{June 29, 2011}   Post-It Note Tuesday
Only Parent Chronicles

{June 27, 2011}   Congratulations

This weekend was a lovely one. After two days as Wonder-housekeeper, I deemed the place officially fit for parental units (both my own, and the in-laws) to visit. Enter Ari’s folks. Why? To babysit the wee ones so we could attend a wedding rehearsal – I was set to read, and needed to practice. Sort of.

Which meant, of course, a wedding was around the corner! That was Saturday. Enter not only the in-laws, again to do a beautiful (and dirty) job watching the kiddos, but my mother, my step-dad, my brother, his plus-one and my grandma, to attend Mr. and Mrs. Shelley’s big day. It was untold oodles of brilliant fun. 🙂 Capped off by a BBQ with all the same players (minus my brother and G who had to go home) on Sunday, I can honestly not remember a weekend more fun than this one in a long time. Unless of course it was the one before, the one featuring a waterpark, a wedding anniversary, and Father’s Day on an amphibus.

The summer is here and the time is awesome personified, as predicted – even if the blogging remains a bit more irregular than I’d hoped. Now … if only I could find some lucre-inducing occupation for a couple of months, now that the school year endeth, to keep the good times rolling. Surely finding some 6-8 week clerical position to tool around in and keep the homefires burning shouldn’t be too hard … right?

Please watch the video below and riddle me this, Batman – Anthony Weiner sends some admittedly inappropriate photos and exhibits incredibly poor personal judgement, but represents his consistuents well and has effectively been cleared of any politica wrongdoing in terms of using any congressional resources etc. (Yes – he communicated with a 17 year old girl on Twitter, however it has since come out it was innocent – unseemly in light of recent events, but completely non-sexual in nature). Yet his resignation is sought – nay, demanded, insisted upon – by the Democratic machinery. Meanwhile Idaho Republicans are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to handling one of their own in light of, in my opinion, a much worse, more dangerous, and ugly scandal. Just saying.

{June 18, 2011}   Happy Anniversary

It’s not quite there yet but I won’t have time to post this tomorrow.

June 18 2005. I married the man with whom I celebrate 6 years of marriage tomorrow. In those six years we have …

Lived in 5 homes …
Had at least 10 fulltime jobs between us …
Earned 2 degrees …
Bought 3 cars …
Lived in 3 cities …
Visited 2 continents …
Had two children.

Would I do anything different? Yeah. Not much I don’t think.

I was teasing Ari last night about how Snoop Dogg bought his wife a dozen roses and a sports car for THEIR anniversary. This is what Ari greeted me at the door with today:

Thanks honey! 🙂 I uh … appreciate it. Or something. 😉 Happy Anniversary!

So – it’s a busy time in the life of the Daigen clan (yeah I know – does a blog entry go by where I don’t say that?). But at least we’re at a point now we’re into a routine, and it’s productive weekdays and fun-filled weekends. I’m excited about the summer.

This weekend is a special time for us, as Saturday is our 6th wedding anniversary, and Sunday is, of course, Father’s Day. The weekend afterward is all about family, as my cousin is getting married! Friday is the wedding rehearsal, which I will be attending as I’m doing a reading. Saturday is the wedding itself – my whole mom’s side will be there; Kyle my brother is coming up, and my grandmother will be there too. My lovely in-laws are going to come into town to babysit the kiddies so we can go to the wedding, and they’ll be joining us at a barbecue at my mother’s the Sunday before heading back to Southwestern Ontario.

Canada Day Weekend follows, and maybe by then I’ll have convinced the dear husband to head downtown and try our best to catch a glimpse of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – less formally known as Will and Kate. From there, hopefully at least I will have found a job and we’ll have settled in to a routine until the end of August, when we head back to SW Ontario ourselves for Little J’s birthday party and naming ceremony, and then to the Jersey Shore to get our GTL on have some R&R and enjoy the boardwalk, the beach, some fun in the sun.

Hopefully in between all that there will be some work accomplished, some reading and blogging done and all that … what are YOUR summer plans? 🙂

{June 6, 2011}   Book List Update

But before I start … Happy Happy Birthday to my girlfriend Alex! 🙂 Hoping she has a wonderful year ahead of her – she deserves it. You can check out her blog at – please enjoy! 🙂

Now then – on to the book list at hand. 🙂 I have knocked two books off my list since last reporting in – Audrey Niffeneger’s The Time Traveller’s Wife and Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. See below for reviews.

1. Dead and Gone – Charlaine Harris
2. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
3. Reading Lolita in Tehran – Azar Nafisi
4. The Year of Living Biblically – A.J. Jacobs
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong
6. Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt
9. The Host – Stephenie Meyers
10. The Constant Princess – Phillipa Gregory
11. Wicked – Gregory Maguire
12. The Six Wives of Henry the 8th – Alison Weir
13. Eleanor of Aquitaine – Alison Weir
14. Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
15. The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
16. The Two Towers – J.R.R. TOlkien
17. The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling
19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – J.K. Rowling
20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – J.K. Rowling
21. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
22. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
23. Dracula – Bram Stoker
24. Paradise Lost – John Milton
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian
27. Sex, Lies, and Headlocks – Shaun Assael and Mike Mooneyham
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
30. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
31. This United Church of Ours – Ralph Milton
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
36. The First Christmas – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
37. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
38. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
39. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
40. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
41. Deception Point – Dan Brown
42. Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
43. The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren
47. Under the Dome – Stephen King
48. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
49. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
50. Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Harriet Beecher Stowe
51. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
52. Scarlett – Alexandra Ripley
53. White Noise – Don De Litto
54. Their Eyes were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
55. Primary Colours – Anonymous
56. Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow
58. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark
59. Misquoting Jesus – Bart Ehrman
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser
61. My Years as Prime Minister – Jean Chretien
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin
65. The Secret Mulroney Tapes – Peter C. Newman
66. Why I Hate Canadians – Will Ferguson
67. Planet Simpson – Chris Turner
68. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
69. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – Douglas Adams
70. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
71. So Long and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
72. Mostly Harmless – Douglas Adams
73. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
74. The Manticore – Robertson Davies
75. World of Wonders – Robertson Davies
76. The Donnellys – James Reaney
77. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
78. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
79. Farenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
80. Not Wanted on the Voyage – Timothy Findlay
81. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
82. Coraline – Neil Gaiman
83. The Crucible – Arthur Miller
84. Mirror Mirror – Gregory Maguire
85. The Emerging Christian Way – Marcus Borg et al
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman
87. What Happened to Anna K – Irina Reyn
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland
90. Girlfriend in a Coma – Douglas Coupland
91. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
92. The 5 People You Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom
93. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
94. Interview with the Vampire – Ann Rice
95. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
96. The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe
97. Guys and Dolls – Damon Runyon
98. Good Book – David Plotz
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik
100. Undisputed – Chris Jericho
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

I was intrigued by The Time Traveller’s wife. I recognize it’s solidly Chick Lit, so not everyone’s cup of tea. But I found it readable and entertaining Chick Lit, my pages kept turning and with great frequency, and there were a few 1am nights due to my inability to put it down, so I suppose that speaks well of it! While some have complained that Niffeneggerl eft a few questions unanswered/had some inconsistencies/what have you in the time travelling concept usually so detailed and fleshed out in other sci fi/fantasy fare, I don’t mind that; it allows us to focus on the core story, and quite frankly, if we’re dealing with time-travel-as-genetic-illness, there would probably BE unanswered questions anyway. The emotional conflicts within that idea – that we are helpless to change time even if we see it and know it – and yet on the other hand perhaps we don’t so strongly need to miss people as they can travel at times into the future and never really leave us … it’s interesting, and I enjoyed seeing Niffenegger grapple with that. She really conveys the trapped feeling of being a prisoner of time, as well as the freedom from having to make choices when life is written out for you.

As for Revolutionary Road – it is definitely an unpleasant read if you’re looking for a love story. Be warned, there are no sympathetic characters here … no one to root for … this is a very cynical look at an unsympathetic dystopian suburb – and everyone, in one fashion or another, striving to keep up appearances (whether of the Suburban dream, or of the bohemian cynic stuck ‘against their will’ – or perhaps not so much – in Disturbia). I recommend it for the most part from an artistic standpoint, as a good read – but be warned there is nothing redeeming or fluffy about it … it is human nature at its ugliest, and Yates makes no apologies, any more than his characters do.

Two very different books about two very different relationships – and yet the sense of being trapped, of drowning, remains. An interesting two books to read in a row, for sure. Hope to update you on another one or two I’ve completed soon. Thanks for reading along with me.

Check out the video below:

What do you think? Honestly, I’m still trying to wrap my head around an opinion. On the one hand, I would imagine this young woman, Brigitte dePape, and I would for the most part be of a political mind when it comes to stances on issues – I tend to be progressive in my end-goals, where I describe myself as a moderate comes more in my approach. And I definitely admire the tenacity of her convictions and her chutzpah, as Ari would call it.

At the same time, I am enough of a traditionalist, with respect for the parliament (moreso than our PM – let me tell you, hearing Conservatives today speaking of a contemptuous act toward Parliament kind of make me laugh) and for parliamentary tradition, that I’m given a little bit of pause at her methods. I don’t know if I would go so far as to call this a security breech as some do – the woman worked in Parliament and came in with paper tucked into her skirt, she wasn’t some uncleared attendee who set off a metal detector – and I’m not sure if I would consider it ‘illegal’ exactly. Uncivil, for sure – but is incivility sometimes justified?

Just not sure … still thinkin’ … but definitely livened up what can be a bit of a long and droning speech, didn’t it? 🙂 We can at least thank Brigitte dePape for that.

TheStar Liberals pass law to ease adoption of Crown wards

Sorry – I know I know I’ve been terribly absent. I was out of town at a conference, and then yesterday was my birthday … and now it’s late and I’m kind of draggy and tired. But I promise to be back to more regular posting now. I was for awhile a week or two ago, and it always sucks when stuff comes up just as you’re getting into a rhythm and routine (although really good stuff – a fun conference I’ll share more about in the next day or two, and my birthday was nice too).

Meanwhile though I did want to share the link above, considering the journey in our family here the last couple of years – this is great news, and definitely something to congratulate the McGuinty government on (I know, there hasn’t been much, but … the guy still has a good heart I think). Thanks for indulging me! 🙂

et cetera