Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Apocalypse How?

 You may have heard the rumour that it's the end of the world as we know it. Yes. That's right. The world is going to end on Friday. THIS FRIDAY!! December 21st, 2012!!

Some Mayan's may have predicted this thousands of years ago and sure the weather has been pretty strange lately...but does this all point to the destruction of the world? Well, not exactly, but if you pair that with the evidence laid out below we have some pretty convincing proof that humanity itself can not continue and so should probably just end.

Here are the top 10 REAL reasons the world is going to end:

10. Somebody named their newborn daughter...Hashtag. This kid needs the world to end before she gets to middle school. Thanks mom and dad. For her sake I hope they're right about Doomsday.

9. Somebody decided that Nikki Minaj should be on primetime family television. Really American Idol? Really? Just end it all now so I never have to be subjected to this insanity.

8. Nuff said. 


7. Most of the world has contracted a deadly and terrifying disease...Bieber Fever.

6. Grumpy cat wishes it. What grumpy cat wants. Grumpy cat gets. 

5. This guy says it will happen. He is clearly the leading expert and we should all take him very seriously.

4. Chris Hemsworth. Yes, he's to blame as well. You can't be THAT good looking without breaking some kind of natural order and throwing the whole world off balance. If you show up shirtless (or even with a shirt) to my home I may consider forgiving you, just get here before Friday.

Just let that soak in for a minute. Droooool.

3. They let Lindsay Lohan be in another movie. KA-BOOM!!

2. A Korean song that most  people don't understand is dominating the music scene. I think he may be singing about places to hide from the apocalypse. Too bad only people who speak Korean will know the secret.

Maybe hiding in an elevator will be the safest place. So many hidden meanings.

1. There will never be another Harry Potter book or movie. I wonder if J.K. Rowling knew that ending the series really meant ending THE WORLD?!?!?! 

So there you have it folks, the REAL reasons the world is going to end on Friday. It makes much more sense this way. Mayan calendar shmalendar. Of course there will be nay-sayers out there. I would probably fall into that category because to be honest...

(Kindly disregard in case of actual apocalypse)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Insert Rebecca Black Song Here

Every now and then a Friday comes along that is so special that you want to relive it over and over again. One of those such days happened this past Friday. It was great and it just showed what kind of shenanigans you really can get into in Hamilton on any given night if you're open to it. Just roll with the random.

The evening began with an early birthday present from my bff Laura. (My real birthday is Christmas day) She took me to see The Trews acoustic show at Hamilton Place Studio. As always they put on an incredible show. They are one of my favourite bands and it's always great when they play in my hometown.

The Trews!

 During this tour they had been playing their second set by requests via twitter. It was pretty awesome. I had been requesting Gun Control because it's one of my favourite songs, and then the unthinkable happened. A man walked into an elementary school in Connecticut, NY and shot and killed 30 people, including many innocent children. It was a tragedy that touched the world.

After that I really didn't feel in a celebratory mood but we still went. Instead of waiting for the request portion of the show they played Gun Control the second song. You could tell the air was heavy in the studio until they played that song.  Here's what they tweeted about the shooting.

The Trews
The Trews-Gun Control 5 yrs has passed since the event that inspired this song and nothing has changed.heartbreaking. youtu.be/f25XY5jes2Y

43 King William Street, this is a great place to escape the Hess crowds. They have antique couches, candles, gothic style knick knacks and very personable staff. They have trivia nights, open mic nights, DJ nights and great live bands. 

This past Friday was their one year anniversary celebration and art crawl after party. Toronto band, The Greasemarks were playing and they really brought some amazing rockabilly awesomeness to Hamilton. I had seen them before when I was volunteering at Kitestring's Christmas Spectacular last year and I was very happy to see them again. So happy in fact that I somehow ended up on stage with them. I was upset for like 3.2 seconds that my friends pushed me up there but I got over it pretty quickly after they started playing.

 So there you have it. If I had just gone home after the concert I wouldn't have seen another wonderful band. So when you feel the urge to go home, just keep going. Roll with the random and maybe you too will find happiness in the Hammer. 

Laura, Me and Leanne enjoying some great music together.

  I laughed so hard, I smiled so much and my heart felt lighter after the heavy news of the day.   

Friday, 30 November 2012

Oh Come All Ye Faithful...Or Whatever

As some of you may or may not know I can be a bit of a grinch about the holidays. Maybe it's because my birth was unlucky enough to fall on the same day as the sweet baby Jesus or maybe I just hate how commercialized Christmas has become OR maybe I'm just an angry person underneath and crowded malls and the sappy, stupid look people get this time of year just really get my blood boiling. Either way I can at least admit that I am a tad irrational about my holiday hatred and you know...they say the first step is admitting you have a problem.

No spirit eh well...here I am dressed as Santa for charity. I was also the victim of a random mistletoe attack.

Now don't get me wrong, some things do still give me that warm, goofy feeling of sugar plum fairies and candy canes. Very few. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, the way my mom won't let anybody in the living room in the morning so we can't see what "Santa" left us, and in the past couple of years the Holiday Makers' Market on James Street North are what get me in the Christmas spirit.

Market Poster

James Street North has become so popular in Hamilton thanks to art crawls and supercrawls and yes many of the vendors at the holiday market are regulars at those crawls but something about going to this particular market just screams Christmas to me.

I have been a regular attendee to this market for the past few years and I have found amazing, beautiful, handmade gifts every year. Something about giving somebody something they can't buy in a store and that nobody else in the world has but them is so special. Plus getting my shopping done there and avoiding the chaos of the mall doesn't hurt either. 

Make it one of your traditions!!

Plenty of great, original gift ideas all under one big beautiful roof. Christ's Church Cathedral, located at 252 James St. North really reminds me of Europe. The cathedrals I've seen over there are just awe-inspiring. Even if you're not religious the beauty can still really move you. I've had those experiences. I cried in Notre Dame in Paris because I was so moved. Christ's Church doesn't bring me to tears but for a church in Hamilton it is really very beautiful. I think it's funny that I love churches so much but am not religious, funny really.

Anyways the whole point of this was not to go on a tangent about religion, or churches or hating Christmas but it was to tell you that the Holiday Makers' Market is taking place THIS Saturday at Christ's Church Cathedral!! If, like me, you are not finished (or started) your holiday shopping you should definitely come check it out. I can almost guarantee you will find something wonderful. In fact it may be so wonderful that you decide to keep it for yourself instead of giving it as a gift.

Happy shopping.

Oh and PS. If none of this is enough to draw you down to the holiday market I must tell you that many of Hamilton's food trucks will also be attending. There. Now you have to come. See you there!! I'll be the slightly green one who's heart grew 3 sizes.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Mitt and the MO.

So unless you've been living under a rock for the past week you would have probably encountered the craziness that was the American Presidential election. Now I am not American but I do believe that the choices and decisions of America can really affect Canadians and even the world. That being said you can imagine how nervous I was when Mitt Romney came so close to winning. I'm not going to talk about this a lot because it is all over and thankfully Barack Obama won and will be in office for another four years, but seriously...HOW did it get that close? It scares me to think that there are so many close-minded, ignorant people out there. Absolutely terrifying.

Hates the poor, the gay and the women... unless of course,  they're in a binder.

But it's all done and kudos America. You made the right choice! I mean sure Donald Trump is pissed but luckily he can't "fire" the president. Way to go neighbours. Way to go. My uterus thanks you.

4 More Years!! Phew.

So now that that's all over I want to move on to something less disgusting than Mitt Romney possibly being in power...MOvember. Yes it's that time again. Time for men to grow dirty, pedophile mustaches in support of men's health and cancers, such as prostate cancer and men's mental health. The problem is that most male illnesses can be an embarrassing topic and lots of men shy away from talking about it or having themselves checked out.

So now during the month of November women are fleeing away from the scratchy upper lip scarves of good hearted men, but even though the Tom Selleck faced bros aren't getting much love because of their MO's, they sure can feel good about why they are doing it. Prostate cancer is a real problem for men but it seems to be overshadowed by fundraisers and awareness about other cancers. This is a wonderful way for men to bring light to a somewhat shadowed topic. I wish that MOvember had been happening when my grandfather was sick, it wasn't something that was talked about. Now I know that my grandpa would be happy to see me donate to it and hopefully some guys will be compelled to go get checked out. For more MO info handlebar here.

My friend Steve Gillon has thrown a MOvember event the past few years and since I can not grow a MO I go to show my support and donate to a great cause. Steve is the founder of High Fives 2 Help Lives which is a visionary way to raise awareness about cancer and heart disease prevention. He's a great guy and is starting to get some real recognition which is super. For more info on how to give a high five to help a life High Five Right Here!! And if you aren't busy Sunday evening head on out to wonderful MOvember event!

Come MO-one, come MO-all!

And last but very not least... one more reason to love Ryan Gosling and the whole Hey Girl series. LOVE it.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

In The Morning I'm Making Waffles!

Sometimes it's interesting to see your city through fresh eyes and sometimes it's just downright depressing. My friend Ian's boyfriend David recently moved to Hamilton from Brussels, Belgium with a year long stop over in Australia. I was excited to visit a few of the Hammer's top highlights with him. Although he was enthusiastic and seemed to enjoy himself I couldn't help but feel underwhelmed as I saw Hamilton through the eyes of an outsider.

Ian and I in Brussels, Belgium last year.

I visited Belgium last year and like most places in Europe it is chalk full of ancient, grand structures and amazing art, not just in galleries but EVERYWHERE! I guess it is just hard for me to imagine why anybody would want to give all of that up for our city with it's only 166 years of existence. He came for love and I hope that he can come to love Hamilton just as it's inhabitants do. We love her for her greatness and for her faults.

We started our little tour of Hamilton with a fruit platter breakfast on top of the Art Gallery of Hamilton. Surprisingly this is a place I had never visited before and our new resident was quick to school me on its origin. Apparently it is called Commonwealth Square and was dedicated in 1987. I thought it was funny that he took the time to read signs that I had never really noticed before.

Plaque dedicated to the Hamiltonians that helped put on the first British Empire Games.

After breakfast we went to go to Whitehern but they were not open yet so we just admired the garden and then headed to the AGH. We will return another day! On the way there he wanted to go see the family courthouse. In Brussels the Palais de Justice is a huge tourist scene so I guess he thought it would be the same here. Once we got through security we quickly realized that this is not somewhere to just go look around. We felt kind of awkward so we just took a quick peek before swiftly departing. Although it is one of the older buildings in Hamilton having opened in 1890 it really was not quite as awe striking as the courthouse in Brussels.

Hamilton's Superior Court of Justice. Formerly the Hamilton Public Library.
Brussels Palais de Justice. BIG!
The marble staircase in the courthouse. Insane.

After escaping family court we ventured on to the AGH and this is where Hamilton really started to not measure up. I really like the Hamilton Art Gallery but I have been to museums and galleries in Europe and well...we ain't got no Monet :P I love that they really celebrate local and national talent but being in that museum with a true European was almost embarrassing. He, of course was really gracious but he did say that it was a strange museum and the set up was completely random, but he also said that he enjoyed it...so GOOOO AGH!!

Kim Adams' Bruegel-Bosch Bus. One of the biggest draws at the AGH.
Museum of the arts in Brussels...ya.
Street art in Brussels. Stuff like this is EVERYWHERE!

We decided that Hess Village is probably the most European-like area of Hamilton and so we went and wandered around there for a little while but it was during the day and so it was hard to show him what it would be like on a bar hopping night. Nonetheless he said it was a pretty area.


By then we were famished and decided to go for lunch. Ian and David both lived in Korea for a little while and so they talked me into going for Korean. We went to Cho Sun Ok Korean BBQ on King Street East and it was amazing! Watching them speak Korean with the server made me feel a little bit dumb but it was definitely entertaining.

Such a neat, yummy little restaurant.

I had such a fun time watching David explore some of steeltown for the first time, and although at times I may have felt embarrassed, by the end of the day I came to the realization that even though we are not as old as Europe and we don't have art by the legends, what we lack in those areas we make up for ten fold in culture.

Where else could you visit a heritage building, an art gallery, an entire village dedicated to food and alcohol as well as a total melting pot of delicious cultural cuisines all within a few blocks of each other? No where! Hamilton can be great. You just have to know where to look and what to look for. I look forward to seeing David find his place in Hamilton. Once he's settled in I'm sure he will grow to love it as much as he loved Belgium.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Gordie, Gord & Gourds

Last week was an insanely awesome week to be Canadian, specifically a Hamiltonian. First of all I won tickets to go see Wide Mouth Mason with Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar at Absinthe. It was a stellar show. I hadn't heard anything about Wide Mouth Mason since the early 2000's but they played some of their old stuff as well as new and it was very cool to go to a show and for once not be the oldest person there. That seems to happen to me a lot. You may not know this but Gordie Johnson is kind of a Canadian legend. Click here to see Gordie Johnson and Big Sugar's version of O Canada. He was the lead singer of Big Sugar as well as producing albums for bands such as The Trews, The Joel Plaskett Emergency and Reel Big Fish. He is now a bonafide member for the comeback of Wide Mouth Mason. Refresh your memory of Wide Mouth Mason HERE.

Wide Mouth Mason   Photo: Laura Cook

Gordie Johnson   Photo: Laura Cook

Secondly The Tragically Hip played the first show at Ivor Wynne Stadium in 33 years. It was also the last show. I woke up to a text from my friend Laura saying, "I hope you are interested in seeing the hip because I got tickets." That was quite a surprise and they didn't disappoint. Gord Downie is just a ball of energy. I definitely got that feeling you get when you see legends. Goosebumps everywhere and tingles in your belly. I'm not what you would call a die hard Hip fan but I have to say that it was pretty amazing! I was so happy to get to see a part of something that will go down in Hamilton history. It will be sad when Ivor Wynne is gone. Click here...it's not Hip but still Downie-riffic!

The Hip are SO hip!
Gord Downie is legendary!

Last but not least in the week of awesome was that it was Canadian thanksgiving. That means time with family, and disgusting amounts of delicious foods. I was so full that I was actually in pain but it was SO worth it. My friend Kristen made an AMAZING pumpkin pie. It was quite literally the best pumpkin pie I've ever eaten and I'm convinced that she should probably open a pie shop. It was THAT good. Other than appreciating my full tummy, thanksgiving showed me all of the things I have to be thankful for in my life. I have amazing friends and the best, kindest, warmest family. As I sat back and reveled in the whole famjam playing Scene It (I won BTW) I was reminded of the cheesiest moments in family sitcoms and I would be hard pressed to find anything that makes me happier than my close, cheesy family.

The best pumpkin pie in Hamilton!!
Gobble, gobble time!

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dinner Is Served

I have mentioned time and time again how Hamilton is blessed with a ton of talented musicians. It's actually kind of ridiculous. I'd like to take the time right now to talk about The Dinner Belles. You've heard me talk about them before. I swear I'm not a stalker or anything like that but since seeing them for the first time back in June at The Burlington Sound Of Music Festival I have not been able to get enough!

The Dinner Belles <3
 Here is a little bit of background about The Dinner Belles, many of whom come from other prominent Hamilton bands to form this new folksy awesomeness. Although they are a definite ensemble Brad Germain seems to be the leading man. You may remember him from other bands such as Spirits and The Marble Index. I was actually a pretty big fan of The Marble Index when they were around as well. I was sad that they went on hiatus in 2010 but if The Dinner Belles is what came out of that separation well then I'm all for it. Click here for a blast from the past, The Marble Index.

The other lead is the lovely and beyond talented Terra Lightfoot. I seriously have the biggest girl crush on this woman. She occasionally rocks it out solo and although I love her in The Dinner Belles it is really nice to see her fronting the band. She gives me goosebumps. She has a new self-titled album out on Sonic Onyon Records. You can pick it up on their website OR you can buy the digital album on Itunes. Here! So you should definitely pick that up and in the meantime enjoy a little of her vocal stylings right here!

Brandon Bliss is another member you may recognize from another band. He is also a part of the super successful Hammer band, Monster Truck. The Dinner Belles is quite a departure from that sound. Click here for a little Monster Truck. Rounding out the cast are Melanie Pothier, Scott Bell, Greg Brisco and Jonathon Ely Cass.

I still think it's funny that I am in love with this band. It is so far from what I'm normally into. I don't usually love that country/folk sound but they do it so well and they have such a passion for it that it's hard to not have a passion for them. 

To my absolute delight The Dinner Belles played at a stag and doe I went to last night! Hamilton's golden (headed...he's bald...see what I did there?) boy Jamie "Gunner" Smith is taking the plunge. He is marrying a lovely lady named Lori and I am very happy for them! I'm also very happy that they have awesome taste in music and obviously great connections to get some awesome bands to play at their stag and doe.

Stag Gunner...bahahaha!
So here are a few pics from what I'm sure was the Stag and Doe to beat all Stag and Does.

Is that a pearl necklace? Kind of fancy for a cake ;p

The Dinner Belles!

The Dinner Belles

Terra Lightfoot crooning. Me=Swooning

 Cheryl Stornelli, Gunner and meeee!!
So congrats to Jamie and Lori, it was a great night! AND....GO SEE THE DINNER BELLES!!!!

Friday, 21 September 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane. No! It's Supercrawl!

How should I start this weeks blog? I think there is one word that will do it. SUPERCRAWL! Yes friends, it happened. It came, it was awesome, and it left us with hopes and dreams for next year.

Hamilton has somehow become this mecca for the arts and it's definitely strange since we are known for being a steel city, not really for being artsy fartsy. I think we are starting to make a real name for ourselves in that area as well though. Over 50,000 folks came out for a weekend full of music, art, food and friends. A huge increase since the first Supercrawl held four years ago.

There is definitely a hunger from the youngsters in the Hammer to showcase their creativity and James St N. Art Crawl and Supercrawl is an amazing way to get their art out there as well as an opportunity to network and to really just embrace the community. I love the idea of 50,000 people all coming together for the same reason and it's great to see people really grabbing hold of some hometown pride. I saw a multitude of Hamilton love ranging from T-shirts to tattoos with Hamilton logos. It was...super!

Hamilton is blessed with some insane musical talent and there was definitely no limit of that at Supercrawl. There were lots of great Hamilton acts like Terra Lightfoot (Terra's Site! GO!) who is just incredible, as well as Wax Mannequin who is always an interesting act to watch. There were also lots of out of towners who came to entertain the masses. Great Lake Swimmers, Said the Whale and K'Naan were just a few and people were NOT disappointed. Click to see an awesome Great Lake Swimmers music video! Do it!

Not only was there great musical acts but there was an insane acrobatic fire show put on by the Fire Jammers. It was crazy. For crazy pyro action...click here!

The fact that this is all free is just mind blowing. Of course I bought a supercrawl button and apparently proceeds from that go to fund next years event so I really hope everybody bought buttons or donated so that we can continue to have this amazing gathering for lots of years to come!

I'm sad that it's over. It was such a great weekend. I want to do it all over again...and again, and again.

Here's a few pics from the crawl! Oh and go check out this story CBC Hamilton did on Supercrawl. I'm only directing you here because they used one of my tweets/pics in the storify section of the story and I was kind of intrigued by it. CBC Supercrawl Story.

My friend Kristen enjoying some delicious Sweet Ice at Supercrawl 2012.

Terra Lightfoot being awesome as usual at Supercrawl 2012.

One of the more disturbing pieces I saw at Supercrawl. That face is made of baby chicks. Straaaange.

Did you know that Mexican Coca-Cola is different from ours? Neither did I until we ate at Mex-I-Can during Supercrawl.

Fire Acrobats at Supercrawl 2012! Whaaat!!

Great Lake Swimmers. Super awesome Canadian music at Supercrawl 2012.
If you missed it this year and are really jealous don't worry...there's only another 360-ish days left until Supercrawl 2013!