Friday, July 31, 2009

Girls, they wanna have fun!

Last night I went to see Cyndi Lauper and Rosie O'Donnell in concert. I was trying to get tickets forever, but they were sold out. Then, randomly, one of my friends ended up having an extra ticket, and all of a sudden I got to go. It was freaking amazing. Cyndi Lauper is epic!! I used to listen to her all the time when I was younger, like that cd was on some serious rotation, but I haven't broken it out in a while. After last night, I am such a huge fan again, and I'm pretty sure I will be going out after work to purchase more Cyndi Lauper cds.

The women is 56(ish) years old and she can move. Please Lord, let me be able to dance like Cyndi Lauper when I'm nearing 60. Actually, please let me be able to dance like Cyndi Lauper now. Anyway, she has a killer voice, killer dance moves, and she's still rocking the corset. Loved every moment of it. At one point Rosie was playing the drums, then Cyndi starts playing this washboard thing, but she was wearing it over her head, vest like, and they sang "Iko, Iko". You know, my grandma and your grandma, sitting by the fire, my grandma said to your grandma, i'm gonna set your flag on fire, talking about hey now, hey now, aka, one of the catchiest songs in existence?

I was dying for a good concert too, so it was perfect timing.

Rosie was pretty funny too. I loved Rosie back in the day, I watched her show every single day after school. I was very excited to see her live...and as much as people seem to continually bash her (for no apparent reason...I mean, does anybody actually like Elisabeth Hasselbeck? Why is she still on television? That girl really needs to shut up and become informed about things before she spews off.) Anyway, Rosie was pretty damn funny.

Going to see a concert at the Fallsview Casino is a little annoying because they ummm, don't let you stand. It's kind of ridiculous. You are sitting there wanting to get up and dance, so you decide, I'm standing up!, and then the security people come and shine a light on you. They seriously have these little flashlights, and they come up to your row and shine it in your face so that everybody in the surrounding area is all, ohhhhhh, she's in trouble. It's silly.

You know it's bad when Cyndi Lauper is all, "why aren't you guys standing and dancing?", and then some random person calls out, "ummm they won't let us stand". And the look on her face is just like, goooood lord. Then she runs down into the audience, grabs a man out of his seat, and jumps up on the chair and starts rocking out. Take that Fallsview Casino management! We will dance if we wanna dance! So we got to dance from that point forward. But the guys with the flashlights? So dumb. I absolutely love feeling like I'm getting called out by the principal in the middle of a crowded theatre for simply wanting to bust a move. Whatever. Here's another stick!

I"m seriously considering dressing like Cyndi for Halloween.

Tomorrow will be Furry Saturday, because I haven't forgotten about my loves at the shelter.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Broadway Baby

I've been a big fan of musicals ever since I can remember...a big fan. I know the words to a disturbing number of showtunes and I have been lucky enough to see my fair share of musical productions. I think perhaps I love them so much is because really, what's not to love about a world where people sing all the time? I wish!

Growing up, various musical soundtracks were on constant rotation in my house. Andrew Lloyd Webber's Greatest Hits, Les Mis, Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat...basically, the soundtrack of my youth is the soundtracks of these musicals (with a little Elton John, Bette Midler, Jive Bunny and Celine Dion thrown in). My love of musicals basically started in womb and just grew from there.

The very first real musical I remember seeing was Phantom of the Opera when it was playing in Toronto. Talk about magical! I'm pretty sure I was frightening during the whole thing, but still, magical. And oh, the first time I got to go to New York City (a place that continues to hold my heart), and go see a musical on Broadway? Complete dream come true. And not only was it a Broadway play, but it was this Broadway play:

New York City + Broadway + actually getting to meet Bernadette Peters? I could have died right then and there. I bought the Annie Get Your Gun soundtrack, and I tortured my parents with it for months afterwards. "I wanna wedding in a big church, with bridesmaids and flower girls...". LOVE.

Since that initial trip, I've been back to New York a couple of times, and seen several more Broadway plays. It never gets less exciting, and I don't think it ever will. Toronto also has tons of good musicals, and I go whenever I possibly can. Something about seeing a musical in New York though, it just makes it that much more special. It's New York! It's where it all started!

I've seen so many musicals in my life now, that I seriously probably could not even remember them all if I tried. Favourites include: Wicked, Rent, Les Mis, The Colour Purple and Annie Get Your Gun. We are going back to NYC in December and I am already ridiculously excited. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE New York? I want to marry New York City.

The other day, the fam and I went to see:

It was really good. Funnily enough, I had no idea what any of the characters were saying throughout the entire play, but I still really enjoyed it. They all had really thick Caribbean accents and there was lots of Jamaican slang happening. I spent a lot of time being confused. Entertained, but confused.

I know a lot of people think musicals are cheesy, and I wouldn't disagree with that. A lot of them are pure cheese, but that what makes them so great. It's a happy, singing world, and I like to live there sometimes. Okay, I wouldn't want to live in Les Mis cause I would probably get shot, but I would love to live in a world where people sing what they are feeling, because not only would it be hilarious, it would be amazing. Let's face it, the world would be a MUCH happier place if people randomly sang and danced in unison more often.

See exhibits

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game, Part Two

I am happy to report that our softball team won our game last night! I hereby take back all comparisons to the Bad News Bears. I mean, we aren't super great by any means, but at least we didn't suck completely. And we won! Yay. I also found myself playing a little better, there was less running from the ball, and more catching of the ball. I'm not quite here yet:

But I"m working on it. All the way May! How great was the movie A League of Their Own? Definitely one of my favourite movies ever.

Remember when the other week I asked the question, who injures themselves playing softball? I now have additional things to add to my things to worry about while playing softball list. At the very top? Pulling a quad muscle. I can now say, this is an extremely painful injury, and why the hell didn't I stretch properly beforehand? I think it's because in my mind it's like, hey, it's softball, barely any effort is required. Except! Except when you are at bat, and have to suddenly sprint like there is no tomorrow for first base. So, once again, lesson learned. The lesson being: stretch properly, because sprinting will be happening. I can now not bend my left leg properly and am gimpy, but there is no game next week, so hopefully in two weeks time I'll be back to normal. Another random injury to add to list: slicing your inner arm open with your glove (or something). I was standing there playing catcher, and I looked at my arm and it was bleeding. Seriously, I have no idea what I did, but it proves to me that if there is a way to injure myself doing something seemingly benign, then I will. OY! I never cease to amaze myself with my complete spaziness.

Last night's game was great. Everybody was much more talkative. AND! There was beer, which really only makes things better. We stayed and watched a bit of the next game, and I think we are finding our groove. That groove may not be greatness, but it is a vast improvement on the obliteration that was last week. I'm not an overly competitive person (except maybe when playing board games...), but it's nice to win every once in a while. Keeps the moral high.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rain, Rain

There has been so much rain here lately, it's ridiculous. Every day, it rains! Like, you'll be driving down the road, then all of a sudden it's like, "nope, can't take the scenic route, it's flooded!". Oy with the rain already.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good thunderstorm. I am all about pretty lightening that illuminates the entire sky and booming thunder that scares the crap out of dogs everywhere. Summer storms are great. It gives one a great excuse to cuddle on the couch and read. Or whatever. Regardless, ENOUGH with the rain! As I write this, a big black cloud is slowly approaching, and I'm pretty sure in about a half hour or so, the downpour will commence. Where are we, Ireland? I'm also mad at the rain because it ruined my pedicure. Screw you random foot deep puddles everywhere! If I have to play softball in the rain tonight, I"m gonna be pissed! Like I need to add "slipping in a puddle" to my list of possible softball related calamities. Geez weather, I'm spazzy enough as it is thank you.

That being said, there is always this:


There the Earth goes, randomly impressing me with it's beauty again. I guess that makes the rain kind of worth it, cause how cool are rainbows? I'm a person that likes to know things, especially random things, so I just googled "what makes a rainbow" and I started reading, but you know what? I don't really care. Some things are just more fun to wonder about. Some times when you know the truth, you become a lot less filled with wonder. Like with Santa. Or Unicorns. How depressing was that day as a child when you realized there are no such creatures as unicorns? "Sooooooo, you're telling me I'll never be able to find a unicorn in the forest, no matter how long and hard I look?" It's a little sad. At least it was for me, a child for whom adventures and mysteries and treks and trees were a huge part of life (okay they still are..)

Anyway, I have no idea where I'm going with this, but now I've just googled "unicorns", and I can see this becoming a never ending cycle, so I"m just going to stop writing now.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Furry Friday: Feline Edition

Since this weekend is going to be filled with lots and lots of dogs, as it is Niagara's Annual Dogfest (annual, you say? yes, I never heard of it either), I thought I would make today's Furry Friday all about Felines. I give you Bella, Gracie and Linx:

I"m just going to say it, I'm not a cat person. See here. I've discovered however, that my fear is basically of unknown cats. Some of my friends have cats, and the more I am around these cats, the less I feel like running in terror. Perhaps it is just that I am now able to read cat behaviour a little better, and I know when they are going to pounce (not always though). Anyway, what I"m saying is, I'm slightly less scared of cats, but still slightly afraid. ANYHOO.

There are so many cats at the shelter during this time of year; they come in droves. Every week there is a new batch of kittens, who thankfully get adopted pretty quickly, because they are so EFFIN CUTE. I like when I stand at the desk by their cage, and all of a sudden I feel a sharp pain in my thigh/back, and try to turn around, only to discover that a kitten has attached a claw to me through the cage. Crafty devils. None the less, they are freakin cute.

Why don't a lot of people spay or neuter their cats? Seriously! A lot of people let their cats roam about at night, and did you know a female cat can have up to 3 litters a year? THAT's A LOTTA CATS. You can easily imagine how this could quickly turn into thousands of cats. It is so irresponsible as a pet owner to have an unfixed cat roaming the neighbourhood. This results in stray cats, feral cats! I mean, half the cats that come into the shelter, let's face it, more than half, cannot be adopted out, because a) there is no room, and b) they are FERAL. You think regular cat claws are scary? Wait till you meet, Old Feral Sammy, who has been living in a field with no human contact for two years. He will claw your face off, because dammit, he liked that field!

This irresponsibilty on the part of humans, the species who are able to logically connect the dots in this situation, is astounding. I'm just going to say it: do you know how many cats are euthanized at shelters each year around this time? SO MANY. And people want to get all up on their soap box and starting blaming the shelters, but the fact of the matter is, there is no room for the thousands of cats that come in every summer. People need to take responsibility for their own pets. If you don't want to spay or neuter, then don't let the cat out to roam.

Stuff like this makes me so angry, because why? Why it is even a situation? If people can't afford to responsibly care for their pet, perhaps they shouldn't have one.

I read about this really amazing local animal group who are implementing a program where they catch feral cats, spay/neuter them, then release them back into the wild. Awesome! I love when people step it up. So kudos to that group (I can't find the article now!).

Definitely stop by a shelter if you are thinking of getting a cat. There are so many, the shelter is literally filled to the brink.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Construction in the City

I experienced a very Carrie (of Sex and the City) moment this morning. My city has been full of construction since…well, the entire summer so far, and the newest addition has been sparkly new curbs. I was trying to cross the street to get to the office, and I guess I stepped on the wrong part of the curb, because all of a sudden all these construction guys were yelling at me, “heyyyyy, heyyyy, get off the curb! Get off the curb!!! Off the curb lady!!! Ohhhhhh, ohhhhhh off the curb!!” Geez, I thought construction workers only behaved like that in movies and/or TV shows! It’s not like the curb was roped off or anything! How am I possibly supposed to know that I am not to be stepping on it?

A similar thing happened to Carrie in one episode of Sex and the City where she stepped on some freshly paved sidewalk, and the construction workers had about the same reaction as I experienced this morning, except there might have been swearing. The whole thing would have seemed much more charming had it happened in NYC, because you almost expect it, but in St. Catharines, it was just…rude. How about starting with, “excuse me, but could you not step on that curb”, instead of ramping it up to full on yelling right away. Plus, it’s 8 o’clock in the morning, I’m not fully awake yet! Anyway, lesson learned: avoid the curbs in construction zones.

While I am on the topic of construction, I think I will rant a little bit longer. I enjoy watching large machines operate as much as the next person, okay, not as much as the guy who sits outside EVERY morning for hours to watch the big machines do their thang, but holy crap, when giant, metal, spiky things on wheels (wow, don’t you love my knowledge of proper machinery names?) are swinging 10 feet above your head, it becomes slightly scary. I’m not sure what the safety protocols are in this city, but you can be driving your car down the street, la de da, then all of a sudden, a huge backhoe (there it is!) shovel is hovering just mere feet above your car. Why allow people to drive down the road? My car is small, and I’m pretty sure it would be crushed instantly by a backhoe. The same thing happens when you are walking down the sidewalk. I’ve found that the best way to avoid getting hit with a random bit of machinery as you round a corner, is to first make eye contact with whatever construction worker is running said machinery, and wait until he waves you by. If you don’t do this, walking the downtown streets can be a leeetle dangerous. I suppose it is a good lesson in learning to watch out for your surroundings, but as a person who is easily distracted by life, I could be walking along minding my own business, when randomly, the song Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys pops into my head, and I’m suddenly lost in my own little world of wondering if The Beach Boys just improvised that entire song as they went along, because it is so haphazard and who was Barbara Ann anyway, and the next thing you know I’ve fallen into a large pit or something. Danger!

I’ll be excited when the construction is over with…I will not miss the constant noise or the mini earthquakes that happen in our office. It’ll be nice to have our downtown back to normal, and it’ll be nice to be able to return to my daydreaming state without having to worry about potential calamities.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I started playing softball last's a rec league, and I basically made my friend K sign up with me, because what the hell else are we going to do in this city during the summer? (besides lots of things). I used to play softball back in the day, and I was pretty good, but I was a little scared that all my old skills wouldn't come back to me. I wasn't wrong about this fear, in fact, softball is a little bit scary when you haven't played it in about oh, ten years. When I was little, I didn't worry about getting beamed in the head by a ball while running around the bases, but last night, it was all I could think about while I was out there, running from base to base. When I was 11, I didn't think that while going to catch that grounder, the ball might just keep on rolling up my glove and smack me in the face...last night I thought about it several times, once while moving AWAY from the ball heading in my direction. I fear the lack of helmets in this league. Would it look silly if I was the only one in the entire game wearing a helmet?

We got there a little late because we couldn't find the park, (I am quite possibly the most directionally challenged person I know...oh, you mean the park I've only been to about 18000 times in my life? I have NO idea where that is...). Anyway, we were late, so by the time we got there, we didn't have a chance to warm up, throw a ball, meet our was basically like, "what position do you play?", and then we were out in the field.

When presented with the "what position do you play question", I immediately responded "somewhere in the field to start", because we all know that not much happens in the field, except in this league where apparently MOST THINGS happen in the field.

Our team may or may not have reminded me a little bit of this (minus the super awesome girl)

There was a lot of running after balls, and horrible girl throws, but I"m chalking that up to first game jitters, and the fact that we badly need to practice. I got to bat twice, and I found that I am still fairly good at hitting the ball....I managed to make it to first base twice. I also managed to hurt my wrist, which is kind of embarrassing because who injures themselves playing softball?

I"m pretty sure the final score was 40 to 2 for the other team, and the only reason they didn't beat us by more was because there is a six run mercy rule per inning. Also, our team is called The Backstabbers, because there were two unfortunate incidents in which a member of our team threw the ball and pegged someone in the back. The one time I was way out in right field and the person was running from second to third and I HEARD the thunk as the ball hit their back. Ouchy.

None the less, I had a great time. I forgot how much I really love softball, and how much I enjoy team sports. I was so excited to break out my baseball mitt hand still fits perfectly. Love it.

I think our team will improve, I mean, we had JUST met each other, so I think we did pretty good considering. I guess all that matters is that it is fun, although, it would be nice to win at least one game this season! Goooooo Backstabbers!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Furry Friday

Last night's models were:
-the cutest Beagle you will ever see in your life
-and Angel, the German Shepherd cross who is a absolute dollface.

Next week I will have better pictures, as last night was a little busy.

The cutest Beagle you will ever see in your life (TCBYWESIYL) is a lovely dog, and I hope she gets adopted soon. Beagles just have that look about them that make them look sad allll the time. I don't know that dogs can actually feel "sad" though, so it's probably just the perception of the human.

Last night I was standing in the kennel when a girl walked in to look at the dogs, and as soon as she saw TCBYWEVIYL, so started to bawl. Which is awkward, I mean, I was RIGHT next to her. Do I pat her on the back? Give her a hug and tell her she doesn't need to be sad for these dogs, because they get a lot of love? I went with saying, "you okay?", to which she replied "it's just hard for me to see them in here". I get that, I do, but really...better in the shelter being fed and sheltered and loved, then say, out in the street as a stray, or being in a situation that is abusive or neglectful. I just don't find it sad. Yes, oftentimes the situation that the dog came from is sad, but it's not anymore. Being a shelter dog is not an ideal life for them I'll give you that, but it is a step above many other situations. There are a lot of great volunteers that work with the dogs at the shelter, and those dogs are loved, they are absolutely loved.

I'm sure there are some shelters that are way worse, and have many more dogs that don't get nearly enough attention, but from where I'm standing, most of the dogs in our local shelter have it pretty good. I'll admit it irritates me a bit when people think that the dogs lead this dreadful life in there. They don't know half of it. Some of the stories I've heard break my heart, but the shelter itself, specifically the adoption room in the shelter is more about hope than me at least. When I'm there, I"m doing everything I possibly can to make the lives of these dogs better, so DO NOT come in there and cry to me about how awful the dogs have it. Just don't. I get that it is an emotional situation, I do, but please.

A note on Lucy the elephant, and why I LOVE Bob Barker:

Lucy is a female Asian elephant living alone in a small enclosure in the Edmonton Valley Zoo. Zoocheck has been working with Bob Barker to try to get Lucy moved to a sanctuary in the USA. Lucy suffers from arthritis and has had chronic foot infections, the leading cause of death in zoo elephants. On top of all of that, Lucy is alone, which is akin to torture for a highly social animal.

In addition to the letters that have been sent to council, a petition has been set up to ask the Edmonton City Council to move Lucy to a sanctuary.
Please take a moment and sign the petition and send it to everyone on your
list. Lucy will appreciate your support.

Thanks for your continued support of the campaign to get Lucy moved to a

That's it for today! I'm leaving for the cottage in t minus 6 hours, and I cannot wait.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter!

I swear, this is the last Harry Potter post for..a while, I mean, how much can I possibly talk about Harry Potter? The answer to that question is...a lot, but I"ll refrain.

I thought the movie was great, especially if you are a fan of the books. I can see however, how someone who has never read any of the books might be a leeetle bit confused as to what the hell is going on. Nonetheless...great movie. The person who does the casting for this moving is absolutely brilliant I must say, because they get the characters dead on every time. Jim Broadbent as Professor Slughorn? Perfection! I guess this can also be credited to JK Rowling's skill as a writer that she can describe her characters so completely.

The theatre was basically full, and it was pretty amazing how quiet it was. I mean, during Dumbledore's death scene, you couldn't even hear people breathing. I was pretty amazed, because usually you get at least one annoying group of people who don't shut up, but not at this movie!

I've recently decided that if anyone asks me the "who are the three living people you would have lunch with if you could?" question in the near future, JK Rowling would for sure be on my list. I can't imagine how cool it would be to have lunch with her.

As for the other two people, I used to think one would always be Madonna, because I have been a huge fan of hers since I can remember (one day I'll do a post on how exactly this came about)...but I would be really worried she would actually turn out to be a huge biatch. And I think that would crush me just a little bit. So I"m unsure if Madonna would make the list. As for the third person, that remains a toss up. Bill Bryson? Rick Steves? Amy Sedaris? (how funny would that lunch be?) Anyway, this has gone off topic.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a grrrreat movie, and as always, it is nice to see that magical world come to life.

Off to the shelter soon to see my puppies...I'm excited!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This is where I go...

when I'm feeling a bit stressed, when I'm worrying about this and that, or I'm sad about this and that, I remember this place and its perfect silence, and everything is alright in the world. This place, I mean, it's so beautiful, it is hard to believe it exists, yet it does. Hiking up a rocky path and having this view as my reward? Amazing. This world never fails to blow my mind.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Summa Time!

Yesterday was the perfect summer day...the one I was waiting for. Summer has begun. The weather says otherwise, but that feeling is there. We spent all day yesterday at:

It was so relaxing. The weather was perfect, the vibe was right, and we spent much of the day laughing which is always needed. The festival is held right in a huge park by the beach, and it is just non stop music all day. Everybody is really welcoming and nice to each other, and it is a really great community event. The music is a little twangy, as a lot of the musicians are from Texas, but we all need a little twang in our lives every so often.

I came across this website recently called Help Others, and it is all about random acts of kindness. Basically you sign up, and they then send you these free "smile cards" that say something like "Smile, You've Just Been Tagged". For example, you are going through a drive thru, and you decide to pay for the car behind you. You then hand the cashier one of these cards, and then ask him/her to give it to the person, so that they can then "pay it forward". The website is run by anonymous people, and I think it's pretty effin great. I mean, especially in the kind of world we live in, where people are always rush rush rush, and barely take the time to smile at each other, I imagine it would improve your mood considerably to get one of those cards. It's almost a little bit silly, and I can imagine that some people would scoff at the idea, but below the surface of 1990s esque smiley faces on cards, it is just a really nice idea.
They list some random acts of kindness ideas on their website, and I thought these were pretty cool, and might brighter some one's day quite a lot. I mean, most times, it doesn't take much.

-tape the exact change needed to a vending machine
-pay for some one's order behind you in the driv thru line
-pay for some one's toll fee on the highway
-leave flowers in front of some one's house (although this might immediately be met with suspicion, and a continuing obsession about who the flowers were from, which might not be so much of a gift after all)
-leave a cd with some of your favourite songs in a random place (on a bus...on a bench). Leave a favourite book with a note!

...and the list goes on

The website just makes me happy. And yes I ordered some cards. As dumb as the cards themselves may be, I can't imagine anyone getting one and not smiling.

I don't have my cards yet, but last night at the Cicada Fest, I thought I would try out my first (well, not my first in my life, but my first since reading this website), random act of kindness. It seemed like an appropriate setting. Anyway, we had left over food/drink tickets, so on the way out I told the lady at the ticket desk to just give those tickets to whoever came up to buy them next. The lady was like "that's so nice!", and then was just all smiley. So not only was she happy, the person who got free tickets was probably also happy. Not the hugest or most exciting random act, but it shows just how easy it is to spread a little happy around.

I can't wait to get the cards, I"m gonna pass them out allll over town.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Furry Friday

I've decided Furry Friday is going to be a weekly feature on this here blog, because I will use any possible opportunity to go on and on and on about dogs.

This week's photo shoot didn't go so well, as I was slightly distracted. I was doing an orientation with a new walker, and he ended up bringing his young daughter because the babysitter cancelled, so I basically spent most of my evening making sure she wasn't getting mauled by a dog. So, the photos were few and far between. Dogs are hard enough to photograph when one is not distracted. Anyway, yesterday's model was Hunter:

This week was like Beagle week or something...there were so many Beagles. They were all baroooooing at the same time too, and by the time I left at 9 pm, my head was pounding. All the dogs last night were lovely...usually there is one I am not sure of, but they were all so good yesterday.

Last night also involved a training session on Bite Prevention, which is always welcome. Any training that I can get at the shelter involving dogs, I am all over. Any training that includes helping me not get bitten, I am all over X 2. One of the walkers got bit in the face last week, and he was there last night. Ouchy. Don't want that to be me. Last night was a lot about reading dog behaviour, something that is extremely important when dealing with dogs you have no known history about.

Tips from last night on tail wagging, which I have generalized completely:
-Low wagging tail-submissive, dog is probably not going to bite
-Tail flicking back and forth quickly-yeah, the dog might bite cha
-Tail wagging high, back and forth-cocky dog, dominant dog, you might get bitten
-Tail wagging in a circular motion-dog is likely safe

That was the kind of thing we went over, and as simple as it sounds, it is so important to know stuff like this, both for the safety of the dog and the human. We were working specifically with the stray dogs, also known as "last chance dogs". I"m going to try working in there for a while, but I don't know if my heart will be able to take it.

Anyway, I'll try for some better pictures next week...hopefully it won't be so hectic.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

I"m not usually a fan of book to movie adaptations, and this film was no exception. I actually kind of hated it. It was willing you to cry at every possible moment, and granted it is a really sad story, but geez! The girl beside me was crying uncontrollably and blowing her nose extremely loud, which made me and my friend K start to laugh hysterically. It was an awkward moment, because who wants to be the girls hysterically laughing at a movie about a girl dying from cancer? That was us! I did tear up at some points, but for me, it was no Marley and Me sobfest. Marley and Me was another book to movie, but I thought they did an exceptionally good job. The characters had actual depth, and the story was one that most everybody could relate to. It was relatable and it was honest, especially about relationships (be it with a significant other or a pet), and I guess that why I liked it so much better. I digress.

The thing that bugged me the most about the movie version of My Sister's Keeper-

-SPOILER WARNING- that they changed the entire ending of the book. Changed it in such a way that it is the complete opposite of the ending in the book, and delivers a completely different message. Maybe it bugs me so much because I am a writer, but if I were Jodi Piccoult, I would be pissed! Here's something she spent months (I"m assuming) working on, intending her story to have a very specific ending, and the filmmakers completely disregard that. If you are going to adapt a story that somebody wrote, adapt the whole story! Granted, movies based on books are always slightly different than the story in the book, usually because the amount of information in a book is way more than you could possibly fit it a movie. I understand picking and choosing certain parts. But the ending? That seems like a pretty important part of the story!

There were also scenes in the movie that were so drawn out that it was ridiculous...if they had shortened some of those scenes (hello, how long can we spend at the beach??), they would have had an opportunity for more character development and a little more explanation behind the characters motivations. At the end of the movie they do this whole "where are they now" type of segment, which is fine, but they provide absolutely no back story as to why the characters are suddenly doing these things. It was like, "the dad has now quit his job as a firefighter and is teaching boxing to inter city youth", which, good for him, but why is he randomly doing that? There was no lead up in the previous part of the movie which would lead the audience to believe this was something the dad would even have a remote interest in doing. And the part about how the brother has now "turned his life around?" The movie never showed his life being messed up! In the book he was a pyro, but in the movie he was...just there, so when it showed him being all successful and whatnot, it was odd because the movie gave no reason for why he might not have been successful. End rant.

Now, I didn't particularly like the ending of the book, but I did think it presented an interesting perspective on the idea of fate and destiny, and the movie totally screwed with that. Not even screwed with it, but completely disregarded it. That's like taking the end of Gone With the Wind and making them live happily ever after!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ohhh Harry Potter, how I love thee

I cannot even wait. I love Harry Potter so much. As much as some people may mock this love, I can't deny it. I love the books, and I love the movies by extension because they bring to life a world, that in my opinion, is just really damn cool and inventive. I envy JK Rowling's imagination; I think she's brilliant.

In preparation for the new movie (nerd alert!), I recently reread the 6th Harry Potter book, which I loved even more the second time. Finishing this book led me to reread the last Harry Potter book, and suffice to say, the last week has been consumed with Harry Potter.

The new movie comes out next week, and I will be purchasing tickets tomorrow. I am ridiculously excited!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

What Girl Doesn't Like Fireworks?

I didn't always love fireworks. When I was little, they scared the crap out of me. I hated loud noises in general, and I found that whenever we went to see fireworks anywhere, they would always manage to sneak in those ones that you don't see sailing upwards, but then suddenly explode with a bang that changes the rhythm of your heart. I believe they were known as "cherry bombs" (those bastards!) I would usually watch fireworks displays with my hands covering my ears or I would watch from in the house. Fireworks happened every year sometime around my birthday (which usually falls on or near Victoria Day).

As I got older, I stopped covering my ears, and I ventured outside, and my fondness for fireworks eventually grew into what it is today: big love.

During high school, my birthday celebration continued to include fireworks, and every year my group of friends would gather in the backyard for a little BBQing, and a display of pyrotechnics. The boys were in charge of actually doing the lighting, while us girls sat on the deck far out of harms way. The backyard at the house I grew up in was huge and had ample space for fireworks: it was perfection.

One of the boys would light the firework that was sitting in the bucket filled with sand, then run for his life up to the deck. One year the neighbours a couple of doors down were also having a fireworks display, and very shortly into the night, a fireworks war erupted. We were poor high school students, and fireworks are expensive, so the war didn't last long, at least not on our part. The war did include trash talk though, and it produced such threats/insults such as: "This one is called...your mother!!", "what was that one called...crap?". And the forever funny no matter how much time has passed gem, "oh my god, you just shot me in the leg!!". The grand finale on that particular night included all of us grabbing and lighting as many sparklers as we could (we had run out of fireworks), and jumping up and down in my backyard to create the illusion of big time fireworks. I don't think it worked. It was so fun.

The birthday fireworks are no longer, as the group has dispersed and the house has been sold. The new yearly tradition of watching fireworks now takes place on Canada Day (what better reason for fireworks??). These fireworks are of the professional variety, and quite frankly, a lot more spectacular. Our group usually becomes the cheering squad, yelling things like "nice fire!", and ooohhhhing and ahhhhing our little hearts out. I love fireworks.

This past weekend I was at a party that also included fireworks, but unlike high school (what? we were good kids..), added some alcohol to the mix. Fireworks and alcohol is a really dumb combination. And I feared for my life at several points during this firework display. It was especially amusing/terrifying when the boys were holding the fireworks while setting them off. "It's just a roman candle, don't worry!". Yeah, I"m sure that what's one eyed joe said right before the fireworks display last Canada Day.

This led me to google "firework related injuries", and unshockingly, a whole lot of them happen every year. Mostly to men. Probably mostly to men that have been drinking beer.

Next fireworks holiday: labour day. Cannot wait.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Furry Friends of the Week

When dogs come into the shelters in pairs, they like to adopt them back out in pairs. I mean, they will adopt them out separately, but it is always so much nicer when animals that are bonded can go to the same home again. It's weird, usually with dogs in pairs, there is always kind of one that I like better than the that I would so love to take home, and one that I wouldn't necessarily take home, but would just so they can still be friends. These two dogs however, I loved them both. Scruffy dogs get me every. damn. time. These dogs were so good and lovely. Scruffy as hell, and in need of a good bath, but so lovely. It stresses me out, a little too much I must say, that there is a possibility of these two dogs going to different homes. Gah! They get along so well, and have been clearly together since they were born.

Sometime when I get to the shelter, I am afraid to ask what actually happened to some of the dogs that I loved, because sometimes I don't want to hear it. I have a feeling these guys will be gone by next week, and I can only hope that wherever their new home is, it includes both of them. Realistically, I probably care more about them staying together then the dogs do, I do have a horrible habit of anthropomorphising animals. But I just can't get over the whole, "but look at them, they are friends!" mentality.

Anyway...visit shelters before pet stores and breeders!! :)
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