The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal


 Free-skate day brings warmth and fun that seem only possible in the summer

thumb Skating-IllustrationthumbThe subtle but sharp notes of a piano were a beacon in a winter wasteland that was Prince's Island Park. Once people rounded the corner, they found it — a scene out of a childhood picture book: Free-Skate Day.

Children were swarming the area like busy bees. The shallow water underneath one of the bridges leading to the park had been made into a small skating area.

Parked was a van opened wide with the words, "SKATE SHACK" as two shivering women handed out shiny new skates for rent to kids. Dads' tightened skates and moms watched with heart-wrenching smiles at the bundled up versions of their children.

Getting beyond the snobby stigma can reveal a world of enjoyment

thumb orchestra_copy_copyThe audience is one of the first things you notice when you attend a classical music concert, be it the philharmonic, the opera, or the ballet.

Particularly, who's there and who's not.

The audience at classical music concerts tends to conform to a specific category: fancy.

Men tend to dress in suits and ties, and women tend to don dresses and heels. When I attend these shows, I don't follow suit.

Roped in to act out a murder mystery, all thanks to wine

nicks bar_thumbAt least there was alcohol.

There I stood in a garish tweed jacket rolled to the elbows, with my girlfriend's black beret rakishly obscuring my vision. Meanwhile, some guy named Jack accused me of writing a pre-mortem obituary for the dead guy in the bathroom, but at least I had a drink in my hand.

Blinking in the blazing fluorescence of the cavernous room, raking my semi-intoxicated brain for the hastily memorized lines, my only solace was that everybody else looked almost as ridiculous as I did.

Roped in, I thought. I was so roped in.

Parent-child interaction can't be replaced with reading devices

DSC 0570-thumb"Oh come on, please, just one more story before bed?"

This all too familiar phrase rings oh so clearly in my head as I think of the times that I stayed up begging my mom or dad before I went to sleep.

I longed to hear about the princesses, dragons and far-away lands that were in my books, so that I could relive the stories in my dreams.

But I can't imagine that it would have been the same if it wasn't my parents actually reading to me.