SARcasm











{October 30, 2011}   Thank you Rick Mercer

I know I’m a few days behind on this one – I’ve been meaning to share but haven’t had a whole lot of time to get back here to the blog. But after the suicide of Jamie Hubley here in Ottawa last week, due to being bullied for being an out gay student, Rick Mercer (think, Canada’s answer to Jon Stewart in a way), had the following to say – which I appreciate greatly.



{October 26, 2011}   Two More Down

Knocked two more books off my list over the last two weeks or so – Girlfriend in a Coma, by Douglas Coupland, and The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold – which replaced Stephenie Meyer’s The Host on my list. Started that book … got about 100 pages in … realized, it sucked … might give it another old college try one day, but didn’t enjoy it enough to pursue it. These two books, however …

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 Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
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. Last Night at the Chateau Marmont – Laura Weisberger
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

Both of these books have some elements in common – both are semi metaphysical/mystical, have some discussion of the nature of Heaven and the afterlife, both begin in the face of angsty 1970s teenagerdom and proceed to discuss the decades of fallout following a tragic event – the death of a fourteen year old in The Lovely Bones, and the onset of Karen’s coma in Girlfriend in a Coma.


Yet both are incredibly different – while Bones basically describes the impact of the loss of a child on her family, friends, school and neighbourhood from a variety of perspectives – and does a great job of it at that, so don’t want to minimize that – Girlfriend is almost like 2-3 different stories in one. There’s the first part, where Karen falls into and remains in her coma … there’s the part where she wakes up seventeen years later … and there’s the post-Apocalyptic distopia in which the main characters find themselves. They are both ensemble stories dealing with the impact of different events on a variety of characters, told from an individual’s perspective – in both cases, largely from the perspective of the dearly departed – the murdered child in Bones’ case, and a high school buddy who died of Leukemia in the case of Girlfriend.


Both are really good – they aren’t hard reads from the perspective of language, book length, understandability, or any of that; although they are also obviously not entirely light subject matter (albeit with some humourous or lighter moments – moreso in Girlfriend; there can be a feeling in The Lovely Bones of the heavy, crushing sadness not letting up … although it sometimes manifests itself in more tender and beautiful than horrible ways). I can recommend both books fairly strongly.



So November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)! I have several friends who have done this at least a few years now, and I’ve wanted to since hearing about it – writing a novel is definitely on my bucket list! 🙂 And I gave it a semi-honest shot in 2009 in that I signed up for an account and wrote a whole bunch of ‘first pages’ before giving up. But this is my first real, ‘The kids are a bit bigger, I’ve figured out a way I can attend some of the write-ins, etc.’ kind of situation. I don’t know how weekday evenings will work, but Ari and I have already worked out an arrangement whereby on the weekends at least, he will be resuming his running (now that both boys are old enough for the running stroller) while I attend write-ins; and for my part, instead of wasting my time with TV or videogames or what have you after the boys go to bed, I will be writing instead.

So I don’t know how this will affect my keeping up with my blog – my goal is that maybe it will actually enhance it as maybe I put some excerpts up here etc. But I’m pretty excited. Want to participate too? You can sign up by CLICKING HERE to become a NaNoWriMo participant. GOOD LUCK to all! 🙂 XO



{October 19, 2011}   In Memoriam
William Heaney, 1941-2011

My Uncle Bill Passed away last week. My dad’s brother, my uncle, the father of my cousin and Godfather Billy. Of a heart attack. Thus the lack of blogging as we had this to face as a family. He was a good man, leaving behind his son, his daughter-in-law Carole, and grandsons Jonathan and Danny. Donations to the Cardiac Institute in Montreal in his name are appreciated.

Hug your loved ones. XO



{October 12, 2011}   Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving

So, I know I’m incredibly late in posting this – and I apologize profusely. A week of some work, some job interviewing, and all of us getting the worst cold this side of cold and flu season, can do that. My every intention was to be back on track with blogging last week, and God-willing I will be again this week. Meanwhile though I did want to wish all of my Canadian family, friends and readers retroactively a fabulous Canadian Thanksgiving – I hope everyone got to share a delicious meal with loved ones and enjoy the unseasonably warm weather here in Ontario (shorts, t-shirts and sunhats … in Canada … in the middle of October … I am not kidding you … busting every stereotype known to man here!)

As always … just a short list of things I am thankful for:

  1. My family – my parents, including steps- and in-laws, my brother, my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, husband, children … you all brighten my day, and even when you don’t (because let’s face it, no family is 100% sympatico 100% of the time), there is always something to be learned, and I am grateful for the lessons. I could not ask for a better family … I truly feel we are a team and face challenges together, while doing our best to avoid creating them ourselves. Do we always succeed? Heck, who does? But we love each other. And that’s 99% of the battle right there.
  2. My friends. Great ones, good ones, challenging ones, long-forgotten ones. I can honestly say there is a very limited number of people in my life who have occupied space and not earned it. Much like with my family, I appreciate the support and the challenges, and I appreciate the relationships that take work – because they’re worth it – and those which are easier – because they can be a breath of fresh air. Whether you make me work doubletime so our friendship isn’t taken for granted, or whether I can just plain count on you, no questions asked … you are important to me and I appreciate that.
  3. My work. I don’t necessarily have the lovely, 100% fulltime public school teaching contract I might have dreamed of having by the time I was five years into my career. A Jack of All Trades, that’s me – I supply teach, I am a part-time youth minister, and I teach online high school courses ad-hoc. But whether it’s plain old networking and relationship-building en route to a more stable teaching position … whether it’s helping high school kids work toward their diploma … or whether it’s sharing the love of God with shiny, happy young faces at church, it is good and meaningful work I’m proud of at the end of the day.
  4. Dumb luck. I have clean water to drink, food to eat, a roof over my head, work to go to (often), a car to drive there … I sometimes wonder if I’ve ‘earned’ these things … some I have. Five years of school, working hard, earning everything we have … I’m proud of that. But I also know at least some of the above comes from being born in the right place into the right opportunities.

I also want to express my thanks, lastly, for the last ten years. I know Ari, my husband, fit into the first thing I was thankful for – my family. But Friday came and went as the ten-year anniversary of us as a couple – when we actually acknowledged that one dance, two dates (and yes, they were dates, honey! lol …) and how many countless hours of emailing, ICQ (yeah … dating myself already with that one), and phoning, meant more than just “We’re really good friends”. 10 years, 9 addresses, 4 cities, 4 degrees, 1 wedding, 3 cars, 2 cats, 5 fish, 1 gerbil and … oh yeah, 2 kids later, we’re still going strong.

“Looks like we made it … look how far we’ve come now, baby.”



{October 3, 2011}   Primary Colours

So after a 2 week or so hiatus (my apologies – it has been a very, very busy time up in heeyah), I have turned my attention from Canadian politics to American politics, as I finished up Primary Colours by Joe Klein (originally published anonymously). This novel was reportedly based, with various degrees of looseness, on the Bill Clinton presidential campaign of 1992.

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. Last Night at the Chateau Marmont – Laura Weisberger
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

This novel is absolutely breathtaking in terms of getting right to the ugly heart of American politics and the ugliness it has become. Personal foibles become the stuff of legend, while important policy ideas become secondary in the mind of the American public. Jack Stanton, a man whose political heart is in the right place despite his deep personal ammorality, finds himself and his wife sucked into a system they’d originally tried to fight, but ultimately become one of the worst symbols of. How true is this to the Clinton power couple? I’d like to think better of the Clinton legacy than that, however his own personal failings are well known and on public record. Either way, Joe Klein writes an interesting, riveting novel that even those not particularly familiar with the inner workings of politics shouldn’t find too cumbersome to follow. I enjoyed it – I also strongly recommend the movie, which I watched years ago, starring John Travolta and Emma Thompson as Jack and Susan Stanton, and Kathy Bates as dustbuster Libby Holden, and Adrian Lester as Henry Burton. See the trailer below:





et cetera