Son Set

Hello! Just as I promise to spend more time on this site, I get sick and have nothing to say. Terrible. Things have been pretty dull around here lately since I have been spending most of my time lounging around my condo recovering. All this downtime did allow me to catch up on the television shows I have been behind on, one of which was Sons of Anarchy. I was able to catch up so that I watched the finale the day after it aired in the US, which was awesome because it meant that I wasn’t spoiled by the internets!

Warning – very heavy spoilers for Sons of Anarchy finale below. Get out now if you do not wish to know what happened.

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My initial thoughts on the finale were not good. I was angry, but not angry because I wasn’t satisfied with the way things ended, but rather how things ended. Sons of Anarchy is based on Hamlet, and so knowing how Hamlet ends (spoiler alert – everyone dies!) I was pretty sure I knew how SoA was going to end. It was pretty obvious to me that Jax was going to kill himself after he killed Gemma in the previous episode. I just knew he couldn’t live with himself and that he couldn’t be anywhere near his sons. I also thought that as bad of a father as Jackson is (offering Abel candy to call Wendy “mom”?!), there was no way he could live and not see his sons, so suicide would be the only answer for him. In the first 10 minutes when we saw him at Opie and Tara’s graves leaving his rings behind, I knew I was correct in my assumption.

I also kind of figured that if he was going to kill himself, he may as well take out as many people as he could on his way out to save the club, so I wasn’t so shocked that he killed Marks and Barosky.  I also was not surprised that Chibs was made president and Tigs vice, showing how Tigs has evolved since his days as Clay’s vice. Really, as far as tying loose ends goes SoA hit hit the nail on the head. I think most people were pretty satisfied that the story was nicely wrapped up.

So what issues did I have? The whole final episode was so heavy handed. Seriously. I felt like I was being knocked over the head with symbolism, and theme to the point that it was just overkill. As Jackson says goodbye to his father, and leaves his helmet beside the highway, we see the police start what amounts to a slow speed chase throughout the canyon, which looked just like a funeral procession. While this chase is going down the song playing in the background features the lyrics “come join the murder, come fly with black”. A very on the nose reference to a group of crows, as well as the business of the SoA. And, in case you were too stupid the connection between those lyrics and a murder of crows, the camera pans to a shot of the sky where 7 crows are flying.

We are then given a short reprieve from the crows and are taken into our Jax as a Chris figure metaphor. This was touched on earlier in the episode where we  see Jackson speak to the homeless woman who was eating bread and wine, and Jackson’s notion of sacrificing himself to save the club, but really hits you hard (pardon the pun) in Jax’s final moments. As he sees a transport truck round a bend and head straight for him, Jax embraces his death, lifts his hands from the handles of his bike and smiles.

548836d848de990f76760c3f_jaz-jesus-sons-of-anarchy-finaleMuch like the crows, if you were a wee bit too thick to understand this symbolism as Christ on the cross, our ill-fated truck driver, Michael Chiklis,  gives his one and only line before smashing head-on into Jax, – “Jesus!”. Jackson’s blood is spilled on the road where it pools next to two very poorly CGIed crows nibbling on bread on the side of the highway, mimicking the opening scene of the first episode. Apparently these two crows weren’t as skittish as their peers, as even a massive crash right next to them wasn’t enough to scare them from their dinner. Also, for those of you counting – 7 crows in the air plus two on the highway is 9, the same number of original members of SAMCRO.

The final kick in the pants is that after over-extended metaphors and embarrassing CGI we are led to a rather beautiful Shakespeare quote.

Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.
I’m a sucker for Shakespeare, I’ll admit it, and this is a great passage (iambic trimeter for you word nerds), but really, this quote was just so Kurt Sutter could shove down our throats that Sons of Anarchy is a modern telling of Hamlet. We get it Kurt! You passed 11th grade English. Good for you. As if it wasn’t already obvious enough in the naming of your characters, Clay (Claudius), Gemma (Gertrude), constant references to Jax as the “little Prince”, and wars between nations, you had to give us one more hint as to the origins of your story. The thing of it is – those of us who knew the Shakespearean reference didn’t need this extra nudge, and those who never did wouldn’t have gotten it from that quote.
As a series Sons of Anarchy is great. There’s action and a lot of gore, but just as much love. The sense of brotherhood and the love Gemma and Jackson have for their respective sons is often incredibly moving, though their decisions are sometimes questionable. That being said, the finale suffered from an over confident show runner who seemed more interested in showing how much symbolism he could shove into two hours of television than giving his characters a proper send off. Want to see a truly great series finale? Felina, the last episode of Breaking Bad will not disappoint, but as for Sons of Anarchy….I guess we’ll always have season 2.
Have some thoughts on the series finale of Sons of Anarchy? Share them in the comments!

Geography For the Insane

I have been neglecting this space for a long time. I keep thinking I should come back, but then I think I have nothing interesting to say. Then I do have something interesting to say, but I either don’t want to say it, or too much time passes and it’s no longer relevant. You can see my dilemma, right? Let’s just say that you can and move on.

I found this post on Buzzfeed today where they get their UK employees to label a map of the US. My personal favourite is the one where the employee chose label each state with a TV show or movie that took place there (totally what I would do). Also, going through the images made me think The O.C. much more popular in Britain than it was here. It also makes me wonder how many out there could label a blank map of Canada. Hint: That one that you think is New Brunswick? Yeah, that one. It’s Nova Scotia.

Bonus 10 points to anyone who gets the reference in the title of this post.  I will try to be a better blogger. Promise.

Mindy Loves Me, This I know…

The première of The Mindy Project is in one week (!!). You know what else is in one week? My birthday. Obviously this is Mindy’s signal to me that we are destined to be BFF. To honour this new-found relationship between Mindy and myself, I give you this picture of Mindy Kaling doing a variety of activities.

 

Mindy Kaling

Jawbone

 

Jawbone UP 24

I treated myself a little sumthin’ today! I got a Jawbone UP 24 and I am really excited to use it!! As you all know, I have been on a mission to lose weight lately, and I was considering a FitBit, but when Sam got a Jawbone for his birthday I instantly knew I wanted one. I consider this an early birthday gift to myself   :)

For those of you who don’t know the Jawbone is a wearable device that tracks your sleep,  movement, workouts, and calories. You can even input what you eat into the app. I wore it for a bit today and so far I am absolutely loving it! I will have a full review in a few weeks once I have had a little more time to play with it.

Erin Condren 2015 Planner Review

So here it is! The post I know a lot of you were anxiously waiting for – my 2015 Erin Condren Life planner review!

After a few months of having my 2014 planner, I convinced my friend Meghan to get on board, and she loved her planner. She is a PhD student so between her social life, her classes, being at TA and her part-time job, she has a lot to keep track of. Certainly more than I do! Two of my co-workers also began lusting after my planner, so when I went to re-order I made sure to check with them to see if they wanted in on it. This really helped to lower the $50 shipping cost, and made the price, one of my main complaints from last year, a little more bearable.

Once again, the planners were shipped in an adorable little box.

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Opening it up you see more beautiful packaging and a little catalog of all of the beautiful Erin Condren products. There was also a $10 gift card in the catalog, but it expires on October 31, 2014 which was a total bummer. With $50 for shipping there is absolutely NO way I am ordering anything more than once a  year. Sorry, Erin! Really, this is a complaint I had last year and I am going to keep bringing it up because in this day it is a little ridiculous to charge so much for shipping from California to Canada. It really feels like a money grab, and I would have to say, I am thankful that the products are so high quality and that I was able to find some friends to share the cost with, otherwise I wouldn’t purchase this product. Erin, if you are listening, you  really, really need to find a way to lower that shipping cost.

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Here are the four planners we ordered. The top one is Meghan’s, on the right is my co-worker Amy’s chevron planner, mine is on the bottom and my co-worker Heidi’s is on the left. She is the only one of us who chose to get one of the new quote planners.

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My planner up close. I chose the Scales planner in sea foam. I didn’t customize anything other than my name, because honestly I just loved the design the way I saw it online. My last planner was really colourful, and this is a little more subdued. I love the colour, its feminine but not traditional pink or purple.

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Inside, not much has changed from the last year, there are still monthly layouts, lots of space on the weekly views, and on the side between the Goals & Notes is a design that I think is a little nod to all of us who use washi tape to decorate or denote time. The stickers are almost exactly the same as last year. There are ones for doctors, hair appointments, vacation, games etc. The colours on the blank stickers are a little different than last year, which I appreciate. Maybe the biggest change, and certainly my favourite, is that the stickers are removable. This is SO handy! Last year I sometimes put stickers in the wrong place, or wanted to reuse a certain sticker and they were really difficult to remove. I ruined a few. Since this new planner needs to last me from now until the end of 2015, I may need to move some of those stickers throughout the year.

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Lots of great pockets just like last year. The clear zippy pouch where I keep stamps and coupons, and the folder pouch where I keep documents and notes I need.

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Lots of lined and blank pages to keep notes. I use these for lists of movies I want to see, blog post ideas, motivational quotes, and a huge list of things I needed to do for the big move this year.

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So what is different? One of the biggest changes is that the perpetual calendar that was in the beginning of last years planner, and the contacts section that was in the back has been removed and put in this removable book. Handy because next year I wont need to re-write all the birthdays of the people in my life, and the odd contact number I keep in my planner. The not so great part is that it’s a loose book that could fall out and get lost.

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The other big change is that the page marker is clear this year, allowing you to see what is written on the Wednesday or Thursday it would previously hide. The page marker is sturdier too, but so far my experience is that it is just more difficult to remove.

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So, as you can see there were a few little changes, some more significant than others, but certainly there weren’t as many changes from 2014 as there were from 2013 to 2014. One of the big changes that I didn’t really touch on yet is the removable cover. This change kind of seems like a cheap ploy to get people to buy more product. The covers are already completely personal and can be designed by the consumer, I really don’t see the need for more than one cover. If you get so terribly bored with your cover that you feel the need to pay $60 for a new one, well then…..you have some real first world problems.

What would I like to see change for next year? Great question!

  • The shipping cost to Canada! Not to beat a dead horse, but this is such a stumbling block for a lot of potential Canadian customers. $50 is just too much for shipping. Lowering this or even providing options for slower shipping at a lower cost could really open the market to more Canucks!
  • The option for the consumer to choose between Canadian vs. American holidays. I love a soldier, but I don’t care when Veteran’s Day is. Sorry, Yanks!
  • For the perpetual calendar/contacts booklet to be removable, not loose. With the introduction of the removable covers and coil clips this year it would be nice if we either got one free coil clip or if there was a coil clip attached to the booklet so it doesn’t get lost.

So, there it is. My review on this years Erin Condren Life Planner. If you have any questions or would like to know more about my experience, please feel free to leave a comment!