Friday, July 30, 2010

Library Blogging at Re:Generations

For the past year or so, I have been fortunate to be the student representation for Re:Generations. Re:Generations is a committee of the Canadian Association of College and University Libraries (CACUL), which is itself a division of the Canadian Library Association (CLA). Re:Gen's mandate is to engage new and prospective (academic) librarians.

Mostly my involvement has been attending meetings (over the phone, though the group is moving towards using Skype), helping to organize an ambassador visit to my library school, and blogging regularly for the Re:Generations blog.

As new librarian, the bulk (ok, every single one) of my posts have presented a concern, and then asked (begged) for advice from wise veteran librarians. My time as a student rep for Re:Gen has come to an end, so I figured I'd link to all my posts from here, for future reference. Please have a read if you'd like; there are some great gems of knowledge in the comments section.

To Contract, Or Not To Contract
CLA Conference Advice?
Subject Guides Revisited
Ambassador Visit To SLIS
Cold Calling - Necessary or Annoying?
Library School Burnout
Seeking Project Management Advice
Job Search Success for Library Students

The blog was migrated from Blogger to Wordpress at one point, so the formatting of old posts is all screwed up (grr). I hope you enjoyed the posts (and comments) nonetheless!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Trip To Elk Island National Park

Last week, a couple friends and I headed out to Elk Island National Park for a hike walk. I've lived in Edmonton most of my life, yet have never been to Elk Island, unless driving by on the highway counts. That's shocking because this beautiful park is less than an hour from home.

The coolest part was our drive into the park. Not a minute after I turned off the highway, this crossed the road:

Yep, that's a moose!

Shortly after we spotted the moose, this made it's way onto the road:

And that's a buffalo!

I've seen buffalo as we drove passed the park on the highway, and once on a farm, but never this close before. I wasn't sure what to do, so we waited for it to return to the side of the road and then drove by slowly as it headed into the bush again.

Now that's wildlife!

We eventually parked in one of the small lots, and then headed out on a 10km hike down one of the many trails. As it was already late in the evening, and the mosquitoes were out in force, we only managed about 4km before heading home. It was really humid and foggy by the end, but really gorgeous.

The entrance to the trail.

More wildlife, this time a frog...toad...whatever.

And the fog rolls in - time to go home.

There was tons of flowers too, not sure why I didn't take any pictures of them?

It was a lovely way to spend an evening. I can't believe I've never been before. I wish I could get out there more often and one day do a longer hike!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Music Monday: Michael Franti Concert

A couple years ago, we saw Michael Franti and Spearhead at the Edmonton Folk Festival.

And he blew our minds!

His music is amazing for three reasons. First, it's about love and peace and happiness, not depressing violent crap that other people sing about (well mostly not about that anyways). Second, its peppy and cheerful and upbeat - I dare you to not get up and dance to it. Third, he is a seemingly lovely man, who is very charismatic and has an awesome stage present. Thus, the complete package.

Last week's Winspear Centre concert might be the best show I've seen this year so far.

The opener, Ko or whatever, started promising, then sang songs about weed and the four Mayerthorpe Mounties. After that I wanted nothing more for him to leave.

All was not lost though. The minute the lights went down for Michael Franti, the entire Winspear crowd stood up and mostly remained standing for the rest of the show. Keep in mind this was in the concert hall the symphony usually plays in. Standing up and dancing do not happen there often, I imagine anyways.

It was an amazing concert. We sang and danced and clapped the whole time. He is such a great performer, who really interacts with the audience. At one point, he did a song walking up the left aisle, around the back, then down the right aisle. Later on he disappeared, and suddenly the crowd was looking at us - he reappeared right above our heads in the second balcony, and did another song from there.

He got this little boy up on stage at one point. The kid had a sign saying 'Can I have a hug' or something, and he certainly got hugged! For one of the encore songs, the entire band started the song from the back of the theatre, and slowly made their way to the stage (check out a video here).

And for the last song, he invited all the kids and people over 60 to join him. They were all dancing, and he let a little girl sing part of the song. It was so cute. Michael Franti lived in Edmonton for a year while he was in junior high, and every show I've seen he always mentions his old coach. Well sure enough, the coach and his wife the typing teacher ended up dancing on stage too, hanging out with the band.

Gosh it was a great concert. I left feeling all happy and hopeful.

I can't wait until next time!

You can find Michael Franti and Spearhead at:
Michael Franti official
Michael Franti myspace
Michael Franti Wikipedia

The 'Yell Fire' album is still my favourite, but here's one more, because it's fun and will make you smile for sure...

Friday, July 23, 2010

Moose On The Loose: I'm Published!

Seriously, I got published!*

Well sort of. After a comment I made on twitter was replied to by @Edmontonstories, they encouraged me to submit a story to their website. Edmonton Stories is run by the City of Edmonton, and has been publishing stories online: " is where Edmontonians and visitors can tell their stories...Sharing your personal experience and insights through a story will illustrate what our city has to offer the world."

I wrote about being a Green Shack girl, and about the time a moose ran through our park.

I wish I had a picture, but this was before digital cameras, and my other photo albums are buried somewhere in the basement! The Edmontonian has a picture on their blog post about the green shacks if you want to see what they look like.

Green Shacks, for the uninitiated, are little green sheds that are placed at Edmonton playgrounds in the summers. Playground leaders (fondly called 'Green Shack girls or guys') lead games, songs, crafts and other activities for children during the school holidays. I did it for two summers, and it was definitely interesting. I certainly have more stories besides the moose incident that include teenagers tipping over out portable toilet, being evacuated due to a tornado warning, enjoying rainy day card games inside the shack with my co-leader, etc. I'd highly recommend applying to be a green shack leader when in university, especially for faculty of Education undergraduates. It's a great job, and really fun working with the kids.

Oh those nostalgic summer days!

(*And actually this is the second time I've been published. An essay I wrote in library school about Tribal College libraries was published in the 2010 issue of Library Student Journal. You can access that here.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Music Monday: Theatre Under The Stars

Recently, while I was in Vancouver, I saw two musicals as part of the 'Theatre Under The Stars' series - this year's musicals were 'Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat' and 'Singing In The Rain'. The annual outdoor shows are put on in Stanley Park, which is a beautiful venue. Overall, they were quite well done and I enjoyed both very much.

I really, really like musicals. Remember I lived in London, England for four years, so I've seen a crap-ton of shows. In fact, I've dedicated a whole page over at my other blog to rating the musicals I've seen.

Here are my favourite songs from the musicals I saw in Vancouver:

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat - I didn't want to see this at first back in 2004 because I thought it was stupid and cheesy. But now I love it and have seen it half a dozen times, at least! Now I think it's fun and cheesy! This video is the audio from the finale megamix, with random footage of the 1991 production (sorry, couldn't find the Donny Osmond megamix version and actually can't remember if it's in the movie, so Jason Donovan will have to do)

Singing In The Rain - This video comes from the movie, which is one of my favourites -  and as a bonus I've included the vintage Kurt Browning figure skating routine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Trip to the Capilano Suspension Bridge

I'm home from my Vancouver vacation, but still wanted to post about something 'different' I did. I've been to Vancouver before, so while I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the sights (I'd already mostly seen) and hanging out with my friend, I did have a mini-adventure.

I was hoping it would've been an epic adventure, but what do you expect for $27.

What, wait, $27? Back up.

One day last week I decided to check out the hype that is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. They run a free shuttle from downtown, so between that and the two interpretive walks I tagged along to (one explaining the totem poles, one a nature walk), it was almost worth the $27 (and that's the student price, it's $35 regular price). I thought the park area would be really big, worthy of a couple hours of walking, but instead it took a couple minutes to get over the bridge (and back) and then I think I could've probably walked the whole thing in half an hour if I hadn't tagged along to the nature walk etc. It was real pretty though.

Let the photo tour commence!

Some of the many totem poles at the Interpretive Centre.

View from the Interpretive Centre side.

It was very wobbly and bouncy! And high up. Not for the faint of heart.

There was a rookery too - the hawk's name was Smaug.

Some trees were so tall you couldn't see the tops!

Quaint fish pond.

No kidding!

Treetops Adventure - not quite as bouncy as the bridge nut also very cool.

Treetops from the ground.

Nature Walk.

The bridge from below.

And the nature walk continues...

Time to walk back over the bridge!

View of the river from the bridge.

I took about a hundred pictures. I really was beautiful.

Over all I reckon it's worth the trip once but not twice. Apparently the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is shorter but free, and Grouse Mountain has some fun stuff to do (ziplines!), so I reckon I'll be back to the area next time I visit Vancouver!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood Fun Facts

Via @spydergrrl, here's a great link to an article titled '15 Reasons Mr. Rogers Was the Best Neighbour Ever'. You should definitely check it out if you watched the show as a kid, it's super interesting. He was such a kind man. Be sure to check out the link at the end for another wonderful profile of Mr. Rogers.

And for nostalgia sake, here's the show intro:

Oh, those were the good ol' days, when life was simple and carefree and kind.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Music Monday: Vancouver Edition

I'm currently on holiday in Vancouver for a bit. Here are two vintage music videos from Vancouver area bands I liked back in the day (and still to this day):

Moist (Breathe): wikipedia

Spirit of the West (Home For A Rest - language warning): wikipedia, official, myspace

Friday, July 09, 2010

The Dutch, Orange, and Carrots

How about another football video? This time, instead of annoying vuvuzelas, how about a rather interesting video about the Netherlands, why they wear orange, and carrots...

Sorry, there's no embed function so you'll have to go view it over at Yahoo Sports.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Music Monday: Vuvuzela Hero + Wavin' Flag

Since my new hobby is watching football, this week's music monday is inspired by the World Cup.

Via Geeks Are Sexy, check out the new video game sensation - Vuvuzela Hero...

Ok, that was a bit mean. Kudos if you made it through to the end.

How about the real football song, sung by a favourite of mine, K'Naan...

And here's the Young Artists For Haiti version...

And the album version (same lyrics as the Haiti version mostly)...

And another version with slightly different lyrics and

K'Naan is playing an Edmonton show in late September. I've seen him half a dozen times since he first appeared at Folk Fest in 2006. He's pretty popular now after this whole Flag song bit, but he's actually quite down to earth. The rest of his songs are usually pretty powerful, you've got to love those African drumbeats! I guarantee it'll be a good show!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A Sporty Sort Of Weekend

I'm a sports fan, of the watching as opposed to playing variety. The only sports I wont watch are American football and basketball (although I'm willing to give both another shot at some point). I have a healthy appreciation for hockey and am an avid Edmonton Oilers fan who is lucky enough to see a few games a year. I like watching baseball and equestrian in the summer and I love the Winter Olympics and pretty much all winter sports. I've recently become addicted to roller derby and obviously you know I'm obsessed with curling.

But this is what I've been doing for the past couple weeks.

I have watched more World Cup football thus far than I watched the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. And I don't didn't even like football. I hated playing it as a child. Sure, I had a passive appreciation for it when I lived in the UK. I kept up enough to know the names of the teams and a few star Premiership players so I could chat to the students at school. I was in the UK for one Euro and one World Cup and shared the disappointment with the rest of the country when England got knocked out. I watched a friendly between Fulham and Glasgow, and saw Norwich lose a couple times. But I never really liked the game much.

Now, however, I think it is one of the best sports to watch. I now totally appreciate the athletic ability of the players. It's not just people running around for 90mins: I can now see the extreme skill and fitness required. I will be a football fan long after the World Cup is over.

Anyways, besides watching Spain win this weekend (best looking team by the way), I managed to watch a couple other of my favourite sports.

First up, a couple friends and I went to see the Edmonton Capitals baseball team pound the Calgary Vipers 8-2. I went to a Capitals last year, and I still think it's one of Edmonton's great nights out. Tickets are cheap (under $20) and hot dogs/food/beverages are cheap too. Sitting in the sun, watching some good baseball, what more could you ask for??

The next night, a bunch of us went to see the roller derby. Roller derby has become a bit of a reoccuring theme for my friends and I. We've been going almost monthly this spring/summer, and each time the group grows as we evangelize more and more people to the awesomeness of the sport.  Once again it's a cheap (tickets are $15) and exciting night of sporting entertainment.

There are two 'leagues' in Edmonton, the Oil City Derby Girls (out of the north side) and E-Ville (out of the south side). We tend to go to the E-Ville games, and by now know all the names of the derby girls and (most) of the rules. I entered a contest over at The Edmontonian blog and won two tickets!! They were looking for Edmonton themed derby names, and my 'West Edmonton Maul' was a favourite. Read the rest of the awesome suggestions in the comments section of the blog post.

The bout was E-Ville vs. Seatle's Rat City. And suprise guest, Paul Lorieau (the anthem singer for the Edmonton Oilers) sang the anthems! They even gave him a t-shirt and an honorary derby name: Paul 'the Punisher' Lorieau.

The game was awesome!! E-Ville clobbered Seattle 125-85. Seattle was picked to beat Edmonton because Seattle are ranked 5th in the US, but they only had seven original players in town, and had to pick up the rest from Calgary, Red Deer and Regina. Team dynamics were a bit different and they got beat pretty good, but it was a victory for E-Ville nonetheless. The game was fast and physical - awesome!!

Ok, so it's hard to take pictures when the lighting sucks and they're moving so fast, plus I was too busy watching and cheering. If you want to see better pictures, check out the E-Ville Gallery. Follow them on facebook and twitter while you're at it and come see a game!

I think I might be addicted to roller derby. I wonder if they sell season tickets?

So, yeah, I've been watching a lot of sports lately. And I've been loving every minute. 

Why am I still single?!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Visit to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

I'm Ukrainian on both sides (third generation). We eat Ukrainian food often, attend perogy suppers regularly and on occasion listen to the Zabava Ukrainian radio program on CFCW. I was a Ukrainian dancer for five years as a kid. I (used to) know the alphabet and a couple dozen words in Ukrainian (I've forgotten most of that now, but I do remember yabloko = apple and a half dozen others). Right, so that's not really 'intouch with my roots' or anything but not too bad for native Canadians.

I've never been to the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village though. Shocking really.

In what has become somewhat of a Canada Day tradition, I went adventuring with a good friend and her son (who holds the title of my-most-favourite-kid-ever). The Village is only about 45 minutes west on the Yellowhead/Trans Canada Highway, and is just past Elk Island Park. Admission is cheap ($8 for adults, kids under 6 free, and then other discounts for seniors and kids or AMA members).

The grounds are mostly filled with original old buildings that have been moved to the site from surrounding local communities, and restored to their original state. Costumed interpreters are available in and around the buildings to answer questions (though are not generally as friendly and welcoming as other interpreters I've met). There's also a gift shop and small (very small) museum area with two exhibits (one was on Ukrainian weddings, and the other on the village in general).

Because it was Canada Day, there were a few special events. There were musical acts, and a drama on the main stage. There was also a collection of classic cars on the lawn, a small bazaar selling preserves, dips, tablecloths, jewelry, blankets, and my favourite - Ukrainian doughnuts (pampushky, which come in poppyseed, apricot, apple and prune flavours, my favourite being prune).

I'm not a food blogger, so forgive me for forgetting to take photos of the food! The pampushky were excellent (moist, if a bit greasy, with lots of prune inside). For lunch there are a couple options: hot dogs, hamburger and fries (but why would you go to the Ukrainian Village for that?!), borscht (with a bun $3.75), a perogy plate ($7.50 for 8 perogies, onions and sour cream and drink), and the Baba's Best plate ($9.50 for 6 perogies, 3 cabbage rolls and a piece of kolbasa and drink). Bacon bits were free, but real bacon cost $1.05, ha ha. The perogies were really good. They were all potato filling, but very tasty and big enough to satisfy a hungry people who had just walked the grounds in the sun. The cabbage rolls were good as well, very sour. I was impressed actually. Eating lunch at the village is definitely a must if you visit.

Here are some photos:

Would I go back? For sure, but not for just a regular weekend. I would go back again on a day when there was a special event going on, like the dance festival in May or music festival in August. (Here is a calendar of events.)

The Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village is a great $20 (+gas) day. Definitely check out one of the many events they have throughout the year! And don't forget to have perogies for lunch!!