Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vote for me........2189 times

Through Facebook I have reconnected with a classmate from high school. (His mother was my kindergarten teacher) I was very excited for him when I discovered through one of his postings he had been selected as a torch bearer for the Olympic Torch Relay. When I contacted him to discover how/why he was given such an honour he told me it was because he entered a contest. You know, the same contest I saw advertised by Coca-Cola for months but I never entered because I thought no one “real” ever wins those things. I was happy for my old acquaintance to have the opportunity to be part of the Olympic Games but at the same time I was kicking myself I didn’t enter the contest.

Then along came another contest. The Globe and Mail Journalism Dream contest. Enter an article about sports and you can win a trip as part of the Globe editorial team at the Olympics. It was designed just for me! I have always dreamed of being a journalist and I have always dreamed of going to the Olympics!

So I submitted my 500 word maximum article regarding sports and I completed the entry form and ta-da! I am officially entered in the contest. Now I just have to wait and get enough votes to win.

Currently the article in the lead has about 2200 votes………I have 11.

Originally I thought I would coerce my friends and family through facebook to log on and vote for me. A few kind souls did so and I truly appreciate their support. However, the gap between first place and my eleven votes I have to admit is probably insurmountable. I waffle between giving up or being obnoxious. Being obnoxious would mean wielding my authority as principal and having staff and students at my school log onto the computer lab each day and vote for me. Not only would that be obnoxious but I fear it would unethical as well. I am just going to leave it to fate and hope I get a few more votes.

OK………I will try one more time………shameless promotion! Just cut and paste the link below and vote every day!

Only 2189 votes to go!!!

Just think………if I actually did win I could hang out with City Wendy in Vancouver during the Olympics and keep her company while Drew worked!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hockey Mom Deja Vu

I popped into the local arena last week-end. As soon as I opened the door the smell of artificial ice, stale hockey equipment and concession stand hotdogs evoked strong memories of my time as a hockey Mom.

I was at the rink to visit my cousin who was in town for a hockey tournament. As I sat with the other parents, I had a whole new perspective. It was déjà vu. Suddenly I was an impartial observer looking down at a big chunk of my past life.

Both my son and daughter played travel hockey. This meant ink-filled calendars identifying practice and game times, not to mention the fund-raisers, additional power skating sessions and of course the social aspects of the team. I believe the organizational and administrative skills of hockey moms can challenge those of any C.E.O.s of a major corporation.

As I sat in the bleachers with my cousin, I flash-backed to those years I was an active hockey mom. I heard the cheering for the goals for and the disappointment for the goals against. I also heard like I did so many years ago, the quiet whispers when a player made a mistake and of course the running commentary of how the coach should be doing his job. Between games there was also gentle kidding about the escapades in the hotel the night before. There is still disdain towards the parent who allows swimming prior to the game. Everyone believes all energy must be saved for the big game. I wanted to step in and tell these parents they are taking it too seriously. I realize now ten year old kids have energy for an afternoon swim, an early evening hockey game and post-game pizza party at night. I wanted them to learn from my experiences. I wanted to shout from the arena rafters it doesn’t really matter. Just let the kids have fun! I decided to keep it to myself. Hockey lessons, like most important life lessons, need to be learned through experience.

The unspoken thing is everyone dreams their kid is going to be the one. While parents know deep down the odds of making the NHL are greater than hitting the lottery, every hockey parent has spent at least a minute or two thinking somehow it might just happen, or at the very least their child will make the select team.

While the dreams of making the NHL never came to pass for my family I feel we have hit the hockey lottery. My daughter still plays pick up hockey with her university friends and my husband and son just headed out the door to play with their men’s league team. After the game they will probably stop and share a beer together while they tell each lies about how well they played. While in hindsight I would have taken my hockey mom duties less seriously, I wouldn’t have given up a minute of the time our family spent together.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Real Americans

Today I returned from a two day trip to the United States. My girlfriend and I went to the Seneca Allegany Casino resort where we spent a bit of time in the casino and enjoyed a great “Tragically Hip” concert. Of course I also met quite a few Americans.

Everybody makes fun of me because I will talk to anyone and I ask too many questions. I think I am just constantly quenching my thirst for knowledge……and OK, I admit I am really nosy!

One gentleman I met while outside during a break in the concert happened to be a manager of a Wal-Mart outside of Buffalo. (Near the Military Road Outlet Mall) I mentioned to him the peopleofwalmart website I wrote about in a recent post. He said he had seen the site and confirmed there really are people like that in all of the Wal-Marts across the country. He said there are 20 million transactions a day in Wal-Marts in America and a small percentage of each transaction are going to be by people who have questionable taste.

In the quest for more answers I asked a couple I met from Pittsburgh if they had seen the peopleofwalmart site. It must be a very popular site because indeed they knew all about it. They confirmed there really were Americans like that ……but they were all in places like Florida!

So while we may not always agree on American politics or policies, I can say the majority of Americans I met on this last little jaunt were friendly and pleasant. I met a wide array of Americans I am sure you will find in any culture. Although the girl who kept doing belly shots at the bar is a one in a million. By the way……we didn’t win anything at the casino …..except great memories.

Now my question is, why are so many people convinced they are going to win at the casino when the odds are so stacked against them?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Will the Real American Please Stand Up?

As Canadians we are inundated with American media all of the time. The images on television make the American lifestyle seem glamorous and carefree. But does reality match what we see on TV?

My new blog friend Ed put me on to a very interesting website, I shared it with Terry. He was on the site for hours. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it in amazement. You really have to check it out yourself as no words can adequately describe.

On Thursday I am heading south of the border (I mean the United States not Mexico). We are staying at the Seneca Alleghany Casino. I thought I would research and check out the place a little before I went. I am so glad I did. It is License to Thrill week! If I bring my hunting or fishing license with me I will have a chance to win 100 Seneca Slot Dollars! I wonder if my driver’s license will do?

Such a dichotomy is the United States of America.

My favourite youngest daughter just returned from New York City where she visited the MoMA and the Guggenheim. She window shopped along Fifth Avenue and actually shopped Canal Street. She went to a Broadway show and almost made it to David Letterman (stand by ticket #7 but only six available seats)

So, which is the real America? The one we see on Entertainment Tonight? Or is Wal-Mart where real Americans are hiding? And if so, how do the America media hide such a dirty secret? I can see how MSNBC might not air such a thing but I was sure it would be something Geraldo on Fox News would surely leak out.