24 April 2008

Houghton, Day Three: Revenge of the Sith

Since I'm still convalescing at home (yes, I'm really that sick and miserable!), I'm going to round up the weekend before my fever boils my brain. Exciting!

Sunday morning was a lot better than you think. After I was able to pry myself out of bed, I went downstairs to survey the damage, and found it minimal. Even though the "no shoes" rule was broken by the team when they arrived (though some of them kindly did obey the "no pants" rule), the floor was fortunately free of puddles of vomit. There was an unholy stench coming from the laundry room, but we got to the bottom of that pretty quickly (well, all of us except Angela).

MEg, the VP, Covert Brian and I attempted a repeat breakfast at Suomi, but it was already closed. Then we walked down to tAmbassador to have some pizza, and it wasn't open yet. MEg said this was revenge for Grandma's being closed, which is hardly my fault, though I did laugh really hard at her misfortune. We finally ended up at a Chinese restaurant, which had tasty food but rather odd service. The young man who was helping us must have been in training, because the couple who I assume owned the restaurant felt the need to correct every single move he made, from pouring the water to trying to steal my sweet and sour soup before I was done with it, to making sure we all got lemons in our water, including the VP, who had previously removed his lemon and dropped it in MEg's water. I guess lemons are just too metrosexual for the VP.

Sadly, I had to hit the road and return to the real world, where I am not a full-time college student and I don't live in an absolutely gorgeous town in Almost Canada, MI. A world where I had a long, lonely drive ahead of me. I rolled with the windows down for most of the drive, excepting a stretch of Wisconsin that got foggy and cold. Toward the end of the drive, I started to get pretty freaking tired, but I made it.

And now you know the rest of the story.

22 April 2008

Houghton, Day Two: The Temple of Doom

Okay, okay, okay. You've begged and begged, and finally I'm going to relent. I'll get on with it and post what happened the second day of my trip to the U.P., before it fades into a blur and I can't remember what really happened and what I dreamed happened.

I meant to post this little ditty on Sunday, since I posted my Friday article on Saturday, but as you may have guessed from my clever foreshadowing from the last post, I woke up on Saturday SICK. I don't mean like a little sniffle or anything, I mean full-on SICK. I'm dead tired, I can barely breathe, and I have a cough that sounds like a foghorn. Woo freaking hoo.

But, I figured, I'm here for the weekend, there's a big party tonight, and I can choose to be lame or I can just grit my teeth and pretend I'm not sick. Well, I did sort of a combination of the two. MEg, the VP and I went to breakfast at Suomi, which means Finland for those of you who are braindead hicks. It is a very tasty diner with superb breakfast food. I ate a lot: a giant pancake (mostly without syrup, which blew MEg's mind), two eggs, some toast, and bacon. Glorious, glorious bacon. MEg had a giant pancake with molto syrup and more glorious, glorious bacon. The VP ate, like, two biscuits with gravy. He was finished eating before I had even finished buttering my pancake, which was seriously the size of a small country. Maybe Liechtenstein. I suppose this is why he is a string bean and I am not.

I got to go to the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena (JMSIA) and got the grand tour. When I say grand tour, I mean we just walked in. There were some Boy Scouts there doing something, too. There wasn't any ice on the rink because they were setting up for graduation, so it wasn't quite the same, but it was still cool to see it in person. We went down to tour the facilities: I got to see the coaches' offices (no JR... SO depressing! Didn't he get the memo?), the weight room (okay, we peeked down the hall at it, as there were people in there), and the den of iniquity skating treadmill. That thing is... interesting. Lots of harnesses and such. Rrar. I bought a MTU Hockey sweatshirt. It was the only freaking small sweatshirt in the whole place. I don't know why they think only XXXXL people like hockey. S people are people, too!

After that, we had to run party errands. Or alleged party errands, like buying lightbulbs for people under the guise of needing them for the laser light show. We went to weird stores, like "Shopko" and "Econofoods." I wonder if they have a "Pamida" up there, too. They had one of those in Cloquet. Well, for all I know, they could still have one. I bought some medication and we picked up some soda and ice. I got excited at my very first player sighting. Silly me, little did I know... The VP had the brilliant idea to just chuck the soda in the back of MEg's car. That ended badly. MEg and I got sprayed with Coke.

The party officially started at 6, but we were ready long before that. Covert Brian had set up a great sound and light show, setting up the lights so they changed with the rhythm of the music. The Bruins-Canadiens game was on, and then... well, things started to deteriorate fast. And by deteriorate, I mean become very fun and crazy. Angela screamed at the top of her lungs that the Wild were a bunch of... something I won't type here. But it was so funny MEg fell onto the floor laughing. Obviously, I don't want to hear that about my Wild, but I smiled a little from my lofty perch on the upper deck couch. Then people started playing a card game that had one rule: the person who draws the highest card gets hit by everyone else. If MEg ever asks you to play cards, Just Say No.

I was pretty much down for the count at this point, which is really sad because all I was doing was sitting there drinking Mountain Dew, which shows just how desperate I was to stay awake and alert for this party. I hadn't even had any booze at all, which is a tragedy. I did have a few test sips of the rum punch, which we deemed extremely dangerous, as it 1. had tons of booze in it 2. said booze was cheap, plastic bottle booze and 3. did not taste like it had any booze in it. Unsafe at any speed. I ended up lying down upstairs, but I didn't mind because plenty of people came to keep me company. Some people I didn't even know came upstairs to chat with me, watch TV, or climb into bed and snuggle. I went back downstairs for a little bit to watch some of the (horrific) Wild game and sing along to Don't Stop Believin', but then I ended up right back upstairs, until...

Steve comes flying into the room and shouts that the hockey team just pulled up in a bus. An actual bus. I came about halfway down the staircase and there were people just pouring in the door. It wasn't the whole team, but it was about 2/3 of them, plus girlfriends/friends. They were all dressed very strangely, although many of them were Canadian, so perhaps people just wear Spandex pants, nipple-baring tank tops, and cropped Michigan State jerseys in Canada every day. It is strange up there. I guess all the guys hate tUMD, too. I know this because I asked, and they all said they hated Duluth, except for one person who is friends with Grawler and demonstrated this by whipping out his cell phone and showing me he was programmed in there (no, I wasn't psycho enough to write it down! I didn't even see anything except the area code), and one person who said "What's UMD?" I also learned that they don't like the skating treadmill, that they think MTU and UAA have the worst facilities in the league (Hear that? We don't need a new DECC after all), and that some of the guys are very good at dancing... with each other. I chatted with quite a few of them, which is totally opposite of my normal m.o., DUCK AND COVER, but then MEg made me her personal photographer and I had to take photos of her with various guys. If I were to make my All-Hottie Team over again, there'd be a lot more Techies on there. Rrar.

It was a really bad day for the state of Wisconsin. During the punching card game, the one guy from Wisconsin received several severe beatings and many disparaging remarks about the state. During our photo-ops with some of the players, they yelled "F Duluth! And WISCONSIN!" I can only get behind 50% of that sentiment. Additionally, after I went upstairs to lay down again for awhile, I heard a very loud, very long "remix" of Jesus Hates Wisconsin, which involved the lyrics "Futher muckers." It was recorded for posterity and will likely be the next YouTube sensation. I suggested we caption it and have one of those bouncing balls so people can sing along at home. It will unite the country. Except Wisconsin.

Hilarity. Utter hilarity. Even though I was sick, I didn't regret the trip. I'm not posting any photos because I need to protect the guilty. There were no innocents.

19 April 2008

Houghton, Day One

An opera in three acts.

You folks will be getting this post an hour earlier than normal because I am in the Eastern time zone now!

Yesterday afternoon I headed out for Houghton, with a quick stopover in Duluth to gloat to FHG and to have lunch at the Lakeview Castle. I had some sort of roast beef and mashed potato sandwich that was $5 and delicious. I ate it all because I am a giant pig.

The trouble began immediately after I crossed the Richard I. Bong memorial bridge into Sup-town. I know people make fun of Superior all the time, but I figured that was just the usually Wisconsin mockery. NO. It is depressing to look at. So I decided to send Bruce a text message with this discovery. (If it makes you sleep better at night, you can pretend that I pulled over to type it.) I also sent my dad a text message asking if he saw the irony in a Mother's Day Buffet at Glensheen Mansion. Anyone?

I have no idea what the responses to those texts would be, because shortly after I got outside of the Superior city limits (I think, who can tell?) I suddenly had no service. As far as cell phones go, that brings you up to speed. Stupid northern Wisconsin and UP Michigan, not having Sprint service. Garbage. However, not a big deal. So I can't take any calls this weekend. No one calls me anyway, and I don't really need to call anyone.

Remember that last sentence for later. You won't have to remember that long.

Okay, so another reason Wisconsin sucks, aside from aesthetic and technological reasons, is no one told me the 2 in Highway 2 means TWO FREAKING LANES. My car was very upset, as it was all excited to be unleashed across the wilderness of the northern Midwest. Instead, I was stuck behind some EXTREMELY SLOW DRIVERS. I mean, wow. I'd rather drive in freaking Florida. Every time I hit a passing lane, I'd blow by whoever I was tailing, only to catch up with yet another slowpoke just as the passing lane ended. ANNOYING. Once the traffic thinned out, I was able to make use of the passing zones, but it was pretty terrifying to drive on the wrong side of the road when an oncoming car could obliterate me at any moment if I didn't get past the slowpokes. The other annoying thing was driving through a stupid tiny town that made me slow down to drive through them. ESPECIALLY the dumb town that made me slow down to freaking 25. It felt like I was not even moving. I will never patronize that town ever. I will go down the road to the town that sets its limit at a civilized 45.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I passed out of Wisconsin into Michigan. Though the roads were still teeny two-lanes, no one was driving on them, so I was able to roll through the hills and valleys unrestrained. For awhile. Then the stupid deer came out. I don't understand them. Why wouldn't you wait until I've driven by before crossing the road? It makes so much sense! But yet, no. Stupid deer flirting with danger. I did see one dead one on the side of the road. Some sort of scavenging bird was eating it, and it did not have a head. Some moron probably has it mounted on his wall. Way to go, cool guy.

I finally rolled into Houghton at... well, I'm not sure what time. Because my MapQuest directions failed me at the very end, and I ended up on the horribly named "Yooper Loop" in "Hancock" rather than Houghton. I didn't immediately realize there was a problem, as there is a street in this "Hancock" that has the same name as the street MEg lives in in Houghton. So I must have crossed this insidious Loop about ten times before I realized I had no idea where I was, stopped at a gas station, and used a PAY PHONE because of course my cell phone wasn't functional. MEg refused to come get me until the Wings game ended, but then they ended up calling a time out and I whined enough that she came to pick me up.

The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. We watched the end of the Ducks-Stars game and ate some pizza. The last thing I thought before I went to bed was, I hope I get a good night's sleep and this cough doesn't get worse. We'll see if that comes into play in Episode II.

14 April 2008

Let's Talk About DECCs, Baby!

Let's talk about you and me, let's talk about all the good things and the bad things that will be...

Er... yeah. I had a flashback there. Anyway, I'm SO EXCITED!! I can't believe we are going to have an amazing new arena in just a few years!!! Of course, by that time, I plan on living in Duluth and becoming a season ticket holder. Then my "encouragement" can be heard at ALL HOME GAMES. We will win many games. I know how to motivate people; I learned from some of the best gunnery sergeants in the Marine Corps.

I found a nice little clip from the news up in Duluth about the new DECC, with some reactions and comments from Sandy, Chad Huttel, and Justin Fontaine. Chad Huttel reminisces about the current rink's history, and luminaries that graced the ice like Derek Plante and Brett Hull. I call b.s. on that, since Chad Huttel was, like, -4 years old when Brett Hull came to tUMD. Justin Fontaine says what we're all thinking: we're going to get better recruits now, and players like him will have to go to Bermidji. (Just kidding Justin! I heart you!) Not that our current crop of recruits is anything to turn your nose up at. Justin also pronounces "hockey" so cute, with his Canadian twang. The clip also made me want to buy a car from Sonju Superstore in Two Harbors. Maybe one with a transmission that doesn't make me nervous. Then I can safely go visit MEg this weekend.

This is HUGE for the city of Duluth and for tDogs. First of all, this will create non-waitressing jobs for people in Duluth, which is great for the city's economy. Second of all, the venue will be able to host a lot more great events, so they'll be able to pack a lot more people into Star Trek conventions or Gordon Lightfoot concerts. Word on the street is that Gordon Lightfoot kind of sucks in concert, but my source on that is pretty old. As for relevance to this site, it means more people will come to the games. Terrence Mann told me so. Maybe they won't be lifelong fans, but hey, it's revenue. I just hope ticket prices won't be prohibitively expensive. I mean, when you make as much money as I do, you don't write checks, straight cash, homey, but that doesn't mean that I want to get gouged like a root canal patient at Dr. Parkinson's Dental Clinic of Death.

I would like to thank all the folks who worked so hard on the Arena YES! push, as well as those who lobbied to get this passed through the legislature, and for the state legislators and the Governor for listening to the people of Duluth and FINALLY making this mofo a reality. Word to your mothers.

04 April 2008

The All-WCHA Hottie Teams

Coach: Jamie Russell***, MTU
Blogger: Dirty of Dirty's Diatribe!

1st team:
F Ryan Peckskamp*, SCSU
F Merit Waldrop*, UAA
F T.J. Oshie**, UND
D R.J. Linder**, MSUM
D Geoff Kinrade, MTU
G Robby Nolan**, MTU

2nd team:
F Matt Hartman, SCSU
F Chris VandeVelde*, UND
F Rob Bordson, UMD
D Kane Lafranchise, UAA
D Jason Garrison, UMD
G Richard Bachman, CC

3rd Team:
F Mike Testwuide, CC
F Scott Thauwald, CC
F Michael Gergen, UMD
D J.P. Testwuide, DU
D Davis Drewiske, UW
G Michael-Lee Teslak, MTU

Freshman Team:
F Rob Bordson, UMD
F Jordan Baker, MTU
F Brian Gifford, DU
D Ben Youds, MSUM
D Kane Lafranchise, UAA
G Richard Bachman, CC

*denotes two-time honoree
** denotes three-time honoree
*** denotes four-time honoree

2007 Honorees
2006 Honorees
2005 Honorees

FINALLY, all of the RWD contributors have made their own hottie lists. A certain short girl from Michigan was holding up the show. LGM is applauded for her timely contribution: she was the only one who submitted her counter-list before the deadline. This is the second year I have invited a few of my fellow bloggers/hockey fans to make their own counter-lists. Hottness is very subjective, so I thought I'd give others an opportunity to show who they think is hott.

MEg's picks
F T.J. Oshie, UND
F Tyler Bozak, DU
F Tom May, DU
D Geoff Kinrade, MTU
D Stu Bickel, UMTC
G Robby Nolan, MTU

WinTwins's picks
F Mike Testwuide, CC
F Ryan Peckskamp, SCSU
F Michael Gergen, UMD
D RJ Linder, MSUM
D Jake Gannon, CC
G Jase Weslosky, SCSU

Let's Go Mavs's picks
F Ben Gordon, UMTC
F Joel Hanson, MSUM
F Ryan Peckskamp, SCSU
D RJ Linder, MSUM
D Garrett Raboin, SCSU
G Richard Bachman, CC

03 April 2008

Don't Forget!

While you're waiting for the All-Hottie Team to come out, get your hot buns over to LetsGoDU and vote for the All-Bad Boyz Team.

EDIT: Speaking of badass, I know this is old, but here's Isaac Reichmuth's fight. Isaac, Isaac!

01 April 2008

Better Late Than Never

Or maybe not... Maybe you didn't even notice I was gone.

Anyway, hockey is over, at least for me. I don't really care about the Frozen Four, and I hardly even cared about the regionals. Unless tDogs are in the NCAA hunt, the Final Five is pretty much the end of the season.

And oh, the Final Five. It never fails to disappoint. I mean, tDogs weren't there, which was disappointing, but you can't fault the Final Five for that.

My memory is a little bit hazy, not because I had excessive amounts of booze (I didn't! I swear!), but because it was a long, long time ago. I've had a lot going on. A lot of laziness, I mean. And now I'm watching baseball and Boof just pissed me off by giving up a homerun. We need some runs, yo. I didn't even think of an April Fool's Day joke. Bruce thought he would be funny and texted me that Al had signed with SJS, but I was not fooled, because I didn't get the text until AFTER he had sent the "April Fool's!" one. So the joke was an utter failure. He did alert me to Davidson's resignation and I think he might have told me about Garrison although I also may have learned that from Rink and Bitch Run (no offense, Kevin, but all your commenters hate the Bulldogs... and me, apparently), I don't remember.

Actually, I lied. This year's Final Five was a MAJOR disappointment in one specific way: my lack of face time on the jumbotron. I mean, seriously. My girlfriend (The Hottest Girl in Alary's) and I were dancing during Dancemania and NEVER ONCE did they put us on... only major uggos and kids. GARBAGE! And then during breaks in play, I would look up at the jumbotron and see... oh, I don't know... LGM, WinTwins, DA, UMDDogz, MafiaMan, Dagies, Sioux-cia, FireHelmetGuy, Scotty, Julia... NOT ME. I was on once, when I was sitting in DA's seat, and I blew everyone kisses. I don't know what the deal was. I crave attention, and I was left unsatisfied.

I saw the same old faces and met some new ones, including:
Leah (Sioux Yeah Yeah)
PioAvsFan from Hockey In Colorado
Rabib and Mrs. Rabib
Not Donald, but a Faux-Donald who looked like him, wore a Seawolves hat, and danced during Dancemania. I knew it was an impostor because he was not wearing shorts and sandals, and he did not have a pitchfork.
Channing Boe (secretly)
Faux-Taylor Chorney
the new baby of FHG's favorite Sioux fan couple!

Conspicuously not around:
Catie from Hockey In Colorado
Badger Backer
Who's Whining Now?
Chris Dilks
Come on, people. I wasn't that hard to find, I posted where I was sitting! It's not like I called you and told you to meet me at the top of my section and then wasn't there when you got there... Not that I would EVER do that.

So, I know that it's totally lame of me, but I'm out of things to say. I KNOW what you are all waiting for: the All-Hottie Team, and it's forthcoming, I promise. But PEOPLE NEED TO MAKE THEIR FREAKING LISTS! The only person who has made their list is LGM. UNACCEPTABLE.

Most exciting news of the Final Five weekend:
tDogs' women's team wins the NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!
Here's my wonderful family toasting to the success of our ladies with "the girliest drink" that Rob/The Rookie/GQ Aitkin could think of (since McGov's doesn't sell wine coolers, since this is not 1985):