Movie lovers, car enthusiasts and lovers of nostalgia get ready – The Twilight Drive-In in Aldergrove opens this Friday for the first outdoor cinema event of the season.

The two movies that will kick off a summer of movie experiences are Man on a Ledge and The Grey.

According to the drive-in’s coming attractions webpage, some of the summer blockbusters to look forward to on the big open-air screen are Men in Black III, G.I.Joe: Retaliation, The Avengers, and American Reunion. It looks like this will be yet another summer of serial continuations.

Though I’ve only ever made it to this drive-in once (and I went to the drive-in back when I was a kid), I have found that they do often show movies I would be interested in seeing against a night sky, and they seem to try varying the programming so there’s bound to be something for everyone at some point over the summer.

Tickets are just $12.50 each for adults, $9.50 each for seniors, and $7.50 each for children aged 5-12. One ticket gets you access to all the movies shown that night.

For now the drive-in is only open Friday through Sunday and is only showing two films nightly, but by summer it will be open 7 days a week with three movies playing Friday through Sunday nights (and two movies on weeknights).

Twilight also offers reduced admission twice weekly, with general admission set at $9.50 per person on Tuesdays and a carload deal of $28 for up to 5 people on Thursdays.

Movies play rain or shine, and walk-ins are welcome – bring a lawn chair and a radio!

You can sign-up to recieve the Twilight Drive-In weekly showtimes newsletter on the homepage of their website.

Mobility

February 19, 2012

So today I woke up to two emails that were not so great, and SO GREAT!

Both were in response to a wanted ad I put on Craigslist in search of a free bike.

The first guy said he had one available – for $45. So my hopes were up, and then dashed like wet clothes beaten against a rock (were this the days of yore).

But then I noticed there was another in response to my ad, and this time the guy was willing to just give it to me! Wah hoo!

The story goes that the bike had been sitting in his backyard for about six years, and once belonged to someone (about my height, as it were) who he’s no longer friends with.

He said he didn’t see the sense in throwing it out, and I was going to put it to use, so he figured he’d contact me.

I was the second person he’d tried to give it to, so I’m pretty thankful right now that the first guy didn’t really get back to him (besides, that guy just looks for free bikes to fix up and sell).

After a good stuff in the back of my car, the as-of-yet-unnamed bike is now in my living room until I can figure out how to keep it and my other (pretty, but less practical one speed vintage cruiser) safe and secure in the backyard. Also known as “until I get a second lock, because the one I have now isn’t big enough to encompass both bikes’ wheels and frames before being locked.”

I’m sure you’re probably wondering what she looks like, so wonder no more. Here she is in all her free-wheelin’ glory:

(I’m still working on my photography skills, hence the slightly-out-of-focusness of this photo)

I still need a helmet, and I’m clearly going to need a kickstand, as well as a light for when I start to venture out in the darker hours, but I’m pretty pleased as punch for right now. I’ll give ‘er a little spiff and then take her to the streets.

The overall goal here is to get further than a couple of blocks without having an asthma attack, and work on “building up my core” as I’ve been trying to do in physio as part of my rehab, since cycling was one of the things I was told to do to get me there.

Oh, and of course, have fun and get places on my own person power, but those are some pretty obvious goals and built-in perks when it comes to riding, methinks.

Take Heart

February 17, 2012

What follows below is an opinion piece I wrote for my specialty writing class that I then cut down to half and submitted to the Georgia Straight as a letter, and they published it! (Yay!)

Though they won’t likely tell you this, you can “Make death wait” – like the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s latest commercials encourage – with a vegan diet.

In her January 18 article, “Risk of cardiovascular disease in women is higher than you think,” Gail Johnson explores the myth that men are the primary sufferers of heart attacks.

Johnson goes on to note that the new UBC Heart and Stroke Foundation professorship in women’s cardiovascular health recently established at St. Paul’s Hospital is intent on researching how psychological and social factors contribute to women developing heart disease.

Arguably, the funds being wasted on such research could best be directed towards campaigning for prevention, which is most effective through diet and exercise.

While it is true that a history of heart disease in a family can put a person (man or woman) at greater risk for developing the disease themselves or suffering a heart attack, there is an often overlooked factor in this scenario.

Generally speaking, family members will all share the same basic eating patterns and exercise habits.

That shouldn’t be surprising, nor should the idea that eating foods such as bacon, burgers, dairy or cholesterol-filled, high blood pressure-inducing eggs – none of which contain any fibre – on a regular basis are major contributing factors to heart disease, since such foods cause a build-up of atherosclerosis (a build-up of fat, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s website) in your arteries.

All too often diet is overlooked in favour of pharmaceuticals and surgery, with a dietary shift viewed as a “drastic” and unpopular measure for heart disease patients.

The truth of the matter is that eating a whole foods, plant-based diet can not only reduce one’s risk of heart disease, but could play a part in reversing heart attack-inducing atherosclerosis, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s website.

The health benefits don’t stop there– PCRM asserts that such a diet can also prevent or reverse diabetes, lower blood pressure, lessen the effects of asthma, reduce the risk of developing kidney stones, gall stones, and osteoporosis, and even help prevent cancer.

PCRM also notes that, “Scientific research shows that health benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in the diet decreases, so vegan diets are the healthiest overall.”

Those looking to learn more can read such tomes as Diet for a New America by John Robbins (heir to Baskin-Robbins who turned down the opportunity to join the family business in favour of following his own dairy-free life path), The China Study by T. Colin Campbell (a 20-year study on the effects of diet on health), Plant Roots: 101 Reasons Why the Human Diet is Rooted Exclusively in Plants by Rex Bowlby or check out the films Forks Over Knives, Vegucated, and the gripping Earthlings, which can be streamed free online at Earthlings.com.

It’s time every man, woman, and yes, even child wakes up to the reality that making death wait is best accomplished by what they put on their plates.

(Written January 23rd for Specialty Writing)

Because You Loved Me

February 16, 2012

I didn’t have time to post about this on Valentine’s Day because I was over scheduled with finishing baking and delivering Valentine’s orders for Harmless Innovations and then hanging out with friends before we went to the 12th Annual People’s Prom at the Waldorf (a nifty place just down the street from me that I’d never been to before), so I’m taking a moment now.

I just wanted to send a little Valentine’s love note to the Universe and more importantly to my Grandma, wherever she is now, to let her know that I miss her every day. And that when I think of love and what’s important in this world, she’s who comes to mind. Her love is still with me every day, and makes me feel like I can do anything.

I was thinking about her a lot on the 13th while I was looking at baking Valentine’s treats (including a heart-shaped cake and heart-shaped fudge pieces), and spent about 30-45 minutes listening to Celine Dion’s ‘Because You Loved Me,’ one of the songs that helped me process her passing, and the one that best describes all that she’s done for me. There were a couple of other songs as well, but I’ll leave those for some future post.

As always, I wish I had more time with my Grandma. Since that’s not possible, I’ll just console myself knowing we both loved each other immensely, and that will never change.

Gotye

February 13, 2012

Though not long ago you might never have heard of Gotye (pronounced “gore-ti-yeah”), there’s no denying his sudden overtaking of radio airwaves with his break-out hit “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

The song is all at once catchy, spooky, and empathetically evocative.

Beginning with a plucky guitar interrupted by a Wonka-esque xylophone, it’s not hard to imagine Oompa-Loompas dancing in time to the rhythm.

The lyrics carry a cautionary tale like the famed candy workers would be apt to dispense, telling of not only a love lost, but so too a friendship in the process of a break-up.

Lines like “You told me you felt so happy you could die” followed by “I told myself you were right for me/But felt so lonely in your company” coupled with warbling guitar sounds draw the listener in as the tension builds in anticipation of the climactic chorus.

The mood shifts from melancholic and foreboding to the guttural cry of a lover scorned, with Gotye asserting, “But you didn’t have to cut me off/Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing.”

Having New Zealand singer-songwriter Kimbra’s breathy female vocals injected into the mix for the second verse adds an extra dimension and sense of unfolding drama.

The song ends with Gotye singing a layered chorus and an abrupt xylophone finish, leaving the listener with a sense that perhaps it was all just a strange and wonderful dream, though not one they’re soon to forget.

(Written for Specialty Writing, January 30th, 2012)

Spring Break

February 13, 2012

Alright, so since I haven’t been writing anything on here lately (which really is a shame) because of all these school deadlines I’ve been fighting against, I’m going to just post a bunch of my assignments.

I guess it’s sort of some February Filler, since it’s been two weeks since I even posted any lyrics (of which I have a plenty).

These assignments could probably use some work, but I’m going to take the easy/lazy route and not edit them before I post them.

I imagine one day I’ll enjoy looking back on them as how ‘cute’ or something similar (awful? trite? disastrous?) it is that they once passed for something of pride. Of course, this is based on my assumption that my writing will in fact get better instead of worse, which I think is always the thing to hope for. Self-improvement for the win.

Let the posts BEGIN!

Oh, and p.s. – I have time for this and hopefully some original writing now because it’s Spring Break, in case the title didn’t give that away.