I often start these entries saying that I don’t know where to start but when it comes to Mark Reynolds, the starting point is easy. Mark Reynolds is the best.
Yes, I realize that these are some pretty big words but I stand behind them 100%.
Never have I ever had a friend like Mark who allows me to be my complete, dorky self and proceeds to be equally, if not more dorky himself. Whether that means making up dances like the “Hip Stir” or doing the twist to Sam Cooke at Tubby Dog while eating yam fries, Mark makes being your real self too easy.
A self-proclaimed country boy living in the big city, he was born in Olds and raised as a part of a large, beautiful, almost offensively handsome family. Mark has retained his country charm and chivalry and will rarely let me pay for my own coffee or mcdonald’s fries or walk through a doorway first.
He is the kind of person you can spend all day and night with and feel like no time has passed at all. There is never a need to fill in the silences with questions, stories or sounds.
By the age of 18 he had already built his first home from the ground up and guarantees that he is able to build you a tree house should you ever want one built. These days, he lives a more academic life. While he rents out his home in rural Alberta, he works at his history degree at the University of Calgary with the intentions of one day becoming a teacher.
Mark is considerate, kind, hilarious (whether he means to be or not) and another one of my most favourite boys in the world. He is so dear to me and will be dear to you as well should there happen to be a Mark sized space in your life and have the chance to have this particular Mark fill it.
What is your deal?
I don’t have a deal!Shakes head…Giggles
What do you like to do for recreation?
Is that fun sports or is that sports sports? I think biking and soccer
Do you like sportz?
Yeah. Well..yeah. yes I do
What sport would you like to play with me?
Can I say pass on that question?
Ummmm what sport would I like to play with you um. Badminton.
I don’t know. Just cause I like badminton.
If you could be any character in any book who would it be?
ANY character in ANY book?!?! Umm I’m just going to say the old man in the old man and the sea
Who was the sexiest Disney princess?
Ummmmmmmm. Mulan. Why not? Let’s say Mulan.
Sing me your favourite Disney song?
Looks at me in terror.
What is that song that Timon and Pumba sing? In the jungle the miiighty jungle the lion sleeps tonight. uh WEEEEEEoooohWEEEEEooohhh uh WEEEE umbummboowayyyyy
Favourite style of dance?
I try to break outside of boundaries so anything is great. I don’t know. I don’t dance.
Yeah you do.
Would you define that as dancing? Ok, fine. The hokey pokey
Song you had your first dance to?
Like dancing in high school in the gym? I never had one
I never had one either
WHAT? the two of you need to dance RIGHT NOW!
Turns on Etta James “At Last” and forces them to slow dance in the living room
Favourite way to work out?
I don’t’ work out
But when you do….
Let’s just say not at the gym.
What is your work out sound track?
Whatever happens to be playing on my iPod.
Biggie or Tupac?
ahhhhh now I see why marbella really loves you.
Favourite Halloween costume?
I was a bale of hay last year. That was pretty good.
You really are country boy.
Yeah I am!
Best child hood friend?
My cousin tom.
What did your teachers always write on your report card?
Talkative and friendly
Would you say that that is still true today?
I’m not as talkative.
Most important lesson you’ve ever learned?
It’s going to be so cliché, but don’t ever take things for granted.
I do not even know of an appropriate place to start writing about all of the amazing, inspiring and beautiful qualities embodied by this week’s nice boy.
Jason Lemmon and I go way back. About as far back as you want your friends to go. Just far enough to remember each other as socially awkward soccer players and speaker dancing, 25cent draft drinking 18 year-olds. If our platonic relationship can remember those embarrassing versions of ourselves and shamelessly progress, there is no reason to say that Jason and I will not also go way forward.
Jason is quite easily the most intelligent, determined person I have ever met. After finishing his undergraduate degree in BioPhysics at the University of British Columbia this year, universities around the country were fighting over a chance to work with him. He has since made the decision to return home to Calgary and begin his Ph. D. in Immunology to study a cell called macrophases or microphases or something science-y which Jason tells me is the first thing your body uses to help you heal.
Aside from having brains so good, Jason is an offensively talented singer (his glee audition video got over 60,000 votes) and a world traveler. He just returned this week from a trip where he stayed in Nepal for a month, did the trek to Everest base camp, climbed island peak, went to India for three weeks, Sri Lanka for two weeks, Hong Kong and then China for three weeks. He’s traveled to over 32 countries, to several alone, a few with friends and the most important with his mom, Linda.
Jason Lemmon is about as close as you can get to the ideal boy, friend, boyfriend and person. Once you break through his surprisingly shy demeanor, rarely seen in boys with so many outstanding traits, you find someone hilarious, reliable and too easy to get along with. I am so lucky to have had this boy be a part of my life for this many years and look forward to many more, whether he likes it or not.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
The left side. When your in bed the right side
What are you like to wake up next to?
Oh god. really?
No! Not, “What do you like to wake up next to?”, “What are you like to wake up next to?”
If you’re also waking up next to me I’m really good.
What is your favourite morning activity?
I don’t know if I want this on the blog
How do you take your coffee?
Cream and sugar
What is your favourite meal?
Um I have to say all you can eat sushi
Do you like al ot of wasabi?
Do you like to eat meat?
I love meat. Love it.
Have you ever physically killed an animal?
I’m a medical reasearcher of course I do
But its all so you can learn more to save the world right?
I don’t like doing it. It’s all for science.
It’s better than killing a person.
What was a situation where you felt genuine happiness?
Uhh when I left for my trip over the summer!
Who brings out the best in you?
You’re just saying thaaatt
No for real.
Ummmmmm probably either my mom or you.
You’re gonna make me cry.
Who did you want to be when you grew up?
Hmmmm Lance Armstrong. Astronaut. Whoa wait. That’s embarrassing.
How close do you think you have come to being that person?
Pretty far off still
What item of clothing would you say defines you best?
Like omg shoes
What can you not leave the house without?
Are you on the twitter?
Because people eknow enough about my life
Why so secretive?
I can’t tell you.
Where do you call home?
Oooh where do I call home?
Let me just tell you what you should say, “home is wherever you are.”
Either Calgary or Vancouver.
Describe your dream house to us.
It would have a stone and timbre frame with a massive yard. Lots of room for my dog and a huge patio to entertain people outside. It would have earthy tones and a kick ass kitchen with sick stainless steel everything.
Now there is no way for me to transition into the next question gracefully but I have to ask, Tupac or Biggie?
I’m going to have to go with biggie.
I think it’s partially because of that remix with biggie and miley cyrus I’m not going to lie.
A few weeks ago, we set the intention to be more organized and interview boys earlier in the week in order to make Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings less stressful. Naturally, this never came to be and we ended up interviewing Jonathan at 10 pm Tuesday night. He willingly met up with us after his shift at the seed at the Dessert House in China Town.
Jonathan Williams is a refreshingly easy going guy who is the perfect blend of shy and charming. A nice boy brought to us by word of mouth, Jon is a friend of a friend who works full time at The Mustard Seed.
When he’s not being tender with those in need and gracefully handling death threats from a particular unstable stranger, Jonathan spends his hours DJ-ing as DJ Crosswalk with a group called Transit.
We bonded over our love of Spanish slang and our childhoods of learning English through watching television shows. Jonathan was born in Santiago, Chile and lived there until he was 7 years old. After spending most of his adolescence here in Calgary and a stint in Montreal, he now calls this place home.
He left us with a hug, a smile and the best end to a busy Tuesday any girl could ask for.
What do you like to do in your down time?
I don’t really have a whole lot of down time so I usually just hang out with friends or wander around the city
Where is your favourite place to wander?
I like along the bike paths right by here. Like along that way *points right* and I like up the hill!
What neighbourhood did you grow up in?
Yeah. I got a couple bikes and a car stolen.
You got bikes AND a car stolen?!
Over the course of eight years.
If you were to take me on a first date to remember, what would it be?
Uuuuhhhhh to remember?! If it was winter time, we would go into the middle of the river because it would be frozen and then have a picnic.
What if the ice cracked?
I don’t know if I’d get a second date
Do you like the winter?
No I hate the winter but it’s frozen so that’s the only time you can get to the middle of the river.
Do you watch rom coms?
Um sometimes maybe? If there’s nothing else to do?
If you could be the male star of a famous rom com who would you be?
I don’t know any of them or their names.
Um….freddis prinze jr in She’s All That??
Tupac or Biggie?
Biggie. I like tupac some of his songs but I like biggie’s flow
What is your musical guilty pleasure?
Uhh what’s that song? It’s a quarter after one I’m all alone and I need you now.
Is that Chad Kreuger?
No, Lady Antebellum
Yeah that was the song we’d listen to on tour!
Do you have a sweet tooth or do you prefer salty snax?
I like sweets better.
What is your favourite thing to cook?
I make a good stir fry and it’s easy to make sooooo…….
What was your favourite thing your mom would make for you as a kid?
How often do you see your mom?
At least once a month.
Does she live in town?
Still lives in the north east
How often do you talk to your mom?
At least a couple times a week. She’s funny. She likes hip hop
Would she like tupac or biggie?
Probably biggie, he’s more melodic
What are your words to live by?
To hesitate is to lose ahahaha
What do you want to be your legacy?
i don’t know yet what I would want it to be.
you can follow Jonothan on twitter! His handle is: @DJCrosswalk
Dan O’Byrne is a genuine pleasure to be around. We met him at deVille on the rainiest Tuesday afternoon and I was fighting the nastiest cold but his smile, ability to give really good hug and tendency to take the scenic route when telling a story turned our interview into the warmest afternoon hangout.
We met casually, several years ago when I was working the desk at Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre and more recently when I was working the door at the #1 Legion during Sled Island. His power to have you giggling during the shortest of interactions is what leaves a lasting impression.
Dan describes himself as a “male flight attendant” for westjet and says so with a smile. He wholeheartedly loves his job.
More than his love for his job, he loves summer and life and this is clear in the way that he interacts with people. He radiates happiness.
On fathers day he held the phone in his hand about to call his dad and then made the spontaneous decision to fly home to regina for 15 hours to go see his dad in person.
He is a gentleman and told us about a thing he calls “forced chivalry” where he’ll do whatever it takes to open a door for a girl even if it means awkwardly nudging the door with his elbow around her body if she is in front of him. He also reminded us to always tip your stage coach driver at least a shilling.
He passionately described his love of orca whales and showed us all of his facebook profile pictures where he has photoshopped his face in with photos of orcas and typed in mildly hilarious comments.
It also doesn’t hurt that he smells really nice.
Dan O’Byrne is a kind person, an elaborate story teller and the only person I wanted to spend my rainy afternoon with.
What brings you genuine joy?
A sense of accomplishment! Like when I get something done, like a difficult yoga post or I climb to the top of a mountain or lift something heavy or do something nice for someone.
Going fast! I like to go fast.
I like swimming in the ocean!
I like swimming deep under water!
I like surround by people I love at parties and being outdoors!
I like practicing awesome yoga practices!
And really good coffee!
What is your favourite time of day?
Sunset! Always sunset!
Because of the colours and for that fifteen or twenty minutes, with that specific cloud arrangements, that is the only time the sky will ever look like that.
Your favourite hot drink?
Uhhh either clover coffee or espresso or an americano. Drinks that just go “boom!” All of them black, no room for cream!
Where can we find you at 2pm on a Sunday?
Aooohwhh yeah where can you find me? I’m usually in the park reading or drinking coffee in a coffee shop. I usually go to the 4 pm yoga class so I’m doing something to get ready to go to the 4pm yoga class.
Who brings out the best in you?
I’d have to say a lot of my yoga instructors bring out the best of me I can’t say any particular ones…but there are ones like Jeff Mah and Eric Pattison. They say all of these wonderful quotes and those quotes turn into wisdom
Favourite place in Calgary?
The Bodhi Tree. My condo. Mission and Kensington.
Song you know all the words to?
Garry Glitters “Rock n Roll Part 2”. No I’m kidding I’ll think of a better answer…. “July July,” by the Decemberists
Do you prefer Tupac or Biggie?
I’m actually not very familiar with hip hop music.Which one is the good guy?Aren’t these going to make a movie of that to explain it?
you’ve never heard Tupac or Biggie?
Will it help if I rap one song by each of them for you?
this is where I rap juicy and thugz mansion
ok I’ll go with the second one. Tupack right?
I’m not very hip you should see me try to shake hands with my cool friends.
A person you really look up to?
I look up to my dad a lot because he’s way more responsible than I am and he works so much harder than I do. It’s really funny because you spend all this time in your life looking up to him and you remember all the things that he teaches you. He knows why the sky turns grey sometimes and he knows how to fix your bike and how fix your computer and then one day you turn 20 and your parents don’t have the answers anymore.
Eventually he can’t give you any more advice but you’ll still always look up to him for giving you the base.
I love my dad to bits but he can’t give you dating advice. I mean when he dated he would show up to your house with a bushel of carrots that he picked but a fortnight ago and court your daughter.
What did your family always say was the most important thing?
Me being happy or being happy with the job that you do. I am the least financially successful of my whole family but they’re happy because my life is pretty good! I hang out and read in coffee shops a lot. I see the world. You gotta be happy with the job that you do. They were really big on being happy in the profession you’re in. and love and all of that too.
Who is your favourite distant relative?
I have an uncle David who lives in Victoria. He’s father to the hockey player Ryan O’Byrne. That’s not important really. He tells really fantastic stories.
He tells these stories of what it’s like to live in a small town in Saskatchewan in the 70s
I think stories are the best. He takes the scenic route with his stories too.
Do you want kids?
I don’t’ know I’m open to the idea. I havent’ dated a woman I’ve been in love with for a while. I’ve gone on dates and things like that since but if I ever have that again then YES kids. I see a lot of satisfactory marriages and relationships on the road that are like “oh I’m aging and you’re aging too…” and like my life is too good right now to get an adequate marriage and have a kid in an adequate marriage. So you can put me down as a yes but a conditional yes.
Do you have a five year plan?
If things go really well I could by another home and have a winter home and summer home and fly between homes just keeping on having awesome summers doing this. Whatever happens, the future is uncertain.
Where did you think you’d be at this age when you were 18?
Yeah. I never thought I’d be here.
Being interviewed by wlnb?
I don’t know. I thought I was going to have an office job and wear a suit typing on a computer. I thought I’d be on one of these Eau Claire people.
I never thought I’d be a flight attendant.
I only ever started working for westjet because while reading in bed with the girl i was dating back when I moved to Calgary, she said, “you should work for west jet” and I said, “yeah ok.”
We got up to meet with Luke at Kawa on 8th street two hours before going to work. After only sleeping 6 hours and looking at a day of working for 11, starting a day sharing hot coffee with a friendly stranger made everything feel easier.
We sat together at a table in the corner, half asleep and make-up free getting to know each other, overcoming initial shyness and joking about our blog being an elaborate “nice boy” serial killing scam.
Luke handled our over tired, underfed ridiculousness with grace and patience and made a point to laugh at my unfunny jokes.
A former farmer, truck driver, swiss resident, construction worker, warehouse worker, English literature major, Luke’s passion for and interest in coffee has sent him down a career path that he has no problem committing to. He works as a top notch barista at Café Crema and gave us the impression that he loves close to every minute of it.
Luke has lived many lives. This has led him to a place where we an all aspire to, contentment and excitement about what he is doing and a desire to continue doing it.
Spending time with someone like Luke, who was willing to open up about himself and wanting to know more about us helped us remember why we started this project. To remind ourselves that there are nice boys out there and that time with those nice boys makes life feel great.
Q&A (with an extra touch of i-haven’t-slept-enough-or-talked-to-anybody-yet-this-today)
Do you eat breakfast?
Maybe like, sixty percent of the time.
And the other forty?
The other forty I have a glass of milk or a half a litre of coffee. I wish I was exaggerating.
What is your favourite thing to make for breakfast if you’re cooking for someone else?
Maybe like bacon and eggs otherwise I make a pretty mean french toast. You can take mean any way you like.
How many hours do you sleep each night?
I shoot for 8 but its usually 5 or 6.
What are you like when you don’t get that much sleep?
Uh hyper, low attention span.
Are you better in the morning or in the evening?
What is your favourite day of the week?
I like Wednesday. Wednesday is a pretty good day.
Hump day hey?
That’s the one.
Uncomfortable laughter from everyone
How often do you exercise?
Usually four or five days a week.
Do you like to do lunges?
I do not like them at all.
What’s wrong with lunges?
They make me want to puke?
Have you ever been in a fight?
Uh it’s been a while since like grade nine. So, yes but barely.
What was the fight about?
Some kids beat up my brother so I beat them up.
How many kids is “some kids”?
You beat SIX kids up?
I reached this size at a really early age so everybody else was a couple sizes behind me. Back then everyon was still short, small and easy to take on.
Who do you know you can depend on?
Who do talk to every day/ most often?
My dog. And then maybe my coworkers and family.
Is he a good conversationalist?
What is your dogs name?
Onyx like the stone or the rapper?
The stone cause shes black and the stone is black.
I saw you ask that question I was thinking about it and I realized they are both tough dead gangster guys and so if I pick one over the other I’ll be haunted by one tough dead gangster guy. So can I be like switzerland and take the neutral route?
If we were to drive out to the coast together, what song would we listen to on repeat?
ummmmmm probably “You Can’t Handle This” by Five Iron Frenzy.
Did you ever wear baggy pants and listen to rap?
Yeah for one summer when I was thirteen. That was a dark summer.
What was the 12 year old version of you like?
I had short straight hair. I kind of looked like a punk but I was just starting to listen to gritz and that kind of crappy rap, homeschooled, quite , shy, bookworm, nerd.
Do you think that that kid would think that today’s version of you would be cool?
What is one impressive fact/something surprising about you?
I never actually went to really any kind of a real school . I was homeschooled the entire time from kindergarten through grade 12.
Do you think that has had an effect on your social skills?
YEAH! I don’t have any social skills.
What do you know about changing oil and soldering wires?
Enough to understand not enough to master.
Manliest thing about you?
I guess I used to be a construction worker. That was pretty manly. Truck driver comes in close second. I’ve chose a more lucrative profession…being a barista.
What do you think makes a man a man?
Integrity, character and a Y chromosome. Other than that I think it’s pretty wide open. I think having a dog. Having a dog is a pretty good.
What causes you to geek out?
OH oh oh dune and video games
What is dune?
The science fiction novels from the 60s-80s
Which video games?
Gears of war, crisis, splinter cell games
Do you ever play dance central?
No. I have no coordination.
I beat dance central last week.
Peter hemminger is our first nice boy by nomination. I figured that since the suggestion was coming from a girl who is in a committed relationship with one of my favourite boys of all time, she must have great taste in men.
Her email described Peter as being involved in the Calgary music, film and journalism scene as well as being a gentleman of the highest accord. After reading this, wee promptly organized a romantic picnic for three.
Knowing our luck and the typical stampede week weather, our picnic ended up getting rained out which was only slightly disappointing until we saw Peter walk into our dry relocation spot of Oolong tea house carrying his well packed picnic set. Then it was devastating.
Peter is intelligent, kind and easy to talk to with just enough sass to keep you on your feet. He has a love for the 1930s, knowledge of film and movies and a real romantic side.
He told us stories of the stupidest things he’d ever done for love and that the most romantic thing he had ever done involved a birthday card for a girl on the other side of the country. He was determined to find a way to get all of her favourite bands to sign it as they passed through Calgary. After doing whatever he took, he ended up with one tattered birthday card with signatures from bands like Broken Social Scene, Modest Mouse, Stars, The Dears, Hawkesly Workman and more.
His quirky charm and willingness to open up to two strangers was heart warming and made sitting in drenched and dripping dresses after getting caught in the rain totally worth it.
What do you like to eat for breakfast?
Cereal. Um right now its life and frosted mini wheats I mix em
Is it a 50/50 mix?
No you go easy on the mini wheats otherwise it is WAY too heavy.
How do you like your coffee?
I don’t actually. I never acquired the taste
How do you like your eggs?
When I’m making them I go with scrambled I go with becase I’m lazy. In a reastaurant I go with over medium because it’s different every time!
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
Usually on stage left.
Did you perform?
I mean like as an actor or something eeeek!
I know what you mean. Not since like junior high but I often have to meet up with friends at concerts so it’s easy to tell them stage right or left.
Weirdest thing you’ve ever done in public?
It’s not super public but I tried on a wedding dress at Value Village once. Couldn’t quite get it to zip up.
Did you look beautiful?
I didn’t really see myself. I put on outside my clothes.
That’s probably why it wouldn’t zip up.
Are you more likely to pick truth or dare?
Truth. Pretty much constantly. Just because the one friend of mine who usually wants to play truth or dare is really good at coming up with dares
Craziest adventure you’ve ever been on?
That may be right after I graduated I went backpacking in Australia and South East Asia. In Indonesia I met a random gy on the beach who told me he was a tour guide who could show me up a volcanoe if I met him at midnight and we’d start climbing by two. I didn’t think to bring a flashlight or anything so the entire climb he’d walk five steps ahead of me and then shine his light behind me so I could see where I was going.No one knew where I was or what I was doing
In terms of I probably could have died, that would prably be the easiest…I still honestly believe you can trust people but I guess you only have to be wrong once.
Have you been wrong about people?
Well I guess the most recent was is that I’ve been leaving my bike unlocked in the backyard and last week it got stolen.
I HATE bike thieves.
Favourite place in the world?
I think I would probably have to go to Bali.
If you could go on a date with any woman who has ever existed who would it be?
I would just go witth Audrey Hepburn
She was a classy lady.
She really was and she seemed like a really sweet person.
She ironed her own clothes.
That says a lot about a person
If you could pretend to be any man who has ever existed who would it be?
I’m going to the first thing that came to mind have you ever seen the movie “Philadelphia Story”? Jamie Stewart plays this young semi idealist poet /journalist and I’m blanking on his name right now but I’d really like to be that character.
That or Sam Spade but that would involve getting punched a lot so I know I’m kind of playing it safe.
Tupac or Biggie?
I did see that you asked that to everyone so I did some research so I’ve been listening to Ready To Die and All Eyez On Me. I’m a bigger fan of west coast production so I’m more Tupac in that sense. I like Biggie when he does his bubblgum gangster stuff
I mostly just dislike Puff Daddy in the back being the world’s worst hype man because he has no energy.
Have you ever been shot?
No. Well, paintball?
Have you ever fired a gun?
Paintball or bb but never a real gun
Are you a city or country boy?
Definitely city. I mean I can spend time in small towns or the country. My parents grew up in two towns outside of Winnipeg and we used to go there every couple weekends.
But eh, even the suburbs are too far away from downtown for me.
Do you like country music?
I do like some country music. I mean obviously Johnny Cash. Willy Nelson has a nice voice, Lyle Lovett has some great songs and anyone one who doesn’t like, “Jolene”???
Can you two step or line dance?
Ummmm I might vaguely remember that one dance. I moved here when I was in grade nine so by that unit in gym they didn’t teach people anymore and just assumed everyone already knew the moves.
Are you going to the stampede?
Probably not this year. This is kind of a really crazy week for me. I’m working for the film fest this year so I have to have all of my movies booked by Friday!
What do you think of the grandstand show?
I’ve never seen it.
I have seen the chuckwagons and the running of the bulls in Strathmore
There’s a running of the bulls in Strathmore?
Apparently it’s the only one outside of Pamplona.
What is your biggest fashion faux pas or trend that you joined on?
That’s depressingly easy. In grade six I decided I really wanted to grow a rat tail even though they weren’t in style. Somehow I talked my parents into this and it was long before it could have been ironic in anyway.
How long did you have it for?
About a year.
Follow Peter on Twitter! His handle is: @peterhemminger
Also, check out his blog http://www.theconsumption.ca
Yen Lo came on high recommendation from the person whose advice I truly value, my older sister. While she and I are totally different people (she is an oil and gas engineer and I am a visual artist) one thing we have in common, is our love for hilarious men.
Yen met with me after work and though we meant to drink a beer on the patio at Local 510, we ended up meandering, getting slurpees and sitting together in Central Memorial Park as we waited for my better half to arrive with her camera.
He was full of questions, excitement and genuine confusion over what our blog was really about. When we asked him to tell us about himself so we could tell the internet what he was about, he described himself as an optimist who loves humour, music and puzzles. He proudly described to us his collection of Disney photo mosaic puzzles that he’s finished and has on display at home.
After moving to Canada from Taiwan when he was 11 years old and dealing with the difficult adjustment to a whole new culture, Yen learned to overcome bullying and now finds himself surrounded with loving and supportive friends and family, and is armed with a Bachelor of Natural Science from the University of Calgary with a Concentration in Geoscience and Mathematics.
Yen had us laughing hysterically the entire time we were together. He is a boy who loves what he loves without compromise and values family and friends over anything.
Boys like Yen really are the reason why we started this project in the first place, to show the internet that nice boys are the best kind and time spent with them will only make you feel great.
Q&A (caps indicate yelling/it is safe to assume that we are laughing the entire time)
Coffee, juice or tea?
I prefer tea. I don’t drink coffee. The only coffee that I drink is an ice cap. I DON’T NEED THE CAFFEINE!
What is your favourite snack?
Skittles! Mmm I could have skittles all day. RED PACK ORIGINAL!
Uhhhh I would have to say air conditioning in the car.
Because air conditioning is a good thing but we all know it’s a bad thing.
I mean, I came from Taiwan and people in Taiwan in the summer time have to have air conditioning at home. When it’s hot, it’s HOT in Taiwan it goes into the high thirties so you must have air condition to survive.
How much time do you spend on the internet every day?
I would say about four hours. Is that a problem? For hours is a lot.
Facebook… I think that could be my guilty pleasure
I think that’s the whole world’s guilty pleasure…
Who brings out the best in you?
Would be my dad. My dad has always been a role model for me and the things he taught me or says to me have been very constructive. Most of the time it invokes a lot of self reflection and so he brings out the best in me. He’s an amazing guy, if I could be one tenth of him, I’d be satisified.
So you’re very close to your parents then?
YES! My dad is top of the pillar.
Who is your favourite distant relative?
Would be my aunt, my dad’s little sister why? Because my dad and my aunt talk amost everyday and she took care of me during the busiest time of my parents lives. When I was just born, they both had jobs so she took the role of taking care of my brother and I so we became very close
The happiest moment of your life?
I think, I don’t think there is a happiest moment but personally everyday happiest moment is when I’m showering and listening to music nd singing. Its really relaxing and stress-relieveing.
Tell me you don’t sing in the shower
I DO! What is your shower song?
I don’t have one.
Do you know what mine is?
I don’t know Tupac? Or Biggie?
Part of Your World from Little Mermaid
Tupac or Biggie?
Can I choose none of them?
Ok. I will choose Tupac
Because Tupac was a big icon in junior high and I didn’t listen to Biggie until high school. To be honest I don’t know what Biggie looks like.
Give me a break, I’m an immigrant
Favourite room in your house?
My family room which is by the door because it gets the most sun in the day sometimes I just want to lie on the sofa and take a quick nap and listen to music.
What is your biggest dream?
To send my mom and dad on an around the world trip. I want to send them every where in the world to see the seven wonders and to go on a cruise. I think I owe them a lot and I want them to enjoy life and see the world.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now where would you be?
I would want to be in Taiwan. I miss home. I haven’t been back since 2006. I miss my elementary friends and the food and right now it is so hot!
Who would be there with you?
I’d pick my brother because we live the life when we’re together. We go do things. I love him
Do you like to dance?
Hahaha Uhhh groan I don’t know if I should say yes or no because I love to dance but I’m not good at dance.
Will you dance with me?
I will. That’s not even a question that’s rhetorical
No it’s not, let’s dance.
Can you do a cartwheel?
Do you like pina coladas and getting caught in the rain?
No. I personally don’t like them because of the taste.
You don’t like coconut?
Yes I do like coconut but just not in that form.
Not to make friends. I have this phobia of not having friends because I was picked on in grade seven so I was isolated. I feed off people energy.
Something you’ve conquered and feel great about?
I would have to say being the mc of every TSA event in university. We have this student club call the Taiwanese Students Association and we hold events like Halloween parties, ice breakers etc. and there’s hundereds of people and I am the host. To be able to face that many people and to make them laugh makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something.
What did you want to be when you grew up when you were a little kid?
My dad! And it still is to be honest with you.
Do you want kids?
Yes. Two. Possibly three. It depends.
Do you have the names picked out written in a notebook somewhere?
I thought about it when iwa s in grade twelve. Guys name would be Tyrial and girl’s name would be Selena.
Somehow we keep picking boys with beautiful smiles and infectious laughs. After a weekend of excessive partying, pushing our bodies to their limits, over working, under-sleeping and mornings no one should have to endure, Reggie’s presence had us feeling refreshed.
We all met up at The Big Cheese after work and had the most laid-back, comfortable interview yet.
He has a contagious, bright energy that is something commonly found in people who love the lives they are living. Reggie is a dancer, performer and music lover who has found himself in the most amazing places (like dancing at Paris fashion week) because he’s chosen to follow his heart.
A self-proclaimed, “super-nerdy kid” in high school, after graduating with his International Baccalaureate Diploma, instead of becoming a chemical engineer or lawyer, Reggie started DJ-ing which opened his world to an entire community of inspiring people.
One thing eventually led to another, and he found himself learning to dance and later to collaborating with the world-renowed dance troupe House of Dangerkat.
Reggie is passionate, talented, driven and enthusiastic. His desire to push himself and his craft further has brought him all over the world to all of the coolest places with all of the coolest people.
Do you like sports?
Yes. Mainly like participating in them. Not much spectating. I like to be where the action is!
What sport would like to play with me?
I think kickball. I think that would be hilarious. Can we have a giant kick ball game?!
Who brings out the best in you?
Oohhh clutches heart probably my dad. Just because we’re pretty tight. I can just be natural around him…and he has good music taste!
What does your dad listen to?
Mainly hip hop or house
Yeah! Or like new-wave 80s stuff too! AND hip-hop!
Who is your favourite person in the world?
There’s too many to name! I have a lot of home girls. My home girl Ashley I could hang with her all day, every day, any day. My other home girl jenna mae too, she’s sweet.
Tupac or biggie?
UMMMMM moet poppin, ho hoppin, ain’t no stopping big poppa I’m a bad boy. BIIGGIE FOR SURE! Hands down hands down hands down
Throw in some junior mafia and I’m sooo in!
Biggie smalls and junior mafia some mark-ass bitches
I’m east coast.
You would be east coast.
Song you blast when you’re driving around town?
Shoot! Baby face sunshine, featury foxy brown and jay-z
Song with the most plays on itunes?
Would probably be a house song. Probably tears by Frankie knuckles
Best childhood memory?
I think I had a lemonade stand with my brother. I don’t think we even did that well. We just sat there together. I think we probably had just one customer and that was it but it didn’t matter…because we did it! Dolla billz!
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
Oh no. I don’t think I’m too big on romance. Sorry. I’m an aquarias!
We’re both pisces.
You know what two waters make?
How do you take your coffee?
Um. Sweet but on the dark side so not a lot of cream but I do like sugar.
Favourite winter activity?
Winter activity? I don’t know! Probably just chillin at home by the fire place with tea cozy… I don’t even know what a tea cozy is but it is definitely staying inside
Favourite summer activity?
Liming in the sun!
What is liming?
Your lingo is too cool for us!
Favourite pick up line?
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked a pick up line…or used one
Me too. Might be why I’m still single?
Reggie points to his ringless finger on left hand and says “Oh hey!”
I say, “Oh hey!”
She says “Oh hey!”
and before we know it we’re all saying, “Oh heyyyy!” together in The Big Cheese.
you can follow Reggie on twitter! His handle is @reginaldotenzo
ALSO, check out house of dangerkat: http://www.dangerkat.com/
I met Shane a couple of months ago at the last Market Collective where he was set up at a booth promoting Sled Island, recruiting volunteers for the festival. I approached him awkwardly, full of questions and uncomfortable giggles and he assured me that he would remember who I was and make sure I had a spot volunteering for Sled. After a few weeks of dealing with how offensively unorganized and scattered I am, I came to realize that not only is Shane nice, he is also extremely patient.
We met up with him at Sled-quarters two days before the festival kicked off and while he was running around like a crazy person trying to get hundreds of volunteers organized, he still managed to spare an hour to eat snacks, drink drinks and tell stories with us.
Shane’s involvement with Sled Island Music festival stems from his musical upbringing. With parents who are both musicians and a sister who makes music and acts, his involvement in the arts has been happening since birth. Having listened to vinyl records via headphones while he was in the womb and beginning piano lessons as soon as he was tall enough to reach the keys, music plays a significant role in Shane’s life. He is a drummer, jazz bass player and appreciator of good sounds.
He has toured all over Canada for music and completed his undergraduate degree in psychology at the university of victoria but tells us that he considers Calgary his hometown.
Shane is intelligent, talented, organized, easy to talk to and seems to always the right time and place to buy a girl a gin and tonic. If you see him around the festival, say hi. It will be worth it, we promise.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
um. that’s an interesting question. It really depends, you know why that is? Because often I find my bed is agains one wall so I sleep on which ever side the alarm clock is on.
How do you take your coffee?
I don’t drink coffee. I take it without coffee and with chai.
Tupac or Biggie? You knew this one was coming.
I’m going to say Tupac (this is when the two of us girls exchange eye contact because I am so excited that someone has finally said that they like tupac.) and the reason is because my first memory of listening to “gangster rap” was with tupac. I was with my best friend Rod and his uncle took us jet skiing over at little bow and on the way back he was cranking tupac on his big subz and he was like “this is tupac, he got shot so many times and then makes fun of the people who shot him in his raps” I remember being 13 and so impressed.
Who is your best friend?
Yeah! I’ve know him since grade three. I have probably four best friends. Rod is the one I’m the closest with.
Where is your happy place?
Hmm that’s a really good question. I like that question. Oh man, I don’t know. I feel like there could be two . I feel like I have two parts to my life. The music stuff and the other stuff. I feel like very different things can make me feel really good so like playing music is a release in any way. Any kind of music and then also for like the other stuff. I like conversations I have long chats with people and I really like the interaction the give and take in a conversation and I think that if I can be about something important its so much nicer to get into more important stuff…it’s more about there’s a tendency to go towards the ideas of human doings and not human beings…so when I’m in that conversation I feel really good…that is a happy place…
I mean, With family.
I love my family
What brings you joy?
What brings me real joy is seeing someone in my family do what they do so well and being really proud that I’m related to them. I’m my sister’s biggest fan, I always brag about her, she’s got so much talent, she’s so amazing. I’m so proud of her and I love being in the crowd and being like, “that’s my sister”
What are we likely to find you doing at 2pm on a Sunday?
2pm on a Sunday? I guess that depends on what I did on the Saturday.
So on an ideal Sunday, maybe?
Two options, just waking up from a late night out or I am out for Sunday brunch after church with my family.
Last movie that made you cry?
Oh man. There’s only a few movies that have ever made me cry. The first movie was mr. holland’s opus
Really? The last move that made you cry was from 1991?
NO that was the first movie that made me cry. The main character is a music teacher and it reminded me of my dad.
I guess the last movie that made me cry was brokedown palace, I watched it by myself and it reminded me of my best friend so It made me cry.
Favourite chick flick?
Ohhh that’s hard. I don’t know! I’ve seen so many! Ive seen tones of chick flicks
One dvd that I have in my collection would be what women want
With Mel Gibson?
Yeahhh with Mel Gibson! It’s so awesome he can read their minds! If I had that, I’d be set.
I’ve seen tons of rom coms because I enjoy relationship things
Song you aren’t proud to admit that you love?
Will smith, “Getting Jiggy With It”
Is that the one where he says, “I gotta prada bag with a lotta stuff in it”
Yeah. I know that song.
Most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
One time, for valentines day, my girlfriend at the time was visiting me in Victoria and so I took her out for dinner and I had my friend get the key to my apartment and I had candles everywhere and rose petals everywhere so that when we came back from dinner, everything was set up
That’s like, proposal worthy.
Sometimes, I go a little over the top. I like to put a little effort into those things…I’m a bit of a romantic.
What is your best quality?
I think that I’m sensitive. That I’m a sensitive person, that I really ultimately try to hear where people are coming from and trying to understand where they are at try to be empathetic, try to be sensitive to the vibe people are putting out.
If you closed your eyes tonight and woke up tomorrow with your ideal life, what would it look like?
I’m pretty happy with what’s going on right now. I don’t think there would be much different. If I could do more financially for my family that would be great.
If I won the lottery I think first, how much would it be and how much would I give to my parents and my sister.
I love my life.
I’d wake up the same.
On whatever side of the bed the alarm clock is on.
How do you feel about tree houses?
How do I feel about them? I feel pretty good thanks. Next question
What is your favourite type face/ do you care about type faces?
Oh like font? Recently I’ve really been enjoying “Chalk duster” I’m like, “oh ! this looks like a chalk board.”
What is your karaoke song?
Did I tell you what mine was?
No! what is it??
"Forgot About Dre."
I don’t frequent karaoke bars but I think if I had to, I’d probably sing um….”Wonderwall by Oasis”
Do you wear a helmet when you ride your bike?
I have a plethora of helmets…5 helmets actually. I have two motor cycles and one bicycle
Last question, what is your favourite ethnicity?
Of food! Of food!
Hahha I love german food because my mom is German.
see more info on Sled Island at http://www.sledisland.com
You can also follow Shane on twitter! His handle is @shane_anisms
When the two of us had our initial brainstorm session, before welikeniceboys.com was born, we compiled a list of boys we HAD to have featured on the blog. Chris Tait’s name was one of the first scribbled in the back of the moleskine. So we thought that it must be a sign from the universe that when we sat on the balcony of my apartment to view photos from our “take it to the streets” adventure, that the sound of skateboard wheels on cement (an international aural indicator of approaching babes) meant Chris Tait rolling down my street on his way to meet with friends and organize an art and photography show.
We yelled down to him from the top floor and after exchanging jokes about Romeo and Juliet, telling him I felt like he should climb my hair and him telling me that he would if there were more of it, we were on our way to having our most spontaneous interview that then turned into almost 4 full hours of quality hang out time. Our experience with him on this warm Friday is proof of how easy it is to get along with Chris Tait.
Chris is an extremely talented and prolific photographer. He shoots for every important music festival in Calgary including Sled Island and the Calgary Folk Music Festival. You will rarely find him without a camera strapped to his chest or some part of his body.
An even more infrequent sighting would be to see this boy without a smile on his face. From ear to ear, that curve that sets everything straight, smile clichés are made cliché because of boys with smiles like Chris Tait’s.
Chris is attentive, positive, enthusiastic and energetic. He is passionate about what he does and whole-heartedly helps his friends. Even if that means clipping his toenails on camera for friends who make weird experimental films, Chris will be there.
What is the nicest thing you’ve ever done for a stranger?
That’s a hard question!
OK the nicest thing you’ve ever done for a person you know. You clipped your toenails on camera for me, remember?
Oh yeah! I clipped my toenails for your film once.
Also, I get a weird pleasure out of moving people stuff into their new house. Something to do with vicarious newness and the newness of peoples lives. It’s that change. That exciting change part. For the most part it’s a good thing.
Stupidest thing ever done in the name of love?
Painful groan. So many to choose from. The paintul groan sums it up. I trimmed this girl’s mom’s massive hedge which I just now realize sounds so wrong. She lives in this giant house with a massive hedge and so I hung out at her hedge and trimmed it all day just to be near her. It was weird. It was very crazy.
How old were you?
I don’t know like, 22. Clearly out of my mind.
I feel like everything I do for love when it does actually happen is crazy.
Would you consider yourself a romantic?
Maybe. Occassional romantic.
How do you feel about slow jamz?
How do I answer that question? What do you mean about slow jamz?
Do you ever listen to slow jamz?
What do you like for breakfast?
I’m a waffle guy. Definitely. Fricken waffles.
How do you take your coffee?
Black. Definitely black. Black black black. I’ve always wanted to order coffee with “I like my coffee like I like my women, dark and bitter”…but I’ve never had the opportunity.
What are you like to deal with in the morning?
Pre or post coffee? Pre, probably pretty horrendous but I would never remember that. Post-coffee probably pretty manageable.
When are you at your best?
That’s a good question. Hmmmmm I don’t know. Most productive probably when I am caffeinated and at three am when I can get away with that.
What is the coolest thing on you right now?
I have ear plugs for shooting concerts. I keep on getting asked if I carry drugs in this little container but that is not the case.
A song you know all the words to and are proud of?
HA! Umm I know a lot of Tenacious D
Do you know F*** Her Gently?
DO I know F*** Her Gently!
this is where the two of us sing in full, F*** Her Gently by Tenacious D
A song you know all the words to and are not proud of?
Something by ABBA probably. I just watched Mama Mia with my mom and it was great!
Tupac or biggie?
Ehh? Yeah. Not really polarized in the way that a lot of people are about that. Mostly because old school isn’t really my thing
So then does that make new school your thing?
Do you know any rap songs?
Do you at least know the theme song to Fresh Prince of Bel Air?
Of course I do!
One object you couldn’t live without?
My camera. Hands down definitely. Maybe some film
What kind of camera are you working with right now?
Hassleblad. I’m that guy right now and it’s pretty good.
See some of Chris’ amazing photos at http://www.christait.ca
you can also follow Chris on twitter! His handle is @christaitdotca
This week, we decided to hop on our bikes, hit one of our favourite neighbourhoods and see how many nice boys we could find along the way. Seeing as I live and work on 17th Avenue, we figured it would be a good place to start. We ended up meeting so many amazing boys who worked in cool shops, danced in the street for fun, wore bow ties and celebrated their birthdays with their best girl friends and organized awesome music festivals.
Internet, we are happy to introduce you to the 17th Avenue boys who left a lasting impression…
James from Tubby Dog
If you know James at all, you know that while he might not want to admit it, he is a really, very nice boy.
Kim from Kawa
We walked into Kawa and ran into a friend behind the counter who insisted that we photograph Kim because he couldn’t say a mean thing about anyone and was the nicest boy around.
dancers with swag, Fernando and Michael
These boys were so nice that they didn’t get upset or run away when we interrupted their filming to talk to them. They are competitive dancers with smiles like sunshine!
dapper birthday boy Mowno
We stopped Mowno because we loved his bow tie. When we asked the girls he was with if he was nice, their genuine smiles and nods in combination with his kindness to us strangers were enough to have us convinced.
and the ever-so-charming Brian and Drew from Sled Island.
We saw these guys from across the street and waited awkwardly at the crosswalk for them to walk towards us. They turned out to be organizers for Sled Island with awesome laughs, great penmanship and enough awkward pauses and smiles to make a girl blush.
We decided to switch it up this week and let our nice boy pick the location for our interview and photo shoot. We were delighted to hear that he wanted to meet at Vendome Café in Sunnyside. Being as professional as we are, we turned up a few minutes late, only to find Evan scribbling away in his Moleskine journal writing poetry.
A student of English literature, emerging poet and inspiring musician, Evan Wesley Acheson also gives one mean hug.
You would never be able to tell by his charm and his way to keep a conversation going that he was home-schooled his entire life up until University. Evan has a playful, witty sense of humour and looks at you in a way that makes you feel like you are really being seen. He spent the first part of our interview asking us all of the questions making it feel more like an enthusiastic first date than an interview.
We learned that he has a special love for music and plays piano for several hours each day. When his family couldn’t afford a piano or music lessons as a child, he would listen to his dad’s classical music cassette tapes on Walkman and say to himself that he would one day learn to play. He was hooked on classics. When family friends gave him their piano seven years ago and his inspiring teacher, Frank Lynch agreed to give young Evan piano lessons at half price, he started on a path that has lead him to becoming the talented front man of his band, Boreal Sons.
Evan shares his abundance of positive energy by making a difference in his community. For the last five years, he’s volunteered with Young Life of Canada, a non-profit organization that involves working with youth in high schools, leading by example and being a positive role model.
By the end of our time together, Evan had us laughing, dancing and snapping as he serenaded us in the café, scouting the perfect climbing tree and then climbing it. We think he is a very special person who has been blessed with several talents and we are happy to share him with you.
How do you take your coffee?
uhhmmm sometimes I’ll drink it black. Sometimes I will prefer a latte…especially if it’s a Phil&Sebastian latte
What do you like for breakfast?
Toast with peanut butter and honey and perhaps a jam in place of honey. This morning I had very fresh slice pumpernickel
Which sock do you put on first?
Uhh that’s a good question! The right.
Do you button your shirt from the top down or the bottom up?
I don’t know! I think from the bottom up
Really? You think?
I don’t know….I don’t think there’s any method to this madness
Tupac or Biggie?
You know what. I have like no knowledge of rap culture or history but didn’t biggie just sort of invent rap?
You can’t ask any questions. Just answer.
Biggie because I know very little about him. I know a bit more about Tupac and from what I know of him, I don’t like him.
Is that ok?
I guess one day I’ll find someone who likes Tupac as much as I do.
What time of the day are you at your best?
Probably 10 am.
Are you a morning person then?
You know. I don’t know how to answer that. I don’t know how to answer most of these questions. I think if I manage to force myself to wake up, yes. I am a morning person. I also function very well between midnight and 2am.
Who do you love?
I love my family. And my friends. All of them. Especially my close friends. I also love generic interviewers who ask broad sweeping questions.
Who/what brings out the best in you?
My community of close friends. Absolutely. Um. And time spent with that close community of friends… in combination with enough time spent by myself to unplug for a while and recharge myself
Are you an introvert?
I think I’m an introvert in disguise. I think that I can turn it on and off when I want to so I can be very extroverted and can talk to people and be a social butterfly. I get energy from both people and alone time.
What is the most romantic thing you’ve ever done or the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of love?
That is a TOUGH question!
That’s how we play at we like nice boys.
I’ve never had a girlfriend. Ever. But when I was 8 years old. My first crush was this girl I met a day camp named Kimberley. I remember sharing a kinder surprise with her and then accompanying her to a bouncy house where, we did jump and we had a wonderful afternoon.
Here’s the real question. Did you let her keep the toy?
This being my first experience with romance. I didn’t know how to be the most gentlemanly so I ended up not giving her a lot of chocolate and also not giving her the toy.
Well you can’t be on the blog…
Awkard hesitance from all of us.
Define romance for us.
Romance is a great conversation. It’s being able to be really honest with someone else and completely discarding any sort of self consciousness and being transparent. Romance for me is hard because I like having conversations like that with all sorts of people. I guess romance for me would be sitting outside with a cup of tea and a nice book or writing poetry… in a forest.
I guess I’m terribly unromantic. Or am I? Am I an enigma? Who knows?!
…I’m such a nerd.
How do you deal with all the rabid fans that throw themselves at your feet?
If they’re rabid I suggest they take pills for that. Oh wait you have to take shots right??
You must know that you’re a heartthrob.
I think this is something people talk about and never gets back to me.
Celebrity man crush?
Evan starts to sing “dream lover” and has us both dancing/swooning hard in the café
Real life man crush?
Dr. luke breski. He’s the most brilliant human being I’ve ever met
Where is the first place you want to travel to?
Everywhere! I want to go everywhere. Except maybe Antarctica.
What? But they have penguins in Antarctica!
They’re going to have penguins at the Calgary Zoo pretty soon. I will see the penguins there.
This is really nerdy. When I was in grade five I entered a homeschool geography contest and won third!
How many people were in the competition?
Like six or seven.