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Archive for the ‘Zach Parise’ Category

Since Gulitti has scored such a major hit with his Zach Q&A over on Fire & Ice, we decided to conduct our own Q&A with a member of the Parise household. But Zach was busy answering questions for the F&I readers, so we turned our attention to the one and only Boxworthy. The following includes the questions exactly as we asked them, and the answers exactly as Boxworthy gave them. The only change is that we weren’t able to recreate his sturdy, attractive cursive writing.

Can you swim?

No. I am a turtle of the land. Many of my cousins, though, are excellent swimmers.

Can Zach swim?

Master Zach is a very effective man.

You mentioned your water-loving cousins. Are any of them turtles-of-affairs-of-the-sea?

Yes. I come from a long line of turtles-of-affairs, in all elements. If the -Worthy clan could grow wings, we would be turtles-of-affairs-of-the-sky. It is something of a family business. If you have ever enjoyed a Jacques Cousteau documentary, you have seen some of the work of my esteemed great-great grand-uncle, Aquaworthy.

Zach’s Q&A has been a very popular feature on Fire & Ice. How much did you contribute to that?

I daren’t speak of the master’s creative process.

Not just a little?

I relent, but just to illustrate what a great mind and a great man he is.

Oh, of course.

The process is quite complex and detail-oriented, like Master Zach himself. We start by receiving the questions from Mr. Gulitti via intermail-of-the-webs, and I then transcribe them in longhand onto foolscap. Master Zach loves the feel of foolscap when he is contemplating interview questions. I then make a second copy, so there is one for him to hold whilst contemplating, and one for me to read aloud from. I then read him the questions and he spends several days pondering. His preferred method for pondering is to stand at his study window, heavy velvet drapes pulled back to reveal the sprawling gardens below, and grasp either the foolscap or the lapels of his dressing coat while staring, firm-jawed, into the middle distance. After several days of self-study, he will call me into his study, I will pour him a brandy, and we will proceed to take dictation. I take notes in fluent shorthand as Master Zach gives answers, self-edits, corrects, and continues his contemplation. Once he is satisfied with his responses I transcribe the notes into longhand, which I will then dictate to Master Zach as he types, hunt-and-peck style, the answers into his intermail-of-the-webs. I am afraid that I have not yet mastered the computer arts.

That’s quite a process.

It is no more involved than preparing the master’s breakfast.

There’s a lot of concern among Devils fans about Zach’s contract status and long-term future in New Jersey. Will you ever be a free agent, and if you did, would you consider working for someone other than Zach?

Master Zach frequently reminds me that my contract is no one’s concern but his. I am not ever worried for my employment, however, because of Master Zach’s lifelong priorities. Ever since he was a child, Master Zach was afraid of two things: going to jail, and having to put on his dressing coat by himself in the morning. I excel at ensuring he is never confronted by either of those horrid possibilities, and he is most appreciative. I have never allowed the thought of working with another master to cross my mind.

Zach has seemed very personable and good-natured in the Fire & Ice Q&As. Is that an accurate read of the real Zach?

Yes, quite. He has very much enjoyed interacting with the fans of the Devils in this exercise, and frequently stops in his typing to give a dazzling smile, perhaps hoping it will convey across the internet-of-the-web.

Hm. His smile is dazzling indeed.

I help him with that. He has a daily smile workout that ensures that he maintains an optimal ratio of teeth to lip, a proper depth of dimple, and an appropriate wattage of eye-twinkle. I am his coach and trainer in these exercises, using advanced mathematical and technical means to measure his smile maintenance.

Don’t tell us you use calipers to measure the rictus and dimple.

Why should I not tell you that? It is the truth, after all.

Zach mentioned in his Q&A that he doesn’t like to pay much for his haircuts. We would have thought hair-cutting might fall under your long list of job duties.

In fact, most turtles-of-affairs are not required to style hair, but young Master Zach has always been most, shall I say careful, about having each individual hair cut just so. He has yet to find a stylist in New Jersey that can give his follicles the attention each deserves, and thus, I have to step in to fill the void. As this is not part of my long list of job duties, Master Zach gives me a small stipend outside of my normal compensation.

What, does he give you an extra piece of lettuce?

My, what wits you have. No, he gives me a comp ticket to any Devils matinee against the Panthers of Florida.

During the off-season, Zach works on things he needs to improve. Do you work on making yourself even more attuned to Zach’s needs, or do you work on your weaknesses, such as your slowness?

I did not realize my normal-for-a-turtle speed was a weakness, but thank you for pointing that out. I will surely endeavor to increase my velocity when moving from point A to point B. As for the off-season, I generally am so busy attending to Master Zach’s needs that I do not have time for self-improvement, unless Master Zach requires I make immediate changes to my daily job performance, such as when I needed to improve the technique of using my natural camouflage to move Master Zach’s golf ball out of a rough patch on the golfing course unseen.

Speaking of speed, have you heard the one about the snail that was mugged by two turtles?!

Yes. Several times. How droll.

Right. Well. Um… Say, if you’d like to be faster, may we suggest little tiny rollerskates?

I would rather you didn’t.

Scratch that! No little tiny rollerskates. One normal-sized rollerskate!

Ahem.

Zach probably likes your speed just the way it is.

Yes, it does help to make him feel faster.

A confident Zach is an effective Zach.

As I said, he is a very effective man.

Do you ever want to punch Jeeves in the face?

Who?

Never mind.

I shan’t.

Well, we know you’re a very busy turtle, Boxworthy, so we won’t keep you from assisting Zach any longer. Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful answers.

Thank you. It was my pleasure.

Give our regards to Zach.

He would prefer I did not.

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This year we’re having a festive Devilsy holiday season here at IPB — we’re observing the joys of December hockey with a Devils advent calendar. Behind each window is a fun fact about a different player, and tonight’s window contains…

Zach Parise!

Now, we may have forgotten all about him (out of sight, out of mind, Zach. It’s time you learned), but you know who hasn’t? The State Library of New Jersey. As you probably recall, Zach is a “library champion” (because he loves to read, yo. Or he loves to have things read to him in a slow, turtle accent), and the State Library is, likewise, a Zach champion. The New Jersey State Librarian recently read an article about Zach’s injury in which Zach discussed how he is in constant pain; he even said that he feels bad for his “girlfriend” (read: turtle butler) having to take care of his sorry, moping, fishing-for-sympathy ass all day. All this fishing for sympathy worked on the State Librarian, who has now spearheaded (and we are not making this up) a movement to get librarians New Jersey over to have their patrons write Zach a get-well card. Totally seriously. New Jersey librarians take their Zach championship duties very seriously. It’s just some New Jersey librarians can write a get-well card for a New Jersey Devil without resorting to swear words better than others. Pookie’s approach to championing Zach involves a lot of f-bombs, which is why she won’t be sending him a card. In the spirit of the holiday and all. When he can lead his team out of the first round, he can get a card. Merry Christmas, Zach.

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We feel like we’ve been very divorced from the Devils lately, what with missing the Islanders game on MLK Day, then being out late this Friday and Saturday for the Montreal and Islanders (redux) games. Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, though? Probably not. Anyway, here’s our take on the state of the Devils, as seen from far, far away.

1. EJGRgunner made the great point after last night’s game that Zach has apparently taken the Fuck This Shit torch from Langer. And Langer has given it up without a fight. The “C” might still be on Langer’s sweater, but the true Captain Fuck This Shit of the Devils is now Zach. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, considering that Zach is ten times the player Langer is, but still. It merits mention that, from a million miles away where we’re standing, it seems to have happened this week.

2. We may or may not have mentioned in this space that we are participating in a group project on Flickr called sixty-four colors, where the assignment is to take pictures of a specific color every week, as chosen by random draw from a box of 64 Crayola crayons. This week (our first in the project), the color was sea green. Now, we assumed we’d fail, because who the hell ever sees anything that’s sea green? As it turns out, though, as soon as you start looking, there’s sea green everywhere. Likewise, ever since Zubrus got hurt we’ve moved Mike Mottau to the top of our list of guys we are most likely to forget are Devils. We never, ever, ever noticed him. Then, a couple weeks ago, Pam mentioned in the comments here that he was the player she was most eagerly anticipating getting to the end of his contract. Since then, the only thing we can ever see about the Devils is how much he sucks. Mike Mottau being a terrible hockey player is like the sea green of the NHL.

3. As has been well-documented here, we’re pretty down on the whole NHL-involvment-in-the-Olympics thing. One of the reasons why is we’re always very sure a key Devil is going to get hurt playing in what is essentially an all-star exhibition tournament.* This year we were getting big time vibes that Elias was going to be the one to pull a groin or get a high ankle sprain or break a forearm (which in our experience is the most horrible, unhealable hockey injury ever). So what do the hockey gods do? They go and give Patty a concussion well before the all-star exhibition tournament even starts so we can’t even blame it on the stupid old Olympics. (*We’re all about all-star exhibition tournaments, just not when they interrupt the regular NHL season; if the NHL brought back the World Cup we’d be first in line to buy tickets. OK, maybe not buy tickets, but we’d be all over watching it. Think about it, NHL. You know you want us being all over watching hockey in the summertime.)

4. Speaking of the most horrible, unhealable hockey injuries ever, we miss Paulie Martin. The Devils are pretty good at initially recovering from going down a key player, but it’s like everyone’s decided Paulie is never, ever walking through that door ever again, so it’s not worth trying to play well until he comes back.

5. Is anyone even sure Yann Danis is still alive? Because it seems to us like maybe he died by accident a month or so ago, and the Devils just don’t want anyone to know. They’re being all like, “Oh, he’s still with the team. He’s still an important part of the team! He’s totally alive and a key player on our roster. He’s gonna play tonight, in fact. That’s how alive and part of this team he is. Playing tonight. For reals. Totally.” Then, an hour later, they’re like, “Uh, he, uh… got stuck in traffic. He’s not gonna be able to play tonight. Um… *shifty eyes*… he’ll be back tomorrow. Or the day after. Something like that.”

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APPLEBEES HOSTESS: “I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t eat here without pants. It’s a policy put in by the corporate heads.”
PAULIE: “Well they can go fuck themselves!”

***

OFFICIAL HOCKEY HALL OF FAME STATISTICIAN: “I’m afraid ‘plastic star’ is not an officially recognized award.”
ZACH: “You can go fuck yourself!”

***

GROCERY STORE BAGGER: “There are no more plastic bags. You’re going to have to take paper.”
LANGER: “You can go fuck yourself!”

***

ART STORE CLERK: “Nope, we don’t have block crayons. Only stick ones.”
TRAVIS: “You can go fudge yourself!”

***

ANDY GREENE: “Uh, there isn’t an all-star game this year. The NHL is participating in the Olympics instead.”
STAN FISCHLER & RICH CHERE: “They can go fuck themselves!”
ANDY GREENE: “Word.”

***

US BORDER GUARD: “ClarksonNation is not recognized by the United State of America. This ‘passport’ has booked you a one way ticket to the detention room, mister!”
CLARKSON: “You and your ‘real’ nation can go fuck yourselves! Er, I mean, here’s my real passport. No, no! Don’t deport me!”

***

MARTY: “I’m the all-time wins and shutouts leader! Go me!”
PATRICK ROY: “You can go fuck yourself.”
MARTY: “::Smirk::”

***

LOU: “And that completes our trade of Cam Janssen for Bryce Salvador.”
BLUES GM: “Aw, fuck me. Cam Janssen?!”

***

YANN DANIS: “Please, sir, I’d like to start.”
LEMAIRE: “Go fuck yourself.”

***

ANDREW PETERS: ::Breathes::
THE OOKIES: “You can go fuck yourself.”

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Yesterday we took Boomer to see her first game at The Rawk. Because the Devils were playing the Wings, it was “Honor the 1995 Cup Team” night, and they showed a little two-part documentary during the intermissions about that SCF. It was a standard-format documentary, with a narrator reading a script over game highlights, flavoring snippets of the real-time TV commentary from the series, and frequent flavoring clips of interviews with Devils players reminiscing about that Cup run. What was hilarious was that every interview clip of Shawn Chambers involved him stated whatever obvious thing the narrator just said. Like the part where they got to Nieder’s coast-to-coast goal in Detroit, and after the narration explained that Nieder was young and fast, Chambers popped up to say, “Scott Niedermayer was such a fast skater.” Thanks, Shawn! In that spirit, here is a documentary post about our day yesterday, with Shawn Chambers providing the insider commentary.

Narrator: It was a perfect December Saturday at stately IPB Manor. There was hockey on the TV, quilt fabric to be cut, Christmas cookies to be eaten, presents strewn about everywhere, and snow gently falling outside. And there was a festive spirit in the air, as the Ookies were taking Boomer to her first game at The Rawk that evening.

Shawn Chambers: It was snowing outside. And that’s a lot of presents.

A Glorious Afternoon At Stately IPB Manor

Narrator: At about a quarter to five, the denizens of stately IPB Manor put on their Devils sweaters, loaded up their camera bags, and piled into the car; they were finally going to try driving to a game instead of having to wait for the train. Armed with Christmas carols on their iPod, everything should have been perfect for an easy drive to Newark, but the Ookies and Boomer hadn’t counted on the lousy weather. Snow is great when you’re home and don’t have anywhere to go, but it’s a completely different creature when you’re trying to drive in it.

Shawn Chambers: Snow is hard to drive in!

Hyperspace Snow

Narrator: While Pookie struggled with the low visibility, Schnookie tried to take pictures to preserve a sense of the yuckiness of the roads for generations to come. Ultimately, Pookie did a better job with the driving than Schnookie did with the camera.

Shawn Chambers: Someone needed to take the camera away from Schnookie.

Driving to the Arena

Narrator: The drive was an adventure. There was a call to 911 to report a minor accident that, as it turned out, had already been reported.

Shawn Chambers: The Ookies and Boomer called 911. They were trying to be good citizens.

Narrator: There were the weird new traffic patterns on Rte. 1 in New Brunswick.

Shawn Chambers: The traffic patterns on 1 in New Brunswick are weird.

Narrator: And then there was the matter of the driving directions to the parking garage that the Devils offer on their website.

Shawn Chambers: The Devils offer driving directions to the arena parking.

Narrator: Before leaving the house, the Ookies tried to match up the directions with a look at the area on Google Maps, but the interchanges between the Turnpike, 78, 1-9, and everything else around Exit 14 is nothing but a tangle of ramps and cloverleafs when you look at a map.

Shawn Chambers: The map makes no sense.

Narrator: But as it turns out, the directions on the Devils site are tragically vague. It would have been helpful to clarify whether a person should be taking the ramp for 1-9 north or 1-9 south, and also to figure out whether they really mean that the exit to 21 is three miles after getting on 1-9 (north? South? Who even knows?).

Shawn Chambers: Those directions make no sense.

Narrator: Before long, after getting off the Turnpike, the Ookies realized they were lost.

Shawn Chambers: The Prudential Center isn’t in Elizabeth.

Narrator: It was 6:15 at this point, and the GPS system in Pookie’s car wasn’t helping, because no one knew what the area they were looking for was supposed to look like, thanks to the street map in that area being a Gordian knot, and the Devils-provided driving directions being a pile of poop. Some bickering flared up.

Shawn Chambers: Schnookie was sorry she ruined Pookie’s life, and vice versa. Boomer was sorry that she got dragged into this in the first place.

Narrator: Wishy-washiness set in, that sense of “we’ll just keep driving in a straight line in this direction forever and ever now that we’re lost, because there’s simply no point in ever trying to be found again” ennui. Pookie’s iPhone’s GPS was brought into play. The iPhone told the Ookies that they were 1 hour and 48 minutes from the arena. It was 6:30.

Shawn Chambers: That sucked.

Narrator: Despair overtook the stately IPB Car. They were going to miss the game at this rate. But then they realized that the iPhone was giving them walking directions.

Shawn Chambers: It’s faster to drive than to walk.

Narrator: It turns out they were just 12 minutes from the arena. But they hit every stoplight in Elizabeth and Newark along the way, so they arrived inside the arena just as the Devils starting lineup was being announced.

Shawn Chambers: They didn’t miss any action!

Narrator: The trauma of the trip to the arena was quickly forgotten, though, because Boomer’s mind was blown by the awesomeness of the arena, and by the awesomeness of their seats.

Shawn Chambers: The fifth-row seats rocked. They had a really good view of the ice, and of the Devils bench. It was cool.

December 5 2009

Narrator: As if they knew this was Boomer’s Christmas present, the Devils decided not to suck in the first period, unlike recent games. In fact, they went up 2-0, including one of those crazy Johnny Oduya goals where he gets the puck in his own zone, starts skating, realizes the other team sucks, and just scores on his own. He does that whenever the Ookies are at the game in person, so it was a great convergence of his return to the lineup and their return to Newark.

Shawn Chambers: Johnny Oduya likes the Ookies.

Narrator: The Ookies are total girls, and got all excited when Zach took off his helmet on the bench.

Shawn Chambers: Zach’s dreamy. I love it when he takes his helmet off on the bench.

Zach Parise Helmetless

Narrator: Having been in the building in October for Marty’s shutout against the Hurricanes, the Ookies were highly confident they were going to see the record-setting shutout on this night. They were wrong.

Shawn Chambers: 2-1 is not nearly as good a score as 2-0.

Narrator: But things started looking up again when PandoNation’s emperor-god got an assist! Welcome back to the lineup, Pando! Pando also almost scored a goal, but the puck was pulled off the goal line by a Wings defender; Schnookie thinks that should have counted.

Shawn Chambers: 3-1 is a very good score, and 4-1 would have been even better.

Narrator: But this is the Devils, and it wouldn’t be a Devils game lately without a blown third-period lead.

Shawn Chambers: 3-3 is not nearly as good a score as 3-1.

Narrator: AndyGreeneNation’s emperor-god took a bit of a stumble in the eyes of his adoring people.

Shawn Chambers: It wasn’t Blandy’s best game.

Action Sports Photography At Its Finest

Narrator: But a game in person is all about the experience, and Boomer and the Ookies had a great time. There was lots of action on the ice, and the chicken fingers in the Fire Lounge were plentiful.

Shawn Chambers: Chicken fingers taste good.

Narrator: The only problem was that rude guy in front of them who wouldn’t sit down.

Shawn Chambers: Victory Euro Mats is so rude. He thinks he’s the only person at the arena.

Down In Front!

Narrator: In the end, Boomer’s Christmas present turned out to be a 4-3 shootout win! WOO HOOO!

Shawn Chambers: In actual hockey terms, that’s less a 4-3 win than a somewhat disappointing 3-3 tie. The Devils didn’t fool Boomer that much.

Narrator: But it was a great a great night, and the stately IPB Car did not get lost on its way back home.

Shawn Chambers: Getting home is nice.

VE Mats At The Rink

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Boxworthy and Bernice

Boxworthy hanging out with Bernice the pigeon (or, as I just typed it, “Bernice the penguin”, which would have been pretty awesome) at Rockefeller Center. –Schn.

David Clarkson

David Clarkson, spotted near Park Avenue. –Schn.

A Bevy of Devils

White, Greene, Martin, Zubrus, Parise, Egg, Maddog, and Rolston hang out in NYC. –Pk.

Grand Central Clock

Sheldon Brookbank, Ken Daneyko, Scott Stevens, Colin White, Andy Greene, John Madden, and Brian Rolston, in hoity-toity roman numerals. –Schn.

Andrew Peters

Andrew Peters may suck at hockey, but he’s good at identifying street addresses. –Pk.

Marty Brodeur

Marty. A very, very blurry Marty. –Pk.

David Clarkson

We caught this building right after it attempted a wraparound. –Pk.

Marty and the Ookies

We saw Marty in the city and waved hello. –Pk.

Dano and Scotty

Dano and Scotty keep 34th St clean. –Pk.

Mike Mottau

Applesauce! –Schn.

Zach, Zubrus, Paulie, Scottie, Dano

Zach, Zubrus, Paulie, Scottie and Dano, clockwise from the top. –Schn.

Travis Zajac

Travis showing off his Milford Academy education at work, as he blends in to this train departure board at Grand Central Station. –Schn.

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Gentle Reader, it’s like a switch has been flipped here at stately IPB Manor, and we’ve now entered the second phase of the off-season. Phase One involves a lot of grumbling about how much we hate hockey and hope to never see it again, and any mention of any Devils players prompts us all to screech, “TOO SOON! TOO SOON!!” But Phase Two is completely different. Phase Two is when we can’t stop whining about how much we wish hockey would just come back, and we start being able to laugh about the Devils again. That’s right, Gentle Reader — the holes where our hearts should be have warmed a bit, and we’ve been able to find mirth in our misbegotten favorite team again. Here are the stories:

— We are huge fans of HGTV’s House Hunters, and like to tivo it so we can watch a handful of episodes on Sunday nights to end our weekends. This past Sunday our minds were completely blown thanks to an international episode set in the Czech Republic. In it, an American ex-pat was looking for a flat in some unnamed city outside of Prague, but he was also shown a “rustic” 200-year-old farmhouse. And that farmhouse literally didn’t have indoor plumbing. At all. The only toilet on the property was in the barn. The bathtub had a hose run into it from the garden. The sink in the kitchen was just a basin with no faucet and no drain. And the realtor just shrugged and said that was normal in Czech. Needless to say, Gentle Reader, we have spent the last few days rambling in our Patty Elias voices about how difficult it was for Patty to have all the indoor plumbing taken out of his house in Jersey so he could feel more at home. Frankly, we feel like he makes a lot more sense now.

— We couldn’t help but notice that the Devils’ new twitter feed features an awful lot of information about how all our Minnesota-based players are eating walleye that they’ve caught themselves. We refuse to believe, though, that Zach can catch his own fish. No, we’re convinced that he hops into his little 13-foot fishing boat to be the dreaded Walleye Pirate of Lake of the Woods. He putters up to successful fishermen and fires a musketshot across their bows, then drops a boarding plank that Boxworthy, clad in an eyepatch and wearing a billowing sash of a belt with a cutlass hooked in it, slowly crawls across to relieve their targets of their catches. Perhaps he even carries a basket with him that has a carefully-calligraphied sign on it, “Please hand over your walleye to the turtle”.

— We were also discussing the other day about how sad it is that whenever we see pictures of NHLers clutching bottles of beer, it’s always crappy beer:

Pookie: I bet Travis fills his Coors Light bottles with malt liquor. It’s a trick he learned from Paulie.

Schnookie: Zach fills his Coors Light bottles with butterscotch schnapps.

Pookie: Yup. Buttschlager.

Schnookie: No, Buttschlager is the cheap brand. The top-shelf stuff is Butterschlager.

Pookie: Absolutely. And instead of gold flakes in it, it’s studded with Werther’s candies.

Schnookie: After a successful day on the high seas pirating walleyes, Zach and Boxworthy kick back on their pirate dinghy and do shots of Butterschlager until one of them either passes out or chokes on a Werther’s.

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