Sunday, February 28, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 141 - American sentence 3

*insert crazed war whoop*

I composed this latest American sentence mere seconds after Sidney Crosby scored the tie-breaking goal for Olympic gold in the most stressful hockey game ever.

Hats off to uber-amazing US goalie Ryan Miller and the agressive American team who forced me to physically hold a hand over my view of the Canadian net throughout the entire game. Interactive audience participation - what can I say?

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Olympic gold so tough to grasp, making victory all the sweeter.

Stan Ski says Congratulations Canada - on this and achievement throughout the Olympics.

madeline d. murray says Yay Canada! Yay American Sentence celebrating the Canadian victory! ;-)

Janet says It was a nail-biter for sure, Julia! Wouldn't have it any other way - both teams craving the win, both fighting for the gold - a perfect ending to a fantastic Winter Games :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

5 on Friday - Set 3

We're in the final days of the Winter Olympics, and for Canada that means we're on the edges of our seats over men's hockey.

Canada played as expected over Norway and Germany, and by 'expected' Canadians mean demolished.

Switzerland and Team USA gave Canada some spirited resistance. And by 'spirited' we discovered having to go to a shoot-out against the Swiss really sucked. Of course, losing 5-3 to the Americans meant we played Russia. Sometimes it hurts to set something up as sweet as keeping Ovechkin from scoring. But mostly, it's worth it.

Tonight we're taking on the giant-killer Slovak team. They elimated defending gold-medal winner Sweden, and have an exceptional player in the net - Jaraslav Halak.

So for today's 5 on Friday, hosted by Travis at Trav's Thoughts, I dedicate my third set to Team Canada.

1 - Forces of Victory - Gogol Bordello

I can't go on
I will go on
I can't go on
I will go on
Joining the forces of the victory
- Eugene Hutz

2 - Wonderboy - Tenacious D

Now it's time for me to tell you about Young Nastyman
Archrival and nemesis of Wonderboy
With powers comparable to Wonderboy
What powers you ask?
How 'bout the power to kill a yak
From 200 yards away
With mind bullets!
- Jack Black and Kyle Gass

3 - 1000 Stars - Big Country

Now we play our final hand
Move in closer, understand
This time like never before only the black queen scores
A card so high and so wild we should burn it
- Stuart Adamson, Mark Brzezicki, Tony Butler and Bruce Watson

4 - I'm on My Way - The Proclaimers

I'm on my way from misery to happiness today
I'm on my way from misery to happiness today
I'm on my way to what I want from this world
- Charlie Reid and Craig Reid

5 - Ecstasy of Gold - Metallica

Composed by Ennio Morricone

Debby says DO YOU BELIEVE!!! I BELIEVE!!! Can hardly wait for the game.

Janet says Enjoy the game Julia - I've just finished watching the nailbiting curling match where Canada lost the gold to Sweden. I don't think I have any more adrenaline left - I'll hear about it tomorrow. Go, Canada, Go!

Travis says Congrats on making it to the gold medal final! I couldn't believe Slovakia made that big rush in the third period. But Canada held them off and now we get the rematch on Sunday! Good luck!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 147 - 13 Creative Works by My Uncle, Renaissance Man Charles E. Doucet

It's a huge crowd here today for the opening of my Uncle Charlie's art show here at A Piece of My Mind.

Come in! Come in! Have some chocolate-dipped strawberries, some grapes and cheese. A glass of wine.

Uncle Charlie is front and center for the family portrait. He's usually behind the camera! Take a picture, quick - Oh, well, he's picking up his guitar, getting ready for a jazz duo with his wife, my Aunt Noel. That's how it is with Uncle Charlie. That's why he's the Renaissance Man Extraordinaire.

As more guests arrive to the gallery, let's find a spot to enjoy Uncle Charlie's original composition which he wrote with Auntie especially for this art opening.

1 - Jazz guitar original composition


Oh, I just love the buttery-smooth tone of his guitar.

In case you need a bass player, he can play electric bass, as well. And if your keyboard player can't make it, he can take that gig, as well.

Uncle Charlie is a musician, composer, painter, wood carver, photographer, film and television producer and former underwater filmmaker.

That's him back in the day with an underwater camera casing, out at my favorite spot on earth, Polly Cove.

This is my favorite of his fine art photographs, taken out at my favorite piece of heaven.

- 2 Two Boulders

A lifelong fisherman, wilderness camper and hunter, Uncle Charlie has trekked deep into pristine forests to get amazing shots like Family of Wolves and Lynx in Tree.

- 3 Family of Wolves

- 4 Lynx in Tree

At some point, Uncle Charlie thought - hey, why not try painting?

- 5 An early painting

For most of his career, Uncle Charlie has been writing, producing, directing and editing radio and television commercials, regional TV series, documentaries and corporate videos. Here's a promo for a piece he did about our city of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

6 - Halifax Harbour: A Geological Journey

There's a strong attachment to the sea for Maritimers, and it gives my uncle a recurring theme in many of his pieces.

7 - Dory Silhouette

8 - Driftwood art photography

9 - Driftwood Twists

10 - A favorite driftwood face

11 - The Viking King

Uncle Charlie has turned his attention more recently to wood carving. Some of his creations do double duty as holiday greeters for the family Christmas Eve dinner.

A passionate gardener, his affinity for growing things leads to another strong element to his photography.

12 - Grapes

13 - Amaryllis Leaves

Oh - there's the artist now! Uncle Charlie - ((hug)) - I'm so glad you decided to have a show here on my blog. I absolutely love your new website, Charles E. Doucet Creatives.

You mean you built your website yourself?

The Renaissance Man shrugs. What can he say?

And here comes his daughter, historical romance author Julianne MacLean. "Hi, Cuz!" she smiles.

Oh, Julianne - your dad's art show is really amazing.

Her brother Charlie runs up to join us.

"This is awesome!" he says.

And Uncle Charlie's sister - my mom - and his wife, my Aunt Noel join us just as another tray of cheesecake squares and Cape Breton 'pork pies' (maple and date tarts) goes by.

Mmm...I think I'll nab a few of those...

Auntie, I loved your flute in the music video.

"Oh, thank you!" she says.

The crowd continues to stroll past the art work, and Uncle Charlie is busy chatting to guests. Thank you so much for coming to my latest art show! If we're lucky, they might pick up their guitar and flute again...

Robin says Wow, a Renaissance Man is right - he's extraordinary! I love his nature photography. Thank you so much for sharing your Uncle Charles with us.

Julianne MacLean says Wow - what a fun show! I'm very proud of my Dad. He is such an inspiration to me - and so are you, Julia, my lovely cuz, for hosting his art show at your exquisite "blogallery." Great start to my day :)

Uncle Charlie says My daughter Julianne described it nicely in her comment,a "blogallery." I loved your creative approach to displaying the various images...a virtual art gallery tour complete with the obligatory wine and cheese offerings, ( and how about those chocolate covered strawberries!!) Your Auntie Noel, (my dear wife,) and I thank you for your thoughtfulness and creativity in your very impressive blog...see you soon!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Wordless Wednesday - 139

Gattina says What I saw are two screens and one keyboard, lol !

Auntie E says Now that's how I work sometimes, lol. Two or three is better than one. Get twice as much done.

Daddy Forever says Sounds like your uncle is a very creative guy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Through the Opera Glasses - 48 - Olympic Men's Figure Skating Costumes Invaded by Blades of Glory

As a ballet freak, it's no stretch for me to be enraptured by men's figure skating. It's another great showcase for masculine athleticism and panther-like grace.

But I couldn't get over the costumes.

They seemed lifted en masse from the wardrobe racks on the set of Blades of Glory.

American Johnny Weir's toned-down long program costume seems to pay homage to Jon Heder's costume from the film.

But what the heck is this? Belgium's Kevin van der Perren's homage to Skeletor?

I was shocked to discover that a favorite designer of mine - not that I've ever worn a garment by her, you understand - purely admiration for her design sense - is responsible for gold medal-winner Evan Lysacek's short program costume. His outstanding performance aside, I was a fan of Evan's choice of sleek black one-piece costumes, but not of the bird features, even if he skated to The Firebird, a favorite piece of mine.

Sorry, Vera Wang. This one didn't do it for me.

I liked the snake suit even less. Vera - say it ain't so!

Call me crazy, but a skater like Evan needs gimmicky flair like a hole in the head. Just let us watch his incredible skating. Don't distract me with feathers and reptiles.

As for Canada's Patrick Chan - why did you wear your grandmother's Sears sale rack vest to the Olympics?

Japan's bronze medal-winner Daisuke Takahashi - why did you wrap yourself in the paper that holds my fish and chips order?

Picky, picky. Yes, I know I am. When it comes to costumes, I'm very, very picky. It's probably why I fought with my university so I could take a History of Costume course, even though it was a Fashion course and I was in the Film program. I finally got permission to take it and got a credit for it in fourth year. Yahoo! Loved every moment of it.

So whose costume did I not despise? For some reason, the men's costumes in the Ice Dancing pairs have not had anything like the Blades of Glory vibe going on. But in the men's figure skating competion, there were only a couple of costumes that I liked. Florent Amodio of France had a nicely understated costume with the right amount of flourish. But I would prefer it without the black gloves.

Swiss sweetie Stephane Lambiel had the almost perfect costume, but the lacey epaulettes should not be there. *slapping forehead*

My favorite, nothing-wrong-with-it costume was worn by Russian Super Snob Evgeni Plushenko. I adored his haughty I-knew-I-could-land-that-quad expression during the short program. Too bad he choked during the long program, but Evan Lysacek couldn't be stopped.

C'est la vie, Evgeni. A real man may land quads, but a true champion would accept his silver medal graciously and save his sour griping till he was behind closed doors.

Thomma Lyn Grindstaff says Those costumes are quite gaudy, goofy, and/or weird, and detract from the art of skating.

Janet says You slayed me with the 'fish and chip' comment (and made me hungry).

Debby says What a great post!!! So fun!! Gotta love Johnny Weir!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Poetry Train Monday - 140 - American sentence 2

I waited until the hockey game was over before writing this for the Poetry Train. I was hoping I would have a much different American sentence to craft.

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

History always repeats itself, even if it takes fifty years.

Photo by Harry How

Stan Ski says Sorry your team lost. I follow soccer, and my team only managed a draw.

Linda Jacobs says It was an important game but is not the end for Canada. Good sentence!

Akelamalu says Oh shame your team lost. :(

Friday, February 19, 2010

5 on Friday - Set 2

Another Friday already! Here's my second set, a collection of songs inspired by the Olympic athletes hard at it out in British Columbia.

To see what Travis is featuring, visit him at Trav's Thoughts. It's fun to play along - just leave him a comment so he'll find your playlist.

1 - Bryan Adams - I'm Ready

CLICK HERE to listen to I'm Ready

It's easy, and I'll make it clear
There's only one thing on my mind
I'm ready
I'm ready as I'm going to be
- Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance

2 - Shania Twain - Up

When everything is going wrong
Don't worry, it won't last for long
Yeah, it's all gonna come around
No, don't let it get you down
You gotta keep on holdin' on
- Shania Twain, Mutt Lange

3 - Trooper - Raise a Little Hell

When it feels like your ship is sinking
And you're too tired to play the game
Nobody's going to help you
You just got to stand up alone
And dig in your heels and see how it feels
To raise a little hell of your own
- Ra McGuire, Brian Smith

4 - Neil Young - Heart of Gold

I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold
I've been in my mind, it's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold
- Neil Young

5 - k.d. lang - Hallelujah

I've been here before
I know this room and I've walked this floor
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
- Leonard Cohen

Jamie says KD Lang is wonderful. After she sang at the Olympics, I went and downloaded "Songs From the 49th Parallel" Just to hear it over and over.

Travis says KD is made of awesome.

Shelley Munro says I really like Bryan Adams and Shania Twain. Both of them play on my iPod.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thursday Thirteen - 146 - 13 Insider Views at the 2010 Olympic Opening Ceremonies

My good friend at work - Debbie - has a daughter living in Victoria who attended the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics last Friday.

That's Debbie standing beside me, with our team member Janet, at the reception desk when Janet's beautiful Christmas cactus bloomed last year.

I asked Debbie's daughter Brenda if I could share her marvelous photos with all of you. Let's go to the Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver!

- 1

Brenda and her husband have our tickets.

Thanks for bringing us along!

- 2

The interior of BC Place, frosty white and cool blue.

- 3

We need to wrap ourselves in white so that the broadcast can project images over the crowd. And we've got our drums and flashlights ready for the interactive evening.

- 4

The art work of Canada's First Nations ushers in the ceremony.

- 5

The four host First Nations - the Squamish, Musqueam, Lil'wat and the Tsleil-Waututh, whose traditional territory is home to all the Games venues - welcome the world to the games.

- 6

Northwest, Pacific, Northern Woodlands, Great Lakes and Atlantic First Nations were joined by Inuit and M├ętis, and their performers danced for over an hour as the athletes paraded into BC Place. Astounding.

- 7

The mourning Georgian team parade stoicly, wearing black armbands. Instead of becoming still, the First Nations dancers become more energetic, gesturing towards the Georgians with great intensity.

- 8

The Canadian team enters!

- 9

The camera crew, also in white.

- 10

Spirit Bear rises up, a rare sighting which speaks of harmony and peace. Everyone in the audience becomes stars twinkling.

- 11

The glorious moon and my favorite season - Fall - bring images of The Land of the Maple Leaf along with crazy fiddlers and step dancers.

- 12

k d lang performs a goosebump-inducing version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

- 13

Speed-skating gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan stands resolutely without being able to join the others as they light the cauldron. Her crystal arm malfunctions and refuses to rise from the floor. However, NBA star Steve Nash, skier Nancy Greene Raine and hockey legend Wayne Gretzky touch their torch flames to the crystal arms that do assemble, and the flames race up to light the cauldron for the 21st Olympic Winter Games.

All Olympic photos by Brenda Fancey.

Debby says Awesome pics. Loved the opening ceremony. So proud of our country.

Paige Tyler says Very cool! Great pics, too! We didn't watch the opening ceremonies, but we are watching the games!

Susan Helene Gottfried says I've got it on my TiVo... need to finish watching. I got a bit sidetracked by my snowboarders.