Doctor Who Wednesdays #41

“If it’s time to go, remember what you’re leaving. Remember the best. My friends have always been the best of me.”

— Eleventh Doctor, The Wedding of River Song


ProjectTwentyNine: Weeks 12 and 13 | Audiobook sprint and Phantom of the Opera

Hello Lovely Readers! And welcome to my Weeks 12 and 13 Update. What do you all think of the biweekly updates instead of weekly? I’m thinking of continuing this pattern unless I have a particularly busy week.

The last couple weeks have been relatively uneventful and slow on the ProjectTwentyNine front, though I did manage to catch up a bit on my reading through an intense Audiobook weekend last weekend. I also managed to finally go to the British Museum – after almost a year of living in London. Less than a half an hour away. Oh well, better late than never, right?

1. Life Experiences/Adventures (#5)

  • The 29th Anniversary Showing of Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London. What better way to complete an item on my ProjectTwentyNine list, than by celebrating the 29th anniversary of an amazing show. This was actually the first time I’ve seen Phantom performed, and it was absolutely amazing. The end of the opening scene, where the chandelier is lifted and the show goes from the present to the past, is absolutely breathtaking and definitely gave me goosebumps. Such an amazing musical with an amazing score. It was even more amazing to see it performed in the theatre where it made it’s official debut. And at the end, the John Owen-Jones (the Phantom) had the audience stand (those that weren’t already) and he led everyone in singing Happy Birthday to the show. So much fun!

3. TV Shows (1 completion – yay!)
I have been a bit distracted with watching shows that are not actually on my list, and probably won’t end up on the list. That being said, I did catch up on some current shows and came close (see next week) to my first show completion (though that show is a substitution/swap)

  • Random shows I’ve been watching? Bones (I’m finally all caught up on the current season), CSI: New York, Ghost Whisperer, and I’ve also been watching the newest season of Doctor Who as it airs. One or two of theses might end up as part of my list, but that is still yet to be decided.

4. Children’s Reads (#6 and #7)

  • Stuart Little by E.B. White. This was not a new read; I read Stuart Little as a child, but I haven’t read it recently. As much as I still enjoyed it this time around, I have to say that I did not enjoy it as much as when i was younger, and it is not one of my favourite children’s works. In many ways it reads more like a collection of short stories, and I think if I had gone into it thinking that it would have been a bit more enjoyable. Especially the ending, which does not come to conclusion, and makes the reader feel like they’re missing the last couple chapters. The stories are enjoyable, but I definitely wish there was one more chapter to wrap things up.
    Genre: Children’s Fiction. Verdict: If it’s your first time reading E.B. White, try Charlotte’s Web instead.
  • Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. For whatever reason, I never read this book as a child, and I think I would have enjoyed it. Though I suspect, based on the other girl detective type books that I read, that Harriet would have gotten on my nerves a bit, even as a child. As much as I loved reading about a young girl who loved writing, and loved pretending to be a spy, it bothered me that she wrote such terrible things about her peers. And it bothered me more that, even when she was ostracized by her friends, they never really explored the idea that it was her own fault and that she should apologize; Harriet was allowed to continue to believe that she was wronged.
    Genre: Children’s Fiction. Verdict: Recommend, but with the caveat that it will never make my list of ‘childhood books you just have to read.’

7. Impulse Reads (#4, #5, #6)

  • Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon. This book is very recently published (this year I think), and it was an impulse read based on the recommendations from my library. And I have to say, I am so glad that I stumbled across it. This was one of the books I listened to on Audiobook, and the first 10-20 minutes I was not totally sure I was going to enjoy the book, but after that point I enjoyed it more and more with every minute.
    Genre: Children’s Fiction/Fantasy Verdict: Highly Recommend.
  • Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene. Though I do have two Nancy Drew books listed on my “Re-reads” list, I currently have these two listed in impulse reads, because I would still like to re-read the two books listed specifically. I’m not going to comment on the books themselves, because I’m sure you’ve heard about Nancy Drew before. But I will say that, even though they can be formulaic, I always enjoy re-reading them.
  • Nancy Drew and the Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene.

I think that is all for this week. Join me next week. Same place. Same time.

Keep Smiling!


Doctor Who Wednesdays #39

River’s narration: [as the Doctor walks away from the Library] When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it’ll never end, but however hard you try you can’t run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor, but I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it.


River’s narration: Everybody knows that everybody dies, but not every day. Not today. [The Doctor uploads her into CAL, where she is “saved” in a virtual reality, along with her fellow expiditioners killed by the Vashta Nerada] Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives.

— River Song, Silence in the Library

ProjectTwentyNine: Weeks 10 and 11 Update | Cambridge, Movies and The Globe Theatre

Hello Lovely Readers! And welcome to my Weeks 10 and 11 Update. I have just entered into my last 7 weeks in London, and I admit that I am feeling a bit of a lull in motivation for working on Project Twenty Nine lists. And, even though I have read a bit, I have finished no books in the last two weeks… which is really pathetic considering how many books I have to read this year. But have no fear! I will persevere past this point, and reclaim my lost motivation. In the meantime, have a look see at what I have managed to accomplish in the last couple weeks.

1. Life Experiences/Adventures (#4)

  • Cambridge, England. As a partner trip to the Oxford adventure last weekend, I went with a group from Britbound to explore the rival: Cambridge. The day was absolutely beautiful, and made all the more beautiful from the knowledge that now that it is fall there may be a limited number of beautiful weekends left. Cambridge was also enjoyable, and the best part was when we went on a punting (boat) ride down the River Cam. Overall the Cambridge adventure was enjoyable, and there are some really beautiful views throughout the city. But can I tell you a secret? I think I preferred Oxford… shhhh… don’t tell Cambridge.

2. TV Shows (No completions)
I’ve kind of being watching a strange variety of shows the last couple of weeks, and I feel like I have not made a whole lot of progress on my lists, that being said looking back at my notes suggests that I did make a bit of headway.

  • New Watch: Gossip Girl. Okay, here’s the thing. This show is on my list, but I suspect it’s going to be one of the shows that I swap for something else, because I’m really not enjoying it. I don’t so much dislike it, as just not care. I’ve watched a few episodes of the first season, and I just can’t get into it. Unfortunately, I’m starting to read the max number of swap outs I’ve set for myself, so if I can tolerate a season or two this one might need to stay.
  • Dexter Season 2.
  • New Watch: Gotham. This show wasn’t on my list largely because I hadn’t even really come across it until recently, and it’s only going into the second season. I am really enjoying it though, and look forward to catching up and possibly even watching it while it’s airing. I know… shocker.
  • Bones. This show is not technically on my list, but I have a gap space that is intended to be taken up by a show that I re-watch frequently. It might end up being this show. We shall see.

3. Comic Books/Graphic Novels (#Not sure, I have to figure this out)

  • This week I’ve been reading an webcomic that I am really enjoying, called The Phoenix Requiem. I only started it this past weekend, but I look forward to reading more. I need to look into reading it on a device other than my laptop though, because it is not ideal.

4. Movies (#1)

  • Up!. So… I have a confession, dear readers. This was the first time I had seen Up. I know, I know, what kind of self-respecting Disney lover am I? Truthfully, I was kind of avoiding watching it, because I had heard that it was sad. And sometimes I’m a wimp. In the end I really enjoyed it, even though it made me cry… more than once.

5. Childhood Movies (#3, #4)

  • Thumbelina – I’m not going to get into it here, but I have determined that this is a weird movie. Even though I have it listed as one of my childhood movies, it wasn’t one of my favourites or one of the most watched, but my sister and I went through a phase where we watched it a bit. Watching it again as an adult though? It is seriously strange. With one great scene/song.
  • Angels in the Outfield – I actually had this movie planned for later in the year I think, but those Blue Jays are doing so well that I was in a baseball mood. I still really love this movie, and there are a lot of memorable funny parts. Also – young Joseph Gordon Levitt… enough said.

6. Video Games (#2)

  • The Sims 3 – The Sims 3 is not a new game for me, but it’s the type of game that I won’t play for months, and then I’ll marathon it for awhile, before getting bored with it again. This past weekend has been a marathon period… even though I’ve had other things that I wanted to work on.

7. Friend Outings (#1)

  • A play at The Globe Theatre. One of my friends from Canada was temporarily in London and, since I had not checked this off my London list yet, we decided to give it a go. And it was a fantastic experience (even though there was something of a post in front of our seats). We didn’t end up seeing a Shakespeare play, but the one we picked (Nell Gwynn), was a terrific choice, as it was funny and also gave a bit of an idea of how theatre worked back in the days when The Globe Theatre first existed.

8. Impulse Movies (#3, #4, #5, #6)
What can I say? It was a “watch all the movies that aren’t actually on your lists” kind of feeling for the last couple weeks.

  • The Backup Plan – I watched this movie on a whim because both of the other movies that I was hoping to watch had recently been removed from Netflix (don’t you just love when they do that). Because of that, I’m not sure if the reason I didn’t enjoy it was because I had become set on watching a certain movie. But I didn’t really enjoy it, and probably won’t ever watch it again. I didn’t find the characters or the story believable, and though it had funny moments, I just did not care about the couple’s relationship. Which is never great when you’re watching a RomCom.
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic – you know how I mentioned that I had myself set on watching a different movie in place of the previously mentioned movie? Well this is that movie. I ended up finding it elsewhere online, and it was so satisfying. Like satisfying a long held food craving, or scratching that hard to scratch spot.
  • The Emperor’s New Groove – I don’t really know why, but I have had this movie on the brain all summer. And I finally succumbed to the internal pressure and watched it (not really sure why I was resisting). And the verdict? All of the funny parts were just as funny, and there were a few funny parts that I had completely forgot about. Such a fun movie.
  • Clueless – here’s another one that I had not seen before, and watched as the result of a Netflix browse. I had recently become more interested in watching this movie when I learned that it is an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma (not one of my favourite Austen reads, but I love the adaptation Emma Approved). As a RomCom it was okay, and as an adaptation it was not bad, though I would say that it did not even come close to doing the story justice. At least now I can say that I’ve watched this somewhat iconic nineties flick.

One final point, that has absolutely nothing to do with this week’s update… how ’bout those Blue Jays? I cannot believe that the year that the Jays make it to the Post Season, I am out of the country with limited access to games (not to mention the time difference complications…). Go Jays, Go!

I think that is all for this week. Join me next week. Same place. Same time.

Keep Smiling!


Doctor Who Wednesdays #38

River: You know when you see a photograph of someone you know, but it’s from years before you knew them. It’s like they’re not quite finished; they’re not done yet. Well, yes, the Doctor’s here. He came when I called just like he always does, but not “my” Doctor. Now, my Doctor, I’ve seen whole armies turn and run away, and he’d just swagger off back to his TARDIS and open the doors with a snap of his fingers. The Doctor in the TARDIS. Next stop: everywhere.
The Doctor: Spoilers! Nobody can open the TARDIS by snapping their fingers. It doesn’t work like that.
River: It does for the Doctor.
The Doctor: I am the Doctor.
River: Yeah. Someday.

— — River Song, Silence in the Library

ProjectTwentyNine: Weeks 7 – 9 Update | Edinburgh, Oxford, and Television Shows

Hello Lovely Readers! And welcome to my Weeks 7, 8 and 9 update. Now, you’ve probably been wondering what where the update posts have been for the last week, and possibly even whether I am still working on my ProjectTwentyNine lists. Well, I am here today with an answer to both of those questions. First off, yes I am still working on my lists, I’ve just been a bit terrible about keeping track of what I’ve done throughout the week. This is related to me falling behind on my update posts. The first week I just completely forgot to write a post, and then last week I was away on the Monday and made the decision to just write a joint post this week. So, there’s the explanations – you may or may not see more joint posts throughout the rest of the year, so do not be alarmed!

1. Life Experiences/Adventures (#2 and #3)

  • Edinburgh, Scotland. The first weekend of September I went to Edinburgh, and I absolutely loved it! I also loved the glimpses I got of other parts of Scotland during the train journey, and it made me wish I had planned time to see more of Scotland before returning to Canada. As for Edinburgh itself, it was definitely one of my favourite cities so far, and I did not want to leave at the end of my trip. I will try to post a more complete post as to why I loved Edinburgh, and stay tuned for photos (either here or on my other blog). I also vlogged during this trip, and will hopefully get this posted within the next couple weeks.
  • Oxford, England. This past Saturday I went on a day trip to Oxford with a small group of fellow Britbounders, and it was pretty great. We went on a 2-hour walking tour with a fantastic guide who provided some fascinating history about the various colleges and the city some of which date back to the thirteenth century. After walking around this university town for the afternoon, I definitely was missing being a student.

2. Geeky Things (#2)

  • The Harry Potter Walking Tour – Edinburgh, Scotland. This was a really fun tour, and the guide was fantastic. I saw a couple of the cafes where Rowling worked on writing, and walked around the graveyard where she got many of the names for her characters – including McGonagall, Tom Riddle, and Peter Pettigrew. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I saw the grave of Tom Riddle and his son, Tom Riddle.

3. TV Shows (No Completions)
Though I watched a lot of shows this month (there were a couple weeks of really terrible weather at the end of August, which made for a number of TV watching days), I did not complete all of the allocated episodes of all the shows I had planned. That being said, I did add a couple of shows, so all in all I think it was a fairly successful month.

  • Friends. Not much to say here. I have finished the set number of episodes for this month, and I think that brought me to the end of Season 2, or just about anyways. I am hoping to write a bit more about the First and Second seasons in my new series, so that is all I will say for now.
  • Community. This is a new watch, and I am completely loving it. I finished the first season, and it leaves me wondering why I never watched it earlier. Definitely looking forward to watching more, though I have been warned that the second season takes a bit of a dip before picking up again in the third season.
  • The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I watched the first 4 or 5 episodes of this, and though there are aspects of that I enjoy (can you say amazing opening credits score), I did not enjoy it enough to continue watching it. There were just a number of aspects of the story line that I did not like, and that I did not think were handle very well. This is the first show that I will officially be dropping from my list.
  • Buffy. I watched my allocated number of episodes for the month and them some (I was on a bit of a Buffy roll). I am really enjoying the show and the character development. I’m not going to go into this much further here, as I am hoping to start a new series to talk about the shows and movies I’m watching.
  • The Originals. This is not a show on my list, and I’m not really sure what made me start watching it, but I’m enjoying the story line and the take on the classic vampire and werewolf stories. This may be a show that I swap into my list. Apparently I’m on a vampire, and supernaturals kick.
  • Ghost Whisperer. This is another show not on my list, and unlike the previous one, this is a re-watch. I watched Ghost Whisperer while it was on television, and was so upset when it was cancelled after the fifth season. It seems likely that I will watch this to the end, and it will either be a substitute show or will get added to a list of impulse shows. I love the characters – Melinda especially – and the way that the show is tied together.

4. Children’s Reads (#4 and #5)

  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Though I am familiar with the story (yes, from the Disney version), I had never actually read the book. This is one that I listened to on audiobook, and the narrator was a bit distracting as he had a habit of pausing at the most awkward points. Overall, though, I enjoyed the story, and there were actually times I was shocked by the descriptions used of the pirates’ actions.
    Genre: Children’s Literature Verdict: Take it or leave it. Not my favourite children’s story.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snickett. Now, I have seen the movie, which covers stories from the first few books, but I still really enjoyed this book. I loved the writing style, and the way that the author would give the definitions of unfamiliar and big words by incorporating them into the story. It was a really unique way of introducing new vocabulary. At some point, I will try to read the rest of this series.
    Genre: Children’s Fiction. Verdict: Recommended.

7. Impulse Reads (#4)

  • A Nation Worth Ranting About by Rick Mercer. I really enjoyed this book, which is a collection of some of Rick Mercer’s rants along with more detailed explanations of some of them. I really enjoyed the writing style, and the topics covered. It was definitely nice to read a book about Canada, and Canadian problems, while being far from home.
    Genre: Non-Fiction. Verdict: Recommended.

21. Impulse Movies (#2)

  • Star Trek (2009). This is a re-watch, and one that I have re-watched a number of times. I really do love the Star Trek re-boot, though I admit that I have not watched much of the original series. I especially love sassy Spock, and sarcastic Bones. Bones is without a doubt my favourite character.

One more update before I sign off for the week. You may have noticed that I have not been posting my photo challenge updates… this is because I have not been doing all that great at staying on top of this. Technically that means that I’ve failed the challenge, but I’m going to continue taking photos and do my best to take pictures as close to everyday as possible.

I think that is all for this week. Join me next week. Same place. Same time.

Keep Smiling!


Doctor Who Wednesdays #36

Martha: Don’t you want to know what I was really doing when I was walking the Earth?
The Master: [rolls his eyes] Go on then, tell me.
Martha: I told a story. That’s it. No guns, no bombs, just words. I told them about the Doctor. I told them my story, and I told them to pass it on, to tell everyone they could so that the whole world know.
The Master: [mockingly] So faith and hope…That’s your plan?
Martha: No. I gave them an instruction; I told them that if everyone thinks of one word at one specific time-
The Master: Nothing will happen! Prayer, is that your weapon?
Martha: -Right across the world! One word, just one thought, at one moment…But with fifteen satellites!
The Master: [freezes] What?
Jack: The Archangel Network.
Martha: A telepathic field, binding the whole human race together. All of them, every single person on Earth, thinking the same thing at the same time! And that word, is “Doctor”!

— Martha Jones, Last of the Time Lords

Doctor Who Wednesdays #35

Rose: But what do I do every day, Mum? Get up. Go to work. Catch the bus, eat chips, and go to bed.
Mickey: It’s what the rest of us do.
Rose: But I can’t.
Mickey: Because you’re better than us?
Rose: No, I didn’t mean that. But it was, it was a better life. I don’t mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. [to Mickey] You know, he showed you too. [continues] You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say “no.” You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away, and I just can’t…!

— Rose, The Parting of the Ways