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Last year a friend asked if I wanted to volunteer for a Vancouver event that helps deserving secondary grads that can’t quite swing the “costuming” aspect of the event. It’s called the Cinderella Project, and yesterday was my second year volunteering as what I like to call a “bird”… although I’m probably the only one that thinks of us that way. You remember in the Cinderella cartoon, where all the little birds flit around her and sew her dress and fix her hair, etc….

I worked with a team of seasoned costume/fashion construction experts. There were about 8 or 9 of us there in the alterations department. The girls would come up one at a time, Deb would do the fitting of the dress and make notes. The dress would then be altered and hung up on a rack where the girl and her fairy godmother would pick it up.

Here I am... looks like I'm just standing around watching Mel work... I'm sure that wasn't what I was doing....

Maybe this was taken just after I melted a hole in that red dress hem with the incredibly hot iron…… I do look rather worried! That was last year. I didn’t burn any dresses this year!

This is a huge event and these kids literally get outfitted from head to toe…. hair cuts/styles, make-up, undergarments, dresses, tuxes, shoes, and accessories.

Then they get a professional picture taken. I don’t get to see many of the guys, because I’m doing the dress alterations, but, the girls are so happy, they glow.

It’s a really rewarding event for everyone that get’s involved. I will be doing it again next year.

There was so much negativity whirling around the whole idea of the Olympics here in Vancouver, that as it approached most people took on a typical “what will be, will be” attitude. Now that it’s finished, I can say with pride that Vancouver did a really fantastic job as a host city! Everything about our fine city was just…. well…. better, during the games. Traffic flowed quite well as did the beer and the people that filled the streets and venues. Wonderful art exhibits and performers were all over the place and the atmosphere was electric. But, what really clenched the games for me was the closing day. Imagine me, the hockey antagonist, getting up early on Sunday morning in order to claim my stool at the local pub! It just doesn’t get stranger than that!  And I had fun…. I even followed the game… took the utmost in concentration after the 3 pints, or was it 4?, but, I did it….. It was a great game and something to be proud of as a Canadian. It was really cool after the final goal when the whole pub broke into singing “Oh Canada”…. brought tears to my eyes.  And 14 Gold Medals! Wow…. Good going Canada! …now…. you deserve to be able to show off those giant beavers and moose!

I’m really looking forward to the Paralympic Winter Games! March 12-21  2010         Maybe I’ll even try to catch a sledge hockey game! Wheelchair Curling sounds amazing too.

For those of you who don’t know, Sueltas is a type of Cuban Salsa.  I made my way downtown tonight after working my 10 hour day, sewing multiples of a coat for a TV show filmed here in Vancouver. First I had to drive from NorthVancouver, where I was working to one of the Burnaby skytrain stations. I headed for the one at the mall that was fairly close to the grocery store, parked and jumped on the train. My dance class is downtown, and because this is the opening week of the 2010 Olympics here, there is no point in driving downtown…. there’s no where to park and many of the main arteries into the city are closed to us locals. Got off the train at Granville and walked the 6 blocks to class. The city has a real Carnival air to it and it was really fun seeing how busy it was down there for a Tuesday night. Lots of improvements to the Granville St. Mall and many art instalments as well. Sueltas was even better than usual as many people didn’t make the trek down there, so the people that showed up got extra attention in class. We were working on shoulder shakes will walking. Much more difficult than it sounds, especially for anyone with coordination issues….. lets just say…. if you can’t pat your stomach while you’re rubbing your head…. well, you would then be in the same boat as I am! My teacher Chen Lizra made it look sooooo easy!!!

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