How many ways can one summarize the weekend at large? Awesome, excellent, fantabulous, gnarly, amazeballs, bombass, #FUCKYEAH.
The Scrappy Octopi are back in wild, wonderful West Virginia, where it's warm enough to wear the dress I had foolishly packed to Detroit (with rainboots, no less--if you didn't get a chance to realize how cool I am over the weekend, now you know), and we are missing the living hell out of Michigan and all you fabulous people.
Our thoughts on the weekend as a whole:
--Seeing Herm get to experience all of the fabulous things the H2H crew had planned for him was an indescribably fantastic experience. I can't imagine the high you're feeling, Herm. We didn't get to meet him until the pregame party on Friday, but we did get a glimpse of him while we were entering Old Shillelagh late on Thursday night. He was leaving, and we didn't quite realize it was him until we stopped the The Triple Deke boys, whom we vaguely recognized from all the internet stalkings we perform on the daily. Anyway, seeing Herm that first time, in passing, was that feeling I always imagined myself having as a 12-year-old standing on a rope line to meet A.J. from the Backstreet Boys. Fucking awesome, man. (Alternately, it could be how Brian would feel at any given point in time upon meeting Gerard Butler. Yuuuuum!)
--The H2H "War Room" deserves all the accolades they've been receiving all over the place, and then some: Jen, Hollis, Serven, Petrella, and Ellen all worked their asses off to ensure that Herm--and all of us--had the time of our lives and to get those moneys for the Children's DMC. Many thanks all around to everybody instrumental in the nuts (giggle) and bolts of the H2H operation.
--Everything you've ever read about Dena and I being soulmates? Absolutely, positively true. Times a bajillion. The reason Kronner scored the game-winning shootout goal on Saturday? He felt the power of her Swedish flag underwear burning through the airwaves. For the record, we were never even properly introduced; Petrella simply brought her over to where I was at the H2H pregame and she did the universal signal for Hey-You-Soulmate-Person, and I instantly fell in love.
--Sara/saraneuie and Amanda/Nurse Nitz are two of the most kickass fans--and kickass people--ever. TSO feels complete after seeing the ladies' "More Shoot" and "Dangle Dangle" homemade T-shirts in person. For the record, Sara's birthday was yesterday, so if anybody missed out on it, you can hop over to her site and send her lots of good wishes, preferably in the form of one Johan Franzen being UPS-ed to her residence. I'm sure she'll give you the shipping details if you hit her up.
--Petrella wearing the SHIRTUZZI was everything I could have hoped for and more. Also, it's worth noting that the moment I met Rob (who, judging by his recent travels, either hasn't been to his home in 74 years or is an actual hobo) and his brother John was the moment TSO was presented with our fabulous TPL-autographed photo of Casey's She-Tuzzi creation. Time. Stood. Still. TSO's only regret is that we didn't get to hang out with the Discher boys more, but alas, they were off to their next destination before we knew it, like elusive butterflies who managed to slip out of our nets. (TSO is currently embroiled in a dispute with one half of TPL for the right to dib the other half of TPL. We'll let you know how this settles on the flip side.)
--Brian and I are proud to be card-carrying members of the I Heart TPL Mom Club. (TPL Mom, we'll be sending you those adoption papers later in the week to sign and have notarized. Yeah, it'll make Brian and me some sort of weird quasi-relation, but we'll work out those kinks later.)
--As a Wahoo, I never knew I could muster up enough emotion and chutzpah to say I heart a Hokie until I met Casey and his equally awesome roommate Shawn. I'm telling you, this is how international relations should work. Can you imagine? Oh, there's a new round of Irish car bombs going off in Belfast? Fuck, put them in a room with some hockey and Boddington's and let them bond. Works every time.
--Tyler and Brent from the TTD are every bit as hilarious in person as their site and videos have you suggest. I was a tad bit disappointed that they didn't sport the awesome sweaters/turtlenecks they wore in their clips, but that's neither here nor there. It was excellent hanging out with the two of them at the Town Pump; thanks for letting me terrorize your table intermittently throughout the night.
--Speaking of terrorizing, when we finally moved to our real seats at the Joe, we found ourselves seated next to Chris of NOHS fame, and we're fairly certain Brian pushed the boundaries of legal harassment of Chris regarding goaltending as it relates to Josh Harding. We met (Animal) Drew after the game, too, and we can confirm that these guys are the real deal: nice as hell and completely gracious when dealing with their rabid fans' enthusiasm.
--We had the pleasure of hanging out with Kris for both games and the aftermath, and we had a blast--Kris and her friend Gaby sat on the other side of us when we committed to our actual seats. In fact, I'm not sure if you all know this or not, but Kris is actually a ninja--I discovered her stealth-ful abilities first-hand this weekend. I'm pretty sure this translates into her being able to slip into the locker room undetected. I'm just saying...
--MauvaisGardien and silvrbuttrfly, awesome ladies who I'm pleased to have gotten to know better during Friday's festivities, especially since it meant downing a shot that made me feel minty clean afterwards! (No, but seriously, you CAN'T drive back to Toledo, now, right?)
--Speaking of shots, downing a shot of Jameson with jennyquarx was everything I could have hoped for and more.
--Voox wins the award for snazziest hat at H2H, hands down.
--There were some folks we got to meet whom we didn't get to spend quite as much time with, but the pleasure was all ours nonetheless: Jessie of Bingo Bango, Greg/captnorris5 of The Winged Wheel, Twitter buddy Norm (who loooves traversing the Ohio Turnpike just as much as we do!), Sara (who we discovered has impeccable taste in dresses), members of the 19 Andrew from Ann Arbor (whose Datsyuk-autographed stick we plotted to steal, to no avail), Lo, jennemyofthesk8, and Baroque97, among so many others.
It was truly a blast. Petrella said it best in his recap over at TPL that "H2H2" has a high bar to cross for besting this past weekend. Let TSO join the chorus of voices out there who have already expressed the sheer joy associated with finding yourself surrounded by people who "get it": the sheer obsession we have with this hockey team we all love more than life itself. Fans of other teams? Eat your fucking hearts out. Red Wings Nation rocks, balls out.
And now, we'll simply look forward to that playoff party in the D, already being pimped by Serven & Company on the Twitterverse.
Thanks to everybody for the best weekend in the history of weekends. Period.