Thursday, March 24, 2011
As always, we’ll kick it off with my Redemption Island observations this week:
You know how they keep showing the clip of Russell saying, “This is the last time I will play this game” ?? I don’t believe him for one second.
After Francesca, Russell, and Kristina, it must have been a relief for Matt to finally see the young & lovely Krista arrive to join him for some quality time on the Island of isolation. It took him all of two seconds before he was flirting and calling her “Blondie”. Even good Christian boys need some eye candy, I guess.
Redemption Island Showdown. This should be a piece of cake for Matt. Krista appears to be the weakest competition he’s had yet. Oh, right, Kristina almost passed out doing a puzzle last week. Maybe she was the weakest. Whatever. They had to toss a hook to collect three bags in the sand, then open them to find their ball to use in their table maze. Krista took an early lead, but Matt was able to catch up, and in the end, he weeble-wobbled his table better than Krista and won his fourth straight challenge to stay in the game. Impressive, buddy!
I don’t mind that Matt’s hair is long. I don’t mind that he wears it in a ponytail. But I really don’t like it when he wears it like a bun. If he was my boy, we’d be going right straight for a haircut.
Sarita may be the first Survivor ever to complain of a toothache. Her tribe is complaining about how high-maintenance she is. Apparently Sarita’s toothache could be Steph’s saving grace. Because of her strength in challenges, Steph may move up the totem pole of importance on their tribe. If they lose Immunity, it sounds like Sarita’s ass could be grass. Which I’m sure she’ll be okay with, ‘cause I think she really misses her toothbrush.
Oh good sweet Lord, Pink Panties just won’t stop. SOMEBODY SHUT HIM UP. He’s mad at the girls on his tribe for not pulling their weight. If I was out there with him, I would climb a tree to get as far away from him as I could. And I’ve never climbed a tree in my life. Did he seriously just call one of them a redheaded stepchild?!? WHAT?!? Boston Rob had to play peacekeeper, and told Phillip to back down. I have to wonder where this tribe would be without him. Actually, I know where they’d be. They’d be roasting Phillip’s pink-underwear ass over the fire and eating him for dinner.
Dammit, I only caught the tail-end of Jeff making fun of Phillip’s tattoos at the Immunity Challenge. What happened there, anybody see it?
It’s a ball-launching-catch-it-in-a-lacrosse-stick contact sport challenge. First team to five wins. Grant is so hot. I love him when he’s wearing his bandanna over his dreads. Mmmm. AND he’s kickin’ ass in this challenge. Pays to have a former NFL player on your side, I guess. Grant’s pissed that Mike ripped his shirt off, but I don’t mind. At all. Grant practically won that one for his tribe single-handedly, even with someone practically hanging off of him all the time. That was one hot challenge!
Another feast for Rob & the gang. And another hidden immunity idol clue for Rob. But he decides to let someone else get it, and in swoops Grant. I swear, these guys are a powerhouse in this game. But uh-oh, Phillip spotted them! And hell hath no fury like a lion and a gorilla when they think they’re being provoked! Yes, he really said that. Pure Survivor Comedy Gold. Apparently Rob & Grant better watch out because Phillip and his tattoos and the whole United States of America are going to kick their asses. I bet they’ll be shaking in their shoes.
So The Tribe Formerly Known as Russell’s Tribe are headed to their second straight Tribal Council. Steph was fighting hard to turn the tribe against Sarita, and had them all wondering what’s more important at this point – Steph’s strength or Sarita’s loyalty. It was clear that one of them would be going home. Dave lobbied hard for Steph, but when the votes were revealed, it was evident the tribe stuck with their trustworthy member over Steph’s spunk and might. Sarita was safe and Steph headed off to Redemption Island. It will be interesting to see if Matt can carry on against her next week!
And now, for my usual half-assed assessment of Idol:
Motown night? One of my fave nights! Oh, and Liv Tyler’s in the audience! Pays to have Daddy in one of the judges’ seats I guess. It is still so weird that I have a crush on Steven Tyler, but I do. Those lips...That voice...I love.
Here we go, with Casey starting things off. He looks like the curly-haired bearded dude from The Hangover – Zack Gafawhateverhisnameis - when he gets slicked up to go to the Casino to count cards with Bradley Cooper in that Rain Man spoof. And he’s doing Marvin Gaye, “Heard it Through the Grapevine.” Great song. I personally like the CCR version. But I’m also enjoying Casey’s rendition. Not bad, brother.
Thia Megia was an early favourite, but she’s kind of been boring for the past two weeks. She’s changing things up by going up-tempo with “Heat Wave”. Thia isn’t wowing me, though. Again. But what is impressive is that she’s not absolutely falling over from the weight of that giant bedazzled heart necklace she’s wearing.
Motown’s gotta be right up Jacob’s alley. I’m not familiar with his song, but I’m liking Jacob. Two weeks in a row. He’s movin’ on up in my books! Good stuff. AND he gets the sexy Steven Tyler judge running up on stage to give him a hug. We’ve come a long way since the “I Believe I Can Fly” night. I think it’s safe to say Jacob absolutely shone!!
Haley straightened her hair. And handled the staircase in super-high heels like a champ. She’s working Smokey Robinson’s “You Really Got A Hold on Me” hard, trying to get herself out of the Bottom 3 funk she’s been in so far. I like Haley, I really do. But I don’t think she has a hope in hell of winning this competition.
It’s Scotty McCreery’s turn, and for the first time, he’s being forced to leave his country croonin’ comfort zone. Oh, but wait, he’s putting a folky-country twist on “For Once in My Life” – and how could he not with that voice? That’s a country voice, no matter what you make it sing. I’m really liking his take on this song, and again I can’t help but think how much his tone reminds me of George Canyon. And apparently his low notes are getting everybody on the judges’ panel weak in the knees – male and female. Ditto.
Pia’s back to the ballads. She’s definitely a Celine wannabe. And she’s got the pipes for it. Impressive once again, and I still think she has an excellent shot of winning, but if she wants me to ever buy her records, she’s gotta shake it up. I’m not a ballad girl. Sorry, Pia.
Paul’s breaking out the guitar, Ryan says? Maybe that means he won’t do his weird annoying fidgeting and meandering about the stage. And it’s working!! He still looks completely high, but I guess a lot of performers do. Finally. FINALLY! I’m feeling Paul! Maybe it’s just ‘cause I love “Tracks of My Tears”, but he’s making it his own, and I really really like it. Somebody make sure this guy holds a guitar for the whole rest of the competition. Please.
Naima’s gonna have us “Dancing in the Streets”. Or so she hopes. She herself is tackling African dance. I’m not sure, but maybe this girl should have tried out for So You Think You Can Dance? Also, those pants might be a bad choice. Didn’t Jessica Simpson get teased for months for wearing pants like that? Still, there’s something about this chick that I enjoy. She’s different. And she’s got loads of energy. Just not sure the vocals are up to snuff...But she loves to perform, and you’ve got to respect that.
And James is closing out the show. Still pissed that I missed his Bon Jovi act last week. I love me some Bon Jovi. Anyways, this week he’s taking on “Living For the City”, and this is cementing me as a big James fan. Awesome performance! James is too busy waving to his fans to even bother with the judges. He’s a natural. This guy is going to go far, folks. You heard it here.
Based on what I saw and how the voting has gone so far, I’d say Thia and Haley are the ones who should probably be worried. My favourites on the night were Jacob, Scotty, James, and dare I say it...Paul. Hope to see them back next week!
I seriously wish these shows weren’t on the same night. I’m going to have to start calling it "Come Read a Novel Thursdays". Yeesh.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
So it was easy for me to hate him when the news broke that he had viciously abused his then-girlfriend, pop superstar Rihanna on the eve of the ‘09 Grammys. To call him a scumbag would have been too kind. The news more than tarnished his previously-stellar career, and the album he released shortly after the scandal, Grafitti, was a bonafide failure.
I figured Brown’s career was effectively destroyed, and rightly so. Why support anyone who abuses another person, especially his girlfriend? Spousal abuse should never be rewarded, in any way. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
But then, a few months ago, I was listening to KISS FM and they were playing this new song that was kind of catchy, and having listeners call in to give their feedback on whether or not they should keep it in their rotation or ditch it. It was Chris Brown’s “Yeah 3x” from his latest album, F.A.M.E. Dude was trying to mount a comeback, but I doubted it would work. Yet, I had to admit, I did like the song…
As the weeks passed by, it was clear the verdict was to keep the song in the rotation, and it was getting steady play. As much as I hated to admit it, I was digging it. It was added to my exercise music playlist on my iPod, and I definitely had more jump in my step when that song came on.
I wrestled with the morality of it all. Just because I like Chris Brown’s music – like, two of his songs – doesn’t mean I condone domestic violence. It doesn’t mean I approve of what he did to Rihanna. I just…like the music…
And so, apparently, do a lot of other people. There was comfort in numbers. Brown’s fan base was building back up; people were moving on from the Rihanna incident and giving him a second chance. If all of them could do it, then surely it was okay for me to enjoy his tunes, too?
But then. Then news broke yesterday of another Chris Brown meltdown. After appearing on Good Morning America and being asked about the abuse, Brown lost his temper and tore apart his dressing room, causing all kinds of damage and security had to be called to control him.
Just when I was starting to think it might be okay to like him again. And just when he started hooking up with Justin Bieber to collaborate!! (Haters, don’t even start with me. It’s been a long time since I talked about the Biebs. I’m due.)
Still, couldn’t help but think that buddy had run out of second chances. What a jackarse. Don’t want to talk about how you beat up your girlfriend in a rage? Poor pet. Do you really think enough time has gone by that people aren’t still going to be asking about it? That people’s memories are that short?
Think again, douche.
I seriously contemplated wiping him right off my iPod. But dammit, I like that song too much…
Then I remembered: My Chris Brown tunes were illegal downloads. So I figure this is my way of getting back at him, in my own little way.
I get to keep dancing. He remains a loser of grand proportions.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
- It's SPRING!!! And the snow we got yesterday is disappearing quickly!! Wooo!!
- The thought of my niece Danica's new "scowl face", which she gives when you tell her no, raise your voice to her at all, contradict her in any way, or say anything in general that pisses her off. It looks like this. (Except she's a girl. And her ears aren't that big. And she's much cuter. And...well...she's white.)
- Garrett Hedlund's version of "Silver Wings". It's like warm, melting, butter on pancakes. Or popcorn. To my ears.
- Knowing that Brittany is 17 today. I remember the day she was born. It makes me feel old, but getting to shout "Happy Birthday!!" to her while she waited for the bus started the day off in a great way!
- Thinking about walking into the men's washroom at the Sens game on Saturday night, like a complete idiot.
- Remembering my nephew Caden recounting his trip into Luke's team's dressing room after they won their hockey league title on Sunday afternoon. "They were shouting and screaming...It was crazy in there!"
- Knowing that ball season is just around the corner...
- The thought of having two new babies in the family, as my cousins Paula & Jory and David & Dawn are both expecting over the next few months. It's so nice to have something happy to look forward to in the near future for our family.
- Daydreaming about my new "crush". Not because he's hot. Well, of course he's hot. But I actually get the giggles when I imagine introducing him to my uncle, because his dog has the same name as the crush. The dude's outta my league anyways, but even if he was interested, it would be a no-go, simply because he has a dog's name, and my family would tease the crap out of him.
- Knowing that very soon, there's going to be a new little one arriving here at the farm!
- Thinking of my brother laughing at me for thinking about supper at 7:55 AM on Friday morning when I invited myself to go to Montana's that night with him and his girlfriend.
- The excitement of actually starting a new exercise and healthy eating program that I'm jumping into this week!
- Thinking ahead to this time next year, as Lindsay & Ryan's wedding will be quickly approaching, and all the fun of showers and parties that we will be in the midst of right about now... :)
Happy Tuesday morning everyone!!
Thursday, March 17, 2011
We’ll kick things off with Survivor:
- Anybody remember when Russell cried last week after being booted out? Ah, sweet memories...
- For the love of GOD, could somebody loan Phillip a pair of shorts and burn those hot pink undies? Blechhh!!
- Russell’s Angels went to the Redemption Island Showdown as witnesses for their tribe, while Rob & Grant represented for the other tribe. Rob & Grant...mmmm. Okay, right, the challenge. Matt vs. Kristina. It’s a giant Rubix cube puzzle challenge. Is Matt seriously chirping Rob for voting him out while working away?? Cocky, dude. And Kristina may be the first person in the history of the world to almost pass out while doing a puzzle. Matt, as expected, rocked the challenge, and he gets to go back to Redemption Island to hang out while Kristina burns her buff and heads for home. Then, in swoop Russell’s Angels, tossing out randomly to Rob & Grant that they might be willing to flip if they make the merge. It appears the Redemption Island Arena is becoming a place to just spill secrets...
- Phillip’s trying to make some moves with Andrea, trying to set up a future alliance with her and Matt. If Matt gets back into the game. He said Rob’s the King and he’s a Lord, waiting to dethrone him. I’d be shocked if Phill has the smarts to pull off something like that.
- Is it just me, or is everyone jumping way ahead to the merge? First, Russell’s Angels are strategizing a flip. Now we’ve got Phillip’s big long-term plans. Hold your horses, people!!
- Off to the Immunity Challenge we go. It was one of those games where each tribe has a caller directing their blind-folded tribemates through a maze to find bags of puzzle pieces which the callers will use to solve a word puzzle at the end, with Immunity, coffee, and pastries all up for grabs. Rob and Stephanie were the callers, and while Rob had me nervous, first by choosing only to direct Grant instead of all his tribemates in the maze, and then by accidentally knocking a letter from his puzzle off the board while trying to solve it, he managed to pull through and get his tribe their first real earned “sweet taste of victory”. I was finally impressed, Boston Rob!!
- Phillip, trying to trade doughnuts for massages? Yuck. No deal, big wheel.
- Rob & Grant seem to be making a great team out there. Together they managed to claim the clue for the hidden immunity idol right under the noses of the rest of their tribe, without them noticing. Ah, but Rob’s no dummy. He swapped up the clues and gave Grant the first clue he found – that infamous clue that Rob interpreted as “It could be anywhere”. Then he acted out the part of "nervous immunity idol hunter", frantically digging here, there, and everywhere. Grant had no idea what he was up to. But Grant’s still hot, so that’s okay.
- What is up with this Dairy Queen commercial with the guy playing a guitar that sounds like a dolphin? It bugs me.
- Tribal Council. Not nearly as entertaining as when Phillip gets to go. Russell’s Angels seemed to be the prime candidates to go home. Whoa, is that Krista, the silent angel, suddenly all vocal and angry at TC? Strange, since up til now it’s always been Stephanie doing alllll the talking. But Steph’s not out of the woods yet, since she failed her tribe in the puzzle-making finale to the immunity challenge. The Angels tried to vote out my man Steve (he’s my pick in Stacy’s Survivor pool), but at the end of the day, Krista’s suddenly-big mouth and her previous alliance with Russell cost her. She gets to go hang out at Redemption Island with Matt. Looks like Matt will probably have another easy win next week!
- Not a fan of Naima’s song choice last night, doing “What’s Love Got to Do With It”. Not my thang. Quite impressed she made it down the staircase in those funky high heels in one piece, though.
- Was everybody born in 1984 on Idol this season? First Naima, now Paul. And here we go with the drunk ‘n high stage antics again. Soooo distracting. I just want him to stand still for two freakin’ seconds. Plus, he creeps me out when he stares into the camera. And I hate hate hate the skinny black man-pants. (But he does have nice teeth, I’ll give him that). He was using a cold as an excuse last night for a sub-par vocal performance. Whatever, I’m not diggin’ Paul, healthy or not.
- Dammit, I missed James again. I’m dying to hear this guy sing, and I always miss him!! And he did Bon Jovi?!? DAMMIT!!!
- Stefano, I want to like you. Really. I do. ‘Cause I think you’re superhot. But “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” isn’t gonna do it for me. Sorry chum. But the judges loved it. What the hell do I know.
- Pia was born in ’88. F, I’m old. She’s going with Whitney Houston – no surprise there, that’s right up Pia’s alley. She’s finally broken away from the power ballad, and she’s still super-strong. Again, not really my cup of tea, but there’s no reason why this chick shouldn’t be the next Idol. She’s solid. She’s incredible. She’s my pick to win it all. (PS - What was UP with the funky heels the ladies were wearing last night??)
- Ryan’s talking about Travis Tritt. That must mean Scotty McCreery’s up next! Oh my GOD he was born in ’93. I’m TEN YEARS OLDER THAN SCOTTY. Eeeeeep!!! But he loves Elvis, so Scotty’s still one of my faves. (But can Scotty and all of his family stop singing “Baby, lock the door and turn the lights down low”?? It’s getting old.) The boy is country magic...Oh, and Scotty’s a ball player. That gains him more big points in my world!
- I had no idea Karen was an on-line auditioner. Didn’t even know that was an option. She doesn’t interest me at all. Her hair looked like Marge Simpson’s last night, and she may have been wearing the biggest pair of hoop earrings I’ve ever seen in my life. That is all I have to say.
- Casey’s doing NIRVANA??? Things just got interesting, folks. He was born in ’91. NINETY-ONE. I thought he was about my age. Apparently I’m ancient. I still can’t believe I’m seeing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the American Idol stage. But I’m not sure Kurt Cobain would approve. It got better when he hit the roaring/screaming parts, however it seemed a little phony-baloney to me. Not my favourite Casey performance.
- Lauren Alaina’s up next! And she’s sick too! Seriously, there’s a bug going ‘round the Idol mansion. I don’t even want to know what year she was born. Probably 2002. Her parents look like they’re my age, for God’s sake. She’s taking on Melissa Etheridge’s “I’m the Only One”. And of course, Lauren kills it. She may be Pia’s biggest competition for the Idol crown, but I like her better because she’s more my style. Awesome.
- Lastly, we’ve got Jacob Lusk. I’ve been very “meh” on Jacob thus far. He had one amazing performance in the Hollywood rounds, but otherwise I’ve disliked him or missed him altogether. But hmm...doing “Alone” by Heart? I’m intrigued. Jacob’s still not my favourite, but man, I love that song. And I kind of liked his take on it. Not a bad note to end the night on!
As Randy said repeatedly: “We’ve got a hot competition, baby!!” From what I saw, I’d be sending Karen home. Should be interesting to see if America agrees with me!
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Then I realized, especially after another drunk disasterpiece that was my St. Paddy's Day romp at Gavan's this past Sunday, that I don't usually say the wrong things to boys when I'm sober. It's clearly the booze that turns me into a crazyperson and sends them running for the hills.
Sober Jill isn't going to spill her life story and freak the dude out. Even slightly-buzzed Jill can keep her shit together.
But then...Then we cross a line. Then Drunk Jill shows up, and all hell breaks loose.
It's the reason some people call me "Sadie" - that's my drunken alter-ego. She has lots of fun. She chases boys around like a maniac and tells them the stupidest things she can think of, and sometimes she bursts into tears for no good reason. And then, at the end of the night, she goes stomping home, usually mad at someone, and then gets on the Blackberry and starts drunk-texting and drunk-facebooking.
Not cool, my friends. Not cool at all.
So I blame Sadie for a big part of why I'm single. Sober Jill can't talk to boys (she gets tongue-tied and just can't speak). Drunk Jill can talk to boys - but says all the wrong things.
Here's some samples of actual things I've said to guys while inebriated, trying to impress them, usually on the first night I decide I'm in love with them:
- "I looooooooooooooooooooove you."
- "Please tell me I don't look fat in these jeans? Oh, whatever, I know I look fat in these jeans."
- "I'm not being negative. I'm a realist."
- "If we get married someday, will all of your brothers have to be in our wedding?"
- "I know I'm not supposed to tell you I want babies, but I do. Like, a lot. And, like, soon. My biological clock is ticking!"
- "Did you know I have bug spray in my purse?!!?!!"
- "Buy me a drink. You'll be even hotter if you do!"
- "If you want me to, I'll get on-stage and sing a song for you!!"
- "I lost 20 lbs, and if you'll go out with me, I promise to lose 50 more!"
- "Don't you think Wade Redden is the hottest hockey player ever?"
- "I'm Luke's sister. Luke's much louder sister."
- "Did you just call me Leigh Chapple?????"
- "Will you marry me?"
- "Let's DANCE!! C'mon, puhleeeeeeeeeeeze???"
- "Seriously, I'm like the last single girl in the world. There's definitely something wrong with me."
- "Do you want to live in Quyon with me? Forever?"
Oh wow. That was embarrassing just to write.
I don't know why I (or should I say, "Sadie") think it's funny to put myself down and call myself fat. I even got a lecture on self-confidence about a year ago from a guy about that! But still I do it... I also don't know why I think it's so important to tell people who might know my brother that I'm his sister, like he's some kind of "superstar" or something. (Trust me, he doesn't like when I do that, either!) And of course I know it is absolutely insane to mention weddings, houses, babies, love, and the future. Seriously, who does that??
And for the record, nobody ever called me Leigh Chapple.
Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol...
(PS - While this post may lead you to believe otherwise, I'm not an alcoholic. Promise. In fact, I keep Sadie locked up most of the time now. It's that odd occasion when she breaks free...It's never pretty...)
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I was two when my brother was born, so I don't remember what it was like to have Baby Lukey around. I only remember him as a toddler and beyond. From the time I was five til I turned turned twelve, I used to beg my mother to have another baby. I would've loved another new baby sister or brother.
She never had another one. And so, for all these years, I've been pining over other peoples' off-spring, and dreaming of one day having my own.
Luckily for me, lots of people around me have been popping out the kiddies over recent years. My niece and nephew, of course, are the closest I have to my "own". But I also have an amazing group of close girlfriends who have been re-producing lately. And quite a large crew of them were all gathered in one spot on Friday night!
My friend Hollie sent me a text last Thursday to invite me to her parents' place for a "girls night", just like we used to have when we were teens. I knew right away that all the babes would be there, and I lamented to my mom that I would be the only one there without a child. She told me to bring one of my old dolls.
Haha, very funny.
In any case, I didn't need to bring one of my own. There were plenty to go around. Hollie's twins Kaylee and Jessica, Sheena's son Bryce, Vicky's toddling little Cameron, and Caryl's infant Leah were all under the age of one. Also ripping around the house were Stacy's 4-year-old Maddy, Vicky's two-year-old Julia, and Caryl's 5-year-old Gracie.
I hope I didn't miss any.
And man, was that one busy house!
I wish I had pictures or videos to show you of the extreme cuteness that was in one room. I mean, watching Bryce do "the worm" on the floor was enough to make my night right there.
And then there was my main man Cameron. Cameron and I bonded back when he was just a little tiny baby, and I've always had a soft spot for the handsome little guy. On Friday night, I discovered a new way to win Cameron's heart: Cheesies. Everytime I pulled one out of the bag for him, he'd squeal and smile as though I'd just found buried treasure. I loved it.
But where there is Jill and children, there is usually calamity too. After feeding one of Hollie's girls, I made the child spew up her bottle and the Baby Advil she'd been given for her cold. Then I knocked over my own can of pop. And spilled another baby bottle. Next, I accidentally stepped on Maddy's hair while she was lying on the floor and made her cry.
When I left at 1 AM, Hollie and Caryl were both still up, trying to get their babies to sleep. And I was pooped.
I get baby fever a lot. Everytime I hold one of my friends' babies, or when my sister's kids are around, I start yearning for my own. I want a little person to want me the same way I see other people's babies wanting them.
But if there's one thing I learned last Friday night, it is this: Babies are a lot of work. Okay, I already knew that, but it really sank in that not all babies go to sleep at 8 PM and stay there all night. Not all babies stop crying when they're dry and fed and being rocked.
Babies are exhausting.
So my admiration for all of those ladies in that room went up a notch.
All of their children are absolute stars. And I'm glad they let me hang out with them so that I can get my baby fix.
It should keep the fever at bay, at least for another little while...
Friday, March 11, 2011
If you’re a hockey fan, the hit that Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins laid on the Habs’ Max Pacioretty on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal is old news.
It’s been the hot topic on Canadian sports and news stations for four days now. And it isn’t fading away. Not in the least.
I didn’t see the hit live, but later that night, as I checked my Twitter feed, I knew something big had gone down. The sports reporters and hockey players that I follow were all talking about the Chara hit and debating whether or not it was dirty.
First thing Wednesday morning, I hit up Youtube to see for myself. And honestly, when I first watched it, I couldn’t believe Pacioretty’s head was still attached to his body after Chara slammed him into the stanchion by the Montreal players bench. As he lay prone on the ice, unconscious, the medical staff attending to him were literally looking for a pulse. He was taken from the ice on a stretcher, then rushed by ambulance to hospital, where it was discovered he had a severe concussion and a broken 4th cervical vertebrae.
At the time, Chara was given a major penalty and game misconduct. On Wednesday, the NHL announced that no further disciplinary action would be taken against Chara. The powers that be deemed it a clean hockey play, and that Pacioretty had the misfortune of being at the wrong place on the ice at the wrong time; that had Chara rubbed him into the boards anywhere else in the rink, it wouldn’t have even been a topic of conversation. It was the the fact that he drilled him into a steel stanchion at the edge of the glass by the benches that caused such a severe injury, and because of the speed of the game, Chara likely didn’t even realize where he was when he finished his check on the Habs forward.
Bad timing. Unfortunate. Just part of the game...
Normally, I buy into the belief that hockey is a dangerous game, and that by stepping on the ice, players are accepting the fact that anything can happen when they’re out there.
But in recent years, and especially this season, with the game’s biggest young star, Sidney Crosby, forced out of the game indefinitely by several concussions, the talk on headshots and how to eliminate them from NHL hockey has grown into a major issue. Chara’s hit on Pacioretty has only escalated these discussions.
The backlash over the Chara hit grows daily. First it was shock and outrage over the fact that Chara wasn’t suspended. Pacioretty himself issued a statement from his hospital bed saying he was disgusted that disciplinary action wasn’t taken against Chara. Then Air Canada, a sponsor of the National Hockey League, issued a letter stating that if the NHL doesn’t begin to take steps to make the game safer and take serious action against players who target other players’ heads, that they may be forced to withdraw their sponsorship. And today, after infuriated fans in Montreal jammed up 911 emergency phone lines by calling to report Chara’s hit, the city’s police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident.
Yes, this is a serious matter. If you don’t believe me, just watch the replay of the hit. Trust me, it will leave a sick feeling in your stomach. You won’t want to watch it again. It’s as close to human decapitation as I ever want to see.
If I was a Habs fan? I’d probably be royally pissed too.
I do have to admit, though, that I’m not Zdeno Chara’s biggest fan. Zee and I go way back, to the days when he was one of Ottawa’s top 2 defencemen.
Guess who the other one was?
The summer that Chara and Wade Redden both headed to unrestricted free agency, team management scrambled to get them both signed to new contracts, but Chara refused to take a pay cut to stay and play in Ottawa. So the team had to make a decision. Redden or Chara?
They showed loyalty by signing Redden, a player who had been with the organization since his rookie year and had always been a strong member of the community and one of the best on the ice. They let Chara walk. Redden’s game quickly declined thereafter, while Chara went on to become the captain of the Bruins and has received Norris Trophy for Best Defenceman consideration every year.
I literally tear another clump of my hair out everytime I hear someone say the Sens made the wrong choice by keeping Redden and letting Chara go.
So no. I wasn’t his biggest fan. Even before the horrifying incident of earlier this week.
Many sports talkshow hosts and analysts claim that this isn’t typical of Zdeno Chara’s character. He’s not a malicious player. He has no record of previous suspensions, despite being one of the biggest players in the game, at 6’9” and 250 lbs. Some have even suggested that he’s an emotional guy who will be affected by this long after the rest of the hockey world has forgetten.
But I’m not so sure. I’ve watched the replay. More times than I’d have liked to. And I have to say, it sure looks to me like Chara knew exactly what he was doing. It even looks like he gave Pacioretty’s head that extra shove into the turnbuckle. I don’t believe he intentionally wanted to break the guy’s neck, but it was a reckless play. I don’t care how fast he was going. It sure looked to me like he knew where they were on the ice and that he was about to really potentially hurt the guy.
He didn’t care that they were nowhere near the puck. He didn’t let up. He didn’t try to stop it.
He gave that extra shove.
Just finishing his check, you say?
Blame it on the construction of the rinks. Blame it on that stanchion. Blame it on the league for putting it there.
But I think Zdeno Chara should be shouldering at least some of the blame. Players need to be more careful out there.
Before someone is killed.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
- Holy mother of GOD. They can show me all the snakes and creepy crawlies and jungle monkeys they want, but when the camera flashes on one of those large, furry spiders, I literally shriek. Every.time.
- I’ve decided that Mike has lost the title of Hottest Survivor this season. He’s been bumped by Grant. Super sexy hot stuff. And an ex-NFL player. Droool.
- Russell met up with Matt on Redemption Island for the big showdown. And what a showdown it was. Russell’s former tribe sent Ralph and Sarita as their witnesses, while Rob’s tribe gladly shipped off Phillip and Kristina, probably hoping for a break from listening to Phill brag about his super secret intelligence training that he got while employed by three different levels of the US Government. (Tell us about it again, Phillip, we might forget it if you don’t repeat it over and over). In a delightful surprise, Matt beat out Russell, and for the first time in history, Russell Hantz is officially out of the game of Survivor before the final Tribal Council. LOVE IT! Of course he didn’t go quietly, though. He shed a few crocodile tears before announcing to the other tribe’s witnesses that Ralph had a hidden idol and who was in alliances on his tribe. Lucky for Rob, he had blabbermouth Phillip there to report it all back to him.
- And of course, that’s exactly what Phillip did. He couldn’t wait to get Rob off to the side and begin spinning the yarn of the Redemption Island Showdown. But Rob didn’t have the patience for Phill’s drawn out rambling, and tried to get him to spit it out a little more quickly. Fave moment: Rob, in the midst of Phillip’s long-winded intro to the story, going, “Huh?” and Phillip exploding, “Rob! Just listen to me! Let me just tell you what happened!” Rob, wide-eyed, snapped back, “Well then tell it!!”
- Around this time, I swear I heard footsteps on my stairway. SWEAR. And it’s been over a week since Paranormal Activity 2. This is why there is no Criminal Minds for me on Wednesday nights anymore, Kenny.
- Grant, you’re hot. You’re the super sexiest Survivor since Colby. Don’t ruin it by wearing your dreads in a knot on top of your head like Pebbles. I don’t like it.
- Rob told his group he had to go “relieve himself”, and instead went hunting for the hidden idol. He found it, but it took him a long time. By the time he made it back to the beach, they must’ve been thinking he dropped one mean deuce.
- Off to the challenge we go. What is this? A friggin Craftsman Tools commercial? That’s some serious advertisement pimpin’ if I ever saw it. With Russell gone, his old tribe had no reason to throw this one, and while it was close, they got it done. Again. Four challenges, and they’ve won 3 of ‘em. The only one they lost was because they tried to lose it. C’MON, Rob! Time to step it up!!
- I absolutely adore Phillip’s post-loss pep talks to his tribe. Almost as much as I love his hot pink undies.
- Despite the fact that the entire tribe was thoroughly annoyed and exhausted with Phillip, Boston Rob was more focused on sending Kristina home. He organized a split vote in case she had another hidden Idol, and let the two ding-dongs duke it out at Tribal Council. Not as entertaining as Phillip’s very first Truth Circle, but not a bad TC. In the end, Kristina was the one who received the most votes and was sent to Redemption Island to snuggle with Matt.
- Speaking of Matt – I don’t generally like long-haired boys or boys with ponytails, but if anyone can pull it off, it’s him. Yummy.
And now, on to Idol. Keep in mind I could only catch bits and pieces of the first hour on Survivor commercials, so I didn’t get to see everyone. But here are a few of my observations of the Top 13.
- I was so excited when Lauren said she was going to kick things off with my all-time fave Shania song, “Any Man of Mine.” Unfortunately, she didn’t quite pull it off. I don’t think she’s going anywhere, though. The girl has big, BIG potential. But she was no Shania last night.
- Ashton went all Diana Ross this week, and they brought in some Motown bigwig to see her perform. I’m thinking he probably could’ve stayed at home. I wasn’t impressed.
- Okay. What am I missing with Paul? I know he has a lot of big supporters out there, but seriously? Was he drunk up there? It wasn’t his song choice. (I like Ryan Adams). It wasn’t his voice. (I really actually like it). It wasn’t even his clothes. (But I hate the skinny pants on dudes. Just sayin’). It was his jumping and stutter-stepping and twitching and weird facial expressions and half-closed eyes. Dude was mother-effin’ DRUNK! Or HIGH! Or maybe BOTH!! Whatever it was, it was distracting. Did not enjoy it. At all.
- I tuned into Pia half-way through her song, and actually thought they were re-playing last week’s performance. It was super-strong, once again, but the girl’s gotta move away from the power ballads if she’s going to keep me hanging on.
- Thia Megia. Meh. I like her voice, and I think she’s one of the strongest young singers they’ve ever had, but I didn’t really dig it this week.
- Haley! Love love LOVED it!! She sang LeAnn Rimes’ “Blue” and she did it justice. One of the judges remarked her versatility, going from an Alicia Keys song last week to a country classic this week. Whatever works, baby!
- Stefano, what is this? You’re totally adorable, but I did not love this Stevie Wonder dance re-mix. You need to be better than that for me, Stefano. I need you to wow me.
- Is it really possible that I have a crush this big on Steven Tyler? Oh my...
But at least that means those of you worrying about my Bieber love can relax a bit.
- Scotty McCreery. He’s the country boy with a voice like George Canyon. Deep and soulful and rich as chocolate. Last night, he sang a Garth Brooks classic that is near & dear to my heart, and he nailed it. This boy is definitely the next big thing in country music. I loved it.
- As far as I’m concerned, they saved the best for last. Naima, thus far, hasn’t been my cup of tea, but she took Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and made it her own. Girl busted out some dance moves, she brought some rapping and reggae to the stage, and I thought she rocked it. The judges said she was pitchy, and maybe she was, but I was too wrapped up in the magic of her performance to notice.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
What I didn’t know was that my driver is the guy who does backflips when he wins.
On Sunday, I finally realized it while celebrating in my living room the big Carl Edwards win at the Kobalt Tools 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
That’s right, folks. Third race of the year, and my pick in the pool paid big dividends!!
That being said, I still can’t call myself a full-fledged race fan. I’ve realized the past two weekends that watching races is a lot more fun in Dale’s garage, surrounded by snacks and people to chat with. When I’m at home, on the couch, I’m much more likely to fall asleep rather than stay captivated by the race. Even with my guy running in the top 10.
So it isn’t surprising that on Sunday, I wasn't really paying much attention. I only knew Edwards was doing well because my brother kept reporting to me what position he was in. (I’ll also use a mild hangover as an excuse. I really just needed to sleep.)
My mom’s absolute favourite part of race Sundays is the fact that if the race runs a bit late, that usually means the boys end up jumping away from the table repeatedly to check on the standings. And that’s exactly what they were doing this past week. Supper was served - a lovely chicken dinner - and Mom was growing increasingly frustrated that Dad and Luke kept leaving the table to “check on the race”. Especially since my sister’s family usually stays for Sunday dinner and it’s tough to keep two little kids in their seats at the table when the big people keep taking off to watch TV.
She was fairly ticked when Luke shouted, “6 laps to go and Edwards is still leading, Jill!!” And then I left the table to watch the end of the race.
It’s really a miracle that she still feeds us, isn’t it?
When Edwards crossed the finish line in first place, I started whooping and cheering, and my little nephew Caden joined me, while everyone else went back to their meal. Caden and I stayed to watch Edwards’ celebration, and we were both delighted by the backflip.
The win felt good. My first real win as a NASCAR fan. And the realization that my driver is the supercool one who flips off of his car after a win.
Thursday, March 03, 2011
And I've realized we're going to have a conflict. Survivor and American Idol, on at the same time. Oh, the decisions.
So last night, seeing as I had already missed hearing the boys sing on Tuesday, I decided to keep my focus on Survivor, while catching bits and pieces of the ladies singing on commercial breaks.
We'll start off with the Survivor re-cap:
- It's quite clear that Rob has his talons in Phillip. Hardly a peep out of the big goof last night. Rob's got him under a strict order of silence. Smart move by Rob. But for Survivor entertainment level? It's bad. Phillip's stupidity was missed last night. I did get a good laugh at Phillip's expense, though, when Rob tricked him into getting up out of his lounge chair because he saw the clue to the hidden immunity idol beneath it. Direct quote: "If Phil wasn't so fat, and that chair wasn't bending, I never would have found the clue!"
- Francesca was floored to see Matt show up at Redemption Island. She fully expected it to be Phillip. Oh, but didn't we all?
- Russell & his angels went hunting for the hidden immunity idol. It gave me great pleasure to know that Ralph already had it. I hate Russell. And I hate his twitty angels.
- The twittiest of the angels? Stephanie. She annoyed the crap outta me last night. Her big idea was to create a fake idol and then carry it around in a bag protectively all day so that everyone would think she had the idol. Brilliant plan. Except that everyone else already knew that Ralph had the real idol, idiot. Major fail there, Steph.
- Apparently the clues to finding hidden idols this season are not very helpful. After Rob read his clue, he said they might as well have put "The idol is somewhere." I guess since people can find idols without clues at all lately, they might as well not even bother!
- Francesca and Matt had their Redemption Island showdown, in this build-a-long-stick-and-use-it-to-grab-three-keys-and-release-yourself-from-prison challenge. For a while, it looked like ol' Franny was gonna mop the floor with Matt's ass, but he got his act together and stole the win out from under her. She's gone home, and Matt gets to wait on the Island for his next competitor.
- Russell's tribe had this awesome idea to throw the challenge in order to blindside him. Russell, of course, figured this all out, and did his damndest to sway Julie to become one of his angels. And for a while, I thought he was successful. The way Julie kept smiling at him at tribal council, I was sure she was now one of the angels. But maybe, after she saw Angel Stephanie SPAZ OUT, she decided it wasn't such a good idea. Russell's little empire crumbled around him when it was revealed the votes were split - 3 for him, 3 for Ralph, and 3 for Stephanie. A re-vote was ordered, with none of them taking part, and that spelled doom for Russell. I was super-proud of the tribe for pulling off the blindside and dethroning the pompous arse; however, I fear for them, as we all know Russell is just biding his time on Redemption Island. I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him yet...
- Oh, and look out to those who voted out Russell. Angel Stephanie declared, "The storm's a coming..." in a very threatening voice after he was ousted. Ooooh, scary. Pipsqueak. Without Russell around, the whiny little brat is toast.
Now, onto Idol. Because I only saw bits and pieces of the first hour, and then the last four singers, my thoughts aren't very complete. But for what it's worth, here's my take:
- The first chick, Ta-Ta-something...Do you really think Rihanna was the best choice? And if you're gonna take on RiRi, is "Only Girl in the World" the best choice? This girl sounded totally out of breath and out of tune. I didn't get to see them all, but based on what I did see, she'd be my vote to go home.
- Oh, Julia Gorilla. You're last name is Zorrilla, but it makes me think of gorillas. And you're a lovely girl, but your take on Kelly Clarkson's "Breakaway" was pretty bad. Very karaokey-ish. I hope you stay because I think you're better than that.
- Haley's take on Alicia Keys' hit "Fallin" was the first time I sat up and thought, "Wow, she's pretty good."
- Thia Megia (is that a real name??) was very memorable. She's the youngest competitor, but you couldn't tell by her voice. She started out acapella, and it was incredible. She even had Randy Jackson comparing her pure, beautiful tone to that of a young Michael Jackson. Score for Thia!!
- Lauren Alaina (again, does that not sound like a stage name??) is one of the judges' darlings, and also one of the younger girls in the competition. She rocked out and did a fantastic job. They're calling her a cross between Idol alumni Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. Lauren's there to stay for awhile.
- Pia? Pia, my dear, where did you come from?? I don't remember seeing you throughout the audition rounds, and then here you are, closing out the show, and absolutely raising.the.bar. Fan-tastic. I haven't seen an Idol performance like that in a long, long time. Beautiful. Breath-taking. My favourite of the night!
So isn't it my great luck that the last four singers were by far and away the best of the night? (At least, I think they were based on the snippet montage they show at the end before opening up the voting to the public). Those four girls should be homefree; the rest? I have no idea. But one of 'em's going home...Actually, maybe more than one of them are going home. I don't know how quickly they plan to whittle this group before starting the Top 10 round...
I think I should have just titled this blog post "Idol". I think I wrote the word 462 times in this post.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
About the only thing I did like was my close proximity to McDonalds. And that sure wasn't helping me find a man.
So I moved back home after being offered the perfect small town job, at Mountainview Turf, where I can look out the window and see fields of green surrounding me, all summer long. And in the winter? Acres and acres of the white stuff, which we all know I love. (Getting a little sick of it now, though, I must admit...) I get my exercise by walking from one end of town to the other, and when I come back from my walk, my arm usually hurts more than my legs, from waving so much at the friendly faces passing me by. I found my own little place to rent, gaining my independence from Mom & Dad, yet still only a few minutes away from "home" when I need to be there.
And for the past seven years, I haven't left my small town very often.
This is where I'm comfortable. This is where I feel safe. (Although after reading Chris' comment on my last post, I'm starting to wonder about that...)
Ahhh, but see here's the problem for the Single Girl living in Quyon: Small pond. Not many fish. And the ones that are still swimming around? Probably not worth baiting the hook for.
When lamenting my "single girl" status to friends, family, foes - or basically anyone who will listen - they almost always have the same piece of advice for me. Get out of Quyon, Jill!!
A few years ago, at Schock family Christmas dinner at Aunt Marion's, I was getting heat from the cousins for showing up at yet another family dinner without a man. That's right. Every Christmas. Every Easter. Every Thanksgiving. Every Grandma's Birthday Party. I have always been alone. And I know they're just dying for me to bring some poor shmuck to meet them so they can completely tear him apart.
They love me. They just have an odd way of showing it.
Anyways, at this particular Christmas dinner, some of the cousins were inquiring as to why I was alone, yet again. I had no real answer. Just a list of boys I had crushes on, but no hope of actually dating any of them. And as usual, the firm suggestion was: "You have to get out of Quyon, Jill. You're never going to find anyone in that town."
"But I don't want to leave!" I protested. "I love Quyon! I'm never leaving there, so any guy I end up with will have to move here, and unless they already live here, I don't think I could find any out-of-towner who would want to move here!"
Please note: For anyone who doesn't know my small town, it's small. REALLY small. One recently-opened restaurant, two seasonal chipstands, a bar, a corner store and gas station, a body shop, a garage, a post office, two elementary schools, and three churches. One of them is closed. That's about it. Not a whole lot to draw someone in.
I would have to be the drawing card. And I don't know if I have that sort of lure in me.
I think it was my cousin Erin who finally said this: "So...if you can't leave Quyon...maybe you should buy a motorhome? You can call it 'Quyon'. Then, you can travel to other places where there are more men to choose from. And you'll still be in 'Quyon'. Think about it."
But part of me knows they're all absolutely right. The good guys in this town have pretty well been picked over. There isn't much of a selection left.
My problem? Even when I do leave town, I can't find a man.
Take, for example, last summer. I went to Midland, Michigan with my brother's fastball team to the Worlds. I was surrounded by men for seven whole days. Men in ball uniforms. Lots of men who looked realllll nice in their ball pants. (And that's not easy to do, my friends.) Men from Canada. Men from the United States. Old men. Young men. Handsome, handsome, handsome men. Pitchers and shortstops and catchers, oh MY!
(OK, yes, I did kind of have my blinders on that week. I was a little too preoccupied with one ball player in particular. Who was not preoccupied by me. At all.)
But seriously, I didn't talk to any dudes other than Flyers, and this one guy who laughed at me when I accidentally tried to pay for a Mike's Harder Lemonade with Canadian Tire money.
Even when I leave Quyon, I HAVE NO LUCK!!!!
So throw me in an RV named "Quyon", if you think it will work.
But I have a feeling it won't.