“Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, Spooky, Scary”

JenJess

Cleopatra, Disco Chick

I’ve had that song from 30 Rock stuck in my head since last night.

It’s that time of year! Pumpkins are being carefully chosen and carved into jack o’ lanterns, the bags of teeny, tiny chocolate bars that were stocked to the ceiling at Wal-mart are flying off the shelves and the kiddies are looking for the biggest bags they can find to take out on their trick-or-treat missions.

Once again, the creative juices began flowing at my office this month as we decided on costumes.

Today marked our annual Halloween celebration and once again, I was beyond impressed with the stellar ideas that my co-workers came up with. I LOVE Halloween and I really appreciate the opportunity to dress up every year. I originally wanted to be Gilly this year. I even perfected the dance and bought the wig (which Jessi ended up using for her Disco costume, so at least it didn’t go to waste…) but I couldn’t find the right dress and I didn’t have the time to spend searching for it. So I settled for being Cleopatra instead after I fell in love with the black and gold sequined outfit in the store. I love a chance to play a brunette for a day.

To check out all of the fun, creative and down right creepy costumes that showed up today, you can take a look at my Halloween 2009 set on Flickr.

Twilight

Edward Cullen and Bella from Twilight

Mad Hatter

Mad Hatter

Kate Gosselin

Kate Gosselin

There's Something About Mary

Magda and Puffy

One Night Stand

One Night Stand

Val Jen

Preggers Nun, Cleopatra

Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell

Geico Cavemen and Dumb Donald

Geico Cavemen and Dumb Donald

Madonna

Madonna

Sharon Aaron

Tinkerbell, Wild Cowboy

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Vancouver + NBA = Love

Photo: Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun

Photo: Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun

Victoria-raised point guard and two-time NBA most valuable player Steve Nash was front and centre when his Phoenix Suns took on the Portland Trail Blazers in an NBA exhibition game at GM Place last Thursday. The event drew a sellout audience of 19,700 cheering basketball fans, including me and my dad.

The game marked the return of the NBA to Vancouver for the first time since Nash and the Suns faced the Seattle Sonics two years ago.  These “teaser” games are always somewhat bittersweet for me because having been a Grizzlies season ticket holder for the duration of their run in this city, I am reminded of the horrible way that Michael Heisley broke his promise, broke my heart and stole the NBA away from Vancouver in 2001. I can’t help but wish that we still had an opportunity to see live NBA games on a regular basis. Hell, we can’t even go down to Seattle to watch a game any more. The whole evening was a flashback to the days of the Vancouver Grizzlies and I miss those days very much.

Photo: Globe and Mail

Photo: Globe and Mail

Fans in Grizzlies jerseys holding a “David Stern, give us back the NBA” sign were given a loud ovation when they appeared on the big screen.

“I feel like it was unfair that the [NBA] team was taken away from the city,” Nash said. “I think my teammates are in total agreement. Someone said they were glad that our owner wasn’t here because he might want to move the team.”

Steve Nash and the Suns may have dropped the preseason game to the Trail Blazers, 111-93, but that fact seemed to wash over the fans and everyone else who was at the arena. We were just pumped to be watching the action.

I still believe that the Grizzlies never got a fair chance in Vancouver.

Is it Vancouver’s fault that Stu Jackson had absolutely no clue how to run a basketball franchise? He drafted Bryant “Big Country”  Reeves after all. Was it Vancouver’s fault that Steve Francis is an a-hole and didn’t want to play for them? Then the franchise sold to a guy who had an agenda to move them and the Vancouver Grizzlies were no more.  It felt like we were trapped in the movie Eddie, only our story didn’t have a happy ending. Since the move to Memphis,  things have not gotten any better for the franchise on the court. I also think you could argue they had more support in Vancouver than they have now in Memphis. They draw an average crowd of 12,745 a game in Memphis, giving them the second lowest attendance in the league. Just sayin’.

I think the NBA should be in Vancouver permanently and I wish it still was.

HUGE thanks to Steve Nash for bringing it back to the city for the night.

Digital Love

Photo via istock photo

Photo via istock photo

Love in the age of technology is most decidedly a departure from the days of yore and needless to say, it’s shifted more than just the way we do business. It’s changed the way we love – how we seek it, how we find it and above all, how we keep it. Today, courtship has become a flurry of status messages, e-mail flirtation, Twitter updates and not so uncommonly, breakups that play out publicly for all 400 of your not-so-closest friends.

It used to be that courting, flirting, dating and ultimately love was conducted  in public and in real time: in bars, in restaurants, on boardwalks, on moonlit patios at dusk. Lovers once stole kisses and canoodles in plain sight of prying eyes; now, they steal glimpses and glances for hours over cell phones, ichats, text messages and emails. Truth be told, there are people who I communicate with more frequently via BlackBerry Messenger than anything else.

The casualness of e-mail and text messaging has certainly blurred those lines between acceptable and unacceptable.  There is space for just a minimal number of characters on that little cell phone screen- not much room for recounting disastrous misunderstandings, sleepless nights and awful embarrassments. Hasty typing and shorthand can cause further difficulty, as it sometimes has to be decoded. Feelings aren’t always easily expressed in such few words. The backspace key has become an all-around superstar.

Text messages can be either a curse or a blessing- especially when it comes to flirting. The question is not simply whether to send a text message, but what to write and when to send it. And after a message is sent, what if there is no reply? The waiting begins.

This whole idea always makes me think of the film He’s Just Not That Into You, which offers a look at relationships and shows just how technology has made the dating game more complicated. Drew Barrymore’s  character discusses her frustrations:

“I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he e-mailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”

Yes, we have a zillion gadgets at our disposal. Overuse and misuse can quickly doom a relationship. Nobody wants to receive hundreds of text messages from someone they just met. A little self-discipline is needed. If used properly and sparingly, technology can be a godsend to someone timidly placing a toe in the dating water.

Thoughts? Experiences? Please share.