SARcasm











{January 31, 2013}   Random Thoughts
  • There are definitely some parallels between the Lion King story and the Christian story. Simba=Jesus, Mufasa=God, etc.? Timon and Pumba the well-intentioned but somewhat dimwitted disciples who ultimately stood up for the right and the good?
  • My son loves villains. Shredder from Ninja Turtles, Cruella de Ville from 101 Dalmations, Scar from the Lion King … yeah. He’s going to be one of those kids, when he becomes a wrestling fan, who finds it cool to cheer the bad guy.
  • I have learned a lot about compassion and turning the other cheek as a Christian. I can still get angry … and it can still feel oddly good at times lol.
  • I recommend “Hyrule Historia” as a must have for all and any Legend of Zelda fans. A beautiful and interesting inside look at one of – if not THE – most successful video game franchises ever.
  • I congratulate Ontario’s new premiere, Kathleen Wynne, on her win of the Liberal party leadership, and wish her all the best as she tries to set right some of the issues set in motion by her predecessor.
  • Best wishes to my mom, step-dad and grandmother for a fabulous Florida vacation as they drive south for a few weeks! πŸ™‚ Should be fun … and I regret not stowing away in their suitcase.


{January 22, 2013}   Another one off the reading list

I finished Ernest Cline’s “READY PLAYER ONE” this week. It was a fun read. Imagine everything we might see as wrong with North American society today – the climate change and economic crises getting worse, mass poverty in a degraded environment, trailer parks literally stacked on top of one another, corporate warfare where it is (sometimes far too literally) kill-or-be-killed … and the only escape from this is the OASIS; an online program that initially had its birth as a roleplaying gamed but morphed into a complete alternate reality; social media, public schooling, friendships, chatting, recreation time in the form of games, literature, movies anything – all accessible within this world, effectively for free. Then the designer of the OASIS dies a hermit, leaving behind his greatest video game yet; a race through the virtual world, powering up your avatar, displaying your prowess with the designer’s own personal obsession – 1980s pop culture, video games in particular – in order to come out on top and find Halliday’s Easter Egg … basically, ownership of the OASIS, and inheritance of his billions. This is no longer a game … it is a make-or-break prize that people and corporations around the world are willing to compete – and kill – for.

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. β€˜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
<s>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

The main thing I enjoyed about this book was the references back to 1980s movies, video games, comic books, music etc. as I’m a bit of an 80s fan myself. But I also enjoyed the story, which had something for everyone – tales of friendship and love, action and adventure, thought provoking political and societal commentaries … and yet it also retains the breeziness of a fun and easy read, the literary equivalent of a ‘popcorn flick’. The dreariness of the real world, and the contrast of the lush and varied world of the OASIS, leaves it no surprise that in only a matter of months post-publication, this book had been optioned as a movie … and one I can’t wait to see. This world, inhabited by Wade Watts, aka Parzival, and his friends, is just waiting to be brought to life. No, by no means is this Shakespearean high art, but it is smart nonetheless, fast-paced, and attention-keeping. Well worth a read.



{January 16, 2013}   More Books off the Reading List

So a busy holiday for reading! πŸ™‚ I managed to finish the Hunger Games Trilogy with “MOCKINGJAY” by Suzanne Collins, and I also read “THE HELP” by Kathryn Stockett. Both excellent reads. Please find my mini-reviews below.

A BIG THANK YOU in the meantime though to my in-laws, who, knowing of this project, sent me three – THREE! – of these books on my list. Beautifully bound classic editions of “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”, “Jane Eyre” and “Little Women”. Much appreciated.

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. β€˜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
<s>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

Mockingjay was an excellent finale to the Hunger Games series, as the civil war that had ended up brewing due to Katniss’ rebellious behaviour comes to a shocking end, and all involved attempt to forge a new future. With no more spoilers than that, I will say it’s well worth the read, and a worthy end to the story arc begun by the previous two books.

Similarly, The Help was a great read – I can see some of the criticisms of the sanitization, and it being written by a white woman and how that could be seen as patronizing, but I still found it enjoyable, the characters sympathetic and true without being perfect, and an interesting story told. The endings were not perfect, and left the future wide open for many, while closing other doors as well. Given a certain amount of the story was told from the perspective of Skeeter – a white writer raised by a black maid, a character comparable to Kathryn Stockett herself – while that has received some criticism of the ‘white hero sweeping in to speak for the black community’, I think it probably rang more true than Kathryn Stockett representing the black community firsthand as a white writer. There’s a lot I’m sure that the African-American community could complain about here – and I won’t take that away from them, as they have far more right than I to pass judgements on what constitutes fair representation of their history – I for one enjoyed the book.



{January 7, 2013}   Where does God Live?

In church yesterday we were talking about darkness vs. light, and God/Jesus as a guiding light. In Sunday School, we read the story of Samuel and Eli, where God was calling Samuel in the darkness of the middle of the night. Given this is a tale set in the Temple of Solomon, where the Ark of the Covenant (believed to contain God’s most holy name/God ‘himself’) resided, the Ark was often referred to, using the term (in a tongue and cheek fashion) “The box where God lived.”

The second or third time this came up, one of my ‘students’, who had been carefully listening to this point, could no longer contain herself.

“But God doesn’t live in a box!”

So true, and I have never been so proud of a student ‘calling out in class’. As the children’s minister at a progressive church, if there is anything I want my kiddos to take away with them on their spiritual journey, it is just that in a nutshell: that God does not live in a box. That that message has hit home made me so happy yesterday … just one of those moments of being so glad and blessed for just what it is I do.



{January 5, 2013}   Happy New Year!

So it’s been awhile! My apologies for a busy Holiday Season – it’s been wonderful, though. After a successful Christmas Eve pageant at my church (in you know, my own humble opinion), we had a great Christmas with my family before heading to Kitchener-Waterloo to see my in-laws and our friends, as well as spend a bit more time with my dad and step-mom. A good time, I think, was had by all, despite some rocky weather on our way down, and now we’re home better off than last year – no illness, no car accidents, and a strong start to 2013. πŸ™‚

For the new year I have a few resolutions.

  • Good health. Notice here I’m not speaking of weight – because frankly that’s not what I mean. That’s a part of it for sure. But just generally, I spent too much of the last year ill. I don’t think I strung together two healthy months at any point. So, I want to eat right, sleep better, and get some more exercise generally. Develop some coping skills so I don’t get so easily stressed out or overwhelmed. Generally be better to myself so I can be better for those around me. I feel like if I take care of myself, get active, eat right, sleep properly, etc. the rest will take care of itself.
  • Settle the work situation. Grant you this is only in my own hands to a certain degree – but I can make a few more moves; seek out a few more principals, maybe choose to put teaching aside for awhile and pursue other avenues … I don’t know just what form this will take yet, but I don’t want to be in the ‘1-2 days a week supply teaching and waiting for that to turn into something maybe possibly’ holding pattern. Time to expect more for myself and of myself professionally.
  • Become more organized. I started this process last year – little things, like buying bins to sort the kids’ toys into instead of one big toy box, placing our calendar more prominently in our home so we’ see it daily, making lists at particularly busy times, etc. … I want to continue on this and improve on it, decluttering not just the main part of our house but our storage areas too, putting things on Kijiji that should have been up months ago, getting to some of the longterm ‘to do’ list we’ve had of things to do around here, no longer being late to (almost) everything we go to as a family … in short, behaving like the intelligent, capable adults I know we are. πŸ™‚ No more procrastinating.

There’s probably more stuff those who know me could tell me I should work on in the New Year …Β  but I feel like this is a good start – and totally realistic and doable. πŸ™‚ Here’s hoping everyone has a successful and happy New Year … whatever success and happiness mean to you! XOXO



et cetera