The Girl Who Tried To Cheer For An American Hockey Team

I have discovered that seeing an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles is a very affordable thing to do.  You can get tickets for $30-40 and they always have availability! I’ve been taking advantage of this with a few other Canadian friends and we have now been able to see all of our favourite Canadian teams as they come out here to play the American hockey team; LA Kings.

You can imagine our surprise when we all met up at the subway station and one of our friends was sporting an LA Kings shirt! She announced to the rest of us that she felt she had been living in LA a long time now, so she thought it was time to start rooting for her home team. You can bet we all let her have it for that!  You see … it’s an unspoken rule that no matter where you live, when it comes to hockey, any Canadian team will always be your home team. On this particular day the Winnipeg Jets were playing.


Canada sweater and LA Kings shirt

You otherwise wouldn’t know it, but BOTH of these girls are Canadian!


If we own jerseys, hoodies, or any apparel of the visiting team, we wear them to the game.  If not, we wear whatever Canadian gear we have.  It’s amazing how many others from the ‘True North’ you’ll spot at the Staples Center. Our friend, however, didn’t think all of this through! Of course, we made friends with other Canadians around us and pointed out the trader in our presence.  She would hush us and say that she was busy trying to concentrate on training her eyes to follow the other team. If the Kings scored she would clap and cheer, but it lacked any real look of joy.  She really did put in a lot of effort.

Somewhere in the 3rd period, when the Jets scored for the second time, our friend unleashed a fist-pump to the sky accompanied by a loud, deep from the belly cheer that had everyone around turning their heads. The rosy colour of life returned to her cheeks and she proclaimed, “I’m back!”

When we went out for a drink after the game, she explained that while she was watching the game as a Kings fan, she really wasn’t enjoying the game at all, but when she switched back to cheering for the Jets she started to have a great time and love hockey again, even though the Kings won the game. Let this stand as an experiment that was conducted on behalf of all Canadians, so no one else will have to go through it.  You have permission to cheer for other teams, but when you are out of country and ANY Canadian team is playing, even if you’re not normally a regular fan of them, THEY ARE YOUR HOME TEAM! It’s for the love of the game, and your own good.  After all, WE ARE HOCKEY!!!


A Night Out With Jim Fox

Jim Fox must have been happy to see some fellow Canadians at the LA Kings game the other day.  It shouldn’t have come as any surprise, as they were playing the Toronto Maple Leaf’s! For those who don’t know, Jim Fox is a retired Canadian NHL player who spent all 9 of his seasons with the Kings.  Before the game started they gave a special ceremony honoring him. On the way in the door they gave each of us our own Jim to hang out with!

Our Jim started off being pretty cool.  He hung out and watched the game with us, ready to broadcast the highlights at any moment if we needed him to.


bobble head at a hockey game

Looking good Jim! Our view from the Platinum Lounge at The Staples Center.


After a while, Jim wasn’t satisfied with just standing around and he decided to get in on our fun.  Turns out Jim’s a lot of fun himself!


bobble head and beer

Jim’s still a good Canadian, enjoying a fine beer! (That’s Shock Top with a slice of orange)


I wonder how he felt about the outcome of the game? The Leaf’s beat the Kings, so being that hockey is such a Canadian sport would he be sad that his team that he played for lost, yet still be happy because it was a Canadian team who won? He must have felt a bit conflicted because he insisted on coming out with us after the game.


bobble head at a juke box

Jim took over the joint and had to set the mood with his favorite party songs!


Trouble came when Jim realized he wasn’t the only Jim at the pub! You see, other hockey fans went out after the game and they had their own Jims too.  That’s when our Jim went a little crazy trying to prove he was the man.


bobble head gives a kiss

He planted some fresh ones on the ladies!


bobble head drinking

But soon got in way over his head … seriously, he could barely keep his head on straight!


It was pretty clear to all of us that Jim didn’t really think any of this through.  He went all out, and was a ton of fun, but in the end he just wasn’t the playa he made himself out to be … he ran out of money.


bobble head at an ATM

I have to admit, I did feel for the guy.


Better luck next time Jim! Hey, think of it like this … I saw a lot of people leave their Jims behind when they left, but you got to come home with us, so in the end you really did win!


Realwheel’s Brings ‘Whose Life Is It Anyway?’ to The Cultch in Vancouver

Laugh, cry, and open your mind to the sensitive topic centering around the right to die.  Realwheels brings their production of  Whose Life Is It Anyway? to the historic theatre at The Cultch starting this Tuesday March 11th, and playing until Saturday March 22nd.

Written by award winning playwright Brian Clark, the play is set in a hospital room with the action revolving around main character Ken Harrison.  Ken, a brilliant sculptor was in a car accident and is now paralyzed from the neck down and is determined to be allowed to die despite the MD’s determination to do their job and keep him alive.  Who will prevail?

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Should someone be allowed the right to choose whether to live or die? Ken Harrison’s character will leave you asking that question after you see Whose Life Is It Anyway?

I had the pleasure of sitting in on a couple of the rehearsals and had the chance to learn more about Realwheels, the play, the cast and the director.  I was amazed at how the cast worked so well together. Director John Cooper was always open to suggestions from both cast and crew.  John explained, “I feel very fortunate to have such a high caliber group of actors to play with.”  This was quite clear as I noticed John would always comment on how great everyone was doing and thank them for their patience throughout the process.

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Director, John Cooper giving feedback to the cast at rehearsals, as photographed by Rena Cohen

So … should someone be allowed the right to choose whether to live or die?  I find this question constantly running through my head, especially with this play and current debates bringing it to the forefront.  What happens if they are terminally ill?  What if they become a quadriplegic like Ken Harrison?  What would I do in that situation?  What if it was a loved one?  The questions go on and on … everyone has their own opinion on the right to die, and very strong opinions at that. Is there a right answer? Don’t draw your own conclusions without seeing Who’s Life Is It Anyway?  first.

Bob Frazer plays the role of Ken Harrison.  Bob finds the inspiration for the role from longtime friend James Sanders.

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James Sanders and Noelle Sediego (Assistant to Pam Johnson, Set & Prop Design) sit through a table read at rehearsals, as photographed by Rena Cohen


James is the founder of Realwheels and was first inspired by this play (at the time, in the form of the 1981 movie) as a young person with quadriplegia who was new to the world of disability, following a spinal cord injury.  Whose Life Is It Anyway? helped James to carry on and create artistic expression out of his own experience.  After talking with Bob, I quickly found out that he was originally going to play the role of the Doctor and James was going to play Ken Harrison.  Due to health issues James was unable to take on the role.  Both James and John thought Bob would be perfect for the role, because of his 25 year friendship with James. Bob says that not only is James his true inspiration for this piece, but for the entire role.

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Bob Frazer as photographed by Tim Matheson

In my opinion, Bob is perfect for the role.  Yes, he might not have a disability, but he’s been by James’ side through his whole journey.  He’s had James to ask all the deep, personal questions and has an enormous amount of respect and admiration for what he has to go through.  Bob explained, “James and I have had such a great relationship, because I’ve never treated him any differently than the guy that I knew back in theatre school.  I never felt sorry for him and never acted like I did.”

Realwheels was created to further the understanding of living with disabilities, through art and creative expression.  They are prominent both in the professional theatre community and the disability community. To learn more about the great things Realwheels does, and what Rena Cohen, Managing Director of Realwheels/Producer of Whose Life Is It Anyway? feels about being a part of this great theatre company, click here.

Whose Life Is It Anyway? will pull at your heart strings and challenge your humanity, all while being wildly entertaining!  Catch the play from March 11th to 22nd nightly at 8pm.  Purchase your tickets for March 13th or 18th and enjoy a lively post show Q & A session.  Realwheels is offering Sign Language Interpretation provided by A.S.L. Interpreting Inc., and a Described Performance by VocalEye for those with vision loss offered at the matinee on Sunday, March 16th at 2pm.  Tickets are available now from The Cultch starting at $18 or call 604-251-1363.

Connect with Realwheels on Facebook and Twitter to get involved in the conversation around #WhoseLife and be sure to leave your comments on the show.

Enjoy the Performance!

Responsible Citizen

I saved another runaway dog today! Our dog and the other dogs on the street alerted me that something was going on, and low and behold, when I looked out the window I saw a dear old black dog trotting around.  ”Do something!” my daughter yelled, looking at me with those ‘even though I’m a teenager I still think of you as someone who has the power to save the world’ eyes.

I went outside and the whole thing had a very happy ending.  As soon as the dog was back with his owner I thought, ‘Why didn’t I take a picture of the dog up on our hill so I could post about it?’ I passed it off thinking it could have been a great story, but now I can’t share it.  Later in the day I realized that by not taking the photo, I was actually being a responsible citizen and that I did not do what I yell at so many people on TV for doing.  When I see videos of accidents, wipe outs and other struggles, it always baffles me that the people filming never put down their cameras to go help.  They’d rather get the footage.  For me, the most important thing was making sure the dog didn’t try to run away again once I had him sitting still.  I was talking to him the whole time, and who knows what would have happened if I stopped to try and take his picture.

I’ve decided to share a photo of my hill and you can imagine someone’s beautiful, well-loved black lab (who was about to be in big trouble by his owner) sitting there while I share the story.


hill in nature

Look at Bandit sitting there, isn’t he handsome!


When I got outside the dog was trying to climb up through the brush, which would have taken him up into the hills and nature paths, where it would be really hard to find him.  I just called out “Hey buddy!” He turned around and stopped.  I heard a loud voice from somewhere on a street above us shouting out “Bandit?!…Bandit?!”

I yelled back “If you’re looking for your dog, he’s down here!”  The man was elated and replied “You found my dog! He’s totally harmless. I’ll bring my car down right now!”  Since I now knew the dog’s name was Bandit I tried to call him down to me.  He wanted to come down the hill, but he couldn’t figure out how to do it, so he just sat back down.  I just kept talking to him, all the while the dogs in the homes around me were howling and just in a hilarious fit over this action.

The man arrived in his big ‘ol car and cowboy hat, and upon seeing him, the dog miraculously had no problem figuring out how to get down the hill and headed right into the car.  With a grand thank you, they were on their way.  My reward?  Looking up in the window and seeing my daughter’s eyes of pride.  I really don’t get those from my kids much anymore, so I guess I owe Bandit the thanks!


Missing Canada

I am really missing the good Samaritans of Canada.  Unfortunately, here in the United States, people sue each other so much that the possible repercussions of helping out prevent people from lending a hand.  Last night I suffered because of that.

I got a flat tire while driving on a busy road.  With nowhere to pull over, I drove up the street a bit to a cultural center where I knew I’d be out of harms way.  It was 5:30 pm, but the center was already closed. The security guard came running right over to find out what I was doing there.  I told him I had a flat tire and he told me to call my roadside assistance.  I very sweetly asked him if he would help me change the tire, but alas, he had rounds to do and there was only one other person inside working.  I started to unload my truck to do it myself, then he yelled, “Stop!”, threw his arm in front of me and said, “You have to call your roadside assistance!


Flat Tire

Good thing I was finally able to pull over, I couldn’t have driven another second on this!


I spent half an hour on hold waiting for my service provider to answer.  I then spent another half an hour while they tried to find a company with somebody available to come change my tire, with no success.  At that point my phone died, but luckily my son had his phone on him so I had given them his number right before hand.  Of course, during this whole time the 2 cultural center workers were just nice and cozy inside looking at us. We were parked right outside their front doors. They even ordered themselves a pizza!

Feeling totally fed up I just started changing the tire myself.  This of course brought the security guard running back outside.  He said he wanted to help me, but had to go get his supervisor’s permission. He came back with his supervisor who told me he was not allowed to help me! This whole thing came down to them not wanting to be liable for anything, and I couldn’t do it myself because they couldn’t have me hurting myself or messing up my car on their property!

It was 2 hours after getting the flat tire that my roadside assistance finally called back on my son’s phone and a truck arrived to help us.  Of course, they changed the tire in under 2 minutes.  When I told them my story they said people even try to sue them if there’s even any tiny thing wrong with their service. People try to blame scratches and dents in their car on them.

I seriously miss the giving without hesitation in Canada!


Flat Tire

Here it is…the slash that stranded me.