Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July 2007 Books and Movies

North Country

Wow, what a movie. Charlize Theron is amazing. My stomach curdled at the abuse and harrassment suffered by these women who were only trying to earn a living. They were increadibly strong to stay at the mine when no one would stand up for them. Woody Harrelson was somewhat of a weak link for me but Frances McDormand was spectacular. I've loved her ever since I saw Fargo. This film made me very glad that I am living in the present and can only hope that the emancipation of women moves ever forward.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
J.K. Rowlings

This book was all I could have asked for and more. J.K. Rowlings tied everything together, answered all my questions and brought in aspects from the other books. The ending was spectacular and I'm double crossing my fingers that she has left the door open for more. I think she has, but one never knows. I'm sad and happy at the same time because the book journey is over, but there are still two more movies to go. I was so glad that she made Snape a sympathetic character in the end, I really didn't want to hate him. The book droops a little in the middle but bounces back and steamrolls to the end after the appearance of the silver doe. I read it to the exclusion of all else, staying up through the night to finish. My first instinct was to pick it up and read it again. I think I'll go back to the begining and read from one to seven in order.

You Suck
Christopher Moore

Well it shouldn't have come as a surprise to me, after not loving Bloodsucking Fiends, that I wouldn't love You Suck. I know, I must be one of the few people on the planet who feels this way. It's not that I didn't like it, it was a good read, I just wasn't as into the characters. I much prefer the residents of Pine Cove to the San Fran crowd, I think. There were definitely some laugh out loud parts, I'd like to see a story centred around Abby Normal and her friend Lily, the girl who works for Charlie Asher in a Dirty Job. In fact, bring them up to Pine Cove, and throw in the Lust Lizard and the Stupidest Angel, now that would be funny!


Absolutely one of the best movies I've seen this summer. In typical Pixar fashion, the words are for adults and the action is for kids. I'm not a huge fan of rats, but I found Remy cute. Loved Janeane Garofalo, as always. Great cooking and a Paris backdrop just topped it off. Go see it!

Blood Sucking Fiends
Christopher Moore

I knew it would happen eventually, that I would come across a Moore book that just didn't do it for me as much as the other. That being said, I still read it cover to cover in a matter of days. I think I just don't really like vampire lore too much. Although, reading this book made me realise that the mysterious woman buying up all the soul vessels in a Dirty Job was Jody. She and C. Thomas Flood are an odd couple but they really love each other. I'm starting to enjoy the Emperor a lot more. There were quite a few funny scenes, the turkey bowling made me laugh out loud! Looking forward to the sequel, You Suck, to see what happens next.

Harry Potter - The Order of the Phoenix

Loved, loved, loved this movie! It was all that I expected and more. I was a bit nervous about it because the book is so long, but the director really managed to convey all the important parts of the story in just over two hours. The additional casting was amazing, look for Helena Bohnam Carter to knock your socks off. They just got it so right. I will be seeing it again and again, and anxiously awaiting it's arrival on DVD. One of the best HP films so far.

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Christopher Moore

Okay, I'm starting to sound like a broken record. I love this guy. This book was laugh out loud funny especially the weird, twisted encouters between Molly Michon and the Sea Beast. Where does he come up with this stuff? Again, love the fact that he uses the same characters from other novels, but especially the fact that you don't have to read them in order to understand the relationships. I first encoutered the characters from Pine Cove in The Stupidest Angel, but this book takes place before then. Great read, so funny and I was shocked at some of the things that made me laugh. I guess I'm a little twisted after all!


Brilliant! I love Michael Moore films. I know he can be manipulative to the extreme sometimes, but to be honest, I enjoy the ride. I don't want to give to much away, but leads with some of the salient points from his previous films, profiles some of the better healthcare systems in the first world (of which Canada is one) and highlights a number of deficits in the American system. He uses a lot of humour to diffuse the tension, as always, but I found that I really laughed out loud at some parts.
Another great one from Mr. Moore.

The Odd Couple (1968)

I can't believe I have never seen this movie! So funny! I love Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau and have seen most of their later films. Grumpy Old Men is one of my favorites. The characters are perfect foils for one another and Neil Simon is a great playwright. I'm glad I turned on the TV by chance. Turner Movie Classics is a great channel, no commercials and really great movies.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Arthritis Update

Haven't posted about this in a while, but it's because I've been feeling so much better. Still a touch stiff in the the mornings when I've not been getting enough rest or over exerting myself, but my pain is much diminished and my stomach is more or less back to normal. My last visit to Dr. Jamal on May 2nd saw an up in my dose of Methotrexate to one full cc. Generally, any new drugs/dosages take full effect in 3 months. My next appointment is July 31, so I still have almost a month to go. I'm hopeful that this will kick me over the edge into remission as my wrists are the only joints that are swollen. I still can't weight bear though, which is disappointing. I went for a mini run (30 minutes) of 2s and 1s on the treadmill yesterday and survived. The bursitis in my left knee has flared up though, so I think running is still not yet in the cards. Oh, well, back in the pool I guess. I've found that I'm able to bike ok, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to do it everyday. Still in the testing stage. All in all, good progress made and keeping positive about maximum improvement.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Great Canada Day long weekend!

Friday Night:

Volunteered at the Delfeyeo Marsalis/ Joshua Redman show at the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Got to meet Delfeyeo, he was very nice. What a player, he did this magical rendition of What a Wonderful World, it was stunning. Then went on to The Rex to see Emilie Claire Barlow. What a show! She is one of my favorite singers, I just loved her rendition of Gentle Rain.


Went to Gary's 60th bash in Port Perry. Great food, cute town, lot of fun. There is a minutures/dollhouse store there that I have to check out the next time I'm there.


Played in a massed band to open the new BMO Soccer Stadium. Love cool gigs like this, where I get to go to places I wouldn't ordinarily be able to walk across. The field is really a great addition to Toronto's sports scene.


High tea at the Fairmont Royal York. Tres chic! They've gone back to a traditional tea, circa 1907. Until recently they've been doing an Asian Fusion tea that I had wanted to try, but maybe they'll bring it back someday. Nevermind, I love the trad tea so much and have only been to the one at the King Eddy. Afterwards, took a ferry ride to Centre Island and walked to Hanlan's Point. Haven't been to the islands in a while, so it was a lovely finish to the afternoon after all that rich tea food.