Michael Murray currently lives and works in Toronto. He has an extensive wardrobe and is a dominant and intimidating presence on the Bocce Ball field. He won the New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest and dislikes Cuba. He works as a creative writer, copywriter, blogger and “journalist” and as he is modest, he feels awkward talking about his genius, which he recently found out does not translate into IQ tests. His work has appeared in the Toronto Standard, Slant Magazine, the Ottawa Citizen and Pajiba.com.
Last week, my wife and I received a staggering Visa bill. Actually, make that another staggering Visa bill, one that was more nauseating than sobering, really, but sobering all the same. We visited with a financial advisor after this particular kick to the throat, who told us we needed to cut back on expenses. One of the “tools” we could use to help achieve this goal, she told us, was to keep an open journal, addressed to one another, in which all financial decisions were documented, thus opening up a “conversation” about what we really did and didn’t need to be buying. This was my journal.
I took Y2K seriously.
That’s the sort of person I am. I’m a preparer. It’s my nature. In fact, I was so widely known for this quality that in high school I was known as Preparation H. It’s a true fact, that. And so as the idea of Hurricane Sandy was bearing down on the East Coast last week, I took steps to make sure that I was completely prepared. Many people thought I was an overreacting alarmist, but if I could take the teasing in high school, I could certainly take it now.
The NHL lockout has had a powerful and unexpected effect across the land. People are playing Angry Birds again and searching for long-lost high school crushes online. Those who aren’t even watching the US Presidential debates are Tweeting about it as if it was an argument over who the toughest guy in the NHL was. Wasted energy knows no extinction, and the energy we would waste on hockey, we waste on something else. (Season 1 of Girls now under the belt!)
Obviously, the lockout’s impact stretches beyond just the fans and the bars in which they live, but on the players, too. Hoping to stay in shape and earn a paycheck, many are heading off to play in the European leagues, particularly the enforcers, who have a small window of opportunity to make money in their career and face legal difficulties keeping in shape by beating up bouncers in strip clubs back in their home towns. And so, with an influx of privileged, athletic men washing over Europe, romance, not unlike in wartime, has blossomed and what follows are love letters written by NHL enforcers playing in Europe to their new mistresses.