Archive for July, 2011
Friday, July 22nd, 2011
I am getting better and better as my golf lessons progress…not good enough, it would seem, to beat Doc yet. Somehow, he is getting way better himself. I suspect he is also taking lessons. We’re on vacation for two weeks after today, maybe I will stalk him to find out.
I had my next-to-last lesson at the Canadian Golf And Country Club yesterday. I’d been watching the British Open, and my teacher Lee told me to pick a player I liked and follow him, watch what he did, and so forth. I chose Miguel Angel Jimenez, partly because I really enjoy saying his name, and partly because that guy’s awesome. Big ol’ cigar, barely warming up, having a great time…that’s how I golf. Well, minus the skill and talent.
But I followed Lee’s advice and copied Mr. Jiminez’s pre-round routine. Which clearly leads to better golf. I wasn’t totally sure how this routine prepared him for golf, but being the method-actor-golfer I am, I really had to be in his head space and so I followed suit.
The cigar, I will say, makes it very difficult to do a proper warm-up.
However, I discovered something amazing – the cigar dangling from one’s mouth makes it much easier to have a proper golf swing. You can’t move your head too much, and the cigar acts like a pendulum keeping my head down and straight and making sure my shoulders follow my arms and not the other way around.
This theory also applies to the “junk-out” rule – if you don’t hit it past the ladies’ tees on your drive, you have to whip it out. No one ever mis-hits that second shot, because your junk works in much the same way, as a pendulum. You really can’t get ahead of yourself with your junk out. Makes for the perfect golf swing!
Just so my neighbours know, THAT is why I was practising golf in my backyard naked yesterday.
Monday, July 18th, 2011
I went to Bluesfest last night to take in the final day with my family – my dad, my wife, my sister and her boyfriend Abdullah. This was my dad’s first huge concert event, outdoors at Lebreton Flats, even though he has been a resident of Ottawa for thirty plus years. Abdullah, who is Omani and lives in Kuwait, has been in Ottawa nine days. This was his third trip to Bluesfest. Dad needs to catch up!
My sister wanted to see Lupe Fiasco, a rapper who was playing the Claridge stage at 6:00. He was pretty good, engaged with the crowd and even though I’m not a fan of his music I found him very entertaining. He played around (as Peter Frampton did) with the popcorn-on-a-stick, and kept wondering why no one ever told him Ottawa was the Hottest Place On Earth. Yesterday afternoon, it was.
With the heat so intense, it was no wonder that Lupe Fiasco had to stop his show a couple of times to direct paramedics toward women who had passed out in the crowd. That, of course, was nothing compared to what was about to happen.
We moved over to watch Cheap Trick, and were going to stay at the MBNA stage for about half an hour before moving to the National Bank stage to catch Chali 2na (formerly of Jurassic 5), the guy I most wanted to see. From there, we would take in some of Galactic and some John Butler Trio and maybe catch a bit of Satriani on the way home. At least, that was the plan. My sister took this photo of me, my wife and my dad at about 7:20.
The sky seems…threatening, no? Seconds after this picture was taken, my wife suggested we get the hell out of there, fast. I scowled and said a little rain never hurt anyone, and it’s an outdoor concert, and stop being a sissy. Even my dad and sister were not worried at all about getting wet. I’m not sure about Abdullah. But then, he doesn’t speak English much and couldn’t complain anyway.
We started to make our way over to the National Bank stage, away from the MBNA stage, to catch the beginning of Chali 2na. As we got to the corner, the wind hit. Sand was blowing in our eyes and the rain was obviously coming hard and fast. Normally you can look across the river and see trees and buildings on the other side. Now, you couldn’t even see the river.
We turned away from the stages and ran toward the bus stop. People along the route were already hiding under the trailers that lined the road. Before we could get to the street though, Bluesfest volunteers were blocking our path and directing us down into the parking garage of the War Museum which had been opened to accomodate people. As we ducked inside, we heard the last few notes of Cheap Trick, then a crazy BOOM. I thought it was some strange-sounding thunder.
We made our way through the parking garage, up to the main lobby of the museum. People were milling about, and no one seemed to know what was going on – there were occasional announcements asking people to move away from the windows and move to the parking garages, but it was almost impossible to get through the crowd.
I saw a guy moving through the crowd from a distance – he was easy to spot, as he was a good head taller than everyone else. He had an entourage around him, and people were snapping pics as he moved through. It was Chali 2na, whose show (along with everyone elses’) had just been canceled. He waved off his security detail, and shook hands and posed for pictures with everyone who crowded around. That was pretty cool.
After a while, the sun seemed to be back out, the rain had slowed to a trickle, and we were able to leave and make our way to the bus stop with everyone else who was being evacuated from the festival. Only then did we notice that the MBNA stage was – gone! It had been blown over backward onto the trucks parked behind it. Thankfully, it hit the top of those trucks and so did not trap anyone underneath.
Early reports are that three people were taken away in ambulances, and one is seriously injured. Cheap Trick are fine (they got off the stage EIGHT seconds before it collapsed), but their bus driver suffered a broken leg. Having seen the wreckage of the stage, and every paramedic and fire truck in the city flying in, it’s miraculous that injuries were not more widespread and that no one was trapped under the stage.
We made our way to the bus stop, wet but safe – now we’re checking the news all morning, hoping everyone is OK.
Thursday, July 7th, 2011
Had my fifth golf lesson with Lee at the Canadian on Tuesday. I told him I was playing against Doc the following day, so I needed some quick pointers. He told me I wasn’t quite there yet, but to concentrate on only one thing – “turning my hands over” when I hit the ball.
So yesterday I played the Canadian with Doc, and I thought about only that – “turning my hands over”. I did a good job of it. But I think I need to get out a little more, play a little more, to really get the hang of my new swing. For the most part, I was striking the ball very well. But my aim was quite a bit off. I lost a LOT of balls in the woods and the water.
Also, with my new swing and new clubs, I no longer have any idea how far I hit things. What used to be a 7-iron shot is now a 9-iron shot. And my 7 goes over the green and then past the woods and then into the water. So I’m getting there – slowly. And I will win – eventually. But I have not yet beaten Doc, nor do I have the ability to do so consistently. Yet. And I lost. By 12.
Wednesday, July 6th, 2011
Check out my audition for America’s Got Talent. I got the mad skillz! Not for the easily grossed-out.