Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Social Network

click "like" if you like this movie

It was about a year and 2 months ago when I first heard they were making a movie about Facebook and to be quit honest I thought "How silly!"

But then 3 or 4 weeks ago when I was sitting in the theater waiting for some movie to start (I think it was that "Summer Blockbuster" one with Leonardo DiCaprio- the ones about dreams... I can't remember the name. Starts with an "I"...) I saw this:



I am shocked to say that The Social Network (the Facebook movie) actually looks pretty good. But then, never judge a movie by it's trailer. I don't. I'm lucky if I ever watch the trailer... or sometimes I just watch the trailer a million times and never watch the movie (that's a whole other post).

Maybe I just like the song and how it is used in the trailer.... maybe maybe maybe.

Regardless, I take back what I said a year and 2 months ago.. it's not as silly as I thought. that doesn't mean that it isn't silly it's just less silly then everything else going on at that time.


What do you think? Would you admit to seeing this?

Would you rather watch this movie or buy an iPad (both things which initially I thought were silly but as I've grown into the idea are still silly but not as silly as before)

Monday, August 30, 2010

What or Who is Rosetta Stone?

Oh Rosetta. Your heart is as hard & cold as stone.  

I work for a company that has many digs in different areas of the world. One of the larger ones requires a fair bit of communication so they have installed language learning software on a lot of our computers. This program is called Rosette Stone. I always though it was a woman's name, a name of the founder or a great language teacher or someones mistress. It wasn't until recently that I was talking to my Dad about it that he told me what Rosetta Stone really was.

The Rosetta Stone is part of an Ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele with engraved text that provided the key to modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.The inscription records a decree that was issued at Memphis in 196 BCE on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three texts: the upper one is in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle one in Egyptian demotic script, and the lower text in ancient Greek.Interesting, isn't it?


 
It's been passed around many times over the span of it's existence but finally has made home The British Museum since 1802. Apparently, it is the most visited object in the museum.
 
So all this time I thought it was just the name of a language program but truly, it's more than that. It is an iconic tool in the translation and understanding of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.
 
For more info:

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Country Fair

As the end of summer nears the harvests begin. This weekend at Heritage Park they are having their Harvest Sale which include truckloads of fresh foods at turn of the century prices. Along with that we start to see the harvest moon along the horizon looking swollen and red. Farmers markets, transient produce sellers and the country fair are bulging at the seams with all the delights. Get your turkey, chicken and all the fixin's. Corn, peaches and fresh baked pie. Tart Raspberries, wild strawberries and Saskatoon Berry Jam. Buy it all while munching on Kettle Popped Corn, Soft Pretzels, Candy Apples and Doughnuts.

Indulge in a little end-of-summer nostalgia of your own.


Candy Apples


Ingredients:
12 red-skinned apples
3 cups (750 mL) granulated sugar
½ cup (125 mL) light corn syrup
1 cup (250 mL) water
12 Popsicle sticks

Directions:
1.Wash and dry the apples thoroughly. Ensure the apples are crisp and unblemished. Remove the stems, and insert a Popsicle stick into each stem spot until secure. Place apples on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2.Add the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a large saucepan set over medium heat. Set a wooden spoon, a glass of water, a pastry brush, and a candy thermometer beside the stove.
3.Use the wooden spoon to stir the mixture until it boils. Attach the candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan. Dip the pastry brush in the glass of water and brush down the sides of the saucepan to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Continue to cook the mixture, without stirring, over medium heat. When the mixture reaches 300°f (150°c), immediately remove the saucepan from the heat.
4.Working quickly and carefully, twirl each apple until well coated with the hot candy. Transfer to the baking sheet to cool.
5.Place on a decorative platter or individually wrap each apple in cellophane and tie with a ribbon. The apples will keep for 3 days.

Tip: Local red-skinned apples suitable for making candy apples include McIntosh, Ida Red, Cortland, Red Delicious, Empire and Gala.
Serves 12.



Soft Pretzels

Ingredients:
1 ½ cups (375 mL) water, heated to 110°f (43°c)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) fine sea salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) active dry yeast
4 ½ cups (1.125 L) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
½ cup (125 mL) baking soda
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp (15 mL) water
¼ cup (60 mL) kosher salt

Directions:
1.Combine the warm water, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Sprinkle the yeast on top. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, until it begins to foam. Add the flour and butter. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Mix on medium for 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and comes together into a ball.
2.Grease a large, clean bowl with oil. Place the dough into the bowl, turning it to ensure it is well coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
3.Preheat the oven to 425°f (220°c). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
4.Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the baking soda. While the water is heating, remove the dough from the bowl. Cut into 16 equal wedges. Roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch (30 cm) rope. Make a “U” shape with the rope. Cross the ends over each other and press together at the bottom of the “U” to form a pretzel shape. Transfer the pretzels to the baking sheet.
5.Add the pretzels, one at a time, to the boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove the pretzels from the water, and return them to the baking sheet.
6.Beat together the egg yolk and water. Brush each pretzel with the egg wash. Generously sprinkle each pretzel with the kosher salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pretzels are dark golden brown and smell amazing.
7.Cool for 5 minutes on a rack. Serve warm with honey mustard sauce.
Serves 16.

Tip: These pretzels are at their best the day they are made.




Jam Doughnuts

Ingredients:
2 ¼ tsp (11 mL) active dry yeast
1 tsp + ¼ cup (5 mL + 60 mL) granulated sugar, divided
½ cup (125 mL) water, heated to 110°f (43°c)
½ cup (125 mL) milk
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1 tsp (5 mL) fine sea salt
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
1 large egg
½ cup (125 mL) homemade fruit jam
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup (250 mL) icing sugar

Directions:
1.Soak the yeast and the 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar in the warm water for 10 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
2.Heat the milk in a small saucepan until bubbles form around the edges. Remove from the heat. Add the butter, the ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar, and salt, stirring until the butter melts. Cool the mixture until it is lukewarm. Add the milk mixture to the risen yeast. Add the flour and the egg. Mix the dough for 5 minutes on medium speed.
3.Scrape the dough into a mound. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise 2 hours in a warm, draft-free spot.
4.Punch the dough down, attach the dough hook to the stand mixer, and knead for 5 minutes at medium speed. Roll the dough out to a ¼-inch (6 mm) thickness. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. (The dough is very soft; this step makes the dough easier to handle.) Cut out circles with a 2½-inch (6 cm) round cutter and let stand another 5 minutes.
5.Place 1 heaping tsp (7 mL) of jam in the centre of half of the rounds. With a wet finger, moisten the edges around the jam. Top with the remaining rounds and seal the edges firmly. Let the doughnuts rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
6.Pour 3 inches (8 cm) of oil into a medium-large saucepan and heat to 350°f (180°c). Carefully place no more than 2 or 3 doughnuts into the oil at one time. As they rise to the top of the oil and turn dark golden brown, turn them over. Each side will take about 3 minutes. Remove the doughnuts from the oil and drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Before adding more doughnuts to the oil, make sure the oil has returned to 350°f (180°c). Continue cooking in batches.
7.After the doughnuts have been fried, let them cool for 10 minutes.
8.Using a fine sieve, dust both sides of the doughnuts with icing sugar before enjoying.
Serves 12.

Tip: We like using bumble berry jam in this recipe, but any jam will work well in these doughnuts as long as it is quite thick.




Excerpts from The Harrow Fair Cookbook by Moira Sanders, Lori Elstone and Beth Goslin Maloney. Copyright © 2010 by authors. Excerpted by permission of Whitecap Books Ltd.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Buy The Book!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mad About Muffins

I'd watch it muffins or you're going to get eaten dressing that way

This morning I couldn't decided if I wanted to write about Muffins or Mustard- both things I love (minus the muffin bottoms- I'm a tops only girl!) but after some serious consideration...
*drum roll*
Muffins it is! Last night, while I was waiting for the painters to come and do the touch ups on my condo door I decided that there was no better time to bake muffins. I have been meaning to do so for a while because I buy one every morning when I go for coffee with my friend at work. Though I don't get coffee, I get steamed milk with a shot of vanilla flavor. I don't have anything against coffee just caffeine and I don't get along- I already have copious amounts of energy that a shot of caffeine would seriously be too much of a good thing. So when we go for coffee I usually get a muffin, either a lemon cranberry or a blueberry. This habit costs me $5.20 a day which isn't that bad but totally unnecessary so I've been mulling over in my mind "Blanche, you use to love to bake- maybe you should bake yourself some muffins not only to refresh your passion but also save you some coin."

So, last night I baked.

It was a simple little recipe for lemon blueberry muffins that included a tasty little sugar glaze on top. I expected them to be sweet, I expected them to be tasty. I pulled them out of the oven when they were done and soaked in the smell of fresh baked goodies. With my tummy rumbling and mouth salivating I slowly peeled away the wrapper and broke a piece off popping it into my mouth. It was comfort in a muffin- with 10 times less the sugar (!). I could not get over how not sweet my little muffins were compared to the mass produced  monsters at the coffee shop. To be honest, I was actually pretty happy. I'm a sugar-holic by default so I am always looking for ways to cut back on my refined sugar without actually cutting back. I don't like to feel as though I am so home baking my goodies not only saves me a bit of money but also saves my heart and health (or so I tell myself- ha!)

Here is the recipe for my "healthy" Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Super Lemon Blueberry Muffins
These will disappear as quickly as you make them!

 

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh, frozen or canned blueberries

Topping:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar

Instructions:
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in large bowl. Beat egg in medium sized bowl, add milk and butter. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just mixed (batter will be lumpy.) Stir in blueberries. Fill muffin pans 2/3 full and bake at 425 F. for 20 minutes.

Topping:
Combine melted butter and lemon juice. Measure sugar into separate dish. Dip tops of slightly cooled muffins in melted butter, then sugar. Makes 16 large or 32 small muffins.

EAT!!!!



I'll write about my passion for mustard on a different day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Good-Bye Nectar

Dear Nectar,

I am sad to hear that at the end of this week you will be closing your doors. Though really, regardless of your Sunday Tea Parties and tasty delights, I returned because you were rude. The service was out of this world nasty and beyond awkward. I now plant my sweet little butt in someone else's comfy couch and give them my dollar bills as I endlessly feed my happy belly with tasty delights. Thanks for the memories.

Love from,



PS: No hard feelings, really.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Being Human

No strings attached

Who wants to be a crier
a liar
a trier

Who wants to blend in
stand apart
accepted
or be rejected.

Who wants to love
hate
mate

Who wants to be happy most of the time
and sad some of the time

Who wants to admit that they aren't perfect
that they make mistakes

Who wants to never be the smartest
or the brightest
or the dumbest

Who wants to be healthy
sick
young
old

Who wants to be messy
and then clean it up
only to make a mess again
and then leave it for the day

Who wants to care about another
and get hurt
and then care again
and then love deeper then ever thought possible
and then fight
and then make up.

Who wants to wake up in the morning and go to work
at a bad job
a good job
an old job
a new job

Who wants to take a chance
and fail
or succeed

Who wants that
who wants to be human?

I do.


The Last Exorcism

The Last Exorcism- a natural type of horror movie.


Last night I went to a screening of The Last Exorcism. I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn't even  know this movie existed. I have to admit that there has been a sever lack of worthwhile freaky movies in the last while. It takes a lot to creep me out but this movie actually did it. It was the wonderful balance of vagueness and the unknown that makes "The Last Exorcism" so powerful for me. It reminded me of The Blair Witch Project amped with the classic disturbance of the original Exorcist (which remains one of my favorite movies). The Last Exorcism is smart. It's funny and more importantly, it has it moments of sheer terror might just stay with you well past the point that you leave the theater.

I don't want to say to much because I think the best thing you can do is see it with a somewhat naked, unaware mind. Go see it (if you can) and come back and report to me what you thought and then we will talk.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Adventures in Garage Sale Hosting

I have never seen a more color cordinated yard sale in my life

Today is Wednesday and I have the next 5 days off from work. Go me! I'm excited because this weekend is the garage sale I've been so diligently chaotically planning. I've know I was going to do this for months but I decided to leave it till this week to do anything about it. No big deal- being the obsessive compulsive perfectionist kind of person I am there is no doubt in my mind that things will come together in the end. Sure at the cost of a little lack of sleep but no biggie. The troops have been rounded up and so has the soon-to-be someone else's treasure. I'm just hoping that the weather participates (not to hot, not to cold and really... no rain please) but I'm not that worried about it. What will be will be and that is all I can expect. I just think it's going to be fun and whatever we don't sell will be donated so truly, it's just a really good cleanse.

The garage sale is going to be on Saturday August 21st between 9AM and 3PM in the SW area of the city (my parents place- I don't have a back yard living in a tree house in downtown Calgary). If you are interested in coming to shop our stuff (it's a multi family collection of things) then you know how to get a hold of me (Facebook, cell phone).

So, have you ever had a yard or garage sale? Was it a success or a fail? What are some of the things that you have found that work really well? What are some of the things that don't work at all?


I found this decent slideshow (where I borrowed the image from above) that gives way to lots of inspiration. Thank you Goodhouse Keeping for making life appear so effortless!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music Obsession Monday: JT & The Clouds

Music Obsession Monday: JT & The Clouds

"JT and the Clouds come from Chicago; their music is Chicago music - rough edged, sad, hopeful, and shot through with soul."

I discovered this band while at Folk Fest this year. Funny thing is they weren't even listed on the bill because they were just playing back up to Po' Girl but it was apparent while watching them perform that these guys were fan-freaking-tastic. JT & The Clouds were more then just an accompanying band they stood their own on the stage without even meaning to. Take a listen to two songs that made the memorable list in my memory (I couldn't find any videos I was happy with so I am trying My Space links this time). If the links don't work just find the song names on the play list.

Funeral by jt and the clouds click link for song
I told Laura - who is guaranteed to be my life long best friend- that when I die this song has to be played at my own funeral and she has to dance at it. Actually I said "dance on my funeral" which with both laughed and I had images of Laura doing the jig on my coffin. Morbid but cute. Laura doesn't dance and I don't want sad music when I do pass away (which isn't going to for another 70 years or whatever) but this song is full of life and one can't help but dance. Also Laura can't deny an old ladies dying wish.


Fever Dream by jt and the clouds click link for song
I heard this song at a mini concert early one Saturday morning. The night before I was ripping up a storm on my feet so dancing was the last thing on my mind but 1/4 of the way into the song I could not help myself. I was up and moving- there is a picture of it somewhere. "I'm going to pick you up and fly away"


So, I know that it is not Monday... it's Tuesday but whatever. Doesn't matter. I don't really keep a system here in My Dog Dinner land

Monday, August 16, 2010

Confession: I Squish Coffee Bean Bags at the Store


pre-squished.  Mmmmmm smells good...

Beware, I love the smell of coffee. Laura taught me a few weeks ago that you can squeeze a bag of coffee beans with the little freshness valves and it releases fresh coffee bean smell through a little hole in the front. Well, this was the best game ever! I squish those bags and sniff-sniff-sniff. It's true, I was just doing it yesterday at Safeway.

So buyer beware, the next time you go to the grocer to quickly pick up a bag of beans realise that I may have had my nose all up in its business. Even though I don't drink the stuff, I like the smell.


FYI for all you non-coffee drinkers out there-

Question: Why are there little holes or valves in my bag of coffee beans?

Answer: If you buy roasted coffee from a quality establishment (and you should, at least occasionally), you might be curious about the holes or valves that your coffee bags have.

Freshly roasted coffee beans give off a great deal of carbon dioxide, for several hours after roasting. To prevent this "off-gassing" from bursting their bags, coffee roasters used to hold coffee for up to 24 hours before packaging. This meant that your coffee was already a day old before it even left the supplier.

By using bags with one-way air valves, coffee can be packed immediately without off-gassing worries. A bag with valves tells you that your supplier is interested in providing a good product, and that your coffee is as fresh as possible.


So there you have it. Do you have any semi destructive 110% self fulfilling things you do at the grocery store?

Doing Life In A Dress

There are 2 things in life that have never stopped me:

High Heels
and
Dresses

I can do it all in high heels and a dress- sometimes I choose to sometimes I don't but never in my life has it ever stopped me from doing the things I want to do.

That's me at the bottom embarking on my great wall climbing adventure.



King or errr... Queen of the world. I made it to the top and repelled my way to the bottom.


like this- whee! Look at those dirty feet... only acceptable at Folk Fest.

This was a free standing wall to climb in the family center of the Folk Fest. I spent about an hour playing with bubbles and than was asked if I wanted to climb the wall. At first I thought it was only for kids but they told me no- so I did it. I had a great time! I've always been a little monkey so climbing this was like second nature to me. I was wearing my bikini bottoms under my dress so I was good to go and did not pull a Britney.

So that's a taste of what I can do in a dress, you should see my climb rocks in heals.




Photo Credit to Laura B.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friggatriskaidekaphobia


Don't be scared of me- I'm only going to cause you to have a mild allergic reaction 

Today is Friday the 13th- did you stay home in bed? Are you extra careful when driving to work? Or did you not realise what today was until this very moment when you read this post. That was me, I didn't even realise that it was Friday the 13th until I saw a Facebook status confirming that has to be way this person is having such a bad day (to be honest, this person always has a bad day by constantly generating drama and having a negative outlook on life- but that's a whole other post). Even that didn't change my mind about the day.. it's just like any other day to me and for that I'm grateful.

Apparently, it effects an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States (which is almost Canada but not really but the stats still work to illustrate the subject) Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. "It's been estimated that $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day" according to an article from Nation Geographic News. The fear of Friday the 13th is called friggatriskaidekaphobia which also happens to be the title of this post- not a word I made up by mashing the letters on my keyboard as one might assume.

Superstition is interesting and sometimes sad. I am sure that many of us, though we may not consider ourselves superstitious, have some type of a credulous belief or notion which we exercise in our life. I prefer to think of mine as "magical thinking" others may see it as a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. I use to keep the volume on any device at a number that was even. I also knock on wood whenever I say something that I wish to maintain a positive relationship with. As I think about this now I am aware that as I have become more rational in my thought and less fear driven in life, I am less likely to give into these magical thoughts. Nothing bad is going to happen if I neglect any of these actions.

Another way that I see superstition and other credulous beliefs manifest in life is with black cats. Yes, believe it or not people still are effected by the notion that Black Cats are bad luck. I've seen it at the S.P.C.A. in Calgary and just finished reading an article out of Vancouver that reports the same (the inspiration for this post by the way). On my last trip to the S.C.P.A. to visit the animals I was surprised to see signs in the cat area informing potential families that Black Cats aren't "unlucky" and that they are just the same as any other cat in the adopting area. I could not get over that it was such an obvious issue that signs actually had to be posted to calm the nerves of adopting families. It breaks my heart that such an irrational discrimination would prevent animals from having the same chance of finding a loving home as their other colored friends. Tisk-tisk people, whoever you are.

With that being said, Happy Friday the 13th- I hope your day is just the same as any other day because really, if it were a special day wouldn't Google made a Google Doodle image for it's home page?


With that being said, do you have any superstitions that you believe in? Do you think Friday the 13th is a lucky, unlucky or just a run of the mill average day?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Photobooth Engagement



How sweet is this Photobooth Engagement capture? I adore it! True- I don't know these people and totally stole the picture off their site (which you can find here) but I don't care. I love it. It appeals so much to the romantic side of my rational romantic heart.

Witnessing love is a glorious thing.

Here is another glorious post about getting engaged and capturing it on camera. Love it...



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Clear Wing Humming Bird Moth


I'd like a coat made out of moth fur please

I just learnt about this insect on the radio. I was listening to some nature programme ( I think, I can't always be true) and they were talking about how rare it is to find a Hummingbird in the North West Territories of Canada. They have had eight reported sightings since 1989 so really, you have a better chance of seeing a UFO than a Hummingbird. This woman on the radio claimed that she saw one, at first thinking it was a Dragon Fly and then realising that its movements didn't match those of a Dragon Fly- it was more like a Hummingbird.

However, with the rareness of Hummingbirds in the Northern Province it was suspected by a nature specialist that it was more than likely a The Clear Wing Humming Bird Moth- a moth whose habits mimic those of a Humming Bird perfectly and only being a touch bit bigger.

That, to me, is a BIG moth (see video below)


Doesn't it look like a flying Lobster in a Bumble Bee disguise? Moths don't bother me unlike spiders so I find this pretty interesting but I know my friend Laura hates them. She hates all bugs but Moths are one of her top 5 most hated bug.

What do you think, does this moth creep you out?




picture borrowed from Google Images

Friday, August 6, 2010

I Am A Rig Pig


Joanne (left), myself (middle) and Edith (right). Grabbing ropes and getting dirty.

So, anyone who knows me knows that I have been ridiculously busy since June. Summer has been flying by and I've been having the time of my life. Even with long hours at the office and lack of involvement in some aspects of my life- it's been worth it.

I did a little traveling around to some (sorry to say this) ugly places of Alberta- though Alberta is looking pretty good with all the rain we've been getting. Everything is actually lush and green. It's stunning! The times that I needed nice weather I got it and as for all the hiking I do, I don't mind a little rain.

Last night I had my first Funk Fusion Dance Class- it was excellent. I swear I am the worst dancer in the class but I also think I had the most fun. I sweated it up with a bunch of strangers who became friends by the end of  1 1/2 hours. I'm looking forward with massive amounts of excitement to next weeks class. Today, I'm not as stiff as I thought I would be. I didn't stretch as much as I should have after class- we went so long that we didn't get time for a good group stretch. I just did some yoga when I got home.

I have another busy month ahead of me leading into September when I start schooling at the University of Calgary. Eek. I need to find some time to take holidays soon. Otherwise I'll end up with the whole month of December off which would be nice but unfair to the rest of the people in my group.

Lots of stuff happening which is good... there are also some changes in my personal life which have been coming up over the last few months. I hope that it continues to happen and that other things take heed and join the change train.

Anyway, it's Friday and I have to start going through my stuff and preparing for a garage sale in 2 weeks which will be hosted at my parents place. My objective is to get rid of as much as I can. Not that I have a lot of stuff but there is some clutter around that I don't need and someone else might love. I'm going to try and apply the 6 month rule.

Edith and I - fitting right in with our high heels and long hair. It's what all the riggers wear.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

B in the City- Week of August 5th 2010

There are some interesting things happening in the city this weekend:

When & Where: August 5 to 8 • Various venues
Why: While most festivals plan, regulate and vote on what kind of performers and shows they'll host, Calgary's Choose Yer Own prefers that you come up with the ideas. Almost anything goes at this collectively "organized" festival of fun. This event alone is worth making the post- HellYA!

Top Picks:
Chaos inspired by Jim Henson’s Labyrinth
Saturday August 7, 7 to11 p.m., Local Library

Originally intended as a faithful re-enactment of the 1980s classic fantasy, the psychedelic tendencies of the film have inspired a looser, wilder interpretation. Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to sing a long to “Dance, Magic Dance.”

Build yer own pedal
Saturday, August 7, 12 to 4 p.m., Local Library

Local musician Neal Moignard heads an afternoon workshop in which participants will build their own Tremolo guitar pedal from scratch, then take it home with them when they’re done. Extra points if you accidentally make a delay pedal.

T (Shirt) Party
Thursday, August 5, 7 to 11 p.m., Straw Gallery

Tie-dye your own T-shirt — or any white cotton garment — while rocking to a slew of awesome local bands. Stick around afterwards for the Choose Yer Own Comedy Night, complete with a nostalgic brick backdrop.

Ghost Walk
Friday, August 6th, 1 to 2 a.m., Inglewood (various locations)

Bring your Walkman and tune into CJSW as local DJ Sean Stewart takes you on a journey through one of Calgary’s creepiest, and oldest, ’hoods. There’s also a ghost-themed cover show under a secret bridge at midnight — you’ll have to come to the fest to find out where.
 
*
 
When & Where: Sunday, August 22 between Princes Island and Memorial Drive (including lanes of Memorial Drive)
Why: The event simply opens space for Calgarians to stroll the historic Memorial Drive promenade, relax, unwind, breathe in some fresh air, perhaps take in a yoga session, or just enjoy the cool breezes off the river.
Website: Bow Flow
 
Events:
Sport Chek Bow River 3km Run/Walk
Sport Chek Soccer Juggle Zone
Massage Therapy
Bikini Boot Camp
Laughter Yoga with Fif Fernandes
Pilates
Mini Trampolines
Sun Hat Parades
KidZone
Afterparty! (7pm): hosted by The Garage in Eau Claire Market (inside & on the patio)
and more
 
*
 
Where & When: SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, 2010 10:00 am to 5:00 pm along 33rd and 34th Avenues SW East of Crowchild Trail between 21st and 19th Streets SW in Calgary, Alberta
Why: Attracting some 35,000 people, this New Orleans themed, family-friendly festival embraces the culture, cuisine and music of New Orleans for one full day along.
 
*
 
Where & When: August 2-8th, various venues
Why: Calgary blues artists and international talent including David Clayton Thomas, Little Feat and the Chicago Blues Reunion all converge in Cowtown at the same time - for one weekend
 
*
 
Where & When: various theaters within the city all week long ending on August 7th
Why: Saturday is the final day to take in performances at the 2010 edition of the Calgary Fringe Festival. However there are still plenty of great shows to see including three performances of The Honeymoon Period Is Officially Over voted as this year's Best of the Fest.
 
*
 
Where & When: Princes Island Park, August 9-14
Why: Celebrate African culture with delicious food, fun games and tons of live music
 
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Where & When: Pengrowth Saddledome, August 11-15
Why: A spectacular live version of the popular BBC TV series and because they are DINOSAURS!
 
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There is still lots and lots going in the city but we only have a month of summer loving and lazy days left so lets take advantage of them while we can!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Big Brother 12- Week Three

this isn't goodbye, it's להתראות

Andrew the Jewish foot doctor just stuck his foot in his mouth and chocked on it all the way out the door. I am so sad to see him go. He was great- the little bit that we did get to see (aside from the hissy fits of week three) he was pretty fun in a glorious geeky way. Nothing better than a man with a good case of tidy to get my ol' heart pumping. I'd love to Windex the Windows and vacuum the floors with him- we'd make a great team. Go Team Clean!

We also saw a bit of what the producers saw in Lane that made them want to put him on the show.


This little video is the BEST part of week three- watch it all the way through. Do it.

  • First minute and 20 seconds- Andrew cleaning

  • the next 2 minutes and 20 seconds- Veto Choices (this may be boring but it's worth it for the next part)

  • The next 4 minutes Der Bergade's alliance shooting the shit. Sans Hayden the Hanson Brother.Awesome


A side from that the rest of the week was super lame.

Cookies of the Week
  • Britney the small town back stabbing blond (She's funny and needs waaaaay more camera time)
  • Lane for just being awesome- just like Britney
  • Andrew

Mud Puddles of the Week
  • Fun Bags Rachel for yelling at Andrew for "getting between her and her man!" ugh.
  • Anyone in a showmance- no more showmance!
  • Matt the Smart Mensa Guy for having stupid choices to put up on the chopping block.

I'm writing this half way through week four so I can tell you that things get better and a lot worse. Also they did have the last 2 evicted House Guests in sequester but they released them all when Andrew was booted on Sunday. So, we will not be see the return of Annie, the hot bi-chick.

That is all for now. Good Night Everybody.


The Office Pool


We have a lotto pool at work- 10 exclusive people get to put all their money together, sign a contract and play the lotto. I don't know how I got involved- I think part of it was the original organizers thought I was lucky. Well, I haven't been... we haven't won anything and I've never really played the lotto before. The skeptic in my says that the chances of me winning anything significant are 1 in 1 million. Actually, I just Googled my chances and they are 1 in 28,633,528 (according to Wikipedia where everything is true.). I'm not a gabbling woman, I've done enough gambling with my heart that I know that no one ever really wins.

Exhibit A:

Mr. D. W.
This man plays the lotto like John Mayer plays the ladies. Lots of action, lots of games but nothing really pays out in the end. Mr. D.W. is even in a lotto pool with the guy who sells him his lotto tickets. For real. I asked him a little while ago, "D, what is the most money you have ever won?" and do you know what Mr. D.W. said to me? "about $300". That's true, he always plays but never wins.

My chances mixed with Exhibit A. really do tell me that I have a much better chance of actually earning the money I would win in the lotto than actually winning at the lotto. So, I've decided that I want to quit- I haven't actually quit yet but I want to. I think it's a waste of money but the lotto bug has one little tooth in me- I think "what if I quit and they win. Big." What would I do then? Is it worth the $156 a year to play knowing that my chances of winning are 1 in 28,633,528 (then split 10 ways with the other people participating in the lotto pool).

Actually, I just looked into things a bit further- These stats are based on the Lotto Max which is Canada's biggest jackpot. When I look at the other lotteries available my chances seem a bit better...


  • Lotto 6/49: chances of winning the big jackpot: 1 in 13,983,816

  • Payday: chances of winning the big jackpot: 1 in 1,353,275

a little better odds, don't you agree? Is it worth it? I can't decide...Most of the rational brain believes that it isn't going to happen but the small part, the magical thinking part believes that it might. I don't want play anymore but it is just $3 a week but I'm almost certain I'm not going to get anything from it, but I might. Argh.



Have you ever won the lottery before? Even just a free ticket or $25.00?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Let's Talk About Christmas

Don't let this be you.

I'm not pessimistic in any sense of the word. I've actually been called annoyingly positive and optimistic... I call my self a realist, somewhat rational. I actually just call myself Blanche. I say this because I am about to tell you that I am thinking about Christmas and I've been thinking about Christmas since June. True story.

Facts:
June 21st  is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. As soon as that day pops up I know that the days are no longer getting longer and that they are in fact getting shorter. When June 21st pops up on the calendar I think to myself "Well Blanche, Christmas is on the way!". On the flip side, when December 21st (which is Winter Solstice-the shortest day of the year)  pops up on the calendar I think to myself  "Well Blanche, summer is on the way!".

I say this all because, it's true. I've been thinking about Christmas. Today, I just bought the tickets to Stuart McLean's Christmas Concert. So excited. You may remember my encounter with Mr. McLean himself at last years concert. This year, his headlining musical guest is the amazing Matt Andersen who toured last year with him. Breath taking talent. The other musical guests have been left in a bit of mystery with the only clue being that "This artist has never toured with us before".

This is what Jess Milton, the Vinyl Cafe Producer said regarding this years Christmas Concert:

"The Christmas concerts will feature two brand-new Dave and Morley stories. And, because you liked him so much last year, we'll be bringing our pal and musician Matt Andersen out with us on the Christmas Tour. If you saw Matt perform last year, I know you'll want to see him again. And if you missed him last year - you'll definitely want to catch him this year. In addition to Matt Andersen, we'll have another special musical guest along - someone we've NEVER toured with…so they'll probably be new to you too."

So, this is where I am about to tell you what to do-

If you have a chance, buy a ticket and go see him. Take your mum, you dad, your little one, your old one. Bring your best friend, your lover or your neighbour. Give it as a gift of love. It's worth it- trust me.

and now I promise not to mention Christmas until maybe October.


PS: I hate winter. Brrr....