Monday, December 06, 2010

Bears, Lions, and Cookies: A Recap of My Weekend

If you follow me on any of the social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, this blog!) then you might have had a suspicion that this past weekend was one that I was looking forward to. Of course, I could totally understand how you missed subtle hints like, "OMGZ, tis DE awsumz weekend!" I may be slightly paraphrasing and dumbing down my actual comments -- slightly. No matter if you did catch the vibe or not, this was most definitely the weekend of awesome. As is usually the case, my wife played a rather large part in that, because not only was she the giver of the blessed Bear tickets but spending an entire weekend with her is a delightful time indeed.

We moseyed over that border of ours, in order to enter the wonderful land of Detroit (sort of like Oz, but the road is more of a rusty black). As has been the new tradition of the last two times I've crossed the border, the border officer decided to play a game of 21 questions because I guess, it can be lonely in that little booth. He is now fully aware of the colour of my underwear, that I like long walks on a beach, I once could bench over my weight, and the bottom of my feet are ticklish. Then we did the necessary security precaution of Rock. Paper, Scissors, and finally found ourselves back on our journey.

The caveat for this trip to watch men bounce around in tights and head gear, was that Christmas shopping must be done. Though we failed at crossing off every single name on our ever growing list (thus Emily felt we lost the apparent shopping competition that we were in), we did succeed at having a rather splendid time together. We of course mad mistakes of going into places like book or DVD or music stores, and thus I found myself craving things for me. But that was not the objective of Operation Gift Shop, and so I begged upon Mr. Willpower to get me through those moments. In the end, we did buy things, and I believe for the most part they were all for people with names not Emily or Christopher.

I did learn that if it ever happens that a bouncing baby joins the Spicer clan, that the best part will be buying them presents. There are some pretty fun inducing toys that are strutting their stuff at the stores, and I need excuses to buy more of them. I did get to justify the purchase of one rather cool toy, because we 'had' to buy a gift for the children of one of our cousins. I hope they open it when I am around, and I hope even more that they decide they should play it then and there. Not that I'd suggest such a thing to them.

Speaking of shopping, I think one of my favourite places to shop around the States is the grocery stores or food aisles because there is so much junky goodness that is absent from the shelves here in Ontario. There is flavours of pops or cookies or chocolate bars that I didn't even know actually existed outside of my own twisted imagination. Now, we didn't end up purchasing too much of this magical food, but I did try a flavour of Mountain Dew that I'd never seen before. Emily took about two sips and gave it the strong thumbs down, and so I was voted as the person to finish it. It wasn't as bad as sipping on Drano mixed with prune juice, but I am also okay that you can't get it up here.

Now, speaking of can't get it up here. I have a rather lovely and delightful friend who has a strong distaste for the McDonald's in Ontario. Now, for the longest time, I stuck to the claim that I didn't really notice a big difference between the two versions (Canadian vs. American). Now, I won't allow one single McDonald's to represent an entire nation of them, but in the summer, we did stop by at a McDonald's close to the state of Wisconsin (I think). Though I appreciated the fact they had a larger menu and a much lower price point than the versions I am used to, I can not say it was a dance party in my mouth that would invite any more McDonald's products to join in. The issue was the fries. It seemed like the establishment opted out using potatoes, but instead, formed the fries from a magical vat of oil. Then they proceeded to paint the slices of oil to look like what most people consider french fries. At the time, I was sure the taste had more to do with the place having oil that was probably used when the original restaurant was first opened, and not a fair indictment of the entire horde of restaurants (because I never remember being so repulsed the other times I ate at McDonald's in the States). All the same, when we were wrestling with growling tummies during lunch time, we grabbed a Cliff Bar instead.

When the shop fest had played itself out, it was time to retreat to our hotel. Now, I completely forget the name of the hotel, and that is partly because I didn't book it and mostly because I didn't repeat the name over and over 55 dozen times. The place has nice rooms and a cute foyer and a computer room that sealed in patron's B.O., so you know, the things you come to expect at a decent hotel. There is one thing at this hotel that almost made it worth me trying to bother to remember its name. When you check into the hotel, they gave you a fresh, warm, chocolate chip and walnut cookie. And it was delicious! At the end of the weekend, I had asked the young girl at the desk about the complimentary paper that we were supposed to get, but was then informed it was not delivered on Sunday mornings. I told her to not to worry about it, but as an apology she gave us two more warm and delicious cookies. Cookies always beats newspapers, because who needs to read anyway when you're stuffing your mouth hole?

Though apparently, the greatness of this gesture was lost on other people. When we told our tenant about the cookie goodness, she responded, "That's sketchy." I was rather confused by that response and retorted, 'No, it would have been sketchy if they gave us condoms." Probably would have been even sketchier if the condoms were fresh and warm with walnuts and chocolate chips.

All this stuff was nice, but not the reason we took a trip to Detroit. No, we were here to see the Chicago Bears put a rather large beating on the Detroit Lions. Sunday was not only "Game Day' but it was the first time I've ever seen the Chicago Bears live (Emily points out it was my first life NFL game period, but the Bears thing is the important part). Now, my Bears clothing has actually gone the way of the dumpster because apparently one starts growing out of clothes after 10 plus years and clothes have this silly habit of wearing and tearing. So, I had to try to come up with the closest team colours I could, in order to make my allegiances clear in the enemy territory.

Though I quickly learned that this afternoon of football watching wasn't going to be the lone Bears fan among tens of thousands of Lions fans. When we walked over to the stadium, we saw so much glorious orange and dark blue. At the time, it seemed like the Bears fans were outnumbering the Lions fans. It made a bit of sense since Chicago sports fans are known for being fiercely loyal and making the trips to support their teams, but also, the Lions are possessing an atrociously bad record thus some fans probably opted to stay home and sulk. Though, once we were in the stadium it was pretty clear that there was far more Lions fans, but still a rather spirit lifting amount of Bears fans. I guess it was 40% Bears fans, but Emily was more convinced it was 35%. Though, I have to say that a big difference from American sports fans compared to Canadian (or at least Ontarians) is that almost everybody dresses in the team colours which makes it abundantly clear who you're rooting for. My lack of an actual jersey or Bear gear made me stand out. It definitely makes for a much cooler atmosphere being among such excitable fans. The stadium is huge thus can probably pack somewhere around 80 thousand, but even considering that, the place was just electric the entire game. Emily stated after it was so much more fun watching this game than an Argonaut's game (Toronto's CFL team), because the fans are just so much louder and more vocal the entire game. Everyone really gets into it, and you can't help but express yourself.

I must say, that having the home team score on your favourite team is a very humbling experience. Not only did I have to suffer the touchdown against my team, but I was surrounded by the explosive cheers of the Lions fans. Luckily, I was sitting near Bears fans, and so I wasn't the only one who screamed out excitedly when the Bear progressed up the field or scored a touchdown. And actually, I shamefully have to admit Emily was probably more vocal than me. What can I say, my wife is awesome.

"What about the actual game?" Well, it was rather thrilling, actually. It was a great first game to see live, and was exciting right down to the final seconds. The part that made it so much more sweeter was that the Bears were behind for a large portion of the game (oh how I was scared they were going to lose to a team with only 2 wins), but made the winning comeback right at the end. It was great seeing them pull out the hard earned win, and it was even better to watch a exciting game that was won by my team. So, the Bears are still perched at the very top of their division, and are bound for nothing but victory from this point on. Okay, I know, this is the Bears, but please just let me have my moment.

So, that was my weekend, and a wonderful one that it was. I sincerely hope that wonderfulness found your weekend as well.

What did everyone end up doing?

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