The angels walk with the lonely ones in the cold rain to rescue you…
Somewhere on the Eastern shore of Japan It was our birthday and we’ll cry if we want to! Another year has come and gone. Unfortunately, it was not quite so painless, as the June 2nd birthday boys (and girl) of hockey have had plenty to cry about this week. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman celebrated his milestone birthday last Saturday with more than a couple dark clouds hanging over his head. If his ongoing search for a new owner in Phoenix isn’t enough to make him feel all of his 60 years, then I’m sure the threat of another lockout has really made the arthritis set in. And let’s not forget about legendary Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Robinson, who celebrated his Rick Nash birthday this year (that’s 61 for you kids at home in Non-hockey Land). Sure, New Jersey’s Vice Coach DILF has had a lot to be happy about this year, especially the Devils’ run in the postseason. I know I sure as hell didn’t see that one coming! But, of course, dropping their second straight game of the Stanley Cup Final to the Kings on home ice, and on his birthday no less, was probably more than enough to make his (I’m assuming) Devil’s Food cake taste like Japanese manure, which has slightly cheesier undertones to it than Canadian manure FYI.
Now as for what I’m crying about on my 27th birthday, well, I live in Japan – no hockey, no men, no love – enough said. I practically had to be dragged out of my house on June 2nd, as I hadn’t bothered to plan any sort of celebration, since I no longer get any satisfaction from anything other than my intense outrage towards everything. That being said, I did, however, give myself a very, very good birthday gift, and no, I’m not referring to any “self-help” antics in the forbidden zone, although… No, I gave myself the gift of life experience in the form of a 2 week excursion through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, which I’m pretty excited about, but sad at the same time since I don’t leave for 2 months. I’m all about the instant gratification! I don’t think I’ve ever planned a trip this far ahead in my life! Oh, and just to tempt fate AND the Curse of 27, I’m heading to Southeast Asia all by my lonesome.
There is an interesting story about this trip that may imply that the hockey gods have intervened with my life in order to ensure that I do, in fact, return to the land of ice and pucks. I had been keeping this to myself for awhile, but the truth is that I had actually been planning to NOT come back to Canada at all. Now, that’s not to say that I wouldn’t go crazy from another year in Japan, and go home to regroup, but that stint would have likely been temporary, as I had other plans to set up shop in another part of the world – the Middle East.
The move to the Middle East was going to require a massive commitment from me, a commitment I was ready to pledge as early as February of this year. However, the move was going to require a lot from me, and not just in the form of being mentally willing to go without hockey for yet another significant chunk of time – namely a fairly large financial commitment to an intensive course of study to acquire the accreditation I needed to be qualified (I already have the experience required). I had been researching schools since the winter, and finally decided to move forward with a school in Greece. I was planning to fly there for 5 weeks this summer, kill myself doing the class (everyone I know that has done it says that it is absolutely brutal, and that some people even had nervous breakdowns), and fly back to Japan just in time for school to start up in September. After that I was going to try to finish my contract, and then head straight for the Persian Gulf without passing GO or collecting $200! I actually was not able to legally obtain a visa as a woman until I turned 27, so I am only just eligible now! Anyway, it seemed like it was going to be a year (at least) of all work and no play for this Psycho, that is, until something bizarre happened…
Nearly two months ago now, the school in Greece told me they were ready to move forward with the enrollment process. The first thing I needed to do was pass a ridiculous exam that also had to be timed by them. Due to the time difference, we agreed on 10PM my time. However, an unforeseeable network crash at the school delayed them from emailing me the test, which meant that I was writing the thing at 2AM! All the Boss Coffee in the world couldn’t help me, and by the time my 2 hours were nearly up, I honestly didn’t give a fuck if my answers were right or wrong – I just wanted to sleep!
Well, as I both feared and expected on account of my examination experience, I didn’t hear back from the school after they initially confirmed that they received my test. After a couple weeks, I even sent an inquiry asking when we were going to go onto the next step in the process – a proper interview. Again, I heard nothing, so now it seemed like I was definitely getting the brush off, and I assumed I must have done quite badly on the exam to warrant the silent treatment.
Part of me was upset because I blew my chance at efficient time management by getting my certification during my downtime this summer, but part of me was also relieved. I’m not sure how long I can continue down this path of workaholism without snapping, and spending my vacation time on an infamously brutal course was likely to speed up the snapping inevitability. So, I decided instead to start toying with the idea of taking a trip. Of course, I wasn’t in a rush to book anything since I can’t leave until August, but I was definitely browsing the web on all of my breaks at school trying to find something that tickled my fancy.
A few nights before my birthday, I just could not sleep. I was tossing and turning all night until I finally turned the light back on and got out of bed around 1AM. I couldn’t get this persistent thought out of my head that I needed to book the trip, so I decided to actually get out of bed and do it. Sure enough, I fell asleep the moment I hit the confirm payment button!
The next morning I awoke to find an email from the school in Greece in my inbox. They were emailing me to say that I had been accepted and that I could make my tuition payments whenever I was ready. I was completely awefucked (that’s my new word, by the way)! The timestamp on the email was around 2AM my time, which means that if they had literally sent me the email 1 hour sooner, I’d be off studying in Athens this summer instead of dancing with ladyboys in Bangkok. The thing that kind of pisses me off about this is that if they had only sent me a short email reply to my inquiries over the past two months, stating that they were waiting on session confirmation or something, then I wouldn’t have even thought about browsing vacations. I don’t think I have to tell you that if I did go to Greece this summer, then I would definitely NOT be returning to Canada next year. Kind of sounds like I wasn’t meant to take this course, at least not yet, and there could be many reasons for that. Maybe I would have had a breakdown if I took the course, or maybe there is something I’m meant to do or see on my adventure. These are both good possibilities, but, for the time being, I choose to believe that this was the handiwork of those rascally hockey gods, who are trying to tell me, in their own way, that I must return to NHL Land next season, and not go off galavanting around the world again. For what purpose? Only time will tell, I guess.
Top Photo: Another thing I’d like to do this summer is lose the blonde. I don’t know… It makes me feel common…