Tears

I’ve been crying a lot lately.

When I was a teenager I spent a lot time crying also. I spent years learning to control my tears when I was angry, when I was happy, sad, frustrated. Because showing tears was weakness. I firmly believe that crying in front of my boss cost me my summer job one year in college.

But now that I can control it, I don’t care.

I cry because every day for the last three weeks or so I wake up to news of more violence. More black men murdered by police, more innocent lives taken by terrorists — police and civilians alike.

I cried on my way to work every day listening to the coverage of the RNC on NPR.

The hatred, the anger, the divisiveness, it all just makes me so frustrated, sad, and I cry.

I cried watching Michelle Obama’s speech the next day, because I watched a poised, intelligent, incredible women give a speech on how far we’ve come and still show us how far we have to go.

I cried after I saw the Ghostbusters reboot, trying to talk to Boyfriend about why a movie I didn’t think was that great as a kid meant so much to me now. Articulating the elation at seeing sexy, smart, strong women talk science on such a wide reaching platform, being the role models for girls I wish I had had as a young girl. The validation for my career change and path. The excitement, waiting for E to grow up enough to be allowed to see it, to show her that I am not an outlier. I am one of many and she can be whatever the fuck she wants.

I cried for many of the same reasons watching the video this morning that introduced Hillary Clinton’s live video feed last night. Watching the images of the 44 previous presidents shatter as she appeared on screen as the first female nominee for president by a major party. What it means. What it stands for.

I cry for a lot of reasons, but tears are not weakness.

Tears are strength.

Fuck Prayers.

You heard me. Fuck Prayers.

We spend our time mourning the loss of lives of people we should never have known the names of.

Of children. Of babies. Of people gunned down for their beliefs. Of people gunned down for who they love.

Banning assault rifles is not taking breaking your second amendment right. It’s placing reasonable restrictions on the ownership of guns.

If you need to empty 45 rounds into an animal to kill it, you need to work on your aim. If you practice enough, you don’t even need a gun. You can use a bow and arrow. Hell, I’ve killed deer with my car without even trying. I don’t need an AR-15 to do it, and neither do you.

Prayers do nothing to make change. Nothing to stop the massacres. They are so common now, that, as Stephen Colbert put it,

“What can you possibly say in the face of this horror? But then sadly, you realized that you know what to say. Because it’s been said too many times before[…]It’s as if there is a National script that we have learned.”

How can we have become so complacent that we expect that we will hear about a mass shooting on a daily basis?

How can we accept this as a norm?

How in the actual FUCK can you say that banning one type of gun when you can still own so many others is taking away your second amendment right and that is more important than the 475 people who died in 2015, the 207 people who died SO FAR in 2016 alone? Let us not forget the many, many wounded (1,870 in 2014, by the way).

I could go on with the statistics, but I know that they are not going to change anyone’s mind. Because as a country we lost our fucking soul when first graders were gunned down and we did NOTHING. NOTHING. My boyfriend’s daughter will be starting first grade in a couple of years. I am terrified. Fucking TERRIFIED. Her daycare has a combination entry door to prevent not only kidnapping, but you know, some jackass who decides that yeah, today I’m going to murder babies and toddlers. Because s/he can.

And the only reason I add s/ is because there has been ONE female mass shooter in recent years, and that was in San Bernadino, but I know that that’s the one thing that will get fixated on if I don’t include it.

Talking to boyfriend about this, he said one thing that resonated so hard with me.

“I don’t want to talk about love. Progressives have had to settle for talking about love. It’s clear that love is not enough anymore.” (emphasis mine)

Love isn’t enough anymore.

LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH ANYMORE.

I love so many people. Gay, Straight, Bi, Trans, Questioning, Black, Brown, Tan, White, Male, Female, Non-gendered people in between, but that does not keep them safe.

Your prayers are not enough.

I do not accept them.

Until your prayers are followed up by meaningful reform, action, standing up to keep the people you love, I love, I don’t fucking want to hear it.

Yes, this is a layered problem.

Yes, this is a hard problem.

No, that does not mean we don’t talk about it.

Fuck your prayers. Do something.

After all this time?

It’s been a really shitty year for the arts. Many iconic artists are getting up there, and, spanning generations, have inspired, helped, intrigued, millions.

David Bowie
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” -David Bowie

Although not every artist who has passed on this year has had a major impact on me, I still respect the effect that they had on so many others, as well as respect the work that the artist has done.

Prince
“Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.” -Prince

I have a list of artists, athletes, shows, that I want to see before they end their craft, or their life comes to an end. They are prioritized by the impact that they have had on my life, what they have given me.

There was a point in my life that gave me total clarity to make this list. Experiences, not objects. I felt like I had missed out on a lot of opportunities to do amazing things, meet amazing artists and people, have incredible experiences that I would carry with me forever that I shouldn’t have missed.

This feeling was firmly re-planted when Alan Rickman died. He had been a formative performer for me, and I was crushed. I didn’t want to miss any other opportunities, more than ever.

David Tennant, Billie Piper, and me

I’ve met David Tennant and Billie Piper. I’ve seen the Goo Goo Dolls in concert. I’ve seen Pavel Datsyuk play many times, and witnessed his [probable] last home game.

Don’t miss out on something, someone who means something to you.

Alan Rickman
“Always” -Alan Rickman as Severus Snape

The Incredible, Inevitable Disappearing Act of the Magic Man

Despite writing a break up letter to the NHL, I can’t seem to fully disassociate myself from my beloved Red Wings. I’m still bitching on twitter about the various league happenings. I feel like I’m rubber necking at a horrible car accident. But this post is not about that.

After the end of the regular season, Mitch Albom, of all people (srsly, wtf?), broke the story that Pavel Datsyuk is [probably] going home this summer and walking away from the last year of his contract with the Wings.

Pavel Datsyuk

Like all realistic fans, I knew he was getting up there in age, his surgery on his ankle last summer went longer than expected because it was in worse shape than they thought. But I want to be in denial, because for the last fourteen years he has been my favorite player.

He came into the league as Stevie Y’s career was coming to an end. He was the shining light into the dark sadness of Stevie’s inevitable retirement.

In a point of personal pride, it’s the first time I had ever been right about a player, and my dad had been wrong.

I attended a game in one of Datsyuk’s first couple seasons with the Wings. We got there early. I had a sign of taped together 8.5×11 sheets. Before the game I met Ken Daniels and Mickey Redmond, out of pure chance. I asked them for their autographs, they asked to see my sign.

“Datsyuk, will you marry me?”

Ken then informed me that Datsyuk was married.

Damn it.

I held up the sign during warm ups anyway. I got a few stick taps, and a lot of laughs. I looked a lot younger than my age then (still do, just not as much) so even though I was 14 or 15 I probably looked 10-12. Maybe younger. I don’t know.

I also got a warm up puck. That was cool.

Datsyuk has been a delight to watch over the last fourteen years. I watched him in probably his last home game in game four. The feels were overwhelming as the buzzer sounded.

As a Detroit sports fan, I’ve been disappointed many times. I’ve been angry, sad, frustrated. But never have I cried over a moment in sports, until I watched Datsyuk’s [probable] last shift at home.

Despite disagreeing with some of his social stances, I have been an on-ice fan of his for so long, I don’t know who will fill the void.

Thank you, Magic Man, for your years, for your sweet moves, for staying as long as you have, despite the pull of family.

Pavel Datsyuk

“It’s a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It’s a far, far better rest I go to than I have ever known.” – A Tale of Two Cities (1935)

So long, Pavel.

I HAD A PLAN

Recently, I had the misfortune of my sump pump dying. Of course, it did it in glorious fashion. During days and days of downpours, so no matter how often I hand triggered, it was water everywhere. I already had some water problems in a far corner of the basement, but it wasn’t terrible, so I was doing what any adult does, and ignoring it. J/K. But I was for sure putting it off til fall and do the roof at the same time, I had a plan.

Doctor Who's David Tennant in the rain
I feel you, 10. I feel you.

But all of the rain showed me, in such a kind way, that the water issue wasn’t just the corner where I had put towels, but pretty much everywhere. It wasn’t evaporating fast enough and my dehumidifier was also not able to keep up.

THANKS A LOT RAIN.

Basically I had to move up my time line. Which really, really sucked. I had settled on a plan. I was attacking my debt with force, and I was on track to be debt free by 30.

Life clearly had another plan. Lovely.

So, I applied for a loan, it wasn’t enough to cover everything, and my savings couldn’t handle it. So I had to do the extra irritating part of borrowing against my life insurance (don’t worry Mom, if I get beer trucked, the policy will still pay out, I checked. But I plan on sticking around to be debt free a safer and more alive way).

Yzma, Emperor's Groove
The only time I identify with Yzma.

This is very stressful for me. I take debt personally. As my financial planner and friend Stephanie described me once to her colleague, “She finds any debt offensive — especially student loans.” And it’s true, I do. So, having to take out these loans chafes me something awful, and it drives me nuts to have so many people say to me, “Well, at least you’re in a position where you can borrow it. You could have this problem and no money too!”

Which is very true. This could be so, so much worse. But I am very anal about my finances, and damn it, I had a plan.

After several days of obsessing, running numbers, and coming to terms with the fact that I’m going to have to drain my savings to do it, I should be able to stay (mostly) on track to hit the debt free milestones I had set before this happened, but only on the debts that I had before these loans. The loan from my financial institution is going to be to me a second mortgage, it will go away when I sell the house. (Which, fun fact! I had planned to be next year! How superb on timing, house!)

All of the financial advice says “roll with the punches”

Well, this punch doesn’t feel like a punch. It feels like two punches, right in the kisser and a kick to the junk.

I had a plan, damn it. Where’s the wine?

Wine
Oh, I found it. Byyyyeeee!

Dear NHL, I’m Breaking Up With You

Dear NHL,

There’s no easy way to say this. I’m breaking up with you.

Sure there have been some fun times, the Wings winning so many Cups when I was a kid, and that playoff streak – whew! Not to mention the Stadium Series in February, it was pretty awesome to fly across the country to watch the Wings beat the Avs by the skin of their teeth.

But I can’t take it anymore. I can’t ignore your off-ice dealings. You had a shady start to begin with (Eddie Livingstone, anyone?) and as things get worse you seem to give fewer and fewer shits about me, about female fans, and really, about hockey fans in general.

I had an idea for a site related to hockey that I was really excited to work on. I had database diagrams, a design outline, a lot of thought and time had gone into this.

But I’m not going to do it anymore. I don’t feel like investing my time and energy in you anymore. Why should I? You don’t give a flying fuck about me anyway. Why should I feel safe in your arenas? Why shouldn’t you have to hold your players to at least decent humanity standards?

Hockey has been an escape for me for years. When I was younger, I spent pretty much every weekend of the season at the rink. Watching, learning, loving. Hockey is a great game and you’re to the point now, where you’re ruining it.

From the last two years alone, this is what I have come to learn about the NHL’s stance on several things.

  1. Violence against women is ok.
  2. Raping women will be rewarded, not punished.
  3. If a player is not as valuable as he once was, it’s ok to trash him, even when he needs help the most.
  4. You some how think you’re a court of law. (“unfounded”? Really? You think you can state that? Pretty strong statement for a non-legal body).
  5. Concussions are still a myth to you.

I know you’re a business, and money is your top priority, but in case you haven’t noticed, businesses who care about their audience do better than those who don’t.

So, I’m stepping back, I’ve re-evaluated our relationship, and I’ve decided that it’s not benefiting me anymore. Clean up your act, and maybe we can talk, but right now, I’m taking my money, time, and loyalty elsewhere. Maybe I’ll go hang with the NWHL.

Bye,

A Disappointed Fan

Re-post: 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

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 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.

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 Björe 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.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

At the end of last year, I made the leap to open a higher yield savings account with a bank I don’t usually do business with. I did this for a couple reasons.

1. 0.90% more interest – um, yes please!
2. Out of Sight, Out of mind.

I know that savings is important. I know it in my brain. I know it every time I buy something I shouldn’t or stretch myself a little thin to be able to do something I want to do that I can’t quite afford. I know it when I log in and look at my credit union savings that has nothing in it because, at .10% what’s the damn point? Why save it when I could put that money on my student loans, or my house, or insert other debt item here that can apply.

I know my mother is screaming at the screen right now. And you probably are too.

“BECAUSE WHAT IF YOUR CAR BREAKS DOWN? OR YOU LOSE YOUR JOB? OR THE APOCALYPSE?!”

Breathe, Mom, I’m sorry. I’m fixing it. I heard you, I just needed to find a way to make it work for me.

So, there are a couple of things I log in every month to pay. The mortgage, a non-credit union credit card, and my student loans (because I’m paying ahead on those and the assholes who administer the site don’t continue to take the monthly payment out of a section that you’re paid ahead on). Which means I can see all the money sitting there, waiting for me to put on debt X, Y, or Z. Or to book the next vacation or whatever. To eliminate that I opened an online savings account that I use only for savings. I have absolutely nothing that comes out of that account.

This way, the money is not taunting me, telling me that it would be better spent on student loans, and I can get a nice nest egg.

I didn’t really mention this before, but part of the reason that I also chose to do this now instead of later is because I need to be able to handle paying bills, debt reduction, and create savings all at once. I started out using a Dave Ramsey Trello board to take control. However, a couple months in I realized that although it’s good advice to follow, his plan is for people who are capital I In Debt.

Being able to make progress towards my savings and debt reduction at the same time is absolutely what I need. I am not a patient woman by any means, but I will end up doing myself a favor by doing them at the same time. Most of my debt is my mortgage and student loans, which, for reasons unbeknownst to me, are considered “good” debt. That term really rankles me when applied to student loans.

The best part about feeling in control of my money is that I feel like a General commanding my troops. All of dollars are little soldiers doing my bidding. I look forward to being debt free, and I’m working on accepting that I am not going to be so by 30.

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