Thursday, July 28, 2011

...summer show #3

It was awhile ago at this point, but the week that started with seeing Britney Spears ended with the Tragically Hip's show at Shaw Park ( park....really?....).

Ummmm....can we say polar opposite shows?

This was my first time at a concert at the ballpark and I think it's a pretty versatile venue.  We wandered around for a bit at first, deciding what to get for dinner, then had a seat at a patio table and stayed there for Hey Rosetta's set.  Aside from a random song here and there, I wasn't too familiar with them prior to this concert.  They were really solid, and didn't seem phased about the number of people (or lack thereof) who came early to see their set.  I was impressed - with the food, the view, the amazing weather, and Hey Rosetta.

I swear, there were way more people there than what it looks like from this angle. 

During Broken Social Scene, we discovered why there were barely any people in their seats.  We spent the ENTIRE set in line for drinks.  I'm not sure the staff at the venue were prepared for the alcohol that people would be consuming that night.  Thankfully, after about 35 minutes in line, they opened up another line strictly for beer, and that helped alleviate a bit of the wait.

What can anyone say about the Tragically Hip?  They're consistent.  They're polished.  They've been playing together for years AND IT SHOWS.  You know exactly what you're going to get at a Tragically Hip concert and that's why people love to go, over and over again.  Including me.  I actually sung myself hoarse...which may have also been the start of the epic cold....but it was so worth it.

Iphone camera = not a fan of the wide shot

They played every song you could have hoped to hear (although the New Orleans/Nautical Disaster medley was a bit odd), and throwing in Wheat Kings for the encore was a nice touch to end a great night :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

...summer shot #3

Cold juicy watermelon on a hot afternoon, while laying outside on my deck and reading a new book? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011 annual favourite

I'm not entirely sure when my love affair with the Winnipeg Fringe Festival began.  I remember going to a random play one year while I was in university - I worked in the registration centre and some of the girls there were talking about this awesome show that they had been to, and I decided that I wanted to check it out.  I think that I may have dragged my mom along.

I know that it was a few years after that when I had my first day at the festival with a few friends.  Wandering the tables/booths set up around Old Market Square (I'm sure I bought at least a ring or a necklace)....discovering shops in the exchange that I didn't know existed....not knowing which show we were going to see next....checking out info on the board for what was close by and sounded good....definitely learning our lesson about arriving even one minute late for a show.....laughing at some seriously talented artists....wishing time would speed up for other poorly chosen shows.....making our way back to the Square to drink some vodka coolers (I think?) and watch the acts on the free stage in the dark.

I'm a bit inconsistent with the number of shows I go to each year.  One of these years I'll just buy a pass and make sure that I use it fully.  I think that last year my total was seven or eight shows over three different days.  By far, my favourite was "7(x1) Samurai", even though it wasn't my choice to go see it.  By the write up, I had no desire to go watch a man mime his way through some sort of battle; but to this day, my friend (who chose it) and I still agree that we have never seen a more disgusting scene in a live play than when he sliced himself into several pieces during one particular battle (it sounds absurd, but was fantastic.  And gross.).

This year, because of the worse summer cold I've ever had, I missed a large portion of the festival.  I just couldn't go and subject people to my constant coughing.  Even when I did get there, I was still probably coughing a little too much to be at a play (judging by the evil glares I received from one woman in particular).  Since time was limited, I had to choose carefully.  I bought two tickets to "Bursting Into Flames" and told a friend that she was coming with me (she's pretty open to seeing anything that's been given a decent review).  It was great.  Martin Dockery is hilarious, so committed, and so utterly thoughtful. 

And of course, my other favourite part of the festival....

Rootbeer in a glass bottle?  Yes please.  My first ever poutine?  I went with the need to get all crazy with the toppings until I know what the foundation is supposed to taste like.  Cakettes from Cakeology?  Hello sugar rush.  And pink lemonade?  Heaven....hence the name :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

...summer show #2

Yup.....I went to the Britney Spears/Nicki Minaj concert at the beginning of July.
I have a friend who is incredibly good-natured about going along with my various whims - movies I want to see, places/shows I want to check out, weird things I want to try - so she agreed to come to the concert shortly after it was announced.  Now, I have no problem admitting that right around "Slave 4 U", I was pretty much a least when her songs would come on at the bar...and yeah, that's faded as I neared (and hit) 30, but I had never seen her perform, and figured that this was probably the last time the opportunity would come around, so I paid for one of the very over-priced tickets.  Which got me a fairly good seat, for the record.

(It's easier to see proximity when the lights were on at intermission)

When I first heard Nicki Minaj (a year ago?), I was not impressed.  But with lots of radio play, she's grown on me over time.  She was pretty solid in terms of an opening act.  I did not love (nor really understand) the storyline that went along with her set, but I rarely get why those are included.  The bass in the arena made her lyrics slightly hard to understand at times, but then again....her album is slightly hard to understand on a good day.  I could have also done without her grinding, bathing suit clad back up dancers, but what can you do...

Britney Spears wasn't the worst concert performance I've seen.  Definitely wasn't the best either.  Was she a total train wreck who could barely dance anymore?  No, not at all.  Not sure what's up with her television performances, but this concert did not look like those.  Did she actually sing live at times?  Yes.  Was it all overdone?  Absolutely.  Maybe it's a sign of getting older, but I really don't need the flashy "show" and that's what this was.

Although I will admit that from the head-shaving-umbrellas-through-car-windows-thing to now, she does still look good.

Highlight of the show?  The fact that one of her backup dancers is Jose Ruiz from last season's So You Think You Can Dance.  That's him on the back of the car in the purple.

It's all about the details.

Monday, July 18, 2011

...something I covet

I have exactly two things "pinned" on my Pinterest account (I've been a little slow getting into doing this).  One is a print I purchased from Kal, and the other is this.


It is from Hindsvik's shop, and I adore it.  I don't generally have a love affair with ampersand signs and I have absolutely nowhere to fit this (rather large one) in my little apartment....but if I had the extra money laying around, I'd probably buy it and just store it until I had somewhere to really put it on display.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

...summer shots #2

I'm not sure how, but I've managed to grow strawberries on my balcony this year.   
Too bad I can't say the same about my pots of impatiens.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

...a funny lady

Awhile back I bought my first audiobook, Tina Fey's Bossypants.

I've slowly started working out again, which right now includes going for walks at a moderate pace (faster than I would walk through a mall, but not so fast that I look like a speed walker) for roughly 30-40 minutes (lame, I know, but at that point, the tendons in my hip just can't deal with anymore).

So, if in the last month or so, you've been driving around Transcona and witnessed a woman who was walking - alone mind you - suddenly stop and double over in laughter with her hands on her knees, that was probably me.  This book is hilarious and at times crass (I've never heard the phrase "cavernous vagina" before)...which makes it even better in my opinion.

I will easily admit that I'm not a great listener; if I don't write down what is said to me, odds are it will not stick.  So I didn't know if I could focus on an entire book being read aloud, especially while I was walking outside and there are about a thousand other things that could divert my attention.

This was the perfect book to start with though, because it was so light and funny, with lessons mixed into the stories of Tina Fey's past (both at home and on television).  Add in the fact that it was actually HER reading the book, and it became so much more engaging.  In fact, given all of the impressions and additional descriptions that she threw in, I think buying the audiobook may have been the better choice over the actual book.

I'm a huge Tina Fey (and Liz Lemon) fan, and the fact that she herself recorded the book has possibly spoiled all future audiobooks penned by celebrities that are not read by the author themselves, but I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

...summer show #1

It looks like I'm staying in the city this summer - which I'm okay with seeing as I've been to three different cities so far in 2011 - so I've taken my travel budget and bought my share of tickets to different concerts and shows going on in July and August.

The first concert of the summer was in late June though, as part of the Winnipeg Jazz Festival.  Last year my dad discovered Trombone Shorty and was instantly a fan, so when I heard he was coming here as part of the Jazz Festival, I surprised my dad with two tickets for Father's Day.

The concert was held at West End Cultural Centre, and it was my first time there since their major renovations.  It's a pretty impressive venue now, much nicer than the cramped, dark place that I remember from my early 20s.  It was sold out that night too, with quite an eclectic crowd, from teenagers to seniors all lining up outside waiting for the show to start.

And what a show!!!  I've been to a fair amount of concerts over the years, and this was the most intense experience that I have ever had.  This guy does not joke around when it comes to giving people a great performance.  You were literally drawn into the music, moving without even realizing it, and getting worked up as they hit their crescendo.  The entire band played hard and they played loud.  It was also the loudest concert I have ever been to, hands down.  I actually felt bad for some of the older audience members; they ended up having to go out to the lobby and listen.  I made it until the finale, but with a guitar, drums, congas, bass, trombone, and two saxophones going at full blast, it was a little too much for me as well.  My dad and I left just before the encore started, and we couldn't even hear one another talking in the car on the way home, our ears were ringing so loud.

a bit blurry, but the man doesn't really stand still at any point

The ringing ears were so worth this experience though.  Trombone Shorty is an insanely talented musician, switching between the trombone and trumpet effortlessly throughout the night.  He even showed off some circular breathing (first time seeing that and has a pretty impressive singing voice as well.  After his version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get In On", I may have a new crush...

Sunday, July 10, 2011 weekend sidekicks

Those would be cough candies, my inhaler, a big mug of tea, a box of Kleenex, and some magazines.

I'm sick.  Sicker than sick.  Which I kind of knew was one should be able to abuse their body the way I have been lately - mostly in terms of lack of sleep/rest - and expect to not get sick.  But it still sucks.  So this weekend I did the adult thing and stayed in, drank my own weight in tea, and napped whenever my eyes started to close.

Luckily, last weekend I found these on sale at Wal-Mart.
I'm working my way through season two right now and loving every single episode.  It's so smart, quick, and funny....Aaron Sorkin is a genius.

That being said, I'd really like to get back to enjoying this amazing summer that's happening outside my door.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

...summer shots #1

Okay, so technically this is an older shot from May long, but May long is the unofficial start of summer, so I'm saying it counts as a summer shot.

These are rays (I really can't remember which specific kind) and I took this at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.  The picture is unedited, and I absolutely love the contrast.