More Things I've Learned I've never been skinny. I did manage to balloon up to a size 14 a few years ago, but lost that weight and have managed to stay fit fo the past four years or so. Apart from just being generally active (walking, hiking, biking, shopping, etc.), I've found that the Pilates workouts that I've been doing for the past year have made a huge difference in my strength and general body silouhette. I can lift practically anything, bounce a dime off my abs, and my butt, which has always been a flabby rubenesque, is now a lovely round, flat, firmer rubenesque. I prefer working out on my own, at home, in the morning. There are a ton of DVDs out there. I've tried quite a few, and here are the ones that I like and are extremely effective. - If you want to get into the true Joseph Pilates Method, then check out Classical Pilates Technique - The Complete Mat Workout Series. Incredibly fit and quirky Pilates masters ground you in the core Pilates mat workout. I found this DVD indispensible in understanding the moves that form the basis for the other Pilates-based offshoot DVDs. I've worked through to the Intermediate workout, and use Pilates Body Kit, by Brooke Siler, to run through the "classic" workout at least twice a week. Note that the latter is an audio CD, which may not be very useful for beginners. - I've grown to love Ellen, the perky hostess of Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates and Crunch: Pick Your Spot Pilates. The latter provides Pilates-based lower body routines that I find incredibly effective. There's also a 10-minte routine, that I do when I just don't have time to do anything else. The former is the newest title and is currently my favourite. Ellen leads you through a standing Pilates workout that is semi-cardio and all toning. It's followed by a more traditional mat-based Pilates workout. I've been doing this workout for about two weeks, and my rubenesque butt may just look a bit cuter in a bathing suit this summer. Regardless, I'll have the arms and the stamina to swim accross the lake of my choosing.


Music and Mullets Drove to Victoriaville this weekend to see Sam Shalabi and 8 guest musicians debut Alma Venus. Mostly inspired, a little self-indulgent, the audience and the performers both had a great time. In part backed by musicians from The Donkeys (who I've never seen perform before) I was totally impressed by the guitar, bass, drum, and vocal support they gave the composition. A trip to Victoriaville isn't complete without genuine mullet sightings.... My friend L and I spotted two adult males and one child male sporting the legendary hair-don'ts. No female mullets on display, unfortunately. Matrix X3 Watched all three Matrix movies back-to-back yesterday. I'm more convinced than ever that Trinity is really the centre of the movies' mythology...kind of like Mary Magdelene to Neo's Jesus. Otherwise, I confirm that the third movie is the weakest one, especially in terms of editing ... how difficult would it have been to actually weave the three final story lines together instead of presenting them more or less sequentially. Boooooooooooring.... The effects for the final battle between Mr. Smith and Neo were outstanding, however.


Some Things I've Learned You don't have to buy expensive moisturizer. Ditto for cosmetics. Wear sunscreen all the time. Light Carnation Instant Cocoa eases my craving for chocolate. You can make your own body wash using bio dish liquid and your favourite essentail oils. For an instant perennial flower bed, buy three small plants and plant them togther instead of buying one larger plant. After a party, you always end up with leftovers. So, have another party to finish them up!
In the Garden I planted a magnolia tree in my backyard yesterday. After 8 years, I'm finally finsishing up all the flower beds I've established over the years. Last year was the last of the grass. This year, it's the beginning of enjoying 100% garden in the middle of the city. Next year? Good-bye crumbling shed, Hello pergola!


Via Blork, I, too, am publishing the books I've read on the 100 Books Meme. I've not read that many of them, but I've heard of most of them, and I own many of them--I think I own more books unread than read. 1984, George Orwell The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll Animal Farm, George Orwell Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer The BFG, Roald Dahl Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks Black Beauty, Anna Sewell Bleak House, Charles Dickens Brave New World, Aldous Huxley Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres Catch 22, Joseph Heller The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky David Copperfield, Charles Dickens Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson Dune, Frank Herbert Emma, Jane Austen Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy The Godfather, Mario Puzo Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck Great Expectations, Charles Dickens The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, JK Rowling Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien Holes, Louis Sachar I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer Katherine, Anya Seton The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis Little Women, Louisa May Alcott Lord Of The Flies, William Golding The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blighton Magician, Raymond E Feist The Magus, John Fowles Matilda, Roald Dahl Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden Middlemarch, George Eliot Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie Mort, Terry Pratchett Night Watch, Terry Pratchett Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck On The Road, Jack Kerouac One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez Perfume, Patrick SuskindPersuasion, Jane Austen The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists, Robert Tressell Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret History, Donna Tartt The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher The Stand, Stephen King The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens Tess Of The D'urbervilles, Thomas Hardy The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson The Twits, Roald Dahl Ulysses, James Joyce Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy Watership Down, Richard Adams The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
Today marked the end of one of the longest projects I've ever worked on at Softimage. Here are some interesting statistics of what my colleague and I accomplished in 1 year: 14 books 4,853 pages 876,049 words 2,682 Tim Horten coffees 34 hissy fits (mostly mine) 10 pounds gained and lost several times (mostly gained) I'm going home to hug my cats and look lovingly at my garden, which is growing despite my neglect.


Four Dead in O-Hi-O I'm old enough to vaquely remember this 34 year-old photo: Mary Ann Veccio witnesses the murder of Jeffrey Miller Young Mary Ann Vecchio witnessed the killing of student Jeffrey Miller in the parking lot of Kent State University on May 4, 1970. Three other students were killed and nine others were wounded. Ohio National Guardsmen had been called in the day before in response to some rioting centred around the campuses' ROTC building. The mayor also instituted a curfew. Students and professors were responding to President Nixon's May 30 announcement of the invasion of Cambodia. Many eye-witness accounts of the atmosphere on the Kent State campus that day point out that many students simply wandered onto the Commons, the main gathering place for students, after their classes let out at around noon. There was a protest, but there were also many students simply sitting on the grass, enjoying the sun, and trying to figure out how to get their lunch from the cafeteria--access was blocked by the National Guardsmen who had taken postion on top of Blanket Hill, directly overlooking the Commons and en route to the cafeteria. Many of the protesters presumed that the National Guardsmens' rifles contained rubber bullets. No one thought they were going to die. The Guardsman, in retreat from the easily quelled tear-gassed protesters, suddenly turned around and fired 60 bullets into the crowd. No Guardsman was ever prosecuted, although some thirty protesters were brought to trial. The ten-year old me saw Mary Ann's picture in the newspaper and wondered "why"? And I guess I'm doing the same today, juxtaposing that image with recent images of American soldiers humiliating Iraqi prisoners of war.