Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Playing the Odds

**backdated AGAIN :)**

Changes in routine screw with everything. I usually take the daily t-shirt picture with my phone when I pick it out in the morning and then get dressed and get going. Today's routine changed because I had to pack a change of "teacher" clothes for parent-teacher interviews this afternoon and I got dressed faster than usual, forgetting to take the picture first. And since I maintain that this blog is not meant to be a vehicle for me to post pictures of my clothed chest online, here you get the first picture of a daily tee taken while at work (after I'd changed into my "teacher" clothes.

Shirt is yet another giftie from Kerri

I was aiming for the double entendre when I came up with my title today. ***Might've ended up with a triple.

The obvious reference is to The Hunger Games wherein the competitors are wished "May the odds be ever in your favour!" before being carted off to a "last one standing" melee to the death. It's like Survivor on acid - gladiator battles for the glory of a conquering entity, The Capitol. The books are a popular and not badly written trilogy. My favourite part, the epilogue of the concluding novel, is most people's least favourite but I maintain that even if a lot of the plot suspiciously shadowed that of Battle Royale, even if the movie adaptation took all the "hunger" out of the Games (and the casting was spotty), and even if the second book was mostly rehash and angsty filler, I will always promote Collins as a solid author for her respect for the trauma the protagonist undergoes and her understanding that "happily ever after" might not mean being happy every day onwards. Odds are, in my opinion, that the happiest moments in people's lives are times of ignorant bliss not mindful connectiveness and that's because connectiveness means recognizing the dark, the ill, the painful parts of one's heart and memory. What the characters in The Hunger Games go through cannot be healed without suffering.

The second original meaning to the title is a personal and localized reference to the CBC Food Bank Fundraiser last Friday held in Vancouver for the municipal Food Banks all around the province. The house band was local rock stars, The Odds. I honestly had never heard of The Odds until I moved to Vancouver for university in the 90s and my first experience with them was when I waitressed at the UBC night club, The Pit Pub, and they played a rare concert (possibly a one-off reunion gig since I believe that it was during their "hiatus" period) where I remember I set my personal record for tips for the entirety of my (relatively short) waitressing career. The clientele that night were a different set of folks from the usual broke undergrads that hung out at The Pit. They were mostly young professionals who had forgotten that beer on campus is FIVE dollars not FIFTEEN dollars a pitcher. Thanks to The Odds and their fans, I was able to invest in my first and only pair of leather pants. (Those sort of helped with the tips for a while afterwards too.) 

The Odds were a great house band for the CBC fundraiser last week and, as many local businesses were coming forward with "incentive items" to encourage donations, they decided on the spur of the moment to donate a house concert to a pledge contributor in the Greater Vancouver area. Their only contract rider? The winning contributor must provide beer and a ride home for the band. (It tickles my sense of humour that their rider includes an actual ride.) I tweeted the sentiment at the band's Twitter account and the response came back: "now everybody knows about our rider. Secrets out. We're simple people."

***sheesh, I just noticed that I went from the Hunger Games to a Food Bank fundraiser in the same post. Not intentional but kind of neat still***

***When I came back to finish up this post, I realized playing the odds in life can also result in those happy accidents - times when you beat "the odds", achieve the improbable, or stumble into genius. I attended a lovely event in Coquitlam last Sunday night hosted by a childhood friend who is deeply involved in her church and community. Sat across from me was another one of my elementary school classmates whom I hadn't seen since our undergrad days at UBC. She is a mother of FIVE. Five babies in eight years and all of them delivered by caesarian section. Talk about beating the odds. One of our other classmates who wasn't in attendance is a mother of four and that's after recovering from severe anorexia in high school and suffering several miscarriages after getting married as her body fought to get healthy enough to have a child. Another odds beater. And our hostess on Sunday night is expecting HER fourth in April. Really, what are the odds in this day and age that I could have three classmates who, between them, could field a football team of their children. After April, they could even pass for a Saskatchewan Grey Cup team. ;)

I have a student in one of my classes who is one of a set of triplets. Well, technically, she's a twin twice. She has one identical twin and one fraternal twin. They just happened to all be born at the same time. Now someone, get me the Math on that! Seriously.

These are not my students