Friday, April 30, 2010

Gunless - it's good!

I saw Gunless tonight with my friend L, and we both agreed it's good. I actually laughed so hard at the end watching the outtakes that my tummy hurt. It's a great little movie of light-hearted comedy - made in Canada. So go see it!

Pet Peeves of the Day

  1. Rainy days that are too windy to use an umbrella. Such as today for example. I couldn't walk anywhere without getting wet. And due to my excursion outdoors this afternoon, the rain and wind have caused my hair to become a cloud of frizzy curls. Now, if I don't have to go out in it, then windy, rainy days are great. It's wonderful to sit in your warm bed or cozy chair, drinking warm drinks and eating warm cookies, and hear the wind howling around the eaves and rattling the windows and hear the fat splats of rain hitting the glass. But if you have to go out in it, then rain + wind = NO FUN.

  2. Sarcan. It's noisy, smelly, and the floor's sticky. I always feel like I need a shower when I come out.

  3. DJs that continue to yap during the intro to a song. Just because there is no one singing does not mean that we don't need to hear that part of the song. Sometimes the intro to a song is the best part. And you're RUINING it! So please, when you play a song, then let us listen to the whole thing, beginning to end.

  4. Snobby high-end antique stores. Oh sure, they look really pretty. But you know you can't afford anything in them (and so does the snobby shop-owner and his pedigreed poodles), and there will be no hidden treasures to find. Which brings me to one of my loves: junk antique shops. You know the kind. The ones where every single square centimetre is covered with stuff and even the floor has stacks of stuff, and everything is piled so high and so haphazardly that it's constantly in danger of falling over... Maybe it's not so pretty to look at, and can be somewhat hazardous to navigate. But if you've got some time to kill, you can uncover some real treasures in these places. And half the time the shop owner is as surprised as you when you find something. I've been looking for some green glass salt and pepper shakers like the ones my grandma used to have. See, I'm very anti-stuff. And so I'd like to find some salt and pepper shakers that are both nice enough to look at that you can put them on the dinner table, but practical enough that you can take the tops off and fit a teaspoon in them for cooking. That's harder to find than you might think. And although I did not find the elusive green glass ones today, I found some aluminum ones that will do just fine until I do find them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Paul Gross has a new movie coming out: Gunless

God he's hot.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dude, where's my car?

So I went downstairs to go to work this morning and discovered my car was gone.

But, I knew immediately what had happened. You see, it was street cleaning day. And I knew it was, but you see, when they have signs posted saying "Street Cleaning Wednesday" I just assumed they meant sometime during the day Wednesday. But actually they meant 5:30 in the morning Wednesday.

Ah. My mistake. So I walked to work, and once I got there I looked up on the city's website and discovered that they don't tow your car to the impound, they just tow it around the corner and give you a ticket. So I walked home for lunch to check, and sure enough, there was my car, parked neatly around the corner with a ticket on it. And the ticket was for $25.00.

Seriously, what other city does that? Tows your car around the corner for you and only charges you $25.00 for their trouble. I figure I got off pretty lightly.

I was, however, still in a bad mood due to the incident, and I consequently sent out several nasty e-mails and had my frowny face on all day.

I'm hoping to go to bed tonight and wake up in a much better mood. To help me along the way, I got an extra long guitar lesson tonight, and for the last half we played the ukulele. And it's like my guitar teacher says, you can't help but smile when you hear someone play the ukulele. So here's some awesome ukulele videos. I'm trying to decide if I want to buy one or not.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Poll results

I got polled about a week ago on the phone. The results are in.

Guess how I answered?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review Time Again!

  1. The Good Neighbors - Holly Black
    This is a graphic novel series, written by Holly Black and illustrated by Ted Naifeh. I've read the first two volumes "Kin" and "Kith". It's typical Black fare - gritty urban teen culture meets gothic faerie tale. And while I loved her "modern faerie tale" series, I'm not sure that I'm too crazy about this one. Especially with the second one, I found that the story seemed to move too fast. Events happened too quickly, and we aren't given enough time to get to know the characters, to really understand their motivations. And that makes the story feel kind of flat. Like all these things are happening to people that you don't really know or care about. So I'm kind of disappointed. But Black is a novelist, so maybe she's having trouble with the graphic novel format. I think they're well illustrated. The mood is sombre in black and white, and Naifeh's elves and humans are lithe and sharp-featured. But the story and characters need some work. Still, I'll probably read the next one in the hopes that they'll improve.

  2. Elske - Cynthia Voigt
    Voigt wrote four companion novels, all about a mythical place known as "the kingdom". They're a bit of a departure for Voigt who mostly writes realistic fiction. However, despite their made-up medieval setting, the books are still realistic in that there is no magic. I've read two of them, Jackaroo, which was pretty good, and now this one. And I really liked Elske. It follows a young girl who runs away from home and certain death. She journeys to another city where she struggles with learning a new culture and new language, and then ends up helping a Queen regain her throne from her despotic brother. It deals realistically and sympathetically with topics such as rape and infanticide, and Elske is a strong, likable character. Highly recommended.

  3. A Well-Timed Enchantment - Vivian Vande Velde
    This is Vande Velde's second novel, written quite a while ago, and I have to say I found it quite mediocre. Which is funny, because I really like her first book, A Hidden Magic (which is written for a younger, Gr. 3 - 5, audience). But this book, from its terribly punny title right down to the unlikely romance between the main character and her cat, felt a little cobbled together. A girl drops her mickey mouse watch down a wishing well where it goes through a portal to medieval France. Two elves send her and her cat (first transforming him into a human) to retrieve the watch before it alters history forever. Medieval France is not described in a way that seems very realistic or historically accurate. She meets up right away with a noble family who invite her and her friend/squire/page/brother (as she introduces her cat turned boy to them at various times) into their castle without blinking an eye. And her relationship with the cat is not developed very well either. They are supposed to be in love at the end, but I'm not sure when that was supposed to have happened. Anyway, I'm weeding it from our shelves, and I doubt it will be missed.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good Stuff

1) I am wearing fuzzy pink socks. Cuz there is nothing like fuzzy pink socks to make you feel better on a cold, rainy day. Except maybe hot chocolate and a good book. But I have those too!

2) You should go and visit Hyperbole and a Half. For its weird randomness and crazy cartoons that make me lol, it has earned a spot in my sidebar.

3) I like reading romance novels. But, I often start romance novels and then stop reading them because I lose interest once the relationship is consummated, because the sexual tension was the only thing advancing the plot. The best romance novels are ones that have interesting characters and a good plot in addition to the romance. And I came across a good one that I actually enjoyed right to the end. So if you like historical romance, try The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt. It's part of a trilogy along with The Raven Prince and The Serpent Prince, but that one's the best.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Apocalypse... now?


I don't know whether to take this seriously or not. I do think that unless we change how we run the world economy we are headed for a collapse of some sort, I just didn't think it would be this soon. Time to learn how to grow your own food people. I'm lucky since I already have a source of good home-grown meat, vegetables and grain. You can eat locally in Saskatchewan. Maybe you should try it. Maybe you'll have to try it.

h/t to Saskboy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This one's for you sis...

Fuuuck! Is anybody else having problems embedding You Tube videos? It's too big for my blog, even the smallest size. Videos that embedded just fine before are now too big to fit on the screen, despite the fact that the html is EXACTLY the same. Fucking youtube. I'm assuming it's youtube, because it looks shitty no matter what browser I open it with. Some sort of bug rolled up with all the (stupid!) changes they have made to the site recently?

Anyway, due to youtube's retardedness, you'll have to click on the link to watch:
Chiropractic vs. Science Based Medicine.

Okay, I've manually changed the video to have an object width of 500. But I still just don't understand why previous videos with a width of 650 fit, and now they don't. Anyone who can shed any light on this, please do. Anyway, the video:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Down with Disney Princesses

I recently heard a story about a librarian who did a fairy tale program for young kids and their parents. She was shocked and horrified to discover that none of the kids or their parents had had any exposure to fairy tales outside of the Disney version, and indeed, most of them thought that Disney was the original source of these tales.

I consider this to be an alarming trend. Parents, please expose your children to more than the Disney version of a fairy tale. Disney "cutesifies" these tales with wide-eyed talking animals, and a lot of times they also change the ending completely to make the tales more kid-friendly (eg. in the original Little Mermaid, she doesn't get the prince). If children only ever see the Disney version, they are missing out on a huge chunk of our rich, cultural heritage.

There are also problems with the way femininity and race are represented in the Disney movies. For a good critique of Disney, check out this documentary. Suffice to say, the women in Disney are either invariably evil (the witches) or beautiful princesses in need of rescuing. And little girls today are obsessed with the Disney Princesses. They are everywhere you look, on tv, in movies, in books, in toys. Disney has gone into merchandising overload. And these princesses are frankly not good role models for girls. There is a series of books that we have in our library called Disney Princesses Secrets (or something like that) and they go out all the time. In each of these little books, one of the Disney Princesses imparts a "secret" to the reader. Guess what Snow White's secret is? When she gets tired of doing "princess" things she sneaks off to the seven dwarfs' house and cleans it for them. Barf.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not completely anti-Disney. I owned and loved many of these movies myself as a kid. I still love Beauty and the Beast. But please, any parents, or anyone who is thinking of becoming a parent, please make sure your kids get more than the Disney version of any fairy tale. And to combat the weak female characters (cuz let's face it, even in the originals, many of the women are passive) try a couple of fractured fairy tales where the women take control of their own destiny.

A couple of my favourite feminist picture book fairy tales are The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch (which also has the word "bum" in it as a bonus) and Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole (which has the most hilarious illustrations). And when they get a little older, try some Tamora Pierce, Shannon Hale, and Gail Carson Levine for some kick ass fantasy novels with strong female protagonists.

Friday, April 09, 2010

She's back! And pissed off about stuff!

Wow, I've been away for awhile. But I have excuses. I was in Portland for five days, and then it was Easter, and work has been busy... Anyway, I'm back now and there are a few things that have been going on that I want to comment on.

Hopefully I'll be able to finish this post before the power goes out again. It's been blinking on and off all day, presumably because of the nasty wind storm. It's not snowing in this neck of the woods, but the wind was insane. I took my bird feeder down because it was just going to end up stripping all the twigs off the branch it was on and go flying down the street. And the power outages were super annoying because I was at work, and if, like me, you have on average 5 programs running and 10 windows open, every time the power blinks you have to restart the computer and reopen everything. Thank goodness firefox at least remembers what windows you had open. Anyway, on with the show.

1) OMG Facebook. Get over yourself. There is NOTHING obscene about a breastfeeding mother. I have never understood people that have a problem with mothers breastfeeding children in public. It's what they're for fer chrissakes. If you agree and if you do the facebook thing, then there's a facebook group you can sign up for to let them know just what you think of their silly censorship.

2) Ha ha ha. Well Helena, I'd say it's been a pleasure, but, well... don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. She and her loser drug addict husband Rahim (former MP of Edmonton-Strathcona) are like the gift that just keeps on giving. Every time you think they've hit rock bottom, you're sure they can't sink any lower, but nope, they just keep on digging. Once upon a time, I actually believed that most people in government were really in it because they wanted to help their country and their fellow citizens. But the longer I follow politics, the more cynical I get. I'd like to think that the hi-jinks of Helena and hubby are the exception rather than the rule for MPs, but I'm beginning to really wonder if there's anyone left with an ounce of integrity in that slime pit.

3) The City of San Francisco has come up with "Meatless Mondays" where they are encouraging (though not requiring) their citizens to go without meat. This is a very touchy issue, and there is a definite split in the left-wing on this. Case in point, go over to JJ's Blog and read the comments. I have explained where I stand once before, but I feel like I need to say it again. So let's say it in bold, all-caps: BEING A VEGETARIAN IS NOT HEALTHIER THAN EATING MEAT. And anyone who thinks otherwise is still under the influence of the low-fat diet industry. It's not meat or fat that is causing the epidemic of obesity and disease, it's the high amount of sugar and refined carbs that we consume. That is the absolute truth. Now if their reasons for Meatless Mondays are more about the environment, then that is more complicated. Feedlots are definitely bad for the environment. But it would be more helpful to encourage people to eat local free range and to create laws which would change the way that animals are currently housed. Anyway, I'm sure I'm not going to change anybody's mind, and I have noticed that some vegans and vegetarians are quite militant about their eating preferences and tend to look down their noses at anyone who doesn't happen to agree with them, assuming that you must be an ignorant redneck who doesn't care about animal rights or the environment. Well, get over it people. There are very well-educated people who care about animals and the environment but still don't agree with vegetarianism. I'm one of them.

Well, I think that's all that's pissing me off right now, though I'm sure I'll think of something else soon.