Friday, March 24, 2006

~*...happy birthday erin...*~

today was erin's birthday. yes, i've celebrated erin's birthday twice with monica in the past two months...same monica, different erin ;)

i met up with the girls at fluid lounge where local funk/reggae/jazz/tribal band wasabi collective was performing.

the venue filled up by 11pm when wasabi took the stage. man these guys know how to throw down. the beats were smooth, jazzy, and fused with hip hop, reggae, house, and percussion. and of course there was the local support of sexxy and groovy peeps filling the dancefloor. this town takes the word local very seriously.

if you're on tribe, you can czech out the wasabi collective tribe here.

erin and monica were leaving town the next morning, so they headed back to the hostel after the show. happy birthday erin! it was great meeting you. thanks for coming to visit monica.

i met a beautiful soul named joa after the wasabi jam, and headed to an after party with her. it was a small jam at a beautiful home uphill. its always amazing for me to connect with confident and beautiful spirits like joa. she is a massage therapist here in nelson, and radiantly beautiful. *rraow*


Thursday, March 23, 2006

~*...crystal creek part deux...*~

i ran into monica and erin today at oso negro after my volunteer shft at the nelson food cupboard. i also ran into my friend brittany who was chillin there with her roommate and their new kitten.

we kidnapped britz and headed towards our destination...crystal creek.

this time we had a car to drive us to the entrance of the path (schweet), and thanks to the warm weather all week there was much less snow and ice on the trek up. we also had a camera!

the snow was spring like, corn and slushy. going up it wasn't too difficult, a bit sketchy, but manageable.

we reached the caves at the top and descended into its dark depths. someone had painted a pikcha on the cave wall that reminded me of a meditating burning man.

yah, i'm getting a bit excited at the thought of going home. only 160 more daze until the man burns.

after singing a few songs in the cave, we emerged from the darkness and prepared ourselves for the trek down.

coming up wasn't as challenging as going down. the ice and snow made it very slippery.

good thing there were large pieces of quartz in the creek that we could step on as we crossed...

i just love the view of nelson from the creek. to quote owen again, its amazing that our eyes can see so much beauty. it sure is.


~*...the place to be...*~

yesterday began with me catching a ride to whitewater before i even made it to the hitching spot. a guy pulled over and picked me up 50ft before the hitching spot: if you've got a board on your back and on the highway, you won't have to wait long to get a ride to the hill.

prior snowboards was having a demo at whitewater, so i got to test drive a prior all mountain freestyle board. 165cm. handcrafted in whistler, these boards were designed by extreme snowboard enthusiasts. i was very impressed at how the board handled in the trees and on groomed runs. i haven't had a board respond so well since i tried the ride timeless for the first time. this board had a pop to it that never stopped putting a smile on my face, and handled like a dream. the guys at prior focus on the board, and don't put much attention on graphics. you can choose from a selection of topsheets as well as bases. i wasn't impressed with the topsheet graphics (i rode the white topo), even less impressed with the prior bevelled logo *ack*...but the way the board shred the mountain reminded me that looks only go so far. these guys make solid top of the line snowboards, with subpar graphics. two thumbs way up from this snow addikt.

the snow was pretty hard packed and crusty on the silver king side, but the summit still had some great snow and powder to ride. the guy who drove me to the hill worked at whitewater and had recently completed building a rail park on the silver king side the weekend earlier. finally a park to ride, too bad the season is just about over.

but holy shit the calibre of riders out here is nutz. watching these kids just shred the park is inspiring...they get siiiick!

i ran into a guy who was czeching out how to snowboard for the first time. he was stoked that he got a prior demo board for free instead of having to rent. thing is prior wasn't renting boots, and this guy ended up wearing sneakers instead of snowboard boots.

i ended up spending the afternoon with him putting my instructor's training to use. his name was olie. he was my first student.

what a difference the instructor's course has made in me for teaching basic snowboard techniques to a beginner. i had olie doing beginner turns within an hour. balanced body position!!!

olie showed his appreciation later by buying me a beer, and offering some rum if i came down to the dancing bear inn later that evening to see him. olie was in town visiting his son, and was playing his banjo at the royal later that night.

it took me 6 minutes with my thumb out to find a ride back to town. gawd i love this place.

jim came by to hang out around dinner time. me talking about my dark dredi robe encouraged jim to bring out his cloak and staff. larping massif!

then i got a call from my friend monica. i met monica when i was in jasper visiting erin. they both work at the jasper park lodge. oh man jasper was good times, and i was excited to know that monica was here in nelson for a few daze.

monica was on a road trip with her friend erin (a different one, but ironic none the less) who was visiting from ontario. they were staying at the dancing bear inn.

jim and i met up with monica and erin at the dancing bear around 8pm and then headed towards the lake. i love how you can see the shape of the mountain tops faintly as you look up at them in the night. you can feel them.

we stopped off at the royal to see olie play his banjo. it was open mic night at the royal, and it just so happens that monica can play the guitar in addition to having a beautiful voice. she played two songs for an appreciative audience. nice one monica.

olie took the stage next and played a few tunes on his banjo.

then we were off to the rez avoir for reggae night, but not before making a stop at cottonwood falls to smoke a joint. a lit up waterfall 5minutes away from downtown *sigh*

the rez was bumpin, as it always is on a wednesday night. the koots roots allstars really do know how to throw down some slick reggae riddims. you'd never know that none of the band members are black or from the islands if you had only heard their music.

a band named zilla with michael travis of the string cheese incident were playing downstairs at the fluid lounge. we decided to pull ourselves away from the reggae riddimz and enjoy what zilla downstairs had to offer. we were not disappointed. the beatz were beautiful melodies, pumping bass, and tribal thunderstorms of percussion. like upstairs, the place was packed full of great people dancing together.

man, nelson is the place to be, especially on a wednesday night. those who know are here...those who don't are somewhere else, and that's just fine with the people who choose to be here.

a day of riding, instructing, an evening of open mic, dancing to reggae, dancing to zilla, and a mickey of southern comfort...lets just say i slept well last night.

Monday, March 20, 2006

~*...the first day of spring...*~

after lunch at the kitchen, i joined owen, julia, danielle, and gabriel for a hike up crystal creek. nelson is built on a very large quartz deposit and the creek is full of large pieces of quartz that you can just grab out of the water.

i had wanted to visit the creek, but was waiting for better weather to make the hike...and i couldn't have asked for better weather than today, the first day of spring.

it took about 30minutes to walk to the entrance of the creek path in the nelson area of upper fairview. the ominous "no trespassing" sign was easily ignored as we began our journey up the snow and ice covered path beside the creek.

the snow made securing solid and secure footing a bit of a challenge. the ice made it sketchy. i knew i should've worn my hiking boots.

but hiking beside a creek was amazing. there is something so calming about the sound of water rushing down a creek. i was able to grab two very large pieces of quartz from the creek too. it wasn't the kind of quartz i was thinking though. instead of clear prismatic quartz, i found cloudy yellowish quartz shaped like rocks...and it was in plentiful supply. its amazing seeing water exist in so many forms at once: flowing liquid, frozen ice, and snow.

it took us about 40minutes to make it to the caves near the top of the creek. we disappeared inside the dark caverns of the caves where we we were forced to embrace our shadows. the cave was only about 75ft deep and tall enough for us to stand up straight. it was damp in there, which is expected for this time of year. in the darkness we began chanting, listening to the echoes of our voices bounce off the walls of the cave. hey, when next am i going to be in a cave chanting on the first day of spring?

we also sang the song that i learned at andrea's baby blessing.

i hear the voice of my grandmother calling me
i hear the voice of my grandmother calling
she says wake up, wake up
wake up, wake up
listen listen

then we ended up beatboxing and hotboxing the cave.

the walk down was sketchy to say the least. walking up snow and ice is nowhere near as sketchy as trying to come down it. i ended up doing a lot of sliding down on my hands and on my ass, always concious of the fact that there is a creek that i could fall into. this was nothing compared to riding backcountry, so i was pretty comfy with going down inclines covered in snow.

at the bottom of the creek, danielle, owen and i tossed a frisbee around as the sun set behind the mountains.

as you can probably tell, i didn't have my camera with me. i guess my words will have to describe how beautiful nature is around me.

i'll leave you with some words that owen spoke as we headed towards the creek.

its just incredible that our eyes can actually see and absorb so much beauty.

and its more than just what our eyes can see. you can breathe it, hear it, feel it. its the kootenays.


Sunday, March 19, 2006

~*...mou = me + you...*~

normdate 3.17.06
riondale, b.c.

right meow i am sitting in a papasan chair at the home of the mou collective, riondale, east shore, b.c. i was so stoked to come back here after my incredible experience last time. this is the place where i tuned into the prana of the kootz, dressed up in the most majikal outfits, and enjoyed fellowship with creative beings of light. holy shit i sound like a fukkin hippie. its this area, there is powerful energy that is cradled in the valleys of the kutenai mountains, and connected by rivers. however, if i start sayin shit like manifestation and spectralization, someone please slap me *g*

creating art in a home that is decorated like can it not be majik?

shrines with huge prismatic quartz crystals and animal furs. powerful!

scotty and ali came to pick me up yesterday in nelson. we met at oso negro, the coffee shop in nelson. just hanging out there for 30minutes connected me with so many people. if that many people come to hang out there in mid march, i can only imagine what it must be like when the weather is warmer. i'm looking forward to it.

while i was chillin at oso, i came across a beautiful goddess named jemma. we rekognized each other but it took a minute to remember how we knew each other. in 2003, jemma and he partner heffe came to toronto for om. my friend dena had asked if i had space in my car to drive two beautiful souls from the sunshine coast to om. my friend erin was driving me to om in her van, and we had the space. so jemma and heffe became part of our majik journey to om that year. and here i was running into jemma 2.5years later in nelson.

this is the only pik i have of jemma from om. if you think she's beautiful, wait till you hear her sing.

the free ferry to the east shore, like before, is breathtaking. "its the free ferry to riondale" is what scotty and ali would say. looking at them, i would say its the free boat to rivendale, because elvish majik flows powerfully though my companions and here in the koots.

i'm looking forward to creating with this collective. this home is decorated in a way that channels creativity. it brings out peace and calm in me. it inspires. and having my computer here with me also does typing on a wireless keyboard sitting cross legged in a papasan chair. man i miss my popasan chair. i know its being enjoyed and loved my michelle in toronto. hi michie!

i brought my robe and other outfits to play dress up here.gawd i love dress up. outfitting the many facets of your personality. from dressing up disco bucktooth stylee..

to dark dredi...

to a little from column a and a little from column b...

clothing is such a great expression of self. fashion, its not necessary, but hella fun.

i'm going to help develop the mou collective's website in exchange for a set of arm bands and an outfit that they will create for me. it was fun watching scott pick out lines that he uses to create the shapes of his armbands. using tracing paper, he would take lines and curves from my scrapbooks and even from the tattoos on my body. with these smooth lines and curves he'd construct a design with another piece of tracing paper on top, picking from his library of curves and shapes he collected. its incredible to see where the inspirations for these designs come from some people see a photograph, others see lines. perspective is everything.

the tracing paper on the right was scott's library of curves. the piece on the left was his first draft of the armband.

this is the final version of the armband. i'm so stoked. i can't wait to wear them.

the mou collective are worshippers of sacred geometry. there is great power in shapes, and these katz embody sacred geometry in so many creative ways.

i had never worked with the beauty of such simple shapes before, and the mou collective showed me the beauty and complexities of simple shapes. it began with the flower of life.

the oldest example of the flower of life was found at the temple of osiris at abydos in egypt. it was carved in granite. though very simple to create using a pencil, compass, and paper, recreating the flower of life in vector using corel draw and flash was a bit more challenging. it was a bit of a challenge to place the center of a circle on the circumference of another circle. at least in flash you can snap to an object, which made recreating the flower of life a bit less of a challenge. if you'd like to know more about the flower of life, click here.

the mou logo is created from the flower of life, so it was necessary to recreate the flower before attempting to animate it in flash. it was also a bit of a challenge to get the mou collective to map out their creations before building it. they are used to creating, shaping, and co-creating together. when working on a painting or a piece in photoshop, its a lot easier to make changes to the creation as you go along. working with flash, however, requires detailed planning first before you begin to create. a storyboard must be made first before any of the pieces are to be built. every piece that is going to be animated needs to be created first. its like cooking a meal, you need to know what you want to create and have all of your ingredients ready before you begin cooking.

having to deal with the business community for the past 7 years has shaped my approach to design and planning, so co-creating with the mou collective was a new challenge for me. they're not used to strategic planning, or story boards. their worship of sacred geometry also presents itself in the way they speak...they speak in circles.

to get a better understanding of what they wanted to accomplish with their site, i asked them to list three primary goals for the mou site and create a mou mission statement. that may not have been the best approach. i've never heard the words manifestation, spectralization, or synchrolicious used so much in a short period of time. its how these katz express themselves, but when narrowing down a focus those kinds of galaktik spectralizations aren't very helpful. so i asked them to pretend that their artwork was being displayed in a gallery, and the gallery was creating a flyer to encourage others to visit the exhibition. i asked them to describe who they are and what they do in 500 words or less, similar to a profile of themselves as it would appear on that flyer. that was a much better approach. if mou = me + you, it begins with knowing who you are first before you can even begin to create mou.

sharing who they are in 500 words or less was a much better approach. describing who you are and what you do in a limited number of words, or even a single sentence, is a very challenging task. it took me over a year to narrow down who i am in a single sentence. alexandra said "you cannot demand something that you cannot offer". i liked that, so when we sat around to share who we are in 500 words or less, i contributed who i am.

i am a discoball of mirrors reflekting the world around me, and i choose to roll with the fukkin kewlest people.

having my computer there allowed me to share with them some of my work, as well as provide entertainment. we watched the malcolm in the middle episode where they went to burning man, and we watched david blaine's fearless dvd. the mou collective were impressed at how david blaine shaped the world around him.

for those who believe, no explanation is necessary. for those who don't, none will suffice.

after a great four days of co-creation, scott, amit, and ali drove me back to nelson. we stopped off at the breat canadian pizza joint in nelson to get some food. i ran into my friend norris and jamie there. they were on their sunday evening tour of gluttony, stopping off at two pizza joints in nelson and ending the evening off with popcorn and a movie.

what a great way to end a great weekend on the east shore of kootenay lake.

blessings to the mou collective.