Monday, February 28, 2011

Jamaica

On Saturday I returned from vacation. I immediately remembered why I left! This place is so mucky and sloppy. I dislike Spring weather!

Back on track...

I was in Jamaica for the week and it was beautiful! We stayed at the Rui Ocho Rios, located 1.5 hours from the Montego Bay airport. The resort was beautiful and the staff were great. Everytime I used one of the public washrooms there was a cleaning lady nearby and the staff were very quick to pick-up drinks and dishes around the pool. Overall the service & cleanliness were top notch. We had a room in the deluxe building with (no joke) the BEST view. I took this picture standing on our balcony.


The entertainment staff were also great and very energetic. The evening stage shows were very elaborate and impressive. There was a Lion King-esque show on the last night which had great dancing and was really amazing for a resort show. There was also a steel drum band on one of the nights which was CRAZY - they played Coldplay and a few other Top 40 hits. It was very cool.

The food at the resort was good. There was a feature every night at the buffet and those tended to be very tasty. We went to 3 of the feature restaurants and they weren't as impressive. The food was good and the options were creative but there weren'tt many options that I enjoyed. I preferred the buffet.

The vacation was great overall, we slept a lot, I read almost 4 books and we even managed to do some early morning yoga on the beach. I would definitely recommend this resort. The downside is the AWFUL experience at the Montego Bay airport.

No I return to daily life with slush covered sidewalks and drinks that I have to pay for....

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Hunger Games

I'm a big reader. I love to read. I still get teased for reading.

Would you believe I once had a boyfriend get pissed off at me because I was reading too much and not paying enough attention to him? Ya, that one totally worked out...

The sign of a good book (for me) is being able to re-read it year after year. I was asking a friend of mine what books she had re-read and she kind of looked at me funny. Kind of like "why would I do that?". Gee... I guess I'm in a minority here. Didn't everyone re-read all previous Harry Potter books before the next one was released.... no?... Bueller? I'm going to go hide now.

For Christmas, I got 'The Hunger Games' trilogy. I swear I'm going to re-read these books every year for the rest of my life. THEY. BLEW. MY. MIND.

Three books: 'The Hunger Games', 'Catching Fire', and 'Mockingjay'. I read all three books in one week. I haven't read a book (series) this enveloping since I hid "The Prisoner of Azkaban" in my desk on my first co-op term**.

A bit of a synopsis...
The books are set in post-apocalyptic North America, there are 12 districts, and 1 capital city. There was once a 13th district but they tried to rebel against the capital and got destroyed. As a reminder of the power the capital holds, they put on whats known as 'The Hunger Games' every year. Each district, except the capital, draws the names and 2 children (I think aged 12-18). They choose one boy and one girl. Every child in the district has their name put in a hat, even the children from wealthy families. One of the catches is that if you are poor, you can get food vouchers in exchange for putting your child's name in the hat multiple times. The Hunger Games are a fight to the death. All the children (24, 2 from 12 districts) are placed in an arena and are left to kill each other, last child standing wins. SUCKS, EH??

These books are about a girl in district 12 who goes through this big mess. It is terrifying, romantic, dramatic, and AWESOME. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter, Ender's Game, and His Dark Materials.

*I realize I've exposed myself as a SUPREME dork but... I'm totally ok with that.
*I'm not as Harry Potter crazy as I sound, I just really enjoyed the books. I've only seen half of one of the movies. Let's not even get started on my thoughts of books-turned-movies.

Ignite Waterloo 5

YESSS!!!! Ignite Waterloo 5 was this past Tuesday and it was a riot!

For the second time I had the pleasure of being on the planning committee and mc-ing the evening. We had a few concerns going into the evening but everything went relatively smoothly once we get moving. The screens in the new space were amazing - they wrap around the front of the room so your presentation is shown in 4 different places. Plenty of room for a distracting twitter wall. Last time I was MC my co-host was a friend of mine so it was pretty easy to fall into a routine. This time around I met my co-host........ 1 hour before the event. It all worked out though and it sounds like we did alright.

A few other summaries can be found here:
David from the planning team tells us about being on the other end of the show
Darin shares a really cool photo essay of the evening
Kwartzlab posted a few pictures of the evening

Some of my favourite moments include:
Simone and his Sean Connery accent
Kyle Mackie and his large melon
Karen and the looming retirement of the baby boomers

More information on the event can be found here and you can apply to speak here.

Great job to everyone involved!! Looking forward to the next one!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Superbowl Party

We hosted a superbowl party here this weekend. It was a great way to get people over and show them the not-so-new house, especially since we've painted and added some nicer furniture.

Highlights of the party included:

TWO tvs! We brought down our second TV so that you could see the game from all points in the livingroom.

Speakers in the bathroom. It would a real shame to miss any part of the game because nature called at an inopportune time.

FOOD: I made the following:
Cream-cheese Pinwheels
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapenos
Chili
Jerk Chicken Skewers
There was also:
a 2nd chili (!!)
Fruit salad
Veggies & dip
Chips & salsa & guac & sour cream
More Chips
Bruschetta

We had a betting board posted on the wall. We listed a bunch of stats and then people would choose over or under and the person with the most correct guesses wins. Would you believe that the one person the LEAST interested in the game had the most correct guesses? He even left early.

One the smallest yet most brilliant ideas (that I can't take credit for) was jacking up the light that hangs over the dinner table (which was moved to the side). I'm sure we saved everyone from smashing their head, small but awesome idea. If this is an option for you, I recommend it.

It was a great party and I'm so glad everyone could make it! I really enjoyed planning it and I think I'll try to make it a tradition... the only downside is that our house isn't very big so we were pretty much at capacity with 14 people. Too bad the game isn't in the summer or we could make it an outside party.... game projected on the side of the house? Maybe for hockey playoffs...