Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Wedding Day! Love Day! So Here's 10 Things I Love!!

Anybody else get up early this morning to watch the Royal Wedding?!

*sigh* I sooo wish I was a princess. It was absolutely stunning. I loved every minute of it. I could gush about it all day, but instead, I'm going to celebrate William & Kate's love by sharing with you 10 Things that I Love!

A few days ago, Ashley at The Johnstons tagged me in this post, so of course I'm up to the challenge!

1. My family - Not surprisingly, this is number 1 for many of us! I honestly don’t know what I’d do without them – from my parents, to my siblings, right through to my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I’m a pretty lucky kid to come from such a great family tree. I’ve talked so much these past months about the dark times both sides of my family have gone through this year; I’m so proud of all of them for sticking together through those dark days, and being there for one another. We’ve lost some special people – and if there’s anything good to come of that, it’s that I think we’re now stronger, tighter, and take every opportunity to show our love for one another. Family is everything.

Schock Family cousins at Paula & Jory's Wedding

With my sister Kara and brother Luke

A rare Young family cousin photo, last Canada Day

My niece Danica and nephew Caden

2. My friends – Again – where would we be without friends? They’re always there for me when I need them – there to make me smile, or to listen to me when I need to talk, for dinner dates, movie nights, drinking games, craft nights, and book clubs. We have so much fun together! They all mean so much to me!

A bunch of us at last year's golf tourney

Sara's Bachelorette September 2009

Quyon Flyer buddies in Michigan last summer, playing Flip Cup

With my "Vault" Girls on St. Paddy's Day 2008

3. My bed – Ever since I got my queen-sized bed about two years ago, I’ve been in love with it. So big and comfy! After sharing a double with my sister in my younger years, then cramped up in a day bed after that, this bed is literally like being in the lap of luxury!

4. My iPod – Anyone remember when my iPod was stolen a few years ago? I had the sads. Big time. I don’t think I could pick one song as my all-time favourite, but with my iPod around, I don’t have to.

5. Food – That’s right. Food, in general. I love it. I could never, ever give it up. It’s why I’ll probably always be a fat girl. The quickest way to my heart is through spaghetti, pizza, Chinese Food, McDonalds, poutine, chips & dip, or cheeseburgers. Oh, and did I forget to mention that my weakness is JUNK food?

6. This laptop that I’m typing on – J’adore. Don’t know what I ever did before I bought it. It makes being a blogger SO much easier!

7. My guitar – It’s nothing special, but it’s special to me. It was my Aunt Marion’s, and she passed it on to me when I expressed an interest in learning to play. My good ol’ Yamaha. Someday I hope to get a new one – a really nice one – but Aunt Marion’s will always be my favourite!

8. Friends – No, I’m not putting my friends again – the TV show! I own all 10 seasons on DVD, and I keep them in constant rotation. I wish that show had lasted forever.

9. Movie theatres & Popcorn – I would go every night if I could afford it. I would see every movie ever made in theatres. I love it there. And I love movie theatre popcorn. There’s nothing quite like it.

10. Wade Redden – You didn’t really think I could put together a list of things I love and not include him, did you? He’s a lot harder to keep track of now that he’s no longer with the Sens – or in the NHL – but he’ll always be #6 in my program...and #1 in my heart.

So now I'm supposed to tag 10 bloggy friends, but I think many of you have already done this - if you haven't...TAG! You're IT! :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Play-by-Play of Survivor, Idol, and Hockey

Alrighty. We missed the Survivor/Idol Mash-Up last week because I didn’t get to watch them until I Youtube’d them over the weekend. Basically, what we missed was Phillip unjustifiably playing the race card on Survivor and seeing Julie sent home, and I don’t remember what the theme was on Idol, but Stefano looked super-hot and was sent home anyways...Booooo.

Please note – I might miss some of both shows this week, as I’ll be checking in on the Habs game whenever possible. And yes, I will be cheering for the Bruins.

Here’s my take on this week’s Survivor:

I feel sorry for Steve. Not just because he’s my guy in Stacy’s pool. I feel sorry for him because last week Phillip painted him a racist, and I truly don’t believe Steve was prejudiced towards Phil at all. He called him “crazy”. Phillip thinks it’s because of the colour of his skin. Uh. No, Phil. It’s because you are, quite literally, cuh-ray-zayyyyyy.

Phillip’s Cherokee great-uncle was back with a wonderful premonition – leading him to the shorts that Julie hid on him last week. Thank GOD. That was not just a horrible joke to play on him, but on all of us. The less we see of Phil’s pink undies, the better.

Steve! Quit calling Phillip crazy! You big friggin’ racist!!!

Remember that Redemption Island Superstar Matt? The one who rolled through the first round of duels and got back in the game only to get voted right back out again? He’s falling apart. He’s in tears. He’s crumbling. He’s worrying his Redemption Island cohorts Mike & Julie. Seems like the only thing the guy has left is his faith. Is he really talking about quitting...?

The duel this week is Survivor Shuffleboard. Matt seems more concerned with shooting dirty looks at Andrea than winning. After a weak start, he stormed back and got his 3pucks in the end zone, securing his spot on the Island for one more week. Mike was able to do it too, and they said good-bye to Julie, who joins the jury.

Around this time, it started thundering & lightning at my place, and I began to worry I was going to get electrocuted by my laptop.

Check-in on the hockey game – tied 2-2!!

I know I say this every week...But oh my sweet Lord, Grant is HOTT. Yep. Two T’s.

Challenge time! And I looove the log roll game! Always a good time. Immunity, milk, chocolate cake, for the winner, and a twist for the whole tribe to be revealed at TC. First round: Grant, Ashley, Ralph, and Phillip move on. Second round: Grant and Ralph move on. Final round: Grant ditches the shoes and after an intense showdown, he puts Ralph out of the game, and wins all the goodies. He stays loyal and asks Rob & Andrea to join him for 2 minutes in cake heaven. By the time they’re done, they literally look like a baby on it's first birthday – cake from ear to ear.

The twist is causing havoc at camp, as Rob is strategizing based on possible scenarios of what the twist is, while Steve and Ralph are plotting to vote Rob out and sway some of his tribe to join them. But of course, Rob is the godfather of this game and his girls reported to him what Steve & Ralph were planning. Not gonna fly with ol’ Boston Rob!

Rob’s past is coming back up, courtesy of Steve, in an attempt to haunt him – but all that comes of it is that he really loves Amber, his wife, who actually beat him to win the All-Stars season. Awwww.

It’s time to vote, and despite Steve’s best efforts to sway the old Ometepe tribe, they band together to vote Ralph off to Redemption Island. So long, Ralphie.

What’s up with the TWIST?! Ahhhhhhh! Another challenge and vote, RIGHT NOW!! Oops. I mean, after the commercial break...

Check-in on the hockey game – After 40 minutes, still tied at 2!

...aaaand we’re BACK! It’s a memory game. Jeff shows the cards with symbols on them in a series, and they have to show them back to him in the order he asks for them. Rob is, of course, Mr. Super Puzzle Dude, and he takes Immunity. Straight to the vote – no time to chit-chat – and the old Ometepe tribe stay true to one another as the last Zap Steve is voted off to Redemption Island, where a gang is really starting to gather for the next duel. Can you call it a duel when four people are going up against each other? We’ll ponder that further next week...

Idol time!

Only one old man can pull off a sparkly silver outfit. And that man is........

Steven Tyler, of course.

The theme this week is songs from the Carol King songbook. I’m sorry but is Carol King really well-known enough to base a whole theme on? I could be sounding extremely musically ignorant, but I didn’t even think I knew her until they played the Carol King montage. Can’t we just have an Elvis week instead?

Ryan announces that the Idols will not only be doing their standard solo performances, they’ll also be doing duets.

Jacob’s solo is up first. Looks like he borrowed a jacket from Don Cherry. And he’s pulling out the Carleton-from-Fresh-Prince-of-Bel-Air dance moves. Besides all that, though, I enjoyed the performance. The judges liked to hear him scat and see him shake his tail feathers. A fun way to kick off the show!

Check-in – still tied at 2...

Lauren’s working on hitting the high notes and gets a visit from Miley Cyrus during her mentor session. Whoopi doo. Who is this dude sitting on the stage? He doesn’t play an instrument or back-up sing or anything. Is he a prop or something? Very strange. Her singing was great, as usual, but the weird guy on the stage that she was leaning against and fawning over distracted me. Seriously, did I miss something? Who IS he?

Ryan talks to him. Apparently he was just a prop after all.

Check-in – 3-2 Boston with the go-ahead goal from our former beloved Sen, Chris Kelly! Yayyyy!!

Duet time! Casey & Haley team up with “I Feel the Earth Move”. Their voices blend very well and they sound great together. If they decided to go on the road as a duo, they could do very well for themselves...

5 minutes to go in the hockey game -

Ahhhhhh! The POWER just went out! Thank God for battery back up on this lap top or I’d be FREAKIN’ in the dark!

OK. Maybe I’m freaking by the glow of my laptop...

Power comes back on and scares the bejeezus out of me. Phewf.

Scotty’s next, and he’s slowing things down with his Carol King song choice. It’s quite beautiful, and he’s keeping the head-swivel to a minimum, which I like. This is definitely one of my fave Scotty performances. He hit all the right notes for me.

Gah! Tied 3-all! OT...?

Back to Idol for awhile. It’s James Durbin’s turn, and I love that he’s doing “Will You Still Love me Tomorrow.” How cool is that? The start, with him in shadow and singing acapella, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. James completely stole my heart tonight. I hope he wins.

Lauren & Scotty are next to duet it up with “Up on the Roof”. Um. Okay, maybe they should be doing American Duos? They complemented each other so well! This was excellent. Lady Antebellum-esque.

Still tied up and in OT...


Casey’s up for his solo performance, and his going the way of the blues singer, which really isn’t my cup of tea. It’s definitely up his alley though. He’s great at what he does, but I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy that album.

Our last solo of the night is Haley. She survived a technical glitch at the start and went on to do a terrific job – her song allowed her to throw in her growls, slow it down, bring it back up tempo again – what a great showcase of Haley’s talents!

One more duet, and it’s...Jacob and James? A little odd? Could I just get another James solo show? No? Apparently they thought it was a little weird themselves too. But they seem to have fun together, so that’s awesome. Ummm...I can see James’ package (pronounced in a French accent) through those white pants...Maybe not the best wardrobe choice? I couldn’t even pay attention to the performance I was so distracted by it.

I don’t even know who to send home anymore. But definitely not James.

Or his package.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just couldn't help it...Giving in to "What I'm Loving Wednesday"!!

So many of you have been taking part in "What I'm Loving Wednesday", and I realized that today, all the things I wanted to blog about are things that I am here it is!

  • Glee...more specifically, the FLASH MOB scene from last night's episode!! When Puck & Kurt persuaded Rachel to the mall to "talk" to her about her decision to get a nose job, I knew we were in for a treat! I love flash mobs. I Youtube them all the time. So yes, I was a big fan of the Glee version last night! (Also, quite enjoyed it when the Warblers showed up on the school steps to bid farewell to Kurt - not really a "flash mob", per se, but an unexpected public performance nonetheless... I would LOVE to be somewhere when everyone around me bursts into song!)

  • Sticking with Glee, I loved the theme of last night's episode - "Born This Way", and more importantly, embracing the things we hate most about ourselves. Recently, local charities and foundations have been trying to spread awareness about mental health, especially with the DIFD - Do It For Daron Campaign, which I blogged about here. Glee tackled the issue last night by putting the spotlight on Emma and her battle with OCD. The more we hear about this and see it on our favourite TV shows, the closer we'll come to erasing the stigma that goes along with mental health issues. Good job, Glee!!

  • You would think if I was going to stay up past my bedtime, it would've been to watch the Canucks game. But no. No, I stayed up til 11 watching the premiere episdoe of "The Voice"...and I loooooved it!! I'm hooked! I have an insta-crush on Adam Levine.

  • Speaking of "The Voice"...I hear Lukas Rossi, who I once-upon-a-time fell in love with on "Rockstar" is going to be a contestant. Yayyyy!!!

  • Oh, and that Canucks game I didn't watch? Made me quite happy to hear they won their Game 7 cliffhanger over the defending Stanley Cup Champs in OT. Woo-Hoo!!! (For those of you wondering why I'm not doing a happy dance over the Habs win - sorry, just can't cheer for them!!)

That's what I'm loving this Wednesday :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Single Girl Files: It Seems to Me That I Sure Need a Man Around Here

You need a man around here -
You can't do it all by yourself.
To me it's painfully clear
That you could use a little help -
Someone to kill the spiders,
Change the channel and drink the beer.
Seems to me that you sure need
A man around here.

Oh, Brad Paisley. You have no idea.

You probably won't believe me based on these whiny, desperate Single Girl Files posts that I've been writing, but swear to God, most of the time I don't mind being single. Most of the time I like being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and that I don't have to fit a guy's schedule into my own.

As I mentioned recently on the blog, I haven't yet come across a guy who was interested in me that I was willing to give up time with my own family and friends for.

I like my freedom. I like doing my own thing.

But, of course, there are times when I really, really wish I had a guy around. And that desire usually burbles up when I need something done around my house.

I rent, so in a lot of cases, I can call up the landlord (or, in my case, the "group of landlords") to see to the lake of water in my basement or the broken garage door or the infestation of bats that once lived in our attic and walls.

But there are times when the job seems too small to bother them, yet not something I personally know how to fix. My dad used to be the one that I would call, but due to health problems over the past few years, he's unable to be my handyman like he used to.

I know what you're thinking. Women can do anything men can, right? How dare I set back the women's rights movement and feminism with this weak-ass whiny-girl blog post?

But dudes. I don't fix things. And I don't have one of those resourceful brains that immediately starts coming up with solutions to problems like leaky taps or clogged drains or even how and where to hang a picture.

These are the times when I start to wish I had a man around here.

And after a recent chat with a friend of mine (who happens to be a guy), I have even less hope of finding one of them to do the manly jobs around my place.

Here, almost verbatim, is how the conversation went:

Me: I wish you'd been here this morning, I needed your help.

Him: Well, if I'd been here this morning, that would've meant I'd have had to spend the night, and that's not a good thing for either of us.

(Oh, did I mention, he thinks he's pretty funny?)

Me: *sigh* No, no it's not. But that's not what I meant. This morning, my bedroom door literally fell off it's hinges. Right in my hands.

Him: Huh?

Me: The little pin thingies that hold it to the hinges worked their way out and the door literally fell off in my hands. I needed a man.

Him: You don't need a man. You need a hammer.

Me: No. I need a man.

Him: Well, Jill, I think you'd have better luck finding a hammer than a man.

Seriously. That's what he said. That I would have better lucking finding a hammer than a man to fix my door for me.

What the F?!? Am I that repulsive??

Now, after his laughter and my incredulous shrieks of indignation died down, he did say sorry, that he didn't mean it that way - but that it literally would be easier, and quicker, to go and buy a hammer and learn to do these little jobs myself than to go through the process of trying to find myself a boyfriend.

Wouldn't it be nice if I could just go to a store and pick out a man instead?

I need a man to help me when my bedroom door falls off in my hands. When there's a gigantic spider crawling on my ceiling. When the paper towel holder falls off the wall above the kitchen sink. When the back of the dehumidifier in the basement turns into a block of ice. To hang the pictures I bought five months ago but haven't hung up yet because I really do not own a hammer.

Or, if I take my friend's advice, I should just go buy that hammer. Maybe a whole tool kit.

Because until they start selling men at the hardware store, it sure as shit doesn't sound like there's any hope for me in the boyfriend department.

...And then, I ate chocolate.

So...A lot has happened since my last post.

  • I don't think I could call my first "link up" a success. For one thing, I apparently didn't do it right. Thanks to Mamarazzi who had to take time out of her busy day to email me - several times - to tell me how to properly link up! I'll try to do better next time!

  • The link up to We Want to Know Wednesday was an attempt to get more traffic to my blog and to try and find some new bloggy friends out there. For the most part, I was thrilled with the new comments and new faces I saw around here. However, I did get some hate mail. Okay, I don't know if it was just a coincidence or not, maybe it had nothing to do with the link up at all. But that same day, someone went all the way back to the post about my fish babies last summer and gave me a lecture on how to properly care for my fish, because apparently I'm not doing that right either. I was a little rattled by it. Really? Someone's getting that upset over a couple of fish?? (Who have managed to survive for over 8 months, and are doing quite fine, thank you very much.) The best advice I got when I reported my "hate mail" to my friends on Facebook was from my cousin who told me I should do a blog about how I cooked 'em up and ate 'em. Mmmm, yummy fishies...

  • Have I mentioned how much I love craft nights with the ladies? Thursday night my friend Sharon hosted a bookmark-creating workshop, and she even made a cake despite the fact that she had one arm in a cast. Impressive, no?!?

Lindsay showcasing Sharon's cake!

  • Caden and I finally got to see Hop - we hired Luke to drive us there, along with Amanda, to avoid any further crashes, and I think I can safely say we all had a great Good Friday at the movie theatre! The flick was quite funny, and Caden really enjoyed it. As I suspected, James Marsden in the lead human role of slacker-turned-Easter-Bunny Fred was a huge added bonus for this "big kid"!

  • Saturday I went to my very first auction! My friend Brenda's parents' have recently sold their farm, and on Saturday they held an auction to sell the farm equipment and household items they were no longer in need of. The first part of the day was cold and rainy, so I didn't venture out, but by the afternoon the rain had let up, and I headed back to the farm. As I drove down their road, I was amazed at the number of vehicles that lined the dirt road and filled the parking areas they'd set up in the fields. Apparently the weather didn't hold many people back! What a crowd! I think Brenda's mom & dad could call the day a huge success, and I, along with many of their family and friends who gathered to help out over the weekend, wish them well as they move to their new home today. :)

  • Sunday = BUNNY TIME. And it couldn't have come at a better time. I had another one of those Saturday nights when I realized I'm no longer twenty-two and I was getting more and more depressed by the second. What makes depression easier to handle? Chocolate. Bring on the Mini Eggs.

  • We had a great Easter dinner at my parents' place. These guys are also good at easing me out of depression. ;)

  • Sunday night, Caden slept over and I was really hoping we could watch a movie. Perhaps the movie the Bunny brought him - Tangled? Or how about renting Despicable Me? "No Jilly, I just want to watch hockey." And that's exactly what we did.

Also this weekend my family took a moment to remember and reminisce, as Saturday would have been my cousin Jeff's 29th birthday. I still feel an ache in my chest when I think that Jeff is no longer with us. His family and friends marked the day with a party in his honour, and his girlfriend Haleigh also launched the Jeff Draper Legacy Endowment Fund. If you wish to read more about it, please check out the Facebook group Haleigh started here.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with family & friends. Be sure to stay tuned this week to both this blog and the 101 Adventure Blog, as I have a few new ideas of The Single Girl Files, as well as some more stuff to cross off the ol' 101 List!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

We Want to Know Wednesday!!

It's another one of those busy days - too busy to write The Single Girl Files post that I'd planned on! Instead, I got an idea from a new blog I'm following, Vandy's The Testosterone Three And Me ... We Want to Know Wednesday!!

We Want to Know Wednesday Q&A is hosted by:

Impulsive Addict, Janette, Mamarazzi and Seriously Shawn (Also, all great blogs that I've just discovered, so go check 'em out!!)

The theme of the Q&A this week is Friendship:

{1} Do you make friends easily?
{2} What 3 qualities are a must in a friend?
{3} What makes you a good friend?
{4} Have you ever met a bloggy friend in real life?
Yes? tell us about your meet up. No? who would you love to meet?
{5} Who is your best friend? Tell us about them.

Here are my answers:

  1. Do you make friends easily? Strangely I've been lucky to have a great group of friends whom I've mostly known since my early Elementary or High School days, and I tend to cling to them. Any "new" friends I've made over the years were usually friends of other friends that I was introduced to. My whole first year of college, I barely got to know any of my classmates, because I stuck to the one person in the program that came from my high school. When she left after first year, I was forced to get to know the rest of them - all great people, and I was so glad that I got to know them, but it took me a long, long time to get there... Which is weird, because I'm generally a chatty, happy-go-lucky crazyperson!! (I know...that doesn't make sense. *sigh*)

  2. What 3 qualities are a must in a friend? 1- Great sense of humour (my friends and I all laugh so much when we're together!) 2- Good listener (I tend to ramble...about stupid things...I need them to be patient with me...) 3- Be there for me when I need them (again, super-fortunate in this department...I didn't realize how loyal and supportive my friends were until I went through several dark times this past year. Their presence in my life made those dark days a little easier to get through.)

  3. What makes a good friend? I think all of those qualities I listed above! My friends are fun, I look forward to being with them - in fact, that's how I rate my interest in a guy. "Would I rather be with him or hanging out with my friends?" So far, I haven't come across very many dudes who pass this test. Hence, the reason for The Single Girl Files... ;)

  4. *EDIT* Just realized I somehow missed an important word in this question: YOU - What makes YOU a good friend? ...haha... And to answer that, I'd like to think I'm loyal, I try to bring the laughs, and I've got my friends' backs. And I did just say I'd rather hang with them than with most guys I've met, so that's gotta count for somethin', right?!

  5. Have you ever met a bloggy friend in real life?
    Yes? tell us about your meet up. No? who would you love to meet?
    As I've mentioned before, it's only been in the past year that I've branched out into the blogosphere and started reading other blogs and getting to know other bloggers. For the first three years of my blog's existence, I lived in my own little bloggy bubble. And then, when I did start following others, it was mostly friends of mine that I already knew who had joined me in the blogging community! I haven't yet met any bloggy friends who I didn't already know, but if I ever got the chance, I'd love to meet Nicole at Life's a Beach , who has become a wonderful interweb friend, MODG because she's an absolute RIOT!! (but probably wouldn't want to be friends with me because I'm fat), and Lena at Mom2MemphisAndRuby - who I know lives in my area and I think we were in the same high school at the same time, but I don't think we've ever met! :)

  6. Who is your best friend? Tell us about them. That's just wayyyy too hard a question to answer, because I don't think I can single out just one of my friends as my "best" friend - they are all the BEST!! The best friend I've had for the longest time is Stacy - we go back to the days in diapers. We got to know each other at church, and she let me tag along behind her throughtout Pre-K while I cried every day for my mom or grandma to come pick me up. I have fond memories of sleeping over at her house when we were kids - the time I fell off her top bunk and broke her dresser when I landed on it (yeah. it happened. ouch.), the times we got up early to make breakfast for her family, all the macaroni-tomato soup-cheez whiz lunches, the time I trailed all over to all the local bars with her mom while she step-danced on St. Paddy's Day when I was still in Elementary School...I could go on and on. As adults, we are still good friends, and I can say she is a wonderful mother, ambitious and creative, and, like all my best friends, always there for me. :)

Stacy and her adorable daughter, Maddy

What about you - tell us about your friends!!

If you'd like to add your thoughts to We Want to Know Wednesday, click any of the links to the blogs I mentioned at the top, and LINK UP!!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jill, why did you waste your money on jeans with holes in them? BECAUSE I LIKE THEM, OKAY?!?!?

It’s not easy trying to be cool. Especially when you’re me.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved the holey jeans look. As a little kid, I distinctly remember wondering how much crawling around on my knees I would have to do before I wore down my favourite jeans enough to have holes in them.

It never happened. And somehow, I managed to stop myself from attacking them with a pair of scissors, but only because the fear of what my mother might do to me was just a little bit stronger than the desire for faded, ripped-up denim. I mean, I saw her chase my brother around the house with a fly swatter once because he ignored her orders to clean up his toys. The woman meant business.

I think the love of holey jeans faded a little during my high school days (the frayed cuffs were all the rage then), but in recent years, it’s returned with a vengeance. Allll the cool kids were sporting the distressed look, and holes were very much in style.

See? See the cool kids wearing their ripped jeans?

Unfortunately, I’m not one of the cool kids. I’m more of a super-sized kid. So finding a pair of jeans that fit comfortably (and without having to get them in men’s sizes) has always been more important than being trendy. If they fit, I buy ‘em.

And of course, they don’t make cool-looking fat-girl jeans. At least, not in Canada. Not that I was ever able to find, anyways.

But then, last summer, I was in Midland, Michigan with the Quyon Flyers for the Worlds. More importantly, we were staying at a Holiday Inn very close to a big, beautiful shopping centre. And on our last day in Midland, I finally got to hit up the mall.

As we strolled along, we came upon a store called Vintage, which specialized in women’s jeans. And they had very stylish distressed jeans of all makes, shapes, and sizes. I snagged a bunch of pairs in the size that I thought I was, only to discover in the changing room that I was swimming in them and had to send the sales girl for smaller sizes.

It was like a frikkin' dream come true.

I ended up selecting two pairs – one pair was dark blue with faded creases and small, strategically-placed rips and tears, to give them that “cowgirl chic” look; the other was a pair of low-rise, totally worn-out-looking, fake-bleach-splattered, full-of-holes, pair of jeans that were so comfy and exactly what I had always wanted.

I bought ‘em. Not a second thought.

Now, I fully expected my mom and dad to frown upon the jeans. My mom just doesn’t get the styles of today’s youth. Remember the wrinkly shirt fad? She ruined all of mine - and my brother’s - back in the day by ironing them. She’s an ironing fiend. Wrinkles are not allowed in her home. Those shirts didn’t stand a chance. And my dad wears the same two pairs of pants all week long. "Fashion" is no longer a word in his vocabulary.

So when I came home with these super-holey jeans, they were NOT impressed. My mom tsk-tsk’d me to no end. My dad’s eyes almost popped out of his head. “You mean, you paid MONEY for those?!”

Their reactions? I expected them.

But it’s the been the teasing of my friends and acquaintances that has had me confused. The first weekend I wore the super-holey super-comfy pair? They razzed me like crazy. And almost every time since, someone has commented on them.

Why would you buy such torn-up jeans, Jill? Did you splatter white paint on them on purpose? How much money did you actually pay for them?

One night, I changed into them after work and headed to the city to do some shopping. At Subway, I ran into a neighbour of my parents’, and after we chatted for a few minutes, I saw him giving me the once-over, checking out the jeans. He said, “Do you work for the government?” To which I replied, “No, I still work at Mountainview, I just came down to do some shopping after work.” And, looking quite relieved, he said, “Ahhhh, okay, I was wondering how were allowed to work in an office dressed like that.”

Nice. Thanks.

To all of you wondering what’s up with my holey, distressed jeans, the answer is simple: I really like them. They’re as comfy as PJ pants, and they’re my first pair of cool-girl jeans, and I love them. That is all.

Seriously. I wonder if the cool girls get asked these stupid questions?!?

Friday, April 15, 2011

It's a Beautiful Day!!

Yesterday's post was long. Too long. And quite likely boring for anyone who doesn't follow Survivor or American Idol. So today's is going to be a point-form celebration of all that is good in my world right now. :)

  • It's FRIDAY!! It's SUNNY!! What a gorgeous day out there!!

  • I ate Mae's for supper last night. Cheeseburger platter with poutine on the fries. I just about died and went to heaven. I don't even want to hear about the calories. I don't care. It was my first Mae's of the year, and it was deeeeelish.

  • Paul went home on American Idol last night! Woo hooooo!! Okay, I didn't hate Paul that much. But I liked him better when he had a guitar. He should have listened to me!! Strangely enough, just this week, I've developed a sort of dislike for two of the competitors that I previously enjoyed - Casey and Scotty. Casey does this mean, teeth-baring stare into the cameras that I'm not a fan of, and Scotty's head-swivel and awkward stage presence totally distracted me in what was an otherwise nice duet last night with Lauren Alaina doing Lady A's "American Honey". So I would have rather seen either of them go ahead of Paul. I have also suddenly developed an affection for Stefano, and I was glad he survived another week. He's just soooo cute!

  • My mom's birthday was this past week, and we're celebrating on Sunday...I love family birthday parties!

  • I literally fell in love with Jason Aldean after he performed on Idol last night with Kelly Clarkson. Yummm. I HEART cowboys!!

  • I can't wait to hang out with the girls on Saturday night at Kelsey's. It's been a long time since we all went out to eat together, and I'm so looking forward to it!

  • Did I mention how much I love the sunshine?!?

  • The Easter Bunny is coming SOOOOON!!

  • I'm so excited for upcoming trips to the movies with friends to see Water for Elephants and Something Borrowed. Can't wait to see both of these movies!!!

  • This week, I got my "inheritance" from my Grandma - and I was so thrilled with it. It's a beautiful quilt that she had made and given to my Aunt Marion's in-laws years ago. One of her sisters-in-law returned it to her to pass on to someone in the family after Grandma passed away. I was the lucky one whom she offered it to. I was so happy to get it, and I can't wait to put it on my bed!! In my family, you usually get a quilt when you get married, and Grandma had enough crib quilts stocked up for each grandchild when babies arrive. But as we all know, I'm a long way off from getting married or having a baby. It makes me so pleased to have a piece of her hard work now in my possession. I'm going to do a post specifically on the quilt someday soon with pictures to show you how beautiful it is!

  • It's weird, but in the past few weeks I've had the strongest urge to learn how to knit and now I want to learn how to quilt. I think Grandma might have something to do with this...

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's all about the feather. And music from movies I've never heard of.

It’s Survivor/Idol night, and lo and behold, I discovered I can watch Survivor at 8 and American Idol at 9. Would've been nice if I'd discovered this a few months ago. So full re-caps today, folks, buckle up!


Rob’s getting all the accolades for his genius move of eliminating, once again, the “wildcard” (aka Matt) from the game. He seems to have especially impressed David. The tribes are still very much separate, despite sharing a camp now. They definitely haven’t merged in the literal sense. They don’t sleep together, they don’t eat together...I don’t even know if they even speak to each other. Well, except for David telling Rob how much of a genius he is.

Rob is soooo the Godfather of this game! His speech about Ashley not telling him about the deal Ralph offered her? Downright sneaky-evil...and no doubt, he will take them both out before it matters.

Here we go. Former federal agent Phillip’s got his feather stuck to his forehead and he’s babbling something to Jeff about meditating on needing a sign and this feather appearing out of thin air. Awesome. But tell me, Phil, what exactly is the “sign” that this feather gives you?? And his speech impediment is back. He apparently can no longer pronounce the name of his former tribe, Ometepe. I suppose it is a tricky word, Phillip. I won’t hold it against you.

The Immunity Challenge is pretty intense, with people being eliminated each round. Grant, Mike, and David made it through the untying knots challenge and the spitting water challenge to face off in the puzzle-making finale. Oh YUSSSS!!! Grant wins it!! That Immunity necklace looks pretty good around my boy’s neck!!

The preview for Scream 4 is fuh-reeeeakin’ me out! I HATE that Scream mask.

Mike and David decided to play a trick on Ometepe, pretending that their tribe’s flagpole has been moved, so they went fake-searching for a hidden idol. They didn’t go unnoticed by Rob and the gang, as they came barrelling up the beach to see what they were up to. Rob confesses to having Idol paranoia. They never found anything beneath the flag, of course, and it’s bothering him to know there could be another Idol in play besides his own. Ah, the first hint of a Boston Rob weakness. The good news: I don’t think the other tribe is smart enough to have figured that out yet.

Off to Tribal we go, with Jeff kicking things off by letting Phillip tell us folklore about his full-blooded Cherokee great-uncle or something who came to him in a dream, told him exactly what would happen at the Challenge, and bequeathed upon him that feather he’s been sticking to his forehead. The whole TC seems to be about Phillip and his friggin’ feather. His own tribe can’t even stop snickering. But I do believe David is the first one to publicly call him what we’ve all been thinking all along: a lunatic. That did not go over big with Phil. Not one bit. Fear the feather, David. Fear it.

It came down to votes being cast against Phillip and Mike, and of course, the numbers were against Mike. That, and he didn’t have a feather stuck to his head.

Rob is happy with his little soldier, Phillip. He says he’s not really crazy, just a little crazy. I’m not so sure about that, Rob...

I just realized we’ve had a challenge, Tribal, and watched someone head off to Redemption Island, and we’re only a half-hour into the show. Apparently we’re getting rid of a second player tonight!

Ralph and David are pissed that they’re on the outside looking in and the other tribe isn’t even giving them a chance to play the game. Sucks to be you, boys!

A cheeseburger reward? I don’t imagine I’ll ever be on Survivor, but if I were, I’d kill for this reward. Mmmm cheeseburrrrrgerrrrrrrrrrs...

It’s an endurance Challenge. Whoever hangs on a bar the longest without dropping into the water below wins Immunity. They all get to choose if they want burgers or not. Phillip and Steve pick the burgs, while everyone else is playing to win. Rob severely disappointed me by dropping out very quickly. Might as well have taken the cheeseburgers, man.

Phillip’s trash-talking David. I like it. As nutso as Phil is, I like how much he’s aggravating the other guys. Now Jeff’s making them hang on to the bar only by their legs. We should lose some people fairly quickly now. Julie drops. Grant drops. Ralph drops. It’s the Ometepe girls vs. David. This looks severely uncomfortable, especially for Dave hanging by one leg. And he finally drops! Ashley and Nathalie quickly agree to give the challenge to Andrea, both dropping at the same time. And Andrea proudly accepts the Immunity necklace. Looked better on Grant...

Ralph realizes that a whole bunch of fish have been trapped in their net, but Rob convinces his tribe that the fish have been dead too long and they’re rotten. Grant went over to grab a snack anyways, but then Rob called him back, insisting that he not eat the fish. I knew Rob was powerful, but I had no idea he was this powerful. These people are starving, and he has somehow convinced them not to eat?? Wehhhhhhh.

Ohhh noooo. Phillip’s decided TC stands for “Truth Circle” again, divulging his STEALTH R US silliness to the other tribe. Not that it’s any big secret. They know about their “buddy system”. They know Rob’s the master. They know they’re inseparable. But really, Phil? Do you have to tell everybody everything?

Rob is the target of the old Zapatera tribe tonight, but it’s a lost cause, as the former Ometepe tribe members far outnumber them, and they wrote down David’s name, sending him to Redemption Island for what I can only assume will be a three-way challenge between him, Matt & Mike next week. Three strong young men going up against one another? Should be a good one!

Uh-oh. In the previews for next week, Phillip’s playing the race card. Things are about to get uuuugly...

American Idol

Still can’t believe Pia is gone home. That had to be one of the biggest travesties in Idol history!

It’s movie music night. Love it. And I love Steven Tyler’s white pants. Not many old men can pull off the white pants look, y’know. Hotness. Speaking of hotness, judge JLo has been named People Magazine’s Hottest Woman in the World. That’s great, but for some reason, I’m much more interested in the Hottest Man in the World. Steven Tyler is definitely the Hottest Old Man in the World. I’ve anointed him.

Paul’s kicking off the show tonight with “Old Time Rock ‘N Roll” from Risky Business. But he doesn’t appear to be bringing a guitar, so I’m probably not going to like it, unless he comes sliding in in just his socks and underwear. And, of course he doesn’t. He’s wearing a retarded bedazzled suit. Yuck. Love the song, but I just don’t like guitarless Paul. And I’m not sure that chick even knew how to play the sax. Paul grabs a tambourine, but it’s too late. No guitar = no love from Jill. Sorry, man.

Next up is Lauren Alaina, who is severely disappointing me by choosing “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus from the Hannah Montana movie. Seriously? Seriously??? Oh right, I’m a Bieber fan, I have no right to judge. Le sigh. Lauren has a beautiful voice, and she’s far better than Miley Cyrus. I guess a Hannah Montana song is what we should expect from a 16-year-old, but I don’t think of her as a kid. She’s far more mature in her performances, and despite my dislike for the song choice, she did a great job with it.

It’s Stefano’s turn, doing Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” from the movie Boomerang. I’ve never heard of this movie, but this was my favourite song when I was seven. Stefano is so adorable. And he’s bringing back memories of when I thought the group was called “Boyz Eleven Men”. Ah, the good ol’ days. This is my favourite Stefano performance so far. I’m sort of glad he survived last week, just so I could hear that. He left Randy yelling, “Stefano is in it to win it!! Stefano is in it to win it!” And I’m a lip reader and I think JLo just called him “the shit” on live TV. Excellent.

Scotty’s up, and I can’t believe it, but he’s singing a country song. Imagine. “Cross my Heart” from the George Strait movie, Pure Country. I didn’t even know George Strait had a movie. But I do know the song, and it’s perfect for Scotty. Unfortunately, for some reason, I think his back-up singers are drowning him out at times. I didn’t really enjoy the first part of it, but the second half was much better. Also, my TV got the twitches, and it sort of ruined it for me. I still think Scotty’s got a great country voice, though.

Here we go: Casey, bringing back his big bass, doing Nat King Cole’s “Nature Boy”, despite the mentors telling him not to. What movie is this from? No clue. Again, not a fan of how it began, but once he got into it, it was quite good. Very artsy. A little too piano-bar-jazzy for my liking, but the judges loved it and gave him a standing O. They said they hoped America got it. I, for one, am not sure that they will.

Haley’s turn, and she’s going with Blondie’s “Call Me” from American Gigolo. What is with these obscure movie choices?! Or are they just obscure to me?? Regardless, Haley’s been coming on strong these past few weeks – From Benny & the Jets, to Janis, now Blondie – perfect choices for her voice. I quite enjoyed it. Plus, I wish I had Haley’s hair. Interestingly, the judges didn’t like it so much, so I guess there’s a reason I’m not a for-real music critic. Whatev.

Finally, a movie I know! Jacob’s doing a song from The Pursuit of Happyness, and one of my favourite songs, with “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. This song is made for Jacob. Loved the gospel-y feel he gave it. That guy has got pipes. Wow. Incredible. And the second time in one night that a judge swore (this time, sexy Steven Tyler). Indeed, Jacob gave me goosebumps.

James lands the money spot, closing out the show, and rocking it with the title track to the movie Heavy Metal by Sammy Hagar. I seriously don’t know hardly any of these movies. Jimmy Iovine really didn’t want him to do this in the mentor session, and I have no idea why. James killed it. This is totally what he does, and when he stood on the judges’ table and screamed at the top of his lungs? Legendary. Absolutely legendary. Plus, he had Zakk Wylde playing lead guitar for him. James shone. Period.

I’m thinking Haley will likely be the one to go home, but who knows. It’s impossible to predict, when someone like Pia was sent home so early. I think what these guys proved tonight is that Jimmy Iovine doesn’t know what he’s talking about, since so many of them went against his advice and did an amazing job.

Holy crap. That’s a lot of words. I hope some of you read at least half of them. ;)

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Single Girl Files: Friday Night Depression Club

There's nothing worse than feeling all alone while you sit back and watch the rest of the world couple up and fall madly in love all around you.

That's why we single people cling to each other. We seek out other sad, depressed, lonely people, and we find comfort in knowing there are others out there who feel the same way. We exchange stories of past relationships gone wrong, or commiserate over crushes that were never fulfilled, or bash the happy-in-love people whom we envy so deeply.

Sometimes, we even form a club.

Yep. It's true. I was one of the founding members of Friday Night Depression Club (Quyon Chapter), going back seven or eight years now. It started out with my friend Sara and I, hanging out at Gavan's on Friday nights, and often lamenting our status as single girls while we drowned our sorrows with beer and liquor, just waiting for a "busload of hot men" to magically roll in. (It rarely, rarely, happens at Gav's.)

Sara had recently split from her then-boyfriend, while I was, of course, perpetually single, and, as usual, wondering what was wrong with me. We added another member, a guy we both knew who became a friend and joined our "single person support group" after breaking up with his long-time girlfriend.

The three of us found ourselves sitting around on Friday nights, week after week, usually complaining about being single, suggesting possible dating candidates to one another, and laughing at ourselves for being so pathetic.

Somewhere along the line, we started calling it Friday Night Depression Club, and it was actually something we all began looking forward to - Friday nights, drinks, live music, and good friends to empathize with and console.

I think we even had an official club photo taken one night.

Good times.

Of course, the problem with a Depression Club is when members start dropping out - aka, finding new love, and leaving behind the sad-sack losers who can't seem to catch a break on the dating scene.

Guess who is the last-standing member of Friday Night Depression Club (Quyon Chapter)??

Oh yes. You guessed it.

It's been a long time since we held a Depression Club where I wasn't the only member attending. In fact, I've pretty much stopped attending meetings unless there's a big event going down at Gavan's, because there's no fun in hanging out at the bar alone. The whole scene is just tired and old. And usually, the only single people who come through the doors are about ten years younger than me. Ick.

I miss the good ol' Depression Club days. Friday nights were the highlights of my week; the day I most looked forward to.

But those days are long gone, and now all that's left are fond memories.

That being said - if anyone out there is wishing to join the club, and is not 17-years-old, I'm still the President and CEO, and will accept any applications of hopeful (or hopeless??) new members.

Especially if you're male. And handsome.

Thanks in advance.

(Thanks also to Sara who suggested that I do a Single Girl Files post on Depression Club. I forgive you for abandoning me & the club to get married and have babies! ;))

ABC's of ME

It's a busy Monday morning, so I'm going to pull out one of those posts I've had saved for a day like this! This has been floating around on many of the blogs I check out daily, but if you haven't done it already, it's a fun way to get to know a little bit more about your bloggy friends! :)

A. Age: 27

B. Bed size: Queen pillow-top

C. Chore you dislike: Cleaning the fish tank...that's why they spend a lot of time hidden by green slime...

D. Dogs: I don't have one, though from time to time I think I want one. I'd love to get a Puggle. But then I remember the horror that was my childhood dog, Jake, and I think again...

E. Essential start to your day: Hitting the snooze button a few times while I check out Facebook and Twitter on my Blackberry. It's become essential for me to do this before crawling out of bed!

F. Favorite color: Blue (But when it comes to hockey, definitely NOT blue...Red Black & Gold baby!!)

G. Gold or silver: Silver or white gold

H. Height: About 5'5"

I. Instruments you play(ed): I played the recorder in elementary school and can still rip off a mean version of "Mary had a Little Lamb" without even thinking about it. That's talent, people. I also do a bad job of playing the guitar, but it's one of my favourite things to do.

J. Job title: Office Administrator at Mountainview Turf!

K. Kids: Oh yearning to have a baby has returned, and it's HUGE right now. I want kids someday for SURE!!!

L. Live: In a rented house in the middle of my little town. Not exactly where I want to be, but I guess it's better than home with Ma & Pa...

M. Mom’s name: Elizabeth.

N. Nicknames: Jilly, Jilly Bean, Gill or Gilly (hate it, but my dad uses it all the time), I'm still disappointed that JYo never caught on... ;)

O. Overnight hospital stays: Never had one. Knock on wood!!!

P. Pet peeves: People who talk during movies, Leaf fans, a certain sales rep that works for MVT who calls frequently and often says, "Oh I forgot what I wanted, I'll call you back"...errrrgh!!!

Q. Quote from a movie: The Dougie song from The Hangover...hahaha!!

R. Right or left-handed? I'm a righty!!

S. Siblings: Older sister Kara and younger brother Luke

T. Time you wake up: The alarm is set for 6:25, but after hitting snooze twice, I'm usually not up until 6:45.

U. Underwear: Always. lol

V. Vegetables you don’t like: I hate a lot of veggies, there aren't many I really enjoy - I especially dislike peas with a passion and corn (unless it's on the cob)

W. What makes you run late: When I crash into other cars and have to wait for the cops to show up :s I don't like being late, so it's a rare occasion for me to not be on time - and it's usually due to circumstances that I can't help!

X. X-rays you’ve had: Only dental...Oh wait, I had a CT scan once when I thought I had a brain tumor, does that count as an X-ray?

Y. Yummy food you make: Spaghetti sauce, pizza, lasagna, different kinds of cookies, hamburger soup, cream of broccoli soup, potato skins, pancakes...yummmmm...

Z. Zoo animal favorites: I barely remember past trips to the zoo, I've only been once or twice in my whole life that I can remember - the last time was probably in Peterborough when my sister was going to school there, and the highlight was a SKUNK. (It was a small zoo!) But I love seeing the polar bears, monkeys, elephants and giraffes! Happy Monday everyone!!

How quickly a Saturday can turn to crap...

Ever since I saw a preview for the movie "Hop", I've been dying to take my nephew Caden to see it. That scene where the animated bunny poops out jelly beans on the hood of the car while James Marsden cringes? Two big advantages: 1) I could just hear Caden giggling uncontrollably at that. 2) James Marsden. Big added bonus.

So I made arrangements with my sister to take him on Saturday afternoon. The English version of the movie wasn't playing in Hull or Aylmer, so our plan was to stop at McDonald's on the way, then cross the bridge into Ottawa to see the 12:45 show at the Coliseum.

I had this weird premonition...Not even a premonition, just a feeling, that I shouldn't be going alone with Caden. I tried corralling my brother, his girlfriend, many of my friends, to come with us, but all had other plans or couldn't make it. So Caden and I were on our own.

We made our stop at Mickey D's, and everything was going well. I had decided that feeling was just imagined. Caden and I were going to have a great day.

We were barely out of the McD's parking lot when I rear-ended another vehicle.


Amazing how quickly a great day can turn to crap...

The guy that I hit had some damage to his back end, but somehow, once again, my car went unscathed. I drive a friggin' beast. Not even a mark on my front bumper.

He called the police and said very little to me. I was freakin', not gonna lie...But I tried to keep it calm n' cool for Caden's sake; I didn't want to upset him.

Luckily, the police were really nice, and obviously the one who came to talk to me knew I was on the verge of tears, because he kept saying to me, "It's okay, it's okay." He didn't even get mad when I had an expired insurance slip in my car. "No problem, no problem." Phewf.

At the end of it all, I was left feeling insanely embarrassed for not paying attention to the cars ahead of me, and feeling like a crappy aunt, because I turned that buggy around and headed for home rather than continuing on to our movie. By the time the police came, the movie time of 12:45 had passed and the next show time wasn't until 3:10. I was also considerably less confident in my driving abilities after that, and the thoughts of wading back into traffic while still shaken up left me feeling very uneasy.

Fortunately, Caden was okay with turning around and heading back home, too. He probably wasn't overly excited about driving any further with his lunatic auntie either.

I told him we'd go see it some other time. I just have to arrange for someone else to drive us. This was my second traffic incident in Aylmer, and my second running-into-someone incident in the past few months. (Luckily, the last one didn't cause damage to either vehicle. It pays to drive a beast.)

My confidence in my driving has been shattered. Completely.

Friday, April 08, 2011

A Lesson for Carrie Underwood

Did any of you see Carrie Underwood on Ellen yesterday?

Just after I sort of give her a little blog shout out. Just after I give her a little cred for an awesome performance with Steven Tyler. Just after I start to think maybe I wouldn't shoot laser beams of death out of my eyeballs at her if I saw her anymore.

Then she goes on Ellen. And starts slammin' Mike.


"Oh haha, yeah, Ellen, I married this Canadian hockey player, and he stayed in Canada and I went to Nashville, and then he got traded to Nashville so he moved in with me and brought all of his...crap."

Carrie Underwood, get one thing straight: Mike Fisher's belongings are not crap. Whatever that man touches is gold, and I'm so sorry you had to make room in your closet for his big fat "man clothes", but do you realize how badly most of the women in Ottawa would have liked to have made room for him in their closets??
She called him a hoarder. She called him fat. Then she said he loves to shop and buys all kinds of clothes that she does not have room for. Pretty much anything you could do to humiliate and emasculate a big, strong, handsome hockey player, she did it.

Ooooooh my blood was just BOILING.

Okay, okay. I know that Mike wouldn't care. Or his big tough hockey player friends. In fact, none of them probably even watched it.

But, for future reference, Carrie, when speaking about your stunningly hot, adorably sweet husband on talk shows, these are more appropriate things to say about him:

  • "My husband Mike is the most wonderful man on the face of the earth and I'm so very very lucky to have him."

  • "Mike is the best hockey player in the world, and I only wish he'd been able to continue playing in Ottawa, because we loved it there."

  • "Mike's hockey career is far more important than my silly singing, and I would be happy to take a back seat to him anyday."

  • "Mike Fisher is AMAZING."

  • "Canadians are the best, and I'm so lucky to have married someone from the Great White North. I hope we can move up there permanently someday, because I know that's what Mike would like."

  • "Mike is the second-hottest hockey player in the world (after Wade Redden, of course), and I'm so sorry that I took him away from all of his beautiful fans. Trust me, he misses you all."

That's about it. That's about all you should ever, ever say, Carrie.

No more making fun of Mike on Ellen. Or anywhere. (Especially after we see clips of your new-found pathetic acting abilities.)

Know your place.

On another note - I missed the Idol results show, but Twitter told me that Pia got voted out?!? PIA?!? What the F?!?

It would appear she's fallen victim to the curse of "Jill's Pick to Win". This is not the first time this has happened. Just ask Chris Daughtry, Greg Neufeld, the Piggott Brothers... Usually, whoever I pick as the early contender to win is shocked by being sent home far too early.

My apologies to Pia for putting her under my curse. I really thought she had a good shot at winning the whole thing, and I do believe the contestant with the best voice was sent home last night.


Have a great weekend, everyone :)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A Smattering of Thoughts on Survivor and Idol

Okay. I know. These recaps are piss-poor. And becoming more pathetic as we go along.

But I can't help it. Idol is now down to an hour and a half, which means I'm missing most of it while watching Survivor. And last night, I missed most of Survivor too.

So for today, my usual Survivor/Idol Mash-Up is going to be pretty skimpy. And I know what you're all thinking: In this day in age, with technology as advanced as it is, there's no need for me to be missing anything. But, as I've said before, I don't own a PVR, and the ol' VCR is just too much work. Also, I haven't had time to go on-line to watch anything. So I hope you enjoy my little wee snippets of thoughts on the little wee snippets of TV that I watched.

Survivor was 40 minutes in before I settled down to watch, and by then, the tribes had merged and Matt was back in the game. So yep, I kind of missed a lot. I appeared to tune in in the midst of a tug-of-war, with Mike trying to lure Matt over to their side with a secret note and get him to vote Grant out of the game. My stomach literally flipped at the thoughts of losing Grant. The only other player to get my stomach to flip like that has been Colby.

At Tribal Council, though, it appeared that Matt was duped by his old tribe. He chose to stay loyal to them by voting for Steve (ACK! my guy in the pool! don't vote for him!!) - which I assumed that was who they told him they would be voting for - while they all blindsided Matt again instead, and the other tribe voted for Grant. The votes turned up 6 for Matt, 5 for Grant, 1 for Steve. So Matt headed back off to solitary confinement on Redemption Island. I felt sorry for the guy, but better him than Grant. I also enjoyed the look of incredulousness on Dave's face as he saw what I could only assume was Rob's master plan fall into place. He was even heard murmuring, "That was genius!!" Rob may have a new sidekick...

Of course, what would a Survivor recap be without some words of wisdom from our favourite former federal agent, Phillip? At Tribal, Jeff asked him something about how the joining of the two tribes had gone, and he literally had people - mostly his own tribe - doubling over in laughter as he spoke of the stench that came from the others, and called them parasitic. Wehhh. Atta make friends, Phill!!

Next week he's going to wear a feather on his head. It only gets better with this guy.

So as I mentioned, I missed quite a bit of Idol as well, so forgive me for not having much to say about Rock Hall of Fame night. But from the performances I did see, and the clip montage at the end, it looked like it was a very strong night. For everybody. Should be interesting to see who America sends home...

Jacob sang one of my favourite MJ songs, "Man in the Mirror", and I thought he did a pretty amazing job with it. My only problem with Jacob? The white pants. Boy's got a bubble butt. And the white pants did not help that situation.

Janis Joplin in the house!! Haley kept hearing the judges mention Janis in comparisons with her, so she brought it with "Piece of my Heart". Gotta say, I've seen a lot of girls attempt Joplin on these Idol shows, and nobody lit a candle to her (or to my fave "Bobby McGee" singer, Vikki Richardson!!) - until last night. Haley has the perfect tone, the perfect voice, the perfect growl to tackle it. She did very, very well.

Only caught the tail-end of James singing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" - love that song, and it seemed like a beautiful performance. Go JAMES!

Pia...FINALLY going up-tempo! Yay! She did Tina Turner's "River Deep, Mountain High", and I really enjoyed it. I did take issue with Pia's outfit, though. It did not flatter her, and that girl should be able to wear almost anything and look hot. I envy Pia's looks. In any case, she finally proved that when she's selling out stadiums like Mariah or Celine, which I have the feeling she is capable of, that the people won't just be sitting down listening to her ballads. A little practice on her stage presence, and the girl's got it all.

Stefano...Oh, how I think you're adorable, but I just can't seem to get into your groove. He took on Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman", which only makes me think of Michael Bolton, and that's not a good thing, people. And I think Stefano looks like he's in pain sometimes when he's singing. Based on what I saw, I think I'd be sending poor Stefano home. But I really, really do want to like him.

And I'm so glad that Paul's reading my blog. He brought the guitar back again!! Yesss!!! Now, Paul? Doing Johnny Cash to close out the show? I wasn't sure. Will.I.Am encouraged him to go all Jerry Lee Lewis with "Folsom Prison Blues". Well, then, why not do "Great Balls of Fire" instead? I actually did enjoy it, though. I'm still not Paul's biggest fan, but when he's got a guitar in his hands, I like him much, much more. Good stuff.

I missed seeing Scotty doing Elvis' "That's Alright Mama", but I loved seeing the little clip of him at the end. I HEART that song - and we all know that I HEART Elvis too, so Scotty gets the big thumbs up this week!

And then all of a sudden all hell breaks loose and the Idols are dancing on-stage like maniacs while Ryan gets the judges final thoughts and gives the numbers to vote one last time. My last observation is this: What the hell was Lauren Alaina wearing?!? Who is dressing these people this year?? HORRIBLE!!!

Was this really the Rock Hall of Fame night? I didn't see too much rock up there...Hmmm...

PS - I love Steven Tyler. That is all.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Catching up on the TV & Musical Extravaganzas of Last Week

This might be a little passé, but there was too much good stuff on TV last week to not talk about it. Of course, I can't do a full-fledged analysis of all of it, because we all know I ramble and it could last forever. So you're getting the condensed version. Which still means this will probably be a super-long blog. My apologies in advance. Survivor I don't even remember who got voted out. Sarita maybe? Or was that two weeks ago? What I do remember is Phillip having a hissy fit over the fact that the girls saved the crispy rice for Rob, and that everyone worships at Rob's feet. Dude has developed a severe dislike for El Capitano. Which he better be careful about, since Rob's basically been the one dragging him along, and shielding him from the wrath of the rest of the tribe, because Rob likes having a distraction (aka, a loose cannon) around camp. They'd love to send Pink Panties packing. If he pisses Rob off, he'll be out in a heartbeat. And that might be good for the tribe, but bad for TV. Because like it or not, Phillip makes for good TV. In other news, Matt won again on Redemption Island. He's just rollin' through this. It would really suck for him if he lost the last one, wouldn't it? I'm hoping he gets back into the game because I've come to quite enjoy Matt and his long blonde hair. And Grant was sexy again. What else is new?

American Idol

Elton John night! Wooo! I love Elton John! So I literally spent the whole night saying, "He BETTER be doing Benny & the Jets!!"... "She BETTER be doing Benny & the Jets!!!!"... Threatening the TV all night long.

I missed a whole whack of contestants during the first hour because apparently Survivor & Idol decided to sync up and take the exact same commercial breaks. I remember that I liked James doing "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting" and that Thia Megia was boring as hell with "Daniel". Lauren Alaina did a beautiful job of "Candle in the Wind" and Paul listened to me and brought back his guitar, which thoroughly enhances my enjoyment of his performances. Good job Pauly.

But they were all pissing me off because they weren't singing "Benny & the Jets". Haley finally stepped up. Last performer of the night, and when Ryan announced she was doing my Elton fave, it brought me back to that scene in 27 Dresses with Katherine Heigl and James Marsden dancing on the bar and belting it at the top of their lungs..."She's got electric boobs" - "BOOBS? What??" ...loooove James Marsden...

Haley rocked it and impressed the judges and me as well.

I didn't watch the results show, but I heard that Thia and Naima were voted off. Doesn't really bother me. Thia was far too dull, and now Naima can try out for "So You Think You Can Dance?" Everybody wins.

Grey's Anatomy: The Music Event

You either loved it or hated it. I happen to fall in the "love" camp.

The haters keep saying they want to keep Glee out of the favourite show. C'mon, people. This was not Glee. I love Glee, but this was not Glee. I get that it was a little weird to hear your favourite doctors singing while they operated and pandemonium broke out all around the hospital. I felt like that the first time I saw Rent.

But eventually you get used to it. Then you start to enjoy it. And suddenly you start to wish that you and your co-workers and family and friends all could break into song at any point during the day.

Wouldn't it be fun??

In any case, I did sort of understand the people who didn't think this was the appropriate episode to do the musical thing. Callie was in a very bad car accident and her life - and the baby's - was on the line. This was serious stuff. Perhaps the most intense event to happen at Seattle Grace Mercy Death since...well, since that gunman shot up the hospital last spring.

The singing kind of distracted from what was already an amazing, edge-of-your-seat episode. But, like with Rent, I got used to it. And began looking forward to the next song.

Here was my main problem: I read too many spoilers. It kind of ruined it for me. I knew that it was a Callie-centred episode. I knew that Callie was going to be in an accident and that her life and the baby's would be in jeopardy. I knew that Addison was going to return. I knew that Sara Ramirez (Callie), Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and Kevin McKidd (Hunt) were doing the bulk of the singing. I knew that they were going to sing "How to Save a Life" and "Chasing Cars" and "How we Operate" and "The Story". I knew that McDreamy wasn't going to sing one note.

But I did get a few nice surprises. Chyler Leigh (Lexie), for one, had an amazingly sweet voice. And I loved that they got Eric Dane (McSteamy) to sing, too. Hawt. Even Ellen Pompeo (Meredith) did a good job with her little bit of singing.

For me, though, it was all about the "Running on Sunshine" dream sequence. First of all, I love that song and had no idea it was going to be in the episode. Secondly, I love that Scott Foley is hanging around as Teddy's husband-but-not-really, Henry, and that he got to sing in it too. Thirdly, I love that Bailey and her sexy new love interest Eli got to dance in it.

But best of all? ALEX. That's right, they got Justin Chambers to sing. Eeeeeee!!! My face nearly split apart in a grin when he growled and started into his part.

Iconic Grey's songs sung by some amazingly talented actors/singers in a dramatic, intense episode, and Alex. Singing. Seriously. What's not to love?


I didn't watch them, but heard enough about the collaboration of the night to look it up on Youtube.

I know. It wasn't so long ago that I was shooting laser beams of death out of my eyes at Carrie Underwood. And I still don't like her. Bitch took our Mikey away from us. We do not get over something like that, Carrie!

But we do like it when you let Steven Tyler join you on-stage for a Undo It/Walk This Way mash-up.

Steven Tyler makes everything better. Loved this.

Please note: This blog was supposed to contain videos of the "Running on Sunshine" performance and Steven Tyler & Mrs. Mike Fisher's performance, but Blogger is being an asshole and everytime I try to embed the code for the videos, it goes into failure and I have to start all over again. So I give up. All you get is pictures. Go watch 'em on Youtube.

I also have no clue what the F is up with the spacing in this post. I've tried to fix it a hundred and fifty times and it always goes back to the messed up way it is. I'm so sorry, nothing is going right with this post!!!!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Memories of Grandma

There's an episode of Grey's Anatomy, after George's father passes away, when he says, "I don't know how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't."

That's sort of how I felt after losing my grandma last week.

Both of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, and my Granny Young died when I was two years old. So for me, there has really only ever been one grandparent in my life. And she was a very big part of my life.

During the Reverend's homily in Grandma's honour at her funeral, she used this word to describe her: Constant.

And that's exactly what she was. Always there, the matriarch of a big family, holding us altogether like glue, through the good times and the bad, and so beloved by all of her grandchildren, and also as "G.G." to Caden and Danica.

She was very special to all of us. I don't feel I have the words to properly honour Grandma on this blog, so instead, I'll share with you the Memories of Grandma that my cousin Paula put together as an insert for the church bulletin. Paula contacted all of the cousins after Grandma passed away on March 27, asking us for a little memory of Grandma, and this is what we came up with - and I think we captured all of the wonderful things that made Grandma mean so much to us: her love of gardening, her love of baking, and her delightfully silly sense of humour...

Matthew - My memories of Grandma were all great! I had the honour of being Grandma's first grandchild...arriving on her 60th birthday!

Kara - My favourite memories of Grandma are of her tending to her garden. When I was younger, the garden was an enterprise all its own, with Grandma growing far more than one person could ever possibly need. As Grandma grew older, the garden was down-sized a little each year, much to her chagrin, but she still delighted in it. Her garden even became a delay tactic if you were leaving - "Oh, but you haven't seen the garden yet. You must come see it before you leave." Now I have my own garden and I think Grandma taught me the simple pleasure of working in God's earth.

Erin - Some of the best memories I have of Grandma Schock all have to do with food: yummy tea biscuits, homemade buns, her gingersnap cookies and not to mention the white cookies with icing and sprinkles on top! No wonder I love sweets so much. I used to love her patience when she would make us breakfast when we happened to stay overnight...yummy toast with cheese whiz and brown sugar, cut into perfect little strips like at a church tea - made with love!

David - My fondest memories of my Grandma will be the little things that made her happy...a nice tidy yard, the first flowers in the spring, or a drive over the Brule Hill. It does not take much to live a long happy life.

Paula - Having grown up in the city, I fondly recall Grandma teaching me the country ways...picking strawberries, making jam, visiting the chickens at John's next door. When visiting Bruce Schock's farm, she showed my brother how to milk a cow - I was happy she let me off the hook for that one! I will always remember Grandma's cheerful personality. She had a warm smile, a chipper "hello!", and had a way of looking at the good in everything. I can only hope to live as long as she did with such a wonderfully positive outlook on life.

Jillian - Going to Grandma's for lunch on warm summer days was always something to look forward to. I absolutely loved sitting out on the summer porch, watching the hummingbirds at the feeder, and just waiting for the plate of cookies to come out. Whether you were staying for a while or just stopping in for a quick visit, she always offered a cookie - in fact, I think she was famous for them. It didn't seem to matter if someone else followed the exact same recipes - for me, they never tasted as good as Grandma's!

Chad - It is hard to think of Grandma and not have food come to mind. Of course the vegetables from her garden were delicious, but it's what came after the vegetables at dinner that caught my attention. She introduced me to some of my favourite desserts...ginger snaps, rhubarb dipped in sugar, and all different kinds of squares. One time she even made me a butterscotch pie. After dessert I would hit the old swing in her yard to burn off some of the sugar, but despite my efforts, I always came home from Grandma's a few pounds heavier.

Luke - One of my favourite memories of Grandma takes me back to when I was in Grade 11, playing for my high school basketball team. Grandma would pick me up after practice and we'd go back to her house for supper. I remember one particular evening she picked me up and on our way home she drove exceptionally slow, about 20 km/hr. It took us quite a while to get to her house, and when we finally pulled into her driveway, she looked at me and said, "Now that's the speed everyone should drive." I still smile when I think of that.

At the bottom Paula added this: Our loving thoughts and prayers are with Grandma and our cousin Jeffrey, who passed away last summer. We know they will be sharing some "teasing" moments on the other side. Jeffrey loved to tease Grandma and always added fun to her visits in Sand Point. We will greatly miss both of them in our family circle.

Grandma with her namesake, great-granddaughter Danica Hazel

In the end, we could be grateful for a long life well-lived. I remember doing a project in elementary school where we were told to write down all of our wishes for the future. I think I was in Grade 3 or 4, and at the time, one of my wishes was for my grandma to live forever. And she pretty well well did. She had suffered memory loss in the past few years, and only since Christmas had she become weak and we saw her health start to deteriorate. That is remarkable to say she would have turned 96 in June.

I learned so much from her, and I will miss her dearly.

I would like to extend my thanks to so many of my friends and family members who offered their condolences, came to the funeral home, sent cards, flowers, and shared words of sympathy. You truly did make a difficult week a little easier to get through.

Rest peacefully, Grandma...until we meet again.