We all do it. Zara has a sale. You notice one night when you’re at the mall, picking up a half price calendar weeks after the new year because you’re in January self-deprivation mode. With your sock monkey calendar tucked under your arm (Indigo/Chapters – whatever Heather’s calling it – charges now for plastic bags, so it was an opportunity to save the environment and 5 cents) you tell yourself not to go into Zara. Weeks later, you can’t get that five dollar rack out of your mind. It taunts you, even as you congratulate yourself, then console yourself. Then you have to go back to the mall to exchange a Christmas gift – figure skates — that don’t fit. Since you never figured out how to deal with the scary sudden braking issues on girl skates you exchange them for hockey skates and try to get the hell out of the mall. Now you’ve left it so long the Bauer super pro $300 skates are down to $100? Fine, that’s great. The beginning of your hockey career coincides with the NHL renaissance. Go Flames Go and all that. We’re not bitter about the billionaire strike. What? They want to sharpen those skates for you? Umm. They want you to come back when?? Can you kill forty minutes in the mall? You casually stop in to Zara, thinking you’ll be safe, since your size must be sold out by now. It’s fate. It’s destiny. It’s… $$$$$ later. Actually, only about $$ later. Definitely worth it.
In Calgary, people don’t mess around. They’re friendly, forthright and I don’t want to bum them out by waxing medical. Especially when it’s that burly guy leaning out the window of his F-350. Suddenly, there’s an Opening For Smalltalk. So why get all serious?
“You should see the other guy,” I say.
Telling the truth would be a downer. People aren’t expecting to hear the real reason. Just like I never expected it to happen to me.
Sometimes, when I’m trapped in an elevator, a stranger will get the party going first. “How’s the other guy look?” And I oblige by saying, “Worse than me!”
When my bandage was bigger, someone pointed out to me that if I was a victim of domestic abuse, this type of chit-chat would be a uncool. It all kind of is, but what can you do?
It’s been an experience in human reaction. After surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma and a skin graft to cover the wound, when I had huge, white bandages on my nose and ear, I tried not to leave my house, but sometimes I had to. Children stared and didn’t return my smile. Adults averted their eyes. For the most part, I tried to scurry by people without connecting.
One question gets under my skin, so to speak. Because I loved my nose. I even doubled for Sharon Stone in Beautiful Joe (straight to video, if you’re wondering) who is extremely particular about her profile. Which I can totally understand.
So when people ask me, “Did you get a nose job?”
– and someone does, almost every day –
I’m usually pretty blunt: “No, I had skin cancer.”This limited edition collection of Mickey Mouse Band-Aids has a good selection for these type of scenarios, like the one I’m wearing in the top photo, with Ms. Mouse socking it to the Mister. Because that Minnie, she doesn’t take shit from anyone.
Monday Morning Fashion Flash
The H&M gown we saw Helen Hunt in last night at the Oscars was custom made, but the store will be debuting a deluxe dress line in select stores April 15. In Calgary that will be at The Core shopping center in TD Square.
The first Target to open in Alberta will be in Edmonton!! Cue the “wah, wah” sound for Calgary. I will update this post later to get you the exact dates.
Hitting the ol’ hitting cage with temperatures hovering around freezing was a new experience today. I’ll pause while all of my friends in Indio, CA have a good laugh. Yes, I’m wearing a toque, but it was good to get up on the wooden horse and practice my swing. And the open chicken wire windows were conveniently covered to block out the wind. Thanks, Calgary Polo Club! Outside, the school field is covered in snow. Only three months til June! My sporty nose polka dots are courtesy Band-Aid:
When that happened to me, the first thing I did was investigate my style options. Because if you have to stick something on your face, it might as well make a statement.Enter Cynthia Rowley. The American designer feels my pain – and that of anyone else who has a boo boo. Above is the first edition of her collaboration with Band-Aid, to bring a haute element to hurt. These fashion first responses are in various Canadian and US stores. And Ms. Rowley’s website.
The sun gleams off Grand Teton, in, you guessed it, Grand Teton National Park. Just a short drive south of Yellowstone. After an afternoon spent hiking around Taggart Lake, with its incredible views of the Teton mountain range, yes, that’s frost in my hair.Back to the town square, with its ubiquitous elk antler presence. The town ski hill, always in the shade, looms in the background. Which, really, is all a hill can do if it faces north.Enough with those arches! Time to git me a drink!It’s called the Million Dollar Bar because of the currency inlaid in the countertops. And because a hot toddy after a cold hike makes you feel like a million bucks.
But this is the Dwell Magazine version of camping. Smoothly named Fireside Resort, these rustic yet modern cabins are actually plonked down in the middle of the ol’ Jackson Hole Campground, the local “premier” campground, complete with 30 and 50 amp hook-ups. The Fireside Resort website doesn’t reveal its humble roots until you click their map link. Then a little googling gives the game away: the resort is actually canny campground off-season strategy – Luxury Edition.
But a little more obssessive compulsive web surfing should help you come to the same conclusion I did… When there’s snow on the ground, nobody’s camping! And those hookups were under several feet of snow. But the RV aspect means the luxury cabins, each with their own fireplace, kitchen, living room, deck, barbecue and two flatscreens, are a deal. And much more fun to spend a week in than a 350 square foot hotel room.Just five minutes down the road from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Until I was drawn to this charming boutique on a sidestreet in downtown Jackson, I had never heard the word Cayuse. It refers to American Indian people of Washington State and Oregon. This store has amazing artifacts, antiques and jewelry. I even discovered some photos of First Nations people at the very first Calgary Stampede.In luxury lodging.
The Four Seasons is so into art they have a podcast tour, featuring their collection of Miros that stretch down the hallway to the Lobby Lounge.Just a few steps away in Teton Village you’ll find these incredible renderings on display in the lobby of Hotel Terra (btw I highly recommend the Buﬀalo Carpaccio at their Italian restaurant, Il Villaggio Osteria, although I’m not sure that is what the Wyoming state flag is suggesting).Take a moment to caffeine up at the charming Jackson Hole Coffee Roasters. If you skipped the most important meal of the day, they have a wonderful breakfast bagel here. Just like every other shop near the town square, the mountains always rise in the background.The art here is so prolific, when I stumble upon Ken Peloke’s works at RARE Gallery, they haven’t even had a chance to hang it yet.Must be something in the air. Or the antlers.
That’s my happy dance, after nailing the must-have fashion item for a beautiful week in Jackson Hole, with temperatures hovering at -20 C or -4 F for most of the week. This coat is one of the biggest rewards of my Time In Edmonton. In the city known as the Gateway to the North, in Edmonton, when they ask you if you have spent time up north, they mean even further north – like the Yukon or the Northwest Territories. Or Nunavut if you’re feeling post-1999, which I’m sure everybody is, whether they realize that was the year Nunavut officially separated from the Northwest Territories. In general, Canada is all about potential separation threats. Although after the second referendum regarding Quebec seceding to become a separate state (and almost certainly be gobbled up by the fresh water and maple syrup hungry country below the 49th parallel) any talk or action on separation this days is greeted by a national “Mehh” in the Great White North, and, as usual, a “Huh?” by anyone in any other country.
Where was I?
Oh, yes, the coat. I can’t tell you where you can find one – it was a gift. Perhaps if you go knocking on doors in the Northwest Territories – coats like this are hand-made. Someone who lived there once told me that the designs on the outside of the coat became an intrinsic part of your identity — since you need to wear a coat like this for at least 7 months a year. My coat keeps me warm even when it’s -37 C outside. I’d like you to know that is when Fahrenheit and Celsius are equivalent. After that, it just doesn’t matter – it is ridiculously cold. Square tires. Horizontal exhaust. White rabbits. Don’t get me started on all my “it’s so cold” punchlines.
But as I was saying. En route to Jackson Hole, I kept thinking, this pure wool coat is so heavy, why am I schlepping it through multiple airports (no direct flight from YVR) when I need the spare arm to check out the fragrance section in Duty Free? As soon as I landed in the hole in the Wyoming Rockies (as seen in Django Unchained: look for the ski resort in the background of the 1858 winter scenes) I knew I had chosen wisely.