Old Buildings, New Cars, and Spunk Rock

I dig downtown Saskatoon, but can you spot what’s wrong with this picture?  Nice trees, cobbled paver sidewalks, and neat old buildings.  What’s not to love?  The traffic lights are a bit of a modern eyesore, but I assure you, they’re very necessary.  The modern, plastic cars, however, are not necessary.  Look at the picture again, but this time picture the streets littered in pre-1970 American iron.  Looks better, doesn’t it?  Heck, go pre-1960 and it’s even cooler!

Jeremy Clarkson did this very thing on Top Gear.  He went into a historic neighbourhood somewhere in England, and replaced every car in every driveway with a vintage Jaguar.  His argument was that if homeowners weren’t allowed to buy vinyl siding, artificial stone, or plastic windows, why should they be allowed to defile their driveways with something as grotesque as a modern automobile?  After this picture was taken, I headed to O’Shea’s Irish Pub for one of the best veggie burgers in town, then to Amigo’s Cantina for the sweet sounds of Savage Henry and the Infamous One Pounders.  FYI, I was driving a 2005 Chrysler at the time, being part of the problem.  Fucking winter…

Schrodinger’s Uncle and the Fraternity Without a School

A dumb title, a picture of a hat, and a new entry within a week of the last one?  Yeah, things are happening here!  I’ve got tons of stuff written down on paper, but nothing entered.  Why?  Because my computer has been slow for months!  You see, I have a lot going on…  None of it that important, just lots of little things, enough that I have a few windows and tabs open in Microsoft Edge at all times… Seventy-four to be exact.  It’s amazing, when I utilized the favourites folders and closed seventy different tabs, everything quit locking up.  I’m back!

So I’ve got this uncle…  Actually, he’s not my uncle, he’s my great uncle.  Well…  He’s not technically related to me.  My great uncle passed away before I was born, and this guy moved in with my great aunt.  I guess you could call him my great stepuncle.  They both liked drinking, and it worked.  Anyways, she passed away decades ago, and he’s been a bachelor/solo alcoholic ever since.  Recently, he moved into a care home, and people keep hearing he passed away.  I haven’t heard anything from the family, so I refer to him as Schrodinger’s Uncle:  Until I get the official word, he can be thought of as both alive and dead.  Creepy, hey?

Now, to tie the hat into all of this.  My great aunt had an adult son.  He never lived with my great stepuncle, but he only lived a few blocks away in a big, old, two-storey house.  A few of his friends also lived there, all of them in their twenties, so needless to say, it was a constant party.  The movie Animal House was released around this time, and since the “Delta House” was the place to party, it only seemed fitting to name their house after it.  “Delta East”.  Two blocks West of there was another rental house: “Delta West”.  It was a decent spot, apparently, but wasn’t as renowned as Delta East.

Why was Delta East renowned?  It just so happened to be next door to the home of the editor of the local newspaper.  He hated Delta East with a passion, such a passion that he actually put a huge exposé on the cover of his newspaper.  If I had a copy, I’d have a picture posted, and although I can’t remember the title, there was a picture of an unattended rifle leaning on the white picket fence out front.  The exposé covered everything from loud music, to substance abuse, to firearms, and even mentioned public sex acts on a picnic table out back.  How awesome!  Eventually, the novelty wore off, people grew up or moved away, and the house was abandoned.  It was demolished later on, in the late eighties I believe.  Luckily, it lasted long enough that they got some felt-lettered, foam-n-mesh hats made up.

My great stepuncle came into my work about five years back, wearing one of the legendary “Delta East” hats, possibly the last one in existence.  I told him that I wanted to be put into his will for that hat, and only that hat.  He left, and came back ten minutes later, wearing a different hat.  He set this one on the counter and said “here ya go, don’t have to worry about it later this way.  I’ve got lots of hats.”  I told my cousin about it, to which he replied “I hope you washed it.  Last time I stopped by his house, it smelled like an Arab’s ass in August.”  Believe me when I tell you, Febreze and Raid can make a used hat new again.

New Year, Same Old Situation…

There I was, standing in the middle of a decent, ground-floor apartment, wearing nothing but boxers and a beater, watching a topless girl grind up pills into rails on an old CD case with a spoon so she could stay awake long enough to pick up her kid from the babysitter.  Now, do I have your attention?

It’s been just over two months since New Year’s Eve, so I guess you could say I’m ready to talk about it.  Who am I kidding?  I was ready to talk about it the next day, which happened to start at the crack of 4:00pm.  How do I get myself into these situations, you ask?  In the words of Kurt Cobain “I think I’m dumb, maybe just happy”.  Fitting, hey?  I’m pretty good at my job, and I’m critical enough that I can build a decent looking car, but past that, I’m a train wreck.  I tend to make terrible decisions, but I always laugh them off as a great story and carry on to the next one.  In a social setting, I like people, period.  In a retail work setting, people can be quite exhausting, but out and about, from a third-party view, they’re fascinating.  Drunk people are even better!

It started at the wrong bar, and it started way too early.  7:00pm at O’Hanlon’s, which is NOT the place to be on New Year’s Eve.  Luckily, a pub crawl came through and took us to our rightful place downtown: Dewdney,  the holy land of bad decisions!  Habano’s was the venue, as usual, and once again things got a little foggy that night.  Two Northsiders, a Sinner, a handful of Burkeville guys, and maybe some others that I can’t remember?  I don’t know. Regardless, at about 2:00am, we got separated, and I ended up in a car headed to a house party with a bunch of total strangers, and one guy who seemed to remember partying with me way back when.

The house was really nice, and really new, which is unusual compared to where I usually end up.  There was not one dead Camaro on the lawn, and not a primered Chevy S10 in sight.  What wasn’t unusual, however, is the fact that the guy who owned the place had lost his keys, and had to bust his own door down.  As anyone who’s hung out with me knows, this isn’t the first time the afterparty started with a B&E.  Once inside, standard protocol took place, and the people I was with appeared in the pictures on the refrigerator door, so everything was legal.  I think we drank vodka and cranberry juice?  Maybe some wine?  Doesn’t matter…

Fast-forward a couple of hours, and five or six of us headed out to another destination on the opposite side of the city.  Keep in mind that at this time of day, the elderly are getting ready to go to church.  Part of our group, however, were  ready to pull an all-nighter.  In a little apartment in a decent area, three of us sat on the couch watching music videos, playing Cards Against Humanity, and drinking a mixture of homemade wine and warm Bud Light.  The girls were doing “bumps”, which consisted of something they crushed on the back half of a CD-R case, cut into rails with a broken debit card, and put up their noses with part of an old BIC pen.  I neither support nor condemn drug use, but if you’re going to do something, do it right.  I outlasted both of them on my usual mixture of caffeine, alcohol, creatine,and pre-workout.  Seriously?  I had ten years on the pair of them, and still…  Kids nowadays…