Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Holidays

Some holiday pics to share. Thank you to everyone for making it such a special holiday with great times, good food, amazing company and lots and lots of laughter. I let the guy's off the hook with the pics... at least here... ;)

For more holiday pic's see Jamie and Suzie's posts.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Film Fan Fridays for Friday December 29th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

Here we are at the end of 2006! Another way to put it is 317 releases later. 317! 40 of which were Canadian (woohoo - go Canada!), and 3 were re-releases of previous films. Being the curious creature I am I tallied up how many I saw with was 32/317 of all the releases (about 10%) and 8/40 of the Canadian films (20%). If memory is correct last year I was at about 3% total, so thinkgs are looking good so far.

What would a last of the year newsletter be without favorites lists? No fun, that's what! I'm all for fun so here is my list... Shannon's favourite films of 2006:

Favourite Canadian film: The Rocket / Maurice Richard
Honourable mentions: Metal: A Headbanger's Journey and Bon Cop, Bad Cop

Favourite US film: Tie: Little Miss Sunshine and Dreamgirls
Honourable mention: The Fountain

Favourite Foreign film: Night Watch / Nochnoy Dozor
Honourable mentions: District B13 / Banlieue B13 and Three Times / Zui hao de shi guang

Favourite Dance film: Take the Lead
Honourable mention: Step Up

Films with a Strong Message: An Inconvenient Truth and Unnatural & Accidental

Disappointments: X-Men: The Last Stand, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (note they are all sequels)

Most Disturbing: The Proposition

Wish I'd Never Seen: Crank

Surprized I Didn't See: Poseidon, House of Sand / Casa de Areia, Lady in the Water, The Guardian

Solid Entertainment Choices: V for Vendetta, Casino Royale

There you have it, what was film in 2006 like for you?

Have a happy & safe New Year!

Shannon

Friday December 29th, 2006 Releases

The Painted Veil
Dir: John Curran (We Don't Live Here Anymore, Praise)
Cast: Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Toby Jones, Diana Rigg
China/USA
Limited Release

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus
Dir: Steven Shainberg (Secretary, Hit Me)
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Robert Downy Jr., Ty Burrell, Harris Yulin, Jane Alexander
USA
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Dec 29, 2006**

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Little Miss Sunshine

Dir: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (The Check Up)
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, Alan Arkin
USA, 2006

Seen: October 15, 2006 at Varsity

Reason to see: Highly recommended by a variety of people

I have to say this is for me, the drama of the year akin to The Royal Tenenbaums and About Schmidt in recent years. In a lot of ways, it is strongly plot based and I don't want to spoil that for anyone which makes it challenging to review. I'm also not sure anyone would believe the plot, regardless it is worth seeing it sight unseen. Anyone who has been part of or seen a dysfunctional family will enjoy and relate to this, and that is something that I believe speaks to everyone.

Great line: "I encourage everyone to eat some salad"

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I will watch it again
I highly recommend it

More Film Reviews here

Return to Planet Shannon

Dreamgirls

Dir: Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters)
Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Anita Noni Rose
USA, 2006

Seen: December 27, 2006 at Paramount with Suzie & Jamie

Reason to see: It's Dreamgirls!!!!!!!! Musical based on the Broadway production for which I could sing every song word for word! Inspiring story, amazing songs, and hope, love and tears.

What a fascinating experience to actually 'see' this story! I've loved the music for years but I've never seen a production of it, therefore I only knew the bare bones of the story. It was so amazing to see all of the characters come to life. All of the stories are full and dynamic, the characters were really three dimensional which I wasn't expecting. Sometimes you agreed with them whole heartedly and other times you questioned what they were doing but throughout you were with them for every moment.

The largest irony is the duality of the film's plot with the marketing campaign. When you see it, you'll know what I mean by that. All of the performances are excellent, specifically Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy kudo's to the film for excellent casting.

The only thing that wasn't included that I was really looking forward to is the song "I Miss You Old Friend" between Effie and C.C., although there were many really strong numbers including "Family" and "And I am Telling You, I'm Not Going". Heartbreakingly beautiful.

When you see it..., bring kleenex. It was an wonderful, emotional rollercoaster and I cherish the fact that I got to see it with my sisters.

Shannon's Overall View:
I loved it
I'll watch it again, and again.. and again!
I'd recommend it, especially to anyone who likes musicals

23 minutes of commercials and previews - a new record I think!

More Film Reviews here

Return to Planet Shannon

SPC: Red 4

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Red Carpet ready red... tiara & all... This is the night from the Academy Awards in either 2004 or 2005.


Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

Click here to visit Planet Shannon

Saturday, December 23, 2006

'Twas a raining day near Christmas....

The day started off pretty nice.. gotta love seeing twinkie Christmasy lights on the way to work. Mind you that means its really early in the AM...

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Got out of work early, and it was raining!!! This was the scene at the streetcar....

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The streetcar was so crowded and moving so slowing (Friday before the holidays...) decided to get off early and walk through Chinatown..

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and into Kensington Market... and it was still raining like mad (look at the eavestrove..trop? hmm). I couldn't help giggling, it was so ridiculous. At least the stores were really quiet. I had a moment thinking maybe they would close up early but then realized I don't they are ever closed (except at night), the sign at the Freshmart even said it will be open on the 25th.

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People were not really in the holiday spirit. I was cheery though. I like shopping in Kensington, especially one of my HUGE purchase shown here... some no salt/no msg chicken stock and whole allspice for cider. A whopping total of 45cents:

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The total crop of veggies & some misc came in around $20, score!

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So, at home at last with my shop complete and looking like a drowned rat!

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Oh ya, what a glam shot!!! After that it was time for some hot chocolate and cookies.

Happy Holidays!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Film Fan Fridays for Friday December 22nd, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

Many releases this week - who would have thought it? Usually there are a few this close to the holidays and maybe 1-2 on Christmas but this year we have 5 (!) on Christmas Day! Last week, The Good German... this week The Good Shepherd (directed by DeNiro? Boy ... they are keeping that quiet I had no idea!), I guess goodness is in fashion. The remaining options for this week continue to be quite varied. Some family options such as A Night at the Museum, to dark films like Black Christmas remake of the 1974 horror classic, one of the only movies I was not 'allowed' to see growing up. Both versions star Andrea Martin!

I have to say for me out of this bunch the pick is no other than Dreamgirls. It's a musical and an underdog story. I've heard the soundtrack a million times but never seen it. I just can't wait to hear the words "Effie I have a song, and only you can sing it the way it should be.." I almost got teary eyed for a moment.

Looking for something festive and film-y to do? The Bloor is showing the holiday classic It's a Wonderful Life tonight, Friday Dec 22/06, at 7pm - free for members, seniors and childen with memberships available for $3 at the door.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, fun-filled, safe, abundant holiday full of celebrations & cheer.

Shannon

Wednesday December 20th, 2006 Releases

Rocky Balboa
Writer/Dir: Sylvester Stallone (Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Staying Alive)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Milo Ventimiglia
USA

Friday December 22nd, 2006 Releases

Curse of the Golden Flower / Man cheng jin dai huang jin jia
Dir: Zhang Yimou (House of the Flying Daggers / Shi mian mau fu, Hero / Ying xiong)
Cast: Chow-Yun Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Qin Junjie
Hong Kong/China

The Good Shepherd
Dir: Robert De Niro (A Bronx Tale)
Cast: Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crudup
USA

Night at the Museum
Dir: Shawn Levy (Cheaper by the Dozen <2003>, Just Married)
Cast: Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Carla Gugino, Mickey Rooney
USA

We Are Marshall
Dir: McG (Charlie's Angels, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle)
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, David Strathairn, Kate Mara, Ian McShane
USA

Monday December 25th, 2006 Releases

Black Christmas
Dir: Glen Morgan (Willard)
Cast: Katie Cassidy, Michelle Trachtenberg, Andrea Martin, Lacey Chabert
Canada/USA

Children of Men
Dir: Alfonso Cuarón (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Y tu mamá también)
Cast: Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Claire-Hope Ashitey, Chiwetel Ejiofor
UK/USA
Limited Release

Dreamgirls
Dir: Bill Condon (Kinsey, Gods and Monsters)
Cast: Jennifer Hudson, Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Anita Noni Rose
USA

Notes on a Scandal
Dir: Richard Eyre (Iris, Stage Beauty)
Cast: Dame Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, Tom Georgeson, Joanna Scanlan
UK
Limited Release

Pan's Labyrinth
Dir: Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, Blade II, Mimic Cronos)
Cast: Ivan Baquero, Sergi Lopez, Ariadna Gil, Doug Jones
Mexico/Spain/USA
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Dec 22, 2006**

Thursday, December 21, 2006

#100 - 4 of 8 - Celebrate Yule

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Part of my 101 list is to Celebrate Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, Yule & Imbolc at least once for the duration of the 1001 days.

Celebrate Yule, Completed: Dec 21, 2006

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For those whom which these holiday might be unfamiliar, they are the Wiccian/Pagan holidays. For information on Wicca/Paganism look here.

I had a pretty full day but had a great Yule. I had lots on the go but kept relaxed, decided not to worry things would happen in their own time and this kind of thing. Quite unusually for me, and I do feel like there is a change. I really feel like the time between Samhain and now was kind of like an unknown... like walking around in the dark.... searching but not seeing anything. Sensing maybe... almost but not quite.

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So for some festivities I made some 'red and green' food - smoked salmon and salad. Yummy! And just chilled for a bit and took the time to relax. Good times.

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Return to my 101 list.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

True Balance: Summing Up

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I finished the book "True Balance" a while ago now but I wanted to touch base and sum up the experience. First, I want to thank the marvelous Melba for putting it together, thank you so much Melba! It's the first time I've participated in a series of bloggers going though book together and it was such an interesting process! It was really cool to go through the journey with everyone, including my sisters Suzie & Jamie as well as finding and connecting with some great new people like Caroline and Tammy as well as getting to know Melba better. To see all the member please visit check out the True Balance Project.

Although I had some trying times and experiences working through the book I am first and formost happy that I stuck it out! There are so many things I've tried, started, played with for a while and just let them either flutter out to oblivion or I've stopped them abruptly and cut off all contact. That may be surprizing to some, but it's true. And it isn't all bad, either. Sometimes we do lose interest, or realize that what we are doing isn't fulfilling or being the means to the end we thought. I know that as a theory but to me in my heart of hearts is feels like giving up, which I don't like doing. lol... maybe it would have better to be able to come to terms with that as opposed to pushing though, but I am glad I pushed though. I'm glad I can say I read the whole book, I posted, I thought, I read other's reactions.

Going through the book, I realized and affirmed what I had felt before (but forgot) about the chakra's, and that is I still need lots of work on my root chakra. Without that I don't know the long term benefits that I could gain from balancing the other chakras. The good thing is, I really like the root chakra! I want to be more grounded, and I've come leaps and bounds from where I was previously. But there is still more work to be done. Hmmm I don't like the term 'work' for that. There is still a lot of ground to cover... how's that?

I also just did the chakras test and it confirms my thoughts on this:


Root: under-active (-56%) See my root chakra posts: here and here
Sacral: under-active (-19%) See my sacral chakra posts: here and here
Navel: under-active (6%) See my navel chakra posts: here and here
Heart: under-active (0%) See my heart chakra posts: here and here
Throat: open (25%) See my throat chakra posts: here and here
Third Eye: over-active (75%) See my third eye chakra post: here
Crown: under-active (0%) See my crown chakra post: here

And my general posts on TB : here and here

I can't figure out how to but the pretty graph here. Oh well!



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Ever wonder how I spent my time working on TB? It's when I did my laundromat - there is a very glam pic of me at the Laundromat. Saturday mornings and I made my brain work while my clothes got cleaned. Queen on multitasking, that's me!

As we start a new season, I'm thinking along the lines of Yule being tomorrow, which the common idea/phrase I come up in my research and reading is new beginnings. After Samhain it has felt like there was stillness, almost like hibernation and now with Yule and the passing through the longest night and the beginning and the return of the light I think about what do I want this new beginning to be? What do I want to bring into this time? After thinking about it for a while (ok not that long, I decide things quickly) I realized most of the things I'm looking at are very root chakra-y. I want to feel centred, healthy, with a strong foundation. I think I will focus on the basics, I mean really the basics.. food, my health, and fun. Oh, and a clean home - not super over the top or anything but a place where I feel ease. That's it: Ease. I'm all for that. I've felt quite overwhelmed recently and I think going simple for a while might help. I want to work on just that and not take on anything extra. We shall see how it goes.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

SPC: Red 3

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This is how I feel right now... split in half, on the go, paying attention and then on the next thing. Frazzled I dare say... frazzled.

Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

101 in 1001 Weekly Update #41!!!

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Only our regular updates this week. Holidays, planning, shopping & such are keeping me busy so no whole tasks complete. I did manage to watch a movie (no review on it yet), reassess my budget & made some good decisions there (ohhh.. this is kinda linked to #15 on my 101's - although I completed that and I will keep working on it, I have to wait a bit to really do my 2007 budget), make cookies and roast a chicken but alas those don't really fall 100% under any of my 101's. I've got 2 that I'm planning on for early Jan 07 and possibly another pending more information. I really really want to get through my inbox though... I'm really hoping the tray doesn't break!

#38 - Keep a plant alive from 'The Auction' from one year to the next - update: They are still alive!!! Yay! I'm a little worried about burrows - nothing super bad just doesn't seem to be thriving. The berry plant and begonia are still going nuts! Maybe burrows is shy.

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#21 - Save a part of every paycheque - done. My previous pre-warning on this not being weekly is now out of date and it will continue weekly! I've got to say that I've been on numerous different pay periods (biweekly, monthly, weekly) and I really dig the weekly thing. I do find that I end up needing to plan a bit more and keep on top of it, but I prefer that to the alternatives.

#94 - Read every day - done! Still working though 'Artemis Fowl' by Eoin Colfer, but just a little at a time. Some days I'd admit the only thing I read was emails & blogs (I'm so loving bloglines- I feel like I can read so many more blogs!).

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#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Dec 11/06 - a website for lists: http://listography.com/
Tuesday Dec 12/06 - Mpix is available on demand!!! Ch. 311 Ty Jamie! I'm watching Rocky right now!!
Wednesday Dec 13/06 - work thing
Thursday Dec 14/06 - the relief of things staying the same
Friday Dec 15/06 - a message from someone I'd rather not hear from
Saturday Dec 16/06 - 1 reason why I hesistate to ask for help - I'm not very flexible on how I receive it & that TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is available here now, and not only that there is a free preview! Ch. 323
Sunday Dec 17/06 - def: podzol - type of leached, whitish grey soil usually found in moist, sub-polar climates

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For my full 101 list, look here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Holiday Meme

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I've seen this one quite a few places and thought I would join in.

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Easy. Hot Chocolate. Seeing the label and translating the French name for it is more than enough for me to go: ewwww.

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Well, usually it's Santa's little helper that does the wrapping. Always wrapped.

3. Colored Light on Tree/House or White?
I have a great set of multicoloured lights that have different setting 'Slow-Glo' is my fave. If I didn't have those I would actually go with all blue

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Traditionally, the tree goes up the weekend after Jamie's Bday. This year I think I did it a bit after that.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Oh. So many. Anything you put gravy on excluding stuffing. Could be Yorkshire pudding. Turkey is great. The Breakfast is a big win too.

7. Favorite holiday memory as a child?
Feeding the animals at Whell & Cullen (sp?) where we got out Christmas tree.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
Don't remember when. My mom told me. I was watching a Christmas special and the sofabed was pulled out which would make me think it was Christmas time but that doesn't make sense. Maybe it was after Christmas one year. I cried and cried and cried.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
All of 'em! That is when we celebrate with Mom so gift giving all around!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
I'm not sure how this question is intended to be answered. With.. decorations? Lights first then decorations...

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11. Snow. Love it or dread it?
As long as it isn't super cold and I have waterproof boots and I can get over the curb its ok. It's best when it's outside, you're inside and there isn't anywhere you have to be anytime soon.

12. Can you ice skate?
Not well ;)

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
No... isn't that wierd.

14. What's the most important thing about Christmas to you?
Time with family & a relaxed atmosphere. And good food & drink. And having the things that are special to everyone.

15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
We are usually to full to have dessert. I like the chocolate wafer log made with whipped cream but I have a hard time finding the cookies for it.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Stockings

17. What tops your tree?
A star (this year it's quite a brazen one!)

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18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
Giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
To play - Away in a Manger - first song I learned to play on the piano. I know many will think it's Winter Wonderland... boy.. everyone was so sick of me playing that one.
To sing - O Come All Ye Faithful - gotta love the ones in the lower register...

20. Candy Canes. Yuck or Yum?
YUM!!! Double yum! With tea please!

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Film Fan Fridays for Friday December 15th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

What a week! There is lots of film news, lists and releases - what could be more fun! Three of our releases this week are Canadian or Canadian co-pros: Cheech, Monkey Warfare and Snowflake all in limited release. Monkey Warfare is showing only at The Royal which has recently been re-opened with technical upgrades and I am personally looking very much forward to seeing what their programming will be! Considering it's begun with Canadian film premiere's I would say it is off to promising start!

More in Canadian film, the 2006 Canada's Top Ten was released this week with an exciting and well rounded selection. I've only seen 3 of the films so far (The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, Manufactured Landscapes and Sur la trace d'Igor Rizzi / On the Trail of Igor Rizzi) and would have to say that not getting a chance to see Away From Her was my biggest disappointment at the film festival this year (all performances I could attend were sold out). 5 of the 10 have been in regular release so far, join me and cheering on another year of great Canadian Film:

Canada's Top Ten 2006
(in alphabetical order)

Away From Her
Congorama
Un Dimache a Kigali / A Sunday in Kigali
The Journals of Knud Rasmussen
Manufactured Landscapes
Monkey Warfare
Radiant City
Sharkwater
Sur la trace d'Igor Rizzi / On the Trail of Igor Rizzi
Trailer Park Boys: The Movie

As we are nearing to the end of the year that means we are getting to awards season. The leader of the pack is always The Golden Globes, which nominations were announced this week. From which we can see some shoe-in's like Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Kate Winslet (Little Children) nominated for best actress: drama, and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). I'm not surprized to see Little Miss Sunshine nominated for best picture, but I am surprized that it is in the Comedy/Musical instead of Drama category. Mind you, it might have better chances there instead of going up against some heavy hitters like Babel and Bobby. Then we have the eyebrow raisers, such as the multiple nominations for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan and 2 dramatic acting nominations for Leonardo Dicaprio (Blood Diamond, The Departed). It will be a very interesting awards season. For the full list of Golden Globe nominations, click here.

Have a great weekend!!

Shannon

Friday December 15th, 2006 Releases

Charlotte's Web
Dir: Gary Winick (13 Going on 30, Tadpole, Sweet Nothing)
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Dominic Scott Kay, Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey
USA

Cheech
Dir: Patrice Suavé - directorial film debut
Cast: Patrice Robitaille, François Létourneau, Sharlene Royer
Canada
Limited Release

Eragon
Dir: Stefen Fangmeier - directorial debut
Cast: Edward Speleers, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Robert Carlyle, Rachel Weisz
USA

The Good German
Dir: Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven, Traffic, Erin Brockovich)
Cast: George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Tobey Maguire
USA
Limited Release

Monkey Warfare
Writer/Dir: Reginald Harkema (A Girl is a Girl)
Cast: Don McKellar, Tracy Wright, Nadia Litz
Canada
Limited Release

The Pursuit of Happyness
Dir: Gabriele Muccino (Ricordati di me /Remember Me, L'Ultimo bacio / One Last Kiss)
Cast: Wil Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith, Brian Howe
USA

Snow Cake
Dir: Marc Evans (My Little Eye, Resurrection Man)
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Carrie-Ann Moss, David Fox
UK/Canada
Limited Release

Wednesday December 20th, 2006 Releases

Rocky Balboa
Writer/Dir: Sylvester Stallone (Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Staying Alive)
Cast: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Young, Talia Shire, Milo Ventimiglia
USA

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Dec 15, 2006**

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Red 2 - mistaken identity as a hoodlum

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When thinking about this month's topic for SPC, Red, I thought - what are things that are without a doubt, red?

And then it came to me: The Lumberjack Jacket.

Yes, there are the brave souls that deviate from red. I've known some to pick the mint-ish green. Others may choose the zany combination of red & purple (I admit, I had this one too).

But the classic & true lumberjack jacket is red. Most likely found under a jean jacket in the fall or a leather jacket in the winter. The they are not worn by all. Reserved for the tougher crowd, sometimes the loner crowd (might be wrong usage of 'crowd' but you know what I mean), where I grew up it was synonmous with the 'North Wall' crowd.

I had one, of course. Actually I've had more than one over the years. Funny thing is, I wasn't really a hoodlum. I'd never do anything illegal, but throw this outfit together and some of the various outfits and haircuts (chelsea, shaven head, every shade under the sun) sometimes people thought I was. Thought I would destroy stuff, steal stuff, many a store did I enter did I receive mean looks or on some occasions was asked if I had anything in my bag or pockets.

What's funny is now, this never happens. Now I get passed through places without getting searched. I think it's wrong to use appearance as a rationale for how people are treated. I always have, and I always will. See the person. Listen to them. Heck, ask 'em something. Who cares what they are wearing.

Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

Click here to visit Planet Shannon

Monday, December 11, 2006

101 in 1001 Weekly Update #40!!!

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Update number 40? Whoa! And I thought that last week being 2 years from completion was a cool bench mark. But 40 updates! Wow! I have to admit I'm feeling a little overwhelmed right now, you can see my inbox is just a little overful. I'll get to it though!

This is a week of partials and building updates. I'm at 6/10 for #83 - Try out 10 new restaurants with my visit to 7numbers for Jamie's Birthday. Yummy food and good times!

Fire more reviews are up for #14 - Write something about all the films I see: The Protector / Tom yum goong, Unnatural & Accidental, Crank, Saint Ralph and C.R.A.Z.Y. which leaves me with 39 reviews films outstanding.. I'm still gunning for being up to day by the end of 2006 and then staying on top of them. We shall see.

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#38 - Keep a plant alive from ‘The Auction’ from one year to the next - update:
3/3 still alive! yay go go plants! I would also like to put a shout out to an honourable mention to a housewarming plant that I got before the Auction cycle, isn't it doing great? :

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#101 - Relearn the tarot - Making progress here, I did a few readings at my friend Danette Birthday party and they went pretty well!! This is definately one of those things that you can sit and study but to really work on it you have to just do it. I'm not ready to say this one is complete but I've made some good progress!

#21 - Save a part of every paycheque - done. Pre-warning for next week... so odd I'm switching to a different pay schedule and I won't be able to say this on every week. That is going to be so weird. I really like having it part of the update. Oh wells!

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#94 - Read every day - done! I finished reading the crazy romance novel, 'The Ranch Stud' by Cathy Gillen Thacker. I don't even know where I got it from, it is actually a Harlequin book. Ah, what fun! Now I'm on to 'Artemis Fowl' by Eoin Colfer, which I am really enjoying so far, even though I'm only a few pages in.

#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Dec 4/06 - Sometimes you walk right into what you are looking for!
Tuesday Dec 5/06 - How to spell Catholicism
Wednesday Dec 6/06 - def: cybrarian \sye-BRAIR-ee-un\ noun: a person whose job is to find, collect, and manage information that isavailable on the World Wide Web (thanks Jamie!)
Thursday Dec 7/06 - Not everyone is looking for the same thing in terms of jobs, pay, benefits, etc. And.. to speak up with regards to these things.
Friday Dec 8/06 - I can still be surprized at the generousity of others
Saturday Dec 9/06 - How to use bloglines (its really cool! Makes it easier to keep up to day on people's blogs!)
Sunday Dec 10/06 - def: lagomorph - any of an order of mammals having two pairs of upper incisors, one behind the other, specialized for gnawing (rabbits, hares & pikas)

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For my full 101 list, look here.

#83 - 6/10 - Try out 10 new restaurants - 7numbers

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Went to 7numbers on Dec 8, 2006 for Jamie's Bday celebration!
307 Danforth Ave in Toronto, Ontario.

Wow, great spot! Lotsa atmo, great food and a wonderful celebration for Jamie's Bday! I'm sorry that I'm not posting pic's of those who were there ... all those pictures turned out really fuzzy and weird so I thought it wouldn't be great to post 'em. This is a great spot if you want some real home cooking. The staff were really nice, the food was great as were the desserts and they have an impressive cocktail selection as well. Good times!

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Return to my 101 list.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Protector / Tom yum goong

Dir: Prachya Pinkaew (Ong-Bak)
Cast: Tony Jaa, Petchtai, Wongkamlao, Bongkoj Khongmalai, Xing Jing
Thailand, 2006

Seen: September 15, 2006 at the Paramount

Reason to see: I enjoyed Ong-Bak and I had time to kill between 2 festival films

It was completely surreal to go from seeing film festival films to this. There is some great fighting and action sequences, as to be expected, in this film. The story and setting I found to be surprizing. I had no idea there was an elephant in the film at all - and it was so cool! Gotta love animals. Unfortunately I looked in the credits but didn't see a 'no harm done to animals' credit. I'm really hoping I missed it when it went by. It was a little crazy though, sometimes it was subtitled, sometimes dubbed and there was even a part that looked more like a video game than a film. But, all in all I enjoyed it. Fun martial arts film, lots of feats, a fair number of bone crunching sounds, and did I meantion... and elephant?

Favorite Line:
"I'm looking for my family"
"What do they look like?"
"Elephant"

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it to martial arts film fans

6 commercials (bookstore/literacy, pop, music, tradespeople, pop, car)
5 previews (Grudge 2, The Marine, Saw III, Jet Li's Fearless, School for Scoundrels)

More Film Reviews here

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Unnatural & Accidental

Dir: Carl Bessai (Severed, Émile, Lola <2001>)
Cast: Callum Keith Rennie, Tantoo Cardinal, Carmen Moore
Canada, 2006

Seen: December 3, 2006 at the Carlton

Reason to see: It's Canadian!

I find it hard to write this review. I don't normally watch films that revolve around the subject matter of sexual assault or pretty much anything to do with women being harmed in anyway, however I felt myself drawn to see this one. I've noticed a growing amount of film that takes of the subject matter of life on the streets, or to do with drugs & prostitution on the west coast. Usually Vancouver, but they don't always say. This film is steeped in true events but also added fictional elements and feels reminiscent of the murders of prostitutes that was unveiled in the past few years. Following one woman's search for her mother we see a trail of victims. There is a great depiction of spirituality in this film, and not in a heavy handed way but rather more of showing a journey and the turning of tides. That was what I came away with from it, that sense of how things can change through actions you wouldn't expect and would never plan.

Warnings: sexual violence

Shannon's Overall View:
I don't know if I can say that I liked it, but I think it is an important story and issue
I would not watch it again (not due to merit, I just don't watch films with this kind of violence)
Whom to recommend it to... those who are interested in films about personal journeys and women's issues

More Film Reviews here

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Film Fan Fridays for Friday December 8th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

In the spirit of this weeks holiday-ish films I'm going to take a holiday myself!

Have a great weekend!!

Shannon

Friday December 8th, 2006 Releases

Apocalypto
Dir: Mel Gibson (The Passion of the Christ, Braveheart)
Cast: Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez, Jonathan Brewer
USA

Blood Diamond
Dir: Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai, Legends of the Fall)
Cast: Djimon Hounsou, Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly
USA

The Holiday
Dir: Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give, What Women Want)
Cast: Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black
USA

Unaccompanied Minors
Dir: Paul Feig (I Am David)
Cast: Dyllan Christopher, Gina Mantegna, Lewis Black, Wilmer Valderrama
USA

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Dec 8, 2006**

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

True Balance - Crown Chakra

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I'm not sure why I picked this pic for this post. I took it the day I finished reading True Balance, while I was online gaming with a friend and took a moment to make tea. From out my kitchen window this was the sight I saw. Whether it is some kind of bizarre sunset or dark clouds in the sky I'm not sure. I found it completely compelling though. Oh, I just re-read that the colour for the chakra is violet fading to white edges - ok, the pic works for that I think!

I think the comparative significance is that after reading this chapter I would say that this chakra is quite closed for me. The quiz I had 8 no's, 2 sometimes and 2 yes's. I also found it quite hard to read or really feel what she was getting at due to the numerous and vastly increased religious references. I feel bad I think I mentioned this in all the chapters recently but it really makes it feel exclusionary to me. So much so that I was barely reading it or taking in the content, more like skimming the surface and searching for something to connect to but it didn't really happen. This chapter is spiritual meaning of life and absolute faith and I guess that is not where I'm at. I definitely found that there were some good suggestions, like searching for a deeper more meaningful connection with yourself - that sounds good idea. Mind you some of the other things such as praying and meditation, not fond of and/or not good at those, and it again assumes a certain religious slant/faith. I believe it really summed it up when she says that its a "shift from me against the world to me as part of the world" (p.230). Maybe one day.

No word associate on this one as no list was there for this chapter.

See more about The True Balance group here.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Self Portrait Challenge: Red 1

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Ah, how pleased I was when I found out the topic for December's SPC was red. Finally I have the upper hand! Almost all of the pics I take at night indoors with my camera always turn out red. No photoshop here, this pic is shown in its original format.

I found this meme on Rising to the Challenge's blog, and considering it's based on colour and starting with RED could the timing be any better? Feel free to join in.

RED

1. Closest red thing to you? The lettering on my GTD (Getting Things Done) quick reference sheet

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2. Has anyone ever cheated on you in a relationship?
Not as far as I know

3. Last thing to make you angry?
A phone message with imporant info left really casually

4. Are you a fan of romance?
I was this close to saying no, but I think that's not true.

5. Have you ever been in love?
Yes

6. Do you have a temper?
Yes, although people don't tend to believe it! Unless they were they to experience it, that is.

GREEN

1. Closest green thing to you?
My bills/budget folder

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2. Do you care about the environment?
Absolutely

3. Are you jealous of anyone right now?
No

4. Are you a lucky person?
Sometimes.

5. Do you always want what you can't have?
No. In general I believe you can always get what you want, for most things of course.

6. Are you Irish?
1/4 Irish, 1/4 English and 1/2 Latvian. As well as being a proud Canadian

PURPLE

1. Last purple thing you saw?
My dresser! There is a funny story to my dresser, one which Jamie reminded me of the other day. It used to be green, I bought it a few years ago at a garage sale that was about 1/2 a block away from me. I really needed the extra space for clothes but the dresser was a little big. That didn't stop me! I just carted it up there making three trips, 2 with the drawers and 1 with the dresser. When I bought it from the guy he said 'Do you need help?' and I said 'Nope! Thanks though'. Did I mention that the dresser comes up to just under my shoulder? It was heavy and awkward but I wanted it and I got it!

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2. Like being treated to expensive things?
No, it makes me uncomfortable. Probably something worth getting over,

3. Do you like mysterious things?
Yes

4. Favourite type of chocolate?
Milk chocolate

5. Ever met anyone in royalty?
No

6. Are you creative?
Yes

7. Are you lonely?
Sometimes

YELLOW

1. Closest yellow thing to you?
The wall

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(this pic was taken with a different camera - see the difference???)

2. The happiest time(s) of your life?
I never know how to answer that question

3. Favourite holiday?
Halloween, unless my Bday is during the Olympics. Oh.. that isn't really a holiday though.

4. Are you a coward?
No

5. Do you burn or tan?
Burn, peel, repeat

6. Do you want children?
Too complicated to answer that in a meme

7. What makes you happy?
Sleeping in, orange juice, my cat's purr, spending time with my family and friends, film

BLUE
1. Closest blue thing to you?
A coaster that is really a tile

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2. Are you good at calming people down?
Sometimes, I'm pretty good with people when they are upset, not so much when they are angry.
3. Do you like the ocean?
I thought I really would but the only time I was by it I was in awe over the mountains. I love film about water though!

4. What was the last thing that made you cry?
I'm trying to remember this. I don't think it was any one thing in particular just a moment of sadness in general. I also got teary eyed when watching Saint Ralph.

5. Are you a logical thinker?
Yes

6. Can you sleep easily?
No

7. Do you prefer the beach or the woods?
GAH the outdoors!! Neither.

PINK
1. Closest pink thing to you?
A highlighter

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2. Do you like sweet things?
Yes! Especially things like little kid birthday cake

3. Like play-fighting?
Depends on who with

4. Are you sensitive?
Of course not!!!! Well, maybe a little...

5. Do you like punk music?
Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why the heck is that under pink?

6. What is your favourite flower?
Gerber Daisies!

7. Does someone have a crush on you?
Not as far as I know, at least not right now that I know of.

ORANGE
1. Closest orange thing to you?
My tickler files and/or my Gage Canadian dictionary - they are equidistant

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2. Do you like to burn things?
No, what an odd question.

3. Dress up for Halloween?
Occasionally. I usually dress as the person I want to be in the coming year.

4. Are you usually a warm-hearted person?
Yes

5. Do you prefer the single life or the security of a relationship?
That assumes a relationship brings security

6. What would your super power be?
To fly

WHITE
1. Closest white thing to you?
kleenex

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2. Would you say you're innocent?
Innocent of what?

3. Always try to keep the peace?
Yes

4. How do you imagine your wedding?
Haha, been there done that and I didn't wear white and it didn't last long

5. Do you like to play in the snow?
If I'm warm enough and close enough to somewhere warm or home to go to

6. Are you afraid of going to the doctors or dentist?
Not anymore, I still hate going though

7. Do you have Attention Deficit Disorder(A.D.D)?
Nope

BLACK
1. Closest black thing to you?
keyboard, tv/dvd converters

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2. Ever enjoy hurting people?
No, never

3. Are you sophisticated or silly?
Both! At least I hope so

5. Do you have a lot of secrets?
Maybe...

6. What is your favourite colour(s)?
Oh my, I'm stumped! When I was a little girl it was pink (can you believe that?) and I think most people would guess blue (I wear a lot of blue). I think its a little open ended. I like so many colours I don't want to narrow it down. A few years ago it was bright orange and lime green, currently I've been drawn to some autumn-y rusty colours which feels completely bizarre. They are different reasons to like colour, colours to wear, colours to be in/around, colour schemes, colour combos, I could go on forever.

7. Does the colour you wear affect your mood?
I've no idea. Might be a fun thing to experiment with.

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