Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Book Recap

I did a little better with my reading this month. Life has sort of settled down and I got back in a bit of a groove. I'm sure it helps to have good books to read as well. If anyone was keeping track of my blog, you'll notice I took down my personal Fall Challenge page. There was no way I was getting around to reading half of those books, and it was starting to stress me out. I think I did a lot better this month reading what I wanted to read and not feeling guilty about the borrowed books I have yet to read. This last week was a little tougher reading during my commute. The weather was awful, the trains were really full, and that makes holding a book difficult when you have someone jammed up against you. I also didn't get my 10 extra minutes of reading at Starbucks in the mornings because of the weather. It delays the commute a little and doesn't give me any sit down time. (My commute increased by 30 minutes a few days last week. Yuck!)

I did manage to read most of what I planned to this month, changing out one book for another.

What I Read in November
10 Minute Guide to Project Management (10 Minute Guides)HaloHush, HushI Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies)


What I Plan to Read in December
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3)The Book ThiefOutlander

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Monday, What are you reading? (Nov 29 - Dec 5, 2010)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. It's been a few weeks since I participated in this meme. I'm hoping over the next month I can get in once or twice more. This meme gives people a chance to show what they've read, and what is next up. You can get some great ideas for new books to read by going to the host blog and following a lot of the links. Enjoy and happy reading!

What I Finished

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies)

What I am reading
Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2)

What's up next

Sunday, November 28, 2010

51/50: I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies)I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book started out really slow for me. It took a long time to get going, leaving a lot of the story for the last quarter of the book, as well as all the action. We start out meeting David (John, #4) and his CĂȘpan Henri. They are living in Florida and have been hiding from the Mogadorians. Whenever something happens that could draw attention to John, they leave and move to another town.

The story starts with Henri and John moving to Paradise, Ohio. John starts to develop his legacies while living here. John starts a new school and I found it very typical. There's the nerdy kid, the pretty girl, and the jock boyfriend (in this case, ex-boyfriend). New kid in school grabs the attention of the pretty girl and the ex gets jealous, also finding a friend in the nerdy kid. After falling for the pretty girl, he starts to develop his first legacy. He trains with Henri to develop more.

I didn't feel like this book had a whole lot to offer. They come from another another planet, they have powers that are developing, there are bad guys coming to kill them. I found myself drawing parallels between the book and the TV series Smallville.

I did like the idea of the charm. The Lorien children have to be killed in order. One, Two and Three have already been killed, John is number four. It's an interesting theory and it made it interesting to know that he would be next. The action sequence in the last quarter of the book was pretty intense. I found myself ignoring everything around me just to finish the book and find out what happens next. I almost cried at one point as well, so the writer did a great job of getting you to connect and care about the characters.

All in all, it was an ok book. I wouldn't be rushing out to recommend it though.

Buy this book on Amazon

View all my reviews

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fitness Friday: Taboo Recap

As I posted last Friday, I was off for the weekend to do some performances for PoleJunkies at the Taboo show.

Friday night I performed my solo routine. I chose “Spacelord” by Monster Magnet. Part of this has to do with the fact that I love the song, and partly because it’s easy to dance to. A little bit had to do with my doubles partner. Cruella Steele is a metal fan, so in order for her to help or watch my routine at all, it couldn’t be bubbly. So Cruella, here’s to you, a song you actually approve of.

Saturday I had two performances. At 5pm, Cruella and I performed our doubles routine to “Bad Things” by Jace Everett. We’re both huge True Blood fans, so we thought this fit the bill. We’ve read all the books, and enjoy the show. (Btw, we are both huge book nerds.) At 10pm I was supposed to perform my solo again, but because of the crowds that were watching, we felt it would be better to do our doubles routine again. Doubles routines aren’t something that a lot of pole studios do. They are unique, and between PoleJunkies and the other pole studio in town, we are the only ones that do them.

Here is a video of the first performance we did. I wanted to post the second performance later in the evening, but I haven't been able to find the video.

Working at the booth was an absolute blast. We have people of ever age, size and gender approach to ask about our studio. (Yes we do teach men’s classes. They are called Vertical Fitness and focus on the strength aspects of pole.) We had a stage set up at our booth and to grab attention of the crowds wandering, we do small bits of performances and try moves. We show examples of what people learn in their first level of classes. Then we show them what they can work towards.

It was a very successful weekend. I’m already thinking of more songs to put routines with.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: Another Milestone

Yes you see that correctly. 7 MONTHS!!!!!

I forgot to post my Wedding Wednesday yesterday, but it seems more fitting to do it today anyways.

Since my last update, here’s what we’ve accomplished.

Save the Dates are sent! Some people have even let us know they received them which is nice. A friend of mine called to say how beautiful they are and asked if our photographer did them as they look professionally done. This made me smile so much. My sister is doing all or paper products for the wedding through her company Little Daisy Designs. She was thrilled that someone liked her work and said it was professional quality.

Flowers have been decided on. Deposit has been sent. We found a wonderful florist that is 40% cheaper than the second one we met with. It’s a huge price difference, so for being on a budget, works fantastic!

Caterer deposit sent and received! We can eat!

Cake tasting completed (It was so yummy!). My friend is going to be making it for $100. A far cry from the $450 the bakery wanted.

Bridesmaid dresses are ordered and should arrive in February. I can’t wait to see my girls in their pretty dresses!

We’ve picked our honeymoon. It’s a secret so you’ll have to wait until we get back to find out about it. We’re just need to find a good price and we’ll have it booked. We have a travel agent doing the back work for us, so that shouldn’t be a problem to find a deal. I’m also obsessed with finding a good deal so I check the sites daily.

We booked a Day/Month of Coordinator! My sister won a gift certificate for an event planner and she let her transfer the gift certificate over to me. Now we have a wedding planner for the month/day of. I’m super excited. She will decorate for us, make sure all our vendors are on time, deal with anything that’s amiss, and generally just take care of the day for us. I’m so thrilled that we have this. Frenchie said it’s worth it if it makes me less stressed that month. He’s a smart man!

Next on the list:

Book the honeymoon
Order invitations
Phone about my dress… again. I know I’m being paranoid and it will come. I still have 7 months and technically the wait for a wedding dress is 6 months. It’s only been 5.
Book wedding night hotel room. Far away and secret from all guests.
Get together with friend to brainstorm about stagette. She has asked to do one here in Calgary, while my sister is doing one in Edmonton for me. Very exciting!! I have to get them in touch with each other so they don’t plan exactly the same thing.

Since Christmas is coming fast, we won’t be doing a whole lot before December 25th, so that’s pretty good for the next month and a bit.
I got a text last night from my old university roommate saying she’s super excited to come for the wedding. She said it will be like a giant reunion of the university crew. I’m inviting a lot of the girls we hung out with and were very close with so I’m ecstatic about that part.

I love that other people are as excited as I am!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I've never read Harry Potter

(runs and hides from the flame throwers)

Not entirely true, but in the grand scheme of things it may as well be.

I was dragged to the first movie when it came out in 2001 by my best friend. She insisted I see it and that it would make me want to read the books. I went, I saw, it was a good movie. Why would I want to read it if there’s a movie? (lets keep in mind I’m 16 at this point and not an avid reader like I am today)

Fast forward one year. I have yet to read the books, and am being dragged to see the second movie. I sit through it, enjoy myself, and am told repeatedly how much they cut out and how the book is WAY better. We graduated high school and I was nowhere near my friend by the time the next movie came out. I have yet to see another Harry Potter movie.

Let’s fast forward to 2010. I have read the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It took me 9 years to get around to reading the first book in the series. I read it, I remembered the movie. I read through it quickly because I already knew what happened. I didn’t have a hard time picturing anything since I’d seen the visual adaptation already. Here's my review.

It’s almost the end of 2010 and I’ve yet to read another Harry Potter book. I have the first 4 on my shelf, borrowed from my sister. There are so many books and so little time. Harry Potter isn’t top on my list.

With the new movie arriving this Friday, I keep seeing the previews for it and keep thinking I need to read the rest of them.

We’ll see what happens after my next few books on the list are complete.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yearly Book Goal: Complete!

I read 50 books in 2010 by November 11, 2010

I set a goal of 25 books at the beginning of the year when I joined The Nest Book Club. I read reached my original 25 book goal by May 13, 2010. At that point I upped my goal to 50. I didn't think I could do it but I did. I read 50 books, and there's still 7 weeks left in the year!

I started listing out every book and including a link with it. This post would have been extremely long so I've grouped them.

My favorites (rated 5 stars)
Still Alice
The Name of the Wind
Catching Fire
Hunger Games

Least Favorites (rated 1 star)
In the Woods
The Bell Jar

Sources of Books
Other Stats
Audio Books

Sunday, November 14, 2010

50/50: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, HushHush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It took me 4 days to read Hush, Hush. That should tell you a little something about the book right there. I was enthralled with it. Patch is such an interesting character. The vivid descriptions Nora gives about the way he looks at her gave me chills and definitely made me like him. He has this dark evil thing about him that you can’t help but be pulled into. Is he a good guy or a bad guy? Read to the book to find out. Either way I like him.

Nora is a good character but like most lead female characters she had her annoying bits. She did some pretty stupid things and got herself into a bit of trouble here and there. Nothing out of the ordinary for a 16 year old who thinks she’s a great reporter.

Let’s go back and discuss Patch, because after reading this book, he’s the only one that I want to read more about. (Yes I have a book crush, don’t judge me) This guy has everything going for him. He’s the ultimate bad boy, and let’s face it, most women fall for the bad boy, against their better judgment at least once. He hustles pool, cards, and has a knack for showing up at just the right time. He’s mysterious, and has that “you know you want me” confidence. Nora is scared of him, but drawn to him at the same time. I have to say, I’d be upset with her if she didn’t go for him.

As for the story, without giving too much away, I’m a fan of the immortal, good/evil storylines. I love angels and demons and all things supernatural, so this was right up my alley. Becca Fitzpatrick does a good job of making you second guess yourself. You think you have it figured out, but then something changes and you aren’t sure anymore.

I would definitely recommend this one for YA fans.

I can’t wait to Crescendo! I have it on hold at the library but I fear it will be a while before it comes in.

Buy Hush, Hush on Amazon
Buy Crescendo on Amazon
View all my reviews

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Movie Review (23): Legion

Frenchie and I have been recording movies on our PVR. There has been a lot lately, so stay tuned for several Movie Reviews.

Starring: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson

I’m a big fan of angels, religious movies and good & evil. I’m also a fan of Paul Bettany ever since I saw A Knight’s Tale way back when. What I’m not a fan of is this movie. Frenchie didn’t want it on the PVR, but I recorded it anyways. I’m a sucker for these kinds of shows. The rating on our cable box was 1/3 stars. (Don’t even get me started on their rating system. 3 stars? How can you rate out of 3?) We figured it would be a crappy movie, so there was no delusions going in. Bettany played Michael, the Archangel. He was sent on a mission to prevent the birth of a child who would save mankind. Apparently God got fed up with us and decided to extinguish the human race. Michael decides God is wrong and can’t possibly want to destroy His creation, so he sets out to protect this unborn child.

Chaos ensues with the angel army comes in waves to this little diner in the middle of nowhere to take the mother and child. Other than the predictability of the story, I did enjoy some of the fight scenes. I rather enjoyed when Gabriel (another Archangel) shows up. His fight scene was pretty awesome, and I love that his wings were sharp as a sword.

I was disappointed in Dennis Quaid. What happened to him as an actor? I seem to remember him being wholesome and a great actor. Clearly the mighty have fallen. His acting was horrible.

As much as I gave this movie a bad review, and won’t recommend it, I did watch the entire thing and have to say that I’m a still a sucker for angels.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fitness Friday: Naughty or Nice?

This weekend is the Taboo Naughty but Nice Sex Show. Every year for 4 days at one of the convention centres in town, this show is held. It's mostly full of toys, clothes, vendors and a few things I care to never know about.

Frenchie and I go every year to walk around. I don't think we've ever actually bought anything, but it's fun to walk around, giggle at a few things, get weirded out by others and not even bother to ask what some things are. (there's a point where you really don't want to know)
Since I've started dancing at PoleJunkies, I've started going to Taboo and working at the PoleJunkies booth. The first year I went, handed out cards and explained to people what we offer for classes. We have a pole set up at the booth and do demos for people and allow them to try a few things. They are always amazed and go away with a different view of what we do. (Other times you get closed minded people at the most open-minded event in the city)

Last year, I was asked by the owner of PJ’s to perform the level 6 routine on the main stage. I hadn’t performed a dance routine on stage in so long I jumped at the chance. (I used to be in competitive dance for 13 years) I was incredibly nervous right before going on stage. I ended up forgetting parts of the routine and improvising, and the video camera we had to record my routine had a low battery and died 10 seconds in. So the first performance didn’t go so well.

This year, I’m performing again. This time I’m much more prepared. I am doing a solo, which I’ve choreographed myself, and a duet that Cruella Steel and I put together. I feel fairly confident with my solo. I know I can do all the moves that are in it, it’s just remembering the transitional parts. At least I know I can improvise those parts and no will know ;)

I will be doing my solo once Friday night, and twice Saturday night. Our duet will be twice on Saturday night.
I am hoping I can get video of them this time around and I’ll post it up next week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remebrance Day

Who are you remembering today?

Take 2 minutes at 11:00am to remember those that have died.
Remembrance Day signifies the end of World War I

Lest we forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By John McCrae, May 1915