Things on My Mind

Here’s a bit of a review of what’s been on my mind lately, including music, movie, and book recommendations.

1. THE Book. For so many months – and a couple of years, too – my friend/colleague/co-author/mentor and I have called it The Book. Now, The Book has been published, and I am so thrilled. So so so thrilled! Mastering Academic Writing has been one of my most fun and rewarding writing projects thus far, and to have had fun, shared laughs, brainstormed over so many meals with a good friend made the experience that much more positive and memorable. Copies of our book arrived from our publisher, Sage, over the holiday break, and it made for quite a happy mail day!

The book is intended for upper year undergraduate students, graduate students, and professors who are looking for a great writing resource and guide. Now, it’s not a boring academic textbook (if you ask me!); we took an informal, approachable tone as we offered instruction, examples, and notes about academic writing. It’s affordable, too! If you’d like to know more, let me know. The book is available at Sage and Amazon.

Don’t be surprised if you see it pop up again on White Cabana.

2. Music. For the last month or so, I’ve been listening to French radio (89.9 FM – CBC – Ici musique – in Waterloo) and French tunes on Spotify. It’s not only been a needed change from my usual pop/rap/top40 tunes, but also I can brush up on my French listening and comprehension skills (in preparation for my February vacance √† Paris!). On Spotify, I’ve had Lisa LeBlanc (Dump the guy ASAP is a hit) and Mackjoffat (Music Face is my current fave, but it’s in English) on repeat.

3. Blogosphere. Remember the good ol’ days of blogging? When people read blogs daily? When bloggers wrote daily? Before Instagram took over everyone’s phones? Before bloggers applied rose-coloured tints over every darn photo? Yeah, me too. I had brunch with Melissa over the break, and we chatted about how things have changed and the approaches we observe from afar from influencers, vloggers, bloggers, and more.

I have barely changed my approach to blogging even though I know the blogging world around me has changed. I blog every day unless I’m on a break. I read blogs daily, too. I like to read about people’s real lives, their Pinterest and DIY fails and successes, and what they do in the spare time. I continuously learn from others, and I’m inspired by a lot of what I see on my daily blog visits. Who’s with me on this?

4. Movies and Netflix. Oh my goodness. I have watched so much Netflix. Too much, in my opinion, but such is life. I guess I’m in post-book, post-MBA relaxation mode. I don’t love being a couch potato, but I didn’t argue with myself about it over the holidays.

So what did I watch? Just about every cheesy Christmas movie set in Belgravia, Genovia, anyotherovia. I don’t recommend any of them unless you’re embracing a cheesy couch potato lifestyle.

I also watched Birdbox. I was scared at first, then I wasn’t. It was okay. I didn’t love it, but it is worth watching on Netflix. And I also watched Theory of Everything. I really enjoyed it.

And in the theatre, I opted to watch The Favorite. It was interesting. Funny but quirky but not too quirky. Great acting, costumes, and set design. Plus, if you’re a fan of Emma Stone, you’re going to enjoy her performance. The movie had the audience laughing. I recommend it.

I also went to see Mary Queen of Scots, and it was excellent. I learned a lot, really enjoyed the acting, and, of course, the costumes were amazing.

5. Books. I’m still listening to Haruki Murakami audiobooks. I love that they’re all set in Japan. I started a collection of his short stories. This is the first time I’ve read (or listened to) a collection of short stories. I like that they’re quick, but I don’t like that there’s no time to develop plot and characters. I also can barely remember any story that I’ve listened to. There was one set in a hotel, there was one about a teenage romance…see, the details escape me! There are too many stories to remember! But do I still enjoy his writing? Yes.

Movies: Dior and I

I watched Dior and I the other night – a documentary about the House of Dior and Raf Simon’s journey of his first couture collection. The movie gives us the backstage pass to the atelier, and I loved it. Those ladies and men who do all the beautiful hand stitching is incredibly impressive, and, of course, it was interesting to see Raf Simon’s approach to fashion design. On top of this, the movie is in French, and so I got to enjoy the language for a couple of hours.

Still+1 DIORANDI_STILL9+copy Still+2Let’s have a look at what’s currently going on over at Dior, shall we?

lady-dior-bag-silverLady Dior bag

Lady-Dior-ParadiseLady Dior – Paradise bag

Dior-Fusion-sneakerDior Fusion sneaker

Dior-Tribale-earringsDior Tribale earrings

silhouette_50Dior long off-white wool dress

silhouette_15Dior printed and pleated white dress

silhouette_05Dior white cotton organidie top and shorts

Entertainment: What I’ve Been Watching

I have watched more than the usual (for me) amount of television since the fall. I get completely caught¬†by the Netflix-binge-watching bug, and before I realize it, I’m finishing off one television series and beginning another. Even with all that I’ve watched, there’s still more for me to see before I am totally in touch with what everyone else is talking about – my Netflix-must-watch list seems to grow on a daily basis! Who has time for all these shows? When do people watch tv?¬†Anyway, here’s a¬†quick recap of what I’ve watched over the last few months:

TV shows:

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Gilmore Girls – I¬†watched all 7 seasons over the course of a month or so. I can’t believe I watched all 7 seasons. That’s a whole lot of hours!¬†I loved following the day-to-day business of¬†Lorelai and Rory – the mother daughter duo who lead this series – in the quaint and comfortable town of Stars Hollow. Seven seasons, though, that’s sort of embarrassing!?

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I loved watching the two seasons of Mr. Selfridge. The characters are complex, the costumes are¬†fascinating, and the management style¬†of Mr. Selfridge¬†is interesting.¬†Jeremy Piven – as Mr. Selfridge – is perfect. I can’t wait for more! Two seasons¬†seems like a reasonable amount of tv watching, but¬†it really equates to about 20 hours of tv…half a normal work-week. Wow.

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I am now several seasons in to White Collar. I had never heard of it before I clicked on it via my Neflix menu. It’s been alright. I¬†like¬†that each of the characters is still around after so many seasons;¬†there has been zero – or little – character turnaround.¬†I also like the¬†dynamics between each of the characters.

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Homeland was incredible. I am certainly¬†eager to see what the next season has in store! I was never a fan of Claire Danes, but¬†I think she’s¬†amazing in the¬†role of Carrie¬†Mathison.

Movies:

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I’ve watched¬†Pitch Perfect¬†a few times now, and it still entertains me. The songs, the dancing, the amusing dialogue – it’s all fun! Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson are two of my faves in this film. Yes, it’s true, I do like a good teen movie. Pitch Perfect 2 is due to hit theatres in May.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel is a work of art. There is so much beauty in this quirky film. I feel like I need to watch it several more times just so I can can catch and analyze every detail that went into this film.

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I felt like I went on a lengthy trek after I finished watching Wild. The scenery is beautiful, the story is true, and Reese Witherspoon played her part so wonderfully that I almost forgot that she starred in Legally Blonde. I was surprised to learn that Nick Hornby wrote the screenplay and was one of the executive producers of this film.

What’s on your must-watch list? I’d love to know!