Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble x 2

Yesterday, my favorite juniors blogger, Schultzie, posted her Thanksgiving thankfuls, and I thought that was a fantastic idea worthy of blatant copycattery.

First of all, I'm so grateful to Mr. Conduct, who taught me to love sports and now allows me to wallow in my obsession, neglecting him and the dog and pretty much everything else, nearly year-round in favor of writing about, watching, or playing this sport that has grabbed me by the heart and head so fiercely over the last couple of years. I don't know why he puts up with me, but I'm forever thankful that he does.

After that, I'm thankful for hockey itself. It has truly changed my life. At 33, I feel like a kid again--like I've gotten my second wind in life and unearthed a passion that, from where I sit right now, seems limitless. I should probably throw a "thanks, eh?" to Canadians in general as part of that. You know I adore you, Canada.

Coach Stalin is high on the list as well. She paved the path for learning to play hockey in her usual, "I want to do this, so I'm doing it!" way, and made it look like so much fun, how could I not? Then she patiently (very patiently) taught me to skate, played therapist while I angsted my way through all that, and has never pulled any punches along the way. You need one really honest person when you're doing something like this. It's nice to hear "great shift" from your linemates, but you need someone on the other side saying, "Move your feet, bitch." Coach is truly a one of a kind person and I'm lucky to have hitched my wagon to her star for this adventure.

Next I'm grateful for Russoville... not only to the all-knowing Don, who is among the greatest hockey reporters in the nation and yet ridiculously approachable, both in his writing and in his dealing with fans... but also to the folks there from whom I've learned so much and been so welcomed. What I love is that Russoville has a surprising degree of level-headedness and maturity for a public forum. It's my Wild Sanctuary. I adore all the regulars but must especially thank Buddha for having the good sense and patience to give me a gentle shove down the path of writing about the Aeros. That was huge! And Nick, who is marvelous in many ways but is, above all, a life preserver of sanity in an ocean of nonsense. And KiPA who gives us the perspective of an outsider but the friendship of an insider (and makes sure I don't fall into the fantasy sports abyss). Thanks for laughing at my jokes, fellas. Except you, KiPA. You should laugh at my jokes more.

I'm thankful for the Wild Message Board, as that's where I cut my teeth as a Wild fan and found an incredibly knowledgeable group of fans and great discussions, once I learned to filter out the junior high bullshit. It's a strange microcosm of humanity and I've learned a ton about the team, hockey, and myself by being there. Moreover, I've felt welcome and appreciated by fans who were pretty hungry for prospect information.

I'm thankful for my novice league team, especially Coach Dan, whose quiet patience with us newbies is exactly what I need. I so appreciate being able to get where I need to be at my own pace. And I'm also thankful for Mike forcing me to man up and go over the boards. I can't even begin to explain or understand how much not doing that was holding me back mentally. And the rest of the green team, who have been supportive and tolerant beyond reason: I apologize for what I'm about to do to you. Red team: You're welcome. And of course, I'm grateful for Scott, the Canadian Goalie, for convincing me to just get out there and play hockey this summer, and now for getting me going in goal. And for shaving off that porn stache.

I'm thankful for my seat on press row. And to my colleagues who have welcomed me into the fold. And to Fred for his guidance and humor and knock-out gorgeous photos of the team.

I'm thankful for Aaron Voros' butt, Cal Clutterbuck's hits, Barry Brust's "riverboat gambler" goaltending, John Scott's fights, Mikko Koivu's mikkoness, Kurtis Foster's tenacity, and all the other players who bring something special to the sport to make it as interesting and fun and loveable as it is.

I'm thankful for the hockey blogosphere, especially the Wild hockey blogosphere, for reading me, linking me, and sharing their talents and passion with everyone.

And finally, I'm thankful for all you folks who come here and read what I have to say. I write about what interests me and just hope that it's interesting to someone else out there. And I see you reading and my numbers growing so maybe I'm doing something right, though my inner self-doubter thinks people just come back to see if it's gotten any better since last time. Ha! Nope. Sorry. Still long-winded and self-absorbed!

Have a marvelous Thanksgiving holiday, y'all.


buddhafisch  November 27, 2008 at 12:40 PM  

Happy Thanksgiving Ms. C.

Glad to know there really are hockey fans in Texas. As much as we loathe the state for stealing our hockey team, I think maybe, just maybe the wound is starting to heal.

Ms. Conduct  November 27, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

Well, there's Texas and then there's Dallas. ;) Feel free to continue hating Dallas.

hipcheck  November 27, 2008 at 10:52 PM  

I continue to read because you say random things that make me actually laugh out loud.

I'm thankful for Aaron Voros' butt

I just wasn't expecting that but I love it!

Nick in New York  November 28, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

ms.c : thank you for becoming an important, indelible part of my hockey experience as well.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!


Kevin Jacobsen  November 29, 2008 at 11:48 PM  

I was just joking about the "what jokes?" thing you know.

Ms. Conduct  November 30, 2008 at 9:18 AM  

Kevin, I didn't get another comment from you, but that would have been pretty funny. And I'd have known you were joking. ;)

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