February 28, 2009

Warm Fuzzy Olympics

Olympic Hopes & Dreams

Today, I took another step towards the Olympics. I also had my dreams crushed a bit. At the "Team 2010 Volunteer Orientation" I took the next step in getting to be a volunteer for the Vancouver Olympics. It is the closest I will ever get to a gold medal podium. I am not able to volunteer for the main events, because of my work schedule. Hopefully I will be chosen for the Paralympics instead.

I was asked, over and over, why I wanted to volunteer. The answer seemed obvious to me; it's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had some sort of mundane answer for my mini-interview, and then later thought of the more touching reason:

When I was a kid, my family didn't own a TV. But when the Olympics came around, we would rent a television and watch the CBC coverage with rabbit ears and a wire or two. We'd often eat dinner on TV trays, staring at the fuzzy screen...I may be glamorizing my memories, but they really are fond. The Olympics are happy family times in my books. (Yes, we sometimes fought about what to watch when nothing exciting was happening in the competitions. Yes, we watched other things. Yes, my parents have a TV now. Yes, they still use rabbit ears.)

The Other Thing

I planned to discuss a whole other topic. Now, as I gaze dazedly at my TV (I've been out every night this past week) and every coherent thought has flown away. I have once again proven to myself that I am not a high-energy extrovert. I like sitting by myself. I have missed doing nothing.

How To Make Me Cry

I remember now. At the orientation this morning, we were shown several inspirational videos. It did its job; it increased my desire to be a part of the Games. There is something about epic music and beautiful cinematography that makes me a little weepy. When we watched this video, my Canadian pride grew. The final shot is epic. (I couldn't help wondering at the cost of this all, I will admit).

When we watched the video below, I actually teared up* at the shot of the guy in a white track suit and his Down-Syndrome little buddy.

*I wasn't the only one who found this moving. I also caught the pregnant woman wiping her eye.

February 24, 2009

February 23, 2009

Random Generate Everything!

I have too many thoughts and too little time. I shouldn't start blogging with that excuse, but it is TRUE. I want to write about pregnancy and womanhood, things that Jesus is teaching me, and homosexuality. But those are all such big topics and I only have time for the random generation machine.

My brother posted a new note on Facebook today that made me smile. It is a formula for randomly generating a band:

  1. Click on this link. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
  2. Click on this link. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
  3. Click on this link. Third picture, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, will be your album cover.
  4. Use photoshop or something similar to put it all together.
My band is Frederick Pirani and our first album will be called The Silence of our Friends.* I didn't make the album cover because I lack the skills, but the shot is a black and white double exposure of a bike & a construction site.

And now it's time for bed.

*Frederick Pirani is an NZ politician, and the album title comes from a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. If you ask me, this is actually a pretty sweet gig. Anyone want to join my band?

February 20, 2009

Sneak Peek

Yesterday I went to the beach and took engagement photos for my gorgeous friends, Amelia and Varun.

February 18, 2009

Two Long Stories Made Short

Last night, I accelerated past 80 on the highway and my car started making a terrible noise. I was sweating, gripping the steering wheel and praying, Dear Jesus... So I took the next exit and pulled into a Save-On in Aldergrove. Called Wendy in a panic, then got out to take a look. I was afraid that it was my belt and I might be stranded halfway between places I don't really know. Thankfully, it was a plastic piece that could be easily duct-taped in place then removed by a mechanic. I celebrated for a moment! I noticed I locked my keys in the car. I have no CAA. So I panicked again. Then I called the friend I was trying to visit in Abbotsford. Her dad drove her (and his BCAA card) to come rescue me. No charge, no hassle. Just a little waiting.

Today, in the beautiful sunshine, I went for a walk along a creek. I was sitting on a bench watching the ducks and had a conversation with a man in a wheelchair. He spoke broken English, and I had little to say. Then he invited me to his house for lunch, and despite my inital refusal, I went. His wife cooked me food and told me to come again anytime. I met his daughter-in-law and grand-daughter. She sent me away with another meal's worth of food, hugged me, and said, "You are like my daughter." He came with me all the way back to where I am staying, clarified twice that I had their phone number, and kissed my hand.

February 13, 2009

Forget Valentine...

I am totally ambivalent about Valentine's Day, as a single person. I love seeing couples celebrate, but I do roll my eyes a bit at the multi-million dollar industry...I'm never cool with capitalism. Do I hope to find love on Valentine's Day? Just as much as I hope to find it every other day. I don't feel especially alone or lonely or sad. I almost forgot that today was even a special day.

But apparently, St. Valentine isn't who I should be all excited about anyway. He's for those of you who already have your soulmate. For me & my available friends, Raphael is the saint of choice. So says BBC and the Catholic Church. He's the patron saint of happy encounters, and he helped Tobiah get hitched to Sarah, who had had seven previous bridegrooms perish on the eve of their nuptials. Talk about unfortunate! But thanks to Raphael, she finally found true love (or at least tied the knot with someone).

So, for all of us single people, the day that we should be celebrating, the day we should do our speed-dating, wear our cutest clothes and hope just a little bit harder that we'll meet that special someone is not today. We have to wait until October 24th.

Just enough time to decide what to wear!

February 12, 2009

On Being a "Professional Christian"

I have joked recently that my job is to be a "professional Christian."

This week, it is both incredibly satisfying and incredibly tiring to be a "professional Christian." Or at least, to have my job. I have been wanting to write, to process and joke and think, but I lack the energy.

After two more days, I get part of a weekend (ha). Next week, I am going for a mini-retreat in the middle of the week, and I am quite excited.

February 7, 2009

Apple Advertising

Just thought I'd follow up my post about Apple being The Man with this blog entry from Donald Miller. I knew I loved Donald Miller. We think the same.

(Don't get me started on Donald Miller. I am only 3 degrees of separation from him, and although I shy away from crushes on men I don't know and idolizing people whose faith I respect, I wish I could meet him in a non-celebrity sort of setting. Or maybe he could be my writing mentor!?)

Teenage Romances, Wikipedia & Hypochondria

When I was in junior high, I read about a dozen books by an author named Lurlene McDaniel. I loved her stories. Teenage romance, good moral values, and cancer. Or HIV. Maybe diabetes. Some sort of life-threatening illness that is about to ruin lives.

I forgot about Lurlene and all of her tear-jerking novels. Until I was in the shower this afternoon and noticed a bruise on my leg. On the side of my calf, the outside of my knee. I have no idea how it got there.

Unexplained bruising is one of the symptoms of leukemia. I believe at least one of Lurlene's heroines was eventually diagnosed with leukemia after random, inexplicable bruising...which of course, is now my first thought every time I find a bruise I don't remember. Today, I made the connection back to the books that introduced me to this fact.

(My roommate Wendy has a similar relationship with extended thirst & diabetes, all thanks to an episode of Happy Days.)

I should never go on Wikipedia for medical information. This time, as I read about leukemia, I found out that I have petechiae; I've been wondering for a year or so what those little red pinpricks were called. None of the causal illnesses of petechiae are very pleasant...

February 6, 2009

Music Video Rant

I decided to turn on the TV while working on my laptop. For some reason, I thought it might be interesting to see the Much Music Top Ten Countdown. And now I'm going to rant:

Pink - Sober: I thought, for a brief time, this might actually have a positive message. She doesn't want to be the girl "who laughs the loudest or the girl who never wants to be alone." But apparently she does want to be the girl who has a pointless and explicit make-out session with herself...?

Taylor Swift - Love Story: a) You're 17. b) Romeo and Juliet die. c) Most unrealistic song ever. Some of my friends would refer to this as "girl porn" - all the emotional satisfaction without any of the realism.

David Archuleta - A Little Too Not Over You: Subtle product placement with the camera. Sweet, innocent...and apparently everyone lives in massive houses with lots of space for angst, guitar playing, and Rock Band flashbacks. With all the rain in this video, I can't help wondering if it was shot in Vancouver.

Britney Spears - Circus: Product placement, this time for an upscale jewelry brand. Wearing nude coloured clothing is like wearing no clothing. Pretty much what I expected...Britney meets Moulin Rouge. I stopped watching after the first 45 seconds.

Lady GaGa - Poker Face: What is she wearing!? Seriously - weirdest stuff ever. Skanky, but something about the large plastic shoulders and weird dancing that makes it slightly less offensive. I like her pool. The end.

iTunes Owns Half My Soul

I have $20.02 in iTunes credit, and too many artists to choose from. Should I get whole albums, or just samplings? Who do I choose!?

Half the artists on my potential list are ones I've discovered through the iTunes free download of the week. Which is a feature that I love. Until they suck me in by their slick marketing that coordinates with six hundred other things (like TV and radio, for one), to make up-and-coming artists more and more desirable. And now I want their albums, but I have to pay for the rest of it. I've already bought one album from an iTunes freebie - Adele is a great jazzy Brit.

Anyway, I am in music purgatory (if purgatory is some halfway point between heaven and hell).

  • Music heaven: all the music I desire at my fingertips.
  • Music Hell: being sold a packaged bill of goods, caving to the pressures of popularity and nearly subliminal influences.

I don't want to be controlled - or even influenced - by the Man, who is now owned by Apple. But I want the things they're selling. Sigh.

February 5, 2009

Stream of Consciousness

I feel obligated to post something tonight, because I haven't written since Sunday and I have a night to myself...what else will I do? I decided not to watch TV, which really means that I stopped watching TV around 7 o'clock, after half-watching Ellen, Law & Order: CI, and Friends. I don't like that I watch this much TV right now. There are more important things to do.

Like write blogs, and read books (I am done one book of Indian short stories and have another on loan from a friend). I also have a book that I bought in December sitting waiting to be read, two random books of facts, lists & trivia (which I will never sit down and read straight through) and three or more work-related non-fiction books I would like to plow through at some juncture.

I can hear voices downstairs, and I feel a mix of contentment that I am alone, and sadness that I'm not part of the laughter. Oh, missing out. I never want to miss out, even when I'm happy alone.

Five minutes later - a conversation.

Me: Sometimes I wonder, when I have inappropriate dreams, why...like, what is going on in my subconscious that I don't know about?
Wendy: Babies!
Me: Uhhh
Wendy: I just assumed you meant sexually inappropriate...not like, "In my dream, I committed sloth."
Me: hysterical laughter (in my head)

I think that's all I've got for tonight. I am going to do a little reading, maybe talk a little, laugh a bit, and then sleep.

February 2, 2009

Ron Jeremy & Refined Jazz

This was a week of cultural extremes and abnormal moments.

On Tuesday night, I sat at a pub, across the table from Ron Jeremy (famous in the adult entertainment industry), who was clad in sweats, a Hawaiin t-shirt, and a pair of Crocs. He is not exactly a great conversationalist, although Sarah and I did try. I am not used to being in public with a recognizable celebrity, and it felt odd (but flattering) to be in the line of people's attention. At the end of the night, Ron played me a song on his harmonica: When the Saints Go Marching In.

You may be surprised that I was at a pub with such an infamous person...there is a legitimate reason, and I had been planning to share some related thoughts, but I've gotta admit: I am tired of talking about sex. I need a break.

Last night, I went out again. This time to The Cellar, one of the best jazz clubs around. This time, I was with a small group of select friends. We were the last to arrive as the first set was beginning, sat in the back corner, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. I would guess the average age in the crowd was around 42, but I felt classy, sitting & sipping and listening to great live music.

There are only two negative things I could say about the entire night. The first is that we didn't have the best view of the musicians, which I always enjoy. The second is that we were shushed by a middle-aged waitress, much to our chagrin. I honestly don't think we were that loud, and felt doubly insulted because I don't believe we would have been chastened if we hadn't been the youngest table there.

I love live music. I love my friends. I love Kirsten's honesty...."It's awkward RIGHT NOW!!!"