Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Report - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Title: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Authour: Betty Smith
Length: 496 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 1/2 weeks

What it's about:
The beloved American classic about a young girl's coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness -- in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience

The ending is the most important part: There was no smashing ending, or major conclusion, but life went on to another chapter. I found that the story just ended with no major conclusion - she just went off to college.

Last word: Francie Nolan gets to join Besty Trotwood and Holden Caufield as one of my favourite fictional characters of all time. I very much enjoyed reading this book.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ways to Fail at Combating Homesickness – The Rain

I’m certain that it’s well documented here that I like precipitation. Every time it rains I get so happy because it makes me think of home. When one lives in a desert-like climate, the rain is few and far between.

Recently, Little Sister posted the following on Facebook and we had a little public convo about it:

Little Sister posted a photo – “Its raining a little.”
Little Sister – Guess who gets homesick when it rains? (two people like this, me, and her fourteen year old son)
Me – MEEE TOOOO!! Just wait; you’ll rejoice when it snows because at least it’s precipitation. Mark my words.
Little Sister – When it rains here, it really rains!
Me – yeah, here not so much – being the desert and all.

Little Sister moved a year or so ago to New Brunswick and has been posting a lot about the weather, especially the snow which as British Columbians, we never truly experienced growing up. The weather in BC is so unique that it really takes a special sort of person to be able to endure it. (webbed feet help)

Little Sister and I are those kinds of people. We have always loved the BC weather, rain and all. I find it interesting that she and I are the only ones who have moved away from BC even though we both love it so much and neither one of us planned on ever leaving the coast. I also find it soothing that she misses the weather just as much as I do, even though she lives in a climate that is very much different to mine.

I should also not that neither one of us has webbed feet. I just thought I should clear that up.

The rain, it just does something to you…

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Soundgarden Outshined

This song is of course now a classic and everyone knows this song and it's great and awesome and the best.

But there's this line:
I'm looking in the mirror
and things aren't looking so good...
This is exactly how depression feels. There have been times where I can't even look myself in the eye in the mirror. I see myself as if I'm outside of myself and I look like a complete stranger. Someone that I don't trust or know very well. It's very disconcerting to look in the mirror and not recognize yourself.

When I discovered this about myself I started forcing myself too look me in the eye. It was really, really hard at first. It scares me to admit this.

I am happy to say that I can look myself in the mirror more often now.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: A little more tired than usual, I feel like my blood sugar is wonky, but other than that, I'm good.

Emotionally: Stressed due to back to school and pack meeting.

Spiritually: Better. Went to the temple this week and that really helped me

Goal: Last week's goal was to establish a night time routine with the boys in preparation for going back to school. We succeeded AND failed at this. I can't in good conscience call this one a win.

My goal this week is to survive the first week of school without having a break-down and yelling.

Friday, August 23, 2013

All the feelings that I'm feeling

Words can do a lot, and I'm pretty good with being able to get down on paper what I'm feeling, but I'm not quite sure I did it justice this time.

I have posted over here the results of Dewey's 5 year cancer check-up. Warning, I use real names and stuff, so if you don't want to know me that closely, don't go there. Just know that we are all good, I can breathe again even though I thought I was breathing just fine, and now we can finally move on with our lives even though I thought that we were already moving on with our lives.

I am so grateful.

Book Report - Princess Diaries

Title: The Princess Diaries
Authour: Meg Cabot
Length:    283 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about:
She's just a New York City girl living with her artist mom...
News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that's why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can't have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he's royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty--no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what's a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

The ending is the most important part: Wait, there are fourteen princess books? How am I ever going to read them all? The ending segued into the next book perfectly, and now I fear that I will never get to the end of the story.

Last word: Very enjoyable, I wish that I had read the books before the movie, and I wish that I had read them a long time ago.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Daddy Daughter Date

It’s one o’clock in the afternoon and a blonde woman wearing a black tshirt and grey pencil skirt is sitting in her silver car at the drive-thru for Crown Burger. It is eighty-two degrees on this day at the end of July and it is overcast and barely rainy. She has the windows rolled down and is listening to Tones on Tails with the volume turned up really loud because this is a really good song. She is suffering from her monthly visit from Aunt Flo and therefore greatly anticipating that chocolate milkshake she just ordered.

The door to the restaurant opens and she observes a man in a plaid sleeveless shirt, trucker hat, jeans and construction boots holding the door open for a little girl. The little girl has medium length, medium brown hair and is wearing glasses. Her tshirt has a floral motif, and her many tiered ruffled skirt is a screaming, shocking pink; so are her matching flip-flops. She is holding a styrofoam cup in each hand; each emblazoned with a large letter ‘k’ written in sharpie. The man walks forward, but the little girl pauses at the curb. When the man encourages her forward, she jumps down onto the driveway and walks hand-in-hand with the man in front of the silver car. At the sidewalk they pause, and jump together up onto the sidewalk. The man proceeds forward towards the parking lot, stepping off the curb but is caused to stop because he is still holding hands with the little girl and she has stopped because she is preparing to jump down. Sufficiently corrected, the man backs up and steps up onto the sidewalk again in order to jump in tandem with the little girl. They walk off into the distance, presumably towards their parked car. The girl is skipping.

The woman pulls forward to pay for her burger and shake.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Living on Video - apply Dancing Rule here

This is one of those songs where you have to dance, it's the rule. At the very least you have to bounce your head to the side like you're at the Roxbury.

Best 80's dancing song ever. I dare you to not attempt the robot while dancing to this song. Plus how perfectly 80's is this video?!

So sorry if you are reading this at the beginning of your day, because it will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. So sorry if you are reading this at the end of your day, because it will be stuck in your head and you will be laying in your bed, staring at the ceiling, listening to this song bounce around while you dance in your head.

Honourable mention to Derek Hough who is the genius that choreographed the following routine.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: Normal. No pains. Managed to get to the gym three times this week, only once was a yoga class, but it was a good yoga class. Also went two days without soda. All very good things.

Emotionally: Better than last week, but I'm worried that it's because I'm feeling a little numb.

Spiritually: Needs to be better. I'm going to work on this.

Goal: Last week's goal was to make goals for the rest of the year and put a plan in place to accomplish them. This was completed. I have discovered that I have over estimated my abilities and I need to readdress some things, but I consider this a win.

My goal this week is to establish a night time routine with the boys in preparation for going back to school.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Currently - August

Loving - My family unit.

Reading - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It's taking me a long time to read, but just because of life, not because I'm not enjoying it. Francie Nolan has become one of my favourite characters.

Watching - Pretty Little Liars. Still. That's okay because I don't have time for anything else.

Anticipating - The school year. I have a feeling it's going to be a good one. I hope I'm right.

Listening - You Know What I Mean by Cults. It has an old 50s drive-in swoony end of summer feel. It's just right.

Planning - Nothing and everything. I'm feeling overwhelmed with my to-do list and my want-to-do list. They are having a war and no one is winning.

Working on - Getting organized.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Report - Jake Reinvented

Title: Jake Reinvented
Authour: Gordon Korman
Length:   213 pages
How long it took me to read: 2 days

What it's about:
There is a mysterious new student at Fitzgerald High, Jake Garret. He seems to have it all figured out. He looks like he just stepped off the cover of the J. Crew catalog, he is the best kicker the football team has ever had, and best of all, he hosts the party to go to every Friday night. All the guys want to be like him and all the girls want to date him, but Jake only has eyes for Didi, the girlfriend of alpha male and quarterback, Todd Buckley . As Jake's friend Rick gets to know him, he at first admires him, then starts to like him, but soon grows to fear for him as he learns Jake's dangerous secret. From beloved young adult author Gordon Korman, comes a new look at age-old themes about popularity, acceptance, and human nature.

The ending is the most important part: This ended better than The Great Gatsby because Jake doesn't die, but the ending kind of fizzled - just like in The Great Gatsby.

Last word: Great read. Just like The Great Gatsby except in high school. The message was the same - people suck with the exception of some people.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Story About Friendship with some Astrology thrown in.

My best friend of my life, Berit, is a Leo. I am a Sagittarius.

Berit and I lived together for a time in Vancouver's West End. Some of my favourite memories have occurred at that apartment at the corner of Nelson and Jervis. Berit and I have been friends for so long that we are practically sisters.

At the time that we were roommates, Berit worked at the Vancouver Public Library. She had checked out this book called Love Signs or something like that, and we spent our evenings going through the book and analyzing everyone we knew and seeing if we were astrologically compatible with them. It was lovely fun.

One Sunday, we were walking to the bus stop on the way to church and bickering about something - I can't remember what. I just remember that I was adamant that I was right and said some things that while true, were pretty scathing, and hurt Berit's feelings. She said to me, "I don't even feel like walking next to you right now." and sped up in front of me. I let her go ahead because I knew what I said was not nice and I thought I would let her cool off before I apologized.

When I got to our usual bus stop, Berit was not there. I kind of freaked out a little because I didn't know what had happened to her. Knowing that she was still mad at me, and there was no way to find her, I got on the bus and went to church. A few stops down the line, Berit got on the bus, but she sat in the front of the bus - far from where I was sitting - in our usual spot in the back. This, of course, made me feel worse.

One of the things the astrology book pointed out that because Sagittarius' are archers, they tend to "shoot arrows of truth" out of their mouths and by thus doing hurt the ones they love.

The longer the day went on, and the longer she went without speaking to me and ignoring my attempts to make amends, the more I realized what I said was not good and that I needed to apologize. She wouldn't sit with me in church, nor beside me in Sunday School or Relief Society. I felt so awful, and I knew that she was going home to have dinner with her family. I couldn't let her leave without letting me apologize, but she wouldn't let me talk to her.

I drew a little cartoon of a lion (Leo) with a sad face, and arrow in it's paw. I wrote a little note of apology saying something to the effect of how I know that my words can hurt and I wasn't thinking and I was so very sorry. I put the drawing in her coat pocket.

After she came home from her parent's, she let me know that she got my note and she had forgiven me, but not after she let me stew and suffer for the pain I had caused her.

I love that girl so much.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Boom Boom Ackalacka lacka Boom

My best friend for life Berit introduced me to this song, so every time I hear it, I think of her.

Isn't Was (Not Was) the best name for a band?

This came up on the radio as a lost 80's hit, but there is no way in my mind that this is a lost hit. This is one of the greatest songs and will rock for ever. It makes me sad that a) it's considered lost - to me it's a classic, and b) they only yank it out for movies like The Flintstones or Ice Age. Queen Latifa, I love you, but the original's the best.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Weekly Check-In

Physically: Sore throat, back hurts, butt hurts, but that's from going to the gym, so I'm okay with it.

Emotionally: A little grumpy. Feeling the stress of the oncoming school year which is making me mad because summer's not even close to being over

Spiritually: Could be better, could be worse.

Goal: Last week's goal was to organize the kitchen. Well, I washed the floor and cleaned off the island at least. Still looks like a bomb hit it, but that's not my fault. I didn't make the mess so I'm not cleaning it.

My goal this week is to make goals for the rest of the year and put a plan in place to accomplish them

Friday, August 9, 2013

Book Report - Jane Austen Book Club

Title: Jane Austen Book Club
Authour: Karen Joy Fowler
Length:  250 pages
How long it took me to read: A day and a half

What it's about:
In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

The ending is the most important part: The group finishes the books and everything is resolved. The end.

Last word: I loved this book. I devoured this book. What a lovely book!! Go ahead and read it whether you're an Austen fan or not, you will love these characters!

Spoilers after the jump:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Movie V. Book - Warm Bodies

Follow the link for the IMDB page.

After R (a highly unusual zombie) saves Julie from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion a sequence of events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

Director: Jonathan Levine

Writers: Jonathan Levine (screenplay), Isaac Marion(novel)

Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton
I had been interested in the movie before I found out it was based on a novel, but I read the novel first.

Book or Movie: Movie, but the book is good too.

Spoilers after the jump:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm sorry, do I know you?

The other week I was having a particularly hard time being in public, but it was a Sunday and I had to go to church, so I pushed through and actually stayed for all my meetings. I sat in Relief Society on the edge of the row, wishing I was invisible, trying to blend in with the chair, writing in my journal and keeping to myself. It worked out, the meeting ended, I put my chair away and attempted to make my escape.

A girl who is new and just moved into the neighbourhood stopped me and said, "Excuse me, but I just kept looking at you the whole meeting, and I was wondering, do I know you?" I looked at her, and not recognizing her, said, "I don't think so." She asked me if I had lived in the neighbourhood a long time, and I told her seven years, and she couldn't figure out where she would know me from and I told her I had one of those faces and quickly made my exit.

A few things:
  • I feel terrible. My reaction was like a deer in headlights; I just wanted to run away. I was completely caught off guard and therefore incapable of putting together complete sentences.
  • I would have loved to have tried to figure it out, but I totally didn't recognize her, and I do have one of those faces; people always tell me I remind them of their cousin, neighbour, roommate from college, friend from high school, etc.
  • I have only been blonde for six months, so even if I did know her from the past, I don't look like I did.
  • She's new to the area and doesn't know anyone, yet she had the courage to talk to me and I was weird and uncomfortable around her. I hope I didn't freak her out.
  • I really hope she didn't feel like I was weird or blowing her off or like I thought she was weird. I am glad she approached me, but I was in such a bad mental place that I just couldn't function in public that day.

I was mentally frozen and speechless and unable to pursue the conversation fully and truly hope she didn't think I was being rude and hope she will forgive me. I hope that at some future date that she will figure out where she knows me from or who I remind her of and that she's not afraid to approach me at a later time because of the way I acted.

Sometimes I should really just not interact with humans.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Female Robbery

I love this song. I love the haunting vibe. I love the groove. It doesn't matter what mood I'm in, if I hear this song, I'm instantly calmed.

I kind of hate that I love this song because I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. At first listen and when taking the title into consideration, I fear it's about rape, but after listening to it over and over and reading the lyrics a hundred or so times, I wonder if it's about feeling raped. Like the guy in the song is feeling his heart was robbed by a female? I don't know, the meaning is confusing, but the song is awesome.

Plus the band, Neighbourhood, is spelled correctly.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Weekly Check-in

Physically: I have a sore throat - boo!

Emotionally: Happy enough.

Spiritually: Good enough, but could be better.

Goal: Last week's goal was to relax and not set any goals. WIN!

My goal this week is to organize the kitchen.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Book Report - Death Comes to Pemberly

Title: Death Comes to Pemberley
Authour: P.D. James
Length:  291 pages
How long it took me to read: Two weeks - too long

What it's about:
It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

The ending is the most important part: Nope. The ending was in the second to last chapter and should have been there. After the trial, there is all this extra plot that is unnecessary. I didn't like the ending.

Last word: Totally didn't like this book. It was boring, and the ending of the murder trial was too out of nowhere. I was so disappointed in this book. Don't read it.

Spoilers after the jump:

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Movie V. Book - Speak

Follow the link for the IMDB page.

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.

Director: Jessica Sharzer

Writers: Laurie Halse Anderson (novel), Jessica Sharzer(screenplay)

Stars: Kristen Stewart, Michael Angarano, Robert John Burke

I will admit that the only reason why I watched this was because of Kristen Stewart was in it - I didn't know it was a book until much later. Kristen does a great job in this pre-Twilight made-for-TV movie.

Book or Movie: Book, but by a nose

Spoilers after the jump: