Over the weekend I took advantage of a stopover in Ontario on my way to Orlando. I managed to visit my family and friends in Acton and Toronto. While I couldn’t see everyone, I worked in quite a few.
Also got to visit the awesome Christmas windows at Hudson’s Bay downtown after a fantastic lunch at Drake 150. The windows always gets me in a festive mood, and the food has always been great at this restaurant located downtown Toronto on Bay Steeet.
Currently I’m headed to Orlando, taking the new UP Express Airport shuttle from Union Station. The price is a little steep at just over $27, however the trains are super modern and the trip is only 25 minutes long. Pretty impressed with it, there’s also free WiFi. I was going to use Uber, but didn’t want to get caught in traffic.
I’ve got a connection in Newark (ugh) then I’ll be arriving in Orlando just after midnight. Off to Universal tomorrow to see Diagonal Alley!
This past weekend, Beakernight took over the Sunalta area of Downtown Calgary. What is Beakernight you ask? It’s described as “a massive outdoor gallery of art and engineering, including fire-spitting skee ball, interactive works, performances and experiences.” Pretty much super awesome stuff. Words can’t describe how cool it was, so here’s a bunch of photos from the event. Enjoy!
To many people, 30 is a major milestone, but I don’t think every year you get older requires a big party. Believe it or not, I didn’t do anything on my actual birthday. I did however spend the week before visiting family and friends back in Toronto, Ottawa, the cottage more. That counts, right?
For my 30th birthday, I chose to postpone the celebration for a little bit later in the year. How am I celebrating you may ask? I’m taking the trip of a lifetime to Japan and Thailand…something I’ve wanted to do for over 10 years. I’ll be taking many flights and doing the whole backpacking thing that I’ve never made the time to do until now. I finally have the money, the great job and the ability to take a month off work to take the trip. The stars have aligned for this…and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be spending time in Tokyo (including Tokyo Disneyland & Disney Sea), Bangkok, other as yet to be determined places in Thailand & SE Asia, plus a quick day in San Francisco on the way home. Why not?
I’ll be spending a month travelling to places I don’t speak the language, making friends with strangers, living outside my comfort zone in unfamiliar places and mist likely having a blast. That to me is the best birthday present I could ask for!
Yesterday I had the most amazing time at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2014. It’s the once a year gathering place to geek out in Central Alberta. Whether you are into anime, horror, sci-fi, action….it’s all represented at this massive show. The place was crawling with uber fans & celebrities (who were glad to take pictures with you and give you their autograph for some $$$) of every genre. Considering the event has over 60,000 attendees, the crowd control was excellent and it never felt too crowded. I highly recommend this event and will be back next year. Highlights for me at this event included: Meeting Sean Astin from The Goonies, a hilarious panel with John Ratzenberger, bumping into people with the most incredibly detailed costumes, and listening to Sigourney Weaver speak about all her awesomeness in Alien, Ghostbusters, Galaxy Quest. Here are some of the pictures I took throughout the day. Enjoy!
After 4 months of rehearsals and performances, Storybook Theatre’s production of Hairspray ended on a high note after 20 shows. It was bittersweet. I’m happy to have my free time back, while at the same time wondering when I can be involved with another incredible experience like this one. I’ve met so many incredibly talented & amazing people throughout this adventure. The passion each person had and the way a group of strangers could come together and execute such a massive production was incredible. Continue reading →
It’s been forever since my last blog…my rant about buying my car. This, I can promise, is not a rant :). I just passed the three-month mark at work, and I’m very happy with my decision to move out to Calgary. The only thing missing is my family, but an overpriced ticket from Air Canada or Westjet can solve that! I have a great group of friends here that are always willing to go on my crazy adventures.
In addition to moving my entire life for a job, I’ve decided to push the boundaries of my comfort zone in other ways. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m a random person…with a lot of interests. I’m unpredictable…and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’ve successfully started two new endeavours that fall into that category: Going to a Fusion class and being cast in a musical.
The Fusion class is at the YMCA. It’s a mix of Yoga, Pilates and Fitness. I’m the only guy in the class…and least flexible! It’s a great stress reliever and I actually look forward to it every week.
As for the musical….a few weeks ago I saw a casting call for a local theatre production of “Hairspray” and decided to go audition. It’s been a long time since I’ve been involved in any sort of theatre, so I was a little rusty and not sure what to expect.
I went to the audition and sang one of the few songs I actually know the words to, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from “The Lion King.” I was nervous, shaking and overall the experience was terrifying. I left feeling like I did the best I could, and then got an email a day later for a callback. To say I was surprised is an understatement.
I headed to the callback a week later, this time we had to learn a dance from “You Can’t Stop The Beat” and also sing. At the very end, I was asked to read some lines. This time it wasn’t as terrifying, and I actually enjoyed the whole process.
Long story short…I GOT CAST! I’ll be playing the Male Authority Figure, which is comprised of 5 characters. In addition to the role, we’re learning ALL the songs. It’s exciting, and very demanding. While it’s community theatre, they are running it as a professional production. We have rehearsal 3 times a week until dress rehearsals which will take place everyday. It’s such a departure from my marketing job, and I love that.
Overall, 2013 has been fantastic so far. There have been a few bumps along the way, but if I’ve learned anything in my 28 years it’s not what happened that matters, but how you deal with it.
I’m going to continue to push my comfort zone…I’m working on some new ideas. Until then, the only thing you can expect from me is the unexpected. Until next time….
What a whirlwind few weeks it’s been. I’m exhausted already! For those of you just tuning in…I uprooted my life in Ontario for a new job in Alberta.
I started out my journey to Calgary by dipping across the upper U.S. States and zipping across through Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and Montana.
What an adventure that was. I ate Chicago style pizza, visited Mall Of America and stopped in a bar that had swimming mermaids as entertainment. The trp was slightly boring, but I made the best of it by singing at the top of my lungs and spending a lot of time thinking about stuff.
I arrived in Calgary and of course the first thing Courtney does is pop open a few bottles of wine and put on Showgirls. Just like old times.
I had a few days to organize myself, although most of my paperwork for my car and license is still waiting to be filled out. I have no proof of residency yet, making it impossible to get any of my official documents. Work started Thursday and here we are at Monday. I can’t believe how fast time is going by.
Today I was taken by surprise when my boss told me the team is headed out to Vancouver for a Canon launch event, myself included! My fourth day and I’m jetting off to Vancouver, how glamorous! So far the job is great, lots to take in and it’s a bit overwhelming, but everything I’ve learned over the past few years is definitely going to be useful. Sometimes I forget how much I know about social media, marketing and advertising.
That’s it for now…time for dinner and some relaxation until I set off to Vancouver. See you on the West Coast!
I’m excited to announce that I am heading out to Calgary for a new job opportunity starting November 1! (More details about my new position to come.)
Interestingly, I was in Calgary when I got hired at Circus Communications in Ontario, so I find it quite fitting that I am now heading back to Alberta for a new opportunity in marketing & communications.
Anyone who knows me shouldn’t be surprised, this is the fourth time I’ve moved for a job. 🙂
It’s definitely been an amazing experience working at Circus. I’ve learned so many new things and met amazing people in my time there.
I originally applied as a copywriter after a friend pointed out the job listing,. The position ended up being a Social Media Coordinator & Writer position. Little did I know that I would end up wearing MANY different hats unrelated to my job description, and that was awesome. Before working at Circus, I knew nothing of Facebook Pages, Google Analytics and AdWords, loyalty program creation, shopping mall marketing….the list goes on.
To say they created a social media monster is an understatement. As anyone who has been bombarded by my tweets, blogs, status updates, videos and more is well aware of. I love my social media!
I had the pleasure to work with an amazing group of people with skill sets all over the map. It’s cliché to say each day was different, but that’s the truth. One day I was writing social media reports, the next I’m in Ottawa making videos in a mall on a research trip for a client pitch.
My manager Angie wrote some kind words to announce my departure and I think they sum up everything quite nicely:
Where does one go after an exciting career full of rollercoasters and ringleaders? How about the rodeo? It’s with mixed emotions that we will be bidding Brad farewell as he heads westbound to find new adventures in Calgary.
Brad’s been an integral member of the social/digital media department and will be missed for all he contributes to the Circus team, from writing to reporting, to Apple genius to man-on-the-street video interviewing… and everything in between!
His last day with us will be Friday, October 19th – details of farewell festivities to follow.
To everyone I worked with, thanks for a great experience. On to the next chapter of the unpredictable life I live. Don’t worry, you’ll still be bombarded with updates from me so it’s like I’m not even gone. 😉
Yesterday was my first visit to the incredible FanExpo in Toronto. Something I have been waiting for all summer. What is FanExpo you ask? If you’ve ever heard of Comic Con San Diego, Fan Expo is essentially the Canadian equivalent. “Fan Expo Canada™ humbly began as the Canadian National Comic Book Expo in 1995. Growing from one genre with 1500 fans to a multifaceted show connecting over 80,000 fans, Fan Expo Canada™ is currently the 3rd largest pop culture event in North America!”
At the event, Fanboys and Fangirls of all ages gather to celebrate all that is awesome in Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Comic Books, and Gaming. While I’m into some Sci-Fi and Horror stuff, I am nowhere near the level of fan many of the people were in attendance here. There was an entire room dedicated to people who look as if they have never been out of their parents basement! Ok, I know I’m being harsh. Forgive me.
It was a great event. We woke up at the crack of dawn to get to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre right downtown Toronto. Once inside, it was a free for all of shiny things in all directions. Total. Sensory. Overload! We managed to do a loop of the place before it got insane, but all of a sudden it seemed like the crowd tripled in size. For those people who don’t like crowds, a fair warning: It’s crazy and hard to move at many points. You must mentally prepare for this before you go so it doesn’t bother you. There are lines for everything….except for the bathroom which I found odd. Who knows, maybe people wear adult diapers so they can partake in every moment.
A few suggestions: Travel light. Wear cargo shorts, shoes and a t-shirt. You will get stepped on and it gets hot. Also, bring a backpack to hold your crap. Generally they do give out free bags, but I find it’s easier to be hands free. One MAJOR thing: Cell reception is awful in the Convention Centre. Do not depend on your phone. Bring walkie talkies if you need to communicate with people, because service is spotty at best. You will most likely lose your group, prepare a gameplan.With that said, it was one of the most fun days I’ve ever had. I expected and prepared for the worst, therefore everything turned out well. Go with the flow, have a good time and enjoy!
Top 5 Moments at Fan Expo 2012
1. Seeing Gillian Anderson in person along with many other awesome celebrities: The X-Files is one of my favourite shows of all time, and I knew she would be there. It was a nice surprise to walk around a corner and see her, sitting at a table to my right signing autographs. I’m ashamed to admit this, but I was shaking a bit and it totally made my day. Forget the $50 you have to pay to wait in line and get her autograph, I got to see her from a few feet away and that was epic.
2. Stormtroopers Call Me Maybe: No explanation necessary.
3. People Watching: If you go for any reason at all, it’s this one. The costumes, the props, the interesting people and conversations you will experience. I witnessed so many interesting and odd happenings with all the people in attendance. The best one: a girl having a mental breakdown while sitting on the floor attempting to put in her special contact lenses. It was hilarious.
4. Photo Opportunities: In addition to all the amazing costumed people you can get pictures with, tons of companies are there promoting their wares and have unique photo opportunities and experiences. From giant Lego Darth Maul to CTV Big Bang Theory green screen photos, there are a ton of cool things to take pictures of. Some of the companies in attendance included Disney, EB Games, CTV, Space, Lego, Mega Bloks, LG, Sony, DC, Marvel…the list goes on.
5. Swag: There is so much free stuff to get. Buttons, printouts, posters, bags. Grab everything you can!
Check out all my pictures of this incredible event. If you also attended, let me know what you thought of the event!