Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wedding Photos from Allen

My cousin Allen took some wedding photos and just put them up on his website. I think they're great!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Lakehouse

Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves have a great chemistry. They played wonderful characters in Kate and Alex. The Lakehouse is the sweetest movie I’ve seen in a long while. Though they are sweet, Kate and Alex don’t get sappy. No cavities, thank you. They accept their situation and don’t try to figure out the “why” of what is happening to them. Instead, they let the situation and relationship grow.

The Lakehouse takes long distance relationships to a whole new level. Though there are doubts over time, it shows how powerful and all-consuming love can be. Yes, you can find themes like that in most “chick flicks” but this story is unique. It is an original idea. Something I’ve been looking for. It was nice to watch a movie that wasn’t a remake, a sequel or regurgitations of the familiar. In The Lakehouse you find something new. Though it is surrounded by the romance of the story, you find something that gets you to think.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Princess And The Whiskheads

Russell Smith’s The Princess And The Whiskheads was simply fabulous. I loved Princess Juliana. She is such a believable female character. She is not a superwoman, nor is she a damsel in distress. Juliana may be the most beautiful woman in the land, but she has faults. This balance of virtues and faults are what make her relatable.

One of the funny things about trust is that it can be both a virtue and a fault, depending one how it is used. Princess Juliana trusted her advisors and the other nobles of the courts. She trusted them to treat the people fairly. She trusted them to do what was in the best interest of the kingdom. Then on her first venture into the city, she saw that horrible school. An ugly building, unfit for children, baring her name. She was horrified. One walk into the city and she learned so much.

The male characters were also quite interesting, especially the suitors. There is Lord Lucas, a handsome noble, who clearly wants to rekindle their childhood flame. Lord Bostock, the poet among the strapping nobles, also pursues the princess, as honestly as he can. Then there is Jan, the charming, mesmerizing peasant, a whiskhead. Juliana feels for them and they desire her. Will she end up with one of them? Who captures her heart? They are all present at the end of the tale.

Though the book calls itself a modern fairytale, I wouldn’t necessarily read it to young children. Let’s just say that there are a few “may not be appropriate for younger audiences” scenes. They are tastefully written and fit in well with the stories. However, if you’re reading this to a six-year-old, you might want to skip the word nipple (a couple times). It does have that fairytale sensibility though, making it a pleasure to read.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Hey Nostrodamus!

What a simply amazing story! I could barely put Douglas Coupland’s Hey Nostrodamus! down. It became one of those books that you think about all day. I’d be at work and find myself thinking about Jason Klaasen and where his life was heading. Jason was an amazing character. The whole story absorbed me. It was spiritual, even a little religious, without being the slightest bit preachy. I don’t like stories that are over saturated with religion. A story should be able to stand on the strength of its characters, not religion.

There was so much growth, change and trauma. Death ran throughout this novel, affecting the lives of this ‘family’ of people in North Vancouver. It was definitely a traumatic beginning and emotional all the way through the story. It starts with a high school shooting. I’ve actually had this book for about a year or more, but I just couldn’t summon up the will to read it. On the dust jacket, it tells you about how the story begins (though it doesn’t really mention the rest). With recent events, however, I felt it was time to pick up Hey Nostrodamus!. I’m really glad I read it. The story isn’t exactly a “feel good” sort of thing, but it does leave with some kind of satisfaction in Heather, Jason’s adult girlfriend and Reg, Jason’s father. There was realization and there was love with both these characters.

I’m glad about the warning, though. I needed that blurb about the book to tell me that people were going to die in a very tragic way. It kind of reminded me of a great book I read about two years ago, The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I think it’s actually on The Globe and Mail’s paperback best seller’s list. I knew it was about death, which you could guess from the title, but it didn’t give you any clue as to how a particular character died. Reading it was shocking. At least Coupland gave me some sort of preparation.

Hey Nostrodamus! is just an excellent piece of fiction. If you want something that really reflects the way things have been in the world (at least the western world) in this generation, pick up this book. The characters are tangible and believable. They are the family next door. They are the people you meet in line at the toy store. There are dark, scary, depressed and lonely. They are also filled with love and possibility.

Photos So Far

This is what I could get so far in terms of wedding photos on my blog. I think you're just going to have to see the hard copies for people who are really interested. But it's okay. I'll see you soon :)

Wedding Photos… Finally -b-

Signing our lives away... I mean, to each other...
Below, everbody at the wedding. Above, the best man holding everything!
Parents and Brothers

We have the best looking wedding party ever!

I Love My Bouquet!!!

An amazing background... We think so anyway.

Wedding Photos… Finally -a-

Me with my Maid of Honour, Pam. Craig with the Best Man, JP.

Below, us at the entrance to University College at the University of Toronto. We love this picture!

Craig with our friend, Dan.

Me with Dan's girlfriend, the lovely Mandi.

Oh, we're posing again.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Wedding Photos… Almost! x2

I'm having a bit of a problem with the wedding photos. Apparently there is a limit to the size or something.... I think I might actually have to create a photoblog or something like that. I'm not sure what to do... Just in case I can't decide what to do for a while, here is another photo. I think we had a pretty attractive wedding party

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Turn Of The Screw

The Turn Of The Screw is definitely the most macabre of James’ stories. It’s good versus evil; living versus dead. It shows the power of trust and belief. The characters are so tangible; you almost think that you could go to Bly and help. Of course, you might just end up running away in terror.

The way James describes the emotions of the characters is amazing. You feel the fear, bravery, anger and possible insanity of the whole situation. Is the Governess crazy? Does she really see ghosts? The way she exactly describes Quint to Mrs. Grose makes the reader think, yes she does see him. She sees Miss Jessel too. The Governess must protect her young charges, Miles and Flora, from these malicious spirits.

If these ghosts are real, do Miles and Flora want to be protected? From there behaviour throughout the stories, it seems not. They want to play with the spirits of their former friends. The children also seem to be absurdly perfect. The have the pretty smiles and the gorgeous hair and the endearing eyes. They are almost ghost like. Their visage has something supernatural about it, casting a spell on the servants who live in the house with them. The Governess also finds herself under their spell. Though, it seems, she sometimes breaks free and becomes suspicious of their every word and action. Especially after she sees Flora’s behaviour at the pond, with Miss Jessel looking on.

Though I think they are brilliantly created, I’m not sure about how I feel towards these characters. Mrs. Grose seems to believe the Governess’s tale of spirits too easily. Yet, without her belief, it would make the Governess appear to be losing her mind. Mrs. Grose gives her validation. Perhaps, Mrs. Grose is just a simple woman believing the words of an educated lady. The Master is oddly distant. It is fine not to care about his niece and nephew, but to refuse contact with the house all together? The house does belong to him. What does that mean? Did he play a part in the deaths of Quint and Jessel? Maybe the unworldly beauty of Miles and Flora are too much for him. He needs to stay away from their unnatural splendor. The Governess also bothers me. She just seems too sure of herself.

I had to read the end a few times. I read over the last page three times before I fully grasped what happened. I knew I read it right the first time, but I thought I had misunderstood. Is what happened to Miles caused by the spirit leaving him and taking his own spirit away? Or did the Governess do something to him in her effort to win Miles from Quint? Was it one of those, if I can’t have you, no one can, kind of moments? It is still difficult to believe that was the end of the story. It was certainly a dramatic finale to a harrowing tale. It also seems quite fitting as to the story’s flow. I suppose I was hoping for a happier ending. Of course, after Daisy Miller and The Altar Of The Dead what else was I expecting?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wedding Photos… Almost!

I’ve been getting requests to post some of our wedding photos. Here’s one. I have to reduce the file size before they go up. I promise to put some more up soon.