Written reviews from a rural perspective for the sassy shopper in all of us

06 April 2008

Privacy Policy

Just to let you all know, since I do use Adsense on my blogs, I am required to now post a privacy policy.

Privacy Policy for

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11 November 2007

Auto Quotes

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21 October 2007

Books - July to September 2007

It's been a while since I have babbled on about the books I read (and the ones cannot remember reading). Tonight is the perfect night to check that off my list of things I have been putting off.

1) Red River Story - Alfred Silver
This was a thick and hearty read. I found it for a buck at the used book store in my 'hood. It was a great slice of Canadiana that I just ate up. It is about the first settlers to the Red River area in Manitoba, who came here from Scotland. The characters in the book were real, living people once upon a time. The major events happened in true life. The writer breathed life into these simple people and often complex situations. I read it before going back home to Manitoba and it was perfect timing.

2) The Zahir - Paulo Coelho
There is something I adore about South American writers. The language and the words seem much more delicious and intriguing. And this describes the book - delicious, intriguing, and perfect for a hot summer night.

3) Darker Than Love - Kristina Lloyd
When I went back home, my saucy friend Courtenay gave me the gift of an erotica paperback novel. Insert lusty smile here. Well, what can I say! It was kinda hot. It was kinda saucy. It's a historical piece of smut; full of corsets and bondage and dungeons and spanking. Sweet baby Jesus! I've notified Courtenay and suggested that whenever we exchange gifts, it has to be "an erotica paperback gift exchange".
4) Dying Hour - Rick Mofina
I'll be completely honest with you. I cannot remember this book for the life of me. I think it may have been about cops and murders. Regardless, my mom picked it up for me at a garage sale for ten cents and I rated it as simply okay.

5) When the Wind Blows - James Patterson
Once again, a forgettable read. I want to say it's about murders in Cape Cod but that could be another novel that I read months ago and didn't care for very much. I didn't enjoy it, whatever the case.

6) All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten - Robert Fulgham
Shut up. I needed a lighthearted read about the simple things in life. It was summer and I don't have much of an attention span when it's sweltering hot outside. It's a sweet observational book yet a little preachy for my liking.

7) The Commitments - Roddy Doyle
I read this book when I started working again. I wanted something short and sweet for the metro ride, for my breaks at work - something not too heavy but enjoyable. And I have to say, I did enjoy this book. It's fun, amusing, and there are some great musical references in it. It's a little unrealistic but it kept me entertained.

8) 1000 Pin-Up Girls
This was not so much a read rather than looking at amazing pieces of pulp fiction magazine artwork. It's full of cheese for all the right reasons. What I liked most about this coffee table book was all the old-school advertisements for joke books, gags to play on your friends, high heeled glamour shots of pin-ups, and how to be a hit with ladies.

9) You Are a Dog : Life Through the Eyes of Man's Best Friend - Terry Bain
This is by far the best book I read during these past few months. I bought this book for one of my best friends and I was a bad gift-giver by reading the book before I mailed it to her, oops. I'm glad I did and I don't think she minded. Books are meant to be shared! As you all know, I am a first-time dog owner. This book is written in the point of view of the dog; what they are thinking when they jump on the bed, what they feel when you leave the house for a short while, so on and so forth. My words are not doing this book justice. I may sound cliche. This book made me smile a huge smile. This book made me laugh out loud. This book made me look at my own dog a little differently. And this book, this book made me cry...especially when the dog panics at the thought of what if she-who-feeds-me doesn't ever return home (I always want to be there for my Toshio that once had a boo-boo in his heart! This dog of mine has seriously turned me to mush!). Terry Bain also has another book called We Are The Cat. Check his website at You Are A Dog and his photography groups on Flickr for Dogs and Cats.

On a side note, unrelated to books:
I've recently discovered Ane Brun. Look her up on Myspace. She's a great singer, if you are into singer-songwriter stuff. I'm not a huge fan of female singer-songwriters but I can't stop listening to her work!

02 August 2007

I'm back...


I should be writing this fabulous blog. You know, one that catches us up on everything that has happened in the last fews weeks. One that rants and raves about what a fantastic trip, without sparing you the sordid details. Believe me when I say that I want to.

However, I'm sitting before the computer and sweating. Sweating for all the wrong reasons. My twelve days in Manitoba was spent in sweltering hot temperatures. I return to Montreal for much of the same. I swear, this delicate flower is wilting.

I'll say this much - I had a blast. My last two trips back home were write-offs, being sick and all. This time rocked. I wasn't sick once! I saw friends, I spent tons of time with family, I kicked ass at American Idol on the Playstation, I took tons of photos (a lot, I'm afraid, weren't as artistic as I liked them to be), I got new glasses, I got a haircut, I spent waaay too much money on cheap shopping (A sweater for $6.99! Capri pants for $9.99!), and so on and so forth.

The downsides, other than the heat, were the terrible mosquitoes and the water. I don't know what it is but Winnipeg water tastes like dirt, even with a water filtering system. Selkirk water is undescribably bad. Not to mention, Manitoba water makes my hair and skin look like crap. Oh, and it always sucks to say bye and feeling like old friends have drifted away because of distance.

I will write in depth of my trip. Perhaps, I will do a photo-blog about it on my other one. Looks like I exceeded the amount of photos for my Flickr, so I'll either upgrade or find somewhere else to post them. Until then, hang on tight for a real update and more work to be done as far this blog is concerned.

16 July 2007


If you don't hear from me for a while, I'm on hiatus!

I'm going home for 12 days, starting tomorrow! I will be sure to update y'all when I get back!

See you after the 29th of July!

04 July 2007

Books - April to June 2007

It's been a few months and I have, once again, slacked off on telling y'all what I have been reading. Well, one book seemed to temporarily taken the life out of me and then I read a bunch of real crappy selections because it's summer (and I felt like reading crap, so there!). Some of these books I have read months ago so forgive me if my memory is a bit sketchy.

1) Tamarind Mem - Anita Rau Badami
I liked this one. Just liked. It is a story of a female in India growing up and reflecting on growing up, as well as with her relationship to her mother. After awhile, I admit, I became a little tired of her complaining about her mother. The novel took a turnaround and the last half of the book was about her mother reflecting on her own life and being a mother. I found this part to be the most interesting. I think the opinions and feelings of mothers are often overlooked.

2) Book of Longing - Leonard Cohen
Ahhhh, my future husband. This is the latest book of poetry and writing he released. I loved it, for the most part. There are some poems that make you feel hot and sticky. Others that make you laugh. There are a few that I simply did not care for. All in all, a good hot, steamy, bathtub or in-bed read.

3) Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
This is the book that sucked a bit of life out of me and took me a little too long to finish. I struggled through it for the first 167 pages and contemplated putting it down. I stuck with it and I'm glad. I ended up reading the rest of the book lightning quick. I liked it a lot - the characters, the general story, the dialog. I ended up watching the film afterwards. Wow, talk about butchering the story. Insert foghorn sound here.

**And then I read a bunch of crappy, "light summer reads".**

4) Deadly Decisions - Kathy Reichs
Something about biker wars in Montreal, bones, and DNA. Yawns...

5) Midnight Bayou - Nora Roberts
This book's back cover promised me a thrilling read that will keep me on the edge of my seat. In reality, this book made me sleepy. Something about a ghost in the bayou and some rich guy from Boston who decided to renovate and haunted plantation house. I think. These light summer reads are blending into one another.

6) Bone Deep - Darian North
Something about some more bones and DNA and me napping on the couch.

7) Remember Me - Mary Higgins Clark
This was written by the so-called Queen of Suspense. Insert more napping here.

Anyway, in my defense - my mom picked up these light, summer reads at a garage sale. She went out of her way to send them and I figured that I should read them nonetheless. I feel like I have to justify reading those books. It was disgustingly hot out and I didn't feel like reading anything with hearty substance. I'm reading a good book now. In fact, I am very pleased with it. I'll tell y'all about it in my next installment! Stay tuned...

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27 June 2007


I waited three months to see a dermatologist.

I have complained and talked about my skin before in this blog. For those of you who do not know, I don't have the greatest skin. It is not as bad as before (it was terrible when I was 14 and around 21 years of age) but I still have slight scarring from hormonal cystic acne break-outs. Around PMS, I will have the occasional cystic acne...but as I mentioned, it is not as bad as before. In fact, my skin doesn't look that bad compared to years ago. With age, it is beginning to look pretty good. However, I'm 30 years old and it feels like my face is still 15 - haha. I'm sick of breaking out and I'm sick of the slight scarring. All I want is nice skin for once.

I waited three months for this appointment with the dermatologist.

I pretty much figured that my options were slim as I don't want to go on birth control pills, Accutane, or anti-biotics as suggested when I was 14 and going to the dermatologist. I thought, however, that there might be some other options to explore as it's been over ten years since I saw a dermatologist.

I waited three months to see this dermatologist and I felt like such a number. I was in and out of his room in a matter of minutes. He never asked me about my skin or what medications I have tried in the past, he did not tell me anything about my skin, or even ask "how are you today?". He asked me what I wanted, he took a look at my skin, and wrote a prescription. I seriously waited longer to get fast food compared to the time I spent in the doctor's room. I felt so rushed that I did not get the chance to ask him about another skin concern or a general question about heat rash (my partner is suffering from this at the moment). And I understand that I do live in Quebec but the guy could barely speak English.

Why is that I have to wait three months to see a specialist when he only gives me three minutes of his time? It doesn't seem fair especially when you think of how much money he makes out of my three minute visit!

He gave me a presciption for tetracycline and two different topical gels. Chances are, I won't use this prescription. He never told me what the side effects of these medications are, he never told me if they can be used with the thyroid medication that I am on, and he seemed defensive when I told him that I was on anti-biotics when I was a teen and it didn't work.

I can say this - when I was a teen, I saw a really wonderful dermatologist. He took the time to talk to you, he cared, and he thoroughly explained medications and skincare to you. You could tell he had children of his own. He was warm and gentle and professional. He did not rush you out in a matter of three minutes after a three month long wait to see him.

Anyway, my friend manages a health store. She suggested a number of things that I will look over when I go back home for a little holiday. Maybe I'll ask my family doctor for another referral to a different dermatologist too.

Or maybe I'll just have to live with less than perfect skin as I have been doing since I was 14 years old. Sigh!

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