Star Wars and the Last Episode of The X-Files

Long weekends are rarely long enough. I’d like one to last about a year, personally, but without all the seasonal changes. But I suppose that’s what Hawaii is for…

My weekend (sort of) started on Thursday night, with the premiere of “Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones”. Although I’m still not sold on the title, I think the movie is a vast improvement over Episode One. And it’s gonna be a heck of a lead-in for Episode Three.

One thing that was definitely missing this time was hype. True, hype can severely detriment a film. It can drag it down by setting expectations far too high. But at the same time, there’s such a powerful excitement that you really don’t care if the movie sucks or not — you just want to be there. While I can’t speak for either Therese or Stuart, I was a little disenchanted this time. Even when the words: “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” came up, and the audience went ballistic (I love opening night crowds), I didn’t feel that excited grin cross my face. It was almost as if I was just seeing another movie.

Maybe I was, but wasn’t willing to accept it. Who knows — a few people have speculated that this hasn’t exactly been the best year for me: My father passing away, my workload and responsibility load increasing dramatically, and now Chris having left for Japan. (And we’re not even half-way through the year yet.) I suppose it’s entirely possible that the joy I should feel last left. Is it time for a change in lifestyle, perhaps? Well, I’ve got one coming soon…

The date of closure of my house is coming soon. In less than two weeks, I’ll be in my “new” house. I had originally feared that the excitement I first felt upon buying the house would eventually dissipate, and I wouldn’t end up wanting to move. Thankfully, the last few days have shown me that I am not only ready to leave my apartment, but I can’t wait to move into the house. Right now, I need the patience of a Jedi just to keep from bursting my skin wanting to move in. I’ve started driving by the house, just to remind myself. At times, this still feels like a dream. Whether or not it turns out to be a nightmare remains to be seen…

On Friday night, I was supposed to attend Star Wars with friends from the office. However, I had other plans — seeing friends I haven’t seen for a very long time: Ed and Jen. Ed is one of my friends from first year university, and was one of my roommates during my second year. Both years rank very highly in my best and most cherished memories. It had been over four years since I’d last seen Jen — about one and a half since I’d last seen Ed — and in both cases it had been far too long.

They arrived on the 9:45pm flight from Toronto, and despite looking a little dazed (and being quite hungry), they looked almost exactly the way I’d last remembered them. It’s good to know some things don’t change too much. We picked up their luggage, arranged for their rental car, and headed to my apartment. (Although I had sent them instructions on how to get there, I figured it was just plain easier for me to pick them up. Long flights and detailed instructions rarely mix well.)

After unceremoniously dumping their belongings at the apartment, we adjourned to Ceili’s for a late evening meal (of chicken wings and seasoned chicken bites) and beer. It was also a chance to retell old stories, catch up on new ones, and retie the old bonds that had kept us friends. If anything, it reinforced the need for me to visit with friends this year, especially those I haven’t seen for a long time.

We were in bed relatively early (I was plenty tired, and they were jet lagged), and up by 8:30. Ed and Jen were parked out on the street, which expired by 9:00 — besides, they wanted to get a start on the day and get on their camping vacation. The first order of business however, was breakfast. I knew of two places not too far away that were supposedly quite good, but only one I knew of for certain — The Galaxie Diner.

This is probably about as landmark as a Calgary restaurant gets. And it has, according to my breakfast cohorts, some of the best breakfasts available. You just need to get there fairly early. Something I definitely need to keep in mind for the next time people are out this way.

Following breakfast was a series of trips to get provisions and supplies for Ed and Jen. Luckily, they had upgraded their car reservation the night before from a Ford Focus to Pontiac Intrigue. (Yeah, I know, “upgrade” is subjective. Simple fact: the Intrigue is bigger. Hence, more room to store all the stuff they had.) By 2:30, they had all the things they needed, had seen a bit of Calgary, and were ready to head into the mountains.

I spent the rest of the day watching TV and movies. I felt a complete lack of desire to go outside.

Sunday morning, met up with Kaz for dim sum. She had called me a couple days earlier interested in going for dim sum, if there was a party going. I had some difficulty raising anyone else (turned out to be a case of missing people), so it ended up just being Kaz and myself.

A first note on dim sum for two: Can’t be done, especially if you know what you’re getting and have been with large groups. Both Kaz and I overate. But it was all good — I didn’t eat again until much later.

Going to dim sum with Kaz was a little uncomfortable. It was just me, so I lacked the “safety in numbers”. I know this sounds strange, but look at it this way: I was out with my best friend’s fiancée, while my best friend is half-way around the world. It’s a little disconcerting, and only because I’m still getting to know her, and she’s getting to know me. But by the end, I was feeling much better — I think it’s just a case of finding ground on my own. (Previously, Chris had always been around.) One thing the dim sum did give us was a chance to talk. There were a few things Kaz needed to know, not only about Chris, but about the rest of us, too. Barring a change in plans, Kaz will become Chris’ wife, and therefore someone who’ll need to know who we are.

After dim sum, I wandered about downtown for a while, but ended up at home. Watching TV. And movies.

Luckily, I was rescued by Stuart and Therese, who invited me over for the first barbecue of the season, and to watch the final episode of the X-Files. The three of us (and often with Chris) had watched the X-Files religiously for years — often in our parents’ basements when were in Oakville, with my travelling to Guelph a few times to watch season premieres (and finales) when we were in university, and sharing stories and theories during the summer breaks. But no more, except in reruns.

Today was … pretty much a nothing day. I needed to come in to work, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I forced myself outside for a couple of hours, but soon found myself wanting to go home again. It was a warm day, but hazy … the Weather Network put it down as “smoke”, but from what I don’t know — the mountains are still thawing out.

Another week is underway, and it brings me another week closer to changing my life. I, for one, can’t wait.

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