Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Olympi-add me to your suitcase?! Yes, please!!

Unfortunately I am one of those annoying patriotic people that could go on and on all day about how much I love my country and how grateful I am to live here. It all sounds like a bunch of self-righteous fooey, I know. But it really is true (no, seriously)! And I'm not some green hick who lives in a tiny hick town and has never been anywhere - I've travelled quite extensively (England, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Amsterdam, St Lucia, USA, etc) and I can honestly say I've returned home from all of those trips with a renewed perspective on where I come from and the great things about it.

I mean it's certainly not Utopia (I could also go on and on about things that are crappy about living here, although I'd have more trouble coming up with as many examples) but it's pretty darn sweet. If nothing else, I'm grateful for the fact that I have the freedom to come and go and do and see whom I please when I please without reproach (except maybe from my mommy). As a young woman in particular I think that's pretty much the definition of darn sweet.

Anyway, I'm going on again (do you sense a pattern here?) but more to the point, national pride is at a zenith at the moment with the 2010 Vancouver Olympics approaching (which I'm sure you know about, unless you've been living under a rock...or anywhere OUTSIDE of Canada), and I must admit I myself have been caught up in it all. It was pretty thrilling to stand in the middle of the crowd in Halifax's Grand Parade and watch the Olympic torch as it was sprinted in and lit. And, I wasn't really into jumping on the whole "red mitten" bandwagon but when my friend picked me up a pair I was kind of excited and I wore them all day Sunday and felt all warm and fuzzy inside with a glow of Proud Canadian-ness (and my hands were pretty darn warm too!).

The Olympic preparations (as extravagant as they seem at times), particularly the Torch Relay, have really brought out a sense of community pride across the entire country that's rather heartwarming to see. Oh how I wish I were in Vancouver to see all of the festivities up-close (though I'm certainly glad I don't live there and have to contend with the traffic and crowds).

What I really mean to get at (yes, I'm still blabbing on) is that I'm particularly envious that I'm not able to experience the events that make up the Cultural Olympiad. Anything culture-related I am SO there for, and this is the ultimate of all culture-fest - 60 days of dance, visual art, performance art, music (ALL types), theatre, comedy, and every other cultural category you could possibly think of.

Being a big Joni Mitchell fan, I would love to see The Fiddle and the Drum, featuring dancers from the Alberta ballet and political music/video installations from JM herself. Also high on my wish-list is the Neil Young Project, a fantastic live music tribute to one of the greatest musicians our country has ever exported, featuring some of Canada's other (though less gray and crusty) greatest-musicians-our-country-has-ever-exported (Lou Reed! Ron Sexsmith!).

CODE, aka Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition, offers some artistic innovation in the form of unique collaborative digital art and electronic music performances; the highlight for me (or at least it would be if I could actually see it) being CODE Live, taking place from Feb 4th to 21st, and which the website describes as "an 18-day landmark event with visual art exhibitions, music and performances fuelled by digital technology and audience involvement...is easy to take in and get into {translation: close to public transit}...and daytime events and exhibits are free of charge". LOOOOOOOVE!!

So, in other words (I told you I could go on and on; don't say you weren't warned!) I would give my right arm to be in Vancouver right now, or at least for the month of February. And I'm right-handed, so that's saying something. I mean, I would severely maim and or commit minor atrocities to be in Vancouver at any time but if there was ever any time to be there, this is it.

Guess I'll have to settle for watching it all unfold on the much-more-boring and one-dimensional boob tube. Woo-freakin-hoo (can you sense the eye-roll??)


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