Savouring dawn at the driving range

May 28, 2009
 Savouring a May dawn at Calgary's Shaganappi golf course
A late May dawn breaks over Calgary’s Shaganappi golf course

There is only one smell more delicious to a golfer than freshly cut grass, and if you scratch this picture on your monitor hard enough, and breath in deep enough, you’ll get a taste of it. Mmm, that’s right, it’s the sweet smell of dawn breaking over a course yet to be conquered. Good luck, and remember… smooth tempo…always tempo. I’m not trying to be poetic here, or metaphorical, or in any way philosophical, just putting a gentle reminder out into the universe that unless you’re a 14 year old gymnast, any kind of grace before 7am is going to be harder than breaking par at St. Andrews in a hurricane (ok, so maybe just a bit metaphorical). 


Ideation to creation: Teaming up for the ultimate ‘co-worker just had a baby’ card

May 28, 2009

Congratulations!

Path from ideation to creation

Path from ideation to creation

When a co-worker is having a baby, the customary grocery store cake just doesn’t cut it. Finding a sugar saturated, crumb-ling ruin in the office kitchen can be boost on a birthday, I suppose, but bringing a new life into this world demands celebration. The card above is the result of two artistic (and neurotically perfectionist) minds coming together, created (astonishingly) without either of those lives being taken from this wold by the other. This brain sketched out half a dozen concepts – only fluorescent pink will do for the most serious ideation – and illustrator Christina Nichols fleshed out what was “deemed” (tension, what tension?) the most promising.

The 'winning' concept sketch

The 'winning' concept sketch

Our receptionist’s hair is 100% true to life, and so is her handwriting. It’s amazing what you can produce when you open your eyes to the diverse, even under-the-radar, skills of the people you work with. True, the diplomacy has a time and energy cost, but teaming up is the only way to create an optimized skill set guaranteed to take your projects to the next level. Teamwork can make for a dandy card too, and it’s the only way I know to get your stork turned the right way round!


The best advice for weight loss is right out in the open…

May 27, 2009
Sometimes in life, the writing's on the wall...

Sometimes in life, the writing's on the wall...

I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this delightful dieting advice on my walk to work this morning. Finally, weight loss advice from someone practicing what he/she preaches! How many calories do you suppose one burns while practicing the yoga-esque art of graffiti? Good work out for the upper body, with lots of extended stretching. Hmmm, have we just found a new alternative to spin class?


17th at Sawgrass comes to Calgary’s Shaganappi Golf Course

May 26, 2009
First hole at Shaganappi - Construction of new layout

First hole at Shaganappi May 26th - Construction of new layout

The front nine of Calgary’s Shaganappi golf course is undergoing a major face-lift to accommodate the city’s new western extension of its light rail system. Lucky for us players, rather than simply chopping yardages, the course architects have livened up the layout with an exiting new 1st hole and some creative tweaking on holes 2,3,4,6, and 7 (view map of reconfiguration).

Starting next season, Spring 2010 (fingers crossed), we Calgarians will be teeing it up on our very own 17th at Sawgrass. That infamous brute of hole is America’s most notorious, and has crushed its share of Tigers, but we Canadians are a tougher lot. None of this ‘putting’ off the hard stuff till the end. We like to face our challenges head on. Blizzard? B’ah, what blizzard? High income taxes? B’ah, bring them on! Impossible green in regulation? B’ah, um…ok… you got me on this one. I’m just happy we won’t be teeing it up on network television.


TOP FIVE – What NOT to do when golfing with a woman!

May 21, 2009

She will lose her mind (and not in that good way) if you pull any of these shady/condescending moves on the course. How do I know? Find out what happened when this experienced golfer was hit with ALL FIVE (in chronological order) during last Saturday’s round!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

1# Don't try to stop my ball with your foot!

Don’t… try and stop my ball with your foot. This is, without a doubt, the most humiliating cruelty one golfer can inflict on another. Never mind sexist, this is downright inhuman! Go ahead and help your two year old fit her straw in her juicebox, be my guest. But pleeeease give my hand/eye coordination a little more credit. After all, I did manage, miraculously, to tie these laces all by myself. Even if my ball is supersonically blasting its way across the green, straight for a bunker, DO NOT PUT YOUR TOE IN ITS WAY. I will bite it off (you think I’m kidding, don’t you).

AAAARGH!

2# Don't coach me (in any way shape or form)!

Don’t say… “Don’t forget your club,” as I’m walking towards the wedge I left on the green while putting out. Trust me, even your two year old would get pissed at you for that one. If you do happen to have some useful advice for me, even swing tips, just ask permission first. You know, like when you’re on that first…(oops I mean third) date~wink.

AAAAAARGH!

3# Don't ask me, "are you having fun yet?"

Don’t ask… “Are you having fun yet?” after I’ve just made a mess of a hole. You know what? Don’t even say it after I’ve had a magical, afterlife-illuminating, hole. Just keep your mouth shut. I’m golfing. What business is it of anyone’s whether I’m having any fun at it! I’m here, aren’t I? What more can the bloody game want from me!

AAAAAAAARGH!

4# Don't try to make the game easier for/on me!

Don’t say… “You can move it out of there…” when I have a challenging lie. If I wanted to be mini-putting on Astroturf, then (and this will blow your mind) I would be mini-putting on Astroturf. Last time I checked, golf wasn’t supposed to be a walk in the park (oh wait, technically…). But really, maybe this is my mistake? Maybe it’s supposed to be easy? Just like getting rich is such a cinch, and having great hair every day is…sigh…

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

5# Don't laugh (out loud) if I flub a shot! Seriously.

Don’t… laugh (long and loud and luxuriously) when I flub my shot.

And there’s where it all went so wrong…
I played it cool all the way through till #5 (aside from a snarky “are you having fun yet” retort on hole 14), but I’m ashamed to say I lost my mind when he started laughing…and laughing…and kept on laughing at my blown bunker shot on hole 15. He went right on laughing even as I was charging at him up the lip of the trap!

I dropped my club and made straight for the brute. I didn’t care that he was a full ½ foot taller and about 100 pounds heavier; I had thousands of years of sexist injustices backing me up! Oh, and one rather shocked husband. Yes, the poor man who had gallantly kept me calm through all the condescension by explaining “he doesn’t know any better,” turned to find his tiny blond wife going all Hulk Hogan on his playing partner. I was up in the middle aged man’s “grill” shouting, “do you have some kind of problem,” when dear hubby dragged me away.

I’d like to say I’m exaggerating here (and so would dear hubby), but, and you girls can relate to me on this, it’s hard for any woman to be taken seriously on the course, no matter her skill level. We have so much more to prove, and so much less raw muscle to prove it with. It’s no wonder we can get a little sensitive when there’s blatant condescension in your voice. Just be warned, chivalry is a noble, but dangerous, game to play on a golf course.

~Visuals by brilliant illustrator Christina Nichols~


A short note on the injustice of other people eating bacon at 7:10AM

May 21, 2009

My walk to work takes me through one of Calgary’s swankiest neighbourhoods. Wandering through The Better Homes and Gardens Theme Park so early in the morning can be pretty demoralizing to those of us not booked on a flight to Cannes this week. I can deal with picturesque window treatments and carefully landscaped lawns. Current model BMWs cutting me off on the sidewalk? No problem. But…

A line was crossed today. There is one house on the route so magnificent, so architecturally breathtaking in all its cedar shingled glory, that even its Home Depot outdoor potters transend our reality to honour the sublime. Anyways, that house, that family, was cooking bacon at 7:10 this morning! Is it really so much to ask that there be just a little pinch of justice for those of us with empty stomachs trudging by in beat-up sneaks? 

But then again, what a wonderful way to find out, at 7:10am, that yes, it is possible to have everything.


Not so different after all…

May 20, 2009

Traditional hijabCanadian Climate BurkaNorth Americans are the biggest hypocrites! We Canadians readily submit ourselves to a meteorological climate so hostile that merely revealing an ear to the world can lead to permanent injury.  The picture on the left was taken this morning, on May 20th. MAY! Here I am, bundled to the hilt, in a society that would happily let me skip around in little more than a couple of spandex triangles.

How dare we judge our sisters, whose own climate, albeit cultural, dictates an identical costume. Her and I are both madly in love with our countries and our families; why shouldn’t we dress for the best chance of success and acceptance in both. What is freedom? Do I really have the freedom to run through the snow in a bikini? Can my personal choice to expose my body to frostbite ever be comparable to the cultural reprimand one of my sisters might face if she rebelled in similar fashion?

Hmmm.

 (hijab image source)