Netflix and WHAT?? – Staying In Is The New Date Night

Netflix & ChillWithout going into gory details, the catchphrase Netflix & Chill is one that you have probably heard over the past year. Basically, it means a couple plans to stay in, watch some Netflix, and then hit the bedroom to continue the evening. 

As Valentine’s Day rolls around this weekend, I am absolutely planning on some Netflix & Chill taking place (TMI?). But I did some reading lately that suggested Netflix is becoming more important to relationships than just for “chilling”. Because the economy is so strained and, let’s face it, the outside world can be a scary place…more and more couples are doing “inside date nights”. Not only that, but I read that DATING PROFILES are beginning to include more and more information on Netflix preferences because a “movie match” can sometimes be a great conversation starter.

A recent survey with “Millenial Netflix users” showed that 53% of singles with online profiles have added movies and television shows to their profile in order to attract a potential suitor. I mean, I only did the online dating thing briefly after my marriage ended and that was a nightmare. I suppose trying to be as specific as possible might be a good way to go about it. I also read that 21% of respondents to this survey admitted to adding documentaries to their online dating profile in order to seem smarter. Seriously!! I may not be the smartest cookie in the jar, but I can’t imagine lying like that on a profile. What if you’re found out later to be a liar? Nope…I’d rather be as honest as possible if I were actually searching for love. But I can definitely see how this could help. 

Courting & Beyond

I won’t lie…when Sunshine and I can agree on a series or movie to watch, I do find her a little more attractive. There’s just something about connecting with your significant other that brings the two of you closer together, and when you feel that way you feel more attracted to them. 

Making It Official

Get this…according to Millenial Netflix subscribers, the most attractive genre of show and/or movie in a potential partner is the ACTION THRILLER! Whaaa

I know, right?

This surprises me because you would think the Romantic Comedy would top the list. But again, from personal experience, if I’m ever in a position to watch an Action Thriller with my wife (who isn’t normally drawn to that type of movie), it’s certainly a turn on for me. There’s just something about watching one of those movies and having your spouse watching it next to you. I can’t really put my finger why, though. 

And passwords? Yeah…I can totally understand how that’s a sign of “we’re officially together”. As a parent, I’ve got four different account names set up for different family members…but if my wife and I were both just dating and one of us had just signed up for Netflix, I could totally see how sharing a password would mean a “serious relationship”. I mean, it’s a sign of trust…right? It’s probably a bigger deal than changing your Facebook relationship status.

Blissfully happy

I’ll be honest…my wife and I don’t always agree on what to watch on Netflix. Hell…we’ve gotten into arguments about what to watch because I’ll watch just about anything and she’s more “selective” about what she spends her time on. So I can totally understand how 71% of couples engage in negotiations over picking shows. That’s actually kind of funny.

And yes, I can also see how over half of all couples bond over Netflix…whether it’s a classic series like Friends or a documentary series like How To Make A Murderer, when my wife and I really get into a show we find ourselves pausing the program to laugh, discuss what we’re watching, or share stories that we’re reminded of. Because it’s not live television, we can take our time and not just stare at the screen without saying a word to each other.

How do you use Netflix in your relationship? Have you used it for a #showmance with your significant other?

 


My First Family SuperBowl

Anti-HockeyI’m one of the few Canadians who doesn’t really like hockey very much, in spite of the fact that Canada is primarily a hockey-centric nation. In fact, I’m not much of a fan of sports in general…though I absolutely LOVE football. No, not the 3-down Canadian version…but rather the National Football League. In fact, an NFL game is pretty much the only sporting event that I can watch on television from beginning to end and not get bored.

Over the years, I spent many a SuperBowl watching it by myself. I occasionally spent it with friends and the past few years have been spent with my wife. But where Sunshine isn’t a football fan, it’s not quite the same…y’know? My son is usually with his mom on Sunday evenings and Sunshine’s girls are with their dad doing their own SuperBowl thing.

This year, though, the girls were scheduled to be with us on Sunday night. Instead of going to their dad’s, they said that they actually wanted to watch the SuperBowl with me. Well…that’s all I needed to hear in order to want to have a kick-ass night!

I spent the weekend with the Ankle Biter, but had picked him earlier on Friday so I could drop him off a bit earlier on Sunday and get back home in order catch the start of the game. I had discussed it with him a couple of weeks previously, and he was fine with the trade-off. He watches football with me, but also knows the routine. I promised him that some day we’ll watch the big game together.

Damn long distance parenting…

So Sunshine and I had come up with ideas for fun. It started off with a late supper with home-made pizza…

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…we even had “cookie pizza” desserts that were made by the 10 year old, Lil’ Mo. She decorated each with mini-M&M’s with initials (for Dad, Mom, Mo, & Em).006

Before the SuperBowl started, we played a game of “Which Mascot?” where I had pictures of 20 NFL mascots and the ladies had to match them up with their corresponding football team (fun because they’re not football fans).NFL Mascots

I had some trivia questions for them to answer. Any correct answers would result in a chocolate treat!TriviaI also downloaded some Football Bingo cards that made the game a LOT more fun for the girls to watch. Everybody got three cards and a straight line would result in some more chocolate goodness…

036On top of everything else, we had snacks laid out in football containers to go on our football plates and accompanied by our football napkins. 011

We didn’t end up eating the cookie pizzas, nor did we end up eating the chicken wings that Sunshine and I had purchased for halftime. But all told, I think we accomplished what we set out to do. We wanted to make sure that this night was about THEM, not about me or my love of the game. We wanted them to have fun and not regret their decision to be with their dad and have him and his friends drink and yell at the TV all night.

So that was our SuperBowl Sunday. How did you spend yours?


Bell Let’s Talk Day

Bell Lets TalkY’know, it was recently mentioned on Twitter that a big corporation shouldn’t have to be using a mental health issue in order to gain positive exposure for themselves. People can talk about mental health issues on their own. 

Yes, they can. The problem is that they don’t. Bell Lets Talk 1

As someone dealing with Major Depressive Disorder and Adult ADHD, the Let’s Talk initiative by Bell here in Canada takes on a whole new meaning for me than it has in previous years. It actually MEANS something to me now.

Bell Lets Talk 6So just what IS Bell Let’s Talk? It’s a multi-year charitable program dedicated to the promotion and support of mental health across Canada. The money they pledge supports a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast focusing on anti-stigma, care and access, workplace mental health and research.

And no, Bell doesn’t have to use this social media campaign as a way to gain positive exposure as they could totally donate money to charity in private without the public knowing about it. But my response to that would be…why the heck shouldn’t they try to get positive exposure? Should all major corporations simply sit in the background and not let the world know that they’re doing good things? Bell Lets Talk 4

Bell Lets Talk 2And hey…Bell has committed over $100 million to mental health initiatives since 2010. How awesome is that? For one day a year, there isn’t a major stigma on having a mental health issue as it might be the rest of the year. It’s easy for me to sit back (slightly) anonymously on my laptop and write about how I’ve been dealing with my issues for the past year, but I still haven’t mentioned this to my immediate family or my friends because, quite frankly, I don’t want to be pre-judged or even ostracized from them because they have pre-conceived notions of what it all means. 

Bell Lets Talk 5The entire day reminds people that talking is the best way to start breaking down the barriers associated with mental illness. I don’t want to be shunned away from society, I want to be able to talk about what’s going on with me so that others can either recognize the symptoms within themselves or at least understand them so they don’t have to “pretend” when they’re around me or ignore me altogether. 

Bell Lets Talk 3So if you have a moment today, please use the #BellLetsTalk hashtag on Facebook and Twitter today. Bell has pledged 5 cents for every time it’s used (as of 9am this morning, there had already been over 7 million interactions online…resulting in $350,000 committed to mental health), so yes…every single tweet and Facebook post add up. 

Let’s try to not let this day be the only one we use to talk about mental health issues, either. It’s too important of a topic to ignore.


Whoa…I’ve Signed Up!

I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I was giving myself a large task as a “resolution” for 2016. I mean, after doing the Polar Bear Dip I figured that anything was possible if I simply put my mind to it. This task was to complete a half-marathon, which sounds insane to me as I write it down. Heck…it was just over two years ago that I completed my very first 5K and I thought I was insane for doing that!

Well…after sending in a payment a couple of weeks ago, I received the following notification from the Maritime Race Weekend crew in my email last night:

CBG - Marathon

I gotta say…I was excited and nervous to actually see this. I mean, I’m actually signed up to run a damn HALF MARATHON. I remember just how difficult it was to WALK the half marathon back in 2013 and how I never thought I’d come close to doing anything like that again…much less voluntarily decide to do it and complete it on my own.

Y’see, and much as Sunshine inspires me on a daily basis, I feel like this is something that I have to do on my own. It’s my own internal battle against laziness and my own internal battle against myself…the whole history I have of “self-sabotage” and all. 

ADHD symbol design isolated on white backgroundBut I’m a better person now. I’m taking medication regularly for Adult ADHD and Major Depressive Disorder. I really feel as though I’ve turned a corner in my life. In addition, I just finished a 3-month trial with GoodLife Fitness that I think I’ll continue to do to ensure I can properly train for this during the off-season months. 

This is something that I know I can do if I put my mind to it and work my ass off to accomplish this task. I’m tentatively planning to chronicle my journey over the next eight months until my race takes place on September 16th, when I plan to live tweet during the race itself (heck…I’m not going for time, I’m just going to finish!). 

Anyway…this is a massive challenge for me but I’m going to finish this. I’m going to get ‘er done. I just can’t believe that I’m doing it. 

whoa

Whoa…


Music’s Loss

It’s been a pretty insane two weeks in terms of celebrities passing away.

LemmyI mean, first we had Lemmy Kilmister from Mötorhead. Maybe that’s not a big deal to some (and it took place on December 28th, but it’s still within the past three weeks), but he has legions of fans around the world who were really saddened to hear of his passing. I’ll admit, I was never the biggest fan of Mötorhead, but there were a couple of songs that I didn’t mind too much. The obvious choice is Ace of Spades, the only “hit” they ever really had. But as a wrestling fan, I was more into a theme song they did for one of my favourite wrestlers, Triple H. They didn’t normally do any “commercial” music, but this one about as close as they ever got.

David Bowie 2Soon after his passing, the music industry was hit with a massive punch in the gut when news got out that David Bowie had died after an 18-month battle with liver cancer. I’ll be the first one to admit that I was never someone who listened to a ton of Bowie, but I had a good number of his songs in my iTunes library. I don’t recall even knowing who David Bowie was prior to his Let’s Dance album. I’ve since become a casual fan of his 70’s material, simply because of the originality and creativity that was needed to pull it all off. People throw around the words “musical icon” a lot these days, but Bowie truly was one of the pioneers of popular music and how you didn’t have to conform in order to be successful.

Glenn FreyThen yesterday I read on TMZ that Glenn Frey had passed away. He was one of the co-founders of the Eagles, which is one of my favourite bands of all time. I remember growing up in the 70’s and hearing certain songs on the radio, but not thinking much of it at the time. By the time the late 80’s had come around, there was a resurgence in the interest of 70’s rock with my friends and I. We listened to the popular music of the day, but we’d also listen to the Eagles, the Steve Miller Band, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. I was absolutely blessed to have gotten the chance to see the Eagles live in concert back in 2008. I always loved the Eagles music and I also enjoyed a number of Frey’s solo work, as well. He died from a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. As one of the co-writers of such classics as Hotel California and Desperado, Frey’s passing will be felt across the entire music industry.

I almost forgot one more untimely passing (thanks @junctionette!!), and that was of Natalie Cole. While she was never the superstar her father was, she was still a well respected singer who had a successful career.

Hopefully the Grim Reaper takes a break for a little bit. Between these legendary musicians and celebrities such as “Grizzly Adams” Dan Haggerty and the incredible Alan Rickman also passing away in the past two weeks, it’d be nice if we could take a break from mourning for awhile.


Netflix Resolutions

Netflix My ListIf you’re a Netflix viewer like me, you’ve got a number of items in your “My List” (that’s mine at right) that you’ll either won’t have the time to watch any time soon or you won’t end up watching at all. The more you use Netflix, the bigger that list can grow…quickly.

Thanks to being a member of the Netflix Stream Team, they’ve decided to help me go on a “diet” when it comes to my list so that I can drop some of those “show pounds”. Yes…it’s a bit silly, but I think this infographic of eight resolutions may be some I can actually KEEP this year!

image001

1. Okay…so Lost is on Netflix?? I can’t tell you how awesome I think that is. There are so many questions I have about the series that I feel I need to watch them again so I can truly understand the final season.

2. I watched the first season of Daredevil with a bit of hesitation, but was pleasantly surprised at just how much fun it was. I can’t wait for the second season to come out later in 2016!

Heroes3. I remember binge-watching the entire first season of Heroes when it first came out on television. I’ll be completely honest…I wouldn’t really recommend any season after that, but if you want a fantastically original and character-driven show that just happens to be about superheroes, then THIS is the show for you. Binge-watch the first season (“Save the cheerleader…save the world.”) and you can thank me for it later.

4. My wife and I already finished binge-watching the entire 10-season run of Friends last year, but we’ve both agreed that it’s appropriate for our kids to watch so we’ll be introducing the show to them this year.

Family Guy5. I am one of those guys who has only seen a few episodes of Family Guy but never really dove into it. Any time I saw it on television, I usually laughed at what I saw…but I just never went looking for it on a regular basis. I will GLADLY give it a second look on Netflix.

6. I introduced my wife to Fringe a few weeks ago and, while she didn’t care for it, I got hooked and am looking forward to completing the series in 2016.

7. I really don’t know anything about Bloodline. Hmm…I should look into this one.

Jessica Jones8. I watched Jessica Jones and was instantly hooked. This show is so awesome I immediately told my wife that she’d probably like it, so we’re about 4 or 5 episodes into the season. I’m still loving it…she’s a bit hesitant…but I think it was one of the best shows of 2015. Excellent characters and storytelling.

In terms of what I am REALLY wanting to watch on Netflix this year, I’ve been able to narrow it down to a few based on suggestions for the #StreamTeam:

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_HowIMetYourMother
This one will be pretty easy because the family is already watching this together. I believe we’re into the second season now and it’s a show that, while a bit risqué for the younger set, is hilariously funny. I can’t believe that for all of the years it was on television that my wife and I never gave it a second glance.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_OrangeIstheNewBlack
I can’t lie…I’m already caught-up on this one. The worst part right now is waiting until June before the new season drops so that my wife and I can binge-watch the entire season in under a week before rolling our eyes and complaining about having to wait an entire freakin’ year before we can see more new episodes.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_TheWalkingDead
I’m the only zombie fan in the house, so this one is all on me. I’m actually completely caught-up with the current season of the show, but I’m such a massive fan that I love watching the old episodes, as well. Right now the group is at the farmhouse, and I think binge-watching the rest of the episodes through the summer until the next season starts might be the only way to satisfy my Walking Dead cravings.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_TheXFiles
I remember being SUPER excited to hear that the X-Files were coming back for a 6-episode limited edition run (starting on January 26th!!). But then I had a difficult time trying to remember just what took place that led us to now. I used to watch the show religiously and even watched the two movies, but it’s been awhile and I have to admit that I don’t remember how the show ended. I think I now have to watch every episode so I can get back into the swing of things and remember just why this show was so awesome to begin with.

Netflix_NewYears_CharacterCard_HouseofCards
I’ve always enjoyed political dramas and have heard a lot of good things about this show and Kevin Spacey’s performance. I promise to give this a shot in 2016.

*****

So what shows are YOU looking forward to watching in 2016? Anything you plan to take off of YOUR “My List”?


The 3-Month Gym Membership Recap

Goodlife Fitness 2Well, my 3-month GoodLife Fitness free trial is now over and I wanted to give my honest opinions and thoughts of what the trial was like for me. 

I’m not going to lie as my “relationship” appears to be concluded with GoodLife at the moment. So here it goes: I really, really liked it. I know…from a guy who hasn’t stepped into a gym in over 20 years, I got to the point where I was feeling pretty comfortable with going and what I was doing.

There was something really fulfilling about getting to the gym early, doing a workout, and then leaving before most of the city was even awake. It was also great to be able to do different things and not be stifled by doing just one type of workout every single time. I felt myself getting stronger after doing circuit training, I felt myself dying after doing a spin class, and I felt myself getting more stamina after running on the treadmill. 

At the end of the day…it was fun.

Sunshine & CBGThe problem, though, was trying to remind myself that it was fun. I mean, it was hard work…don’t get me wrong….but I never left the gym feeling as though it was “work” as opposed to something that made me feel good at the end of the day. 

GoodLife Fitness is also a top quality organization. Everything was clean, the facilities were always top notch, and I never felt out of place when I walked into one of their locations (I visited three during my membership). The hours of operation and convenient locations were also major positives for me.

Now the big question is…will I re-sign for a membership on my own? 

The Struggle Is RealThe short answer is “yes”, but there is a longer answer to get there. I have asked my contact to get someone from GoodLife Fitness to get back to me about continuing my working relationship with them as a GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador, but there has been no contact at this time. I have considered doing some kind of crowd-fund situation to pay for the membership so I can properly train for my half-marathon in September and document everything in the blog. I have also discussed the financial details with my wife to see if it’s something we can afford right now.

I’ll have to think about things, but right now I’m going to take a couple of days to mull things over and hope that GoodLife Fitness gets back to me. I would love to continue my working relationship with them and I’m going to require the gym to help me train for the half one way or another…so if it could be sponsored, then I’d be stoked.

Thanks for all who followed my “gym journey” over the past few months and for constantly providing me with positive comments and well-wishes. I look forward to seeing what happens as 2016 continues. 


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