Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yet more Olympic grammar

Here's another one I missed. I've never heard the song because I've been avoiding the "I believe" campaign. When the song came up during the ceremonies (I think that's when it occurred), I hit the mute button. 

Does the Olympic Theme Song “I Believe” Have a Grammar Error?  


More on Olympic verbs

Here's an article I found on podium being used as a verb. I thought it was kind of interesting.

Published: February 7, 2010
A triumphant verb retakes the Olympic stage.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic verbs

I did not go into the city yesterday. db and I assessed the situation, and given that it was Canada/USA hockey day, we decided that it was probably best to stay close to home and avoid the surging crowds. We're probably going to go on Friday evening. I'm sure the crowds will still be crazy, but we'll take our chances.

Yesterday I heard a reporter who was covering the games use the word "podium" as a verb. "She didn't think she was going to podium." Ack! I'm pretty open with popular culture's use of grammar. "I'm lovin' it", for example I will let slide, but let it be a lesson to you that if McD's is as sloppy with their food as they are with their grammar then you probably shouldn't eat there, which is one more reason why that place should be avoided at all costs. I know I make all kinds of grammar errors throughout my day, and am always struggling with improving it, but I can't accept nouns turned into verbs when it is unnecessary.

I was speaking to my mom, who is an ESL teacher, last night and brought this very issue up with her. She also reminded me of how the same thing has been done with the word "medal." "He is a strong contender to medal." Is it so difficult to put those extra words in? "He is a strong contender to win a medal?" That wasn't so difficult.

Does sports broadcasting seem particularly guilty of this to you?
Have you noticed any other nouns becoming verbs when they've never been used as verbs before?

Do I need a holiday? Or maybe I should say, I need to holiday.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

just curious

I think I might venture downtown tomorrow and see what the party atmosphere is like.

I thought I'd avoid the whole Olympic thing as much as possible, but I have to say that curiosity is getting the better of me. I don't want to line up for hours for zip lines or ice skating or to approach the viewing platform for the cauldron. I just want to see what it's like in the downtown hub with people milling about, streets closed to traffic, and get a sense of the general vibe. There is supposed to be lots of buskers, and public art to view, so I think it'll be worthwhile.

The biggest draw for me is that the art gallery is free until the end of the month, and I'd like to see the Da Vinci sketches, which are here until May. They are also screening art films on one side of the building.

I think I should go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Vegan Soul Kitchen

For Christmas I bought db Vegan Soul Kitchen
and then eagerly awaited for him to crack it open to discover a recipe that would inspire him.

Well, it finally happened and db did not disappoint. He pulled several recipes together to create this tasty colourful dish. What we have here is Blackened Tofu with Succotash Salsa (there were many Sylvester impressions of "sufferin' succotash" being said whenever the word came up). db served the Blackened Tofu with Citrus Collards, Brown Coconut Rice, and Grilled Asparagus with Rosemary Sea Salt (that didn't quite make it into the picture).
It was a colourful and delicious plate, and everything went together so well. It felt like a real treat to be served such fine food. 

One of the unique aspects of this book, Vegan Soul Kitchen, is that each recipe has a suggested soundtrack. So with each recipe db worked on, I found the accompanying song and played it while he cooked. I'll have to do a review of this book once I read it and we make a few more recipes from it. So far so good.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Get in line for the line up.

We went to the women's hockey on Saturday to see Canada and Slovakia. When we got our tickets last year, we only knew we'd be going to an early round women's hockey game, we had no idea it'd be Canada. So, we got lucky. However, after seeing a women's hockey game for the first time ever, I would have been happy to see anyone play. It was so great to see women's hockey! I loved it.

What I did not love was getting into GM place, or BC place or whatever it's called now. The game was at 5pm. We got off the skytrain at 3:30 pm, and got to our section just as the women were skating onto the ice. Why did it take us so long? Can you imagine why? Olympic insanity was the reason.

There was no one at the exit of the skytrain to direct people to the entrance. Usually you come out of the skytrain and just cross the street to enter GM place, but with the fencing surrounding the area, there seemed to be no entrance anywhere, and no one to tell us where to enter.

There were people everywhere looking completely lost and confused. I finally asked a cop on the other side of the fence where we could get in. He gave us several options. As we walked to one entrance, we got to an area where the sidewalk was closed. We asked another cop. He said that the first one didn't know what he was talking about because he was probably from out of town, and that we needed to go the other way. db and I headed back. Finally, one solitary blue-jacketed volunteer called out that this entryway was closed and we needed to go down this street to get in line for the entrance.


I started to regret not bringing a book along. 

db and I stood in a line that was merging with another longer line from another street. Once we all merged into one big happy line, we shuffled forward to an opening in the fence. This was the entranceway to the security zone. The entrance was the size of a regular doorway. So we bottlenecked through this little doorway into a holding pen, where we lined up again to get into the line ups for the security zone.

After we mazed our way through that, we were told we could go into the express security line if we had a purse and not a backpack. I just had my camera bag so we zipped into the "express" lane. I use quotations around the word express because from what I saw, our line did not move any faster than the regular lines. In fact one of the regular lines was moving much faster!

Finally, we made it to security. It was like going through security at an airport. They looked in my bag, and I walked through the metal detector. I should mention that no one had yet asked me if I had a ticket or not. I walked right up to the entrance of GM/BC place without anyone ever asking me for proof of a ticket. If you wanted to sneak anything in on your person that could make it through the metal detector you could. Almost a billion dollars spent on security, and I felt like anyone could walk up to the venue and do a lot of damage. Fortunately, no one did.

We finally made it to our seats just before the puck dropped, but many didn't, and had to wait in the section doorways until the next whistle blew.

The upside? I enjoyed the game. I also know that by the time we go to the men's 50k cross country skiing on the last day of the Olympics, that many of the kinks will probably be worked out so that moving people into venues will go a lot more smoothly. I'm definitely taking a book with me next time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

my olympic view

I don't know why I'm feeling so grouchy about the Olympics. I mean I don't live in Vancouver or near any of the sites, but it's close enough so that my bus & skytrain were more crowded than usual this morning, and that made me grumpy. It also made my bus late because the bus driver had to answer so many questions at every other stop from new passengers who have left their SUVs in their garages to take public transit to get to events. 
At first, I thought these people were tourists who had to find accommodations way out where I live because everything was booked up closer to vancity, but then I realized these are my neighbours. They looked amused by the whole novelty of taking a bus. It would seem that it's a very exciting experience. There was so much noise on the bus from giddy passengers, and people on their cell phones ("I'm going to see the torch! What? I can't hear you?" BTW, if you can't hear the person on the other end of the phone, it doesn't help if you talk louder.)

See, I'm very irascible today. 

My morning radio show has turned into the Olympic broadcasting corporation. I now get Olympic weather, Olympic traffic reports, Olympic entertainment news, and news stories related to all things Olympic.  I can't listen to my morning radio show any more. There's no balance. So I shut it off. 

I was glad to hear that the protesters forced the torch to re-route. The protesters voices needed to be heard through the din of "Go Canada Go." Their voices are important! So far I've only heard news reports that talk about how disappointed the children were who lined up to see the torch. How about we get into the problems of massive homeless, mental health issues, and drug addiction of the downtown eastside? These issues also relate to the Olympics, so let's talk about them. With all of the money know where I'm going. Housing, healthcare, and social programs all need help in this province (as they do everywhere). 


Where do I stand? It might seem clear based on what I've written so far. Honestly though? I'm torn. I'm neither pro nor anti Olympics. What I really don't like is the corporate control of the Olympics. There's something about the willingness of people to let VANOC control what we can say or do that really makes me angry, and I find the whole "you're either with us or against us" attitude offensive (I've gotten this from both sides). People seem to want me to be one or the other. Do I have to be? I don't want to be. 

I do appreciate athletic achievement. I enjoy watching many sports. I don't care if Canada wins medals or not, I just like a good competition to be fairly played. I am going to a women's hockey game, and men's cross country skiing, but as a fan of sport, not as a fan of any particular country. I just can't wave the flag like that. I'm not looking forward to the circus of it all, but the events themselves I hope will be good. 


I think maybe it's time that the Olympics took some responsibility for what it does around the world (dumping debt on cities). Why can't the Olympics work with the host city (and its corporate sponsors) to resolve local problems instead of trying to sweep them from view? Why not make it a partnership of some kind? Why should the host city be forced into taking on all of the burden, and bending to the will of the Olympics? What if the IOC had to approach cities instead, and ask for their permission to hold their event there? Then they would have to make the deal sweet for the host city. 

It's just a thought.


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

You Are an Omelette

You are a light-hearted, roll with the punches type of person. You're open to the world around you.

You like to draw from many influences. You like to mix things up a lot, and variety inspires you.

You don't let much weigh you down. You have a sunny outlook that starts first thing in the morning and continues throughout your day.

Even if everything around you breaks down, you pick yourself right back up again. You are good at making do.
Blogthings: We Have a Quiz for Almost Everything

I found this via Wandering Coyote. Considering my last post, this seemed appropriate. It's a vegan omelette in the photo above of course. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

a whole lotta food

I was scanning through my ridiculous amount of food photos and couldn't leave out my cookies!

These are called Lazy Samoas from my favorite cookie book Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. What could make these cookies better?

Why chocolate, of course!

These were not only fun to make, but are also very tasty. They are chock full of toasted coconut (2 cups to be exact), dipped in chocolate, and then have a little more chocolate drizzled across the top. Since I used unsweetened coconut and dark vegan baking chocolate, they are not overly sweet.

Another success from our kitchen was inspired by our slow cooker. We got an awesome slow cooker with our rewards points. It's one with a timer that automatically switches into warm mode when it's done cooking Now that I'm working until 7 in the evening, and not getting home until 8, I can make something in the morning and let it slow cook all day.

This recipe is called "Almost Irish Stew" from my Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook, which actually is all vegan recipes.
I don't usually make stews, but this was flavourful and easy to put together. It's definitely a keeper.

Now onto brunch...

Sunday I made omelettes. Yes it's true, vegan omelettes are possible. I had a lot of silken tofu to use up, and I was planning on making a fritatta until I saw the omelette recipe in my Vegan Brunch book. It looked so easy, I had to try it.

I filled them with sauteed mushrooms and collard green. When I folded them together, I added a little Daiya cheese. They were delicious! They actually surpassed my expectations of tastiness.

I don't know what made me do it, but I cut of a corner and put it between two pieces of toast with some ketchup, making a little omelette sandwich. Then I remember the fried egg sandwiches my mom made me when I was a kid. I loved them. I had a nostalgic moment with this omelette sandwich as it tasted just like those sandwiches mom use to make me for a snack.

This is what comfort food is for me. It's nostalgia.