Now That’s Crazy

batshit crazy

Things that make me go Hmmm

So I saw this the other day and just thought it was funny, but then I started wondering.  Why do we say batshit crazy?  Well, thanks to the Urban Dictionary, here’s your answer:

A person who is batshit crazy is certifiably nuts. The phrase has origins in the old fashioned term “bats in the belfry.” Old churches had a structure at the top called a belfry, which housed the bells. Bats are extremely sensitive to sound and would never inhabit a belfry of an active church where the bell was rung frequently. Occasionally, when a church was abandoned and many years passed without the bell being rung, bats would eventually come and inhabit the belfry. So, when somebody said that an individual had “bats in the belfry” it meant that there was “nothing going on upstairs” (as in that person’s brain). To be BATSHIT CRAZY is to take this even a step further. A person who is batshit crazy is so nuts that not only is their belfry full of bats, but so many bats have been there for so long that the belfry is coated in batshit. Hence, the craziest of crazy people are BATSHIT CRAZY.

So now you know.  You’re welcome 🙂

Have a great weekend!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt3

The RCMP Musical Ride

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August 2nd was my birthday and I spent most of the day relaxing at the cottage with a good book (The Drafter by Kim Harrison – I’d highly recommend it, but don’t expect it to be anything like her Hollows series). We also took the whole family to see the RCMP Musical Ride.

The RCMP Musical Ride consists of 32 riders who execute a variety of cavalry drills choreographed to music. The Ride tours throughout Canada and internationally between May and October performing at approximately 40 venues each year.

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A spectacle known around the world, the RCMP Musical Ride has played an important role in the RCMP since 1873.

I posted a short video clip on my Instagram page. Check it out here.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt 2

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This past weekend was a long weekend here in my neck of the woods and to celebrate I embraced my inner viking at Islendingadagurinn (pronounced “ees-len-ding-ga-dog-a-rin”), the annual Icelandic Festival held in Gimli, Manitoba. One of the longest running ethnic festivals in North America, the festival has been a mainstay of the August long weekend since before there actually was a long weekend.

Velkomin! Welcome!

Attracting more than 40,000 visitors each year, the family-friendly festival offers something for everyone – food, music, entertainment, events/activities, Icelandic culture, and of course, Vikings!

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Always be yourself
unless you can be a Viking,
then be a Viking

I’ve been attending the Icelandic Festival since I was a kid. Back then, the midway and carnival rides were always a hit, but now, poking around the craft stalls and watching the fireworks probably hit the top of my list.

wonder shows gimli

 

If the midway or craft stalls aren’t your thing, there are many other events to check out, including some more unusual ones:

Get Dinged

Pretty self-explanatory (see below), but you won’t get me to eat Harðfiskur so this is one event I’ll take a pass on.

get dinged

Islendingadunk

A festival favourite, the Islendingadunk basically lets competitors battle one another with a sack full of wet sponges, while sitting on a soap covered beam over Gimli Harbour. As you can imagine, hilarity often ensues.

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Viking Village and Battle Reenactment

My son’s favourite event, the Viking Village demonstrates the lifestyle and culture of 9th and 10th century Western European nations of Danish, Norse, Swede, Finn, Anglo–Saxon, Hiberno Norse, and Dane law (Central England and Scotland) many of whom travelled to and settled in what are now the present locations of Iceland, Greenland, The Faroe Islands, Newfoundland (Canada) and Baffin Island.

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Fris-Nok Tournament

Although they have tamed down this game to make it family friendly (i.e. removed the drinking component), the Fris-Nok tournament is always a crowd pleaser. The game is played using two poles driven into the ground with an empty bottle (usually a beer bottle) balanced on each. Two teams of two face off and try to knock the other team’s bottle off the pole with frisbees. The first team to score 5 points wins. (Again, this is normally a drinking game and played while each player is also holding/drinking a beer, I think it ups the challenge level, but drinking liquor at a family event is frowned upon, so they don’t do that at the Festival).

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Everyone Loves a Parade!

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Icelandic Festival without the parade. A staple of the festival, the parade celebrates the history and culture of the community’s Icelandic roots.

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Mmmm Prunes!

Okay, so prunes probably aren’t the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of summer celebrations, but that just means you’ve never tried Vinarterta.  Sweet, gooey prune filling between layers of short-bread cookie/cake, topped with sweet vanilla frosting. Yum!

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And then there are pannkakor, or Iceland’s answer to crepes. These tasty, cinnamon-flavoured treats are always the first to disappear when we visit Amma (that’s Icelandic for Grandma) Joan’s.

pannkaka

So whether you want to ride the ferris wheel, watch a bunch of big, burly Vikings bash each other with swords, listen to some traditional Icelandic poetry or left off some steam by whomping someone with a bag full of wet sponges, Islendingadagurinn has something for everyone. You might have missed it this year, but there’s guaranteed to be just as much fun next year, so when the August long weekend rolls around again head out to Gimli and get your Viking on!

Comic Con – pt 2

Hey! We’re back talking about Comic Con and all the new stuff I’m excited about. If you missed the first instalment, check it out here.

Today we’re talking about DC Comics and Warner Brothers

First up, I can’t talk about DC Comics without raving about Wonder Woman. She was the best part of the lack lustre Batman Vs Superman movie and I’m thrilled that she is getting her own feature film. DC screened the first trailer we’ve seen for Wonder Woman and wow! It looks great.

 

As you can see from the trailer, they are taking us back to Wonder Woman’s origin story and World War I. Here’s the movie synopsis:

“Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.”

Hoping to win with a ensemble movie from the fringe (similar to how Marvel did with Guardians of the Galaxy), DC won’t have to wait long to see if their gamble on the Suicide Squad will pay off and neither will we (release date August 4th). If nothing else, the movie has had great trailers and will probably have an awesome soundtrack (if the trailers are any indication). I have to admit to being curious to see this one. I’m all for rooting for the underdog, but not sure if I’ll be able to get on board with these particular psychopaths (except for maybe Harley, she is awesome).

Of course the blockbuster event for DC in 2017 will be the Justice League, DC’s answer to Marvel’s Avengers. Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg (to name a few!)….it’s going to be massive. Based on the teaser trailer DC dropped at Comic Con, it also looks like they have listened to fans (after the dark and broody Batman Vs Superman movie) and lightened things up a bit.

If you can’t make it to the UK to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, fans of the Potterverse don’t have to wait much longer for Warner Brothers latest foray with JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which comes out in November. The latest trailer was screened for the first time at Comic Con and while it had a few parts we’ve already scene, we do get a few more glimpses of some of the creatures that escape Newt’s awesome suitcase.

The origins of the relationship between Batman and Robin are sure to be hilariously explored in the new Lego Batman movie, if we are to take what we see in the newly screened trailer as an indicator. If the movie lives up to the trailer, it should be a real hoot.

Last, but not least, Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword looks like it’s going to be absolutely crazy good. Ritchie, known for movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and Sherlock Holmes, has carried his distinctive dialogue and visual style over to the Arthurian legend. And the movie has Charlie Hunnam as Arthur! Need I say more?

 

Hunnam plays a rough-around-the-edges Arthur who grew up in the streets, only to discover that his birthright was stolen from him. He’s backed by an incredible cast. In addition to Hunnam, the film also stars Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Eric Bana and Katie McGrath.

 

Nerd-vana

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So, if you are a bit of a nerd like me, you know that this past weekend was the comic-con of all comic-cons, the San Diego Comic Con (it’s so big that it’s usually just referred to as Comic Con). This four day event has been running every summer since the early 70s and has become a Mecca of sorts for all things nerdy. Over the years, Comic Con has become the focal point for the world of comic conventions with offerings such as its giant Exhibit Hall (topping over 460,000 square feet in its current incarnation); a massive programming schedule (over 700 separate events); hands-on workshops and educational and academic programming; anime and film screenings; an Autograph Area; an Art Show; and Portfolio Reviews, bringing together aspiring artists with major companies.

If you are a Big Bang Theory fan, you may also know how difficult it is to get tickets to the Con.

Luckily, thanks to the Internet, pretty much everything that gets screened for Comic-Con eventually gets posted for the general public. As a result, I have compiled my list of things that I am excited to see coming out of Comic Con.

Today, we’ll talk about what’s new from Marvel.

There were some big announcements from Marvel Studios. First off, they have a new logo and opening sequence.

Next up, Marvel introduced the cast of the upcoming Black Panther movie. We were first introduced to Black Panther earlier this year in Captain America: Civil War and personally, I thought he was one of the best parts. The movie stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Erik Kilmonger and Danai Gurira.

black panther cast

Chris Hemsworth returns next year in Thor: Ragnarok. This time out, Thor is joined by the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and a really amazing cast that includes: Cate Blanchette, Tom Hiddleston, Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban.

THOR+Ragnarok

Coming out later this year, Doctor Strange (starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams) looks kind of trippy with some scenes reminding me of the early Batman Begins (with Christian Bale) and others the reality altering Inception.

dr strange movie poster

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol 2 and Spiderman: Homecoming are also on their way, but the biggest reveal for Marvel came when the casts of all of their movies at the panel got together on stage for a massive group picture and studio President, Kevin Feige, brought on Oscar winning actress Brie Larson! It’s official, she’ll be playing Captain Marvel which will be the studio’s first female solo superhero movie!

Brie Larson Cpt Marvel

Next post, I’ll cover what Warner Brothers/DC Comics has in store for us.

 

How I Spent My Summer Vacation – pt 1

The Gimli Film Festival

As I have mentioned before, summer is cottage season for my family. Our cottage is located on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, the world’s tenth largest freshwater lake, just south of the small community of Gimli, Manitoba.

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Gimli, besides being the name of one of the members of the Fellowship of the Ring, is a bustling summer destination for cottagers and day-trippers alike. Known to have the largest population of people of Icelandic descent outside of Iceland, for the last sixteen years, Gimli has also been home to the Gimli Film Festival. The festival showcases fiction feature films, documentaries and short films from Manitoba, Canada and the world with an emphasis on work from the circumpolar countries. They even screen free movies on the beach every night of the festival. It’s quite an experience to see Jaws on a big screen that literally comes up out of the lake.

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Each summer I study the myriad of movies in the festival’s schedule like a punter betting on the ponies, hoping to pick a winner or two. It can be hit or miss, but generally, even if the movie ends up being a bit of a dud, I enjoy getting the chance to see a film I normally wouldn’t have considered or even have had access.

3 Out of 4 Ain’t Bad

This year I think I did a pretty great job of picking movies. I managed to get to four of the over 85 films screened (I only attended two days of the four day event). I barely put a scratch on the list and it was certainly not as many as I would have liked, but I have to juggle schedules with the other movie goers in my family. In the spirit of film festivals around the world, I have awarded my own prizes to each (with apologies to Cannes).

Fiskur af Gulli (The Golden Fish award)
Microbe et Gasoil

Microbe & Gasoline was a quirky, fun, coming-of-age, road trip with one laugh-out-loud moment after another. It sort of had a 80’s movie vibe, going more for low-key than big box office bang. I highly recommend it.

Silfur Stjörnu (Silver Star award)
Borealis

It seems that road trip movies were definitely a theme for me (total fluke) this year. This time it’s a father-daughter adventure, although the daughter is only there grudgingly, and only for the pot. A Canadian project filmed here in Manitoba by former Winnipegger, Jonas Chernick, Borealis is a charming and sweetly painful movie. The real star of the show is Joey King who takes a potentially clichéd character — a teenage girl who’s tough on the outside and scared on the inside — and brings her to life in a believable and heartbreaking way. Definitely worth checking out.

Stórt Hjarta (The Big Heart award)
A Man Called Ove

Ove (rhymes with ‘stove) is the epitome of a grumpy, old man. He’s stubborn, short-tempered, strictly regimented and very lonely. A young family pushes their way into his rigid life bringing chaos and more importantly friendship. A touching and humorous film. (Sorry, I couldn’t find a trailer with the English subtitles.)

Also Saw Honourable Mention
Anomalisa

At first this film feels like a low-budget, stop-motion animation, but as the story unfolds you find there is a clever reason why. I could have done without the claymation style “Full Monty”.

So that’s how I spent my weekend at the cottage. Next up I get my Viking on at Islendingadagurinn.

Hooray! Blog Hop Winners

Well, summer may be just starting, but our Crazy Canuck Canada Day blog hop has come to an end. Thank you to everyone that visited all the stops on the hop. I hope you enjoyed meeting some new Canadian authors and checking out their work.

Each stop on the hop will be awarding their individual prize winners in the next couple of days. Good luck to everyone.

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The Grand Prize winner was randomly selected from all the entries by Rafflecopter. Congratulations to Christopher Mason! Christopher will be able to do some shopping for new summer reading with his $50 Amazon gift card. Thanks again to everyone that entered.

Another big congratulations to Sharon Watson-Azmier who has won a copy of my contemporary romance, Home Again. Thanks for taking the time to visit my stop on the hop, Sharon! Enjoy reading Home Again.

Home Again

 

Keep the Hop Going

Welcome to another of my Crazy Canuck Canada Day Blog Hop posts.  Don’t forget to visit my original post for the hop so you can enter to win a print copy of my contemporary romance, Home Again.  Just click HERE to visit the post and leave a comment. There are also lots of great prizes up for grabs on the other websites participating in the hop, so make sure to check them all out. To enter the Grand Prize draw, follow the link below.

Canada Day Blog Hop

Enter the Grand Prize draw

If you are a new visitor to my site, why not take a few minutes and look around? Are you a fan of romance? Or maybe you prefer fantasy? Either way, I’ve got you covered.

FB BannerBesides my best-selling urban fantasy series, the Harry Russo Diaries, I also write spicy romance.

Home Again

 

 

Home Again is a down-home country romance, but don’t let the sweet cover fool you, it delivers the heat too.

Looking for something a little on the kinky side? I’ve got that as well with my Yacht Club series.

Yacht Club - three short reads

Canada Day Hangover

As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s summer so I’m at the cottage celebrating a Canada Day long weekend. For all you non-Canadians, especially those thinking of taking part in the post-Trump Exodus, I thought I would share this PSA on how to be more Canadian.

 

Don’t forget about the Crazy Canuck Canada Day Blog Hop. There’s still time to check out all the participating blogs and enter to win some great prizes.

Canada Day Blog Hop

TO ENTER THE GRAND PRIZE DRAW FOR A $50 AMAZON GIFT CARD
CLICK HERE!

 

Visit the other blogs:

PD Workman – Summer is Short on the Prairies Canadiana Prize Pack, including paperback copy of Questing for a Dream
Jessica Subject – a paperback copy of Alien Next Door – the Complete Series
Romarin Demetri – a copy of her debut novel, A Mirror Among Shattered Glass
Nathan Burgoine – a copy of  his novel, Light
Kayleigh Malcolm – $20 CAD Amazon Gift Card
Cori Vidae – a paperback copy of Rough Edges

To enter to win a copy of my contemporary romance, Home Again, visit my original blog post for the hop and leave a comment.