Saturday, December 31, 2005

list-o-rama

All those lists out there has made us want to compile my own. My husband and I have collaborated to bring you our own best/worst of lists for 2005. Tell us your best/ worst-of's.

Best Music:
Hurra Torpedo (specifically The Only Egil Band)
Regina Spektor
Smoosh

Best Books:
The Alchemist (not published this year but I finally read it this year and it deserves it)

Best Graphic Novels:
"Pyongyang" by Guy Delisle
"War's End" by Joe Sacco
"Carnet De Voyage" by Craig Thompson
"Jeffrey Brown's Girlfriend Trilogy": "AEIOU" was published this year and it hasn't come to a library near us yet, but we've read "Clumsy" and "Unlikely" so it makes the list on their merits.
"Embroderies" by Marjane Satrapi

Best TV:
My Name is Earl
Bright Eyes on Leno
Arrested Development

Best Other Stuff:
2 Legged Dogs

Worst Radio Show:
Freestyle

Worst Music:
K-Fed

Worst Other Stuff:
yellow (ribbons, bracelets)
more bottled water
more antibacterial soap
under-reported news stories
bigger monstrosities driving the roads

barf


Here's a book that I do not recommend unless you're 12 years old and are into the Babysitter's Club series. I was curious to know what all the hype was about but I couldn't get past the third page without barfing.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Craig Thompson

I have two more graphic novels to recommend (it's a long drive from lethbridge to edmonton). Both are by Craig Thompson: Blankets and Carnet de Voyage. Blankets is about his first love, reminds me a little of Unlikely and Clumsy, only not as sad (see November 9 and 27 posts). Carnet de Voyage is a sort of travel journal of his time in France, Spain and Northern Africa.
You can view his art and see panels from his books on his site.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

sucks:

i am on ground zero for the commercialism of Christmas, i'm a garbageman. there was twice as much garbage yesterday. i could go on, but that about sums it up.
and...
under-reported stories - hard evidence of the u.s. torturing prisoners ignored by corporate media, corporate media ownership, voter fraud, etc.
See: Project Censored

doesn't suck:

i heard "dj so-called" (Josh Dolgin). he samples almost exclusively from old albums of jewish music.
and a track from Petra Hayden's a capella version of the who's "the who sell out" album
matthew herbert's "hidden sugars" from "plat du jour". all sounds made on a coke can.

(all courtesy of CBC)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Us Little People


I just got this book out of the library and it's really cute. I think it almost has my husband wanting to convert. Carl Hiebert spent seven years befriending some Mennonite colonies in Ontario, after a hang-gliding accident left him paralyzed. They ended up trusting him enough to tell them some personal stories and let him photograph them sometimes, although it is frowned upon to have your picture taken. They say it promotes honoring a person instead of God. Here's a story from a 12 year-old girl that I thought was especially cute:
"The funniest thing that I ever heard is about a horse that bit off a Mennonite girl's braid. I imagine that she was just walking past a horse, and the horse decided that the braid looked delicious. Then, for awhile, she had just one braid. But now she is a grandmother with no braids. She still has the braid that the horse bit off. I sure hope that a horse will never bite my braid off!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

mags

I've been poisoning my mind this year with a lot of gossip magazines. My husband gets them free from his work sometimes, so in my defence, I'm not actually purchasing them. I know way too much about Brad and Angelina's courtship and about Nick and Jessica's break-up. It's disgusting, especially since I could have been spending that time flipping through one of the really great magazines that he gets, like Mother Earth News.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

flakey

A snowflake under a microscope.

Here is a chance to make your own snowflake. Hours of fun for the whole family.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

The Alchemist



I finally started reading this last night. Paulo Coelho is so digestable. Maybe it is because it has been translated, but the writing isn't pretentious, it doesn't use unnecessarily complicated language. It's simple, yet it conveys a lively picture in your mind of what you are reading. The Alchemist is about a young man who has become a shepherd because he wants to travel. A series of omens leads him on a path to discover his "Personal Legend". Another book of his, Veronica Decides to Die, is one of my favorite. Anyone that I have recommended it to who has read it, agress that it is a wonderful book. His website: http://www.paulocoelho.com.br/engl/

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Stuart McLean


My husband and I had the opportunity to see Stuart McLean last night (of the Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio). He is a storyteller/comedian. He likes to showcase young up-and-coming musical talents on these shows and one of these guys in particular was very good. His name is Owen Pallett aka Final Fantasy. He also sometimes plays with The Arcade Fire. He plays the violin and he uses a loop pedal to create several background tracks live, so it gets pretty intricate, and then he starts singing and his voice is beautiful. Here is another track of his. And a video. It was an engaging act, the best thing i have seen live in a while. The rest of the show was pretty entertaining as well, with an artist, Holly Carr, rapidly painting some back-lit silk panels as either Stuart McLean was talking or someone was playing. Stuart McLean makes me laugh. It was neat to see his eccentric physical mannerisms after only hearing his voice for so long.

PYONGYANG: A Journey in North Korea



This graphic novel is an account of the author, Guy Delisle's two months spent in North Korea, supervising an animation project. It gives a Westerner's perspective on a country devoid of all common sense, the result of totalitarian Communism and too much one-sided propaganda. I actually laughed out loud at one point, when a large group of children were throwing buckets of water on a lawn, watering it...just for "fun". There were "volunteers" sweeping the freeways, cutting the grass with scissors, among other mysterious acts, made to keep citizens out of trouble i suppose. The photograph above is probably the most ridiculous modern structure to my knowledge, the Ryugyong hotel. It was built in Pyongyang to host part of the Olympic trials in 1988 and they stopped working on it in 1989. It is over 1,000 feet tall and has 105 floors, and it is completely empty, just a concrete shell with no windows and there it will stand for who knows how long. Millions of dollars were spent building it while many of the local people were starving. The mysteries of humanity...

Monday, December 12, 2005

full circle


my parents used to make me listen to neil diamond when i was young and i went through a few stages with him including; ignorant acceptance, annoyance, hatred, curiosity, nostalgia and now, with the release of his new album, acceptance once again. in fact i bought it and i like it and not because it reminds me of the good old days of my childhood, but also because its catchy, real and raw. it would make a great christmas present for my parents... but i'm keeping it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Christmas stories


Hi, I´m not reading a lot these days but I thought I should tell you about this book the Angel doll. My mom was reading it and told me the story, I picked it up and read the ending for myself. It´s not overly sentimental but I got tears in my eyes anyway. I´m not going to tell you what it is about its short so I recommend you read it if you can find it. It´s a really sweet Christmas story and brings a real feeling of hope for mankind to my heart. I generally think mankind as a whole is pretty hopeless but some individuals can make me forget that.
This author usually writes true crime.
Please tell me about some good Christmas stories that you know about, I´m a Christmas idiot and like everything Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

harry potter six


so i read harry potter and the half blood prince, thinking that i was going to be captured with all of the suspence the other books brought me. I was disappointed. there was too much silly dating and crushes on girls etc. i think i personally am beyond that so it meant to interest 16 yr old girls (go figure).it wasnt scary enough (i heard jk had to rewrite the scary parts out) and the plot which is supposed to be a cliffhanger turns out to be a collapsed bridge. poor harry. if book seven doesnt seriously redeem him im afraid his reputation might be shot.

Monday, December 05, 2005

El español


I have decided to learn Spanish. It's either that or take over the world. So I've decided to learn Spanish.

Friday, December 02, 2005

"without change..."

"...something within us sleeps. Awaken the sleeper." -Frank Herbert
Well I have become completely bored and constricted by the purpose of this blog so I am changing it to include, well...everything. So, fellow contributers, feel free to post whatever you please.