Sophie Kinsella’s Can You Keep a Secret

Can You Keep a Secret is the first Sophie Kinsella book I’ve read, although I am aware of the Shopaholic series, and have always intended to read at least one.
I read this one namely because a friend lent it to me and promised me a quick, fun read. That’s exactly what I got. The book is fun to read – and a little irresistable, as my getting-to-sleep-at-God-knows-what-time last night will attest. Yes, I finished the book in one sitting.
Most of the time, this book feels very much like another Bridget Jones’ Diary, which is not necessarily bad. It does mean, however, that predictability is an issue – it’s really easy to see what’s coming in the next chapter, not to mention how it will all end. Of course, knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t change the fact that you want to see it happen.
There are a couple of great characters in the novel, although the main character is not necessarily one of them. Emma, our heroine, is very much a Bridget Jones clone, albeit skinnier. Her roommates are fun sketches, though, and her coworkers are nicely awful.
There are moments of hilarity, many of them contingent on variations on the “how will she get herself out of this scrape-that-is-not-at-all-her-fault” theme. What surprised me were the moments of emotion. I felt tears well up more than once while I read this book, although I am willing to admit that tiredness may have been a factor.
Recommended, especially if you enjoyed the Bridget Jones books or movies.

A close shave

I know I’m not the first to comment on the increasingly ridiculous ‘technological advances’ in men’s razors, but I can’t resist asking – just how hard is it for you guys to shave?
Gillette now has Fusion, with five blades on one side, and a single blade on the reverse for ‘precision.’
Five blades? Really? FIVE?
Of course, for the man who really wants a better razor, there’s the battery-powered Fusion.
At least there is some comfort in the fact that nothing really changes when it comes to how to sell, if not what to sell. The Fusion site is rife with buttons and cool graphics. Narrated by Cassandra, the short-skirted, high-heeled, long-haired ‘director of the lab,’ the story of Fusion apparently begins in a secret desert lab (a la Moonraker, perhaps?) with hi-tech holograms of Cassandra in a fetching lab coat over a skintight red minidress.
If you choose to enter the ‘holosphere,’ as invited to by the ever-beguiling Cassandra, you have the option of selecting ‘Fun’ – which, according to Cassie, is why you’re there in the first place.
What constitutes fun? A screen full of links to on-line gaming sites.
So it comes down to this – if you want to convince men to buy yet another pricey razor, you need (1) more blades, (2) a new twist [in this case the reverse ‘precision’ blade], (3) optional batteries, (4) a spokeswoman who is both obviously smart, since she’s the lab director, and obviously hot for you, (5) cool graphics and effects, and (6) links to other manly pursuits like on-line card games.
Five blades?

Confessions of a grammarian

Yesterday morning, Dr. T and I were having our morning coffee and paper in bed, listening to the local radio news. The news included an item about a convicted pedophile who is now facing new charges. The news reader said something about a group of children, “three of which gave statements” leading to the new charges.
I sat up in bed and yelled at the radio “OF WHOM!!!”
Dr. T looked at me and said “that’s what disturbs you about this story?”
I may have to reprioritize.

Winning/whining in Turino

We’re doing OK at the Winter Olympics, probably because the winter games involve a lot of snow and ice, with which we Canadians are regrettably familiar. Take skeleton, f’r’instance – it’s called ‘skeleton’ because the equipment is a bare-bones sled, no bells, no whistles, no design to speak of, which means our team can almost afford new ones. I bet that during the off-season, we send our skeleton sleds to the Canadian military.
So, kudos to our athletes who are willing to throw themselves headfirst down a long track of ice, or strap Katzenjammer Kids skates to their feet, as our medal-hauling spped skaters have done. Congrats also to Jeff Buttle, who stayed relatively upright most of the time and bagged the bronze figure-skating medal.
A big fat raspberry, however, to perpetually whingeing Emanuel Sandhu, who is still bitching about not being selected for the 1998 Olympic team. 1998!!
Here’s an idea – any other Canadian athletes that compete but don’t medal, no matter what the sport, should also place the blame on the ’98 COC and their decision to leave Sandhu at home. Fall down in the downhill? ’98 OC’s fault. Lose the hockey gold? ’98 OC’s fault. Miss the biathlon target? You get the idea.

And I quote:

“Dear Ms. McDonnell:
Although we were not able to offer you any courses in the current semester, we are pleased to inform you that we have put your name on our list of teachers whom we would like to hire in the future. Please continue to apply to postings, and we will contact you when we have courses to offer.”

Yes, to paraphrase Sally Field, Dawson likes me! They really like me!
Of course, I’m still a little peeved at the month of feeling useless, talentless and depressed while I waited for the letter that arrived yesterday.


Yesterday was my second anniversary. Two years, no smoking. To make this occasion even sweeter, I have actually managed to shed the weight I gained when I quit.
Not bad for someone with no willpower to speak of. I think I’ll go shopping to celebrate 😉

New recipe!!

One of the benefits of all this time on my hands is that I can try some new recipes. I’ve discovered a couple in the last two weeks that will definitely become part of our regular repertoire.
Last night’s was a lentil and rice casserole (all stovetop, no baking). It’s pretty easy, and the list of ingredients isn’t too daunting (Dr. T. frequently accuses me of making things up to add to the shopping list, just to test him. But I swear, fenugreek exists! So do collard greens! And vegetarian eye of newt… ok, maybe not that last one).
Anyway, check it out, and remember new recipes are always welcome!