Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Half-Blood Prince Is...

.....Ben Affleck! Okay, not really, but there will be no spoilers about the new Harry Potter posted here. I finished the book this afternoon and it lived up to expectation. I wonder, though, how some smaller kids deal with such sad and brutal events within a book. If the world of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley is as vivid to this muggle in her late twenties, how real must this world be to little ones? Nancy Drew was never this scary!

After deliberating about it all afternoon, I have decided that my favourites are now, in order:

1. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban (#3)
2. HP and the Half-Blood Prince (#6)
3. HP and the Philosopher's Stone (#1)
4. HP and the Order of the Phoenix (#5)
5. HP and the Goblet of Fire (#4)
6. HP and the Chamber of Secrets (#2)

And now the long two or more year wait begins for the final installment.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's Summer and the Reading's Hot

I am now officially on vacation. Which means I can abandon the reading my thesis requires and dive into some other books I have been waiting to read. A friend of mine was brilliant enough to score me an advance reading copy of Zadie Smith's new novel, On Beauty, and though only about 70 pages into it, it's very good and very funny.

I had to put it aside briefly to read the new Harry Potter, which I am doing at the moment. I know that a lot of people give Harry and his readers a hard time, but frankly, I think these people are snobs. I have seen people with the new Harry tucked under their arm everywhere I've gone this past week and I think it's great. Imagine - a phenomenon that doesn't involve an ugly Louis Vuitton bag and one that gets people reading at the same time. In fact, I bet that the people who think Harry Potter books are lame are the same people that own Louis Vuitton bags.

Anyway...other books that I have in my possession and I will read over the next four weeks or so are:

Utterly Monkey by Nick Laird
Here Is Where We Meet by John Berger
And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos by John Berger
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The People's Act of Love by James Meek

Monday, July 18, 2005

90210 Forever

So I'm watching Ellen this morning while basking in the glow that is finally being back with North American television, and what should be on but an impromptu mini 90210 reunion! Ellen had Luke Perry, Jennie Garth and Brian Austin Green all together in a group hug. Having seen every single episode of Beverly Hills 90210 I was, as you can imagine, on the edge of the couch in excitement.

And then I got thinking - poor Kelly Taylor (played by Jennie Garth)...she really went through a lot. In no particular order:

1. Lost her virginity by being raped.
2. Raped again.
3. Shot and killed her second rapist.
4. Cocaine addiction.
5. Eating disorder.
6. Shot in a drive-by shooting.
7. Amnesia due to shooting.
8. Accidental pregnancy.
9. Miscarriage.
10. Burned in a sorority house fire.
11. Had a stalker.
12. Mother an alcoholic.
13. Father perpetually in jail.
14. More bad news boyfriends than I can count.

Am I missing anything? I suppose I can always consult the Magic 90210 Ball. And the picture above? Had it on my wall when I was 12...around the same time I swore I would name my first-born son Dylan.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Welcome Home

To celebrate my return to Canada, the National Hockey League and the Players Association have decided to bury the hatchet and finally sign a new deal. Thanks boys. Game on!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Friday, July 08, 2005


As I pack up my flat in preparation for my move home to Toronto in a few days (how on earth have I accumulated so much stuff in just one year?) I've been thinking about the things I'm going to miss about the UK and the things I can't wait to return to in Canada. So here we go:

Top 3 Things I'm Going To Miss
1. The newspapers. While I enjoy my Saturday Globe and Mail and my Sunday New York Times, there is nothing like the huge selection of quality and not-so-quality papers in the UK. And the free stuff that comes with them...cd's, dvd's, free theatre tickets.
2. The culture. I've seen some incredible theatre, dance, and music this year that just doesn't compare to anywhere except maybe New York. Not to mention the abundance of galleries - and so many of them for free. I know I'm going to become insanely jealous when I hear about new exhibitions at the Tate Modern and National Portrait Gallery.
3. The mail. Most things don't work in this country, but Royal Mail certainly does. Oh the ecstasy of ordering something on Amazon around midnight and having it arrive the very next day.

Top 3 Things I Can't Wait To Get Back To
1. Swiss Chalet and filter coffee. Why oh why can you not get filter coffee in this country?
2. More than four television channels and having anything (stores, cafes, businesses, anything) open past five o'clock.
3. Living in a country that actually functions. The motto for this past year was: "Logic? No logic!" No, I don't want to queue for hours just to perform a task that takes less than thirty seconds. No, I don't want to argue about the ridiculously illogical thing you want me to do or you are required to do. You wouldn't believe the examples I could insert here.

Okay, so maybe that was more than three things I can't wait to return to, but I'm sure I will be looking back fondly at my first year as a Ph.D student when I'm chomping into my quarter chicken dinner with fries.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Do You Think This Is Obsessive?

Originally uploaded by sarah4855.

So I've been saving all my coffee loyalty cards from Caffe Nero in order to have one whole week of free americanos. Do you think this is obsessive?

Probably no more obsessive than getting the same drink every morning to the point where when the barista sees me walking in the door, she starts making my coffee without a word. Now that's service. Or obsession.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

For The Person Who Has Everything

When Roger Federer won his first Wimbledon title in 2003, he was presented with a gift during his next tournament, which was the Swiss Open. A customary act, except that his gift was an 800 kilogram Swiss milking cow, whom he named Juliette. The following year after winning Wimbledon again he returned to the Swiss Open and they were off the hook in terms of finding a gift, as Juliette had calved, so now two bovines were Federer's. In fact, one Guardian journalist commenting on the tennis star's growing herd said, " Perhaps he should name the progeny after the beaten finalists - 'there's Philippoussis and Roddick and Roddick II and Nadal and Gasquet.' And when they die, having beaten them he can take his time over eating them."

But the question remains...what on earth are they going to get him if he wins the title again this afternoon?