Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye November

Historically, all of the bad things happen in November, so I just naturally expect that annual trend to continue. That's really fatalistic thinking. It doesn't have to be that way. It's been quite awhile since the big bad things have happened (and the worst thing of all didn't even happen in November). So I have decided to change that this year. Aside from the continuing drama of my bathroom falling apart thanks to my super awesome neighbor (which I have managed to handle without having a nervous breakdown or going apeshit on anyone - so far anyway), it's been an okay November. Other than feeling sorry for myself, which is pointless and ridiculous and in no way how I generally operate. It's really time to put some things away for good. Make some permanent changes. Endings are just another beginning, right?

Regarding my previous post about choosing - I am still having a hard time letting that go. Writing that certainly helped, but not as much as I'd hoped. I do realize that some people are meant to be a part of your life for a short period of time and you take what you learn from them and move on and blah blah blah. What I have learned from these people (this person in particular) is probably not a great lesson. Or maybe it is, just a difficult one. Don't waste your time trying to save people who deep down don't really want to be saved. I read something that has stuck with me (the funny thing about this quote is that it is from T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton, hardly the stuff of deep thinking):

In my experience, the urge to rescue generates aggravation for the poor would-be heroine without any discernible effect on the person in need of help. You can't save others from themselves because those who make a perpetual muddle of their lives don't appreciate your interfering with the drama they've created. They want your poor-sweet-baby sympathy, but they don't want to change. This is a truth I never seem to learn.

It's time to learn that. Time to move on. I am sad for what was, not for what is. I don't even think I am mourning what could be. That is not a life I would choose for myself so why would I choose to have people like that around me? People move on and change. This time it is ME, and it's a good thing. So, it's at rest now, hopefully for good. A new journey begins in December.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Does Your Husband Help You?

Chris Johnson: You have 23 minutes to score me 30 fantasy points. You can do it, you've done it before. I am losing the two games I wanted to win and won the one that it doesn't matter (however, I did beat my friend Nick who told me "you draft like a girl" while he currently sits in last place, which is always fun). Pick 'Ems were good this week. I have found that if I don't think on it too much and just click, it turns out better. I'm not having a horrible season. I would say not bad for a girl, but I only play with guys in 2/3 of my leagues, and I am beating all of them. So not bad for anyone. And also, I would never say something as ridiculous as that.

I get asked quite a bit, "does your husband help you?" UM NO. I play against him, why would I clue him into my strategy? A WORLD OF NO. However, I *did* help him last year. I've been playing fantasy football for 11 years. I need no help. JFC. I know more about football than your dad. One of the two guys who asked me that today is getting his ass kicked badly by me. I replied, "Does YOUR husband help you?" Bitch.

What is the big deal with women who are knowledgeable sports fans? Why is this so threatening to men? Or is it? I keep encountering this, "Oh this is super cute that you like sports" attitude from guys. What the shit? My husband knew he was hitting the jackpot when he married me. Aside from my love of all things dorktastic, charming personality, and supermodel good looks (okay, that might be stretching a little), he knew he was getting a football fan. A bigger football nerd than him. There are only a few topics of conversation that ever got discussed in my family of origin. They were: Politics, music, action movies, and football. I was just born this way.

Then hockey: Yeah, I kind of went off the deep end there. I add the "atic" to fan. Zac likes hockey, a lot. We have Center Ice. We watch hockey. All the time. But if like someone needed to come to bodily harm so that I could watch the Wings, I could make that happen. Easily. Zac actually turned off the game and started playing Guitar Hero during the SCF last year. I think it was Game 6. Yeah that sucks, but you have to keep watching. You don't turn off playoff hockey, WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Guys, I am not watching sports because the guys are hot. I mean, they are, but that's not why I am watching. It is not enough to sustain a lifelong interest in a sport. But if I say, "Patrick Eaves has nice hair, or I prefer Z with a beard," don't discount me as a fan. I know how you roll, boys. Let's just for example, say that football was played by women and they all looked like Maria Sharapova. You guys would so be treating that as porn and you fucking know it. Don't even try to act like you wouldn't. Like you ever watched tennis in your life before Anna Kournikova came on the scene. Give me a fucking break. Any beach volleyball fans? Raise your hands, don't be shy. That is not a sport, you retards. It's chicks in tiny little bikinis flailing around on a beach. You can argue the merits of that sport as much as you like, but if I'm watching beach volleyball, have no illusions, those dudes better be hot, because I am not watching it for "sports" and neither are you.

It's 2009 gentlemen. There are just as many women who like sports as men. Maybe more. I meet men all the time who say, "I'm really not that in to sports," and I think, "weird, what is wrong with you?" So maybe I should stop doing that and maybe you should just automatically assume that the woman sitting next to you knows more about sports than you do.

13 minutes Chris Johnson. 25 points now buddy. You can do it.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Wings and That Call

I'm going to go there, eventually, bear with me.

The Wings played pretty badly last night.

Howard was decent - he continues to surprise me. I was not on Team Howard at all. AT ALL. I was stoked when he was a prospect because he played so well at Maine, but for the Griffins? Yuck. I figured he'd make it ten games and we'd get Larsson. The few games he's played are not enough to evaluate him fully, nor to make an actual decision about how I truly feel or what the future holds, but he's not sucking. I don't think it's quite time to flip out and acquire a veteran. I mean, would Ozzie have played better in those last four games? Who knows?

Now, Jonathan Ericsson might actually think he plays for the other team most nights. How many assists does he have for opposing teams? He has at least one goal. Yes, Ericsson is the new Samuelsson. Hey, tangent! Zac and I had a Samuelsson theory: Every game in which Sammy scored a goal, the Wings would win. I need to do some research. Maybe there should be an Ericsson theory. Only I dislike Johnny. A lot. Your superhuman healing abilities and Swedish good looks do not make up for your mistakes. Mikael "shoots wide" Samuelsson just annoyed me. I know you're young, Johnny, but these are crucial mistakes that cannot keep happening. They can't. When they lead to a goal or more a game, you are a HUGE (figuratively and literally) liability.

Lebda is everyone's favorite whipping boy, but try to look at it more objectively, people. Bertuzzi too. Look, he's kind of a dick, I think we can all agree on that. But he's not as bad as you're all saying. Sorry, but there are NO "gimmes" in hockey. Todd Bertuzzi can't get no love. In a jillion shots on goal, he'll get one in. But he's shooting, playing aggressively, and genuinely seems like he wants to contribute to the team. Will I ever like him? Doubtful. But Jonathan Ericsson has to go. I'm ready to trade him. How about we call up a Griffin, (Kindl maybe?) and send him to the Wild for Robbie Earl? Yeah, I love Badgers and I love Robbie Earl. I am aware we need no forwards. I ramble. You know this.

Another issue I am having is that it really seems that in a lot of games, when the Wings have a lead, even just a one goal lead, they hang out at the half boards and discuss their weekend plans and let Z, Datsyuk, and Homer handle shit. Not good. In Gary's World of parity, all of these games are important boys. Where is the spark?

Now, let's look at the bright side. All of these games haven't been like this. Yes, the Wings have been plagued with injuries, so has everyone else. There have been bright and shining moments where everyone is playing hard. It's awesome. You have what it takes boys, you can do it. I have faith in you. Not every game is going to be a winner. I know the flu is going around, shit happens, whatever. I needed to get the rant out of the way first. This is going to be a tough season, every game is going to have to be fought out for sixty full minutes. I do think it will be a winning season, just not won the way we're used to seeing in the past several years.

But back to last night. Kind of a lackluster performance. Then Z scores and they get some momentum going. A good and actually entertaining fight between May and Barch. And then May scores a goal. Or, wait.

It's no secret that bad refereeing is the gold standard in the NHL. Every game I watch (and I watch most of them), even if I don't care who is playing, at some point, I am probably going to scream at my TV about a bad call. Especially if Brad Watson, Stephane Auger, or Dennis LaRue are involved. Hey, guess what? Dennis LaRue made that call last night. (Yesterday was a sucktacular day for refereeing, in case you missed this one). Nobody is saying that allowing that goal (that clearly WAS a goal) would have led to a victory for the Wings. Would it changed the momentum? Probably. We can't know how the game would have ended. Perhaps it would have been 3-2 anyway. Maybe it would have gone into OT, ended in a shootout, maybe Dats would have scored, who knows? But that was a goal. Just like this was a goal.

How much of this are we going to see this season? Why even bother reviewing the play and getting on the horn with TO if it doesn't even matter. This is covered here and here please note this part: Rule 78.5 Disallowed Goals: (xii) When the Referee deems the play has been stopped, even if he had not physically had the opportunity to stop play by blowing his whistle. Retarded. Intent to blow. Watch the video again. Unless he was psychic, he did not intend to blow his whistle to end play. Or he decided the play should be stopped while May was shooting. And the INTENT part didn't even come up until today. Last night it was just the whistle was blown. Yeah, WELL after the puck was in the net.

Now I know referees are just human, prone to errors. And I'm not saying this is just against the Wings, not at all. This is a huge problem in this sport. New viewers frequently tell me that the rules are complex and they don't get it. Yeah, dude, me either, and I've been watching hockey for ages. This is just the most glaringly obvious bad call I've seen. I am pretty sure I would have felt that way if it had happened to ANY other team in the league, even that one. This has to be addressed by the league and the players association before nobody even cares anymore. It's a joke.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Really Did

Make me choose.

I would have made the choice anyway, but don't act like it wasn't a choice. It was all lip service - the "I am not making anyone choose my side in this fight." Well, her behavior was such that I could really not choose her side. She was verbally and physically abusive to you. Not to mention the repulsive things that she had allowed go on in her own home for so long. I had been afraid for her, then lost respect. And when she harmed you, scared you, and scarred you on what was supposed to be a happy occasion - of course I would take your side. A) I do not condone that kind of behavior - the kind she displayed, nor the kind she was allowing him to treat her and us with and B) You were the one who always stood up for her, and him, making it all seem okay, so to turn on YOU was almost unforgivable to me.

So we all made that choice (and it was a choice, let me remind you once again), with the exception of A, who had no choice, due to work conditions. And I was the one who listened to you cry, who held your hand, who helped you gain strength, and figure out who you were. Who heard and understood your fears that everyone would just forgive her like they always did, and you would be left alone.

But that didn't happen. Everyone was a team, rebuilding after so much damage had been done, and it's not like I really had anything against anyone anyway. HIM, yes, I did. He belongs in jail. He belongs away from humans. He will never be okay. Her, because she wasn't taking responsibility for her own choices, for the hurtful things she had done to you, me, all of us. But I was never really that pissed. I mostly just didn't care at all. You were though, and I was pissed for you. And I walked with you, all the way through every emotion. All of it.

Then it was her birthday, and she had broken up with him (though not really, as I learned later). So we all thought it would be shitty to be alone on ones birthday and we surprised her. It was awkward and weird and you were the one who was most worried about it but you were the one who ended up being most okay about it.

And everything went back to the way it was before, just like you worried it would. Only featuring YOU as the star player, and leaving me out in the cold. I would have come to this realization sooner but Zac is much nicer than I am. Making excuses for everyone. They are at this point in their lives, they are doing this, they think we're this and that and the other thing. I say bullshit. Things were okay before. Nobody had problems returning calls or emails before. And I'm not talking about forwards, "You are my bestest friend in the world" crap. Sorry if I send them, I do, I am superstitious. But If I call you 15 times since June and I get one call back in July saying, "Oh I am totally busy, sorry, sucky friend..." I get the hint. And you're not that busy, busy with your drinking, maybe.

I run my mouth and say some shit, sure. But you do too. You said the ONE thing that I just can't get over. Your cameo appearance at my son's birthday party is greatly appreciated, as is all you've done for us, especially with Dante, I will never forget that.

But I don't even know who you are anymore. Do you? Is this what you want for yourself and your life? If it is, awesome, best of luck to you. You won't even read this (and I'm not sure I want you to) but I needed to say it because it is time for me to let it go already. Feeling sad and angry about it is doing me much harm and there is so much more for me to be focusing on instead of the choices YOU make and mourning for something that is already long gone is just an exercise in futility.

I just miss you. And if I had to do it all over again? I would have made the same choice.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On The Trapezoid, Head Shots, and Long Term Contracts

The quarterly NHL General Managers meeting was held this week in Toronto to discuss equipment and rule change issues that could affect game play and safety.

A hot topic of discussion was the trapezoid rule. Currently, goaltenders can only play the puck within the trapezoid behind the net. I think the point of this rule was to encourage end to end play, speed up the game, and enhance offense. What it has done instead is discourage puck handling goalies, increase forechecking in the defensive zone, and intensify injuries. However, the GMs chose to keep the trapezoid restriction in place, which seems to be hugely unpopular with the fans. I am guessing we will see this topic revisited before the season is out.

Another point of discussion was head shots and player safety. The pace of the game is much faster post lockout, effectively ending the neutral zone trap and the clutch and grab style that dominated the early ‘90s. Players are bigger and faster. As more teams break away from the dump and chase into more of a puck possession offense, player safety is a bigger concern.

Head shots are a huge topic of conversation right now, because while this kind of hit is legal, it is potentially lethal. Here’s a hit delivered to David Booth of the Panthers by Mike Richards of the Flyers on October 24th:

Or this hit by Curtis Glencross of the Flames to Chris Drury of the Flyers on November 7th:

While Glencross was suspended for three games, Richards was not.

These kinds of hits are becoming more frequent and no resolution was made at the meeting. Most GMs are in favor of changing the rules and this topic will be discussed and revisited when they reconvene in March.

Long term contracts were also discussed in the wake of the deals that Marian Hossa signed with the Chicago Blackhawks (12 years, 62.8 million, 5.23 million cap hit, age 42 at end of contract), Chris Pronger with the Philadelphia Flyers (7 year extension, just shy of $5 million cap hit, age 42 at end of contract), and Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks (12 years, $64 million, cap hit of $5.33 million, age 43 at end of contract). all of which are currently under investigation. The NHL may have an issue with the Hawks and Canucks, as those players are under 35, if they retire prior to the end of their contracts, the cap hit will be off the books. Pronger’s situation is a little different, as he will be 35 before his extension kicks in, saddling the Flyers with this cap hit for the length of the deal. The Detroit Red Wings are famous (notoriously so?) for making these kinds of deals with their players (Henrik Zetterberg with a 12 year contract, Johan Franzen with an 11 year contract). Many GMs feel that these deals circumvent the salary cap. Fans love them or hate them. As a Wings fan, I may be biased, but I do feel that given the current salary cap situation, teams have to do what they can to ensure that their star players can stay with the organization for their entire careers. It’s what the fans want. Nobody wants to see Sid and Geno broken up, or Toews, Kane, and Sharp go their separate ways. Unless the cap situation changes, I think long term deals are the only way to ensure that your franchise players will stay with your team, or not leave for the big money KHL.

While it seems like nothing was really accomplished at this meeting, it definitely gives the managers many things to monitor and discuss throughout the season in preparation for their next gathering in March. I do hope they revisit the trapezoid rule. I don’t like it, I think skilled goalies allowed more freedom to handle the puck would be an asset to their teams defensively. If head shots are such a concern, it would certainly reduce the occurrence of those as well. I do envision a rule change making head shots illegal next season, as I’m sure this is just the beginning of the kind of injuries we’ll be seeing in the upcoming months. As for the Hollandesque contracts? I’ve made it pretty clear I’d like them to stay. But with the current disarray of the NHLPA and the CBA due to be renegotiated after the 2010-2011 season (although they are at this point within their rights to reopen it), I’m guessing those deals will soon be a thing of the past.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


I've been drinking. Here's the post I promised. Here are your Top Five Steves:

1) Steve Yzerman Obviously your top Steve. Sixth in career points, THE Captain, the one sports legend you'd like your child to look up to, leader of the Wings, hero of Detroit, no question for top Steve.

2) Steve Zahn Native Minnesotan (bonus points), quirky star of cool movies, enhances pictures (even craptacular ones like Sahara), stellar in Happy, TX, a dude you'd want to hang out with.

3) Stevie Wonder Makes the number three spot due to his really cool guest appearance on The Cosby Show, giving up the catch phrase, "Jammin' on the one."

4) Steven Seagal Hawker of energy drinks, star of movies that were cooler than Jean Claude Van Damme's, martial and recording artist, reincarnated Tulku... Like there is a cooler #4 Steve. Please.

5) Steve Stamkos Let's face it, hockey players are cool. If you read my blog, you know how we roll. Look at the notable mentions and you realize there are really not that many cool Steves out there. What really makes Stamkos cool? His 2009 hat trick against the Hawks.

Other notable Steves
*Steven Jackson
*Steve Young
*Steve Guttenberg

Steves We Made Up
*Steve Me Alone
*Stevil Kinevil

Addendum 12/31/09: It has been brought to my attention that Stephen King was erroneously left off the list. How could that have happened? Stamkos, you should have gotten bumped for him.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Steve Yzerman

What can I say about Steve Yzerman that hasn’t already been said far more eloquently? The longest serving captain of a single NHL team in history, Yzerman is more than just one of the greatest players of the game. If you ask many fans why they love the Detroit Red Wings, they will tell you, “Steve Yzerman.” He brought hope back to a fan base that had long yearned for a return to the glory days of the past. He was a dynamic player early in his career offensively, then later, developing in to a two way player that is the model for the franchise today. He led three teams to Stanley Cup victories - back to back in ’97 and ’98, then again in 2002. But that really doesn’t capture the essence of why we love The Captain. He is a true team player, a rarity in today’s world of superstars that love the spotlight. He is the man that has always felt more comfortable talking about the hard work of his teammates that made the improbable reality. He played through painful injuries to get to the goal of hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup. He is man who adores his family and appreciates his fans. He is the kind of sportsman I want my child to look up to. If you are a fan of hockey, you are a fan of Steve Yzerman. Congratulations on making it to the Hall of Fame, Stevie. It is well deserved.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Obama is in town today to speak at Wright Middle School. I totally spaced this out and assumed I would run some errands today. However, the entire city is on lockdown. There are cops and Men in Black everywhere, which is actually sort of cool. I'm surprised there were no accidents on the Beltline getting home from preschool though with all the gawkers. I am having the worst hair day in the history of hair so I assume this means that I will magically run into the President at some point this afternoon. I'm going to ask him about this if I do. What the fuck? If that isn't another sign that an apocalypse of some sort is nigh, I'm not sure what is.

In rabbit news, I had two bizarro tragedies yesterday. I wonder how often it happens for her, because it happens a lot for me. This time I found a teeny baby on the floor of the barn. Deacon was with me too. Luckily he was playing with the dogs so I could attend to that nasty business before he noticed. Now is not the time to explain the circle of life to him in greater detail than I did with Dante. I had to call her on this one - I had no idea how this would happen. Apparently they can get out through the wire and will just crawl across the floor looking for shelter and freeze. Yay. Depressing. I found another one in it's nest that is now frolicking in Valhalla. I hate that part. I am a fucking ray of sunshine, aren't I? Why am I even writing this? Freak.

I did not get to watch the Wings/Bruins game last night thanks to Versus. I did get to watch the Habs in French though which was highly entertaining. Of course I missed a fun one. I would like to once again point out the fact that Ericsson was not on the ice for this one. That is all.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Aftermath and I am Afraid of a Bunny

Halloween was awesome. We camped out at Josh's house because his neighborhood is old school and that was a good call. Very reminiscent of our childhoods. D got a decent haul for a three year old. He kept forgetting to say "Trick or Treat" despite the fact that we practiced this several times, but it was all good. We even found a house that gave out full size candy bars (we won't forget her). Superman dug it.

I thought maybe the game last night might be the only horror movie I'd need but luckily I was wrong. I thought good thoughts after the Pens lost to the Wild. I really thought the Wings played well for the most part last night. They played 60 entire minutes at least. I think maybe a key point was that Ericsson WAS NOT ON THE ICE during this game. He has trade value, let's consider this while we can. Maybe he has potential. Let this potential develop elsewhere. This is your flavor of Haterade for today. A highlight for me was Darren Helm showing the world that he is the fastest man alive. I like. Homer always makes me smile. (Hey, if you want to know what's on my Christmas list, it's a Holmstrom jersey, just so you know).

The Wings are not on the decline people. This season is not off to the best start, we all know this. There are three Wings that are older than me, okay? Three that will catch up in the next three months. I have been around long enough to see bad seasons and this ain't one of them. Look, I have a cold. I am tired. I have the epic Packers/Vikings game coming up in two hours. I have nothing in the way of game analysis.

Now for the random weird stuff:
I am currently doing rabbit, dog, and other living thing care right now. I like doing this. It pays the bills, it is something I can do alone, it is routine and zen like. Rabbits are nice and predictable. I've cared for one before, Piper, who is feisty. I like her. She'll scratch at you if you get her on the wrong day. But now there is this one: He doesn't have a name, just a color description, because he is only six months old. He is totally adorable. He's a teeny little black dwarf. Dwarves are my favorite. They are usually friendlier than Dutch and Mini-Rex. Not this one. At first I was calling him Satan but that is too obvious. Ba'al? No, he is just Beelzebub. Honestly, I think he is the Antichrist, and he is pissed that he is not a person, but a tiny little rabbit. Look, you guys know I don't buy into that shit, but this could almost make me a believer. His eyes don't even look lagomorphic. They look human.

I am not afraid of animals. I have done dangerous and maybe what some would consider stupid things while working on farms. I am probably too trusting. I got mildly injured by Chuck, a ram, who was on the nice-ish as rams go, but a ram nonetheless (and it was during lambing season when they just sort of go insane). I had to pill him and he charged me. It was the only time he hurt me. He caught me off guard and Dante was off sniffing butts or something instead of doing HIS job. I have wrestled ginormous Mastiffs in order to clip their nails. Neither of those things hold a candle to all the fractious evil cats I have handled. FYI to those of you not in the know: Cats can be much scarier and much more dangerous than any breed of dog.

I AM afraid of Beelzebub. He probably weighs 8 ounces. We had a chat yesterday about calling a truce. How I need him to cooperate with me and he needs me to feed him. I need to meditate or something on my drive out there or he will smell my fear and capitalize on it.