The Rundown - January 2018
The entire internet claims that January was the longest month ever, but I thought it flew by! Work was busy, life was busy but not overwhelmingly so, and I'm happy to be one step (month) closer to spring.
Rang in the new year in absolute style! My guy and I booked a super sweet hotel room (Kensington Riverside Inn) for the night, complete with fireplace and soaker tub. We brought champagne and strawberries and allowed ourselves to feel very spoiled (on the heels of an exceptionally cold Christmas it was especially divine!).
I started taking flamenco lessons! I've been obsessed with flamenco for years and really wanted the opportunity to learn. So as soon as I freed up some time in the weeks, I knew what I wanted to do with it. Right now I'm just learning the basics, but I expect to be a twirling, stomping marvel in no time ;-)
My babe and I had two super awesome date nights. The first, in Inglewood. The second on Stephen Ave. I'm thinking of date night posts for each cool area in Calgary - would you guys be into something like that? Let me know below in the comments!
The first date, we hit up my fave used bookstore, then grabbed pizza and wine, and ended the night at Cold Garden, a funky brewery with $5 pints and a help-yourself candy bar! I mean. It was an awesome night, and we *may have* brought our walkie talkies like total dorks... The following weekend we headed to a flamenco performance by my dance teacher! The seating was non-existent, so after the show we shipped out and ended up atBar Annabelle. It's super cute and all gold and dusty rose; not a bad date spot, but an even better bestie spot. I'm excited to take my bestie here when she visits next! We ended the night atKlein/Harriswith some odd cocktails...a smoking, maple, gin, anyone? My fave kid turned 4! How is time going this quickly!?
A night of rollerskating at Lloyd's Roller Rink before it shuts down - can you even believe that?! It's been an institution in Calgary for over 50 years. Sad times. Also, my guy's parents had their first date there so we went with them and some friends and it was cute. A beautiful snowshoe near the Foothills with my lovely friend who always gets me out into the mountains! The Instagram photo below is from this excursion, too! It was a gorgeous day. I also had some fun with girl friends, did a fair bit of yoga overall, and brunched, like, a number of times ;-) It was great.
We tried a date night at theTelus Spark's Adults Only Night that happens once a month. The theme (there's always a theme) was "DIY Biology" which, frankly, sounded amazing. Right!? Wrong, I guess. I understand from other people that these nights are usually pretty fun but it really felt to us that they had phoned it in on this one. The "learning" experiments seemed aimed at school children, not (ostensibly) fully-functioning adult humans, and one of them even charged you extra to partake!
I had never been to the Telus Spark before, so though the special event was a bust, we opted to meander through the normal exhibits and learn some stuff. BUT! At least 9 different interactive pieces (maybe more?) were not currently functioning, leaving us feeling frustrated about that, too.
We paid $20 to get in, $5 for parking, a few bucks for lockers (in lieu of coat check), and another $20 on drinks...so what I'm saying is, it was pretty disappointing when the same $60 could have gotten us a fairly decent date almost anywhere. You know? I contacted them to mention my disappointment (politely, rest assured), was offered some replacement tickets and then...they never materialized. Even with a follow-up email wondering how I could go about claiming the re-try tickets.
Two thumbs down, Telus Spark.
I was really trying to spice things up with some new experiences this month, and a few of them inevitably fell flat I guess. Another less-than-satisfying-for-dollar-value event was put on by the YYC Girl Gang - a female-focused community whose aim is (I think?) to prop up female entrepreneurs and the like. Overall a pretty cool plan, right?
And I'm sure some of the time and in some ways it's pretty awesome, but this event just wasn't one of them. The speaker seemed uninterested in actually sharing her knowledge, spoke for about 20 minutes (out of an entire 3 hour event?) and then when offering her "help" kept mentioning it wouldn't be for free. Didn't feel *quite* like the supportive girl community vibe they're going for...
Just before Christmas I got myself a Fitbit on sale and I have to say: having a Fitbit on my wrist is a motivator! My bestie and I do challenges most weeks and despite losing several in a row (winter!), it kept me thinking about moving every day, even when it was tough. I love that I can track exercise automatically and food in the same app, and I love trying to accomplish one good-for-me thing a day (10,000 steps!).
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I hated reading the allegations against Aziz Ansari, as I think many of us did (for varied reasons, of which I will not go into here). But what I loved about those allegations, are the conversations that they made room for, and the discomfort it stirred up in all of this. Now we're getting into the good stuff.
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee - I really wanted to love this book. It's been sitting on my "to read" list for a long time, so when I received it for Christmas I was thrilled. But I don't really think I liked it all that much and it hurts me to say so. Harper Lee is an incredible writer...I love the way she always finds a balance in description - not too much, not too little, just enough - and how she really seems to capture the essence of "the South".
The thing is, the book wasn't captivating like How to Kill A Mockingbird, and it seemed that the point being made was almost contrary in nature to that beloved book. What started as an okay story and moved into a white girl's anger at segregation, suddenly, oddly, became justification for not allowing black people rights (voting, property, etc) based on the fact that they were uneducated...? It took quite a turn near the end and I really didn't see it coming.
At its' heart, it's meant to highlight the tensions of a father-daughter relationship against the backdrop of racial issues in the 1950s. But given the controversy around the way in which it was published (which you can read here), I think what it could be is an unfinished, or unedited, and certainly biased finishing of a story that we cannot be certain was Harper Lee's (ending). It left a taste in my mouth, and though I'm not dismissing it altogether, I would hesitate to recommend it to a friend.
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It felt so good to find some time to blog this month and revisit all of my amazing Scotland experiences. There were so many things I wanted (and still want) to write about and I love that I have nice travel photos for the first time in my life. Yay for a good camera!
A quick getaway to the mountains with my babe to celebrate 6 months together, and some long weekend fun (hopefully)! Aside from that...just getting through winter; they say February will be our coldest month this year. I plan to snuggle in and read some books from my challenge! How are you surviving the winter, friends?