The view from Vegas through Arizona (and back)

Last week Vanessa and I went to Vegas for the first time, and it was everything TV and movies promised it would be — full of bright lights, a fake Eiffel tower, and people wandering aimlessly toward endless drinking and/or gambling.

But more about that later.

Between Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. and Monday at 5 p.m., we managed to road trip it to both the Grand Canyon and Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona.

It was majestic and beautiful and awe-inspiring as fuck. But again, more about that later.

What we weren’t quite expecting was how remarkable the drive between destinations would be. Within 20 minutes of leaving artificial Vegas behind, I was snapping pics of mountains, then later forestry, then later desert. There was both sun and snow. If we could’ve effectively captured all the stars we saw at night, I would’ve photographed that too.

As we wound down the road from Vegas, through Arizona, and through Utah on the way back, we exclaimed things like “Oh my god!” “Where are we?!” “What is this?!” “Holy shit!” “This is crazy!”

At times it seemed hard to believe were in the United States and not some far off yet to be discovered land.

Needless to say, our brief expedition outside the city wasn’t just a nice juxtaposition to the shiny fakeness of Vegas, but a departure from the nature we’re used to seeing in Canada as well.

Here’s a selection of what we experienced looking out from our rental car.

How dreamy are those blue skies?!

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TV life after Friends

In the 11 years since Friends aired its last episode, Matthew Perry has attempted to helm four new series. That’s double the number any of his Central Perk cohorts have starred in. His latest, The Odd Couple, just might stick for more than one season.

That aside, this has been a big year for the Friends on TV. Courteney Cox’s Cougar Town just aired its last episode after six seasons on two networks, Lisa Kudrow’s The Comeback came back for a second season years after the first, and David Schwimmer has joined his first post-Friends TV project set to air later this year.

With Matt LeBlanc’s Episodes still pushing forward, Jennifer Aniston remains the lone Friend who hasn’t returned to series regular television (though she has appeared in guest spots on Dirt, 30 Rock and Cougar Town).

Here I’ve taken the liberty of creating a visual look at the Friends’ lives on TV post-Friends. If these trends continue, it’s safe to say they’ll still be there for us on the tube for years to come.


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3 songs I love on Kelly Clarkson’s Piece by Piece

Kelly Clarkson

The voice of a generation Kelly Clarkson released her new album Piece by Piece earlier this month, so naturally it’s the only thing I’ve been listening to. On repeat. All day. Every day.

The album as a whole has a really fun 80s pop feel. There’s some nice diversity on it too, with certain tracks veering toward electronic, dance, soul and R&B.

Want a little taste? Here’s my current top three from Piece by Piece.

Dance With Me

Promptly following my iTunes download of the new album, I scanned the track list and skipped right to this song. The title alone tipped me off that I just might love it — and I do!

This song is plain and simple dance pop fun. Full disclosure: I’ve already had a few (really fun!) kitchen dance parties to this tune.

In the Blue
This gem’s available as part of the deluxe edition, proving paying a couple extra bucks for more Kelly is totally worth it. I love that it’s mellower than some of Kelly’s well-known shouty hits. That soft, smooth sound of her voice as she hits such a high register in the chorus is just gorgeous.

(I sadly can’t find a decent embeddable version of this song, so just trust me and go buy it, mmkay?)


Penned by Sia, Invincible shows off Kelly’s pipes with a more raw, emotional feel than some of her poppier songs. The music’s also a bit more pared down, again emphasizing her voice as the star of the show. In true Kelly form, the message here is one of empowerment. This is sure to be her biggest single from Piece by Piece, and I predict a chart-topping hit.

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Are you following Ashley Parker Angel on Instagram?

Ashley Parker Angel almost naked on Instagram

Despite ample peer pressure, I continue to feel no desire to post selfies and food photos on Instagram. I will admit, however, I’ve regularly started checking the social network to take in the selfies and food photos of friends and famous people.

Oh, also I’m on there for the hot dudes.

Things can get seriously steamy on Instagram if you’re following the right people. Anyone who walks up behind me at work could be in for quite the eyeful if I”m checking on my desktop.

One of my favourite hot dudes of Instagram is none other than Ashley Parker Angel. Yes, that Ashley Angel. The one who auditioned for a boy band on reality TV, eventually becoming the prettiest member of O-Town.

You can make fun, but dude has a hot bod and no shame showing it off.  And even though he isn’t my usual type, I’m super cool with his Instagram exhibitionism. I cannot argue with any of this:

Sure, we could question why he so regularly feels the urge to post these pics. Is he baiting and fishing for likes from horny followers? 

Does it even really matter? I would argue no, no it doesn’t. I’m way more interested in who has the pleasure of photographing him at some of these angles.

These days it seems no coincidence one of Angel’s biggest hits as a member of O-Town was entitled Liquid Dreams…

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Parenthood cast tweets their farewells

Parenthood cast poses during the finale episode

Parenthood ended its six season run on Thursday, and it’s all I’ve been able to think, feel or tweet about since.

The finale was nothing less of absolute perfection. It’s no surprise. For six seasons Jason Katims and the Braverman clan have been delivering poignant, charming and emotional relationship-based stories that tug on threads many of us relate to from our own family experiences.

So for the record, I cried no less than four times during Parenthood’s final hour on the air. That includes flat-out bawling at one point and crying out “Noooooooooo!

Since then, I’ve taken comfort in listening to Sara Watkins’ You and Me on repeat. (It’s the song that plays over the uplifting wedding photo shoot montage).

I’ve also taken solace in the fact that the Parenthood cast and crew also really felt like they were saying goodbye to a family, as evidenced by their social media activity the night of the finale, and since.

Here’s some of my fave behind-the-scenes moments, funny pics, and heartwarming messages to fans the cast have left us with.

Stay forever young, Team Braverman.

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