Tue 26 May 2009
Thu 30 Apr 2009
But the honest, dark, truth is that on the other hand I really don’t want the Canucks to win the Stanely Cup while I’m not there. The city would be irrevocably changed. A city of losing would have a championship to savour and talk about forever. And I would not be a part of it. People would look different…more confident. They’d reminisce in large groups about the team of 2007 and I would find myself quietly nodding along, the last kid at the party who had yet to kiss a girl. I’m actually not sure I could ever go home again. It wouldn’t be the same home anymore.
I wrote that in April 2007 when the Canucks were in the playoffs and here I am two years later once again cheering on my home team but also desperately hoping they don’t actually with the Stanley Cup. And dispensing with the Blues in a sweep last week has only fuelled my anguish.
Tue 23 Dec 2008
While most Australians can only dream of a white Christmas this week, Canadians are set to experience their whitest in almost 40 years.
The entire country is covered in snow for the first time since 1971.
Alberta is the only province that has no weather warning current and as many as 100,000 people in Atlantic Canada are without power as snow and freezing temperatures wreak havoc.
The prairie provinces are in a deep freeze, with temperatures dipping to under minus 30 degrees Celsius, and even British Columbia is suffering with unusually cold weather.
Eastern Canada is still digging out from back-to-back weekend snowstorms that dumped 50 centimetres of snow and disrupted air travel during the busiest time of the year.
Forecasters say there is more snow coming on Christmas Eve.
I spent yesterday swimming in a pool in someone’s backyard and playing cricket. Life is funny.
Fri 14 Nov 2008
Sun 5 Oct 2008
But I may be that prick at work who wins stuff without any skill whatsoever. Hate me, hate me now.
Well, a few weeks ago when the NRL regular season wrapped up, our footy tipping competition at work came to an end. And it turns out that I CAME IN SECOND PLACE! How does that taste, LOSERS? You all (well almost all) lost to a Canadian in a footy tipping competition. Ouch.
My achievement was awarded with a cool $255! It all came down to the last weekend when I picked one result more than someone I had been even with for weeks. He was not pleased. My pick ended up costing him some cash (we would have split the second place prize).
People at work were not happy with me for a couple reasons. First, I obviously know nothing about the sport. In fact, I find it really dull. The Grand Final just wrapped up a little while ago and I didn’t watch a single second; I probably saw 15 minutes of game play the entire season. Second, I was tipping the last few weeks via email while I was on vacation in Vancouver; a Canadian beat them….FROM CANADA.
Anyway, it was a great day at work when I walked into the office to be greeted by accolades, scorn, obscenities, and an envelope containing $255 cash.
Sat 7 Jun 2008
Fri 30 May 2008
Sport and gambling are the two official past times of Australia and many activities combine the two. The Sydney* equivalent to the Canadian office hockey pool is tipping each week’s winners in the NRL. I actually can’t really stand the sport. Perhaps not growing up with rubgy league has led me to only see its faults (repetitive!) rather than its strengths (I assume there are some).
Regardless of my feelings toward the sport, at work I am kicking ass in our footy tipping pool. In fact, I’m only 5 games behind the leader who, presumably, actually knows something about the rubgy league. I barely know the teams. I have to rely heavily on the newspaper and Friday morning strategy sessions with some of my fellow co-workers. But I may be that prick at work who wins stuff without any skill whatsoever. Hate me, hate me now.
Tonight I picked the Broncos (who are currently winning) and the Raiders (who are currently getting schooled). Let’s see if I can have a good weekend…
*No one outside Sydney actually cares about the NRL. The rest of the country follows AFL. Now you know.
Thu 10 Jan 2008
When Amanda, her brother, a friend of ours and myself went out to the cricket last week we had no idea we’d be attending one of the more dramatic and controversial test matches of recent memory. Writing all this now, after all that has happened this week, is a bit bizarre. But there we were, last Thursday, out at the Sydney Cricket Ground watching Day 2 of the Second Test between Australia and India.
Since moving here two and a half years ago I have developed quite a fondness for cricket. Perhaps it’s the baseball fan in me, but I enjoy cricket’s slow pace. But nothing quite prepared me for a full day of test cricket. We arrived at the SCG around 10:30am when play was to get underway. They play sports at 10:30am here! Eight (!!!) hours later (6:30pm) we finally got back to our car. That, my friends, is a long time to be sitting directly under the unrelenting Australian sun. Hats are a must. In fact, the cricket seems to be the only place where no hat is too big or too stupid.
Despite the amazing final over on Day 5, Day 2 was a rather dull affair, even by cricket standards. India’s Dravid batted for hours and hours and still only managed 53 runs. So how does the crowd stay entertained when the cricket itself is often quite boring? Well, the guys behind us (we were in Row 6) brought 12 beach balls for a lengthy game of Keepaway. They’d blow up one ball and send it flying back and the crowd, desperate for some form of mental stimulation, would focus all their attention on keeping that beach ball both in the stands and out of the reach of security.
God help you if you were the poor bastard who knocked the ball onto the pitch. But if one ball was lost, the boys were instantly ready with another which was immediately thrown up into the crowd. With absolutely no hyperbole, there were significant stretches of the match where the cricket was completely secondary to the beach balls in the crowd or – another favourite cricket fan pastime – yelling at the players until they acknowledge you with a wave.
That is Brad Hogg, my new favourite cricketer. He’s a spin bowler (which I find much more interesting than fast bowling) but, more importantly, he spent a good portion of the afternoon fielding over near us. He was constantly bombarded with united screams of “HOOGGGGYYYYY” until he was forced to wave or turn around and smile. Only then would the screams subside and he was allowed focus on the match. Once Hoggy complied it was on to the rest of the cricketers. “RICKY RICKY RICKY!” Ricky Ponting waves. “CLARKEY CLARKEY CLARKEY!” Michael Clarke waves. Hell, the crowd even chanted the umpires name and got him to wave. This is how the crowd passes the time at a test cricket match.
Another pastime is the wave. It works on much the same principal at a cricket match as it does at a hockey game. When the wave hits your section, you get up, wave your hands, and scream. But there is one amazing difference in the wave at the cricket: when the wave gets to the Members Stand THE SNOBS DO NOT PARTICIPATE. They do not get up, they do not wave their hands like they just don’t care, they do not scream. That is beneath them. Of course, the entire cricket ground knows this, so even before the wave reaches the Members Stand, the rest of the crowd boos the hell out of them. I’d never been so proud to be a member of the proletariat. It was truly a sight to behold.
Other bits and pieces I enjoyed or at least found amusing:
1. Beer being served at 10:30am.
2. I’ve probably mentioned it before on this blog, but I still get a kick out of the fact that cricket has not only a lunch break but a tea break. And a few drinks breaks. TEA BREAK. You can’t make this stuff up.
3. The signs. I love signs. Is that not the worst kangaroo you’ve ever seen? It looks like a dinosaur!
All in all I had a great day at the cricket. I think I’ll try a one-day match next.
You can see more photos from the day on flickr.
Mon 10 Dec 2007
It’s been summer for officially ten days now which means people are spending more time outdoors these days. And this means that Hunting Season 07/08 is also underway. Doing the hunting early this season include:
Hammerhead sharks in Cronulla: Do you think they were wearing Aussie flags?
Snakes on golf courses!: I thought of my dad and step-mum when I read this one. My step-mum said during her visit here in April that there is no way she’d be gardening here in Australia (she is terrified of snakes). But what about her other outdoor pastimes? Given the amount of time they both spend in the rough I would assume golf would be out as well.
Sat 29 Sep 2007
Did you know that the Rugby World Cup is on right now? If you’re Canadian, I suspect you don’t. I have never seen Canada play international rugby before but I am going to change that tonight as they take on Australia in their final pool game. Actually, for Canada, this will be there last game of the World Cup (I assume) as they have not played well this tournament.
Since Amanda is sick in bed, and I’m up by myself, Saturday night will see me watching a sport I know almost nothing about but writing about nonetheless.
SEAN LIVEBLOGS THE RUGBY WORLD CUP!
10:18pm PREGAME: France is hosting the World Cup and this game is taking place in Bordeaux. Wow, I’ve been talking smack about Bordeaux for over five years now but it is actually a really beautiful city by the looks of it. I clearly did not hit the right stops. Apologies Bordeaux. (I don’t take back anything I said about Naples, however.)
10:27pm PREGAME: Canada and Australia have played five times at the World Cup. Canada has lost all five of those games.
10:29pm PREGAME: Why must sports commentators insist on wearing those ridiculous Britney-style microphones? Your hands do not need to be free to dance.
10:44pm PREGAME: Have the Channel 10 people chosen suits for their commentators in order to match the majority of the buildings in Bordeaux?
10:48pm PREGAME: Canadian fans wearing Mountie outfits! Why don’t we do this at Olympic hockey games?
10:52pm PREGAME: Canada’s jersey kick ass. Red and black. Much better than the ubiquitous green and gold of Australia. Probably the only decision that will go Canada’s way tonight.
10:59pm PREGAME: Wait, I take that back. The anthems. Advance Australia Fair is alright; thankfully there was a shorter version tonight than I heard at work yesterday. But come on. Oh, Canada is a pretty great anthem. Decision: Canada. NOW all the decisions will go Australia’s way.
11:00 KICKOFF: AMAZING. Canada has a player called Snow and another called Daypuck. DAYPUCK!
11:01: Canada’s “packweight” is less than Australia’s.
11:02: And Canada’s down 3-0.
11:06: Why is the ref mic’d? I don’t need to hear his every word to the players.
11:07: Alright then…we don’t wait for whistles to break for commercials.
11:13: Nice snot-rocket, Mensah-Coker.
11:23: Wow, this match has no flow. Even I can tell that. The commentators seem to be blaming the ref. Works for me. Canada still hanging in there.
11:24: Hands get placed in some very troubling places during a scrum. VERY troubling.
11:31: The first try of the game goes to Australia. 8-0 Australia.
11:37: 13-0 Australia. Approaching halftime.
11:44: Halftime. 13-0 Australia. Canada didn’t even look like they thought about scoring once.
11:53: The Australian accent crashes spectacularly with French pronunciation: MAWNTPELLIERRR. bearAY.
11:55: Well that seemed like a quick halftime.
11:57: Canada on the board! 13-3 Australia. And the Aussie commentators managed to use the term “Canadian Prairies.” Awesome!
12:06am: Another try for Australia. 18-3.
12:10: Oooh. Canada scores. 18-6. The “Canadian Prairies” get their second mention!
12:21: Distracted by Facebook the last ten minutes. But Australia just scored again. 25-6.
12:24: Australia FINALLY starting to destroy the Canadians. 30-6. And Canada just got described as one of the “minnows” of the tournament.
12:27: More Ref Mic. This guy is the friendliest ref I’ve ever seen/heard. But I’m still hearing too much of him.
12:34: That Rod Snow is a HUGE man. The term “athlete” is getting stretched a bit tonight.
12:35: *yawn* Australia scores again. 37-6.
12:42: Canada has “legendary rugby players”? Nice to know, though I am skeptical.
12:43: Canada is put out of their misery. 37-6 final.
12:44: Alright, I know it’s a horrible thing to say in Sydney but both Rugby Union and AFL are much better games than NRL. Sorry, the truth can hurt I know. And with that, I’m off to bed. Bonsoir.