I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Friday, February 12, 2010


The Olympics start TODAY!!!!

The WOP (Whistler Olympic Park) departure hub, which is across campus, have their first event today. Pretty soon after getting our first workforce bus underway at 4:50 a.m., we start parking dozens of buses for WOP that they haven't got room for. It's a good practice run for us.

My biggest concern so far has been how we will use the narrow, two-lane roadway that connects the gravel parking lot (where workforce parks and our trailer is located) with the upper parking lot (where the spectators will line up and load onto our buses) to stage not only our workforce buses and our WSC (Whistler Sliding Center) buses, but also the WOP overflow. I just can't make it work, logistically, in my mind. When I present my concerns to Doug, the overseer, he assures me that at no time will our schedule overlap with WOP's. Their buses will be long gone before ours start to arrive. I want to believe him, but with the constant down-flow of misinformation that I have encountered so far, I am skeptical to say the least. We shall see.

I am finding Jessica very frustrating to work with. She is scattered, disorganized, and will blurt out the first thing that comes to her mind when asked a question - and it is most often wrong. The directions as to how we will organize and do our jobs changes not just daily, but seemingly moment to moment. To say that Game Day does this all the time - it's all they do for events like the Super Bowl - the amount of confusion and misinformation is staggering. On my first day, I was basically handed a clipboard with some forms on it and told to go out there and get to it. Get to what, exactly? I am supposed to be supervising a team, yet I have little to no idea as to what each person's role should be. So I get out there and figure it out as I go along. Today is my 7th day on the job, and I think I have most of it figured out. As long as they don't keep changing things, that is.

I am in the work trailer when the news flash comes on that an athlete has been in a terrible accident on the luge. The footage of it is horrible to watch. We are all subdued and upset by it. I hope he won't die but he hit that pole so fast, he must have some terrible injuries.

When work is done, I drive home in my dodgy van - it's giving me a lot of stress and I now know that transmission is on it's last legs.

As usual, my friend and her daughter are eager to hear about my day. I tell them about the accident but they heard already and tell me that he died. What a terrible start to the games. I feel so badly for his family, they must be devastated. And I can't imagine how the rest of his team feel, as well as the other luge athletes. I would be terrified to go down that track now.

I quickly change clothes and then head out to buy some groceries and some snacks for tonight. It's the opening ceremonies and I am going to watch them with my friend at her daughter's place as we don't have cable here. I get it all done just in time to head over there. When I arrive at the apartment, no one is home. It's half an hour until it starts. I manage to get inside the building when someone else goes in and wait outside the suite door. Finally the daughter arrives and, with 10 minutes to spare, we turn the TV on and start preparing the food.

We have a great time eating good food, drinking the BEST martinis, and loving the ceremonies. I have to admit, I was concerned that we wouldn't do a good job of them, given all the disorganization I have experienced so far. And knowing that they would probably contain a lot of First Nations content, was concerned it might come off as cringingly awful as I found the Lillehammer ones were with all those elves and discordant music. Gosh, they were hard to watch. But I thought Vancouver did a spectacular job, despite the mechanical failure that lead to a bit of an awkward wait for the torch to appear and the resulting three supports instead of four. I particularly loved the bit with the whales. That was amazingly real. I also loved that they changed the speech and lowered the flags to honor Nodar Kumaritashvili. Sixteen thousand people made not a sound during the minute of silence to honor him. Very moving. WELL DONE VANCOUVER!!!!!!!
All photographs are mine and not to be copied without express permission from me (click on them to see the large version).
Some names have been changed to protect my butt.

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