5 Things To Do in Calgary for Christmas

5 Things To Do in Calgary for Christmas

1. Enjoy the chinook.

2. Leave. They say no one is from Calgary, so go visit wherever you came from, I guess? I’m going to Winnipeg.

3. Listen to people complain about how oil prices are affecting retail sales this season.

4. Visit the golf course to see the light demo with the religious undertones.

5. Shovel every damn inch of sidewalk on your property line before your neighbours call By-Law Services on your lazy ass.

Happy holidays, folks! Have a good one!


The Beauty in Beer Labels, Part 3: Cat Themed Beer

She returns! Where have I been? Well, I’ll tell you in another post. I wanted to get back to some fun first.

This is a series I started back in October 2014 looking at fun and interesting beer labels. Design is not necessarily thought of when we talk craft beer, however, it’s a big part of sales. Good labels will sell just like people buy alcohol with funny names “just for fun” or as a gift.

If you want to see the previous posts:
Part 1
Part 2

This installment is cat-themed beer.

I like sour ales and I like cats… this cat looks so evil/regal and his hair is to die for.

I think I am drawn to the name of this beer- Cat Nap. Unfortunately I would never buy this because it is 3.6%… seems like a waste.

At first, I would think this was a sake can. I don’t think sake comes in cans though. I like the colours as it reminds me of a Mondrian painting crossed with a Picasso.

I don’t quite get this but wanted to include because it was so different. What other worldliness is the third eye perceiving? Why the joke collar? I also think there was a missed opportunity to make a pun with “tall tales”. I won’t say it.

Now this is a fave of mine. This is one I would buy just for the label. Plus it’s an IPA, so that makes it even better. I do not qualify as a crazy cat lady because I have one cat. The official definition includes 3+ cats.

Now, I think this one takes the cake… Hello Kitty branded fruit beer. Not sure who the market is on this one, but it can easily be mistaken for soda. There might be a lot of tipsy juniors hanging around Tokyo. The Atlantic did an article on this beer. They think the branding is genius.

And just for fun… here’s my cat Sam. He doesn’t drink… he’s straight edgexxx.

Look for more posts coming soon… I promise. Blogging is a nice for silly little outlet for things that make me feel good rather than constant politics bickering, researching sad things, writing papers, etc.  Thanks for reading (if anyone actually does).

5 Things Learned in the First 3 Months of Grad School

In September, I began my first year in grad school. For me, the experience has been extra hectic having moved far away from my home, leaving my awesome job and friends. Then, just  things that have gone sideways in order to make my life harder than it needs to be.

Before starting school, I was really nervous. I was worried I wasn’t smart enough, didn’t have the experience required, wasn’t passionate enough. I felt like a fraud and it was only a matter of time before someone would find out. However, things are much different that I expected them to be.

So, here we are… 5 things I learned in the first 3 months of grad school.

There is no reason to be scared
The selection process is rigourous and they only select the best into my program. I received my acceptance letter the first week of January, I’ve been told that means I was one of the top picks, since I wasn’t expecting it until May or so. I’m occupying a seat because I’m good at what I do and I’m passionate. I didn’t lie on my application even a little bit, so I should feel confident that I belong there.

The course work is not as difficult as you might expect. But, it could be because I am a different person that I was six years ago when I graduated with my last degree.

What you did before matters, but also doesn’t matter
I say this because you bring your experience and knowledge to the class and can draw upon it to apply theory, assist with learning, and figure out exactly what you want (or don’t want) to do after this degree.

I also say it doesn’t matter because (at least for me), you’re not doing that anymore. I was kind of a “big deal” in the grassroots affordable housing movement in Winnipeg. I was an expert on something and people knew that. People talked about me and came to me for comments. BUT… they don’t anymore. It has been an adjustment for me and definitely a blow to the ego. But, you have to move on and continue forging your career and name, it’s just how it is. And if you’re lucky, that work you did before will catapult you into awesome things :)

The importance of networking
If you’re like me, you don’t fit into the tiny box of what your school wants you to be. This is frustrating and discouraging at times. If your immediate circle of faculty members do not offer you what you need in order to grow and meet your goals… GO OUTSIDE! I’ve connected with a prof who aligns well with my values and goals. She has been wonderful in connecting me to people in the community who can work with me and teach me what I need to know. She has also offered some other potential opportunities that sound promising.

Networking makes for a unique and rich experience. It’s also good for your career. Learn how to do it, then do it. Be professional. Get business cards. Shake hands. Attend presentations. Send cold emails. Ask people for coffee.

Create an excellent work space
I do not have a good work space in my home. My house is very dark and my desk is too small for how I want to use it; up until recently I didn’t even have a proper chair. So, I was doing all my work in my oversized comfy chair with big, flat arms… actually quite handy for working on a laptop. But, not ideal.

I’ve taken to working in our faculty’s student lounge. It is open late and everyone leaves at 5pm. I have access to a fridge, microwave, kettle, sink, giant tables and comfy benches! I couldn’t ask for much more. I spend a lot of time there… I mean A LOT OF TIME.

You’re going to feel like crap, no matter what…
You’re going to have doubts. You’re going to fear failure. You’re going to be hard on yourself and compare your life to others.

If you moved, you’re going to regret it at times. If you have a relationship, you’re going to neglect it. If you have a cat, he will end up hating you periodically… but then forget about it because (let’s face it) he’s a cat. Your apartment is going to get gross… and I mean like really gross. You’ll lack sleep and be jittery from too much caffeine.

If you’re in my position, you’re going to be broke and fight off your depression everyday. You’re also feel incredibly socially awkward talking to your peers (how do I be human, I forget). School work distractions are quite helpful in glossing over these things.

It’s just a fact of grad school life…

You’ll also make some good friends you can commiserate with and give you advice. You’ll drink a lot of beer. You’ll also eat too many cookies because your classmates are nice people. You’ll get inspired. You’ll learn. You’ll try new things. You’ll have QUESTIONS and discuss the answers with brilliant people.

Best of all, if you’re like me, you’ll build on your skills and…

You’ll change the fucking world.

Words I Don’t Know

I’m getting old. How do I know that? Because I don’t know what words mean anymore. Is it just me or is slang today just terrible? Here is a list of words I don’t know, but what I think they mean and what they actually mean.

Someone who has misspelled bao. Bao is delicious.
Example: “Let’s go get some bae.”
“Do you mean bao?”

A shortened form of “babe” and also an acronym for “before anyone else.” 

Ugh. I don’t know. It sounds like it’s going to be something really dumb. If I had to guess, I would say something to do with travelling… like looking for a cheap flight?
Example: “I’m trying to fleek Brisbane on Expedia, but not having any luck.”

Something being on fleek means that it is looking perfect.

Getting all mixed up. Like, getting turned around.
Example: “Wait a second, which way is Hell? I’m all turnt.”

Being in full party mode.

Abbreviating afternoon.
Example: “See you this AF.”

Abbreviating “as fuck”.

To miss a deer on the highway.
Example: “I had to swerve to not hit a deer on the road.”

Used to call someone out on a lie, or to tell someone to go away.


Do you use any of these awful words/phrases? 

A case of the Mondays

Poor Monday. No one likes you. I’m so sorry.
Of course Grumpy cat has something to say on this subject.

I haven’t drank coffee in almost a month. But, in 9 days I get to start drinking it again. Excited!

I suppose if you are a nurse, you don’t mind crocs so much… but I bet you still hate Mondays.

Now, time for a little Monday encouragement!

I don’t get the minion fascination, but they have the right attitude.

Even on Groundhog Day (today), Bill still knows you can kick the day’s ass.

Best of all, if nothing else… Be kind. For we are all fighting the good fight against Monday.

How was your Monday? 

Famous Authors and the Perils of Happiness

Instead of those lame ol’ inspirational quotes people post on their Facebook and such- you know the type. “Live, Laugh, Love. ” or “You’re only as happy as you make your mind up to be.” You know, that crap… I thought I would post some great quotes of some of my favourite authors talking about happiness. It’s not all fuzzy rainbows when real people talk about happiness or life fulfillment, that’s why I love these quotes. They don’t make me feel bad about myself, they just seem relateable. Hope you can relate too!

Mark Twain

Papa Hemingway

Chuck Palahniuk

Kurt Vonnegut

If you want to read more authors talking about happiness, this post was inspired by this list- 40 Authors on How to Be Happy

Tell me which one you like best!