Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The day is finally here...

Photo: Hot Rocks on Flickr

...and man, are we excited!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Hot Day At The Park

On Saturday, I hung out in the sunshine at The Forks Plaza skate park in Winnipeg. It was the Manitoba Regional Qualifier for the DC Nationals, and dang it was hot out there. Despite it being a work event for me, I was more than happy to spend the day at the park because I love to watch skateboarding and I had an absolutely awesome crew by my side.

I was stoked that we were in town to help out, watch the kids get their skate on and hand out stickers. Stickers are like candy to the kids at the park. I was easily the most popular chick there once word got out that I had an abundance of DC stickers in my bag. The was one kid in particular, who hounded me all day. Every time I turned around, he was there, begging me for more stickers. I discovered that he'd covered his entire bike in them, which was pretty sweet. He'll be riding the "DC mobile" around town with pride, no doubt. The emotional connection that kids have with this brand is clear as day, and it's an unbelievable thing to see.

DC Nationals is Canada’s only nationwide skateboarding contest. It also boasts the largest contest cash purse for Canadian amateur skateboarders. The top five skateboarders in each region will advance to the Nationals to compete for a piece of the $20,000 cash purse. First place at each Regional Contest will receive airfare and accommodation to the Nationals in Montreal on August 23rd. Since 2003, DC has given back to its roots of skateboarding by hosting this championship. The mission of the contest is to promote and involve Canadian youth in skateboarding. It's the only event of its kind that gives Canadian amateur skaters a chance to showcase their talent on a national level. Yesterday's Manitoba comp was presented by Sk8 Skates.

Watching these guys carve out creative lines under cloudless skies yesterday, I marvelled at the mad trickery so many of them have been able to master. Some of the littlest kids can land some of the craziest jumps. I am in absolute awe of skateboarding, I really am. It's an almost esoteric culture that contains so many facets and constituents. It's pretty rad.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Leaning into tomorrow

I am finding (and re-finding) music that makes me feel it again.
Music that appears in front of me and my mind goes "ohhhh"....
like I get it, like it's a reality.
Like when you realize you are looking into
someone's eyes and you should politely look away,
but you can't.

There are people that you meet-
stumble upon,
happen upon,
chance upon-
and suddenly you notice that you
know more than you knew before-
you understand.
Without the past they've known
or the past you've known-
it's an understanding of NOW, of this.
What is this called?

I've been reading in the rare moments of peace that I can find.
Mostly Rilke, and Cohen.
Still, mostly Rilke.
There's so many- but there's this one:

"Again and again, however we know the landscape of love
and the little churchyard there, with its sorrowing names,
and the frighteningly silent abyss into which the others
fall: again and again the two of us walk out together
under the ancient trees, lie down again and again
among the flowers, face to face with the sky."

There will be more, I know that for sure-
but that's what there is for now.

I've been reading.
Rilke wrote that people
should find solitude in one another-
stand guard over that solitude in each other-
find companionship-
but not dependence- not giving up, or giving in...
Not lessening oneself to create a pair...
but to see the distances- the differences-
the pureness- and the unbroken...
This is what interests me.
And all I can think is that he repeats
over and over in my mind-
that two people must see each other whole-
and against a wide sky!

There's a question we keep asking-
in discussions with one of the most
amazing and smart people I know
about whether it's better to be experienced
in love and care and being with others,
or is it better to have an air of innocence-
Which makes you "better" at relationships?
Which makes you more brave?
More clear?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lightning, wallpaper and apparel, oh my...

Yesterday afternoon, we left Saskatoon and hit the road for Regina. The prairies are a seemingly different place in the summer. No snow on the ground this time, just lots of green fields, and a ton of flat land before us. It's so humid that you can't go without the air conditioning for long, even though you start to freeze after a while when it's on. A second after it's turned off though, you get all sticky and gross. The air is so thick. We opted for sweaters and cool air flow. Tunes for the drive were (courtesy of my ipod) by Matt, whom my travel buddy and co-worker Mark had never heard of until I introduced him to his music on this very trip. It seems insane to me that there could be a person in Canada who hadn't heard "Apparitions" before...but there was Mark, so I had to show him the light.

As we drove towards our destination in the sunshine, storm clouds started to roll in and we watched the most insane thunder and lightning storm that I've ever seen in my life as we came into Regina. The bolts of lightning almost didn't even look real. It was a pretty cool sight to see. It cleared up before we got right into town, so we thought we'd dodged a bullet. When we came out of the place we had dinner however, it was storm city once again and we had to make a run for it, through puddles and raindrops despite being in flip flops and t-shirts. It was a serious light show for a good hour once we got back to the hotel- lightning every couple seconds, sometimes incessantly, like a strobe light. It lit up the entire room. Between showings today I've been obsessively watching the storms outside as they come and go. I'm so not used to these. There's something kind of fun about them.

This hotel is so quirky. It's pretty funny, actually. It's super old school. I feel like I should have brought a Marie Antoinette costume with me. My skate hoodies and skinny jeans feel oh so out of place here. There are flowers everywhere. Only one wall in my whole suite is free of hideously cheesy wallpaper.There are flower baskets and heart shaped boxes coming at you no matter which way you turn.

My hair hates it here. True, I don't look like this, but it's not good. I'm not attractive in the prairies at all. The humidity just kills me. This sucks primarily because there's a football team of babes in town for a tourney and they're staying in this hotel too. The good news is, I've somehow still managed to get some winks.

The last two days have been so jam packed with showings and meetings and shop visits. Time is flying. I can't believe it's already Wednesday. Tomorrow, we hit the road again to make the six hour drive to Winnipeg; the last city on our tour of the prairies this time around.

In no less than a week, Kay and I will be Island bound for a weekend of camping, surfing, sunning and guaranteed fun times. That, in itself, is giving me a huge push towards the finish line right now. I am beyond stoked.

Signing off from Regina. Bye for now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Release your inhibitions

While some tune in to MTV's The Hills for the cat fights and hook-ups, I try not to miss it so that I can check out the style. (Hold your groans. I know that some of you are less than die hard fans...) Despite what your thoughts may be about this so-called "reality" show, these girls put together some pretty stellar ensembles both on and off screen, in my opinion.

If you happen to be wondering why there are no photos of Heidi included in this entry...wonder no more. I don't like her or her style. In fact, I can't even believe that she has a line of her own. I would pretty much rather wear a potato sack around than slip into anything by "Heidiwood." You got it, She-Pratt makes the cut in my books, but Heidi does not.

Oh how I would love to raid the closets on the set of this show. Lots of legs, cool shades, bright colours, fun hairstyles and no shortage of perfect handbags, funky kicks and other quirky accessory pieces that seriously punch up their outfits. Mock their scripted reality all you want, but style points are definitely earned here, folks.

**Photos in this post are not property of Work In Progress. All images in this post have been taken from various websites and stockpiled in the "style" archives . If your photo has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Monday, July 21, 2008

A quick update from the road...

I'm smack in the middle of what I affectionately call one of my "crazy times..." I'm travelling across Western Canada, sleeping and showing in a new city every couple of days. The days are long and full. They are primarily spent talking, talking, much so, that all I want to do at the end of the day is be silent. I'm very tired of hearing my own voice already and I'm only just over a week in. I do really enjoy the time I spend with the people I see when I'm out here though, despite how draining the trips can be as a whole. So many good people.

At the end of the night, I find myself alone in a hotel room. Alone with my thoughts. Free to be silent. True, last night I complained that I was bored. I think mostly because I didn't have the option of doing anything exciting more than actually wanting to be out doing anything anyway. I'm in Saskatoon, it was Sunday night. What was I going to do? (If it hadn't been so late, I would have called up Melissa for a cocktail date.) Instead, I settled for a bubble bath in the giant soaker tub and watching Cocktail on television. Damn, I don't think I'd seen that movie since I've been legally old enough to drink. Tom Cruise was kinda cute back in '88.

Today is another full day. I've managed to find myself with a few minutes to spare- long enough to scarf down a mediocre sandwich, check emails, make some phone calls and quickly throw something up on here. I get anxiety if I take too many days off from posting. It's dumb, but I do.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Have an extra-special day"

An old lady told me that this morning,
when I helped her down some steps.
She was sweet, and she thought I was too.

I'm having a good day.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

There's a wind that's whispering something

At the moment, I'm curled up in one of the comfiest beds ever. I've been on the go since 6am and my body feels it. It's long days and hard work out here- it's draining, but in a whole different way than anything else I've ever done. Things are going well though. I feel noticeably more upbeat than I did on our last trip. We always manage to keep laughing- no matter what roadblocks or speed bumps we encounter. I think that's pretty key.

After we wrapped up tonight, we desperately needed to fill our hungry bellies before we jumped back in the cargo van and headed for our next stop. So, I called on my favourite blonde Island expert, because I knew that she'd be able to suggest a fabulous place for us to grab a bite. She came through like the gem that she is, and we had a tasty dinner at Acme Food Co. upon her recommendation. It's a spot I'll definitely hit up again next time I'm in town. There were way too many yummy things to choose from on the menu. How many places can boast the best sushi in town, legendary pizza and amazing butter chicken? You can satisfy just about any craving at one stop. Plus, although I didn't have one, there was quite a rad martini list- perhaps next time...

Tomorrow is set to be another intense day. Tonight, I'm planning to sleep like a baby in this hotel room and dream about being at the beach. This is my "happy place"...yup, it is:

Photo: Amelia Burrows on Flickr


Two of my very best friends got engaged this past Saturday while vacationing in Las Vegas. They are the kind of friends who have always felt more like family to me. I couldn't be more excited for the happy couple (even if this does officially make me the last unwed and unengaged member of the "Fab Five"...) Congratulations Derek and Vanessa!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Like A Three Ring Circus

I'm packing and feeling anxious... and trying not to be emotional and trying not to forget anything... while also reminding myself that I'm not supposed to sweat the small stuff, that I can't please all the people all the time, and a million other clich├ęs that only partially comfort my busy mind on a night like tonight. Meanwhile, I am worrying about everything under the sun, despite the true importance of any of it in the grand scheme of things...such as whether or not my knockers are going to fit nicely into my sample dresses and whether or not I'll cry if they don't.

So, in an attempt to unwind, I put a movie on. I tried to hide tears and relief that it was as good as it should have been. They fell in love all over again, Before Sunset this time. Or maybe they didn't fall out of love at all.

And I watched The Dreamers last night. Bernardo Bertolucci. Full of soft porn, and tension between siblings and lovers, art and politics. It was a pretty film. The colours drew me in- the characters' lost confusion kept me there.

Both films were set in Paris. Inspiration must pour from the sky there.

Tonight, as I often do before the craziness starts, I feel a little melancholy. I want to be kissed. I know that sounds silly, but we all feel it sometimes, I'm sure. I haven't felt this way in a long time. Maybe it's because I have had the luxury of being kissed when I've needed it. Right now I want it. Silly. It must be a girl thing.

Tomorrow is supposed to be another hot day. In tribute to that, I will share an excerpt from a book I have just begun reading. This passage made me feel what was being described. It made me see what he was seeing. I love it:

"I want to be free of cities and sexual entanglements. Heat. This is what cities mean to me. You get off the train and walk out of the station and you are hit with the full blast. The heat of air, traffic and people. The heat of food and sex. The heat of tall buildings. The heat that floats out of the subways and the tunnels. It's always fifteen degrees hotter in the cities. Heat rises from the sidewalks and falls from the poisoned sky. The buses breathe heat. Heat emanates from crowds of shoppers and office workers. The entire infrastructure is based on heat, desperately uses up heat, breeds more heat. "

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"Summer time, and the livin's easy..."

I'm right on the brink of my next intense selling season. It has been the kind of week that seemed like it was never going to end. I have thrown my hands up in the air, felt like punching a hole in the wall, and bawled my little eyes out... but today made up for all of that. I hit the beach with a stellar group of peeps and three awesome pups for a sun-filled day of chillin', maxin' and relaxin'. It was pure perfection, definitely the ultimate way to spend a summer day.

Photo credit: Miss 604 on Flickr

Photo credit: John Biehler on Flickr

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A world away

Photo: Bengoc on Flickr

I'm enjoying watching Felicity on DVD and relating to the characters with eerie similarities.
Of course, their situations are pure drama, whereas mine seem to just linger with no real revelations. I try to change that, and then hang on for replies like I hang on for life. It's only been 24 hours and I'm thinking I'll never hear a word. Maybe I am dramatic. A friend and I talked about that just the other night. In the middle of the night-he said, "we can be so dramatic." I agreed without any hesitation at all. We are. It's just the way.

Ben Covington
might be my dream man. Unlike many shows of its kind, Felicity recognized that its characters weren't fully formed: they experimented, they made mistakes, they contradicted themselves and surprised you. Plus, it takes me back.

As I watch episode after episode, inevitably, I end up crying, at least at some point. I get so emotional over these things.
I know it's just a television show-
but it's not like that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Let our light shine through the night..."

"I'm talking about my life and my stories. I'm not trying to use art as propaganda to make myself sound more perfect than I am. I talk about the good, bad and the ugly."-Jewel Kilcher-

After a fun-filled day at Playland, I hit the road, east bound to pick up my Dad, who was my date for the evening. Then we were en route to The Red Robinson Show Theatre in Coquitlam, and both beyond excited to catch the lovely Jewel Kilcher's sold out solo acoustic performance there on Saturday night. After grabbing a couple Keith's at one of the many bars inside the place, we were ushered into the theatre. We had the most amazing seats ever in this unique venue, at which I'd never before seen a show. I was definitely impressed. You could have heard a pin drop on stage and it was so intimate that it actually felt like we were just hanging out with Jewel for the night, as opposed to being at a formal concert.

Jewel interacted with the crowd as though we were all old friends. With her pure, bell-toned voice, subtle intonations, and brilliant lyrics, she entranced us for nearly two hours. Appearing with no back up, the blonde beauty stood centre stage and played an acoustic guitar as if it were an extension of her body.

What's so refreshing about Jewel is her down to earth nature. She's completely open and relaxed with the audience. She tells entertaining stories, isn't afraid to make fun of herself and is quick with witty comments and observations between songs. Not only is this woman a brilliant singer and songwriter who will knock your socks off with her voice and sound, she's also incredibly funny. She sings and tells tales of her road from homeless to celebrity with a kind of poignancy that blows you away. She's the kind of girl that you want to be friends least, I do.

Her most recent record, Perfectly Clear is a country one. Country music tends to eat and spit out pop stars who think they can twang it up and take over the Nashville airwaves. But Jewel was never really a pop star. She grew up in rural Alaska, the daughter of hippy intellectuals and burst on the music scene in 1995 with the remarkable self recorded Pieces of You album that saw Bob Dylan and Neil Young hailing her as the newest singer/songwriter since Joni Mitchell.
That said, I've always been able to detect the country influence in Jewel's music, so her new sound doesn't feel like a huge departure to me. Plus, with the boundaries of musical genres becoming more blurred all the time, her latest songs are fresh and on point without being easily categorized, in my opinion. It's just that she's finally getting some air time on the country music stations. Since I've been a fan of her music since she first emerged on the scene, I have a sentimental attachment to all of her records, so I was delighted that she played a fantastic mix of songs from her entire catalogue, including all of my favourites.

To cap off the night, Jewel yodeled in the encore, much to the delight of the crowd, who were attentive and transfixed by her music for her entire performance, despite being quite a different audience than I am used to seeing at her shows. Jewel's distinct sound and prevailing passion has never been more evident. This little girl from Alaska can put on one hell of a show.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Paws for a Cause

Photo: Keira-Anne on Flickr

My beautiful friend Keira, who is the ultimate animal lover, is going to be participating in the SPCA's Paws for a Cause event taking place on September 14, 2008. Paws for a Cause is the largest fundraising campaign in support of animals in BC. Walks will be happening in 37 communities province-wide in support of abandoned, abused, and homeless animals. This is an opportunity to become a voice for all animals- companion, farm and wild. For more details and to find out how you can help, visit the site. Click here to show Keira and her crew some love and support in their important crusade for the animals.

Rain, rain can't keep us away...

Being that we'd already postponed our Playland adventure back in June on account of the weather, we weren't going to let a little rain keep us away again yesterday; after all, we're West Coasters. We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, like giddy kids with enormous smiles on our faces, sweaters and emergency rain gear in tow, and headed off for a day of exhilarating rides, games, mini donuts and more fun than you can imagine.

Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Photo credit: Miss604 on Flickr

Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Photo credit: Keira-Anne on Flickr

Joined by Keira-Anne, Rebecca and John Bollwitt, John Biehler and Amy, I spent the day dodging rain drops, taking photos and running around the amusement park, having an absolute blast. If you're looking for something super fun to do this summer...Playland is a guaranteed good time, rain or shine. Take it from us.