A Guide To The Shows I Currently Watch (2013)

Since I moved to Toronto in June, I started to watch even more TV shows! I did marathons on Orange Is The New Black, The Newsroom, The Bridge, Bates Motel, Castle, Hannibal and Suits. My most recent marathon was on Lost Girl. In September when all the new TV shows started airing, I made sure to watch them as much as I could. I am pretty certain not everyone knows that shows I currently watch. It’s to the point that I can’t even remember all the shows I watch. I literally have to look at a list I have of all the shows I watch. I finally figured it was a good time to compile a list of all the shows I currently watch on here before it is officially 2014 where all my other shows will return. I figured a chart system would be the best way to organize the information. Also, a good reminder for me to know when my shows air and when the season ends.

tvshows2013_1

NOTE: Some shows air in Canada a day before. The schedule is based on that.

NEW SHOWS I STARTED TO WATCH BUT STOPPED

Almost Human
– I checked out the pilot. The show didn’t interest me. I realized I am not interested in those kinds of shows.

Back In The Game
– Now cancelled. I have only watched up to episode 4. I was not surprised it was going to be cancelled.

Dracula
As I was watching episode 2, I just gave up. It didn’t keep me interested enough to keep watching.

Super Fun Night
The show has a cute concept. I love Rebel Wilson but the show doesn’t make me have the need to watch it! I also stopped at episode 4.

SHOWS I ALSO WATCH BUT NEED TO CATCH UP ON

Downton Abbey (Still haven’t watched Season 3 Christmas Finale. Haven’t decided if I want to watch Season 4)
Heartland (Watched up to Season 3)
Magic City (canceled) – Haven’t watched final season
Modern Family (Up to Season 3)
Smash (canceled) – Haven’t watched final season
True Blood (Haven’t Watched Last Season)

SHOWS I WATCH THAT RETURN IN 2014/2015

Bates Motel
The Bridge
Community
Continuum
Game Of Thrones
Hannibal
House Of Lies
Mad Men
The Newsroom
Orange Is The New Black
Orphan Black
Sherlock
Suits

Shows I May Finally Watch & Do A Marathon

Arrested Development
Banshee
Breaking Bad
Chicago Fire (Recently watched the pilot)
Dexter
Hemlock Grove
House Of Cards

Shows That I Use To Watch

Beauty and The Beast (watched the pilot)
Glee (Stopped in early Season 4)
Grey’s Anatomy (Watched several episodes mainly in Season 3 and 4. I saw some after too.)
Saving Hope (Watched a couple of episodes)

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Back In Vancouver – Weekend – DAY 6 and DAY 7

The weekend before Christmas involved hanging out with my close friends and making Christmas dinner. We each bought ingredients. I bought the potato and some snacks. We made Turkey, vegetables and mashed potatoes. We also had ham and turkey. It was delicious. It was nice catching up with my friends especially ones who I haven’t talked over Skype with. Turkey perfection!

On Sunday, Amanda and I went to check out the Illuminations of Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum. It was my first time ever being at Burnaby Village Museum. I love the history and seeing how things were done back then. The touch of Christmas music being played in each of the building was also a nice touch. It felt like we were in the time period. I was also amazed at how much work the volunteers must have had to learn in order to keep in character with their roles they played in the building they were in charge of. My favorite part was seeing the oven that was used back then actually still being used and seeing someone make cookies from them. Also, using the water pump. A lot of hard work the people had to do back then. I admired them more than I did before.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas everyone! I have been spending the last couple of days more ready for Christmas! By that, I mean I haven’t been going out much and spending time home with my brother and dad. I have missed cooking for other people and I cannot wait to start baking more! Yes I could bake in my place in Toronto but whenever I look inside the oven, I get grossed out. The oven is in need of a major cleaning. So, I never bake in Toronto.

I will be spending today cooking and watching Christmas related movies. Also, I will be doing more “catching up” on my blog posts, TV shows and maybe some of my sites. Just whatever I feel like doing. I have two Christmas dinners coming up with my relatives. One on Boxing Day and the other on Saturday. I won’t be doing much this week except seeing two shows, Jack and the Beanstalk: East Van Panto and It’s Snowing In Saltspring. I will talk about those later this week or sometime next week. Otherwise, it’s a major catch up on my blogs here at Jasmine Goes To. Check out some of my favorite Christmas movie moments below:

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Back In Vancouver – DAY 4 & DAY 5

I have been very busy catching up with friends and seeing as much stuff as possible since I have been back in Vancouver. It has now been a week since I have been back! I am going to recap on stuff I have done since Thursday.

In my previous post on Thursday, I mentioned I was going to see Saving Mr. Banks! The movie was amazing. I loved that I finally got the “full” Mary Poppins treatment. I keep having songs stuck in my head especially Let’s Go Fly A Kite. The Mary Poppins blog post will be up sometime this week! Plus my friend Ida and I ate at our favorite Vietnamese vegetarian restaurant, Chau Veggiexpress. The coconut drink is a must! I have had all their dishes by now and they are all really amazing! Sometimes you cannot tell that there is no meat in it. It was finally nice to eat “healthy” foods again. I was craving for the food the whole day that I was too hungry to take pics from there again.

On Friday, my dad and I went for a massage at our usual place in Richmond. After we went to a relative’s restaurant (West Lake Vietnamese restaurant) to have Pho. We would normally stop by his place for lunch whenever we are in Richmond. Before I met up with my friend Janet at Pacific Centre later, I finished the remaining Christmas shopping I had to do and checked out Festival Of Trees upstairs of Pacific Centre. It was nice to see different decorated Christmas trees in support for BC Children’s Hospital. The festival of trees extends into the hallways of the Four Seasons Hotel which I didn’t go in. I may go back and check out the rest but I feel like I saw a good amount!

When Janet and I met up, we went to watch American Hustle! The movie is really good! Jennifer Lawrence is really amazing in the movie and all her scenes were my favorite. Amy Adams was also remarkable in the movie. The movie is a good homage to other gangster movies such as Goodfellas. Overall, all the performances were remarkable in the movie including the screenplay which I can see why the movie has been getting lots of nominations so far. Later, we met up with my other friend, Amanda, where we ate at Ap Gu Jung (Janet’s favorite Korean restaurant). We then traveled in the snow/wet slush ground to get some Bubble Tea. Dragon Ball bubble tea ended up been closed for a month. We found out when we got there. So, we went to Soho restaurant. It was my first time going there. I had Jasmine Green Milk Tea with coconut jelly and tofu dessert. I haven’t had tofu dessert in ages. So, it was nice to have that again. The way they made it and served in the bamboo bowl was really cool.

I did even more over the weekend which include Christmas dinner with my friends and checking out Illuminations of Heritage Christmas at Burnaby Village Museum. Check out the next upcoming post for the recap!

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Back In Vancouver – DAY 2 and DAY 3

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I have been finishing off “pampering” myself. I did however checked out more of Vancouver especially yesterday. Nothing much had changed! On Tuesday, I had dim sum with my brother, dad, my grandma and uncle at Bing Sheng. It’s my favorite place to have dim sum in Vancouver. It’s around the TnT Supermarket area across the street of Renfrew St. It was so yummy to have dim sum back home because Toronto is still not good as Vancouver. My dad and I later went to Costco. I needed to get some stuff to bring back with me to Toronto. Otherwise, I didn’t do much on Tuesday. Later, I left to go to Chapters (along Granville St and Broadway) to do some more Christmas shopping. I met up with my Grandma where we had dinner at Earls. They upgraded Earls. They started to brand the restaurant more, the menu even looked different and I noticed that the staff were dressed more formal. Honestly, they looked more professional than usual. So, it was a good thing! I had my favorite, Chicken, Brie and Fig sandwich. They changed the name on the menu. So, I guess that is what they are calling it now. We saw Mary Poppins Musical at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage! It was great. More details on this in my upcoming post.

Yesterday, I had a dentist appointment and later on I had a haircut. It was nice seeing my dentist and his wife as well as my hairdresser again. It was nice catching up with them and telling them what I have been up to. They all said how happy I looked. I understood what they meant but it was weird that they would say I look happier as if I didn’t look happy before. I killed time in Oakridge Centre. The major change there was that they finally have bubbletea. So, they now have Little Tea House in the food court which was pretty awesome for us bbt lovers! After my haircut, I went downtown and visited Pacific Centre and walked around Robson St. ing to finish off my Christmas shopping. I only have stuff left to buy for my cousin. I bought my brother and I “perfect tea mugs” at DavidsTea in Oakridge Centre and also got a present for my relatives too. The main reason I was downtown was because I wanted to visit the Gingerbread Lane at Hyatt Regency hotel. It was not as great as last year’s one. However, it still takes a lot of talent to build gingerbread houses and figurines. So, I still admire their work but not as amazing. I met up with my friend, Alice at Starbucks (Main Street station location). It was nice chatting up with her again and we ran into one of our classmates, Lucia who we haven’t seen since elementary school. It was random coincidence. Later, my dad, brother and I had dinner at Sushi Garden. It was the first time I went to Sushi Garden. I had heard good things about the place and the sushi there. It was cheap and the sushi was indeed yummy. My favorites were Alaska roll, spicy tuna roll and dynamite roll. The miso soup was good too. I definitely recommend the place. I noticed that while I have been catching up with people, there has been a common theme. I keep telling them how much better Vancouver is than Toronto especially as a city. I am very grateful I was born in Vancouver and not another city. Honestly, all my friends who are born in Ontario/Toronto have no idea what they’ve been missing. Don’t get me wrong. There are still perks of living in Toronto but it is really nothing compared to Vancouver.

I’m meeting my friend for dinner and then seeing Saving Mr. Banks later today. Upcoming blog post will be Mary Poppins related. So, I will also be discussing Saving Mr. Banks in it. Stay tune!

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Back in Vancouver – DAY 1

I am finally back in Vancouver! It’s really good to be back. I have been very excited to be back in Vancouver since the weekend. The more it was snowing in Toronto the more I just wanted to be back already. I started to miss Vancouver rain! I was also hoping that the snow wouldn’t stop me from getting back home. Well, it didn’t. However, it did cause my flight to take an extra 40 mins to finally depart Toronto Pearson International Airport. My flight was suppose to depart at 8 am and arrive in Vancouver around 10 am instead I arrive almost close to 11 am. Apparently, the airplane needed to be cleaned/washed. Never did the pilot or flight attendants talked about that the flight was being delayed because of this. Luckily, I just had one stop, VANCOUVER!

The first thing I did was meeting up with my “adopted grandma” and her sister for lunch at Roots Cafe. It’s my favorite place to have poutine. The original butter chicken poutine is amazing! Ever since I had that there, a regular poutine anywhere doesn’t compete to that. I could not wait to eat that when I got back. I also had the caramel macchiato there again. Right next to Roots Cafe is Sultan Cut. That is my go to place to get my eyebrows threaded. It’s super cheap. I could try to get that done in Toronto but since I am still new to the city, I don’t know where the go to places are. I rather get it done back home since I know where I need to go. My other plans was meeting up with my friend, Amanda and have yummy grilled cheese and soup at Burgoo Bistro. Having not so great grilled cheese in Toronto, just made me crave to eat the amazing ones at Burgoo! So, I got the soup and sandwich combo (Crab Bisque and Gooey Cheese Grillers). It’s a must! I have also had the Butternut Squash soup there before.

It’s nice to be back home. Vancouver hasn’t changed that much. Then again, it’s only day 1 and I haven’t ventured that far out yet. Never thought I would miss taking Vancouver bus and skytrain. I also loved walking home from the skytrain. Yes, I am going to make sure to walk around as much as possible. Eating delicious food while I am back means I will most likely gain a lot of weight! I am looking forward to keeping everyone posted on things I do while I am back home. I am going to continue to update the list of stuff I am planning on doing while I am home. I definitely confirmed more of my plans now! Highlight for tomorrow will be seeing Mary Poppins at Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage. CANNOT WAIT!

SIDE NOTE: Since I am finally home, I got to finally wear my Veronica Mars Movie t shirts. Which one looks better on me?

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Chicago Trip & Ravinia Festival [RECAP]

I went on a short trip to Chicago last week. I mentioned in my previous post that the main reason I was going was to see Jonathan Groff perform at Ravinia Festival. Jonathan was amazing! Before I go into more detail of the performance, I decided to blog a bit about what it was like visiting Chicago for the first time.

I must admit Chicago is not that special. Even though I was mainly in Highland Park, it is definitely not a city I would go back to visit unless there is another event I need to attend there. It was nice to finally hang out with Britt again and finally meet Tat! The taxi from the airport from Chicago to Highland Park was expensive. Somehow there was an additional 50% on top of the fare. Apparently one should call a taxi when leaving for the airport to go someplace outside of Chicago? Talk about unfair pricing. Whatever the real reason was. We stuck with American Taxi from then on and it was only a flat rate of $30 to the airport. A BIG DIFFERENCE! We weren’t in Chicago for that long on Friday and we could see why it was called “the windy city”. Luckily it was only very windy the day we arrived but it was really cold around -15 throughout the three days we were there. We visited Northbrook Shopping Center Mall and the mall didn’t really have a food court. It only had some restaurants. We watched Frozen again. It was even better the second time around! I just love the movie! Olaf is awesome. There is actually a small clip at the end of the credits. Make sure to stay til the end. We ended the day with having deep dish pizza at Pequod’s Pizza. It was amazing! My mouth is still watering just thinking about it.

On Saturday, we had brunch at Walker Bros in downtown Highland Park. The pancakes were really delicious. I had eggs benedict and they were amazing too. I could see why this place was very popular. We then took the train to downtown Chicago. The weekend pass was only $7. It’s pretty decent price compared to Toronto. We visited Willis Tower Skydeck. I managed to even take a picture sitting on the glass floor. Talk about freaky! I didn’t look down. That was how I managed to get pictures of myself sitting on there. You could only look at the windows for the view of Chicago. It’s not like New York. In a way, it was great to avoid the cold. I guess the wind factor may also be another reason why. Britt and I had Chicago hot dog in the food court there! It was interesting what ingredients they put on it but it was good. You don’t ask for ketchup in Chicago and they don’t put it on their hot dog. Even though it was freezing outside, we managed to head to Millennium Park to take a picture of the Bean. We checked off majority of the must see things in Chicago.

Now to Jonathan Groff performing at Ravinia Music Festival. The venue was a decent size. It fits 450 people and the performance I was at did sell out. They ended up adding an earlier performance that day. I still manage to have a seat on the main floor. Even though I was in the back, I didn’t feel like I was too far away from the stage. I love how Jonathan engages the crowd as much as possible and talks with his fans even on stage. Sometimes it was like Jonathan was having a conversation with us and we are all responding to him. I think it has to do with the fact he introduces each song with a personal story. He lets us into his life a bit with each song. Even though I knew most of what he was sharing with us already, it was nice to hear it again especially in person. I love how throughout the show, he kept saying “you guys are winning, you guys clearly won etc.” So, adorable! He even did a little hands up in the air dance. We even filmed a video message for Laura Benanti. She previously performed at Ravinia with Mary-Mitchell Campbell. The best part was Jonathan singing Baby It’s Cold Outside as a duet with himself and as Sven. He even had the Sven doll which was adorable! That’s how great he is. During that piece, he even promoted about Frozen and how amazing it was doing at box office and receiving amazing reviews. There was an official meet and greet autograph signing after the performance. It was nice to meet Jonathan again and talk to him for a bit. I didn’t get a chance to get a new picture with him. Hopefully, I will get a better one in the future. Honestly, that was still the highlight of the Chicago trip. I just want to keep replaying his performance in my head. If only there was a way to have it on repeat… 90 minutes is too short. I’m just happy that I finally got to see Jonathan Groff perform live! Another check mark off my “list” and another city I have now visited. I would only visit Chicago again if there was another event happening that I need to go to. Otherwise, I really don’t see myself heading back anytime soon.

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Once at Royal Alexandra Theatre

Earlier today, I saw Once at Royal Alexandra Theatre. The Tony winning musical is currently on a national tour. It opened in Toronto on November 26 and runs till January 5. You can also still see the production on Broadway. I could have seen the production while I was in New York in October but I knew it was making it’s national tour stop here in Toronto. So, I decided to check it out here instead.

I still wish I got to see the production on Broadway with Steve Kazee, Cristin Milioti and the rest of the ensemble cast when they were doing their run. That was how I feel in love with the musical. I still haven’t watched the movie but I love the songs and I knew of the storyline but not in great detail. I totally forgot how it would end. I love how there was a pre show reception on the stage where people can get drinks on stage before the show began. The actors on stage would play songs as well to get us all in the mood. It felt like we were with them in Dublin. I also liked the use of lighting during the production especially at the beginning when the house lights would finally turn off and Girl enters. They are all very talented people as they not only need to act and sing but have to play instruments too. Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal were great to watch as Guy and Girl. You could feel the chemistry between the two and the struggles both characters have throughout the show. Although I have to admit, it did take me a while to get use to Dani as Girl because for me, Cristin is Girl. Erica Swindell played Reza in the performance I saw and she is amazing with the violin. She was also previously in the Broadway production. My favorite song is still Falling Slowly. Steve and Cristin’s version is below:

Check out a couple of videos related to the national tour.

Make sure to see Once at Royal Alexandra Theatre which runs till January 5. Check out the official website for more national tour stops and to purchase tickets for the one in New York.

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Movie Recommendations [June-Dec 2013]

Ever since I moved to Toronto, I have been watching more movies in theatres. As award season has started to begin, I have decided to finally list all the movies that I highly recommend you watching. The movies listed below have also been “officially released” and are in order of when I saw them.

Pacific Rim
Directed/Written by: Guillermo del Toro
Starring Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam etc

Blue Jasmine
Directed/Written by Woody Allen
Starring Cate Blanchett, Alec Baldwin etc

The Spectacular Now
Starring Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, Brie Larson

In A World
Directed/Written/Starring: Lake Bell
Also starring: Ken Marino, Nick Offerman etc

Don Jon
Directed/Written/Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Also starring Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson, Tony Danza, Brie Larson etc

12 Years A Slave
Directed by Steve McQueen
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch

Dallas Buyers Club
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner etc

Gravity
Directed/Written by: Alfonso Cuarón
Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Captain Phillips
Starring Tom Hanks

All Is Lost
Directed/Written by J.C. Chandor
Starring Robert Redford
Produced by Before The Door

Blue Is The Warmest Color (blog post coming soon)
Starring Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos etc

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Check out my review)
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth etc

Frozen (Check out my review)
Directed/Written by: Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee
Voiced by Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, etc

Philomena (blog post coming soon)
Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan etc

Saving Mr. Banks (blog post coming soon)
Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, etc

American Hustle (blog post coming soon)
Directed/Written by: David O Russell
Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence etc

This post will be edited to include the remaining movies that I will be seeing later this month which I recommend. Most of the films listed will have some sort of “review” in my upcoming posts. In the meantime, if you want to know my thoughts specifically on the movies, just tweet me at @jasjwang and we shall discuss!

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Upcoming: Jonathan Groff performs at Ravinia Music Festival (Dec 7)

On Friday, I am leaving for a short trip to Chicago to see Jonathan Groff perform at Ravinia Music Festival on Saturday. I have been wanting to see Jonathan perform at one of his concerts for a while now but never got a chance since I was “so far” away. Now that I live in Toronto, it is cheaper to fly out to more places east. I haven’t been to Chicago before either. Last year, I finally got to see Jonathan in the theatre production, Red with Alfred Molina and saw him earlier this year in February. I definitely didn’t want to miss out on another one of his concerts. I bought a ticket for Ravinia Music Festival a few months ago and it is already sold out! Jonathan recently did a concert in New York for 52nd Street Project and has an upcoming American Songbook concert on February 15 in New York. So, besides his upcoming new TV show, Looking, premiering in January, Jonathan will be busy. Not to mention the success of his latest movie, Frozen. Check out some previous videos of Jonathan performing to show you why I cannot wait to see him perform at Ravinia Music Festival.

I will make sure to write a recap on the event when I am back from my trip on Sunday. In the meantime, make sure to follow me @jasjwang for details! I will try to update my twitter during my trip.

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