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Monthly Archives: October 2004

Yesterday was a great day until 10:00 pm.

The day started off well. It was sunny and bright, crisp and cool – a beautiful fall day. I looked out of my bedroom window and saw the ocean, some sailboats on the water, and a few fluffy white clouds hanging on the mountain tops. I went to church and then hung out the rest of the afternoon, waiting for my friend Melanie to arrive. Melanie, Heather and I went out for supper and then we left for the football game. I met some people from Regina while in line at Will Call to retrieve my tickets. Our seats were unfortunately under the screen, but we were near Rider fans. Granted they were drunk, middle-aged male Rider fans without their wives who bought food for us, and would have bought us drinks if we had wanted. And one of them went on this rant of how BC people are lazy and don’t work, and Saskatchewan people are actually the bosses of most BC people and on and on and on. And then it began…

The football game. That blasted football game.

The game didn’t start off on a good note. A kickoff returned for a touchdown. I’m sure all of the blood drained from my face, and my jaw stayed unhinged for a good five minutes after the play. I was pretty angry – and scared. Scared that this was going to turn into an all-out romp. But my fears were averted until the third quarter.

I hate the Lions. I hate Casey Printers. I hate Dave Dickenson. I hate Spurgeon Wynn. I hate Geroy Simon, Mark Washington, Barrin Simpson, Jason Clermont (that boy should be a RIDER!!!!), Frank Cutolo, Wally Buono and Chris Brazzell. And I hate how the Lions CANNOT drive the ball. They rely on the big play – and it works most of the time. AAAAARGH!!!! And then the fumble returned for touchdown. Ouch. I was preparing myself for the sure defeat, and the wheels in my head were turning as I dissected the plays in my head, trying to defend the loss.

But then the Riders offered me hope.

A drive that resulted in a Chris Szarka TD. And then Reggie Hunt blitzing and decking Casey Printers to force a fumble and Daved Benefield rumbling (literally rumbling – I was 20 feet away – it wasn’t pretty) for another TD. And then Matt Dominguez. I was sitting behind the right end zone tonight! An amazing 50-yard run. I almost peed my pants I was so excited!!!! I couldn’t believe what was happening! This was more than hope! This was a sure-fire win!

But then I uttered these immortal words: “There’s 59 seconds left. They’ll screw it up yet.”

And screw it up they did. You can blame the timekeepers’ bench. You can blame the referee for the face-masking call (which I didn’t see – I was at the other end zone). But you CANNOT let a team drive the ball like the Lions did with under a minute to go. And when you double-team Geroy Simon, you CANNOT let him catch the ball. Those were ill-timed jumps by the receivers. And pandemonium broke loose in BC Place. People were really excited for the first time that game. And scuffles broke out in the stands and had been for the last minute of the game. And Rider fans (there were many) were shocked, stunned and disappointed. We were sure we had broken the 16 year, lack of a home playoff game curse. But like the Red Sox of years of old, it was not meant to be.

I walked out of the stadium in a silent huff after a kid of about 8 years of age came up to our little pocket of Rider fans and made fun of us. I couldn’t watch the point after. It was the first time I had left a football game without watching it in its entirety.

How could such an incredible comeback be turned into such an incredible defeat?

I wish I knew. I hope the Riders know. If they don’t, it’ll be mighty hard to go into Commonwealth Stadium next weekend and shut down the Eskimos. The Riders are taking the hard way here, as per usual. But I hope they can turn their disappointment into anger and revenge and end up back here again in two weeks. If not, we’ll know where their season ended – 120 yards from where I was sitting. Watching. And waiting.

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I have been SO bored this week. That’s what happens when you don’t have voice lessons for 2 weeks – you have no goals, and therefore, no motivation to do anything. At least, that’s what happens to me. So, thank you to Joel who let me talk to him for 3 hours yesterday on MSN. Joel, you really are a saint for putting up with me for 3 whole hours while you were trying to write your essay!

Two things before I get to my “rant of the day”. (boredom does that to me – I get “ranty” – more time to think of things that annoy me I guess…). First of all, God must be laughing at me today. Laughing hard. And in good fun. Yesterday I ranted about how tired I was of being approached by Greenpeace and Amnesty International people. Well, today there were anti-abortionists on the corner of Granville and Broadway, right in from of Chapters. And the protesters were men. None of them said anything to me, but if it hadn’t of been raining buckets and if my $40.00 Strauss book hadn’t been getting a little wet, I would have stopped and given them a little piece of my mind. That’s the way I feel today – confrontational. God has a lot of fun with me somedays! Secondly, why must women who wear $500 shirts have such bad hair and makeup! Not that I’m Charlize Theron or anything, but people, that money is being SO misplaced! And thirdly (I said there’d only be 2 things, didn’t I?), I dinged two people with my new Claude Monet umbrella today. Heather bought me my Claude Monet umbrella as a late birthday present, and I love it. But it’s bigger than my other umbrella, and therefore, I need to learn how to maneuver it.

Okay. The main topic, and as reason of some distress in my life: the NHL lockout. I haven’t said much about it yet, but enough is enough people! Thank you to Mike Commodore of the Flames for finally saying something of value this week! I am so fed up with the owners and multi-millionaire players. I’m a little angrier with the players these days, even though the owners are to blame (don’t ask me to explain). Just give me hockey!

I have no reason to look at TSN.ca these days. Their CFL coverage isn’t much because there isn’t much to report on that front. Other than that, the NHL is why I go to TSN.ca. During the hockey season, I can spend hours on that site, looking up standings, schedules, statistics and all of those things that make me a source of completely useless information. TSN.ca is where I check for Leafs scores night after night, silently screaming when the result is unpleasant, realizing I’ve lost money. And the NHL lockout is impeding on my income. After a record number of wins in the betting department last year, I was hoping to carry my momentum into this season. And now that momentum has been crushed. No $20 bet with my Grandpa. No Senators/Leafs or Canucks/Leafs bets. Probably no playoff pool. This lockout has really sucked some of the excitement out of my life. Does Trevor Linden, President of the NHLPA, realize that? I don’t know. The players say they are sorry that the fans are getting the short end of the stick here (another merciless pun – sorry), and the NHL front office is playing upon that sympathy and trying to turn that sympathy into anger against the players. The truth is, neither side cares about the fans. Each person in this situation cares only about himself. Such is the way of human nature. And this lockout won’t end until each person’s “Me and only Me” ego is satisfied. And that won’t happen for a long time, folks (ooh, that sound Bushian – scary, but just in time for Halloween! I’m not funny at all, am I?). It’s going to be a long winter with bad Saturday night TV. I think this thing should be settled by a mediator, with the mediator being Don Cherry. What do you think?

So, in the meantime, TSN must figure out new ways of employing its hockey personalities, CBC has to play crappy movies, and I need to find another source of income. Karaokee contest, anyone?

I hadn’t driven a car for almost 2 whole months ’til yesterday. Yesterday I made my Vancouver driving debut, and I drove out to Langley, which is a good hour’s drive east of Vancouver, more if you get stuck in traffic. I was a little leery of driving out to Langley for Molly’s birthday party at The Olive Garden (mmm…), as we left at 5:00 (prime rush hour time), I hadn’t driven a car in 2 months, I’d never driven in Vancouver before, and I was scared that I’d hit someone with Heather’s very nice Mazda Protégé. But as soon as I got behind the wheel, all was well. I’ve never driven a car with so much pick-up. But anything has more pick-up than my little Buddy who’s in the garage in Rosthern (Buddy is the name of my maroon Mercury Sable with the ripped fenders which are not my fault!). I miss Buddy. He was a good car…

Anyways, the traffic actually wasn’t that bad going out to Langley once we got in the HOV lane. What the heck is an HOV lane? you ask. HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle. Any vehicle with 2 or more passengers can use this lane, and as in rush hour most of the cars only have 1 passenger in them because they’re people trying to commute to either Burnaby, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Delta, Abbotsford, Surrey, New Westminster, or Langley (I’m getting pretty good with the geography out here, aren’t I?), being in the HOV lane is a good thing. So much so that Heather keeps commenting on how happy she is that I’m here so that we CAN use the HOV lane. It’s my function in life. If I don’t find a job, I might just hire myself out to drivers who want an extra person in their vehicle so they can get in the HOV lane. Anyhow, the trip went well, minus a few sharp lane changes (my depth perception needs to improve).

The Olive Garden. We had a good time. Molly, who is friends with my cousin Heidi, and her family, some work colleagues (teachers from her school), Heidi, Heather and I attended the birthday celebration. Heather and I bought Molly helium balloons which we promptly tied to her chair at the restaurant so all would know it was her birthday. I was introduced to Melanie, who sings, but on top of her regular day job, who proceeded to harass me the entire evening. I, unfortunately, couldn’t really come up with any killer quips, but I made her laugh a few times. But Melanie got her “just desserts” when our waitress spilled a glass all over her…and me. I was at the head of the table, and Melanie was to my left. Because of the mishap, which our waitress felt so badly about (I felt more badly for her!), Melanie and I both got free dessert. But we couldn’t get the desserts we wanted because they were “out” of them. Their supplies truck didn’t come in this week, and the nearest Olive Garden is in Bellingham, Washington, and they don’t borrow supplies from them because that means crossing the border and things being inspected and yadda yadda yadda yadda. So, I settled for Raspberry White Chocolate Cheesecake. A very good choice in hindsight, I’d say. I’d gladly go back to the Olive Garden and have water spilled all over me again.

This has nothing to do with the above story, but I must rant again. I want those Greenpeace and Amnesty International people to LEAVE ME ALONE!!!! Almost everyday I’m bombarded by them, no matter how hard I try to ignore them and hide under my umbrella (I’m short you know – it kind of works…). All they want is my credit card number so that I’ll give them money. I’m not giving it to them! Whoa, I just saw a black squirrel. Have you ever seen one? Anyways, I would listen to Amnesty International and Greenpeace if they didn’t pester me every day! I want sound environmental policies, and equality for all, too. And I know that I live in Vancouver, the “green city”, where tree-huggers and granola-crunchers abound, but LEAVE ME ALONE!

That felt good. And I’ll feel even better once I find a new route to school…

I love singing, otherwise I sure wouldn’t be wasting my money studying out here. But singers, I don’t like them so much.

But it’s not all singers. It’s those singers who say that all they do is go home and listen to opera, every day of the year. If I did that I would shoot myself. What can I say? My attention span is pretty short, unless I’m so completely absorbed in something that it just draws me in and I can’t let go and give in to the moment. But that’s very rare – or only when the Leafs or Riders make the playoffs. But honestly, who are these “singers” who say, “I would die if I lost my voice!” GIVE ME A FREAKING BREAK! If you don’t have a backup plan, you’re living in La-La Land (that’s kind of an unintentional funny pun). If I couldn’t sing anymore it would be pretty heart-wrenching, but I’d be a musicologist (which I’m planning on studying anyways) or I’d study political science or history. I don’t think that just because I don’t committ every second of every day to music that I’m a horrible singer whose gift should be taken away and given to someone else who is “worthy” of it. I’m sorry I don’t know every role Mirella Freni ever played, or know the entire complex plot of “Tosca”, but I’m learning. And besides, I don’t think I’ll ever be singing ANYTHING out of Tosca. I’m not one of those singers that wears my heart on my sleeve walking down the street. It comes out on the stage, where it matters. BUT, that doesn’t mean that when I’m in a masterclass I’m going to just pour my heart out and make it sound like a meeting of “Singers Anonymous” (I think that image is rather hilarious; I’ve been watching way too much “Corner Gas”). I’m a realistic singer. A down-to-earth singer.

I’m proud that I’m a “well-rounded” singer. I’m glad that I can sit down and watch a football or hockey game for three hours and be completely captivated and not think about singing. I’m thankful that I can tell you what’s going on in the news, that I’m politically informed. I believe that knowing these things shape my being and therefore my artistic side just as much as knowing every nuance and note in every Renée Fleming recording.

I wish singers would realize that they are a part of the real world, and that they’re affected by current events and politics. The art forms will NEVER be able to fully support themselves – they haven’t throughout the centuries and sure won’t now. They need government support. And singers need to quit being so elitist and make themselves (most importantly) and singing believeable and accessible, just like sports are (for the most part…).

I’m a singer. I’m committed to my art form. But, I’m also a Rider and Leaf fan, and I love politics and history. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It gives me so much more experience to draw on in performance.

I’m a singer. Not a “singer”. There’s a difference.

First of all: ha ha ha ha Ashlee Simpson! You’ve been found out! If only this could have happened to Britney Spears at some point…

Anyways, back to the subject at hand. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. I LOVED this movie. Why? Oh, for so many reasons.

#1. Jim Carrey: Incredible, understated performance.

#2. Kate Winslet: She can do more than period pieces!

#3. Mark Ruffalo: Loved the hair.

#4: Elijah Wood: Just look at him!

#5: Great effects and camera work.

#6: Zany plot and timeline.

#7: Its message: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” This movie is making me think a lot about the relationships in my life.

I also loved the post-modernist way in which this movie was put together through fragmentation, stream-of-consciousness and lack of structure. But for me, the most important part is how it contains sweetness, heart and emotion under all of the different pieces. It’s very, very different from your conventional American movie; it’s very European-art-house. I wish more movies were like this one: ones that make you think AND have emotional value. Watch it.

I’ve been so lazy lately. Honestly. Enough is enough here! All I wanto to do is stay in my PJs all day (or as much as I can!), curl up with a good book, and read. And read and read and read. I’ve done that as much as possible the past week, resulting in a conquest of sorts. I’ve finally finished the “Anne of Green Gables” series. And as my Mother says, “Your life can now go on.” I would like to say, for the record, that Walter should not have died. Una was never given the chance pronounce her undying love to him; it was completely unfair. I will try and move on.

The excitement of my week occured on Thursday night. Heather and I attended a banquet/auction for the Big Sisters of the BC Lower Mainland. Heather is on the Board of Directors and brought me along. The event was held at the Pan Pacific Hotel, a big hoity-toity hotel located on the downtown seafrontand we were served a meal of pan seared sablefish, roasted butternut squash soup (yummy!), focaccia croutons, and New York cheesecake for dessert. But the best part by far was the 5 firefighters whose sole purpose was to flirt with all of the women, consequently getting them to bid on anything and everything. There was one firefighter, named Cal (who was very good looking I might add 😉 ), who kept following Heather around. I was impressed with her flirting abilities; she did it in a sarcastic, strong-willed, “I-am-woman-hear-me-roar!” sort of way. She didn’t ask for his number though, for which I told her I was slightly disappointed (like I should talk!!). She introduced me to him after I jokingly reminded her that she had introduced everyone else at the table to Cal, and not me. I got introduced all right – the only embarassing moment of the night. Then the firefighters were all auctioned off. A woman (or possibly a group of women) paid $1700 to have 5 firemen come into their home and cook dinner for 8 women. Not the best ratio for that kind of money, I’d say. For $1700 it had better be 1:1 and a massage thrown in, too. After the auction, Heather said goodbye to Cal, and that was the end of the minor excitement in our romantic lives.

Other than that, this week has been good. I’ve picked up a new role in the opera scenes we’re doing, so I’m trying to learn that as quickly as possible. I’m also trying to learn Italian. This weekend we’ve hung out with some friends and family, and the weather’s been cold. Vancouver cold compared to Saskatchewan cold is comparing apples to oranges. Vancouver cold is this damp, bone-chilling cold that runs right through you. 5 degrees IS cold out here! I pray that I’m not turning into a weak, sushi-eating, granola-crunching, tree-hugging freak! Uh oh – I’ve already done 2 out of the 4. I’m half way there. Ahhhhhh!!!! I need to go back to Saskatchewan – and soon! I’ll be home December 17th; not soon enough. I’ll just have to hope I haven’t eaten sushi by then…

Karma sucks.

After posting those somewhat mean-spirited pictures contrasting the weather in Saskatchewan versus that in Vancouver, some weird things happened to me. First of all, I burned a pot of rice. And did I ever burn it. I had to scrub that pot for a long time until I got it clean. At first I had thought that I had destroyed the pot; I’ve actually done that before. Rice and I do not get along. I guess it doesn’t want me to eat it or something. Next, I walked to school (in beige pants again!) and when I got there, I noticed a large amount of blood on the bottom hem of one of my pant legs. On the way to school I developed a blister from my shoes that broke and put blood on my pants. And I had to sing for masterclass in a half hour! Luckily I had a Shout wipe in my bag and was able to kind of clean it, but there was still this ugly brownish-reddish spot on the bottom of my pants. Then, today, I spilt chicken noodle soup on the white carpet in the living room. I’m still working on getting that out. GRRRRR!!!! I promise I won’t make fun of the massive amounts of snow in Saskatchewan versus the beautiful, mild, and sunny weather in BC ever again – or at least until the next Saskatchewan snowfall…

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