Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympicking Part 2: The Concerts!


Current Mood: My god, it's going to be a long day!

Current Song: Harmony by Ryan Scott

The second week of the 2010 Olympics has been rather laid back, as the craziness on the streets starts to fade. It's raining again, as is usual for Vancouver in February. The stunning weather we got last week is very unusual, and really is more of a treat for our visiting parties here.

Last week was a complete overload. I was totally overstimulated from the going out all the time. In any case, we hit some fantastic concerts, and got to cheer on our teams as it were. A few pictures of our concerts are below. It was freezing. We stood for 3 or 4 hours at a time. And I had a massive headache every single time afterwards (Thank you, smokers of all kinds). But I wouldn't trade it.

Livecity Vancouver to watch the Hockey Game. Not really a concert. But this should be a small idea of what the vibe is like in the city. All you have is a sea of red and white (and black puffy vests, which are a staple if you're a Vancouverite)

The Canadian Tenors. They sang Queen's "We Are the Champions" and we all waved our red mittens. Awesome concert!

A group from Eastern Canada called DRUM! It tells the story of the cultures in the East, combining Gospel and Celtic traditions, and then adding our other tiles of the Mosaic, South Asian and Asian cultures (Taiko and Dhol).

Our Lady Peace concert. This is a very blurry Raine Maida, but you get the idea. Really high energy and awesome live concert. They sang old school and new school stuff, which was great!

The Arkells opened for Our Lady Peace. They're a great live band. Great sound and rock out music. I'd highly recommend getting their music.
I missed concerts by Sam Roberts and Wintersleep, which I really wanted to attend, but that's alright. I think I've pretty much surpassed my yearly concert going quota. Some fantastic events going on around town until Saturday night. I'm hoping to make it to one more at least!
This should give you a taste of how things have been around here. I'll do one final post, wrapping up our Olympic good times in Vancouver. Wish you had all been here to experience it!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Happy 4th Blogiversary and Why I Love Being Canadian


Current Mood: I'm pretty sure I'm going to run myself into the ground.

Current Song: These Kids by Sam Roberts

It's been crazy days these last 4 years as I think back. I almost can't believe that I started blogging back in 2006. I'm even more surprised that I've lasted this long. Who knew that something I was doing just as an outlet because of a horrendously difficult occupation I had would turn into something that I love doing? Life takes us on weird turns. Who knows maybe one day I might actually stop blogging. But I doubt that day is coming soon.

What I love about blogging the most is that I can express myself - fully and unabashadly. For those of you who have had the chance to meet me, you'll know I'm a big fan of candour. If you meet me in public, I talk like this. This is my voice. I don't think, other than singing, I've fully been able to express myself. Running from the contemplative to the crazy, I've been all over the place. And what's more is that people read and I have made some great friends over the years as I've been blogging. So a big thank you to those who drop by this space to see what crazy shenanigans I've been up to :)

I'm looking to take it to the next level now. I'd love suggestions on content you might want to see or things that I should talk about more. Should I start an advice column? Should I have guest-bloggers more often? Should I start a photo feature? Let me know! I love interact with you folks.

And now, I'm going to brag a bit about my country. Thanks for bearing with me.

Since the Vancouver 2010 Olympics started, I haven't spoken much about our national pride. It's probably because we're Canadian and we don't really announce it to the world all the time. The Prime Minister had to beg us before the games actually began. And I think that uncharacteristic burst of patriotism may even have offended countries who weren't used to the nice Canadians trash-talking. But that's another story.

My family came to Canada nearly two decades ago. And up until the year 2000, I never felt at home here. It's a beautiful city, but part of me was always tied to the fact that I had no home city for many years. I chose not to get attached (in case I had to leave again). For those of you who have visited, you can attest to how beautiful it is. I only started to see value in it when I turned 18. Many Canadians will tell you that there is nothing like breathing in the air and thinking "I'm home" as you approach your airport.
Now I know, that if and when I leave (which will hopefully be soon), I'll always come back "home" because my family and friends are here. The streets I've walked a million times are here too. My knowledge base comes from here. My outlook on life is probably about as Canadian as I'm ever going to get.

I love being Canadian because it agrees with my sensibilities. I can be friendly without being weird; I can be interesting because I have a background that fits into a cultural and respected mosaic; I can be proud because we do good things; I can make change and work with many ideas and viewpoints respectfully; And I can show off just a little bit because my country is one of the best to live in (albeit a little bit cold at times).

I love being Canadian. We like our Hockey, we like our coffee (and our beer, but I don't drink) and we love our flag. So if you meet a Canadian, high five them. We're worth getting to know :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympicking Part 1


Current Mood: So Tired!

Current Song: You Know So Well by Sondre Lerche

As promised, here are some shots of our first Olympic weekend. The fam and I took to the streets to take in all the sights. Obviously there are more pictures than just this selection, but here's a good starter.

Lineups are mad, weather is gorgeous. Volunteers are actually saying, "Welcome to the Summer Olympics!" It's fabulous and too much fun.

Concord Pacific Place by Science World (that weird looking dome, which is now converted to Russia House, anticipating the games in Sochi 2014)

The hoards of people taking the skytrain at Granville Skytrain station. So far no major issues, but then again I haven't actually been on it post-event yet.

The giant Canadian flag strapped across a building on Georgia Street. Talk about big Canadian pride.

Ziplining on Robson Square just by the outdoor Ice Rink! For those who aren't deathly afraid of heights (so NOT me), you can give it a shot. Looks like fun. Terrifying fun.

The Olympic Cauldron, currently fenced off, so this is the best I can do at 5'2". Pretty good, I say!
More shots coming up in the next few days as we hit other houses and venues!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Grim Specter of Aging Gracefully


Current Mood: Another monday.....heh.

Current Song: Running by Jully Black

Last week, I was again faced with my own mortality when I found three white hairs growing very close to the front of my face. Three, all in one shot. Well, actually I discovered one, and my sister discovered two others who were nesting nearby the first one.

After hyperventilating at the thought of growing old (Oh My God! I'm going to have to dye my hair for the first time in my life! I'm going to have to get wrinkle cream! Gravity will soon ensure my butt is kissing the ground!), I had to get myself together.

Luckily, as I went over to fellow blogger, Lindsey's blog, and she had a fabulous post on Paris gyms that gave me a bit of perspective on my life.

Terribly enough, we live in a society that is full of images where young means all kinds of good things. And old pretty much is akin to being some kind of discard. The lost and faded beauty of a once seductive woman who has nothing to offer the world but a set of crowsfeet when she smiles.

We don't have nearly as many people such as Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep floating around in our media. Mind you, there is more of a move towards understanding the aging phenomenon in the media, but not nearly as much awareness as there should be. And there is a circus-y ridiculousness in trying to look young. Trying to look you best for your age is different; trying to look young is just verging on farcical.

Growing older, I realized this is probably the best I feel yet. I've always been too old for my age and never could relate to my peers. For the first time in my life, age brings me confidence and the ability to carry myself with some poise and awareness of myself. This is my plus side of aging.

I think I'm setting up on a new path here. I think getting older is great boon and can work so much in our favour as we gain the experience of the years, and pass it down to the next generation.

I'll probably report back when I get my first laugh lines :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ocam's Razor or Nobody Likes a Drama Queen


Current Mood: Monday-ish. You know what it's like.

Current Song: Set Fire to the Third Bar by Martha Wainwright and Gary Lightbody.

Dear Women:

I've been talking to a lot of you on and off throughout my life and I've noticed a couple of things. Some of you really like drama. You collect drama like I used to collect Pogs back in the day. Molehills very quickly turn into mountains in one fell swoop. And then we analyse.
And analyse and analyse and analyse.

This is not always a good thing. It's really not. Trust me.

All the time you spend analysing the hell out of things (and mostly, I find this revolves around relationships of all kinds), you could be doing something else that's probably a lot more productive.

I know, most of you will say it's in your nature to do so. And that you can't help going through the "What's he thinking? and "What shall I do next?" thought processes, while you eat mountains of ice cream and your girlfriends give you all kinds of endings to scenarios that don't exist in the first place. But let me tell you, most of the time, the agony amounts to nothing.

Let's all remember Ocam's Razor: entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. In other words, entities must not be multiplied beyond their necessity. There's no use making a big deal out of something that isn't. Or, the simplest answer is often the best one.

We're all allowed moments where we feel like the world just caved in on itself. But it's very healthy to maintain a bit of perspective here. Whine and moan for a while, then get over it, and get on with your fabulous life (whatever you do). You are allowed to make a big deal out of something like: your long-lost dog coming home, or inventing a non-caloric but delicious cheesecake, or getting engaged or if your house indeed does cave in.

You are not allowed to make a big deal about the lack of phone calls from the fellow, or your heels getting wet, or how your can't read your boyfriend's mind. Got it?

We're starting off February, and I think it's best we do it on an empowered sort of note. We must promise ourselves not to overreact and to maintain perspective in our lives. The drama is often just not worth it really. It's cause for more anxiety. And worrying gives you wrinkles. You don't want those either.

Boys, this applies to you too (perhaps not the heels getting wet part). So man up, sort yourselves out and get going.

That's it from me today. I hope everyone has an enjoyable February 1st!