ...that I was near the ocean for a few days
  • ...for every moment I have with people I love
  • ...for my healthy growing garden
  • ...for reunions, late night chats, and many hugs
  • ...for sunsets, green spaces, and beautiful views
  • ...for good food, fresh fruit, and amazing cheese
  • ...that there are places and people who allow me to freely geek out on things I enjoy
  • ...for traveling safety, my car had no issues, and especially GPS
  • ...the family that offered me a place to sleep half way between NS and home