Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Canadian Pride!

Everyone knows Christmas Eve is my favourite day of the year. Followed closely by Christmas Day. And then my birthday. (Although, now that I'm moving past the mid-twenties, that day is slowly becoming one to dread rather than celebrate...)
But right up there on my "favourite days of the year" pedestal is our beautiful country's birthday.
JULY 1st!! YEAH!!

(The sight of the Canada Flag going through the crowd at the Sens games always sends shivers down my spine...)

It has become a highlight on the calendar for me especially since I joined Quyon's Canada Day Committee, about 5 years ago now. We spend the year planning & fundraising for this one special day. In recent years, we've switched our celebrations to the evening of June 30th, as everyone has the next day off work leaving them free to have a good time, and also frees up Canada Day for people to take in other festivities, such as the ones close-by on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

But tonight, Quyon is the place to be!! The Lionettes will be hosting their annual Teddy Bear Hospital at the Lions Hall, with all proceeds going to the Shawville Hospital. There will be a community BBQ, followed by the parade which ends with a flag raising ceremony down by the Ferry docks. Continuing into the evening, the band Catalyst will be raising the roof of the hall and getting everyone pumped up for fireworks down by the Ottawa River.

Sound like fun?? It ALWAYS IS!!

(The Committee ladies on-stage with the band last year.)

For those of you who live in town, hope to see you there!

Everyone have a safe & Happy Canada Day, wherever you may be!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Survived the Great Earthquake of 2010...

...Okay, so it sounds like everyone did.

No fatalities, no major damage.

But holy sh*t, DID YOU FEEL THAT?!? I'm not sure I've ever been so frightened in my life!

Here at MVT, when the office started to shake, I think we all had the same idea: someone was driving past the office in one of the big trucks. And they were going far too fast. Then, after realizing it was going on too long for a tractor trailer to be whizzing by, I thought for sure one of the trucks had accidentally hit the office.

It wasn't until I looked over at Claire and said, "What the hell is that?" and she was already jumping from her chair and heading for the door saying something about an earthquake that I realized what was going on. I was right on her heels, heading for the exit!

Lindsay stopped us and made us stand in the doorframe - which seemed ridiculous to me, when the outdoors was only a few feet away, and out there I would not have to worry about a building collapsing on me.

But apparently Lindsay was right to make us stop in the doorframes, because apparently you're not to go outside during an earthquake. Go figure.

In any case - I couldn't believe it when they said the 5.0 earthquake with the epicentre in Val-des-Bois, Quebec that hit at 1:40 PM only lasted 20-30 seconds. Felt like it went on for minutes. And for about an hour afterwards, it felt like my legs were made of Jell-O.

In Ottawa, apparently it caused an even bigger stir as buildings were evacuated and examined for structual damage. Emergency services said their phone lines went haywire until evening. It was chaos as many were sent home early, and the mass exodus of downtown Ottawa was a traffic nightmare.

After living through my first major earthquake? (Alright, so they're calling it a "moderate" was major in my world!) I hope I never have to feel that again. Makes me very grateful that I don't live in an earthquake zone, because that panic I felt is not something I want to feel again. Ever.

Earthquakes are not my thing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Here We Go Again...

Another summer...Another off-season of Ottawa Senator angst.

I was so looking forward to the summer of 2010. Well, for many reasons, mostly related to hot weather and daiquiris and nights at the ball field and vacations.

But also for the fact that as a fan of the Senators, I wouldn't have to go through the infuriating debacle that was Dany Heatley's demand to be traded out of town last summer.

A stress-free off-season as a Sens fan. A fairly decent run this past year, an okay showing in the playoffs, and confidence that, going forward, this team is headed in the right direction.


Oh...Oh, but wait! What's this? Now Jason Spezza wants out?


It started a few weeks ago. Rumours bubbling up that Spezza wanted to follow in his ol' pal Heater's footsteps and get the hell outta Dodge. He didn't like that he was getting booed on home ice in the playoffs. Nope, little Chuckles didn't like that at all. So he had told Ottawa GM Bryan Murray that he wouldn't be opposed to a trade.

Jeepers creepers.

Does it really bother me to think of the Sens being Spezza-less next season? Not really. Not the way it bothered me when Heatley ran for the exit. Because, quite frankly, Jason Spezza drives me insane. His blind drop-passes and dipsy-doodling that hardly ever works is enough to make me want to scream and pull my hair out. And I do believe, after the Sens were ousted by the Pens in the playoffs, I actually said that I hoped he found a new home this season.

What does bother me is our supposed stars - this is two in a row now, folks - asking to be dealt. Doesn't paint a real nice picture for this city or this team. Are we really the next Edmonton?

What's going on here? What happened to the team that, a few years ago, players were clamoring to be on? Back then, guys wanted to be here. They wanted to proudly wear the Sens' colours and be a part of this team and community.

Is it Bryan Murray? Living fairly close to the town where Murray was born and raised, and still comes back to every summer, we aren't encouraged to speak ill of the man. He's a small-town success story, and he's held up on a pedestal around here. But why does he keep going to the media with in-house affairs? He's doing it with Spezza, he did it with Heatley, he even did it back with Wade Redden. I'm not quite sure it's a smart approach, and I have to think players coming in to this organization have to be wary of his tactics when it comes to sharing information about their private conversations.

Is it the media? In Ottawa, hockey takes centre stage almost year-round, and the Sens are always the hot topic on sports radio and in the newspapers. Some of the local hockey scribes have a reputation for being able to actually run players out of town. They take a dislike for a player, publish enough bad press that they get the fans on-board, and the next thing you know, said player is gonzo. Don't believe it? Ask Radek Bonk. Ask Joe Corvo. Ask Wade Redden. And now, ask Jason Spezza. The media love to find whipping boys. But I sometimes wonder if it's justified...

Is it the fans? We've been criticized for being too disparaging. For being fickle. For booing our own players. For being bandwagoners. We've also been complimented, like most Canadians who watch the game avidly, for being very knowledgeable fans. When things are going well, we cheer loudly & proudly. When things aren't going well, everyone becomes an armchair GM and they burn up the lines to the local sports radio call-in shows with their whining and complaining and big ideas. Unfortunately, when a player isn't living up to expectations - à la Jason Spezza - the boo birds come out. We make our feelings known, whether they like it or not.

Probably a combination of all three - the GM (and all team management), the media, the fans...It ain't easy being a player in the Nation's Capital, in a Canadian hockey hotbed. You have to have tough skin to play up here. I always thought Spezza handled it pretty well.

But I guess everyone has their limit. And he's had enough.

It should be interesting to see what transpires in the weeks to come. As of July 1st, his no-trade clause kicks in and he receives a $4-Million dollar bonus. But moving him will also be a challenge, as he carries a $7-Million per year price tag and he's bound to long contract terms. How many teams are willing to take a chance on a defensive liability like him?

Ugh. It's already giving me a Heatley-like ulcer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Man, I Love That Song

You've just discovered you have only 5 minutes left on this Earth.
And during those last 5 minutes, you get to listen to one last song. It's the last thing you're going to hear. You gotta make it a good one.

What tune do you pick? Something nostalgic? Something that fills you with memories and makes you want to cry? Something that makes you smile? Something with beautiful lyrics, beautiful melody? Something that makes you feel?

If it's me - I'm thinking it's got to be something that makes me want to dance.

You know that song. The one that as soon as you hear it, whether you're at the bar or in your car, you just want to let loose. You want to sing along and jump around and get it all out.

I'm sure, at different times in my life, the answer to this question would have been different from the way I'm feeling about it today.

But today? (And for the past, oh, year or so?) There's only one song that comes to mind that I would absolutely want to hear if it was my last 5 minutes alive.

Because when I hear just the first few opening chords, I burst into a huge grin and and it doesn't matter how crappy a mood I'm in, it makes me want to break out the air guitar right then and there.

Jesse is a friend...Yah, he's always been a good friend of mine...

And there it is. Jesse's Girl. That's my song.

I know, I know. Lame. Cheesy. Goofy.

But that's the one.

What is it about that song? Doesn't matter how many times I hear it. I listen the whole way through and never stop grinning from ear to ear. I demand bands play it when I'm out. I get mad at them when they don't know it. I even persuaded De'Mos (our new Gavan's "band of choice") to learn it for me. I have burnt it onto a dozen different CDs, and when it comes on in the car, chances are I replay it over at least a few times before moving on.

A few months ago, I was in the kitchen baking, and the TV was on in the living room, with the volume on quite low. Glee had come on the tube, but I'm not a fan (I know, I know - who doesn't like Glee?! ...Me.) , so had I not been working in the kitchen, the channel would have been changed.

It was like fate. As I was icing cupcakes, I caught the first distinguishable notes, and ran for the living room. The Glee cast was performing my song. So I stood in the living room, with icing all over my hands and a goofy grin on my face, and I danced.

There's just something about that song.
Rick Springfield should feel honoured.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Less Than A Month...

...til I get me some Edward & Jacob.
Eclipse is hitting theatres June 30th. And I. can't. wait.

I know, I know. Fans of the Twilight franchise shouldn't be so antsy. I mean, we were just treated to New Moon in November of '09, and the DVD release was just in March. Waiting til the end of June shouldn't be that difficult.

But, uh, yeah. It is. It still feels like an eternity away.

So to tide myself (and other vampire & werewolf lovers out there) over, here's a few images of Edward and Jacob.

I'm still Team Edward, but there's no harm in looking at the cute little wolf, is there?

humina humina... The next few weeks are going to drag by...

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Most Intense Grey's Everrrrrr

I'm behind in everything. I'm behind in life. Should it be any surprise I'm way behind in my recaps?

But I haven't forgotten my Grey's. Oh, my Grey's. I didn't get to watch the season finale on it's regular night, like everyone else, because I was at the Taylor Swift concert. Reading everyone's statuses on Facebook afterwards about how intense and crazy it was? I was wishing I'd got to watch it that night.

After a jam-packed long May 2-4 weekend, I finally got to watch it on the holiday Monday. And might I just say...oh. my. GOD.

Grey's has a history of leaving it's viewers shocked and hanging at the end of the season. In the beginning, it was Addison showing up to tell Meredith that her McDreamy was actually McMarried. To her. We've had Burke getting shot and Denny dying after his heart transplant. We've had Cristina getting stood up at the altar by Burke. Oh, and how could we top last season's finale, when the hospital staff discovered their mangled "John Doe" patient was actually George, and just as they start to lose him, Izzie, suffering from cancer, collapses in her new husband Alex's arms? For most of the summer, rumours ran rampant as to whether both George and Izzie died.

Really, what could be more intense than that?

Oh. Okay. A shooter in the hospital. The angry husband of a former patient of Derek's, whom he pulled the plug on, looking for revenge. And shooting up pretty much anyone who crosses his path as he hunts for McDreamy.

Yep, that'll do it.

Within the first 10 minutes of the show, Reed was dead and Alex was wounded. Throughout the 2 hour finale, we lost Charles, along with many members of the hospital staff, and witnessed Bailey cowering before Mr. Clarke, claiming to be a nurse and begging for her life. We thought Lexie got shot, but as it turns out, the SWAT team shot Clarke instead, injuring him. We saw Callie make a deal with the devil - she gave him bandages for his wounds in exchange for him leaving her, Arizona, and their patients alone. We saw the Chief barge back in to the locked-down hospital to take it over again.

And we saw Derek get shot. That crazy mofo actually shot Derek!! In the chest!!

And he did it before Meredith could tell him that she was carrying their child.

All kinds of crazy ensued. With Cristina the only experienced cardiothoracic surgeon on-hand, she proceeded to try to save Derek's life, while making Meredith hide as she worked on him. I swear, the hairs on my arms and neck stood on end when Owen walked into the room where Meredith and April were hiding and gazed in to where Cristina was supposed to be operating on Derek. I knew right then that the shooter was in the room. Owen went in to try to diffuse the situation, and ended up getting shot himself. Meredith finally barged in, pointing out that Mr. Clarke killing her friends and husband was not his eye-for-an-eye. Killing her would be his eye-for-an-eye. Derek killed Clarke's wife. She's Derek's wife. "Kill me! Kill me!" she screamed.

Cristina and Avery to the rescue. They fake-killed Derek so that Clarke would bugger off, which he did, sending Meredith into hysterics, until she realized it was just a trick. They plugged Derek back in, and continued saving his life, while Cristina ordered Mer to get Owen help. "I'm saving your guy. You have to save mine."

Now here's the real heart-breaker. While working on Owen, April notices that Meredith's bleeding. But not from a gunshot wound. Wincing in pain, Meredith explains, very calmly, that she's having a miscarriage.

Dear Lord.

Could it get more intense, more horrifying, more sad than that?

Best season finale ever. Seriously.

What's in store for next season? I'd say some serious therapy. But at the end of it all, we knew that Alex was going to be okay, that Owen was going to be okay, and that Derek was going to be okay. Phewf.

If I'd had to wait all summer to find that out, I might've gone crazy.