Sunday, January 31, 2010

Hello ... again

It's been a while.

So sorry.

I didn't mean it. I ended up devoting every spare minute of my life to a fundraiser for Haiti. All of my blogs were neglected.

Shep was neglected.

Work was neglected.

I was neglected.

But it was worth it, knowing a group of people came together to create an awesome event that will benefit people who need our money more than we do.

To you, however, I say 'Hello ... again.'

And so do The Cars.

My mountains

The true north strong and free.

Sure, there are mountains elsewhere in the world.

I drove through the Cascades in Washington State over Christmas. The Laurentians in Quebec and the Adirondacks in New York State? Done and done.

But none of them felt like mine.

The Kananaskis and the Rockies? Mine.

All mine.

I hear them calling my name as I stand at the C-train station. I call back to them, promising a visit soon.

Today, I visited.



From these mountains, I rebuild my strength and centre myself.

They stand so freely, so strongly and so majestically.

I wonder at their creation, their fortitude and their timelessness.

And I feel small and humbled by their greatness.



Tucked away in those mountains are little spots of exquisite beauty.

Troll Falls is one of them.

My first visit last summer left me awestruck. The falls are not great like Niagara, nor deafening like Takakaw.

They are a hidden treasure - a well-known hidden treasure - on the Hidden Trail Loop off the Ribbon Creek parking lot.

I sat under the falls some months ago and let the water spray strike my face, a refreshening respite on a hot, summer day ... for me and Shep!

But the falls take on a different look in winter. And it's amazing how a sudden drop in temperature can instantly freeze water as it tumbles over the cliff's edge.



Oh, you thought I could get through a Project 52 without some cute pictures of my dog?

Haha!

Not so lucky.

He had some fun today with his new girlfriend, Miki, who chose not to attack him mercilessly this time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sleepness nights

Oh get this, I have my life back.

I gave it up for good reason, though.

You see the last two weeks have been a whirlwind, helping to organize a fundraiser called #yyc4haiti. It was a huge event at Flames Central on Thursday night, drumming up almost $30,000 for Canadian Red Cross Haiti Relief, and I've been sleeping ever since (at least minus the hours I had to be at work yesterday).

I did manage to take some shots last weekend and, yes, I'm still a week behind in posting them. Fear not! We'll be back to a regular schedule for Project 52 tomorrow ... because I'm going hiking.

Last weekend's pics revolve around the organization of #yyc4haiti.

Camilla Di Giuseppe (@C_DIG) and Alex Ruiz (@alex_ruiz) are hard at work.


Shep makes a couple of new friends.

Great amounts of wine have been consumed.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

FYI

I'm a get-shit-done kind of person.

So when people aren't getting shit done, I'm getting pissed off.

I'm pissed off.

Just some shooting

Oh, you thought I didn't do any shooting last weekend, didn't you?

You're wrong. I did.

I just haven't had any time to get anything posted here. It was Wednesday before I got the shots processed and ready to share.

So here are a couple of my favourites from last weekend. And of course, one is of Shep.

I'm not even sure what it is about this shot, but I just love it. I tried to get once before but the light wasn't right and he was too far away. This time, the backlight was strong enough and I got some awesome shadows.

I think I love it because even though he's walking away, I know he'll always come back to me. And that instils in me a sense of comfort and security.


Then there's Madison. So angelic, so innocent, so photogenic. She's the 10-month-old daughter of my friends Mark and Andrea and I couldn't help but keep my lens close to her.

And finally, this was one of those 'holy crap, I gotta stop the truck moments!'

The mountains behind the Calgary skyline were on fire, it seemed. So, I found a spot in Bridgeland, still high up enough for a freespace with nothing in front ... no trees, no rooftops.

Although I did pull over in a residential area and aimed my shot between two yards, so the folks might have thought I was a bit nutty ... or creepy. Whichever.

I still don't have the best lens or a tripod but, I think, for the gear I do have, it worked nicely.

Now, about this weekend ...

Yikes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Social media: A scourge upon perfectionists

This is what technology has wrought.

We have the power to issue our message right away.

We have the power to make announcements to mass followings.

We have the power to garner attention in all four corners of the world ... OK, for me, maybe all four corners of the city. (I'm pretty sure I have end-to-end for the country at least!)

But there's a big problem with getting things out as quickly as we physically can.

Mistakes.

Errors.

It's enough to make my C-3 and C-4 vertebrae cinch up tighter than a drum.

I try to remember the words my mentor, Gregg Drinnan, gave me in 2002.

"Relax, shit happens."

Gregg has been a premier sports writer for almost as long as I've been alive. I came under his tutelage at the Kamloops Daily News for a year. I love the man as my close friend to this day, even though our lives have taken us on divergent paths and we are rarely in contact with each other.

One day, after my obsession about a typo or something, he took me out for coffee and told me about his triple bypass surgery and how it made him realize that indeed "shit happens."

After that day, I started trying to relax about the little niggling errors that would occasionally crop up in my copy ... although Gregg almost lost his shit at me one night when I called the WHL team the Lethbridge Pronghorns, instead of the Hurricanes.

A couple of years later, I moved on to the Calgary Sun. I wasn't writing much, busting my hump on agate pages and headlines and cutlines for other people's stories.

I lost my focus, I lost my desire to be the best, I lost my passion for sports media.

And man, did I start fucking up.

I confided in Gregg, knowing he'd always be at the other end of an email if I needed him.

He said, 'You're rushing things just to get it done. Take your time, relax, think about what you're doing.'

This is sage advice for those who think they need to be the first to do everything.

We are desperate to be first to announce something, our hands hovering over the keyboard so that we can be the first to scream 'MICHAEL JACKSON'S DEAD.'

No, he's not.

Yes, he is.

Wait ... I think he's still breathing.

Oh no ... hang on ... dead as doorknob. Carry on.

It gets ridiculous sometimes and it affects our ability to trust sources, believe in their credibility and be confident it's true the next time they announce an item.

If I could have one wish in this great maelstrom of technology, in this cacophony of yelling into a cyberspace megaphone, it would be for us all to slow down, breathe really and truly deeply and take time to do things right.

The first time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tragedy spurs us to raise funds for Haiti earthquake victims

Originally posted on YYC4Haiti.com

We are or have been women in the media.

We all have stood in awe, and sometimes sorrow, of stories, pictures and video clips, scrolling across our computer monitors as another disaster of natural or human cause devastated hundreds or thousands.

We all have, at one point, felt helpless, wishing we could do more.

Last week, as we heard, read, watched or announced news of the 7.0 earthquake near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, we felt that helplessness all over again.

This time, however, we’ve chosen to fight against that feeling.

Spurred by a single late-night Tweet from Camilla Di Giuseppe, Alex Ruiz and I jumped at Camilla’s lead and thought, ‘yes, let’s not feel helpless this time, let’s do something.’

And thus was born YYC4Haiti.

More individuals have come forward, encouraged to do something – even one small task – to assist the estimated million who have been rendered homeless by the tragic January 12 event.

Thirteen Canadians have been confirmed dead, as of today, and 665 remain missing.

The death toll in Haiti is expected to reach 200,000.

We, in Calgary, may never know such a disastrous natural event.

We give thanks for such a blessing by turning out our hearts in goodwill for those stranded and injured, their lives and families torn apart.

Donations of items for door prizes and silent and live auctions have been steady and quick.

The Calgary Flames, Calgary Stampeders, Calgary Roughnecks and Calgary Hitmen all are donating precious memorabilia to the cause.

Gyms are donating memberships, photographers are offering their framed prints, decorators and wedding planners are giving away experience packages.

We have iPods, cellphones, hockey tickets, resort passes, gas vouchers … you name it, we might have it in our growing prize pile.

Now all we need is you.

You … to come out and watch the Calgary Flames take on the Phoenix Coyotes at Flames Central on Thursday, January 28.

You … to give from your heart by donating at the door, buying raffle tickets and bidding on items.

You … the business community to rise to the challenge and match what we raise.

And you … to show the people of Haiti that the world cares about their plight and wants to do something to help.

Please come join us.

We’ll be there.

@that_angela

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sometimes you just gotta

Scream and let it all out.

Go ahead. It's Thursday. You probably need to right about now.

After all ...

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ... we're stuck right in the middle of WTF.

Primal Scream comes of the Decade of Decadence album, the first of many greatest hits compilations for Motley Crue ... hell, the concert I'm going to see is for a GH.

This is one of three newly recorded songs off the album, along with Angela and Anarchy in the U.K. -- and all three are among my favourites.

Really, it's classic Crue metal.



Hahaha!...
Broke dick dog
My head slung low
Tail knocked in the dirt

Time and time of being told
Trashin's all I'm worth

When I was just a young boy
Had to take a little grief
Now that I'm much older
Don't put that shit on me

(Pre-Chorus)
Grab it and shake it
Reach down scrape it
YOU - JUST - GOT - TO...

(Chorus)
Scream and shout
Rip that mother out
You just gotta say - HEY! ...Owww!

Primal scream and shout
Oooh! Let's tear it out
YOU - JUST - GOTTA - SAY! ...Get it!

Janou said meters are red
Gonna blow a neurotic fuse
If ya show a little, a little pain
Unlock a lotta truth

When daddy was a young man
His home was living hell
Mama tried to be sober
Now her mind's a padded cell - yeah!

(Pre-Chorus)
Grab it and shake it
Reach down scrape it
YOU - JUST - GOT - TO...

(Chorus)
Scream and shout
Tear that sucker down
You just gotta say - HEY! ...Alright!

Primal scream and shout
Suck that terror down
YOU - JUST - GOTTA - SAY! ...Kick it!

(Bridge)
HEY MAN! ...Get out of my face
I deal with my problems at my own pace

With your... SCREWED-DOWN! ...anti-human views
Deal with the pressures by playing the blues

If you wanna live life on your own terms
Gotta be willing to - CRASH AND BURN! ...Weowww!

(Reprise)
Primal scream and shout
Tear that sucker down
You just gotta say - HEY!

Primal scream and shout
Suck that terror down
YOU - JUST - GOTTA - SAY ...Kick it!

(Climax)
SCREAM! - SHOUT! ...Whew!
Come on, come on, come on! ...Haha! ...Whoa!

SCREAM! - SHOUT! ...Ahhhhh-ahh! Owww!
My-my-my-my! ...Owww! ...Oh yeah!

Oh! ...Whoa!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Darn it

I'm so not missing today.

And I almost forgot. And it's almost bedtime.

So I'm gonna do a pump and jump ... er, so to speak.

I swear, I'll be done with Motley Crue soon. Then we'll be back onto more normal stuff.

Here's one I'll expect to hear on the 26th: Saints of Los Angeles. It was the Crue's title single off their first studio album released in eight years.

The single, released in 2008, was the band's second highest charting single in U.S. mainstream rock charts, peaking at No. 5.

And in my humble opinion, it rocks.

Oh yeah, it was nominated for a Grammy, too. Batting 0-for-3, boys.


Tonight there’s gonna be a fight, so if you need a place to go
Got two room slum a magnum 7 gun, and the cops don’t never show
So come right in cause everybody sins, welcome to the scene of the crime
You want it? Believe it? We got it if you need it, the devil is a friend of mine

If you think it’s crazy you ain’t seen a thing
Just wait until we’re going down in Flames

We are we are the saints we signed our life away
Doesn’t matter what you think
We’re gonna do it anyway
We are we are the saints one day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

Redline trippin’ on a land mine, sippin’ at the Troubadour
Girls passed out naked in the back lounge everybody’s gonna score
She’s all jacked up she’s down on her luck
You want it you need it the devil’s gonna feed it

Don’t you say it’s crazy, you don’t know a thing
Just wait until we’re going down in Flames

We are we are the saints we signed our life away
Doesn’t matter what you think, we’re gonna do it anyway
We are we are the saints one day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

Give it up give it up
Give it up give it up
Give it up give it up
Give it up give it up

We are we are the saints we signed our life away
Doesn’t matter what you think, we’re gonna do it anyway
We are we are the saints one day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

We are we are the saints we signed our life away
Doesn’t matter what you think, we’re gonna do it anyway
We are we are the saints one day you will confess
And pray to the saints of Los Angeles

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I missed a day!

All holy hell!

That's what I get for going to the Saddledome and having too many heroin beer!

But to make up for it ... we'll do double-song post.

And because hockey was the reason I missed last night, we'll feature the two Motley Crue songs I hear the most often at Flames games.

Warning! I'm posting the uncensored version of Girls, Girls, Girls ... because I am that cheeky.


Now for one of my top-10 picks:


Exactly two weeks to go!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A sailor lost at sea

Nikki Sixx always has been a deeply troubled fellow.

How else could he have written 'without you in my life/I'd slowly wilt and die/But with you by my side/You're the reason I'm alive.'

OK, much worse has been written by boy bands ... and probably 95 per cent of country-song writers.

It probably isn't even the worst of the power ballads in the history of metal bands.

But this video ... this ... video ... I ... well, really ... some days, there are no words to describe the dreck that has been foisted upon our viewing sensibilities.

Sometimes, live clips -- like the Crue did with Home Sweet Home -- is simply the best option.



Without you, there's no change
My nights and days are grey
If I reached out and touched the rain
It just wouldn't feel the same

Without you, I'd be lost
I'd slip down from the top
I'd slide down so low
Girl you never, never know...

Without you, without you
A sailor lost at sea
Without you, woman, The world comes down on me

Without you in my life
I'd slowly wilt and die
But with you by my side
You're the reason I'm alive
But with you in my life
You're the reason I'm alive
But without you, without you...

Without you, my hope is small
Let me be me all along
Let the fires rage inside
Knowing someday I'd grow strong (I was wrong????)

Without you. Without you
A sailor lost at sea
Without you, woman
The world comes down on me

Without you in my life
I'd slowly wilt and die
But with you by my side
You're the reason I'm alive
But with you in my life
You're the reason I'm alive
But without you, without you...

I could face a mountain
But I could never climb alone
I could start another day
But how many, just don't know
You're the reason the sun shines down
And the nights, they don't grow cold
Only you that I'll hold when I'm young
Only you... as we grow old

Without you in my life
I'd slowly wilt and die
But with you by my side
You're the reason I'm alive
But with you in my life
You're the reason I'm alive
But without you, without you...

Wandering around

Sometimes my best shots are pure dumb luck.

Shirking the #yycphotowalk club in favour of some 'me' time, Shep and I opted for a stroll around Bridgeland. I found a lot of great subjects for my new and upcoming blog, Worshipping Calgary, but we'll talk about that some other time.

We walked around for a couple of hours, jumping through the slushy crosswalks and ambling down the quiet streets which are just a mere sprint away from the bustling downtown core.

We started at the big greenspace which is the former home of Calgary General Hospital. The park was empty but, when we returned to get the truck two hours later, the hill was peppered with kids and parents -- all out to enjoy the 8 C temperatures and toboganning on the shadowy slopes.

I flipped out my 75-200 to remain conspicuous, knowing parents tend to freak out when there's a stranger with a camera ... and justifiably so. All I really wanted was a shot of kids carrying their sleds and GT Racers back up the hill, keeping my focal point on a tree in the foreground.

Trouble is, my camera was on auto focus and, thus, it readjusted to catch one little girl careening down the hill. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Otherwise, you'll miss the look of absolute joy on this little girl's face.

It's the kind of look that reminds me why it's so great to remain childlike in some situations and retain that sense of sheer, unadulterated enjoyment.


Today, Shep and I strolled around Canmore. It was too beautiful a day to say no to a drive to the mountains.

Every other time I've made this trip with other friends, it was just a walk up and down the strip, ducking into W.A.N.T. (yes, I bought a new bag and wallet) and a few other boutiques.

Then to the Friendship Trail is still a beaten path but it was entirely new to me.

And Shep.

Who hasn't been getting a ton of walking attention lately, due to the extreme cold temperatures and vacation through Washington State (he came with me, but there was shopping that had to be done!).

We found a fairly unpopulated section along the river and I let him off-leash ... he'd only been waiting for that moment all afternoon!

Shep, my very best friend and faithful companion, tends to run forward, check out the path and make sure everything is A-OK for us to proceed. He'll either come back and guide us through the thicket or wait patiently.

I caught him at the top of a hill, waiting. Just waiting.

With the mountains behind him and the silhouette of a bird soaring through the blue sky, this easily has become my favourite shot of Shep.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's a quick one!

Holy crap ... there's only 20 minutes left in the day.

So, I'll make this a quickie.

And what song would be perfect for that? Only Ten Seconds to Love.


Here I come
My mind is set
Get ready for love
You're my ten second pet

Touch my gun
But don't pull my trigger
Let's make history
In the elevator
Or lock the door
Shine my pistol some more
Here I cum
Just ten seconds more

Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds lo love
Pull my trigger
My guns loaded with your love
Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds to love
Just wait honey
Till I tell the boys about you

Bring a girlfriend
Maybe bring two I got my camera
Make a star outta you
Let's inject it
Photograph it
Down to the subway
Let the boys have it

Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds lo love
Pull my trigger
My guns loaded with your love
Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds to love
Just wait honey
Till I tell the boys about you

Reach down low
Slide it in real slow
I wanna hear your engine roar
My guns still warm

You feel so good
Do you want some more
I got one more shot
Before I'm out the door

Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds lo love
Pull my trigger
My guns loaded with your love
Ten seconds to love
Ten seconds to love
Just wait honey
Till I tell the boys about you

Was it hot for you
Did you fire this round
The second I'm through
I'll be leaving this town

Friday, January 8, 2010

Who told this guy he could sing?

Even from the very beginning, Vince Neil sounded like crap.

Dude can't carry a tune to save his life.

Neither can I but I haven't shot millions of dollars up my arm after laying down some tracks.

Here's one of the B-side songs of Shout at the Devil, the first Motley Crue album I ever owned.

We're down to 18 days.


Well in the heat of the night
You went and blackened my eyes
I hold back
go back
go back
And I'm comin' your way
Well now what's good for the times
Might judge the blood in your face
I go black [tunnel vision/drunken stupor]
go black
go black
And in a crime of hate

[Chorus:]
Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well it's a TKO
The blade is red, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)

Well the stars make'em fight [stars in the night sky]
I heard a give and scream
I hold back, go back, go back
Another talent's bloody dream
I heard'em startin' to whine
My blood turned to freeze
You see the red in my eyes
You're gonna take my disease

Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well it's a TKO
The blade is red, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)

Knock 'em Knock'em Knock 'em
Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Well it's a one man fight
His blood is red kid
(Knock 'em dead!)
Knock 'em dead, kid
(Knock 'em dead!)


Knock'em .. Knock'em .. Knock'em
Knock.....[scream].... 'em uh ah Dead kid.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Third period ... last game of the playoffs, too

I'm Canadian and darn proud of it, too.

On my left shoulder blade, I have etched into my skin a bright red Maple Leaf and hanging off the top spike of the leaf are a pair of hockey skates.

Deron of Solid State Tattoo in Kamloops, B.C., took my concept, designed it for me and inked it onto my body so I could write a story about tattoos for my newspaper. That's even before they were becoming the 'rage.'

Deron, trained by the Golden Buddha here in Calgary, was especially proud of his work and swore he would never replicate the tattoo without my permission.

During the summer, when I'm wearing tanktops, I regularly have people come up and compliment my art.

It was done in 2001, the year I first started playing hockey. I grew up in a hockey town - come on, it's Canada, right, who hasn't?

But in my town, boys played hockey and girls dated hockey players. That's just the way it was. I figure skated. And danced ballet (yes, I did, there are pictures to prove it).

A career in sports writing was a natural fit for me and, so, after years of watching - nay, studying - the game, I had the opportunity to play.

The Source for Sports in Kamloops gave me a pair of skates. The WHL's Kamloops Blazers outfitted me in the rest of my gear.

And thus my rec hockey career began in 2001. It was a momentous occasion for me and one that required a monument as permanent as a tattoo.

Many of us have grown up with hockey - whether as a player, a sister, a fan - and when we sit in the comfy atmosphere of the Saddledome, rooting for our Flames, we often forget the more simplistic roots of the game.

The old barns in the small towns, the fries and gravy, and being close enough to the ice to smell the players' sweat.

And that's what I was reminded of when I sat at the 'Dome tonight and heard the familiar strains of Stompin' Tom.

Come on ... you know the words. I know you do.


Hello out there we're on the air it's hockey night tonite
Tension grows the whistle blows-& the puck goes down the ice.
The goalie jumps and the players bump and the fans all go insane
Someone roars "Bobby scores!" at the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Second period.
Where players dash with skates aflash the home team trails behind
But they grab the puck and go bursting up and they're down across the line
They storm the crease like bumble bees they travel like a burning flame
We see them slide the puck inside. It's a 1-1 hockey game!

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Take me where the hockey players face off down the rink-
And the Stanley Cup is all filled up for the chaps who win the drink
Now the final flick of the hockey stick and the one gigantic scream
The puck is in! The Canadians win! The good ole hockey game!

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

Oh the good ole hockey game is the best game you can name
And the best game you can name is the good ole hockey game

How our standards have changed

Fuck Nickelback.

Chad Kroeger and his boys from Alberta were a little-known Canadian band until they burst onto the American music scene in the early aughts with their album, Silver Side Up.

The single, Never Again, shot up the charts hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in 2002.

The song, which I'll admit was OK given that it was before Nickelback started rolling down the road of fabricated concert rock, was critically acclaimed for its focus on domestic abuse. The words are written through the eyes of a child who regularly watches his mother being abused by the husband.

But, you see, 20 years before that, Motley Crue created a video that was considered quite graphic for the day. Some mulleted rocker freaks out during a fight with his wife/girlfriend, grabs a knife and kills her.

According to the song's Wikipedia entry, Jon Bon Jovi says it was the best song Motley Crue ever wrote. Nikki Sixx wrote it because he thought his then girlfriend was cheating on him with General Hospital star Jack Wagner, who had a ballad on the charts, All I Need.

The words are somewhat chilling and I'll warn you the video is a tad dark for those who haven't before seen a girl acting dead getting zipped into a body bag.

While you're watching, though, keep in mind some of the things we've seen in videos from the late '90s and on, especially teen tramps and gangsta rap.

Then let me know whether this is really all that graphic.



The blade of my knife faced away from your heart
Those last few nights it turned and sliced you apart
This love that I tell now feels lonely as hell
From this padded prison cell
So many times I said you'd only be mine
I gave my blood and my tears and loved you cyanide
When you took my lips I took your breath
Sometimes love's better off dead
[chorus]
You're all I need
Make you only mine
(I loved you)
So I set you free
I had to take your life
You're all I need
You're all I need
And I loved you so
But you didn't love me
Laid out cold now we're both alone
But killing you helped me keep you at home
I guess it was bad cuz love can be sad
But we finally made the news
Tied up smiling I thought you were happy
Never opened your eyes I thought you were napping
I've got so much to learn
About love in this world
But we finally made the news.

You're all I need make you only mine
(I loved you) So I set you free
I had to take your life (all I need)
You're all I need and I loved you so
So I put you to sleep
You're all I need
Make you only mine
You're all I need (all I need)...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rat-tailed Jimmy is a second-hand hood

I have no idea what 'second-hand hood' means.

I'm so street.

Dr. Feelgood earned another Grammy nomination for Motley Crue. And another shutout from winning the award.

I remember how this song caught on in the mainstream in 1989. It even peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.

And of course, it was another few years before I even started learning about drug culture on the mean streets of Gander, Nfld., so the meaning of it all was entirely lost on me.

But those opening riffs are unforgettable!


Yeah yeah
Rat-tailed Jimmy is a second-hand hood
Deals out in Hollywood
Got a '65 Chevy, primered flames
Traded for some powdered goods
Jigsaw Jimmy he's the one in the game
But I hear he's doin' OK
Got a cozy little job selling the Mexican mob
Packages the candycane

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's the one that makes ya feel all right
He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood

Cops on the corner always ignore
Somebody's getting paid
Jimmy's got it wired, law's for hire
Got it made in the shade
Got a little hideaway, does business all day
But at night he'll always be found
Sellin' sugar to the sweet
People on the street
Call this Jimmy's town

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's the one that makes ya feel all right
He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's gonna be your Frankenstein
I've got one thing you'll understand
(Dr. Feelgood)
he's not what you'd call a glamorous man
(Dr. Feelgood)
Got one thing that's easily understood
(Dr. Feelgood)
He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
Oh yeah

He'll tell you he's the king
Of these barrio streets
Moving up the shangri-la
Came by his wealth as a matter of luck
Says he never broke no law
Two time loser running out of juice
Time to move out quick
Heard a rumour going round
Jimmy's going down
This time it's gonna stick

He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's the one that makes ya feel all right
He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood
He's gonna be your Frankenstein

Let him soothe your soul, just take his hand
(Dr. Feelgood)
Some people call him an evil man
(Dr. Feelgood)
Let him introduce himself real good
(Dr. Feelgood)
He's the only one they call Feelgood
*solo*
Guitar!

(SPOKEN) Listen to Jimmy,
Come play with Dr.Feelgood....

I've got one thing you'll understand
(Dr. Feelgood)
he's not what you'd call a glamorous man
(Dr. Feelgood)
Got one thing that's easily understood
(Dr. Feelgood)
He's the one they call Dr. Feel good
oh yeah
Dr. Feelgood (Dr. Feelgood)
Dr. Feelgood (Dr. Feelgood)
Dr. Feelgood (Dr. Feelgood)


Stumbling has been the suck lately

There's a lot of spam out there, folks.

People seem to just add order forms and product flogging to StumbleUpon in the hope they'll generate traffic and leads.

Lame.

So I'm not going to be Stumbling as much. And I'll export these posts into my main personal blog, The Pit Stops.

Join me there, won't you?

And don't forget to follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Skydive naked from an aeroplane

Did I ever think Motley Crue would be nominated for a Grammy award?

Oh hell no.

It happened.

And all a guy had to do was write about the day he died. Nikki Sixx, my future ex-husband, died in 1987 during a heroin overdose. He was brought back to life by paramedics, spend a few hours in the hospital, came to, pulled all the IV plugs out of his arms, got up and walked out of the hospital.

I think he even hitched a ride home with two girls who were sitting in vigil outside.

The song is ribald, tongue-in-cheek and the video is shot at the legendary Whisky-a-Go-Go, where Motley Crue first made their mark on the music scene.

Almost 20 years later for his side project, Sixx A.M., Sixx wrote about his death again ... this time striking a more profound tone. He penned: You can't breathe until you choke/You gotta laugh when you're the joke/There's nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive.

You'll find Life Is Beautiful, a brilliant song, at the bottom of this post. Don't miss it. Play it. Lean back into your chair, listen to the words and let the riffs fill your brain.



When I get high
I get high on speed
Top fuel funny car's
A drug for me

My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart

Always got the cops
Coming after me
Custom built bike
Doing 103

My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart

Ooh, are you ready girls?
Ooh, are you ready now?

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Give it a start
Ooh, yeah, baby

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
Ooh, yeah, baby

Skydive naked
From an aeroplane
Or a lady with a
Body from outerspace

My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart

Say I got trouble
Trouble in my eyes
I'm just looking for
Another good time

My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart

Yeah, are you ready girls?
Yeah, are you ready now?

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Give it a start
Ooh, yeah, baby

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
Ooh, yeah, baby

Kickstart my heart

When we started this band
All we needed, needed was a laugh
Years gone by
I'd say we've kicked some ass

When I'm enraged
Or hittin' the stage
Adrenaline rushing
Through my veins
And I'd say we're still kickin' ass

Ooo, ahh
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
And to think, we did it all of this to rock

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Give it a start
Ooh, yeah, baby

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
Ooh, yeah, baby

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
Ooh, yeah, baby

Ooh, yeah
Kickstart my heart
Give it a start
Ooh, yeah

Life Is Beautiful

Monday, January 4, 2010

Doin' what where?

Smokin' in the boys room ...

Yeeeah.

Confession time.

I gave up smoking more than 10 years ago. No, I don't say that like it's a bad thing.

And I haven't been in the boys room in ... well ... a few months actually. Look, it was Starbucks, the ladies was locked and I had to pee really badly. So I hopped to the other side of the hall.

What does that have to do with another song off the wretched Theatre of Pain?

Absolutely nothing.

But it's only 22 days until I hear it live!



Sunday, January 3, 2010

For Michelle

Michelle Lang and I did not often cross paths.

We met for the first time in 1996 at the Cariboo Press annual editorial conference in Williams Lake. She was a cub reporter at the Prince George Free Press and I was new to Kamloops This Week, new even to B.C. and Western Canada.

We chatted occasionally over the course of our community-newspaper tenures but never really developed more than a casual relationship.

We reconnected again last spring. She called my office at Bow Valley College where I was a media relations specialist. She needed to connect for a story she was writing for the Calgary Herald.

As is usually the case when former colleagues stumble upon each other, we spent most of the conversation catching up and recounting the travels that brought us to where we were that day.

Business over, Michelle said, 'Let's chat again soon, OK?'

We never spoke again.

Today, Michelle was repatriated by the Canadian Armed Forces, her body encased in a casket draped with the Canadian flag.

Michelle and four Canadian soldiers were killed by a bomb blast in Afghanistan on Dec. 30, 2009.

I first 'heard' the news when Metro Calgary posted a story link to Twitter. I remember letting out a cry of anguish, realizing someone I knew had died most tragically in the line of duty.

The community - from Calgary to the country, from the Herald to Cariboo Press - is reeling from her loss.

She touched countless lives as she told stories from one end of Western Canada to the other.

That CAF is treating her as one of their one only further describes the impact she had, in only the brief few weeks she was in Afghanistan.

My childhood friend, Dennis, leaves tomorrow for training to return to the Middle East for another tour of duty.

He was struck to write me after I posted an R.I.P. tribute to Michelle on my Facebook status and I hope he doesn't mind me sharing his words.

"Far too many times in recent years I have had to deal with the deaths of my close friends and extended military family in Afghanistan, and regardless of how well you knew Michelle, I can say from experience that sometimes it just hurts," he wrote.

"Yes, It sucks, it hurts, and sometimes you just wonder why, but she (and you) as a journalist were/are involved in a noble profession, endeavoring to bring that which is obscured to light for the greater good. I am saddened by every death in that country, soldier or civilian alike. As a friend I am just saying, if you need to cry, then do it, but don't just mourn your friend, celebrate her life as well. That will help you and your friends deal with such a horrible event.'

Dennis's words and a most recent Herald tribute to Michelle has prompted me to take great reflection on my career as a journalist and who I am today.

Michelle became the journalist I had dreamed of being. She worked harder, dug deeper and beat others to the front line.

After being that kind of reporter in sports in B.C., I, instead, accepted fates that were handed to me, punching away at Calgary Sun agate pages and eventually giving up on my dream once Sun Media handed me my layoff papers and told me it was over.

Sometimes I imagine going back to that life, missing it with every breath I take; other days, I don't think I could handle the readjustment to dogging others for information, working long days, nights and weekends, and facing the daily tribunal of reader judgment and criticism.

For Michelle's honour, however, we all can strive to do better, to reach higher, to dig deeper and to find more compassion in our hearts so that we, too, leave a legacy of love and enlightenment for all to share.

Oh Hugh ...

You're my inspiration.

No, this isn't a post about Chicago, but surely I know the words to one or two of their songs!

It was Hugh Grant weekend on the W and I just got finished watching About a Boy. He conjures so many wonderfully descriptive words, such as rogue, rakish, scoundrel, saucy, bawdy ... I could go on but I need to sleep tonight.

My all-time favourite movie, though, is Love Actually, about which I've written before.

The soundtrack is rife with wonderful songs, from rockin' to soulful and romantic.

My favourite is Wherever You Will Go by The Calling. It's one of those songs to which I can listen over and over and over again.


And then there are the two songs that have the power to bring out the romantic softie in me.




A new day, a new year

New Year's Day was lovely.

We went on a nature walk at Bowmont Park in the northwest. It's a wonderful, inner-city park that offers paved-path or dirt-trail walking, off-leash areas for Shep, hilly and flat, and access to the river.

Shep and I frequented this area when we lived in Montgomery. It's great for a leisurely stroll, a bit of a hike or, if you're a runner, a five- or even 10-km run.

New Year's Day was a tad chilly so we didn't last too long ... but long enough!




The long and winding road

Theatre of Pain was a dreadful pile of steaming swill.

Thankfully, the members of Motley Crue admit as much in their autobiography, The Dirt.

Somehow, this swill enraptured the mainstream and it eventually was covered by Chester Bennington of Linkin Park to capture the plight of those who lost their homes in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.

Weird.

Oh, it's also been covered by Carrie Underwood, 30 Foot Fall and Limp Bizkit.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Not yet a man, just a punk in the street

Oh those '80s and their kitschy videos.

The Crue was no different. And one of the best in that realm is Too Young to Fall in Love.

This is Vince Neil at his heroin-induced hottest.

The fight at 2:30 is the best part.



You say our love
Is like dynamite
Open your eyes
it's like fire and ice
Well you're killing me
Your love's a guillotine
Why don't you just set me free

Too young to fall in love
Well I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too young to fall in love

I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too fall in love

Run for the hills
We're both sinners and saints
Not a woman but a whore
I can taste the hate
Well now I'm killing you
Watch your face turning blue
Not yet a man
Just a punk in the street
Yaahh

Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
To young to fall in love
I'm too young
To young for
To fall in love

I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
Much to young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too young
Too fall in love

You say our love
Is like dynamite
It's no surprise
You've got one-way eyes
Well you're killing me
Your love's a guillotine
Why dont you set me free
Yaahh

Too young to fall in love
Well I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too young to fall in love

I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too young to fall in love
I'm too young
Too fall in love

Too young to fall in love

Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love
Too young to fall in love


Friday, January 1, 2010

My all-time favourite band

When I was 14, I was going to grow up and marry Nikki Sixx.

Damn you to hell, Kat Von D.

My mother worried about the boys in makeup on my wall. If only she'd known the truth ... the truth about which I was only partially aware until I read The Dirt: Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band.

Really, folks ... it's disturbing stuff. Just when I thought I'd seen and read some of the worst things man can do to man, I read about what Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars and Tommy Lee perpetrated in their heyday.

A summary here can do no justice. I beg of you to read.

Keeping that in mind, I'll be seeing Motley Crue for the third time on Jan. 6.

Brace yourself. In addition to my regular posts, I'll be forcing you into a Crue song a day, starting with my all-time favourite.

Want to sing-along? I'll help with the words.





Plug me in
I'm alive tonight
Out on the streets again
Turn me on
I'm too hot to stop
Something you'll never forget
Take my fist
Break down walls
I'm on top tonight

No, no
You better turn me loose
You better set me free
Cause I'm hot, young, running free
A little bit better than I used to be

Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire
Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire

I'll either break her face
Or take down her legs
Get my ways at will
Go for the throat
Never let loose
Goin' in for the kill
Take my fist
Break down walls
I'm on top tonight

No, no
You better turn me loose
You better set me free
Cause I'm hot, young, running free
A little bit better than I used to be

Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire
Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire


Come on baby
Gotta play with me
Well I'm your live wire
You better lock your doors
I'm on the prowl tonight
Well be mine tonight

Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire
Cause I'm alive
Live wire
Cause I'm alive
I'm a live wire


Come on be may baby
Come on tonight
Come on be may baby
Come on tonight
I'll give you everything
You want inside
Plug me in, plug me in
I want you
Come on tonight