29 December 2009

Tidings of vomit and bleh.

Hope everybody had a fantastic Christmas. Me? Mine sucked balls, royally. Without going into too much detail, let's just say that by 9 p.m., we had trucked over to the nearest bar that was open, where I downed the first of several double Jack-and-Cokes. A couple of drinks deep, a wave of nostalgia washed over me; I remembered that as a little girl going shopping with her dad on Christmas Eve (our annual tradition, to this day), we'd drive by bars that were open, and I'd tell my dad how sad it was that people patronized bars on holidays when they should be enjoying time with their family and friends. Ha! I wonder how my dad slept at night, knowing he had spawned such a smarmy and losery seven-year-old. Now, as an awesomely fabulous 24-year-old, I am making a vow never to approach another family-oriented holiday in a sober fashion.

Now, in an effort to forget that Christmas 2009 ever happened, we're reviewing the wish list we sent to Santa to see what came true. Here goes:

1. Pavel Datsyuk scores a hat trick in every game ever for the rest of time.

Well. This clearly hasn't happened. He's notched some assists here and there in the month of December, but I'm at least 57% sure he hasn't scored a goal since 1932. B.C. Where'd you go, Pasha? I miss you so. Seems like it's been forever...

It actually hasn't been forever. It's been since December 19 against Dallas. But he only scored one other goal during the month of December, on the 6th, against the Rangers. And it just makes my heart...weep or something. Fuck it, y'all know I can't trash my Pasha too much. This is a ridiculously biased blog with very staunch positions on individual players, and I'd rather have someone pull out my eyelids with a toenail clipper than badmouth Datsyuk or Homer for an extended period of time. In fact, I'm pretty sure Datsyuk could rape my boyfriend, torch my residence, sell my dog on the black market for heroin, and defecate on my grave, and I (or my ghost) would still feel my heart flutter at the mere sight of him on the ice.

2. Because you've already married off Scarlett Johansson, can you please arrange for Henrik Zetterberg to tickle me with his whiskers for just one night of enchantment? (For Brian.)

Man, I totally forgot all about this! So that's why I've been seeing various, little, foreign hairs on the exterior of Brian's shirts, particularly around the neckline and...er, the crotchal region. I'm not even mad. Just relieved that there's a logical solution.

3. Because I'm in love with him and have really thought this through, can you send me Aaron Downey to be my live-in BFF, etc. (For Natalie.)

Done. Thanks, Santa. I owe you a million. Next Christmas, can you bring me a copy of Zen and the Art of Potato Farming? I just want him to accept me.

4. If Ville Leino keeps pissing us off, can you call INS and ask them to revoke his green card and/or visa?

A week after posting our letter to Santa, I had to send follow-up correspondence to the North Pole via overnight courier in order to axe this request. No way, Jose. Ville's staying. TSO's official stance on Leino is that we have the biggest bonercrush in the history of the world on him, and that's not changing any time soon. The fact that Babcock is currently depriving us of him doesn't negate or weaken the flame--consider it smoldering. (And if anybody's wondering about the obvious dichotomy between what I just expressed and what Brian wrote yesterday in his game recap--well, just consider Brian one jealous and conflicted S.O.B.)

5. Fix Johan Franzen's knee. Immediately.

This obviously hasn't happened yet. Sigh. During FSD's pregame before the Stars game on the 19th, however, they did air a segment featuring the Mule's rehabilitation and workouts, so it was nice to see (A) that he's doing well and (B) my second-favorite redhead. It's how I imagine travelers on the Oregon Trail feeling as they approached the Willamette Valley. (I wish I could hire an Indian guide to get me through this shiteous Franzen-less season. Christ on a stick.)

6. A lifetime supply of the products Valtteri Filppula uses to achieve that bedhead/sex-hair magic.

Check. Although I'll never be as gorgeous as Valtteri, I figure I can strive to be the Miss Congeniality (read: sweet but subpar) to his beauty queen. So ridiculously glad to see this guy back in action, though.

7. Crabs to the Anaheim Ducks' locker room.

Done. I, uh, can't tell you guys how I know this, but believe me, it happened. In spades. Mwahaha.

8. A hobby horse for Antoine Vermette so he can get his groove on while off the ice.

Isn't this how he's now traveling to games?

9. Can you ban Sidney Crosby for wearing lipstick? It just grosses us out.

Haven't seen him lately, but I can tell you one thing. I sure am sick of seeing this shit on the NHL Network:

10. A set of Red Wings thongs. Also for Brian. He's been practicing his runway walk in anticipation of sporting these.

What do you think was the inspiration for this?

11. A black Am Ex for Ken Hitchcock, to be used only at Tim Hortons.

Let's be honest. This was secretly for me.

12. Stanley Cup #12.

There's always hope.

28 December 2009

The one where I recap a game I didn't see

Why? Because we haven't done a great deal of writing around the holidays. The Scrappy Octopus is entitled to breaks, you know? AND the game was on Versus, so we were unable to watch (I'll save you another rant from me on the subject). So onward with my imaginary game recap!

Things I know happened:

Ville Leino said ridiculous shit and acted a fool. Oh, for shame that Mike Babcock, asking you to play hockey. Spoiled fucking baby. Does his contract have a clause which allows the contract to be voided for excessive baby crying?

The Wings lost 1-0 in OT.

Brad May won a fight! Good for him.

Jimmy played well. Steve Mason apparently played better.

The Blue Jackets, prior to the game, traded Jason Chimera for two guys who are terrible. We have watched a fair amount of Caps hockey around here. I cant really say what type of player Chimera is, but um, if he has a pulse, the Jackets made a bad trade.

This I simply assume happened:

Antoine Vermette brought an actual saddle and rode Homer.

Homer giggled like a child at said riding.

Ken Hitchcock stress ate four children.

Mike Commodore stripped down to his unmentionables and rolled around in money at the 7:29 mark of the second period.

Upon seeing the flowing mane of one Valtteri Filppula, 3/4 of the Blue Jackets team questioned their sexuality.

In closing, a 1-0 loss. Damn. That's all I got.

22 December 2009

Happy holidays, scrappy readers!

I didn't have a chance to wrap this, although you probably wouldn't notice the difference; my "gift wrapping" abilities are limited to the following items: gift bags, ribbons, confetti, and large bows. Anything more elaborate, including, but not limited to, tissue paper origami and the conservatism of traditional wrapping paper, is way, way out of my league; my gift-wrapped presents look like someone has already unwrapped and rewrapped said presents using the original paper. Not pretty.

We're getting into the holiday mood over here at The Scrappy Octopus. For instance, just the other night, during the second intermission during the game about which we are no longer speaking, I found it extremely cathartic to use my aggression in a productive way, such as DESTROYING dozens of candy canes with a rolling pin and a hammer to make peppermint bark. And the end result was so yummy, you'd think watching Evil defeat Good would be something we could get behind every day. [Insert eye roll/gag reflex/renal failure here.]

Anyway, because Christmas is nigh and especially because I've been holding out on a little bit of magic I have in my possession, I present my Christmas gift to you, my very fabulous and scrappy readers. Thanks for reading and seemingly enjoying the inanity we specialize in over here. You guys are the best. Here's to wonderful holidays for you and yours. (Programming note: Posting may be spotty over here through the new year due to required holiday bullshit; then again, we may blow off the whole family crap and take to ranting on here in lieu of creating cherished memories with our loved ones. You never know what to expect with us. Wild card, bitches.)

Now, without further adieu, I give you the following unequivocal, unparalleled, and unadulterated evidence that Red Wings fans party harder, better, and more awesome(r) than anyone else in the history of the universe:

(I have contributed nothing to the above present other than the obviously stellar drunken camerawork and poorly-stifled giggling. It's all my partner-in-crime, Ballin' B.)

20 December 2009

Three steps to recovery.

1. Let it out. Own it.
2. Forget it ever happened.
3. Double shots all around.

Because tomorrow's my birthday and tonight went down in a shitty manner, I'd prefer to live in a universe of my own design and delusion.

The team that took the ice tonight for the Hawks is better than the team that we dressed and put on the ice. Period. It fucking kills my soul to write that, but there's no other way of putting it. When you're missing [fill in the number you think relevant] of your top players, and you're facing a team as good as Chicago is this season, what can you really expect?

That being said, a few things that fucking piss me off, no matter how much the logical side of my brain can rationalize why we lost (in other words, this is my "owning it"):

1. Did we REALLY have to lay a goose egg tonight? I mean, really. Fucking KILLS me to get shut out at the United Center.

2. Speaking of the United Center, I hope anyone who chanted "Detroit sucks" during the last ten seconds of play chokes on his/her own bile. I mean, really: You shut us out today. Do we need to have an arithmetic refresher prior to the puck drop so you understand how to decipher the score? This behavior reminds me of the stereotypical high school bully--you know, the guy who races his Camaro through town, revving his engine at gimpy kids, and in school, spends his time stuffing geeks in their lockers after they refuse to let him cheat off their history tests--come to find out, after many years of therapy, the bully admits he was just ashamed of his inability to achieve anything more impressive than half-mast, even after enjoying extended "heavy petting" with the hot cheerleader he told everyone he was nailing. Go to hell.

3. Pavel Datsyuk should have gotten his money's worth out of Kris Versteeg, unequivocally the douchiest person I have ever had the sheer misfortune of laying eyes on.

4. I've always wanted to know what aborting myself mixed with liposuction gone wrong mixed with nuclear holocaust sounds like. Having heard that goal celebration bullshit they play in Chicago three times in a scoreless effort by the Wings, I can cross that one off my to-do list.

Feel free to let it out in the comments below in order to start your personal path to recovery. That's all from me on this one. Never discussing it again.

Wings @ Blackhawks tonight.

Yeah, yeah: We totally took a pass at writing any sort of game preview of the Dallas Stars game. It's just that...we got nearly two feet of snow, and playing in that is infinitely more exciting than writing about the Dallas Stars, whom I consider one of the most yawn-inducing teams in the Conference. I guess that's why they have ice girls, for Christ's sake.

Anyway, if you want a recap for yesterday's game, here it is: Pavel Datsyuk wiped up both ends of the ice with the faces of every single person on the Stars' roster. Tomas Holmstrom scored a magnificent goal. The Homer/Datsyuk/Bertuzzi line played a solid game yesterday. Brad May actually kicked someone's ass. Time stood still. Jimmy let in a couple of softies. Doug Janik looks like the kind of guy who if you let go on a Friday, you'd want to notify security the preceding Monday that this guy means trouble. Toby FlendersonVille Leino had a decent chance...at some point in the game, but you know how much we care about Leino's decent chances over here (if "ifs" and "buts" were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas). Wings played a decent first period, an absolutely electric second period, and came out flat for the third period. Hey, at least nobody got injured yesterday. Lose to Dallas, 4-3.


Wings visit the Windy City tonight for the first time this season. We're also going to see Marian Hossa face the team for the first time since he jumped on board the Chicago bandwagon. I'm ready to see Brad Stuart make wallpaper out of him; he did a pretty good job of doing that to Kopecky back in October, but I hear Kopecky is still standing, so if Stuart could go ahead and finish that job, it would be fanfuckingtastic.

Should be an interesting game. Chicago is on fire right now. I'm tempted to make the requisite "Oh, if we drop this one, it's only because we're playing back-to-back road games or because we're so injury-ridden, blah, blah, blah", but instead, I'm going to quote rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion.

I've sent a little memo to the Wings. It's not a big deal or anything, but I thought I'd stick it on here and maybe pump up the morale for tonight's game. Here goes:

Dear Red Wings,

Hey, it's your favorite Scrappy Octopus here. Just wanted to send you a little note of encouragement to say good luck tonight against the Blackhawks. I don't have to tell you how symbolically important your meetings against the Hawks are to your fanbase.

I did want to point out that in addition to it being five days before Christmas, it's also the day before my birthday. And since you're not sending me Aaron Downey in a box (unless it's going to be a late delivery, right on my birthday, and not to be bratty, but I did specifically request an entire week with him, not just one day), you really owe it to me to go ahead and win tonight. If tonight goes poorly, it will ruin my birthday and my chances of living a productive year. Also, I will promptly light myself on fire. So there, you all have all of that on your consciences.

Much love to you all! Stay positive.

XO, Me

Let's. Go. Wings.

17 December 2009

Power outage: Wings beat Lightning, 3-0.

It's one of those times when I'm not sure how to begin. If you only saw the score, you'd think we'd be thrilled. Further, a couple of milestones were reached tonight: Jimmy Howard earned his first NHL shutout, and Mike Babcock earned his 300th career win.

But when Henrik Zetterberg went down on the ice during the first period, I knew that no matter what the outcome of the game would be, it might not necessarily matter in light of this shitty occurrence. Now we play the game we know so well, the waiting game, until we know for sure how serious the issue is and how long it will take until he returns. Sigh.

A few quick thoughts:

1. Because of the situation with Zetterberg, I didn't really feel like writing this post, but our team's performance tonight warranted recognition of their effort.

2. The three Wings' goals scored tonight were the three most beautiful plays we've seen from the team this season, especially the first goal by Drew Miller, who scored first against the team who let him go so recently. Revenge is sweet, and scoring a goal that fantastic is even sweeter. Todd Bertuzzi scored next on a magnificent pass from my boy Tomas Holmstrom, and Patrick Eaves scored the final goal of the game during a 4-on-4 situation after coming straight from the bench into play.

3. Ville Leino(!) had some great moments tonight, particularly in the first several minutes of the game. Alas, nothing came of it, so I don't particularly care. Score a goal or two, and we'll talk. (Yeah, yeah--I saw his fancy spinaround on the ice during the third period. It was gorgeous. Maybe he'd honor Finland with a gold in men's singles. I wonder how he feels about triple axels.)

4. Watching the three goals scored tonight, especially Miller's, was bittersweet because it made me think how spoiled we are as Wings fans; we used to see these kinds of plays so much more often.

5. Mattias Ohlund is dead to me. Yeah, I know it was a clean hit. Don't particularly care about that, either.

6. The penalty kill looked stellar tonight, once again. I mentioned this in my recap of the Coyotes' game, but it's worth a mention once again: Considering the shitty circumstances, it's easy to forget how much our penalty kill has improved over the end of last year's playoffs through the beginning of this season. This is something to feel good about, especially in light of all the problems we've faced this season.

7. Brian Rafalski's pass to Drew Miller, resulting in an assist on Miller's goal, was a thing of beauty. This kind of 100-foot pass is more of Lidstrom's or Osgood's thing, but Rafalski did it with ease.

8. Per Brian: It's a testament to our coach's ability how well we've been able to hold it together--especially tonight with our future captain and leading playmaker being taken out of the game while we only had a one-goal lead. In addition, I think the fact that the team has managed to stay afloat also says a lot about something we've known all along, but hasn't gotten tested nearly as much as it has this year, which is that the locker room vibe and chemistry our team has with one another has to be very, very strong and optimistic.


Update per FSD postgame: Mike Babcock says Zetterberg's injury is to his left shoulder, and he'll be getting an MRI tomorrow. Don't think we're going to top that tonight.

Lightning @ Wings tonight.

I know I referenced this in my post the other day, but I'm a huge fan of recycling my own lame jokes in an attempt to get people to validate my existence with their attention. Gear down...

Tonight, we're playing Gonads andthe Lightning:

You're welcome, Brian.

I'm not even going to pretend--I don't give a flying fuck about this team. At all. To put it into perspective:

Things I Care the Least About in My Life
1. Fidelity issues of famous athletes

2. Corona (seriously, who DRINKS that stuff?!)

3. Anything Joe Lieberman has to say

4. Any reality show that involves dancing

5. My bad reputation

6. Taking down Christmas decorations in my workspace any time before March

7. Aliens (sorry, Brian)

8. Being able to understand tip jars while sober

9. Tampa Bay Lightning

10. Any and all programming on Headline News

So there you have it, Tampa Bay G&L. You rank right between my inability to comprehend the fine art of a really kickass drunken activity and the trainwreck that is Nancy Grace. You should feel pretty pumped about that.

Thoughts I Will Inevitably Have During the Game
1. The name "Antero Nittymaki" will make me think of sushi, and I will want some, stat. I kinda want some now, and it's 10:00 in the morning. Sigh. It's going to be a loooong day.

2. The name "Martin St. Louis" will make me wonder what I always do when I see a last name involving "St.", which is, "Does he count the 'S' in 'St.', the 'L' in 'Louis', or both letters in his initials?" I wonder what it's like to have more than three initials. One of my suitemates in my first year of college was a girl who--no joke--had three middle names and a hyphenated last name, one of which involved a "D" and an apostrophe and then the rest of the name, like "D'Angelo". So, in actuality, this girl's initials were E.C.R.E.D.A.D. Insanity.

3. Why doesn't Vincent Lecavalier play for a better team?

4. Alex Tanguay does not, does not, does not equal Alex Tangueray.

5. Mattias Ohlund has one of my current favorite names in hockey, but only because of that bombass umlaut over the "O".

6. I'm really happy we took Drew Miller off their hands.

Let's. Go. Wings.


Before we get to the item that's really the heart and soul of all TSO game previews, I want to give you all a reminder that if we can convince a certain someone to release a certain video that a certain me has in her possession, then we could be watching a video of someone near and dear to our hearts. Just saying.


15 December 2009

TSO Keeps It Real

All right, boys and girls: We've been in each other's lives for the better part of three months now. To celebrate our quarter-year anniversary together, I think we should make a vow to be truthful with one another always, to refrain from lying outright or even tepidly misrepresenting the truth by refusing to own up to difficult realities.

To kick off this new phase of our relationship, The Scrappy Octopus is debuting a new segment calling "Keeping It Real". We're scheduling publications of this segment to occur, oh, whenever we feel like it, so stay tuned for further editions.

The topic we'll cover today: Proper attire to sport at a hockey game.

First, we'll pick on the gentlemen. I have a huge problem with the following:

1. Emoloser likes hockey? But...there are no tears at the Joe.

Saw a guy wearing jeans identical to these, only he paired them with an Yzerman jersey. Yep, you read that right: Dude actually had the balls to wear his #19 with his girlfriend's stonewash.

To be fair, I don't understand the guys-in-girls'-jeans phenomenon in the first place. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, maybe I'm just oblivious, but seriously, what is the deal? I hardly find my gender's jeans comfortable; how can those possibly be comfortable on the ol' 'nads? And, perhaps more importantly, if you're a heterosexual girl, why go for a guy who's probably less interested in taking your clothes off your body than he is in adorning his own body with your threads?

Going back to the guy at hand, though: In addition to wearing jeans a bajillion sizes too tight, his jersey itself was a woman's jersey. There was no way it was even a carryover from his childhood; the jersey was cut in a woman's style. Meanwhile, he was walking hand-in-hand and being all kissy-face with his cute female companion. The mind reels.

2. I mean, really?

Actually saw a guy sporting an authentic Wings #81 Hossa jersey before the Anaheim game. Could not believe it. Thought maybe somebody slipped some peyote into my pre-game quesadilla or something.

I really shouldn't have to elaborate on this, but apparently, some people don't get it. It's kind of like being in the military--if you retire or are honorably discharged, you can keep wearing your gear, and nobody will say a word about it. But if you leave dishonorably, you're going to have a hard time justifying your attire to the people who know the deal.

I've been racking my brain since Friday to try to come up with a scenario in which this could be considered acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. The best I could think of is if someone wore it ironically, like if a 'Hawks fan wore it to a Wings v. Hawks game, but even then, no one knows that you're actually a 'Hawks fan, so it's still an epic fail. I kinda half-heartedly hoped upon seeing the jersey at first (because I first noticed the #) that the bastard had put something at least mildly clever as the name (i.e., "Cat Shit", "Roofie Dealer", or even just the standard "Benedict"), but no dice.

3. Coonskin caps are necessary because...?

Saw a guy wearing one of these at the game. For some weird reason, kinda liked it, but still don't get why it's hockey game apparel. But I guess if you're not going to wear it to a hockey game, where WOULD you wear such a thing?


We at The Scrappy Octopus are equal-opportunity offenders, so now on to the ladies. (And yes, I am going more in depth with these examples, and no, I'm not being sexist--I'm a chick, and I like us to represent ourselves appropriately in our hockey fandom endeavors.)

1. Could you at least make a little effort to look like you give a shit?

You are not going to your BFF's house for a High School Musical slumber party. Nick Jonas is not anywhere on the ice, nor are we going to be listening to Selena Gomez's new joint at any point during the game.

Ladies, I get it. I like dressing up and wearing awesome clothes as much as the next slightly shallow person; I don't roll out of bed and stay in my sweatpants 24/7...anymore (the doctors convinced me it's not good for my well-being). But for fuck's sake, you're at a hockey game.

In my book, nothing short of a jersey is acceptable attire to wear to the Joe. But I make exceptions for others--jerseys are a pricey investment, and maybe you're just not that big into the team. Try wearing a T-shirt or even snagging your boyfriend's hat. Or sweet Jesus, try wearing the color RED. It's not hard; I have yet to meet a girl who doesn't own a red shirt.

Not participating in a show of team pride in any way furthers the image that female hockey fans aren't on the same playing field as our male counterparts; it propagates the boneheaded notion that we're too bubble-headed to understand fancy terms like "icing" and "power play" without having our oh-so-smart boyfriends and husbands explain it to us. Further, showing up to a game, arm in arm with a male companion who's dressed in his favorite player's gear, while dressing like an extra in the "Party in the U.S.A." video just makes you look foolish. Male fans show up in droves in jerseys, sweatshirts, and so forth; I'd say the percentage of women who dress accordingly versus women who don't is 50%-50%. What causes women to feel as if they can't don team apparel? Are they really that afraid of everyone not being able to stare at their ta-tas for a couple of hours? Get over yourselves.

2. I judge you when you wear leopard print to a hockey game.

Meooooooooooooow! VOMIT .

3. Holy shit, don't drink and paint.

Like the aforesaid men's item #1, this is one of those that apply to everyday life, but stick out like a sore thumb especially at a hockey game. This one goes out to you, person in front of me in the bathroom line who assaulted my senses with her French whorehouse warpaint and perfume. Whenever I see someone like that, I think they either need to be in a 12-step program to get over the problem, or they're flirting with serious disaster:

Not good. Not ever.

I feel pretty good about TSO taking a stand here to correct an important social problem by drawing attention to it, but why, oh, why don't these poor girls' loved ones step in and intervene? There are no innocent bystanders in the cycle of addiction!


I know, I know: Women, especially, are under a lot of pressure to be aesthetically pleasing. But I'm really fucking sick of getting the stinkeye from Pussycat Dolls wannabes when I roll up wearing my #13 sweater; it's happened each time I've been to the Joe, not to mention at bars, both here and in Michigan, during games. Yeah, I know the jersey is billowing and not conventionally "cute", but guess what? I feel like the biggest boss in the world when I don it. So kiss my ass, haters. (But try not to leave any clownpaint stains, ok?)

Wings poach Coyotes, 3-2.

Aaaaaaaa-oooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww! (Best. Coyote. Impression. Ever.)

Everybody else has already written kickass recaps, and I'm a little rusty at doing this without a massive hangover or via phone after a game, so I'll give it the old college try here, but I'm going to keep it short and sweet:

What stood out for me about the game? Well, considering Brian and I missed the first period, and we showed up during first intermission to discover the score was 2-1, my initial impression was that I was happy the team had generated some early offense for the summary sheet. It's always better to get it done early rather than scramble to catch up in the third period, which--SIGH--our beloved Wings are so prone to doing these days.

Then, I learned that Kris Newbury scored the first goal, after only approximately five-and-a-half minutes. Thought about it. Considered dubbing it the best news I'd ever heard. Also considered dubbing it the worst. Settled on "best-SLASH-worst news". I think that adequately covers it, and any Wings' fan will concur.

Was very, very happy to see Patrick Eaves's shorthanded goal. This guy shows great promise; I like the way he has worked with his various linemates during this injury-riddled season. He hasn't lost his drive or talent by getting bogged down in a rut, unlike several of our veterans left standing.

Then, we watched the replay of Jonathan Ericsson's knee injury. This, combined with the news of Darren Helm's wrist injury earlier in the day, was too much. I'm not even going to expound upon this. I don't have the heart.

The most positive thing I take away from this game is as follows:

Our penalty kill has been rocking balls out lately. Yesterday, Mickey Redmond mentioned that the PK has been successful 30 of the last 31 times. In fact, the most recent power play goal scored by an opponent was Nashville's first goal of the game on Saturday. If we can remember wayyyyy back to last spring during the playoffs, when we were all scratching our heads and wondering how the PK could possibly be so shitty, this statistic should make us feel pretty damn good.

That's all I got for now. Most half-hearted attempt at a recap ever, I know. Will get back in the swing of things with GONADS-AND-THE-LIGHTNING on Thursday!

Also, for your viewing pleasure, here's a link to our Detroit Adventures photo album on Flickr. I don't claim to be a photographer by any stretch, but we did make a point to take photos of everything ever downtown so I can remember them when I'm senile (which is scheduled to occur in 30 days or so...the state will be paying Brian to take care of me. Er, I won't ruin the surprise. Just wait for it.). Anyway, if you're interested, click here.

14 December 2009

I love you, Detroit (Coda).

So, The Scrappy Octopi have returned from our epic trip to Detroit. I was so beyond sad to leave; we had the best vacation in the history of vacations, but there was something awaiting us here that made the return home tolerable:

The brand spankin' new podcast by and for Wings' fans, The Obstructed View. If you haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, check it out now. I woke up this morning at home (had the day off from work), checked my email/Google Reader, saw that the podcast was up, and thought, "Damnit! I can't listen to this now because of the fucking dial-up here." (Don't laugh.) So, I took the shortest shower known to mankind (cannot guarantee the hygiene) and sped down the road at like 900 miles/hour to a coffeeshop where I could download it and enjoy it thoroughly. I almost experienced death by school bus T-boning at one point. (Now you can laugh.) Anyway, the podcast is amazing--funny, intelligent, thought-provoking, filled with so many of those, "Holy shit, I'm glad I'm not the only one thinking [insert fantabulous idea here]." There are some super-entertaining people writing out there in the Wings' universe, guys. Can't wait to listen to this every week.


So, now that I'm home, I feel the need to put a cap on the entire experience by writing about the wonderful times we had in the Motor City. So much to write about. Here goes:

Monday, December 7 (The Arrival):

Woke up at the asscrack of dawn to embark on our journey. We decided to rent a car because both of our cars are in that ambivalent sure-it-still-runs-well-but-it-may-implode-at-any-moment phase of their lives. Picked up a Ford Focus at Enterprise--most uncomfortable car ever for an eight-hour drive, and we both drive small cars along the same lines as the Focus. How uncomfortable, you ask? I told Brian I'd have to take a bowel movement upon arriving at our destination in order to prove to myself that I still have a tush.

Not so excited about the drive there...

...but VERY excited about the endpoint:

Upon arriving in Detroit, we visited Meijer to load up on some essentials (read: booze), and we visited Tim Hortons to load up on some additional essentials (read: Timbits). We then went to Pegasus in Greektown to partake of some saganaki (OPA! more about that later), and we tried octopus for the first time. Yep, that's right, The Scrappy Octopus consumed octopus. I had a huge crisis of conscience after that; I mean, how would I explain that to all my seafaring brethren? I finally settled on the rationale that all creatures would resort to cannibalism at some point; if I ever get called out by some angry eight-armed heathen, I guess I'll just have to chalk it up to survival of the fittest.

Tuesday, December 8 (Day Two):

Visited Hockeytown Authentics in Troy. Didn't spend a lot of money, but I did buy my nephew a Wings' Zamboni toy for Christmas. Ate lunch at Qdoba, which I hadn't been to since college--used to be one of my favorite throw-up foods while partying it up, so I was so pleased to revisit it.

Meanwhile, on Twitterverse, I got blamed by some good folks for the Grandy trade and basically everything horrible ever that's ever happened in the history of the universe; apparently, TSO's presence in Motown warranted the horrible happenings. Needless to say, we were crushed by these baseless accusations, but also sort of inappropriately tickled pink that people actually believe that TSO's sphere of influence extends into MLB trades. Christ, people, don't you realize that the only thing I have power over is making Ville Leino score so many points by promising to pelt him with my unmentionables. I mean, didn't you see the Anaheim game? He scored like...one assist. I'd like to think that was because he had a little spring in his step and a lovelight glowing in his heart.

We also trekked to Lansing to check out the Capitol. More importantly, though, I'm looking for someone to shed some light on this:

That's someone who has pitched a tent on Capitol grounds. (And no, not in that way. Christ, we're not talking about Leino anymore, so cool it.) What is the meaning of this tent-pitching? Is this an aficionado/stalker of Governor Granholm's? A reenactment of the Bonus Army? Someone whose GPS broke while looking for a state park? Someone please explain this!

Wednesday, December 9 (GAME DAY, PART ONE)

Woke up packing my A-game. We ended up eating/drinking at Cheli's before the game; we didn't have a chance to check out Cheli's during our last trip to the D, so we wanted to include it this time. Had a great time--especially enjoyed the "Welcome, Kid Rock fans" on the side of the building and kinda hoped he would be there to do some shots with us.

Headed to the game with my wastey-face on. My "recaps" (generous label) can be found here and here, but I did forget a few things:

1. A kid behind us kept trying his damndest to come up with awesome insults against the Blues. It made the game actually enjoyable, despite what was happening on the ice. Some stellar examples: "Well....well...the Blues...are...a...terrible hockey team!" or "Well...the Blues can just go to...back to St. Louis!" For a brief moment, I considered hopping over the back of my seat and trading places with Dad in order to give the kid a few pointers, but I figured he'll get it, eventually. Keep on truckin', kiddo.

2. Have you ever had a moment when you're like, "Ohhh, shit. Did I just enter the Matrix and wind up back in my old self, only five years ago?" Yep, totally happened to me when I entered the bathroom between periods and saw a girl literally holding up another girl in the handicapped stall. At first, I thought maybe they were trying to hook up and just forgot to close the door, and I considered telling them in case they wanted some privacy, but as I left my stall, I got nearly run over by several (male) security guards entering the premises, and then it dawned on me what was going on, and that's when I had that weird sense of deja vu. Keep on truckin', super duper drunk girl who may have permanent brain damage.

Thursday, December 10 (Day Four):

Woke up with a mega hangover, ended up degrading myself by voting in a Barbie poll on Facebook about what color her hair should be (I picked red). Thought about what I had just done, got really depressed about the shambles that is my life, but then cheered up in about five seconds' time when I remembered where I was and why I was there.

This is the day when we had the brouhaha with the hotel, so we didn't get to hit the town until the evening. Had yummy fajitas at Armando's in Mexicantown, and I was fucking thrilled to get a Jell-O shot with the check. I mean, really: Can you think of a better incentive not to dine and dash?

We were kinda beat from all the hassle with the hotel, so we headed back to the room, got our drink on and stayed up all night watching hours of The Office. We also sat in our room's huge window seats and watched cars passing over the Ambassador Bridge and driving through Windsor. It was a great night.

Friday, December 11 (GAME DAY, PART TWO):

Yep, the day I was born to live through: Detroit v. Anaheim, Good v. Evil, Awesome v. Vomit.

In the interim, I had received even more threatening messages from all sorts of naysayers about how TSO had jinxed the team by being in the D. Seriously, though, I was in tears during the second intermission, and it takes a lot to make me teary-eyed. I just couldn't believe that we were on the verge of watching another loss, another shutout, at that, especially at the hands of a team I hate more than almost anything.

Then, this guy saved the day by breaking the scoring drought:

(Also, I decided to give this guy a hug, just for good measure. I can't believe we got to run into him, too!)

The Wings won in OT, which for me, was just amazing; sure, Anaheim gained a point out of the excursion, which is upsetting, but seeing the Wings triumph in OT hockey, in person, and watching the Ducks get screwed by one of their infamous egregious penalties was just fanfuckingtastic.

Insanity ensued:

Saturday, December 12 (Getting Sad, Last Day)

We took this opportunity to visit Pegasus again. We had a server without the same dynamism as the lady we had on our first night in town. She was incredible; she did "Oooooo-paaaaaaa!" so loudly, the entire restaurant turned to look. And that's the way Opa should be done.

On our Saturday afternoon lunch, we observed as many people partook of the saganaki, and not a single server delivered it with what The Scrappy Octopus determines to be acceptable pizzazz. In order to propagate proper Opa etiquette, we are launching a new investigative/informative sister-site, Rate My Opa! We feel an important call to duty to spread the word about subpar Opas and to provide an outlet for others to let out their anguish and resentment stemming from bad Opa experiences. We are excepting submissions.

Also, we drove around forever to take pictures around town. I took, approximately, a bajillion. I'm going to be making a photo album on Flickr...soon.

Saturday night, we watched the game from Hockeytown. Is it always that deserted for away games? One of the bartenders told us that he figures more people hang out in the 'burbs instead of coming back into downtown. Interestingly, scores of people who were attending the shows around Hockeytown kept dropping in for drinks, and they looked like they were going to a rave, so with our Wings' gear on (and the huge table of Wings' diehards behind us), combined with the people who looked like they were going to a rave, I felt like I should have been dropping X and waving glowsticks when the Wings scored. (I mean, I already had on a diaper, so I was pretty much rave-ready.)

A few random notes:

1. I love Red Pop. First time I'd tried it, and I'm hooked. Bought a bunch of it to bring home with us.

2. We also tried Better Made chips for the first time; I especially adore the Red Hot BBQ variety. I bought some to bring home, too, but I'm looking for a liaison in Michigan who is willing to send me some on a periodic basis. We'll set up a schedule, and maybe we can use Pay Pal or something. Any takers?

3. Checked out some awesome places in Midtown: Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes, which has like thirty different kinds of crepes. I got this awesome kind with lox and horseradish. I really wanted to try some of the sweet types, like strawberry and chocolate, but one crepe is HUGE and enough to fill you up. The inside of the restaurant is cute, too; they have huge posters of old French films on the walls. Guys, this is a great place to take your girlfriends on a date.

4. Leopold's Books is right next door. Small collection of books, but what he has totally rocks. If you're a book snob (I figure, if everybody likes it, then it probably sucks), check this place out. He also has a nice assortment of Detroit-related books and ones published by the Wayne State Press.

5. If you're into artsy stuff--or you're Xmas shopping for an artsy friend--City Bird on Canfield is a nice little shop with all sorts of Detroit-centric items. I picked up this necklace, plus a journal and a kickass wallet made from recycled Meijer shopping bags. Now I'll think of the D each and every time I pull out my ID to get carded. How sweet is that?

6. Speaking of IDs, not a single place carded me, with the exception of the Joe and Hockeytown. I get carded every place back home, including places I go to all the time, and I always thought it was because I look and act twelve. Maybe I showed some maturity in Michigan? Naahhh, that doesn't feel right.

7. What's the weirdest thing I've ever seen in a bathroom stall?

An ad with a fucking speaker at the bottom of it! How freaky would that be, if that thing started talking to you while you're on the can? What would you do? (I would say s--- your pants, but you're on the toilet, so that negates that.)

8. What's the second-weirdest thing I've ever seen in a (ladies' room) bathroom stall?

A fucking ashtray!

9. I didn't know our pal Andy from Fight Night at the Joe had his own sushi place downtown. I appreciate the international/somewhat paradoxical nature of the place. Right on, dude:

10. What's the most awesome thing I've ever seen splayed on a bathroom wall (other than my own # and the words "for a good time")?

Geez, who could have put that there? (Hope you like that person's drunken third-grader's handwriting.) Whatevs, how could I feel bad about vandalizing public property when the following poetry shared stall space with mine?

11. I never, ever think of myself as having an accent of any sort, but being in Michigan makes my hillfolk twang stand out like a sore thumb.

12. Also referencing something I said earlier, to all of you out there who were sipping on Haterade before the demolition of the Ducks on Friday (yep, I'm looking at you, Tyler, Chris, Michael, and Andy), anybody want to go ahead and thank TSO for the back-to-back wins on Friday and Saturday? We'll be accepting compliments, postcards, flowers...and rimjobs from Ville Leino only.

Coming soon, I'm going to write a tirade on wardrobe etiquette for hockey games (got a LOT to say on that one), and I will get that photo album up and running. Thanks, Detroit, for the best week ever. Can't wait to see you again. XO--The Scrappy Octopus

(P.S. I have in my possession a very awesome and entertaining video of a very inebriated Brian celebrating the back-to-back wins by dancing to "Soulja Boy". He has thus far refused to let me post it on here. I need encouragement from the blogosphere to get him to let me put it on here. I tried telling him it will bring happiness to so many people. I need your help! A public outpouring demanding the world no longer be deprived of such fabulousness would be much appreciated. Thanks a million.)

11 December 2009

Eff. To. The. Yeah.

Didn't want to drop a hard F on the subject line, but since you're still reading, fuuuuuuuuuck, yeahhhhh, baby! Wings demolish Ducks in OT, got to see my real crush, Homer, score, and Voldemort came up big in OT. WOW. Best type of winning scenario for someone who hates the Ducks as much as we do. Getting our wild on times infinity. Probably the best night of my life. Period.

Ducks @ Wings tonight.

I almost titled it "TSO & Ducks @ Wings tonight", but I didn't because (A) I don't want to ever, ever, EVER be involved in a compound subject with those people, and (B) I figured it was a little lame to put ourselves on a pedestal, implying that people really care that we'll be in attendance more than they care about the visiting team. Eh, fuck it. We're going to the game. Considering starting the pregame early--like right now--to get really, really pumped.

We found this really awesome place to eat dinner tonight; it's kinda fancy--several courses--and it pretty much specializes in one specific dish. Here's what's on the menu:

Soup: Polish Duck Soup (Czarnina)

Salad: Mixed Greens with Duck L'Orange Cutlets

Appetizer: Foie Gras

Main Course: Peking Duck

Dessert: PAIN

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10 December 2009

The other side of the coin...

So, we finally got the room situation worked out; thanks for your concerns, everybody. I did have a scrappy word brawl with the lady at the front desk, who didn't particularly care that we were out approximately $650 for the time being. The manager walked up just as I told the person that there was no way it was our problem that the hotel and Travelocity couldn't get their act together. Brian and I both work in customer-service-esque jobs, and there's no way either one of us would ever be allowed to double-charge a customer simply because our respective places of employment didn't receive payment from a third party. Ridiculous. Even more absurdly, this woman started yelling at us in the middle of the lobby. If I did that at my job, I would most likely be shit-canned.

The manager was super nice, though, and upgraded our room to a suite and gave us free lunch and dinner, so I'm pleased with the way it turned out on that end. She handled things very well once it all got out of hand. All in all, I guess what I learned for this experience is not to trust the people checking you in at hotels, even when you ask them specifically if your debit card is being swiped only for incidentals. Also, I learned that some people just suck at life. It was super cute--the woman who had the major attitude with us called our room after lunch (at 3:30) and said that she was supposed to get off work at 3:00, but she wanted to make sure we were settled in to our new room and that everything had worked out, and ordinarily, I would have felt bad putting someone out like that, but considering this entire ordeal wasted essentially our entire day, I didn't really give a fuck. We made sure to fold our clothes extra slowly.


The face transplant lady is on Oprah right now. I just upchucked my nachos.


And because this post is serving as the yin to my other post's angry yang, here are some things I did enjoy about the game last night:

1. Getting to see Jimmy Howard do what Brian and I call the "Beyonce Running Man" exercise in person. It's one thing that loses a little bit of its luster on television. We also have this really awesomely annoying habit of singing, "All the married Jimmys, all the married Jimmys" when he does it. Don't you feel just a teensy bit saddened that you didn't get to sit with us?

2. Dropping F-bombs ad nauseum and initiating all the children around me into the rough underworld of being scrappy. Hey, what can I say? Those little bastards got the Zamboni toys; maybe they should consider the evening a twofer: free gift AND free important life lesson. (Speaking of the Zamboni toy, I'm pleased that I was on so many people's minds last night; I really thought about snagging one, especially since the game was a wash. To be honest, I didn't see a lot of kids with them, which leads me to believe that maybe Mickey Redmond stole 2,497 of them to build a protective armada. Shhh, don't tell him they're not operative machines...)

3. Best moment ever: Brian and I left the game a little later, as we sat in our seats and waited for the crowd to dissipate a little bit before fighting our way out. Anyway, as we were leaving, we saw Murph up on his perch above the exit, so we yelled "Hey, Muuuuurph!" and he turned around and waved/pointed at us. I totally did the "We-Heart-You" (complete with the heart hand motion. Yes, TSO has mad love for Murph. And no, I am not in seventh grade.). It's in my top three most magical moments ever.

4. Second-best moment ever: Getting to chant, "Bullshit! Bullshit" after the non-goal. MUCH more cathartic than screaming it at my TV/dog/each other.

5. Henrik Zetterberg is amazing. We had really good seats last night, so it was awesome getting to watch him sorta up close. There's just no comparison between watching it in person and watching it on television. I'm not sure I'll be able to leave the Joe tomorrow night. They'll have to pry my cold, dead body away.

6. Todd Bertuzzi shaved, and it made me laugh when I saw him because I thought about how our buddies over at The Production Line prefer to call him Voldemort. Without the weird facial hair, he looks even more like someone from the otherworld.

7. I ran into a crazy St. Louis fan in the bathroom and told her I was in love with her blue wig. I need a red one.

8. I spent all my cash on beer at the game, and you would think that would be sad, but it's really not. It's the fulfillment of a goal: Last week, when I got part of my paycheck cashed, I said to my boss,"This is the money I'm going to get wasted on at the game next week." It really felt special, like all the hours and effort I had put into my job had finally amount to something. I think this is what some people may call "ambition".

9. I don't care that he's in St. Louis. I still love Ty Conklin, and I'm glad I got to see him play last night, although obviously, I'm unhappy with the outcome, and I wish he hadn't played nearly as well. I kept calling him "Conk Block", as I got drunker and drunker as the evening progressed, it kinda morphed into "Conk Blonck", which made me think of a conch shell, which made me wonder why I was talking about seashells, and then I got really confused and thought we were going to the beach.

10. We couldn't find anything to watch when we returned to the hotel room, so we turned FSD on and caught the replay of the game at the beginning of the third period. Here is a real conversation that transpired between Brian and me:

Me: "Wow, I can't believe I missed Kenny Rogers!"

[Moment of silence.]

Brian: "Ummm...you didn't miss it. You started singing it at the game. And you even put it a weird way, like, 'Oh, here's KennyRogersTheGambler,' like it was all one word."


So, last night's game was not the best. I'm still stoked for tomorrow night and the craziness that will ensue due to the Ducks coming to town. You know how I feel about the Ducks. Gross. It's going to be so fucking fun!

P.S. I'm kinda surprised: I thought for sure that this guy or that guy would pin the shutout and/or Cleary injury on TSO's presence at the game or in the city of Detroit in general. Whew, dodged a bullet on that one...

I am ready to murder something.

There is so much I'm pissed off about right now:

1. What's worse than seeing the Wings lose? Seeing them get shut out in person.

2. What's worse than seeing the Wings get shut out in person? Seeing Dan Cleary get injured in person and finding out the day after that he'll be out for up to four weeks with a separated shoulder (via Bruce MacLeod's Twitter). What. The. Fuck. This, of course, means that The Scrappy Octopus's new bonercrush, Ville Leino, returns gallantly to the lineup tomorrow night against the Anaheim Ducks. At least the booing of the opposing team will drown out my booing of Mr. Leino himself. Just kidding. I'll probably just throw my panties at him or something since I'm now so in love with him. (Ah, it really is just a distraction, typing this bullshit, from what really blows ass: Dan Cleary is the 927th Red Wing to be injured this season. At this rate, I expect to walk away from the game tomorrow night with a pickaxe shoved up my ass or something.)

3. This isn't necessarily worse than Items 1 and 2, but we're getting fucked over by our hotel; as of 11 a.m. today, when we were getting ready to leave to grab some lunch, we discovered that the hotel had charged us approximately 133% of the cost of our stay here, in addition to the charge we'd already incurred by Travelocity for booking the stay in the first place. The person at the front desk explained that the hotel hadn't gotten paid by Travelocity; how this is our fucking problem, I do not know. But it really is a great policy, isn't it? You can imagine that being double-charged for a six-night stay at a hotel in Detroit is not an inexpensive affair. Needless to say, we pitched a fit, and the person at the front desk has been "on the phone" with Travelocity, attempting to sort out the ordeal, for approximately two hours now. Fuck. This.

Oh, and if anybody's curious, we're staying at the Omni Riverfront. Would have highly recommended it until now.

08 December 2009

A real bummer.

Catching up on a little news this evening, The Scrappy Octopus is shocked and dismayed to discover the following, per Ansar Khan, in reference to tomorrow night's game, which we will be attending:
Coach Mike Babcock said forward Ville Leino will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game Wednesday against St. Louis at Joe Louis Arena.
I don't know how to tell you guys this because I don't want you to think of me as a superficial, disingenuous turncoat. But I really think I might be on "Team Ville" now. Actually, I know I am. I got a T-shirt made today and everything. (You can order your own right here on the site.) In fact, I have drafted a letter to send to Ville, from a fan to an idol on a pedestal, in which I hope to provide him some sort of encouragement and hope for a brighter day tomorrow. I've copied it below in hopes that you all will give me a chance to present my side of things. I trust that with your open-mindedness and intelligence, by the end of this, you will at least be able to appreciate my perspective, if not maybe believe it a little bit yourself. Here goes:

Dear Ville,

Hey, it's your BFF, The Scrappy Octopus. Look, I know we haven't exactly seen eye-to-eye lately. In fact, I've pretty much said I've hated your guts and that you can eat shit for all I care, but don't you realize that this is all part of an elaborately constructed facade? I don't know how to say this, so I guess I should just say it directly and bluntly: I think I'm in love with you.

What can I say? I really didn't have a choice in the matter. It's the way you move around the ice with seemingly no real sense of direction or purpose--that sort of freedom and spontaneity drives me absolutely wild. If I were your girl, I'd never know what to expect. We could be just sitting there, watching a movie, and all of a sudden--BAM!--here comes the shocker. How thrilling! And remember how you said last year that you were going back to Europe if you didn't get a spot on the roster, so it got all your fans really excited, thinking this would be a breakout year for you? Well, the fact that you aren't producing doesn't make me mad at all. It's this tough talk and subsequent incongruity between what you say and what you do that really turns me on. You're such a non-conformist, and you know that people like me always want precisely what appears unattainable and elusive. Oh, and don't even get me started about the way you shoot off into the netherworld: It tells me that I'd never, ever have to worry about emergency contraception or even regular birth control if we got it popping.

I know some people out there think that once your former linemate Valtteri Filppula returns, you may start producing points and making a difference. But I, for one, just want you to know this: Please, Ville, don't ever, ever change. Be the amazingly badass, rebel-without-a-cause bad boy that you are. You have at least one fan out here who just can't get enough of it.

The Scrappy Octopus

06 December 2009

Detroit Rock City in 30 +/- hours...

On the itinerary for today:

1. Pack.

2. Birthday present shopping for Brian's dad.

3. Pack.

4. Limit my coffee intake so I can try to go to sleep tonight at a decent time.

5. Pack.

6. Watch the Wings @ Rangers tonight. (Should be epic--Brian predicted a limb malfunction/loss for one Marian Gaborik, so if the game is half as exciting as that bold statement, we're going to have a blast.)

7. Pack.

Can you tell I fucking hate packing?


Just wanted to put something quick out there: Thank you, thank you to everyone who gave us suggestions of things and places to check out while we're in town. You guys are the best. Now we're even MORE excited about everything ever, and we didn't think that was even possible. From now on, I'm going to consult you all on every single one of my major life decisions and personal issues, so get ready to enjoy this bond we now have with one another. (For starters, let me ask you a question about this burning sensation I recently experienced...)


We'll be staying in touch via Twitter, and I'll have my laptop, although I can't promise we'll be coherent enough to write anything meaningful post-game. If our experience goes anything like we hoped for in our itinerary, one or more of the following may ensue:

1. Arrests. For stealing a kid's Zamboni toy. Whatever, you now know how I feel about children.

2. Something may get lit on fire. I'm just saying. If someone levels Corey Perry or Ryan Getzlaf or, really, anybody on that squad, I'm pretty sure I'll need to incorporate "Opa!" into the evening's festivities.

3a. Having the best experience of our lives, period, or...

3b. Being found face-down in a gutter in a pile of our own bile. It really is an all-or-nothing situation.

05 December 2009

Homer scores #200.

As of the second intermission in tonight's game against the New Jersey Devils, Tomas "For Sure" Holmstrom is the proud owner of goal #200 in his professional career.

I've been waiting to write this post forever, as Homer's scoring flurry early in the season has slowed as of late.

To explain how pumped I am for Homer to achieve this milestone, I need to tell you a key fact about myself: I hate kids. And I don't mean, "Oh, I'm too young to enjoy the presence of babies" or "Kids get on my nerves a little bit, but I love to marvel at how cute they are." Nah. Not so much. The only exception I make to this otherwise unwavering characteristic of my personality is that I love my niece and nephews to pieces, mostly, I presume, because they are my niece and nephews, and, therefore, are an extension of my awesomeness by proxy. If I decide to have children one day, I know I'll love them with all my heart, but because I'm not yet a parent, I don't know what that's like.

But I can't really deal with other people's children. I don't have the patience or the interest. I don't want to have my coworker throw ten thousand photos of her grandchildren in my face and expect me to comment enthusiastically on every single fucking last one of them. I don't want to be forced to hold someone else's baby. I don't want to sit next to screaming little mini heathens in a restaurant and be expected to find their blathering and screeching adorable. I don't want to be expected to babysit and occupy their attention when they come into my place of employment and are left unattended by their inept parents.

It's just not me. I recognize this as perhaps unusual, maybe even completely unorthodox. As a member of the female sex, I know I'm generally expected to have some sort of intrinsic maternal instinct at some point in my life. But at age 23, I don't. (To clarify, I'm not completely anti-children/anti-parenting: I think parents should dote on their kids and support their kids and think their kids are just the greatest fucking thing on earth since sliced bread, so if you happen to be a parent, and you're reading this, and you're a great parent--rock on. It's just that so often, people freak out over other people's babies and whatnot; I don't. And it doesn't really faze me that I don't have that inclination.)

All that being said, watching Homer do his thing and score this landmark goal, for me, is the closest thing I've ever felt to being proud of someone else's kid do something amazing. I love Homer so much. And if this is what having that misplaced maternal instinct feels like, then I'm going to be a kickass parent in the event that someday, Brian and I decide to give the whole bun-in-the-oven thing the old college try because to be honest with you, I just want to grab Homer, take him to a store, and tell him to pick out his favorite toy for doing such a great job. And maybe we can go for a Happy Meal and some ice cream afterwards. And, if we have time, maybe we'll even go to the park. And, oh geez, I heart you, Homer.

04 December 2009

I love you, Detroit (Reprise).

On Monday, Brian and I will be leaving wild and wonderful West Virginia to embark on our epic pilgrimage to Hockeytown, and we are so totally and completely stoked.

The trip is part of our celebration of annivirthdaysmas, which is my way of telling you that I'm a complete fucking nerd who enjoys combining the words anniversary + my birthday + Christmas (oh, boy, and let me assure you that this is not the first year I've used that little ditty). Basically, those three occasions fall in the course of fewer than two weeks, so we like to do one big, awesome thing to acknowledge the entire triumvirate.

I've been working on this post here and there, but honestly, I've tried to put it off as long as possible because I want to be able to deal with the final days back home as calmly as possible (like that's going to happen). Anyway, here it is; my apologies for the loquacious title, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Itinerary for Detroit/Things I Love About Detroit/Awesome Things That Need to Happen in Detroit While We're There

1. Starting with the obvious: Holy shit, we're going to see the Wings play IN PERSON. Typing that, it sounds ridiculous to me to be flipping out about seeing the team that I write about on an almost daily basis, but I feel like an ADHD-diagnosed six-year-old when I think about it. Sigh. Words can't express how excited I am for this.

We'll be at the St. Louis game on Wednesday, the 9th, and the Anaheim(!!!!) game on Friday, the 11th. A couple of notes on this:

a. I can't tell you how utterly disappointed I was to discover that only the first couple thousand kids get a Wings Zamboni toy at the Blues game. My first thought is that I'm pretty good at passing as a twelve-year-old, so I know I could pull it off, but that opens the door to starting a ruckus when it comes time to start downing some brew. My next inclination is to bribe and/or intimidate a unlucky recipient of said toy. Anyway, if you hear of any weird arrest stories that night, you'll know what's up.

b. I can't wait to be able to boo the Ducks in person. I'm girding my loins for this--gearing down and keying up.

c. Give me enough drinks, and I will star in a video that will promptly go up on this blog under the tag "dance dance assholes". (You know how I feel about dancing fans.)

2. Tim. Motherfucking. Hortons. Yes, I have done this before. So what? I have no pride. I don't care if it makes me sound like Ken Hitchcock's long-lost daughter (or lover...or both--OK, that's too gross, even for me). But the chocolate Timbits = the best thing in the entire fucking universe. The closest Tim Hortons to where we live is in Wheeling, which is almost 3.5 hours away. And the thing is, people from here who have never experienced the awesome goodness of Tim Hortons have no idea; they look at me like I have seven heads when I insist that they've never had a donut like this before in their entire lives. All we have are Krispy Kreme and Dunkin' Donuts. Not. Even. Close. I can't wait to stuff my face with Timbits. (Sickos, I said Timbits, not Tim's Bits...I don't even know who the fuck Tim is. Calm down.)

3. We get to spend approximately six hours on the PA and OH Turnpikes! [Item #3 intentionally omitted.]

4. Oh, Michigan, you call your liquor stores "party stores". I like to party. One word and one word only: Kismet.

5. Speaking of hooch, I don't know if you guys have any idea how ridiculous alcohol laws are around these parts. West Virginia itself isn't so bad, but because we live in the eastern part of the state, we often find ourselves out of state and therefore subject to the ridiculousness that is Virginia and Pennsylvania. Virginia makes you buy your stuff at state-run ABC stores--imagine being an underage college student and trying to pass off your fake ID with the stringent bitchfaces they employ there. Pennsylvania's even weirder: Imagine you want to buy a six-pack of your favorite brew. (Or, you want to buy me some, in which case, I'll take some Saranac Adirondack Lager, and good luck finding it. If not, Molson Canadian will do just fine, especially since we'll get to ask each other amazing would-you-prefers.) Anyway, you waltz into what appears to be a full-tilt liquor store and peruse the coolers looking for the goods, but alas! None to be found--only liquor and wine are available at such places. To purchase beer, you have to seek out a bar that does off-premises sales.

Michigan, I love you: Beer, wine, and liquor are available in your neighborhood Meijer. (For us back East, Meijer = all-purpose fun store, along the same lines of Target or K-Mart or Walmart.) Amazing. Haven't had this much exposure to the ability to get my drunkface on, snag a jumbo box of extra-special ribbed condoms, browse greeting cards to send to my grandma, stock up on Oodles of Noodles (you know, for the apocalypse), and pick out an entirely new wardrobe since visiting Brian during the early days of our relationship when he lived in Omaha, the only other place I've ever been where liquor is sold in box/grocery stores. God bless the Midwest.

6. Brian gets a front-row seat to a concert featuring Natalie's covers of all the greats, including, but not limited to, Britney Spears, Cher, M.I.A. (I do the gunshot part on "Paper Planes" REALLY ridiculously well, pretty much a carryover from my days in the 'hood), Lady Gaga, and well, you can imagine the rest. Interpretive dancing via "seat grooving" will also ensue. [Item #6 also intentionally omitted, although not for lack of existence--mostly so Brian doesn't back out on this awesomely long road trip upon experiencing a massive case of cold feet after reading this. Shhh...]

7. I want to get a bicycle thrown at our moving car again. I am not joking. This happened to us the last time we were in Detroit--actually, it happened after we left the bar after the game. We were driving back to our hotel, and some alleged homeless (but not immobile!) dude slugged an empty glass bottle at the moving car, but when he missed (by a mile), he proceeded to pull the bike out from under him, and we thought he was just doing a stunt and that he'd hold on to the handlebars, but instead, he let go of the handlebars and straight up threw the bike at the car. We were driving fast enough that it missed. Sure, laugh if you want, but come on, what would you have thought in a situation like that?! I mean, really: Have you ever met a homeless person who didn't try to entertain you endlessly with his/her glorious feats, such as reinterpreting the Flobots' greatest hit? And you want to judge me...

8. I want to go to Pegasus Taverna again and get the flaming cheese and have people yell "Opa!" at me. I love that so much. Now that I think about it, I might apply "Opa!" to my everyday life. It would be the perfect antidote to tedious days at work. Exhibit A: Some sumbitch attempts to give me the business on the phone by demanding last-minute that I pull some paperwork out of my ass? And now I want to tell him to go fuck himself? Why do that when I can just light something on fire and scream "Opa!" instead? (Just the thought brings a smile to my face--never mind the fact that crazy rednecks would have no clue what the hell I'm talking about. Win-win situation for yours truly.)

9. I saw this thing on Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations about feather bowling at Cadieux Cafe. Can somebody please shed some light on this for me? What the fuck is feather bowling? Can anybody do it? Is it fun? Lame? Sketchy? All of the above? I'm totally intrigued. I mean...it's called feather bowling, and it's not even played with balls, but with these crazy cheese wheel thingys. Amazing. I fucking hate regular bowling, but I could really get behind this if it's half as excellent as its name implies.

10. Basic enough, but I want to see snow. Lots of it. It hasn't snowed here yet. I love snow.


Despite my wisecracks about hillbillies and whatnot, I love where I live. West Virginia is an amazing and beautiful place. But there are so many things equally wonderful about Detroit and Michigan at large. Brian and I cannot wait to return. I haven't slept in a week, I've been so excited. (And we ran out of quaaludes because Brian went overboard. Damnit!)

If you guys have any suggestions about restaurants, bars, landmarks, etc., that we should check out while we're there, please, please, please comment away. We'll be there for almost a whole week, so we'll have plenty of time to explore.

Also, if any of you scrappy people are going to be at either of the games, definitely let us know so we can say howdy to you during intermission or something. And fear not, young grasshoppers: Sure, this blog is ridiculous, but we're not sketchy individuals. As far as we know, neither of us has any relatives in Michigan, so you don't have to worry any bodily inappropriateness--we are second cousins West Virginians, after all. Oooooewwww...

03 December 2009

Wings shit the bed; lose 4-1

Well, tonights game was.....something. The same deal as usual; not enough effort, another injury, a goalie who played above his head; blah blah blah. Watching a Wings game should not make me want to drink heavily, but this did. A few points from the game:

1. You know how some games are really close, say 1-0, but the team that is ahead is completely dominating the flow, shots, and every single aspect of the game? We've all seen the Wings do that; close score, but the game never seems in doubt. Tonight was like that...

...except the exact opposite. Down 1-0, 2-0, it never really seemed like the Wings had a shot, did it?

2. Meech had two nice games in a row. Tonight, he remembered he was Derek Meech. It couldve been worse I guess. Good lord he got steamrolled several times.

3. -2, sure, but Kindl was pretty good, yes?

4. The second power play unit is still a huge shit show.

5. Its strange to say, with your goalie giving up four goals and all, but Jimmy played well tonight, yes? I like him approximately 200% more than I did a while ago when he could not grasp the concept of catching a puck/controlling a rebound. Sure, he could've stopped the second slow dribbler, but for the others, when Brett Lebda is slapping pucks at you and folks are shitting their pants, what else could he have done? Some nice saves tonight by Jimmy.

6. Actual quote by Babcock after the game, referencing Ericsson's injury: "I don't know what's going on, I don't have enough courage to go in and ask". Sort of sums up alot of things.

7. NOT good enough tonight.

8. Devils Saturday, Rangers Sunday. Pointess prediction - Sunday will be Marion Gaborik's annual "done for the year" injury. Just a hunch. Go Wings.

Yippee skippee: I get to make one of my favorite jokes now.

Per the Daily Herald of Chicago (and I believe everything I read on the internet), The Scrappy Octopus's favorite Blackhawk, Patrick Kane, has reportedly agreed to a 5-year contract extension, worth $31.5 million.

We at The Scrappy Octopus quickly discovered that there's more than meets the eye to this one.

Apparently, discussions between representatives of the franchise and the star player mounted with tension until finally, they reached a comfortable compromise.

Stan Bowman reached into his pocket, pulled out two dimes, and Mr. Kane signed the necessary documentation.


Oilers @ Wings tonight. I've been short on time today, but I did try to find a video of Oilers fans acting a fool in the stands, but for as hyper as their fans get, I couldn't find a single humorous video. I found some recorded celebrations, but they were all boring as fuck. I have failed you all immensely today. Apologies all around.


02 December 2009

Experiment Time!

Due to my excruciating boredom today, I have decided that we need to take this Scrappy Octopus thing to the next level. What? No, I'm not proposing--did you think we had gotten serious or something? Yikes. Awkwaaaard...

Anyway, if you can't get enough TSO in your life--let's face it, we know you can't possibly imagine your life without us after these last two wonderful months together--catch us on Twitter @scrappyoctopus (no "the"--communist Twitter represses the creativity with their bullshit character limits on account names.).

I'm not really sure what we're going to do with it. I tried having a personal Twitter a while back, and I put up like five tweets, and then I gave up because the pressure of coming up with something fabulous to say in 140 characters or less about my mundane existence was exhaustively soul-crushing. Anyway, this time around, it'll probably be used for random expletives regarding live games, pimping TSO posts, and maybe weak-sauce attempts at cybering with unsuspecting followers. Play your cards right; see what happens.

We Love Chicks with Balls*

Via NHL Snipers and Total Pro Sports, please, please, PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch the video below.

So, here's the deal. This girl is the only female on her high school hockey team, and she gets taken down by a couple of opponents. Pretty much everyone on the ice thus participates in a raucous melee, but keep your eye on her: She holds her own like a champ.

*I know, I know: She's actually a chick with a puck. But that just doesn't have the same luster, you know?

01 December 2009


Yep, this blog has sunken to a new level of inanity with such a title. I'm sorry, kids, but we're turning over a new leaf on The Scrappy Octopus today. Since we've been nominated for a blog-off award of distinction or some such, plus we're trying to be uber good for Santa this year, we're putting on our halos and toning down the scrappy.

How about a quick show of hands for anybody who believes that? Ha, that's what I thought. You guys are way too fucking awesome and smart for that.


So, how about that game last night? Wings win 4-1, with little to no controversy. I know, right? I shat my pants. But don't feel bad for me. It was gleefully in celebration!

Also, it seems that everybody ever hates Ville Leino, so I don't feel so bad about writing that post blasting his ass. I feel a teensy bit of remorse for asking Santa to deport him, but oh, well. I'd deport my own mama if she did what he's been doing. And, er, if my mom were from another country. (I'm totally American. I have Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue" tattooed on my heart. Promise!)

I've been putting off writing this because I haven't wanted to jinx anything or start getting out-of-control excited too early, but your Scrappy Octopi are traveling to Detroit next week! As in, less than a week from RIGHT NOW, we will be partying like rockstars in Detroit Rock City. Holy fuck! I don't even know what to do with myself until then. Before we leave, I'm going to post something random about all the things I hope to do in Detroit (I'll try to keep it PG-13, but I'm really not prepared to make promises I have no real intention of keeping).


So, I want to direct your attention to two brand new Wings' blogs: Fight Night at the Joe and Red, White & Black-n-Blue. Andy from FNatJ is a diehard Wings' fan all the way from Norway (awesome), and Christine from RW&BnB is a relative newcomer to hockey fandom (I can relate to that) who shares our affinity for boozing it up while dealing with traumatic games. Both sites are very funny and entertaining and score very highly on my Scrappy-o-Meter, so check them out asap, heathens!


Also, I want to take a timeout and thank those of you who have actually voted for this site on the aforesaid contest. From the bottom of my heart, muchos gracias. There are so many amazing Wings' fan sites out there, and to be included among the ones I've read and admired for so long is an honor.

Now, I don't want to encourage bribery or anything, but...if you vote for TSO, we'll have a part deux of the Reader Appreciation Day, featuring BJ's and Levi Johnston and hallucinogens and liquor and who knows what other shenanigans. I have an active imagination, so it's guaranteed to be fun times. (Also, Brian's initials are BJ; I'm not saying, but I'm just saying. Catch my drift?) Anyway, take some time and think it over; the offer is on the table until midnight tomorrow.