Archive for December, 2010

6 Things

1. You may have noticed that I’ve changed my blogging philosophy this season.  After years of working under the mission statement of, “Writing everyday is a practice that is both enjoyable and healthy,” I’ve recently discovered the joys of, “Eff it.  The Sabres blow and life is too short.  Poor me another glass of boxed wine please.”  (Sidenote: Did you know that boxed wine has evolved significantly since the days of keeping Franzia in your fridge in college?  I can report that Sabres games are a LOT less annoying to watch when you stop counting your wine consumption in “bottles” and start counting it in “boxes”.)

2. I just spent about twenty minutes writing a detailed list of all the ways in which the World Junior Championship and Buffalo’s response to it are on my nerves, but I’m currently experiencing some doubt about whether I want to go full-blown crankypants about this issue.

I’ll just say this:  I have realized that if I want to have any hope of making it through this tournament with my sunny disposition intact, it is my own responsibility to stop looking at Twitter.  If I stop reading Twitter, the WJC will revert back to something I never ever think about, and then I might have the opportunity to attend some games with an open mind.  As of right now, I’m so turned off by the tone of the conversation around town that I’m resisting the urge to hate the World Juniors just on principle.

I like liking things, and I dislike being all grouchy and annoyed.  So, no Twitter it is.

World Juniors, I’ll see you on January 2nd.  I’ll try to have a better attitude about you by then.

3. I hosted Christmas this year, which was really a lot of fun, but after weeks missing games because of work or house related chores, by the time the Sabres/Calgary game came along on the 26th, I was pretty adamant that I wanted to watch it.   The original plan was to herd the whole family out to a bar, but my regular haunts were zany that night (Left Bank was closed.  CLOSED!), and so we wound up back at my house. This is how my entire family of non-Buffalonians, non-hockey fans wound up gathered around my television to watch the Calgary game.

Sadly, the game was boring and the lose-iness was palpable, but at least I got a good laugh from my family at the end when I quipped, “And that’s the sport and the team that changed my life forever! What a wonderful holiday treat that was for you!”

4. I’ll write more about this later, but it sure feels like this season is basically over for the Sabres.  Roy-Z is out for the year, and Crunchy is in some sort of “I just got engaged to a mega-hot starlet and I refuse to be cranky about anything, including the fact that my team blows” haze, and it feels like the entire organization is just waiting for Pegula to take over so they can see which lifetime-contracts will be honored and which ones will go up in smoke.

I’ve never experienced a season like this as a fan.  During the other non-playoff years the Sabres were in the playoff hunt until the last week of the season, so this dead-in-the-water sensation is something new.  What I’m learning is that the it’s perfectly possible to allow the Sabres to fade into the background of your life, and still enjoy a rich, satisfying existence.  I know!  It’s actually a very lovely life lesson.

I’m not at all in the mood to hate the Sabres these days, so, I won’t.

5. I’ve written a little in the past about how I love Sidney Crosby mostly because everyone else hates him.  (I think it’s hilarious how almost every hockey fan criticizes Sid for being boring and whining….while uniformly whining en masse about Sid.)  Sid is really cementing his place in my heart right now because not only is he infuriating his strongest detractors with his scoring streak, but he’s doing so with the ugliest mustache in the history of mustaches.  Delightful.

6. If you want an example of stellar, non-redonk coverage of the WJC, I highly suggest you keep a close eye on Andrew Kulyk over at Artvoice.  This piece about Kassian and Etem is a great read.

Hooray!

Well.

Because of my work schedule, I basically haven’t seen the Sabres since the Columbus game.  I don’t know what you guys have been complaining about.  The Sabres are awesome.  Especially Craig Rivet and Nathan Gerbe.

I haven’t looked at the standings recently, but I’d be very surprised if the Sabres aren’t in first place by now.

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7 Things Written While My Car Gets New Brakes

1. Here’s how my life goes right now: Wake up, eat something, play Christmas carols, eat something else, work on the house, play more Christmas carols, eat again, sleep, repeat.  The Sabres have inconveniently scheduled ALL of their games during BPO rehearsals/concerts, so I haven’t seen them in 45,000 years, and I won’t see them again until December 21st.

Today is slightly different because I’m treating myself to a morning at the car mechanic’s.  The Civic Doody has developed a troubling grinding sound when she brakes, so I thought I’d get that checked out.  Kudos to Town Car for having a wireless connection, and double kudos to myself for thinking to grab my computer on the way out.

2. I can’t quite explain how it feels to look at your phone after a concert and see that the Sabres not only beat the Bruins, but they did so because of a Drew Stafford hat trick.  It was an odd sensation- equal parts glee, disbelief, amusement, and concern that the apocalypse is nigh.  Obviously Staffy has been busy feasting on human flesh, so we should probably be a little worried about the coming rise of the zombies, but whatever.  The Sabres won, so we rejoice.  Good work, Staffy!  *moooooore brraaaaains*

3. Is anyone else getting a little anxious for Terry Pegula to take over and save Buffalo?  I mean, hurry up already, Pegasaurus.  (What do you think of the nickname “Pegasaurus” for Terry Pegula?  I don’t know why I even ask.  You guys never like my nicknames.  I still haven’t forgiven you for rejecting “Mylers.”)

4. Here is something I can highly recommend that you do NOT do a week before your entire family comes to Buffalo for Christmas:  Do not (I repeat, DO NOT) decide that you should finally get around to sanding and refinishing the stairs.

The actual sanding is not that difficult (once you get past the initial stage of not know how to do it, which includes swearing, crying, and whining on twitter until someone gives you lots of useful tips [thanks, JonesRG!]), but the clean-up is unreal.  UNREAL.  My stairwell is in the center of my house, and it’s open so there wasn’t a good way to contain the dust.  When I realized the dust was going to be a problem, I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll just have to spend a few extra minutes vacuuming this week” (FYI, at my house, “a few extra minutes of vacuuming this week,” really means,” SOME minutes of vacuuming this week”).  WRONG.  WRONGWRONGWRONG.

The dust got everywhere.    The cleanup involves picking up every single thing in my house and dusting it off with a damp cloth.  I spent about an hour vacuuming and wiping down the couch last night, and I’m still not convinced it won’t give my house guests instant asthma next week.

The moral of the story is: don’t go sanding parts of your house all willy-nilly.

5. Hey, good news.  My car needs new brakes, but nothing scarier or more expensive than that.  She’s a good girl, the Civic Doody.

6. One of the things I’ve had on my blogging to-do list forever, is alert you to the fabulous new(ish) Sabres blog “$#*! Harry Neale Says” penned by the hilarious and beautiful, Mcguffers.   McGuffers is awesome and you should definitely read her blog.  I apologize for not telling you about her months ago (more Mcguffers for me).

7. I had the great privilege of participating in Artvoice’s  “5 Questions With…” feature this week.  It was tons of fun to write, in part because of the great questions fed to me by Zachary Burns.  Have a look!

I’m convinced that this article is my best chance to catch the attention and capture the heart of Terry Pegula.  So, if you’re reading this, hi Terry!  My name is Katebits.  Call me if you ever need help deciding who to fire.  I’ve been keeping a detailed list.

Meh

The game last night left me grouchy and stompy.  I’ve pretty much recovered from the grouchiness, but some moderate stompiness lingers this morning.

 

Punchy

Well, I think we can all agree that last night’s game against the Blue Jackets was awesome and that the Sabres are never going to lose again.  (Full disclosure: I’m rushing to get this post finished within the next few minutes so that it can be published before the eternally lame Senators swoop in to challenge the “The Sabres are never going to lose again” theory.  If the Sabres do win tonight, they really AREN’T ever going to lose again.)

I attended the game with the always-hilarious Jessica and it was one of the best times evvvver.

There are roughly ten million things to discuss when the Sabres are the triumphant kickers in a thorough ass-kicking such as the one we all enjoyed last night, but time is short, so I’ll cut right to the chase.

“I’m all done kicking your ass now.  It was super easy.  Who’s next?”

First of all, let’s just all admit it.  Even the most ardent Kaleta fans had no idea Pat could do that.  That was….terrifying.  And amazing.  And hot.  And revolting.  That was me alternating between blood thirsty howls of approval and cringing in my arena chair thinking, “Holy Mary, Mother of Lindy Ruff.  Kaleta is trying to kill that guy.  Kill him, as in dead.”

And THEN, after the incredible flurry of punching was over, Patrick Kaleta leapt to his feet and did the douchiest thing I have ever seen. He theatrically washed his hands for our benefit, using the universal sign for, “Let me hear your roars of approval, Sabres fans.  I am a douche, but I am your douche, and I am mighty.”

And roar we did, for our beloved Douche King.

I was so taken aback and taken with the gesture that I’ve been making it all day.  Pretty much all day long I’ve been doing the, “Kaleta hand wash” gesture to mark my meager accomplishments.

This morning when I put my dirty coffee cup in the sink?

“All done with my coffee, bitches.  I’ll load the dishwasher when I’m damn good and ready.”

During the dress rehearsal this morning after we finished running the Brahms?

“Brahms, you’re the best, but you’re really no match for me.  I will play all your notes and then I will punch you in the face a few extra times for good measure.  Don’t act like you don’t like it, Brahms.”

At Home Depot, picking out a gigantic flower-pot to go with my new gigantic plant?

“Flower pot, I’m going to buy you, and then I’m going to take you home, and I’m going to fill you with dirt and a giant plant and I’m going to put you in the corner.  I’ll put you in the corner WHERE YOU BELONG, BEEYAAAAACH!

After mailing my Netflix back?

“That’s RIGHT, West Wing Season 3 Disc 3, I watched your ass, and now I’m sending you back to the Netflix headquarters.  FEEL MY POWER!”

_________

I should warn you in advance.  I intend to get a lot of mileage out of this one.

“I wrote a blog post, mofos!  KNEEL BEFORE ME AND REJOICE.”

 

Sometimes Things Change

As Sabres fans over the last few years we’ve been repeatedly told that the for the good of the franchise, and to ensure the future of the franchise, the organization has to move cautiously and prudently.  I’ve always believed that the Sabres have intelligent businessmen running the show, and so I’ve never questioned their conservative philosophy from a business perspective.  I believe it when the Sabres tell us that their profit margin is narrow, and I think Golisano has every right to demand that his business balances their books.

Every Sabres fan owes Golisano a “Thanks, man,” for way he stepped in and restored the Sabres as viable Buffalo institution.  So yes, we’re grateful to Tom Golisano.

But.

What if it were different?

What if we had an owner who cared about winning above all else? What if the next owner is comfortable losing a few million dollars here and there?  What if the new guy wants to treat the Sabres like his own personal fantasy hockey team?  What if when the Sabres suck, people lose their jobs?  What if someone tells Darcy Reiger, “Shut up about draft picks and stop calling 18-year-old boys, ‘assets’.  Build me a winner right now.”   What if Larry Quinn doesn’t work for the Sabres anymore?  What if Terry Pegula cares as much as us?  What if he’s annoyed when the games are boring?  What if  he wants to own a team in Buffalo, not because of tax breaks and profit margins and sound investments, but so that he can win a Cup?

In Buffalo we’ve been systematically taught that, above all else, stability is the number one goal.  But what if Terry Pegula comes in and says, “The Sabres are stable because I own them.  End of story.”

What if Terry Pegula is just doing this for fun?

________

I find these questions electrifying.  I understand that there are perfectly good reasons to temper my enthusiasm about this random stranger, but I don’t care.  The most frustrating thing about being a Sabres fan over the last few years has been the sense that nothing will ever change.  New ownership challenges that notion, and I am incredibly excited about the possibilities.  I don’t want to be prudent, and I don’t want to be cautious.  Hell, I don’t even want to be reasonable.  I’m savoring this chance to dream big, and I think you should too.

Sometimes things do change, and this could change everything.

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!

 


…A Blog About the Buffalo Sabres

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In accordance with the Fair Use Copyright Law, The Willful Caboose uses logos and registered trademarks of the National Hockey League to convey my criticism and inform the public of the Sabres' suckitude/badassitude (whatever the case may be). Photos on The Willful Caboose are used without permission, but do not interfere with said owner's profit. If you own a specific image on this site and want it removed, please e-mail me (willfulcaboose [at] gmail [dot] com) and I will be more than happy willing to oblige. (Special thanks to The Pensblog for their help with this disclaimer.)

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