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Sunday Night Confessions

1. It’s completely ridiculous how much I love this music video.

Which has me little worried.

Because it seems as though the older I get, the more my musical tastes regress.

Music

Now, I’m no scientist, but I feel like I used to have some pretty some solid street cred when it came to my everyday jams, and then I turned twenty-five and everything started to go to pot, and now I use terms like “my everyday jams.”

And now, with every passing year, I find myself more and more, drawn to manufactured, heavily-produced sugary schlock.

And by schlock I mean SOLID GOLD.

God I love this stuff so much it feels criminal.

(I probably listened to this song thirty times on loop this morning. Half the time lip-synching like a fiend, and the other half dancing about like a madwoman.)

At least when it comes to Tom Hanks, my love for him will never die, nor shall I ever be ashamed to proclaim this affection.

It doesn’t matter how many terrible movies he makes, or how many times he doesn’t get the hilarious jokes in a Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Golden Globes opening monologue – the power of A League of Their Own, The Burbs, That Thing you Do, and Forrest Gump will live on, ad infinitum.

At least, scientifically speaking.

Tom Hanks

2. One of my first major celebrity crushes was on Jeremy Taggart, the drummer from Our Lady Peace.

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This probably means little to most of you reading this blog, but those Canadians who remember our country’s late nineties music scene, or at the very least spent some portion of their lives watching Much Music, are all probably thinking, “Really!? Him?”

Yes, yes, we all know that Mr. Rain Maida was the sulky, skulking sexy frontman (of what had to be one of the best representations of what we now think of as a “90s band”) but even as a fourteen year-old I was always one to buck aesthetic trends, and go for the outliers.

I mean what can I say? The guy had one set of rocking nerd glasses!

My teenage hormones never stood a fighting chance.

3. I always weirdly hoped that Britney Spears and Kevin Federline would make it.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

4. I was quite sick last weekend and couldn’t run for about a week. The first time out after being laid-up by illness, I always concoct insane survival scenarios, and pretend that I’m in an Armageddon action movie, wherein I have to run as fast as I can to the secret CIA bunker because I am the last remaining top-secret operative trained in nuclear bomb disarmament.

The survival of the entire western seaboard is contingent on my success!

Normally this leads to me running so hard I feel as though my lungs are on fire and the only way I can put out the flames is by ralphing them right up.

(My lungs that is.)

But goodness knows I always make it to that bomb.

Just in the nick of time.

5. Spring is in the air.

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I can feel it in my heart.

See more snaps of my madcap adventures on my new Instagram! Follow me @Vanessaisrunning.

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Tickling your fantasy

I used to be an incredible literature snob.

Until about the age of twenty-one, I would only read real books.

“Oh me?” I would snottily opine. I’m a real Dostoevsky, Dickens, Austen, and Grass kind of girl.”

I could never understand why my boyfriend – my brilliant, cerebral and completely badass boyfriend (who now happens to be my brilliant, cerebral and completely badass husband) – read so many graphic novels, and books with picture of trolls, and dwarfs, and dragons adorning their covers.

How could he be interested in such stuff?

And despite his best efforts, for the first three years of our courtship I staunchly refused to crack one open.

“Sorry,” I would say. “I’m just not into that stuff.”

“You really have no idea what you’re talking about,” he’d say. “But I’ll wear you down eventually.”

And wear me down he did.

My first “non-book” (oh how wrong was I!), was V for Vendetta by Alan Moore which blew my brain harder than anything that had come before it (and I seriously thought I could ever again undergo anything as soul-shaking as the time I first read Devils and Crime and Punishment.) Next came the Sandman series by Neil Gaiman which I inhaled in about a day and a half, and then Watchmen, and Preacher, and about every other comic series on which I could get my hands.

It took me a little longer still to get into “fantasy” and “science fiction” (oh how I now loathe our need to classify so much brilliant literature as such!), but I finally caved and picked up A Clash of Kings a few months after my twenty-second birthday.

And once again, I underwent a kind of mind-exploding madness.

How could George R. R. Martin write so seamlessly and brilliantly from one character to the next? How could he be so heartless and beautiful all at once? WHY WERE ALL OF THESE PEOPLE SO AWFUL?

After burning through the entire Ice and Fire series (in what was then it’s most current incarnation) it was GAME. ON. The floodgates were opened, and it was nothing but a steady, raucous and ever more passionate ride filled with Bradbury, and Asimov, and Heinlein, and Tolkein, and Guy Gavriel, Scott Card, and Neal Stevenson, and Susanna Clarke, and so many more (and more and more and more!)

And then, ladies and gentlemen, Marc introduced me to one of the most brilliant, gut-busting, world-creating satirists English literature has ever known.

He brought me the world of Terry Pratchett.

This man made me laugh, cry, think, pace, question, believe, and most of all read.

My goodness did I love to get lost in his worlds and read!

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To this day, I always know when Marc is (re-)reading a Pratchett book because of the sonorous laughs that all but explode out of him.

He’ll then read the offending passage aloud and we’ll both cry-laugh together. More often than not, we’ll just end up reading entire sections of the book to one another.

These truly are some of my most treasured literary memories.

And so when I found out last Thursday that Mr. Pratchett had died (via Guardian update from my mobile phone) I immediately phoned Marc to tell him the news.

I couldn’t even finish my sentence before collapsing into my tears. I sobbed straight into the receiver, my whole body wracked by a terrible, melancholy palsy.

And then, in the most Pratchett-ian of fashions, I was immediately catapulted back to laughter.

Marc, speaking slowly into the receiver, said, “This – this makes me really, really sad babe. But – unfortunately I have to go. The arborists are here.”

Because, of course, we were having the dead cherry tree removed from our backyard, and yes, at 8:13am on a Thursday morning, the arborists had arrived to facilitate that removal.

I immediately burst out laughing, even though my tears kept streaming steadily down my face.

I cried for the better part of the entire day, and I really don’t think I’ll ever get over the loss of such a brilliant, kind, compassionate, passionate, and life-changing man.

But I know that I, like the world, am so much better off for opening my mind, heart, and soul to his beautiful works, and the zany, madcap brilliance of Ankh-Morpork.

And like Marc before me, I’ll continue to encourage people to read his works.

So that they too might laugh. And cry.

But really mostly laugh. And laugh. And laugh.