Victoria Day Long Weekend Aftermath

15 years ago tonight, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup. Tonight, they have only three games until they win it again.

It is, admittedly, a nice way to start the week off after a long weekend. The first long weekend of the summer season, it is Victoria Day when Calgary’s resident population dips precariously low as most take off for the mountains. In many cases, this wasn’t a particularly bright move, since the weather wasn’t exactly ideal. Namely, it snowed. Again. As usual.

Well, that was in the mountains. It wasn’t too bad here, actually. Saturday and Sunday were cool, Saturday being the more miserable of the two (light “snow” that melted on contact with the ground). Monday was a welcome break, and was much more bearable, the comfortable conditions lasting well into the evening. Definitely a sure sign of improving weather.

Friday ended early for Critical Mass, and many people took advantage by disappearing at 16:00. (Not that a single hour would have made that much difference — almost half the office had already taken the day off.) I stuck around a bit longer, mostly because I had to finish up some loose ends. But also because I was going to get a lift from the office that afternoon, so didn’t feel like going home first. (Hey, it seemed logical to me.)

Shortly before 17:00, my phone rang. It was Alex, my ride. She was on her way, and would rendez-vous with me shortly. (She arrived about 20 minutes later.) We didn’t leave immediately, as I wanted to give her a quick tour of Critical Mass’s rather swanky office space. (Okay, so it’s not really swanky, but it is pretty cool. We just have to be reminded of that from time to time.) Then it was off to Chinook.

We were meeting up with several of Alex’s co-workers and my friend Adrian (one of my co-workers, too) to catch a viewing of “Shrek 2”. Alex and I would make a pit stop at the food court to grab a tuna fish sub from Quizno’s first. (We hadn’t eaten yet, and the prospect of going without food was a little on the unbearable side.) Finishing, we hiked down to the other end of the mall to the theatres, where we found Alex’s co-workers. (Adrian would join us, sans cast, a few moments later.)

For the record, I laughed myself silly in “Shrek 2”. It’s hard not to. Okay, yes, Shrek is a kindler, gentler ogre than the first movie. Despite his lack of cantankerousness, he still has his moments … the rest are stolen by Donkey (of course), Puss in Boots (awesomely voiced by Antonio Banderas), or the group of three blind mice, Pinocchio, the Gingerbread Man, and the three little pigs reenacting scenes from a number of movies. Some say it’s not nearly as good as the first movie, but I think it’s got a lot going for it. (I’ve already seen it twice, so I have a fairly good opinion of it.)

The next evening, Alex returned the favour for office tours. Alex … hmm, it just dawned on me that you have no idea who I’m talking about. Alex (short for Alexandra, though she prefers the abbreviated version of her name) is my new girlfriend. We’ve been seeing each other for a little over a month, and things seem to get better every day. Actually, that’s not true or fair. We’d actually started seeing each other back in early January, but I really screwed up and we stopped seeing each other for a while. Thankfully, Alex has more sense in these things than I do, and called me just before I went to Japan.

She’s a lot of fun, a little quirky (which, considering me, is a very good quality), really cute, and has the brains to back it all up. She’s an X-ray technician at one of the local hospitals (sorry, but I’m not going to say which one just yet), so that leads to a lot of very interesting conversations. And she’s a huge fan of Jann Arden (given, not that I know a lot of Jann’s stuff, but that ought to please Cathy).

Back to the tour. As you’ve guessed, Alex took me to her place of employment — the hospital. It was a bit of a peculiar thing, going to a hospital for no reason other than to go to the hospital. I’ve never sight-seen a hospital before. It’s a bit of an unusual experience. Especially when the tour is guided and you get to see a few things that most non-medical people don’t get to see. Like the x-ray machines up close, and from a point of view where you can actually see the thing. I learned more about radiography in a couple of short hours than I thought was possible. I now know how modern x-rays are taken (all digital), the kinds of equipment that are used to produce quality images, and why the Philips equipment isn’t particularly desired.

Sunday and Monday were rest days for me. Lots of … well, not much of anything, really. A trip out to Costco amounted to my major activity for Sunday. Monday was a trip to the gym and a repeat viewing of “Shrek 2”. Monday evening, I accompanied Alex to her dragon boat practice down on the Glenmore Reservoir. I was a mere spectator, but it was an interesting time.

Summer hasn’t yet officially arrived here in Calgary (and probably won’t until after the Cup has come home — yes, we’re very optimistic around here), but already it’s looking to be a very good one.