Saturday, November 29, 2008

what happens when a mathematician and a good cook have children

My Mom made me a delicious birthday supper a couple of days early. For dessert, she made me an angel food cake with chocolate frosting. Dad put the candles in. Forty-seven in binary makes for less of a bonfire on the cake top.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

the inside and the outside and the action side

Loping up to my 47th birthday on Saturday, I'm thinking about who I am right now and what I'm doing. Luckily I have been receiving a little help from my friends:

the inside
I had my final personal coaching session with Christina yesterday. These sessions have been provided by my employer, as part of a year-long leadership course I have been taking. About once a month I have a telephone or in-person meeting with Christina. Her role as a coach is to help me focus on myself, reflect on what's happening for me - personally, professionally, emotionally, physically, spiritually - whatever I find. We talk about what I want to celebrate, what's provoking me, what I want to accomplish - I get to set the agenda. Her techniques of questioning and acknowledgment help me to figure out for myself how I'm feeling and what I want to do. I feel recognized and encouraged when we talk. Other inside influences on a more ongoing basis: church, loving relationships, journal writing...

the outside
I've got a massage today - also provided by work! The massage therapy students come once a month, and I get to take my lunch break and have a student make me his or her practice patient for an hour. I have been getting some help with my "computer muscles" (upper back, shoulders, neck). It feels good and helps me sit and stand a little taller, and move with more grace. I'm also doing the cycle classes - one yesterday and one tomorrow. Hurtling nowhere fast in a dark room full of other people hurtling nowhere fast is strangely satisfying, and it makes me sweat and my heart roars like a big engine.

the action side
Today is my last morning volunteering at the shelter for this year's program. I've also got the sandwich ministry going on each month, and my work helping to organize Vancouver Poetry House and getting volunteers for the Vancouver Poetry Slam, and my involvement with Shoreline Writers' Society. Then there's my paid work at the recreation centre, and of course, the heart of my world - my family. Every day is filled with stuff I gotta do, and it's good stuff that has meaning and heart-warmingly tangible outcomes. Doing good things with people is what I am meant for.

I think of my birthday as my real new year's day. Usually I start a new year resolution around my birthday time, rather than on January 1. It just seems like a good time to get an early start on adding to my life in some meaningful and constructive way. I'm not sure what I'll do this year. It will come to me. In the meantime I have a couple more days for the inside, the outside and the action side to by just 46.

question: how are your sides?

mompoet - can't believe my sides are awake at 4:30 in the morning

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

in the sky tonight

Venus on my thumb
Jupiter within my grasp
in the evening sky

question: did you see them?

mompoet - waiting for the crescent moon, now

Monday, November 24, 2008

the stink - a very short play

Mumma enters through front door. Dad, Girl, Friend of Girl and YM are all around the house.

Mumma: What's that smell?

Girl: Cookies, and stew.

Mumma: plastic stew? it smells like melting plastic.

Dad: That's the deck. The guy came and put stuff on the deck today. It smells.

Mumma: It really smells! Do we still have a tarp? It's dark outside and I can't see.

Dad: Yup. We still have a tarp.

Mumma: drat

Girl: You can have any cookie you want - just not the people cookies. They are Friend and me.

YM: Can I have this chicken cookie?

Girl: It's a turkey. Friend made it.

Friend: You can eat it.

YM: Yum yum yum... (leaves room with cookie in his mouth)

Mumma: Who will drive to singing lessons?

Dad: I will drive. You can stay here and have some stew.

Girl goes up to bedroom to change for singing lesson. Closes bedroom door.

Mumma stirs stew.

Mumma: hmmmm

Mumma unloads dishwasher and puts clean dishes away, puts groceries in fridge, pets dog, feeds dog, loads cookie-making and stew-making dishes and utensils into dishwasher, stirs stew again.

Dad: (calls up the stairs) Are you ready?

Girl: (opens bedroom door) I'm ready - HEY! what's that smell?

Mumma: stew, and cookies.


why I love the sky

It's almost my birthday, and I just found out that there will be a spectacular sky show of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon all around my day.

question: do you like the sky by night?

mompoet - hoping for clear skies and a view to the west...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

haikus for presidents and people

I was two years old
too young to know the man but
I recall sadness

one smart man, vast wealth
roads, bridges, wind farms - working
will save the nation

there is nothing new
under the sun - but each day
a new beginning

nothing else matters
we release our differences
and share the future

question: do you hear echoes of the past?

mompoet - feeling hope for the future

Saturday, November 22, 2008

blue tarp emblem

This morning I woke up about 7:30. I came downstairs to feed the animals and realised that this is the first day since the beginning of the week that I have been home during daylight hours. I have been up and out the door before daylight, and home after dark, and it took me until Saturday to really see that our whole living room window is blocked by a tarp.

Mike, the carpenter, is building us a new deck. Mike does fine work, and the deck will be sturdy and gorgeous, but the weather has been on and off rainy, and Mike works short and intermittent days. Today I realise the impact of having a partially completed structure, tarped off to protect it from the elements just outside the main light-admitting portal to the main floor of our house. It is very blue in here! I have stayed out in the un-tarped dining room so far, enjoying the light and the view. I will have to go into the living room by daylight because I plan to clean the house today. I may have to bring in extra light sources to see what I am doing.

By night, the effect is much less noticeable. Sure, the twinkling lights of the city at the bottom of our hill are missing, but the atmosphere in the room is pretty much the way it is all of the time. By day, the change is dramatic.

Outside of our blue-tarped house, it has been a bright and busy week. I've done two shelter mornings, driven Fi and her friends to and from performances, worked 5 days, including a one-day coaching course that about knocked my socks off, attended the Burnaby Writers' Society Awards Night with Irene (who took second prize), attended the Shoreline Writers' Society AGM, and enjoyed a lovely birthday supper with Kathy and Michele at Michele's house. In fact, I have hardly noticed the blue tarp until today.

My contribution to the blue tarp has been my early morning flashlight dog poo patrol. Before I leave for work (in the dark) each morning, I walk the dog, then I go out to the back yard with a flashlight and find any dog poo that has been deposited there when family members let the dog out the back door. I pick it up and dispose of it, so that Mike the carpenter will not step in it.

Luckily, I do not mind the dark. In fact, I am energized by it. I also do not mind dog poo. I have a big dog who I love, and we possess a very effective scooper, and a good flashlight.

I am crossing my fingers that the blue tarp will be gone by next weekend. In the meantime, my eyes have been opened to a new dimension of perception.

question - have you ever resided behind a tarp?

mompoet - melb me

Thursday, November 20, 2008

some very cute squash

I like fall at the veggie store - something new every day. Yesterday I found these, and some delightful tiny sugar mandarin oranges. mmmmm

still dreaming

I am at work, and training a new co-worker. We have a routine to follow and we must be quick. I have a set of keys - small ones like for cupboard locks. We have to put the keys into things like card readers in order to keep things going. I can't match the key to the slot, even though I have been doing this job for a long time, and I'm embarrassed to show my co-worker that I can't train her properly. I desperately jab keys into slots. A key breaks off in a slot. I am horrified as I hold the key head in my hand. Now I have broken the key, and also the machine. I look at my co-worker. She is horrified too, but for just a moment, then we laugh and start jabbing all of the keys into the wrong slots and breaking them off on purpose.

question: is it Friday already?

mompoet - trying my darndest to decode my dreaming

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

shelter mornings

The temporary homeless shelter that our church is hosting for November is filling up. On Monday night we had our first full house of 30 guests. This is great news. Word has got around, and we are serving lots of people. It also makes me worry that we might not have the capacity for everyone who wants in. The shelter runs at 4 other churches, one each month from December through March. It will be wetter and colder in the months to come. What will we do with all of the people?

For now, we are doing our best to make a safe, welcoming, nourishing place for people who have no other place to go. The guests are picked up at 5 different parks each evening, and driven to the host church in passenger vans. Volunteers provide supper and offer an exchange of warm dry clothing, shoes, blankets and personal items from a room full of donated items. The guests sleep on the floor of our church hall on mats, with blankets and pillows provided by the shelter.

I volunteer on the morning shift, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I get to the church just before 6am. The guests are still sleeping, except for those who left about 5:15 to go to work. Usually about a half a dozen work as day labourers. Although they get paid, they still are unable to find permanent homes. Rental housing is scarce, and prices are high.

At the church, I am greeted by the shelter staff, who come from the Hope for Freedom Society. These are outreach workers, one male and one female, who stay awake and supervise the shelter all night. They provide counseling and handle emergencies. Last year, the workers were successful in helping some of the guests get into rehab and permanent housing.

I meet with 4 or 5 other volunteers. I am the shift coordinator, having gained experience from last winter's shelter month. Together we serve coffee and breakfast (usually toast and cereal, but on Tuesday we made french toast with strawberries and whipped cream). The guests wake up about 6:15. They relax with a bit of breakfast, wash up and pack up their stuff. We hand out bag lunches at about 7am, and the guests leave in passenger vans to go back out to the pickup parks in the neighbourhoods where they spend their daytimes.

After the guests leave, we clean the kitchen and bathrooms and wash the floors. We take out the trash and restock paper towels and toilet paper and the stock of free feminine supplies in the ladies bathroom. The majority of our guests are men, but we have a few women each night too. We disinfect the mats and store them in a cube container out in our parking lot. The blankets and pillows go in there, all in bags labeled with each guest's name. They can use the same bedding for a few nights, then it goes to the laundry. We also pick up the dirty and damp clothing that the guests have left behind. It goes to the laundry too, and is recirculated to the used clothing room for someone to use again. We are usually finished with our cleaning by 7:45 or 8am. I leave a note for the volunteer coordinator, check the schedule to find out who I'm working with on my next shift, and we lock up the church and leave.

These early mornings are nourishing for my soul. I have wanted a way that I can help directly, and the opportunity has been provided. It feels good to be able to do something, anything, to help.

question: did you ever go to a homeless shelter? what was your experience?

mompoet - grateful for the opportunity

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

dreambit - another one about a house

Last night, I dreamed that I was in Anne Frank's attic. I went to the apartment where the Franks' friend Miep Gies let me up into the attic by a ladder that slid down from a hatch in the ceiling. I stood on the ladder and Mr. Frank raised it up, up into the attic by a hand crank. Inside, the attic hiding place was cramped, and the family was friendly and welcoming, but cautiously quiet. I was conscious of not making a sound. I felt honoured to be visiting, but afraid that I might draw attention to the hiding place.

Next thing I noticed, other neighbours from my street in Port Moody were in the attic. My next door neighbour Wendy was there with her 4 year old, Tina, who was chattering away. Mrs. Frank was serving lunch to the guests. Someone's dog was in the attic with us, wandering around and looking for snacks. I felt worried that the conversation of the guests would be heard below or out on the street, and what about the smell of lunch cooking? and the sound of the dog's claws on the floor. Outside, I noticed some of the neighbourhood kids (from our neighbourhood, now) playing on the lawn.

I raced out of the attic and downstairs and stood on the street looking up. No sign of activity from outside the house. I tried to re-enter the attic to tell the Frank family that they were safe, but the attic hatch was closed. Miep said not to worry, I could take the back staircase up, and ring the bell at the top. Mrs. Frank let me in and continued to serve lunch to the growing party in the attic.

question: what does it mean?

mompoet - dreams sticking to my daytime thinking

youtube A Christmas Carol

Here's a bit of the show on youtube.

Monday, November 17, 2008

tree shapes make me feel happy

They're back! naked trees! my favourite!


Here's a review of A Christmas Carol - the play that Fiona is in.

question: do you believe in Christmas

mompoet - appreciating the spirit

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol opened last night at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts in Burnaby. Fiona's in it. She plays Martha Cratchit. This is a musical version of the Charles Dickens classic, and it's very good. And I'm not just saying that because I am Fiona's mom.

The house was full last night with opening night well-wishers. We laughed and cheered and gasped at the ghosts. We giggled when a doorknob fell of the set and the actors had to compensate to get through the door for the rest of the scene. Other than that it was an amazingly polished, confident and spirited opening performance.

I had the interesting experience of re-connecting with two people from my own past in community theatre. Before Footlight was Footlight, it was Heritage Musical Theatre. I was in a couple of shows, "Here's Love" in 1977 and "The Sound of Music" in 1978. When I was reading the program last night, I noticed the name of two lifetime members of Footlight Theatre Society, Bev Adams and Roy Fairbairn. I hoped I might see them at the reception following the show. Well, who should sit down right beside us, but Bev! I introduced myself and we reconnected. Bev is still a supporter of Footlight, and now writes and directs plays at Dogwood Community Centre in Coquitlam. She pointed Roy out to me, and I introduced myself to him at the reception. He has written a book about his experiences in musical theatre.

When I knew Roy and Bev, I was the same age that Fiona is now. What a lovely happening that she is involved with the same good group of people, thirty years later!

This isn't my first brush with past friends from Footlight. This summer, as I sat in the audience for Theatre Under the Stars, I noticed a familiar face beside me. I introduced myself and discovered I was sitting beside David Berner, who directed "The Sound of Music" for Footlight.

There must be some reason for the past to be rolling itself out to me. I have a hunch I am being nudged (by God, the cosmos, my own inner energy-source) to reconsider my creativity. I don't think I'm going back to musical theatre. That's Fiona's world now. But something is telling itself to happen inside of me. For now, I will try to listen and notice and be open.

In the meantime, I will see A Christmas Carol two more times through the run. I am sure I will love it more and more.

On the way to the theatre Friday, Fiona and her friend Shannon were talking about my propensity for crying. It's true that I cry at just about anything, happy or sad. I am moved easily and I like that about myself. What a great feeling it is to be emotionally connected to what is happening around me. Fi and Shan were speculating about where and when I would cry in the show, and they urged me to keep track. They were almost right with their guess of 5 times in the first act and 5 in the second for a total of 10. I actually counted 5 and 4, for nine. Andy held my hand, and gave me his extra tissue before the show began.

I hope that you will see the show if you live close by. I think you probably won't cry nine times, but if you do, that's just fine too.

question: why do things happen the way they do?

mompoet - tuning in to synchronicity and feeling mightily connected

Thursday, November 13, 2008


broad and white above
the ridge, communion wafer
blesses the morning

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

train show

On the weekend, there was a big train show at the community centre where I work. The whole building was rented out to a group of railroad enthusiasts who put on this annual conference for people who love trains. There were displays and movies, models and memorabilia. People come from all over North America to participate.

The Seniors' Society runs a concession for the two days of the show. As the Program Coordinator working with the seniors, it was my job (along with my co-workers) to help with this effort. The concession provides on-site lunch and snacks for everyone at the show, and raises funds for the seniors.

Preparation began weeks in advance with food orders placed and equipment rentals booked (a giant hot dog roller is required in order to provide fresh doggies for the lunchtime crowd) and borrowing crock pots from everyone we knew, for the chili. The week before the show we went shopping. And the day before the show we picked up the perishables. All the time, our regular programs were going on, so my office became the storage room for food, cups, cutlery, drinks and condiments. We also stuffed three fridges and two freezers full of food.

Food prep included boiling boiling 10 dozen eggs for sandwiches, and two rounds of sandwich-making by seniors volunteers (16 dozen sandwiches for each day). On each of the two show mornings we picked up 20 dozen donuts from Tim Horton's. It was a gigantic food effort.

About 40 volunteers worked at the concession, setting up, preparing food, serving food, cashiering and cleaning up. I worked all day Saturday (beginning at 7am at the donut store), and my co-workers worked all day Sunday. We sold almost everything we bought and prepared, and the seniors did very well with the fundraising. It was an intense weekend for sure, but also fun. The train people are lovely and gracious and quirky. After my experiences waitressing through university, I was bowled over by the how thoughtful these customers were in clearing their own trash and dishes from the tables, we had hardly any bussing to do at all. And they were very complimentary, especially toward the chili, which is world-renowned (or so they say). We call it "Grandma's Favourite," and it comes in six-paks from Costco. Pop the top, heat it all morning in those borrowed crock pots and you have chili magic. We sold over a hundred bowls of it each day of the show.

After that busy week, including two early morning homeless shelter shifts, I was grateful to sleep in this morning. I missed Remembrance Day at the cenotaph, but I really needed to recharge my batteries. My office is back to its normal everyday clutter, and I'll return to work tomorrow ready for whatever the next project may be.

question: did you ever cook 100 bowls of chili?

mompoet - Grandma loves it

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

our new president

Tuesday was Andy's birthday, but also a school/work night, so we celebrated with a quiet and yummy family supper and cheesecake. Fiona and Alex gave him identical cards (which I think is good luck). He also received birthday greetings from friends and family, in the mail, by text message, and phone call. We'll have a nice supper out on the weekend, to make it a "stretch birthday."

It was also Election Night, so in between driving Fi to rehearsal and picking her up, we mostly watched the voting results coming in on TV. Living on the West Coast, the election pretty much unfolds itself through the afternoon and evening. So I tuned in on the car radio even before I came home from work. From the earliest results, it looked good for the Democrats and Obama. I floated through the day with a Christmas Eve kind of feeling - distracted, excited, a bit scared that I might be surprised with a lump of coal when I was really wishing for something wonderful and good.

It might be surprise to Americans that the US election is so important to us here in Canada. I think it's because whatever happens in the States has a tremendous impact on us here - economically, socially, culturally. Also, I am a dual Canadian-American citizen. Along with my parents (also dual citizens) I participate in the American election process, file America income tax returns, and consider myself a citizen living permanently abroad. I expect always to live in Canada. I have gone to school here. My family and work are here. But my American citizenship means I have rights and obligations that need to be fulfilled. This time especially I was grateful that I have them. I voted in October by absentee ballot, mailed in. I have done this for every US Presidential election since I became and adult.

My first big result-jolt happened as I drove home from dropping Fiona off. It was about 6:45pm Pacific time, and on the radio, the news came in that Ohio belonged to the Democrats. I knew that every president elected has been elected in Ohio. My vote and my parents' votes are in Ohio. Would it work this time? I found myself crying in the car as I drove home. Yes, Ohio. We did it this time.

After that it was a quick hour of acceleration toward the announcement of Obama's win. We watched McCain's gracious concession speech, and Obama's restrained and optimistic victory speech. It was past midnight in Chicago but just after 9 at home so we had time to discuss what it means to us before I had to go pick up Fiona. At the theatre they had received the news during a rehearsal break. Fi was happy too. Outside, driving through the dark, rainy Canadian night, it felt like Christmas, or maybe New Year's Day. I still haven't talked with my parents. They were out at a concert (distracted also, I suspect) and by the time they were home I was asleep.

Now I wonder what it will be like to have Barack Obama as US President. Living in Canada, I am hopeful he will take action to pull US soldiers out of Iraq and shift toward supporting rebuilding and recovery in Afghanistan. I hope he will do what's needed to help the US and the world weather the financial crisis. I know that his social programs will not turn America into a communist state. Hey, I live in Canada. Tommy Douglas turned us all into socialists years ago, and we like it. I trust that his stand on abortion won't mean a free-for-all on late-term pregnancy termination, but an honouring of the rights of women and caring for their health and safety. Living in Canada, I know for sure also, that respecting the rights of gay and lesbian citizens to marry legally will only be another step along the way to a caring and civilized society.

I expect that we'll soon discover that President Obama is not perfect, but I hope that he will be a strong leader who helps his country and the world move in a direction of strength and goodness.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Happy birthday Andy. I owe you one undivided attention supper without the TV. I think we all just got a very nice present for your birthday.

question: how is the day after feeling for you?

mompoet - elated

Monday, November 03, 2008

point of view

God's name, spelled out in chocolate chips on a table by the window
the shriek of an excited child
a collie's warm pant-pant and urgent throat-crunkle
outside, the great sounds of air and earth and motors are dim
as old photographs
these things
close to my heart
are sweeter and more pure than the note from a tuning fork
more concentrated than 80 percent dark cocoa
all the push and pull of forces
bigger than me
bigger than the dog and the child
are insignificant - we count chips
divide in child-rule
one for you and two for me - none for the collie (chocolate's not good for dogs, you know)
sticky kisses and giggles more delicious than heaven
the thump-scramble-thump of impatient paws
filling ourselves with God in this moment
celebrating a song of togetherness

question - close or far today?

mompoet - up close for sure

Sunday, November 02, 2008

my olympic experience - part 1

In a little over a year, the Winter Olympics will take place in Vancouver. That's easy transit distance from where I live, in Port Moody, so it makes sense that I should plan for my family to attend at least some of the Olympics, while we have the chance.

But it's complicated.

First, there's the issue of the politics of the Olympics in a person's home town. I am positive that the millions of dollars being spent on this event could and should be better spent taking care of people in need - homeless, ill, addicted, students, the elderly... it's a long list. I'm also pretty sure that the games will end up boosting the local economy the way Expo 86 did. They will also displace people like Expo 86 did, with single room occupancy hotels being upgraded into tourist accommodation, and unsightly poor people being whisked out of view (where to, I'm not sure) to avoid media criticism of our government. Many people of have followed their consciences and protested the games. Many will not attend because of their objections to the games' rightness.

On the other hand, the positive side of the event can't be discounted. This is the pinnacle of sport, featuring and honouring many amateur athletes who have invested years in training and preparation in their participation in the games. I don't know when my family will ever have a chance again to be part of it. I don't want to miss the chance to find out what it's all about - first hand.

The other consideration is our own resources of time and money. It's a fact that tickets are very expensive. Even buying tickets for a few of the least expensive events in the least expensive seats will add up to a lot, especially for a family of four. And so much is unknown - our work and school schedules during the weeks of the Olympics and which tickets we will succeed in buying. Even which countries will be competing at which times and where the seats are in the venues is still up in the air. So it's a bit of a leap of faith to request tickets.

But we must request tickets before November 7 in order to be given priority consideration.

So, we looked at the ticket website, printed out the ticketing guide and began to discuss our options. We discovered that we could easily spend over $1 thousand for each member of our family, just to see a handful of events. Obviously, we can't afford to do that, so we had to think about choices and make some guesses and gambles.

We agreed that we mainly just want to be there for the flavour of it. None of us is a super fan of any one sport, nor do we want to make great sacrifices of time or money. To be honest, we don't have great quantities available for sacrifice, even if we wanted to. We just don't want to miss it altogether, and we sense we'll have as much fun people-watching and getting swept up in the excitement, as we will witnessing the actual competition.

So we each chose a sport that we thought might be fun, looked for weekend/evening event times, and scoped out when the cheapest tickets were to be had. This rules out finals events for most sports, and pretty much ensures that we will be hoping for a good view of the jumbo-tron if there is one, either that or really good binoculars.

I read up on how it works to order tickets. Here's a summary:

You request tickets now (if you live in Canada) and give your credit card (VISA only) for the tickets you request. Deadline is November 7. Then during the middle of November, there's a lottery. If your request for any given event or package is drawn, you automatically purchase the tickets for that event and they are billed to your VISA. Notification comes in early December. After that, people who have requested tickets are given priority access to the remaining tickets for a couple of weeks, after which ticket sales are opened to the general public.

You can increase your chances of getting the tickets you request by buying an "Olympic Experience Package" which includes 5 or 6 events including one award ceremony. These packages are pre-set, and are drawn in the lottery before individual event requests.

Prices? The cheapest individual event is $25 plus a $4 fulfilment fee (I'm not sure what that means but you pay it). These includes Women's Ice Hockey (preliminary) and Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing. And that's for the cheap seats at these events. Expensive individual tickets include Men's Gold Medal Ice Hockey, best seats at $793 including fee. Good figure skating tickets are $438. Alpine Skiing costs $93 or $130, depending on the seats. That's for one seat, one event.

The cheapest package is $156 for 3 days in a row at Whistler to see Ladies Cross-Country Skiing, Men's Two-Man Bobsleigh and Men's Giant Slalom (of course you'll need to pay to stay in a hotel there or buy a $25 two-way bus ticket for each day you go up). The most expensive package costs $1,325. For this you get to attend the Opening Ceremony, Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary, Snowboarding, Curling, Women's Semi-Final Hockey and a Vancouver Victory Ceremony.

So after some thought we settled on bidding for 4 events, two tickets each, cheapest seats available. Two Men's Preliminary Ice Hockey games (because Alex is the most excited about all of us about seeing the Olympics) one Figure Skating event and Men's Bobsleigh (so Andy and I can go to Whistler for a bit of the Olympics and experience the buzz in the village as well as one event). We have hedged our bets on ticket availability by selecting alternate events for each one, so if we don't get our first choice of ice hockey game, we'll try for another, and so on.

We have requested very conservatively: 2 tickets per event for 4 events, so if we get all of the tickets that we asked for, each of us will attend 2 events.

The total possible maximum price, including $20 ticket delivery fee, is $446. If we add the $25 bus tickets to Whistler for 2 people that brings the total to $496. This averages to $62 per Olympic experience. Some or all of this will be billed to our VISA before Christmas. If we end up not being available for an event, there's a legal ticket re-sale program in the works, or we'll give them to friends. Rumour is that college breaks will be adjusted to work around the Olympics, and public schools may allow students leeway to attend, but nothing has been confirmed.

Chances are, we'll each get a small taste and have our curiousity satisfied. The VISA bill will be long-paid by the time the event comes around, so we'll probably even be able to afford some food and drink or an Olympic souvenir. (I declined on the $23 Collector Grade cloisonne pin featuring Miga and Quatchi that I could purchase at the time of my ticket request. I reckon there will be plenty of souvenirs all the time, before, during and after the event).

So now we wait to find out what we're going to see. We hope we made good choices.

A sidenote: another way to participate is by volunteering. Unfortunately the kids are too young to qualify as prospective volunteers. You have to be 19 years old by September 1, 2008. Alex just missed it by a few months.

Our Olympic experience begins. I'll keep you posted.

question: has the Olympics come to your neck of the woods? and did you attend?

mompoet - wondering what it will be like