May 17

26 Apr

For those of you who read my April 1 post and were too lazy calculate the date I’m leaving work, it’s May 17, 2013.

Many people have been asking me how I chose this specific date as my last day. To be honest, there never really was any other option – May 17 is easily the single greatest day of the year – bar none. Allow me to list the reasons:

  1. It’s the beginning of nice summer weather
  2. It’s part of a long weekend (Canadian protectorates only)
  3. On this particular May 17 (2013) we get our first new Star Trek film in four years called Star Trek Into: Darkness
  4. It’s the final day for Justin Bieber to collect his monkey from German customs officials.
  5. Also this year my fourth-favourite Nordic country is turning 199 years old.

But most importantly it’s the anniversary of the day back in 1995 when I saw for the very first time the film after which this blog is named.

What a glorious day that was – Wednesday May 17, 1995. School was finished for the semester, summer was in full swing, and Twentieth Century Fox was about to release the third instalment of its popular Die Hard franchise: Die Hard With a Vengeance.

There was some serious hype leading up to its release. Jeremy Irons was playing the villain, Samuel L. Jackson was fresh off his Oscar-nominated performance in Pulp Fiction, and John McTiernan was back at the helm directing. I remember going to see a Jay’s game in April and there were about a hundred advance one-sheets for the film lining the skywalk to the stadium. In a word – awesome.

With that much hype I had to see it first, before everyone else. When I was sixteen I managed to score two double passes to see an advance screening of Die Hard 2: Die Harder in a radio call-in contest. But for Die Hard with a Vengeance, despite all my trying, I found myself ticketless a mere hours before the screening. So the night of the Ottawa premiere (two days ahead of the official release) I pretended to be a reporter for a local weekly alternative newspaper on assignment to review the film and they let me and my buddy Eric in for free.

Now at these local movie premieres they usually give away promotional materials to members of the audience. Sometimes they ask trivia questions but most times they just stick a fridge magnet under some of the seats and the person sitting there gets the teeshirt / hat / poster / whatever. But for some reason this time they put a sticker under the *armrest* and they gave out prizes to the two people sharing the armrest. So as luck would have it the armrest between me and Eric had a sticker under it and we both scored a Die Hard with a Vengeance baseball cap, teeshirt, and button.

Truly a glorious day – maybe the most glorious. And since then I’ve been trying to find a May 17 that lives up to that one. Let’s see how we do with the 2013 edition.




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