My Detroit Red Wings lost tonight to the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Semifinals.
I have to admit I didn’t hold out much hope that the Wings would win this series. Heck, there was a time I didn’t think they’d make the playoffs. There were big changes before the start of this lockout-shortened season, most notably the retirement of Norris Trophy-winning defenseman and Perfect Human Nicklas Lidstrom, and the decision by Brad Stuart to play for the San Jose Sharks, because his family lives in SoCal and he wanted to be near them. A noble reason, and good for him for putting family first, but it stunk for the Wings.
Then once the shortened season got going, it seemed the Wings’ players were making a steady march to the infirmary. At one point I believe there were nine players out with injuries – nine! The upside of all these injuries is that a lot of the young players from the farm team in Grand Rapids got invaluable big league experience. Continue reading
What would you do if you suddenly found yourself out of work? How would you look at the unexpected time off while searching for your next job? For me, rather than curse it and look at it as a negative, I’ve decided to embrace it and use the time to do some things I enjoy.
The backstory – as I was getting ready for work on January 2, my boss called me to deliver the unfortunate news that, after nearly five years of employment, I was out of a job. I’m not going to go into a long, drawn out explanation of why I was let go – because the reason isn’t long – just suffice it to say that it wasn’t my fault and my now ex-boss has graciously offered to write me letters of recommendation, should I need them.
Since then I have been looking for work to no avail. I had four interviews – three in person and one phoner – within the first month but I did not get any of those jobs. I was especially disappointed that I didn’t get one in particular, because when I left the interview I felt like it went very well and was certain I had the job, so to find out I didn’t get it was devastating. I felt I was the perfect candidate, too, so I have no idea what went wrong.
Anyway, despite the lack of a real paycheck (I don’t consider unemployment checks real paychecks), being unemployed does have some perks. Now before anyone thinks I’m content to just sit around all day and not work, that is so not the case. I am actively and aggressively pursuing my Next Great Job and I hope I find it soon. I love what I do and I am damn good at it, if I do say so myself, and I really want to get my career back on track and headed in the right direction. Continue reading
Well, here we are at the end of 2012 and it was one hell of a year, not necessarily all good. It started out fine, but went downhill quickly to the point that by mid summer I was looking forward to 2013. So here are the highlights and lowlights from my own little personal corner of the world:
I started grad school. At this point I am halfway through a two-year master’s degree program in Integrated Marketing Communications at Eastern Michigan University. And I have a 3.56 GPA. Yes, I am proud of that! At this time next year I’ll be graduating. I’ve wanted to get a master’s degree since I got my bachelor’s degree but just never got around to it. I finally put my foot down and did it.
My glasses – Vera Bradley “Natalie” frames in Make Me Blush
I scratched my cornea, which resulted in my having to wear glasses for two weeks. Thankfully late last year I got some super cute and totally fashionable new frames – they’re plummy purple and oh-so-subtley metallic.
I saw my first opera. In May my friend Mike and I went to see I Pagliacci at the Michigan Opera Theatre. It was a wonderful experience, far better than I expected it to be! I hope I can go again next season.
I saw Sarah McLachlan at Meadowbrook on July 1. She always puts on a great show. Despite the heat and humidity (and stupid me wearing my hair down and forgetting to pack a pony tail holder in my giant Vera Bradley bag), it was an awesome show. It was a little different as she had a symphony backing her, but Sarah was splendid. Continue reading
My dad when he entered the Navy in 1943.
Not long ago, a friend of my dad’s gave him a kitchen table and chairs to dispose of. A nice set – farmhouse-style, relatively newish looking, consisting of a beechwood topped table with three matching chairs. Rather than seeing it tossed into a landfill he asked me if my best friend and her husband, who live in Hamtramck, would like it. Of course they said yes, so one evening last month after dinner I helped my dad load the set into the back of his pickup truck and we set off south towards Hamtown, as it’s affectionately known by the locals.
My father was born in Detroit in 1925 and grew up in Hamtramck, which, at the time and up until the 1980’s, was a haven for Polish immigrants. There are still a lot of Polish people in Hamtramck, but it is definitely more multicultural today. He lived there until he went off to join the Navy during World War II, and it is to Hamtramck he returned when the war was over. Although we live a mere 15 minutes away, he doesn’t get down to the old neighborhood much. There’s no reason to. In fact, I don’t remember the last time he was in Hamtramck. So when he decided to take the “scenic route” to my friend’s house, I didn’t say anything, but just smiled to myself.
Hamtramck is pretty easy to get to from my neighborhood – westbound I-696 to southbound I-75, straight to the Holbrook-Caniff exit. However, rather than take this (read: faster) route, we took Mound Road, which ends at Mt. Elliot and takes you directly into the east end of Hamtramck. Once we passed McNichols my dad stepped into his past. I could see the look in his eyes change, going back in time. His eyes are still blue but they have seen so much since his days as a towheaded boy growing up during the Great Depression. He told me how he and his friends used to play baseball in the cemetery, which had a lot more open space back then, as it wasn’t as occupied with the graves of those who came before. We came to the oddly named Simon K Street, and turned right to drive past Transfiguration Catholic Church, which is now the seat of the newly named Blessed John Paul II Parish. He told me of how he went to Catholic school there for the first eight years of his education and how his family would walk to the church for Mass from their home just a couple blocks away. Continue reading
Barack Obama won a second term as US president on November 6. Is anyone besides me glad it’s over?
Life. It’s what happens!
Geez I’ve been busy lately! This half-semester is rough – I’ve got two classes and I’ve been doing so much writing for class that the blog kind of got ignored yet again! I promise though to do my best to even write short posts.
Where did I leave off? Oh yes, the World Series. My Tigers didn’t win. Boo. But I am very proud of them to at least get to the World Series. I blame their loss on Gary Bettman.
Speaking of Mr. Bettman – where is my hockey? Baseball season is over and traditionally that means the start of hockey season, but nooooo. I’m not even going to get into the specifics but suffice it to say that the NHL is being incredibly greedy, demanding more concessions from the players after they gave up 24 percent of their salaries to end the last lockout, which was just eight years ago. Many of my hockey fan friends are fed up, and so am I. And the Winter Classic was cancelled!! The only good thing about the lockout is I have more time for homework. But I want my Red Wings back. Just get it done, dammit.
Don Kelly, the Tigers player who hit the walk-off sacrifice fly that won today’s game.
For those who don’t know, my two favorite sports are hockey and baseball, in that order. Unfortunately the NHL owners have locked out the players hoping to get more money from them (“revenue sharing,” uh huh) and the hockey season has yet to start. But with the baseball playoffs just getting started – and my Detroit Tigers in for the second season in a row – this is going to be an exciting fall, at least for the next three weeks, or so we Tigers fans hope.
So imagine my excitement when today’s Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics was scheduled to start just after noon today. Then imagine my disappointment when I discovered the game was only being broadcast on the MLB network. Not Fox Sports Detroit, TBS or Fox Network. Not even ESPN. MLB Network, a channel that is only available on my cable system if you’re signed up with the Digital Preferred package, not Digital Basic, like I have. What. The. Hell.
My dad and I had planned to watch the game. We talked about it this morning. We were ready to watch. This was an important game – since the ALDS is a five-game series, whoever goes up 2 games to none is in the proverbial driver’s seat. And since the Tigers had won Game 1, they could really be in a good position going to Oakland for Game 3, and Games 4 and 5 if needed. And no game. I flipped through the channel guide and couldn’t find it anywhere until I got up into the 700’s. There it was. On MLB network. So I did the only thing I could – I dug out my old CB boombox/cassette tape player/nondigital radio combo (and yes, it still works) and tuned into the local sports station. So we started listening to the game. But it just wasn’t the same. Continue reading
My vacation started precisely at 4:00 PM Friday, but it should have started 24 hours earlier. On Friday morning, I was supposed to be in my car headed north to Traverse City, on my way to Red Wings‘ Training Camp, and Friday night I should have been relaxing in my hotel room, getting ready for the first day of camp. But I’m not. Not because I couldn’t afford it or didn’t get reservations.
I’m not in Traverse City because there is no hockey.
Back in 2004, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman locked out the players in order to get a new collective bargaining agreement between the players and the league. The lockout lasted all season – an entire professional hockey league season was lost because the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement. In the end the players gave in, agreeing to a salary cap, a 24 percent reduction in salaries, and a whole bunch of other stuff, just to avoid having the lockout go into a second season and, ostensibly, to prevent a lockout from happening again in the future.
Yet here we are, eight years later, and we have another lockout.