Much great kerfuffle has happened in the last 17 days, not the least of which was The Great Hyperbole that took place in Vancouver and Whistler. Canada, of course, won several medals, including a record haul of 14 golds - including Alex Bilodeau1, Jon Montgomery2, the women's3 and men's4 hockey teams, and many others that will probably get sort of forgotten because there isn't an interesting trivia tidbit to go with their win.
The Games were also notable for their attachment to pseudo-aboriginal themes5, Dale Begg-Smith being a dick6, Norwegian pants, constant Celine Dion updates7, the TSN-CTV-Sportsnet media consortium personalities not attempting to kill one another, and Brian Williams holding it all together with his bland, monotone style of grandfatherly anchorage.
Canadian women's hockey team members celebrating after winning gold
Begg-Smith is the Captain Smiley on the left
Words can do no justice
Vaguely Native Totem Poles
There were, of course, many more things to talk about, and many victories to celebrate, but not even these "Once in a Lifetime"8 Games could make me care all that much about the Olympics. I have great difficulty with the pomp and circumstance, hyperbole and hypocrisy, and general disdain for anything below ultra-nationalist bravado that the Olympics brings. I enjoyed watching a few of the events, but I don't think the fact that they were in Vancouver made me enjoy them any more or less than I would have had they been anywhere else. Perhaps it was just the pervasive nature of the all-Olympics channels that made everyone feel as though they enjoyed it more.
But, on to other things.
Meaghan and I took an overnight trip to Buffalo on family day weekend. We chose to go overnight due to the problems encountered last time. We took much advantage of some monumental sales, not the least of which was the closing of the giant FYE, in which we spent two hours, picking through the rubble of a week-long 50% off sale. The final tally amounted to about $150 worth of stuff for just under $70 in DVDs, CDs, and other random crap that they had. I also danced around like the young person in the proverbial candy store at the Under Armour outlet, and Meaghan laid a hefty assault on Walden Galleria, Target, and Big Lots!. Many good times were had, many delicacies savoured (like wrong American ketchup), and we were allowed re-entry into the country with minimal fuss.
We ventured to see Shutter Island, of which I am yet to form a cohesive or long-lived opinion. Were I a betting man, I would not know where to put the "Smart Money": it was either another excellent partnership between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese, or a waste of 138 minutes that was under the impression that it was another excellent partnership between Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorcese.
It has a very "Gotcha" twist ending, and the twists and turns throughout are, depending on my mood, either so hackneyed they spoil the movie, or so hackneyed they manage to come full circle and be good again. I think that under any hand other than Scorcese's (say, M. Night "What a Twist!" Shyamalan) the film would have simply collapsed under its own weight, but he handles it in a very un-self important way, and it comes out alright in the end. As I write this, I believe I've convinced myself it was a good film, and not one that needs to feel my wrath in future self-referential prose. Valentine's Day, on the other hand...
In final update-y news, Meaghan and I have crossed the one-year barrier, we are planning a baseball-centric road trip for the late summer, I've got a bomb-diggity bachelor party idea for Ben about which he doesn't get to find out ahead of time, I will hopefully hear by the end of the week whether I will have another job lined up at Laurier once the current one expires, and we're going to see Alice in Wonderland in glorious, creepy IMAX on Friday.
Alright, back to work. I believe in the power of you and me.
1 - The first Canadian to win gold on home soil
2 - The first Canadian to win gold and proceed to chug a beer
3 - The first Canadians to win gold, chug a beer, and get in trouble for it
4 - The first Canadians to win a gold we really cared about. Don't believe me? Why do you think hockey was the last event
5 - Despite an even more notable lack of any aboriginal athletes
6 - He dares, despite Canadian birth, to perform for Australia, despite Canada's long history of athletes doing the same thing for our benefit. But, in reality, he seems like a giant douche and even the Aussies hate him
7 - Which ultimately amounted to "She's not coming". She did call Joannie Rochette, though
8 - Despite the 3 Olympics that have been held in under 40 years, so it's not even quite "Once in a generation"