Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'm off to pack my last few boxes and say goodbye to my (almost) empty bedroom. Good night!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
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
Monday, October 29, 2007
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."
Photos courtesy of Raymi Lauren on flickr
Sunday, October 28, 2007
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 idsalon.ca
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
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."
Friday, October 26, 2007
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
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
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, tops...you 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
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 times...in 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
"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 myself. 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.
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
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.
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.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
All in all, it was a super fun night. The atmosphere was high spirited and I danced my little booty off the whole time.