Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A gold medal kind of night

Sometimes, Fortune (yes, capital F fortune) smiles upon you.

It was about 30 minutes prior to the men's moguls final that my friend Brad called me up with an extra ticket to the next night's medal ceremony. Why not? I figure. It's Quebec night, and I can always handle some wholesome Gregory Charles post-awards. Count me in!

Of course, less than an hour later, I was in possession of a ticket to see the first Canadian gold medal presentation of the Games-- and the first one on home soil.

What is there to say? Our seats were so high up, I finally understood the expression "nosebleed". But to be there, to see and feel the frenzy that started before Alexandre Bilodeau even stepped onto the podium-- it was a pretty fantastic moment.

As Gregory Charles, the entertainment for the night, came on, BC showed its impressive apathy towards anything French by leaving in mass numbers... which allowed us to sneak in to ground level, where we managed to make it in to frolick in the fake snow under the "ice stage" (that y'all probably remember from the opening ceremonies) and dance party with the brave souls who stuck it out. Dance train with a bunch of middle aged folk in various countries' jerseys? I can check that off of my Olympic "to do" list...

Next up on said list: sneak into Sochi House and drink with the Russians... and acquire a pair of those Norwegian ski pants.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let the Games begin...

I hopped off the Canada Line at W. Georgia this morning and nearly collided with a parade-- a typical Friday morning in Vancouver.

It's the last day of the torch relay and the town's starting to get a bit crazy... I deked through the Art Gallery's square to Hornby in an attempt to make it past the crowds. I had five minutes to grab a coffee before I was to be at the office-- crunch time.

But it was as I carried my cup of bold roast around to Robson that things got interesting.

CTV torch party! At least, that's what I'm calling it. In celebration of the torch passing by that morning, it seemed like everyone and their dog-- and their torch-- came out for the festivities. In a two-block radius, I saw at least twenty people in their hip white track suits, clutching their torches proudly.

It's a bit funny to see so many in one place-- the Olympic torch is marketed to seem special and one-of-a-kind. But in reality, there are over 12,000 torches. And everyone who ran with it was able to purchase the torch for a cool 400 bucks (before you get all excited, I'm pretty sure it can't be lit again. Sigh).

As I walked into the lobby, the room was chock-full of at least 50 or 60 revellers. A photographer from above called out-- as the crowd yelled "cheese!", about half of the audience raised their own torch.

Today, the torch will continue to zigzag across the city. It will go on a bike, a canoe, a dragonboat, and a bunch of other forms of transportation in a decidedly Seuss-esque manner.

Oh, Vancouver.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Let's go back to the coast, baby, westward to the ocean...

In true BC spirit, I had Said the Whale on my iPod as I ventured to the Ottawa airport yesterday morning. My destination: Vancouver, with a stopover at Olympic Glory (yes, capitalized).

The last few weeks have been busy but a lot of fun-- my feature article on MPs and social media was published (front page!) in the Ottawa Citizen's Saturday Observer (you can find the piece online here) and I've just finished a promotional video for the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa that was part of their 50th anniversary launch on Thursday. But now I'm back home-- well, a few hours from home-- in Vancouver to intern with a what-will-for-now-remain-unnamed Big Media Group. They're covering some sort of big sporting event going on in town, I think?

While I know I'll probably be out East for awhile (yes, Ontario counts as "out East", though to be fair Alberta is also East by BC standards), parts of my heart still belong to the coast. Vancouver is warm (9 degrees today! 9! While Ottawa was -11, warm by Ottawa standards...) and it's even cleaner and prettier than usual thanks to the Big Olympic Machine that has taken over the city. At the airport, there were more volunteers than travellers-- there were even two volunteers at the luggage carousel who organized the bags as they came off the conveyor belt-- not one, but two!

Today was a lazy settle-in day, and it's never too hard to get back into the BC pace: sleep in, read all of the Olympic news clippings and updates, all-you-can-eat sushi date with friend and roomie Scott (and the ensuing stomachache...) and wandering Granville Island with one of my Vancouver friends. Then a long walk home in the balmy air, enjoying the mountains and my favourite familiar spots in the city. And, of course, grabbing a copy of the Georgia Straight, which I will devour as soon as I've finished this entry.

The internship starts tomorrow, so I'm sure to have more interesting stories then... and, if not, my roomie is volunteering at the Athletes' Village, so I'll just steal all of his ridiculous stories and post them on the interwebs for your entertainment. Deal?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Lesson of the week:

Don't drink two mugs of coffee while hurriedly writing an assignment for school before going to see Avatar. Was it good? Hell yes. But it may also have been the longest 2 1/2 hours of my life.

In other news, j-school is still a fickle, fickle mistress. But the deadlines and sleep deprivation seem worthwhile when I remember I'll be at the Olympics in two weeks! Woo!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A week and a half...

... looks like the PVR wins again.

Added the link to the third Bandwidth episode from my internship over the break to the post below.

Off to eat more cookies, M.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The break begins!

As usual, December comes and we all get the school crazies. End of semester papers, documentary edits, internships, beer. Lots of beer.

But somehow we all make it through (mostly thanks to the beer) and now I'm pleasantly back at home in Kamloops, sipping a gingerbread latte that my Starbucks-trained sister lovingly prepared for me and enjoying two weeks sans classes and deadlines. Work? Sure... I've got a website to update/redesign, two proposals to write, and a tidy stack of books to devour... but no deadlines. Woo!

For the past two weeks, I interned at CBC Radio Music and was lucky enough to work with Amanda Putz on Bandwidth. Two weeks of interning bliss: researching and learning about Ontario indie bands, interviewing and producing segments, audio editing to my heart's desire-- I even got to produce this coming week's episode! And Amanda is fantastic, so much fun and a great person to learn from. If only I could sneak to the second floor of CBC Ottawa and live there forever... sigh.

And, of course, I wouldn't be a shameless self-promoting j-student if I didn't provide links...

This past week's episode of Bandwidth- the Chanukah/Holiday episode- can be found on the NXEW blog. Amanda mostly worked on this show, but I came in to help in announcing Christmas shows around Ontario and also made Amanda a special Chanukah gift, which I give to her on-air near the end of the show.

The week before was All Things Hamilton- at the NXEW blog by clicking here. On this show, I interviewed TO band Hamilton Trading Co-- my first radio feature on air, which is pretty exciting.

The episode I (mostly) produced-- The Not-Quite-Christmas Show-- will be on this Saturday on CBC Radio 1 across Ontario and Nunavut (not in the GTA though) at 5:05pm. And, of course, I'll link it when I can ;)

*edit: you can find the show here!*

The holidays may mean I blog more. Or they might mean I just eat more Christmas baking and shun my laptop in favour of the family's new big-screen TV and PVR. I guess we'll find out which one wins out in the next week or so...

Friday, November 27, 2009

I should probably learn to squeal less

This week, I've been hunting down MPs for a story I'm writing on politicians and social networking tools.

Clearly, I'm a bit of a political geek so I've gotten my fair share of kicks this week. There's something so magical about hearing Bob Rae's dulcet tones as he calls you on his lunch hour... or finding a voicemail from Preston Manning when you check your phone after class (I'm still debating whether to put the audio online. Yes, it was that good).

I was also reminded of how rude and self-important some MPs' staffers are. Isn't it funny that, the less important the MP, the more of a dick their Communications officer is?

On the upside, everyone else has been very lovely and helpful. In fact, one MP suggested I add her on Facebook so we could meet up at some point to talk about new media and youth engagement... It was when I added her on FB the next day that I realized my interview got a bit meta.

Now, to weave the insightful interviews into a tapestry of journalistic gold...