James Cameron: Dragon Slayer

So, I was at West Edmonton Mall the other day and wanted to check out the fire-breathing dragon.

As you can see from the cellphone video above, I had to stay on the main level of the movie theatre. Why? Why wouldn’t I venture up toward the IMAX level and get right up in that scaly beast’s fiery nostrils?

James Cameron. That’s why.

You people helped ruin a little girl's day.

You see, up there is where Avatar is showing forever. And people, two months in, were still lining up an hour+ before showtime. Because of that, the staff at the theatre wouldn’t let anybody upstairs. I guess they were afraid I brought my 3D glasses from home.

You know, they could have just put a staff member in front of the theatre door.

They should have, because a little girl and her mom tried to get a closer to the dragon. No dice, said the 15-year-old keeper of the velvet rope.

James Cameron may never have slayed a dragon (outside of CGI) but he slayed that child’s chances at seeing something pretty cool, up close.

Thank goodness Nicolas Sparks has what it takes to slay the monster that is Avatar. Children of the world will soon be able to get close enough to our dragon that their eyebrows may be singed, just a little.

Free kids, or something

(Photo: CoE)

(Photo: CoE)

Just like Law and Order this is ripped from the headlines. The headlines being the City of Edmonton’s news feed.

Hey, it’s Christmas time and that means the kids will be asking you for all the latest doo-dads and whats-its. It also means they are home for the holiday break.

Thankfully, the City of Edmonton is letting kids enjoy their facilities for free. Though I’m sure that does not mean dropping them off to have city staff take care of them. That would be taking advantage of their kindness.

Anyway, the details are like this: from December 21 (today!) to January 3, 2010, children 12 and under pay nothing for admission to ANY City of Edmonton leisure, sports and fitness facility. Sounds like a pretty good deal to this guy.

You probably want some options don’t you? Head to this website for just such a thing.

Things that Give Me Nightmares, Vol. 2

[Previously on THINGS THAT GIVE ME NIGHTMARES: that giant baby sculpture over at the Art Gallery of Alberta.]

And now, Vol. 2:



Life is short. That is, until you’re in the middle of like a breakup, or a hospital stay, or a career change (with me it’s the latter), then it seems g.d. ENDLESS.  People, I can only spend so many hours dodging thoughts of how I plan to fill the next 35 years of my working life with TV and spying on my neighbours; eventually I have to put on my marshmallow pants and leave the house – which I did last week, with an impromptu trip to Southgate.

Now, had I known they existed, these giant shoes probably wouldn’t have had the impact they did on me.  But I came across them cold.  They just sort of appeared on the horizon as my bus approached Southgate Mall, and brought with them an icy moment of pure existential terror, kind of like how I felt watching the Cell for the first time.  Or how I feel when I see wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube menWTF am I seeing?! Is everything giant or am I shrinking? Time’s moving so slowly, I think I’m dead. Seriously, though, I haven’t seen footwear that big since John Travolta’s boots in Battlefield Earth (Travolta-ZING!).

Anyway, I don’t know how I missed out on the run-up to the giant shoes, given our exhaustive coverage of the Grand Re-opening of Southgate Mall back on August 5,  but I did. I subsequently googled “giant shoes southgate” and learned that the shoes (as everyone but me probably knows) are the handiwork of a pair of Red Deer artists.  You can read the great Paula Simons’ coverage of the shoes here.

“It just depends how long you’re lost.”

If you get lost, I hear there's a Tim Hortons in the Tim Hortons part of the maze.

If you get lost, I hear there's a Tim Hortons in the Tim Hortons part of the maze.

I noticed, today, that corn on the cob is starting to play a significant role in the weekly grocery flyers. Mostly, that just made me think about eating delicious, buttery, salty, corn. But then I noticed the Edmonton Corn Maze is on Twitter.

And they’re open.

Co-owner Dan Horneman says they try to tie the design  of the maze into something happening in the Edmonton area. Hence we see the Roar of the Rings theme.

Dan says it “takes about an hour to two hours to get through.” But don’t worry, there are people inside the maze to help steer you in the right direction.

It takes more than an hour or two for the maze to be built though. Horneman says planning of the design starts when the corn is planted. Then, once the corn is harvested, the routes can be cut through the maze.

Don’t be discouraged if you venture into the maze and can’t seem to find daylight. “Everybody gets lost,” Dan says. “It just depends how long you’re lost.”

While weather can affect “not just growing the corn, but also attendance,” he thinks they’ll see their average 10,000 people get lost in the corn this summer and fall. School and church groups usually start heading out in September.

Even though it means the weather will soon (but not too soon!) turn cooler, isn’t it nice to have something fun to talk about? Now, get lost.

Vive la Revolution!

At least a small portion of fun is waiting for the yearly theme to be unveiled.

Will you follow this man into hilarious and through-provoking battle?

It’s time to FRINGE!

If you know what that means, you’re already super-psyched.

If you have no idea, or just vague inclinations about what that could mean, you should hit up the Fringe Theatre Adventures website. They’re the people that run the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival. They’ll even help out first-time fringers with explanations of how things work. (Wouldn’t it be great if more things laid it out like this?)

This year the fringe turns 28, and the theme is “Stage a Revolution.” (I actually kind of like just waiting to see what the theme will be each summer.)

You can buy tickets online. And man, are there choices! But isn’t part of the fun just throwing caution to the wind and choosing to see whatever is next, whatever is closest or whatever has the funniest name?

I’m aiming to catch Letters to Noce, because I failed to get off my lazy butt and see it during NextFest. I’ll also be sure to hit the beer tent at least once. And with other busking and fun happening for free, you don’t even have to see a bunch of shows to have a good time.

I’m also aiming to get disgruntled, at least once, with how many people have invaded my neighbourhood…but I digress.


Win your favourite Aunt $500

This excited young man is one of the e-postcard options from the EEDC contest.

This excited young man is one of the e-postcard options from the EEDC contest.

Do you have a favourite aunt visiting you this fall?

Maybe just some friends or family swinging through Edmonton? If so, and if they, or you, like to shop, here’s a contest that could win you $500.

Though the $500 is only good at stores at West Edmonton Mall. I hope there are enough stores there to spend that kind of money in… I mean, it’s no Southgate.

The Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) is going be holding an “Invite Friends and Family” draw August 31 for just such a gift card.

You go to the website (this section, specifically) choose an e-postcard (all with great images of Edmonton), enter your name, their name and e-mail, etc… and send the postcard. When they get their postcard they are asked if they want to enter the draw for $500 of WEM money.

You should probably tell them ahead of time that you’re doing this so they do enter.

The EEDC will be holding another draw like this at the end of the year if you don’t win. Or if you have an aunt that can’t figure out her e-mail.



So, I was having a lovely breakfast with some friends last weekend when my pal Ryan (of the blog GrandeFullBody) told me a magical tale of a replica of the Alberta Legislature made entirely of Lego. Obviously, I called him a liar, right to his stupid face. But then he then backed it up with this picture. (Sorry, buddy.)

Now, those of you in the know are going to be all like, “yeah, Sally, way to discover something that we knew about in 2005.” And I will reply, “Look, don’t ruin this for me. I did not live here in 2005. And based on the fact that rents have doubled since then, I’m going to say there are probably a couple of new faces in Edmonton who will find this to be completely new, completely dazzling information.”

YES, this is 4 years old. But that doesn’t change that it is GREAT. In researching (read = googling) the LEGO™slature and its history, I have learned 2 things: one, that apparently “legoslature” is a common American misspelling of “legislature”, and two, that it was created in honor of the provincial Centennial in 2005, by the Northern Alberta Lego Users Group.

…and just in case this ISN’T rad enough for you, how about THIS? THAT IS A LOT OF LEGO™, people. Did I just blow your mind grapes?

Anyway, I found this press release from 2008 that says the model is located in the East-West pedway of the Legislature. When I called Visitor Services to confirm it was still located there, the operator plainly informed me that it was, because it’s “too big to move.” GOLD, JERRY. GOLD! Thanks Ryan!