Friday, June 27, 2008

In a word? Brilliant.

The light was beautifully draped over his shoulders at centre stage. He looked like a painting, surrounded by the beautiful architecture of the theatre. Champions Of Nothing. Goosebumps. A band behind him, helping him recreate the music inside his head, in his heart, his art. They smiled, believing in where they were and why they were there.

A friend's music, here to reach people. I mean really reach them, to affect them in so many ways and on so many levels.

Matthew Good took the stage last night at The Orpheum Theatre, and with him for the first time in years, a band. I'm quite sure that I hadn't seen Matt play with a full band since November 2005, when I attended two back to back sold out shows at The Commodore Ballroom, upon the release of In A Coma. I was beyond excited to see him play in this capacity once again. As incredible as the man is alone on stage, armed with just a guitar and his talent, there is a completely different energy about a full band show that was super fun to experience again. In particular, hearing Hospital Music performed this way was absolutely amazing. Older classics were a sweet walk down memory lane. Matt's performance undoubtedly went above and beyond even my sky high expectations, as his shows always seem to do. He kicked it up to a notch that I didn't even know existed. This is what they mean when they say "next level." Matt's fans were certainly appreciative. If there's one thing about Matthew Good's fans, they are fiercely loyal to their hero. I have connected with some of my favourite people in the world because of a shared love for Matt's music.

Thank you, friend. We do adore you.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

"I'm just waiting 'til the shine wears off..."

Photo: Count Me Out

I've been listening to the new Coldplay album, Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends for the last two days nonstop. I'm in love. I'm actually almost wishing that I didn't feel like I'm over the 'weekend festival concert' hill, so to speak- cause maybe if I was 21, I'd be packing my sleeping bag and tent and heading to Pemberton at the end of July to see these boys play live again. I saw them last at GM Place, and to be one of the best shows I've ever seen in a monstrous venue like that means that they're pretty unreal live. My little brother plus pretty much every second person that I talk to seem to be making the trip up to the Pemberton Festival this summer. I'm secretly jealous, but I will be in the throws of one of my most important selling seasons at that point, so no can do.

Back to Viva La Vida, I think that Coldplay really raises the creative bar with this record. My favourite track, without a doubt is Lost, a song about holding on against all odds. It builds on a simple church-organ riff, a kick drum and some hand claps. The result gives me goosebumps.

Tania did a great review of the record on her site last week, make sure that you check it out here.


Monday, June 23, 2008

"Something from the meatcase, Linda?"

High five to anybody who knows where that quote comes from. I love randomness.

I walked through my front door Friday evening, with a suitcase full of dirty clothes (including a white sun dress covered in red wine) and a heavy backpack of product literature and magazines-my skin glowing from the sun, my head spinning with excitement and ideas. Having been out of town on business all week, I was completely exhausted. Nothing seemed more appealing to me than a weekend at my parents' house where I knew that I could count on some r&r, home cooked meals, cushy laundry facilities and the best company on earth.

On Saturday afternoon, I loaded up my car with laundry bags and headed out to the burbs. I spent the weekend eating at home, drinking good wine and watching movies with the family; among them The Other Boleyn Girl and Once plus three quarters of Spiderman 3 with my dad because it was on tv Sunday afternoon. I did loads of laundry, slept in, and finally allowed myself to relax. Though enjoyable, this past week was very go-go-go.

I arrived back in the city last night feeling refreshed, recharged and ready, with a ton of clean clothes in tow. Except, I had nowhere to put them because my closet was a disaster. Seriously. It was complete and utter chaos: messy and disorganized. I have way too much stuff, despite my fairly regular efforts to purge my belongings. So I sorted through the piles of clothes, shoes, magazines, and handbags. I even found some things I'd forgotten about because they'd been buried for so long. The result is an organized walk-in, with a rolling rack that I can see again and a big bag full of stuff that I will drop off at UGM this week.

Yes, I just wrote a whole paragraph about organizing my closet...and you just read it. Or if you're lucky, maybe you just skimmed. Either way, clearly I don't have much of anything to report tonight. It's Monday. A quiet night in...reading, writing, watching and listening...I like this night.

Coming up this week: Matt's show avec band at The Orpheum Theatre on Thursday. Duane is organizing a pre-show meet up at The Kingston Taphouse for those of you down for beer and appy's before the concert. FYI Ciavarro, you don't need a ticket to partake in pre-show blogger boozing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Royal Style

Photo: Pool Party

I have been interested in the Royal Family for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I was so intrigued and taken by the glamourous yet seemingly down to earth Princess Diana, that I would dress up as her and play for hours. My grandma, always a good sport, would pretend right along with me, and hand me bouquets of flowers as I walked through an imaginary crowd, giving my best princess wave and smile.

Now, it looks as though the late Diana's son, Prince William may have introduced a new stylish lady into the family.

As Wills’ leading lady, 26 year old Kate Middleton is at the top when it comes to paparazzi prey. She has certainly attracted significant press coverage with continuous comparisons to Princess Diana; and the fashion savvy of us have been taking note of her smooth, chic and sophisticated look. Always looking incredibly elegant and well put together, I completely admire Kate’s ability to look cool and collected under pressure, and you know there is a lot of pressure on the girl.

Miss Middleton is increasingly marking out her fashion territory. She appears modest and beautiful. There is a breezy unpretentiousness about how she looks and what she wears. Smart, sporty and blessedly normal, Kate Middleton may be the first girl next door to become Queen.

**Photos are not property of Work In Progress. They have been collected from various websites. If your image has not been credited and you would like it to be, please e-mail me.**

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reaching Up

Photo: Brust 51 on Flickr

My apologies for the lack of updates this week. Being that I'm out of town for work and have been since Monday, I really haven't had time to spend writing anything worthwhile. I am all full up of words and images and memories and faces, and pressure and stress, and delightful comfort. I have spent time making mental lists, counting numbers, and trying to erase all the fear and all the tension. I have spent the last five days in the company of unknowing saviours, spilling over with ideas and opportunities, and I feel a little more saved than before. I feel a little more comfortable than ever before. I'm part of something incredible.
I fly home this afternoon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Days

I said that all I wanted for my birthday was a blue sky. As it turns out, I got that and a whole lot more. This weekend has been an emotional roller coaster with no less than tears, smiles, hugs, tons of fun and more love than I could ever have imagined. I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. Thanks so much to everybody for the sweet birthday messages, comments and e-mails. Plus an extra special thanks to a couple of my fabulous friends who wrote the kindest words about me on their blogs today and melted my heart. Love-love.
Last night, some of the girls and I put on our party shoes and hit up The Italian Kitchen for some fine eats and lots of wine. It was a fantastic evening among some the most stellar friends that any chica could ask for.

Today, the actual birthday, is also Father's Day, so the fam made a trip into the city to celebrate the two occasions in the sunshine. We walked around, spent some time at the beach and enjoyed a most delicious meal at Irashai. I highly recommend this spot and must tell you that the Summer Roll is absolutely to die for. I'm quite sure it's the best roll that I've ever eaten in my entire life. Ever. Amazing.

Being that I'm mildly hungover, completely beat, and have to be up far earlier than anyone should ever have to be up in the morning to catch a plane tomorrow, I best be getting my butt to bed.

Good night, and thanks again for all the birthday love. I'm one lucky girl.

**Update: Super big thanks to Raul as well, for this. I couldn't be more touched.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Perfect Friday Night

It has been one of those long, painful, exhausting weeks...for just about everyone, it seems. Friday finally came, and with it, plans for a get together with friends. Phaedra was kind enough to open up her beautiful house to us. To our delight, the talented hostess also spun some wicked beats; the evening was all about good food (I must confirm that Keira's guacamole and chocolate chip cookies do indeed live up to their legendary acclaim), good music, good people and good times. It was such a treat, and reinforced (again) just how lucky I am to know these wonderful, genuine people and be able to leave my city surroundings sometimes in favour of something more...real.

All above photos credit to: Raul on Flickr

Thursday, June 12, 2008

"You are an epic collaboration..."

This is what my horoscope told me today. I'm not exactly sure that I know what it means, but I like the sound of it.

Photo: Joewhk on Flickr

Is there such a thing as the birthday blues? I've been feeling pretty off for the last few days, and I can't help wondering if it's on account of the fact that I'm about to be 27. In truth, my age doesn't really bother me, I'm happy to have gained another year of experience and wisdom. I'm not really afraid of getting older. I don't know what it is, I just feel weird. At first, I was adamant that I didn't want to do anything to celebrate this year, I'm not even sure why (maybe because I have a fear of this happening)...but upon remembering the fun that we had last year, I decided that perhaps a little get together was in order. Maybe it'll even make me feel better. All I really want for my birthday is a blue sky.

Tonight, I came home from work and poked at cold Chinese takeout leftovers before falling alseep for a couple hours on the couch. I've been absolutely exhausted this week. Maybe I've become so accustomed to the go-go-go-ness of the selling season, that I don't know how to cope with my downtime anymore. Thankfully, I woke up from my nap in time to watch the Celtics pull off a game four win in the NBA finals against my (second) most hated team in the league, the Los Angeles Lakers. Go Boston! Blockbuster didn't have the Big Love disc that I was looking for, so here I am, blogging in bed with Gene Simmons Family Jewels on in the background. Yup, that's right. I'm watching the third episode in a row. Yes, this is the best thing on tv right now.

I am thinking tonight of old friends, new friends, real friends and misunderstood friends; friends I need to see more of and friends I don't need to see to believe.

I'm also thinking of my favourite sentence. Jack Kerouac said "the only people for me are the mad ones..." That sentence has been part of my life since I was fifteen and I don't believe it'll ever leave me. I thank a special friend for reminding me again, of the importance of knowing what is real, what is obvious and what my eyes are for. The real people are the best ones, like angels.

I'm going to sleep now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

In contrast...

Photo: Pixadaus

I can't remember exactly how old I was at the time...I think I must have been about ten years old. I was on vacation with my family. We often did a drive down the Oregon coast in the summer, making stops in places like Seaside and Manzanita along the way. I was in a gift shop one afternoon, looking at jewellery and poking through baskets of sand dollars and stones when I twirled around the rack of postcards and one, in particular, caught my eye. It was Marilyn Monroe, posing in a white bathing suit on the beach. She was radiant. It was right at this age that I was beginning to feel body conscious. Being that I was waaay taller than any of the other kids in my class, plus the fact that I already had breasts, I can remember feeling a comfort in the fact that here was this woman on the postcard who was curvy and buxom- and absolutely beautiful. I bought the card and so began my interest in the life and times of Marilyn Monroe. In fact, I still have the postcard, it's fastened to my fridge door- to remind me that I don't have to look like the skinny minnies in the Stella McCartney entry below to be attractive. To this day, I feel inspired by her.

Over the years, I have read and watched countless biographies of the woman. I've watched every single one of her films more times than I can count. I can even sing along to all of the musicals, true story. I could probably tell you anything you want to know about Marilyn Monroe.

Today, I read some of the comments as they came in on my last post and it made me feel awful because I realized that I hadn't really even noticed how skinny the models are in those photos. In fact, I've become so accustomed to seeing stick thin women wearing the clothes I dream about, that it didn't even phase me. It's a sad state of affairs, really. Had the models been on the curvy side, however, I surely would have taken note (and applauded). We just so rarely see different types of bodies represented in fashion these days.

So I'm leaving you today with a video clip (courtesy of YouTube) from one of my favourite Marilyn Monroe movies, Let's Make Love. I think she's pretty damn fetching.

Lollipops and Rubber Ducks

It's Resort season and that means new collections from many of our favourite designers. Stella McCartney invited editors and fans out for a garden party at the West Village's Jefferson Market Garden in New York recently to show her Spring 2009 Resort Collection. The designer's signatures- beautifully tailored blazers, easy T-shirt dresses, girlish organza blouses, and popcorn knits- were all present and accounted for on the models lounging on gingham picnic blankets, strewn with lollipops. The casual, laid back approach to the show was quite refreshing. In fact, I think that having it presented in such a manner actually makes the clothes feel more wearable.

Amongst the salmon-colored sheaths and boyfriend blazers, models carried bags full of rubber ducks, The Dirty Dozen brass band provided music, a prop car from Brooklyn was made over (courtesy of graffiti artist Santo) and there were food and refreshments in the form of classic English Pimm's Cups, hotdogs and ice cream, setting the mood for the carefree collection. This was so much more than just another fashion show; it was an extravagantly fun day in the park.

Delicate day dresses were embellished with cherry brooches and bracelets, and anchor motif tops teamed with electric blue printed heels. For evening, there were loose sparkly silver dresses. She cut the pretty and wearable with some of this fun stuff, hence the bright bags and shoes, another brooch spelling "Mother," and a swirling sailboat print that was like a postcard picked up on the boardwalk.

Luxurious, timeless, and fluid is what Stella McCartney is known best for and she delivered that and then some here. She's so creative without being too out there. A mixture of simple hues and fun prints made me fall in love with this collection. Bonus points for the garden party theme, this unconventional show set forth what will be hot for 2009. My favourite piece? The sailboat dress on Chanel Iman. Hands down.

Photos courtesy of