Tag Archives: uptown waterloo

“the future of science” or “would i fall asleep?”

friday nights make for great movie nights. that would be my usual go-to choice for celebrating the start of the weekend [or mid-work week, as is my case!]. this past friday, i got to try something new for my evening’s entertainment! [i debated long and hard whether i should classify this outing as a new experience and decided against it. just didn’t get the vibe].

anyway! this weekend is a big one for the local perimeter institute for theoretical physics. and when i say “local,” i mean it is right across the street from the condo casa! if you’re not familiar with the institute (and if you’re not from waterloo, you probably are not) just know that stephen hawking has visited, and in fact, this weekend, they are opening the stephen hawking centre, a new addition to the building.

friday evening, the perimeter institute hosted a FREE lecture entitled “the future of science.” when i found out about it, i signed up for my ticket right away. now, when it comes to being artsy or being scientic, i am definitely more in touch with the creative side of my brain; i haven’t thought scientifically since high school. but, i was quite jazzed about this opportunity for a neat social outing that is outside the realm of what i usually enjoy (hello, woody allen movies and author events).

plus, i loved the choice of venue for the event:

the starlight is a nighclub/bar in uptown waterloo/my 'hood

the instructions that came with my ticket were very explicit in stating that we HAD to be in our seats by 7:15 p.m. for the 7:30 start time (those in the waiting line would be admitted after 7:15 p.m).

there was already a long line forming when i arrived at 7 pm!

i love the juxtaposition of "night club" and "science lecture"

usually, i really dislike arriving so early to something. i get b-o-r-e-d waiting. however, i easily amused myself by snapping photos!

it’s all about the blog!

yes, the bar was open!

i love a good disco ball!

the starlight was a great choice of venue – intimate yet spacious enough. seating was very informal: small tables, rows of chairs, comfy couches…and we were encouraged to move seats to wherever we wanted!

seats filled up quite quickly - if you look closely, almost everyone is pecking away on a blackberry or iphone, while waiting - > funny!

view from the bar that i took when i was ordering my beer.....joke!!

i purposely chose a spot near the back, at an "aisle" so i could make an early get-away if need be...

i had wondered if i would know anyone…sure enough! anne from yoga was one of the organizers with perimeter! [something cool: anne mentioned that we were welcome to facebook photos, or post to twitter, if we wanted to; i told her about the blog, and she said “even better!” much nicer than events where photography is not permitted, and shows perimeter is with the times].

embarrassingly, it took me a couple seconds to recognize anne - used to seeing her in yoga clothes, in class!

this was seriously such an awesome place for this event: the atmosphere was relaxed and laid-back, not at all stuffy, pretentious, or formal. in terms of the crowd present, i was surprised: it was a much younger group, by and large, than i had anticipated – including several teens!

i love when i don't have to look around people! i enjoyed a clear sight-line of the stage, and space in front of me

all set to scribble down notes!

the lecture started promptly at 7:30 p.m. *like!*

the panelists

the host for the evening was dr richard epp, on the far right in the photo, above. the other three men are all researchers/scientists. dr epp started by saying we were on a strict timeline and HAD to be out of the club by 8:45 p.m. *like even more!* early + mandatory finishing time? perfect!

view from my seat - no complaints!

now: i have to tell you right now that i’m not going to share a lot of info about “the future of science.”

in a nutshell, the discussion was over my head.

this doesn’t bother me a bit. i thoroughly enjoyed the panel discussion. but, i have not studied science – physics in particular – since grade 11 with mr pfisterer, so i truly had not a clue as to the ideas being examined. black holes and string theory? say what?!

dr epp was a fabulous moderator: he kept the discussion flowing and on-topic. i understood the questions he was asking…it was the scientists’ responses that lost me!

so i made up a game: “quantum” quickly emerged as the word of the night. how many ways was it used? well we heard about:

  • quantum mechanics
  • quantum gravity
  • quantum encription
  • quantum teleportation
  • quantum field theory

got that?!

but here are the ideas i did pick up:

  • in regard to teaching kids about science, the answers are not in books
  • the universe gets less mysterious but also more deeply mysterious (as we make progress in scientific study)
  • what distinguishes us from animals: our insatiable curiosity

ok! all was not lost: i walked away with three things learned.

the evening concluded with a q & a session:

many eager people! so different from what i usually see at events when people are hesitant to pose questions!

true to their word, we were out at precisely 8:45 p.m. *nice!*

the night was not boring at all, as i had somewhat feared. i enjoyed the people-watching myself thoroughly. it was fun to step outside my usual “thinking comfort zone.” i commend the perimeter institute for their outreach into the local community, and for offering these sessions – for free – to the general public.

bonus: i got to see inside the starlight! i highly doubt i’ll get there as a club-goer!

are you a scientist, by nature, or an artsy? i’d say i’m 95% artsy, 5% science-y! no balance whatsoever!

“science” is a pretty vast subject. what aspect of science do you prefer? in high school, biology as in cells/plants/animals bored me to tears, but i loved genetics!

all in the family

typically, wednesday is aunti day in toronto. i leave waterloo at 2:00 p.m. on the dot [not joking – 401 traffic is such that even leaving 10 minutes later means i’ll get snarled in traffic in mississauga and again on the gardiner expressway – i’ve got this commute down to a science!], bop around toronto til everyone gets home from work/school, then enjoy dinner and early-eve-til-bedtime time with the brother, sil ana, adorable e and cutie c.

this week, the tables were turned! summer holiday schedules permitted the little family to make the trek up to waterloo to see g’ma and g’pa, uncle b and aunti! and bonus: we all were able to book most of the day off to be together!

here’s how family vacation went down in waterloo, on wednesday…

10:30 a.m.! we all gather for...

g'ma's homemade streusel coffee cake...

...followed by play time with two types of teddy bear games!

as if a day-long visit to waterloo was not exciting enough, the extra-special part of the trip was that adorable e would be sleeping over at grandma and grandpa’s condo for the very first time!

unpacking...about 17 minutes after arrival at g'ma and g'pa's!

jeff has this super air mattress that he lent e to sleep on. it’s pretty sturdy…

no more monkeys jumping on the bed!

then, it was over to waterloo park for a family lunch-time picnic!

we could walk over! the park is a hop, skip and a jump away!

wednesday was a beautiful day to be outside: it was warm, but a bit overcast so no one got overheated.

we counted three rabbits!

we slid slides!

we played house! (good thing aunti's been yogaing!)


we found a quiet spot...

grandma is brilliant! an old trick that i remember from childhood, too…

a shower curtain from the dollar store makes a perfect table cloth! the curtain even came with clips - no flapping edges!

a perfect picnic menu - somehow the chips are missing from the photo?!?!

dig in, everyone!

after lunch, we split into small groups. g’ma, g’pa, aunti and adorable e stayed at the park.

g’pa, aunti and e enjoyed a vigorous round-robin session of toss-the-beach-ball. you dropped it, you were the dirty donkey or the nasty monkey! [no pictures – aunti needed to focus and not drop the ball, literally!].

time out to re-inflate the beach ball...

...blow some bubbles!

a flying saucer swing!


sil ana, the brother and i had just enough time to do a quick boot around uptown waterloo to window shop, and then it was…

dinner time!

the clan at "marbles" restaurant in uptown - one of our favourite spots!

that was such a fun day. i can’t remember the last time we all spent almost the entire day together like that. even at christmas, our visit tends to be a few hours, only. it was a lovely way to end the month of august before we all go crazy jump into our fall routines.

[eta: little’s e’s sleepover ended up being a smashing success! it’s reported that she only rolled off the air mattress two times during the night!]

how old were you when you had your first sleepover? my earliest recollection is of sleeping over at vfbf joanne‘s house when i was four or five. somehow, we switched beds during the night, and freaked out poor joanne’s mom because in the morning, we were vice-versa to how she had tucked us in!

cora makes us breakfast

dad and i seem to have a set point of waiting ’til the last minute to get in our outing of the month! more often than not, i do believe, it seems to come down to the final days of the month before we finally get our acts together and get out for our father-daughter bonding time!

cora‘s opened its uptown waterloo location – the franchise’s 113th spot – in november 2009. since then, i have heard varying reports about this popular breakfast/brunch/lunch restaurant. here’s feedback i have received: on the positive side, people rave about the fresh fruit that accompanies each dish, and the generous portions you receive; on the negative side, it’s been reported that the menu is overpriced and that the dining room (for the waterloo location, anyway) is loud and impersonal.

it was time to find out for myself.

cora's - located in the mall in uptown waterloo

who else to drag along invite to do a cora’s review than dear dad?! [dad has dined at cora’s many times before – a good sign that he was willing to go back??].

me, ready to dine!!! dad must have been very hungry - his camera work is a little off (chopped cora's sign!)!

the restaurant was not busy at all this morning (on weekends, they are lined up 20 deep, right into the mall). we got seated at a lovely window table.


the menu is, quite honestly, the most extensive brunch menu i have ever seen:

namesake cora, on the menu cover!

take a look (and drool not):

page one...

page two...not done yet...

...and page three!! zowie!

holy moly was it tough to choose – i spied at least 10 choices that would have made me very happy.

those readers who know me well will laugh at this: you know my taste buds have been wonky since i had the flu. well, this morning, i knew there was ONE SPECIFIC FOOD that i had. to. have. as part of breakfast:


[ok, you can stop laughing now. but i’m so serious about needing bacon!!!]

so, i narrowed my picks to two:

option a...

or, option b

i ended up choosing…

cora's special!

wow – you would not believe what was included in my plate: two poached eggs (you can choose how you want your eggs); bacon, ham, sausage, fried potato wedges, a thin pancake/crepe, and fresh fruit. oh, and toast!

dad's plate was much like mine, but he got blueberry pancakes instead of the crepe

let's dig in!

so, what did i think?

cora’s rocks.

i absolutely loved this breakfast and would give it an a- rating. my favourite was the thin pancake! everything was really tasty. my only suggestion for improvement would be to crisp up the bacon and cook the potatoes longer – they were both a little underdone for my liking. otherwise, the quality leaves nothing to be desired.

thoughts about the pricing: most selections run between $10 – $14 so it’s not the cheapest eatery in uptown, but the quality matches the price point, to my mind.

service was just fine. nothing spectacular, but our food arrived without too much delay and all of the servers were very polite. dad had his coffee cup refilled quite a few times. [i did not have coffee!!!!].

and loudness? now granted, it was not full while we dined, but we could not even hear the table directly behind us, so the atmosphere was pleasingly quiet.

cute and tasteful colour schemes and wall decor - very relaxing and welcoming

final thoughts: i can’t wait to go back to cora’s, honestly. really, you go to a restaurant for the food, right? (service, atmosphere being secondary and supplementary). and cora’s offers an extraordinary array of delicious options.

dad and i enjoyed perhaps our best outing to date! we never shut up the whole time, and i so appreciate being able to yak dad’s patient ear off. dad is a very wise man. pops, i ♥ you!

can't leave without the requisite self-portrait!!

over breakfast, we already discussed options for our september outing. bet we get out before the end of the month, we are so eager!

what’s your favourite brunch spot? in uptown waterloo, angie’s kitchen is perhaps the best known (it’d be the one recommended in a tourist guide). personally, i think angie’s reputation outweighs the quality…although mom and dad just had a very positive brunch outing there this past weekend! to each their own!

smile! you’re at the buskers!

waterloo was buskers-crazy this weekend!

the fun and games all started thursday eve, but i was working at the store then, and again all day friday, so my earliest opportunity to get in on the action myself was friday eve.

we were blessed with perfect weather this weekend, too, for the outdoor festivities:

this year's colour theme

i was really keen to see a 7 p.m. show on friday eve: the aerial angels from kalamazoo, michigan. i was a few minutes early, so i checked out the *midway* section of the festival for a bit:

the ferris wheel: is there a more classic carnival-type ride?!

games of chance...

i swear "toss the rings" is rigged - too bouncy!

i didn't play - just what i would need to come home with -> a giant horse!

GUESS WHAT. there is no whack-a-mole game this year. what a shame! that was the joy of my evening at last year’s buskers outing!

this year, i really wanted to see more of the cirque du soleil type acts. the aerial angels fit the bill perfectly!

the whole set up was pretty comedic, too

great to see such a huge audience with fans of all ages!

this man was beside me. i wanted to elbow him and whisper, "er, sir, mind taking photos for my blog for me?" i refrained.

mimi, isabel, and spike put on the quite the show. here are a couple of highlights:

"the warm up" - yes, that is mimi's leg that they are *stretching!* holy flexibility!

spike, mid-performance

fire-eating - it sure looked real to me!

supported only with fabric strips!

i really give isabel (the performer above and below, here) credit: she could not be that much younger than me, and she more than held her own with the acrobatic moves. plus, she had the most charisma and star-power of the three performers:

eye contact with the audience - she's looking right at me!

the finale act

wow, i give aerial angels top marks. the girls were funny, entertaining, acrobatic, and just put on a really good show.

from there, i wandered over to the main stage and caught most of ernest the magnifico who hails from redfern, australia.

unfortunately, i arrived after the show started and was at the back so it was a little hard to see and hear.

getting the crowd warmed up

goofy antics involving volunteer "victims" from the audience

this final act also involved a pogo stick, a fork on a helmet and a balloon. don't ask!

it amazes me how the performers are able to pick volunteers from the crowd who end up doing a really good job. these guys helping ernest the magnifico were perfect! this show was pretty funny, but the pace was a bit slow. still, a worthwhile performance to see, and i laughed out loud several times.

and that concluded friday evening!


saturday, i had good intentions of getting to buskers by late afternoon. we ended up putting together the ikea couch (photos at another time!) so i arrived later than planned but still caught parts or all of four shows.

first up, circo loco from ste-aurélie, québec. me = confused because the program said the show would start at 6 pm. that’s when i arrived, and i only caught the last 10 minutes! that’s ok, because this duo weren’t really my style.

their act was very dramatic, and included no talking

stilts + flames - don't try this at home, kids!

yes, that is a flaming hoop balanced on her middle! there are knives pointing inwards, too!

the grand finale: he dove thru the flaming hoop! that was pretty cool (hot?!).

since that show wrapped early, i accidentally caught most of les vitamens from sainte-brigette-de-laval, québec.

physical comedy - these guys were extremely funny!

it’s great how this worked out, as this duo’s performance ended up being one of the best shows i saw all weekend!

big guy + little guy - perfect set-up for physical comedy

the buskers program describes les vitamens as “high octane” and that’s the perfect description. very entertaining.

there’s been a staging area in front of the store all weekend, and twice i had caught snippets of a performance i really wanted to see: a duo called street circus from winnipeg, manitoba.

he's been performing since he was 10! 17 years!

this married couple, dan and kim, were just fantastic: high energy, funny, cute as anything, and they had awesome music to go along with their act. they really played to the audience, and exuded enthusiasm and humour.

these kids were so charmingly cute! great chemistry together and interaction with the crowds

so glad i had the opportunity to watch this show, beginning to end. plus, they entertained us for a full hour!

kim - another gymnast extraordinaire

never seen that kind of hoop before! he kept going around and around...

yes, she is spinning a hula hoop around her ankle!

audiences always lap up anything to do with FIRE!!!

this team gets my vote for "people's choice award" for the weekend!

the last show of my night was jason escape from boston, massachusetts. unfortunately, i should have quit after street circus, while on a high note. jason basically had one act – his big escape. he wasn’t all that funny (his ad libs were mildly amusing, at best), so the 45 minute set-up before the grand escape was rather tedious.

filling in time...

we'll just jump ahead to his upside-down, straight jacket pose...

part-way through - the ropes are off...

he's free!

i do wonder how he did that…part of the magic of a professional performer!

what a fun weekend! there was better variety in performers this year, and my yen to see acrobatics is satisfied. plus, i laughed a lot! i’d say the buskers festival this year was the best one that i have attended, over the years!


buskers outtakes:

i saw these hats in the vendors' area and it reminded me: if you are over the age of seven, please do not wear animals on your head. not a good look.

for the kittie-cat phobe, this drawing is enough to induce nightmares. i just about jumped out of my skin, at first glance!

"chalkmaster dave" - anybody else thinking of bert in mary poppins?

~ i met my cousin heidi, her husband jim, and 12 month old baby on saturday eve! had so much fun chatting, i forgot to take a photo!


favourite type of street performance? acrobatics, magic, slapstick physical comedy…what would you choose to see first? the more acrobatics the better, although i do appreciate a performer with a gift for funny ad libbed banter, too!

tomorrow‘s blog post will be up some time around mid-day! see you then!

the skirt, revisited

well, my moral dilemma resolved itself in the blink of an eye.

after work on saturday, i went back to delirium to try on my skirt.

let’s start with the good news:

the skirt is priced at $54.99 which i thought was really not bad. i found out that the skirt comes from a mother-and-daughter-design/production team out in california:

the skirt's hangtag

most likely, you cannot read the print in the photo. the skirt label is “heartbreakers,” and the motto across the top states: “made with love and no regrets.” isn’t that awesome philosophy!

unfortunately (fortunately?), as soon as i put the skirt on, i knew it was not for me:

as seen on me, not the mannequin in the window!

it’s too long. the word that immediately came to mind: dowdy. to suit me and my style, the skirt would need to be one virgin mary long, not two.

too bad, so sad. or not. at least i no longer have an internal moral debate to resolve.


i found a tshirt i covet and adore!!!!



[and i have approx the same amount of tshirts as the number of goals wayne gretzky scored in his career].

once again: it’s decision time…

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

your runner’s world ad-of-the-month moment:

as seen in the september issue

a very cute play on words! saying more with less – always impressive, in my book (er, magazine?)!

◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊

i’ve really been enjoying the yoga classes at fearless heart yoga. i’ve attended sessions led by instructors lindsay, suzie and lauren. each of these yoginis has her own distinct style, yet each one is awesome. i was getting sad because my two week trial pass was nearing its end – in fact, it runs out today.

but then, the yoga gods buddhas intervened!

late last week, i made good on this groupon offer!

this makes THREE groupon purchases, now!

yippee! i will activate my one month pass this week. any time can be yoga time! how’s that for divine karmic intervention!




treat: kind bar from eating well organically

price: $2.59 – > plus hst, don’t forget!

rating: ** 1/2

tasting notes: i wanted a pre-yoga healthy-yet-sweet snack bar. these kind bars, i like. larabars i intensely dislike – i don’t get the hype (sorry, fans). the kind bars are wheat free, gluten free, dairy free (very good assets before downward dogg-ing) but, mainly, i just like the taste. this flavour combo was chewy and sweet and hit the spot. a little expensive to be taken daily.

question for ya

it’s really surprising that i don’t trip on the sidewalk and fall on my head when i’m out and about.

the best window shopping in the ‘hood is the section of king street – either side – between erb and william streets. when i’m going up or down this stretch, my head is permanently turned to the right as i gaze in the store windows (i seem to always head UP towards william street, then BACK towards erb street, hence the direction of the head turn).

this is one of the more interesting store fronts on “the strip:”

indy/funky clothing store in uptown

i practically pulled a spiderman


in front of delirium this week.

my skirt is back!!!

this is one of those pieces that has grabbed my heart!!

i don’t know how many moons ago it was when i first saw this skirt. last fall? the winter? i totally forget. i DO remember pointing it out to mom and dad when we walked past one time and gushing over it.


here’s a close-up of the fabric:

notice the motif...

yes, the repeating pattern is of the virgin mary.

i have this thing for unique, colourful, noticeable fabric prints. i have owned several items from peach berserk, among them…

my "eyeball shirt," as i call it - the sleeves have kissy kissy lips, too!

[funny story: i’ve also had a skull and crossbones hoodie from peachie, and a top that had soldier faces, circa “the war of 1812” on it. a woman actually asked me if that was hitler on that one. can you believe that?!]

here’s the dilemma: do i feel comfortable, as a respectful christian, wearing a skirt of the virgin mary? would that be a sign of disrespect? is it blasphemous?

back in aruba, in march, i bought my catholic-themed bracelet:

recognize mother teresa, the pope, the virgin mary, and others?

again, it’s one of those items that i just had to have because of its quirkiness and orginality and it warms my heart to wear it. however, it’s one thing to wear a small and inconspicuous bracelet that gives me a private chuckle, and quite another to flounce about in a look-at-me, attention-grabbing skirt. but i adore it so.

how comfortable are you with “making a statement” with your clothing? i draw the line at swear words. although i can’t say that the french connection logo hasn’t made me pause in consideration! to do a personal psycho-analysis, i’m guessing that i find borderline-outrageous items a way to express my inner, oft-suppressed rebel. how’s that for playing armchair shrink?!




treat: powerbar chocolate protein bites

price: $3.09 (price with my staff discount) … + hst!!

rating: *** 1/2 (three and half stars)

tasting notes: for frankenfood, these are pretty freakin’ awesome. there’s a crunchy outer layer which covers the chewier inside. i could pop these babies like bonbons all day long. and 20 g of protein per package! i just wish they were cheaper!

new experience #23: take an outdoor yoga class

i tell you, i’m a huge fan of the public square in uptown waterloo, here.

the square, uninhabited

they have been hosting the neatest events all summer long. although the market seems to be a bit of a bust, various cultural celebrations (turkish and latin, for example), fundraisers, the jazz festival…all of these have drawn a lot of people. daily, the square is a hub of activity.

look what else you can participate in!


now, usually, wednesday eves are booked for me – often Aunti visits to toronto occur on this day of the week. and, if i don’t go to toronto, it’s because i’m working at the store.

last wednesday, i worked til 5 p.m., so the timing was perfect to try out outdoor yoga. [this post will be a million words long if i start talking about my previous yoga experiences, so suffice to say that i love yoga, used to attend ashtanga and hatha-style classes religiously, and have gotten out of the practice completely in the last four-or-so years].

but would the weather co-operate?!

rain clouds were definitely threatening in the wed eve sky!

i decided to go anyway – it was super warm out, and what’s a little rain? we won’t melt!

which yoga mat to choose?!

no shortage of options!

i went with my garage sale garbage room find because my blue one is my tried ‘n’ true indoor mat, i didn’t want to dirty the beautiful green/flowered one, and the black carrying case of the garbage room mat is really handy!

there were seven of us who gathered in the square:

i love how they "roped off" an area for us with that green netting!

my spot

my sense of feng shui dictates that i take the front row, right hand side spot for yoga, whenever possible. i like to be able to clearly see the instructor, but not be front-and-centre!

the delightful lindsay from fearless heart yoga on regina street was our instructor for the evening:


just as we were about to get started…

"rain drops keep falling on my...yoga mat!"

happily, after just a couple of minutes, the rainfall ceased for the evening. yippee!

i loved this class. for one, it just felt so good to do some yoga, again. in terms of format, we did some standing sequences, seated poses and a short shavasana at the end. the poses we executed were not too challenging, somthing i was thankful for after a long work day, and a long break from yoga!


lindsay was warm, funny, unpretentious, and “yogically inclined,” – gifted in her yoga knowledge and prowess.

the thought had crossed my mind that yoga on cement might feel really hard under bum foot- but, you know, it was just fine! it really felt no different from any studio floor i have experienced. what i LOVED was being outside – now, of course, ideally an outdoor yoga setting would look like this:

file photo, aruba, march 2011

…but waterloo doesn’t exactly feature that landscape, now does it?! the best was feeling the fresh air. sure, you could notice the traffic in the background, but it wasn’t bothersome.

as mentioned, lindsay was an excellent instructor. as we progressed through some poses, she would say, “let’s add some spice to it now!” word choice makes such a difference! hearing “spice” as opposed to “let’s make this HARDER!” brought smiles to all our faces.

wrist stretching - try it! i bet your wrists are tighter than you imagine!

the poses we practised on wednesday featured a lot of core strengthening work melded in with downward dogs and cobras. the one hour class passed by in a flash. this experience reminded me of how yoga makes me feel so connected to my body. running empowers me because i feel strong and aggressive when i run; yoga empowers me because i feel such a unity within myself in mind-body-spirit, if that makes sense.

it felt so good to be back on the mat

usually, my least favourite part of yoga is the rest (shavasana) at the end – it’s such a challenge just to lie there and breathe! i was really glad that we only did shivasna for a couple of minutes! works for me!

at one point, lindsay referenced her “former life as a librarian.” that comment made me want to find out more about how lindsay became a yoga instructor. i love hearing stories of people’s life journeys, and how they arrived at the place they are today.

"the boat" takes practice!

yoga brings out deep thoughts: afterwards, i pondered a chicken-or-the-egg question: does yoga attract a certain personality – people who naturally have a depth and vitality to their being, or do these traits grow as a person practises more yoga?

class ended just as the sky was darkening for the evening:

8:30 p.m.

a three minute walk, and i was back home.

i really appreciate that the city of waterloo and fearless heart yoga have teamed up to offer this yoga class opportunity this summer. as my schedule permits, i’ll be back!

outdoor yoga session = a wonderful new experience. next yoga stop, sometime in 2011: hot yoga!

do you have a favourite yoga pose? i have to go with downward dog – it’s extremely centering, and involves your entire body. plus, while you’re in the pose, you just breathe, stretch…i can see why this posture is one of the cornerstones of yoga.

**haha, i had to go back and remove a lot of capital letters! it could take a few days to change my blogging ways!




treat: coffee cake from coffee culture

price: $2.o9

rating: *** (three stars)

tasting notes: i wanted to start off the month with a bang! this is one of my favourite treats: the base of the cake is so-so, to be honest, but what makes this coffee cake divine is the brown sugar/icing sugar topping. mmmm!

scenes seen

if you’re in ontario, happy civic holiday monday! this is one of the most confusing holidays we have: no one really seems entirely clear on exactly what is open and what is closed. you can go shopping…

seen on king street @ ow sports

seen in the neighbouring helen ann shop

…provided the store in question does not consider august sunshine > potential sales!

likely, everyone’s hanging out here!

cute sign, eh? ethel's is a happening patio scene on any given sunny aft!

i’m playing working at the store today for a few hours – it’s a toss-up whether we’ll be busy or not! (holiday – people go shopping since they’re off; holiday – people flee the city because they’re off).

the saturday sky as seen on saturday

whenever i leave home, i ensure i have four items in my knapsack: wallet; blackberry; keys; camera. yea! thanks to blogging i never leave home without my camera now, because you just never know when you’ll come across a fun photo opportunity. [have to tell you about one i missed last week, though – -> there was a convertible parked in uptown waterloo, and a mannequin had been dumped unceremoniously into the backseat, her legs sticking straight up in the air. i was on a mission and didn’t snap a pic, and now i’m kicking myself. the funny thing is, as i walked by some guy on the sidewalk was taking a photo! so, i’m not the only one who found it very amusing!].

seen on regina street

this sign – it should be billboard sized, don’t you think? – was outside the yoga spot that you see noted, there. just a hint – we’re going to see that studio name again tomorrow when i tell you about a new experience! i love suddenly coming across reminders that signal me to grab hold of today and zestfully live life.

another "seen on king street" sight

kid kouture is a children’s wear shop that has been open since march 2009 in uptown waterloo. they feature amazing children’s clothing from canadian and european designers. the shop itself is a work of art: winsome and artful window displays welcome you in to a cosy and colourful floor space. i am so sorry to see that as of the end of july, kid kouture will be closed. it’s too bad that the downtown core is losing an independent entrepreneur; even more, i am sorry for the owner. i can imagine that when you open your own store, it’s your “baby.” it must be really difficult to wrap up operations. i wish the owner all the best in her next ventures.

a window shopping scene:

seen sunday at "the embellished room" in the uptown mall; delightfully girly, no?!

saturday eve included movie scenes!

movie: submarine

i chose to go see submarine because a) it started at 6:30 p.m. b) it was at the princess c) it was about 90 minutes long d) it sounded like my kind of movie.

unfortunately, it was wretchedly terrible! coming-of-age stories have been done before, and much better. submarine reminded me of when i was a member of the ciné-club in chicoutimi (third year university) when we’d see obscure, independent movies that were just trying too hard. since i highly doubt that any of you are going to see this movie (and i encourage you to take a pass), i’ll share a few observations. first, the characters slurred their speech, and sounded like they had marbles in their mouths; the garbled dialogue, combined with the welsh accent, made for challenging aural comprehension. i kept wanting to say, “pardon???“. second, i took an intense dislike to the character of jordana, the protagonist (oliver)’s love interest. i just wanted her smug smirk to please disappear from the screen. third, oliver’s continual doleful expression quickly grew tiresome.

i did appreciate the cinematography, and one highlight was the decor of oliver’s home – not because it was so tastefully appointed, but because it captured the look and feel of the setting completely. the characters i most enjoyed were oliver’s parents – they were great! maybe because they were closer to my age group?! no – they just really played their parts well.

the couple seated beside me walked out after about 40 minutes – that says a lot, eh. bottom line: this was a film outing flop! i give submarine 1.5 stars (* 1/2).

were you a part of any scenes this weekend?

i also did the cleaning/laundry/grocery scene. now i am caught up for a few days!

…And All That Jazz

Saturday night it was way too amazing out to stay indoors:

the colour of that sky just makes your heart sing!

There was so much going on in Uptown Waterloo this weekend!

The Jazz Festival was the star of the show. Friday night I was at the ball game and Saturday I worked, so my first opportunity to visit the Jazz Festival was Saturday eve.

this year's program cover

Now, I’m not a jazz fan at all. But, in talking with people who are more familiar with this style of music than I am, I learned that there are many types of jazz music. [I’ve always just pictured saxophones and/or Ella Fitzgerald in my head. Or Bill Clinton]. By the looks of the program, there is a great variety of acts at the Jazz Festival. I was hoping to hear some new-to-me sounds.

How do you entice people to come out to an event? First of all, offer free entry:

a well-populated venue, on saturday eve!

full view of the stage + seating area

Free parking:

…and lotsa (free) port-o-lets!

reminiscent of a running race scene!

I wandered about, checking things out:

there were several food vendors, but the largest line-up was for ice cream!

view of the main stage

The Jazz Festival takes over the parking lot by Waterloo City Hall (and this year there was a satellite stage in the Uptown Square, during the day).

haha - i felt a little silly snapping photos with my point 'n' shoot, next to this guy!

There was an autograph area:

"deedee" is an unknown figure to me...but i loved her lashes!

...and she obviously has some devoted fans!

I heard one group play, while I was at the Festival:

again, never heard of this group (but then, reminder, i'm not up on jazz AT ALL)


Unfortunately, the style of jazz this group played was…just the type that I don’t like! It didn’t seem tuneful to me! But you know what I did like?…

check out his feet...!!

Playing barefoot on stage? Now that’s cool!

I didn’t stay all that long, but I enjoyed being outdoors on such a gorgeous night. And I loved the people-watching!


Yesterday, was the second Car-Free Sunday in Uptown Waterloo. King Street is blocked off from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., and people are encouraged to come out and enjoy activities, and to use alternate forms of transportation to get out and about.

The store is located smack-dab in the middle of the car-free strip. Yesterday, I worked from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (!) but I did get out for a break, so I checked out the action…or lack thereof:

traffic-free king street!

no confusion as to if you can or cannot drive here!

Among the goings-on:

a street performer (more that to come in august when it's buskers time!)

sidewalk sales...

...and chalk drawings! (i would have gobbled up that opportunity, as a kid!)

In front of our store…

they set up a lawn!

Car-Free Sunday is a super idea, and I hope it catches on. Yesterday, it was incredibly hot and sunny, and I think the intense weather kept some people away…King Street was not hugely populated, from what I could see. I just hope the “powers that be” give Car-Free Sunday a chance.


How did I end my Sunday? 🙂 …

Back at the bandshell! 🙂
I summer!


Jazz fan? I’d pick watching the Utah Jazz over listening to musical jazz!

Any “famous” festivals you hope to attend/have attended? I would love to get out to the Calgary Stampede some time! Never been!

In a Bandshell

The subtitle for today could be, “The Event That Almost Didn’t Make It Onto The Blog.”

Sunday eve, I went out to Waterloo Park with my parents. Mom had seen a sign saying that at 7 p.m., the New Hamburg Band would be playing a concert at the park bandshell. Mom and Dad invited me to tag along, an invite I gladly accepted, without hesitation. This past weekend was absolutely spectacular in the weather department, so why not spend Sunday eve, outdoors?!

As we were getting settled, Mom asked me if this would be a New Experience for the blog. With a slightly horrified look on my face, I replied, no – this wasn’t even going to go onto the blog!

Why the hesitation to share the eve with you? Well, for some reason, the outing just brought back memories of being an awkward teen. I’m sure you remember that life period, too: where to be seen with your parents is just about the most embarrassing situation you can imagine. I mean, concert band, with my parents, evening outing….yea. Not something to shout from the rooftops.

But after a bit of reflection, I decided what the hay – yes! I’m having fun, and who gives two figs whether it’s an uncool outing or not. [But, I’m not counting it as a New Experience because we used to go to the same type of concert up in Goderich, when we were little. Sunday eves, there’d be outdoor concerts at the Goderich Bandshell, and our family would go quite frequently. My favourite was when Scottish bagpipers were featured].

So, back to this past Sunday eve. Like I said, it was simply a perfect July evening:

i love when i can be comfy in only a tshirt at 7:30 p.m.!

Waterloo Park is such a jewel in the centre of the city. Local readers: did you even know there is a bandshell, back in one corner?

an ampitheathre shape encourages good sound quality - as good as you're going to get out-of-doors!

Promptly at 7 p.m., the concert began:

the view from our spot!

There was a small crowd out – more people assembled as time went by:

BYO...L (lawnchairs!)

mom and dad! (i sat on the ground, in front)

You know who was the star of the show? This young band member, back in the corner:

the youngest in the band, by a long shot

This little guy was the percussionist, and he did it all, I tell ya. Dad and I had a hoot watching him as he switched between cymbals, tambourine, wooden blocks, triangle, maracas, drums…there was nothing the kid couldn’t do! Just great.

The band played a whole mix of musical selections; some examples: Broadway favourites, the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, a Mary Poppins medley (my fave! love that movie!), traditional marching band tunes, then they ended with a medley from The Beatles. Some songs were *stronger* than others – the traditional band songs were played confidently and in tune; other numbers….well, they tried. I give the band credit, though – New Hamburg is a really small town, just outside of Waterloo, so for the depth of talent they likely have to draw on, they gave a credible performance.

the woman in the front, very left, used that megaphone to introduce each piece

You know why the eve was a success, too? Because all I did was R E L A X. I didn’t knit, fiddle with my Blackberry, read – nothing. I just sat, appreciated the beautiful evening, and stayed in the moment.

ok, there was a little toe-tapping that went on

These Sunday evening (free!) concerts will be going on regularly for the rest of the summer. Bet we get out there again!

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Wanna read something really cool? Or, really HOT, to be more accurate.

The Badwater 135 ultramarathon started yesterday morning. They’re still running. Or plodding. Or just moving forward. Read about this race, and you’ll either think they’re crazy, or you’ll be inspired – let me know!

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Last year, on July 12th, I was exploring the city of Tampa! That city confused me to pieces – I never did figure it out! But I discovered one of the best malls in the universe, and stayed at my favourite hotel of the trip!