Sunday, September 25, 2005

The House Band in Hell

As a personal excercise in self-entertainment I spent my lunch hour imagining what the house band in hell would be like for me.

A few elements were pretty easy to imagine.

Start with Bob Marley. As his back-up singers he has those Scottish clods The Proclaimers.
His rhythm section is made up entirely by Linda McCartney.
And they only know two songs - both by Peter Frampton. They keep playing "Baby I Love Your Way" and threaten constantly to start playing "Show Me the Way."

Sound a little thin musically? Exactly.

The opening act would have been an All-Star jam with Pearl Jam, Springsteen, The Clash, REM, and The Police... and I missed it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

An End to this Mess

Mark Messier has retired.

He is my favourite player of all time. There are others who are close - ones who could surpass him even given more time. There was no way, so long as he kept playing that anyone would surpass him in my mind.

It was time. But it still saddens me. An era is over. I think that in the same way that the music of your college years tends to define your musical taste for life, the sports team of your adolescence (in this case the 80s Oilers) tends to define your concept of the best that ever played the game. That team is pretty much gone now. Sure, rookies are now the grizzled veterans, but the core of that team has hung up it's skates forever.

That makes me feel old.

I'll feel older when Trevor Linden retires. He's only a month older than me, and he's one of the few players that have any chance of passing Messier in my mind as my favourite. I suppose he's my favourite player now playing... although Stevie Y is way up there, I just haven't got a lot of faith in Yzerman's knees which makes it really hard to cannonize him.

Speaking of bad-knees... I once had a discussion with Mark Messier. It was when he was playing in Vancouver (Don't get me started. Those were bad times, but it wasn't Messier's fault.)

Mess was injured - his knee. He'd been our for a few weeks.

I was walking to work and I passed a restaurant downtown with a big window. Who was sitting having lunch, but Mark Messier. I stopped and looked. I mean, he is my favourite player right. I had to. But my look turned into a stare before I realized it. After a moment Mess turned and looked back. I realised that I was being rude and shook myself and went on, but then thought "Damn! This is Mark Messier!"

So I turned back and waved. He waved back. I pointed to my knee and made motions that I can only describe as 'questioning.' He made a 'so-so' gesture with his hand. I smiled and nodded and gave a quick salute 'bye.' He reciperocated and on I went with my day.

My other Messier story is from a game. A friend had tickets that he couldn't use. 3rd row, corner. The first and second rows were being used by the Pee-Wee teams that would eventually play during the second intermission, so they disappeared at the first break. The friend I brought and I moved up to the glass.
Early in the second period the game took a bad turn. It was a game against Phoenix, and it was back in the day when Vancouver still thought of Phoenix as their old Winnipeg Jets rival. Long story short, it was the roughest game I've ever seen, and it turned out to be the most penalized game of the season, the Canucks second most penalized ever.
In the 3rd, things were getting really brutal and both teams were absolutely furious. The puck got iced into the corner in front of us. Bob Corkum had the jump on Messier for the puck and beat him to it, keeping play alive, but Messier was right on top of him and nailed him. Hard. HARD. We practically jumped back to our original seats. We thought for sure Corkum was about to land in our laps. But at much as anything, what I recall is the infamous 'look.' It's not just a legend folks. It's real. Messier's eyes, when he is 'on' are terrifying. The intensity is... well there aren't words.

Thanks Mark.

I just pray that in the new NHL there will be some heroes who at least come close.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

When What Makes Most Sense Makes No Sense

Eden and I have been having a bad time recently.

She's already been married to a workaholic artist.

On paper she's the best girlfriend ever. But we just can't seem to meet in the middle. I can't change who I am and she can't handle the negative side of who I am. She's attracted to guys who are a lot like me. It's not like she'll be able to move on to someone else and avoid the problems that she's had with both Verne and I.

It's a bad place for her to be.

As for myself, I think she's awesome, but I get really weary of her analysing our relationship with her psychology degree, I also think she needs to just let me be who I am. Encourage me, but don't limit me. Work with me, not against me. When I say against, I don't mean that she tries to cause problems, but she doesn't always appreciate my methods for what they are. She also doesn't think we have similar long term goals. I think she's dead wrong there, I'm just not worried about them - they will come when they come and all I can deal with is what is in front of me.

She also compares where I am to Verne. Success and the path to it is a continuum, not an on/off switch. And I can only deal with things one step at a time.

We've been actively struggling for a while. Last night we decided to 'take a break.' Taking a break strikes me as an almost certainly deadly approach to releationship repair, but I really don't know what is left. We need to find out if we're miserable without one another. If we are, then we can make the necessary adjustments - we'll be clear on the need and the stake. But I haven't got high hopes.

'Trial separation' is synonymous with 'practice break-up.'

But it appears as though it's all we have left unless we want to start hating each other - and we like each other too much to risk that. We're just not that masochistic or foolish.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Rehearsal SWAT-ed Down

Yeah. What a fucking day.

I've told the story about two dozen times, including to the TV news by now. So I'm not going to get into it in detail.

But the other day, our rehearsal for Cosmic Banditos was busted by the Vancouver SWAT team. Fucking hell.

It falls into the category of 'funny, but not.' It was a bowel-loosening experience, and people laugh when I tell the tale, but I'm actually at the point where I found it more funny at the time.

I've got no issues with the cops (well, I did when I was younger, but I've out grown them) and they did their jobs well, but it's damned sobering to have a live machine gun trained on you.

What idiots we were.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Big Easy needs a Big Squeegie

I'm betting that The Tragically Hip are already sick of fielding meaningless questions about their fifteen year old break through hit.

Speaking of The Hip: Checkout this site with a nifty weekly podcast: Hipbase

Here's a pretty crazy blog from the newly re-located Gulf of Mexico.

There's also a local band who possibly have to reconsider thier moniker: Hurricane Kitty. I just tried to do a search for their web-site - one of the girls in the band is a good friend (she lives upstairs AND is stage manager of my Fringe show) and she mentioned the web-site last night. Can I find it? Nope.

Okay, but what I really wanted to mention... not an original thought, but worth bringing up, cause it's impact ought to be widespread:
How many DC-10s and other transport planes do the U.S Armed Forces have outside of the continental States right now in Iraq and Afganistan et al? Just think of how the awesome logisitical might of that could have evacuated a LOT of people who are now floating face down in the streets of New Orleans. Or of how many troops, deployed in Louisiana instead of the Middle East at this very moment could be having a clear and positive effect in both keeping the peace... snipers... I can't fucking fathom it... it obviously must seem like the end of the world down there - not to mention the additional effect more man-power would give rescue efforts.

Fucking America. Home first, the world, later.