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A Look Back: Contributors (jeff)

Where would the edmontonian be without our many contributors, collaborators, and commenters? It wouldn’t be the edmontonian.

Sally and I never set out to make the edmontonian our blog. Sure, we had our names all over it editing submissions and authoring a majority of items, but the edmontonian was always supposed to be a community blog. Jeff and Sally could always go get their own damn vlog.

Whether it was a conversation about A Taste of Edmonton and deep-fried foods that spawned its own video, photos that made up many of our quirky looks at the city, writers that posted items here when they certainly had plenty of other good stuff going on, or collaborating with Edmonton’s online content generatOne year of thanksors, it was joining forces and cross-posting that took the edmontonian from a blog belonging to two people to a true community news source.

Some contributors wrote one post, others became synonymous with the site. Some of our same website contributors made appearances on our ShawTV show, but new friends helped on that too. And we always had a steady crew of commenters (and we consider them part of the overall Edmonton conversation).

Together, that group of people is what made the edmontonian such a good time.

(Photos are deep frying and democracy. Two things we take very seriously.)


August Movies: You Sunk My Beevership

By Gregg Beever

I’m back, baby! Before I get started, how about a big round of applause for Mr. Jay Runham who filled in brilliantly for me last month.

Are you done clapping yet?

Okay, good.

So, has everyone watched the Battleship trailer? Somehow I missed Liam Neeson being cast as Admiral E5. Did he lose a bet? Maybe he’s having a “Who can be in the shittiest alien invasion flick?” competition with Aaron Eckhart.

That brings us to the $200 million dollar question (yes, that is the budget), what does the board game, Battleship, have to do with aliens? What the frack is the tie-in there? Wait. Aliens are nebulously destroying battleships from the heavens, just like players of the board game. Right? Is director Peter Berg trying to say that we are the true aliens?

I don’t get it.

All I know is when I’m watching this film in the theater and Liam Neeson utters the line “You sunk my battleship.” I’m going to stand up and slow clap.

But Battleship doesn’t premiere until May of next year and we’re concerned with movies coming out now. What can we look forward to in the month of August with Thor, Transformers, Captain America, Harry Potter and the end of Jim Carrey’s career passing us by?

Two words: Spy Kids! (more…)


In Blackest Night…

By Jay Runham

“Wait… this is a cartoon?”

I feel like this was a reaction a lot of people had the other night as a small theatre full of us sat down to watch Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (GL: EK). No, this is not the Ryan Reynolds live action Summer Blockbuster, it is a collection of shorts as narrated by Nathan Fillion (Edmonton born and raised). Fillion plays Hal Jordan (the character Ryan Reynolds will also be portraying) as he teaches a new Green Lantern about the beginnings of the Green Lantern Corps.

Lost yet? I’m sure a couple people at the theatre were too. Emerald Knights gives the viewer some backstory into the events about to unfold in it’s live-action counterpart. The difference between the two being that GL:EK serves as both a prequel AND a sequel. Furthermore, it is animated and shows a lot of the stories that couldn’t fit into the live action film.

There exists great voice acting talent in the film. As mentioned above, Nathan Fillion plays Hal Jordan and does an excellent job of narrating the separate stories. Elisabeth Moss seems like she is having fun playing the new recruit, and does a great job providing a gateway to the tales of the Green Lantern’s past. The tough as nails Sinestro is voiced by Jason Isaacs, who is best known for his evil role in the Harry Potter Franchise.

This film is definitely worth the rent if you’re jonesing to go see the live-action adaptation. But if you haven’t read the comics or aren’t familiar with the Green Lantern lore, you may want to wait until after seeing Ryan Reynolds in his CGI jump suit.

Renter beware and Geeks geek-out.

3.5/5

Jay Runham is a movie reviewer, hourly tweeter, and lover of Nonja Turtles. More from him at J-Run.ca/Blog and @MondoJay.


Arena Rant

By Gregg Beever

Over the past 24 hours I’ve had to listen to some ridiculous arguments against the proposed arena district. I understand when public money is involved there is bound to be rather strong viewpoints for or against, and I believe there are valid arguments to be made on either side.

For those who are compiling thoughtful, cogent arguments based on fact and logic, I applaud you. However, if you have made one of the following cases against the arena, give your head a shake! (more…)


Bridesmaids

By Gregg Beever

“Chick flicks don’t have to suck,” the poster for Bridemaids loudly states. Sounds like good news for boyfriends and husbands the world over who have suffered through Maid in Manhattan, The Wedding Planner, or whatever else Jennifer Lopez has been in. A chick flick with an abundance of dick jokes? Yes, please. That’s something we can get on board with.

Bridesmaids is very much a comedy for women, by women. Writer and lead actress Kristen Wiig has recruited a female comedic ensemble, including Maya Rudolph, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and Jackie Q herself, Rose Byrne, to fill out all the major characters. In fact, there is only one notable male role in Officer Rhodes, played hilariously by Chris O’Dowd as Wiig’s love interest.

Yes, Jon Hamm is also here, being stupidly handsome as usual, but his role is quite minimal.

The result of this heavily feminine cast is a dirty, yet charming, comedy about friendship, love, redemption, and the methods in which men ask for oral sex. Most importantly, Bridesmaids is funny and willing to travel where few chick flicks are willing to go, featuring a very epic collection of poop jokes in the second act.

Wiig still relies on some played out movie tropes. Spoiler alert; the bride goes missing on her wedding day. Bet you didn’t see that coming. Oh, and Wiig’s character, Annie, has a good thing going with Officer Rhodes but, wouldn’t you know it, she screws it up and has to win him back.

To Wiig’s credit, both of these tired plot points are written well. Wiig has Rhodes essentially tell Annie to fuck off and is legitimately difficult to win over, setting up some genuine tension for the film’s climax.

I’m a big Kristen Wiig fan, and I maintain that MacGruber was hilariously awesome. After a successful opening weekend, I hope Bridesmaids means more big gigs and continued success for her.

So, even if you are a dude, go check out Bridesmaids. You won’t be disappointed.


Let the Blockbusters Begin!

You'll have to read ahead to see what Gregg thinks of, what is essentially, his namesake movie.

By Gregg Beever

We’ve suffered through the Yogi Bears and Hops; been disappointed by Battles Los Angeles and the Sucker Punches; completely mystified by yet another Big Momma sequel; but finally our long winter of suffering will come to an end. Rejoice, fellow moviegoers, for it is blockbuster season!

But before I get to all the sweet movies hitting theatres this month, let’s you and I jump into the ole’ WABAC machine with Mr. Peabody and travel back to November 2010. It was a time of wide-eyed anticipation for a sequel to cult classic TRON: Legacy. (more…)


Angela’s Eventful Events

By Angela Ostafichuk

Spring; it’s finally here!

It’s Wednesday night and I’m waiting for my couchsurfer. Or, rather, worrying about my couchsurfer. Her profile says she’s a 100-year old serial killer, and I mean, I’ve always wanted to meet a vampire, but maybe this is just a little too close for comfort. It’s pretty nice to get a girl this time though as about 85% of my requests are males. About 50% of that lot is using it to pick up girls and the other half is pretty legit and awesome. I screen very carefully and haven’t had any problems yet. Besides, the occasional international company is indeed welcome.

From here on in, until I depart Edmonton again, life is jam-packed. In between work, photography, running a company, a few personal projects, and trying to find the cheapest and safest way around the world as a single female, I’m still trying to find that balance that gives me a few minutes for myself.

Life is good though. No, wait, life is great and I have so much to be thankful for. There are lots of wonderful things in Edmonton that I am also looking forward to as well.

On Saturday and Sunday,”Over the Top Swap” is back, and promises to be good fun way to renew your wardrobe. I’m photographing a bit of it so I’m looking forward to see what I can come up with.

Also this weekend is “Breaking Barriers: Feminist Gender Jam and Silent Auction” which promises to be a great fundrasier.

Tickets have gone on sale for “Beauty and the Pleats” a benefit for Suit Yourself. I’ve grabbed two tickets for the event.

Lions Breath is still offering their F’awesome Fridays which means pay-what you can yoga classes. I love their acro-yoga class, and recently did an acro workshop at another yoga studio, so it’s gaining popularity in Edmonton.

Besides great activities there are also a lot of great blogs being written by Edmontonians to spend time with. My pick this week for some entertaining reads is “Sexy Edmonton.” A wonderfully well written blog about a young woman’s tips, tricks and stories on the sexier side of Edmonton. Check it out!

That’s all for now my fellow peeps. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or my blog as I try and navigate my crazy 20-something life.


The Skinny on Gregg

By Gregg Beever

Over the last few weeks the conversation amongst my friends and co-workers has often landed on weight loss. I’m not particularly certain why this seems to be such a hot topic,  perhaps the onset of spring brings the realization we can no longer conveniently hide our love handles under thick, warm sweaters and coats.

I have a few friends actively attempting to lose weight, some are finding success. Others …well…they are struggling.

Where most of us fail at losing weight is having the discipline to commit to it; because losing weight sucks. While there are plenty of diet plans out there in the ether that suggest otherwise, the reality is that trimming the fat is not easy, not fun, and there is no getting around it.

Six years ago I carried about 35 more pounds of girth than I do today. I love food. More specifically, I love junk food. (more…)


Food and Fashion

By Angela Ostafichuk

It’s Wednesday afternoon and my dad has just popped a bottle of champagne at the lunch we’re attending. I’m not drinking but I indeed have a lot to celebrate. My family’s healthy and happy, people are beginning to take note of my photography and more and more of my photos are being used in articles around the world. Acro yoga is coming along (we can now do this routine), and I’m increasing my running time little by little. When you send good thoughts out, you get them back, and lately I’ve been sending out the good karma vibes. (more…)


Stupid Tweets Live Forever

By Angela Ostafichuk

Social media, whether we like it or not, is here to stay. From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube, we live in the age of rapid “information.” No matter where I go in the world, we are in constant communication. Even in Syria, where Facebook has been banned, I managed to hack in to check my account and spread the word about where I was (Much to the dismay of the U.S. Government which now pulls me aside every time I enter, demanding to know what I was doing in Syria. Combined with Colombian stamps of entry and exit, the next few years on my passport will not be pleasant if I have to enter America.).

On the whole, social media is great. But lately, it seems to be a trend of girls gone bad on the Internet. The days of “Girls Gone Wild” are gone and seem to have been replaced by “Girls Gone Racist” and “Girls Gone Incredibly Stupid.” Now, there is no hard and fast guide to what is kosher and what is not. We’ve probably all seen warnings about Facebook coming back to haunt you, but that extends to everything on the Internet. (more…)


Winter (and everyday) Exercise Safety

(While the edmontonian wants you to be healthy, we also want you to consult with health, medical, and/or exercise professionals before embarking on any new exercise regimes, including those we talk about or mention. You’ve got to find something that works for you and your fitness level. the edmontonian and its contributors aren’t responsible if you injure yourself.)

The best kind of winter activity, for some, is one that keeps you indoors.

By Jen Hamel

Winter has come and won’t leave! But you’ve decided to venture out of your house even though the roads are slippery, and you could skate on the sidewalks. So, how do you stay safe during your outdoor activities, avoiding injury throughout the long winter? Whether you are exercising outdoors or indoors you can always be safe.  (more…)


Internet Usage Telegrams

 

We're going old school to regin in our Internet bill.

We got word that our most prolific commenter, Derjis, somehow convinced Shaw that he was a respectable citizen who should be invited to one of their few town hall meetings about usage-based billing (UBB). (Shaw is among the Internet providers considering usage-based billing. Rogers and Bell also want to charge more when you go over your monthly bandwidth cap.)

We said “Hey, let us know what happens at the meeting.” He did. But since he was pretty convinced UBB was still coming we decided to save our bandwidth for watching 80s movies on Netflix.

So we dusted off the edmontonian telegraph and asked Derjis to file his report from the nearest Western Union office. What follows is our first (but perhaps not our last) report by telegram*. (more…)


As Much Edmonton As Possible

By Angela Ostafichuk

Friday. It’s the best day of the week, and the first one of a new month. I can’t believe it’s March already. I’ve made a nine month plan for myself to get it all together and then, hopefully, get back to Asia. But things always change… After looking at all the countries I haven’t been to, I have a lot to venture to.

I’ve bought a new pair of kicks for running, went back to blogging and am working to get eight hours of sleep. Little steps make me feel like I’m actually achieving things. I’ve also signed myself up for Deathswitch because last year’s trip to South America was a close call. I’m still trying to figure out the “Switch” though. Like, if I die, will it e-mail everyone on my friends list saying something like “Come to my funeral,” or “Ding-dong the witch is gone,”? I always trying to be prepared, but I never feel prepared enough when things do happen.

Let’s see how much Edmonton I can get into one Friday. (more…)


How to get out of the city (more often)

By Angela Ostafichuk

Saturday night, 10pm Lattitude 53. I have a new appreciation for coat check girls. The four of us in the back have been going non-stop, and now all the coat hangers are gone, and there is no where else to put the coats. Latitude is packed with the best dressed (and hottest) Edmontonians and I’m enjoying the hipster fashion show from where I stand. Due to the frigid weather I’ve chosen a simple (but trend-setting) black dress I picked up in Japan. Paired with purple tights and my favourite high-heeled boots it’s fun, but functional. Everyone else around me looks great and it’s so refreshing to see people dressed up in the dead of winter.

I’ve run into so many people I know, from work, other parties, and, most of all, from high school as all the Vic kids are always at art events. It’s always weird when you run into people from your past and you haven’t added them on Facebook (or vice-versa). The small talk always leads to “So, what are you up to now?” as if some kind of fragile competition has ensued to see who has come the furthest. I used to tell people what I did and what my life was like. I would tell them about the amazing places I had seen, the beautiful people, and how wonderful our world was. However, I frequently got a very mediocre response over my enthusiasm; “It must be so nice to have all that money to waste on travel.”

So, after a few years, I stopped telling people about traveling. Now whenever I meet someone from the past I reply with a general answer that I’m pretty dull and don’t do too much.

Despite the lukewarm people, I do feel that travel is one of the only thing you spend money on that will make you richer. I have been lucky to have experienced this and, indeed every penny I put into being on the road, has been an investment 10 times over. I always come home feeling much faster, stronger, smarter, happier and so much more grateful.

I often hear “How do you afford to travel?” or “I could never afford to leave like you do.” True not everyone can travel as much as I do, but you can travel if you want to. You just have to make it a priority.

Travel is important for me, so I make sure to put money away for it. OK, so I owe money away. To keep myself from just sitting at home watching the travel channel (is there such a thing?) I’ve stuck to three general rules to make sure I’ve got money to see the world and live a simpler lifestyle. (more…)


Angela (back) in the city

(Editor’s note: Remember Angela? One of our intrepid fashionistas, and always looking on the bright side. She’s back.)

By Angela Ostafichuk

Life indeed has been hectic since I got back from backpacking around South America but, for once, I’m happy to be here. You would think that switching from 14-hour days of summer to 9-hour days of winter would be hard, but not this time. One of my New Year’s resolutions, made as I watched fireworks from my balcony in Bolivia, was to figure out my city. I had traveled and trekked around the world, but Edmonton still remained a mystery to me.

No sweat though, I’ve figured out my way around foreign lands so this should be a snap. (more…)


An Able Advocate

By Erin Despas

“Focus on ability” says disability advocate Louise Miller. For more than a decade, Ms. Miller has been advocating for people with disabilities. A paraplegic herself, after a bout with a rare virus in the spring of 1984, Louise is a vibrant and feisty personality; traits that helped her learn to adapt to her paralysis.

Raised in a small village in Scotland, from an early age Louise displayed a natural instinct to protect others. Little did anyone realize this was to become an important personal attribute later in her life. Now, as a disabilities advocate, Miller uses her tenacity and determination to better the lives of others with spinal cord injuries. A pursuit Ms. Miller never seems to tire from. She still teaches at the University of Alberta, can be found at speaking engagements, and continues to increase access in the City of Edmonton, and beyond.

In 1987, Miller co-founded the Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Centre Society. The same year she also set out to promote and fund research on spinal cord injuries.

Her main goal has been to improve the well-being and treatment of spinal cord injuries. Miller has been a member of a number of committees, two of which were for the city of Edmonton. As a result of her efforts, on the city of Edmonton boards especially, Miller has helped greatly improve the accessibility of services within the city. A published author, an award winner, and an instructor at the University of Alberta,  Miller keeps quite a busy schedule.

While most would likely say her most important work is helping make the city of Edmonton more accessible to those with disabilities, Miller humbly states her greatest achievement as “Family.”

“They’re always with me and getting involved.”


Skypercise

It’s cold outside. Because it’s Edmonton in winter. But you’ve got to exercise. Because corn dogs are so tasty. Enter our new friend, Jen Hamel, who is a personal trainer.

But who wants to walk, even a few blocks, when it’s a Long John Index of 3 or more to hit a gym with the trainer? Not many people. I sure don’t. Enter, again, our new friend Jen, who just got all Internet on your personal training. (more…)


Culina at the Muttart (and your new Yelper)

Hey! Let me introduce myself as Brittany K, otherwise known as the brand new Community Manager for Yelp Edmonton! Yelp is a website where real people write reviews of real businesses. Being the Community Manager comes with a whole schwack of responsibilities like taking care of the Yelp.ca/edmonton community, online and offline, and also delicious opportunities like filling in for the fine folks at the edmontonian for awesome events like checking out the new Muttart Culina.

Part of Edmonton’s Culina family, the newest location is hosted at local landmark the Muttart Conservatory. (It’s joining other restaurant locations in Millcreek and Highlands.) The Muttart dishes highlight a score of savoury and sweet local producers. (more…)


The rabbits have a plan

By Colin MacIntyre

There are times in life when you don’t realize things until a stranger asks you about it. This occured to me the other day when in a casual conversation I was asked “So, how long have you been in Edmonton?”.

This caused me to pause, and then realize that I’ve been in Edmonton almost 10 years.

10 YEARS??

Has it been that long since I left my homeland? A country of bunnyhugs, Vico, and watermelon hats!

To be honest I quite enjoy Edmonton. Sure, people get whiny when it’s winter, sure the transit system is slower than 1998 dial-up (unless you’re headed through a small part of the middle of the city only), and maybe there is a collective civic identity crisis, but Edmonton is quite nice. Fun people, a gorgeous river valley, gourmet ice cream stores… Edmonton has a lot to like.

There is one thing, however, that has always bothered me; one thing that has peaked my curiosity, my suspicion, and as, time passed, also my terror.

The rabbits.

 (more…)


Eligible in Edmonton: Speed Dating

By Miz. J

Being an intelligent, outgoing, fun, and, I’d like to think, funny single woman in Edmonton; it can be difficult to get into the dating scene. I, like many men and women, work in an environment where it’s hard to take the step from interesting conversation or casual hello, to an exchange of phone numbers. So where, and how, do you meet people?

Online? I’m too busy for this back and fourth through email and texting to then find the person is nothing as they had described themselves. So, what now…

When speed dating came up in conversation I pounced on the idea of a night out with friends, a nice glass of wine, a bite to eat and chance to meet a tonne of men. Always up for a good time, we booked our night and this dating adventure began. (more…)


The Long John Index (Or Everything you always wanted to know aboot the Long John Index, but were afraid someone might hear you ask.)

By cold Colin MacIntyre

The Long John Index F.A.Q.

Q: So, what in Daryl Katz’s wallet is the “Long John Index”?

A: The Long John Index is a not scientific whatsoever method of measuring when, and if, one should be wearing a pair of thermal long underwear, known more commonly in the Dominion of Canada as “Long Johns.” The Long John Index originated in the Arctic Capital of Edmonton Alberta, in the second decade of the 21st Century. It is used mainly for edutainment and gambling purposes.

Q: I see, so how does it work?

A: How does what work?

Q: The Long John Thing.

A: You wear them on the lower half of your person.

Q: No I meant the Index

A: You cannot wear an index.

Q: I meant how does the Long John Index work?

A: Oh, well when you put it that way, its really quite simply not simple at all. The Index runs on a scale from 1 to 5; 1 being the lowest, and 5 being the highest. The Index corresponds to weather conditions, including air temperature as well as that Wind Chill, which was invented so people can brag about living through -68 degrees, even though it was really only -31 degrees. The Higher the number ( or rating if you will ) the more your very survival depends on wearing a pair of Long Johns.

The Long John Index ratings are as follows: (more…)


Beever at the sex show

edmonton, taboo, paint, womanBy Gregg Beever

When I asked Jeff to send me to the The Taboo Naughty But Nice Show, I envisioned a press pass that would give me all access behind the scenes of Edmonton’s sex expo. Unfortunately, the halls at the Edmonton Expo Centre don’t really have a behind the scenes, unless you count the coat check or toilet stalls.

Determined to deliver the hard-hitting journalism readers of the edmontonian deserve, I snuck behind the mini-donut stand to deliver the following report. (more…)


Spacevision Edmonton (The Case for the Spaceport Part Deux)

By Colin MacIntyre

A couple of weeks ago I began to make the case that Edmonton needs a Spaceport. You are probably wondering, “What does this half-brained twit mean by ‘Spaceport’?”

Well, let me tell you something, I’ve been thinking and plotting this for months, which means I am using at least 67% of my brain.

By Spaceport, I don’t just mean a place for UFOs to dock, beam up cattle, zap drive-thru’s and then scurry off again. In my Spacevision, the Edmonton Spaceport will be a economic, industrial and educational facility that will focus on both Earth-based AND non-earth-based space vehicles.

Picture it if you will: (more…)


ID Cards for the Homeless

edmonton, homeless, red

It is an oft-overlooked problem, one without a visible face. But now, that is changing.

A new program in Edmonton is helping homeless people have an identity, at least in the eyes of the provincial government, and is doing so in a literal fashion: helping them get ID cards. The new program allows the homeless to list homeless shelters and other agencies as residences and is going to great lengths to help them find documentation to prove their identities.

The thinking behind the program is that not only will it help the government track the number of homeless individuals in the province, but will also help them get back on their feet. Without proper identification, many resources are unavailable to them, such as opening bank accounts or even going to the food bank. It has symbolic implications as well: those who have too often been ignored now have an identity, and now are being treated as people like any citizen with a home, job, and proper ID.

Of course, the program is not without its faults. (more…)