jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Becoming A Sports Person has really opened my eyes to what a dick I was when I was A Non-Sports Person. Not everyone falls into these two categories--there are plenty of people who just don't care about sports, and don't feel the need to make that part of their identity. But there's a large number of people, myself formerly included, who don't like sports and have to make sure you know that. They have a lot of opinions about how useless and ridiculous and harmful sports are, and they say repeatedly that they don't care, but it's hard to keep believing that when they won't let you change the subject.

I've tried to unpack what exactly it was that made me so hostile to sports before I tripped and fell into hockey; I think it was that the whole idea was so very unappealing to me that I didn't understand how it could appeal to anyone. Sports get so much attention and money and energy from so many people, and it irritated me that all those resources were being wasted when those people could have been doing something productive, or at least something actually fun. On some level, it just didn't compute that other people honestly got the same enjoyment out of sports that I got out of the things I loved. Especially because they all complained so much when their teams lost--and boy, if my seventeen-year-old self could meet the me of today, she'd get a nasty surprise there. I think there just isn't another realm of interest that fits this structure of constant emotional highs and lows, and so I had no context for understanding why anyone would want to subject themselves to that. It just seemed like a colossal waste of time. There's really no way to convey the joys of sports to someone who has internalized that.

For my last birthday, I received this from my mom and this (reverse) from my friend Carrie. Neither of those people get sports, but they don't need to get it to understand that hockey matters to me. They put their own resources into it purely for my sake, and that really means a lot to me. That's the kind of person I aim to be, when it comes to things I don't get. It's a hell of a lot easier for me to be supportive of other sports fans now that I am one, though a few (particularly football) still don't appeal to me. But there are other things I don't get, like shoot-'em-up video games, or following celebrity news, or fashion. There are things to criticize about those pastimes, like there are things to criticize about sports, and it's okay to have those conversations. But I am trying not to be a person who talks endless shit about things other people love.
jedusor: (you can play)
Today I skated in my very own hockey skates for the first time!

Through a complicated series of grant-related issues, the periodic lab work I've been doing for Dr. K as a contractor pays in Amazon store credit at the moment. Normally this is just a couple hours every few months, but she recently needed me for a full day, so I found myself with a nice big chunk of money I couldn't really do anything responsible with. Well, I guess I could have saved it for household necessities or whatever. But no, I decided fuck it, I wanna pair of ice skates.

I tried on skates at Play It Again Sports in Lynnwood to decide which brand I wanted, which I recognize was sort of a dick move when I knew I wasn't going to buy from them, but I figured I'd go there for other hockey-related things eventually. And indeed, before using my new skates I needed to have them sharpened and heat-molded, so Play It Again got some of my money after all. I probably won't go there again unless I have to, though, because the guy behind the counter treated me like I didn't know anything about hockey after we had firmly established that I knew more than he did about recent Cup winners, current NHL team rosters, and the game that was being played on the TV in front of us. Like, I was in the middle of telling him why I thought a particular penalty would probably be called as charging rather than boarding, and he interrupted me to condescendingly explain what a boarding penalty is. (The penalty turned out to be--shocker!--charging. Douche.)

Anyway, that was yesterday, and today I went to Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline to try out the new kicks. It was completely dead; I think there were five people on the ice besides me. I asked the person up front whether it was always that empty, and she informed me that it was Easter Sunday, which explains it. But she did say it would probably be pretty low-traffic from now until the beginning of the next hockey season, so that's good. I like having room to move around.

I skated at Millennium Park in Chicago last December, but that was more a social thing than actually working on technique, and other than that I haven't skated in something like five years. So I was pretty pleased to have my right crossover back within about fifteen minutes, and my left crossover mostly working by the end of the hour I was out there. I also practiced skating backwards (slow going, but generally successful) and stopping (not successful, but then I've never been able to stop). I did not fall over at all, which I deem an accomplishment given my rustiness, and also given the horrendous state of the ice. I don't know what the hell was happening before I got there, but by the look of things I'm gonna guess landmine testing. So kudos to either my awesome skating skills or my awesome new skates for managing to handle that surface spill-free.

Best of all, my hip is giving me no trouble at all. For the last year or so, since that asshole phys ed teacher pushed me when I had an injury, I haven't been able to do more than a few miles of walking, running, biking, or elliptical without my hip killing me, so it's been tough to get a reasonable duration of cardio. Dancing is better, I can do about two hours of club-style dancing before the hip nopes out, but I don't really enjoy doing that outside an actual club context, and obviously I can't go clubbing often enough to get my cardio that way (enthusiastic as I'm sure Piper would be about that plan). But skating is more of a side-to-side motion, and doesn't ping the whiny muscle, so I can skate to... my heart's content. B) Which I plan to do!
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
I'm not generally too emotionally affected by death and horror in the news. I'm good at staying detached, and I see that as a good thing, for the most part. I know people who get overwhelmed by all the nasty shit that happens in the world, and it's hard for them. I think most Americans are pretty good at keeping their emotional distance from things that happen in other countries, and only get really invested when there are other Americans involved. Sometimes that seems hypocritical to me, but that's actually bullshit, unless they're faking it. Emotional reactions are what they are, and I shouldn't judge other people's. It makes sense for people to be most affected by events they feel close to. My knee-jerk accusations of hypocrisy are just me being defensive about the fact that I don't cry over school shootings.

This Boston Marathon thing, though. This shook me up. A big part of that, I'm sure, is that Patrick Burke was running the marathon for You Can Play, and live-tweeting the experience, and it took a while after the explosions for him to update the internet about his well-being. I already end up in tears every time I spend too much time thinking about Brendan Burke's death and legacy; I don't know how I would handle it if anything happened to Patrick. I don't know him personally, aside from a couple of Twitter interactions, but I follow his Twitter account religiously and his work with YCP matters to me on a level I'm not sure it's possible to explain.

Patrick's last tweet before the news of the explosions broke was, "If I don't make it through this, I want my last words to be: I love my family. I love hockey. And I hate the instigator rule." Or something like that. He's deleted that tweet now, for obvious reasons.

Another possible reason that this has affected me so much is that the last time I was at the place where the explosions happened, it was during the 2009 Boston Marathon. I jaywalked through the marathon itself, as a matter of fact; I hadn't known the marathon would be happening that day, and found myself on the opposite side of it from the store I'd made the long pilgrimage from Worcester to visit. That was approximately half a block away from the intersection where the second explosion went off. I didn't actually remember that incident until I clicked through to the Boston Globe's graphic of the area hours after the explosions happened, but I know well enough that brains sometimes pick up on things without necessarily letting you know.

When I decided I'd had enough of refreshing Twitter for updates on the situation in Boston, I went to the park for a while. I put on my socks that Ava gave me, the pink ankle socks with I ♥ ORLANDO on them that she got for me in Thailand, where everything was dirt-cheap and slightly nonsensical. They have giant holes in the heels now--I wore them so much in my mid-teens that they were already falling apart when Ava died, and I don't think I've worn them since. I felt the urge today, though, because humans are strange and sometimes tragedy loves company. I swung on the swings for quite a long time, and I tried to sort out my thoughts and feelings. I'm pretty good at feelings, despite what those of you who know my fandom tastes might think. I know how they work. I just don't like them very much.

I spent a lot of time in parks when I was a teenager, swinging on swings. I thought at the time that I was escaping my family, but it turns out that even when you don't have to share your space with five other people and three to four animals, sometimes it helps to go to a park and swing for a while.

The Coyotes/Sharks game is about to start. Phoenix is barely clinging to the edge of their playoff hopes, and Smitty's out with an injury again, damn it. I don't even know what LaBarbera's deal is. But Johnson's been good for us in net the few times he's had to play this season, so I'm optimistic. Hockey is a good thing to think about. I'm gonna go think about that.

>.>

Aug. 10th, 2012 12:25 am
jedusor: (you can play)


And this is the offseason. 100 G+ posts takes me back to June 20th, a couple weeks after the playoffs ended. I'm kind of afraid to find out how much space that green section would have taken up in April/May. Or how much space it's going to take up in October if the collective bargaining negotiations wrap up in time to avoid a lockout.
jedusor: (emergency bourbon)
Pairs of hockey players who should not be allowed to coexist for the sake of my sanity:

Jarret Stoll and Jared Staal
Brad Richards and Brad Richardson
Patrice Bergeron and Patrick Berglund
Sam Gagner and Simon Gagne
Mike Green and Matt Greene
Ray Whitney and Ryan Whitney
Marc-Andre Bourdon and Marc-Andre Bergeron
TJ Brodie and TJ Oshie
Nicklas Backstrom and Niklas Backstrom

These have all led to some serious confusion on my part over the last few months. I only just today realized that "Gagner" is not just an -er nickname for Gagne. And you would think I might have managed to get it into my head over the course of four series watching the Kings that Jared Staal is not actually in the NHL and therefore the announcers are clearly not talking about him, but apparently the Staal clan has taken over my brain enough that I still get mixed up.

Also, the player with the surname "St. Louis" doesn't play for St. Louis, which I bet makes the color commentary for Blues-Lightning games fun times. Fortunately, there are very few circumstances under which I might end up watching a Blues-Lightning game.

Also also, I just calculated that the NHL has an average of .77 people named Ryan per team, including Ryane Clowe but not Bobby Ryan. The Oilers have four Ryans and the Avalanche have three. Ryane looks like it should be the plural of Ryan. Who the heck let him put an E there, anyway? It's a slippery slope, you know--one minute they're slapping silent Es where they don't belong, the next they're slapping their sticks out onto the ice where they definitely don't belong and not even getting a penalty for it. I like the Sharks, but seriously, what the crap even was that.

(This IS my hobby.)
jedusor: (seattle gay pride)
Child: *drawing a grid on a piece of paper* Okay, tell me four names of boys you want to marry.
Me: Mike Smith, Brent Seabrook, Brooks Laich, Evgeni Malkin.
Child: *makes a valiant attempt at spelling* Now tell me four numbers of babies you might have.
Me: Zero, zero, zero, zero.
Child: They have to be different.
Me: Zero, FOUR HUNDRED, five million...
Child: I'll... just pick some for you. Okay, pick four pets.
Me: Ooh, pets? Do they have to be different from the potential husbands?
Child: Yes. They can't be peo--
Me: Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin...
Child: >:(
jedusor: (hockey)
I hate commercials. I'm aware that most people claim to hate them too, but I think my hate falls somewhere near the right end of the bell curve. I grew up without television (one of the best parenting decisions Mom ever made, in my opinion) and didn't spend any significant amount of time around it until I moved in with my grandparents when I was seventeen, at which point I began to understand the extent of my inability to deal with it. I can't talk or pay attention to what other people are saying if there are commercials in the background. I start feeling frustration and antsiness in my gut if I have to be in the same room as them. I could not live with my first college roommate because she had her TV on all the time.

I watch several TV shows regularly on Hulu now. I've gotten a really good sense of exactly how long half a minute is from lots and lots of practice muting and switching tabs during ads. I still dislike them, but I've worked out a system I can handle that I'd rather deal with than illegal streaming or the hassle of trying to find an entity willing to take my money.

When I started watching hockey regularly, I thought the commercials were going to be the worst part of it. And when I'm watching by myself, they are. I can still click away to a different tab if I'm streaming, or look at the games going on the other screens if I'm at the sports bar, but I still run the risk of missing something if I'm not paying close attention.

But lately I've started watching with other people, and I discovered that when you're watching a game as a social activity, commercials are the best thing ever. Because you don't want to look away from the game while interesting things are happening! But if you don't look away, then you never interact with the people you're hanging out with. So commercials are a perfect time to chat about how the game is going, get another beer, or (if you're me) e-mail your Eastern European bff who's watching the game at four in the morning about how that announcer clearly just implied that the Hawks' D-men are banging, four double entendres in a row could not have been accidental, and holy shit did you see what Seabs just did fourteen seconds from the end of the third, HOLY SHIT.

So: commercials. Under certain circumstances, I seem to be coming around on the subject.

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