Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Lovin'

 I'm back! Did you miss me?

Good, because I missed you too.

I have no excuse for neglecting my blog that I was so excited to start back in December. But I'm back and I promise not to go so long without a post ever again. It's not like I don't have anything to talk about - the problem is that I have too much to talk about!

Quick update: School is officially over - no more classes or assignments ever again (or at least until I decide to go back for my Masters). I'm now working in a Communications position. I love my job! Each day I fall a little more in love with the field of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing. I'm beyond enthused that I found a career I can truly be passionate about and enjoy the work I do every day. 

So.... summer is officially here! I love summer - it is by far the best season of them all. I love spending time outside in the sun, it doesn't get dark till 11pm, and this city is full of fun events all summer long! Needless to say, I'm happy as a clam in the Atlantic.

What sorts of fun events am I referring to?

Well, last weekend was North Country Fair (NCF) - only the best music festival of my life. This was my third year going. It's like a mini-Woodstock in my eyes. Anything goes, everyone is so happy, and there's rockin' music all hours of the day and night. Each year I go I manage to convert a few more NCF virgins to NCF lovers.

Some (personal) highlights of the weekend included:

  • Participating in the flow yoga class outside on the grass on a sunny morning
  • Having all my friends (new and old) sing Happy Birthday to me before sharing some delicious cake
  • Smoking shisha in the Moroccan wedding tent at 3am while the rain cascaded outside
  • Blowing bubbles by the river on a sunny afternoon
  • Dancing to dehydration (no jokes) on Friday night to The Boom Booms and then The Mad Bomber Society
  • Starting up a jam/dance session on the secret stage as the rain poured
  • Discovering some amazing bands and performers (Picture The Ocean, Valdy) and seeing some of my favourites (Michael Dunn & The Moanin' After, Up On Cripple Creek)
  • Lunch at Boston Pizza on the way home, looking like a bunch of dirty hippies and scaring the server

It's all these incredible experiences that make me love the fair more each year. If you've never been, I highly recommend it.

Our crazy crew, revving up for one wicked weekend.

I'm sad that NCF is over, but the summer has just begun! There are so many festivals to look forward to:

Calgary Stampede - Starts next weekend! My friend, Nathan, is playing his dobro there on the last weekend.

Capital Ex - Tons of awesome rides, and amazing performers, such as Sam Roberts, Mother Mother & Beatlemania!

Edmonton Folk Fest - Bonnie Raitt AND Mary Chapin Carpenter! I am so pumped.

Fringe Festival - No idea what the plays will be yet, but I am eagerly anticipating catching as many as possible!

And many more festivals!

Get out and enjoy the summer, feel the sunshine and embrace the wicked city we live in :)

Oh, and Happy Canada Day! Lookin' good for 145, Canada!

Photographer, Jacob Bos, captures the true beauty of our city

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Still in Van

My boyfriend informed me that my previous blog post sounded like the ramblings of a crazy girl. Yep.... pretty much.

My attempt at sleeping on the airport seating failed miserably. I MAYBE got an hour of sleep. Then people started arriving, and we were near the door so I nearly froze. My boyfriend and I played cards, but on little sleep it was near impossible to tally up the cards during blackjack.

While enjoying a delicious Burger King breakfast (because it was the only eatery open), I overheard some kids talking about going to Disneyland. Ahhhh, to be a kid again and have someone else look after all your travel arrangements. The kids were talking about how they got a call from Minnie. I kind of wished I'd gotten one too.

I don't know how I'm awake right now. Thankfully the flight is a few hours long, so I can hopefully catch some shut eye before arriving in LA.

Here's is a darker rendition of the Disney Princesses:

Lauren's Overnight Chronicles: YVR Edition

I’m coming to you from the past!!

Well, actually I’m just in a different time zone.

I am currently in the Vancouver Airport on my way to California, and more importantly, Disneyland!!!! I’m terribly excited! Midterm-madness-hell-week is officially over!! I’ve never been to the west coast! I can’t wait to escape to some warmer weather, sunshine, beaches and the most magical place on earth  :D

Part of why my boyfriend was able to score such a sweet deal is because our flight arrived in Vancouver at 9:45 this evening and our connection doesn’t take off till 8am tomorrow morning. The only available hotel at the airport is the Fairmont. Unfortunately, I don’t think they rent by the hour. Not wanting to spend $200 to stay in a hotel for 7 hours, my boyfriend and I are camping out in the Vancouver Airport for the night.

I’ve never done this before. So, there is a certain novelty in spending the night in an airport. But with the sniffles that I attained over midterm week, I am well aware that this will be an experience I will never want to live through again.

My boyfriend and I agreed to a shared sleep schedule. He gets to nap from 11pm-2:30am while I watch the bags. Then I will attempt to sleep from 2:30am-6am.

I figured a great way to entertain myself would be to bog during my awake shift. So I shall chronicle my thought processes and the happenings during my lovely stay in the YVR.

11pmRealizing the long haul ahead

After getting our luggage (or my luggage rather, because my boyfriend only needs a tiny carry on that’s lighter than my toiletry bag) we went for a little stroll around the Vancouver airport. I love checking out new airports. It’s pretty sizeable, which pleases me. But many things are closed and the only thing I’m really concerned about is finding comfortable seating to nap on.

We ate at Chillis before our flight (I LOVE their salads), so we can’t kill anytime by having a meal. I got my Starbucks (an airport staple) since I would be staying up for the next few hours (great, since I woke up at 9am and didn’t have an afternoon nap). We found some rows of cushioned seats and decided to settle in for the night.

My boyfriend was grateful that I brought my travel sleeping kit, which comes with a sleeping mask, blanket and blow up pillow. He’s attempting to sleep as everyone person awake in the airport walks by. Whether it’s suitcases clacking as they roll along the tiled floor, old people loudly discussing the art fixtures made of rock, or that bloody golf-cart-wannabe vehicle that’s more thunderous than a Harley, it is rather noisy. (I wonder if the Fairmont would let us rent a cot to use in the airport. I think the going rate is $15).

A person by the name of “Wesley Man” has been paged about three times now. I wonder if it’s actually Lesley Man they’re paging and “Wesley” is just her alias. I would go off on an adventure to find her, but I’m stuck watching the suitcases. I ponder what celebrities I may spot when I arrive in LAX. I shall have my camera ready! 

There are other people sleeping on the seats around us. No one seems to be watching their bags. I wonder if they’re concerned about theft. Perhaps I’m just a Paranoid Parrot, but I remember that episode of Breaker High when Max fell asleep in the train station and his bag was stolen. That won’t happen to this gal!

Fun Vancouver Fact: Max from Breaker High lives in Vancouver. He is a shift leader at an Earls restaurant.

12amThank god I have my blog!

I suppose I could be doing work now. That is the main reason I brought my lap top…

Oh great, the Zamboni-wannabe is cleaning the floors. I suppose I can’t really complain that it’s noisy. It is an airport. Travelling makes me cranky. I hate being stuck inside an airport. It’s so dry.

To lift my spirits I shall dream about meeting the Disney Princesses and hum some of their lovely songs. All week, while procrastinating from studying, I’ve been watching youtube videos of Disneyland. What impresses me the most is the actors who play the Disney Princesses and all the other characters at Disneyland. They’re incredible! I’m old enough to know they’re actors and not the actual characters, but by golly, they’re so believable! I will probably cry if I get to meet Ariel. She’s my favorite :)

Thinking about Disneyland always reminds me of family-oriented sitcoms from the 90s. I remember when the cast of Family Matters and Full House visited Disneyland (or it might’ve been Disney World). I think Step by Step did an episode at a Disney park too. That really made me want to go as a kid! Now when I look back on it, I realize that was really clever marketing.

Alas, I knew the day would come when studying PR and marketing would ruin my perception of the world. Communications and marketing is EVERYWHERE. It's impossible to escape. Now whenever I see an advertisement or a commercial, or even  read a newsletter, I can’t help but think about the target audiences and the key messages contained in that piece of communication. The same thing happened to me back in high school. I took a Film & Video course. For months after the course I couldn’t watch a movie without dissecting each shot. I finally turned off my critical eye while watching movies. But with my plans of pursuing a career in PR, I have a feeling I will continue to analyse every piece of communication I come across (and that’s probably a good thing). 

1amIt’s ONLY 1am?!?!?!?!

The nearby television has been broadcasting reports on Whitney Houston’s death and playing her songs. I’ve probably heard “I Will Always Love You” about five times in the last hour. (Fun Fact: The song was originally written by Dolly Parton in 1973, but became the hit it is today after Whitney's rendition of it in 1992, which stayed at the top of the Billboard charts for 14 weeks).

I took a little break earlier and practiced some handstands. Practicing my headstands has really helped me maintain balance while doing inversions. I can’t hold a handstand for more than a few seconds, but it’s an improvement from before I had started working on inversions! To the other people in the airport, I’ve now become “the crazy girl doing handstands.” I wonder if I’ll hit meme status.

Speaking of memes… I made this meme when we booked out trip to California. Just when I was thinking I wouldn’t be going anywhere during spring break, so I was planning things to do around town, then wha-bam! We’re going to Disneyland!

I <3 success kid!

I’ve recently become addicted to memes. They’re funny. For those who hate on memes, get over it. If you don’t like them, then ignore them. I rather enjoy them! I stumbled upon a great website that hosts a ton of the more popular memes, which makes it easy to learn their name and intent (because memes do get improperly used sometimes).

While spending the day packing (because I am far from being a light packer), I was very thorough so I wouldn’t forget anything. There’s always one stupid, little thing I forget when I travel. Whether it’s my hairbrush, or my foundation, something is always forgotten. When we started driving to the airport, my mind was racing with what I might’ve forgotten. It didn’t hit me till I got on the plane – I forgot to record my shows while I’m away! Oh no’s! Watching my shows online has been far more difficult with this new SOPA garbage. But if that’s the only thing I forgot, I can live with that :)

Only 1.5 more hours till attempted nap time! Maybe I’ll go explore Pintrest. That’ll eat up sometime.

1:30am - I give up

I would like to know why surfing the net and checking out my favorite websites eats up an endless amount of time when I should be studying. Yet, when I’m trying to kill time, nothing I do can make the hours pass any faster…

I’ve decided it might be fun to wander the airport and explore places that are typically off limits. I wonder what mischief I could get up to…

But then I realize how tired I am now, and how tired I will feel when I board my next flight if I don’t get some sleep STAT. Plus my laptop battery is dying and there is no convenient outlet in site.

I will leave you with these amazing forced perspective photos I found on pinterest. (It's kinda tiny - sorry. Not sure who the author is either).

Sweet dreams* May your sleep be far more comfortable and restful than mine will be. Cheers!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spring Break & how watching TV is beneficial to my future career

Watch out!
Coming in for a crash landing as I re-enter the blogosphere!

Where has the month gone? School and work have taken over my life. But after next week's midterm madness, it's break time. Just when I was thinking a Spring Break trip wasn't in my  future because of my limited budget, my lovely boyfriend had been looking up vacation packages and it looks like we'll be making our way down to the most magical place on earth this time next week! I won't say where, because I don't want to jinx it. But I will leave you with a hint:

As I mentioned, I have crazy midterms next week. The bain of every student's existence this time of year. Before I begin an endless cram session, I'm taking my Saturday morning to relax, blog and watch some mindless entertainment.

We now have cable at my apartment because my boyfriend was tired of listening to hockey games on he radio. I've intentionally lived without cable for the past three years. Whenever I visit home, watching cable television is a luxury. Now don't get me wrong, I do watch many television shows, but I stream them all online (which now seems down due to this new SOPA garbage). The reason I was living without cable is because I don't like wasting my time watching random television shows. And now here I am watching the Family Channel's Saturday morning Disney line up. Just like old times. Maybe it's because the line up has changed or maybe it's because I'm getting older, but the shows on Family are just not as enjoyable as I remember. However, there really isn't much else on TV this morning. I channel surfed for awhile (a terrible habit of mine that has taken action once again) and came across some horrible reality television. Now, I love reality TV as much as the next addict. Survivor is starting up next week (battle of the sexes edition!) and Celebrity Apprentice will be back in my life once again, but there are some shows that are just a waste of the air they're broadcasted on. For instance, Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood and Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami. I watched both of these shows for a few minutes because I figured I should know how bad they are if I am to criticize their existence. But something dawned on me as I watched Tori Spelling prepare for her appearance on the show Fashion Police: as I listened to the show's producer brief Tori aout what they would like her to highlight on the show, this is IMC in action. That is, Integrated Marketing Communications. Fashion Police's producer was essentially explaining they key messages they wanted Tori to touch on for how they want to market their show. It was fascinating seeing behind the scenes and the subtle ways communication is utilized. So the moral of the story is that watching television is actually beneficial to my future career, provided I actively pay attention and think about what is being said and why (who are the adiences, what is their objective).

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Favourite Shit People Say

I wanted to highlight my favourite viral video memes. (P.S. I love that memes have taken over in video form).

There's the extremely popular (and I think the original one that started it all): Shit Girls Say. I wish I could say this was a gross misrepresentation of the things girls say, but most girls I know say things like this on a regular basis. Myself included.

Of course there's the second edition of Shit Girls Says, which is arguably funnier than the original. (But don't bother with the third - it's not very funny).

Another one I really enjoyed was Shit Yogis Say. It's kind of ridiculous and over the top, but I'm into the whole balancing my chakras, centering myself, holistic movement and I love to laugh at myself. (Besides, I'm totally rocking the 'yoga hair' right now and the Farmers' Market sounds like a great idea).

And one that particularly resonated with me and my classmates was Stuff PR People Say. It's like looking into the scary future.

I'm sure if my friends wanted to, they could create a video full of just Shit Lauren Says. It would be ridiculous and over-the-top but all completely true and so funny that we would pee our pants. Let's hope that never gets made.


Yoga Inversions & Cum... in a Hot Tub

This video is so inspiring. Still working on my balancing and inversions.
It's crazy what our bodies are capable of.

Fun new discovery !!

A shot called Cum in a Hot Tub. And it looks exactly like cum in a hot tub.
Yum? I actually do want to try this.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Somebody That I Used To Know

Sometimes certain posts will get repeatedly shared on my facebook newsfeed. I don`t have time to watch every single video or read every article that my friends post, but when I see certain posts constantly reoccurring I become intrigued and figure it`s worth my time to check out. That is definitely the case with this wickedly amazing cover of Somebody That I Used To Know. I`ve never seen 5 people play one guitar before. And the song sounds amazing too! Give yourself a treat this sunny Saturday morning and watch this vid!