2004-10-09 Kelowna

Went off to Kelowna with Lindsay for the Thanksgiving weekend. We were given a ride up to the Okanagan by Rita and Stu, which was good fun. The first road trip (of sorts) that I have taken in a while, although Stu's car is newer, faster and more compact than I am used to for my road trips. It didn't even break down!

Thanksgiving was hosted by Lindsay's Grandparents, and there were twelve people at the table Saturday night. A delicious vegetarian Lasagne was provided for me, however so much turkey was eaten by everyone else that Lindsay's Aunt Devray was compelled to buy another turkey breast to roast for Sunday's dinner! Imagine, no leftover turkey after Thanksgiving dinner?

The rest of the weekend was spent playing Mini-golf at Scandia, table tennis in the basement and various board and card games accumulating into a big game of Cranium on the Sunday evening. It is so much more democratic and enjoyable than Trivial Pursuit (even if I am worse at it...stupid sketch-and-guess games!)

2004-10-14 Vancouver

A second Thanksgiving was hosted at Rita's to celebrate Lesley's passing through Vancouver. Amazingly we had plenty of stomach room for another big and delicious meal and managed to keep the forks out of our mouths for long enough to engage in some hilarious conversation.

For Hallowe'en Lindsay carved a pumpkin with the spooky, terrifying image of a...pumpkin! Yes, it was brilliant, and alas went mouldy before I could get a picture of it. We also went to Parade of the Lost Souls with Rita, Stu, Meg, Julie and Phil. It was as big, crowded and overblown as ever with a surprisingly good fireworks display to go with the other terrifying scenes. My costume was again the Magritte character with the apple before his face. Not surprisingly, not everyone recognised it, one person asked if I was Newton, but there was the occasional shout across the street of "Hey, it is that Magritte guy," which was enough to make my day.

I captained two intramural soccer teams this semester. One the very talented Palm Trees (Men's) from grad studies and the other the strong spirited Carbolic Smokeballs from law (Co-rec). I had very different roles for each, as I played up front for the Trees and in goal for the Smokeballs.

Playoffs were held in B.C. Place as usual and the 8am start didn't seem to attract too many of our players. We had enough to play, but not enough to excuse me from defense. We also had a hard time scoring and poor defending on my part exacerbated the danger of a 2-on-1 rush and we were down 3-2 with minutes to go. The last chance and last play of the game was a hard corner that I neatly headed wide of the goal. And that was us out to a team we beat 14-6 during the season.

Lins and I only had to wait an hour before the Smokeballs playoff game. Once again we had a hard time scoring, but defending was tight and it we were only down 2-1 with four minutes to go. Faron, whose golden foot was having an off night, was throwing the ball in from the half-way mark. And I, the goalie, ran up 3/4 of the field to get into the play. I don't think that I have ever headed a ball into the net in a game before, I can barely head the ball in general, but somehow I managed to pick the top corner from a distance and lob the goalie.

The exuberant cheers and the headed ball feat must have gone to my head as my aggressive push-the-ball-up-goaltending caused me to mis-kick and be caught to far out of the crease. I backed up into position, but was unsettled and my parry did not deflect it off goal. Down 3-2, I once again ran up for a throw in near the box. Faron made another excellent throw thinking that I would control, turn and shoot the ball. I fell on my back and half-bicycle kicked. I can't head the ball and I definitely cannot bicycle kick the ball. But this time I did, and Lins said I beat the goalie, but could not beat the crossbar. Their goalie trapped the ball on the bounce and threw it forward. I was out of position and ran the length of the pitch to watch the opposing player ahead of me make the score 4-2.

Both teams were a lot of fun, and the fact that the Smokeballs single win and single tie were some of the proudest soccer feats in my mind is far more important than losing in a very exciting game.

Christmas is approaching and it looked as if I would take off towards Europe once again. However, this year it just didnít work out, maybe because tuition increases can no longer be ignored. I did do my best to highlight the advent season in Canada with a couple European traditions. I invited Rita and Stu over and after some Pizza and Beajoulais Noveau (yes, I bought a bottle before it sold out) we finished of my fancy French chocolate and then had some Gluehwein and roasted chestnuts. We even went and stood near hundred-year old heritage hall (we stood near it and it is near a hundred years old) and tried to replicate the Weihnachtsmarkt feel. There was a party going on inside, but I must admit that the warmish wet air didnít help much.