Friday, January 14, 2011

I'm swamped, so here's a hodge-podge post!

Today's random assortment of my thoughts includes:
  • An awesome Etsy artist who has inspired me to rip off her ideas (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all, right?!)
  • An upcoming Heart & Stroke Fundraiser I'm involved in that you may or may not be interested in attending
  • Dine Out Vancouver is COMING! January 24th 'til February 6th!
  • A quick preview on what will hopefully be an upcoming post by a guest author
  • Hayley Wickenheiser is in town, and you can see her tonight and Saturday for $2!
  • and some Green propaganda from my childhood, fondly remembered!
GiddySpinster - Etsy's latest Featured Seller
What a name! I read this lady's bio, saw her art and thought, yep, I'm going to add her to my mental list of contemporary 'heroes'!
Etsy is great in so many ways (and I don't really have the time or patience to expand on those ways here!), and one of my favourite aspects is their Storque blog where they interview some of the more intriguing artists of the masses who run their own 'Etsy stores'.
Read the interview with Rachel on Etsy, and check out those reclaimed stillettos with cacti! Brilliant, says I! Not just an ingenious (and attractive, I think) use of a reclaimed item, but I think it does suggest subtle undertones of feminist thought, too. Very poignant.

The 4th Annual Hoedown for Hearts - February 11th at a to-be-determined location!
Yes, if you've heard of our infamous Heart & Stroke Fundraiser that occurs 'round about Valentine's Day each year, you might be surprised to see that it won't be at The Boone County Country Cabaret this time! No, sadly our old wooden Boone has vanished into the past and has been (and is being) replaced by a new version which is not country, not wooden and honky tonk, not featuring local bluegrass bands but some mainstream DJ's playing mainstream Top-40 to a mainstream 20-something SFU undergrad crowd, not that there's anything wrong with that of course. No, it just simply does not possess enough of that old-West atmosphere that had us trekking all the way out to Coquitlam for a bar night!
So this year we're frantically trying to secure a new location (keep your fingers crossed for us!) to host our Hoedown!
For the record, I loathe most country music, most particularly the pop-stuff. But once a year, I will revel in the cowpoke spirit, put on my pair of boots (I bought them for a past Hoedown, and they only get out of the closet once a year!), and head on out for an awesome night of dancin', drinkin', raffles (a Jackson Grills BBQ, Canucks tickets, gift baskets, etc.), 50/50 draws, toonie tosses to win a bottle o' mind rot (typically Jack Daniels), and this year you can even vote in our guy's moustache competition (shudder - not my idea!).
This is the dullest time of year in Vancouver, so why not come out and make a ridiculous night of it with your friends, all to support a fantastic cause!

Dine Out Vancouver is BACK! January 24th to February 6th!
Yes, I'm excited! The 9th annual, involving 215 restaurants with fixed-price menus ($18, $28 and $38) in and around Vancouver!
By experience, it's worth going to the middle and upper price-range restaurants - give the cheap ones a miss, because this is your opportunity to try out the best of Vancouver's culinary scene for a very good price!
These prix fixe menus aren't limiting, either, as many restaurants offer choices in these special menus.
I've been to Chambar, Wild Rice, and Lumiere (Feenie's restaurant, gone now) in past events and really enjoyed the first two of those three.... sorry, Feenie. Nothing personal.
"Dine Out" is a great way to try new places, and to eat out at the finer places on a puny budget!
I highly recommend The Fish House in Stanley Park as well (Karen Barnaby is the executive chef, and she's very gifted) - and for another money saving tip, if you go to The Fish House on a Wednesday this winter, you can order from their 20th anniversary specials for just $20 a plate, which is an excellent idea! I recommend the cedar planked arctic char and sockeye. Parking is free after 6pm in their lot, too! Consider it!
My personal recommendations for Dine Out 2011:
Provence Marinaside and the one on 10th Ave are pretty tasty, too!
Too bad Burgoo, Vij's, and Twisted Fork and aren't included (go here another time!). Try Twisted Fork for brunch, but go early to avoid irritatingly long line-ups! The cat is out of the bag, it seems.

"Gendercide" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
My wonderful friend Jasmine has written a truly chilling but important essay on the violence and horrors in the South Kivu area of the DRC. This one will probably need a disclaimer - not for those sensitive to gender-based extreme violence, though you really shouldn't turn a blind eye to this.
Read up on the issue ahead of time here on the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative website:

Hayley Wickenheiser skating, Danielle Goyette coaching, and it only costs $2 and happens twice this weekend at UBC!
Cell phone image, sorry..
Danielle Goyette (left) and #22
Playing for the Dinos (coached by Danielle Goyette - my OTHER all-time favourite female hockey player!), Hayley Wickenheiser's team will be playing the UBC Thunderbirds Friday, Jan 14th and Saturday Jan 15th at the Doug Mitchell arena. With your UBC student card, it's only $2 admission!
Yep, that's my plans for the weekend! Two completely awesome athletes (Hayley: 3 Olympic golds, 1 silver; Danielle: 2 golds, 1 silver and the only goal in the gold medal game in 1998!) and I can watch them for pocket change! Seriously the best hockey deal I've ever been in on!

And finally, 'Stop the Smoggies', 'Captain Planet and the Planeteers', and of course, 'The Lorax'
I succumbed to peer pressure and changed my Facebook profile photo to a 90s cartoon I used to enjoy watching, and that was the cheaply done and rather campy "Stop the Smoggies". I think I mostly liked it because it was weird, but the anti-pollution revolution message was not lost on me! Video here! Listen to those lyrics for the intro sequence, eh?
Captain Planet was even dorkier, but yes, I watched it. I liked Linka from the USSR who had the power of wind. I think I identify with her, though my super powers of 'wind' only promote the greenhouse gas effect, so maybe not. Hmm. Intro video here!
The beloved Lorax by Dr Seuss is still one of my favourite childhood stories, and I cannot plead with you enough to read this to your kids, your neighbour's kids, your friend's kids, and any kid that will sit still long enough to listen. Hey, I just found someone reading it on YouTube!
For a more recent example of some fantastic green propaganda involving food production in the garden and pesticide-free agriculture (or maybe it's just me reading into that!), check out my earlier post on Dirt Girl!

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