Archive | November, 2011

Weeping Wednesday – Michael Jordan Edition

30 Nov

Growing up my dear friend Tara always wanted a puppy. Did it matter that she was allergic to pretty much every animal under the sun and slept with an epipen under her pillow? No it did not. Tara begged for a puppy day after day, year after year but alas, no puppy.

After an impressive report card season in Grade 8, Tara thought that perhaps now was the time that she would be rewarded for her efforts, and with what? A puppy of course. So each day Tara burst through the door of her home hoping that there would be her new best friend, and day after day she was let down. Fridays were especially  difficult because she assumed that if she were to get a puppy it would likely come on a Friday to ensure she had the weekend to bond with her new pet.

One Friday Tara walked into her home with baited breath only to find her mom and sister waiting for her. They asked Tara to come upstairs because they had a surprise for her. This was it!! The puppy was upstairs in her room!!

As Tara rounded the corner her heart sank as she saw what was waiting for her. No, it was not a puppy, not even close. Instead she was greeted with a life sized cut out of Michael Jordan. 100% hypoallergenic. To this day our poor Tara has never had a puppy. She does have a sick slam dunk though.

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The Jungle Book at Neptune Theatre is a visual stunner

28 Nov

I love musicals. I really, truly, deeply and sincerely love them. I sing ‘Seasons of Love’ (from RENT) in the shower, I listen to ‘You Can’t Stop the Beat’ (from Hairspray) on the treadmill, I belt out a good rendition of ‘Memories (from Cats) on lazy Sunday afternoons… ok maybe that last one is a lie, but you get my drift. Musicals + me = highly compatible. Therefore, I was excited to check out Neptune Theatre’s production of the Jungle Book.

Based on Rudyard Kipling’s novel of the same name, The Jungle Book features music and lyrics by Eric Hughes. For those unfamiliar,  the play follows the story of Mowgli, a boy raised in the jungles of India by a wolf pack.

Shere Kahn wants to take a bite of Mowgli

To avoid any confusion, I should clarify that this is NOT the Disney version of the Jungle Book and you will not be hearing “The Bare Necessities”. While the characters and the story are more or less the same, this Jungle Book is much darker than the one you might be used to. There are moments of silliness (largely provided by the monkeys) that are perfectly suited for young viewers, but there is also some pretty heavy subject matter that may not be  appropriate for all ages. (Example: At one point the villagers hatch a plan to trap Mowgli’s human mother in her house and burn it down.)  I don’t know how much of this content kids will actually take in and understand. It’s very possible/probable that anyone under the age of 10 will be focusing on the animal costumes and impressive set, but just as a warning – there is some material in the Jungle Book that kids might find frightening. That being said,  it is an entertaining show, and I remain ever-grateful that there is a place like Neptune in Halifax where we can see productions of this caliber.

The monkeys kidnap Mowgli. Kid can't catch a break.

So here’s what was really great about the Jungle Book: The monkeys kidnap Mowgli. Kid can’t catch a break.

– Baloo the Bear – this is a part designed to be a crowd-favorite, and it certainly was. The actor who played this role – Sheldon Bergstrom – had a great voice and did a great job. Also, he REALLY reminded me of Cameron from Modern Family. So I liked that.

– The dancing – I love me a good dance routine. There were some great dance breaks, including one that involved fire. What’s not to like about fire dancing?

– The monkey rap – late in the 1st act, the play suddenly shifts gears and the band of 4 monkeys do a full-blown rap number that involves the phrase ‘sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me, sock it to me’. It was very unexpected. I laughed.

– The set –  Neptune can really put together some extraordinary sets and do a lot on a fairly small stage. From deep in the jungle, to the monkey city, to the Indian village, there was no shortage of visual stimuli.

The Jungle Book runs at Neptune Theatre from Nov 22 – Jan 8. For information and tickets, check out the Neptune Theatre website or swing by the Neptune Box Office at 1593 Argyle Street.

The Bees Knees – The Bluenose II

15 Nov

When I was 10 we moved across the country and one of the first places my Dad insisted on taking us was to Lunenburg. We became fascinated with the Bluenose II and went on it so many times that summer that we were honored with “crew” pins. (Yes, I realize that likely every kid got pins but we earned those suckers!!)

Anyway, since then Lunenburg has become one of my favourite places to day trip to. In just under an hours drive you are in a place that feels far away from the bustle of every day life.

Over the summer we stumbled upon a hidden gem of Lunenburg. The place where the Bluenose II is being rebuilt. Yes this may not seem like breaking news but we had no idea you could go in and watch this piece of history get rejuvenated.

Visiting this site is completely free and there are always staff members willing to talk to you about every aspect of the boat – old and new. While very little of the original Bluenose II remains, the fact that you can watch a boat of this size, built with this amazing craftsmanship is an opportunity that most don’t get in their lifetime.

Once you’ve been hooked on watching it’s progress in person, you can check out the build live on Nova Scotia Webcams.

The restored Bluenose II will be back in action in the Spring of 2012 just in time for Tall Ships!

Welcome Eli “Mini Wheats” Fraser

10 Nov

We have had an exciting few months here at This Needs to Stop. Our very own Amy Wheaton announced that she and her husband Peter were expecting their first baby. The lovely Ms. Creamer had recently become engaged. And in other news, Joel and I have been banned from two more Michael’s craft stores.

Today marks a very special day for us, as we welcome Amy and Peter’s baby boy, Eli, to the world. This is the first baby for us at TNTS and we couldn’t be more excited. And in honour of this very important day, we wanted to share some words of wisdom with Eli. We want to make sure he gets started on the right foot.

1. You have really great parents, and that makes your pretty damn lucky (p.s.: it’s ok that I said damn, your mom told me that I can swear in front of you for at least the first year).

2. Sometimes you are going to fall down, but that’s ok, because there are going to be a lot of people here cheering for you, and we will always make sure you get back up.

3. Owls are cool, you will understand this one when you get home.

4. Your mom is going to write about you on her blog, and so are we. But don’t worry, we will try to save the really embarrassing stuff for your birthday parties and other public events.

5. Friends are the best thing on this planet, so make lots, early and often.

6. Your father will teach you all you need to know about video games, so have fun!

7. As soon as you’re old enough to think about it, you’re going to think adults are really old and really weird. But here’s something you should know: adults, even your parents, feel like they’re still kids. True story.