SARcasm











{July 26, 2012}   Laugh of the Day

My brother and his pipe band friends … so cute. For those who don’t know Kyle, he’s the dude who videobombs his buddy at about 1 minute 30 seconds into the video, and then lipsyncs in the beer tent around 2 minutes 40 or so in. 🙂

Enjoy. XO

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{July 20, 2012}   And #5

I am like, chain-reading these things. 🙂 J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter #4, THE GOBLET OF FIRE, is now off my reading list.

1. Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris2. The Last Week – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
3. Speaking Christian – Why Christian Words Have Lost their Meaning – Marcus J. Borg
4. The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong

6. jPod – Douglas Coupland
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt

9. We Need to Talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
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. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
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. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian

27. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

30. 1066 and All That; A Memorable History of England – W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman
31. Have a Little Faith – Mitch Albom
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

36. The Holy Bible – Various
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 Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren

47. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
48. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
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. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
56. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow

58. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
59. The Trial – Franz Kafka
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser

61. The Man Who Made Us – Richard Gwyn
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin

65. Nation Maker – Richard Gwyn
66. The United Church of Canada: A History – Don Schweitzer (ed.)
67. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Lynne Truss
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman

87. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland

90. The Girl who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson
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. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik

100. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

If you read Wikipedia, every Harry Potter book’s entry from this one on claims the status of ‘this is where Harry Potter takes a darker, more grownup turn’. Which tells me, really it’s this one. The signs are all there – Harry turns 14, high school age instead of elementary school. The book is at least twice as long as its predecessors, and it really brings a lot of the previous books’ floating pieces together, as Lord Voldemort ultimately resumes his physical being, as we see the first signs of … shall we say … attraction, between Harry’s best friends Ron and Hermione (albeit well-hidden amidst a great deal of sniping) … honestly, the first sense of any romance at all as Harry too has a crush on Cho, a girl from Ravenclaw house who happens to be dating Cedric Diggory, Harry’s opponent for the trophy in the Tri-Wizard Tournament. We learn about Voldemort’s followers, Deatheaters, and amidst his friendly competition and cooperation with Harry, ultimately the aforementioned Diggory dies, the first victim we actually see of the AVADA KEDAVRA curse at Voldemort’s hand – heck, in that sense, this is the book where we learn of Avada Kedavra, the killing curse, as well as the other two Forbidden Curses, the Cruciatus curse (torture), and the Imperio curse (mind control).

All of the Harry Potter books are good, but this is the real deliniation, in my opinion, from children’s lit to young adult lit … which works, as Potter readers grow up right alongside their favourite child wizard. Over a thousand pages later and nowhere near bored … this must be a good sign! More than halfway through (in terms of number of books, perhaps not of pages read lol, as I’m about to undertake the longest one of the series, the Order of the Phoenix), and I still highly recommend this series for readers old, young, and young at heart.



{July 12, 2012}   Book #4

Another one off the list as I completed JK Rowling’s 3rd Harry Potter book, the Prisoner of Azkaban.

1. Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris
2. The Last Week – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
3. Speaking Christian – Why Christian Words Have Lost their Meaning – Marcus J. Borg
4. The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong

6. jPod – Douglas Coupland
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt

9. We Need to Talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
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. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
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. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian

27. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

30. 1066 and All That; A Memorable History of England – W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman
31. Have a Little Faith – Mitch Albom
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

36. The Holy Bible – Various
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 Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren

47. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
48. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
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. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
56. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow

58. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
59. The Trial – Franz Kafka
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser

61. The Man Who Made Us – Richard Gwyn
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin

65. Nation Maker – Richard Gwyn
66. The United Church of Canada: A History – Don Schweitzer (ed.)
67. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Lynne Truss
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman

87. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland

90. The Girl who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson
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. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik

100. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

This is the book in the series where we meet Harry’s Godfather Sirius Black, learn about the Expecto Patronum spell, and meet the Dementors, guards of Azkaban. A very important book in the series indeed – although, indeed they all are, and none stand alone. All are intrinsic to the overall legend woven in this seven-part saga. As such, it’s rough to say one good is better or more important than the next, as they all work together. I will say as I’ve started now on ‘The Goblet of Fire’, that Azkaban is the last of the really identifiably ‘children’s’ books in the series; with a doubling in length for ‘Goblet’, and a noticeably more grownup tone, the rest of the series falls more solidly into ‘young adult’ literature, and where you start to realize that this series’ original target audience truly does ‘grow up’ alongside Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione. Three books down and still solidly enjoying the series. 🙂 Excellent stuff.



{July 5, 2012}   Books 2 & 3

Two more down! Just today, I completed both “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” by JK Rowling and “Speaking Christian” by Marcus Borg. DISCLOSURE: as per the first Harry Potter book, I had read most of “Chamber” already; all but the last chapter. Going forward in the Potter series, all books will be new to me (albeit I have seen all the films but the two Deathly Hallows movies). A list to remind you of the books I’ve selected to read and to show my progress, as well as my reviews, follow.

1. Deadlocked – Charlaine Harris
2. The Last Week – Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
3. Speaking Christian – Why Christian Words Have Lost their Meaning – Marcus J. Borg
4. The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
5. A History of God – Karen Armstrong

6. jPod – Douglas Coupland
7. Beloved – Toni Morrison
8. ‘Tis – Frank McCourt

9. We Need to Talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver
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. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling
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. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling
25. The Inferno – Dante
26. Towelhead – Alicia Erian

27. Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
28. The Way the Crow Flies – Ann-Marie MacDonald
29. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

30. 1066 and All That; A Memorable History of England – W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman
31. Have a Little Faith – Mitch Albom
32. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
33. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
34. Stardust – Neil Gaiman
35. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

36. The Holy Bible – Various
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 Five Love Languages – Gary Chapman
44. Lolita – Vladimir Nobokov
45. Atonement – Ian McEwan
46. All the King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren

47. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
48. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins
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. Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins
56. The Help – Kathryn Stockett
57. Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow

58. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
59. The Trial – Franz Kafka
60. Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlasser

61. The Man Who Made Us – Richard Gwyn
62. Memoirs – Pierre Trudeau
63. Shake Hands with the Devil – Romeo d’Allaire
64. Team of Rivals – Doris Kearns Goodwin

65. Nation Maker – Richard Gwyn
66. The United Church of Canada: A History – Don Schweitzer (ed.)
67. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Committed – Elizabeth Gilbert
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. Eats, Shoots & Leaves – Lynne Truss
86. Sorbonne Confidential – Laurel Zuckerman

87. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
88. The Silver Linings Playbook – Matthew Quick
89. Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland

90. The Girl who Played with Fire – Stieg Larsson
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. The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest – Stieg Larsson
99. He’s Just Not that Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo, Lauren Monchik

100. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer
101. Jesus for the Non-Religious – John Shelby Spong

My review of the first Harry Potter book goes for the second – a little bit older, wiser and braver, the Hogwarts gang is back for another year of adventures and magic. A great series that JK Rowling obviously takes the time to tie together beautifully. Book 2 is an extension of Book 1, and the fact that I put one down to immediately pick up the next tells you how seamless it is.

Meanwhile, “Speaking Christian” is one of the most important books I have read in a long time and I think it is important for all Christians, and any non-Christian who thinks we’re just a bunch of loons who are waiting for an executed political prisoner to come back and take us back to his cloud castle while damning all non-believers, read this book. Borg’s ultimate point is that both progressive and more ‘fundamentalist’ Christians use the same book, language, cast of characters, and concept to express two radically different ideas – so different as to almost be different religious. Those alarm-bell words … “salvation”, “redeemer”, “sin”, and difficult concepts like “Trinity” and “Easter” and “rapture” … are explained in such a way that even non-believers can … maybe not agree with, but at least understand in a more positive, ‘yes, and …’ kind of light. Borg can be a bit academic at times – he is a professor of religious studies after all – but he works hard, and in the main succeeds, at making big concept progressive Christian theology accessible to all (OK … most). I very much enjoy his work, and this book in particular, as a progressive Christian.



Sunday was Canada Day here in the True North Strong and Free – the birthday of our country’s confederation. Tomorrow is Independence Day in the US to the south. Given our Canadian family, and my husband’s dual citizenship – and by extension, our American relatives – we want to wish both Canada, and our neighbours to the south, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🙂 And God bless us all.



et cetera