Beer Exchange Day 12

OMG. There are no words for how excited I am about the beer for Day 12. I saved it until as close to Christmas as possible, but popped it open last night to record – mostly because I was working at Moveology this morning and knew things would be crazy today. I was so delighted that I had Kevin to share the “opening the wrapping” moment with, even if I had to explain my delight to him.

Beer 12 wrapped

So here’s Beer 12, sitting in my recording spot… and let’s go through the cut.

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Beer Exchange Day 11

Can I just say how many times I recounted today to confirm it was actually Day 11? It just does not feel like December 22. It does feel like the Christmas season (for me at least), but it doesn’t seem that close to the actual big day. I think I usually wrap on this day every year and it’s like 9 pm and I haven’t pulled that together yet so… um… probably not? Somehow I’ll figure that out tomorrow. I work at the studio and I need to record MOA, but as y’all know – I’m really good at fitting a lot of things into one day. 

Beer 11 Wrapped

But not today! Today is not about wrapping presents. Today is about talking about Beer 11, which I obviously drank while watching the Survivor season finale. Behind the cut is beer spoilers and also Survivor spoilers. You’ve been warned.

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Naughty… But Nice (Theatre Thursday)

Naughty... But Nice publicity shot
Picture courtesy of Forte’s Facebook page –
this moment is right before a really great boy band number about being seated at the Kids’ Table

On this, the last Theatre Thursday of 2023, I am writing about a theatre event that is ending in 2023. And, okay, yes – I understand that theatre is ephemeral and exists only in the moment and also pretty much every local show in Calgary is ending in 2023 anyway because runs are short. But that’s not the point. You’ll understand what I mean if you read the title. Today, I am writing about Forte Musical Theatre’s Naughty… But Nice

What Is Naughty… But Nice?

Ah. You must be a new reader who didn’t experience my Naughty… But Nice post from 2021. To quote myself from the past “Naughty But Nice is a comedy musical theatre revue – all original songs, all sassy, all funny.” It’s also a yearly tradition and this year is the 10th incarnation. 

It’s also the last year. Forte has announced that there is another holiday show coming next year, but this is the last time that we’ll be able to hear such classics as “Bailey’s For Breakfast”, “Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?”, and, my personal favourite, “Just Another New Year’s Eve”. (I thought this song was new in 2021. I have discovered that I was wrong but I don’t care because it’s still my favourite.) 

Why See It This Year?

Other than because it’s the last one? Because this year is a delight. It is such an amazing celebration of all the things that make this show what it is. There is not just one but two songs about sleeping with Santa. Scott Olynek gets to sing his song, “Bailey’s For Breakfast”. The audience gets to vote on songs when there are various songs that fit a specific niche. (One of which is New Year’s Eve songs… and my performance was lucky enough to include my fav from above.) 

There is a medley where the performers mash together, like, 50+ classic Christmas songs and carols. There is also a medley to include a bunch of popular NBN songs that aren’t in this production. And there are new songs. And the show ends with a video completion of clips from the past ten years, which is enough to make you cry.

And Eric Wigston is a goddman delight in his first year in the show.

Now, if I have one small criticism, it’s that this particular compilation of Naughty… But Nice songs makes a show that is heavy on dude solos and light on solos for Katherine and Katelyn. But maybe that was in part because of the songs that my particular performance voted on? Hard to say.

So We Should See This Show?

Anyway. Just go buy tickets. If you’re reading this post on the day it comes out, there are four more performances (though tickets are selling fast). And if you can’t make it to NBN – that’s okay. Forte is dropping another new show in the spring and I will do everything in my power to see it and write about it here. 

I love local theatre.

Oh! And also also – they dropped a music video to perennial classic “Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?”. Check it below. (Important note – Justine Westby now lives in Florida. Coincidence? I think not.)

Why Do I Live Where the Air Hurts My Face?

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Beer Exchange Day 10

Welcome to the shortest of Blogmas posts! The days are getting short, the number of social plans I have are getting long, and I am sort of ready for a night at home. I am always trying to find mildly fun (or interesting) things to do while enjoying the Beer Exchange beers, mostly for content reasons. 

But on this day? On this semi-worn out day? 

I made some dinner and then took a bath while enjoying Beer 10.

Beer 10 Wrapped

Oh! But this is very funny. Megan’s five or six year old nephew helped with the wrapping of Beer 10 by giving the beers names, not numbers. But he got bored partway through, so Megan and her brother (aka the dad) had to name the rest to keep it going. So my beer was named Karol. Named by a child, his dad, or his aunt? 

You decide!

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Talespin Trivia

When I started this blog, one of my core goals was to share fun things that I did in Calgary. Which I did fairly well for a time – at least until I did too many shows and a Masters degree. (I don’t think I wrote a single post in 2019.) Then, for a time, I did very few fun things in Calgary, unless you count my living room as Calgary, for reasons that we are all very aware of. And now I feel like I just haven’t really gotten back into the vibe of sharing fun things that aren’t plays. And Blogmas is about getting into routines, so why not take an opportunity to talk about a fun thing I’ve been doing in Calgary!? Talespin Trivia YYC!

Talespin Trivia? Is That Like Trivial Pursuit?

Sort of? I guess? 

Talespin Trivia YYC is Alan, creator and host of trivia events here in Calgary. He’s also a friend and theatre colleague, but that is neither here nor there. Because his trivia is great. He writes fun questions that are clever, informative, and occasionally a little convoluted. Sometimes it is a long walk around from the initial setup to what the question actually is, which is all a part of the magic because it keeps you on your toes. 

We first started attending Alan’s trivia on Mondays at Citizen Brewing, a tucked away brewery in the northeast of Calgary. Megan and Hans had been looking for something to do while we enjoy delicious beverages and Alan’s trivia was the thing we decided to try. We were hooked! It’s just nice to know things, you know? Plus the dream team (Megan, Hans, Kevin, Claire and I – plus Kevin’s girlfriend Jess sometimes or a rotating series of friends) is wildly competitive so we like a thing that we do well at. Yes, we’ve won a couple of times over the past year and a half.

Anyway, we’ve now followed Alan to a few of his other event venues – including tomorrow night at Dickens Pub for Christmas Movie trivia! (Will we be good at this? Hard maybe – we have breadth of knowledge as a team, not depth.) I’ll try to drop a few pictures, at least on the Stories if nothing else.

You Haven’t Actually Explained What This Trivia Looks Like

Right! Too much enthusiasm! 

Pub trivia. Get together a group of your friends (usually 6 is the max, some places take up to 8), arrive at a pub/brewery/cidery at a pre-determined time, enjoy some delicious drinks, and prepare to answer trivia questions. There will be a sheet of paper or cue cards to write your answers on. There is usually a buy-in (maybe $5-10) to compensate the host for their time and hard work. There is usually a prize of some sort for first place and maybe even second or third. (Usually the prize involves a gift card to the venue. For obvious reasons.)

Most of the pub trivia I’ve been to involves 6 rounds. Sometimes the rounds are themed, sometimes they aren’t. Talespin Trivia always has themed rounds because it helps Alan come up with question ideas – after all, constraints cause creativity. Especially with the events at Citizen, because they are General Knowledge trivia, versus the Dickens events which tend to have an overarching theme. There may be Name That Tune style rounds or identify things/people/toys in pictures type rounds. 

And the most important thing to know? Don’t shout out the answers! (Unless the host tells you that you can.) 

So What’s Your Thesis Statement Here?

Obviously, it’s that trivia is fun and you should follow Talespin Trivia on instagram to find out when Alan’s next event is because he is our favourite.

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Beer Exchange Day 9 (plus a bonus cookie recipe!)

How is it Day 9 already!? (Of the Beer Exchange, I mean, I know it’s Day 18 of Blogmas.) I know people always say that as you get older, time passes more quickly, but this year it really seems that way. Whether I’m at work or at play, the one thing that seems consistent is that I look up and suddenly hours have passed. 

Gingerbread cookies

I am getting so much done in those hours, though! (Except for making my home not be in disarray. I haven’t found time for that yet. But I do have my Christmas tree up, so what more do you want from me?) For instance, yesterday we did our traditional Christmas baking with the girls and we somehow whipped through the four recipes in just over two hours. We are becoming efficiency machines!

Of note (and maybe why we were so fast), we didn’t have our usual little helper yesterday. Rylee was feeling a little boogie, so she stayed home to have a “couch day” with her daddy. And the little helper we did have was pretty chill – introducing Wren!

Wren!

Wren had very little input on what we baked yesterday.

We made a few usual suspects – the gingerbread cookies I shared a few years ago, classic chocolate cookies with Rolos in them, and our Toblerone shortbread. Plus we busted out something new – Mars Bar Squares. They were truly delicious. And Canadian. 

Beer 9 wrapped (with toblerone shortbread recipe)

Plus, I took this opportunity to enjoy Beer 9 from the exchange! So follow me through the cut to find out what the beer was and maybe even get a recipe as well…

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Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Pop-Up – Redux!

What a good day yesterday was! It was jam-packed, but it had so much good theatre, friends, drinks, and food. And you read it here first – Sarah Nearing is not just a fantastic vocal instructor, she is going to take the playwriting world by storm sooner than you might expect. But I am non-sequitering. And Sarah’s play is Sarah’s story to share when she’s ready to share. So instead, I’m going to hop back to Friday and talk about Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa pop-up bar – redux!

Some of you may remember two years ago when my MEd friends and I did the Sippin’ Santa pop up at Ricardo’s Hideaway. (What you may or may not know is that I’ve still never actually been to Ricardo’s for their regular menu. It’s fine. I’ll get it together one day.) That year, it was a specifically scheduled, fairly planned out, event. This year? Totally spontaneous plans!

I had a bit of an odd day at work on Friday and Megan and Hans were recovering from getting some seasonal vaccines. We needed seasonal fun to distract ourselves! So we swung by Market Collective to pick up a few gifts, then headed over to Ricardo’s because festive drinks.

Ricardo's Lobby

Now, let me make it clear that we were very lucky when we arrived at Ricardo’s. It is a very small space and, at least on Friday, they were not keeping a list. Which, I get it. They don’t really have a lobby that people can hang in while waiting. But we happened to be weighing our options right as a group at the bar paid – and glory was ours!

The Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Drinks

Okay, this is fun. While much of the glassware is the same, the drinks are actually different this year. (With the exception of the signature Sippin’ Santa. Which… I get it.) This is genius, at it lets the mixologists who design the menu get creative but also keeps the people coming back.

You know. If they realize it’s different. Which I didn’t until now. But that’s a me problem, not a them problem.

This year instead of going for a hot booze option (even though I love hot booze), I selected the Yule Tide almost exclusively for the adorable mermaid Santa mug. However, I do like tequila and cranberry, and I drank this delicious boy maybe a little bit too fast.

Speaking of adorable, Megan and Hans shared the North Pole Bowl. It maybe took us a little bit too long to figure out that the figurines are Santa and a reindeer having a little soak. We thought crocodile, pig, wolf… It’s fine. We’re fine. I snagged a sip and it was yummy – very much as if a gingerbread cookie and black tea were a cold beverage.

The Ricardo’s Sippin’ Santa Decor

Sippin’ Santa continues to be festive and vibe-y, with sparkles everywhere. There is a ton to look at, definitely a good conversation starter if you’re worried about running out of things to talk about. It’s cute. And not too loud! 

(We also went to National on 17th, which was both loud and not festive. Give it a skip for now.) 


So, I need to know. There are lots of pop-ups in town – which would you go for? Classic cocktails? Tiki drinks? Beer? There’s something for everyone!

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Beer Exchange Day 8

I feel like you all can kind of guess what’s coming. This is the point in December where days are getting busy. We have nine (9!!!) days until Christmas and my schedule is starting to get jam-packed with plans. In fact, I’m darting off this post quickly before I go to see blog favourite, Forte Musical Theatre’s Naughty… But Nice!, enjoy my yearly festive get-together with Claire and Kendra, and then read a new play by one of my favourite new collaborators.

Beer 8 wrapped

So, you can imagine – I was looking for a little bit of consistency, familiarity, and comfort this week. Beer Eight gave me exactly what I needed as I settled in to watch another episode of Survivor. (And significantly less infuriating than last week’s episode! What a delight!) Though Austin should definitely be making that penitent face that he is making in this photo.

Beer 8 unwrapped - Sea Change Brewing Company's Prairie Fairy
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Moveology One Year Later (Fitness Friday)

Just about a year and two months ago, I wrote a glowing Fitness Friday post about Moveology. At that point, Moveology was still fairly new. The studio had only been fully open for about four months and we had no way of knowing how special it would become. 

Erin and Liz, high-fiving in Chair position.
Photo Credit: @ourliveandtimes

Look at me, high fiving a friend while doing literally my least favourite position ever. (Chair pose. It gives me the tiniest of panic attacks for reasons I cannot comprehend. But it is also so good for my hamstrings and glutes.) 

I’ve been in the boutique fitness class space for basically a decade now, working in a studio for most of it. And Moveology, as a studio, as a culture, as a community, truly embodies the fact that movement is for everyone. There is something about looking around the studio and seeing how every participant is taking a different expression of the exercise. Every instructor offers so many options and it is so easy to do what serves you on that day, in that moment. 

You don’t want to jump? Maybe you don’t want to lay flat on your back during core work? Or you hate using a booty band? Who cares! I can guarantee, whatever you end up doing won’t be easier, it will just be more right for you. Like, it’s still an amazing workout, but it’s approachable and accessible. You’ll notice I am trying really hard not to say the word “modifications”, and that’s deliberate. There’s a bit of fitness culture that suggests we modify when we “can’t” do the “full move” and that’s not what Moveology is about. It’s about giving you options and letting you take them. 

Tell Me More About Moveology Options

Erin lunging in front of Moveology neon light with 5 lb weights
Photo Credit: @ourliveandtimes

Okay, I definitely set that one up. But I think this is so cool and representative.

Lots of people like working out right after work, right? That 5:30pm class is the sweet spot.

And right now, Emma (Moveology owner/founder, incredible human being) has a different class style scheduled every day of the week. You could literally come to that time slot every week day and have a fully well rounded workout routine without even having to think about it. Check it out:

Monday – HIIT with Chloe (yes, I’ve finally done HIIT…)

Tuesday – Power with Nicole

Wednesday – Barre with Crystal

Thursday – Pilates with Emma

Friday – Move.Strength.Sweat with Emma

Maybe 5:30 doesn’t work for you. That’s okay. There are lots of options and lots of instructors that you can check out here. Plus there’s a great 3 classes for $30 deal going on!

I don’t know, y’all. It’s hard for me to explain how special Moveology is. I just know it’s keeping me sane during the holiday season. 

I do my best to post my upcoming classes on my instagram story each week. So check it out and come move with me.

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Beer Exchange Day 7

Hello and welcome to Day 14 of Blogmas, Day 7 of the Beer Exchange and another festive outing on A Flimsy Plan! Remember last year when I enjoyed a Wave Pool at my friend’s Hanukkah party? Well, Beer 7 was yet another beer that paired super well with latkes. 

Beer 7 Wrapped (Jenkins Grapefruit Ale)

All in all, it was an amazing, lowkey, party with amazing blini/smoked salmon based appetizers courtesy of Jenny, good conversation… and an adorable new baby!

Greg, Becky, Alec and Menorah
Can we all acknowledge how OVER it this little baby looks!?

Look at how cute and grownup my friends Becky and Greg look with their little boy. Can you believe that they hosted a full-on Hanukkah party at their home… and made the latkes? And provided the most delicious sugar cookies in the shapes of stars, dreidels, and menorahs? 

Sugar cookies. Boring but delicious

We kept the evening mostly lowkey, for obvious reasons, but I did take the beat to drink Beer 7. And to find out more about it, follow me through the cut…

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