Posts Tagged 'crush'

MOFT: Episode 12 (T.J. Oshie)

Just a few weeks ago, I fell in love with singer Ingrid Michaelson while watching her perform an amazing concert.

After 35 years of living, I had my first celebrity crush.

Well apparently, celebrity crushes come in bunches because I already have another one … and this time, it’s for a man, baby.

I love you, T.J.

I love you, T.J.

That’s right – I now find myself totally jonesing for St. Louis Blues hockey player T.J. Oshie. And I’m not afraid to admit it. This is an enlightened society, right? A movie called ‘I Love You, Man’ is the nation’s number one comedy, after all.

Now I know by merely mentioning hockey, I probably just lost a lot of my regular readers, but if for no other reason than to see a man without any hint of irony or embarrassment express his intense affection for another man,  please stay with me a bit longer so I can explain what’s so amazing about this 22-year-old rookie from the University of North Dakota.

Oshie is without a doubt a very solid technical hockey player. He’s a speedy, agile skater who’s got mad stick skills which he uses often to make defenders look silly. For a player his age, he’s also got an amazing, almost uncanny ability to read the ice and know where to go with the puck. He plays strong on defense and is versatile enough to be used on both the Blues’ power play and penalty kill special team units.

But the real reason Oshie is so special – and why he has become My One Favorite Thing of the week – has nothing to do with his physical talents but is all about the way he plays the game, the size of the kid’s heart.

Oshie’s not a big dude, at least in terms of NHL players, coming in at an official (and from my eyes, generously measured) 6 feet 0 inches and 194 pounds. But he plays like an absolute lion, going 110% every shift, throwing his body around without any regard for his physical well-being.

Every game, Oshie skates with intensity, aggression, and most importantly, infectious joy, and his impact is having a dramatic effect on the entire team as the Blues are on one of the most exciting late-season runs in recent memory.

Dwelling at the bottom of the conference just a few weeks ago, the team is now battling hard to nail down one of the final playoff spots with two weeks left in the season. In January, I predicted that with a core bunch of talented young players (David Backes, David Perron, Andy Mcdonald, Patrick Berglund, Brad Boyes, Roman Polak, Eric Johnson to name a few),  the Blues would soon be a force to be reckoned with, winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup within five years.

But watching Oshie makes me think that timetable could be moved up considerably. Just look what Oshie has done for the Blues this week alone. Last Thursday night, after sitting out a morning practice skate with some sort of bug, Oshie scored two points with an assist and a highlight-reel goal (shown here) to help the Blues beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-2.

Then in a key back-to-back weekend series with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Oshie showed what a stud he truly is. On Saturday night, after serving a stint in the penalty box, Oshie returned to the action and laid a huge, clean hit on Blue Jackets star Rick Nash, causing a bit of an on-ice ruckus since marquee players don’t usually get hit like that.

The Blues ended up winning that game in an overtime shootout, and it was quite clear that the Blue Jackets wanted some vengeance during the next match, to be played in Columbus in less than 18 hours. But instead, Oshie just doubled down on his ultra-coolness by scoring the first goal of the Sunday game, adding an assist, and most awesomely, doing the following when Rick Nash tried to exact retaliation …

The Blues won Sunday’s game 5-2, moving for now into sole possession of the eighth and final playoff spot.

Yeah, so I now got me a man-crush for T.J. Oshie. That’s OK. I’m cool with it. And it”s not like I’m fawning all over Oshie’s long wavy locks of hair or his baby face and the way his cheeks get all red and pinch-able when he exerts himself.

OK, maybe I should stop now. But T.J., I love you, man. Truly…

MOFT: Episode 10 (Ingrid Michaelson)

I finally have a celebrity crush!

For the first time in 35 years, there is finally a woman out there whose posters I want to plaster all over my bedroom walls, whose biographical trivia I want to accumulate like so many rare golden nuggets, whose live and TV appearances I want to schedule my life around (while still respecting all applicable stalker laws, of course).

The object of my intense affection and the clear winner of this week’s My One Favorite Thing award is singer Ingrid Michaelson.

Before last Thursday, all I knew of Ms. Michaelson is she sang this simple, catchy love song called “The Way I Am” that my girlfriend dedicated to me on Facebook (That song, featured in an Old Navy ad, propelled Michaelson to the significant indie-type of stardom she now enjoys. My girlfriend dedicated it to me mostly because it contains the line “I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all of your hair,” which, alas, has some, uh, personal relevancy).

I didn’t have much in the way of expectations when my girlfriend told me she bought us tickets to go see Michaelson live at New York’s City Winery (which for all you locals is a fairly new, awesome music venue worth checking out – cavernous yet still somehow cozy, with great acoustics, and good, reasonably priced food and wine to boot).

I certainly didn’t expect Ingrid Michaelson would give one of the most entertaining, enchanting performances I have ever witnessed, and that she would make me all giddy with girl-crush tingliness.

Now I knew from listening to a few of her songs that Michaelson had strong pipes, but she’s no mere studio voice. On stage, her sound reached soaring heights with very little effort, showing at least as much range and power and clarity as on her albums. Plus, she also knew how to use the occasional, well-placed ‘crack’ in her voice to display an endearing vulnerability and fragility in songs that were inevitably about the getting and/or losing of love.

Though it played a clear second fiddle to the star singer, Michaelson’s band was pretty tight as well, benefiting from their long-time collaboration. And the backup vocals – performed by the three guitarists and a key factor in many songs – meshed beautifully with Michaelson’s voice. Her music overall generally rocked a teensy bit harder than some of the other female songwriters who I would put in a similar category, like Feist or Regina Spektor.

But it wasn’t the technical performance of the concert that won me over. The star of the show was clearly Michaelson’s silly, playful, self-deprecating, lovable personality … which came as a complete surprise to me. I don’t know if it was because of her name or her voice, but I expected Ingrid to be this tall, stunning, rail-thin, aloof performer, yet she was actually a bit on the short side, full of curves, mad funny and totally engaging.

Dressed in a stylish yet comfy-looking hipster outfit – tight dark pants, brown leather boots, sleeveless black shirt, colorful scarf and a cute, bowler-like hat –  she reminded me of the sexy best friend you totally dig hanging out with and then all of a sudden somewhere along the way, you realize you’ve fallen in love.

Despite her talent, she seems rather humble and doesn’t take herself or her work too seriously, joking during the concert that she composes all her songs in the ‘C’ chord because it’s the simplest and turning the lyrics of another song into a catchy paean for the Lost TV show.

(I wondered at times if her humility and self-doubt were a bit of an act – she seemed way too engaging of a performer for it to be totally legit – but then there were moments, like when she came back for her encore and spent several minutes trying to remember how to play a tune on the piano, where she truly seemed about ready to lose it).

Michaelson loves interacting with the audience, and its one of her biggest strengths as a performer. Early in the show, she obliged one fellow who wanted to propose to his girlfriend by popping the question for him and then dedicated a beautiful, yet also sweetly realistic song of hers called ‘Giving Up’ to the happy couple. “Thanks for reminding me I’m alone,” she joked. (Oh, but you so don’t have to be, Ingrid!)

At another point, she chided the audience for not being more enthusiastic about joining in on the chorus Ingrid and Deadman ... Can you feel the love?to her song ‘The Hat’. She created this hilarious little story/metaphor – seemingly on the spot – about taking us on a date and comparing our vocal performance to a lame first kiss:

“I take you in my car. I take you home and I reach in, I lean in for a kiss. And what you just gave me was like a dry, half-mouthed, Aunt Mabel kiss. And I bought you like seven dirty martinis so I think I could get a little bit more. So I’m going to try once again, and at least let me get a full lip situation, if not a little over the blouse action.”

When the audience subsequently obliged with a more full-throated response, she screamed “You’re a slut” into the microphone before finishing the song.

I fear I’m not doing a good enough job explaining her rockingness, so I just encourage everyone to catch her act when she’s in town and see for herself. You won’t regret it.

The only thing I regret is how stupid and flustered I got after summoning up enough courage to approach her after the show to get her picture. I don’t remember what I said, but I’m pretty sure it was incoherent. My girlfriend tried to help me out by telling Ingrid that I had immediately placed her in my Top 5, and thus was free to fool around with her, but I think that scared her even more!

Oh well, I’ll do better next time ;-)


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