Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Metabolic Factor

There was once a time when if I felt a bit out of shape and needed some toning, I knew that two weeks of hard training at the gym would get me back to my size 6 jeans.  Fine, size 8.

That time was last year.  Then something happened and the magic stopped.  I box everyday straight for three weeks and I think I have gotten fatter!

When did the magic stop?

Oh that's right.  September 9, 2009.  My 30th birthday.  Otherwise known as the day that my metabolism stopped functioning.


I heard that this happens as we age.  And it gets worse with every year.  I didn't think they meant it would start so fast!

It's actually noticable.  Like one week, I would go to the gym and I would see results fairly quickly and then the next week my flat tummy was no more.


It's happening to all my 30-year old friends.  One gained a bit of weight when drinking too much in England so upon returning home, cut out alcohol expecting to lose any weight she had gained within the month.


Now not only do I have to work twice as hard as I used to, but I also have to use anti-wrinkle cream!  I didn't think about it until the other day when someone told me I should start thinking about wrinkle cream in my early thirties.  In my head I thought I had plenty of time.   Then I remembered:  I am in my early thirties!

32/33 was always my magic number for having children.  It was always so far away.  Now it's just two years!  TWO YEARS!  And I actually have to consider child birth for real!

What's next?  Arthritis?  Oh yeah, I forgot.  That's already developing in my hips!


Well I suppose a chubbier belly and expensive skin cream is the trade-off of leaving my 20's, and all the uncertainty and 'self discovery' they held, and entering a more stable and secure time.

But seriously, why doesn't the plank just do what it's supposed to?

The 'F' Bomb

Despite my initial discomfort with the term, 'fiance', I now find myself dropping that F bomb pretty much everywhere.

I noticed the other day on the set of a television pilot, that anyone who spoke to me heard the 'f' word about three to four times.  At one point, I realized just how much I was saying it and felt like an idiot.  Like the teenage girl who has her first boyfriend and makes sure to mention him to anyone who will listen (yes, that was me as well).  I remember once a girl saying to me: I get it.  You have a boyfriend.

It must be like that now.  The world gets it Sarah.  I am engaged.

Besides holding my left had at awkward angles and caressing my face at every opportunity, I am now beginning conversations like this:  "My fiance and I love cross-country skiing!  I'll have a non-fat Hazelnut Latte please" or "My fiance once had a pet turtle.  Robson is five blocks that way."

It's pretty ridiculous.

I'm just so . . . . what's the word?  Oh right.  Happy.  And I intend to suck every ounce of bridal attention I can get in this next year and a half.  I only get to say 'fiance' for a brief amount of time in the grand scheme of things, so I am going to make sure I am sick of the word when it's time to move on to husband.  Oh god, husband.  That sounds so . . . . non-bridal.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

All in a dog's day

We've had a couple of exciting days.  And by 'we' I mean Mr. Mop, Brooklyn and myself.  And by 'exciting' I mean we've had a slightly less boring routine.

Firstly, Mr. Mop had a bath.  I realize that to some, or many, this may not seem exciting.  But it is.  Because it was a fancy bath at the groomers.  We went for a walk at Lighthouse Park the day before to get him all good and dirty for the big day.  It is pretty big.  He always has mixed emotions.  Elation from being alone with me, happiness for the man who gives him a biscuit before entering the shop,  fear when he realizes where he is being dragged, horror at my leaving him for three hours, joy at me coming to get him, and satisfaction in chewing the dried bull penis he gets as a treat.

Very big day.

He went in looking like a scraggle Mop and came out looking like Mr. Poufter



Secondly, Brooklyn was put on a diet.  That's right.  My little 9-lb yorkie is now 10 lbs.  Which is like 20 pounds to us.  I have always defended his 'softness', denying he is fat, but rather poufy.  It took a good and honest friend for me to see the truth.  When she said, 'wow, Brooklyn is really fat.  Look at his pin head' - kind words coming from a big heart, I knew it was true.  I got low-fat food, he is allowed no more treats (read this MOM), and extra running time for him.  Poor little muppet, he stared at my ice cream today like it was eternal bliss.  He stares at his vomit the same way though, so I'm not sure what it means.

Thirdly, both boys enjoyed an inappropriate hump fest at the dog park.  Last night, the boys ran around with three griffin terriers (they are really cute - they sort of resemble ancient Chinese men).  Mop really took a shining to the female, and after some courting, proceeded to mount her.  Well, I kept pulling him off, but she really didn't seem to mind.

Then Brooklyn wanted part of the action and joined in. By humping her head.  I broke them apart.

Not seconds later, Mop was at it again.  As he was happily humping terrier one, terrier two mounted Mr. Mop.  Who was mounted by Brooklyn.  That's right:  four dogs in what seemed like a humpalooza at the dog park. I was laughing so hard that I couldn't really catch them (as they were running and humping) so the act went on for far too long.

Terrier three ate mud.  Good choice terrier three.

Needless to say, both of my boys had to leave the park at that point and fell into a deep and happy sleep.

And fourthly (see I told you exciting!), Mop and Brooklyn spent time at a new park this morning with a husky named Tundra.  A virgo should not own a white dog.  Mr. Mop was immediately covered in mud, from wrestling with Tundra.  I kept chasing him yelling 'stay out of the mud!  stay out of the mud!'.  The other dog owner looked at me like I was nuts.  Whatever. He would do the same thing if he saw my groomer's bill.

The part that was exciting about this walk was the eagle that flew over our heads, by only a few metres, and landed in its nest.  Panic much?  All I could think of was that scene from 'The Proposal'.  In case you haven't seen it, a puppy gets carried away by an eagle (don't worry, Sandra Bullock saves it).  I also thought of that news report I heard when they cleared some nests from Kits beach and found them full of dog collars.

So now not only was I telling my one dog to stay out of the mud, but I was chasing my little dog for fear he would be whisked away for eagle breakfast. He thought this was a game, so ran away barking his horrible Yorkie bark.  Drawing attention to his yummy fat self.  I told him that this was very serious and that he had to listen to me.  He pooped.

But this gave me time to catch him and make noises at the eagle to deter him from his next meal.

Tundra's owner definitely got his money's worth this morning.

Anyways, we are home safe.  Fat, fluffy and safe.  So much excitement that they are both lying flat on their backs, four legs in the air, snoring happily together.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And the Oscar Goes to . . . .

Last night was the biggest night of the year for Hollywood.  The Oscars.

I can't decide if it's my dissipating dream to someday be at the Oscars or the fact that the Olympics overshadowed any Academy Award fever, but I felt quite lack luster this time round.

Since moving to Vancouver, I have had an Oscar party every single year.  I always have some sort of theme, there is usually a poll & prizes, and most always there is plenty of wine and champagne.  And every year, I actually watch the nominated films.

This year?  I sat on my couch, with the boys and my homemade Thai green curry wearing Lululemon pants.  And I saw only two of the nominated films.  Make that one.

My lack of caring and non-enthusiasm does not mean I do not have judgements.  I always have judgements.

Firstly, you know who I hate seeing on the Red Carpet?  Miley Cyrus.  OMG.  Granted, I can't help but feel bitter towards a 17-year old trash bag with absolutely no acting chops and a horrific accent rolling down the carpet three times, when I have yet to go once.  But on top of that, she has to present?  AND OPEN HER MOUTH TO BEN MULRONEY?  GAH!

I believe I guffawed when she told him how excited she was about her cameo role in the upcoming 'Sex and the City' movie.  According to her, and her horrible accent, she has been a HUGE fan of the show for YEARS.  Ummm, correct me if I am wrong in my math but if Miley is 17, and SATC started in 1998, then this annoying human was watching it at the age of five.  She's been a huge fan of Carrie Bradshaw and blow jobs since she was five?


At least give us teens like Amanda Seyfried who can at act (and sing), and is poised and sweet.

Secondly, I love Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell and Tina Fey.  They are just pretty much the best things at the Oscars (hmmm, three of them are on TV).

Except the dresses.  The dresses this year were stunning.  They were old-school Hollywood glamour.  When I watched the awards as a young, impressionable youth (21) who believed I would be famous by 27 (cough) I would practice my speech in the shower with a shampoo bottle.  Now?  All I do is see how all those gorgeous gowns could work as a wedding dress.

Don't worry, I haven't given up on my dream. I am just more realistic.  Like my fake-sort-of-stalking-bumping-into-at-the-Shake-Shack Tina Fey fantasy where we become friends and I write and then co-star in '30 Rock'.  About as far fetched as me getting an Oscar?

Ummm yes.

Here's the thing about the Oscars:  they are political.  It's a really fancy sham, pat-on-your-back night that really has no merit to talent.  I'm not saying the nominees aren't talented.  They are.  And even though Mo'nique said her award was not political (debatable), I now believe that a little gold man can't tell you how good you are.  You can be a super amazing talented actor and never get an Oscar.  Heck, you might not even get a chance to be on the box or silver screen.

I also now fully believe that it would be way more fun to go to the Golden Globes.  They are cooler.  There is free pour Moet, everyone is sitting at tables with each other, chatting, laughing, getting drunk.  And the world of television and film collide.

I wish I had seen this year's movies.  It would have made it more exciting I am sure.  I wasn't rooting for anyone.  But as soon as Sandra Bullock opened her mouth I knew she was a good choice.  How can you not love this woman?  And as cliche as it is to honour the other women in the category, I love how she did it!  When she thanked her mom?  Balling.

I also love that Carey Mulligan was wearing forks on her dress.  You don't even know who she is yet.  I do. I saw her on Broadway in The Seagull.  We had no idea who she was when we watched it, but leaving the theatre, my friend (very picky theatre gal) and I raved about this unknown's performance.  So present.  So real.  And now she's a moviestar and is like the next Kate Winslet.

John Hughes?  Best tribute EVER.  AAAAAAH!  I had a VHS copy of Sixteen Candles that I would watch again and again.  I vow to have a John Hughes party because now that I am not ten, I bet I will actually get the jokes.

Other than that, I was more interested in online shopping.

I won't lie:  if I happen to end up at the Oscars someday I certainly won't be sad.  And who knows?  I might hit my career stride in my 40's.  But as I get older and more realistic, I realize how fun it is not to care about the Oscars.  Is this what normal, non-film people are like on a daily basis?  They don't know someone who knows someone at the awards? They don't talk about the set all day? They don't compare what auditions they have been to in the last week?


I sort of like it.  It's so much easier.

I am sure that everyone likes watching for the best and worst dressed though, right?  I always get a kick out of that.  I have some friends, and my mother, who always criticize moviestars at the Oscars.  I can't help but think:  sure, their gown is ugly, but they are at the Oscars and we are sitting on our asses eating pizza.  I feel we can't really judge.

I'll always love Hollywood, and the facade it puts on.  It is fun to watch.  And I think it would be fun to be a part of it.  But then I remind myself, I sort of am.  And it ain't so glamourous.

The red carpet sure looks soft though . . . .

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Dog Park Moviestar

It turns out Kristen Kreuk is my neighbour.

You don't know who she is? She's on that show 'Smallville'.  I haven't ever watched it but I definitely know who she is.  She was discovered in her teens and shot high into CW fame.

I saw her a few months back at the local nail salon.  We bonded by laughing at a set of parents discussing their toddler's bowel movements.  At first I pretended I didn't know who she was. But when someone asked, I blurted:  "she's a moviestar!".  Which made her blush.

Anyways, she walks her bulldog Dublin at the same dog park as my boys.  This time I did not blurt out that she was a moviestar.  I also tried my best not to stare at her.

Which is hard because she is (A) famous (B) the prettiest person I have ever seen in real life and (C) she was talking to me.

I felt bad not saying something about knowing who she was because I don't want to seem like one of those people who is too cool to be star struck.  Will she be offended I don't recognize her?

Ummm, no.  Hopefully she remembers our first encounter when I embarrassed her.  And also, she clearly is not one of those 'Hello?  I am like a star and you should worship me' sort of peoples.  She is seriously so nice.  So nice.  And very sweet.  And sort of goofy.  You can always tell how nice a person is by how they are with their dog.  She's pretty funny.

Although I was awkward, and trying to not look her in the face in case I yelled that she was on television, and talking about dog poop, I was really happy to bump into her.  Sometimes in this business I forget why I am in it.  For the most part, the people are not the nicest.  Most are superficial.  Most are so deep in the low self-esteem pool, they make up for it by acting like assholes.  I'm not really cut out for the business of show business.  So it was refreshing to meet someone who is actually successful (not that fake kind that Vancouver actors pull), and crazily modest and sweet.

It was also nice to meet someone who also has to constantly stop her dog from eating mud.

Spring Fever

The Engineer will say every season is my favourite.  Which is sort of true.  At the turn of each season, I have a minor freak out about how much that particular season is my favourite.

They are all super amazing - how can I pick?  Fall smells good, with pumpkin pie and falling leaves.  Winter is cozy and cuddly with mittens and mugs of hot chocolate.  But it's only good until December 26th.  Summer is the season we want to last the longest, with it's warm nights, days in the lake, and tans that make us all look hotter and thinner.

But there is something extra extra special about spring.  No one loves spring more than a person from the prairies.  Actually anyone who doesn't live in Vancouver.

We are spoiled here in Vancouver.  Spring has arrived early this year!  As you may have noticed with the 'Winter Olympics' that were more like 'Super Awesome Spring Olympics'.  The blossoms did their magic spreading poufs of cotton candy throughout our already green city.  In fact, they are almost gone, sadly.  There are trees that are already fully green!  It's March!  Usually, the cotton candy goodness lasts until the end of April.  At this rate, summer should arrive on May 1st.  Even the bears are confused, they all have woken up from their winter slumber a month too early.  Sheesh, they got fat for nothing!

Don't get me wrong:  Vancouverites love their spring.  Everyone has a happy bounce in their step.  People are out walking, biking, jogging, etc.  People are shopping in droves for brightly coloured dresses (read: Sarah) But for the most part, that happens in this city year round.

Coming from the prairies, and one of the coldest cities ANYWHERE, Winnipeg, I face spring with a whole different level of appreciation.

In Vancouver, we are pleased to see the early blossoms.  The birds are chirping.  Just the other day I walked home from the gym, practically skipping with glee.  How could I not?  My path was paved with the sprinkling of pink petals.  (Clearly it's still sunny here because in the rain it's not so pleasant)

But when you live in a city that is literally in a deep freeze from mid-October (many a trick or treating did I do in snow banks) to mid-March/early April, spring is the to enlightenment (or dare I say the big

We think people are out more here?  Ummm, nothing compares to the spring in Winnipeg when you suddenly remember you are not the only person in Southdale.  People are out in droves.  Even though there is still snow (albeit melting) and it's actually pretty ugly (melting snow, left over sand and piles of dog poop make for gross.  Oh, and the grass is brown and dead.  We don't have that here) EVERYONE goes out without their parkas celebrating the return of life.

There is a special spring smell that is unique to the prairies.  I can't describe it except by telling you it's fresh and invigorating.  And it's like heaven for our nose.  It means that spring has really and truly arrived.  And when you start hearing the birds again?  Best sound EVER.

We get some of that on the west coast.  And ours is clearly much prettier.  But do we appreciate it as much?  Well in our own special Vancouver way (I think it's fair to say that 4 months of gray is pretty crappy).  That's okay.  I am not prepared to trade in my snow-free existence for a deeper appreciation of spring.  I appreciate it plenty.

I appreciate it so much it's time for a pedicure and some new shoes.

I really love spring.

The Kindness of People of the Past

When I started this blog, it was mostly to practice my writing and was only read by my mother and two of my friends.

Slowly, but surely, and thanks to Facebook, many others started to read it (even though I have only 22 followers I swear I'm cool!), and now people I don't even know are reading it!  So exciting!

Blogs are sort of funny.  They are part journal, part magazine article, and 100% the ramblings of me.  So when I get messages from people who I know, but am not BFF's with, or not know, who love my writing it makes me feel really happy inside.

I was in a sorority back in the days of university.  Think what you will, but my sorority was full of high-achieving, clever, beautiful women.  Not the bobble-headed, big-boobed blondes that are getting killed on Sorority Row.  When I say beautiful, I really mean it.  They are pretty much the best looking group of women in one room, besides the Oscars, I have ever seen.  Unique and lovely. Anyways, a few of the girls who were much younger than me started reading my blog.  And when some of them emailed to tell it, my heart actually melted.  It made me so happy to hear that my ramblings were actually being enjoyed.  So this is to thank them :)

Also, in the way that Facebook does, I have been reunited from the J.H. Bruns graduating class  of 1997.  The people I graduated with were also the people I went through elementary school with.  Twelve formative years of one's life and I now only speak to three of those fellow Bruins grads.  Weird right?  Well, normal actually.  It's fairly normal to leave high school behind, never looking back.  Which is actually sad.

Thanks to Facebook, we get to stalk each other and see who has kids, who has a killer career, who got fat, who got skinny, or who went from being super-nerd to super-hot.  I like it.

So when I got a package in the mail from a girl who I have known since I had my natural hair colour (I don't remember what it was, do you C?) and before braces, I realized the magic of the blog and Facebook.

This fellow virgo, Coronation Street lover and wedding freak who I haven't spoken to since 1997, was inspired enough to design a necklace off my ring (complete with 8 beads representing how many times I've been a bridesmaid!) along with a whole slew of other jewel treats and send them to me!  When I opened the package I actually had goosebumps and that super happy feeling inside.

I skyped the Engineer to open my parcels with him and then before reading the card, had to clean my house and shower.  Because I am a virgo freak and when sitting down to appreciate something pretty, must be clean and pretty myself.

Anyways, this friend, who is an engineer by day, designs a Stellar line of jewellery by night.  Check her out!  I actually just opened yet another part of the parcel I hadn't noticed - it just keeps going!

It made me cry a little.  People are so kind and thoughtful, and working in the business that I do, it's easy to forget that.  So thank's for the reminder C!

I have an Olympic memory about this girl, which is sort of freaky how I can even retain this information.  Anyhoo, I was at her birthday party circa 1988 when Ben Johnson won a medal (I forget which one) for running (in a city I can't remember).  It must have been around September 12th?  Dear God, how can I even remember that?  When he was found to have taken drugs, it broke all our little 9-year old hearts.  I think we all cried.

That is neither here nor there, the point of this entry is to thank all those FB friends who read my blog and smile with me (or at me, it's okay).  I really truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Destination Bride Part Six: Nantucket

The Olympics have left us and now I am back to reality.

Luckily my reality is planning a wedding!  MUHAHAHAHAHA!!

I last left us on the blue and white island of Santorini. Now it's time for us to head to another island, just off the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts:  Nantucket.

For some reason, I always had a desire to visit Cape Cod. Perhaps it was due to my obsession with the Kennedy's. Or my love of the clam bake and peddle pushers (note here:  I have never ever attended a clam bake wearing, or not wearing, peddle pushers).  It could also be linked to my preppy nature of wanting to wear Lilly Pulitzer dresses while scooting around on a cruiser bike and sipping lemonade.

Because in my head, that is what Cape Cod is.

I'm pretty much right on the money.

My desire to go to Nantucket comes from out of the blue.  I always knew it existed.  I always knew I wanted to go.  When I told a friend I was going, his reply was "if you were a place, Nantucket would be it".

How right he was.  I love love love Nantucket.  The moment the Engineer stepped on the island, he too love love loved Nantucket.

It's pretty magical.  And heaven for prepster virgos.  It's all clean, neat, orderly, and it MATCHES!  The whole island is a palette of greys, whites, blues, greens and the odd dot of pink.  I did wear a Lilly dress. I did ride a cruiser bicycle.  I did not  have lemonade, but I did vow to return again and again and again.

Therefore, I couldn't help but scope the place out for a wedding.

I won't lie, it's up there in the top three right now.

Our venue of choice is Wade Cottages.  A cluster of grey homes overlooking the sea in 'Sconset, the most easterly point of the island.

'Sconset has been described like this:

"Here in 'Sconset, between the cranberry bogs and the rose-grown bluffs, is one of the most beguiling villages in the world."

It's true. It is beguiling.  The Engineer and I had the loveliest time here.  

The Wade Cottages are great, because they can hold 40 of our nearest and dearest with other accommodation nearby.  We can stay for a week.  Frolicking in the warm sea, basking in the sun, skipping through the sand dunes.  Adirondack chairs overlook the ocean, a perfect perch for sipping wine and reading books.  Watching the sunset over the island while cooking lobster on the beach.

Our wedding would be a complete garden party, lasting well into the night.  Lanterns above our heads, dancing in our barefeet, watching the stars from the beach in the wee hours of the morning.

Oh crap.  I just talked myself back into this wedding.

Bad points:  it's hard to get to from the West Coast of Canada.  The ferry to drive over, return, is $400.  Ummm, that's about it.  Everything else is perfect.

Post-Olympic Depression

Today there were no crowds lining up outside my house.  No one bearing flags from all over the world.  No sleasy men trying to sell tickets.

I turned on the television and discovered, to my horror, Regis & Kelly have returned to regular programming!!!!!!  AAAAAAAAAH!  I am so used to the reassuring voice of Brian Williams telling us what gold medals we will be winning that day.

I have what the rest of the country has: Post-Olympic Depression.  Or the Olympic Hangover.  Or the WHAT DID I USED TO DO IN MY NORMAL LIFE BEFORE OLYMPICS? state-of-mind.

I've been staring at my computer all day.  I have two deadlines, I need to edit a draft of a television show, and I have to get back to a million emails regarding the show that I technically start filming this week.  And what did I do?  Scoured the networks for anything Olympic.

I found Hoda and Kathie Lee talking about the hockey game (who isn't?), Kesler/Kaslow/Kestly being interviewed at the airport (he is a very unhappy camper), and the craziness that is the Vancouver airport  today.

Then I flicked through my photos, making myself feel better.  Sometimes I feel I didn't go out enough or do enough, but I just have to look at my photos and see that I was quite busy.  During the day, during the night - it's no wonder I am getting sick today.

It feels like the day after Christmas when you were a kid (or, ummm, last year), or what I imagine it must feel like after your wedding (remember when Monica was depressed when she was no longer a bride, and only a wife?).  I have that feeling I had after Shakespeare school in London, the day after our magical summer finished and we were forced back into the real world of earthquakes and sad things.

Come back Olympics!  Come back!  Come back world!  We love you!

So I've decided to re-live my favorite moments.  And maybe they will be some of yours as well . . .

1.  Opening Ceremony dress-rehearsal.  Yes, it wasn't the real one, but I got the best sneak peek EVER! The totems, the fireworks, the 'Who Has Seen the Wind' thingy.  They got us in the right mood for being proud Canadians, something that I hope will last.

2.  Alexandre Bilodeau.  Watching him fly in the air, twisting and turning. Taking his cheering brother into his arms.  TEARS!  It was my first night on Robson, a super balmy evening with no rain.  I was making my way down to my friends, but stopped at the CTV news thingy to join the crowd.  I wasn't wearing my glasses so I didn't see how close we were.  When it was official, we all screamed and yelled.  I called my sleeping friend, who heard the commotion and realized this was no time for sleep.  It was an awesome night.

3.  Maelle Ricker.  I really love her.  I was at home, watching her race with the Engineer on the phone.  He was in London and couldn't really see the games, so I held up the phone to the TV and kept screaming things down it.  I think his flat in London got TV after that night.  It was so great going to see her get gold, with her mum proudly looking on and having the entire audience scream for her.  And then scream 'Oh Canada'. It was topped off with a Paul Brandt concert and singing along with the crowds to 'Alberta Bound'.  Two-stepping cowboys wearing team Canada jerseys twirled Ugg-wearing Vancouverites.

4. Spending the second-last day chasing three medals across town.  First, drinking wine out of my purse in Ontario, catching the speed skating three-man relay GOLD.  I didn't understand.  I didn't believe the boys had just won GOLD.  I was in shock we were winning so many medals!  Then stupid Mike Weir had to talk about his stupid wine, and they turned off the televisions!  Making us miss JJ Anderson!  So then we had to run to Saxony House, a place full of amazing sausages, strudel and tons of friends - perfect timing to catch our silver in bobsleigh.  High on medal count, meat and saurekraut, I had to race home before the last end in the gold medal curling game.  Well, I was too late to watch the last rock, but just in time to see Kevin Martin's glistening tears as he sang 'Oh Canada'.  I've decided to take up curling.

5.  Charles Hamelin & Marianne St-Gelais' love story.  Again, another moment I missed live but heard so much about and now I can't get enough of them.  In case you, like me, was somewhere else exploring Vancouver, I have included the video of Marianne watching the race.  It's adorable. Like a romance comedy.  I love her in general.  Her face when she won her silver -  so much unadulterated joy and happiness.  Give it to the French Canadians to smack bottoms on global television.

6.  Scott Moir & Tessa Virtue.  They were slated to skate their second skate the same night as the Russian/Canadian game.  I literally called three bars asking if they would show both events at once.  Umm, no, this is hockey nation after all.  Props to the manager at Blarney Stone who told me he really wanted to watch them too!  Luckily, their skate was later in the program, so I rushed home after an amazing win, and watched them dance Spain with my parents.  And, of course the next day (or was it two days?), I stayed home (you need quiet to listen to the music after all), with the Engineer on Skype and fell even more in love with this couple.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE them.  I wish they LOVE LOVE LOVED each other the way we all want them to!  So many things about that skate I must go to point form:

- they just look nice.  She is stunning, he is hot.  Her outfit was classy and simple.  As athletes, they are graceful and elegant to watch
- at the end of the skate, when he held her head and said "Thank you so much".  Who was that for?  Her, for being perfect?  His family?  Us, who love them so much?
- when Scott stood up shouting as their marks came up
- Scott telling Tessa they came in second
- The Americans running up, genuinely thrilled that their friends, and rivals, won the gold
- Scott belting out 'Oh Canada' at the top of his lungs
- Tessa fidgeting with excitement
- Scott getting held up in an embrace by his crying brothers
- The brilliant guy at CTV who puts together those montages in five minutes to 'I Believe' - who didn't love seeing Tessa and Scott skate together as kids, then suddenly morph into adults?

Seriously, the list goes on.  I want to be an ice dancer now.  And a curler.  God, I have lots of work to do.

7. Joannie Rochette.  There are no words for her.  The moment she finished her skate and basically broke down - embracing her coach and sobbing.  She was so graceful, holding back her tears.  As if she knew the rest of us were holding her up through her pain.  Then the night she won bronze, kissing the sky to her mother.  I'm crying now just writing about it.  And watching her dad.  I loved him holding her, in her Canadian flag, whispering in her ear.  Therese would have been proud.  And she was definitely watching over Joannie.

8.  Seeing our old favorites throughout the games:  Elizabeth Manley, Elvis Stojko, Bryan Orser. They made me fall in love with figure skating in the first place. And here they are, back in the spotlight.

9.  Any hockey game where we won :)  Which was most of them.  I watched many a hockey game from the Ontario House.  Which became a fast favorite.  Good food (mini-burgers, cheesecake on a stick, and cheddar ale soup that was like drinking cheese) and good wine (except for stupid Mike Weir) surrounded by red.  I loved every time we scored a goal, or won a medal, or just did something awesome - we would all high five and scream.  I'll miss that.

10.  Getting in to curling.  Finally.  My mum is a huge curler and I have been bored by bonspiels my whole life.  Maybe it was the hot curlers on all the teams.  Or the Norwegian pants.  Or the fact Martin was undefeated and Bernard was practically undefeated.  Whatever it was, I now understand the hammer.  And I love it.  My favorite snapshot? Stephen Harper sitting in the seats with Sandra's team, cheering the men on - and a woman right in front of him, knitting.  KNITTING at the gold medal game while sitting in front of Stephen Harper!  We all saw her, we all love her.

11.  Wayne Gretzky.  For being awesome.  Carrying the torch with rain pelting down his face.  Becoming a fan of curling and making the curlers feel awesome.  Watching every hockey game.  Singing 'Oh Canada' loud and proud while sitting next to every Canadian politician. Is it just me, or should Wayne run for Prime Minister?

12.  JJ Anderson for not giving up.  He's 34.  He's been to 3 Olympics previous.  He couldn't see more than three feet in front of him. But he did it!  He finally won gold!  It took time, but now he gets to hold his two daughters and his wife up with him.  I love his interviews, where he talks about his struggle for gold, and the struggle with the weather that day.  When asked how he knew where to go in that fog:  faith.  It's all the same message:  determination, don't give up, focus on what you want, and have faith - you can achieve your dream.  I needed that reminder myself JJ, thanks.  BTW - he's a blueberry farmer. I  heart him.

13.  Quatchi, Miga, Sumi and Muk Muk.  The cutest mascots EVER!

I took my 4-year old niece to watch the mascots skate in Robson Square. It might have been the sweetest Olympic moment.  Thanks to my cousin, we got VIP treatment, which meant rock star 'seats' and free hot chocolate.  There we all sat, my 65-year old dad crouched down with Jayne, making sure she could see.  Kids were plastered against the glass, all dressed in their mascot gear with their mascot toys.  And when the mascots came out? Pandemonium!

I may or may not have teared up.  That's right. I cried when the skaters dressed up in furry costumes skated around some ice.  As for Jayne, when Miga came to hug her, she was in complete awe.  Miga posed for a picture but Jayne was too busy rubbing her tummy to look at the camera.  It was adorable.

Finally hearing the mascot story was really fun.  They actually are good mascots.  In case you don't know who they are, here you go:

Miga is a seabear.  She can swim in the ocean like a whale, or walk on land like a bear.  But she got stuck between the worlds and is now both!

Quatchi is a sasquatch who dreams of being a goalie.

Sumi has the head of an Orca, the wings of a Thunderbird, and the feet of a Bear.  She represents the paralympic games.

Muk Muk is a marmot.  And he represents the fans of 2010.  I have a soft spot for Muk Muk.  Mostly because I like to say his name.

14.  Hockey.  Both the men's and the women's.  It's just a really good thing.  I think I have mentioned that already though right?

15.  Jon Montgomery. Who doesn't love this guy for going down a tube of ice head first?  Then winning gold?  Then walking through Whistler drinking a pitcher of beer?  And now he's going to be on Oprah!
But also a big hug to Melissa Hollingsworth who made my cry by being sorry for 'letting her country down' - you didn't!  We love you!

16.  Family.  My family all came to check out the Olympics, and also to attend a funeral, sadly.  But I had such a great time bonding with the folks who share my blood.

17.  The end.  I was so lucky to go to the closing ceremonies, just after winning HOCKEY GOLD (have I mentioned we got gold in hockey?  TWICE?).  Three words:  MICHAEL J FOX.  I love him.  I loved the end.  Even though I cried.  And had to wear moose antlers.

18.  Being here.  I loved running through Yaletown high-fiving everyone, hugging cops, waving to the people hanging out of their balconies screaming.  Singing 'Oh Canada' at least once a day, either in my house with my parents, or in a room of friends, or surrounded by total strangers.  Wearing red everyday. Wearing jeans everyday.  Wearing my runners everyday (I have never worn then when not running, they may not look great but I totally get why tourists wear them now!).  Having a different maple leaf tattoo on my cheek everyday.  Falling asleep to the screaming fans downstairs - it was sort of comforting.  Random street hockey games on Granville.  The general happiness that everyone had. Vancouver's pretty much back to normal, not talking to anyone - or maybe they are just depressed too.

The busy-ness came on slowly.  I had just come back from New York and London, so I didn't really think it was that different. I was wrong.  Each day got busier and busier - to the point you couldn't walk up Robson anymore.  And now they are all gone.  It's sort of unreal.  Like, did this really happen?  Mop has been too afraid to go for a walk, but tonight, we walked in a ghost town (so he was at least happy).  The park was dead. The lights of GM Place were off.  Those white security tents just stood there like a ghost town.

The flame is extinguished.  The world has left.  But I think the spirit of Vancouver 2010 is going to stick with us for a very, very long time.  And I'm pretty sure you'll all want to come back to 'Cool Canada' for another Olympics - we're a super good time.