Friday, May 31, 2013

Book Report - The Life of Pi

Title: The Life of Pi
Authour: Yann Martel
Length: 319 pages
How long it took me to read: 2.5 days

What it's about: Pi Patel, a God-loving boy and the son of a zookeeper, has a fervent love of stories and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Chrisianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family and their zoo animals emigrate from India to North America aboard a japanese cargo ship. Alas, the sip sinks - and Pi finds himself in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, and orangutan, a wounded zebra, and a 450-pound bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi. Can Pi and the tiger find their way to land? Can Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they do?

My take: I'm gonna do my take after the jump because there will be spoilers.

The ending is the most important part: The end has a twist that will Blow. Your. Mind.

Last word: I never ever thought I would say this ever, but the movie is enough. You don't have to read the book. The movie tells the story beautifully and is a visual feast, so I don't recommend the book, but I recommend the film.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What Artist do you have the Most of in your Music Collection?

This used to be one of my get-to-know-you questions that I would use on dates. It was my test to see how cool a person was. Music is very important to me, so it was important to me that I surrounded myself with people that felt similarly. I didn’t even care if I agreed with the person’s selection, I just cared how the person felt and what their reasoning was behind their choice in music.

What you have the most of in your music collection says a lot about you.

My answer? INXS

DH’s answer? Chicago.

I am a person who is young-at-heart (fourteen, to be exact), and loves to experience things. Emotions, feelings (are they the same thing?), beauty, etc. I like to use all my senses to participate in the goings on around me. I love to see things and feel them on my skin, and hear the sounds and taste the air, etc. I love to move my body, I love to dance. If it has a good beat and I can dance to it, then it’s good music to me.

INXS is one of those bands that just speaks to all of these things in me. The music is completely danceable, and expressive, great and it's a party. When I hear their music, I can see colour and smell it and physically feel it. To me, it is all encompassing. It makes my whole body smile. I always took it as a compliment when people used to tell me I reminded them of Michael Hutchence.

So think about it – What artist do you have the most of in your collection? Have I asked you this question before? Is your answer different now than it was then? What does the fact that you have so many albums by this one artist say about you?

And if you tell me that you only have like 3 albums and they were all gifts, then we can’t be friends.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Book Report - Beautiful Darkness

Title: Beautiful Darkness
Authour: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Length: 503 pages
How long it took me to read: 3days!

What it's about: The continuing story of Gatlin, South Carolina and Ethan Wate and Lena Duchannes. Uncle Macon is dead and Lena is depressed and pushes Ethan away, but Ethan can't let Lena go so easily...

My take: Since Beautiful Creatures ended on such a cliff hanger, I was really happy to not have to wait for 95 people to read the sequel before I got to it like I did with the original book. I only had to wait two days for the book to become available at the library. The beginning was slow and answered nothing, but after the first 100 pages, all this new stuff was introduced, and I needed to find out what happens next, and then what happens after that, and then that, and so on. I totally could not put this book down. I was reading one night, looked at the clock and it was 10pm. I thought I would read 'just one more chapter'. The next time I looked at the clock it was 12:15am!! Whoops. I would stay up past midnight reading, dream about the book, then wake up at 6am because I couldn't wait to find out what happens next.
The ending is the most important part: The ending of this one is a little more satisfying than the first book. If I needed to, I could take a break from the series, I'm not going to die if I don't find out what happens next, but I'm loving the series and have the next book on hold at the library.
Last word: Totally read it. I recommend this to everyone. This one is a little darker than the first book, duh, it's TITLE has the word "Darkness" in it! Link is one of my favourite characters, and there's a lot of him in this book. I can't believe that there are not more people hooked on the series like I am: i.e. I was number 95 when I put Beautiful Creatures on hold, but I was number 1 when I put Beautiful Darkness on hold, and I don't have to wait for Beautiful Chaos either.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I'm never going to read again!

I have always been a voracious reader. I love to read. When I was in elementary school, if I wasn't running through sprinklers, eating popsicles, riding bikes, or going to the beach, I was at the library. My dream road trip is taking a historical route and pulling over at every road sign in order to read the historical marker. When we go to museums or anything, my family always gets way ahead of me because I stop and read every sign. I read the liner notes in albums. I always spent my birthday money at Coles Books.

My parents joined a children's book club when we were kids, so every month we would get a couple of Disney or Dr. Seuss books. I read these books over and over. I read them to my parents, and I read them to my siblings. Those books are trashed from all the reading I did.

After Dr. Seuss came Nancy Drew. I babysat for a friend of my mum's early in my babysitting career and she had every book ever written about Nancy Drew. Every time I babysat, I would borrow a couple.

About grade six, I was introduced to young teen romance books like Sweet Valley High. These are the books I would spend my birthday money on. These were the books I checked out from the library. They were easy to read, not boring like the books assigned at school, and so addictive.

Once I got to high school, I quit reading books for pleasure. I had to do so much reading for school that I didn't want to look at one more book. Ridiculously enough, I still had a huge appetite for reading, but this was filled with liner notes from cassettes, newspapers, and magazines. I am full of useless information because of all the magazines I read. Berit used to ask me, "How do you know all these random facts?" The answer? I read. She calls me a media maven. I kinda love it. I'm not book smart, I'm not street smart, I'm media smart.

I was introduced to magazine reading the summer between grade eight and nine. We were staying at a cabin in Birch Bay, WA and it was raining and I was, like, so bored. My mum sent me to the little store to see if I could find something to read. I found a couple of teen magazines like the ones my cousin Cyndi read. I bought them, and I was hooked. My favourites were Teen, Seventeen (had a subscription to that one), Elle, Spin, and Smash hits. Reading magazines caused the detour in my reading career that I regret. I missed out on classics like The Chronicles of Narnia and the works of Roald Dahl because I never went to the library any more; I just bought magazines.

I have since been re-introduced to the wonder that is the library, and my love for reading for which I am joyous, but I've been trying to slow down on all the reading to make room for some writing.

Well, a month or so ago, DH was going to lose his Continental air miles unless he used them. He didn't have enough for a flight anywhere, but he could use them for magazine subscriptions. None of the magazines really appealed to him, but were there any that I would be interested in? I now have a stack of the following on my night table: In Style, Glamour, Elle, GQ, Details and Entertainment Weekly.

As soon as the subscriptions started rolling I thought to myself, "Great, I'm never going to read a book again!" Fortunately, Beautiful Creatures came available at the library and I am hooked on a new series of books. I have also discovered that I don't have to read every single article in the magazine, so it doesn't take me as long to get through magazines like it used to.

Now that I've found balance between reading books and magazines, I'm hoping that I can find some balance between reading and writing.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hiking Diamond Head with big D

I spent all this time talking about planning for my trip to Oahu and then never said anything about it after I got back! Bad Rantgirl! No cookie!

So things were fine. Hawaii is Hawaii. Hot. Beautiful. Ocean. I want to live there. Palm trees, mountains. Perfect.
View of Diamond Head from Waikiki Beach

Things with my brother were fine. He's my favourite sibling and we get along great. I felt like I was sixteen again: waking up every morning to my brother walking around in his gonch. I hardly saw him because he was off doing things with his friends which was the reason I was there; so that he and his wife could go out and have fun and someone was there to watch the kids.

It was so fun having all D's friends be totally unsurprised that I am his sister as we look so much alike. I am like a female version of him. Now that we are all so spread apart and hardly see each other it's nice when people recognize the family resemblance.

The other fun thing was that most people at the wedding thought that Goonie-goo-goo was my son, not D's because we look so much alike.
Goonie-goo-goo and I at the Honolulu airport

On my last day there, D and I hiked Diamond Head which is the one thing I wanted to do with him. Things were so busy that we had to shove it in at the last minute. I'm really glad we shoved it in. We went to Pearl Harbour in the morning, came home, my sister-in-law put the kids down for a nap, and D and I took off. It was nice to get some one on one time with my big/little bro. (he's big because he's much taller than I, and he's little because he's four years younger.) It was so weird hanging out with the grown up version of my little brother. I hardly ever get a chance to see him because I live in another country, and now he's all married with two kids and a job and stuff. Not the little kid with the weird friends that left Legos all over the floor and made the bathroom that we shared so gross. He still leaves the seat up, so there's that. Any way, we talked all the way up and all the way down. I still had to stop halfway up the stairs at the end, so I didn't reach my goal of not having to stop, but it's an amazing hike with the best reward ever at the top: a 360 degree view of Oahu. You can almost see the whole island from up there. It was really crowded as was everything else we did when we were there, because Waikiki, but it was by far the most enjoyable thing I did when I was there. We came back to the condo, he crashed, I did my souvenir shopping, mailed my postcards, took the photos I wanted to take, and walked along Waikiki beach for the last time. (all things I was supposed to do on my first day there, but whatever.)
Big D and I at the top of Diamond Head

I didn't have any major expectations for the trip because I knew I was just going to watch the kids, and since I have only really seen my niece and nephew once before, it was good. I was basically stuck to the condo for most of the trip because of naps and the fact that Goonie-goo-goo went to bed at 5pm and PJ followed soon after at 6pm, and D and J were out every evening, but that was what I was expecting. After the kids went to sleep, I would do the dishes, clean up, grab some cookies and milk and my laptop, and hang out on the lanai until I couldn't keep my eyes open any more, and be in bed by 9pm. With the four hour time difference, I didn't have a lot of chances to talk to my family back home, but everyone lived.
On the lanai

All in all, it was a very relaxing trip for me with the copious amounts of alone time which is what a trip to Hawaii is about, isn't it? I'm so glad I got to go.
One last photo of Goonie-goo-goo because he's so darn adorable

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Happy Monday!

Ah Monday. Everyone complains about you, but not me!! Monday is the beginning. The weekend is over. We celebrated the week, we had some good times, and now we have the beginning of a new week! A new chance! Yay for beginnings!

Remember these? Thought I should check-in.

Physically: Sore, but that's because I spent the weekend in bed because of some weird achy flu. My whole body hurt. Even my eyelashes hurt. I'm feeling better now.

Emotionally: Normal. Not stressed, not anxious, not anything., but not numb either. I guess this means I'm satisfied? This is so good.

Spiritually: Um, I don't know the word for this. Guilty? Scared? I know that I'm not where I should be and I feel bad about that but I'm too scared to do what I need to do to get where I need to be.

Goal: This is always where I stop typing and stare off into space. It seems that every time I set a goal I accomplish everything except the goal and the goal becomes the hardest thing to do. My goal this week is to read my scriptures before bed every night.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I Wish I was a Witch

Maybe it’s all the reading I’ve been doing. I’m reading the Beautiful Creatures series, and I’m on book six of Harry Potter with Dewey. Am I envious of Lena Duchannes, or Molly Weasley or Hermione Granger?

Sadly, there are some people who know me who would say that I am a witch. Or, more correctly, something that rhymes with witch. To that I admit, but I’m talking about having magical powers.

I wouldn’t really be the bubble bubble toil and trouble dance around a cauldron making potions type, that’s too much like cooking. I would suck at potions and Snape would be constantly whacking me up side the head. I would be more of the spells and conjuring type of witch.

I would like to be like Molly Weasley and make the dishes do themselves, and have the books dust themselves, the pots stir themselves. I would make cooler looking sweaters and probably not have as many kids, but that’s because I don’t have magical powers.

I would be like Lena Duchannes and manipulate the weather to match my moods. I would have songs playing that are written just for my own personal situation. I would live in a gorgeous plantation mansion where the interior changed to reflect the occasion.

I would be like Hermione Granger and retain everything I ever read and know every spell I ever needed for my protection and that of those I loved. I would also be able to make beautiful things like a white rose wreath to place on the graves of my best friend’s parents, or a circle of fluffy yellow birds to sing to me and cheer me up. I could apparate and disapparate anywhere I needed to be and never have to worry about traffic.

Plus, most witches have such fabulous wardrobes. The shoes alone!
When I was a kid, all witches were wicked and ugly, but now that I’m grown and have learned and read more, I know that not all witches are bad and I wish I had their magical powers. Not so sure I would be able to use my powers only for good, though…

Honourable mentions: Alex Russo, Glinda the Good Witch, Minerva McGonnigal

Saturday, May 18, 2013

What I want to be when I grow up

So I’m forty-one years old and I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up and I’m not very happy about it. And yes, I had to pause to figure out how old I was and then had to do the math, on an adding machine, and realize how old I was. At least I know how old my kids are – twelve and eight, right? Right.

I have decided I would like to get my degree in Library Science but major in English too so that I can either be a librarian OR an English teacher. (ha ha ha ha HA! I just spelled English wrong!! That’s so funny.) I love words and books and reading and grammar and spelling. I am still fourteen years old in my head, high school was one of the best experiences of my life, so why not spend the rest of my life in high school? On summer holidays, when I wasn’t in the Library (voluntarily), or had my nose stuck in a book, I was playing ‘school’ and handing out assignments to my little brother and sister and marking their papers with a red pencil crayon and stamping their papers with my smiley face stamp and handing out stickers. I had my own gold stars. I had my own smiley face stamp for crying out loud! I made my brother and sister and their friends take spelling tests. On summer break. I can’t make this stuff up, people. I am an excellent public speaker, and kids totally dig me. I should totally do this.

So you’re forty-one and you’re just coming to this conclusion now? What is wrong with you, Rantgirl? Well, I will tell you.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Storm's Comin' Ani

I love this time of year – its drive with the windows down weather!!

I was on my way to Del Taco for fish tacos and rejoiced that the sun was not blazing down – it was actually cloudy. The kind of oppressive cloudy where the roiling clouds are bearing down on you with impending doom. The impending doom of wind and rain and thunder and lightning. I had to do a little happy dance on my way to the car celebrating the weather.

Side note: I thought I had made up a word with roiling (rolling and boiling), but spell check didn’t spazz out so I had to look it up and it’s an actual word.
Verb (used with object)
To render (water, wine, etc.) turbid by stirring up sediment.
To disturb or disquiet; irritate; vex: to be roiled by a delay.
Verb (used without object)
To move or proceed turbulently.

Origin: 1580–90;  origin uncertain

un·roiled, adjective

roil, royal.

2. Annoy, fret, ruffle, exasperate, provoke, rile

I’m happy and sad about that.

Other side note: Whattheheck Del Taco? No lime in my second fish taco? Where’s my lime, bishes?!

What can I say? I love weather. I love the changes, the unpredictability, the clouds, the wind, the rain – you know. The shapes the clouds make, the colours of the clouds and the sky. The feeling of the wind, that it can be calm and soothing and then immediately whip into a frenzy and be all crazy. The way the wind feels against my skin and in my hair.

The air is all electric and pending. There is that crazy, tingly, butterflies-right-before-going-on-stage feeling of something coming. I can feel it in my bones and on my skin and in my hair.
I love how the sky feels so close, like its right on top of you and peering over your shoulder about to do all kinds of naughty things.

I love this time of year.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Book Report - Beautiful Creatures

Title: Beautiful Creatures
Authour: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Length: about 600 pages
How long it took me to read: Like, 4 days!

What it's about: Gatlin, South Carolina is as boring as it gets for Ethan Wate - until mysterious new girl Lena Duchannes comes to town...

My take: Holy crap! I loved it! I could not put it down. I have always been interested in the Southern Gothic genre, but Interview with the Vampire turned me off so much. I was also wary since the movie didn't do so hot, but I thought I'd give it a try. The story flowed so easily. I could relate to the whole new girl in high school, high school mean girls, boy looking for something outside of his usual realm deal.

The ending is the most important part: So at first I totally hated the ending as it was a total cliff hanger and nothing was resolved. I was so mad because I was in love with the book right up until the end. Then I realized that there are two more books and a short story in the series. Yeah, I have the next book on hold at the library ready for me to pick up!!

Last word: Totally read it. I recommend this to everyone. I'm looking to rent the movie even though it had such bad reviews. The first Twilight movie was terrible too, remember?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Shop your Closet - Music Edition

So, we're trying to get out of debt for once and for all. As a result of this, I have put a purchasing embargo on all things iTunes.

I have a huge music library. A million years ago, I belonged to BMG Music club and always forgot to mail back the thing that said I didn't want the CD of the month. Also, as a result of having to fulfill my minimum purchase obligation, I often bought an album just for one song. I have a lot of music.

One of the reasons why I love listening to the radio so much is because I love to discover new sounds. I love to have new music introduced to me. I get so bored of my iPod and crave new music.

Since my discovery of iTunes, and since I never really got around to uploading all my old music on to iTunes, I have a lot of old music sitting on my CD shelf just sitting there.

I was as the point where I was sick of my iPod and feeling uninspired, so I went to my wall of CDs and grabbed a bunch of random CDs (starting at A and ending at J) that were not already loaded onto iTunes and loaded them up.

Oh. My. GOSH. INXS! Chris Isacc! Elton John!

You guys. I have excellent taste in music.

Lots and lots and lots...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Currently - May

Loving - That Mother's Day was good, new music, and my new shoes.

Reading - Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Holy Crap is it ever good!

Watching - Mad Men and The New Girl

Anticipating - Summer holidays! Homework is boring for parents too!

Listening - To all my new music, but mostly Elton John

Planning - Summer activities.

Working on - An organized craft room. (The garage sale was a success!)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Letter to my Ten-Year-Old Self

Dear You,

So the year is 1981 and you are in a confusing time of your life. You are adjusting to your parents’ divorce and taking on a lot of responsibilities for yourself. It’s been hard for you, but this was not a conscious decision. You saw a need in your family and you filled it, that’s all. I know that it’s hard, but know that your parents appreciate you and are proud of you NOW. You will not know this until years in the future, but I want you to know now that you are loved and appreciated by your parents. They are so proud of you.

It is also a confusing time of your life because you are so smart and you have no outlet for your intellect. You were given the opportunity to move up a couple grades, but your mum put the kibosh on that, citing her own personal experience with being too young and in older grades. There is wisdom in that. Continue to read your face off. Write. Keep dreaming, and dancing. If you don’t have a proper outlet, you will get yourself into trouble.

Another reason why things are confusing is because you are discovering boys. I know that they are fascinating and it’s so exciting and these feelings are amazing, but beware. Jumping in with both feet is dangerous and not smart. You are smart, but you don’t always use your brain when making decisions. Don’t listen to your peers, listen to your gut. When your brain and your heart work together, that’s your gut. Also, they are called crushes for a reason.

Some advice; its okay to choose your friends wisely and carefully. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. Read better books. You are ensconced in the stories of Nancy Drew and the works of Gordon Korman and Judy Blume right now, keep it up. You are going to detour into teen romance novels that are going to dumb you down. There are so many good books out there! There are The Chronicles of Narnia and the works of Roald Dahl. You should check those out. You are an excellent thinker, but you’re going to let your emotions have the driver’s seat soon. Slow down. Think about things and take time to make decisions. I know that you pride yourself in your ability to make snap decisions, but you’re not right all the time, you know – you’re only ten years old! You are a quiet, introspective person who thinks a lot. Sometimes you over think things, but if you don’t let it rule your life, it will be a good thing that will serve you well for the rest of your life. Also, be patient with your hair. I know how much you hate it, your cowlick drives you particularly crazy, but the eighties are just not your decade. You’ll see. It will get better, and you will love your hair to the point where it becomes one of your best features.

Lastly, and most importantly, I. Love.You. You are good and you are great. You are so smart, and you have an excellent heart. Your intelligence wins people over. You have a fabulous sense of style. You are the best speller. I’m so proud of who you are right now.


Forty-one-Year-Old Me
I wasn't kidding about the cowlick