Thursday, April 21, 2011

northern twist to musical staples part. 2

Like I think I mentioned some time earlier, I'm back North of 60 working at a newspaper and I'm calling people all day long in all sorts of awesome communities and, based on the workload and the amount of time spent on my lonesome, I'm developing a bit of that talk-to-yourself psychosis.

Anywho, there's a community just south of the the Mackenzie that I've called a couple times this week and each time I do it, while the phone is ringing, I start humming... "duh-da-da duuuh-da-duh-da-duh... duh-da-da duuuh-da-duh-duuuuh... duh-da-da duuuh-da-duh-da-duh... da-da-da-da-duh-duh-duh... Kakisa..."

Not ringing a bell? Just substitute Tequila with Kakisa

Don't these humans somehow look like puppets from Fraggle Rock?

Email to pops: game 5 round 1: vancouver 0 - chicago 5

I feel like a victim of spousal abuse. Why do I keep coming back?

I know we're still leading this series, but really... what the hell is going on?

As Andre 3000 once said: "stack of questions with no answers."

Sedins have to stop being little perimetre ninnies. Seriously, playoff hockey boys! Come on, now!

I'm just sad. And scared. I don't even want to talk about what could happen here.

Canucks' theme song these past two games:
I don't wanna do your dirty work no more

Good: Grief? Hodgson, Schneider

Bad: Feeling about this...

Pops... STAY IN AUSTRALIA! Seriously.

You don't want to see this right now.


Email to pops: game 5 round 1: vancouver 0 - chicago 5 (so far)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

a novel way to annoy

I've talked a lot about the frustrations I sometimes have walking around and being accosted by folks on the street/outside bus stops/in the Metro, coming up with elaborate stories and excuses for some of my hard earned pennies.

So imagine my shock (and amusement) when I got this plea as a comment in past post:

Get outta here!

This is the cyber-equivalent of the guy outside the bus station who says "I only need $2 more so I can get a ticket back to (insert city name)." And then you see him three days later, he tugs your shirt collar and comes up with the EXACT same story.

I bet you the person who wrote that comment did it from le Grand Bibliotheque on Berri and Maisonneuve. Just a hunch.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Email to pops: game 4 round 1: vancouver 2 - chicago 7


First of all:
I just want to thank Jannik Hansen, Christopher Higgins, Max Lapierre, Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Burrows for being the only hockey players dressed in Canucks jerseys to show up at the United Centre tonight.

Second of all:

Third of all:
Everyone is going to jump all over Roberto Luongo after this one, but really I don't see it. I mean, he did let in 6 goals, but I don't see how he could be blamed for many of them.
First goal: Bickell makes a beauty move, out waits him and tucks the puck past his outstretched leg.
Second, Third and Fourth goals: Cluster-canuckle-fuck of Canuck d-men doing their patented, we-are-shook-let's-back-up-and-not-do-anything routine, screen him on three shots from the point or the slot.
Fifth goal: Nice move by Frolik on clear-cut breakaway
Sixth goal: Unstoppable one-timer by Sharp on powerplay.
Really, there is not much Bobby Lou could have done tonight... which isn't to say that I thought he played excellently or anything. He did that goofy, acting hurt thing at the end of the first and I'm starting to tire of it. Just play the game, Bobby Lou. This one wasn't your fault, though.

Fourth of all:
Sedins? Kesler? Edler? Where are you guys? I know it sounds crazy to rip on a guy with six points in four games, but Daniel and his brother Hank have had a pretty mediocre, heartless series. I'm serious. How many times did they give the puck away tonight? How many lousy passes did they make, or weak dump ins to change? I don't know if they were trying to match-up against another line, but they looked SOFT. And I've watched them game-in, game-out these past four years and one thing they aren't is soft anymore. I don't know what's up, but it looks like they don't want to take charge of this thing. And they are turning into HA-YOOOGE liabilities defensively.

Kesler, you've got to make something happen. You can't defer to other people. You're a star now. You've got to put the team on your shoulders. You're a 40-goal scorer. Start shooting.

Fifth of all:
We looked two-dimensional tonight, in the geological sense. The Hawks would blow and we'd fall over. That has to stop. We can't wait for the refs to bail us out, Obama-style. We need to work hard, grind and dig like we did all season.

Sixth of all:
Championship teams bury their opponents when they are weak... They don't dig them up and attach jumper-cables to their near-rotting corpses. God damn, we could have ended this thing tonight... Now stinky Kane and stinky Keith and stinky Hossa and stinky Campbell and stinky Sharp have their mojo back. Stinky Toews, too.

Seventh of all:
This hasn't been funny at all, has it? It's not intentional, I'm just wiped after a night of little sleep and a furious deadline day where I had to put a zillion things together for a newspaper and all I wanted to do was lay back and watch the Canucks oust Toews, Kane and those damn, dirty Hawks.

Eighth of all:
Canucks started doing that frickin thing where they just back up and keep backing up and let the opponent walk right in. Somewhere in Australia, a few of my old man's hairs went grey.

Ninth of all:
Something that really isn't funny: 6-pack of beer, 12-Pepsi, bag of chips, 2 apples, 3 bananas, 2L milk, box of Cheerios and a small tin of Nabob coffee = $53 in Fort Simpson. Yeah, I'd say cost of living is an issue in the North. By the way, I stood in line at the Northern store while a guy beside me put through his items. It was at $338 by the time I was gone and he wasn't even finished.

Tenth of all:
At least it's officially spring: The Canucks dropped a turn sandwich in the playoffs!

Good: Hansen, Lapierre, Higgins, Burrows and Ehrhoff (the only guys who showed any heart)

Need to get better: Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler (You guys can't be looking at other people to get the job done. This is your team... Wow! Who do I think I am, eh?)

Pops, I'm glad you didn't have to see this one. It would have ruined your vacation.

Punch a koala in the face for me, would ya?

Sleepless in Simpson,

Email to pops: game 4 round 1: vancouver 1 - chicago 5 (so far...)

Monday, April 18, 2011

another instance in the saxophone resurgence

As mentioned on this here blog - right here - Bradford Cox of Deerhunter and Atlas Sound fame prophesied a reemergence of the saxophone in popular music.

Sax Roberts Band?

Eh? Eh?


Email to pops: game 3 round 1: vancouver 3 - chicago 2

Abridged version:

I apologize.

I was working tonight, covering an all-candidates (read: some-candidates) forum for an upcoming federal election that no one would vote for and that no one may vote in.

That's besides the point, but that is my point: you see, I was tied up at the meeting and recording the issues and trying to think up questions and by the time I got home, the first period was over. (There was a guy in the rec centre - where the forum went down - who was decked out in a Blackhawks uni and he told me we - as in the royal we, as in the Canucks we - were down 1 - 0.)

I got home, turned off my brain for two hours and watched the Canucks come back (it definitely wasn't storm back) and take the game. Sa-weeet!

Quick thoughts: I don't know how we are doing this but it's not like we are dominating games or anything. Sure, we have had a few good bounces, but that's not it either. I think this Canucks squad is just a group that buries and capitalizes on chances. On more than a half-dozen occasions tonight, Pat Kane or Pat Sharp or Frolik or Hossa could and should have potted a gino. But they didn't. And when Sammy had an open cage, he backhanded it home. No sweat. It's an opportunistic team, this one.

Anything else? I didn't think Torres' hit was too dirty, since the puck was there and it wasn't like Seabrook was hit from behind or had his head targeted. I think he just got caught - viciously - with his head down. This is one of those 'grey areas' that people who get paid a lot of money to talk incessantly on television go on about.

Good: Luongo (mostly based on what Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson were saying), Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson (why not? They are a pleasure to listen to - and I fully realize that Hughson is a huge Nucks homer) Canucks defensemen, Canucks' stick-checking

Need to get better*: Manny Malhotra

*Hallmark need-to-get-better style... you know what I'm saying.


Umm... Oh yeah.

Catch any big waves, Pops?

I'm sorry I can't write more, I'm tired and tomorrow is a big day.

Take care,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Email to Pops: game 2 round 1: vancouver 4 - chicago 3

Sweeeeeeeeet Georgia Brown!

Ooooh boy. Not going to lie about that one. I was a wee bit nervous there in the last six minutes or so. (I think 19,000 Vancouverites might have been too.) But, you know when you're fighting history and demons and bad voodoo and Kane's mullet, you realize things won't come easy and there will be a metaphorical wall that you'll have to symbolically break through.

As was beaten into us by the announcers (like social norms by society at a young age? Nope, that's terrible...) all night, the Canucks had surrendered leads to the Blackhawks in game two of the last two series and lost both games. You could feel Vancouver was battling that. You could just feel it. And when Danny scored that goal with 10 minutes left in the third, it was like everyone in the crowd just started to breathe again and it was just ubiquitous cheer in the building... until that little Pat-Kane-wannabe Smith scored. (Patch's new favorite player?)

I thought the Nuckskis did a good job of weathering that storm tonight. Even though you could see that the Hawks were going to throw all they had left at the Canucks, we were able to punch back enough - and land a couple knockouts - to keep them at bay. Man, metaphor overload. Get back to the real world.

Real world: Jannik Hansen was our best player again tonight. The Great Dane is just flying out there and he seems to be taking on some of the responsibilities that would have fallen on Malhotra's shoulders. Hansen's potting his chances, but not just that: he's murdering every Blackhawk who even thinks about touching that black disk and he's backchecking like a beast. (If I was going to use a literal BackCheck metaphor, I'd say his productivity was like at Uncle Jedidiah levels, for those of you in the know...) Man crush developing.

Raymond and Higgins were solid again, as was Kesler, who had a beauty shorthanded shift with Burrows in the second period. The chemistry is kind of off with Kesler and Raymond right now. Kesler is always looking to shoot, but when that line had success, he was more of the set-up guy. Raymond is always going to look to shoot and it looks like Kes is getting a little frustrated at times. I like when Maestro Kes Wes looks to pass though, because he rarely makes the wrong decision and he's got a knack at finding super-open, non-obvious teammates.

Burrows had an average game but - and I might sound crazy - I still thought the Sedins could be better. Granted, they combined for five points, so you can't really get on them, but they didn't seem to be clicking again tonight like they were for big stretches of the season. I'm not sure if it's because they're trying to be more physical, but when one Sedin has the puck, it seems to me like the other one isn't where the puck handler expects him to be. Also, they don't seem to be doing much in their own end, especially when Henrik just let that little Smith bugger pop the first goal out front tonight. If we're up 2-0 in the series with two games like this from Hank and Dank though, I think we're going to be alright.

Hodgson continues to impress, as does Glass. (Wasn't that one Hodgson shift with Daniel at the end of the second period fun to watch? Could Hodgson be a future fit for that line? He doesn't freak out and he's smart with the puck. He's good positionally and he has above-average hockey sense. Could be interesting.)

Defense played strong again, I thought, although they were responsible for that second goal as they got a little lackadaisical. (<---- Did not spell that word correctly without the spellchecker.)

Edler's been a beast and I'm so happy to have him back, but it was odd because every replay they showed of a Blackhawk goal, Edler was rushing to the shooter or trying to get in position. Oh well. Ehrhoff and Hamhuis were pillars back there and Salo, Bieksa and Ballard didn't make any glaring mistakes.

Luongo has had better games.... but he's also had far worse games (see: playoff history vs. Chicago Blackhawks.) I will take tonight's game, especially with our history against this Blackhawks team in game twos.

We didn't drop a number two tonight, so I'm elated.

Good: Hansen, Ehrhoff, Edler's physicality, Kesler's penalty killing, Glass/Lapierre/Oreskovich bruising

Bad: H. and D. Sedin defensively, Kesler-Raymond chemistry

Notes: I don't know how much longer Chicago's big dawgs (Toews, Kane, Seabrook, Keith and Sharp) can keep up these minutes. They've got to be wearing down worse than my ten-speed's back tire.

The announcers have been making a big deal about the Canucks' advantage in the depth department so far this series. (And man, I'm definitely not complaining about the announcing: Hughson and Simpson are the best tandem on CBC by far. If it was Mark Kelly and Kevin Weekes doing this series, I'd be rooting sweep... either team.) And then I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote down the Hawks starting 12 forwards last year:

Byfuglien - Toews - Kane

Hossa - Kopecky - Sharp

Ladd - Bolland - Versteeg

Eager - Burish - Brower

JESUS! That's frickin deep. That's Mariana Trench deep. That's first Matrix movie deep. That's the reason why they won the two previous meetings vs. the Canucks. The deepness, bra. Chicago Deepdish.

Speaking of pizza, Mark Donnelly, have you lost some weight?

You be the judge:


2011 (FFWD to 4:04. P.S. Kevin Bieksa looks like a killer from 4:43 to 4:51)

Just in closing, I wanted to give props to Mr. Donnelly for his little signature on the last line of the anthem... I sing along to it every time: "We stand on guard... fo-ah-ah-oh-oh-or.... theee...."

And mad love to Richard Loney too. I feel like he'll still be singing the American anthem when I look like he does (and by the way I'm eating, that might not be too far off actually.)


uh.... oh yeah. Forgot again.

Hope you're having fun in Australia, pops. Throw a boomerang yet?

Give mom a hug for me,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Email to Pops: game 1 round 1: vancouver 2 - chicago 0

I hope this makes sense:

I’m a devout atheist, a burgeoning cynic and someone who thinks voodoo and black magic and auras are for wackos.

However, I’m just about the most stubbornly superstitious carbon-based life form when it comes to jinxes and sports-viewership. Example? My old man and I used to dress my mom up in a Canucks jersey and seat her beside the TV on the couch during the playoffs because, we noticed, that whenever she was sitting there, we would score. (Unintended results? I’ve never seen my father more chivalrous. My mom’s tea mug would be empty and he’d see her start to get up. “No, honey…” he’d shout, jumping off the couch, “I’ll get it.” My mom was almost as disappointed as we were when the Canucks were bounced.)

Why do I bring this up? Well, I believe I am a Vancouver Canucks jinx. Yes, I said it. Whenever I write about the Canucks on this here blog, bad things happen. (ie. Bad things = Chicago Blackhawks.) I tried to write recaps for each playoff game for each of the past two years and, well, we bowed out like a page leaving the Legislative Assembly (obscure reference? Check.)

So why now, herbiberous? Why would you come back and start writing about the Canucks when you abstained all year – ALL YEAR – and they won their first President’s Trophy, as best team in the NHL’s regular season. Why would you tempt fate like this? Why would you pipe up, just as things are getting serious? Why would you perturb the team’s aura?

Well, you see how much nonsense this is? I love this team and I love writing about them and I’m not going to let some silly superstition stop me…

…err… actually, I think I’ve just come up with an ingenious loophole to, at the same time, talk about my squad’s run for Lord Stanley, while also appeasing the hockey gods. (I didn’t say I was a hockey atheist. I suppose I’m a hockey polytheist.)

You see, my old man, come to think about it, is in Australia, where it’s like 4 a.m. on Sunday or something right now. He’s in the middle of the outback. How is he supposed to keep up with his beloved Canucks? I don’t even think there are TVs in Australia. So, as a good son, I think it’s my job to let him know what happened and who looked good and who looked not so good.

Official purpose of blog post: To write my father an email about the night’s game. (If it is posted on this blog, well, that’s just a more public way of emailing I guess.)


Blackhawks again.

They look they same, but they just don’t look the same.

They’re missing that gritty, hard element to their team that murdered our defensive corps last time around. Not that I’m complaining. (And neither is Alex Edler.)

Tonight, I thought Bobby Lou played like a beast. And I thought he had to. No one has heard more about playoff failure that Luongo has and I thought that, although it was only one game, he answered some of his critics Рto use the clich̩ of our time.

That’s one thing that Canucks fans have to live with too: no matter how great our team played this year and how good we felt, someone would always take the wind out of our sails (man, another cliché) with the ‘they’ll choke in the playoffs’ retort.

Well, maybe that’s why I’ve stayed quiet for so long, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t get excited during that first period. I probably had the neighbours calling the police here in Fort Simpson, the way I jumped off the coach, squatted down low and let a yell go with my arms out, like Crosby did in overtime in Vancouver 2010. It felt like that goal was a good 12 months in the waiting.

Really though, thought the Canucks did a good job in the first, but really let the Hawks back into it in the second and were bailed out by some luck and some Lou for the rest of the game.

The new additions looked really ready for the playoffs. Higgins and Lapierre weren’t afraid to use the body and I thought Higgins, in particular, looked strong on the puck. Hodgson, despite my initial worries about him not being able to keep up in the playoffs, did not look out of place, as I think Craig Simpson mentioned, and I thought Raymond played a decent game tonight.

The Sedins had an off night, but I don’t expect them to on Friday. It looked like they wanted to play a more physical game – and I really liked how Henrik skated right into the crease at the beginning of the first and didn’t move until he was pushed away. The twins are like a highly calibrated instrument and when the parts are firing just a little bit off sequence, the effectiveness of the product is diminished. (For an example of that analogy, please see that analogy.)

While Kesler had a decent ten-minute stretch in the first, I thought he looked a little overwhelmed. He has a lot of responsibility on this team now with Malhotra gone and I felt like for the first five minutes and then for a good span of the rest of the game, he was floating and looking for other people to make plays for him. He’s got to be the hardest worker on the ice and hopefully that message will get pounded into him.

Samuelsson still scares the bejeezus out of me when he’s got the puck. I feel like someone could make a suspense thriller about him dangling and turning around in his own zone with the puck.

The defense didn’t make any huge mistakes and I thought Hamhuis, Edler, Salo and Ehrhoff stood out. I was shocked when Salo flew out for an open ice hit at one point and just prayed he would break in half. Appreciated Edler’s physicality too.

Best players: Luongo, Hansen, Higgins, Lapierre, Edler

Need to get better: Daniel and Henrik, Samuelsson, Burrows

Alright boys, 15 more!

Oh yeah, I mean.... How’s Australia, dad?

Anyways, take care,


Monday, April 11, 2011

village life

I made it back North of 60 intact.

Nothing of note on my way home, except that my delicious microbrew gift for the Minduses (Mindi?) was confiscated by Montreal CATSA screeners.

"Really, I can't bring this delicious microbrew six-pack through security? They're not going to blow up or anything."

"No, sir. I can't let you do that. You do have time to go back to the front counter and get them to send them separately. You do have time."

I had the time, but I didn't have the time, you know what I mean? Man, these terrorists are winning. They really are.

Spent a really nice day with the Mindys back home before setting out to Simpson, Sunday. I'll probably have something more substantial to write about being home when I'm home for longer than 19 hours. As it was, we just shot the shit and had some laughs like always.

I landed in Fort Simpson yesterday and the first thing I noticed was the trees. They're bigger than the standard NWT fare. I noticed them from the sky, actually, where each one looked like a single hair and, when, clustered on hills, surrounded by white snow- and ice-covered rivers, looked like small pelts of fur.

Got in and was greeted by the editor I'm replacing. She's been super friendly and even more helpful as I get back on the metaphorical horse here. It was funny, when we were walking out of the airport, she passed an RCMP officer who congratulated her. She smiled and thanked him back and I kept walking and thought it odd that someone would get praised about going on a vacation. A few seconds went by and I said that she must know everyone in the village by now - it's a village officially, not a town - and she responded humbly that no, she doesn't know everyone, but that the police officer had just congratulated her on her recent engagement. She pointed to her ring finger. I smiled and duly congratulated her myself.

"How recent?" I asked.

"Yesterday," she replied.

We drove back into town... er... I mean, the village, and stopped in front of a large, two-storey house.

"Here we are," she said and opened the door.

I've got to say, it's a magisterial office, or a Belinni sculpture of a workplace, if I was to steal a few words from Ray Hudson. It reminds me of a ranger outpost: it's wide-open and sparsely furnished, with but a few desks glued to the walls, a couple shelves holding up decades' worth of newspapers and a small, plaid-cushioned couch sitting in the corner. It's ideal, in a word.

Another thing I've noticed about Fort Simpson is the blue sky. Maybe it's the time of year, but I feel like the sun has this rejuvenating effect right now. This place has big windows and it's like the sun gets into every corner of the building.

One unfortunate part of the timing of this trip is that all the ice bridge crossings are closed or will soon be, meaning I won't get out to visit any of the surrounding communities, which are only accessible in the winter via the ice roads or in the summer by crossing the river in a ferry. I'd kind of pumped myself up to drive to some of the smaller spots, but I guess I'll have to do that some other time.

Anyways, life in the North, with its slower pace and tight knit communities, isn't all Wild Roses. Namely, the cost of living is high, but you forget that until you find yourself spending just under $22 for 2 AAA batteries, a small pack of Black Forrest ham and a 2L container of milk. Damn. There were $9 boxes of cereal and a 4L tub of milk was nearly $10, too. You forget these things when you leave and you realize why... it's for sanity's sake.

Also, I almost screwed myself tonight for dinner, since I'd started working on a couple things and it was quarter to seven before I'd realized it. My colleague asked if I wanted to eat some dinner with her and her fiance, but I said I'd just run down to the Northern store to get some food. She said it may be closed. I called and luckily I had ten minutes to get there.

I'd completely forgotten what it was like to be in a place where you couldn't access basic food items at any hour of the day or night. I ran down the street and got some brown beans, some green beans, some Ichiban packs, some bread and a couple of cans of peaches. Wait, does that even qualify as basic food?

I'm a little sleepy, so I'll just say that I've really enjoyed getting back into the saddle. I spoke to a judo coach about a clinic that he took some of his students to over the weekend. Actually, we first heard about it when we were at the school talking to some kids for a little feature that the paper does every week and these kids were all beaming and glowing and gabbing about judo. "Did you go to judo in Hay River?" they kept asking me.

I tracked down the coach - Okay, I'm lying. My colleague, who is like a regional encyclopedia, threw me his work number, home number and likely hours I could reach him. I tried him at lunch and she said, "I think he goes home for lunch," before adding (with effect) "if you look out the window, we'll probably see him drive by in a few minutes. He drives a blue truck." Noted - and we talked for a good hour about the program he wants to set up and how he believes the sport will grow in popularity, as it allows the kids to be physical, but in a heavily rule-based environment, while it also instills discipline and teaches leadership. He said, since the more experienced students mentor and teach the younger students, they gain maturity and learn how to guide and lead others. Another thing going for the program? It's free. And believe me, that's huge.

Like I mentioned earlier though, life isn't all Wild Roses. From what the coach was saying, it sounded like these kids had a transformative time: "I watched these kids come alive," he said - and the pictures he gave me from the event seem to indicate this. The sobering return home, though, was indicative of the heart ache that some of these kids endure.

While the kids were bubbling with pride in the car, eager to tell their parents about the fun times they'd had and ready to show them the silver participation medals they'd all received, the coach said that only one kid he drove back in his vehicle went home to a parent in the household: the other kids did not know where their parents were when they got back.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

home movies

During my summer in Iqaluit, a friend and I started talking about putting together a claymation movie. I wanted to document my fruitless fishing forays in a comical way and we began coming up with ideas for a plot... and music. I was staying in an apartment not far from the airport and my neighbour had an old electric organ that she let me borrow. I lugged the thing across the hall and into the apartment, sliding it up against the wall. I plugged it, super excited about coming up with a soundtrack for our little movie. I spent hours goofing around on that thing and, unfortunately, due to my almost-luddite-level ignorance when it comes to technology, what I have below is pretty much all that I was able to record. Since I didn't know how to record the noise I was making, I just used the GarageBand feature on my macbook to record the audio through my laptop's internal microphone. To play it back, I found it was best done using the iMovie feature, but I could only listen to it if I put actual movies alongside to accompany it, as the music would stop once the movie footage ran out. So I uploaded every last movie clip I had on my camera - the camera that can't record audio - and then I was able to listen to my 4:44-minute slice of schizoid heaven.

The claymation movie, like so many of the things I get excited about, never moved passed the imagination phase.

Tonight though, I found the original, for-recording-purposes-only video, and I honestly scratched my head/giggled hysterically while it played. There appear to be little snippets from Yellowknife, Grace Lake, Rossland, Iqaluit, Egypt, Chicago, London, Vancouver, Calgary, a couple some stops along the road... and a whole lot of me walking drunk with my trusty, beat-up, pocket-sized Panasonic.

Note: A couple of the movie files were corrupted, so I had to take a long piece from Egypt and sub in a shot of fireworks at a White Sox game and a ferry ride across the Mackenzie on January 2 in -40C.

Here it is:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

kids these days

Dispatches from McGill:

Last night at a show, I met a former McGill hall fellow (think dormitory RA) and got a brief and blurry glimpse into the drinking culture - and game of choice - of some of Canada's future leaders (or maybe, more accurately, the almost-grown children of Canada's current leaders.)

Apparently, when a group of McGillers get together, it's not to drink Millers. They have come up with a concoction/tradition called the BLC (or Big League Chug) and, from what I was told, this ain't your gramma's drinking game. (Ginochle? Vod-canasta? I'll stop...)

They'll take whatever they're drinking that night - rum, gin, tequila, vodka, sizzurp? - and pour six - yeah, SIX - shots of it into a cup and then top it off with whatever they were using as a mix. Then, BAM, down the hatch.

BLC, bitch.

Well, from what my source said, this appears to be the common chronology involved with the BLC: 1) kid will slam said BLC, 2) jump around hooting and hollering, 3) eventually sit down and get nauseous, 4) barf, 5) ask for another BLC, 6) repeat steps 1 through 5.

Also, I have heard that there are some that can only do a three-shot BLC and this is called a PBLC (you guessed it, a Pussy Big League Chug.)

A BLC ritual gathering is usually populated by males, but I guess the ladies do partake on occasion, as well.

Now we used to drink pretty hard in high school and college at times - I'm thinking Man Ram chugging mickeys back at the sand pits and the multi-beer funnels and keg stands - but what happened to a good old fashioned beer shotgun? It was dramatic, sufficiently macho and it got the job done - especially if followed with another and another.

This BLC seems a little like overkill to me and I'm thinking some of the girls - and guys- I used to party with would probably be spraying BLCs or PBLCs all over the place after a while.

Frickin kids these days...


PROOF! POOF! There's a facebook page!

According to the official BLC page, 71 percent of viewers are males... Food for thought