Tuesday, June 10, 2008

:: The inevitable end of Captain Canuck ::

You knew it was coming.

You knew it was coming the first time he sat in the press box for more than two games in a row. You knew it was a foregone conclusion each time a reporter asked him how he felt about his limited role, and he refused to complain, instead saying something classier - some variation of "That's just hockey," or "He's the coach, he makes the decisions," or "I'm just here to help out anyway I can."

You knew it every time a newspaper reporter wrote a mid-season obituary opining on what he'll do after he leaves the ice for the last time. Or every time a television or radio broadcaster said that whatever it was he'd just done was "maybe the last time he'll score a goal/get an assist/get a penalty/get a standing ovation/yell at a referee" in his long, storied career.

And you knew it for sure when his parents showed up to see his last game. Or when the entire Calgary Flames team returned to the ice after the final whistle to shake his hand, which is still one of the most touching, classiest things I've ever witnessed in all my years watching sports.

And then, after it all, there was his victory lap around the rink - the one accompanied by a standing ovation that seemed to last longer than the game itself, the cheers echoing down every hallway of the rink he helped fill.

You just knew.

But sometimes it's hard to let go, so deep down - far past the little, common-sense voice in your head that says, "It's over," you tried to convince youself that maybe it wasn't over after all. Maybe, just maybe, he'd come back.

Alas, it isn't to be.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 11, at 11 a.m., 18 years and 1,382 games after he arrived, Trevor Linden is retiring.

Not unexpected, of course, and deep down, you know it's the right time to say goodbye.

Doesn't make it any easier though, now that's it's for real.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

(Editor's note: Some of these quotes are really old)

"This is not good, having the two people with the sickest senses of humour on opposite sides of the room. The rest of you are sandwiched between our filth." - Kristyl, at work.

"Nobody gives a blowjob to a gimp." - Bucholtz

"I'd fuck a 15-year-old." - Brian

Me: Where's Brad?
Buchs: Killed him.
Me: Oh, that sucks. I guess he cheated death once already, so it must've been his time.
Buch: Yep, he is not a cat.

"When I die, if it's before you, I'm gonna come back as a ghost and dance with my balls in your face.... Seriously, if I die before anyone - balls in the face!" - Ian, shitfaced.

"I find it hard to believe that someone as attractive as myself would go untouched by aliens." - Ian again, same night.

"The trouble is that there's no natural selection anymore. That's the end of the human race right there!" - Ian. (Sensing a pattern here?)

"Fuck I don't like midgets. Drink some fucking milk!" - Buchs

"I don't imagine there is any religious figure out there who would marry me and Kyle, so it looks like one day it'll be justice of the peace for us." - Amanda, a dirty, dirty sinner.

Amanda: Should we call a cab?
Ian: Can you call a beat-it factory?

"I'd GHB the fuck out of this place!" - some random guy at the Daniel Wesley show, after his buddy in the beer line pointed out the abundance of hot women in the bar.

:: Graduation ::

Right now, I'm sitting in my living room, eating a grilled cheese sandwich, while idly flicking channels on my TV. Twenty miles or so away, across the Fraser River, Chris is graduating from college.

Why am I sitting and eating melty, processed cheese (which goes great with the sushi I had earlier) instead of supporting my brother's academic efforts, you ask? Well, it's simple: I couldn't go because there weren't enough tickets.

Each student was only allowed three, so my parents and Jenna went, which actually works out remarkably well for me, because as much as I'd like to be there to say congratulations, lets be honest here - nobody wants to sit in a stuffy auditorium and watch a boring way-too-long ceremony. This way, I get to still appear supportive, with none of the downside (The "I would've went, but..." excuse is fab-u-lous).

Plus, this grilled cheese sandwich is fucking delicious.

I remember my university grad ceremony very vaguely, but I know it was hot, long, and involved kneeling in front of the school chancellor (that's what she said) so your tassel could be flipped to the other side of your square hat, thus symbolizing graduation, apparently.

Also, I think I went out and got bombed that night with some friends, or at least in my hotel room with Mike and Chris (The ceremony was long after classes ended, so I didn't live in Kamloops anymore, thus the hotel room). My grad present from Mike was, if memory serves, a box of old, mostly-worthless hockey cards he'd found in his basement.

I think tonight, for his grad, I'll probably buy Chris some beer, so both gifts - the cards and the beer - are useful in their own unique way. (Update: I did in fact end up buying him some beer, and it came with a free hat, so I figure that covers his birthday next month too).

And as an added bonus, the beer prepares you well for the real world because you'll need something to take your mind of the fact that your new-found degree/diploma can't get you a decent fucking job anywhere (It took me four months, and I ended up in Northern Alberta, so that worked out well).

And let's face it, even when you get hired, it's not like you won't need some alcohol to sooth the pain you feel when you realize, after Day 1 of your first "real job", that you've only got 45 more years to go before retirement.

I'm sure it won't take Chris as long to find a job as it took me. After all, he cut off all his hair and even shaved, so he looks respectable now.

That's commitment, baby. Who wouldn't hire him?