Next, on Hockey:
I’m looking at the word “hockey” right now and although I know it’s spelled right, it just doesn’t look right to me. It’s a strange looking and sounding word… not like the Base, Foot or Basket suffixes for “ball”… it’s just a weird sport name:
here we go:
Next, on Hockey:
Saw the coolest Mr. Potato Head ever(!!!) at the Silver Snail yesterday.
It’s utterly ridiculous that our friggin’ Parliament is tying itself up with whether Shane Doan uttered an anti-Francophone slur (over a year ago) or not, and whether or not Doan has an acceptable character to represent our country in the World Championships. Re-flippin-diculous.
Doan himself is a bit baffled by it all.
“I never said anything so I don’t understand why it keeps getting a life of its own.”
Our politicians give themselves raises and then debate bullshit such as this… I want my money back.
The Playoffs..as they stand
More hockey talk below the cut…
Huh… I had a nosebleed this morning. I don’t usually get nosebleeds… in fact, this was the first non-trauma-induced (often from clearing out the excessive nosehairs) nosebleed I’ve had, just an honest to gosh, out of control nosebleed. Weird.
they made it
Vancouver Canucks v. Anaheim Ducks
Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight
Aden and I have tickets to the Queen musical “We Will Rock You” tonight, going for a sexy dinner beforehand at the Senator(?). I’m wearing my new leather soled boots (they’re so awesome, and yes, I’m such a girl) and I’m happy. I like to have a splurgy night out once in a while.
Hail to the king baby
The campaign of the Aquamen to replace the Supermen on my desk at work is nearing completion. All that remains of the Supermen is Supergrover, 1950’s Superman Robot, and Beppo the Super-monkey (along with a tin Superman lunchbox).
What’s nice about Aquaman is he seems to come in many different flavours, which is more than can be said about ol’ Clark Kent (sorry cuz’). My co-worker has the hawts for Aquaman… she’s got a thing for blonde men with big muscles.
“ooooh, look at the muscles”
“Oh, he’s so cuuuute”
“wow, look at those legs”
“I should get some of these for (her son), but really, for me”
“I wish I were a witch and I could make him real…”
(in a related story, this episode of the Rack explains my non-comic book reading coworker’s reaction perfectly, derived from the flap over Citizen Steel’s package)
Now, if these were in front of her on her desk, everyone would know why… I’m not really sure what my excuse is, other than I’d love an orange scaly tunic.
Gads, this see-saw weather as a result of (gasp) Global Warming (the unseen boogeyman of the latest generation, GW is the thing petrifying the kids these days like Nuclear Holocausts scared the shit out of us when we were young) left us with an unholy trinity of warm days this weekend. It was absotastically gorgeous weather, nice to bike up to North York (from downtown) in, nice to spend the day outside in, nice to bike downtown (from North York) in, nice to do yardwork or toss a small foam football around in. It was just bleeding nice. Frankly, Sunday was actually a little too nice… a little too warm (+25°C), however there was a sweet cooling breeze when mobile on the ‘cyclette that meant I didn’t overheat too badly.
With all the warm weather, I’m glad to say I did enjoy the outdoors, but I did spend, perhaps, a little too much time indoors. With the hockey on on Saturday (more hockey talk below), I spent the evening (post 8:00) inside watching Buffalo trounce the Isles before getting fed up and watching Ator on Space (actually, it was Ator 3: The Hobgoblin, aka Quest for the Mighty Sword), a delicious piece of horrendous filmmaking starring Eric Allen Kramer, who also played Thor in the Incredible Hulk Returns. The pain of the Islanders losing and the pain of Ator should be sufficient punishment, but I also subjected myself to Psycho 2 during the commercial breaks, which seemed like a Murder She Wrote-quality production. After the two horrendous films ended, two more mediocre sequalled cinematic endeavors took their place in the form of Poltergeist 3 and Highlander: Endgame (#4 in a series). I could only stick with these for about half an hour before utter fatigue overcame me, but I have to say I love the schlocky Saturday Night givings on AMC and Space. Keep it up.
Sunday was partially wasted as Aden and I, after seeing the wee one off, returned to bed around 10am, not to emerge again, drowsy and sun-blinded, until 1:30 in the afternoon. Ooops. In eating breakfast in front of the TV, I got distracted by the awful Tampa/New Jersey game (damn you Devils), which I watched simultaneously with Fletch on AMC. I read the bulk of Gregory Mcdonald’s Fletch novels a few years ago, and enjoyed them thoroughly. While the film captures the first book pretty closely, they let Chevy Chase loose a little too much, and his “bumbling” antics were an odd character facet to someone who was otherwise smooth, clever and charming. Chase, no doubt, the wrong choice for the role, but serves it fairly well. I abandoned the less acceptable Fletch Lives for greener pastures, meaning yard work and a bike ride. The day kind of whipped on by, capped off by the Detroit @ Calgary game (didn’t manage to stay up past the first OT though).
Today, nice, but cooling down a little and spots of rain here and there, though not quite the downpour that was projected.
Hockey assessments and updates and general blikety-blah below.
It’s hockeytime right now and I believe… yes, yes…. I have indeed watched more hockey in the past week than I did from ages 0 - 29. It’s true.
I’m into it. I really am.
And it’s strange to be so. When watching the Isles playing Buffalo, my blood pressure raises to the point where I can feel it pounding on my skull, the blood coursing through my entire body. I hate it and love it at the same time, giving Aden beside me a hug and cursing her at the same time.
I’ve been keeping tabs on most of the series… here’s my thoughts on them behind the link:
Some quick hockey comments (since only about 1/2 of my 12 readers are interested in hockey):
- The Toronto/Montreal game on Saturday was INtense! Sloppy as all hell and amateurish, but totally captivating. Two teams fighting for survival and it was ugly. Oh, there wasn’t much fighting, but in a 6-5 win by Toronto there was only one goal you could call clean.
- I was happy Toronto won, but the team is utterly infuriating. They’re the team you “hate to love” (as opposed to the conventional “love to hate”), and I think it’s pretty much the same for Habs fans right now too. Neither team has been particularly great and neither really deserved to make the playoffs. So with the Toronto win, it meant the Islanders were still in the running.
- The NYI vs NJ Devils on Sunday was an awful game for about 50 minutes. The Islanders with their back-up back-up goalie in net, and the Devils playing their relief ‘tender (for only his fourth game this season) I thought that it would be a total see-saw game, but really, the Devils seemed to be asleep on their skates until they finally scored and the Islanders, for all their dominance of the game, really didn’t look much better.
-The goal at 59:59:2 (.8 seconds remaining) by the Devils to tie it up was friggin’ awesome, and I cheered really, really loudly, although I felt really, really bad for Dubielewicz (the Isles goalie).
- Yes, the Islanders are “my team” and yet I’ve invested so much time into watching the Leafs that I kind of was rooting for the Devils… and yet I was also rooting for the Islanders… I was very conflicted, and yet, I felt very zen for most of the game, comfortable with whichever way it went.
- I liked that it ended in a shootout.
- I’m not expecting the Isles to beat the league’s best team (Buffalo), but then again, I’m not expecting them to lose either. In other words I have no expectations. I just hope I get to see some of the games.
The 8 teams I’m rooting for in the first round:
1) Islanders - “my team” for this year
2) Pittsburgh - “my team” from high school
3) Vancouver - Swedish Twins
4) Minnesota - The closest team to Thunder Bay
5) Detroit - Aden’s team (although I don’t really want to cheer against Calgary, Ryan’s team)
6) Atlanta - Their pretty powder blue jerseys.
7) Tampa Bay - Um, kinda like “Thunder Bay” only warmer, more people, more guns, and a professional hockey team
8) San Jose - I guess… maybe if Nashville takes to wearing the movie Predator costumes while playing then I’d cheer for them (now that’d be entertainment)
By the time I return on Monday it will all be decided, but as it stands, there’s four ways this can play out.
1) Saturday, Montreal Wins, end of story for both Leafs and Islanders, Montreal in playoffs
2) Saturday, Toronto Wins, no overtime, Islanders lose either Saturday or Sunday, Toronto in playoffs
3) Saturday, Toronto Wins in overtime, but statistically Montreal is higher ranked, and the Islanders lose either Saturday or Sunday meaning Montreal goes to the playoffs. Montreal in playoffs
4) If 2 or 3 happen, but the Islanders win both Saturday and Sunday, the Islanders go to the playoffs. Islanders in playoffs.
I don’t really understand the odds, but overall they’re in Montreal’s favour.
And for some strange reason I care about all this.
The lady in my life asked me to choose a hockey team to root for last year, and I foolishly chose the Islanders as my team. I thought the Maple Leafs would be too obvious, and, being a non-sports fan at the time I knew my exposure to Islanders games would be extremely limited and thus I wouldn’t have to really care about watching games or following the team. But, along the way, something unfortunate happened…
…I became a Leafs fan. For other Leafs fans out there, you already know everything I’m could possibly say, for you’ve been living it a lot longer than I have. The Leafs, quite frankly, are a fucking horrible team to be a fan of. They constantly disappoint. Even when they win, they disappoint. Last night, the Leafs in a dire fight for playoff contention faced the worst team in the league, the Philadelphia Flyers, and after sustaining a 2 - 1 lead for most of the game, dropped a goal late in the third period sending it into overtime, whereby the good graces of something or other they managed to win. The Leafs this year have been notorious for losing their leads in the 3rd period (the worst of which was leading 4 - 1 in the top of the 3rd against Buffalo two weeks ago, only to drop four goals for the loss). My blood pressure rises when I watch (or in the case last night, listen to the radio broadcast) and I’m quite certain they’re not good for my health.
I didn’t want to be a hockey fan, most definitely not a Leafs fan. My poor Islanders had their blood-pact goalie taken out of the game with a concussion a few weeks back and we’ve been pretty abysmal ever since, almost completely striking ourselves out of playoff contention. Even after the coup of stealing Aden’s favourite player, Ryan Smyth, from the Oilers, it just got bleak. And now my interest in the playoffs this year rides with the Leafs, who at this writing are 1 point out of contention with two games remaining.
I seriously didn’t want to be a hockey fan, and yet, for the past month, I’ve been running the numbers counting down to the playoffs, watching six teams (Carolina, Toronto, Montreal, New York’s Rangers and Islanders and Tampa Bay) vie for three playoff spots. At this point, it looks like Rangers and Tampa have clinched, Islanders and Carolina are out, and it’s Toronto vs Montreal for the last spot. This is overly generalized and there’s actually still a half dozen ways this could play out, but I’ll spare you the permutations (most of you have probably stopped reading already…
so, something more fun…
“Ovechkin!” has become a substitute for “D’oh” or any sort of exclamatory swear for Aden and I. Sidney delivers the line perfectly, complete with the double fist clutch.
The Music In Me
This week’s CBC Radio 2 podcast is golden…
Entrancing me is The Choir Practice, a massive ensemble focusing on vocals rather than instrumentation… fans of Tilly and the Wall or Langley School Music Project will certainly fall into their harmonies. Yes, this means you Ryan. (NMC page)
Winnipeg’s Blunderspublik which reminds me of funtime inspired mixology like Wagon Christ or Avalanches (NMC page)
The soothing technoblip sounds of Original Recipe put in mind Land of the Loops, a little less fuzzy Animal Monster, and the odd flux of Aphex Twin. Sweet. (NMC page)
Jamming Culturejamming down your larynx
Banksy is often described as a “guerrilla artist” because of his socially satirical and often imposing manner of art which includes but isn’t limited to highly detailed stencil tagging. His latest project is “remixing” the Paris Hilton album packaging and sneaking it onto store shelves for unsuspecting sheep to purchase. Not only that, but DJ Danger Mouse - who first came to prominence as the mixer of the notorious “Grey Album” which mashed Jay-Z’s “Black Album” and the Beatles “White Album” (and is currently 1/2 of both DANGERDOOM and Gnarls Barkley) - has contributed a full remixing of the Hilton tragedy in the modified package. Some unsuspecting but lucky 500 Hilton guppies in Britain are going to have their mind blown.
Meanwhile, Banksy has a video (nsfw) showing the making and execution of this latest project.
The NHL is NiHiListic
The Hockey News, via ESPN, analyses the NHL satire in Bon Cop, Bad Cop. It’s a good article about how the NHL doesn’t have a sense of humour about itself, nor does it know how to really breed superstars like football, baseball, or especially basketball. What isn’t explicitly said is how “cult of celebrity”-centric America is, and that perhaps if there was more focus on creating off-ice star personalitiess as well as on-ice (as wrong as it sounds, and is) it might actually work as draw south of the border.
The article isn’t exactly sharp on the details of the movie, though, as the writer gets wrong who died in the film, how they died and in what order, but that’s just my nitpickyness. And then there’s the ignorant, but forgivable “genuine midget” comment. (Remember class, the m-word is offensive and not funny).
update - I was thinking a little further about why turning NHL players into media stars wouldn’t quite work the same as NFL or the NBA, which is that the bulk of NHL players aren’t homegrown Americans, and for even more English isn’t their native tongue. American sports lovers can get behind a good “homegrown” story, and America in general is also quite xenophobic, so making a media celeb out of a mumbling Czech player, not likely to happen. The bulk of NFL and NBA players are cultivated from high school and college athletic programs, and while Major League Baseball has accepted some foreigners into their game (mostly Cuban and Dominican) it’s still primarily an American-played sport. Hockey isn’t nearly as international as soccer, but it’s also no where near as isolated as NFL/NBA.
While I agree with Proteau’s statement that “Where other leagues have learned to cultivate and accentuate their star personalities, the NHL’s culture strongly encourages its stars to (a) shut up; and (b) get back in the corner while you’re shuttin’ up,” perhaps it’s because Americans aren’t ready to make champions out of subtitles. Unless NHL players are willing to go for speech therapy and media management courses, I don’t think we’re going to be seeing much change. Who was the last widely recognized (in the public consciousness) hockey player? Wayne Gretzky. Baseball, basketball, football, hell, even tennis and golf have had more prevalent newsmakers and media penetrating sportiers over the past decade.
Despite my statements, though, maybe Proteu is right: the NHL should promote their talent as not just good athletes but also interesting and visible entertainment figures in order to increase interest in the game. To add to my generic statements, if there’s anything the Bush government has proven, American love good spin and rhetoric. Maybe the NHL should poach some of the WWE’s marketing team, or Bush’s many ex-press secretaries(?).
Some New Newsom
Zoilus has received Joanna Newsom’s new album, which is heading for release in November. I was quite agog over Newsom in ‘04 but havn’t really listened to her debut, “Milk-Eyed Mender”, much since. Her latest album, “Ys”, apparently is 5 tracks, each clocking an average of 11 minutes. What intrigues me most, as Zoilus reports from the album press release, is (famed producer Steve) “Albini mic’d the harp in an insane and never-before-done manner! I’d love to describe it further but I don’t want to give away his ideas, in case he wants to do it again sometime.”
While I don’t have much music blogging cred, I too get my own share of pre-releases. Recently I got a demo copy of the first recorded Duloks tracks, which are all skookum, and later this month I’ll be getting a sneak peek at the Parkas studio recordings for their sophomore effort which, from what little I heard in July, should be very exciting.
And finally in music, I Am Spoonbender, the SanFran art-pop group, on 9/11 just released a < ahref="http://www.buyhiddenpersuaders.com/index2.html?checkYes=on">FREE album on-line called “Buy Hidden Pursuaders”. I havn’t given it a listen or digested really what the deal is behind the project, but apparently it’s pretty socially and politically charged. It “is absolutely free because it is the ‘only album that cannot be bought’” states the Agreement clause.
All files are avalable as crazy huge .wav files, so they take some time in obtaining.