Arianna Huffington “On Becoming Fearless”

You know those reviews that are like “praise so-and-so for that awesome title?” And you think to yourself “wow okay calm down big-shot reviewer.” *clears throat* Well. I now understand that statement.

This will be an honest review, with personal confessions *gasps.*.

I have had existential crises in the past, but it’s been clear that my past few months have been a fog. And it’s something that you just can’t put into words. I don’t know why I’m short-tempered, on-edge and unhappy. I’m trying to get better, just give me time. I recognize it, just let me sift through it.

Which may be one of the reasons why I decided it was time to read Arianna Huffington’s book On Becoming Fearless… In Love, Work, and Life. Because gaining confidence is one area I need to work on.

Her book does help the reader reach a certain calmness. Am I perfect? No. But am I trying? Yes. Can I be fearless? Heck yeah.

The Book.

So thank you Arianna Huffington for reminding me that I am human. I may not know what’s in store

for me, but as long as I keep putting myself out there, good things will come my way. I have to seize these opportunities, make the best of the situation, and tell myself: I can do this.

“Have you noticed that worrying doesn’t stop it from happening? And indeed, that we worry about many things that never happen?” (Huffington, 43).

 

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Sady Doyle “Trainwreck”

The full title of this book is “”Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear… and Why””

 

This was an excellent read! Insightful, witty, and easy to read, Sady Doyle does an amazing job illustrating how women do so little to be critiqued immensely.

I was having these thoughts before picking up a copy. I thought to myself, as one would, why do I hate Miley Cyrus? Has she truly done anything to upset me so much? And then I came to the conclusion, no. In fact. I envy her. How can she live life so true to herself? Sure there are parts of Miley Cyrus’ character that I cannot relate to, but she is living her life how she wants to live her life. Why should I mock her for her own life choices?
10/10 would recommend this book. It’s important to build ourselves up, and this book sparks the conversation.

Refreshing Album – Milky Chance “Blossom”

Milky Chance have grown and it would seem, they have become more of their own with the release of their second album Blossom. A fitting title for the band, indeed the group have blossomed with their sounds. A cleaner album, in which I listen to the album in full without skipping any songs. Each song transitions so lovely to the next track. When a band can accomplished that, it’s quite something.

The return of Milky Chance happened a few months back with the release of their single “Cocoon.” I listened to this song over and over again. And still do. Next was the release of “Doing Good” which had me wanting more.

Oh and they delivered. My favourite tracks off the album are: “Ego,” “Stay” and “Bad Things.” Be sure to check out the deluxe edition, however, as there are acoustic renditions of select songs.

Getting through to you/Is what I’m aiming for
Won’t you hear me now/ Like you’ve done before

I think really what works with this album is the electronic reggae sounds. It’s refreshing for a band to bring it back to good beats, guitar riffs that stick with you, and powerful lyrics that have you nodding your head.

Milky Chance have two shows in August at the Danforth Music Hall. If you like what you’re hearing, best to buy some tickets fool.

Amy Schumer “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo”

I was beginning to grow tired of Amy Schumer (ooo maybe not a way to open up a review?) But only because she was using the same material at each thing I saw her at. I saw her at the Oddball Festival Summer 2015, and when she was on SNL, it was the same material! I was pretty surprised about this decision on Schumer’s part, because, it’s SNL?

But — after reading her book, it was a nice break from her comedy, because she was actually real and open.  She is able to laugh at herself, accept herself as she is -flaws and all-, ignore the negative feedback and able to make a name of her own.

Kudos Schumer.

As for the title of the book? I think it’s a title that only makes sense once you get to the end of the book. When I initially started, the title was off-putting and made me think “oh so funny, ‘the girl with the dragon-tattoo'” .
But after reading the final chapter it made me change my opinion and realize, “right on! what a fitting title.”

Ya feel?

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JoJo Moyes “After You”

After You definitely took longer to read than I would have preferred; it’s chick lit so it doesn’t require much attention.

This is the follow-up novel to Me Before You, and despite taking too long to read the book, I actually enjoyed it more than the first book.

The novel follows the life of Louisa Clark after losing Will Traynor. She struggles to move on after a part of Will’s past shows up at her door one night, pulling her life into another direction she is fighting to avoid.

I enjoyed this book because it teaches you to live your life, which is definitely important. Questions I always have are, “Why is it that I feel obligated to post this photo on Instagram? Is it to prove I have an active social life? Why can’t I enjoy the moment without posting it?”

With another birthday coming up in my own life, I’m learning I need to do things for myself. Yes it’s okay to do things for others – but if it’s not being returned, you need to learn how to let go.

“You don’t ask, you don’t get.”

My review of JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You..

Follow my reading adventures over on Goodreads.

Sherlock Series 4 Ep 2: The Lying Detective

Hey my scruffy socially-inept love who has turned back to drugs. This was the darkest episode of Sherlock yet. Sherlock subdues himself with heroin to cope with the aftermath that was the opening. John is no longer talking to Sherlock, while Sherlock is having difficulty determining what is in fact reality. A mind-boggling case turns up after a woman visits Sherlock saying her father is planning on murdering someone.

That father figure is Mr. Culverton Smith. Sherlock is determined to expose Smith’s dark secret. Sherlock labels him as a serial killer, Smith uses this as a strategic marketing for a brand of cereal, he is indeed the “cereal killer.”

Brilliant writing, and the last few moments will have you on-edge. Brilliant!

Sherlock Series 4 Ep 1: The Six Thatchers

My socially inept love is back with series four. Sherlock “The Six Thatchers” premiered yesterday, and yes, you are quite right. It was a strong opening that provides a rollercoaster of emotions. In one moment you are smiling like a bloody idiot because your boys Cumberbatch and Freeman are back on screen together, and then you are crying as the writers rip any happiness away. Phew. No, not bitter at that ending of an episode.

“The Six Thatchers” presents us with the promise that in some way, Moriarty is back. Sherlock realizes that to draw Moriarty’s “game” to him, he must keep himself busy with other cases. Sherlock ensues in a frenzy of solving as many cases as he can, all while joining the hashtag world. #221bisback

Then brings us the case of the “Six Thatchers.” A pattern of smashed Margaret Thatcher head sculptures begins, which sparks the interest of Baker Street. Who is smashing these head busts, and what is the purpose? Is there any link to Moriarty? Well my dear, bring that episode online and get to watching.

Miss me?

Review of “La La Land”

Oh. What a lovely day to spend Christmas Day watching La La Land in theatres with the whole family. VIP of course.

La La Land is a refreshing break from most content that is currently available. Most content – it would seem – is heavily focused on sex, fight scenes, etc. Directors want to “wow” us, and think more money on big visual scenes will do the trick.

Instead, La La Land returns to an innocence of movie age where the writing plays a main role, and the on-screen chemistry will be the main feature. Both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great on-screen chemistry, and are able to tell a beautiful story of two drawn to helping the other achieve their deepest dreams.

Honestly, there isn’t much more to write. It’s a musical that won’t disappoint you. It provides you with all the feels, and will have you smiling like a bloody idiot in the theatre.

“Here’s to the ones who dream / Foolish, as they may seem / Here’s to the hearts that ache / Here’s to the mess we make”

[2016] reflection

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Formal Introductions

Last year I wrote “[2015] reflection,” so in effort to make this a tradition, here’s my review of 2016. To add to the reading, play this in the background. It’s my top ten songs of 2016.

Now, by looking at all the memes of 2016 – it appears that 2016 was a crazy ride for everyone. We lost many iconic musicians, there were numerous questionable political events (notoriously Brexit & Trump), the scandals, etc. But let’s not focus on the scary portion of 2016. That’s not what a reflection is supposed to achieve. No. My reflection is to remind me the growth I have accomplished over the year and to bring positivity.

A Taste for Adventure
Ottawa

I started the year off right by overcoming my fear of driving, by deciding to make my first real long-distance drive to Ottawa. May not seem to be much, but for a first-time car owner, a long-distance drive is a huge accomplishment. So with ten+ hours of driving in the snow, this helped elevate my confidence with driving. Now the QEW & 427 commute is a piece of cake.

Ottawa was a great decision to ring in the New Year surrounded by the good ‘ol Marshall crew.

Yukon

From long-distance driving transitions to first-time-flying-by-yourself-all-the-way-up-North trip. I would like to thank AB for allowing me to visit her in The Yukon in May. I came back with a new sense of purpose and other clichés. But seriously, Yukon has given me that much-needed push to add more adventures to my life. The Yukon is so beautiful that I encourage all to visit this magnificent place at some point in your lifetime. I miss being surrounded by mountains. For my full telling of the Yukon, continue reading here.

Cuba

The next step? We go from flying within Canada to flying outside of Canada sans-parents for the first time. And to Cuba! Cuba was just the escape I needed in November. And it will forever be memorable, as of course I went when Fidel Castro passed away. It’s one thing to go for the all-inclusive, but it’s also important to leave your resort bubble. Havana is a beautiful city with so much culture imbedded. I am glad we were still able to visit Revolution Square the day before Castro’s ashes were brought for mourning. It’s one place I would definitely visit again.

Concerts & Festivals

Compared to last year, Miss Victoria Chiasson went to the most amount of concerts and festivals. Although Mumford & Sons did not make the list because TicketMaster did not come through, I still went to four other great musicians (and probably for the price of one Mumford & Sons ticket).

Experiences, my dear reader, is what you need to focus on. Here’s a sum of what added value to my 2016:

  • Winter BrewFest
  • TSwift Dance Party
  • Drake & Rihanna Dance Party
  • Bread n’ Honey Festival
  • KONGOS @ Velvet Underground
  • BeerFest
  • Cider Festival at Yonge-Dundas Square
  • Dan Mangan @ Union Station
  • TURF
  • Nuit Blanche (first time going!)
  • Adele Concert
  • July Talk Concert
  • Christmas Market at Distillery District (first time for this as well!)
Reading

Came short on my reading challenge this year, as I am still learning to balance work and life. I am still pleased that I managed to read 12 books. Also by looking at my stats, my books equaled 4043 pages, which I’m happy with. My top books of 2016 you should get around to are: Missing, Presumed and A Year of Marvelous Ways. Both well written with life lessons that stick around.

Follow my life of reading over on goodreads.

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Conclusions & Other Rambles

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I did not set a resolution for 2016 when I wrote my first reflection. Rather, I went into the year with a general attitude. I hoped that 2016 would be a year of transformation. I think from this general reflection, that yes. I have grown as an individual by focusing on experiences and creating memories. I have gained confidence in some places, but I know that I still have work on gaining confidence in other areas.

2017 will be the year of no excuses. No excuses to making things happen, achieving dreams, and moving forward. No excuses for those around you and for yourself.

Dear 2017. I’m ready. Bring it on.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

20160820_171904Finally made enough time to finish this book! It was quite enjoyable, albeit makes you wish it was an actual novel and not a performance script.

From the first 30 pages I felt for Albus Potter, and could relate to his character. I thought they did a good job with the storyline, and it does have some twists to keep you guessing.

Really, the only critique is that it’s a performance script, so most of the writing is cheesy. I feel that this is more suitable to see on stage, so that it provides the reader with the intended effect.

Maybe, just maybe, J.K. Rowling will make it into a full-fledged novel?

Follow my love of reading over at GoodReads.