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.”

Middle Age, Flowers, Mussolini and the Montreal Canadiens

Bullet points. Topics all over the place this time.

  • I had another birthday, and my son came home this week from school, bursting with the news that he’d learned in Science that middle-aged people who look much younger live really long lives! 
  • Middle aged? Nice. Reminds me of the time that my daughter started a sentence with, “Mom, when you were in school in the olden days…” and my son stood up for me and said, “Hey! It wasn’t the olden days!!” and she sighed and said, “Olden days, golden days, whatever.”
  • The bf brought me flowers, and they’re now super wilty but I don’t want to throw them away. I love when he brings me flowers, but every time I have to throw them out, I want to cry. Sap.
  • It took three bullet points before mentioning the Habs. I was there, with the bf, for the Bruins game April 6th in Montreal. Not gonna really break down the whole visit, but I saw a lot of awesome friends again, and the Habs won. More on them later.
  • Oh, one thing about the Montreal visit was we absolutely had to go visit a church in Little Italy, as directed by the bf’s family matriarch, that reportedly houses a portrait of Mussolini on a horse. Okay. So we rented a car to see the city because we didn’t have a lot of time to cover a lot of ground and it was way cheaper than catching cabs, and although the initial plan was to walk everywhere, Arctic weather and ears that were about to fall off precluded that. So we got our car and got the tip of which church it was, on Henri-Julien, so I plugged it into my GPS app and we were off. It was a horrible afternoon of traffic in Montreal and my stupid app took us down St-Denis, which we now know was a terrible idea. We were stuck on that street for freaking ever, the bf was dying of hunger as he does whenever he hasn’t eaten in two hours, then we got on a “freeway” that was so congested that we both were saying that this stupid church had better be worth it, and then we were finally a block away from our destination, and I looked down the street and said, “Um, I don’t see a church.” So, that’s because I directed us to SAINT JULIEN instead of Henri-Julien and we were somewhere in Montreal Nord instead of anywhere close to Little Italy. That was a funny storynot. We finally made our way to the correct street and the first order of business was getting some minestrone before the bf expired, and then we went to the church.
  • It was closed, but it was really pretty from the outside. I said we’d laugh about it later, and we did.
  • Another thing about that trip was the flight back home. We had an 8:30am flight, you take what you get when you book on points, and were on no sleep. We had a layover in Edmonton, and after sleeping the whole way there, we were descending and as we were about to touch down, I opened the window and saw miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles of snowy prairie. The bf said, “Close it, close it!” Poor Edmonton. Had an unexpected extra hour there so we had a steak and salad at the airport. I was talking to our server and I asked what the temperature was out there, and he said, “Who cares? Look at it. It’s April.” Sums it up.
  • The Edmonton/Vancouver flight started off with sitting down and hearing this adorable little voice in the seat behind me chirping away. Super cute little girl. For a while. She kept on saying, “Mommy, I need dinner!” Crash. Down goes the table on the back of my chair. “Mommy, I’m not hungry!” Thunk. Up goes the table on the back of my chair. “I need dinner!” Crash. “I’m not hungry!” Thunk. “Dinner!” “Not hungry!” Crash. Thunk. Crash, thunk. Crash-thunk-crash-thunk-crash-thunk and I was thinking, this isn’t going to END WELL!!!!!! And then her mother mercifully put a movie on for the child and I didn’t have to kill anyone. But she was really cute.
  • Okay, so the Habs. Here’s the thing. They’ve had a craptastic week. But they’re in the playoffs, having ensured a post-season 10 days before any of the other teams that only got theirs last night. And they’re still in 1st place in their division. And second in the East, only to the Penguins. And the “fans” are planning mass suicides all over the place. I want to scream.
  • Oh, there’s a little birdie on my deck checking out the birdhouse I have out there for show because I keep it empty on account of once I had birdseed in a shed at my old house and when I went to check it, there was a dead rat in the bag. Sorry, birdie. I hate rats more than I like birds.
  • So anyway, the idiot fans at the Bell Centre last night were booing our team that lost to the Capitals. Ovechkin was saying after the game that the Habs have a good team, and they’d already clinched their playoff spot, and they’re saving themselves for the playoffs. I happen to agree with this. It sucks to watch us lose, but we’ve been treated to so much good hockey this season, winning so much that I kind of started missing losing, because losing makes winning more delicious, and winning just got to be a given. Then they clinched the playoff spot that so many Montreal fans with crystal balls had said was unattainable this year before even watching a single game. These are the “fans” that have been waiting all season for an implosion just so they can smugly tell us all that this was what they’d told us would happen.
  • All the morons abusing Carey Price on Twitter are stupid not only because they don’t know how to spell, but they’re idiots because they actually think Carey is checking Twitter.
  • I was watching the locker room interviews this morning. One reporter didn’t even get to finish his, “Are you worr-” question before Carey cut him off and said, “No.” Like he went on to say, there is a far bigger picture than what has happened since by the way they clinched their goddamned playoff spot last week and wildly exceeded all expectations on this season after finishing in LAST PLACE last year and everyone can just shut the hell up. Paraphrasing.
  • Here’s what’s gonna happen. The Habs couldn’t care less who they’re seeing in Round 1, as opposed to every fan who’s quaking in his/her boots over the possibility of playing the Leafs. They may even start on the road, which would be fitting, since the faction of “fans” who can do nothing but abuse the team, and particularly Carey Price, after an amazing record this season, don’t deserve to be treated to games 1 and 2 at home. And then, the Habs are gonna light it up, and sweep whomever they meet in the first round, and the bandwagonners will hop back on and then, if the Habs win the Cup, I hope Carey takes it and shoves it up their collective butts.
  • I wish I had opinions about things.
  • We’re going to Florida to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios, which around here lately is pronounced as all one word. Thewizardingworldofharrypotteratuniversalstudios. Who books a holiday outside of Canada during the first round of the NHL playoffs? This genius. I’ve been assured I will be able to see the games down there. If not, there’s an app for my iPad, right? Advice welcome.
  • My daughter’s class is doing reports on famous Canadians, and she’s doing hers on Jean Beliveau. They were given a list of Canadians to choose from, and she chose Joni Mitchell until her mother almost had a stroke then changed her mind to Jean Beliveau, because she wants to stay in the family. Now, she’s fretting about filling the 500-word requirement. Is this teacher kidding? I’d use more than that in just the introduction. This post has already exceeded 1300 and I haven’t really said anything!
  • I love Joni Mitchell too, don’t get me wrong.
  • We went  to tour the Bell Centre in Montreal on game day. We didn’t get in to the locker room, which was what I MOST wanted to see, but they don’t show the locker room on game days, understandably. Do you know why? Because staff brings the team’s equipment from Brossard where they practice and dries it out in the locker room, cranking the heat up to 50 degrees. That’s celsius, U.S. friends, and that’s HOT. Like, Egypt-hot. Must smell wonderful.
  • So we were in the Bell Centre, and got to see the Alumni Room, where any retired Hab can go to eat and watch the game or just have beers and play cards, whenever they want, for life. There’s a couch in there that’s exclusively for Mr. and Mrs. Beliveau. I’m making sure my daughter puts that in her report.
  • I went to Costco yesterday, noon on a Saturday, and the parking lot was absolutely insane, but I scored a spot that was right there by the front doors. Manifesting rock-star parking always precedes wonderfully good luck for me. Which is why I know the Habs are going to be great in the playoffs. Book it.

Speaking of noon, it’s now noon here and that means the kids are up and I have to go. Everybody have a great day and week! I will!

Management 101 & The Canadiens

If you’ve been here before or follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I spent last weekend in Montreal, and saw the Habs beat the Bruins… in person! It was glorious.

But this won’t be about the weekend, this one is just about the Habs, and where they are now, and why.

I was listening to TSN690 radio in Montreal today, as I do Sunday to Sunday, and on the Montreal Forum show, Tony Marinaro asked the question,

“Was P.Gauthier better GM 4 Habs than we thought? (Acquiring Eller, Bourque, Budaj, Markov & Gorges contracts).”

Look, he was talking about our last GM, Pierre Gauthier. We all know about the guy, and yes, we’re all glad he’s no longer. With us, I mean. I mean, he’s not dead, he’s just gone. From the organization. We wouldn’t be glad he was dead. Just like I’m not glad Margaret Thatcher’s dead, and not that I ever really thought about her ever, but I couldn’t stand her when she got into cahoots with Augusto Pinochet. But she can still rest in peace.

Anyway – Pierre Gauthier (not dead), as it turns out, did not the world’s worst job as the Habs GM, as referenced with his acquisitions in Tony’s tweet. And many, most of the elements of today’s club are carry-overs from the Gauthier regime. So that’s okay. So why, then, was essentially the same group of guys the worst in the east last year, 28th in the league overall, and after tonight, will lead the Northeast Division and be second-place in the east, a position they’ve earned and enjoyed for most of this season?

The short answer is we have a new GM, a new coach, and a new system.

My longer answer meanders a bit, as my posts tend to do.

I went to the Habs Hall of Fame at the Bell Centre last Saturday with the cutest & sweetest bf in the world and another pal. I’ll do a post later on that weekend, but as we were walking through the HHOF, I had tingles, and the history, and being in the same spot as Jacques Plante’s goalie mask, or Patrick Roy’s stick, even the spot dedicated to the original six – I can’t believe the Bruins’ paraphernalia didn’t disintegrate into ashes in that holy spot – and something occurred to me.

I was not surprised in the least as I was standing there and soaking up the experience and history that I would be so moved – I’ve been a fan(atic) and devotee forever. But what I also felt was gratitude. And I mentioned it to my buddy – “What a difference a year makes. All of a sudden, we have our culture back, our pride back. And Bergevin did it in less than a year. A year.”

We’re talking about Marc Bergevin, the rookie GM who came from the Blackhawks organization where he’d been Assistant GM, and where he was for the Hawks’ Stanley Cup in 2010 as Director of Player Personnel. What is it about this guy that was so different from the other guy?

Look, anybody can get a management certificate. You work hard and study hard, read all the books, and you get the nice little piece of paper for your resume and your wall.

The difference between Marc Bergevin and Pierre Gauthier, besides the obvious, which is that the former is hubba-hubba, is chiefly, and most importantly: leadership.

Anybody can be in charge. But it takes a particular quality to be a leader. Manager and leader are not the same thing.

Anybody can jot down all the philosophies, and tack them on the wall for the followers to fall in line with.

You know what leaders do? They believe in the philosophies. They understand that you don’t have a successful organization of moving parts by treating those parts as commodities, and calling them, “Mr.” They want to achieve success as a unit, and believe in the team concept, the family concept. And transparency. It’s not possible to believe in and trust someone who isn’t transparent with you.

A leader believes, and as a result, those around him believe, and believe in each other, and want to achieve success, not just for themselves, but for the organization, the team, each other, their brothers.

So it’s not that Gauthier sucked, it’s that it was purely business for him, just his job. The players were commodities, assets, not people, with egos, frustrations and insecurities. 

There’s obviously no doubt that Bergevin takes his job extremely seriously, but what has made him successful and be the GM of an organization that so quickly did an about-face, and went from the famous “loser mentality” to a “pas d’excuses”, bounce-back team, is his keen understanding of team mentality – that’s the building block for any success.

I don’t think you can teach that. You either have it, or you don’t. That’s why true leaders are far outnumbered by just managers.

So thanks, Geoff Molson, for picking Bergevin, and for having that same understanding of what’s required to build a culture and regain the tradition sorely missed by the fans, and sorely needed by the team. And Bergevin, for hand-picking Michel Therrien for his second go-round as our head coach. Because the result has been nothing short of astonishing.

I won’t doubt a single decision Bergevin makes. Not ONE. NOT. ONE.

Radar Love

So, yesterday was weird.

It started out like many other mornings on this spring break that I have off work – my nearly 2-year old puppy has mastered the art of sleeping in, and now doesn’t rise until I do. Which yesterday was at about 9am. And then I switched on my Tunein Radio app to listen to TSN 690 in Montreal. Actually, I set the app to start recording the station at 3am my time, then when I get up I listen to the whole morning show on delay. I put on the headphones, take the dog out and for a run, all the while listening to Montreal deejays, their guests and callers.

Here’s what’s weird. It was game day, Montreal to play Boston in Boston later that evening, but it seemed like all anyone could talk about was this Iginla trade that was ruminating. And the gossip was that he was going to the Bruins. And then, all anyone could talk about was the Bruins and the Penguins, who had made a few key moves ahead of the trade deadline. And all this screamed to everyone was stacking up for the playoffs. Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs. BruinsPenguinsBruinsPenguins. Blah blah blah.

You know who’s never a part of any conversation? The Habs. No one pays them any attention. The Habs? Oh, man, they suck, not only did they not even make the playoffs last year, they sucked so badly that they couldn’t even suck enough to get a good chance at the first-round draft pick as a result of their suckage. Last year, the Habs were horrible, and painful to watch.

Last year.

Let’s talk about last year, and how the Bruins were on their way to a dynasty to win the Stanley Cup again. The Bruins won their cup in 2011 against the Canucks –  in Vancouver following a horribly disappointing blow-out in Game 7. Those same Bruins had only barely made it past the first round in overtime of Game 7 with the Habs – the Habs who were minus many key players, including F Max Pacioretty who was recovering from a murder attempt the previous month. The Bruins were one goal away from being sent home by this injury-riddled team. Just one goal.

But WOOOOOOW the Bruins were on their way again! Trumpeted from all the sports outlets! Oh, but then they got knocked out in the first round though, and by the way so did the Canucks, who got knocked out by barely-eighth-place Los Angeles.

And now, the Penguins, and not the Bruins, have acquired Jarome Iginla, Iggy, who was the real star of that Golden Goal at the 2010 Olympics.

Let me back up – so yes, it was a beautiful, warm spring day, and the bf came over and we took the dog for a hike up at the lake. I did something I seldom do, even though I had the opportunity to watch a Habs game live; I decided to record it and watch it later on delay. (P.S. That was hard. It meant not looking at Twitter, not reading my texts, and then, after the lake, we decided to hit up a pub for some dinner, and at the last moment I realized the Habs game was on T.V. there. The bf went in first to make sure they weren’t playing the audio, then backed me in to a table and a chair where I wouldn’t be able to see the game. It reminded me of that How I Met Your Mother episode where the gang decided to PVR the Super Bowl then had to go all day avoiding the score.)

So anyway, we got home, turned on the game, and it was a hell of a game. The Habs were up 2-0, the second by P.K. Subban, widely detested in Boston – then deflated in the 2nd period to trail 4-2. And then. They came out in the 3rd, and after scoring and giving up another goal, scored twice more to tie – the tying goal in the waning seconds of the period, scored by none other than Boston captain Chara. That’s right. Chara scored for the Habs, in his own building, to tie the game. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy.

AND THEN OH MY GOD THE RECORDING ENDED. We flipped furiously to TSN to see the overtime highlights, and found out that the Habs had indeed won, again, against Boston, in Boston, in the shootout. Glorious. Glorious.

TSN then went live to hear Jay Feaster’s press conference about Iginla’s trade to Pittsburgh, not Boston, as initially reported.

I got this text from one of my pals: “Craziness, Pittsburgh…just give them the damn cup already.”

OK FINE: Let’s talk about Pittsburgh. Yes, they have Sidney Crosby, widely trumpeted on all the networks as the “greatest hockey player on the planet,” and now they have Iginla. But you know what? They still have Marc André Fleury, too. And Pittsburgh, on a 12-game winning streak, only barely beat Montreal the day before yesterday – and got wildly outplayed by Montreal, to boot. Last time they met, Pittsburgh only won by one goal as well – after letting in 6. So they have Iginla now. Will make it even better to watch, as far as I’m concerned.

Let’s talk about Boston. Last time they met Montreal, they lost, after giving up a lead, in their own building. Nothing but excuses after that loss. And after having umpty-ump games in hand against Montreal, I think it was five, during which they’d smoke us in the standings…are now within one point of the Habs with only one game in hand. And they lost last night to what should have been a tired Habs team.

And the Habs are still firmly in 2nd place in the East.

And are not showing any signs of quitting, not showing any signs of giving up in tough contests.

And only 31 games into the season did they finally concede two consecutive games in regulation.

Am I the only one who thinks Boston’s losing it? I mean, by the same token, they ARE in 4th in the conference, but I don’t know, I feel like they’re losing their confidence. They’re not playing with the same swagger, and do nothing but whine after losses. This year, the Habs’ motto is “Pas d’Excuses/No Excuses,” and all the Bruins seem to have is excuses.

No one is talking about Montreal. That’s okay. No one talked about them either in 2010, other than to predict that Washington would knock them out of the playoffs. Oh, and then to predict that Pittsburgh would knock them out. Which neither was able to do.

And this year, we also have a new system, a new coach, a new GM, and what seems to be great chemistry and a team that doesn’t give up. In so many games this year, they’ve come back from a deficit to tie or win, where last year they would have given up. With all the trade deadline talk and stacking up for the playoffs…I have a feeling Marc Bergevin is either going to make some incredibly big move, or no move at all.

Fine by me that this little team is flying under the radar. This little team, many of whose own fans were matter-of-factly stating before the puck even dropped on this shortened season that the Habs wouldn’t even make the playoffs. No one’s talking about them. I have a feeling that Bergevin might actually like it that way. Let ’em talk. I mean um, not talk.

So, what a difference a year makes. For every team. New year, new season. Keep your predictions, and I’ll keep enjoying watching the Habs and believing.

(The Habs beat the Bruins! Again! And guess what – they next time they meet, I will be there. I’m so excited, I could throw up!)

Anatomy, Guilt, Gold, Lice & Montreal

I have a few minutes, and here is what’s on my mind exactly right now:

  • Was watching The View on PVR today and there was this whole conversation about teaching your kids the correct terms for their body parts. They were going around the table talking about how they taught their kids to call it their “pee pee” and worse, their “cookie,” and only Whoopi was in vehement disagreement with this. I was astonished. And wanted to throttle Sherri, who kept calling the correct terms, “adult words.” Sorry? No. They’re called what they’re called. Penis. Vagina. What? It’s what they’re called. I taught my kids these words because they had questions, and when I have the answer, I give it to them. Don’t underestimate children. They’re just as smart as we are – we just know more because we’ve been around longer. My own kids are 10 times smarter than I am, and I’m outnumbered. If I underestimated them, I’d be in big trouble. What finally cemented this whole “wee wee” and “pee pee” issue for me was once when my ex and I took our son to the doctor for a checkup. To the doctor, in front of my son, who was probably two, my ex used the term, “pee pee.” The doctor immediately said, “It’s called a penis,” as I nodded vigorously. Then my ex said, “Well, he’s just a kid.” To which the doctor responded, “Always use the biological term. Teach them what things are called.” Then he went on to explain that child molesters use the “cute” terms, to make it somehow sweet, and safe. No one brought this up at The View table. Whoopi couldn’t stand what she was hearing, and I wanted to call in and give her this ammo. It’s NOT cute to teach your kids “baby” terms for intimate body parts. They’re called what they’re called. You’re not shattering a kid’s innocence by using the right words.
  • Exhale. Sorry, I know this forum is seldom serious.
  • Okay, so another thing on that episode was a Youtube video that you’ve probably already seen and I had before too, of these three little poodles, one of which was the culprit in a little mess. The filmer was asking the dogs, “Who made this mess?” And the guilty one slunk away quietly. I have a fur child like that. You immediately know if she’s been up to no good. Like, “Fan out! Find what she did!” One time I got home after work, and the bf had got there before I had, so she was out with him. I found a series of little things around the house…a half-chewed toilet paper roll, a ceramic puppy figurine that wore a real little scarf, with the scarf in shreds, and one other thing, I can’t remember what. I got changed, then picked up each thing and lined them up on the coffee table waiting for them to get back. They did, and she came running up, panting, tongue out, tail wagging, smiling big, “Hi! You’re home! How was your d….” until she noticed that my arms were folded, and she saw the stuff on the table and was all, “Oh, crap.” I grabbed the toilet paper roll and put it in front of her face, and said, “What. Is. This.” She turned her gaze then turned her head until it was almost all the way around, like an owl. I did this with each thing until she finally started to creep away, like I couldn’t see her or something. She still gets into stuff. Obviously the promise of a guilt trip is still worth the fun.
  • I was re-reading “Something Fierce” by Carmen Aguirre this weekend, because I’m about to lend it out. It’s about this Chilean refugee, who lived in Canada for a while, then returned to South America with her mother as a part of the Resistance. Great book. She talks about the difference between the highly-developed country of Canada and the culture shock of being in the much less developed countries as they were then, like Bolivia and Peru. It reminded me of when my family moved from Montreal to Ecuador for a year for my father’s job when I was about nine. You go from freeways and suburbs and shopping malls to a place like Quito, that had some beautiful, wealthy residential neighbourhoods and then some filthy, littered areas and finally “old” Quito, which is where the oldest churches are. These churches are not to be missed, some seemingly made entirely out of gold on the inside. My mom’s mom, who lived in Chile, came to visit us once for a month and we took her there to sight-see one Sunday. You can’t visit these churches, of course, without also walking through the streets. There were a lot of the indigenous Ecuadorians out in the streets, mostly women, with their Panama hats and long braids, babies in slings on their backs, etc. It wasn’t uncommon to see them with their older children sitting in front of them, and the mothers going through their hair and picking out lice, then biting down on the lice to make sure it was dead, then spitting it out. Some of them also defecated in the street. This memory is crystal-clear to me, because my father, who had an incredibly weak stomach, started dry heaving as we were walking. My grandmother, who was a very elegant woman, somehow was completely prepared, and took handkerchiefs out of her handbag, sprayed them with perfume, gave them to my mom and me to hold in front of our noses, and told us to just keep walking, and just pretend we didn’t know my dad. So we did. And those churches were really beautiful. Anyway, Something Fierce is a really good book, if you’re looking for something to read.
  • I’m finally going back to Montreal. Last time was in 2010. This time, I’m going with the bf. AND we’re going to a Habs game at the Bell Centre! I feel like after this trip, he’ll understand me much better. 2 New Year’s Eves ago we were out for dinner and I was going on about how my bestie was at that very moment at a Tampa Bay game, in a suite, with Phil Esposito, and she had no idea who that even was. I was getting worked up about this opportunity she had that she didn’t even deserve, and he was all, “Um…okaaay, not every fan is like you.” Well, every Habs fan is like me. And I don’t know even half as much as a lot of them do. So right now, he just thinks I’m not normal. But when he meets the other fans and friends I met there last time, he will get it. I cannot WAIT to go. And I’m very excited for him that he’ll see an NHL game in the very best city in the world to watch an NHL game in! Guys! We’re coming!

So, this was a weird post. Just a brain-dump. Ahhhh, it’s empty again. At least I didn’t keep you here all day this time.

Happy Valentimes!

  • I don’t read what I write here. But I went back and read the past couple of posts and holy crap, I use “I” a lot. It seems obnoxious. But it is my online diary/opinion-fest so I’m not really talking about anyone else’s point of view. It makes me want to watch out and not do that but then, forget it. That sounds exhausting. And probably not even possible.
  • Just coming off an extra-long long-weekend and it has been marvelous. Didn’t do too many things out of the ordinary, but getting accomplished in 4 days what I barely can squeezed into 2 is a single mom’s dream.
  • In Chile, taking the Friday off when you get a Monday off too is called a making a “sandwich” out of a long weekend. We seriously have the best way of saying things.
  • So we were back to work on Tuesday. Which always reminds me of that one Sex and the City episode where they all referred to this nasty person politely as a “C.U.Next Tuesday.” Which was hilarious. My brother and I took our Mom out for her birthday a couple of years ago, and I cannot remember why, but this topic came up. And my mom was sitting there listening to us go on, and said, “See you next Tuesday? What’s all this ‘see you next Tuesday?’ What – do we have a long weekend?”
  • I had this dream where I auditioned for a part in a stage adaptation of the Wizard of Oz. And GOT IT. I was going to be Dorothy. The whole dream, all I could think was, “Who the hell is the casting director, and is he on crack? I don’t know any of these songs off by heart! And I can’t sing! This is going to be a disaster. I’m no Liza Minnelli!”
  • I woke up in a sweat before opening night, thank god. Also, a couple of days later, I was like, “It’s Judy Garland, not Liza Minnelli. You’re an idiot.” Even in my dreams.
  • Two of my friends and I went to see a Kathy Griffin standup act a few years ago. We had primo seats, something like 3rd or 4th row (hi, Lisa!!), on account of we have connections. But there were two empty seats directly in front us, and we were wondering who would buy such great seats and not show up? Then the lights went down and Kathy took the stage, and very shortly after, two people sat down in the empty seats. IT WAS LIZA FREAKING MINNELLI, and some dude. She’s tiny. And laughs really loudly. And eats lots of candy. She’d just played the same venue the night before, so seeing Kathy was how she enjoyed her night off. Had she sat behind us, we could have tried to surreptitiously snap her picture. Just trust me. It happened.
  • I’ve been counselling my 10-year-old daughter on the ways of catty girls. Oh, the 5th grade drama these children create. My rule of thumb is:  if she has a lot of “temporary” and disposable best friends in her wake, and generally has more ex-best friends than current “best friends” – RUN. Don’t walk away. Will never be worth your time, in fact she will definitely be a waste of your time, and either doesn’t appreciate good friends or doesn’t know how to be a friend, or both. I know a lot of little girls don’t yet have the maturity to develop these qualities, but you can’t start too soon. I know some adult women who have this problem, too. It’s easy dispensing this advice, but 10-year-old girls need to experience things themselves…I just hope  she’s learning from experience, and maybe remembering what her old mom had to say.
  • It’s Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day, as it turns out. My “valentine” makes me feel special every day, so that, for me, is all I need. I’m not anti-Valentine’s Day, mind you – particularly for the kids. Valentine’s Day is always fun at school, with all the sweetheart candy and such. The rule at my kids’ schools is if you’re giving one person a Valentine in your class, everyone gets one. So that’s good.
  • On my desk is a six year old card, written in pencil and on red construction paper. The cover says, “We love you,” and inside there’s a heart and message: “from: secrt admier.” I found it deep inside my handbag on Valentine’s Day in 2007. I don’t think that one can ever be topped. And it does make my heart squish a little bit for those years the kids would wish me a “Happy Valentimes, Mommy.”
  • I can’t talk about my various loves without also mentioning the furry four-legged one. She’s mostly a very well-composed puppy, and obedient (as long as she’s not alone in the room). She’s doing well. She does however, speaking of the bf, have a huge weakness when he comes around. It’s fun time, all the time, when he’s here. So she loses her mind. We’re having to come up with new ideas to keep her contained so we can have a moment’s peace when he’s here. It’s his own fault, really, as he plays with her like crazy all the time. So she goads him, and he always complies, playing, rough-housing and getting her worked up. Here’s the thing about this crazy, wonderful dog. You can play with her, and drive her crazy, and she growls, jumps, barks, the works. One thing she never, ever does, is bite. You can stick your hands right in her mouth, and she’ll never, ever even slightly clamp down. Gentlest thing in the world.
  • She has super strong jaws. She’s a chewer. And I have all the implements to satisfy this predilection – the floor in my living room is an actual boneyard. Cow femurs and deer antlers. It’s appropriately animalistic when she gets down to chewing. One time a couple of weeks ago, the bf came over with the solution for the evening, another “eternal” chew that presumably would keep her busy for hours. He gave it to her, and a few minutes later I asked how it was going, and he said, “She ate it like a damned cracker!” Which led us to conclude that if this animal ever decided to actually bite anyone, she could snap a wrist in half in no time. She does. She chews this stuff like bubble gum, and you can see the bubble coming out of her mouth, and it says, “Ain’t no thang.”
  • Which leads me to Leafs fans, defending a grown man biting down on the arm of another during a frenzied scrum in a hockey game. Max Pacioretty, in a game that the Leafs were crushing us, in a melee tried to grab Grabovski off a teammate, and from behind, clamped his forearm on Grabovski’s face for about 1.3 seconds. Grabovski BIT DOWN. This guy is a grown-up. The bite has been dissected and defended ad nauseam since Saturday so I won’t go down that road right now, but the biggest scream from Leafs fans was, “I would bite him too!” “He couldn’t breathe!” “What was he supposed to do?” OK, here’s what he was supposed to do, coming from a 1.5 year old puppy: turn your head, and turn your chin down. Get out of it. This from a dog for whom it definitely goes wildly against instinct to NOT bite. She is such a lady.
  • So I heard my kid calling someone else a “pissant” recently. I was suitably impressed, since pissant is such an old-timey word. Turns out he had read it in a book, and was particularly pleased to know it because he thought it was a dirty word. I burst that bubble, and taught him another one: miscreant. He’s a sucker for vocabulary.
  • My retired boss, with whom I worked for 7 years, retired last year. We still do lunch. He took me out just before Christmas to Hawksworth, which has been deemed “the best restaurant in Canada.” I’d never been there, and was looking at the dishes go by, and told him I thought I would order the burger. He told me I could NOT order a HAMBURGER at the best restaurant in Canada. And I said, “Yeah, but, can you imagine the burger at the best restaurant in Canada???” Whatever, I ordered the ribs. And they were DELICIOUS.
  • So speaking of food, I’ve had the hardest time finding my dog’s food in the past few months. Her food costs more than what I spend on MY HUMANS, specifically, the Okanagan Apple and Lamb flavour made by Acana. She loves it, it’s ridiculously expensive, and now, ridiculously hard to find. I finally bitched to my poor Bosley’s sales representative last week, and he said the food’s been hard to come by on account of the factory having had a horrible fire. Why does everything happen to me.
  • The kids were watching When Harry Met Sally with me on the weekend. In one scene, she’s making out with her vanilla, blond boyfriend in a jacket and tie in the airport. Max took one look and said, “God. I bet that guy’s name is, like, Winston.” Sofia replied, “Or Walter.” I can’t explain why, but I’m surrounded by the most hilarious people.
  • One thing that made me laugh uncontrollably was when Martin Short hosted SNL. Did you see it? He was playing the gynecologist to the Royals, tutoring the new guy who is going to deliver Kate Middleton’s baby. First, he would only refer to ‘it’ as “The Royal ‘Ahem'”, then went on to tell the other guy he was lucky he didn’t have to see Camilla’s, which can only be reached by a drawbridge, that’s guarded by a troll who asks you a riddle! I can barely type that sentence. The mirth. It’s too much.

It’s a school night, so I have to go to bed. The Habs won tonight. 4 points in Florida. And the Leafs are lower in the standings. Life is perfect.

Happy Valentimes!

The List

Happy almost-end-of-January. I did that thing again where I jotted down mini-topics on my Notes app on my iPhone for purposes of a blog post.

  • I have a Macbook Air. And since I’m on iCloud, whenever I send myself reminders on my iPhone, whenever I open up the laptop, there’s a pop-up there too, with the reminder I saved on my phone. Just now when I opened it up, it told me, “GET TP!!!” Thanks, laptop. We’re all good now though!
  • I haven’t logged in here for a few weeks. I checked my Stats page, 0 views today. Sometimes, I’ll have 1 or 2 views, even on days when I haven’t posted in a long time. You know whose those views those are? My daughter’s. She checks here. She says she likes it, but that I use the D-word too much. Then don’t read the damned blog, kid!
  • Just kidding. I love you. But I get to use the D-word because I’m a grown-up. You don’t.
  • I’m not really a grown-up. I’m old, but I’m not a grown-up. My one friend, Kerry, once sent me a New Yorker piece on how the grown-up has gone the way of the dodo. And I was just catching up with my PVR and saw Billy Connolly on Strombo who was saying the same thing. He says he doesn’t care about growing up, that it’s usually someone else’s suggestion. “You have to grow up!” George asked him how he responds to that. Billy: “Two words.” I often wait for that magical moment when I’m grown up. And often ponder things that way, like, “When I’m grown up,” this, or “When I’m grown up,” that. The possibilities are endless, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • Sidebar: Not having hockey meant I watched other stuff on TV, and had the time to. Usually my PVR gets full of shows I’ll never watch on account of hockey. I love New Girl, Happy Endings, and Nashville. Like, love/love. Who knew there were shows on TV from October to April? I don’t watch reality TV though. But I do love talk shows. I love how the hosts always sit to the right of the screen, because if I were a guest on a talk show, they would get my right profile which is 2000% better than my left. If I hosted my own show, I’d have them switch the set around. These are things I think about sometimes.
  • My Facebook, which I don’t use much, has quotes from my kids in the About Me – Quotes part, or whatever it’s called. When my son was about six, on my birthday, he said, “So, Mom, you’re (confidential age) now, right?” And I said, “Yeah.” Then he said, “But you’re still a teenager though.” And I replied, “No, I’m a grown-up.” And he actually snorted, and said, “Yeah, right.” That’s under my Quotes. My About Me just says: “Kind of a pain.”
  • I just chose the categories for this blog post. Bold move, since I haven’t even really started it yet. One of the categories I have there is “Other Sports.” That’s ridiculous. What other sports are there? None that are written about here.
  • Wait, I blogged a couple of times about the World Cup when Chile was playing. So that’s why.
  • I switched the format around on this blog and lost all my widgets. Why do I ever try things.
  • I haven’t even started my topics list yet. I win for seriously being able to write about nothing. Okay, here we go.
  • The Habs played their first game of the “season” last Saturday. As you know, faithful readers…reader (dear Daughter), I was very much angry with the NHL and the players for putting us through 3 months of unnecessary pain by not playing hockey. I still tuned in but wasn’t excited. I still tuned in, but didn’t care. Actually, when they started training camp, the Habs announced that Scott Gomez, that black-eye of a bloated contract for a non-productive player, would not be back. He’d get paid his 5.5 million dollars to sit out the “season” and then get bought out.
  • Sidebar: This got me to thinking, I could totally devote a blog post to what I would do if I was offered FIVE POINT FIVE MILLION DOLLARS to NOT show up to work. It’s equivalent to winning the lottery. But that would be a short, boring post. I would probably still go to the office. What else am I going to do while the kids are at school? Besides, I love the people at my office.
  • So anyway, when Marc Bergevin announced that Gomez would not be back in a Habs jersey again, I thought, “Well played. You just got my interest again.” Look, by all accounts, Gomez is a swell guy, super well-loved by his teammates and everything like that. No one said he was a bad guy. And no one can blame the guy for signing a contract like that on the dotted line. And had he been a scorer, I might not have cared about all that money. Let’s face it: no one can actually claim they earn that kind of money. That’s ridiculous. I can’t even imagine what you actually could do to earn that money. Perhaps deserve it, which is slightly different.
  • Sidebar: I hate Oprah. And I hate Lance Armstrong. I have never been able to stand that guy. No real reason. People thought he was some kind of hero because he won bike races, and survived cancer and then raised a bunch of money for it. But I still couldn’t stand him. Actually, here’s why: All I really knew about him is he kept dumping the women in his life. And he would dump them and immediately be in a new, serious relationship. Which meant that he was already cheating with the new one while he was still with the old one. To have a double-life like that, you have to be an accomplished liar with little conscience. So I couldn’t stand him, even when everyone around me all loved him and wore his rubber bracelet. Then all this stuff about his colossal cheating came out, and I felt validated for always hating the guy.
  • I don’t like Oprah either. That ego astounds. And all the people who worship her, that’s crazy too. I never really thought about her one way or the other, and always watched her show, because she had great guests, and would just roll my eyes every time she’d be in what would be for her guest, a serious, intense conversation, but Oprah would always be checking herself out in the monitor. Whatever. But what got me was when once she was being interviewed for the 10th anniversary of her show, and the interviewer brought up how she was worth $6 billion dollars or whatever INSANE figure it was. And, I’m not joking, she replied, with a very straight face: “And I’ve earned every penny.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? Oh, she was as serious as a heart-attack. I never took her seriously again.
  • So, when everyone asked if I was going to watch the Lance/Oprah show, I was like, “Lance. And Oprah? Yeah no.” The only time I ever liked Oprah was when she interviewed Stephen Colbert. And even then I didn’t really like her, I just love Colbert. I know my feeling about Opes is super unpopular. Actually, she did do one really good thing for me: It’s fun to say stuff like she does. Like when she says, “Please welcome, my friend John TRAVOLTAAAAAA!” One of my besties and I did that on a road trip. Like, “We’re going to TARGEEEEEET!” or “Let’s go to STARBUUUUUUCKS!” This was in the morning. We are both morning people. Our other bestie was super irritated.
  • Hi, Lisa! I’m finding a way to mention you in every post.
  • 1173 words in and I’ve strayed from my list. So anyway, I tuned in to watch the game. But it was preceded by a big, big, BIG opening ceremony. Hall of Famers carrying the torch in the Bell Centre, like Henri Richard (I met him once, and his big brother, and they signed my jersey!!), Jean Béliveau and Yvan Cournoyer (and Vinnie Damphousse??? Um, okay.). It was an opening ceremony to end all opening ceremonies. Do the Habs ever know how to give opening ceremony. And all over Twitter, I saw tweets about how everyone was crying. And I was sitting there with my arms crossed, hmmphing. Like, wooooow, these guys were really trying hard, here. I was 100% unmoved. Had they done this when they were supposed to, in October, I would have been blubbering like a baby. But not this way, not in January, when the season is supposed to be half over. Not when, apparently, the idea was we were all supposed to act like the previous 3 months didn’t just happen. I was bitter, and I wasn’t buying it. Okay, I really loved how Carey was the last person with the torch, looking up and chewing gum. What a boss. I was excited to finally watch a game however, but didn’t even watch the whole thing because I had to leave. And they were losing to the Leafs. In a former life, during a normal season, losing, to the LEAFS, would have ruined my evening. I didn’t care, and had a really awesome evening.
  • But then at the next game my Andrei Markov scored twice, and then at the next one scored again, and Itotallylovethemagainandcan’twaittilthenextgame.
  • Michelle Obama got these great new bangs, right when I’ve finally grown mine out. I fail at trends.
  • Let’s get started on that list.
  • No, it’s too long, and I have to go pick up my daughter from a sleepover soon. I’ll keep adding to it and save it for next time.

It’s Not Me, It’s You

I haven’t posted on this topic since the NHL lockout was announced to have ended on Sunday, in part because I ceased to pay attention to every detail of the “negotiations” since about day 3o of the lockout. So I don’t know absolutely everything about the eventual agreement that was reached, and how, and I do have fear of being denigrated for not being as savvy about it as others who are well-versed.

But this isn’t about that. It’s not about the lockout, or the clash of the millionaires on either side and everything involved. It’s about how I don’t know how to even express how I feel about this.

One of the things I’ve always known to be true about myself is how much I love my team and love to watch them play. And right now, I just don’t care. I don’t care that they’re coming back, and I don’t care when, and I’m not even paying attention to when exactly that will be, and not caring about what should be paramount, which is, are the Habs coming to Vancouver this year? And WHEN.

I don’t. Care.

I was reading about Jimmy Kimmel and how he’s moving to a different time-slot now, in direct competition with Letterman and Leno. Kimmel’s funny. Super funny. I like that guy. Anyway, there was an article about how Jimmy lost respect for Leno, and it made a reference to some book detailing the Late Night war. And my mind wandered, as it does, to thinking, I would totally read a book, cover-to-cover, about this lockout and all the machinations, all the players (not player/players, but participants), and naming the villains and holdouts. But then it occurred to me, that book will never be written, not even by Julia Phillips, whom I’m pretty sure never did Eat Lunch in That Town Again. You know why? This mafia is even more nefarious than Hollywood power players, Bada Bing investors and the Genco Pura Olive Oil combined. Okay, perhaps that’s overly dramatic. But you know what? I’m hurt.

OMG, can you imagine if that book gets written? Calling out AND quoting Fehr, and Bettman?? The best, Jerry, the BEST.

At my work, and I’m sure, at yours, pay is commensurate with performance and expectations, in many measures, be they salary, perks, benefits, bonuses, etc., ad nauseum. If I don’t do my goddamned job, I don’t have one anymore. My own puppy doesn’t get her pig’s ear until she lies down and stays put like a statue until she hears, “Okay, go get it!”

Yes, I know the CBA is more complex than the rules of just your job or mine, or the rewards of a hyper 18-month old Lab. The point is, I couldn’t emotionally identify with the plight of the players in the lockout, which is the level of identification I’m required to attain when we’re talking sympathy. And make no mistake, I really easily sympathize with all KINDS of people, including the people with whom I may have absolutely nothing in common. Still, I also couldn’t put myself in the owners’ or Bettman’s shoes.

So on Sunday, I checked Twitter near midday, which I’d only sporadically been doing recently. And I learned, as we’d pretty much all been expecting, although I was hoping otherwise, that the lockout was “over,” details of the new CBA TBA in a matter of days, no specific timing available. Yay. Not yay. I’d actually hoped they wouldn’t come back now, maybe they’d come back next October, because what is the point of a 3-month season? Seriously. We all love watching hockey, but it’s ultimately all about the marathon.

I was bemused to see a lot of unbridled enthusiasm, a la, “Go Habs Go!” or “They’re back!” or “It’s over!” and I couldn’t join. Which I hadn’t been expecting, really. For all my bitterness, I deep-down still expected to flip the second the lockout ended. But I didn’t. I just kind of felt…pissed off. Like, what, we’re all supposed to be excited now? And it seems like a lot of you are? To be treated to likely 50% of a season we’re all deserving of? Us, the fans, who stick beside you even when you break our hearts? And look forward to playoffs and a Stanley Cup, the winner of which will be the butt of all jokes until the next lockout year? For real?

I once dated someone I was unreasonably in love with, and after a long, unreasonable while, I finally left the relationship. And moved far away. And after months of being better and figuring stuff out, the ex came back, and wanted me back, and called, wrote, left drunk voice messages, proposed, promised to lasso the moon, you name it. And this guy, whom I once couldn’t have imagined living without, simply didn’t move me. I was over it.

Not to liken a hockey team with a well-dodged bullet of a boyfriend, but I found myself feeling like that again on Sunday, no matter who was the bad guy in this lockout.

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…and I just feel like, no. This isn’t working for me. It’s not me, it’s you. It’s totally you.

Still, I keep expecting myself to snap out of it and feel excitement, but it’s not happening. It’s the oddest thing. The last time a lockout and demi-season happened, I was distracted by a rambunctious, exhausting 1 & 3-year-old team of offspring, the pursuit of which did not comply with CBA newsdays or an abbreviated hockey schedule. That season was a write-off for me and I was only irritated, and that feeling disappeared by the next regular season. I had way better things to do.

And it turns out, I still do. Hockey stopped, and the reasons for its suspension got too tiresome to deserve my attention. And the world still turned, and life was good. And it was kind of nice to have freedom in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, which is when the Habs used to have 3 hours of my time, no matter what else was going on. And then, all of a sudden, they’re coming back, and we have to jump up and down. Not feeling it.

Some of the players spoke out, looking forward to the season, thanking the “fans who had stuck by them and supported them.” That was nice. And then, the Habs brass called a press conference and graciously mentioned the fans. This was on TSN:

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As-yet undecided gesture. Sketchy on details. I’ll admit it, I didn’t shed a tear.

At the end of the last regular season, the Habs ended in the basement and didn’t even make the playoffs. But I was still so excited about Bergevin and had such faith in Molson, and was so moved by the genius PR gesture of the Habs giving their jerseys to fans after their last game, that I DID shed a tear, and was super excited about October – notwithstanding the horribly disappointing and heartbreaking season we’d just seen.

I read this in the Montreal Gazette today:

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Here’s the thing: isn’t every game important EVERY SEASON? Every game? Can you imagine if you went to work but decided only Tuesday and Friday would count? You know, sit and wait?

I’m still going to watch, let’s be real. Or you know what, maybe I won’t. Maybe I just think I will because I’m hardwired to do so. We’ll see. One tiny fan doesn’t matter to the NHL, I know, and it’s no kind of protest and is a ridiculous statement compared to say, a hunger strike, over things that actually matter. It’s not even a statement, actually.

Here’s who I’m relieved for: the journalists, and bloggers, who now will have more stuff to write about and be able to do their jobs again. The arena workers, including my little brother, who works at what we all still call GM Place. Sports bars. In Canada. Sports bars in the U.S. have probably been doing all right. And I’m happy that the players get to have a deal they consider to be fair. It’s all relative.

I still love my team, I always will. It will be nice to see Carey, P.K., Josh, Max, etc. again. But I’m not that girl (anymore). It is going to take some serious cartwheels to change my mind about this, hoop jumps, even. Let’s see what happens.

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