Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June 2009 Books and Movies

Living Next Door to Alice
Melissa Mackle

Another author find from the About Town short stories, this time from the Irish one. I have to say, not so good. The characters were pretty one dimensional and the writer used the same expressions over and over again, so thumbs down for writer creativity. Especially overused was the phrase "going down a treat" when eating or drinking. It was used at least 10 times. It wasn't so bad that I put it down without finishing, but not great enough to pursue other Mackle titles.


This was a lovely film, made even better by digital 3D. Poignant and funny, I thoroughly enjoyed the strange and wonderful world created by Disney and Pixar. The characters were well drawn (both literally and figuratively) and the story was really imaginative. Loved Russell, he had some of the best lines. The Pixar short at the beginning was so cute. Go see it, tell your friends, then see it again, preferably in 3D, the glasses aren't that bad. :)

Late Night Shopping
Carmen Reid

This was a piece of chicklit that I found from mining the Girls About Town Short Stories Books. Carmen Reid is from the Scottish one. She is a good writer, and I would read her other books. The trouble with this one was, I hated the main character. She was really annoying (read irresponsible and selfish) ala Becky Bloomwood, to the point I was yelling at her. In the book. Seriously, that's over involvement. Annie is a personal shopper who wants to start her own business, but is sacrificing time with her family and partner while doing so. There was enough plot to keep me reading, but it was so ho hum, and the really interesting characters never were fully explored. There was the requisite gay best friend, so pretty run of the mill. I'm up for another turn, but give Late Night Shopping a miss.

Update: Just found out it was a sequel to a book called The Personal Shopper, but that just makes it even more like the Shopaholic series. Will read it and report back.

My Life in Ruins

Cute little rom com, great writing, beautiful cinematography and very funny. I like Nia Vardalos (great dead pans), and the supporting cast were pretty good too, especially Richard Dreyfuss. Of course, there were quite a few cliches but forgivable as the rest of the film was solid. I'm not sure I know any men who would enjoy this, but it's a good girls afternoon out. I predict there are going to be a lot of haters, but it's worth a go see. I'm definitely renting it when it comes out on DVD, for the outtakes. They're bound to be hilarious.

Scottish Girls About Town

This is the first time I've ever ordered a book for the TPL. That was pretty cool. Since they already had Irish and American Girls About Town they accepted my suggestion to order the above, and I was first on the list to get it. I didn't discover as many good authors as in the other anthologies, but a few (Isla Dewar, Carmen Reid, Katie Agnew, Julia Hamilton) really stood out. I'm looking forward to reading more from them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Big Ride

When I got up this morning, I wondered how the day would play out.

So...got all the way to Oakville, but was sidelined by fatigue and bad weather. Took the train to Mimico and then biked the rest of the way home. A respectable 54K (or thereabouts, a few detours added some extra, I'm sure) but a far cry from the 80K I'd envisioned. I don't know why I thought I could jump from 44K the week before (with big breaks in between) to double that, with only one break at the halfway point. One has to work up to these things! :)

Anyway, I'm thinking that next time I'll try 60K, with one break. I really want to do a century ride, which is 100 miles (160K) so training is essential. I also want to do a camping/biking trip this summer. Hopefully by next summer I'll be able to do the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gender Equality

I enjoyed reading this article so much, I'm posting it everywhere: here, my Twitter and on Facebook.

The whole thing is good, but the last sentence are words to live by.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael Jackson

My mind is still reeling over the news of this pop icon's death. I know he had some very strange happenings of late, but the fact remains that he changed the face of pop music and dance, not to mention redefining the music video. I know almost every line to nearly every song he's ever released. I didn't think I would be so sad over this, but I genuinely am.

RIP MJ, you will be sorely missed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tour de Dufflet

What a great way to spend a Sunday!

Blake, Amy, Pat and I saddled up and rode to each of the three shop locations where (for a $5 entry fee donated to charity) we received a treat and a drink. We also got a bike bag and a $5 off coupon for a Dufflet cake. It was 44K all told, just over half the distance of our big ride to Oakville.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Hamilton's 18th Annual International Tattoo

This weekend I performed in the above Tattoo. It's been a while since I've been on a band trip and done a major tattoo with more than one show. We stayed at Mac, which was a real blast from the past. The shows went well, but I've found (as I've been finding more and more lately) that I just don't have the stamina I used to, both on the tattoo floor and during down time. Once upon a time, I would have been able to do an all day practice, the night show, party all night long, get a few hours sleep and do the show all over again. Not so much anymore. Sure I was able to do it, but I felt pretty bad by the end of the second day. Oh well, the wonders of growing older!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

First 5K Run with a Friend!

I've done shorter runs with friends, but never over 5K. Pat and I ran the Don River/Distillery route today, which is 5.13K. Poor Pat, he's a much faster runner than I am, so I told him to go on ahead. He was able to run the stairs up to street level four times while waiting for me! :D It was a good run, and I pushed myself at the end with a sprint. Whoot!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bike Trip '09 Training

Bike Trip '09 is an attempt to ride 100K in one day. That being said, training is definitely in order.

My first training ride was to ride approximately 40K in one day. This was my guesstimate of the distances I would be travelling to get to where I was going. It ended up being pretty close to the actuals. It was broken up into three segments, much like the big ride will be interspersed with breaks and lunch.

Home to Work: 8.28K
Work to the Junction: 21.1K
The Junction to Home: 9.82K
Total: 39.2K

I felt a little tired about 3/4 into the second leg, but then got my second wind and pushed through.

Next training ride will be in three segments with short breaks in between on the Tour de Dufflet. I'm not sure what my total distance will be, because I also have to factor in the ride to and from home.