Monday, January 30, 2012

Carancho: Argentinian Cinema & A Spontaneous Sunday

Sunday evening ended up being a random night with Meghan at Remedy Cafe and Garneau Theatre. Totally randomly, after many websites posted the incorrect times for the movie we really wanted to see, we ended up watching Carancho. Apparently released in 2010, it was a very intense story about an Argentinian insurance scam, in which the protagonist (Richard Darin) tries to escape his gang-like job where he convinces disadvantaged citizens to to let him severely hurt them, so they can jump in front of a moving car, and claim the insurance money (most of which, of course, the scammers keep).  
Apparently 8000 lives are taken each year, and there are 120 000 serious injuries due traffic accidents in the country (IPS News, 2010). Brutal and gory, yet fascinating, it definitely draws you to the screen and makes you wonder how true or fictional this film really is.

At the heart of the story, there is, of course, a passionate romance where an innocent (much too submissive) woman doctor falls in love with the hero. Definitely an interesting plot, though much more intense than the documentary we planned to see (Surviving Progress). I thorougly enjoyed the work-life balance this week, of having to only work 3 hours on a Sunday (high school students start a new semester February 1st, so most are finished exams and on a few days break). I've actually decided, in celebration of my new adventure that will begin in September 2012 (Masters of Applied Linguistics & Second Language Acquisition at Oxford University int he UK!!!), that I will enjoy my Sunday nights this semester, and not book any sessions past 6pm. 
Loyal readers and friends in Edmonton, if anyone wants to check out that Surviving Progress movie at the Garneau this coming Sunday, let me know. It's a documentary that has Steven Hawking, Margaret Atwood, and many others, on what "success" really means in the contemporary world.
I'm definitely going to miss Remedy Cafe and the Garneau...but I'll be on the lookout for awesome cafes and alternative movie theatres at Oxford!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Nourishing Healthy Appetites at Noorish Conscious Eatery

Since I've been to this establishment twice in the New Year, once for a last-free-Saturday brunch, and once last night for Sunday's cheat meal dessert, Noorish Conscious Eatery is definitely worth a mention on my blog. It's raw, vegan food (for the most part), that takes hours of prep work, and is healthier than anything I could ever make myself. Raw food diets basically mean you can't cook anything - so I'm not sure that this classifies as "raw", but wow, it classifies as both healthy and YUM!

A borrowed picture from Google
Meghan and I had Saturday brunch there last weekend (it's just off 109th street and 84th ave), before the rush of weekend tutoring began again. Noorish Conscious Eating & Superfood Elixir Bar is definitely an appropriate name - and reminds you of a zen-d out place you'd find in a larger city, or California or Vancouver. With a yoga studio in the basement, this place focuses on healthy, organic living. Although the ingredients list on their menu may make you cringe a bit, once you taste the mixture of flavours, it's a 100% organic delectable delight.  I had a veggie burger that rivals any one I've ever had before.

Their desserts are by far the best - Meghan & I shared "Key lime cheesecake" last week and "Lemon raspberry cheesecake" last night. Of course, it's not really cheese, milk, and in some cases, not even gluten --but somehow, absolutely amazing. Cafe Mosaics  is the only other cafe I can think of in Edmonton that offers similar type of food - but it's definitely not this tasty.

Unfortunately, I didn't grab any photos of the food...but I'll leave it to your imagination, and the one picture I borrowed from Vegan Edmonton's blog. 

Definitely check this place out! (I have a feeling my next few cheat meals will be there once again, so I'm up for going with anyone who wants to check it out:) 

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year: Ringing in 2012 with Hilarity!

 Ringing in the New Year in 2012 was a fun time with Meghan and Ryan at Schwake's place on Whyte Ave. I met some new people and witnessed a dance video game that would make anyone laugh hysterically. Meghan and I didn't drink; we just watched and laughed at the game (I believe it's called Dance Central)--and marvelled at the voice activated commands. Well, the last video games I played were Nintendo Game Boy's Tetris and Mortal Combat on Playstation (I think I was nine) --and they definitely weren't voice controlled!

Meghan & Ryan at midnight
2011 held a plethora of disastrous events (and a few good ones), but I'm definitely hoping for a reversal this time around. McGill and my subsequent pursuit of my own business full time was definitely the highlight of 2011, with the disasters including the dark, evil side of the corporate world, the departure of the perfect roommate, the end of the little red Hyundai, the realism of home ownership   and being a landlord and its REAL costs, the arrival of a far-from-even-close-to-perfect roommate, the insurance battle for a car crash that was NOT my fault (they finally agreed in the end), and of course, the loss of Stephanie Wertz, one of my best friends. New Year's just wasn't the same, without you Steph---and I really, really, really hope, that somehow you are able to see/feel/understand (or whatever spirits do) how we celebrated this new year.

2012 will be the best year of my life - I am optimistic about that, for sure! Travel, studying, teaching, language learning, linguistics, a move abroad, (perhaps the sale of my house), and many, amazing times with friends, new and old. 

According to the Chinese Horoscope, I'm an Ox with a Wood Element (not sure how credible this site is, but click it and see that it describes me almost perfectly). Apparently 2012 is supposed to be a time of wealth and new opportunities, and challenging relationships ( - Ox).

Thanks, Meghan, for playing photographer at the New Year's Eve party! Check out the pics below. I have to say that the first two days of 2012, which I've had off, have been full of working out, eating healthy, cooking, watching movies (Tintin had fabulous animation!) and hanging out with friends in town for the holidays. So, I'm off to see another movie (Mission Impossible 3 with Lorina). Stay tuned for a year of awesomeness!

Sapna and Meghan