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.


Watches, NHL, US Politics, Wine & Traffic Cops

Happy October! I’ve been rolling a few ideas around in the noggin lately and have decided that bullet-form is my best format. It appeases my preference to change unfinished topics and such. I’ve actually taken to jotting down random ideas on my iPhone when they come to me and when I have enough, I’ll blog. It goes against my instinct to organize my blog in any way. But we’ll give it a shot. So I think I have enough now, let’s do this.

  • Wearing a watch dates you. None of the kids wear watches anymore, they consult their mobile devices. When you see someone wearing a watch, you know: old.
  • I wear a watch. What.
  • I also have the iPhone 5, baby! I got it on day 2. I love it. There’s this one guy at the office who is super anti-Apple and brags about his Samsung Galaxy. Whatever, it’s like a tablet. Like I want all those cancer waves waving a tablet-sized radius around my head. Whatever.
  • The traffic has gotten crazy again since school’s been back in session. How I adore summer-vacation rush-hour. The cops have been crazy lately, too. You can usually expect to see them out in full force around the end of the month, trying to rack up their quotas and whatnot. But lately and unexpectedly I’ve seen them all over the place, like, mid-month, even. Last week, I was going down this road that is 30km/hr, right by a playground. I was the caboose in this caravan of 4 cars crawling down the road, and I heard this pickup vrrrrroooom past me, overtaking us in the oncoming lane, got around us and popped into the lead. This cop car was hiding in the bushes and fired up the siren and went after him. I hope Mr. Pickup was happy he gained 8 seconds. It probably cost him $300.
  • I have no rational reason for hating pickup drivers, but I just do. But my number one of people I hate are Hummer drivers. Who needs to drive a damned army vehicle. Sorry/not sorry.
  • There’s this hilarious guy who works at the wine store I frequent. I went in one time and bought a bottle, and he said, “Do you require documentation this evening?” Me: “Um…huh?” Him: (waving receipt with flourish) “Of this transaction?” Right? I love him. Then on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving, which is a holiday I never really “got”, being an immigrant and all, I went in and told him I was getting ready to celebrate the pilgrims. And he said, “Oh, I thought you were going to say you were going to celebrate the Pill!” To which I said, “I’m thankful for that too. I’m mentioning it in my speech.” But my favourite was a couple of days ago was when I went in and looked for this one kind of wine that I really like but don’t get often because it’s expensive. And it was sold out. So when he told me, I said, “It’s not sold out because it’s reasonable!” And he put his one hand on his hip and helicoptered his finger around and said, “You’re unreasonable!”
  • It sounds like I drink too much wine.
  • Just message me if you want to find out where this wine store is. It’s a great place to get some comedy with your Sauvignon Blanc after a long day.
  • The debate between Obama and Romney a couple of weeks ago was fun for a couple of reasons: it got me on Twitter to see the reactions, which I’ve not been checking into a lot since the NHL lockout. And I saw Romney ingratiating himself to the left and centre, aligning himself to a lot of what Obama says and does, because of course, Obama was killing him in the polls, so something was obviously working for him. And Obama “lost” the debate, losing points in the polls for days afterward. It was interesting to me to see the pundits (p.s. it makes me crazy when so many people say “pundint”. Like all the people who pronounce “realtor” “re-la-tor”. Nucular. Don’t get me started.) talk about how Romney “won” because he seemed most “Presidential.” Yes, Presidential. So did Martin Sheen. And Harrison Ford. Your point? Jeez. But then we got to see the meaningless VP debate which was awesome, because Biden came to PLAY and got to say/be all those things that Obama cannot. Ryan stood no chance. Tonight’s town hall meeting was good – Obama brought his cojones.
  • Politics in Canada is slightly different. It makes me crazy the (lack of) voter turnout we get here. You know the voter turnout in Chile? It’s ONE HUNDRED PER CENT. Why wouldn’t you vote??? In Chile under the dictatorship no one was allowed to vote or have a choice. So when democracy returned, it was like a party. Everyone wanted their voice heard. People would bring cards to play and pack a lunch for the hours-long lineups. Not so in Canada. I was talking about it once with a co-worker before a meeting, and I figured it’s because we have all the most important things sewn up, and those things won’t change with a different Prime Minister. Things like gun control, a woman’s right to choose, healthcare, gay marriage, etc. I said “It’s like no matter who’s in office, it wouldn’t matter.” He said, “Maybe I should run then.” And I said, “Yeah, that should be your platform. Vote for me!” In unison: “Because it just doesn’t matter.” TM!!
  • There was this guy who was waving a gun around in the hotel where I PARK the other night. The cops shut the stupid city down in a standoff against this one guy who had no hostages. It took 11 hours for 100 cops to realize, “Hey, we outnumber this guy, we’ve got bullet-proof vests on, and he’s not a danger to anyone but himself…let’s rubber-bullet him in the leg.” 11 HOURS. And I was inconvenienced for about 12 minutes to find a different place to park. It didn’t even make this morning’s news. And where did this clown even get a gun?
  • The NHL made a very reasonable proposal to the NHLPA today. 50/50 split, 82-game season starting November 2nd. And all the millionaires on both sides still get to be millionaires. If the players don’t accept, I’ll be forced to reconsider everything I think about them and may have to hate them. And I will hate hating them. I mean, I’ll still always hate the obviosos no matter what – Chara, Avery, Ference, Marchand, Phaneuf, and everybody who’s not a Hab. You guys – we may have hockey in a couple of short weeks. I’m giddy!

That’s all of the topics I wrote down. I don’t know, this felt too organized. We may have more blogs soon depending on the return of hockey – also, more tweets! Sorry/not sorry.

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