Saturday, March 26, 2011

My Birthday in New Sarepta

The clock has just rolled past midnight and it is now March 26th 2011. I am officially 32 years old.

I plan to celebrate my birthday by playing hockey at my rec team's annual fundraising tournament.  The tourney actually started tonight as we played our first game at 6PM. We lost 3-2 in the final minutes but it was a good game all the way through. Immediately after the loss, I donned the reffing outfit and Mitzy and I reffed the next game, and then Dave and I reffed the game after.  I was surprised that my legs held out after 3 hours on the ice, especially with our rec team playing last night at 10:15pm. I guess a couple cold beer stashed in the penalty box helped.

So now I am home and recouping/stockloading for tomorrows games with a 4 egg Denver omelet. We are scheduled to play out at New Sarepta at 8 and 10:30 tomorrow morning, plus I'll be reffing the game in between.  But seriously, I'm pumped.

If you are out and about on March 26th and looking for fun head out to the
New Sarepta Agriplex to watch some fun rec-hockey. We have some great games planned where anything can happen ( I called a penalty shot tonight for little to no reason). Additionally you can buy a ticket for some really cool draws like a signed Taylor Hall jersey or a signed Frant Fuhr mask.

Plus you can potentially watch me fall down on my ass in complete exhaustion by noon. Washed up at 32 and can't stay awake past 1PM.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Favorite Spot in Edmonton
I have lived in Edmonton now for the last 4 years and another 2 years before for a grand total of 6 years.  If you happen to follow this blog you know that I like to try out new places and do different things in the city.

After living here for some time I can say that there are a lot of cool places in the city, West Edmonton Mall,  The Strathcona Hotel, Whyte Avenue, the river valley, and the list goes on. However, there is only one place in the city that I absolutely like, neigh love, above all others.

It is under the kitchen vent in the alley behind Rigoletto's.
I am completely serious.
The weather in Edmonton is fucking horrible. It can snow at anytime between October 1st to May 1st.  Anyone that tries to tell you that the weather here is similar to Chicago or Toronto are either telling you a lie or are delusional. That being said, I'm not scared of the cold, I accept it and find comfort in the small pleasures that take away from the cold. If that small pleasure that gives warmth also smells like fresh bread - well you hold on to that like an effervescent aromatic lover. When I'm walking from work back to my condo in the middle of the winter I am counting the steps until I am under that vent. It is my oasis.
I am not alone in my worshipping of the vent. The sweet spot has recently been discovered by Edmonton's less fortunate. When you live in downtown Edmonton you get used to some aggressive pan handling.  Our panhandlers tend to be a lot more aggressive that in most other places I have lived or visited. Frankly, they make walking in the downtown an unenjoyable experience. When they found the vent in January of this year I am slightly ashamed to say that I was pissed off. However something happens when I pass the gentlemen under the vent - their is no guilt trip for money, no swearing in my direction, instead just a upward look and greeting of hello as I pass by. Apparently, the vent is their oasis too.
Even now when it is not -30 outside I still go out of my way to pass under the vent and breath in the sweet smells and feel the warmth on my face. If you are ever walking by in the area (Rigolettos is at 10305 100 Avenue) I suggest you stand under the vent and you will understand why it is my favorite place in Edmonton.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Edmonton Nerdapalooza

Yesterday was the Edmonton Collectible and Toy Show at the Shaw Conference Centre. It is an annual event where shopkeeps and independent nerds bring their comics, toys and pop culture collectibles to sell and be seen.

These shows are typically a lot of fun. There's all kinds of crazy crap and voyeurs dressed up and showing off. This year I had to attend earlier than I liked, around 10am, as I had a rec-hockey game that afternoon. It's best to go in early to mid afternoon as all the crazies with their cosplay are out rather than first thing in the morning.

The booths and displays were similar to last year and largely not too impressive with the exception of the Akira art and the dude that did velvet portraits of nerd icons. This year the big draw was the celebrity in the house. The one and only Levar Burton (aka - Geordi Laforge, and the host of the Reading Rainbow). Additionally the wrestling twin brothers from different mothers, The Dudley Boys were in the building.

As I have no patience, I never bothered to wait in line for an autograph. Instead I just sidled up as close as possible and snapped a few pics.

There were a few people in costume when I was there, but they weren't too impressive. Not like when I was at Calgary's comic show.  However, I was thankful to see the Star Wars people out in full effect.

I'm thinking having storm troopers guard recycling bins won't help the Shaw eco programs.
R2D2 was pivoting around making sounds and then stopped to pose for me. Such a nice droid.
Some cool designs and models used as props in movies and games displayed at the show.
And of course being that it is a "toy" show there were some pretty cool vendor displays.
Seriously though, who has that many my little pony's?
 I'm currently shopping around for a couple omnibus collections (Ex Machina, Daredevil) and some obscure older titles (xombi) but I couldn't find any deals at the show. Of course I didn't walk away empty handed. I picked up 3 trades and some cool pins that you may see in a future post.
That Jonah Hex book (The Six Gun War) is seriously bad ass.

Overall, it was a good time. If anything, it actually just got me even more excited to go back to Calgary this year. For those looking to go from Edmonton check out my favorite local comic book shop, the Happy Harbour, and get on the cruiser.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Upside to Work

The typical Sunday dread about going in to work is now in full effect. I should try to focus on the positives, like my fun co-workers.
Renee, Chris and a lovely waitress drinking Macs/The Rack bulldogs.
Jamie enjoys having retarded pictures of her posted on the internet and deep fried oreos.
Christina on a typical Saturday. Drinking wine at the Empress, reading books and eating Argentina Grilled Steak potato chips. She loves the weekend more than me.
And finally, the new leprechaun rainbow at work on St. Patty's day.

Only 5 more days till the weekend.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sick in the City

I still haven't been able to shake my cold that cut short my Sylvan Lake hockey tournament. Because of that I haven't really been doing all that much stuff that warrant a blog post.

That being said, I am a 9-5 working man and I do live for the weekend. The following is a bit of a chronicle of my past weekend.

Friday 4:30pm. I immediately bolt out of work for Sherlock Holmes Pub nearby for a drink or 6 with my co-workers. I indulge in a few pints and keep my eyes on the screens near the bar as the Oilers and Redwings are playing in Detroit. Our work crew breaks up and I head home to catch the end of the hockey game. The Redwings tie up the game with about a minute left in the game and then Datsyuk pulls a wicked play in overtime for the winner. I jump out of my seat at home and celebrate with a massive coughing fit. It's an early night for me and I turn in after smack talking the Oilers on a few text messages and twitter outbursts.

Saturday, still sick, but I'm determined to mine this weekend for good times. Christina, who is also feeling ill, agrees to join me in the pursuit of fun. We head out to Whyte Avenue after a lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches at my place. First stop is Chapters where I purchase a Daredevil graphic novel and chat about nerd stuff with the cashier. We hit up a couple shops on the way to the farmers market so Christina can look at overpriced shoes.

Other than my purchase of a comic book, we show great restraint. Next stop is the Super Flea Market in the NorthEast of Edmonton.

Neither Christina or myself had ever gone to this particular shop before. It was like the worlds most overpriced garage sale. My personal highlight was seeing the frozen meats with brands I have never seen before being sold in the permanent truck trailers located aside from the main warehouse.  That being said Christina did buy a couple of avocados from a very animated asian man, and she says they are delicious.

Feeling a bit wiped we stop in at Finnagans pool hall for a drink and some video NTN trivia gaming. LvrBoy of course destroys KtyMix in the trivia showdown.

That night we decided to attend the local roller derby. I have wanted to attend for some time but have found that I always have plans the same night they are scheduled.  Little did we know that the event that night was not a usual roller derby. I was so excited with the warmups and the atmosphere in the hangar where they play.

But once the 'game' started I was severely disappointed. Apparently we didn't read the fine print and it was a special night where a local theatre company was doing a fundraiser with the roller derby girls. You couldn't believe my disappointment with how fucking brutal it was. We left at half. I'm pretty sure I will never attend a paid sporting event again where women are involved.  I hated it that much. So thanks roller derby theatre production, you have now killed my love of sports associated to the female gender.

Sunday I got up feeling completely useless, both due to sickness and the impending doom of work on Monday. With no NFL to watch I watched the NHL on NBC. It was a good game but its no full day Sunday Football. With no clue what to do I got the car washed and then picked up Chrissy for a tour of the Hospital raffle show homes. They were completely ridiculous and extravagant. I'm pretty sure that if I somehow won one of the homes I wouldn't even be able to afford the taxes. I snapped a quick pic of Christina in one of the child themed rooms. It was Barbirific.

That marked the last event of my weekend adventure.  I spent the night like I do every Sunday - dreading Monday morning.

I'm starting to finally get over this cold so I'm hoping for some fun this weekend - my last weekend of my year as a 31 year old.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sylvan Lake Pond Hockey

Last weekend was the annual Sylvan Lake Pond Hockey Tournament. I have been lucky enough to play the last 2 years with the company associated with my rec-hockey team. Every year its been great fun boozing and schmoozing with hockey bums like me and hockey stars like Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer, and the Hanson Brothers from the movie Slapshot.

This year I was extremely pumped up to play. It's been a long winter and the first weekend of March has been marked on my calendar since I got it.

You can imagine my frustration then when I woke up the Thursday before the weekend with a cough and a stuffed up nose. I drank echinacea tea all day at work, popped some multivitamins and nursed myself with chicken noodle soup that night. I woke up Friday feeling worse but after a quick trip to Rexall Drugs (1 for 1 on aeroplan miles) and about 30 miles worth of over the counter drugs later I felt that I was ready to go.

I downed about 3 litres of pop, juice and water on the 90 minute drive to Sylvan, met up with the boys and took to the ice. I actually felt pretty good in our first game. The ice wasn't too pocked up yet and I had a few hard little bursts of activity that got a good sweat going. Unfortunately, we got our asses handed to us the first game. Which isn't really all that different from past year, but a guy can hope.
I stayed out on the ice for the hour in between games and felt alright for the second game, but my fitness levels were already quite decreased from the first game. Once again we got our assess handed to us. Our team took it easy that night having a couple of beers at the bar and supper and I turned in early.

That night I had trouble sleeping. We were staying in fantastic rooms at the Chateau Suites that had a fireplace that kicked in with the thermostat. Unfortunately, the fireplace made the whole suite crazily dry.

I struggled in our Saturday game but I had absolutely no energy and was having some difficulty breathing. We lost in a close game, and I felt guilty about how bad I played. I tried to relax and get some energy back but I continued to feel worse. I knew that I was done and informed the team that I was heading back to Edmonton.

I didn't like letting the guys down but I had absolutely nothing left. When I eventually got back to my condo in Edmonton I basically just fell in to the couch and I haven't really done much since that time on Saturday afternoon till now: Tuesday. Well, that's not entirely true. I have been having one hell of a pity party....

Although not out there long, I did manage to snap a couple of pictures.

The Hanson Brothers as the guests of honour for the opening ceremonies.

Game action. Four skaters on each side, one alternate.
Jordan pulling a puck out of the "boards"
Darren. Tyler, Conrad
At the end of the 3rd game I took a self portrait of myself.
This is the face of a man who has run out of steam.
Hopefully next year I can play again and remain healthy.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

North Shore Ice Ninjas - 2011

We are well past the half way point  in our rec hockey season. I provided a stats breakdown of previous season at the beginning of the year here. For this season I made no lofty predictions other than my eating of cheesy poofs.

As of today the Ice Ninjas are currently 9-14-0-1 for 19 points and 10th out of 12 teams in the always competitive River Cree D2B division.

My game has remained the same from the beginning of the year. I have a good understanding of the game and am often in the right place, it's just that I don't have great puck skills and a pretty weak shot. It's hard to get any better when you only play once a week. 

So far for the year my stats look like like this:

It is good for 7th overall on the team in points and 2nd in assists.  Really though I'm just pretty good at getting our best player the puck and then letting him do all the work.

I was cleaning out my computer a couple of days ago and I found some pictures that I did up for a team event a few months back.  I completely forgot about them when we had the event and never shared them then, so I'm figuring why not now. I think they represent whats best about rec-hockey; hanging out and joking with a great group of guys.

Ladies and Gentlemen --- The Ice Ninjas

Our great leader and Captain.
PBR cover boy.
Too long of a story to explain.
Yes, that is Wayne Gretzky's Dad.

One half of the Humboldt Curtain on Defense.

The power half (level 12 paladin) of the Humboldt Curtain on Defense.
Our penalty minute leader only takes limo's.

Swiss Army Knife = Goalie, Defenseman and Power Forward.
Next game is March 2nd. Check your local listings...