Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You Guys Probably Won't Be Seeing Me Post Anymore About Ulysses (And That's A Good Thing)

So guess what!
Last night I finished Ulysses!
It's finished!
My task is completed!

I kinda feel guilty for reading it this fast, but hey, I had a lot of spare time. Anyways, right now I'm too tired of that damn book to write more than a paragraph about it, so maybe I'll analyze it in a couple years. I thought it was interesting though, certainly not like anything I've read before. It's definitely something that I can think about after I've read it.

*Warning, this paragraph contains opinions. If you don't agree with me, let me know, but don't expect me to change my opinion.
I've heard of people that believe because I'm 14 I shouldn't be reading a book like Ulysses. I assume, because of the sexual content. I certainly did not skip the "mature" parts of the book, and I honestly don't think I've been harmed in doing so. How do their parents expect teens to learn about sexuality, if they don't talk to them about it. I don't think that ignorance will help with anything. I'm not suggesting that little kids should be reading Ulysses, if you're not mature enough to understand the book, you probably aren't mature enough to read the sexual parts. I think people should use their best judgment when dealing with this. Is it really fair to wait until your kid gets pregnant, or impregnates someone else to teach them what birth control is. Anyways, that issue is a lot more complicated. But my point is exposure to some things like Ulysses won't harm someone like me, who wants to learn, and who might not benefit from ignorance. But really, it's not just black and white.

Enough errpinions. I strongly suggest checking out the opener of SLC on Thursday. Cause it might even feature your favourite 14 year old Ulysses reader. I don't guarantee it, but you never know.


Update: They didn't play any of moi today (I probably sound pitifully along with Peter Mansbridge, Anne Maria Tremonti, Paul Henderson and Jian's Dad) but they might have something on Friday. Again, I don't guarantee it...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Last night we decided to go to the movies. There isn't a lot out, but the one movie I (and the rest of my family) wanted to see was Little Miss Sunshine. About a dysfunctional family on their way to a beauty pageant. So we drove downtown to the theatre, and arrived to a substantial line-up to see the movie. I was glad there was a whole bunch of different people coming to see it, usually that theatre isn't very lined up (with the exception of Brokeback Mountain, which had huge line-ups). I was totally sporting the 80's look, leggings, green Clash t-shirt with belt, sequined flats. It's not really that important that I was sporting the 80's look, but it sounds cool to say. I think I'm going to try and do a review of the movie with important points about the characters a in bold, because I've realized it's a fairly effective way of getting my point across if you don't want to read the whole thing.

The movie opened with little snap-shots of what the family was like. It started with the mum bringing her suicidal brother home from the hospital, to live with her family. Family which is:

  • The father, Richard (Greg Kinnear). You want to hate him, but you also kinda pity him. He basically has one of those weird, winner's and loser's self-help theories. But the irony is that he's a loser and needs help.
  • The grandfather (Alan Arkin). He got kicked out of his seniors home for smoking heroin, and says "Fuck" like teenage girls say "like". But you can tell he really does care for his family.
  • The son, Dwayne (Paul Dano). He has taken a vow of silence, hates his family and reveres Nietzsche. He's a pretty typical teenager. He's also kinda cute. In a pale, adolescent way.
  • The mother, Sheryl (Toni Collette). She's a bit frantic and crazy, a little overworked, but overall she has a good heart.
  • Her brother, Frank (Steve Carell). He fell in love with a guy who didn't love him back, lost his job and attempted suicide which is how he ends up with his sisters family. He's one of the most sane of the family, he's also very sincere and caring.
  • The daughter, Olive (Abigail Breslin). You can't help love her, she's sweet to everyone, caring and down-to-earth. And really cute. She contrasts amazingly to all the other girls in the beauty pageant.

When Olive gets a chance to compete in the "Little Miss Sunshine" beauty pageant, the whole family takes a road trip to California. We follow them from their home in New Mexico, and the trip is anything but uneventful. The movie has a sweet tone, but it's definitely the funniest movie I've seen this year. Although, I do have to warn you the beauty pageant scene is very, very terrifying. The movie had an instrumental soundtrack, that really went well along with the scenes. It had Sufjan Steven's "Chicago" which is a favourite of mine, and also another Sufjan track at the end. This was an interesting, hilarious and sweet movie, I would definitely recommend it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Back to...

Summer's been so awesome, I don't want to even think of back to school shopping. Usually there's always some positive thing associated with school in September. This year, I don't want summer to be over! I guess I'm excited to see my classes and teachers, and all my friends (of course). But I also hate to leave the freedom of summer. Which is silly, because coming back to school is inevitable. I mean, life can't be one long summer break (unless you're a rock star, and still...).

We went clothes shopping yesterday, and it was quite successful. I got a pair of jean capri's, one pair of jeans, a striped shirt (although there are a lot of them nowadays), two pairs of leggings-one polka dot and one brown (Hey, they were super cute and there was a sale), one pair of really cute (but small) flats with rainbow sequins (god bless Winners), and a pair of pretty cheap multicoloured converse. This was all very fun, but reminded me school's coming around the corner. I am having some trouble accepting that I have only a couple weeks of summer ahead of me. I'm also having trouble accepting that Sounds Like Canada (in the summer) will be over soon, and I have less than a week to finish Ulysses. But I'm pretty sure I can. I have about 230 pages to go. I think I'll do it. Maybe even I can finish it on Monday. You never know.

Speaking of Ulysses, I have some more Ulysses related pictures for everyone. "Ulysses by the Poolside".

I'm thinking of getting a part-time job for the rest of the summer, and after school. I'm thinking of working at a coffee shop, but if anyone has any ideas, let me know.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ulysses Sleepover

Possibly not the coolest kinda of sleepover.
So after we went to a movie, Snakes On A Plane. Snakes was surprisingly better than I thought, in a cute, B-movie kind of way. Not excellent. But it was okay. There were some funny parts and some very gory parts. I liked when the huge Anaconda tried to swallow the snotty english dude (English people are generally given bad roles in American movies) and when the bodyguard piloted the plane to safety with his PS2 knowledge.

Then, Jenn decided to stay over, and bring Ulysses with her. We got home, watched a movie (Before Night Falls) which was about a Cuban writer who was jailed and stuff, and exiled cause he was gay. Johnny Depp appeared to be in this movie, but really didn't have a huge part as the transvestite/weird lieutenant dude. In the end of the movie he gets exiled to New York, and after living there he dies of AIDS. It was a depressing movie. After that I read about 20 pages of Ulysses, which brings me to 550. Jenn read Ulysses too.

Jenn=Left w/ long hair Hilary=Right w/short hair

Then this morning, we heard Sounds Like Canada. I'd like to thank the dude who wrote in, grateful of my Jefferson Airplane selection. Not everyone listens to only Frank and Nancy Sinatra from 1967. I was also astonished at being called a "14year old wonder girl". Thanks Jian, my mum's laughing at me now. I hope everyone liked my message (and Jenn's also), and I meant no offense to those over 39, because you guys are as fresh as daisies. "Old man" just has a nice ring to it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Fireworks! (and everyone's favourite 14year old Ulysses reader)

Yesterday, I was invited to a birthday celebration which involved the International Fireworks Competition, part of Globalfest. After some not-very-entertaining jazz band finally finished, we had speeches from the MP, MLA and Alderman. And to be honest, Diane Ablonzy reading us a letter from Stephen Harper made me very anxious for the fireworks to begin. So they took a while to begin, but the fireworks were great! I've never seen such interesting fireworks, although I usually experience little green roman candles echoing across our lake. It was pretty amazing what some of the fireworks did. My digital camera has a "Firework" setting, which basically just takes a long time to expose, and it shows the entire trail of the firework. Which is pretty cool. Here are some pictures I took:

By the way, tomorrow you might want to give Sounds Like Canada a listen. You never know who might call in. And if you listened today you might have heard, Jian read a letter from a woman who was inspired by my interview to continue reading. And my progress, fortunatly is not a clever ruse. Although it did take a lot of guts and patience not to lose... hope that is.

Monday, August 21, 2006

"Has the perrier gone straight to my head? Or is life sick and cruel, instead?"

I would like to take the cue from Barbara B., and include a cynical, beverage-related Smiths' quote to introduce my post.

I'm on page 490 of Ulysses, which is past the halfway mark! I've been doing a lot of reading lately, because I have a lot of time to spare. Sometimes I read to much in a day, and acquire "Ulysses Exposure Syndrome" or UES, which makes me quit for the day. I also feel like I'm understanding it a bit better. It really feels awesome to understand parts of that book. So, my goal for the week is to get past or to page 650. And hopefully, to catch up with Jian. My friend Jenn has also begun reading. I hope she didn't feel any pressure for being told to on national radio. She's around page 200 or so. I think I've proved that teenagers are capable of reading books like this, if they put their mind to it. I'm pretty confident in myself right now. I'll be able to get through this, as long as the Perrier I'm drinking doesn't get to my head. I am drinking Perrier. But I usually mix it with juice. I like Perrier, because it makes lime-flavoured bubbly water sound sophisticated.

But for now, I was listening to the 80's station in the car when they started to play a Smith's song called "The Boy With The Thorn In His Side". I know all the words to this song, so I entertained my mum and brother with my Morrissey voice and Morrissey dance moves. Note the waggly eyebrows, and Johnny Marr's heart-melting gaze.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Here's the interview with me. I hope I'm not breaking any laws. I made it as a video, because I'm not tech savvy enough to do anything else. The bonus is the "interesting" visuals.
btw. It probably takes a millenia to load. Have fun.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My Interview With Jian Ghomeshi (A Success, In My Honest Opinion)

I'm surprised that I'm not too excited to blog. Just got back from my interview with Jian Ghomeshi for Sounds Like Canada.

My dad drove me there, after I'd had a tea and tryed not to be nervous. We got to the CBC parking lot, took a couple pictures and went in. We were a couple minutes late, and we got escorted by a producer to the studio where the interview took place. My dad and the producer sat down in the studio, while I went to the recording place. Jian was a couple minutes late, but once he got there he just talked a bit about the Song Of The Day with me, which made me a lot less nervous. It was probably about the easiest conversation I'd had with someone I didn't really know.

So then we went on air, and I waited while he concluded the Song Of The Day, and introduced the Ulysses bit. Then the interview started. I'm not going to say much, but it was a blast. Jian is completly easy to talk to. I kinda felt bad though, cause I was a bit hard on him for being old. My friend Jenn will be ecstatic, because I mentioned her. So then I introduced the song, and it was over. I was talking with the producer and my dad, when Jian asked if I was still there and I made it over to the mic to talk with him a bit more. After that we made our way down the hallway and they gave me a couple of "The One" posters, with a big George Stroumboulopoulos on them, whose birthday is today. Happy Birthday George!

It was an awesome experience. And from now on, I will definitely refer to Jian as "dude" instead of "adult". Cause he is one cool dude. Seriously. (Even if I was a bit mean to him on air).

So everyone. Tune in tomorrow (Thursday). 10:00-11:30. CBC. My part will air around 11:10, after the Song Of The Day.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pretty Bird

So this Friday, my brother's friend's bird was dropped off at our house. Her name is Wally, and she's a green and yellow budgie. I've been taking care of her since then, because my brother wasn't here this weekend. I've never actually taken care of a bird. Or really met a bird for that matter. She's really social, and she loves music. When I play my guitar (no matter how bad I am) she'll chirp along, and move back and forth. And since her owner is a huge metal fan, she excitedly moves back and forth to Iron Maiden and chirps along. I never thought of birds being very interesting, but she's very interactive. She's also quite a handful, but I'm pretty good at taking care of that. My whole family really likes her, my dad comes to see her every morning before he's off to work. So I guess she's quite a star. You always think of birds as those carefree things that fly around outside, who don't seem very sentient. But this budgie's just like a cat or a dog. Except littler. And less furry.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Blue Monday

Just an update regarding my last post. My dad owns a 12 inch 45 of "Blue Monday" by New Order, which was referred to in the film "24-Hour Party People". So we decided to play it this morning on my dad's super hi-fi record player and speakers. At really high volume. I was kind of surprised New Order wasn't playing in my basement, or I wasn't actually standing in the Hacienda at a live concert. It was amazing, although my nieghbours are probably a little confused about the loud bass noise wafting through the nieghbourhood. We also listened to a Pretenders 12 inch 45 and "Bela Lugosi is Dead" by Bauhaus on a 12 inch 45. It's amazing how much you miss when just listening to music on an iPod or on the radio.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


So last night was movie night. My dad and went to the video store, (the snobby, bald dude was there) and spent a very long time looking for movies. The new realeases we haven't seen were all crap in my opinion, so after looking though them we went to the older movie section. My dad wanted to get a movie that was released around 4 years ago, about Manchester and Factory records, called 24-Hour Party People . Surprisingly, it was there. I got Moonstruck and Rain Man. Probably the most random couple of movies ever. But they were both on the Academy Awards rack, and I hadn't seen 'em. Plus, Cher makes me giggle. Haven't watch them yet, I might today. And when I went to pay for the movies, I didn't get the snobby bald guy but a girl who was really nice.

Anyways, so we watched 24-Hour Party People. The narrator kind of character, is Tony Wilson who created Factory Records and managed bands like Joy Division (and after New Order) and the Happy Mondays. It took place between 1976 and 1992. Pete Coogan does an excellent job as the cheeky, somewhat sleazy Tony Wilson who has a TV show introducing bands like the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Stranglers and Sex Pistols to Manchester. After the first Sex Pistols gig in Manchester he's inspired to open a bar and get some good bands to play. This is were we are introduced to Joy Division. Wilson creates a label "Factory Records" and signs Joy Division. The rest is history, and the rest of the movie follows the transformation of Factory records and Tony Wilson from the horrible death of Ian Curtis, the opening of the Hacienda and the beginning of the Happy Mondays and finally, the closing of the Hacienda and the fall of Factory records. In the last scene, Tony Wilson sees god, who tells him that he did well but it was a pity he didn't sign the Smiths. This is a great movie if you're interested in the Manchester scene from the late 70's to the early 90's. It's very funny and interesting, and tells a great story.

A scene from the movie, when New Order ruthlessly poisons the pigeons.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I had quite a boring day today, except for a few exceptions. I think I'm going to do them in bullet points, because I think bullet points are quite amazing, actually. I'm also going to bold the words I think are super-special.
  • Sounds Like Canada this morning featured "Poses" by Rufus Wainwright as the must music song of the day. I knew Jian would play it someday. I recorded some of what he said about it on my computer, and I'll brag about it to my mum when she gets home.
  • My neighbours cat let me pet it, for the first time in 8 years. Then it hissed at me.
  • My friend and I were having a discussion about CDs at Starbucks (yeah I'm a sucker for Starbucks, you can disapprove). I told her the most CDs I have bought from one artist are probably the Smiths, and the little dude who's always there was standing right by. So while we're drinking are fraputhingys, "William, It Was Really Nothing" starts playing. My theory is the little dude overheard, maybe it's just pure coincidence. It would've made my day except Jian Ghomeshi already did.
  • We couldn't rent our Cher movie at the video store, because the snobby, bald, loser wasn't excepting a name and phone number and I forgot the card. I hate when people are totally taciturn toward teenagers. That was a sweet alliteration!
  • I bought Ulysses at Chapters. Along with a magazine with Thom Yorke on the cover. There were about 4 of them. I bought the cheapest. I got Ulysses not because I actually believe I'm going to read almost 1000 pages of it by Labour Day. But because I think we need a copy of Ulysses in the house. I've read 4 pages so far. I optimistically hope to reach page 20 by the end of the night.
  • It rained. A lot.

That's it. My entire day, drained into a couple interesting points. The rest was me on the computer, or me walking around, or me doing the dishes and helping with supper.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ok Go-Here It Goes Again

Here's a video I heard about on Sounds Like Canada this morning. It's incredibly amusing when you're bored. And the songs not bad either.
Here are some carefully selected photos of my vacation, to make you think I had fun. Ah, just kidding I had a blast, I hope you'll enjoy them. I might post some more from our fishing trip, cause those are currently on my dad's camera.

The big tree. I forget if it's before Brandon or after Brandon. Well, it's in Manitoba.

Taking the "Nestea Plunge" at a grocery store in Portage La Prairie.

Entering One Great City...

The Marina where our boat is parked.

A fabulous sunset against the pines of our nieghbouring island.

Fireworks one night on the rock.

My brother, catching a pike.

The "World's Biggest Teepee" in Medicine Hat.

Strathmoore. My favourite town in the world.

And we're back home.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Catching Up.

For today I'll update everyone one what's happened since the time that I last posted in the cyber cafe. My cousins arrived, which was really fun. It's always good to catch up with family. We went on a fishing trip, and "acquired" eight fish. Acquired because we caught three, and were "gifted" five. Oh well, it made for good supper anyways.

I had been devoutly listening to Sounds Like Canada the entire time, and managed to send an email when I had the advantage of a cyber cafe. Jian had Justin Trudeau on a week ago or so, and was joking about himself being the "persian Justin Trudeau". I sent an email that said something like, "Don't worry Jian, my mum thinks you're the persian Justin Trudeau. Best Wishes, hilary m.". My mother and I were sitting down on the dock when it was read that Thursday, and it gave us a chuckle. She did in fact say that she thought Jian could definitely be the persian Justin Trudeau, for intelligence, and of course charming good looks. Unfortunatly, they didn't reply to our offer about 4th row Who seats.

Soon after, we left for home, stopping in Moose Jaw at the spa. I'm not really a huge fan of riding in cars. Especially since the scenery from Winnipeg to Calgary isn't horribly extravagant. I had a good Madeliene L'Engle book (which I finished when we got to Regina), and my iPod. I suppose it was okay. We also were listening to the Satellite Radio. Which is kinda interesting, it really depends. I love Moose Jaw though, it's great for a little town in Saskatchewan. Staying there is a pleasure. On our way to the cottage I stopped at Moose Jaw and acquired a shirt from a music store called "Time Warp" that had the store logo and said "I got WARPED in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan", it's priceless. So now I'm back in Calgary, trying to catch up with everything. Which is kinda tricky.

My computer is being horrible. So I've decided to post a blog with pictures in the near future. Stay calm... be brave... and wait for the signs.