March 2003

Cup of Soup

Mon, Mar 3, 2003

The Time Approaches

Six days until I hit the quarter-century mark. For my birthday this year, I would like a license plate that reads "SPU", that Optimus Prime Transformer toy that I always wanted as a kid and never got, and a quaint little villa in the rolling hills of Tuscany where the weather isn't so freakin' cold.

Make it so.

Sat, Mar 8, 2003

Toronto Rocks

The birthday weekend has started off well. Friday night my friends treated me to my third outing to a Toronto Rock lacrosse game, and witnessed our team earn a solid 11-7 win over Vancouver. To add to the fun, I caught a t-shirt thrown by the dance team from the floor, and got a very nice view of who must be the hottest cheerleader ever.

Today provided an additional whollop of fun as we went back to the Air Canada Centre for the Buds Club day. I met Wendel Clark and got to watch the Leafs practice from front row gold seats right behind Eddie Belfour's net, which included Owen Nolan's first appearance as a Maple Leaf. Then, the visiting Canucks had their practice, and when a lot of the spectators had left, I got sit in the front row platinums, right at the glass, to watch some of their players take slapshots at the goal.

I'm still waiting for that villa in Tuscany, though.

Tues, Mar 11, 2003


Mats Sundin, Alexander Mogilny, Gary Roberts, Owen Nolan, Nik Antropov, Doug Gilmour, Bryan McCabe, Thomas Kaberle, Phil Housley, Robert Svehla, Ed Belfour. This is a team that plays with skill. This is a team that plays with experience. This is a team that plays with PASSION.

Veterans, hot-shots, superstars, true grit, and a 36-year-long thirst. This is a team that can finally bring us the Cup.

Thurs, Mar 13, 2003

TSN Highlight of the Night

When it comes to my performance in hockey games, I am my own biggest critic. After a game, I will remember the one or two goals I let in that I really should have had, and think about how it will affect my GAA. I routinely get praise and compliments from my teammates, but I let it slide off me, preferring to aim for a better performance next week.

Last night, however, I couldn't keep the smile off my face. We faced a very fast and persistent team that caught us quite off guard. I pulled an Eddie Belfour, and let in the very first shot, which caught me totally surprised just after the opening faceoff. Fifteen minutes later, after a screened tip, a bad giveaway, and a flurry of six or seven shots that saw me stop the first five or six while flailing on my back, we were faced with a 4-1 deficit.

But, like the Eagle himself, I gathered myself together, refused to give in, and held my ground, going flawless for the next 30 minutes of play, turning aside what must have been in excess of 50 shots.

Some quick bursts of offence - including a dandy Bobby Orr re-enactment - quickly put us ahead 6-4, and still I protected my fortress. TSN had a few candidates for Highlight of the Night, including a break that gave the shooter an open net to use, lest for an outstretched toe that managed to catch the ball and steal a sure-goal away, and a cross-court pass turned one-timer that was snagged nicely by the mesh of my trapper as I dove across the crease. I had to stare at the glove a moment just to confirm that I had actually caught that shot, and it even drew an ovation from the opposing team.

I feel good. I feel really good. Unfortunately, in the morning I am going to feel really sore.

Tues, Mar 18, 2003

Memory Lane

Yesterday, I took a stroll down Memory Lane. None of the streets through which that stroll took me were named Memory Lane, but it's the closest thing I expect I'll get to literally taking that metaphoric stroll.

I left work, headed out to a remote computer shop for some inexpensive RAM, and - since the weather had finally changed from bleak midwinter to not-so-bleak spring - I decided to make the trek on foot. I walked up University Ave and recalled walking up and down this street day after day in the summer of '95 working for a professor on this new thing called the "Internet", and not making a dime for our hard work. I walked past U of T and, watching the students file in and out, recalled a glimpse of the student life I left behind just one short year ago. I took the streetcar back and recalled the high school co-op term and the following summer working at ICE, riding two busses, two subways, and the Queen St streetcar for a one hour and forty-five minute commute to work every day.

The most powerful reminder, however, was the exit from the building in which I work. I walked down King St., and recalled how my cousins used live further down that very road. Most of them married and moved out closer to us in the 'burbs, but that house was a focal point in our family until only a few years ago, when it was finally sold. Much of my childhood was spent over there; many Sunday evenings, to summer afternoons. For a moment, walking down that street amid the towering skyscrapers, the feel of that old place started to seep in. The mass of people headed home from work, the rumble of the streetcar that rattles the ground beneath your feet as it passes, the slight scent of exhaust from the cars weaving their way through traffic. I almost expected to turn a corner and see the old playground and Stanley Park, and the tetherball I could never reach as a child.

This was the Old Toronto as I remembered it. It's nice to know it's still there.

Mon, Mar 24, 2003

Good Pain

A good kind of pain is the pain you feel after playing five games of ball hockey in one day, bruised and muscles aching, but finishing first in a tournament. Going on to lose in the semi-finals bitters that pain a bit, but it was still a good time, and my butt muscles haven't felt this well-toned in months.

Mon, Mar 31, 2003


Who is that masked man in the retro-70's goalie pads?

At a concert, when somebody vacates their seats and leaves the premises, you don't have to wait long before an opportunist jumps and takes the now-vacated spot. In the compact world of IT, the "good desk" is just as coveted. On Friday, two valuable members of our team sadly departed us, but they were gone not two minutes before I placed my coffee mug on a newly-vacated prime seat and laid my claim. Honestly, I can't believe how much more comfortable it is in my new location. My old seat had a vent directly above me, and by day's end my fingers were so numb from the cold I could hardly type. Now, I can work in warm toasty comfort. Hopefully, my boss won't expect me to be any more productive as a result.

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