I was running an errand at lunch today and was struck but just how beautiful this city is. The energy & excitement about the Olympics (4 sleeps!) is amazing – today at least it seemed like the positive was far out weighing the negative. Or maybe that’s just the way my rose-tinted glasses are seeing things.  Whatever.  Below is just a small example of this amazing city’s Olympic spirit – much, MUCH more to come!

OH! Canada

flag in reflection

CHINTZ!

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Yesterday I went to the Bay to pick up a Canada hoodie for my niece Lola (and one for me).  The Olympic store was packed!!  But it was a good kind of packed – people were happy and helpful (the customers) and well staffed and the staff were pleasant and helpful and smiling – very out of character for the Bay!

And this good spirit seems to be permeating throughout the city, which is great – banners are flying, buildings are wrapped with Olympic logos and artist renditions of winter sports, volunteers and staff in their distinctive turquoise uniforms are on the street – the world descends on our fair city in 8 sleeps and I am excited!

There has been a lot of criticism of how Vanoc has conducted themselves, of how too much money has been spent, of how the money should have been spent on the homeless situation in Vancouver (how many times to people have to be told that it was NEVER an either/or situation), of how corrupt the entire organisation is, etc.  So tired of hearing it.

The games are coming. 250,000 people ARE COMING.  There will be events and concerts and ceremonies and skating and FUN to be had by all.  Will it be incovenient?  Hell yes it will.  Traffic will be stupid and busses will be crowded.  Restaurants will be packed and our day to day life will not be normal.

But so what???

It’s 2 weeks. 14 bloody days.  NOT the end of the world.

And such a unique experience – get out there, enjoy, celebrate our fantastic city and all that it has to offer. Go to as many of the events and activities and EXPERIENCES as you can.

I know I will and I will be loving it!

8 more sleeps …

cake? not interested. nope, not us ...

ok, well maybe a little interested ...

slurp!

nom nom nom

She has eaten too many shoes to count, including 3 pair of hand-tooled Fluevogs, 4 purses, a lap-top, a $2,500 hand built down filled couch, my coffee table, all the knobs off my armoire, a dozen or so books, my entire design magazine collection, a cell phone, 3 pair of scissors, 2 knives (handles), 2 down-filled pillows – THAT was actually quite funny – feathers EVERYWHERE!

But I love her funny face and she is hands down the best snuggler on the planet – Happy Birthday Scout, let’s hope the terrible two’s were what  got us here . . .

I am flipping between the Grammys (painful, really) and Brothers & Sisters (Rob Lowe, sigh …) and can offer these observations:

  • it has become painfully obvious that I am OLD – I don’t know most of the “music” on this show!
  • Rob Lowe has aged so very well
  • Michael Smith was ROBBED on Iron Chef America – um, what does Anthony Sabato Jr. know about food?
  • Celine Dion CANNOT dance
  • the wig people at ABC need some help
  • Green Day make a Broadway musical cool
  • Micheal Jackson’s kids are very WHITE (un-PC I know, but really? maybe he really didn’t bleach his skin because those children, while gorgeous, are very very white)
  • Leonard Cohen’s lifetime achievement award got a mere mention at the beginning of Pink’s intro – I’m sorry, but Leonard Cohen, poet and songwriter extraordinaire deserves his own televised tribute – if nothing else one of the gazillion covers of hallelujah could have been performed – by Pink even?
  • Rob Lowe is a very handsome man
  • 3-D does not translate on television
  • Adam Sandler just isn’t funny
  • Steve Colbert, on the other hand, IS funny
  • an ice cream sundae (butterscotch) would be quite delicious right now
  • Taylor Swift, sadly, cannot really sing?
  • it’s 11 o’clock so I should really get myself to bed – even if the Grammys aren’t over … really?  how LONG is this thing anyway??

and one last thing – Rob Lowe?  le sigh …

A girlfriend was telling me about a 50th birthday party she was at before the holidays – blah, blah, blah, Costco variety hors d’oeuvres, jug wine, blah, blah, blah AND SHE MADE US ALL TAKE OFF OUR SHOES!!! It was early December and COLD so the hostess graciously offered my friend a pair of sweat socks – PINK – to put on.  With her little black cocktail dress.  A good look to be sure. This was a big party, over 70 people and all adults. All walking around in the sock feet.

Nice.

I have had this conversation many times with people – to shoe or not to shoe.  Growing up of course we took our shoes off – we were children.  But the adults didn’t. But for “fancy” parties, we carried our dress-up shoes in bags specific to that purpose and changed at the door.  Granted I grew up in a civilized city where people were prepared for this but still, it was simply what one did.

Out here on the more casual west coast things seem to be different – it is not unusual to go to someone’s home and encounter a collection of shoes at the front door – an indication that one is expected to follow suit.  Now I am ok with this if it is a casual, family-type gathering, but generally speaking, my shoes make my outfit.  Not to mention the fact that I feel rather ridiculous walking around having adult conversations with my brightly coloured polka-dot socks right out there in the open.

Thankfully most of my friends are like-minded and the no-shoes-in-the-house rule does not apply.

I respect cultural differences and if I were to be invited to someone’s home where their culture or religion dictated that shoes not be worn, then fine.  But in my day-to-day existence this is generally not the case.

And it seems that we are not alone in these discussions:  from the Globe & Mailand on Gawker.

I found the Gawker article particularly amusing as the hostess went so far as to have invitations printed stating “no shoes”. Can you imagine?  I mean it’s her house and she can make the rules, but seriously?  You invite a group of (I assume) your peers and business associates of your husband and you tell them they can’t wear shoes in your home?

Please.

And then the hostess responds on Gawker.

So, would you be offended if someone asked you to take off your Jimmy Choos and walk around their black-tie affair in your barefeet?

back story:  about 18 months ago I started a new job and right from the get-go the very person who had hired me was conspiring to have me fired – yeah, nice, I know – she would do things like only give me partial information on something and then read me the riot act when I didn’t do it properly;  “forget” to tell me things and then have things seriously FAIL and have it look like it was all my fault; literally bury critical documents and then “find” them at the 11th hour – shit like that – I cottoned on to what she was doing pretty quickly so was sure to always keep a CYA file on hand just in case

oh, and in the first few months we as an office went out for drinks after work – by 7 she was so unbelievable sh&t-faced that she was unable to feed herself – her parents were there – it was embarassing for all – after that what little respect I had had for her was gone

and so things continued

then the market crashed and she, together with another person in our office, started really stirring it up – taking private meetings, plotting the demise of us all, even going so far as to tell our receptionist in confidence and for her protection that she would likely be fired so she should be prepared – we were all walking around on tender hooks and the atmosphere in the office was unbelievably toxic

in the end it was her that left and we heaved a collective sigh of relief – even after I found the file she was keeping on me complete with resumes for my replacement

yeah, good times

anyway … moving on to the present … that was a year ago and things have been great ever since she left

which brings me to last night – I met a friend for a quick drink after work – he was in town for a meeting – another friend of his joined us (I had never met her and for the sake of this story let’s call her A) and after my friend left us two girls stayed and had another cocktail or two – we were the same age, worked in the same field, etc. – you know when you just click with someone??

well we were chatting and the subject of nightmare job stories came up – she shared hers and then I started to share mine – about 2 minutes in she stopped me – “what is her last name?” she asked of my former boss (let’s call her Ms. X) – I told her and she blanched, started to shake and tears welled up – turns out we have a psycho in common!!

about 10 years ago A and Ms. X worked at the same firm and became friends – Ms. X and her then boyfriend owned a house with a suite and asked A to be their tenant – “why not?”, A though – cheap rent, fun land lords, what could go wrong?? – A’s boss warned her not to, warned her that Ms. X was CRAZY but A did not heed the warnings – a few months in things went horribly wrong and Ms. X went completely psycho – so completely psycho that A moved her pets to her boyfriend’s place becasuse she was terrified that Ms. X would do something to them

can you imagine??

anyway, A moved out, Ms. X moved on from the firm (we think fired, but not sure) and they never spoke or saw each other again

CRAZY!!!!!

A’s physical reaction 10 years later was shocking – and reassuring to me knowing that no it was not me, Ms. X is a complete sociopath and CERTIFIABLY BAT-SHIT CRAZY

and the best part?  I have made an awesome new friend!!