After an interview with Coheed and Cambria fell through (17-year-old me was so bummed), I decided to write a review of my weekend to ensure that my section was not totally devoid of content.
While some people’s weekends would be boring to read about, this one hopefully won’t be.
Starting on Friday morning (incidentally, the day after my birthday) and carrying on through Sunday, this past weekend was WPNCUP, the western Canadian University Press conference. Basically, many of the university papers from B.C. to Manitoba descend upon a city (last year it was Kelowna; this year, Winnipeg) to party and try to learn things to make our papers better (which is promptly forgotten with mass alcohol consumption).
This article goes against anything I may have learned over the course of the conference. My company included my boss, the Sheaf’s editor-in-chief Ashleigh Mattern, associate news editor Kevin Menz and our photographer Pete Yee. Normally there would be more of us going but everyone is poor this month.
Wake up, still a little drunk from birthday festivities. Intoxicated, I pack my suitcase with a random assortment of clothes, including the outfit I wore the night before. Gross?
I buy two vitamin waters from Browsers and mosey into the Toyota Tercel that is to transport me to Winnipeg. We leave the city. I sleep.
Grab some Extreme Pita and Booster Juice in Regina. I sleep.
Miraculously not hung over. 21 must be magic!
Made it to Winnipeg but missed the keynote speaker, prolific quintessential Canadian writer Douglas Coupland, because we forgot about the time change. Apparently it was mega-boring so I don’t feel that bad. Sorry, Doug.
We eat dinner at the Lo Pub, which has an exclusively vegetarian/vegan menu. I order the most elaborate grilled cheese in existence and it’s delicious. Their domestic beer was $3.75! We meet up with our CUP counterparts such as the University of Manitoba’s Manitoban, University of Winnipeg’s the Uniter, the University of Alberta’s The Gateway, and the University of British Columbia’s the Ubyssey. A band called Cheering for the Bad Guys play and by the end of the night we can’t decide if they’re super Christian or super Atheist.
Wake up. I am impervious to hangovers.
Eat really, really bad sushi.
Watch part of Forrest Gump in the Hotel Room.
We go to a barbecue at the U of W quad. There is free keg beer and everyone is getting wasted before the keynote speaker, Margo Goodhand, the current (and first female) editor of the 138-year-old Winnipeg Free Press.
In the hotel room, I force beer upon counterparts prior to the walking pub crawl beginning at the Lo Pub. Most are already drunk from the barbeque and Ashleigh is drinking canned wine. Gross? “Naw, it’s good!” she insists, drunkenly.
Some 60-year-old woman sings Rob Zombie’s “Dragula.” No joke. Your grandmother was up there singing karaoke at Winnipeg’s Regal Beagle. It was unreal. She followed it up with Metallica. Her name was “Rockin’ Ramona.” I will never get over this. She made my rendition of “The Kid is Hot Tonight” seem like a preschooler’s Christmas pageant: simultaneously adorable and pathetic. Although some very nice elderly Chinese men became my fans, which only slightly consoled me.
Ashleigh insists on doing tequila shots, which I graciously accept. She has begun to get pretty drunk at this point and vows that she’s either going to get into a fight or find some chips. She’s indecisive.
We move on to the King’s Head Pub, where we danced drunkenly to a Beatles cover band. We drink a little more. I manage to lose $20 on the ground somewhere.
We’re trying to find our way back to the Hotel and, failing miserably, Kevin and I entreat Ashleigh to let us go to the strip club, to no avail. Eventually we ask a bus driver if he could point us in the proper direction of the hotel and instead of giving us directions, he just offers to drive us there for free. Winnipeg people are lovely!
We are about to cross the street to get to our hotel when two young, drunk girls ask us if we can point them in the direction of the Hi Hostel, which is above the Lo Pub. We find out that they are two American gals from Minnesota in Winnipeg to party at 18. They come back to our hotel to party some more. Kevin hits it off with one of them. Fargo jokes ensue.
After we drop the Minnesotans at their hostel, we go for a brief adventure on the roof of the hotel to see all of downtown Winnipeg in its splendor and then promptly return to the room for sleep.
I sleep in and watch Blast From the Past starring Alicia Silverstone and Brendan Fraser circa 1999 on the History channel. I miss television.
“Minnesota girl wanted me to add her on Facebook but her name is Sara Anderson!” laments Kevin, since Anderson will probably be the most common of names in Minnesota.
Kevin and I spot a combination Chinese restaurant and karaoke lounge on our way to find food. We ended up at McDonalds. Gross?
We leave Winnipeg, reluctantly. It’s a long and uneventful drive back to Saskatoon.
I get a text message from Kevin saying that Sara Anderson found him on Facebook. A happy ending!