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January, 2013

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Getting ripped off on Leafs tickets never felt so good…

Toronto, ON My day was unusual to say the least, and it definitely didn’t start on a high note. As my Spanish YaYa continues to succumb to the ravages of age, I have taken over running most of her errands for her, which, in true old lady fashion, start no later than 7 AM every morning. As I was heating up the car yesterday morning, Lynxie gave a sudden jerk and froze. Evidently, I was out of gas. This is the first time I have ever let the tank totally run out. Lynxie’s computer system has been on the fritz since I came back from Japan. Evidently, no one bothers to drive him while his Mama’s away. Don’t get me started, as this has me quite worried mere days away from my upcoming road trip to Arena #63 and #64 this weekend! Anyway, this situation ensured that I spent no less than 67% of my day reeking of gasoline, as I naturally got it all over myself when I was manually refilling the tank with a plastic red canister.

By 8:30 AM it was time for informal nanny duties. (Yes, this is my life between jobs). However, my aunt had suddenly come down with something, so the usual school day shuffle was extended to swimming lessons, and First Communion prep at the church with my oldest cousin/Goddaughter. By the way, First Communion prep essentially involves the children being carted away by the Tuesday night Sunday school teachers, while the parents are subjected to ridiculous videos, and lectures from the priest for not attending church more often. It would be a lot easier to stomach if the priest wasn’t essentially a 90 year old version of George W. Bush. It goes without saying that I was hiding in the last row with my NHL Game Center carefully positioned in my purse, so that I could stealthily keep my eye on everything. Namely, the Bolts pounding the Pussies… I mean Cats.

By 9:30 PM I was greeted at home with a letter addressed from “CLASS ACTION.” Naturally, my first reaction was, “FUCK!! What did I do now??!??!?!” But after I opened it I realized that I was being paid off. Apparently, a class action lawsuit was filed against TicketMaster in 2009 for the sketchy operation they were running with their own reselling website TicketsNow. I had only used TicketsNow twice, as the prices were usually a little bit higher than they were on other reseller websites. One thing I did like about them, however, was that you could tease them. If you so much as looked at a pair of tickets, and then left the site, as soon as you came back, they’d offer you a discount to buy.

Apparently, TicketMaster got into hot water for allegedly over-inflating ticket prices to Canadians especially. As a result, TicketMaster was encouraged to settle, and it was decided that the amount of $36 per ticket sold would be reimbursed to everyone who has used the site. Now, I definitely overpaid by MORE than $36 per ticket, but I also went to the games and had great seats. I mean, people come to these reseller sites knowing that they are going to overpay, and usually we are OK with it or we simply wouldn’t do it. Obviously, when I travel, my first priority is to get a ticket from the team’s box office, but in some markets that is just not an option. My point is, for me at least, I used TicketsNow knowing that I would be overpaying. My tickets were real, and I had a great time at the games. Getting any sort of money back is just gravy, and my cheque has already been reinvested in a hockey ticket for a game in Winnipeg. Getting ripped off on Leafs tickets has never felt sooooo good! :)

Top Photo: Living it up in the Platinum Club at the Air Canada Centre prior to the Leafs tilt with Phoenix in 2009-10 – just one of my games courtesy of TicketsNow.

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Sunday, January 27th, 2013

A Brief History of Train Wrecks: 4 years of Psycho Lady Hockey

Whatever gets you through the night… Just keep on dancing…

Toronto, ON I say this every year, but every year it’s just as true – I can’t believe that this blog has been going for 4 LONG years. Over the past 2 years I’ve often found myself asking why I keep doing what I’m doing. Why be a slave to the hockey rink? Why be a slave to updating this blog? I think I have finally found the answer. As my completion of my mission to visit all of the active NHL rinks draws nearer, so does my ultimate purpose. I suppose I keep this blog going so I have a place to put the materials that will be produced after completing this mission – namely a series of e-books as I see it right now.

This past week has brought with it a lot of shitheads, and I’ve never been more motivated to just finish the damn League and move on with my life. The books, however, are necessary, so that I can feel like something positive did actually come out of all of this. These 4 years have been a highway of interesting life experiences that was paved with innumerable wastes of human existence (read: cunts). So, positivity is really something I need to rediscover at this point.

I also feel like my motivations and priorities have shifted. After being abroad for so long, I find it very hard to stay home. I find myself in job interviews depressed and hesitant to end the globetrotting chapter of my life. The “real” world is boring, the actual world is not. I like to picture my life abroad as the song Adolescent Sex by Japan, and it makes me sad to give that up. Whether I stay in Canada or run away again, one thing is for sure. I will still have a major hockey addiction to overcome even after completing the NHL portion of my Psycho Lady misadventures. I’ve often been asked what I plan to do after the NHL, and quite frankly I’m just crazy enough to shoot for 100 rinks. I figure I might be at 71 by the end of this season, so 29 more isn’t THAT hard!

I know I’ve been a downer lately, but that’s what happens when your life turns to shit, I guess. My stress and Depression levels were already off the charts while I was in Japan, and they’ve actually risen substantially since I’ve been back. Who’d have thought I was actually better off IN Japan!!? So, in the spirit of trying to bring positivity back into my life, I’ve decided to celebrate the 4 year anniversary of Psycho Lady Hockey (yesterday) by reflecting on 4 of my happiest/hilarious moments in hockey shenanigans. Enjoy!

#1 Planes, Trains, and Automobiles… Oh, and the Florida Panthers, too!

I have a feeling that my upcoming trip to Winnipeg is going to be a lot like this one (and NO I still don’t have a ticket), but I suppose recapturing the epic-ness of my one and only fated trip to BB&T Center in 2007-08 was part of the appeal. This was definitely one of those trips that is a lot funnier looking back than it actually was at the time. At the time it seemed wasteful and unfortunate, but now I wouldn’t change the story for anything.

It was reading week at U of T, and my family had booked a vacation to Florida. Originally, I wasn’t going to go, but I made the mistake of agreeing to drive everyone to the airport. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’m pretty damn spontaneous, and it doesn’t take much to put a crazy idea into my head. One sniff of the air around Toronto Pearson International Airport, and I was determined to book myself on the next flight.

Naturally, a trip to South Florida wouldn’t be complete without a Panthers game, but, boy, did I ever pick a bad time to go. When I arrived in Florida, the stomach flu had started to spread around my family, and sure enough it hit me just moments before the gates opened for the Cats tilt with the Bruins. I spent the entirety of my Panthers experience in the doctor’s office, sprawled out in the “Platinum Lounge (or whatever they called it),” and down on all fours in the bathroom stall (SNAAAAAAP). I actually vomited 8 times that night, and finally gave up on the game after the first period.

Believe it or not my problems didn’t end there. The flu managed to pass by the time I was boarding my flight back to Buffalo. Buffalo is my usual airport for travels within the U.S. 2 days later I had tickets for a Flyers game at First Niagara Center, which caused major panic when my flight was grounded in Baltimore, and I was told I wouldn’t get out for 2 days.

I spent the night at the airport wide awake. I tried to get some studying done, but the material was making me sleepy. Luckily, a nice airport worker kept me company by telling me tales of his incredibly handsome son, which helped to pass the time until morning. Once 6AM hit, I had my flights redirected taking me into Toronto via Cincinnati. The only problem was that my car was in Buffalo and my ex-friend-cunt and I had to get ourselves back to Buffalo in time for the game.The next day we boarded a good old fashioned Greyhound bus to Buffalo, followed by a short cab ride to the airport parking lot. I didn’t end up missing that Flyers game, but it’s crazy to think how close I nearly came!

#2 Love in the Arena District… But not quite.

There are more than a few love stories in the pages of my 12 years worth of hockey road trips, but it’s always the men that I let get away that leave the biggest impression. My biggest regret is definitely in the Columbus chapter. Back in 2008-09, I started to go on a lot more road trips by myself. I liked the freedom of not having anyone to answer to on the road, and, of course, not sharing a hotel room lends itself well to scandal.

I must have been really motivated in Columbus because I found myself quite beguiled by my waiter at dinner the night before the Blue Jackets game. He was HOT, and definitely someone you could see waiting on tables in order to get his modeling/acting career going. We are talking movie star hot here, and for some reason he was down for the Psycho Lady challenge, if you know what I’m saying.

His shift ended at midnight, and things were going quite well. He was going in for all those really close lean ins all the time, which are damn near impossible to resist. However, then my husband got jealous, and started whispering in my ear. Hockey didn’t want me getting involved with this kind of distraction. Surely, he would just get in the way on game day, and I wouldn’t be able to make the most of my game day experience. I let hockey win that night. I made a quick excuse and returned to my bed chambers all on my lonesome, and have regretted it ever since. Not that I thought he was Prince fucking Charming or anything, but he was hot, so he should’ve got! I never made a mistake like that again, but I will definitely always regret not taking down that boy from Ohio. Because of this unsexy trip to Columbus, I started to realize that I had a REAL hockey problem and addiction. A month later Psycho Lady Hockey was born.

#3 My Vancouver Canucks Signing Bonus

A couple winters ago I found myself in the company of some cocky newly signed hockey players. After much alcohol, lap dances at the biggest dive of a rippers I’ve ever seen, this cocky baby Canuck decided it would be fun to start doing doughnuts in the parking lot. My poor unsuspecting car was heating up on that particularly frosty evening, when he spun his brand new FJ right into Lynxie. Naturally, he immediately paid cash for all the damages. So, in a way, his new NHL signing bonus became MY new NHL signing bonus! Easy come, easy go. The sleazy thing was that the guy tried to use my grief over my injured automative son to try and get me into bed. He actually went for the lean in and kiss after he told me he would pay for the large holes in the back of my car. I was stunned, “Uhh… Really?! You’re going there?!”

#4 Snowed In Milwaukee Style

When it snows in Wisconsin, it really fucking snows! On my first AHL road trip to Milwaukee during the ’04 Lockout, there was a massive 3 foot dumping of snow the night before my second game at the Bradley Center. Unfortunately, for my sorority sister and I, we were supposed to be making our token visit to one of the local fraternities at Marquette University, and decided not to cancel since the boys had gone to great lengths to make preparations to entertain the two of us – beer pong and the works! Naturally, we ended up snowed in, and lucky for me one of the frat boys was kind enough to offer to keep me warm on such a cold night of the year.

The following morning my car had to literally be dug out of the parking lot, and I had to use my whole body to wipe the snow off the front of my car. Apparently, there is/was some bizarre law in Milwaukee that prohibits snow plows from plowing before 8AM or something ridiculous. Anyway, my pregame problems didn’t end there. I had sustained several injuries the night before, which needed attention before the Admirals game.

Some women are crazy about getting bruises and things before major events like weddings, well, I’m like that before hockey games. Not only did I have the BIGGEST hickeys you’ve ever seen ALL OVER my neck, but I actually had to apply Polysporin to a bite mark that broke the skin… ON MY NIPPLE! Anyway, my friend managed to help me with covering the hickeys with a professional grade make up job, and I don’t think anyone noticed my whorishness under the unforgiving lights of the Bradley Center. Oh, to be 19 again…

Honourable Mentions: Sadly only FOUR stories can be posted tonight, so here’s a shout out to some of those that didn’t make the cut this year: JLA Kiss Cam Fail, Dustin Byfuglien’s Girlfriend Hates Me, Put It On John Stevens’ Tab, What Happened Last Night & Other Goalies, I Don’t Recall Seeing Joffrey Lupul on the Menu, The Pittsburgh Blackouts, and many more!

Top Photo: Pregame Flyers@Sabres after an epic journey from Florida. Even the hotel rooms in Buffalo are blue!

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