Here is the story of my strange and wonderful New Years Eve. Get ready for it…

On the flight back to Calgary I realized that I had no real plans for New Years Eve. I was back in Calgary with no idea of what I would be doing as the year 2000 swept in. Years from now, kids would ask me what I did for the year 2000 and I would have to say “Uh, I just sat around and watched fireworks on TV.” Not acceptable.

Then, the weirdness began. As the announcements on the plane came on for our in-flight meal, they asked specific people who had ordered a vegetarian meal to raise their hands. The names they called included “Phil Zeller”. Phil was a friend of mine when I was growing up who lived just down the street from me. Our parents were friends and our older brothers hung out together too. I hadn’t seen Phil since I was about 15 or 16 years old. Now he was sitting two rows in front of me, on a flight through to Calgary.

Once we started talking and got over the initial strangeness of the whole thing, he let me know that he was in a punk band called Scratching Post that would be the opening act for Big Sugar on New Years Eve in Edmonton. If I wanted, he could put me on the guest list and we could party. Tah dah, a plan was now in effect.

Calling up my friend Jean, our plans fell into place. Jean has friends in Edmonton we could stay with and grew up there so we’d be able to easily get around town. We made the 3 hour drive up, had a kick ass sushi dinner and then rocked out New Years Eve at the Shaw Conference Center. When the moment hit, balloons fell from the ceiling while Big Sugar blasted out Auld Lang Syne.

I just hoped I would be on the guest list and get in for free, but we got a hell of a lot more. Backstage passes, lots of free drinks and we got to meet some great people in both bands. Considering how little I ended up spending, we did a hell of a lot.

The whole thing was pretty surreal. Two days ago I had been in Toronto and there I was in Edmonton with my friend from Oshawa that I hadn’t seen in 8 years drinking and partying while a guy from the University Radio Station interviewed the band. It was something I won’t forget. I guess I should have figured my New Years wouldn’t be normal, but when I’m in the middle of these adventures, it’s kind of hard to believe it’s all happening.

I hope everyone else’s New Years ceremony was entertaining. Best of luck to everyone in 2000.

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