Sunday, July 22, 2007

HLOG Analog, or: IPB Leaves The House

Ahh, summer. The time when an HLOGer's fancy turns from thoughts of hockey (because there isn't any) to thoughts of meeting her fellow HLOGers in person. And that is exactly what IPB has been doing these last two weekends. In the spirit of the great Hamilton-area HLOG convention and the Australian HLOG skating deathmatch, we've ventured down and up the I-95 Corridor to meet up with CapsChick and Margee, respectively. Here, for everyone's enjoyment, is a report on both get-togethers:

1. CapsChick. Despite the fact that multiple IMs and email exchanges had convinced us that CapsChick has an -ookie-type brain and we'd all get along famously, we still approached her with no small trepidation. We were meeting at her parents' place in the Washington DC suburbs (where she was housesitting), and as we made the short drive there from where we were staying with our sister it suddenly dawned on us that meeting people you've only ever interacted with on the internet is a great way to get ax murdered. But when we noticed a lack of plastic sheeting or American Psycho-style ponchos when she greeted us at the door, we decided all was well. When she then filled our empty hands with cans of Diet Coke and agreed with us that it is the nectar of the gods, we knew that all was more than well -- it was, in fact, perfect.

What followed was an afternoon of non-stop chatter. We watched a chestnut of a Devils-Caps game from the google vaults on her computer, during which we marveled at the turnover stylings of Brian Rafalski (perhaps the phrase, "$6 million a year? Have fun with that, Detroit" was thrown around) and the ticky-tacky penalty-taking skills of Alexander Semin (CapsChick: "He's a huge hooker. Wait, that didn't come out right..."). We troved YouTube for highlights of Olaf Kolzig putting the fear of a mighty smackdown into Eddie Belfour. We pored over the tape of her interview with Ben Clymer to suss out every shred of subtext (he is clearly pining for her, and pretty blatantly invited her to stay with him next time she's in Minnesota during the off-season. It also sounded, on the tape, like as soon as she had turned away from him, he whipped out his cell phone and started feverishly punching random buttons on it, so mad with smitten-ness was he). And in the piece de resistance, we enjoyed a combat screening of The Cutting Edge, wherein we raced to be the first ones to blurt out lines before they came up in the movie. CapsChick has a formidable knowledge of every facet of that movie; in fact, we suspected if we'd been in her house she might have even been able to whip out some replica costumes (neon-colored, contour-striped bodysuit, anyone?) to match the clothing cues. When the Wiederman twin knee-slap/lederhosen tangling moment arrived, we almost needed hospitalization for how hard we were laughing.

We all had previous engagements for the evening, and were supposed to break up our party sometime around 4PM. And, um, we came pretty close to meeting that hard-stop. Give or take two hours. We had to dart out the door, mid-conversation, to race to make our dinner reservation, and as we headed out the door we promised to resume the conversation (at that point it was focusing on Ovechkin and his alleged proclivity for having eye sex with TV cameras) when we met again soon. Namely: at the I-95 Corridor HLOG Convention in September. East Coasters, be there or be square!

2. Margee. We were slightly less nervous about meeting Margee because we were doing so on neutral ground, at a restaurant in Manhattan. She would have to be pretty damn sneaky to be able to kill us in a public space, so we didn't fear for our lives. We arranged to meet outside the Houlihan's at Penn Station, and she was easy to spot for two reasons: first, her hair is, as described, enormous. She was knocking over tourists with that giant coif, and while she tried to explain away her roots with some story about waiting to get them done before her sister's wedding, they just seemed pretty normal for a Long Islander to us. Second, she was trailed everywhere by a handful of Islanders who were desperate for her to notice them. They were pretty unobtrusive during our walk to the restaurant, but once we got there it was a bit distracting to have to talk around Bruno Gervais, who insisted on being in her lap the whole time, and Pretty Ricky kept interrupting our lunch to offer us banana-coconut cream pie, which none of us really wanted to eat. But other than that, everything was delightful; despite being a vegan ("what, not even in a BLT?") she didn't seem to mind us eating dead animals, and the restaurant she picked, Vynl, not only had mosiacs of Nelly, Elvis, Dolly Parton and Cher in the bathrooms, but also served frozen margaritas and mojitos by the pint. After a few of those we could have been having lunch with a Rangers fan and would have been having a good time.

It should come as no surprise, though, that you don't have to be getting buzzed on pint glasses of slushy tequila deliciousness to be having a riotously good time with Margee. We kicked off our meal with a toast to the hoped-for failings of the Flyers and Rangers in the season to come, and went from there into an hours-long, free-wheeling conversation that ranged from our shared misery of suffering through the unbalanced schedule as Atlantic Division fans, to a parsing of the various styles of douchery offered up by the studio analysts and "behind the glass" reporters on various networks' hockey broadcasts (you know who you are, Pierre McGuire), to a particular goal celebration highlight by two Devils who will remain unnamed that was deemed "too homoerotic for TV", to our unironic admiration for the Beckhams, to trying to explain the irresistable magnetism of the Staals. Margee graciously listened to us reel off all our favorite jokes from SportSquee, and she encouraged us with our plans to expand IPB until it becomes the TWoP of hockey and the NHL (or its broadcasters) decide to pay us vast sums of money to buy us out (seriously, NHL, we're open to offers). And we committed a vast portion of our afternoon to psychoanalyzing Sid Crosby. And, of course, impersonating him. As the afternoon wore on, we enjoyed a couple rounds of shared margaritas, which we probably would have drunk all "Lady and the Tramp enjoying spaghetti" style, but for the fact that Pookie and Margee both had colds. And because Bruno Gervais kept getting in the way of sharing one glass. After lunch we were treated to a slightly buzzed tour of Margee's workplace (conclusion: her job is way, way cooler than ours), and she was even such a great hostess that she paid our subway fare. That's right, ladies -- Margee's not only funny as hell, she's generous almost to a fault.

Unlike the previous "HLOGers meeting in person" posts you've seen, we don't have cute pictures. Probably because our cute moments were almost too cute for film. Seriously, could anyone bear the adorableness of the scene when Pookie, Schnookie and CapsChick decided they were all too lazy to pick up the phone, which was sitting on the table in front of us, to call for pizza and instead ordered online? Or the sheer awesomeness of the three of us giving the Cutting Edge fist-salute to the television? And the interwebs just aren't ready for how charming a sight it is when Margee and the IPBers make their Sid faces in unison while doing his patented "Mm hm... mm hm... No" style of interview. Suffice to say, we were all adorable, especially after that third margarita.

In conclusion, we have this to say: HLOGers rock. And meeting them in person is just as much fun as you think it will be, especially when they're as hilarious and awesome as CapsChick and Margee!

19 comments:

Britannia said...

That's it, Kristin, I am calling you out. We must find a randomly hockey-related event between Hershey and Philly, and be CUTER and FUNNIER than everyone else.

Talk to me!

Interchangeable Parts said...

Britannia and Kristen, good luck being CUTER and FUNNIER than we are! I daresay it's IMPOSSIBLE! :P

We'll throw down the gauntlet, though, to the rest of HLOG: we're the laziest two people on earth, and if we could get off our duffs to hang out with our HLOG sisters, anyone can. :-)

kristin said...

I know, I know! I am so damn jealous of all this socializing that does not include me.

I mean hello...Philly is on the way to DC ladies...you couldn't stop by and say hi? Plus, I was unexpectedly in DC last week...sheesh.

So yeah Teka, we gotta get together...I could liveblog your next derby event. Or we could do something totally lame like ride the coasters at Hershey Park...never done that. I wonder if margaritas and roller coasters are a good combination?

Isleschick said...

Heyyyyy I can't believe someone from NJ is being critical of a LIers hairdo. ;) (I say that out of love, my sister-in-law is from Fort Lee.) Oh and I should have been there, I love Margaritas!

Interchangeable Parts said...

Well, Kristen, since Philly is right around the corner from us (we're in the Princeton area), perhaps you (and Britannia) should be next on our list!

Isleschick, we kid because we love. And because we're half-Islander ourselves, having lived on the Island for the better parts of our childhoods. (Although we were more in the plaids-and-pastels part of the Island than the big-hair part...)

kristin said...

okay, I will grab britannia and we'll invade IPB manor...I'll bring the tequila!

Pookie said...

Invade IPB Manor, says you? Hm. Best start vacuuming! :P

Elly said...

We kicked off our meal with a toast to the hoped-for failings of the Flyers and Rangers in the season to come

Hear hear!

Also, why all the Sid hate? I think I am going to have to come down to this thing in September just to stick up for the kid!

Schnookie said...

Elly, rest assured -- there was no hating on Sid. In fact, it was quite the opposite: much discussion of all the reasons we love Sid, and literally can't understand why anyone would hate him. (But CC hates him, so you better come down in Sept. to help bolster the pro-Sid numbers...)

CapsChick said...

Kristin, you were in DC and you didn't come see ME? My turn to say...sheesh.

Ladies, it's only the beginning - more info on the I-95 HLOG convention should be hurling towards your e-mail inboxes within the next few days and I expect to see you all here!

Tracy said...

Bahaha! I want a spiffy HLOG convention here. Where the hell are all the CA. fans? There's 3 effin teams there and you're telling me I can't get a one of you to <3 me enough to have our own convention? Lame.

kristin said...

CC...I know, sorry...I didn't realize until the last minute that I was in your neck of the woods. It was Wednesday night, the night of all the movie watching, and I was stuck in a hotel in Rockville! Although we did go to a nice little mexican restaurant in Silver Spring for dinner. Other than that it was boooooring! Jordi said I should show up at your door bearing Ben Clymer as a gift...but I wasn't sure where I could find him!

Britannia said...

I've been looking for a group to do Hersheypark with, as there's nothing lamer than taking yourself to an amusement park.

As for the margaritas? I dunno, I'd rather do a coaster double fisting PBRs. (plus side, it's cheap, so you don't care if it spills! and there are 10 more where those came from!)

Steph said...

Yeah well...our HLOG Toronto convention part 2 in August will totally blow you all away! Again! SO THERE!

(Dammit why is all of the east so close together? I want to see people too!)

KMS2 said...

meeting people you've only ever interacted with on the internet is a great way to get ax murdered

Having been born and raised in LA, I don't trust anybody I don't know. Which is why I haven't tried to meet with any other HLOGers in the LA/Orange County area. But maybe I should because these get-togethers sound like way too much fun.

Jordi said...

Ahum, I'm jealous. Insanely jealous. As in jealous enough to go sulk and cry with friends.

kristin said...

now we just have to take up a collection to get jordi over here...

Heather B. said...

meeting people you've only ever interacted with on the internet is a great way to get ax murdered

This is how I met my husband who is, happily, not an axe murderer.

Isleschick said...

Me too! I think I'm still alive.. ;)