Apr. 30th, 2013

guingel: (aavivsneer)
(Bolding is for skimming clarity, not emphasis.)

Hellooooo, livejournal! If I waited five days, it will have been a full year since I posted! Which is annoying because I really should have done a US Open write-up like I did once before, because i'll want that. I'll just summarize: awesome time at the US Open last September! XDD I finally got to see David Ferrer play in person!! He was the last of my favorite players that I hadn't managed to see, and as expected, was utterly gorgeous in person. And I saw the beautiful Dustin Brown, and Petko playing mixed doubles with Eric Butorac, which was the most adorable thing ever and they were so precious and smiley! I friggin love mixed doubles. We also were able to get tickets for Arthur Ashe and I therefore saw a bit of Kim Clijster's final match, against Laura Robson. And then we were smart and watched Sara Errani beat up on someone late in the day because the next match on the court was Kim's mixed doubles match, her actual last match now that I think of it, and we were all very emotional and supportive and it was lovely. (Also I love Sara and the entire Italian Fed Cup team.)

So yeah that was super fun. And me, my sister, and my brother-in-law went to Newport to see the grass tournament there, and also the crazy mansions. It was fun and the visitors and inhabitants of Newport were all unknowing participants in a preppiness contest. The men's title was won by a 60-odd year old man wearing pink shorts with a cardigan around his shoulders. The women's title was won by a young woman that Katie and I still affectionately refer to as the princess of all preppiness, she was at the tennis wearing gold boat shoes, formal navy blue shorts, and a red blouse with an anchor pattern on it. With appropriate jewelery and long straight blonde hair of course. :') (This was last July, and yes I am a freakshow for remembering it.)

Oh, and I also got into cricket? Just a little bit. Can't remember when, but I watched Fire in Babylon, which is this amazing documentary about West Indies cricket in the late 70s-early 80s, when they were becoming a team that would absolutely dominate the cricket world for a decade. I don't particularly follow cricket much but I have watched that documentary about 80 times and now have a massive crush on Vivian Richards and an icon to match. :D

actually a moderately quick summary of work and roommate situation )

So yeah, the newest thing in my life is hockey. XDDD I've always enjoyed it as a sport, especially since falling in love with the Mighty Ducks movies, and then with curling and my love of Canadiana, I'd hear about hockey goings on but nothing that sucked me in. But then I'd check this tumblr a bunch: http://waxjism.tumblr.com/ which I found because of Teen Wolf (briefly a fan) and just really liked, and she started posting a bunch of hockey stuff, so I was able to get sucked into the personalities in a slow, subtle way, and then I started reading fanfic and it was all over.

But then there was the "which team tho???" process, and it was kind of bumpy and weird. [livejournal.com profile] kikigirl is a Pens fan and my only close friend who loves hockey, so she was getting me to watch Penguins games and I wanted to embrace them but I had to create my own relationship with them and I was worried it wouldn't happen. But it did!! And now I adore them, and am especially excited that they traded for Jarome Iginla, which I know is sad in many ways but I just was madly in love with him from day one and love having him on my team and want all good things for him. And I adore Sid as well, and you know, all of them. :D And being a Pens fan has been super fun. I had it way too easy, of course - the first game of theirs that I watched was the last one in February, a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Then they didn't lose a single game through the entirety of March! So I felt like I brought some good vibes around. XD

Then I wanted to have an NY area team, and I thought it'd be the Devils because I love Martin Brodeur and Ken Daneyko, and I still am fond of them (I'm trying to be chill about the hockey thing and not feel the rivalries quite as much as in soccer - I still root against rival teams, but I don't feel as much vitriol towards them and their fans) buuuuuuuut things worked out differently than I expected. [livejournal.com profile] kikigirl and I were going to try to go to a Pens-Rangers game at MSG, but it didn't work out and I still really wanted to go to an NHL game, and my parents live really close to Nassau Coliseum, and tickets are really cheap there, so... I went to see the Islanders vs the Tampa Bay Lightning. XDDDDD

So random, but - IT WAS AMAZING. It was easily my best live sports experience, especially men's sports. A lot of the credit for that definitely is how easy the transportation was - even leaving, we live in the opposite direction as the highway so there was no traffic - and it helped that we had great seats. But it was also a really fantastic game and there genuinely was a great atmosphere. Lots of families, lots of women around, which was great (except there were only 5 stalls in the bathroom, cos the building is old as the hills). The team played well and played really hard - effort is something that I have an easier time seeing in person, how hard they go in for what would be called a 50/50 ball in soccer (I do a lot of comparing), that sort of thing. And the way the game played out was just amazing - we were up 1-0 after the first period, then they equalized! We went up again to be 2-1 after the second (so we got to spend both breaks winning) but then they equalized again! My dad apparently felt totally despairing at that point, but we scored again! And then they pulled their goalie (one of my fave things in hockey) and it was still super tense, and then with 15 seconds left there was a great empty-netter - he just cleared it out and it drifted gently into the goal. The commentators (we checked the highlights) compared it to a curling rock. :DDD

So that was just completely fun and delightful and now I'm an Islanders fan!! Against all my better judgement, hahaha. BUT!! Then they went on a points streak for most of April, and qualified for the friggin playoffs!! For the first time since 2007!! :DDDDDDD It was all so exciting and wonderful and I was delighted to have been tricked into loving them. I had to buy playoff tickets as soon as we clinched, even though we didn't know who we'd be playing or what the schedule was. They're moving to Brooklyn in a couple years and tickets will all be way more expensive, and I just had to do it.

Of course, then we stop winning the last couple games of the season and end up the 8th seed in the eastern conference and of course are facing the Penguins in the first round. Of course. XDDD In a way, it's good, because one of my teams will go through. But I wanted to be able to root for the Islanders without hesitation, whereas in this matchup I'm pulling a little harder for the Penguins - aforementioned Iginla factor, plus greater expectations, plus better chances of going farther. Plus it's just so much more difficult a matchup for the Islanders! They've been playing great and most of the other teams in the conference have shown a lot of weakness, but the Pens have been a different level. However!! It does mean that i'll get to see both teams I love, and it'll be amazing to see the Penguins in the playoffs, and even if things go badly whichever way, I can be consoled. So I'm definitely feeling fairly good about how things worked out.

Also amazed at how the scheduling worked out - I knew that the higher ranked team had "home ice advantage" but I had no idea how that actually worked or how the games would be scheduled, especially in the shortened season, but I went for Islanders home game 2 ($65 each after fees, in the corner on the upper level, which is still pretty dang close). Which I kind of thought would be the third game of the series. The playoffs start today so I thought that'd be maybe on the weekend and it'd be nice. Well, what I forgot was that I'm doing an awesome house tour of fancy Greenwich Village townhouses on Sunday - it's a fundraiser, but I'm volunteering and get to go on the tour for free. I did it last year and it's the greatest, I friggin love seeing inside rich people's homes! Very beautiful and luxurious and kind of fantasy-ish. So I realized that game 3 might conflict with this, and then spent the whole weekend fretting at various levels, while I came to terms with the possibility of having to sell off my tickets. I also didn't know who we'd be playing at that point, so there was just so much freaking out, watching scores, waiting for schedules.

And of course it turns out that game 3 of Pens-Isles is indeed on Sunday afternoon, and I would have had to miss it. Except Islanders home game 2 is actually GAME FOUR of the series!! Which I didn't realize until quite a bit after the schedule was released, because I think they just said "game 1" and the date and time rather than "Islanders at Penguins" and the date and time. So then I kind of saw an offhand comment about the first two games being in Pittsburgh and I was like "WAIT WHAT" and spent the next hour in adrenaline-fueled confusion - a terrible state in which to be. XDDD

But YES. It turns out the game I got tickets for is a week from today at 7 PM and I will absolutely be able to go, and will also be able to go to the house tour! And I'd completely forgotten when the tour was when buying the tickets and totally preferred game 3 (cos game 4 could be elimination if the Pens sweep, and regardless of my feelings about the ultimate result, I'm going to the Coliseum to make noise for the Islanders) and totally thought weekend tickets would be great, so if I'd actually understood the scheduling, I almost definitely would have gotten home game 1 tickets and then I wouldn't have been able to go!! All morning yesterday I was kind of still in shock from both relief that it worked out and from how narrowly my ignorance saved me!! WACKY. TIMES.

So now, a little over 2 months from really embracing hockey fandom, I am going to go see my two favorite teams face each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To quote a meme - that escalated quickly.

a little more about hockey... and feminism )

Oh and you can find me as ambitiouspants on twitter and tumblr now - especially twitter, where I am far too prolific.


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