Monday, 30 March 2009

Around the Hockey Universe

Around the CHL (well, the WHL):

VANCOUVER vs. SPOKANE

Sexsmith vs. Tokarski
#4 vs. #1
(goalie ranking in the WHL in the regular season)
#2 vs. #4 (WHL playoff goalie rankings...)

The last two Memorial Champion teams face off April 3rd and 4th in the WHL western conference semi-finals. The Chiefs have a wicked goalie, but our goalie's not so bad and we have Casey Pierro-Zabotel and Evander Kane.

P-Z is the CHL's regular season scoring champion this season. (Yeah, CHL, not just WHL.) Kane is 4th is in the Dub and 5th in the CHL for scoring this season. The only reason he's not fourth in the CHL? Some kid named Tavares who, apparently, is leading the CHL is goals or something...

Bring it Spokane. BRING IT.

* * *

Around the AHL (well, the Syracuse Crunch, which the only part of it that I really care about):


The Crunch iced the game two minutes after Durno’s goal when Columbus Blue Jackets second round draft pick Stefan Legein notched his first professional goal.
Sweetest sentence I've read in a Syracuse Crunch game-summary (or the game-sheet).

I have mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I feel like this is about two months over-due. On the other hand, I saw how little ice-time he gets and I'm sure if I did some math and added all the ice time he's gotten and then recalculated that number by a remotely decent amount of ice time per game, it would have been in February.

I think the saddest thing is that upon seeing the score of this game, my first thought was, and I quote my brain, "Eight goals?! Legein better have bloody scored." I could deny that, when I scrolled down and saw that he actually had, I screeched and did a little fist-pump in my living room. I could deny it, but what's the bloody use? Y'all know I'm probably his biggest fan in the world other than his parents. [I'm suddenly glad I live on the other side of the country; I'd sound like a creepy stalker if I lived any closer to Syracuse.]

Oh, and he was 3rd star.

Oh, AND the Syracuse Crunch are 7th in the Western Conference of the AHL, meaning that, if they can hang on for another five games, they may actually make the AHL playoffs.

I am the happiest girl on the face of the planet.

* * *

Around the NHL:


There had to be SOME upside to being forced to look like a muzzled animal...
Too bad the rest of the Sens don't have his grit. Ottawa is 30 points behind the conference leading Bruins; that would make me cry if I didn't want to laugh so hard.

*

The Western Conference Playoff Race is more entertaining than Paris Hilton's sex life (not like that's difficult). To me at least. Columbus is in 6th with 86 points. Minnesota's in 11th with 80 points. ALL SIX TEAMS HAVE SIX GAMES REMAINING. In their final (collective) 30 games of the season, there are six games in which two of these tightly packed teams face-off. You can bet that these teams will be doing their best to bury each other.

Highly recommend tuning in to the following games as this pack of teams duke it out for three playoff spots:


Nashville @ Columbus
Tuesday, March 31st 7 p.m. ET
(tune in on FS-TN, FS-O)



Anaheim @ Edmonton
Tuesday, March 31st 9:30 p.m. ET
I hate the Ducks logo. It's almost as bad as the Buffaslug. I reserve the right to use the Mighty Ducks logo instead.
(tune into the game on KDOC and SNET-W)


Columbus @ Nashville
Saturday, April 4th 8 p.m. ET
(tune in on FS-O, FS-TN)





Nashville @ Minnesota
Friday, April 10th 8 p.m. ET
(tune in on FS-TN)





Columbus @ St. Louis
Friday, April 10th 8:30 p.m. ET
(tune in on FS-O)




Minnesota @ Columbus
Saturday, April 11th 7 p.m. ET
(tune in on FS-N, FS-O)


God I love the battle for playoff spots... I'm learning to have a much better appreciation for how close the Western Conference is and how much more exciting (and nerve-wracking) it makes the month of April.

if you're anything like me...

There is one musical composition that will, without fail, bring you to tears (or something very close) any and every time you hear it.

For me, that piece of music is Pachelbel's Canon in D.



I don't know that I'll never be entirely sure what it is about this canon that makes me bawl my face off.

It may be the fact that the chords to the Canon in D were the first thing I ever learned to play on the harp. (Yes, I played harp, and would still play if I had a harp. Sadly, I do not. '1x 34-string cherry-wood Larry Fisher lever harp' is on my list of "things to buy myself when I get my first book deal.")

It may be that it was one of the only things I could play when my grandfather died, so I played those chords over and over for weeks.

It may be that Diana soon took to sitting at the piano improvising along with me, pulling variations of Pachelbel out of thin air. I've only recently begun to realize that my mother was more talented than I ever imagined.
As a child, it never occurred to me that normal mothers didn't sit in the living room for two hours every night for weeks harmonizing along to their eleven year-old's grief.

It may be because no matter how it's performed, I love it.



(Now, imagine the way that guitarist is improvising and replace it with a piano and that's maybe half as good as my mum)

It may be that after a few nights of my mother improvising to the chords I was playing, I began to improvise too. I wish I had recordings of it. I still find myself singing my favourite variations in my head over the actual orchestration. I'm constantly afraid that when I hear this performed I will be compelled to walk down into the orchestra pit, commandeer a harp, and show them what it's really supposed to sound like...

It may be that whenever I am in a music store that contains a harp, I gravitate towards it, and fumble my way through the chords the way you fumble your way through conversation with your best friend after too long a separation.

Or, it may just be that the music itself touches some place in me, some place deep down that connects me very solidly, very permanently, to this world, to humanity.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

St. Louis just beat Columbus.


This would not normally be a reason for celebrating. And really this isn't celebration so much as so-weird-as-to-require-mention because in doing so, St. Louis is now 8th seed in the west, bumping Edmonton down to ninth place.

The only reason this is worth mentioning is because every Central Division team currently holds a playoff spot. It's not entirely shocking that Detroit and Chicago have 2nd and 4th in the WC pretty much tied up, but the fact that the Blue Jackets, the Predators, and the St. Louis Blues are ranked 6th, 7th and 8th, respectively, is mind boggling.

Edmonton is 36-30-9 in 75 games with 81 points. After tonight, so is St. Louis. The only reason St. Louis is bumping the Oilers out of 8th is because their goal differential (the fourth of four tie-breaking procedures) is four goals off. [Edmonton has a -12 goal differential, St. Louis' is -8.]

If that's not close, I don't know what is.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Shout-out for a shutout!

Dear Steve Mason,
You rock. You make me so proud I want to cry. Even my friends, who didn't give two hoots about Columbus before I began singing your praises, are rooting for you now.

You? Calder? Can't wait for that photo from Vegas. You? Veniza? Biggest upset since the dawn of time if you beat Brodeur? Please do it. And not just because I think Brodeur's record-breaking 552nd win was a bit over-blown, but because I think you actually deserve it more than he does because you've played 31 more games this season than he has and you're the single biggest reason your club is going to make the playoffs for the first time ever.

Come to think of it, that may also give you a half decent shot at the Hart Trophy. Oh god. You know, I think I'd be okay with Geno not getting it if it's you that wins. Geno rocks, don't get me wrong, but you've had a MUCH more serious impact on your team than he has this season, even if he does win the Art Ross.

(AP Photo/Paul Vernon)
NHL Network reports:
"We have a pretty good idea that if we're in the playoffs this is a team we could be playing, so we wanted to have a good effort. We definitely came forward with it, that's for sure." -- Columbus goaltender Steve Mason
A few thoughts On the Record:
- Mason now holds the Blue Jackets' franchise record for # of shutouts in a season (10).
- Mason is 5 shutouts short of Tony Esposito's rookie shutout record (15).
- Mason is only the 4th rookie goaltender since 1950 to reach double digits in shutouts (Esposito, Terry Sawchuck -who holds the Career record Brodeur's trying to break- & Hall of Famer, Glenn Hall).
- Mason leads the league in season shutouts, is second in GAA and 10th in minutes played so far this season.
- Columbus is 13th in the league right now. I like 13; it's one of my lucky numbers.
- Mason has gone from being the "dark horse" for the Calder Trophy to being the shoo-in. Sorry Drew, you played a good season, kid... but not this good.

- Mason was selected 69th overall in 2006. Marc-Andre Fleury was selected 1st overall in 2003. Fleury went 4-14-2 (with 1 shutout) in his first 21 games in the NHL. Mason went 13-7-1 with 5 shutouts... Say it with me folks: DRAFT STEAL. Usually, I wouldn't consider someone in the 3rd round much of a steal because it's the 3rd round and not the 6th or 7th, but given Mason's comparative success, I think it applies. It's a relative "steal" factor rather than an absolute "steal" factor, but I think it's just as valid.


So, Mase, hon, you are personally responsible for my lack of No-Sens-Post-Season Depression. If it weren't for your win tonight (well, and the fact that Calgary was shutout twice for the first time since October by two of my favourite teams in a span of less than 26 hours...), I would be crying myself to sleep over the fact that Ottawa is officially OUT of the 2009 Playoffs. So, for the sake of my emotional well being and your record-breaking season, keep it coming.

Oh, and kid? I totally meant what I said about going to Columbus... even if it's the most irresponsible thing I ever do and I have to sell a kidney to get there :P

Cheers,
Mer

Oops! I did it again...

So, a while back, I wrote a post about trying to read more... and how I wasn't going to buy any more books until I'd read the ones I already own. Yeah... EPIC FAIL.

This morning, I went to Lougheed Mall (the epitome of suburban, teenage hell) to purchase an alarm clock and came home with an alarm clock and six new books.

In my defence, five of the six were 3$ or less. The last one was 10$ for a 700-page hardcover.

My haul?

If a Pirate I Must Be - Richard Sanders (3$) - HOW, oh HOW, can you not by a book with that title??? I'll tell you, you can't. Not if you're me. If you like pirates, I highly recommend "Under the Black Flag" by David Cordingly (the world's foremost pirate historian).

Theatre of War - Lewis Lapham (2$) - I love this book. I've had this book since it came out. I bought a copy for my room-mate.

Blood and Soil - Ben Kiernan (10$) - A comprehensive history of genocide. I'm a sick, sad little IR dork.

Without Fear: Hockey's 50 Greatest Goaltenders - Kevin Allen & Bob Duff (3$) - It was 3$. Come on.

Coaching Kids' Hockey - T.J. O'Grady (3$) - Research.

...and my personal favourite, which I DEFINITELY bought just because of the title:

Why Everbody Hates Toronto: Startling Suggestions of a Pseudo-Scientific Study - Michael B. Davie (2$) - A) because it was 2$, B) because it was 2$, and C) Chapter Six: Spoiled Sports.

All, in all, not a bad haul for 24.11$

Still and EPIC FAIL on the New Year's resolution front...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

For a self-professed tomboy, I sure have a LOT of clothes

I think of myself as a bit of a tomboy. I always have. My favourite article of clothing EVER were my pale blue spaceship pyjamas which I grew out of when I was 6. I stole all my brother's Lego and his Transformers. I could canoe by 4, J-stroke by 9, and portage a canoe by 11. I knew how to build a good camp-fire by age 5. When I was six, I did ballet for a few weeks before the instructor told my mom to put my in Karate instead (she never did, much to my dismay). Nor did I ever get enrolled in hockey. Or join Scouts. (Both of which I really REALLY wanted to do.) At the time I felt like it was my parents way of trying to make me act more like a girl. Now, I know it's mostly because we couldn't afford it.

Generally speaking, I spent a lot of time in trees, on my bike, playing tag or Wave or making epic Lego cities and causing a general ruckus.

That said, I definitely have my girlie moments. I played dress up a lot as a kid. And I had dolls (never any Barbies though, although E.L. and I got kicks out of popping the heads of her younger sisters'...) and I drew and wrote and loved fairy tales above and beyond what is probably normal.

I also organized 2 fashion shows, which I designed clothing for, and then designed for another 2 shows... but I've always spent more time in jeans and RegattaSport shirts and climbing pants and I still spend most of my time in jeans and tank tops and my Scarpas or Keds depending on the season. I mean I do clean up half decently and all... but generally I can't be bothered.

You'll notice that even in a skirt, I'm in black steel-toed boots. The only reason this photo was even taken was for my portfolio when I applied to theatre school for costume design. What compelled me to make corsets in the first place (because that thing definitely has 14 pieces of boning in it), I will never know. I think it's because someone figured I couldn't do it. So I had to prove them wrong. Suffice to say, I am almost positive that that top and a blue one I made that's almost exactly like it, got me in to Ryerson (where they abused my sewing abilities so badly that I quit two months into my second year, but that's a story for another day).

Thing is, even though I'm a bit of a tomboy, I have all these great clothes, and I really LIKE clothes. I realized just how much clothing I had the other day when I did laundry (4 loads of it) and still had a closet bursting with clothes... So, in traditional "pre-spring cleaning" fashion (groan... bad pun) I decided to go through it all to see if I can get rid of any of it, and, figured that while I was doing so, I may as well figure out just how much clothing I have, so...

The Contents of Mer's Closet (& dresser)

19 tank tops - What? I wear these almost every day...
13 things with hoods - I don't say hoodies because two of these things aren't really hoodies, most of them are though...
33 t-shirts - I probably only wear about 6 of these on a semi-regular basis
15 pairs of pants - my definition of pants include anything that goes below my knee, everything else is shorts
3 pairs of dress pants - I actually LOVE one of these pairs of pants more than about 98% my wardrobe; they're those really awesome, old school, high-waisted kind that, by some miracle were made with wide legs. A former raver-girl's DREAM.
12 skirts - I don't really like (or wear) skirts. People keep giving me them. Like a hint. I like about 5 of them. All but one of which I've made (but how can you not LOVE a pleated red tartan mini-skirt? how, I ask you?)
9 things with turtlenecks - they're not all sweaters, but they all have turtlenecks...
13 sweaters - a good 1/2 of these fall into my I-stole-this-from-my-dad-when-I-was-twelve category, the other half are mostly V-necks
9 halter tops - I love these. I live in them in the summer because I can't stand things sticking to my back...
41 other shirts
- this includes clubbing shirts, button ups, long sleeves, et c. ... it's still A LOT of shirts...
6 items of silk long underwear - camping. nuff said.
8 items of spandex - Don't ask. No. Really. Don't ask.
5 pairs of shorts - mostly those guys quick-dry board shorts. I hate shorts.
3 hockey jerseys - Sens. Pens. Team Canada.
14 coats and jackety things - including 3 leather jackets, 4 black wool coats and a leather trench coat with a fur collar that Sara bought for me for 12$ at St. Vinny's when I was 14
5 suits - including the most incredible 600$ blood-red suit that I got for 1/4 of the price. LOVE Boxing Day!!

AND, last but not least, the thing that prompted this post... 25 dresses !!!

Now, the scary part is that every item is only in one category (so the pants in my pant suit are in addition to the 3 pairs of dress pants). That, ladies and gentlemen, is 233 articles of clothing (and you haven't seen my scarf collection... EPIC). And that's not including any of my (and I'm not exaggerating here) dozens of sewing projects. Or my socks and underwear or pyjamas or bathing suits. Which would probably push me over 300 articles of clothing... even still, 233 is A LOT.

It is ludicrous. Excessive even.

But most interesting are those 25 dresses. Thing is, I like them all and have actually worn all but two of them to public events/out, most of them multiple times. I love vintage. About 1/3 of my dresses are pre-1965 because I love structured dresses and, to be perfectly honest, I look and feel awesome in them. I'm curvy and I actually kind of love showing off my curves so long as I can keep myself tastefully covered up.

Structured dresses are fabulous because they're kind of conservative, and for the most part, they keep everything in place. I feel much more confident if I'm not having to worry about my dress slipping down or my cleavage becoming obscene. It's old fashioned, but that's how I roll. Plus, the number of people who comment on those dresses is way higher, and the type of people who comment are way more likely to be the type of people I will actually like.

I also have about half a dozen sun-dresses and I have about as many on the go in my sewing box... I make dresses in the summer because they're fun, and because in the sweltering heat, they're really comfy.

But TWENTY-FIVE dresses?? I was shocked. The sad thing is, there are only maybe 3 that I would part with without feeling really icky inside, knowing that I would regret it someday. See, I had the MOST PERFECT little black dress in the WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSE -I called it my Audrey Hepburn dress- and I gave it away when I was 19 because it was size 2 and I wasn't anymore. Now I want it back. I wouldn't fit into it (not quite) but I could at least make a pattern for a slightly larger twin that I WOULD fit into. I miss that dress. I am still looking for its replacement.

The weirdest thing is that I get rid of clothes every spring, but every year I seem to have accumulated more even though I never plan to. The only things I ever really "wear through" are jeans and tank tops because I wear them day-in-day-out from September to June.

Some gems and interesting facts, however, that must be noted:
- my red fleece hoodie with the pointy sleeves and the devils horns on the hood. Saw this on my way out of Off the Wall in Kingston the night of the Weeping Tile's annual Christmas reunion show with M.V. and C.K. and ran back into the store where M&C had just spent 45 minutes trying stuff one and bought it. It wasn't even a decision. I think I wore it almost every day between then and turning 21 about two and a half years later. Will never give it away. Ever.

- my yellow beaded cardigan which is like sunshine made into a single piece of clothing. 20$ second hand. Love it.

- 4 little black dresses... you really can't have too many little black dresses.

- 16.3% of my clothing is black.

- 3 corsets. If feminism is about having choice, I choose to look hot, thank-you-very-much!

- the Marilyn Monroe dress I made for my second fashion show which has earned me countless compliments. You can't tell from the photo, but it hangs to just below the knee. Honestly, one of the most awesome dresses ever. It somehow manages to combine classy, sexy, and a full 360 skirt that, if you twirl fast enough, spins out flat (well ripples, but in the most awesome way) parallel to the floor at that perfect height below the hips where you don't show anything indecent, except maybe the tops of your stockings if you're wearing thigh-highs and a garter belt - which, with this dress, I generally feel compelled to do, just 'cause if I'm going to dress up, I figure I'll really dress up.

This picture really does the dress no justice... I wish I had a better shot and I can't believe I don't, because I've worn it countless times, and probably will wear it again to a couple weddings I'm attending in August. I had a wicked photo of A.B. in it a few years ago (also for my portfolio) but I don't have any of that stuff with me in B.C. In any case, it's probably my second favourite dress ever and most likely the best article of clothing I have ever made (for myself).

- my "prom dress"
- which I wear on a regular basis every summer because it's a gorgeous empire waisted, cap-sleeved, sun-dress from a wicked little designer in Paris. I LOVE IT.

- 54% of my clothing is black, blue, red or white. An none of this pink-counts-as-red or off-white-and grey count as "black & whites" stuff... this is just straight-up black, white red and blue.

- I somehow, inexplicably, have 13 articles of pink clothing.
I have only purchased and/or made 6 of these items. I don't really like pink, but because I am blonde everyone seems to think I should wear it. (Oh and that ISN'T counting the 4 pairs of pink pyjamas people have given me.) I really don't get it. Is it so hard to find red plaid pyjama pants?

- (At least) 27 of these items are things I have made myself.
really, I should stop... but I go on these binges in the summer time and sew for days at a time and make myself dresses and purses and halter tops and god only knows what else.

- the remnants of my raver days
, including the shirt with Sugarsmack across the chest in seedbeads that I made as a joke because of a line in a Matthew Good Band song.

- the 'wedding dress'
- Not an actual wedding dress. Not in the traditional sense. It's black lace over beige silk with a full 360 skirt (the basis for the pattern for the Marylin dress) and it's been to at least 7 weddings. I joke that I will wear it to my own wedding. If I elope, I just may do it.

- I own only 3 articles of orange clothing. I wear my orange wrist-warmers about 300 days a year. I wear my orange halter top about 25 of the other 65 days of the year.

- a pair of skin-tight, black leather pants that Emma's mom gave me when I was 14 (and which, by some MIRACLE, I fit into again lately). They are Harley Davidson pants from the 1970s. They have the little logo-y thinga on the belt loop. They are the BOMB. You have to have Major attitude when you wear these babies, but it's pretty much inevitable that you Have attitude, because it is bestowed upon you just by slipping into them.


Most of my closet is not nearly that interesting and clearly I need to get rid of some clothes, because half of it is stuff I never wear anyways... So spring cleaning time rears its ugly head and I will spend a few weeks agonizing over what to give to Goodwill only to keep 75% of it in the end anyways... But I may have to reassess my tomboy status, given that any respectable tomboy wouldn't be caught dead with 25 dresses in her closet...

Monday, 23 March 2009

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???

Congrats Eberle!
Jordan Eberle, (22OA, 2008)

Woohoo! Another one of my Baby Team Canada boys has been signed! TSN reports that the Edmonton Oilers have signed Jordan Eberle of the Regina Pats in the WHL to a three year entry-level contract. The 18 year-old centre, who went 22nd overall is the 2008 Entry Draft, is eligible to play in the CHL for another season as he will not turn twenty until May of 2010. (This means he will also still be eligible to play on the Canadian U20 team at the 2010 WJHC in Saskatchewan next Christmas.)

How can you not love a kid with a smile like that?

Says TSN:

In his time with the Pats, the 18-year-old notched 105 goals, 99 assists and 204 points in 197 games. That included 35 goals and 74 points in 61 games this season.

Eberle also established himself in the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships while skating with Canada, as he posted the game-tying goal in his team's 6-5 overtime win over Russia in the semifinals. He also notched a shootout tally in that contest, helping move eventual-champion Canada into the gold medal game versus Sweden.
Remember this?



CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!? You better believe it. Because he followed that (his second goal of the game) up with this...



Yup. This kid is clutch. Since the Pats missed the WHL playoffs, I have a feeling my shot at seeing him play (live) for less than 100$ has been seriously compromised. But frankly, I'd rather see him in an NHL uniform anyways. That way I get to watch him on TSN and HNIC. I just kind of hope that, if he does make the Oilers' roster out of training camp next fall, the team is willing to give him up for the WJC. Because I'd like a little more of this, thanks...

Eberle and PK Subban, WJC 2009.

I'm a ridiculous sap, but I love when these boys make those first huge leaps towards becoming career NHLers. Last year about this time (maybe a bit later, actually, since the Hitmen made playoffs...), Karl Alzner was signed by the Washinton Capitals. When I read it in the paper on the bus I literally pumped a fist in the air and shouted "YES!" People thought I was out of my mind. Well, everyone but the guy across from me in the Canucks hat who looked at what I was reading and chuckled and said, "It's always nice when the local kids make it, eh?"

It IS nice when the local kids make it (Alzner is from Burnaby, the part of Vancouver I live in) and what was even nicer was when, a few weeks later, the Coyotes called Kyle Turris down to Phoenix and signed him. Turris, who went 3rd overall in 2007 (after Patrick Kane and James van Riemsdyk) is the highest-ever draft pick to come out of the BCHL, BC's junior A league (which is one step below Canadian Major Junior, which our top junior league). Turris played junior with the Burnaby Express, who play about 8 minutes away from my apartment.

But it's not the 'local' part that matters, it's the 'making it' part, because in Canada it's hard for it not to feel local, despite the unbelievably massive amount of territory the country encompasses. Canada sometimes, honestly and truly, feels like a really huge small town. I know this sounds a little strange since it's got 30 million people and all, but you would NEVER believe the all the connections between people I know. I moved out west and met people who went to camp with my high school classmates. I've met Canadians in foreign countries who LIVED DOWN MY STREET IN TORONTO - of all the places to live in Toronto (which is HUGE) they lived on Sword St in Cabbagetown, around the corner from my place. Screw six degree of separation; in Canada, it's three - tops.

Last spring, during playoffs, I was gushing about how I really like NHL playoffs but I like the WJC better. This lovely woman I worked with laughed and said, "Yeah, that's my nephew's favourite tournament too! He said it was the best two weeks of his life."

I stared.

I HAD to ask.

Yeah. Her nephew? That's right. Kyle Turris.

Small world.

Which is why I don't feel strange being so excited that yet another on of the kids I lost my voice cheering for over Christmas is one step closer to a career that may one day land him in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

And why I'm waiting patiently for it to happen to about twenty other kids. I expect Eberle won't be the only CHL player signed to an NHL entry-level contract in the next few weeks.

A few names to keep an eye out for:

- Zach Boychuk (14th OA to Carolina, 2008), whose Lethbridge Hurricanes are 7th seed in the eastern conference of the WHL;

- Tyler Ennis (26th OA to Buffalo, 2008), whose Medicine Hat Tigers are 5th seed in the east conference of the WHL;

- possibly
Justin Bernhardt (undrafted, I think, so could sign with anyone), who posted 92 pts [35P, 57A] this season with the Raiders in the WHL - possibly, because this season was BY FAR his best campaign, because I'm pretty he went undrafted because of his unremarkable play in his first few junior seasons, and because I'm honestly not sure how signing him would work because I'm not really familiar with the rules and regulations for signing undrafted players (if, in fact, he is undrafted).

Boychuk and Ennis are both are Team Canada alum. Both are on WHL teams unlikely to make it past the second round of playoffs. Bernhardt's Raiders are out of the playoffs, so I'm interested to see what happens with him. I'm kind of hoping he's a late bloomer - he came off three pretty god-awful seasons and just popped out of NOWHERE to rank 5th in scoring in the WHL this season. If he's actually undrafted it means that his pro-hockey career in dependent upon some franchise signing him soon, as he celebrated his 20th birthday in February and just finished his fourth season in the CHL - both of which make him ineligible to continue playing at that level. I hope someone takes a chance on this kid, and he turns out to be a bit like Kyle Wellwood, and just needed to be on the right team, in the right environment, to get the confidence to succeed.

And then there are the lucky ones, who don't really need the right team or the right environment because they're the one who help to create that 'right team' or that 'right environment'. Like Jordan Eberle, who I'd love to see play for 18$ at the Pacific Coliseum... but I'd much rather not-be-able-to-afford-paying-100$ to see play at GM Place.


Congrats kid! And the best of luck!

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Jump




why not, eh?

Friday, 20 March 2009

top 3 silly little things that made my day!

#3 - Getting messages from the Igloo during intermission.

Technology is Genius.


#2 Favicons. Check it out! Now I'm not just a generic orange B on your bookmarks bar ;)


#1. Jodie from The Sidney Crosby Show. (For #2!)


Sens-Habs 5-4 Wins and other hockey madness


The Sens beat Montreal.

In REGULATION.

And the Pens are 5th in the east (as of 2 p.m. PDT).

And Columbus pretty much have playoff spot locked up. GO MASON GO!!!

If that kid does something insane like, oh say...
win his team the Stanley Cup in his rookie season,
I will buy his jersey.


Hell
, if Columbus makes the final, I will go to Ohio for the duration of the series.

Oh dear lord, did I just write that? I think I just did... oh hell. Well, since Columbus going all the way would be a Oilers-2007-Cup-Final-appearance level upset in the Western Conference... but if it happens I'll seriously do it because it is statistically nearly impossible for a team to make the Cup Final in their first EVER playoff appearance... I'm going to look this up actually, for kicks.

Oh man! I do LOVE playoff season!

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Mer is ~ 43% cultured (according to the BBC)

This is essential a reply to this post. I love lists of books that I ought to have read. Mostly because I've usually actually read at least 25% of them. It's like standardized testing; I like them because I am really effing good at them and it's a nice ego boost to score in the 99th percentile... how sad am I?

Thing with the book lists is that none of these lists ever measure up to the ones Mrs. P had. One day I will go through my old high school English binders and find Mrs. P's lists. She had a Classics List, a European Classics List, an American Classics List, and possibly a "Translated Classics" List but I may just be making that up because she was the one who always told me which translations to read when I was buying books.

I have Mrs. P to thank for reading the Robert Fagles version of The Iliad instead of the horrid stock volume my high school provided. Fagles' version of The Odyssey is also incredible. They're in verse. The way epic poetry is supposed to be. It's like reading the King James Bible; even if you don't love what you're reading, it's beautifully written.

The colour legend was mostly for my convenience in tallying them at the end. And because I'm visually stimulated, like a magpie...)


tweet!


Red = read (haha) and own.

Purple = read, but do not own.
Blue = own, but have yet to read.
Green = things I did not read more than 25 pages of... but have still written papers on...
Orange = Books I have never heard of.
Navy = Books I
honestly can't remember if I own, but most likely have somewhere in a box in a storage locker in Ontario.


1. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen --> I've read this about 20 times. No exaggeration. At least half those times were in the summer of 2001. I also watched the 5-hour BBC Colin Firth P&P about as many times (okay, that's a conservative estimate; reality was likely closer to 25 times
)
2. The Lord Of The Rings – JRR Tolkien --> long before they became movies... not sure why I feel the need to justify that...
3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte --> I've tried. Can't do it. Same with Middlemarch.
4. Harry Potter – JK Rowling --> ... I want to be the next JK Rowling?
5. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6. The Bible --> Twice. In its entirety: the NIV and the King James versions. King James is WAY better.
7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte --> CAAAATHHHHYYYYYYYY!!! oh, get over yourself.
8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell --> I was twelve.
The first time, at least. (Why does that make me sound like reading this was akin to losing my virginity or something???)
9. His Dark Materials – Phillip Pullman
10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens --> Grade 9 English with Ms. P. = Wicked fun!
11. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
12. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works Of Shakespeare --> I did try once, but it's 1256 pages long without the glossary...
15. Rebecca – Daphne DuMaurier
16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
18. The Catcher In The Rye – JD Salinger --> don't even get me effing started on this book... it was part of the requisite "whining teenage boy" reading list that WAS grade 10 English. Apparently girly bitching about the downfall of chivalry isn't cool with the OCDSB... but guys can whine all they want about girls being bitches and whores. Coincidentally, the year I read this was also the height of Whiny-Boy-Rock era music... and people wonder why I was a bloody raver at the turn of the millennium...
19. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffeneger
20. Middlemarch – George Eliot --> see #3
21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
24. War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy [Has anyone ever read this?] --> YES. But not me.
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams [42] --> I second that motion.
26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. The Grapes Of Wrath – John Steinbeck --> one of many things younger than Senator John McCain...
29. Alice In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

30. The Wind In The Willows – Kenneth Grahame --> If I can't remember to story AT ALL, it doesn't count.
31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens --> Grade 11 English with Mrs. P. Also genius.
33. The Chronicles Of Narnia – CS Lewis --> In Ontario, now that I actually want to read them...
34. Emma – Jane Austen --> see #1 and replace "5-hour BBC Colin Firth P&P" with "Gwyneth Paltrow"...
35. Persuasion – Jane Austen --> again see #1
36. The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – CS Lewis --> Jess: this isn't technically part of the Chronicles. It's like The Hobbit.
37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hossini --> Hated this book. A Thousand Splendid Suns was 1000x better.
38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres --> wrote a paper on this book in 12th grade without having read it.
39. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden
40. Winnie The Pooh – AA Milne --> I own this in 3 languages, including Latin.
41. Animal Farm – George Orwell --> Read this in 7th grade.
42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown --> How else do you waste 8 hours in the Edinburgh airport?
43. One Hundred Years Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44. A Prayer For Owen Meany – John Irving
45. The Woman In White – Wilkie Collins
46. Anne Of Green Gables – LM Montgomery [♥] --> I've been to Green Gables in PEI :)
47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy --> I think I may have actually read this in grade 11 or 12... cannot for the life of me remember. Know I read The Mayor of Casterbridge. Terrible book, EXCELLENT (& endless) source of inside jokes...
48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49. The Lord Of The Flies – William Golding --> Never again.
50. Atonement – Ian McEwan --> I'll just oggle James McAvoy instead, k?
51. The Life Of Pi – Yann Martel --> seriously wonder what Martel was smoking when he wrote the end of this book...
52. Dune – Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54. Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Thomas Hardy --> Okay. OKAY WHAT????????? I'm going to give Jess the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is the BBC's mistake and not hers. Tale of Two Cities is by CHARLES DICKENS. The only reason I know this is because it is the ONLY Dickens novel I actually LIKED. Grade 12 English with Mrs. P. Again. Brilliant. VIVA LA REVOLUCION! oh wait, that was Che and Castro, wasn't it? Whatever. There's a reason downtown Havana was modeled after Paris....
58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley --> I have a thing for dystopia novels. I have read and own all but Erehwon by Samuel Butler which, for some reason,I can't find anywhere.
59. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time – Mark Haddon [Jess: one less book I have to read!]
60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez --> Need to read this as I intend to write a book entitled Love in the Time of Genocide.
61. Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck
62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov --> I think Evgeni Nabokov needs a nickname...
63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas --> Half way through volume 1. In French.
66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67. Jude The Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens --> Grade 10. Classic Whiny Boy novel.
72. Dracula – Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden – France Hodgson Burnett --> Wow. Hadn't thought about this in years.
74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses – James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath [One of my mother's books. Poets...]
77. Swallows & Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal – Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair – William Thackeray
80. Possession – AS Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84. The Remains Of The Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte’s Web – EB White --> a million times when I was 6 and 7.
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Alborn --> I won't. I'm not going to heaven. Not by a long shot. Plus all the cool people will be in purgatory anyway; no one really cool was ever canonized. Well, except Joan of Arc. ('Really cool' to me tends to involve subversive activity in some way shape or form... be it politically, religiously or scientifically.) Even Churchill was a raging alcoholic who did enough opium in college to kill a normal person, but I'll take him over a straight-edge vegetarian who shunned cigarettes. Other than the whole genocide thing, Hitler was your model citizen. But I think there's a circle of hell reserved for genocidaires... and if there isn't, someone needs to rectify that situation pronto.
89. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton [If Enid Blyton wrote it, I read it as a child. Secret Seven, Famous Five, Mallory Towers, St Clare's, I read them all] --> AMEN to that!
91. Heart Of Darkness – Joseph Conrad --> The horror! The horror!
92. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
94. Watership Down – Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy Of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole --> BUT I LOVE THE TITLE!
96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute --> Didn't realize this was a book. Saw the movie with Tosh like 6 years ago. Was 4 hours long or something. Was terrible. We watched the whole thing; further proof that there is NOTHING to do in Wellington, Ontario.
97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare --> I've read this. I love it. BUT, I definitely wrote a paper on it without having read anything beyond Act 1... I got an A-. Shakespeare rolls in him grave...
99. Charlie & The Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl --> Roald Dahl was a genius. Like Dr. Seuss.
100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo --> Again. Got half-way through volume 1. In French. In 2005. It's in a box in Ontario with the 3000 or so books I couldn't move to B.C.


The tally...
Own: 55
Have read: 43
May own: an additional 13
Have never heard of: 12
Want to read but do not own: 9
Currently reading: 2

And this is just fiction...

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Well isn't that Wizard...

Happy Wednesday! And Happy Hangovers everyone... (I'm posting this kind of early, just in case, for some god-forsaken reason, Jess is up at 9 a.m. GMT, eating Aspirin ;P)

An assortment of things that have made me laugh or smile in the past 72 hours... sit back, turn off the Peachy soundtrack and hit play on this instead.



If that doesn't put you in a good mood, you have no soul (and I don't just mean the Bob Marley/Alabama/music kind either).

*

On the topic of interconnectedness...

(click to enlarge it to find your university department, et c.)

The Visual Map of Knowledge or, as A. called it the other night, "The Map of Suck Writing." I guess when you have a PhD in History of Science, you're allowed to bash academia... This map is 'evidence' that his field is in the centre of the academic universe.

[I seriously want to go sit in on one of his classes sometime because I think I'd just about die laughing... I'm crossing my fingers for him to get the post-doc post at Cambridge he wants... as if I needed to know yet another Ivy Leaguesque over-achiever... at least his being a huge hockey fan eliminates the dangerously high-probability of snoot-factor, even if he DOES have the bad taste to cheer for the Flyers. I suppose he can't help having been born in Philadelphia. :P]

I asked him where I fit into this map (professionally speaking) if I end up writing about almost all of these things; I wanted to know if he felt that exploring science, religion, philosophy, history and politics in non-academese would still land me in the centre of the universe of knowledge. His answer: you're perpendicular to the plane.

Yeah. Thanks bud. Try wrapping your head around that one both metaphorically and logistically. I tried. I got about 3% there before simply asking him what he'd meant by it. He thinks that since I write fiction (ie. not academic 'suck writing') I don't actually fall anyplace on this map. Ergo I am perpendicular to the plane. Which I think goes without saying on a much deeper level, but maybe I'm giving myself WAY too much credit.

Now that I've contributed to you headache... a few things to (hopefully) relieve it...

*

Gotta love hockey bloggers: I think may start reading this one. Make sure you click on the links. You will CRY laughing. Promise. Reality trumps fiction every time...

*

I googled "hockey" the other day. (I was looking for a logo or something, can't remember, but half of what I was googling got deleted... and it ended up being just 'hockey'.) This was the result:


*

Same search. I don't want to know.
But -
NO! I DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!

*

Yoshi in sink.
(My cousin's cat.)


*

I just realized that I am in MAJOR Doctor Who withdrawal...



Major.


Withdrawal.



I miss the Doctor...



...and Space Man & Earth Girl... and the Doctor-Donna:
nothing like saving creation to get the day started right...



I don't think anything on television has ever made me cry so hard
as these few minutes did...



Oh, except this.



Best. Show. On. Television.
Russel T. Davies = Genius
Must stalk the Doctor this summer...

*

Lauren Cooper = hilarious
(it wouldn't let me embed the video I wanted so click on her for the link to youtube)


*
Kylie's the friggen bomb!

le sigh... last night at the Igloo

*
And, because I can't seem to go a day this week without being a gushing, emotional, sap...

"this song says... no matter who you are, no matter where you go in your life,
at some point you're going to need somebody to stand by you..."



this is global communications at is VERY best!
(ania & anya, my loves, this one's for you...)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Day X - My Life Would Suck Without You

Day X [Day 20, if you're trying to time-line it out]. Heaven. Burnaby, BC. Home (for now).

I got these photos back a while I was in upstate. This is my backyard (in Burnaby). Pretty much literally. Since I don't have a yard, it's mostly the view from right behind my building.

And to think I want to move back out east?

Admittedly, this is home...
Can you really blame me for getting homesick?

To be clear, this is C & L's house in Burnt Hills. This is not the house I grew up in. I wish I had a photo of that house because it's the cutest little red-brick house in the world. It's home though, even though, as I've mentioned before, they are not my biological parents.

Mer and her Mommy. Casey Farm. Narrangansett, Rhode Island. November, 2007.

Sometimes people come into your life and, at the time, you aren't entirely sure why. Sometimes it takes a while for it to become clear why things have happened the way they have happened in life. My life has been nothing short of mind-boggling at times. At times it has felt almost surreal. Sometimes in the worst ways. Sometimes, though, my life has been surreal in the most incredible ways imaginable.

Surreality can be baffling though, and exhausting, and time-consuming. For a long time, half my brain (and heart) has been consumed in attempting to make sense of things - leaving me incapable of fully functioning in actual reality. I hate to use the word debilitating, but that's how it's felt sometimes: like I wasn't fully capable of functioning normally because I was hindered in some way and wasn't quite sure how to overcome it.

At the beginning of my trip out east, I mused that I was searching for something. As I quipped in a bar in Brooklyn, the first full night of my trip, "I'm searching for something - possibly myself."


I saw this in the subway in DC and had to take a photo of it... Still, what I'm searching for isn't God. It's more personal, if that makes any sense.

I have been searching for myself. For ME. For who I'm supposed to be, because God (if such an entity exists) only knows that I'm not who I planned to be. I can't be. But that's okay. I'll be something else. Only I'm not entirely sure who that is. I've been searching for a long time. Over the course of the past few months, I've begun to feel like I'm finding it: piece by piece, I'm finding the answer to the riddle that is my life, my future, my purpose.

The other night, thanks to the coolest people on earth, another few puzzle pieces fell into place. I feel so privileged to have such wonderful people in my life. Especially the people who have become a part of my life thanks through more unconventional means. But also the ones who have no idea this blog even exists. Someday, at some point, I'll thank them (if I haven't already).

I'm in about the best mood in the entire universe right now. When I first woke up today, it was simple joy. Over the past couple hours, thinking about all of this, it's morphed into a kind of deep appreciation of the universe. I feel like the luckiest girl in existence. Again.


Or is it still?

Day 15.5 - Here I Go Again

Firsts on this trip:

My first NHL game.
My first AHL game.

My first stay in a Hilton hotel.

My first manicure.
My first visit to Brooklyn. (But certainly NOT my last!)
Ditto Washington, DC. And Virginia, Maryland and Newark, NJ.
(Definitely my last visit to Newark, if I have any say in the matter!)

My first time meeting people I'd previously known only via the internet.

My first direct flight to an east coast destination from YVR.

Mario Penguin in JFK.

My first time being unabashedly touristy.
My first time being TRULY comfortable flying by the seat of my pants.

My first perfect vacation.

* * * * * * *

Day 15. 72 nautical miles east of Vancouver @ ~28,000 feet.

Flying over the Coast Mountains, dipping lower in the air as my flight prepares to land, I can't get over how unbelievably gorgeous the mountains in British Columbia are.

Can you believe I got this shot from the plane?
(Okay, technically these are the Rockies, not the Coast Mountains:
two totally different mountain chains, in case you didn't know... I didn't until I moved to B.C.)

I feel odd knowing that even their breathtaking beauty will never make me love this place the way I love my dirty, grey-brown banks of snow and the carpets of dead, decomposing oak leaves and the -30 windchill in the mornings when the weak sun makes a valiant effort to cheer a freezing world up just a little.

those, on the other hand, are the Coast Mountains

I love the mountains the way I love most art; I can stare in wonder the way one gawks in a museum at a very captivating Van Gogh or a puzzling Escher, but eventually you have to go home. And you can't take them with you.

For the first time ever since moving to B.C., the sun is blindingly bright as we descend over the Pacific into YVR and I remember why, the very first time I flew into the city, I couldn't help feeling like we were going to crash into the ocean - the runway begins (or ends) a mere hundred metres from the edge of the water.

The plane lands almost seamlessly, without more than a couple of bumps... as if the world is welcoming me, glad that I seem to have figured out that this isn't home, and that I'll be milking this place for all it's worth until this chapter of my life comes to a close, determined to make the next year of my life the fullest, funnest (yeah, not a word - for once I don't care), and most fulfilling.

... so here I go again on my own,
goin' down the only road I've ever known,

like a drifter I was born to walk alone.

I've made up my mind,
I ain't wasting no more time.

Here I go again...

- 'Here I Go Again' by Whitesnake

*cross-blog reference: okay random little thing that wigs me out in a good way? this song was originally on an album called "saints & sinners"*