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...

Sunday, February 28, 2010


I'm downtown early so go back to Live City to see Christopher. As I line up, I see that there's a couple of Mounties on horses and snap a picture. Don't get to see that too often around here.

It's a big hassle to get through the security yet again. The metal zipper heads on my jacket seem to completely confound them.

On the ride in on SkyTrain, there were some people taking an impromptu trip up from Washington State. Overhearing their conversation, they had decided that it would be a regret they would have if they didn't take the time to visit Vancouver during the games. They have picked a gorgeous day to come. It's clear and sunny out and they exclaim about the scenery over and over. When we come to False Creek, they have their backs to the Athletes Village so I speak up and point it out to them. They quickly turn around and take photos, exclaiming how great it is. Then they thank me profusely for speaking up.

I am hungry so I give Christopher $10 so he can buy me a small tray of poutine and a bottle of Coke. He gets a discount because he works there. There's no change. Whoah Nellie.

We chat mostly about how this job has opened a lot of doors for him and that he now knows about five times as many people in the sound business than he did three weeks ago. I am excited for him. He is so talented with sound - most all the performers he works with are very impressed and some now use him exclusively when they have a gig. But they are just small players and it would be great if he could work for some bigger acts. I am sure it will happen.

We have spent so much time talking, I really have to hustle my butt to get to the salon on time. I needn't have hurried as it takes about twenty minutes for Izzy to help a lady find a jacket to buy in the racks of down coats they have brought in to sell for the games. I love one of the jackets; it has rhinestones dotted along the cuffs and down the front. That would be fun to wear on set instead of my huge, black, sleeping bag (as Kim Miles calls it) of a coat that I usually wear on a cold day.

Soon I am walking out of the salon with hair a bit darker in shade, and some bouncy curls. I make a quick call to Lec, a friend from jPod - a camera assistant. We have made arrangements to meet for a drink somewhere and now I just need to know where. I would like to eat where Izzy recommended, right next door to the salon. It has great satay, she says, and it's very reasonably priced. But Lec wants to meet at a Japanese place a few blocks away so I walk up there and wait for her to arrive.

We catch up over a beer for her, a martini for me, and some sushi. She's such a fun person and I love her take on life. So it's a pleasant couple of hours spent laughing and yakking. All too soon we have to take our leave; we were told we could have the table only until 6:30. Not sure who they are expecting to flood the place in a couple of minutes but there's no sight of them yet. But it's okay because I have to be at work tomorrow so should be in bed right about now. We hug and go in different directions. I head down to the SkyTrain but I can't remember where the station is that I arrived on. I took the King George Line from Surrey to the Waterfront, and then the Canada Line to The Roundhouse, Yaletown. But I can't for the life of me remember where that came out. I decide to go by the salon and see if Izzy is still there. Not only is she there, she is outside, dressed in one of the down jackets in the midst of fake snow drifting down, selling Vankerchiefs (that's Izzy on the right) to passers by. I ask her where the station is and she points down the street. It's just a block away on this very road. Why couldn't I remember that? I scare myself sometimes.

Today at work, I am not the supervisor. I am in on an extra day to help out with the problem of short staff. So I get the easy job of taking a clipboard and getting driver information and passenger numbers for workforce. It's freezing cold out and raining so the chance to sit on each bus as it arrives until it's time to depart is much appreciated. Once the last bus departs at noon, we get to go home early. That also is much appreciated.

At one point in the day, I make a trip along the parked spectator buses and pause to chat with one or two of my favourite drivers. One of them, another French-Canadian named Guy, has been flirting outrageously with me. Today he tells me that he might not see me tomorrow, the last day we will have spectators, and so wants me to come on board and give him something to remember me by. I look puzzled. So he enlightens me by saying he wants a hug and a kiss. "I tink about you all da time." he says, "I have tought about you all dese days you haven't been here." "So then," I say, "you shouldn't have any trouble remembering me without the kiss." He laughs. "Ahh, but I want to kiss dose lovely lips." he says. "Well, seeing how you have a girlfriend, that's not going to happen." I say with a grin. "And I am sure you will be back tomorrow." He acts all sad and I move along the line. I don't see him again because he won't return tomorrow; he will be pushed to a late run back from Whistler. When I realize that I am sad. But I won't find out until tomorrow when it's too late. I would like to have given him a hug good-bye.

On our last day with spectators, I am back in charge but Shawn does such a great job of organizing everything up top, I let him take over and I keep the job with the clip board. There have been a couple of guys in particular that have been nothing short of stellar workers and I plan to pass their names along to Assistant Location Managers who need hard working and intelligent PA's. Shawn is one. Dan is the other. Outstanding workers both, and each with a great sense of humour. They'd be an asset to any film crew.

We take a few photos. One with another favourite bus driver, Ed from Vernon. One with Mamud, a doctor from Nigeria, and one of the lovely lady (who's name I can't recall) who was in charge of taking bus tickets from spectators. For almost everyone, today is their last day. Tomorrow there will just be a skeleton crew on to take care of the workforce buses.

The WOP hub has planned a BBQ for all of us so we head over there after the last bus has left and partake of some delicious hamburgers, veggie burgers, and bags of chips. It's a fun way to wind up the last full day of work. On Monday our hub has planned a 'wrap party' at the local casino. Hopefully most of us will be able to attend that. It will be nice to see everyone in clothes other than their 'blueberry' jackets. That is what we have been calling workforce for the past three weeks. Right before a bus is to leave, one of us gets on the radio and asks, "Any blueberries in sight?" I've heard that elsewhere, we are called 'Smurfs'. I prefer blueberries.
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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