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November 3, 2012 - Photo taking date [11 Nov 2012|12:08pm]
Went on a date where we headed to Fish Creek park to take some photos. Here's the one I'm quite proud of.

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That is, if photobucket will display the damn thing the right way.
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October 28, 2012 - Pride and Prejudice High Tea [11 Nov 2012|12:03pm]
Picked up my mom and I's friend Becky and headed to the Palliser hotel for High Tea with Karen from Calgary Food Tours and the Calgary Chapter of the Jane Austin Society of Canada!

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Crumpets, preserves and melon balls to start

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Tea sandwiches!

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Dainty desserts!


After watching and taking part in some classic Austin-time dances Becky and I went for a quick walk around downtown.

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The Calgary Police Memorial with the new Bow.

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Olympic Plaza.


Finally we headed to the theater to watch Theater Calgary's production of Pride and Prejudice. It was truly lovely. It was the classic story we all know and love, but with a few extra dashes of life and comedy. The acting was superb and I truly loved the set!

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Must be in want of a wife!

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Blurry camera phone picture, but the set was just stunning!
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October 25, 2012 - Rock of Ages [11 Nov 2012|11:37am]
Me and the girls out to see Rock of Ages!

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Very awesome and fun show!
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Is that what it's about? [11 Nov 2012|11:33am]
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Because that's not what I remember Rocky Horror Picture Show being about...
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October 20, 2012 - Weekend in Cambridge, ON [11 Nov 2012|11:28am]
Was lucky enough to get a business trip that started on a Monday, so I got an earlier flight and spent the weekend in Cambridge with a pair of my best friends, Christa an Greg!

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Some of the beautiful little shops.
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October 6, 2012 - Chinese Music Night 2012 [11 Nov 2012|11:14am]
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One of Fox's friends plays in the Calgary Chinese Orchestra, so she got us tickets to go and see their concert. Lovely night with some beautiful music.
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New York - September 9, 2012 [08 Oct 2012|09:45am]
Getting up we got ready and finished packing. Melissa had picked up New York Bagels for us for breakfast and we grabbed coffees from Starbucks. I seriously drank so much Starbucks this week...

After breakfast we walked over to Macy's and went shopping!

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Macy's is HUGE with almost an entire floor of women's shoes alone. I ended up buying a new purse (blue!), a nice pair of flats and a beautiful purple sweater/jacket thingy. God, I spent so much money this trip.

Said goodbye to Melissa in Penn station and caught the train to Newark. Security was surprisingly easy to get through and then we had Mexican at the gate before flying home.

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New York - September 8, 2012 [08 Oct 2012|09:27am]
Woke up and met up with Melissa and Mike. Took the train to Brooklyn to go to the Brooklyn Flea Market. It was stupid hot out there, but I found a couple of nice things.

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Beautiful painting in Brooklyn.
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New York - September 7, 2012 [08 Oct 2012|09:08am]
Slept in super late before getting ready and heading to CLAIR New York's office. Matt was there but Kaneshi-san was sick and Hotaka-san was on vacation. So we met the Executive Director, Ogata-san and Washioka-san, the Assistant Director. We traded Omiyage and then went to Ali Baba's Turkish restaurant. The food was excellent and great portions for lunch! We got a dip with bread to start and a plate with the meal of our choice, salad and rice. Then Ogata-san insisted that we get dessert too! It was delicious.

Saying good bye to CLAIR NY and Melissa we walked down to the Flatiron building and Mario Batali's Eatily. It's basically half restaurant, half Italian Specialty store.

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Beautiful buildings near the Flatiron. Read more...Collapse )
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New York - September 6, 2012 [08 Oct 2012|08:44am]
Getting up we walked down to the Empire State Building and went up to the observatory. They have one floor on the history of the building before you get up to the 86th floor.

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The Empire State Building Read more...Collapse )
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New York - September 5, 2012 [06 Oct 2012|03:42pm]
Got up and headed to Times Square to go to Madam Tussaud's in the morning. Morgan Freeman was waiting for us in the lobby and then we headed up to the Celebrity Party. Lots of stars to pose with there! There was a musical history section, a Bollywood section, a history of New York section and at the very end and Avengers section! So much fun!

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Neat building near Times Square.

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Times Square in the day.Read more...Collapse )
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New York - September 4, 2012 [06 Oct 2012|03:18pm]
Woke up, had Starbucks for breakfast, caught subway to the Staten Island Ferry! Rode it across to get a good look at The Statue of Liberty and then back again to see the Brooklyn Bridge.

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United States Postal Service Building.

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Manhattan from the Ferry Read more...Collapse )
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New York - September 3, 2012 [06 Oct 2012|02:19pm]
Waking up we got ready and headed out to the World Trade Center area. Took a couple of trains to get there, got on the wrong one, but we eventually made it. The new tower is going to be beautiful. They'll be truly lovely when they're done.

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The new tower going up.
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New York - September 2, 2012 [06 Oct 2012|02:02pm]
Met my friend Brandi as her mom's place and dropped off my car. Brandi's mom nicely agreed to watch it for me while we were gone.

Headed for the airport and made it through security with no problems. Sat in the middle in row 2 on the plane (easy to get out!). Ended up watching Hoarders the whole way there.

Getting off the plan in Newark, NJ, we grabbed our luggage and rode the skytrain to the adjoining train station. The skytrain was actually pretty ingenious. Unmanned trains that run between all the parts of the airport including parking. One train every 4 minutes.

30 minute train ride from Newark to Penn Station, New York! You get a pretty good view of New York on your way in too before you head underground.

Hitting street level we found our way to our hotel eventually. Macy's was easy to find, and Madison Square Gardens became our main point of direction, as it was directly across the street from our hotel.

The New Yorker hotel has a long history and is quite beautiful. Our room was on the 22nd floor in the corner facing the river. I didn't find it too small, and the beds were super comfortable!

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Like so.
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Dave More's Garden Series: [06 Oct 2012|01:49pm]
My Uncle Dave is a painter and was having an exhibition in Red Deer displaying some of his larger pieces during the summer. One Saturday he was going to be there giving a talk, so the family headed up to Red Deer to see.

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He really is one of the kindest men I know.

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From his "War's Garden" series. This is Spitfire Steps.

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Another from "War's Garden". This is Marigold's and Harvards.

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This piece is based on a story Uncle Dave heard from my grandfather. Night Garden - Corsair - Descending Over Water. You can read the full story here.

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My family really liked these ones that he did based on a trip to India. Garden Ceremony with India Forms - Rangoli #2.

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Garden Ceremony with India Forms - Rangoli #1.
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The Meowmorphosis, Franz Kafka & Coleridge Cook [22 Aug 2012|07:58am]


From Amazon: “One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that he had been changed into an adorable kitten.”

Thus begins The Meowmorphosis—a bold, startling, and fuzzy-wuzzy new edition of Franz Kafka’s classic nightmare tale, from the publishers of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! Meet Gregor Samsa, a humble young man who works as a fabric salesman to support his parents and sister. His life goes strangely awry when he wakes up late for work and finds that, inexplicably, he is now a man-sized baby kitten. His family freaks out: Yes, their son is OMG so cute, but what good is cute when there are bills piling up? And how can he expect them to serve him meals every day? If Gregor is to survive this bizarre, bewhiskered ordeal, he’ll have to achieve what he never could before—escape from his parents’ house. Complete with haunting illustrations and a provocative biographical exposé of Kafka’s own secret feline life, The Meowmorphosis will take you on a journey deep into the tortured soul of the domestic tabby.


It's a quick read for sure, finished it in roughly two sittings while on a business trip a week back. Having never read the original I really wasn't sure what to expect. The beginning is, of course, adorable, as Gregor awakes and discovers that he is a fluffy kitten. He begins to learn about his body while his family and nosy-boss are locked outside of his bedroom having panic attacks.

It just goes even more bizarre from there as Gregor's family start to resent him for turning into a kitten (as if he had a choice) and he eventually escapes to learn more about his cat-self and meet other cats.

In the end it's one big moral lesson that leaves you shaking your fist at Gregor's family and wishing Gregor had figured out what you have. An interesting read for sure, though I'm not sure it would convince me to go out and pick up the original...
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Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman [22 Aug 2012|07:52am]


Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

From Amazon:

Fat Charlie Nancy's normal life ended the moment his father dropped dead on a Florida karaoke stage. Charlie didn't know his dad was a god. And he never knew he had a brother.

Now brother Spider's on his doorstep—about to make Fat Charlie's life more interesting . . . and a lot more dangerous.


I've read others by Neil Gaiman and always enjoyed them. This one was chosen for our sixth round of the book club that I'm a part of. As we heard from Catherine, one of my book club members, a Neil Gaiman book is meant to be concentrated on. You can't keep putting it down and picking it up. It loses its magic that way. The best way to really enjoy a Neil Gaiman book is to find a day with no plans and just plow right through it.

There are a myriad of main characters, the foremost being Fat Charlie Nancy, a good, normal American-born British guy with a tiny bit of whiny emo in him, that drove me bonkers for the first part of the book. He's got a lovely fiance, Rosie, who isn't sure if she loves Charlie, or just how mad her own mother is over their romance... And then the unthinkable happens. Charlie's dad passes away. This starts Charlie on the path to meeting his long-lost brother and learning things about himself that he never knew, and wasn't sure he wanted to know in the first place.

I really riveting read. Lots of interesting characters and transitions between telling Charlie's tale and the tales of Anansi, the spider God and how he came to have The Stories. I recommend the book completely, but then I'm not sure you can go wrong with a Niel Gaiman.
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Mary Poppins at the Jube - Aug 8 [22 Aug 2012|07:44am]
So earlier in the year I asked a pack of friends if they'd be interested in going along with me for season tickets to Broadway Across Canada. Four girlfriends stepped forward and back on August 8 we all went to see Mary Poppins!

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I really enjoyed it, and completely recommend people see it should it come into their area. The translation from screen to stage worked very well, with additional characters and a new way to move from song to song. It's got all the basic pieces you need to connect it to the movie, but with enough new things to make it brand new again. One of my girlfriends had actually never seen the movie, so we all recommended she see it, as there were parts in the movie that never made it to stage.

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Coming in October: Rock of Ages!
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The Map of Time, Felix J. Palma [28 Jul 2012|06:48pm]

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

From Amazon: Characters real and imaginary come vividly to life in this whimsical triple play of intertwined plots, in which a skeptical H. G. Wells is called upon to investigate purported incidents of time travel and to save lives and literary classics, including Dracula and The Time Machine, from being wiped from existence.

What happens if we change history?

FÉlix J. Palma explores this provocative question, weaving a historical fantasy as imaginative as it is exciting—a story full of love and adventure that transports readers from a haunting setting in Victorian London to a magical reality.


A rather large novel, but thoroughly enjoyable. Three separate and yet entwined tales of time travel and its peculiarities. The note that pulls them together is the author H.G. Wells, author of The Time Machine, and the fervor he created when he introduced the idea of Time Travel itself to the masses.

Story one: A young British dandy spirals into a suicidal depression after the death of his true love at the hands of Jack the Ripper. His cousin enlists the help of H.G. Wells and time travel to save the dandy's life.

Story two: Tired of her dull existence, day after day of listening to her mother lecture and her suitors swoon, a young woman makes a decision. She will travel to the future and offer her services to the Captain of the remaining human forces in the year 2000 against the evil automaton army.

Story three: Someone is murdering people and leaving strange messages on the walls around their bodies. H.G. Wells is horrified to find the opening passage to his novel, the one he hasn't even published yet, scrawled above a dead body. Who is behind the deed, and how did they get his novel? He'll soon find out.

I fell in love with numerous characters and found it very amusing and fun to read. I found myself casting various characters in my head (I think Simon Pegg would make an amazing H.G. Wells...) as the story was moving along. It's not perfect by any means, but good popcorn reading.
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The Beach Boys in Calgary [28 Jul 2012|06:36pm]
Managed to get Beach Boy tickets while they were in Calgary on their 50th Anniversary Tour! What a great evening! They played all the hits with some touching tributes to their lost members.


Photo borrowed from The Calgary Herald, click here for their review.


I'd have to say my favourite of the evening was Good Vibrations. For some reason I either didn't expect to hear it, or had forgotten it was a Beach Boys song, and when the first chords rang out I gasped and almost let out a little girly squeal. Very happy that my friend Crystal could come with me and enjoy the magic of a truly timeless musical experience.
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