30 April 2009

Anne, again

I'm now halfway through the main Anne series. It's a little confusing, because there are 6 Anne of the Something books, but then there are books about her kids. For my purposes, I'm only reading the Anne of books. So, after the first came of Avonlea and of the Island. The second book chronicles the two years Anne spends as a school teacher, and the third book is about her years at Redmond College getting her B.A. One cool thing I just learned is that Redmond College is based on Dalhousie University, where Lucy Maud did her degree, and the city it's in is based, fittingly, on Halifax. I didn't pick up on that, however. At one point she mentions a martello tower and I thought "Halifax has one of those!" but I didn't know it was the same tower.

I'm taking a break before I read the final three books. I'm interested to see if the fact the L.M. didn't want to write them shows in the stories. She has a very playful tone in her books, with the occasional shot of irony. I wonder if the books she didn't want to write will be more bitter or something?

20 April 2009

Oh, come on

I understand the practice of "cleaning up" the language in certain movies so they can be aired on network television. However, why do they dub in such absurd phrases?

I didn't know that snakes were known for their monkey fighting skills.

19 April 2009

The most important book in the history of PEI

Something to cross off my life-list: I finally read Anne of Green Gables. Up until a few days ago, everything I knew about that book came from cultural osmosis, and having been on the sound crew for my high school's production of the musical (which, now that I know the source material, wasn't as faithful as it could have been). I hadn't even watched the movies - or was it a TV series? Interestingly, despite having never seen them, whenever I see Megan Fellows on TV, I still think of her as Anne. And, speaking of people whom I can't separate from the characters they've played, did anyone else notice Blossom on Bones!?!

Back to Anne, as for the book itself, it actually is pretty great and I totally see why it's adored by millions of little girls across the world. I didn't read this book when I was younger, I think I tried but it didn't capture me. I think, had I kept reading, I would have loved it then. Anne really is an unique character, and the community she lives in seems so much more interesting than the one I grew up in. But, I think, had I read it then, I wouldn't have wanted to be Anne so much as I'd want her to be my friend. And, perhaps, had I read this book years ago, my disdain for PEI wouldn't be nearly as great as it currently is.

One thing that L.M. Montgomery is wonderfully adept at is describing nature. Her book The Blue Castle is one of my all-time favourite books, in-part because of her beautiful descriptions of Muskoka. She really is able to capture the way Muskoka looks and feels. I hadn't known, but that is a hallmark of hers, and all her books contain such evocative descriptions of nature, Anne included.

Also, and this has nothing to do with the book, but I love the symmetry - or maybe it's synergy - of reading a book with a character named Anne Shirley, when I was so recently commenting on the name of Shirley.

13 April 2009


I'm slowly making my way through the collected works of the Bronte women. So far, Jane Eyre is still the best, and Wuthering Heights still the worst, in my estimation. Wuthering Heights, however, is maybe only a little darker than The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, which chronicles a horrible and abusive marriage. The main difference is the Tenant has sympathetic characters, and I don't want to slap every single character in the book (just a couple of them). (Aside: I realize that these are many books by three different authoresses, but I can never remember which sister wrote which books, so I just don't bother separating them).

Last night I finished Shirley (by Charlotte, for those of you who care about that kind of thing). At its centre it's the story of the courtship of two couples, but it's also about the limited options for women in days past, as well as the Napoleonic wars and Luddite riots in England (Big shout-out to the Luddites! I am descended from the Luddites, as my father is one).

One really interesting fact is that, when she wrote this book in 1849, C. Bronte was the first person to use "Shirley" as both a first and feminine name. Up until then, it was only a surname. How cool is that? Think of someone you know named Shirley - she has Charlotte Bronte to thank for her name.

And, perhaps most importantly, we have Charlotte Bronte to thank for this:

(the "altogether" is just bonus).

08 April 2009

Do we even need PEI?

I just saw an add online for PEI tourism. How long have they been calling themselves The Gentle Island? As opposed to what? The island in Lost? I suppose it's better than calling themselves The Innocuous Island. But, really, is their only selling point the fact that they're not attached to land? We know you're an island! It's in your name! Granted, PEI doesn't have much going for it. I was there once, and I remember it being very flat. Maybe they could capitalize on the tumulosusphobe market? Or, maybe it's about time that PEI stopped pretending it's a real province and gave itself over to New Brunswick rule. At least NB has the magnetic hill, and a catchy, alliterative, bilingual slogan.

On a slightly related note, I've committed to reading the Anne of Green Gables books. I figured that since I am female, Canadian, and living in the maritimes that it was about time I read them.

04 April 2009

Greg v. Shaun

About a month ago, I had dinner at Darrell's with Alej. It was the night of the Great Big Sea concert, which I still haven't written about, but I've been meaning to. Darrell's is home of the, I kid you not, peanut butter burger. They say it's good. They may be crazy. I didn't have it. Anyway, when we walked in, there was this older, unwashed-looking gentleman in a booth facing the door, and he looked so familiar. By the time we sat down, I had placed him: Greg Thomey from This Hour Has 22 Minutes. Pretty cool, eh? I now have two squares filled-in on my 22 Minutes Bingo Card (I saw Mercer once, years ago).

Of course, my sister-in-law had to go one-up me. Two days after my sighting of Thomey, she went to the taping of a CBC radio show and Shaun Majumder was there. Not only did she see him, but during one of the breaks she went up to talk to him and shook his hand. I'm so jealous. Majumder totally trumps Thomey. I mean, Majumder knows Kiefer Sutherland. Poor Greg just can't compete.


It's been a busy couple of weeks in the Whedonverse.

First, Willow and Wesley had a baby (together) and gave it a horrible name, Satyana. Which, I found out, is Sanskrit for "a vehicle for action infused with the grace of spirit." Really. I think even "Buffy" would have been a better name. And I have no idea how to pronounce that. Is it like it looks? Or is Sanskrit like Gaelic in that nothing sounds like you would think?

Then, I find out that even Spike thinks he's too old to play Spike anymore. Dude's 46!

And, sadly, Lorne died. Unlike the geriatric Spike, Lorne was only 33 (which, think about Lorne being 13 years younger than Spike. Weird). That's really sad. He did such a great job with that character. In honour, I'm posting a the dance of joy. Because we should celebrate his life.

(I love Numfar's dance).
Only 5 months until the new Douglas Coupland comes out!