Young, Old, The Young + The Old: Check Out The Hottest Celeb Hook-Ups of 2011!

Riddle this, dear readers: what’s better than a Hollywood hottie? TWO Hollywood hotties hooking up! We dissect the dynamic duos that doubled up this year.

-Kimberly Lamontagne

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively

Canada’s homegrown hottie and his Green Lantern co-star, lit up the silver screen, and now they’re lighting up our lives. The low-key couple are easy on the eyes. Wishing them many, many years together and a happily ever after.

Selena and the Biebs

It seems like forever that Justin Bieber and his “Favorite Girl”, Selena Gomez have been linked, BUT– the couple only went public in March after months of denying it. The picture perfect pair rule iPods (and hearts) everywhere.

Kylie Jenner and Cody Simpson

The adorable Aussie and reality TV star have been seen out and about, but Simpson maintains the two are ‘just friends’. Hmmm, we seem to remember another teen heartthrob singing the same tune this time last year. It’s only a matter of time before the two make it official, like JB and Gomez.

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes

Another homegrown hunk made our list, and this new pairing startled a few (is it wrong that we hope Ryan and Rachel McAdams will reunite to reform Canada’s Cutest Couple?). Either way, these actors are mucho caliente, and seem down to earth; Ryan took the Cuban-beauty on a date to Disneyland. They met while filming The Place Beyond the Pines.

J.Lo and Casper Smart

Jennifer Lopez, 42, and her back-up dancer dude, 24, are sweatin’ up a storm! The heat is on as these two tango her troubles away. Fresh from a divorce, Jenny and her boy toy were seen jet setting to tropical destinations. Love at first flight?

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield

Stone needs no “Help” landing a leading man. The Amazing Spider-Man co-stars buried their romance within a web of lies, but the truth lays tangled no more. These cuties provide comic relief on screen and make for a gorgeous coupling off screen.

Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux

Justin who? Before he started hanging out with America’s Sweetheart, no one knew Mr. Theroux (who is also an actor FYI). They’ve been dating since the spring, and appear to be going strong.

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Long-Term Love or A 72-Day Marriage: The Biggest Break-Ups Of 2011!

2011 was the year of the rabbit, which explains why celebs were busy doing it like bunnies! Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean they are faithful to their partners. Click through to see the big names behind this year’s biggest breakups!

Ashton & Demi

They said it would never last.. And, it turns out, they were right. After nearly eight years together, Demi & Ashton have bid each other adieu. A wave of criticism washed over the actors’ relationship when they first got together, citing Demi was old enough to be Ashton’s mother. Animal activists fear cougars will once again be on the endangered species list.

Ashlee and Pete

Two years of marriage and a baby later, Ashlee Simpson fell out with the former Fall Out Boy front man. Unable to reconcile their differences, the singers went their separate ways.

Kim and Kris

This marriage was no slam dunk. Kim blew the whistle and called game over without giving the nuptials a fair shot. Even the NBA lockout lasted longer than the 72-day marriage. Time out! Was the hoop-lah surrounding the ceremony solely for the reality star’s ratings?

Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellweger

TGIF (Thank God It Failed)! The two were an unlikely pairing from the get-go. They met on the set of Case 39, (Can’t remember the film? And, soon you won’t remember these two were a couple.) People magazine’s newly appointed Sexiest Man Alive should be seen with the Sexiest Woman Alive, which according to Esquire, is Rihanna. Together, they would take Hollywood by storm, and have the Sexiest Offspring Alive.

G.Clo ‘n’ Elisabetta Canalis

Speaking of sexy offspring, just think of the glorious genes George Clooney and Elisabetta Canalis would pass down to a generation. Sadly, this past summer the sexy duo called it quits. He has since moved on to Stacey Keibler.

J.Lo and Marc Anthony

Jennifer Lopez won’t be dedicating “I’m Into You” to Marc anytime soon. Married in 2004, this couple won’t be “On The Floor” together anymore. The singers announced the amicable split this summer. Topping the charts, this divorce marks the third for Lopez. Following closely behind is Anthony with divorce #2.

Leo DiCaprio and Blake Lively

This quiet couple made headlines when they broke up just a short while ago. Sightings at the Cannes Film Festival cemented rumors that the actors were an item. The Gossip Girl star is said to be romancing Ryan Reynolds, (hereby making her Canadian by association). If you really listen, you can hear Canada rejoicing in the distance. You know you love her, XOXO, Gossip Girl

ScarJo and Sean Penn

Sean Penn broke things off with Scarlett Johansson, (who is half his age) because he didn’t want to be tied down. It took five months for the relationship between the Oscar winner and the bodacious blonde to go from sizzle to fizzle.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

“I’ll be back” is not a line the Terminator turned Governator is likely to say to California’s former first lady, Maria Shriver. 25 years of marriage ended after the details of Arnie’s secret affair were revealed.

Kat von D ‘n’ Jesse James

What?! The rebound relationship Jesse pursued when the ink from his divorce to Sandra Bullock was barely dry, didn’t work out? He seems like such a stand up guy! The on-again, off-again tattooed twosome called off their engagement in July, then called it back on, and now ’tis off once again. A reunion in 2012, wouldn’t shock or surprise us.

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Spotted: The Top Ten O-M-G Pairing On The Upper East Side!

Pregnancies! Prisoners! Princes! Just when you thought everyone on Gossip Girl was done swapping partners, here’s a list of this year’s most perfect (and pathetic) pairings.

-Kimberly Lamontagne

Chuck Bass & Raina Thorpe

Mr. Bass found his female equivalent in Raina. Equally skilled in the business world and the bedroom, Raina came back to Manhattan with her daddy; a former associate of Chuck’s father. Long story short Raina said bye-bye as Bass proved once again to have his priorities in disarray.

Nate Archibald & Raina Thorpe

It wouldn’t be the first time Nate and Chuck pursued the same woman. After Chuck and Raina break up, Chuck enlists the help of Nate to help win Raina back, but the plan backfires when a flame ignites between Raina and Nate. After a crazy hostage situation involving Blair and Raina’s father, Raina says ciao to N and heads back to Chicago.

Serena van der Woodsen & Ben Donovan

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ jail bird, right? If John Waters’ 1990 classic Cry-Baby taught us anything, it’s that. Serena sure has had her run of gentlemen callers, but the prisoner boyfriend was a new low. To be fair, he was wrongly accused. And, it was kind of Serena’s mom’s fault he was locked up to begin with. Okay, so he wasn’t the worse guy in the world, but Dan was so obviously crushed by Serena and her convict love interest. GG Flashback: Ben a.k.a. Professor Donovan was an English teacher at Serena’s boarding school, which is where she developed an appreciation for him.

Blouis: Blair Waldorf & Prince Louis Grimaldi

Prince, or not, his royal highness, Louis needs to get lost. The two of them as a couple makes even less than a binomial theorem. The Prince of Monaco met Blair while she was vacationing in Paris with S. Unfortunately for us, her little European souvenir stumbled into New York City after her. They’re engaged, and she’s pregnant, (Editor’s note: Chuck and Blair had sex while Louis and her were dating). Oooh, what will 2012 have in store? An adoption, and Louis left at the alter is what we’re asking Santa for.

Dair: Blair Waldorf & Dan Humphrey

Will Dan and Blair dare to see how their feelings fare? Constantly bickering the pair eventually became confidantes, culminating in a kiss. They are equal parts smart, sexy and sweet when they’re together. Now, that sounds like a recipe for romance.

Nate Archibald & Diana Payne

On the prowl, and back to his cougar-ish ways, Nate fell for British beauty, Diana. Lying, sneaking around and scandal ensued. Come to think about it, it’s almost the same storyline from his previous old[er] lady lover, Lady Catherine Beaton. At least, Nate got a job and a promotion with his latest affair. Ding-dong, the witch is gone, Diana has disappeared, but for how long?

Chuck Bass & Dan Humphrey

From The Matrix and marijuana emerged the unlikeliest of bromances. From season one to five, Lonely Boy and Chuck we’re barely considered frenemies. Fists and fights were their only forms of interaction, but not anymore. The pair are pals now.

Ivy Dickens/ “Charlie Rhodes” & Max Owens

From zilch to rich, these nobodys clawed their way to the top and into our hearts. (Not! Well sorta..) Charlie is one conniving creature, but we feel for her. The small town couple moved from Florida to California to pursue their dreams, before being intercepted by Serena. S dragged Charlie to New York leaving her boyfriend behind.

Serena van der Woodsen & Max Owens

The Rhodes girls have more in common than just blonde hair and good looks; they have similar taste in men. As luck should have it, Max and Serena met on the streets of Manhattan. How serendipitous! Blissfully unaware of the impending love triangle trouble, S & M began a courtship. It ended quite dramatically when Max outed Charlie and he she lied her way out, yet again.

Nate Archibald & Ivy Dickens/ “Charlie Rhodes”

While it was all a ploy to get Diana jealous, sparks flew between these two. There lies potential here. (pun intended) After she clears out the skeletons in her new Upper East Side digs, we hope to revisit this coupling again in 2012.

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Post-Banff Post

It shames me to think how I let a summer go by without a single post.  I got to thinking why it is that I don’t keep a diary or journal. When would I go back and read it, anyway? I was there, I know what happened. Does documenting each day take away from living in the moment? The memories will live on. If I don’t remember them, were they that significant? That’s probably not true; there’s only so much space on the memory drive of the mind. Would I be living in the past as opposed to the present? It’s something I struggle to balance to begin with. I’m constantly thinking of what’s to come. (I bought the Dalai Lama’s Little Book of Inner Peace last week– should make for enjoyable bathroom briefings. The inner flap states it’s “The only Dalai Lama book you’ll ever need”. I sure can pick ’em.)

Next, I began to ponder about time whilst sitting on the shuttle bus from Banff to Calgary (magnificent views all around). Quality. Quantity. It’s a very fleeting thing. How much do we have of it? I started to think in terms of measurement. A New York minute. I then wondered what quantifable measure I could attach to that gem in the Rockies: Banff. At times a day would seem like a week. Then, the next thing you know, you’re  listening to Adele’s Someone Like You and reverting to an Elbow Drop any WWE fan would be proud of to try and close the suitcase that somehow fit everything on the way over and wondering how 3 months has escaped you. Truth is, it didn’t escape me. I was mostly uninebriated for its entirety. It’s always intriguing how time flies when you’re having fun. And, that’s what my summer was. Fun. Meeting and working with extraordinary people within the audio industry. 

I had no idea what I was in for before going to Banff, or even after writing that prelimenary post back in May. The friends, connections and memories made make it, quite possibly, the best summer I’ve had. I had no idea such a thing existed or was even possible. The Banff Centre’s motto is “Inspiring Creativity”. And, it is something it lives up to 100%. (Show of hands; who had heard of The Banff Centre prior to this?) It’s Canada’s best kept secret. And, it shouldn’t be so. Individuals from all over travel to this epicentre of the art world where culture and creativity converge. More people should know about it. More people should go to it.

This crash course in audio sharpened my skills and I had the liberty to try things. I learnt about stuff I otherwise wouldn’t (mics, technique, style, equipment, software, etc.), whether a personal project or having to write an intro for Mozart’s clarinet quintet. That’s the other thing; I got to encounter music and art forms I don’t normally frequent. Subsequently resulting in an appreciation for classical music. I’ve heard the notes from my brother, Jamie’s baby grand piano trickle up from his room to mine for years and years, but never simply sat and just listened for hours, uninterupted. Let alone then explain it to an iTunesU audience. I never sat in a club and listened to jazz. Or, aboriginal music? Nope. It was great to be exposed to all of it.

I really can’t think of a bad time I had in Banff. Even if I was frustrated and it seemed I wouldn’t accomplish what I needed to when I needed to. I’m thankful for those moments, however, because it’s then that a shift occurs. You have a choice. Pout or power through. It’s how we handle the things that go wrong, not the things that go right that matter.

A few summer highlights:

-Friends with Friends. (Thanks, Banff World Media Festival.)

-Canada Day celebrations. (Free pancake breakfast, fireworks, Dancing Sasquatch, jumping into the Bow Valley river, also jumping into Lake Louise.)

-B.C. Visiting a dear friend on the Beautiful Coast.

-Livestreams. Co-hosting webcasts of concerts at The Banff Centre with the great Eric Friesen.

-Ren Klyce. The first interview I conducted, my first week, was the multiple Oscar nominated sound designer. Cool interview. Cooler interviewee.

-Faculty. Meeting and working with sought after professionals was rewarding and still leaves me in awe.

-Calgary Stampede: The rodeo was a tad barbaraic, but the deep fried Pop-Tarts and pizza on-a-stick hit the spot.

-Amour in Banff. Experiencing the sites with Mike, my boyfriend. (Some, more note-worthy than others. The discovery that the Hot Spring is nothing but a tiny pool was disappointing. Nothing like the smell of chlorine to wash away my vision of being submerged within a babbling brook filled with revitalizing H2O.

. . .

I don’t know what lies ahead for now. Your guess is as good as mine. I am back in Toronto, exactly where I was 3 months ago, except I don’t have something lined up, as I did when arriving here. In a moment of panic, Mike told me how boring life would be if at twenty-three I had it all figured out. It really struck me. Maybe we never figure it out. Maybe, the trick is trying not to.

In essence, these little posts of mine are like my journal. Only, I invite you to read them (again, and again). Hopefully, I won’t want to destroy them in a few years, as I did after reading my middle school diary.

The Significance of Seven

As this marks the seventh year anniversary with my beau, I decided to investigate the significance of this lucky number. I guess it is rather lucky, because this year signifies the end of the long distance reign. Come graduation, we shall be reunited.

-For starters, there are 7 days in a week.

-It took the Big Guy 7 days to create the universe. And, on the The 7th day he rested.

-Once upon a time, there were 7 wonders of the world (Great Pyramid of Giza, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, Colossus of Rhodes, Lighthouse of Alexandria).

-Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride are the 7 deadly sins.

-7 dwarfs followed that pristine Snow White around; Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, & Grumpy.

-And, grumpy is what you’ll be if you break a mirror ‘cause that will get you 7 years bad luck. Although, I broke a mirror when I was in seventh grade (Coincidence? I think not.) and I’m happy to report I did not encounter much bad fortune, at all.

-7 is the number of notes in the traditional Western music scale.

-There are 7 books in the Harry Potter series, and 7 horcruxes that must be destroyed!

-The [Temple] Menorah is a seven-branched candelabrum and there are 7 days of Passover.

-It wasn’t dubbed 8up or 9up, nope, this soft drink knew 7up was the way to go.

-Baptism, Holy Communion, Confession, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, and the Anointing of the Sick are the 7 sacraments of the Catholic faith.

-7 seas (Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Black Sea, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, and the Caspian Sea.)

-7 continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.)

-Seven. Any movie with Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow would have to be pretty lucky indeed.

-7 is the number of colors Isaac Newton identified in a rainbow – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

-The Seven Year Itch is the Marilyn Monroe film with the famously billowing white dress.

And, as for my supposed seven year itch? I have yet to start scratching.