Jan 29, 2009

1000 books to read

My cousin Jess sent me a link to a website the other day. The link was a UK site which had recompiled some of the best out of the Literary Canon and added a few newer 'classics' forming the grand finale of a list entitled:

'1000 books to Read in a Lifetime'.

So, me, being the diligent (and often egotistical) person that I am, thought to myself. 'Brittany, dear, you've read a lot of books in your life, why not check this list out?'

I did.


I feel suddenly very illiterate.

My literary passions lie within Literature. Fiction, particularly. I have not even dented this list of novels! Not even a dent!

If you feel like taking a peek at the revised Canon, the website is below. But beware, you may be left feeling entirely uncultured, or like myself, wish that you had taken the money spent on University, and forwarded it on to making the most impressive library ever.

Also, a few edits to the list. Add to it the following novels.

'The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka'

'Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man by Joseph Heller'

'If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino'

'Snow White by Donald Barthleme'

Jan 28, 2009


I finally got around to seeing the movie with the little robot and a lot of trash.

I have to commend this movie, for several reasons.

1) It did its job as far as going over the top with how humans will pollute the earth, and get really fat because their lives are basically run at the expense of robots and mechanical creatures (in 2011...the ship was launched...that's in 2 years our time...).

2) The storyline, although cutesie, was not over the top childish, and bluntly obvious, at least not to the point where every scene would open with a groan, and the echos of 'are you serious' from the movie viewers.

3) The animation in this movie was really well done. It is rightly nominated for an Oscar, and should win.

There were two bits of this movie that really distinguished it, and therefore enlisted itself on my list of movie greats. I really enjoyed the part of the movie where Wall.E and EVE make it into the repair centre for robots. 'Repair centre for Robots' was just a nice way of calling it a mental institution for the sick robotic beings. Clearly, the two best robots in that institution were the ones playing Ping Pong, or, the Painting robot, with the yellow paint all over the place. He was pretty cool. But the idea that there was actually an institution for faulty robots was just hilarious. What a reflection of our society! (nevermind the fat humans on hovering chairs that just....float).

The second bit of greatness came in the credits. I was really impressed with the way the credits were laid out, as if humanity had started all over again from the beginning. We see the world though the eyes of all the criticisms and artistic greatness throughout the ages. We went through all the eras during the credits. From the ancient peoples all the way into the Medieval period and the pioneer and conquest eras. Into Picasso, and the Group of Seven. Very intelligent.

Wall.E is worth the watch. I suggest it as a must. And as it was made as a children's film, there is no problem with it being sketchy. Enjoy!

Jan 25, 2009

Things I learned this Weekend.

So, I learned a few very valuable things this weekend.

1) Laying around in PJs for a Saturday, while doing laundry is heavenly.
2) We need more sin.

Let me explain that last one.

Today was Cadet Sunday in the CRC. Two of the Cadet boys did the children's message today. Their short blurb was based on the theme verse for this year, which was 'Let your light shine befor men, so that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven. (or something along those lines). So, as a demonstration for how sin affects our lives, they lit a candle, put it inside the jar and told the boys and girls that the light in the jar should be like the light in our hearts, visible for everyone to see. Then, they had a second jar which they filled a bit with baking soda, and then poured some vinegar in it. The bubbly mess was to represent sin in our lives. The idea was that when you poured the baking soda/vinegar into the jar with the candle, the candle would go out. But what ended up happening was that there wasn't enough liquid left in the bubbly mix, so it didn't hit the flame of the candle. One of the boys was like, 'you need more sin!' The congregation laughed, and I don't think the little children understood it.

However, it was a cute story, so I thought I would share that with you.

Jan 22, 2009

The Long Awaited Video

Alas, FYF (Facing your Future) makes an appearance!

All, I would like to introduce you to the video of FYF 2007.


Jan 19, 2009

Of Pinocchio

Thank you Deborah for giving me the 'A real person award'. In case those of you haven't figured out, the woman in the photo is Marie Antoinette.

I'm tempted to jump up and down, screaming, 'I'm a REAL Boy!!!' but, i feel that would be entirely inappropriate. I would also like to mention that, although I am sure this award is given out with wonderful intentions, the idea of choosing Marie Antoinette as the 'spokes girl' is highly dishonourable.

If you need to know a little more about Ms. Antoinette, I suggest taking a trip to Wikipedia.

Otherwise, I am pleased to announce that I am of the same rite as Pinocchio...a real person...Yippee!

Also, I pass this award onto Sherilyn at csvan.blogspot.com . However, I choose to modify the award slightly. Instead of using Ms. Antoinette to represent such a prestigious award, I offer my respects to Pinocchio. May we all strive to be real people. :)

Jan 16, 2009

A reflection on PED.

For some reason, I could not figure out what the heck I wanted to do tonight. There were so many options, but I just felt..icky, lazy and well, lethargic. Not the most pleasant of emotions (combined no less).

Tonight, my RA and I decided to exercise. Since my Phys Ed class, with the gym teacher from..well...not heaven, ended, I have not really been doing any physical activity, with the exception of random midnight walks with my Muse. So RA and I got out the Pilates DVD that one of the girls in the dorm brought, and we buckled down and well...stretched. Not only that, but we also did this fun little video involving this balance ball thing, and it was hard! But so much fun!

I love the audrenaline I get after working out. I love how my body feels more relaxed. My muscles like it, they feel like there is a purpose to their existence (which I must admit, was dwindled with the whole being athletically challenged business I convince myself of). I love the fact that I have better posture, and sleep better after a good solid work out.

If I learned anything in the class I took (and loathed) last semester, it's that God gave us our bodies to help us be who we are. And that they actually are His temple. I learned that I don't take very good care of mine. As a result, I resolve to eat healthier, exercise more, and sleep regularily.

Jan 15, 2009


I am so excited right now. I have just come back from Hot Spot, (for those readers who don't know what that is, the jist is just like an hour and a half of praise and worship) so my excitement comes from a very evident spiritual high. It also comes from the realization that the world situation, finances, and wars are the beginning of an incredible revival in the Church.

Let me explain.

I have this feeling deep inside me that this generation is begging for something new. The church is being turned upside down with radical worship. The African church has spread like wildfire throughout the land. Universities in Korea are meeting for prayer at 5am every morning. The western god of money is falling, and people are desiring more. They want to know why their gods are not answering their calls.

Earlier, I blogged about the 'pursuit of happyness' that this culture is facing. In that pursuit, we have settled for a money-driven society filled with the notion of 'me, me, me'. This mentality is starting to fall apart. People's futures are no longer secure. Big corporations are shutting down. The middle-eastern wars are raging on, as intense as ever. The USA is coming under new leadership. Canadian politics are hitting a climax. The economy is suffering. And in all that, the despair, the brokenness, there is a shift in the modern story. The modern story allowing us to believe whatever we want. The story where a true God is fallacy, and human capability is all that matters- that story is falling apart. In all the mess of the world, and the economy, God is sending a fantastic revival through His church.

It's up to this generation to get out of the pit of religion, and start bringing the Gospel, the story of God's redemptive plan, to the world. The kingdom of God is drawing near. So Christians, I urge you, be on your guard. Spread the good news. For the Spirit is moving.

Jan 14, 2009

Barbie girl..

Us girls (and some guys) have an obession with Barbie. Here is some fantastic comedy on the future of the Barbie Girl.

Worthy of Calvin?

Meet Graham.

Yes, he's a masterpeice isn't he? We were all quite proud of the 5 energetic (and equally crazy) people who took the time to create this snow giant. And when I say giant, I am not kidding. To give you an idea of just how big this thing is, I should have you know that my roommate could fit into the pylon serving as 'Graham's' hat.

A later addition to the giant included another banana for a nose (the store was out of normal sized carrots), which to everyone's amusement has started to accumulate a nice sized icicle on the very tip. Graham the snowman has a runny nose. (photos to follow in later post).

I wonder if this monster is Calvin worthy (my window is covered in the Calvin and Hobbes snowman comics..), but regardless, I'm fairly sure that the entirety of campus looks at 'Graham' daily and shakes their heads.

Personally, I think he's a nice touch. Although I have almost walked into him several times this week (he's blocking the ramp), I appreciate the protection he offers. I mean, who WOULDN'T be scared of an 8-9 foot tall snowman who has snow-shovels for arms?!

Perhaps he is not worthy to be included in the fantastic comic strip of Calvin and Hobbes, but he has potential. I like him..

Jan 13, 2009

Heated discussion

It seems to me, that the school's idea of saving money involves disregarding the idea of HEATING A BUILDING entirely. As the classrooms get more and more frigid, the students become increasingly annoyed. And, of course, Prof Needham wears increasingly ugly sweaters (think Bill Cosby meets the mom's boyfriend in 'The Santa Claus'). As if that was my main complaint.

I think that the moment we all realized that the school was coping out on heat, was when we woke up one morning and the heat was set at 15 degrees, meaning that the actual heat in the dorm was 10 degrees. Not exactly the best thing to wake up to in the morning. I think it was the first time since the beginning of the school year that the bathroom didn't heat up after my shower. The mirror steamed up, but the floor was still cold. I wished I had worn slippers in my mad dash back to my room.

So then Tuesday (which is today), I got smart (not Steve Carrell smart, fortunately). I woke up and the first actions of my morning were rolling, reluctantly from my bed, and placing on my feet my dearly beloved slippers. Then, I openned my door, expecting the same chilly blast as the day before. It never came.

I wandered over to the thermostat (after starting the coffee maker...what's a morning without a good cup of joe) and noticed that the heat was set at 21. This was a definite improvement to the night before. So I hopped in the shower, knowing that when I got out, the bathroom floor would be warm, per usual. To my excitement (yes..excitement), it was the warmest bathroom floor ever! After fixing my hair, applying some make-up, I sat down with my coffee and ate some breakfast, only to listen to the complaints of the girls living in the upstairs rooms, that it was too hot!

Personally, I like having my hands and feet be the same temperature as the rest of my body. But tonight, there will be a compromise. The heat will be set at 18 degrees...which I think is fair.

I'll just have to remember my slippers in the morning!

Jan 12, 2009

Exasperation Inspiration

In the spirit of being totally frustrated with the internet here at this beloved school of mine, I may be incredibly cynical here. I had been having some problems changing my profile photograph, and uploading entries and whatnot. I have also been inherently disgruntled with the annoying tendancy of the school's email advisor to freeze my internet and just erase everything I had been working on. Luckily, the IT department is in the process of fixing the connection problems, and the moody-ness of the school's IP. So, with some luck, they have resotred the internet capabilities in the main building, with pending results (I would expect) in the dorms and Rec Centre. Lucky for all us University students, the two things that don't seem to be affected is Facebook and MSN Messenger (go figure..).

This past week has been full of random inspirations for me. My new favourite place in the school has become the Art hallway, which is saturated with student works (often for sale). Many of these are incredibly impressive. I enjoy simply existing amidst the artistic greatness, to let my mind and consciousness seep into the paintings and follow the brushstrokes like a character in fiction. Then, of course, I write. Just sit and write about all the wonder and beauty, embellish a little, and if I get lucky, some sort of plausible story with emerge.

I really do love being able to just sit and be apart of creation. One of the things I miss most about the previous semester was the warm fall months. There's a middle aged Maple tree out on the hill in front of our dorm. It yeilded just enough shade to slip a blanket on the grass and read. That spot is one of my favourites on campus. In the fall, the tree changed colours as trees do, and the entire image drawn was one of bright colours.

I recently finished a book called 'the Orphaned Anythings'. I cannot even attempt to tell you what it is about, but that it is indeed some of the best writing I have ever read. (Turns out I'm not so cynical, eh). I should like you all to read it. In essence, I have decided I might like photography. As long as it is done correctly. Writing is wonderful, but sometimes giving the real, creatively done photo of time, held in a single place, immortalized, is kinda fun.

Anyways, those are todays thoughts.

Jan 10, 2009


The score was actually 100-54.

My apologies.

A very sad game..

I just thought I would drop a quick note, and let you all know that last night, Redeemer got its sorry butt kicked at basketball by Sheridan College.

The final score was 98-54 for Sheridan.


Jan 7, 2009

First Impressions

I have been watching the OC. Yep, me, the teen soap opera cynic has been hooked onto one of the shows I had assumed a waste of my time. I feel like quite the hypocrite.

Here's the thing. There are many good things about this show. Put aside all the teen drama and girl troubles of Seth, and let's just move on from Marissa's experienced Mom, this show has some good lessons, and some excellent examples of what it is to be a good person.

To start off I would like to say that I am rather impressed with the marriage of Seth Cohen's parents. They are put through a lot, and in the end always manage to stay faithful to one another. This is one of the best Television marriages I have ever seen. Here's my top 3.
1. Heath-Cliff and Claire Huxtable (the Cosby Show)
2. Sandy and Kirsten Cohen (The OC)
3. Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Little House on the Prarie)

The show also teaches some great morals. It deals with the pain and brutality of gossip, the deviance of stealing, and even the reconciliation and social make up involved in 'paying for one's actions.'

Although I find some, if not many of what is portrayed in the show far-fetched and no where near reality, I also have to respect the fact that I come from a small town, so for me to judge this Californian lifestyle is totally presumptuous. This I realized when I saw the episode where Ryan goes and visits his hometown on Thanksgiving.

And then, as I thought about it further, I began to realize how often I judge real people based on the stereotypes of these shows. I mean, I don't know the stories of everyone I interact with everyday. Yet, it's so easy to just slap a label on a person, like a stamp on a letter, and pass them off into the post office of society. Judge then dispose.

I know this is one of my worst attributes. I am way too apt to judge a person, sum them up based on first impressions, or just impressions and then consider myself an expert. The truth is that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone's lives matter, and the outward appearances of who they portray themselves to be are not always correct. The old cliché, never judge a book by its cover rings much truth.

Drama will always be what you make it, but at the same time, give people a chance, much like I sucked up my pride and found a ray of goodness in the OC. My life may not be like that, but who knows, reality isn't the same for everyone.

Jan 6, 2009

Financial WHAT?

Cheers to starting off a new semester. I feel bad for bragging about this, especially since everyone else I know is paying left, right and centre. I can't lie, apart from the fact that in four years I'm going to have to pay OSAP back for part of what they have given me, I can't help but snicker at the huge financial aid I got for school.

Originally, I had it all planned out. I worked, made money between February and August, with a few weeks I needed off. I figured I had made a good sum of money and calculated almost to the exact amount how much money it would cost me for my first year here. I knew what I'd be paying, in what intervals and when.

I am so unbelievably thankful right now for the aid I have gotten. I don't have to pay a cent for this semester. I didn't have to pay a cent for last semester. God is good.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled I got this extra money that I wasn't expecting. On the other hand, I kind of wish it had gone to someone who is still paying. I know that most of my dormmates are paying for the year out of their own pockets, taking out bank loans, etc. I had saved up the money to be able to pay for what I knew wasn't coming from OSAP and Redeemer scholarships, and now that I got two more grants (the 'you-do-not-pay-these-back' kind) which sum up more than I figured I'd have to pay out of my own pocket, I'm actually making money this year by coming to University.

On the bonus side of things, this makes affording the mission trip to Mexico over reading break a lot easier...in fact, the check I got from the Government of Ontario's Ministry of Education/Finance whatever is officially paying for that trip. And then some.

I feel blessed, mostly. Confused, but blessed.

On a completely different note, I took a nice trip down to student services today. I went to the registrars office to change a course. I found yesterday in class that I really didn't like my professor for the class. This sounds pretty bad, but if I don't like a prof, or a teacher, I will not do my best in the course. It's a respect thing for me. Why should I try and impress them if I don't like them right?

Yeah, I know its not the right attitude, and had it been any other course, I might not have cared, but English is my major, and so I need to be in a class that I enjoy. Especially if its poetry. It was a productive day for me. Second semester is shaping up to be pretty okay.

Jan 5, 2009

Grammar Lesson

University Profs should not have to give a quick grammar lesson everytime they assign a paper.


In case you don't know, here's the deal with these words.
Then: used in reference to time. A person did this and then they did this.
Than: This is a comparison. Simple.

My personal favourite is that my Prof thought it would be necessary to let everyone know that you cannot pluralize a word using an apostrophe and then 's'. Last time I checked, it was still adding an 's' or 'es' to the end of a word.

And then there is always the difference between there, their and they're.

University students should know this. In fact, I don't think a child should be allowed to graduate elementary school until they know the difference between these sorts of words. Grammar is tedious, but I learned it in elementary school. Everyone else should have too.

Jan 3, 2009


A teenage boy from my town has been missing since New Years day.

His name is Wesley McLeod, and he's 18 years old. Tall, brown hair.

Readers, I ask that you would pray for his family, and that God would reveal a good ending to this horrible situation. I cannot imagine what his family is going through.

Jan 2, 2009


I thought I would give my blog a little bit of a makeover. I was getting tired of the Orange and Green, and the header wouldn't let me add the photo I wanted. So, voila! *cuts ribbon to new blog.*

Welcome to BK-redecorated

The Pursuit of Happyness.

We've all seen this movie. Will Smith took us to new lengths of rising to the top, along with the beating question our society just can't stop struggling with, 'What makes me happy?'

I've found that in the past few years, Hollywood has taken a new turn on the movies they produce..at least some of the times. Sure, we still are confronted with those psychotic thrillers and zombie-scary movies that make us jump, and whether we like it or not, there is always going to be release of the 'dumb jock movie' and the 'chick flick'. However, those aside, take a look at those movies that have recently hit the cinemas and video stores. We seem to be on a fast track for the true pursuit of 'happyness.'

Will Smith portrayed the bitter truth to working up in the world. We watched him and his son battle through the harsh realities of corperate promise and compromise. Through homeless shelters, bad jobs and miserable divorce. We watched him lose it all to regain a sense of meaning in his life and ultimately a reason to smile.

A few weeks ago, I was confronted with a different film, dealing with the same sort of question. Stranger than Fiction, which casted Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Queen Latifah and Kristen Chenoweth, deals with an entirely different pursuit of happyness. Although the main line of the story was that Harold Crick (played by Ferrell) was hearing the voice of an author in his head, and feared that this author (Thompson) would kill him off, and sets out on an adventure to save himself, the real point of the story served in the act of saving himself from the mundane. The mundane was, ironically, a corperate life, where he counted the number of brush strokes it took to clean his teeth, counted the number of steps it took to get to the bus, and the number of seconds it took to ride the bus. Of course, by the end of the film, we've watched Crick find happiness, fall in love, and make life worth living.

And then last night, I went to the theatre with the intention of seeing 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'. It was sold out, so the consensus was to see 'Yes Man' instead. Despite a few scenes which were crude, and could have been taken out altogether, the movie was incredibly well done. Again, we see a character who is unhappy with his current life, and is told to embrace all the little opportunities. In so doing, Carl (played by Jim Carrey) would not be allowed to say 'no' to anything. Instead, he would agree to do everything that anyone asked him to, and thus learned to live a better life.

And then, we take a completely different spin on all this Hollywood Happyness stuff. Sure, we've seen the very depths of poverty and the overcoming story of a man against the world. We see the 'Bartleby, the Scrivener' reference come through in the mundane fighting comedy as depicted by Smith and Ferrell. But then, we are also faced with a multitude of dramas, sitcoms, documentaries in the comforts of our own home. Everyone is looking to be happy. Whether its the gang from DeGrassi trying to figure out how to find joy, or the latest soap opera, where the ultimate and unattainable goal is to make everything 'okay', or even Oprah or Ellen giving away extravagent gifts in the name of charity, it is all about the pursuit of happyness.

There are lyrics in the song 'Soak up the Sun' by Sheryl Crow. They say 'its not having what you want, but wanting what you've got.' These are incredibly profound. I look at these as a perfect summary of the desired happyness that our society longs for. We are a post modern world stuck in the cubicles we created for ourselves in the name of progress, and all we have to show for it is bigger TVs and smaller smiles.

Happyness and joy are two different things. Joy overflows, and wells up and just can't be held in, it is a way of life, a gift from God, and a pleasure in all things. Happy(i)ness is temporary. It seems quite based on material things, the flash of a smile, the quick fix. It leaves us wanting more. Joy is fullfilling. It is a lifestyle.

In this pursuit of happyness, it is so evident that our world is screaming out in pain. Screaming out for a savior. We are winding down the Christmas season, we have made our New Years resolutions, in the effort to make our lives better. The only One who can change our life is Christ. He's already come. Joy comes through him. In living for Christ, we are charged to spread the news about his coming, to share the Gospel truth, but at the same time, to be content, whatever the circumstances. 'It's not having what you want, its wanting what you've got.'

So where is your pursuit for happyness? Are you escaping a mundane existance? Because if that's the case, you should be looking for joy.

On which note, I feel I should inform you that each of the characters in the movies listed above found a joy, and not just 'Happyness'.

Jan 1, 2009


I have no idea if that is how it is spellled, but it doesn't matter. Everyone knows that the best tradition in the world is Olibollen on New Years day (Or Eve, depending on who you are).

My sister decided to take on the smelly task of making these yummy New Years treats..and what a treat they are. Someone had apparently made a joke to her about the fact that Olibollen is an old lady's tradition. Kristen decided that it wasn't and that she was going to make her own Olibollen.

They are best with a good helping of Icing Sugar and made with raisins. We didn't do AppleFlappen this year though. No one here is much of a fan for those.

And here is a shout out to Sherilyn and Chad. I will alway remember last year when Asher ate about 10 olibollen and at least as many appleflappen. The retired aged people in the church just kept feeding them to him. It was very cute.

Happy '09 everyone!