Friday, March 23, 2012

Let's talk hockey

Specifically, let's talk about injuries caused by the opposing team. I ranted a bit about that during the playoffs last year, both when Rome hit Horton and when Boychuk hit Raymond, but it's up for discussion again this week. Just for the record, as a Canucks fan, I felt that Raymond's hit deserved to be penalized, although perhaps, based on the criteria applied to other hits, four games was a big much (but maybe it wasn't, I'll get to that in a second) and I was APPALLED that the league didn't even review the Boychuk hit on Raymond.

Wednesday night we were watching the Vancouver - Chicago game. I really enjoy it when Vancouver and Chicago meet because the rivalry is so intense, it brings a lot to the game. J and I listened to the first half of the first period in the car but we were in the house when Duncan Keith hit Daniel Sedin. J started yelling, "That man has to go to the penal (yes, that's the word she uses, but it's pronounce more like PEN-ll than peenal) box because we don't hit and Mommy, that other man is lying down. Now there is going to be blood on the ice. That man needs a time out." And while, there was no blood, she was right about going to the penalty box

[aside: J loves watching hockey and is just starting to grasp the concept of the opposite teams. She doesn't understand checking because at home and at daycare she has been taught that we never, ever, ever hit another watching the game with her means there's a whole lot of "Why didn't that man have to go to the penal box for a time out? He hit someone."]

It wasn't until the second period intermission that they showed us the earlier hit where the roles were reversed. And I can't say that made me like Duncan Keith any more.

We've been noticing over the last few weeks that the officials aren't calling a whole lot of penalties and that seems to result in games that aren't much fun to watch for a variety of reasons. This game was a perfect example of how a bit more effort in penalty calling by the officials might have prevented a whole bunch of hullabaloo later.

Like, maybe if Daniel Sedin had been called on the initial hit and done his time in the box, Duncan Keith would not have lost his mind and hunted down Daniel Sedin. If that initial hit had been penalized maybe neither the Canucks nor the Blackhawks would be facing the indefinite loss of one of their key players.

Daniel Sedin threw a bad hit. Duncan Keith made a ridiculous decision and if the rumours of his threat of I'm going to make you pay or whatever it was are true, he made more than one dumb decision. And the officials, they lost the plot. I know it is best if the officials don't get too involved because they can kill the momentum of the game and they don't want to be seen as influencing the outcome, but their JOB is to enforce the rules and make sure the play on the ice is safe. I don't know exactly how much NHL officials are paid, but I've heard that starting salaries for linesmen run about $75K. Anyone else making that kind of money under such direct public scrutiny would be without a job at this point.

And then there are the fans. I'm not talking about the rational fans - the ones who can maintain their team loyalty but still see that a player on their team made a big mistake which goes for both sides in this case (check out the anti-Canuck vitriol spewed by a Chicago journalist who can still see that what Keith did deserves punishment). I'm talking about the ones who are saying things on twitter and forums and comment sections of newspaper articles and blogs saying stuff along the lines of Sedin deserved it, glad someone finally gave it to the Canucks etc. No one deserves to get hurt by an intentional play. No one. It's professional hockey, so yes, injury is something of a given, but being intentionally sought out should not be a worry.

Does Daniel Sedin deserve a suspension? Probably. Does Duncan Keith deserve a suspension? Definitely. Did Daniel Sedin "deserve" to get hurt? No way. Should the officials be disciplines as well? Probably, but unlikely. How do we make this go away?

The NHL keeps saying they want to crack down on head shots and prevent concussion and other dangerous hits and injuries, but all they do is hand out these 3-5 game suspensions that are obviously not having much of an effect on the players. I say change the rules. If you injure someone, intentional or not, on an illegal play, you sit until they are able to play again. And THEN you serve your suspension. One or two of those and the players might wake up and change their behaviour.

So now, we wait for Brendan Shanahan to make a decision. And there will be upset people on both sides of the situation. But maybe the attention this hit is drawing will drive some change. And maybe one day people will realize it's just a game and the players are human and cheering when one gets hurt is just not the way to go.

/rant over

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Champagne tastes for the apple juice kid

J has decided we need a new car.

This is not the first time she has decided this.

Last time we needed a new car that had a windshield wiper on the back window.

This time, her tastes have evolved somewhat. I'll get to that.

About a year or so ago, J developed a fascination with cars. And asking me what kind of car every car on the road was. She quickly learned to identify Vancouver's favourite car, the Honda Civic, or Figic as she called it then. Since then she has developed quite the repertoire and can rattle off a whole slew of cars, makes AND models for a lot of them. Where did she learn their names? Well, I can I'd tell her when she asked. The various makes with numbers and letters for models (BMW, Lexus etc) I've avoided, but she can still identify them and she knows the difference between a sedan, a hatch back, a mini van, an SUV, and a station wagon.

Which brings us back to last night.

Last night there were tears because we aren't getting a new car and according to J, we need one (for the record, our car is perfectly fine) and someone might take the car she picked out for us. It's special. It's not flat (I'm not entirely sure what that means) and it has a roof rack. But most importantly it's a black Mercedes-Benz GL-Class (like this one) with a roof rack.

That starts at over $77K.

Yeah. We drive past the Mercedes-Benz dealership on our way to and from daycare in the morning, but she's dreaming.

I guess she's got good taste though.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lessons from squirt on husbands and wives

On our way to gymnastics this morning, I stopped to let a pedestrian cross the road. She was an older woman and she looked super cranky, which, of course, J picked up on immediately.

Voice from the backseat: Mommy, why is that lady so grumpy looking?

Me: Well, maybe she is tired or maybe -

Voice from the backseat [interrupting]: Mommy, it's probably because her husband or her wife or her son or her daughter woke her up before she had enough sleep. Or maybe her husband or her wife or her son or her daughter didn't leave any breakfast for her and she's hungry. Or maybe she has to pee.

Over a year ago, J learned the words husband and wife. And it didn't take her too long to figure out that a wife is woman and a husband is a man. And she's made the connection before with our friends that sometimes a woman has a wife and there isn't a husband, but that she just casually threw it in to her list of people who might have wronged the grumpy lady made me happy. And that the lady maybe had to pee, well that made me giggle, silently so J wouldn't think I was laughing at her.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Water, running in the kitchen

In which I describe my first world problem and marvel at how easy we really have it...

Last weekend we came to appreciate how easy our lives are because we have running water in our kitchen.

For over a year we've had a temperamental, sometimes drippy, kitchen faucet. For too long we've had a leaking kitchen faucet - a minor thing that a small buck and occasional tea towel swipe kept in check.

But then it became bad. Super drippy and an under-the-counter leak that needed attention now. But we couldn't deal with it now.

So for three whole days we had a kitchen sink that didn't give us water on demand. We had to bring water from somewhere else to use in the kitchen. Somewhere else like the bathroom, six steps from the kitchen. And we could still us the sinks and let the water drain out. And the dishwasher was fine, so we tried to limit dish usage in those three days to stuff that could go in the dishwasher. I didn't cook or bake much because I didn't have easy access to water to wipe the counters or rinse stuff or wash my hands.

And one evening, while filling the kettle from the tub and dreaming about the new faucet, I realize just how ridiculous I was being. It wasn't that long ago that there was no running water in most kitchens or bathrooms around the world. It wasn't that long ago that there wasn't even a pump. And people survived. People in other countries are still surviving without indoor plumbing (yes, I know there are those who are not...) and there I was looking forward to my new faucet. There are places where the amount of water we had to toss because of the leak might be the day's water for a village....

I have a new faucet now. It doesn't leak. And every time I turn it on, I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have it.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Germany - München


Postcad from MarkusMUCCity from Germany

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Banned Books

While I was writing a post for The Great Book Challenge, I was trying to find the title of a book I read when I was about 11 or 12 - I picked it up at the library from a display of "banned books". It was about a young boy who's older brother was part of the resistance movement in World War II. Except the boy and his brother were resisting the Allied forces, not the Axis powers. They maybe lived in the Netherlands or possibly in Scandinavia, but I can't remember and of course, I can't find the book. My mom read it too and then asked if I had any questions about - I remember it being a difficult book because there was discussion of suicide and war and people disappearing in the night, but my biggest question was why would anyone ban a book? Followed by a question along the lines of "War is stupid, no matter what side you're on. Is it bad that I felt bad for the family in the book (I think the kid's name started with A) even though they were on the "other" side?" [My mom's answers: Because people are scared and no, it's not bad to feel empathy for people on the "other" side of a war. It's still a war and it's still horrible no matter which side you're on]

If you happen to know what book I'm vaguely referring to, please tell me.

Anyway. In the course of my internet searching I did find this great list of the top 110 banned books - with instructions to bold books you've read, colour books you'd like to read and italicize books you've read part of.Except there are only 109 books on this list because #58 disappeared.

And we all know I like lists.

So here it goes. It looks like I've read 15, read part of 4, which leaves 89 that I've never picked up. And that reminds me that even though I have a degree in English, I have read pathetically few of the books that most people consider the "classics" and I'm not really sure how I managed to get my degree without reading them...oh well...something to work on I guess! I didn't colour any because I recognized most of the titles and there are some I definitely want to read and some that I feel like I should read...and so then pretty much all of the 89 that are left would be coloured...

  1. The Bible
  2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  4. The Koran
  5. Arabian Nights
  6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  11. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  16. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
  17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
  19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
  21. Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
  23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  25. Ulysses by James Joyce
  26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  29. Candide by Voltaire
  30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  31. Analects by Confucius
  32. Dubliners by James Joyce
  33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
  36. Das Capital by Karl Marx
  37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
  38. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  39. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
  40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
  42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  43. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  47. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys
  48. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
  53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
  55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
  57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  58. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
  59. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  60. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
  61. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  62. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  63. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  64. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  65. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  66. Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
  67. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
  68. The Talmud
  69. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
  70. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  71. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  72. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  73. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
  74. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  75. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
  76. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
  77. Popol Vuh
  78. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
  79. Satyricon by Petronius
  80. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  81. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  82. Black Boy by Richard Wright
  83. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
  84. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  85. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  86. Metaphysics by Aristotle
  87. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  88. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
  89. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
  90. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
  91. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  92. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  93. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
  94. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
  95. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  96. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
  97. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  98. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
  99. Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  100. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
  101. Emile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
  102. Nana by Emile Zola
  103. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  104. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  105. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  106. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
  107. The Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
  108. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
  109. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes