Friday, December 21, 2007

The Merry Christmas Blog

Well, folks, it's finally that one special day...

My last day of work before the holidays!! WOO-HOO!!! My cheeks are rosy with excitement, I've got tiny Christmas trees dangling from my ears, and I have a gigantic smile on my face. Gosh, I just love this time of year!!

In case I'm not back on-line between now & "The Big Day", I'd like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope Santa is good to all of you, and all your Christmas wishes come true!! Eat lots of yummy treats, have a few festive drinks, enjoy opening every single gift, and best of all, soak in the satisfaction of watching your loved ones open the gifts that you got for them. Also, I wish you peace, health & happiness in 2008. Have fun ringing in the New Year!!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

I Know It's Almost Christmas When...

When you were a kid, did you get so excited for Christmas that you had trouble sleeping for days beforehand? Did you get butterflies so bad that on Christmas Eve, you spent hours tossing and turning, just dreaming of the gifts and the wondeful excitement that was just a sunrise away?

I did. And I still do. And it's already hit me.

Last night, for some odd reason, my eyes popped open and it was still dark in my room. I glanced at my alarm clock, and the bright neon-green numbers declared that it was only 3:48 AM. Instantly, my brain went into overdrive as it started to churn up images of holiday treats, beautifully wrapped gifts, the stockings bursting with little treasures, the family and friends that mean so much. Just thinking about it all made me so giddy.

And soooooooo not sleepy.

Christmas is still 5 days away. If this is what I'm dealing with now, imagine how hard it will be to sleep on Christmas Eve!!

However, now that I'm an adult, I've discovered the perfect solution to Christmas Eve insomnia: Alcohol.

A few drinks at Patti's, along with a few shooters of Jagermeister or Tequila Rose around Randy's bar in the basement, which has become a bit of a tradition in recent years, really do the trick. By the time I get my butt home around 2 in the morning, I've had enough booze that I pass out as soon as my head hits the pillow. The trick is to not get too sloppy drunk. When you do that, Christmas day is ruined by a hang-over. So you've gotta be careful, just have enough to get a nice buzz on, and before bed, drink lots of water and some Advil. It's the perfect remedy to ensure that my eyes don't snap open too early. By the time Christmas morning rolls around, I feel refreshed, not too groggy, and ready for the excitement of opening gifts and all the delicious foods awaiting me.

The problem is these days coming up to Christmas Eve. I can't get tanked for the next 4 nights in a row just so I sleep better, right? People would start calling me the Holiday Alcoholic. And I can't have that. Guess I'll just have to deal with my insomnia another way!

Only 5 more days...!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Sens Roll On

Remember not so long ago I was starting to panic a little when the Sens were mired in a 7-game losing streak?

Not so anymore. Last night, after beating the Boston Bruins, their biggest competition thus far in the Northeast Division, they lengthened their win streak to 6, making it even easier to forget that long, torcherous slump. A win over the Bruins was very important, considering they were only 6 points behind the Sens in the standings. A win for the B's would bring them only 4 points behind the Sens. I know we're still not even at the half-way point, but maintining this cushion over the rest of the teams in their division should be a goal for the Sens, especially after they worked so hard to build their lead early in the season.

So with the win, the Sens move 8 points ahead of Boston in the standings, giving them a little more breathing room. Ottawa opened the scoring with a goal from Jason Spezza, and then I took a little nap. When I woke up between the second and third period, I had missed Chuck Kobasew's tying goal and Luke Richardson' go-ahead marker, his first in a Sens uniform, and his first since 2005. I'm sure making the moment even sweeter for Lucky Luke was the fact that his father, Shawville native Glen Richardson, was in attendance to witness it. (He is travelling with the team on this current road trip).

Spezza potted another on a 4-minute power play, and with time winding down, it seemed the deal was sealed. But not so fast... Boston scored with about 50 seconds left on the clock, making things a little more interesting for the dying seconds, but the Sens held on for the win. Martin Gerber again looked strong between the pipes, and it was a solid victory over Zdeno Chara and his Boston teammates.

Now, following the game, Sportsnet switched over to it's highlight loop, Connected, where they promptly began with a run-down of the Leafs loss to Carolina. Turns out the boys in Blue & White held a 2-0 advantage over the 'Canes with a minute and a half left to play, and Carolina came back to score 2 and then beat the Laffs in OT. How sweet it is!!

It was the icing on the cake for me!


6 more days...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Countdown Is On...

Can you believe it's only 1 more week until Christmas? Just 7 days...Wheeee!!

Actually, if we want to get technical, today's almost over. As I type, the clock indicates it is 3:05 PM, so this workday is winding down quickly, and that means there's only 6 days until Christmas!!

I just can't wait...December has been flying, but somehow, these last few days seem to drag out the longest. I still have lots of Christmas movies to watch, and plenty of odds and ends to do before the "big day", and yet, I'm still finding myself twiddling my thumbs, thinking Christmas might never come.

Of course, I have my parnoia, which I've blogged about before, that I'm still dealing with. I'm still terrified I'm going to get sick and miss the whole she-bang. Christmas only comes once a year, so the thought of missing it makes me panic.

And then there are other silly little fears - like, what if people don't like the gifts I got them? What if it rains this weekend and it ruins my Christmas spirit? What if I don't get to watch all the movies & specials I want to see? What if the weather is bad and we can't make it to Aunt Marion's on Boxing Day? Many what-ifs to cause unneccessary holiday angst.

But most of all, there is this wondeful excitement, an air of anticipation, which is only going to increase & intensify as the week progresses.

Christmas is almost here!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Keith Urban & Survivor Re-Caps

It was a wild & crazy weekend in the World of Jill, so we'll start with Friday night and the Keith Urban concert at Scotiabank Place.

First of all, let me make one thing clear: Urban was awesome. The show was spectacular, he was at his sexy best, and he had everyone on their feet from start to finish.

Oh - wait. Sorry. Not everyone. Section 209 never got to their feet. Ever. And just take a guess at where our seats were? Yup. Section 209.

I've never been told to sit down at a concert before. But that's exactly what happened on Friday night, after Keith took to the stage for his first song. Immediately, Stacy, Caryl, Sarah & I leapt to our feet, hooting and hollering and ready to party. It wasn't long before I started to hear people yelling at us to sit down. It quickly became clear that we were in the grumpy old people section, and we eventually moved to the empty section next to ours, where a few other people had moved so that they could stand up and have fun without being roared at and glared at by all the losers we were sitting with. Like, seriously. You're at a concert, people. If you wanted to sit back, stay at home and watch a Keith Urban DVD. Talk about party poopers!!!

Once we moved, we definitely had a lot more fun. Keith played all his hits, with highlights for me being "Stupid Boy", "Somebody Like You", and "You Look Good in my Shirt", as well as a sweet rendition of "White Christmas" that he played to kick off his encore. He made full use of his stage and the long cat-walk out into the crowd, even spending part of the show with his entire band doing an acoustic set out on a platform at centre ice. The crowd ate it up and it was obvious everyone was having a blast (everyone, that is, except for Section 209).

The best part was late in the show, while we were up & dancing in our new empty section, which was right at the side of the stage, Keith came right out at that side of the stage and we were waving at him, and he pointed right at us...very cool! Made the move worthwhile (even though it still pisses me off that we had to move after paying $95 for our original seats).

Now, on to my Survivor re-cap:

I haven't blogged on Survivor in quite a while, so we'll just fast-forward to where we were at going into last night's finale: My favourite, James, was voted out a few weeks ago after he failed to use one of the two hidden Immunity Idols he had in his possession. Otherwise, he should've been a shoo-in for the Final 3. He never should've trusted his alliance!

However, once James left, I quickly switched my cheers to Todd, the flight attendant from Utah who has a dual-citizenship and comes to Canada often with his mom, who is from Scarborough. So luckily for me, Todd was in the Final 4 last night with Denise the lunch lady, Amanda the beauty queen, and Courtney the waitress. I wasn't sure how Todd would fare out with three girls going into the finale, but I happened to fall asleep about 20 minutes in, and I woke up just as the Reunion Show was starting, just as Jeff Probst was revealing Todd as the winner of Survivor: China! So yeah...this re-cap kinda sucks, but I did enjoy the Reunion, so I'll just talk about that I guess.

I was pleased to discover that I wasn't the only person in the world who fell in love with James. Probst talked about James' popularity with the viewers quite a bit, claiming he's probably the most popular player they've had on the show in a long time (I'm thinking since Colby or Rupert). James' likability translated into a big prize for him, despite the fact that he didn't finish in the top 4, as fans voted for him and he was awarded $100 K for being the most popular player.

Denise also came out with a little extra cash, after she revealed that her life since Survivor has been hell. She returned home and found that she had lost her job as the lunch lady at the school she worked at, and is now employed at night working as the janitor. Mark Burnett, the mastermind behind Survivor, heard her story and feeling terrible for her misfortune, told Jeff Probst on a commercial break that he personally wanted to give Denise and her family $50,000 to help her to get back on her feet.

Another of my favourite moments was when Denise explained her hairstyle, after being encouraged to do so by Probst. Denise has a very distinct mullet, which is a cut that is more often mocked than admired by most people. As it turns out, Denise needed to have short hair around her face because of her job around food in a school cafeteria, but because she also wanted to feel like a woman and look beautiful for her husband, she wanted to keep her long hair down her back. It was one of those "awwwww" moments when I realized why she styled her hair in such a hideous way.

Another interesting moment was when Jeff revealed that the next season of Survivor, which will begin in February, is going to be Fans vs. Favourites. They're bringing in a collection of super-fans who have studied the game from the beginning and have been dying to get on the show (much like Todd was), and they will be going up against favourite players from past seasons. Jeff didn't tell us who would be playing, but he did say at least one cast member from China would be back. (The way the camera lingered on James was a bit of a hint...Yay!!)

I suppose it would be too much to hope for Colby to return, as he's already played twice. I haven't had a whole lof of "favourites" over the past few years, so who knows who will be back. If James does return, he'll definitely be the one I'm rooting for!!

So in between Keith Urban and Survivor, it snowed. It snowed and snowed and snowed. But I'm panicking a little because on the Weather Network website, they're calling for rain on the weekend...Ahhhh! One of the guys here at the office has told me we now have enough snow that it would have to be 20 degrees for a week and rain steady for me to lose my snow, so he doesn't figure it will be a green Christmas.

My fingers are crossed!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I was just checking out Stuntman Stu's Blog ( and I found the following excerpt from today's post:

I'm flipping between that and the celeb obsessed which now has a show where you can watch stars act like a-holes on the Hollywood strip. What kills me is when a former A lister like Woody Harrelson who's done nothing worthwhile since Cheers ended 15 years ago, gets upset when there's a lens up in his face. Woody, if you don't like the cameras move to Quyon.

Yep. He mentioned Quyon in his Blog! Not sure Stu knows where Quyon is or anyone from my darling little hometown, or perhaps he just Googled the most absurd town names in the world and chose it and doesn't even realize he's just across the river from said village. Or maybe he does. But he's clearly not that familiar with our stomping grounds, or he'd know that if a celeb, even one as washed up as Woody Harrelson, showed up in Quyon, there's probably be more flashes going off than there ever would be on the Hollywood strip!!

Anyways, just had to share the snippet with you! :)

Shut-out for Marty Gerber *

So just when it seemed the Sens' goaltending situation was working itself out, with Ray Emery getting his 4th consecutive start last night in Carolina after back-stopping his team out of their 7-game slump, posting victories over Florida and Dallas, it took another unexpected turn.

While the Sens jumped out to the best start in NHL history, it was last year's flop, Martin Gerber, leading the charge with some outstanding netminding. Then the team hit the skids, and both he and Emery had some terrible outings. But it was Emery between the pipes, making some big stops in a shoot-out loss to Tampa Bay last week, so he got the start the next game vs. the Panthers, where they collected their first victory in 8 games. Then they had a very solid win over the Stars, and it seemed Emery had re-ascended the throne as this team's #1 goalie, as he was expected to be after taking them to the Stanley Cup Finals last spring.

But last night, less than 6 minutes in, after facing only 1 shot and with the Sens already up over the 'Canes 2-0, Ray Emery pulled himself, saying he had a hip injury.

Re-enter: Marty Gerber.

It's kind of funny - just when one or the other seems to be in total control, something happens and they swap positions yet again. Yesterday, it looked as though Emery was the go-to guy, but after last night's 6-0 romp over Carolina, with Gerber doing most of the work, it would appear that he's now in the driver's seat and will get the start tonight vs. Pittsburgh. Not bad for a guy who was only planning on getting one start on this current road trip.

It's sort of a relief to know the team has this luxury of two potential #1 goalies, even though they do eat up quite a chunk of the salary cap. With injuries and inconsistency, it's nice to know that chances are good at least one of them will be hot at any given time.

And last night, Darth Gerber was hot. Unfortunately, there will be an asterisk next to this shut-out for him. It's very unusual for a goaltender to leave the net while his team is winning, but that's exactly what happened last night when Emery pulled himself due to injury. So while Emery only played the first 6 minutes, he will be given credit for the win, even though Gerber played most of the game. And they both get credit for the shut-out, as they both did not allow any goals. A very unique situation, indeed.

As for the rest of the team - they were firing on all cylinders last night, completely shutting down Carolina. Dany Heatley potted two goals, and also scoring were Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, Shean Donovan, and Dean McAmmond, with his first on the season, giving the Sens a resounding 6-0 victory.

Another headline from this game was the second-period tilt between Mike Fisher and Scott Walker. Fisher, unhappy after Walker crashed into Gerber in his crease, went after the 'Canes' tough-guy in what my dad called "one of the best fights I've seen in a long time". A lot of punches were thrown, with Fisher eventually cutting Walker open, and hey, doesn't everyone like to see blood? Then the two of them were kinda of in a bear-hug when Walker head-butted Fisher. I don't think he quite connected the way he wanted to, and it wasn't that severe, but it was still a head-butt. After that, Fisher really went to town on him, clearly having the edge in the fight. Walker ended up with the 5-minute major and game misconduct for his head-butt, and the league will also be reviewing. There's a strong possibility that he'll be suspended for his actions.

So what more could you want in a hockey game if you're a Sens fan? An interesting turn of events in the goaltending "controversy", a big win that sort of put the exclamation mark on the statement "They're back!", and a big fight to boot. What a game!!

I likely will miss tonight's game as I have a grading for my orange belt at Karate, but I'm hoping they do the same to the Penguins tonight.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Blog is 200!!

Welcome, everyone, to the 200th post!!

Can ya believe it? 200 Blog posts over the past 15 months. I must admit, they haven't been as frequent over the past little while as I'd like, but the Blog has survived so much, it would be a shame to let it die. The number of people leaving comments has dwindled, my creative juices sometimes have a hard time flowing, and then there's this small little Internet phenomenon called "Facebook" that occupies much of my on-line time.

Yet still, the Blog prevails!

Thanks to all who continue to read, for the few of you who still post (even if it is about Coronation Street - keep it coming!), and for all who take time out of their day to check out Jill's World (as boring as it may be...) Hopefully we'll all still be around for #300!!

So - tonight is my Christmas Pot-Luck for Ladies' Night at the Family Centre, which I'm very much looking forward to. Actually, kinda dreading it - we have to bring an embroidery needle, a paint brush, a glue gun & scissors. Sounds like a complicated craft!

Then tomorrow night, I'm going for my orange belt at Karate! I knew there was a grading coming up, but I didn't expect to be taking part in it, because as of last night I had only 2 black stripes on my yellow belt. (You need 3 black and one red to represent the different parts you've learned to advance to the next belt). However, Sensei Brenda quickly taught me my second set of self defence moves, and then I had to do 25 push-ups & 25 sit-ups to get my last two stripes. So now I'm able to take part in the grading and hopefully by Friday, I'll be sporting a lovely orange belt!!

Due to these two busy evenings, I'll be missing some Sens games, but I'm hoping the boys get some more victories under their belts to extend their current winning streak. GO SENS GO!!

That's all for now! Have a great afternoon, everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

They Call It Paranoia

For the past few days, it's been sneaking up on me.

I've been feeling it. A little twinge. A slight scratchiness at the back of my throat. A sneeze here. A sneeze there.

Christmas is exactly two weeks away, and I'm terribly afraid that I'm going to catch a cold, or some kind of foreign sickness. It's one of the busiest times of the year, and I have absolutely no time to be sick!!

I think it's a fear that was instilled in me as a child. There were several Christmases in a row where my family was unable to take part in any holiday cheer because one or more of us were ill. Fortunately, none of us have been sick for Christmas for years, but I'm still paranoid. Just around the time when I'm ready to dive head-first into the festive jolly-ness of the season, I start worrying about the pesky cold. Or the flu. Or typhoid fever. Or malaria.

So I've been pumping the Cold FX, the Echinicea, the Vitamin C. Everything I can possibly think of to ward off any germs or bugs that are trying to eat away at my immune system.

This morning, my awareness of catching an infectious disease was heightened when I arrived at work to find everyone fussing over Holly. She's got a cold, of course. And decided to come to work and infect me. Everyone's been telling her she needs to go home and rest, pop some pills, fight the cold, take it easy, poor wee thing.

Know what I said to her?

"Holly. If I end up sick...I'm going to kill you."

I kid not. Literally, that's what I said. She just laughed. She clearly did not take me seriously. But she should have.

Not only is Christmas fast-approaching, but I'm smack-dab in the middle of crazy-hectic-holiday-activity time. The Christmas house tour was last night. Tomorrow night is my craft group's pot-luck. Friday night is Keith Urban. Christmas parties, family gatherings, and so on...


So right now I'm sucking on a Halls Vitamin C lozenge and trying not to breathe in her germs, wishing I had one of those hospital masks to wear over my face.

Some might call it paranoia. I just call it being preventative & prepared!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Jill's Holiday Special (Reprise)

Well, gang, I'm cutting corners today - just re-posting my 2006 Holiday Specials blog. Not much has changed since I made my list last year - Elf is still my favourite, and the only new one I'd like to add is Fred Claus, which I saw a few weeks ago. Only problem is, I can't think of any to boot off the list, so I guess that means I now have 16 favourites!!

It's that time of the year again, when the TV schedule is full of Christmas shows and movies - and I tried to sit down and come up with a "Top Ten", but I just couldn't. I love too many of them. I have managed to narrow it down to fifteen of my all-time favourites, so if you get an opportunity to catch any of them, you should. Chances are, many of them are already favourites of yours, too.

So grab a cup of hot chocolate, a bowl of buttery popcorn, your coziest blanket, and curl up on the couch to enjoy some holiday magic!!

15. The Polar Express - This computer-animated movie is a recent addition to my holiday line-up of favourites. Tom Hanks is the voice of the conductor of a train taking children to the North Pole, and they run into many crazy adventures and obstacles along the way. I guarantee you, the sound of bells jingling will forever give you chills after watching this movie.

14. A Flintstone Family Christmas - Who doesn't love the Flintstones? It was a noon-hour tradition when I was a kid. In the Christmas special, Bam Bam & Pebbles are all grown up and married with kids of their own, and they return home to celebrate the season with Fred, Wilma, Barney & Betty. I always knew those two crazy stone-age kids were meant for each other!!

13. The Family Stone - I'm not sure this movie was meant to be considered a "Holiday Classic", but because it is set at Christmastime, I'm including it in my list. Starring such big names as Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Sarah Jessica Parker, it is the story of a family reunited at Christmas, only to learn that their family is about to change drastically, in more ways than one. Just try not to cry in the last scene. I dare you.

12. American Dreams: JJ's Return - OK, so this is just an episode of a cancelled TV show and it probably shouldn't even be counted, but I've watched it every Christmas for the past three years. It has become one of my holiday staples. The Prior family is dreading the holiday season without their son and brother, JJ, who is missing in the midst of the Vietnam War. When they get the call on Christmas Eve to tell them JJ has been found and will be returning home safely, it just gives you the warm & fuzzies. Plus, JJ's dad gets him the '66 Mustang for Christmas - now that's what every hero deserves!

11. A Garfield Christmas - There's something about the Garfield Christmas special that reminds me of my own family. No, we don't have any crazy pets like Garfield and Odie, but the excitement of Jon and his brother on Christmas morning reflects that of the youthful exuberance with which my siblings and I still greet Christmas morning. Plus, Garfield's gift to Grandma is a touching moment that few cartoons could ever accomplish.

10. Eight Crazy Nights - Adam Sandler's animated movie in the spirit of Hanukkah tells the story of a misguided, troubled young man who is headed down the wrong path until he is taken under the wing of one of the local characters, Whitey, who has dedicated his life to volunteering and helping the children of his hometown. It's got Broadway-style songs, big laughs, and some tear-jerking moments that only Adam Sandler could combine into one festive package.

9. A Charlie Brown Christmas - It's not Christmas without Charlie Brown! It's one of those old cartoons that is on every year, but you just can't miss it. All of the Peanuts gang is preparing for the class Christmas pageant in which they are recreating the Nativity story. And then there's that tree. The Charlie Brown Tree. You know what I mean. Everyone's either got one or at least seen one. It's not Christmas without a Charlie Brown Tree!

8. Santa Claus is Coming to Town - The story of Santa Claus in claymation, and narrated by Fred Astaire - who could ask for more? It tracks the origins of Kris Kringle from the time he was an orphan adopted by a family of elves, and how he grew up to bring cheer into the lives of children under the oppressive reign of the Burger Meister, who had banned toys from the town. I never miss it!

7. Mickey's Christmas Carol - It's Disney's take on Charles Dickens' classic story of the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge, who is visited by the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, & Future. Mickey stars as Bob Cratchit, with Donald Duck playing the young Ebeneezer, and Goofy as Jacob Marley, and many other Disney characters also appear. It's the only version of A Christmas Carol I've ever been able to sit through. Little Tiny Tim always chokes me up.

6. The Santa Clause - Tim Allen stars as a deadbeat dad who accidentally steps into the Big Guy's shoes and learns how to juggle his new duties with being a good father. It has spawned two sequels, and all three movies are worth a look. You can catch the latest installment, The Escape Clause, in theatres now.

5. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas - I'm talking about the original cartoon, not the crappy remake with Jim Carrey. That old Grinch, with a heart that is two sizes too small, disguises himself as Santa Claus and descends upon the Whos down in Whoville with plans to make Christmas disappear. And he almost succeeds, too. But even the Grinch can't hide from the holiday cheer as he realizes Christmas is not just about gifts, food, and Santa Claus - it's about being with the people you love. Just watch that Grinch's heart grow!!

4. Miracle on 34th Street - Christmas just isn't Christmas without watching the original black and white version. Susan is a little girl whose mother does not believe in filling her daughter's head with such silly notions as Santa Claus. So when jolly ol' St. Nick himself befriends Susan, she struggles to convince her mother that Santa really does exist. Doesn't matter how old you are - after watching this movie, you will believe.

3. Frosty the Snowman - It's the classic cartoon that my friends still tease me about. At a sleepover when we were kids, I threw a fit because no one would let me watch it. I argued with everyone that it was tradition - that I had to watch it! To this day, one of them will inevitably joke about the night I made them all watch Frosty. And to this day, I still never miss it.

2. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - There's an elf that wants to be a dentist. There's an Island of Lost Toys. There's the Winter Worlock. And there's an outcast reindeer with a glowing red nose. Everyone loves this Christmas special! Rudolph is one of the greatest heroes ever - he saves Christmas by guiding Santa's sleigh through the fog with his bright red schnozz. Who cares about Dasher and Prancer and Comet and Blitzen? Rudolph's the only one with his own theme song!

1. Elf - That's right, folks. Buddy the Elf won my heart a few years ago and climbed to the top of my list of Holiday Favourites. Will Ferrell stars as the bubbly, sugary-sweet Buddy who leaves the North Pole to find his real father in New York City, and along the way he finds a lot of people who need some serious convincing when it comes to the idea of Santa. It's absolutely hilarious, and it will warm the cockles of your hearts as Buddy connects with his new family and teaches an entire city to believe.

So there you have it - my Holiday Special Blog, all wrapped up for you to enjoy! Feel free to mention your Christmas favourites in the comments section and let me know if I missed any! If I wasn't in the Christmas spirit before I started this Blog, just thinking about all those great shows and movies has done the trick now!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

So far in 2007 the only ones I've been able to catch are the Seuss version of the Grinch, Garfield, Frosty, & Santa Claus is Coming to Town - but during the next few weeks, when I'm looking for some holiday spirit, I can guarantee I'll be watching the rest!! Happy Holidays, everyone!! :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Slump is OVER!!

Today, the Blog is celebrating the fact that the Sens FINALLY won a game!!


For the past couple of weeks, it's become harder and harder to believe that this is the same team that jumped out to an amazing 16-3 start to the season. They started out by losing to the Leafs, and it all went down-hill from there. Some real stinkers, and a few OT losses added in, and it had become a 7-game slump.

As long as I've been a Sens fan, I've never suffered with them through a 7-game slump. The last time they did that was under former head coach Dave "Sparky" Allison, and that was before my time. Over a decade ago. Back in the days of the "Laughing-Stock-of-the-League Senators".

There's no way a team that is this talented should ever go through such a miserable stretch of losses. However, thanks to their explosive start to the 2007-2008 season, nobody was overly concerned, as they had a nice cushy lead over the rest of their division and conference, and it was just a known fact that the ship would be righted sooner rather than later.

For me, the lowest point of the slump was watching Wade Redden's blatant, inexcusable give-away on Tuesday night that gave Tampa Bay their first goal in what ended up being a 4-3 shootout win for the Lightning. I cheer Wade on incessantly, and I defend him when everyone else is putting him down, but at that moment, I couldn't help but cringe. It seemed to put the exclamation point on the loud "ARGHHHH!" that Sens fans were letting out all over the place over the past few weeks.

Redden did redeem himself somewhat after scoring the tying goal in the dying seconds of that game, after Alfie had scored twice to help his team fight back, but alas, it just ended up being another loss in this dismal losing streak.

But last night, they were in Florida, facing former coach Jacques Martin's Panthers, and it would appear that was just what the doctor ordered. Randy Robitaille and Mike Fisher scored two quick ones in the first, and you could almost hear the gigantic sigh of relief of the entire Sens Army.

Not that it was a cakewalk after that. Martin pulled his goalie Thomas Vokoun and replaced him with a no-namer, Craig Armstrong or something like that. Then the Panthers bounced back with two goals, and I was back to biting my nails. "Oh dear God...We can't lose to Florida. We can't lose 8 straight games. We can't test out any more levels of 'rock bottom'..."

The boys must've heard me. Nicky-Fo re-directed an Andrej Meszaros point shot for his third of the season, and Jason Spezza capitalized on the power play to restore the Sens' 2-goal lead. Then Ray Emery stopped a penalty shot by some guy I'd never heard of. Again, I was breathing easier. Then Florida scored again. But Robitaille answered with his second of the game, and with a 5-3 lead heading into the dying minutes, I was already celebrating the end of the slump.

Olli Jokinen made it interesting yet again by scoring with about 14 seconds left in the game. Thankfully, it was too late for the Panthers by then, and the Sens finally busted out of the slump with a 5-4 win. It wasn't exactly pretty, but it was what the Sens needed to relieve the pressure. Scoring was spread out, with Robitaille and Fisher ending long personal goal-less droughts, and I'd also like to mention that Wade Redden played a really good game (at least, I thought he did). It looks like Ray Emery is getting his chance to hang on to the #1 position after playing back-up to Marty Gerber through most of the past two months. It's unfortunate that Gerber played so poorly during this slump, because I really thought he had surpassed that dreadful year he had last year and had regained his form. It doesn't seem fair that he's basically back to exactly where he was last year at this point.

So anyways...YES!! I'm very happy to be out of the slump, and I hope they start a new kind of streak tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars. Something they did a lot of in October and the start of November. A little somethin'-somethin' called a winning streak.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feeling Christmassy

Today, I really wish I was at home decorating for Christmas. I'm not sure why, but I feel 110% festive today - it's brisk & cold out, the sun is shining, there's a fresh skiff of snow on the ground - and I want to decorate!! If I were at home right now, I'd maybe make a cup of hot chocoate, put on my Elvis Christmas CD, and start digging out the boxes of decorations and the trees.

Alas, I'm not going to be decorating today. Because I'm working. But I do have tomorrow to look forward to. I've booked tomorrow off to go to the city with my neighbour Brittany to have a total girls fun day. We're going to do some shopping, eat at a fun place, go to the movies - the whole nine yards. I'm really looking forward to it, and I hope the weather co-operates!

I've still got quite a bit of shopping left to do, so I'm thinking I may need at least one more day after this. Seeing tomorrow is "Brittany's Day", I don't want to trail her all around while I do my own shopping. I was considering going again Saturday morning, but this desperate urge to decorate has quelled that thought. I think Saturday morning, I'll start putting out the Christmas stuff, possibly even decorate one of our trees. Then Saturday afternoon is my Grandma's church Christmas Tea, which I love going to and it always puts me in a Christmas mood.

Also getting me in the festive spirit will be the Mountainview Christmas Party on Friday night. It's really the "kick-off" to the holiday season for me, and I'm very much looking forward to it. Plus, on Friday I'm allowed to start singing Christmas carols and songs all day long. I can't wait!!

Just thinking of the shopping, the decorating, the parties, the food...Makes me all warm & fuzzy inside! I love Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Re-Thinking That "6 Kids" Idea

Ever since I was a little girl, I've always claimed to want a big family of my own someday. When I was in high school, I decided I wanted to have 6 kids. Partly because I love children, and partly because 6 is Wade Redden's number.

Now, I'm 24 years old, I have no boyfriend, and I'm no where near being close to getting married and starting a family, so logistically, those 6 kids probably aren't going to happen. It's just as well. I've discovered a TV show on TLC that I absolutely love, but it has also opened my eyes to what life is like in a zooey house filled with children. The show is called "Jon & Kate Plus 8", and it's a reality show that follows the Gosling family, Jon & Kate and their two sets of multiples - twin girls Cara & Maddy, and sextuplets Aaden, Collin, Joel, Alexis, Hannah and Leah. The twins are about 6 years old and the sextuplets are toddler age, about 3 years old.

I started watching re-runs of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" in the summer, and I was happy to see new episodes that began in the fall. To me, Jon & Kate are miracle workers. They have these 8 children to raise, and as far as I'm concerned, they do an amazing job. They are so organized, and they do such a good job of giving their kids opportunities, even though it would be easy to keep them all penned up in the house and yard all the time. They go on family outings, they have worked hard to maintain their family traditions, they feed them organic & nutritional food as much as possible, and on last night's episode, they even let the kids draw names and shop for each other's Christmas presents. There's often chaos, but they seem to handle it so well!

Jon & Kate's relationship must be extremely strong - I've heard criticism that they fight too much, but seriously, if you had 8 kids under the age of 6, I'm sure you'd also have moments where you'd want to rip your spouse's hair out. They do lose their tempers with one another, and get easily frustrated, but there are moments when they're joking around with each other that you can tell they have a bond so strong that nothing - not even 8 children - will break them.

The children are absolutely adorable. One of my favourite moments from a past episode was when one of the little boys, angry at his mother, told her, "Mommy, you a boy" - the biggest insult he could think of to hurl at her. They all seem to be happy, healthy, unique little kids with strong personalities. And all things considering, they are extremely well behaved. The family never ceases to blow me away with how adventurous and organized they are.

So yes, it's fun to watch Jon & Kate each week to see what's next for their young and exuberant family.

But I think I'll just stick to 2 or 3 kids someday!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Murder Aboard the Pontiac Princess!!

Saturday night was the annual Quyon Lionettes Murder Mystery, and I must say, we managed to pull off another one without a hitch!

This year, I was working behind the scenes, as I had my first taste of directing one of these productions. To be honest, I think it's much easier to play one of the parts - all you have to do is learn your lines and show up for practices. The women who are organizing everything - Mona, Donna, Lynn, and Barbara - have the responsibilities of choosing roles, preparing the sets for painting (by the ever-creative Rolly, who deserves his own shout-out for all his hard work), getting costumes, dealing with an oft-stubborn and unpredictable cast, preparing tickets, programs, placemats, and so many other little tidbits. It definitely makes the acting part look much easier!!

In any case, this year we were all aboard the Pontiac Princess cruise ship when Captain Emery (played by Rolly Bernier) went missing after a late-night scuffle on the upper deck. (And no, I had nothing to do with his name. That was what he was actually called in the original script. Although, someone did suggest that we should've changed his name to Captain Gerber. After the past few games, I'm not sure either one of them should be called Captain!!) The investigative team of Carla & Lawrence Woo (Donna Kennedy and Glen Leach) were fortunately on-board and they appeared on deck to solve the crime. Their suspects included: Tim Sawyer (Robbie Fraser), the first mate of the Pontiac Princess; Rita Fendley (Cecile Dumont), the overly-enthusiastic, energetic cruise director; J.D. Nash (Kenny Fleck), a big, loud & boisterous Texas oil tycoon on vacation; Mary-Lou Nash (Dawn Dolan), J.D's wife, and a Southern-Belle-to-the-max; Falcon Marlowe (Troy Young), an Austin Powers wannabe who was wishing he was back in England; KiKi Corbett (Jo-Anne Harrison) and KoKo Corbett (Carmen Trudeau), identical twins, but KiKi was shy & quiet, while KoKo was the life of the party; and Stephan Carusoe (Troy Cote), a freelance photograph blinding the other passengers with his flash.

As usual, the investigators did their interrogation, then left the suspects to point fingers at one another for the next 2 hours or so, with dinner being served between scenes. The most tension I experienced was at the start, when the murder happened - I had to make sure all the lights in the building were shut off. After that, I got to sit back and relax and watch the show, which was once again highly entertaining - lots of laughs (and some that were entirely unexpected - I did say they can be unpredictable, and they were!!), and they didn't get too carried away (as some have said my cast did last year).

By the end of the evening, the Kung-Fu detectives revealed that Tim Sawyer, the first mate, had hit Captain Emery over the head with a flashlight and tossed him overboard, and I can't really even remember the reasons why, other than he was in love with Rita and didn't like that the captain was trying to keep them apart. Something along those lines.

The cast did a wonderful job - the Troys mastered the daunting task of learning two accents each (one British & Russian, the other French & Russian) - quite impressive!; Kenny & Dawn pulled off their relationship despite the age difference; Jo-Anne & Carmen were a hoot as the French twins; Robbie played the goofball murderer to a T; and Cec never let the party stop on-board our cruise ship!!

All in all, the Murder Mystery could once again be considered a resounding success. I have only heard good things from the audience members lucky enough to be in attendance for what can easily be called the hottest ticket in town. I enjoyed my glimpse from "behind the scenes", and while I'd certainly like to be in the cast again sometime down the road, I'm glad the Lionettes, especially Mona, Donna, Lynn, and Barb, have allowed me to take part in this way, and I hope I was at least some small help to them. It truly gave me an appreciation for all that they do to keep this thing going year after year.

And now it's curtains until next year!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

I Guess This is the Slump

It's been so long since the Sens had a slump, I'd almost forgotten what it felt like.

But now I remember. It sucks.

A team that currently has a record of 16-4-1 is hardly worth cringing over. They're still widely-considered the elite squad of the NHL, despite the fact that they have just lost back-to-back games, the first time this has happened since December 2006, almost a full year ago.

Last night's loss was truly disappointing. It was an exciting, back-and-forth, action-packed affair with lots of scoring and numerous additional chances, but at the end of the day, the Sens blew two 2-goal leads over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and eventually lost in a shoot-out, 6-5.

Coming on the heels of a 4-2 loss to Buffalo the night before, we can now say we're on a losing skid. Add to the fact that the Sens have now lost 3 of their past 4 games, and you could say that they've completely gone in the crapper. Oh, and apparently Daniel Alfredsson, consistenly the best player for the Sens thus far this season, "tweaked" his groin at the end of last night's game. No word yet on how severe it is, or how long he might be out, but if he's out for even a couple of games, this could be disasterous.

OK, not gonna lie - I've kinda had a crappy week. I'm hoping it's just the doldrums before I hit the Christmas cheer. But perhaps my sucky mood is turning this little losing streak into something far worse than it actually is. Hopefully it's not as bad as I've already twisted it into. Maybe this is the worst string of games the lads will have all year. After all, ya can't win 'em all, right? These are the ups and downs of an NHL season, and there's still lots of hockey left to play. The Sens were bound to hit a downer eventually.

On a different note, I would like to mention that it would be nice for once to put up the $10.95 for these stupid Pay Per View games, as we did last night, and actually watch the whole thing without a technical glitch marring the purchase. It seemed last year that something went wrong in every game. Last night, between the second and third periods, after we went hunting with Mike Fisher, and were about to go grocery shopping with Gary Roberts and Mark Recchi, the picture froze, just as Roberts was leaning in to grab an organically-grown zuchinni from the produce shelf. So far the rest of the intermission, the screen was frozen at that one image, and as minutes passed by, I grew increasingly frustrated.

Just as the third period began, we returned to the action, but the feed had been changed from the Ottawa broadcast to the Pittsburgh one. To be honest, it was kind of nice to listen to someone other than Dean Brown for a while. Aside from the fact that they said the name "Ryan Malone" far too often, they were enjoyable to listen to. I was a little ticked when they switched back over to the Ottawa feed for the shoot-out.

So yeah, they lost, I was cranky, went downstairs to watch Survivor and Grey's, and then still had trouble falling asleep around midnight. That's how wound up I was over this silly little loss to the silly little Penguins.

Man, I spend too much time worrying about hockey!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The First Snow!!

Since Monday morning, all I've heard around the office is talk of the snow that's coming on Thursday. Gotta get the guys prepared, get the plows ready, have everything in place for the first snow on Thursday.

This morning, when I got up, I went out into the kitchen, all bleary-eyed and half-asleep to get a drink of water, and Mom said, "Look out the window!"

Snow. Lots of it. Everything completely white. Like a perfect little winter wonderland!

But here's the problem: It's only Wednesday morning!

The weatherman was calling for freezing rain, drizzle, rain for today. Not snow. The snow wasn't to come until tomorrow.

Just goes to show how smart those guys are!

So yes, things are a wee bit crazy around here this morning. But for the most part, everyone was already prepared for this, even though they were targeting Thursday. And here at Mountainview, we don't do much plowing anymore anyways, just driveways and a few of the local establishments' parking lots. The snow is wet enough that laneways and roads are pretty much already melting anyways.

But they're still calling for a dumping tomorrow, and colder temperatures as well, so it could get worse before it gets better.

I'm not going to let that stop my Snow Euphoria, though! I love the white stuff!

I just wish this was Christmas Eve...Now my Christmassy mood can officially begin! Yipee!!

If you're out in it today, enjoy it - but drive carefully!! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Darth Gerber Rebounds

The Sens rebounded nicely last night after that game that we do not speak of. Taking on the Habs at the Bell Centre in Montreal on "Larry Robinson Night", they were trying to prevent a two-game losing streak, which they have not had since December 2006, almost a full year ago.

As per usual, I missed the first period thanks to Murder Mystery practice (I'm not in it this year, just helping out) - so when I got home, it was already 2-0 Ottawa, thanks to goals by Patty Eaves and Chris Neil. Yes, that's right. I said Patty Eaves and Chris Neil. Not Daniel Alfredsson. It was like a small Senators miracle!

Not that there's anything wrong with Alfie getting all the goals. In fact, I love it that Alfie's off to such an amazing start. He's been arguably the best two-way player in the NHL this year, and has already garnered much talk of being the early favourite to win the Hart Trophy for MVP. Not too shabby at all.

However, with Jason Spezza out injured for the past few weeks and Dany Heatley mired in a 10-game scoring slump, Alfie was pretty much carrying the load, and it was starting to make me a little nervous. Being shut-out on Saturday night in the game that we do not speak of only brought to light a problem that I was already contemplating: Alfie can't be the best every night, so we need other guys to start picking up the slack, and they're not really doing it.

Now, last night, Daniel Alfredsson did have an amazing game, and he collected a couple of assists I think. He just didn't get any goals. But thankfully, some of our "role players" did. Not only did Eaves and Neil score, but so did Chris Kelly. And thankfully, Heater broke out of his slump and finally potted one too. The Habs never gave up and came at the Sens relentlessly, but they were only able to tickle the twine twice, leaving us with a 4-2 final score.


Darth Gerber (as he now likes to be referred to) had another strong game between the pipes. I was a little surprised that he got the start, after the loss in that game that we do not speak of. I thought that would just be a perfect opportunity for Coach John Paddock to give Ray Emery another chance to prove himself. But he's letting Gerber ride this thing out, handing him the reins and seemingly saying, "This is your buggy now, Darth." And Gerber righted his wagon, bouncing back nicely and making some big saves.

I really love my 16-3 Sens this year. Absolutely love them.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Bad Medecine

There was a moment during the Bon Jovi concert Saturday night at Scotiabank Place when I had a flashback to my 6th birthday party. I was opening gifts, and left right til the end were two packages, one large and one small. The first, the larger one, was a brand-new tape player...or a "boombox", as I so proudly called it - my very own boombox!!

The second, the smaller gift, was a cassette tape to use in my new boombox. I literally shrieked with joy when I opened it. It was my very own copy of the Bon Jovi "New Jersey" album - it was exactly what I wanted.

That was before the New Kids. Before Tiffany. Before Debbie Gibson. My first musical love was Bon Jovi.

And it was all because of the song "Bad Medecine".

So yes, Saturday night, while up in the third level right at the side of the stage, probably the biggest, most thrilling highlight was when Jon & the guys swung into "Bad Medecine". I screamed til my throat was sore and there was no voice left in me. Suddenly, I was so very, very glad that I had accepted the last-minute ticket offer to sit in the nosebleeds and rediscover my love for Bon Jovi, rather than stay home and watch the Sens game.

(For the record, I'm choosing to pretend that game never happened. I didn't see it, so therefore we did not lose to the Leafs. End of discussion.)

Bon Jovi was awesome!! The show was energetic from start to finish, and I heard all of my old favourites. We barely sat down. Aside from "Bad Medecine" (which included a lively interlude of "Shout!" and even had Jon down on the stage doing push-ups...YUM!), other highlights included "Lay Your Hands on Me" and "Livin' on a Prayer". We expected "Livin' on a Prayer" to be the encore, but instead, he did a moving and beautiful rendition of "Hallelujah" and then rocked out to "Dead or Alive" (absolutely amazing) - then we left, and of course he kept playing, but I don't think I recognized the songs I was hearing while we walked along the concourse, so it wasn't a huge disappointment.

I also absolutely loved when he went out on the little platform in the crowd to perform his new song, and when Richie Sambora joined him for "I'll Be There For You", I got goosebumps. Then he did a wonky version of "Bed of Roses" that was just about the only disappointing part of the night. Aside from doing some of his new stuff early on that I didn't know, the rest was absolutely perfect!!

The place was packed, Jon was smokin' hot, and I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night!!

Bad Medecine indeed...

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Band Geek with Coke-Bottle Glasses

Sens won again last night - WOO-HOO!! This time, 3-2 over the Buffalo Sabres (the cream of the crop at this time last season, who have now settled at the bottom of the NHL standings - my, how the roles have been reversed!) - with Captain Alfie scoring 2 in his 800th game. Seriously, the dude is on fire!! Shean Donovan also scored, his third of the season (and third game-winning goal), and Martin Gerber was strong once again between the pipes.

Tomorrow night, the Sens are taking on the Leafs, but for the first time in a long time - maybe ever - I won't be watching the Battle of Ontario, because I'll be at Scotiabank Place for the Bon Jovi concert. Wonder if Jon will keep us updated on the score??

After last night's game, I watched both Survivor & Grey's Anatomy. On Survivor, James continued to be my favourite player, but once again, things didn't go quite right. The plan was to oust PG-13 - clearly the most annoying player now that Jean-Robert is gone - but she won Immunity, so they had to switch up their plans. The obvious targets were either Eric or Frosti, the two remaining players from that former tribe, but Courtney's name was also tossed into the mix. Honestly, I think they should've sent her home. The girl cannot get any more skinny or she's going to start falling apart. She's frickin' skeletal. In fact, that may be my new nickname for her: Skeletor.

Todd continues to be the ring-leader, calling the shots, but James is also influential in what's going on around camp. I loved it when he shot down PG-13 after she accused him of being lazy during the challenge. This, from the twit who purposely giggled and threw a challenge the week they got rid of Aaron. It burnt me that she won Immunity and is still in the game.

When it all came down to it, the gang viewed Skeletor's blossoming relationship with Frosti as too dangerous to their group plans, so they axed him. Meh. Who cares. His name was Frosti, for crying out loud.

Now, on to Grey's - I've been loving the show this year, and this episode really hit home for me. Dr. Bailey, the hard-core hard-ass Nazi of Seattle Grace, was transformed into a giggling schoolgirl - or, as Dr. Hahn called her, a "blithering idiot"- when an old crush of hers came into the ER after the bus of teens he was chaperoning on a school trip from California crashed. Marcus held her hand, flirted relentlessly, asked her to take special care of him, even had her filling out the massive amount of paperwork for all the students under his care who were admitted.

Then, Marcus took an unexpected turn, and they had to perform surgery on him. Dr. Bailey saved his life, and when he woke up, she was at his side, smiling adoringly at him. He thanked her for all she had done, then held her hand and asked if she had remembered to fill out all the paperwork he'd asked her for.

Suddenly, Dr. Bailey was brought back to what life was like back in high school, when she had been Marcus' tutor. The scene where she breaks down in the lobby and rips Derek apart for being "one of those guys" was so perfect. She tells him how Marcus was the track star, and she tutored him through high school while harbouring a crush on him, and he didn't even ask her to the prom because she was a band geek that wore Coke-bottle glasses. She takes her anger out on Derek, because she sees him as the same kind of guy - the kind of guy who takes advantage of love-struck young fools to build up his own ego and get his work done for him.

I connected with Miranda Bailey at that moment. I cried for her; I cried for myself. I know I wasted a pile of time in high school and college, trailing after a few "cool" guys, offering to do their homework or help them study, just so I could spend time with them or hear them praise me for helping them get by. But at the end of the day, all they wanted was a better grade, or a passing mark, without actually doing the work. I was just their stepping stone to a better life, and made them feel good about themselves because I adored them. They were never interested in me. They used me.

Now, I wasn't a band geek with Coke-bottle glasses. But I was the fat girl who would do anything to get a hot guy to pay attention to me. Even if it meant tireless hours of studying with a jock, or writing an essay for him. But the smile and thanks afterwards were never quite enough. I didn't have a date for grad either. Nobody even thought about asking me. I was the loser who brought a stuffed dog as her date.

But then, the show brought me solace. When Derek pulled Miranda down beside him, and told her that in high school, he was skinny and had an afro and bad acne. And that he would have been honoured to take a girl like her to the prom.

It was a bittersweet moment that brought me peace and gave me hope. Of course, it didn't hurt that it was McDreamy saying the magic words.

God, I love Grey's Anatomy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Need a Good Laugh??

Sorry, guys, couldn't think of anything to write today. But if you need a good chuckle, check out the following story. It's always fun to laugh at the Leafs, but lately, they're just making it too easy!! This is taken from

Embarassing Times For Leafs Staff
11/14/2007 3:11:30 PM

Losing to the rival Montreal Canadiens is heartbreaking enough, but it was two other embarrassing stories that grabbed headlines in the fishbowl that Toronto fans call Leaf Nation.
Defenceman Bryan McCabe was the scapegoat again on Tuesday night, coughing up the puck to Montreal's Mike Komisarek and allowing him to score on Andrew Raycroft for a 4-3 Montreal overtime victory.

"It sucks," McCabe said after the game on Tuesday. "We played a hard game. Seems like it always ends up in a glaring error."

McCabe, who made the front page of the Toronto Sun last month for inadvertently scoring the game-winner on his own net, didn't have have Leafs head coach Paul Maurice in his ear after the obvious gaffe.

"There's not a lot of conversation after that," Maurice told reporters after the game.

McCabe was spared front page humiliation in the Toronto papers on Wednesday, but at the expense of rookie forward Jiri Tlusty.

The Leafs' 2006 first-round pick was the latest victim of the World Wide Web, as nude photos of the former Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound appeared on a Canadian gossip web site last week.

"It's tough in this city to censorize anything," said Leafs forward Wade Belak on Thursday. "I've been known to take out the trash naked from time to time. Now with all these allegations with Jiri I don't know if I'm going to feel safer out there."

The revealing pictures, which were taken by Tlusty himself last year with his camera phone, have since been removed after the Czech centre's lawyer threatened legal action. As expected, the team has been supportive of Tlusty through the last couple of days.

"It's obviously the price of being a young guy, coming in and playing for a month, having some success and having someone try to knock you down and embarrass you," said Belak. "We've lent our support to him and it's not a big deal, everyone's been caught with their pants down."

Such is life playing for one of hockey's hotbeds, and life doesn't get any easier for the team this week. The Leafs visit the Boston Bruins - who trail Toronto by just one point in the standings with three games in hand - on Thursday, and host the powerhouse Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

(Related Info
Leafs' Tlusty regrets controversial photos
McCabe's blunder leads to winning goal
Costly Mistakes
Hockey Hotbeds )

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Luckiest Girl in the World

A few days ago, I was telling you all about what a jinx I was.

Turns out, I was wrong. I'm not the Sens jinx after all. In fact, on Saturday, I was the exact opposite. I was just about the luckiest girl in the world!!

Less than 48 hours after being offered free Club Seat tickets to Thursday night's loss to the Washington Capitals by my Uncle Paul, I received a call with an offer of a free first-level seat for the Saturday matinee against the Montreal Canadiens by my Uncle Garry. He did some work for Sens GM Bryan Murray, so he was given 4 tickets for the game. His son Troy backed out, so he chose me to join him, his son Jim, and daughter-in-law Kathy.

Scotiabank Place was absolutely insane. There were a pile of Habs fans in attendance, and calling them rowdy would be an understatement. It definitely felt like a playoff atmosphere! Add to the fact that the action was back-and-forth and extremely exciting - well, I didn't think it could get much better than that.

The first period was awesome, and the Sens had many great chances, but it was Montreal that jumped out to an early 1-0 lead. Kathy and I were screaming and cheering like crazy; however, it was the Habs fans who were getting all the glory. A couple of guys sitting in the next section over all decked out in Montreal apparel were gloating like crazy, winking at us and really rubbing it in. Every time Habs netminder Christobal Huet made a save, they were chanting his name, and they were doing the "Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole!" song, even that early. They were funny though, so it was a nice change from the drunk ol' Caps fan I had to deal with at the Thursday game!

Now, some of our neighbours were sitting in the first row of the third level right above us, and in between the first & second period, I was looking for them when I suddenly saw Wade Redden's dad again, talking to some girls in the row behind us. I couldn't believe I was seeing him again for the second straight game! I was watching them pretty closely when I suddenly shifted my gaze and caught the eye of the guy sitting directly behind me. I couldn't believe it: it was Wade's brother, Bart!! I recognized him instantly from seeing pictures of him on the Net, and he looks sooo much like Wade in real life!

So Kathy insisted that I talk to him. I turned around and asked if he was, in fact, Wade Redden's brother, which he quietly confirmed was correct. A while later, I turned around and asked if he could do me a favour. He said, "Sure". So I asked him to tell Wade to stay in Ottawa. I told him I'd even try to help pay his salary if he agreed to remain a Senator. Bart laughed, and told me he'd see what he could do. He said that Wade loves Ottawa, so he didn't think he'd have to do much convincing. Kathy then informed him we were sitting in Bryan Murray's seats. He said, "Oh, so you guys know Bryan Murray?" We said yes, then turned back around, feeling we'd taken up enough of his time with this silly chat. Moments later, he leaned forward and said, "Umm...If you guys know Bryan Murray, why aren't you talking to him about keeping Wade here?" We laughed; I told him I thought he probably knew Wade better than we knew Murray, and he probably had more pull with his brother than we have with the Sens' GM.

So yes, I was absolutely glowing from meeting Wade's brother and actually chatting with him. The icing on the cake? The Sens, who were still down 1-0 late in the third period, scored to tie it up - thank you, Captain Alfie!! Less than two minutes later, Chris Neil scored to put them ahead, and then Alfie tapped one into the empty net to seal the victory and send the Sens fans into a frenzy, while those over-zealous cocky Habs fans who had started celebrating far too early were suddenly subdued. It was funny, because Bart and his buddies behind us were chanting "Huet! Huet! Huet!" at those crazy Habs fans in the next section every time we scored, and you could tell it was really ticking them off. At the end of the game, while they were announcing the 3 Stars, I was able to make eye contact with one of those guys and I blew him a big kiss. He burst out laughing - they were really good sports about it!!

As we were leaving, I happened to make eye contact with Bart again and he gave me a big smile. So I said, "It was nice meeting you," and he said the same and shook our hands. Needless to say, I was floating on a cloud!

Amazing how much my luck changed, eh? An awesome come-from-behind win amidst a pack of wild Montreal fans, meeting someone from the same gene pool as my beloved Wade...It couldn't have been more perfect!!


Friday, November 09, 2007

It's Official: I'm the Jinx

I had a delightful surprise yesterday afternoon. My Uncle Paul, who is the president of a major pharmaceutical company in Canada, had told his Ottawa office that if they ever had any extra Sens tickets that they needed to get rid of to call his Sens-lovin' niece in the Valley. (That would be me). So yesterday, I had a call from Jacquie at GlaxoSmithKline in Ottawa to offer me tickets to last night's game vs. the Washington Capitals!

It was a bit of an adventure just to get the tickets. I chose Sarah to come with me, as I know she's a big Sens fan, and also because I know she has a pretty good knowledge of how to get around in Ottawa. That was my biggest fear in this whole shemozzle - I had to pick up the tickets downtown on Bank Street, then somehow get out to Scotiabank Place. I've never driven downtown. I've never driven on the Queensway. And I've never gone to SBP without taking the Ferry, or the long way around by Renfrew. Bill explained to me how he would go about it, and wrote his instructions down for me. Then Jacquie also told me she'd leave detailed directions at the desk with the tix.

It's a darned good thing I had Bill's instructions and Sarah with me, because Jacquie's idea of "detailed directions" were as follows:


Head to Queensway West. Kanata.

Have fun,


Apparently she didn't quite grasp the part where I said I'm not a city driver!!

In any case, Sarah knew a way out to SBP where I didn't even have to take the Queensway, and as it turns out, driving downtown's not that hard, as long as you don't turn down a one-way, which I did not. Phew!!

So we get to the game, and we have a parking pass for P1, and I slid the Rav into a spot right near where there was a section blocked off with a sign that read: "Reserved for Players' Family". How cool is that? We had Club Seats in the first level, last row, right at the Sens blueline. During the warm-up, Sarah & I were giggling because Wade was stretching right in front of us with his sexy ass up in the air, and we were snapping pictures, and all of a sudden I look to my right, and three seats down from Sarah was Wade's dad! I swear it was him! I've seen him in pictures in the paper and on TV before, and I'm positive it was him! I think he and his guests were just sitting there to watch the warm-up, because some other people came along and booted them out of the seats, but it was so cool to know I was just a few seats away from my hero's dad!

The first period was filled with chances, but I quickly got the impression things weren't "clicking" for the boys in Red, Black & Gold. Nothing seemed to be working the way it had on most nights during their record-setting 13-1 start to the season. Late in the first period, two men came to occupy the vacant seats next to me - the one next to me smelled strongly of beer and the first thing he says to me is: "You think the Sens are gonna win the Cup this year? I don't think so." He was yappy, and a little annoying - kinda funny, but after awhile, the novelty of sitting next to possibly the only Caps fan in the building wore off. (He was actually a Canucks fan, but cheering for the Caps because his buddy is one of the assistant coaches. Trust me, I know the guy's life story. He never shut up).

At some point, I divulged that Wade Redden is my favourite player, and he started railing on Redden almost instatnly , calling him a pylon and saying he won't be back after this year, good riddance, blah blah blah - the usual. Then, the Sens started losing. First one Caps goal, then another. Then another. That's when I kinda started ignoring Buddy-Boy, because he was grating on my nerves. Ruining my night. He then informed me I was a sore loser and that I wasn't any fun anymore. I still ignored him. He told me that if we lost the game, our record would still be 13-2, we'd still be the best team in the NHL, and that it's just a game. "Relax, girl."

I continued ignoring. I think he got the hint, 'cause he took off with a few minutes left in the second period (to go see his buddy, the assistant coach of the Caps - yeah, right) and he never did return. Then Alfie scored, and things were looking up again.

Alas, it was too much to hope for a comeback. The third period was filled with glorious chances, but when the Caps scored again late in the game, it was lights out. I was again unimpressed with Ray Emery. If someone had told me this time last year that I'd one day be rooting for Gerber over Emery, I'd have laughed, but it appears that that's where I'm at. Marty Gerber's got the hot hand - and I want them to keep playing him. Ray didn't look comfortable or confident out there in the second period when the roof started caving in. So move over, Emery, this is Gerber's gig now.

So yet another disappointing finish to a game that I was in attendance for. It's official now that I'm the jinx. Or at least, my whole family is. (Kara & Chris were at the only other game the Sens have lost).

Nevertheless, it was a fun night (even with Yappy McYapperson sitting next to me for part of the evening) - and I was thrilled that the Glaxo people thought to call me!


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making History

Things have been rolling my way for the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I Blogged about Wade Redden's apparent desire to remain a Sen, even if he must consider a paycut. Then last night, we had spaghetti for supper, my absolute favourite. Further delighting me were snowflakes in the air this morning.

Oh, yes. And the Sens beat the Leafs again last night. This time, it was a thorough, complete, 5-1 romp!! Life is good!!

Of course, I missed the first period once again, because of Karate, so the Sens were already up 2-0 on the strength of early goals by Chris Phillips and Patrick Eaves by the time I tuned in. Early in the second frame, whilst on the PK, Wade Redden stepped up and chipped a puck to Dean McAmmond, who proceeded in on a 2-on-1 with Captain Alfie, passed it over to our fearless leader, and he rifled it home for his third shorty of the season. (The Sens lead the league with 5 total thus far). Later on in the period, Andrej Meszaros held a puck in at the blueline and fired it past Vesa Toskala for a 4-0 lead on only 13 shots, ending Toskala's night between the pipes.

Enter Andrew Raycroft. And it was also at this time that Leafs coach Paul Maurice called a time-out, gathered his troops, and subjected them to a severe tongue-lashing. I've never seen so many guys hanging their heads. I've never seen a coach look that mad at his players. Seriously. His head almost popped off.

Well, it kinda-sorta worked, but not really. The Leafs did manage to cash one on the powerplay, but too little, too late. By the time Chris Kelly put one past Raycroft to make the score 5-1, the game was already too far out of reach for the lowly Leafs. They were absolutely atrocious last night. They almost looked lifeless. They gave up odd-man rushes galore, and it sometimes looked like they were just handing the puck over to the Sens, as if they were saying, "Here, just take it. We don't wanna play."

Marty Gerber was a bit of a surprise start in nets. Not that he didn't deserve to be there. By all accounts, he has been the #1 netminder for this team this year. At first, it was just because Ray Emery was recovering from wrist surgery. But Emery deemed himself "ready to go" a few weeks ago, and in the few starts he has had, he hasn't looked all that sharp. Last night, Gerber looked calm, cool & collected, stopping 30 Leaf shots, and he's on a roll so far. Kinda like the dude I expected him to be last year. Oh well. Better late than never, right?

Last night's game was particularly special, not just because beating the Leafs is always a joyous occasion, but because the Sens officially earned themselves the best starting record in NHL history, collecting 26 points after 14 games with a 13-1 record. They're the class of the league right now, and they've got people talkign. They're being compared to the Montreal Canadiens team of the mid-70's that only lost 8 games all year. Perhaps it's a little early to be suggesting a season like that, but this does seem to be a truly remarkable team destined for big things. It's fun to be a Sens fan right now, that's for sure.

Dare I start dreaming of the Cup already??


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hope Springs Eternal (Or At Least For Today)

This morning, while getting ready for work, I was listening to the Team 1200 morning show, and I happened to catch Stuntman Stu saying, "There are some interesting comments from Wade Redden in today's Sun, which we'll discuss in the next segment". I didn't have time to hang out and listen, but I decided when I went for the mail this morning to swing into the store and grab a copy of the Sun.

Imagine my astonishment when I realized that not only was Wade's picture the full front cover of the paper, but the headline read: "HE'D PAY TO STAY".

Yep. Today's a good day, folks!

You see, I had all but given up hope of seeing Redden in a Sens uniform next year. He's coming off a disappointing year as the team's highest-paid player at $6.5 M per season, and he's been dropped to the bottom of Bryan Murray's "priority players to get signed". Since taking over the helm from the ousted John Muckler as the Sens' GM, Murray has signed Fisher, Heatley, and Spezza all to long-term hefty contract extensions. Alfie's already locked up for pretty much the rest of his career. We also have two goalies getting paid more than $3-Mil a season each. That's a lot of cash tied up in 6 guys. It didn't seem feasible that Redden would fit under the salary cap unless he was willing to take a major hometown discount to stay here.

Well...Apparently, he's thinking about it.

As it turns out, the fact that Murray locked up those key players is what's giving Redden pause, and it has him actually thinking about taking a paycut to remain a Senator. He knows that those guys are huge, important pillars in the organization. By signing them, Murray, and owner Eugene Melnyk, have given notice that they want to be serious contenders for years to come, and their #1 goal is winning a Stanley Cup. Wade Redden likes the thought of that. He knows he didn't earn his paycheque last year, and so to stay with a team that has a real shot in his adopted hometown, he's talking about accepting less money to play for the glory.

I like it. I like it a lot. Forget the fact that this dude has been my favourite player since Day 1. Any hockey player who puts his love of the game and his love of winning ahead of the money earns major points with me.

Now, of course, this is all just talk at this point. We'll see if Wade puts his money where his mouth is, so to speak.

But right now, at this very moment, this is the best news I've got regarding my beloved Wade in months. Practically a year. His play has improved, the team is 12-1 to start the year, and the boy really wants to play here.

Hope does spring eternal. At least, for today.

Friday, November 02, 2007

My Horror Show...1 Day Late

Remember when I said I all but gave up my tradition of watching a scary movie on Halloween night this year?

Well, I almost got my horror show. It was just a day late.

Yeah. I'm talking about that Sens game last night. Talk about a near-meltdown!

When I got home from Karate after the first period, the boys in Red-Black-n-Gold were already up 1-0 over the lowly Atlanta Thrashers. I settled onto the couch to watch the second frame, and my team scored early & often, racking up 4 more goals to give them a nice, cushy 5-0 lead. Randy Robitaille, who had already scored the first one and seemed quite comfy between The Dans (Heatley & Alfredsson) in the absence of Jason Spezza (out nursing a sore groin), made his second one a beauty, putting a nice move on the goaltender. Moments later, while trying to get his hattrick, he was nailed in the crease and was forced to leave the game with what they called "facial contusions". (I never saw any blood, but whatever...)

50 seconds after Robitaille's second on the night (and as a Sen), Patrick Eaves rifled one past Thrashers netminder Johan Hedberg. Next, we had Nicky-Fo potting his second as a Sen, and while he did not reprise his celebratory leap, the guy up in the music booth was probably hoping he would when he played "Jump Around" after the goal. To cap off the scoring in the second period, Captain Alfie, left wide open in front of the net, made no mistake. And there we were. 5-0 for the home team.

Some would have said, going into the third, that the Thrashers might as well pack up and go home. Some might have thought the Sens had it all wrapped up. Some might have called it a romp.

But the Sens went on to be a bright & shining example of why you can never let up. Anything can happen. Anyone can win.

The Thrashers scored one. Then they scored another. Then, with about 5 minutes left in the game, Chris Neil took a 4-minute penalty for roughing. Not sure why they called it 4 minutes, but anyways. On the first minor, the Trashers scored. On the second, they scored again. By this point, I was chanting "Bring back Gerber! Bring back Gerber!" Emery kinda sucked. Damn Ilya Kovalchuk and his stupid hattrick!

The score was 5-4 with just a little over 2 minutes left, and then Chris Kelly took a delay-of-game penalty for shooting the puck over the glass while trying to clear the zone. The Thrashers pulled their goalie, so it was effectively a 6-on-4 powerplay for Atlanta. My stomach was in knots. This was horrible!!

Fortunately, it was Alfie to the rescue again, as he scored into the empty net, relieving the tension and sealing that long-lost romp that had turned into a nail-biter. The Sens are now boasting a 10-1 record, and all's well that ends well. No nightmares after all.

Just as long as they don't pull that crap again!

Now, after the game, to calm my nerves, I went downstairs to watch Survivor and Grey's. On Survivor, we had one of the most hilarious Survivor moments ever when Jamie thought she had found one of the hidden Immunity Idols, but she actually only had a blank board. Then the tribes merged, and Todd decided Jamie should be the one to go, especially after James revealed that he thought Jamie might try to play what she thought was the hidden Idol. Sure enough, at Tribal Council, before Jeff could read the votes, Jamie tried to play it, but was informed by Jeff that this was not a hidden Immunity Idol and that all votes cast against Jamie would, indeed, count. The look on her face was priceless. She looked absolutely devestated and mortified all at once! Todd's gang had all voted for her, while she, Eric and PG-13 had voted for Jean-Robert. So with that, Jamie's torch was snuffed out, and I was never so glad to see a Survivor contestant ousted. I hated that little bitch. Todd's little one-on-one with the cameraman about Jamie peddling on the little bike at the back and trying to catch up was a highlight for me. Frickin' hilarious!!

But bad news on the Todd front - looks like he's flipping on my boy James next week, and that's not gonna fly with me. Too bad. I really liked Todd.

And I'm not gonna bother with Grey's because nobody cares. But let's just say Alex was back to his asinine self, and I miss Ava already. Seriously - Meredith's little sister? C'mon!!

Have a great weekend guys!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

I See Hockey In My Future...

Good morning to my few faithful readers out there!

I'd like to thank Priscilla for her scary movie suggestion yesterday. While I do want to see the original Psycho, I don't actually have a copy of it, and it wasn't on the dish anywhere that I could find it, so I couldn't watch it. Actually, I pretty much broke my Halloween tradition of watching a scary movie. By the time the commotion died down at our house, it was almost 9:00. I put on my pj's and went downstairs to check what was on, and I found Halloween: H20 on The Movie Network just starting. Seeing it was one of my "possibilities", I just decided to go with it. However, 40 minutes in, my eyes were drooping and it was starting to get scary, so I bailed and went to bed. I didn't really get to see any blood or guts, but I did get to see plenty of Josh Hartnett, and that's all I really wanted anyways, so mission accomplished!

Tonight is my "BIG TV NIGHT", and I'm very much looking forward to it. Thursday nights are like my TV Treat of the week. Not only do I have Grey's Anatomy and Survivor back-to-back, there's also a Sens game on... Yes, you read that right. An actual real, live hockey game. It's been so long since I've actually watched a Sens game that I feel like it's opening night all over again! Two weeks ago, the Sens played on a Saturday night, but it also happened to be Car Rally, so I missed most of it. Then they played last Saturday, but the game wasn't televised. They've been through a ridiculous schedule through the month of October - a ton of hockey to kick things off in the first week or so, and then hardly any hockey for the past three weeks. I'm blaming this lack of hockey for my lack of Blogging. Most of you enjoy my post-game reports more than any of my TV re-caps or anything else that I wax poetic about, so I'm promising you a Hockey Blog tomorrow!

I hope everyone had a great Halloween, and enjoy the treats today!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Spooktacular, Spooktacular!!

Good morning ladies and gents, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

It's one of my favourite days of the year - when spooks and spirits rise up and roam the earth, when little children giddily don their costumes and trail from door-to-door begging for treats, when scary movies are on practically every channel on TV. Today, I don't have to wear my Mountainview uniform. Today, I get to wear an orange wig, black & orange glasses, black & orange nail polish, an orange boa, and kitty ears. What am I, you ask? I don't really know. I've been told I look like Velma from Scooby Doo wearing kitty ears. I've been told I look like Josie from Josie & the Pussycats. Either way, I don't look like Jill, and that's all I was aiming for!

Now I do have a dilemma today. It's been my tradition for the past few years to watch a scary movie after the trick-or-treaters have all come and gone on Halloween Night. But now I can't decide which movie to watch. Usually I watch a bunch of scary movies around this time of year, but this year, the only one I managed to squeeze in was "Stir of Echoes" on Sunday afternoon, and I ended up falling asleep 10 minutes in. Now, I know I can watch a scary movie anytime, but it just won't have the same appeal to watch one tomorrow night. So this is where you guys come in...Help me choose!

The options are as follows:

Halloween: H20 - It's one of my favourites, with Josh Hartnett starring as Laurie Strode's son John, and he gets to meet his uncle Michael Myers 20 years after he last stalked his mother on Halloween. Right now, this is the flick I'm leaning most towards, mainly because of Josh Hartnett.

Carrie - It never fails to chill me, despite the cheesy 70's horror movie style. Carrie is a character you feel sympathetic for, as she is bullied and teased for her introverted ways, but when she unleashes her horror on her classmates at the prom, she becomes one of the biggest monsters in cinematic history. I watched it last year on All Hallow's Eve, so maybe I should make it tradition?

An American Haunting - I just saw this movie for the first time last year, a few weeks before Halloween, and I loved it. It was an authentic, spine-tingling ghost story with a twist that left my head spinning. I haven't watched it since, so it keeps popping up in my head as an option.

Silence of the Lambs - It's another one that I haven't watched in a long time - in fact, I can't really remember what even happens, other than the standard Hannibal Lecter images that never quite leave your memories. I got it for Luke for his birthday, and I think it's still in the wrapper...Might have to open it tonight!

Idle Hands - It's got some scary moments, but overall, this was a comedy set around Halloween when poor Anton's hand becomes occupied by the devil and all sorts of hijinks ensue. The real reason I'm thinking of watching it is because I might get too scared watching the others, and at least I know I can survive until the end of this one!

Pet Sematary - What would Halloween be without Stephen King? It's my favourite of his horror stories, and the creepy little zombie baby gives me the willies just thinking about him. The only reason I'm leaning against this movie is that I watched it just a few months ago, so perhaps it is too fresh in my memory.

OK - so those are the only choices I can think of right now that I really want to watch. If it were up to you guys, which one would you watch? Or have you any other scary movies that you can recommend that perhaps I might find while channel surfing tonight?

Have a spooktacular day!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Late, but Loooong

Hey guys!

Well, I didn't get around to Blogging about Survivor or Grey's Anatomy yet, so here it is - sorry it's late!!

We'll start with Survivor: The last time I wrote, things were looking awfully gloomy for my boy James. The tribal shake-up had him out-numbered on a team of dimwits who chose to throw a challenge in order to eliminate either him or Aaron. They decided to toss Aaron, presuming that he had stronger ties to his former tribemates than James did. Apparently, they presumed wrong, because this week, James' old buddies saved his ass BIG TIME!!

Now, the plan didn't come off without a hitch by any means. Concoted by Todd (who is growing on me with every episode - he's kinda like a little gay Tom Cruise. And no, Tom Cruise is not gay...) - the plan had them kidnapping James after winning the Reward Challenge. James would then, in turn, share his secret clue with Todd and Amanda so they could find the hidden Immunity Idol, because Todd had all the previous clues. They would then give James the hidden Immunity Idol, and upon returning to his new tribe, he would purposely help throw the next challenge (not hard, thought James, with that already being the girls' plan). Then he would go to Tribal Council, allow all his teammates to vote him off, and then promptly produce his hidden Immunity Idol. His vote would be for Jamie, thus sending her home, and completing Todd's crafty little plan. Meanwhile, he would also find the other hidden Immunity Idol at his own camp, which he would have to share with Todd and Amanda once the tribes merged, cementing their powerhouse alliance.

Brilliant, right??

Well...Things didn't quite go as planned. First of all, while James was gone, the giggling girls decided it was in their best interests to not lose the next challenge after Frosti refused to make eye contact and Sherea wouldn't talk to PG-13 at the Reward Challenge. Fearing their former allies had been swayed to the other side, the girls decided to fight back. The Immunity Challenge also wasn't an easy one for James to throw - an eating competition involving "Chinese delights". And we're not talking Chicken Balls and Egg Rolls here. They had to face off over chicken hearts, eel, chicken fetuses, rotten eggs, and stuff like that. James was baffled when he realized his tribemates were actually trying to win, and were quite handily putting the boots to the other team. James and Todd exchanged several pained glances as they realized their master plan was unraveling before their eyes.

But perhaps the most poignant moment of the challenge was when James went up against Denise over the under-developed baby chicks (beaks, claws, and feather included). She knew he was supposed to throw the challenge, and he tried desperately to do so, spitting pieces out and forcing himself to gag. But Denise just couldn't eat them. She tried and tried and couldn't get it down. Seeing her struggle like that was too much for James, and finally he quietly said, "I got it," and jammed the rest of the baby chick in his mouth, downing it with ease. Their plan had gone completely belly-up, and not even he could save it.

Fortunately, all was not lost entirely. James had the Idol and didn't need it, but things were still OK at the other tribe. While Frosti had accidentally become a part of the alliance with Todd, Amanda, Denise, and Courtney when he witnessed them finding the hidden Immunity Idol, they still had Sherea and Jean-Robert to target for elimination. Concensus was to get Sherea out, until Courtney reared her ugly head and demanded that Jean-Robert go. Things were a little up in the air until she got to Tribal Council and pissed off everyone, especially Todd, and they went back to their original plan of getting rid of the outsider Sherea. Thank God. Finally, something went RIGHT in this episode!! Not that I'm a big Jean-Robert fan, but that's my chosen tribe, so they had to get rid of one of their new members ahead of him!

Coming up this week: Looks like James misses the boat on finding the other hidden Immunity, Courtney and Todd fall out completely, and it looks like we're gonna merge! Yee haw for James for SURVIVING!!!

Now, I've already rambled long enough and no one cares about Grey's, but last week was one of my most favourite episodes ever. But forget about everyone and everything but this:

Alex. And Ava. YES!!!

The long-awaited reunion finally happened! Last season, he rescued her during the ferry disaster, they became close while she was hospitalized with a crushed face and amnesia, and then, when she got her face & memory back and her husband came to get her, she begged Alex to give her a reason to stay with him, and he told her she should go back to her husband.

Then, Alex realized he needed her and went back to get her, but she was already gone. *Poof* Just like that.

I've been hoping and praying for Ava's return this season, and when Alex pulled back the curtain to see her waiting for him in the pit...Well, my heart melted. They spent the episode re-igniting their flame, tangled together in the on-call room, where all the sexy rendez-vous' go down at Seattle Grace. Then Alex got called away when his old intern Norman had a massive stroke. And at the end of the show, Alex went back to talk to Ava, and she was already gone again, leaving her shirt so he could remember her smell.

So once again, I'm at loose ends with Alex and Ava, wondering what's going to happen. God, I hope they bring her on full-time. Alex deserves a real relationship. Alex deserves love. And Ava's the girl for him.

Keeping on the topic of Alex - I've realized from watching my DVD's and current episodes that his uniform when he's not in uniform is a sexy black wife-beater. Yum. I love it.

OK - so the recaps are late, but they're long, so that's gotta count for something, right?

See y'all tomorrow for a real, genuine Halloween Blog!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Sens WIN!! / Survivor SUCKS!!

I missed the first period of the hockey game last night; hence, I missed Wade Redden's second goal of the season, which he scored on the powerplay less than a minute into the game vs. Montreal last night. Apparently it was a bit of a blooper goal, and nothing I should really be all that proud of. But hell, Wade Redden scored a goal, and that's good enough for me! YAY WADE!!!!

The Sens blew a 3-1 lead, letting the Habs back in it with 2 powerplay goals. After Kovalev scored to tie it, I was a little on edge - but not for long. 24 seconds later, Jason Spezza scored his first of the season, and all was right in my world again.

It was Randy Robitaille's first game as a Sen after clearing waivers the day before, but I have to admit, I didn't really notice him. What I did notice was rookie Nick Foligno scoring his first NHL goal (assisted by none other than Wade Redden) - and his celebratory leap afterwards in tribute to his dad, Mike, who used to pounce off the ice like a jackrabbit when he played in the NHL back in the day. Between periods, they asked Nicky-Fo (Steve Warne started the nickname on TGOR, and I like it) if he would continue the trend for every goal he scores in the future, and he replied that it was a one-shot deal - a salute to his father that will not be repeated again.

I'm not going to talk about the soft goal that Martin Gerber allowed to get the Habs on the board in the first period; nor am I going to wonder if his less-than-stellar game had anything to do with Ray Emery being back on the bench and putting pressure on Gerber again to perform. I'd rather not have a goaltending controversy, and the media are flogging the damn thing to death. If you want to read about that, check out the Sun or the Citizen, I'm sure they'll have plenty of coverage.

Now, I was able to catch Survivor last night following the game. I haven't done a recap for you since my initial thoughts after Episode 1 - since then, we've said good-bye to Ashley the wrestler, Leslie the Christian Radio DJ, and Dave the annoying ex-model.

Last night's episode was what I like to call "The Survivor Episode from HELL". The nitwit brains behind the operation decided it would be fun to have the two tribes swap two players, with the opposite tribe choosing the two strongest players in their eyes to join them.

Up to this point, my favourite tribe has been the tribe with the two hot men: Aaron, the HOTT surf instrutor, and James, the HOTT, buff, sexy, delicious gravedigger. Yes, ladies...that's HOTT with two t's. We're talkin' Colby Donadson HOTT here.

So naturally, the weaklings over at the other camp chose to take Aaron and James from the other tribe. They're complete idiots, of course, and didn't realize that they would have to give up two of their members in return. They were clicking their heels over the idea that the numbers would now swing in their favour 7-5. Apparently, it never crossed their minds that the other tribe would get the same note that they did. The other tribe chose to take from them Frosti, whom I still can't take seriously, and Sherea.

A fair trade? I think not.

Things just went from bad to worse when PG-13 and Jamie put their heads together and decided that if they wanted to keep the numbers in their original tribe's favour, they'd need to get rid of James and Aaron pronto, which would mean purposely attempting to throw challenges. That's not an easy task with James and Aaron on your side, but they managed to do it anyways. It was painful to watch them giggle and laugh throughout the challenge as the purposely put puzzle pieces in the wrong spots. I wanted to slap Jamie across the face when she chucked one part of the puzzle way off in the tall grass. It was even more difficult to watch James trying to figure it out afterwards and scolding the girls for their silly behaviour. It didn't seem to dawn on him or Aaron that they had purposely lost the challenge.

I was grasping at hope when Erik found out that his girls had thrown the competition, and I saw his expression darken with disapproval. However, despite the fact that he thought it was wrong to lose on purpose, he chose to stick with his tribe and vote out one of the "new guys". One of the HOTT guys. ARGHHHHH!!

James asked them to send him home, because he didn't want to continue playing the game with people who tried to lose. However, the girls figured that Aaron had stronger ties with his old tribe than James, so they sent him packing instead. Either way, I knew the elimination was going to suck. To see those two stupid bitches sitting there with stupid smiles on their faces, so pleased with themselves, while two of the strongest players in Survivor history were on the block, made me want to vomit. Even Probst looked disgusted with this sickening turn of events.

So unless James can work a miracle next week, the girls will be trying to throw the challenge again to get rid of him. I'm hoping between now and then, he & Erik can bond and form a secret alliance to try and overthrow the girls' stupid plan.

Otherwise, I may forever remember this ridiculous Survivor twist as the most horrible twist ever!!!!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and for those of you who are on the Car Rally tomorrow - see you along the trail!!