There's a Reason That I Love This Town (2006-05-15 - 9:14 p.m.)
So I find myself in the unusual position of having trouble sitting down to post about my CRAZY AWESOME WEEKEND because I have no idea where to start.
I suppose I will begin by saying that Michael is just as sweet and fun in person as I remember from four years ago, and that his road-trip partner Amy is just and cool and interesting as she sounds over email. Based on those facts alone, we would have had a good weekend.
So they have been busy driving from Vancouver (eventual aim: Cape Breton). Michael's favorite thing about Canada so far? The fire hydrants.
Ooh, and Amy's car has the cutest little Kiwi bird in on the dashboard. An admirable mascot.
So Thursday night was devoted to crepes and relaxation, since sadly I had to work Friday. This was okay, though, as I had my three-month probationary meeting in the morning. It went something like this:
Boss: So, are you staying?
This is the kind of review I could get used to!
I left work a wee bit early and we managed to wring every last drop out of the rest of the day. We went shopping at Value Village - yep, my former employer - and got a whole bunch of badges, some trashy romance novels (3 for 99 cents, couldn't resist), an awesome denim blazer for Amy and a cool leather coat for Michael.
Suitably attired, we headed over to Steph and Rem's for Friday Feast. Food and company were good as always, and no one was offended when we ducked out halfway through to go catch the last period of the Oilers game down in the common room. It was filled with ex-pat Nova Scotians, and surprise, surprise, they had people in common with Amy back home. They were also rabid Oilers fans (I especially admired the flashing orange-and-blue Oilers hat).
So how 'bout them Oilers, hey? HEY? They were GREAT! They kicked the Sharks' fins 6-3, and they have since done it again. Michael is now a fervent Oilers supporter, as well he should be.
Back up to Stephie's for dessert and to hang out the window, talking to the really drunk guys on the balcony two floors below. They were kind enough to offer to throw us some illicit substances, but we had to decline.
The screaming from Whyte was getting louder and louder as the hockey fans arrived, and I was itching get over to where the party was. We had a few minutes before we had to head downtown for the Joel Plaskett Emergency show, so we made for the "Copper Kilometer". Man, was it crazy. Edmonton fans know how to party - it defies description. It had started hours earlier, when we saw people in Oilers jerseys playing street hockey on the sidewalk next to the Ave. And by this point there were masses of people in orange-and-blue wigs and face paint, and one guy who painted a blue streak down his naturally-orange beard. There was the car with the blow-up Stanley Cup hoisted from the room with "Don Cherry pimped my ride" written on the side. People were running up and down the street, high-fiving everyone they could reach (including those in moving cars). The cops were out directing traffic, but it wasn't too shovy (just very, very loud and jubilant). We only made it as far as 107th Ave - not even into the prime bar territory. I can only imagine what that must have been like.
However, we had a gig to get to - so we caught a cab and did just that. It was at Suburbs, which made Michael happy as he's been hearing stories set in that place for years.
Mr. Plaskett was as good as I remember from Glasgow, where I saw him open for Kathleen Edwards. He blew us away then, and he blew us away again last night. It was a brilliant show and he played Amy's favorite songs and Down at the Khyber, which mentions Edmonton (which was a huge deal when I was in Glasgow). He gave us two encores and we were screaming for more, and after the show he came out and said hi and signed our new CDs. We talked about the Glasgow show, and now it sounds like I'm stalking him around the world. Tempting, actually. He's playing in Nova Scotia in June...
By this time my voice didn't work anymore and my throat was raw from hockey- and Joel-related screaming, so we called it a night. What a night, though!
Saturday started off on a much less pleasant note, as some idiot had left a hit-and-run dent in Amy's car during the night. However, there was a witness who had seen the encounter, pretended he owned the car, collected the $50 that the hit-and-run driver tried to bribe him with and then got the license number for Amy. So we stopped at the cop shop to report it, and I hope that %&*#@ gets what is coming to him. Hmph.
From there it was off to the Mall of Doom. We split up, with Amy sorting insurance and seeing a movie while Michael and I went to the beach (or at least the waterpark). Had fun riding tubes and splashing around, and Michael found a little kid who looked like an ant carrying a giant beetle trying to get an inner tube five times her size up the stairs. He picked it up for her and she paced in front of him with a haughty expression on her little face, waiting for her willing slave to catch up.
We did not do much Saturday night, due to sheer exhaustion, and the intrepid road-trippers hit the road again on Sunday. However, I am very excited to meet up with them again in two days and give this road-trip business a decent shot.
See you on the highway...
ps. I must also mention that both were quite taken with Edmonton. I don't think either would have gone out of their way to check this place out had I not been here, but they couldn't help but be impressed by a town with that much spirit (and that much sheer vocal power - apparently it got up to 100 decibels on Whyte Friday night). I think Edmonton seriously needs to work on its PR, so more people will come visit me.
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