Game day superstition

It’s nearly time for Game 2 of the Montreal Canadiens/Boston Bruins second round matchup. “Nearly time” is 8:32 AM in Vancouver this fine morning, and the boys are playing at 9:30 AM our time, because NBC rules the NHL and there’s some stupid horse race later today which is a whole can of worms that makes me crazy, but it is what it is, and I am ready.

“Ready” means matching everything I did for the Habs’ first playoff game against Tampa:

  • I’m listening to TSN690′s pre game show.
  • I am about to put on my Carey Price jersey – it doesn’t come on until just before the anthems.
  • My Forum chair sits empty – I don’t transfer to it until the anthems. For now, I still get to enjoy my comfy couch.
  • Even though I’m obviously going to be watching the game, I’ve set it to record on the PVR, and scheduled it to end at 30 minutes after the scheduled recording time.
  • Even though during the regular season I always watch games blaring through the surround sound speakers, for whatever reason in the first round against the Lighting, I didn’t switch on the surround sound. And we swept. So I listen through the crappy canny TV speakers.

This is the formula. I’ve done my thing, now Habs: do yours.

Help.

I know, I haven’t blogged in forever, don’t even check my last post date because it was forever ago, just trust me. I’ve been BUSY. I am ruminating one, but this isn’t it. But now, I need your help.

Before you read on, just know that if you are from the United States or a fan of team USA in the Olympics in any way, shape or form, please don’t help me*. You’ll see why.

I have a quandary, and I need you to help me out with resolving it.

You know how when your team plays a big game, you believe that all your actions have an effect on the outcome, the sequence of things you do and how you do them, and if your team wins or loses, the responsibility is solely on you? … No? What?

Team Canada plays the USA tomorrow in the men’s hockey semi-final game of the Olympics. Loser gets to play for loser bronze. So here’s my thing:

Do I wear my Team Canada jersey during the game? I know what you’re saying, “Of course you do! Why wouldn’t you?”

Listen to me, there are so many factors that go into this decision that I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to make the right decision, and being the mitigating factor in whether or not Canada gets the gold, because whoever wins tomorrow WILL get the gold.

Here are my variables and circumstances and then you’ll know why this is agonizing for me, so I’m putting the decision to you by vote. Let’s see if by the time I finish this post I can figure out who to include a poll:

  • (Oh my god, I just saw the “Add Poll” button at the top of this window. Problem one: solved! Wicked.)
  • For the first game Canada played I was at work and Carey Price played: no jersey. We won. But we let a goal in.
  • For the second game, I was at work again, but Roberto Luongo played: no jersey. We won, and got a shutout.
  • For the third game, I was at home. Carey Price played, and I wore my Carey Price/Team Canada jersey combo. Canada jersey on top of the Canadiens jersey.
  • We won. BUT it was in OT. And we let in a goal.
  • For the fourth game, I was at work again, and Carey Price was in goal: no jersey. We won. But we let in a goal.
  • Goddammit, it looks like the odds are in favour of no jersey.
  • I really want to wear my jersey.
  • I really want to wear my jersey. Correction, both jerseys.
  • The jersey is dirty. I don’t really care, but I think there’s … tomato juice? on it at the bottom and probably I really should wash it if I’m going to wear it, you know, in public.
  • I hate laundry.
  • I love my country more than I hate laundry.
  • Also, remember: we have a perfect record of when I wore my jerseys that one time.
  • The fate of Team Canada rests on my decision.

So you see. Quandary. Variables. Factors and math and all that stuff I hate!

So internet, tell me what to do. I am totally leaving this decision to social media. Vote below. And Go Canada Go! Go Canada Go!

*Obviously now you know why I respectfully reject your input if you’re our neighbour south of the border. You’re like the liar at the gates of Heaven and Hell in that riddle, you know which one I’m talking about? Where you have to have the perfect question to ask about avoiding the door to Hell, but you don’t know which guy is the liar and which one’s the guy who can’t lie and you have to pick the perfect question? I’m obviously a terrible question asker (see above) and I am truly grateful for your readership; but you may not participate in this poll, thanks, good luck tomorrow, not really.

I’m getting excited

This will probably be 100 words or less, for once. Two quick thoughts for the day:

  • OMG we got our tickets for the Habs game in Vancouver October 12. We’ll be sort of near the goal where the Habs shoot twice, so watch for us on your teevees. On account of the Habs will be scoring there.
  • The bf is here for the weekend, and just took the dogs out. I’m still trying to watch the Habs preseason game against Ottawa from last Thursday, and Marc Bergevin is being interviewed on RDS in the second intermission. Lime-green tie and all. I just said, “Mm, mm, mm,” at my T.V. , the kind that hits three different octaves, you know what I’m taking ’bout, ladies.
  • Don’t tell the bf.

126 words, three points. It’s all good.

Going left at Hope

I skipped August! So much for aiming to have at least a monthly post. It’s not because I haven’t had anything to talk about. But I’m baaaack! Look, I posted twice in July, so let’s just say that canceled August out. So, reader, and I do mean “reader” … okay, maybe “readers”. Lisa. And Sofia. Here we go.

  • Just finishing the weirdest summer of my life. Because I actually got to have most of it off, for the first time in the very, very short period of time that has passed since I graduated high school (shut up).
  • It’s not that many weird things happened. But now one really great thing has happened. I’ll tell you later.
  • So, because I had so much time off, on those days the kids were not at home, I would grab the dog and leave town. The bf is working out of town so we would go visit him, and also my bff abandoned me earlier this year to go live the high life in the Okanagan, so I went there a couple of times, too.
  • Here’s the thing about road trips: they’re great, if you’re heading somewhere awesome, or better, towards awesome people. And if the drive is beautiful, as all drives are in British Columbia, it goes by quickly. The drive up to Ashcroft is interesting. You take the #1, and everyone and their abuela’s on the road right with you. You get some serious speed, I mean, after the stupid Langley part. And everyone’s with you, and you’re all “woooo!” and you’re heading in the same direction, and then, you turn left at Hope for Ashcroft and suddenly, you’re on your own. EVERYONE continues to the Coquihalla. I was on the phone with my aforementioned bestie, Lisa, hands-free of course, the first time I made that left turn. I said, “Do you know who goes left at Hope?” and she said, “Who?” and I said, “NOBODY!” Anyway then you get stuck behind semis, and trailers doing 60 in a 100 zone, and you want to murder someone, until you get to that blessed passing lane.
  • Oh yeah, one time, Lucky the puppy in the back lost her mind when we were in that crazy busy/fast stretch before Hope, because some poor guy on a motorcycle was RIGHT behind us. It had to be because he had a big black shiny head with black glass for a face. Never have I ever heard her bark like that.
  • Sofia just asked me to mention her. And so I have. And then she’ll act all embarrassed that I did.
  • Another thing about Lucky, who must-must-must hang her head out the back window, no matter the weather, no matter the speed, so that her spit that turns into glue can splatter all across the exterior of my car, is, she’s crazy. Oh yes, I mentioned. When you gather speeds of 100+, the wind goes right up her eyelids, and they inflate like little parasails, and you can see the pink inside parts. It is cree-to the-pizzy. Especially when she blinks a lot. Cute, weird dog.
  • Hockey’s back! Well, sorta. It’s merely preseason, but there are games, and I have been watching. The Habs have been trying out their prospects and rookies, and it’s cool to get to see these guys we got in the Draft and over the summer play. Georgie Parros hasn’t played yet though (injured), and for some reason, I cannot wait to see him on the ice in the CH. Louis Leblanc played the other night, unspectacularly, and promptly got sent back to Hamilton. His girlfriend had some angry things to say on Twitter about the demotion, which immediately went viral, and then she deleted the tweets. But the internet is FOREVER. I love when other people make mistakes that I’m glad I didn’t make. Aw, that’s mean. But you know what I mean.
  • So, hockey. You’re back! Am I ever glad! I think Marc Bergevin made some great, key moves over the summer, to add size, and yes, “character” to the team, which he so often mentions that it’s become something of a drinking game across Habs Nation. Whatever, I agree with him. The guy is a leader, as I blogged about earlier this year, and I trust him. The thing about leaders is, they are few. Truly, they are. Most of them think they are so merely by virtue of being anointed thus, but true leaders are a hard find. Anyone can go to Leadership 101 and academically make the honour roll and then regurgitate the knowledge and talk the talk, but it’s how you actually apply what you know that makes you a leader. And the thing about Bergevin is, he didn’t forget what he learned (if you’re humouring me and imagining that he took a class – I’m sure he didn’t – he’s a natural), and not only did he not forget, he lives it. He believes it. Leaders who believe themselves to be leaders merely by having more and more people under them on the totem pole, do not get it. Bergevin understands that it’s not just about revenue, the business is the sum of ALL of its moving parts. From the top on down, that is to say, the team of advisors that he actually listens to, the players who make real what he’s put together, and the so-called bottom of the totem pole – which in a different kind of business would be individual contributors – us, the fans. Without individual contributors, you have no business. Without fans, you have no team. The manner in which he’s taken the broken bits of the organization he inherited and moulded them into the franchise that we thought would never return, has been astonishing. The guy gets it. For him, unlike his predecessor, it’s not about appeasing his higher ups, but about getting it right. That’s how you get buy-in from the moving parts. He hasn’t been perfect (cough, Desharnais) but he’s done everything in such a way that he has our trust. You have to have that. When it’s lost, it’s gone, and it doesn’t come back. And for those individual contributors, us, the fans, who create the revenue, that trust is everything. Look, I know we’ll buy paraphernalia and tickets anyway, but you know what I mean. After the lockout last year, I spent a good week determined not to watch NHL hockey, right up until about five minutes before the first game. But I was REALLY determined. So anyway, I trust Bergevin, and even if he makes questionable moves, I will trust that he knows what he’s doing, because he’s earned it.
  • Yes, I know we haven’t won in the preseason. CHILL OUT.
  • 1111 words and I really haven’t started.
  • Hockey hockey hockey.
  • I started a new job! That’s the really good thing. It’s interesting, and exciting. And I’m loving it already. Whee! It was nice having summer vacation for once, and spending lots of quality time with the kids, the bf and my good friends, but going back to work and starting this new job is really, really cool. I know. Who says that?
  • TV is back, too. I don’t really have shows that I watch because I have to watch the hockey, but I do watch New Girl, The Mindy Project and Modern Family. The first two already premiered this week. If you don’t watch those, watch them.
  • Also, with the return of hockey, will be return of my tweets. All those Leafs fans who engaged in the folly of following me in the off-season will drop like flies come October 1. Guys: read the bio!
  • Speaking of flies, what’s with all the fruit flies in my kitchen? I mean, yes, my daughter decided her favourite snack is steamed broccoli with lemon juice, and left a half-lemon on the counter all day that turned into a FRUIT FLY FARM, but that was weeks ago. I have since washed and wiped EVERYTHING and still they WON’T DIE. Help!
  • Ashcroft is a desert. And as such, it’s freaking hot. One day, it got up to 36 degrees when I was up there. Look, my people are biologically conditioned to tolerate such temperatures, but 36 is kind of a lot. There are also rattle snakes. And it is so dry, that what you think is dust is actually evaporated dirt, and it gets EVERYWHERE. And I love it there. So does Lucky. The river is right there, and she takes herself down for swims, then she lolls in the shade under the bf’s trailer (read: in the puddle of water that comes out of the shower), then comes out muddy and filthy, then chases her ball and plays with Rosie, and she is in absolute heaven. Every time we come back home, she hates me for a couple of days. Good thing I’ve got her buy-in as a leader. I mean, I think.
  • Anyway, I mostly wrote this because people (no, I’m serious) asked me when I would write again. And I said I was “working on something” so then I actually had to. So this is it. And I only dedicated about 1/3 of it to hockey!
  • You won’t be so lucky next time.

Laughter & Lists

This one’s self-indulgent… oh wait, they all are. Anyway, I have to do this for me. Me, me, me.

A couple of weeks ago, I was driving in to work listening to the TSN690 morning show in Montreal, which I have my handy iPhone app set up to record every morning starting at 3:00 AM my time. I get to listen to it after I get up, and after zipping through all the commercials and baseball and soccer talk, I’m through listening pretty much by the time I get to work. The guys were having fun as usual – but on this particular day they were laughing at something so silly, that they kept laughing and couldn’t even speak. It was infectious – I was laughing too, just from hearing them laugh. I can’t even remember at what.

Someone that I like and respect very much described himself once as taking his job very seriously – but not taking himself very seriously. I thought it was an excellent description, and see myself the same way, I just didn’t know it until he encapsulated it. I don’t take myself very seriously, and find it very important to have a good laugh, hopefully at something completely silly or even something that isn’t funny but becomes funny, at least once a day. I’m lucky enough that I can usually get much more than one a day, thanks to having similarly silly, and wonderful, people in my life. For whom I am undyingly grateful.

And do you know what? It struck me – that’s my official measuring stick for people. As I was listening to the radio guys cracking up at something utterly silly, I thought: this is really it. If you are incapable of having an uncontrollable giggling fit, you will definitely not get me. I’m not hilarious or anything, well, I am to me, and I’m usually the one laughing hardest at myself and I’m a very good audience to me. A sense of humour is what’s gotten me through lots of crappy things. Even when I allow myself to be miserable, I can find a way to laugh. I read it somewhere, how important it is to laugh, but it’s not like you need to read a study on it to know it.

Another person that I care about and respect very much recently asked me to make a list of what I’m grateful for, and another list of my concerns. I have a lot of concerns… but my good fortune list is much longer. It was a good exercise at a very opportune time. And I highly recommend doing one for yourself. My list begins with people, and goes on that way for a while. It’s kinda long. And when I have a bad day, I can look at my lists. And feel great. And grateful.

My children, family, friends and the sweetest and funniest boyfriend in the world make my world go around.

Make your lists, thank me later.

Dog Days of Summer

It’s Canada Day and July 1, so maybe this post will be my only one this month if I stay true-to-form, and the procrastinator in me is very proud of me for getting it out of the way at the earliest possibility.

  • I love Canada! I wasn’t born here, and haven’t lived my entire life here, but it’s my favourite country in the whole wide world. If you haven’t lived here, you should live here. We have looooots of room.
  • In the country. Not in my house.
  • We have an extra occupant this weekend, as the bf is off on a boys weekend, so we’re dog-sitting for Rose the black dog. A couple of observations:
  1. Two biggish dogs wrestling on a hardwood floor is noisy.
  2. This is the smell of two sweaty dogs in my brand-new crossover SUV in Crystal Pearl Mica: Not wonderful. Not wonderful, readers.
  3. I’m going to train the bf to train Miss Rose to WALK ON THE LEASH. She’s a rescue, so we don’t really know where she came from, but the first time I put her on the leash I almost tripped on my face because she immediately wrapped it around my legs as she walked around and around and around, and my own dog was stupefied.
  4. Housebreaking is a wee issue. Thank god for hardwood. I take both animals out first thing in the morning, and my dog knows it’s time for business. Rose however, seems to be waiting to get back inside to make a puddle. I sit there going, “Rose, time for a pee-pee! Go pee-pee now, Miss Rose! You haven’t peed all night, you must need to do a pee-pee! Do your pee-pee please! Now! We’re not going back inside until you’ve done your pee-pee!” and she’s like, “Lady. You talk a lot.”
  • I know a couple is only two, relax. There are more but I’ll spare you. I should point out that I love this dog, the kids love her, and my dog loves her.
  • There’s this whole thing that’s supposed to be some kind of revelation, that the so-called Mediterranean diet is really good for you. I looked it up. It’s all the only kind of food I eat. I was raised on it, and have never lived in the Mediterranean. I don’t go a day without eating avocado. Or tomato.
  • I’m taking courses for an editing certification. You know what drives me crazy? The plural of avocado is avocados. The plural of tomato is tomatoes. Stop the world, I want off.
  • Subway has introduced avocado in its menu, learning centuries later what we’ve always known in Chile: avocado goes with everything. No sandwich is complete without it. We even put it on our pizza when it’s out of the oven, and spread it on hot dogs. I will never forget the time one of my older brother’s friends came to our house in Saskatoon, and asked what the hell we were putting on our hotdogs.
  • Is it really avocado though? That they use at Subway? Or is it that gross processed stuff they sell in a vacuum-sealed bag at the grocery store? I need an answer to this question.
  • We had an unreasonably rainy week, and now it’s unreasonably hot. The reason I find this unreasonable is the heat came precisely when I started dog-sitting, and the only way to have two manageable dogs within the confines of the house is to take them out, a lot, and tire them out. Not great to do in the heat, as the one dog is black and the other likes to run full-tilt, to the point of heat exhaustion.
  • Here’s the funny thing about the black dog. The kids weren’t sure how to describe her because they think it might be racist. “Is it okay to call her black, Mom?” She’s BLACK.
  • I watched The Last Gladiators with my son the other night. Must-watch – you don’t have to be a Habs fan, or a hockey fan. After watching it, my son said, “I don’t understand why (my cousin) even bothers with the Canucks.” Neither do I, buddy… neither do I.
  • Speaking of the Canucks, that was all kinds of cray yesterday at the Draft, eh? Luongo? Schneider? The drama in this city, with the addition of Tortorella as a coach, just got real. Better Vancouver than Montreal, for me.

I have to go finish my take-away exams for two courses now, since the dogs are currently doing this:

dogs

Happy Canada Day, everyone!

Zoom Zoom Zoom

This one is going to be seriously disorganized.

  • Let’s see if it even gets posted. This domain was “renewed” today using my credit card info on file, and I don’t know how much my credit card company loves me right about now. If you’re reading, I’m in good standing! That always deserves high fives all around.
  • I was in perpetual dire straits where da money is concerned a few years ago when everything was figuring itself out financially-speaking after we became a one parent home. People would call looking for their money and you know, manners get you everywhere. Visa would call looking for my payment, and we’d work something out and I’d always say, “Thank you so much for following up! I hope you have a great day!” and they’d be all, “Oh, wow! Thank you so much!” then by the time they’d call the next month, we’d be old friends.
  • I got a new car. I know! It’s a long story that I won’t get into.
  • So I had a 3.5-hour drive scheduled for the next day to visit my boyfriend who is working at a town, yes, 3.5 hours away. I was about 5,000 km past when I should have had my oil changed, and thought, huh… let’s do that before my big drive. I went to my pal at the Pennzoil place who changes my oil in 10 minutes and never gouges me like Mr. Lube would. EXCEPT he’d been doing inventory and stuff and they were all out of the oil filter for my particular car, which was a Mazda 3 (Sport, in Velocity Red). So I went to Mazda its very own self, to buy a filter so I could get my damned oil changed, which if I didn’t, with my luck, something would have gone horribly awry on my 3.5 hour trip precisely in some remote location with no cellphone reception. Can I have a filter, yes, okay, I’ll wait over here, ho hum. I’m checking out an SUV in the showroom that I covet but of course could never afford. I say covet because I have a big, filthy, hairy animal that sheds like crazy, who sits in the back seat of my hatchback, and no matter what vacuum I use, the hair never leaves except for, by some inexplicable phenomenon, on the garments of human people with the misfortune of having me transfer them to second locations.
  • What? Oh, yes. So I’d been thinking I needed an SUV, to have a place to stick the dog, but who can afford an SUV, and the fuel, OMG. Anyway, the salesman approached me, and I said, “Don’t talk to me. Not looking, waiting for an oil filter.”
  • It turns out that I can afford one! Trade worth more than what I owe, and fuel economy on the SUV is better than on my 4-year-old hatchback. Went in for an oil filter, walked out with a car.
  • Not really. I wanted a red one with a tan interior (to match my hairy dog), and do you think they had one, in the whole of Canada, even? No. And of course I have to drive a red car. The red one with tan, they said, would have to be a special order ALL THE WAY FROM JAPAN. Delivery ETA end-of-August. Hopefully. What! Fine. I must drive a red car, so I will wait, even though it will kill me, because patience is not my thing.
  • ANYWAY. I went back in a few days later, and saw the red one on the floor, live and in person, for the first time. Here’s the thing – it was the wrong red. There are all kinds of red. My hatchback was the correct red. This one was not. It was darkish, like, minivan-red. Which is great if you like a minivan, but I am against them. Oh, god. This was awful. It comes in the wrong blue, too, but I would never drive a blue car. Can you picture me in a blue car? That’s what I mean. I can’t drive a black car, because besides that they look nice for about a minute then show every single fingerprint, every single taxi in Chile is black. I can’t get past it. Like people in Canada who drive a yellow car… taxis are yellow! How can you. Then silver and grey, which just, no. I like to be able to pick my car out of a lineup. I looked at the white. Crystal Pearl Mica. I didn’t absolutely love it, but I simply had no other choice.
  • I got the car the next week and even though as I was signing the papers I was looking at it and thinking, “Why am I not excited? I should be giddy!” I drove it away and in that first minute behind the wheel, I fell instantly in love. I love my beautiful car. And the dog has her own space now! Whee!
  • Two days later, I was driving along in my beautiful car and it beep-beep-beeped at me. Weird. It’s only supposed to do that when I’m changing lanes and someone’s in my blind spot and I’m trying to change lanes, which I wasn’t at that particular moment because I wasn’t driving behind a moron. Huh. THEN a little orange circle thing with an exclamation point turned on on my dash. What the! I pressed the little button on my steering wheel and shouted, “CALL MAZDA!”

“Hello, this is Mazda.”

“Good morning! I just picked up my car on Saturday. It has 180 km on it. And a little orange light with an exclamation point just came on!”

“Oh, that’s not good.”

“What!”

“That’s your tire pressure light.”

“What!”

“Is your car driving funny?”

“No!” (Takes hands off wheel, car drives straight.)

“Well, these things are pretty sensitive, so there must be something wrong. When you stop, have a look at your tires. Even if they look okay, you’ll have to come in to have us check the pressure and re-set the light.”

Grrrr.

  • So I get to the office, look at the tires, they are all beautiful. Phew. Then I go to work, come down a few hours later, the rear tire is as flat as a pancake. GAAAAAA!
  • Long story short, roadside assistance came and put the spare on, the guy said he’d never changed such a brand new tire, terrific, drove it to Mazda later, they found a huge shard of metal in it, awesome, they fixed it, and didn’t charge me. I’m now 2-for-2 on not paying for tire repairs.
  • The kids are super close to summer vacation, they can smell it. My daughter is graduating from grade 5, I’m going to the little ceremony in about an hour. She is so excited and proud and beautiful in her age-appropriate dress that I was so relieved she liked when we went to pick one. My child is inordinately tall for her age, and a lot of times, 99 out of 100, kid sizes don’t fit her. Thank you, Sears, for having dresses in the girls’ department that go up to age 14! She looks absolutely lovely and I’ll be taking a bazillion pictures. She doesn’t know it yet, but as a graduation gift I got her a Starbucks gift card so she can buy those $9 cups of pure sugar that she loves.
  • I bought a book for my son that’s the beginning of a series, based on what I told the guy at Coles my son likes. I want him to have good books to read this summer so he doesn’t end up just playing video games for two months. He started it, and I asked him about it. “Well, it’s this kid, and everybody thinks he has ADHD and dyslexia but really it’s because he can only read Greek, because he’s actually the son of Poseidon. A minotaur kills his mom, and he takes its horn and stabs it to death. One of his best friends is half horse, the bottom half, but no one can tell because he hides his horse legs in his wheelchair.”
  • I’m totally reading it next.

This was mostly about the car I wasn’t going to talk about, sorry. I had more but I have to go and fight for a parking spot at the school and then a good seat at the assembly. I think you have to get there about an hour early for that at that crazy school.

(I feel like I should also close the loop and mention that I did in fact also get my oil changed that day. The car was awesome on the long drive, but I already hated it because I was looking forward to my new car.)

Victoria Day, Camping, Dreams, Hard-Boiled Eggs & the Centre of the Universe

It’s Victoria Day in Canada so we all have the day off. It’s a beautiful day here in the Lower Mainland, the weekend that kicks off camping season, summer and happiness.

  • Screw that. You’ll never catch me camping. Why yes, I would love to break my back sleeping on the cold ground and be filthy and have to walk 100 metres every time I need to use a bathroom or access running water! Or the alternative, spend 9 hours packing inflatable mattresses and all the paraphernalia you need to live outdoors for 3 days, spend hours setting up camp, spend hours taking it back down, only to come back home and spend 9 more hours unpacking and washing everything that got filthy on the weekend. I mean, how about no.
  • The bf will get me to go camping. He’s the only one who could. Sounds romantic, cooking by the campfire and watching the kids and dog run around. Fine, I’ll do it.
  • There was a brouhaha yesterday on Twitter about how a bunch of prominent Canadians are trying to have Victoria Day renamed to also honour First Nations people, “Victoria and First Peoples Day.” Weird marriage, but I’m fine with it. As long as it falls on the third Monday in May. So I don’t have to go camping.
  • I spent a lot of the day yesterday watching hockey playoff games – well, really I missed the second game on account of even after a million years of living in Vancouver, I interpreted yesterday’s Penguins/Senators game as being on at 7:30pm, which is what the website said, right. YEAH, EASTERN. Good lord. I was on such long weekend mode that my brain didn’t compute that that was really at 4:30 my time. Anyway, I did get to watch 2 overtime periods after tuning in 3 hours late. Why does the stupid East have to make everyone recalculate times. Fine, it was played in that time zone, but they wouldn’t call it 7:30pm if it was one of the California games, they’d call it 10:30. Stupid East and their centre-of-the-universedness.
  • Speaking of the East, and when I say East, I really mean Toronto, it’s been nearly one week since the Maple Leafs had the biggest NHL-playoff-game-7-up-by-3-goals-in-the-3rd-period implosion in ALL HISTORY and lost to Boston in overtime. As a fan of a team, I actually (almost) felt badly for Leafs fans. But come on, they didn’t actually think they would advance to the second round, did they? Yep, they did. Why? Because of youngsters like that Kadri guy being all full of himself and considering this was a “very, very winnable series,” for the Leafs, and that sound-byte reverberating throughout Leafs nation. And because of the so-called national newspapers and networks focussing almost exclusively on that Toronto team, never mind that there were 3 other Canadian teams in the first round to begin with. The hysteria in the “National” Post and the national broadcasts was so unbelievably disingenuous and biased – I say “unbelievably,” but really, it’s believable. The focus on this team that has gone 46 years without a Stanley Cup and routinely doesn’t even make the post-season and finished 3rd in their division and 5th place in the Conference is astonishing, as it is every year. You’d think they’d finished first in everything. It’s all they’ll talk about, and it creates even more hysteria for the fanbase. You can’t blame fans for mapping the parade routes as soon as Toronto even wins a nothing game in the regular season; you can’t blame Toronto radio stations for dedicating their airtime to the Leafs and their starry-eyed fans; but that TSN, Hockey Night in “Canada” and the “National” Post get away with their bias for the Toronto team in Canada-wide broadcasts and newspapers is just… gross.
  • So when, in the waning minutes of that last period in that game when the Bruins were down by 3 goals, and the Bruins obviously looked at each other and said, “Guys? What the actual hell? These are the Leafs. We are the BRUINS. Time to put this one to bed,” and gave their heads a shake, woke up and showed Toronto who’s boss, I was happy. Not for the misery of Leafs fans, because that crash, I mean that one in particular, will haunt them forever; especially for having that carrot dangled so closely, only to be wrenched away, after years of being let down by their team. No, couldn’t be happy about that. Sincerely. What I thought was fitting was that all those broadcasters, analysts and journalists would be miserable. Good. You’re not supposed to be so brazenly biased in your reporting, and having, year after year, the rest of the country have to be subjected to the complete lack of respect by your almost exclusive disregard for any other team. Cheer for Toronto in your mind if you want, but not in a Canada-wide arena. Shame on you. I hope you all cried in your pillows that night. The very image of that actually, genuinely lessens my pain of how Montreal finished the post-season. I have noooooo sympathy for you guys.
  • Know what I hate most about the National Post? Go to their NHL page. Listed in the left-hand column are all the Canadian teams. Toronto is on top. Then Vancouver, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Montreal and Edmonton, in that order. There is no reason to this list. It’s not geographical east to west, it’s not alphabetical either by city or team name. Nope, but Toronto is first on the list. Before Vancouver, who finished way ahead of them during the regular season, in every aspect. What irks me the most is they list Montreal second-last – a bigger market than every other team listed after Toronto. Even, perhaps especially, in the “National” Post, the rest of the country has Toronto crammed down its throat. The “National” Post did, however, for once, realize that there were other cities in Canada when they beat that dead horse of a Vancouver riot for months on end, reminding us what a despicable fanbase Vancouver has, with their unique ability to paint other fanbases with with a very wide brush.
  • Whatever.
  • Okay, that was a vent but I really didn’t intend for this one to be a rant! Felt good, though.
  • So I made this awesome green bean salad this week, with a recipe I got online. I cannot explain how delicious it is. I almost became one of those people, tweeting about it and Instagram-ing it, it was that delicious.
  • My daughter has an iPod touch, and she’s on Instagram. She and her friends share photos of food. When we were at the airport on our way to Florida, she conned me into getting her some 9-dollar ice drink from Starbucks. Which she then Instagramed before throwing it away when she was half done. She searched the “Frappuccino” hashtag on Instagram, and it had like 6 million hits, which prompted my son to exclaim, “THIS IS WHY I HATE SOCIAL MEDIA.” Why is Instagram full of people’s food? Seriously. It reminds me of watching that show Happy Endings recently, and when the friends were all worried about how depressed Penny was after calling off her engagement, one illustrated the seriousness by how she “hasn’t Instagrammed an appetizer in like, a week!” It is such a hilarious show… and it just got cancelled. What’s wrong with people?
  • Anyway, I kind of modified the recipe but the dressing has shallots, crushed capers, mustard seed, garlic, white wine vinegar and olive oil and it is HEAVEN. Use French green beans, and let it sit overnight. You’ll die. You’re welcome.
  • Speaking of Florida, it was fun. I was telling my mom after we came home that even after all these years of being a mom, it still surprises me just how much my kids trust me as the Person In Charge. We rented a car, and I had no idea where I was going any of the time, but confidence inspires confidence, and Siri took us all across the state with Apple maps.
  • Yes, Apple Maps. Why does everyone hate it so much? The app took us everywhere we wanted with zero error. It’s brilliant. I gather when it was first introduced it did have some glitches, but none that I experienced. But it’s still the butt of Apple-hater jokes.
  • I just occurred to me. Apple is the Habs of the computing world. Everyone loves to hate them, almost bordering on disorder.
  • What’s the deal with dreams? Last night, I dreamt I had another baby, and he had such long hair that I desperately wanted to shave his head, like they used to do in Chile with newborns. My real-life babies were born bald as cue-balls, so this long-haired baby perplexed me. I woke up before I got to shave his head.
  • I always forget the exact timing of hard-boiling the perfect egg. I know you have to bring the eggs to a boil then take them off the heat, but I always forget how long to leave them in the water before putting them in cold water. When you Google “How to” you get: tie a tie, cook quinoa, make buttermilk, hard boil eggs, and train your dragon. Are these in order of popularity?
  • 12 minutes.
  • The kids have their own cordless phones in their bedrooms now – I’m hoping this will avoid my living room phone from going AWOL every day now. I can never find the stupid phone. I don’t even know why I want to answer it, it’s never for me. These kids are growing so fast.
  • A couple of years ago, I discontinued my land line because I didn’t need it, I had my iPhone, right? But then I thought, what if I pass out from a heart attack one day and the kids can’t find the phone to call 911? And I got the landline back. When I did, the phone company apparently forgot that I was unlisted and listed my name, address and number and I got so many calls from some crazy broad calling about how I’d just won a cruise every day that I had to change my number. That Do Not Call list? Useless.
  • That “passing out from a heart attack” scenario reminds me that I’m turning into my mother, the alarmist who foresees every possible bad event. “You can’t buy an apartment on the first floor! Rapists always go after the girl on the first floor!”

That note is my cue to end this one. What time’s the game on today?

Taking the Heat

So, the Habs lost Thursday night. Season over. In just five games, against a team we were supposed to be better than.

Why? Well, we were down like a whole roster, and had the Bulldogs playing out there Thursday night, right? Our #1 goalie was injured and the backup had to answer the call, right? Max Pacioretty was playing with a separated shoulder, Brandon Prust broke a rib and he put it back in himself! And in game 4, which we had, we had it, the momentum shifted abruptly when the NHL brass in Toronto decided that a kicked in goal was good. Carey got thrown off his game when the linesmen from Mensa decided to have a faceoff on the incorrect side of the goal, a decision that every player, coach and spectator knew was boneheaded and which the NHL later recognized was an error and apologized for, fat lot of good that did us. We have teeny tiny scrawny players that would never have been able to go the distance in a long run anyway, and we need to beef up in a major way this off-season.

That’s why we lost! That’s why we lost! Right?

It dawned on me today. This one was on me.

  • The game that Emelin got injured? I was there.
  • I, in my brilliance, booked a VACATION during the first week of the PLAYOFFS. To Florida. In my zeal to ensure that the timing of my absence from work coincide with a business trip of my boss, while simultaneously NOT coinciding with U.S. Spring Break on account of planning to visit several kid-oriented theme parks, I neglected to pay close attention to the NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE. So I missed Game 1 entirely (on a plane), got to see Game 2 at my hotel, and missed almost all of Game 3 on account of it not being shown on a channel available at the hotel and had to resort to the world’s crappiest wifi and a choppy connection to RDS (I saw a total of about 6 minutes of the game, the rest was frozen images). I don’t ever miss a game. E-VER. And I missed most of the goddamned only round the Habs got to participate in.
  • As a result of not being home, where I should have been, for the first three games of the series, I neglected to take my Forum seat out of storage to take its place in my living room for playoffs.
  • I got rear-ended on my first day back in town. Such that my bumper got obliterated, and my hatch got caved in so I couldn’t even open it. The DOOR TO WHERE I KEEP MY HABS CAR FLAG.
  • I watched game 4 in my Pacioretty jersey. Moron. The last 4 games that the Habs won, I wore a Habs top and hoodie combo.
  • For playoffs, I changed the wallpaper on my iPhone, iPad and Macbook to a photo of Carey Price. One more minute of surfing the net, and I could have found an amazing Gallagher photo, but noooooo.

All of these, combined, are clearly the reason we lost, and the reason we don’t have a hockey game today.

Things I can’t decide between for which I hate most:

  1. The Leafs will officially be playing more playoff games than the Habs.
  2. The Bruins will officially be playing more playoff games than the Habs.
  3. The Leafs may possibly go to the second round.
  4. The Bruins may possibly go to the second round.
  5. Ottawa Coach.
  6. The Leafs may possibly go to the second round.

Anyway. It’s over. After the season we had, it wasn’t supposed to go this way. And now I get to spend the rest of this beautiful spring/summer outside and not have to coordinate all facets of my daily schedule around when the Habs play. I hate everything.

Christmas in April… It’s Playoffs, Baby

“How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” *

How are all the armchair coaches in Habs Nation doing today? We beat the Leafs. No, we SMOKED them. 4-1. Masterton candidate pulled from the net. 4 unanswered goals, no less. With our backup goalie. In their territory. And Carey was the only one who sat the game out. Therrien, once again, called his own shots, dressed everybody else, and it turns out, made the best decision.

And in the game that Hockey Night in Canada was practically drenching us with their drool over the inevitable Habs / Leafs matchup in a so-called “Forever Rivalry,” for the first round after the Leafs beat the Habs to a bloody pulp in the so-called “Game 1″ of that series… we won.

We did it with Markov.
We did it without Price.
We did it with Whitey, Patches and Lars!
And the Leafs puzzled three hours, ’till Kadri’s whiny face was sore.
Then haters from Habs Nation thought of something they hadn’t before!
Maybe this team, they thought, doesn’t give up when down.

Maybe this team… perhaps… doesn’t give a crap that they’re midgets and small and doesn’t listen to Toronto trash-talk or CBC or PJ Stock or Glen Healy or all the moaners talking about how they’re going to get swept in 4 in Round 1 and how it’s already time to hit the golf course, and can play their game and focus on only themselves.

I felt a little earthquake last night when all the haters hopped back on the bandwagon. Settle in, guys. It’s gonna be a great ride.

* Credit, obviously, to the brilliant Theodor Seuss Geisel’s “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.”

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