Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Boys Are Back in Town

Hockey is back! Well, I guess there are some who would argue it never went away.

Rebecca reporting from Arlington, awaiting Kendra and her Game Centre password (which is unusual, because I know most of Kendra's passwords). We're both eating salads, separately. It's Carolina vs Buffalo on deck. Hainsey and Teppo are in the same building tonight. Nervoustime legends.

So in the meantime I'll start blabbing on about my Olympics boycott. Yeah that's right I boycotted the whole thing. I didn't watch one event. Honestly, I just couldn't drink the kool-aid. The pomp and circumstance just couldn't overshadow the bullshit (political corruption, social injustices, yada yada). And I was busy, anyway. Here's a great article that talks about "Olympism" that resonated with me: http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/olympism-then-call-me-an-atheist-246102521.html

Even though I was boycotting, between my mother and CBC I got all the news and updates.

Kendra, in teenage ecstasy, standing with Kurt Browning (and Ken).
I heard an amazing re-quote from Sochi when Kurt Browning (of course) said "If only there were marks for magic". This is true of so many things in life. Have you taken stock of the magic in your life? We often put the emphasis and value on the tangible things. But what about all those moments that can't be measured? I think deep down we all believe in magic (which is probably why "Missed Connections" exist). Or like when I was shopping at Food Fare on Maryland and everyone started singing along to Fleetwood Mac in the meat section.


Alright, Kendra texted me her password so we're going to talk about hockey for a bit now. Buffalo is up 1:0 and there's 4 minutes to go in the 2nd period. We'll all have to imagine what happened earlier during the game. Eric Staal scores! Tie game. 1:1. 2 min left in the 2nd. Shout out to the Staal Sod Farm and the Winkworth sisters are due for another visit soon. Thunder Bay: only 8 hrs away.
Sample of Thunder Bay signage. It's all hand-made.
NervoustimeK arrives with extra wine and I've got to figure out how to get picture in picture on my computer screen so we can watch the game and continue to blog. All for you, our beloved readers. 

We've had quite a few blog views from the Ukraine (since our inception, really). Nervoustime would like to take a moment to declare our solidarity with the protesters in Ukraine. Why is Ukraine in crisis? Here's a quick primer: http://www.openculture.com/2014/02/why-is-ukraine-in-crisis.html Also, some fantastic Ukrainian music to listen to while reading:

Fantasy update: we need points. Obvs, we are first place in our league. But Colin and Zigg are only 1 point behind. Shout out to Riverton Rifle, we're playing you next week! Riverton Rifle, who are you? I guess that's all part of the "fantasy". We need Sekera and Hodgson to score tonight. The pot is $600 and if we win, we'd split it 3-ways and use it towards going to Barcelona.

Keep on Rocking in the Free World is playing in Buffalo. We wonder if Teppo requested Neil Young. How amazing would it be to get a mixed tape from Teppo? Nothing says love like a mixed tape. Audience poll: what would be your choice lead song if YOU could make a mix tape for Teppo? Answer: 

This song is now playing in the background to the live game and it's magical. "Why don't I listen to this song everyday?" - K. Already planning Teppo's birthday celebration in July. Hainsey's birthday is March 24th and Kendra is getting balloons to hand out to anyone wearing a Hainsey jersey at the Carolina game March 22.

Kendra saw Evander at Stellas the other night and ordered a big bag to go. He didn't have to wait long. Rumors are flying about Evander and his philandering ways, just sayin'. Winnipeg's a small town, dude.

In case you're wondering what's happening in the hockey game, it's still 1:1 with 12 minute left in the 3rd.

We're talking hot yoga and we're going together on Friday night. I bet all the people without hot water are totally reconsidering trying out hot yoga now. But seriously, it's really shitty that so many people don't have running water in Winnipeg right now.

Tyler Ennis scores for Buffalo and it's now 2:1. These NHL Game Centre announcers sound horribly uninterested.

Kendra hasn't stopped drinking red wine despite her pending dentist appointment. "I think I'm getting a cavity."

Snappy shot from Semin in the slot! Tie game nervoustime. Sekera with the assist and that means we're leading in Fantasyc Hockey. I asked if this "clinches the lead" for us, and Kendra politely reminds me that it's only our first point.

Kendra here: I was trying to declare this hangout 'Rivalry night' because it's kind of a Teppo vs. Hainsey scenerio who are Becca and my respectively faves. But Becca happily pointed out that we also both love the others and it's great for everyone. 
So now Errhoff scored and Buffalo takes the lead and only 45 seconds left!!!!!

Interestingly we had Erhoff on our team two years ago.

I'd like to spend a summer in Buffalo.

Woahhhh Rebecca was making a dip. Included: onion soup mix, sour cream, mayo, vinegar, lemon juice, the tahini dressing. it's delicious and the game is over!!! and dill and cajun. Here's the amazing recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/tasteful-tahini-salad-dressing/ 

No better end to a night than that. xoxoxo Rebecca and Kendra

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Olympic hockey thoughts from Karla and Kendra, 2014

In light of the upcoming Canadian men's hockey game tomorrow I have been feeling a certain nervoustime about what it means to cheer for a country....thanks to my amazing sister Karla for her insight and helpfulness on the subject:


Hey so ya my biggest discussion topic was what you think about the Olympics based on your thesis. In yoga, we are taught that the root chakra connects us to belonging but sometimes that is totally false like we are encouraged to look at what our parents may have told us that may not be true (sidenote - have you heard the song 'The Mother we Share' by CHVRCHES ? so good.)

As it relates to Canada I can support the team for sure but I don't think I would be devastated if the Czechs won it or even Sweden or even even well with Patrick Kane's sweet interview about his grandfather dying maybe the us....and this is partially due to my own attachment to the players or the places and maybe that is why its easier to cheer for the Canadian team so much more passionately in the juniors because you don't have the back story on any one. 

But as soon as I have a story I would cheer for anyone and I guess that's the difficulty. What do you think?


I agree with all this, and love the song The Mother We share. I've been hitting that whole cd pretty hard since I got back from my last Winnipeg jaunt, and it's playing again now, actually. 

The Olympics are so interesting, because intellectually, I can believe that the Canadian nationstate is colonial and illegitimate, not just because of its history, but its ongoing unjust and white supremacist practices, but there's an undeniable emotional pull that comes from growing up in a place that takes certain sports, like hockey or even curling, as "ours," and it's easy to get caught up in the competitive spirit for people like me, and you too, maybe. Certain rivalries, like hating Russia from growing up watching them beat Canada for WJrs, or the typical Canadian desire to beat the Americans at something/ANYTHING, can still get to me, because that's really embedded, socially and culturally. This morning, for example, when I turned on the women's hockey game, I automatically found myself wanting the Americans to lose and the Canadians to win, even though I don't know the stories of any of those women on the team and am not rooting for individual players like I am with the men's team. I like to think my support for team Canada on the men's side is due to a loyalty to Winnipeg and the menno connection with Toews, not Canada as a nation, but Winnipeg sits on stolen ground as well. There's a gendered dynamic there too, of course, the differences between the lives, fame, and wealth of most of the male players, and the financial struggle and lack of regular recognition the women hockey players face, and how hard it is for them to continue to play the way they do and have other jobs along the way. 

In addition to preferring the sports being played, the winter Olympics are of more interest to me politically than the summer one's, especially in terms of how Canada markets itself during them - the "we are winter" slogan does lots of things at once. It claims ownership over a season, which is strange/questionable enough, but it also calls subtly (or maybe not so subtly) on what is sometimes called environmental determinism, or what has been called "icy white nationalism" in the Canadian case - the idea that cold temperatures actually contribute to morally better, more hard working and hearty people. This can be contrasted with "lazy, soft" (nonwhite) southern people, who are coded as inferior in these geographical/environmental terms, which are racialized, but not always explicitly so. Criteria like that, environmental factors ones standing in for race, used to help explicitly shape Canada's immigration policy, for example, and many of our national myths are about the hearty settlers coming and conquering the cold and the 'emptiness' of the land. So all this comes up in a narrative about Canada's rightful place at the top of the winter Olympic podium, and needs to be critically deconstructed.  

There's also the other issues of any Olympics, the cost to the local people, the displacement of local people at times, the sex trafficking, the other risks to women, and then, in this Russian case, we obviously have the issue of LGBTQ* rights as well. 

and YET, all that aside, again, it's all very easy to get caught up in, and in essence, that's how the emotional pull of nationalism works, the often irrational, gut power of an anthem, or even a Tim Hortons commercial spanning across the provinces, showing us proud, familiar images and national icons. 

But like you said, the power of a story can do that same kind of thing, and that can blur national loyalties and previous expectations. I think that's a good thing, a reminder that our common humanity can hopefully trump borders and be what connects us, and what ultimately matters most. 


I never thought about the women making less, even when Phil Kessel's sister did really well earlier in the year and Ron McLean was like 'best Kessel in the family' obviously regardless of how poorly Phil had been doing he would certainly had the money to drown his sorrows in whatever way. 

But I guess I kind of like the idea that winter breeds better people. Remember our 'winter only' hockey league where we would ditch teams that never had snow? I am not even sure if it's even cold in Sochi right now, the high today (I just checked) is 17 degrees -the exact same high as Barcelona, Spain - not a location you'd expect for a Winter Olympics. 

Already today though I was so excited checking the scores for the Czech Sweden game and felt personally offended that Pavelec wasn't in goal....and then I remembered all my faves from the Sweden team, Landeskog, Lundqvuist obvs and then suddenly it's a new story, like this new goalie if he can be on par with Lundqvist (despite the loss) is that the feel good story of the day. And that's why I like the Olympics and sports generally, is that there is always a chance for a complete turnaround. Or there should be. I am wondering I can try to really not cheer for Canada and what it would be like, not in a terrible way to cheer against them but to see how emotionally I will feel when watching a game itself.

Tim Horton's commercials are the worst though - haha. And any Scotiabank commercial involving a child waking up early gets me everytime.


 I know how you feel - I can be critical of it, on one level, but I am susceptible to the idea of cold weather breeding better people, too, even though I know it's caught up in very problematic racist narratives. It can be such a big part of our provincial identity in particular, and our winter only hockey league was a great idea, I still say.  

I love sports for the potential unexpected triumphs and feel good stories, too, and for me, there are so many Blackhawks on different teams that I feel like I could be happy with a lot of different outcomes, but at the end of the day, I just want Jonathan Toews to mercilessly crush his enemies and win all the things.