Beer Exchange Day 2

Everyone. My life has been so chaotic recently, I am so delighted for every bit of consistency I can scrape up. And writing on this blog every day? (For literally 4 days?) Having the beers for the beer exchange? It’s little, but it makes me feel so good. 

And you know what else makes me feel good? Recording Mystery, Outsiders and Abs

My and Kevin’s teen drama brains have been filled with Riverona and we had no energy for good Shadowhunters goofs. (That said, you should definitely donate to our Riverona IndieGoGo campaign to bring this Romeo and Juliet teen drama parody to the stage. Fans of MOA know Kevin and I are clever and can write a better show than Riverdale…) Anyway, we have brains back and we are ready to record our podcast, and you know what that means?

Beer 2, wrapped (games table in background)

It means Beer 2!

Sort of. Follow me through the cut to figure out what I mean by that…

Girl. What did you mean and what is Beer 2?

Okay. Here’s the thing. My dad and my brother Bryan both volunteered to be a part of the beer exchange this year. And my dad got super excited about the opportunity for all of us to spend time together, so he bought some different beers that we could enjoy while we all wrapped our beer exchange beers together. Which means we all know which beers each other selected.

So we made it still a bit of a mystery in the only way we knew how. We all wrapped our beers in the same wrapping paper and, while we numbered them for others, we didn’t number the beers we kept for ourselves. There was still some mystery!

Today, I pulled one of the Weir Beers to enjoy while recording MOA. It was meant to be my beer, Beer 2… but I actually pulled Bryan’s beer.

And it was delish.

Beer 2, unwrapped - Zero Issue Innsmouth (games table in background)

Bryan selected the Zero Issue Innsmouth sour. I always get Zero Issue and New Level confused because they both have cool, nerdy branding and good sours. (Remember a couple years ago when I was obsessed with getting to try the New Level dill pickle beer? Ugh. Classic Erin.) I still couldn’t tell you that I could articulate the difference… but what I can tell you, is that Innsmouth was delicious.

If you all know my beer taste, you know I love sours. Innsmouth is a passionfruit-mango sour with a ABV of 4.8% and an unknown IBU (though it’s definitely low). The taste is not surprising, but it’s infinitely drinkable. It is a classic, fruit-forward, kettle sour that I feel like really represents what Alberta sours taste like. It was the perfect drink to enjoy without food while I rambled for an hour!

So I have to ask – and maybe I have before – but do you love sours?

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Beer Exchange Day 1

Heeeey friends! Guess what is back, back, backpack again in the year of our Lord 2023? (And, yes, there might be a backpack involved.) My dear friend Megan is not laid up with a broken ankle this year and that means it’s time for a Beer Exchange!!!

Yes! A Beer Exchange! One of those fun things that you hear people talking about but no one ever really pulls together – 12 people each choose a local beer to buy 12 tall boy cans of and then we all take one of each beer. Plus the beers are wrapped up, so we have no idea what we are drinking. It is fun and festive and more social than buying an advent calendar. I am psyched

I love doing things with my friends.

And having content for my blog.

So you probably guessed what today’s post is all about – it’s about the first beer from the Beer Exchange! And, not just that, we had a kickoff party with a few of our participants so this post is also about that. Woooooo!!!

Yes, that means that I am starting this post in the afternoon and will finish it when I return home from the party, potentially a bit tipsy. Because I don’t know what the first beer is yet and I will be enjoying it at the party with my friends. But don’t worry… as always, I will make you have to work for the reveal of what the first beer is. So follow me through the cut to find out what we had for Beer Exchange Day 1…

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Sleuth – Vertigo Theatre

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about one of the many holiday productions currently running – Sleuth

Sleuth Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.
Poster lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.

My friends! Do you know what snuck up on me so quickly this year? December! And by “December”, I mean “Blogmas”.

My November was incredibly ambitious. I truly thought I would write every day during the month for Nanowrimo, chronicle what we were doing at Riverona rehearsals, actually produce/director/act in Riverona, and have a social life?! Oh Erin, you sweet summer child.

Blogmas seems easy in comparison. 

And it’s especially easy when I have a fantastic theatre production to kick the season off with… Vertigo Theatre’s production of Sleuth

So, What’s Sleuth all about?

Great question! Sleuth is a classic two-hander about power, control, and mystery. Eccentric mystery writer, Andrew Wyke (Christopher Hunt), invites his new neighbour  Milo (Brandon Griffiths), over to his isolated country home. That’s not a suspicious move at all, right? Just normal neighbourly things.

Except we discover extremely quickly that Milo has been carrying on an affair with Wyke’s (ex???)-wife. And you know any man in a play who writes mystery novels is definitely not going to do anything normal with that information… 

Sleuth is the ultimate cat-and-mouse play. Two clever men, exchanging witticisms and one-upping each other, leaving you wondering who ultimately has the power. Who has unraveled the other’s plans and will come up on top? Who will win the game?

Oh, and there’s also a woman in this play. For a little bit, at least. Helen Knight does fantastic work and is so fun, but she’s literally on stage for about 15 minutes.

Why should I see Sleuth?

Because any show that involves Christopher Hunt dancing is pure magic. (IFKYK, I’m a huge Chris Hunt fan and I’ve been talking about him dancing on the socials for years.) 

Chris and Braden are both powerhouse performers and they can carry the show, even if I joke about Helen being the token woman. (But honestly! Helen does a great job! The show just doesn’t give her a ton to do which is truly too bad. And there is a reveal with her character that I don’t super love – I think it very much lives in it’s 1970s home.)

Two-handers can often feel swallowed up by a large stage or get stagnant, but Cherissa Richards’ direction keeps the show active and engaging. The two actors fill the beautiful stage designed by Andy Moro. (Two levels! There are two levels! I love a set with stairs!)

Final Thoughts

This is maybe the weirdest thing I have ever said – Sleuth was really well done and I really liked it and I also was a little bit bored. 

At one point during the script, they mention Amelia Peabody and I spent so much time wondering if that was a time period appropriate reference. (Amelia Peabody is one of my very favourite fictional female detectives who 100% deserves a film or stage adaptation which she hasn’t yet gotten. So I’m also very biased.)

But the performances are also so good and it was so engaging. Maybe I’m over-simplifying it, but I think the script is just a bit wordy for my taste. (I know. I literally write a blog, which is only words.) So, if you love character and dialogue-driven theatre that is on the lighter side, this is the show for you. The best thing about theatre is that taste is personal, we don’t all rave over the same things, we don’t all get distracted over the same things. 

You should see this show and decide for yourself. Tell me why I’m basic, beauties. 

I’m in! How do I see it?

Well, I’m glad you asked! The show runs until December 17th and tickets can be purchased by visiting their website or calling (403) 221 3708. Do it, yo!

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Riverona – Nov 12

Another Sunday, another Riverona rehearsal.

This day was a bit of a unique day because we actually started out by having a production meeting between myself, Claire, Megan, Hans, and Kevin. (The team that writes the Riverona script.) There are many forms a production meeting can take and most of them are significantly more professional than what ours look like. (I assume. Because we meet in a place with great food and drinks then proceed to discuss every element of the production and make sure someone has every element in hand. Or we decide we don’t care about that element anymore. haha.)

We spend most of our writing or production meetings at First Street Market, by the way. If we’re not currently in production, catch us there on a Tuesday evening, y’all.

Image of FCT working on Riverona at First Street Market
Yes, Feb 28 was a Tuesday.
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Riverona – Nov 8

Hello Riverona friends and fans! I’m here with another recap of a rehearsal that will maybe make theatre purists lose their minds about our process. So before I share what we did on Nov 8… just know that we had a very talented cast who is very familiar with our weird vibes. Look at how cool Hans Wackershauser, Sarah Nearing, and Joel Taylor all look in this show photo from Riverona Ep 1: Two Households by Hannah Anson and also know that all three of them are in Episode 2.

Riverona Ep 1 Production Photo of Joel Taylor, Hans Wackershauser and Sarah Nearing
Joel (Benvolio) is definitely saying “seeeeeee”(x). IYKYK.

So anyway. Controversially, maybe… on Nov 8, our fifth rehearsal, we did a stumblethrough of the entire show.

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Riverona – A Rehearsal Journey

Erin Weir (Tybalt) and Megan Baldrey (Juliet) in the cafeteria scene during Riverona Ep 1: Two Households
A very collaborative Director’s Relationship During Riverona Ep 1… (maybe don’t slap your hand over your co-director’s mouth?)

Y’all! I feel like this will be a bit of a unique series over on A Flimsy Plan, but it’s also very appropriate. This blog has always been about fun things that I do in Calgary, with a strong arts lean. It’s also always been super fun when I talk about the behind the scenes of the theatre industry. Finally, as the co-artistic director of a theatre collective in town, I’ve started hosting the Full Circle Theatre website as a sub-site on my blog. (Look, life is expensive now, let’s share web hosting costs.)

So, all that to say… it seems super reasonable that I should document the process of Riverona Episode 2: Yonder Window Breaks, from rehearsal to performance, on my blog. This gives everyone involved in the situation what they want – and also helps me get back into the habit of writing on this blog. You can expect a post sometime after every Sunday rehearsal and sometime after every Wednesday rehearsal.

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The Extractionist – Theatre Thursday

On Theatre Thursdays, I discuss topics related to theatre. I also write about local productions that I think #yyc should see. Today I’m talking about a new play that I haven’t been able to stop talking about – The Extractionist.

The Extractionist by Michaela Jeffery - Photo Credit to Tim Nguyen
Image lovingly stolen from Vertigo Theatre. Photography credit to Tim Nguyen.

Calgary has been filled with new theatre this month! I don’t know if it’s because they were inspired by High Performance Rodeo or if it was just a coincidence, but our professional companies have been filled with world premieres this February. And as an artist who pretty much exclusively creates new works these days, I am hyped to see it. That said, it has led to a few little complications for my blog. Either the shows have had short runs (The F Word) or the buzz made its way to me late (Little Red Warrior and His Lawyer), but either way I didn’t have the opportunity to cover them before they closed. But you know what I did love and is still open? Vertigo Theatre’s The Extractionist, written by my very own Michaela Jeffery! 

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Mozart’s Birthday and Classy Heels: A Tale of Snow, Seats, and Symphony in Calgary

Last Friday, Calgary was hit by a surprise massive snowfall. (Actually, I’m sure meteorologists knew it was coming, but we had experienced fairly mild weeks prior to this so it still caught everyone by surprise.) By midday Saturday, things had settled down a bit… and thank goodness for that, because Claire and I had picked out our classiest heels to make the trek out to Balzac. And why were we driving to Balzac? Because we were being extremely classy and going to the Rocky Mountain Symphony Orchestra’s Mozart’s Birthday concert!

For those who followed along during Blogmas, you may remember when I attended A Rocky Mountain High Christmas at the Grey Eagle Casino and mentioned that I would love to see the RMSO doing what they usually do in their home venue. Well! Something incredible happened – the RMSO reached out to me and offered me tickets to come see them at the Polaris Theatre. It was honestly so nice and sweet and y’all know that I love to support local artists. So we hit the road!

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Five Days of At Home Online Workouts

Alright, my friends. It is already December 23 and things are about to get cozy. The weather in Calgary has actually improved (slightly), but I don’t really think that matters. Ultimately, the weather outside is frightful and the fire is so delightful. So instead of going to the gym or pilates studio, we are all dying for ways we can stay active at home. And, as your non-fitness girl who wants to talk to you about fitness things, I took a hit for the team. I did at home workouts for a week so that I could tell you what was worth it and what you should be doing in your living room.

A few little comments – all the workouts I did were free, youtube videos. There are tons of subscription services out there, especially after COVID where all studios had to pivot to online offerings, but I decided to focus this post on free stuff. I am sure so many of you have passes to your regular studios… but you’re looking for something different to fill your time right now. Maybe you’re out of town. Maybe it’s just too much to drive somewhere away from home. Don’t worry. I got you!

Generally speaking, I tried to do a 45-min to 1-hr long workout. This meant I usually ended up doing more than one video per channel. If I did more than one, I usually tried to do something more cardio-heavy and then something more strength-heavy so that I had a range of workouts. 

And, without further ado, here are my thoughts on the five channels I interacted with during my week of at home workouts.

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Eighty-Eight Beer Advent Calendar – Beer Eleven

I learned how to adjust my desk chair at my office today! I’ve been in this office for a few weeks, but it still feels like “not mine” – this small little change has made such a difference towards making me feel like I have ownership over the space I work within. And just in time for the holiday break, lol. Classic Erin moment. 

Today’s blog post is not about classic Erin moments. (Though… that might not be a terrible idea for the future?) Today’s post is about the second last beer of my Eighty-Eight beer advent calendar. How are we already here!? 

I will take a moment to reflect on the experience before I move into the beer. I do think it was well worth the money ($88, naturally) and I appreciated the opportunity to try new beers at a place I am familiar with but have a “go to” beer. I think next year, if there is no beer exchange, I will buy another advent calendar. However, I think I would be more likely to buy one of the ones from a liquor store so I could be exposed to new breweries as well. 

All that to say… onto the beer!

Day Eleven Clue

Beer Eleven clue

The Day Eleven clue read “Don’t forget the water wings”. Well, I had a pretty good idea of what this one might be – could it be the classic “Wave Pool”?

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