Sunday, May 17, 2009


So I want to officially announce that I'm moving my blog over to my new domain!

You can now find me over at!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Boy A

I just watched the movie Boy A on TMNonDemand.

I have to say it's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's not a big budget movie by any means, the actors are relatively unknown. But the plot is brilliant and everything is so remarkably real, it's unnerving.

The movie is about a boy who was involved in a murder when he was young, and has been in prison since then. He's released when he turns 21, and given a new identity so he can reintegrate into society.

The story was tragic and beautiful, but the best part of the movie was the character of Jack. The actor did a brilliant job, Jack was so sweet and shy and conflicted. The portrayal of him was so multifaceted, it was really quite brilliant.

I don't often blog about movies, because I tend to have horrible taste in them. But I guarantee that even those of you who have good taste in movies will enjoy this one. And possibly cry, like me.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fail Remedied

I just wanted to post quickly that I PASSED MY EXAM! They let me retake it, and I only got 53% but that's fine by me. I'm now going to be able to graduate on June 10 and get everything started for my visa!

Thanks to everyone who crossed their fingers for me!!

A more meaningful post later... Maybe. I might get distracted by my new Xbox.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Okay, winning really is everything...

Today Jo, whose life in Syracuse I am supremely jealous of and who I desperately want to visit next year, gave me an award for my blog! Pretty cool. So here are the rules:

The rules: List seven things that make me awe-summm and then pass the award on to seven other people who I think are fabulously awe-summm.

(I have to say that the spelling irks me just a bit, because I have issues with purposeful misspellings... but I'll let it slide!)

1. I know some Latin and some Ancient Greek, more than your average person but less than your average classics student. However, I am bilingual French/English and went to school in French from the age of 4 until the end of high school.

2. Despite my hatred for journalism, I'm actually a decent journalist. I've done a documentary, two mini-docs, a current affairs piece and several tv news pieces. I've produced an entire tv news show and anchored a radio show. I've written dozens of articles. I worked for a newspaper for two years and have been paid pretty decently to freelance.

3. I have taken two 24 hour vows of silence, for an organization called Journalists for Human Rights who work with the media in third world countries. Vows of silence are really awesome, I'd suggest them to anyone.

4. I make amazing scones. I'm pretty ordinary at baking everything else, but I rock at scones.

5. I am writing a book right now, one of at least three that I will write in my life. I love writing, it's the only thing that I have always know that I wanted to do.

6. I kick ass at being a student, and will hopefully graduate with Distinction, as long as I actually graduate (stupid Canadian History).

7. I am extremely proud to be a Canadian, but I loved living in Ireland and can't wait to live in England soon!

And I'm going to award.... Fae, Lisa and Chris!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

9 sexy ladies and one sexy feline

Inspired by Eleni's list, I'm going to make a list of the ten characters I would most like to be. I will warn you that these are from a variety of different places...

10. Lara Croft

Everytime I tell someone I want to be an archaeologist, they inevitably say, "Like Indiana Jones?" and I answer, "Yes, I'm working on my whip work." The other day my sister and I decided that I couldn't quite be like Indiana Jones. We came to the conclusion that I definitely have the rack necessary to be Lara Croft. And who wouldn't want to be Lara Croft? 1) She's hot. 2) She's rich. 3) She's smart. 4) She's Angelina Jolie. Mmm.

9. Daine Sarrasri
Star of Tamora Pierce's Immortals Quartet, Daine was my first fantasy hero. She's by far the coolest of all Pierce's characters. She can talk to animals, for one. She has a very troubled past. And most importantly, she gets the tall, dark, brooding mage. The Tamora Pierce books are very dear to my heart - Wild Magic was the first fantasy book I ever read, and I remained obsessed for years. Also, they're how I met Fae.

8. Aurian
Here's where you realize that I really have a thing for red heads. Aurian is the main character in Maggie Furey's Artifacts of Power series, possibly my favourite fantasy series to date. Aurian herself is a great character - stubborn and powerful, and yet completely naive and dependent on those around her. Sometimes during the books you really hate her, and I think that's the mark of a good character. That they are so firmly themselves that they don't cater to your idea of what they should be. It takes a really good writer to make you change your mind about a character. Oh, and did I mention that she gets two loves of her life, Forral and Anvar - both of whom I'd gladly have.

7. Assassin
I'd always loved Diablo II, but I was so excited when they released the expansion and you could play an Assassin! And not only that, but it's a chick and she has claws. And it gets even better, because I didn't have to give up on the firepower I had when I played the Sorceress. The Assassin can get traps and explode people! Yes, I'm the kind of girl who gets excited over the outfits and such in games. I bought Neverwinter Nights just because your character could change outfits...

6. Clementine
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is one of my favourite movies of all time. Kate Winslet is by far my favourite actress. And I thought she was brilliant in Eternal Sunshine. And I love her hair. It reminds me of my purple hair (which not-so-coincidentally was around the same time I first saw the movie). If I ever dye my hair a crazy colour again, it will be that bright red-orange from the movie.

5. Helen of Troy and Cassandra
Okay, Helen is usually considered more of a historical figure than a character. But the Trojan War more of a myth than a historical truth (even though it DID happen, it wasn't necessarily the way it was described in the Iliad). Helen and Cassandra of Troy both tie for this number 5, because I'm torn. Would I rather be the undeniably beautiful Helen, the face that launched a thousand ships? Or the understatedly beautiful prophetess Cassandra? Helen has more fame and fervour. Cassandra has more tragedy and mystery. Either way, I read a book called Inside the Walls of Troy by Clemence McLaren when I was younger, and have adored both characters ever since.

4. G(a)linda
"Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I - and let's face it, who isn't less fortunate than I? - my tender heart tends to start to bleed. When someone needs a makeover, I simply have to take over. I know I know exactly what they need..." G(a)linda from Wicked is beyond amazing. For one, the voice that Kristen Chenoweth gave her (with the strangely beautiful opera-yodel) is astounding. On top of that, Glinda is what makes the musical fun. She's ditzy and cute and in the end, it turns out that she's the Good afterall. She grows so much throughout the musical, all culminating in one of my favourite songs of all time, For Good. I would be G(a)linda so I could prance around in curls and poofy dresses and pink. In fact, I have a gorgeous Glinda costume made by Kaitlyn for that exact purpose!

3. Fainne
The Sevenwaters Trilogy by Juliet Marillier is amazing. Every single bit of it is just so magical and so full of beauty. I fell in love with these books, rife with Irish folklore, before I went to Ireland. I reread them there, and fell even more in love when I realized that the beauty Marillier is describing really exists. I chose Fainne, out of all of the strong female characters in Sevenwaters, because I find her story the most compelling. She's forever haunted by her parents' past. She is constantly torn between helping her mother's family and saving her father's life - and in the end almost loses everything because of it. And, of course, Darragh... He is probably the best of the male characters in Marillier's books. He's just so sweet. And the ending is so sad and yet so perfect...

2. Nala
I've always wanted to be a Lioness. Rrow. Nala is such a kick ass Disney character. She can best Simba when they're little, and again when they're reunited. She could run the pride all by herself. They make it seem like it's Simba who saves the Jungle, but really it's Nala. If it weren't for her, Simba would still be lounging around in the oasis with Timon and Pumba. And unlike Simba, she never ran from her problems.

1. Kalere Eld
Kalere is one of the main characters of the book Fae and I are writing. Kal is everything I wish I could be. And not just because she's a gorgeous red headed fire mage. No, she's passionate and tempermental and fiery. She's brave and strong and overreacts to everything. You have to hate her and love her at the same time. She's prone to thinking she's the only one with issues, to making a big deal about little things and to making everyone fix her problems for her (especially Kris). She has a horrible temper and for a large portion of her life she's downright bitchy. But she also loves more fiercely than anyone and would kill for any of the loves of her life - Kris, Tia, Essian and her seven children. Oh, and did I meantion she's hot? Artwork by the incredibly talented Fae.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's all about Head

When I moved back in with my parents a couple of weeks ago, we had a chance to go through the closet in my old bedroom. Beside some ancient purses and a few clothes that no one would ever wear, we found this jem:

It's a laminated (that's why it was so hard to photograph) list of rules we promised to abide by in our 4th grade class (I was in French Immersion). It says "Be responsible of your actions," "Be responsible to your friends," "Be nice," and "Help others." All very good rules to follow in life, I think.

Now, let us enhance this a little to a close up of my signature:

That's right, folks. For about 8 years of my life my nickname was Head. And not just a passing nickname, either. All of my friends called me Head.

You see, I have a large head. After joining Big Heads Anonymous and resigning myself to a life of Tired Neck Syndrome (TNS), I have come to terms with it. My sister has always enjoyed making fun of it.

This is why she decided, one fine day when she was about 8 and I was about 5 or 6, that my nickname should be Head. Makes sense, does it not? I have a large head... 'Hea' is the first part of my name. I embraced it, the way little sisters always do, with overwhelming enthusiasm and wild abandon.

I remember sitting in class one day when we had a supply teacher. She asked if anyone had anything other than their name they liked to be called. I raised my hand and announced that everyone calls me Head. I remember she looked like she was trying very hard not to laugh, though I had no idea why. I imagine she told that story for years to come.

I remember my parents told me that someday I would regret this nickname, but they refused to tell me why. And that Kaitlyn would regret her nickname 'Hairy Fruit' (From Kiwi, which I still call her. Also given by my sister... notice the trend?)

Fast forward 8 years to middle school. A boy approaches me in the hallway.
"Ahaha, your nickname's Head. Do you know what that means?" he says.
"Yeah! Of course!" I reply. But the way he's saying it makes me doubt myself. I won't admit I don't know. Minutes later, I ask my friend Amanda.
"Why would Head be a bad nickname...?" I ask. She's much more worldly than me.
"I bet they mean like blackhead or something," she says wisely.
"Oh... Weird," I answer. But everyone calls me Head already, so it's really not that bad right?

It wasn't until months later when rumours that "So-and-so gave So-and-So head in the elevator at the movie theatre!" started to circulate that I finally started putting the pieces together. I was named for a sex act.

With things whispered in corners and written on bathroom walls, it didn't take long for everyone in my grade to figure out what head meant. And needless to say, it didn't take long for the boys to start calling me "Give alot of head." Though I promise I never lived up to the nickname!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mythology Monday: The Nemean Lion

I've decided to do the Twelve Labours of Heracles for the next few Mythology Mondays. In my Classical Mythology class in second year, we had to memorize these. But I confess, I had to Google it.

Heracles (actually only known as Hercules to the Romans) is the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene. Zeus disguised himself as her husband, Amphitryon, to fool her into sleeping with him. Alcmene became pregnant with twins, Heracles the son of Zeus and Iphicles, the son of Amphitryon. When they were about to be born, Zeus' wife Hera found out about Zeus' infedelity. Needless to say, she hated Heracles from the beginning. She sent two serpents to kill him, but he strangled them, born with incredible strength.

Heracles grew up and married, had children. Out of jealousy, Hera drove him mad and caused him to kill his own wife and children. Haunted by the furies, the personification of his guilt, Heracles was forced to put himself under the mercy of his archenemy, Eurytheus and perform ten tasks as required by him.

His first task was to kill the Nemean Lion.

Though called a "lion," the creature who terrorized Nemea was not only larger than an average lion, but its skin was impenetrable. The arrows Heracles had crafted for use on the Lion were of no use, they bounced off without a scratch.

Eventually Heracles lured the Lion back to its cave. He snuck in through a second entrance and stunned the Lion with his club. He then strangled the Lion to death, and used its own claws to remove its skin. He returned to Eurytheus with the pelt as proof.

From that day on, Heracles wore the Lion's pelt as his armour, and this is the image we see of him - draped in fur with a lion's head behind his head. This is the image that inspired centuries of mimics, from Alexander to Antony to Commodus.