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May, 2012

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Hockey Rehab (Day 53): The warpath to the NHL…

It’s getting dark, too dark to see…

Japan National Route 245 It’s one thing to fuck with me, and quite another to fuck with my car. Maybe I wasn’t immediately smitten with Paul Kariya the night he turned up on my doorstep last summer. There wasn’t much to love. He’s a wimpy, small, 3 cylinder box on wheels, but I have definitely grown quite attached to my foster son, and I’d defend him just like he was my very own baby, like I would my little Lynxie. So, I definitely don’t appreciate when the creepy sleazy men in Japan try to make fucky with me and put little Paul Kariya in harm’s way.

It seems no Hockey Rehab post is complete without my latest tale of creepy sexual woe, and this installment shall be no exception. Friday night (tonight). After a week of constant stress and no sleep, I was almost tempted to stay home tonight, but instead I opted to go out for dinner and drown my sorrows in a sea of carbs and more carbs. It wasn’t going to be a late night, so I dropped my friend off at her aparto around 9PM, and proceeded to drive back to my little shack in the country the way I always do…

As soon as I got to the abandoned stretch of road where the trees become dense and the street lights vanish, a menacing looking black car pulled up in front of me and slammed on the brakes. I very nearly hit the guy, and since it was raining a bit, he’s lucky I didn’t completely hydroplane. Not only was I pissed off, I was really confused. Where did this guy come from? Why did he just stop in the middle of nowhere like that? In fairness, I had been quite immersed with my in-car karaoke, so it definitely wasn’t out of the realm of the possible that I just wasn’t paying enough attention and nearly hit someone. The thing that didn’t add up was why he would stop like he did in the middle of nowhere, on such an empty street, where our cars were the only sets of headlights for miles…

No harm was done. Nobody hit anyone. So I figured that was the end of it. The black vehicle pulled into the oncoming lane and waited for me to pass before heaving his car behind me in a cock-like manner. To me this was a telltale sign of your average skittish old person who very nearly got rammed by another car, and felt that it was probably safer to drive behind that car instead of in front of it, so I didn’t even bother getting a good look at the driver. However, it became clear quite quickly that this was no accidental near-collision, and that this man had been tailing me for awhile…

The car kept following behind me until we drove through a more cultivated area and the single lane road became a double lane road. Once he had the second lane to move around in he was free to try to stop me in the same idiotic manner as before – by pulling in front of me and slamming on the brakes again. Yeah… I was officially really fucking pissed now. At one point, when we were both at a stoplight, I was ready to drop the gloves. I had my seatbelt off and my hand ready to open the door, but, thankfully, we were forced to watch the presentation on the horrors of Japanese prisons (again) the night before during our monthly training session, so that whole, “Don’t get arrested in Japan, you’ll never get out in your lifetime,” thing was still pretty fresh in my mind. Maybe no assault and battery charges tonight…

On top of that the guy, who turned out to be shifty looking man in his mid-20’s, kept nearly sideswiping me by trying to get my attention, and it became quite obvious that he was chasing me in hopes of making the fucky. Finally, he managed to get a clear view of me, and I was able to send back the biggest death stare the guy had clearly ever seen because he immediately fell back and stopped pursuing me in what was already a 15 minute car chase at that point. It must have been that same look my kindergarten teacher was going on about all those years ago…

Teacher: Umm… Does Katrina ever give you those looks like… like she can see right through you, and she thinks you’re absolute trash?

Mom: Yeah all the time.

Teacher: Well what can I do about it?!

Mom: Aren’t you supposed to be the teacher?

*Exhale* I really need to find a happy place. These “micro-aggressions,” are starting to eat me alive, and I actually worry if I’m going to be the next one of us to have a mental breakdown sometime in the near future. Apparently this happens a lot, and if it does happen to me it will likely be worse than your everyday, run of the mill mental breakdown. I started playing competitive sports at the age of 4, so from a young age I was taught not to cry. I learned to make, “Shake it off,” my motto, and I seemed to carry that throughout my entire life. I don’t get sad, I get angry. In fact, I only ever cry if I’ve just been consumed by so much rage that my body can’t keep it in anymore. And I do feel myself getting to that point now. Even when my thoughts have wandered off to a nicer place when I’m listening to music or whatever, I can still feel my body raging on despite the fact that my mind is not. Last month I finally decided to see what these popular in-mall massage places were like, and the whole time the therapist kept saying, “Your back is too hard, too hard. Why is it very hard?” I don’t know… Maybe stress.

So what is making me rage these days? Well despite the fact that I pretty much strongly oppose all the latest decisions my company has made, being a minority in a homogenous society can get you down after awhile, too. You see cultural/racial differences here are not regarded as good/interesting things. Japan is the world. And these ideals are especially strong in the rural areas where I reside, just like how rural areas in any country are likelier to be a little less worldly. Western women seem to be regarded as things, namely prostitutes, and, well, as you just read, the very sight of one can prompt a high speed chase. This stuff doesn’t just happen to me, by the way. I know plenty of stories of women being followed while walking down the street as Japanese men yell, “Sex! Sex! Sex!” at them. Hell, my friend and I were at a McDonald’s a couple months ago, and as we were about to leave a little man, who had been sitting at another table studying the entire time, came up to her and told her he wanted to go to take her to a love hotel. And to be fair, this kind of shit does occasionally happen at home, too. I remember quite clearly being chased down by a horny truck driver en route to a Milwaukee Admirals playoff game in Cincinnati during the NHL Lockout of 2004-05.

Anyway, I guess being treated like a thing (not an object, a thing) starts to eat away at you slowly, but I suppose having nothing to live for (i.e. my next hockey road trip) doesn’t help either. I need to find something that will make me happy (or at least distract me) ASAP because if I don’t I’m probably going to make myself sick. I’m already on the warpath to the NHL, and I wouldn’t be surprised, at this point, if I will actually be back home, and front row and centre for puck drop on opening night this October. So, I guess that’s something. Oh, and if you think I’m exaggerating with the whole “warpath” thing, then I refer you now to a conversation with one of my sorority sisters back in the summer of 2005…

Her: Hey, did you know there’s a tropical storm named after you heading towards the US *laughs.*

Me: Oh God. That was a mistake. I’ve never met a Katrina who wasn’t a total bitch. If that doesn’t become one of the worst storms in American history, I’ll be shocked…

Looks like Hurricane Katrina is about to make landfall in Japan…

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Monday, May 21st, 2012

The Puck Bunny vs. The Cliche

Who are you? What have you become? Animal…

Somewhere on the Eastern shore of Japan I was asked the other day what my take was on the uprising of Twitter accounts authored by self-proclaimed “puck bunnies,” and since I can’t resist a candid chat about one of my favourite topics in the hockey sphere, I’ve decided to elucidate my stance for you here. Now you know I’m definitely NOT anti-puck bunny. I love those fluffy little devils, and Hell, the jury is still out on whether or not I actually fit that floppy eared mold myself. However, you probably also know by now that I am pretty much against sheepish conformity. So, I guess the flaw I find with the aforementioned (and multiplying) cyber bunnies is that they all seem to spew that same tired old cliche that certain puck bunnies try to adopt in an attempt to attract the average hockey stud.

What unites puck bunnies with one another is not as black and white and you may think it is. Puck bunnies don’t altogether “play” with hockey players. In fact it is usually those that don’t actually get said play that are likelier to refer to themselves as such. You may want to keep that in mind when you are subscribing to Twitter feeds for self-titled puck bunnies FYI! Some “puck bunnies” know absolutely nothing about hockey, while others love it and know more about it that your average super fan – the only difference is they have the she-balls to actually admit that they are attracted to some of the players, whereas other female fans think their biological urges somehow make them lose face in the “man’s world” that is the domain of hockey fandom. But enough about that, I’m not here to discuss the most correct definition of a puck bunny.

What really irritates me are the puck bunnies that try sooooo hard to act like what (they think) hockey players are like/will like. Granted, in my experience hockey players are pretty much one and the same. Even those rare gems that will raise my eyebrow for half a second after they drop some sort of unforeseeable bomb of uniqueness, all tend to end up like every other hockey player I’ve met with the same old hang ups, and the same old shallow insecurities that only silicone and a fake tan can alleviate. Anyway, I guess what I was trying to say before I went off on that tangent is that I would really love to see some more “original” puck bunnies out there, and these ladies may find that they are better off for it…

I remember researching my puck bunny book back when I was 18. At the time the hockey player language really fascinated me (I would declare a Linguistic Anthropology major a few weeks after I wrote it, by the way). It was just so intriguing that these guys, despite playing on different teams and in various leagues all over the world, had this whole lexicon that they alone could understand to its full extent. I wanted to include a small sample of this in the book, so I interviewed a lot of hockey players about it. Of course, I couldn’t resist asking the guys what they thought of girls/puck bunnies that attempted to incorporate the hockey lexicon into their own speech particularly when interacting with the boys. The answer was a passionate, “We think they sound like idiots,” across the entire board.

I guess the puck bunnies that talk like hockey players and try to walk like them, too, are similar to the women you see on those sad dating reality shows, that attempt to “wow” the bachelor with an overly rehearsed (and cringe inducing) speech about how they love beer, football, and sex, and are therefore the perfect “guys‘ girl.” I mean, if you came across a Twitter account of a “hockey player” who basically described himself with that classic Gongshow Geared cliche of one, “Uhh yeah… I bang the hottest broads, and I wheel this and that. Oh, and let’s not forget about my chewing and sniping,” you’d probably just think, “Yeah, OK, beer league” before NOT clicking the Follow button. Kinda makes you wonder if those cliched puckies running amuck in cyberspace these days are just a bunch of aggressive poseurs hoping they can seduce one of the more man-whorish pros with a deceitful notion that if the milkshake was good enough for the mysterious “others,” then it’s good enough for him, too…

Like I said I’m not really sure whether I fit the puck bunny mold or not. Hockey has been my love since I was a kid, and at times hockey seemed like the only thing I had in this world. That being said, more than half the men in my life have been hockey players, and some people would claim that this fact alone is all the evidence the court needs for a guilty verdict, even though I was never the one initiating the wooing or putting myself in their way, and for every one that got “through,” at least two were turned away. Anyway, whether I am a puck bunny or not I am proud to say the following about myself:

#1 I have a vicious hatred and aversion to smoking and all tobacco products. Therefore, I have not, nor will I ever “chew” or have any sort of tobacco product in my mouth. And any guy that’s recently had it in his will not be sticking his tongue in mine…

#2 I don’t “wheel,” I weigh my options carefully, and never have more than one guy on the go at any given time – call me old fashioned…

#3 The only “sandwiches” I make are the kind on a fresh baguette…

#4 I’m definitely not wife material let alone trophy wife material, and I definitely don’t try to look the part since fashion gives me a migraine, and shopping makes me want to slit my wrists…

#5 All the hockey players I’ve met, I’ve met by chance, not by stalking them after their games (contrary to popular myth) or at some slutty party where I made a naked fool out of myself…

Anyway, I’m not trying to pick on anyone. I don’t follow these types of feeds, but not for any other reason than the fact that they simply bore me. I’ve seen that same old song and dance a million times especially in my junior hockey days. My point is that you can screw hockey players and be known as a puck bunny (if that’s what you want), but that you can do both of those things and still be yourself… if you still remember who that is, of course.

Top Photo: No reason for this, just felt like we could all use a little Milli Vanilli today...

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