Monday, December 7, 2015

So long, for now.

A lot has happened since I first started blogging here at Fondant is Gross. I've moved several times, a couple of break-ins, changed careers, and so much more.

As I've grown and changed, I've found the limitations of the title I chose four years ago. So, to that end, I've decided to stop blogging here at Fondant is Gross.

I need to take a step back, think about what I want to focus on, and come up with a name that can be more diverse as I grow and change, because I don't intend to stop doing either of those things! This is good bye only to Fondant is Gross, not to blogging or writing in general. I have some ideas to move forward, but what I don't have is time to really flesh that out.

You'll know when I come back, especially if you follow me at @redwingsdiva87. I will still be tweeting there, even though I'm not writing actively on a personal blog. And, of course, I will tweet the new blog when I figure it out.

Thank you to those of you who have been with me over the last four years. It's been one helluva ride.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

From the Slot: On Johan Franzen

Look, we all have those things that we are passionate about doing, whether it's good for us or not.

I have a friend who's running through an injury because she has a goal to run a 15K this year.

I've been guilty of it myself, running through knee injuries, playing softball through arm issues, but there is one place everyone should draw the line, and that's head injuries.

Second Impact Syndrome is a real, and very serious condition that could at worst, end your life, and at best, turn you into a vegetable.

Franzen had been out since January of 2015 with a serious concussion. Not his first, and actually the latest in a long line of concussions for him. He gave an interview where he said that he spent two months being unable to pick up his kids.

But somehow, a week after he tells Brad Galli he sometimes still has to sleep for 4 hours after a hard workout, he's approved to come back and play?

Fans seem a hell of a lot more worried about this than the team, especially given that he was cleared and has played in the first few games of the 2015-16 season.

We know there are a lot of things to take into consideration, but shouldn't your health be number one? Being able to play with your kids? Spend time with your wife?

In my personal opinion, it is irresponsible, and probably reckless endangerment or neglect, for the Wings Organization and/or the League to let him continue to play.

If the Wings want to be known as an organization who takes care of their players, then step up to the plate. Eat the cap hit, or put him on LTIR, just make sure he stays alive.  Like many fans, we don't want another Jiri Fischer situation that turns out so much worse, because this is most definitely going to end that way if Franzen keeps playing.

Be happy with the career you had, it's not worth your life to keep trying to come back.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

From the Slot: The Day Dino Ciccarelli Broke My Heart

When I was six or seven, my younger brother started to play hockey. It's the first time I remember being aware that the Red Wings existed. It's '93, '94, and Dino Ciccarelli had been with the Wings for a year or two. He was my favorite player. Being that age, and not really knowing hockey, I don't really know why he was my favorite. But he was. When my Mom ironed on numbers onto my t-ball jersey, I chose 22. Can you guess why?

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Kocur Foundation Softball Tournament, and Ciccarelli was on the guest list. I was very excited, and, being oblivious (plus my age when he was playing), I didn't know that he had a reputation for being a dick, and other parts of his off ice dealings.

So, I went to the tournament hoping to get many players' autographs, and among them, I wanted Ciccarelli's because he was my first favorite player. Before I learned better and Yzerman reigned supreme until his retirement.

A majority of the day, I spent with friends, the boyfriend, and their kids. We gathered around the fence of the celebrity dug out, and waiting behind the bleachers for the players going back and forth from the VIP area, and the dugout.

It felt... weird.

I was under the impression that in addition to supporting a great cause that part of the day was fan interaction, and it just felt like that wasn't what the players felt like that's what they signed up for. When most of the players and other celebrities were interacting with the fans, they were smiling and nice. But, for most of the games, they all stayed on the field because they didn't want to have to listen to people saying their names over and over again. And really, I can't blame them for wanting to just hang out, but if part of the event is touted as fan/player/celebrity interaction, then they hopefully understand the crowd of people around the dugout. Or maybe have designated signing times like McCarty and Ted Lindsey did.

One person, although he did sign things, and I eventually got an autograph, seemed like he didn't want to be there. I don't think I need to tell you who it was.

You see, even though he was there to play softball for a good cause, and (supposedly) for the fan interaction - I was there to meet someone I had idolized as a kid. That's a big expectation for me to carry in when meeting a fellow human.

Not that there is ever a reason to be a jerk to someone, but I feel like we place an unrealistic burden on athletes. Look at all the times that the athletes we idolize have let us down in just the last year or two. Currently, the hockey world is being rocked by rape allegations against Patrick Kane. Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Sam Ukwuachu, Slava Voynov, Semyon Varlamov, Michael Vick, Aaron Hernandez, all of these athletes have been convicted or accused of doing horrible things. And that's just hockey and gridiron football.

When these humans screw up, or aren't what we idealize even in small ways, we get upset. Which is why I left the tournament yesterday feeling uneasy and unsettled by my interactions with Mr. Ciccarelli. I (subconsciously) expected this hockey player from my youth to be the man I saw on TV, not to be a human that has faults, thoughts, and feelings of his own.  To an extent, I'm responsible for my own disappointment yesterday.

To that same extent, we are responsible for some of our disappointment in these athletes when they don't live up to our expectations.  Not that that excuses the behavior of the humans we place on pedestals when they assault someone, or murder them, but we need to remember that the teams we watch, the people we look to, cheer for, are humans. They make mistakes like we do, and we need to remember that.

I think we'd all be a little less shocked when athletes and celebrities aren't what we expect or do bad things if we just manage to remember that they are human and maybe put a little less of our expectations on their shoulders.

Monday, January 19, 2015

From the Slot: Undrafted Players and the Hockey Hall of Fame

A question has been nagging at me: who is the first un-drafted National Hockey League player in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Well, the fast answer is the entire 1945 class of inductees.

But let's pretend we want to delve a little deeper and set a few parameters.

In 1963, the The National Hockey League Amateur Draft was the first entry draft to the NHL. Previous to that, players were found and signed by teams on their own.  Only North American players were drafted in the original conception of the draft, and even when European players began to defect to North America, they were ineligible for the draft and usually initially played for the team that helped them leave their home countries.

Peter Stastny. Photo Credit here.
The draft continued in the original fashion until 1979, when the NHL absorbed the World Hockey Association, and the rules changed so that any North American player from 18-20 years old and any European player of any age can be drafted in the newly termed NHL Entry Draft.

With players of all nationalities eligible for the draft, Tomas Jonsson (Sweden) became the first drafted European player as the 4th pick in the second round (29th overall).

The following year, Peter Stastny defected from Czechoslovakia with his brother Anton after winning the European Cup in Innsbruck, Austria. Having never been drafted, but played in the NHL with the now (sadly) defunct Quebec Nordiques,  the New Jersey Devils, and the St. Louis Blues, he becomes eligible to become the first un-drafted player to be inducted to the HHOF, and indeed, he did so. In 1998, three years after retiring in a Blues kit, Peter the Great was inducted into the HOF with Roy Conacher, Michel Goulet, and Athol Murray becoming the first un-drafted player in the HHOF by this definition.

Some of you might cry foul and say that Bj√∂re Salming was the first un-drafted player inducted. But, given that he wasn't eligible to be drafted before his rookie year in the NHL (six years before the draft rules changed), he was disqualified to be the first un-drafted inductee in the context of my question.  It's only fair that the first be after everyone is eligible for the draft, and given that European players weren't eligible in 1973 to be drafted, well, you get my point.

Regardless of whom you feel is the rightful first un-drafted NHL Hockey Hall of Famer, there is quite the illustrious list of un-drafted NHL players in the HHOF.  Eddie Belfour, Dino Ciccarelli, Joe Mullen, Adam Oates, the list goes on.

Only goes to show you that not being drafted isn't the end of the world.

Sources here, here, and here

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Mission to Civilize, er, I mean Decorate

After I finished the master and moved back in, I wanted to finish up decorating the rest of the house. There was a wall in the dining room, two walls in the living room, and some spaces smaller spaces in both rooms as well as the bathroom I wanted to finish.

The easiest was the dining room. Found this great painting at Meijer that coordinated well with the curtains.

Plus, I already had some pictures from my trip to Ireland framed, just not hung. Well, now they're up on the wall, under the photo I purchased at 500px of a waterfall at Yellowstone.

The living room was up next. Previously, there was a wall of wedding photos, and a smattering of photos on another wall. Some of those photos were Adam's, so I packed them up for him to have. 

This is a big wall though, and it took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to do there. 

First step, though, was moving my running photos to one wall.

Then, after much pondering, I saw some crayon art, and then I thought, "Perfect! I can totally do that!"

And I did. But now that that was decided, what was it going to be of? I settled on tributes to my biggest fandoms. Doctor Who, Harry Potter, M*A*S*H, and the Detroit Red Wings.

You'll notice that the M*A*S*H canvas is not crayon art. Good job! Cause it's not. It's pastels. It was too intricate to melt wax all over the place. It was my first time working with those as well, and I think it turned out rather nice. 

Plus, it takes up the entire wall, done!

Up next in the living room, I printed up some photos and dropped them into three photo collage frames.  That wasn't a hard decision, I knew I wanted more photos of my family and friends where they had been previously. Just in different frames and sizes.

Lastly, over the bay window I got a new display to replace the one that went with Adam. Plus, the red flower matches the dragonfly curtain!

Last tiny space to decorate, the people we bought the house from had left nails in the wall in the big bathroom. After being empty for two years, I decided to fill them.

As luck would have it, I passed an end cap at Meijer that had these two cute ceramics on clearance. I was sold!

I've been so pleased with how everything has turned out. I walk into my bedroom and smile because it's SO pretty.

I sit in my chair to watch TV, I look up, I see the art I worked so hard on.

I walk through and see all these touches I've added, and it just makes me so happy. I've got a big, goofy grin on my face all the time up in here!

P.S. If you don't catch my reference in the title, go check out Newsroom. First season is awesome.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Remodeling the Master Bedroom - IT'S SO PRETTY!

Before I moved back into the master bedroom, I wanted to change it up and really make it my own.

Plus, there was a giant hole from Tesla in the wall. She went charging down the hall about two years ago, lost control, and slammed her behind into the wall, leaving this hole.

There was also a crack that needed to be fixed.

And, honestly, all that sponging was a PAIN, so I didn't want to have to do it again, although it would have been quicker, most likely, than repainting the entire room. 




I went with a Royal Peacock Blue from Behr, and Citron Lovely Lattice Curtains over the windows. My paternal grandparents had given me a rocking chair, and I had an old TV stand type thing that matched. 

Since I got rid of the bed frame, and moved the bed, there was enough space for both next to the bed. 

It gave me some room to play with some more decorations, and here is the finished product.

Wide views:

And some close ups of my favorite parts:



Sunday, January 11, 2015

A DIY Sunday or, Hell Yeah, I'm a Badass!

I've been on a kick of home decoration and home improvement since about mid-December 2014.

But I'm going to start with my accomplishments from this weekend, because today's work is what makes me feel extra, super fricken awesome.

Yesterday, I decided to take out the shower door in the master bathroom and put in a curtain. The door hasn't closed properly in a long time, and attempted hacks to make it stay shut had failed. I took out all the screws, but I could NOT get one of the screws out, even with things jammed under the door to attempt to give me proper leverage. I figured, well, I'll just put some of the screws back in and wait until I can get someone to hold the door for me. But, lo and behold, the door stayed shut! 

I never use the shower in there, but it was irritating to try and open the door to the bathroom at 3 am and have it slam into the shower door that's hanging open. So, BAM problem solved. The magnet on the door realigned with the magnet on the frame and it stays shut. Excellent.

That was it for yesterday's DIY home improvement, but this morning I woke up and after lazing in bed for a couple hours (be jealous) I kicked into action and headed out to Home Depot. Today is the day that I would change a shower head for the first time, put in a shower caddy, and replace the garbage disposal (also for the first time). 

First up, the shower caddy. Super easy, but pro-tip: read the directions all the way. I didn't read all the directions, and was super pissed when the pole kept slipping off the spring. Had I put the little caps on both ends of the smaller pole before sliding into the pole with the spring in it the first time, it would have worked the first time. Figured that out fairly quickly, fortunately, but much cursing.  

Next: the shower head. (dun dun dun!)  The old shower head came off super easy, didn't have to use the pipe wrench at this point, just used my hand - awesome! I put the plumber's tape on the threads to help prevent leaks, and was ready to go.

I followed the directions to get the shower head on - again - easy. Turned on the faucet, pull the shower trap, aaaaaand.... nothing. Nothing would come out of the shower head, at all. Turned it off, turned it on again, off, on, off, on, off. Nothing. Whaaaaaaat?! I take off the shower head, but leave the pivot joint on. Try again. Nothing. The mystery deepens!

I took the pivot joint off. Turned the shower on again, still nothing. Called my dad to ask him if he had any ideas. He had me check for leaks behind the pipes, feel to see if there was any air coming out of the shower arm when I had the shower on, and a couple other things. Nothing.

It turned out to be something super small.

See this?

Welp. That was from the old shower head and it needed to go. Yanked that bad motor scooter out of the shower arm, and VICTORY! Water came out of the shower arm, so I could put the shower head back on and revel in my glorious success. And I totally did NOT put the pivot joint back on before the washer, then have to take it off to put it on right. Ok, maybe I did. But then I got it on and it works perfectly, I love it! First thing I did with it was to clean the shower, but my shower tonight was spectacular. Brilliant!

I took a break on the home improvement to do an art project I'll post about later before tackling the garbage disposal. 

After that break I *almost* didn't get off my tush and take care of the disposal, but I started looking at it, and it didn't seem that bad. 

Hoo boy. It really wasn't that bad, but it took a lot of time to figure out. First up, the old disposal had a threading that stuck out about an inch, inch and a half or so, to meet up with the drain pipe.

Crap. So, I had to make another trip to Home Depot to get a replacement pipe.  While I was there, I also needed to get some wire cutters/strippers to do the electronics. I was so focused on the pipe, I forgot to get the wire cutters. At least I remembered halfway across the parking lot, instead of after I got home!

A quick saw job, a little snip snip with the kitchen scissors, hooking up the power cord, trading the battery between the light and the drill, and I had successfully installed my garbage disposal. It works! I feel so accomplished!

Now I sit here, sipping my wine, watching How I Met Your Mother, and writing this up, I feel exhausted in the best way. 

I'm such a bad ass.