Monday, December 15, 2008

Here's my plug for Bond, James Bond in Quantum of Solace

On Saturday Andrew and I went on a "date." I've put date in quotation marks since we've been married for over four years and it's not as if the events of our "date" could have an affect on whether or not we'd be going home together at the end of the night. At any rate, we went out for dinner at the Elephant and Castle (located less than a minute away from the movie theatre) and then checked out the new Bond flick, Quantum of Solace.

Prior to the Daniel Craig reincarnation of 007 I've never been terribly interested in James Bond. I've seen a few of the Sean Connery movies and I think at least one with Pierce Brosnan, but neither were fascinating enough to make me want to watch them a second time. However, since seeing Casino Royale that's changed. Why? Well to be honest, part of it is Daniel Craig himself. The man is ripped and I'd have to be blind not to appreciate his physic (he also has beautiful blue eyes!). The most recent two Bond movies also have a lot of great hand-to-hand fighting sequences, especially the huge free-running section at the beginning of Casino Royale. The third reason I think I've enjoyed the last two Bonds so much is that the writers have set out to humanize James Bond. And I'm a huge sucker for the unlikely, slightly (or majorly) disgruntled, cynical hero angle (I'll post more about my new heroine Claire Lamont soon).

So, how was Quantum of Solace? I think I've already hinted that I enjoyed it. That's true. But, to be honest I walked out of the moving feeling like I learned nothing. Nothing about Mr. White (the man we see Bond shoot at the very end of Casino Royale) or the organization he worked for. Basically, it felt like this movie was an hour and forty-five minutes of set up for the next movie, which I believe is set to be released in 2010. However, the action was fun. I'd say the movie was 80 to 90 percent action and it was all fabulous. There was also a strong, kick-butt woman, which I always like to see. And I've read that she'll be back for the next movie too. So, all-in-all. An enjoyable movie, glad to have caught it on the big screen and I will probably pick up the DVD when it's released.

That's all for now. Heading home to Ontario on Wednesday.



Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas party weekend

This weekend Andrew and I attended two Christmas parties. For us that makes for quite a busy weekend. They were also two very different Christmas parties. The first was for the library school students (which took place at the school) and it was a potluck. It was nice. I brought an enormous cheesecake, which received some high praises (including that it was "orgasmic" cheesecake). The spread of food was quite excellent and the company enjoyable. After dinner most of us eventually crowded into a room with an overhead projector and played Rock Band.

Chocolate-mint marble cheesecake.

The second party was held by one of the professors from the mechanical engineering department. The party included a mix of some of the younger professors from the department, grad students and I think at least one staff member. We also had a good time there. The host's condo was new and quite attractive, with hardwood floors and a granite counter top in the kitchen. They offered the guests and excellent spread of deserts and drinks. I had a fairly substantial amount of white wine, but was surprisingly feeling fine at the end of the night (perhaps all of the Bree and crackers soaked up the alcohol). Discussion filled most of the evening.

We had a great time at both parties, but it struck me how different they both were--not just because one party was full of librarians and the other of engineers. The library party was very low budget. This was fine and I was actually surprised to hear that some students were disappointed that something more lavish (such as a dinner in a restaurant) and therefore more expensive, was not organized. The engineering party was also low budget (for us), but it was held in an attractive apartment, were it was obvious that the inhabitants had a comfortable income.

Sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable in the fact that amongst many of my friends, Andrew and I are the most well off. It helps a great deal that there are two of us, of course. But, I think some of it is because we tend not to be as extravagant in our spending as some people our age. I don't want to go on a wild rant about this, so I think I'll leave it there. All there.



Thursday, December 4, 2008

A brief thought on the political news of today...

I have to admit, I'm disappointed that the Governor General has granted Stephen Harper's request to prorogue parliament. Being an ABC (Anything But Conservative) girl I took to the idea of a coalition government like my cat Tabitha to a left out ball of wool. I won't go into the details myself, there are many bloggers more competent on government issues than myself. I just wanted to add my opinion to the vast space that is the Internet. For now I'll just cross my fingers that the coalition will be able to stick together and defeat the government in the new year.



Monday, December 1, 2008

All most there, really. I can smell freedom, sort of...

I have two assignments remaining and then my first semester is over. I think that's all I have to say about that.

And on to other news...

My mini-NaNoWriMo challenge. Sunday was the last day for NaNoWriMo-ers around the world. The goal, of course, was to write 50,000 words during the 30 days of November, but since I am working part-time and going to school full-time I felt that objective was out of my reach. I was just trying to write as much as time would allow. Unfortunately I currently have no idea what my final tally is. I spent the last week or so writing on paper (very old school, I know) and so can only guesstimate my achievement. When I have time (ha!) I will type the 6 or so pages I have (of very minute script I might add) and report the official number. My preliminary guess is that I wrote approximately 15,000 words.

And for your amusement...

I had a crazy dream Monday morning. I dreamt I was running a marathon inside a shopping mall. First, there was a swimming component (no biking though, hence not a triathlon competition), which took place in a huge wave pool. When you were done the swim you had to exit the pool via a corridor (also filled with water), except because the waves were so big they kept pushing me off course and they made it difficult to see the entrance. When I finally got out of the pool and started to run I was way behind the other competitors and then discovered the run was also a scavenger hunt, which I was pretty mad about. In the end, I finished last because I'd lost so much time from the swim. I hope to run my first half-marathon next spring in Calgary. I hope it doesn't turn out like my dream.

And finally...

Stephanie Dion could wind up Prime Minister after all. These are interesting times in Canada. Interesting times.



Monday, November 24, 2008

What was that zipping sound? Oh it was my weekend flying by

This weekend my sister-in-law Margaret visited us. She lives in Victoria, but was in Calgary due to her job and so came up to visit us before heading home. This was fine. We had a good time, aided by the fact that it's unseasonably warm here in Edmonton. We went to the Ooddle Noodle Box for some delicious MSG, then walked most of Whyte Ave during the afternoon. I got a new pair of cute (and extremely warm) Merrell boots and we visited a few stores we'd never been into before. Margaret and her husband, Stephen, are into Tiki and as it turns out there are places along Whyte where you can buy Tiki mugs etc (hence the new stores we'd never been into before). We enjoyed dinner at the Blue Plate Diner in the evening--despite having to wait half an hour or so to get a table. We played a couple of games after we got home and went for another walk on Sunday afternoon.

And then it was Sunday night. Not that visits aren't great, they are, but man do they eat up a weekend. And our regular schedule gets mixed up. Like groceries. We didn't get any until after dinner and we only got what was absolutely necessary. I also didn't get a lot of writing done. A little on Friday and some more Sunday night. I'm currently working on pencil and paper, so I don't know what my word count it up to. Oh and don't forget the studying I didn't do (or at least didn't do very much of).

So, zip went the weekend. And zip, my week is going. It's adult time where there isn't enough time to do half of the stuff you want to compared to kid time, where counting down thirty days till Christmas feels more like a year. Ack.



Monday, November 17, 2008

I can see clearly now, the mound of homework is almost gone

Well, my first semester of library school is almost over. Throughout today and tomorrow four assignments will be handed in, leaving one group presentation, two medium sized assignments and a final exam. In the back of my brain a little voice keeps telling me that there's still a lot to go, but psychologically, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Two of the remaining assignments aren't due until December, and maybe I'm in denial for the rest, but it sure feels good. I'll still be working for most of my time tonight (until 9pm, when Chuck is on) but later this week I think I might be able to put in a little extra time on my mini-NaNoWriMo project, since I didn't get too much done on it this week.

Nothing else of much import to note at present, but we'll be hosting a guest this coming weekend (my sister-in-law, Margaret) and I'm hoping I might get a chance to shop for new Merrel boots and a jacket (since snow is once again threatening the city).



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hello winter/mini-NaNoWriMo update

This is what I woke up to today. Considering this is November and I live in Edmonton it was inevitable. It doesn't mean I have to like it.


In other news, my Mini-NaNoWriMo efforts are coming along. I've managed to write 6,106 words, which I think is pretty good since my writing efforts are mainly limited to forty-five minutes in the morning before I head off to work or classes. I'm not sure I'll make it to the 25,000 words I'd hoped for, but we'll see. I'm rather enjoying my new character, Claire Lamont. She's vastly different from my last hero, Ava Ravenscraft. Claire's smart (I've made her a librarian :)) but very cynical and unsociable--although for good reasons. Anyways...dinner's almost ready and homework is awaiting me afterward.



Friday, November 7, 2008

Extending the dates

Three of my most recent assignments have been granted extended deadlines and I wonder whether or not this practice really helps. In the past I've always aimed for the original dates assigned regardless. And for the first of the assignments, a podcast, I have already handed it in as scheduled. The remaining projects are essays and to be honest I'm not too far along with either of them. So guess what I'll be doing with my weekend. Homework. Research. Preparation for these essays. Even though the dates have been pushed back, I'm not sure I want to have them hanging over my head for another weekend yet to come. And I can only guess for those who tend to procrastinate that they'll just put off the work for another week. So does anyone really win here? I suppose, for those who accidentally let things slip away they find themselves with a reprieve. For me, however, at this point in the semester I just want to get everything done and over with, which is what I'll be aiming for this weekend.



Sunday, November 2, 2008

Writing and figure skating, they make my world go 'round...


I'm happy to report that yesterday I had a chance to sit down and write a few words for my new story, which is presently operating under the title "Unidentified Flying Object." I think this is just a working title, but we'll see. It will probably depend on whether or not I can come up with anything better. In less than an hour I managed to write 723 words. It's a good thing I'm not trying to complete NaNoWriMo this year, I'd already be behind. You need to complete something like 1,300 words a day on average to meet the target. No, I just want to get as much done as possible, which when you're in the thick of a semester is fairly challenging.

Moving on to something different...

Skate Canada

I have to say, I'm pleased that CBC is actually airing figure skating this year. They broadcasted some of Skate American last weekend (although showed nothing of the ladies or dance) and all of Grand Prix events will be shown later on. Of course, if I had better Internet I could watch it all online, but our slow connection doesn't allow for that.

At any rate, I wanted to comment on the men's competition of Skate Canada, featuring Patrick Chan, the new Canadian hopeful now that Jeffery Buttle has retired. First of all, Patrick is just 17 years of age and pretty much all the attention of the skating community of Canada has shifted to him in the last few weeks. He is an excellent skater and I hope he manages to handle the pressure. His short programme was skated fairly well. He put a hand down on his triple axel and there was a small bobble in his foot work, but altogether pretty good. He placed second. Yesterday was the long and again his programme went fairly well...but he fell on his second triple axel and completely missed his second triple lutz (it wasn't even rotated). Despite these errors he still won the competition.

Now, much can be said about figure skating where judging is concerned. I really do feel that the new Code of Points system works. The skater only gets points for what they accomplish and although 11 judges sit on the panel only 7 judge's marks are actually included in the score (I might be slightly off on those numbers) which makes it very difficult to "throw" competitions since you never know which judges marks are going to count. This being said, I think Patrick did deserve to win. The second place finisher fell on his quad-toe and doubled a couple of jumps. However, in his interview after, Patrick didn't seem to think so. I really felt bad for this poor kid who was clearly disappointed in his own performance, but yet still came out with the top prize. I hope his season picks up from here. He does have a lot of talent and I enjoy his skating.

Anywho, I could yalk about figure skating for much longer than anyone would care to read and I really must get on with my day. That's all for now.



Thursday, October 30, 2008

The disappointing news and moving on...

Yesterday I received my rejection letter from LUNA (a subsidiary of Harlequin) in regards to my Cimwai's Bay manuscript proposal. I can't say I was surprised (not because I think my writing is garbage, but due to the sheer volume of manuscripts editors must receive) but I was still disappointed. To look at things on the glass half-full side, they did provide a reason for why my manuscript was rejected and so I can work toward addressing these issues before trying to send it out again, which I will do, but not now. I need a break. I've been working hard on Cimwai for more than a year and I think I need a rest to gain a fresh perspective.

Meanwhile, I will work on a new idea. Unfortunately I don't have nearly enough time to meet the NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words, so I instead I will do my own personal mini-NaNoWriMo. I'll aim for 25,000 words, but I'm not sure that that's really an attainable amount either. Realistically I'll probably be lucky to manage 10,000 words (I am in school after all). It'll be another project aimed to LUNA, but I'll set it in a contemporary time period. I've been pondering plot ideas the last few days. The excitement is building!

That's all for now, homework is awaitin'.



Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One note on peg legs

"At this point the Earth's survival instincts kicked in. Its inner essence disengaged itself from the pandemonium taking place on its surface and formed a replica 'shadow' planet, sharing the same space and time. The planet was built on a foundation of a prehistoric version of the albatross, which given time, would evolve into the modern-day penguin. Thus Mother Earth, gave birth to her own twin daughter, Pegrael."
~Visions of Pegaflowne, by Me.