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In the past week Donovan and I hosted a larger than usual gathering of our friends… Call it a party, a rager, a mess?!?  After having close to 75 people through our house over the course of the evening I started remembering some of the excellent and poorly planned aspects of the evening.

Post gathering… My top 10 recommendations you should do when you host a party:

10. Have ample cups on hand.


I know this seems like something you can’t screw up; after all if you’ve invited 20 people then all you need is 20 cups… NO… Get 40 unless you want to be doing dishes part way through the night.  If you are hosting folks for more than a couple of hours they’re going to loose their glass and want a new one.

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Do I worry about getting sick, getting the flu, working too hard, running too fast, staying up too late, drinking too much, etc? No.

Should I worry about it? No. I am in that lovely age bracket between 9 & 55 where most things aren’t likely to kill me. And the way that Brian Cs it – what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (tiny Glee shout out – thanks Sue).

This week I have been stricken with the flu… Common or h1n1 is still up for debate. After having had this horrendous illness for 4 days I was well enough to visit my doctor, he listened to my symptoms, which were severe, and offered the following diagnosis: probably not h1n1 but you’ve got the flu for sure. I wish it was h1n1, at least I’d have a good survival story!

Holly crap I thought to myself… I’ve been ridiculously ill for over half a week and it isn’t even swine flu!? Part of what made this sucky experience tolerable was that I believed it was swine flu and I remember my mom telling me you can only get the same flu once (plus the story of my pandemic survival).

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On the evening of Saturday November 7th, I attended my first Prairie Supper. Donovan persuaded Adam to take me as off of his hands, so he could have a drama free Saturday night working with Patrick. I couldn’t have been happier than to attend with Adam and see what everyone is talking about. The supper is a benefit to raise money for the Fillmore Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds several community programs in the areas of Nutrition, Housing and Health. The supper is a great idea too; hundreds from Vancouver’s community showed up in support of the group (the tickets sell out each year).

Some traditions are well established to help raise some additional $$ for the charity; there is a silent auction, the bar of course, and several hundred pounds of cold hard CASH. Almost everyone in the room, except Adam and I, knew that they were expected to spend the afternoon, prior to the supper, rolling their coins. The table to eat first was the one with the highest Dollar Value of only Rolled Coins on it and no paper money allowed. There were tables with THOUSANDS of dollars of rolled coins. If I remember correctly they raised close to $15,000 in rolled coins!! Our table ate last :(

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Hollywood North definitely lived up to its name this weekend. With the 28th annual Vancouver International Film Festival underway, the team at Jet Set Crew threw its annual Red Carpet VIP Film Party. This year’s festivities were held at the ultra cool, ultra hip Canvas Lounge. On deck with hosting duties again this year, Rick Campanelli greeted celebrities and film VIPs as they sashayed their way into the Gastown venue. Donovan, Brian and myself attended the 3rd black tie annual party. Armed with our digital SLR, video camera and our winning personalities, we interviewed a multitude of actors and producers promoting their film screening at VIFF and upcoming projects.

Although quite spacious at the Canvas Lounge, it was a full house and quite an intimate evening. Donovan took care of the still photography and celeb corralling, Brian took charge of filming while I took over interviewing the guests. On the red carpet, I had the opportunity to interview such familiar faces as Patrick Gallagher (Ken Tanaka) from the new hit show Glee, Keegan Connor Tracy from Battlestar Galactica, and faces you will soon know better, including Terry Chen from the A-Team movie and the adorable Jodell Ferland from The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Since Vancouver is an industry fave to film television shows, we also were able to mingle and take pictures with Smallville stars, Allison Mack and Kristin Kreuk.

Check out the video montage of the ET, Glee, and we three red carpet event after the jump…


The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about the transit systems in place in Vancouver. In particular the possible benefits of installing turnstiles into the mass transit stations. I’m sure the debate over the cost/benefits of the automation has been looming in the minds of transit operators worldwide since the dawn of the concept. Most, if not all, of the worlds private transit systems include an automated transit fare collection system- If for no other reason than to collect a more fairly calculated cost (maybe that’s where the word fare came from) for the route traveled; this encourages travel and makes it a reasonable purchase for persons traveling based on their use of the system. Here’s where the Vancouver SkyTrain system demonstrates the “bad”. With a fare calculated based on large zones, people are paying ridiculous sums of $$ to ride the one stop from Burrard to Granville?  $2.50 for a 1 minute (or less) ride is robbery! As such, people will cheat and avoid paying all together, drive, or walk. All three options provide no benefit to the financial well-being of the system.

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This App snuck in just under the August wire.  I hadn’t been browsing for many new apps in August.  I was thinking about trying out the Men’s Health app after reading about it in the magazine but was dissuaded to do so after reading that there is some ongoing cost to operating it.  Leave it to the folks at Rodale to milk it for all they can – really!  I had read on a blog that I frequent that the new Facebook app had been submitted to Apple for approval.  Finally, I thought to myself as I didn’t particularly like the current version.  I read that quite a while ago, maybe even in June, so it was quite a wait for this one to come through.  I guess the waiting is worth it though – the new Facebook iPhone app is the best re-design I have seen come out of the folks at Facebook yet!

I will start my review of this app by telling you to, if you already haven’t, download it. Now! I can’t find any reason not to. The functionality of the app far surpasses it predecessor and it has way more to offer as well.  From events, to birthdays, dialing, etc. this application inigrates with the capabilities of the iPhone much better and beyond that provides me the information I want while I’m on the go.  With the previous version there was no way to view events or the address, phone, etc of an event.  This is one of the best improvements. You check what happening tonight on your phone, head to the address of the event, and see the buzzer number. If you buddies post their phone numbers on their facebook info page… voila, you can dial direct from the friends list on Facebook 3.0.  The list of benefits could just go on and on.

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Wowzah – What happened to summer… Here it is August 31st and I’m writing my iPhone App of the month for July!

July, for me, is all about the heat, sun, beach, boats, family, friends, and last but not least – the long days!!  I love waking up at 5am with the sun blasting into the bedroom and falling asleep as it’s still setting in the west. With that said, I often tend to burn the candle at both ends through this month. Every weekend and most weeknights are filled with Birthdays, Anniversaries, Weddings, Barbeques, Parties… to top it off, throw Vancity Pride in the mix and we’re going to be awake for the whole month.

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Restaurant Service Faux Pas

In: Brian, Random Reads

It seems that every time I eat at a restaurant I need to customize the meal in some way. I am lactose intolerant and don’t care for mayonnaise, but for the most part am otherwise easy to please when it comes to food. I enjoy a variety of cooking styles including almost every ethnic food I’ve tried. Most restaurants will gladly accommodate my requests, especially with dairy products given the nature of the request given my food allergy.

Inevitably, from time to time there are mistakes made and the food arrives without the requested changes, is not cooked, or any number of other things. I think it happens to all of us. In most, if not all, of the situations the plate is returned to the kitchen for re-preparation then returned to my table once an effort has been made to correct the problem. I am completely understanding of this and recognize that we are only human and can make mistakes. The reason I am writing this article, a copy of which I intend to send to the restaurant in question, is because of the unusual and completely unprofessional way in which they handled a problem with my meal.

On Monday August 3rd, Donovan, Dave, Paul (Dave’s bf) and I went to a downtown Vancouver restaurant for lunch. This popular chain restaurant is one of the ones I frequent most often, at one time (a few years ago before they changed ownership) they were my favorite restaurant. I have eaten there often enough to understand that what I ordered wasn’t prepared correctly. Beyond that the problem was with the french fries, a common side which is, almost entirely, regardless of restaurant, prepared the same way(crispy). The fries on Monday were soggy, not just soggy but oily throughout. I am no chef but I know that if you deep fry in oil that isn’t hot enough the oil just soaks into the food and doesn’t really cook it. That’s exactly what had happened.

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