Sunday, February 29, 2004

For those of you who haven't been over to Mike's blog lately, he's been getting all excited because his cousin might make him some specially designed tuques. Mike has drawn up designs for a transformers themed tuque and also a Strong Bad one. I personally like the Strong Bad one the best. And in an attempt to increase the popularity of these odd headpieces, Mike has done up some artist's renderings of how people would look wearing the hats. Here's what I would apparently look like:

I think I speak for everyone when I say, 'what a fine looking hat.'

Friday, February 27, 2004

:: Lucky 7 ::

People (read: Jeremy) have become antsy waiting for a new post, and really who can blame them? There's really not a lot to report. But even so, here's seven thoughts/ideas/observations I've had lately. Might not be the most interesting read ever, but hey, at least it's a new post. What can I say, I'm a crowd-pleaser.

1. Ken didn't get the job in Kamloops so I thought that would mean the paper wouldn't be editor-less, so I was kind of happy. Sad for Ken of course, but a little happy for me since it makes my life easier.

2. I still might end up editor-less. Ken found out he didnt get the job by 10 o'clock this morning. By noon he'd decided to apply to the daily paper in Grande Prairie. He just wants out, but I think I've mentioned that before.

3. It's now well known that both Ken and I want to leave. Why is it well known? It's well known because Jen (crazygirl) hassled the two of us about our "secret conferences" so we spilled the beans. Our co-workers have now figured out that when Ken says "Hey dude, come here for a minute" he really means "Come check out this job I found." They cracked our code. Also, we often print off job openings and then forget about them, leaving them to sit on the printer. But we still mostly blame Jen.

4. The laundry room in my building is always busy lately, except on Friday nights, I've discovered. I assume this is because everyone would rather spend their Friday nights partying, not separating whites from darks. Not me though, I just love it to death.
4a. I'm a big dork.

5. It snowed again here. Fuck.

6. I'm still planning on registering and making a website. I just don't know when. I'll get around to it eventually.

7. Jeremy told me once that I don't mention Grove enough on here, so I will now. Seems like there's a lot going on these past few weeks there: People having kids, People who can't get through the "force field" with their girlfriends despite having an entire week to do so, people who finally worked up the balls to break up with their girlfriends, people who seem to be happier, and certain people seem a lot grumpier - take the GP's off for Christ's sake fellas. Also some people have been working too much, and other people are looking for better jobs. And one person - Mr. Forbes - finally found a job, which is good, even if he is "the token white guy" and has to put up with the Deaner yapping about the Home and Garden Show all fucking day long. I feel your pain buddy. I really do.

That's it. And to all you people in Kamloops and Langley, listen up: If you happen to see a local sports reporter around your town, be sure to push him down some stairs or into a busy street. Then they'll have to go on medical leave because it's impossible to be a sports reporter with a broken leg, bruised sternum and a concussion. Then I can take their job. See? It all works out.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Deb: There's a lot people in my family back in Quebec into bad stuff. We've got alcoholics, drug dealers, drug addicts, gamblers.
Dayna: I think almost every family has a few people like that.
Deb: Oh no, this is way worse than the usual family.
Dayna: Oh, well that's nice to have that many addicts in the family.
Deb: Yep, when my family finds something we like we go full out. No messin' around.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

:: Tones of home ::

I have to be at work tomorrow by 7:30 a.m so I went to bed earlier than normal as a result. I'm sick and have that worn down feeling that comes with it so I fell asleep right away.

I had a real quick dream about I'm-not-sure-what but I was sitting on the backyard deck at my parent's house with Jeremy drinking beer. That's all I remember.

Now I can't sleep because I'm thinking about sitting on my back patio with Jeremy and drinking beer.

Did I mention I've got to work at 7:30?

Oh insomnia, how I've missed ye.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

:: Friday Five :: (on time!)

When was the last time you...

1. ...went to the doctor?
It was so long ago I can't even remember. It's been at least two years. Maybe longer.

2. ...went to the dentist?
Last year sometime maybe. Again, it's been awhile. But the last time I went it was actually a series of about 6 appointments to fix my teeth so that was plenty enough for me for awhile.

3. ...filled your gas tank?
A couple days ago, cost me $27.

4. enough sleep?

5. ...backed up your computer?
Uh, I haven't. Never a bad idea though I suppose.
In a work day that was so unproductive it could possibly rival all other unproductive days that came before it, a number of things happened that had me thinking.

First off, I realized that as far as my job is concerned, I just need to get calmed down a bit with regards to getting a better job. While I would, admittedly, like a different job, I started wondering why I suddenly was getting all flustered and rushed about it. The reason I came up with is this: Ken is probably leaving soon, and I'd just as soon not be here for the fallout. Also I hang out with Ken so often, his "gotta get out of this fucking town ASAP" has rubbed off on me a bit. But the reality is I have no real reason to be rushed.

Without going into detail, the aftermath of Kenny Mac's * exit might be a bit ugly. There will be no editor, It'll probably be a little more stressful, and now Ken wants to use his two-weeks vacation as his two weeks notice. Essentially, giving no notice. And I know how much Ken doesn't like it here. He'll go out with a bang, no doubt about it.

Anyway, those details aside, I decided not to let that bug me or rush me into doing something dumb like taking a stupid job I don't really want. If I'm here for the ugly aftermath, then so be it. It won't really be my concern if he leaves - I'm not the publisher, just a lowly sports guy after all. I'd just as soon not be here for the ugliness/confusion, but c'est la vie.

Secondly, I had/still have a moral dilemna to think about. I've been thinking of applying for the editor gig at the Omega. It would be a good job, probably a lot of fun, and it pays reasonably well I think. And on top of that its in Kamloops, a town I like quite a bit and is close to home. Also, if I do say so myself, I'd have a very good shot at getting the job. All good right?

Not really. I also found out that a couple friends of mine also want the job. Now, the absolute last thing I want to do is screw over one or both of my friends, especially Mike since I think he'd be especially good at the job. But is it right to bow out just because I know the competition?

On one hand, you don't want your friends to be pissed/angry/irked or upset with you. On the other hand, it's just business and may the best man win, right? Who the hell knows. I certainly don't know what to do.

It's just one of the things that bounced around my head during one of the most unproductive days of my working life. All that thinking about it, and chances are I won't even apply.

God I hope tomorrow is busier. An idle mind is a terrible thing sometimes.

* That's Ken's 'gangster name' after he read a daily deco on my cubicle wall and started calling me Nicky G all the time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Well I took Mike's advice from a few days back and but a web counter/tracker on this site so I could see how many people actually read this blog and where they come from. I get a lot more hits than I thought, although a few of them are from me checking back on things like comments and using the links, but still, more than I thought - about 40 a day.

It's been kind of fun seeing where people come from: Almost all came from the link on Mike's page, but one person came from Canucks Op-Ed where I'm linked. Also, it appears that my site is quite popular with the college crowd. So far there have been visits from three different universities -- first there was a visit from the delightful Sydney over at Kutztown U. (Pennsylvania), then there was Tufts University (Which I think is in or near Boston) and of course, your favourite and mine, UCC.

Yep, my blog is the destination of choose for the academic crowd. And Jeremy and Chris come here too, which balances it out. (Just kiddin' guys).

I just thought I'd share the info, since I think it's sort of cool.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

I'm sick of staring at the same almost-week-old post day after day, as I'm sure you are. But since there's nothing really blog-worthy going on in my life right now, I've decided to copy Mike and do the Friday Five It may be copying Mike, but that's ok. I mean, who doesn't want to be like Mike anyways?

Friday 5

1. Are you superstitious?
Yes, extremely. Most of which have their roots from my days playing sports.

2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
I can't really think of any that other people have done - except of course for the NHL Playoffs when players don't shave. (A task which me and Silv tried doing in last years playoffs, with mixed results...I think Silv is probably still trying to grow his. Mine didn't look to good either.)

3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition?
I like a lot of hockey superstitions -- guys who put their equipment on in the exact same order every game, players who have to hit all three posts in warmups, or my own superstition from my goaltending years: If I hadn't let in a goal yet and someone said the word 'shutout' I'd inevitably let in at least one goal by the end. It happened with amazing accuracy - once with 6 seconds left. If my mom heard someone in the stands from my team say the word, she'd get really mad at them so they'd realize what they had done. So the superstition, in a nutshell, No saying 'Shutout.'

4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
I have a lucky ball of used stick tape from a big winning streak I had when I was about 12 years-old. I still have it in a ball, and it while it may not be as lucky as it used to be, I still swear by it. I once brought it to a final exam with me. And my lucky number is 3. Almost every hockey season I tried to get a jersey number with 3 in it (especially 33 - doubly good!), unless it was a year where goalies were stuck with #1 (also a good number though).

5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
I usually don't, although on occasion the horoscopes are bang-on accurate. I'm an Aries, for those who care.

*note: These questions made me realize how crazy I am with all these superstitions. I blame the old stereotype: That goalies are crazy and are supposed to be flakes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

:: Surprise, surprise ::

Today when I came into work I was fully expecting at least one voicemail message or email complaining about me sticking it to the referees again, so it was with great dread that I pushed the blinking voicemail light on my phone. But what I heard was not a complaint, in fact it was a very nice compliment. It was quite a surprise.

Stan is a guy I know in town, his two sons play about every sport imaginable so I see him all the time. This week I wrote a story about his oldest son Curtis and Curtis' best friend, Reuban.

He said it was very well-written, and it was very nice to see a story not just about Curtis, but about his friend too. He also thanked me for writing it.

Before the story even got published I told everyone it was my favourite, and probably the best one I'd written since I'd got here. It's kind of nice that other people realize it to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

:: Why I love Alberta ::

I just found out that Monday is some kind of provincial holiday - called Family Day. I'd never heard of it before, but any reason for a day off is good in my books.

And you all thought I had nothing nice to say about this province.

Monday, February 09, 2004

:: The Last Word ::

pre-emptive note to those concerned: This is not a complaint, merely an observation. Cool your jets.

I realized today why I get so frustrated with people at work. Not the people I work with mind you, although they have their moments, but I'm talking about various people in the community who call and complain, email and complain, or see me at Subway and complain. The reason is, I like to have the last word, and this should come as no surprise to those who have read the epic Yahoo Hockey Pool message boards battles between Mike and I, or for those of you who have known me for more than 20 seconds.

Me and Ken were talking the other day about how newspapers are the only business that not only encourages criticism in the form of letters to the editor, but actually publishes these same complaints for all to see. I highly doubt that ol' Handeep at the Quickie Mart would ever post a sign on his door saying "Sorry about last weeks beef jerky, it was accidently mixed with arsenic. Our apologies, please come again."

But newspapers essentially do this, and what frustrates me is that I, as a journalist have very little recourse except to take the complaint, however ridiculous, in stride. Over the past couple years I've tried very hard to let things roll of my back, and I can actually do it very well. These angry complaints don't really make me mad, but they are certainly frustrating.

I'm talking about this today because this week I recieved two strongly worded, quite insulting, letters to the editor regarding my apparent "abuse" of the referees in this town. Keep in mind my "Abuse" wasn't exactly some vicious personal attack, I simply questioned a few calls in my weekly column. And from what I heard around the rink and on local radio, I wasn't the only one doing so.

Anyways, back to my original point. These people who write in are allowed to be as angry and insulting as they'd like, and I can do, for the most part, nothing. Although recently I have been using my column to take a few "pot shots" at those complainers, and this week I did the same - defending myself against these refs. So I can do that. But my "defence" in the column is not at all what I would like to say. Not even close. But it's the best I can do because, unlike these angry people, I'm a professional and I have to have restraint.

Also I have two bosses who have to approve my angry retorts.

Now I like to think of myself as a fairly smart, quick-thinking, witty guy, capable of winning my fair share of arguments with people, especially the people in this town. If i were arguing with them on the street I'd be pretty relentless, and it's damn frustrating not to be able to do that. Not in print. Not when people call me to bitch. Never.

I mean, I can take criticism and complaints when it's warranted, but the people in this town, for the most part, haven't a clue what goes on in a newspaper and what I am and am not capable of reporting and covering, and not having the option of telling them to "Take a flying fucking leap" is a real nuisance and it makes me wonder how much of a passive agressive pushover I'll have to become before I can be a successful sports writer in the eyes of the public.

Not that I really need the public's approval in this town, because they're ALL IDIOTS!!

That's right - idiots. Take that people!

Phew, boy that felt good.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Mike informs me that my previous drunken post was boring, and while it's true that it wasn't full of drunken rambling and funny stories, I was almost too wasted to read the screen, so I think any post, however boring, was quite an accomplishment.

Anyways, in any event, when I woke up this morning, Chris filled me in on what went on during the night.

When we got home the plan was to keep on drinking, since we had some beer in the fridge. Well I was on the computer for a minute writing the 'boring' post and talking to mike for a minute, and when I turned around to see if Chris had gotten any beer, I found him in his underwear face down on the air mattress. So I decided to call it a night too, and after passing out at the computer briefly I made my way to my bed.

In the morning I woke up and immediately made a run for the bathroom since I was feeling pretty sick, and when I left to go back to bed I noticed the air mattress was gone and Chris was on the couch. So I asked him what happened, and he just said there "was an incident."

Here's what happened: Chris woke up sometime in the middle of the night because he was puking - on the air mattress and one of his blankets. So clearly he couldn't sleep there anymore, so instead of just cleaning up a bit and dealing with it in the morning he decided to go down to the laundry room and wash the blankets. So, still shitfaced and in his underwear he traipsed down the hallway with his blankets, but he went to the wrong side of the building and sat on the stairs, convinced that someone had "stolen the laundry room." So eventually he made it back inside, where he decided, since the laundry room had been commandeered, he'd just wash them himself, so he tossed everything in the shower and turned it on, then decided to stand in the shower too, still in his clothes. He woke up in the morning, on the couch, wearing different clothes obviously because his other ones were soaking wet.

Just a funny story I thought some might like.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Me and Chris are in the process of our big drunken blowout right now. We started drinking about 5:30, and then headed to Boston Pizza at 7:00 to meet Ken and Jessica. We hung out there for awhile, drinking and eating dinner, before we decided it was time to head 'er on over to the Moon Saloon. So we did.

The bar was pretty empty, but they had pitchers of highballs for 3 dollars. Yes, PITCHERS. It was fucking awesome.

So here we sit, drunk out of our fucking trees, drinking some more beer we had leftover from earlier in the week, drunk out of our minds. We've each had 4-5 pitchers of rye (12-15 drinks) plus a few single highballs, plus two shots of tequila. Plus the beer we drank beforehand at BP and home.

Man, is being drunk ever sweet.

Drinking with Chris is fuckin' sweet. That is all I have to report.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

:: Chris was a little bored today ::

Today I had to work a full day, so Chris was left to amuse himself. So he did some serious wandering. He came and visited me at work for a few minutes, but before he did that he visited: the sex store (Where they apparently sell inflatable cows with 'real life moo sounds'"), then he got a little bit more bored, so he went to the liquor store at the McNamara Hotel, which is the hotel everyone tells everyone to stay away from. So he bought a mickey of vodka, walked to the gas station and bought some orange juice, then went to a hotel on the main street and mixed up some screwdrivers in the bathroom.

Yep, he was bored.

Then, he tells me, he wanted to get even more buzzed so he came back to my place and instead of drinking a beer at a leisurely pace, he shotgunned it. Just because.

"I just wanted to go sober -- drunk. I didn't want that transition period." - Chris

Then he met some weird crackheads near the gas station. A fitting end to an...interesting day.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

I was doing my usual internet browsing, and I checked out Canucks Op-Ed as I often do. What I noticed this time though, is that I'm listed in their links, which, quite honestly, surprised the shit of me. I glad they think my blog is good enough to be linked to them, but I am a little baffled as to what drew them to the site - I always figured if you didn't live in Kamloops or Langley, or didn't otherwise know me, you wouldn't care, but apparently I thought wrong. I guess this confirms what I've said for years - I'm awesome.

I'm sure there are those who disagree, but I'm still happy to be linked to by a site like Op-Ed. It's a proud day for "In the Loop."

In other news...

As many of you know, Chris is visiting me this week. Tonight, we've been doing some drinking. Since 5'oclock. And, after Chris shotgunned a beer, he thought of something: I'm the first person to shotgun a beer in this apartment since you've moved here!

So in honour of this "momentous" occasion, Chris felt it necessary to put his shotgunned can on display on the really high shelf in my kitchen. Then he fell down. The following two pictures are the proof. (and yes, he's wearing lohnjohns, which makes it even more comical. He's cold though.)

Chris - happy, excited, proud...

Chris, falling to his doom.

Chris: She was a butter ("but-her") face.
Nick: She was also a butter ass, butter legs and butter boobs.
Chris: But....

Chris, applying the "Within reason....but not really" principle that we came up with in Merritt last summer while talking about this skanky girl Jill we met once in Grove last Canada Day.
Me: What are you going to take a picture of?
Ken: I gotta go to some stupid place to take a picture of some stupid people doing something stupid. You know, the usual — stupid.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Just like I predicted a few posts back, the New England Patriots beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl by three points on a clutch, last second field goal by Adam Vinatieri. The lesson here? I'm always right.