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I can’t think of a title

September 18, 2013

Sometimes people are on their way to work, like you and I are every weekday, and they don’t make it there.

Sometimes they’re at work, and they don’t make it home. This one is hard to read.

Life can be really fucked up sometimes. I don’t know why I can’t stop thinking about this, but, do the people you care about know that you care about them? Do you tell them that a lot, or enough, or at all?

On the milestone birthday and what happened to The List

August 8, 2013
The best thing I did this year.

The best thing I did this year.

So this day that I’ve been alternately looking forward to and dreading finally came and I am now in my 30s. This time last year, I wrote that people kept telling me that your 30th birthday is a good one, because you finally know who you are and what you want from life. People have been telling me my 30s will be awesome, better than my 20s, even.

I bet they’re right. I wouldn’t change my 20s for anything, but they were pretty awful. They were really, really hard, and some awful things happened and I had to Deal With My Shit, which sucked. At the same time, I am pretty grateful for them. Because even though I feel like I’m really behind on all the important life stuff because of them, I think I’m going to do better at all the important life stuff because of them, too. And I’ll probably appreciate them more.

I was talking to a good friend of mine about what the perfect age was, and while I think there’s no such thing, 30 is pretty close. I’m old enough to know who I am, which is the most important thing. I never really have moments of not knowing what I want in terms of work, or relationships, or life goals (remember being 23? Yeah). I do have issues going after things, especially career-related, because I’ve never really been assertive or good at asking people for big favours and things like that, but I’m hoping I’ve gotten much better at that and hopefully, this time next year I won’t be taking the day off work because I didn’t want to be crying on my birthday.

As far as the List of 30 things I wanted to do before turning 30 goes… I did not finish it. One thing I am really bad at right now is sleeping enough and having enough time to do things. I haven’t tossed the list though, I’m still working on getting these things done, partly because some of them are actual challenges and they are changing my life, and partly because some of them are fun, and I’m really starting to appreciate doing things with the single goal of having fun. Which is something I should have been doing at 23, probably, but hey, at least it’s not too late.

If you’re curious, I’ve got about half of them done, with another few in the works. I’m still going to finish this list, although it might take me a few more months to do it. Let me know, and I’ll start posting them.

So anyway. I am 30. I had a really horrible lonely moment at midnight last night where I started crying a little but then I went to bed and woke up to like 40 million texts and tweets and emails and messages and gifts. I don’t know what the tears where about, probably because of the whole “behind on important life things” stuff, but the one thing I know I win at is having the right people in my life. So thank you for being in it.

Now I’m off to spend some time with my nephew, which is basically the best way I could have spent my birthday.

I am having an epic freakout

July 25, 2013

Okay so my 30th birthday is in two weeks and any delusions I had that I was going to deal with it well have all flown off into the sunset.

I’m not handling this very well.

In fact, I am freaking out :(

Mostly it’s career stuff I think. I’m perfectly happy on weekends and hate everything about my life on weekdays.

Shouldn’t I have this part figured out by now?

Aaaaaaaaa.

Sorry. I know I write here about dealing with my self esteem issues and usually I post about things I’ve learned but today we’re doing an open-ended dramatic freaking out thing.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…

On deserving to win

July 9, 2013

The Stanley Cup playoffs were a lifetime ago, it feels like, but I thought about something we kept talking about throughout the playoffs when I read about the comments made about Marion Bartoli after her Wimbledon win. Not John Inverdale’s on-air comments, which were asinine, but the ones compiled in this depressing and enraging post here.

Basically, a bunch of idiotic sexist assholes think she didn’t deserve to win because her looks are not pleasing to them.

Deserve.

We used that word a lot during the NHL playoffs.

When there were some amazing close games between two amazing teams, or two not-so-great teams, we said they both deserved to win, or to lose.

When teams lost games despite absolutely dominating their opponents because of an unlucky bounce here or there, we said it was a shame because they really deserved to win.

When lesser teams worked hard, we said they deserved to win, even though they had no hope in hell.

When good teams had to exit early because they were playing against equally good teams, we said they deserved a better fate.

We said Toronto, Detroit, and the New York Islanders deserved better because they scared or even almost eliminated teams that were varying degrees of superior.

We said San Jose deserved better because we kind of would have liked to see them finally win a damn Cup.

We said Pittsburgh didn’t deserve to win because of that whole “loading up at the deadline also why does everything always come up Pittsburgh” thing.

We said the Bruins didn’t deserve to win because of that whole “Jeremy Jacobs is Satan” thing.

Then we all asked if we could just. stop. already. with this whole “deserving to win” thing.

You know what we didn’t say?

We didn’t say teams deserved to win because their players were more attractive than their opponents. We didn’t say teams didn’t deserve to win because their players were ugly.

We talked about how Patrick Sharp is a very handsome man, because he is. We said Zdeno Chara was scary-looking, because he is. We’re not above shallow comments about players’ appearances. We said we would miss Hank’s eyes and Higgy’s abs and that we were glad to see the last of Chris Neil.

But what we didn’t do was assign deservingness (if that’s a word) to players and teams based on their appearances, our opinion on which is pretty subjective to begin with. At least , not in any way that hockey media or mainstream hockey fandom noticed, or that I know of at all.

So why, when a woman wins at Wimbledon, do a huge chunk of people think it’s okay to say she does not deserve it because she is not as attractive as her opponent? When are we going to stop assigning value to women based on their looks, ignoring their accomplishments completely?

To her credit, Bartoli handled it amazingly well. And I dare any one of those sexists to go tell Sabine Lisicki that it’s okay that she lost after getting all the way to the final, because she is more attractive than Bartoli.

I made a video

May 27, 2013

So here is a video of me talking about something important to me.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m running a half-marathon in San Diego this Sunday (aaaaaaa) to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. If you’d like to help by sponsoring my run, you can do it by clicking here. Every single cent helps.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about it, and I’ve been meaning to put up a video of myself as part of the #selfacceptanceproject, so here goes:

My video turned out a little awkward and the angle was a bit unflattering but watch it anyway. If you’ve donated or helped me fundraise, there’s a message in there for you.

And if you haven’t and you’d still like to help, here’s the link. You can donate by credit card, via PayPal, and if you’re in Canada you can even send me money via Email Transfer and I’ll deposit it myself, let me know and we’ll work it out.

Thank you, all of you, so very much. I’m glad I didn’t cry on the video, but I can’t promise I won’t on next week’s.

Your 2013 NHL Playoff Bandwagon Guide

April 30, 2013

Go with these guys!

So your team didn’t make the NHL playoffs. I’m really sorry to hear that. In some cases. Like maybe about 15 per cent of cases. In any case, that doesn’t mean you have to stop watching hockey for the year. After all, it was a shortened season, so take what you can get.

But who to cheer for? Which team should you get emotionally invested in for two weeks until they inevitably disappoint you?

Here, in the order of their league finish, are all the teams that are in the postseason, with at least one reason to root for each one.

  1. Chicago Blackhawks: Honestly if you’re not about these guys, I don’t want to know you. Jonathan Toews. Jonathan Toews. JONATHAN TOEWS.
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins: Because you want to see Jarome Iginla finally win a Stanley Cup. Other than that, fuck those guys.
  3. Anaheim Ducks: Teemu is the answer to every question.
  4. Montreal Canadiens: I can’t answer this question because I’m biased, but if you don’t want the Canadiens to win the Cup then you hate joy, and puppies, and babies, and joy, and happiness. Are you a dementor?
  5. St Louis Blues: I guess it would be nice to see Jay Bouwmeester go really far after waiting so long to make the playoffs.
  6. Los Angeles Kings: Because they’re awesome and fun to watch and their Twitter account drives Vancouver Canucks fans absolutely insane and it’s hilarious.
  7. Vancouver Canucks: Because let’s all admit that Roberto Luongo backstopping them to a Cup would be an awesome storyline.
  8. Toronto Maple Leafs: Because watching the ACC take the “Thank You Kessel” chant back from the Bruins fans would be so satisfying that you need a cigarette just thinking about it.
  9. Washington Capitals: Because you want Alexander Ovechkin to score five million goals so Mike Milbury has to shut up five million times.
  10. San Jose Sharks: Because you want Patrick Marleau to score five million goals so Jeremy Roenick has to shut up five million times. Unfortunately Patrick Marleau is not Alexander Ovechkin, so you’ll settle for Roenick shutting up like five or six times.
  11. New York Rangers: Something about redemption storylines I don’t know because the Rangers weren’t at all fun to watch this year so I didn’t.
  12. Detroit Red Wings: Moar Datsyuk.
  13. Ottawa Senators: Because you want Daniel Alfredsson to go out with a Stanley Cup. So basically this is a bandwagon team for Ottawa Senators fans.
  14. Minnesota Wild: Because the possibility of an upset in their series against Chicago is so hilariously impossible that it would be the most entertaining thing to happen in the playoffs in decades.
  15. New York Islanders: Because you wouldn’t just be cheering for the Islanders. You would be cheering for humanity.

On journalisting

April 19, 2013

For the DBlye

Before PTSD, I wanted to go to law school. Sometimes I still think about it. But my mental health had other plans. So I struggled survived my way through university and made it out with a GPA that put law school out of the question, and if my GPA hadn’t torched my chances, my persistent lack of faith in myself would have.

Anyway, while I was surviving university, and searching for ways to escape all the things that go on inside my head, I found some healthy ways to do that and some really unhealthy ways to do it. Like drinking.

And journalism.

I joined one of the campus papers kind of on a whim. I showed up at an open house kind of meeting and, for reasons I will never be able to explain, decided to join the news team.

I think it was the first time someone other than my parents told me I was good at something. The news editors would completely rewrite everything I wrote, every week, and then tell me I was really great at what I was doing. I didn’t get it at first, but I loved it enough to become a Student Journalist. You know the type. I love thinking back and remember how seriously we took ourselves and everything else. I’d give anything to feel like that again.

(Because everything relates to hockey, I got through the cancelled NHL season because by that time I’d become a news editor and basically spent my life in the Tribune office.)

Anyway. I don’t think I ever really thought about doing that for a living at the time, and I quickly realized, once I was in the real world, that I couldn’t do it for a living in the real world.

This week, I saw what I might have become, and the idea makes me a little sick.

There are a lot of journalists and specifically news reporters I have a lot of respect for. That will always be true. And this isn’t about them.

But I am tired of seeing, on Twitter, or Facebook, or YouTube—when you post that you were running in the Boston Marathon on Monday but you’re safe, or that someone affected by a tragedy was your friend or your relative, or your video of the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas—a comment from a reporter, identifying his or herself, who he or she works for, and could you speak to them about your experience, or your loved one,  or what you saw, for a story? I’m all for doing what it takes to get the story, but it often comes as putting desperation to file a story ahead of sensitivity.

Also, does that ever work?

I am tired of reading stories like “Canadian who witnessed tragedy is back home, says it was terrifying.” There are a lot of Canadians in the world. A whole bunch of us right here, in North America, in fact. I don’t want to seem like a jerk, but who the fuck cares whether or not someone who witnessed a horrific attack was from down the street from me or not? I want to know that the people who were there are safe, and that Boston will be okay, and who did this, and how, and why. Saying someone who was there is a Canadian like me doesn’t make me want click on your stupid story. (I don’t know if your story is actually stupid. I didn’t click on it, because of the title.)

I am tired of seeing shit like what CNN did or what the New York Post did. It used to be that when something happened, you would hear about it and turn on CNN. They’d be on it. If CNN wasn’t working for you, there were other networks. Now everyone wants to be first, or most sensational or most gory. Last night, as the fires burned in Texas, I followed my friend’s tweets. She was reporting what the local news was reporting. I basically trusted someone livetweeting what was happening on her TV over news networks and news websites.

I don’t even fucking know where to go to get my news, because the news sure as hell isn’t bringing me it.

I realize that this is how a lot of it’s done, now. I get the part about social media, and about how everyone feels the need to be first. I get the part about our insatiable need for all of the details as quickly as possible. I get the part about how when you’re trying to make a living as a reporter, you have to do what it takes to keep your job as a reporter.

I don’t know enough about the media industry or its consumers to know if this will become how everyone reports news, or if this will eventually get better. Either way, I could never be a news reporter. Not because I feel like I am above all these things.

Because I’m scared I wouldn’t be.

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