Smiling at Strangers











I get that a pageant is something that is a whole lot more interesting to the competitors and their families and girls under the age of 12 than it is to…. everyone else. So I will keep this brief. And include a lot of pictures (ganked without permission off of facebook), because that’s always a sure-fire way of keeping attention.

This is just one of the many interesting pictures that came up when I googled "attention grabbing"

Attention kept? Good. So, as I ended my previous post with, I arrived at the Sandman at 2 in the morning, slept, got downstairs to the conference room on time, which was difficult, because the Sandman in Kelowna has a layout like… like… The Enterprise or something. It wasn’t just straight up-and-down like regular hotels; multiple staircases from the first floor led up to the third with no stops in-between; some staircases were hidden behind doors… I can’t even properly describe the confusion that was that hotel’s architecture. Oh yes, and it had no elevators.

It also lacked the convenience of teleporters.

So, 32 girls converged in the conference room, myself included, and we gabbed and introduced ourselves to each other and shared our platforms. Strangely enough, another contestant who was now from Williams Lake originally grew up in the same hometown as me, and we had even worked together in theatre for a year. I had always gotten the feeling she wasn’t too fond of me, and I worried that she would snub me at the competition, but luckily I was wrong there. In fact, I was quite struck by how nice everyone was; there were no catty attitudes or snobbery from anyone, at any point. It could all have been a facade, of course, but it was a very well-done and comforting facade, in that case. Anyway, I was sincere. I’m just a nice person.

On that first day, after we’d all become acquainted with each other, the work consisted of learning… well, watch the video on youtube of what I learned, if you’re interested. The model walk, stance, and turn, basically. Fun stuff. Impractical, but fun.

I know. I’ve never seen a sexier thumbnail either.

Then we had our interviews with the judges (where they did not ask me any of the questions I’d been told to prepare D:), we  in front of them in swimsuits and mine rode up my bum, and that ended the first day! The second day was basically a bit more dance rehearsal, and then hours and hours preparing for the show. It took so long due to the limited number of hair stylists and the extravagant demands of each contestant… those selfish jerks. (Mine was one of the most elaborate, haha. I didn’t want it to be! My stylist just misunderstood me.)

I am going to tell you right now that I single-handedly saved the dance, from backstage. It would have ended in confusion and muddlement and complete not-in-synch-ness were it not for me. I exaggerate 0%. We danced to Lady Gaga’s “Lovegame” (that’s family friendly for you >.>), and due to its repetition the choreographer didn’t seem to understand why we would never end on the same part in run-throughs of the dance. It was because he was simply going by the 1-2-3-4 beat and not paying enough attention to what part of the song it was. Namely, the exact moment where the discrepancy most commonly occurred was the last chorus before Gaga goes “I can see you staring there, from across the block, with a smile on your mouth and your hand on your huh!” Sometimes Shaun (choreographer) would cue us in on the first time the chorus came in there, and sometimes he would cue us in on the second repeat. And the reason this happened was right before that there was a transition, as a group of girls came onstage and took position, and this would take a varying amount of time. As luck would have it, I was in that group. Unluckily, though, I wasn’t the one leading that group. Anyway, this is a bit difficult to explain through writing, but the short and short of it was, I figured out that if we just delayed our coming onstage a tiny bit, we would have no choice but to wait to start dancing on the repeat of the chorus, and not the first time it happened (which would let us end on the proper time). So, I was backstage, and my group was there, all antsing to march onstage and do our stuff. So, performance night, the lead girl started marching to the stage too early…BUT. We were equipped with canes. Excellent props for my purposes. I whipped mine out in front of her and blocked her way, and went “NOT YET.” She fought me, because she though I was being a controlling, panicking Nazi in velvet, but by the time she had knocked my cane aside, we had delayed long enough anyway. And thus the dance went perfectly.

If anyone had just recognized that I had literally saved that show from being a humiliating disaster, I’m sure I would have gone on to nationals…. but never mind.

Right-o. Welp. Here’s some pictures. And by now, what with people in real life constantly asking me how the pageant went, I’m a little sick of it now, to tell the truth. Serves me right for taking so long to blog about it. So, pics and then it’s the end of the whole shebang.

The stunning girl in light blue? Yeah. She won. I can't even hate her for it, because she was one of my very favourites. She's hilarious.

Sadly, all the pictures taken of the dance are terrible quality. This one was the best. I black-and-whited it because, honestly, we were in top hats and canes. We needed black and white. Also, I am the one farthest right. My dress rules.

Group photo! The super-blonde in the front row was my other favourite other-contestant. 🙂

Alex and me...

And Mary and me!

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{February 23, 2010}   Tiara-less Tab, part one: Greyhound

Gooood morning, world! What a crazy weekend. The verdict is already in the title (I didn’t make it to the national round), but I’m still going to give the details of the event. And the events leading to the event.

It was complete hell getting from Vancouver to Kelowna; even worse than the return trip of Kelowna to Victoria, even though the return was twice as much distance. As I may have posted before, I spent the few days leading up to the pageant at a friend’s house in Vancouver; on Friday, she drove me to the Skytrain in Surrey and I was on my way to the greyhound depot, where I was to arrive at 11:30 to pick up my ticket an hour early for the 12:30 bus. On the Skytrain, I realized that I didn’t know where the bus depot was. That was a small problem. But only small, I thought, because here I am on a bus full of Vancouver residents who will be able to help me.

Wrong. The Olympics had drained all local existence from Vancouver, and everyone I spoke to on the bus either said, “Sorry, I’m not from here,” or “я не говорю английскую язык” or something to that effect. Now, despite what a great many people will tell you, I am not incredibly hopeless with directions and finding my way around cities, but I’m going to tell you the address I had from the greyhound website, and let’s see if YOU can make a great deal of sense out of it.

MAIN TERM

1150 STATION ST

PACIFIC CENT STA, RAIL 1

VANCOUVER, BC

I eventually gleaned little bits of helpful information from a number of people who seemed to have some minimalistic knowledge of Vancouver, and that would have been great if they hadn’t all contradicted. “Oh, so, the main terminal,” said one lady. “That would be right here,” And she pointed at the rail map on the train where one terminal was labeled “MAIN/SCIENCE WORLD”.

“That’s what I thought,” I told her, “But then what’s this ‘Pacific Centre’ part about?”

Well, she didn’t know. So I asked another girl, who said “Oh, the Pacific Centre is in Granville. So get off in Granville. The ‘main’ just means the main terminal in Granville.”

She seemed quite sure of herself. Another lady, however, seemed equally sure of herself when she said “There’s a big bus depot at the MAIN/SCIENCE WORLD terminal; that must be it. It’s on Terminal Avenue.”

“Are you sure it’s not Station Street?” I asked.

“Yup. Terminal Avenue.”

So, I ended up going to the Granville station, because even though a “big bus depot” definitely sounded like what I was looking for, I was definitely not searching for Terminal Avenue.

Especially if it was like this.

And if you’re a Vancouver resident who happens to be reading this, you’ve probably got your palm in your face by now, because Granville was definitely not the right station. (But if you’re a Vancouver resident who happens to be reading this, I’ve got a personal grudge against you for not being on the Skytrain at 11:00 on February 19th.) And by time I got there, it was 11:30 and I was supposed to be picking up my ticket at that moment.

I dithered about helplessly for a few minutes, standing outside on the street that was not Station, with my 46 lb luggage in one hand that I had just hauled up a great number of stairs, and then resignedly trudged back down and took the next Skytrain to Main. Applause, applause, it was the right one. But when I got there it was quarter after 12, and by the time I got to the front of the line at the ticket booth, it was 12:30 and my bus was just leaving. I woefully told the ticket lady that “I guess I have to buy a ticket for the next greyhound to Kelowna,” and she kindly informed me that it was okay; tickets can be transfered to the next bus time free of charge. The next bus was at 2:15. That was the first wonderful news of the day. No matter that I would get to my hotel at 9:00 rather than 7:00; at least I wasn’t going to have to fork over another $100 dollars for a new ticket like I’d thought. Oh happy day!

So I hung around until 1:45, then went through security and showed my ticket to the guard. He said, “Ok, terminal tirteen.”

“15?” I asked, mishearing (he had an accent).

“Tirteen. One-tree.”

So off I went, and waited at Terminal Tirteen for half an hour. Then another half an hour. More people showed up and lined up behind me. No bus appeared. But more people were coming. There must have been a delay, I thought, and I stuck it out. Finally, at 20 after 3, a bus pulled in and we were herded towards it. At the booth by the front of the bus, the lady asked me where I was going. “Kelowna,” I said. “You’re on the wrong bus,” she said. “WHAT,” I said. “That was at 2:15. Terminal 21,” she said.

I stormed over to the security guards where I, for the first time in my entire life, got angry at a stranger. I’ve been furious in public before, with family members usually, but sometimes with strangers. But I’ve always been polite and figured, well, everyone makes mistakes. But I had just stood waiting, in the cold, for a bus that was already putting me behind schedule as it was. I know Miss Teen Canada should always be graceful and composed. But I was not. “YOU TOLD ME TERMINAL THIRTEEN,” I yelled when I was 7 inches from his face. “I just waited for over an hour for the WRONG BUS! I told you I was going to KELOWNA!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Miss,” he replied. “The next bus is at 6:00. There is nothing I can do. The bus to Kelowna has left.”

Oh, really? It had? Thanks.

Six o’clock. Well, I wasn’t about to believe his word so readily this time, but unfortunately, he was right about the time of the next bus. I trudged back into the depot and sat in a corner and cried for 5 minutes. It sounds pathetic on here, but this was actually a much bigger problem than mere inconvenience and infuriating employees. You see, the Sandman where I was supposed to be staying had a check-in time of midnight. Taking a bus at 6:00 would get me to Kelowna at just a bit after midnight, and by the time I got to the hotel from the Greyhound, it would certainly be too late to check in. I have no friends or family in Kelowna, and I had very little money left at this point to just book a room in some other motel or hotel. I was panicking. I had no internet, and my phone was dead (I lost my charger), and here I was, stranded in the Vancouver bus station wondering if I was going to have to sleep in a Salvation Army that night.

If I had a REAL greyhound to ride, I would have been there in no time at all.

I got myself together after the few minutes of indulging in self-pity and anxiety, and since I had some time to spare, I went and searched for an internet cafe. I paid 5 dollars for half an hour, and I wrote to the director of the pageant, who I hoped was already in Kelowna and could help me. And… well, she saved me. “I’ll tell them you can’t check in and sort it out. Ryan will pick you up from the bus depot when you arrive.”

I felt like she was already judging me on my helplessness, but I accepted gratefully. And so I made it to Kelowna and got to my lodging safely in the end, at 2:00 in the morning. I got five hours of sleep before the first big day of training for the pageant. But at least I got there.



{February 17, 2010}   The Rapture of Rapture

Well, I leave tomorrow for Vancouver, where I am staying for a few days with a friend, and then on Friday it’s off to Kelowna for the provincial Miss Teen Canada – World competition. I should be doing my last minute laundry, packing, preparing some little speeches and researching my platform (also practicing piano because I have a concert in a month, but that’s another story), but instead I can’t stop playing Bioshock 2.

Pictured: Beautiful love.

You know how the reviews all said “It’s a good game, but rapture has lost its sense of wonder because you’ve been there before”? LIES. Rapture has not lost its wonder at all. Yes, it is still Rapture, but it’s different parts of Rapture. No, you will never again feel the shock of when your bathysphere first gave you the opening view of the underwater city, but in the first Bioshock you never gasped and instinctively held your breath because the glass between you and the entire ocean has just shattered and you’re now being tumbled through a mass of bubbles and debris. The ability to walk outside of the buildings in the open ocean is incredibly satisfying, there are new places that keep the atmosphere tense and surprising despite you being in the same overall environment (puppet shop, anyone? Eeeek.), and the level design is masterful. There are new plasmids and new creatures to fight (the Big Sisters’ shrieks are the sound of hell itself), and the game Now Comes With Multiplayer!….what more could you want?

I’m supposed to beat the game by tonight so Jarrett can trade it in for Heavy Rain on the release date, because we’re both super excited about that one too (SUPER excited)… but I dunno if it’s gonna happen. There’s just so much to explore. So many audio diaries to read. So many splicers to shank.

Speaking of which, why am I still here?



et cetera