CCC – Clay’s Canucks Commentary for May 16, 2011: Game 1 Observations & Showing Off Stanley

This CCC starts off with in-arena footage of the game winning goal scored by Henrik Sedin, lifiting the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks in game 1 of the Western Conference Final.

With the help of my son Sean and daughter Kayla, I offer up 5 quick observations of game 1 from being in attendance at the game. In particular, I look at the play of Henrik Sedin and the 3rd line.

For the second half of the CCC, I acknowledge that many of you viewers have noticed the miniature Stanley Cup making an appearance in all of my video blogs. I hope to continue this tradition until the Canucks win the real thing!

Music is “Hockey Night in Canada” recorded by Naturally 7 on their CD “VocalPlay.” (

Jake’s Big (Play) Date

We were enjoying a nice family night at home earlier this week when Jake asked us if he could have a play date with a friend on Saturday.  We told him yes and waited with anticipation to see who he would be inviting over.  So Jake grabbed the phone, dialed the 10 digits, and waited patiently for his turn to speak on the voice-mail system:

“Hi…Joelyn…this is Jacob from St. Paul’s School.  I was wondering if you are able to come over for a play date on Saturday.  Bring your mom.  Bye.”  Click.

Gail, Sean, Kayla and I burst out into laughter, though I’m pretty sure Kayla was just doing it to fit in.  Though a tad surprised, we weren’t overly shocked that Jake decided to invite a girl over.  After all, this is the same boy who once claimed to have over 20 girlfriends; the same boy who I made a quick video of called “Return of the Mack.”

We were more surprised that he mentioned the school (Joelyn is in his class), that he didn’t mention the time, and that he invited her mom!  We convinced Jake to call back and leave a second message with more details.

Wednesday after school I asked Jake if he talked to Joelyn to confirm that she got the message. Jake answered affirmatively and told me that Joelyn was excited to come over to play.  I told him “That’s nice” but refrained from adding that history has shown females to be happy to visit an Imoo-boy’s home.

On Saturday morning, Jake woke up well before 7am (much like he does on weekdays for school) while the rest of us scolded him for being up so early on a weekend (much like we do every weekend).

“I’m just so excited” he exclaimed, and for the next few hours Jake alternated between playing video games, watching TV, and tidying up the house.  As 1:00pm (the scheduled start time) approached, Jake changed into a bright red Pokemon shirt and sat on our stairs by the front door.

1:00pm became 1:01pm which became 1:02pm.  As Jake anxiously awaited Joelyn’s arrival, I said a quick prayer to myself hoping that Jake would not get stood-up for the first time in his short seven-year existence.  Thankfully, a car pulled up shortly afterwards.

For the next three hours, the three of them played both outside and inside, with the activities ranging from croquet to Wii.  I say three because Kayla hung out with them the entire time, not wanting to miss out on the fun.  It reminded me a little bit of 20 years ago when I would visit Gail and Gail’s mom would send Julie Ann down to hang out with us…just in case.  This was a little different though, as twenty years ago I was 16 years old and not 7.

After Joelyn left, I asked Jake how things went.

“It was a lot of fun” Jake replied.

“Oh good,” I stated, “I’m glad.  Maybe we can arrange another play date for the summer.”

“Actually, we talked,” Jake said, “and it’s my turn to go to HER house next Saturday.”

Be Careful What You Say

I’m rarely at a loss for words.

This serves me well when I’m doing some public speaking and generally in social gatherings.  On the flip side, I often end up with my foot in my mouth.

Earlier today, I met my friend Liz for lunch.  We hadn’t seen each other for over 6 months, so we excitedly tried to catch up over some yummy Japanese food.  We covered many topics in an hour, ranging from family to the Canucks to our good old UBC Commerce days.

At one point in the conversation, I asked Liz for her opinion on a rather serious topic and I was particularly interested to get her answer from her female perspective.  Unfortunately, it didn’t come out that way as I ended up saying something like “I really want a woman’s perspective AND I would really like yours as well.”


Then, just a few minutes later we got onto the topic of children and I was curious as to whether or not Liz and her husband were planning to have any more (they presently have 2 beautiful children).   In affirming how good of a mother I think she is, I also tried to comment on her having plenty of time to have more children (she is in her mid-30s).  But for some reason, I ended up saying “You could have more…I guess you’re still young enough.”


Thankfully, my dear friend Liz humoured me with a smile and we finished off our lunch without further incident.

But it got me thinking of my most (in)famous example of foot-in-mouth.  It was from 17 years ago as I was playing the game “Taboo” with 3 of my university friends.  The object of the game is to have your partner or team guess the “key word” from hints that you give them while avoiding the use of certain “taboo” words.

Things were going smoothly until one turn in which I was guessing my partner’s word.  As her clue, she said to me “This is what I am.”  Remember, she was referring to herself.

For some reason that even to this day I cannot comprehend, I blurted out with great conviction:  “FAT!”

Have you ever said something that you wanted to take back, even as you were still saying it?  Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I realized what I had just said.  In fact, I recall literally reaching out with my arms, trying to pull the invisible word back in.

Needless to say, the mood changed from jovial to tense.  As my friends jeered me and shook their heads, I could barely look at my partner as she exclaimed, “The word was BIZARRE.”


We resumed the game and on our very next turn I got the chance to redeem myself.  My partner’s tricky hint was “I (she) wouldn’t look good in this.”

If I was using any part of my brain whatsoever, I could have offered answers such as “a paper bag”, “a clown suit”, or “a dunce cap”.  But nooooooooooooooo…. I had to yell out “LINGERIE!”

Take how bad I felt after my “FAT” answer and multiply it by 1,000 or so.

One of my friends mercifully remarked “I don’t think we should play this game anymore” as she started to put the game away.  And in the under-statement of the year, she continued “This isn’t the best game for Clay.”

You think?

CCC – Clay’s Canucks Commentary for May 11, 2011: Right Here Waiting (for the Red Wings or Sharks)

A couple of days after the Vancouver Canucks eliminated Mr. Underwood and the Nashville Predators in the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs, they are still waiting to see who they’ll be facing in the Western Conference Finals.

History bodes well for the Canucks, as they have never lost in the Conference Finals (granted…they’ve only played in it twice in their 40-year history). But they’ve won both times!

In this CCC, I quickly reflect on how grateful I am that the Canucks aren’t playing on May 11 this year (they were eliminated from the NHL playoffs on May 11 in both 2009 and 2010) and I confidently state that it doesn’t matter who wins game 7 between the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks because the Canucks are right here waiting…for either of them.

I enlist the help of my friend Kevin Eng for my tribute to Richard Marx…enjoy!

Music is “Hockey Night in Canada” recorded by Naturally 7 on their CD “VocalPlay.” (