KathyBou’s Blog

A sampling of things that are going on and around.

Archive for December 2007

Book Review – The Thief Lord

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The Thief Lord
Cornelia Funke

This is my first read by this author, and I can see why she’s quite famous for writing for children. It’s a story of two brothers who have run away after the death of their mother because their aunt only wants to adopt one of them. They go to Venice, Italy, a place their mother loved. Once there, they meet some others and the story progresses. The Thief Lord does well in creating a mood, and a feeling for the city of Venice. I’ve wanted to visit and I’d like to go there even more now. I read part of an interview yesterday where Funke said that Venice, the city itself, could be considered the main character of this novel. I can understand why, the characteristics of the city are integrated into most scenes of the book. All of the characters are likable though, while all being very different. Funke also said that she spent some time doing social working, which I’m sure helped quite a bit for this work. I would say that I never escaped into this book, but that’s okay. It is a story, and it’s a good one. I think children would really love this tale, and if I had children, this would be a great pick.

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Written by Kat

December 9, 2007 at 4:52 pm

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Sunday morning rambling

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A picture taken in Quebec a few years ago. Winter can be so beautiful.

I did my hair this morning, even though I had no where to be. The blond is okay. Anyway, it is brighter, I kinda like it. My favorite will always be red, but blond has a nice hollywood feeling. Red with blond seems beyond the salon stylists here (and beyond my budget right now too!). Here’s an older picture of the red and blond how I like it.

I’m going to switch to a Christmas stylesheet, a couple of weeks of red and green, or snowflakes, sounds nice, especially since we have no decorations in our apartment here.

I’m about done with the whole shopping thing, it wasn’t so bad really. Just a few things left to decide. I think the worst part is the pressure we put on ourselves to find a perfect gift. Or in some cases, you wait too long, and you are just trying to find any form of a suitable gift. I’ve been in both places. Ideally, I try to give a feeling of being a kid on Christmas to the people in my life – a surprise or something they really would want. It’s about finding something you know will give them a little thrill. A guy from work laughed at my face when I tried to explain this one to him at lunch. He doesn’t think this is really possible I guess. He is from Montreal too, and is buying bottles of gluehwein and boot glasses to go along as a mass group gift to his family. A different approach but it sounds nice to me. My families aren’t much for drinking, either side, which is funny since my grandmother spent her life owning a bar (probably a good thing!) So this idea would flop for me, but it sounds cozy and nice, these little boot-shaped glasses are fun.

The holidays are celebrated a little different here. Germany is one of the original advent celebrators, with the markets and the chocolate calendars used to countdown to Christmas. Here, Dec. 6 is St. Nicholas delivery day, he leaves fruit and chocolates in the shoes (stockings) of good little girls and boys. Usually it is left on the doorstep (no reindeer or chimney requirements involved). Then Christmas eve and day are more religious, but gifts are still exchanged then.

Written by Kat

December 9, 2007 at 10:01 am

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I miss Lisa

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my hair dresser in Montreal. Sigh. Besides being very cool with her French accent and wearing club clothes to work in arctic temperatures, she does awesome things with my hair. And she’s really nice. I went back to the salon here today (feeling far far away from Lisa) – I thought my hair was too drab which a bad sign considering it’s only been two weeks since getting it done. So the lady lightened it, but I fear too much. It’s blonde blonde now. The language barrier doesn’t help, I tried to find the look I was going for in a magazine to show them, but I couldn’t find anything that really matched. Sigh.

Hair is just hair I know. But still. I bought some yummy smelling salon quality shampoo and conditioner. I like to mix the expensive stuff with the ordinary stuff so that I don’t spend too much, but still have a petite splurge shower here and there.

Written by Kat

December 8, 2007 at 6:50 pm

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Work, work

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work.  That’s what this week is about I guess.  Dan went to sleep on the couch already, I will wake him so we can go to bed as soon as I post this.   We both have been putting in some big hours, per usual I suppose, but this week we’re both tired slugs.  Well at least I am.  I’m kind of happy to be pushing through, after this week, just 1.5 more weeks before Christmas vacation starts.

Written by Kat

December 6, 2007 at 12:13 am

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About half done

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with my Christmas shopping. I think. I had some good fortune last night with Amazon and found quite a few things I was thinking about about getting for the people on my list – and it’s all there to place in one virtual shopping cart. Of course, since it was Amazon, I ordered a book or 3 off one of my lists.

Speaking of which, I just noticed Amazon seems to have read my mind recently. It’s one of my common complaints that every book on the site has a 4.5 star review. Great if you wrote the book, not so great if you are trying to narrow down your selection. But now, if you view the second page of reviews on a particular book, it give you the option to read 4 or 5 star ratings OR 3, 2, or 1 star ratings. Sometimes when you are in the balance about buying a novel, a good 3 star rating of a book can tip you in a direction. Anyway, I like this added feature.

The only bad thing about Amazon is that you get the hit at check-out if you are buying anything other than books/music/movies. Each merchant charges shipping and that can make quite the difference when you add that to the price.

Written by Kat

December 5, 2007 at 12:13 am

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Chumby-what?

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I was on engadget and this Chumby thing was listed under the gift guide for boys. I am really not sure I get this thing at all. And I’m usually good at understanding tech/wacky/weird stuff, at least I thought so until now.

Written by Kat

December 4, 2007 at 12:00 am

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Robert Jordan’s unfinished work

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I thought it was perhaps because I was not on the main-land (N. America) that I missed the news, but I’ve talked to a few of my book-loving friends and it seems the news of Robert Jordan’s death was not publicized as much as I would have thought. He died back in September of primary amyloidosis, anyone who watches House would have heard of this term, which is a rare disease.

His most famous series, The Wheel of Time, is a massive fantasy saga publish by Tor Books, with a total of 11 books published of the 12 book series. The first in the series, The Eye of the World, was released in 1990 and with each book over 700 pages, this series is not a small undertaking; but it is adored by many sci-fi and fantasy fiction readers. I do love fantasy and science fiction but my reading is all over the place so I stopped reading this series at book 5, the intention being I’d read the entire series when it was complete. So the kicker, you’ve already guessed I’m sure, the series isn’t finished! He was working on book twelve at the time of his death.

He did make plans, and actually blogged to his readers during his illness, which I think warrants much respect. The last book, with the working title A Memory of Light, is to be finished using his notes, and published sometime in 2009.

Written by Kat

December 2, 2007 at 3:01 pm

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