Wicked

Nope, I’m not describing what I’ve been up to lately (and not because ‘wicked’ would be too tame a descriptor) but instead the famed musical – Wicked, based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

If you were to read the theater reviews (and I don’t) you’d probably be told what a great show it is, what a wonderful cast they have and what fantastic sets they use. Well I’m here to tell you my first hand story of my life and time at Wicked…

And the invitation goes to…

Receiving a second hand invite from a friend with an extra ticket; I give her an offhand acceptance with innocently innocent inquiries on ticket prices & potential resale value. Having been sold out for months, this show was highly anticipated and I could imagine tickets reselling for an exorbitant price. My good friend, knowing me well enough and long enough, held onto my ticket until show time to ensure I did no such thing. Apparently she bought the tickets because she wanted to see the show and wasn’t looking to make a profit (amateur!). With tickets safely locked away in her purse, we headed downtown to watch the show.

Cut to Act 1, scene 1

I’m falling asleep. Actually, I think I’ve fallen asleep several times already and I’m not sure if it’s still the first scene or even still the first act.  Years of attending boring lectures and never-ending meetings has taught me how to look awake (sit upright, hold head straight) while dozing quietly away. As the singing chorus on stage bursts into song, I awake with a start. Glinda the good witch is regaling her court with a story of the Wicked Witch of the West. As the chorus leans in expectantly to listen to the good witch’s tale, I know should feel excited, I should be intrigued, I should be on the edge of my seat but I can barely keep my eyes open…

2 hours before showtime

My friend and I are sharing stories and making up for lost time the best way we know how – our traditional tequila shooters ( Recipe: take regular tequila and then add the word ‘traditional’ in front). They’re on special tonight too, a sure sign that we were all meant to be together…

1 hour to showtime

Martinis on special you say? Don’t mind if we do. If our glasses are empty waitress dear, that means we need refills. Chop chop!

30 minutes to showtime

They sell drinks at the theatre too? How convenient. Now, should we start with gin and tonics, bacardi and cokes or one of each?

You’re right, silly question (one of each).

Also, let’s not forget to pre-order our intermission bevies too.

Showtime!

Cut to Act 2, Scene 1

Nothing like halftime refreshments to, well, refresh. The scenes are brighter, the singing is bolder and the action is soooo much livelier when your eyes are open.

Things I’ve learned from my life and time @ the musical Wicked:

  • I love getting dressed up to go to plays
  • 1 hour goes by very slowly when you desperately need to use the washroom
  • People take their play watching seriously ( I think someone poked me in the shoulder for moving my head around too much!)
  • My eyes will always perk up for good looking male actors (oh Fiyero!)
  • I’ll never get the song Defying Gravity out of me head (and yes, I’m even singing it now)

And most importantly:

  • If you’re gonna consume a whole lotta drinks….save it for after the play.

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Oh and if you still need some official reviews:

4 out of 4 stars – The Toronto Star

Wicked is steeped in talent -The New York Times

If [Wicked] doesn’t please you, you’re too tough to please – Wall Street Journal

Go see it already!

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Just Here for the Libations

Stumbling our way through the winter 2011 edition of the Just here for the beer- Wine & Beer festival – a single thought goes through my mind: Why’s that dude wearing a hideous skirt?

Having a foggy recollection of the last Wine & Beer Festival, I had high hopes and liquid dreams for this one. I don’t like beer (tastes like chilled turpentine to me), and I’m not really a big fan of wine (tastes like warm/chilled vinegar me), so obviously the Wine & Beer Festival was just my thing. However, I’m no quitter and by golly, I want to learn to love beer and wine until I can’t live without ’em or until my liver says ‘uncle’… or ‘monkey’… or ‘turkey’ (Darn it. I always forget the safe word).

Where we’re @:

what are you here for again?

The 2011 Wine & Beer Festival
The Best Tasting Deal In Town

The 2011 Wine & Beer Festival will feature a great selection of local and international wines and beers.

The festival ticket price will be ‘all inclusive’ and will feature a live band and door prizes.

There were also rumours of ‘light refreshment’ and you know my rule on free food – always an RSVP yes!

Scheduled to start promptly @ 7pm, we stroll in around 8:15, pay our $50 entry fee and then pick up our food ticket (food!), and most importantly our plastic mug and wine glass for sampling (can i get a plastic keg instead, please?)

Where’s the booze?

Meeting up with punctual friends (showoffs. Punctuality is soooo predictable), they greet us with big grins and overzealous hugs. Jealously I realize they’ve already been heavily sampling the beverages.

Not to be outdone, I quickly get to work. After all, there’s an hour’s worth of catching up to do (with the booze I mean, not with the friends).

The purpose of the event: For guests to sample and taste various wines and beers from local wineries and breweries and perhaps to discover something new.

The reality of the event: All-you-can-drink from 7 to 11pm for $50 on a Saturday night in a room within a casino right in downtown Vancouver.

Ulterior purpose: The best alcoholics anonymous reunion party ever. Woo, I missed you guys!

It’s not all beer cups and wine glasses

I’m quickly directed to some kind of beer booth (yuck) but I’m told the brew has an 8.9% alcohol content (ok, I can be convinced). After shooting down that bitter brew (I’m told I’m supposed to ‘savour’ it, as though that can be done with beer, ha!), I quickly come to the conclusion that I never can, nor ever will be able to stomach a beer (elephant? Is that the safe word?).

Almost immediately after my epiphany, an angel of a gal pal directs me to a new friend of hers and an old friend of mine:

Jack Daniels country cocktails. There were many other booths in the room but from that moment on, I only had eyes for Jack. Xoxo

I first met this lovely fellow back in summer 2010 and was happy to get reconnected with this long lost festival friend. We spent the next 2 glorious hours getting fully caught up. He: an up-and-coming cooler beverage in North America with multiple flavours available in most government liquors stores and Me: an avid drinker with access to numerous government liquor stores. Cupid has struck again.

Cheers to booze?

However, as we all know, there’s allegedly a downside to alcohol. In this case it was an actual downside to the alcohol fest:

1.      No live band as advertised. (Hey?! Where’s the live band!?)

2.      No door prizes as advertised (Hey?! Where’s my door prize?!)

3.      The ‘light refreshment’ advertised at the door was a singular tiny, baby, mini pork OR beef slider that all the alkies had to manoeuvre up a stair case to pick up and then manoeuvre down a stair case to eat. Whoever’s bright idea it was to add an obstacle course to an alcohol festival is either a sadist or a genius (welcome to the 2011 edition of drunken games!)

Sure I ate 4 of them (stolen food tickets! Hee hee hee) but I was only supposed to have one and that’s the point. Add a bag of chips or something you cheapskates.

You ain’t gotta go home…

Despite the problems and omissions, the Wine & Beer fest was exactly what it was supposed to be – a thinly veiled house party sponsored by the beer and wine vendors of BC.

In the end, while trying to wrangle the gang together to head out for the after party, the overall group consensus of the event was a loud and consistent: “Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Some were excited by finding a new wine to buy and others were happy to have sampled a flavour of a local brew they’ve always wanted to try. I too had a great time at this festival and I now know that when given the choice between beer or wine…

I’ll always choose Jack.

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Oh and the dude was wearing a skirt for his bachelor party:

I still think I could've worn it better...

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The Re-Olympics are here!

Yes, I’m making up words now too. It’s my unsubstantiated belief that after blogging for awhile, I should have some unofficial rights. Made-up right #1: The ability to create at least 1 word per year and hope it makes it into the nation’s lexicon.

Ahem. Now where was I? Ah yes,

The Re-Olympics: An attempt to bring back the unbridled excitement and elated emotions that once surrounded a city.

Exceptions: This phenomenon is only available in cities where the Olympics took place or where medal-winning Olympians were born. (Sorry loser cities but bite us!)

Let’s get to it

At long last the re-Olympics are here. I’ve been waiting a whole year for this unexpected opportunity and, as expected, it had unexpected results. Originally I thought I’d be forced to write another boring piece on Valentine’s Day (gag!…but see below post) but luckily the Re-Olympics saved me from that fateful task (for the record though, I do love any event involving an inordinate amount of chocolate and getting said chocolate in my belly).

The Re-Olympics are here

The Re-Olympics are the official one year anniversary celebrations of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. So much has been planned around this event too: stage shows, concerts, street parties, demonstrations, festivals, random hook-ups, etc. and I was happy to take part in every aspect of it. No matter how early the event, no matter what time the activities would start, I was going to be there.

The first event of the Re-Olympics was at the famed Robson Square. It was supposed to boast free ice-skating while a renowned DJ played some tunes.  Our sexy mayor was also going to make an appearance and play a round of hockey somewhere in the vicinity and all this was scheduled to start Saturday, February 12 @ 9:00 AM sharp. Waking up at the crack of 12:07 PM, I rushed to get ready, ate a quick 3-course breakfast and was quickly out the door in record time. A mere 2 hours and 45 minutes later. Phew. Good job me!

Checking the weather by actually walking out into the Vancouver monsoon, I got cold feet (literally) and almost turned back to the warmth and loving embrace of my comfy couch.
But no, gold medal winning athletes wouldn’t be turned off by a little mini hurricane and neither would I (plus I promised a friend so I was, like, legally bound). Some others weren’t so brave though. Our group of 10+ fanatics was whittled down to a scrappy group of four enthusiasts.

Not willing to stand around in sideways blowing rain, we intelligently sought shelter in a nearby bar. Over several hours and several pints (pints of vodka for me, of course) we reminisced on how we had all last gotten together during the original Olympics.  This prompted us to remember what we were actually here together today to do (oh yeah, the Re-Olympics!) and we stumbled out into gale force winds to get our celebration on.

But first, we detoured to a friend’s house for a few more drinks (boozy logic) and then finally arrived in the thick of it all (or what was left of the thick) just after 6pm.

The Re-Olympics

@ the Convention Centre:

Re-lit for the re-Olympics!

@ Robson Square:

Everyone who woke up after 3PM is here!

With performances by En Karma with South Asian Arts!

Ya I have no clue who they are either. Crowd loved em though!

On Granville Street:

I took a camera phone picture of a bus shelter picture of a camera picture taken from and @ the 2010 Olympics. Trippy.

Blurry shot: proof that vodka & photography don't mix

15 minutes too many

30 minutes later, the four of us were thoroughly Re-Olympic’d out (it’s quite a work out you know, trying to give strangers high-fives plus all that ridiculous ear-to-ear grinning). The atmosphere downtown was still high energy but the Olympians had already left, most of the events for the day were done and we heard rumours of a crazy group of four people who kept trying to give everyone high-fives with ridiculous grins on (how scary!).  After a brief discussion, we decided to save ourselves and agreed that the best place to celebrate a successful Canadian Olympics themed day was…at a nearby Australian bar.

hic.

All in all, the Re-Olympics were a great excuse to daytime drink spend some time with long lost friends and I can’t wait to celebrate the Re-Re-Olympics (start the movement now!) with this group (give or take a few million others) in 2012!

High five! 🙂

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A little something for all of you who want a little V-Day love… look no further (thanks to Virgin Mobile):

Dear whats-ur-face. I think ur not as bad as my other douche-bag. Luv, 'ol 2-timer.

and for those of you who don’t want any V-Day love:

Dear jerkface, I don't even care enough to fill in the blanks. We're through!

 

2011: A great year for ass

Make no mistake though – I mean the whole ass this time. Not just half of it.

 

To half-ass (verb):

  1. The act of doing something without motivation or care.
  2. A rushed task the person could have done better. (Courtesy urbandictionary.com.)

As I said in 2010, I’m not one to make resolutions. I’m partial to predictions, which are much more accurate (especially when you make up your own and make them really, really vague).  My belief is the things you resolve to do on January 1st are things you should be doing throughout the year anyway. After all, no one ever resolves to exercise less or to start drinking more (unless, of course, they mean to start drinking more of the good stuff in which case, woo hoo! Join me for Grey Goose Mondays!)

Champagne Tuesdays, anyone?

Why the whole ass?

So although I’m against resolutions (ewww!!) I was inspired to change for 2011 by the 2010 movie Unstoppable, starring Denzel Washington, in which a train is left to run on the tracks, unattended, at full speed due to the half assed efforts of someone not doing their job.

This movie seemed realistic in portraying how someone’s half assed attitude and efforts in life can, potentially, lead to disaster. What if we pretended that everything we did could be like that runaway train: If we put all our efforts into everything we do, we can prevent catastrophes. But when we don’t… (insert catastrophic life event here).

Kinda puts things in perspective, eh?

We’ve all experienced situations where people have given us half an ass and it’s certainly made us angry. These situations are more apparent in direct service driven industries (fast food restaurants, etc.) where the results of half an ass are obvious and immediate.

Aren’t you sick of being smarter than the food counter person serving you cold fries, soggy lettuce or even the wrong burger?n (I said I wanted a McGangbang dammit! That means put the whole dang McChicken in between the cheeseburgers. Is that so hard??)

I resolve to NEVER eat this!....again... 😉

New for 2011

C’mon and join me on this journey. Look back at 2010 and ask yourself:  Is my resume accurate? Did I always give 110%? (physics be dammed!) Could I have done more in (insert life event here) to make the (insert life event here) better?

Luckily my half assed efforts have done me well so far. With only half an ass I’ve managed to:

  • Get an honours business degree
  • Learn a second language (and I”m currently half assedly working on a 3rd and 4th.)
  • Start a blog! (you’re reading it, yay!)
  • Get a job (plus a couple great 2nd and 3rd ones too!)
  • Drop 40lbs (and literally lose a half ass)
  • Solve world peace (but because I was only half ass’ing it, I forgot to write it down so I forget the solution. Dammit!)
  • And some other stuff too but who really wants to brag about half assed efforts??

Review your own list too and amaze yourself with what half your ass has accomplished thus far (and what the other half could potentially do too!).

My 2009 & 2010 mottos were ‘No excuses’ followed by ‘No sympathy’ and continuing along these themes, I’m adding this for 2011: Put your whole ass in!

Forget a list of 10+ ridiculous items to fail at achieve (don’t resolve to quit smoking, just accept an early death, woo) and free your mind with this simple mindset for 2011:  do you best, try your hardest, put in the effort and put forth your whole ass in everything you do. Just imagine what we’ll accomplish in 2011!  The plan, as always, is to succeed but even if I fail at something along the way…

At least I did it with my whole ass.

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Click here for funny 2011 resolutions

Related half assed terms:

Halfassidness (adj.): The quality of being half assed  the resultant perception of an individual–or group of individuals–being slothful, ignorant or apathetic.

Halfassitude (adj.): One who has a half-ass attitude towards things, usually due to lack of interest

Halfasstination (adj): To procrastinate knowing that when the deadline comes, you will only be able to do a half-assed job.

Image Sources:

The End is Nigh!

Well the end of the year is nigh, at least.  So nigh, in fact, it’s pretty much here already. By the time you read this line, there will be less than 2 weeks till the ball drops for 2011. Rather than dropping the ball and waiting for Jan 1, 2011 myself (how passé!) I want to be the first to drop my 2010 Retrospective highlighting one top  post from each month. So without further adieu, I present to you:

2010: A 2010 Retrospective looking back at a year of blogging in 2010. Retrospectively.

January 2010: Why should polar bears have all the fun?

Tempting fate and Mother Nature by taking an ice cold dip in the Pacific Ocean. If you think a person has to be mad to do it – you’re just about right on that. The madder the better.

Would I do it again? I guess you`ll find out in less than 2 weeks…

February 2010: Please, oh please, won’t you be my anti-valentine?

Inspired by love and all its BS, as well as this hilarious antivalentine’s day card courtesy of www.Meish.org/vd:

 

March 2010: End Game

Olympic Fever hit me as early as January and I had several posts on the Olympics over a 2 month period culminating in this final, sad entry. Olymmmmmpicsssss! Those who lived it just know. Those who didn’t could be better off not feeling the loss of a time when the city of Vancouver was engulfed, enthralled and enchanted by all that was and might never be again. Sigh. So as you can tell it’s a fun, uplifting post. 😉

April 2010: Supporting the Arts

Oh Septocus! How I wanted this great performance art piece to be bad. I’ve never been so happy to be disappointed in my life. (Contrarily, I really wanted this performance art to be good and it was…not that)

 

May 2010: I’ve got your future right here

I paid $40 to be told the equivalent of what I could have discovered using a Magic 8-ball. Thinking of getting your palm read and your crystals analyzed? Simply remove my name in this post and paste in yours. Bam! I just saved you $40.

June 2010: Love thy Father

My heartfelt salute to my most favouritest man in the world – Daddykins! Interestingly enough, he doesn’t read my blog – the bastard! 😉 Xoxo!

July 2010: Festivus of Beer

Ah yes, an alcoholic’s dream come true… Assuming the alcoholic liked beer. Unfortunately I don’t. Read on for the details of this living nightmare.

August 2010: Pie Times

22 pies to taste and one spork with which to do it. As any 12-year-old girl with an eating disorder would say: OMG. Get a napkin ready and read on about the best day of my life!

Pies as far as the eye can see! Wheeee!

September 2010: Peaceful Anarchy

Cycling for hours just for the hell of it. If we cause a little anarchy while we’re at it, so be it.

October 2010: The Grouse Grind®

Took on this bitch and it kicked my arse. Twice! Argh! I don’t take defeat very well. I’ll see you again in the spring, you sanctimonious whore! If you don`t know what the grouse grind is, count yourself lucky. And probably lazy. Yah you heard me. Take the challenge! 

November 2010: Wedding Fever

I finally learned about the fun in marriage Weddings! The glam; the photographers; the planning; the fun; the cake (oh my, the cake!); the party; the gifts; and the most important part of that day – the open bar! Marriages do not = weddings.  A wedding is the drug: an ecstasy pill coated in butter cream frosting, served with free flowing champagne.   Marriage is what comes after the drug fuelled, champagne high. Like the hangover if you will. heh heh heh. Hey, there’s always the simple cure (divorce) and then you can have another wedding, woo!

December 2010:

What? A 2010 retrospective looking back at a favourite blog from each month in 2010? What a great idea. 😉

Is this considered a paradox thingy?  Nope. Apparently it’s called Recursion. Learning is fun! (except when it isn’t)

December 2010 (the real one): `tis the season (pt II)

Get in the spirit with this handy guide that should motivate you to get off your couch!… or stay on it. I have tips for you lazy folks too. And yes, you’re welcome.

The Nigh at the End

There you have it. A non-comprehensive 2010 retrospective on the year 2010 (a retrospective).

What’s next for 2011? What’s next on the agenda? What will happen over the next 12 months? What predictions or speculations are on the horizon for the coming year? I haven’t a clue but after seeing that fortune teller back in May 2010, I do know one thing for sure:

Neither does she.

Happy, Sexy, We

Ending another doomed relationship (I should stop judging my potential mates by their appreciation of America’s Next Top Model. Most don’t); I sought out my girlfriends for some much needed consoling (I don’t care what he says; Tyra Banks does deserve an emmy!). As we poured the next round, we compared our man meeting methods and our similar man meeting goals: to meet someone cool to hang out with, someone funny but not funny looking, and someone not looking to tie you down (maybe tie you up, but that’s a whole other post…) Several drinks later, we came to 2 definite conclusions (that I can remember):

  1. Double shots are always the better value. Always.
  2. All men can’t suck (or can they?) and there must be a reason why we just weren’t connecting

Enter Ronald Lee, owner and founder of Happy Sexy You who believes he has the answers to all the questions a single gal can ask.  As a happy, sexy(ish), single gal, I decided to shake him down for the solution to our perpetual problem (and just to be clear- by problem I mean men):

Happy Sexy You, Lifestyle and Dating Coaching for Women is an attraction coaching company that teaches women how to attract men, and keep them!

Myth #1: If a man is interested in you, he’ll approach you. If he isn’t, then he won’t.

Nelley: What the @#$%! So what do we do?

Ronald Lee: Women need to give men a chance and throw them a bone. Approaching a potential mate is always hard and anything you can do to make it easier for them (smiling, nodding in his direction, positioning yourself away from your group so he’s not as intimidated, etc.) will help to increase your chances.

Nelley: What made you get started in the lady coaching service?

RL: The service actually started with me as a professional coach for men. It was also a hobby I had that just took off into a professional career. Guys around me were using clichéd pick up lines, some were unable to even approach women and others just didn’t understand why they weren’t attracting women. I worked with them to give them the knowledge and self-confidence to meet women – in a better way.

Myth #2: Pickup lines work/don’t work

Nelley: So pick up lines don’t work?

RL: It depends. Men or women need to have something to back up a cheesy line. It could be a great icebreaker and make both people laugh and relax but you must have more behind it.  You can’t just rely on the pickup line to get you to the next level- ie. having a real conversation.

Myth #3: Love is just like it is in the movies

RL: This may seem obvious but most movies about love (the Notebook, etc) are not the reality.

Happy Sexy You Reveals all: Top 3 Dating Mistakes

Dating Mistake #1: Holding out for the Fantasy

RL: This refers to people who are stuck in this dream world and are seeking a knight in shining armour or some other person that doesn’t exist. Relationships will never work out for fantasy seekers because no one will live up to these unrealistically high expectations.

Dating Mistake #2: Big Picture Dating

RL: Some people are focused on one thing – like having the big wedding – and then marry anyone to achieve those shortsighted goals. What happens in some cases is that after the wedding day, some people have regrets and are now at a loss as to how to keep the relationship going.

Dating Mistake #3: Communication Malfunction

RL: Communication is huge. People need to understand the opposite sex and how they think so they can better communicate with them. This is the sort of coaching I take both men and women through @ Happy Sexy You

Nelley: So how else can you coach us?

RL: Dating coaching, relationship coaching and breakup coaching. We can help you no matter which stage you are in.

Nelley: How do you help with a breakup? Do you provide the booze and tissues or do you help people to actually do the breaking up?

RL: (laughing) we can help them before, during and after the breakup. Our breakup plan helps you to:

–          Understand who you are

–          See the patterns that got you here (maybe again)

–          Review what went wrong and how to avoid it for next time

–          Really understand what you want

Nelley: Does Happy Sexy You offer dating services too?

RL: We occasionally have mixers and events where you can practice your skills and meet some great people but our goal is for individuals to have the self-confidence to meet and approach people in any situation.  We also teach people how to date because despite what people think, they don’t really know how.

Nelley: So Happy Sexy You can result in an increase in self-confidence, being self aware, gaining skills to (perhaps soberly) handle breakups, and learning the secrets into how men think? It all sounds pretty good to me. Where do I sign up?

RL: Now don’t get me wrong, there are some side effects to this service too.

Nelley: Like what??

RL: People have reported getting better jobs, getting promoted at their current jobs, trying new things, quitting their jobs and going travelling, doing things they’ve always wanted to do, working out more, feeling great about themselves…

Nelley: (laughing):  Yes, I think we get the point. Thanks Ronald!

Next up @ Happy Sexy You? The Art of Meeting Men taking place in Vancouver, BC on December 11th and 12th, 2010. This is Happy Sexy You’s highly popular weekend experience that teaches the modern woman how to meet, date, and start a relationship with the man you want.  Don’t be shy any longer. Interested? Click here for details.

The Grouse Grind®

If reading that phrase doesn’t make you shiver in fear or instinctively rub an old thigh injury in memory – then you’ve never completed one of Vancouver’s toughest challenges: The Grind.

What is it: Hikers, looking for a challenging and aerobic hiking route in Vancouver, wandered off the sensible and beaten trail and instead followed the paths more commonly taken by mountain goats and those people in horror movies who get killed off first (ie hikers). Essentially, a steep route was conjured out of rocks, wood and hope and then officially called the Grouse Grind®.  Strenuous, unstable, and treacherous; it’s still somehow considered ‘fun for the whole family’ (bring the family goat!).

uhhh.. I'll just wait for billy to lead us...

A Vancouver right of passage, at one point or another, everyone has either done the grind or knows several people who have (hmmm this kinda reminds of a guy I used to date…)

Grouse Grind® Stats:

  • Length:   2.9 kilometres (1.8 miles)
  • Elevation: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
  • Total Stairs: 2,830 QTY
  • Statistics: Annually, over 100,000 people hike the Grind™.
  • Average Time: Up to 90 minutes to complete the hike; Novice hikers up to 2 hours

Getting the invite to do the grind from a motivating friend (I take my grouse grind invites as challenges!!), I sort of agreed with a large chance of backing out. I was more interested in shopping downtown, brunching uptown or movie watching on a comfy couch – all equal calorie burners. (Unfortunately calories = 0)

I meet up with my grind challenger and complain about real pain (my plantar fasciitis) and false pain (cuz I just don’t WANNA!!). My motivator/challenger gives me a cold stare and lets me vent my fears and frustrations. As a person who happily climbed 700+ stairs for charity (fuelled by leftover vodka and gin) if I dread the grind then you know it’s a tough one.  I even offered to pay for brunch, lunch or new tattoos (let’s get matching unicorns!) to get out of doing the grind but in the end, I was packed onto a bus headed North to the mountains.

Last time I did the grind, (curiously, also fuelled by leftover Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire), I completed it in a paltry time of 58 minutes. This time, no longer partaking in sweet, delicious booze (sweet, delicious booze. So worth repeating), I was instead fuelled by a bachelor’s breakfast of fudge-o cookies and leftover frozen pizza. Yes, a breakfast of champions (bowling champions).  As I was aiming to beat the recently achieved record of 23minutes set by some punk 23-year-old tourist, I had a long ways to go.

Reaching the bottom of the mountain and thus the start of the grind, I check my cell for the time (hell o’clock) and get to climbing.

Maybe it won't be so bad this time...

Just in case you didn’t get the many hints – the grind is hard. A few minutes in and I’m already breathing heavy. The thing about doing a long, hard workout, and doing it for a long, hard time is you have to try and motivate yourself. Making that task more difficult are the 5 stages of hard, physical labour you have to go through:

STAGE 1: Denial (@ the happy beginning)

This is easy! I can do this! I’m gonna kick this mountain’s ass! Only 2.9 vertical miles? Puh-lease.
Bring.
It.
ON!
Heck, make it 4 miles! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

I can do this in 22 minutes. Tops!
Woo me!

STAGE 2: Anger (AKA @ the 1/4 way mark)

Whose @#*+ bright idea was it to make this stupid hill anyway?  “I know, let’s nail some random wood blocks down the side of a cliff we’ll call a mountain and the people will come”. Stupid people will come. And pay $10 for the chance too. Whine!! I could so go for a poutine right now but instead I’m stuck on this damn rockslide with these other health conscious morons and my “motivator” is about 5 mins back. WAY TO MOTIVATE me you jerk! When I get to the top I’m going to motivate my foot up your ass!

STAGE 3: Bargaining (AKA the halfway point)

Ok. I’ll go a few steps further. If I do the whole grind, I can celebrate with a face full of poutine. See? This is how you stay fit. You want a cup of ice cream? Do the grind. You want a plate of poutine? Do the grind…twice. Not a problem. Just take a few more steps and then you can relax at the top.

STAGE 4: Depression (AKA the halfway point)

You mean I’m only halfway done and I have to do all that AGAIN??? Why me? Why did I think I could do this? All these little steps just keep leading to more steps. What’s the point? Maybe I’ll just let the authorities find my curled up body in a ditch over there. They should be able to locate me by the fire and all the smoke coming off my burning thighs…

STAGE 5: Acceptance (AKA the 3/4 way mark)

Dear merciful Jesus, Allah, Buddha, and crazy Don Cherry.  Just please, oh please, help this pour soul get through this.  I promise to do whatever it says in those great books written about you if you’ll help me.  Yes, even the stuff in the back. Please give me the strength to finish this climb and to please, Please, PLEASE have enough strength left in my body in the end to raise my arms high above so that I may smack my motivator across the face. Twice.

Amen/ Praise Allah/ Namaste / Go Leafs Go.

Who 'built' this??? And WHY!?

Like a bad first date, you go into it with positive thoughts, dread it the whole time you’re there, and are completely relieved when it’s over. You also get kind of sweaty.

So after all that blood, sweat and tears, how did I do?

62 $%&# minutes! 4 minutes slower than my booze/guilt inspired first attempt.  Humph!

Personally, I blame the fudge-o. 😉

 

Phew! Nothing about still being drunk, woo!

Not in Vancouver but want to experience the grind for yourself? Just go to your average 2,830+ step staircase, take a hammer to many of the steps to give them a rustic look, then cover the entire staircase in loose rocks, sand and water (just to add some fun potential for serious accidents and possible death) and voila: your very own Grouse Grind! Don’t forget to time yourself.

photo source 1/ photo source 2/photo source 3