Happy New Year, everyone!! Yeah, I know, I’m over a week late, but better late than never right? As you may have read in my last blog post, I’m on a bit of a hiatus. I’m not quite done that just yet; I’m still keeping quite busy with the “Covert Baby,” while also continuing to work full time from home during these pandemic times, but I wanted to get something out to say ‘hi’ and ‘thanks’ (see below)!
I hope you all had a great break over Christmas and New Year’s. It has been quite the year, that’s for sure. Even though we couldn’t spend time with lots of extended family, there were still opportunities to relax and reflect on the good things that happened this year. It wasn’t all bad, was it? I for one, am grateful that although the events industry took a beating (which in turn caused me to take a beating), I had the opportunity to re-jig my blog format. I also began to write some more personal/meaningful blog posts as opposed to just listing events. It’s been really fun, and I’ve received lots of positive feedback. I think it was a great step forward for me, and one that I wouldn’t have done without the extra time. I’ve also been working on bettering myself through mindfulness and meditation. Some of what I’ve been reading and listening to has really changed the way that I see the world, and leading up to my blogging hiatus, I was able to share some of that with you. That will most likely continue again into the future.
Here we are in shut down #2 in Ottawa. It’s rough man, that’s really all that can be said. We’re getting close to a year of this, and the daily reminders to wear masks and physically distance ourselves is just not working. People who are ignorant and don’t respect others will seemingly continue being disrespectful, regardless of how many times someone tells them to smarten the F up. That’s the whole concept behind “ignorance is bliss;” when people are too ignorant to know that they’re ignorant, life is easy for them, carefree, even. Rob Dial taught me that no matter what you do in life, there will always be ignorant people that get under your skin, but focusing your attention on them will only bring you down to their level (paraphrased). So, with that being said, we need to continue to do our part, because other than vigilantism, we really have no other option. (**I am not condoning vigilantism).
2021 Faces Awards
I discovered that I was nominated for two Faces Magazine awards again this year!! I’m so blessed and honoured to have such supportive readers to nominate me again! First, I was nominated for Ottawa’s Favourite Blogger, and second for Ottawa’s Best Event Organizer/Promoter. Seeing the blogger nomination was the match that lit the fire under my butt to get writing again, so here I am. I want to say thank you to whomever nominated me for both awards; it really means a lot, particularly at a time when every events business is struggling.
On that note, I strongly encourage you to hit up the Faces website and vote for your favourite “everything” in Ottawa (please just make sure you click Covert Ottawa Guy too 😊). Although the Faces Awards are typically a popularity contest, decided by Ottawa voters, this year, they offer the opportunity for businesses and individuals to celebrate at least one victory in a year that has been full of losses. So many small businesses have had to close, or are working hard to stay afloat, it’s nice to have something like this to boost our spirits!
You can vote once per day at facesmag.org/awards until the end of January.
Emma, A Pop Musical by Suzart Productions
The Ottawa theatre scene has been mostly shut down all year due to the pandemic, but Suzart Productions is starting this year off with something exciting: Emma, A Pop Musical. This virtual production will be available to audiences from January 21st to the 23rd and tickets can be found by clicking this link!
“To start off 2021, Suzart is proud to present Emma – A Pop Musical! Our fantastic cast and production team have been hard throughout the last few months to present a fully digital, green screen, musical theatre production. This production and use of this technology is a historic first for Suzart and we hope you and your family will enjoy. Over the next few days, we’ll be introducing the cast and sharing sneak peeks of the show! Don’t miss out on this retelling of the classic Jane Austen novel set in a modern high school, featuring the best of Katy Perry, Whitney Houston, Natasha Bedingfield, and many more pop favourites.” – Suzart Website
This year, Winterlude is scheduled from the 5th of February until the 20th. While the physical aspect of the festival is once again cancelled, Heritage Canada is doing what they can to create a virtual Winterlude experience for the whole country to enjoy. While people will miss the famous outdoor events like the ice sculptures and of course, the Beavertails, I am glad to see this event going ahead in a safe way nonetheless.
“In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s priority of keeping Canadians safe, we decided to host Winterlude online in a way that will bring all Canadians together and allow them to express their love of winter in a virtual environment. Canadian Heritage continues to build on innovative ways to adapt its programming to the current circumstances” – Canadian Heritage
For years, my favourite activity in the winter (in theory, but not necessarily often in practice) was to park at Dow’s Lake, and skate across the lake to the first available Beavertails Hut, get a hot chocolate and an original cinnamon/sugar, eat it as fast as possible so it didn’t freeze and harden up, and then skate back to Dow’s lake and go for a beer at Malones or Mexi’s. That’s pretty much the extent of outdoor winter activities for me.
To see the story about the changes for Winterlude and some public reaction, check out the CTV Ottawa links by clicking here for the video, or here to read it.
Bits and Bytes
This is my random story and features section. These topics don’t necessarily have anything to do with Ottawa. It could include stories about current news issues, sports, funny videos, and/or perhaps just random things that I’ve discovered over the previous week. I hope you enjoy!
Things that make you go hmmmmm
Remember the C&C Music Factory song? Everyone loved their first single on their tape or CD, “Gonna Make you Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” but only us true Gen X’ers stuck around for the third track on the album, “Things that Make you go Hmmm” – what a great song!
That’s not the point of this section of the Blog though. As you know, I’m a big Tim Ferriss fan and listen to his podcasts and read his articles and I love them. In his “5-Bullet-Friday” post a few weeks back, he was promoting a fantastic article that was incredibly eye-opening. The title: “100 Tips for a Better Life” seemed kinda hokey to me, but I checked it out. I highly recommend that you go through the full list; while it is divided up by category, the entire list holds value, in my opinion! It provided an interesting perspective on many areas of life.
Some of my favourites are:
“Where is the good knife?” If you’re looking for your good X, you have bad Xs. Throw those out.
Done is better than perfect.
If you listen to successful people talk about their methods, remember that all the people who used the same methods and failed did not make videos about it.
Deficiencies do not make you special. The older you get, the more your inability to cook will be a red flag for people.
To start defining your problems, say (out loud) “everything in my life is completely fine.” Notice what objections arise.
A norm of eating with your family without watching something will lead to better conversations. If this idea fills you with dread, consider getting a new family.
Compliment people more. Many people have trouble thinking of themselves as smart, or pretty, or kind, unless told by someone else. You can help them out.
**Note, as per everything on the internet, please don’t read the comments at the end. It will only infuriate you and as a side-effect, may tempt you to respond, only drawing you into the black hole of stupidity.
No, not the fluffy cute kind we all see by the dozen, staring creepily at their aging owners at bingo halls. I’m talking about the kind of people that just want to make someone’s life as miserable as their own!
Internet Trolls: “In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts flame wars or intentionally upsets people on the Internet. Typically they do this by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog), with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion. This is typically for the troll’s amusement, or to achieve a specific result such as disrupting a rival’s online activities or manipulating a political process.” – Wikipedia
I have to say that I’m proud to have my own Troll! It’s part of the reason that I am back on the blog earlier than had planned….I miss my buddy “Herry!” He hates Ottawa so much, and enjoys bashing our beautiful city, as well as Mayor Jimbo on my blog posts. It provides me with some entertainment, so I wanted to thank him here. I hope you’re doing well during the pandemic “Herry,” although I feel like you’re one of the people who fight with grocery store staff who ask you to put on a mask, so you’re probably having a pretty rough time right now.
You may recall on one of my first newsletters in this new format, I shared a video that shocked me with a terrifying remake of the children’s song “Johnny Johnny.” Now that the “Covert Baby” is old enough to care about what’s on TV, I’m learning that kid’s programming has really changed….so much! Sometimes for the better, but from what I can see, sometimes definitely for the worse. (as an aside, we try to keep him away from screens as much as possible, but as most new parents can attest to, sometimes it’s the only thing that will calm a very unhappy child!)
The good news (at least in my view) is that the beloved Caillou has been cancelled by PBS!! That whiney little shizit of a baby will no longer be torturing our senses with his incessant crying and complaining. I love the comment in the below video about Caillou being a great advertisement for birth control!! Haha.
Photo Cred: “Boxed Wine Lady” Pinterest Account