I so often end up talking sports, and this post will be almost nothing but.
Saturday was a rather eventful day for L'Ailee and I as far as the sports we follow go. Pittsburgh Penguins tickets went on sale at 10 am. They go *fast*. I was on the phone before 9:30, just waiting. I also had my cellie and computer at the ready. And...I got 'em! Damn if I didn't feel almost like I'd actually won a game myself!
Meanwhile, L'Ailee's cousin, the one who is married to my female cousin, agreed to sell us their season tickets at face value for the two Detroit Red Wings home games that happen close to Christmas. Unlike us, they will be going to Florida for Christmas. They haven't gotten sick of it all yet, the way we have. Plus they're not considered as much in need of correction and convincing as us, because they're straight and Christian. Actually, long before I fell in love with another woman and discovered that people still worship the ancient Gods, which are not completely related events, I got a lot of criticism for everything from my weight to my clothes to my music to my personality.
The first game is actually on the Winter Solstice. Nothing says "peaceful Winter Solstice" quite like watching Brooks Orpik pass out Free Candy and Eric Godard just plain kick somebody's ass, right? I've been joking that when that seems like a more peaceful way to spend the Winter Holidays than going home to see your family, that's a pretty clear signal to stay away from home this year. L'Ailee and I have had to work really hard to salvage Christmas in Florida, especially over the past couple of years, and this year, most of the baby boomers are really scared and angry in...well, the ways lots of conservative Christians are lately. The economic meltdown in Florida isn't helping a thing, though everyone's "basically okay" and "not as bad as others". (And I know that's not at all the same as "good". Trouble is, even if we could help, we wouldn't be *allowed* to.) Frankly, we feel like we'll be "welcome" in the sense that a pair of ten-point bucks would be "welcome" at a gun show.
So. We'll go see her Red Wings at the Joe Louis Arena. She is really looking forward to seeing the Chicago Blackhawks game on the 23rd--they're fierce rivals, and that's always a good time. We have already promised her best friend A., who is both a cabbie and a Red Wings fan, that we will throw two dimes at Patrick "20 Cent" Kane for him. We'll go see my Penguins at Mellon Arena, a/k/a "the Igloo", which will be bittersweet because this is the last year the Pens will play there. I'm glad I'll get to see the Igloo in person. We've scheduled two games apiece for each of our teams--Pittsburgh, Detroit, Detroit, back to Pittsburgh, then home. The guys better win at least one each, damn it.
It won't be completely family-free. Of course not. We'll be spending Christmas with some of her family for once, in Ontario. (You may wonder, why hasn't that occured to us before? Well, the Ontario branch of her family is about evenly split between Eastern Orthodox Christians, Protestant Christians, Jews, and atheists, and nobody can agree on a date!) We will also be seeing my great-aunt, we *hope*, near Detroit. She told me sadly that we couldn't take her to Olive Garden, which is her favorite restaurant, because her doctor won't let her eat that kind of food anymore. I told her that was good, because we probably won't be able to afford it, and she laughed. We'll work something out.
Other things....we had to see which twelve drivers would be eligible for the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Richmond last night. Only four--Tony Stewart (yeahhhh!!!), Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Denny Hamlin--were locked in at the beginning of the race, meaning that ten other drivers were competing for eight spots. It added an extra layer of excitement to the race. The Chase is like NASCAR's playoffs, which is still a weird concept for me as a longtime fan. This is its sixth season.
Whether or not Kyle Busch would make it in was the topic of the night. My friends and I had a betting pool, about evenly divided between "yes" and "no." A.'s 8-year-old daughter wanted in, but he thought it was bad enough to let her stay up until midnight and wasn't about to let her gamble! I told her she could say what she thought before the race, and if she was right, have the satisfaction of being right. "That's not as good as money," she said, but she took it. "No," she said. "Sorry, [L'Ailee]. Kyle's had too much trouble, and he's gotten worse, but Brian Vickers is getting better. Plus there is Matt Kenseth, and he's good, too." Turned out the child spoke true, and looked daggers at her father for being too responsible to let her chip $5 into the pot.
Eight fucking points! Brian Vickers beat Kyle Busch by eight fucking points to get into the Chase! He cried in his car, he was so overcome. Well, he should've. Vickers won one race so far; Busch won four. L'Ailee pounded a cushion on the couch for the second race in a row, then threw it at the TV when the reporter got to Vickers. Busch was shockingly classy about it in the post-race interview, though. We figure he's going to spoil at least one Chaser's day, just completely give himself over to winning or dying trying since he doesn't have a championship on the line, and we can't wait. (Non-Chasers still race and can win individual races.) My friend Mona reiterated, "Consistency don't put butts in seats." Most of us think winning needs to be rewarded more. "Talladega Nights" got that much right, with Ricky Bobby failing to win championships because he either wins or wrecks, no in-between.
Meanwhile, the lovely and talented Tony Stewart is definitely in the hunt. There have been three sponsors of the championship and therefore, three trophies--Winston, Nextel, and Sprint. Smoke has a Winston Cup and a Nextel Cup. He is the only driver who would be able to get one of each. And Denny Hamlin, who grew up near Richmond, Virginia, won the race! I like to see drivers win at their hometown tracks. It's always a really special and emotional moment. Hamlin was cute when he talked about having his late grandmother's St. Jude medal in the car with him. It was Darrell Waltrip who said, "Drivers ain't superstitious--that would be bad luck."
Oh, and you might have heard about this already, but Serena Williams completely lost it at the US Open. L'Ailee may have gotten me into hockey, but tennis is a bridge too far for me. No, really. I have seen her attentively follow things that are not a little yellow ball when Serena plays. So if she wants any more said about *her*, she knows how to get her own damn blog!
Crazy's going around right now--Kanye West epitomized class at the MTV Video Music Awards I'd still rather listen to Kanye than Taylor any day of the week, but...still!
Maybe I shouldn't bother writing my dystopian/steampunk epic anymore, since the likes of Glenn Beck seem to have that genre covered.
Finally, yet another group wants to Rescue Marriage in California! "Hell is eternal, just like your marriage was supposed to be." Check out the T-shirts for sale!