Boxing Day Link Fest

December 26th, 2007 @ 12:01pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

Today we’ll be heading out and about in but I really don’t want to divulge the particular activity in which we will be participating but let’s just say it’ll cost about $4.95 for the two of us and I’ll be able to use one of my Christmas presents. You can be sure photos will abound on Flickr later this evening, but now it’s time for some Boxing Day news tidbits:

Photo credit: Duane Storey on Flickr / – Chilliwack Goodness
  • Happy Birthday “Web Log”! [NPR]
  • Vancouver’s rock radio station *cough* reports that Matthew Good is moving to Hamilton because of a blog post Dale wrote on his site. I’m scared to imagine the how many out there think Brad’s posts are mine.
  • Eva Mendes and the MTV crew will be filming an MTV series in the Downtown Eastside. [News1130]
  • Mexico City opens a giant outdoor ice skating rink. [NPR]
  • Blogger, tired of aggregators scooping your websites and stealing your posts without properly giving you credit for your original content? Try using the FeedEntryHeader Plugin that automatically stamps all your posts with a link to your site and a copyright. It won’t stop them from continuing to violate your license but at least you get the link back that you deserve.
  • A list has been compiled of 15 Amazing Women in Blogging. I have to say, I wish I had Veerle’s artsy talents and Lorelle has saved my WordPress-using behind too many times to count.
  • We had a white Christmas in Surrey and according to my sister there was only an 11% chance that would happen.
  • snow on christmas day
    Snowy Surrey, YA Surrey!
  • If you’re not already watching Canada’s future stars participate in this Christmas tradition, go flip on TSN and watch the World Juniors, taking place in Prague… right now! (And for the next 11 days).
  • Merry iChristmas

    December 25th, 2007 @ 1:24pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    For the record, my husband is great at keeping secrets and that doesn’t worry me. He surprised me with some of the most original gifts, all while ensuring they would be items I could enjoy everyday. Regardless, I’m just happy to be sitting here with him and my family as the snow begins to fall in Surrey.

    my other present was a hatchet

    PS I think my thumbs are too stubby for this iPhone and I need to find out how to scroll through my WordPress categories when composing a post with this thing.

    UPDATE: Photos from John’s new camera. I decided the one he has from 2003 just wasn’t cutting it anymore…

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    Photo credit: John Bollwitt on Flickr

    PPS I think the kids had a great day and I had fun kickin’ butt at Trivial Pursuit 80s Edition with my brother. Tomorrow John and I will be heading out to enjoy something else I was lucky enough to receive today. As he puts it, he has two years to make up for – referring to the two years we were waiting for his immigration to come through and we lived solely off my income. I really don’t need him to play catch-ups with gifts. I’m just glad that he’s happy, he’s working, and we’re still able to do the inexpensive yet priceless activities that we love. More to come tomorrow.

    Granville Street Starwalk and Redesign

    December 23rd, 2007 @ 7:05pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It’s been around since 1994 but does anyone ever really notice it? Passing over the plaques of Dal Richards and Diana Krall this afternoon I was inspired to find out more about Vancouver’s own walk of fame.

    Photo credit: freedryk on Flickr

    The Starwalk pays tribute to local musicians, entertainers, producers, actors and radio DJ’s, which is a compliment to the old days of Granville street itself. The Starwalk spans from the entrance of the Orpheum, heads East up Granville and even loops around the back of the building including inductees’ tiles on the wall that borders Seymour street.

    But just who runs the Starwalk and who decides which celebs get included?

    The B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame honours BC residents who have made an outstanding contribution to entertainment in British Columbia, across Canada, and around the world.

    Starwalk at the Orpheum was inaugurated on July 24, 1994, honouring members with plaques embedded in the sidewalk along Granville Mall near the Orpheum. The Starwall gallery inside the Orpheum is a display of member’s photos. To date 158 individuals have been honoured with induction into the Hall of Fame and Starwalk at the Orpheum.

    The Vancouver Favourites category honours international entertainment personalities who have captured the hearts of Vancouverites through frequent visits to the city. Their plaques are installed on the exterior of the Orpheum near the Stage Door at 865 Seymour Street. [BC Entertainment Hall of Fame]

    However, the Starwalk’s been criticized for excluding, or not yet inducting several internationally-acclaimed, big name stars:

    Where are B.C.’s two big movie stars of the 1940s — Penticton’s Alexis Smith, who shared the screen with Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant and later won a Tony Award, and Vancouver’s Yvonne De Carlo, who starred in many movies and later TV’s The Munsters?… ….Burnaby’s Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future), Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and New Westminster’s Raymond Burr (TV’s Perry Mason)? [TheProvince]

    Photo credit: Jeffery Simpson on Flickr

    Regardless, the next time you’re taking a stroll to the Adidas or Puma store, take a look down and see if you recognize any of the names under your feet. If you don’t, then why not go home and Google them to find out more about these instrumental players in BC’s entertainment history.

    More Starwalk info is available on the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame website, or blog (although someone should really get them off Blogger) and a list of inaugural inductees is on the Vancouver History site.

    On Wednesday January 23, 2008 there will be an open house at the Pacific Centre Atrium (Georgia and Howe, 12-1:30 pm and 4:30-7:30 pm) for all interested parties to view approved sketches and get answers to questions with regards to the redesign of Granville street.

    The purpose of the will be to “enhance traffic, pedestrian movement and vitality of Granville from Drake to Cordova”.

    A two-block long civic plaza is proposed to be centered on the high point of Granville Street at Georgia Street. The plaza, characterized by both permanent and temporary installations, is envisaged as the centre of commercial street life in the downtown. Access to the two Granville Street rapid transit stations between Robson and Dunsmuir Streets will also be facilitated by the wider sidewalks of the civic plaza. [See: Approved Design]

    As for the Starwalk, it will be included in all plans going forward, as confirmed on the city’s site last March.

    Saturday Afternoon Link Fest: Post Blo Edition

    December 22nd, 2007 @ 4:10pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    post christmas party My “Blo” style is still going strong and we didn’t much time to recover from my office’s Christmas party last night at La Terrazza, which by the way is home of the most amazing beef tenderloin and wine selections around [Urbanspoon].

    Below are a few linky tidbits I’ll leave you with as John and I prepare for a trek out to snowy Surrey.

  • News 1130 is doing some maintenance on their site so for updates they are redirecting to a mirror site that has “blog” in the url. I admit, that got me a little excited.
  • BC Ferries’ ‘Queen of Alberni’ breaks down and will not provide assistance to holiday loads. The Queen of Coquitlam from Horseshoe Bay/Departure Bay will shift over to Tswwassen/Duke Point to pick up the slack meaning there will not be any extra vessels for holiday travelers. [CKNW]
  • There’s a video blog interview with Santa at Central City, courtesy of the Surrey Leader’s website. [Surrey Leader] I’m glad the mall has a Santa again, for a while they just had a “letters to the North Pole” post office setup in his place.
  • The Queen will be on YouTube this Christmas as well [CTV]
  • Hopefully my sister’s house party tonight doesn’t make too much noise as 69% of her neighbours would be likely to complain. [CBC]
  • Derek’s wife Airdrie picked up a button I think I simply must have [Flickr]
  • We’re sort of “heading home” for the holidays a few times this week via a 40 minute skytrain ride each way. For those of you who are traveling or have traveled, be safe, come back in once piece, and bring me lots of chocolate (the higher the cocoa percentage, the better).

    Blo in Yaletown

    December 21st, 2007 @ 2:35pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I realize right off the bat that the title may be misleading for those Google searching something else in Yaletown but “Blo” is actually the name of a “Wash. Blow. Go.” salon on Hamilton.

    Wash. Blow. Go. Under 30 dollars. Just over 30 minutes []

    At first I scoffed of the idea of a hair salon not doing any haircuts or colour and simply washing your hair for you how lazy can you be?. Then I clued into the fact that drying your hair also equals styling your hair. Sometimes after a hair cut my favourite part is when my hairdresser busts out the flat iron and I get to pretend I have ‘skyscraper straight’ hair for the day. Since my office Christmas party is tonight, I decided it would be the perfect time to hop across the street to “Blo”.

    though there’s a lump in my hair for this pic

    The space is very white however hot pink beams all around; from the flat irons down to the jar of Hubba-Bubba at the waiting area. The staff is friendly and the iMac at the counter gave me a sense of comfort. It took about 35 minute to wash, blow, and flat iron my long hair, which is about 2-3 inches past my shoulders.

    I would have appreciated a little more use of product to help tame some stubborn frizzy bits but all in all it was a good experience. I think I mostly paid for the convenience, as I would normally just visit my regular stylist on Denman for anything to do with my hair.

    They lived up to their slogan as the bill was no more than $31 with tax, and I walked away from “Blo” pretty pleased.

    I should also mention that at other salons downtown a “blow” service like this costs $40 and up – there’s no “and up” at Blo.

    “Blo” is located at 1150 Hamilton. They take walk-ins but you can also call ahead for an appointment as they seemed pretty busy.

    Edit: They also have a Tab where you can accumulate 8 visits/styles and get one free.

    Homecomings 2: Aberdeen Ave

    December 21st, 2007 @ 8:13am (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    It’s a shame I can’t remember the sound of the electric trolley transit buses that rolled up and down either side of Aberdeen Ave. They were yellow and white with black trim, and had rear doors that opened on the right hand side to accommodate loading on one-way streets and off the boulevard under the maple trees.

    Aberdeen was a rather short street, T’ing off on either end. To the North was Fresh Pond, an urban oasis surrounded by running trails and off-leash areas for cocker-spaniels wearing knitted garments from Huron Village. To the South, Mt. Auburn and the entrance to a dauntingly large cemetery that I always wanted to visit but could never find a good enough excuse to enter. It was located on top of a hill overlooking the Charles River that wound through the area like a coiled spring. I love the Charles even though it always turned me about when navigating the streets. One minute it was on my left, then I’d soon catch a glimpse of rowing clubs and kayakers passing by on my right.

    The Charles / Harvard

    The house on Aberdeen, even with its lack of a yard, was pleasant, as were its twins up and down the street. Front steps, shrubs, porches, and that one house on the corner that perpetually displayed an “Impeach Bush” sign in the window. We were on the top floor, including access to the finished attic which was Jay’s room, so it seemed like two levels. You would open the front door to find a wooden staircase that creaked and as you ascended into the living room. The wallpapered ceiling in the stairwell seemed to get lower the higher you went but it soon opened up to a sitting room. The dining room was to the right and was separated by French doors that we never closed. From there, heading straight to the back of the house was my territory. Just off the kitchen, next to the bathroom.

    My room alone was probably about 300 square feet – I had too much space and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I went to Target and bought some modular furniture including two side tables, a laundry basket, and this big drawer that looked out of place in any setting. Gazing out my back window I saw a canopy of Maple and Oak. Just past a small span of grass, there was a parking lot for a modest four-storey office complex. I didn’t buy curtains for a few days so I’m certain the workers got to know me very well, although I never peered back at them. In the evenings I’d walk through that parking lot on my way to Shaw to buy pasta, crackers and other depressing foods that couldn’t be combined to make a complete meal by any means.

    Shaw was great, aside from the 4-litre jugs of wine available down aisle 12 they also had self-serve checkouts so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone if I was having a down-day.

    Cambridge Water Works/Fresh Pond – Photo credit: FredSmith on Flickr

    There were leaves, chestnuts and foliage everywhere, except on pathways. Being how wet autumn leaves on cement are conducive to slipping I’m not sure if everyone was just extremely considerate, or because I was in a nation obsessed with law suits, but every sidewalk was always cleared. Walking home from the grocery store I’d usually call my sister or mom with my one free hand as I huffed back up Aberdeen with my goods.

    The hardwood floors were sturdy, polished and cold. I did buy a small rug for my room, which helped somewhat with making it less echoey but it still didn’t feel like home for quite a while. Jay gave me an old TV set that, when plugged straight into the wall, still received 3 channels. I bent a metal coat hanger MacGuyver-style and stuck it in the cable input to get about 5 more stations, crystal clear. On top of that, I had my laptop, candles and wi-fi, what else could a lonely girl in a new country and city ask for?

    There I would sleep, wake, dress, do my nails and lounge for the next few months between trips to work and back. It started to feel comfortable, and like my very own space, even if the room was too big and insufficiently furnished. One afternoon I headed out to Harvard Square where I ended up in that Curious George Store on the corner and bought books for my niece and nephew. Then I had a brilliant idea. I called my mom.

    “Are you walking? I can hear your heels,” she’d always say. I told her I was window shopping, avoiding towering snowbanks on the side of the road, and that I was returning home for the holidays. I think everyone from the Cambridge Common down to Peet’s Coffee heard her squeal and utter numerous sugary phrases about her baby coming home.

    I packed up and jetted across the country, passing faces at Logan Airport that became familiar due to my frequent flying at that time. I came home for Christmas and New Years and I wouldn’t have been able to fathom not doing so. Thanksgiving was tough enough, and I suppose a stronger person might have embraced the distance and the new adventure – but this was Christmas. I just had to be back home.

    For my Homecomings blog post mini series

    Thursday Morning Link Fest: So Little Time Left

    December 20th, 2007 @ 1:00pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    I wasn’t sure I was going to post at all today, really since yesterday I had a couple “meaty” entries. However, there are still links and information floating around so what kind of Miss604 would I be if I didn’t share with the masses.

  • Fellow Blogathon’er, Raul just celebrated 500 blog posts which is a great milestone. Head over to partake in any of the three mini-games/exercises.
  • I first heard about the “bad sweater party” on Victoria’s blog, but I’ve just learned about the one at the Commodore tomorrow night. “Party goers will be decked out in their ‘best’ Christmas sweaters. The dress code is mandatory. It is the uglier the better.” [News1130]. Man, that looks like SUCH a good time! It starts at 9:00pm and tix are $20.
  • The Vancouver 2010 Olympic events schedules have been released. Men’s ice hockey to compete against Northern Voice 2010 for Saturday slot.
  • Luongo is the 2007 goalie of the year in Goalie’s World Magazine. Now if he’d just stop by and say hi to me in Yaletown, where I keep spotting him…
  • Don’t know what to get for the person who has everything this holiday season? How about something that lets them give to those less fortunate with a Give Meaning gift card.
  • Celebrate winter solstice in your area by taking part in this luminous event happening all across downtown (Eastside, Strathcona, Chinatown, Granville Island, Yaletown, and the West End):

    On December 21st come celebrate the return of the sun with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in six Vancouver neighbourhoods. These six little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood. Intimate and accessible, each invites participation and each holds special attractions. [SecretLantern]

  • Also, if you’re itching to get up to the mountains and carve up some of that snow that’s been falling like mad, check out the “Snow Reports” Facebook application for brief summaries of temps and base levels on pretty much any mountain in North America.
  • The Middle East in Cambridge and the MG US Tour

    December 19th, 2007 @ 1:29pm (PT) by Rebecca Bollwitt

    Boston and I had a tumultuous relationship. I moved there alone not knowing anyone or having ever visited the city before. I had a new role with my company, a new house, and new friends to seek out, which wasn’t easy. One thing that I was able to go out and do by myself (that lead to meeting all kinds of interesting characters) was going to concerts. Music has a way of bringing together longtime friends and loners.

    Central Square (in Cambridge) was hardly littered with pea-coat wearing MBA’s like the rest of Boston. It wasn’t pretentious – it had dive bars, diners, galleries, and great live music venues. From a couple Mighty Mighty Bosstones “hometown throwdown” shows to punk bands and lots of local acts, I checked out venues like TT The Bears and the legendary Middle East. This scene was mere blocks away from my old loft on Pleasant Street.

    Legendary Venue - The Middle East

    I loved living in the republic of Cambridge. Every now and then I pine for the life I lead there although I’m so glad I have already been able to share a slice of these memories with John.

    When Matt announced he’ll be playing a US Tour I was pretty much crossing my fingers that a Boston-area show would be included. Much to my delight, he’ll be stopping in Cambridge, at the Middle East no less.

    Funny thing is, when I lived in Boston I ordered Avalanche online and it almost became a soundtrack for those times. I can’t listen to “In a World Called Catastrophe” and not think about walking to work along the frosted brick sidewalks of Harvard with the Charles River following me every step of the way.

    If anyone didn’t know what to get me for Christmas I think a plane ticket to my former zip code would make me crumble into little bits of excitingness. Regardless, you can probably count on John and I taking a long weekend in March 2008.