Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Dreaded "Novel Study"

And at this, I can almost hear the momentous *groan*. Yes, for most of us avid readers out there, novel studies are the bane of all reading. It's like having a large cheesy pizza with everything on it placed in front of you, but being  forced to tear it apart bit by bit until you have nothing left but soggy mushrooms, undercooked pepperoni and a pile of crust crumbs - extremely disappointing to say the least. Not to mention frustrating and boring as hell. 

But believe it or not there are at least a handful of novels that I didn't mind studying. Now, I'm definetly not saying that Lord of the Flies or The Count of Monte Cristo are not fabulous books. Cause they are, or at least will hopefully be once I get to them. But more often then not, a book's enjoyment is diminished when you have to study every paragraph to understand the deeper meaning (symbolism can be great, but in healthy doses I say and taken with a spoon full of sugar) and not read on just when your getting interested because it will alter your perspective before you get a chance to write this next essay. I have had a bit of luck with novel studies though and I definitely hope this lucky streak continues until I graduate. I might have just been my English/french teacher at the time, but I like to think otherwise. So hear is list of books that you shouldn't have to duck and cover from if you just so happen to encounter in one of your classes.

* All novel synopsises courtesy of  http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/home/?cookieCheck=1. Click on the previous link to visit the websit, to explore and purchase more novels, films, music and more.

The Outsiders by S.E Hinton : 
    
Three brothers struggle to stay together after their parents'' death, as they search for an identity among the conflicting values of their adolescent society in which they find themselves "outsiders."









The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: 

Standing on the fringes of life...
offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.
This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.






Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babitt :
Doomed to - or blessed with - eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a starnger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
En Attendant la Pluie par Sheila Gordon
This novel shows the bonds of friendship under the strain of apartheid as two lifelong friends, Tengo and Frikkie, come of age amidst the tragedy of South Africa.

* I read this in French, but it is also available in English
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank:

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank''s remarkable diary has since become a world classic-a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building.





The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare:
As the citizens of Venice compete for advantageous marriages, wealth, and status, a moneylender is intent on deadly revenge. Mistrust and resentment thrive in Shakespeare's dark comedy.
La Route de Chlifa par Michèle Marineau 

Karim has journeyed a long way from his home in war-torn Beirut to his new high school in Quebec. Now he must travel the difficult road to a life without war. There is contempt and racism here, too. But there is also My-Lan, a new companion in a new and challenging country. It is an adventure behind the headlines and a lesson in life you couldn''t learn in the classroom.

* I read this in French, but it is also available in English





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Season 8 So You Think You Can Dance Winner

*Spoiler Alert


I know the winner was announced a few weeks ago, I just haven't gotten around to posting it. And I have to say, I was ecstatic about the results! So the winner of the eighth season of So You Think You Can Dance is...drum roll please...



Melanie Moore



Yes, one of my season favourites, who I said would win from the very beginning! I was so pleased when I found out, I YAWPED barbarically to the rooftops and screamed "I called it! I said she would win!", pointing madly to the television screen and bouncing up and down in my seat all the while. In case you need a refresher, Melanie Moore was the dancer who, while partnered with Marko Germar, did that beautiful statue dance, the light bulb dance, and the wedding dance (you know, the one where EVERYONE started kissing each other!), among others. (Like the one she did with Neil Haskell that had the flying leap in it!) Oh, and just for the record, the other three dancers in the top four (Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Sasha Mallory) are all just as amazing and I hope to see them as All-Stars in the future.    

There's not much more I can say, because if you don't already know this stuff, you should hurry up and find out for yourself by watching it! I do however want to congratulate and thank the choreographers, the producers, everyone backstage and the entire top 20 for another amazing season! It was truly breathtaking. Every time I watch the show I get goosebumps and feel an uncontrollable urge to dance.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CRAZY about Dead Poets Society

He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary

As one of my all time favourite movies, Dead Poets Society is a brilliant, heartwarming, intelligent, insightful, hilarious and inspiring piece of cinematography...that I will never, ever forget. I think I've seen it about a million times, so it's kind of imprinted into my brain, but that's not why it made such an impression on me.

For the life of me I don't know why it has taken so long to put this on my blog. I've been watching this film for years! If you haven't seen this film yet - in which case I urge you to get your butt out there and see it - Dead Poets Society is a 1989 drama film about a group of friends from an all boys preparatory school. The film starts at the beginning of a new school year. The new English teacher's unique style of teaching catches the boys of guard at first, but they soon take to the lessons he is trying to teach through poetry and literature, such as the merits of divergence and having the ability to change their lives through free thinking. Among the students are a group of friends - Neil, Todd, Knox, Charlie, Meeks, Pitts, Cameron - who become very inspired by Mr. Keating's lessons. And then they discover Mr. Keating's old graduating yearbook and the mention of a club called the Dead Poets Society...


The brilliant Robin Williams plays John Keating, and received many allocations including an Academy Award Nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Speaking of Academy Awards, Dead Poets Society received four nominations, including one for Best Motion Picture and winning won for Best Original Screenplay. The boys in this film display the most wonderful kind of comradeship, loyalty and smart, sleek humor throughout the film, but one thing about the Dead Poets Society that warms my heart to bursting every time. Neil Perry, the more responsible leader/instigator, is played by the House actor Robert Sean Leonard. The shy newcomer and Neil roommate, Todd Anderson is played by the young Training Day star, Ethan Hawke. The group's rookie romantic, Knox Overstreet is played by none other then The Good Wife's Josh Charles. And finally, the class clown/smart-ass, perhaps Mr. Keating's most inspired student, Charlie Dalton is played by Gale Hansen. Every character is just so polished and well played ... it makes me want to be their friends!

Apart from the amazing characters and outstanding story, the film has this very inspiring  and heartwarming ... soul to it. Every time I watch it, I get this warm and fuzzy feeling inside and I get so excited about my life and what I can do with it. It makes me want to seize the day, YAWP barbarically to the rooftops and definitely go to a boarding school. It just one of those films that has it all; great characters, a heartwarming story, beautiful music and gorgeous set and scenery. And when you do watch it, remember to curl up with a box of tissue - I cry every time... 

Click on the following video to watch the trailer. You can go to http://www.YouTube.com/ for more Dead Poets Society videos.






Monday, August 1, 2011

A So You Think You Can Dance Update

So we're on our eighth week for season eight of So You Think Can Dance! It's getting closer and closer to the finale, with only six dancers left - Melanie Moore, Marko Germar, Tadd Gadduang, Ricky Jaime, Sasha Mallory, and Caitlyn Lawson. I am both disappointed and excited about the results so far. My season favourites, Melanie Moore and Marko Germar have made it to the top six and are in no position to be going home anytime soon. Unfortunately, both Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz, two of my other favourites have gone home. Still, Sasha and Tadd are luckily still with us.

My season eight top four prediction? Melanie, Marko, Sasha and Tadd. Ricky may be able to back flip across the stage and over split in mid air, but he just isn't personable enough to be America's favourite dancer, in my opinion at least. I mean, a lot of his routines weren't bad, but he hadn't been connecting with the audience and he landed in the bottom I don't know how many times! And Caitlynn, well she doesn't really connect with me. She hasn't done anything that has wowed or impressed me yet (except maybe the Argentine Tango), and let me tell you, she's running out of time.

Anyhow, over the past eight weeks, there have been some very amazing dances and I would really like to share them with you. I think I covered the first to weeks with my last So You Think You Can Dance post in July. Click on the following link to read the post and check out some of my all time favourite So You Think You Can Dance routines: http://ifyouvegoteyesyoucanread.blogspot.com/2011/07/so-you-think-you-can-dance.html. From then on there have been many outstanding pieces! Also, the Emmy Awards are coming up and the nominations were announced just a few weeks ago. So You Think You Can Dance received eight nominations, including one for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. Out of the six Emmy nominations for choreography, five of them went to So You Think You Can Dance choreographers - Travis Wall, Mia Michaels, Stacy Tookey, Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo and Mandy Moore!

Please enjoy these various routines...non of them really need an explanation since they kind of speak for themselves.

Melanie Moore and Marko Germar - Contemporary routine by Dee Caspary  


Caitlynn Lawson and Pasha Kovalev - Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo


Jess LeProtto and Clarice Ordaz - Broadway routine by Tyce Diorio


Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell - Contemporary routine by Mandy Moore

 
 
Top 8 dancers - Contemporary routine by Tyce Diorio


Alexander Fost and Sasha Mallory - Jazz routine by Tyce Diorio


Chris Koehl and Ashley Rich - Broadway routine by Spencer Liff


Top 12 dancers - Flamenco-Jazz routine by Kelley Abbey 


For more So You Think You Can Dance videos and information go to http://www.youtube.com/ or http://www.fox.com/dance/.

Calvin & Hobbes


The greatest comic strip ever! In case you have been living under a rock all your life, Calvin and Hobbes was a syndicated - meaning it appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites - daily comic strip written and illustrated by Bill Watterson from 1985 to 1995. Bill Watterson, an American cartoonist, was born in 1958 in Washington D.C and graduated from the George Washington University Law School to become a patent attorney in 1960. I suppose he later realised his life calling - to be a cartoonist.

I guess you could say that Bill Watterson was a one hit wonder, since Calvin and Hobbes was the only cartoon strip he was known for. But man, what a hit it was! Calvin and Hobbes follows the adventures of the hilariously  precocious six-year-old boy named Calvin and his cynical stuffed/real life tiger named Hobbes. To Calvin, Hobbes is a real life, living breathing tiger. To all of the other characters in the comic, Hobbes is just a stuffed animal.


After Harry Potter, Calvin and Hobbes has been my security blanket, my comforter for years. When I'm sad or mad, I read Calvin and Hobbes and the sarcasm and elegant humor calms me down. And what's so great about the comic is that while the main characters, Calvin and Hobbes, are very funny, the supporting characters, like Calvin's parents, the babysitter Rosalyn and little Suzie Derkins, are all just as enjoyable.


I first got into Calvin and Hobbes at school. They were all in french so I wasn't to interested but I read a few anyway. That got me curious because I new they were really an English comic, so I went to the library and took out a few of these very old, beat-up books full of Calvin and Hobbes comics. Then I really started to get into them. My sister and I started cherishing the books, reading them bit by bit, not all at once because we new that there weren't that many and we didn't want it to be over to soon. For Christmas we received this huge Calvin and Hobbes box set with three enormous volumes. They each weighed, like, three tons and were impossible to get up a flight of stairs. We actually had to separate them to get them into my room! 


What can I say - the Calvin and Hobbes comics are pretty darn amazing. They're sweet, simple, sarcastic and in a odd sort of humorous way, heartwarming. I'd recommend them to anyone who can appreciate sophisticated humor and a cartoon well done. They are a true treat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Take That!


No, but seriously, the band I want to share with you is actually called Take That! I absolutely adore they're music and I thought that maybe some of my readers would too...

Here's a little background for you. Okay, so Take That is a British rock band, originating in Manchester England. It consist of five band members: Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Robbie Williams. They became a band in 1990 and were very successful until they split in 1996. After the split they left a legacy of having a very high work ethic, being the only boy band to write their own songs. This earned them the status of being one of the greatest boy bands of all time.

The band reunited in 2005 and have been playing music ever since. In between then and now, they have received many awards, such as the Q award, the BRIT award and the iTunes award. Their latest album, Progress, is full of fast beat, fan favourites that I just can't get enough of.

My favourite Take That song has got to be Love Love. It was released on June 10th, 2011 on the extended version of the album Progress titled Progressed. The song was also featured in the film X-Men: First Class and served as the main theme for the movie. For you're convenience, I've attached the music video for Love Love bellow.


After Love Love, there is a song called The Flood that I really enjoy as well. I think it used to be my favourite Take That song until I heard Love Love. Other good songs include Patience and Shine. I bit you've already heard Patience on the radio or in an elevator. It's that kind of song. You know, a song that sounds a lot like five other songs you listen to regularly so you know you've heard it before, but you just can't place it. Shine is also pretty cool. I'd say it's a classy song, kinda slow, but with a good beat. I do admit though, the music video for Shine is really impressive in a weired sort of way. I don't like that much so I didn't post it, but if you want to check it out, just click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwC1Ctrj6Xk

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance



If you don't know, I'm a dancer so I've never really been much for American Idol or America's Got Talent. That said, I also can't stand Dancing with the Stars! Why should people who don't even know how to dance get put on television just to make a mockery out of the art? I know there are people who can actually dance on the show, but personally I'm not going to waste my time watching football players and washed up reality television stars prove they can "dance". Especially when there are so many amazing dancers out there who love to dance with every fiber of they're being and are very talented at it. Those are the dancers we should be supporting. They're the ones who really deserve a chance to shine, a moment on the spotlight. Not people who already star in something of they're own. I don't mean to say that Dancing with the Stars is not entertaining for people, and I don't mean to discourage anyone from watching it. It's simply my opinion that I have shared with you.

That's why I love So You Think You Can Dance so much. It is a television show that not only celebrates dance, but also gives talented dancers who have devoted their life to dance, who have poured blood, sweat and tears into their work a chance to showcase their abilities. Dancers get discovered on the show and get accepted into dance companies, sign movie deals, become choreographers for dance videos, etc. And you can find all sorts of dancers on the show; hip hop, contemporary, ballroom, tap, ballet - you name it!

I've been watching the original So You Think You Can Dance series from almost the very beginning. I unfortunately missed the first season, and still haven't gotten around to renting it,  but from the second season on, I've been a devoted fan. However, I still only watch the original American series, even though I'm Canadian. I know it feels like some kind of betrayal, but I just can't stand Leah Miller, the current So You Think You Can Dance Canada host. Plus, as annoying as some of the American series' judges can be (you know who I'm talking about), the Canadian judges make me want to rip off my ears!

I've have my all time favourite dancers, and unfortunately it's very often that they win! For those SYTYCD fans out there, what comes to mind when you here the names Travis, Neil, Hedi, Lauren, Twitch, Jeanine, Danny, Kerrington, Hok, Mark, Kent, Lacey? For me, it's pure joy. And these are just a handful of the fabulous dancers that have been on the show! At the moment, the eighth season is in way and I am absolutely star struck! I have been watching this series for a very long time and I have never seen such a strong Top 20. Even though we have already lost some stars (Nick Young and Miranda Maleski), I think this season is shaping up to be a very exciting ride. And I am so relieved they have decided to at least have the couples for the first have of the show and then switch to the All Stars. I love the chemistry that forms between the partners! So like I was saying, I have many all time favourite So You Think You Can Dance dancers, but I also have some all time favourite dances. Okay, to be honest, I have dozens of all time favourite dances, but I only have enough capacity to show you a few, but I urge you to get your but to YouTube and watch many more!

This first video is from season eight, the season that is playing out at this very moment. It is a jazz piece choreographed by Sonya Tayeh that was performed by the top ten girls of the season. I have watched this video countless times, and I guess your about to find out why!


This next video is a contemporary piece from season five. The routine was danced by the season's winner Jeanine Mason and Jason Glover. It was the first time they had been paired together, the first time either of them had danced their style - contemporary- and the first time choreography by season two finalist Travis Wall had been featured on the show. Everything went off without a hitch, giving birth to Travis Wall's choreography career on the series and so many phenomenal pieces by him yet to come! 

 

Next we have an 80's jazz piece by Mandy Moore. The piece was performed in season three by the season's winner Sabra Johnson and finalist Neil Haskell. Neil comes back later as an All Star on season seven and performs this amazing routine with Kent Boyd, also choreographed by Travis Wall. But back to this jazz piece.The routine was also nominted for an Emmy Award for outstanding choreography. Enjoy!

 

Now, I've shown you jazz, I've shown you contemporary, but I think it's time for a little ballroom. I think this next piece has got to be one of my favourites, if not my favourite ballroom routine on the show. It is a Viennese waltz choreographed in season three by Hunter Johnson and performed by two of my all time favourites, Anya Garnis and finalist Danny Tidwell, who is actually Travis Wall's adopted brother. Yes, Danny Tidwell! This guy is like a dance rock star. What makes it even better is that he's professionally trained in ballet. Take a look...



Next up is a season two routine choreographed by the acclaimed Wade Robson. The second season was just bursting with talented dancers and I have many favourites among the group, such as Dmitry Chaplin, Allison Holker, Travis Wall, the season's winner Benji Schwimmer - season three finalist Lacey Schwimmer's brother - and his cousin Heidi Groskreutz.


Okay, so I know we've already seen a video from season eight and two from season three, and I should probably finish with something from a different season, but I just have to show you this next piece. This piece was met with a standing ovation and an Emmy Award prediction, plus my screams of astonishement.
So without further ado, I bring you a season eight Travis Wall routine, performed by my season favourites, Melanie Moore and Marko Germar. 


Like I said, these are only a handful of my all time favourite So You Think You Can Dance dances and I encourage you to visit http://www.youtube.com/ or http://www.fox.com/dance/  for more.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The royals are coming, the royals are coming!

Yes it's true, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories was one of the five stops made by Prince William and Kate Middleton, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, during they're royal tour of Canada. And I got to be a part of it - sort of.

*All of the following pictures have been taken with my metallic pink camera. They have NOT been taken from the Internet.


So on July 5th, 2011, I woke up bright and early to meet the royal couple. First, I sat with my face glued to the television watching CBC's coverage of Yellowknife. It was the weirdest thing, seeing places and people I knew right there on a television network that usually covers things like breaking news and Etalk. I got to city hall at around 9:30 and waited for two hours with a crowd of very eager Yellowknifers, in what I thought was the ideal position - only to have them walk straight on by once they finally arrived.


I did score some pretty amazing pictures, though. And Kate was not a foot away from me. I could have reached out and touched her (Though that was completely out of the question with all the security circling them. Of course, I'm not that crazy of a fan to ever do something like that. I just think they make a really great couple. What can I say; I'm a sucker for a good love story.)


I was waving and smiling at them like a fool - at the moment I really didn't care - and do you know what? Both Kate and Prince William waved and smiled back. Straight at me and my sisters! We made eye contact and everything! I know what your thinking, "They could have been waving at the forty people right behind you!" But I don't think so! I mean, I was in the very front, right up against those metal gates that they put up to keep the crowds back, with no one infront of me, so there is no way they missed me. Plus I managed to to squeak a "hi", which I think is why is why they turned my way and smiled! Anyway, I'm was just one among many lucky northerners today. I have a friend who got to shake BOTH of their hands. Apparently they said, "Hi, how are you."

While Kate and Will are definitely the most popular royals for the young people of today, they are not the first to visit the Northwest Territories. The Queen has been here more then once and Prince Charles visited in the summer of 1970.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Waking Sleeping Beauty - The most magical documentary ever made


Okay, I know I said I wouldn't be doing many more posts since I have been studying for exams, but I just wrote a math one today, I've been studying now for hours, and I'm all studied out. SO...I thought I'd let my brain relax a bit by writing a little recommendation for the documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty. I know what you may be thinking - "Seriously, a documentary". Don't worry, I was once like you, Planet Earth being the only documentaries I watched. I mean, when I think of documentaries, I picture very dead looking guests who answer questions while they look as if they're cursing themselves for agreeing to do this, and repeating again and again in they're head "Why me? Has it really come to this!?"  It's almost painful to watch.


But Waking Sleeping Beauty, well, it was different. I just couldn't get enough of it, I can watch over and over again, and actually cried at certain moments in the film. It's just amazing, and I promise that anyone who has ever had a favourite Disney Animated Film as a child, be it The Little MermaidThe Lion King or Beauty and the Beast, whatever, is going to adore this documentary. This is what Disney is all about, and this film is the incredibly true story of how it came to be. Take a look...



For more Waking Sleeping Beauty trailers and videos, go to http://www.youtube.com/.      

Friday, June 10, 2011

2011 Summer Reading List


I know it's only June and school is not yet over, but I want to get my list out there. So every year I plan to read at least ten books during the summer months and I encourage you to do the same. I'm going to try to pick books of different genres and authors- to keep things interesting.However, I'm not the kind of person to finish a book if I don't enjoy it, so feel free to abandon a novel if it just doesn't catch your fancy!

1. Siren - by Tricia Rayburn
So this is a novel that I just plucked off the shelf of my town bookstore, thinking it would make a good read. I already started it, and I'm about a third way in, but it's getting pretty interesting, so I figured it deserved to be on the list. Siren is the first novel in what I assume will be a trilogy, and it's going to be one of my science fiction/fantasy reads for the summer. The novel is about a girl named Vanessa Sands who teams up with her childhood friend Sam to uncover the truth about Winter Harbour, the location of her family's summer home, after her sister is found washed up on the beach, dead.

2. It's Kind of a Funny Story - by Ned Vizzini

It's kind of a funny story...my friend came to school one day and was reading this very book. I had just watched the 2010 film adaption and thought it was kind of a coincidence that she just so happened to be reading it to - okay, so maybe it wasn't at all funny. Anyway, the story is about a depressed, suicidal teenager named Craig who checks himself into a psychiatric hospital. I know it sounds pretty morbid at first, but trust me it gets funnier, well at least the movie does. Craig meets other patients at the hospital, makes friends and even begins to forget his own problems in the wake of those around him. The movie was very sweet, quirky and absolutely hilarious. Cross your fingers the book will measure up, as most books do...

3. Uncommon Criminals - by Ally Carter (to be realised June 21st, 2011)

This is the sequel to the very popular novel, Heist Society, in which the main character, Katarina Bishop and her ragtag team of teenage thieves rob the Henley, the famous french museum. In Uncommon Criminals, Kat is back and basking in the glory of the now legendary Henley heist. Unfortunately, it is that very fame that gets her stuck stealing back the lost Cleopatra Emerald. I'm hoping that this sequel will live up to my expectation and be just as action packed, fast paced and clever as the first book. So strap on your black stiletto boots, pack your grappling hook and rope, grab your microchips and blueprints, and get ready to rob a bank...or maybe a museum...or possibly an ancient temple!

4. Forever - by Maggie Stiefvater (to be realised July 12th, 2011)

I was reading some comments the other day on YouTube and someone posted a comment under the book trailer that Maggie Stiefvater realised for Forever. It went something like this:

Shiver made me shiver with anticipation when I turned each page,
Linger left me lingering on a cliffhanger at the end of the book,
And now...it`s taking forever for Forever to realise

Thank you, CGWolf2013

(If you would like to watch the trailer for Forever, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbcYV19hkLY. From there, I`m sure you can also take a look at the trailers for the last two novels, Shiver and Linger.)  

And hasn`t Forever been taking forever to come! But soon the waiting will be over and finally the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series will come to a close and we`ll finally find out how Grace and Sam`s story will end...
For those of you who have not yet gotten hooked on the trilogy, The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a series of books following the love story between the fearless blond beauty, Grace and the intriguing werewolf Sam. It may sound pretty cheesy, but you`ll get suckered into it! I`m awaiting this book with great anticipation.

5. Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You - by Dorian Cirrone 
  
Okay, Dancing in Red Shoes Will Kill You is going to be my experiment for the summer. On the plus side, it`s a novel about dance, ballet no less. However, me friend had read this book and she said it was very humorous, but also kind of strange. If the synopsis doesn`t give you a hint, I don`t know what will. This is the story of Kayla Callaway, her study of dance, her involvement in her school`s dance production of Cinderella, and yes...her struggle to make a career out of dance with a D-size bras cup. But wait, having big boobs is not Kayla`s only problem. She is to wear red Pointe shoes in the production of Cinderella, so when red Pointe shoes with threatening messages begin to appear all over school, Kayla`s sure they are directed at her.
I`ll read it for laughs and see how it goes!

6. The Warlock - by Michael Scott

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel is series of books in which mythology of all ages, cultures and forms comes to life. When twins Sophie and Josh Newman are swept away from there home by Nicolas and Pernelle Flamel (For the Harry Potter fans out there, yes we`re talking about the same Nicolas Flamel from the books, the one who created the philosopher's stone), told they`re the twins of some ancient prophecy and are forced to join an age old battle of magic and might, they really can`t believe it. Soon they`re teleporting around the world, having they`re magic awakened, learning the elemental magics and battling all sorts of mythological monsters. 
While these books are very long and detailed, once you do finish one, you really feel like you have just embarked on a real life adventure. I mean, there are main characters presumed dead for novels at a time or locked in prisons for almost two books. By the end of it, everything seems just so life like and possible. The Warlock is the fifth book in the series and I think there will only be six, so things are definitely heating up now! There were about fifty cliffhangers at the end of the last book so I`m just itching to get my hands on this one. And besides, it`s Nicolas Flamel; what`s not to like. Like I said, The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel series presumably will include six books:

- The Alchemist 
- The Magician 
- The Sorceress
- The Necromancer
- The Warlock 
- The Enchantress (to be realised the summer of 2012)

7. The Count of Monte Cristo - by Alexandre Dumas

This swashbuckling adventure novel is to be a terrific read. I mean, daring prison breaks, legendary buried treasure, and one of the most elaborate plans for revenge ever; what more could a girl want in a novel? Now, I received The Count of Monte Cristo for Christmas, having placed it at the top of my wish list after seeing the 2002 feature film, and becoming completely obsessed for a brief period of time. (I highly recommend this film. It is definitely one of my all time favourites. To watch part one of The Count of Monte Cristo click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRy5SEXUgtA&feature=related
I assume you can watch the rest of the film once you get there.)
However, I've been pretty darn intimidated by the book itself. It's thicker then my arm, with over 1000 pages, plus another 40 pages of explanatory notes! But it's going to be my summer challenge, and since I really do want to read it, hopefully it will turn into a treat, instead of a chore.

8. The Girl Who Could Fly - by Victoria Forester

Every once in a while, you find a really good heartwarming novel, like Tuck Everlasting or Little Women. I've kind of been on a search for books like these, and just recently I came up with The Girl Who Could Fly. On the cover of my copy it says it is a mixture of Little House on the Prairie and X-Men. While I may not be all for Little House on the Prairie, I am a X-Men fanatic! So naturally I bought the book. On the plus side, it is a novel for younger readers, and sometimes I like to take a load off and read a less...mature novel. So this book is about a young girl named Piper McCloud, who has never been quite like the other kids in the neighbouring farms, you know, if you consider being able to fly abnormal. So Piper is eventually taken away to a special school for gifted youngsters (The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. No, I'm just kidding.) , but not everyone at the school is to be trusted. (Especially the ones with X-ray vision and super human strength...)

9. Practical Magic - by Alice Hoffman

I just have to say it up front; I love Practical Magic, the 1998 feature film of the same name. Everything about it; Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman...it just blows my mind, so I've been dying to read the novel. Not very practical then, I guess. Anyway, Practical Magic is a story about two sisters Sally and Gillian Owens who just so happen to be witches. When both they're parents die in a fire, they're sent to live with they're crazy eccentric aunts, witches as well. As the girls age, they begin to grow apart, but when tragedy strikes (like the love of your life getting hit by a car), the sisters finally come together. And that is kind of where the story begins, cause who knows what will happen when two completely opposite and magical witch sisters are placed under the same roof.

10. Broken - by Kelley Armstrong

I just had to get a Kelley Armstrong novel into the mix. For a full explanation on why I can't possibly go a whole summer with no Kelley Armstrong click on this link: http://ifyouvegoteyesyoucanread.blogspot.com/2011/05/kelley-armstrong-outstanding.html
In Broken, the only known female werewolf Elena is back and...wait for it...pregnant! This time, the pack teams up with Jaime Vegas to eliminate a band of Victorian zombies, the deadly diseases of Victorian London and even the legendary werewolf, Jack the Ripper that have all managed to escape a dimensional portal. Oh, and they're all after Elena, since it was here blood that set off the portal (Don't worry, they're was this incident with Clay and a mosquito. Nothing happened to the pregnant lady). So I have already started reading Broken - I really have no free will when it comes to these books, I can't help myself - and I'm definitely getting to the good parts. However, even thought there are several very serious and tense moments, I can't help but feel silly reading them. I mean, Elena is very pregnant and she's jumping fences, running after vampires, battling zombies and even Changing. Let me tell you, it's the oddest thing to picture.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Oh No...Exams!

Okay, so exams are coming up and I'm just about ready to go into freak out mode. While I only have three exams this semester, I'm still gearing up to spend the next two weeks holed up in my room studying. Unfortunately, that means I won't be able to keep up my blog posting...
However, I definitely have plans for If You've Got Eyes, You Can Read, so I thought I'd give you a little update and a taste of what you can expect once the exams are over and done.


First of all, I'm planning on doing a special tribute to everything Harry Potter (focusing on the books, of course, but definitely highlighting the upcoming film finale!)

Next, I really want to post a issue that focuses on the not so horrible school novel studies, because I've been pretty unlucky when it comes to required reading material and I like to congratulate the authors that are able to please moody high school teenagers...

You can definitely expect some more novel (Joelle Anthony, Michael Scott, Neil Gaiman), magazine (Entertainement Weekly, Dance Magazine, X-Men, Teen Vogue) and film (The Way Back, LOST, Dead Poet's Society, Waking Sleeping Beauty, Moulin Rouge) recommendations!

Finally, I was just recently a part of the Bella Dance Academy end of the year recital, a production titled Under the Big Top. All of the dances were circus themed, so you can just imagine the costumes, music and set...outrageous!
I figured I could give you a quick summary of the show, post some pictures, and provide the backstage scoop.

So that's it! Wish me luck on my exams. I hope to see you on the other side.    

Monday, June 6, 2011

Borrowong Without Permission - Chapter 3

For those who have been following Borrowing Without Permission, I have posted the third chapter bellow. In case it isn't clear, the narrator in this chapter is not Tie, the woman from the last two chapters, but rather a man named Reece. I still haven't figured out a way to differentiate between the two, so if anyone has any suggestions, they'd be greatly appreciated!



Vancouver, British Columbia
I don't need you anymore!
I grabbed the remote control and held the volume button. Voices boomed from the television set.
All my life you made me believe I was only worth what someone would pay for me! But Christian loves me. He loves me!
Flickering light streamed from the tiny square box and into the pitch black room, casting dark shadows across the walls.
He loves me, Harold. And that is worth everything! We're going away from you, away from the Duke, away from the Moulin -”
I pressed the power button, turning off the television. God was I sick of watching chick flicks and daytime soap operas. That last heist was forcing me to lie low for awhile, but man, were these things cheesy. I needed to get out; I couldn’t keep wasting away in a hotel room. I had to get up and begin staking out the new target.
Now, I could easily remain calm under high levels of pressure, but leaving my mind inactive for long periods of time made my nerves twinge. I needed problems and puzzles to keep my focus, otherwise the sweaty palms and agitated fidgeting would set in.  
I hoisted myself from the couch and went to push back the drapes. Squinting against the intruding sunlight, I walked to the bedroom where I plucked a white shirt from my suitcase. Although I had been living in the hotel room for over a week, the suitcase had not yet been unpacked.
As I stood buttoning up the shirt, my cell phone rang - my personal cell phone. Very few people had the number, so it must have been something important. I couldn’t afford to miss the call. I dashed from the room and leapt over the coffee table, knocking over a pile of newspapers in the process. As I ran for the kitchen, the phone trilled for a second time. I grabbed it from the counter top and flipped it open, cutting off the third ring.
“This is Reece,” I said.
“Reece, I need you to do something for me,” said the man at the other end of the line.
“Lawrence?”
“Yes, Reece, it’s me. Now listen carefully.  We were caught, Reece. They’re coming and there’s no way out this time. We’re trapped,” said the man.
“What! How! What happened?”
“We underestimated this guy, Reece. Everett screwed us all,” said the panicked voice.
“What?” I asked.
“It doesn’t matter, but you have to do this job. And now’s your chance.” The man’s voice raised an octave.
“What’s the take?”
“You’ll see.”
“But Lawry -”
“You of all people will be able to do this, Reece. But if you want to pull it off, you’re going to need help, very specific help.
“I don’t understand,” I asked, struggling to keep my voice steady.
“Find Remington Lindberg. He’ll help you.”
“Wait, who -” I yelped.  The line went dead.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Finding Neverland

I'm sure I've seen Finding Neverland countless times, but I watched just the other day and it never gets old...


Anyway, if you have never seen the film, Finding Neverland is a semi-biographical story of legendary playwright J.M Barrie, and his discovery of Peter Pan. The film follows his relationship with Sylvia Llewellyn Davies, her sons and how they inspired the play, Peter Pan. Finding Neverland is an absolutely gorgeous film, featuring academy award nominated and winning actors such as Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet and Dustin Hoffman. The film was nominated for many academy awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Screenplay and Best Costume Design.

However, it's the music in this film that really gets me tearing up, and it just so happens that, Jan A.P Kaczmarek, the film's composer won an Academy Award for Original Music Score!
If you haven't already seen this film, I highly recommend it. It's just so rich and beautiful. And if you have already seen it, then watch it again!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Borrowing withour Permission - Chapter 2

Here we are, chapter two ! I'll try to post chapter three sometime next week. So read up and enjoy...



Los Angeles, California
            “I still can’t believe you did that. I mean, come on Tie, the deadbolt?” said Rem, shaking his head. He sighed, “Nicky was damn lucky to have brought that screwdriver, or your foolish oversight would have cost us the job.” From the inside pocket of his long trench coat, Rem produced a thin, plastic room key. In the blink of an eye he whipped it in and out of the tiny slot on the door. The light flashed green and Rem pushed down on the handle. He ushered me inside, then let the door slam shut behind us.
Harping on me was so easy for this guy. He was the boss, so I guess he was entitled to it. Making a mistake as “foolish” as mine had apparently never happened to him before. That was Rem for you though– everything came to him with painful ease. I suppose perfection comes with time and experience, but still. Clearly it paid to be one of the most accomplished thieves in all of Europe.
“Me! In case you hadn’t noticed, Clark nearly tripped ten floor sensors because his shoe laces were untied,” I exclaimed.
I walked into the hotel room’s living area, enveloping myself from my black leather jacket and tossing it on the man sitting in the nearest armchair: Clark. He was a tall, lanky man with broad shoulders and sparkling blue eyes. I know, kind of Barbie Ken cliché, but he wasn’t giving me much to work with. Thank god his hair was chocolate brown and not golden blond. I was convinced the rest of his family had to be blond though, because for a brunette, Clark had more than your average amount of blond moments. Despite his denser periods, Clark was still a hell of a pickpocket.   
“Nice job checking the basics Clarks. I thought we all had shoe laces down since elementary school, or did we need to buy you sneakers with Velcro instead?” I asked cocking an eyebrow, before plopping into a dining table chair.
Clark lifted his arm to throw my jacket to the ground, but catching my look, decided to gently set it across the arm of the loveseat. That didn’t stop him however from flashing me the middle finger.
“Twenty bucks says his fly was down the whole time too,” called Nicky, who lay sprawled over the other embroidered armchair. Now Nicky did have blond hair, but he was nothing like Barbie Ken. His hair had a kind of short side swept quality to it that made the rest of his facial features seem very sharp and angular. He had a long, toned body; all legs and arms.
“Anyway, quit scolding Tie. Her mistake didn’t do that much damage. At least she remembers to turn on the dishwasher before we leave to do a job. Luca forgot again,” said Nicky glaring over at Luca who sat curled up on the loveseat. “Man, you didn’t even load the wet towels from the washing machine to the dryer,” he called jokingly, grinning ear to ear. “Exactly how many times did I tell you?”  
 I’ve known Luca for over three years, but I’ve never really known him. He doesn’t elaborate, he doesn’t embellish, and he doesn’t even exaggerate. He just cuts himself short. This used to lead me to believe he was hiding something and was sworn to secrecy. His silence obviously did nothing but stoke my curiosity. Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve barley made a dent in his armour. Luca was a mystery alright, but I’ve learned to leave him be and to just take the essential information he gives. Besides, in this business, you have the right to remain silent.         
Rem strolled into the kitchen and rested his forearms on the granite counter top. His salt and pepper hair seemed to be increasing in salt and the faint wrinkles around his eyes and forehead had no doubt been etched deeper over the past few weeks. Peering across the living area, Rem scrutinized his team; myself, Clarks, Luca and Nicky. Worry darted across his face. It came and went in no more than a second, but we had all noticed.
“Come on Remy, relax. We’re all professionals here, I’m sure we pulled it off,” said Nicky, always being the first to comfort, defend or accuse someone. He was our social butterfly. 
“To be honest, these guys were pretty thick. Who opens up a high-priced jewellery store just blocks from the busiest port in the United States? They were practically asking to be cased. Besides, we implemented the best Three Men and a Baby I’ve ever seen,” concluded Nicky crossing his arms.
Rem sighed.
“Regardless, I’ll be happiest tomorrow morning when we’re on that one-way plane out of Los Angeles. I always am.”
“We all are, Rem,” I said, stretching my arms to the ceiling and rolling my head over my shoulders. Man, was I going to have knots tomorrow, especially after this last job. I pulled off my thick grey boots, and then tugged the elastic from my auburn hair, letting it fall in wisps along my back.
“What happened to taking risks, living on the edge, playing the game?” asked Nicky, his voice rising a little in a sudden desperation to excite the team. “You mean to tell me that you didn’t have the least bit of fun tonight. We were careful, precise, and tactful. The owners won’t even realise anything is missing until tomorrow morning, by which time we’ll all be on our way out of here.”
“Nicky, I’ve spent my entire life a thief. My father was one, my father’s father was one, and even his father was one – it was the family business. And throughout the past sixty years I’ve pulled some of the greatest heists in history. I’m a legend in Europe, so I moved to North America and still managed to make a name for myself. So shut up - I can be worried if I want,” said Rem listlessly.
He turned his back on Nicky and I, wheeling around to open the fridge. Containers slid down the door’s shelves and glass jars clinked against each other. Nicky mouthed “arrogant”, then pivoted back to the living room and sat down next to Luca.
“Hey Luca, I got a joke for you. This guy down at the post office told me about it and I thought it was, you know, pretty clever. Okay, so there’s this pickpocket and he’s finally been caught after committing a number of crimes. When the judge says, Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t lock you up, the pickpocket goes, It wasn’t me – my right arm stole the wallet and it’s not fair that I should be held responsible for something my right arm did. The judge decides to play along and says I sentence your right arm to ten years hard labour then. And do you know what the pickpocket does? He rips off his artificial arm, throws it on the judge’s bench, and walks free!”
Nicky could barely stifle his giggles, a ridiculous crooked grin plastered across his face. Luca gazed at Nicky for a moment. He glanced at the ground then lifted his eyes to meet mine, eyebrows lifted.
I shrugged.