On Fan Communities

This is a post I’ve actually wanted to write for a long time, but it was a little tricky, technically being part of this community of people. But I have some thoughts (okay, more like a rant) on the subject that I just need to get out.

I am a part of a number of fan communities, I would say. I’m a concert fan, a Game of Thrones fan, a Doctor Who fan… and those are the big ones. As in, I’ll buy tickets to shows the second they go on sale, or I’ll watch the episode as soon as it airs and have a lot of fangirl-esque feels and fan theories to discuss with other fans of the show.

And okay, maybe I’m just becoming an old, grouchy adult, but I just cannot enjoy certain fan communities. They actually make me want to not associate with those people, because of how intense they are.

To me, fandom crosses a line when the entire thing becomes a competition, and when people put “being the biggest fan” ahead of being, y’know, a decent human being to others. It’s not about genuinely liking and enjoying something, but rather becomes this competition where you have to prove that you’re the biggest fan, and will do anything to earn your title and gain a reaction from people like, “wow, that’s incredible – I wish I could have the money/time to do that!”

Because honestly, I’ve been that person. For example, I love Firefly and am working my way to collecting all of their autographs. But at the same time, the further in I get, the more I realize I’m spending a lot of money for 2 minutes with a celebrity who will forget about me in literally 5 seconds. Is it worth it?

Another fun example that I hate talking about, but will talk about anyway: Jersey Boys.

I saw that god damn musical over forty times. Why? Because I was an impressionable teenager who thought it was so impressive to meet the cast members a million times. “Oh wow, these people remember who I am; that’s so cool!” I cringe every time I look back. That’s about when I realized it was better to cultivate relationships with people to whom I actually mattered. And made it my life goal to focus on the people who return the interest and care that I put into them.

But circling back to what I was saying before. I was never rude to people to get these autographs, or use them to prove how desirable my life is (spoiler alert: it’s really not).

This is the reason why I stopped attending bookish events and eventually gave up book blogging altogether.

The people are far too intense. The needing every book that comes out, even if they can’t read it in time. The need to go to every event and meet every author. The constant social media posts. It’s not about discussing books and sharing recommendations and building a network, anymore. Now it’s about rewarding those who are the loudest with more views. It all just feels so fake and attention-seeking. And I don’t know where I fit into that community anymore.

Don’t get me wrong – there are a few people who I can call friends. But I have honestly never been to a book event where people didn’t make me feel uncomfortable, or where guests were legit just absolute dicks for the sake of getting more/better free swag. It’s ridiculous. And quite frankly, it’s exhausting to be around these people.

Why put myself through this for the sake of writing a blog post about it that no one will read anyway? who am i going to these events for?

Fan Expo is usually my favourite time of year, but now I’m just not sure I want to go. Photos and autographs seem like a huge waste of money, and the insane crowds don’t seem worth it. Maybe I just don’t care about things as much as I used to, or maybe I’m reaching like, the old cranky lady stage of my life before I’m thirty.

I just feel like I used to be so timid and enjoyed watching people go nuts over something that seems so small in the grand scheme of the universe, but now if I go to these things I won’t be able to keep my mouth shut and I’ll just tell off the people off who sneak ahead in lines, or take more than their fair share of swag. Fan communities encourage craziness inherently (most of the time, with no bad intent), and I don’t really want to be a part of it, on any level.

I think I’m just really fed up with people who are so focused on material things and who feel entitled to these things because they are “a huge fan”.

Michelle Muses: June 2017

June was a busy summer kick-off, and it’s only going to get busier from here! But here’s what I’ve been up to this month.

Wonderland: I went with my dad and sister to Canada’s Wonderland – a place I haven’t gone in quite a while – and it was so much fun! We haven’t had a family outing in a while, so to be able to eat funnel cakes and walk around and enjoy the rides and take photos together was really nice.

Escape Room: I have never done an escape room before, but my family and I started doing this monthly get-together, and our first activity was an escape room. It was SO FUN. The guys teamed up and did a sort of James Bond-ish escape room, while the ladies took on a Mayan Temple, very Indiana Jones-type room. And we escaped our room! The men were not as fortunate, but theirs was a lot harder.

Family BBQ: I got to accompany Jacob to one of his family’s BBQ dinners where we went swimming and I met a ton of people – it was a lot of fun and very relaxing. This was mainly prep for the fact that in August I’ll be attending a bigger family reunion with even more people. Eep.

Jays v. White Sox: I think I am a jinx, in that anytime I go to a Jays game, they get their ass handed to them on a silver platter? Hoping the next time I go it’s a bit of a closer game! But it was still fun to have a drink and hang out with my favourite person.

Train: First concert of the crazy summer of concerts ahead of me! Train with one of my best friends was a great way to kick it off. Keep a look out for my post about the show!

Arkells & July Talk: Arkells is my favourite band right now, and July Talk is quickly climbing my list. This was, not gonna lie, probably the best show I’ve ever been to. I wa surrounded by awesome people who just wanted to have a great time and we did not stop dancing. Again, keep an eye on the blog to see a more detailed post about the night ❤

Third Eye Blind: This was such a great, nostalgic concert. Getting to jump up and down to Semi-Charmed Life and scream the words to Jumper? Heck yes. Stay posted for the full concert recap!

Changes on the blog:

Here’s probably the biggest one that will actually affect my readers. As you may have noticed, my blog is sort of headed in a concert direction. And honestly, it’s not about me switching the blog from “book blog” to “music blog”. It’s about me switching the blog from “writing about books because I have to”, to “writing about what I want, when I want”.

So no, you probably won’t see reviews for books before they get published. No, you probably won’t even see reviews for books within the first month of their being published. No, I don’t plan on working with publishers anymore.

BUT.

Yes, you will see more variety and posts about things I’m up to and things on my mind. Yes, you will get better reviews, because I’ll actually WANT to review the books, and I’ll have many more passionate things to say about them. So. There’s that.

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Michelle Muses: May 2017

Holy crap, I feel like this month flew by. Remember how at the end of April, I said I would take it easier this month? I actually did it! I’m usually the worst and just fill my calendar with stuff, but I took this month kind of easy. So here are the low-key adventures I went on in May.

Mother’s Day: For Mother’s Day, my mom and I went to see Beauty and the Beast (finally). I was really hesitant about seeing the movie because TBH I’m not a huge fan of Emma Watson (sorry, not sorry), but Beauty and the Beast was my favourite movie as a kid. I would literally watch it like, 4 times back to back in one day and then watch it again the next day, and the next day. No wonder I’m such a book nerd. Anyway, there’s no one else I would have rather gone to see this with, and it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.

When the music started at the beginning, I may have cried. I also may have cried when each character was introduced for the first time (Belle! *sob* Gaston! *sob*). And when Belle and the Beast started the dancing scene… Okay I cried like the whole time. Thank god for 3D glasses covering my shame.

Michelle’s first ball game: So apparently it was sacreligious that I live basically in Toronto and have never been to a Jays game before. So Jacob and I went to one. I’d go again!

May 24 long weekend: Guys I did nothing over May 2-4. It was great. Friday afternoon by 6pm, Jacob and I were in pajamas with a glass of wine/beer and watching Netflix. That was our weekend. It was glorious.

Toronto with Sam: I met up with my bestie Sam and we went shopping (I bought way too many albums whoops), and we had lunch at our fave diner, and dinner at this amazing pho restaurant on Queen street. And even though it was pouring rain like half the time, it was so fun!

Date night in: No man has ever said “let’s cook dinner together” to me before. It is also a fact that I don’t typically cook. So we went and got ingredients, got a little creative, and spent the evening preparing dinner together. ❤

Booked my first vacation: I have never been overseas before. I’ve never been on a vacation without an adulty-relative before. But this weekend, I booked a trip to Iceland with one of my friends, and it is extremely exciting. I’m planning like a crazy person just because it’s fun for me to imagine all the things I can do not in Canada.

Basically, I just spent a lot of time this month with this guy, relaxing and watching TV (recently finished Bill Nye Saves the World and now onto Brooklyn Nine-Nine – so good!) But alas, relaxing can only last so long.

Next month begins the season of concerts.

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On Friend Groups – And Why I Don’t Have One

This post was inspired by Beverly’s post on her blog, Bev’s Eye View. Because I’ve seen a few instances, and know quite a lot of people who are part of a group of friends and love it. And I can see why! You have a group of people who you can go out and do things with, who have your back, who feel much like a second family. Why wouldn’t that be awesome?

Unfortunately, I’ve just had too many bad experiences with groups of friends, that I kind of don’t want one anymore.

First, let me clarify.

This is not to say that I don’t have friends.

I do have friends. Lots of friends. Some might say too many friends.

While people in friend groups have a set group of people they reach out to when they need someone, I’m not limited to that. I have like 5 people I’m super close to, but they’re not close to each other. Most of them don’t even know each other. And then I’ve got about 15-20 people outside of those 5 (who again, mostly don’t know each other), and genuinely enjoy hanging out with on a regular basis. So I maintain those friendships.

I just honestly prefer hanging out in very small groups, or one-on-one for more personal human interaction time. In elementary school, it was always about “who was mad at who for what stupid reason”. I have two friends I still talk to that I knew in elementary school.

In high school, I had probably the closest thing to a friend group I’ve ever had. I was dating a guy and was welcomed in by his friends. I quite liked having them there, but there was always the itching feeling that they only included me because I was dating their best friend. We broke up. Four years later, the friendships still stuck. Until they didn’t, and I was promptly “ejected” – shall we say – from being included in that group. Cool.

I’ve sort of been included in friend groups of the boys I’ve dated, but after this incident, I was much more aware of maintaining my own friendships and not relying on this means of meeting people. Because when the relationships ended, so did the friendships.

I find my experience with friend groups has been very negative because I see them, a lot of the time, from the outside-in. The people involved in them are cliquey; they’re scared of not being invited out with the rest of the group; they don’t venture into new territory and try to include new people.

I love not having a friend group.

I have various people in my life who I can talk to about different things and who know me on different levels. I can spill my deepest secrets to a friend I met in college, then the next day go to a book signing with a friend I met online, and then have drinks with a friend from work, and then have a girls painting night with a friend I met through a friend, and then go to a concert with a friend I met through an ex. I’m not stuck doing the same thing with the same people, ever. And quite honestly, it’s fuckin’ sweet.

I’m not limited to the same 5 or 6 perspectives as people who have the same friends forever. I’m not scared to talk to new people and cultivate new friendships. In fact, I love meeting a new person and getting to know them, and going on some new adventure together.

There are few friends I’ve hung onto for a number of years, but most of my friends come and go. And I don’t mind. I enjoy knowing people, no matter how temporary. Old friends fade and new ones come and add to my life in new ways. And the ones that do stick around, well those are the ones I see as my family.

So I guess my “friend group” exists. It’s just 20-30 people big. And I never hang out with them all at once.

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Michelle Muses: April 2017

April was a crazy month. I didn’t realize how busy it was until I looked back at my calendar. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights!

Emo Night: This actually was the last day of March, but I didn’t include it in my last month’s Muses post! I went with my friend (now boyfriend, but that’s to come), and it was such a great time. They played a lot of blink-182, Sum 41, and Green Day which I don’t particularly consider emo, but it was great. I’m a huge Green Day fan, so when they started playing Jesus of Suburbia, I got way too excited.

First date: Yes, yes. So “friend”, who became “best friend”, ended up becoming “guy I’m dating” pretty quick. This is Jacob. Our first date was really romantic, too, because we’d gone to Dave & Busters as one of our first hang-outs as friends, talking over a nice dinner and then playing video games and winning game tickets, but now we got to do it again and not be awkward or hold back from being cute. ❤

Bon Jovi: I got tickets to see Bon Jovi in Toronto off of Groupon, and I’m so glad I decided to get them. Because it was such an incredible show! Recap post to come in the next week or so!

Art Afternoon: I spent a day with my friend Theresa painting and creating art pieces out of shells and smashed plates. The idea originally came from the fact that I had some pent up anger about the recent breakup, so she suggested we take that out by throwing plates and making art. It was so much fun and surprisingly relaxing. I’m hoping to spend more time painting and doing art on my own in May.

Mini-putt: I’ve never visited this mini-putt course before, so it was nice to play on some new holes. Fun fact, Jacob kicks my ass at everything we do (bowling, pool), so when I narrowly beat him at this game, it made me feel a little bit better ;P

The Lockhart: I feel like I post about this at least every couple months. But this trip was nice because I went with my friend Frances, who first of all, had never been to the Lockhart before. But also, it was nice because we both had lots to catch up on. We had drinks and gossiped, and also, made plans as to when to book our upcoming 2017 vacation!

Photo shoots: My friend, Nikki, needed a model for her photography class, so I eagerly accepted the offer. As a photographer myself, I never get to be in front of the camera. So it was a lot of fun to get to be the model. We had a great shoot in graffiti alley too. I may use one of those photos as my new blog pic! (Cause it’s been a while since I’ve had blue hair, and probably gonna keep my blonde for a while).

Bestie’s birthday: One of my best friends, Christine, had her birthday at this awesome Japanese restaurant this past weekend. We made her order a samaurai sake bomb (pictured above – the giant bowl) which she took like a champ, and the food was delicious too. I had a great time!

This month has been kind of insane. I’ve actually been so busy with work (stuff I didn’t include in this blog post), and personal things, that I’m making May the month of relaxation. But I’m sure there will still be a few things to report back in May’s Michelle Muses!

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Michelle Muses: March 2017

Well. This month was interesting to say the least. I’m a single lady now. Got a promotion at work that I’m super excited about. Lots of high highs and low lows. But I’m going to focus on the fun stuff, so here we go!

Paint Nite: Our last date before Luke decided to peace out of my life. But I try not to think of it that way. I had a nice time making this piece of art that is probably one of my favourite creations, so it was a win.

Tattoo: Yes! I had three goals for this year and a new tattoo was one of them. So now I can cross this off my list. The watercolour fireworks are so beautiful, I love the way it turned out!

Drinks with friends: Because that’s what you do when you need to vent about a stupid ex boy-person. My sister, my girl friends, everyone was inviting me out to get a drink and rant about boys. Which was awesome and super reassuring. I love my friends.

I guess this is a continuation of the prior point. My friends from work have been super awesome and supportive as well – getting me out of the house so I don’t have to sit and wallow. I’ve gotten a whole lot more social, and have been out with them a lot this month, meeting more people… having a good time and having them there to take care of me has been great, and does not go unappreciated.

Erika’s birthday: You guys my little sister turned 21 this month. It’s so weird to think that the girl who is perpetually 16 in my mind is in her twenties now. We went out dancing with my dad, which was a ton of fun and a great way to spend the night.

Simple Plan: This is the second time bestie and I have seen Simple Plan together. They always put on a great show, and it was so much fun to get to dance and scream along to our favourite tunes from our youth! I’ll be posting about the concert in more detail soon, so keep an eye out!

The Zolas: I’d literally never heard of this band before my friend asked me to go with him to the show, but I’m not one to say no to free shows and a night out. I had a great time getting to know the band and soaking up their music. Again, I’m going to post a more full blog post about the show later on!

St. Patrick’s Day: Guys, I’m 25 and I’ve never done anything for St. Paddy’s Day ever in my life. This was the first year I went to a party and had green Jell-O shots and did the whole thing. You can imagine how well that went. I didn’t make myself sick though, so I consider this a successful first St. Paddy’s.

You know when you start talking to someone and it’s just so easy, and you enjoy every minute with them, and you never get bored of being around them, so you just end up hanging out all the time?

Yeah.

Emo Night: Emo Night at Sneaky Dee’s in Toronto is literally my new favourite discovery (besides the Arkells. I’m still obsessed with the Arkells). But I dragged my friend out to go dancing to the tunes that have populated my iPod since 2006 and had suuuch a good time! Will definitely be going back.

Book of Mormon: My friend Rebecca and I tried our luck at the Book of Mormon lottery, and got front row centre tickets! We saw the show together the first time it was in Toronto a few years ago, and to be able to see it from the front row was so cool. We also sat right behind the conductor, so I spent like half the show watching the band, which was a new theatre experience for me.

I think I’m finally realizing that even though I’m shy, I’m actually an extrovert who thoroughly enjoys being around other people and gains my energy by socializing.

Things have been super hectic, but I love being busy and I can’t wait to do even more fun things in the months to come!

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An Open Letter to My Future Partner

Dear Future Life Partner,

I have a lot of love to give. So you’d better be ready to accept it all.

I’ve been neglected and ignored. I hope you have the bravery and strength to take on a relationship. Because I don’t do anything half-assed.

If I’m with you, it’s because you’re the one I want to spend my life with. I don’t like wasting my time.

I don’t expect you to take care of me. I can take care of me; I just want someone who will support me in my choices, and who I can support, too.

I want to spend my life travelling and going on adventures. Even low-key adventures. We can adventure to a new restaurant, or try a new activity. But I want to experience life, and I want my experiences – whatever they are – to be with you.

I want to come home from work and surprise you by saying I’ll cook dinner. I want us to have tickle fights on the couch that end in me smothering you with kisses.

I will make you a priority, and I hope you do the same. You don’t have to perform any grand gestures, but if I can see that sparkle in your eye when you look at me, that’ll speak volumes.

I get hurt. I care too much. I have faith in people I shouldn’t. I know this. But you are the last person I want to misplace my trust. I will always have faith that you will be there for me. Please don’t let me regret trusting you.

Future Life Partner, I can’t wait to meet you. I don’t expect a lot – but I think I deserve someone who loves me back the way I love them.

I have a lot of love to give, so you’d better be ready to accept it all.

Michelle Muses: February 2017

I was VERY busy this month, and I finally get to share with you all the awesome stuff I’ve been doing!

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Near the beginning of the month, I took my dad to see the Chili Peppers as part of his Christmas gift – and it was such a great show! To read more about the concert and the setlist, click the link.

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Arkells & Frank Turner: Again, I’ve already written about this concert, so if you’d like the whole post, click the link!  But honestly, I think Arkells & Frank Turner was probably in my Top 5 concerts of all time. It was so much fun and I can’t stop listening to them now.

Dad’s Birthday: Normally, my family isn’t too big on birthdays. We’ll go for lunch or give a small gift, but it’s more just about appreciating the person and letting them have a nice day. So this year for my dad we took it up a *little* bit. Me, Luke, my sister, my aunts, and my dad’s best friend all joined him for dinner and dancing. It was a lot of fun and I think we’re going to do something similar for my sister’s birthday coming up – because it was our kind of low-key fun.

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Valentine’s Day: My first Valentine’s Day with Luke was perfect. I’d rather celebrate an anniversary than a random day, but I’m still into all that cutesy shit. So what better way to spend Valentine’s than watching Netflix, eating KFC, and exchanging small, romantic gifts. (He got me candy and a stuffed dog). That is the ideal V-Day for me. And I can’t wait for our super romantic anniversary date night next month!

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Drinks with Frances: Me and one of my good friends, Frances, went for a girls’ night a couple weeks ago, and it was so much fun. We had drinks and caught up, and did a bit of planning for our 2017 vacation! I’ve never really been anywhere awesome (Chicago is very similar to Toronto. Florida was pretty cool – but never anywhere foreign, or outside of a city, or brand new). So we discussed some of the things we’re going to do in Iceland when we go later this year! That was fun.

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TO Light Fest: The Distillery District is currently filled with a bunch of beautiful glowing art installments, and I went with my sister and bestie. Click on the link to read more about the Toronto Light Fest!

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Long weekend: In Canada, we celebrate Family Day, so we get a long weekend in the usually dark months between Christmas and Easter. But this long weekend, the temperatures were in the mid-teens (Celcius) and it was BEAUTIFUL. I got to go for my first run of the year, and me and my friend Jacob took advantage of the sun and spent some time outside. It was really relaxing and gave me the peek at spring I needed to get through the rest of winter.

Pho with Sam: This past weekend, my friend Sam and I went to his favourite Pho place in the city, and that was delicious (because pho is literally my favourite food of all time). We hung around for a bit, ran some fun errands (which will be revealed on Saturday), and then went to Lush and I bought some amazing bubble bars that are my new favourite thing.

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Paint Nite: And last night, I went to Paint Nite with Luke. We’ve done a Paint Nite before as per my suggestion, and he actually really wanted to come back and do another one. So finally we were able to come back for round two! It’s always a lot of fun to have a drink, relax, and create something. Also, Luke ended up winning a contest for a free Paint Nite ticket, so we’re definitely going again!

February was a lot of fun, and March looks like it’s going to have even more lined up – concerts, birthdays, anniversaries – the excitement continues!

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Michelle Muses: January 2017

You know how this goes by now – here’s all the stuff I’ve been up to this past month!

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Mini-putt: Early in the new year, Luke and I went on a glow-in-the-dark mini-putt double date with our friends which was super fun! I haven’t gone in a while, and still managed to not suck.

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Skating: I went skating with a friend from work – another activity that I managed to not suck at. Which is quite surprising because I did the math, and I haven’t put on a pair of skates in 10 years. Crazy! But it’s sort of like riding a bike, and once I got on the ice, it took a couple laps of the rink before I was feeling more confident in my abilities!

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Couple-y stuff: Things with Luke have been going pretty awesome, and not to get too personal, but I’m not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. We’ve been talking about future plans together and our anniversary is coming up; it’s just been making me Image result for heart eyes emojiImage result for heart eyes emojiImage result for heart eyes emoji a whole lot recently. Life is beginning! It’s getting exciting!

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Dinner date with bestie: I have a few besties, but it’s safe to say Sam is my oldest friend. I don’t have a lot of friends from elementary school, but me and Sam have always stuck together whether it be to play Pokemon at recess, or complain about adult life over a cup of coffee. But I haven’t seen him in forever, so finally getting to do a dinner at our favourite Toronto diner meant a lot. Also, we went shopping afterwards, and he introduced me to Lush Cosmetics – so safe to say my life is ruined now.

I feel like January was so busy, but not a lot “happened”. Well, I’m pretty stoked because February begins the fun stuff and I’ll have a couple of concerts and other fun activities to share with you in my next Michelle Muses!

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Michelle Muses: December 2016

This is going to be a fun one, because December was an honest-to-god shitshow. I was so sick I was bed-ridden for a week before Christmas. I had other family things going on. But I’m trying to focus on the good, so here are the things that went down in December that put a smile on my face.

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Christmas Market: Luke and I went to a smaller, local Christmas market, and it was so nice to be able to take a stroll around the booths. There was a carousel and Christmas music, and we went for a ride in a horse-drawn carriage which was the highlight of my night. It was very sweet and got me feeling more in a Christmasy mood for the year.

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Penguin Christmas Market: I already wrote a post about this one, so I won’t go into too much detail – but Penguin Random House Canada hosted a holiday party, and it was so much fun. There was a photo booth and stations around the room that held various activities. If you want to read more, the full post is here.

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Distillery Christmas Market: I also wrote a post about this night (found here). But my friend Nikki and I went to the huge Toronto Christmas Market held at the Distillery District and wow. The tree was gorgeous. So many lights and fresh sweets and photo opportunities – it definitely set the Christmas mood.

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Hairspray Sing-Along: The Lower Ossington Theatre hosts a variety of “Brew & View” events throughout the year where you go see a movie (99% of the time, it’s a musical), you get a glass of wine or beer, hang out with your friends, and everyone drunkenly sings along to the movie. It’s always a good time. I’ve seen Grease, RENT, Mamma Mia, Moulin Rouge – and they’ve all been a good time. But my sister and Nikki are both HUGE Hairspray fans, so when we heard about this one, I bought tickets immediately. It was so fun to have a glass of wine and belt out You Can’t Stop the Beat!

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Rogue One: Luke and I saw Rogue One on opening night, and I am a fan. I don’t normally see movies in theatres and I’ve seen this one twice already. Throughout the movie, Luke kept turning to me to continuously reiterate how awesome the movie was so far. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you need to see this movie.

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Christmas Day: I don’t remember if I’ve said this on the blog before – but I’m not a fan of Christmas, normally. It just creates too much stress and everyone is always very high-strung, and I don’t ever remember a time where Christmas was totally laid back and actually a nice vacation with family. Well, this year I finally got it. It was perfect.

I spent Christmas Eve with my mom and her boyfriend, and my grandparents who I barely see anymore. We sat around and listened to Christmas music and chatted about life. Then we made gingerbread men and devoured a delicious dinner. I was still recovering from being sick, so I couldn’t eat that much, but what I did have was yummy!

Christmas morning we did presents with mom’s side, and then I headed over to see Luke’s family – a second family I question if I deserve. They are the most wonderful group of people, and I always feel so incredibly welcome. So I got to spend some time with them, and then Luke and I went to see my dad’s side of the family and do dinner and presents with all my aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. which went very well and I had a great time.

The day ended with me, my dad and sister sitting around our Charlie Brown tree opening gifts and enjoying our time together. It was lovely.

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New Year’s Eve: I’ve never actually been to a New Year’s Eve party before. Growing up, I always spent the night with my grandparents, but then I got to an age where I’d go to a friend’s house and we’d count down then go to bed. This year I got invited to join Luke’s group of friends in hanging out, drinking, playing games, laughing a lot… Then I got to have a kiss at midnight and toast to the new year with everyone. I’m extremely grateful I got to have this experience with this awesome group.

Happy New Year to all of my readers! Thank you for supporting me throughout 2016, and here’s to 2017 being an amazing year ahead!

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