Friday, November 26, 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I think I’m finally ready to talk about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Had I posted a review before today it probably would have gone something like this:

Wow. Like seriously… wow. So good. I mean with the… ya. And the…? Wow. And then I cried. Like, they just did such a good… ya. Wow.

As you can see, that wouldn’t really have told you much except that I loved it to the point of speechlessness.

Best movie yet by far. The acting was just incredible, compartively. As much as I love Emma Watson as Hermione, she kinda bugged me at times with her overacting in the films previous to this one. But not in DH. She was on point the whole time. The tension between Ron and Hermione is palpable and I loved it! All of the characters did a really great job this time around. You really sense their connection, their loyalty to one another.

If I could choose three words to describe DH it would be dark, intense and sad. I’m happy that I hadn’t read the book recently because I was able to go into the movie with few expectations or “I hope they do this scene” etc etc. I was able to just sit back and enjoy it and let it all come back to me as the movie went on.

Some of my favorite parts (MOVIE AND BOOK SPOILERS TO FOLLOW):
  • The first (and only scene, I think) with Harry and Ginny… I wanted to shout out, “don’t worry! You’re gonna get married and have lots of babies!!!” But honestly, I think it was a really good way to set the record of where they stood with each other.
  • The scene with Fred and an injured George… “Saintly… see, I’m holy?”…. classic Weasley twins! I think I liked this because, for the first time, you see the deep connection between the brothers. Another classic Weasly moment was the “just trying to diffuse the tension” line at Privet Drive. LOVE!
  • Harry and Hermione dancing: some people found this cheesy, but I loved that he did this for her. Just shows how much he cares for her and how close they are.

Friggin’ scary, but awesome nonetheless parts:
  • The wedding: when Kingsley’s Patronous arrives to warn everyone “The Ministry has fallen… Minister for Magic is Dead…. They are coming”… *shivers* So creepy-awesome! The voice gave me chills.
  • Godric’s Hollow: seriously, the old lady is really bloody creepy. And then in the bedroom? God, I knew it was coming and yet still jumped about 10 feet out of my seat.

The hardest parts to watch:
  • Ron and Harry's fight followed by Ron's departure.  I wanted to SCREAM for him to take the Horcrux off (but then one of my favorite parts was his return... excellent part of the book and movie).
  • Hedwig! Poor, sweet, loyal Hedwig. It was not a long, drawn out scene but Oy! I couldn’t stop the tears. I seriously ached.
  • Dobby’s death. I cried again…. and kept on crying. Good lord they did it well. It just ruined me.

My only complaints:
  • I was sad that we didn't get to see Kreacher's turn around.
  • I have to wait 8 months until the bittersweet end.

 Such a great movie that I absolutely cannot wait to see again!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blood Brothers (Sign of Seven Trilogy - Book 1) by Nora Roberts

I hadn't read Nora Roberts in a while so when browsing through the library one day (in between holds) I decided to pick these up. I'd heard The Sign of Seven Trilogy was a great series.

Book one is a very quick read which introduces you to the 6 main characters (gee... I wonder where that's going to go, with 3 men and 3 women in a romance book?). This book focuses on Quinn and Cal and the relationship that they develop.

It was enjoyable, kept me engaged and I read through it rather quickly, but I didn't LOVE it. It was just a good, entertaining read.

I'm not sure I can point out specific complaints without posting huge spoilers so I will avoid that for now. I will say that some of the paranormal element was just.... to "out there" for me to really buy. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against paranormal and read a lot of it, but this stuff was just a little... eh.

Aside from that I really did enjoy it. The characters were quirky and flawed, as NR usually writes them, and therefore very fun to read about.  The romance between Cal and Quinn was equal parts cute and steamy which is just how I like em! I'm excited to see where the Cyb and Gage story goes. I like their attitudes and I think a relationship between them would be really interesting.

I have The Hallow (book 2) checked out and waiting at home and am looking forward to diving back into Hawkins Hallow after a brief break to finish something else. All in all- this is a good romantic thriller that I recommend to all NR fans.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Feeling a little pissy today....

....I'm trying really hard not to be, but it's just not working and the stabbiness is winning out. I'm feeling... betrayed, for lack of a better word, by someone who I thought was a good friend. I don't want to be mad at him, but I just am. I'd love to call him out on it but I can't for one reason or another, so I just have to sit and brood about it. I honestly don't know whether to cry or throw something.

The problem with days like today is that I have a hard time separating the thing that's bothering me from everything else. So, I'm short tempered and agitated with everyone who has the misfortune to get in my way. I know it's not fair, I know that it's childish, but I can't help it most of the time. When I'm in a mood, I'm in a mood and there's no coming out of it until I'm done being mad. Bub knows this well. My famous line is "I'm not finished being angry yet so leave me alone".  And when he's knows what's good for him, he does.

When I'm mad, I like to deal with things. I like to confront the issue, sort it out and move on. When I can't do that, my mind twists and turns (usually along with my stomach) and sends me to the point of complete distraction. That's what's happening today. I feel like I might BURST with the frustration.

So.... I just have to try to move past it and get through the day so I can go home and vent my frustrations to Bub (poor guy- he doesn’t know what he's in for). Until then, I’ll be a nervous ball of dirty looks, snarky comments and impatient gestures. Lucky co-workers!

Ugh.  It's going to be a long day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ordinary Miracles

 Three sweet little lives were welcomed to this world today... and although they gave their Mama and Daddy (and everyone else who loves them already) a big scare making their appearance at only 28 weeks, they have put a big goofy smile on my face today.  I've even shed more than a few joyful tears.  Want to hear something really cheesy? I've been humming this all day too,  but I believe it.

I'm so happy for Jenny, her husband, and their new family that they've been waiting so long for... and I'm thinking of and praying for those sweet babies to stay strong and get healthy so they can go home with their parents.

Congrats Mama and Daddy! And welcome Tobias, Eleanor and Callista!

Fall Update

I'm SUCH a slacker when it comes to posting pictures of events, so I'm going to do another ones of those fall update posts.

First, in September, we took off to Niagara Falls for the weekend to celebrate Bub's Gramma's 80th Birthday.  She'd had her big party for her 75th, so she wanted to do something different for her 80th and choose gambling in Niagara. 

It turned out to be a great weekend.  We were supposed to stop at a Becca Fitzpatrick signing on the way down, but Bub was suffering from a nasty headache that day so I let him sleep and drove right through to Niagara.  Well... almost.  I pulled off in Milton for a pee break and Bub happened to wake-up.  Headache pretty much gone, he requested that since we were in Milton we had to find "Halifx Donair"... a restaurant we had heard about on TV that apparently made donairs just like out east.  So, we took a drive down Main Street and low and behold, we found it.  So Bub got his donair and I got a chicken ceasar salad and we picnic'd in the car.

This picture was taken moments before the ORANGE sauce ended up in his lap and on my passenger seat.

Much of the T family was able to make it for the weekend, which included a big family dinner at the casino buffet on Saturday night.  It was a blast.  Unfortunately, I didn't get many pics.  Here's the one and only time my camera came out that weekend.

Bub'a Aunt and Uncle, myself and SMIL walked from the hotel to the liquor store for supplies... but we got thirsty on the way and stopped for a margarita!

We had a great time with the family, and then the cousins and their spouses went out drinking and dancing Saturday night at a little dive club!  Wish I would have taken some pics.  We had a great time.

I also treated myself while we were in Niagara..... I really couldn't afford it, but I LOVED it and it really was a GREAT deal thanks to a 20% off sale and the Coach outlet!

We immediately moved from birthday to wedding festivities for SIL.  Being part of the wedding party, along with Bub, meant I didn't capture any of my own pics... but I stole a few from FB to post here.

We're missing a bridesmaid here... but you wouldn't know it. 
Bub stood up for SIL on her side so really, he should be in this pic as well.  

Super uncomfortable dresses, but the colors were very pretty.  The day went ok, the weather was perfect and the wedding beautiful and a lot of fun. As much as I hate to say it, it was a relief to have it over with though because it took up a huge amount of time and money that I didn't really have. 

The bride and her million pound dress and train.

We definitely celebrated though... drinking and dancing the night away. 

Myself and my 3 nieces gettin' our groove on at the beginning of the night.

The weekend following the wedding meant we finally got some peace and quiet.... along with some down time.  So we took full advantage of it.  But not long after, I woke up to this....

This was taken from my bedroom window on Oct 22nd.

It didn't last of couse, but it definitely hit home that an Ontario winter was on the way. 

Preparations began for our Halloween Bash.  It was a TON of fun, despite having to miss the prep and beginnig of the party due to my stats exam.  Everyone had a good time, with lots of food, drinks, Rock Band (with an epic group rendition of WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE) and even some karaoke.

Here's a few pics from the night:

The food all ready to go.  Bub took a pic for me since I wasn't home to see this.  We even made candy apples!

Bub and BIL aka Wayne and Garth.  I hate this picture because it's so unflattering for MH but it's the only one I got of the two of them.

McSteamy and Little Grey! Love It!

Myself and bestie # 2. 
I'm really not wearing that bat on my head... it just looks like it. 
A Fallen Angel and Snooki! Caaabs are heeeeya!

SIL and Sammy in the worlds tightest Bam Bam costume.

Junior- Hippie Love

Some of the other crazies at the party.... ya... I don't really know what to say.

All in all, a fun night... but we're not sure we'll do it again. It was a lot of work and really expensive, but a blast.  We'll see.

So, we're now headed into the Christmas season! My favorite time of the year! Hopefully I'll be a little better with the camera this time around so I can document some memories for myself. 

Time to start counting the "sleeps til' Santa comes"!

Friday, November 19, 2010


By the title of this post, you might think that I'm getting a certain movie to be released today confused with this classic...

I assure you... I'm not (great movie though).

Then why the need for a title in triplicate you ask?  Well in all honesty, if you don't know (or can't figure it out), then I'm not sure you deserve to read my blog.  (I'm kidding of course!) 

My excitement today is due to the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I

I'm honestly giddy with anticipation for 10:15 tonight.  The trailers honestly give me chills! I get  Ron fix, and a Lupin fix.... and I'm just all around excited to spend a couple of hours beyond the muggle world!

Unfortunately, seeing the movie on release day means seeing it in sold out theatres and waiting in lines... but it's well worth it.  I'll take a book, my DS and my BB and keep myself and Bub entertained while we wait.  We've done it for all previous HP releases, for Avatar and for the Twilight movies... so we're old pros.

Unfortunately I didn't get to finish my series re-read, and it's been quite some time since I read this book (the day it was released) so I'm a little foggy on the details, but I think that will just make it all the more enjoyable!

Can't wait!  I'll be sure to post a review ASAP.   Now... if I can just make it through the next eight and a half hours.......


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Edge of Sight by Roxanne St. Claire

*First reads win, Nov 2010*

Ok- so this story gets almost 4 stars... call it 3.5. It was a really good read and I enjoyed it a lot, but there was just something keeping me from giving out that full fourth star.

The storyline was definitely a winner. Very suspenseful and intricate enough to keep me turning the pages. Sure it was a little cheesy at some parts, but we're talking about a romantic suspense, so you know there's going to be a certain degree of cheese at some point (whispering words of love in Italian during "you know what"... CHEESE).

The main characters were likeable and engaging. I didn't love Sam, but I didn't dislike her either. She was a good enough MC. And I, of course, loved Zach. The bad boy with a heart of gold, and a tortured soul. Swoon!

I think what has me hesitating is a) the supporting cast. It seemed like this book spent way too much time setting up for future books (with "The Guardian Angelinos") and it didn't seem authentic and sometimes didn't really flow with the storyline. And b) the love story evolved a little too quickly for my liking. One minute they couldn't be together and it was torturing them and then they just were and it was all happy and kisses. It was a little rushed for me.

Other than that, I really did enjoy the book. It was a nice change of pace from my last book and I couldn't wait to get home in the evenings to crack it open while soaking in the tub.

Another fun first-reads win!

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Quitter...

...that's what I am.  Well, I'm sure it's how some people will see me.

I dropped the stats class.  Somehow, I managed to pass the exam, but I was not impressed with a 52% (bumped to a 57% since the Prof gave us all a free 5%).  I know I can do better, I just have to approach the class differently.

So, after almost 2 weeks of agonizing, talking to tutors, talking with the family and most importantly with Bub, I decided to drop the class and take it again next semester from scratch, even though it was against the advice of some of my family.

I'm taking a different approach this time around.  For one, I'm not taking it online.  Clearly for this class, I need to sit in front of my Professor to be able to ask questions as we go, and secondly, I'm getting a tutor to walk me through the class from week one.

I know this may seem like quitting to a lot of you, and I think some members of my family will be incredibly disappointed, but I have many reasons for dropping the class.  Anyone who's taken the class seems to understand exactly where I'm coming from. It's those who've never been there that don't get it and think I should just "push through and get the pass" to "get it over with".  But I don't want to just "get it over with".  I need to protect my GPA and I need to set myself up to actually learn something in this class and in the future.

Sure, I've now lost the time and money I spent on the class for this semester (which I HATE), but I think the other stuff outweighs it.

a) I can't afford to have my GPA drop drastically, especially while I'm waiting to have my degree change approved.  If the degree change doesn't get approved, I'm done because I can't continue in the program I'm in on a part-time basis.

b) I don't have the time, energy, money or brain power to meet with a tutor 2 or 3 times a week until the final exam on December 14th, which is what would be required in order to get back on track with hopes of just passing the exam

c) I don't understand the new material because I don't understand the old material.  The hole is just getting deeper and deeper the further we go.

d) I have to take Stats II.... so if I don't have a basic understanding of this stuff and just "get the pass" I'll struggle just as much, or more, with Stats II.

So.... I made the decision and dropped it. I think it's best for myself because I know that I can start from scratch and do better with a little more planning and a different approach.  I wish it had turned out differently, but now I know how this class is and I'll be more prepared the second time around.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Remembrance Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month the guns fell silent. 

This is why we choose today to remember the brave men and women who have fought, who are fighting and the many who died for our freedom as a Country. 

I'm so proud to be a Canadian.  There's isn't another country in this world that I would choose to live in and my pride lasts 365 days per year. So, on this day I have to give thanks and remembrance to those who have ensured that it remains the amazing and free country that it is.

So I say simply.... Thank you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the sacrifices you made or are making (and for those who will make them).  I am forever grateful.

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae 

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How I Live Now- Meg Rosoff

*I wish I could give this book both 3 and 5 stars*

I really struggled in deciding whether to give this book 3 or 5 stars. Yes, you read that correctly. Not 4 or 5, or even 3 or 4... but 3 or 5.

The first way to describe this book is, in my opinion, strange. Very good, but definitely strange. This story is about love, lust, family, perseverance, survival, war, eating disorders, depression.... ya, it's all over the map. That combined with the very unique (and slightly annoying at first) writing style with run on sentences, improper punctuation and random capital letters, is what makes this book so different and hard for me to rate.

At first, I thought "nope- this is just to different for me, I'm not going to like it", but by about the middle of the book I was captivated and totally engaged with the characters. Seeing a story of war from a child perspective, with very little adult influence was very fascinating and very honest.

Daisy is an incredibly interesting MC with a lot of flaws. I think the most interesting aspect of the story is watching her grow and mature emotionally out of necessity for survival. He commitment to Piper is incredibly interesting and I think it's what saves her and gives her the power to keep going.

The Edmund story line was..... just..... weird. Perhaps I missed something, but I really didn't understand the necessity of their familial ties. I got the intensity, but why in inappropriateness? This is where I struggled.

However, this book takes you on an emotional journey that's both sad, terrifying and hopeful. It's the uniqueness of the book that makes it so captivating and I really recommend it.

Monday, November 8, 2010


The past 2 weeks have been absolutely crazy as far as school goes.  My accelerated class was winding down and is now officially done (I wrote the final on Saturday) and I am in mid-terms for my other classes.

I write my MODES test tonight and am not worried about it.  I really like the class and pulled of 93% on the last test so I think I'll be ok. 

I wrote my statistics exam last Saturday and boy did it S.U.C.K.  I spent hours and hours studying, crafting an effective reference sheet (we were allowed to take 1 page of formulas into the exam) and running through practice questions.  As hellish as it was, the studying went really well.  Too well actually.  In the days leading up to the exam, I mentioned to Bub a couple times that it was "too easy" and it was making me nervous.  Well... my gut was right. It was too easy. 

I arrived at the exam and the nerves hit me the a load of bricks.  I had major butterflies in my tummy, my palms were sweating and I'm sure a good wind would have caused a sandstorm in mouth it was so dry. I normally get a little nervous before exams, but this was beyond anything I'd experienced.

The first part of the test was multiple choice.  I got through the first 5ish questions pretty easily and my confidence started to increase..... but then reality set in.  My system for MC is to go through and answer all the questions I'm sure about first, leaving little ticks beside questions I'm not sure about so I can go back and think about them later.  By the time I reached the end of the section, I had more ticks than I did completed questions.  PANIC.  That's the only word to describe it.  I felt my face flush and my heart start to pound..... and I froze.  I gathered my wits enough to make some educated guesses (and even more random guesses) and then move onto the next part- the short-answer/problem questions. 

The first question was a breeze.  I answered all but 1 part (that I had never even heard of) and was feeling better thinking "okay- I'll make up the marks with the problems".   WRONG.  I answered question 1, maybe 1/4 of question 2 and questions 3-5?  Blank.  Yep.... blank.  I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't even know where to start with them.  I spent the last 45 minutes of the exam flipping between the questions and my references sheet desperately trying to see something that I hadn't yet seen.  I was waiting for the lightbulb to come on and it never did. Finally, with only 15 minutes left to write and feeling my blood pressure at a boiling point, I gathered my stuff and handed in what little I had completed, and left.

I felt defeated, shocked and ready to curl up in a little ball to cry for hours. I've never EVER done so poorly on an exam.... and I knew I had failed or come extremely close to it. However, as some may remember, we were hosting a Halloween Party that evening which had already started without me (pics and post to come later this week), so I had to suck it up and get home to help Bub.  I called him, told him that the exam went terribly and I didn't want to talk about it when I go home and then we went on with our plans as usual. 

I have to say, it really took the wind out of my sails for a couple of days.  I was so upset and disappointed with myself.  I was embarrassed and just really really sad.  I woke up Sunday morning clutching my stomach and thought many times of just giving up on school altogether.... because of one class.  Yeah... I'm a little hard on myself when it comes to school.  I realize now that that's not a solution and am becoming more at peace with it... but I still have a hard time thinking about how poorly I did after all my preparation.

My plan now is to wait and see what the mark is.  If I somehow pulled a passing grade out of my rear (which I'm 99.9% sure I didn't) I will pay a tutor, continue with the class, and just try to get it over with.  It's a mandatory class so I might as well push through.  If I didn't, I will be dropping the class to re-take at a later date.  I can't afford a) the pressure it would cause to bring a failing grade up to an acceptable level, and b) to have a grade from 1 class pull my average down the tubes while I'm still trying to have them approve my degree change.

So... I'm waiting it out.  On the plus side, my HR class is done, after tonight I will only have 1 more test for my MODES class this term (in December) and if I drop the stats class I won't have to worry about it..... which all means that I'd have 1 class per week with no assignments or tests to worry about until December and no exams during the exam period!  That does sound kind of tempting doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Book Lust and Cover Love

I'm in the process of making my annual Christmas booklist for my husband and family, which is always fun and always about 100 books long.  It's also a little frustrating because and it reminds me of just how long I have to wait for a lot of books that I'm really looking forward to.  This time last year I was trying to get my hands on a copy of Shiver, and was anxiously awaiting The Dark Divine's release. This year, my list includes books like Crescendo, Beautiful Darkness, Torment, PegasusHalo, The Replacement, Paranormalcy  and The Lost Saint.  But those are just the books that I can hope to unwrap on December 25th (or thereabouts).  I'm frustrated by the reminder that I have to wait an eternity for books like Demonglass, Forever, and Sweetly (which I found out today was pushed back to August!).  Honestly people, it's torture.  I have added a few more to my TBR list in browsing Goodreads and, I have to say, I've fallen in love.

Can I just say OH.MY.GOD. I'm in love with this cover.  Honestly.  Is this not one of the most stunning covers you've ever seen?

I came upon this kind of randomly on GoodReads, but I know that I will definitely be picking up a hardcopy for my collection, simply based on the cover art.  So gorgeous.  Luckily, the synopsis sounds really interesting as well. I'm all about retellings lately. 

Entwined by Heather Dixon-
Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . . Lush, romantic, and compelling, this debut novel by Heather Dixon will thrill fans of Shannon Hale, Robin McKinley, and Edith Pattou.

I cannot wait to get my hands on this!