Archive for the ‘Boomer's Take’ Category

Life at stately IPB Manor is normally a lot like being in a Noel Coward play, with the elegant dress, high-class decor, and zingy witticisms. But some evenings we’re all maybe just a bit off our games — a bit tired, a bit dull, a bit not paying any attention to each other. But from great disconnect can come great possibilities; just imagine how much more interesting the hockey world would be if it was like what Boomer thought she heard this evening.

The scene: our living room, 11:30 pm on Friday night, with the Ducks/Canucks first intermission on TV. The Ducks announcers are talking about how great the Sedins are.

Schnookie: “And they’re creepy.”

Pookie: “I was reading about the Winkelvoss twins today.”

Schnookie: “Speaking of creepy.”

Pookie: “No kidding.”

Schnookie: “What were you reading?”

Pookie: “Oh, it was some thing about how they won a $200 million settlement about Facebook, but it was all in stock, which they claimed was deliberately undervalued. So now they’re suing for $600 million, but they don’t want the money. They just want to beat Zuckerberg, because they’re ultra-competitive douches.”

Schnookie, not really paying attention halfway through that: “Huh.”

Boomer, only just now tuning in: “What did they get $200 million for?”

Pookie: “They claim they invented Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg stole it from them.”

Long, stunned pause.

Boomer, completely incredulous: “The Sedins invented Facebook???”

Long pause.

Boomer: “My fantasy team should be getting a lot more for them if that’s true.”


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One night a week Pookie works the night shift at the reference desk, during which time Schnookie and Boomer discover anew that Pookie truly is the life of the party at stately IPB Manor. When she’s not around, the halls fall dark and silent, and the denizens sulk wordlessly until 10 p.m., when Pookie gets home and we all resume our orbit around the life-giving sun. The off-season is especially difficult because there’s nothing on TV to mitigate the stony, desolate silence, so one of the many reasons Schnookie and Boomer anticipate the start of a new hockey season so eagerly is to have something to watch in Pookie’s absence. Imagine their delight, then, when they took a gander at NHL.com and discovered there is, this week, an actual schedule of actual games actually being played, some of them on TV! Hip hip huzzah!

But then.


The horrible realization:

Schnookie: “There’s hockey on tonight.”

Boomer: “Preseason games already?!”

Schnookie: “Yeah, but it’s Leafs/Sens.”

Long pause.

Boomer: “It’s too soon for that. Let’s not spoil the season before it even starts.”


In further Boomer-related, we’re-only-laughing-because-otherwise-we’d-cry news, we were discussing over the weekend our impressions of Devils training camp so far.

Pookie: “There’s a guy named Wedgewood. I wholly approve of that.” (Yeah, we’re all about the hockey analysis here.)

Schnookie: “But there’s a guy named Petr Sykora. I just… can’t…”

Pookie: “I’m not letting it bother me, because there’s no way he makes the team.”

Schnookie: “There’s no way he doesn’t make the team!”

Boomer: “Not on Lou’s watch.”

Schnookie: “Exactly. This is the guy who brought back 42-year-old Shanahan. He brought back Holik.”

Boomer: “Yeah. The only way Petr Sykora wouldn’t make the team would be if he had a pegleg.”

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A colleague of Schnookie’s was regaling her today at the office about how he was at a Devils game recently, seated near enough to Lou’s box that he was able to converse with him. Having had almost countless opportunities to chat with Lou back in our Gold Circle days at the Meadowlands, Schnookie was not immediately impressed with this. “Did you chew him out about keeping Langer for too long?” was pretty much all she could think of to say about it. “No,” the colleague said, “He said it was MacLean.” Schnookie was a bit dubious about the likelihood that Lou is telling random fans at games that the season’s failures can all be pinned on John MacLean (and his own failure to fire him a lot sooner than he did), but she wasn’t interested in calling this coworker out, so she just said, “My mother could have told him MacLean was a bad idea the minute he hired him.” (“My mother” makes her sound like a preposterous choice of hockey analyst, doesn’t it?) Then she walked away.

And then she had a BRILLIANT idea. The Devils need to hire Boomer. She has an unerring nose for catastrophic turns the Devils are taking, long before anyone else knows things have gone sideways. For example, in our first year with season tickets (and just our second year as hockey fans) we were, naturally, utterly confident that we were going to see our boys win the Cup. They were at the top of the Eastern Conference standings, and were totally kicking ass left and right, and then they lost one random home game in March. We were both trying to stay optimistic that it was just a blip, but Boomer knew better. “They’re done,” she snarled bitterly as we piled into the car, “The season’s over.” We thought she was being melodramatic and unreasonable, but you know what? She was right. In the years since, she’s always been right. She knows the very instant a March Swoon is starting, and she always responds with profound fury when the team makes a player move that will, in the long run, turn out horribly. When the Devils hired MacLean, she announced that she was done with the Devils until he was gone. We told her she was being ridiculous, but as it turns out, we were the ones who didn’t know what they were talking about.

So here’s what Lou needs to do — he needs to hire Boomer to be his canary in the coal mine. When he’s about to make some kind of personnel move, he can just run it by her first. If she doesn’t respond, then there’s nothing disastrously horrible likely to come from the move. But if she does respond? DON’T DO IT, LOU.

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— For a variety of uninteresting reasons, Pookie arrived at work this morning with about 20 minutes to spare and a hankering to find videos about Beaks on YouTube. She found this:

When she sent the link to Schnookie this exchange ensued:

Pookie: I found a HILARIOUS video of Beaks and CoreyPerry CoreyPerry. Fighting in Juniors. At the end of a playoff game.
Schnookie: Oh my god.
Pookie: I was laughing out loud in my car. It was Muppet Baby Douchebags.
Schnookie: I’m honestly not sure who I’d think wins that. Of course, we’re ALL winners here.
Pookie: It was like what I imagine baby peacocks would be like if they were chimpanzees learning life skills by copying their parents.
Schnookie: (After watching the video) Oh my god. That’s a beauty. I love Beaks tossing his head. Like, I’m sure he thought, a wild stallion. He looked like Beaks of Chincoteague there. A little wild pony.

— For a variety of uninteresting reasons we ended up discussing Principal Skinner and Superintendent Chalmers during dinner tonight, which, of course, spiraled into an exchange of Simpsons quotes. When Schnookie pulled out the “how will anyone know it’s a Honda without the H?” scene, Pookie suddenly declared that Looch had eaten the H off all the Hondas he’s ever seen. Schnookie agreed, because Looch just loves to eat the letter H. Pookie then remarked, “That’s why that Bruins/Habs game was such a melee. Looch just sees all those little H’s on the sweaters…”

— Boomer made us all laugh really hard after dinner when she tried to read aloud the blurb about Nora Roberts’s upcoming release, Catching Fire, a romance novel about smokejumpers. Boomer launched into the first sentence of the blurb, “There’s little as thrilling as firefighting…” but said instead, “There’s little as thrilling as firefarting.” We still haven’t stopped shrieking with laughter. Being a grownup is grand.

— We got a crazy new fisheye lens for our camera today. VE Mats loves it.

Fisheye VE Mats

So does Rollie.

Fisheye Rollie

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The Flyers broadcasts have this promotion where one entrant gets his or her name drawn at random before each Philadelphia power play, and if the Flyers score on that PP, the lucky person wins $25. And if the Flyers don’t score, the next person drawn on the next PP could win $50; if the Flyers don’t score then, the next PP is worth $75, and so on and so on. At one point this season, we happened to be watching on a night when a PP drought was ended, and the lucky prizewinner got in excess of $700. With this as background, the following was overhead at stately IPB Manor during last night’s Devils/Flyers game as a New Jersey PP was winding fruitlessly to a halt:

Boomer: “It’s a good thing the Devils don’t have that power play promotion, otherwise it would be like Powerball.”

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Cowgirl Boomer

Boomer, thinking deep thoughts.

Boomer is normally pretty reserved about the Devils, at least compared to us. She will occasionally hit a giddy high or a mopey low, but for the most part she plays her cards close to her vest. Recently, though, she has become almost despondent about them, and the reason for that is the Lemaire re-hiring. She can’t stop complaining about it. She will, in the middle of completely unrelated conversations, suddenly groan, “I’m just so disappointed about Lou bringing Lemaire back!” She is not a happy camper.

Today we were having a normal quiet stately IPB Manor Saturday, the two of us stitching and emailing and uploading photographs in the living room, while Boomer worked on her sewing machine the next room over at the dining room table. We were chatting through the open doorway about our plans for Patty (In Dallas)’s upcoming visit here, and talk turned to jokes about making Patty spend her week in the Pine Barrens looking for the Jersey Devil. Boomer cracked that watching a Devils game in person is probably scarier than seeing the Jersey Devil itself, and then added solemnly, “I feel like the Lemaire Devils is like the assisted living of the NHL. It’s just one step removed from having to move into the rest home wing.”

It’s going to be a fun season.

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