Today I made Daniel promise he’d get up at 6 am with me and go to the gym. Because of this lingering bloody head cold I’ve tried to sleep as much as possible over the weekend, and not stay run-down but this morning, I had to make the effort. Reluctantly I kicked him until he woke up and we stumbled into the elevator to the exercise room. We finally bumped into our neighbours, Bec and her husband. When I started my fellowship I bumped into Bec, a fellow WA doctor who I’d known from Med School, at one of the hospitals and she had said she was looking for apartments and was considering one in my building. We’ve not crossed paths since. Not even in the elevator. I had begun to think Bec was like the Northern Lights; possibly imaginary. This morning we were all in the gym at the same time, along with a bunch of others. I spent more time talking than lifting weights. But at least I went! I think we made plans to go skiing.
It was cold outside. I had to pull my down jacket hood on, with the fur peripheral lining. I rushed into work, holding a cup of Tim Hortons
sweetened swill medium French Vanilla with an espresso shot (coffee flavoured hot sugar drink) only to find the reporting room dark and empty. Bloody Tuesday! I had forgot that on Tuesday the sonographers have a weekly PD session until 9am. I could have slept in! Argh! I used the time to categorise 650 notes on Evernote.
By some miracle we finished work early – on a Tuesday afternoon. This never happens. Normally I’d expect to be out at 18:30 or 19:00. I bolted home at 5. I had a headache, despite having found cold & flu tablets at the MSH pharmacy at lunch when I braved the weather to run next door for a meeting. Not only can you purchase pseudoephedrine in Canada without supplying your Drivers’ License and a note from three physicians but you can buy a Value Pack of 48 tablets! I am now stocked up.
Our first ice skating lesson tonight was cancelled, because there is a severe weather warning. It is a bit cold now, especially with the wind. I was glad. We had time to get changed, walk down to Yonge St and find food (a cheap Asian place called Ginger had reasonable and very cheap food) before catching the train to the Air Canada Centre to see the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. New York. Late last week we were offered two tickets to join two others last minute – a very generous offer which we immediately accepted with enthusiasm.
When we entered the stadium it reminded me of the one time I went to the basketball in High School at Perth Entertainment Centre: large crowd, noise, and booming music. The music was great at first, more suited to a rave. I almost got up and started dancing, if it weren’t for the people in suits around us (we were 5 rows back from the players). Unlike going to an Aussie Rules Footy match there is little screaming and shouting from the crowd. I was prepared to yell at the top of my lungs, “FINIIIIISH HIM!” (should a fight start out) or, “CAAAAAARRN!” (Australian for “Come on!”). The only shouting that happened was when it looked like the tiny little black disc approached the vicinity of the net that might have indicated the winning of a goal, to which the crowd closest to the net would jump up and cheer loudly, and quickly hesitantly stop because it wasn’t actually a goal.
Things we learned:
The 20 min timed periods aren’t quarters, just thirds.
If you are bad you get sent to a naughty box on the side. Bad things include “hooking” and “tripping” (not the LSD variety).
The blue players with the number 19 and 42 were possibly good looking but we couldn’t quite tell.
Each period they swap sides. Pay attention to this or you start cheering for the opposition by accident.
The crowd periodically chants, laconically, “Go Leafs! Go!” which is excruciating for two reasons: it spreads across the stadium woefully out of time and it makes me want to turn around and yell, “The plural of Leaf is Leaves!”
The intermittent flurry of players toward and away from the bench where all 5 swap over is called a line change. Once you’ve learned enough lingo you can turn to the person next to you and start to commentate. And the Leafs have opted for a line change. Number 42 is back out on the rink. Oh! That’s got to be hooking.
In the penultimate 3 minutes the Maple Leafs swapped out their goalie for a 6th mobile player, leaving their goal wide open. The score was 3:4. The crowd was tense. Dan even spurted out a loud groan in response to something exciting. I had been updating a photo on Instagram so missed it. The opposition scored a 5th goal in the last 30 seconds of play because there was no goalie to protect the goal. It was excruciating to watch. I learned that lesson in my first round of playing Utopia, a non-graphic internet multiplayer game, in university. You can deploy all units to offence but leaving your territory defenceless is asking for it. The crowd up and left. There were still 8 seconds of play. It was definitely an entertainment event, not a team support crowd.
We caught the subway home and I feel we’ve achieved a new level of our Canadian experience: ice hockey game, tick.