Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Walking Dead

I hate horror. Horror movies, horror TV shows, blood, guts,brains, bones, zombies, chainsaws, and especially little ghost girls with tangled hair and wearing doesn't matter. They are all equally horrorble in my book.

See what I did there? Huh? Huh?

Moving on.

I can't handle horror. I get too scared and just can't accept being unable to sleep for several days on end. The last horror movie I watched was in 2002 (yes, 12 years ago!) and it was 28 Days Later. I was working at the bakery back then and I had to work at 3:30 am the morning after watching the movie. First of all I didn't sleep. I just laid there in bed listening to every sound and creak within the house. Second of all, the drive to work was one of the most terrifying drives because I was certain that a hoard of infected people would come running into the streets and jump in front of my car. Third of all, I had to open the bakery alone and the next person wasn't coming into work until 5:30 am, which meant that I had 2 painful hours alone in the building. I was afraid that something was lurking around every corner, every shelving unit, every doorway, every bag of flour, and would jump out at me and pull out my throat with its teeth.

I'm a wimp when it comes to scary stuff.

For the past 4 years, many of my friends have been insisting that I watched The Walking Dead because it is "SOOOOO GOOD!" (their words, not mine). The only response that can sum up how I feel about their requests is,


Plain and simple. Nope.

The thing that sucks about it is that the show in on AMC which hints that it is likely a phenomenal show since some of my all-time favourite shows were on AMC. Also, IMDB rates the show as an 8.7/10 which is a pretty decent score...and I trust that website quite strongly.

I know that I could never, ever, in a million trillion years ever be able to mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually, be able to handle watching it. I am not ashamed to admit that I 100% lack the skills to survive watching that show. I would have to quit my job, give away my dog, by a shotgun, machete and several hundred boxes of tissue so that I could hide in my bedroom, fully armed, where I would eventually die of dehydration from never being able to stop sobbing in fear of being eaten by a zombie.

Then a few weeks ago I decided to start reading The Walking Dead comic books. I was over at the boyfriend's apartment and it was miserable and raining outside so we were just chilling inside. I wanted to read something and began eyeing his comic book collection (or graphic novels...whatever one wants to call them). He recommended The Walking Dead, which I initially was hesitant to try but decided that I would man-up and read them. My rationale for being able to read them was that I'd never read horror before so maybe it wouldn't be as bad as movies/TV. I would probably be able to handle it all right considering I wasn't seeing the zombies in action and none of them would jump out and surprise me, Also the books began coming out in 2003 and they are still being written, so that goes to show that there is a demand for them, therefore they must be decent read.

I'm proud to say that I have completed the series up to date and I have not been scared out of my mind even once. They are VERY gory and immensely disturbing in every way possible, but they are a very good read.  As I read the books, I spoke to several people who watch the show so I know the differences that the writers of the TV show made to the story compared to the books. Some people who died way back in the books are still kicking in the show, plus there are some characters in the show that don't even exist in the books. However, they all go through terrible event after devastating event after horrific event! There were so many times that I would finish a book, close it up and just sit and think about what I just read. If something like this was to happen in the real world, would I be able to survive?

The thing that makes me want to write about these books is that they are one of the most morally soul-searching series of books that I have ever read. To say the least, that's a pretty huge statement for someone to say. As I read these books and follow the story of these people, I am continually searching my own soul, wondering how I would survive in a world as the one described in The Walking Dead. Would I ever be able to endure the horrors that the writer hands out to the survivors, and would I even want to endure them? Would I be able to do the things that these people need to do to survive or simply give up and let myself be swept up on the chaos and death? (as many of the characters do).

The story of The Walking Dead sticks with me very strongly. It's so disturbing and so emotional that I find myself being swept away in the story and constantly considering how a world such as that could exist. There was one incident in book #16 in which I was so disturbed and physically sickened that I had to stop reading, put down the book and think to myself, "This is not real. This is fiction." That goes to show just how much I allowing myself to feel for this story, which is very rare thing for me. I've had some very deep conversations with friends and co-workers about the series and the moral depths that we have reached in these conversations is very intense. Hopefully I never have to know just how strong (or weak) I would be if the world was being overrun by zombies.

Now for the past couple of days I have seen The Walking Dead listed on the TV Listings and I almost have tuned into AMC a couple times to see, just take a teeny tiny peek of the show...but I'm still too much of a wimp. Baby steps Adrienne. Baby steps.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Counting My Blessings

I've been in a bit of a funk the past few weeks, mostly just stress and whatnot, and the happenings of the past couple of days have made me sit back and re-evaluate my state of mine. I've met a couple new people who have inspired me to put on a happy face. I've been following the holiday stories and pictures on Facebook of my friends and family back home, and knowing that they are enjoying the time of year makes me very happy. I have also been watching a fair amount of uplifting Christmas movies which have actually put me in a very festive spirit.

One of my all-time favourite Christmas movies is White Christmas, and Bing Crosby said it best, "When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep." This post is dedicated to all of the blessings in my life which have given me a very festive spirit and the smile that has been glued to my face all day.

- The fact that it's December 24th, sunny and 8 degrees outside. ABOVE ZERO!
- My amazing family back home who sends me love every day.
- My generous mom who always pays attentions and knows what I want/need and surprises me with the perfect gifts every year.

- My dad who is always encouraging and forever big-hearted in every way.

- My oldest sister who loves Christmas to the max, makes everything beautiful and has given me an adorable nephew (and soon to be niece!) and keeps me updated on the happenings around home.
- My middle sister who makes teeny tiny snowmen for me (which always makes me laugh) and has survived a year from hell with amazing strength and courage.

- My niece who has been such an inspiring person in my life. Watching her and hearing the stories of her strength throughout all of the chemotherapy, horrible treatments and tests and travelling back and forth from Vancouver, has been life-changing and changed my perspective on basically everything.

- My bestie in Wyoming who has loved and put up with me since we were 5 years old, and respects my opinion enough to send me bits of the novel she is writing.

- My heterolifepartner who has accepted me for who I am from the first day we met, and always sends me pictures of her kids. I love them and look forward to them every year.

- The big-hearted boyfriend who makes me constantly laugh out loud and managed to give me a Christmas gift this year that was the absolute perfect balance of practicality and ridiculousness (yes I opened the gift a day early....I couldn't help it)

- The amazing friend who forces booze on me on Jeopardy night, makes me feel like an equal and that I will always be taken care of.
- The beautiful friend I am happy that I was able to reconnect with here in Victoria and unselfishly accepts to do photography for the friends and family in her life (including for me!)
- My dog who, even though he is a jerkface who is a pain in the butt, makes me laugh constantly and gives me unconditional love.

- My wonderful co-workers who make my job enjoyable and whose generosity have made me feel welcome in their homes this holiday season.
- All of my friends back in PEI who send me hilarious jokes and gifts, "just because". I miss them all so much.
- All of the people who make Christmas such a special time of year. Like the neighbour 2 houses down who this morning left a gift out for the recycling guys. Or the guy on the motorcycle who put a Santa hat and beard on his helmet. Or the people who put ornaments on some of the trees around Elk Lake. Thanks to those people for making my heart feel warm,
- The fact that I have no food allergies that inhibit me from enjoying all of the amazing food and goodies going around right now.

Plus 1000 other things that I am sure I did not bring up.

Please remember to stop and think about all of the people and things in your life that make Christmas so special. Don't think about the presents, or the stress, or the balance in your bank account or the number on the scale on January 1st. Don't worry about whether or not you got the perfect gift for someone. Be happy that you have that someone. Count your blessings.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Jerkface Magoo

A few days ago there was man passing through the dog park with his highly energetic poodle. He was new to the area and was on the lookout for places to bring his dog to play. He greeted us dog park regulars and took a look around to see what the park had to offer them. As he left, he called his dog to go.

"Smarty! Let's go!"

We all stopped and turned to him. I asked, "Did you just call your dog Smarty?"

He laughed, "Yes, his name is Smarty Pants."

This got me to thinking about the names we chose for our pets, kids, cars...etc. Looking back on the names you have chosen for your child/pet, would you change them now that you have gotten to know them? I doubt this man could have known for certain that his dog was going to be intelligent (although poodles are incredibly smart dogs) and he must have hoped and prayed that his dog wouldn't grow up to be dumber than a doornail.

In the series of books that I am currently reading, there are certain communities of people that do not name their children until they reach their second birthday. This is due to the fact that children have increased risk of dying young due to war, famine, disease and all those dreadful happenings that readily occurred before modern medicine and sanitation intervened. So these people would wait until the child turned 2 before giving it an official name. What if that were still the tradition today? Do you think that parents would be naming their children the names that they had expected to initially? I hear stories all of the time about parents who have a name all picked out for their unborn baby, and then the baby is born and the parents decide that the child does not at all look like the name they wanted for it. They meet the kid and suddenly the name does not fit and it's back to the drawing board.

Perhaps the pressure of finding that perfect name would suddenly disappear when you have 2 years to figure it out. I feel that by getting to know the kid and learning the blossoming personality would definitely help with determining a name that really works. Cause c'mon, we all know someone who does not (at all) suit his/her name. There are some people whose names I cannot, for the life of me, remember because the name just does not suit the person!

I feel that with a dog, a dog needs to be named immediately because it needs to learn its name and it needs to know when it's being acknowledged so that it can be trained. Not naming a dog until it is 2 is basically the same as not naming a kid until it is 14. That's a bit too long. A think a kid could grow up normally without having a name until 2, but not a dog. However, it would be pretty cool if we could get to know our dogs before we name them.

After adopting Axel, I liked his name and I felt as though it suited his quite well. But honestly, if I could have waited to get to know him and name him afterwards, there is no doubt in my mind that his name would be Jerkface Magoo. Anyone who knows him would understand why this is the perfect name for my dog.

1) He's a jerk - sometimes. But when he's a jerk, he's SUCH a jerkface.
2) He's a complete dork with a semi-droopy eye, and therefore a Magoo.

But I love him anyway.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rain Drops on Roses... Whiskers on Kittens....

It's that time again!!! Time for a quick version of my Favourite Things!!!! Every so often I need to boast and divulge some of the things in my current every day life that make me happy.

1) The parents coming to town. My folks came to the city on Thursday night and stayed with me for 4 days. I was really nervous to have them in my teeny tiny apartment with me and the dog (especially since I was in the process of selling my couch), but it turned out to be pretty good! We made it work. I always love having any family in town. I don't get to see them not nearly enough so having them around makes my heart happy. Just hanging out with them, watching a movie and sharing some beer was a nice way to spend my Saturday night.

2) Beer. Specifically Dark Matter made by the amazing Hoyne Brewing Company. This has been my current favourite beer for about a year now and just thinking about it makes me salivate. I was never a dark beer drinker until I discovered this luscious beverage. Whenever I thought about dark beer, my brain instantly went to Guinness which I find to be too strong. But Dark Matter is so smooth and tasty and not hoppy or overwhelming in any way, and I might marry it if it got down on one knee. No, it wouldn't even have to get down on one knee. It could just casually remark the idea of a wedding and I'd hop on board and commit my entire life without a second thought.

3) My new couch!!!!! I bought a second hand couch when I moved into my apartment but it just never fit me right. I always got a sore back whenever I would lay on it for any length of time, so I decided on a whim to just get rid of it. With the help of the sale of my previous couch (sold it for more than I paid for it!) and an early Christmas present from the folks, I got myself a brand-spankin' new couch. And frankly, I'm madly in love with this sexy piece of furniture,

It's the first time I ever owned a brand new piece of major furniture (apart from my bed but that's not as exciting because this is much prettier). I'm a little afraid to sit on it in case I wreck it somehow, and every time the dog even glances in it's direction I give him the stink eye and threaten him with his life if he ever attempts to lay on it.

4) My 2014 Halloween costume. My costume this year was created very last minute because I didn't know what I wanted to be. In a moment of impulse and desperation, I decided to be a Stick Man for Halloween. I have no idea how or why I came to that decision but when the idea came into my head, I decided that there was no turning back. The plan was to dress in 100% black and black out my face with makeup. Then I would run white hockey tape down my legs, torso and arms to resemble a Stick Man's body. The head was made out of cardboard, covered with white Duck Tape and fastened to my face via a headband. The outcome far surpassed my expectations and looked especially awesome when we were way out in the country at a haunted house. The costume practically glowed in the dark and all people could really see of me was this white Stick Man walking around. Unfortunately this is the only picture I have of it but you get the idea.

5) Movies that make me smile. Is there really much better then sitting down for 2 hours and watching something that just makes you smile the entire time? My 2 top smile movies at the moment are The Secret Life of Walker Mitty and The Grand Budapest Hotel. They may not be the most popular movies ever created but I just couldn't help but smile the entire time watching them. Muchly recommended by myself if you're looking for some silly movies to watch.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sombrio 2014

Today I went to Sombrio Beach for the first time!

What. A. Beaut.

This is a major local spot for the local surfers to catch some awesome waves and for us non-surfers to just simply enjoy. There is the wonderful beach to explore, plus hiking trails to wander along and campsites for those who want to really spend some time amongst the beauty. There aren't many days left in the year such as the one we experienced today, so it was a no-brainer when the topic of heading out there for the day came up. The beach is about a 90 minute drive from downtown Victoria, which is really no big deal considering the view you get.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baked Quinoa and Mushrooms

The other day I looked into my fridge and stared down at the large container of mushrooms that hadn't been touched in far longer than they should have been. I wasn't feeling very inspired but knew that they needed to be used up before they started to get brown and slimy...and I hate wasting food. I looked through my cupboards and devised a plan. The outcome was pure deliciousness and I feel the need to share my recipe for anyone who wants to make a very easy and highly yummy meal.

Baked Quinoa and Mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 4-5 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms (mine were white mushrooms)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup zucchini, chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried basil
  • 3/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 can drained beans (I used chickpeas)
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, boiling
1) Cook the mushrooms, onions, celery, garlic and zucchini in the oil until all of the liquid is absorbed (about 25 minutes).

2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3) Add the basil, oregano, chili flakes and beans to the vegetable mixture - cook another 2 minutes.

4) Pour the vegetable mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Add the dried quinoa and the boiling vegetable stock. Stir to evening combine everything. 

5) Cover with tin-foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pull from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. ENJOY!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Something Must Be Said.

I hate to write a post that is basically just me complaining about the mass amounts of unfairness in the world, but I cannot hide my frustrations any more. Something must be said!

Why is the world big-dog prejudice? Perhaps a more accurate complaint would be, why do people with small dogs feel as though it is their right to dump all over the rules and bi-laws created for dog owners? Am I the only person who is noticing this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Small dog favouritism makes me angry. The number of rentals available to small dog owners greatly outnumbers the number of rentals for any sized dogs. Finding a place to live in this city is very difficult if you own a pet. Even to buy a condo, tons of buildings have a 30lb weight limit for your canine, which is total stupidity. A 10lb dog can cause WAY more damage than a 110lb dog. The amount of noise and damage created by any pet will be hugely linked to the owner of that pet and his/her ability to train the animal. If the dog is not well exercised or stimulated then it is more likely to cause chaos in the home. My neighbour’s dog never stops barking and I have yet to see them walk that poor thing. I have been living with my dog for over a month in my apartment and my landlord has yet to hear a peep out of him. Whenever I ask him if there have been any issues, he tells me that he always forgets that Axel is even down there.

BOOYAH to all landlords out there! Big dogs are not the problem. Crappy tenants are.
My next bone to pick in this area of discussion is off-leash/on-leash parks. Why do people with small dogs think that they don’t have to follow the rules? They’re making all dog owners look terrible! Yesterday I was walking along a mostly an off-leash dog area; but there is one section of the road in which you have to leash your dog. As I am walking through this area, I take a look around and every single “larger” dog is leashed while EVERY SINGLE small dog was off leash. Do small dog owners think that they do not need to abide to this rule because the dog is small and not going to run-a-muck? Small dogs are just as likely to run into traffic as larger ones are!

Who do I need to smack around here to make people understand that they are dumb?

Just like the with off-leash rules, people with small dogs seem to think it’s OK to have their dog be an asshole to people. Obviously this is not all small dogs because most small dogs are wonderful, but some are horribly viscous and when they act out and try to rip my dog’s face off, the owner just laughs it off and unapologetic. “Oh Mr. Jingles, don't be so silly. Be a good boy!”

If a larger dog were to act like that, people would flip out and be calling animal control to report it. Just because a small dog can only reach the ankles or shins makes them less dangerous and funny when they’re evil?

Again, who do I have to smack?

This makes me want to hurl. 
Then there is the issue of dogs in stores. I have to tie up my dog and leave him outside if I want to go into a store. But small dogs get little purses to be toted around in or just simply get carried in by their owners. This shall forever baffle me. Small dogs are less likely to….what? I have zero rationale to attempt this reasoning made by society. A small dog won’t be able to survive standing outside for 5 minutes? Again…baffling. 

One last thing. You don’t have to carry your miniature pooch when you’re walking down the street either. It can walk on its own 4 little competent legs! Let to poor little thing get some exercise. A dog is not a child that needs to be cradled and carried. It's a dog. 

Oh please let me smack someone.