Wednesday, December 24, 2014

From the Slot: Wings 6 - Sabres 3

Wings finally pull their heads out of their asses, and snap their 6 game losing streak to a surprisingly hot, yet terrible Sabres team. I think it's safe to say now that they aren't trying to tank the season to get McDavid.

Kindl spontaneously combusts twice to allow the first two Buffalo goals. The second occurring on a Red Wings power play, in his first shift after being benched for sucking. Only reason he saw ice at all is because Kronwall got waxed, and now is said to have an "upper body injury." The third goal happened, and I wasn't happy about it.

Weiss scores on the PP for DET's first goal, then gets hurt on a legal, but lethal, check from that one guy. DeKeyser nets one in the second to keep the Wings in it until the third where Datsyuk makes me incredibly happy with a beauty of a pass to Z for the first goal in the third.  Which kicks off a streak of four unanswered goals where Franzen scores on his birthday (in more ways than one) and Tatar gets two for the frosting on the cake.

Merry Christmas, the Wings stopped sucking in the third, let's see what happens when they come back from break.

Jesus, this team is killing me.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Worst Thing I Could Do

"I could flirt with all the guys"

A recent road trip found me listening to the Grease soundtrack on I-69. It's been awhile since I listened to it, and despite being immersed in nostalgia, I found myself thinking, "Wow, there are some terrible messages in these lyrics!" Go back and listen if you haven't in a while. Wow.

Even with that thought in my head, I found myself identifying with a character I hadn't before. Rizzo.

"Smile at them and bat my eyes"

Not because she's mean to the ingénue of the story, not because she thinks she's pregnant, but because of some of the lyrics in her big number, "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" She is the only character in the whole musical that actually gives advice to apply to real life. Because, seriously? Saran wrap instead of condoms? No. Just, no.

I cherry pick a little bit when I think about this, but a few things resonate with me.

"I could stay home, every night."

Fuck that.

Sure, sometimes, staying at home is fun, and necessary to recharge, but I'm a single twenty something and the last thing I want to do is not go anywhere or not see anyone. It would drive me nuts!

If I want to go to a Wings game, or a show that's in town and no one can go with me, I'm going alone. You get to spend some time doing something you enjoy, with the most amazing person you know -- yourself!

I don't want to miss out on amazing life experiences because I didn't want to go alone, and neither should you.

Life is meant to be lived, and I plan to live the hell out of mine.

"Take cold showers every day"

Have you ever taken a cold shower? They suck. And they don't help.

This part is going to be sticky, so please bear with me. (Dad, you might want to stop reading here.)

Sex is the best part about being an adult. It makes up for a lot of the really shitty parts of being an adult. I make no secret of the fact that I enjoy it. With the right person, in the right situation, it is an amazing experience. It's fun, messy, and exhilarating.

I tried the whole waiting for marriage thing, and it wasn't for me. To each their own, and mine turns out to not be one person forever and ever. Since I'm fairly recently single, this is a tough one for me to adjust to.

I think this is where my personal philosophy is strongest. To each their own, as long as you are safe, not hurting anyone else, and are happy, live your life how you want to.

"... Throw my life away... That's the worst thing I could do"

I do the worst of my cherry picking of the lyrics on this one.

These lines are how I want to define my life. I don't want to live my life with regrets. I know that some parts of society will judge me for the choices I make, but, really, who cares what they think?

I know my limits, I am starting to learn what will make me happy. As a friend of mine says, "Can't stop, won't stop." Because I can't stop living life out of fear, and I won't stop living life and learning what makes me happy. I plan to find my boundaries and push them until I find the lines I know I can't cross.

I was not expecting to have all these revelations listening to a soundtrack from my childhood, but I'm glad I did. It's incredibly freeing to fully embrace who you are and want to be in the future, society be damned.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Because I Don't Shy Away from Tough Topics

As a woman in tech, I see news every day from woman after woman who has been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted at her job, conferences, walking down the street. I have many things I do to cope with that, and escape, but my favorite escape is watching sports. Hockey (Red Wings), Football (Lions), and Baseball (Tigers), in that order.

I love the Red Wings with my whole heart and soul, and the community that I have surrounded myself with on the internet related to hockey and the Red Wings is amazing. I have been especially fortunate in the last few months to find some really incredible people on Twitter, and some of those interactions have led to exchanged emails and other forms of contact outside of the world of Twitter.

You see, the group of people I follow on Twitter in my hockey list give me all the warm fuzzies. They're funny, poignant, and honest. I always have Twitter open when the Wings are playing, because I love watching the list explode with celebrations, thoughts, opinions, aptly timed photoshop jobs, and gripings about the Wings and the NHL scrolling across my screen. A friend of mine said it perfectly, "It's like watching a game with your best friends, every time." He's right, that's exactly what it feels like.

Despite this, it doesn't insulate me from stories like this, this, or this. And it's stories like these that feel like a punch to the gut, like I tweeted earlier.

Thinking on it, it makes me feel like I'm the biggest idiot in the world. Because sexism is everywhere. Though I try with hockey, I can't escape it. Especially because I'm a woman. I am immediately identified as a target simply because I have two X chromosomes. Even before the events that I linked to above came to light, I knew that sexism in sports was there, I knew. But just how bad it really is didn't hit me until today. It shouldn't have been a shock, because I've argued with men over the rules of hockey when they're wrong, and they don't believe me, because I have boobs. We look it up, and shocker! I'm right, but am I given credit for that? No.

I've had a cousin who doesn't watch hockey at all, asks me if I know who Patrick Kane is while I'm watching the Blackhawks play the Wings.

I've answered questions at the rink, and gotten looks of stunned disbelief that the chick in heeled boots knows what's going on.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

I actually hesitated at the thought of writing this post, because I am afraid of the backlash. Terrified, actually. But am I any better than the author of the Jian Ghomeshi article if I don't speak up?

I also frequently will write up a tweet or forum post, or whatever, and pause before clicking send/publish/submit. Because a) I don't want to make an idiot of myself and b) if this is shared by someone to the wrong person, am I in danger?

The fact that I have to think about part b in 2014 is depressing. Everywhere should be safe. I should be able to rant about how terrible the reffing has been this season without wondering if I'm going to be told that I don't know what I'm talking about, no matter how right I am. I should be able to profess my undying love for Pavel Datsyuk and his incredible talent on the ice without wondering if I will be taken less seriously if I do.

That's not the reality that we live in. The reality is that I can shout back, all women can shout back, but shouting back can make it worse. Every morning we wake up, shake off the dust of yesterday's awfulness and hope that more allies come out to support us, that more people will realize how wrong they are in their misogynistic views. We tell ourselves it's going to get worse before it gets better, and at the moment, the outlook is feeling pretty dim.

Better days need to be coming, because right now, the weight of the world is on our shoulders, and we can bend.

Please don't make us snap.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

What Not to Say: A Collection

There are certain times in someone's life where some serious shit is going down.

This is one of those for me. A few months ago, Adam and I decided to part ways. No details will be shared here, because it is not my way to air dirty laundry in public, but know it is amicable, and know that eventually, we will be ok.

Because of this major life event that is happening, I've had a lot of conversations with various people, and all of whom have had very different reactions. Dumbfounded, shocked, and stunned seem to be the most common. Apologetic, angry, depressed, are also common.  One very special person in my life thought I was joking, I reassured her I was not, then she joined the flabbergasted camp.

Everyone has their guesses as to why, but really it's no one's business. Coming through this has shown me that, even though divorce is much more common these days, many don't know how to speak to the person going through this, especially if it is amicable and no one has done anything wrong to make the other person leave.  This seems to be the biggest stumbling block for people.

Based on my experiences, here is a collection of things not to immediately assume or say to someone who is getting divorced. All of these things have actually been asked of me.

1. Asking if one of them is gay.

Amicable does not immediately mean that one of them is gay. If one of them is, kudos to them! But if the person you are asking is, and isn't ready to come out yet, you've just put them on the spot. You're asking them to trust you with a part of their identity that they may not be ready to share with you yet, if they ever do. And, given that you're asking them this giant question when they are already going through one of the hardest things they've ever had to, doesn't inspire much confidence in them to share that with you.

2. Affairs

As with many of the items listed here, it is totally possible that this is why a couple might be splitting up. But, again, it's none of your business if this is the case. If the person you are talking to is the one who has been cheated on, you're asking them to share something that is most likely humiliating to them. And, if you're talking to the person who had the affair, it's still probably not something they are going to share with you. Chances are that they already feel bad enough about it, and don't want to make it worse for the person they cheated on the next time that other person sees you.

3. Is it about kids?

Not everyone in this world wants to procreate, and that's ok. If it is about kids, that's about as sensitive a subject as you can get. What if they can't have kids? What if they lost a child and didn't share that information with you, but now, how do they explain it to you? They shouldn't have to. Now you've drudged up horrible memories for this person while they are already in a sensitive place. I know that's not what people are intending when asking this question, but you need to be cognizant of that before you ask if it's about kids.

4. I'm sorry.

You might want to apologize to them. That's a pretty normal reaction. Please keep it to yourself until you can discern whether or not that's something they actually want to hear. If it's the right choice, even if it's hard, and it sucks, somehow, you saying sorry may make the person feel like you're invalidating their choice, like in some way it was the wrong thing for them to do, even if it's not. The better thing to say here is to ask, "Should I say, 'I'm sorry'?" Then, if the answer is yes, feel free to say I'm sorry as much as you want.

5. Advice

Unless they explicitly ask you for advice, hold your tongue. No. Keep it in your brain. You may think you know, but you do not. You may think you're helping, but you are not. It is not your marriage, you are not in it, your advice is not wanted unless it is asked for. Period. End of story.

6. Asking for more notice

This choice sucks. This decision sucks. When you ask to have been given a sign or notice that something was wrong, you are making the situation about you. It is not about you. It is about the person grieving in front of you, asking for support. You may have wanted more notice, but it's too late for that now.

7. If the person says that they don't want to talk about it, don't.

If you feel the need to talk about it, ask the person's permission to talk to someone you trust about it, or go see a therapist. Respect their wishes. They are going through the roughest part of the storm, not you. You need to be there for them to have a shoulder to cry on, and for you to give your support to. If you don't think you can be supportive, tell them (nicely) that you don't support their decision and that they need to talk to someone else. It's kind of a dick move to say that to someone, but I would rather have someone say that to me than ask me eighty billion questions, trying to get me to talk about something I really don't feel like talking about.

8. Is there any chance of fixing it?

No. No. No. If there was, they wouldn't be telling you that they are getting divorced. Even if they end up fixing it, you asking won't make them think, "Oh, wow! You're so right! I can totally fix this!"

9. The right decision isn't the easy decision.

This decision sucks, even if it's a mutual choice to end the marriage, or if one spouse understands why the other spouse is leaving. It is a horrible thing to go through and amicable doesn't mean easy.

What someone who tells you this news is looking for is support, love, and understanding.

They're looking for someone who will ask, "What do you need from me?" or "How can I help you?"

That's what someone in this position needs.

"I'm here for you, whatever you need."

Walking in a Winter Wonderland...

Photo used under Creative Commons from Silver*Rose

We are coming up to my favorite time of year!

The holidays, the gorgeous snow, the happiness and joy of the changing of the seasons.

I love this time of year.  LOVE IT. I have a snowflake necklace, earrings, decorations. The chill in the air, sweaters, sweater dresses, snow angels, snowmen, and, most importantly, hockey.

Aaaaaaaand then last winter happened. Last winter in Michigan was absolutely horrendous. It has completely killed my love of snow. Which really sucks. Because as you can tell from the above, I frickin' loved this time of year.

I was really hoping that the despair and spite I was feeling towards winter in March would dissipate by November. Well, it's the first of November, and I am still thinking "UGH, Snow."

I am hoping that a mild winter is coming our way, so that maybe by the time fall 2015 rolls around, I will be more excited for snow. I miss being excited for this time of year.* :(

I am hoping that I am not alone.

*This doesn't apply to hockey. I am still ridiculously thrilled that the season has started. And, oh my god, did you see last night's Wings game?! WHAT.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Future Finished Basement Decor

Some facts to start us off.
  1. I am a huge Detroit Red Wings fan.
  2. I have a giant basement that I am working on turning into "The Wings Zone"
  3. I have been in love with Datsyuk since I was 14. Not really relevant, but important all the same.
So, keeping those in mind. Here is my basement. Please ignore the mess, big storms here last night and I was trying to corral the dogs while we waited out the storms.

That's a lot of blank wall to fill, and it took some time to come up with the perfect idea. The winning choice? A team photo from every single Stanley Cup win the Wings have ever had, as well as a pennant from every one as well.

Which is a FABULOUS idea. (In case you were wondering) The only problem is that the merchandising really wasn't there for the first seven Cups the Wings took home. I could get into a whole debate about over-merchandising, but no.

I started my search for the pennants last year, and I gave up, well, today. But I was able to procure pennants for 1997, 1998, 2002, and 2008 when I started searching last summer. If pennants exist for the first seven, and you have one you're willing to part with, let me know. Please. I promise money and cookies of your choice.

So, after one last search this morning on the Ebay machine, I fully decided to put my mad crafty skillz to work. I've never been a whiz at Photoshop or Illustrator, but I thought I would try getting my ideas down digitally this time, before rushing off to buy felt to make these bad boys.

For those keeping track, the pennants I need to design and create are 1936, 1937, 1943, 1950, 1952, 1954, and 1955.  I want these to be as authentic as possible, so I hit up to get the varying logos as they've gone through since becoming the Detroit Red Wings in 1932. (Not familiar with their history? Check out a brief written history here)

Since I didn't have to redraw their logos, all I had to worry about was the font. I went with American Typewriter (I'm using CS4, which is also why there is white behind each pennant, my copy doesn't let me save as a PNG). It gives it a nice classic feel, but won't be an exact match to the font or fonts that the Wings may or may not have been using then. (This avoids heated discussions with people who have a greater opinion on this than I do :) )

For the first two (1936, 1937) I decided to use the logo that (according to Sports Logos) was only used in 1932-1934. I chose to do this for a couple reasons. First, I wanted to, they're mine and I'm going to have to look at them when I'm making them and hanging out in my basement. Second, variety. I wanted to have as much of the Wings history represented in my epic basement.

I only used the logo that the Wings used 1934-1948 once, for their 1943 Stanley Cup win. I'm not a big fan of this particular version, but, traditionalist here. Plus, desire for variety and complete representation, I included it.

With the 1950 pennant, you might have noticed that I went from a black binding to white. If you look at the pennants I bought, you'll see that there are three with black binding and one with red. Given that I have a solid red background for all of these, having a red binding seemed silly, but I wanted to keep the trend of three black, one in a different color. So, white it is.

In 1948 the Wings adopted their current logo and haven't changed since, with the exception of special cases like Winter Classics, etc. So the rest of the logos will be the same, but varying sizes.

I tried to make each one a little different, but wanted to keep it simple, since I will be cutting these out and sewing them down. I really like how they all came together and each have some spunk and individuality from each other.

I feel like I had a very productive day, getting these designed. Next step, getting enough felt and getting these put together. I am under no impression that I might not change or twiddle with something as I am making them. Because I frequently twiddle with anything and everything when I'm working on a project. Let's just hope that I don't screw it up when I do!

But, I mentioned earlier that this won't be complete without the team photos from every Stanley Cup team. Well, here is where the Ebay machine didn't fail me! I managed to find an 8x10 of every. single. Wings. Cup. team. YES!

I'll post as I make the pennants, as well as the final products as I finish them. Then, of course, the hanging of all the awesome on my basement wall. Which will be awhile, mold and water problems... woo!

Huge thanks to for having what I needed to make digital design much easier, and to Clark at for his input on the designs, validating that what I thought looked good didn't, in actuality, suck.