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Buying presents for parents is hard. Like, trying-to-decide-what-to-watch-on-Netflix hard. Like, 2048-hard. Like, Ryan-Reynolds’-body hard.

(May or may not have spent too much time picking a shirtless Ryan Reynolds picture.)

(May or may not have spent too much time picking a shirtless Ryan Reynolds picture.)

While buying presents for parents is hard, it’s always worth it when you find the perfect gift. Perfect gifts in general always feel like a lightning-bolt to the head, and you just know. After seeing different “childhood photo recreations” on my perpetually repetitive Facebook newsfeed, I couldn’t stop thinking about how hysterical some of my childhood photos are, and how hard my mother would a) laugh, and b) cry… well, I couldn’t resist. My amazing mother retired from CIBC after 38 years, and even though she said no presents, who ever listens to their mother? (Truth: I do. Just not this weekend). She’s the most supportive, generous, kind person and making her cry-laugh through a dozen photos is the least I can do to make her as happy as she’s made me.

I got back to Windsor on Wednesday morning, and spent the next five days scrambling and lying (pooooooorly) to try and get to the different locations, people, and items in the pictures. I’m pretty proud of the result, and can’t wait to recreate the recreations 20 years from now. Love you mama.

Homemade Dixie cups? Check.

Homemade Dixie cups? Check.

Thankfully, we only moved houses once.

Thankfully, we only moved houses once.

Guess whose shirt is actually a pair of tights?

Guess whose shirt is actually a pair of tights?

19 years later (and Jenn looks the same).

19 years later (and Jenn looks the same).

Just wait for the blooper reel.

Just wait for the blooper reel.

Two bite brownies, chocolate sauce, strawberry jam, and green food coloring. Creativity, man.

Two bite brownies, chocolate sauce, strawberry jam, and green food coloring. Creativity, man.

We even found a boat.

We’re on a boat.

Born to ride.

Born to ride.

Half-inflated water wings because no way are those getting past my wrists otherwise.

Half-inflated water wings because no way are those getting past my wrists otherwise. Other than that though, nothing’s really changed.

The MOST coached photo, for sure. "LEFT ARM! OTHER LEFT!"

The MOST coached photo, for sure. “LEFT ARM! OTHER LEFT!”

Propped on a pillow, balanced under a garment rack serving as the backdrop, laying across a chair and a bowflex machine.

Cheeky baby.

One of my favourite pictures ever.

Personal verdict: flawless.

Twenty years later.

Twenty years later. Again, look forward to the blooper reel.

Finalement.

Finalement.

And the award goes to…

Seth Macfarlane, for Most Entertaining Oscars in a while.

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Whether you liked his jokes or not (about half of them were legitimately funny, the other half were your choice of cheesy, offensive, or inappropriate), it was entertaining. Watching Marky Mark try and interact with Ted onstage… not so much. Here’s a few best/worst moments from the show (including the really stupid, awful Lincoln joke at the beginning):

Read the Worst of the Bad Jokes here,
And read my live-tweeted recap of the awards here.

And ICYMI: The “Jaws” theme music was used to keep the speeches short, rather than the classic orchestral interlude that signals your speech’s end. At first, kind of funny. But honestly, I think it was more disrespectful than entertaining. They used the regular music for Tarantino’s speech, what makes him better than anyone else? (Besides Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill, and all his Oscars). It just felt tacky to me. What did you think? Let me know @sydney_neilson on Twitter, and read this article discussing the subject here.

Ben Affleck, for Most Unbearably Precious Acceptance Speech. 

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Adele may have been predictably precious winning Best Song, and Anne Hathaway lived a dream come true with Best Supporting Actress, but Affleck’s barely-held-together finale speech (accepting the Oscar for Best Picture) was just beautiful. Watching him care so much… Argo is clearly his baby, he worked damn hard on it, and now he’s got the Oscar to prove it. “Work harder than you think you possibly can,” he said, using his speech as a bit of a pep talk for the future. Although, it wasn’t until he mentioned his wife and kids that he got really choked up. Argo is the fourth film in 85 years to snag Best Picture without a Best Director nod.

“I want to thank them and I want to thank what they taught me, which is that you have to work harder than you think you possibly can. You can’t hold grudges. It’s hard but you can’t hold grudges. And it doesn’t matter how you get knocked down in life because that’s going to happen. All that matters is you gotta get up. Violet, Sam and Sera, this is for you.”

Read Affleck’s full speech transcribed here.

Honorary Mention for “It came true!” from Anne Hathaway, and “You’re all amazing!” from Adele.

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Sandra Bullock, for this:

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Robert Downey Jr & Chris Evans (A TIE, HOW SCANDALOUS!) for Best Dressed Avenger.

They may have missed their shot at an Oscar this year, but they did not disappoint. Chris Evans looked sexy and classic, while Robert Downey Jr mixed it up a bit, and just generally looks more delicious than most people. Mark Ruffalo suited up, Jeremy Renner was polished as hell, and Samuel L. Jackson wore a velvet-y looking blazer that just reminded me how confused he makes me.

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Jennifer Lawrence, for Most Lovably Awkward, Fabulous, Entertaining Winner.

Seriously, J.Law can do NO wrong. She killed it in Silver Linings. She fell on her ass. She admitted to shots before the show (watch the press conference video below). She called out Emma Stone on the red carpet, “Your ass is mine, Stone!” She’s absolutely hilarious and real, and now she gets to continue taking over the world, as Academy Award Winner, Jennifer Lawrence, who fell on her way to the stage. The Oscars turn everyone with a Twitter account into a judgemental shitstorm, and I don’t think there’s been one negative word about this girl. The only thing better than watching her fall, is watching the boys react:

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YES.

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ALL HAIL THE PRINCESS OF GENOVIA AND KATNISS!

“I’m sorry, I did a shot before I…. I’m sorry, Jesus…”
DYING.

Quvenzhané Wallis, for Cutest, Youngest, whatever.

She just needs some kind of award. LOOK AT HER! Did you SEE Beasts of the Southern Wild? Plus, she was just cast as Annie, in a new big-screen Sony adaptation of the long running musical. Awesome.

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And check out Buzzfeed’s list of the 22 Most Adorable Quvenzhane Wallis Moments from the Oscars here.

Jane Fonda, for Best Aged Person Ever.

Yeah, Halle Berry looked amazing, but seriously. Jane Fonda is SEVENTY-FIVE years old. 75. She was born in 1937. She was alive during the actual Sound of Music plot line. She was born the same year that artificial sweetener was invented. And she’s been awesome every day since.

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Quentin Tarantino, for Being Fucking Awesome. Seriously, even if you hate Tarantino’s movies, he’s seriously awesome. He just does not give a fuck. His speech basically thanked himself (“And man, did I do it!”), but he did call 2013 “the writers’ year,” and he may just be right. Peace out!

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Possibly one of my favourite photos of all time.

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CHARLIZE.

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Kristen Stewart, for Worst Guest/Presenter/Person Ever.

She just looked so unhappy, so forced, and so disheveled. It’s the goddamn Academy Awards, people work their entire lives for this shit, and she can’t be bothered to brush her hair? I just don’t understand who forces her to go to these things… that can’t be the face of a voluntary attendee. The only person that could have possibly looked unhappier was Joaquin Phoenix.

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“We Saw Your Boobs,” for Best Original Performance.

As far as the songs written for the show, this was definitely the best. Clever and funny without being rude or offensive (the “Losers” song at the end, a little iffy…), the song called out all the audience members that have (or have not) stripped down on-camera. Total props to director of the night’s show, Don Mischer, for timing his shots perfectly, grabbing a great reaction from Jennifer Lawrence during the song:

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But the best line?

“And Kate Winslet in “Heavenly Creatures” and “Jude”
And “Hamlet” and “Titanic”
And “Iris” and “Little Children”
And “The Reader”
And whatever you’re shooting right now.
We saw your boobs!”

Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow, for Greatest Red Carpet Couple. I just feel like they’re the best.

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Although, the ridiculous attractiveness between Ketih Urban and Nicole Kidman is a little unbelievable.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Radcliffe, for Most Adorable Dancing Pair. Yeah, Charlize Theron looked fucking incredible, and Channing Tatum danced her around the stage with his usually classy-as-fuck sexiness, but HARRY POTTER DANCED WITH JGL.

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Sally Field, for Being a Boss. She arrived with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and ditched the heels in minutes. She’s just so cute.

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& Ang Lee, for double fisting his Best Director Oscar and an In-N-Out Burger. Seriously.

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And for those that missed it, a quick recap of everything else:

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Within the first 30 seconds, we get to see Robert Downey Jr. Mmm.
  • The supremely well-timed Sound of Music joke. PERFECT!
  • Samuel L. Jackson’s badass velvet blazer
  • Daniel Day-Lewis is actually funny! And nothing makes an Oscar more satisfying than being awarded by Meryl Streep.
  • Somehow, every sound editor styled their hair the same. Silver linings in more ways than one.
  • Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy = hilarious, as expected
  • Paperman won!
  • Jamie Foxx wore a sparkly bowtie and Kerry Washington looked unbelieeeeeevable
  • Chicago moved back onto the stage, led by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and it was awesome.
  • A tie! I guess that’s a highlight. It confused a lot of people.
  • Lots of jewish jokes that were actually funny.
  • Richard Gere and Queen Latifah.
  • Jack Nicholson strolling out casually, closing the Oscars way, way later than necessary.
  • The Obamas prove, once again, that their family is the most unbelievably cool First Family on the planet. Can we keep them forever?

THE LOWLIGHTS:

  • Marky Mark and Ted. Just trying too hard.
  • The whole Captain Kirk thing. The future/past bit was good, using the headlines and such, but it just went on too long, and was a little too self-indulgent for me. Seemed like an excuse to throw in something Macfarlane-y, which just isn’t suited to the show.
  • Not enough Robert Downey Jr.
  • And why wasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio there, even a little bit?
  • The Onion tweeted during the show “”Everyone else seems afraid t say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c—, right?” Seriously? She’s NINE years old. They deleted the tweet pretty quick, they’ve apologized and all that, but the internet never forgets. Read more here.
  • Renee Zellwegger.
  • I thought I escaped “I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” when we left the 00s… please, keep it there. It’s really incredible and I love JHud, don’t get me wrong, but damn, this song needs to go away for a decade or so.
  • 50 Years of Bond and we only get one performance and a montage? Shirley Bassey was badass, but I just expected more.

GOLD-FINGAAAAA!

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My overall verdict: 8.4/10.

Good host, solid audience, great films this year. Too offensive, inappropriate, and outlandish at times, but to be expected from MacFarlane. Theme = awesome. I need to see Django again. I love Naomi Watts. I love embellishments. I love montages. I love Bond. I love movies.

Read the full list of nominees and winners here.

Also, if you feel the need to watch the show again (the longest show since Hugh Jackman started the musical craze in 2009), you can watch the full thing, legally (if you live in the States), online, on the Oscars website, here.

Now, watch everyone be beautiful together:

Photos and GIFs courtesy of Tumblr & The Huffington Post.

The word “slut” has gotten so diluted over the years, used for so many different meanings, it’s hard to know what it means anymore. Most people hear “slut” and go straight for the negative, a trampy girl who has slept around. UrbanDictionary’s top definition defines slut as “a woman with the morals of a man.” Women everywhere are taking back the word “slut” for themselves, and as a fellow slut, I’ve joined the fight.

On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police stated: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”. Come again? NOTHING, no matter what she was wearing, where she was, or what she was doing, justifies victimization. Slutwalk Toronto is a group put together of people who have had enough, “moving away from intolerance, and toward education.”

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Slutwalk is a movement of people taking back their sexualities, and taking back the word “slut.” People should be able to wear what they want, when they want, without having to worry about violence or being taken advantage of. The walk was organized in 2011 to fight back against the shocking remarks made by a Toronto law official, but has grown to so much more. When I attended in 2012, the amount of support and love around you was incredible.

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Personally, I attended the walk as a victim. I am finished with shame and I am finished with victim blaming, and the walk was my first step toward fighting back. I was raped when I was fourteen and it was not my fault. I did not ask for it, I said no, and it still happened. People always apologize, can’t believe something like this could happen… but it still happens, every day, and doesn’t get reported, acknowledged, or often taken seriously at all. It’s all attitude, and that’s why I’m writing.

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Take a movie like Silver Linings Playbook (no spoilers, I promise!). One of the main characters is constantly referred to as a “slut,” as she had an admittedly promiscuous past. Rather than apologizing or letting herself be shamed, she takes hold of her sexuality, saying “There’s always going to be a part of me that’s sloppy and dirty, but I like that, with all the other parts of myself. Can you say the same about yourself?” Having control and free will is nothing to be ashamed of (Yet another reason to LOVE Jennifer Lawrence – proud slut).

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Allegations have been made that men cannot control themselves, and should simply be blindfolded around women as a solution. Sound ridiculous? It’s just a ridiculous as blaming a girl’s outfit for getting her raped, and that’s not as uncommon as it should be. Limiting the freedom of men is just as useless as limiting the freedom of women, and claims like this are obscene. Women should be able to act and dress as they please without fear of assault, and men should be able to accept “no” under any circumstances. Men are not clamorous savages, they understand and function as humans do, and they cannot be blameless because “she was asking for it.” Sit in on a single guest speaker at the Slutwalk post-walk, and you’ll understand. People have been through absolute hell, and people can’t keep letting it happen.

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My story is one of request. A request to attend this year’s Slutwalk, to give it a chance. A request to men, to think before you act. A request to women, to remember that you do have control. And a request to the general public – rape jokes aren’t funny. Next time you make one, look around. There’s at least one pair of eyes on the floor, probably the eyes that need the most light.

Follow me on Twitter @sydney_neilson for updates, posts, and more.
Follow @SlutWalkTO on Twitter and Facebook for walk updates, info and more.

#realmendontrape
#consentissexy
#slutpride

Sometimes, my roommate calls me Sketch. Not ’cause I draw, but cause she’s making fun of me (love you Kait!). But sometimes, I do draw. So here are some doodles worth your Internet time-killing spree:

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And here’s one I just happened upon, in a lovely bathroom, in one of the fine bars of Toronto.

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