No ice cream for me

It is Ben and Jerry’s free cone day. I planned to go out for it, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I am not keen on going out. I’m going to read more of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and my new disturbing fascination with Doctor Who fanfiction. I installed the new del.icio.us Firefox extension, and it warped my bookmarks and I can’t change it even after I uninstalled it twice. I love Firefox, but it’s been a pain in the neck lately since I upgraded to the latest release. It’s crash prone and slower. I’ve had to use Safari a couple of times to supplement it. I’m just going to wait for big upgrades next time to avoid all these minor releases that seem to just bug.

Brødre (Brothers)

BrothersMichael (Ulrich Thomsen) has everything under control: a successful military career, a beautiful wife (Connie Nielsen) and two daughters. His younger brother Jannik (Nikolaj Lie Kaas) is a drifter living on the edge of the law. When Michael is sent to Afghanistan on a UN mission, the balance between the two brothers changes forever. Michael is presumed dead, and Sarah is comforted by Jannik who becomes more responsible and capable as a friend and uncle to the girls. Michael is captured, and returns home after a horrible experience, but his trauma can not be helped as things are irrevocably changed in the family.

How often do I see Danish films? I think this is my second after Babette’s Feast. I’ve wanted to watch this one for awhile having heard good things overall, the performances notably. It was quite emotional, and Michael’s experiences in Afghanistan were provocative. The movie is about PTSD, families, grief, and the tragedy of life. Michael’s experience may be an exception, but his coping and aftermath are not to a soldier. I knew watching the movie that were not be a clear-cut or happy ending, but I think it was satisfying with a little hope. A lot of the film is done with handheld camera making the scenes more visceral and documentary. The performances by all the cast are good here, and Connie Neilsen looks luminescent and almost angelic in the whole movie. I liked her character a lot, and it wasn’t contrite to see how both brothers would find her beautiful. Both Thomsen and Klaas were splendid, and the triangle was underplayed compared to what you would see in most films.

Friday’s Feast 139

Appetizer – When you were a child, which crayon color was your favorite?

Yellow and Purple. Those were my favourite colours as a kid until I started liking blue.

Soup– On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being highest), how likely would you be to change jobs if it required you to move?

I don’t have a job at the moment, but I sorta want to move away. It all depends on moving where and the salary. I’m not attached right now.

Salad– Take all the numbers in your birthday and your phone number and add them up, one by one. What’s the total?

…a big number.

Main Course– Have you ever “re-gifted” anything? If so, what was it and who did you pass it on to?

I don’t think. I’ve considered it, but not yet.

Dessert– Name something you need from the store.

Errr, sport sunblock for later? Not much really.

Friday’s Feast.

Been a stressful week so I’m going to relax with movies and books this weekend finally. I got The Omnivore’s Diet by Michael Pollan finally today so that is the first up.

Booking Through Thursday and P&P spoof trailer

Have you ever missed an important appointment because you have become so engrossed in a book you forgot the time or were up so late reading that you didn’t wake up in time? Been late to work because you couldn’t resist the temptation and left the house too late?

I don’t think I’ve missed an appointment, but there have been times where I stay up later than I want to because the book is so good or whatnot. I actually don’t read that much in bed in general though. I do not know if I have ever been late for school, work, or anything because of books. Probably, but for books, I reserve time for them, staying home to read them hopefully uninterrupted.

This is somewhat book related. I’m finally addicted to YouTube. It is a Pride and Prejudice trailer for yet another adaptation. The actor who plays Darcy is so sketch.

100/365 Days

flickr page

365 Days: A self-portrait a day for a year.

Reached 100 days worth of portraits. It would have been early if I hadn’t missed those weeks in January. This project has not been easy for me largely because I don’t like pictures of myself and inspiration doesn’t work like that. It comes and goes, but that’s the challenge. Still, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t result in some particular boring or bad portraits over the last 100 photos. On the other hand, most of my most Interesting photos (as deemed by flickr) are my 365 Days photos. Of course, this just is because it is the largest category of my photos. Still, I’ve learned to imrovise, and I realized that I can shoot and do like macro photography.

Another difficulty of the project for me is the fact I’ve decided not to take a full on facial portrait of myself which has resulted in lots of macros and photos featuring my hair, hands, and lips. The features I relatively like best because I am wary of the lower half of my body and my face as a whole. I’m quite shy about it, and this seems redundant in a self-portrait challenge. I’m aware of that, but the goal is to force creativity (which has happened), and I have ideas for portraits and poses, but I don’t have models. Either way, I’m stuck with myself.

About today’s photo and out takes: I’ve been particularly inspired of late because I rediscovered a resource for fashion photography. There were a lot of out takes to yesterday’s entry, but I have a ton for today’s. Some of which may never get onto flickr or be seen by anyone because some of the pics pushed a boundary. This photo shoot also resulted in a few photos where I didn’t think I looked like myself. I’ve been wearing makeup in recent entries, and today was the first time I wore lipstick 365. This shoot was very different, and I’m quite proud. I hope I can get inspired by more fashion photography in the future.

Spring/Summer Workout Plan

Just finished an hour of pilates and yoga. Legs feel like jelly since it’s been a few weeks. Time for the fitness post though.

Goals: Overall fitness/in shapeness, weight loss, body toning, de-stressing, and through cardio, lower heart rate. I have a pretty fast heart rate due to genetics; I can lower, it’ll probably require a lot of it and a long time.

Stretching (daily): Yoga, Pilates
Strength (daily): Pilates
Cardio (every other day): Running, Pilates, and Dance

Yoga: I love yoga, and this was my first yoga DVD. I’ve been using this for years on and off, but my hamstrings are still quite tight. I use to do the AM workout everyday, but now, I find it a tad too easy and ineffectual for me. I don’t enjoy the PM workout either. The version of this DVD I have includes a Stress Relief workout with Patricia Deason which is the one I use most often now. This DVD does not cut it anymore, and I wouldn’t really like a new one.

Pilates: I just got this a couple months ago, and I love it. It’s five ten minute workouts (abs, buns/tighs, cardo, flexibility, and arms) that you can mix and match. I’ve never done pilates before this, so it’s always tough to get started, but you really feel it. The only one I haven’t tried is the one for arms because I haven’t bought weights yet, and my arms don’t need the workout as my lower body does. I usually do this for 3 sets (30 min), and relax with yoga afterwards. I try to do this everyday.

Running: I did it last summer: The Couch to 5K Running Plan. Sadly, I stopped running in September due to knee problems (hopefully won’t happen again because I bought proper shoes), and I hate going to the gym. I did get to the 3x a week for 30 minute target. The plan gave no trouble as I never got cramps, but I got overheated running in the summer mornings. I’m trying to do it either really early (6AM) or later in the afternoon. I’m addicted to the runner’s high, and when I get started again, I’ll write a whole post on it. My goals are to run every other day for 45 minutes or everyday for 30min in the end.

Dance: This is just me moving around to the dance playlist on iTunes so my heart rate is raised for at least 30 mins.

Friday’s Feast 138

Happy Good Friday!

Appetizer – When you travel, which mode of transportation do you prefer?

It depends on where I am going, but I’m starting to like the long car rides. Planes are either a hit or a miss for me, but I still find air travel fascinating. I love trains. I’m nerdy like that.

Soup – Have you ever met a blogging friend in person?

I’ve only met one friend from online, and I knew her before we started blogging or I had my domain.

Salad – When was the last time you were really, really tired?

I’ve been pretty tired this whole week. My low point was probably Monday night.

Main Course – If you could have dinner with any one fictional character from a book or movie, who would it be?

Well, this is geeky of me but I’d choose Death or Dream from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. I probably wouldn’t survive the former, but she’s such a fascinating Death figure. It’s like the Monty Python sketch only I’m less oblivious, and we have more fun. My only fear with Dream would be I’d fall in love with him.

Dessert – Fill in the blank: One day, I hope to see _______________.

My parents truly happy and for all our dreams to come true. That’s how I would see God, I guess.

SOURCE

Booking Through Thursday 050407

This is my first time doing Booking Through Thursday, so I did a few more after this week’s. There will be a food post later today as I just baked a batch of cookies.

1. Just out of curiosity, as we enter into Passover and Easter season . . . have you ever read the Bible? Just the odd chapter or Psalm? The whole thing? (Or, almost the whole thing? It’s some heavy reading, of course, and those “begats” get kind of tedious.) – I’ve read more of the Old Testament than the New Testament. So the odd books: Job, Genesis, Songs of Solomon, etc.
2. If so, was it from religious motivation or from a literary perspective? Stuck with nothing else to read in a hotel room the Gideon’s have visited? Any combination? – Both. Mostly from a literary perspective. I took a religion I actually did a presentation on the Book of Job. I have also been in the situation where I have read a Gideon bible in a hotel room because I was bored. I think this was in Hong Kong.
3. If not, why not? Against your religious principles? Too boring? Just not interested? Something you’re planning on taking care of when you get marooned on a desert island? – I wouldn’t read the whole bible because I’ve read about half of it any way, and not all of it is interesting or too riveting.
4. And while we’re on the subject . . . what about the other great religious works out there? Are they more to your liking? – Well, I like Tao Te Ching. I would like to try and read The Quarran and the Upanishads.

Continue reading →

Charmed Thirds by Megan McCafferty

Charmed Thirds This is the first book I’ve actually finished since February. It’s always depressing when I realize that I haven’t actually read a complete book in a month. In any case, I said I was going to read Northanger Abbey next or finish The Best American Travel Writing 2006, but I have been stressed and tired. I wanted to read and finish something that I knew would be quick and relatively light. That doesn’t mean I’m still not able to reflect afterwards. I always found this series to be one of the better “chicklit” books I’ve read. It’s been almost four years since I read the first two books in the series: Sloppy Firsts and Second Helpings. When Jessica Darling, the protagonist, was in high school, I was in high school, and now the book is her college life, and I’m in college. It’s quite apt to say the least. I did relate to her a lot in this book, more than in the previous two books. Or maybe, as I’ve discovered last year, the older I get, the more I am able to project my life and issues into every book I read. In any case, I can relate to the loner status, the family angst, the what the hell am I going to do after I get my undergrad? issue, etc. I’ve always found McCafferty better at doing growing up, chicklit style novels than Meg Cabot or Louise Rennison. I also feel that she’s got slightly more ‘substance’ than Sophie Kinsella and the others too. So yeah, I enjoyed the few hours I had with the book to reminded myself of a few things in a refreshing way without being heavy.

Completely Unrelated Links:
77 Ways to Learn Faster, Deeper, and Better
50 Things She Wishes You Knew – Men’s Health is better than Cosmopolitan.

Friday’s Feast 137

Appetizer – What are you proud of?

My parents, my family, my friend Sandy, and the things I’ve gone through and the things I’ve learned.

Soup – What is the best thing you’ve ever won as a prize?

I almost never win anything. It sucks. But I was surprised that in my last year of high school, I won a $1000 scholarship for taking this quiz about Canadian Heritage.

Salad – Name something you do that is a waste of time.

Haha. Well, a lot of the time I am online is a bit of a waste, and sometimes, when I watch TV.

Main Course – In what year of your life did you change the most?

Oh, goodness. Last year was pretty intense, but it’s a tie between the end of 1998/most of 1999 and 2004. The former had a more spiritual and emotional/ angst impact, while the latter really marked the beginning of this point in my life and a huge reflection about who I am or who I should be from then on.

Dessert – Where is a place you consider to be very tranquil?

Home is both the most tranquil and the most chaotic. I also like coffee shops, parks, and most places by the water.

SOURCE

Sorry for lack of updates. It’s the end of the semester, but once exams start in a couple of weeks, things won’t be as busy.

Friday’s Feast 136

SOURCE

Appetizer: Who is your favorite news anchor/reporter? Why?

In national Canadian news, Lloyd Roberston. Even though I think CBC is a much better news network overall, CTV has better personalities and it’s a little sleeker. I read the news more than I watch it or listen to BBC World Service or RFI podcasts. I also watch The Colbert Report and The Daily Show quite a bit.

Soup: Name 3 foods that are currently in your freezer.

  1. Bananas for baking
  2. Turkey and assorted meat (did not buy this)
  3. Wonton wrappers

Salad: If you were to have the opportunity to name a new town or city, what would you call it?

My-town-is-cooler-than-yours-ville. Otherwise, no idea.

Main Course: What will most likely be the next book you read?

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Dessert: What’s the first thing you notice about the opposite gender?

Depends on the circumstance, but these things I pick up on: height, voice, hair, clothing style, and intelligence/wit.