Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Vancouver 2010

It's coming! After the olympic flag was handed over to Vancouver's Mayor Sam Sullivan at Sunday's closing ceremonies, all the talk is now about the next winter olympics to be held right here in Vancouver!

Watching the flag get hoisted at city hall today, I have to say, it's pretty exciting! This is such a fabulous place to live, and I'm proud to be a Vancouverite! Yippeee!

And the winner is...

Alrighty, so I'm a week behind on this one, so sue me! :P

A while back I posted a contest to name my car. Becca kept calling it "fluffy puff" or "cream puff" or "powder puff." I created this contest specifically so it wouldn't end up with any of those names. Sorry Bex, I love ya, but no thanks! ;-)

I got some great entries both on the site and offline. Here are some favourite suggestions:

Brent suggested "Remington Steele." I love it! It's a great name, perhaps more apt for a big boat like the one I used to have, but very funny! He wins in the "if only I still had a boat" category.

cjoy suggested "Oscar." She wins in the "make Hillary giggle" category. I may still use that one! It's fun!

Happy and Blue wins in the "make Hillary's jaw drop" category for his suggestion of "The Love Machine." Sorry, no lifestyle changes will be made to accomodate that name! :P

I think the overall prize has to go to Brad, though. On the way to a party one night, he suggested, "You should call it Black Beauty.... cause it's not black." It's just dumb enough to be cool! So till I change my mind (oh how fickle I am) my car will now be called "Black Beauty."

Or maybe Oscar Reminton the black beauty of a love machine. Um, or maybe not.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The cat came back

The cat came back. Sandwiches are beautiful, sandwiches are fine. Through a hollow log. Word Bird........Who are you thinking of? If you said Fred Penner, you're right! (ding ding ding! You win!)

Another teacher at my school goes to a church in Burnaby who was hosting two Fred Penner concerts yesterday afternoon. Before the concerts, however, he gave a workshop for parents and teachers about "Honouring the Child." I heard about it and couldn't pass up the opportunity! So, yesterday, I got to meet Fred Penner!!!

I loved his songs growing up. It was him, Raffi, and Charlotte Diamond all the way, baby. But Fred Penner had a TV show called Fred Penner's Place. Remember it? He'd climb through a hollow log into this magical place with puppets and the Word Bird and special guests and lots of fun! At the workshop, he talked about how when he was a kid, he had a secret hiding place in a little grove of trees that whenever he was upset, he'd crawl into. It was a cozy, protected place for him, and special because it was secret, only he knew about it. So when he was asked to do a show, he wanted to create that same kind of place for kids to enjoy the show. Did you ever notice that before he crawled through the hollow log, he'd look over his shoulder to see if anyone had followed him? :) You can view the show opener by clicking here (scroll down a bit and click play when the page opens)

Fred (can I call him Fred? Mr Penner? Nope, it's gonna have to a full meal deal on the name)... Fred Penner talked about his journey and how he ended up doing what he's doing. He told all kinds of great stories from his childhood and how they connected to what he has done in his life. I was really impressed with how purposeful he's been with his career, and how he's captured the meaning of honouring children. Hearing the stories behind a lot of the songs, they have such fabulous messages for children. They're meaningful, not just fluffy. After his talk he opened the floor up to requests and we had a singalong! Squeee! So fun!

Friday, February 24, 2006


For one brief fleeting moment, I was cool in the eyes of some grade 6 skater kids today!!! They forgot their props for a Stomp project they're working on, so we were looking for suitable substitutes. I asked them if all they needed was something to serve as a deck (the part of a skateboard that you stand on).

Skater kid: "Yeah. ... ... hey, wait, did you say deck?"
Me: "Yeah."
Skater kid" "Woah! Cool. A teacher knows what a deck is."
Me (nonchalantly, with a slight toss of my head): "Of course! I know what trucks and ollies are, too."

I walked away listening to the sound of 12 year old boys marvelling at the fact that I, a dumb old out of touch music teacher, actually knew about skateboarding. (Thanks to my brother!)

I am so cool. Booyeah! HAHAHAHA!

Good for the soul

Yesterday was incredibly windy. It was one of those marvelous winter days in Vancouver where the sun shone golden on a fresh snowfall on the mountains and you had to lean forward and fight for every step if you were going to try to walk into the wind. They said it would be blowing near 70 km/hr on the beaches.

What better day for an outing? I decided to take a few hours and enjoy the evening before my improv class.

I drove down Oak Street and took in the views of downtown, nestled between the waters of False Creek and the spectacular North Shore mountains. I made my way a little farther west and parked just at the foot of Granville Street. I walked halfway over the Granville Street Bridge, past bundled up pedestrians scurrying accross the bridge, doing their best to get out of the wind as fast as they could. I took my time, hair whipping my face, hands freezing, and laughing at the absurdity of what I was doing. I soaked up every golden reflection on apartments, every whitecap, every kayaker making their way back in (kayakers?!?! In this weather? They had outriggers, for heavens sake! Gotta love Vancouverites). I headed to the beach to watch the waves crash in and see the sun sink into the ocean. I had to squint as I approached because of all the sand blowing off the beach. It blew past the logs on the beach, making the sidewalks look like desert dunes. I ended up with sand in my pockets, sand in my hair, sand in my socks. I even had to pick sand out of my lip gloss.

I walked out to water's edge, took down my ponytail, stretched out my arms, and twirled. The wind roared, the waves crashed, and the snow on the mountains turned pink as the sun began to set. I worked to control my body against the wind. The only thing that mattered was that moment.

Around and around, hair in my face, salt on my skin, twirling.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Where I'm At...

"If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off."

That about sums up how I'm feeling right now. Tired of suckage, trying to be optimistic. It's been a year of hits for me - stolen car, totalled car, whiplash, a huge piece of my life (Camp Kawkawa) that had closed down... and now some jerk has stolen my wallet from my classroom.

It happened on Thrusday in the space of about 10 minutes. I ALWAYS lock my classroom, but I share it with another teacher who has lost so many keys that the school won't give her another one, so she just leaves when she's done and leaves the door unlocked. She could send a kid to go get a key from me or from the office, but no. Instead, the door was unlocked and someone - most likely from of the street cause of when and how they used my stuff - went into my classroom and took my wallet out of my purse. Thankfully they only took the wallet and left my cell, digital camera, and palm pilot! But still... all my ID, all my cards.... UUUG! They were quick about using my credit card, too: in the space of half an hour or so they racked up $300 in charges.

BUT, I'm trying to be optimistic. I'm usually such a "glass half-full" kinda gal. I'm struggling right now though. Ok, so at least I still have all the other stuff that was in my purse. Hey, I've got a much better car now. As far as Camp goes, God must have something even better up his sleeve if he allowed Kawkawa to close down.... I'm trying to let those things be at the front of my thinking, but it's hard. I've really had enough.

I'm really tired of people getting away with stuff at my expense. Punks steals my car - $300 please, just to get it back. Some guy decides he doesn't want to stop for a red light? Hey look, Hillary has to buy a new car, see a chiropractor twice a week, and deal with a sore back for three months and counting. Crook steals my wallet - digs it right our of my purse - and now I have to pay to have all my ID prelaced, deal with trying to get new ID without any ID in the first place... *SIGH*.

I promise a happier post tomorrow. Tonight I'm just in a sucky mood. Blah.

Friday, February 17, 2006

A Contest! A Contest!

With prizes and EVERYTHING!

I've had my new car for a month, and - SCANDALOUS! - I still haven't named it. I said a while back that I was going to have a contest on my blog to come up with a great name for my new ride. So now's your chance to get creative!

Get aquainted with my old beastmobile first, then read about my new car. OR if you've always had this burning desire to name a car BabaGanouche or some such ridiculousness, just pick a name based on the picture and run with it! Just leave a comment with your suggestion (and perhaps an explanation of WHY you want to name my car that) below. You've got till midnight Tuesday. Check back on Wednesday to see who the weiner... erm, the winner is.

There are prizes, folks, PRIZES!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


Yesterday, being Valentine's Day and all, the student council had a "Pink/Red/White" day. Everybody was to don their brightest Valentine colours and have a candy-chocolate-sugar filled day of sweetness. It was fun. I had mostly primary kids for music classes yesterday, and they really get into things. Pink and purple and white and red and hearts were EVERYWHERE, especially in the kindergarten class that is made up of twenty girls. No joke. The sea of pink is overwhelming on a normal day, let alone on V-Day! Anyway, it was all very cute. I got deliveries throughout the day of little valentines cards and candies, and we had an extra special goodie day at recess with the best chocolate mousse cake you have ever tasted, hands down.

Well. That was yesterday.

Today I was greeted first period by one of the grade seven classes. They all walked in and took their seats on the carpet, and I found myself looking out over a sea of black. Black hoodies, black blouses, black T-shirts, black sweaters. I laughed and made a comment about the recoil from Valentines day when one student pointed out that I was wearing black, too. I guess one can only take so much sugary sweetness before you run screaming into a gothic funk. I just never expected it to happen so fast.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Ramblings

Ok, so I'm not really posting a lot of original thoughts these days... I've been busy and kinda suffering from writer's block. I guess it's just a blog downtime for a bit. BUT, I couldn't let Valentines Day go by without a post, of course.

So, what will it be? A long, self-pitying wistful lament about being single and where are all the quality guys these days? Naw, not my style. (But hey, if ya know any quality guys... hee hee, I'm KIDDING! um, kinda) Or how 'bout a big rant about how Valentines' Day is all just a commercial, overblown holiday and how you should say "I love you" year round, not just on one day. While I agree with that but also will never say no to chocolate, flowers, OR jewelery, I also don't really have the energy for a rant. Hmm... how about wishing all you singles Happy Sad (singles awareness day)? Really.... who makes a holiday called SAD? Naw, none of those really appeals to me.

I will, however, leave you with a rather amusing commentary on Valentine's Day. What did YOU do for V-Day?

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My hair keeps sticking to my face...

... and I must have shocked myself about 387 times today. But hey, that's ok! For once I'm lovin' the static electricity, because it means it's actually DRY ENOUGH to be there in the first place. After nearly 6 weeks of rain, dry is very, very welcome!

Hip hip hooray for SUNSHINE!!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Confession Time

I took this photo this morning. February 9. Notice the clematis flowers that are BLOOMING outside the window? Christmas Tree.... Clematis. Perhaps it's time to take down the decorations. (This isn't quite as bad as 2003. It took me till March break to get the Christmas stuff down. Um... wait, did I just admit that? heh. heh.)

Laughter... the best medicine!

Blah! I'm home from work for the third day in a row. It's my annual "I have no voice and every time I cough it rip us my throat even more" episode. I feel kinda wussy staying home for that, but uh... kinda hard to teach, let alone teach MUSIC with no voice. Grrrr...

Since laughter is the best medicine, I have to share a few funnies I found in my blog travels... they made me laugh out loud, I hope they will make you do the same!

First, two crazy stories I found over at Anne's place: The Horror of Blimps and Neighbourhood Hazard. I laughed out loud at both of them. True or not, I don't care, they're great!

And then a video I snagged from GiggleChick... it's amazing what a good soundtrack and some editing can do!

Friday, February 03, 2006

My feet are freezing!

Also known as "How slip on shoes and by-law enforcement officers are a bad combo."

Today was the last day to apply for summer school (my source of income for the summer months), and, as usual, it was down to the wire. I had left it till the last second to fill out and drop off my application. I was hastily filling out my application form and wasn't sure if I'd be able to get it in before the office closed at 4pm. As I was running out the front door of my school, I realized I'd left the address for a staff social back in my room. AK! No time! I called over to another teacher who was walking to her car and she rummaged around... she found it and off I went.

24 minutes till the office closes.

Key in ignition, and ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruuuuooooom. Uh, WHY is my NEW car having issues starting?!?! Oh yeah. The tank is empty. And I don't mean, oops, "I need to get gas soon" empty, I mean, "I reeeeally hope I can get it around the corner, let alone to a gas station cause I've been pushing the 'E' for two days now" empty. tick, tick tick... I decided against trying to push it all the way to the board office. Luckily I made it to a gas station. I pulled up, whipped out my card to pay at the pump, and ARG! I had picked the ONE pump out of ten that DIDN'T have pay-at-the-pump. Glug glug glug goes the gas. Great. There's a line up. I pay, and add a chocolate bar to my total. There's a reason I pay at the pump.

17 minutes to go.

Then I hit traffic. Broadway at 3:45 on a Friday. Brilliant. I kid you not when I say that I hit every single red light.

13 minutes to go. Uh. Slow drivers.
9 minutes to go. Dumb pedestrian! Hurry UP.
6 minutes to go. C'mon c'mon c'mon.
4 minutes to go. Sure, cut me off then turn left. It's ok. Go ahead. JACKASS.

I finally arrive at the board office. Parking is terrible in that area. TERRIBLE. All I'm doing is running in and out. The desk is right at the front door, no line up, nothing, just throw the application in a box. I pull up in front of a car parked at the last meter before a (very long) bus stop. The "no stopping" sign is at the middle of my car. On go the hazards and I bolt.

Now everybody knows that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, yes? So it would make sense to cut across the lawn/park in front of the office and not take the sidewalk, right? Well. This is no ordinary lawn. Grass, when paired with about 50 days of rain in the last 55 days is no longer grass, but a big muddy yet deceptively green bog. As I was sprinting across the grass, my shoes started to sink in a little, then a lot, then suddenly my stocking-ed foot went SQUISH into the mud. I was running, so there was no time to stop before my OTHER stocking foot SQUISHED down into the mud as well. It took a few steps through mud so deep it covered the tops of my feet before I could stop. Now I had to go back and get my shoes.

Mud, would you believe, has amazing powers of suction. It took some very strong yanking to free my shoes from the ooey gooey mess they had ensnared themselves in.

Shoes in hand, I continued on to the office, tippie-toed into the front door so as to leave as little mud on the floor as possible, practically THREW my forms at the lady, breathlessly mentioning something about the shoe-eating mud outside, then ran back to my car, totally laughing to myself at the absurdity of what just happened.

Before I saw her, I heard a voice saying, "I don't know why you stopped here, I'm gonna have to give you a ticket." I looked up through my rain-soaked glasses to see a metermaid's bright yellow jacket standing in front of my car. She had WATCHED me run through the mud, yank out my shoes, and run back to my car in my SOCKS. The show wasn't long. I figure about a minute and a half. No bus had come. No car had to wait cause I was parked where I was. I was half in a parking zone, and had been gone less than two minutes. I showed her my shoes and my muddy jeans and socks. No dice. I now owe the city $40. Special.

I now had to go home and change before the party. Halfway home, I realized I had a chiropractor appointment that started three minutes before. It was back near the school board. Great. And I didn’t even have my phone handy to call, cause I threw my purse in the trunk along with my socks and shoes.

And now, I'm late for the party. But hey, I've vented, and hopefully you'll find this story as unbelievable (and rather comical, minus the parking ticket) as I do.

What kind of day have YOU had?

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Happy Groundhog Day!

What a wierdo tradition. Some rodent comes out of his hole and predicts the weather... Oh well, fun nonetheless. Hope the groundhogs wherever you are predict an early spring!

I've posted my groundhog wishes to you HERE.

Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday to ME! (Dah da-da DAAAAAH!) Lucky me, born on the day of the rodent. This is the first year my age has seemed old! Twenty seven. Huh. 'Course that doesn't mean I have to be mature! ;)