Posted by: Joe | June 11, 2007

We Are The Champions

A busy, fun weekend. Scott poked his head over my cubicle wall today for the following exchange:

Scott: “Did you get a tan over the weekend?”
Me: “Yeah, I was curling.”

I could get used to bonspiels like this. I played in cargo shorts and a golf shirt, and was completely comfortable. In between games, sat out in the sun with a drink between trips to the oyster bar. The theme this year was Mardi Gras, and the folks in the kitchen took to it with aplomb, despite never having prepared cajun food before. Shrimp jambalaya, smoked beef brisket, pulled pork sandwiches, grits, blackened chicken, chicken gumbo, baked catfish–name something cajun, I probably ate it this weekend.

Oh, and we won the bonspiel, which was a bonus. The ice conditions were beyond my expectations going in. It was a little straight, but I’ve certainly played on worse this past winter. As long as you paid attention and your release was reasonable it was predictable which is all a skip really asks for.

We played fairly well considering none of us had touched a stone in 2 months. For the most part, the team in front of me set things up well enough that I was either drawing for an extra point or guarding a steal. The few times we did get pressured I was able to throw a missile to bail us out (including a skinny in-off double takeout that was pretty damned spectacular even by my lofty standards).

The only thing that left something to be desired was the Friday night entertainment. Words fail me. Technically they were a band. I’m not sure if the George Carlin-lookalike lead guitarist purposefully filled his amp with compost, or if somebody was playing a strange practical joke. Somehow the bass player’s amp was inducing some kind of bizarre sympathetic vibration from the drum kit. The vocalist actually had a great blues voice–powerful, low and gravelly. Unfortunately she managed to distract everyone with spastic arm-flailing that resembled a grand mal seizure combined with stroke-induced partial paralysis. I was frightened for my retinas that she was going to fly out of the low-cut dress that most women with her body type would never consider. Large quantities of rum were ineffective at blunting the sensory onslaught and by the time they broke into “These Boots Were Made For Walking”, my boots were stepping the fuck out.

Initially I had planned on skipping NxNE Friday night, but I desperately needed something to cleanse my musical palate and I knew These Electric Lives were playing The Rivoli @ 1am so I made my way there. This was my first time at the Riv, and it will take something extraordinary to lure me back. The room isn’t just cozy–it’s small. Really small.  It might be ok for a smaller acoustic set, but really can’t contain a rock band.  They struggled with the sound levels for a couple songs before eventually tightening things down.  While I wouldn’t call this one of their better performances, it was certainly sufficient to restore my faith in live music.  Coincidentally, I had met frontman Mark Stanfield’s sister at the bonspiel, and spent a few minutes after the show chatting with Mark and his dad.  Like most curlers–good people.

Finally got to bed around 4am.  Plenty of time to recover for our 9:30am game.  I was able to sneak a quick nap in the sun after lunch and before the third game.  Have I mentioned how much I dig summer spiels?

After the bonspiel was finished Saturday night, I was hoping to catch the Ohbijou/Sebastian Grainger/You Say Party! We Say Die! lineup at the ‘Shoe.  So were a lot of other people–the line was all the way back to Spadina.  I missed out on Ohbijou’s set, unfortunately.

Sebastien Grainger et Les Montagnes were on as I came in.  I really enjoyed the few tracks that are available on MySpace and CBC Radio 3, but what I heard was completely, 100% different, and not for the better to my ear.  Big disappointment to me, but a lot of people there seemed into it.

YSP! WSD! did not disappoint–great energy, and the crowd ate it up.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen crowd surfing at a show.  Good times.  By this time I was dead on my feet, and headed home.  As I was leaving the lineup was still all the way back to Spadina.  Incredible.

I spent most of Sunday recovering.  Good times.

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