Covert Ottawa Weekly Newsletter: My Guilty Pleasure Edition

Happy March!! I’m quite torn, are we a little lion-ey this week or lamb-ey? Our weather is kinda all over the place, especially if you include Sunday. Not that I put any faith at all in the ‘in like a lion, out like a lamb’ theory, but it’s still fun to test. Either way, temps are rising and we’re getting some melting here and there, meaning that winter in Ottawa is trending in the right direction, and we can soon get on with our outdoor lives. Except for that whole pandemic thing that just won’t go away.

This week’s newsletter has a few events to enjoy this week, as well as for weeks to come, then some updates on my guilty pleasure, some positive sentiments that I’ve learned from a new book I’m reading, and finally, the answer to one of life’s greatest riddles!

Winter Jazz Fest

As a final hurrah to winter, the 10th annual Ottawa Winter Jazz Festival takes place this week in a pared down version of its usual self. This year’s online event takes place from March 4th – 6th. There are six concerts spaced out over these three days, all broadcast from Arts Court Theatre in downtown Ottawa. You’ll be able to see them on YouTube and Facebook Live. The links will be posted on the Jazz Festival’s website.

  • March 4th, 6:00pm – Rebecca Foon

  • March 4th, 8:30pm – Ranee Lee

  • March 5th, 6:00pm – Jazzlab Orchestra

  • March 5th, 8:30pm – Jim Bryson

  • March 6th, 6:00pm – The Kirk MacDonald Generations Quartet

  • March 6th, 8:30pm – Ron Sexmith

Orpheus Event

In the absence of musical theatre during the pandemic, Orpheus Musical Theatre is trying something new this week. They’ve issued a call to the public to submit recordings of an original musical piece. The submissions can be simply vocal, or with the use of instruments, and must be under 4 minutes long. Other than that, the bounds of your creativity are your only limit. The deadline for submissions is March 7th, and they will be featured in an upcoming event, dates to be announced. All the details and contact information for your submission can be found on their website by clicking here.



Good luck to everyone who submits a piece, I look forward to seeing what Ottawa’s musicians have in store. Our city is so talented, and I think there will be some amazing gems. I’ll let you all know once the dates are announced so that we can watch together!

Zombie Apocalypse Event – Epic Experiences

It is a fact that when giving a gift, an experience goes a lot further than a material item. The memories from an experience will stay with one for a lifetime, and can to help develop one’s personality, pique one’s interest, and become a part of who a person is. I stumbled across a company in the US that runs fun events all across North America, including Ottawa, and their marketing strategy focuses on this point exactly. They are suggesting that we should take someone along on a fun event, and enjoy an experience as a small group or couple. Their suggestion for Ottawa: a zombie apocalypse, of course. This event will get the participants out of the house and into the fresh air, give them a problem to solve, and allow them to have some fun. The experience will stay with them for a long time, whereas a new pair of socks, a cell phone case, or a video game may not. This applies to many events of course; I just really like that Epic Experiences is marketing it that way.

The Ottawa Zombie Scavenger – Survival Game runs daily in Ottawa, and it seems to me that you can sign up and start at your own desired time, as long as you’re within the given daily hours of the event.

“Can you survive the Zombie Apocalypse? Ottawa Zombie Scavenger tests your ability to survive after a zombie apocalypse.

The game leads you through the city, where you will have 60 minutes to collect supplies to survive during this interactive scavenger game. With the whole world in chaos and zombies outnumbering the living 10 to 1, small colonies of the living are doing all they can to survive. Using your smartphone, your team will be tasked with scavenging the city for food, supplies, weapons, and shelter. The more things you find, the more points you get, the more likely you are to survive. Along the way, you will be asked to do a challenge or answer a trivia question in order to be rewarded virtual weapons to ward off the zombies. The area is crawling with relentless zombies, and rival colonies are moving in. If you get too relaxed, rival colonies will take what you worked hard to find. The goal is to find all of the items in hopes that you will survive the zombie apocalypse.” – Epic Experiences Website



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!

Guilty Pleasure – Reality TV

90 Day Fiancé

I’ve talked before about my guilty pleasure of 90 Day Fiancé. This train wreck of a show has caught my attention, and for some reason, I just can’t turn away. There are so many off-shoots of the show, but the original truly is the best (or worst??) I really do enjoy the entertainment value of it, even though I know it’s highly edited from the actual story.

The current season is the ‘original’ 90-day format, where a foreigner goes to the US on a 90-day spousal visa to get married to an American. There are three repeat couples in this season’s show, and some new ones as well. As advertised, it is a mess and I love to hate the various couples. It’s about halfway through the season, and I can’t wait for each and every new episode. If you’ve never watched it, you should… you just might get hooked.

The Masked Singer

My other reality TV train wreck guilty pleasure is the increasingly popular Masked Singer. Season 5 of this bizarre and eccentric show kicks off on March 10th at 8pm. This season will be a little different, starting with just two heats of performers, to be joined by wild card contestants later in the season. Other than that, the show is the same. Nick Cannon returns as a host, but will miss several episodes due to his COVID-recovery, when guest host Niecy Nash will fill in. Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger, and Robin Thicke all return as judges.




The contestants in this year’s season boast an impressive combined 26 Grammy nominations, nine multi-platinum singles, four Academy Award nominations, three Super Bowl appearances, six Gold Medals, and two World Records. But…. “Whooooooo are you, who who, who who…”

If you aren’t familiar with the ridiculousness of the show, the concept is simple (kinda). Celebrities of all types perform songs for an audience and panel of judges while dressed up in a crazy costume. The judges attempt to guess who the performers are based on their singing and performance, oh….and a series of very obscure clues provided. The game of guessing and the judges’ banter are what makes the show, the performances are almost just filler. I do like it though, it’s good, clean fun.

What’s new on Netflix?

In case you’re wondering what will be released on Netflix in March, here’s a list for you:

See You at the Top

This past week, I started reading “See you at the Top” by Zig Ziglar. This book is truly inspiring, encouraging and coaching the reader to have a more positive outlook on life. It is formatted in a way that feels as though Ziglar is working with ‘you’, the reader, in a one-on-one discussion. It’s like a little working group to develop and strengthen one’s positive attitude. He works hard to reduce one’s “stinkin thinkin,” which is how he describes putting oneself down and not giving oneself the respect and credit deserved. Although very enlightening in general, there is one particular section that I wanted to share with you this week. I’ve recently been talking about how to foster a positive attitude in your daily activities to increase the overall joy and happiness in your life. The following excerpt from the book highlights some of the common mistakes that we make in doing that. I apologize for the length, but it’s important not to remove any of this message.


“If self-image is so important, why do so many people have a poor one and what are the causes? I’m convinced that a poor self-image starts with the fact that we live in a negative society and deal constantly with negative individuals. Any scanning of the news will verify this. Typical comments from the “average home in America” repeatedly reveal that negativism prevails. An overweight person sits down at the table and says, “Everything I eat turns to fat.” A housewife who is a lousy house-keeper views the ‘wreck” when she arises in the morning and comments, “I’ll never get this mess cleaned up.”…The Businessman walks in his office, or the laborer steps into his shop, and often comments, “Boy, I’ll never get this work done today.” A child comes home from school and says, “Dad, I’m a afraid I flunked that arithmetic test,” and his dad might say, “Don’t sweat it son, you’ve come by it honestly. I never could learn that stuff either.” A mother sends her child off to school and cautions her, “Now, don’t get run over.” The weatherman on TV says we have a 20% chance of rain, or that it will be partly cloudy. Why doesn’t he tell us we have an 80% chance of sunshine and that it will be mostly fair? As the average person how he is doing and he will make such comments as, “Not too bad,” or “Since it is Monday (or Friday), I’m doing fine.” (See you at the Top, p 59 – Zig Ziglar)

The book goes on to discuss how everyday life situations may be negatively affecting our attitudes and moods, perhaps without us even realizing it. It’s all about our mindset and how we approach different situations. Imagine if our natural reaction to each of the above situations had a positive spin on it? If you’re feeling up to it, go back and read them and consider what the opposite statement would read, then imagine how that could impact your day. You’ll see very quickly that with a positive outlook, not only will your mood improve, most likely, your entire day will. In turn, this positivity will be reflected in your interactions with other people, causing their moods to improve. You’ll likely start to find that more people will want to interact with you, they may even seek you out. The chain reaction of positivity can go on for some time, but the message is clear: if we change our mindset to a more positive outlook on regular daily activities, our lives will improve.

Why do Wombats Poop Cubes?

It’s a mystery that has puzzled many people forever….and trust me, I’ve wanted to know this all my life too! In fact, it’s kept me up at night, wondering why this phenomenon occurs. Well, not to fear, there was a study completed to determine why! Now the real question is: how much money was spent on this??

Have a great week, stay healthy, and be kind to one another!

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