Friday, December 30, 2005

Hey, Nostradamus!

I received this book for Christmas (thanks Jen) and flew through it's 240-ish pages...Coupland is my favorite author and this is one of the few of his books I hadn't read. I was suprised by its premise (a Columbine-esque school shooting and the aftermath). The story is told from four perspectives in four different times: Cheryl, at the time of the shooting, Jason, 11 years after the shooting, Heather, trying to help Jason pick up the pieces, and Reg (Jason's dad), when it seems he is left all alone.

If you have seen (meaning tolerated) Gus Van Sant's film Elephant you may draw some parallels, but Coupland's novel tells us about what I think is most interesting about tragedies like Columbine, what happens to people after the fact.

The reader of Hey, Nostradamus gets the displeasure of looking over the shoulder of one of the tragedy's survivors and heroes and seeing how life can never be the same. Plus it has all the shine and polish of Coupland's best fiction.

A great read...

Not all Catholics are bad...

I saw this movie earlier this week after waiting 5 months for its release to DVD. My initial attraction was the Canadian connection (there just aren't too many good movies to come out of Canada...well not since Strange Brew anyway).

Saint Ralph is a great coming of age movie set in 50's era Hamilton, Ontario. It runs the predictable plot arc of a typical underdog sports movie, but it has an unmistakable heart that drives this story. JoAnna is probably the best barometer of how emotional a movie is; she doesn't cry during many movies (can't remember the last one) but something about this movie struck a chord with her (maybe it's the pregnancy talking).

But more than's funny. Adam Butcher (who plays Ralph) nails the role of outcast trying to be rebellious while still being exceptionally naive (a la Max Fischer).

If you haven't seen this movie, it should definitely be on the list of "movies I haven't seen yet."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Christmas come and gone.

Well, our first Christmas in Hawaii has come and gone. It was a little wierd sweating while opening presents (not kidding) and spending Christmas afternoon playing tennis and playing on the playground, but it was still Christmas...

Merry Christmas

Mele Kalikimaka!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Two most innovative albums of the year.

A special note is necessary to talk about two albums which shirk the convention of the music industry as it stands.

MF Doom and DJ Danger Mouse (two of the biggest names in underground hip-hop, DangerMouse is responsible for the grey album, a mash-up of The Beatles "White Album" and Jay-Z's "The Black Album") combine their talents to create Danger Doom and their first album "The Mouse and the Mask."

The biggest thing that makes this album innovative is that it is inspired by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim which is home to the funniest cartoons on TV. The album contains character voices and skits from Adult Swim's most popular original shows, including Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Sealab 2021 and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law.

The second innovative album is from Mark Kozelek (from Red House Painters, he also played the bass player in Almost Famous, a great Cameron Crowe flick). Kozelek's newest project, Sun Kil Moon, attempts an entire album of Modest Mouse covers. I use the word "attempt" because it's not entirely successful. Modest Mouse songs are quirky, off-kilter, and a little rambunctious (thanks spell check), Kozelek's music tends to be subdued, melodic, often sleep-inducing. Maybe it's the inherent opposition that makes this project so compelling to a fan of both...even if it isn't that GOOD.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Top 5 in 2005

In keeping with a tradition established Daniel Szombathy circa 2000(right?)…this blog will be THE place to post your lists.

Top 5 Groundrules:

1. Post only 5 entries in each category. Entries must be numbered 1-5 (one being the best). Take liberties with honorable mentions.

2. Music must have a release date within 2005. Movies must have a theatrical release date within 2005.

3. When listing Books, use 2005 as the “my first read” year, not necessary to have been published in that year.

4. Before posting your lists, you must comment on another’s list.

5. Feel free to make a top 5 in 2005 for anything.

Here are my lists:


  1. Idlewild – Warnings/Promises
  2. My Morning Jacket – Z
  3. Razorlight – Up All Night
  4. The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan
  5. The Mars Volta – Frances the Mute

Honorable Mention: Interpol – Antics, Headphones – S/T, Beck – Guero, Gorillaz – Demon Days, Kanye West – Late Registration, The Evens – S/T.

DisHonorable Mention – Weezer – Make Believe (boooring), Coldplay – X&Y (anyone else hate Chris Martin?), Franz Ferdinand – You could have it so much better…(really bad sophomore slump).


  1. Batman Begins
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
  3. Kung Fu Hustle
  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  5. Crash (though it was better when it was entitled “Magnolia”)

Let me just say that this list is sad to look at…these are some good movies…none of them great. This shows how far behind I am at the theatres. Some of the most anticipated movies I have yet to see (for example, Walk the Line)…somebody better have a better list than this…

DisHonorable Mention – Million Dollar Baby (Eastwood just plain bores me), The Pacifier (c’mon!!!), March of the Penguins (280 miles of shuffling), Doom.


  1. You Shall Know Our Velocity – Dave Eggers (far and away the best read of ‘05)
  2. Canadian History for Dummies – Will Ferguson
  3. Souvenir of Canada – Douglas Coupland (got homesick this year)
  4. On the Road – Jack Kerouac (finally finished)
  5. Choke – Chuck Palahniuk (the least frustrating of his books)

Your turn…