May 2002

Cup of Soup

Wed, May 1, 2002


4 wins down, 12 to go...

Mon, May 6, 2002

Welcome to the new-look Noodles!

The redesign is a work in progress, so expect some more minor changes over the next set of days. Let me know what you think...

Wed, May 8, 2002

My sleeping schedule is very much like a glacier: It's constantly on the move, it takes eons to get anywhere, it's prone to sudden avalanche, and it takes the effort of the entire world's population pumping the Earth with CFCs to give it any sort of nudge (and - despite theories abound - there's no proof that it actually works).

Throughout any term at school, my sleeping schedule would slowly and gradually shift according to my schedule of classes. If I had 8:30 classes throughout the week, I would wake up early whether I wanted to or not. If I had 11:30 classes, then - eventually - I would wake up late day in and day out even if my alarm was blaring at 8:54 in the morning telling me I have six minutes to get to my exam.

Of course, with different schedules each school term, and different jobs on work terms, that meant I never stabilised, and it was simply asking for disaster.

Those disasters would always occur during those two or three weeks between terms: the avalanche of insomnia. Soon after finishing a term, the sleepless nights would strike and I wouldn't be able to sleep until 5 in the morning.

I am buried under an avalanche of insomnia now. However, since my sleep schedule last school term involved going to bed at 3 or 4 AM, I am now unable to sleep before 7:00. It's 5 in the morning right now, and I'm not the least bit tired. This predicament makes life a little awkward, since I'm going to bed just as the rest of the people in my house are getting up, and I awake just a little while before they desert their posts at work and head home.

So, how do I fix this? I'm not sure. I think I'll try the all-nighter approach sometime this week, and just stay up until a reasonable hour the next night. The problem is that the last time I tried that tactic, I was so tired when I went to bed that I overslept and ended up awaking at the same time as usual, failing to shift my sleep schedule at all.

Here's hoping for better results. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thurs, May 9, 2002

Joe Bowen is a smart guy. Holy Mackinaw! What a commentator! He's right on several issues:

  • The Toronto sports media is far too critical; always have been, always will be.
  • Anyone who has bashed Cujo over the past couple of weeks should be slapped upside the head. Cujo is the man. I guarantee that after every solid performance, the guy that wrote "Curtis Joe-Sieve" scrambles to come up with another catchy headline refering to "bullet-proof", "The Great Wall of China", or "Cujo is so great that if I was gay, I would sleep with him".
  • I've said this before, and it still holds true: Fans and/or media that focus their attention on bashing their opponents instead of cheering their own team are the worst of the lot. See the Ottawa Sun for a prime example of what Bowen calls "the most ridiculous waste of time and space I have seen". My only hope is that the Ottawa Sun is similar to the Toronto Sun, in that it doesn't represent the city's most cultured folk.

Sat, May 11, 2002

The officials in last night's game made the biggest blunder of the playoffs thus far. Words can't describe the rage flowing through me right now. I simply cannot believe the non-call on Alfredsson's hit-from-behind on Tucker. It boggles and baffles me. Both referees saw it. The evidence was sitting in there in a bruised and broken pile of pain that used to be the Leafs' second-best scorer. And yet, there is no call, and mere seconds later the perpetrator scores the game-winning goal with two minutes remaining.

Suddenly, vivid memories of game 6 against Los Angeles in 1993 are flooding back.

The Dumbass-of-the-Day Award goes out to Ottawa Senators' coach Jacques Martin. In a post-game press conference - when trying to downplay Alfredsson's hit - he made this comment: "When you look at it, the hit is very similar to the one Roberts gave to Jonsson." Well, you know what? Roberts got a five-minute major for that hit. What did Alfredsson get? The game-winning goal.

Sun, May 12, 2002

"Being God isn't easy. If you do too much, people get dependent on you, and if you do nothing, they lose hope. You have to use a light touch, like a safecracker or a pickpocket."
"Or a guy who burns down a bar for the insurance money!"
"Yes, if you make it look like an electrical thing. When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all."

God according to Futurama.

Tues, May 14, 2002


8 wins down, 8 to go! For the third straight year, the Leafs came up victorious in the Battle of Ontario, taking Ottawa in 7 hard-fought games, and in so doing they advance to the semi-finals for the fourth time in ten years. It isn't stopping here; we've got a 35-year drought to break.
Next stop: Raleigh, North Carolina.

Of course, after the game we went cruising down the streets screaming our cheers and waving our flags and honking our horns... just to discover that the horn in my parents' 11-year-old Ford Escort is broken and only makes clicky sounds. Doh...

Tues, May 21, 2002

The two summer long weekends are traditionally the camping weekends with my hometown crew. We tend to have two kinds of trips: 1) Hardcore Camping, where we drive out to an undeveloped plot of land somewhere outside of Haliburton, make a 20-minute hike through forest and marsh to our spot on the lake, and stake out in the woods battling the rough ground, knocking down trees, and avoiding leeches in the waters; or 2) Softcore Camping, where we drive out to a friend's grandmother's house in a little rural town and camp out on the front "lawn", run power to a car stereo and play countless hours of music through a PC.

This year's Victoria Day weekend called for nasty cold, rain, and even snow. So, we invented a new form of camping.

This weekend marked our first experience at Ultra-Softcore Camping. We hiked our stuff to our friend's suburban Mississauga home and planted ourselves in the living room. We ate camp food, but entertained ourselves with movies and video games. We slept on the floor with our mats and sleeping bags, but did not have to deal with swarms of mosquitoes. We remained on the "campsite", but the trips "into town" to replenish our supplies involved going down the street to the giant grocery store.

It was the glories of camping with the convenience of home. No parents, no responsibilities, lots to drink, and lots of fun. Sure, we missed out on the whole "peace and quiet of nature" bit, but I don't smell nearly as bad as I would have after spending three days in the forest slapping bugs, complaining about tree roots piercing me in the back, and spending 6 hours stuck in a traffic jam.

Fri, May 24, 2002

Transcripts are in, so I have finally found out my last remaining mark, and that my cumulative average is a mere 1% short of graduating with distinction. Now, all that is left of school is the actual convocation ceremony a few weeks from now.

I just recalled my very last bit of academic work at UW. I was double-checking the answers to my Roman History exam, and thinking about the one fill-in-the-blank question I could not get. Eventually, I gave up on recalling the real answer, and decided to change history a bit.

According to my exam paper, the records show that one of the rulers of Numidia was the great, revered, and merciful King SPU.

Wed, May 29, 2002

Goddamn Hurricanes. So close, but the Leafs fell short again. A trio of 2-1 overtime losses and pucks that simply refused to enter the net beyond all respectable odds have dashed the hopes and prayers of this hockey-blooded city. I don't know what to make of the result. This was a 100-point team, 3rd in the league, highest-scoring in the East; we should have gone further. This team was battered, bruised, and exhausted from the start, plagued with injuries to starters, backups, call-ups, and even the coach through 20 gruelling games; we never should have made it this far.

What stings most sour is that a team that barely made the playoffs in the first place, took 3rd seed by being on top of the most pathetic division in the league, and has a fan-base so small that they can't sell out a semi-final playoff game somehow kicked it up a notch and fought their way to a berth to the Stanley Cup Final. I don't mean to take anything away from the players - they played their best, scored a win, and earned the advance - but I loathe the thought that the majority of people in Raleigh really don't care. Had the Leafs won, the celebration here would be like none you'd ever see on this continent; Toronto breathes and bleeds hockey, and a Stanley Cup appearance would spark a party so great that the Blue Jays' World Series wins would look like a suburban square dance. In Raleigh, some of their fans are whooping it up while the rest of the citizens - those who notice, that is - are saying to themselves "What are those whackos doing?" They don't know the gift they've been given, or the glory of the treasure that's in their grasps.

Whatever. Such is the way of sports. The fans don't play the game; the players do, and they do it for themselves. We are left reiterating the dreadful words "next year", and wondering what will become of the team that made it so close. What players will leave? Who will stay? Who will arrive? How will our chances change? The power of a team ebbs and flows; no one stays near the top for long, particularly in this talent-stretched league of 30 teams. Is this the downturn of Toronto's peak, or is better success in store for us in 2003? All we can do is wait and see, but as the Maple Leafs' drought enters its 36th year, the waiting becomes vexing.

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