Photos on my fridge: Grandma and Grandpa, circa 1973

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There are so many things I love about this photo of Grandma and Grandpa. Mom’s written on the back that it was taken circa 1973, so a good 11 years before I was born.

First, the obvious. Grandpa’s wearing a plaid jacket, teal pants and wide magenta tie. All at the same time. We all know I like to wear a loud shirt on the regular, but he sure took things to another level.
By contrast, Grandma. She’s wearing head-to-toe black (or navy?). And she is covered. up. Those long sleeves! That high neckline! I guess she enjoyed leaving things to the imagination.

These two make quite the pair, with his loud party ensemble, and her (I have to say it) funeral wear.

But I’m going to go ahead and argue this must’ve been a phase, or perhaps the style at the time. Cause nowadays, Grandma wears colour. This past Christmas she wore red, but I can vouch she also has greens, blues and purples in her wardrobe.

I’m living for her hair in this picture, and that one strand that’s dropped down over her forehead. Wish I could tell what that brooch is she’s wearing.

If this photo was taken at their house in Weston, then that wallpaper was gone before I was born or old enough to know it existed. But that record player might just be the one I loved listening to Sesame Street and Sharon, Lois and Bram records on.

I found this photo when I was digging through a box at my parents’ house years ago, and it’s been hanging on my fridge ever since. It’s hard not to smile when I stop and look at it

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Totes love: Troye Sivan

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Last weekend this song called “Youth” by Troye Sivan played on whatever Apple Music pop playlist I was listening to. And I liked it. I liked it a lot.

A subsequent Google search revealed Troye Sivan is a 20-year-old Australian YouTuber/singer. Which means I’m almost certainly too old to be listening to him, because the world of YouTube stars is one I’ve resigned myself to never catching onto, plus I can’t even figure out by his Wikipedia page if he was a singer or a YouTuber first. (I guess in 2016 that’s the type of question that doesn’t matter).

On the other hand, I did just spend the holidays teaching anyone who would pay attention the three moves to Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” dance video I was able to kind of learn; and I’m still a little heartbroken that none of my friends seem to get the greatness that is Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself.”

So actually, maybe this Troye Sivan love makes sense.

I spent the whole weekend, and most of this week listening to his album “Blue Neighbourhood” on repeat.

He sings about relationships — lust more than love — growing up, and other matters of importance to a 20-year-old.

And he does so with a sense of whimsy and wonder I’m not sure I ever felt about most things.

(I try not to ask myself it’s too late, fully aware the song that got me hooked is called “Youth” and mine is likely escaping me.)

After dozens of plays, here are my top three tracks. Let’s see if you get hooked too.

Youth

The gateway drug. When he sings “My youth is yours,” I wonder “Who did I give mine to?”

Lost Boy

My number one fave song from this album. After listening to it ad nauseum, thinking the lyrics were “I’m just a lost boy ready to be found,” I discovered I had the meaning completely wrong. It’s actually “not ready to be found.” Not sure which I relate to more.

Suburbia

Troye sings of his hometown, looking back at it in a dreamy fog. I picture the things he sings about in my own hometown, but have a feeling we had much different suburban experiences.

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My first Trampoline Hall experience

Trampoline Hall at the Garrison, Toronto

In the interest of becoming a person with interests, I agreed to go to Trampoline Hall last week when Janice invited me, even though I didn’t quite understand what Trampoline Hall was.

What I did know was it was taking place at The Garrison, a mere six minute walk from my apartment, and would get me out of the house on a cold winter weeknight.

When I arrived to a packed venue, I quickly realized this monthly ticket is in high demand. And for good reason.

As host Misha Glouberman explained at the outset, Trampoline Hall is a monthly lecture series in which three speakers discuss any topic, as long as they’re not a professional expert in it. Their speeches are followed by an audience Q&A, which hopefully involves the audience asking questions, and not making statements to show off their own perceived knowledge on a topic (we’ve all been witness to these types of Q&As, right?).

Of course I only have my one experience to go on, but on this night the speakers impressed with their candor and humour, on three completely different topics…

Speaker one got me hooked right away, as she discussed the movie The Last Unicorn (which I’m not sure I’d ever heard of before, but now feel the need to watch). She discussed her relationship with the movie as a child, and how that changed over time, especially given the version she watched all those years ago was apparently cut off before the end. She discussed parallels between that movie, and her own journey through relationships later in life, and her eventual transition from man to woman. It was an honest, captivating and funny talk.

Speaker two discussed laughter, and what makes us do it. Do we laugh because something’s actually funny, or is it more out of obligation, discomfort or habit? And is it socially acceptable to actively not laugh, when you think something isn’t funny? She raised several interesting questions, though the highlight was her introductory anecdote about where her dad wants his ashes scattered when he dies.

Speaker three spoke about Graves’ disease, which he’s been living with in recent years, after kicking drug addiction. He discussed how it’s effected his day to day life and his appearance, and how he’s more self conscious of the latter than people may realize. As a generally self conscious person, that last part resonated.

Full disclosure: I was feeling like shit on the night of this event, and initially wasn’t sure I’d make it beyond the first speaker. But she was so good, I knew I couldn’t just get up and leave. I wanted to hear more.

As I listened to these completely different people discuss completely different topics, it of course made me wonder what I’d speak about at such an event. Sure, there’s many things I can speak about at length — Full House, potato chips, Kelly Clarkson. But what would my point be in discussing any of those things?

(Also, does working for an entertainment news show make me a “professional” expert in pop culture now? lolol).

Almost a week later, I’m still not sure what I’d discuss, and that’s okay. While I figure it out, I’d love to go back to Trampoline Hall and hear more people discuss topics they’re passionate about.

No better way to discover new interests, than to hear people talk about theirs, right?

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I saw the sign(s of Las Vegas)

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I can’t say I was all that interested in gambling in Vegas. That’s not why I traveled there.

(Though when I won $35 on a Friends-branded slot machine, which would cover the majority of my $45 Britney Spears tshirt, I was pretty pumped).

When picking the destination for our November excursion, Vanessa and I basically figured Vegas is somewhere we’d want to visit at least once in our lives. Why not now?

And it was certainly an experience.

People grazing every which way, many seemingly aimless. On their way to more eating, drinking, shopping or gambling, one would assume, based on the activities available on the strip.

It was a great place for people watching for sure. But I was more interested in what you saw when you looked up.

Flashing lights, neon signs, and replicas of landmarks from other parts of the world dominate the sky, kind of like a more spread-out version of Times Square. But tackier.

The tacky factor wasn’t exactly a surprise, I suppose. In fact, from the moment we stepped onto the strip, I thought “This is exactly how it seems on TV and in movies.”

Again, tacky.

So while this may not be anything new to anyone at all familiar with Vegas, here’s a look at what caught my eye in a sky filled with competing lights and buzz.

The strip
Casinos competing for attention, pop icons catching your gaze and more!

The old strip
I loved the old strip, because it felt like an episode of Roseanne. A little worse for wear, but full of character. I appreciated the grittiness compared to the shininess of the new strip.

The Neon Museum
A neon boneyard, containing iconic signage from Vegas’ past, I could’ve explored this area forever. Unfortunately you’re limited to a one hour guided tour.

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To 2016 and bringing blogging back

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New Year’s Eve got glittery.

“I miss reading your sass on the internet,” my dear friend Devon recently told me, after I had spouted something off in my inevitably sarcastic tone.

It’s true, I haven’t blogged on the regular in a long while, though the occasional inspiration still strikes.

Most recently, my online creativity has gone into my day job, where I write about Ben Affleck gas station sightings, Justin Bieber’s penis and other such matters of importance. (And seriously, as you can imagine, I love it!)

Still, I must have things to write and say beyond my work. Right?

To prove it, I’ve decided my first of several new year’s resolutions is to get back to this here website, and commit to publishing one post a week.

That didn’t used to be a challenge. I used to write and publish multiple posts daily! So this commitment should be a cinch, right?

We’re about to find out. We’ll also discover exactly what form these posts will take. Some are bound to be quick picture posts, or shares of my new favourite song (Currently: Hands to Myself by Selena Gomez).

But I also have some funny stories I’d like to get down in writing before the details in my head shift too much.

So this should be fun!

What else do I have planned for the year? Here’s an idea.

1. Go to the AGO once a month
I just got a membership, and it would be stupid not to use it!

2. Cook one new recipe a month
I did this resolution two years in a row, then in 2015 decided not to hold myself to such stringent guidelines. But I do miss the challenge, and the tasty new recipes.

3. Travel more
2015 was a limited travel year for me, with quick jaunts to Detroit and Vegas. In 2016 I’ll go further for longer, to discover more, and for the sanity that a break from works brings.

4. Re-watch all seasons of Parenthood
Because I miss the laughs and tears the Bravermans bring.

5. Take a class, any class
This is likely the resolution I stand to benefit most from, and is also the least likely to be followed through.

Because trying new things is scary. And it’s easier to hide.

But it’s in writing now, so if I fail completely I’ll at least have to own up to it one year from now when I’m writing my 2017 resolutions.

Happy 2016, friends!

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