Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Olympic Heat

It is something else to be down under, watching Canucks giving their all on the climate-challenged slopes.

To help athletes see the course through fog, childish blue lines have been painted onto the crisp snow - and unfortunately, it's not the idyllic freshly fallen snow we could have hoped for. They've been trucking it in and shifting it all over Cypress Mountain, but the trees are strangely bare of the white stuff.

Rain has also been affecting the field of play. Eight thousand "standing room" tickets have been canceled, for fear that the onlookers will sink into the slush and mud at the bottom of the hill. It's been so bad, in fact, that US skier Hannah Kearney got a hole in her ski from a sharp rock protruding from underneath the thin coating of snow on the ground. But you know what? She still won the gold medal.

Canada has won TWO gold medals, as of Feburary 17th! And TWO silver medals, plus a bronze! We are rockin' it on home soil, but I'd be just as excited no matter where the Games were being held.
Results so far:

Alexandre Bilodeau : Freestyle Skiing - Men's Moguls
Maelle Ricker : Snowboard - Ladies' Snowboard Cross

Mike Robertson: Snowboard - Mens' Snowboard Cross
Jennifer Heil : Freestyle Skiing - Ladies' Moguls

Kristina Groves : Speed Skating - Ladies' 3000 m

I haven't been able to watch as much of the action as I'd like - work plus the time difference plus coverage that is, naturally, geared for an Aussie audience have made it difficult to plunk myself in front of the TV.

I did get to watch Bilodeau take the gold, live, and it was fantastic. I don't know how they could have judged it; the results were so close! There were two other Canadians not far from the podium, as well, and it made me so proud. I let out a whoop that I'm sure half our apartment building could hear.


Tuesday, February 09, 2010

If I Were a Rich Girl

Oh Sony, why do you torment me? Why do you make an adorable handycam called a Bloggie? It is far too tempting. I am just a humble blogger, not a vlogger...

And Tiffany & Co., since November your sparkling key pendants have been the object of much sighing and wishing. It was my birthday, and then Christmas, and now it's nearing Valentine's Day. Your ads are still splashed across bus stop billboards, and I can walk to your hallowed glass-fronted shop to look at the diamond-studded, antique-styled gorgeousness.

But I hold back, because if I were to look through the window I would go inside. And if I were to go inside, it would be very difficult not to see the keys sparkle behind the display cases. And then... I would be hard pressed to leave the store without one, though it would likely be one without diamonds. And those are not too far out of reach, and even harder to resist!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Makin' it Funky with dc Talk

Today? Not my best day. Not my worst either. When Jody tried to cheer me up with a rendition of "Lean on Me," I couldn't bring myself to help him with it. He was sure I knew the song - and I do - but to be honest, the version that sticks in my head belongs to one of the most stellar Christian rock groups of the '90s : dc Talk.

From the dc Talk website:
"Although various rock predecessors have examined spiritual issues - U2, Van Morrison, and Bob Dylan immediately come to mind - dc Talk has taken the notion to new lengths, both in commercial terms and depth of artistic exploration. Numerous Dove Awards, three Grammy Awards, one multi-platinum album, two platinum albums, two gold albums and two gold-certified long-form videos attest to the group's ability to bridge the wall between religious and secular audiences."

Toby Mac. Michael Tait. Kevin Max. These guys had serious cred, and judging from the Youtube and iTunes comments, they've still got it. Hip hop, rap, pop-rock - it's all there as they experiment with their sound, but they never lose their standout voices or their firm beliefs.

I did try to teach Jody the dc Talk version of "Lean on Me," but I hit him with the boys' untraditional bridge first:
Make it funky, make it funky. It's more "fun-kay" than "fun-kee" - oh, just go listen to it already. In the Youtube comments purethug says, "whoa... was not expecting that. it's got everything - soul, funk.. perfect."

After I heard "Lean on Me" after so many years away from my sister's music collection, I tried to think of which five dc Talk songs were my favourites... and I couldn't. There are so many awesome songs, it was more like a top 10.

Lean on Me
Luv is a Verb
Jesus Freak
Jesus Is Just Alright
What Have We Become
Socially Acceptable
What if I Stumble
Consume Me
In the Light
My Will

Those last four are particularly amazing to me. If you think Christian music is all choirs and piano, take a listen, especially to anything from the "Jesus Freak" album.

dc Talk's music was one of the best things about my teen years. It's nice to know that some things stick with you, and even nicer when you come back to them and they're just as good as you remember.

* Free at Last album cover from Christianmusic.com

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