Monday, June 25, 2007

I Miss Rockstar

Alrighty, they've cancelled Rockstar this summer, so I have no choice but to entertain myself with Canadian Idol for the next few months. Bear with me as I run through your Top 11 boys.

Jaydee Bixby - First of all, I love that Jaydee has done "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" several times already on the show. When The King sang it on the '68 Comeback Special, I thought it may have been the hottest thing ever. Weird thing is, Jaydee sounds like Elvis, but he looks like Nick Carter's little brother. He promised the judges something different, but ended up singing "Johnny B. Goode", and while I thought he did a pretty good job, I think he's gonna have to step out of the '50s and '60s if he has any hope of progressing on the show.

Clifton Murray - Ever since Clifton auditioned, I've been trying to figure out why he looks so damned familiar. Turns out he played Channing Tatum's buddy in "She's the Man". Now, Clifton's pretty good-looking, and he did have that one amazing note in his performance of Edwin McCain's "I'll Be", but just because he's dabbled in showbiz doesn't mean the judges like him. In fact, I think they're already biased against him.

??? Hoffman maybe? - K, I didn't even get this poor guy's name, but he's your typical punk, and I got all excited when he started to sing one of my favourite songs of the past 6 months, "Move Along" by the All-American Rejects. Unfortunately, he didn't sing it very well. Plus, I hated his tight pants.

Justyn Wesley - The dude annoys me royally. He thinks he's hot, but he's not. I don't like his soulful vibe, not even when he's singing "Some Kind of Wonderful". I just find him too cheesy, and he tries too hard. Bleh.

Dwight D'Eon - Dwight's the rocker of the competition, so he kinda shocked my by not singing a rock song. Then he shocked me again by rockin' it anyway. I didn't know the song he sang, but he made me love it. He was the first guy of the night to "wow" me!

Greg Neufeld - OK, so Greg was sent packing last year after his first performance in the Top 22. After he killed it last night with Maroon 5's "This Love", I don't think there's any chance of that happening this year. His voice totally suited the song selection, he was the best dancer by far, and the boy is smokin' hot. I liked him last year despite his early exit; I love him this year. He's my #1 so far.

Tyler Mullendore - After Tyler sang "Brown Sugar", the judges blew sunshine up his butt by calling him unique and uninhibited. I, on the other hand, think the guy's the biggest poser on the show. Ever. He looks like he walked of the set of "Dazed and Confused", and he's playing it up big time. Plus, he didn't even sing it well. Definitely not my favourite.

Andrew Austin - Andrew sang "Freedom", but unfortunately for him, I think he was a little lost without his guitar. His performance was entirely forgrettable, and I got it when Sass said he was lacking charisma. And it's a real shame, 'cause the guy's probably the best overall musician of the bunch. But he just didn't bring it tonight.

Matt Rapley - I'm not trying to sound stereotypical here, but I think Matt's best suited for a gospel choir. He's got an amazing soulful voice, which he demonstrated nicely on "Isn't She Lovely" - a song that earned him a 98% from his vocal teacher at school. And no doubt, the boy can sing his butt off. But he's just not my style.

Brian Melo - Before Brian stood on stage, and, in response to one of Ben's questions, said, "Jesus," he actually did a pretty good job of The Watchmen's "Stereo". The song was a perfect fit for his voice, althought I did agree with Zack that he kinda blew it on the "one in a million" parts. The judges all granted him a spot in the Top 10, but I'm not entirely convinced he's worthy. After all, he did take the Lord's name in vain on national TV... heh heh heh...

Liam Styles Chang - Remember back in the audition stages I said that all the boys with guitars impressed me, even the skinny oriental boy? Well, Liam's that skinny oriental boy. Liam kinda disappointed me by reprising his performance of "This Magic Moment", especially since I liked it better when he sang it with just his guitar. But the judges lapped up his punky arrangement, and they love his smooth, nicely toned voice. Again, I'm not a fan of the skin-tight pants that these punks seem to be sporting these days, but Liam definitely impressed. He could very well be one of the top contenders.

Who Will Probably Go Home: The guys who's name I can't remember and Andrew Austin.

Who I Would Send Home: Justyn Wesley and Tyler Mullendore

My Top 2 Of the Night: Greg Neufeld and Liam Styles Chang

I'll try to recap the ladies tomorrow night, but Blogging may be difficult in the next few days as my evenings are looking to be jam-packed. I'll do my best though!!

Have a good day everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Last night's game between MVT and Team Pepsi and the Quyon Ball park was a real nail-biter. While Team Pepsi led throughout most of the game, it came down to the 7th inning, and MVT had a real chance to steal the game away from them.

With the score at 19-15 going into the top of the 7th, it was imperative for my team to silence Team Pepsi's strong bats if we had any hope of winning. Somewhat miraculously, they went 3-up, 3-down, giving us a real opportunity to come back. At first, it seemed unlikely, with two quick outs. (I think I was one of 'em...surprise, surprise...) But then we brought two runs in, and with two runners still on base, we had Woermke at bat, and I was already planning my victory dance.

We had two homeruns left, so it seemed only natural that he would be able to hit one of them to end the game. He usually is able to hit homers at will, so things were looking up for MVT! Perhaps there was too much pressure on the poor guy; I'm really not sure. But instead of that glorious homerun we were all dreaming of, he hit a line-drive down third base and whoever was playing third (ya, I was paying attention) caught it to end the inning and deflate our comeback hopes.

Despite the loss, I think our team showed great resiliency in battling back and hanging in there. We kept pace for most of the game, and it easily could have been us winning the game. While my struggles continued, the rest of the girls really stepped up, especially Laura and Sharon, who each had some key hits. I had a little batting practice after the game, so hopefully my hitting will improve next week. But I'm not really counting on it.

At least my scorekeeping skills seem to be coming in handy...Doing my best to help the team! ;)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Guaranteed Laughs at "Knocked Up"

Last night I went to see "Knocked Up", the new comedy that hit theatres a few weeks ago, from the makers of "The 40-Year-Old Virgin".

For those of you who have already seen it, you know that "Knocked Up" is worth the price of admission. It's even worth the extra $12 for popcorn & a drink. I absolutely loved it. I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard during a movie.

Here's the premise: Alison is a beautiful, sophisticated woman who crosses paths with the stoner goof-ball Ben at a club one night, and - badda-bing badda-bang - they get drunk and have sex. The next morning, she wakes up to find his bare ass in her bed, and she realizes she made a big mistake. 8 weeks later, when she starts puking all over the set at her job on E! News, she realizes she made an even bigger mistake. So she sits down with Ben over dinner to tell him the news, and then they decide to make a go of it, at least for the baby's sake.

The movie follows Ben & Alison's relationship throughout her entire pregnancy, right up to the day the baby is born. They have their ups and downs, as Ben tries to fit in with Alison and her sister's family, while she adjusts to the wacky lifestyle that Ben leads with his off-beat roommates.

The thing about the movie is that everything seemed so realistic. It was so relatable. You could imagine these people being your friends, and at times it didn't seem like they were even acting. Katherine Heigl (of Grey's Anatomy fame) did such a good job in the role of Alison. She was so believable as the young woman who is hit with an unexpected pregnancy thanks to an unlikely partner - from fighting tears as she grapples to deal with having Ben's baby, to the hormonal outrage she experiences as they have a blow-up in the doctor's office, right down to the delivery, when she's screaming for drugs after initially deciding to go all-natural.

As for Ben - well, I think everyone knows someone like him. Played by Seth Rogan, he's big and furry and a total slacker who lives with his friends and has absolutely no money and very little ambition, but for some reason, he's got this charm and wit that make him seem adorable. Still, not exactly the kind of guy you want to raise a baby with. But Alison really makes an effort, and eventually she falls in love with him, but she has to decide if love is enough for the the two of them.

Of course, all kinds of hilarity ensues, especially with Ben's friends who are trying to launch a website that gives you exact times when there will be female nudity in a movie. And with Alison's sister's husband, Pete, who gets along great with Ben. (Big thumbs up to Paul Rudd who plays Pete - Rudd doesn't get enough recognition as an actor, and he's demonstrated his comedy chops as Phoebe's husband in the last season or so of Friends, and also in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin". I think he's awesome.) I also give full marks to the two kids who played Alison's nieces - they got some big laughs, and they were just genuine cute little girls who just said things that any kid would say.

There are too many favourite scenes to mention - but I do recommend you go see it if you haven't already. It was funnier than "The 40-Year-Old Virgin", and I guarantee you'll feel a connection with these characters, and you'll split a gut laughing along the way!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Turning Over A New Leaf

I've decided to turn over a new leaf.

I'm 23 years old, and while I believe I have a fairly upbeat, bubbly personality, I'm generally unhappy with how I look, how I feel, and the way things seem to go for me.

However, it has come to my realization that I'm pretty much the one who has to take control and make the changes necessary to improve my appearance and my life.

So this is kind of like my New Years Resolutions in June - just a few steps away from happiness.

(I'll let you know in a few weeks how it's going...)

- I need to smile more. I've got creases in my forehead from scowling so much. And nobody likes a scowler.

- I should be more pleasant at work and not get so pissed off at the little things.

- I have to start eating healthier and exercising more. I used to do this, so I know it's possible. Time to shed that twenty pounds that has been dragging me down!

- I'm going for highlights in my hair in a few weeks, and I think I might even try wearing a little make-up. I've always kind of taken pride in the fact that I'm au naturel...Nothing artificial about me. But apparently boys like artificial, so I'm going to make some slight changes that hopefully get noticed... but nothing drastic.

- I need to be more positive about myself, and quit using myself as the butt of jokes when I'm trying to make people laugh. That's just stupid, I know it, so why do I keep doing it?

- I should try to be more friendly. I think I already am most of the time, but there are times when I feel backward, or awkward, and I admit that I might turn my head to avoid saying hi to someone, just 'cause I don't feel like being sociable. That's gonna change.

- I'm still young, and right now, it should be all about having fun. No need to grow up too quickly!!

- I'm going to try and stop being jealous, 'cause that just enhances a negative attitude. I'm not going to sulk when the pretty girls get the hot boys, or when I try to compare myself to other people my age and realize that I'm wayyyyy behind them in life. I'll get mine someday, when I'm least expecting it...or so they say!!

OK, so that's all I can think of right now. So we'll see how this turning a new leaf thing works out...Before you know it, I might be a new-and-improved Jill!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

That's A Wrap for the NHL

OK, I'm not even done watching the 2007 NHL Awards, but I've decided to go ahead and type up my re-cap. There's only twenty minutes left...I'm sure I'm not going to miss much, judging by how it's gone so far. Yeah...It's been pretty lame.

I'm not sure why I've even bothered watching this long, seeing how there were absolutely NO Ottawa Senators nominated. How friggin' ridiculous is that? But I have taken a few notes on the show thus far, and I've created a few of my very own Awards:

Best Moment of the Night (for me): The Ray Emery montage right off the top of the show, displaying his various flamboyant wardrobe changes. What a sexy beast. Even in powder-blue.

Most Annoying Red Carpet Host: Tyler Stewart of the Barenaked Ladies. And I love the Barenaked Ladies. But he's really annoying.

Weirdest Moment: Cassie Campbell feeling the beard of one of the members of Finger 11 on the Red Carpet. Ummm...Ok....

Hottest Rocker: Not a whole lotta competition here, but I never knew how handsome the lead singer of Finger 11 was!! (And that is not the one who had Cassie Campbell's fingers running through his facial hair...)

Hottest NHLer Despite Being So Short: Martin St. Louis...I hated him a few years back in the playoffs, but he is a cutie. Even though he's miniature.

Hottest Young Player Who I Used To Think Looked Like A Goose But Is Actually Quite Handsome: Jordan Staal.

Another Player Who I Never Knew Was Hot: Henrik Lundqvist.

Hottest Presenter: George Strombolompoulapamous. Why did I spend all those years lusting after that squirt Rick Campanelli? George was clearly the hottest talent to come out of Much Music!

The Zdeno Chara Award for Ugliest NHLer in Attendance: Roberto Luongo. God, he's ugly.

Greatest Moment as a Sens Fan: Seeing Dany Heatley being named to the First Team All-Stars. Yay, Dany!! Atta get us on the show!!

Most Painful Moment as a Sens Fan: Watching all those clips of the Ducks hoisting the Cup and celebrating in the opening segment. Apparently my wounds are still raw.

Most Touching Moment of the Night: Phil Kessel receiving the Masterton Award for missing only 12 games while battling testicular cancer at the age of 19. It was impossible not to get choked up during the presentation, especially watching his dad fighting back tears and mouthing the words of his speech with him.

Biggest Screw-Up by Scott Oake on the Red Carpet: In an interview with Calder candidate Jordan Staal, Scott asks, "Jordan, you're in some pretty good company for Rookie of the Year, along with your teammate Evgeni Malkin and...uh...uh...ummmmmmm...I'm gonna need you to help me out, here, Jordan, who was the other nominee??" Staal looked embarassed for Scott as he quickly offered, "Paul Statsny." Yep. Just call him Oake The Joke.

The Few-And-Far-Between Funny Lines of the Night:
- On the Red Carpet, Kelly Hrudey asks wrestler Trish Stratus what she's most looking forward to on the night, and she says, "Hanging out with the Leafs, 'cause they're all gonna be here, right? Oh...wait...I guess not..."

- Ron MacLean, after his rambling and highly un-witty opening 'monologue', says, "OK, we gotta get things rolling here, NBC is about to cut to a horserace."

- During Carolina Hurricane Rod Brind'amour's acceptance speech for winning the Selke, he says, "Please, while I'm backstage, could someone explain to my son why I cannot let him wear an Alex Ovechkin jersey to my home games..." Easily, the biggest laugh on the night.

Alrighty, so that's about it...But Because the Sens were completely shut-out of the league-wide awards despite winning the Eastern Conference Championship and making it to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in modern history, I've decided to do my own awards, presented solely to Ottawa Senator players. Luke helped me a little with this, but I think I've made the right choices.

Hart Trophy - for MVP: Daniel Alfredsson. He's the heart and soul of this team, hands down. This selection was an easy one.

Lester B. Pearson Award - MVP as selected by the players: OK, I didn't actually poll the Sens, but I would guess they'd pick Alfie again. He's their captain, and they all have the utmost respect for him.

Vezina Trophy - Best Goaltender: Ooooo...Toughie. I guess I'll go with Martin Gerber.

KIDDING!! Of course it's Razor Ray Emery!!!!

Norris Trophy - Best Defenceman: No question, this one goes to Wade Redden. Now, Luke argued that he would've given this award to someone else. Like Anton Volchekov. Or Chris Phillips. Or Tom Preissing, Joe Corvo, Andrej Meszaros, or Christoph Schubert. I think he even mentioned Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza. But I love Wade, and these are my awards, so he gets it. Period.

Calder Trophy - Rookie of the Year: I don't think we had any official "rookies", aside from Alexei Kaigorodov, who didn't even survive training camp, and who we eventually traded to Phoneix for Mike Comrie. So I'm gonna give this award to Patrick Eaves, because he's probably one of our youngest guys who played his heart out every night and I think he's super-cute.

Selke Award - Best 2-way Player: I'm presenting this one to Mike Fisher, though Luke fought hard for Chris Kelly. Both great 2-way players, but Mike's got more experience. Plus, he's way hotter.

Lady Byng Award - Most Gentlemanly Player: I really didn't know who to pick for this. While I don't consider any of my boys dirty, none of them are exactly sweethearts on the ice. So I have no clear-cut choice, and I guess that's a good thing, since Luke called this the Fruitcake Award. His pick was Jason Spezza, but I'm giving it to Peter Schaefer. He's all grit and tough along the boards, and from what I can remember, spends very little time in the box. But definintely not a Fruitcake.

Rocket Richard Trophy - Most Goals Scored: This one was pretty easy. Dany Heatly, the only 50-goal scorer on the squad.

Art Ross Trophy - Most Points: I don't know this answer without doing research. My first guess was Heatley, but Luke thought maybe Alfie had caught up by the end of the year. Ah, hell, they can share it.

Bill Masterton Award - Player who overcomes insurmountable odds: None of our players had any huge, insurmountable odds, like major surgery or cancer or any thing drastic like that this season, like Kessel's battle with testicular cancer. But not that long ago, one of our guys was an Atlanta Thrasher who was behind the wheel when he crashed his car and killed his teammate, Dan Snyder. That guy was Dany Heatley. He has since changed addresses by joining the Sens, and thanks to the forgiveness offered to him by the Snyder Family and the NHL, Dany is now a back-to-back 50-goal scorer on an Eastern Conference Champion team. As far as I'm concerned, no player deserves this award more than him. I'm proud to have him in a Sens uniform.

Jack Adams Trophy - Coach of the Year: Hmmm...Guess this one goes to Bryan Murray, the pride of Shawville and my mom's best friend! (hahahaha...) Gotta admit, it was fun to be around Shawville during the Stanley Cup hype. Here's hoping they sign him for another few years, and that the Cup finally makes a stop in the Pontiac!

So that's a wrap on the 2006-2007 NHL Season. OK...Now I'm really done talking about hockey, I swear...

Blame It On My Dad

It was a lovely evening at the ball park last night, as MVT was taking on L&J Towing in the Quyon 3-pitch league. It was a warm one, but a light breeze kept things pleasant weather-wise; however, things were not so pleasant on the field, at least not for my poor team.

Thus far, we've been doing pretty well. Now granted, I've only made it out to a couple of games because for awhile there, ball night clashed with the Sens' Cup Run. Our fearless leader, Ricky, probably wishes I'd stay home more often. Last week I didn't even get a hit, and my fielding skills are pretty limited to say the least. I think it's a fair assessment to say I'm the worst player on the team. But that, I will blame on my father - because he was the one who cut me from his ball team when I was only 10, when I was still young and able to learn and develop my athletic prowess. I think it's too late for that now.

In any case, last night we lost big - I think the final score was 23-6. So while I may have had a few screw-ups, I don't think they can blame the entire shemozzle on me.

In fact, last night I actually did something RIGHT. While I was playing catcher, the batter popped a ball out just a few feet in front of me. I scrambled to grab it, while the great L&J Towing player whom I have labelled "Abs" (those of you who have ever played or been to a game know who I'm talking about) came around third, and then just came charging in home. Now, I'm not sure if he thinks I'm retarded or if my play thus far was really that weak, because even the simplest of minds would now that all I had to do was take a few quick steps back to home plate to get him out. He didn't have a hope in hell. And while I did kind of find it insulting that he even bothered to try, it was nice to hear my team cheering and telling me I did a good job rather than the usual shouts of "Good try, Jill".

So that was my one shining moment; my 15 seconds of fame I guess. Otherwise, it was a rather dull effort by our team. Either that, or the L&J squad are just that good. They seemed to be able to hit the ball wherever they felt like, while the MVT bats were pretty quiet last night. If we'd been able to hit a little better, we might've had a closer score. I actually did hit last night rather than strike out every time, so I was a little proud of myself.

Maybe next week I'll actually get on base. Ya never know.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Play a Song For Me

It's a darned good thing I declared the end of hockey talk in yesterday's Blog, because the only stupid NHL news yesterday was that Mats Sundin signed for a year with the Leafs. If there's one thing I hate about the end of the Playoffs, it's that we now have to listen to Leaf Nation rising again...BLECH!!

Last night I watched my first episode of the summer of Canadian Idol. I believe the audition rounds kicked off last week, but I missed the debut. To be honest, I haven't paid a whole lot of attention to the show since the first season, when I fell in love with the underdog Ryan Malcolm from Kingston who went on to win the whole she-bang. The next year, that floopy haired angel-boy won, and I lost interest. Last season, I watched on and off, and was proud that Eva Avila, a Gatineau native, eventually won it all, but I really didn't care.

This season, however, I've discovered a new twist that really boosted my interest in the show. This year, contestants are allowed to bring in instruments to audition with if they wish. And I am a sucker for boys with guitars. Most of the guys who came in with 6-strings slung around their necks...Well, I loved 'em.

There were a few who did not impress, like the guy who called himself "Strings" and sang "Purple Haze" after plugging in his electric guitar and making a lot of racket by running his face up and down the strings. I couldn't have agreed more when Sass begged him to stop.

But there was a young cutie-pie teacher who played "Beast of Burden", and a burly-looking boy who sang "Drift Away". Both made it through to Toronto, and they were two of my favourites on the night. Oh, and the rocker from Saskatoon who they showed playing with his band before his audition - the judges weren't sold on him when he came in and strummed for them, but after Farley asked him to sing the last line of O Canada, they handed him his gold ticket to T.O. And there was also a hot young dad who not only won my heart with his guitar playing, but he had the most adorable little boy...I would've put him through just because the kid was so cute.

These are the parts of the audition process that I love - when someone walks in there, and really knocks your socks off. The rest of it I find contrived, twisted, and painful at times. There are the people who walk in who profess to be stars-in-the-making, but they sing so badly, it'd almost make you want to change the channel. Then there are the people who know they have no talent, but they do something whacky just to get on TV. It's gimmicky, and while it might've made for good TV a few years back, it's all just getting old now.

But I really do think the introduction of instruments in the audition process has breathed a bit of new life into the Idol process. And judging from the snippets they showed of next week's Toronto Round, the boys will be allowed to bring out their guitars again.

Guaranteed, I'll be in love with one of these lads before the summer's out!

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Blog LIVES...But the Sens Do Not

Hey guys!

My deepest apologies for abandoning my Blog for the past few weeks. For a few days, I was just too busy. But then the Sens lost to the Ducks in the Stanley Cup Finals, and ever since I've been trying to create an appropriate tribute to my team and their glorious season, while also capturing the grief and pain I experienced as a result of the Game 5 loss last Wednesday night.

I went back and read some of my Blogs from last October and November, when I was literally freaking out over this team. They were playing some pretty bad hockey, and not living up to any expectations I had for them in '06-07. I never gave up on them, but I have to admit, by mid-December, I was pretty sure it was going to be my first year as a Sens fan without an appearance in the Playoffs.

Then, all of a sudden, there was this miracle of sorts. A bunch of our guys - including Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, and Antoine Vermette - got hurt around Christmastime, and somehow, instead of crumbling, the rest of the team blossomed. They started to buy into the coach's system, they began playing like a cohesive unit, and by the time April rolled around, they had one of the best records in the second-half of the season in the NHL.

The playoffs were a blast through three rounds, as we rolled over the likes of the Penguins, Devils, and Sabres. Those were some pretty fun months. I'll never forget how I felt watching Daniel Alfredsson score that OT goal in Buffalo to clinch the title of Eastern Conference Champions and send the modern-day Ottawa Senators to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time. It was like a dream finally coming true - the sweetest poetic justice, and for once, glory seemed so close, I could almost touch it.

Alas, it wasn't meant to be. As easily as we defeated three of the strongest teams in the East, the Ducks man-handled us, and claimed the Cup in just five games. The only night where it felt like we were even close was Game #3 in Ottawa when the Sens won 5-3. Watching them lose last week was heart-breaking. As time ticked down in the third period, tears streamed down my cheeks, and I cried right through the handshakes, the on-ice interviews, and the presentation of the Cup. I didn't feel happy for the Niedermeyer brothers, or Teemu Selanne, or Chris Pronger. It wasn't special to me in the least. For me, it was like watching someone having their teeth pulled. The only reason I stayed to watch it all was because I never missed one moment of these Stanley Cup playoffs, and I figured I had to see it right through to the bitter end.

In the days since, I've been able to put aside a lot of that hostility and disappointment, and reflect on what an awesome year it has been. People keep trying to put a damper on my spirits, though, by insisting that Wade Redden's going to be traded to Edmonton over the summer. I've got more post-season paranoia than ever before, but at least this off-season will be a short one, and before I know it, the boys will be back (and hopefully Wade will be too).

Can't wait!

And a special thanks to those of you who sent me thoughtful messages of "condolences" in the wake of the loss last week. I know it seems silly, but when the Sens lose, it really does devestate me, and you guys rarealy make fun of me for it - you just seem to understand. So thank you so much for that! Enjoy the next few months of (mostly) hockey-free Blogging, because it'll be back before you know it!

Summer can now officially begin!