Cancer Sucks

September 27, 2009 at 4:01 am (Uncategorized)

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

My friend Ellen has cancer. She has a lump in her breast, one of her lungs collapsed, and it’s in her spine. She is 67 years old. Her birthday is the same day as my son’s.

She is a sheep farmer. I used to be a vet tech before I became a mom. She is a strange lady and I use the word strange with love. One day she waltzed into the clinic announcing that she would soon be going to Africa, would anyone be interested in watching her sheep while she was gone?

I grew up in the city. I knew nothing of farms. It was always something I wanted to do. I love farms, I love the idea of being responsible only to yourself. I love the satisfaction of working outside in the elements. I told her, “if you will teach me what to do, I will watch your sheep.” Thus began a beautiful friendship.

I had a border collie who needed to learn a job. The city really isn’t a place for that breed. Walks, agility class, and the dog park just isn’t enough for a dog that smart. He took to the sheep as instinctually as he should, and interestingly enough, so did I. I found great satisfaction in that work. I found a peace I never knew. What was meant to be a three week gig turned into a five year job and a lifelong friendship. I just hope the lifelong part lasts a bit longer.

Ellen is a cool customer. She is a virologist by training but could give Bear Grylls a run for his money. She taught this city girl how to bale hay, drive a tractor, just about every intricacy of how to run a sheep farm, the ins and outs of border collie training, and many other important farm facts. Not to mention life lessons.

She also gave me the best compliment ever. “Jennifer, you are quite the character.” Dude, anyone can tell you that you are cute, funny, smart, or any other random thing. To be called a character in my thirties? I got it goin’ on people.

She is positive. She is a fighter. She is confident that she will beat this. It sounds bad. I am not ready to lose her. I am scared. This really sucks.


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Gary Bettman is a douche

September 1, 2009 at 3:31 pm (Uncategorized)

Yes, I am not telling you anything you don’t already know and yes, I am going to blame him for this.

I was really hoping that Comcast and DirecTV would magically work things out before midnight. Alas, I clicked 603 this morning to find the super awesome screen of terror that informed me I no longer had Versus. Not a surprise but I am still pissed.

Even with Center Ice, the games broadcast on Versus are blacked out. Yes, this means playoff games too. Thanks to this, even less people in the US have access to hockey. WTG Gary, good job.

Yesterday with the firing of Paul Kelly and all the other NHLPA stuff that makes me extremely nervous, I was also directed to this which in my understanding means that the players’ association can reopen the CBA NOW if they so desire. Which means this October we’ve all been yearning for could be one without hockey.

I suppose I am jumping to extremes here in both cases. It is very likely a deal will be worked out with Versus and DirecTV in the immediate future with WEC, PBR, College Football, and other sports in addition to the NHL being affected. It is also very likely that a year without hockey will not happen again.

But I’m a pessimist. And Gary Bettman has fucked up the NHL pretty badly. And just when you think it has hit an all time low (you don’t have to wear a tin foil hat to realize the scheduling of the SCF was skewed against the Wings), it gets worse.

I’m thinking I should probably familiarize myself a bit more with the KHL and European leagues. Or maybe even hope the Preds On The Glass nightmare scenario happens (what the fuck is wrong with that sentence?).

I like hockey. I like it even better when I can watch it.

When is the destruction of the NHL going to finally be enough?

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I Like to Read

August 29, 2009 at 3:39 am (Uncategorized)

A lot.

I will read anything, and I seriously mean anything.

I really like to read comic books but I am far behind on everything except for The Walking Dead. That sentence is very sad to me because I was once caught up on all my books. People think comics are lame or for kids or nerds (well they are sort of right on that one), but some really badass stories are being told in comics. I mostly read Marvel, some Dark Horse, and a smidge of DC. Preacher was my all time favorite comic, followed closely by Planetary. I just like some weird dark shit. Shocker.

I enjoy what most people would consider GOOD books as well. I think I am fairly well read. No, I was not an English major (Art History, just as useless), but I have read most of what people consider the classics. I am a fan of the Bard. I named my dog Dante for fuck’s sake, not because of Kevin Smith, but because I like The Divine Comedy. I like dystopian literature, science heavy non fiction – particularly about bacteriology and virology, WWII history, medieval literature, things of that nature. I always thought I was kind of a snob when it came to what I read. I didn’t want to be caught dead reading Harlequin romance or the latest grocery store paperback/best seller Oprah book/phenomenon.

Yeah, I was wrong. I will read anything. This became obvious to me when last year on Facebook I kept seeing Edward Cullen shit. I wondered, “who the bloody fuck is Edward Cullen?” I went to Pittsburgh last summer to visit my grandma and every single person on earth was reading Breaking Dawn. So I scoped it out at B&N and voila! Edward Cullen. So I thought, “I have to know what this shit is about.” Really, Jen, really? If you haven’t read them, from a literary standpoint, they’re not good. The last one is horrid. Did I enjoy them? Yes. I suck.

This became even more apparent when I got the Kindle app. I will read anything. If it’s free, I will read it. Embarrassing things. Holy hell.

I think this entry is a confessional. Some sort of residual Catholicism.

Anyway, I am out of stuff to read. I am reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies right now. It’s entertaining enough but I waited so long for it that I think I psyched myself out too much. I think I will buy Duma Key on Kindle because I don’t care if he is not a literary genius, Stephen King is the shit. He writes stories that have great characters and I like to read them. I just finished What it Means to Be a Red Wing – total greatness. I SHOULD have The Kalevala and Lost Season coming soon from Paperback Swap. But I need some ideas. Anyone? Like I said, I will read anything.

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This DirecTV crap

August 25, 2009 at 4:07 pm (Uncategorized)

I am pissed.

I didn’t have cable or satellite for a long time. If we wanted hockey we had to work for it. Internet, bars, whatever. Then we got a Deacon and it was a lot harder. So we got DirecTV. Now this.

When I ordered DirecTV, I specified that I was interested in Versus. That I wanted hockey. Yeah I can get Center Ice (and I will, but I was hoping to wait a bit and get it when it’s cheaper. Because I am, well, cheap). I don’t want DirecTV (well actually Comcast) to force me to pay a jillion dollars for Center Ice, I’d rather make that decision on my own.

I called DirecTV today. The customer service rep I talked to didn’t even know what I was talking about. He had no clue that they were possibly losing Versus. He was, however, also a hockey fan, and totally pissed off. He looked something up (which means absolutely nothing, he probably finished his game of free cell) and said there will be compensation. You bet your ass there will be. I have a year and a half left on my current contract. I can’t switch. I am fucked. But I am calm, persuasive, and tough. So we’ll see how this all works out.


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So I guess I am ready

August 23, 2009 at 10:38 pm (Uncategorized)

I have a draft tomorrow and I did some tweaking on my player rankings. I will start freaking out in approximately 3.2 hours. Then I have two more to go, the most important one next Sunday at 8 central. Important because I am the defending champion in a group full of shit talking guys and I am a competitive bitch. We’ll see how it goes. I can adjust rankings five million times and still end up with a shitty team. I need to keep telling myself that it doesn’t matter how much I stare at my rankings or my team, it’s just fantasy football.

But it’s not JUST fantasy football damn it!

I have been avoiding hockey news because even though I have ADD and my mind needs to be multitasking at all times, I am finding it hard to focus on football while concurrently flipping out about the Wings. Maybe it’s just because Deacon turns three next week and it just seems impossible that three years have passed already.

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Okay, I lied

August 23, 2009 at 12:36 am (Uncategorized)

I am really shitty at blogging. Either I will bombard my blog or I will abandon it. I will over-evaluate everything I write and deem it to be unworthy to be read by anyone and leave it as a draft (there are about 10 currently). Just so we’re clear here. Once I get my fantasy football drafts done and Deacon’s 3rd birthday party thrown I may actually have some things to say. I also know how to use proper grammar and punctuation but fail to do so most of the time. Don’t bother correcting me, it’s just how I roll, we’re not being graded for blogging.

Right now pretty much all I have to say is that people are disappointing. Not the grand majority of people I know and I’m sure that nobody who is actually reading this falls into that category. But those of you who ARE reading this know to whom I refer. Soon to be former brothers in law, self absorbed bitches with personality disorders, you know, people of that nature.

Oh and I’m running again. I got a sweet deal on a barely used treadmill and it’s awesome. Not gym awesome but good enough and will therefore save me $$. Even though D likes the Y, I prefer frugality. I ran 1.5 miles today which isn’t far enough (shit, nowhere is far enough some days), but it is pretty good considering I was all jacked up on Flexeril and Vicodin two weeks ago wondering if I’d ever walk upright again.

Oh and read The Boys of Winter by Wayne Coffey. Now.

I have some football scouting to do. That’s what I am calling “sitting on my ass while drinking” anyway.

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August 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm (Uncategorized)

I do have some things I would like to talk about at some length – the NHL investigation into the Hossa and Pronger contracts (seriously, if the Flyers are penalized it should be for stupidity, not for cap circumvention), Bettman, Balsillie, and the Coyotes situation, and some other miscellaneous hockey tidbits. I had every intention of doing so right now but I threw out my back earlier today and I am on muscle relaxers and during the course of typing this I have realized that I cannot at this time spell. Nor can I form coherent thoughts. So I am going to lay on the couch and read some vampire porn (no, not Twilight, Charlaine Harris, or Laurel Hamilton. Something much much more embarrassing) so yeah. Tomorrow.

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Jean Claude Van Damme

August 2, 2009 at 1:32 am (Uncategorized)

Originally posted 10/12/08

van damme Pictures, Images and Photos

I was looking for a picture of him doing the splits between two chairs because he seriously finds a way to do that in every single movie he is in, right? But I’m lazy and this is the best I can do for right now.

I kinda love Jean-Claude Van Damme. In that cheesy sort of way. I do realize he is a massive d-bag and not at all cool and that they should have made him stop making movies about 15 years ago, but whatever. He used to be hot.

We were at Target the other day and you know how they do those multi-pack DVDs now? Well they had a Jean-Claude Van Damme one. It had Kickboxer, Replicant, and Universal Soldier on it. Ehhh… not quite. If it had the trifecta of Kickboxer, Bloodsport, and Universal Soldier, I would have bought it in a fucking heartbeat, despite the “you should have mentioned this to me BEFORE we got married,” comments from the peanut gallery. Those three movies are freaking awesome and YOU KNOW IT.

When I was like sixteen I thought that maybe I could be Jean-Claude Van Damme’s seventh or eighth wife someday. He was HOT, come ON!

And he starred in Bloodsport. OMG I could watch that movie over and over. The funny thing is, ever since I became a mom I cannot watch UFC. I can’t watch actual guys actually beat the shit out of each other anymore. I can only watch “sports entertainment” and movies like Bloodsport. Yeah it is stupid but it is based on an actual guy and features an Oscar winning actor which is more than most ridiculously stupid movies can say. It also features what is quite possibly the worst soundtrack of all time.

And he was the KICKBOXER. Just a hard luck dork who watched his brother suffer at the hands of that vicious fuck Tong Po, so he had to go to a far away country and learn the art of Muay Thai (kinda Karate Kid rip off style) in order to exact his revenge. I’m sorry but Kickboxer is a badass and totally stupid but extremely entertaining movie.

My brother and two of his friends and I went to see Universal Soldier the day it came out. We knew this would be box office crap (which meant gold in our opinions) because it also featured Dolph “I Will Break You” Lundgren. And it did not disappoint. It was completely laugh out loud hilarious with some awesome fight scenes and explosions. That movie rocks. We were the only people in the theatre that afternoon. We might possibly be the only people who actually paid to see that movie.

Zac thinks that Timecop is Van Damme’s masterpiece. I disagree. Yes it had more plot than most of his movies and actually was his highest grossing film I believe, but I thought it was fucking stupid. Who cares if his acting was best in that movie? He’s not supposed to be a good actor. He’s supposed to kick some ass and look pretty in front of explosions and fire. This is what makes movies good to me. Actually here is the perfect formula: Kurt Russell + Natural Disaster + Explosions = Awesome Movie. I think Zac just likes Timecop because Mia Sara was in it.

I have not seen Replicant so I cannot comment on that. It’s later Jean-Claude Van Damme and I suspect his movies do not get better as the years go on. I think the last one of his films that I saw was Double Team which is perhaps the worst movie ever. Dennis Rodman is in it, okay? Mickey Rourke is too but we’re talking alcoholic, nobody will employ me, pre-Marv Mickey Rourke.

I am pretty sure I just talked myself into buying the DVD.

**Oh hey wow! Look how far Mickey Rourke has come since I wrote this. I have always loved Mickey Rourke. See, I didn’t even talk shit about him being in a JCVD movie.

I should add that I went to Blockbuster to see if EA NHL 09 was for sale (used) today (because 2K9 sucks balls). They had their usual 3/$20 deal and I got two for Zac and one for me. I ALMOST bought JCVD. Nothing has changed since I posted this originally.

Ok, if this is my last post, I really better get on writing an actual one. About hockey.

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August 2, 2009 at 1:24 am (Uncategorized)

This was originally posted 2/2/09 and it’s heartbreaking. So skip it if you already read it or if you don’t want to cry.

Well this was supposed to be about fun stuff and thingeys. But I haven’t posted to it in forever anyway.

In April of 2000 I got a 7 week old Border Collie/Springer Mix and I named him Dante. I heard about the litter through a friend and I called Zac and asked him if I could get one because I knew if I went to look at them I would not be able to not bring one home. I drove in 13 inches of snow with it still coming down to go look at them.

There were nine in the litter and all the females were spoken for which was fine with me, I’m more of a male dog person. There were tricolors but I am a black and white dog person too. They were all adorable but she went to feed them and the rest of them all looked clueless except for one who was all, “Food! FOOD! FOOD!” That was the one for me. In hindsight I should have known that food would be his true love for the rest of his life. When I picked him up he smiled. I knew it was meant to be.

They weren’t ready for a few days and when I went to pick him up he totally remembered me. We never had any of those weird puppy transitional things, he knew he was home and he knew he belonged to us.

I took him everywhere with me, he was totally our child. Luckily I worked for a vet because this allowed me to bring him to work with me. No dog was ever more spoiled. Or loved.

He was the most psychotic little thing. Super high energy doesn’t even begin to cover it. I remember being mortified at puppy school – he had no idea he wasn’t supposed to just romp around. But a few months later when we started obedience it was clear that he was highly intelligent. He was always the rockstar in class and we went very far. It was something we loved to do together.

Back to food… He was an expert at clandestine food stealing. He could just sail right past you and grab food out of your hand without you even knowing it which is how he got the nickname Dante McMuffin. There was also the chicken curry incident (which made him have red poop for three days) and various other humorous thieving.

When he was about two we started working on a sheep farm – a job he was designed for. Oh how he loved it. He was a natural. He learned the ropes easily and was always there to protect me if a ram got out of hand. He was a little stupid around the lambs though. I think he thought they were other dogs. Most of all he loved the other dogs. Snap, Mist, and Kelpie were his ladies. I think the best times of his life were spent on that farm.

He also learned how to pull a sled. He was great at that too. He had a hot pink harness, very manly. 🙂 It was hilarious to watch a team of huskies and a dog that looked like a giant overgrown Border Collie.

He was super smart and good at everything he tried. I know I am probably overthinking it and bragging but I would venture to guess he knew about 500 words of English. You could tell him anything and he would do it.

He had serious allergies. He was sick his entire life. It started around four months. I think he spent most of his life with an ear infection. He was allergic to everything. Including humans. But for the most part it didn’t stop him from being the happiest dog in town. He could win a wiggliest butt contest any day. His entire back half would wiggle. Greatest thing ever.

My son was born in August of 2006 and always has been in love with Dante. This kid was born to love dogs, he is just amazing with them. His first word was Dante.

In June of 2007 he got very sick. First he had Pseudomonas which was really hard to treat and later he got Lyme disease despite using preventive measures. We didn’t think he’d make it through that, but he did. He was a fighter and he wasn’t ready to leave us.

But now he is. On Wednesday he will be leaving us forever. And it is time. It’s probably been time for a long time. I love him so much. This is one of the most heartbreaking decisions I have ever had to make. And I know that it will be okay for all of us. He will not be suffering anymore. And he will always live in my heart. But it is so hard. SO HARD. I don’t know why they can’t just live healthy and strong lives forever.

So if you’ve read this far, thank you. Thank you for reading about what makes Dante so special. He is a once in a lifetime dog. I will love more dogs in the future but they won’t be Dante. And the process of letting him go is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am still not sure how I am going to explain this to my son. I will tell him the truth in the least scary way. Our lives will have a hole for awhile. I know we are making the right choice but it doesn’t make it any better.

I love you Dante and I will forever.

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As I am still figuring out WordPress

August 2, 2009 at 1:21 am (Uncategorized)

I shall import some of my old stuff and thingeys because I am well, lazy. I want the Dante post here because I miss him. I’ve been thinking about him a lot and Deacon’s been talking about him a lot. I want another dog but we’re just too busy right now and I don’t want ANOTHER dog, I want that dog. I’m not ready yet. I’m also going to put some other random stuff in here so you have something to read until I get my shit together. I’m talking to you Jen as you are the only person reading this. LMFAO.

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