Some Goals for November...

Ugh. October. I don't even want to talk about it. It was such a write-off this year. Sad, because October is usually my favourite month. Life goes on, but I'm definitely in a slump right now, so I thought a list of November goals might help me get back on track.

1) Write more blog posts in November than I did in October. This won't be hard, since I only posted three entries throughout the entire month of October. I have a history of having a hard time keeping up with blogging, so this is going to be my trick: Each month, I'll try to write at least one post more than I did the month before, until I get into a good routine.

2) Get back into Instagram. I fell out of love with Instagram right around the time I moved to Toronto. I guess I just got too busy? Or I wasn't going out enough to have anything worth Instagramming? I don't know. But the time has come for me to revive my account, and get back in the habit of taking pictures.

3) Make my husband something nice for his birthday. I have such a bad habit of leaving birthday celebrations to the last minute. I always have the best of intentions but this year I want those ideas to actually come to fruition.

4) Bone up on product knowledge for work. Did I mention I'm being promoted?

5) Continue practising techniques to help get the dog over her separation anxiety problems. I love her, but she's driving me nuts.


Puppy troubles.

Having a dog is a lot of hard work to begin with, but when your dog has problem behaviours, it is positively life ruining. Our beautiful hound dog, Lady, is driving me nuts lately. She's basically holding us hostage. Whenever we leave the apartment, she howls and yowls and just goes entirely bonkers. It's causing a lot of stress, because we live in an apartment, and I worry about her disturbing the neighbours.

The internet is a great thing, because there's so much access to information that can help you tackle problems like this. Unfortunately, it's also a terrible thing, because everybody's got an opinion and all of them conflict with each other. "It's separation anxiety!" "No, it's dominance!" "You need to use systematic desensitization!" "No, you need to assert your dominance!" "No, nothing will help unless you put her on drugs first!" "Try a bark collar!" "Those collars are inhumane!" "Here, watch this Cesar Millan video!" "Cesar Millan is an imbecile!" It's exhausting, and ultimately, it leaves you no better off than you were to begin with, because, sure, you have all this information, not all of it is useful, or even accurate, and it's hard to tell what's what. 

So far, everybody has been telling us that the howling stems from one of two problems: Separation anxiety or dominance issues. After doing a bit of research, I've drawn my own conclusion: It's not one or the other, it's both. I think she's experiencing separation anxiety because she's unsure of her place within the family unit. Also, the fact that she's a rescue probably compounds the problem. After all, she's been abandoned before. 

All of this means that it's doggie boot camp time (sorry, Lady!). We spent our morning practising down-stays, and this afternoon, as with every day, she'll get some alone time in her crate. In the meantime, I just have to keep reminding myself, we haven't even had her 2 months yet, and it's going to take time for her to adjust to our rules. And we're still learning, as well. I just hope the neighbours can tolerate the noise for awhile longer!


The Stuff That I've Been Doin' and Sucktober.

I haven't been blogging much, because the title of this blog is, of course, Becca Does Stuff, and I haven't really been doing anything particularly blogworthy lately. Here's what I've been up to in October: 

1) Being sick. The kind of sick where you feel it in your bones. It was awful. It began the day after I got home from a visit to Ottawa, and I've been dealing with it since. Three days ago, I decided I'd had enough, researched some home remedies, and whipped up a variety of magic potions in my kitchen. I'm not even kidding, I made this concoction of turmeric, ginger, and honey, and chowed down on 5 cloves of garlic, and I woke up feeling 80% better the very next day. Next time, I'm skipping the drugstore stuff and going straight to weird homemade teas made of spices. 

2) Starting a new job. I come from that generation that was taught never to reveal too much personal information online, lest you be fired and then murdered, so I'm not going to specify where, exactly, I'm working. But I will tell you this: It's a little bit beneath my skill level but it's super fun so I don't care, the dress code is extremely comfortable, the people are extremely rad, and it's a job that will keep me very well hydrated and is relevant to my interests. And those are all the clues I'm giving. A girl must retain some sense of mystery, after all. 

3) Training my dog. I don't know if I've mentioned before that I have a hound dog. In an apartment in Toronto. So... that's............... hard. My husband and I are working extremely diligently on training her to be well-behaved and quiet, and I'm trying to stay positive that, because we're both so committed to working hard at changing her problem behaviours, it won't take too long to fix her issues. 

So those are the main reasons why I haven't been blogging. I've been way too sick and stressed to expend brain cells on coming up with topics for posts, which is a task that I'm admittedly not great at even under the best of circumstances. I'm not gonna lie, October is usually my favourite month of the year, but this month, I've been referring to it as Sucktober. It's just been one challenge after another. But, such is life. All you can ever do is keep plugging away at the challenges until you overcome them. And maybe decide to have a different favourite month this year. 

Maybe for my next post, I'll write out the recipe for the magic illness-curing potions that I made, and somebody out there in Internetland can give them a try and report back if they actually work, or if it's just a total coincidence that I felt better the day after I tried them.


And We're Back!

Sorry for the radio silence there, bloggeroos. I went out of town for a couple of days, and by the time I got back, it was time for us to switch internet providers, so I've been living internet-free for the past couple of days.

Anyway, having been back to visit for a couple of days now, here's a quick list of stuff that I actually miss about Ottawa: My family, my friends, the canal, being a five minute walk away from Sugar Mountain, and familiar karaoke bars. One thing I don't miss about Ottawa? The speed of the traffic flow there. Jeeeeeez. It's like a city full of drivers who don't actually have anywhere to go.

But, that's enough complaining out of me for one night. Back to our regularly scheduled programme tomorrow. BAH HA HA HA HA, just kidding! You and I both know there's no schedule here. Okay, bye!


Favourite TV Shows

Fall is my favourite time of year. For one thing, cool-weather clothing is better at hiding my muffin top. For another, it marks the beginning of the new tv season! Yay! 

I love tv. There are so many great shows on the air now. There are some impossibly terrible ones, as well (you all just pictured Honey Boo Boo, didn't you?), but for right now, we're going to think like optimists and focus on the good

New Girl. Might as well get the obvious one out of the way first. Zooey Deschanel plays Jess, who moves in with three single dudes after a bad breakup, and hijinks ensue. Season 2 just began this week, and currently, we are all holding our breath while we wait for Nick and Jess to just make out already.  

Awkward. You know, when MTV catches on to something good, they really knock it out of the park. Isn't MTV responsible for publishing Perks of Being a Wallflower? Anyway, how to explain Awkward? Essentially, Jenna Hamilton has the worst day of her life, which culminates in everybody thinking she tried to kill herself, and, again, hijinks ensue. Do you remember that show from the late 90s called Popular? Awkward is basically the love child of Popular and Gilmore Girls, if you can imagine that.

Community. Oh, Community, you beautiful, polarizing thing. Community is the type of show that's so weird, you feel shocked whenever it occurs to you that other people like it too. If it's your type of humour and you "get it", it feels like it was written just for you. I can't even tell you what this show is about, beyond "a group of misfits at community college". The Hijinks-o-meter is off the charts with this one. One of the most entertaining things I've ever done in my life was go through the photos for this show on IMDB. I recommend that you do that, if you want to find out what the show is about without actually having to watch it, because nobody will ever do a better job of conveying how weirdly great this show is than that series of still photographs.

Girls. No hijinks here. Well... okay, there are still hijinks, but they're less wacky, and more cringeworthy, but you love it even while you're wishing they'd just make better choices, because dammit, you've made bad choices too. Like with Hannah and her on-again, off-again relationship with Adam. That man his wholly repulsive, but with a few redeeming qualities that keep Hannah coming back to him over and over and over again... just like you and your ex-boyfriend. Love it, hate it, love to hate it... whatever. Girls is awesome.

How I Met Your Mother. I can't believe this show has been on the air since 2005. Moreover, I can't believe I've been paying such devoted attention to a show that's been on the air since 2005. HIMYM is to me what Lost was to everyone else. I'm obsessed with the mystery of it. It was actually a little bittersweet watching the premiere of season 8 this week, knowing that it's the beginning of the end. I'm nervous about how they plan to end this series! I don't want them to just go, "And that's how I met your mother!" and leave it at that. But at the same time, I can't think of any other way. Come back to me in June, I guess, and we can talk about how I feel then. 

Turns out, I like more tv shows than I like movies, and it was a lot harder for me to cut this list down to just 5. And, as before, I still don't know how to end a blog post. Um... it's over! Byyyyye.


Favourite Movies

I thought I'd do my first "real" post about some of my favourite movies. I'm not actually that much of a movie-goer, and there are a lot of "must-sees" that I've, uh, yet to see. My taste in movies is kind of particular. I generally like movies that are character driven, and that don't require toooo much suspense of disbelief on my part. That being said, I really love Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but I suspect that might have more to do with Christian Bale than with anything else. Anyway, in no particular order...

(500) Days of Summer. Ahhhhhbviously, I love this movie. I'm a millennial with two x chromosomes and bangs. It's pretty much a-given that I'd be smitten with this not-quite-a-love-story story. I won't re-hash the plot here, because who hasn't seen this one yet? But I will say that I love this movie for its little hand-drawn touches, the happy-yet-not ending, the killer soundtrack, and, of course, the fantastic cast.

Away We Go. This one had me at "John Krasinski". This is the story of a young married couple looking to break out of their comfortable rut at home and put down roots in a new city where they can raise a family. I was kind of obsessed with this movie before I moved away from my hometown this summer. It does a good job of capturing the feelings that come along with realizing that you've gotten kind of old and are maybe feeling a bit restless where you are. It's a very comforting movie if you're in that "quarter-life crisis" sort of place.

Before Sunrise. I have loved this movie since the 90s. I owned it on VHS and watched it constantly. This movie tells the story of two strangers who meet on a train, and impulsively decide to spend the rest of the day together. That's it. That's all there is to it. Simple. I love the dialogue in this one, because the characters really do seem like real people who would be interesting to hang out with. There was even an equally good sequel, Before Sunset, which was released about a decade after Before Sunrise. I've heard rumours that a third follow-up is in the works and I've got my fingers crossed that it's true! I think it's such a cool concept to watch the relationship between the characters grow in real time. 

Empire Records. Another 90s gem. This one, if I'm not mistaken, went straight to video when it was released, and for the life of me, I will never understand why. My friends and I were obsessed with this movie when we were in high school. Empire Records had a fandom before fandoms were a thing. I can (and do) still quote large chunks of dialogue from it. Empire is the story of an independently owned record store that's about to be bought out by a major national chain, and the kids who work there are not having it. I've noticed a trend toward 90s nostalgia lately, so I don't understand why this movie isn't getting more love. Damn the man, save the Empire! But be warned: the "fan remix" version that is widely available today is godawful compared to the original. You want the original version from 1995, with the white cover.  

Stranger Than Fiction. Yeah, I'm the one who liked this movie. It's actually kind of hard to tell if the main character is a real man whose life was one day overtaken by an author, or if he's a fictional man whose life one day became real. Personally, I lean toward the former, but I don't think it matters much. I think people were disappointed by this movie because Will Ferrell's association with it made them think it's a comedy -- it's not. It has its funny moments, of course, but yeah. Not a comedy. A recent release with similar themes was Ruby Sparks, which I also wholeheartedly recommend. Especially if you're the other one who liked Stranger Than Fiction.

So, there you go! Favourite movies! I never know how to end blog posts. Uh... bye!

(all images sourced via Pinterest.)

A Note About Images

In the past, I've always been really hesitant about incorporating images on my blog. I feel nervous about making sure I give appropriate credit to people, so I end up not using pictures on my blogs at all. It can be difficult to source the original creators of images when you find them on sources like Tumblr or Pinterest. I really want to have pictures on Becca Does Stuff, though. 

So, here's what I'm resolving to do with this particular blog: For any image that seems "original", I will always, always try to link it back to its original source. If I can't figure out the original source, for whatever reason, I'll try to make that clear. For obvious promotional pictures (such as photos meant to advertise tv shows, for example), I'll just link back to Pinterest or whatever site I found them on. 

I hope this system works for everyone, and of course, if (when) I make mistakes with crediting my images, you can always leave me a comment to help me fix it. Cool beans? Cool beans. 


Hi, blog!

Well, hi there!

So, I've been working away all week with Gimp, trying to learn how to make appealing photo collages and stuff, but, internet, I am stumped. So, you're just going to have to bear with me while I learn, because at the moment, my aspirations far outweigh my skills. 

I thought I'd kick this week off with a rousing round of "Meet Becca!" posts. Hopefully before this week is through, I will have found the time to share with you some of my favourite shows, movies, books, and music, even if I can't yet illustrate my posts the way I'd like to. 

In short... my name is Becca, and I do stuff.