Friday, February 26, 2010

The Scarlet Pumpernickle (Mittens)

So I suddenly find myself in possession of a pair of the coveted red Vancouver 2010 Olympic mittens. I'm not sure how I feel about that, really. On the one hand, I feel a little weird having a piece of Official Olympic Merchandise. On the other hand, the way I got the mitts - is pretty cool.

Every 3 months or so, the school has a bit of a competition between classes. It's an event that takes place over the course of a week, and usually involves some kind of presentation: a speech contest, a summer-themed "infomercial" and so on. Given the timing of this month's first contest, an Olympic theme seemed appropriate. Each class participated in a variety of "events" - a potato race (like an egg-in-spoon race, but less messy!), a scooter relay, shooting at a hockey net, a creative version of the national anthem (my class chose to do a multi-cultural dance exhibit, of sorts, which involved a lanky Taiwanese guy trying to Samba - it was pretty awesome!) and a toilet paper sculpture. (If I remember to take a picture, I'll show you - they did a great job!)

Anyway, my class - on their own merits entirely, just a lot of cheering from me - won first place. Which is usually money towards a dinner out for the winning class, but this time, the prize was a pair of the souvenir mittens for each student. And one for the teacher. So I will wear them, in all their acrylic glory, with great pride!

As far as the actual Games go, I'm glad they're almost done. It hasn't been as chaotic as initially feared, but most people here are starting to feel pretty worn out. (And I'm not expecting to sleep tonight, either, as the post-hockey revelry seems to find its way up to our neighbourhood, even though we're pretty distant from the arena. After Canada beat Russia on Wednesday, there were sporadic fireworks till about 3:00 a.m. Happy happy day.)

We were thinking of maybe trying to check out one of the free concerts tomorrow night, but we'll play that one by ear. The crowds downtown...could be a little nuts. We did take advantage of last weekend's fine weather, though, to take in a few of the Olympic sights. Mostly, we just looked at the line-ups for different pavilions, and kept on walking! But we did get down to the Cauldron with my knitting:

This is not the greatest shot of us & the cauldron (since it's totally missing the cauldron!), but I love the grin on Mr.Q's face:

And some of the street-art installations downtown:

A whole whack of pin traders had set up on collapsible tables in the middle of it all, and were showing off their pins to each other & passers-by; it was pretty fun to watch! We also browsed through the aboriginal business & artisan market, which was amazing - there were some absolutely stunning carvings, paintings, pieces of jewelry, etc.

Not a ton of Olympic-y activity, but it was enough for us. It's been neat watching all the tourists and atheletes downtown for the last couple weeks. Wearing a flag-cape seems to be the new fashion trend. But holy busy streets, Batman! My sleepy little small-town-city looks more like the streets of New York or something! It will be good to get back to normal next week.

But I will miss some of the fun advertising and displays. Like this one, in a lingerie/adult shop downtown:

In case you can't read it, the bottom of the window reads: "...and they beat off some stiff competition!"



Gary said...

Enjoy the mitts, don't fight that which is inevitable, enjoy dichotomy!
It's important that fence made it into both pictures of the cauldron!

Louisa said...

Hey you guys did almost exactly what we did! It was fun to get a taste of the Big O but standing in lineups was totally out. I know what you mean about the mitts! However they are an important symbol so enjoy them anyway.

And yes, I'm ready for this all to be over!

Barb said...

See, that's kind of the spirit in which I wear necklaces that the kids make for me. Wear those gloves with pride and because it gives you a smile every time you look at them!

Barb said...

PS: How is your Olympic Knitting going?