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Monthly Archives: September 2004

My poor, poor feet. They look so abused. Since I’m walking to school everyday now – 40 min. each way – I’ve been trying various pairs of the oodles of shoes I own to see which ones are comfy, and which most decidedly are not. The ratio of good to bad shoes is very poor at this point, and my feet are a real testament to it. They’re red and sore, with many blisters and half-healed blisters. If they could talk, they wouldn’t have very kind words for me right now.

But the real question is, why don’t I have very many pairs of comfortable shoes? I guess it’s cause I like cute, good-looking shoes. And since in Saskatchewan I never really had to walk a long distance to anything, I could handle the uncomfortableness of some of my shoes with no problem. But it is now clear that I will have to revamp my shoes fetish ways. Comfort will now be at the top of my list – who cares about style.

I had an interesting discussion with a Greenpeace activist today. She stopped me outside of the Chapters at the corner of Broadway and Granville on my way to school. She asked me if I had heard of Greenpeace. I said yes. She then made sure that I didn’t think Greenpeace was a political party. I know it isn’t, but I listened anyways. Then she launched into a many minutes long speech about how clearcutting is ruining the earth and creating climate change as there aren’t enough trees to suck in the hazardous fossil fuels created by stupid humans who are too lazy to walk instead of driving their cars, and how Ikea uses 100% reforested wood (wood from clearcutted places that have been reforested is what I think she meant) and how Canada has the largest untouched forests in the world and how we need to keep them. But then she got to the crux of her schpeel, the whole entire reason why she stopped me. She asked if I wanted a membership. I said I’d have to think about it and declined at the present. Well, the sparkle in her eyes and the passion she exuded while telling me all about the perils of clearcutting vanished. She was also physically taken aback – she took a step away from me. She seemed shocked, that I, a person who had silently listened while she was allowed to go on her mellow tirade and seemed so interested would turn down her offer. I kind of felt badly for a second. I felt as if I wasn’t a good person for a second. But then I remembered my poor feet. They’re making a contribution to curb climate change everyday by walking me to school. Granted it’s a small contribution, but a contribution none the less. I then wished the lady a good day, and she wished me one as well and I went on my way, poor feet and all.

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Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re just thinking to yourself over and over again, “What the heck am I doing here?” Yeah, well, I had one of those moments tonight. I had opera workshop rehearsal for a scene I’m doing, and my Italian got picked apart. My recitative style got picked apart. It was frustrating. Meanwhile, these other people are singing, and they’re older than me and they’ve all had much more experience with scenes and whatnot and I’m thinking, “I don’t belong here. Why am I here with these pros?” It’s an awful feeling – being a fish out of water. But the conductor pulled me aside afterwards and said, “It will be good Nicole. The music will be good.” I told him that I didn’t have much experience with recitative and that my Italian is much Mennonite-ized (which he laughed at) and he told me just to practice, say the Italian over and over again and I’d get it. That made me feel better. I’m definitely going to get back into the water…

Another funny story. A former high school teacher of mine asked my still high school-going sister what I was doing this year. She told him I was in Vancouver and was studying voice, and that I had convocated from the UR in June. He then asked her, “And then what’s she going to do?” Michelle said, “Sing, duh.” I thought that was a great response. Yes, I’ll have studied singing for 6 years post-high school, and I’m going to drop it all to become…a mechanic. I know other people have asked the question, and it’s a valid one. But it’s like any other career – if you studying nursing, chances are you’re going to become a nurse. But my Grade 3 teacher Mrs. Knoll did say to me during the summer, “You know Nicole, you are going to have to get a job one of these days.” Ah, but Mrs. Knoll, that’s the purpose of all of this training. To get a job. A good one. A job on a huge stage singing in front of thousands of people. Besides, I don’t think I’d be a very good mechanic.

Here’s a story from Saturday night that I feel moved to share:

Heather and I went to see “Wimbledon” on Saturday night. It’s a romantic comedy starring Kirsten Dunst and some British guy who’s name I can’t remember. By the way – I highly recommend the movie.

Anyways, Heather was sick this week. We asked for a large popcorn and she was adamant that we ask for an extra bag to split the popcorn so that her germs would get nowhere near me. How nice, I thought. So, the conversation with the ditzy vendor (think California Valley Girl) went as follows:

“Hi. We’d like a large popcorn, but could we have an extra bag so we can split it between the two of us because I’m sick.”

“I can’t give you an extra bag, but I can give you the large popcorn combo – you get a chocolate bar and a large drink.”

Okay – now, we asked for a bag, not for the combo.

(After some discussion) “Okay, we’ll take the combo, but can’t we have an extra bag.”

“No. We don’t give them out. You’ll have to take the bags from the candy bin.”

Now, those bags are the size of my hand.

“Are you really sure we can’t get an extra bag?”

“I’ll ask someone.” She asks someone. “No, I can’t. We have to count the bags at the end of the evening. I can give you a box.”

Do you seriously think they count the bags at the end of the night? IT’S A FREAKING BAG! Seriously people. There’ve got to be other things in the world to worry about than 1 missing bag. Needless to say I took the box and ate my popcorn out of it – and it wasn’t one of those cool kids boxes they put popcorn in. It was a box they use to pile people’s multiple bags of popcorn in. It was a funny site. But the vendor gal won; she got us to get a combo instead of just popcorn. Sneaky Valley girl.

Another story…

While getting the mail the other day, I came across a pamphlet entitled “Prepare now for an earthquake in British Columbia.” Now, I’ve been desperately trying to forget that this possibility exists on the West Coast, but I picked the pamphlet up and decided to read it. On the first page, it says, “When an earthquake occurs, your first warning may be a swaying sensation, a sudden noise or roar. Next, vibration, quickly followed by roling – up, down, sideways, rotating. It will be scary!” No, really? Scary? I’d think it’d be a great roller coaster ride, even though I hate roller coasters. But the next sentence comforted me: “The earth won’t open up and swallow you.” This is GREAT news! But I was again thrown back into worry by the next sentence: “You can’t prevent an earthquake.” Now, this was earth-shattering for me. I can’t prevent an earthquake. I can’t use my superhuman strength to burrow down below the earth’s crust to the San Andreas fault and just hold those plates together. That has just shocked me to my core (I hope the sarcasm is coming out). Other than those statements, the pamphlet made a lot of sense. Hopefully I am now semi-prepared for an earthquake. But I really hope I never experience one, or I may just head back over those mountains to the east and stay on the flat Prairie, where the only earth movement is during spring seeding. Works for me.

Yeah Riders! I must say that I was surprised to see the Riders leading by 2 touchdowns when I tuned into the game in the late 3rd quarter. I had just been wandering around Stanley Park – which has palm trees! – looking out across English Bay towards Vancouver Island and seeing the Rose Gardens in the beautiful fall Vancouver weather. It is gorgeous here when you juxtapose the blue ocean against the rich reds, oranges and yellows of the changing leaves. And the maple trees – their leaves are about twice the size of my hand. Unbelievable. I do wonder if it’s all fake though – if the mountains are just a painted backdrop like on “The Truman Show”. The beauty here just seems too good to be true.

Anyways, back to the game…

Matt Dominguez is my hero. He should be everyone’s hero. I know – we were playing Ottawa – but hey, they’ve won 5 games – as many as we had before we beat them. I really wish we weren’t playing Montreal next week, as we’re now tied with Winnipeg and 1 game behind Edmonton. The Riders will have to make a huge effort next week. Interestingly, in the pre-game notes on Riderville.com, they had this quote printed: “In life, you’ll have your back up against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it.” I’ve honestly never looked at the pre-game notes before, so I wonder if they have a new quote for each game. The quote suited the game, and the Riders responded. It’s about time. But I’m not on the Grey Cup “glory train” just yet. We’ll have to win the remaining 4 games for any chance of that happening. And for the record, I am surprised, but not completely shocked that the Bombers traded Khari Jones to the Stamps at this point in the year. Yes, the Bombers’ defence does need some shoring up, but is Kevin Glenn really ready to lead a team? Only time will tell…

Tonight we made our weekly trip to Safeway and stocked up on food for the week. Heather and I are getting along very well. At this point she says she’ll come with me to Saturday’s Lions vs. Bombers game at BC Place. I told her we could do it to “ring” in my birthday. I might have to cheer for the Lions though – I don’t want Winnipeg to get ahead of us if we lose Sunday. But on the other hand, I don’t really want to cheer for the Lions. Oh, the decisions we must make…

And on that note, I must go transcribe my voice lesson from last Thursday, and work on that Italian I’ve been putting off…

Custody battle ruling

“A seven year old boy was at the centre of a courtroom drama this morning when he challenged a court ruling over who should have custody of the boy. The boy has a history of being beaten by his parents and the judge awarded custody to his aunt. The boy confirmed that his aunt beat him more than his parents and refused to live there. When the judge suggested that he live with his grandparents the boy cried out that they beat him more than anyone. The judge dramatically allowed the boy to choose who should have custody of him. Custody was granted to the Saskatchewan Roughriders this morning as the boy firmly believes that they are not capable of beating anyone.”

Hopefully the Riders will be able to beat the Renegades today. May Matt Dominguez be the answer to our offensive woes.

Here it is. “Nicola’s Stage.” I think the name is rather appropriate, and much better than “Nicole’s Land” – the original lame working title. It’s my “stage” to communicate with all of you – without the singing part.

I’ve been thinking having a blog for quite awhile. I always have way too much to say, and nowhere to say it – or people to listen to it, either. This way I figured I could say everything I want to, and people can either read it – or not. Plus, my e-mails won’t be so long and I won’t have to choose which stories to put into them. The blog also allows me to keep track of all of the things that happen to me while I’m here in the Big Van.

So, let the fun begin! I’m sure this space will be updated daily.

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