Okay, time for our first recipe here at Social Eject, Southwest Ranch Dip. This a zesty twist on your basic Ranch Dip. They now sell packets of a similar style but it's a lot funner to do your own. This will spice up any party without actually burning out the guests. Enjoy!
When I was in High School, I wrote a paper on why a person should love their enemies. The basic argument was that you should love your enemies because without them, your life would be boring and unchallenging. I had to read the paper out loud in class and in one of those personal awe moments where you realize you're good at something, I noticed my English teacher's jaw actually drop, while the rest of the class looked confused. I bring this up at the beginning of my story about my ex-neighbor Angela, because of two points. One, you never know what stupid, annoying thing in your life will turn out to be the thing that makes it interesting. And two, at times you have to cut through a lot of junk to see the genius of something.
Everyone has had an annoying neighbor. It's part of life and living in the real world. If you're a misanthrope, pretty much everyone is annoying. But if you're lucky, sometimes annoyance can turn into crazy and crazy is always entertaining. My wife and I got to experience this over a couple of years and let me tell you, it was worth the loss of sleep and interruptions. We used to have people come over and ask, "Do you think Angela's coming out tonight"? She was that entertaining. Of course, she was like a unicorn and we were the only people she would come out to.
It all started innocent enough. Angela and her husband moved in above us and she would go on her balcony to smoke. We were in non-smoking apartments but no big deal, just close the windows and deal with it. Then she started talking really loudly on her cell phone, or at least that's what we thought. Then came the constant in and out and slamming of doors. This is all completely normal when it comes to annoying neighbors. Then her late nights started getting later. At this point, annoying neighbor became too much for other neighbors to ignore and the "shut up" shouts started. Now we have "shut up" shouts and intense expletives flying back and forth between apartments in the quad. All through this, the loudest one being Angela. I'm sure there were plenty of noise complaints filed with the office. There were none from us though, we didn't want to get involved.
At some point, Angela's rage focused on the female neighbor directly across from her. They would shout back and forth the craziest trash talk you ever heard from two girls. One night, there was an altercation at Angela's front door. We knew it was the neighbor from across the way. There was a lot of screaming and the sounds of struggle. Eventually, the cops came and sorted it out, but later that night they were shouting at each from their balconies again.
There were a couple of nights where things would fly off of Angela's balcony. One night, as we were sitting, watching T.V., we could hear Angela fighting with her husband upstairs. It started getting crazy with screaming, doors slamming and bumping and banging. Next thing we know, a glass flies off their balcony into the street and shatters. Then they were fighting on their balcony and this large trash bag of cigarette buds and ash comes flying down onto our balcony. We had cigarette buds fly onto our balcony before, but nothing like this immense bag of ash. Then the sirens started coming. Four police cars later, Angela was dragged off screaming. I was cleaning up our balcony when her husband looked over the edge of his and said, "Dude, I'm sorry."
Angela was gone for weeks. It was so quiet.
We missed her.
Until that fateful day when she came back. And then I got to meet her! Her husband brought her down to apologize for all that she had done, including dumping ash on our balcony. When she apologized, I had no idea what to say. I think I said, "Okay, we all have those days." The funny thing is she is this little petite girl that looked so innocent. I was in shock. My wife was ticked. She couldn't believe she didn't get the chance to meet. her.
Frozen Fury is the L.A. Kings annual preseason game in Las Vegas, NV. In my life, I've missed two, not including the cancelled ones because of lockouts. I was there for those, lockout or not. Frozen Fury is an experience for anyone, not just for L.A. Kings fans. It's been held at the MGM Arena every single year and the Kings opponents have almost always been the Colorado Avalanche. In it's infancy, the fan bases were pretty even, with Avs fans fighting to get tickets because they couldn't afford regular season games at home. After the Kings won their first Stanley Cup, and subsequent second Stanley Cup, the fan rivalry has become severely lop sided in the favor of Kings fans. Frozen Fury has always been a raucous, yet intimate affair.
Next year, that is going to change a bit. The game will be moving to the new Las Vegas Arena. The new arena is a $375 million project from AEG and MGM Resorts International. The arena is intended to help bring an N.H.L. expansion team to the city, as well as be home to all sorts of sporting and entertainment events. It will sport a state of the art facility with seating capacity for 20,000, a far cry from the 'great anywhere you sit' seats in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. This will undoubtedly change the feel of the experience of Frozen Fury. Hopefully, Kings fans will keep traditions going but I thought it would be fun to document the experience.
L.A. Kings fans and Vegas is just one big party. It's Vegas, right? Anyone can start a party anywhere in Vegas. But groups from fan sites and message boards(like letsgokings.com) always try and organize little get together's at various Vegas hot spots. My favorite has always been at Hofbrauhaus. It's not only a huge Kings celebration but it's also Oktoberfest. You'll get tons of beer, German food, polka, and of course, schnapps! This year's official Kings pre-party was at Tom's Urban, a newer restaurant closer to the arena. I didn't make it to the pre-party but made a stop by there before I left. Go if you get a chance. There is also a ton of Kings fans at various resort pools taking over, throwing around beers and blow up Stanley Cups. It's a good way to start game day.
Luc Robitaille Celebrity Poker Tournament
The last few years, Luc Robitaille and his wife Stacia have been putting on a charity poker tournament the day before the game. The proceeds of the tournament go to Echoes of Hope. I've never had the chance to play, but it's your chance to play with current and formers Kings players and other celebrities. Plus, there is a huge auction of Kings memorabilia. If you can't play, it's always fun to stop by and watch.
On game day, the MGM is crawling with Kings and Avs fans cheering and jeering each other to no end. Luckily, it's all in good fun. There are plenty of places to get your pre-game drinks going, but the Fat Tuesday lines seem to get longer every year. They even had ropes up this year to direct the lines. Octane 190 with the extra shot usually does the trick.
Before the game starts, a crowd gathers to form what has affectionately been dubbed, "The Gauntlet". The line for the MGM arena goes through the walkway between the shops and restaurants that are outside the arena. It's mostly Kings fans along the route, but pockets of Av fans can be found. Everyone who walks down the path has to endure the taunts or cheers of the drunken fans. More good fun. It seems the Gauntlet starts earlier every year. Broadcasters love to do interviews in The Gauntlet; Jim Fox seems to have the most fun with it. I can imagine this making a transition to the new arena in some form, it's just too fun.
The Game is always fun, even when the Kings lose. Sometimes it's too fun and you don't even remember the game. Every seat in the arena is a good one. You make all sorts of new friends, who you might see later in the night. Frozen Fury 17 saw the Kings dominate the Avalanche from start to finish, winning by a score of 4-0. Highlight of the game was Marian Gaborik scoring a goal from his knees from behind the net.
After the game, a ton of hockey fans let loose on the MGM casino and the rest of Vegas. This past year, I ran into a bunch of Canadians who weren't there for the game. Go figure, Vegas.
I'm not sure what Frozen Fury 18 will be like. I'm not even sure I'll be there. I hope the traditions live on with the move. What I will always remember is the camaraderie of the Kings fans, Avalanche fans, and just hockey fans in general. It's an event that has been grown by the transplanted hockey fans who take over Las Vegas, NV for one crazy fun weekend.
So, I lied. This will be the shortest post ever in this blog. We have successfully launched socialeject.com. I guess we are professional now. To follow socialeject.com, add us to your Favorites and check back often. Or if you are lazy, like me, you can follow us on Twitter. That's right, we joined that monstrosity. Don't worry though, we will not be annoying, in theory. We are just going to 'tweet' whenever we update the blog, so it's easy for you to follow Social Eject. We didn't want to do anything as intrusive as a mailing list and you can't follow Weebly Blogs, so this is the next best thing. Follow us on Twitter @socialeject or click the Twitter logo.
Our first real post is coming after this weekend. It's going to be all about the crazy experience that is the L.A. Kings Frozen Fury in Las Vegas! Get your best jaw drop face ready.
Music, Food, Hockey, and Society through the eyes of a misanthrope named Quez Def.