Art Gallery Scavenger Hunt

Or, the cutest date I’ve been on thus far.

This is a fun thing to do with friends, family or your significant other! It sparks conversation and collaboration and will definitely be an adventure you’ll remember.

A fun fact about me is that the solution to a lot more of my dilemmas than you’d think are to do a scavenger hunt. And so when faced with the dilemma of having visited basically all the museums in town and not really being people that appreciated art too much, I decided to create a scavenger hunt for my boyfriend and I to go on while visiting the art gallery!

I didn’t know what to expect at all since the last time I’d been there was for a grade 7 field trip. So my items to search for were based on what I thought we’d find, what I hoped we’d find and what I thought was just plain funny.

The whole list is a hoot and a half but here are some gems:

  • someone whose face looks like they did their homework but forgot it at home
  • a bunch of grapes
  • the first painting by an artist we recognize
  • a painting bigger than your outstretched arms
  • a toilet
  • the time it takes to find the Condensation Cube (which was something I did remember from my previous visits)
  • a tree in all 4 seasons (can be different pictures obviously)
  • a visitor’s garbage left in the modern art section (I thought I was hilarious for thinking this one up, like what if it wasn’t just a tissue? What if it’s ART)
  • a painting that looks like a bad powerpoint template

And so on and so forth, you get the picture. (ART JOKES)

It was a huge success! We had fun strolling around, actually loving some paintings for real (we’re not completely uncultured animals) and discussing what we thought merited crossing something off the list! I think we only didn’t get about 6 items which is pretty good in my books!

Something to note is that it’s important to not be rude around the art or other guests just because you’re being a little creative and different with how you enjoy these paintings. This is obvious but I’m just putting it out there.

Definitely let me know if you plan to try this out, I’d love to hear how it goes or help brainstorm items to look for!

YOUR New Year’s Resolutions

I’ve made my resolutions, now it’s time for me to help you make yours!

These, of course, are suggestions that you can take or leave but if you’re looking for inspiration or confirmation, this is it.

  1. Find a type of exercise you actually love. Story time: my mother is one of those people that wanted to do something about her current fitness level and tried to sign up for gym memberships and even beginner volleyball classes but nothing stuck and all motivation would peter out quickly. Just 3 months ago, she signed up for some aquafit classes at the local YMCA because she heard it was good for your back and she’s been going around 3 times a week since then! She’s become one of those people that complains when she had to miss a class! So you CAN get fit or lose those pounds, you just need to find your method! The gym is not for everyone, it might be competition or environment that gives you a reason to keep coming back to it.
  2. Read one book per month. Reading is something that people feel like they don’t have time for but books are, in my opinion, a great part of life and important to expand your imagination. So by setting aside your commute to listen to audiobooks or before bed to read a chapter or two, it is definitely plausible to get through at least one book each moon cycle. Definitely try to get a diverse selection from fantasy to non-fiction because the world is huge and there’s no telling what you might learn.
  3. Invest in friendships. You have no idea how important this is. It’s so easy to let great people slip out of your lives or to not initiate getting to really know someone because you already have your family to talk to. Coffee dates are easy to plan, letter writing is not dead and potlucks are really fun. You don’t have to become a social butterfly but do hold on to the friends you have and make sure they know that they are important to you! That isn’t done enough in my opinion.
  4. Create. Totally open-ended, totally depends on what you enjoy and what you’d love to try. I believe we all have something inside of us that needs to create things whether it be an elegant computer code, your very first knitted scarf or a story. I’m sure there’s something that you’re passionate about and if you’re passionate about it you will totally be able to make the time for it in this coming year!

These are my tips to making your year a success (hopefully), let me know what you would have added to the list or what you’re taking from mine!

Smek For President: Review

Oh J.Lo, how I love you.

It’s hard to give this book a real review explaining why I liked it and what I thought about the themes found inside when all I really want to do is quote all the funny parts to you. I’ll end up doing both, most definitely.

As I’ve mentioned on this blog at one point or another, Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday and anything that is remotely related to it is automatically my favourite thing in the world. I don’t make the rules that’s just how it is.

smekforpresident

Summary from Goodreads:

After Tip and J.Lo banished the Gorg from Earth in a scheme involving the cloning of many, many cats, the pair is notorious-but not for their heroics. Instead, human Dan Landry has taken credit for conquering the Gorg, and the Boov blame J.Lo for ruining their colonization of the planet. Determined to clear his name, J.Lo and Tip pack into Slushious, a Chevy that J.Lo has engineered into a fairly operational spaceship, and head to New Boovworld, the aliens’ new home on one of Saturn’s moons.

But their welcome isn’t quite as warm as Tip and J.Lo would have liked. J.Lo is dubbed Public Enemy Number One, and Captain Smek knows that capturing the alien is the only way he’ll stand a chance in the Boovs’ first-ever presidential election.

With the help of a friendly flying billboard named Bill, a journey through various garbage chutes, a bit of time travel, and a slew of hilarious Boovish accents, Tip and J.Lo must fight to set the record straight-and return home in once piece.

It was a little harder for me to get into Smek for President (you know, like reach that point where it doesn’t feel like you’re reading words anymore and are just experiencing the story) but it was a delightful read. I feel like the plot was less crazy than The True Meaning of Smekday as the setting remained the same the whole time and the reader wasn’t getting introduced to all of the characters this time around although it did have a pretty hilarious, spoilery twist that I found hilarious and perfect. You’ll know it. It’s even illustrated.

The novel made up for any of that by being classically random in the most ingenious ways. Our 7th grade selves that were known to sometimes say “I’m so rANdoM xD TACOS!!” have got nothing on Adam Rex’s genius. It’s example time now:

  • We’ve got the complete rules to Stickyfish which are actually coherent and could be adapted to the real world just like JK Rowling’s creation of Quidditch
  • A friendly billboard named William “Bill” Board
  • A hoverbutt
  • A boov not understanding the concept of “I can’t wait to do this thing” and explaining that you indeed will have to wait
  • Guns that turn everything blue
  • Some poomps, pardon my language
  • An appearance from “Rihanna”
  • The museum of noises

In short, read this book then come back and agree with me! (Or not, you do you)

School Year Resolutions

Forget New Year’s Resolutions, let’s talk about School Year Resolutions!

I know it’s a new year and everything which makes people want to turn over a new leaf but when you’re between the ages of 4 and 22ish then change in your life is really dictated by the school year starting every September. You have to adjust to different classes and different people so why not change up a few more things in order to make your life a little better.

Here are a few of mine for my third year of university! If you feel inspired to do the same, please put the link to your post in the comments so that I can check it out!

Write everything down. This ranges from due dates, ideas and journal entries! I know for school especially that I will easily forget about a project or assignment as soon as I leave the threshold of the classroom which tends to be a bad thing. So by physically writing it down somewhere (aka an agenda or wall calendar) that I look at often will alleviate me of future stress! I adore looking back onto old memories – I should give you a room tour at some point because my walls are covered in this sort of thing – and a journal is the most compact way of keeping them. These are some of the years I would love to look back on so this is me telling myself to write it all down.

Set aside time for socializing and being alone. If these moments are already predetermined, life just gets a heckuva lot easier. It’s easy enough to schedule time to hang out with people and go out and have fun but this tends to squeeze out any time I need to be alone and recharge. I’ll often just give people all of my availability and book it up until it’s a Thursday and I’m grouchy and I just want to go home but I can’t because of previous commitments. It’s not healthy to be alone all the time just like it’s not healthy to always be surrounded by people so I need to make sure I keep this in mind now that I have actual university friends.

Read and go outside!! As soon as classes start, I
have a real excuse to be on my laptop all the time and my time spent reading and exploring the outdoors severely drops. It’s easy to get sucked into the black hole of checking every five seconds for notifications that will still be there in a couple of hours.

Cook one meal from scratch each week. This is not my doing, this is my mother’s. I am not a cook. I like to spend the least amount of time in the kitchen as possible because there are just so many other things to do! But since I live at home still and she wants my sister and I to recognize the importance of having some cooking skills, I will need to plan and prepare one meal per week that did not originate from the freezer. I’m only against this in theory cause I also see the value of knowing your way around a kitchen. Still, it’s gonna be hard.

DON’T PROCRASTINATE. It ruins your life and everyone else’s too for that matter. There is not much else to be said here except try harder to stay on top of things! Limit your internet usage! Reward yourself after you’ve finished something, not before! Pleeeease let’s not let the stress build up! There needs to be a support group or something where we just guilt trip each other.

note to self
note to self

Help out around the house. This is something I’ve been steadily improving on since I do live here free of charge which is not something I should take lightly. I’m not renting out my room from my family, I’m living in a house with them and I need to continuously do my part with the workload that comes with it. I don’t care if that’s not how other families do it, but here everyone pitches in (supposedly without being told to) to keep the house well-stocked, clean and functioning.

Man, writing this all down already makes me feel more calm about the new semester and all the work that’s going to come with it. Hopefully I stick to my guns and you won’t see me here 3 weeks later crying about how hard school is when you pretend you have no responsibilities!

Road Trip Essentials

The most summer thing to do.

It may be quite late into the summer but it’s not too late to get in one last hurrah and plan a road trip for the fun of it! I’ll be going on one this coming weekend and thought it would be a great idea to outline all the essentials to keep this bon voyage from becoming a chorus of heavenly “are we there yet???”

roadtrip - destination

The first thing you’re going to want to decide on is where you’re going. The road trip could just be driving aimlessly but then there’s no real purpose. Some ideas are:

  • A place where a lot of your family lives
  • A city where a friend you haven’t seen in a while lives
  • Somewhere you’ve never been before and know no one and are just going for the adventure
  • A place from your childhood

Anywhere you’ve been itching to go in order to see the sights or catch up on life stories is doable as long as there are roads between it and you.

roadtrip - transportation

I may be blowing my cover as Captain Obvious here but it needs to be said. Not only does there need to be a human that can drive a car in the party of people going, there also needs to be a car that
a) will survive a trip of your desired length and
b) can comfortably seat everyone.
It will be no fun sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck for a couple hours and neither will a blast be had if you have to be in the middle seat scrunched between two other people. Think of these things beforehand and you’ll be thanking yourself by the end.

roadtrip - company

In the previous paragraphs, I’ve been directing this post towards one person – you. But it doesn’t have to be like that at all. Even though solitude is nice sometimes, to just drive without anyone around you either in the car or on the roads, the friends are what make a road trip memorable. Make sure you get along with anyone in the car because if there’s something between you guys, it’ll most likely be amplified in the tiny space of a moving vehicle. Best friends are great candidates because willingly spending this much time with them isn’t a chore, unlike family road trips sometimes end up being.

You’ll have plenty of time to talk, invent silly car games and just be around each other so if you don’t know your travel-mates’ life stories at the beginning of this journey, you just might by the end.

roadtrip - music

This deserves capital letters because most people have strong opinions on the music they want to listen to. And since there’ll be a lot of time to fill during any road trip, the songs are going to need to happen! It’s best to know what common ground everyone coming along has in terms of music taste, including everyone’s vetos. Of course, everyone should be willing to be flexible in order for everyone to be happy and I really don’t think you can go wrong with Disney!

Some people like creating playlists that have the theme of summer or vacation or road trips to set the mood so if anyone in the car has a knack for that, get them to go right ahead and you’ll feel 10x more legit.

roadtrip - snacks

Humans need to eat in order to live. [citation needed] Whatever your food situation may be, be it quick runs to the Timmies* every time you stop from gas, an entire picnic meal/dinner or easy access snack items, it’s important to have some on hand so that everyone stays comfortable and happy. Water is also an important thing to pack, although in this scenario you have to think of when you’ll be able to let it out.

*non-Canadians can calm their confusion, I’m just talking about Tim Horton’s, our equivalent of your coffee and donut shops.

roadtrip - entertainment

We’ve talked about music which is a large portion of car ride entertainment but there’s plenty of other things to do. As I child, I was the queen of making up something to keep my sister and I occupied in the back seat. I’m not sure how many I got from other places and how many I got from my brain but I will share them all willingly here.

The Alphabet Game – Very straightforward, you’re competing against or working together with everyone in the car in order to find all the letters of the alphabet in order on anything you see outside of the car. (stores, licence plates, road signs, etc) One of my rules is that you may only take one letter from a common location before you move on

The Rainbow Car Game – Same deal, look outside your window and find a car that is each colour of the rainbow in order (red, orange, yellow, green blue, purple). Orange and yellow and quite rare and you may find yourself stuck on those for a while

Car Count – This is a straight up competition. You each pick a colour of car and count every time you see one of that colour. Whoever gets the most wins! Heads up, silver and red are quite common.

Animal Name Game – this game definitely was invented by me. It involves looking for animals outside and then giving them a name. That is all. Good for going through the countryside and seeing cow after horse after llama. I’ve given a flock of birds names, they get quite silly at this point.

Bingo/Scavenger Hunt – If someone wants to put in the necessary effort of thinking up things you could potentially see on a road trip, they should definitely do so because that could be a lot of fun!

roadtrip - plan

Overall, you just really need to plan this kind of thing out. I know in the movies and books, they just jump in the car with their sunglasses and romantic tension and off they go but really it’s important to have a very good idea of certain things like

  • what route you’ll take
  • where you’ll stop and how often
  • where you’re going to sleep
  • who brings what
  • how long it’ll take

Everyone should also be aware of the plan so that it’s not up to one person to stress all about it. If you’ve got locations in mind in advance, there’s much less of a chance of something going wrong and therefore a higher chance of everyone having a great time!

A Few Final Things…

You should keep in mind the distance as well because sometimes a road trip can be too long and cars can start feeling like a sardine can – smell and all. The longer the trip, the higher the cost with food and gas and places to sleep so although it feels very freeing to just go, it won’t do to use up all your funds on this expedition.

And that is all of my knowledge about road trips, please put it to good use and tell me about any road trips you’ll go on in the future or have gone on and loved. It’s good to enjoy the summer while you can because school is just around the corner (small gasp)

Home: The Movie

Based on my absolute favourite book: The True Meaning of Smekday

This is going to be a review of the adaptation of one of my favourite books of all time. I still haven’t made an actual review of it to link to you guys but one day it will arrive. Although I sincerely think the contents of it would be something along the lines of: “read these 17 quotes, aren’t they hilarious, oh here’s some context refer to the glossary for all the words that don’t make sense now look at this picture hahaha remember when oh yeah you might not have read it why are you reading this when you could read that dude go do it now trust this internet stranger”

Truly feeling like a hipster when I first read the book when it came out 8 years ago (le gasp I’m old) and finally the movie adaptation was released in 2015 with most people who see it never knowing that there was a book first and the book was better.

Yep, I went ahead and said it. The book was truly magnificent with a blend of random and deep and the movie chose a few of the lessons learned in the book, made the painfully obvious and then dumbed everything else down to kid level. Which I respect I guess, movies are a different form of entertainment than books and when you put that much effort into animating this world, it’s got to be something the masses and target audience will enjoy.

If I had seen the movie never knowing about the book’s existence, I still would have loved it though, the book is not the only thing that’s making me give Home an overall great review. I mean, I could spend the whole time griping about how they missed their chance of including teleportation, asphyxiation and just-add-water-sheep-lookalikes but I think I’ll pass.

CHARACTERS

Right away, Oh was a little over the top but it makes the plot by setting him aside as an outcast and making his transformation in the end more obvious. I bet the kids adored him and his silly antics even though I was more entertained with how they kept the stilted speech of the Boov similar to the style of the book than his ridiculous antics.

Side note: I was lie-on-the-floor devastated when I found out that they had changed his name from J.Lo to Oh because that takes away from the insane charm of the book. However, I was dance-with-strangers-on-the-street happy that they managed to cast the actual J.Lo as Tip’s mother.

Captain Smek was a character that I did not care for in the least. He was even more comic relief than Oh was and it was pretty much just annoying. The gelatinous and colourful body properties of the Boov were unnecessary in my opinion but I guess got a kick out of it. I need to keep reminding myself that this movie is in fact not aimed towards 20 year old girls.

Rihanna was perfect as Tip and Tip was the character that best translated from page to screen. They kept the fact that she was scared and needed her mother and was willing to do whatever it took to get there. She was strong and vulnerable and basically amazing.

The final main character was Kyle the traffic Boov and while he may seem like just some random guy that they added I basically died when I heard that he was actually going to be important.  In the book, J.Lo pretends that he knows a traffic Boov and calls her Kyle and it’s just a random not-really-that-important interaction so I love how big a role he ended up getting.

PLOT

The plot was so basic compared to that of the book but it had enough twists and funny moments to keep me entertained.

One of my actual favourite scenes was one they took straight from the book, direct quotes and everything‼ It happened in the mopo (although I forget if it was an actual mopo in the movie) slash convenience store where Oh and Tip first meet. All of that coming into the out and mimom and shoot forth lasers from my eyeballs and exploding heads being impolite was from the book and it made me so happy! If you are near me when that happens, I not only quote the entire thing along with them but I also fill in the rest with every fact from the book that you really didn’t want to know and are busy just wishing I would be quiet.

But who wouldn’t want to know that Gratuity found something called Tub! That came with its own spoon?????

In the novel, Slushious takes them across the United States but I found traveling across the pacific and around the world made the adventure even more exciting! There was just enough panic with the invitation bringing their enemies down upon them to keep you on the edge of your seat and all the Boov technology was really well done!

Some more subtle nods to the book I had forgotten about until now are the orange peels that Captain Smek was wearing as that ended up being all the rage to the Boov in Florida as well as Oh eating the urinal cakes in the bathroom.

Finally, the ending was really well done. The friendship and family tie-ins were very strong and real and pulled at all the right emotions. At this point we had strayed so far from the book plot that I could simply appreciate that finale for all it was.

FINAL THOUGHTS

At the end of the day, Home is an amazing movie with an amazing soundtrack featuring the first black animated protagonist which is pretty nifty and great. It’s cute enough for both kids and adults to enjoy and will hopefully expose people to the book it originated from so that they can experience true happiness.

Other things they missed out on in the movie:

  • Bubble writing
  • 7 magnificent genders
  • An alien hiding in plain sight in Roswell
  • Two separate organizations called BOOB
  • And of course, 4 pages full of the word ‘meow’
not pictured: me dying from this scene being in the actual movie

Family Day

I don’t know what you Americans are on about with President’s Day but here in the north, we’re getting school and work off because of Family Day.

Thus, even though it is my reading week off from university, I have not made any plans with friends and am spending the day with the fam. But unlike other families that probably have cool things planned and winter activities to get up to we do things a little differently.

The day started by not starting until about 11:30am. Missing breakfast entirely, making the cats anxious about not being fed at their usual 6:30am and being awake but not having to get out of bed. Talk about perfect.

We then had a sorting party of receipts and coupons and laundry and got all that cleaning out of the way in a social and chill manner. My sister was looking over her physics homework at the same time so I got to reminisce about those easy times.

Then we had a super important competition of who could throw smarties up in the air and catch them in their mouth the best. I can think of nothing better than watching my mom whole-heartedly participate in this.

The rest of the day was chill, we watched the movie Babe, some episodes of elementary all the while my sister consumed 2 bags of popcorn and I crocheted a shark pencil case.

It was an amazing day and I just had to share it with yall. Normally it isn’t this stress-free to be around them which is why I’m so enthused!

Christmas Tradition: The Invisible Ornament

My family’s never been big on Christmas traditions, we only actually cooked the full turkey dinner for the first time this year, but we do have this one, slightly weird one that I’m going to tell you all about.

It’s pretty straight forward. We have a tree and we have our box of decorations – that contain your usual embarrassing childhood ones and your not-as-usual cat friendly ornaments hung along the bottom – but there’s this one in particular that pertains to the tradition. I have no clue when or how we got it but it’s basically a small bunch of fake pine needles on a string.

So we hang it and all the other decorations on the tree (embarrassing ones at the back) in mid-December and forget about everything until the time comes around for us to take it all down! We’re not supposed to be looking for it per say, just taking things off the tree and putting them away but it is an unwritten rule that whoever finds it wins that year.

It’s a lot of fun and surprisingly hard to find, I always enjoy it.

Your turn! Got any wacky Christmas traditions? The more unusual, the better!

World Cup

Flashback to grade 5.

It was the end of the school year and halfway through 2006 where, if you count back two sets of four years, the World Cup was happening in Germany.

Now y’all know I’m from Brazil (if not, surprise, I am!) so I cheer hardcore for them during this competition even though I’m not the biggest soccer fan in regular life.

My teacher at the time was from France. Like literally he moved here during the summer. So, obviously he was basically France’s biggest fan. We used to have these morning exercises like pop quizzes for math and stuff and for one of those he actually asked “Who’s going to be the champions for the 2006 World Cup” and the correct answer was France.

So you could imagine it was pretty tense between us. BUT THEN there was anther girl in our class who was from a big Italian family. She loudly proclaimed that Italy was the one that will steal the show.

//I feel like I’m making this more dramatic than it actually is but it’s way more fun like this anyway, right//

There was lots of friendly banter and competition ie my teacher calling both of us out whenever our countries didn’t do too well and us in return doing the same to him. That said, there was a kind of camaraderie between me and the other girl that we just needed to beat the teacher. Like it would suck if our own country didn’t make it but at least we wouldn’t have to suffer through him celebrating France’s victory.

You don’t even know my relief when Italy won. Life is good.

_________________________

In 2014 World Cup news, Brazil played the opening game against Croatia in Sao Paolo and they DOMINATED.

My whole family watched it and man was it stressful. neymarCroatia getting the first goal of the game only thanks to one of the Brazilian players accidentally nudging it into our net. Thankfully, there’s a guy named Neymar who is my new favourite person that got 2 of the 3 goals Brazil scored during the duration of the game!!

There were some sucky calls and everyone was really aggressive and probably stressed but overall it was a great opening game (especially for Brazil fans!) to start out the FIFA 2014 World Cup.