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!

The Second Mother

Originally titled: Que Horas Ela Volta? (When is she coming home?)

This is a Brazilian movie that my family and I watched recently. Only mom could actually understand the Portuguese so we had to subtitle it for my sister and I but it wasn’t too bad to read and watch at the same time.

Overall, it was a funny and sad and amazing movie! It showed the culture there and how different it was compared to the Canadian norm!

Here’s the synopsis:
Val spends 13 years working as nanny to Fabinho in Sao Paulo. She is financially stable but has to live with the guilt of having left her daughter Jessica, in Pernambuco, in the north of Brazil, raised by relatives. As college entrance exams roll around, Jessica wants to come to Sao Paulo to take her college entrance exams too. When Jessica arrives, cohabitation is not easy. Everyone will be affected by the personality and candor of the girl and Val finds herself right in the middle of it.

Val, the main character, is just full of love for everyone around her but it takes her daughter coming to visit and messing with the careful equilibrium that has been maintained for Val to realize that the family she is employed with treat her very much like a maid and servant without actually taking the time to care about her as a human.

This daughter, however, is not perfect either. Jessica came with the misconceptions that her mother was rich or more well to do than a maid because of how Val acted whenever she visited Jessica. So she acted like she deserved everything and wouldn’t just let things slide which sometimes went to far as she had just arrived and should definitely have been more polite to begin with.

Something interesting I noticed was that this movie did not fall for the ordinary plot twists one might expect. I can think of at least 3 moments where I was cringing and waiting for a big thing to happen because it just seemed to be set up for it but they did not happen and I was pleasantly surprised! I liked that it didn’t need these big things to happen in order for you to still be drawn into the story. The characters and their interactions were enough and there didn’t have to be any misunderstandings or epic falls to keep you intrigued.

The plot was lovely and had a great conclusion that I’m not going to go into detail about as to not spoil it for you but it really told a beautiful story that centered around family and getting second chances.

Something totally unique to my experience watching this was actually seeing habits my own Brazilian mother had in Val! It was amazing to be able to have an experience that I could think of that played out like what was happening on screen! There was the fixating on one sentence I had said while she was angry and the little exclamations she said sometimes, it was just really neat.

So if you feel like taking a chance on this foreign film, chances are you’ll be glad you did!

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

Smek For President

The first answer to any of those “what person dead or alive would you want to have dinner with” questions is Adam Rex.

smekforpresidentHe’s the author and illustrator to many a book, including my all time favouriteThe True Meaning of Smekday.

We’ll get into exactly why that is in a later post so that I can put all my focus into converting you into a major fan also but the point of this post is to celebrate and anticipate!

After 8 long years, there is now a sequel. The first book was a standalone, the ending was satisfying (actually it was a lot more than that) so it’s not like we’ve been dying over a cliffhanger for the past couple years but it excites me to no end that there will be more of an alien named J.Lo and a girl named Tip in a post-alien invasion world that will apparently include a presidential campaign but I know nothing because I haven’t even read the description I just want to go in blind and be amazed.

that was one very extremely long run on sentence

Things I Hope To See In The Sequel:

– more boovish history

– comics

– Gratuity and her mom

– J.Lo not understanding normal human things

– J.Lo’s horrible grammar

– how the aliens have integrated themselves into our world

The novel came out February 10th so there is absolutely no reason as to why I am not reading it right now. That makes me a little upset. Not sure if I should just go out and buy it or wait for the 8 people in line ahead of me at the library to hurry up and finish…

If you guys are fans of Adam Rex’s work, let me know so we can discuss at length how awesome these books are!!

Oscars 2014

I’m not the biggest watcher of all these award shows.

I rarely know they’re happening until I start seeing gifs and commentary on tumblr. (No, I’m not always on tumblr. Just when I’m not sleeping, okay?) But this was the Oscars and they’re big enough that I did clue in on them. And with Ellen Desgeneres hosting and Benedict Cumberbatch in the audience there’s a high chance I would be incredibly sad if I missed it. Also my mom and sister have randomly become crazy award show buffs?? Like they watched the Grammy’s together and I don’t think my mom even likes any of that kind of music…

But a lot happened tonight so let us condense it in the best way possible: bullets.

  • Leonardo DiCaprio did not finally win his first Oscar as everyone on tumblr was holding their breath for. I expected this because Wolf on Wall Street isn’t a very deep movie and that’s a little bit of a requirement.
  • Was that too long of a bullet? I’ll stop explaining myself.
  • Lupita Nyong’o is the queen (and also won Best Supporting Actress)
  • Ellen literally ordered a pizza and brought the poor pizza guy in to feed the first few lucky rows
  • Ellen also took a selfie that was probably the greatest thing ever

  • All the musical performances were actually phenomenal (shoutout to Happy and Let It Go)
  • Frozen won some awards!!
  • Gravity won 7/10 awards it was nominated for
  • Croods didn’t win best animated even though, in my opinion, it should have probably because, well at least my theory is, it was released way earlier in the year and people forgot how awesome it was.
  • 12 Years A Slave won best picture
  • Lots of the winners had premade speeches on folded up pieces of paper and some were shaking and some literally jumped up and down and they were all adorable and it was so exciting watching them be happy about their wins
  • How To Train Your Dragon music was playing in one of the interludes

And that’s what I took from the show! What was your favourite part?

If I Were Braver…

Have you ever wanted to do something ridiculous and nonsensical just to see how it would go?

I do. All the time. There’s so many things I want to experiment with just to see if I would like it or if it would look good but I am way too scared of their permanence for me to go through with any of them. Oh well, I guess I can live vicariously through other people. BUT that doesn’t stop me from making a list and letting all of the internet know what I’ve always wanted to do!

1. Side-shave haircut. Girls with that haircut are my favourite! I just can’t get over how hardcore that looks on people. It just looks effortlessly good and is so different. It’s funny whenever I tell someone that I’d actually be interested in having that because I am the opposite type of person that would get that. I’d more likely help you with your homework than beat you up in an alley but man, imagine looking like you could beat someone up in an alley but instead help them with their homework??

2. Dye it. My hair I mean. And not the whole thing actually, I really like the colour I have going on which gets prettier and lighter in the summer so I wouldn’t want to cover that up. I do like colours however so dip dying it is definitely an option! This is actually the most likely option to happen because I could totally do something over the summer that’s not really permanent. I think that some shade of blue on the tips of my hair wouldn’t look half bad and it’s not like it’ll take a lot of effort because I thankfully have light coloured hair already. Who knows. Stay tuned.

3. Eyebrow piercing. Falls under the same category as the first one: looks hardcore and unlike me so obviously I want to rebel and do it but I’m also thinking enough to know that it’s probably not a good idea. My mom would freak out. But I’ve actually been told before by different people that I could rock a small ring just around the side of my eyebrow. Apparently my bone structure is good for it?? But it’d be a nice decoration to an otherwise ordinary face.

I wonder if anyone else gets these urges to just go nuts with your body and not care about the consequences. If so, tell me about it! Bonus if you feel like convincing me that any of my ideas aren’t actually that bad you can go right ahead!

Christmas Haul

It’s about time I tell you what I got for Christmas.

Let me first say that Christmas is a small affair around my place; just my mother, sister and I. And we never do big presents like I see other families do. For me, it’s completely normal to get a whale magnet or a pomegranate as a present. It’s just how we do it. This year wasn’t that random but here are the highlights:

fox scarf

– Sesame Street bandaids

– a fox scarf

– hand sanitizer

– wool socks

– CHOCOLATE

EllaMinnowPea

– Fantastic Mr. Fox DVD

– purple moleskin journal

– Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

– a cutting board

– goldfish that tasted like vanilla cupcakes

foxy tshirt

– a fox tshirt

As you can tell, I’m kind of obsessed with foxes and my family definitely knows this.

Anyway, this was a fantastic Christmas, I still can’t believe it happened already, man where did the time go? (I’m starting to sound really old right now I’ll just stop)