Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SPC Imperfect: Imperfect pictures

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I'm not a fan of this topic but I've been missing participating in SPC!!!! I had 2 whole weeks of looking the other way but and letting Tuesday go by without and entry but I can't stand it anymore! I thought I would share a few more imperfect pictures I've taken of myself.. yay for odd lighting and my crazy digital camera for providing me with fuel for this fire! And oh, the 2nd one I consider imperfect for the crazy psycho looking eyes I have in the reflection of the table.

I'm not a fan of imperfection. I think if you want something perfect do all you can do to make it that way (without hurting anyone, including yourself), and if you don't want it perfect than don't have it perfect! Sometimes it matters and sometimes it doesn't. Decide first, and then strive for what you want.

Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

Click here to visit Planet Shannon

Monday, October 30, 2006

101 in 1001 Weekly Update #34!!!

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Well there was a fair amount of planning this week but not tons of progress, but here are our updates.

#38 - Keep a plant alive from ‘The Auction’ from one year to the next - my 3 plants are still alive!

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#67 - Floss every day for a month only 2 days to go for this one.

#14 - Write something about all the films I see (for the first time) throughout these 1001 days, I wrote a review of The Abandoned included my post of The Scariest Movies of All Time.

#31 - Read 1 fashion magazine a month, read the November issue of Marie Claire. Great pic's of Sarah Michelle Geller, some regular fall spreads of brown leather, autumn plaids, and then some very scary 80's familiar-ness of tight pants, ankle boots and layers upon layers. But I would have to say what left the strongest impression was 2 articles that were 1 right after each other and both related to money. The first talked about how women in general don't talk about money and are more likely to relate 'success' with the ability to get a great haircut and buy amazing clothes to attract the perfect man than have investments. The article the page after that was a list of essential to aquire before you are 40, over half of which were things noted above such as a great haircut... suit. watch.. tv... um... does anyone read this mag cover to cover before it hits the stands? I do think its great they talk about these issues but the placement alone is kinda odd.

#21 - Save a part of every paycheque - done.

.#94 - Read every day - done! Still reading "Servant of the Empire" by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts as well as "True Balance" as part of the True Balance Group.

#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Oct 23/06 - how to spell succinct, and I had to go via thesaurus route the spelling I though of was so off
Tuesday Oct 24/06 - travelling via car is way quicker than transit
Wednesday Oct 25/06 - 'lacuna' means and empty space or is in biology a tiny cavity in bone or tissue
Thursday Oct 26/06 - This film fest http://www.fantasyworldwide.com/.
Friday Oct 27/06 - What my blog looks like in French, although it won't let me post the link here.
Sat Oct 28/06 - That I need a nutcracker
Sun Oct 29/06 - Sleep is good

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For my full 101 list, look here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Scariest Movies of all Time!!

I initially had 12 on this list but it ended up with a fitting 13. I know not all of these films would be traditionally considered scary but they have all scared me. Good stories and freaky imagery rank way higher than any kind of special effects in my books. Please note this list includes some mild spoiler/content info.

I hope you enjoy the list! Without further ado, and in alphabetical order here are my scariest movies of all time:

2001: A Space Odyssey
Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
UK/USA, 1968

Yes, you are reading a scary movie list and 2001 is on it. While researching just reading the name “Dr. Dave Bowman” scared me. I have yet to see the end of the it because I get too freaked out. It is so creepy. Things that happen that you know can actually happen but you see happen and believed? Omg… it doesn’t get scarier than that. Open the pod bay doors Hal....

Abandoned, The
Dir: Nacho Cerdà
Cast: Anastasia Hille, Karel Roden, Valentine Ganev, Carlos Reig
Spain, release date tbd

This film was part of the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and I would say its one to watch for folks who love horror. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve seen some refreshing innovativeness in terms of storytelling and imagery as oppose to shock value and gore in this genre. At some points it was a little confusing and the acting could be a little better, but on the whole I was impressed.. and scared!!

Dir: Ridley Scott
Cast: Signourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Yaphet Kotto, Ian Holm
UK, 1979

The definitive, classic thriller that still stands the test of time. I can’t think of another film that holds an atmosphere of tension as well this film. Brilliant direction, stellar casting, great writing and design I would have to say this film is about as flawless as you can get.

Changeling, The
Dir: Peter Medak
Cast: George C. Scott, Trish Van Devere, Melvyn Douglas, Jean Marsh
Canada, 1980

This may be one of the lesser known on this least but is in no way less scary. Steeped in the supernatural and set in a house of secrets we experience some very freaky stuff. I remember the second time I watched this film, and then collectively decided with my fellow viewers that we were insane to watch it again, it is just too scary.

Fire in the Sky
Dir: Robert Lieberman
Cast: D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Henry Thomas
USA, 1993

Released in the midst of the rise of stories of crop circles and TV series “The X-Files” this is my alien abduction submission for scary movies. It may not the best film but it sure is scary, for me more so because at that time I was really into that kinda stuff. Plus, it stars D.B. Sweeney, who will forever in my family known as “The Navigator”.

Halloween 2
Dir: Rick Rosenthal
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Donald Pleasence, Jeffrey Kramer
USA, 1981

I’m not entirely sure why I am including this film over the original, it could be the creepiness of the setting. This is another high tension, eye closing, popcorn jolting scary film. It’s another classic for sure, not film in general but for sure in terms of scary films but.

Haunting, The (1963)
Dir: Robert Wise
Cast: Julie Harris, Richard Johnson, Claire Bloom, Fay Compton
USA, 1963

This one is not to be confused with its 1999 remake. See the original please. I would have to say that for me this is the classic scary movie. Not a horror film perse but a thriller about the things that go bump in the night. Great tension, imagery and sound accompany a great story. I think it might be the root of my curious love of stairways.

Dir: Tobe Hooper
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Beatrice Straight
USA, 1982

If you haven’t seen this make sure you see the original and not the sequels, or the TV show. It truly is one of the scariest films I’ve seen. Some everyday objects will not appear the same after seeing this film. I think also seeing kids being scared also turns up the creepy and believability factor. A hair-raiser for sure.

Ring, The
Dir: Gore Verbinski
Cast: Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, Brian Cox, David Dorfman
USA/Japan, 2002

It is refreshing to have a more current entry! Although I did also quite enjoy the original Japanese version, Ringu, I include The Ring over it as I saw it first and it’s heavily plot based therefore the original didn’t hold as much POW! for me. The imagery is unbelieveably scary. I think I had to spend at least 30% of the film not watching the screen. If you’ve seen neither and are ok with subtitles I’d recommend Ringu first (and if you can get it), but this version does hold its own.

Writer/Dir: Michael Crichton
Cast: Tom Selleck, Cynthia Rhodes, Gene Simmons, Kirstie Alley
USA, 1984

It’s slightly humorous to see a film over 20 years old that is ‘futuristic’, but if you can get past (or enjoy) the 80’s-ness of this film its is completely worth it. Gene Simmons plays an excellent bad guy in this ‘high tech’ thriller.

Shining, The
Dir: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Shelly Duvall, Danny Lloyd
USA/UK, 1980

It has been many years since I have seen this film, in fact I think I only saw it once at a friends birthday party where I remember the host trying to calm down her brother who was also watching it but saying “Don’t worry, it’s just ketchup”. I’ll tell ya one thing, it ain’t ketchup. Again, Stanley Kubrick brought us this visually stunning and scary as hell horror movie with imagery I will never forget, although with this one I almost wish I could.

Writer/Dir: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigal Breslin
USA, 2002

I think the fans of this genre have a clean split in opinion on M. Night Shyamalan. Those who like is films, and those who don’t. I, myself am a fan of his work. I think the comment that the films are too similar is really more reflective of the fact that there aren’t currently a lot of thrillers out there. Horror & gore-fest, yes .. but actual thrillers, not so much. I think Signs is a great film and it scares me every time I watch it, I think because of how accessible the situation is. Joaquin Phoenix’s acting in particular is in my opinion, one of the keys as to why this film works so well. Amazing tension building techniques as well as less-is-more philosophy make this thriller an edge of your seat viewing pleasure.

Watcher in the Woods
Dir: John Hough
Cast: Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards, Carroll Baker, David McCallum
UK/USA, 1980

If someone told me I would be including a Disney film in my list of scary movies, I would think there was something fishy going on. But, this is a Disney film and it is scary. Some say it doesn’t hold up as a scary film to adults but I watched it a few years ago and I was still scared, it could have been reflective of the first viewing though. For this one I would say it’s all in the imagery.

Back to Planet Shannon

See Shannon's Film Review's

Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 27th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

Hugely political fare for the 'right before Halloween' weekend. Maybe true is scarier than fiction. Death of a President was known as one of the hottest tickets at the film fest this year (known there as D.O.A.P) that had some of the longest line ups I've seen. It is a speculative fiction piece on the what would happen if George W. Bush was assassinated in the future. A note to my US readers, this film appears to currently be banned from theatres in much of the US. Controvery continues with the release of Shut Up and Sing a documentary of The Dixie Chicks following them on tour after the anti-Bush comments in 2003 and beyond.

We have even more documentaries, although on slighlty different vein. Deviler Us From Evil surrounds the case of child molester Father Oliver O'Grady, as well as Into the Great Silence / Große Stille, Die which is a look at life in a monastary in the French Alps.

If you are looking for some more traditional scare-fare Saw III is among our releases. Also the Canadian Black Eyed Dog has its roots in a scary setting.

Festival Watch:
Fantasy Worldwide Film Festival 2006
October 27-29, 2006 at The Innis Town Hall in Toronto
Very cool website that includes a great section on descriptions of fantasy/scifi genres.

Have a great weekend!!


Friday October 27, 2006 Releases

Black Eyed Dog
Dir: Pierre Gang (Sous-sol)
Cast: Sonya Salomaa, David Boutin
Limited Release

Catch A Fire
Dir: Phillip Noyce (The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Bone Collector)
Cast: Derek Luke, Tim Robbins, Bonnie Mbuli, Tumisho Masha
UK/South Africa/USA

Death of a President
Dir: Gabriel Range (The Great Dome Robbery)
Cast: Hend Ayoub, Brian Boland, Becky Ann Backer, Jay Patterson

Deliver Us From Evil
Dir: Amy Berg - directorial debut
Limited Release

Into the Great Silence / Große Stille, Die
Dir: Philip Gröning (L'amour, l'argert, l'amour, Philosophie)
Limited Release

Dir: Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, Identity Lost)
Cast: Tobin Bell, J. LaRose, Shawnee Smith

Shut Up and Sing
Dir: Barbara Kopple (Havoc, Bearing Witness) & Cecilia Peck - directorial debut
Documentary on The Dixie Chicks
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Oct 27, 2006**

Monday, October 23, 2006

101 in 1001 Weekly Update #32/33

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We have 2 weeks of updates today! I was under the weather last week so posting was not really on the top of my list. Things like 'sleep' and 'hide under covers' trumped it.

One more completed off the list with #57 – Go to a Concert ! Very very exciting!

I have made progress on the following:

I've started the process of #38 - Keep a plant alive from ‘The Auction’ from one year to the next I'm hopeful and optimistic on that one! #67 - Floss every day for a month is still going strong for October - woohoo!

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I'm also working on #16 - Attempt all the puzzles in a Variety Crossword puzzle book. I had bought one already and started it but I jumped around doing the puzzles I know and that wasn't my intent... I wanted to try all the ones I didn't know how to do! So I'm back at it again with my trusty green pen.

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#14 - Write something about all the films I see (for the first time) throughout these 1001 days, reviews up for Frankenstein and Manufactured Landscapes.

Unfortunately two I was working on have crashed and burned, at least for now:

#7 - See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year (52 weeks straight, not necessarily Jan - Dec) continues. I got up to 15/52 with Little Miss Sunshine and then didn't make it out to anything for what would have been week 16. I think I'm going to take a break from that right now and focus on getting up the *cough* 37 outstanding *cough* reviews I have. I'm looking to try this one again in Jan 07 and possible with a strong focus on Canadian film.

85 - Be on time for a month. Oh my freaking gooodness I did not thing this would be that that. It's getting to the point of embarrassment. I think it might even be past that. 15 failed attempts, but I am not going to give up!! Day 1 of try 16 is today.

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And now for our regular updates:

#21 - Save a part of every paycheque - done.

#94 - Read every day - done! Currently reading "Servant of the Empire" by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts as well as "True Balance" as part of the True Balance Group.#

#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Oct 9/06 - The 3 Gorges Dam in China set to be largest in the world
Tuesday Oct 10/06 - Nuclear testing is going on in North Korea - scary
Wednesday Oct 11/06 - The Capybara is a kind of rodent (see Jamie's post)
Thursday Oct 12/06 - Always, always refer to checklist even if I think I remembered everything
Friday Oct 13/06 - It's a challenge to sketch people out and about - they move a lot!
Saturday Oct 14/06 - Inevitably, I will sleep in Saturdays
Sunday Oct 15/06 - A place I thought that was rowdy on Sunday mornings is actually a gym
Monday Oct 16/06 - It's always good to read the fine print and stick to your decisions "Just sign here, it just means...." Nope, I'll read it and decide for myself what it 'just means'.
Tuesday Oct 17/06 - Reactine can have pain relief effects? (consult your dr! don't take my word for it)
Wednesday Oct 18/06 - having TV series on DVD is soooo excellent!
Thursday Oct 19/06 - types of money: bolivar (unit of money in Venezuela), dinar (unit of money in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Yemen, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, United Arab Emirates), drachma (basic unit of money in Greece), krona (basic unit of money in Iceland and Sweden), shekel (basic unit of money in Isreal as well as a unit of measuring mass by the Ancient Bablonicans, Phoenicians, and Hebrews)
Friday Oct 20/06 - Not being in pain doesn't equal feeling ok enough to go to work
Saturday Oct 21/06 - I've been going to The Auction for 20 years or more
Sunday Oct 22/06 - Some things take to much less time than you anticipate... whenever you can do something right away instead of leaving it

For my full 101 list, look here.

True Balance: Chapter 4, first impressions

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Disclaimer: These are my first impressions including my free association and impressions of the colour green. I have not yet read the chapter.

Empathy – Gem from Star Trek
Generosity – yes
Compassion – good trait
Forgiveness – blank
Nurturing – plants
Understanding – clarity
Listening – gets you ½ way there
Acceptance – resistance
Tolerance – tolerate who?
Affection – yes
Kindness – it really helps
Patience – working on it!
Laughter – always

Looking at my free association with the words for the heard chakra and it feels like a mixed bag. Well, more like an even split. Half of the things I’m totally there – the other half not so much. Makes me a little sad but I know its true – things like tolerance and forgiveness, not my strong suit. But generosity and laughter – you bet!

The colour associated with the fourth chakra is green. I ran (ok.. more like paced) around my apartment to find what was green and there was a fair amount. Mostly things that are useful, pretty things and living things too. Now considering that the fourth chakra is the heart and associated with green I find myself confused. With the exception of green associated with life (plant life that is) I think of what comes to mind when I think of green: money & prosperity but also poison & envy. Interesting.

See more about The True Balance group here.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More Auction fun-ness

"The Auction" is something I go to every year. I realized this year that it is in fact my 20th (at least) year going, and the auctioneer mentioned that he believe to have been doing this for 20 years too so I guess that is about right. I go with my Mom & sisters Jamie and Suzie (if she's in town... so sad when she isn't !) and their hubby's. When people ask about it I'm not even sure how to describe it they have a little bit of everything. I used to never be able to bid on anything for the auction part I was to freaked out so I'd whisper a bid to my sister and ask them to go up to 'x' amount for me. I've since been able to bid for myself and this year I got this sewing box for $10! I might use it for art/stationary supplies though:

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I also picked up some clothes and books and dishes, I went a little light this year but it is all good stuff.

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One of the things I love about going is you never know what is going to be there or what you will come home with. One year I got a judy (dressform) for $5 and sometimes you long for that thing you didn't bid on but now that I think of it, I don't really need a typewriter anyway :)

It's also a great time to spend with my family, we have out traditions too. I think its also really funny that I'm still not entirely sure how to even get there as someone else always knows the way so I just come along for the ride.

The (hopeful) beginning of #38 - Keep a plant alive from ‘The Auction’ from one year to the next

As the auction was these weekend I decided to pick up more than 1 plant in hopes of increasing the chances of completing this one. Considering I knocked over 2 of the plants over about 1hr after I bought them I picked up another.

Here they are..... Berry (appartenly called a strawberry plant that doens't create strawberries)

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Burrows (I don't remember the name but its something like burrow's end, isn't it a cool colour and shape? I love this one)

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and Fergie (which is actually and English Begonia but Beggie sounded weird)

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And here they are all together! They all look like they are reaching, eh? Give them a round of applause for being so brave to participate in my experiment:

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I would like to mention that below is a plant I bought last year at the auction, affectionately called "The Ugly Plant", and although it is alive it looks a lot sadder than last year, it almost died a few times, and I didn't start my 101 until after I bought it so I'm not gonna say this can complete it. But, I do really love this plant and I hope it thrives one day. Three cheers for the Ugly Plant hip hip.. hooray!! hip hip hooray!! hip hip... hooray!!

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Return to my 101 list.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

#57 – Go to a Concert

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Went to see KT Tunstall on October 9, 2006 with Jamie.

It’s been a while since I’ve been to a concert. Well, let me correct myself – its been a while since I’ve been to a concert that wasn’t the Indigo Girls. And I was planning on seeing them Oct 18/06 and doing a double concert post here but alas I was ill and unable to make it (read about that concert here, its almost like being there – but you must sing along).

Going to see KT Tunstall was such and interesting experience. First – it totally rocked! I’m sans pics because I assumed you wouldn’t be allowed cameras but I felt like one of the only people without one! Maybe things are more lax considering how many phones are camera’s now… but I’m getting ahead of myself.

My first thing to decide was… what to wear. October, indoor concert, hadn’t been to the venue before… didn’t want to use a coat check, not even sure they would have one (seeing KMFDM at RPM is the last time I will EVER use a coat check at a concert). I went by the true concert ensemble with boots, jeans, long sleeved shirt and a flannel plaid shirt. Yes this dates me in kind of a way, and I knew it and felt it and wore it anyway. I also knew that it probably wasn’t a plaid shirt kinda crowd but its what I came up with so I went with it.

Oh, and the only KT Tunstall song I knew before this was the song they played during “So You Think You Can Dance” when the girl got sent home. That and a snippet Jamie played for me a few days prior. But it didn’t matter – the concert was EXCELLENT. She is one amazing performer! She actually recorded herself at the beginning of a song and later replayed that part as back up vocals/sounds. The energy in the room was full and happy and it was just great! There was another song I swore must be a remake but it isn’t … so weird because I don’t even really listen to the radio anymore, I have no idea where I heard it.

Anyway, this really made me realize that although it’s great to go out and see bands you know and love and can sing every word its still great to go out and support artists you don’t know as well, and that it can be a rockin’ experience as well.
It was also cool to see the opening act, Kevin Devine. Lots of energy and he always a great lead in description to the songs, which I love.

Return to my 101 list.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 20th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

Dragnet version this week... just the facts! Get out and enjoy some movies!!! Ok, Dragnet + enthusiasm....

Festival Watch:
Toronto After Dark Film Festival
October 20-24, 2006 featuring Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film
www.torontoafterdark.com screenings at the Bloor Cinema

Diaspora Accented Cinema Film Festival 06
October 18-22, 2006

Have a great weekend!!


Friday October 20, 2006 Releases

Flags of Our Fathers
Dir: Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, The Bridges of Madison County)
Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Adam Beach, Jess Bradford, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery

Dir: Michael Mayer (At Home at the End of the World)
Cast: Alison Lohman, Maria Bello, Tim McGraw

Little Children
Writer/Dir: Todd Field (In the Bedroom)
Cast: Kate Winslet, Jennifer Connelly, Patrick Wilson
Limited Release

Marie Antoinette
Writer/Dir: Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides)
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Marianne Faithfull, Jason Schwartzman

The Prestige
Writer/Dir: Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, Insomia)
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo

Running with Scissors
Writer/Dir: Ryan Murphy - directorial film debut
Cast: Annette Bening, Brian Cox, Joseph Fiennes, Evan Rachel Wood
Limited Release

Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D
3D release of 1993
Dir: Henry Selick (James and the Giant Peach)
Cast: Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, Glenn Shadix
Limited Release

Writer/Dir: Terry Gilliam (Twelve Monkeys, The Brothers Grimm, Brazil)
Cast: Jodelle Ferland, Jeff Bridges, Brendan Fletcher, Sally Crooks
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Oct 20, 2006**

Sunday, October 15, 2006

True Balance: Chapter 3

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I found this picture to be representative current relationship with this chakra. There is yellow, but where exactly is it, and what exactly is it? To me, it feels like a blind spot.

Working through Chapter 3: Balanced Sovereighnty with the True Balance group.

I couldn't really connect with this chapter. When I took the quiz, not many of the questions were issues with me. When I looked at the suggestions at the end of the chapter, I wouldn't even bother doing those as exercise because that is already how I live my life. This idea of relinquishing power... to whom, may I ask would you do this? I wouldn't. I don't. I have no issues setting boundries and saying no. I don't think I need to learn how to do that, but on the other hand I may need to consider re-thinking boundries and considering saying yes.

I found it a little unfortunate that there was little information on if this chakra is over sensitive (p 90 'Too much of a good thing') and no suggestions on what to do if it is. I suppose it could just be the opposite of any other suggestions.

Because I felt at a little bit of a loss with this one I decided to do a very quick word associating a la Unconscious Mutterings with the words associated with this chapter. I think I may continue to do this throughout the book, maybe before reading and after reading each chapter.

Focus - circle
Commitment - the movie about a band
Boundries - Yes, have those
Authority - not interested
Co-operation - the best!
Intergrity - Essential
Choice - most important of all
Decision - can be tough
Discipline - sometimes
Courage - The Lion (Wizard of Oz)
Faith - in what/whom?
Intention - Great to have
Willingness - pulling teeth, resistance
Peace - Ideal
Automony - okay

Friday, October 13, 2006

Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 13th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

More scary films are being released the closer we get to Halloween with this weeks The Grudge 2, looks pretty scary if you ask me. A different kind of scary, well for some that is, would be American Hardcore a documentary on American Punk Rock from 1980-86 - sounds good to me! The warnings included crude content, I wonder what that could be.

My surprize again to a limited release this week with The Queen starring Helen Mirren. I've heard her performance is, as expected, excellent. Also in limited release is Infamous, as well as the Canadian film Kardia, and some blockbusters to round out the week with The Marine and Man of the Year.

Have a great weekend!!


Friday October 13, 2006 Releases

American Hardcore
Dir: Paul Rachman (4 Dogs Playing Poker)
Limited Release

The Grudge 2
Dir: Takashi Shimizu (Ju-on: The Grudge, The Grudge)
Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Amber Tamblyn, Arielle Kebbel, Jennifer Beals

Writer/Dir: Douglas McGrath (Nicholas Nickleby, Emma)
Cast: Toby Jones, Sigourney Weaver, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock
Limited Release

Writer/Dir: Su Rynard (Dream Machine, Eight Men Called Eugene)
Cast: Mimi Kuzyk, Peter Stebbings, Kristin Booth
Limited Release

Man of the Year
Dir: Barry Levinson (Bandits, Sphere, Wag the Dog, Bugsy)
Cast: Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum

The Marine
Dir: John Bonito - directorial debut
Cast: John Cena, Robert Patrick, Kelly Carlson

The Queen
Dir: Stephen Frears (Mrs Henderson Presents, Dirty Pretty Things, High Fidelity)
Cast: Helen Mirren, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings
Limited Release

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Oct 13, 2006**

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Manufactured Landscapes

Dir: Jennifer Baichwal (The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia)
Documentary on the photography of Edward Burtynsky
Canada, 2006

Seen: October 9, 2006 at Varsity VIP

Reason to see: Film festival folks were earnestly raving about it, plus it's Canadian and I am on my second attempting my #7 on my 101 list: See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. This is week 14/52.

Many thoughts ran through my head as I was watching this film, a lot were along the lines of: What are we doing to our planet? What am I seeing? What is the scale of that? I wonder if the director and the photographer have the same vision for their work?

I came into this film hearing 2 specific things: 1) its a documentary on photographer Edward Burtynsky who 2) takes beautiful pictures of industrial settings. This got me thinking as to my own idea of beauty. As I looked at the settings and photography, words that came to mind to describe would be: fascinating, eye-opening, awe-inspiring, wonderous, sharp, juxtapose, brillant. But beautiful? I would have to say I'm not sold on that definition. Many of the settings caused my heart to hurt, which I don't think I can associate with beautiful - but that is just me. This does not mean the film and the artwork isn't good - both are exceptional, thought provoking and amazing. It's out in limited release, I would highly recommend getting out to see it in the theatre if you can.

Shannon's Overall View:
I found it fascinating
I would watch it again
I'd strongly recommend it, especially for anyone who is interested in photography, the enviornment and/or international issues

No commericals
1 preview
The film started 6 minutes late (very surprizing)

More Film Reviews here.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Frankenstein - part of #3 list of 101 films

Director: James Whale (Show Boat, The Invisible Man <1933,>, Remember Last Night?)
Cast: Colin Clive, Boris Karloff, Mae Clarke, John Boles, Edward Van Sloan
USA, 1931

Seen: Aug 14, 2006 on Mpix.

Reason to see: It's on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen.

I love watching older films. Especially scary ones.. I always try to figure out why they took a certain shot - was that the only way they could do it? Was it innovative at the time? Did they only have time/money/light for 1 so you see that 1 shot?

All that aside this is a fun horror flick. Its one that you see parts of it some many other places, and been re-done, re-make and re-vision so many times that it feels almost impossible to see it without a preformed opinion. But with a bowl of popcorn and the lights dimmed I thought I would give it a try. Atmospheric? Yep. Eccentric? Yep! Scary? Hm... it has its moments. I really enjoyed watching this one, I'm glad I put it on the list.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it, especially for anyone who enjoy classic horror flicks

More Film Reviews here.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Dream Blog

A good buddy of mine recently posted a dream and it got me thinking. I've been having some crazy dreams recently and I think I need to let them out. But, as I have no idea on the frequency of posting or even what the process will become I've decided to put it on a seperate blog.

Feel free to visit Planet Shannon - Dreams: Clouds & Lava

SPC: Imperfection 2

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I admit it: plants die in my care.

It's not intentional. I water them. I talk to them... I give them names! But they die. The green thumb skipped me in the family, and really wish I could do it but so far not much luck. Up until recently I had a strict cut-flowers only policy. With cut-flowers... you know they will die, so its ok.. but those suckers in soil... sigh.

I'm hiding in the shadows for this one.

See how happy this plant looked when I first got it:

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Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

Click here to visit Planet Shannon

Monday, October 09, 2006

101 in 1001 Weekly Update #31

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Well I haven't completed a whole.. hmm.. y'know I never know to call them. Tasks? Items? Thingies? hehe. I usually use the phrase 'it's on my 101'. So maybe, "it's" or "it's'". Regardess on the terminology, I have made progress on the following:

#14 - Write something about all the films I see (for the first time) throughout these 1001 days for 3 of my #3 - My 101 Films to See List films with: Grosse Pointe Blank, The Decline of the American Empire / Le Déclin de l'empire américain and The Day the Earth Stood Still.

#7 - See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year (52 weeks straight, not necessarily Jan - Dec) continues. For last week 14/52 the pick was Manufactured Landscapes . I just saw it today so review will be incoming sometime soon.

#67 - Floss every day for a month & hopefully forever& #85 - Be on time for a month for which I'm over a week in. Both are going strong! Being sick for 2 days made being on time less taxing as I only had to make it on time 3 times instead of 5!

#22 - Save a part of every paycheque - done.

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#94 - Read every day - done! I finally finished "The Naming" by Alison Croggon (insomnia has its uses), I really enjoyed it. Now I'm on to "Servant of the Empire" by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, which I started last winter. I am also, of course still reading "True Balance" as part of the True Balance Group.

#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Oct 2/06 - I never thought I would be called eloquent
Tuesday Oct 3/06 - a site that shows detailed personal info, its actually US and was going to put the link here but I think that might not be wise.
Wednesday Oct 4/06 - It's possible to stay up for 36hrs straight
Thursday Oct 5/06 - Being at work when you aren't quite healthy yet, beside someone else who is also sick can provide a lot of amusement.
Friday Oct 6/06 - I can be persuaded with the promise of maple tarts (this was at work...)
Saturday Oct 7/06 - They have carmel flavoured cream cheese (how weird is that)
Sunday Oct 8/06 - I have the Turkey dinner thing down to a smooth system

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For my full 101 list, look here.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Blogging Meme

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I've seen this meme from a variety of source including Melba and Diary of a Self Portrait and I've decided to play along!

1. Are you happy/satisfied with your blogs content and look?

Mostly, although there are some things I would like to change and some that are slight concerns: I would love it to be flush to the left side of the page as to not appear so column-like
I would love that if you click to a link that brings you to other page of the blog that my links of people and projects didn't disappear
I worry that its hard to read with a black background, I know at work on flatscreen it appears less readable. But I do like the black.

2.Does your family know about your blog?

The members I'm speaking to, yes.

3. Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?

Embarrassed? No. I'm the writer and editor... if something gets by me that I don't want to.. actually it wouldn't get by me.
Do I consider it private? No. Its online and not password protected so... no. Although, I can be quite a private person.
Do I let my friends know about it? Depends on the friend, how I know them and how close we are.

4.Did blogging cause any positive changes in your thoughts?

From reading other's blogs sure. My own, not really. Hmmm that isn't true. I've seen things I've written or comments migrate and that feels positive, it feels like making a difference.

5. Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go discover more by yourself?

Heck, no! I clicky the random thingy, search topics, look at challenge sites, look at other people's links lists. I also check in with people that post comments too. I always love to get comments!

6.What does a visitor counter mean to you? Do you like having one on your blog?

I rarely look at the number, it's pretty consistant. I like seeing how people got here, what they looked at, where they are from, if there were hits from search engines, if they left on the page they landed or ventured further. I guess that would be 'yes' I like having one. I'm a curious creature

7. Do you try to imagine your fellow bloggers or give them real pictures?

Almost everyone I check regulary has a pic. The rest I remain curious about :)

8. Admit it. Do you feel like there is a real benefit to blogging?

Of course. Expression, connection, beauty, art, ideas, reading, writing, discussion... those are all benefitial and all very blogg-y.

9. Do you think that blogger society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events?

I think blogging is to big to generalize. As with anything there are those that are isolated and those that are not. Someone you talk to everyday could be isolated and someone you never see talk at all could be very interactive.

10. Does criticism annoy you or do you think it's normal?

I don't think I've received much criticism here, which is pretty cool. I am, and I think to hang out with with folks that are more likely to solve problems then yak about what's wrong... and/or people who like to have fun. Unless its a discussion about film or gaming... then it can go on forever.. but I digress...

11.Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?

I don't 'fear' any blog. Politics are not a big interest to me atm, and if it was it would be Canadian as oppose to US and I've never seen a Canadian political blog, and I'm not interested in US ones.

12. Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?

Didn't know about that til right now, and without knowing more about it I would say Yes. I wonder what happened. I have a feeling this question relates to #12.

13.What do you think will happen to your blog after you die?

It will probably disappear or be outdated technology wise long before then. But as long as I used less paper and therefore more trees are living happy lives I'm happy.

14. What song do you like to hear? What song would you like to link to your blog?

I love music, but I don't have a song and wouldn't have one on my blog. I find them a bit odd to be honest. Do you have to purchase the rights fromt he artist to do that? 1 song can not give the atmosphere that would makes sense for all the posts I do as they can be very different energies. I also read a lot of blogs at work and would assume others do too and so I consiously rememeber who has music and only check them from home.

15. How many questions did you change in this meme?

Just one.

Feel free to be tagged on this meme if it interests you.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Day the Earth Stood Still - part of #3 list of 101 films

Director: Robert Wise (The Sound of Music, The Haunting <1963>, The Andromeda Strain)
Cast: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Billy Gray, Sam Jaffe
USA, 1951

Seen: August 14, 2006 thanks to Rogers Direct

Reason to see: It's on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen, and I selected it as its on imdb's top 250, and its a classic SciFi film I have not seen.

I love films of this time. I parked myself with healthy bowl of popcorn and a piping hot tea to enjoy this classic and enjoy it I did. It was different than I expected, felt akin more to drama than SciFi some of the time but in a very charming Star Trek original series meets Twilight Zone kind of way. This is another plot based film so it's not easy to describe it without... well describing it! It's a great story with unusual connecting characters and strong dramatic sense. I'm thrilled that I put this one on my list.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was great!
I'd watch it again - especially if it was a Sunday afternoon
I'd recommend it, and most certainly to fans of classics & SciFi

More Film Reviews here.

Return to Planet Shannon.

The Decline of the American Empire / Le Déclin de l'empire américain - part of #3 list of 101 films

Director: Denys Arcand (Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions, Stardom, Jésus de Montréal)
Cast: Rémy Girard, Pierre Curzi, Louise Portal, Dorothée Berryman, Daniel Brière, Yves Jacques, Geneviève Rioux, Dominique Michel
Canada, 1986

Seen: Aug 7, 2006 via Rogers Direct.

Reason to see: It's on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen, its Canadian and I loved the sequel Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions.

I walked into this film with almost no frame of reference, beyond what I noted above in my reason to see. I really really loved Les Invasions Barbares / The Barbarian Invasions which makes it a hard act to follow, or would it be to begin? I thought the settings where great, and the frank sexual/relationship discussions throughout the film very interesting, and very forward thinking for a film that came out in 1986. Some topics it broached with ease are still considered taboo, getting more generally known, but still on the fringe. The ensemble cast was wonderful at creating a believable, simple yet also complicated group of friends. That aspect of the fiml was a real treat. But throughout the film I kept on thinking "What does this have to do with the title?". Although it was addressed from time to time through intellectual discussions the overwhelming presense of the film seemed to be about the life and times of these friends. I thought it was interesting but it didn't capture my heart like the sequel did.

Shannon's Overall View:
I thought it was interesting, I wished I had liked it more
I don't think I'd watch it again
Would I recommend to? I'm not sure.

More Film Reviews here.

Return to Planet Shannon.

True Balance: Sovereignty, Yellow Collage

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Working through True Balance, I find I get really excited about the new colour for the chapter and take pictures of anything I have that colour. I have no idea if it relates to the chapter or not but I find it fun and interesting.

I also went outside and walked about and it stunned me the timing of the changing of the leaves in terms of the project. The yellow leaves are on the trees, as are the green. But orange and red ones have falling to the ground, just as those chapters have now passed.

What also struck me was that a lot of things I found that were yellow were similiar to warning signs. Hmmm, maybe check in points is a better term as they weren't as strong as STOP! signs. Yeild sign, fire hydrant, the lines in the middle of the road, amber stoplights. It feels like they are all saying "Hold for a moment, lets take a look at what's going on before proceeding".

Now, I've only read the first few pages of the chapter but so far I'm having a little trouble with it. I like the concept of self direction and identity, but I wasn't thrill with the comment of "This is where we choose our masks in life, assume our characters, and meet the world" (p 74). There is a lot postive about chosing our direction and who we want to be but masks? Characters? Is this make-believe? I understand the analogy if you are trying something new but if working towards our real self ... masks? I think of a mask as hiding. Pretending to be something I'm not, and I'm not good at that. Unless the message is that its a transitionary mask while you are trying something new to test it out - that I understand. Or, if it signifies playing different roles in different aspects of our lives. In general though, I strive to be who I am all the time, regardless of the situation. Of course that can prove to provide a variety of results so I'm not 100% sure I would reccomend it. I will continue to read and to think on this chakra, and we'll see where that goes.

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Film Fan Fridays for Friday October 6th, 2006!

Hello Film Fans and Fanatics!!!

This week we again have a huge range of films to choose from. Starting of with some family fun, always good for a long weekend is Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker. Looking for something more comedic in nature? Two options here with Employee of the Month and Trailer Park Boys: The Movie. The later I may end up seeing if I choose 2006 to be my year of watching all Canadian films released. Surreal. I have no idea how to classify The Departed, so let's just say its Scorsese's latest! Getting a head start on scare season we have The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, creeps me out just thinking about it.

On to our limited releases. I wasn't surprized to see that Shortbus is showing in only one theatre, as the real sexual content is guaranteed to strike controversy. I was however, very surprized to see that The Last King of Scotland is only playing in one theatre as its already got Oscar Both films have people talking. It shall be interesting to see what they say.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!!


Friday October 6, 2006 Releases

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
Dir: Geoffrey Sax (White Noise)
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, Ewan McGregor, Mickey Rourke

The Departed
Dir: Martin Scorsese (The Aviator, Gangs of New York, Taxi Driver)
Cast: Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg

Employee of the Month
Dir: Greg Coolidge (Queen for a Day)
Cast: Jessica Simpson, Dane Cook, Andy Dick, Efren Ramirez

The Last King of Scotland
Dir: Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, One Day in September)
Cast: Forest Whitaker, James McAvoy, Kerry Washington, Gillian Anderson
Limited Release

Dir: John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Cast: Sook-Yin Lee, Raphael Barker, Lindsay Beamish, PJ DeBoy, Paul Dawson
Limited Release

Trailer Park Boys: The Movie
Writer/Dir: Mike Clattenburg (Trailer Park Boys, One Last Shot)
Cast: John Paul Tremblay, Mike Smith, Robb Wells

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
Dir: Jonathan Liebesman (Darkness Falls)
Cast: Jordana Brewster, R. Lee Ermey, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird

**please note this list of releases reflects first run film released in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Oct 6, 2006**

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Grosse Pointe Blank - part of #3 list of 101 films

Director: George Armitage (The Big Bounce, Miami Blues)
Cast: John Cusack, Minnie Driver, Dan Aykroyd, Hank Azaria, Joan Cusack
USA, 1997

Seen: Aug 12, 2006 via Rogers Direct.

Reason to see: It's on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen.

Ok, first off I have to say that this film has been on my 'list of films to see' before I even had lists of films to see. It's in 'coming soon' previews or purchased movies I have on VHS. It took me 9 years to see it. 9 years! Holy moly.

After all the waiting - I did enjoy it. But, I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I had seen it earlier to the time of its release when doing anything 'Retro 80's' was a little more new. No, it isn't set in the 80's, but has references and music from then - which is good thing, but I have seen it a lot now. Also, even after all this time I did actually remember a lot of the jokes from the commercials. Would I still recommend it? Sure. Lesson learned though, comedies are more enjoyable if seen close to release date.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it, especially for anyone who enjoys 80's nostalgia

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

SPC: Imperfection 1

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When I first read the new topic was Imperfection, my reaction was oh boy. Then I got to thinking more about what I think of as imperfection. In a lot of ways I consider myself a perfectionist in what I do or things I may create. However, I never consider myself, as a person - perfect. Neither in my appearance, my demeanor, my speech nor my ideas. I think its great to embrace our imperfections, it is what makes us unique. I have also come to think of perfect as, slightly boring and therefore I have even less desire to strive for it.

Perfection, and imperfection are all dependant on your point of view.

Click here for more Self Portrait Challenges.

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Sacral Chakra - Movies to Cry by

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Jamie recently posted her list of films to let the tears out by. This reminded me, as well as reading in True Balance about the sacral chakra that of the things I learned in a film class, is about different types of film. On type is classified as being focused on emotional effect or mood. With this it includes romance, comedies as well as horror films*. Its interesting that these are all in essence, the same emotions involved with the sacral chakra. Who would have thought? I will most likely do a scare-fest film list, but I think I will leave that closer to Halloween.

This is ranges from straight out cry-fest to some slightly odder choices, but all have them have touched me in some way. I may not have cried in all of them, and some more than others, but they are all good when you need a few hours of emotional release, so put the kettle on and have the kleenex handy.

All the Real Girls
Bull Durham
Bridges of Madison County, The
Central Station
Crimes of the Heart
Finding Neverland
G.I. Jane
Going My Way
In America
It's a Wonderful Life
Jesus Christ Superstar
Little Darlings
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Ma Vie en Rose / My Life in Pink
Meet Me in St. Louis
Moulin Rouge
Mystic Pizza
Now, Voyager
Practical Magic
Reality Bites
Shall We Dance / Shall we dansu?
Shakespeare in Love
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, The
Stand and Deliver
Sweet Hereafter, The
Untamed Heart
Urban Cowboy
Whale Rider

* from The Art of Watching Films, Joseph M Boggs & Dennis W. Petrie, 5th Edition

Monday, October 02, 2006

101 in 1001 weekly update #30!!!

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Wow, week 30 ... how the time files! Fly fly away.. where did it go? Who knows? Not me! Alas...

A few partial completes, both in #93 - read 20 books, this one is kinda a 2-4-1, as its they both count under as '1 non fiction workbook' : The Artist's Way and Getting Things Done.

101's in progress:

Made tons of progress on #3 - My 101 Films to See List in terms of viewing. I'm actually up to 27/101 from 14. Unfortunately I'm very behind on # 14 - Write something about all the films I see (for the first time) throughout these 1001 days... with 33 in the works, oh boy, I've got my work cut out for me!

I've ordered #4 - Get a copy of 2005 issue of Film Review year in review (for films released in 2004) and I'm really looking forward to getting it! I've always loved this film mag's annual.

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#7 - See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year (52 weeks straight, not necessarily Jan - Dec) is still going strong. I'm entering week 14 this week. The pick for week 13 was The Maltese Falcon.

For October I'm taking on the challenge of #67 - Floss every day for a month & hopefully forever. I'm also working on another month long event with #85 - Be on time for a month for which I'm over a week in. Keep your fingers crossed for me, this one is definately proving harder than I imagined.

#22 - Save a part of every paycheque - done, 2x over.

#94 - Read every day - done! I'm still reading "The Naming" by Alison Croggon, which is really great. One day I'll finish it!

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#92 - Learn/Discover something new every day
Monday Sept 25/06 - I've already seen the beginning of The Maltese Falcon
Tuesday Sept 26/06 - How to get email notification when you get comments on blog
Wednesday Sept 27/06 - Oh... the one for this would reveal too much.. sorry!
Thursday Sept 28/06 - confidential work thing
Friday Sept 29/06 - Bangladesh is a country... I knew it was a place, just not a whole country. literacy: 54% for males; 32% for females
Saturday Sept 30/06 - the number of towers you destroy/defend is what determinds how many NPCs defend/help the main boss mob in AV (WoW)
Sunday Oct 1/06 - Check the TTC schedule on the weekend, as there always seems to be some kinda of redirection (waited 25min for streetcare to get to the gym when its normally 5)

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For my full 101 list, look here.

#93 - 3B Read 20 books - Getting Things Done

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Completed: September 23, 2006

I'm including this as part of my 101 list#93 - "1 non fiction workbook (like the Artist’s Way)".
Now I did read the Artist's Way, but I finished this around the same time and really enjoyed it so I thought I would share this with you.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

I heard about this book on Triplux's site, home of all things 101. The idea is have everything organized in such a way that its out of your mind so you can enjoying doing what you are doing and be free of all those "Did I remember?...." and "I wonder what I needed at..." and "When's the meeting with..." moments.

I've been reading with it for quite a while, finished it recently and then set a time to actually go through and process all my 'stuff'. When people asked me what I was doing that weekend, I said "revamping my organizational system!!!" with a huge grin on my face. They mostly squinted there eyes and said "Oh". hahaha.. little do they know!!!!

The beginning was to gather all the loose ends:

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Then to process everything:

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Funny things I ran across while processing all paperwork & misc:
-an email address of a friend that I email regularly and have for over 2 years
-an offer on something that expired July 31, 2006
-meal planning notes for one week with a notation of "Lunch - canned"
-a list that counted all the individual things on my 101 list making it approx. 3185 things

This process made me realize that I want to read more things, and accumulate less.

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My cat decided to play along, so I couldn't help but included him in the process. That sticker says "Feed, Water and Pet". On to the next thing!

One of the things that is part of the system is a tickler file, every day of the month has a folder, ever month has its own folder and you put stuff in it you would use that day/month. The analogy used is that its like mailing a letter to yourself. You check it every day. At first I didn't understand when you would use it and didn't think I would end up using it at all. But now, I'm hooked. It keeps things out of sight and out of mind, yet easy to access - I love it!

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As the dust settles, it still looks a little messy but it's perfect:

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I can't really go through the whole process here, its way to involved. It isn't 'hard' perse, it takes time to set up and thinking things through but I will say it has made a huge difference. I would also say that this book grabbed my attention the way some people describe mysteries... I couldn't wait to hear how the next chapter would tackle the next task! I absolutely loved it.

Return to my List of 20 books.

Return to my 101 list.

Return to Planet Shannon.

The Maltese Falcon

Director: John Huston (Across the Pacific, The African Queen, Prizzi's Honour)
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet
USA, 1941

Seen: Sept 25, 2006 at the Bloor Cinema.

Reason to see: It's on my 101 list of films I can't believe I haven't seen, as well as being on many 'best of' lists. It also happened to be at a rep theatre, therefore will be week 13/52 on my #7 of my 101 - See 1 film a week in the theatre for a year. Talk about double duty!

I hadn't seen a film noir flick, and didn't realize this was one so that took me a bit aback at first but then it once settled into that it was a delightfully dark, twisted plot with turns, surprizes, deflection and drama dripping from every line and every moment. To be honest I couldn't really follow it all but I think that was part of the fun, just to let it unfold before you and gasp or question or smile and nod knowing like you knew *that* was coming. Quite a treat.

It was also really great to see a lot of people in the audience on a rainy Monday night. They even clapped and cheered at parts, gotta love the enthusiasm.

Shannon's Overall View:
I enjoyed it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it, especially those interesting in Mysteries & Film Noir

More Film Reviews here.

Return to Planet Shannon.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Artist's Way, 3/20 of #93

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Completed: September 23, 2006.

On my list of 20 books that I want to read, #20 is "1 non fiction workbook (like the Artist’s Way)". Well how much more like the Artist's Way can you get than the *actual* Artist's Way?

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

My first morning pages appears to be dated June 16, 2006.

I was really hoping to post of the amazing transformation and positive experience of this book, but that would not be the truth. I did have both of these things during the process but on the whole it was a little harder and harsher than I expected. I also didn't go 12 weeks straight, I had to carry over 2x and somewhere in the middle I got a lot less diligent on doing the exercise. From doing all of them, to some of them, to reading about them and thinking I'd do them later, to skimming them.

What I loved:
-I love love love doing my morning pages. Monday to Friday during my break at work that is. Doing them on the weekend is like pulling teeth I'm considering just doing Mon-Fri and calling it that. But I fully intent to keep up this practice, I find it really brings calm to my day. Everyone at work thinks I'm a writer now though....
-Synchronicity. She is so right on this one. Put something out there and it will come back. I had this happen on more than one occasion.
-Ideas. It really got the brain going. I was coming up with all kinds of stuff.
-Artist Dates. Fun fun fun. I kinda copped out on this 1/2 way through and did them about every other week. I also often said I was going on one when I went to the movies, but since I do that all the time I think it has to be a very particular experience to be included. Some of my favorite ones were going to a coffee shop to read the newspaper, and going to the library (thanks Caroline for this suggestion).

Then there is the other side of things:
-Terminology. I got really tired/stuck on having to re-phrase words to fit my belief system.
God to The Universe or God & Goddess, and I absolutely can't stand the term Inner Child. I used Mischiveous Spirit, but I have such a negative response to the term Inner Child it almost didn't matter. I discovered the root of that, but unfortunely it didn't resolve my reaction to it.
-Not having the common experience. Every example given I had to shift. I am not un-used to this though as I tend to be in a unique situation. I also found out that with most of thing related to artistic blocks in the past, I'm my biggest critic. I went to art school, my work was generally well received, I've had an art show, and my work displayed before. Not oodles and oodles of time, but my CV wouldn't be blank.
-Affirmations. Again, these tended to be really religious. Yes, you can change the terminology but it doesn't feel the same. I know these can and are a great tool, but I've never gotten them to stick with me. I read somewhere that you have to believe them for them to work and I think that is true. This leads to where I can show you my turning point:

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Up in the top middle is probably the last exercise I did. It was to write out and display an affirmation and post it somewhere prominent so I did. I didn't like the wording, I didn't like how it turned out, I don't know if I even believed it but I decided to do it anyway. I ended up leaving it there for a while then eventually taking it down and ripping it up. I can't read it (which is ironic) but its something about taking care of yourself or treating yourself as precious makes you strong.

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Of course in retrospect I see some things that wave like huge red flags and I'm shocked that I missed. Going through this process, I never picked an art to focus on. I never even looked for my paints. I drew a few times, and I wrote a whole bunch. I've never doubted myself as an artist either. I'm left confused, but I know that going through this book can be a wonderful experience. I do intend to try it again one day, as my friend Danette said you could do it every year if you wanted to, and maybe I will.

I really hope this post will not discourage anyone (including myself!) from going on this journey. It is a lot about being there, showing up, trying new things and being open. I got my foot out the door this time, but somewhere along the line I think I started to phone it in. There is always hope for next time though. 'Til then its back to my morning pages.

Return to my List of 20 books.

Return to my 101 list.

Return to Planet Shannon.