Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
While changing after my workout at the gym today, I got to thinking. At the gym or the swimming pool, no matter where it is, the change room is an interesting place. I awkwardly tried to keep myself covered with a giant towel as I very quickly put my clothes on after emerging from the shower. I couldn't help but notice all of the other bodies around me. The vast majority of them were gloriously imperfect, not to mention naked as jay birds. Many of the women were older than me. Some had breasts that drooped towards their waists, their nipples pointing towards the floor. Lots of them had cellulite or stretch marks or both. Why was I standing there, so ashamed of my own body, so afraid to expose myself? Why couldn't I remove the image of what I think I should look like from my head? What did I think that these other women expected me to look like? Why did I think it mattered to them? I wondered if I could ever be fully naked in a room where nakedness is not a big deal. I wondered why I couldn't imagine feeling comfortable showing it all off in there. Whose judgement was I afraid of, anyway? Even as a teenager, when I was changing for gym class or basketball practise, I always went into a stall, never feeling confident enough to peel my clothes off where anyone could see me. Other girls were quite content to parade around in the buff. I, on the other hand, was too shy even to stand around in my bra and underwear in front of the other girls. I'm not sure exactly what it was, or continues to be, about that situation that makes me anxious. Is it the same for guys? My buddies who play hockey have been showering together since they were little boys and seem to have no qualms about stripping down in front of their friends or other male strangers.
Saleisha jumps out of the cab in the pouring rain and runs into the first designer's studio. She doesn't impress him; he thinks she dull. Poor Heather is lost. Chantal is scolded by one of the designers for wearing bright pink booty shorts rather than nude underwear, and her walk doesn't impress the designer either. By the time all the other girls have completed two or three go-sees, Heather still hasn't done her first one because she can't find the location. When she finally finds the first designer's studio, she is told how important it is to make eye contact, something that she struggles with. She is again awkward and obviously uncomfortable despite the fact that she has a look that the designer likes for China. After this, she heads back out, only to get lost a second time. She decides to go back to the agency so she doesn't get disqualified, but can't find her car. Cut to an awkward amount of footage of Heather walking around Shanghai aimlessly. Saliesha and Bianca are the only two who make it back to the agency on time, so the other girls are disqualified from the challenge. Bianca, who impressed the designers with the perfect mix of personality and beauty, is the winner.
Our favourite hunky judge, Nigel Barker is the photographer for this week's photo shoot. The models pose in a garden with people dressed in beautiful Chinese lion and dragon costumes. This means that the models have to be on their game, they must be super fierce to stand out in the shot. Nigel tries to coach Jenah, but she gives him attitude her sarcastic attempts at humour seem to do little more than irk him.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I've been hitting the gym hard this week and back at pilates, because the time has really come to whip myself into shape again. It's funny, many people worry about "winter weight gain" over the holidays, but I have always been the opposite. I've always been my thinnest through the winter months and tend to gain a little over the summer. It seems that peppermint mochas and Christmas baking are easier for me to have willpower over than appies and drinks on a patio. For some reason, November hits and I'm suddenly motivated. I've always been like that. This year is no exception. I'm assuming that it's as a result of tuckering myself out more than usual during the days that I have been sleeping better at night. I have battled insomnia for as long as I can remember, and this has certainly been a stressful week for me, but exercise really does work wonders to help with both of those things.
With all of this sleep, I have been having the most crazy, intense, vivid dreams. Last night, I was in Paris. Paris is a place that I have never been but have always felt a kinship with, like I did with New York before I ever visited. I'm drawn to it for so many reasons. Funny enough, I have been to France, but Paris was not on the itinerary. Have you ever heard anything more ridiculous? Watching Amélie while feasting on brie last week planted the seed again. I found myself looking up flights to Paris online. Two of my best friends are currently living in France, so I'm certain that there would be no shortage of places to stay or people to show me around should make the voyage. Perhaps a summer trip to Paris is in order. I'm sure Eddie will agree. (Who, by the way will be back in Vancouver for Christmas in exactly 16 days!) Also making an appearance in my dream last night were these beautiful Frye boots. Apparently, I'm pining after them. I better tell Santa.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
It was a beautiful drive to the office, over the Lions Gate Bridge. The North Shore mountains are glittery white, covered in fresh snow this morning. They took my breath away as I approached them. I could not be more excited about the upcoming snowboarding season and our regular trips to Grouse for night riding above the city.
At the moment, everything feels up in the air. On one level, I'm feeling more settled than I've ever felt in my life and on another...it's a world of unknown. Eager to take it all on, while at the same time plagued with self doubt and grappling with anxiety, I am sitting on the edge. I am still waiting patiently for the opportunity to jump into my future. There will be no safety nets when I do, but everything inside tells me that all of my hard work, blood, sweat and tears will pay off. I hope that these things have armed me with the experience I need to excel in the next phase. The confidence will come...I hope.
Things are changing, people are leaving, opportunities are knocking.
My focus is on "positive thoughts, positive thoughts...son of a bitch." I think that really says it all.
Monday, November 26, 2007
A blind man on the corner said it's simple, like flipping a coin, don't matter which side it lands on if it's someone else's dime
A city with staggering wealth and soul-crushing poverty is far from unusual in the world's largest cities, the report notes."What makes the Downtown Eastside so different is that it is located in one of the most prosperous cities in one of the world's most prosperous countries."The UN Population Fund says next year, for the first time in history, half the world's population -- 3.3 billion people -- will live in urban areas. The number will swell to almost five billion by 2030.The report calls for pre-emptive action to deal with lack of housing, employment, good governance, and environmental stewardship.
After a double header of farewell parties on Friday and Saturday, last night with bellies full of spaghetti and meatballs, four exhausted girls sat inside GM Place to watch the Canucks kick some Chicago Blackhawk ass. The boys played a one-goal game down to the wire before coming out on top with a 2-0 victory over the Blackhawks, which propelled them into a tie with the Minnesota Wild at the top of their division. Luongo's shut out earned him the first star of the game. The Canucks may have started the season with a 1-6 home record but more recently, Luongo has backstopped three straight wins for our boys at GM Place.
On Sunday morning, I went for a long walk and ended up spending a small fortune on new cleaning products. I'm becoming so much more domestic as I get older. The Shoppers Drug Mart Life brand has launched a line of environmentally friendly cleaning products. The company touts them as being "fresh, biodegradable, non-toxic and phosphate-free." This excited me very much so I totally stocked up. My friend Danielle's ways have clearly rubbed off on me as I'm much more "Monica Geller" now than I ever have been before. After pilates, I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom with the result being bright, sparkling, clean perfection. I am loving my new apartment so much. I actually wake up in the morning with a big grin on my face upon looking around my very own happy, little home. I couldn't ask for a better building, friendlier neighbours or a more fabulous hood. Being a stone's throw from the beach with a plethora of shops and restaurants to check out is more than a girl could ask for, so I thank my lucky stars every single day.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Those who know me, know how passionate I am about this cause. Living in Vancouver, homelessness is something that I see on a daily basis, you probably do too.
Union Gospel Mission is committed to caring for the hungry, hurting and homeless of Greater Vancouver through:
-Emergency meals and clothing
-Shelter for those without resources
-Proven drug and alcohol recovery
-Innovative learning center
-Community outreach to men, women, families, children and youth
-Long-term housing solutions
-Low cost Thrift Stores
-Broad-based Community volunteer opportunities
As the youth explained, I surveyed the vast expanse of beach, stretching in both directions beyond my sight. Starfish littered the shore in numbers beyond calculation. The hopelessness of the youth's plan became clear to me and I countered, "But there are more starfish on this beach than you can ever save before the sun is up. Surely you cannot expect to make a difference."
The youth paused briefly to consider my words, bent to pick up a starfish and threw it as far as possible. Turning to me he simply said, "I made a difference to that one."
I left the boy and went home, deep in thought of what the boy had said. I returned to the beach and spent the rest of the day helping the boy throw starfish in to the sea.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Jessica is one of those people who lights up the room with her bright smile and positive energy. Her laugh (and trademark snort) define her spirit, which warms the hearts of those around her with kindness, compassion and integrity. She is such an absolutely beautiful soul, inside and out.
On Tuesday, Jessica is embarking upon a grand adventure; a six month long backpacking adventure beginning in Los Angeles and taking her all through South East Asia and Central America. It's going to be an absolutely mind blowing and eye opening experience for her. I can't even tell you how proud I am of her for following her heart, and going off to explore the world and live out her dreams. To me, her courage in doing this is such an amazing inspiration.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
In China, the girls got a lesson on body movement by a martial arts expert and were challenged to perfect the poses while in mid-air on high wires. Bianca's fear of heights prevented her from even participating. Later, the models had to showcase their personality in a Cover Girl commercial and photo shoot. I don't know if the colour on Shawna's TV was off or what, but none of them looked good to me on set for the commercial. Everybody's hair was a weird colour and I thought the caked on makeup did very little for any of them. Most of the girls couldn't remember their lines and generally lacked any kind of professionalism on set. Lisa and Heather were definitely the worst. Lisa's eyes welled up with disappointment in herself throughout and she looked to be on the verge of tears during every single take. Heather, even while being fed the lines by Jay behind the camera, couldn't muster up one usable take and continued to flub the lines and make silly faces each and every time she messed up. This was the first week that I really liked Chantal. She came across as being the most professional during the shoot and represented the Cover Girl brand the best, in my opinion.
Despite turning out a stunning photo in the post commercial shoot, Lisa was sent home. I wasn't surprised because she hasn't exactly been the strongest candidate. If you ask me, it could have just as easily been Heather who was sent home though. The question begged to be asked is: is there a place for models who are not able to speak on camera? What's everybody thinking about this week's show? Favourites still the same? Do tell! Next week should be interesting!
Photos courtesy of The CW
The rules: Each player lists 8 random facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 4 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
- I have a crazy memory for detail. Often, I am teased by my friends about my ability to pull out random facts or recount detailed happenings and direct quotes from the past. I can probably tell you what outfit I was wearing to every single event that I have ever attended. I'm not kidding.
- I can put both of my legs behind my head.
- As a kid, I was obsessed with repeats of the 60's television show The Monkees , I owned tapes of all their music and I wanted to marry Davy Jones.
- I am a master at the game 21 and can out shoot all of the best basketballin' boys and girls I know...even when I'm wearing a dress and heels.
- I am addicted to buying magazines; fashion, sports, music, tabloids, you name it. For years, I kept them all and housed a massive collection in my bedroom. It got to the point where my parents forced me to purge most of them, for fear that the floor of my room would cave in. I am currently in recovery for this addiction. The only magazines that I usually still buy monthly are Nylon and Vogue. And I read magazines from back to front, always.
- I sing at the top of my lungs when I'm alone in my car; my favourites to sing along to? Matt Good and Alanis Morissette. I actually prefer to drive places alone because I love to sing in my car and won't do it if I have a passenger.
- The Montreal Canadiens were my favourite hockey team growing up. I was head over heels in love with Patrick Roy. At age 10, I could be seen walking around fully decked out in Habs gear. I had it all, including boxer shorts (which I wore hanging down underneath my Umbros) plus an array of t-shirts, hoodies, hats and track pants. I even owned Habs socks and running shoes.
- My undergarments, socks and toe nail polish always match my outfit.
Now, for the next victims...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Holds out her hands and starts her lonely cries
Though no one can see her, she sees all their lies
Slightly faded skin, as if in a dream
Her strong outer presence, not all it may seem
Still, every day hiding all of her that is tainted
With all of her flaws, she's so very aquainted
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Shopping in the village with flurries falling on our heads and Starbucks in hand by day, pre-drinks in our fine hotel room and then dining at 21 Steps and doing some solid gold dancing at Garfinkel's by night.
To spice things up a little, we also planned a secret mission for the birthday girl. Since she was turning 26, we thought it would be fun to give her just that many tasks to complete before the end of the night, a Scavenger Hunt, if you will...whether she honestly completed every task or not, nobody is sure. One thing is for certain though, there are lots of blurry, tequila soaked memories of good times had by all and some damn funny photos to prove what a blast the entire night was.
Here's a glimpse at some of the trouble that we got her into:
Task #1: Giving her number to the bartender.
Task #2: Getting a guy to take his shirt off.Task #3: Getting a guy to give her a piggy back ride.
This was just the beginning, and I'm sure that you believe me. Girls gone wild, what?
Recently, I have sounded like a broken record with regards to talking about how much I currently despise the club scene. I'm big on finding other things to do, which can sometimes be difficult because I'm not exactly out of the age group of people who still like to go clubbing. I'm just not one for pretentious places with arrogant guys wearing big chains, trying to grind up on me and who clearly just want to get a piece. Neither, am I a girl who is impressed by guys buying me drinks all night, hoping for something in return. I can get my own vodka soda, thank you very much. I'm also not there to find the man of my dreams, I'm pretty sure that he hates these clubs as much as I do. It's not about being snobby because it's not even that the pretentiousness is directed at me. I just don't want any part of an atmosphere that's all about egos. There is also not a part of me that longs to be one of those bleached, bar star, orange skinned girls with Louis handbags who prey on horny boys flashing dollar bills. Honest to God. A few weeks ago, I found myself at a club in the city. I paid $15 dollars to get in the door, plus another $3 to check my coat. I'd dropped $25 before I even took a sip of my first drink. Trying to plot my escape, I ended up calling a friend of mine who is a self professed shut in, "Nights like tonight make me understand why. I could really go for a cup of tea instead of this right now..." I told him. I'm definitely a dinner and drinks, beers at the pub, or quiet night at home with a bottle of wine kind of girl. (I never said that I don't like to drink!) The club scene is just not for me anymore.
That being said, there's something about the Whistler club scene that's different. It's so much more casual and laid back up there. What I do love about going out is busting mad moves on the dance floor with my friends, and what we call "dumb dancing" ...you know, pulling out those old school moves like the running man. That's what I'm talking about! Saturday night in Whistler was so much fun that I didn't even want to drunk dial anybody to rescue me. Make no mistake, a nice Pinot Noir with friends is much more "me" most nights; but sometimes, you just have to step it up a notch for your best friends. I'm definitely glad that I did this weekend because I had a ball! Happy Birthday Kristina!
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
I'm back in the city, and completely exhausted after a whirlwind weekend. Friday night after the Mavi Opening, we met up with the gang for Alfred's going away party at The Players Chophouse, where we rubbed elbows with Dan Akroyd. If you haven't been to Players, I suggest that you try it out. Delicious food, a fun atmosphere and amazing service. Which, sadly, seems to be harder and harder to find these days. It has quickly become our favourite place for dinner and drinks on the weekend.
Saturday morning, it was off to Whistler for Kristina's birthday extravaganza (more to come about this later). It was strange to head up there this time of year without all of my snowboarding gear. Last year was my first season as a snowboarder, and we made many trips up for weekends jam packed with riding. This was opening weekend for the mountain, so everybody was buzzing. Walking through the village, snow falling on my head, passing the people with their boards on their way up to or back from the mountain made my heart pound with excitement. It also made me wish that I was in my riding boots instead of my Uggs. I just can't wait to get out there this year!
Visits to Whistler are always a little bittersweet for me, as the past lives there and it is hard to walk through the village without a slew of memories popping into my head. The ghost of that relationship seems to haunt the whole town.
I have so much more to say but I'm exhausted and I'm going home to take a bubble bath now.
P.S. I will be officially connected to the net in the comfort of my own home again as of tomorrow night! Thank the Lord!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
- My camera: The big thing I can't live without is my camera. I love taking pictures. I'm learning not to see everything as a Kodak moment. (I guess that expression is a tad out of date now, since I don't even use film anymore....) The truth is, as soon as you start documenting the moment, you're stepping outside of it. Pictures are so great though. There's something so magical about capturing a moment in time. I love to take pictures, be in them, display them, frame them, look back at them (over & over & over again). A picture is worth a thousand words...(right Danielle?)
- My lap top: Some would say that I spend too much time on my computer...not having access to the internet whenever I want over the last couple weeks has been harder on me than I'd like to admit. Plus, my laptop is perfect to lay in bed and watch movies on!
- Face lotions & potions: I know I'm only 26, but I've already started thinking about wrinkles. And yet, I actually like character lines on other peoples' faces-they make a person beautiful. I think if someone smiles and doesn't have little creases on the sides of their eyes, they look like a robot. But I am obsessed with moisturizers and creams and masks. Yay Benefit, Origins and Kiehl's! It's super important to me to take incredible care of my skin. Plus, trying new products is just so much fun!
- My toothbrush & floss: Somewhere along the way, I've transformed from "good brusher" into "OCD brushaholic" (must be Vanessa's influence!) I am now one of those people who brushes her teeth in the bathroom at work after lunch, thank you very much. Embarrassing. (I always turn off the tap while brushing though!)
- My ipod: I can not live without music in my life. My ipod is definitely one of my favourite things in the universe and comes everywhere with me. Is there anything better than having a whole catalogue of your favourite music in one tiny little package? Perfection.
- My journal: Writing is such a form of catharsis for me. Writing in my journal is a way for me to keep my sanity in times of complete chaos, and a way for me to remember good times and personal journeys. I often look back and re-read old entries. It's interesting to go back through your thoughts. Patterns and lessons are exposed. It's a form of expression and a good way to release stress, tension and ideas you're not ready to share with the world yet.
- Vitamin C: I have become obsessed with Vitamin C tablets. I have these little chewable citrus flavoured ones that I take everyday. I am convinced that they save me from getting sick very often.
- My voicemail: Since I can't say "my friends & family" because this is a list of "things"...I'm going to say my voicemail. My friends leave me the best messages in the world. Sweet, thoughtful or gut-bustingly hysterical--messages are fantastic. I'll save a really good message for months and just listen to it when I want to smile.
- My silver ring: My best friend Eddie gave me a ring for Valentine's Day when we were in grade 9 that I still wear on my hand everyday. It symbolizes our friendship and everything that we've been through together. He means the world to me and that thoughtful gift holds so much sentiment.
Next week, the models are off to China...as we get closer to determining who will become America's Next Top Model.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
I am cold and damp, back in the corner of a coffee shop, listening to Joni Mitchell, with my computer and a big cup of warm green tea, watching the torrential rain pour down on the other side of the window. This weekend has been sublime and exactly what I needed in every single way; time with the girls, time with my family and time with myself. I am looking forward to the coming week for reasons that are very obvious to me. I have made the last couple of months busy on purpose, and I think it has been good for me. Focus: yours truly. I don't feel selfish. In fact, I feel more fulfilled than ever. Top two indulgences this weekend: bubble baths and photo shoots in the mirror with myself.
I'm still feeling somewhat shaken up by that unexpected call from the past the other day. I wish I hadn't answered, I wish he hadn't called, I wish he would disappear forever from my world. He had his claws in my heart for so long. Toxic as it was, there was a time when the idea of life without him was absolutely unfathomable to me. Even when I knew that he was hurting me, I could not walk away. I used to think that perhaps I could go forward into the rest of my life and learn to manage without him, but that I would never really be "over" this person who I once considered to be the center of my universe.
I've always bought into the idea that we should live to love the people we love and not live to be loved by them. A charming thought, indeed, but this has also gotten me into some trouble as far as allowing myself to be taken advantage of. I would do ANYTHING for the people I love. As it turned out, he would not be there for me again and again, at the times when I needed him most.
The concept of moving on is an interesting one. You see, even if they don't impact us profoundly enough to deserve a lifelong label such as "significant other" or "love of your life," we let people impact us in all sorts of ways when we become involved with them. Hell, we let them affect us as soon as we allow them to touch us (physically or emotionally). Do we ever really forget these impacts made? At least for me, the answer is no. But I have learned that it is possible to get over it. I used those words so many times without really meaning it, now I do. It was the strangest thing. After putting up with so much for so long, one night, I just hit a wall. That was it, I was done. I'll tell you, in the midst of the intense emotional hurricanes, I never could have imagined myself getting to this point. I sit here today and I can honestly say that there is not a part of me that would go back or that wishes it could have worked out.
Ironically, the very night that I had that epiphany, the night that he broke me for the last time, I connected with a soul who had been impacting my life indirectly for years and I began a real and direct friendship with this person. So, how can I not believe that everything happens for a reason? If I were to regret any of the pain of my past, I would not be embracing the lessons that I have learned and I would not be the woman I have become. Hard as it may be to remember sometimes, the shit really can lead us to paradise.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
I walked all over the city today in the sunshine. I have the blisters on my feet from my poor choice in footwear to prove it. Now, here I am, for the second time today, sitting in a coffee shop with my laptop...sucking up this "excellent" wireless connection while I can. Who would have thought that in 2007, I would have such a tough time getting wireless internet service in my apartment? The question that has been plaguing me for the last few days is this: what the hell happened to customer service? Does it no longer exist in this day and age? The complete lack of answers, assistance and general politeness thrown my way in trying to check this task off my to do list has been utterly appalling to me.
I got a call from the past today, rather unexpectedly. I screen my calls, so I can't help but wonder why I even answered. I can never stay mad for very long. Holding grudges is not my thing. Sometimes, you just have to make a clean break though. I have been trying to break the ties that bind for quite sometime now. This is important, especially when all that said ties are doing is keeping me tethered to a time in my life that I have so importantly moved on from.
If anything has struck me recently, it certainly is the realization that I like to be connected...and not having that luxury is a tough pill to swallow. I am not a happy camper when I don't have access to the world wide web. Sad, but true.
This week, the girls get a lesson in "model sexy" from Tyra and then are transformed into "gothic, underground club-goers" to shoot a music video with Enrique Iglesias, for his new song "Tired of Being Sorry." Sarah is self-conscious in the tight black outfit she is handed to wear. All of the girls have a chance to put their new modeling skills to the test in front of the camera, but Lisa and Heather end up being the ones chosen to actually be featured in the video.
Cut to the judging panel: all of the judges notice that Sarah seems noticeably uncomfortable as she watches the footage of herself in the music video. They are concerned that the uncertainty Sarah feels about her weight is coming across on film, and also that her weight loss is pulling her out of the plus-size model category. I've always thought that the whole "plus size" thing is interesting. I mean, it seems to me that they are missing out on most of the size spectrum. At a size 10, you're too small to be a plus size model; however, you'd have to be at least a size 2 to model for high fashion. Where does that put the rest of us who are between a size 4 and 10?
"The judges feel that you are very good, but they also feel that your place in the industry is kind of confusing right now because models are so skinny or they are plus sized," Tyra tells Sarah before eliminating her. Hmm...my point exactly. I'm not saying that I agree that this is how it should be, but there is certainly a gap in the body types and sizes represented in the modelling industry, if you ask me.
Corinna mentioned that she has made a decision regarding her pick to win (although she has not yet divulged who it is!) I am going to admit right here, right now, that I still favour Jenah as my top pick. Thoughts, opinions, who is your favourite at this stage of the game?
All images courtesy of The CW
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
it's not a case of forgoing marriage in favour of endless girls' nights out and spending all of my hard earned dollars on myself. It's about there being an alternative. I have happily married friends with enviable lives and they still have no shortage of quality girl time. However, I should also be feeling good about what I have and celebrate being young, and happy. Right now, I am focusing on building my career, cultivating friendships and living the life that I have dreamed of living. Most importantly, I am trying to figure out just who I am and what I want out of life. Characters like Carrie Bradshaw remind me that I'm not a loser to be single at 26. There is no longer such a stigma attached to being single after a certain age. The terms "spinster"and ''old maid" are not thrown around as much as they may have been at one time. I can still have a rich, full life even though I haven't found my soul mate yet.
beach hotels; and, everywhere, the frustrating hunt for a boyfriend and, though it’s an ever more vexing subject, a husband."
Speaking for myself, I hope to settle down at some point. I hope to find the man of my dreams who will be my partner in crime, my best friend and the love of my life. At this moment, I am focused on loving my life and learning to love myself, as I am.