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

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

Okay, here goes…

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

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

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

Photo courtesy of Teen Hollywood


Whatever drowns the counting machines out

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

If God he gave you a voice, then use it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Herman Melville-

Photos courtesy of Raymi Lauren on flickr

Individuality, be proud of what you are

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photos by Revival Arts Studio courtesy of