Thursday, April 26, 2007

There's a Feud Brewin' in Genoa City

Ahhhh it's a Y&R day again. Victor and Brad are going at it cuz Brad slept with Sharon (When the heck did I miss that!?) and Nikki couldn't keep her trap shut about it.

I just thought that it would be a fun idea to do a book of Y&R's most memorable moments, because man, there were some outrageous ones. (Whatever happened to Nina by the way?) Lo and behold, somebody already did it.

Line of the day blurted by Nikki Newman to Victoria Newman: "Phyllis could drive anybody to drink."

Oh they are so sneaky and conniving on this show! Times are always exciting in Genoa City.

Drawing the Line

Today I'm enjoying a rainy day off. I'm planning to spend at least a good hour or two on Suite Francaise because I simply haven't had made the time to devote to it that I should.

I'm really struggling with drawing that line between work/personal time. I've gotten used to logging in and doing some work from home in the evenings, and having started this new position, I'm very tempted to work all the time to bring myself up to speed on everything THAT much faster! But I can't do that. Luckily I have a boss who has flat out told me I can't do that. After only a week, I can tell I could easily burn out in this job if I don't allow for that personal time to do stuff for me and my family.

So, I'm forcing myself to leave the laptop in its bag, to set the Blackberry down on the table and not be drawn to it every time it buzzes. (I haven't been able to bring myself to set it to quiet just yet.) :-D

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's All Mush

As you can tell from my lack of creativity in my previous post's title (which should have been something along the lines of "Blood, Guts, and Crack, Oh My!" or actually, maybe "Bloody Hell, That's a Crack of a Good Book." Okay, I'll stop.) my brain is tired.

You know when you start a new job, there is so much input and a very little output that your brain starts turning to mush.

Yah, that's me. It's day two. But honestly? I can totally see that once I get over the wee little speed bump of a learning curve, I'm going to kick ass at this job.

I just keep telling myself to look back at where I was three years ago. Now think three years ahead.

Am I making any sense here? Maybe I should call it a night... :-P

Blood Sports by Eden Robinson

Anyone who has ever met Eden Robinson knows that she is spectacularly outgoing and generally a very happy person. She's one of those people who has an infectious laugh and when you're around her your happy-factor jumps up a notch.

Therefore, when reading Blood Sports it was initially hard for me to disconnect this brilliantly graphic book from Eden's happy persona. But that only lasted for a few chapters because she has this great ability to reach out to the reader and grab them by the collar and pull them right into the scene.

Blood Sports is the tough, gritty story of the brutal cat-and-mouse relationship between two cousins — Tom Bauer and Jeremy Reiger — set in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

Tom, a young man, hardly innocent, has been caught up over the years in Jeremy’s world of drugs, extortion, and prostitutes, while Jeremy, vindictive, vicious, either protects Tom or uses him, but always controls him. Added to the mix is Paulie, a junkie two years clean and Tom’s girlfriend, and also the mother of his daughter. This lethal triangle shifts when word gets out Tom has been talking to the police, and men from the past who have a lot to lose reappear. Suddenly Tom and Paulie are pawns in a much larger game, with everything at stake.

I really wish I had read this one with a book club because I would have loved to talk about so many things in this book. And the best part, IMHO, is that the ending is left up to your imagination. And by the end of this, you're imagining things that you probably never would have dreamt of.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Book Sale Goodies

Like a kid in a candy store, I snatched up some goodies at the book sale yesterday. Two full boxes, in fact! I found several that were on my "Gotta read that!" list. Here are some of my best scores:

1. Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
2. Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook
3. Perfume by Patrick Suskind
4. A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon
5. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
6. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
7. Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

And in Audio...
1. Celebrations by Maya Angelou
2. The Nanny Diaries Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (read by Julia Roberts)

And this is just the'll be a while before I come down from my massive pile-o-books high.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Canada Loses a Gem

(photo by david henderson)
You can see her last interview here (CBC's The Hour).

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A Classic Education

This week I've started listening to the unabridged audio version of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, read by Sissy Spacek. I can't believe I'm thirtysomething, and I'm just now getting around to this classic. And I'm adoring it! I think it was my childhood obsession with all things Ramona Quimby that makes me partial to adult fiction written from a child's point of view. (By the way, I hate the new repackaged editions of the Ramona series. The older covers were near and dear to my heart! The new covers just aren't feisty enough.)

I digress.

Back to the point. I don't feel that I had a very broad education when it comes to the classics. I was required to read Great Expectations THREE TIMES throughout my schooling for pete's sake. I missed out on not only the fantastic Harper Lee, but also on the Brontes, Austen, James, and so many more.

I did, however, have excellent coverage in poetry, some of which I have actually retained, and so at some point before this month is over, I'll somehow find the time to post about that. In the meantime, check out what CBC's Words at Large are doing for Poetry Month.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

U is for Unexpected

C.S. Richardon's The End of the Alphabet is a little package that packs a surprising punch. As you navigate the early pages of the book you find yourself thinking that you're not attached to these two people, to their situation. Here is Ambrose Zephyr, fifty-ish, and married to Zappora (Zipper) Ashkenazi. Ambrose is suddenly diagnosed with an unnamed terminal illness, which sends him on a mad whirlwind tour of some of the places he has always loved and/or has always wanted to see (in order from A to Z). Zipper is dragged along for the ride, wanting to deal with what's happening to them, but suffering in silence for her love.

And suddenly, somewhere in there, I don't know how it happened. I cared. These two people whom I barely know, and yet am given little glimpses of their lives - just enough, and just precisely the right parts - to make me care and feel connected to them. It was at that point that I had to stop and make note of how I felt. Around page 114...

I feel like I'm on a rollercoaster that's climbing, climbing, slowly climbing its way to the top of the tallest peak. Clink by clink I feel the anxious pool of panic swell and spread across my chest as the tears are just welling to the brink, and are suddenly pushed back, not yet allowed to spill for the impending loss of love that Zipper is trying to acknowledge.

I need to take a breather before moving on to the next book in my Spring Reading list. I love it and hate it at the same time, when a book leaves me with that feeling.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Some Pig!

With my long hours of commuting to work, I've learned to love audiobooks. It took some getting used to, but now I actually (sort of) look forward to the drive because I can continue the story where I left off and lose myself into another world (partially) for an hour or so. People can tailgate and cut me off all they want, and somehow I don't care.

Usually, I steer clear of audiobooks that are read by the author, but I've found one that you absolutely MUST hear, even if you are not a fan of audiobooks.

Charlotte's Web is a short audiobook -- only 3 discs long -- but every moment of it is something to be cherished. It is read by E.B. White himself, and there couldn't be a better reader for it. It's as if your grandfather is reading you a story. You can even hear him turning the pages now and then!

It's such a heartwarming story, and it really comes alive when it's read aloud. I remember my first exposure to Charlotte's Web. I was in third grade, and my teacher read the book aloud to our class at the end of every day until we finished. It really made a huge impact on me, I guess, because I still love the story. And this is the second time I have listened to this version of the book.

Have a listen using the handy little widget above, and tell me what you think!

It's a Young and Restless Friday

I love being home on a weekday to catch up on trashy daytime tv. And my big thrill for today was the fact that they finally killed off Dru on the Young and the Restless. Hallelujah! That woman drove me nuts for YEARS on that show. Now if they could only do something about Victoria. And Nikki. Oh, and Sharon's really irking me too.

Why am I watching this again? :-D

Thursday, April 05, 2007

When I Grow Up...

Squeeeee! A week from Monday I will be starting a new position in my company, and I couldn't be more excited about it because it's giving me that feeling that I'll get to do what I really want to do. And it's gotten me thinking about all the different types of things that I thought I wanted to be when I grew up, and I'm slightly off track from that. Okay, well maybe a lot off track.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: (in chronological order)

1. Teacher. I used to have an old school desk in my bedroom, and I would make these tests up and force my friends to sit at the desk and take the test so I could grade it. I think they put up with it so they could swim in our pool.

2. Lawyer. I have no idea where this one came from. I remember talking with my dad about it when I was about 11. I think it came from watching Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show.

3. Muppeteer. I always had an affinity for Kermit. And I just couldn't STAND it when amateurs tried to make their sock puppets talk, and yet they got the hand motion backwards! Your hand is supposed to OPEN when the words are spoken. For some reason, it's a big pet peeve of mine. Anyway, I gave up this dream when I realized I would have had to move to California where it was really hot. :-D

4. Video director for Weird Al Yankovic. No, I'm not kidding! I was obsessed with Weird Al in junior high, particularly his polkas. I would envision stage versions of them and plan out the video in my head. I think I gave this one up when I discovered that liking Weird Al was not cool with the popular cliques. Don't tell anyone that I still listen to him now and then. And I can still picture my big polka productions.

5. Actress on Broadway. There is nothing like standing on stage in front of a full house, belting out a solo and getting all the attention. Oh, I loved being in musicals in school. My last role was Meg Brockie (the town whore) in Brigadoon. My Scottish accent sucked, but I was great at stealing the show. ;) I did realize though, that it was unlikely that I would make it to Broadway, and would probably die a starving wannabe actress.

6. Stage manager. I gave up the bright lights for the life behind the curtains for several years. Being a stage manager was completely fulfilling for me, blending the creative side with the organization and administration of it all. I think I just loved being in charge. Unfortunately there's not much money to be made here either.

7. Music teacher. In the early years of university, I thought this was it for me. Until I took an exploratory teaching class, and they placed me as a student teacher with 7th and 8th graders. I quickly changed my mind about that profession. Those kids are brutal!! Luckily for me though, I already had enough credits at that point for a music minor, so that made me happy enough.

8. Webmaster. When I gave up on the idea of teaching, I turned to computers as my new hobby, and it quickly became an obsession. I taught myself html, and spent all my spare time online building websites and writing iptscrae for The Palace (geez, does anybody remember that now?). I think this dream stuck, and I've been floating somewhere nearby this profession ever since...

What I actually became:
1. Web Developer
2. Software Quality Analyst
3. Senior SQA, E-commerce Team Leader
--changed careers & industries--
4. Marketing Assistant
5. Marketing & Publicity Coordinator
6. Marketing Manager
7. Publicity Manager
8. Online Marketing Manager (My new job!! Yeah!!)

Do you think that we ever really stop wanting what we don't have? Do we always yearn for the next great thing? When I took a career management training course in between my big career switch, they told us that on average, a person will change careers (not jobs, actual careers) seven times in their life. SEVEN TIMES! Doesn't that seem like a lot? I'm starting to not believe it, at least for myself, because I feel like I've found the industry that I fit in. At last, I feel like the job is right. (Holy crap, the planets have aligned!)

Maybe the seven career changes are for the people who are meandering through their lives not really focusing on what it is they really want to do. The career management training was fantastic, because it forced me to focus on figuring out what my skills, talents, and desires were, and it narrowed down my ideal career options. I would totally recommend going through that process to anyone who is not happy in their current career. It could truly change your life!

So tell me, what did you want to be when you grew up? Did you do it?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Pillow Talk

Good grief. My first post in April and we're already four days in. This has been a wild and busy week, and I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted! Can't wait for my head to hit the pillow.

Speaking of hitting pillows...I saw this story on Global News tonight, and it was like watching a train wreck.

Apparently pillow fighting has become an official sport.

Are you kidding me??

They've applied rules and regulations to pillow fighting and created a league. Oh, and check out their costumes and stage names. Digit Jones? Betty Clock'er? Okay, that part's kinda funny. But I bet some horny guys must be pretty pleased with themselves for creating this.

The Pillow Fight League (PFL) leads the way as the most exciting and innovative new wave in sports entertainment. Featuring strong female combatants, the PFL is engaged in the unprecedented whip-action attack of pillow fighting. Not just for the slumber-party sleepover anymore, these women are serious brawlers - armed with beauty, brains and a nasty disposition. The contests are fast-paced and furious, with flying feathers and hard-hitting moves. There are various ways to win a match, with a referee always on hand to keep the hair-pulling and scratching to a minimum.

Seriously though, am I the only one scratching my head on this one? Would you want your daughter to aspire to be a professional pillow fighter so a crowd of guys could get their kicks? Cause you know they're not watching it for the educational value. ;)

Whatever. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky. Maybe my sense of what's good entertainment is skewed from what tends to be the norm these days. I don't like Survivor. Or American Idol. Or The Bachelor. There, I said it. Flog me if you must.

But I'm somehow transfixed by Dancing with the Stars. Crap, what's wrong with me!? :-D

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