Helen’s version of love – what sweet hell have we climbed into. This version of love depends heavily on playing pretend, sleeping with married men, putting down other women, working your Kegels while watching sports, avoiding "homosexuals", and rating breeds of tigers. It's so hard to find a Valentine's Day card that encompasses all these things in today's day and age. Clearly, we have been led astray by those pesky feminists (although if it weren't for them we never would have won back crab. . . more on that in just a minute.)Read More
“Should you ever compromise and do something to him, or let him do something to you that makes you feel, well, yucky? No, of course, you shouldn’t.” When I read those two sentences, I thought, ‘Yes! Finally, Helen. Now I see why some people call you a feminist.’ But I should have held my reaction for just a split second longer. “And neither should you ever get menstrual cramps, dark circles under your eyes, hives, sunburned or bitten by mosquitoes. Every sexual encounter should be soul-lifting and exquisite, yes, but sex, like life, my dear, is not perfect, and you, Miss Faintheart, may not always be able to squirm out of a sexual situation just because it’s making you feel a little queasy!”Read More
I recently had the opportunity to help with promoting The Moment - a documentary about the history of freeride. Most of the people I reached out to were thrilled with the idea of the film and with having a showing in their town, but a few of the responses I received back surprised me.Read More
“Sex can be . . . the most sinus-clearing, mind-blowing, intoxicating, illuminating, exhilarating experience in the world, don’t you agree?” Um, I’ll have what she’s having. Hold on to your panties, because useful or not, Helen is going to dish out her special brand of wisdom (the uninformed kind). “Why would one even try to add to the sexual lore we don’t need any more of?” Good question. We already have volumes published on sex, like the Kama Sutra and The Joy of Sex. Having It All will surely sit on the shelf right next to those timeless classics. “Ego! Pure ego. I want you to know my thoughts on this most fascinating of all subjects. I’m not even going to offer hints from other men or women who might know something more than I, because I’m not sure you can mix sex advice. . . No, this sex-sagery is mine.” You should note, right here, right now, that she shares other people’s advice throughout this chapter. I feel as though her editor should have been fired. Who am I kidding, her editor should have been fired chapters ago for allowing Helen to abuse italics as much as she does.Read More
These two chapters on ‘Your Face and Body’ and ‘Clothes’ pack a punch (although the black eyes Helen refers to it in are from her plastic surgery.) Helen starts us off on the topic of beauty by beating us down, but she’s going to build us back up right? Well. . . let’s not get our expectations up.
“It starts early, our getting the idea – possibly because it’s true! – that we aren’t pretty.” Buckle up, by the end of this chapter you’ll feel that same way you used to after watching an episode of America’s Next Top model; confused, sad, and full from binging on chocolate.Read More
After Helen’s last chapter on diet, I expected this one on exercise to be full of unhealthy and near-neurotic advice and anecdotes – and it was, but I was also surprised to find how much I agree with some of the things Helen had to say on the topic. And given that we share similar childhood experiences when it comes to sports and fitness, I even felt a little bond growing between us as I turned the brittle, yellowed pages of ‘Having It All’ (which incidentally I still don’t).Read More
Helen tells us that “It is unthinkable that a woman bent on “having it all” would want to be fat, or even plump.” Helen and I are both 5'4 and according to her, I am 31 pounds overweight. By her definition, I'm not cute or sexy. I disagree. Now prepare yourselves, because this chapter only gets worse - “Do you like fat men? Of course not. . . [and] you ought to be suspicious of men who say they like fat women. Those men want mothers, at least a comfy, cushiony, sofa-pillow girl to sink into and hide out in.” And worse.Read More
“Why, really, should you listen to or do what I say?” It's as though Helen is reading my mind. As a response she tells us about the time that she was visiting Martha’s Vineyard with her husband back in the late 70’s when she “saw a rather pretty girl – twenty-two perhaps,” sun tanning on a dock. “She had a nice body, long legs. . . I studied her – the face isn’t as good as the body, I decided. . . nose a little big, eyes a little small, mouth a bit thin. Nice girl, nothing special.” Helen wondered if this poor disadvantaged girl would have a chance with any of the rich and famous men who frequented Martha’s Vineyard. “She would have a chance as a hanger-on, I decided . . . a little cookieburger that one of these men might take on for an evening.” But Helen knew that if she had her chance to impart her wisdom that this girl could “have her man – a good and “heavy” one . . . as well as a place in the sunshine which will make people listen to her and not reject her because she looks only okay but not great.”Read More
Last spring, I was perusing a selection of books at a thrift store when the word Mouseburger caught my eye on the back cover of Having It All – written Helen Gurley Brown and published in 1983. I wondered what the fuck a Mouseburger was – is it something that Tigers eat or is it a tiny burger that mice eat? Moreover, I was intrigued by what ‘having it all’ meant over thirty years ago and what women were willing to do to get it. The fact that someone had already expelled it from their personal library made me wonder if they had achieved the promise the title made or been horribly lead astray by it. So, I spent the $0.99 – a bargain from the original $4.99 cover price – and took it home.Read More
This past June I had the opportunity to travel to the Yukon to write an article for Freehub Magazine with Claire Buchar, Dylan Sherrard, and Jaime Hill. Videographer, Chris Grunberg, joined us and capture the magical adventure that we had.
Keep an eye out for the full story in the latest issue of Freehub.Read More
Eskapee.com gave me the opportunity to write a follow-up to my personal story - I Wanted to Die - that I wrote last year about depression.
"Two years ago I was trapped inside an emotional vacuum – neck deep, arms pinned relentlessly by my sides – that left me feeling detached from my body and adrift in my own misery. I was both consumed with grief and frantically attempting to outrun it; desperate for joy again in life but guilt-ridden at every brief moment I experienced it. And though I was in a place relatable to so many, my internal world left me feeling hopeless and alone.
Finally acknowledging that I was deeply depressed and having no idea how to get myself out of it, is what saved me. And today my world has less pain and more happiness."
This morning I woke up to CBC news reports about the ongoing rescue efforts in Mexico for this most recent earthquake and the attempts being made to free a young girl who is trapped under the rubble of her school.
It brought back a flood of memories.Read More
I recently wrote about what I learned about my social media hiatus for Eskapee.com.
"So I took a month off social media and my world didn’t end. It didn’t even fall apart.
I have never bought into the idea that social media is inherently evil or the undoing of our society. Notwithstanding a basic knowledge of algorithms and user manipulation, I look at these platforms as tools – nothing more, nothing less. If you use an axe properly you’ll chop enough wood to keep you warm through the winter. But if you are careless, you might find yourself alone and bleeding out behind your hipster cabin. Facebook, used wisely, should be no different.
But was I using it wisely? It doesn’t control us, we control it. Right?"
For as long as my cousin's and I can remember, Easter has been the holiday we've anticipated the most. We are quite possibly the furthest thing from being a religious family - instead our holidays have always been based on tradition, all of which were created by our Grandma Logan.Read More
I have been a minority amongst my friends for most of my adult life because I love Valentine’s Day. I don’t complain about it being a Hallmark holiday or dismiss it as being too materialistic (while trying to find storage for one more bike, one more sled, or one more sport-specific Gortex jacket), instead I wholeheartedly embrace a day devoted to love. I have to admit that I think when people join the trend of hating on it, they are just being lazy. And what’s up with that argument about not needing a special day to tell people that you love them? I call bullshit on that excuse too. I believe that you can embrace the essence of the day without spending a dime, but then again, I was educated about February 14th by a witch.Read More
When I arrived in Mexico earlier this month I hung over one hundred photos at the local taquería for the people who live in the village of Barra de Potosi to have. I called the project 'Rostros de mi segundo hogar (Faces from my second home)'. While technology like cell phones is prevalent here as a means of doing business, printed images are still highly valued as a luxury.
The images hung with this message:
If you see a photo of yourself, your family, or a friend, please take it home or give it as a gift. Thank you for sharing beautiful Barra de Potosi with my family! Merry Christmas.
Hola! Si encuentras una foto tuya, o de un amigo o familiar, por favor tómala o entrégala como regalo. Gracias por compartir Barra de Potosi con mi familia. ¡Feliz Navidad!
When I returned to the taquería after Christmas all but a few photos had been claimed and when I road my bike into the village today I was greeted by people who were thrilled with their photos - including my favourite fruit lady!
The project was so sucessful that I plan to do it again next year and have already started collecting images for it.
This man is affectionately called 'The Mayor of Ferellones'; a small village that connection to Barra de Potosi where my family lives. Two years ago I took this photo of him riding his donkey, they were inseparable. As part of my Rostros de mi segundo hogar (Faces from My Second Home) project I printed this image to hang at the local taqueria.Read More
This was my fourth year covering the behind the scenes of Red Bull Rampage for Pinkbike.com. Going into the event there is always a mix of excited about seeing history made as the boundaries of what's possible in mountain biking are broken, but also apprehension about safety and fair treatment of our friends. This year Red Bull came the closest ever to closing the gap when they worked with feedback from the athletes and participated in our industry rather than exploiting the talents in it. From that perspective it was an incredible year - despite injury and our absent McGazza.
Below are the images from my disposable cameras behind the scenes.
A report released earlier this year stated that Vancouver residents alone had reported over 10,000 bike thefts in just 4.5 years. The Internet is full of statistics on bike theft – worldwide, a bike is stolen every 90 seconds and only 2.4% are returned to their owners. The question now is not so much if your bike will be stolen, but when.
According to the Vancouver Police Department’s website, in the summer months an average of nine bikes are stolen every day – an average of 2000 every year. ‘On the flipside, the VPD recovers roughly 2000 bicycles in a year. Unfortunately, the majority of them will never be returned to their owners, as their serial numbers have not been reported to police, making them untraceable. These bikes will end up at auction, but we'd rather return them to their rightful owners.’
Belonging to a community like the one we have through mountain biking, we benefit greatly from the inspiration, influence, and individuality of others. But we also suffer enormous losses and feel these losses very deeply. For all the positives we gain, we also surrender to great sorrows throughout our lives simply due to the enormity of our collective.
It’s no secret that the beginning of this year has been complete shit when it comes to the untimely deaths of great people. Both Kelly McGarry and Stevie Smith passed away far too soon, but each touched our lives by showing us what was possible. In bearing witness to their accomplishments and setbacks, we took from them the inspiration to push our own boundaries. We love them as much for who they were, as we do for how they made us feel about ourselves. And whether we knew them personally or followed their strong media presences, we lived vicariously through their passion and traveled the world through their eyes. We are all affected by their loss and the loss of all heroes like them, but we are also united as a community in sorrow.