Friday, February 26, 2010

What a week

The Olympics ... have been great!

Work ... has been busy. I've averaged working 10 hours a day the past 5 days. Maybe that's normal for you (and in some parts of the world, a 50-hour work week is standard), but I'm used to a 40 hour work week. So it was a little stressful. And our internet has been wonky. AND our wireless router does not want to work, making internet use all that much more infrequent.

So, let me just say:
  • Joannie Rochette is amazing! If you don't know who that is or why she's amazing, google her name. You'll be amazed.
  • Clara Hughes is amazing. She has won a total of 6 Olympics medals, the only woman to have multiple medals in both the summer AND winter Olympics. Yay!
  • The women's bobsleigh teams ... amazing!
  • The American figure skater Rachael Flatt ... did all that at her first senior international competition. Amazing!
  • Canada's women's hockey team ... amazing! (Though going onto the ice to smoke cigars ... not such a good decision, ladies. Though I do wonder if it would have been criticized if the men's team had made that decision.)
  • Both Canada's curling teams ... amazing!
  • Yu-Na Kim (as she calls herself when in Canada, but known as Kim Yu-Na in her home country) ... amazing!
  • So many things about the Olympics ... amazing!

Um ... men's ski jump being include in the Olympics, but not women's ski jump ... not so amazing. Way to return to your sexist roots, IOC. (That is a reference to the father of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, who felt that the Olympics ought to only include men's events.)

I'll post more thoughts when I have more time to blog. For now, all I have to say: most of these Olympics have been fun to watch. All the Olympians from all the countries have impressed me!

I will be in a small town in Northern Quebec next week for work. I may not have internet access. I hope I at least have a tv where I'm staying. (I'm not staying at the local motel, but rather at someone's house who is "renting" his house for the week. Long story. Actually, not long, just confusing.) So my "once a week" post will probably be the norm again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Olympics Update (from my perspective!)

Olympics re-caps / highlights (in my opinion):

  • American Shaun White's gold medal performance. He knew he had gold, so he went out there and did some McTwist 1260, which is supposed to be ridiculously hard. (Like I know anything about the half-pipe snowboarding!) And it looked awesome!
  • Canadian Marianne St-Gelais's silver medal in short track speed skating. Short track is seriously insane, but fun to watch. And what a birthday gift!
  • Canadian Christine Nesbitt's gold medal in long track speed skating. Yay!
  • Watching new up-and-coming figure skating men Denis Ten, Florent Amodio, Paolo Bacchini, and others, who were all incredibly artistic and fun to watch!
  • Jon Montgomery's gold medal in skeleton, which is so recent I can't post a link to it! Woohoo!
  • Mellisa Hollingsworth's humility and grace. She was one of the favourites to win women's skeleton, but a tiny mistake cost her any medal. Minutes later when she was interviewed, as tears streamed down her face, all she could do was apologize. Mellisa: you did your best, and one small mistake cost you a medal. Like you said, it can happen to anyone at anytime. You did your best, and that is nothing to be ashamed of!

    Note: I am using the British grammar rules when I type "Groves's medal". That is preferred in British grammar (and most Canadian grammar sources), whereas "Groves' medal is preferred in most American grammar sources. Much like the colour / color debate, I tend to favour the British tradition with my spellings and grammar.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I think I'm a child stuck in an adult's body

I am working with some colleagues to put together a training program for a client. I just got an email from a superior saying that we have plenty of a particular training aid to "add to the loot". This colleague doesn't seem to have a great sense of humour, so I know it wasn't meant to be silly. However, all I can think is "yarrr, matey"!

Also, last night I found myself skipping down the hallway at home. It was fun and freeing, and it's not a rare occurrance for me.

Do normal adults do things like this? Or did I forget to grow up?

Okay, back to work: I shouldn't be blogging while at work, but I figure since my lunch was cut short by a meeting that 2 minutes of blogging won't hurt anyone.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010



Apparently The Today Show mistook Michael J Fox for Terry Fox.

Terry Fox had (and died of) cancer, and tirelessly ran to support cancer. His mother Betty was one of eight Canadians to carry the Olympic flag in the Opening Ceremonies last week-end.

Michael J. Fox is an actor who has Parkinson's disease and does everything he can to support Parkinson's research.

Both Canadians. One died almost thirty years ago (Terry). The other is still alive and well (Michael).


Monday, February 15, 2010

One silver ... then One bronze ... and finally One gold ... and another Silver: a good week-end for Canada!

Canadian, Philanthropist and Olympian (prior to Saturday, she was the reigning gold medallist in women's moguls) Jennifer Heil had a great run and received silver. When you ski your best you know you can be proud. American Hannah Kearney also did her best, and on that day, Kearney's best won the gold. Jennifer Heil is a great Canadian athlete who lost to another great athlete doing the performance of her life. Stand tall, Jenn - you did great! Canada is proud of you!

Kristina Groves had a great bronze in women's speed skating in the 3000m race, not her specialty, so we could see more medals from her. Kristina has a fun blog that show-cased her way to the Games. Way to go, Kristina, it was fun watching you skate! I can't wait to cheer you on in the 1500m, which commentator Catriona assures me is your best!

Yesterday evening, Alexandre Bilodeau beat out fellow Canuck-born Australia-representative Begg-Smith. Watching Bilodeau's brother Frederic cheer Alexandre on reminded me of how great the Games are.

Our first gold medal AT HOME!

And today, Michael Robertson got the silver in snowboard cross. He led most of the race, and was narrowly defeated at the end. Still, silver is nothing to be ashamed of!

(I'll be devoting most of this blog to the Olympics for the next 2 weeks, most of which will focus on Canada, my home and native land. Feel free to take pride in your country and follow suit by devoting your blog to your Olympians! I'll gladly read about your favourites, too!)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympics Opening Ceremony!

What'd you think of the Opening Ceremonies? Did you watch them? If you did, you might have been confused. I was. I always am! I never understand the dancing and "symbolic" imagery in the Opening Ceremonies. I understand the obvious (running through the prairies), but I didn't understand the purpose of the "fall colours" set to Canadian fiddlers (what does that have to do with the Winter Olympics?), but it is fun to watch. And the tribute to Georgian Nodar Kumaritashvili was beautiful.

Let's play a game. Do you know who was Canadian of the performers?

Was it singer Bryan Adams? Or singer Nelly Furtado?

Or k.d. land singing Canadian Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah?

Or maybe Sarah McLachlan singing her ethereal and appropriate Ordinary Miracle?

Or the carriers of the Olympic flag? (Hockey Player Bobby Orr, Singer Anne Murray, Race Car Driver Jacques Villeneuve, Cancer Advocate Terry Fox's Mother Betty Fox, Astronaut Julie Payette, Humanitarian Romeo Dallaire, Figure Skater and Olympic Gold Medallist Barbara Ann Scott and Actor Donald Sutherland)

Correct answer: everyone was Canadian! All the performers were Canadian! Rumours were swirling that other Canucks Celine Dion or Michael Bublé would perform, but they did not. I think they did a great job of organizing everything, other than the Olympic cauldron technical difficulty. Um, oops. I feel awful for Catriona LeMay Doan, who did not get to co-light the torch, as was intended, along with Olympian Nancy Greene, NBA Star Steve Nash and "The Great One" Wayne Gretzky. Catriona was graceful in standing as the other three lit the cauldron insntead. She should be proud of her composure and grace under fire!

Random fact: I was born in the same hospital (many years later) as Bryan Adams. Random, eh?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's a new week!

A chance to start a new week, start anew and get a fresh start ... again!

And tomorrow is my husband's birthday.

(That's him waiting for me to come down the aisle on our wedding day. Doesn't he look dapper?)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Yay! It's almost the Olympics!

(If this shows up in your reader multiples times, I apologize. I editted after publishing a couple times. Sorry about that. I hope this is the final edit.)

If you remember from my Canadian Bride days, I love the Olympics. I love them less than, say, ten years ago, as I become disillusioned by their ever-more-apparent corruption, but nonetheless, I still love the Olympics.

And this year, we're hosting the world! (Keep in mind that I'm almost as "close" to Vancouver as I am to London, England. Seriously, Marie! Those in Eastern Canada are actually much closer to London, England than Vancouver, Canada!)

The Canadian television station broadcasting the Olympics has done a great p.r. campaign (in my opinion) of hyping us up.

This campaign started almost two years ago, introducing us to some of our greatest hopes, including Patrick Chan (in the third of these commercials):

In every commercial, we are asked, "Do you believe?"

We even had children in later commercials reminding us that we have never won gold on our own soil. "It didn't happen in Calgary. It didn't happen in Montreal." Again, we were asked (by the children), "Do you believe?" There are also French commercials with the same message, as well as commercials aired on varying other language stations / shows (Punjabi, Spanish, Chinese, etc) to get the whole country to believe.

Every commercial is set to music by Oscar winner Howard Shore and narrated by Donald Sutherland's dulcet tones. Never did we see Sutherland, so if you didn't recognize his voice, you might not have realized it was him. Well, this week he appears in his first commercial (not as a voice-over, but as a person) in probably the most Canadian of these ads (and the only one I'd consider outwardly patriotic; we Canucks usually prefer a little more subtlety). No longer does Donald Sutherland ask if we believe, but rather tells us "It's time to believe!" And I'm really excited by this commercials. In fact, I just about jump up and cheer, exclaim that I'm excited about the Olympics (to which Wade replies that he knows and proceeds to roll his eyes), and often I feel tears well up. I'm hyper-emotional like that.

To see more of these fun commercials, just go to you-tube and search Believe commercial Olympics and dozens will pop up (including spoofs and mockeries). The real commercials are also great for introducing us to some less well-known sports like skeleton (doesn't the name give you a hint?!), show you the bravery of overcoming the hazards of pairs figure skating, or the fortitude of overcoming an oppressive country and immigrating to another country for a chance at success in life.
I recommend that if you have 3 minutes, you watch the videos those link to. Trust me, you'll become excited about your country, too, and learn a little bit more about crazy winter sports!

But what else unites us in hope? Hope that this Olympics will let the best rise to the top, hope that we see the best of humanity (Canada will always be indebted to Norway and to Bjørnar Håkensmoen), hope that we don't have doping scandals or IOC scandals, and hope that we will all be united, if only for 15 days.

(As an aside, I am convinced that the majority of IOC executives are corrupt. I am also of the opinion that being caught doping, even if years after the event, should constitute losing your medal. I don't believe in any statute of limitations if you knowingly cheat.)

P.S. I've been really sick the last few days. And rarely (for me), it's not a respiratory-based flu, it's a stomach flu. (Did you know most "24 hour flus" are actually food poisoning? Well, this is not a 24-hour flu, this was a real flu.) I'm feeling better, but I still have the spins if I move too quickly!