Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Music & Marley

You know your song, that one major song that’s all yours? You loved it the first time you heard it and you love it even more a decade later. Your song. It’s magical, spiritual, rip-you-a-part emotional, it’s everything that you are and that you want to be. And hey, maybe you have more than one. But mine is on right now and it’s dancing through my bones.

Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen. I discovered the original '82 version alongside someone that meant a lot to me, my dog. Curled up at my feet, Marley was there when I stumbled upon this song and downloaded. I remember pressing play and listening to the enchanting power come out of my speakers. I wanted the words to be my language so I memorized the lyrics quickly. Blaring the volume, I sang along with Bruce. And so did Marley. We howled and danced together that day. It was silly and stupid and also totally, completely special. That moment - this song, is one of the last memories I have of Marley.

It’s so hard to speak about him. It’s going on a year and a half and I still can’t speak about what happened or him without breaking down. Long exhaaale.

Back to the music. Other than the obvious romantic kind of love and the obvious magician type magic (*poof!), there are two main things in my life that I feel really encompass both love and magic. Those of course would be animals and art. Clearly, photography is my art of choice. But music very much so is an art form that is a part of my soul. It’s astounding; just a quick melody can make your heart burst or bring you to times of sorrow or make your veins pump with adrenaline. Music is art. Music is love. And music is most definitely magic.

When I hear Atlantic City by Bruce Springsteen I get goose bumps along with an overwhelming, awful heart ache. I’m reminded of a great loss, the biggest tragedy of my life actually. It’s such a rad song though, I promise. Atlantic City also reminds me of an amazing undeniable bond that I had never experienced with any soul. When I hear those drums beat, surges of love, of hope for meeting again - ring in my ears. Best news yet? I just discovered a really upbeat version of Atlantic City, thankfully still sung by ol’ Bruce.

Check out this live version with the E Street band. Although it still makes me sad, this version is happier and helps me cope a little better. Hopefully you will likey.

Well now our luck may have died and our love may be cold
but with you, forever I'll stay
We're goin' out where the sands turn into gold
Everything dies, baby that's a fact
Maybe everything that dies
someday comes back
Put your make up on,
fix your hair up pretty
and meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
Meet me tonight in Atlantic City
C'mon and meet me..
C'mon and meet me tonight in Atlantic City

On the opening day of your shelter Marley, I’ll blast this one just for you.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Van Herk Babes, Lucas & Corey

More baby fever, I tell ya! I photographed Elan and her baby belly not too long ago now, it seems. And now it's time for little Corey to make his big debut. Take a look at all his adorable-ness and his awesome older brother, Lucas' too.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nom Nom

Bah, my hubby has been out of town so I think I've been lacking in human contact lately. Just to prove it, here I am about to ramble about cookies. My fave cookies. Ever. Because I'm always about spreading the joy, I'm insisting, pleading, no - demanding for you to try them. Lofthouse Mini Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. They're small oatmeal cookies with cinnamon flavoured icing that I swear tastes like cream cheese too. They're sweet but salty and drooool. They're like cozing up to your lovey next to the fire. Or carving pumpkins on Halloween. They're THAT good.

And while I'm talking about things I love, take a look at my darlings..

Slurpee aka Slur-peep, The Slurp, Slurp da Durp, Monsieur, My Boy
Soda aka Soda Poop, Sodes, Monkey Baby, Little Miss

Friday, April 16, 2010

Priscilla No.2

I'm a fast typer. Wonder how I got these mad-skilled-Speedy-Gonzales-fingers? Practicing in the tub. Yup, the bath tub. When I was a kid, sitting in a pool of my own filthy water waiting for the ol' Head & Shoulders to soak in, I'd type sentences on an invisible computer. I practiced on my air keyboard pretty much everyday. Why? I don't know (especially considering I had a real, physical computer with a real, physical keyboard just downstairs). And why did I only type on my air computer while I was bathing? Again, don't know. But I'm telling you, I got good on that imaginary thing. And now, I'm not so bad at typing on a real keyboard either. Go figure.

Onto something relevent. I have a dear friend, who like me, is a lover of all things art. Priscilla is a lovely lady that I don't get to see often anymore because she moved to Alberta.. *long dramatic SIIIIIIGH.* When we do get to visit though, it's pretty likely the cameras are coming out to play. This last time, we did a spur of the moment mini-shoot in Priscilla's family's backyard surrounded by mooching bokboks (chickens) and the invigorating (ie. damn cold) country air. Take a look at a few goodies of Priscilla's peacock-inspired look..

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Princess Jamie

So many hopes and dreams in this one heart of mine. It's lovely being so full of passion and inspiration and yet, terrible. As one human being, I have to face the cold dreary music.. I just can't do it all. I have a humongous bucket list. Like HU-mongous, that's how mongous. Honestly, I know if I don't do it all, I'll still be happy. But the ones I'm about to tell you about, man oh man, they mean so much to me.

Ashley's Top 10:
-travel the world with the World Wildlife Fund
-live in Africa for a year
-become an intern for a wildlife sustainability program.. in my big dreamy dreams that would be working for Jane Goodall
-get disaster relief training
-take part in international dog rescues with the World Society for the Protection of Animals
-own a cozy little house on acreage
-open my own dog and cat rescue and rehabilitation centre
-create an international dog and cat rescue, going on annual missions across the globe
-become extraordinarily successful as an artist, encompassing my photography
-have a family

As I said, I know I can't do it all. If I could just check off a couple, I would be so thrilled. The older and older I'm getting (oi, I can just hear my family saying, "You're NOT old!" - I just turned 22 a couple months ago but I feel ancient I tell you!), I'm realizing how important the family one is to me. I've been back and forth about this idea of family throughout my life; as a child I knew I wanted children, once I hit the whole teenage self-centered, drama queen stage though, I completely swore off kids. But once I started dating my now husband at the end of senior year, I absolutely knew I wanted to have children with him. Because of all the other extremely important things on my Top 10 list though, we've been putting babies on the back burner. Hmm. Perhaps that figure of speech wasn't the most aptly chosen. No, there are no crispy babies on the barbie that I'm aware of.

Anyways, latley I've found myself surrounded by friends and siblings and cousins and even strangers at the mall, all with - you guessed it.. babies. This is making our whole late 20s/early 30's family plan difficult because dang, baby fever is contagious. I mean, LOOK at this little girl and tell me you don't want one for yourself.

Pee Ess. Her name is Jamie, she is 10 months old and completely and totally caaa-ute. Her momma is my husband's cousin, Karrie (who is also completely and totally caaa-ute).