Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tim Tebow
I will be perfectly honest up front, I don’t like Tim Tebow. I’m not a Christian, and while Christians themselves do not bother me, Tebow-mania along with his use of that faith to partner with an unwholesome organization bother me significantly.
But as I continue to regard the athlete for things outside the world of sports, I’ve come to recognize that Tebow is a victim, like the wide-blue-eyed member of the Hitler Youth movement or the innocent and wholly (and blissfully) ignorant child whose parents retain an unfortunate membership to the KKK. (The difference of course is that while those organizations have been used to perpetuate evil, there is an aspect of good to Christianity.) With Tebow’s involvement with Focus on the Family, it’s clear that a benevolent Christian path is not one Tebow walks.

But can we to blame him? Tim Tebow is a victim of the parallel universe his home-schooling and his ultra-conservative parents have forced him to live in. His decision to partner with FotF, an organization that retains ties to the SPLC-designated hate group the Family Research Council (and was in fact founded by the same person) and whose own president has said that "homosexuality will destroy the earth" was almost certainly a product of the forces of that universe.

So even though I may dislike Tebow, I’ve tried to come to see him as he is, a victim of a perversion of faith. Nothing more, nothing less.

CV Cast - Panthers 2

Friday, October 28, 2011

CV Cast - Jackets

Loser's GDT - BJs

Well at least we've lulled the league into the backup class now. Lets hope they have a short memory and dont remember the Buffalo beat down last year that triggered the late season fall.
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I really like the sabres uniforms.
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That Kaleta is a real piece of ****. Now looks like Bass may have hurt his hand.
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Kaleta, guy has no respect.
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I'll have to watch it again, but the only thing I noticed in real time was Mason's New York sized fivehole (first goal)
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Can we please send this punching bag back to Springfield?............. (Bass after the McCormick fight)
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Enroth for Vezina, I'm calling it now...They're making me think it's possible.
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I wish GameCenter had a 'Fast Forward Until Mayorov/Pahlsson/Dorsett Aren't On The Ice Anymore' button
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Stop aiming AT THE GOALIE jeez
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Vermette stinks like a hobo's baindaid for 10 straight games and there is no demotion. Johan gets a single goal scored on him, which didn't appear to be his fault much at all, and he is benched.

Fire Arniel. This is just epic stupidity.
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"shot from a sharp angle"
We're trying that way too much. I get if you run out of options but we're doing it nearly every shift, and trying to bounce it of the back of the goalie. Go to prime scoring areas
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Is the crowd just poorly mic'd or what? It's pretty damn quiet in there.
(It was dead as a doornail until right before Kaleta scored.)
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Lastly, we all said we wanted to see a more high scoring style of hockey under Arniel. Well, he's giving it to us in spades. Other teams have never scored so much against a Jackets team.
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I just got home from this game, after being harrased by a Canadian border guard about how much I drank tonight...Only 2, I swear
(Fuck leafs fans for coming to our games to root for the other team. God I wish we'd conquer Canada.)
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Monday, October 24, 2011

First Day, First Impressions - GBU

So today was my first day at a temp. job that has the potential to turn into a full time position come December.  Without further adieu, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:
  • Everyone is really friendly, much more so than previous places of employment.
  • Most of the employees have been there a long time, again much more so than previous places of employment.
  • They seem committed to being patient and allowing me to watch and learn for a long time. Some people are Peyton Manning and throw 20 TDs in their first season. Some people are Drew Brees and ride the pine a bit.
  • No billing to specific projects. Thank fucking god.
  • Supervisor suggested I leave early. That would NEVER have happened at my previous places of employment. Not that I expect this to be the norm, but it's nice to be working under someone who is realistic as opposed to someone who's under the mindset "you need to be working late every day even though we haven't given you hardly any actual work to do."
  • No cube entrance facing into a major thoroughfare. I can't tell you how much this annoyed me before.
  • Plenty of personal calls, breaks, etc. taken by those around me. Nice to work for a company that realizes that people aren't machines that you can just plug in for eight hours a day.
  • As the setting sun lit up the red trees, the drive back was pretty.
  • The commute was not nearly as bad as I expected. Almost no traffic.
  • The company gives an hour for lunch.

The Bad:
  • I don't really like taking an hour lunch. I'd rather take a half hour and leave earlier, especially since I bring food and don't have to spend ten minutes procuring food.
  • The commute is 40 minutes. While it wasn't as bad as I expected, that's still a shitty drive.
  • I'm not sure I'll ever get used to working an 8-5 job. Granted it's too early to be making too many judgments, but my big fear with engineering jobs is that I won't grow to love them, that they'll just be good enough and pay well enough for me to like them.

The Ugly:
  • I don't have a computer yet. :(
  • Good 3g service would mitigate the above for now, but it's spotty at best.

Overall I'm more excited for a job than I've ever been before. I think this is a niche that I could really thrive in, and there are a few nearby apartment complexes that I wouldn't mind living in. I think if I had a situation where work was five minutes away, extending sleep time and maximizing leisure time and (minimizing the impact of time away from work), I could really start to enjoy myself.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It Gets Better - Rebecca Drysdale with Lyrics


It Gets Better by Rebecca Drysdale

Amanda is in gym class where the kids go to get fit,
But her eye's not on the ball at all, it's on Ms. Foster's tits.
Shes got a dirty little secret that everybody knows,
She came out but she wishes she had left the closet closed.

And here is little Davey hiding in the piano room
Playing Wicked, Rent, Chicago, Cats, and Brigadoon.
He's hiding from the locker room and jocks who roam the halls
Where he's safe from wedgies, shiners, and destruction of his balls.

But when they call you weirdos, fags, and rejects, flamers, gays, and hags
Baby-dykes, and homo-dykes, lesbos, homos, and queerbags
It might seem like its hopeless and will never be okay,
But listen to the ones who care, believe them when they say...

It gets better!

Someday you'll look back and you wont give a fuck
When you're swimmin' through your pussy vault like Scrooge 'fuckin'' McDuck
And when you're snatchin' your first Grammy, super-glam and lookin' slick,
It wont be much time til they get in line for a chance to suck your dick.

It gets better!

It wasn't long til they told Johnny that he wasn't normal
When he wore a strapless gown and high heels to his junior formal,
But the cool guys, they felt passionately that his chosen fashion
Was a rationalization for a rash of Johnny-bashin.'

Everyone made fun of Shannon cause she kissed a girl,
So she hid her head and closed her mouth and shut out her whole world.
She is brilliant, smart and funny, kind and talented, but hey
It doesn't matter what she is, all she is to them is gay.

But when they call you carpet munchers, fudge-packers, and queens
Lesbians-in-training, Marys, lily nancy teens
It might seem like you're different, weird, unusual, or strange,
But hang in there cause things will always and have always changed.

It gets better!

Johns a stylist and he's gotten pretty far,
Now he doesn't get his ass kicked, but his ass kissed by the stars.
And when Shannon got to college, she met people just like her
And she realized who the d-bags and the fuckheads really were.

It gets better!

Jane Lynch, Boy George, Versace,
Adam Lambert, Liberace,
Elton, Tim, John, Michael Stipe,
Ellen, Rosie, Wanda Sykes.

Jodie Foster, Linda Perry,
Gandalf the wizard, actually a fairy.
Simon, Amstell, K.D. Lang,
Even Brando liked some wang.

Rachel Maddow, huge muff-diver,
Richard Hatch who won Survivor,
Nathan Lane, Truman Capote,
even Obi Wan Kenobi.

Billy Joe from Green Day's bi,
Ricky Martin, big surprise,
Doogie Howser, what a showman,
Dave Hyde Pierce and all the Romans.

Tommy Tune and Alvin Ailey,
Meredith Baxter, Leica Haley.
Lohan, Paquin, both are bi,
Boy George and George Takei.

Cher has a transgendered child,
George Michael and Oscar Wilde.
Everyone involved in glee
One tenth of everyone you know and me.

All of them are just like you,
It got better for them and it will for you too.

It gets better!

If you're gay or bi or something in between,
There's no one who is meaner than a bunch of asshole teens.
But those assholes are the first people you will soon forget
When you're livin' life and learning how much better it can get.

It gets better!

Oh yeah, it gets better!

It gets better!

Yeah yeah yeah...

It gets better!



(I might have missed a name or word or two, let me know.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Loser's GDT - Panthers

The Sabres are really good. One of the better teams in the East, imo. A win would be huge but I'm not expecting it.
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Get real. The Sabres are one of the favorites in the East. Nothing defeatist about assessing a situation realistically instead of blind homeristic optimism.
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Nothing more worthless than posting a .gif. Any reason you disagree? Why do you think winning this game would be huge? Let me tell you since you don't seem to get it. The Sabres are really good and a better team than us. Ask anyone who has watched them this year, take a look at their record, and how much of their core is intact and then compare them to us and you should be able to figure it out. We're better than some teams but not all teams. Not sure why being honest is out of bounds.
(All three by the same poster)
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In order to win we simply need to work harder than buffalo. Plain and Simple!
That's what Montreal thought.
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I'm not here to talk any trash, but I just got to turn the game on now.. is that normal for the stands to be that empty at panthers games?
No, was a bomb scare, only the hardcore fans stayed. (lol)
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Holy crap. Did Bradley's face explode?
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"Ryan Miller is gonna stop the first shot 95-199% of the time."

-Billy Lindsay
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Originally Posted by Erick View Post
Ellerby sucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panteras View Post
Ellerby sucks
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laus723 View Post
Ellerby sucks
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View Poll Results: Can the Cats bounce back from the last lackluster game?

This is a new team, it won't bother them. 5 19.23%
Another tough opponent? I don't know... 5 19.23%
They've actually slept since then, so probably. 6 23.08%
Let's put it this way, Rick Jeanneret is gonna be screaming a lot. 10 38.46%
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man against boys out there, man against boys
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Jeebus. You give Vanek an open from the middle of the slot at 15 feet, and he's gonna score 9 out of 10. Seriously, Theo has been the only good spot in this game, imo. None of those 3 goals were because of any mistakes on his part.

Not a great game. At least we have a couple of upcoming against some iffy teams. Hopefully we can get our collective ***** together.

CV Cast - Panthers

Star Trek Deep Space Nine

I was born in 1986, the year before The Next Generation premiered as the second installment of Star Trek on television.  So I have some very early memories of episodes in the later seasons as it continued it's run.  Then Voyager came on when I was in junior high and I was hooked from the beginning.  My Trek obsession really began with Captain Kathryn Janeway and her crew's struggle to get home.

Some time later I discovered episodes from The Original Series on VHS at our local library.  I burned through as many as I could in short order before getting the entire series on DVD a few years later.

And then there was Deep Space Nine, the redheaded, forgotten stepchild of the Star Trek Universe.  I never got into DS9 because my parents never watched it.  I'd always loved the Trek novels, and inevitably that involved some advances by DS9 characters as I started to run out of Voyager and TNG material.  With so many of them intriguing me (mainly Ezri Dax and Julian Bashir), I couldn't help but pick up a few seasons of DS9.  That was a good call.

Deep Space Nine is without a doubt the best Star Trek series, and it isn't even close.  Voyager wins the prize for best episodes, but DS9 is the best series as a whole.  And the reason for that is twofold.  One, it has the best cast.  Two, it does the most to create and expand the Star Trek Universe.

Granted TOS had an amazing cast...but there's only so much Kirk boinks an alien, Spock makes a pithy joke, and McCoy gets angry at Spock I can handle.  The Next Generation had probably three or four of the worst characters in Star Trek: Wesley Crusher, Beverly Crusher, Deanna Troi, and Katherine Pulaski.  Voyager had a few characters who were boring (Chakotay, Kes), and a few characters that had extremely obnoxious story arcs (Neelix, The Doctor).

In Deep Space Nine, there wasn't a single character I didn't love.  Avery Brooks had such a jovial and laid back approach to captain Sisko, he was a joy to watch.  I will never tire of seeing Nana Visitor kick someone's ass.  Terry Farrell had an amazing, mercurial, and ultimately wise approach to Jadzia Dax, and Nicole de Boer deserves a medal for taking that blueprint and creating something else entirely.  Siddeg Al Faddil was amusing in his smarminess, and Colm Meaney was a perfect companion for him.  The only places the series suffered were where Michael Dorn couldn't do anything to liven up Worf, and the few too many trips to Ferenginar.  (And not murdering Keiko O'Brien immediately.)

What draw people to something in fanatic levels is a universe they feel they can immerse themselves in.  It's why The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter are so popular.  DS9 did more for the trek universe than any of the other series combined.  We learned about the Romulans, the Klingons, the Cardassians, the Bajorans, the Tzenkethi, the Breen, the Dominion, the Ferengei, the Nausicans, and even got the best look into the Federation itself of all the series.

TOS and TNG are important because they (in different ways) mark the beginning of the Star Trek Universe.  Deep Space Nine, in returning to the roots of Star Trek, helps it's legacy to endure.  Where The Original Series helped shatter the race barrier and diversify television, Deep Space Nine started to deconstruct some of the taboos we have about gender and sex.  Where TOS featured the first inter-racial kiss on television, DS9 featured the first same-sex kiss on television.  In DS9 we broke from the safe world of TNG and entered an area where no topic was too dark.  Sex, Death, Genocide, Religion, nothing was sacred.

Deep Space Nine looms as the greatest Trek Series because it grew to be larger than life in a way that TOS was too far ahead of it's time to accomplish.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CV Cast - Canadiens

Loser's GDT - Canadiens

As always, real posts by real dumbasses.


gonna be a bounce back game from the habs

3 1
(good call, asshole)
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Their top 3 defenseman are all arguably better than any of ours. We're in for a tough one tonight!
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Man, that Buffalo line-up is crazy deep.

5-1 Sabres
(Lost of love from the Quebec internets)
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In Buffalo they don't run their coaches out of town every 3 years. Stability goes a long way. Though they always seem to come up a bit short. I called Buffalo for the Cup this year. We'll see.
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Habs will lose tonight, but they'll play well.


I have to say though, the Sabres are praised everywhere, Habs players know this, and that's usually when they rise to do their best. When they know they have to play strong all game long to win.
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Unreal, i would love to have that 4th line in Montreal. Imagine one of the top face-off guys on the fourth line.
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40 shots for Sabres tonight with Montreal winning is my prediction.
(So close...)
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13 minutes late !!!about freaking time
(We know...)
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Weak weak call on Plekanec...that was brutal. Refs must be trying to get Buffalo going...
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Sabres goal is a force field tonight.
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Good period. Fire everyone.
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Why Nickelback.
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+1 for Ryan Miller being an awesome goalie.
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How the **** can you not penalized that trip on Desharnais?
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Wow what a slew foot by Gaustad.
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If we lose this... I'll start being pretty concerned about our chances to make the playoffs this year. We can't blame the injuries... sure we're missing Cammy and Markov but if we can't win without them it says a lot about our team...
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Buffalo's armpit sweat patches are really corny. They should get rid of those.
(Yes)
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Are you freaking kidding me...
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I saw that coming after that icing...
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That Vanek goal is ******* painful.
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Bonehead icing by Gorges...no way Vanek should score from there...Price has been weak on both goals...was about a foot off the post. Miller is winning them the F%%#ing game.
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Hey by the way


We won the cup in 93 !
(With Colorado's HOF goaltender...)
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Gotta admit though...that was a beautifully executed faceoff play. I mean it couldn't have worked any better.
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Perfect shot from Vanek, but thats what he does. He should have never been that open.
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at lease Halak is more consistent
(LMAO)
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Some of you guys are nuts. At his best, Vanek is a legit elite sniper. He had all the time in the world and took a perfect shot.
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ITS CALLED HAVING A SET DEFENSIVE PLAY IN YOUR ZONE !!! ARE YOU REALLY THAT TECHNICALLY HOCKEY ILLITERATE ?
ITS CALLED A PLAYER SKATING TO THE BENCH TO RELAY A PLAY TO THE REST OF THE PLAYERS AND NOT WASTE A TIME OUT. HAVE YOU EVER PLAYED HOCKEY?
(Arguing the merits of calling a timeout on the icing that led to the Vanek goal...five pages later)
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If we were to tank better not suck enough to land Yakupov but enough for us to get Grigorenko.
(Game five...)
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Send Darche to run Miller.
(Turnbuckle Pacioretty...)
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Miller you are way too good.
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I wish we had Gaustad
(And for 2.3M...)
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If we ever won the cup, we could go 0-82 the next year and i wouldnt care.
(And if the Yankees ever win a World Series...)
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can somebody run Miller ?
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Sabres doesn't deserve to be in the game. They are Bantam B players.
(lol)
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We were due to get a bad season...
Due? Since 1993?
(Just when I was asking god for a post showing what entitled twats Habs fans are...)

Labels

I went to a presentation on Transgenderism at RIT last weekend because it's something I'm very curious about and lack information on. The speaker was a female-to-male transgendered individual that (from what I've heard) had been taking hormones (testosterone) for about six months. I say this, not really because it's relevant to the entry, but to show that the information was coming from an eminently qualified individual.

And yet when it came time to discuss and define transgenderism, and more broadly, gender and sex as a whole, he stumbled. And thought. And hesitated. And really what we discover is that even someone who has (literally) a lifetime of experience with these issues can't find any sort of appropriateness within the various labels. It seems that labels don't really work so well. We like to put things in categories, but people are too unique for that to be done with any sort of effectiveness.

My girlfriend has said on numerous occasions, "I don't understand why I have to be straight or a bisexual, or genderqueer, or whatever. Why can't I just be a person?"

Why indeed.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Friends' Weddings; a Conundrum

I'll be up front right now, I probably don't have enough friends to really have to worry about going to many weddings. I am okay with this. But for those that do deign to invite me to theirs, it presents a conundrum.

Obviously I'm happy for those of my friends that choose to pursue a partnership, that cannot be overstated. The issue lies with the organizations that those people would choose to officiate their marriage. I'm not sure I can endorse an organization that has such a deep rooted and fundamental hatred for myself, my girlfriend, and people like us. On one hand that's a selfish thought, but on the other, I'd feel like I was letting down the millions of LGBT individuals that are fighting so hard for equality.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Losers GDT - Penguins

(It should be noted that the Pens had one less page than the Kings. Hockey market my ass.)
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Watched the Sabres last night. Their only glaring weakness was a tendency to allow odd-man rushes while on the PP, evidence by the two shorties scored by Carolina. Hopefully the Pens PKers can take advantage of that if it remains the case.
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I don't like their chances without geno, buffalo is stacked. They have 3 great lines to roll out.

4-2 Sabres

I hope I am wrong
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Sabres are impressing me.
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New/worst drinking game ever: drink every time the Penguins makes three clean passes in a row.
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Just as stupid as we know Flyers fans are, we shouldn't mock them for something a bit of our fanbase will presumably do itself. (HOLY SHIT REASON! Re: Booing Richards/Jagr)
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These guys need to start plowing over Gerbe. (Gerbe is a dick.)
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Wow. What a save.
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What Vanek just did there is what Staal needs to learn how to do.
Offense? (LMAO)
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Funny story: When the 2010 Olympic gold medal game when to OT, I had predicted on the main board that (after missing that breakaway late in the 3rd) Sid would end it.

That, has been just one of my many correct hockey predictions. I either have a potential gift...or I'm just one lucky ****er. (Warning: Dumbass alert(
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****in snipe city....

That was awesome. (Staffy respect.)
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There's plastic wrap over the Sabres net
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Why would you put Staal out there against Guastard??? You knew he was losing that faceoff.
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Nothing at all wrong with tonight's game from the Pens.

With the players we are missing we are not supposed to do more than keep it close against a good team and give Fleury a chance to steal it.

Buffalo have a playoff team, perhaps a division winner.
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Meh we deserved a point, but that wasnt in the cards this time.Martin should have buried his chances.As long as the Wings lose this is a fine night.Philly loses to Kings (No you didn't, fuck you.)
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I came to this thread just to see what you guys had to say about the game, and I'm leaving offended. Sabres spelled Sabres in the OP and our logo is the goat, which we havent used in what, 6-7 years? C'mon guys!

(I'm not offended Buffalo fan...I just feel dirty.)

Loser's GDT - Kings

Both teams would love to get out of Berlin with 4 points under their belt. Unfortunately for Buffalo it won't be them. (Good call, jackass.)
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Please don't ever let that lady sing our anthem again. Butcher job.
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Gerbe makes Marty St. Louis look like Shaq.
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Ennis has some great speed.
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That was almost an goalie interference on Vanek on that goal
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This game shows the huge disparity in coaching. Buffalo gets a turnover and they all go to the front of the net. The Kings get a turnover and they have no one in front.
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Wow, the Sabres have a lot of skill and speed. Or the Kings Defense is just not good today.
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Buffalo has to be the sissiest diver-est girlish team in the NHL. I can't wait until they are swatted out of the first round once again like the bugs they are (Likewise pal)
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Gerbe is little compact, tough kid. He's been standing guys up all game.
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Why are we even dressing a goon in this game?

The Sabres are a skilled team with lots of speed and no goon.
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Westbarf right back out there
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The Sabres remind me of The Blues. Lots of Speed and Skill. The Kings are still going to get Eat up by teams like that.

Loser's GDT - Ducks

I forgot, but we are back! As always real internetz posts from real fans. (My thoughts are in these curvy things.)

Yikes, that Sabres 4th line is an injury waiting to happen. (Respect)
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Damn, that Sabres line up actually looks pretty scary for me. Problems coming in in 2,5 hours. (Respect x2)
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I like the way Buffalo plays. Solid in every zone. (Repect x3)
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We should change our names to "Anaheim Penalties" or "Penalty Kill of Anaheim" =P (Yep.)
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Sabres just are better
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Jesus, Ryan is such a pansy. Running away from Gerbe?
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Seriously though, I hope Regehr punches Getzlaf in the face or something so Getzlaf turns in to pissed off Getzlaf mode.
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Buffalo looks fast and aggressive.
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Regher-Myers is going to be one of the best shutdown pairings in the league this season.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jumping on the Milwaukee Bandwagon?

This is the first time in ten years I've watched more than a smattering of postseason baseball, and a large part of that is because of the Milwaukee Brewers.  (Most of it is because the playoffs got a thousand times more enjoyable once there were no Yankees, Red Sox, or Phillies to be found (ratings be damned), but I digress.)

There's something compelling about a team that had one playoff series win (1982) in its 41 year history coming into this season and no world series titles (though the Milwaukee Braves did win one in 1957).  They were the reason I was passably interested in the playoffs a few years ago and now they're the reason I've jumped in head first now.

But do I like them enough to call them my team?

I do have an indirect connection to the Brewers through my friend Lee.  A native of Iowa, Lee roots for the Brewers when he's not rooting for the Mets, and when he's giving a shit about baseball at all (which is practically never).  But that's a reach at best.  Otherwise it simplifies to "they're the best combination of small market and relevant right now."  For years if you asked me my favorite team I hopped between the Mets (being a New Yorker), and the Twins (loving Brad Radke).  But Radke isn't in baseball anymore and I don't get a warm feeling when I think about the Mets.  In fact, I don't get a warm feeling when I think about anyone or anything in New York City (except the DGWU crew).  After years of hating the Jets and Giants and the Yankees when they're not playing the Red Sox or Phillies, and watching upstate get the shaft by the city, it makes me a little sick to try and identify with those people.

The other part of it is that I have no desire to watch 162 baseball games in a year.  A bit of a difference from other sports where I haven't missed a game in almost three years (Buffalo Sabres), or since the Clinton Administration (Buffalo Bills).  I'm not only not going to be able to watch a lot of Brewers games in a year, I'm not going to want to.

But having a team to call my own is different and might make baseball a bit more enjoyable, right?  Especially since the Brewers are one of maybe ten teams with a good chance of making the playoffs.  Plus it's a small market with fun crowds, a ridiculous home field advantage that's starved for a championship.  That's everything I like to root for.

Some Thoughts on Mental Issues

Gender Identity Disorder has started to ring truer with me in recent weeks like the increasing low vibrations of a tell-tale bell.  It's something that I have grown fascinated with for a multitude of reasons, how close it hits to home, and how callously it is disregarded among them.

It's the latter that has struck me harder as of late.  To read the rhetoric being pushed about the internet, some of it by those who have otherwise shown themselves to be intelligent and tolerant people, is, in a word, disappointing.  Read any publicized news story on an issue regarding Gender Identity Disorder and the hate comments spew fire from the mouth of ignorant dragon after ignorant dragon.  It is, to far too many people, something ridiculous that can simply denied through force of will or buried under a veneer of other thoughts.  As though the problem with schizophrenics and those with bipolar disorder is that they need to merely "stop acting crazy" and that those with Parkinson's or Cerebral Palsy or Epilepsy need to "stop acting disabled."

To me, one of the key facets of maturity or enlightenment is a heightened sense of self-awareness.  I think that's what gets me in regards to the public outcry against Gender Identity Disorder.  To treat such issues as though they are uncommon, and such people as though they are blights is, simply put, hideously un-self-aware. 

We like to put everything into neat little boxes, but nature doesn't quite work that way.  Every single person has an aspect of their personality that is at odds (sometimes severe odds) with their biological gender.  In denigrating those who do not conform to such boxes members of society are, like Tom Riddle, shredding a part of themselves in the process.

I'm not sure what's sadder, making fun of someone because you see (subconsciously) a part of yourself in them...or making fun of them because they were born with the brain chemistry of one gender and the physiology of another.  Of course, chastising people for something they cannot change is nothing new.

We are truly a cruel people.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Trans...Queer...Questioning?

Lately transgender and gender identity issues have been getting more and more play in the news, mostly because society has progressed to the point where we can finally admit that these things exist and are legitimate struggles for some people.  I figured that now is as good a time as ever to discuss some of the struggles I've had with my own gender.

I'm not transgendered, or questioning my gender, and my struggles with what it means to be male can barely be described as such.  More the onus is on the rigid definitions of what is "manly" imposed by society than it is on any lack of self-awareness on my part.

I never grew up fawning over pink or purple, or trying to put on dresses, but I did have a tendency to stray towards things that were more feminine in nature.  At a young age, my parents sometimes pushed me towards more sporty things in an effort to fit in.  Going through elementary school, I was obsessed with cats, and as you would imagine my room was adorned with many posters and pictures.  (Not quite a Dolores Umbridge level of decor.)  There was one moment in Wal-Mart when my mother said I could get a poster.  The decision came down to a rather girly and goofy image of a kitten, and a poster featuring all 28 football teams.  I leaned towards the former, but my mom ensured that I left Wal-Mart with the latter.

The outsider might look at me, an avid Bills and Sabres fan, and a more than occasional participant in recreational baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball, and bowling leagues (over the course of both my childhood and adulthood) and see someone who is unquestionably male in activities and desires.  Not at all the case.  In many other aspects of my life, there has been a distinct trend towards the feminine.  I will spare the space of completing a laundry list (from Avril Lavigne to t.A.T.u.) of those things and move onwards.

The point is, I never really considered myself a label, and as my individuality and confidence flourished I became more and more okay with those tastes.  The problem, as I said before, is with society.  We seem to have a certain fondness for categories and fitting everyone into one.  At times it's nice to be able to simply yourself into a buzzword to rally around (when you need to), but no one is that uncomplicated.  I don't consider myself any of the words in the title of this entry, or many other labels really.  Sometimes it's a sense of pride to call out, "I...am..._____!"  And I am those things, but they don't singularly define me.  On top of everything, I am a person...I am me.

One of the Dumbest Fucking Things I've Ever Read

If you missed it, and you probably did because it's not all that important, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that lowers the age of consent to receive the HPV vaccine to twelve.  Of course conservative groups are interpreting such an occurrence as putting a giant tattoo on these young girls' foreheads that says "FUCK ALL THE HOLES!"

Which is, you know, plenty stupid in itself, but that's not what gets me.  Apparently Governor Brown also once signed a bill that raises the age of consent to use a tanning bed to 18.  The conservative CitizenLink calls this ironic and features a quote from the California Family Council's Ron Prentice who says "It’s pretty difficult to have any thoughts other than to shake your head and wonder how he intends to line the two up.”

Now I know the definition of irony has been pretty much forgotten, but generally speaking it describes a situation that plays out in the opposite manner to what was expected.  Having Governor Brown sign a bill into law that protects the health of girls by not letting them cancerify their skin at a young age...and then sign a bill into law that protects the health of girls by allowing them to receive a vaccine that prevents contracting a virus that may lead to cancer...(drumroll)...is not even remotely ironic.

What would be ironic is if the right hit the nail on the head with this issue.  You know, because usually their efforts to do so result in something akin to a drunk throwing a pickle at the nail.

Well...shit.

Lending Credence to my Suburban Shitbag Theory

A while ago I made the observation that those in rural areas seem to generally be okay people, and that those in urban areas seem to generally be okay people...but those that live in suburbia tend to be complete and total assholes.  Enter: this article.

The premise is that while cities have bars and coffee shops and restaurants in which people can hang out and develop a sense of community, and rural areas have focused town centers where people can do the same, suburbia straddles a middle ground that ultimately deprives people of the opportunity to interact with their fellow human beings.  Suburban areas, house farms as I call them, tend to discourage any sense of community.  Places where people can interact together are often far away and houses tend to be fenced in and closed off (mostly to attain the privacy that being ten feet away from each other lacks).  What you end up with is people who retain relatively private lives, going from their house to their garage to their car to work and back again with barely a nod's worth of interaction with the neighbors.  Without that interaction, people lose their sense of empathy...and if you don't have that, the ability to understand and identify with the emotions of your fellow human beings...you're an asshole.  Guess what's coming out of suburbia...

I would have posted a picture of Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell, but their faces are so infuriating, I lose brain cells every time I see them.

I don't have a whole lot more to say that the article doesn't cover with more eloquence.  But a lack of empathy coming out of suburbia certainly explains the Tea Party's general hatred of anyone that isn't old, white, and straight.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Don't Make Fun of Buffalo

Maybe you've seen it, maybe you haven't. The gist of the story is that an Albany Times Union columnist (Jennifer Gish) wrote a post essentially telling Bills fans to stop being so damn happy after they beat the Raiders and moved to 2-0. I just learned about the piece now, so I'm a little behind.

As with a lot of theses stories, it continues past the original article into something greater. A little Internet 101: what did the anonymous bastards do? Why yes they picked on the fact that Gish is a woman and called her a slew of misogynist names. Very good! After the excessive dropping of c-words and k-words (rhymes with itchin'), Gish penned another column basically complaining about her treatment (invalid!) and the treatment of women who work in sports (valid!). Let me say this very clearly, people didn't pick on Gish because she's a woman. They picked on her because she wrote something completely asinine. The fact that she's a woman was simply the most convenient thing to harp on for a lot of people that wanted to piss Gish off as much as they'd been pissed off by her. It's like when Michael Richards flipped out on a bunch of black guys, "these people are REALLY pissing me off, what can I say to return the favor? Oh, I know..." Does that make it right? No. But I also don't think it makes Michael Richards a racist.

My comment to Gish was essentially this: Buffalo is the nerdy kid in high school that all the jocks (columnists) pick on when they get bored. She came in and started griping about how people were too happy about how the Bills have started their most promising season in a decade. Why was she surprised when the little nerdy kid decided he was sick of the jock's shit and started throwing punches? "Hey you play in Canada, you might move, you haven't beaten the Patriots in forever, you won't this week!" It's not surprising Bills fans assaulted her over the internet. (Again that doesn't make it right.) And you might be asking yourself, "what's the difference between Gish's column, and say making fun of the Rangers, the Red Wings, or Bandwagon fans?" Won a cup in my lifetime, won 30 cups in my life time and haven't missed the playoffs in 20 years, and roots for teams that have won cups in my lifetime. It's the same reason I can't bring myself to hate the leafs until they start beating us consistently.

Unfortunately lost amid all this nonsense is a very real problem, that female journalists are often treated like shit just because they're women. At least Gish tried to steer this whole situation towards that, even if she failed completely. As much as she tried to make the moral of the story "keep up hope girls, one day it'll get better," the actual moral is "don't fall back on being a minority because you did something stupid. It makes you look that much worse and sets your gender back even further. Acknowledge that you might have been in error because it will gain you that much more respect." The Columbia Missourian understood this when columnist Alex Ruppenthal shit all over the city of Buffalo during last year's NCAA tournament. They said "we're sorry, some people may have been offended, we'll leave the article up to maintain credibility and let the readers decide if things were in poor taste." Gish talks about ribbing being "a part of being a columnist" but seems to forget the accountability part. Instead of being arrogant and thinking that your shit doesn't stink, every once in a while you have to take a look at yourself and realize that if everyone thinks you wrote something awful...then you probably wrote something awful, even if you don't think so. As they say, perception is reality.

Calling Gish a c--- and telling her to get back in the kitchen is sleazy to the nth degree, but it doesn't automatically make her a decent writer, or a victim. I'm all for more female sportswriters, and I think that influx is coming eventually. As much as I believe in equality, women are a different gender and thus have a different perspective on things. But that's good, it's good and it's very intriguing, especially for us hockey fans. As a sport that often gets the short end of the stick, opening the doors to women (and other minorities) to an extent that no one else has will give us an edge. And we need all of them that we can get.