Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Team Canada plays peewee team; advances in Olympics

Canadians cheer on their hockey team in the winter Olympics

Wait what? They were playing Russia?? And oh how the mighty have fallen. In fact, substitute "playing" with "slaughtering" and you'd have yourself a pretty accurate summary of the Olympic Canada vs Russia mens' hockey game. The Canadians won 7-3 in a game many were surprised wasn't closer... or close at all.

As any good American would, I'm rooting for Team USA. However, I still had a vested interest in this game, aside from the fact that the winner will likely be playing the US in the gold medal round. This game involved many of my favorite players on both sides of the puck. I determined who to support by mathematical equation. Crosby (+2) + Fleury (+1) versus Malkin (+1) + Gonchar (+1) + Ovechkin (-1) = Go Canada. I'm glad I supported the side I did, otherwise this would have been really painful to watch.

I could do a full game summary, but it would basically be, "Canada scored. Then Canada scored again. Then Canada scored again. Then there was some skating. Then Canada scored again." Instead, here are the top 3 moments of the Canada vs Russia game.

#1 Canada's Dan Boyle taking down Russia's Alexander Semin. And by taking down I mean absolutely slamming him to the ice. This came after Semin's late hit on Boyle seconds before. As a result of this cheap hit, Boyle came charging back and slammed Semin in the front while simultaneously taking his feet out from under him. I laughed my ass off. Priceless.

There haven't been all that many fights or cheap hits throughout the Olympics. I'd imagine this is because none of the players want to get hurt and because of the Olympic spirit and all that. Despite this, one player who has been playing consistently dirty hockey is Russia's Alex Ovechkin. (Herein, "Obitchkin.") Obitchkin has been taking dirty hits on players throughout the Olympic games including on the Czech Republic's (as well as former Penguins' player and childhood crush of mine) Jaromir Jagr and on Canada's Sidney Crosby. With Semin pulling the same stunts, a teammate of Obitchkin's on the Washington Capitals, it's nice to see that someone retaliated for the low blows. Maybe if Obitchkin and Semin spent more time trying to score and less time trying to take down opponents, Russia wouldn't have fallen so abysmally.

#2 Sergei Gonchar's goal for Russia. Gonchar scored Russia's third goal against Canada, giving his team a sliver of hope that turned out to be futile. Honestly, I liked this moment solely because Gonchar plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins and I'm not going to feign neutrality.

#3 Crosby shaking hands with Obitchkin at the end of the game as Crosby, Fleury, and the Canadians advance and Obitchkin goes home. It was pretty much just like last year's Stanley Cup playoffs... I basically enjoyed this because I'm a Pens fan and because I'm in love with Crosby and Obitchkin is my least favorite sports figure. Beyond that though, it shouldn't have come as a surprise to many.

The truth is, Russia's hockey team is overhyped and has been for quite some time, especially in the USA. This is a result of the miracle on ice 1980 USA vs Soviet Union hockey game where the US won and ended the Soviets' gold medal streak from the past four winter Olympic games. This was one of the greatest sports moments in history (unless, of course, you're from Russia). However, Russia, has not won a gold medal in men's Olympic hockey since 1988. I was three. The Pittsburgh Pirates haven't had a winning season since 1992 and while they are still my favorite baseball team, I wouldn't exactly call them dominant in their sport... Russia's hockey team didn't even make the medal stand in the 2006 Olympics.

To be sure, I'm not saying Russia doesn't have one of the top hockey teams out there, but they are no longer this completely dominant power house that truly talented teams like Canada need to fear. The game wasn't even a contest.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Where in the world is Elin Woods?

Where's Elin? Can you find her at the press conference?

Tiger Woods gave his official public apology today for his marital infidelity with no less than a dozen women including various cocktail waitresses and an adult film industry actress. The cheating is alleged to have happened over the course of several years including while his wife was pregnant. The press conference was held in front of a group of close friends and a few selected reporters. There were no questions allowed.

I could write volumes on my thoughts on cheating. I also have my share of thoughts on politicians / celebrities / athletes who cheat, whether there is such thing as 'sex addiction', whether companies should continue to endorse Woods, whether today's 'press conference' was a sham, and whether the whole thing is the public's business.

Instead, I'm more interested in the only redeeming facet of Woods' press conference today and, indeed, of the whole scandal. It isn't about what viewers saw, but what, or rather who, we didn't. Elin Woods, former model, Woods' wife, and mother of their two children was not in attendance today.

Cheating scandals have playbooks. There are ways these things are supposed to go. They end with a public figure giving a public apology for his indiscretions as his little wife stands dutifully beside him. Today, an exception to the rule, Elin did not stand by Tiger. Tiger stood alone.

I, for one, am sick and tired of hearing about the "strength" of the woman who stands, stoically, hands clasped in front of her, loyally by her man, as he stands and tells the world about his failure (often repeated...) to do the same: stand by his wife and be loyal. True strength isn't something many probably expected from the beautiful, smiling blonde always faithfully at Tiger's side. Celebrating his victories. Taking care of his children. Cheering on his achievements. Supporting his dream.

The public has never heard about Elin as anything other than Tiger's wife or the mother of his children. Oh and that she looks good in a bikini; not exactly a sign of strength, but obviously a valuable asset in any trophy wife.

Today, Elin showed that she is more than that. She isn't his toy or trophy or an extension of him and his image. She is not someone to be cast aside and used at his disposal or for his convenience. She isn't a nobody because no one knew Elin before Tiger. She is a real person; capable of thinking, feeling, being, acting, and living independently of him. She has been photographed out lately sans wedding band and today, she wasn't present to be photographed at all.

While Tiger stood in front of the world, it was Elin who was truly taking a stand. Elin showed that true strength isn't standing by your man at the podium, but standing on your own two feet.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CPAC brings patriotic salvation to DC

There is so much patriotism going on in this picture right now that it should be the official logo of the US Olympic team.

Good news, patriots! It's CPAC weekend in D.C. and the big event kicks off tonight! I know it is difficult to even imagine a more happy weekend for America than one where the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) happens at the same time as the Olympic games in which the U.S. has more medals than any other country! I'm sure the District will be echoing with chants of "USA! USA! USA!" intermingled with "They took our jobs!" [a' la South Park: ] . Whether the rabble yelling about jobs will be the mob of supporters or conservative politicians voted out of office in the past few elections has yet to be determined.

What treats are in store for this weekend? Well, the highlight will, of course, be keynote speaker and great American, Glenn Beck. No one loves his country more than Beck. I know this because he cries about it every time I turn on his show. Ever seen about the woman who cries uncontrollably during any and every movie? Even if it's a horror movie? Even if it's a comedy? Even about R2D2 being put back together in Star Wars? This gal has nothing on Beck! I'm sure there will be plenty of water works tonight for all you faithful Fox News followers to get your fill. Beck was no doubt gunning for this gig after his show had aired for 5 straight days without a single advertisement in the United Kingdom. This happened after Beck lost 103 0f his sponsors who pulled funding due to his controversial remarks. Unlike in those pansy European countries, however, in America Beck is one of the figures spearheading the CPAC political movement.

Let's also shalln't forget the other God-fearing, country-loving patriots speaking at the event, including former US Attorney General, John Ashcroft. His contribution to our great nation is most marked by scrapping that pesky bill of rights so that we can win the war on terror against the evil doers. When he resigned from his position in 2004, his letter of resignation stated, "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved." For saving America, Ashcroft surely deserves a standing ovation when he takes his turn at the podium this weekend.

But wait! There's more! Political commentators including Fox News' (the only real fair and balanced news channel on the air... let's be honest.) Tucker Carlson and columnist Ann Coulter (I'm so glad to see the views of women in America represented by this spirited firecracker!) will also be speaking.

Politicians speaking are to include former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. We can only hope that, as he lead the impeachment charge against President Bill Clinton, this weekend he leads the fight to impeach Obama for ... uh.... well, I'm not sure exactly, but I've seen conservative demonstrators with signs and shirts that say "Impeach Obama!" and yelling it as well, and I'm sure they know what they're talking about because they're very loud.

Remember the politicians you either didn't elect or voted out of office because they were 'too extreme' and 'out of touch' with America? Well, they're back!! Other CPAC speaker gems include Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum (from my very own Pennsylvania! ...even though neither he nor his family ever lived there while he was senator. But who can blame him with all those corporation-bleeding unions they have going on there.) !

I'm particularly excited to hear from Santorum because the religious right needs a voice at CPAC. Audience members can be sure to expect a lot of Bible quoting and a reminder that they are doing what is right because Jesus is on their side. I know this because Jesus definitely picks political parties just like he picks favorite countries. I mean obviously... otherwise how else would America be the best and most wealthy country in the world with the most Olympic medals, while other countries like Haiti are so poor and earthquake-ridden? Speaking of Haiti bringing earthquakes on itself through its pact with the devil, it is unfortunate Pat Robertson won't be there to speak with Santorum so that good Christians everywhere will have no question about when it comes time to vote next November. The answer to "WWJD?" is "vote Republican!"

Outside the doors of the Marriott where the convention is being held, the streets or at least the bars will be filled with the voices of Americans sick of Obama and Pelosi and their socialism. Thousands of patriots, many undoubtedly in their American flag shirts, or similarly pro-American values shirts such as Nascar or "Second Amendment! Don't tread on me!" shirts will be demonstrating or attending local CPAC fundraising events. The Palin-idolizing Tea Party will be in town too!

Unfortunately, I'll be out of town missing this great moment in our country's history. I'll rest assured, though, that in D.C. this weekend, freedom is ringing! The RNC (Republican National Committee) recently rejected calls for a litmus test for candidates seeking the party's endorsement in fall elections. The test would have denied endorsement for any candidate who disagreed with two or more of its codified principles. CPAC, fortunately, has refused to tuck its tail and do the same in selecting its speakers and those who represent it. By having the most extreme, vitriolic, and relentlessly unwaivering members of the republican party speaking as its voice, CPAC will show that conservatives don't need to listen, compromise, or gravitate toward the middle of the political road.

Basically, they aren't taking any crap from anyone and they don't care what anyone says about it! This sort of all-or-nothing, stick- to-your-guns, appease-your-extremist-base, stay-the-course mentality is why the party was so wildly successful in the '06 and '08 elections. If the dems stand for 'change', CPAC is doing its best to show that republicans stand for the same rhetoric and same extreme stance on the issues spoken by the same politicians that worked so (err...?) well? for them before.

Forget those yellow-bellied moderates, intellectuals on either side of the aisle who need to think about something rather than blindly following, or people who disagree on any issue with the extremists in their party. Give me ideologues or give me death!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

One Girl's Guide to Getting a Boyfriend

I'm pretty much an expert on the subject. I know this because I have so many boyfriends. This fine group of gentlemen includes but is by no means limited to Penguins' player Sidney Crosby, Olympic speed skater Apolo Ohno, actor James McAvoy, all the members of Fall Out Boy, and Prince Bersheron McWellington Praddlefroe Cornwallace IV, to name a few. Needless to say, my mailbox was of course overflowing with Valentines today. There were simply so many to choose from, I decided to not have a Valentine today to risk offending one or more of my many boyfriends. Who I have. Who totally aren't imaginary or unaware of the fact that we're in a relationship or anything...

"But how", you ask, "How did you get yourself so many boyfriends?" Well, friends, I've compiled a list of essential behaviors that every girl should exhibit to have no less than half a dozen boyfriends at any one time.

1. Get to know in a Biblical sense at least one other guy in his social circle
Men don't like uncharted territory or uncertainty. It is best if he can hear about you from one or more of his friends with first hand experience first. This way your target will know exactly what to expect.

2. Tell him all about your cat
And I mean ALL about your cat. Spare no details. His or her name. Age. Favorite toy. Coloring. Personality. How your cat is TOTALLY not like other cats even though everyone else says it, it's definitely true about yours, and he'll love her. If you have photos of your cat on your cellphone to show him, so much the better. If you don't have a cat, make one up or talk about how much you want a cat. I feel it's a great supplement to any conversation about your cat to also mention how many additional cats you plan to acquire in the future. When men hear about how much you love your cat and all the cats you plan to get, they can't help but think of how marriageable you are and how loving you will be with any future children.

3. Be drunk in front of himAnd the drunker the better. Be sure and go out every Thursday - Saturday at a minimum so he knows you mean business. He should essentially think you are nocturnal. When you're out, drink entirely too much and slur your words, give him the one-eyed leer across the bar, spill your drink on his shoes, get too handsy... Guys like it when you can go shot for shot with them, or at least act like you can. Couple this by talking about how you like drinking all the time. Every day. Don't ever let him see you sober as you won't want to run the risk of confusing him.

4. Have no speech filter

Say anything and everything that is on your mind. Even if its entirely inappropriate. Even if it is by far overshare. Even if it implicates you in a crime. Even if he doesn't seem to care. You just met him but you love him? Your thoughts on abortion or the feminist movement? How and why the song the DJ is playing right now is your faaaaavorite song everrrrrr. Tell him. Tell him you hate his sports team, political party, or something he holds dear. He should know you are a woman who thinks for herself. If at all possible, use a lot of swear words. The menfolk love a woman who cusses like a sailor.

5. Call him too many times at odd hours of the night

The more calls the merrier! 2 calls between 3 and 4AM? Why not make it 15. He'll appreciate your persistence. Indeed, there are few better ways to get a guy to like you than by calling him many, many, many times. You may also want to send a text or two, you know, just in case he doesn't see your missed calls...

6. Cry in front of himGuys like to see your emotional side and know you're secure enough around them to let the water works loose. He'll appreciate knowing you are vulnerable. Cry about whatever. You cat (bonus points for combining the cat with the crying), mom, job, another boy, one time he didn't say hi to you because he didn't see you but it still ruined your night, nothing-whatsoever-but-you're-
drunk-so-crying-seems-like-the-proper-response... anything.

7. Be a bit of an exhibitionist
I'd suggest dancing on tables or the bar or wearing revealing clothing. This goes hand in hand with the first rule in our list. Men don't like mystery or a surprise. They like to know exactly what they are getting. What better way to let him know what he could have than by showing him exactly what that is in public places in front of many other people.

8. Eat a lot

Don't just have the salad. Be sure that if there is ever food around you, you are stuffing your face with it. If you are at a gala or ball with multiple food tables set up, definitely post up by the desert table and down cupcakes like they're going out of style. Can't decide between the cheeseburger or grilled cheese at Five Guys at 3AM? You should probably get both. And the fries. He'll know you are healthy if you have a healthy appetite. And, since absence makes the heart grow fonder, your face-stuffing induced silence and resultant food coma will make him yearn for you to start talking again about your cat and not using your speech filter.

By using some of these suggestions, hopefully you too can have so many boyfriends. You're welcome.