Vancouver Musings

Instead of a full post here is a couple of random thoughts

Took me one week to break both my room keys. Sounds about accurate.

Also took a week to use 40 hours of Pandora. Debating weather or not I should invest in more hours. (Update: Just caved on Wednesday and paid .99 for the rest of the month)

People in Canada always wait for the light to turn before crossing the street. Even if there are no cars coming. I keep getting sneered at for premature crossing. They don’t jaywalk either.

People are really nice up here. New Yorkers are assholes. Present blogger included

The system I work in cant accept commas or apostrophes for some strange reason. As such Im tentative to use them in the rest of my life.

It is 11:20 on the west coast. Things are wrapping up on a hectic day 5. Curling and Men’s hockey just started today so things were crazy. Sleep is hard to come by. Work 16 hours days, sleep 7.5 hours at best. Shower. Go to work. That’s my life

Here is a video of me walking to work.
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9515514&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

IBC Walkthru from Gentlemanly Productions on Vimeo.

And lastly a video the press department asked me to do talking about what I do
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9515491&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Working in the IBC from Gentlemanly Productions on Vimeo.

Shock to the System

You know when you go to a new place, someone always tells you where the bad part of town is, and they warn you not to go there. In Vancouver, that place is known as Downtown Eastside. The New York Times even covered it last week as a lead up to the games. Here are some of the juicy morsels from that article:
– 15 square blocks of despair, squalid rooming houses and alleys populated by thousands of addicts, the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug dealers who prey on them.
– The most concentrated drug and poverty ghetto in North America.
– The only place in North America where drug addicts can shoot heroin into their veins at an officially sanctioned injection site. There are about 500 injections there a day.
– The area’s HIV rate is the worst in the developed world.

So what did I do tonight? I walked right down Hastings street.

I had met my boss and another NBC employee at a bar two blocks away from the epicenter of seediness. After leaving, instead of heading the safe way back downtown, we decided to take the long way so we could experience Hastings street and all it’s…..glory. In a matter of one block, we saw:
– About 75 homeless people
– A woman shoot up heroin
– 20 used syringes on the street
– People selling all sorts of stuff they found and/or stole
– We were approached by an older woman who told us her name was Buttercup just before she pulled out some condoms.
– Directly behind her was a homeless guy with a guitar singing “Drugs & Condoms”

The NY Times article is not joke. This is was one of the most intimidating moments of my life. Never again will any part of NYC scare me.

I finally unclenched by butt checks two blocks later as we passed the Vansterdam Cafe and the Cannabis Cafe. What a interesting city. Can’t wait to see more of it.

The night wasn’t all bad though. Here is a picture of the outside of the IBC and one of the Olympic rings lighting up the bay

An American Gentleman in Vancouver

My road to Vancouver started at 5:00 PM ET on Saturday February 6. Dmo and I had just left Mt. Snow on our way back to NY. Our “romantic” trip to the bed and breakfast was behind us (as was the pillow wall). The following is a half-assed running diary of the events that followed.

9:00 PM ET – Dmo drops me off at the Tarrytown train station
10:15 PM ET – Walk into the Highgate and without taking a breath I drop all my gear and head down to the laundry room.
10:25 PM ET – Stop by Starbucks for a White Hot Chocolate (The Captain of Hot Chocolates) and then head to CVS to pickup a few things I need. They have just replaced the cashiers with those awesome self checkout machines that render humans pointless. This may sway me to revoke my allegiance to Duane Reade and become a CVSer.
10:37 PM ET – Start trying to figure out how to pack for a 22 day trip. /Looks at itinerary and realizes I can check two bags for free. I think to myself “F it” as I fit as much clothes as I can into my two biggest suitcases.
11:05 PM ET – Laundry done. Packing done. Boy it’s great to be a guy
11:55 PM ET – Kim comes over and gives me a much needed massage.
Bedtime
Sunday February 7
6:51 AM ET – Wake up. Go to make breakfast, but realize I don’t have any food. The last time I went to the supermarket all I bought was a banana for a smoothie and a roll for a sandwich. The cashier proceeded to make fun of me asking if I was having a banana sandwich for dinner
7:45 AM ET – Take a walk with Kim as she gets her morning coffee
8:00 AM ET – Car service picks me up and we head to LGA
8:15 AM ET – Check in at Air Canada and use my passport for the first time ever. Sadly I need to leave my antlers behind.
8:20 AM ET – In the words of Homer Simpson the missionary: OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD
8:21 AM ET – My mini panic attack is over and I am once again excited
8:33 AM ET – Through security. Only 2.5 hours till my flight. I really need to work on my timing better….
11:00 AM ET – Board the plane and immediately hear my first “Eh”
11:02 AM ET – There are four seats in each row on this plane. A C D F. Makes perfect sense
11:10 AM ET – After the announcements are made, they are repeated in French. I chuckle to myself. I am no where near mature enough for international travel
11:50 AM ET – Touch down in the Great White North. My first time leaving the country and I haven’t exploded yet…..or been called a stupid American
12:10 PM ET – Canadian Customs is intimidating. It’s like waiting in line for Space Mountiain
12:20 PM ET – Through customs and luckily I see someone wearing an NBC Olympics jacket. I fall in line behind her hoping at least she knows where she is going
12:50 PM ET – Make it to my next gate. The only thing I know about Canadian money is that a dollar coin is a Looney and a two dollar coin is a Tooney.
1:00 PM ET – I’ve been in Canada for over an hour now and I haven’t seen or heard anything about Degrassi yet. This is horseshit
1:10 PM ET – Check out the vending machine. Dill pickle chips? Ketchup Chips? Big Turk bars? Where the heck am I
1:30 PM ET – French announcements make me laugh again. I am a stupid American
1:40 PM ET – Take off from Montreal
2:00 PM ET – Syracuse and Cincinnati are tipping off right now and I can’t see it. This is not good. I am dying right now. Each seat has it’s own TV, but there is no live TV available. I settle for “A Serious Man”
2:05 PM ET – A really weird opening scene just finishes and I wonder if I picked the right movie. The opening credits then confirm that I did. WTF?
2:15 PM ET – I turn on my computer to see if this plane has wi-fi in hopes of being able to watch ESPN360. It does not. GD IT
3:00 PM ET – I secretly turn on my phone (illegally) to see if I can find out what the score is. I don’t have any service. The plane suddenly veers off course
3:01 PM ET – Kidding. Gotcha Zozo
3:40 PM ET – The movie ends….what the hell did I just watch?
3:41 PM ET – My TV is now frozen on a black screen and no buttons are working. Great. Now I get to spend 3.5 hours hoping Syracuse doesn’t lose. This sucks
4:05 PM PT – Land in Vancouver. Syracuse won! Thank god.
5:35 PM PT – The first half of the Super Bowl is over, and I am just now getting to my hotel. I drop off my stuff and run over to the Pan Pacific for the NBC Super Bowl Party. The 4 blocks of this city that I have seen so far are amazing. Hope I get a chance to explore it. I have been told to stay away from Downtown East. In CoG terms, if I go there, Hooks will steal my camera.
7:40 PM PT – Get back to my room and unpack. It’s going to be a long 21 days. I start tomorrow at 9A PT. May the god bless you forever.
Here is a walking tour of my room for your enjoyment:
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=9285161&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

Delta Vancouver Suites from Gentlemanly Productions on Vimeo.

A Romantic Mountain Getaway

When I found out that I would be going to Mt. Snow for the final stop of the Dew Tour, my first concern was finding a way to get there. When I went last year, I was still living in Rockland. And I had a car. This year, I am a city dweller without a car. My solution was to ask Dmo to drive up and back with me, and in exchange I would provide him with a free room and a free lift ticket. Everyone wins.

Of course, we forgot to factor in the Piccinich Effect.

Last year I stayed at the Grand Summit Lodge at Mt. Snow. It was right on the mountain and had two beds in the room. At the following three summer stops I went to, as well as the first two Winter stops this season, my hotel rooms also had two beds. Wednesday, I called up the Grand Summit to confirm that I had a room there for the weekend. Of course they couldn’t find it, but they confirmed that I had a room at the Austin Hill Inn. First thought: “Ok, whatever. Can’t be that bad.” False.

/Flashback
Last week Dmo accompanied to Macy’s to kill time before the ACC Alumni Happy Hour at Bro J’s. (Side Note: Dmo – How’s FSU?) Dmo was nice enough to carry some of my clothes since I ran out of hands, and he then proceeded to point this out to the cashier. My reply: “I’m taking him on a ski trip next weekend, so it’s ok.”
/Super Delayed No Homo

I informed Dmo and we both went to the site and found out the AHI was a romantic bed and breakfast. Small rooms. One bed. Not even room for an air mattress. Needless to say, everyone we know is getting a kick out of this. Ourselves included.

Amenities in our room:
Heart Shaped Hot Tub
Vibrating Bed
Sensual Oils
Breakfast in bed
Secrecy guaranteed
Dumb and Dumber odd colored tuxedos

This should be fun.

Title Track (2.2.10)

Only two more days in New York between now and March 1. Crazy how fast it snuck up on me. 1/4 nervous, 3/4 excited. This will be my first time leaving the country. I’m not as wealthy as Dougla$

Ten best picture nominees is way too much. This just allows more production companies to put “Best Picture Nominee” on DVD cases, which in turn could help boost rentals and sales, which in turn leads to more money for Hollywood. Everyone wins. Oh wait, only they win.

iPad. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.
No Flash – Thumbs Down. Apple and Adobe are always fighting. But flash eats up a lot of bandwidth. Therefore, the lack of flash is a good thing for AT&T. There’s a map for that
4:3 – Thumbs Down. Does not lead to a good movie watching experience.
It’s an Apple Product – Thumbs Up. Means people will want it no matter what.

96 team NCAA Tourney would be awful. The coaches support it because it gives them a better chance of making the dance, even in bad years. Big East might get 11 or 12 teams in. That’s bigger than some conferences

It’s a Frap! – This would make me drink coffee if I saw it in person.

When I was a lad, I read about Venus Flytraps once and I thought they would eat me. They scared the crap out of me. I eventually got over that fear. Until I saw this BBC video

I love Pixar. This is the creepiest video they have ever made. And I love it

I am a bitch ass caption maker. Now the rest of the world sees my skills

Greatest tweet ever: “Direction” in Pig Latin sounds like the greatest holiday ever. (Via @mattvancil)

T-Rex is awesome. So are these two links. Hold on to your butts.

Some people are born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people dance.