Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Too old for this

I'm just not 18 anymore, I guess that's the crux of the matter. 

When I was in my teens I used to deliver the local paper every morning.  It meant that I had to be completed my route by 6:30am on weekdays and 8:00am on weekends.  It would take about an hour and a half to complete, so I regularly had very early mornings.  I could do that easily and never had much of a problem getting out of bed.  There were a couple years where I just helped my sister out on her route when I was even younger, and I would get so pissed off at having to drag her butt out of bed in the mornings that I would get up, get ready, wait for 15 minutes, and if she didn't get up on her own, I would go back to bed myself.  Because I was just helping her on her route, she'd be the one who would get into trouble if she was late.  When she quit her route, I waited only long until I was old enough to drive and got one of my own.

In any event, I could get up that early, go all day and not be tired.  I was reasonably responsible in getting to bed at a decent hour on weekdays, but weekends were another matter.  I remember going to the Drive-In (I wish they still had those, the one I remember was a relic of a lost age and sadly burnt down several years ago) where they would show a double feature.  We would have a big group of friends all show up in several cars and would only rarely pay attention to the movies.  It was a blast.  As this was invariably in the summer, when the sun doesn't go down until at least 10:00, it meant for some very late nights.  On my way home, often 2 or 3 in the morning from these forays I would actually check and see if the morning papers were dropped off yet and if they had been, I would run the route, finish around 4:00 and go home to bed.  Sure, there were days when, like any teenager, I would sleep until noon afterward, but I think that was more the exception than the rule.  I always had the energy to keep going, to change my schedule completely on the weekends and go back to normal living on weekdays without a second thought.

These days I'm a homebody.  If I don't have a compelling reason to go out, I'm more than happy to stay home and veg out.  My husband and I are often in bed by 10:00pm - even on weekends and we are grumpy if we don't get enough sleep.  So last night, a Tuesday night I might add (where we both have work the next morning), was quite an anomaly for us when we didn't hit the sack until about 1:00am.  Now we had a great excuse for it, of course, but I'm certainly feeling the effects of 4 hours of sleep today.  I expect my husband is even worse as he has to contend with allergies and quite possibly a hang over as well.

The good news is that we saw an amazing show last night and the lost hours of sleep are more than made up for by the fun we had.  We live in Calgary, Alberta, the home to the Calgary Stampede,  the "Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth".  It truly is quite spectacular.  It is basically a 10 day long party celebrating the old west.   There is a Rodeo (I think it is the "richest" rodeo in the world, offering up the most prize money), Chuckwagon races, all sorts of cowboy & cowgirl events such as cattle cutting and other things that I don't know the names of because despite being Calgarian, I am still a city slicker.  There are all sorts of free music shows (and others that are not free) (Our Lady Peace, Seether, The Trews, Big Sugar, Garth Brooks and Paul Brandt are among some of the big names this year), exhibitors, a Midway and more deep fried food than you can even imagine.  Deep fried Kool-Aid was advertised this year.  How do they even do that?  All over the city during the celebration free pancake breakfasts abound and you would be hard pressed walking five minutes downtown in the mornings without stumbling across one.  If you like pancakes and sausages there is no better place to be in July.  The  Mayor, the Premier of Alberta, and the Prime Minister of Canada all put on there chef's hats and flipped pancakes for the masses at some point during the Stampede.

Downtown pretty much shuts down during the Stampede.  There is an unwritten rule that business casual dress reverts to western wear and even at the courthouse, in front of the judges, lawyers will wear their best cowboy duds and plead their cases.  And the booze.  I swear, half the city is hungover and/or drunk for the entire 10 days of celebrations.

All this rambling gets me back to the point that my dear father in law was able to get us amazing tickets to the Chuckwagon races and Grandstand show last night.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede, and they really outdid themselves.  Amazing acrobatics, singing, dancing and some world class fireworks to round out the show, all on an amazingly hot evening where the temperature never fell below 25 degrees C (about 80F) even in the wee hours of the morning.  The afternoon was significantly hotter than that.  I can just imagine all these cowpokes from Texas wondering what the hell happened - isn't Canada supposed to be COLD??

In any event, good fun was had all round, but I better not even try to get used to it - there is not enough coffee in the world to get me through doing that more than once every blue moon!

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