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around town

Life + Love

birthday horseback riding in the valley

these guys…

for their milestone birthdays, sean and his 2 best friends wanted to do something different, something fun and outdoorsy. something that would be memorable. and that thing turned out to be horseback riding in the valley.

we called up glen valley stables in langley and booked ourselves a 90 minute trail ride. we met our guide, joanne, at the entrance to the campbell valley park, where horses were welcome.

horseback riding
horseback riding
my horse was named freckles and would be the leader of the pack – always having to be the one behind the guide’s horse. sean got texas, which was just purr-fect for him, and followed behind me. blackwell and dustin’s horses brought up the rear.

horseback riding
horseback riding
horseback riding
horseback riding
the ride was so much fun, like when sean and i went horseback riding in pemberton. except this time, we weren’t riding with a group. it was just us four and our guide.

the horses were well-trained and joanne was super friendly and easy-going. we got to do some trotting, parked the horses in a meadow so they could graze on some grass, and walked amongst some old growth rainforest.

horseback riding
horseback riding
horseback riding
horseback riding
horseback riding
happy birthday to my fella, blackwell and dustin. nothing like spending your special day with your besties and with animals.

Life + Love

celebrating our anniversary at the shangri-la

as is our custom when it comes to anniversaries, we forgo presents to each other and instead celebrate with hotel stays. sooner or later, we’ll have stayed at all the 4 and 5 star hotels in vancouver. we’ve already stayed at the pan pacific, l’hermitage, and the rosewood hotel georgia. this time we chose to celebrate at the shangri-la.

the asian influenced shangri-la is one of the tallest buildings downtown. it conforms to feng shui principles and was blessed from roof to foundations by monks. there is no 4th floor (as the number is bad luck in chinese culture). with the rosewood panelling, marble, crystal chandeliers, gold colour schemes, it all felt very familiar, very chinese. it felt like we were in shanghai, hong kong or even at a posh relatives place.

dig on the marble bathroom with walk in shower plus deep soaker tub. AND a tv in the mirror! how awesome is that? i want this in our dream house.

our view out on the patio was not bad either. just a stone’s throw from robson street.

the outdoor pool was nice and relaxing too. but don’t let this picture fool you. minutes after i took it, a dozen other guests came down to partake in the pool and hot tub like we were doing.

we capped off our anniversary with the italian opera buffet at oceans 999. delicious italian cuisine, coupled with live opera and waterfront views is not a shabby way to celebrate our 8th year together. eight!

it’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years. it feels like it’s flown by in a blink of an eye. i can’t wait to see what the next 8 years will bring. happy anniversary babe.

My Inner Geek

timeless in vancouver

i didn’t quite feel that zing of fangirl excitement like i did when i came across the filming of two episodes of the flash (one at hornby plaza and the christmas episode at robson square), however, it was still pretty cool to see eric kripke’s new show, timeless, being filmed downtown.

especially as the actors and extras were dressed circa 1940s-1950s costumes. plus the classic automobiles.

i’m excited and more than a little curious about this show on time-travel. for one thing, it’s created by eric kripke, who also created supernatural and revolution. i’ve been a fan of supernatural since episode one. and yet, 12 seasons later, i still have yet to come across supernatural being filmed. (!) the show doesn’t really film in the downtown core. but i did walk by misha collins one time on the street.

promoted as back to the future meets mission: impossible, timeless looks like it has potential and i’ll definitely check it out. looks like i’m not the only one. seems there are folks on twitters who think the same.

timeless twittertwitter timeless
ok, kripke, amaze your fans like you did with supernatural. i had high hopes for revolution, but the actress cast in the main role, with her overly eager face, was just too annoying to watch. sean, on the other hand, enjoyed it. please don’t let timeless be another revolution.

Life + Love

juxtapoz x superflat exhibition at the VAG

john hathway
fresh off the heels of mash up: the birth of modern culture, the VAG knocked another one out of the park with the juxtapoz x superflat exhibition.

curated by world renown artist takashi murakami and evan pricco, editor-in-chief of juxtapoz magazine, juxtapoz x superflat presents the works of 38 artists from japan, china, korea, canada, US and europe.

so what is superflat?

it’s a postmodern art movement, founded by takashi murami, and refers to the flattening of high and low culture in japanese graphic art, animation, pop culture,  fine arts, and “shallow emptiness of japanese consumer culture.” superflat draws its influences from a variety of pop/sub-cultures including: manga, anime, skate, surf, punk, graffiti, street art, comics, and digital arts.

in other words, a youthful and irreverent exhibition that was purr-fect for us.

bouquet james jeanbouquet by james jean

garden creepgarden creep by sage vaughn

anatomiaanatomia by mark ryden

lifes all downhilllife’s all downhill by GATS

edlineedline by swoon

life model
life model by david shrigley

higgins oconnorshadowboxing to your breadcrumbs by elisabeth higgins o’connor

sean and i love pop culture, so we really enjoyed the heck out of the juxtapoz x superflat exhibition. i must say the VAG is on a roll. their next big exhibit is on monet, which i’ll most likely skip because it’s not my jam. plus other museums do monet better. i will, however, look forward to the next fresh, irreverent exhibit such as this one and mash up.

for more pictures, press play on the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

My Inner Geek

night of the living dead live at the cbc

night of living dead live
they’re coming to get you, barbara! well, here’s a new twist on an old classic. george romero’s night of the living dead performed live and in glorious black and white!

yes, that meant that the set, the props, and even the actors were all monochromatic. cool, right?

dsr production
photo credit: DSR production | derek fu

peggy and i had seen DSR’s production of evil dead: the musical in 2009 and now seven years later, we went with sean to see DSR’s production of night of the living dead live at the CBC studios.

both plays were enjoyable if you’re a horror or theatre buff. i only wish they had better marketing team to really promote their theatre productions. this new interpretation of romero’s classic should have had way more people attending. as it was days leading up to halloween – on a saturday night, no less – the venue should’ve been packed.

although the turnout was low, we had a good time. we grabbed front row centre seats and settled in for the show and to be hella spooked by the zombies shuffling off the stage, into the aisles and at the audience.

some pics:

night of the living dead live
night of the living dead
night of the living dead live
night of the living dead live
and yes, peggy still used me as a shield, even after all these years. but now, i get to use sean as my shield against the hordes of the undead.

Life + Love

channeling our inner child at playland

what happens when your out of town family – with 2 teen boys – come to town for a visit? why, you go to playland, of course. and go on the rides. and scream your head off.

holy hell. little did we know what we were in for with that enterprise ride. so much fun being spun into the air at a near vertical angle. the momentary and dizzying head rush as the gondala came to a stup was a bit of a surprise though. getting old.

coaster playland
coaster playland
all aboard the most rickety ass, wooden roller coaster ever.

hellavator playland
launching our men 200 feet into the air. 4.5G’s of fun. whose girlish screams are those?

playland family
family selfie time. right before we were all burnt out on all the lines, rides, and mini donuts. that’s what happens when you’re around 2 teenagers. or maybe when they’re around 6 adults.

Life + Love

vancouver after the vacation

vancouver skyline
vancouver, stop being so pretty.

no, really. whenever i return back from a trip, i find myself more in appreciation of the natural beauty of the city, where i was born and raised.

vancouver pano
pano vancouver
from the urban “jungle” of vancouver proper, to the leafy, green suburbs that i call home, vancouver is at its best when it’s bright and sunny.

course, after a while, the travel itch sets in and i’m ready to take off again.  when will that be? where to go next?

Life + Love

mash up: the birth of modern culture at VAG

billed as a ground-breaking exhibit, mash up: the birth of modern culture at the vancouver art gallery would feature mash up strategies employed by 20th century artists such as picasso, marcel duchamp, jean-luc godard, andy warhol, keith haring and more. it would also be the first time an exhibit would take over the gallery. 371 works by 156 artists, filmmakers, musicians, architects and designers spread out over all four floors. 3 years in the making by 30 curators. that’s what hooked me.

i know i can be hard on our cultural institutions in vancouver, because of the much more amazing things i’ve seen and experienced in cities like new york, san francisco, LA, london and paris. i still view vancouver as a “big small city.” whenever i hear someone rave about our culture offerings, i can’t help but to think that they need to travel more.

so i was très intéressant when i read about the set up and the works to be featured at mash up: the birth of modern culture.

the floors were organized by themes:

floor 1 – the digital age: hacking, remix and the archive in the age of post-production

floor 2 – late 20th century: splicing, sampling and the street in the age of appropriation

floor 3 – the post-war: cut, copy and quotation in the age of mass media

floor 4 – early 20th century: collage, montage and readymade at the birth of modern culture

it was a mix bag. there were a few neat things, a few ok things and lots of meh things. i felt a little duped when the sign outside loudly advertise a work by quentin tarantino, and then it turned out to be just a reel on repeat with a couple scenes from kill bill. same with william burrough with one of his book being displayed, plus 3 recordings. or jean-luc godard’s pierrot le fou and 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d’elle being screened, as well as, one U2 video and one brian eno recording. but the VAG did include works by jean-michel basquiat, jeff koons, andy warhol, marcel duchamp and keith haring, which was good.

here are the things i really liked:

cory arcangel’s recreation of arnold schoenberg’s opus 11 entitled drei klavierstücke (aka three piano pieces). this multi-screen installation featured kitty youtube videos. so fun.

another mountain man aka stanley wong’s exhibition featuring those ubiquitous red, blue and white striped plastic bags commonly used by asian people to store items that they’re hoarding. using these multipurpose striped bags, wong creates large scale and immersive installations.

tobias wong
tobias wong’s stark lamp chair. i only wish there were more tobias wong pieces. museum of vancouver’s object(ing) exhibition of 2012 was a really comprehensive retrospective.

a recreation of futurist painter and musical composer luigi russolo’s intonarumori, italian for “noise intoners.” russolo developed 27  types of intonarumori with different names according to the sounds they produced: howling, crackling, thunder, crumpling, gurgling, exploding, buzzing and so on.

i absolutely loved the wall sized print of jacque villegle working.  i want this on my wall!

but my favourite thing, as i’m sure are many people’s, is barbara kruger work on the walls and floor in the VAG’s rotunda. when you’re on the higher floors, looking down at the philosophical quotes, done in all caps black and white, it’s quite the impressive sight – winding around walls, crawling up staircases and inhabiting niches.

overall, i found mash up: the birth of modern culture to be ambitious and interesting. i’m glad that the VAG decided to shake it up and exhibiting something different and modern (enough with the emily carr’s already). they still have a long way to go to catch up to london, new york, paris and such – but it’s a good start.

for the complete list of works, click here. press play for the slideshow or click here for my flickr.

Life + Love

a safari of animals inside out at science world

animals inside out. at first, i wasn’t sure if it could handle it. i thought that i might just walk out after a few steps, a few minutes. i even asked the staff member if anyone’s ever walked out or felt ill by what they saw. and not that it alleviated my concerns, she simply said “yes, lots.”

i’m talking about the animal inside out exhibition at science world.

i’ve been to gunther von hagen’s body worlds exhibit in new york, as well as, in vancouver. although it’s disconcerting to see plastinated humans, i was able to stomach it. for the most part. but animals…. i love animals. i had to give a disclaimer to sean and for him to prepare for me to walk out at any moment.

but i stayed. and i went through the whole exhibit. although it was a bit sad, i felt the exhibit was respectful and educational, bordering on captivating and disturbing.

being sensitive of viewers, i’m not going to post pictures right on my blog. i don’t like being visually assaulted when i’m not expecting it, as i’m sure others don’t either. nothing chaps me more than content that might be disturbing popping up in all its glory, without so much as a warning on my twitter feed.

to view the pictures, click here for my flickr.

another reason i wanted to go to science world was for the red bull stratos exhibit, featuring felix baumgartner’s space suit and capsule he rode up to the edge of space, before free fall jumping 128,000 feet back to earth.

felix helmet
felix suit

i remembered watching the world record jump online in 2012. what a nail-biter of a moment! and now i get to see the suit and capsule with my very eyes.

final mission records include:

  • first person to break the speed of sound in freefall, without the protection or propulsion of a vehicle
  • fastest freefall: 843.6 miles per hour
  • highest exit (jump) altitude: 127,852 feet
  • longest freefall distance: 119,431.1 feet
  • highest manned balloon ascent: 128,177.5 feet
  • largest balloon ever flown with a human aboard: 30 million cubic feet
  • fastest overland speed of a manned balloon: 135.7 miles per our
  • highest untethered altitude outside a vehicle

what an incredible feat for a human! how could one possibly top that in their career slash life? so inspirational just to be in the presence of what made it all possible.

for more pictures of my day at science world, click here for my flickr.

*some content may not be suitable for some readers. viewers discretion is advised*

Life + Love

happy 2016!

70mm roadshow edition of quentin tarantino’s hateful 8 and a 15th floor harbourview room stay at the pan pacific. a pretty good way to spend new years eve.

five sails
happy new year, everyone! wishing you all a fantastic 2016!