Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review: Nativities of the World

This month's book club genre was Christmas. Yeah. I love Christmas.

Actually not really, that was sarcasm. I dislike the way Christmas has become about "Bigger, Better, More!" these days, and really don't need another fight with my sister at a mandatory family dinner.

I do, however, really like nativities, as to me they celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, before the shopping malls went berserk. It was a bit of a tradition in the olden days for me to set up a nativity scene in our house during Christmas. Also, I've visited St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal a couple times, and they curate a Nativity Museum that is really neat.

So for this Christmas genre I chose to read a book on nativities.

November/December 2014: Christmas

Nativities of the World
By Susan Weber
160 pages

Did you know that collecting nativities is a thing? Like a proper crazy hobby thing. I wanted a book full of neat nativity scene photos with descriptions of where/how they were made, and I got that. But I also got a lot of information about nativity collecting and availability and that was just, well, boring. I also was hoping to see some interesting non traditional nativities (with pizzazz!) but, well, yeah. It's not like the book was boring, but it didn't live up to the enjoyment I anticipated getting out of it. If that makes any sense.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Christmas or nativity scenes, and it would be good to look at and read with a child too!

Art. To each her own!

Monday, December 08, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Day 5

Last day. Women's final was in the morning, and was quite exciting.

Then there was a ridiculously long break, in which I went for lunch with my favourite CCA event accountant. Good times. It was great to catch up with an old friend!

The evening ended with the men's final, which was quite anticlimactic. I filmed the scrum on the ice, which usually scares the crap out of me, but this year was different. I love doing these events because I get to learn skills that I wouldn't ordinarily pick up at work. So far I've learned how to film and edit video, and I got supervisory experience from the 2012 Brier while I was a director. This event I learned how to film video without a tripod - not as terrifying as I originally thought! One of these days someone will teach my how to successfully manage the lighting and white balance!

Sweeting vs Homan in the final.

Team Sweeting won the Women's event!

Russ, Cheryl and Vic doing a tv spot right above where I was sitting.

Working on my blog while the men's final plays in the background. Love the view from the media bench.

Slider was really great all week! 

Men's winner - Team McEwen, aka Team Fireball!

And we're done. You'd be surprised how quickly they can tear down everything!

It's always sad when these events end and I have to say good bye to CCA people. It wasn't so bad this time because I know I'll see them at the 2015 Scotties in Moose Jaw! I'm really looking forward to the next event because I had fun this time - I'm back on the curling event bandwagon!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Day 4

No tiebreakers means I got to sleep in! Yay! Only 2 games going on so it was fairly quiet work wise, nothing out of the ordinary really. Except I happened to open my big mouth which got me in trouble (also nothing out of the ordinary really) but I didn't get fired - yay! Haha, all is well in the curling world.

I met more nice curling people today, CCA staff, volunteers in the sponsor's lounge, fans, and ended up sitting and chatting with a couple timers in the stands. And that's why I'm here. Good people. Good times.

Team Nedohin vs Team Sweeting - maybe they should draft in the newest snow sculpture?

The view from the media bench is always my favourite.

A better view of the Canada Cup on my 'desk'. Someone shined it up all pretty too!

Team Fireball!

I met this lady in the bathroom putting on her costume. I happened to run into Stu, the announcer, on my way out and told them about her. She got to play one of those between end games and won Big Valley Jamboree tickets! She said she's been dressing up for 20yrs to try get on TSN but has yet to be successful.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Day 3

Two diversions from the routine today.

Number 1: two curlers actually asked to be part of our quiz series! So we set up the gear again in the scrum room and filmed another hilarious bit! So nice to have curlers excited to participate, as opposed to imposing on them. Fun times.

Number 2: tiebreaker scenarios! This is my 9th CCA event (I think) and this happens every last day of the round robin - all the staff and media freak out about tiebreakers. Why? Well, in my case it's because I like sleep (if you know me, you know I'm not an all nighter nor a morning person). At the Roar of the Rings a year ago they were talking about triple tiebreakers that would go through the night. Here, there was talk of a women's double tiebreaker that would see a game at 10:30pm (so we'd work till 2:30am) and then another game at 8:00am. Fun times. Fortunately, the draws worked out so that there wouldn't be any tiebreakers and I got to sleep in!

Snow sculptures outside the venue.

It's 50 Shades of Green out there!

My usual view of the scrum. John and Norm have been my journey friends this event. Oh and that's Mike McEwen in the middle.

Another arena view from the media bench.

Getting ready to be announced before a game.

That's my boss Al running tiebreaker scenarios with one of the TSN guys. Fun times.

Friday, December 05, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Day 2

What did I do on day 2? Edit, watch, film, edit, eat, watch, film, edit, eat, watch, film, edit, sleep.

I'm enjoying working with all the media and CCA guys. It's always one of my favourite changes from real life (where I work with all women - cue the drama!). The guys are nice and appreciative and after doing a number of these events I'm starting to feel like I belong. So I went from last year thinking I was done with this gig to already plotting where I can fit in for the 2015-2016 season (and dreaming about getting to the 2018 Winter Olympics). Good times!

Here's your daily quiz:

I just discovered that that shiny silver thing that shares my 'desk' space is the Men's Canada Cup of Curling!

I never tire of the view.

Many of the curlers have been doing interviews in french for the CBC. Valiant effort by all!

Skips shot, my fav.

What does 'NFG' mean? Jamie Bourassa, the head ice maker told me it means 'Not Flashing Green'. Gee, what were you thinking?!

My job has slowed down a bit so I'm getting to watch a bit more. Tight matches all over the place!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Day 1

Oh the curling event routine. Wake up. Tired. Snooze. Get ready. Get to the arena by first draw 5th end break. It's nice to be so close to home that I have my car here and I can come and go as I please. I really love the small venues. Every seat has a great view. The people are extra welcoming and you see the same volunteers and fans everywhere. Backstage is less complicated. And best of all, there's no traffic through town and the parking is free!!

Today I finished editing those fun videos we filmed yesterday at practice. Here's the first one posted!

They were fun to shoot and fun to edit and fun to watch. I can tell you two things about filming Marc and Ben:
1. They auditioned for the Amazing Race Canada and made it pretty far, but got cut in favour of a pair of hockey players. Couldn't use this bit because of 2.
2. So. Many. F-bombs! There was so much fun footage but I couldn't use most of it because of the f-words. Good times.

So as per usual during this gig, I talked to some people, filmed and edited some videos, and sort of watched some curling. Ok. I watched like 10mins of curling. I'll try do better tomorrow. Here's some blurry views of the ice.

This is what my view usually is, standing behind my journalist friends, waiting for games to end so we can film the media scrum.

If you ever go watch live curling, head to the merchandise area and buy a radio so you can listen to the TSN commentary!

As usual I got out of the venue about 11, in bed around midnight, and then repeat tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

2014 Canada Cup - Pre Game

Time for another exotic vacation - I'm in Camrose for the 2014 Canada Cup of Curling!

Last season I thought my curling gig was up, but I got a surprise phone call a couple months ago asking me to do two events this season! Yay!

I drove down to Camrose (90mins south east of where I live in Edmonton) and went straight to the arena in time for practices. I spent the rest of the afternoon working with my new boss to film a high-larious set of videos with pairs of curlers. Normally I try to avoid talking to the rock stars, but this was a fun job and everyone was in a good mood, and in fine comedic form, so I think it turned out well. I'm still editing the videos and they haven't been published yet, but I'll post links to them in a future post - stay tuned for some laughs!!

That night, I went to the opening banquet. I had awesome dates - my favourite part of working these events is catching up with my Canadian Curling Association (CCA) friends. It's always comforting to know people who you can just pick right back up where you left off with and share a joke and a meal, after 8 months of not seeing them. Fun times.

So my home for the week is the Encana Arena, specifically the media room, where I'm the only girl, so good times. I'm holding my own, and as usual learning from the pros while enjoying the comforts of a hockey dressing room!

This is a short event but I'm quite happy to hang out with everyone and watch some curling for the next 5 days!

Even Umpires get their photo taken!

My office for the week. Nice view. Good people.

Naked handles!

Teams Howard, Koe and Morris hanging out. See, they're still friends!

I shot some great footage for our fun 'Newlywed' game. Watch for the video links later this week!