The Dialup {Week 5} Five recent movies that look terrible but are actually worth seeing twice

Happy Dialup day! You know when you see a preview for a movie and you think to yourself (and sometimes say out loud) wow, that looks really dreadful. 

So I do that all the time, and then sometimes when there’s nothing on Netflix to watch, I’ll watch all those movies I just turned my nose down at. And then, it turns out.. my initial impression was wrong (god I hate when that happens).

Here are five of just those kind of movies, one for each night of the long long work week.

St. Vincent – that comedy with Bill Murray about a single mom and her son who move in next door to a crotchety old guy who befriends the little boy. Turns out friends can come in all forms.

Expected: Crass, rude, story-less plot.

Actually got: A feel good story, with Melissa McCarthy played less comic than heartfelt, Bill Murray fit his role perfectly, and that little boy was some cute. Would watch again! 4 stars

Mountain Men – Picked this one randomly, had seriously low expectations as a result.

 Expected: Canadian guys wandering through mountains with no plot and/or bearded guys grunting at each other (check out the poster, you’ll see what I mean).

Actually got: Family comedy, brothers reuniting, feel-good film, where nothing bad really happens, in true Canadian fashion. Gorgeous scenery of BC mountains. 3.5 stars

Her -That freaky looking one about a guy who talks to his phone a lot

Expected: Sci fi, weird tech thriller with an almost always creepy Joaquin Phoenix

Actually got: A touching, thought-provoking, beautifully filmed piece of art, that leaves you thinking about it for months after. Best seen on the big screen. 4 stars

The Fundamentals of Caring – Kid in a wheelchair, new caregiver, Selena Gomez plays a runaway…

Expected: Netflix movie, cheesy, same plot as everything else, made-for-tv effects

Actually got: A really funny, realistic story about a bunch of regular people doing things they didn’t think they could do and surprising themselves and each other in the process. Would watch again. 4 stars

Hector and the Search for Happiness – The title really gives it all away.

Expected: An indie movie with no plot about a guy who really does just search for happiness.

Actually got: An indie movie with a plot about a guy who really does search for happiness, but the whole film is also a study in culture and priorities.

**If you are in the Annapolis Valley, these movies and so many many more are available at Cinematopia video rental store in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Support local!**

Want more of the fun? Try this, this and this.



The Dialup {Week 4}

Anyone else got the end of summer blahs? Here are some of the things making that ominous, fall-is-coming-and-you’re-going-to-have-to-do-real-things feeling a little bit more bearable:

  1. Mumford & Sons with Baaba Maal – There Will Be Time

With the awesome news that Newfoundlander Tom Power will be taking over CBC Q from current host Shad, I bring you my Q find for the week.

A successful hosting change over + and new music = success this week.


2. Instagram – @nakedwithanxiety

This is quite possibly my new favourite Instagram account. Danielle brings all us worriers cute sketches, words of anxiety-free wisdom, and works with the motto “I help worriers become warriors”. Give her account a little look-see the next time you’re stressing.

3. Stickers! 

I’ve been hanging out with a lot of small children in the past weeks, and stickers are now attached to just about everything I own, and all of my friends who have come into contact with me. But to up your sticker game, check out these gems from RedBubble. Even if you don’t have wanderlust, you can always pretend to justify a sticker binge.

4. Choir Nerd Moments

The always amazing Canadian Chamber Choir sang in my small town this week. Comprised of singers and conductors from all across Canada, they perform Canadian music in a different province every summer. My favourite piece of the night was Tabula Rasa, by Don MacDonald. Tabula rasa – meaning blank slate – comes up often in my philosophy classes. Nothing improves my week more than combining my two loves. Listen here to the U.B.C. Singers.



5. Fish Sauce Goes International

This article from CBC about a Halifax professor whose interest in fish sauce and decreasing infant mortality rates led to a surprisingly simple breakthrough. Local science meets international solutions. Yay for Nova Scotia success stories.

What are some of your end of summer blues solutions?

Pin this, if you like!

Mumford and Sons with Baaba Maal, Tabula Rasa (choral and philosophical), instagram accounts for the anxious, and more, on the Dialup at

The Dialup {Week 3}

Week 3! Actually more like week seven, because as predicted I am really not stellar with the whole follow-through business.

Maybe these kids can help me figure out my calendar, when they’re done solving all the other world problems.

My week, which was going okay until it wasn’t, was significantly brightened when I received a package because who doesn’t love a package? Even better than a package as a concept was getting Kat McLevey’s album, Evergrown. Check that out here.

We just signed the lease on a new apartment in Newfoundland, on our favourite street in the city, super exciting. Major highlight of my week has been searching Pinterest (find me here on there) for cheap ways to make our sad and empty house less sad and empty. This memo board is project #1 for me. Or at least, the first project I intend to delegate to someone else because I really don’t do projects. Art + me = ick for me, and bad result.

And just to end your week on a slightly-depressing-but-maybe-uplifting-depends-how-you-look-at-it note… I read two excellent articles from Atlantic Business yesterday. This one made me angry (as most things do) and then less angry and then happy that someone is actually saying these words. The second one is a super reminder that we (by we I mean women, just to be clear) have to keep stepping up and being active participants, sharing our ideas, and taking advantage of the place we have made at the table by actually using it. For all the social media/interweb types, this is your weekly prod to keep sharing and liking and send your virtual love this week to women writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, and telling magazines and newspapers that you appreciate hearing about women, and from women.

Finally, my favourite Instagram of the week: IMG_1274.JPG

This shot of our B&B room at The Groundswell on Isle Madame on Cape Breton Island, NS. The light, the wallpaper… and the name of the room – “Paperback Writer”. Can’t beat that. Find me on Instagram, and follow to get updates: @oneredphonebox.

The Dialup {Week 2}

Mondays suck. Three months ago I was in school and Mondays sucked because, well, no one really wants to study philosophy first thing at the beginning of the week. Now, I have a job, and Mondays are just a really good reminder that I need to get back on the becoming-independently-wealthy track.

If your Monday is sucking like mine, try checking out some pictures of manatees that are ready to give you a wide-eyed look and tell you that they believe in you. Really. The internet is a magical magical place.


Also, these sketches of Cuba that make me wish to be somewhere else and also to have just a small amount of ability to draw. If you actually have the ability to be somewhere else right now and just don’t know where, try this for an escape.

I just finished reading Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, which was a surprisingly uplifting -and easy – young adult read about the joys of looking different in middle school. I wasn’t feeling the love for this one and was more than mildly upset when it came in to the library as I was in the midst of a John Irving novel. However, upon opening the cover I came upon a quote from the lovely musician Natalie Merchant and her song Wonder! Of course, I couldn’t not read it then.


(Are you on Instagram? Find this picture and other shots of small town life here!)

Finally this article from the New Yorker will make you happy if you read fiction or if, like me, you think being a bibliotherapist is actually a profession you might enjoy.

So there you go. Happy Monday/hopefully happier Tuesday. Answer your emails. Do the extra ten percent. Go forth and be useful.


The Dialup {Week 1}

One Red Phone Box is positively almost enthused to bring you the Weekly Dialup (we’re so retro), a conglomeration of stuff that is hopefully mildly related and meant to improve your week. Theoretically, these will be published weekly, with somewhat regularity, and themed. But because I’m not great at the follow through, let’s just be happy when they occur at all.

Having said all of that, welcome to The Dialup {Week 1}, Theme: Music for Rainy Afternoons for Cleaning the Kitchen Drawers and Being Generally Melancholy. Start with this one from Ryn Weaver, just to make sure you’re really depressed before you start the cleaning.

Side note. If you’re going to clean the drawer with all of the cleaning cloths (because every normal family does that as a group activity), beware of the following conversations:

Cleaner 1: I don’t like this cloth.

Cleaner 2: Why?

1: It’s microfibre.

2: So?

1: It doesn’t clean. And it’s too big.

2: Clean what? How can a cloth be too big?

1: Too big for my purposes.

2: Okay. This one is terrycloth. Do you use this one?

1: No.

2: Because it’s too big? Too soft? Too non-cleaning?

Spectator: Or just because it’s not on the top of the pile?

1: pause. All of the above.

Spectator: Sigh

2: This is why you are not involved in this process. Usually.

1: But I don’t mind! I’m so laid back, I’m practically comatose.

2: Puh.


Before starting this conversation, turn on the music:

Oh Wonder is one of those bands that I’m pretty sure is cool only if you’re a cool person and if you’re wanting to be cool by being not cool (is that a hipster? I don’t know) then it is too really cool to be cool or something. I don’t know. Regardless, they have this cool-not cool-too cool song that is not at all cheerful but kind of upbeat and has the same name as another excellent depressing song that we all know and love already. Find Landslide (Oh Wonder version) here.

Joni Mitchell wins at life. The choral version of Both Sides Now is also astounding. And Judy Collins does a more cheerful rendition.

The Weakerthans are known for a uplifting song about Winnipeg, but Left and Leaving is the opposite of all of that.

If you haven’t finished that drawer by now, let Van Morrison keep you on task with Into the Mystic.