Times Like These…

Over the past 6 weeks, my social calendar has been solidly booked. I can’t believe how many events I used to miss before Twitter! So some of the many highlights I’ve attended are:

Freezing Man Festival, January 29

I dropped the blogging ball by not writing a post about this! It was only the second music festival I’ve ever attended in my life, and the first one in winter. I was apprehensive at first, mostly because I’m not really an “outdoorsy in winter” kind of girl. Thankfully the music, which is all I really cared about, was all inside at the building formerly known as “Agricom” (I’m going to be one of those old people who refer to buildings by their former names from decades earlier, like the people who still call Hawrelak Park Mayfair Park).

For the most part, the music was totally awesome! I think Chromeo was my favourite act, mostly because I wanted to dance, but it was great seeing Broken Social Scene (as I’d missed them when they were here last fall). The weakest link in my books was unsurprisingly k-os. I have one of his albums, Joyful Rebellion, which I enjoyed. However, since then I’ve seen several of his live performances, and he really just pisses me off. He seemed high on something every time, and frankly if you can’t get your sh!t together to do your job, I don’t want to spend my money to watch you stumble around on stage like an idiot. Having many musician friends, I just expect a musician to deliver not only in the studio but also live.

There was also a B stage, which did things in between the A stage’s set changes. The fashion show was definitely lacking, such as someone explaining what the models were wearing (kind of important info at a fashion show). It was an odd detail to overlook, in my opinion. But I also think the Western Canadian Fashion Week is pretty disappointing and that’s our “official” fashion show here, so maybe my standards are too high. There were a few kinks that Freezing Man organizers should probably work out before the next one (the bar was my biggest issue), but for the most part it was totally worth the $75 I paid.

[The entire artist list: Shout Out Out Out Out, Dragonette, Stars, K-os, Broken Social Scene, Major Lazer, Kaskade cancelled at the last minute]

Provincial Archive & Wool On Wolves, February 11

I commenced a very eventful weekend with a concert at the Myer Horowitz theatre, at the University of Alberta. I’ve heard great things (mostly from raving “support local musicians” nutcases) about both The Provincial Archive and Wool On Wolves, so I thought it was time to check it out. I’ve said this before, that I don’t consider money spent on music (or books) to ever be a waste. It was a great concert and a lot of fun, and I went from saying “aw, what the hell” on the $20 ticket, to being someone who will likely go see both of these bands again.

Startup Weekend, February 11-13

Something that also landed on February 11 was Startup Weekend 2. I’ve been to one before last summer and I wrote a full blog post for work. I played a bit more of a role in this one (can I stress the “bit” part? Look at me, hard at work with my Macbooks and iPhone…) but a lot of this is still work I’m completely incapable of doing. I uh have good ideas and stuff and I write good sometimes too… But as always, it was a ton of fun getting together in a group and watching something go from idea to product at the demonstration on Sunday. I’ll participate in these weekends as much as I can, as they’re always enjoyable.

artsScene Improv, February 11

Yeah, and you thought two things in one night was just crazy… I actually went to three things. From the Myer Horowitz, I literally dashed (not literally, I purposely misused that to be one of THOSE people) over to the Varscona to pop my improv cherry. You’d think given all the artsy people I know, I would have been to Rapidfire improv before, but no. It was hilarious, and the actors did a fantastic job. As my humour tends to be warped, my only complaint was that it didn’t get offensive enough. From there we went for drinks at Next Act pub, so I guess you could say I did four things that night. Surprisingly, I only got tired when I got to the pub and stopped moving. And then the delicious pints of beer in my tummy made me sleepy….zzzzzzzz

transcend coffee tasting, February 25

From zzzzz’s to jitters…thanks to my friend Sean, I got to attend a coffee tasting at transcend coffee’s Argyll location. We started with a glass of wine (yes!) and a bit of a back story about transcend. It was all information I already knew, because I had the opportunity to interview the owner for the now defunct Merge Magazine. I’ve also been getting coffee from transcend almost since they first opened, thanks to a coffee-savvy friend who took me there and got me hooked on their mochas (chocolate syrup!). I usually take my caffeine with cream and sugar, I’ve never been a black coffee drinker, so I was slightly apprehensive about if I’d like it. But drinking it black gave me the opportunity to really absorb and appreciate the different nuances to each sample’s flavour. I don’t know if I’ll ever be a black coffee drinker but it certainly gave me an appreciation for good coffee. I also now have to get up earlier in the morning, as I’m completely hooked on grinder my beans right before use. There is a difference, and that difference is amazing coffee.

As part of the evening, we all got to leave with a bag of beans. I chose some from Costa Rica, and now I’m hooked on that as well. It’s still cheaper than buying a $5 latte every day so I’m completely justifying the weekly purchase of fresh beans. Because I needed another way to be high maintenance…

And then this past weekend was triply fun-filled…starting with:

Pecha Kucha, March 4

This was my fourth Pecha Kucha. My first was the infamous “church” Pecha Kucha, which was all kinds of awful (read Mack Male’s blog post on it). Luckily, they’ve only gotten better since then! If you don’t know what it is, Pecha Kucha is presentations on a variety of topics. The presenters have to stick to 20 powerpoint slides, and get 20 seconds per slide. They are usually a great way to learn about something happening in your community. Not to mention every scenester and hipster in Edmonton attended, so it’s usually THE place to be if you’re into that sort of thing (I was there, so you can say I am into that). Three friends of mine presented: Mack Male opened it by talking about digital memory and Adam Rozenhart and Sean Healy presented on why Edmonton isn’t going in a direction that would be in the best interest of surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse. This was apparently one of the last events to be held in the Royal Alberta Museum theatre before it undergoes a face lift, so it was nice to see it one last time.

AGA Refinery Party, March 5

I actually had three events to attend this past Saturday. First, my friend Roma and two other Twitter friends (Jodie and Erin) were raising money at Original Joe’s Varsity for the half marathon they will be completing this June. I stopped by to bid on a silent auction item (I didn’t win, which is probably for the best considering I only put $2,000,000 as a joke. What a relief someone outbid me, because that would have totally drained my savings!) And I ended the night with friends at a karaoke (dive) bar.

But in between those two, I was at the Art Gallery of Alberta for one of their refinery parties. I’ve attended a few of these parties in the past. The AGA opens up late for mostly 18-35 year-olds looking to look important while bobbing their heads to the beat of the music the DJ “spins” from his Macbook. I love it because I get to dress up real purty-like, and wander around the art gallery like I’m a grown up. I always check out the exhibits, but I don’t actually enjoy looking at them in this setting. I’m someone who sends dirty looks your way if you’re too loud in the library, so inane semi-drunken conversations while I’m trying to appreciate art kind of makes me want to Hulk out. I still wandered around – absolutely LOVED the Walter J. Phillips – checking out the different exhibits, but I’ll likely go back alone some other time to really absorb the art.

I actually only ever saw three different appetizers and I was near the food doors (strategically placed, of course), so they still haven’t solved the problem of making my $25 worth it (I still can’t believe these parties started at $50/ticket). Also, they were serving the wine in these dinky little plastic glasses, when in previous refinery parties, the wine was in normal sized stemware.

But for the most part, it was a really fun way to end off almost 6 weeks of Hilary’s crazy-busy life. I’m looking forward to a couple weeks of hibernation and recharging before late March, when my schedule gets crazy-busy yet again with all my Aries’ birthdays…

(My blog titles are song titles. This is “Times Like These” by Jack Johnson.)


3 Replies to “Times Like These…”

  1. To be fair, I think some of the people who call it Mayfair Park do it mostly because John Hawrelak was a straight up asshole.

  2. In that span of time, I wrote a lot about how Batman is rad to the delight of ones of people. So, you know… also, very productive.

    Also, I’m from Red Deer so I’m confused about this whole Park thing. You have names for the fields where the crack deals happen?

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