April 29, 2012

Saigon Sundays: Sleep-in Sunday

Today was a big sleep-in day for this household. Many late nights in a row eventually catch up with you, so Jim and I had been looking forward to sleeping in on Sunday for a few days now.

We count "sleeping-in" as any morning where an alarm doesn't have to wake us up - where you just get up when your body naturally wakes up. Those of you who know us, know that we both love to sleep and are far from morning people, so sleeping-in isn't hard for us to do, but it does seem like sleep-in days are not occurring as often as we'd like. Hence, looking forward all week to today!

Luckily for us, Saigon is THE BEST sleeper-inner. He doesn't wake us up to be fed and he doesn't even wake us up so he can go outside to do his business. In the rare case that he does need to go out, he happily comes straight back to bed.

I love Sunday sleep-ins with my little family.

Sleeping angel.

April 26, 2012

An Evening with Christopher Moore

Yesterday evening, I spent 3 hours waiting in line at the Indigo in South Edmonton Common, just to meet and have my books signed by Christopher Moore, aka @TheAuthorGuy.  And it was totally worth it! Even if I did learn that my back cannot handle standing for such a long period of time. Or that the 3 year old kid with his mom, who was waiting in line behind me, complained less than I did. But once I got up to the front of the line and had Mr. Moore joke that he wasn't "going to go there" when he saw my name is Brie - (like the cheese in case you haven't caught on), and I delightedly exclaimed like a silly girl, "oh but I was hoping you would!", just like that - my back pain - um, what back pain?

Yay! I finally made it!

Mr. Moore making me laugh.

In case you don't know, Christopher Moore's latest book is called Sacrè Bleu, "a story about the colour blue", obviously. It is one of the most beautiful books, visually, that I have seen in a long time. I can't think of a more gorgeous cover then this one.

I haven't read Sacrè Bleu yet, but it's on the never-ending TBR pile. The font, I just noticed, is actually a purplish-blue colour which is quite pleasing on the eyes, and also very beautiful.

But the most beautiful part is the personalized autographed. While all my friends had theirs signed with {insert name} followed by "For Art", naturally, I can't help but feel just a little special about mine.

If you EVER have the chance to attend a Christopher Moore book signing, then I highly recommend doing whatever it takes to go. He spoke to the large crowd for almost an hour and I haven't laughed out loud like that in public in a long time. I already knew he was hilarious, but you never know in person how an author will be. I promise, it will be a night you will remember!

April 22, 2012

Saigon Sundays: Just Resting My Eyes

During the first week we started "fostering" Saigon, I went home during one of my lunch breaks to see what he was up to. I wanted to make sure he wasn't sitting at the door howling all day awaiting my return home. I sneaked in through the front door, as quietly as I could be, and not only was Saigon NOT waiting at the front door for me, he wasn't anywhere to be seen. So I called out for him and I heard a loud "clunk" from upstairs, then the clomping of paws down the stairs, and then finally  he appeared around the corner, eyes half closed, tail-a-wagging and a sheepish look on his face which said it all: "You caught me." Needless to say, from that point on, I was able to get through my work days without worrying about how he was coping at home.

When I do have a day off during the week, and I spend it at home, Saigon has a hard time relaxing because he's always checking out what I'm up to. If he's not underfoot, he's perched somewhere, eyes on me. I swear, he refuses to truly "nap" while I'm home, unless I go and nap with him (which does happen from time to time). Even if he's laying with his eyes closed, I can tell he's not really sleeping - more "just resting his eyes". On days that I'm home, he's usually pretty exhausted come late afternoon, even if we haven't gotten out for a walk yet. Because for whatever reason, he resists sleep. It can actually be pretty comical.

Case and point:

April 18, 2012

Darth Vader and Son

Let me start by saying that I am not a Star Wars fan. I just don't get it. But this book, my friends, is pure brilliance. Jeffrey Brown paints us a laugh-out-loud story of what it would look like if Darth Vader had to take an active role in raising his four year old son, Luke. It's super funny because the comics are full of truth, whether you are a regular-ol' parent, or the Dark Lord of the Sith. And I'm proof that you don't have to even like Star Wars to find it funny. Or be a parent. Because I'm still laughing as I flip through this book. We had a great time at the book store today, reading out-loud, our favourite pages.

Like this one:

And this one:

And one of my definite favourites:

So whether you're like me and you just have to own a book like this one, or are in the market for a great gift idea, this is the book for you. And for an extra 26 seconds of your time, I invite you to watch the book trailer below.

April 14, 2012

Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins

It seems silly to “review” a book that I’m pretty sure I’m one of the last to have read. Plus, chances are, if you read The Hunger Games, you don’t need much convincing to read the second book in this trilogy. But if you haven’t started this series yet, you may want to skip this post as it contains a few spoilers, and go read The Hunger Games. Right now!

We tell everyone at the bookstore who comes in to purchase The Hunger Games, that we’d bet money on them coming right back when they’re done to purchase the 2nd book. After I read HG, I didn’t feel this overwhelming urge to run upstairs, grab Catching Fire and jump right in. I think I loved The Hunger Games so much because it could have been a powerful book all on its own, without the need for a sequel. Sure, I was interested to find out what happened after the games were over, but there definitely was not this huge cliff hanger at the end of HG like there is in Catching Fire. 

Catching Fire, while it moves a bit slowly in the first half of the book, definitely picks up pace and intensity in the second half. Just when I didn’t think the Capitol could get more evil, I was proven wrong. I was horrified by some of the awful things that happened to some of my favourite characters - Gale, Cinna - but found myself in awe of how well Collins described some of the gruesome wounds, especially Gales. The pain and torture, both physical and emotional, inflicted throughout this book was palpable. 

The few things that bugged me about this book were:

1) The author’s need to interject plot points from the first book (do people really read series not in order?) 

2) Several times, Katniss and her mom make reference to how they are running short on medical supplies and medicine. Is Katniss not allowed to purchase said supplies with the mass quantities of money she receives each month from the Capitol?

3) Near the end of the games, when Johanna has instructed Katniss to “stay down”, Enobaria and Brutus run over to Katniss, declare she is as “good as dead” just by looking at her and move on. Don’t all the tributes know that the sound of the cannon goes off as soon as someone is dead? These tributes are victors - they should definitely know this!  

But I digress. This was still an amazing book in what I already know is going to be an amazing trilogy. There’s a part of me that wants to hold off reading the 3rd instalment, Mockingjay, just so it doesn’t end and I don’t have to say good-bye to Katniss, Gale and Peeta. Plus, seriously, I NEED to find out who Katniss chooses: Gale or Peeta? (Team Gale!) And I need to know that Cinna is okay. There - I’ve just convinced myself to go finish the last few pages of my current book and start Mockingjay!

Tell me: are you Team Peeta, or Team Gale? I won’t judge. 

April 08, 2012

My Life in a "Moving" Nut Shell...

For the first 19 years of my life, I lived in the same house. Then it was like my mom needed to make up for lost time and we started moving - a lot. The next five years we pretty much moved an average of once a year, with me finally getting my own apartment when I was 23. The summer of 2007, when I was 24, I decided to pack up and move to Chilliwack, BC. I rented a room from my now-husband, Jim for a year. Jim then moved to Montreal and we lived with our friend Wes for a month in the interim of him leaving and me finding an apartment to live in. I moved into my own adorable carriage home for 5 months before joining Jim in Montreal. We only lasted three months there before moving back to Chilliwack, where we once again lived with Wes for a month. We bought our own house which we lived in for two years before making the big move back to Edmonton, my home city, in September of 2011. Jim moved first as he had to start work and lived in a friend’s unfinished basement for a month. When I got to Edmonton, we lived with my uncle for another month. Then, in October, we moved into a townhouse in Sherwood Park for six months. 

Which brings us to present day: six weeks ago we bought a brand new house in Edmonton! Possession date was March 15, but we have our townhouse until April 15. Awesome, because now we don’t have to worry about doing the one day move out/move in shenanigans.  Which ultimately equals two weeks of moving. Ugh. It also doesn’t help that the old place and the new place are a good half hour drive apart. “Quick” truck loads over every night were never quick. And that’s pretty much how we ended up moving. We waited until too late to book a u-haul, so we loaded up Jim’s truck every night after work and moved a load of boxes and furniture over. By the time we got to our new place, it was always dark out so I’m sure our new neighbours must think we are big weirdo’s. Or drug dealers, as some of my kind twitter friends pointed out. 

So where am I going with all this? What I thought was going to be a stress-free, underwhelming move has turned into a HUGE time-suck. Instead of just putting my big girl pants on and getting the move over in one day, we’ve managed to drag it out over two weeks, making it seem as if an end was never in sight. Needless to say, my reading has been almost non-existent.  Between moving, working, cleaning the old place and consoling a very upset and very confused doggy, there are not enough hours in the day. I do a lot of my reading before bed, but I can’t remember the last time I went to bed before midnight. Oh don’t get me wrong – I’ve gotten a chapter in here and there, but that’s about it. Insert sad face here. 

"You can unpack all you want, I'm not taking my eyes off of you!"

"I really want to go to bed, but I'm worried you'll leave me."
The silver lining is we are in a gorgeous, new house with working internet (yay!), and have every intention of making this our home for many years to come. (Meaning, if we move again in a few years, everything goes with the house except my books.) And once we are unpacked and settled, I will have more hours to dedicate to reading and getting this blog going. And cooking! And maybe I’ll even get back to the gym. Gosh, how do people move when they have kids?! 

Oh! And I almost forgot the best part: I will FINALLY be able to unpack all my beloved books that have been locked away in boxes for the last six months. That, my friends, will be a very exciting day. 

I feel like they are suffocating.