Friday, October 31, 2008

The best game I've been to...EVAR!

Last night, DJC and I slogged our way down to San Jose to meet up with BL and a few of his coworkers for what can only be described as the awesomest Sharks game I've ever had the pleasure of attending. Here are the highlights:

After sitting in traffic for nearly an hour and forty-five minutes, we pulled a quick switcheroo on a busy street and I jumped into the driver's seat while DJC ducked into the Hotel DeAnza to make a pit stop. My job was to park the car in a nearby lot. I realized about 30 seconds too late that DJC had the cash for parking. So, I circled around the block and snagged a street spot, fee-free! Bonus!

Next stop was back to the Hotel DeAnza for our customary Jaeger shot at the bar before the game. We've done this religiously for a while now, and we weren't about to let the large bar crowd in Red Wings sweaters stand in our way. In hindsight, we should have skipped this part of the evening, because the bartender grabbed a used shaker glass off of the bar (sans rinsing), poured the Jaeger into it, LOADED it up with ice, covered it, and shook vigorously. He then proceeded to pour the frothy, watered down liquid into two glasses. It tasted faintly of raspberries. In all my years of drinking, I've never had a shot of Jaeger prepared in that fashion. It was naaaaaasty. But things improved dramatically when BL and his workforce entourage showed up. Entertaining, one of them was. Oh, so very entertaining, if not a little tragic...(OK, she was super tragic!)

Anyways, BL bought a total of eight tickets. We only had six people. He managed to sell the remaining two tickets on the street to two older guys named Greg and Nick. I've decided that I MUST sit next to these two guys at every Sharks game I attend from here on out. They were an absolute hoot. I love sitting next to fans who know the game and who like to get into it, but aren't too obnoxious. BL has a way of finding the cool people of the world, and Nick and Greg definitely fall into that group. The three of us were high-fiving, talking smack to nearby Red Wings fans and cheering at the top of our lungs. It was awesome. So much fun.

And the game itself was unreal. All NHL teams award something called the Three Stars of the game after it's over. Traditionally, the "stars" are the goal scorers, or the serious game changing play-makers. But, as we were driving home last night listening to Sharks Radio, color commentator Jamie Baker said that they had to pick three, but really, everyone could have been a star. And he was right. Every guy out there gave it his all. And with a 4-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup champs, it showed. Special congrats go out to Jamie McGinn, who, in just his second NHL game, scored his first ever NHL goal and also tallied his first assist. The arena big screen showed a tight shot of him sitting on the bench after the goal smiling from ear to ear as Sharks fans cheered loudly in recognition of a great accomplishment. He was chosen as the very well-deserved first star of the night. Great job, kid! =)

Ok, that's it for my hockey ramblings for now. I just want to say a big thanks to BL for getting the tickets! I've never had so much fun at a Sharks game before!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tick tock, tick tock

This article is further proof that ANY no-talent ass-clown in America can be "famous" and that the media and American consumers are to blame for making them that way.

This is nothing new...several big names come to mind when I think of people that are famous for, well, being famous (Kim Kardashian and the Hilton hags, to name a few). But Joe the Plumber (who's not actually a licensed plumber) is now on the campaign trail with John McCain, has hired a publicist to handle his appearances (Really? Appearances? Bitch, please.), and is now apparently going to do a country music CD. What is wrong with the world?! Gag me with a spoon! Please!

But, there is a bright side: possibly the awesomest thing the McCain campaign could do is to let this guy be a spokesman for their cause. Here, take a gander at a recent quote:

"I got a challenge to Obama. He's a man of mystery," he told FOX News Thursday. "He seems to get a slide on absolutely everything. American people want to vote for somebody who can't even come out and speak straight. That's pretty crazy to me."

No no, honey bunches of oats...what's crazy is that people actually *listen* to you. And what in the blue hell do you know about speaking straight? Sweet Jesus, what does the first part of your quote even mean!? You can't challenge to someone. You can challenge them to something, or issue a challenge to them. And what, exactly, is a "slide" in this context?

Oh hell, why am I even trying? I can't even fathom what he's trying to say. I fully expect Ashton Kutcher to jump out of the bushes any second to let us all know that we've been Punk'd. You listening, Kutcher?! Any time you're ready to let us all in on this ridiculously elaborate (but well-orchestrated) joke is fine by me!

Thank GOD the election will be over next week. You hear that ticking, Joe? That's the sound of your unbelievably asinine 15 minutes coming to an end. And not a minute too soon. Holy shit on a stick...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharks fans can take a breath now

So, the Sharks have a new gaggle of coaches this year, a whole new corps of defensemen on the blue line and entirely new system to adjust to. Seeing as that they're 8-2 thus far, it seems like the adjustments are coming fairly naturally to most of the guys. But not to everyone...

The core of the Sharks offense consists of Captain Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek, Jonathan Cheechoo and former league MVP Joe Thornton. While the first three guys look to be doing fine under new head coach Todd McLellan, there's been talk that Thornton's just not feelin' it. Whether it's skating off before McLellan has finished his time-out instruction, or blatantly ignoring the coach on the bench, #19 has really looked like he's not on board. And man, it'd be one HELL of a loooong season without him in the mix. Joe's amazing on-ice vision and ability to create scoring opportunities is what the Sharks' whole offense is centered around.

There's also been some talk that #19's on board, but is not completely healthy. Well, from where I sat on the couch last night, that may very well be true. He did sustain a groin injury during the preseason and perhaps he's still struggling with that. Groin injuries can be notoriously problematic, especially in sports that require so much lateral movement. As amazingly as he played, Joe didn't look quite as agile as he has in games past. What's really going on, here? Who knows.

But, after last night's routing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, I think it's safe to assume that whatever was chapping Joe's ass seems to be gone. He was really giving it a go as he finished his checks, made brilliant passes and generated scoring chances. Not to mention the big role he had in holding the very flashy Sid the Kid and then rest of the Pens to only 11 shots on goal...FOR THE WHOLE GAME. I think Sharks fans can collectively breathe a sigh of relief now that it seems that old Thornton appears to be back. And can I just say how much fun I had this morning razzing CBKWit about the Pens loss?! Loved it! =)

Tomorrow night, DJC and I will be joining BL at The Tank to watch the Sharks in an early season test against the 2008 Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings. It'll be a hell of a game. I'm really looking forward to it.

Now, if I could only get whatever bug I'm fighting to give it a rest long enough for me to enjoy some nachos and beer tomorrow night, that'd be great, kthnx!! GO SHARKS!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fun with electronics

Recently, I succumbed to the hype and bought myself a Jawbone Bluetooth headset. Aside from the well-documented fit issues (doubly bad for people with small ears), I'm loving the thing...mostly. Previously, I had one made by Plantronics and although it served me well for a while, I got tired of people telling me that they could hear my turn signal loud and clear, but not my voice. Since I primarily use my cell phone when I am in the car, the Jawbone was my only hope. Thankfully, with the "Noise Assassin" button, I can be in a crowded, noisy restaurant and successfully demonstrate the stellar noise canceling features with a friend who had stepped outside to call me. My major beef comes from the fact that whoever designed the thing put the hang up button in the most inopportune place. If your Jawbone doesn't fit perfectly (like mine, despite my best attempts at finding an acceptable earpiece/ear hook combination), you will be constantly re-seating the thing in your ear and invariably, you will hang up on damn near every call you take. But once it's settled, it sounds phenomenal. So clear. So lightweight. SUCH poor fit and questionable design. I still highly recommend it though.

My second recent electronics purchase is waaaay more extravagant than the latest headset fad....

Sunday dinners at my parents' house always starts out the same way....DJC picks up the newspaper ads and thumbs through, looking for all kinds of deals. This last past Sunday, he found a great laptop at Best Buy. I've been looking for a new one ever since I had to relenquish the work-issued Dell, and have found several but could never pull the trigger. The cost was just more than I could justify. But this...when DJC showed me, I thought, "Hey, I can handle that". Even though the processor speed isn't the greatest, DJC did approve of the video card, stating he could now fulfill his childhood dream of playing Doom on an airplane. And I have to say, I'm in loooooove with the copper color. It's so aesthetically pleasing! And for what I will be using it for, it's perfect. I'm smitten...with an electronic gadget! LOL!

But, as much as I love the machine itself, I'm not feeling Vista. SO bloated, it is! Without performing any sort of cleanup or optimization, right out of the box, I currently have 68 processes running. 68!! DJC has promised me he'll read up on the essential processes and what the thing needs to function, and kill the rest. In all my years of using Windows I can't remember ever seeing so much random shit just running in the background. The worst part is that neither he (the resident computer nerd of the house) nor I have *any* idea of what all of it is! Anyone know anything about Vista? I could use your help! Leave your un-bloat Vista tips in the comments. Please!

For now, I'm gonna park myself in the other room for the rest of the night and finish up the remainder of the Sharks game. See you soon! =)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fright Night 2008

Ahhh, it's that time of year again. The leaves are falling, daylight savings time is almost over, and grocery stores are stocking mass amounts of sugary goodness in anticipation of the one night a year where costume-clad children (and punk-ass teens) knock on their neighbors' doors and beg for sweets. Countless girls will dress slutaciously, trying to pass off a black leotard, fishnets, a fresh bikini wax, 4" heels and a headband with ears as a cat costume. This year, my sister will be going as a skanky Alice in Wonderland. The dance instructor at my gym will be teaching the Thriller dance on Thursday.

Yes indeed, Halloween is almost here and everyone's feeling it. Even the TV stations have gotten into it by showing non-stop horror flicks. I awoke early this morning (I'm coming down with something...and when I'm not feeling well, sleeping is difficult) and parked my tush on the couch at around 8:30am. I watched a little of the one movie that will always scare the sh*t of me, and then around nine, I changed over to The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Holysmokes. SO scary! Broad daylight or not, this movie creeped me the hell out. Jennifer Carpenter? CREEP-TASTIC!!

As my faithful readers know, I'm WAY into horror movies and being scared, mostly because I know in the back of my head that none of it is real... and, well, because being scared is oddly fun. But The Exorcism of Emily Rose was based on true events, and I've always had a strange, macabre fascination with demonic possessions, stigmata and exorcisms. This movie does a very good job of making the viewer question what he or she believes. The reviews weren't the best, but I actually thought it was very well done...and scary as hell.

If you're looking for a good scare this Halloween, I recommend this one. It'll make you think, jump and shiver all at the same time.

And if you're looking for something more, stop on by the Horror Movie a Day blog. With over 400 horror movie reviews, you're sure to find a flick to suit your particular taste for gore, fear and terror there. BOOOOOO!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New music

(I tried doing this post earlier, but Blogger was down. Sorry 'bout that!)

Every now and then, I'll turn on the radio. Some stuff I like, but most stuff makes me want to jam pencils in my ears. Case in point: the new, HORRIBLE song from The Killers called "Human". I *HATE* this song. The first time I heard it, I wasn't impressed, but then again, I rarely like something the first time around. My knee-jerk reaction was to change the station...quickly. Yesterday, in the interest of fairness, I gave it another go. I'm happy to report that my knee-jerk reaction was correct...this song REALLY blows. But the great thing about music is that it's totally subjective. You might actually dig this atrocity. Wanna listen? Here ya go:

"Are we human...or are we dancer?" Seriously? STFU. The worst part about this song is that the ASININE chorus gets stuck in my head and repeats endlessly because its the only part of the song I know. I used to really like The Killers. When I sing along with "Read My Mind" and "Mr. Brightside" (loudly and off-key, of course), I totally feel where they were coming from when they wrote the songs. But "Human" is just trying too hard to be abstract and deep and sentimental. It pisses me off.

On another new music note, I recently heard the new Guns n' Roses song entitled "Chinese Democracy". First impression: pretty decent, but not Gn'R AT ALL. I don't care what anyone says, Slash made that band what it was back in the day. Yeah, it was kinda cool to watch Axl spaz out on stage and squwak into the mic, but at the end of the day, it was Slash's haunting guitar riffs and solos that ensnared us all. You may not have liked the way he looked on stage(all black hair, top hat and cigarette), but you can't front on the fact that the man is a freaking UNREAL musician and songwriter. He and Axl kinda had this songwriting Qi going for a while...they cranked out some pretty amazing music together (a la "Estranged"...possibly my *fave* Gn'R track ever), but now, sans Slash, Axl has lost some of his magic. Ok, most of his magic. It's not that I don't like this song, because I actually really's just not Guns n' Roses, that's all. Have a listen:

I never thought I'd be a Gn'R purist or that I'd even care enough about the band to actually do a post, but its funny how hearing something packaged as something else brings out the music snob in me.

I think I'll stick to my old stand-by internet radio stations (links in the sidebar over there, btw!) for exactly what I want to hear when I want to hear it....with no "Human" anywhere to be found.

Monday, October 20, 2008

En pointe

This past Saturday, I took my mom to see the Kirov Ballet at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. Usually, we sit in rafters, up where the oxygen is thin. Zellerbach is small enough that even the seats waaaay in the back still offer pretty decent views. But this time, we sat in the tiers on the right side of the stage. After the near-perfect views of everything but the far right wing, I can pretty much say that I will be sitting in the tiers from now on. The view from our seats couldn't be beat. And thank goodness too. The male lead, Anton Korsakov, was just exquisite. Think that word may not be appropriate to describe a masculine dancer (albeit a ballet dancer)? Just look at his hands in the below pic (click to enlarge):

See what I mean? Attention to detail. Polished. Everything this guy did was flawless. Gorgeous, sky-high leaps, extension for miles, perfectly pointed toes, a joy to watch...UNTIL, he got to his fouettes. Don't get me wrong, they were still balanced and controlled while still looking fairly effortless, but I couldn't help thinking that he didn't have near the center that Danny Tidwell has (yes, that Danny of SYTYCD fame). Don't remember what I'm talking about? Here, check this out...

Let the whole thing load and then skip to about 2:28...that's where the turns start (or you could watch the whole thing and get chills, like I just did...again.). Now, make no mistake, I am not trying to compare apples and oranges, I'm just sayin that even though Anton Korsakov is a freaking BRILLIANT dancer (not to mention that he's totally cute...he has a Myspace fan club, for crying out loud!), his turns weren't quite as centered as Danny Tidwell's. That's all. Still, I was totally blown away and impressed. So elegant and regal, he was.

Anyhoo, I had a ball and smiled the entire time. The $70 per ticket that I kicked down for the tier seats was totally worth it. Despite my love for bone-crunching sports like hockey and rugby, I will always have a special place in my heart for the ballet. And when it comes to wonderful companies like the Kirov, I'm a happy kid who'll always come back for more.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Move over Sean Avery...Craig Rivet's my new hero!

Here, we have former Sharks defenseman and now Buffalo Sabres captain Craig Rivet showin' 'em how its done 'round those parts during Monday night's game against the New York Islanders. In a heartbreaking trade, the Sharks sent Rivet over to Buffalo at the end of last season. I say "heartbreaking" because us Sharks fans LOVED the guy (and most of us still do!). But, as the "C" on his jersey and the above video shows, he seems to be doing pretty well with his new team. That makes me happy.

Thanks to the NHL's lame Third Man In rule ('ll have to scroll a ways to get to it), you just don't see fights like this anymore. Bummer, that. This one's a serious beat-down. And its doubly worth watching for the commentator's reactions to the goings on. Classic!

Enjoy! (Aaaaand the Sharks won again last night! That's 4 in a row! Sorry, had to sneak that one in there as this *is* my last hockey post of the week. You understand, right?) =)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sean Avery: My new hero

A long time ago, at like 2:30am, I watched a documentary on ESPN about the Detroit Red Wings. They had recently picked up a fresh-faced asshole rookie named Sean Avery that year. The documentary followed him almost exclusively (or maybe it didn't, but I was so wrapped up in the guy that I hardly noticed when the other players had any TV time) and highlighted his incredibly abrasive, gritty style of play and shit-talker attitude. I liked him immediately. Not only was he a hell of a heckler on the ice (which I respect), he could back it up with his fists if opposing players took issue. He stirs the shit. He's even got an official NHL rule named after him. He constantly walks the line of being a little punk-ass, but somehow always stays on the cool as ice side of that line. In short, Avery was, and in many ways still is, MY kind of player. He loves what he does and plays with heart. Anyone watching one of his games can tell. Oh, and did I mention he's a fashion whore? Yeah. LOL!

Here's his online diary when he interned at Vogue during the 2008 summer NHL off-season. Fascinating stuff. And BT, Lucky_girl and Miss E, who does that pic instantly remind you of? Hee-hee!

Anyways, I thought I'd share this one with you all. I found the story, and Sean's diary really interesting...and somewhat distracting! I'm supposed to be working, but it took me about 4 reads to get through it entirely. Quote of the article:

If you feel like teasing this hockey player about an obsession of his that you might think is a little unusual, go right ahead. Just know that you may get your ass kicked by a very expensive pair of shoes — and that they'll probably match both my belt and my shirt.

Love it. =)

Monday, October 13, 2008

*Insert interesting title here*

So, yeah. Updates. I have none. I've allowed myself to get *entirely* too wrapped up in several things lately, and posting my thoughts about any of them is, well, boring. I don't know what it is, but I just don't feel much like writing. I'm sure you all know the feeling. But for the sake of keeping this thing somewhat current, here ya go:

1. Holy Christ on a cracker, the election and all its mudslinging hoopla...for whatever reason, it's become ridiculously fascinating to me. I wish I could read all of the news and listen to all of the rhetoric from an outsider's perspective (I think I'd get way less upset that way), but I have to say, I'm MUCH more worried about the future state of our country than I care to admit. The Bush administration seems like a joke in comparison to what's at stake these days. I've let the all political talk and bullshit get to me, and honestly folks, I'm scared, appalled, encouraged, hopeful, perplexed and downright befuddled all at once. No matter how you feel, you can't deny that this is definitely an interesting time in our history.

2. My IRA, or more correctly, what's left of it. Ugh. Thankfully, I'm not retiring any time soon. My parents, on the other hand...

3. Trying to buy a house in this market should be a slam dunk. Unfortunately, I think Warren Buffet would have a hard time getting a loan right now (not that he'd ever need one! Rat bastard.) Still, DJC and I awoke to the smell of sewage *again* this morning. Getting out has become priority #1 for us.

4. The Sharks have won all three games they've played in thus far. Three games. Big freaking whoop. Talk to me in two months or so. Yet, I'm liking this winning thing and I'd like to see more of it. YAY!

Yeah, that's about it. Any thoughts on any of the above topics? I invite you to post them in the comments section if you feel like it. If not, back to lurking for you, then... ;)

For what it's worth, I hope you're having a decent Monday. If not, it's almost over!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I <3 Hockey!

I was supposed to go to the gym tonight, but due to a POUNDING headache, I bailed. I now find my ass planted firmly on the couch, watching a classic San Jose Sharks game from last season. I know the outcome of this game and yet, its still totally exciting. Why is CSN re-broadcasting an old game? Well, I'm glad you asked (although you might not be)!

As of Thursday of this very week, it's HOCKEY SEASON again, kids! WOOT!! I know that along with So You Think You Can Dance, hockey has to be one of the least popular topics on this blog, but damn it, it's my freaking blog and I'm frequently occasionally gonna write about the Sharks. Deal with it. ;)

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I am a rabid hockey fan. And yes, its true...I was born in Florida and raised in Texas. Where did this love of watching grown men skate on frozen water and beat each other to a bloody pulp come from ? Who knows. Regardless, I got chills when I saw this commercial earlier tonight:

Aaaah, sweet sweet hockey. How I love thee. Now, if only the Sharks could WIN A DAMN CUP! *fingers crossed*

Friday, October 3, 2008

Updated! My ears *must* be playing tricks on me

I can't find the video to prove it, but I SWEAR I heard Sarah Palin give a "shout out" AND a wink to her brother's third grade class during last night's "debate". A freaking shout out. Are you kidding me?!?! This isn't MTV's Total Request Live, for crying out loud. And, if McCain is elected (God help us all), we're just going to hand over the nuclear codes to her, whack-ass shout outs and all? Oy vey! I'm totally OK with her saying hello to her brother's third grade class, but what's wrong with a simple, "I'd like to say hello to my blah blah blah"? What's up with the trying-too-hard, overtly poserish shout out? After that, I half-expected a WESSSIIIIIIIIDE hand sign, too. Seriously.

I think after last night's non-debate and mish-mash of pointless rhetoric, it's pretty clear that as a Vice Presidential candidate, Palin is WAY in over her head. But, never fear, Governor, I hear that The Counter is hiring!

(As a side note, I don't think I've ever used the word "whack" so many times in a week. It's kinda fun! Hee-hee! And also, as much as Palin's voice makes the small hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, I did really dig the shoes she was wearing last night. Sad and kinda scary that they're the only redeeming things I could find...)


Thanks, DJC. Well done! =)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And suddenly, it all makes sense

Watch and learn, folks! Love the blue Jell-O mold faceplant. Awesome! Thanks to DJC for digging this one up.