Big Cheers and Heartfelt Jeers

By DJ Kelly July 12, 2008

Cheers to Calgary for being named as one of Fast Company Magazine’s “2008 Fast Cities” in the June issue. This magazine has quickly become my favourite (sorry Calgary Inc. – I still like you and want to stay friends). To have my hometown highlighted alongside mentor cities (cities I think Calgary should look to for advice and strive to follow in the footsteps of) like Chicago, London and Seattle is very exciting. It shows, while perhaps we haven’t arrived yet, we are definetly on the right path.

And people are starting to take notice.

Jeers to me for being so absent from blogging these past two months. I did indeed survive my back surgery (thank you to those that enquired) so that’s not the reason I’ve be non-existent since the end of May.

What can I say, there are a number of reasons why I’ve been offline (my own RSS reading has drastically declined this summer too). First: its just so damn nice outside; second: I think I’m a little Web 2.0 burnt out. Sometimes it is just nice to not have to find info myself and let a book, magazine, movie or the television do the heavy lifting for me. That pretty much describes the past three months. I’ve been lazy on purpose.

I suppose there is a third reason too. I’ve drafted a blog post about it three or four times but none of them seemed appropriate or expressed what I was feeling. The third reason I’ve been so absent is the death of Amber Bowerman. I’m not sure my I let it affect my writing, but I did. (Isn’t it strange how someone’s selfish act can have such an unforseen ripple effect?)

Amber, a freelance writer in Calgary – and always a strong supporter of the arts, was murdered on the evening of Tuesday, May 27 by her landlord, who also killed his wife and himself. The details have been widely publicized and I don’t want to get into them again. There is no need to open old wounds.

I did not know Amber well; I had only had drinks with her and her husband a couple of times. (They once stuck me with the bill after heading home without paying after a night of revellery at Velvet.) We might’ve even walked past each other on the streets without recognizing one another, but I somehow admired her without really knowing it. Her writing with Alberta Views was admirable and her work with other publications such as Avenue, Calgary Inc. or Swerve always spoke well to me. I looked up to her success as a freelancer and thought well of her.

She’ll be missed by many, myself included. But the writing must continue.