Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Serious Research Findings on Hockey vs. Baseball Players

I've been doing some "research" on Twitter, following various professional athletes who are either:

  1. On my teams
  2. Goalies
  3. Funny or otherwise interesting, as in potentially a trainwreck, or 
  4. Just plain good at Twitter
This includes both hockey and baseball players, though the baseball players are limited to Blue Jays because all the other baseball players are lame, except Lyle Overbay.

So I follow all these guys and they tweet crap about the fish they're catching or how cute their dog is or whatever, but they also are performance machines. And naturally, with any performance machine, fuel is a big source of interest to them. 

As such, we get lots of pictures of whatever they're eating or tweets like one from Mark Dekanich last night telling us what he had for dinner:
Taking Romeo for a nice, long walk then having dinner. Jerk chicken with broccoli and asparagus tonight.
Broccoli and asparagus, y'all. For a SIDE. And there wasn't even a tweet after that saying, "Chocolate ice cream for dessert to make up for only having broccoli and asparagus with my chicken!"

I love hockey players but I could not fucking live with one. Mix in a goddamn potato. Also, asparagus is nasty, I don't care how you cook it.

Now, it appears Dex is one of the more... um... uptight about his eating habits but it does seem like hockey players in general are pretty obsessed with body fat and too often really act like girls (of the annoying, princessy variety) about their eating habits and their lean figures.

All the more reason I love guys who don't fit that mold. They seem like you could have a meal with them and you wouldn't have to sit there and watch them pick the 8 pieces of shredded cheese and all the croutons out of the salad with fat free dressing on the side. For christ's sake, be a man. You'll burn that shit off in your sleep tonight with all that muscle.

Baseball players, on the other hand, (and mind you, the Blue Jays are my only research sample), seem to eat like relatively sane people. They have pancakes for breakfast! Breakfast sandwiches from Starbucks! STEAK and lots of it, if you're Travis Snider.

And they seem to feel no guilt about it whatsoever. I think in hundreds of food related tweets from my Jays, I've seen two where a less interesting, more hockey-player-esque diet was mentioned (and in those cases, I assumed the account had been hacked).

If you're not sold yet, look at what Ricky Romero's girlfriend (*ahem* MISS USA) made him for dinner. Meat and heart-shaped potatoes, baby. And did he panic about his ass getting bigger? No. He chowed down and then went to bed with MISS USA (who probably had lean meat, broccoli, and asparagus for dinner).

On the flip side, however, baseball players don't ever seem to knock back the booze with quite as much abandon, on as quite a regular basis, as hockey players.

Maybe my Jays are just more discreet about it, but even the well-behaved hockey players talk about the occasional night out. And having been around hockey more, I hear some pretty great stories and have seen a bit of it myself. It's no surprise to me that the Flyers' "Dry Island" scheme didn't work.

And really, who'd want it to? Drunk hockey boys are pure fun. And the Flyers sucking is also fun.

Drunk baseball players evoke visions of a nasty gongshow of chew and sunflower seeds in places you don't want them.

The conclusion I draw is that if I'm looking to drink myself into oblivion, gimme a hockey player. But if I want to break bread, give me a baseball player every time.

It's not a "who's better" or "who's worse" kinda judgement really. Just a "if I had a choice, here's my choice" judgement.

Naturally, I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to eat with hockey players or drink with baseball players, and maybe my little theory here would be proven quite wrong. In fact, I'm happily accepting all offers to drink and/or eat with any pro hockey and/or pro baseball players. SCIENCE!


Hot and Cold

Oh, hey there!

You know what sucks? Not having my Monday night drop-in.

You know why? Because I stink up the first period at Women's League on Tuesday after not seeing a shot for a week.

A least it was only 3 goals last night instead of 4 like the week before. Maybe next week we can hold 'em back and get a win and get that ugly 0 out of the win column. :\

But yeah, first period, I stunk. Wasn't seeing the puck well, wasn't moving well (even for me), was antsy and unsure of myself. I was terrible in warmups and usually that lights a fire under me and my game ends up okay.

Not last night! Things started to finally pick up about midway through the second, and in the third, I played MUCH better and stopped lots of shots.

My captain actually helped me a ton by pointing out one of their better players and how she almost NEVER passes the puck. They had a lot of good players so this gal wasn't really sticking out for me, but she had several good chances in the third period and I was ready for her. She passed once the whole period and telegraphed it so hard, I was ready.

So there's a tip for you skaters, at least if you're playing against me: If you're dressed sort of non-distinctively, like no loud colors or unusual socks or bright green laces or red breezers or whatever, I'm not going to necessarily pin down your tendencies as well as someone who stands out visually.

It's funny though, my captain was trying to tell me who she was and she was telling me about her helmet. And I'm like, "Yeah, I don't see heads. I see socks and down." She finally had to point her out to me during play. "Oh! Buffalo Socks!" And lo and behold... shot, shot, shot from that girl. Yeah, bring that on, honey.

Save of the night was against one of my favorite girls from my team last season (which I'm still not over that I have to play AGAINST my teammates. I'm hardwired toward loyalty, especially since I really loved that team, so I don't adjust quickly to that change.)

She's a VERY good French-Canadian player and honestly, as good as she is, I've never seen her embarrass a goalie. She could easily dance around our D and deke us into next Sunday, but she dials it back and plays within the context of the league while still playing hard. I don't know how she finds that balance, but she really does.

Anyway, that said, she came in on a short breakaway on my blocker side looking for a hole short side. I don't give her one, so she comes across the top of the crease and tries to poke it 5-hole as I'm pushing across.

DENIED. Ooooo, baby, that's how it's supposed to work! Got a big "AWWW!" from her and then a pat on the shoulder for a good save. Told her, "I honestly thought you had me." But nope. Snagged it just inside my knee stacks. Phew! Save of the game!

Nice to finish the game on a good note.

Even better is that the hottie league plays after us on Tuesday nights. It's like B level guys and they're all young and foxy and move nicely on the ice. My Brusty-pads goalie plays that league, too, so double-bonus for me! If you're looking for some foxy hockey action to scratch your Aeros itch, get down to SLICE on Tuesday nights. Rawr!

That's it for me and hockey for the week. Apart from that, mostly my life revolves around vacuuming and dusting my house almost constantly (thanks, dog) and getting paperwork/vendors/utilities/etc. ready for the new house to close in a little less than 3 weeks.

I'll be really glad when we're moved into the new house and I'm not constantly on Dog Fur Watch here in the house we're trying to sell. Gotten lots of positive feedback on the place though, so I feel good that we'll find someone who loves it as much as we have sooner than later.

Here's to the government not fucking the whole thing up with their shenanigans. Idiots.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Dirty Minds

I really need to find a way to make money writing humorous-but-dirty stuff about hockey players. I feel like it's my calling. Some day I'll write a super-trashy hockey novel and make all my hockey girlfriends read it, but somehow keep Mr. C from reading it. He'd be scarred for life.

My latest picks for the 5-Hole Fantasy League are particularly scandalous and another former B-Sens player, Jason Bailey, falls prey to my affections. I know they won the Calder Cup and all, but really, their GM should be applauded for assembling one of the handsomest teams in the history of the league.

Here's the article and I have to say, Jason was a good sport about it and loved the article. He's a fox and a gentleman (hopefully not TOO much of a gentleman though...)

So currently my team, the Johnson City Sausagemen, looks like this:

Goalies: Barry Brust (C), Alex Stalock, Joey MacDonald
Forwards: Mikko Koivu (A), Cal Clutterbuck, Jason Bailey
D-Men: Michael Del Zotto, Clayton Stoner, Roman Josi
IceMen: Travis Snider, Drew Barrymore, Lyle Overbay

OMG, I love them so much. Once all my picks are done, I'm gonna photoshop a team photo together. That's gonna be epic.


Women's league starts back up tomorrow. Super excited. I have the same captain as last season, and I adore her and her partner, so that's comforting for me. Haven't played with any of my other teammates before, but a little birdy tells me it's a good group of gals.

The teams are named after space shuttles and we're Discovery. Oooo.....

It'll just be awesome to play a game that matters again for the first time since April when we won the championship.

Since Mr.C is set to be out of town, I'm jumping on the ice with the Harpies Wednesday, too. Enjoy playing with that group quite a lot and don't do it more because a) I prefer to play for free and b) they built a friggin' Cheesecake Factory next to the quiet, mostly-ignored corner of the mall parking lot right by the back door to the rink. So suddenly you're parking a quarter mile away, unless you get lucky, and then dragging your gear from and to your car. Not cool, Memorial City Mall. Not. Cool.

Genius idea for the day is a hockey valet service there. Drop your gear off at the door, they keep an eye on it while you go park in BFE. And the reverse when you leave for the night. Yeah? GENIUS. Or I may be a total candy-ass... or both.


Go Sausagemen!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Meine Torhüter ist nach Deutschland

I can climb down off my pins and needles now.

I have to say, it's not really the answer I wanted. In my sweet dreams, he signed with San Antonio. :) But that'll just have to be a dream, as Brusty has signed with the Straubing Tigers of the DEL.

Nothing but good wishes, naturally, to Barry and Los Tigres. I'm particularly amused that brust in German is "breast." So, the translations that include his name are pretty hilarious. Ohhh, Breasty....

My mission when the season starts is, naturally, to find some fantastic online feed of their games so I can watch him. I'll do my best to have a little update here now and again when I can figure out what's going on. Saw on the Tigers' Facebook page that fans have already found the KennedySMASH video and are fully on board with the signing. As they should be. Lucky bastards. *sigh*

Auf Wiedersehen und viel Glück!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Up Up Up

Okay, feeling better since my last post. I've spent nearly every minute since then getting our house ready to put on the market. It's been a ton of work but I feel so much better having most of it done. Only about, um, 30 things left on my to-do list. Ha!

No hockey last week, and now my Monday night group is canceled for the month due to low attendance. I'm hoping the cancellation will light a fire under the skaters going forward so they understand if they don't act and it looks like the session won't make budget for the month, they're SOL.

Much to my chagrin, without drop-in, I have no excuse not to do goalie clinic. But it was actually really good last night.

Best part was that we kinda did our own warm-up, not a bunch of movement that had my legs burning before we even started. So I actually felt much fresher and better for the drills and got a lot more out of them.

What's really fun is seeing the goalies who did Camp Brusty and how excited they are about what they learned. As much as I say I only did that to get to ogle Brusty for a week, I have to admit, seeing their progress and enthusiasm is really gratifying.

I hung out with one of the other PFGS Houston goalies and a defenseman-skater who helped shoot at camp in the parking lot after working on some positioning stuff. It's fun to just talk shop, especially with a more experienced goalie and really thoughtful defenseman.

It's funny to me how intensely, deeply humbling goaltending is. Especially learning as an adult. Especially when you're the sort of adult who's not really faced a lot of adversity. *raises hand* Like, last night, I haven't skated since camp and I step on the ice and my skate doesn't move across the ice. It was like I'd stepped on the ice with spikes on instead of skates.

So, of course, I face plant HARD. Water bottle goes flying. I sit up and look at my skate blades to see what the fuck is wrong with them. Nothing. Just something weird with the ice right there (someone in skater skates said they got stuck right there, too).

Sure, it was a little embarrassing but old Ms. Conduct would have been blushing and cringing for days over that. New Ms.Conduct just got up, rounded up her water bottle, and carried on. Honestly didn't think about it again until just now. Hey, everybody's hit a rut and face-planted at some point if they've spent enough time on the ice.

Seems like a silly thing to ever have been mortally embarrassed about but I would have been for sure. I guess I never did anything before hockey that I wasn't pretty naturally good at from the outset. I've never had to fail so much and keep finding the will to come back again and again.

I guess it's a lot like golf. Except for the part where there's a team depending on you to not suck. That's the hard part, eh? :)

Hey, look at the new necklace I got!

Awwww. :) You can have one, too.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick Hits: Happiness; Soupy; Headcase; House; John Lynch

I have this theory that people who need lots of pithy, inspirational quotes in their lives are, deep down, the most miserable.

Of course, they generally seem like balanced, happy people, so I think my theory is probably bullshit, but it makes me feel better for rolling my eyes at their pearls of wisdom.

I'm not remotely a miserable person, even though I think some people think I am if they don't know me well. Mostly I just like to kvetch and be dramatic. It's just how I roll. But I'm generally pretty happy. And I do it WITHOUT quotes from Oprah on my wall...


Swear to God I saw Brian Campbell with some other really attractive hockey guy at Home Depot this morning. In Houston. Yeah. But I swear it was him. Nearly chased him down to somehow get in front of him and look at his knees.

Hockey players: You can tell them by their Bauer bumps and their freakish knees.


I feel kinda bad when well-adjusted goalies try to help me with my game. I'm used to being sort of a mess and don't really mind most of the time, but they don't understand that and always get to the point of, like, "Well, good luck with that."

Maybe I should start those conversations with, "Just a heads up, you won't be able to help me." Just trust me. Others have traveled that path. People with patience and kindness and lots of knowledge. And they've finally had to be all, "Um, I need to go... wash my hair/dog/car," when it was clear my neuroses are firmly attached.

It's funny, when I first started playing, I'd suck and I'd beat myself up and people were like, "Gahhh, stop taking it so seriously!"

Well, I finally learned to not take it so seriously and now it's like, "If you're not taking it seriously, how can you get better?"

Well shit.

But I have more fun not taking it seriously, so I'll stick with that route.

I've only met one other goalie who really seemed to understand where I'm coming from as a new goalie. She's a new goalie, too, in California. Neither of us have athletic backgrounds. Both of us approach the game intellectually first. It's like this:

Step 1: Wrap brain around concept. Tell me why you want me to do something a certain way. Tell me why we're going to work on it a certain way. OVERexplain. Pretend I'm learning disabled. Because I kinda am here.

Step 2: If I'm continuously doing it wrong, stop everything and figure out WHY I'm doing it wrong. It's not because I'm not trying. It's because I don't understand what's keeping me from doing it right. There is rarely time for Step 2, BTW.

For instance, one of the drills Thursday was working on the dreaded, hated VHS. I can do the VHS marginally on my glove side. But I go over and try to do it on my left and I can't do anything but full butterfly.

So I do it the first time and Brusty's like, "Keep your post leg up." I'm all, "Uh, I did, didn't it?" "Nope." "Oh..."

Okay, so we try again. Son of a... he's right. I can't keep that right leg straight up against the post. It leans in  and that sends the other leg sliding and then it all just craters into a full butterfly. (I should note right here that I did actually STOP all the practice shots even though I couldn't do the VHS, soooo....  anyway....)

I tried to diagnose it a bit myself, by bowing out of the awful looking center ice skating drill (the WORST part of camp since I'm a terrible skater) and grabbing an empty net to work on that. Mostly I think all I did was fuck up my hip. Big ol' middle finger to the VHS.

Glad I couldn't read Brusty's mind during that. Haha. "Oh my god, she's a mess." At least that's what I was thinking. That and, "Dear Self, I was only kidding about being awful at Brusty's drill so he'd have to work with me more!"


Okay. Back to cleaning out the house. I'm so excited about moving into our tiny flood plain house. We already bought numbers for the front of it because it doesn't have any right now. Can't wait to only be on ONE FLOOR!

And like the dork that I am, I'm probably most excited about our oversized garage. Mr.C is in charge of "wealth management" and I'm in charge of "tools and fixin' stuff." I definitely have the better end of that deal, until I can't fix something and it costs us $200 to get the plumber or handyman or whoever out.

Then I have to present the issue to Mr.C and tell him how it's going to cost twice as much as he thinks it should. That end of my deal isn't so great. He's not "cheap" per se, but he hates to spend money unnecessarily. But sometimes you just have to hire a pro and do it right. 

Regardless, I have a place to hang all my tools. We're even getting me a proper toolbox! *grunt!*


I was cleaning out my desk stuff today and found my autographed photo of John Lynch, my first sports boyfriend. I still think that guy is the cat's meow. Wish I could find an online version of the pic I have. It's ubersexy. This will have to do:

I'd probably still have some semblance of football fannage left in me if he still played. Any wonder my favorite position, after kickers (poor little weirdos), is safety. :) #mmmmlastlineofdefense


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adios, Marty; Burnout; Camp Brusty Wrap-up

I wish I'd written on this the other night when it happened. I love to write in those giddy moments where everything is great and anything is possible, which is exactly how I felt after learning that Martin Havlat is no longer a Wild.

I was ready to do obscene things to Chuck Fletcher to show my gratitude, not only for unburdening the team of a guy who clearly didn't want to be there, but for unloading Cam Barker just a few days earlier, too.

The two players who took the wind out of my sails as a Wild fan are GONE.

Today, I'm thinking a muffin basket if probably more appropriate. Damn the sensibility that comes with daylight...

So, for the first time in a couple of years, I think of the Wild in a positive light, where, for the last 2 seasons, it's been more of an "ugh" feeling. From Yeo behind the bench, to Aeros babies looking to earn a permanent NHL gig, I'm excited for what's to come.

I'm not, however, expecting great things on the score sheet. But that's okay. What I've been missing is effort and heart and chemistry. I want the team to look like they care as much as I do. That's my bottom line at this point in the "building."

Now, some curmudgeons choose to complain about getting Heatley in return, but I don't care. I've seen a shit ton of hockey and had only two players whose mere presence on the ice grates my nerves: Pouliot and Havlat. So I'm willing to gamble that Heatley will be an upgrade to my viewing enjoyment.

He is considerably less attractive though. Disappointing, but he's slightly better looking than Gaborik, so it's still an overall upgrade since I started watching the Wild.


In other news, I'm realizing I'm really burned out still. Between extended playoffs and preparing for and executing Camp Brusty, I kinda don't want to do anything but occasionally play hockey. And even that I could do without right now.

I'm just toast. I'm tired of waking up in the middle of the night worried about some hockey thing that I'm actually supposed to be enjoying. We're not even a week out of Camp Brusty 2011 ending and I couldn't fall asleep tonight thinking about issues around next year's camp.

I've never been good at "turning it off" and I'm trying to look at the process as a learning experience. Learning to balance and let go and get perspective, but it's a bit trying at the moment.

Maybe the house buying thing is just the final straw for me this year and next year will be better. Or a shorter playoff run (no thanks... I'll take another go at the cup, please, Mr. Torchetti!) would give me a breather after the season.

I dunno. I still love you, hockey. I think we just need to go on separate vacations this year.

If I'm posting here even less than usual this summer, you know why...


That said, I haven't wrapped up camp yet, but in short, it was neat. I, naturally, felt awkward and sievy nearly every minute of it as a participant, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it and get a lot out of it. Like, RAVE reviews from our adult goalies, who I hung out with after our last day Thursday.

I think the deal is that I'm too athletically learning disabled to learn goaltending in a group environment. I need more time to repeat drills and ask questions and soak in what I'm supposed to be soaking in. Otherwise, I just get rattled and nothing sinks in and I just try and get it over with so I can go sort myself out by the boards.

On the "Camp Administrator" end, though, it was a good experience and everyone seemed to appreciate the work I did to organize it all, including the parents and students, and of course, the amazing expertise Sean and Barry brought with them.

Wish I could say I did it all because I wanted to help goalies or improve my own game or even make some extra money, but no. It's all about making googly eyes at #33, but you guys already know that. :)


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