Halloweens of Childhood

So I’m sitting in tonight for Halloween; no candy duty or dressing up this year. I am thinking, however, of Halloweens past. The costumes I’ve worn, the candy I’ve had. I can still recall my power ranger costume from when I was (I think) 9 years old. There was also the year I dressed in only a mask of Dopey, one of the seven dwarves.

Actually, the year I went as Dopey, I had had surgery only a week or two before so was still at home recuperating. Yet, the one day, Halloween, I went to my school and a prank was set upon my teacher. My classmates and I all seated ourselves at our desks and the lights were turned off.
The teacher came in, turned the lights on and Dopey was in her classroom. Her reaction of gasping in surprise was priceless!

There have been other memorable moments of Halloweens gone by. The year I went out trick or treating for a friend who wasn’t able to go out herself. Then the Halloweens I spent going to the mall, for indoor activities that were hosted there.

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays; from the costumes, to the candy (candy corn still being a favourite) and of course the dressing up. What are some of the highlights of the spooky season for you? Do you have any favourite candy, costumes or memories in general of the holiday?


New Chapter of Life – Mommy to … Parakeets?

Yep, I consider my new pet parakeets my babies. In fact, since I got them one week ago today, they’ve learned just how to wrap me around their little wings. Don’t all “children” do that?

My bird’s cage is situated on an end table beside my couch. When I’m sitting beside them, they’re calm, cute and sweet. The second I get up and move away from the couch? Loud, unhappy squawks can be heard throughout my one bedroom apartment. It’s quite fun actually… I take it as a sign that they love me and have warmed up to my presence.

Like any new “parent” I’ve already begun to brag and share stories about them and their antics (example… this blog post). I’ve made Facebook videos and status updates about them. I share photos of them on both Twitter and Facebook. (Twitter has a whole new meaning to me considering the name).

Yesterday, my parakeet, Solange, landed on my mother’s wrist for a few moments but then decided to bolt out of her cage. My other parakeet, Crystal began chirping loudly at that point, calling to her little bird friend.

And now I’m trying to introduce them to taking their first bath in their new home. So far, Solange has gone done and drank out of the dish I put in the cage for them, but neither have figured out yet they’re supposed to bath in it. I must be patient…

Well, thanks for reading and allowing me to brag about my “babies.” So far, I love being a bird mom!

During Summer, I did….

It’s that time of year again. Time for students (much like myself) to face the realities of the seasons, and go back to school. Now typically there are teachers out there that tend to give the same back to school assignment. Write a paragraph (or essay even) on what you did over the summer months. I’ve noticed, while the wording may be different, this topic is trending in Canada right now on Twitter. So what did you do over the holidays?

For me, I worked. Starting out once a week and then going to twice a week, I worked. The Edmonton Journal gave me the opportunity to experience working in a newsroom on a regular, weekly basis. Going to press conferences, doing write ups for the Edmonton Journal website and so on. It kept me busy. Though, that was only part of what I did this summer.

I also prepared for going to university. Buying school supplies and a bag to carry them in, and various other things such as pens, paper and mechanical pencils. Now I am in school and enjoying it thoroughly.

So what were your holidays like? What did YOU do over the summer?

Review of Hare Band cabaret Starring Bridget Ryan

Come Sail Away, Living on a Prayer and Orionco Flow were just some of the songs that could be heard opening night of Year of the Rabbit/Hare Band cabaret and art show. Sail away is just what the audience did; they sailed away down a musical memory lane to the 1980s.
The performance was held in the Catalyst Theatre on Gateway Boulevard in Old Strathcona. The show is a mix of 80s music, and canvas and stone artworks expressing the elements of fire, water, earth and metal in the year of the rabbit. Rabbit inspired artwork was the starting point,since this is the year of the rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. The title of Edmonton based artist Jason Carter’s art show seems fitting for this part of the show. And it’s not just a show, but an experience.

From start to finish Bridget Ryan along with her four piece band; comprised of Jennifer McMillan (keyboard and vocals), John McMillan (vocals) Andrew Miller (drums), and Connor Walsh on bass guitar were, to cite an old 80s adage, totally radical!

Ryan, a 30 year veteran of the stage, (who can also be seen Monday to Friday on CityTv’s BreakfastTelevision). enthralled audience members with her powerful alto voice. Ryan seemed quite at home on stage and it showed. So did the band’s keyboardist/vocalist and other band members.

McMillan, an active member of Edmonton’s musical theatre community, held her own displaying her soprano capabilities and range for all to hear. With at least one solo, McMillan proved herself a tour de force. McMillan also proves her knowledge and talent in music by having arranged the songs to suit the band’s unique,unfettered sound. Including arranging one song to be an original bluegrass sounding rendition.

Carter, created beautiful “rabbit” works of art. Embracing the simplicity and beauty of rabbits, his canvas painting and stone carvings are telling of a talented artist. The rabbits on canvas for instance, lay stationary but seemed to show the spirit of rabbits nonetheless. The stone rabbit sculptures showed rabbits in various forms. Some were at rest, content to sit on their laurels while other pieces showed rabbits standing at alert replete with ears perked upward as if sensing impending danger. Carter works alongside Ryan Monday to Friday as a cameraman for Breakfast Television.

Throughout the course of the evening’s performance, the audience learned just what each of the four elements meant, as they stand within the Chinese zodiac. The elements are listed as fire, earth, water and metal. Currently we are half way through the year of the metal rabbit. As the show progressed, each group of songs were likened to one of the four elements. For example, Orionco Flow by pop star Enya was said to symbolize water.

With music of the 80s, band members’ hair plastered in hair sprayed giving them all a rebel style look, canvas painted and stone carved rabbits in the stage’s background; Year of the Rabbit/Hare Band cabaret and art show proves a must see for “bunnies 13 years and older,” as the website for the cabaret says.

Part of the proceeds for each performance of the Hare Band cabaret is slated to go to the Youth Emergency Shelter Society, which works with at risk youth.

Parental advisory on the humour however as it is really rather adult throughout the show.

Jam Packed Weekend

Well it’s a definite cliché but this weekend has been jam packed, so far.

I met a local journalist who, not only is a great person but a role model for me. Cam Tait is a great person to talk to and learn from. Though I do admit having been out of my element (beyond swimming, sports is not something I was ever encouraged to become interested in), I still had a lot of fun watching as Cam went about reporting on the game. It was intriguing being so close to the action (though I must admit, I’m still working through a fear of flying objects coming in my direction).

I went back tonight to watch my second Saints game tonight. Although I went home early, it was fun seeing the Saints do warm up laps before the game, and hear them shouting and laughing enthusiastically.

I’ve also been able to make contact with another sports journalist in the area, but that is another story. So, a great weekend so far.

Gearing up for Monday morning now… 🙂

Thinking Positive About Winter

I dislike winter. I mean, I really dislike winter. It’s not so much the biting cold, and the endless dumps of snow from Mother Nature; for me it’s all about the ice and being practically house bound at winter time. Though, one must always try to find the positives in even the most dreaded of circumstances.

Recently I was watching Global News a couple nights ago and the news anchors, Lynda Steele and Gord Steinke were trying to come up with the positives of winter. Well it might not be as original a question as I’d like to ponder, but it is a good question to ask oneself. What is there about winter that can be deemed good?

Well here is what I can think of. Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section of this blog.

1. Hot chocolate

2. Staying indoors playing board games, watching movies or otherwise spending time with family and friends.

3. Wrapping up in a favourite blanket.

4. Curling up in a favourite blanket while reading a good book.

Meeting Media

Yesterday I went to my first Tweet-up. The “Meet the Media” Tweet-up was fun. I met so many new faces, and saw some journalists and others I had met previously. With great conversation and laughs shared, Meet the Media seemed to be a stellar success. There was an energy and enthusiasm in the room that was contagious.

Highlights for me were meeting Vassy Kapelos, Adam Rozenhart, Scott Bourgeois, Stacey Brotzel and so many others. Being able to speak to Daryl McIntyre, Jason Konoza, Laurel Clark and Archie McLean was great too. Joking and sharing good conversations, I can safely say I had a great time at my first tweetup. I’m now looking forward to hearing of more interesting and fun events such as this, that I can hopefully attend.

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