Draft Day – Not just for NFL fans

There was something about Draft Day that intrigued me even before all the marketing hype began for it.  I had decided that I was going to see it in theatre, yes in theatre.  That’s a big commitment these days.  The concept for the movie and the lead characters, Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner really interested me.  Now, I’ve been a fan of Jennifer Garner since her days on Alias, so it’s not a tough sell for me to go to a movie with her in it.

I was all prepared to go and check it out in the coming weeks, but then as luck, or Facebook, would have it I won a pass to an advance screening of the movie the other day.  Thanks to eOne, I got to enjoy Draft Day before everyone else and see it for free.  Not bad.  However, after seeing this movie I would have happily paid for it.

Now understand I’m not a fan of the NFL, unless it’s the SuperBowl, but I am a sports fan.  The business of sports is an interesting one and when you add the tension of deadlines like during the draft, it makes it even more exciting.  The movie is all about time, from the count down of 12 hours until the draft, to putting deals on the table and only giving seconds to accept to the pure excitement of being on the clock for the 10 minutes at the draft and making a decision for your team.

It was all of these deadlines and countdowns that really keep this movie moving.  In between those deadlines comes the other side of the story, the one about family, history, love and dealing with life’s little surprises that offer people a chance to show what they are truly made of.

Now don’t get me wrong, this movie is about sports and sports is the core of it all.  But, an important part of sport is family.  Your family on the field, the one at home, the fans and the possibility of a family.  That’s what sport is all about.  Without the support of all those types of family you don’t really have much.

The lead and supporting roles in Draft Day are well cast.  And the women in this film are strong women in the very male dominated world of sport.  There’s a little good comic relief, lots of stress and excitement which keeps this movie moving a very good pace.  It’s definitely a movie that I will enjoy watching again down the road, as it is a timeless story.  When it comes to sport many are.

So if you are an NFL fan, then this is a no-brainer, you must go. If you like sport in any way, then you should go. And if you like a good story, then why not.  If you can’t make it to theatre, then definitely put it on your list to watch late.

Memorable videos of 2013

It’s the end of another year.  Can you believe it?  There have been some fun/special videos that have kept me entertained and informed this year.  I’ve put them all together in my annual memorable videos blog post.  So sit back and enjoy!  And if you have others to share, even if they are not from 2013, please do.  We can all use a good laugh! Happy New Year!  All the best in 2014 from Long Legs Productions!


Just in case, here is the link to the video.

Le papier ne sera jamais mort / Paper is not dead on influencia.net ! from INfluencia on Vimeo.

And in memory of one of the greatest men/leaders of our time, Nelson Mandela, I share these videos with you!

You’ve reached your Hashtag limit.

I know I’ve previously written about how the hashtag can bring people together with similar interests plus it can be very useful when used right at events.  And these purposes are all great.  However, the other day I was explaining the correct use of hashtags to a friend and she asked if there was a limit to them in a tweet or Facebook post?  The answer is YES!  No question.  And there should be parameters put on what you can include after you type that powerful ‘#’.  But not everyone seems to understand that.

I thought I would test out my theory (not just mine) that people will throw a hashtag in front of just about anything.  So I just randomly put statements together and threw a hashtag in front of it and I found that these are actual ones that people have used.  Now more than just one person are using some of these, so they are almost a trend, but should they be?







The question is why?  The last two were just included in a tweet by one person and no one else has used it, for good reason.  Do people think that their crafty and original way of putting a hashtag in front of a few words strung together, will start some big trend?  Here’s hoping for their sake. Tell me, what are some of the craziest hashtags that you’ve seen?

I think that the truly funny side of hashtags is the use of them on all words in a tweet.  You will even find that people put them on words like ‘for’, ‘some’, ‘a’ and various other prepositions, conjunctions and joining words.  Here some of the ones I found just by searching #some and #for.

Last day at work tommrrow ! #Finally #Can #Take #Some #Time #Off

Happy sunday ♥ Reminder: #dont #forget #to #save #some #time #for #Jesus!!!

#treat #candies #follow #pjsparty #for #fun #followme #hollowen #minnesota #mn #unitedstates

#me #selfie #specs #curly #hair #blue #eyes #day #out #bored #duckface #pout #for #a #laugh

Do these people have any idea what the purpose of the hashtag is?  What must Chris Messina (Hashtag Inventor) be thinking when he sees what has happened to his invention?

There is so much good that can come of using the hashtag correctly.  But it seems like, in many cases, it’s being used for evil (or annoyance) and not good.

Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake sum is up best, I feel.



Tourism and Social Media – Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island - Lighthouse

Recently, I was lucky enough to travel around Prince Edward Island (PEI) and was extremely impressed by how the various tourism groups, attractions and cities made such great use of social media, especially Twitter. As a traveler and social media consultant, what they were doing impressed me on many levels.

Most of the social media teams I virtually came across realized the importance of using social media as marketing tool, from the initial info-gathering months before my departure, to the post-trip compliments from various people, tourism boards and attractions.

In June, when I made the decision to go to PEI for the first time, I tweeted at Tourism PEI and within a span of 10 days, I was introduced to events on the Island, various tourist outfits and other groups that I could communicate with – all that from one tweet asking their tourism board for some suggestions.

Initial Tweet to @GentleIsland

When I reached out again a month out from my trip, I posted the following tweet and that opened the floodgates to many conversations for the coming weeks.

 Month away tweet

By way of tagging various others in tweets, I was introduced to @PEIPotatoes, @PEIFlavours, @OutdoorEx, @IslandFroYo, @Joeysfishing, locals with suggestions of their favourite places and further conversations with @GentleIsland.  Through those conversations, I was able to narrow down my choices, plan activities better and get some feedback and suggestions from others.

Before Twitter, the planning process would have taken longer and I would not have been able to access people outside of my immediate circle by word-of-mouth.  Now by using social media for something like tourism, where word-of-mouth is so important, you are able to widen your circle of experts to the networks of people who might only follow one similar profile, like that of @GentleIsland.

When I was just days away from my visit, I decided that Twitter was a good way to check in with places I wanted to visit to see if they would be open and could make other recommendations.  This led to a great Twitter conversation and relationship with @PEIBrew, that would continue throughout my travels on the Island.

 @PEIBrew and @CharlottetownPE

Once I was on the Island and enjoying the suggestions of @PEIBrew, the tweets and tags inspired @CharlottetownPE to join the conversation, which continued right until I was back in Toronto.

 @GahanBeer and @PEIBrew and Pumpkin Ale

It was these conversations during my trip around PEI that really made me feel like I was welcome and part of the Island family, even if just for a moment.  This may sound crazy but as someone travelling alone, I felt that I was travelling with others,  because @GentleIsland, @CharlottetownPE, @PEIBrew and @GahanBeer were interested in what I had to say and what I was doing.

It’s amazing what a difference it can make in your travels, knowing that someone is interested and cares about you having the best time that you can.  Not just a love-them-and-leave-them, out of sight and out of mind.  These social media teams really tried to make you feel at home, even if that’s not what their main goal was.

 Thanks PEI Tweet

Twitter is one of the best tools for customer service, when used the right way.  Much positive power can come from using Twitter, especially for small businesses.  But so much negative can also come from not using it properly or ignoring those that are trying to reach you through it. I will say that I did develop negative feelings towards the companies, many larger ones, that ignored my tweets when I tried to reach out to them.

PEI seemed to recognize the importance of social media, especially Twitter, to engage with potential customers and visitors in real time.  And by doing so and tagging others in the tweets, that opens the door to small and large business es working together towards the same goal: Putting PEI on everyone’s radar as a great place to visit.

This experience with social media (Twitter) and PEI tourism has really opened my eyes to what potential there is when I visit other cities and countries.   Do others do it just as well or maybe better?  Would love to see others try.


What I’ll be watching this 2013 TV season.

It’s is coming up on the most wonderful time of the year, season premiere season.  Gee, I feel like I’ve said that before.  But, it truly is.  All the excitement of the fresh new shows.  The return of your old favourites and maybe some new ones you’ve picked up in the off season.

You wonder which shows to include in your viewing schedule?  Which ones you should by-pass?  And which ones you will leave until the off season or until recommendations from your other friends who are just addicted to TV as you?

We can’t watch them all and we definitely can’t PVR (DVR) them all.  So what to do?  Well, I’ve put together my choices for new shows that I’ll be giving a chance, at least at the beginning, this season.  Would love to know what yours are.

This TV season looks like the theme is the return of favourite actors from days gone by.  From Robin Williams to Michael J. Fox to Allison Janney and more.  With great credentials like these actors have and memories of how they made me laugh before, I will give their shows a chance.

The new show Mom with Allison Janney, who I love in comedic roles, and the hilarious Anna Faris is definitely on my list.  Really looking forward to this one based on the previews and the cast.


The cast of The Crazy Ones brings together a few old favourites.  Some that go much further back than others.  Back to the days of Nanu Nanu.  Robin Williams, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Hamish Linklater, who I loved in the The New Adventures of Old Christine.


Taking a bit of a break from comedy, I’m thinking that I will give Hostages a chance, thanks to the great casting which includes the awesome Toni Collette.


Really, I don’t have to say much more than Michael J. Fox.  The Michael J. Fox Show is near the top of list for me this season.


As the season of favourite actors from years gone by continues, up comes Sean Saves the World with the hilarious Sean Hayes and the one and only Linda Lavin who played Alice in one of my childhood favs, Alice.  Kiss my Grits!


I’m liking the cast of Trophy Wife, as another West Wing actor returns to TV, Bradley Whitford, plus the funny Malin Ackerman and straight shooter Marsha Gay Harden along with a few others.  This one has some potential I think.


What are you all thinking of this new James Caan comedy, Back in the Game?  Are you going to give it a try?  I like him and the kids look like they’ll be funny.  The cast looks like it’s got some funny characters.  I’ll give it a whirl, at least the first week or two.


I’m not 100% sure about this choice, but as a lover of the sarcasm of James Spader from his Boston Legal days (one of the best shows), I’m considering this show, The Black List, on a very trial basis.


So I ask this again, what are you thinking about watching this season?  Would love to know and as the season begins tell me how you are feeling about the shows you’re watching and tell me what I might be missing out on.

Happy TV watching!


Before Midnight – 18 years and 3 movies later

Back in 1994 I enjoyed a summer living in the UK during university.  I was working and traveling around.  Much of it by train.  Train travel has a certain romance to it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has romanticized meeting a someone while watching the countryside go by, falling into deep conversations about the most interesting topics and then having that moment when you have to make the decision to continue on your trip or take a chance and get off the train with them.  Well, that did happen.  Only it happened in a movie that following year.  That movie was ‘Before Sunrise‘ with Ethan Hawke (Jesse) and Julie Delpy (Celine). Here’s the trailer to remind you.

This movie was so unique.  It was completely based on intense dialogue between only two characters, in one day of their life.  The backdrop of the beautiful city of Vienna that they walked through played the interesting 3rd character.  ‘Before Sunrise’ for me was perfect timing to remind me of what I, and many of my traveling friends, had felt or dreamed while traveling that previous summer.

Then smartly, nine years later, director Richard Linklater, brought Ethan and Julie back together.  They wrote the a movie that was real time, nine years later in these 2 characters lives.  Each of them had moved on with their lives, but never forgot that moment in time ‘Before Sunrise’. As Jesse and Celine’s paths cross again in Paris, we get to enjoy the intense dialogue between these two in ‘Before Sunset‘.  Over the nine years their lives had definitely changed, but love is love.

Then again, nine years later, Richard, Ethan and Julie came together to give us the next stage in these two people’s lives with the new movie ‘Before Midnight‘. This time set in a small town in Greece, we welcome a few more minor characters as these two people’s lives have now grown together.  Children, careers, lives and intense love all play a big part in this third installment.  Just like the previous two movies, Jesse and Celine give us real dialogue as they walk/travel through gorgeous scenery, which is still playing that important third character of the movie.

I’m not sure what it is about these movies, as my life has not taken anything close to the same path as Jesse and Celine.  Maybe it’s because we are similar ages in each.  Possibly my love of travel.  Or how I romanticize travel and what that first movie represented to me. But I really enjoy these three movies, as I don’t find that I can be as drawn into certain movies, nor find such dialogue intense movies, like these.  I know that many will not feel as I do, but there is just something about having these movies as a constant during my adulthood growing up years (yes we continue to grow up as an adult). These characters have come back into my life every nine years and have offered me an interesting view on life (maybe not mine), while making me stop to remember that very first movie and that time in my life.


Hangover 3 – One Last Adventure for the Wolfpack

Did you love the first two?  Maybe you loved the first one, then watched the second because of your love for the first.  Well, you should then definitely go and see this LAST one.  I loved the first two (first more than second), so I had to figure out a way to see it on the first full day it opened.  And it was exactly what I hoped for in this final installment of the coming together of the Wolfpack.  And sadly, but happily, that’s it.  No more Hangover movies.  That’s the way to go out.  Not by dying out with the Hangover 12 when we see their kids meeting up with a grown up ‘Carlos’ for a stag in Vegas.

This one focuses more on story lines for Alan and Mr. Chow.  With the incredible support of Phil and Stu, the Wolfpack ensemble make their mark again with The Hangover III. But, don’t forget Doug , who plays a role that he has played through out the other two films.  You know what I mean, right?

I found that the first part was funny, but more story building than hilarious.  Some of which you see in the trailer with the giraffe, Alan singing like an angel and the crying.  But it’s that situation of putting the Wolfpack back together and hitting the open road.  I won’t tell you more or why they are together, but it’s when those 4 are together that trouble finds them and the movie truly starts!  Plus add Chow to the equation and watch the trouble explode.

The addition of John Goodman , who I must say is on fire these days with roles in Argo, Flight, Trouble with the Curve and much more, plays just the right role.  And inviting Melissa McCarthy into the mix was pure genius.  She makes all comedies so much better.  I love her style of comedy!

With the return of a few that you probably already know about and ones that you wouldn’t expect, wraps this last installment up well.  I must say that there were some surprises for me.  I thought that I had figured out the story by watching the trailer, but happily I hadn’t which made it very enjoyable.

I won’t spoil anymore of the movie for you.  Because if you saw the first two, you will definitely see this one.  And if you didn’t see either or both of the first two, you won’t see this one.  So you’re not interested in what I have to say anyways.

They only advice I will give though, and this should just be obvious if you saw Hangover 1 or 2, don’t leave the theatre right at the end of the movie.  Wait for a bit.  It will be completely worth it.  I laughed the hardest at what comes part way through the credits.  But, also know you don’t have to stay to the very end of the credits, just part way.  FANTASTIC!

One last point, Bradley Cooper‘s hair looks incredible in the movie.  Wow!


What’s Old is New Again for Viral Videos

The word ‘viral’ is derived from ‘virus’ and medically we know a virus is passed from person to person just like we share funny and interesting videos from person to person.  Medical ‘virus’ rarely die and they continue to be shared and can come back to the same person or close to that person who once had it.  Just the same way that a viral video can come back.  You know the ones that you saw months or years ago that are making the rounds again.

I find this idea very interesting, not that they are coming back per say, but where have they been and what or how are they coming back into your world.  In the moment when a video first goes ‘viral’ we assume that everyone you know sees it because you post it on your Facebook or Twitter or other social media.  If it was in my feed, why didn’t all my friends see it and think it was interesting, funny or touching when I did?  Where were they that day or week?  Living under a rock, sick, on vacation?  Maybe they just didn’t think it was memorable or worth clicking on at the time.

This is intriguing to me and it was brought to my attention over the past few weeks when some of the following videos started popping up again by friends and contacts, as if they were seeing them for the first time.  I remember posting them, along with many others, months or even years ago.  How did these videos with such great popularity miss some of these people?  How did they become popular again? Have they just been making their way around the world and are now making a return visit?  All very interesting questions, I think.

Tell me, when did you see these videos for the first time?

This video was first posted on YouTube on Feb. 14, 2011.  I remember it being hugely popular at the time.  It was on every news show and was probably the most popular video of that day, possibly week or even month or longer.  But a few weeks ago, a friend posted it for the first time for her and many people liked and/or commented on the video.  Where did the video go and how did it come back?

Then there’s this Michael Bublé video in which a mom gets Michael to bring her son up on stage.  It’s from Dec 14, 2010, but in the passed month it has been showing up in my Facebook feed by many different people, who don’t know each other.  When I first saw it pop up, I thought ‘oh Michael has done it again’.  Then I watched the video and realized that I had seen it years ago.  What made this video resurface?  Is it because Michael is in the news again with a new album or that he’s hosting the Junos this year or what?  Maybe some one was searching him and came across this feel good video and felt that we all needed to experience something good and nice?  I don’t know.  Do you?


And then there is this video, which I seemed to have been living deep under a rock when it was popular back in, I assume, Dec. 2010 when it was uploaded to YouTube.  How did I miss something so hilarious?  Or did I see it at the time and maybe the memory isn’t what it use to be and I’ve forgotten it. I really don’t know, as this one has definitely made its impression on me.

The idea of a viral video really doesn’t just pertain to its immediate growth, but its ability to hide away after its initial popularity and to find life again at the most interesting times and by people you assumed saw it the first time.

So, you never know when your video might find life and become viral.  It could be right away and then never again, or immediately and again years later or it will just find its stride long after it’s initially uploaded.


Memorable videos of 2012

2012 has been another great year of viral videos.  I’ve put together a blog of some of my favourites of this year (and maybe one or two from a few years ago).  Grab a drink and sit back and enjoy.  Please share your favourites with us!



And a favourite from 2010, but I only just saw it for the first time in 2012.

Please share some of your favourites with us!

Happy New Year and all the best in 2013!

How do you select your wine?

Recently I noticed that many of the wines I get excited about and that I tend to choose and buy are based more on a memory or experience that I associate with the wine than any other reason.  What about you?  Do you have a fond memory of a wine you enjoyed that special someone or at a great party or for just about any other reason?

My choices are definitely associated with wines I’ve come across while traveling locally and internationally.  But it’s more than just the travel that has made these wines special to me.  It’s the entire experience that surrounded my introduction to that wine.  I know I should probably want and enjoy a wine because it has more of oak taste or hints of berries or the influence of the soils, but for me it can be as simple as a memory that goes with the wine.  Now I’m not saying I’m going to drink a crappy wine just because the memory was awesome, but for me that has rarely happened.

Let me share some of my memories and wines that go with them.

Most recently my sister and I were at the Gourmet Food and Wine Show in Toronto and we were walking around hitting the wine regions that we normally enjoy.  Then as we headed down one of the aisles we were pleasantly surprised to see the winery Between the Lines from Niagara, Ontario.  We almost ran over to their booth to see if they had the wines that we had tried and enjoyed while on a wine tour in Niagara a few years ago.  This winery was the last of our tour that day and it was one of the best.  Their Cabernet Franc and their unique Lemberger really stuck with my sister and I.  These wines were great, but it’s that memory of spending the day with my sister, just the two of us doing something we enjoy together, that our father introduced us to.

Another great memory that has brought me to, what I feel are, some great wines was a recently trip to the southern hemisphere.  Specifically to New Zealand.  Now I’m already a lover of new world wines from South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, but it was this trip that gave me a very unique experience and introduction to great wines and wineries.  I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts and in some videos that I got the opportunity to meet with some winemakers one on one for a wine series I was working on.  It was those meetings with wonderful people, the atmosphere, the day, the trip and so much more.  Those wines I learned about and tasted have really stayed with me.

When I walk into the LCBO and see bottles of the Trinity Hill Syrah on display in the front of the store, I pick up a feel bottles to enjoy and share with friends.  I apologize to those friends if I bore them with my stories about the wine, the winery and memories of the trip, but to see the label, read the name and taste the wine bring me back to a wonderful place.

Or as I sit at a restaurant in Toronto and see on the menu Mapmaker from Staete Landt Vineyards I immediately order a glass so that I can be transported back to that gorgeous day in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, where I met the most lovely team at the Vineyard.  They made the experience so memorable, that just a sip sends me right back.  And I remember that they told me that many of their wines can be found in restaurants in Canada and less of them in the LCBO.   So it was my lucky day to find it on this side of the world.

There are many more memories, but I would love to hear how you choose some of your wines.  Is it based on a memory, a varietal, or something far more fancy?