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Archive for the ‘Ryan Miller’ Category

We may have mentioned in this space that we have concocted consolation prizes for the inevitable moment when the Devils are no longer contending in this year’s playoffs. In the last few years, we’ve been plunged into periods of alternating rage and depression after the eliminating loss, so this year we’re prepared. We’ve both selected quilting projects that we really, really, really, really want to get started on, but have vowed that we won’t put a stitch in until the final buzzer of the Devils’ final game.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Here is just a hint of the fabrics — that’s Schnookie’s “Meadowsweet” on the bottom, and a square of Pookie’s “Frolic” on the top. They will definitely soften the blow.

So today we were doing some infrastructure work on our end-of-the-playoffs projects, because you can’t start sewing pieces of quilts together until the pieces are cut out. (We’re not being negative nellies, we promise. All the little pieces that were cut out today got locked away safely where we hope to not have to use them for weeks and weeks to come.) While cutting out the square of “Frolic” seen in that photo above, Pookie suddenly gasped, “It’s a sign! Look!

Now, when we first visited Katebits in Buffalo, one of the tourist stops we made was to take a stroll in the neighborhood Crunchy lives in. We had a reasonable notion of where he lived, and had narrowed down our options to two houses that could have been his. One had a “back off, strangers” cranky-pantsy security system that even the most untrained eye could spot from 50 paces, and the other had a cute little cat statue at the front door. We assumed Crunchy’s house was the latter, because that cute little cat statue was totally a decoy. It looked like a sweet little old lady lived there, but in reality that statue shoots poison gas at trespassers.

So imagine our surprise when a closer inspection of Pookie’s fabric revealed this:

Cat Poison Statue

We’re not sure what it’s a sign of, but it’s clearly telling us something. Maybe that the Sabres are in the playoffs. Which… well, thanks, fabric, but we already knew that.

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Last summer we had Ryan “Crunchy” Miller join the IPB writing staff as an advice columnist (You can read his works here and here), and, being the highly influential bloggers that we are, the NHL took notice. They loved the idea, and asked us to help them install a regular hockey-player advice column on NHL.com. We received hundreds of applications from aspiring Dear Abbys from around the league, and were very excited for the project. Of course, the league ultimately decided not to run with it, and asked us to never speak of it again. We would have been more than happy to keep it all under our hats, but they promised us a magnetic playoff tracker for our troubles and never sent it to us. Feeling slighted, we’ve decided to run a week-long series showcasing the very best of the advice column efforts, written by a variety of NHLers, that the league never wanted you to see. We’re totally not making any of this up. Because we’re very serious, influential bloggers. Right, Mr. Balsillie?

Dear Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I work for a family-run company that is very close-knit — the office is very friendly and convivial. However, in this difficult economic climate, management has been forced to downsize. Several beloved coworkers were recently laid off, and those of us who remain feel terrible about that. We have a tradition in the office of everyone contributing modest amounts of money to a monthly birthday pool, and we have a little cake for everyone whose birthday falls in that month. What would be a nice way to carry on that tradition this month, that would still be celebratory, but also respectful of the fact that there are some friends missing?

Thea, Lawrence KS

Dear Thea,

I feel like none of you people ever listen to me, because I have to keep telling you that your terrible eating habits are making you fat. Seriously, cake? Every month?? Your unemployed former coworkers are the ones who should be celebrating now that they’re freed from the tyranny of your “stuff your face” parties. If you really feel bad for your laid-off comrades, pool that birthday money together and head down to the nearest overpass — that’s where your former friends are living now. They should have some kind of coffee cup or tattered hat into which you can throw that money; my only caution is that they’re probably just going to spend it all on booze, which will make them fat. That’s what unemployed people do.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I recently applied for my dream job, but I was so desperate to land it that I lied on my resume. At the time I thought it was just something everyone does, especially in the increasingly tough job market. I do honestly think I am the ideal candidate for the job, but now that I’ve been offered the position, I’m feeling guilty about taking it. Should I take the job knowing that I will be good at it, or should I walk away and be honest when applying for other jobs?

Janice, Altoona PA

Dear Janice,

I think you’re a real stand-up person who’ll be the greatest professional employee this company has ever seen. I think you should never feel guilty for going after what you want no matter what you have to do to get it. I think you’re also probably very skinny. Oh wait, guess what? I LIED! HA! See how it feels?

— Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I just graduated from college and have gotten my first job, an entry-level position at a company that works in the field I studied in school. I’m very excited for this job, but have never worked in an office setting before. Do you have any advice for a young professional setting out in the world?

Gloria, Las Cruces NM

Dear Gloria,

I am assuming, because you are apparently employable, that you are not fat. As a skinny recent college student, what your life is truly lacking is cutting edge fashion from The Refinery.com. As long as you’re wearing all the latest looks from The Refinery.com it won’t matter how your perform or behave in your job; the sassiest summer boob hoodie makes it so you don’t have to do stuff like “be on time” or “do the tasks you are assigned” or “get along with your coworkers” because you’ll look so damn hot that no one will care. I noticed, though, that you said it’s an entry-level job that you’re starting. There’s good news and bad news with that. The bad news is that you can’t afford anything but your The Refinery.com wardrobe on an entry-level salary. The good news is that if you can’t afford food, you won’t get fat, so you’ll be able to fit in all of it. I think you’re going to go far. Shop The Refinery.com.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

Help! I had a drunken one-night stand with a coworker, and now I’m too embarrassed to go to work! What should I do?

Marni, Salem OR

Dear Marni,

Why are you coming to me for advice with this? I wouldn’t know anything about it. I mean, would a GAY MAN have drunken one-night stands with his male coworkers? I didn’t think so.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I have a coworker who keeps giving me small gifts of potted plants. I hate plants, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. How can I politely but firmly make it clear that I am not a willing recipient of her generosity?

Wendy, Gainesville FL

Dear Wendy,

This coworker is a sociopath, and politeness isn’t going to get you anywhere with her. Next time she tries to hand you a potted plant, refuse to take it. Let it drop to the floor. Stand stone-still and fire the full force of your most withering glare at her without speaking. Hold this pose for as long as it takes to make her extremely uncomfortable. When she starts to squirm, explain in a quiet but forceful tone that you never asked for her stupid plants, you don’t understand why she was ever so dumb as to think you wanted them, and that she better stop spending so much of her precious workday bothering you with this idiocy. Tell her you’re going to report her to the boss for slacking off all the time to give you unwanted gifts. Then tell her that you’re doing everything you can to be the best professional employee possible, and she’s not carrying her (doubtless enormous) weight in the office. If she wants to be contributing to a winner, she needs to stop spending all her time driving around buying plants and start focusing on giving 110% to her job.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I’m a pretty easy-going person, but lately I’ve been pushed to the very edge by my cubicle-mate. She hums while she works, she chews loudly while eating very pungent snacks at her desk, and she engages in loud, personal phone calls all day long. I don’t want to rock the boat, but my work requires me to be able to focus on my tasks and these distractions are making that very difficult!

Ronnie, Spartanburg SC

Dear Ronnie,

There’s a tried-and-true method for solving this problem that my colleagues and I have perfected, and it’s easy to boot. Simply make a deal with everyone else in your office to agree to let your job performances dip so low that your boss has only one recourse — rearranging the cubicle sea. Works every time. You’re probably worried about that poor sap who’ll get stuck with your current problem, but no worries. Those pungent snacks are going to make that nuisance into a fatty so fat she can’t possibly share a cubicle with another person. Done and done.

— Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I’ve been having a problem lately at work. Someone’s been stealing my lunch! I clearly label my food in the shared staff kitchen, but it hasn’t stopped a thief from taking off with my meal. I like the idea of saving money by not going out for my lunch, but my staff-wide emails asking the thief to stop aren’t making a difference. What should I do?

Lana, Montpelier VT

Lana,

Do I really need to answer this? Don’t. Eat. Lunch. Duh! Fatty.

— Crunchy

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Dear Crunchy,

We drew Joe Sakic out of the Project Bicycle Spoke box today and we don’t know what to write. Do you have any helpful suggestions or tips for a situation like this?

Signed,
The Ookies
Stately IPB Manor, NJ

Dear Ookies,
Life can’t be all about driving around and having other people do your work for you. You have to figure this one out on your own. If I were lazy and dullardish like you two, I’d get my butt off the couch and do some research to see if Joe Sakic’s been in the news lately for any reason whatsoever, then I’d write about that as if I cared about it. I’d reflect on the decades of stolid leadership and classy play Sakic’s brought to the NHL. I’d acknowledge how hard he had worked to earn two Stanely Cup rings.

Oh, fuck it. Just say, “Joe Sakic? Her?” I mean, we’re all thinking it.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I am helping my daughter plan her wedding, and we are not quite sure how to handle a delicate situation within my husband’s family. He is estranged from his neer-do-well brother, but my daughter and I are very good friend’s with the brother’s wife, who is a wonderful person. Is there a polite way we can invite my sister-in-law while making it clear that her husband isn’t welcome?

Gloria, Providence RI

Dear Gloria,

Yes, there is a perfectly polite way to handle this. Send your husband’s brother’s wife an invitation to the wedding, and hand-write on the invitation, “This means JUST you. Don’t bring your asshole husband with you.” Then, if she insists on bringing the dirtbag with him, make a huge scene and kick them both out of the reception.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

Do you have any easy recipes for homemade raspberry jam?

Marianne, Carson City NV

Dear Marianne,

Are you retarded? The easiest way to make raspberry jam is to open a jar of it. This isn’t rocket science, you know. Of course, you probably already know that all that jam is going to make you fat, right? Well, it’s probably too late in your case, but it’s my responsibility as an advice columnist to mention it.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

My son recently turned eight, and my husband and I promised him a pet dog, now that he is old enough to help take care of it. Is there any specific breed of dog you could recommend as a good family pet?

Arlene, Augusta ME

Dear Arlene,

For the love of God, don’t get a labradoodle. Other than that, you’re on your own. I’d say get him something with four legs and a tail. Anything less that that will be creepy, and the other kids will pick on him.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I have been in charge of a book club for the last two years, and until recently it has been an utter delight. All of the members of the club get along well and share similar interests and temperaments. We have lively discussions about the books we read, but everyone is respectful and shares good senses of humor. However, several months ago a new member joined the club, and it’s been a terrible fit. This person is argumentative, negative, confrontational, and seems to revel in ruining everyone else’s good time. Is there a subtle way I can try to gently push this person out of the book club, so we can go back to enjoying our lives?

Paula, Buffalo NY

Dear “Paula” (or should I call you Paul”a”?),

Screw you. If you don’t like me being in your stupid book club, just tell me to my face, okay? It’s not my fault you all are simpering, fat, stupid, fat, idiotic, fat fatties. I believe that the best approach to life is honesty, and if that means hurting a few feelings along the way, then tough. If you can’t handle hearing the truth (i.e. that you’re fat), then that’s pathetic. There’s no point in letting people continue deluding themselves, because really, all that comes from sugar-coating hard truths is that people get fat.

–Crunchy

P.S. I’m not leaving the book club.

Dear Crunchy,
I work the late shift at the hospital and as a result, I sleep later into the morning than most people. Every afternoon when I go out to retrieve my morning paper, it looks as if someone’s already read it. My neighbor doesn’t subscribe to the paper, and yet he always seems up on stories covered by the paper. I don’t want to alienate my neighbor, who seems like an otherwise nice guy, but I also don’t want to be sharing my newspaper with him. What should I do?

Terrence, South Bend, IN

Dear Terrence,

It’s called a morning paper for a reason. If you can’t drag your lazy ass out of bed to get to the paper before your mooching neighbor, you don’t deserve to know what’s going on in the world. If getting up early isn’t an option because of the “sick people” in the “hospital”, you could always do what I do — work out a deal with the newspaper delivery service to rig your paper with tear gas and angry killer bees. My neighbors haven’t bothered me for years thanks to the dilligence the Greater Buffalo Newspaper Boy Brotherhood has taken in the effort to booby trap my morning paper.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I recently considered retirement after spending twenty years in my current job. I thought I was reasonably well-liked and respected, so when I announced I wouldn’t be leaving afterall, I expected a certain amount of appreciation and well-wishes. Instead, I’m hearing people merely shrugged and said, “I didn’t realize he was leaving.” Should I be concerned?

Joe, Denver, CO

Dear EggJoe,

Her?

–Crunchy

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This is the 19th in our summer series in which we are drawing hockey cards at random from a box and writing about them.

Dear Crunchy,

How do I get toothpaste out of a shag carpet?

Doreen G., Joliet IL

Dear Doreen,

How did you end up with toothpaste in your shag carpet? What kind of moron lets their toothpaste get close to a shag carpet in the first place? Unless you’re a total nitwit and have shag carpeting in your bathroom, in which case you’re beyond all hope. Soon I’m going to have a huge new contract that will allow me to just replace any shag carpeting that gets toothpaste in it (or replace whatever fat idiot friend of mine would put the toothpaste there, because there’s no way I would screw up my toothpaste and my carpeting, because I’m not stupid), but I’m assuming you’re poorer and fatter than me, so you’re going to have to clean your carpet out. I have no idea how. It’s not a situation I think I’ll ever find myself in.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I just purchased a classic tweed suit. Is it safe to hand wash it, or should it only be dry-cleaned?

Glenda C., Lexington, KY

Dear Glenda,

If you’re wearing clothes correctly, you should never have to wash them at all. And by “wearing clothes correctly” I mean “wearing them only once”. Only fat people wear the same article of clothing twice. And you should bear in mind that classic tweed suits are not stylish. The only kind of tweed you should ever wear is a tweed boob hoodie.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I’m hosting dinner for my husband’s new boss and his wife. What would be an appropriate menu for such an occasion given that the boss’s wife is a vegan? I’ve never cooked a vegan meal before.

Yvonne G., Omaha, NE

Dear Yvonne,

I have an idea, why don’t you host non-dinner for your husband’s new boss? Why does everyone feel the need to be eating dinner every night? I mean, every night? Good grief, fatties, give it a rest! Invite your husband’s new boss (why does he have a new boss? Was he not good enough for his old job? Was it because he was spending too much time eating dinner and not enough working? Probably. In fact, nothing you say will convince me otherwise) into your home and offer him an empty plate of delicious nothingness. He’ll be so impressed with your commitment to not being a stupid fatty that he’ll give your husband a raise. Also, his wife will appreciate that no vegetables were harmed.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I found a $100 bill on the floor of the mailroom at my office. I posted a “found” notice but no one has claimed it. How long should I wait before claiming the bill as my own?

Billy P., Crested Butte, CO

Dear William (seriously, a grown man going by “Billy”? UNACCEPTABLE!),

First of all, what were you doing in the mailroom? Life can’t be all about walking and mailing stuff. Get out to the rest of your office before you turn into a postal moleman. Also, I think that $100 is yours to spend. On 1/8 of a boob hoodie from the Refinery. Life can be about driving around and buying boob hoodies. Trust me. I know these things. Because I’m not a postal-worker half-mole-half-man.

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I inherited an antique silver ice-cream scoop collection from my late, beloved grandmother. What is the best way to display them while also protecting them from the ravages of time?

Beverly M., Elk River, MN

Dear Beverly,

For God’s sake melt them down! You don’t want to get fat, do you?

–Crunchy

Dear Crunchy,

I own an African Gray Parrot. Can you recommend a way to teach it how to talk? I’d like to be able to impress friends with him when I hostess cocktail parties.

Oriel P., Sarasota, FL

Dear Oriel,

Are you not interesting enough to impress your friends with your own talking? Are you really so pathetic that you have to rely on a bird to make a good social impression? Remind me to never attend any of your cocktail parties.

–Crunchy

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As many of you already know (and as some of you witnessed in person), Drew “Staffy” Stafford and Ryan “Crunchy” Miller made a very special appearance last night with Ronan Tynan and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Now, we have an in with the BPO, in the person of Katebits, and over a month ago (November 26, to be exact), we exchanged a series of emails with her in which we anticipated what was bound to be the single greatest moment in BPO history. Here, Gentle Reader, is how we called it:

SCHNOOKIE: You’ll be happy to know, by the way, that we are being inundated by searches for Staffy and Crunchy and what instruments they play. It seems the entire hockey blogosphere is super-excited for the New Year’s Eve Gala and their mad musical skillz.

KATEBITS: I know! It’s so hilarious how people are clamoring for information about this concert! For some reason I’m envisioning Crunchy and Staffy playing various percussion instruments. Can’t you see Crunchy earnestly holding a triangle, waiting for his cue? And Staffy, looking impish and naughty poised over a bass drum?

SCHNOOKIE: Crunchy would so be the world’s most earnest and serious guest triangle player. He’s probably practicing as we speak, in his dank, windowless room. Staffy can’t wait to stomp that big drum.

POOKIE: Au contraire, Staffy can’t wait to stomp that harp.

KATEBITS: One of my weirdest on-stage daydreams has always been imagining myself standing up during a particularly boring/stifling slow concert and flipping over a marimba. Or even better, pushing the grand piano off the edge of the stage. I’ve never thought too much about the harp as a good target for concert-ending disruption. Staffy is so smart! Attacking a harp would be very dramamtic.

SCHNOOKIE: I will not be satisfied unless Staffy destroys all three instruments. First the grand piano over the edge of the stage, for maximum drama and racket. Then, in the stunned silence, the marimba. And, in the midst of the tinkling of the marimba pieces skittering across the stage, he’ll shout “Staffy stomp harp!” and then follow through. It’s going to be awesome. And once the cacophony of breaking instruments falls silent, and the audience is still in a stunned, motionless haze, Crunchy will very earnestly hit his cue and DING! his triangle.

Well, let it be stated for the record, we are not satisfied. None of these things happened. Staffy and Crunchy, you’ve let us down. Next time, gentlemen, we expect better.

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The Conference Finals are set: The Ottawa Senators and the Buffalo Sabres in the East, and the Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings in the West. You’ve probably read the predictions and projections published by the so-called “experts”, but those experts have got nothing on us; the following is our highly scientific Tale of the Tape, a system of analysis so reliable you can probably take our predictions to the bank. One caveat: We are actively cheering for the Sabres to win it all and cannot approach this objectively. But you, Gentle Readers, aren’t coming to us for objective analysis, are you? Didn’t think so. We watched almost every Sabres game this past season (any team that can topple the bronze statue of Bobby Clarke and put the final nail in that evil regime will win our hearts) and are very well acquainted with the strengths and weaknesses of the Slugs. We got to know Ottawa perhaps too well in that last series, but still probably can’t name more than 5 players on the team (we were too focused on trying to will Rafalski to stop icing the stupid puck). As for Anaheim, we watched a handful of games in the first two rounds, but really only enough to determine we don’t hate them as much as some other teams. Some other teams like the Detroit Red Wings. Whom we hate. With the passion of a thousand suns. But no more excuses! Let’s go to the tape, or rather, the first of our two-part Tale of the Tape series!
(more…)

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It is, I think, time to come clean to you, Gentle Reader, about where my affections lie. Of course my heart beats red-and-black, and the Devils always, always, always trump all. But there is one certain player, a lone representative of a different Eastern Conference team, who has bewitched me to the point where I lose all capacity for rational thought. That player? Is Ryan Miller. Reader, I feel such an unburdening to have just written those words. Because really, loving Ryan Miller when you’re not a Sabres fan by birth is a truly embarrassing thing to have to carry around with you. (more…)

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