Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another day

A wife looks across the breakfast table one morning at her husband, back from his 7th 28 day shift in a row managing construction on upgraders since they arrived in Alberta. She knows that two days from now, he is heading back to McMurray in the trailer he bought so that they could pocket his per-diem allowance. She looks at the kids, too young to understand what she is saying.

"You shouldn't come back after. I can't do this anymore."

Four years later, I walk beside him as he is leaving the courthouse. The warm inside stink of old paper and fear-sweat giving way to a cold blast of stale cigarette smoke and diesel fumes.

"It's over, no more fighting... And you succeeded on a lot of issues..." I offer...

"Doesn't feel like that."

"I know."

We wait in silence for the light to change on our way to the parking lot. I pretend to check the cross-light to see if it has gone yellow. Really I am taking a sidelong glance at this man. Good looking, charming, intelligent, articulate and successful, his eyes are slit shut against the cold wind. For the first time in three years, I see him fish out a cigarette and light it up. He takes a deep drag and looks out at the tips of smokestacks, gas flares and cracking towers visible in the distance from behind the courthouse. The wind snatches away the smoke from his cigarette. From the parking lot behind the Army & Navy, he sees the cold, cruel unforgiving bitch who took his wife and kids from him - Alberta Oil. "Come on out, come make your fortune and head home with a million in the bank and take it easy, teach the kids to fish at your new place by the lake..."

He sees the reality now.

"I hate this place," he says, turns, tosses his butt, and heads for his truck.

I get in my car, and just drive.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Wow, no September post, either.

OK, OK, it has been a bad year for this blog's level of content. I blame a complete lack of time on Jenn's part caused by her school work and my complete lack of time ( and then motivation) stemming from looking after the chores to the extent I do and practicing law full time.

So to finish off the reviews I started in August - Palliser Hotel -

You get what you pay for, but you pay a lot.

The beds are great, the bedding is soft and pillows are quality. The public spaces are beautiful and full of grandeur. The location is tremendous, right near everything in Calgary's downtown that you might want to do or see. The rooms are a bit small by modern standards, and the plumbing is a bit retro, but it isn't the worst I have seen.

We didn't try the food, since there were so many other options so close. I'm sure it's lovely.

The service is what you expect at a Fairmont hotel in Canada. Good.

There. The Palliser. Good hotel. Also the pool was nice.

And Jenn and I had a lovely time.