Tag Archives: Canada

People Who Inspire Me: Julie Nolke

Today is going to be a little bit different of a post. I’m celebrating an arguably famous creator/writer/artist and this is going to be the first in a series called People Who Inspire Me. Pretty simple concept, right?

I do not own any of these videos and they are embedded directly from YouTube. I recommend going directly to the YouTube channel and watching the video with ads to support this awesome creator, consider each embedded video a link. I do not get money from any ads played in the embedded videos.

Julie Nolke
Image Source: IMDB // Julie Nolke 2020 // Skyloft productions accessed 12 October 2020

Julie Nolke

You may have heard of her. You may not have. Her first appearance was on a show called Workin’ Moms and a though her IMDB is short, she has no shortage of material.

You can check out her Patreon, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

She’s a comedic genius that focuses her superpower on empathetic storytelling.

My sister, Becky, first exposed me to her with this video:

Her comedy sketches around the 2020 Pandemic are some of the purest, most honest humor I have seen in a long time. At first, my impression of her style of humor was along the lines of a phrase I grew up with:

If I weren’t laughing, I’d be crying

Then I realized that’s 2020 and how my dumb ass self decided that the motto for this year was going to be “Hindsight is 2020” when we were all making up funny mottos. (Another person we knew said, “In 2020 We Take Shots Of Water!” As we can see, sobriety has not been working out for many people.)

In her [currently] 3 part series on 2020, there are 2 more videos, but she has added other 2020 themed videos that cannot be missed.

First, here’s Part 2 of the series:

After this video, these gorgeous pieces became a reality. Such as “Quarantine Panic Attack” where she uses her series “Mirror Mirror” to feature more revealing discussions with herself.

The artistic exploration used in some of these videos to explore the expression of comedy with empathy for human experience makes me smile.

One of my favorite videos about 2020 has been the collaboration between her and Anna Akana to create “Pandora’s Box Opened In 2020” – specifically around how messed up it is to put all the bad stuff in existence into a tiny box and give it to someone with the instruction not to open it when you really intended the whole time to have someone open it and simply displace the blame. Shame Zeus. For Shame.

Her other videos on the global pandemic and 2020 have been equally insightful works of pure art. Approaching touchy subjects such as social distancing and the shaming behaviors people exhibited at fulfilling the human need of contact and physical closeness. Pun intended.

Another brilliant video in her series on 2020 includes “First Date Post Pandemic” where she fantasizes about what going on a date after the pandemic would be like.

One of the other 2020 videos themed spot on is the “Casual Chit-Chat Attempt…” video featuring how Small Talk has devolved over this year into practically non-existent and redefined

small talk.

She even makes fun of herself in returning to the “Mirror, Mirror” series with a conversation about her sudden YouTube popularity. The video “I went viral” is an artistic approach at explaining comedic/artistic insanity.

But what about the shirt in that video? Well, it turns out she did a Q&A while taking advantage of Canada’s recreational marijuana laws. One of the things I appreciate about this entire video is the level of preparation that goes into it. She is not a stoner and she has boundaries around her consumption and she’s having fun with it. Similar to how people need to see healthy use of a substance (use of alcohol in moderation as an example) to know what that looks like, she does a great job at showing what NORML defines as healthy use, plus gives us a really entertaining show at the same time.

I would’t mind having this kind of friend at a party.

While there are still more videos not mentioned here on the topic of how 2020 impacts North America, she keeps it real every time. She keeps her viewers laughing and she’s trying not to let it all go to her head faster than that one time she was on the Disney channel.

Then, 4 days ago, she dropped this beautiful masterpiece of a Part 3:

Her last 2 “Explaining the Pandemic to my Past Self” videos (parts 2 & 3) have spent quite a bit of time focusing on the protests in the United States (as well as across the world), spurred by the death of George Floyd. The aftermath and the continued self education she works into these videos I find fascinating as she presents reflections of what she has learned.

Julie Nolke takes the time to address some very serious topics (with some Kubrick-esque comic relief). This falls in line with her style pre-pandemic as well as can be seen in her January 2020 video “Confronting Fear.”

Hopefully I succeeded in introducing you to an internet comedian that you can connect with during this year and all of its hard times. I look forward to talking about some of my other favorite YouTube channels and their creators.

Again, if you like what you see, you can support her by checking out her work and or following her on Patreon, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.


Thank you so much for reading this today! If you enjoyed this brief write up about Julie Nolke’s YouTube channel and her work during 2020, please take a moment to Like, Comment, and/or Share. That will help me gauge the posts my readers enjoy. As always, thank you for reading – without you these words would be meaningless little bits and bytes.

Dreaming Of the Canadian Rockies

Before the border closed Jacob and I loved driving up to Canmore, AB. From there we would drive around Banff and up to Lake Louise. As we started getting into dark sky photography we started making plans to head up to Jasper for the Dark Sky Preserve. Our next trip, whenever the border reopens, will be an adventure to remember.

When we went up to Canmore, AB for Thanksgiving 2019 we spent a total of 3 days there. Each day was spent filled with adventure and splendor. We should note that it is helpful to rent or buy a CHAdeMO adapter for the Tesla if you are driving between the United States and the Canadian Rockies.

There are few things as relaxing as cozying up by a fire, or exploring the magic wonderlands of ice and snow, hiking around during the heat of summer, or the magic of the changing carnelian deciduous leaves and emerald evergreens of autumn. We currently live in Montana, but it truly does not hold a candle to what lies a little farther north in the Rocky Mountains.

Hiking around in the snow, even in subzero alpine climates, is a lot of fun. The powder is like glittering diamond dust you can play in for hours. We could have made diamondesque snow castles with the right molds. Someone else did! We stumbled upon this beauty near the Cosmic Ray Station.

Speaking of the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station that was an excellent hike and adventure. You can take the gondola up and down, or you can hike up and take the gondola down for free! They sometimes are running special events and policies are changing all the time, so be sure to check their website before you go.

We ate lunch in the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen – this was a wonderful choice and worked out very well for us. We have ALL THE FOOD ALLERGIES and celiac disease, so we recognize that eating out is never an easy task. They were extremely accommodating. We would definitely go back.

On the observation deck at the top of the gondola there was some amazing outdoor art. I loved this mirror bear.

Even Jacob couldn’t resist getting a picture with such a cool art piece!

Next, we drove up to Lake Louise for brunch at the Fairmont and Ice Skating! Brunch at the Fairmont’s tea room does not require reservations, but it’s a good idea to get there early. One of the great things about driving a Tesla is that because we were eating at the hotel and ice skating, we got to charge for free in the garage there.

While there, I went ice skating on an actual lake for the first time! The ice skate rental was not expensive compared to similar skate rentals in the United States (this surprised me). Jacob is not a big fan of ice skating and instead chose to operate the camera. I’m the one in the red scarf.

One of the strangest aspects of ice skating on a real lake is that you can hear the ice cracking underneath of you. It’s a deep sound that no one else seemed to respond to. I could feel the vibrations through my whole body, but at the same time it did not feel concerning. This is my new favorite form of ice skating.

I had so much fun ice skating. I’ve seen pictures of this lake during the summer months, but we did not make it up here when we came up for our first Anniversary. We were very sad when we could not fulfill the tradition again this year. Every time we go, we find more things we want to go back to do.

Beyond the scenery, one place we try to make an effort to plan to go to is always The Sensory & Wit Bar. Our memory card fried itself (I was so mad. You can ask Jacob…) so we lost all of the pictures of our dinner, but the food and drinks there are very similar to eating at Alinea with a reduction in unnecessary (but fun) theatrics.

Update! I found one picture that survived!

The Sensory & Wit Bar really does focus on what it says: the sensory experience, wit, and wisdom of dining. One of my favorite parts of the experience was how your meal is a journey through a story. The kitchen’s story while we were there was “The Huntsman”. Plus, at their prices, their food is more accessible than Alinea, but I put their 7-course tasting menu with wine pairing on the same level when it comes to the food quality and creating a remarkable experience that is hard to compare. No wonder it has made so many Best New Canadian Restaurant lists.

The Sensory is where I finally got to try Orange Wine. Orange is my favorite color. I love all things orange and this gem of a wine hits with the joys of Okanogan autumn twinkling with candlelight. I wanted to buy a bottle, but the wine pairing is plenty generous. This may be my favorite wine in existence and it is a travesty that it is so hard to find.

If you plan to go: We usually make our reservations for a party of 2 at least one week in advance and we provide our full allergy list for the multi-course menus. The chef is phenomenally talented when given sufficient time to prepare. All of their ingredients are sourced consciously and carefully, so if you have a party larger than 2 with food allergies and you’d like to do the tasting menu, I’d recommend requesting your reservation more than one week in advance.

As with all drives back home, we relished the route back to Montana which takes us back through Radium Hot Springs – a lovely town we hope to visit on its own some day.

We also take the long drive down through Fernie and everywhere we can hit up electric car chargers. It’s a brilliant thing being able to drive all the way from Montana to Canmore, up to Lake Louise, then back down again in an electric car in subzero weather. I look forward to the day when we can do it again, next time including Jasper.


Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post please take a moment to leave a comment, like, or share it. If you have any questions about traveling to Banff, Canmore, or Lake Louise, particularly getting around with an electric vehicle, please feel free to ask away in the comments! Jacob and I are happy to answer any questions 🙂

If you would like to use any of our photos from this post:

  • For unpaid projects, simply credit us by linking back to this website.
  • For paid projects please send me an e-mail and we can exchange a fair use contract with more details.