This Week in Review

Reading… Recently finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (it’s like Harry Potter for adults) and The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill. Both fantastic reads – highly recommended. I’m now onto slightly easier reading: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Not exactly fine literature, but entertaining nonetheless. Scottish warriors – need I say more?

Listening to… Lots of music in French – it’s nice to go back to my roots. The music site 8tracks allows you to stream playlists that others have put together, and I’ve discovered lots of great music this way. One of my favourite playlists was created by…Nikki Yanofski, of all people. She’s compiled a list of her favourite French songs, and they’re all pretty awesome. Have a listen here.

Watching… Flight of the Conchords’ newest endeavour: a song they wrote to raise funds for a sick kids charity in NZ. They interviewed kids to get ideas for song lyrics (with brilliant results), and even reunited with Murray for a band meeting. My heart is so happy to see them together again.

Discovering… This great blog called 5 Things To Do Today. Appeals to the incurable list-maker in me, and tons of great ideas to boot. Very inspiring.

Learning… About emotional intelligence. I’ve been on two separate courses on EI this summer, which have helped me become increasingly self-aware of my emotions and how I react to people and situations. I definitely want to keep exploring this topic more deeply and meaningfully.

Loving… The fantastic new haircut I got last night. I feel like a million bucks.

Hating… The lingering hot and humid days – I want fall to be here NOW!

Feeling… Excited about a night out with friends tonight. It will include Bridesmaids (the movie), a tasty meal, cupcakes, and copious amounts of wine. It’s all good.

Wishing… I didn’t have to clean my loft this weekend, but it’s quite filthy. I know I’ll feel better afterwards, though…

What have you been up to this week?

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This Week: A Summary

I know I’ve been terrible at updating the blog this past year. I’ve been spending most of my time on Facebook and Twitter, to be quite honest – short status updates seem to be all I can manage on most days.

This week has seen a significant number of happy moments, so I thought I’d share a few of them here:

1. Walking home from the coffee shop last Saturday, I came across a new boutique that sells handmade goods. Went in, talked to the owner, and now she wants to see my products!

2. During one of my lunch breaks, my friend and I ran into Scott Speedman! I can confidently say that he’s extremely handsome in person…

Now I want to re-watch every season of Felicity!

3. On Wednesday night, I saw the Canadian premiere of Boy, a film by Kiwi writer/actor/director Taika Waititi. I had wanted to see it for many months and serendipitously discovered it was playing at the imagineNative film fest. What a fun coming-of-age movie! Bonus: Taika himself was there!

There was a Q&A with him after the event, which was entertaining yet fascinating. (Did you know the movie was shot in Taika’s grandmother’s house, the actual house he grew up in?)

A few more fun Taika Waititi/Boy clips:
Crazy Horses Gang Intro
Crazy Horses Gang Rules
Crazy Horses – How to Pick on People
Shogun on the Crazyhorse Name

4. I’ve been accepted to be a vendor in three craft fairs this holiday season – yikes! With the pesky day job keeping me busy traveling at events, I’ve been trying to produce a little bit every day, slowly but surely. I do have to admit – making holiday cards, books and gifts so early in the year has made me feel incredibly productive and organized!

5. Last night, my friend B. and I went to see the international premiere of Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change, a film by Inuk director Zacharius Kunuk (“Atanarjuat, The Fast Runner”) and scientist Ian Mauro. The movie documented Inuit elders (mostly hunters) from several Nunavut communities talking about the environmental changes they’ve witnessed over the past decades, and some of the stories were quite disturbing. There was a Q&A with Zach and Ian after the viewing, and the highlight of the evening was when an aggressive audience member criticized the fact that many of the observations conveyed in the film were not backed by scientific evidence. When Ian Mauro retorted that “Elders should be able to express their point of view without scientists having to validate it,” the audience applauded enthusiastically.

So much has happened this past week! Today I must focus on producing stock for the upcoming shows, since I’ll be on the road all week delivering events…

Film Friday – Here’s Hockey!

What better way to celebrate the start of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics – Here’s Hockey, a 1953 short film directed by Leslie McFarlane, showcases Canada’s national pastime:

Taken from the NFB website:

Featuring Jean Beliveau, this short film focuses on hockey from the inside out. Known as Canada’s national pastime, this film demonstrates why hockey is such an exciting spectator sport. From east to west, the connection between fans and players is evident in the excited cries of “we’ve won!” From Pee-Wee to Bantam, from the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association to the big league pros, Here’s Hockey! shows what it takes to make a great hockey player.

My, how things have changed –

1952: The highest salary was paid to Jean Belliveau ($25,000)

2010: The highest salary is paid to Vincent Lecavalier ($10 million – only because no player can earn more than $11.36 million)

Film Friday – King of Blades

In honour of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics set to begin in a week, I’d like to present a short film from 1965 on figure-skating champion Don Jackson – King of Blades, directed by Stanley Clish:

Taken from the NFB website:

This short film presents Canadian world figure-skating champion Don Jackson as he makes skating history at Prague’s World Championships, and in Canada appearing as a star in the Ice Follies.

New Feature: Film Friday – Every Child

I’ve been so completely enamoured by the National Film Board’s collection of Canadian films that I’ve decided to create a new weekly feature on this blog. Every Friday, I will share a gem discovered in the vaults of the NFB website.

For this inaugural Film Friday Feature, I’d like to introduce Every Child, directed by Eugene Fedorenko:

Taken from the NFB website:

Watch Eugene Fedorenko’s animated short about an unwanted baby who is passed from house to house until he is taken in and cared for by two homeless men. The film is the Canadian contribution to an hour-long feature film celebrating the Year of the Child. It illustrates one of the ten principles of the Declaration of Children’s Rights, that every child is entitled to a name and a nationality. Winner of the 1979 Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film.

It’s a humourous, yet deeply touching film. I love the dog in this animated short – he starts out as being very selfish and needy, but as time goes by sheds a tear when no one wants to care for the poor child.