… and I had a happy birthday! :)

Wow… what a gathering of awesome people! Mixed in with board game madness, my birthday party was a splendid affair of Ali-spoilage! 😉

Not only were there over 15 people in my apt, but we played some awesome board games: Trivial Pursuit 90s Edition, Boggle, Munchkin (with expansions!), Hilarium, and Killer Bunnies!! I saw so many awesome people (some of which I hadn't seen in FAR too long)! And as much as I didn't ask for presents, I was spoiled!! Highlights included (in no particular order): gift cards/certificates for meals, chocolate and experiences, many awesome cards, Killer Bunnies!, Munchkin Expansion 4: The Need For Steed, and a CD! 🙂

The party itself was entertaining… lots of great food, great folks, and generally a great time! I'm finally caught up on reading all the Facebook wishes (yay and thanks to all!), and I'm totally happy with the fun of it all… and I even got to play Munchkin (with my new expansion!) and Killer Bunnies some more — partially because one of my friends had gotten the party date wrong, and appeared one day later than expected.

Thanks to all!

A busy bee in the summer sun…

is me! 🙂 This week's been a crazy adventure of marvelous proportions… so much great stuff going on!

Wednesday night was The Dark Knight screening on IMAX. Now I'm not a HUGE superhero movie fan but this one was fabulous. A dark reflection of our society and a very brilliant mix of ethical debate, psychological portrayals, the following of and breaking of typical superhero (and Batman!) paradigms, gorgeous sets, costuming and technology, a vivid soundtrack that really adds to the mood created, and some acting that exceeds expectations. Well worth watching! (and yes, this is me writing without throwing spoilers at you, in case you're wondering) If it were at all in doubt, Heath Ledger's posthumous Oscar buzz (and I do remember Oscar buzz before his death) is well-deserved. The movie truly catered toward my sensibilities… and not just because of my educational background (though it helps!).

The Capital Ex parade was excellent! I volunteered my two shifts at the Kiwanis Giant Slide as well (which was great fun, and quite entertaining — you'd be surprised at how many screamers/criers want to ride again and again!). I still consider it the best ride at the Ex.

Basil/Shaun's party Friday night was quite the shinding! Sure I was a party-pooper and left early, but as I had arrived early to begin with, I still had a blast! The costumes were riotous and some were definitely not G rated. I also had some great conversations with some people I had only just met (some of whom incidentally had more friends in common with me than I would have expected).

A Taste of Edmonton was great this year! I ate so many yummy goodies this time around! The weather was impeccable (what an excellent weekend!) and the company was splendid.

Anywho… I'm totally looking forward to Richard III! 🙂

Wants and Dreams… (aka. things I rather would like)

So it's time for the annual birthday wish list yet again… not because it's a routine or anything (okay so it is…) but because it's good to know what I'm desirous of at the moment!
In no particular order here are some things I rather would like to have:
— True Love! 🙂 No really? But a positive loving relationship would be fabulous at some point.
— A clean apartment (okay so I'd have to do this myself, but it's something I want!)
— A DVD copy of Nice Girls Don't Explode (or failing that a VHS copy)
— Je me souviens 3CD Boxed Set. Apparently it is not available retail anymore.
— Mercedes Lackey books as per usual (and no, I haven't really gained any since last time). I'm currently finding 'em at used bookstores.
— That '70s Show Seasons 6, 7 & 8. (these are great for when I crave TV but don't wanna watch for more than 20some odd minutes)
— All 7 Harry Potter Books in a hard cover set (Canadian or British editions!)
— The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (I adored his online lecture and would love the book!)
— Quebecois films, Johnny Depp, Topher Grace and/or Natalie Portman films on DVD.
— The Woody Pen (with black ink from https://www.grassrootsstore.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=422 ) preferably with refills (or something similar). I've been going through so many pens lately that I would rather love to have a refillable one and this one is much more environmentally desirous than many I've seen.
— Derek Foster's Books on investing: STOP WORKING: Here's How You Can and The Lazy Investor (since I rather should give my mom's copy of The Lazy Investor back to her!)
— Time with friends (because I don't see you often enough!)
— Really awesome board games (like Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan, Thebes, Munchkin expansions/variations etc.) I have some games but would always enjoy more!
— Great food experiences!
— Communication with people I hardly hear from
— Awesome travel experiences
— Help building the Kiwanis club I'm trying to get off the ground
Realistically you all know what I like. I would mostly just like to see more of you!

A Meme with a Search Engine

And I'm going to use GoodSearch rather than Google, as much as Cassandra used Google. Why? Because GoodSearch (http://www.goodsearch.com) benefits the organization of your choice. Yes, that's right you can donate money to charity simply by useing GoodSearch! I GoodSearch for Circle K International — and all of the proceeds go to the 6 Cents Initiative (which is a partnership with UNICEF wherein CKI is aiming to raise money to save lives by providing oral rehydration salts, and safe water sources through infrastructure, pumps etc. This is where CKI has decided that this money is going currently! Isn't this excellent? Use a search engine and save lives?)
Anyhow… here's the meme:

1: Type in [your name] needs in the search
Ali's needs would be largely met if everyone gave

2: Type in [your name] looks like in Google search:
Ali looks like she takes care of her body

3: Type in [your name] does in Google search:
That's what Ali does – when he's excited about something he gets you on board

4: Type in [your name] hates in Google search:
Ali hates everybody!

5: Type in [your name] goes or ..has gone in Google search:
Ali: Goes the Distance, but the Viewer Loses.
Ali has gone out and tried to knock Foreman out immediately

6: Type in [your name] loves in Google search:
ali loves you, too

7: Type in [your name] eats in Google search:
Ali Eats.

8: Type in [your name] has in Google search:
ALI has a membership consisting of judges, practicing lawyers,

9: Type in[your name] works in Google search
Ali works mainly with Nars, Stila, Clinique

10: Type in[your name] lives in Google search
hey called his cousin Amar because he lives one block away from where Ali lives.

11: Type in [your name] died in Google search
Ali died on the 2nd of August 1849

12: Type in [your name] will in Google search
Ali will be speaking at a press conference being held in London on Friday 27th

13:Type in[your name] can in google search
Ali can send personal greetings to the boxing great on his 65th birthday next week

14:Type in [your name] can't in google search
Ali can't remember the song she just wrote.

I haven't posted for a while… so… DISNEY! :)

Yes I went to Orlando Florida for Kiwanis International Convention and managed to catch a Pirates Dinner Show, Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure, the convention, a district dinner, time with friends, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Magic Kingdom. I didn't see everything in Orlando (so I could definitely come back and see/do more!). Just the same here are some thoughts I had while I was there:
— The Pirates Dinner Theatre is a really great time: not only is there more food than one should suitably want to eat (and it's pretty good too!), but so much eye candy! 😉 Of course audience participation is key, as is the plot, acrobatics and well… did I mention sword fighting yet? I loved the mix of things and the fact that there really aren't any truly bad seats.
— Universal Studios is way low stress and a lot of fun! Loved the Simpsons Ride, the Shrek 4D ride and The Men In Black 2 ride
— Islands of Adventure is where the thrill rides are at! I definitely recommend it — as much as I don't recommend it while it's raining (rides get closed for safety). Spiderman, Popeye, and Dueling Dragons rides were my favorites of the ones I did ride when they were operational.
— Parades are MORE fun when you know the people in them. Gotta love CKIers (and Kiwanians) in Disney (etc.) costumes!
— Kiwanians are good at service. While their house of delegates is DEFINITELY not as crazy as CKI's, controversy does arise regardless!
— I was reminded that alligator tastes great, yet again… and that I still don't have a sweet tooth.
— Some people get REALLY excited about shopping.
— What exactly is the difference between American College students and Canadian University students anyway… it's very noteworthy but hard to describe in words.
— I definitely recommend Disney's Hollywood Studios to older people. The Aerosmith ride rocked! The Tower of Terror was actually quite the thrill ride, and I don't care what you say but the Toy Story 2 ride is FABULOUS! Another HUGE favorite was the Muppets 3D ride.
— Did you know that you can eat healthy at the amusement park? I adored my veggie sandwich (so tasty!) for example. I was definitely impressed.
— The Magic Kingdom was worth it! Loved Splash Mountain (do people nowadays not know who Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox are anymore?) — Space Mountain wasn't as impressive as I would have thought. Mickey's PhilharMAGIC was great, as was the Winnie-the-Pooh ride, Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted Mansion. Heck, all the rides were impressive — just not necessarily for the same reasons (not as much thrill rides) as for the other parks.
— Why no one sells pencil cases anymore is beyond me.
— Why Disney branded stuff was mostly either completely not suitable for me or aimed at older or younger age demographics was saddening, but definitely saved me some money!
— It is actually not terribly expensive to purchase food in the parks.
— The monorail and ferry are fun.
— I'm not a fan of getting less than 4 hrs sleep. There. I've said it!

All that aside, it feels good to be home, as busy as I often am.