It’s okay to be single

I know I’m not the best person to say this since I’ve been married for over a year. I’m going to throw that out there right now.

However, I was single before being married.

And I did not love myself.

What’s brought this up is watching the movie How to be Single. I wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen enough rom coms to expect the boy to get the girl, blah blah blah.

It was almost like a mini Love Actually with different couples connected but everyone with their own story of finding love, finding themselves or, in the case of Rebel Wilson, just being kick ass and totally cool with herself and her life.

For a rom com, thanks to Rebel Wilson’s brash honesty, it spoke very openly about how someone can change when they enter a relationship.

I was very lucky to find myself while in a relationship and had a boyfriend/husband who was very supportive of that. That is not always the case.

For Alice, it’s a completely different journey and one that was not easy. Every fear about being alone, every expectation about love and relationships are right there. Enter Joe, a guy on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. His fear of settling and different expectations of love and relationships are also very much right there on screen.
It’s great how this all flawlessly connects into this realistic, modern look at being single.

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Movie Review – Pitch Perfect 2

Awesome for so many reasons

So besides the post I just put up about Rebel Wilson’s awesomeness, there are many other reasons this movie was awesome. The premise is your usual Bella’s lose everything and have to get to the top again story but I’m willing to overlook that for these reasons.

Not ALL about finding a guy

After the last movie, you know that Becca and Jessie are together. That is not what this movie is about. It wasn’t about their love story, it was about Becca figuring out her life after the college. Jessie is there in the background, he supports her and he is there for her, he’s just not all that Becca cares about. The reality of that is what is needed in movies today, that women can have it all and be alright.

College Reality

There is more to life than love. Anna Kendrick is brilliant as Becca and you can see she is wanting to break free of that college existence. It can be scary, they don’t downplay that. They embrace it and say that it is okay to have that apprehension.

Accept your friends for who they are

No matter how crazy your friends are, they are a part of you. From Lilly and Cynthia to Ashley and Jessica, everyone is crazy and quirky and we love them anyway.

You can still get back up

When you’re down, there is nothing that can stop you from getting back up again. How far you go is up to you. To get there, you have to be yourself. They didn’t go into their last competition trying to be DSM because they knew it wouldn’t work. They went in there being the Bellas.

Jeffery Straker tour wraps up in Halifax

A little piece of Saskatchewan in the Maritimes

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That look sums up the passion he puts into his music. Photo by Becky Zimmer

You can’t keep a good Saskatchewan musician down.

Jeffery Straker proved that June 10th as he wrapped up his North Star Falling tour at the Company House in Halifax.

Being from Saskatchewan myself, it was a little piece of home I was able to latch on to.

Whether he is pounding on the piano keys or belting out his smooth pop folk tunes, it is obvious that Jeffery Straker belongs on a stage.

He has such a stage presence and friendly personality that he fluidly moves from soulful melodies to laughing with the crowd. Before every song, he tells the story of how he came to write and sing it for audiences from coast to coast and even in the United States and South America.

Since starting his tour on March 10th, he’d been hopping around the country and hitting some

It was only fitting to wear my Saskatchewan Roughrider hat to the concert
It was only fitting that I wear my Saskatchewan Roughrider hat to the show. Photo by Becky Zimmer.

venues in the Canada and the United States playing shows. He doesn’t get homesick though, he admits sheepishly.

Who would have guessed that this amazing singer/songwriter, whose stylings have been compared to Billy Joel and Elton John (I can see where the comparisons comes from), had his start in the 300 person Saskatchewan prairie town of Punnichy.

But of course Straker doesn’t keep that a secret.

I was curious how he identifies; a Saskatchewan musician or a musician from Saskatchewan. Right away he caught my meaning since he’s been pondering that same question for a while.

“I don’t constantly sit down with the goal of telling a Saskatchewan story but sometimes I do because I’m from there.”

A lot of his songs have their roots in his small prairie town. For Straker, music was his outlet growing, his way to express himself and his way to stay sane, he laughs, in a typical Canadian town where most of the kids would rather have played hockey than make music.

Coming from a musical family, music was a priority.

“Everyone got that of course it would make sense that I was musical too but to pursue it the way I did. I was the first one to take the reins and be very serious about it.”

From playing to a couple thousand people with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras to recording at the Glenn Gould studio with CBC Music, Straker gets surprised sometimes by how far his music has come.

“Those [big shows] are kind of crazy because it’s a couple thousand people who’ve come to hear your songs,” he says. “Those are moments when you realize, ‘jeepers, this is serious.’”

There is still something about smaller shows, Straker says. Out of all the shows he got to play in the Maritimes, he singled out the house show he played at in Fredericton as his absolute favourite place to perform.

“There’s something about that intimacy in those little rooms where you can hear a pin drop and you can see the expression on everyone’s faces. That I just love.”

From the cuisine to the house parties to the people, the East Coast treated Straker well.

Check out his website here: http://jeffstraker.com/

Listen to my favourite Jeffery Straker song here: Walk Away

The breath before the show

Being the youngest sibling, I inherited a lot from my older brothers and sister.

I owe my love of theatre from one of my three brothers. His love of the stage came from reading plays, performing on stage, discussing acting. He has a great talent at many things, things that some people think would be more practical.

Yet his love of the theatre goes so deep that no one would be able to convince him otherwise.

He passed this love on to me. I remember being little and he would tell me stories from Shakespeare’s repertoire, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, classic stories of love and betrayal.

From high school to university, there are only a few of his many plays that I have missed over the years. You miss a lot when you decide to move away from home and my brother’s plays is one of the things I miss the most, next to family get-together, weddings and babies.

I think of my brother every time I go to a performance and sit breathlessly in the dark waiting for the show to start. That anticipation before the show is the most amazing feeling.

Faces to the Characters

My journey from Outlander reader to Outlander watcher

I’m very much a book reader, therefore I will talk about ALL the books, you’ve been fair warned.

There is a blessing and curse with having your favourite book series turned into a TV show.

Number one reason is that no matter how hard the cast and crew works on transforming the words on the page into scenes on the screen, there are always going to be the little things you think they’ve missed. From little lines to gestures, to whole scenes and whole plot lines, there is always going to be something you think should have been included that wasn’t.

Just try to show me one book reader who can say the writers and directors did everything perfect, that they missed nothing of value from the books.

Now, I am not condemning them. I love the series for what it is, a visual adaption of a VERY complex series. But I am like any other book reader, they always could have done more with it.

The number two reason that this is a good and bad journey is seeing the faces on the screen versus the ones in your head.

This is the true definition of a good thing and bad thing.

The characters you’ve created are never going to match perfectly the faces you see on the screen. I recently had a craving to read the third book in the Outlander series, long after I started watching the series. I suddenly found myself switching between the Jamie I have always seen while reading the books; who looked very much a William Wallace-esque kind of character without the face of Mel Gibson, to Sam Heughan, who is an amazing Jamie but still very different than “my” Jamie.

The books get more intense as the series goes on since Jamie and Claire go through an insane amount of shit before they can finally be together.

Actually having a human face to relate to this heartbreaking story, even if it isn’t the one from your mind, adds to the feelings you have when you read it. When Jamie talks about living without Claire or the daughter he’s never met, you see a real human being having these feelings and not just the physical entity you’ve created in your head. Sudden these problems become more real.

Some days I wish I had never read the books before watching the show.

It’s hard sometimes to hear lines and as a book reader you are more likely to notice the foreshadowing.

One of these lines is when Jamie denounces James and Charles Stuart saying he has no loyalty to them. For the first time reading the books, this is just how the events transpired, a little tidbit of insight into Jamie Fraser. Said by Sam Heughan in the series long before events take place that you know are going to happen, this is the most heartbreaking line. Readers know how much he is going to lose by the end of the rising, including his wife and child because of his relationship that will develop between him and the Stuart cause.

As readers, what happens to these characters is well know. You are emotionally invested in these characters; you have grown to know, love and hate them. You know how they are going to live and, for some of the characters, you know how they are going to die.

This is also why I am happily a book reader. The books plunge into the deepest, darkest realms of the characters mind. You know their motivations, how deep their love goes for another person. In the show, without the book as your guide to the Outlander world, you just see the surface of that.

Whenever someone asks my opinion of what book they should read next, with no hesitation I recommend Outlander. I’ve become more adamant about this ever since the show came out, just because more people will be drawn to the show before being drawn to the books.

Book reviews: Graveyard Shift by Angela Roquet

Lana Harvey’s life is in limbo. Literally. In Angela Roquet’s version of limbo anyway.

Lana is a reapers, living in Limbo City and working to bring souls to the afterlife from the human realm for the next couple thousand years. For souls, there are many places to go from there; hell, heaven, Hades, Valhalla, you name it. For Lana, life is transporting souls and John Wayne movies until she is thrown into chaos by the many Gods’ fight for power in the underworld. Lana is put right in the middle of it all and all she wants is to get out without losing her job, or her existence.

Thoroughly an enjoyable and inventive setting with a charming character, Roquet’s creates a brand new look at the afterlife with all of its problems and conflicts. However, her introduction to the Lana’s world falls flat in creating the thrilling climax and ending it deserved. Most of the exciting parts were in the middle so by the end of the novel, the story just kind of stopped and you were just left there hold the book as it were. Lana’s story continues in the next three books, so in a way the story hasn’t really ended yet. I will be reading on to see where Roquet takes Lana and her afterlife.

From Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Shift-Lana-Harvey-Reapers-ebook/dp/B009M0ARH0