3 Mysteries about Arcade Fire’s Reflektor Release 9/9/9

1. This Album Release Announcement 

Who announces their album release on Twitter? Apparently not that many people. Better yet, who announces it in a casual reply to a random fan tweet? Arcade Fire, that’s who. They don’t need flashy press releases, no sir.

2. This Instagram Graffiti Campaign

I came across the Reflektor Instagram account in the summer while researching when the next Arcade Fire album would be out, and decided to follow it. Basically its just photographs of the Reflektor logo as graffiti in locations all over the world. Hmm… this didn’t tell me much about the album, and neither did this website, which was linked on the Reflektor profile

3. This ‘Just a Reflektor’ Virtual Project

This video was just put out today in advance of the 9/9/9 deadline tonight. The background track is upbeat, and I can only assume its the lead single off the album. The video features some pretty cool visual effects that you can control either through your webcam, or by using your computer mouse.

They’re certainly not strangers to the interactive video concept, as those of you who were fans of The Suburbs well know. The Wilderness Downtown Project was another video where you input an address and the video used Google Maps to embed the neighbourhood you grew up in right into the video. Cool.

As a side note, the first tracked was “leaked” yesterday and I heard about 15 seconds of it on the radio this morning. Since then, all leak links have been removed, so the world waits in anticipation for what will be at 9 pm EST

3 Ways to Have a Terrible Conference Call

1. Join Late

This one goes for both the person hosting the call, and the rest of the participants. You set a start time for a meeting because everyone should be there. When you say it starts at 11:00, don’t start at 11:05 just because some people haven’t joined yet. The people who made the effort to be there shouldn’t be punished by the latecomers. Even better than beginning late is if you repeat everything that was already said for the latecomers. Oh joy, oh bliss. For the love of God, respect people’s time!

(If you haven’t figured it out already, being late is a HUGE pet-peeve of mine. I’m usually early for things, and sometimes can suffer from anxiety when I’m late for something important. Please, just show your respect for others by sticking to the times you set. Otherwise, why set a time at all?)

2. Interrupt Often

As I alluded to above, interrupting is a hideous quality to show on a conference call. Especially when the reason you interrupted is because you joined late and missed what was said. Do us all a favour, and check-in with someone after the call is over. And if you fear that you’ve missed something so essential that you can’t contribute for the rest of the call without sounding like an idiot, then don’t. Maybe next time you’ll be on time.

3. Ramble, So That No One Else Can Get a Word in Edgewise

There’s a key component of communication that’s missing on conference calls, and that’s body language. Usually in a face-to-face meeting, you can read someone else’s visual cues to see when they have something to contribute, and would like to speak. Unfortunately, over the phone, this crucial part is missing. Some people forget about this, and use conference calls as an opportunity to listen to their own voice by talking for farrrrr too long. Help us out and keep your comments short and to the point. And if you can’t do that, at least pause from time to time (or take a breath) so that someone can jump in if they need to. Sometimes I find myself with a question, and by the time that person has stopped talking, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to ask. Let’s just say, it’s not my memory that’s the problem.

English: A phone made specifically for confere...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 Things that Make IKEA the Bestå

1. It’s Affordable

This is the first and most important part – the price. I have to say that when I look around at other furniture stores, I’m always horrified by the prices. Just the other day, I got a Sears insert with my Style at Home magazine. The furniture is sexy, but MAN are those prices disgusting. Why on earth would I pay $999 for a coffee table? Puh-lease. That’s where IKEA is key, my style-savvy friends. You can get a coffee table for $12 if you want. Not that I recommend it, but for the price-conscious decorator, there are lots of options to choose from. Plus, I’m not one to keep a couch for 25 years, and my bedroom set is not going to be with me until I’m 70 years old. My style changes and the needs I have for my furniture changes too. That’s why I want to buy furniture that’s good enough quality to last until I change my mind, but won’t break the bank.

2. It’s Customizable

IKEA is the Bestå! And Bestå is one of those series that I totally love. Have you checked it out yet? There are literally over 1000 combinations you could create. Between the different colours, sizes, interior fittings, and doors, you can totally create your own look. My favourite part of it is that you can change it around as your needs change. For example, we had just one of the Bestå units as a TV stand with 2 drawers. We moved to a bigger place, and were able to use the same drawers, and add on an extra unit and some new doors and VOILA, new TV stand.

3. It’s Totally My Style

I like to consider my decorating style as modern. Not the kind of modern that makes your house look like The Jetsons live there, but the kind that has clean lines and is also comfortable. IKEA is exactly that. I would say that about 75% of the things they sell, I would buy. Now there are definitely some pieces that are too weird for me, or look a little too traditional for my style, but that’s okay. There are other people out there to buy those things. I like bold colours and patterns and IKEA is perfect.

Besta

 

P.S. I really love the new companion app that can be used with the catalogue to “place furniture in your home”. It’s a pretty cool idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well for me, but I’m sure they’ll make it better next year.

3 Great Wines for a Happy Anniversary

1. Pic’d by Pillitteri Estates

This wine tastes great but is mostly the coolest because, like Jones Soda, they make your pictures into wine labels. Every bottle is unique and you can submit your own photo because they’re on Instagram and Twitter. It’s the coolest! I picked the prettiest bottle in the store (with a rose on the label) and submitted some of my own photos before I even cracked it open (I was too excited!). Anyway, you have to check them out just for the coolness factor. Plus the wine tastes great and gets you just the right amount of tipsy.

2. Rocca delle Macie Chianti Classico

We got this wine as a hostess gift from a friend who said that her favourite red wine is Chianti. So far, my husband likes it and, on this day of our 3rd anniversary, he’s drank half the bottle already. Must be good. Could mean good things for me later tonight. Hard to say, but it’s almost a guarantee.

3. Wild Vines (when all else fails)

When in doubt, reach for Wild Vines. A favourite of university and college girls around the world, this cheap and fruity delicacy is beloved by all for being a “panty-dropper”. AKA: A surefire anniversary-winning wine. Does it really count as wine though? I’m not sure. Perhaps just a delightful drink that’s fun to consume. And since we’re all adults here, we know that anniversaries should always end in one way… and Wild Vines will do the trick!

Pic'd Wine

3 Fall Must-Do’s

1. Enjoy the New Seasonal Drinks at Starbucks

PSL, Chocolate Chai Tea Latte, and the Salted Caramel Mocha – this is truly the beginning of Fall. If you don’t love Starbucks already, you will after you enjoy one of these tasty drinks. I had the new Chocolate Chai Tea Latte this morning and just the smell of it made me feel like Fall is officially here. I’m personally not a fan of the PSL, but its the 10th anniversary and they’re hashtagging #PSL like its nobody’s business, so open up your wallet and spend $5 on a coffee. I promise it will be the best $5 you ever spent.

2. Pick Apples at the Orchard

Coming home with 17 lbs of apples is AMAZING. I love to bake and having that many apples really gets me in a creative mood to come up with as many appley delights as I can. Last year, the weather really messed things up and there was a terrible apple crop. In fact, many of the orchards weren’t even open for pick-your-own which was really depressing. The year before that, I made 2 pies, apple turnovers, apple butter, and 3 batches of homemade applesauce which is TO DIE FOR. I could eat exclusively that for at least a week straight. Its amazing. Anyways, go get your own apples because they taste better straight off the tree AND they are officially the fruit of Fall.

3. Wrap Yourself in a Cuddly Sweater

For some reason I left for vacation last week and it was 27°C out, and when I came back it was 13ºC. WTF?! I actually had to wear pants and a jacket to walk my dog before work this morning. That’s just sick. Its like Mother Nature knew that the calendar turned to September and she turned off the heat. How rude. What’s the best solution to this terrible situation? A big, chunky sweater. I have many of these, but my favourite Fall outfit is my leggings, lumberjack socks, and this gem from Lululemon (P.S. That’s not me in the picture, just some chick I found on Google who happened to be wearing the sweater). Oooooh mama its a good one. And you can snap it all the way up so your neck is warm and just curl up on the couch with your Starbucks drink and eat some homemade applesauce. Now THAT’s heaven. 

apples

3 Ways to Avoid Back-to-School Drama When You’re a Grown-Up

1. Choose your route to work wisely

The life of a commuter always includes traffic. The best kind of traffic is morning traffic in my opinion. Nothing starts your day off better than getting to work late with a full bladder because you drank your whole coffee on the way and now you’re going to wet your pants. Yikes. I forgot about tip #1 this morning like an idiot. Good news though! I only had to spend an extra 20 minutes driving because there’s a school on my way to work. Grrrrr… 1000 parents dropping off kids and clogging up the whole road. Avoid wetting your pants by changing your route so you don’t have to drive past a school.

2. Pack snacks (it’s gonna be a long drive)

This relates to tip #1 because your drive home during that first week of school is going to be just as bad as your drive to work. It’s going to take you awhile to get back home to the place where you can hang out in your undies and eat Cheerios on the couch. In order to avoid arriving there like a cranky bear, bring snacks. Even a granola bar is fine. Just something to tide you over.

3. Get a new outfit (or five)

Okay, I know I’m not alone on this one. When I was a kid, the best part of back-to-school was getting new stuff. Not just school supplies, but clothes. OUTFITS! SHOES!! I feel like I’m doing an injustice to the world if I don’t continue to do this now as an adult. I need to have some new clothes in the trendiest Fall colours so I can feel like a cool kid. Nothing boosts your mood like wearing a new outfit. And bonus points for getting complimented on it too! Don’t forget that your husband will love you even more if you insist on multiple outfits (with shoes), instead of just one outfit. I guess you can always buy some lingerie too… that would make him even happier.

MMCar

3 Reasons Why I Love Coming Back from Vacation

 

1. Sleeping in My Own Bed

Ahhhh the feeling of curling up under those cuddly covers and laying your head down on your own pillow. It feels so good, doesn’t it? Especially after you’ve been at a hotel where the mattress is too hard, and the sheets don’t pull up far enough. Nothing pisses me off more than when they tuck the sheets in all the way around the bed and you can’t pull them up to your ears. Go ahead and untuck that sheet… yessss, all the way around. Mess up the bed! Hell, why don’t you untuck the pillowcase too and let that pillow get all soft and squishy. They tuck them in to look nice, but sleep has no boundaries, my friends. Coming back home to your own bed, makes all that untucking inconvenience disappear.

2. Having My Whole Wardrobe to Choose From

I always over-pack. Its my cross to bear. Honestly, I just feel so anxious if I don’t have at least 5 extra of each item to choose from. I like to have choice! I don’t want to be limited to only the few outfit combinations. What if its hotter or colder than I think? Or if I get there and want to wear a tank top everyday instead of a t-shirt? Oh the horror! Even with over-packing, I always love coming back home to my whole wardrobe. That way, the possibilities are endless and I’m not stuck choosing what to wear out of a suitcase.

3. Seeing My Dog Again

Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – beats picking up your pup from the dog-sitter/kennel/wherever and watching how excited they are to see you. It’s like you’ve been gone for 2 years! OMG OMG OMG puppy love everywhere. I just have to pick them up for a good long cuddle. Even better than seeing them, is when they have barked so much at the kennel that their voice is hoarse and your Beagle is silent for at least 1 day. That’s the best.

3 Reasons Why I Love Coming Back from Vacation