hockey, Hockey History

Hockey History: The Oakland Skates & My Hockey Card Holy Grail

Hockey History is a series I’ll do whenever I find something interesting to share with you. This is the first post!

Last week I learned about Roller Hockey International, a league that existed for a few years in the 1990s (thanks to Marek, who mentioned it on the MvsW podcast). You can tell it was the 90s because all the RHI team logos look like they were made by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth in Corel Draw. Any of these logos alone qualify as a jersey foul, and some of the names, too: Radz, Rage, and Voodoo, looking at you.

Source:, best site ever
Source:, best site ever

Some of these logos are confusing, like why is the cobra wearing a skate if he doesn’t have a foot? Is that a goal stick? Is the cobra a goalie? Wait, Arizona has cobras?! But I digress.

Do you see the Oakland Skates up there? When I first heard the name I pictured a green sweater with a white skate logo like the painted white skates the Oakland Seals wore, but I was wrong. It’s like the fish. They’re probably named for several types of skates that live in the San Francisco Bay with all the other frightening sea creatures. Or maybe the Oakland Skates are a band? Look at their first logo. We saw them open at Gilman that one time, right?

“Thank you guys for coming out tonight, this is the first track off our new record Roller Hockey”. (image source:

Continue reading “Hockey History: The Oakland Skates & My Hockey Card Holy Grail”


Playoff Nails

In 2009, I started getting acrylic manicures during NHL playoffs so I wouldn’t bite my nails. My logic was that if I paid $30 for them, I wouldn’t bite them. It totally worked! Six years later, I do them myself because they’re finally naturally long and strong enough. Seriously, it broke my nailbiting habit. Playoff hockey is so intense it can break deep psychological fixations or dependencies.

Now I do my nails myself. Last year I tried a different colour on each hand–one for the Sharks and one for the Canadiens–but the whole time I felt very off because my hands didn’t match. I will probably never try that again, so I’m grateful the Sharks didn’t make it. This year I wanted to go big and do the hardest thing within reach, which was to basically make tiny sweaters on my nails. Maybe next year I’ll add numbers.


Products used:
American Classics Gelish (base and top)
Essie “Blanc” (white)
Essie “Lacquered Up” (red)
Sinful Colors “Endless Blue” (blue)
Seche Vite Quick Dry Top Coat
Vinyl stickers as guides for lines

At a salon, a manicure is anywhere from $15 to $30 dollars. Nail art is usually about $5 per nail. I used regular pilish, but Gelish makes my manicures last several days without issue (and I highly suggest you grab some at Sally Beauty). This would probably cost me $70 if I went to a salon and had someone do this for me.

Wait… $70?! I should be a nail tech.


Red Army

Since 2011, I have seen four films in the theatre. I rarely go out to see movies since I have a very short attention span–that’s why I watch things like sports. So it’s pretty odd that I left my house (gasp!) while a hockey game was on (seriously, I’m okay) to go see a film called “Red Army“, and now I am here writing about it. I don’t even read movie reviews.

I'll do pretty much anything for hockey, like sacrifice an hour and a half of my time to sit in a comfy recliner and eat a vegan hot dog.
I’ll do pretty much anything for hockey, like sacrifice an hour and a half of my time to sit in a comfy recliner and eat a vegan hot dog.

I’ve known about this documentary for some time, and have been eagerly awaiting its release because it’s so incredibly rare that I get to see a film that indulges so many of my obsessions–history, hockey, and Russian/Soviet culture. But even if you don’t share my bias, “Red Army” still stands alone as a compelling and insightful story. If you like hockey, you just get a little more out of it.

The film follows five members of the Red Army hockey team, including captain Slava Fetisov, whose cheeky interviews with filmmaker Gabe Polsky are the exceptionally candid and interesting. On the ice these men are highly skilled, nearly mechanical in their play. The stories revealed by the men they spent all their time with—coaches, teammates, staff, as well as their families—tell of their personal and political struggles as athletes and patriots. The Red Army team was doing things no one in North America was doing at the time—all from the mind the incredible coach Anatoly Tarasov, who is shown demonstrating the proper on-ice somersault to his young pupils. Wives of players complained of only seeing her husband one weekend a month. Army-like indeed.

The film was well-shot, beautifully designed, and even used a song called «Трус не играет в хоккей», or “No Coward Plays Hockey”. Creepy children’s choirs were a thing in the Soviet Union, and while some find them creepy, I think they’re awesome. Several years ago I shared a this clip from a Soviet program on Facebook and several friends thought it was me. These shows are Eurovision meets 70s kitsch and Soviet patriotism—and totally ridiculous. I love this weird stuff, so of course I have to share this with you.

Watch «Трус не играет в хоккей» and follow along with the lyrics below, then check out a list of theatres playing the film here (SF and San Jose, it’s playing at Embarcadero and Camera 12, respectively). I’ll let you know when the next hockey movie comes out.

Трус не игрaет в хоккeй / No Coward Plays Hockey
Трус не игрaет в хоккeй / No Coward Plays Hockey

Lyrics courtesy of Wikipedia.