Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ramblings of a Hockey Widow

Glen is off tonight/this morning playing what we know now will be his team's last game in this particular series. Despite a good effort, his team lost, which means that Glen should be getting to bed a lot earlier in the coming weeks.

Around midnight, I went to look out the bedroom window at our new bright yellow patio furniture. Even though I have the infantile tendency of viewing sleep as defeat, the bed and pillows and moderate night air and sounds of the crickets created an enticing respite from my manic need to read or glue things to other things or even write, so I stayed put. Note: I did not put my jammies on, as that would admit I was done for the night. But I started to doze, diagonally, in bed.

A half hour later, three incidents occurred simultaneously, that caused me to sit up, wide awake:
1) Lacey started walking around. As mentioned in previous posts, my good girl is coming up on 15, but still wants so much to do the right thing, but simply does not have as much warning and/or control when bladder or bowel says, "It's time." So when she gets up, we get her out right away, to keep all of us happy.
2) A group of knuckleheads in white t-shirts, and a pit bull gathered around our garage. They loitered, laughed and carried on, and ran the dog around in circles.
3) I could hear the hushed, and yet intensely enthusiastic voice of Richard "Mack" Machowicz, host of the Discovery Channel's Future Weapons coming from the other room.

These incidents flooded me with competing sensations:
1) There was the urgency to get Lacey outside before she dropped a deuce on the floor.
2) There was a feeling of anger and hesitation, thanks to the knuckleheads with the dog, because I did not feel comfortable taking my own dog out, and she desperately needed to go. As open-minded as I am, and given my feelings on sleep, I can say with conviction: a group of knuckleheads with a pit bull hanging out in front of someone else's garage after midnight is never a good thing.
3) There was a quick feeling of euphoria as "Mack" told me about Krakatoa, conspiratorily: "Named after the famous volcano, this REMARKABLE weapon propels a plate-like projectile against targets both underwater and on the ground. Krakatoa can penetrate 2 inches of steel at a distance of 100 yards."

I thought it was too bad I forgot about him when I geeked out last week and wrote about all of my favorite reality TV characters coming to Trenton to help make things right. Because, I mean, LOOK AT THIS GUY:

And how I longed for my very own Krakatoa. Or even just a statue of Mack to put out by the mailbox on the corner. This is a guy who loves his job and I think he'd send a clear message to all the knuckleheads with pit bulls who roam the streets of Trenton with impunity: your days are numbered, boys.

Alas, I do not have a Krakatoa, and it's just as well. I'd probably use it (but never underwater). But I wasn't going to let a bunch of losers make me feel trapped in my own home. So, I turned on the floodlights, and hoped for the best. And all was well: knuckleheads and dog stopped laughing and/or running in circles, and moved along. Lacey did her business, and we came back inside, rejuvenated, and ready to avoid bed for another few hours, while Glen and his teammates had their last tailgate party for at least a few weeks. Or less.

You may be wondering why I did not attend my husband's hockey game, and there are two reasons:
1) The hour at which he plays (after 11 pm).
2) The stench of the arena.

Save for that short spell last week where Lacey's mouth smelled of digesting Mighty Dog and bile, Glen's hockey bag is, hands down, the most nauseating-smelling thing I have ever encountered, largely because so much of the gear, all of which gets drenched in man sweat, is too bulky to wash conventionally. Admittedly, I would get ill, or else I'd check the labels to see if maybe these big, padded items could be cleaned professionally. Glen claims they cannot be cleaned professionally, and so Glen airs these goodies -- the girdle and shoulder pads and helmet and gloves -- on our front porch after his games. He was worried at first that maybe they'd get stolen, but don't worry. The smell wafts over the East Ward and issues a firm discouraging statement to all would-be hockey gear thieves: "Don't come near our house, you don't want what we have."

When we moved to Trenton, I did go to one of his reasonably-timed games at Ice-Land, but was dismayed to find that the entire place smelled like Glen's bag and gear. On one hand, I was relieved to know that the vile stench was not something of Glen's special creation, but rather, an unfortunate byproduct of the sport. On the other hand, I felt faint. To make matters worse, Ice-Land had some sort of fairly common staffing issue that particular evening, and I got roped into keeping time for the game. When I was first asked, I declined immediately, but about 20 bulky guys who seemed to be well over 7 feet tall on skates, circled me, and pleaded their case. I warned them that I had a hard time following that little puck, and numbers had a tendency to confound me. The refs promised me it would be okay. And, ultimately, it was, save for one occasion when the clock didn't stop when I pressed the button, and everyone on the ice became enraged. With me. But it wasn't my fault, and the clock was easily set back.

However, it took about a week for the stink of hockey to get out of my hair, and Glen's games have been later than ever, so I stay put now. But congratulations to the Kings for a fine season; best of luck to you in the future.

It is now well after 2 a.m. and I still cannot sleep. I saw the "Your Apology Here...avoid litigation...reasonable rates" house ad in this month's Downtowner, and now I am antsy because we are officially one day away from Dennis Gonzalez's deadline for Zachary Chester's apology. I cannot wait to see how this plays out...I have some thoughts, and none of them have anything to do with Gonzalez winning a settlement, or winning over the people of Trenton.


Glenn Paul said...

Love the big gun picture. I read about your blog in the Trenton Downtowner as I waited for my oil change at Lalor Street today. I'm looking for a local graphic artist for presentations and Internet sites, but I don't see any contact links to you. The article said you do freelance graphics.

Chrissy said...
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