Latin - Hail & Farewell

The day the desktop died...

Well it’s been what, maybe 10 years, since niviene and I purchased our most recent desktop so it was definitely overdue for an upgrade. The desktop was cute and tiny and served us well over the years. The fan on it was D.E.A.D…..the noise it had been making over the past few months was atrocious...and I suspect the overheating of the unit is the reason for its ultimate demise. We knew it was only matter of time before the whole thing went. Yestereday was that day. Although we have a small laptop and a couple of ipads, neither would fill the needs and functionality of our desktop.  A new desktop was in order and we managed to secure a decent, affordable and relatively tiny HP unit. Hopefully Windows 10 isn’t that painful an adjustment. Will promise to keep this desktop organized and tidy. Would rather have a Mac but simply can’t afford the luxury right now…even with my work PC plan.

R.I.P. old desktop
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: listless listless
  • Current Music: nothing right now
Tags: ,
I Love Paris

Happy V-Day




(Dear anyone considering dating me...nothing says 'I love you' like electronics, a weekend in Paris and a finely-crafted sword...)
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: giggly giggly
  • Current Music: Venus - Shocking Blue
Tags:
Music

Grammies roundup...

I should preface this by saying The Grammies are the awards I am least interested in. As pretentious as most actors are, most modern musicians are the true divas and I just don't want to deal with them other than when they are actually performing. At least there is non-stop musical entertainment during The Grammies which at least makes the three-hour ceremony tolerable.

James Corden was a good host but I expected more. Not sure who scripted the show but it was blah.

The musical performances were hit or miss. IMO…

The Good, sort of:

Lady Gaga & Metallica…she can pretty much perform with anyone. She is a chameleon withan AMAZING voice (that said, I still didn’t like her Bowie tribute last year…)

Bruno Mars & The Time – the Prince tribute…I cannot think of a single performer today who could possibly do justice to Prince but Bruno Mars is arguably the best choice for that lofty task.He looked a bit nervous at first but eased into it quite well. I just wish he could have done a medley of songs rather than just one song. Morris Day and the Time were, well, Morris Day and The Time; no different than what they were in the 80s. What truly sucks is that I don’t believe most people today realize that with Bruno Mars, they are basically watching Prince, The Time, Michael Jackson and every other great R&B performer from the 80s. He took the best of 80s RB/Funk/Pop and made it relevant for the new decade and good on him for doing it.  But as good as BM is, for me, it’s merely a matter of been there, done that.

The Weeknd – loved that song from the moment I heard it. His new stuff keeps getting better and better.

The BeeGees tribute – I’m on the fence with this tribute. I loved the songs but half of the performers were terrible. They wouldn’t know disco if their life depended on it. John Travolta was at the ceremony - so why didn’t introduce the segment?

The Bad, sort of:

I couldn’t watch Katie Perry…period.

Beyonce’s performance reminded me of that scene in Hair!...you know, the one after the LSD trip ...(of course, Hair! did it way better)

Adele’s George Michael tribute – so I shouldn’t really put this performance in the ‘bad’ category but I’m one of the few people on the planet who is not an Adele fan. Yes she has an amazing voice, I just don’t like the majority of her songs. I trust she has a great respect and admiration for George Michael and is definitely worthy of performing his tribute. I just personally wished that again, they could have done a medley of George Michael/Wham! songs. And someone more like say, Adam Lambert, to cover the full catalogue of songs…please remember that GM did not just sing ballads; the Grammies should have acknowledged all that great pop music that Wham! delivered.

Perhaps the decision to go with one song only for the Prince/GM tributes goes back to the Gaga/Bowie fiasco last year. The medley of songs didn’t work then so this year’s tributes were limited to one song only. I guess I can’t blame them for that, but I just don’t think it was enough. Meh
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: crushed crushed
  • Current Music: Let's Go Crazy - Prince
Aladdin Daydreams

Randomness

Super Bowl Half Time Show: PRINCE > GAGA > everyone else
(that said, as good as Gaga’s half time show was, it was more or less a high-budget, glorified Madonna concert from the 80s, for the record though – GAGA > MADONNA )

Poldark: Yes, I’m behind and only part way through season 2 but why did you have to kill of Francis right when he was getting his s**t together?? I’m certain George and Elizabeth will wind up together now. Ugh, I just can’t. Aunt Agatha, I am relying on you to set this straight.

Whomever is scoring Victoria on Masterpiece, Poldark and Emerald City all deserve Emmys. Brilliant!!

Keanu Reeves just gets better looking as he gets older...hard to believe that Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp are ONLY one year older than him.

The Magicians Season II – is sooooo off book. Who wrote this? I can’t believe Lev ok’d it. Please go back on book ‘cause what you are doing to Penny (and Fillory in general) is hurting my soul.

I keep having dreams with Jeffrey Dean Morgan in them. Why is this happening? (Dear Brain: James McAvoy…Michael Fassbender…Clive Standen…Colin O’Donoghue…really, it’s not that difficult…work with me here)
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: apathetic apathetic
  • Current Music: Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes
Words Words Words

The Infernal Devices

The Infernal Devices completed. All in all it was a decent trilogy. I don’t regret reading it. I’m just a wee tad sick of the teenage love triangle angst. Suffice to say, now I recall why I didn’t finish reading The Mortal Instruments series. Sadly, the conclusion of The Infernal Devices was sub par. It seemed designed specifically to placate the Team Jem fangirls and to make sure they had an all round happy ending. Have started the Darker Shade of Magic trilogy and will keep you posted on how that develops.
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: complacent complacent
  • Current Music: Lord of the Rings Soundtrack - Howard Shore
Tags:
Doctor Who - 10 Hi

Who's Next?

Sad to hear that this will be the last season of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. I feel as though he was ripped off. He is such a great actor but the writing they gave him to work with was garbage compared to that of his predecessors. Hopefully the new Who will NOT be a woman. I love Missy, and I’m fine with the Master being female, but I think if the Doctor were also a female at the same time as the Master it would be a disaster. I’ve always wanted Ben Whishaw to be the Doctor; he is so perfect for the role, it isn’t even funny. I thought Ben had pretty much vetoed the idea publically before but it seems he is the odds on favourite right now so who knows (pardon the pun). I see Rory Kinnear’s name on that same list and part of me loves this thought and part of me hates it…but damn he’d be so good opposite Michelle Gomez. Eventually I’d like to see Asa Butterfield take on the role, but he is still way too young. In the interim, I’m completely on the #VlahosforWho bandwagon – and not only Alexander Vlahos as the Doctor, but also Eros Vlahos for his companion. Failing that, and speaking of Eros Vlahos, what is Tom Riley up to these days? He’d make a fab Doctor as well. Oh well, at the very least I’m going to enjoy this #VlahosforWho campaign on social media. Bring on those Tumblr gifs!!!  
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: geeky geeky
  • Current Music: Water Music - Handel
Tags:
Movie Time

XXX: The Return of Xander Cage

Went to see XXX: The Return of Xander Cage this weekend. The basic premise – ‘After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister weapon known as Pandora's Box, a device that controls every military satellite in the world. Recruiting a new group of thrill-seeking cohorts, Xander finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that points to collusion at the highest levels of government.’

Vin Diesel is so charismatic and charming and I’ll pretty much watch most films he is in. The Return of Xander Cage was good, but not quite up to par with the original. They introduced the support characters way too quickly; you weren’t able to build up any ties with his ‘group of cohorts’. I’m not sure if the plan is to craft an alternate franchise for Vin to run alongside his Fast and Furious series but at least with F&F the team members are all quite memorable, unique and far better developed than the XXX crew. Granted the highlight of this film is the stunts and action sequences (which are AMAZING), I genuinely wanted to see more of Ruby Rose and Rory McCann and learn about their characters’ backstories. Either way, the movie was a fun ride and just makes me look forward to the next F&F film scheduled for release later this spring. Say what you will but I will take a F&F film over the Avengers/Marvel any day.  
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: amused amused
  • Current Music: Swan Lake: Waltz - Tchaikovsky
Tags:
Virgo

2017 - Year of the Rooster, for snakes...


"People born in the Year of Snake have favorable fortune in 2017, especially for their career. Besides their brilliant talents and assiduous efforts, the lucky stars will also promote some big developments. Although the income will increase, they still need to make a detailed plan for all expenses. Abundant wealth will be accumulated due to their economical life. Meanwhile, they will gain sweet love and stable marriage life in 2017. For married people, sweet and harmonious love life needs more patience and respect. However, health condition needs to be paid much attention to."

Two things I learned today...apparently I am not just any old 'snake', I am a Green Wood Snake, to be precise (more on that below)...AND, like Queen Elizabeth I, I am both a 'Snake' and a 'Virgo'. Sweet!
Wood Snake attributes...Collapse )
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: nerdy nerdy
  • Current Music: Nocturnes: Fetes - Debussy
Tags: ,
Scottish Flag

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

Happy Robbie Burns Day! In celebration of the (second) best country in the world, here are some amazing facts about Scotland:

  • In 1794 Scottish engineer William Murdoch built the first-ever house to be lit by gas. (Coincidentally, Edinburgh was the first city in the world with its own fire brigade, in 1824...I’m just sayin’)

  • Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills

  • Edinburgh was home to the Skye terrier Grey Friar’s Bobby, who captured the hearts of the nation by sitting on the grave of his dead owner for 14 years.

  • One particularity of Scots law is that a criminal trial may end in one of three verdicts: 'guilty', 'not guilty', or 'not proven'. The "not proven" verdict may be referred to as the Scottish Verdict abroad.

  • No one can come up with weirder names for food: Forfar Bridie (a meat pastry), Cock-a-leekie (soup), Collops (escalope), Crappit heid (fish dish), Finnan haddie (haddock fish), Arbroath Smokie (smoked haddock), Cullen Skink (haddock soup), Partan bree (seafood dish), Mince and tatties (minced meat and potatoes), etc.

  • Scottish surnames are divided in two main categories : Gaelic names (typically starting with "Mac-" or "Mc-") and Germanic names (e.g. Barclay, Blair, Brown, Cumming, Hamilton, Hope, Howard, Hunter, Lawson, Livingstone, Park, Stewart...).

  • The two first Prime Minister of Canada, John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) and Alexander Mackenzie (1822-1892), were Scottish. (of course they were!!)

  • Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited. (just curious – is there free land available on any of the remaining 660?? Are they even habitable???)

  • The motto of Scotland is “Nemo me impune lacessit”, or: "No one provokes me with impunity". It is used by the Order of the Thistle and on later versions of the Royal coat of arms.

  • The very first recorded appearance of the elusive Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a "water beast" attacked one of St. Columba's followers in the loch.

  • It is home to the oldest tree in Europe, a twisted yew which has stood in Fortingall for 3,000 years. According to local legend, Pontius Pilate was born in its shade and played there as a child (What I took from this = PONTIUS PILATE WAS SCOTTISH!!!)

  • There are as many Scottish people living in North America as in Scotland, with censuses in the United States and Canada identifying around five million people claiming Scottish ancestry.

  • Famous Scottish inventions include the television, developed by John Logie Baird in 1925, the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell  in 1876 and penicillin, by Alexander Fleming in 1928.

  • Scotland has three officially recognised languages: English, Scots and Scottish Gaelic, with just one per cent of the population using the last. (I need to find me some of those key Scottish Gaelic phrases)

  • Scotland has the highest proportion of redheads in the world. Around 13 per cent of the population has red hair, with 40 per cent carrying the recessive gene.

  • The Romans referred to Scotland as Caledonia (actually, knowing the Romans, they probably never referred to Scotland at all…LOL, those crazy barbarians)

  • The official animal of Scotland is the Unicorn. (seriously, how can you possibly top that???)

Gun cuireadh do chupa thairis le slainte agus sonas.
(May your cup overflow with health and happiness.)
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: content content
  • Current Music: Skye Boat Song - Outlander Soundtrack
Russell Brand being awesome

2017 Golden Globes

The 2017 Golden Globes were arguably the most boring GG presentation ever. Jimmy Fallon was passable as a host, but not great. The award winners were somewhat predictable...especially LaLaLand. For me, the three standout moments were:



  1. Meryl Streep’s awesome speech (and yes, Canadians are the nicest people! Thanx Meryl!! )

  2. Goldie Hawn’s faux slip of the tongue inadvertently creating the ‘Best Comedy/Mystical’ category...I only wish that was a real category!

  3. Anytime Dev Patel was on screen (I needed some eye candy to make up for the lack of McFassy). Nikolaj looked pretty fab as well. He seems to get even better as he gets older.


As for fashion, I can’t say as I really loved anyone's looks. Perhaps Emma Stone’s dress, hair and makeup were my fav but again, I wasn’t really that impressed by it. Winona Ryder looked better than usual but it was an understated look with simple hair and a somewhat plain black dress...nothing really memorable. Janelle Monae looked so cute in her b&w polka dots; it was the perfect dress and hair for her, but I doubt anyone else could carry off that look. Gal Gadot was gorgeous but her dress was not something I’d ever consider for myself, or for most other women. Of course Millie Bobby Brown was my real favourite. Can you give a best-dressed award to a tween? I just love her..and her fellow Stranger Things cast mates...period.


Ugh, I suspect the Oscars won’t be much better. It’s such a weak year for movies.

  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: blah blah
  • Current Music: Flashdance, What a Feeling - Irene Cara
Tags:
Home Spa Day

IPSY

About 6 months ago I started subscribing to IPSY glam bag. The subscription fee runs approximately $20/month (less if you live in America). For $20 I receive 5 different beauty products tailored to my preferences and packaged in a glam makeup bag. Not all of the products turn out to be things I’d use but there is always one product per month that I love and two or even three products that I will continue to use. Best part is it allows me to try things I would have never tested otherwise. The product lines vary and include some of my favs like Josie Maran and Tarte and, surprisingly, they also offer a lot of natural and organic products. The bags themselves are great as I can repurpose them for various duties - one stores my iPod, one for portable makeup, one for hair clips, etc. I also like receiving all the makeup brushes and mini mascaras...I’ll never have to buy mascara again!!! This month i’ll be receiving a nail polish (either grey or pink...both colours are gorgeous), a Trust Fund Beauty neutral lip gloss, Smashbox BB cream, a blending brush and a hand cream. The service has been great - simple to track the shipments and no problems with delivery. IPSY website login provides you with a list of the products you will receive and instructions and tips on how to use them. I’m so pleased with the service overall and highly recommend it!!!

Below is a pic of my August glam bag...visually it was my fav bag of 2016. I love the nail polish, the Tarte lipstick and I use that hair cream whenever I need to control flyaway hairs when I put my hair up.





  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: impressed impressed
  • Current Music: Mozart - eine kleine nachtmusik
Tags: ,
Doctor Who - Oswin types

On the subject of technology...apps, apps and more apps

I love my iPad (Air 2 - gold - 128gb). I think it may arguably be one of the best purchases I’ve ever made - worth every penny. It keeps me connected...which is both a good and a bad thing. What I like best about it though is the world of apps it has opened up for me. Some of my favs...both new and old...are listed below. It is worth noting, all these apps are free!


My fav apps...Collapse )


If you think there are any other good free apps out there, let me know. And btw, the current LiveJournal app sucks. It doesn't offer the features I would like it to have so I inevitably I always wind up accessing LJ the old fashion way. Meh.
  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: sore sore
  • Current Music: Angele Dubeau: Einaudi - I Giorni
Tags:
The Mummy - No Harm from Reading a Book

2017 - One book at a time - The Tearling Trilogy

Sadly I finished up the Tearling trilogy by Erika Johansen. Goodreads supplies the following brief summary: The series follows nineteen-year-old princess Kelsea Glynn, who must reclaim her deceased mother’s throne and redeem her kingdom, the Tearling, from forces of corruption and dark magic of The Red Queen, the sorceress-tyrant of the neighboring country, Mortmesne.


Mild spoilers ahead...


IMHO - the Tearling trilogy...Collapse )


One final note - The Queen of the Tearling has been opted for a movie. No idea when it is scheduled for production but allegedly Emma Watson *groan* is set to star as Kelsea with Francois Arnaud as Pen (geez I hope Pen plays a more ‘substantial’ part in the movie...and, for the record, Francois would have made a better Fetch IMHO). I know who I’d like to see cast as the Mace...even if he is a wee bit too young, he’d be perfect. * crosses fingers*


And now I leave the Tear and move on to Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices.

  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: mellow mellow
  • Current Music: The Carnival of the Animals: VIII Aquarium - Saint-Saens
Tags:
Elsa

Here's how I spent day one of 2017...

Nothing too exciting on my agenda for day one. I read a bit of the third and final book in the Tearling trilogy. I was hoping I would have been finished before the new year began; however, part of me is glad I'm only halfway through the novel as I really am not ready to depart from that lovely world just yet.

Started yoga again thanks to a new app. We'll see how that goes.

I did successfully procrastinate for at least one more day before I tackle those minutes. I'm quite proud of that accomplishment.

Otherwise...I did watch Frozen...again...twice. Next up is Godspell. I should also mention that I spent New Year's Eve watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I regret nothing.
  • Current Location: Living room
  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
  • Current Music: Let It Go - Frozen Soundtrack
Tags: ,
New Year

2017 Hurray!!



2017 couldn't get here soon enough IMHO. Best wishes to all for a prosperous, peaceful and rewarding new year :)
  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
  • Current Music: Carmen Suite #2: Danse Boheme - Bizet
Tags:
Books

2017 Books

Currently Reading:Completed:

  1. The Fate of the Tearling - Erika Johansen ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

  2. A Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  3. A Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  4. A Clockwork Princess - Cassandra Clare ⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

  5. A Darker Shade of Magic - V. E. Schwab ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

  • Current Location: My Library
  • Current Mood: grateful grateful
  • Current Music: Symphony #9 New World: Largo - Dvorak
Tags: ,
Travel the World

Still sick, tv updates and travel icons...

Here we are almost two weeks later and yes, I'm still sick. At least I feel better...I just sound sick. With this cold weather I can't open windows in my condo so I'm not really getting much fresh air and that is not helping. I just want to be able to breathe clearly again and stop coughing. Meh...can't be much longer now. First day of spring is less than a month away \o/

Btw, for the TWD fans out there, are any of you still disturbed by that odd last episode? Honestly, they can kill people (and walkers) left right and center on that show but the minute they have an episode about nothing in particular (i.e. Rick & Daryl on a milk run, Richonne, etc.) it leaves me scratching my head in confusion. What the heck was that supposed to be??? A reprieve?? Proof that there is still some iota of normalcy during the zombie apocalypse? quidquid...I can't believe I'm going to say this but I'm looking forward to the return of Fear the Walking Dead in April.

So good to have Vikings back...I watched maybe ten minutes of it live on Thursday night and came to the realization that those ten minutes were arguably better than anything I've seen on tv this year (exceptions to Black Sails, Versailles and The Magicians). Watched the entire premiere on Saturday evening. I'm excited to see where they are going with Rollo, although I don't believe his character would just turn on his fellow vikings that quickly. Meh.

Aside from being sick, nothing too exciting going on in my life. I did manage to get 10 out of 10 on the Can you name these 10 iconic sights? quiz. I'd be more than happy to visit any one of these spots - only question is where to go first? *cough* # 3 9 *cough*...
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: anxious anxious
  • Current Music: Logos: Ludovico Einaudi
Ballet

2016-2017 Mirvish & National Ballet...and Vikings...

While there are several promising concerts on deck with TSO next year, the 2016-2017 season is not exactly a banner year for Mirvish or the National Ballet of Canada. I have zero interest in any of the plays on Mirvish’s 2016-2017 agenda with a notable exception for Cabaret…and even that I do not NEED to see. The 2016-2017 National Ballet schedule is slightly more inviting but, if any, I will likely only consider Swan Lake given that I have never seen it live and have been waiting for just the opportune moment. Carpe signum.

More importantly, the season premiere of Vikings is tonight at 10pm eastern. \o/ Dvr’ing it with the plan to watch the series back-to-back-to-back on Saturday night with Black Sails and Versailles. Basically, that is my idea of the PERFECT night of television….
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: blah blah
  • Current Music: The Crystal Ship: The Doors
Ned - Bad Day

Getting there...and a bit about the Grammies...

Still sick…well at least the achy part is over…and although I’m still congested, I am not so stuffed up that I can’t breathe. I’ve been taking Tylenol cold and flu off and on since Friday. It helps a lot but I think it is upsetting my stomach so I’m trying to avoid it. I don’t really feel sick (at least not like I did on Friday evening) – just more unenergetic than usual. I just want to lay down. MEH…hopefully I’m back to normal soon.

Watched the Grammy Awards…they were dull and not very well organized IMO. The winners were deserving if not predictable. Taylor Swift looked fantastic; Beyonce not so much…(that dress was horrid!!). Tribute to BB King was the highlight of the show – the rest of the night was just boring. I think I was more entertained by the audience reactions than the actual performances. I expect the Oscars to be a snooze-fest as well…but I do have high hopes for the Tonies, especially with James Corden hosting.
  • Current Location: My Office
  • Current Mood: drained drained
  • Current Music: This is: Earth, Wind & Fire (Spotify)