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Just printed out my CEC open house tix. Can't wait to walk through the new place, since it's likely the only time this season I'll get to see it. Unless they have training camp there, of course.
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Add one more thing to the list of Things I Just Don't Get: triggers.

Most people who know me know I write fanfic, and I have learned over the years that merely providing a summary of one's story is insufficient -- one should also warn the reader that there may be objectionable content within. Fine. Not everyone wants to read a story where two men get busy, or where one of those two men won't take no for an answer.

But this is where my understanding stops. I have recently read a string of rants complaining of authors who failed to warn to the reader's specifics, resulting in the tragedy known as the 'trigger.' The comments to these rants are generally of the back-patting sort: "There, there, dear. You're so right. When will they ever learn that squicks =/= triggers...?"

Which leads me to wonder if these poor victims actually read books. You know, the papery things one buys in a bookstore or borrows from a library or friend. I'm currently reading The Pillars of the Earth, and try as I might, cannot seem to find Ken Follett's warning that a brutal rape just sneaks up on you in the fifth chapter, or that the first six pages are a detailed description of an execution and a bloody animal sacrifice.

If the back-cover blurb were all that kf_of_wales had posted as the summary for his awesome fic, he'd get flamed for failing to warn of possible triggers. *shakes head*
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Nothing's happening. Not only are the Pens not signing anyone (please please Gonch stay), but no one's freaking signing anyone. All I read about are buyouts and rumors.


BTW, the reason for today's frequent updates? Apparently, LJ, in its infinite wisdom (@ @) decided to change the home page. Now all the stuff regular LJers want has been pushed far down the page to make room for two large boxes: Recently Updated Comms and What's Happening in ONTD.

I sorta understand the recently updated one, since a casual reader might find a comm that he/she didn't know existed, but ONTD? Either you're there (in which case, you know what's happening there) or you're not interested in them (in which case, why would you want it on your home page?).

One of the commenters to the LJ News post put up this link:

This is everything I wanted on my homepage, including a Quick Update window. Bookmarked and using!
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It might not seem like a big deal to some, but the longest story I've ever written topped 36,000 words this morning. Now that it's coming to an end, it's going much much slower, and that pisses me off. Over the four and a half months it's taken me to get this far, I have had no problem shooting out over a thousand words at a time. Now, it seems like I'm driving a car with the emergency brake stuck on ON.

This has been the most fun I have ever had writing. And now I wish it was over.
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I came across the "Nine things women say" thing today and shook my head in semi-disbelief. Why the drama, ladies? I guess I have always found that I enjoy being understood when I speak, so I often use terms that can be easily understood. I don't want someone walking away from my conversation wondering 'What did she mean by that?'

To that end, I have the Nine Things lists here: both the internet one and my own.

Nine Deadly Words Used By (Many) Women

1) Fine
This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2) Five Minutes
If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3) Nothing
This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

4) Go Ahead
This is a dare, not permission. Don’t Do It!

5) Loud Sigh
This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6) That’s Okay
This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That’s okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7) Thanks
A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you’re welcome. (I want to add in a clause here – This is true, unless she says ‘Thanks a lot’ – that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say ‘you’re welcome’ . that will bring on a ‘whatever’).

8 ) Whatever
Is a woman’s way of saying F– YOU!

9) Don’t worry about it, I got it
Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking ‘What’s wrong?’ For the woman’s response refer to #3.

How I Use The Nine Words

1) Fine
This is the word I use to answer the question, "How are you feeling?" That is, if nothing's wrong with me at the time.

2) Five Minutes
Most of the time, this phrase is used as 'One minute to go in the period.' It lets the kid know to wrap up the fun and either get to chores, homework or bed.

3) Nothing
No secret language to this one. Really means what it says.

4) Go Ahead
This is used when Hubby decides to 'feel out' my thoughts by phrasing a question (usually money-related) as a semi-hypothetical. "I was thinking of stopping at Home Depot after work and replacing my broken drill." "Yeah, go ahead." This translates to "Do we have enough money for me to replace my drill?" "Yes, we do."

5) Loud Sigh
Never used with Hubby. If I am sighing loudly, it's a signal to my kids that they're on my last nerve.

6) That’s Okay
Usually said after a small offense has been both committed against me and admitted with an apology.

7) Thanks
Used by me as often, and as sincerely, as possible. It is the oil that greases social interaction.

8 ) Whatever
When I have been given a choice of two or more options, and I have little or no preference between them, this word allows the other person to voice his/her own preference.

9) Don’t worry about it, I got it
This is possibly the only one of the nine that I have used sarcastically -- but generally, I use it literally and in the past tense. The only response required is a heartfelt "Thanks!"
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I'm kinda getting pissed off at the idiots who think deporting illegal aliens is an OMG! Crime Against Humanity.

And it doesn't stop there. They have this problem with the decades-old term "illegal alien" or the truncated "illegal", because they say it's "dehumanizing." Wah wah wah. I'm sure they sleep so much better at night knowing that they refer to these people as simply "undocumented." And I'm sure those poor bastards who think that laws simply apply to other people sleep so much better with the kinder, gentler label.

But I'm also convinced that those who have no problem opening our borders to all would also have no problem opening their home to all. They'd be perfectly cool with some homeless guy shuffling into their kitchen, making a sandwich and relaxing on their back porch. It'd make their day to have a handful of strangers decide to use their garage as a place to camp for the weekend (or maybe longer, if they like the neighborhood!). And that credit rating they've worked so hard to achieve? Surely they'd understand if a single mom who's been turned down for credit simply used their card to pay her rent.

Arizona Republicans may have been short-sighted by alienating (no pun intended) Latino voters. But I have a tough time rousing sympathy for people who break the law, just as I'd have a tough time rousing sympathy for a stranger sleeping on my front porch without my permission. I'd expect the police to TAKE THE BUM AWAY.
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Should I be filling out long memes when I have time to write? No.

Did it stop me? Uh-uh. (Yoinked from [ profile] 1stcomesthefall)

Around my head in 80 questions... )
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So grateful for the little things in life.

Our power went out around midnight on Friday, once about eight inches had fallen. Hey, we're tough -- we can survive a few hours without light and heat! We'll just go to bed and they'll fix it overnight!

[cue buzzer]

Saturday morning, my silly stir-crazy cat Jen jumps on my feet around six am. I discover what time it was by looking at my wrist watch, as my alarm clock is still black. And when I go downstairs to let the cat out, SURPRISE! About a foot and a half of snow greets us! (OK, it greets me. Totally REPELS Jen. Pauvre p'tite chatte.)

All morning, no one could tell us how long the power was to be out. What they could say was that it was expected to drop to single digit temps that night, so staying in our heat-free home might not be a good idea. All I wanted was for power to return by 2:00, so I could watch the Pens.

[buzzer's getting a workout!]

Thankfully, power returned at a little after five pm. My sister had jumped in her car and was prepared to make the (normally) half-hour drive to our place, but when our lights came on, I grabbed my cell and called her. It buzzed in my hand -- she was calling me! Turns out the roads were still treacherous and she was sliding even on a main highway. So, all's well that ends well! We get to spend a rare Sunday at home, watching hockey and digging the vehicles out of their snowy prisons.

Some pics the daughter took: )
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I have found a pair of affordable phenomenal headphones! Well, provided that you consider thirty bucks affordable. :)

Seriously, if you need a pair of over-the-ear 'phones and you HATE tinny ones as much as I do, then google "Koss Portapro". I picked mine up at Amazon, where they are $32.65 at the time of this posting (no tax, free shipping). Now, they aren't as comfy as my Sennheiser 201s (which are only $19.99), but the sound is better and I don't have to look like Princess Leia when I wear them.

These are the first pair of headphones that show up my mp3 player for the audio pretender that it is. Not that I'm dissing my player, mind you. I'm only saying that any low-bitrate song is gonna sound very flat. When I have it hooked up to my computer, I can actually hear interference that emits from some web pages!

OK, enough headphone talk. It's boring. Let's talk about the Pens.

8-1, baybee!! We've hit a small pothole this week, though, with the month-long absence of Sergei Gonchar. But these little adversities are sometimes just what we need to take a giant step forward. We'll see how the boys respond on Friday.
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Did you ever have someone de-Friend you? And then wonder what you did?

The logical part of my mind knows that, even online, people move apart. This particular Friend has her interests and I have mine, and rarely do they intersect. It was a legit dump.

Still feels odd. Like when a neighbor moves away.
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Gee, I was doing so well there, updating every couple of days. >_<

Let's see... Wednesday I went down to the Mellon Arena for the last day of Pens' camp. Last year I took my daughters, but this year I went alone. (I did promise them that I'd take them next year, once the boys move into their new digs across the street.)

As of today, there are only twelve short days until the games count. And that thought puts a smile on my face each time it creeps into my consciousness. See? ~~~~> :D

Today, I had a whole day off. Didn't have to be anywhere. Oh, man, it felt good.
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Ian and I went to the mall today, since it's the First Day of School for his little sisters. I think he really just wanted an excuse to spend an entire week's paycheck -- which in his case isn't all that much.

I figured I would look for a new pair of headphones, as the lovely Philips set I've had for years has decided to give up the ghost. But buying headphones isn't as easy as it was in the olden days. Used to be that one entered an electronics store and tried out headphones until finding a pair that fit (both ears and wallet). Now you find them all wrapped up in packaging and you hope for the best.

Consequently, I now have five pairs of headphones in perfect working order that I dislike. Three of them are Philips (two are the same model) and are far too tinny for my taste. One is a pair of Sennheisers that I "bought" with Pepsi points. Now I like over-the-ear 'phones, but the HD-201s are WAY over-the-ear. Think Princess Leia. The bass is wonderful on them, but they are too large to travel well.

So the ones I've been using are Skullcandy Lowriders. I got them cheap, so I don't regret buying them, but compared to my beloved Philips HS500s, the bass is bleh. They don't fit right over my ears.


Edited because I have a teenage daughter who believes that angels will descend from On High and do her chores for her. One of said chores is picking up her little sister from grade school. >_< I suppose I did need the exercise.

Oh, and I guess it's needless to say that I did not buy headphones.
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It's Monday. Woo.

Just got home from work. The Pittsburgh area is enjoying a lovely summer day -- that is, unless you like your lovely summer days to have temps in the 80s. It's only about 73 degrees out now, but it's sunny and clear.

Twenty-two more days till they drop the (pre-season) puck at the Mellon.

Tomorrow, it'll be three more weeks.

Thirty-nine more days till the games count, or five weeks from this Friday.
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K. It's been over a year since I updated. Shoot me.

Seriously, though, I couldn't post anything during the Pens' season. Where hockey is concerned (especially playoff hockey), I outdo Sid in the superstition department. Ask anyone who knows me -- it borders on the extreme.

Way More Than You Ever Needed To Know About My Hockey Hangups )

We'll see how regular LJ updates go, now that a new season is nearly upon us (for both the Pens and the Steelers).

But I'll leave you with this: I was scrolling though a email and happened upon a discounted Burberry purse. They wanted $470 for some leather-and-canvas handbag, which made me go "o.0". See, I don't get dropping serious coin ON a purse, preferring instead to drop it IN my purse. :) Then I read the price that Burberry wanted for the bag: $1595.00! Yeah, if you move that decimal point to the left a couple of places, I'm all over that.

Herewith, my definition of the perfect $1600 handbag: one that costs $50 and has $1550 in cash inside it. :)


Jul. 30th, 2008 04:01 pm
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I just got the email that announced that Smithsonian Museum of National History's re-opening date is November 21 YAY! We are in the DC area every year from Thanksgiving Day to the Saturday after and that museum has been closed since the first trip we made two years ago.

Now, when the Caps get ticket ordering info up on their site, I can get tix to the Nov. 28 game vs. the Habs. This trip is so gonna rock!
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OK. It's official. I'm sick of all the 'bring Jagr back' crap.

I don't want him. I don't care if he'd score 40 goals (I don't think he would, but it's arguable). I don't care if he has matured as a person and a player. His basic personality is the same and I don't see it fitting into the Pens' dressing room. He, like Recchi before him, is a relic from those old 'country club' days. And just look how well the Recchin' Ball turned out.

The last rumor I heard had Sydor getting traded to clear cap space (which I firmly believe will happen eventually), but to sweeten the deal, is swapped along with one other d-man (either Scuds or USS Gill).

Now, yesterday I said that if the price of Brooks' and Marc-André's long-term deals was the loss of Hossa, then so be it. But if the price of signing Jagr is either Scuds or Gill, then forget it.

We have three of the best centers in the league. I'd even count Max Talbot in that 'elite center' list, since I think he'd be a second-line center on most other teams (would that we never find that out for sure!) On top of that, we have a coach who delights in playing ducks-and-drakes with player positioning, so we know that both Geno and Jordan are also phenomenal wingers.

Critics say that we lost grit. No way. We have the grittiest captain in the league, and his attitude and leadership bring that element to every Penguin's game. The only guy I never saw develop that edge was Erik Christensen, which is why he's no longer here.

I'm excited to see this team back on the ice in September. Just the way it stands right now.

MAF signs!!

Jul. 3rd, 2008 05:11 pm
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Seven years! $5M/year cap hit!

I couldn't be more excited!

If I had to choose between Flower and Brooksie's long-term deals and keeping Hossa, it's no freaking contest. Good riddance, Marian.

The slight shadow you see across my heart are the departures of Georges Laraque and Jarkko Ruutu, who both crossed the northern border. They wanted longer terms than King Shero was offering, so there are no hard feelings. How could you be bitter when you hear that guys want to play here long-term?

Also, the King proved our faith in him was grounded when he waited out the big-ticket names and signed Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko to one-years. Can't wait to see which forwards these two develop chemistry with!
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Well, this has been an up-and-down day.

For the UP, my computers are now networked, for a total outlay of $80. I got a wireless-g w/speedbooster router for $40, with a great deal of thanks to an LJ community called poor_skills. One of the posts last week alerted members to the fact that Google Marketplace was offering a $10 bonus for merchandise, if you signed up for their service and paid for your stuff through them.

I'm on the upstairs computer right now, in fact. Speed is much better than I expected. All my bookmarks are friggin' ancient, but that'll change over time.

I guess that, if you know me and are familiar with my vast Pens love, you can figure out what the DOWN is.

A few days ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts. Sad, but expected.

Yesterday, they decided they wanted Adam Hall as well. OK, that's disappointing, but we re-upped Pascal Dupuis and formally announced that Geno's deal was as good as done, so... Then we went and signed some goon from Calgary who had TWO WHOLE POINTS last season, signaling the end of the Laraque era. We lost Ty Conklin to the Wings, and while I was sad to lose him, was happy for him. He deserves a shot at a starting position. And it was only for a year.

Then today, I figured that with all the overspending of July 1, we were positioned well for signing both Hossa and Orpik, possibly even Ruutu.

Then Hossa went and signed a FREAKING ONE-YEAR with Detroit. Dude was all set up for a long-term deal (five to seven years) and he took a one-year??

So the Pens hurried up and formally announced that Geno had indeed signed his extension. Good cover there. Keep morale high.

Then Ruutu goes and defects to Canada. Three-year deal with Ottawa.

And we still haven't signed Orpik (as of 5:00 pm Eastern), even though rumors have been saying that he's made his decision since about 11:30 am.

Well, gotta go make dinner. 2008 Free Agency sux.

Just checked the ticker! Orpik, six years, 22.5M (3.5 avg.)! WITH US!!!
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I was happy yesterday. The possibilities, the potential, the matchups, and all the pre-series hype was distilling. Excitement was in the air.

It's today now. And it's time for my boys to Go To Work.

I'm not down today, really I'm not. I wasn't one of those bandwagoners who had the Penguins sweeping the Final. In fact, I wouldn't (and still won't) predict an outcome. That road has always led to disappointment for me.

But I was right there with the "Pens in 6 or 7" crowd. Most of those in that boat realize that that particular outcome requires the boys to lose. MORE THAN ONCE. Still, I'm sure that the "6 or 7" crowd foresaw those potential losses as being more like Game 2 against the Rangers, where the winning team gets a fortunate bounce leading to a goal and the losers run up against a hot goalie.

But this game was not like that. I don't know whether it was nerves, fear, travel fatigue, loss of focus -- or any combination of that list -- but the boys didn't look sharp. They had a Bad Game.

There are a LOT of April and May fans who haven't seen this team have a Bad Game, but for we diehards who have been following them since last fall, we've seen this fish before.

Bad Games will happen. They happen to EVERY team. And it's nonsense to preach that Good Teams find a way to win Bad Games. They don't.

Good teams SURVIVE Bad Games. They learn from the results of their actions and they play better next time. They believe in themselves and each other. They pull closer together.

And their true fans don't give up on them. They take the losses with grace. They realize that the wins will be so much sweeter in contrast.

In short, they BELIEVE.
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