Tag Archives: Penguin

Weekends That Don’t Feel Like Weekends

17 Jan

Weekends are so contradicting. They’re supposed to be your time off from work, relaxing and filled with nothing.

Not the case this weekend.

First thing on our To Do list was to donate blood. Off we trekked to the Bay & Bloor Canadian Blood Services location. We’ve mentioned this before I believe, but the Bay & Bloor location has got to be the best blood donor clinic we’ve ever been to. Comfortable, reclining chairs, tv, music… it’s almost like relaxing at home, except for the needle sticking out of your arm, obvi.

They also have the most bitchin’ snacks. There’s a Starbucks downstairs that provides them with the leftover snacks from the day before, we’re guessing, so there’s always a nice assortment of still-delicious cinnamon buns, croissants, cookies and pumpkin scones. Thirsty? Would you like apple, mango, or orange juice? Still hungry? Oh please, take a Bits N Bites for the road. Don’t mind if I do…

This was my 8th time donating blood, and His 4th. The guy sitting next to us was up to 25, and he had a special card! I’m jealous.

Normally donating blood doesn’t make me feel any different. But for whatever reason when we left the clinic, I felt extremely crappy. Our plan was to walk up to Type Books in Forest Hill, since they had three new Penguin classics in for me. We did end up walking there, but I had to rest a few times, which is a bit pathetic.

Sidebar: I have to put a good word in here again for Type Books. Every time we go in they’re super nice, and have all my books put aside for me. I actually called them when I got home to thank the woman for being so helpful trying to get me these books, etc. She said that the phone call actually made her day, and they don’t hear that very often. It’s funny how something that’s so effortless on my part can have such a great reaction in someone else. I remember from my retail/waitressing days the smallest comment like that could have such a huge effect on your day. Mental note: express thanks to these people more often.

After the Type Books trek, we had planned to go skating, but I was way too tired. We’ve put it off twice this week, I’m really hoping we get to go soon.

Did some babysitting last night for some cute kids – one was wearing these skeleton pajamas, hilarious. I wish I had skeleton pajamas.

After the sitting it was off to BeerProv!

Since BeerProv has always been on Monday nights, we haven’t really been able to go so far – so we were really looking forward to hitting the scene now that it’s on a Saturday.

BeerProv is essentially Whose Line Is It Anyways – but with drinking. Man, we were impressed. Some of these comedians were just hilarious. What I love about improv, is sometimes the worst lines and sketches turn out to be the best, just because they’re so terrible. Our friend Jim was an awesome host, and we were very impressed. We’ll definitely be back next time it’s on, and we think you should go too!

Book Review: Hound of the Baskervilles

14 Jan

As seen in previous blog entries, I’m a mad collector of the beautiful (and expensive) clothbound Penguin Classics series. I’m on a quest to buy them all, but along the way, I figure I’d better read a few of them.

So, to start off the series:

Title: Hound of the Baskervilles
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Straight off the bat, one thing that drives me crazy in classic novels is the endnotes. The person who has decided to revamp the book includes all these pages at the back explaining exactly why Sherlock Holmes would never wear a felt-hat in an outdoor setting, what a dog carriage is, why the name Coombe Tracey was invented and so on and so on. For the most part, I find them extremely interesting, and I think they provide a lot of great background and interesting facts I might not have discovered otherwise.

But they ruin the damn book!

About halfway through the novel, I discovered who the murderer was and who exactly is behind this Hound. Thanks endnotes.

Now, being the logical reader you are, you may be eager to point out that I can always just read the endnotes after I finish the novel. Which yes. Is a possibility. But then I get to the end and I have to backtrack through the whole damn book to find the specific note, and half the time I don’t even remember what went on in Chapter 3 anymore so it doesn’t make as much sense.

My suggestion is to include the endnotes, sure (actually, why not just make them footnotes? Seriously – then I wouldn’t need two bookmarks), but just like IMDB, throw out a good old fashioned **SPOILERS HERE! LOL!** and do me a favour.

On to the review:

I like Sherlock Holmes. I always thought he was pretty cool, but after seeing the recent film that came out in 2009 with Jude Law, I was mightily more invested. I went out and bought a book containing several of the famous mysteries – Five Orange Pips, The Man With The Twisted Lip, The Red-Headed League etc.(For a full list of his short-stories, see here)

They were all great, and although there’s one or two I still need to read, I really enjoyed them. So I was thrilled to see that Penguin Classics had a Sherlock book, especially one of the stories I’ve been meaning to read.

Hound of the Baskervilles takes place mostly on the Moor, and is a bit of a cross between your normal murder-mystery and the supernatural. In the endnotes, they include a lot of facts about different remakes of the movies, which is really cool – I’d like to watch all of them to see the different ways they told the story, but I don’t think I’m ready for about 8 viewings of essentially the same movie.

Regardless of the fact I knew who the murderer was, I was eagerly awaiting the appearance of the Hound, which only came in the second-to-last chapter. Was it actually real? Was it a supernatural beast, like some of the characters suspected? I assumed the former, as I didn’t think Holmes was the type of dude to mess about in things that aren’t even real, but you never know.

As always, the trust sidekick, Dr. Watson, played heavily in the novel. I think it’s an interesting feature of Conan Doyle’s work that his protagonist isn’t really his protagonist. You usually feel closer to Watson, since it’s him telling all the stories, but it’s always Sherlock you’re impressed with, even though Watson does a fair bit of the leg work, I must say. Also, Watson has got to get some new friends. Even when he gets married, he’s always leaving his wife for days to go help out Holmes. There’s bound to be a buttload of gay fan-fiction and homosexual literature studies done on their relationship. Pun… intended?

The endnotes (damn, they really are handy) also spoke of the final book where Holmes meets his death. I’m excited to get around to reading that one.

All in all, definitely a good investment. And – I know why there are bugs on the cover now! That’s another reason I’m eager to read these beauties – to discover why the covers have the image they do. An added benefit. I would totally buy this for a loved one who loves a good mystery, a classic story, and doesn’t mind having the ending ruined half-way.

Double Date!

21 Dec

Last night He and I went over to His brother’s house for a gift exchange. His Bro and Bro’s GF had made us a sweet dinner of pasta, chicken and ham. Ham in anything makes it more delicious! I am all for more ham, all of the time. We had a huge jug of wine, and against my better judgment, we opened our gifts.

They had got me Dante’s Inferno from this book collection. I was thrilled! I own about 10 of these books now, and I’ve only read one of them, but man, they look just beautiful all lined up, don’t they?

Note - these aren't my actual books. But after Christmas, I'ma blow this measly collection out of the water

He received Super Mario Galaxy 2, which I’m also thrilled about. It’s a gift for both of us! Except that He says I’m not allowed to play until I complete Super Mario Galaxy 1… but it’s just too damn hard!

We got them the GF a few art supplies and the Bro some books, plus a few gifts once they get home. Then we all settled down to play some Gamecube Mario Kart.

I always prided myself on being an excellent racer in Mario Kart, but unfortunately, things have got too advanced for me now from my Super Nintendo days when I reigned king. The races were always close, but I definitely took home the loser prize that evening. I do not like to lose.

Home we went, and all was well until this morning, when He went looking for His phone. I had been using it last night to text for him on the car ride home (yes, that’s right, we have a car for the week! Bitchin’!) and I couldn’t remember where I put it. We tried calling it in the house, but to no avail. So, thinking I had left it in the car, which sucks in itself, we went to check.

But it wasn’t in the car.

It was outside of the car.

In the snow.

On the ground.

Great.

Covered in snow and dirt and ice, I had let it drop and forgotten about it. He was not pleased, and I felt like ass. All is right in the world now, but it was definitely a lesson for me in treating other people’s property the same/better than I treat my own.

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