I had this idea for a trip I wanted to do last year, in the fall. I was going to drive to Boston, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington DC and see friends and hockey games in each city. Then the lockout happened, and I ended up flying to DC and just hanging out with awesome people instead.
I was determined to do it this year to make up for it, but my budget both in terms of time and in terms of money forced me to postpone the New York/New Jersey part for a bit, although I still want to go see my friends there because it’s been too long.
Anyway. The plan turned into Boston, Philadelphia, DC, home for a week, Detroit, back home, and a collapse from exhaustion.
Two cool things I didn’t know when I first started planning this trip: that there was a BAA half-marathon the weekend I would be in Boston, and that instead of being a basement team as had been predicted, the Red Sox would be playing in the ALCS. I was just going to come for a hockey game, but it turned into so much more.
First, the half:
This is one of the more stupid things I have done in my life. My right knee has been bothering me ever since I danced all night on it at an amazing wedding a few weeks ago. It had been getting better to the point where I was running on it, but given that I was in the taper phase of my training, I hadn’t been running as much. Anyway. It took me almost ten hours to get from Montreal to Boston Friday night because of holiday traffic, and my knee was sore again on Saturday. But when I woke up the day of the half marathon, I felt fine, even though I probably hadn’t slept enough. I figured I could totally handle it.
Well… Uhhhh… No, I couldn’t. I was in pain by the fourth mile. I nearly quit four times. I wanted so badly to drop out of the race I cried. And then I cried because I didn’t want to be a quitter. I was so mad at myself and I felt like I was failing. It was dumb. I probably shouldn’t have tried to finish, but I did finish, thanks to a wonderful person I met on the course named Erica and the EMS folks who wouldn’t leave us. Honestly, I would say that a major chunk of the run felt awful but the finish line when you’re last is an amazing experience. I would have never planned to be there but now that I have been there I feel like I should tell everyone to finish last at least once in their lives.
And also, I have to say: the course was beautiful and I would highly recommend it, but also, the BAA, the volunteers, the medical staff, the police and the city of Boston were just amazing. I’m so grateful to have experienced a race in Boston.
And I have now finished two out of two half-marathons that I have attempted.
Now let’s talk about our Red Sox feelings:
Yeah so ALCS Game 2. A playoff game at Fenway. Which sounds pretty cool on its own, but then you add in what happened at the game and it was the best baseball game I have ever been to and one of the best sports experiences I have ever had.
You can’t really compare a baseball playoff game atmosphere to a hockey playoff game atmosphere because they are both incredible, just in different ways. But loud is the same in every sport. I still can’t believe I was there for that.
And finally, the hockey game:
Detroit beat Boston, which used to be a good thing, but now that they’re in the Flortheast division, it’s not so satisfying to watch anymore. But as much as I hate the Bruins, I love, love, LOVE games at TD Garden. The game staff do such a great job with music and amping up the crowd and it’s always a good time. I’ve been to two matinee games in a row where the Bruins have lost and the crowd was amazing anyway. So, yeah, hate the Bruins, but go to a game here.
So this is long enough already and I have to sleep. Philadelphia is next. It’s going to be really hard to beat Boston though. Thank you so much, Boston friends. I had an amazing time in your city. I love you all.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Chicago Blackhawks: Honestly if you’re not about these guys, I don’t want to know you. Jonathan Toews. Jonathan Toews. JONATHAN TOEWS.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: Because you want to see Jarome Iginla finally win a Stanley Cup. Other than that, fuck those guys.
- Anaheim Ducks: Teemu is the answer to every question.
- 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?
- St Louis Blues: I guess it would be nice to see Jay Bouwmeester go really far after waiting so long to make the playoffs.
- 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.
- Vancouver Canucks: Because let’s all admit that Roberto Luongo backstopping them to a Cup would be an awesome storyline.
- 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.
- Washington Capitals: Because you want Alexander Ovechkin to score five million goals so Mike Milbury has to shut up five million times.
- 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.
- 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.
- Detroit Red Wings: Moar Datsyuk.
- 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.
- 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.
- New York Islanders: Because you wouldn’t just be cheering for the Islanders. You would be cheering for humanity.