Tuesday, August 27, 2013

And another new favorite song...

Thank you once again, CBC Radio 2.  Yes,  I have a new favorite song.  Check out Pour a Little Poison by David Ford.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fandom - The 2013 NHL Playoff Edition

Not done yet.  Not words you normally use for a team up 3-2 in a 7 game series.  But I feel compelled to say it.  The Detroit Red Wings are not done yet.

Yes, Chicago won tonight 4-1.   They won the President's Cup Trophy, after all.  They are a very good hockey team.  They were at home.  They had the last change.  The Red Wings took a few dumb penalties.  The Blackhawks had lost three straight games coming in to game five tonight.  They were due for a win.

There are two more games in this series.  The Wings need one more victory.  Every night in this series, they have played hard.   They don't quit. They have the best player in hockey on their roster.  Let me repeat, they have the best player in hockey, Pavel Datsyuk, on their roster.  They have an amazing goalie in Jimmy Howard.    Henrik Zetterberg as a captain.  A bunch of kids playing out of their minds.  And a slew of seasoned veterans who know how to get the job done.  The future is so bright.

But for now, there are the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Red Wings are not done yet.  I told myself I would be at peace with this odd season if they made playoffs.  They not only made the playoffs, they made it out of the first round.  And they are up, against the "best team in hockey" this season, in the second.  What a great time to be a Wings fan.  A Detroit fan.

So we come back to Hockeytown on Monday for game six.  Back to our city,  with our fans filling Joe Louis Arena to cheer for our team.

Bring it on, Chicago.  We'll be ready.

Go Wings!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

New Favorite Song

Thanks, once again, to CBC Radio 2, I have a new favorite song.  I cannot stop listening to All the Little Lights by Passenger.

Have a listen:


Friday, April 26, 2013

The Bucket List, or, The Things I Never Regret Edition

I keep hearing the phrase "Bucket List" all around me.  I use it myself - particularly with regard to playing hockey or traveling.  I played at Yost.  I played in Canada.  I've been to Maine.

But what is a "Bucket List" really?   A list of things you want to do before you, ahem, die.  Things that are so important or so cool you have to write them down and check them off.  Priorities. 

If I were to make a list with those rules,  it would go like this (not necessarily in order of importance):

Go to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
Go to Ireland.
Go to Napa.
Go to Sweden.
Get a degree from the University of Michigan.
Adopt a German Shepherd.

But when you stop and really, really think about it, is  a bucket list more important than a "Things I never regret doing" list.  Like this:

Growing  and cooking as much of my own food as possible.
Spending  time with my family and friends.
Sitting in my chair with my cats.
Going to the Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Taking walks or going on a drive with my perennial dining companion.
And, of course, because it is me, moving as much as possible every day until you can't move anymore.

So I am going out to lunch with my parents tomorrow instead of staying home and cleaning my house. Which is part of another type of list - the stuff I "should be doing" list.  Lunch is after, of course, going to the Farmers Market in Ann Arbor.  And after taking a run.  Then I am making dinner, talking a walk with my husband, and watching my favorite hockey team on television.

Sounds like a good day - the kind I won't regret.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Senior Night at Yost, or the We Have a Goalie Edition

I have a thing for senior night at Yost.  My husband and I are Michigan hockey season ticket holders and I am a bit of a hockey geek.  We sit in a section near the band among the same set of season ticket holders we have for some time.  Yost is easily one of my favorite places on the planet.  And senior night is a can't miss game.  A chance to thank the seniors for four years of hard work and effort.  A chance to say goodbye to players you've watched grow and develop over four years from rookie players to seasoned senior veterans.

This season has been a little different than recent seasons.  The team has struggled to find success despite a roster of super-talented players and one of the greatest coaches college hockey has ever known.

I am always amazed at pre-season college sports polls for both hockey and football ranking a team that had  great success in the prior year very highly in the current year after a superstar senior goalie or quarterback, respectively,  has graduated.  Such was the case with Michigan's hockey team, which lost one of the most spectacular college hockey goalies of all time in Shaun Hunwick, to graduation this spring.

And the team struggled, falling out of NCAA polls. Two of the top five defensemen battled injuries as the team rotated between three goaltenders in the search to find its goalie, sometimes losing both games in a weekend series and eventually falling into the bottom half of the CCHA standings.

Then something changed.   After months of switching up goalies, Michigan put Steve Racine in net against Ohio State and swept the series in Columbus, only to return home to a two-game home stand against Ferris State.  These games would be the final regular season games for Michigan ever in the CCHA and by winning  these games, Michigan had a chance to win home-ice advantage in the first round of the CCHA tournament.  Winning the CCHA tournament being Michigan's only change to continue its streak of NCAA tournament appearances, home ice advantage, especially at Yost,is crucial.

Racine rose to the occasion as Michigan won 4-1 Friday night and again in a shoot out on Saturday night, at a Yost Ice Arena which was without the student section, due to a conflict with spring break.   Making save after sometimes spectacular save, Racine stole the game from Ferris State on Saturday night, and saved senior night for the five Michigan seniors honored that night.

Because of the effort and heart of the team, Saturday's game will not be the last game the Class of 2013 plays at Yost.  They will return to the ice next weekend to host Northern Michigan in the first round of CCHA Tournament play.  And with Steve Racine as the backstop, Michigan has a chance.  Let's Go Blue, boys.  Way to battle back, fight through the tough stuff, and win the hard ones.  And thank you, seniors, for leading the way.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winter, winter, winter

The background music in my head for the last few weeks has been the title of "Life in a Northern Town" by the Dream Academy - a song from my junior high years that I remember as somewhat bleak.  I don't know all the words.   I just sing the title and the "hey las", intended bleakness notwithstanding, and rejoice in the winter in Michigan.   I love my four-season state.    It is cold and snowy in January and all is right in the universe. 

During the winter, when there is snow on the ground under a clear night sky, the air has an almost unearthly glow.  Everything seems clean and fresh with the brisk air.  The stars in the night sky are amazingly bright.    We get to wear cool boots and hats, make fires, drink mulled cider or have hot cocoa.   Leave soup simmering on the stove.  Layer on the blankets.  Enjoy water that comes out of the tap at the perfect temperature.   Wear our favorite sweaters.  Watch hockey.

My friends in southern states think we are crazy to live here.  But I love the winter, both for itself and for the appreciation it gives me for the other three seasons.  And I would take January in Michigan over Florida in August hands down, any day of the week.  

It will be spring soon.  The crocuses sometimes bloom in late February.  Tulips and daffodils by Easter.   The frogs will be calling.  We will switch from wool to cotton and leave the heavy boots and mittens and hats in the closet.  Winter birds will transition to summer birds at the backyard feeders. We will plan the garden and ride our bikes.  The sun will warm our faces.    Baseball will become my obsession as the hockey post-season ends.

But not just yet.  We have a few more weeks of beautiful winter in Michigan.  Watch the moon glow off the snow tonight.  Spring will be here soon enough.