Monday, December 6, 2010

Tannis' words published in BeatRoute

Since leaving my position as the communications coordinator at Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard Resort, I've been concentrating my efforts on returning to journalism as a freelancer, as well as honing my skills as a creative writer back at my Alma Mater.

My first piece published as a freelancer is in this month's issue of BeatRoute, and can be read by clicking here.

Check it out. More to come!

Technology is just nutty

Let's talk about technology for just one minute, here.

I logged into my Blogger to see how popular my most recent post was, and it turns out I'm able to track not only where in the world my blog is being read (thank you, Malaysian and Cambodian readers), but I can also see what they're using to read it.

For example, 13 per cent of views of this web site come from an iPad; 2 per cent from an iPhone; and 36 per cent from a Mac. Blogger also shows me what kind of browser my viewers are using: 41 per cent Firefox; 29 per cent Explorer.

This is mind-blowing to me. Beyond the fact that I am entirely ignorant as to how this information might benefit me, I am completely amused by it. I mean, how on earth do I have readers from Ireland? And are the Irish more prone to browsing the blogosphere with an iPad or their good ol' fashioned Explorer on a desktop? The possibilities are endless, and the information, as it stands, is pure, narcissistic entertainment. I am impressed.

Another walk in the park

I think it's safe to say that almost everyone has heard the preachy old adage, "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail."As a self-proclaimed perennial procrastinator, this Christmas challenge of mine has been a little, well, challenging at times.

Yesterday I counted my walk with Archie as my workout again.  While I did spice things up a bit by extending my distance, upping my pace, and visiting the river (gorgeous), my thoughts inevitably centred around the fact that I have not been planning my workouts.

Rather, I have been taking this healthy challenge day by day, cramming my workout into an already busy schedule that is bursting with deadlines about to expire. And you thought Christmas was stressful.

Now I sit, bright and early on Monday morning. It's the dawn of a new week, and I am still without a workout plan. With a busy few days ahead of me, I am taking advantage of a rare moment of downtime -- actually, I'm putting off writing a paper that is due, oh, in three hours -- to think about how to address this procrastination problem of mine. I fully recognize the irony in that sentence.

I will make a plan for the rest of the week today, something I see as valuable to my goal to work out every day until Christmas. Failing to plan has not only caused me to miss one day in the past six of working out, but it's also plunked me right into a routine of going to the gym (and doing the same predictable workout) and walking Archie (which I do anyway -- I love my little man). And in my world, routine eventually equals boring, so plan I must.

I'll post it when the plan is made, but for now, feast your orbs on the photographic evidence of yesterday's walk with Archie.

Archie playing with his new friend.

Posing in front of the skyline. He's a model dog.

Guerrilla Christmas decorating at the dog park -- love it!

More decorating discovered on my walk. 

Merry Christmas, friends!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A walk in the park

One day into the 25 Days of Healthy Christmas, and already an obstacle has cropped up.

While out for tea with Ryan Correy yesterday -- a professional and very competitive cyclist – I shared with him my plan for the holiday season. He listened patiently while I excitedly laid out my goal for the month, and when I was done, he offered me a different perspective.

"It sounds to me like you're doing now what everyone does in January," Ryan said. "But if you're trying to beat the typical January workout frenzy, maybe you should be using this month instead to get into a routine that you want to settle into over the next year."

I had to ask myself if that is the case. Am I just beating other January workout zealots to the couch by a month with this plan of mine?

A little less motivated and plagued by doubt, I thought a walk and some sunshine would do me some good. It would also be a tactical move to fulfill my daily exercise requirement. 

The weather was perfect for a brisk walk in little more than a cozy sweater (I joyfully ditched the ski jacket at home today), and the stroll gave me a chance to reflect on why I decided to take Christmas to the healthy extreme this year. 

Ryan was right, I thought: going crazy for one month -- regardless of whether it's a Christmas or a New Year's resolution -- is not the way to create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle. But I'm stubborn, and I have committed to this month of health so I am going to do it. 

What I will add to the mix, though, is some serious reflection on how to maintain a dedication to regular exercise come January, and how to find fun ways to stay active in the great city that is Calgary. My walk in the park with little Archie turned out to be a beautiful marriage of both healthy reflection and healthy activity, and a great launch to my holiday mission.  

I can't wait for Day 2. I'm thinking, though, that I should make a plan so I don't get stuck in a rut of just hitting the gym every day. 
Any suggestions as to what I can do for fun and exercise over the next 24 days?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The 25 days of Christmas

My mom this year decided to call off Christmas. No, not in the Dickensian way you might immediately be inclined to suspect: she doesn't despise Christmas a la Scrooge. On the contrary, she loves this season. And why wouldn't she? It is, as the song goes, the most wonderful time of the year.

She decided that Christmas this year wasn't for her in the typical way so many families -- ours included -- tend to celebrate it: with lots of gifts, too much food, and over-imbibing. So she stripped away all the excess, and Christmas for our family will this year involve a healthy dinner, church, and relaxing time with loved ones.

Surprisingly, that sounded pretty good to me, and that got me thinking about what I could improve on for the 25 days leading up to Christmas. I know that, every year for at least the past decade, I have joked about the inevitable "Christmas fat": 10 pounds that I have previously resolved to stop combating, knowing it would melt off by summer's arrival.

This year, however, I thought I might play with my tacit acceptance of the Dreaded-10. Rather than make it a Christmas of excess, I have decided to make this one a Christmas of excessive health and gratitude. My plan? Twenty-five days of working out from Dec. 1 to Dec. 25. This will include moderate, healthy eating every day, gratitude for my luxury to do so, and at least 45 minutes of working out each day.

And it won't just be the gym. With so much to do in Calgary over the winter, why stop at the elliptical? There is cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to be done; an adorable little doggy to be walked through countless beautiful places; an incredible boyfriend and amazing friends with whom to try fun and exciting new things. Indeed, this city is a veritable winter wonderland, and I'm going to use my downtime to take advantage of it, as well as protest the typical over-consumption I've come to associate with Christmas.

Stay tuned for my schedule and plan. In the meantime, here's a picture of my Archie and I:

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Put on your Winter Gloves

Calgary winters are known for being cold, warm, then colder still. With the fluctuating weather, it can often be difficult trying to figure out how to dress for the elements.

But thanks to one Montreal indie group, you can put on your Winter Gloves any time and the tunes will be perfect regardless of what Mother Nature decides to spring on you.

Yes, the band is called Winter Gloves, and their synth-poppy tunes and catchy licks will have you dancing your way through Calgary's streets until the snow melts.

Check them out here:


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Brooklyn dad is out of this world

This video is unreal. Not only does it just a darn cool experiment, but it shows a father teaching his kids to dream big. In sending an iPhone to outer space, this dad is exploding any boundaries his kids might have when setting out to perform a little experiment -- and the results are beautiful. Getting personal here, it demonstrates to me that when we allow ourselves to ask, "What if?"and we pursue that question mark with no regard for limitation or failure, the stars are within our reach.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I don't care, take two.

So Bones and I decided to play with his new vacuum-tuberific mic tonight. He also happens to have every other instrument known to man in his home studio, so we thought we'd lay down some fresh licks and spice up Navenis' original track, "I Don't Care." We also made a jazzy new album cover. I can see this one topping the charts. Enjoy.

Follow this fancy link to hear I Don't Care, featuring Dan Bones.

Creating space

quit job,
creative writing
takes dedication
As pushing me
shaping me
goes a long way: so 
does letting go
create space for

Monday, November 1, 2010

What my boyfriend and I did for fun tonight. We sing.

Album art Option A

Album art Option B

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bangkok: Oct. 13, 2007

Nothing I can say can do my experiences justice at this point. It's like writing an essay for a university class and overpreparing for it.
Do you know what I mean? The kind of essay that you want so badly to do well in, so you read up way too much on the subject matter. You enjoy every excessive book you read, experiencing so fully every aspect of your research. Then, when you try to sit down, the different experiences don't congeal with one another to tell a comprehensive story. Truthfully, I feel like I simply need more time to experience this place, think about it, and come to you with a comprehensive look at what my time here has meant to me so far. Two days haven't been enough, and I doubt three weeks will do me any better. I already feel like I want to be here for at least a year, writing or teaching. Assimilating. 

I suppose a few little things that I've experienced can follow my honest, aforementioned admitted inability to convey at the moment how my experiences here have affected me:

I just had an incredibly spicey dinner of Pad Thai with Steph, my friend and travelling comanion for this trip, and now find myself trying to describe the past two days I've experienced since my arrival in Bangkok.
Coming here, I had no expectations for, indeed, I had no idea what to expect.
"I'm going to Thailand," I would say. "But what does that even mean???"
Now, two days into my three week sojourn, I find myself with a bit of an idea.
In a city with about 8 million people, in many ways, this place is like another Jasper (my current home-town of 4,500 people). It's a tourist hot-spot. So many people come here from around the world to experience something unique. I'm pumped to be a part of this scene for a brief period. I'm already thinking about coming back next fall for a longer period.
But for now, how to describe the things I've seen...

The flight was long, but went by quickly.
Dillon drove down from Van to meet Steph and I in Seattle for a visit. Love that guy to bits, I do. After that we hopped on a plane bound for Tokyo. The craziest thing about that was that we were flying into the sunrise, so it was blindingly bright out for the entire 11-hour flight. I had "Harajuku Girls" in my head the whole way there.

Now as i sit in this cafe I can't think about what I want to say. No description can do justice to the bombardment of stimuli to my senses. Walking through a market and busy downtown street today was overwhelming. The sights: thousands of people walking in every direction, eating, driving, elaborate temples of red and gold, people with no fingers begging for change, traffic in every direction. The sounds: honking, screeching, yelling, food sizzling, tuk-tuks screeching over to the side of the road, yelling at Steph and I to make use of their services. The smells: smog clogging up my lungs, street meat burning, people heavily scented in heavenly perfumes, sweaty tourists sticking to the mess in an effort to take home a taste of this moment. 

No sense of culture shock yet, only a deep appreciation for how lucky I am to be able to travel here to experience this place. I can't wait to head to Cambodia in a few days to visit my Aunt Jo (although we did already meet in Bangkok last night: she put Steph and I up in a luxurious hotel... not "travelling" in the rugged sense, by any stretch!), then make my way back to southern Thailand. More info to come.

Permission to Fail

Unable to decide which to post to,
indecision and lack of ambition
solidify her in this position
without inspiration or patient muse.
Iambic pentameter, sweet refuge!
Give structure of your volition
to scattered words and, with your permission,
this scribe will abandon her tortured blues.

Advancing on to the sestet, she now
attempts to turn on previous confines
assigned to certain poetic bliss by
unfamiliar form. Embracing from now
on the tough task to write outside the lines
she resolves to endure failure and try.