Thursday, March 29, 2007

Field of Dreams

Here's your Thursday morning FNL re-cap (Kenny):

After a train de-railed near the high school in Dillon, Texas mere days before the State Semi-Finals, resulting in the school's closing and shutting down the football field, Coach Taylor had to do some quick thinking to find himself a home field. In a stroke of genius, he decided to gather his players together to build a field in a rural cow pasture, gathering them even tighter as a group as they worked to create their very own football field.

Meanwhile, Tyra finally gave in to Landry's pursual and agreed to let him be her Algebra tutor, and in Landry's world, that was like winning the lottery. However, his car broke down just as it started to rain, leaving Tyra waiting alone at the diner, chatting awkwardly with a man sitting nearby. When finally Tyra gave up waiting on Landry, she decided to take off, but that man followed her, shoved her into a truck, and tried to rape her. Tyra fought back, burning him with the truck cigarette lighter and slamming the door on his hand, and he finally gave up. Moments later, as she stood crying in the rain, trying to gather up her books, Landry showed up at last, and he gathered Tyra into his arms and comforted her. It was a really sweet moment, and I hope Tyra gives the goofball geek a chance...But the whole time, I just kept thinking, "Why, when the rest of the world is at the football game, are Tyra & Landry planning to study?" I know she had a big test coming up, but I don't think anybody in Dillon misses football games - especially not Matt Sarracen's best friend, Landry!

And once again, Bo did not get enough air time, as Riggins continues to woo the single-mom-new-neighbour, Jackie. However, Tim did get a warning from big brother Billy that this is not going to end well. I hope for Tim's sake, he's wrong...I mean, he really has been getting the short end of the stick all season long in the relationship department.

And Waverly is Bi-Polar, and she's no longer taking her meds, and Smash is seriously scared. Can't say I blame him...She's kinda giving me the shivers every time she's on screen.

Best Bitch-Out of the Night: Lyla throwing water on Jason and lecturing him on how to turn his life around. Glad to see that Lyla has grown a spine and isn't afraid to tell him how it is, wheelchair or not!

Oh yeah, about that Semi-Final football game...It started to rain shortly after the game began, turning the cow-pasture-slash-football-field into one big mudhole. But the boys wanted to play, despite the officials' attempt to call the game, and they let 'em have at 'er, and of course the Panthers won. So Coach Taylor's cow pasture did, indeed, turn into the Field of Dreams.

Before signing off, I thought I should also mention a story that's become a hot topic in our area since it made front-page news in the Ottawa Citizen yesterday. 8-year-old Jared Murray of Shawville (great-nephew of Sens coach Bryan Murray), who played Novice B hockey for the Pontiacs all season long, has now been banned from playing in the Hockey Quebec Regional Playdowns, allegedly because of his size. Of course, in Shawville, where people are still bitter about having been forced to switch from the Upper Ottawa Valley minor hockey league to the Quebec Metro league many years ago, this has developed, once again, into a language issue. Many people feel that because Shawville is a mainly English town, that they are being discriminated against by the Metro league and its' French-speaking authorities.

Personally, for me, the language thing has gotten in the way of the real problem here: A child is no longer able to play the game he loves, and if the reason they're giving is that he's too big, then that is the angle from which this should be fought. Forget your French vs. English battle - this is about human rights, and a child being forced to sit out because of his size. And I guarantee you, this kid is an unhappy camper right now, because not only has he been forced to the sidelines, but Shawville Minor Hockey in its entirety is now boycotting the Regionals, and I can just imagine the kind of flak this boy is going to take at school from other children who don't understand the situation and blame him for cutting their hockey seasons short.

It's a gross injustice, to be sure. I just hope that those involved approach this from the right angle, or else minor hockey in Shawville is going to suffer for generations to come.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sure Signs of Spring

Alright, so I may be jumping the gun - who knows, we could get a snowstorm next week - but all this Springy weather is positively thrilling me!!

My winter coat has been retired, and I'm now back into my light-weight MVT jacket, which somehow just makes me feel skinnier. With the days lasting longer, I'm now able to take my walk after supper, and I don't even mind that I have to do a little puddle-jumping (or swimming - like in the massive lake in front of my cousin Scott's house, which goes completely across Stanton Road). I'm not even going to complain about the potholes throughout town and especially here on the 5th Concession, where you could sometimes imagine you're riding a really bumpy rollercoaster. Potholes=Spring! YAY!!!

More signs of Spring: Word on the street is Mae is opening the chipstand tomorrow. The Senators are 2 weeks away from their 10th consecutive playoff berth. I hear that there's been a gang down at the river getting the Ferries ready to set sail someday soon. Easter is next weekend. The Flying Elbows Tourney is this weekend. There's a huge bump at the end of our driveway where the culvert is falling in. The snow is pretty much melted everywhere. The phone here at MVT is ringing more and more. Todd's calling me twice as much as he did all winter long. Somewhere, I'm sure baby animals are being born and any day now people will be reporting that they've seen the first robin. Sara even told me she's got flowers growing at home.

Everybody's smiling more. Everybody's happy. Everbody's ready.

It's SPRING!! :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

One Last Whirlwind Trip to Guelph!

Back from Guelph, all in one piece! Here's a quick run-down of a few of the highlights and funny moments:
  • It was a very, very long car ride, as we got stuck in rush hour TO traffic on the 401 and crawled along until we hit the Guelph exit for like 2 hours or more. I was antsy!!
  • On our way to the Portly Penguin for dinner Friday night, we were listening to homie music in Jason's car, and there was a funny noise in one of the songs, which I declared sounded a lot like a skunk. Jason and Lindsay teased me about it all weekend. (Do skunks have a sound??...I don't know!)
  • We partied at Upstairs Van Gogh's, where I saw my first real live transvestite. I wanted to take the He-She's picture, but Jason warned me that it would kick my ass. Apparently, it and Lindsay are very good friends, though! (haha...)
  • Grootz tried to teach me to do this cool dance-y move with my arms...But he and Jason laughed hysterically at me, apparently I wasn't doing it right...
  • Bekk (Lindsay's roommate) & I went downstairs to get money out of the ATM, and we had to tell all the bouncers as we went by what we were doing so that they'd let us back in...The bouncer at the door going into the downstairs club knew Rebekka, and she told him what we were up to. He told her to go ahead, and she said, "Jill too?" and then I said, "Do you want to see my bank card?" Everybody around us laughed, and he told me that was the worst pick-up line he'd ever heard...
  • I FINALLY got to eat Sun Sun's at like 3 AM...We stopped in there to get food on the way home, and then we decided to walk 'cause it was such a nice night. However, I apparently cannot walk & eat at the same time. So I ate cold Sun Sun's when we got home. But it was still just as good as everyone told me it would be! tee hee hee
  • I should really offer up my apologies to those of you who received 4 AM wall posts on Facebook from me that night, especially Susie...That was a really long one!
  • 4 hours after going to sleep, we were up & at 'em to have breakie with Bill & Sue. We also went to the theatre to see "Premonition" - highly recommended, just don't go pee or you'll be lost!
  • We also went to Bill & Sue's hotel to swim. (Actually, Rebekka & I just dabbled our toes in the water) - But holy heck, you shoulda seen the hot lifeguard! Smokin'!!
  • That night, Lindsay made fajitas, while Rebekka and I took charge of the nachos...We made them look so beautiful, just like a big pan of Christmas!!
  • I still can't believe I had to watch LEAF HOCKEY two nights in a row!! Gag me!! But the first night was hilarious, with the Laffs blowing a 4-1 lead to lose 5-4 to Buffalo. I had to keep my hand over my mouth and I had to bite my tongue hard, to stay out of trouble!
  • Kenny: Just in case Luke hasn't told you...I was 2/2 with Roll Up the Rim to Win on the weekend...two coffees, booyah!!

And that's about all I can think of right now, lots of laughs and good times! Hope you all had a great weekend as well!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More Bo, Less Rocky

Good morning, lovely Bloggers!

OK - Brief FNL recap for Kenneth Fleck: The kid who plays Bo, Tim Riggins' new neighbour, is just about the cutest thing ever. He didn't get enough airtime last night; he's adorable! Tim's kinda taken the kid under his wing, and in the meantime is getting action from Bo's mom. It's hard sometimes to remember that Riggins is in high school. He seems so much older than all the other football players; so much more "wise in the ways of the world". Now that he's gettin' it on with a 30-something single mom, he seems even more grown up.

Street started out the episode with a major slap in the face when he was not selected to play on the Quad Rugby team in Beijing. But he returned home and seemed to reconnect with his old friends, including Riggins. He and Lyla may be in trouble again, though, after he told her he's not sure he wants to be engaged.

Meanwhile, Julie's flipping out at the possibility of having to move to Austin, Texas, as the Coach has been offered a new job out there. But Julie really does have the coolest parents in the world, and I won't be surprised if they decide to stay in Dillon so that she can stay with Matt. Mrs. T has also taken Tyra under her wing, helping her academically, but Tyra's mom wasn't on the same page, basically telling her daughter she's not smart enough to go on to college. Thankfully, Tyra thinks otherwise, and once again, I felt a little respect for the girl.

Next week's episode looks like it's gonna be another doozie!! Can't wait!

Now, on to Survivor, where we had a Tribal re-configuration right off the bat. Everybody dropped their buffs, and two new tribes were formed, with one coming out all-alpha-male, and the other apparently weak with all the girls & Yau Man (who might as well be considered a girl, strength-wise), along with Boo & Earl. Lisi was the odd gal out, and she was shipped off to Exile Island after basically throwing a tantrum and begging Jeff to send her home.

Edgardo selected the wrong colour of buff, so the boys were all sent to Loser Beach, while the seemingly "weak" tribe got a huge advantage in earning the right to live over at Luxury Camp. The boys, however, made the best of it, and they were out catching fish and bonding before you knew it. Unfortunately for Anthony, considered "effeminate" and "nerdy" by some of the others (ie: Rocky), he was left to build fire and boil water, while the "big tough men" went out to do the hard work. Argh, argh, argh! (That was supposed to sound like Tim the Tool Man's macho grunt...) I really felt bad for Anthony. He's never been given a fair shake with Rocky beating him down every chance he gets, and I've never been a fan of bullies. So yeah, my initial impression of Rocky being my favourite has completely evaporated.

At the Immunity Challenge - surprise, surprise! - the big, tough boys lost. It must be something to do with living on Loser Beach - like a vibe that you can't shake or something. It gets in your head, and you're doomed to be a loser forever. In any case, the boys debated tossing either Anthony or Rocky, but after the way Rocky acted at TC, I would have voted off Rocky. He acted like a little baby, and his treatment of Anthony was appalling, calling him names and demanding he stand up for himself, which was odd, because every time Anthony even so much as opened his mouth, Rocky was shouting over top of him. In the end, they got rid of Anthony anyway, but I guarantee you that Rocky won't be far behind him. His abrasive, loud, obnoxious attitude is already starting to grate on the other guys, and over-the-top characters like that never last long!

Right now, my new favourite is Edgardo. He seems to be the most level-headed and not so dramatic. Should be interesting to see how this one all boils down!

Well, that's all for now folks...It appears as though I might be making another trip to Guelph this weekend with Bill & Sue to visit Lindsay, so I'll have a full report when I return!

Take care!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

If I Were A Blues Fan...

It's very rare for me to ever sympathize with the "enemy", especially when it comes to hockey. I'm a homer when it comes to the Sens, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I would defend my players up and down, through thick and thin, no matter what.

Chris Neil lays out Chris Drury in a "questionable" hit? It was clean!! Drury shouldn't have been admiring his pass!!

Marian Hossa swings his stick too enthusiastically, catching Bryan Berard in the eye? He was just following through. It was a freak accident, very unfortunate for Berard, but not really Hossa's fault!!

Dany Heatley drives too fast, getting in a car accident and killing his Atlanta teammate Dan Snyder? It was a tragedy, but everybody makes mistakes. Snyder's family has publicly forgiven him, so quit trying to bring him down, people!!

Daniel Alfredsson plasters Darcy Tucker into the boards in another "questionable" hit? It was 85 years ago, idiots! Plus, Tucker's the most annoying player ever & he deserved it. Get over it and QUIT BOOING MY CAPTAIN!!

Yep, that's right. I'd stick up for them, in any situation.

But last night, watching the Sens take on the St. Louis Blues in St. Louis, I actually felt a little sorry for the home team. Just a little smidge of compassion. Because they were robbed - not just once, but twice.

In the third period, with the game tied at 2, Martin Gerber appeared to make a spectacular save off of Brad Boyes. Boyes was at the side of the net, staring at a wide-open cage, and the puck came to him. It looked like he had all day to just tap it in. But Gerber dove over, and made the stop, in what seemed to be a breath-taking show of goaltending prowess. It was the kind of save that would have a goaltender dreaming of winning the HON honours on TSN's Sportscentre Loop.

But our local broadcaster boys offered up an overhead view of the play that clearly showed the puck had crossed the line. Apparently the St. Louis players didn't realize it, because they didn't even demand that they go upstairs. If they had, the replays would have shown that it was a goal and St. Louis would have gone ahead 3-2. However, there was no uproar at all, the puck was dropped, and play resumed. Moments later, the St. Louis video goal judges buzzed down to say it was a goal, but you can't go back in hockey once the puck has been dropped, so it was ruled "no goal".

Seconds later, Ottawa broke up ice shorthanded 2-on-1, Chris Kelly slid a pass over to Antoine Vermette, and Bam!! - just like that, it's 3-2 Ottawa!

Not long after, there was a scramble in the Ottawa end around Gerber, and the puck slipped into the net. The ref signalled "no goal" again, claiming to have blown the whistle. Replays showed that the puck had crossed the line mere seconds before the whistle blew. However, apparently when the ref loses sight of the puck and has his mind made up on the play, it doesn't matter if he blows the whistle or not, because in his mind, the play is dead. Another lost opportunity for the Blues.

One more thing happened that was obviously missed by the officials or Ottawa would have taken a delay of game penalty: With the Blues heading down the ice into the Ottawa end, chasing the puck, Antoine Vermette had a brain cramp or something while sitting on the bench and reached over the boards to swing his stick at the puck. Luke noticed it first and we all laughed at him, but moments later they showed the replay, and sure enough, there was Vermette, leaning over the boards and waving his stick at the puck! If he had been caught doing that, it would have been a Blues powerplay, and they might have scored to get back in the game.

So yeah, I felt a little sorry for the poor lads. The hockey gods were definitely not smiling on them last night.

Now, on the flip side, it was imperative for the Sens to secure the two points as we continue to battle Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference for 4th place. Meanwhile, the game was meaningless to the Blues, as they were 12 points out of a playoff spot before last night's action. So I suppose I could look at it from the perspective that my team needed a little luck, and thanks to a slow video goal judge and a ref with a slow whistle, we got that luck last night.

But I think if I were a Blues fan, I'd be pretty ticked off!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Twilight Zone

G'day, folks! Welcome to this edition of the Blog!

We'll kick things off with a re-cap of Grey's Anatomy - which was apparently the only show in the world that didn't take a "break" last week. We found ourselves amidst the after-math of the whole "Merdith-drowned-and-came-back-to-life-but-her-mom-died" story arc. Mer seems to be handling her near-death experience and her mother's passing quite well. She even agreed to have dinner with her estranged father and step-mother, who wanted to reach out to her in her time of grief. And yes, there were many awkward moments during the dinner (especially when her father described a photo of what he thought was his other daughter Molly, and Meredith interrupted, saying, "No, Dad, that was me.") But Meredith did seem to really connect with her father's second wife, and I think we'll see Meredith finally become a part of a "real family" in the future.

Alex moved in with Meredith & Izzie - and I still think he's just about THE hottest thing to ever breathe. He's making Izzie uncomfortable, so who knows - sparks could be flying for them again before we know it!

George & Callie had a huge fight, after she revealed to him that she's sitting on a gold mine, and that's how they're able to afford the luxurious hotel suite they've been staying at. Callie also threw out the idea that she thinks Izzie has the hots for her new husband, and that's why she's so dead-set against their marriage. This built up to the most heart-wrenching moment of the night for me: when George laughed at her and said, "Oh come on...She's Izzie! She's blonde, and she's stacked, she was a model!...She'd never be interested in me!" His words absolutely crushed Callie, and I totally related. George didn't mean to hurt her, but basically what he said was, "I can't get someone like Izzie, so I've settled for someone like you." So yeah, she was completely justified in kicking him out. I adore George, but that was just too mean!!

Unfortunately for Callie, the one George went to to vent was, in fact, Izzie. They drank together while she listened to him pour his heart out and offered him advice, despite her hatred for Callie, and before we know it, George & Izzie are in bed together. Yep, you heard right. George & Izzie. In bed together. I have no idea what's going to happen next...But I don't like Izzie & George together, so I hope they clean up that mess, and quickly!!

Oh, and Cristina's ex-boyfriend, who happens to be an old, ugly British guy, was in town, screwing things up with her & Burke, and also intensifying the race to become Chief. Poor old Richard had his Attendings fighting all over the halls of the surgical wing at Seattle Grace, and all of them trying to one-up each other and impress the new guy. The Chief wasn't pleased. I'm starting to wonder if the Chief will ever find a replacement! Can't wait to see what happens...

On to The Amazing Race. Or should I say, The Twilight Zone. Remember last week, how horrified I was that Rob & Amber were eliminated after they were beaten to the mat by Mirna & Schmirna?? Well, this week the Shrieky Cousins finished in first!! Unbelievable!! It was their first-ever "first place finish" on the Race, and I just hated them all the more!

This week I missed the first fifteen minutes, but I tuned in in time for the Roadblock, where one team member had to use a gigantic trained rat to find a buried flag marker. Most of the teams were initially freaked out by the massive rodents, but they never had to touch them, and they actually seemed kinda cute & cuddly! Mirna & Schmirna's rat didn't co-operate the best, and after the Roadblock, it appeared they were in dire straits.

However, thanks to some bad navigating by my boy Eric, a couple of teams got lost on the way to the Detour, where they had to choose between loading 10 bags with coal and delivering one bag to a local, or offering manicures to people in the market to accumulate a certain amount of money. Most teams chose to do the coal, and to be honest, I think I would have too - however, it turned out that the nail-painting was actually a very easy task, and those who chose it finished at the top of the pack. Sweetest moment of the night goes to Dustin & Kandice after they painted a cute little girl's nails, even though she had no money.

Eric & Danielle, who are my last remaining "favourite team", looked like they were in big trouble when they were last team left filling the bags of coal, but fortunately for them, Uchenna and Joyce got lost delivering their bag, and they even almost beat Team Guido (their new arch-nemesis) to the mat. Uchenna & Joyce did come in last, but Phil offered them a reprieve with the first non-elimination round, and they will be marked for elimination next week, so they must finish in first or suffer a 30-minute penalty.

So there's your recaps, folks! I hope everyone had a great St. Paddy's Day - Gavan's was crazy-fun, and I have some pics up on Facebook, so if you're on there, look me up and check 'em out!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Be There or Be Square!!

So we're all boys to Quyon,
Put on your best clothes!
We're a-headin' for a-Quyon,
Where the Ottawa flows.
Where there's music and dancing,
And all hands around!
We're a-headin' for a-Quyon,
My old stomping grounds!

That Gail Gavan song always makes me think of St. Paddy's Day at Gavan's. I'm not sure why. It's not a song from her Irish collection; in fact, I think it's probably from her "Love of the Valley" Volume 1 tape. But when I'm at Gavan's on Sunday, and the place is packed to the rafters, and I'm running into people from all over the Valley, that's the tune I'll be humming in my head.

So yes, in case you didn't already know, the famous St. Pat's party at Gavan's is on Sunday, starting at 1 and running all afternoon & into the evening, until God only knows when. There's just something about being at Gavan's on a Sunday afternoon, with the sun beaming through the windows, and everyone drunk & rowdy & friendly - it's a special day, and I can't wait! I'm not a big fan of the "big side" on St. Paddy's - it's so crowded, you can barely move. But the "small side" - now that's where the real fun is! A small group of musicians playing fiddles and guitars, and most of the locals crammed around tables and standing up at the bar. You can kind of just find a spot to plant yourself, and then have fun as people tour around and stop to say hello.

People come from far and wide for the famous (infamous?) celebration - it's the one big party that always puts Gavan's - and Quyon - on the map. It's also amazing how everyone discovers their Irish roots and come decked out in green from head to toe. As you can tell, I'm really excited...And I hope to see you all there!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Those Pesky Penguins

I love my Ottawa Senators. You guys all know that. So I was tremendously pleased last night when they came back from a 2-0 deficit vs. the New York Rangers to win the game 3-2. Yes, they actually held on to a third period lead, rather than blowing it. Ray Emery was stellar in nets, and they fought hard to get back in the game after a lacklustre first period.

But you know what kinda takes the shine off a solid win like that? Finding out that those pesky Pittsburgh Penguins just won't die. Ever!! Like, c'mon!! How many times in the past month have they come back in a game to take it to Overtime or a Shootout? Seems like every second night, they're doing it again. Last night it was against the Buffalo Sabres. I was trusting Buffalo to take care of them for me, so that I could have a 3-point cushion in the East, but noooooo. They let them get the 2 points in a Shootout. The buggers.

I admire these kids in Pittsburgh. I really do. In fact, I had even selected to cheer them on as my second favourite team in the NHL, until they decided to go and become my biggest competition. Of course, I've had to sever my ties with them since then. There's just no room in my heart for 2 hockey teams, I guess. But I'm having trouble trying to figure out when they went from being a bit of a joke - a basement-dwelling team last season, to one of the hottest up-and-coming clubs the NHL has ever seen. Yes, I know they have explosive youth in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal, and Marc-Andre Fleury. And they loaded up at the trade deadline, acquiring experience in Gary Roberts and Georges Laraque. They've got spunk, they've got heart, they've got youthful exuberance.

And they're killing me!!!

Now, don't get me wrong, I think they're awesome. But more and more each day, they're reminding me of a pesky little brother that won't just get lost! So cute & adorable for a little while, but then they just become a complete pain in the ass! It's driving me nuts! How can they keep coming back to win games in OT and Shootouts? They just never quit...And if you're a Pittsburgh fan, that's awesome.

But if you're a Sens fan...It kinda sucks!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Injustice Of It All

Ever have one of those moments when you're left thinking: Hey! That's not fair!! ??

Well, that's the kind of weekend I had - just full of moments of great injustice.

We'll start with Thursday night's episode of Survivor. Guess what? My tribe - that poor tribe I picked right off the bat to be my "favourite - well...they lost again. Both challenges. And in the first one, for reward, they lost miserably. It was almost painful to watch. Especially after watching the other team gloat & rub it in their faces upon arriving for the challenge, and after watching Rocky try to light a fire under his tribe by challenging Dreamz in the first match-up. Dreamz squashed him. And then every member of the "Luxury Tribe" followed suit, absolutely pummeling the Losers into oblivion. The only member of the Losers to score a point? That would be - get this - Yau Man!! The spindly, scrawny, old, be-spectacled Asian man, and he beat a spindly, scrawny young Asian chick. Not exactly a huge victory, but for a moment, his tribemates were smiling.

In the Immunity Challenge, they faired a wee bit better in the memory game, coming very close to actually winning it. But whether from food deprivation, dehydration, or being psychologically beaten down so many times that they don't know how to do anything but lose, they had several brain cramps, and in the end, the other team stole the victory out from beneath them. And all I could think was: This just isn't fair.

Next up was the Sens vs. Leafs game on Saturday night. After watching the Sens whoop the Laffs on Thursday night, I was sure we had this game in the bag. And after taking a 3-1 lead into the third period, I was already planning on how I was going to prance around the office today and rub it in the Leaf fans' faces. But as usual, I got too cocky too soon, and my poor ol' Sens blew another 3rd period lead, losing 4-3 in OT. Guess who scored the OT winner? Darcy Tucker. The one hockey player in the world that I hate the most. Sooooo not fair.

Sunday night was The Amazing Race, and my prediction was correct: Rob & Amber screwed up royally. And I think if I was Amber, I could look back on the tapes and lay the blame solely on Rob's shoulders. Their biggest slip-up was in the Detour, when they chose to build a sign post listing in order all of Magellan's stops in his trip around the world (or something like that...) - and spelling was important. So of course, Rob spelled "Phillippines" wrong - "Phillipeans". The camera flashed on it a hundred times with foreboding music playing...Duh-duh-duuuuuuh. But they never figured it out, which completely baffled me. Knowing that spelling counted, I think the first thing I would have done was gone through all the names to check they spelling. Anyways, they eventually gave up and took the much easier task of navigating with a compass to find their next clue.

At this point, they were still very much in the race, albeit at the back of the pack. Rob's next big blunder came during the Roadblock, when he had to sift through letters to find one of only two letters addressed to them in a bag of 1,600 pieces of mail. It came down to him battling with Mirna & Schmirna, in all their shrieky glory, and Rob got sloppy again. He was more concerned with looking over his shoulder at what the Mirna was doing and trash-talking rather than concentrating on the task at hand. I swear, he didn't even flip half the letters over to see the label, and he was tossing most of them on the floor without a second glance. Needless to say, Mirna & Schmirna got the jump on them and managed to finish ahead of them, so Rob & Amber, who had previously finished first in three straight legs, were eliminated. Not fair. Not fair at all.

After the huge Amazing Race let-down, I flipped over to Much Music, where they were airing their 50 Sexiest Videos. They happened to be on #21. It was Justin Timberlake's Sexyback. Some of you may already know how much I love that song. I don't even really like that kind of music, but I love that song. And it was #21?????? On the list of 50 Sexiest Videos? Huh????? The song is called Sexyback, for God's sake!! And Justin Timberlake is in it! It should have ranked in the top 5, if not #1!! Geeez!! So not fair, it's not even funny!!

And that about sums up the injustice of it all. Have a great day!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

"Remembering Wheels"

OK, would you believe I have ZERO time to write a Blog today? So I've elected to copy & paste a story I read a few weeks back on the TSN website. The story was called "Remembering Wheels" by TSN columnist James Duthie, and I thought most of you probably haven't read it, so I wanted to share it with you. Get your Kleenex box handy for this one, folks...

James Duthie
2/20/2007 11:35:56 PM

If you could watch one hockey player, past or present, play a game, who would it be?

Gretzky at 21? Orr with knees scar-free? The Rocket, at his angry, eyes blazing best? Crosby, right now?

I'm often asked that question. And I was never sure of the answer. Until now.

It is none of the above.

If I could watch one player lace up the skates and play a game, I would choose a skinny left-winger from Guelph, Ontario.

A player who moved so fast, they called him Wheels.

A terrific hockey mind who, by the age of 10, had already patented his own move: carrying the puck swiftly into the opposing zone, then spinning around and sending it back to his point man, leading to countless chances for his team.

A leader, so popular in the room, a former coach says when he walked in for practise, there would be a chorus of "Sit here! Sit next to me!"

A coach's dream, always shining his shoes to make sure he looked proper when he arrived at the rink. And so obsessed with being on time, he wore a digital watch with a face big enough to dwarf his little arms.

An offensive dynamo who scored 12 goals in one 7-game span this season, amazing considering he always preferred being a playmaker.

A natural athlete who was also a whiz at soccer, football, track, and pretty much everything he tried.

An always smiling charmer who, even when he tried to boast, couldn't help but turn it into a joke.

"I'm the best athlete in my school," he once said. "Then again, my school is really small."

A kid who lived and breathed hockey from the second he woke 'til the moment he hit the pillow, exhausted after playing hours a day.

But here's the rub.

This hockey player I'd love to see play again...

I never saw him play.

Everything I know about him comes from the stories I've been told over the past week by teammates, coaches, friends, and family.

His name was Nicholas Lambden.

Two Sundays ago, he was doing something every one of us who has played outdoor pick-up hockey has done hundreds of times: digging for a puck in the snow. A shot from a nearby game struck him in the head.

It was a freak, million to one accident. And it killed him.

Nick was 10 years-old.

10 years-old.

Last Friday, the Guelph Atom AA Junior Storm should have been excitedly preparing for the next round of their playoffs. Instead, they were walking up the aisle of a church, past the coffin with their teammate's #12 sweater draped over it, laying their sticks next to Nick's.

Later, they'd talk about how happy he'd been after scoring the tying goal late in what would be a thrilling OT win that past Saturday. His last game.

Nick loved hockey. Loved the Leafs. Worshipped Mats Sundin (Though Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin were right up there too).

He dreamed of being just like them. Of someday being talked about on TSN. Consider it done, Wheels.

I thank all of his friends for sharing their memories.

But each new gut-wrenching phone call, each heart-breaking email that pops up in the inbox, makes me wish I could have met Nick, and watched him play the game he loved so much.

And makes me curse the fact I never will.

Our thoughts remain with Nicholas's mother Susan, father Andrew, and sister Madison. This week Nick's team will resume their playoffs wearing black armbands with the #12 on them. They also hope to spread the message that everyone who plays outdoor hockey should always wear a helmet. Always.

James Duthie can be reached at

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

The 100th Post!!

The Blog just turned 100!

My, how our little Blog has grown, hasn't it?? Seems like just yesterday I finally got up the nerve to set up Jill's World, and now here we are, already 100 posts old! Unbelievable!

Today should be a celebration of the Blog, so I don't want to bring things down by talking about my poor ol' Sens and their latest disturbing trend of blowing third-period leads. However, I would like to mention the cornucopia of "subjects" that have made the Blog a success, and that does include the Senators, and hockey talk in general. There has also been my favourite TV shows: Grey's Anatomy, Friday Night Lights, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Rockstar Supernova, and Big Brother. I've also done a few CD reviews for Hinder, Rockstar Supernova, and Chris Daughtry; "concert reviews" for The Town Pants, Steve Agnew & Branded, and In Safe Hands; a book review of an Elie Wiesel novel which I now can't remember the name of...and so much more! Hey, remember the "security breach" back in December when I decided to make you all sign up with a password to eliminate "no-name" Bloggers? That was friggin' cool! Heck, the Blog even had a baby when Stacy & Ricky's little Madyson arrived last month! We've been through a lot here at Jill's World!

The 100th Post would not be complete without a shout-out to all my faithful Bloggers: Sara, Sharon, Priscilla, Stacy (now off on maternity leave, but with us in spirit!), Ricky, Kathleen, Sarah, Rachel, Lindsay, Chris, Luke & Kenny (who can no longer post, but are still out there reading too), and to anyone else I may have forgotten...THANK YOU for your contributions, whether they have been few or many! And to my lurkers out there, who enjoy reading but choose not to comment - thanks for dropping by and for making the Blog worthwhile!

It hasn't been that long, but I have trouble remembering what life was like before the Blog. Now I spend my days wondering, "What should I write about today?" and keeping my eyes peeled for interesting tidbits or stories to share with you. My biggest fear when I started writing Jill's World was that no one would read it and I'd spend my days chit-chatting with myself. However, you guys all jumped on-board and have made it a really fun place to "hang out" and chat...and that's really what the Blog is all about.

So Happy 100th Post, everyone, and I hope to see you all here for the 200th!! :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Rob & Amber: UNSTOPPABLE!!

No Grey's Anatomy last week, and Kenny still hasn't seen FNL as far as I know, so the only recaps I have for you are Survivor and The Amazing Race!


Remember when I said the only person out there in Fiji that I had any love for was Rocky, but that could all change? Well, it's changed. I don't like him anymore. He threw a massive hissy fit this past week, and then decided to dress up like a girl to suck up afterwards. Not my style at all. Plus, his tribe seriuosly does suck. They lost both challenges again, but were offered a slight reprieve when the other tribe had a serious decision to make after winning Immunity - they either had to give up their comfy camp to keep Immunity, or stay on their luxury beach and risk the wrath of Tribal Council.

They chose to go to TC, which seemed a silly decision since Papa Smurf had just been med-evac'd from the game. (Isn't that such a cool term, though? "Med-evac". I want to get med-evac'd!) Anyways, after ol' Mr. Smurf was boated on outta there due to having a "funny head" and difficulty breathing, and then losing the flirtatious Liliana at TC, that leaves them tied with their lowly competitors over on Loser Beach. On the other hand, I don't blame them for not wanting to give up their cozy little camp - they really are living in the lap of luxury over there, and sacrificing that to keep their tribe together might have been enough to give the other tribe some motivation and push them to actually win something.

But I doubt it.

The Amazing Race: All-Stars

I was too hung-over and sleepy Sunday night to stay awake for the Race, but thankfully I caught the repeat on OLN last night, so I'm all caught up with the All-Stars!

Have I mentioned before that I hate Mirna and Schmirna? I mean, loathe, detest, hate them. They're seriously driving me nuts with their Holier-than-thou attitude and the way they just shriek soooo much. Plus, someone should tell them that when they're in another country where no one speaks English, speaking loudly with an accent does not help people understand them any better.

Rob & Amber placed first again, for the third straight leg, and appear to be in the driver's seat; although, the sneak peek at next week's episode has me wondering if there's going to be a major upset. Apparently it's going to be the "finish that everyone's talking about" - and I have a strange feeling Rob & Amber are going to be eliminated. I really, really hope not, though. They really are the only team I have any heart for. I thought I liked Eric & Danielle, but after watching her squeal and freak out over having to touch fish last night, I'm not so sure anymore. Plus, Eric has his nipples pierced. Both of them. Ewwww. He does have a cute little face, though!

The Beauty Queens made a big faux-pas last night when the missed the clue for the Detour. They found the rafting boats before they found the clue, so they just did the rafting and thought there was no Detour. They landed on the mat in 4th, but Phil sent them back to find the clue they missed. Miraculously, they found it quickly and by the time they returned, they were still in 4th.

At the end of the day, it was Team Kentucky that landed in last place and were sent home by the Philiminator. Meh, big deal. Dave & Mary seemed lost without their Cho Brother buddies, so it's probably better off that they're gone. Besides, I was afraid Mary might takle Schmirna if she was around much longer.

Other than the shows, it was a great weekend! I had an awesome time at Brandan & Amanda's reception Saturday night, dancing and drinking (a little too much). I had what I'm calling a "drunken panic attack" at the end of the night when my camera went missing, and I wandered around in tears looking for it before Adam finally handed it over. I'm still not sure if he really found it under his table or if he was purposely hiding it from me, but for a few minutes there, he was my hero.

I hope you all had a great weekend too!! Take care, gang!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Blah Blog

Yesterday may have been the least-commented-upon Blog yet. Pretty sad, folks. I even wrote about hockey. Usually the hockey Blogs get the best responses. I guess I'm failing as your friendly resident Blogger. I'm not writing interesting enough stuff. I'm not keeping you on the edge of your seats, waiting with hungry anticipation for the next Blog.

Or maybe y'all are out there, actually reading, but not bothering to post.

Whatever the case may be, I apologize for not providing a more entertaining Blog.

So today, as you can probably already see, I don't have anything to write about. This is not a step in the right direction to liven the Blog up, I know. But usually Thursdays are FNL Blogs; however, Kenny, who is holiday-ing in the sunny South, requested that I not Blog about FNL until he has seen it. And I don't think any of the rest of you even read the FNL Blogs, so what's the point? Besides, I didn't watch it yet myself.

I could tell you about the Sens game last night, but I only saw the first ten minutes and the last period. I am very grateful for the four points Carolina has handed over to us in the past two days - muchly appreciated, Canes. How did freakin' Saprykin do, you ask? I have no idea...In the small amount of hockey I watched, I didn't even notice him. Sugar Ray Emery got the shut-out, his fifth of the season, and all is well in the Sens World. And yes, for those of you wondering, Wade Redden looked sexy as hell.

Oh, Happy First Day of March, gang! Apparently it's coming in like a lion, with a snowstorm in the forecast for tonight. So that may screw up my shopping plans for tomorrow. Anyways...I really have nothing else to say. Have a great day, and enjoy the sunshine, 'cause we may not see it again for a few days!