Sunday, December 26, 2010
I did pretty well this year. I was officially "done" on December 23rd. That's right. TWO days before Christmas. Don't hate me because I am efficient. Lol!
Don't be to envious. There were a lot of things I could have done differently. For example. I could have saved the receipt for the backpack I bought at Target. Ugh! I saved every single damn receipt. EVERY one. Which one did I need? The one that got away. Yes. That one. Where is it? I'm still trying to figure it out. I looked through the whole recycling container. Yes, actually dug through the whole thing. No receipt. $42 for a backpack. Ugh! I so over-paid for that. That would have given me an extra $42 to spend today at Target. Oh well. Live and learn.
I would have been more specific to certain people as to what I wanted for a gift... Lol! I got two e-Readers for Christmas. Now? The dilemma of which one to keep and which one to return? Or sell. I got a Kindle from Steven and a Color Nook from Juan (and a cover from Jacob). I really want to keep the Nook, but I don't have a receipt for the Kindle... and Steven didn't offer me one, even though he saw that Juan got me the same gift. Ugh. Decisions, decisions.
I would have sent some gifts to Sue, Perry and Julie... Since they all sent us stuff. And last, I would have sent out Christmas cards with updated pictures of the boys. I will definitely do that do that next year.
Yesterday was nice. This was the first year that we had everyone come over and open presents together, instead of the staggered Christmas where we all open presents in waves. Tiffany and Sergio couldn't stay for dinner so Juan made a lot of food for breakfast. So good!
Today I took the boys shopping. I know, right? The day after Christmas? More stuff? Well, Jacob was in serious need of jeans. He has one pair (yes one) that fits and doesn't have holes in the knees. *sigh* So, I bought him 4 pairs of pants. Alex got some pants too, and a pair of shoes. Then we went to Big 5 to spend their $50 gift card from Grandpa. Jake got some shoes and knee pads (for skating) and Alex got a backpack. Thus, the reason for looking for the receipt for the one I got him for Christmas... ugh! Anyway...
I went to Target and loaded up on some stuff that I needed. Underwear, socks, bras etc. I also got some nice slippers, and some workout shirts. Feels good.
Now? On to the adventure, otherwise known as 2011.
Happy New Year!
Thursday, May 27, 2010
But not after taking Alex to the airport, in Sacramento, for a 9:45am flight with his team... gah!
I already told Jacob that I'm going to be tired and cranky and he better not be counting on me to entertain him during out travels. That sounded mean. Well, it kinda was. But I prefaced it with the plea to please, please PLEASE have something with him (a book, movie, ipod, cards... something, anything) that isn't my phone, to keep him occupied.
Because getting up at 4:00am, driving for 5 hours (round trip from San Jose to Sacramento) going to the airport on a Friday afternoon of a 3 day holiday weekend, standing in line, flying two hours, manuevering around PDX to find the MAX train that will get us into Beaverton... does not sound like a good basis for a happy, patient and rested mother. I'm sure Jacob won't be the best company either. I hope someone reminds me to keep him fed.
Sigh. But after Friday... the rest of the weekend should be fun. Oh. Except for the rain. But we get to see Alex play soccer! With the Cal North ODP (Olympic Development Program) team.
And the games? Will be outside. In the rain. Maybe in the midst of thunderstorms. Sigh.
I'm happy for him. This is a really big deal for him. I hope he does well and gets a lot out of this experience.
Then it is back home and time to deal with, well, all the stuff I need to deal with at home.
Monday, May 24, 2010
(Sharks lose 4-2 in game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Chicago will move on to the Stanley Cup Finals)
Here is a poem written by Jacob, one of the Sharks biggest fans, on the eve of their final 2010 playoff game against Chicago:
Every year ends the same
Watching the Sharks lose their final game
This makes the year so lame
And now having to stare at the mullet of Patrick Kane
For once can't we make history?
Or will it always be a mystery?
And to come this close just to see it walk away
Then have to think about it every day
Can't Marleau hoist the cup?
And then have Pronger clean it up?
What caused all this?
I think it's finally time
For the cup to be yours and mine
Will it happen, probably not
But who would have ever thought
That we'd make it this far
Will history be made?
Or stay the same?
There's only one way to know
And put on a show
The Sharks are targets on a range
Can't they just win a cup for change?
Poor Jacob. I know exactly how he feels. I could have written this. So? Thus ends our Sharks Playoff Hockey Blogging for 2010. Back to our regularly scheduled blog posts.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
They find themselves today in the unenviable position of being down 0 games to 3 in the Western Conference Finals. One more loss... and they're out.
What will they do? My hope, my wish for them is to put pressure on Chicago and make them earn it. My wish for them is to take each period one at a time and accept that fate is out of their hands. My wish for them is to claw their way back, one shift at a time and make this a challenge to their opponent.
My wish, is to not see a handshake today.
Jacob and promised eachother there would be no tears this year if the Sharks lose. That has been the most painful thing these last two years. He takes it really hard. I, on the other hand, will probably have to sneak off to the bathroom for a quiet cry...
The game starts soon...
Go Sharks! Bring this series back to SJ!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Next was the DVR. Which? Is hilarious considering he refused to even learn how to use it when we first got the service with our Comcast account. He used to get so angry when there were multiple recordings going on (Jacob is the series recording whiz) and it would kick him out of what ever program he was watching. But then? His passion for soccer took over and he began to ask us (because he didn’t know how) to record his games for him. And, of course, we would (one of us) have to start it for him too. One morning he got up early and when I came out to the living room after waking up the kids, he was watching one of his recorded games. “Ha!” I said. “What?” he asked. “You know how to work the dvr! You started this game on your own.” He just laughed. But I made the point that he was not to use us anymore to record games or shows. Just the other day I was watching tv and the message popped up that two shows were being recorded and that I would have to change the channel to one of the shows being recorded. When I looked up what was scheduled, it was two of his recordings. I got bumped out of my show! Unbelievable!
But the last straw. THE FINAL straw was the GPS. That was mine. That thing has made my life so easy. No more getting yahoo directions. No more google maps. No more getting lost. He took it out of my car a few weeks ago so he could find some place where he was picking up an engine. He only had it one day. ONE DAY! And here is what happened: I was taking Alex to his soccer training which was out of town and about an hour and-a-half long drive. We had been there recently so I pretty much remembered how to get there. But just in case I pulled out the GPS and asked Alex to go to the “recently found” menu and look up where we were going. He began scrolling down the list but couldn’t find it. He read off address after address, but none were the one we were looking for. What the heck? Where did he go? Why so many different addresses? In just one day? How many "recently found" addresses will the GPS remember before it starts deleting them? I began to panic. Then? He did, thankfully, find it at the bottom of the list. When I put it up on the window holster the audio wasn’t working right. Now what? It sounded jumbled, like when cassette tapes used to get stuck or go bad (Showing my age here). It wasn’t even the same voice as before. The more I listened to it, however, the more I realized it sounded like a different language. “Is that French?” I asked out loud. They didn’t know. On a hunch I grabbed it out of the holster and asked Jacob to play around with it and see if he could find a language option. After just a few seconds he found the option and announced that it was currently set on... get this... Afrikaans. WTH?
How does that even happen?
Thursday, May 20, 2010
"I think I realized after the second or third punch, I should have taken his helmet off sooner." - Ryane Clowe
"San Jose is where I want to be at the end of the day, and there's an opportunity now to make it there. It is where my heart is." - Jamie McGinn, 2/22/10
They're not getting this kind of coverage at "Hockey Night In Canada" folks! - Randy Hahn
"Even the Swedes are getting mad."-Randy Hahn
"It's very cozy in the sin bin."-Randy Hahn
Drew: Fill in the blank: "When I'm on the ice with Douglas Murray, I..."
Nabby: "Poop yourself."
"So, what in the knick-knack-paddywack-give-a-dog-a-bone is going on around here?" — Dan Rusanowsky
"Douglas Murray is a humongous human being." – Drew Remenda
"Sleep is for the off season."~ Randy Hahn.
And what’s the advice Murray’s grandfather (Lars [Lasse] Bjorn) gives him? "Hit more people."
"It takes a big man to cry and it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man." - Jamie Baker
"Devin Setoguchi’s haircut has released the dragon" ~Drew Remenda
'The good news is, there's a little more room in the penalty box; there's only five Sharks in there now.' -- Randy Hahn, VAN @ SJS 8 April 2010
"Sorry guys, I’m not going to try and hit (Douglas) Murray anymore. It doesn’t work." - Steve Ott, Dallas Stars
Come on boys, your city is behind you. We believe. We do. Pick yourselves up and play the way you were meant to play. If you, each last one of you, leave everything out there on the ice, no one can be disappointed.
Leave no doubt.
Offer no excuses.
"Now, hit them in the mouth!"
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Sharks lost game 2 (4-2) and now trail in the series 0 games to 2.
Ugh, that was painful. They looked? Um, what is the word? Discombobulated. They looked tense and overly conservative. I didn't see them shooting up the ice like I did in the previous two series. Maybe Chicago is just that much better. They seemed unstoppable. More than that, though, they looked comfortable. The Sharks on the other hand looked like 9 year-old boys squirming in their seats at a wedding because they can't wait to run outside and take off the suits and ties that their moms made them wear.
I don't know how they can possibly turn this around. I'm hoping they can get at least one in Chicago... but right now if I'm Chicago I'm thinking close this thing out at home. Go for the sweep. I don't know how the Sharks can get back in their comfortable rhythm or at least dig in defensively until the offense can nail a couple in the back of the net, comfortable or not. With Colorado you felt they were dominating and that sooner or later if they kept with it they would break through... and they did. With Detroit they nailed them with three strait and looked unstoppable. But, now? With Chicago, they look intimidated and I'm not sure why. I just know it doesn't feel right.
I did see some hits. So, that was good. Not sure if they kept doing that through out the game, but damn. Some of those goals? Soft ones by Nabby? It doesn't really matter though, the team as a whole was out of sync. To many turnovers, their forwards were not giving them an inch in the defensive zone. You would think they would have been more prepared for that? I don't know. I don't envy Todd Mac right now. They need to get it together or this is it.
I hate to sound doom and gloom... but this feels like the end. Sigh.
Just hoping for a game 5.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I don't even know how they looked. Never even got the vibe. Did they play their best but fell short? Did they play to conservative? Did Chicago take it to us? Are the Blackhawks the superior team? Can we do better? Did we get some bad bounces?
Who knows. Well some know, but I won't know. No post game media after a loss. Can't do it.
Game 2 tonight. Tonight I'll know.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Soccer trumps hockey today.
U15 spring soccer trumps playoff hockey.
Not-even-his-team (yet)-U15-and-probably-won't-even-play-today-spring-soccer-in-Santa-Rosa-two-hours-away trumps Sharks Western Conference Championship Series Game One Hockey.
What is this world coming to?
I guarantee one thing. Today's (hockey) game will either be the best damn game in history... or the worst.
I can tell you something else... The mojo factor is not there today for the Sharks. I'm hoping this won't matter, but let's look at the facts:
* They are playing on Sunday
* They are playing at noon
* They are playing on NBC (gag)
* They have been OFF for 8 days. 8 days! Can you say "sluggish?"
* Juan got mad at me this morning before he left for work... um, and, for the record, for something I didn't do. But he was mad, and that is all that matters.
* I won't (er, we won't) be here to watch.
* We are DVRing the game, but let's face it. They have never won when we record the game.
* Someone will say the score. Somehow, some way we will know the outcome before coming home to watch the game.
I am just going to assume game one is in the toilet. Call me a pessimist if you want but I'm just trying to cushion the blow (if it comes) to my fragile sense of sanity.
On the road again. Can't wait to get on the road again. Was there all day yesterday listening to music with the kids. Can't wait to get on the road again.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Chicago looks scary good. They whipped up a very good Vancouver team like nothing. They are so fast it made my eyes spin. I had to look away.
I will need some major distractions in the next few days to take my mind off of worrying about the following:
*The Sharks becoming complacent
*The Sharks coming out slow/sluggish in game 1 and getting whipped
*Losing at home and having the tone set for the series
*Chicago deciding that they really are scary good and come out with quickness and effectiveness without even trying
*Paper becoming Ice ("Chicago looks better on paper")
*Byfuglien taunting the crowd
*Sharks retreating into their playoff shell
*Niemi playing out of his head
*joining the ranks of the fallen: Caps, Pens, et al
*being upset if they lose and realizing how much of my mental state has been invested in this post-season
*waking up depressed & dejected on Monday morning
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
In 1994, My husband and I had been married for two years and felt that our son, Sergio, should try and find a sport or activity that he liked other than watching tv or playing video games. He did like to skate on his roller blades, but we wanted him to join some kind of organized team or sport. Sergio had been born and raised in Mexico and had moved here to live with his dad when he was 9. His dad played soccer all his life and Sergio grew up around the sport. We thought naturally he would be interested in playing soccer. Not so. He had no interest whatsoever.
But, I was persistent and really pushed him to try something. We would look through the community parks and recreation "activity guide" for ideas. "Just try something, if you don't like it then at least you will know and you don't have to do it," I would tell him.
I heard about baseball tryouts in our neighborhood and asked if he wanted to try that. He said he would, but when the time came to go to the tryouts, he said he changed his mind and didn't want to go. Sigh.
One day, he was flipping through the channels on the tv and began watching a hockey game. Not just any hockey game (I would realize in later years) but the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the San Jose Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings.
I was in the other room when he called me, "Susan! Come out here quick! What is that?" he said pointing to the television. I stared at the tv and tried to figure out what was going on. Apparently, someone had thrown a squid on the ice? WTH?
"I have no idea." I said.
As they showed the crew cleaning the octopus off the ice the announcers explained about the tradition of Red Wing fans and how it symbolized the 8 games needed to win the Stanley Cup. "Did you understand that?" I asked him.
With a half-puzzled, half-disgusted look on his face, he nodded that he did not. I explained what the announcers had said about the 8 wins and how the Octopus had 8 legs and he sort of nodded in agreement like he understood.
With his eyes riveted to the screen he said, "This is the weirdest game."
We watched the rest of the series and witnessed the Sharks in their very first playoff run. We would also watch one after that in which the Sharks would lose. He was hooked, and I think that was when I became a fan as well.
It wasn't long after that, that Sergio asked to take hockey lessons and not much longer after that that he began playing over at Vallco in their youth house league. Sixteen years later and he is still playing. He currently plays in a men's league at Sharks Ice. We go see him play every once in a while and it always brings back good memories of watching him play as a kid.
I am so thankful he found the sport and brought the Sharks into our lives.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Oh boy, here we go. Now we just have to wait for the Eastern series (both of them) to conclude before they set up the schedule for round 3... or WCCS.
I think they said that Chicago isn't even going home after wrapping up their series in Vancouver... they are just coming strait here.
Well, it has been nice not worrying about these things for the last few days. Time to get those nerves-a-churnin.
#9 They outplayed the Wings
#8 They didn't let Detroit "get into their head"
#7 Seto / Clowe / Pavelski
#5 They took advantage of opportunities
#4 THE BIG PAVELSKI
#3 The Heated Jumbo Patty (supersized)
#1 They were the better team
Monday, May 10, 2010
10. The Sharks didn’t choke like they were supposed to.
9. Penalty Disparity – The Red Wings had WAY more penalties then the Sharks.
8. The NHL hates the Red Wings
7. Everything was set up by Gary Betteman and the NHL to make sure the Wings lost.
6. During the regular season the Wings were the 2nd least penalized team… the Sharks were 23rd. Obviously proving that the penalty calling disparity was a conspiracy against the Wings
5. The Sharks took dives to draw and embellish penalties (ha ha ha! I laugh)
4. Conspiracy against the Wings so Chicago can be the new face of the NHL... “This year’s darling must be Chicago. When you listen to the talk shows, it is Chicago being talked about . More young guns that the league is promoting. Wings must be too old be in the finals every year. You need new blood so you let them get pummeled, and oh gee, they lose.”
3. The winning goal in game 5 came seconds after Johan Franzen was knocked to the ice on an apparent blow to the head by Sharks defenseman Douglas Murray, with no call.
2. Okay, one positive one here (to be fair to the many RW fans who were good sports and saw the series for what it was and not for what the, entitlement-whining-conspiracy-theory-inventing-loony-(wingless)-bird-fans-not-able-to-admit-the-better team-won, made it out to be)… “The Wings were a goal behind and a step behind much of the time, and no, they didn't get many breaks. But they also gave away too many breaks, with turnovers and penalties and mistakes, issues they never could resolve.”
1. What is this "losing in the second round" that you speak of? Have they announced when game 6 is to be played? I don’t see it on the schedule yet. Go Wings! Bring home the Cup!
Sunday, May 09, 2010
"The wishing, the waiting, the heartbreak, the hand-wringing. The fear, the failure, the anger, the agony.
All of that, silenced, when the clock read zero tonight.
San Jose reaches the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2004, doing so by defeating their historical nemesis the Detroit Red Wings. It was the biggest series in franchise history-- a loss would have likely meant an implosion in the off season, with Patrick Marleau and Evgeni Nabokov a near certainty to be let go. Joe Thornton's name would have become synonymous with trade rumors, and the discussion on talk radio about his shortcomings would have reached a fevered pitch.
All of that, silenced, when the clock read zero tonight.
The biggest series in franchise history was handled in a mere five games. It is a time of celebration and jubilation, of freedom from the demons that have plagued our souls for five years. It was a monumental event that shook the city of San Jose tonight, one that will go down in the history books as a moment where the shackles of shame were broken in one quick flick of Patrick Marleau's wrist.
Tonight is exactly where we wanted to be.
Tomorrow is when it sets in that we're only halfway home.
That was amazing. That was every synonym known to man for "amazing." I was so proud and happy to see that handshake on the ice last night. I had goosebumps. I wish it would have been in slow motion. I watched the Comcast intro this morning (since it is our pre-game ritual to not turn on the game until the puck has dropped) and got chills.
I am treating myself for Mother's Day to spend an exorbitant amount of time this morning perusing and scanning the blogosphere and hockey-mediasphere for all that is the Sharks and this win.
Let me grab some coffee.
Saturday, May 08, 2010
I'm looking to close the door on this thing. This is nerve racking. I am more nervous and tense for this team then I am for my own kids when they play.
So much riding on these guys to come through. I think about the pressure. I think about the disappointment, heartache and nausea this will cause if the let the RWs back in this series. If they don't close it out tonight it is back to Detroit. I don't want that. I won't be able to handle that. I will be curled up in the fetal position for days if that happens.
All that aside. I keep (my wandering, out of control mind) going back to the humiliation of not winning this series after going up 3-0. Put aside what the RW fans, writers and bloggers will have to say. Imagine the NHL as a whole. Imagine all sportwriters, players and coaches in North America. Imagine the commentators. Ugh. Oh, the agony. Oh the pain. Oh the suffering. And nothing has even happened.
This is what happens when left to my own devices. I think I need help. If anyone reads this... this, is a cry for help.
Friday, May 07, 2010
I can't help but feeling the doom and gloom return. Just when I thought I may have gotten rid of it. That was the worst possible way that game could have gone last night. Other than catastrophic injuries. So, yes it could have been worse. But it was still bad. Very, very bad.
So, now they have this to overcome. I don't know. I'm not feeling it. I'm feeling like they are just going to let the Wings back into this thing. Like someone pointed out that this isn't where they belong and they believed them.
Last night I saw Cinderella arriving at the ball in her glamorous horse and carriage and then 6 or 7 minutes after she arrived it turned into a moldy pumpkin right in front of everyone. And then her glamorous dress turned into rags and her hair fell flat. Everyone laughed and pointed. They called her names and told her that she was ugly, fat and didn't belong in such esteemed company.
That is a lot to overcome in anyone's lifetime. Even with years of therapy. You just don't get over something like that. Especially if you believe think they may be right. I don't know what is going to happen inside that dressing room today and tomorrow. I don't know what may have already happened (I couldn't take anymore and had to turn it off for most of the 2nd and 3rd period). But something magical will have to happen. Something to make this fairytale turn back around. I still believe. I still want my happy ending.
I just hope they still believe they can deliver it.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
It will be just me explaining my stress level and feelings going into tonight's game. First of all? I still can't wrap my head around the fact that we are ahead in this series 3-0. Maybe when I can digest that I will realize how epic this is. I mean talk about an exorcism of playoff pasts. Sweeping the defending Western Conference Champs? The almighty-can't-go-wrong-been-in-the-playoffs-every-year-since-San-Jose-has-even-been-a-franchise-in-the-NHL-and-is-the-team-that-other-teams-fear-and-all-fans-love-to-hate-Red-Wings? It would be huge. I can't even imagine.
But here is what I can imagine. The next series won't start until next Friday. That is eight days away. Just what are we supposed to do until then? Also? Game 5 at home would be amazing. Just the tips alone (the day before Mother's Day, a-hem) would be great. But the nerves. Ah, the nerves. If we go to a game 5? If we let Detroit even a smidge back into this series? The thought is not only daunting... but oh so scary.
So... here we are just hours away and I can't sort out my nerves. I can't calm down and it is to early to drink.
Wednesday, May 05, 2010
Even in overtime I would have been happy with the loss. I would have been consoled by the fact that they overcame a two goal deficit. In Detroit. It would have been fine to lose in OT. We could have built on that for game 4. It would have meant a game 5 in San Jose. More money for us. That was my silver lining anyway. Of course, that didn't stop me from holding my breath everytime the puck was anywhere Nabby. He had held off from letting anything by him for just over two periods. Then? My near heart attack, a slow/bad line change by the Sharks giving Detroit a 5 on 3, turned into the most amazing fairy-tale ending ever when the shot from the point missed Nabby, bounced like a superball of the boards... right to the stick of Joe Thornton. Thornton blasts down the ice with Patty on his left, makes a perfect tape to tape pass/shot that finds the back of the net off of Patty's stick.
There wasn't enought oxygen in the room after that. I had to sit down.
Let's re-cap. The Sharks are up 3-0. Patty has shown up. Jumbo has shown up. Rookies are scoring. They are overcoming. They are standing tall. The Doubters/Haters/Entitlement Whiners can all suck it. The Sharks are doing what we all knew they were capable of doing once they came out of those damn Colorado stumbling blocks.
Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Really? A dead shark? Don't you think that sends the wrong message? How irresponsible can you possibly be regarding the maintenance of positive mojo, good luck all around "signs" the superstitious among us look for to whether or not our team will succeed or fail?
Ugh! Don't you remember? The last time someone thought it was oh so clever to throw a dead shark on the ice (in 2007 playoffs vs. the Red Wings) our team lost. All the mojo was killed, all the intensity disappeared and all the progress was lost. Gone. Ka-put. Golf anyone?
I don't want to see Todd McClellan out on the golf course. I sure as hell don't want to see anymore of those painful Mercedes Benz commercials. And? I sure as hell don't want to see Detroit in the Conference Finals. That is our spot. This is our time.
How dare you? A dead shark? On the ice? Doesn't that represent, er, the death of the Sharks... on the ice? Doesn't that symbolize the death of our hockey team? Didn't you think this thing out? I know, I know. You got the idea from Red Wings' tradition of throwing octupi on to the ice prior to the game. Right, right. Do you even know the symbolism behind that gesture? Is the octopus their team name? No. Do they throw dead Red Wings (or even Red Wing shoes) on the ice? NO! They. Do. Not. The octopus represented (back in 1952 when there were 2 best of seven series) the 8 games needed to win the Stanley Cup ... um, you know because an octopus has 8 legs.... Get it? It is a now nearly 60 year tradition steeped deep into their history and lore.
How stupid does it make us as a franchise and fan base look to not only mis-represent their tradition, but to also show what completely ignorant hockey fans we are by throwing our own (dead) team mascot onto the ice. We've only been around for 19 years... They are old enough to be our team's grandparent. They know things. They've seen things. They have experience. That move made us look like inexperienced teenagers trying to crash the party with the rest of the adults.
We need to start our own tradition of winning and not try to duplicate the traditions of other teams. Especially one that we are trying to bury. One that we are trying to overcome and in the process exorcise our playoff demons and curses for good. I am so angry with you right now I can't even describe what I would do to you if I met you in person. You my friend(s). Are an IDIOT.
What? The shark had a baby octopus in its mouth?
Oh. Hmmm... Well?
That's different now, isn't it?
Monday, May 03, 2010
So, I was reading my favorite fan blog , Fear The Fin, this morning when someone mentioned a lot of whining going on in Detroit (or by Detroit fans) over the officiating. And there was a link. If there wasn't a link I could have held strong and not been tempted to search out RW fans and read about their views of the game and how the series is going so far. I mean, I pretty much know what their view is right now. Not good right? I wouldn't like to be down 2-0 in a series. I would be a mess. I would probably be vowing to not watch game 3 thinking that I must be the one bringing them bad luck. I would have been curled up in a ball last night not reading any media coverage. I guess I would probably, to some extent, be complaining about the officiating as well.
Suffice to say I didn't want to click on the link. I really didn't. I had no real need to. My Sharks won and that should be enough for me. I didn't want to get ahead of myself and start believing that we can't lose or that we have this series in hand. I want to keep that edge by believing the bottom could come out at any minute and that this could potentially be yet another play-off fail as in years past. But there was a link. One click, no work to do on my part, someone had already done it for me. So? I clicked. Here is what I learned:
1. Red Wings fans are funny. Not in the quick-witted or humorous kind of way, but in the tin-foil-hat-wearing-sort-of -brain-washed-drank-to much-Kool-Aid-at-the-last-cult/AA-meeting-sort-of-way.
2. Some of them believe there is a conspiracy against the Wings by the league's commissioner Gary Betteman. Seriously? Can he really control whether a team wins or loses? Really? If he was after the Wings then how did they get by Phoenix in the last round? If no one would watch a "non-Wings conference final or Stanley Cup Final" then wouldn't it be in the best interest of the commissioner to manipulate a RW victory? Maybe this is all part of the drama to ensue an epic comeback by the RWs and really get everyone's juices flowing. Wow. I wonder if he knows how much power he has. He is like Superman!
3. Bad officiating loses games. It doesn't matter how many face-offs you win/lose, how many shots you take, how many opportunities you create for yourself by out-playing/hustling the other team or, and this is important, the fact that the REFEREES DON'T PUT ANY PUCKS IN THE NET FOR EITHER TEAM. None of that matters, however, because according to my research reading RW fans' opinions and reactions, if you lose it is the referees fault. Good to know. I wish I knew that during the Colorado series. It could have explained a lot.
4. RW fans will be forever entitled because of their long history. Are they entitled? Absolutely. Their history speaks for itself. Their championship runs are unmatched. They are scary good and deserve all accolades thrown their way. With that being said... entitlement doesn't win games. Just ask the Sharks. Just because they should win doesn't mean they will if they don't bring their heart and soul to the ice. This series will go to the team who wants it the most. Not to the team who "should" or is "entitled" to win. And, yes that goes both ways. If the Sharks don't bring it and leave it all out on the ice... they will lose.
If I ever start to sound like a RW fan (other than those who actually put accountability on their team's performance) then please shoot me. If we are still winning 20-30 years from now and get caught underperforming in a game or series I guarentee it will be on our players or on the opposing players for being the better team and not a conspiracy against the Sharks or bad officiating.
You have to win despite the calls on the ice. Sometimes it just isn't your night. Sometimes it just isn't your time. Sometimes you need to grow up and accept the knocks which ever way they go. Sometimes you need to go back in history and actually learn from it instead of expecting it to repeat itself because that is the way it should be.
Sometimes you should just keep driving and not look at that accident on the road.
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Wow. I don't even know what to say. When they came back and tied it in the third, I was speechless. When they got the go-ahead-goal a few minutes later I was dumbfounded. When they held on to win... I passed out.
No, I didn't. But I can't quite come up with the right word for exactly what I was, except for a little bit buzzed from the wine I drank. Ecstatic? No. Thrilled? Maybe. How about, I-don't-know-what-to think-but-I-like-it-while-still-holding -on-to-the-fact-that-it-is-Detroit-and-they-can-easily-come-back-from-a -two-to-zero-deficit-so-I-won't-get-to-excited-for-now-but-o -m-g-they-won-they-won-they-won-whooooooooooooo-frickin-hooooooooooooooooooo - gasp-gasp-breathe-inhale-exhale.... sigh.
I think that should cover it.
Jumbo? In the zone
Patty? Present and effective
Pavelski? Bigger than ever
I saw two kids wearing orange t-shirts last night at the Silver Creek Sportsplex that said "The Big Pavelski."
I thought they may have gotten them from the Sharks store or at the street party outside HP, so I was going to ask Juan to take a look for it and bring one home.
But later? After Alex's roller hockey game I found out that someone was walking around the sportsplex selling them for $10. He had all different colors. But, of course, I didn't have any cash on me... so no shirts for us.
But still.... The Big Pavelski! Whoo hoo!
Saturday, May 01, 2010
Man... I just need to go cold turkey on all the hockey news. I'm to fragile right now.
Poor Patty. I so much want for him to break out and shut everyone up. So far the team as a whole has been able to shut up most of the critics... of course they have only passed the first round and will need to at least make the conference finals to have any legitimate claim that they are a true playoff team. But Patty? Still on everyone's hit list. Heatly has scored his first goal and he was hurt in the first round. Jumbo has been muscling himself around and playing the way people expect him to... But Patty? Everyone has a theory, everyone thinks they can call him out. Everyone is a critic and says he needs to play better if the Sharks hope to win.
I am SO SICK of it.
Please Patty... shut these guys up. You know you want to. You know you can. Please, please, please!!! I can't take it anymore!
Friday, April 30, 2010
I was unable to blog for a few days because I couldn't wrap my head around my husband and son both being hospitalized (on unrelated illnesses) at the same time, long enough to sit down and blog about the Sharks. Although you have to admire how they won game 6 and gave me all the necessary days in between that and game 1 with Detroit to attend to the sick and weary. So, thanks for that. I can only hope that when all the final bills come in... that the hospital offers us a "family discount."
The good news is that they are both fine now and home from the hospital. The bad news is that it was scary, lonely and completely freaked me out.
So, here it is... Last Thursday night (after the Sharks won game 5) Juan found blood in his stools and thought he was having more ulcer problems. He had one 5 years ago, waited to long to go to the hospital and ended up needing a transfusion and emergency surgery. This time he had me take him right to the doctor who, in turn, sent us strait to the ER. This was on Friday. They ended up admitting him and did an endoscopy the next morning. While they found a few sore spots, they couldn't find anything that would cause that much bleeding. They ended up releasing him late Saturday (around 7pm).
Meanwhile, while Juan was in the hospital getting and recovering from and his endoscopy, I was with Alex in Ripon (80 miles away) while he had ODP training for most of the day. He had been complaining of a sore throat for about a week and even missed one day of school. I had checked for white spots in his throat (sign of strep) but couldn't see any so didn't see any need to have him checked out. For him it was business as usual. After playing soccer all day, he had his first roller hockey game at 7pm that night. We drove home after his last session, stopped by home to get his helmet and then went strait to the sportsplex for his game. I dropped him off and went to pick up Juan who had just been released from the hospital.
I took Juan home. He wasn't up for going to Alex's game and just wanted to eat and get some rest. I left him there and went back to the sportsplex. By the time I got there the game was over. *sigh* Figures. But? The Sharks were on, so we decided to order some food, stay there and watch the rest of the game. The game was amazing and afterwards all I wanted to do was go home and absorb the glory of it all. Enter wrench.
Juan called me in the room and said that he had a lot of blood in his stools, was vomiting and felt dizzy. We needed to go back to the ER. I stayed with him until 2:00am and only left because I couldn't keep my eyes open (there is a lot of down time in the ER waiting for doctors, results, etc.) We talked to the doctor who scheduled a colonoscopy for the next morning. They needed to find out where the bleeding was coming from. They were going to admit him and he would be spending the night (the rest of it anyway) in ICU. He had lost a lot of blood and needed a transfusion.
The next morning (Sunday) it took me a long time to get going. Alex was feeling and looking sluggish. The sore throat was worse and now he was getting a fever off and on. I should have taken him to Urgent Care but I let him convince me that he was okay. I went back to the hospital to see Juan before the colonoscopy. I met with the doctor who would be doing the procedure and went out to wait in the waiting room. About an hour later the doctor came out and said that they still couldn't tell where the bleeding was coming from but that it wasn't in his stomach, colon or rectum. He thinks there maybe something going on in his lower intestines. I went to go see him but he was pretty out of it and the air in his stomach (from the procedure) was causing a lot of pain. I decided to go home and check on the kids and come back later.
I went home and stayed for a little while. Alex was still not feeling well. I resolved to take him to Urgent Care the next morning. I went back to the hospital a little while later and stayed with Juan. They told him he'd be spending another night in the hospital so they could get him stabilized and check his stools. *sigh*
Back home. Went to sleep. Or did I? Alex was so restless and feverish that he wanted to sleep in the bathroom. Why? It was the darkest room in the house. (?) Some time during the night he came in and slept on the floor in my room.
The next morning I took Jacob to school and called the high school to let them know that Alex would not be going to school. I let him sleep for a little while then around 10:00am we left for Urgent Care. His throat was hurting so badly that he could hardly swallow. It had to be step throat, even though he didn't have the little white spots. "They're hiding." he said. "Oh sweetie," I said. "As much as you want to believe that your body produces all these super weird medical conditions... it just isn't so. Your white spots aren't hiding." When we saw the doctor he confirmed that he either had strep or, gulp, mono. They would need to draw some blood and take a look at it to determine which it was. After a while we were called back in the doctor's office. He told us that, indeed, Alex tested positive for mono. However, he said, he was concerned that the blood test showed that Alex's blood platelets were low. Dangerously low. "His count is around 3,000. It should be well over 100,000." Holy crap! What does that even mean? I thought about my Aunt Gayle who had an awful blood disorder. I remember her platelet count was always low and that she needed transfusions all the time. She eventually died... omg, I thought, don't go there.
The doctor asked us to wait while he called Alex's pediatrician. The pediatrician, in turn, called someone at Stanford and Lucille Packard Children's Hospital. Of course it didn't all happen that fast. We were there at Urgent care for well over 4 hours. The nurses started to feel bad for us and began bringing us snacks from their employee lounge. Finally Dr. Hughes (pediatrician) called to talk to me. She was pre-admitting us to Good Samaritan. We were to go over there ASAP so that Alex could get a blood platelet transfusion.
OMG! I just came to urgent care to get my son a prescription for antibiotics so that he could start to feel better... now he needs a blood platelet transfusion? And just like that my world began to turn upside down. I didn't want to worry him or for him to see that I was scared out of my mind... but he knew. Especially when my voice cracked when I was on the phone with Sergio. I needed him to pick up Jacob. "I'm fine," he said. "I don't need a transfusion. I'll be fine."
"They say you need more blood platelets. That your spleen is eating them all up because of the virus." I told him
"I don't need more. My platelets are just shy. They are hiding." I rolled my eyes and prayed that was true.
We get to the hospital, and a side note here, but the hospital is so much more efficient, friendly and concerned when there are children involved.
He was brought right away to the pediatric ICU and put in a room. They began hooking up an IV but had a difficult time with his arms. They said he had really thick skin. One of them commented that it was easier putting an IV in her shoe than it was putting on in his arm. Hmmm, maybe he does have weird medical conditions after all.
After I met with the doctor and went over the procedure with him, I went upstairs to see Juan. I told him what was going on (he had been getting periodic updates over the phone). He had been doing some investigating on his own (asking his nurses questions) to understand what was wrong with Alex. He asked the nurse if he could go down to see him and they said he could after he had another blood test and met with his doctor. I went back downstairs just in time for Alex to begin his transfusion. We ate dinner and I took some phone calls from people that had heard what was going on. Juan called and said he could come down but that I had to walk with him. I went upstairs to get him.
We walked into Alex's room and he greeted him with "Hey man, what are you doing here? Let's go to practice." "I know," Alex said. "I feel fine. I don't know why I can't go to practice." So, there they were. Father and son. My husband and my baby. Both hooked up to IV machines trying to tell me that everything was fine. I had to look away because I almost lost it right there. They visited for awhile, then eventually I had to take Juan back to his room. I took him up, said goodnite and headed back downstairs to pediactrics. I hung out with Alex until about 9:00 or so until Jacob got dropped off. Jacob couldn't come into the pediatric ICU, so I would have to leave as soon as he got there. I gave the night nurse my cell phone number so he could call me with the the blood test results. They were to do the test about 4 hours after his first transfusion was done (which was just after 8pm).
Oh man this post is getting long. Anyway, before Jake and I went home, we went upstairs (again) so Jake could see his dad. Security wasn't going to let him (age limit is 14, just like pediatrics) but he must have felt sorry for me when I told him my other son was in the hospital too... so he let us go up. We stayed for a little bit... then headed out. I think we stopped at McDonald's, but I can't remember. I was spent. I think we just crawled into bed the second we got home. I may have gone on the internet. I don't know. I do know that I was hoping that Tuesday was going to be a better day than Monday.
The next morning I took Jacob to school and then headed toward the hospital. On the way there they called me to tell me that Alex's numbers were good and that they were going to release him... How soon could I be there? Yay! When I got there I spoke with the doctor and he said that part of the problem was that the virus was causing Alex's blood platelets to clump and the lab wasn't getting accurate readings. But when they used a different vile to coagulate the blood they got much higher numbers. So, in other words... his platelets were actually, sort of, hiding. *sigh*
He was right!
Juan was released later that day as well. They still don't know what caused his bleeding or even where it was coming from... only that it had stopped (for now). He has to go back to the doctor for more tests.
Anyway... both came home on Tuesday and life is somewhat back to normal.
Now back to those Sharks!
Win #5, 11 to go.
They looked amazing. I thought (feared) they might come out sluggish, thinking or taking for granted that Detroit would be tired after their game 7 only two days before. But they came out of the gate strong and held on to win. I learned some things last night.
1. Sharks are resilient and have what it takes
2. Detroit is scary good. Fall behind by 3 goals? No problem. They are Detroit. Nothing is insurmountable. They eat championships for breakfast.
3. Sharks will have to be sharp, focused and completely on top of their game to win 4 of the 7 games in this series.
4. This will not be easy.... for me. I am in for a long and stressful series.
So, here is to hoping. Here is to cheering. Here is to being the last team standing at the end of this long and exhilarating journey.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
I'll take a little more of that please and a little less of games 1 and 3. It was almost stress free. It was almost a perfect game. Sure there were mistakes here and there, but everything went the Sharks way and it looked like they actually started to believe. I know I did. Do I dare?
Today is a new day, but we are one step closer to closing out this series and reaching the 25% mark of the ultimate goal... 16 wins.
I am so over the bad bounces, outstanding (opposing) goaltending and frustrations of games 1-4. Over it! Finally this team was rewarded for the superior play by having it actually reflected on the scoreboard. Finally. Whew!
The next battle? Fighting complacency. Those guys need to go into Denver on Saturday and own the place. They need to own the crowd, own the ice and ulimately own the scoreboard. Going out there half-ass will be a disaster and probably result in not only a loss and a forced game 7 but some serious injuries as well. That is the last thing we need.
I know, I just know, they would much rather be at home watching the end to other series play instead of grinding out a game 7. My husband, the bartender, would of course disagree.
"Babe, do you know how much money I can make at a game 7?"
Yeah, well it won't help much when I'm in the hospital for exhaustion and on the list for a psych evaluation. 6 games is just fine with me.
Here is to hoping. Here is to the Sharks for a job well done last night. Here is to the Sharks for realizing the job isn't over. Here is to the Sharks for knowing they will need to grind and work hard for a game 6 win.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
3 wins... 13 to go.
I couldn't be prouder. What an awesome display. Control, speed, shots going in the net.... Finally the game we've all (in San Jose anyway) been waiting for.
Deep breath. Big sigh of relief. Whooo! We did it. They did it. Amazing!
Distract myself with mindless tasks, errands and housework until 7:35pm tonight.
Sweep and Mop floors
Walk the dog
Return library book
Take husband to work (at the Tank!)
Random acts of kindness
Happy, loving thoughts
Acceptance of outcome
What am I forgetting? Oh yeah, that is the point.
Go get 'em Sharks! It is your time.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Dan Boyle scored in the first two minutes of the game to wipe off the slate from game 3 when he knocked it in his own net in overtime to give the Sharks the loss and put them down in the series 2-1. Last night though they played like the puck has never given them a bad bounce in their life. They played with confidence and did what they needed to do. I'm liking the look and feel of the way they are playing right now.
With the game tied up at 1 at the end of regulation we headed into yet another overtime game. Ten minutes into the OT our resident playoff hero, Joe Pavelski got the GWG off of a deflected pass from Doug Murray. Murray wasn't even trying to pass it. He was actually trying to dump it into the corner but if deflected off of an Avalance stick, plopped right in front of Pavelski who took no time at all to whip it to the net, right over the left shoulder and glove of Anderson. Game over!
Back home tomorrow for Game 5. I think if they keep grinding and dictating the play they should be able to pull this series off. By now they, and everyone else, should know it won't be easy. But like I mentioned above, I like the way they are playing. They aren't playing scared, intimidated hockey like they have in the past. They are actually playing step-it-up a notch playoff hockey. It is good to see. Very good.
I'm just not sure how much more I can take. I guess I have to resolve that the rest of the series and each impending series after this will be more of the same.
Oh boy. Better stock up on the wine. I think I need to start meditating as well.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The writer, Meg, actually researched curses and how to break them:
PART I - BREAKING THE CURSE
Step 1: Happy Loving Thoughts
Step 2: Random Acts of Kindness
Step 3: Trust and Faith in your Ability to Deal with Whatever Comes Along
PART II - EXORCISM
"The experts in supernatural warfare over at ghostinvestigator.tripod.com have a detailed explanation of how to banish evil spirits. Apparently there's a recipe that goes along with it, which completely surprised me. See? This is why you do research, folks. Here is the recipe:"
1 tablespoon powdered garlic
1 tablespoon peppermint
1 tablespoon ground clove
1 tablespoon dried/powdered thistle
Handful or two sweet grass, sage, or dried oak leaves
"That all seems perfectly reasonable to me. I quickly assembled my ingredients:
Garlic powder and ground cloves were easy to find. My Italian seasoning has dried sage in it, so that's another check. I didn't have any thistle, which is apparently some sort of weed, so I went outside and picked a dandelion and some other miscellaneous weed things. I'm sure the spirits will appreciate my effort. The peppermint was the toughest part, so I settled on a piece of Trident gum - this way it has the added effect of protecting the Sharks' teeth."
OMG! I couldn't stop laughing.
So, I want to play too. At least for part 1:
1. Happy, Loving Thoughts - Chris Pronger is the most handsome, virile man who's hockey prowess is legendary. He is the most amazing defensive force in all of hockey. I have been in denial all these years. It feels so good to let this go and admit the truth.
(happy, loving thoughts - check!)
2.Random Acts of Kindness - I changed the toilet paper roll in the kids bathroom and hung up both towels that were on the ground. I also picked up all of Alex's dirty soccer stuff from the garage floor and put it in the laundry. I WILL NOT yell or lecture them about these things when they come home from school. (Random acts of kindness - check)
3.Trust and Faith in your Ability to Deal with Whatever Comes Along - I will wake up tomorrow morning, after whatever outcome of game 4 comes my way, and live a full and productive day. I will make a checklist of productive things to do and check everything off of it. (Trust and Faith - check).
Exactly what I needed.
Lift the curse boys. This is your time. This is your moment. Go take it.
Monday, April 19, 2010
There can not be a worse feeling than that. Maybe only if it was a series ending game. Poor Sharks, poor Nabby and poor Danny Boyle. That one broke my heart. A 0-0 overtime game and the only goal of the night is an own goal.
There are some positives, no matter what the naysayers write or say. Of which I haven't read or listened to yet. I'm just sure they are out there writing there spew about the Sharks not showing up in the playoffs. They are wrong of course. The Sharks are very much in this series. They are playing well. They are playing "playoff" hockey. They haven't shut down as in years past. They, right now, are on the receiving end of some really bad bounces. This is why you play 7 games. Bounces cannot be going Colorado's way for all 7 games.
Sharks out shot the Avs, again, by a huge margin. I haven't checked the numbers but they were in to the 50's while the Avs were at 20-something. This is huge. This is Sharks hockey. Sooner or later those shots have to start finding the back of the net. Anderson is coming up huge, but he can't stop the rush and flurry of shots at this pace for a 7 game series. Also, Marleau will start making his presence known very soon. Maybe just when the Avs start counting him out. I'm not sure what happened to Heatly... We were guessing he got hurt in practice? He was in on the last shift of the last game... so what happened between then and now?
As for Boyle, Blake and Pickles contributing own goals? They'll get over it. Boyle will beat himself up for that one last night... but he'll be okay.
On to Tuesday for Game 4.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sometimes I get gut feelings. I get them for soccer. Sometimes I just know when it is going to be a bad day on the pitch. I also get them for the Sharks. Sometimes when I analyze them, think them through and digest them completely they don't pan out to fruition. However, when I avoid them, swallow them whole and deny their existence... we are all in trouble.
This morning I woke up nervous. A bad feeling in my stomach. Of course we have a soccer game at 5:00 and the Sharks play at 6:30, so I have a lot of analysis and acceptance to get to this afternoon.
With that aside here are some good signs I have observed over the last few days surrounding and attributed to this series. I went to lunch on Friday at Sonoma Chicken. Do you know what is the first dessert listed on their menu? Shark Attack Chocolate Puck. I'm not kidding. I had never been there before (a new one just opened up in my neighborhood) and there it was. Now, that, is a good sign.
Also, I mentioned that Jacob saw Patty at Sharks Ice yesterday before his game. I guess they were just getting out of practice (and probably heading for the airport?). Patty was chatting on his phone just outside the South Rink (players' entrance) and Jacob yelled over "hey Patty!" And Patty waved back. That has to be a good sign. We never see Patty, ever. He is one of the only Sharks whose autograph we don't have. Some of his pee wee teammates said they saw Seto as they came in and a few others said they saw Nabby and Nichol.
Other good signs are the fact(s) that every series (as of this post) is tied 1-1 (except Chicago/Nashville which has only seen one game so far). The defending Stanley Cup Champ Penguins dropped their first game (at home). The President's Trophy winning Capitals dropped their first game (at home). Vancouver lost game 2 at home and same with Phoenix. Detroit (although the lower seed but still perennial cup contenders and last year's Western Conference Champions) dropped their opener as well. Sharks aren't the only ones. Anyone's character and playoff prowess being challenged in any of those markets? Maybe not at this point but it sure draws the glare of the spotlight away from San Jose. It is always a good thing to fly under the radar of the East loving hockey media.
Another sign... just happened as I started this post. Detroit got scored on (at home, game 3) in the first 29 seconds of the game. See? We aren't the only ones. And? It wasn't even an own goal.
Along with the good I have to mention some of the bad omens that I have to watch out for. First of all I mentioned a few days before that when my son listens to the game on his clock radio they always lose. That can be avoided, I've already told him not to do it. The biggest bad omen is when a friend of mine attends games and I see it on her Facebook status. Every game that she and her husband went to a game this year and she posted on her status (via blackberry) about rockin' the Tank, they have lost. So, Irma? If you are out there. Don't get playoff tickets this year. Just stay home. Please. Also, the last two years that we have gone to the playoffs they have lost. Two years ago we went to game 1 vs. Calgary and game 1 vs. Detroit. Neither went well. Last year we went to game 1 vs. Anaheim. No more round 1 games for us. I told my husband we won't go until the Cup Finals. And even then I might want to re-think that.
Also to be avoided is listening or watching pre-game. We turn on the game 7-8 minutes after the tv start time just in time for the drop of the puck. Also excessive reading or watching highlights of game coverage (pre and post-game) and coverage of the other series games. Just check the scores.
Okay. So have a lot of things to do this afternoon. Biggest thing is to remain calm.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
"Noooooooooooooooo!!" I screamed as I slapped the ground, slipped off the couch and sat on the floor. "Come on! You can't be serious. OH MY GOD!!"
Okay, maybe I was a little over-exhuberant. Maybe. But that was a roller coaster of a ride last night and I'm just not mentally equipped for that. But apparently my children are. The Sharks had to come from behind 5 times to win last night's game in over-time. Finally I saw some playoff hockey going on. I was so scared they weren't going to show up. But they did. From beginning to end.
Now, today I hear grumblings (from Denver media and bloggers) about bad refereeing. Seriously? Now Blake (their former hero) is a dirty player? Really? Are you kidding me? Get real. This is playoff hockey. Man up or go home. Did the referee put in 6 goals against your team? Did they? Really? Exactly. Shut the %$#% up.
Okay. Now on to tomorrow for Game 3.
So, today Jacob had a game at 12:45. We get there around 12:20 and the parking was blocked off in back of the South rink. I've never seen those signs before, that there is no access during Sharks practice? I guess we are never there during practice, so whatever. I drove as close as I could to the door (next to the East Rink) and dropped him off. I went to park and he went in to the rink to get dressed for the game. He told me later that when he was walking in he saw Patrick Marleau standing outside talking on his phone. "Hey Patty!" he yelled to him and he said that Patty waved back. Coooool!
Thank goodness. I can't even speak right now. They never led in the game. Tons of flukey goals for Avs. Sharks outshot Colorado 52 to 22... that can't be right? Pavelski with the tie with 30 seconds left to go in the third. Seto with the win in over-time.
Monkey off the back.
Win #1... 15 to go.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The Sharks just have to win tonight. Not only do they need to win but they need to send a message. If they don't do either of these things I just don't know what I will do. Please understand I have been a bay area sports fan all my life. I was a child/teen of the 80's with the San Francisco 49ers. Joe Montana never lost a playoff game (not that I can remember anyway) and he never lost a Superbowl (read, N-E-V-E-R). They always won. It was exciting, it was exhilarating and it was never, ever disappointing. Then, years later with a family of my own, came along the Sharks and I fell in love all over again. My kids play hockey, my husband works at the Tank tending bar in the Club and it is a family affair. Then the last couple of years they have done so well, until, well, the playoffs. These are new waters for me. Navigating through them has been trying and difficult. I've had to adapt a whole new mentality.
So, tonight's mantra is cautious optimism. Or, carefully guarded optimism. After all, some other top seeds lost their home opener, we aren't the only ones. Pittsburgh lost. Capitals (President's Trophy winners) lost. Someone else lost. New Jersey? Detroit lost. Even though they are the lower seed and were the visiting team, they seemed to be favored and in a way an upset. So? Why not. If not now, when?
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We had a great group of kids who played the game well, got along and were a pleasure to be around. We had an equally great group of parents who were dedicated, brought their kids to practice and showed up to every game. Everyone was happy to be on the field and everyone was happy to be around eachother. To put it simply, there was no drama. For those of you with kids in sports (or any competitive activity for that matter) you know what I mean. And, you also know how rare that is.
Anyway. We'd be at the games and we would be chatting and catching up before the kick-off excited to see the boys play. The game would start and they would look fantastic. They'd be moving the ball, making plays, taking shots and defending to almost perfection. They would be dominating and we would be cheering and cheering. We would come so close to scoring so many times that it seemed divine intervention was stopping that ball from crossing the goal line. Then, at some point there would be a breakdown. The other team, who for 45-60 minutes could do nothing, suddenly takes the ball down the field and boom, bang, bing... they score. All that work, all those great plays all that great defense... gone in one swift kick of the ball. Then we would rally and they would pepper the opposing goalie with more shots... but all for not. Thus? The suffering. Oh the suffering. We were the better team, we had the better and stronger players. We dominated the game. So what happened?
This is how I feel watching the Sharks in the playoffs. The suffering. Not that they, in any way, dominated play last night. But that they have so much potential. So much strength. So much of what a successful team should have. Then, there is that eternal flame of hope that burns so brightly inside my very soul. Just like with the kids. That feeling of "this is it. This is the day they break out and the score will reflect just how great they are." And? All the build up. All the match-ups in our favor, home ice advantage, top scoring line, in all of hockey, skating around out there in, what my eyes can't believe (and still can't believe), is building up to be an epic fail. The suffering.
It is heart breaking. It makes me want to stop watching. Why do I need my heart stomped on again? I mean, if I let it go now, it will then hurt less later? Did I really think 24 hours ago that this couldn't possibly happen... again?
I don't think there is a strong enough grade alchohol available to dull the pain I felt last night. Then again? I piece of me knew. When they finally scored in the third period to tie the game I felt a sense of relief. I felt like they got the monkey off their back now they can put the hammer down and close this game out. However, as the game went on and it was nearing the end of the third I knew it wasn't going to overtime. I was "almost" not surprised when Colorado scored with 49 seconds to go. It was kind of fitting. I mean, of course they scored. Why wouldn't they?
So, here is where we stand. We still need 16 wins. We have one less opportunity to make that happen now and we still need to get that all important first one. My optimism has shrank considerably. But I still have hope. The flame won't go out until that final series loss. After all, they are such a great group of guys. They can still rally. They are so much fun to watch. The coaches are great, the announcers are great. Did you hear that crowd at the tank? They are that great team. They are. I know they are.
The suffering. Oh, the suffering.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Uggghhh that was frustrating. I don't even want to watch the next game. They had so much to prove to everyone and they did what everyone expected them to do. They choked. And? I'm pissed. Not just a little pissed. But full on pissed.
Come on. Alright I promised myself I would see this through... so I'll re-group and post a post-game / pre-game post tomorrow once I have calmed down.
Just one more thing... OMG, THAT SUCKED! GAAAAHHHH!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
And since it isn't Wednesday yet, I have to be exposed to this kind of dribble...
Dump that teal sweater with a shark chomping a hockey stick. That mean image doesn't fit the joke that San Jose becomes when the games really matter.
Wouldn't it be more appropriate if San Jose star Joe Thornton took the ice against Colorado while wearing an orange-and-white uniform featuring a cuddly cartoon from "Finding Nemo" as the team logo?
Ladies and gentlemen, please hold your applause and try to refrain from laughter until the next flop from San Jose is complete. When the NHL does spring cleaning, the first chore is to flush the Sharks.
-Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post
Gah. This is exactly what I was talking about yesterday. There is a consolation in this case, however, as it seems that this Kiszla isn't very respected in Denver. Here is one commentor's words:
"As an Avs fan who has read the Denver Post for years: Kiszla is an absolute hack. As one of the commentators put it above, he’s a professional troll. All he’s written on the Avs all season is doom, gloom and been, well a troll. Pretty much every Avs fan can’t stand him."
Oh, well in that case. Game on!
If I close my eyes and concentrate really hard, will it be Wednesday when I open them again?
Monday, April 12, 2010
28 games possible.
57% win percentage. Totally possible.
The Washington Capitals are the favorite going in. There is a lot of talk about Pittsburgh as well. Also among the early favorites is Chicago, and of course, Detroit. New faces in the playoffs this year are Colorado, Phoenix and L.A. If you would have told me last year that these three teams would be in the top 8 for the West... I would have thought for sure the Sharks wouldn't be in it at all. What about Nashville? These guys are in every year. They never quit. Then of course there is Vancouver. They were a scoring phenom this season instead of just riding on Luongo's coattails.
I'm not even going to worry about the East. There will only be one left in the end and we can worry about them after our 12th win. The goal now is to get through the west.
Early predictions from the hockey media seem to favor the Sharks in their series against the Avs. Of course they all have their little disclaimer about the team's past playoff performances. Again, we've earned that rep. So? Open mouth, add grain of salt and swallow.
I have to mention my favorite surprise media shout out of the year though. Out here in the west we are used to not getting any love from the hockey media, especially the Versus broadcasters. We get the criticism, we get the doubt and we get the scrutiny. And? We get that we get that. We even get being overlooked by the attention received by the Eastern conference. However, back in December much to my surprise Versus analyst Brian Engblom announced his Christmas wish was for the the San Jose Sharks Fans to have a Stanley Cup.
Thanks Brian! We are only 16 wins away!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
One game at a time. They say we're cursed. The NBC guy told Jumbo to wipe the smirk off his face and get serious. He also said they should be showing blood on the NBC game break visuals instead of cherry blossoms. Someone is ready for the playoffs. He wants them to start bad.
Okay. I have to say, that as much as it hurts and as much as it pisses me off, we have earned this reputation. And? The only way to overcome this unfortunate reputation and to shut EVERYONE up is to make it to that 16th win and finally lift the cup. No one really takes us serious right now. Maybe that is to our advantage. I'm fine with that. I don't even take us seriously until we can show up and play like we're supposed to. Last year, I seriously thought they played like each one of them had received death threats on their loved ones if they won. They looked sick to their stomachs which, you know, made me sick to mine.
First step is win 1 of the first 4 wins we'll need vs. Colorado on Wednesday night. I have to be honest and say this is the match up I was hoping for. If they psych themselves out of this series like they did in the first round last year... I'm going to seriously lose it. LOSE IT as in go completely mental.
Actually that isn't completely true. I don't want to get overly excited or ramped up like in the past. To many disappointments. To many let downs. There are 16 teams right now who all think they are the next Stanley Cup Champs. Deep down they know in their heart of hearts there can be only one. But there is that part of them that thinks, tonight at least, that it will be them. Whether they are players or fans, they all think it will be them. Including me.
16 wins to go. Just 16.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
The judge asked a few follow up questions about J's DUI and about Sergio's arrest back when he was 18.
Then the other 6 went through the interview. One woman, who said she was an engineer, said that when she got nervous she worried about understanding (following along) English.
Another guy said he was looking forward to hearing the evidence since it was stated that the defendant had .15 blood alcohol level and was curious how she could be anything but guilty. Again, really?
The defense attorney got up to ask questions and seemed to focus primarily on me. "I'm curious," he said. "What exactly is an inter scope technician?"
I smiled and politely corrected him. "Endoscope Technician."
"Oh," he said. "What is an endoscope technician? I know what a bartender is. Maybe I don't want to know what it is."
Laughter from the courtroom. I explained what my husband's company did and that seemed to satisfy him. Then he asked about his job as a bartender. "He must be around lot of social drinking."
"Yes," I replied.
"And, he (due to the face that he had a DUI) must drink socially as well."
"Yes," I replied.
He moved on to some of the other jurors, then the DA asked some questions. I'm racking my brain to remember what she asked me, but I, for the life of me, can't remember what it was.
What I do remember was her asking the woman who got nervous and forgot English if she would have problems understanding English if it were spoken in other accents (the DA had a slight Indian accent). She (she really cracked me up) said "yes, some."
After she finished her questioning the judge asked them to go ahead with their next peremptory challenges. The defense attorney dismissed the woman next to me.
Then, my favorite words of the day from the DA:
"The people thank and excuse Susan Castillo."
Whoo hoo! I'm done for another two years
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Now, last time I was called for jury duty I waited around almost all morning before being called into the courtroom. I got the uneasy feeling that this day wasn't boding well for me. That or the court/jury system had somehow gotten more efficient in the last three years.
After taking role, they called up the first 18 prospects. The judge explained the charges against the defendant. There were two DUI charges to which the defendant plead "not guilty."
Now, if you've ever been called for jury duty you know about the interview process. You also know that some people can go through those questions and answer them effectively and efficiently. And? You also know that there are those who start answering those questions and all of the sudden they are in therapy and start purging and purging all this unnecessary information and raising all kinds of irrelevant issues. Which only signals the therapist, er judge, to respond to each of these issues and forces him to explain the role of the juror and how the legal process works. And you know, you just know they are only bringing up all this bullshit to get themselves excused.
"Whine whine whine... blah blah blah, I don't think I could judge this person fairly, blah blah blah, I will try my best, but blah blah, whine whine..."
Ugh! Meanwhile the rest of us, well at least me, are shaking our heads, pleading for them to shut up. I couldn't help it, I got fidgety sitting there listening to some of the interviewees.
It is explained at the beginning that jurors can be excused for cause, you don't have to play it up. You can also be one of 20 peremptory challenges (10 for prosecution, 10 for defense) that are used and be excused that way.
They got through almost all of the 18 before the lunch break. And not to soon either, my stomach was making loud grumbling noises. I was getting a little embarrassed.
So, we get back from lunch, on time, as the judge and bailiff both emphasized how important for the process it was for everyone to be prompt. Well everyone was on time except for juror #10 who was a no-show. He was 20 minutes late. WTF? Seriously? We had over an hour and a half for lunch.
They finally finished up the interview process. Then the defense attorney asked some questions followed by the D.A. Then they excused three jurors for cause. Then each attorney excused 2 for their peremptory challenges. Now? The clerk called up 7 new names from the jury pool. Guess, just guess, who they called first? Yep, "number 7 Susan Castillo." I got sent right up into the top 12.
To be continued...
Friday, April 02, 2010
*I walked around the neighborhood trying to find her owners. Someone told me she belonged to the guys working on the house right behind us. No one was there, so I put her in their back yard.
Two hours later I looked outside and there she was! Right back where I found her in the back yard. Did she drop from the sky? How did she get back here? I walked around the entire yard looking for gaps or loose boards. I couldn’t find anything.
*I took her back a little bit later and talked to two guys working on the house… they said it wasn’t their dog… they were just working there.
*The next day I took her to the animal clinic to get scanned for a microchip. Success! She was chipped.
*But, then? It turned out the owners of the dog never registered with the service (Pet Finder). So, we contacted the company who implanted the chip and they traced the dog back to a breeder in Los Banos, CA. However, the breeder was no longer in business and had no forwarding phone number. All we had was the chip number, the breeder’s file number for her and her date of birth.
*She was born on November 30th, 2005. She is just a year younger than Nico (Dec 2004).
So, I posted an ad on Craigslist. Got a few responses, but none were the owner of this dog.
The next day I put up flyers around the neighborhood. Around 3 or 4 o’clock I got a call from a kid saying that he thought I had his dog. Only he couldn’t tell me if she was a male or female. I heard someone in the background saying “tell her it’s a male.” I told him it shouldn’t be a tough question to answer if it was really his dog… idiot. Really? You’re going to call me up and try and tell me this is your dog? Ugh.
*Then another call. This one from a teenage girl who told me she had lost her female yorkie and could she come see her. So, she came over and said that it was her dog. There was something not very trustworthy about her so I asked to speak with her mother or father. She walked off (we were outside in my driveway) and made a phone call. She walked back and said her mother was on the phone and that her name was Stephanie. I talked to Stephanie (right away she sounded like she was 17 and not the mom of a 17/18 year-old). She said that it was their dog so I asked if she could come over in person and that I didn’t feel comfortable giving it to the daughter.
*I left to take Alex to practice and when I came back “Stephanie” called me and said she was sending her older daughter to come get the dog that she was busy at home w/ a newborn. Me, still being suspicious (Juan didn’t believe a word out of the girl’s mouth when she was at the house) told her I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving them the dog w/o meeting her. Then the girl got back on the phone and started giving me a hard time saying “how would you feel if someone had your dog and wouldn’t give it back?”
*I told her to bring her mom over and I’d give her the dog. That I was just looking after the dog and I wanted to make sure she went back to the right people.
*Meanwhile I got a slew of calls from people who got my number from the animal clinic. Really concerned people trying to find their lost dogs. One woman told me she lost her male yorkie and did I have him. I apologized and told her “no,” that the one I found was a female. She responded “Oh, are you sure?” Um? Another woman lost her female yorkie not to far from my neighborhood, but hers was only two years old, was chipped AND was registered… so unfortunately not a match either.
*I told Juan “I’m going to be pissed if it turns out this girl is the real owner of this dog.” I wish she belonged to one of the other people that had been calling and responding to the Craigslist ad.
Anyway, I took her and Nico out on a walk and when we got back to the house the girl (I never got her name, Alex knew the girl that came with her the first time and she said they were sisters, turned out to not be true which was one of the reasons I didn’t trust her) was back with her mom.
*We (Juan and I) talked to the mom for a while and she convinced us that the dog belonged to them so I felt comfortable giving her the dog. But Juan asked her if she had spoken to me on the phone before and she seemed puzzled. She said, no, that she hadn’t talked to me on the phone, why? So we told her that her daughter had put someone on the phone saying she was Stephanie. And that also she had been here earlier with another girl she said was her sister. She seemed really put off and upset over the lies her daughter had told us.
*Anyway, long story short, I gave her the dog but I still wish it was somebody else that seemed more concerned about their dog.
*Now I am “retired” from the animal rescue business. This is our 4th or 5th stray animal that we have found at our house. I even found a turtle once in my rose bushes. Why do they end up at my house?
*I have a feeling she’ll get out again. And when she does I’m sure I’ll find her again in my back yard. Maybe next time I’ll keep her. I am retired after all. And? She really was sweet.