Saturday, December 18, 2010
And I wanted to do a nice mix of the ladies I listen to. They are all amazing women, with beautiful songs... so let's just sit back and enjoy!!
one. Erin McCarley - Blue Suitcase
two. Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken
~cute video too!
three. Florence & The Machine - Cosmic Love
~this one is an old favourite. It reminds me of a time in Maine... jumping up and down in the hallway... this song on repeat.
four. Ingrid Michaelson - Mountain and the Sea
~I am sort of hoping for a ukulele for Christmas... and this is one of the first songs I want to play.
five. Cheryl Cole - Parachute
~fun fact: this song was actually written by Ingrid Michaelson! (weird video though...)
six. Laura Jansen - The End
Sunday, December 12, 2010
And for comedic relief:
So I am going to call this post simply 'Kick Ass Christmas Gifts' and even though I picked them because I love all of them... they would be awesome gifts for lots of people. So take notes...
This is probably the coolest craft book I have come across. This isn't your grandma's craft book.... these aren't Popsicle sticks and white glue crafts.... these are useful, hip (this word never looks cool but I am going to use it) and awesome.
If you put this under the tree it is like 150 gifts... on gift per craft idea.
See more HERE
I dig this back pack.... that is all.
Check it out HERE.
Now I know how some people feel about receiving socks for Christmas... but these socks are different. These are possibly the coolest socks I have ever seen. They have a million different colours too... weird colour variations. I like everything about these... this coming from a person who wears work sock over skinny jeans everyday... so I guess I have to remember my audience.
See more HERE.
This is just hilarious and genius and of course comes from one of my favourite online shops, Mod Cloth. They always have the most amazing things.... like this sandwich coaster set. Imagine your guests could set down their drink on a fresh slice of Wonder Bread, or hey on some lettuce! This would be an awesome gift for that quirky person who loves to entertain... or my dad.
Hungry? See it HERE.
How cool is this? I saw on of these at the mall the other day and I was blown away by how genius it is! They have taken the record player out of the box... or hey out of the coffee table (how are turntables in huge pieces of wood furniture helpful?).
You could easily move this, and easily play some great music. Love it.
Love it more HERE.
Oh! and happy shopping!!
ps... I know I said this isn't a wish list... but this is:
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I just love Christmas. I love making gifts for my friends and family, and I love the time you get to spend with all those you love. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.... like a Snuggie.
So here goes...
I will start it all off with my ABSOLUTE favourite! She & Him.... it is the brainchild of Zooey Deschanel (from 'Elf' and '500 Days of Summer' and M.Ward (a genius musician... look up 'Chinese Translation'). This is there rendition of the 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas'
Second is a song I am always playing at the radio station I work for... People are always calling to ask what it is called because it is super adorable. It's Colbie Caillat and it's called 'Mistletoe'.
My love for music with banjo just overflows with this song... love it, live it.... Sufjan Stevens.
This is THE cutest music video that has ever existed... and it is not really a Christmas song but this can also be my winter playlist... this one makes me what to snuggle up with some hot cocoa. It Ingrid Michaelson and Sarah Barielles teaming up for 'Winter Song'.
And lastly, this is always one of my favourites... from a few years ago... Death Cab for Cutie with 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)'.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
They Fight Like Children, They Die Like Children by Romeo Dallaire
Conversations with Myself by Nelson Mandela
The Book Thief was published in 2005 and is written by Australian author Markus Zusak. It is set in Nazi Germany, but instead of that same old tale of a Jewish man or woman struggling against the Nazi's (not that these aren't important stories), this book takes WWII and spins it on it's head. It put you right in the action, starting in 1938, with an unconventional German family who struggle with how to react to a war they do not agree with. Leisel Meminger is the main character, she is followed by the narrator, who interestingly is some version of the grim reaper, and she soon becomes what he, almost lovingly, refers to her as "the book thief". She is brought to the Hubermann home as a foster child after her Communist mother drops her off and runs away. From there the book chronicles her life with Hans and Rosa Hubermann, her relationship with a German boy with hair the colour of straw, and a hidden Jewish fist-fighter along the way.
AND THAT, is all I am going to tell you about the plot.
What I will tell you is that this book is absolutely riveting. It is considered by some to be a children's book, more like a young adult read I would say, but still, this is really a book that anyone would enjoy. Markus Zusak takes literary conventions and completely turns them on their head. The most interesting part of this book is that the narrator, or Death, is constantly foreshadowing actions to come or he will just outright tell you what is going to happen before it happens. It is a very unconventional way to write, and it may seem, by just reading this, that it would be confusing... it isn't. Everything is very clear and concise, and at the end of the day once he tells you what is going to happen you cannot help but keep reading long into the night to find out HOW it happens. This is pretty genius I think. It keeps the read moving flawlessly forward, and at the same time the reader is constantly engaged and excited about what will come next.
The second thing that makes this books on of the best on the list yet is poetics. This book is by all standards written like a novel, but the narration is so smooth and often extremely poetic that is helps the reader to reflect on what has happened, and what you know is coming. Whoever thought Death could be to expressive (and I mean Death the narrator, not death itself). Here are a selection of my favourite quotes without giving too much away:
“Upon her arrival, you could still see the bite marks of snow on her hands and the frosty blood on her fingers. Everything about her was undernourished. Wirelike shins. Coat hanger arms. She did not produce it easily, but when it came, she had a starving smile.” pg. 31
"I am haunted by Humans."
"I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." pg 528
I can elaborate more later, but what I will say is... go out and get this book. Read it, learn from it, and let it take over, because you really can get lost in the world of Death and Leisel Meminger.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I'm thinking that this playlist will show you exactly what kind of mood I am in:
First up... Mark Ronson - The Bike Song
Two: Lykke Li - Until We Bleed
3. For the holiday season... THE best X-mas song ever (just imagine me tap dancing to it)
"fore!". An Old School rap throwback... A Tribe Called Quest - Stressed Out
5ive: Just TRY not to bob your head up and down to this one... I dare you... just TRY!
~Midfield General ft. Linda Lewis - Reach Out
666: ...in celebration of new XFactorUK videos up on the internetz... a little
Cheryl Cole - Fight For This Love
VII - and just to bring it full circle today...
more Mark Ronson and the Int'l Business - Bang Bang Bang
~ sidenote: I have had this song on repeat for dayyyyyyys
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Watch this documentary below that recently won "Best Documentary" Award from Vimeo. I am just totally blown away by the pacing, cinematography, and the story. This is what documentary is all about... making us feel something... sharing emotion between people... reflecting together. Documentary doesn't have to be focused on injustice, greed, and theivery, documentary can capture moments that YOU care about, that YOU live everyday. It is these moments that just pass us by, that we think no one else cares about... these moments can be art.
Monday, November 8, 2010
And to whoever invented fireworks? My hat off to you.
*blog title from Katy Perry's song Firework
You can find more here. (Tip... be sure to click the "next page" button on the menu bar, it takes you to more pictures.)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I must say that I spend a lot of my self-alloted internet time reading other people's blogs (and sometime becoming very green with envy over their very artistic ventures!).
How genius is that little table.... two words: want it.
I am pretty new to this blog: Hollister Hovey
It is more of a "guy blog" than I am used to but it always makes me smile.
It is very earthy and old school... for example this week it presented this gem:
OF all things... one way you could decribe me is "quilt lover".
I love, love, love quilts. And so does Joanna from Cup of Jo.
This week she posted this quilt:
Just look at that beauty of a quilt... not to mention the cute little dog.
I think this one is pretty self- explanatory... but I will clarify.
Cutest pregnant woman EVER:
It's Diana again from Rockstar Diaries!
I'm sorry if this was too much cute all at once for you!
...until next time...
Sunday, October 31, 2010
I count myself as a pretty brave person... I can act like a fool on air and I experiment with different foods....but when it comes to Horror flicks I am a 10 year old again, cowering under the bed, and screaming at a decibel that can shatter windows. I can do romances, I can do comedies, I can even do action (as long as there isn't muchh shooting or blood... picky aren't I?), but I cannot, CANNOT, CAN.....NOT do horror films. In my whole life I have seen 3 horror flicks.
1. Psycho: I had to watch it for a film studies class, but my eyes were closed 99% of the time, and I took some pretty un-healthily long bathroom breaks.
2. Carrie: Not so bad until you get to the prom part... let's just say I was reduced to a blubbering idiot.... and the blood.... okay I need to stop here.
3. House of Wax...you know the one where you can watch Paris Hilton die?... if you never saw it or need a reminder, here is the trailer... WARNING: this is a (luke warm) scary trailer
I had to leave the theatre 20 minutes in... and I didn't come back. Lame right? (hey! I am talking about the movie, not me.)
So based on all these facts, you will not be surprised at the fact that when I made a list of the top scariest movies to watch on Facebook, I just took the Internet's word for it (something that is not always encouraged). So here it is, Top Scariest Movies of All Time, according to the internet... aka. Movies Avery Will Never Watch, Ever, Ever, Ever!!!
- The Exorcist
- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original)
- Nightmare on Elm Street
- Night of the Living Dead
- The Shining
So get out there... get to the movie store, and rent yourelf a copy of one of these "gems".... just don't invite me along, okay?
This blog post can also be seen on The One website.
Monday, September 20, 2010
The Book: The Alchemist
The Author: Paul Coelho
Year published: 1988
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
So I will start by clarifying why I read this book as part of a list about books in the 21st Century when it was, in fact, published in 1988. What you have to remember about this list I have chosen is that it is chosen "by the people" which is to stay that it does not necessarily follow the rules... or along those lines it doesn't even HAVE any rules. The garnering guideline here comes simply from the title of the list, "The Best Books of the 21st Century". And so, if the 122 people who have voted for The Alchemist were to be ignored, how sad would this "by the people" list be. After all, I wanted to read real books, gritty books, fantasy, fable, and tales... I wanted the people's reads. So, if some readers out there believe that The Alchemist is an important book in the 21st Century, I'm all for it. In fact, I have a feeling this very problem will arise in the future... there seem to be a few books that push beyond the boundary of the 21st Century, and I'm all for it. As long as I am reading good books then I am happy.
Okay, now... The real dirt on The Alchemist. Here is a quick background on the storyline for those of you who have never had the pleasure of reading it:
A young Spanish shepherd boy (who they refer to as "the boy" throughout, but is actually in reality over 18, so a boy-ish man I guess?) named Santiago sets out on an adventure to find a hidden treasure buried near the Pyramids in Egypt. He takes the guidance of a Gypsy woman and a mysterious king and decides to sell his sheep and set out for the Pyramids. He is to follow the "omens" to discover his "Personal Legend" (I will explain what this means later) and on the way Santiago faces love, danger, opportunity and disaster.
To begin, I will say that this book is more a fable than it is a novel. I make that distinction because it does not read like a novel, it reads almost like a parable (if you will), with a prophetic vision, a laboured lesson and an overarching theme that relates to human will and fate. Confused yet? Bare with me, this is my first review of the challenge. Perhaps, it would help if I explained to you the axis of the story, the "Personal Legend". Here is how they explain it in The Alchemist. The boy has just been approached by the mysterious king who says he is trying to help Santiago discover his "Personal Legend", from page 21:
The boy didn't know what a person's "Personal Legend" was.
"It's what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is. At that point in their lives, everything is clear, and everything is possible. They are not afraid to dream, and to yearn for everything they would like to see happen to them in their lives. But, as time passes, a mysterious force begins to convince them that it will be impossible for them to realize their "Personal Legend".
This quote here is the reason I can say I really connected to The Alchemist. Because, as much as it reads a fable there are life lessons woven so intricately into the tale of Santiago that it is almost impossible not to connect with the story. Everyone has their own "Personal Legend", and no matter how much of a pipe dream it may seem, I truly believe where there is a will there is a way. If you push hard enough you can make your dreams come true... unless of course that dream is something like running with the unicorns, or joining Peter Pan's posse of Lost Boys.... because that may just be impossible. Sorry to burst your bubble Pan fans. At the same time if you are reading this book for a story to get lost in you will be disappointed. The message is the medium in this case, the Santiago's story takes a backseat to the message
The one biggest piece of advice I would give a prospective reader of The Alchemist is to find time to sit down and read the book in its entirety. I really enjoyed the story, but putting it down every night and picking it up the next day made the story very disjointed. The time-line moves very fast and it is easy to get lost if you do not remember what you read the day before. I would have enjoyed the reading experience better if I had had the time to sit and read all 150 pages in secession. I would have been able to get lost in Santiago's world.
Friday, September 17, 2010
I am happy to say Phil and I are Facebook friends (I'm basking in the glory) and this means he got the chance to read my blog about the Best Book of the 21st Century (scroll down a few posts, you'll see it). And now, he has taken my challenge to read 100 of these books to the next level. So now I get to talk about the books on air... I'll tell you if they are worth your time, if they made me cry and if they will make it to my sacred "Books I'll Keep Forever" shelf (I mean something needs to keep company with To Kill A Mockingbird and The Colour Purple!). So on Wednesday Phil Main and I had our very first book chat and I thought I would post it for you all to enjoy! Much, much more where this came from. Stay tuned.
Here is the audio of our chat:
Check out the website for The Phil Main Show, on Monday - Friday from 6am - 10am on CKNX AM 920!
Also: My review of The Alchemist still to come today.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
So, at these moments I do what any smart, young, fashionable and poor twenty-something does: I went to Value Village. The VV Boutique if you will. I just go crazy in this place. It is the place where all the fabulous things get sent... when the fabulous wears off on the original owner. I can stay there for hours and hours on end. I look through every single article of clothing piece by piece. I can race through a rack of t-shirts faster than you can call the fashion police. I pick what I want and I take it to try on.
So to pass on my love for Value Village here are my very best VV shopping tips:
1. Only go to VV when you have a lot of time. Time is what you need for the good finds. Be patient.
2. Go by yourself. There is nothing worse than finding something at the same time as a friend. Then you have to fight over who gets to take it home (usually in that polite "you have it." "no, you have it" kind of way).
3. Always look through the discarded rack at the change rooms. Therefore, someone else can do the searching for you, decide they don't like it and they leave it there free and easy for you.
4. Try it on twice. There is nothing worse than getting home and realizing you spent $4 hard-earned dollars on something you hate. Try it on. Keep shopping. Try it on again. There is something about the light in VV that makes something ridiculous look good. Don't get caught up in this moment.
5. Give yourself a limit. That means don't go crazy. Know how much you want to spend and stick to it. UNLESS, you find that amazing pair of shoes you have always dreamed of (but really, that is every pair isn't it?)
6. Finally, hand sanitizer. You know why.
So now that you sat through my long list of rules I will reward you with a peek at what I bought. You can tell me if you think it's a hit or miss.
Now, some of you are going to chuckle at this. But, I know at least one of you who is gasping for air right now... you know who you are. Personally, I think this is the best hat I've ever owned. I did however have a moment of weakness and ask some unassuming lady in the store if I would be crazy to wear this in public, and she said no... but really what else could she have said? So after bullying this poor woman into complimenting my hat I carried it around, tried it on a second time and decided to go for it. Who could blame me? Now, all I have to do is figure out where I am going to wear it. Here's one last look:
After the turban hat, my next purchase seems boring. But, I was super excited for this one too. Mostly, because it feels like it has never been worn, though I am sure it hung in someone's closet for decades. I would like to thank said person for being kind enough to preserve it for me, whoever you are. Here's a look:
I am using my experience in yoga to present this purchase. Warrior stance.... almost. In any case, when I put this shirt on I feel like something right out of a fashionable 1970s tennis match. I am looking forward to wearing this one in. So hit or miss on this one... whaddya think?
Here's what I think: there was no better way to spend $8.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
So here it is: I am going to try and get through every book on a list of the 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. I figure we have had ten years of great writing and before I get into another 10 years I should explore what has already been done from the Millennium on. But, I was looking for something specific. I did not want a list that was arbitrarily made by some stuck-up English major (not that every English major is stuck up... just the chosen few... you know who you are) who never quite made it to professor level but still wishes to subject us to their high-falutin, strictly "literary genius" taste in books. I wanted the nitty-gritty, the "people-have-spoken", best-book-I-have-ever-read-even-if-it-was-written-by-a-stay-at-home-mom kind of list. I want trashy. I want memoirs. I want so-outrageous-I-can't-stop-reading. I want real people kind of books. I want every-Friday-night-book-club-and-lots-of-wine kind of books. I want to be entertained. I want so-good-every-major-studio-wanted-rights-to-it good.
And so, here is what I have chosen. There is a list on the website www.goodreads.com that list the 847 Best Books of the 21st Century. Good Reads is a website where you can keep track of all the books you've read, send book recommendations to friends or form an online books club. Basically a geek's guide to reading. So, the list is composed of books voted on by readers. This list in fact has been voted on by 2,660 members. I have taken the first chunk of books, the first 100 (because let's be honest, who can conceive of reading 847 books?? This blog would EXPLODE!)
And so, I will read them, enjoy them, and report back on them. I might even muse in retrospect on the books on the list that I have already read. (Is it weird to have memories that go along with books, like where you read it, who gave it to you, how you pictured the characters?)
So here goes:
The-People-Have-Spoken List of the Top 100 Books of the 21st Century
- The Kiterunner by Khaled Hosseini
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
- A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi by Yann Martel The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix by J.K. Rowling
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon & Lucia Graves
- New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
- Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer
- Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer
- The Name sake by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Corrections by Jonathon Franzen
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
- Snow Flow and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson and Reg Keeland
- The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
- The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
- What is the What by Dave Eggers
- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
- The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
- Freakonomics: A Roque Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
- No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
- Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
- Dress You Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris
- Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
- Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
- The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
- The Year of Magical Thinkin by Joan Didion
- The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
- Jonathon Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
- Empire Falls by Richard Russo
- Naked by David Sedaris
- The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
- Eat, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
- Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver
A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- The Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
- The Known World by Edward P. Jones
- The Devil in the White City Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson & Tony Goldwyn
- The Secret Magdalene: A Novel by Ki Longfellow
- On Beauty by Zadie Smith
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
- The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
- The Host by Stephanie Meyer
- The Shack by William P. Young
- John Adams by David McCullough
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
- The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
- God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
- Dreams of the Ringed Veil by Robert Fanney
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Marley & Me: Love and Life with the World’s Worst Dog by John Grogan
- Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
- The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
- Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
- Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
- Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami & Philip Gabriel
- Under the Banenr of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
- Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
- Anasi Boys by Neil Gaiman
- Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman
- Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
- Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
- Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
- The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon
- The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad
- The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
- Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
- 2666 by Roberto Bolano
I have crossed out the ones I have read already. (Not very many... 13? Sad!)
The only problem I can see ahead is FINALLY being forced to read Harry Potter, Twilight and those Dan Brown books that I have sworn off for years. I'll let you know how much cringing is involved.