Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: Rapture, Blister, Burn

November/December were combo book club months. Since some members were writing for NaNoWriMo, and the lead up to Christmas can be kinda crazy, we had a month and a half to read...a play! The reasoning behind the genre pick was that plays are short, perfect for limited timelines for everyone.

My choice was easy - I had borrowed a play to read for last month's women writers genre, but never got around to it. It was a perfect choice for our combo months' genre! And based on the synopsis, I'm pretty sure this play was written for me...

November/December 2013: Play

Rapture, Blister, Burn
By Gina Gionfriddo
2012
139 pages

"So is the message that women are f*cked either way? You either have a career and wind up lonely and sad, or you have a family and wind up lonely and sad?" (p. 36)

Catherine is an accomplished academic. Gwen is a married housewife with two children. Friends during their university days, they haven't talked in over a decade...something about Gwen stealing and marrying Catherine's boyfriend? These two women with opposite lives meet again when Catherine moves home to care for her aging mother. It's clear that both regret their chosen life path, and both want what each other have. The play takes us through what happens when both women cross over to the other side where the grass is greener - or is it? Mix in the unmotivated husband/ex-boyfriend and a firecracker of a babysitter, and you've got an honest take on gender roles and feminist ideals.

I haven't read a play since I was forced to analyze Death of a Salesman and The Glass Menagerie in high school. Regardless of my historical distaste for the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed this play, and devoured it in one sitting while on a plane from Edmonton to Winnipeg. Like Catherine, I constantly wonder if I've missed out on the best things in life by not getting married and having babies. I feel guilty, selfish, jealous, and a waste of a woman most times when I'm with mothers, who I have place on the pedestal of societal acceptance. I suppose the solution to all my problems is finding a husband who will take care of me and settling down with a kid or two (or at least that's what my mother's solution is).

This play proved to me I'm not wrong for feeling that way, but also that it's not right to assume mothers have it better than professional spinsters. Gionfriddo deftly paints a picture of both sides of the fence - using only dialogue and minimal stage directions. She has her characters essentially swap lives, and in the end we realize you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need. Mixed in there is a bunch of feminist theory, and though I'm not much of a feminist, nor do I know or necessarily care about theory, all concepts and ideas are completely accessible. Everything just made sense. Yeah it's a cliche, but this play spoke to me.

I would recommend this book to every women who has even wondered what if. Hopefully, like in Gionfriddo's play, your life works out how you need it to.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Roar of the Rings: Wrap Up & Tweets

Here's my usual wrap up post!

So did I meet my goals for the week?
  1. Learn a new skill. Check! I relearned how to use iMovie and the video camera. I also learned how to splice audio/video and how to handle myself in a big media scrum (sort of).
  2. Not get fired. Well, hopefully. Time will tell but for now it sounds like I'm still going to the Brier in Kamloops. After that it's all up in the air, although there are some events coming to Alberta so I'll still try go even if I have to volunteer ("50/50s, buy your 50/50s here!").
  3. Meet new people. Yep! I said a quick hello to Lisa Weagle (@ottgal) and @ottguy. I worked with @inglisdanielle and @leftbutton all week - they're superstars!
  4. Meet up with old friends. Done! I caught up with my merchandising folks, and had plenty of time to chat with my favourite CCA people.
  5. Take a picture of Ron Burgundy to post to twitter. Check!
  6. Limit the libraryland work I do. Yeah, I didn't work too hard!
  7. Buy a FM scan radio. No. The signal was working, then it wasn't working. But I listened to my borrowed radio during the final weekend.
  8. Tweet up a storm! As always!
  9. Watch Storage Wars. And Duck Dynasty and Say Yes to the Dress.
  10. Not get fat. I limited myself to one doughnut or muffin a day. It's a start.
And would I do this again. Of course. Honestly, these events aren't as fun and glamorous for me as they used to be, and this was a really long week. But I still love the people, and I still love the game, and when given the opportunity, I'm ready to work and be part of these special events. Here's hoping I get to a couple Alberta events during the 2014-15 season and onwards!


Below are all the tweets I posted in case you want to catch up (or you're me and you want to archive this...). As per twitter, newest is first.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Landed in #yeg! With luggage! And my car started! #homesweethome

Well hallelujah I have a seat on the plane! Why the runaround? Hope my luggage makes it. Never again @AirCanada.

Just told by @AirCanada they don't assign some seats so they can balance weight. Seriously?! Just assign me a seat please! #wokeupat4am

But Ferbey is also on standby. Makes me feel slightly better. I bet he gets on though. I'm not famous.

.@AirCanada agent: "You're not on standby. Your luggage is on standby." Still don't understand why
I'm on standby if I paid and checked in??



Sunday, December 8, 2013

It's all over. #rotr pic.twitter.com/Fkf1ClrSxz

Under 2hr take down! @NHLJets play here on Tuesday! #rotr pic.twitter.com/L3vtfBymED
Fancy new jackets! #rotr pic.twitter.com/4MiF7Hssgd
And here's Team Canada! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/zmNXmoyXGv
Again, my wait for the final shot. Can already hear the pipers... #rotr pic.twitter.com/eZjNUBC6Fn
Applause you just heard was for @TeamJJonesCurl who just sat down in the arena. #rotr #fancyCanadajackets

Front row seat as @BryanMudryk interviews @BalGosal. Great for the sport! #rotr pic.twitter.com/zi6P51IoWv

Should be a good game! #rotr pic.twitter.com/8kaRwOWsu8
Here we go! #rotr pic.twitter.com/CTXfrgBJuq
Apparently GTE means @AirCanada will assign my seat at their gate. Likelihood of getting bumped is huge.
Just checked in for my @AirCanada flight tomorrow am - seat is "GTE". What does that mean? Is that bad???



Saturday, December 7, 2013

This was the view I meant. #rotr pic.twitter.com/o2LzVErTqq

Team Canada! #rotr pic.twitter.com/og3TjrySLH

Just spent a scrum on the ice kneeling under the rest of the cameras/microphones holding a mic. Weird angle for the excitement haha. #rotr

My new view of the final. #rotr #whatisgoingon pic.twitter.com/WoOqZOO20E

I guess this is where I'm standing for the rest of the game... #rotr pic.twitter.com/0EvEngukAB

Finals scrums are on the ice. I'm going to stress about that all weekend. #ROTR

Men's semi. #rotr pic.twitter.com/Me68r4Jh4a

And me in the background taking a photo of “@BryanMudryk: A few big deals... pic.twitter.com/B7ZB76mkHG

Reps from *redacted* city getting a tour backstage, prepping for a bid for 2017 trials. #yougottabethere #rotr

Men's semi - let's go! #rotr #bestcommentatorsever pic.twitter.com/3xE9K0XUZo



Friday, December 6, 2013

Here's my recap of the week days during the #rotr... http://make-it-known.blogspot.ca/2013/12/2013-roar-of-rings-during-week.html

Introducing the 2014 Canadian Paralympic wheelchair curling team to the #rotr crowd! Standing ovation! pic.twitter.com/v8zAEkOzdf

I made this! “@CCACurling: Curling Goes Social: Tweet Hard! http://www.curling.ca/curlingtv/2013/12/06/curling-goes-social-tweet-hard/ … #socialmedia #curling @TeamHoman @inglisdanielle @ottguy”

Work. Lunch. Now women's tiebreaker. #rotr pic.twitter.com/KDKNxrvcya

Again, the 2014 Canadian Paralympic wheelchair curling team! pic.twitter.com/6yTXbwhHVu

...Sonja Gaudet (Lead), Ina Forrest (Second), Dennis Thiessen (Third), Jim Armstrong (Skip), Mark Ideson (Alternate), Joe Rea (Coach)

Your 2014 Canadian Paralympic wheelchair curling team! pic.twitter.com/Fcz7599HOg

So this is where I'd sit if I was in the NHL... pic.twitter.com/EzBjdBLdCP

We're waiting to film the announcement of the 2014 Paralympic wheelchair #curling team! pic.twitter.com/KrUC7wtVHU

View from the Press Box! #rotr pic.twitter.com/uxvrwUdEzy

Did y'all see Howard's last shot? Awesome! #rotr

Watching the last round robin game. I love watching multiple sheets at once! #rotr #untilnexttime pic.twitter.com/2E6Wx1seo5

Now they've got both 5ths playing in the Stoughton/Howard game. Looks like a pretty friendly game. #rotr

It appears Jeff Stoughton has put on a goofy hat. Spin-a-rama coming up this game? #rotr pic.twitter.com/PbAr647Tcz

Good times for #yeg weather. My poor car has been out at the airport for a week. Anyone know if @jetSet_Parking offers battery boosts?!






Thursday, December 5, 2013

View from the media bench. Wish I was actual media, that's a pretty sweet view! #rotr pic.twitter.com/tow0BzpcUO

Currently discussing crazy tiebreaker scenarios. No one is getting any sleep tonight!! #rotr



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I think I only watched like 10mins of actual curling today. #rotr #busy pic.twitter.com/O9Ba4Vkwwf

Met @ottguy! He's the super tweeter for the @TeamHoman account. Watch out for him on the tv! #rotr

Marc is telling us the story of Kevin's back trouble in Saskatoon. Fun-ny! #offcamera #rotr pic.twitter.com/y9JlNVqXca

A rare specimen - a non skip in the scrum! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/Nv33OxB6KV

In case you're curious... #rotr pic.twitter.com/ARgZoGN1pg

Can you spot my hand holding the mic? “@CCACurling: Jeff in the media scrum after a victory over Team Koe #ROTR pic.twitter.com/RlVAGe6J7g

And the view from ice level. #rotr pic.twitter.com/1sKbsGkNJb

The view from above... #ROTR pic.twitter.com/5mX3RStLdR

Well who would have thought this would be Wednesday's standings? #rotr pic.twitter.com/3LGgKz8Ozw

Winnipeg is just getting that snowstorm that hit Edmonton earlier in the week. Yay for pedways! No need for me to go outside ever! #rotr

Is there an important game on or something? Double the fancy cameras in the scrum area as usual! #rotr



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Three days hanging out with media guys. Very interesting. Learning lots. #flyonthewall #ROTR

I think we need an Alberta version of this #curling licence plate! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/IC8oY1vpp4

Sneaky ice maker interview until rest of play is done. Did you know Hans is off to Sochi? #rotr pic.twitter.com/1NxnKi9pDt

Getting up in the stands to watch more games today! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/r0rsmB8cg2



Monday, December 2, 2013

Caught! #oops “@CherylM21: “@1CathyC: Hey there's @lisamchuk behind the action. pic.twitter.com/FfXPh4E8pi” Celebrity #ROTR sightings :)”

Would this happen in any other sport? TSN camera guy teaching the junior star how to work the camera. Now he's touring the booth. #rotr

I'm finally going to watch some #curling! #rotr pic.twitter.com/lYyNHpkDD4

I love how the other media camera guys just assume I know what I'm doing! #fraud #rotr

My recap of yesterday's #curling circus: http://make-it-known.blogspot.ca/2013/12/2013-roar-of-rings-day-1.html #rotr



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Remember that fuss about finding a radio so I could listen to curling commentary in the arena? No one can get the FM signal to work. #rotr

We're sharing our work space with the artists. It's fascinating to learn how the paintings come together! #rotr pic.twitter.com/4pHKA0fndb

This is my job for the week! #rotr pic.twitter.com/2vwOJHtl3b

Watching my first ends of the event. Jules Owchar sitting in front of me, scouting rocks. Good crowd here. #rotr pic.twitter.com/A2Ei5knqFP

My prestigious view of the Ron Burgundy TSN commentary. Very prestigious. #rotr pic.twitter.com/j1LD8KuqlQ

Ron Burgundy media scrum. Watch for video later. Pretty funny. #ROTR pic.twitter.com/rTzTsEh7HH

Here's my recap of the last few days at the #rotr http://make-it-known.blogspot.ca/2013/12/2013-roar-of-rings-set-up.html

Bagpipers warming up in our hallway! #rotr #ilovebagpipes pic.twitter.com/BNu8FnlFJw

OH "Why Team Howard? It's not like this is Winnipeg." "They requested Howard." #rotr
               
And a photo with the commentators and TSN bosses. #rotr pic.twitter.com/2DHtPsmLey

Howard gave Ron Burgundy a Team Howard Weedman jacket. #rotr pic.twitter.com/X1DN0ofJUF

Howard just taught Ron Burgundy how to throw. Made it to the house! #rotr pic.twitter.com/QqaehSD89E

Lots of men's teams out watching. #rotr pic.twitter.com/t94WtKNf7N

Ron Burgundy on the ice! Interviewing Team Howard and eating doughnuts. #Rotr pic.twitter.com/yLDVrXHjhy

Too close to tell! #rotr pic.twitter.com/g3XYj8lgSJ

First rock sweepers Amy Nixon/Corrie Morris/Colin Mitchell/Mark Nichols & Carter Rycroft/Ben Hebert/Mark Kenendy/John Morris. #rotr

First rocks: Russ Howard/Linda Moore holding the broom and Brad Gushue/Kevin Martin throwing the rocks. #rotr

Banner going up. #ROTR pic.twitter.com/VJbVKKYX5P

The rainbow of teams! #rotr pic.twitter.com/hDL0hXiBXr

Pipe band!!! #ROTR #ilovebagpipes pic.twitter.com/CVyzFFuVPW

All ready to go for the opening ceremonies! #rotr pic.twitter.com/BvlgdQ7yJO



Saturday, November 30, 2013

Honouring past Olympians. At least one from every team are in the house tonight! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/YAZj47SbeM

Dessert! #ROTR #curling pic.twitter.com/YLMFMz0oxq

Rainbow of uniforms in this room! Check them out on tv tomorrow! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/ruhlU6yeoc

They let me go to the opening banquet! #flyonthewall #ROTR

Also held a medal from Vancouver 2010 Olympics! They're heavy! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/IKI1N2I6zj

Took a walk around FanFest! #ROTR pic.twitter.com/blkYtrHwgs




Friday, November 29, 2013

The Patch, boring and empty. Until tomorrow night... #ROTR pic.twitter.com/0cMMJLGbZl

Found a slightly more interesting hallway under the @mtscentre. Will have to buy a @NHLJets tshirt before I go home! pic.twitter.com/QsOrVcLDnZ

It's not really that exciting in the bowels of @mtscentre. Also very confusing. How do I get out... #rotr pic.twitter.com/UMjXpI2t2N

Gary says keep out of our office!! #rotr pic.twitter.com/NkbPmY08A9

My first view of the ice @mtscentre! #rotr pic.twitter.com/DVvHK6TH4S

Sounds like all the curlers are landing in Winnipeg now. Hope my ride to the hotel doesn't leave w/out me! #curlersfirst #imnotfamous #rotr

Winnipeg bound Friday morning! Here are my goals for my vacation at the #rotr #curling: http://make-it-known.blogspot.ca/2013/11/2013-roar-of-rings-goals-for-week.html

2013 Roar of the Rings - Final Weekend

Friday, December 6, 2013
The day started as per usual. Around lunch time, we moved all our lights and camera up to the press box to film the announcement of the 2014 Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling team. It was neat to see that. Most of the athletes were there - good luck to them in Sochi! It was also cool to be up in the Winnipeg Jets pressbox on catwalk level. I love that sort of backstage privilege opportunity! Then I had dinner with some of my favourite CCA people. I sound like a broken record, but catching up with and learning more about the lives of some of the regular crew is my favourite thing about these events. 


Notice Jeff Stoughton's goofy toque (in white)? The end of that Stoughton/Howard game was neat - Glenn slid all the way down the ice with the rock as Jeff held the broom for his last shot. It was an awesome way to end the Olympic run of these two great skips.


Here's the view from the Winnipeg Jet's press box (also called gondola, you can also see the catwalk). I love going to cool places in arenas like this. Like really, I stood where NHL players sit during games!


Women's tiebreaker game. Carey has my favourite jersey colour of the event (purple). I also liked Homan's (teal), Koe's (navy) and Morris' (bright green). Too bad they won't sell jerseys, I would love an Alberta one. Something about how it devalues actually earning one and tradition?


The 2014 Canadian Paralympic Wheelchair Curling Team was honoured on the ice. Good luck in Sochi!



Saturday, December 7, 2013
Today I set my alarm wrong and woke up late. Good think there wasn't a morning draw! I made it to the arena in time to gobble up some lunch before heading off into the crowd to find super volunteer Jean! She had emailed me saying she was in town, and I was glad to chat for a few minutes with her. It's so nice to keep a connection going. This is the third event I've had a chance to meet up with Jean - even if it's just for a quick 5 minute chat. Cool!

First was the men's draw. Pretty unpredictable event eh? Then after a quick dinner, it was the women's final. I mostly watched it on the tv in the IT room, only catching a few minutes on the ice. I heard earlier in the day they were filming scrums on the ice and I was really worried about shooting an orange shaky video. In the end, the other IT guy filmed the scrums and I held the mic. As soon as the game ended, we rushed onto the ice. I knelt on the ice with the microphone and he shot the video. So there I was, kneeling below all the cameras and microphones - quite the view. Perhaps a bit unorthodox, but it worked. After a quick initial scrum, they presented medals and jackets and took official photos, then we filmed a few more media interviews. Edit. Post. Bedtime!


My favourite announcers ready to call the men's semi.


Martin vs Morris in the semi. Is this the last time we'll see Martin at the big show?


My awesome view of the ladies final. This lasted like 5 mins then I had to move.


Team Canada! Congrats Team Jones!


This was my view of the scrums. Weird, but it worked.



Sunday, December 8, 2013
The tragedy of today was the fact that I checked in for my flight tomorrow as soon as I could, 20 hours early, yet I was put on stand by. My ticket was bought and paid for, (has been for months), I checked in on time, yet I'm the one who might get stuck in the Winnipeg airport tomorrow because Air Canada oversold the flight. And yes, I stressed about this all day. It's not fair to me, a customer who did nothing wrong. Why do I get bumped because they can't sort out their ridiculously greedy business practices? The other IT guy was in the same situation for his Toronto flight. 

Anyways, eventually I made it to the arena, in time to watch the majority of the men's final. Pretty exciting buzz in the building! During the 8th end, I helped move and count some programs, then it was a repeat of the women's final - hold the mic during the scrums, edit, and post. I didn't have too much to do with take down, which went smoothly from all I heard. They tear down the place in about 2 hours! Good thing because there's a Winnipeg Jets game in the arena on Tuesday.

We spent the rest of the night at Boston Pizza - one final dinner for the IT crew. The end of these events are always bittersweet. It was a loooooong week and I really wanted to go home, but I always miss the people, and the cool view of the ice. Until next time!

Jacobs vs. Morris. Both impressed me this week with their professionalism with the media. And they played mostly lights out as well!


Bryan Mudryk interviews the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport), and I had a front row seat.


Team Canada! Congrats Team Jacobs!


And that's it! Game over. Until next time!



Monday, December 9, 2013
We got to the airport just after 5am. I was assured I wasn't on stand by, but that my seat would be assigned at the gate. Except the agent put a stand by tag on my luggage. Air Canada lied. Eventually though, an agent did give me as seat (and Ferbey too, who was in the same boat!) and my luggage made it home. And my car started. So I win. I won't be flying Air Canada by choice ever again though - that situation was ridiculous and unnecessary!

Regardless of how I got home, it's good to be here. I missed my cats!

Friday, December 06, 2013

2013 Roar of the Rings - During the Week

Day 2 - Monday, December 2, 2013
Pretty routine day. Arrive for the 5th end break of the morning draw. Tie up yesterday's loose ends. Almost miss the first interview after early handshakes. Set up the camera, screw up the white balance. Loiter in the scrum room pretending to be a cameraman. Film a scrum. Edit. Eat. Listen to the IT crew's game of dueling youtube videos. Watch some curling. Film a scrum. Edit. Dinner. Walk to the Patch and back to walk off dinner. Watch some curling. Film a scrum. Hotel. Tv. Blog. Sleep.

I finally got to watch some curling in the arena today! Here's a shot of the men's afternoon draw.


Day 3 - Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Repeat. Except I was late for the last scrum because I was loitering in the media lounge talking to the Morning Roar reporter, keeping an eye on the CTV guys, hoping they would leave on time. Oops. Today was sort of not my day I guess. It has been interesting hanging out with the media guys. I'm learning stuff. I feel like a fraud and I'm not sure I'm commanding any sort of respect, but it's been interesting.


The media scrum area, aka where I stand with the rest of the cameramen and reporters filming the scrums. I'm enjoying hanging out in there. Learning lots.


Manitobans can buy a curling licence plate. I wish Alberta did more cool stuff like this!



Day 4 - Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Repeat. Today I met @ottguy and we shot a social media interview thingy. I watched like 10 minutes of curling. But there was pizza so it's all good.

Sometimes it's pretty cool I get to stand here and watch for 5 mins.


The view from the top of the arena.


In case you were wondering who gets what rock, here's your low tech signage.


Marc Kennedy told us an awesome story off camera. High-larious.


Thursday, December 5, 2013
Repeat. The real excitement of the day was waiting to find out about crazy women's tiebreakers. There was a good chance there would need to be 2-3 tiebreaker games, which would've been played from 10pm-1am, and then from 2am-5am, with the next men's draw starting at 8:30am. And no one wants to work through the night! It went down to the wire, but thankfully there was only 1 game necessary, which is on Friday afternoon at a most civilized time. Stresssssssful!


I wish I was actually real media so I could watch the action from the media bench. What a view!

Monday, December 02, 2013

2013 Roar of the Rings - Day 1

It was an exciting day here at the MTS Centre - Ron Burgundy came for a visit. This was a big deal. Much excitement and anxiety was shared by all backstage.

We arrived at the arena in the early morning. I posted the video I had edited yesterday, then tried to stay out of the way of the Burgundy circus. I watched the Opening Ceremonies with the crowd, then watched Burgundy do a scene with Team Howard. Later, I snuck into the Burgundy media scrum. Much joking ensued. I watched the first bit of the game from our office backstage - ok, I'll admit, getting Ron Burgundy in the commentator booth was pretty funny! He bantered with Vic, Linda and Rus for two ends, and then that was that. After getting familiar with the media scrum set up, I watched a couple ends of the first women's draw. Then, it was scrum frenzy time! The first video took me awhile to edit as I'm still working on that learning curve, but I'll be a pro by Tuesday!


I like the rainbow of colours on players' uniforms for this event.


Ron Burgundy talks to Team Howard. The Burgundy group chose Team Howard for whatever reason.


Glenn Howard taught Ron Burgundy how to curl. He made it to the house on his first throw.


Ron Burgundy takes a photo with the real commentators.


This is as close as I got to Anchorman.

Some snapshots from the Ron Burgundy media scrum. All the player's scrums take place in another room. They moved this one to the Player's lounge because it's a bigger space. Initially, someone tried to kick Jim Cotter out of the room, when in fact he was the only one there that had the correct accreditation. I found that funnier than Burgundy's spiel. I will say though, it was pretty exciting to have him around for a few hours. I hope this brings new viewers to my favourite sport!

Also watch the TSN footage of Ron Burgundy's visit, and his 2 end commentating gig.


The 5 minutes of curling I watched today. Jules Owchar was sitting in front of me, scouting rocks.


My view from behind the camera. It's pretty interesting being a fly on the wall with all that media around. I'm learning stuff. (One of these days I'll learn how to set the white balance properly on the camera!)


After a quick dinner, we wandered around the concourse trying to put together a video of fan reaction to Ron Burgundy. I have tons of respect now for people who do streeters interviews - shockingly, no one wanted to talk to us! After editing a bit of that, I filmed the evening scrum, edited it up and then it was home for some sleep to repeat tomorrow!





The artists are sharing our office (the NHL visiting team dressing room, I still think that's neat in itself). Everyday, a photo is chosen. The first artist preps in (8-10hrs) in our office. She uses a projector and a photo. Then, the background painting is taken up to the concourse, and the second artist turns it into a master piece in front of the curling fans (8-10hrs). It's been really neat seeing how the paintings come together.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

2013 Roar of the Rings: Set Up

I've been in Winnipeg for two days. The Roar of the Rings curling trials finally gets going tomorrow. What have I been up to?

I landed in Winnipeg Friday around lunch time. There were a couple teams on my flight, and being the stressed out neurotic flyer that I am, I was anxious to see if I'd get left behind while the shuttles carried the rock stars to the hotel. Of course I had nothing to worry about! As per usual, the volunteers at this event are the real rock stars, and it wasn't long before I was being driven through Winnipeg, happily chatting to the friendly drivers. After checking into my hotel room, I headed down to the MTS Centre, which is our home for the event. It's a short walk from the hotel outside, or a longer walk inside through the maze of pedways. I appreciate fresh air, but it's cold out so the plan is to mix it up! Well, mostly because I can't find my way anywhere in the pedways without an escort, but crisp fresh air is good, right?

I met up with my boss, got my accreditation, and spent the rest of the day getting acquainted with the arena's backstage area, and reacquainted with the many friendly faces of the CCA folks. I missed all the set up, which I heard ran so super smoothly that there was nothing left to help with. After being given my job description, I spent some time pretending to remember how to do it (the Canada Cup was a year ago, and there are so many buttons on a video camera!). The night was capped of with great curlingworld conversation over dinner, and a trip to the only (sketchy) grocery store within the vicinity of the hotel (that we could find).


The ice is in & the cameras are in position!


Our "office" is the NHL visitor team's dressing room. Gary says keep out!


Backstage at the MTS Centre. Not where the magic happens.


And ok, it's possible I spent the rest of the night watching reality rubbish on tv - whenever I'm in a hotel I make the most of the cable channels I don't get a home!


Saturday was the only morning of my entire vacation that I would get to properly sleep in. So I did. I moseyed over to the arena for just after noon. As a sort of proof of concept (or skill, or competence, or whatever), my new CCA social media buddy and I toured the concourse, shooting video and interviews of the FANfest event they were running. This was a neat concept: the arena was freely open to everyone. People could choose to watch teams practice, or wander the concourse taking in various activities such as street curling, face painting, contests, and sponsor freebies. The rest of the afternoon I spent relearning iMovie while I edited a video of FANfest. Seriously, did you know you can split the audio from a clip and attache the audio to a completely different chunk of video? Unfortunately, I was kinda slow with my editing and never got it posted until the next day (oops, my bad), but I did increase my confidence with both the camera and the software. After a couple of draws I'll be a pro and won't need any babysitting by my CCA IT crew!

A few shots of FANfest. There are two banners that will be signed and given to the winning teams. They had the rocks and rings out, as well as a street curling game set up, and the artist will be painting an image of the trials everyday. They are also sharing our office for their prep work so I'm excited to see how they produce the paintings! The two artists are very talented ladies!


The Mint was on the concourse with a set of medals for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic games. I got to hold the Olympic gold medal. It was heavy!


I also got to accomplish a couple of my goals: I said a quick "hello" to Lisa Weagle and I met Danielle Inglis. I'm at a place in my curling volunteering career where I'm no longer star struck by the rock stars. Though I don't really have anything clever to say to the curling greats, it still is really cool to be surrounded by them! Personally I think they are smaller in real life, but just as pretty as on tv.

In the evening, I attended the Opening Banquet. This was my first ever banquet, and I was super curious to be a fly on the wall. Here's what I learned about the banquet: cash bar, good food, team introductions, and speeches, all MC'd by everyone's favourite voice, Vic Rauter.

The team uniforms are very colourful! This was my view from the back of the banquet venue.


Dessert was super cute! That's chocolate covered chocolate mousse cake by the way. 


All past Olympians in attendance were honoured. Can you name them all?* There was at least one member of each of the Olympic teams in the house, including Amy Nixon and Sandra Schmirler's husband, who are not pictured.


And another night of blogging and reality rubbish on tv back at the hotel. I'm super excited (and a wee bit nervous) for all the action Sunday!

*L-R: John Morris, Mark Kennedy, Ben Hebert, Cori Morris, Mark Nichols, Brad Gushue, Russ Howard, Kevin Martin, Carter Rycroft, Colin Mitchell, Linda Moore.