I was never into sports growing up. My grandma loved baseball and the Dodgers were her team but that's as involved as I was in sports. I never followed any team, never really thought much about sports in more than a peripheral way.

In 1993, I chanced to catch a hockey game on tv and I was hooked. I was a passionate hockey fan for many, many years. My first loyalty to any sport was a game that not only cherished the tough guy but expected it. This is a sport where if a player sustains an injury, not only does he want to play anyway, he is generally expected to and to be stoic about it. And that's just during the regular season. During playoffs, a player could be near death and still not only be expected to play but they'd WANT to play. In no other professional sport have I observed such dedication and love for their game as I've seen in hockey. Granted, I'm no expert but this is just what I've seen. This dedication and zealotry became my reference against which all other professional athletes were to be judged.

While I'm not such the die-hard hockey fan anymore, I still can appreciate a hockey player's dedication and desire, actually more like NEED, to play. I still love the sport and think it's the most fun game to watch but I've become more of a baseball fan of late, specifically the Angels. I find I need to have a team to get behind that actually wins once in awhile. I'm totally a sunshine fan and the Kings just couldn't/can't win. No matter who they have as a coach or what players they sign, they're perpetually at the bottom of the standings. I couldn't do it anymore. I need some happiness from the team I'm watching and I just cannot be a fan of a hockey team (see tough guy stuff above) that calls itself the Mighty Ducks. Yeah, sure, they're just the Ducks now but it's still a way stupid name for a freaking HOCKEY team.

But I digress. We've established that hockey players are way tough and that's what I'd come to see as the norm for a professional athlete. Now I'm watching baseball and I really admire the finesse aspects of the game, the logic and planning that goes into building and maintaining a winning team. Mike Scioscia is great at this and his Angels' place at the top of the American League West is evidence to support his management style. Anyway, long story short (too late) is that I was reading the recap of the Angels 12-1 victory over the Yankees last night and saw that Jered Weaver isn't pitching tonight, as he'd been scheduled to do, because he has cuts on his hand. (Before I get a good head of steam going, let me just say that I like Jered Weaver and think he's a pretty darn good pitcher and that I also have no idea of the exact severity of the aforementioned cuts on his hand and therefore reserve the right to be completely unjustified in the ensuing rant).

What? Cuts on his hand? What kind of weak-ass excuse is that?!? Sure, he's a pitcher but come on! If a hockey player tried to get out of a game because he'd cut his hand, he'd be ridiculed and practically kicked off his freaking team - and that'd be the least of his worries. Besides, no self-respecting hockey player would EVER even DREAM of not playing just because he cut his hand. And it's actually quite the apt comparison because both pitchers and hockey players wear gloves and truthfully, a hockey player uses his hands much more than a baseball pitcher does.

I just had to rant about that for a bit. It just seems to me that most professional non-hockey playing athletes are a bunch of wusses when it comes to injuries. Stuff that a hockey player wouldn't even think twice about playing with are causes for ending a season in other sports. I guess it comes down to more of a passion for your sport kind of thing. That's the best thing about hockey - these guys play not for the money (although I'm sure they like that), they play because hockey is in their blood and is as necessary to their survival as oxygen. I mean, these are people who routinely played without contracts and at one point only stopped playing when the owners locked them out. It's more about love of the game for a hockey player than anything else.

I know I'm not the most informed sports fan in the world and most of what I say is generally full of crap but I figure this is my blog and if I want to sound like an uninformed girly girl, I can do that. Thanks for reading.
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I figure this might be a good idea seeing as I refer to most of these people on a fairly regular basis. I'll link it on the side so you can all have it handy for future reference ('cause I know you're all so fascinated by my life ). The idea for this was born from someone asking who The Nephew is. I realized that if you're new to me, of course you wouldn't know who The Nephew is.

Shannon - Shannon is my best friend. We've known each other for over 20 years. We met in high school when we were in the same English class. She's been my closest friend ever since. She's family more so than my biological family - I consider her my sister. In fact, her family is more so my family than my biological family. They've always accepted me as I am - a complete dork - and have loved me unconditionally. I can't say the same for a few of my biological relatives.

David - Shannon's husband (married in early 2008) and also a friend I've had since high school. I actually had a crush on David for about 2 weeks or so before he and Shannon discovered each other. Their story is really disgusting in a Harry Met Sally movie kind of way. They dated for 3 years way back when and then broke up. They were apart for 13 years during which they both got married to other people, had a kid each, and then split up with their respective spouses. I remained close friends with Shannon during that time but lost touch with David. Then a couple years ago, Shannon finds David on She e-mails him. They got back together almost instantly and have been together ever since. Isn't that just so gross?!

Adam - David's son who is 12 years old and is pretty much David's mini-me. I swear - they look exactly alike! He now lives in Florida with his mom and stepfather and seems to be very happy there.

The Nephew - Shannon's son whom I consider my vicarious child. I've been around him since he was conceived, basically. You've all heard about him and his many exploits as well as his cleft palate and the many surgeries he's gone through. He's an amazing kid and I call him my nephew because that's easier than saying "my best friend's, who's pretty much family because we've known each other so long, son" over and over again. I talk about him more than Adam because I'm closer to him, having been a part of his life for so much longer.

The Niece - Shannon and David's daughter who was born in 2006. She's freaking adorable and has the best personality already at just 2 years old. She is currently obsessed with happy faces and the Backyardigans (damn their insanely catchy musical hides).

Tofu - the cutest doggie alive today - she was given to The Nephew by his great-aunt Carol for his birthday in 2003.

- the most kick-ass independent beautiful kitty alive today. Shannon and I have had her since we moved out of our respective parents' houses in 1993. Sadly, Shasta died a few years ago (she was 13 years old). I still miss her.

Vigilantes -
the group of people I've come to know through the Vartypants' Vigilantes Love Lounge message board, which I co-own. I've been hanging out there since November of 2002, when I was a fan of Michael Vartan, an actor on the tv show Alias. The show has since become a piece of shit and I no longer fancy Varty but the people I've met through the board are some of the greatest psychotics on this planet. I recently met two of them in real life in Toronto. The Vartypants Vigilante site has been shut down for some time now. I really miss the message board and the people I met through there but it lived a good life and died at the right time, I think. I'm horrible at keeping in touch with people and am ashamed to have let these relationships lapse. One of these days I'll have to do something about that.

Work - I work in a small CPA firm in Southern Orange County. There are only two other people working here - the owner and my immediate supervisor. Both very nice people. I also have a second job doing transcription/general typing work for a local secretarial firm. My boss there is also incredibly nice. I'm seriously lucky.

WCIL - this is a past job, where I worked for a little over 7 years (from 1997-2004, which is when I moved to Orange County, CA). I made a lot of friends there and miss them very much. Luckily, they're not too far away and I talk to most of them a few times a week. Please see aforementioned comment about how I'm awful at keeping in touch with people. I recently connected with a couple WCIL people on Plaxo and one of them said "you're still alive!" *hangs head in shame* Also, this is a very worthwhile non-profit organization. WCIL helps people with disabilities to live independently in the community as opposed to being institutionalized. I firmly believe in what they do there and have gone from being an employee to a donor. There are independent living centers (ILCs) all over the country and they all do the same good work so if you're looking for a good cause to support, this definitely qualifies. To find the independent living center near you, go to They've got a list of ILCs in every state and also in Canada. </plug> I left there in 2004 to move to Orange County. This was the singular best place of work in my life. The pay was crappy but the people and the workplace were wonderful and inspiring. My amazing boss, Mary Ann, died just this year (2008) from pneumonia and I miss her terribly.

So that's it. Those are the people I'll mention the most around here. If I talk about someone and don't explain who they are, just ask me. If I end up talking about them a lot, I'll probably add them here.

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