Monday, August 31, 2009

The Shack by William P. Young

or: How not to read a book

1) Do NOT skip reading BOB (aka, back of book). Bob is full of vital information like "what this book is about" and "who else likes it"
… if I had checked with Bob, I would have known that there wasn't a single publisher review or serious critic who had anything nice enough to put on the book jacket. Instead, they settled for people like Wynona Judd. Seriously.
…if I had checked with Bob, I would have realised that this book isn't about the brutal murder of a daughter and the family's ability to cope with it but more about how God can help you cope with it. This this isn't a work of fiction so much as it is a work of philosophical theology.
…If I had checked with Bob, I would have realised that I would not like to read this book.

2) If a book takes a serious left turn before page 69, stop reading it. I mean, if you feel like you've been tricked into reading a romance when a book advertised itself as a thriller, you're probably going to hate it. So don't waste time finishing it like I did. Oh, and I did. Even when it was clear that I had blundered my way into an evangelical text that said it had nothing to do with Christianity and yet set up the Holy Trinity as fact, I should have known I was going to have issues with it. Even when I cringed at the forty-second time the narrator erupted into tears. Even when it was as plain as the nose on my face that I was not going to get the satisfaction of finding the sick pervert at the end and having him beaten to death / incarcerated for life / tortured by eating ground glass. Hell, even when I realised that this stupid man was actually going to forgive the psycho, I kept reading. Why? Who knows? It wasn't like the writing was compelling. Or the story. I shall chalk it up to sheer stubbornness.

The thing is, I like me a good discussion about God. I'm a big fan of stuff that makes you question your convictions, because, really, if your convictions are breakable, they probably weren't very convincing. But I hate books/songs/people that want to talk about "something" and then start talking about God. Clearly, Young wants to be accessible to other religions, but by making his book about the Holy Trinity (which features an injured-at-the-wrist Jesus) you can't help but think he's only serving to say that all religions are welcome but only one religion is right. I felt like I'd been trapped on the train with a Jehovah's Witness as my only company. I felt like I'd been shafted, conned. I wish I'd never bought this stupid book and inadvertently supported this ridiculous man and his ridiculous notions.

If you haven't read The Shack, don't!

PS: it's good to see that though we differ in many ways, I am not alone.

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book was supposed to be Augusts' Book Club read, but summer happened, and so it pushed back to September.

Quite appropriate, since September has been linked in my mind inexorably to the smell of books, pencil shavings and plastic binders. Anyway, PotB is fascinating: despite being a Librarian, I hardly ever think of a book as an artifact in and of itself. Brooks is able to bring life into inanimate objects, telling the story of a book through the imagined life of its unplanned guests. While some of the back stories do stretch the imagination (a slave who knows how to read and write in the 15th century? a surprise Jewish lineage at the eleventh hour? hmmm…), most of them are plausible enough, at least for anyone who can tamp down their inner cynic. Also, the main character (Hanna Heath) was a little too contemptuous for my tastes, so I was quite happy to see her narrative broken up by the narratives of far more intriguing voices. The dedication says it all - anyone with a passion for books will enjoy this sumptuous novel. If there were ever heroes in history, they are those that strive to preserve our human stories at all costs.


For the librarians.

I'll be the first to admit that I fell into my profession rather than chose it. Loving books and being an avid reader does not mean you ever think you'll be a librarian. Then again, as I found out within two weeks of starting my first professional job, no one really knows what a librarian does anyway. I've always liked looking through used books and wondering where they'd ventured in life. I used to do this with library books too, especially travel books, but I soon realised questioning random stains can only lead to terrible results. A few years ago I started a project whereby I would purchase a used copy of a book I loved, re-read it and then leave it in a conspicuous place (local coffee shop, upper level of a Go train, university reading room, etc.) - I confess that I have stopped tracking them, but the idea is still one that I enjoy. The last book I did this with was left on the GO train (one of my favourite spots) and the last time I tracked it, it was in Colombia! This practice got to be expensive and time-consuming so I started a new project this year - I leave sticky notes in books. Sometimes they're little comments about what I thought was interesting; sometimes it's a recommendation to another book…I read a library copy of The Road and on the back cover, I wrote out a quote from Le Petit Prince. The idea of having a conversation without ever speaking is really, well, cool to me.

I sometimes wonder about librarians whose profession is more like a vocation: the first librarians who used camels to share books all over the Arabian desert; the librarian in Basra who risked her life every night to transport as many books as she could carry from her library to her home in order to avoid them being shelled or incinerated. For a long time, libraries were looked upon as a place for the elite to get access to books; this is why the archaic term "patron" was used for a library-card holder and has been dropped to reflect the far more inclusive culture that are fostered at public libraries today. Librarians have always been looked upon as gatekeepers of knowledge. This isn't true - or at least, real librarians don’t want it to be true. Gatekeeper implies that we would deny access to anyone. Rather, librarians have always been about information dissemination: whether you want a cake recipe or the latest fiction bestseller or instructions on how to make a pipe bomb, libraries will have the answer and librarians will help you find them. Moral debates about the kinds of information have always been a part of our profession, more so in our post-911 paranoid society. Despite the images of be-bunned shushers, librarians are the radicals in our ongoing struggle to keep information free and accessible and usually the strongest voices that fight for individual freedom and privacy. Book banning is only a precursor to book burning and I would sneak about in the dead of night to save books from that horrible fate. Would you? If so, perhaps you're a librarian at heart as well. Sometimes, I wish we all were.

Monday, August 24, 2009


While I know that the Ex signals the end of Summer, I've never looked upon it with mixed feelings. For me, the summer has always been too long and I liked being headed back to school. In fact, I looked forward to, like dessert after a delicious meal. This year is no exception. In my librarian years, the summer represents a fun, but exhausting, time of year: in July alone, we offered 38 programs with 2,504 kids in attendance.

I've been going to the Ex for fifteen consecutive years and over time, the focus has certainly changed. In my teens, we bought the play-all-day pass and rode the roller coasters until my dad said it was time to go; later, unchaperoned, we stayed as late as Mississauga Transit would allow us. We once rode the Doppel Loopin seven times in a row. Good thing too, as the next year, they had shut it down for safety reasons. There are no more roller coasters at the CNE. As we got a bit older and the exuberance of youth faded, we stated wandering into the buildings. As a kid, I didn't understand why you'd pay to go onto fair grounds and then just shop. As an adult, that's all I do. This year, we only stayed eight hours (as opposed to our usual twelve), but we still hit every outlet in the place. $112 dollars later, I has fifteen new tops, a new skirt, six pairs of earrings and a hair clip. I love this place.

The other thing we discovered upon entering the buildings were the indoor stages. We're no strangers to concerts at the Ex: we had seen I Mother Earth, Econoline Crush, Treble Charger and this wicked Alanis impersonator who made both Nish and I second-guess her identity. In the International Building, they have a small stage as well, where local ethnic groups often perform. one year, we watched our friend's belly-dancing troupe perform.

This year, we watched Ngoma, a dance-and-drum team from the Jane-Finch area. Watching these tiny kids (one couldn't have been a day over six) drum their little hearts out was a little inspirational; I must admit to getting a little verklempt. The "maestro" had some serious patience, often having to give individual direction to the smallest of the bunch. More girls than boys in the group took care of the "girls don’t' drum" mystique too. I kept thinking that this is the sort of activity that our youngest kids need: healthy outlets for creativity and energy. For all the teachers of the world who volunteer their time and talent - thank you.

On a side note: what is it about drums that make my heart beat faster and my breath come a little shorter? I have never been to Africa, and yet I can almost feel the place pulling me there, with wide savannahs providing cool green shade on hot days. The throb of the afternoon sun matching the rhythm of my heart.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now Playing: Inglourious Basterds

Ahh, Tarantino. That man knows how to make a good movie. And Inglourious Basterds is absolutely no exception. Right from the first scene, there's tension, drama, laughs and blood. What else would you expect? Here's what not to look for: historical accuracy. Oh my god, don’t even bother. Nothing about IG is accurate, but really, who cares? Valkyrie was supposed to be accurate and it stank up the place. This way, knowing that everything is completely and utterly fabricated, you can actually be held in suspense. Would Shoshanna be successful? Which of the Basterds would survive, if any? Can they kill Hitler before he kills them?

As for the casting, it was all excellent. Brad Pitt is only a little distracting, but I thought he would be very distracting, and he wasn't. The runaway star of this movie was Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa, bar none. That man single-handedly made me laugh at his excellent (if macabre) sense of humour, feel admiration at his impeccable social etiquette, crave his sharp wit and deductive mind and, with swift cruelty, feel like a terrible human being that I ever saw anything cool in him. Perfect Nazi officer.

What can I say? It was very very entertaining. It looks like this summer Blockbuster season came late, but thank goodness it showed up at all. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

ladies night

All I need to reaffirm that I'm exactly where I should be in life is to go out with my girls. See, this is what happens. I stay at work and I get all caught up in being this big work success… you know, senior this and manager that. And suddenly, that becomes this all-consuming force, and I get all down and depressed because I'm still "just" a librarian doing way more work than I should be doing. On Friday, I had the opportunity to hang out with my work mentor and she (the ball-buster that she is) had some choice words for me. Most of them reading something like "you make it too easy for everyone else to succeed - just stop" and "it's your fault no one knows you're bitter - you haven't told them yet" … she's great. With that in mind, I have decided to let it go.

Fast forward a couple of hours and I'm sitting in a bar west of Queen West with my fellow SociaLits. We're talking about boys and trips and work and I'm thinking, you know what? I'm doing well here. I travel lots, I go out lots, I have a good job that affords me my own place and I'm in fairly good health. So, maybe someone two years younger than me (and with a great deal less experience) gets promoted over me - it's probably time I left this sandbox anyway. Currently, I'm doing the job of two librarians and picking up the slack of a senior who hasn't quite grasped the idea that being a senior means doing a lot of the crap that no one else wants to do (that's why she gets paid more than me). It will be interesting to see how the void gets filled when I leave. And it is a when. If I don't get a position as a promotion, I'm willing to go laterally to get away from this insane workload.

All these thoughts swirled about me as I'm getting ready to go out and I had to make a conscious effort to tamp them down. As I'm chatting it up with AnCe, Nish and Senator, I get flashes of what life could be like: I could be working at a way higher-paying job, but then too burned out to actually go out; I could be working at Customs but then be working the 1600 shift and thus processing pax instead of sipping Brazilian cocktails; I could be working at a job that I adore (mmm, Maypole…), but too poor to afford cocktails or condos and be truly miserable. No... employment, in context of life, is pretty good; if I could just stop playing the ranking game, I'd be self-actualised.

Anyway, the evening ended on a bittersweet note: bitter because Nish became ill and had to be escorted home early by Senator; sweet because AnCe and I gorged at a Demetre's. All in all - I love my ladies. I bet they don’t even know the depressing Friday night from which they saved me.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Now Playing: Time Traveler's Wife

I dragged my feet about going to see Time Traveler's Wife. I had my reasons: Eric-fucking-Bana, it received bad reviews, Eric-fucking-Bana, it's a beloved book of mine that I didn't think could be adapted right, did I mention Eric-fucking-Bana? Anyway, I thought It would be a neat movie to see with the SociaLits, as this is one of the first books I remember reading for Book Club. In end, Ance and MissMaggy joined me in my quest to not be distracted by Eric-fucking-Bana and enjoy the movie on its own merits.

When I heard they were making a movie, I really only had two requirements:
- A tear-jerker. I read most of the book semi-choked up and I just bawled like a baby near the end. It is honestly one of the most poignantly beautiful endings I've ever read. I need this to be somewhere close.
- A good Henry. What I really like about Henry-in-the-book is that he's a total paradox. He likes his punk rock and going to concerts in dives but he chooses the relatively safe profession of librarianship; he's learned to be tough and can run and throw punches with the best of them, yet he's never set foot on a plane. Henry(ITB) is an edgy character that's kept harnessed by his condition.

And then, I heard they cast Eric-fucking-Bana. I almost cried. I had pictured Edward Norton or Ryan Gosling or, even, Johnny Depp (though, that would be a stretch). And I was right. Bana can't play punk, and so they completely took that part of Henry's character out, leaving only the boring librarian bits (and none of the cool librarian bits). Thank goodness for Rachel McAdams who plays Claire convincingly and saves most of this production. The rest of the cast was quite good as well, especially Michelle Nolden, who plays Henry's mother.

As for the plot, it was left fairly intact, which brings me to the tearjerker requirement. I wasn't moved enough to cry even once. I think most of the blame falls on the ending, which isn't the book is simply beautiful in its finality. The movie leaves too much… hope? but an empty kind of dime store romance novel hope that you know doesn’t give you anything of substance.

There were some good things about the movie: the cast (minus Bana), the directing and the lovely locations. Claire's childhood home was almost exactly how I pictured it from Niffenegger's description. Other than those highlights, however, the movie fell odd flat. Which is too bad, given the source material. 3 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Now Playing: District 9

My first exposure to District 9 was walking by a bus shelter that had one of those great posters in it. I remember thinking, "well, isn't that neat... I wonder what it's all about." I even called the phone number - which is the most awesome advertising since the Blair Witch project. Anyway, on to the movie.

What can I say? It was just this side of brilliant. The pseudo-doc feel is really reinforced by the unknown actors, the handcam filming and the wonderful just-enough use of special effects. Seriously, those aliens looked extremely believable. Everything Cloverfield wanted to accomplish in look and feel, but didn't.

Many critics - including the Famous magazine article - talk about how the aliens were deliberately made to be unappealing and gross, that audiences would have a hard time relating to the "prawns"... perhaps I'm a big softie, but from the moment the camera crews entered their mother ship and filmed those pathetic creatures living in squalor, obviously diseased or starving or both, I was rooting for them. And as if I needed to feel more empathy, they not only show the callous treatment of the aliens' spawn but show a little prawn who is completely adorable and not at at all saccharine.

The allusions to holocaust, apartheid and segregation are obvious: Wikus van de Merwe (very ably played by newcomer Sharlto Copley) refers to the districts as "concentration camps" to his alien counterpart, Christopher Johnson. I won't bore you with a plot overview, but I will say that it's the many layers of the film that make it most interesting. I love that they decided it would be shot in South Africa, for its obvious connections to apartheid and its implicit thumbing-of-the-nose at Manhattan-centred Hollywood action movies. I like that the typical movie hero moment (marine walking through the wreckage, having amazingly survived when all his comrades are dead) is reserved for the slightly psychotic and obvious speciesist, Koobus Venter (played like any other movie monster who just won't die by David James).

There are some plot hiccups: why did the aliens choose Earth? why didn't the aliens leave earlier? How do the humans know how to speak to the aliens? Why haven't they ask the aliens how they can expedite the alien's departure? Add to this, the ending is very... abrupt. I mean, I couldn't have been the only one who needed a "three years later" clip. It's perfectly set up for a sequel, but I think a sequel will ruin the integrity of the movie.

I really the film overall. While it isn't perfect, it's the most thought-provoking sci-fi flick we've gotten in a long while. If nothing else, it generates lots of discussion. I think you should go watch it - it's excellent movie fare. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Now Playing: A Perfect Getaway

First of all, I was coerced into watching A Perfect Getaway. I do not like to watch scary movies and then walk home and sleep alone. I was assured that this was a "suspense thriller" - not a horror movie at all. Apparently, it can only be a horror movie if it monsters. This is a lie - some of the best horror movies have no monsters at all (e.g. Halloween, Saw, Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Anyway, I went, taking my lowered expectations with me.

As with any suspense thriller, there are twists and turns. So, spoilers below. You have been warned.

I like a good twist in a movie. That's why I'm a big pre-Happening Shayamalan and Hitchcock fan. If it keeps me guessing, I'm happy. I also like movies that break down the fourth wall and speak to the audience, directly or through characters. Finally, I love me some Timothy Olyphant (when Gina describes him as the "devastatingly handsome man outside" I couldn’t' help but agree. So, knowing all this, APG should have been a fantastic movie.

But alas.

Here's the thing - the twist is actually quite innovative. I've seen a few suspense-thrillers in my time and I've never watched a movie where the bad guys are not only the main focal points (and therefore, we get everything from their point-of-view), they also don’t reveal themselves as the bad guys until the last quarter or so of the movie. Had Twohy a few better editors (or perhaps this is the screenplay writers' fault*), the scenes could have been much better spliced to hide Cliff and Cydney's true personalities. I mean, remember The Sixth Sense? I don't know about you, but I felt compelled to watch a second time in order to confirm that Bruce Willis really doesn't talk to anyone but the kid. That was some masterful editing. In APG, we see C&C have two conversations to which only we, the audience, are privy and both are all about whether the other coupld they're with are the killers. W. T. F. This really makes me mad. I like a good red snapper*, but outright lying isn't playing fair at all.

Also, Milla Jovovich always seems to pull the funniest faces when she's asked to be all serious. She was very beleiveable at the beginning and then she just degenerates into one big slavering sneer. Still, Timothy Olyphant is the prettiest badass onscreen right now. I say rent it on a bored weekend. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Now Playing: G . I. Joe - The Rise of Cobra

I went in thinking "I'm going to hate this movie" and I left thinking "I hate this movie" … you what the irony of it is? The middle part (you know, during the actual movie) I was quite entertained. Let me explain. As an action movie, G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was actually pretty damned good. Things blew up in convincing ways, people exchanged witticisms, the boys were hot, the girls were cool, the weapons were awesome. Check check check for summer blockbustery goodness.

(Spoilers below. Like you care.)

And then there is the Baroness. I think all the issues I have with this movie stem from this one character. First, and most obvious of all, the Baroness is NOT Russian! Instead, she's as American as everyone else. To add salt to this wound (and it's a gaping oozing wound, because I was really looking forward to her saying "Vee haff vays of making you talk"), Sienna Miller dropped her already cool British accent… consider me boggled. Then, after spending the movie thinking she's pretty much the biggest badass in the movie (e.g. after yelling at a cowering civilian to get out, she says "nice shoes"… *melt*), we find out she's actually been mind-controlled... what.   and THEN, she ends up going to jail, voluntarily…what!  and THEN she says lines like "I can't be let out of here, not after what I did" … WHAT!? The Baroness is just about the wickedest female bad guy out there - she was not a dipped-in-grey villain like Catwoman or Harley Quinn. She was smart, clever, evil and she did it all in skin-tight leather, dammit! And they took all that away! I feel betrayed. She was an empowered woman (yes, an evil woman, but evil of her own will) not some simpering girlfriend with abandonment issues. And they just stripped her of all that cool. They even made her a blonde. I am so mad about this.

Also, no one should ever cast Channing Tatum. In anything. Ever.

Boo! 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

So, I'm reading Aravind Adiga's Booker-winning The White Tiger and I'm thinking "My God, is there really a place in the world that works like this?" The "place" is India and the answer is, yes, of course there is. Let's talk a little about Mr. Adiga's work - it's charming, engaging and thoroughly treacherous; I loved the narrative frame of a letter, which in itself was a very clever way to establish its thoroughly unreliable narrator. Anytime something is written as an entirely first-person account, I get immediately suspicious. In this case, the narrator doesn’t even try to hide his duplicity - he introduces himself a Wanted Man, who has had many names in his lifetime. Spidey senses tingling. Wanted for what? Murder! Spidey senses rioting! And is he writing his memoirs in jail? no, but in an office bedecked in chandeliers? Spidey senses go poof! What follows is a fascinating story of a bright boy turned tea shop attendant turned driver turned murderer turned entrepreneur. You think I've spoiled the plot? Hardly - all that’s within the first chapter. I also really enjoyed Adiga's writing style: it is easy to read, yet still perspicacious; it's full of effulgent description that sometimes I wished wasn't quite so… potent; it is, in short, fun.

White Tiger is compared to Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. That was a huge selling point for me - I love Ellison's work and is superbly layered novel really turned all sorts of ideas on its head. Knowing that, I couldn't help but read White Tiger in much the same way. Just as Ellison turned the apocalyptic Harlem riots into a carnival, Adiga seemed to successfully turn this tale of murder and deceit into a comedy of the Robin Hood nature. I can't really expand on that any more without truly giving away what I believe to be highlights of the story. This is the kind of book that could depress even the most persistent Pollyanna and somehow… it doesn't. I couldn’t help but feel that this was a modern-day Indian fairy tale. I mean, some perspective: did Cinderella ever think about what happened to her stepsisters after she left? Did Beauty think about her father once the Beast transformed? Did we admonish Hansel and Gretel for burning the witch alive? think about it.

Even though it took me six weeks to finish this short book, once I bit into the third chapter, I couldn't let go and ended up reading the bulk of the book over two days. Seriously, though, read it. It's amazing.

As much as I loved this book, it really made angry. But I get ahead of myself. Some context first.
The narrator talks about the "Rooster Coop" within which most of India's population lives. His description is blunt:
The greatest thing to come out of this country in the ten thousand years of its history is the Rooster Coop. Go to Old Delhi, behind the Jama Masjid, and look at the way they keep chickens there in the market. Hundreds of pale hens and brightly coloured roosters, stuffed tightly into wire-mesh cages, packed as tightly as worms in a belly, pecking each other and shitting on each other, jostling just for breathing space; the whole cage giving off a horrible stench — the stench of terrified, feathered flesh. On the wooden desk above this coop sits a grinning young butcher, showing off the flesh and organs of a recently chopped-up chicken, still oleaginous with a coating of dark blood. The roosters in the coop smell the blood from above. They see the organs of their brothers lying around them. They know they’re next. Yet they do not rebel. They do not try to get out of the coop. The very same thing is done with human beings in this country.
I found this to be one of the most insightful paragraphs in the book. If you're like me, you probably thought of something else that seems fairly analogous: the scene in Finding Nemo that finds Marlon and Dori trapped in a fish net with all the fish just waiting to be pulled out, gutted and served to us. Marlon convinces all the fish to push down together, to resist the net and as a result all the fish are free and the fishermen sail away empty-handed. Who didn't cheer for those silly fish?

So why, if animated fish can figure it out, can't humans? Why don't the impoverished masses that dominate India's population rise up and revolt against their masters? Alas, how can they… they are uneducated and are easily crushed by the caste machinations of that society. India would seem to be a living and breathing Manichean Allegory, with people living in either Light or Darkness. But those living in the Light hoard its riches, unwilling to share even a pittance of its wealth for fear that they would somehow lose prestige. The poor are shoved into Darkness, made to seem stupid and perfidious, and thus robbed of any power. In a country that boasts the world's largest democracy, India still has one of the most corrupt political systems in the world.

And why? Because the rich get richer if the poor stay poor. Can you imagine if every master had to pay his driver / maid / gardener / cook / nanny / Friday a fair wage? That would certainly take away from their own wealth. And what is the motivation to educate your servants' children? What's more important: a servant who can read or a servant who can clean your toilet? Educating the darkness will only lead to more people wanting to better themselves and there's not enough money in India to support a billion workers earning a fair wage. It's not easy to rise up in a country that's made to keep you down, a country steeped in a faith that tells you to never aspire outside your destiny, a country too small for its big dreams.

I am torn between sympathy and apathy. Yes, the Servants' life is close to slavery: servants live in a state of poverty, working not 9-5 but from an hour before their masters awake to an hour after they go to sleep. If they ask for a day off, it is only at the convenience of their masters. If they make a mistake, they face a beating or worse. And if they do not do everything they are asked, they are threatened with harm to themselves or their family. They are called family, but treated more like work horses. And what life awaits them if they are not servants? Driving rickshaws and handing over most of their earnings to goondas under the auspices of rental fees. Scrubbing floors in tea shops they aren't allowed to actually frequent. Or, worst of all, professional beggaring. Either way, there seems to be very little dignity to be had for anyone unlucky enough to be born in the Darkness.

It is this drowning sense of injustice that leaves me bitter and frustrated.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

writing for pleasure

Though I know any good Canadian froths at the mouth for Summer months, I can't help but feel the opposite. And while we have barely had the weather to actually qualify for "summer", I still feel like the past few weeks have slipped away somehow. I haven't had a chance to write for pleasure, poppets, in oh so long. I feel as if I 've dropped the ball here.

And the worst part? I haven't gotten anything else accomplished either. I had wanted to outfit the balcony this summer… well, here we are in August and all I've added to the balcony are empty beer bottles. I haven't been reading a lot either, nursing my one book since the beginning of July. I haven't watched that many movies (it's been a lacklustre season) or played that many board games or even cooked that many meals. My Warcraft playing has dropped off and I'm still working my way through Buffy/Angel. What the heck?

In the dreary grey wintry days, I find myself insipired and motivated. I get projects done and attend classes and socialise well. I don't understand how the long warm days find me at a loss. I don't even have anything to blog about. I am stuck. Blocked. Dazed. I'm longing for September, with it crisp autumn air tinged with the smell of back-to-school supplies - that never fails to get me going.

In the meantime, I apologise profusely for being such a bore.