Monthly Archives

February 2008



You follow sports? No? Then this blogpost isn’t for you. You can just wait until next time. Have fun reading your Harlequin novels and picking out doilies at the local Candlerama outlet store.

Now, for the REST of you, put down your 3/4 lb. bacon double cheeseburger for just a second and follow along:

A few nights ago my beloved Colorado Avalanche defeated the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 in shootout overtime (yes, they play HOCKEY in Arizona – a subject of another rant, but I’ll get to that one later). And I’m here to tell you they almost didn’t deserve it.

If you don’t follow hockey, but are still reading (for whatever reason), it goes like this: At the end of 3 periods, if the score is tied, they will play 5 more minutes with each team being short a man, and the first one to score wins. If they STILL haven’t scored, then they go to what’s called a “shootout” (somehow much more suited to Arizona than hockey). Each team gets 3 chances to fire a shot at the opposing goalie, and the team with more goals wins the game. If it’s still tied, each team gets a turn to shoot until one team has an advantage, and they’re the winner.

Now, the Avs would have won in regulation time save for a last-second shot (literally – there were less than 3 seconds on the clock!) that trickled in. 5 minutes of 4-on-4 overtime hockey didn’t decide it, so they went to the aforementioned shootout phase.


Sure, the Avs ended up winning. And I’m not one to turn down charity.

But I’m sorry, this just isn’t hockey; it’s target shooting. And maybe it’s more exciting for the fans, but it has so little to do with what the game is about that it’s almost insulting. Hockey was intended to be a TEAM sport, not like the NBA has turned into lately, where it’s 5 one-on-one potential matchups.

(At least basketball and baseball got overtime right; I’ll say that much. However, basketball bores me, and baseball seems to bore everyone else.)

Think of the poor goalies during an NHL shootout. They already have a target on their chest as it is – knowing the shot is coming has to make them feel like they’re standing before a firing squad. And have you tried to squat in position wearing that kind of gear before? Imagine doing it for 65 minutes, and THEN being told that you have to stop a bunch of slapshots before your back bends the wrong way like the legs of your kid sister’s Barbie dolls after you got done with them.

And exciting for the fans? How about boring? “Oh look, there’s another goal, and another, and another! When will the excitement end?”

I’ll tell you: that kind of “excitement” could NEVER end.

The longest shootout in NHL history went 15 rounds – that’s 30 different skaters – and ended with a trick shot by Marek Malik of the New York Rangers. It was quite a shot – Malik overskated his own puck, then stuck the blade between his legs and fired the puck from behind his left skate. The goalie never saw it coming.

It’s set up to be fair to each team; however, the possibility exists where each team could match each other goal-for-goal and save-for-save.

Again, that’s just not hockey, any more than the “trick shot” competitions are real sport (pool, bowling, basketball, tiddlywinks).

Why not play a version of overtime that 1) keeps the action in the realm of the team sport it’s supposed to be and 2) GUARANTEES that the game will end fairly and without lasting an extra hour?

For example: Currently there’s a 5 minute period of 4-on-4 overtime hockey, which doesn’t count the goalies, who are of course still on the ice. If they fail to score during that time, why not do another short period of 3-on-3? The more open things get, the easier it gets.

And if there’s STILL no score after that? Another 5-minute period, but REMOVE THE GOALTENDERS. Or even replace the goalie with a 4th skater. Either way, I PROMISE you’ll get a winner here.

Wouldn’t that be so much more exciting? And much more realistic and relevant to the game itself to boot.

Write your congressman. Or the NHL offices. Or your favorite sports columnist. Or your favorite hockey team. Or ANYONE you think gives a rat’s rear end.

The “shootout” overtime in hockey is nothing less than a slapshot in the face to the true fan, to say nothing of how the goalies must feel.

Okay. Rant over. Seen any cute doilies lately?



So there’s an online community that I’ve been a part of for just over a year, and it’s made up of folks who have a bunch of holes in their brain. (They also have MS. Somehow that seems relevant…)

Anyhoo, a thread was begun a few days ago by a person who was despondent over having scheduled her “Dial-A-Ride” for a time that made no sense for what she was doing that day, and she titled the thread, “You Know You Have MS…”. What followed were a string of responses regarding other people’s personal experience with the MyStery disease, and most of them were pretty darned funny (especially my own).

This reminded me of another website I had seen before with a page entitled “You Know You Have Lupus (or an Invisible Disease) When…” with a similar bent to it; an open-ended sentence with many different possible endings.

So, I’ve chosen a healthy sampling of those comments that I feel best describe the MS lifestyle. I hope no one objects to my re-printing/re-wording of their brilliance… and if they do, well, they know where to find me and whom to threaten. ;-)


…if no one will even offer you a penny for your thoughts.

…when comments that were supposed to be only in your mind are clearly made in your “outside voice.”

…when every time you see “Survivor Micronesia” you see “Survivor Minnesota”.

…when you have a multi-step plan for getting out of the shower.

…when “Charades” isn’t just a game, its how you communicate.

…when “Numb Nuts” isn’t just your nick name, it’s a fact of life.

…when you wear out the tops of your shoes before the soles.

…when you think you may be able to get a grant from the Ministry of Silly Walks.

…when you are FAR better at landing safely than walking correctly.

…when you get pulled over for drunk driving with out having a single drink.

…when you no longer find the phrase “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” even remotely humorous.

…when someone walks in the room, and your first thought is “Where’s their walking stick?”

…when you go to stretch your legs upon waking in the morning, and the bed frame collapses from the vibration.

…when there are shoulder-high grey stripes along the walls of your hallway from where you put your hand to steady yourself.

…when you don’t answer the vibrating cell phone in your pants pocket because you thought it was just your leg buzzing.

…when you put your phone in your bra because you have no pockets, and you can’t feel the vibration or hear the ringing.

…if you’re really sick of hearing the phrase, “But You Look So Good!”

…when your mental health therapist asks if you’ve ever heard of or tried bee sting therapy.

…when every 4th person you MEET asks if you’ve ever heard of or tried bee sting therapy.

…when the kids across the street keep coming over asking you to shake up their bottles of chocolate milk for them.

…when you make a grocery list so you wont forget anything, and then forget where you put the list.

…when tying your sneaker laces seems like punishment.

…when you go to the store to buy something specific… buy the whole store.. and forget the one thing you went for in the first place.

…when you’ve told people “Good Morning” in the afternoon so often they’ve stopped correcting you.

…when you’ve searched for your glasses for 10 minutes upon waking, only to realize that they’re still on your face from last night.

…when the food delivery driver shows up at the door and compliments you on your new pajamas!

…when someone asks you “What happened”, and in response to your confusion, points to a bruise that you didn’t even know you had.

…if, when Mother Nature calls, you can’t afford to have your secretary take a message.



Maybe this is a symptom of being pretty new to the MS diagnosis even after a year and a half…

I’m finding that I feel instantly sorry for anyone that I see in a chair, or with a cane or walker or any device like that. I didn’t really pay attention to it before, though; it was just something interesting that I noticed about the person.

Now, when I see someone using a powerchair, or a child with crutches or a walker, I think, “How awful! Boy I’m glad I’m not in that situation.”

And then I remember, “Waitaminnit… I AM in that situation.”

That revelation brings forth several different competing emotions:

– I’m sad because I’m not able-bodied at this point in time;
– I’m jealous of those who can get up and walk across the room without a stick (I still do a double take when I’m watching a TV program and a character does just that);
– I’m embarrassed at myself for making a spot judgement on someone I’ve never met and have no idea how they live their life;
– I’m grateful that I’m still able to get around and do the things I am used to doing, albeit a little slower;
– I’m VERY grateful and thankful that I can still play my bass and sing background for Jennifer and Dave B. AND teach AND record;
– I’m frustrated with myself that I don’t seem to have the total compassion and understanding for others in my situation that my condition would normally indicate;
– I feel bad for those around me who don’t realize they have a look of pity on their face when they see me coming;
– and I’m annoyed at myself when I occasionally forget that there’s anything wrong, try to get up and walk across the room and hit the wall, floor, or both. Hard.

All of this has made me come to the realization that after a year and a half of being diagnosed, plus about 3 years of “something’s not right,” I have yet to be comfortable in my own skin.

The funny part is that I’m just about to leave my place to go pick up a powerchair. Oh, sure, I won’t be taking it outside much, and it’s 4 years old, and needs some work done on it, but it’s free (!), and apparently fully functional – like a used car that runs but will have its own quirks from time to time.

And now the transformation will be complete: I will have become one of those people I used to feel sorry for.

Emphasis on USED TO. :)