Thursday, March 27, 2008

Battle of the Hottest Y&R Men

I've been a fan of the Young & the Restless off and on for about 15 years now. As a kid, I tuned in mainly to see Joshua Morrow, who plays Nick Newman. I had a little school-girl crush on him, and followed his dramatic relationship with his on-screen wife, Sharon, faithfully, through all their ups and downs.

But as I got older, a new guy came on the scene - Thad Luckinbill, in the role of JT Hellstrom, a hot bad-boy with a good heart who played guitar. As Nick & Sharon's marriage was falling apart, JT was heating things up with Colleen Carleton. I lived for the episodes to watch JT & Colleen sneaking around behind her father's back, when he'd write her love songs and play them for her. They were an electric couple that caught the hearts of the Y&R faithful.

But then, Colleen left Genoa City, and JT started to change. He was no longer the brooding bad boy. He dropped his music career and got a job working for Paul Williams as a private investigator, and he was beginning to mature and grow as a man. I was so excited when I heard the character of Colleen was returning to Genoa City a few years later, but there was an initial disappointment when it was learned that it would be a different actress playing the role. At first, I didn't really care, I just couldn't wait for the JT & Colleen romance to pick up where it left off. And at first, they did throw them back together. But things weren't working out - JT had no chemistry with the new Colleen, and before long, she was cheating on JT with her college professor. I didn't like those weeks of watching JT pine after her as he watched their relationship dissolve before his own eyes. The pathetic, sappy, lost-puppy thing didn't suit him well.

So of course, JT couldn't be alone for long - they introduced a new flame for him in actress Amelia Heinle, who played Victoria Newman. There had been sparks between them while Colleen was away, and it seemed the best fit for both of them. And so began the dramatic transformation of JT's character. Long gone were those days of the spiky blonde hair, leather jackets and guitars. In the past year or so, JT has begun working for Newman Enterprises as Victor's own PI, he wears a suit daily and his hair has all been slicked back, he & Victoria had a baby together, and then they got married. JT kind of lost his lustre with me - the whole working, family-man thing kind of diminished his sex appeal even more for some reason.

(However, I did find out recently that Amelia Heinle is actually Thad's wife off-screen, and they really did have a baby together, which is very sweet and wonderful for them. It made me appreciate their television relationship more.)
But in the wake of losing JT as my Y&R hot young stud, I've been struggling to find a new man to replace him. At first, I thought it was going to be Cane (played by Daniel Goddard), Jill Abbott's long-lost son who returned last season. Cane's got the whole tall-dark-n-handsome thing going on, and his Australian accent is delicious. But they've sent Cane down the road as a corporate suit as well, which isn't my cup of tea when it comes to the Y&R evidently.
There's also Kevin Fisher (Greg Rikaart), who plays Michael Baldwin's younger brother. He's easy on the eyes as well, but he's got this crazy girlfriend Janna who could go off her rocker at any time, and he's always in cahoots with his loony-tunes mother, Gloria. Kind of a turn-off.
So for the past two weeks, I've had my eye on Daniel Romalotti (Michael Graziadei), Phyllis' son. I'm not sure why, but up until recently, he didn't impress me much. In fact, I found him kind of annoying. He had the teenage marriage to Lily Winters, and then he had the storyline where he became obsessed with porn, which eventually ended his & Lily's relationship. Then, last month, he had this terrible blonde, fluffy hair-do that made him look like a baby chick or something.
But in the past few weeks, he's back to short, dark hair and his smoky, sexy gaze has attracted me. They've sort of got him working towards becoming a photographer, which is pretty hot, and he's started this racy relationship with his best friend, the tantalizingly dangerous Amber Moore. It was in one of his love scenes with Amber that I realized the boy has a pretty nice body to boot.
So that's it: I'm officially declaring Daniel my new Y&R crush! And for the first time in a long time, I can actually say I'm looking forward to watching the show again to see what's going to happen with Daniel. Who knows, maybe he'll take his shirt off tonight.
And it also doesn't hurt that Nick, JT, Cane, and Kevin are all still hanging out in Genoa City too. At least I know if Daniel doesn't work out for me, I have lots of hot stuff to fall back on. ;)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Finally...Something to Talk About!

I'll admit, these last couple of weeks, I was a bit uninspired when it came to the Blog.

My favourite subject, the Ottawa Senators, were floundering yet again. I couldn't bring myself to report on their misfortunes any longer. With each loss came a more intense fear and panic that maybe this would be my first year as a Sens fan on the outside looking in when it came playoff time.

The thought was almost unbearable.

And for a little while last night, I was starting to think it was me. Really, truly all me. I was ready to anoint myself the Senators Jinx.

I know I do that a couple of times every year, when they start to slump. It always seems that their failures coincide with my presence. For instance, Monday night's game against the Habs. I sat down to watch and Wade Redden got hurt. Then the Habs jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Not long after, Montreal's lead grew to 7-1. Completely pissed off, I stomped down to the basement in a huff to watch a Family Guy re-run. (Surely, Peter & Stewie would cheer me up). Within moments, I heard my mom whooping upstairs. Then again. And again. Finally, I flicked back to the game, but the comeback was too-little, too-late. And somehow, I ended up blaming myself, because I tuned in just in time for a Sens 5-on-3 powerplay, which they squandered. Had they scored, perhaps that would have set the stage for the greatest comeback in franchise history.

That brings us to last night's game. I missed the first period and most of the second, but when I settled in to watch with 7 minutes left in the second frame, it was 1-0 Ottawa thanks to a Christoph Schubert goal. Woo-Hoo!

Oh - but wait...The Curse of Jillian hit just seconds after my arrival on the couch. Five minutes into the third period, the score was 3-1 Buffalo. Ouch!!

I was about ready to do my stomp off to the basement again when Dean McAmmond scored off a short-handed rush with Antoine Vermette. Then our blessed captain tied it up at 3. Images of the 7-5 horror show from the night before began to fade, and I started to think that maybe, just maybe, this comeback would actually work.

Anton Volchenkov broke the dead-lock with his first goal of the year, and then Alfie added another to give them some breathing room in the final minutes of the game. Antoine Vermette hit the empty net at the buzzer to seal the victory - 6-3 Sens!!

It was a much-needed win as the season is winding up and the standings are as tight as can be. It seems next-to-impossible to catch Montreal now, as they're up 5 points on us, but with a 7-point lead over the 9th-place Washington Capitals, missing the playoffs is also unlikely.

That being said, it's hardly time to start breathing easy. With only a handful of games left in the regular season, the Sens need to start pulling things together and play strong for the next week or so. Things have been far from smooth since Christmas time, and despite last night's big comeback, there hasn't been a whole lot to cheer about when it comes to this team lately.

I'm hoping Steve Warne from the Team 1200's TGOR morning show is right - he thinks the Sens have enough talent that come playoff time, they'll be able to flip the switch and return to the Beasts of the East that they were last year at this point. They'll start tearing it up, and hopefully return to the Stanley Cup Finals again for the second straight year.

I've never given up before on my boys, so I'm not going to start now. If anyone can do it, I truly believe they can.

I've got my fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Snow Daze

Well, it's the topic everyone else is talking about, so why not me too?

Snow. And lots of it.

This past weekend, we got a massive dumping of the white stuff, to go along with the already-considerable quantity we've accumulated over the past 4 months. They're claiming on Saturday alone, we received upwards of 50 centimetres, and that doesn't include the snow that fell on Friday night (somewhere along the lines of 15 centimetres).

Now, I work on a sod farm, where the word "snow" is literally an offenisve 4-letter word.

Oddly enough, I really love snow. I have ever since I was a little kid. This winter has been a dream to me. So many mornings I've woken up to a fresh blanket of fluffy white snow, and it literally makes me giddy.

The thing is, I'm not sure why. I haven't participated in any outdoor winter activities in a long, long time. I don't downhill ski, and I haven't had my cross-country skis out since I was maybe 14 years old. I used to love sliding and snomobiling, but now our sleds are stored in the attic year-round, our snowmobile bit the dust years ago and was never replaced...Hell, I don't even own a pair of snow pants. I can't remember the last time I built a snowman, and I out-grew my skates when I was in Grade 7 and never got a new pair.

I work in an industry where this much snow is not just something to sigh & bitch about. A prolonged winter will affect business; the more snow we have, the longer it will stick around, and as long as it's here, the grass can't start growing.

And yet, for some reason, I just can't muster up any hate for the snow!!

They're saying we need 33 more centimetres to break the record, and I'm hoping we get it. I mean, seriously - we've come this far, don't we want something to show for it, people?! A place in the record books; a memorable winter to one day look back on, like my parents do with "The Storm of '71". It will be the winter we'll one day reminisce about, and tell the tale to our grandchildren: I remember the winter of '08 - that was the year we broke the record for the biggest snowfall in one winter. I walked to work everyday, going uphill both ways, in my bare feet, with snow up to my chin.

This winter could be our generation's claim to fame. We only have 33 more centimetres to go.

And I say...Bring it on!!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tackling the Touchy Subject

Priscilla sent me a message on my Facebook Wall the other day, and she asked when I wrote another Blog if I would be talking about the Sens, or were they a still a touchy subject with me?

Answer: Yes, they're still a touchy subject with me. But I'm gonna talk about them anyway.

A week ago, this team was in complete disarray. They had posted back-to-back shut-out losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins, which was the rock-bottom point in a long stretch of games in which they had struggled. Instead of looking like that well-oiled Stanley-Cup-contending team of the early part of the season, they were looking more like the early Expansion Sens who only won 10 games all season. Then, following last Tuesday's trade deadline and the measly acquisition of Martin Lapointe from the Chicago Blackhawks (they dangle Hossa, but deliver Lapointe? Puh-leeeze...), Head Coach John Paddock was given the axe and Bryan Murray returned behind the bench, hopefully ready to lead his team back to where he got them last year...and beyond.

Stanley Cup or bust, baby.

Well. It kinda looks like it's going to be bust.

Since Murray assumed his former role as Head Coach, the Sens have been a dismal 1-3. They lost that first game under Murray, to Philly, 3-1. They beat Pittsburgh Saturday in a wild one, 5-4. Then, in Monday night's re-match against the team that beat them for the Cup last June, they lost 3-1 to Anaheim. And then, last night they blew two leads to eventually lose in San Jose, 3-2 in OT.

At least they got a point, right? *sigh*

What has happened to my Sens?? I'm distraught, frustrated, anxious, nervous. We've slipped in the standings, no longer the far-and-away leader of the East, now we're nestled in the middle of the pack in 5th place, only a few points from the top, but also only a few from the bottom. If this slide continues...who knows? Is it possible we don't even make the playoffs?

When Bryan Murray returned behind the bench, I was breathing easier. I thought, "Here we go...We're back!"

Not so much.

While I do think the Sens have played better in the past week, they're still struggling, and now, with Captain Alfie out after being cross-checked in the ribs in the Anaheim game, who knows how long the misery will continue?

They've got to string some wins together and start looking more like that team that steam-rolled through the playoffs last season until meeting their match in the Stanley Cup Finals. Otherwise, that "amazing start" back in October/November will mean absolutely nothing. I've been through a lot of painful times as a Sens fan, but I'm not sure anything will be as painful as watching this season go from "glowing" to "ghastly".

I'm gritting my teeth. Hoping for a win tonight in L.A. Trying to be optimistic and praying for the turn-around.

I don't want this to be a touchy subject anymore.