Duluth Road Trip

Oh what a wonderful Sunday morning

Living in the U.P. must be making me paranoid. Saturday night after our game in Duluth, I stayed locked up in my hotel room instead of going out for food. Granted, we weren’t staying in the greatest part of downtown Duluth, but it’s not Detroit, people. It did seem however, that Duluth, like Hancock, seems to service a lot of people via Greyhound Therapy.

Anyway, Sunday morning I got up early enough to walk the four blocks down to Starbucks for a triple nonfat gingerbread latte and a piece of pumpkin bread. The pumpkin bread was not so great, but the latte? Do I want whipped cream on it? Hell, yeah!

The best I could do for the paper was the Saturday Strib, but I wasn’t complaining. I don’t even remember the last time I set foot in a Starbucks. You might assume I’m a coffee-aholic, but I don’t drink it every day anymore. Coffee is a sometimes weekend luxury for me these days, so the latte? It was like liquid crack. I was buzzing by the time we played our game at 10:45 (which, btw, we lost and the score is too embarrassing to post).

69? YES!
So read the sign at the Best Western in downtown Duluth when we pulled in this afternoon. We’re here for a series against St. Schol@stic@ (such a silly name). Tonight’s game was a tough one, and the 7-4 score didn’t quite reflect how the game went. It definitely wasn’t a blow out, and it didn’t help that our goalie is “out” with a “broken rib.” Our sub stopped saw about 40 shots and performed great considering it was her first game (and she had only practiced once before this).

So first period, Jen gets a breakaway and Dana and I go flying after her and crash the net. She gets a shot off and I put the rebound back on net. It bounces straight up in the air and lands in the crease, just sitting there waiting for someone to knock it in. Moments like this are like in slow motion, you know? Well Dana comes in and slaps it in. And of course, there is much celebration!

After the game I check the official score sheet and the assist goes to one of our defensemen, which is absolutely insane, seeing that they weren’t even near the play. It’s not a big deal, because I know that I was doing what I was supposed to and helped create the play. But man on man, why couldn’t they have gotten it on paper?

Also another first tonight: I got called for holding. I got screwed on the play, as the other girl had her stick completely in my ribs. Like I’m NOT going to hold her stick if she’s gonna do that shit. At least it was coincidental; she got the hooking call.

Since I didn’t have to drive this trip, I had plenty of time to knit. Too bad I took a dramamine before we left. After about 40 minutes into the trip, I was toast. Maybe it was a combination of the pill and concentrating, but my eyes were shot. I closed them and was asleep almost immediately.

In other news, Scott is watching Newman and of course, he’s being quite obedient. Why he turns into a little shit when I’m home alone with him, I don’t know. Eh. It’s time for bed. Another game in the morning…


MTU vs. U of M

Ah, it was a busy weekend. U of MN was in town to play Tech, so we grabbed tickets for Friday night’s game. Yeah, we got spanked, but it’s still fun to see the No. 1 WCHA team play in your arena. Our seats were at center ice in the first row, right up against the glass. You really see how freaking huge these guys are when you’re up that close, and also how fast the game moves.

Getting spanked by Madison

Three hockey games for Andrew and two for me meant a lot of the weekend was spent at the rink. My friend G came and took a few pictures of us getting whomped on Sunday morning. Here’s a nice picture of my butt looking huge in hockey pants. Also note the girl next to me. I never realized how stupidly short I am. Not pictured is the behemoth who played D who I hit and crumpled to the ground immediately. Man, was she a good player. Too bad they were all a bunch of arrogant jerks.

Saying goodbye

As my sister would say, I miss Grandma Seely.

Funerals are hard. I had been to one earlier this year and thought I was prepared for my grandmother’s.

I wasn’t.

As much as I do not like open casket scenarios, I needed to see her today. I was worried that seeing her in the state she was in would somehow mar the memories I had of her when she was well and alive. But it didn’t. If anything, it reinforced those memories for me and made them so much more valuable.

Work sent a beautiful arrangement to my parents’ home, and it served as a nice centerpiece for the family luncheon. I have never put much stock in flowers in the past, thinking that they were insignificant at an event like a funeral. Wow, was I wrong. The fact that my coworkers were thoughtful enough to send something was really touching, more than I expected. My dad’s employer? Didn’t even send a card.

The whole experience has made me think a lot about death, the afterlife, and how nice I should be to my brother and sisters’ future children, so that when I am old and sick, someone will come visit and take care of me (that is, if I don’t have children of my own). No, I’m not joking. I’m completely serious.

I will probably have more to say on this when I’m not dead tired from a busy weekend with little sleep and my eyes aren’t all red and puffy. Damn these Asian eyes that swell up like balloons when they drop as little as one tear! Damn them!

Thank you, Stout


Wow, I know mapquest sucks, but my trip, which was estimated to take about six hours, took five. This is also taking into account that the roads were snowy and shitty until I got behind the Cheddar Curtain. I’m not exactly complaining, as the extra time to unwind has been nice. Free wi-fi at the hotel, and since UW-Stout is just down the street, this is restaurant mecca. Ah, do college students love to eat. Scott will be jealous to learn that Taco John’s is right next door to the hotel (most likely dinner after the game if the team doesn’t do a team dinner anywhere). It will be pretty late, and while I would gladly join in the whole team spirit and camaraderie thing, I also have about a ten hour drive ahead of me tomorrow. I was ready to lose it after three today. Eh.


We won 4-2. Our opponent had more skaters and should have outskated us, but surprise of all surprises, we’re in better shape. Even me, who has done not much else other than hockey practice a few times a week. Unbelievable. At any rate, they played a dirty and physical game, so victory was even sweeter. I also got leveled by some girl who I am pretty sure is taking growth hormones or is really a man.

We play again tomorrow, bright and early, so here’s hoping for a W to go with the one tonight.


We took the second game this morning 2-1. Even sweeter because they played another dirty game. What is it with these Wisconsin girls?

Still have a little adrenaline flowing so I’d better get on the road. Caribou Coffee, here I come.


Made it in 9.5 hours, including a few stops for bathroom breaks, food and sanity. Again, mapquest tells me it will take longer than it did. Driving through Wisconsin was the worst. I was ready to throw in the towel after only minutes of driving; it seemed like I would never find my way out of Cheeseland. My spirits immediately lifted upon entering IL. When I hit Chicago, I said to myself, you can totally finish this trip. I even made it to CVS before it closed to pick up pantyhose (ugh) for the funeral.

I’m glad not to be driving and it’s nice to see family. On a sad note, Kramer is a lot heavier than the last time I saw him and it makes me sad. He’s getting so old. He is not going to like my lively little puppy when I bring him here at Christmas.

I miss my guys. 🙁

Note to self #73

That scene in A Christmas Story when the kid gets triple-dog-dared to stick his tongue to the metal pole and it gets stuck isn’t so funny when you accidentally freeze your fingertips to the frosty metal in the back of the (ancient) fridge while you’re trying to clean it.


All-American 2006

All-American Tournament - MTU vs Iowa St

We rolled in around 3AM this morning from a weekend out in St. Paul. My hockey team played in this tournament at this mega sportsplex and took a somewhat respectable 4th place, losing to Iowa State in the consolation game. It came down to the last minute of play, with a bad bounce in front of the net that didn’t go out way this time, and I know a lot of the girls were really disappointed.

Having played on a lot of losing teams in my life, I guess I didn’t take it quite as hard as some of the younger girls on the team. Then again, maybe I’m just able to put things into perspective now that I’m a little older. Don’t get me wrong; I hate losing. But it’s a game for fun, and I thought there were a lot of really positive things that happened in that game. For starters, almost everyone skated hard the entire game (this is a problem for us). We’ve got a girl playing goal who has never done it before, and for a first timer, she’s doing an incredible job. And thankfully, we’ve got coaches who get everyone in the game, even old scrubs like me. Everyone has fun, which is the important thing.

After we made plans to go to the tournament, we found out that it coincided with The Benefit (for one of Scott’s family members), so we got to make an appearance at that as well. It was great to see his family and so many people out to support his sis-in-law. A little backstory: S-I-L had a massive heart attack this summer and has gone from doctors writing her off as dead to making an almost full recovery.

Open Letter to Copper Country’s Drivers

Dear Fellow Motorist (and specifically in this case) Guy who was driving in front of me tonight on US-41 going north toward Calumet,

If there’s one thing I haven’t gotten used to up here, it’s the insane amount of seemingly oblivious people who think driving drunk isn’t a big deal. Sure, Houghton County is fairly small, and in towns where there’s one stop light (if you’re lucky), you may think it’s totally cool to slam down ten beers at the U.P. Bar or Mickey’s or wherever and then drive home. I know, this isn’t like driving down in Oakland County.

But here’s the deal: it’s still a really bad idea. And when I see you veering all over the damn place and driving on the wrong side of the yellow line, then USING YOUR TURN SIGNAL TO GET BACK ON YOUR SIDE OF THE ROAD, I’m frightened. And I’ll be honest with you. If I hadn’t lost cell service at that point on the drive tonight, I would have been calling your ass in.

Believe it or not, we do have taxi services up here. Two of them. True, they’re not the most prompt services around, but do us a favor and call a cab or a friend next time, okay? And if you weren’t drunk or stoned or whatever tonight, warn me the next time you’re getting on the road. I am afraid. Very afraid.

Sincerely Yours,



I’ve had a lot of “firsts” since I’ve moved up here to the U.P. I saw my first opera here shortly after arriving. Pretty hilarious that I had to move up to the sticks to get culture, ha. I made some strides in the relationship area of my life. One day when I’m not so tired I’ll talk about it. I got into some new sports, like cross-country skiing and hockey.

I was a rollerskater growing up. We sometimes froze over the backyard and skated in the winter, but it was pretty rare. My family wasn’t a hockey family like some of my friends’ families were. Trips to an open skate at the Livonia Ice Arena were few and far between. Rollerskating was easier, cheaper and oftentimes a school outing. I think it’s fair to say that I was a decent skater. And when rollerblades became popular (or fruit boots, as the BF likes to call them) I picked that up fairly quickly.

So last year when I found out I had an opportunity to try hockey, I was all about it. Sure, I played a little floor hockey in elementary school. But there was still an obstacle: the ice skating. I had been out on skates a few years before with my friend Colleen–we had gone up to the used sporting good store and picked up a few pair of hockey skates–and after one trip out to the rink one thing was clear: I couldn’t stop, and crashing into the boards was not the optimum method of braking. I would have to learn to skate if I wanted to give this a try.

I started going to the almost daily open skates down at the arena in town, just to get some practice in. Scott worked with me on the basics, and before I knew it, I was snowplowing. I joined in on a Sunday night rental with a bunch of the area geeks (i.e. MTU profs and other locals) and started to learn. A few months later they invited me to their Thursday night rental (a little faster and with goaltenders). Slowly but surely I started to make some progress.

One of the women I was skating/biking with mentioned that she was practicing with the Tech women’s club, and after a little help from Scott on a contact, I got in touch with the gal in charge and got in. Now I’m practicing with the girls two nights a week and playing games on weekends. Last weekend we had a scrimmage against the local U-19 team, but tonight?

Tonight was our first game of the season. My first “real” game. I stepped out on the ice tonight to an arena filled with a few hundred spectators and a pep band who stayed after the men’s game to play for our game. And I swear, I could have puked right then and there from nerves.

I’ve played sports my entire life, but never in front of so many people.

But the butterflies are a good thing, and once the puck dropped I forgot about the people in the stands, the band playing “Proud Mary,” and just focused on watching other players. I’ve been practicing with defense, because I think it will make me a better player and a better skater, but it was not surprise that tonight I got put on the fourth offense line with another girl who’s at a lower level like myself. It was fine with me, though. To quote the BF, “you make a mistake on a wing, it’s a missed opportunity. You make a mistake at D, it’s a goal.” I was totally fine having a little less pressure on me tonight.

NMU’s team was big and slow, but outplayed and outskated us. Maybe it was first game jitters, or maybe our big guns just didn’t show up. Either way, we lost 5-0. I did all I could really do in the situation, and that was be aggressive and fight for loose pucks. It’s a little frustrating not knowing where to be or what to do, but I guess I’ll just have to be more prepared and be ready to do whatever they ask, whether it’s D or offense.

Losing sucks, but it sure is a lot of fun. It’s nice to be a part of a team and feel like you’re working toward a common goal. It’s great to have something that gets you off your butt and pushes you to be better. Every other sport I’ve played in my life I’ve done because I was good at it. When the game was on the line, I was one of the ones the coach would put in. With hockey, this is definitely not the case. But can I push myself and get there and be that player? I don’t know, but I’m sure going to try.

So, another “first,” my first hockey game. Looking forward to number two tomorrow morning. Here’s hoping for a better outcome!