Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

As much as I was looking forward to Halloween this year, I just didn't have the time nor the energy to put into creating a masterpiece costume (as much as I wanted to). I was a little bummed about recycling my devilish disguise from a previous year since, as I said, Halloween is one of my favourite holidays and I LOVE dressing up. A killer costume just wasn't in the cards for me this year, but I couldn't resist getting festive for work today anyway. Traditionally, we have a costume contest at my office and this year was no exception. Take a look at some of the fun and creative costumes that my co-workers came up with.

I'm off to pack my last few boxes and say goodbye to my (almost) empty bedroom. Good night!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shake it like you've seen them do it in the video

I have a secret that I have decided to reveal today. I suppose it's not so much a secret as it is something that I have never blogged about before (at least, that I can recall...) My close friends already know this about me.

Okay, here goes...

I am actually a closet fan of super cheesy, pop music. Yes, it's true. My name is Jenni and I am addicted to manufactured music that I can shake my booty to. My cd collection contains, among others; Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan, and yes folks, every one of Britney Spears' albums. In fact, even given Ms. Spears' recent downward spiral (let's face it, she went down fast and landed head first), I managed to get myself completely addicted to Gimme More and have been playing it on my 'running mix' repeatedly for weeks. Today, her new record Blackout hit the music store shelves and of course I popped into HMV to pick up my copy. Anybody who knows me well will not be surprised by this. I have been perfecting Britney's choreography in my bedroom for years and let me tell you, I do a mean version of I'm a Slave For You.

So you see, head shaving, custody drama, fender benders, gratuitous coochie shots, rehab and other non music related trainwrecks aside, I LIKE THIS ALBUM. There, I said it. I've been dancing around the apartment to it all night tonight. Is Britney a brilliant songwriter or vocalist? No. Is the new record overproduced and a masterpiece of studio trickery? Absolutely. Perhaps her days of remembering the dance moves and lip syncing on cue are over. But, is her name on some hot, fun music that I want to move to? It sure is. I admit that I am absolutely nauseated by the number of tabloid stories about the tarnished pop princess, but will I keep dancing my ass off to Blackout? You better believe it!

The secret's out. No judgement, please. (hehe)

Photo courtesy of Teen Hollywood

A thought for today...

Photo courtesy of disdatmac (debbie T) on flickr

"Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson-

Whatever drowns the counting machines out

I have heard the phrase, "don't sweat the small stuff" too many times to count over the last few days. I know that I shouldn't, I really do, but as usual, I just can't seem to let myself relax. Anxiety plagues me, even though more than anything I wish I could just shake it off. Why do I allow myself to get all riled up? Why do I take absolutely everything on? Why do I worry myself sick? You've really got to wonder. God knows I do. Here I am, awake much later than I should be, or want to be for that matter; four cups of herbal tea later and I still don't feel calm or sleepy. Good one, Sleepy Time. Perhaps I would have been better off had I cracked a bottle of red. Thoughts are racing like formula one cars. Emotions are running wild in this house, maybe it's contagious. If only I could turn my mind off for just a few hours so that I could get some sleep.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If God he gave you a voice, then use it

Packing my book collection for the move the other night, I came across Marketable Depression and Dear Raymi on my shelf, both written by the lovely Raymi the Minx. You see, Raymi is the one of the biggest names in the blogging world. The words beautiful, brilliant and revolutionary come to mind. Yes, she is definitely a triple threat. I wrote about Raymi back when she released Dear Raymi in August 2005. Raymi's blog has been a daily stop for me for years.

Finding these books again, combined with reading a couple of posts by fellow bloggers Keira-Anne and Duane last night, got me thinking about blogging, the blogging world in general and what it means to me.

There are three bloggers in particular who inspired me to start blogging in the first place; Raymi, Tony Pierce and Matthew Good. I certainly do not profess to be any kind of blogging expert. Tony, on the other hand, quite literally wrote the book on it. I do however, love to write and what blogging provides for me is a creative outlet to express my thoughts, inspirations, experiences and to share ideas. I have also discovered it to be a fantastic way to connect with some truly genuine and incredible people. I think the real beauty of blogging is that there are no rules; everybody puts their own uniqueness into what they do. It's not about approval of content, judging others or getting external adulation. It's not even always about coming up with something completely profound, or using perfect grammar. To me, it's about sharing a piece of myself with the world in my little way. The thing about the three key players I mentioned above, is that all of their blogs are very different. They have their own distinct writing styles and formats. Raymi's blog is always full of artistic photos, clever and funny quips and interesting observations. Plus, her two minute drawings are seriously entertaining. Tony has a way with words, he is at once insightful and completely hilarious. Matt is an articulate and talented writer who sheds light on world events, politics and his own personal experiences with grace and eloquence. I have learned so much from all of them and they all bring something significant to the table.

So, what exactly makes a good blog, you ask? I think that a good blog is one which the writer enjoys creating. The blogs that I like the most are the ones where the writers speak from the heart. What matters is that they’re opening up and communicating what they really think and feel. When this happens, there is a certain flow, and one is aware of a kinship with the writer. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a serious discussion of important subjects and issues, just that often, it’s the writer’s own personal spin on that information which makes it interesting.

The first time I met Tony was at two of Matt's shows which he played back to back at The Commodore Ballroom in November 2005. We had organized one of the first Blogstocks (recently renamed Blogslayer by Raymi) at The Granville Room before the Friday night show. That weekend was also the first time that I met Matt and another of my favourite bloggers, Smelly Danielly.

Over the years, the community has grown immensely and I continue to find new blogs that peak my interest and have become daily reads (see my blogroll to the right). I find the support that the community provides by reading and commenting on one another's work to be a really special thing. I learn so much from my peers and that is largely what I love about this network. This past July, we had another Blogstock in Vancouver, at which I met a bunch of new faces, who have consquently become new reads.

"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."

-Herman Melville-

Photos courtesy of Raymi Lauren on flickr

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Individuality, be proud of what you are

I spent yesterday afternoon out in Fort Langley, visiting my buddies at i.d. Salon and getting my mane maintained by my dear friend and stylist, Gary. This particular salon is more than just where I go to get my hair done; it's a very significant part of my past. I helped the two owners Gary and Beeuwke open i.d. years ago, and spent my early twenties co-ordinating and managing the daily operations of this art gallery style and cutting edge shop, nestled in a quaint and historic little town. It's a company that I put my blood, sweat and tears into and I am so proud of what it has become.

The best part about i.d Salon, in my opinion, is that the atmosphere is very personalized. Whenever I walk in, I am greeted by the friendly and familiar faces of the staff, as well as the clients. The hardest part about leaving that job (and likely what kept me there for so long); besides the dynamic crew I got to work with, was the incredible clients who are so loyal and kind. When somebody comes in every four, six, or eight weeks for years and years, you get to know them pretty well. I certainly miss getting to hear about the lives of all of those people who I came to love so much. I adore coming back to the neighbourhood and the shop, bumping into old clients and having a chance to catch up. We've been a part of their special days such as graduations and weddings, we've watched their children grow up and been there at the best of times, as well as the worst of times.

Gary and I were laughing yesterday about all of the looks that I have had over the years. You could say that I took advantage of being in a position to get my hair done all the time. We had so much fun experimenting, trying different colours and styles, whipping my mane into something completely different every so often. Whether it was a fun updo for a Friday night out, getting Lisa to set the mane or Jenna's perfect "Britney hair" look for a hot date, there was never a shortage of new things to try out and I was always a happy hair model. There was also the labour intensive first set of "mermaid hair" extensions that Beeuwke spent hours working on and then subsequent extension applications thereafter. A favourite memory was the day when some of the girls dared me to dye my locks black. I was platinum blonde at the time, and so this was quite a change. Of course I went for it, and the look on my mother's face when I walked in the door that night was priceless. The next few weeks, I was virtually undercover as a brunette and it was so much fun! Many of these old looks are showcased on the wall in the salon's back room, which features past ad campaigns that have run in the local papers over the years.

I look back on my years at the salon so fondly. I gained oodles of experience and confidence. I travelled to New York for the first time to attend a Business Immersion course at the industry esteemed Bb University. I learned to do colour and foils, became an expert shampoo and head massage queen; and most importantly, I made lasting friendships. It's like a family. I think that the clients feel that way too; it's a truly remarkable and unique environment. Plus the hair stylists seriously rock at what they do.

I wrote the salon's mission statement on our trip to New York and they still use it today. I kind of like that there's a little part of me still represented there by this:

ID SALON aspires to create a culture that is rich in diversity, inspiration and evolution. We will provide each guest with the highest quality service. We strive to cultivate strong relationships with our clients in a unique and personalized salon atmosphere. Our talented and passionate stylists are committed to continuous advanced education. We have chosen to work alongside a product company that shares our innovative vision. Trends change, individuality is eternal.

i.d. Salon is a Bumble and bumble Network salon, and specializes in Great Lengths human hair extensions, colour and foil highlights, styling and precision cutting. They also feature an adorable and uber talented makeup artist named Megyn. So, if you are out in the valley and want a new look, or need to pick up some fantastic products, check out i.d.

Photos by Revival Arts Studio courtesy of

We've got to rise up and fly like eagles

It's time to talk Top Model again! For me, the best part of the show this week was that Tyson Beckford was a guest. Oh, what a crush I had on Tyson when I was in high school. I pretty much thought that he was the hottest man who had ever lived. Stepping onto ANTM, I must say that he still looks pretty damn good. Tyson's mission was to teach the girls how to sell a product. And what better way to prepare the girls for creating a public service announcement about AIDS than to teach them how to make a watering can suggestive? I know, right? Seriously! For their first challenge, the models were teamed up to write and execute a 30-second public service announcement for the AIDS charity Keep a Child Alive. History shows that most Top Model contestants don't fare well when it comes to speaking on camera, but these girls actually weren't half bad. They may have slipped up here and there, Bianca forgetting the name of the foundation and Chantal tripping over her words, but for the most part, they seemed to take to the video format.
Heather walked away with the biggest prize of the night: a photo shoot for the company art-directed by Mary J. Blige. This not only gave Heather the opportunity to schmooze with heavyweight photographer Matthew Rolston but also allowed her to concentrate on full-frontal face shots. Last week the judges came down on Heather and told her that she only produces profile pictures.

Photos courtesy of CWTV

The theme of the photo shoot was recycling. I do think it's great that Tyra is calling attention to some important issues and causes this season; even if they are doused in a little cheese.

Jenah's photo impressed me the most again this week. In my eyes, she was on top. Heather managed to pull off a full frontal face shot as well, which allowed the judges to see that she is making an effort to take their criticisms constructively.

As Tyra revealed Ebony's photo and explained that the judges were sending Ambreal home, Ebony stunned the judges by saying that she no longer wished to stay in the competition. Tyra said that she respected her decision to leave, thus allowing Ambreal a free pass to prove to the judges that she deserves to stay in the competition.

Here's a little Nigel eye candy to end the post... especially for you Gus Greeper and Miss 604. Wink, wink!

Photo courtesy of imdb

Well, folks...what do you think about how this cycle is shaping up? Favourites? Thoughts? Do share!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

You're such a vibrant thing

Last night as we walked through the doors of GM Place, there was a different feeling in the air. Hip hop music was pumping, basketballs were bouncing, the crowd was sporting Phoenix Suns and Seattle Sonics jerseys plus big smiles. This sold out Vancouver crowd was pumped to see some live NBA basketball and excited to see their hometown boy from Victoria, Steve Nash. Stars Kevin Durant and Leandro Barbosa were out due to injury, but Stevie, Grant Hill and Raja Bell more than made up for it.

For me, it was like a trip down memory lane. I saw so many old familiar faces from the days that I was going to that building to watch basketball games on a regular basis. Oh, how I miss those days. I had wished that my dad was at the game with us too, that was the only missing part of the experience for me. I phoned him promptly after the game to tell him all about it.
Even though this was a pre-season game, the boys came out with lots of energy and put on a fabulous show. Kristina and I yelled and screamed and drank beer from sippy cups. The night was a blast. I am definitely a hockey fan, and I certainly would agree that Vancouver is a hockey town, but I really wish that we had been able to make a professional basketball team work in this city. I miss the games more than I can say. Some of the basketball programs in this province are incredible and there are some really amazing up and coming athletes. I know how much joy I got from having a professional team to support and look up to. Thanks to Steve Nash for pulling some strings to make last night happen for those of us who are basketball fans in this city with no team. I heart NBA basketball (and Steve Nash).

Naturally, Nash drew by far the loudest cheers during player introductions and the Suns, 2,000 kilometres from home, were treated like the home team.

"I know it's not official, but it certainly feels like the Suns are the team for B.C.," Nash said. "It feels amazing, feels great, there are so many fans up here rooting for our team. Everyone really gets behind us. For me, being a local guy, that's obviously very exciting."

Vancouver Sun

Friday, October 26, 2007

Basketball Joe, I got a basketball Joe

I woke up this morning with a splitting headache. I actually wish that I could rip my eyeballs out of my head. So far, nothing is helping...two Advil, peppermint oil on my temples...still throbbing. Do you ever have days that you wish were over before they even start? That's today. I feel exhausted, overwhelmed, hormonal, emotional, stressed, anxious and defeated all at the same time.
The one thing that's going to get me through today is what I have to look forward to tonight. It has been a LONG time since I have had the pleasure of being entertained by an NBA basketball game. Tonight, the Seattle Sonics will take on the Phoenix Suns at GM Place for some pre-season action, and Kristina and I will be centre court getting our cheer on.
My dad and I were season's ticket holders and super fans from 1995-2001 when the Grizzlies were in Vancouver. It broke my heart when they departed for Memphis. I have loved the sport since I was big enough to dribble a ball. I've always said that if one thing came naturally to me in life, it's the ability to shoot a basketball. I have been enthralled by the sport and its players longer than I can remember. The fact that I had sprouted up to 5'9" by grade five didn't hurt my game either. I can still tell you more than you'd ever need to know about Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. My love for the game continued as I played competitively through elementary school, and high school. These days, I can still kick some ass (even in heels and a dress) against the boys in my office on our lunch breaks. As a kid, when most little girls were playing with dolls and wearing dresses, I was watching Michael Jordan's Come Fly With Me, shooting hoops in the driveway outside my house and wearing Nike hi-tops. When we were ten years old, my friend Courtenay's dad coached the senior girls basketball team (he was later our coach as well). The two of us would go to just about every game and sit behind the bench. We'd watch the girls on the court like hawks; committing their every move to memory to be drawn upon later. Hours were spent in the gym, perfecting our skills and working on our game. I also spent a lot of time collecting Skybox cards, trading them with Cour and watching games on television with my dad, not to mention obsessing over March Madness. I am grinning ear to ear just thinking about the cool leather spinning over my finger tips on its way into the net. Swish.
So, of course I am beyond pumped that I get to see Steve Nash and Raja Bell in the flesh, and watch some live, professional action right here in Vancouver tonight.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Must be a full Moon, feels like one of those nights...

Photo courtesy of obiwanhavanese on flickr

I have a great love for the night sky; the Moon and the stars. Vincent Van Gogh said, "I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream..." I really enjoy being outside at night, talking to the man in the Moon, and wishing on stars. There was one night in particular, when I was with somebody who was very special to me at the time. It was a meteor shower, and I can remember seeing about a hundred shooting stars, one after the other, lighting up the sky like fireworks. It was absolutely awestriking. I wished on every single one.
Tonight, the moon will not only be full, but experts expect it to be visually much brighter and larger than usual. In fact, according to NASA's, it is expected to be about 14 percent wider and around one-third brighter than an average full Moon. It will be the biggest full Moon seen during the year.
For years, it has been believed that the fortunes of men and women move in cycles. It has also been suggested that lunar cycles play a role in human behaviour. The full Moon has been linked to higher instances of crime, suicide, mental illness, disasters, accidents, birthrates, fertility, and werewolves, among other things. Some people even buy and sell stocks according to phases of the moon, a method probably as successful as many others. Numerous studies have tried to find lunar effects. So far, the studies have failed to establish much of interest. Lunar effects that have been found have little or nothing to do with human behavior. Of course, there have been single studies here and there that have found correlations between various phases of the moon and this or that phenomenon, but nothing significant has been replicated sufficiently to warrant claiming a probable causal relationship.
The number of times that I have been feeling off, or a little crazy, only to find out that it's a full Moon (just like today...) makes me think that it's no coincidence. I do believe that what's happening in the universe has an effect on us. Do you feel different when there's a full Moon? Or do you think that the correlation is garbage? What's your take on it?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gossip Girl, xoxo

Photo courtesy of

I have always loved to have a show from which to draw fashion inspiration. With the exception of Sex and the City, which I think is brilliantly written, these shows are generally trashy in story line and rich in wardrobe. Past favourites have been Beverly Hills 90210, The O.C. and The Hills. At any rate, the combination of scandal, booze, and pretty teenagers has proved to be a dynamic formula. My latest addiction is a new show this fall called Gossip Girl. Based on a book series of the same name, this show can actually be quite sharp when it wants to be. I, for one, have been hooked every week since it started. It's my newest guilty pleasure, if you will. The show is about privileged teenagers who attend an elite private school in New York City and are climbing the social ladder. Of course, as usual on shows like this, they certainly don't seem like teenagers. The costume designer for the show is Eric Daman, also a former assistant costume designer and stylist to Patricia Field on Sex and the City and i-D respectively. He says that he bases his outfit choices for the characters on real-life East coast socialites such as Tinsley Mortimer and Lydia Hearst-Shaw. Daman also revealed that he shops in the Meatpacking District and frequents fashion boutiques such as Opening Ceremony and Stella McCartney while mixing it up with better known fashion houses such as Chanel and Ferragamo.

Photo courtesy of LA Times

The other element of this show that I love is that it is filmed entirely in New York. Much like on Sex and the City, I think of the city as "a character in the story." It is featured prominently in all of its glory and I adore that. I have had a long standing love affair with New York City. When I was a little girl, before I had ever even visited, I dreamed of living there. A few years ago when I had my first opportunity to go, I was thrilled to discover that it was everything that I'd hoped it would be. As much as I love the West Coast, I do think that I could live in New York. It has a certain je ne sais quoi and just feels so culturally and artistically rich. It's charming in all the right ways.
Photo courtesy of Nylon. Check out the article in this month's issue.

I think that the real beauty of a show like Gossip Girl, is that it gives allowance to escape my own life and issues for an hour each week. Besides, as someone who prides herself on being relatively drama-free, I have a hard time not getting sucked in to the fictitious melodrama of these characters. And I can fantasize about raiding their's quite a lovely indulgence.

Autumn goodbye

As I get older, I find myself becoming more of a homebody. This is not to say that I don't still enjoy going out on the town on occasion, just that more than ever, I appreciate quiet time at home as well. Last night, I went for a long walk and breathed in the crisp autumn air, shuffled my feet through the brightly coloured leaves. I love this time of year. As I traipsed through the neighbourhood which I will only be able to call mine for another week, I started thinking about everything that I have been through in my time living here. This neighbourhood has certainly been good to me. Now, I am anticipating setting foot into uncharted territory, finding comfort in a new home and having a fresh start.
Someone told me once," Everything happens for a reason. Something beautiful might happen, something sad might happen, but it's all for a's all a learning experience." And I really believe that. It's become sort of my religion in life. I think people have an enormous spiritual power and that most of us aren't even aware of the things that we can will to happen. This is why life is so magical. You start believing that there is more between heaven and earth than meets the eye. I mean, life can seem really awful and overwhelming at times, and even though we can overcome so much, humans are delicate beings. It's important to be honest about our feelings, to keep ourselves sane, to be true to ourselves, even though that can be really hard. It's so much easier to be cynical and negative than to stay positive and have faith when times are tough. I think it's when you're in times of real sadness or true happiness that you feel most alive. Sometimes your greatest pains can lead to your greatest strengths.
Ready for the next phase...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vintage eyes search for the stars

Photos courtesy of random dude on flickr

One of my favourite stops for shopping in Vancouver is a little underground gem on Robson Street called True Value Vintage. They carry a very wide range of vintage clothing dating from the 1920's to contemporary styles. They tend to specialize in items from the 50's and 70's and carry vintage denim, bomber-style leather jackets, Adidas track jackets, vintage bags, belts, hats, and vintage sunglasses. True Value Vintage also features designs from local up and comers. My favourite dress that I have ever owned is by a little company called, La Dolce Vita, which I got there last spring. I could seriously spend hours in this store. I really should go alone because I am positive that everybody I'm with is ready to move on long before I've even scratched the surface of what I want to check out.

I dragged Jessica in there with me last Saturday and I ended up buying an adorable little black shift dress with grey stars on it by Piko 1988. Stepping inside the doors is like playing in a fantasy world for me; imagining what I could put together and how. I love looking for pieces that I could alter or pair with something else, and find the whole experience to be an exciting challenge. Shoes, bags, dresses, can get some beautiful pieces; not to mention find some one of a kind, crazy items that are wild and fun. I feel like I escape into a creative abyss when I'm looking through the racks. I am inspired, it's like a game...trying to find a little treasure amongst all the things that somebody else didn't want anymore. Many of the pieces of clothing in there once belonged to somebody else. Every item has a story. I love that idea of turnover, it's a cycle. I could browse and imagine for hours and not even end up buying anything.

What really struck me on Saturday, is how lame it is that everything is so widely replicated these days. It really hit me when I was looking at all the authentic stuff. Authentic Rolling Stones concert tees from the seventies still look way cooler than the newly manufactured ripoffs you can pick up at Aritzia or Urban Outfitters. It sort of takes away on some level from the real stuff. Sienna Miller was talking about it in Vogue a few months ago. She said she had a wicked belt that her mother had bought in Morocco in the seventies. But now, you see belts just like it everywhere from Susie Shier to Walmart. I'm pretty sure that watching what people are wearing, how they put it together and what's coming up next will always be one of my greatest pleasures in the world. I always have got to have something that I'm on the hunt for, before you can find it everywhere. I love to inspire and be inspired.
If you haven't checked out True Value Vintage yet, I suggest that you do. You won't be disappointed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

So you wanna be on top?

Yesterday afternoon, I finally had the chance to sit down and watch last week's episode of America's Next Top Model. Last week, Gus Greeper suggested that perhaps I should do posts about the show. I thought it was a great idea, so here's my inaugural ANTM post.

I'm going to be honest about the fact that I've been finding that the "cheese factor" of this show has increased with each cycle. This past week's challenge was no exception. Don't get me wrong, I love Tyra (dorky as she may be at fact, I think that's what makes me love her) but some of the situations that they put these girls in really make me giggle. On this episode, they were learning about body movement and had to master the perfect pose and convey a specific emotion while being held in the air by male figure skater, Lloyd Eisler. Benny Ninja trained them on a trampoline before they took the ice. I found this part of the show almost painful to watch. The part that I love is the photo shoots. The fact that they continue to come up with creative themes and ideas for these shoots is what makes me keep watching. I find many of the concepts intriguing and I love to see the hair and makeup people work their magic. The transformations are remarkable sometimes. This week's shoot was done on the top of a high building (making the girls who fear heights very unhappy)...the theme was sexy gargoyles, and I think it was lost on a few of the models. Heather redeemed herself in the shoot, giving Jay exactly what he was looking for. Sarah posed a little strangely and nobody was really getting what she was doing. Jay told Saleisha that she's too men's magazine. She may have gotten a slow start, but Lisa worked it out with a little help from Jay (below is her best shot). Ambreal managed to make it through her shoot, but didn't bring a whole lot of creativity.

Time for judging. I swear, Miss J's hair gets bigger every week! Sarah and Ambreal fail to impress while Ebony and Chantal get high marks. Despite her best attempts to hide it, Janet's white underwear is totally visible in her shot. Lisa turns out a strong picture.
I have often said that the women who take the best photographs and make the best models are often not the most beautiful women to look at outside of the shoot. Jenah looks terrible at judging. She looks like she didn't put any effort into her look. What's that about? The same can't be said for her picture, which once again is beautiful. Tyra echoed my sentiments about her look. "Run a brush through your hair, girl!" Yet, Jenah's photo was my favourite this week. (See below).

While the judges deliberated, I thought about how mad I would be if Ambreal went home, only because the title of the episode gave it away, "The Girl Who Was Afraid of Heights." Next, Tyra made a (cheesy) pun, saying a "gar-girl" was going to go home. (groan)

After whining about it all episode, Lisa finally gets called first but deservedly so. Her rival Bianca is called next. After that, Tyra calls Ebony, Chantal, Jenah, Saleisha, Heather, and Sarah. Janet and Ambreal are left in the bottom two, one for needing too much coaching and one for not progressing enough. Tyra saves Ambreal and eliminates Janet.

I can't say that I have a favourite contestant on this cycle yet. In the past, I have rooted for one of the girls from the first episode. This time, nobody really stands out for me.

What do you think? What's your take on the show, and the girls for cycle 9?
Photos courtesy of CWTV

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Thoughts of the day...

Love the moment. Flowers grow
out of dark moments. Therefore, each moment is vital. It affects the whole. Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed." -Corita Kent

It's Saturday night and I am happily cuddled up at home, all by myse
lf. I'm wrapped in a cozy blanket, wearing the comfiest pants ever and a big, warm hoodie. I've been trying so hard to stay positive these last couple of weeks. Big changes are happening in my life and although I know that everything is very close to getting much better, I can't help but feel impatient in this moment. The above quote in bold is my affirmation for the next while, to help me get through this transition. I think that it's very important to try to remember the value of every moment, and not just the good ones. (Notice that I said try.)


Last night was Liane's birthday bash; the Langley ladies came out in full force, plus her husband Colin, and yours truly. We hit the mics at Fantacity downtown for some cocktails and karaoke. The private room, complete with disco ball, was perfect for those of us who think we sound much better than we actually do. We kept each other entertained for hours with a plethora of hit songs and sweet dance moves. I would definitely recommend this place for a fun night out, especially if (like me) you're not into the city bar scene. It's definitely a fantastic alternative.


This morning, Jessica and I woke up bright and early. We were on a mission to get organized. With my upcoming move and her adventures in South East Asia and Central America beginning next month, we both felt in the same boat with regards to having a desire to purge many of our possessions. Upon beginning to pack my boxes this week, I must admit that I was absolutely astounded by how much “stuff” that I have accumulated. I knew that I had a lot of clothes, but the number of shoes, bags, purses, hats and boxes of cheap jewelery that I own really shocked me. In fact, to tell you the truth, I was quite embarrassed. I did a big clean out a few weeks ago, but clearly, I just skimmed the surface. As I started going through it all, I realized that a great deal of it has not been worn more than once or twice, if that. A ton of it, I didn’t even know I still had, because I haven’t seen it for so long. Lack of space in my room now has resulted in having to find clever ways to store things (consequently, leading to me completely forgetting about a lot of it). Years of working in the fashion and beauty industries haven't helped. A shopaholic as it is, when free clothes and products are thrown my way, I find it difficult to say no. The cupboards and closets just keep getting more and more jam packed as time goes on. It struck me how ridiculous this is.

There is no way that I need all of these things, and honestly, I feel like a jackass that I even have it all. Fight Club came up in the comments last week, and it's ironic because that movie really makes you think about possessions and what they actually mean in the grand scheme of things.

As a solution, I thought it best to pay it forward; to share the wealth, so to speak. Jess and I loaded up the car today with tons of bags of our stuff and headed off to the Union Gospel Mission.
I can't tell you how amazing it felt to hand over these things to somebody who needs them.

My heart breaks every day for the souls who are less fortunate than myself. I certainly know how lucky I am to have more than enough to get by. Homelessness is a cause that I feel very passionately about. There are people all around us who need our help.

October 15th to 21, 2006 has been the first annual Homelessness Action Week in Greater Vancouver. I feel that it's very important to call attention to this.

Through Homelessness Awareness Week people living in the Greater Vancouver area are invited to learn more about what is causing homelessness; how homelessness affects the health of individuals and society at large; and why working together is the only way we will solve the crisis of homelessness in our community.

Back in June, Matt posted an entry on his blog that, in my opinion, really says it all. It brought me to tears because he so eloquently articulated what is in my heart about this issue.
Go to the Stop Homelessness website for more information about what you can do.

If we aren't here to help one another make it on this planet, then what the hell are we doing?

Friday, October 19, 2007

You sample concepts like hors d'œuvres and you eat their questions for dessert

I'm not sure if it's the recent rainy days or just that I feel myself creeping into recluse mode, but I have been missing my dear friend Eddie more than ever lately.
In the "how we know each other section" on Facebook, he wrote:
Dated from 1992 to 1999 and were practically married.
Met randomly: We spent like every waking hour together or on the phone with one another for like 7 years. Ok, we didn't really date, but we were practically married.
Eddie has been my best friend since we were little kids. Over the years, we have spent copious amounts of time talking; be it in person, on the telephone or in regular long winded e-mails. We became friends at first sight back in grade three and have been thick as thieves ever since. I should be used to missing him, and I suppose I am; but there are definitely days I wish more than anything that he was here to walk to the coffee shop and talk for hours over cups of tea with or to come over for a movie marathon and watch the series Trois Couleurs: Bleu, Blanc et Rouge a million times in a row with. We haven't lived in the same city since we were 17. You see, Eddie is a genius. At the end of grade 11, he received a full scholarship to the prestigious Eton College in London, England for our final year of secondary school. That was the end of watching Dawson's Creek and reading YM Magazine together on school nights. Off he went to rub elbows with Prince William and have an utterly amazing educational experience. Next, he spent four years doing his degree in History, International Relations and French at the University of Toronto. He is currently a grad student in History and International Law at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. After spending some time living there, he has now taken up residence in an adorable flat in Paris, France where he is doing research for his dissertation, shopping on the Champs-Elysées, and drinking lots of good wine. Eddie has done stints of world travelling in between and seen a large majority of the globe, but he has always made a point of coming home to visit as often as possible.

As we've grown up and become (gasp) adults, we have created lives for ourselves in different places. Still, he feels like home to me and quite possibly knows me better than I know myself.
One of my favourite quotes is: "The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart." That line really sums up our friendship. No matter how much time or distance separates us, whether it's a block or an ocean, five minutes or six months, when we come together or chat on the phone, we pick up right where we left off every single time. Eddie "gets" me like nobody else on the planet. I cherish his role and friendship in my life so deeply. There is no better feeling in the universe than knowing that somebody loves, accepts and supports you unconditionally.
On days like today, when I slide on my rubber boots and do up my rain coat, I can't help but get nostalgic for my best bud who I have spent so many rainy days with. I am so looking forward to seeing his smiling face in person at Christmas time this year! (which, as we all know, is just around the corner...right Keira?)
Photos courtesy of Eddie Kolla

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I go for mine, I got to shine, now throw your hands up in the sky

I guess I like guys who say what's on their mind. The politically outspoken and often controversial hip hop performer Kanye West took the stage last night at GM Place along with an all female strings section, a group of uber talented backup vocalists and a few keyboard players for a 90 minute set full of passion. My friend Kristina and I were there, both totally pumped, rocking it side stage with our dancing boots on. Personally, I tend to favour acoustic shows and rock concerts to the hip hop variety, because honestly, I find that most music of this genre does not translate very well into live performance. It is for this reason that I was not overly impressed by the opening act, Ludacris even though I'd say that I'm a fan and I bop along to his songs at the gym quite frequently. If there is an exception to this theory though, it certainly is Mr. West. The show did not disappoint; he demonstrated the brilliance that truly makes him stand out from other artists. Dressed suave as always, he did not take off his sunglasses for the entire set, nor did he remove the green scarf tied around his neck, which appeared to be cashmere....and must have made him pretty hot as he sprinted and strutted from one side of the stage to the other. It was clear that he has mastered that 'self indulgent, oblivious to his surroundings' aspect of rock stardom. In my opinion though, his ability to spit out rhymes with flair and his charismatic, compelling presence on stage more than make up for what is regarded by some as 'the arrogance factor'. If you ask me, his resolve is clear; self conscious perfectionism that can become obnoxious at times. I still like him. Perhaps his volatile and unpredictable nature are precisely what make him such a fascinating artist to follow.
I knew that the 'people watching' in this crowd would be killer and I was stoked to observe the fans who gathered last night. It was definitely a cross section; teeny boppers, hip hoppers, wangsters sporting their mad chains, yo... plus loads of girls with expensive purses, overexposed cleavage and mini skirts, stiletto heels, too much makeup and tons of bling. Kristina and I were approached by a couple of kids who asked us to buy booze for them. Thankfully we were off the hook because they stopped serving alcohol (much to most of the inebriated crowd's dismay) at 9:30pm; a whole half hour before Kanye even took the stage. The funniest thing about the night had to be the guy sitting next to me. I'm sure that Kanye is his idol and that he feels like a rapstar trapped in the body of a 17 year old white kid. He danced and rapped along to every song and seriously must have phoned every person he's ever met in his entire life during the concert. He had a joint in one hand, and his cell phone in the other at all times. If he wasn't talking on it, he was holding it up for whoever was on the other end to hear the tunes, video taping or snapping photos of the stage with the camera feature or sending a text.
Here is my buddy in the next seat, holding up his phone so his friend at home can hear the show.

All in all, it was a super fun night. The atmosphere was high spirited and I danced my little booty off the whole time.
Top left photo courtesy of Steve Bosch/ The Vancouver Sun