Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Pay By The Week

 Now we're going back a ways with the story telling and you certainly don't remember it because IT WAS FOUR YEARS AGO but give that a little read and then come back here and I'll pick up the tale. Never mind the Oilers' stuff. They were horrible. Nothing new there.

 You're back? Great. If you're too lazy to click on that link then the jist of it was that after chasing and chasing I had just gotten my first job on a movie (awesome!!!) which paid nothing (doh!). Also you're lazy.

 OK so there I was, I've gotten a foot in the door of the film industry and that's all well and good but I have two problems. Well its one problem actually. Money. I haven't got any and here I am about to take a three week job that paid nothing. Well it paid in food. Craft services and it was decent food too. After years (I'm not joking) of eating mostly toast and pasta (with the odd plate of fried ground beef and onion, that shit is the bomb) to get real food and a lot of it well, yeah that was nice. But no money.

 Now in hindsight I could have gone about this differently I am sure. I was living in a house with another four folks, three of them were musicians and I couldn't ask them to carry me so I told buddy what was happening and that I'd be back in a month or two. I talked to some folks and had couches arranged for three weeks of the month where I would be homeless.

 Its weird thinking about my younger self and his weird sense of pride or whatever the hell it was. I could have asked my folks for the rent money for that month (I think it was 300.00 maybe) plus another couple hundred to get me by and they would have given it to me I have no doubt at all but while I had been wandering in circles for a while now I hadn't asked for a handout yet and I wasn't about to start. And so I looked at where the shoot was taking place (in Parkdale) and looked at my meager savings and realized that I had about a week where I needed a place to live and about a hundred bucks to spare and so I called the Gladstone Hotel to see about getting a room.

 Now this was around twenty years ago (that's mental!) and at this time Parkdale was, if not dangerous, certainly not very pleasant. And while the Gladstone, like the Drake, has now been redone and is a boutique hotel where you can rent one of their artist designed rooms for anywhere from 189 to 495 dollars a night at the time you could get one of those rooms, not designed by an artist, for ninety dollars a week.

 Good deal.

 I packed my meager belongings in a couple of boxes and gave them to a friend (everything I owned fit into the back of his Civic hatchback) to keep for the month and after calling the Gladstone (buddy who answered the phone recommended that I come down and see the place before I rented a room) my pal dropped me off with my knapsack the night before the shoot started.

 What do you get for ninety bucks a week? A lumpy single bed and a sink. Bathroom was down the hall. I peed in the sink. I did shower a couple of times though. Didn't get stabbed.

 I'll be honest I wasn't all that comfortable during my stay there, nervous would be a good way to describe my state of mind but days on the shoot ranged from fourteen to sixteen hours long and turnaround was eight to nine hours (this was not a union shoot needless to say) so basically after we wrapped I'd stumble up the street, into the Gladstone, up the stairs and into my room where I'd pass out until my little alarm went off. There was no wakeup call service. You get what you pay for lol.

 The Gladstone. Ah, good times.


 The Gladstone used to be a rundown shithole. Now its a hot spot (I think? I've been to the bar once or twice since its been redone. Of course my presence is certainly not an indication of a place's 'hotness', in fact it may very well be the opposite.) or at least a spot that charges at least 189 a night for a room, twice what it used to cost for a week's stay.

 Man did I score a fucking deal. Woot!

 Speaking of rundown shitholes and making something of them how about your Edmonton Oilers?

 Cause if we're going to talk about rundown shitholes the Oilers are about forty dollars a week based on these last six years, know what I'm saying? There's no arguing it. The players have changed except for Shawn Horcoff and Ales Hemsky. The club is on their fourth coach. The GM's career is hanging by a thread. The director of scouting, the minor league operation, the training staff - all have been replaced, gutted, let go. The old owners let a franchise icon walk over nickels and dimes. The new owner has squandered all of the considerable good will he had on a messy, pigheaded, ridiculous battle over a new arena.

 The club is a disaster off the ice and on the ice its been six years out of the playoffs including two last place finishes (one of those having spent to the cap, actually the Oilers spent tons of money to finish out of the playoffs for years) and a 29th!!!

 Just the fact that they spent to the cap to finish last place should have meant that Lowe and Tambo were fired on the spot and yes that season is why I don't trust them to do the right thing now.

 But lets blue sky for a second, ok?

 Hardest thing to do is procure top end talent, we're talking top six forwards and top four blue.

 Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle, Yakupov, Gagner, Hemsky.

 Smid, Petry, Schultz.

 Plus they have Paajarvi and Hartikainen who look like NHLers.

 And Dubnyk. I think he's a good one.

 Are there issues? Of course. Their depth is woeful on the back end and up front once Horcoff and Smyth are gone its not the greatest there either. Some of their remaining prospects are either hurt (Klefbom/Gernat) or struggling (basically everyone else) but history tells us that probably out of that group there will be a few players who emerge. Kyle Brodziak didn't spring fully formed from Moose Jaw or wherever he came from. It took years. Three bad months do not a prospect break just as three good ones don't a prospect make.

And would you rather have to figure out who your third line centre is going to be or your first line centre? The hard part is done, sort of. Picking the consensus number one overall three years running isn't hard of course and filling in the rest of the roster may be too much to expect of these clowns but put it this way if two years down the road they needed Taylor Hall instead of Nikolai Kulemin, well, that would be a much bigger worry.

 Still with Tambo in charge I sometimes feel like I'm back at the Gladstone, huddled under that thin blanket. waiting for the door to get kicked in and for me, screaming in terror, to be gutted from chin to my cock, blood gushing out all over my lumpy awful mattress.

 But for now I'll not think about that. Right? Right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

if you wrote a book, i would buy it.