Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oh, Canada! (Nugs Vs. Allison Edition: STANLEY CUP)

This is it, guys: the final round of the Stanley Cup Championships, for some reason not called the Finals (that was the last round). At any rate, Allison and I have been recapping the NHL Postseason for you, pretending you care, and also for our own validation. We awarded ourselves one point each for whomever called the Quarter and Semifinals, two for the Finals and three for whichever one of us correctly predicted the Stanley Cup.

Whichever one of us loses has to post their most loathed teams' logo on their blog for an entire month. As a lifelong Rangers fan and New Yorker, I hate everything about the Philadelphia Flyers and want them all to fall into a fiery pit of murder and despair. 

As one my favorite resident Canucks and die-hard Montreal Canadiens supporters, Allison's worst nightmare is a world where the Bruins reign triumphant (sorry about last year, Allison). 

Let's recap the Final round of the 2012 NHL Postseason, shall we, and see who's crying into their beer?

Oh, fuck. I guess that would be me.




LA managed to pull off another amazing run, losing only one game to Phoenix and sending the Coyotes home. This means that there will be Stanley Cup games played in my current residence, and I will absolutely try to sell myself for tickets. FYI, my fingers are tiny but double-jointed, and I can curl my tongue into odd shapes. Just sayin.




I can't even discuss this without getting violently ill. Not only did the Rangers get eliminated, but we lost to fucking New Jersey. I cried, and cursed, and may have thrown my drink at a sailor at the bar (it was Fleet Week). I don't know. I was watching this in New York, and my brother wore his Devils jersey in the bar and got booed. That was pretty magical. Other than that, the Rangers just fucking lost it. They got outplayed, dropping their offense and forgetting to score. In Game 5 the Devils scored three times in the first half of the first period, and twice in the first five minutes! Come on, boys! Get your heads out of your asses! Lundqvist had no backup and the Rangers looked like a peewee hockey team. You know what? On second thought, we don't deserve to win. Fuck this shit. 

My only consolation is that the Rangers are a fairly young team, with little to no playoff experience, and next year better be ready to repeat and go all the way. 

See how mad I am? I couldn't even laugh when I just said "all the way."



Not even the fact that Allison has pretty much lost is enough to console me. Stupid Devils.



I don't think that anyone is going to have a heart attack when I go with LA on this one. Why?

For one, Los Angeles is technically my hometown now, and even though I'm definitely going to have to deal with obnoxious bandwagonners who weren't even aware that a Los Angeles hockey team even existed, (see: Clippers fans) it IS pretty awesome that the Kings are contenders for the coolest trophy in the history of sports (GQ agrees with me).

Second: LA seems to be the team that surprised everybody this postseason. One of my friends, born in Vancouver, is an ardent Canucks fan, and during the Finals he sent me a text about how his guys had left him humiliated. I wouldn't be so embarrassed; I could have sworn that the Kings had just destroyed the Canucks AND The Blues and were well on their way towards the Cup. It turns out I was right. No one predicted the Canucks' loss; they put in a valiant effort. He just better not root for New Jersey or we'll have a real beef (see below and my entire postseason recap).

LA made pretty quick waste of Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix, losing two games in the entire postseason and becoming the first eighth seed team in NHL history to eliminate both the Number One and Number Two seeds and move on to the final round. However, these will be the games that prove just how formidable the Kings really are. They have yet to face an Eastern Conference team and play hockey their way, and the Devils more than match up against their skill and drive. This particular LA team has never won a Cup, and the last time the Kings even made it to the playoffs was in 1993. The Devils have some solid veterans on the ice, backed arguably by the greatest goalie of all time, Martin Brodeur. Jonathan Quick is incredible, but he doesn't have 21 years of experience in the net. 

Considering they had one of their worst seasons in recent memory last year, New Jersey probably REALLY wants a win. It's going to be pretty tough for the Kings to skate by (see what I did there?) with just one loss. They have shown to be fairly aggressive on the ice, however, much like a lot of Eastern Conference teams, and although you can argue that while the Devils have some years on LA, have you really taken a good look at those dudes? The Kings are fucking massive. 

At this point it's anyone's prize. While I (and apparently most sports analysts) do believe that the Kings are going to win their first Stanley Cup this year, it won't be easy. I'm guessing at least 6 games.

Third- FUCK THAT SHIT. No way in Hell am I predicting a Stanley Cup for the Devils, especially when they just knocked out my boys. LA needs to take this. My dignity depends on it.


Ding Dong the Rangers are Gone.

I will admit that I first bet against the Rangers because A) They played the Senators in the first round and B) Nugs was diehard for them, so I had to be THAT guy and bet against her just for shits and giggles. But as the rounds went on I noticed that the Rangers were the only "winners" that barely squeaked by each round - and ultimately lost. They didn't dominate at all and I'd argue the Sens or the Caps could have easily beat them had things gone just slightly different. There were no blow outs. I'll allow Nugs to lick her wounds and such, but the fact is the Stanley Cup final will be The New Jersey Devils VS The Los Angeles Kings - two teams I'm sure very few people counted on being in this position.

Who will I choose? Do I even care? Well, I have to pick a team - regardless of my previous loyalties.

I'm going to go with LA.

Why? Well, two reasons. I'm enjoying their cinderella story. They're a team with fighting spirt who have knocked out many of the best teams in the West. Vancouver, St. Louis, and Phoenix - all with ease. My second reason is a more patriotic one, the Kings are full of Canadians. Way more Canadians than New Jersey. And let's face it, The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, once called himself a King and we all still love him.

I know I pretty much have no chance at winning this bet overall, but I might as well take a chance and pick what most would call an underdog team, but I don't really think you can think of them that way now. Their 8th place status really has no effect on what's happened this play-off season.

Well, we both picked the Kings, so technically we both won, but I'll have more points, so yay for patriotism? Whatever. The Rangers are out, so Los Angeles better slam their shit against the glass. I hope the Devils get swept, and shut out every single game. Not only that, but I hope the heat from my tears melts the ice when the Devils come out, and it traps them underneath and they all drown.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh, Canada! (Nugs vs. Allison Edition: Round 3)

The NHL Finals began last night for the Western Conference, so in our true slacker tradition, Allison and I are getting our predictions up today. Whoops. Since our scores are so close, we decided to raise the stakes (haha. "Raise") and award ourselves two points for each correct pick for this round and three if we correctly forecast the winner of the Stanley Cup (*coughRANGERScough*). The loser at the end of the postseason has to post their most hated team's logo on their blog for a whole month. Allison stinkbombs the Bruins every night in her dreams, and I want all the Flyers to get run over by a zamboni (see what I did there?), so I really hope I don't fuck this up.

For Allison's predictions, check out this creative and ingenious link over here.

At the end of the Quarterfinals, I was in the lead, 5 points to 3. Let's do a quick recap of the Semifinals, live or stuffed. Preferably stuffed, for safety's sake.



Just because Allison likes to do things to spite me, she went with the Caps, who, to be fair, forced a nail-biting seven games out of my Blueshirts. Game 5 in particular was fucking amazing, when the Rangers tied with six seconds left, then proceeded to school the Caps in sudden death overtime and take the win. I was in a bar with my brother (the good one; the one who roots for the right team) when it happened and we both jumped out of our chairs and screeched like baby vultures. It wasn't humiliating at all, because I have no shame.

This was such a seminal moment because the Rangers secured their place in the Finals, but this was also a massive fail for Dale Hunter, who everybody wants to smash with a tire iron. Not only is he best known as Dale "Cheap Shot" Hunter, but right after the Caps got eliminated, he swiftly abandoned his post, as his resignation as coach was announced this morning. Way to stand by your men, asshole.

FYI, Caps fans, this is the first thing that comes up when I Google your (former) coach. Enjoy.


This was a very difficult series for me to watch, as the only investment I have in either team is my hatred for both. The Devils, the Flyers and the Rangers all play in the Atlantic Division, are all awesome, and all have a history of at least making it into the Playoffs. However, if the Flyers played against Al Qaeda I still wouldn't root for them, so I nominated the Devils to win just by default. I was thrilled when Philly got knocked out. It was like eating ice cream laced with tequila. Wait, do they have that???

Now, with the elimination of the Flyers, New York and New Jersey have to play each other, and as much as I can't stand them, the Devils are a very real threat. My analysis of this series is below. Pray. For. Mojo.



What the hell happened here? Not only did the Kings go all the way with this, but a total sweep? Can you blame either of us?

This series, while I'm not particularly invested in either team, was immensely entertaining, and also my toughest call. I finally went with Phoenix just over Nashville because honestly, I was backed into a corner and needed to make a prediction. Honestly, either team could have taken this- Smith and Rinne are excellent and evenly matched in the net, and Dave Tippett and Barry Trotz are both widely respected for their impeccable coaching skills. What this series came down to was basically offense vs. defense, and in the end, Phoenix won out by thismuch.  


 Shame on you, Allison. You're the one that's Canadian.


For those of you that didn't get it, my picks are in red; Allison's are in blue.



It's safe to say that I'm pretty stoked that the Flyers have been knocked out of the Playoffs- I think by now we're all familiar with my intense Philly death wish, so I won't get into it again.

OK, maybe one more:


Although I'm psyched that the Stupid Flyers are no longer eligible for the Cup (HAHAHAHAHAHA!), considering it won me another point AND humiliated both the team and the bandwagon "fans" in the city of Philadelphia, I'm now faced with the foreboding knowledge that we now have to play the Devils in the Conference Finals. Not only are we bitter rivals in the Atlantic Division, going back decades, but New Jersey is the one team in the East that I can honestly see sending the Rangers home. Regardless of the fact that the Devils are the sixth seed in the East, I have to admit that they are an absolute match for us and make me very, very nervous. 

While we're fortunate enough to boast Lundqvist in the net, whose goaltending skills this postseason have been monumental, no one can argue with Brodeur, who has spent his entire 21-year career with the Devils and is arguably the greatest goalie in the history of the NHL. Forward Brad Richards has been a powerhouse for the Rangers and multiple other players, including defenseman Michael Del Zotto, have given the Devils reason to step up their game. New Jersey, however, has had fifteen different goal scorers in this postseason so far. Captain Zach Parise, who reaches free agent status in June, is more than likely looking to end this season with a win. 

The animosity between the Rangers and Devils has been brewing not only in the NHL, but between my brother and I, and also between myself and Coyote Tits, for years. While I'm leaning toward the side of my beloved Rangers, evidently the two of them are clearly focused across the river in New Jersey. My brothers and I are planning to watch this series together and try not to get too personal in the heated barbs we're no doubt going to sling at each other. Meanwhile, lest you are all wondering whose side to take in this very important matter, I have provided you all with a stirring and compelling argument detailing exactly which choice is clearly correct:

EXHIBIT 1: A picture of our goalie:

And by "our goalie," I mean "my future second husband."

A picture of their goalie:

The prosecution rests.

EXHIBIT B: Come on. It's NEW JERSEY. The only thing to look forward to about New Jersey is leaving it.

EXHIBIT UNICORN: I have twelve dollars and thirty-four cents in my wallet right now that can easily be divided up. (READ: I am not above bribery). 

EXHIBIT DD: We have a player named Hagelin, which sounds like something my Yiddish grandmother would have called me when she tried to force-feed me homemade soup, and that makes you go "awwww," and remember stuff. All the Devils have stupid names. EXAMPLE: Travis Zajac can easily be mistaken for this dude:

Yeah, no.

This will be a rough couple of weeks, so please choose your alliances wisely. And by wisely, I mean choose me. Because I am adorable.


To keep the rivalry going I'll go New Jersey. Go Marty!

Editor's Note: That's not a very compelling argument, Allison. See above.



This was an extremely tough series for me to call. My first instinct was to go with Phoenix- they're such a great team, with amazing chemistry, an outstanding coach and an incredible goalie in Mike Smith. Their Semifinals series with Nashville was like seeing a mirror image, with each team going strong against each other, and although I'm not a huge fan per se of either team, it was still exciting to watch. Phoenix's story should be considered even more of an event due to the fact that they were going to be sold by the NHL, and now they're one of the best teams in the West. 

Unfortunately, I think Phoenix's run is about to end due to their match-up with LA. Personally, I'm shocked that the Kings made it this far- they spent the regular season just barely squeaking into the playoffs, then amazingly knocked out first seed and President's Trophy winner Vancouver in five games AND swept number two seed St. Louis. LA, BTW, are the first eighth seed team to ever pull this off. If you told me at the start of the post-season that the Kings would be in the third round of the game I would have laughed at you, but there you have it. This is going to be a showdown between the two goalies- Quick and Smith- and based on their unbelievable 2012 postseason run, I have to give it to LA.

I can't deny it any longer; LA is so hot right now.

Basically, I just predicted my favorite team going up against what I guess is considered my home team for the Stanley Cup.. If that happens that's going to be super badass and I will definitely attend some games. I'll try to live blog it if I can.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

For those of you that aren't aware, Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA of Beastie Boys fame, died this weekend from complications with cancer. He was just 47 years old. Meanwhile, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown are still around to infiltrate the NY Times Best Seller list and win Grammy awards, respectively. Of course I use the word "respect" with the utmost distinction here. Seriously, FUCK CANCER.

Yauch's passing is really the first celebrity death to affect me this intensely. When Kurt Cobain committed suicide, I was listening to Nirvana, but I was very young and didn't quite grasp the impact they had made on the music business. Joe Strummer's death struck a chord with me, but I had just started getting really into The Clash and unfortunately hadn't yet discovered The Mescaleros, so while I had a huge mourning period over Strummer, I can't say that I was as deeply moved by this as I was by MCA. I wasn't a huge Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston fan, either- I was more shocked than saddened by those, since no one seemed to see them coming.

The closest I've come to a great depression over the demise of a music industry powerhouse was when Malcolm McLaren lost his battle with mesothelioma in 2010. Not only was he an artist in his own right, as well as one of the most famous music managers of all time, but he was one of my idols in the marketing world, and it took me a while to get over that one, especially when his death went largely ignored and People Magazine awarded their cover to Justin Bieber that week (again with this clown?).

I first found out that Yauch had died from a text from my brother early Friday morning, and after that, I couldn't go thirty seconds without getting some sort of multimedia update from one of my friends- everyone in my life knows what a colossal Beastie Boys fan I am. They're my favorite artists to come out of New York and one of my top ten bands in general. When George Harrison passed on I remember my dad telling me that he felt as if he had lost a friend, and I knew at that moment what he had meant. I was stunned and devastated.

I've been wearing this shirt all weekend. Yes, I washed it repeatedly.
I learned about Beastie Boys in 1994, when I came across the hilarity that was the "Sabotage" video. Despite the fact that the video itself was obviously a classic, it didn't change the fact that the song itself blew me away- and I've never been a fan of hip-hop or rap. Since this was the mid-90's, way before the internet, iTunes or any of the available resources we have now, I went out and purchased Ill Communication and listened to the whole album all the way through. After I memorized all the lyrics to that CD, I bought every single record they'd released prior to that and wore those out, too. I'm sure my parents were ecstatic.

Beastie Boys are a rare commodity in that even if you don't like rap or hip-hop, there is at least one Beastie Boys song that you know all the words to. All their videos are great and hysterically funny. They started out as a joke- three white Jewish boys from Brooklyn (part of why I love them so much) writing songs about partying and girls (see: "Fight For Your Right" and "Girls") who now fight for freedom for Tibet and equal rights for women and are recent inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

And they're Mets fans!!!

Their original line-up formed when the Boys were 17 years old and never changed, and at this year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Mike D and Adrock read a speech on MCA's behalf, since he was too sick to attend. This despairing news was overshadowed by Axl Rose acting like an asshole.

Adam Yauch, besides being 1/3 of one of the best of anything New York City has ever produced (after me, of course), was also fairly accomplished in other forms of media. Under the moniker Nathanial Hornblower, he directed some of Beastie Boys' more iconic videos, including "Body Movin," "So Watcha Want," and "Intergalactic." Under his actual name, Yauch put out "Make Some Noise," a half-hour extended remake of "Fight For Your Right" with Danny McBride, Seth Rogen and Elijah Wood (FRODO!) facing off against "future" Beastie Boys played by Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black. The video includes some epic cameos and is one of the greatest things I've ever seen.

Just as notable, Yauch was co-founder of Oscilloscope Pictures, a major independent film distribution company that released Yauch's own documentaries Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! and Gunnin' For That #1 Spot. Oscilloscope were also the driving force behind critically acclaimed films Wendy and Lucy, The MessengerExit Through the Gift Shop and 2012 festival and awards-season sweeper We Need To Talk About Kevin.

As well as Yauch's major contributions to both the music and film industries, he was also passionate about his fundraising and non-profit efforts. Beastie Boys were well-known for their accomplishments on behalf of Tibetan freedom and the New York women's disaster relief, and in the wake of September 11th, Yauch's Milarepa Fund, which was formed to promote awareness regarding injustice against Tibet, organized New Yorkers Against Violence. Proceeds from this benefit show went to New York Women's Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and NYANA- New York Association for New Americans- September 11th Fund for New Americans. In 1996, Milarepa produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert, which became the biggest benefit concert in the U.S. since Live Aid in 1985.

Adam Yauch will be sorely missed, both as Adam Yauch and MCA, by his family, his wife, his daughter, the remaining members of Beastie Boys, all facets of the entertainment communities and his legion of fierce and loyal fans. You can read his obit on the official Beastie Boys website here.

You can sleep now, MCA. Brooklyn has been found.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

So You Have Chosen... Death

Earlier this week one of my best friends, who will heretofore be referred to as Wonder Woman, finally dumped her loser-ass boyfriend. I never approved of this guy, but in the beginning I thought that it was because I tend to be really harsh as to who I choose as suitable lifemates for my girls. I mean, one does not simply walk into Mordor.

This is what guys have to live up to when they date my friends.
Wonder Woman (the one in my life) is amazingly pretty with an epic rack, super long legs, a sense of humor that rivals only mine and a Masters degree. She can bake you a dessert that will throw her into a cosplay round with Sara Lee while explaining to you what "cosplay" means. She can throw down winning arguments about who would emerge victorious in a battle between Harry Potter and Star Wars villains. She's a devoted mom to two ferociously adorable, yet horribly behaved, mixed breed puppies. Sometimes she roots for the wrong sports teams, but that's OK because we're both ardent Jets fans (Superbowl 2013!).

The fact that this dickhole didn't wake up to her every morning and ask himself what the fuck just happened for him to deserve to see the boobs in front of his face is reason enough alone to take a torch to his balls. I was waiting for her to pull the plug on this one when she realized that he needed her to reach things on the top shelf (technically, they're the same height, but she can actually wear heels in public without having to go on RuPaul's Drag Race) and that the most he has going for him is that he can be easily killed.

For some reason, though, she really liked him, which made her reaction to their breakup all the more heart-wrenching, especially when he was such a cavalier asshat about the entire situation. She forwarded me their conversation, and I literally hope he gets kidnapped by irate, hungry mountain lions. I would throw a raw steak in that cave if I could. Also this video, just to get the party started:

Out of respect for my friend I'll leave out what went down, but suffice it to say that this dillhole is an immature baby with so many issues he could be his own magazine. Here was this girl, way out of this turd goblin's league, who was essentially laying it out on the table (not like that though, because EW), and all he had to say was, "I care about you," which apparently scared the shit out of him because he's a five year old with the emotional range of a teaspoon. When Wonder Woman finally said "FUCK NO" and canceled her subscription all of us practically threw her a party. She was pretty distraught and down on herself, so I finally sent her this text:

"Make a list of all the reasons why you're awesome. If you can't right now, I'll do it for you. Also if you keep blaming yourself I will come over there, embarrass you John Cusack in Say Anything style, and beat you to death. Love, Nugs. PS- Sharks."

I think it worked- she's already arguing with me about how much tequila I've been drinking, so that's a plus (according to her, NEVER ENOUGH. How is this girl single?).

Basically what it comes down to is this: it's understandable if you're in a relationship and you part ways because you're not on the same page- you want marriage and kids, they don't; one wants to move, the other wants to stay; they won't watch Game of Thrones with you; one of you is into dressing up sexually like Falcor from Neverending Story.

You know who you are.
However, if you know that this isn't going anywhere, don't be an asshole- have mercy and end it before someone wastes their time and really gets hurt. And by someone, I mean you, because the heels on my shoes are super pointy and you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

PS- When I brilliantly came up with that Neverending Story reference, all I did was type the name "Falcor" into Google Images and that picture came up. These people actually exist. I was just kidding. WHAT IN THE NAME OF FUCK.