Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday, 10:53pm

Thinking: I can't believe The Bachelor made the boring choice. I liked you Travis. I like you no longer. The kindergarten teacher? Please.

Feeling: Slightly ill due to the amount of mini-eggs I've been throwing back this evening. That the inherent stupidity men carry makes me also slightly ill. Oh Travis.

Wishing: That my thesis chapter was written. That it wasn't a chaotic mess I may soon have to abandon so I don't fall behind my schedule.

Wondering: How long I will be awake tonight, because even though I have been drinking decaffeinated tea, I'm nowhere near sleepy. Also wondering how much, subsequently, I will get to read of the wonderful new novel The Night Watch by Sarah Waters.

Hoping: Moana is the new Bachelorette.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Здравствуйте Comrade!

What better way to blast away those winter blues than by planning a fabulous summer trip? So this week I booked, with my mate Charlie, a five day adventure to St. Petersburg, Russia during White Nights.

There exists a long list of things I want to do before I die, and with this trip to St. Petersburg, I will get to check two of those items off of my list. The first - an entire day (or two) wandering around the wonder that is the Hermitage. The second - to see the Kirov Ballet at the beautiful Mariinsky Theatre. Luckily, the Kirov are performing Le Corsaire while we are in town. And when we leave the theatre after the performance, it will still be light outside! 24 hours of daylight - imagine how much trouble we can get into.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Flicks and Flickr

So my thesis is really boring me right now. I've been procrastinating by playing with my blog and fooling around on Flickr.

You may have noticed that I finally got around to adding a Recent Viewing section on the sidebar, with the films I have just screened and my rating. I also upgraded my Flickr account and can now upload tons of photographs, like these ones of my wall of photos and one of my bookshelves.

If you click on these links, you can see the individual notes I have made on these photos - a neat little feature of Flickr. And now back to work.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sushi II

Meet Sushi II. In the interest of speaking with the fewest syllables, he is actually referred to as Sushi-Two. I brought him home yesterday afternoon and he's living in Sushi-One's bowl, but seems to be enjoying the amount of space he has to swim in. It was a difficult choice - all these red and blue siamese fighting fish in their little cups on a shelf in the pet store. But Sushi II was the most excited to see my face peering into his cup, so home he came.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Wild Kingdom

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Here are a couple of videos taken at my parents' house on Vancouver Island. We are hosts to frequent furry and feathered guests - the first video is Mother Raccoon with her babies and the second is some rambunctious otters in our pond.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A Llama For Your Mama

Ordinarily I ignore the news headlines and advertisements that run along the top of my Gmail inbox, but the headline A Llama For Your Mama was too good not to click. Stuck for ideas for a romantic Valentine's Day, how about a trek with a llama and your loved one?

I laughed when I saw this, but then thought that my perfect Valentine's Day date might involve watching badgers, so I should shut up. Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Get Your War On: The Play

The highly enjoyable comic strip Get Your War On has been adapted into a play. Tonight is the last performance - if you happen to be in Austin, Texas. I have my own copy of David Rees's Get Your War On signed with this particularly endearing inscription:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Attention Ralph: I'm Totally Available

With this kind of age difference and the small stature of the male brain, you knew this was going to happen eventually - Ralph Fiennes has split with Francesca Annis. I love both of these actors and just saw Francesca Annis on stage, but Ralph: I am totally available, a British citizen, and as a conversation starter, you and my father went to the same school.

Annis has sued The Daily Mirror for defamation because they wrote that she had forgiven Fiennes for his affair. How pissed do you have to be to do that? You go girl! But Ralph - seriously, call me.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Good Night, and Good Luck

I just returned from seeing Good Night, and Good Luck and I urge you and everyone you know to see this film. It was astonishing to watch a film about the evils of McCarthyism and see how similar it is to the reactionary politics of today's presidency. Not only is this a beautiful black and white film with superb acting, it's an important film. The entire transcript from Edward Murrow's attack on McCarthy can be viewed here.

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men -- not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.....We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world, but we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home."

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Possessing (nearly) three university degrees in English Literature, having people ask me for book recommendations comes with the territory. I don't mind, in fact, I love sharing some of my favourite books and have an image in my head of one copy of such a book being passed on and on, becoming dog-eared on almost every page and looking very well-loved.

Though it came out in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is my first recommendation for 2006. The story is told by Cal, a young man living in Berlin in the present day - but Cal lived as a girl until the age of fourteen. The secret to the one malfunctioning gene that caused Cal to be born a hermaphrodite is told in a sweeping saga of three generations of a Greek family who emigrated to Detroit in the early part of the twentieth century. Apart from a beautiful story, why did I love this book? A writer must have great skill to invite the reader to invest emotionally in his characters as well the ability to present sometimes horrific incidents with a precarious edge of comedy. And an editor must have a great amount of skill to ensure that a 500+ page book does not wane in the middle or become rushed at the end, which this novel did not.

I discovered this wonderful interview with Jeffrey Eugenides by the insightful Jonathan Safran Foer which addresses issues such as the postmodern aspect of the novel, the fatigue involved in writing such a large book, authorial influences, and what he wouldn't sacrifice for his writing.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

And The Oscar Goes To...

Someone other than me.

I took this quiz from the Guardian to determine if I could be an Oscar winner. The result:

Gallant nominee. You clearly know your way around the Oscar minefield and have launched your campaign on the back of a prestige project. That said, you're still too wet behind the ears, and too much of an unknown quantity for the Academy voters. Prepare to smile and clap graciously when another name is called.

But I bet I make the best-dressed list on Entertainment Tonight.