I hosted a pre-Canadian Cup potluck this evening chez moi, which was great fun:
JB: Did you guys invite a lot of people? I'm kind of nervous to play in front of all my friends.
COLIN: You guys, we have to win. My optometrist believes in us.
KERA: What kind of people keep a child locked under a staircase, anyway?
SUZ: It was the 90s!
The theme of the evening seemed to be Masturbation Jokes, as JB, who works at a sex store and so Knows These Things, advised the male members of the team not to masturbate this evening (to store up the tension which would presumably lead to aggression on the field). Tegan and I mutually decided that he could be the one to administer that particular piece of advice - "Don't Masturbate" seems kind of bizarre/inhumane as far as presidential edicts go.
JB: Girls, have at it.
COLIN: Whoa, hold up, why?
JB: The science is different!
ME: Yeah, I just have an endless fountain of aggression I can tap into at any time.
Tegan and I did contemplate putting it to the test and designing an experiment: telling 1/3 of players not to masturbate, 1/3 of players to masturbate, and telling 1/3 nothing (assuming then that a random/representative sample of them would or would not masturbate) and then judging their performances.
TEGAN: We need a control group!
ME: Let's RCT this!
COACH: There's probably some kind of ethical thing there we're not considering...
COLIN: Can I pre-emptively volunteer to be in the 2nd 3rd?
They're quite the group ;)
I spent yesterday in Montreal! It's Fall Reading Week and Mumford and Sons are on their Canadian tour, so Chris and I went to their Montreal concert. I've never been to Montreal (shame, I know, considering I've lived 2.5 hours away from it for the past 3.5 years), so I caught an early bus and spent the day exploring the city.
I may or may not have listened to the Hunchback of Notre Dame soundtrack all the way there. Good life choices, I make them. (Also - it's been a while since I've actually seen the movie, so I don't remember the exact tensions between the bishop judge dude and Esmeralda, but there seemed to be quite a few similarities between the bishop dude and Antonio in Shakespeare's Measure for Measure with regards to religious authority figures and repressed sexuality. ...Oh god, I need a life.)
I really like Montreal! I mean, those who describe it as 'European' need to actually go to Europe (I think the cobblestones trip some people up in more ways than one), but it's very delightful. And freezing this time of year, but that proved useful when I was able to eat the egg I packed for lunch for dinner instead even after carrying it around all day. Montreal makes my pocket a refrigerator: good to know.
I also went into the McCord Museum to see Ed Burtynsky's 'Oil' exhibit - he's a Canadian photographer who does primarily industrial and manufactured landscapes - and god, it was just brilliant. I mean, you get the sense going through that it's a political exhibit, since the Oil Sands are a contentious issue in Canada, but there's nothing explicitly about the photos that drives you one way or the other. It was a really neat experiment for me to see what opinions and knowledge (or lack thereof) I bring to the photos and so how I interpret them, at least on the scale of my latent hippie environmentalism :P
The exhibit was a series of photos from the beginnings of oil (extraction) to transport, refinery, use, and where it goes at the end of its life cycle, a kind of holistic look at where our oil comes from, how we use it, and what happens to it once we can't use it anymore. The industrial extraction parts of the exhibit were incredibly stark - up until some of the 'use' parts, there were no human beings in the pictures at all, making them incredibly futuristic, kind of like what some of these huge sites would look like in A World Without Us scenario. This made some of them almost scary, and did some really interesting things with scale, since you couldn't tell if the pumps were huge monstrous things or if they were tiny toys on a train table. The detail in the photos is just incredible, and jewel-rich. And of course, where the scenes are set - in Cold Lake and Fort McMurray in the North, and in California as well. The tailings pond at Fort McMurray and some of the mining sites were just GORGEOUS, wow, I wasn't expecting to be so aesthetically fascinated with all the machinery and refuse of these massive industrial sites in contrast with the landscape.
The end-of-oil pictures were also gorgeous - abandoned early oil rigs in Azerbaijan, mammoth hulks of ship pieces on beaches in Chittagong like ancient statues or something, and the rusted ferrous bushling like some kind of close-up of skin cells. The oil-in-use pictures were likewise kind of awe-inspiring at all the intricately beautiful things we can create. Although obviously I have a lot of reservations about that, and it was superbly fascinating from an environmentalist perspective and profoundly worrying from an end-of-oil perspective (the end-of-oil sets looked very troubling and futuristic in a kind of dystopian way), I found it all quite beautiful in terms of human ingenuity and just what we can - terrifyingly - make the earth do for us. It was positively gorgeous, and very unsettling. So cool. Brava, Ed.
OH AND THEN MUMFORD AND SONS HAPPENED.
AND I DIED.
(Okay not really but it was INCREDIBLE, they are SO GOOD LIVE, MARCUS HOW IS YOUR VOICE EVEN MORE AMAZING AND RAW LIVE GUH. He played the drums on quite a few songs and was like a Darrenesque 5-year old boy while doing it, having WAY TOO MUCH FUN YOUNG MAN. They played quite a bit of new stuff, which was all EXCELLENT, I CANNOT WAIT.)
OH AND THE FRENCH PANDERING. OH MY GOD I LOVED IT. Like, they were just trying to throw around 'Merci' and 'Bonjour' wherever they could, and I'm pretty sure they asked everyone in the band first "okay so who speaks French? Put our banter into Google Translate and write it down on your arm or something."
MARCUS: I always get my masculine and feminine mixed up. Which one is 'chanson'?
MARCUS: Oh, "le"? Okay :D :D :D *shit-eating grin*
CROWD: YOU MOTHERFUCKER STOP IT.
The crowd was so into it, too - Chris and I were sitting on opposite sides of the stadium but it was pretty empty up until the openers finished so I slunk over to his side and watched the concert with him, dancing and singing and clapping the whole time. It's the biggest hockey arena in North America, and hearing that many people just ROAR along to 'Dust Bowl Dance' is SO. GODDAMN. COOL. and powerful, hunuhguh. Everyone went nuts for 'Little Lion Man' and 'The Cave' (the encore), but I honestly think 'Roll Away Your Stone' and 'After the Storm' (why so pretty, song?) were my favourites, so well done.
They started with a new song and then went right into 'Roll Away Your Stone,' and Jesus, the sound of clear trumpet notes into a big stadium like that is just breathtaking. MY CREYS, EVERYWHERE. And then, of course, we all got to stompin' XD And they played a Neil Young song! YAY.
TL; DR IT WAS AMAZING AND THE HARMONIES SLAYED ME AND THEY'RE ALL FUCKING ADORABLE WITH THEIR WIKIPEDIA KNOWLEDGE OF MONTREAL. And they just so clearly *love* what they're doing, putting every ounce of energy into filling up that stadium and playing the music as hard as they can. Marcus came out to sing the last song of one of the openers, and they pulled the other opening band up and M&S's horn section and they were all playing along (not jamming, since they'd obviously practiced it), but it was just so clear that this is what they love, that they just love playing music together so much, and it was so, so wonderful to be a part of that.