Thursday, 30 July 2009

Here is something beautiful; smash it to bits.

I shouldn't post this, but I am going to, because it would be incredibly out of character for me not to.

This will be my last peachy post. Someone told me today to grow up. She told me a whole lot of other things too, things that, for the most part, made me want to tell her to get bent, but she was right about me needing to 'grow up'. Although 'grow up' might be the wrong words for someone who's buried both a parent and a sibling, and has been on her own for the better part of a decade. 'Move on' may have been a more appropriate thing to say.

So I will.

I'm done.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Game 6 = omigodomigodomigod

So I was sorting through Drafts that never got published and stumbled across this. I seriously could have sworn I published this. Clearly, I am delusional. But when you figure out when it was written, you will understand why my brain wasn't completely with it...


June 10th, 2009 - 1 a.m. ish

So, if y'all pay attention, you know I had to work tonight.
See, thing is, I work in the prep kitchen of a PUB.
On a university campus.
In Canada.

So, clearly my bosses had the TVs on CBC tonight.
Hell, the D-man likes me enough that he put it up on the big screen projector
(ie. 10' x 10' hockey - hello super-sized le swoooon...)

3 p.m. Pacific Time/6 p.m. Pittsburgh Time
Get to work.
Fish gives me a long list of instructions which I actually write down for fear of forgetting something in my current state of High-Strung, Pre-Game Frenzy of Nerves... (good thing I do, because I nearly forgot some things later)

Workyworkyworky.

4:30 p.m. Pacific
Warn my co-workers that I will not be myself tonight.
A. laughs, D-man makes sure to tease me about my Penguins-love.
Am so tense that, if someone shoved coal up my butt, a week later they'd have a diamond.
(If you get that reference, you get cookies. For real.)
My head feels like it will explode.

4:45 p.m.
Pub is deadsville, Population: Staff.
Break-time with M. who always says the best things ever. Tonight it is the following:
"Now, you start giving a shit."
It is an instruction she gave junior members of the drum core in her pipe band.
NHL slogan for 2009-2010?
This is the girl who once said, in reference to Letang's habit of hanging out around the net during pre-game warm-up: "He's so hot, he doesn't need to warm up!"
This is only one of the many reasons why I love M.

5 p.m. PT, 8 p.m. Pittsburgh
HNIC logo soars across the television screen. My heart swells.
Break is technically over.
Pub is still dead though so... nothing to do...
May as well watch the puck drop.

Here. We. Go.

Jittering like a meth addict in withdrawal...
My head is pounding.
I escape down to the kitchen.
Three minutes later, I am back.
There is seriously NOTHING for me to do in the kitchen.

MAF makes some huge saves.
The few customers we have stare at me when I hoot happily.
"Crosby takes a shot on a pass from Sykora..."
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

This makes my entire day.
Petr Sykora is in, nothing can go wrong.
Lalalalalalalalala!
We drive the net.
GO US!!!

First period ends.
Shots: Pens, 12 - Wings, 3.
Normally, this would be worth laughing at. Gleefully. Potentially with a hint of evil-genius laughter...
But, somehow there is no score.
This is disconcerting, but not as bad as being behind.
We'll take it.

I go down and do the, like, ten dishes that need doing.
I am back before intermission is over.
D-man tells me not to look at the TV; he loves him some calimari...
I am fairly certain the second period has not begun,
but I let him string me along because I need the distraction.
My head still feels like it's going to explode.

Second period. (Time is no longer of consequence.)
Miss the puck drop.
Come back up and Pens are up 1-0.
Jump! Jump! Jump! Jump Around! Jump Around! Jump up, jump up, and get down!
People think I am caaa-rraaaa-zzzyyyyy.
Screw 'em.
Stop even pretending to try to get work done. (There is none to be done anyways.)
Sit and watch the big screen.
Shots on Goal: Pens, 20 - Wings, 7
I suck on ginger ale like there is no tomorrow. Like I really need more sugar?
Could really use a beer. Or half a bottle of Jack. Or some Cobra Scorpion Whiskey.
Too bad I'm working.

A bunch of guys come in from the patio. Green polo shirt boy is actually pretty cute.
They are cheering for the Pens. But not Pens fans.
I have realized there is a VERY huge difference.
I consider myself a Pens fan. (DUH)
The television tells me it was Staal who scored.
Fist pump.
CALLED IT!

Hot damn, I am good.
Suddenly, I feel the power of Max Talbot's beard giving me faith.
Since someone I called on to score had scored, my predictions have not been disproved, and are, therefore, still valid.
HOPE!!!

Wings hit the post with 1:30 remaining.
SUUUCKAAAAHHZ!!!
Flower gives his pipes a good pat: Merci Monsieur Goalpost, it vaz nice of yous to help owt tonighz...

At some point in this period (it's 1:37 a.m. and I'm trying to do this sans notes from memory...), Flower sits on the puck.
Signature Flower, but this time it works in his favour.
Wings are DEEEE-NIIIEEED!

Mr. Green Polo Shirt tries to flirt with me.
I cannot take him seriously after he refers to the Pens as 'young guns' and then goes 'Huh?' when I mention how I've finally forgiven Feds for his pair of goals in 2004.
[headshake]
I mean, really, when someone scores the ONLY two goals in Game 7 of the Cup Final?
THAT'S MEMORABLE!
Even if you were cheering against the guy.

Detroit looks AWFUL. I'm full on cringing.
It's actually kind of concerning. I wonder if it's some sick trick.
Shots: Pittsburgh, 62183 bazillion - Detroit, 9

Haven't checked the time since the beginning of the game. No point starting now.
It's not like I didn't have another 15 minute break I can claim this is part of...
If I needed to. Which I don't. Because the pub is still deadsville.
No work for Mer to do.
May as well watch the game!

THIRD PERIOD.
We are 20 minutes from not losing the Cup.
Because I don't care what Danny B said: this game isn't about winning, it's about not losing.
Game 7 can be about winning.
We just need to get there.

Tralalala!
Several muscle groups are tempted to relax; but this is still a one goal game.
Not for long.
TK SCORES!!!
Off his own rebound. Just like Simba, I mean JStaal.
Didn't call this one.
DO NOT CARE.
Pens are up 2-0 in the second.
Several dozen muscle group ease up just a titch...

Mr. Green double high-fives me. GO PENS!!!
So does his red-headed friend, who reminds me way too much of Lauren. (Only Lauren's prettier.)
And his other friend.
Well, he tries.
And fails.
And punches me in the EYE.
And walks away laughing.
Asshole.
I am doubled over in pain; the guy has gone to sit back down.
He's sipping his beer with a 'what?' face like Baby Kane or Della's stretched across faux-innocent cheeks. I am on the clock, or I'd call him a rat fucking bastard with no manners and ask for his name so I can file assault charges.
If he'd even shown the smallest iota of caring that he'd just HIT ME IN THE EYE, I would be in a more forgiving mood.
Mr. Green realizes I'm actually in pain. Like fer reals, dude! Ya think?
Cause, you know, I'm usually such a wimp.
Fuck you.
The guy who hit me gets up. Says I can hit him if it'll make me feel better.

Actually, I'm seeing double you fucktard. I punch him in the kidney. Hard. I actually catch him off-guard. I refrain from punching him in the eye. Probably not the best thing to do my fourth day back (although, my bosses would fully back me up if he'd tried to complain).

He never apologizes.
Not even a simple, "Shit! Sorry!"
Nothing.
I am losing hope for men...

Go ice my eye for a minute.
Return a minute later and the Wings have scored. Jerks.

Doesn't matter.
We are going to win.
I know it.
This is glorious.
LALALALALALALA!!!
Feel lovely.

Also very nerve-wracking.
Especially when Dan Cleary has the most stunningly perfect break-away and we momentarily kiss our confidence good-BYE.
Flower saves the world.
GIGANTIC SIGHS.
Mr. Green is giving me weird looks because I'm yelling about a missed hooking call or something.
Then CBC mentions how the refs missed it. Mr. Green turns in disconcerted shock.
He seems unfamiliar with the concept of a girl knowing more about hockey than him.
Idiot.
I make some joke about the last time the Cup final went to seven games.
"Oh yeah, Calgary and the Canes."
No, you idiot, Calgary played the Bolts.
Edmonton played the Canes.
Two years later.
Really. Honestly. This makes me sad.

I turn back to the game. Yell like hell when someone (Cooke I think) makes some uneccesarily violent hit that I think is going to be penalized. (In the end, he isn't.) At least it's the PK and not a power play.
"Uh, wouldn't a power play be better?" Mr. Green asks.
Seriously?
I thought you said you were a Pens fan!
(I didn't believe you for a second, but I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.)

Lesson for the night, ducklings: Practice safe sex. Use condoms. There are enough idiots in the world already.

Clock runs down.
2-1 Pens. Still.
The adrenaline is surging through me.
Game over.

JUMP AROUND!!! JUMP AROUND!!!
JUMP UP JUMP UP AND GET DOWN!!!

Back to work.
There is finally something for me to do.
It's at least 8 p.m.
Dishes get done.

8:30 p.m.
Taking clean dishes back up to the pub.
Get attacked by BJ. Forgot COMEPLETELY that she'd said she was going to stop by during the game. Clearly that was a lie, but she's here now.
E. is coming.
I'll take my "break". (BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!)
Order some dinner (because I couldn't eat before due to vomit-inducing nerves).
Go down, wrap up some stuff, come back up at 8:45. Collect my BLT and fries and a drink and go find BJ on the patio.

Seriously, have I worked at ALL tonight???

Munchmunchmunch.
This boy D. is there. He laughs because the first thing I say to BJ is that I've felt like crap all day.
She asks why.
"My boy asked to be traded."
"What, Dany?" she demands.
I nod.
SHE EFFING FIST-PUMPS!!! (the bee-awtch)
Then she slaps her hand over her mouth.
"That was probably the least supportive thing I could have said, eh?"
Yes BJ, yes it was.
D. is mildly confused.
"Your boy?"
"Dany Heatley." BJ explains. D. raises an eyebrow.

This is the beginning of a saga. I can just feel it.
...


And that's when I fell asleep, apparently. What a lovely night to relive...

Monday, 27 July 2009

Because I haven't done one of these in a while...

Fanfic. I loathe it (most of it, there are a few rare exceptions), but it's like the crack-cocaine of the internet, or reality TV, or a 23 car pile up: you know you shouldn't stare, but YOU CANNOT LOOK AWAY. That said, I still read it. Even though it's mostly awful and disappointing and leaves me with a sour taste (not unlike arsenic) in my mouth mostly because, even though I ought to know that it's going to disappoint me, it still annoys me when my literary sensibilities are offended in the most violent manner imaginable.

Suffice to say, I have a whole bunch of pet peeves... enough for more than one post... this is the merely the beginning.


Top 10 Things I NEVER Want to See Again in Fanfic

10. The words "Will you be my boyfriend/girlfriend?" No one says this. Unless they are thirteen. You ask someone out to dinner for god sake. Or to a movie. Anyone with half a brain or more than sixteen years life experience knows this.

9. Continuity errors. This really deserves a post of its own. Seriously. Is it so hard to keep track of the day of the week it's supposed to be in your story?

8. The shifting from the past tense to the present tense WITHIN A FUCKING SENTENCE. How on Earth did you pass ninth grade if you do not know that this is a BIG, FAT structural no-no? Oh, you're IN ninth grade? Well, stop fucking writing and go study for that English test you're bound to fail. If you've over fifteen and still doing this, you are going to fail in university. Seriously. And if, God forbid (really, GOD should forbid this...) you have a BA and you are still doing this, I am certain those profs appreciated the sexual favours... but you're still an idiot.

7. Names like Faren, Ellysia, Rachella, Portia, Catheryne, et cetera (and et cetera is two effing words, just so you know. It's Latin. Look it up, it means "and all that follows" or "and other things"). Unless there is a very good reason why your character's idiot parents would curse your character with a unpronoucable/unspellable name, NAME THEM SOMETHING FUCKING NORMAL. Like Christina, or Emily, or Lauren, or Melissa.

6. People do not say what they mean. Why do your characters? It's MUCH more fun to have them be bumbling idiots like normal human beings.

5. Do not have your character proclaim to be the type of girl who isn't friends with a lot of girls because she hates the drama, only to have said character blow up in someone's face at the slightest provacation. And certainly do not have her profess this "no-drama character trait" at top volume in a screaming match proving just how drama-drama she really is. Unless you mean for her to be a gigantic, bloody hypocrite. Then go right ahead.

4. Misuse of homonyms. They're, there and their: not the same thing. Not interchangable. I am devoting an entire post to this (at a later date)... it's THAT BAD. What the fuck do they teach in school? Seriously. This makes me mourn for the seemingly terminally-ill future of American literature.

3. Is it so hard to edit? Proof-read? USE SPELL CHECK??? For the love of all that is sacred, YOU JUST NEED TO CLICK AN EFFING BUTTON IN MICROSOFT WORD!!! When you fail to do this, you look like an idiot.

2. Would it kill you to write in the third person? Even the limited third? It would? Oh, sorry. Please, go die a premature literary death.

1. If I read the words "deepen the kiss" (or any temporal variation of these words) ever again, I WILL gouge my eyes out with a rusty spork. I'm not joking. It's the stupidest thing I've ever read. Find a better way of saying this. The word "deepen" makes me think of things like holes in the ground to China. Or suffocating. Or snakes. Pits of them, like in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just stop.


This is not all I have to say... there will be a post up soon about misusing homonyms and horrifically common misspellings... and pretty much any other etymological faux-pas I feel like ranting about.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Dear Future Husband

You better be the type of guy who can do this and love it.





Because this is the kind of wedding I want.
Screw traditional. Screw girly.
Screw the fairytale princess B.S.
I want a gong show wedding, complete with a fabulous dancing wedding party.
Prepare your groomsmen...

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Welcome to the Big League: SFU edition


NCAA football is like the Canadian junior hockey of American college athletics. It's the sport everyone cares about. They are the teams people follow if they don't have a pro franchise in their hometown.

You have your Division I schools (sort of like the CHL) who are just about the best you can get. If you play Div I (and you don't screw up by drinking too much or flunking out or getting arrested for one too many DUIs), you've pretty much got a stellar shot at a pro sports career. (And even then, sadly, the DUIs probably won't prevent a pro career so long as the athlete is not injured...)

You have your Division II schools (the NCAA's provincial junior A) who are a step down, but still pretty darn good. They're the guys who just might make it, who you pay attention to just in case, because you never know when one of them will crack the starting lineup in the big league...

And you have your Division III schools (essentially, provincial junior B) who are... well, to be polite, they're the folks who can't quite cut it at the highest level and are probably never going to make a career of it. But they love it, and so they play. Playing makes them happy, so they do it mostly for themselves. And sometimes, on rare occasions, the odd player takes a roundabout route, usually a little longer than the conventional path, and makes the jump to the big time.

NCAA status has also long been a means by which student-athletes rank schools, a way for people to organize universities in terms of something other than academics (even if most of the best schools end up being Division I, there are some Division I schools that are not necessarily the most challenging academically).

For years, the NCAA has been an exclusively American ranking system. Those days, however, are now gone. Last Friday, my beloved academic hell-hole, Simon Fraser University, was granted NCAA status. We are the first non-U.S. school to be admitted into the NCAA, but something tells me we might not be the last.

my beloved hell-hole... looking like heaven on earth for once

SFU is a football school. I don't really get football (yeah, yeah, I'll figure it out before I move to Steel-town), but apparently we're not that bad and beginning in the 2011-2012 academic year, the SFU Clan (our varsity teams are all "the Clan" - it's a Scottish thing... B.C.'s weird) -specifically our varsity men's football team- will be playing in the Great Northwestern Athletic Conference of the NCAA against schools in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.

Now, something Americans probably don't know: Canadian universities aren't allowed to give full athletic scholarships. The CIS actually forbids it. But, seeing as SFU will now be a member of the NCAA, they will be the first Canadian university capable of offering the types of scholarships usually only available to Canadian students if they go to the United States.

The repercussions of this are actually kind of huge. It means that our athletics department is going to become even more of a priority for the school. It means that the kids in Kinesiology are going to have more student-athletes to treat in their practicums, and it means that SFU is going to be come unique amongst Canadian schools in that it will now be able to give exceptional athletes a free ride.

Up until now, Canadian schools have only ever been able to grant scholarships based on academic merit. This means that even if someone is the best running back in the province, he still has to meet the academic requirements to be admitted to a given university, and, if he wants a scholarship, he'd better have the grades to get one, because it's the only way he can. Over the years, I've noticed that a great many of the best student athletes are also very good students. I'm almost positive it has something to do with a work ethic that simply crosses over between sports and school work. I would be concerned about academics if it weren't for the fact that the NCAA has academic requirements its athletes are forced to maintain in order to play.

There is going to be a big debate about the cost of playing in the NCAA. No other Canadian university has ever had to budget for athletic scholarships before, and there are going to be some people who are hell bent on trying to prove that this move to the NCAA is going to cost us too much. But clearly the NCAA itself has deemed SFU capable of competing at a certain level, even without scholarships. We're going to be a Division II school. There is, as our athletic director was quote in our school paper, "a real magic" to the intitals 'NCAA' and, personally, I think that will attract students. Why go to the States if you can play Div II college football at a Canadian school? It may not seem like a big deal, but it will be to some. For some, being close to home, being in Canada will make SFU seem like a really amazing alternative to some state school in the midwest. And that can only be a good thing.

The thing I won't mind, though? Not living on the mountain while they're building a football stadium on Terry Fox Field. Because I was in rez when they built the new gym. And that was the furthest thing from fun.

The new gym is the part of that massive building that is horizontal rather than vertical slabs of cement... that building on the far left? That's Shell House, the residence I lived for two years. If that photo would blow up, I might be able to point out my window... because it looked out over the construction of the new gym, and when you're up until 4 a.m. working on a paper, and then jackhammers wake you up at 6:45 a.m.? Let's just say that it's shocking that I was never arrested for assaulting the idiot construction workers in a fit of sleep-deprived rage.

The only bit that kind of sucks about SFU becoming an NCAA school? It means that SFU hockey will be forced to improve, but I won't be around to watch when it does...

Why I love my friends...

Air Canada

Evgeni Malkin Days


My dearest, favouritest Russian,
Thank you for taking your rightful place in Valhalla with the other hockey deities. The third round of the playoffs... that was something else. That was what dreams and blingee are made of. I am proud to be able to say that the first piece of NHL apparel I ever purchased was your t-shirt that seems to be lucky since you make incredible plays (either amazing goals or cruicial assists to 3OT game-winners) whenever I wear it. I think I should wear it more often this coming season...

Please have a relaxing summer, have a lovely birthday, have a ball with the Cup in Magnitogorsk, and make sure you keep eating Mama Malkin's borscht so you can come back to the Burgh ready to have a career season next year.

lovelovelove,
Mer and (most of) the Gong Show Girls


Late Edit

Special thanks to 25superstar for sending us this awesome photo of Mr. Conn Smythe himself. Yes, she took it. She's just that BAMF.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Turn downtime into uptime

Indeed... the title of the post is the tagline on adverts on the buses in Van for this one cell phone service provider. Well, Telus, I think you're full of fail. Time on the bus isn't even downtime, it's nothingtime. It's let-your-mind-go-gloriously-blank-on-the-way-to-work-because-it's-far-too-early-to-be-awake time.

Bus-time is not downtime. Downtime, real downtime, is sacred. So much so, that I make a point of reveling in it. I love downtime. I need downtime. I'm not getting any right now.

Which is why I haven't posted anything resembling a normal Mer-length rant in forever. It's not that the hockey season is over, it's that I'm working 5 nights a week after trying to write all day. Sadly, this isn't going to end for another few weeks (at which time I will have a 3 week respite from the insanity before Labour Day... joooyyyyyy... >:( that's my unhappy face.

The only bright spot on the horizon (that isn't Christmas) is my upcoming trip to Buffalo. That said... Do I have my plane ticket? Big FAT no. Do I have my shifts at work covered? Yeah, I should get on that, eh? Am I worried? Are you kidding?

In true Mer-fashion, I'm sure it will all work out... I mean, it has to. So it will.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

I was, indeed, this uncool at age 8

Then again, in 1991, fluorescent was in...

Friday, 17 July 2009

J'vie dans un rève...


So the interview that links to is in French. It's shocking how much smarter Kristopher Letang sounds in French. It's like he plays dumb for the fans in Pittsburgh, and when he gets home he lets himself be all eloquent again... and as much as he's adorable as sin on KDKA, I like him better on Radio-Canada. (For those of you unfamiliar with Canadian broadcasters, Radio-Canada is French CBC - as in it's the same organization, just the French division.) I love him when he's being all silly, but I like it way more when talks about how amazing Mario is as a role model and how the Penguins are, for the most part, a highly disciplined bunch who follow Sid's lead and don't go out partying like some young NHLers *coughthehabscough*

Parts to squeee about:

6:20 ish --> Mario sent the boys a text message before game seven that said, essentially, play your best and I'll see you at centre-ice.

8:25 --> The smile. My knees just turned to gooooooo......

9:00 --> Je vie dans un rève... KRIS DOESN'T WANT TO LEAVE PITTSBURGH!!! Not even to play for the Habs. (His words, "maybe when the time comes... by the time I'm thirty.") For the record, this is like a kid from Baw-stawn not wanting to play for the Bruins... it's almost sacrilege. Almost. The "French Connection" and playing for Mario (who was his childhood idol) somehow makes it okay. Because Mario is kind of like a Jesus in Quebec. (Maurice Richard was God.)

11:00 --> France: Do you think Pittsburgh has what it takes to be a dynasty?
Kris: Yes.
Mer: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!



The sick thing? I've been thinking in French lately. I caught myself doing it at work tonight. I actually answered someone's ENGLISH question en francais. Weirdness. Clearly I am homesick for eastern Canada where it's strange NOT to be bilingual...

Now, who wants to make me a .gif of him at about 8:24 when he's talking about Gill? Someone's got to know how... I pay in cookies and lovelovelove...

A Great Day for Chills


Will this ever get old?
I hope not.


Inquiry Results and other things that Make Mer Cry

I am about to ruin your day. Sorry.

According to an official inquiry in the matter, the Avangard Omsk doctors aren't to blame for Alexei Cherepanov's death last fall. You can read the full story here.

An autopsy revealed he had myocarditis. The article freaks me out a bit. Mostly this one part:
"...doctors had no way of knowing about Cherepanov's condition, according to the statement - which seemed to lay more blame on Cherepanov than anyone else.

It said medical experts suspect Cherepanov felt unwell because of his condition but hid the fact from team doctors for fear of being pulled from games."

I hate when I'm right about things like this:
"...imagine you're an 19 year-old hockey player who doesn't know he has myocarditis (an inflammation of the heart muscle, which results in not enough blood getting to the heart). Your lungs keep hurting. You keep getting winded. You don't feel so good on the whole. You're getting tired too easily. You think there's something wrong with you. That maybe you can't cut it. Maybe you're not strong enough to make it in the big league..."
Sometimes reality frightens me. I almost wish I'd been wrong about this. But I knew I wasn't. I am rarely wrong about stuff like this anymore. Somehow, I always seem to know things I simply shouldn't.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

An Open Letter to Maxime Tablot and Kristopher Letang

Cher Kristopher et Maxime,
My favourite boys... My belated congratulations on winning the Stanley Cup! I knew you would do it (not could, would). After the 2008 loss to Detroit, all I wanted was a re-match. Redemption. I never gave up believing that you would make it back to the Cup final. And you did. And so did they. And I got the rematch I wanted, but never really believed I would get.

You didn't let me down. You rarely do. This season was an incredible ride! But now it is over and we must look forward, into the coming season. The schedule for the upcoming season was released today, and I'm already trying to figure out how the heck I am going to afford to come to Pittsburgh to watch you cream my Senators at Christmas-time. (I'll be the chick in the Heatley jersey cheering like a hellcat when you two score.)

Then I remembered that this will be the team's last season in the Igloo. And I immediately tried to figure out if there was any way I could be there for the last game. The last regular season game. But even that might not be the last game because you are bound to make the playoffs again next spring. Which got me thinking about when the last game ever in Mellon Arena will be, and what it will be and suddenly I couldn't breathe.

I've been watching the Pens play in the Igloo since I was a little girl, and there is only one thing I can say, with absolute certainty, that I have never seen happen in that arena, one thing NO Pens fan has ever borne witness to in that forty-six year old arena you call home. And they're tearing it down, so there will never be another shot, so...

Can you please raise the Cup on home ice?

How utterly, unbelievably, heartbreakingly AMAZING would it be for the last game EVER in the Igloo be a home team win in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final? I nearly cried just thinking about it.

Lauren called it a fairytale ending, and it really would be. You're boys, but don't pretend you don't want -with every bone in your bodies- that fairytale ending just as much as I do. Don't pretend you don't get all heart-bursty when you see a copy of Le chandail de hockey in a bookstore or stop and really look at the back of a Canadian five dollar bill.
I know you do. Max, you said that June 12th was the best day of your entire life. I don't doubt for a millisecond that it was. Kris, you won the Cup for a lost friend and nearly cried on national television. I was actually crying. I won't let anyone tell me that anyone in the league has more heart than the two of you.

I wouldn't ask this of you if I thought you were not up to the task. I believe that you are. I believe that you two, more than anyone else, are capable of making this insane goal a reality.

Over the past fifteen months, you have both played like the beasts you are and you have scored me a ton of goals (I have a list, and Max I am willing to buy you a drink per goal, so keep scoring and you'll be drinking for free when I move to Pitt). Okayyyy, sure, you may not have scored them FOR ME, but you tend to score when I ask (or take shots that get the primary assist when someone deflects them into the net) so it really does seem like you're scoring them for me. And it's fun, in my ridiculous little mind, to pretend that you can hear me when I ask for you to pull out all the stops and make real the near impossible. And then you DO.

You both do ridiculous things sometimes. From scoring clutch goals in the last 35 seconds of Cup Final elimination games, to scoring an OT game-winner as your first ever playoff goal, to (repeatedly) scoring thirty seconds after I ask you to, to scoring your team's only two goals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final (WHEN YOU HAVE SID AND GENO ON YOUR TEAM)... frankly, you two are so full of clutch, it hurts my little heart.

I know a Stanley Cup victory on home ice is a tall order. But, admit it, you want to win the Cup again next year ANYWAYS, so how unreasonable is it to try to make sure you can do it with home ice advantage? Logically, you know you'd already like that, too. And imagine how it could end! Imagine how LOUD it would be in the Igloo, how insane Carson Street would be that night, how much the entire city would explode with joy. I've lived in three hockey towns and spent time in a half dozen others and the only thing I can think of that would possibly EVER compare is a Team Canada win at the Vancouver Games. And, let's be honest, you both know there's about a 1 in 100 chance you'll make the Olympic team (this time around). And, when you get down to it, the party in Pittsburgh might be even better than that because it will be summer and your fans will be camped out on the lawn (NBC can SUCK IT) and in every sports bar in metropolitan Pittsburgh. And because Pens fans are unlike any other I have ever met.

I know I've already asked for so, so much. So I'm not asking you to do this for me, I'm asking you to do it for all of your fans, for yourselves and your families, for the City of Pittsburgh, and for the Igloo itself: after all these years, it deserves to watch its Penguins raise the Cup
on home ice. Watching it happen in the last NHL game it will ever host would be more than appropriate; endings don't get much more fairytale than that.

Max, you insane, die-hard romantic fool, you, please make this happen. And Kristopher, babe, win the Cup for you this time, okay?


l'amour fou mes chers,
Merise

Happy Birthday Mr. President!

Happy Birthday TK... we'd sing to you, too, if you weren't in the Soo...




Sunday, 12 July 2009

Following the Faux Hawk




Mikey, it really is so easy to love you....and mock you incessantly.




Well, well, well! It seems as though my favorite man in Scarlet has been invited to Canada's 2010 Olympic men's hockey team orientation camp. I am so proud!

I am also well aware that he's going to have to work his cute lil behind off to make the the Olympic team. He'll have some stiff competition from the likes of Jay Bouwmeester, Dan Boyle, Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, Robyn Regehr, Dion Phaneuf, Marc Staal, Shea Weber, François Beauchemin, Brent Burns, Drew Doughty, Stéphane Robidas, Dan Hamhuis, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

Since the competition is so stiff, I'm here to offer Mike a little extra motivation to make the team. If he makes the Olympic team, I will purchase his Team Canada jersey and where it proudly in Vancouver for the Games. That's right, I am making a bet with the universe.






I figure that purchasing his Olympic jersey is my way around the shame of owning a Mike Green jersey in Pittsburgh. So please, Mikey, do it for me!








Orientation Camp will run from August 24-27 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary. I don't know when the final roster will be announced (if you know, please inform me), but you can guarantee that if Mike Green makes the cut, I will cry tears of joy. Yes, I'm that big of a dork.




Stop looking at me like that, Michael.

Friday, 10 July 2009

The Meronary

I'm thinking this might be a fun project, this defining-things-the-way-my-brain-does thing... so I may do this for a bit because I'm amusing myself thinking of things. Also I had a dream last night that involved a slightly epic house party, keg-stands, the police being called and Max Talbot and I jumping off a roof into a pool (no, not Mario's). Woke up laughing. Best start to a day so far this week. By a LONG SHOT. As a result of this ridiculous dream, I have been full of Mad-Max-Love today.

More definitions. Some of you may have heard these before. :P

clutch: adj. 1) (sports) Maxime Talbot.




(not old yet...)

Synonyms: Petr Sykora, Steve Mason, Sidney Crosby, Bill Guerin, Johnny Toews.
Antonyms: Marian Hossa, Dany Heatley.

offside...
Mon cher Maxime,
J'espère que votre chirurgie était un grand succès et je te souhaite un rétablissement super-rapide!
l'amour fou,
Merise


rakish grin: adj. & n. Kristopher Letang's half-smile. Please see accompanying illustration.


More tomorrow, if I'm procrastinating...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The English Language According to Mer

jailbait: n. Taylor Launter.

This child should not be allowed to exist. Fer serious. He shares a birthday with Max Talbot. Read into that in whatever way you wish.

We are SO on Team Jacob...

Rick Mercer is my Hero. Still.

Out of 300 million people, some of them have to be idiots... (thankfully none of the ones I know)





Best part @ 5:17. Waaaiiittt foooor iiiiit.... Dear Child, I love you. lovelovelove, Mer

No joke. This was a segment on 'This Hour Has 22 Minutes' and then on 'The Rick Mercer Show'. For a long time. Youtube him.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Sidney Crosby Days

Happy Sidney Crosby Days! We are now 87 days away from the start of the 2009-2010 season. I'm getting excited already! It's going to be a long summer, fer sher.

Since we already know how fabulous our Captain is, we're not going to bore you with stats that have been reiterated throughout each every season in which Sidney Crosby has been in the NHL. So, sit back and enjoy the beauty and wonder of our Captain in pictures (and video)!





I may or may not have fallen in love with Sidney Crosby after watching this video...







Ok, I lied. I am going to include some numbers for your reading pleasure.
What can I say, I can't resist fun facts!


Sidney Crosby Fun Facts

-Holds Penguins franchise record for assists in a season by a rookie (63).
-Holds Penguins franchise record for points in a season by a rookie (102).
-First rookie to record 100 points and 100 penalty minutes in a season.
-Youngest player in NHL history to record 100 points in a season.
-Youngest player in NHL history to record 200 career points.
-Youngest player in NHL history to have 2 consecutive 100 point seasons.
-Youngest player to be voted to the NHL All-Star Game.
-Youngest player in NHL history to win the Art Ross Trophy.
-Youngest player in NHL history to win the Lester B. Pearson Award.
-Youngest player in NHL history to be named to the First All-Star Team.
-Youngest player in NHL history to be named team captain.
-Youngest captain in NHL history to win the Stanley Cup.
[Mer's thoughts: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!]




In addition to fun facts, I also like to giggle - quite often and for long periods of time. That's why The Onion is so clutch. The fine folks over there enjoy showing us a whole new side of Sidney Crosby.

Call To Arms!

In honor of Sid's birthday, I will, in typical Peachy fashion, be doing a blow-out birthday post and I need your help! Give 'er the ol' college try and send me your best Sidney Crosby Blingee creations!

If you would like a Blingee of your favorite player included in a future Summer Feature post, by all means, send that too!

Please send your Blingees to pensfan8725@gmail.com All Sid Blingees must be received by August 1, 2009.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Patrick Kane Days

We are Patrick Kane days away from the start of the 2009-2010 NHL season. So far, I'd have to say it's going pretty fast. I'm sure within the next week or so, the hockey withdrawal will hit and I'll once again have the NHL Network on 24 hours a day, just to hear the sound of skate blades cutting into the ice.

Since we are 88 days away from the puck dropping on yet another season, it is time we learn a bit about one of our favorite Chicago Blackhawks.


He is so darn adorable!
I just want to squeeze his cheeks and give him a noogie!



Pat was born on November 19, 1988 (hence his jersey number) in Buffalo, New York and was selected first overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.

The London Knights drafted Pat in the 5th round of the 2004 OHL Midget Draft, but he choose to not play for the Knights until the 2006–07 season. Instead, Pat played for the United States U-18 National Team Development Program where he led the team in scoring with 102 points. In 2007, he was selected to represent the United States at the World Junior Championships, where he was recognized as one of the tournament's all-stars.

During his only season with the London Knights, Pat amassed 145 points, the OHL scoring title, and was recognized as the OHL's Rookie of the Year.



Pat made his NHL debut on October 4, 2007 against the Minnesota Wild. Two days later, he notched his first assist and first shoot-out goal, a game-winner, against Dominik Hasek of the Detroit Red Wings.

On October 19, 2007, he scored his first NHL goal in regulation on Jose Theodore of the Colorado Avalanche.

On November 2, 2007, Pat was named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October after tallying 5 goals and 11 assists in 12 games.





On June 12, 2008, Pat was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy, beating teammate Jonathan Toews and Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom for NHL Rookie of the Year.




Pat recorded his first career hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks on May 11, 2009. The Blackhawks won the game 7-5 en route to their first Western Conference Championship game since 1995.

>




Patrick Kane Fun Facts

On the road, Pat shares a room with team captain, Jonathan Toews.

He will be featured on the cover of EA Sports' NHL 10.

He loves tuna sandwiches and playing basketball.






How can you not love that face?! I mean, seriously.

And if Patty Kane's silly face doesn't make you giggle, this surely will.

Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert McNamara


Lesson #1 Empathize with your ememy.
Lesson #2 Rationality will not save us.
Lesson #3 There's something beyond oneself.
Lesson #4 Maximize efficiency.
Lesson #5 Proportionality should be a guideline in war.
Lesson #6 Get the data.
Lesson #7 Belief and seeing are both often wrong.
Lesson #8 Be prepared to re-examine your reasoning.
Lesson #9 To do good you may need to engage in evil.
Lesson #10 NEVER SAY NEVER.
Lesson #11 You can't change human nature.


I'm not American. Nor do I really wish to be, because I happen to like being Canadian. But there are some people I still consider to be true American heroes, people who I respect and would try to emulate were I an American citizen, and who, even though I am not an American citizen, I try to emulate a little anyways.

At the top of this list is Robert McNamara. One-time president of the Ford Motor Company, Secretary of Defence under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and president of the World Bank, he is almost certainly one of the most influential men of the twentieth century, both in business and in politics.

Three years ago, I watched The Fog of War in a class about the theories of war, peace and conflict resolution. I ended up writing a paper on the film, but more so on him on who McNamara was, and the way he thought and the principles behind so many of the (often unpopular) decisions that he made. He was involved in some of the most newsworthy events of the past century, among them the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War (there's a reason why it was often called McNamara's War). His support for nuclear proliferation ( in the 1960s) and his subsequent call for nuclear disarmament (beginning in 1982) baffled some, but his reasoning behind this change of opinion was based on his perception that needs had changed and that the original reasons behind building a second-strike capacity had been forgotten and nuclear proliferation was no longer a defense tactic, but something that was building increased fear, resentment and mistrust between the two Cold War superpowers. He was not afraid to think differently, and that was most likely one of the reasons why he was so influential. He revolutionized aspects of the auto industry, the American military, and the way in which the U.S.A. engaged in war. His decisions often earned him as many enemies as he earned friends, but his many accomplishments cannot be ignored.

In addition to a 7-year stint at thePentagon and a 13 year tenure as President of the World Bank, McNamara McNamara wrote ten books, six of which I have read in whole or in part. My favourites were In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lesson of Vietnam and Wilson’s ghost: reducing the risk of conflict, killing, and catastrophe in the 21st century. If you have some time this summer, read something he wrote, even if it's only "Nuclear Weapons and the Atlantic Alliance" the article he co-wrote for the spring 1982 issue of Foreign Affairs. Even if you don't agree with him about anything, he is worth reading simply because of how much he influenced the course of modern history.

If you haven't seen The Fog of War, rent it. It should be available at most public libraries and many commercial video rental stores. It's one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. It's two hours of your life that you will gladly have wasted.

Rest in Peace, Robert.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Happy Fourth of July



This was supposed to be a post dedicated to the American Hero; I had been planning it for weeks. On Thursday, that all went to shit. I will remember July 2, 2009 for the rest of my life, just like I will remember where I was and what I was doing on February 26, 2008.

I'm sure you could argue that I still should have done my post. You're right, I could have, theoretically. However, I'm not. It will be a very long time (if ever) before I can talk about this without a) getting angry; b) crying; c) wanting to kick a puppy; or d) all of the above. I can guarantee you right now, the first time the Pens go on the 5-on-3 in 2009-10, I will cry. No doubt about it.








Since the Fourth of July is not about or heartbreak, or feelings of betrayal, let's move this party in the direction of drunken revelry where it belongs!







Happy Fourth of July!

!


Friday, 3 July 2009

You're getting off easy this time, buster!

I agreed to cover my friend's shift so he could go back to Kentucky for the week. When he said 'next Friday' last week, it didn't really click that he meant July 3rd. In my brain, the rat's nest that she is, there was an extra week added in there before I was supposed to escape Van.

Not so much.

By the time I realized my mistake, he had his plane ticket and I'm stuck with his shift. And the one person who could have switched shifts with me tomorrow didn't feel like it. Not couldn't, wouldn't. As Lauren reminded me earlier, somehow, karmically, this will come back to bite him in the ass. Not that I will deliberately be a jerk in the future, but I sure as hell haven't been given any reason to accommodate his scheduling needs...

The unfortunate side-effect of my attempt to be nice: I don't get to go to Kelowna this weekend to drink wine and tear a strip off Dany Heatley (if I could find him) for being a self-serving S.O.B. who's following in the grande old Senators tradition of making the front office's collective life a nightmare.

He actually got called the "Most Hated Man in Hockey" on TSN today. I was momentarily confused, I was under the impression that this title was held by Chris Pronger by default until he announces his retirement. My bad... Then again, it's been a while since Ottawa got its hate on because one of our players was being an unparralleled douchebag. I thought we outgrew that phase in 2001. Apparently I was wrong. Turns out my favourite team is just a spineless, talent-sucking, draft-bust magnet with no real clue how to draft well and a really big weakness for showy players who then proceed to disappoint us spectacularly in one way or another, usually resulting in one or more public-relations nightmares.

Except Daniel Alfredsson. I love Alfie; he is a giant, ginger, Ikea teddy-bear Captain. I don't care that he was handed the C because Alexei Yashin was a fucking asshole who wouldn't honour his contract (AGAIN. I could do a whole post on this... but I won't). Alfie still deserved Captaincy. Alfie deserves A LOT of things. He probably deserves more success than he has had with Ottawa. His loyalty boggles my mind.

As does the fact that Ottawa management hasn't figured out that they need more guys like him and Ryan Shannon and Nick Foligno, and less guys like Dany Heatley and Ray Emery and Wade Redden. (Oh, wait, we got rid of Emery and Redden... maybe someone is FINALLY beginning to learn a lesson here... ONLY TOOK SEVENTEEN YEARS!!! There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon... or maybe that's the train barrelling down on us. Can't tell yet...)

I was fully prepared to mope around for most of the night at work due to the No-Kelowna news. Then, just before my shift started, I felt the compulsive need to check the TSN website. Worst. Plan. Ever. (Well, since watching 'On the Ice and Beyond' the other night.) Scuderi to LA for 13.6M$ over 4 years. VOMIT. If I had a cell phone, I'd have been dialing Kylie to make sure she hadn't deliberately driven herself off the Hot Metal Bridge into the Mon or singlehandedly consumed a mickey of Guerin Cobra Scorpion Whiskey. I don't have a cell phone. So I just PRAYED. (Yes, seriously.)

The only way I can deal with this news is to cling to the rationale that, like it or not, Scuderi deserves that pay raise (he made less than Kris Letang this season!) and that, like it or not, the Pens couldn't afford him. In Shero I Trust. Even if we lost an AMAZING defenceman. If we had spent 3+ million a year on Scuderi, how in heaven would we afford to re-sign Gonchar next year? And how would we afford to give Kris Letang a contract-extension? And is it worth maybe losing Godard, or Dupuis, or Sykora, or all three in the next few weeks, just to keep Scuderi?

It's unfortunate that not everyone is willing to give Shero a massive discount, but with the money he isn't paying Robert, he can do a lot of things. With an extra three and a half million dollars over the next four years, the Pens will have enough to keep other people we love, including Kris Letang (who goes RFA in a year) and Gonchar (who's UFA the same day). I'm hoping Shero signs Letang to a three-year contract or something later this summer or in the fall, the way he did with Simba last year. This may just be my own little delusion, but I get the distinct impression that Letang will give Shero a serious discount in order to stay in Pittsburgh and have a shot at winning the Cup again. But, like I said, that may be a complete fabrication borne of my subconscious desire for him to be a Penguin FOREVER so I never have to stop cheering for him.

Which is what I had hoped would happen with Heatley when he signed a 6-year contract with the Sens. But no. Really, it's probably a good thing I'm not going to Kelowna. I can't afford to pay anyone back if they had to post my bail...

Dany,
You're getting off easy this time, buster. Don't think I won't come up there and kick your ass myself if you drag this out a la Mats-Sundin-meets-Alexei-Yashin... I am SEVERELY unimpressed right now.
death glares and a few of Owain's skull-fuck shots,
Mer


The only thing that could make me forget about the Dany-drama is if Ray Shero signs Kristopher Letang to a contract extension. I might cry. For joy. So long as the concept of le swooon remaining a Penguin didn't result in my mind being instantly wiped clear of coherent thought more thoroughly and poetically than Stephenie Meyer was ever able to describe in Twilight.

Some days are just so arse you need a little bit of instant amnesia. Kind of like today. Amnesia kind of like this:

Guuuuhh. Sacré Crisse, you are pretty.

What were we saying?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Of all the girls, in all the bars, in all the world... he has to hit on me???

You're drinking beers with friends,
laughing your ass off trying to forget that Ray Shero hasn't signed Scuderi yet.
(WHAT IS STOPPING HIM???)
You go up to the bar to order another pitcher of Keith's.

That's when it happens.
Someone slips their arm around your waist.
You are nowhere where you expect such a thing.
You do not know anyone in this town well enough for them to do that.

"You look like you need a drink," a voice says in your ear.
Fuck yes, I need a drink, you think.
It's NHL Free Agency, I need about a dozen of them, please and thank you.
As he leans forward to order you one, you turn to face him.
And you BALK.
You are speechless.

(credit for this creative masterpiece goes out to WrapAroundCurl)


Oh, of all the girls, in all the bars, in all the world... he had to hit on YOU.
You aren't sure how you didn't recognize that voice...
You aren't sure whether to laugh or cry at the irony of the situation.
Then you realize that choice has been made for you: you are already laughing your ass off.

The music changes to a song you love.
Dance Floor Anthem.
That's Mike Green's song. Why is it playing NOW, of all times?
Suddenly, people are here who shouldn't be.
People you keep WISHING were here, but can't be for a very long list of practical reasons.
People who are in Pennsylvania, for the most part.
People who would know to stop you from doing and saying what you are about to do and say.
Mostly because they know that no good can come of it.
That's when you realize you're dreaming... you have to be.
Which means you can SAY ANYTHING.
(Cue John Cussack and his faboo ghetto blaster outside your bedroom window...)

Suddenly, you can't think fast enough. There are too many things to say.
Some of them could get you arrested. Some of them could get you sucker punched.
Some of them could get you laid.

You wonder if it's even worth mentioning how, until June 8th, he was your favourite player
(aside from Mario Lemieux) or how you stood up for him in 2003 when everyone else was calling him a fucking murderer. Or how you've defended him ever since.
You understand that he wants to win.
You understand that he wants more ice time than Cory Clouston was giving him.
Then something occurs to you.

"Did you honestly tell Murray that you and Clouston had 'philosophical' differences???"

And you wake up.

Wayne Gretzky Days....Kinda

Ok, between jobs and school work and life, we've kind of dropped the ball on our summer feature. There are now 92 days before the start of the season, which means, we missed Wayne Gretzky Days. Sorry about that.

Have no fear! Once it gets rolling, I promise, the summer feature will be in full-swing and we'll deliver the goods.

We promised you Wayne Gretzky, so here he is.






The Great One has his own website. Who knew? I didn't.
(Mer did.)


Since we are major failboats on this one, if you're looking for some stats or some fun facts on Mr. Gretzky, here you go.

Thanks for letting us slide on this one. The rest of 'em will be killer, fer sher.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

And the Alexei Yashin Award for Most Ungrateful Egomaniac goes to...

Today was Canada Day. And the beginning of NHL Free Agency. It gave me headache. Marian Ho$$a, in particular, gave me a headache. So I went to the beach and lay in the sun for about 5 hours. Unfortunately, that also gave me a headache. Then fireworks, which I love. But also gave me a bit of a headache. Mostly, today was just fated to be one big long headache.

Dany Heatley is still giving me a headache. If he hasn't signed something somewhere or withdrawn his request to be traded by Friday at 5 p.m. Pacific time, he better be prepared to have a quiet weekend, because if he ventures out he risks being accosted by me. And I can pretty much guarantee that if I come face to face with him, anything that comes out of my mouth, drunk or sober, is NOT going to be polite, forgiving or necessarily PG13-rated.


things we care about
(please note how I didn't say 'like')

Out: Mattias Ohlund, Jason LaBerbera (sorry, who?)
In: Aaron Rome
Re-signed: The Sedins
Cost: 61,550,000$ over 5 years
Benefit: Nucks might make the playoffs again next year
Why we care: I only care because I have to deal with Canucks fans for the next 13 months and it's infinitely easier when they are happy Nucks fans.

Out: Aaron Rome
In: Mattieu Garon, Samuel Pahlsson
Cost: 10.35M$ over 3 years
Benefit: We have a good back-up if Mase gets injured.
Why we care: My heart belongs (in part) to Steve Mason, and BJs prospect, Stefan Legein.


Out: Martin Halvat, Samuel Pahlsson, Nikolai Khabibulin, Matt Walker
In: Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopeky, John Madden
Re-signed: Dave Bolland
Cost: 84,825,000$ over 12 years (except ~75M$ of that is over only 7 years)
Benefit: Too tired to figure out if there's a diplomatic way to say that Chicago fucked itself royally today.
Why we care: Sororal solidarity with Clare

Out: Marian Hossa, Tomas Kopeky, Ty Conklin
Re-signed: Johan Franzen
Cost: 43.5M$ over 11 years
Benefit: eleven more years of the Red Wings using Johan Franzen to ruin everyone else's lives
Why we care: you know what they say about keeping your enemies close...

Out: Mike Knuble
In: Ray Emery, Chris Pronger, Brian Boucher, Ian Laperriere
Cost: their dignity, if they had any
Benefit: Philly is now a shoo-in for Most Hateable Team in the NHL
Why we care: all the better to hate them with, my dearie... blahblahAtlanticDivisionblahblah... Interstate rivalry is FUN, but mostly we love how A. pretends that hockey doesn't exist after the Pens eliminate the Flyers in the playoffs.

Out: Donald Brashear
In: Mike Knuble
Cost: 5.6M$ over 2 years
Benefit: none if they can't learn to play like a team
Why we care: Sid vs. Ovie is only truly entertaining if the rest of the Caps don't suck ass, plus the look on Ovie's face when he loses playoff games to the Pens is effing priceless. Almost as good as Nikita Filatov's at the 2009 WJC...

Out: Mattieu Garon, Hal Gill
In: Michael Rupp
Re-signed: Bill Guerin, Craig Adams, Alex Goligoski
(Dear Ray Shero,
If you do not sign Robert Scuderi, you will have a world of hate to deal with from your fans. If you have any self-preservation instinct, you will give Scuderi what he asks for. He will be going cheap, no matter how much he is asking. You know it. I know it. He knows it. You want another Cup. I want another Cup. He wants another Cup. Sign him.

Sincerely,
Merise)
Cost: 10.25M$ over 3 years
Benefit: At least one more season of Bill Guerin's family on the JumboTron, get to keep a player nicknamed Gogo for another 3 years, oh, and Bill and Craig can go for Cup Ring #3 next spring.
Why we care: the banner of this blog ought to make that fairly obvious

Out: Mike Komisarek
In: Mike Cammalleri, Hal Gill, Jaroslav Spacek
Cost: 43M$ over 5 years
Benefit: Cammalleri scored 82 points last season. USS Hal Gill is so big he deserves his own postal code.
Why we care: Northeast Division


In: Mike Komisarek, Colton Orr
Cost: 26.5M$ over 5 years
Benefit: Orr = 193 PIM and a minus 15... that's a lot of bang for a million bucks a year, this photo, Komisarek's decent.
Why we care: Um, if you have to ask this question, you are [the rest of this sentence has been replaced by a brief reminder that the author hails from Ottawa.]

And the Alexei Yashin Award for Most Ungrateful Egomaniac goes to... Dany Heatley, for costing the Sens 4M$ because he's a picky, indecisive bastard who's got an ego bigger than the Ottawa Valley.
Re-signed: Chris Neil
Cost: 8M$ over 4 years, and 4M$ payout to Dany Heatley because nothing was signed by midnight eastern time today
Benefit: ~150 PIM and... I got nothing...
Why we care: I wish I didn't.



random things of note

% of players mentioned who switched from one team on this list to another: >25%

# of teams mentioned because I want them to go down in flames in 2009-2010: 5

# of teams I think actually MIGHT go down in flames in 2009-2010: 3

Biggest waste of money: Ho$$a. Seriously, he might be a good player, but all he wants is a championship ring. I will bet anyone who likes a bottle of Veuve Cliquot that he never wins one. I'm also willing to bet that he leaves Chicago within five years if he hasn't won the Cup there. That's an open bet... name your terms...

Dumbest move of the day: that's on Dale regarding Ho$$a...

Fail of the day: Ray Shero. Sign Scuderi. How many times do I have to say it?

Likely scenarios we hope do not play out: Sens suck like an army of Hoovers, Montreal pulls a Tampa Bay and sucks despite loads of individual talent, Boston creams the NE division (again) and Buffalo and Toronto fight for a playoff spot. Vomit.

Vomit-City and other Effects of Pre-Free-Agency Insomnia

Was feeling all happy-Pens-Cup-win tonight. No real reason. Mostly a knee-jerk reaction to Free-Agency Day later today. Cling to happy things. CLING TO HAPPY THINGS!!!

The severity of Dany Heatley leaving Ottawa is finally beginning to sink in. It feels atrocious. Like someone is dying. Seriously. I would know. The country decided to give us the day off to mourn this horrific event... Also, fireworks!!! But those will be for Shero, who must sign Scuderi DAMNIT!!!

Decided to watch the On Ice and Beyond DVD for the first time. Ky sent it to me ages ago, but I've been saving it for a night when I needed some good distraction (and on the eve of the most gut-wrenching Free Agency period I've experienced since the lock-out, Twilight just was NOT cutting it, crack-like though it may be).

Yeeeeaaaaaahhh... WORST. PLAN. EVER.

First shot: Mellon Arena. Sob-city. Seeing the Igloo is probably up there on the list of "bittersweet" ingredients in my life. More shots of Pittsburgh. CAN I MOVE ALREADY??? This is too hard. Lauren, I totally wish I could fly to the Eastern Conference NOW and not in 38 days.

Within three minutes, I am full-out bawling. I miss Pittsburgh. All of it. And all the people I love in it. (For the record, I don't mean the Pens. They are lovely, but my girls are INFINITELY more important to me than a hockey team. Sorry Kris. Sorry Max.)

Hey Girls? Wanna hit up Starbucks on the South Side and go down to The Point for a picnic? I totally owe Ky lunch at Subway (among other things). Yeah... I wish that was plausible. I miss you all. Lovelovelove and Primantis for lunch.


Stop to sob some more. Back to the DVD.

Marioburgh. 1992.
MARIO. Cup. Glory.
1993. Mario. Cancer. They never say the word. Everyone fucking knows he had cancer. Just say it out loud!!! Is it that much of a TABOO to say Hodgkins Lymphoma??? More tears.

Sidney Crosby sweepstakes. In my hometown. (I was in Toronto, go figure.) Blahblahblah. Action shots. Sid being lovely to fans. Le Love. Watching this is a good reminder of why I based a certain protagonist on Sidney Crosby. When did he get so damn serious? Oh yeah... it was right after he lost the Cup on home ice to the Red Wings. Damn. Maybe Cup-Champion Sid will be Happy Sid again.

Pens are Tank-city in fall 2007. Canadian Western-Conference Tour. Insanity. I remember this. I have the sports page from when he was in Van. The other papers had even more.

Unreal.

Winter Classic Time. James Duthie says it's like Hollywood. No offence James, but this is BETTER than Hollywood.

Sherwood > Hollywood, any day of the week.

Was fine until they got to the part about the trade-deadline. Le sighhhhhhhh... Goodbye Army. I cried when it happened. I got all choked up watching it happen again.

Marian Hossa, I didn't really like you as a Senator. What makes you think I'll like you as a Penguin? Right... and this was before you double crossed Western PA and signed with the enemy. (On the bright side, to reiterate what Max said, YOU CHOSE THE WRONG TEAM. Bastard.)

Got to the point in the DVD where the Pens play the Sens in the first round. Must hit Pause. Really. I find myself cringing because I know who's going to score. And I know who's going to lose. And I don't even really LIKE Darth Gerber and I feel bad for him. This is completely nonsensical. I love my Pens. But I cannot physically bring myself to cheer for them when they play the Senators. I am COMPELLED to cheer for Ottawa, like it's hardwired into me. I could get amnesia a-la-Sydney-Bristow-in-Season-3-of-Alias and still wake up a Sens fan.

I can't even be proud of the Pens for winning that round. I mostly pretend it never happened. It's fucking stupid. Part of me really wishes I could just let the Pens be my #1 team. Only I know they never will be. I am an effing CURSE on the Sens - they have a -19 rating when I watch them!- and yet I cannot NOT cheer for them. Or rather, I cannot cheer for anyone over them. Asking me to cheer for another team over the Sens? It's like asking me to cheer for someone over Canada at the Junior Worlds. I can hate everyone on the team, and I'm still physically incapable of cheering for anyone else.

It's something I cannot physically control. I want to be happy for Sykora scoring that go-ahead goal in game 1. But all I can think is Oh God NO, please NOOOO... and I want to vomit. I'd begun to think that my Pens-love was starting to win out in the all-out battle for my NHL-loyalty... Yup, I was wrong. It just seemed easier because the Sens weren't in the playoffs.
Now I feel all gross again.

As pissed as I am that he REQUESTED a trade, I don't want Heater to leave. I've been in such UNBELIEVABLE DENIAL. Oh god ohgodohgodohgod... I'm going to be bawling if I wake up and he's an Oiler. Bawling. Maybe he'll listen like le swooon and Maxy always do. Or maybe Kris and Maxy listen because we're all destined to be a big Penguin family and have little baby penguins in their daddy's jerseys... somehow it's not as cute a fantasy when I imagine Sens or Oilers onesies... jus' sayin' ...

FailTeam

Fuck. I should give up on the Sens. I mean, I am CURSED. I am like the anti-luck charm. The 2006-2007 season? Yeah, barely watched ANY games because of the douche-bag ex-boyfriend who hated hockey. And they make the effing Cup final, which I miss half off. I watch game 5. They effing lose.

Mer = Sens' biggest bad-luck charm ever.

On the other hand, Pens tank the first half of the 2007-2008 season, then go on a freaking billion-game winning streak when I start watching after Christmas.

Mer = good luck for the Pens.

Logic says that if I really love the Sens, and I want them to win, I should just refrain from watching any of their games. Ever. But really, can I do that??? No. I need my boys in red and black and gold. I need to watch my home-team trounce the Leafs 6 times a year. I need to cheer for Ottawa. Even when they lose. Even when I hate half the guys playing on the team and our front office is driving me to drink. Even when my favourite player ASKS to be traded to the Western Conference. Which should (and does, in all honesty) piss me off. Only, I still love him. I HATE him, but I love him. Because it's just one of those things. He's the favourite. A jerkface scumbag bastard, but still, INEXPLICABLY, my boy.

I wish this made sense.

Back to the DVD.

Stanley Cup Final 2008. I think it will be Vomit-City, but it's not. Maybe it's knowing that there's a happy ending later. Maybe it's knowing that there's REDEMPTION. Maybe it's knowing that Sidney Crosby can no longer say that "one thing Sidney Crosby is not is a Stanley Cup Champion" ever again.

Watch the Game 5 footage. Remembering that game. Third-Longest Game I've Ever Watched. Watch Letang, who looks like a ghost. He didn't dress for that game. That makes my stomach churn. I don't cry. I'm too tired now. I just don't like remembering that week. Why I was SO depressed. Why I was willing to vow to the universe that I'd buy the jersey of whoever scored the game-winner, so long as the Pens won me One More Game. Why I acutally BOUGHT IT when they won that game.

Knowing what I know now, I should have asked for the Cup. That might have made the difference... Letang was scratched, but Max was out there. He usually comes through for me. (As if to prove why HE should be my favourite... Max? Honey? It's working... I want your jersey like you'd never believe. I can't afford it right now. You see I have rent to pay... Feel free to send me one though, if you have a spare game-worn Finals sweater kicking around.)

It's almost 7 a.m. in the Eastern Conference. Sad how I think that way. E. says I should just get a job in hockey already. I wish honey, I wish. Free agency will be a gong show. I am not prepared for anything that does not involve Rob Scuderi signing with the Penguins, or Heatley making SOMETHING resembling an actual decision...

Canada in a Nut Shell: huge flag, in Ottawa, at a junior world's hockey game, with our three biggest international hockey rivals on the screen in the background.

Happy NHL Free-Agency Day, I mean Canada Day. It's gonna be a gong show (on both counts).