Sunday, September 18, 2005

Day Off in Calgary, Alberta

Down last night at 3am, up this morning at 7. Oh, well, that's called East Coast bodyclock.

We're driving through the Canadian Rockies, which are spectacular. Take a look:

On the way into Calgary, we pass the site of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Here are the ski jumps:

Two of the clowns who live on my bus are still up from last night, completely wasted. They've been doing blow and smoking dope all night, and they're still pounding Newcastle's. They'd be pretty funny if they weren't so pathetic. They both try to engage me in conversation about our football pool for today, but I can't understand a single thing that comes out of their mouths. I ignore them and they go away. Likely to the back lounge for more consumables…

My beloved Carolina Panthers are playing the New England Patriots this morning at 10am (remember, I'm out west). Unfortunately, we're so deep into the mountains that the satellite reception sucks. The audio/video locks up every 3 seconds or so, and the announcers can't even get a complete sentence out. I consider slamming a few beers for breakfast, thinking it would make watching such a jittery broadcast easier, but decide against that.

We kinda have to follow the scoring and down/yardage graphics on the screen to figure out what's happening. This lasts well into the second half, but I do get to see most of the 4th quarter. They finally kick the shit out of the Patriots. GO PANTHERS!!!

Arrive at our hotel in Calgary around 2. Hot diggity, there a Starbucks right there inside the lobby. Couldn't get much better!

Get everyone checked in quickly, and head to my room for a shower. Turn on the TV long enough to get all the football scores, as I'm responsible for scoring everyone's pool entries. I'm not in the pool this week, but probably could have won it. On one of my (not-entered) sheets, I picked all the home teams. As of the end of the first 13 of the 16 games, I'm 10 and 3.

I head down for a drink at Starbucks and bring my laptop along to do some blogging. A steady parade of crew guys go in and out of the hotel. I eventually have about a half-dozen hanging out with me as we all get caught up on what everyone's been doing and where they've been going today.

Andy Battye shows up – he's wanting to go the one of the Irish Pubs nearby for some fish and chips. I run my laptop to my room and go with him. We wander around for about 30 minutes, checking out all the area restaurants. Lots of she-she places here that we're not dressed for, nor do we want to eat in.

Finally decide on the James Joyce Irish Pub. Every city we go to has a James Joyce Irish Pub, why is that?

They have not only fish and chips, they also have Halibut and chips. An excellent and rare fish to use for this. It's maybe the best I've ever had, and I slap back a couplethree pints of Kilkenny with it.

A couple of dudes come sit around the corner of the bar from us and engage us in conversation. We chat with them for a half-hour or so. Mike Stehr (lighting tech) sticks his head in, spots us, and joins. Andy splits 20 minutes later. The 2 dudes hang out, they're both college students here and are coming to the show tomorrow. They're well travelled guys, one's in a band here, and they have lots of questions about what we do. They're both so nice that Mike and me don't mind talking to them. That, and the fact that they tell us they'd be happy to buy us some beers in trade for stories.

The bartender tells me that Sylvia, one of the waitresses, would be happy to buy us some drinks for tickets to the show tomorrow. I holler at Sylvia to come over to the bar and tell her that I'll hook her up for tickets if she'll get Mike and the 2 dudes double shots of whatever Scotch they'll all drinking.


Nothing for me, thanks.

Two hours later, I'm drunkenly on my way back to the hotel. Mike's off with Gord and David (the dudes) to meet a bunch of our crew guys at Cowboy's, the massive nightclub down the street, where the marquee reads "The Most Beautiful Women In Calgary Pass Through These Doors". No shit!

I do some more blogging and head to bed around 12:30…

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