Sunday, February 28, 2010

my kiss goodbye (edited)

my kiss goodbye starts out
like a skytrain car full of teenagers
all blustery hormone bravado and sweaty-footed self-consciousness

my kiss goodbye launches itself like a jilted marmot sprung loose from a trap
clamps onto your lower lip
it does not let go when you shake and yell
it does not let go when you plead
it resists bribery, threats and ignoring
relenting only when you whistle
(which is hard to do with a marmot latched on to your lip, but you must try)

I want my kiss goodbye to be a sonnet
there are thing that I want this kiss to accomplish
I want it to be elegant, composed, to say more with less
but this kiss is impulsive and contrary
it chews gum in karate practice
runs with scissors
laughs when someone farts
and always takes the biggest cookie

besides, this kiss is hungry
so hungry, it wants to eat all of you now
but it doesn’t, because it likes you too much
instead it eats 2 mangoes, a banana, a clean pair of socks, the HST, the musical “Spring Awakening,” the single transferable voting system and the city of New Westminster
it begins to eat today’s newspaper, realises you haven't read it yet, and stops

my kiss goodbye is a 200 car freight train run-on sentence
a shredded parachute made out of a blue velvet curtain salvaged from a vaudeville theatre
it has holes big enough to put your head through
and dangles participles like lost memories

my kiss goodbye knows that goodbye is already a done deal
still, it lingers in the hallway like the end of a dinner party
recycling run-down conversation
dreading the weather strip FPPtttP of the door
the CLOK of the latch in the frame
it tastes like liberation
smells like neglect

thank goodness this goodbye kiss kept its shoes on when it came over
it steps onto the landing
down the stoop
out to the cold, clear night

Friday, February 26, 2010


For the Olympics, there's a free zip line ride over Robson Square. Lineups to get on it are very long (sometimes 8 to 10 hours). This morning, Andy and I woke up at 5 and got downtown about 6:30am to stand in the queue. By 11:15 we were zipping!

It was dark and raining lightly when we arrived, and about 50 people were already waiting. The mood was buoyant in the lineup. We were all there to do something new and fun and it was a bit silly being there so early. There were plenty of security guards milling about, chatting in a friendly way and handing out rain ponchos. Someone bought two big boxes of timbits and handed them up and down the line. Far Coast Coffee sent a sample-giver out to dispense mini cups of coffee. About 9am they let us in off Robson Street into the official waiting area which was covered and out of the rain. I had a stiff back from standing, so I sat down on the ground on my poncho. Andy and I listened to the radio on his mp3 player and read the newspaper.

As 10 o'clock neared and the zip line got ready to actually open, I started to feel some twinges of nervousness. I looked at the big tower, and watched the staff checking the rigging and taking a test run (hanging upside down and laughing and yelling all the way). Then they took in the first group of 8 people, and I watched as the first customers of the day went for their zip trip. A man and a woman appeared at the top of the tower. They wore helmets and body harnesses. The zip line staff people hooked the riders' gear to the overhead cables, and hung their bags off the rigging to go along with them for the ride. The man and the woman stood up there on the edge for what seemed like an agonizingly long time, then they each slowly stepped down off the top platform, to descend a set of 4 stairs TO NOWHERE! There's no railing or hand hold, you just walk town these steps about 8 storeys over Vancouver, and stand on the edge until the man says, "GO!" I knew then that the stairs would be the make or break for me.

Soon it was our turn. We signed waivers and walked into the room to be outfitted. I was stumbly and clumsy after the long, chilly, damp wait, but I got all hooked up. I kind of felt like a baby being put into a carseat. The woman in the suiting up room even put my helmet on for me. Next, we climbed the stairs - 81 steps up a see-through metal tower to the top platform. My heart was racing from fear as I turned each corner from flight to flight to flight. Higher and higher we climbed. Then we were at the top. We watched two other pairs of zip-trekkers depart the platform. The uneasy feelings bubbled and stewed but I felt determined to go through with it. Andy, meanwhile, kept finding me small items from his pockets to zip into my jacket pockets. That was probably good because I was kind of going inside my own head, and might have disappeared altogether without his requests to find a safe place for his keys and coins.

Our turn. I took the left-side cable and Andy took the right. The man at the edge was roped up to the platform, I noticed, so at least I knew I could not pull him off the edge to his death. First, he hooked me to the platform (temporarily) then he allowed me to approach the edge. He secured my harness to a pulley overhead and checked all of the adjustments on my harness. I told him that I was afraid of the stairs, and he offered to hold my hand all the way down. I tried that but felt better grabbing the overhead cable for the first three steps down. "It's okay," he said, "You're doing great, Sue, just one step at a time." Thing is, I couldn't reach the bottom step and still hold the cable, so I let go and just held the tether strap that hooked the front of my harness to the pulley. Somewhere in there the man unhooked me from the platform, because next thing I knew, he was counting, "1 - 2 - 3" and I took a step off the bottom step, into the air, and WHOOOSH! Andy and I were flying side-by-side (well for a moment, then I scooted out ahead). I turned and waved back - "THANK YOU!" as the pulley screamed along the cable and I looked out over the square and the street and the people. Andy and I were both whooping and cheering and before we knew it, we were on the other side. The staff on that side hauled us up onto their platform, clamped us on there, and talked us through the quick process of unhooking from the pulley and getting fully onto the platform and out of the landing zone. I think I said "Thank you!" about a dozen times - for the fun, and also for allowing me to make it to the other side in one piece. It was a surreal feeling. I don't think our feet really touched the ground for another 5 minutes after our landing. It was that much fun.

I would do it again in a heartbeat. Maybe if I have enough money sometime I'll go try the trek up at Whistler. It's run by the same company that has run the line at Robson Square. And now I have a souvenir caribener and a 10% discount coupon for Whistler Ziptrek and my most amazing Olympic experience for sure.

question: have you zipped?

mompoet - WHEEEE! Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Olympic Thursday

Andy and I both had a day off work Thursday, so we went downtown to see a few more things - our first Olympic day just us two.

We walked from the Main Street skytrain station to the lineup for the Ontario Pavilion, where we waited for about 90 minutes to get into the "4D" theatre experience. It was a movie about Ontario in 3D, with vibrating seats real snow, water splashes and squirts of fragrance (pine forest, hot chocolate) to make the experience seem almost real. It reminded me of the movies at Expo. It was beautiful and fun but pretty gimmicky. I'm glad I saw it, though. It's been a while since Expo.

After we explored the Ontario pavilion, we walked along the False Creek seawall to Yaletown, then up Cambie into downtown. We got a free sample of Vitamin Water and visited the Bell Ice Cube. There, they give you a set of earbuds so you can plug into the audio for one of dozens of giant screen TVs showing the three different Olympic broadcasts all owned by CTV, that simultaneously show the various events going on in Richmond, Vancouver, Cypress Bowl and Whistler. They also have smaller screens showing the history of the Olympics, you can plug into those two. That was kind of neat.

We looked at the lineup for the Canadian Mint and decided not to go. It was probably about 4 hours long. I would have liked to hold a real Olympic medal, but I guess I won't. We checked out the zipline lineup, knowing we planned to return early to ride the zipline the next day. At 11:30 in the morning, it was 8 hours long.

Next, we got on the Canada Line and traveled to Richmond's "O Zone," to check it out. The family activities (outdoor skating and entertainment stage) weren't open until 3, so we visited the Holland Heineken House pavilion. The displays there were quite engaging, and we could have totally outfitted ourselves in orange Holland team/fan gear, but we didn't. We did visit the beer and food hall. We discovered there that the first step is to exchange money for a charged up cash card (which you can cash back out if you have money left on it when you leave). We got some beer (Heineken, of course) and ate lunch. I had "kale and potato hotchpotch with sausage." Andy had the same except sauerkraut instead of kale. It was a cardboard cone filled with big scoop of mashed potatoes with kale (mine) or sauerkraut (Andy's) mixed in, topped with crisp bacon sprinkles and a half a sausage stuck in quite jauntily. These were $7.50 each (tax included), and quite filling. The same size beer that costs $8 at BC Place was just $4.50 a glass at Heineken House. We milled about with the crowd and watched a bit of skiing on the big screen while we enjoyed our lunch and beer. Of all the Olympic venues we have visited so far, Heineken House is the the most friendly and laid back. We liked it.

By this time we had enjoyed enough Olympics for one day, so we took the Canada Line and the Skytrain home. We stopped at the produce store on the way, so we're stocked up with good stuff. We were home in time to catch the 2nd and 3rd period and see the Canadian women win gold. Hurray!

question: what's the nicest place you have visited during the Olympics? (hint, it doesn't have to be at the Olympics - it could be far away on purpose

mompoet - the sky was bluer today that anyone expected

they really have these

I think that one of the best things about the Olympics is that people were successfully discouraged from driving during the Games. Everyone is on transit. Lots of people are walking, and cyclist are being taken care of for a change.

Let's keep this part of the Olympics. Hoooray!

question: have you discovered a new way to get around these past 2 weeks?

mompoet - moving with the people

skating practice

On Sunday, Fiona and I got up at the crack of dawn, and took the bus to the Pacific Coliseum, to see the practice session for the original program ice dance competition. Tickets for the practice sessions were about $20 each for great seats, and went on sale a couple of months before the Olympics. I'm glad that I got a pair, and while Fiona wasn't too happy about waking up at 6am on a Sunday morning, she was glad we went.

The early morning photos are from our walk down to the highway to catch the bus. The skater photos show that the "OD" theme was "folk or country dances." We weren't aware of this when we watched the practice session, so we thought it was rather hilarious when we saw the costumes, like a German pair dressed as Polynesian dancers and Chinese skaters dancing in sequin-studded togas to "Zorba the Greek." Later we heard that the Russians dressed as Australian Aboriginal dancers sparked a controversy, but really it was a wacky paisley quilt of everyone dressed up as somebody else's folk stereotype. Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir did a flamenco dance, but at least they weren't wearing Halloween costumes.

The skating was stunning, even though the skaters danced the first measures of their routine, then ceased before the exciting parts to skate around the arena holding hands. Near the end of the the 3 or 4 minute number, they would resume skating and complete to the bows. We saw some of the more complicated moves by other skaters as they moved around the arena practising (mostly) out of the way of the skaters whose music was playing. Of course, we watched the whole thing Sunday night on TV and saw our Canadians win this part of the competition. That made it all the more exciting.

Fiona said she felt anxious and excited for the skaters, wondering how they must feel, getting ready to skate in the Olympics. Some are only a couple of years older than she is. Seasoned or new, it must be an overwhelming experience for all of them. We were glad to witness this part of it and show our support.

question: have you ever seen a French skating duo, dressed as flashy hayseeds, performing to "Thank God I'm a country boy?"

mompoet - something new and exciting every day

Sunday, February 21, 2010

after the medal ceremony I spotted 2 team canada players in a rickshaw

But when I yelled "HEY JAROME!" "HEY SIDNEY!" they didn't answer. Maybe they had earbuds in. I don't know.

question: have you spotted any celebrities at the Olympics?


olympic medalist photos from the website

You can log onto the Vancouver 2010 website to see which country has won which medals, and who did the winning.

I think they should use some publicity photos though, instead of these grim looking photos (probably the athletes' accreditation shots). They might as well have posted photocopies of everyone's driver's license or passport images. Look at this. These photos do not say "Hey! I just got a medal for my country!" They say, "I have jetlag." or "I need to find the washroom," or, "Maybe I should have booked a condo instead of agreeing to stay in the athlete's village."

question: does anyone ever look good in an ID photo?

mompoet - smiling whenever it is permitted

fun in the sun at the Olympics

On Saturday, Andy and Alex went to the Switzerland-Norway men's hockey game. They had a good time. I met them after the game for an afternoon in the big party crowd that is Olympic downtown Vancouver.

But first, I drove Fiona to her bus-muster point for her closing ceremony rehearsal. We were at Brentwood Mall at 7:30 so she could catch a bus departing at 7:45. Armed with something hot and caffeiny from Starbucks, she was off to rehearsal. It was early enough for me to go to the gym, then back home for a couple of hours.

Fi decided to stay downtown with a couple of friends after the rehearsal ended. I scooted downtown on the skytrain and met up with her. We agreed to stay in touch by cell phone, and travel home together when we were all ready.

I got my bearings. There are crowds everywhere, and several streets are closed for walking. All of the pavilion/celebration areas have lineups, but it's fun just people watching. I sat outside the CBC building and watched people line up to shake hands and take photos with one of the guys from the TV show "The Dragon's Den." The sunshine was warm, and I had a snack and found a clean washroom at the Bread Garden restaurant.

Alex and Andy met me around 3pm. We cruised around the streets and walked down to Live City Yaletown. The lineup was long, but it moved quickly, and we were inside in about half an hour. We visited the Panasonic pavilion and saw the HD 3D home theatre system. We agreed that we are not going to buy an HD 3D home theatre system, but Alex is still hoping the price might come down sometime soon. It was still an hour before the concerts started there, and we were didn't want to stand around that long, so we left and walked around a bit more.

Fi decided to stay longer with her friends she was having such a good time. Alex, Andy and I got on the most crowded skytrain we have ever seen, and traveled home. Expo Line trains were running every 30 seconds, and still it was a mad crush. Everyone was cheerful and polite, but tired. We got home around 7pm.

Andy and I will go back for a full day on Thursday, just us. We'll start earlier and get in to see a few things. I'm thinking I might go downtown super-early Friday and see if I can brave the lineup for a zipline ride. We'll see.

question: are you going to buy an HD 3D home theatre system?

mompoet - I didn't think so

medal ceremony

I got tickets for our family to see a medal ceremony. They were cheap to buy, and I figured it would be a good way to get a bit of the Olympic experience. I chose a night when the band Hedley would play after the ceremony, because Alex and Andy like Hedley.

Fiona had a rehearsal so she couldn't make it. We offered her ticket to our friend Sam, who was glad to come with us. We met up at the Lougheed Skytrain station and had a quick, crowdless trip down to Main Street Science world, where were advised to de-train as Stadium station was reportedly a crowd scene. It was a gorgeous afternoon, so we walked from Sochi World (the pavilion for the Russian city that will host the 2016 Winter Olympics) to BC Place. Outside, one of the many still-smiling volunteers offered to take a photo of all four of us with my camera. That was nice. We arrived at the stadium where checking through security was quick and easy, and we got to our seats early enough to watch BC Place fill up with people, mostly wearing read and carrying Canadian flags.

For the medal ceremonies, one end of the stadium has been partitioned off. There's a small front stage area with a curtained performance stage behind it. The podium is wheeled in the awards portion of the evening. I think this keeps most of BC place curtained off so that preparations may be made for the closing ceremony. We got seats way off to the side and up high, but whatever we couldn't see on the stage was visible on big screens all around. We wished that they would broadcast some events live on the screens while we waited, but they didn't. Instead we got event titles in French and English, and a couple of ads about how wonderful the Olympics are. So we talked about various Protestant Church denominations and their policies on gay marriage.

I had snacked us up at my office before we left, but Alex was hungry already when we got to BC Place. You are not allowed to pack a lunch or even a snack or a drink into any of the Olympic venues. I bought 3 cokes for a total bill of $13.50. The cashier at the concession counter said, "I'm sorry, that's a lot to pay for 3 drinks." I told her it was okay, it was giving me that Disneyland feeling all over again, but right in my own back yard. At another stand I bought spicy potato wedges, a small tray for $6. They made Alex feel better, so I guess the $20 snack and slurp was worth it. After the ceremony Alex, Sam and Andy chowed down at McDonald's on Robson. It was quick, and reasonably cheap, so that was successful. I'm glad Alex could wait so I didn't have to buy him a $40 hot dog at the stadium.

Before the medal ceremony began, there was a tribute to Prince Edward Island. A young singing/dancing group entertained us for about half an hour with songs and dances, including a song from the musical, Anne of Green Gables. It was pretty nice. We chatted about the trip that Sam and his mom, Louise, took to PEI a few years ago. Sam says it's a great place.

Then it was time for medals. The ceremony alternated between real-life medals being awarded to athletes in BC Place, and a live broadcast from Whistler, where medals were being handed out to winners of events at Whistler and the Callaghan Valley. We saw medals given out to Canadians Marianne St Gelais (a silver for short track speed skating) and Christine Nesbitt (a gold for 1000 metre speed skating). That was fun to watch. Then there was the Hedley concert. There seemed to be a lot of teenage girls very excited about Hedley. The sound was surprisingly good for BC place and quieter than a normal concert, and the crowd was much pretty laid-back. The concert went on for about 30 minutes, then Hedley left, and we left.

We walked around downtown Vancouver. Robson Street is closed to vehicles and there was a stream of pedestrian traffic, including people shouting and singing and cheering. At Robson Square, we saw a laser and fireworks show, with big flame-throwing towers, a lot like the end of the evening shows at the PNE, only a kajillion more people watching it.

After the show, we walked down to the waterfront to check out the flame cauldron. The cauldron has been surrounded by a chain link fence, and lots of people have complained that they can't just walk up to it, take a picture, or have their pictures taken in front of it. By Thursday, the organizers had opened a viewing platform. You could line up, climb a flight of stairs and get an unimpeded view. They had also cut a hole in fence, for the holding up of cameras. I still think it's pretty lame that you can't get close to the flame. The burning parts are at least 20 feet above the ground and the structure is hardly climbable. I think they should just post a couple of Mounties in front of it and invite people over. They're saying it's in a secure area, so the fence has to stay. I think that's crummy planning - like putting Stonehenge or the Blarney Stone inside the prime-minister's private lavatory, then saying "no admittance, we're peeing in here." The cauldron should be in the middle of a public place.

After the flame we were pretty tired, so we took transit home, It was crowded but quick. We left downtown at 11, and were home in bed before midnight.

So that was our first big Olympic evening.

question: have you seen the cauldron?

mompoet - giving this evening a bronze medal for variety and good company

torch relay


The day before the Olympics opened, I watched the torch relay at Myrna's place. It was warm and cozy. Myrna made coffee and cinnamon buns. I brought some sugar mandarins and a couple of mangoes. We stood on her 3rd floor balcony and watched the crowd below. We waved Canadian flags and cheered the torch runner as he passed along the street in front of Myrna's place. It was very cold and rainy out, but a couple hundred people were in the street. Everyone seemed to be good spirits. It was just after 7am and still quite dark out, so you can't see much in these photos. The vehicles are part of the entourage. The dark shot with a blob of light is the actual torch.

I found out later that each torch has enough fuel to last about 20 minutes before it burns out. Somewhere back east, the torch did blow out twice on a particularly windy stretch of highway. A backup flame, taken from the Olympic flame in Greece, is kept lit in the torch bus, so a blown-out torch can be re-lit with the real thing. I began to think about what would happen if someone messed up and let the backup flame burn out, then the torch burned out. Would the flame keepers admit it? or would they whip out a zippo, relight the flam and act like nothing happened?

I also learned that runners get to keep their torches, but they have to pay if they want to keep them. A lot of people carried the torches, and the flame was relayed through a lot of cities in Canada. In the last few days before the Olympic opening ceremony, the torch relay took a loopy route all through the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver, so lots of people got to run with it, and to see it.

I'm glad I saw the torch. It was a brief encounter, but one I probably won't experience again. I'm glad it didn't blow out or get doused by the rain. I'm glad there was coffee and cinnamon buns, and mangoes, definitely mangoes.

question: did you see the torch?

mompoet - usually staying lit more than 20 minutes at a stretch

Sunday, February 14, 2010

(non-sequitur warning) why I am not a joke-writer

A bald, a grey and a toup walk into a bar. They sit down and start doing a jigsaw puzzle together.

"Why is it," asks the bald, "that my wife won't have sex with me any more? The last time we had sex was when I was 30 years old. Now I'm 42. That's a long time to go without."

The grey and the toup scratch their heads (the toup scratches carefully so as not to muss his 'do).

"Well," says the grey, "maybe it's your SAT score that's not high enough for her."
"Or possibly," adds the toup, "your cholesterol level is objectionable to her."

The three friends ruminate on this as they puzzle over the puzzle, which has only 15 pieces. Three hours later, they are still working on the puzzle.

"What does a guy have to do to get a drink in here?" asks the bald, "I've gone this long without sex, at least someone could bring me some whiskey."

"You're right. Let's go somewhere else. It's too dark in here for jigsaw puzzles anyway," says the grey.

"How about Hooters," says the toup. "They serve you real fast there, and the jigsaw puzzles are easier - only 8 pieces in the jigsaw puzzles at Hooters."

The bald, the grey and the toup leave the bar. A duck, a chicken and a goat take their places, finish the puzzle, drink whiskey all afternoon, and talk about how much they love their wives.

The end

Saturday, February 13, 2010

the colour of my hairs

Yesterday, I said good-bye to blonde hair. It's true that blonde hair has been saying good-bye to me for years. When I was little I had light brown hair that turned blonde in the sun. When I got older, I began having that light brown hair streaked blonde a couple of times each year. Most people (I think) have thought of me as having blonde hair for most of my life.

About 5 years ago, I started getting white hair. Sturdy, sometimes electrically wavy, strands of white poked straight up like exclamation marks, until they got about an inch or two in length, then they would lie down. Just a couple appeared here and there. Sometimes I plucked them, sometimes I'd go get my hair streaked again, and they'd blend in with the blonde.

I haven't streaked my hair for about 6 months. Wearing it shorter these days, I find that the streaks are cut out pretty quickly. Recently, I found myself with light brown hair again, but this time with a lot of white and grey all in the top and front of my head. The overall effect is kind of like a gerbil getting old. The only difference is that a gerbil lives for only a couple of years. I have lots of time to go, and I'm reluctant to impersonate an aging gerbil for a slow, drawn out process until I reach full silver.

At my last haircut, I consulted with Julie, my hairdresser. She told me that she could streak my hair again, but if I was looking for a change, she thought I'd look great with a browner kind of brown, maybe with a bit of gold to counteract the grey and the the gerbil-ness. She told me that she could colour my hair, or I could do it myself. Home hair colour products are apparently very good these days - easy to use and to achieve good results.

So now I am a self-coloured medium brown-haired mompoet. I decided to start conservatively with the change, but I'm sure I'll be more adventurous next time. Don't worry, I won't turn purple or orange (at least not on purpose). It's only hair, though, and it grows pretty fast, so why not have fun with it?

So, I am officially no longer blonde-haired. Notice please that I did not say "I am no longer a blonde." I don't like it when women are called a hair colour as if it is a noun. "A blonde," or "a brunette" evokes a stereotypical image in my mind, out of the 1940s or 50s in a magazine advertisement. It's as if the most distinctive and noteworthy characteristic about that woman is the colour of her hair. Ug. We never call a brown-haired woman a brown, either. We say brunette. I guess it's more feminine and diminutive, which adds to my dislike of the convention. We would never call an older woman (or man) a "grey," nor would we call a man a "bald," although I'm sometimes tempted to call a guy with a goatee a "goat" or a guy with a toupee a "toup," but I would't, really.

So I am, if anything, a brown now. In a month or so, I might be a different shade of brown. I prefer to be known as a mom, a poet, a neighbour, a helper, a friend, who no longer has blonde hair.

question: what shade is your hair? by birth or by choice?

mompoet - chemically modified ever so slightly

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

top secret show

Last night, I saw the first dress rehearsal for the Olympic Opening Ceremonies that will take place on Friday. Fiona got free tickets for our family, to the opening ceremonies rehearsal, because she will be performing in the closing ceremonies. All of the planning and rehearsing for both opening and closing has been top secret so I was super curious to see.

I will not reveal anything about what I saw in the show. I just want to say that it is going to be stunningly beautiful and amazing and wonderful. I'm so happy that I got a sneak peek.

I can say that it seems like everyone is ready and well-prepared, from the people who run public transit, to the umpteen bazillion volunteers guiding and assisting people (not just at the stadium but blocks away throughout the neighbourhood) to the security check people and stadium staff, and of course, the performers and crew on the show. I could see that this was more than a rehearsal for the performance. It was a practice evening for getting a huge number of people into downtown, through the gates and into the experience of the opening ceremony, then home again quickly and safely after it was over.

If you are lucky enough to have tickets to see the show on Friday night, you will have an experience that you will remember for a long time. If not, catch it on TV. I know I'm going to watch again and think, "yup, I saw THAT!"

One lasting impression - the perma-grins sported by almost every aqua parka-wearing support volunteer who I encountered (and I'm sure I saw hundreds). They may have been trained to smile, smile, smile, but what I saw was the real thing. These men and women are stoked to meet the world and help facilitate a really good time. Seeing their enthusiasm and excitement gave me a good glow. Somebody is doing something right. I can see in the eyes of these people that we are ready for something that will be good.

question: what's your Olympic experience?

mompoet - reflecting on an evening spent seeing one of the brightest sides of all of this

Sunday, February 07, 2010

no limonata for the duration

Mom, Dad and I went to the Playhouse Saturday to see Beyond Eden. It was very good. It's a musical about a real-life expedition to Haida Gwai in the 1950s, when an anthropologist, and artist, and their helpers traveled to an abandoned Haida village to collect totem poles, which they brought back to the city. Some of these poles stand today in the UBC Museum of Anthropology. The play is a musical, blending Haida language, song and dance, with a rock opera style telling of a story of intention and desire. It was unlike any other play or musical I have seen before.

Before the play, we enjoyed a coffee in the theatre lobby. I also went to the bar to pre-order intermission drinks. We usually enjoy a nice limonata at the break. It's a fizzy lemon treat that's very refreshing. This time, the bartender informed me that limonata was not available. For the duration of the Olympics, no non-sponsor beverages are being sold at the Playhouse. Our choices for non-alcoholic cold beverages: coke and related soft drinks, water, or Minute Maid orange juice. Um, no thanks.

I can understand that the City of Vancouver has an agreement with the Vancouver Olympic Committee, and the Plahouse is a civic theatre. But this seems a bit silly. Oh well, next time. In the meantime, I will not switch over to Coke. (or RBC, or VISA)

question: I wonder if they are using only sponsor toilet paper in the bathrooms?

mompoet - wondering about the usefulness of it all

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

share the gold

This came out yesterday from First United Church in the downtown east side of Vancouver. Not on their website yet, so I'm copying and pasting it here, in the absence of a link:

For Information call Nina Matthews
First United Church
604-681-8365 ext 117
Press Conference: Wednesday Feb 3rd at 7.00pm:

Launch of a campaign to build off the Olympics to end Homelessness

Despite their very different perspectives on the 2010 Olympics, the Mayor of Vancouver, Gregor Robertson (hosting the Games) and Dr Chris Shaw (prominent anti-Olympics activist) will share a common stage in launching a new initiative to end homelessness in Vancouver. Local MPs and MLAs have been invited to join them at the Press Conference. (A full list of the people who to date have indicated support for the initiative is available from this office).

The initiative points out that whether we support or oppose the 2010 Olympics, the efforts of VANOC prove that we have the ability and the resources to overcome massive obstacles and achieve significant outcomes. “Two Worlds – Share the Gold” initiative seeks to translate the momentum and achievements of the Olympics into tangible and comprehensive actions that visibly address local needs. In particular it is a call to leverage the creativity, energy and commitment currently directed at successfully responding to the challenge of the Olympics to addressing the Olympian challenges of alienation, addiction, poverty and homelessness.

Share the Gold invites people, during the Olympics, to:

1. Wear Gold/Yellow (Toques, scarves, tops, ribbons, etc) as a collective call for all three levels of Government, Corporations and individuals to join in establishing a VANOC equivalent to end homelessness.
2. Deliberately engage in conversation with people from a world different to your own so as build understanding and respect (reaching out across social strata, race, nationality, language, religion, sexual orientation, etc)
3. Consider contributing 5% of what you spend on Olympics-related activities to a fund for ending homelessness.

Rev Ric Matthews (First United Church) points out “This is not about simply throwing more money at doing ‘more of the same’, but is about ensuring a comprehensive and integrated effort to address homelessness in its relation to poverty, addiction, mental illness and other socio-economic and political factors”. He adds, “It is about recognizing this need as a priority and providing a vehicle for addressing it effectively and urgently – and it’s about recognizing that a body similar to one like VANOC, empowered by the collective will of all levels of Government and actively supported by Corporate interests, (but also inclusive of the homeless community and its representatives) is the best vehicle to achieve that”.

The Two Worlds – Share the Gold initiative will be officially launched at a Press Conference at First United Church, 320 E Hastings Street, at 7.00pm on Wednesday February 3rd. All are welcome.


First United Church
320 Hastings St

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

feb 2 haiku

not a groundhog - just
a windshield mosquito - no
shadow (spring has hatched)

question: el nin-yo you?

mompoet - all hoody, no mittens