Archive for April, 2010
Thursday, April 29th, 2010
I was at St. Patrick’s high school yesterday for their 8th annual Breakfast For Cancer day. There were several dignitaries there, like police chief Vern White (way to go – decriminalize marijuana! Good for him), Jim Watson and so forth. But only I got to participate in the face-in-whipped cream contest. It may be difficult to understand, from this video, what’s happening. You see, there are these puzzle pieces hidden in the whipped cream, and I have to remove them with my face and hand them to my partner, who then fits them into the puzzle. My partner was a little disappointed that we didn’t win. Oh – I realize too that it’s impossible to tell who’s who. I’m the one furthest to the left side of the screen.
Toward the end of the video, that butt that walks into the camera view belongs to Angie Poirier of the A Channel, who was filming the whole thing live. She tried to interview me, but I was busy. After all, I wanted to win for my partner, who probably had more invested in the competition than did I. But it wasn’t to be. I lost. Thanks Esther, for titling this video “Eric Competes And Loses”. I still find whipped cream pies in the face to be funny.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
One of the coolest rock and roll documentaries in recent years is now available on Rogers On Demand. It Might Get Loud is just Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge talking guitars. And it’s awesome. Page and White are two of the greatest you will ever see. And The Edge is there also.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
The Sens Mile was absolutely jammed last night for Game 5 of the Senators-Penguins series. For the most part, people seemed to be getting out to enjoy what could be their last chance to get in on the party. The mood remained as optimistic as was possible, given the 3-1 series hole in which we found ourselves.
Lots of Senators jerseys out there – in fact, support for the team has been such that we are reduced to giving away Kovalev and Cheechoo jerseys. Sports Experts is providing us with jerseys for each game to give away, and they are sold out of the “bigger” names. We had a Fisher jersey, and a Spezza jersey, early on. As the playoffs continued, however, those jerseys were snapped up really quickly.
Despite the cold last night, the patio at St. Louis was jammed, the bar inside was packed, no standing room available. The other bars along Sens Mile were rocking as well. Even though we were down in the series and it looked to be on the verge of ending, this was the best turnout yet for any of the playoff games, including Friday night.
I went home after the first period, because I have to get up early in the mornings, you know. I set my PVR and went to bed, keeping the game on in the background as I prepared to fall asleep. But I didn’t fall asleep. I kept watching, through the third period. I drifted off as it went into overtime, but a big save by Leclaire jolted me back awake. I drifted off after the first OT, but a roar from the crowd jolted me awake early in the second. When Carkner scored in the third OT, that was it. I was up and ready for the day. It was only a few minutes before my alarm goes off, anyway.
Robin Harper predicted, live on Sens Mile, that Pascal Leclaire would have his Greatest Game Of All Time last night. I predicted that this would BE the Greatest Hockey Game Of All Time. We were both pretty close, as it turned out. And now, with the momentum of a crazy, triple-OT win like that, we go back to Sens Mile for Game 6. We left the CHEZ flags up, and the tent, in the St. Louis patio, because we felt like taking them down pre-emptively would be bad karma. They will still be there when we go tomorrow night.
Tomorrow is a Saturday night. A party night. The Sens Mile is without a doubt the best party in town. There are dozens of bars on Elgin Street. There is cold beer in those bars. The beer doesn’t cost 18 dollars like at a Sens game. The crowds are rocking, CHEZ will be pumping through the speakers, and the temperature will be 19 degrees on the patio. We’ll see you all there.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Just came across this one…I have no idea how to describe this. John Tesh. With Dweezil and Ahmet Zappa. Doing Black Sabbath. Just…watch.
Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
This woman was later picked up by police, after fleeing the scene. Robin made fun of me for my parallel parking at a Sens Mile event last week. I got nothing on this.
Friday, April 16th, 2010
The Neil Young Trunk Show opens at the Mayfair Theatre in Ottawa tonight. This is the second movie in Jonathan Demme’s (The Silence of the Lambs) planned Neil Young trilogy. His first, the superior documentary Heart Of Gold, was amazing and well received by fans and critics alike. Now we get our first chance to see the second installment, which looks to be equally awesome. Here’s the trailer:
Friday, April 16th, 2010
Why the exclamation marks? Well…I’m excited. Here is Metallica, playing “The Unforgiven III” for the first time ever in Norway. It would have to be Norway.
Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Elgin Street is now the Sens Mile. Much as I continue to dislike the contraction of our hockey team to “Sens”, I will nevertheless use the term on occasion, for the greater good. In this case, the greater good IS the “Sens Mile”. Which used to be Elgin Street. See, a few years ago, a bunch of people congregated on the “Sens Mile” to celebrate the Stanley Cup run of the Ottawa Senators in 2007. Because the residents of Ottawa are imbued with little originality, this “Sens Mile” was merely a replication of the “Red Mile” in Calgary Flames three years earlier during their improbable Cup run. In 2006, the Edmonton Oilers had an improbable Cup run of their own, and celebrated on the “Blue Mile”. Which was on Whyte Avenue. Figure that one out.
I guess Ottawa opted out of the colour theme as they continued this new Canadian tradition in 2007. Perhaps the Senators colour of “red” had already been used. Maybe their other colour, “white”, was too close to the Edmonton festivities of the year before. So we went with the lamer, but equally effective “Sens Mile”, and we drank a lot of beer and celebrated every game and turned the street into Canada Day during every playoff game. Of the Cup Final. Because Ottawa is a town that doesn’t like to celebrate for no good reason. And until we knew, finally, that the Senators were going to be Cup finalists, we didn’t want to spend that kind of energy on merry-making.
But make the finals we did, and the Mile erupted with Canada Day-esque fervor. The fact that it peaked with the semi-final win that put us into the final was irrelevant. The fact that we lost the final was unfortunate, but our hockey team managed to stretch that one with the Ducks out to six games, which meant six more reasons to drink Singapore Slings in a red shirt while watching hockey on a patio. And the businesses along the Mile thrived, and the revelers reveled, and people missed a lot of work and hooked up with other people who were destined to miss work and a great time was had by all.
In the subsequent years, the Senators were swept in the first round of the playoffs, then forgot to make the playoffs. And Ottawa residents forgot about the merriment and the debauchery, and left the mile behind to busy themselves with more important things, like conserving water, barbecuing things wrapped in bacon, and ignoring their loved ones. Life went on without copious beer consumption and eccentric costumes. Sure, it was a little more boring, but we all figured that getting excited about something before we knew that something would be a success would just set us up for disappointment, and why bother having a good time when that good time could end?
If I sound cynical about Senators fans here, it is because I am. We are a bandwagon town. I also rail against blind, stupid loyalty to the hockey team. Just don’t be an idiot about it. If Pascal Leclaire is playing badly, say so. Don’t sugar-coat it like he’s your nine-year-old kid and criticism might hurt his fragile confidence. That’s all. Let’s not be a bunch of dummy Leaf fans. But at the same time, support your team. Not just when they’re in the finals. All the time. Which is something that we could actually learn from dummy Leaf fans. And that’s what the Sens Mile is all about this year.
Every Senators playoff game, however far they go, Robin Harper and I will be at St. Louis Bar & Grill at the very beginning of Sens Mile. Last night, we hung out with the Senators Sasquatch (who is a nine-foot tall crazy guy who dresses up in a bright red Chewbacca-ish costume and paints his face and is awesome) and watched the guy in the Senators convertible cruise up and down the street. (His sign said “The Good Old Hockey Game Is The Best Game You Can Name”. That was lame. If you’re going to detail your car as a mega-Senators Playoff Excitement Vehicle, you need to come up with something better than that.
Anyway, this Sens Mile thing is being put together this year by Cameron and Sarah, two dedicated (but refreshingly realistic, I found) Senators fans who just like a good party. And we’ll be there every game giving away a Senators jersey from Sports Experts (last night was Chris Phillips). And the girls from the Molson Extreme Team will be there. And Esther the promo guy will be there too. Except that she won’t be with CHEZ, she will be serving drinks. She just happens to work at St. Louis at the beginning of the Sens Mile. Money from local businesses will be donated to Rogers House. The street has been officially designated Sens Mile thanks to a City Hall proclamation (which is, most assuredly, the easiest thing for City Hall to do – issue proclamations). And a car parade is planned for 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.
In the end, it comes down to one thing – not whether the Senators can beat the Penguins (they can beat them. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.) Not how far they get into the playoffs, or how many people will jump on the bandwagon over the course of a hopefully lengthy playoff run. No, it comes down to the willingness of people to come out to a giant party. And who doesn’t want to participate in a giant party. This one happens to be about the Senators. But I would enjoy it almost as much if it were about fig newtons. Do they still make those? Whatever. The point is, when there’s a huge party, and it’s this great, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it? Join us on Friday at 4:00. Or Sunday at 4:00. Or Tuesday at 4:00. Or, if you have tickets, after the games. Just join us. And don’t wait until the second or third round to party.
Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Some internet reports say this guy is in his late 20s. Most say he has yet to hit puberty. My money is on the latter – but for those of you familiar with the works of Whitney Houston (and if you are, my condolences), this is unreal.
And…if you ARE familiar with the works of Whitney Houston, you will remember how “I Will Always Love You” USED to sound. Well…like that Taiwanese kid makes it sound. Here is the unbelievable way it NOW sounds when Whitney Houston tries to sing it. Consider this video the ultimate anti-drug public service announcement. Of all time. This is your voice on drugs:
Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
The Ottawa Fat Cats, our newest baseball team out at Lynx stadium, are holding open tryouts this Saturday for anyone interested in playing ball. Our last team, the Ottawa Rapidz, did the same thing a few summers ago. I tried out. This was, of course, before I started losing a little weight. Here’s the video: