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Capitals Disappointing Last Two Losses, NBC Game of the Week and My Song-Filled Adventure and 36th

March 10, 2008

Hello out there! Warm greetings from the Great Hockey Void. I’ll start out with Washington Capitals hockey. Today (Sunday) the Pens are down in DC to take on the Caps for NBC’s Game of the Week at 12:30. I won’t be going to the game, but I am pretty sure my seat will get used. Today is also my 36th birthday. I’m okay with watching the game from home. I’m NOT okay with the the last 7 minutes or so of the Capitals game against the Bruins yesterday afternoon.

Washington had a one point lead for most of the game. Then came Brashear. He managed to get a triple minor, which I don’t believe I’ve seen before myself. Then came Erskine, who got two, 2 minute minors, right in a row while Brash was still sitting for his triple penalties. AND then Potis gets a penaltly in the midst of all of that. Boston had no problem taking advantage of the Power Plays and put 2 in the net during the last five minutes of the game and went home with a win of 2-1 over the Capitals. I have only read a few things here and there as to what NHL coaches do when that sort of thing happens to their team. As a fan, I felt like Brashear, Erskine and Poti should all stand in a different corner and face the wall or something. I know I said some very bad words as well, that I hope those guys heard from someone.

It was a bad game because of the last five minutes. Those type of things cost teams big at this point in the season. Let’s hope that lessons are learned from that mess. Let’s also hope that the Caps got plenty of rest and are ready to play Pittsburgh today (Sunday). It should be a pretty close game if both teams bring what they have. GO CAPS!!

Washington beat the snot out of Boston last week. I think the score was 10-2 and the first 6 goals were scored within the 1st period. All four goalies played as well. Both teams switched goalies. Boston switched twice. It was a fun game of Musical Goalies for me. Thomas, then Auld, then Thomas, Then Kolzig after Huet started, then maybe Auld again – I think I lost track. No matter – for a goalie fan – that game kicked ass in so many ways!! Goalies ROCK!

The Buffalo Sabres also fell to the Caps this week. I got the feeling Ryan Miller was the least happy about the loss. I also think that the Kolzig-haters Club should consider calming down a bit. I really want to know what is so god-awful bad about this guy’s play that some people just really want him gone.  I just don’t see it as “bad”. Besides, now the team has three goalies. He’s got a big reason to perform and he’s been asset to the team for a very long team. It’s never a bad thing for all the goalies to be rested and if one goes down, as Huet did in the “Boston Masacre” as some have coined it. It’s a fairly umcomplicated decision to dress Johnson for the next game. Then it’s just a matter of deciding who starts and Kolzig was chosen. Kolzig isn’t totally blowing it, a la “Gerber-style”. It’s hard for me to see what all the fuss is about. We’ll see how things turn out.

Today (Monday) I am sad to say that the Caps lost to the Pens in a 2-4 defeat. I’m sure that I am joined by thousands of other Washington fans in feeling anxious and frustrated. Personally, I think I can deal if the guys don’t make the playoffs, but that’s been the goal and so much has been done to try to reach that goal, it would be sad to see all that hard work go for naught this season. Actually, in an ironic twist, I haven’t even seen most of the Pens-Caps game yet. I’m sure I will watch the entire game today, but even just earlier this week I was focused on making sure I got to DC to see the game at the Verizon Center.

There are all too many reasons to explain the outcome of my week. I can admit that the Bruins game the day before really pissed me off as a fan. It’s so hard to swallow a loss like that when the game was ours and we blew it in very bad and stupid fashion in the last five minutes of the game. Brash just had to get that extra punch in and Poti and Erskine couldn’t keep a sharp and focused approach to Brashears triple-minor (who does that?). A day later, I still think those three should stand and stare at the wall and listen to people give them some shit. Playoff games don’t work that way and that break-down of events should never happen in any hockey game. I see questionable calls all the time, but the officials didn’t dig that hole – Brash!!!!!

As mentioned in a previous post, I did indeed get to the ESPNZone in dowtown DC and try to win the opportunity to sing the National Anthem at yesterday’s Caps-Pens game in DC. Yesterday was also my birthday, so it really would have a great time if it had turned out that way. I am feeling just fine about the fact that I didn’t win anything and I haven’t even seen the entire game yet. Yesterday was one of the most worry free days I’ve had in a long time and that is a fantastic birthday event all in itself. I’ll see the game soon. I can sing the American National Anthem (Canadian now as well) any time I want. Besides, by the time I got to the ESPNZone last Tuesday, I’d pretty much already self-defeated. I had a companion who made sure that happened. It’s a preparation thing with me, I guess.

There are many people who can probably relate to the notion that certain things should happen in order to be “on your game”, so to speak. When I prepare to sing in public, there are certain things I do that no one else needs to understand. I sing things off-key on purpose before I perform. I sing certain songs over and over and over again to get all the pipes vibrating and clear. I prepare a very personal way and when someone who does not quite understand that starts trying to push last minute changes, ideas and notes into my head for no particuraly good reason, I second guess the automatic nature of my singing (apparently). After that happened, I decided to just have a good time listening to everyone sing, have a couple of White Russians, to coat the throat of course, and sing whatever the heck I felt like when I got up to sing. Even that got a tad messed-up by the “help” of my companion, but I didn’t care. I like singing. Plus, I let it happen, so I can’t blame everything on Leif.

I think as I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that it’s easier on the mind if I just accept change quickly and try not hold onto to “what ifs”. It still happens, but the awareness is there and I work at it often. A good example of that at work was my trip to DC to sing. Before I even walked through the door, I knew I wasn’t going to sing “O Canada”; the song I had originally chosen as my “first round song”. After the first White Russian, and some coffee, I decided that I was going to sing part of an REM song from the “Green” album. After the second White Russion, I decided I was going to sing a part from a popular Queen song. I hadn’t changed to a different song by the time I was called-up to sing, so that’s what I sang. I like singing and I knew I wasn’t really competing at that point, so it was fun.

I believe that I know the Caps fan who runs around wearing a red cape or cloak at the games. He was at the Anthem Idol “contest” and I passed him on the way to the bathroom, getting a very good look at his face. I really think his name is Trevor. I didn’t hear what he said when he got up to sing, because I sat at the bar, apart from most of the “singing” crowd. I am sure I now him, and I’m pretty sure his name is Trevor, but I am not sure if I know him from high school, college or elsewhere. I think, however, that he’s from Harford County, MD. Ya know – the Great Hockey Void, where I live at the moment. While I will have to concede that I was glad to see another Caps fan representing the GHV, it seems that I was a bit taken aback by the whole “red cloak” thing. If the two of us were a representative sample of Harford County hockey fans – YIKES!! The “wierd” factor would be major! Oh well, HOCKEY ROCKS! Go Trevor (I think?)!

Once the crowd started to clear, it was down to the game room we went. Now that’s where my night got even better. I could play “Daytona” all day long. I like the car games!! First, though, I had some fun with the air hockey, but ended up losing by a point. Most of my evening was spent racing random people on Daytona. I only won a few times, but that didn’t really start to matter until all four cars were racing for a good long while. Once we all got into the groove, I was so determine to come in 1st, the sweat started. It became a tight race, but I came in last after getting my car slammed into a wall on the last lap. I had no time to recover. I have to thank a guy named “Matt”, a Virginia Tech fan and lover of beer and his friends for the races!!

It was pouring rain when we got back to the car. My car leaks water in a few places and the front windows don’t go up and down properly. There were some obstacles I didn’t want to deal with, so I took a wrong turn and Leif was absolutely sure we were lost in a vast puzzle of streets with no escape, so he freaked-out and life got more and more As is always the case, I did get us out of DC and on the way back to my house. A variety of events transpired and without any notice, I realized it was 6am. I did “hit the wall” aroud 8am and the entire next day turned out to be a “recovery” day. And all I really wanted to do was sing a song.

The very first person who sang should have won, as far as Leif and I were concerned. I knew right at the 1st contestant that I could relax, because he was sure to win. Even after 44 or so contestants, I was still sure that #1 would win. He didn’t even make it to the top 10. I made sure to go over and tell him he was great and never stop singing. I have great confidence in my voice, but some people just have a voice and character for a song like the American National Anthem and I think #1 had in spades. There was no way I could compete with that. He should sing all the time. I know when I’m beat. Besides, there are certain aspects of my vocal performances that #1 doesn’t have an answer for. The young lady who did win did a great job, but she’s no #1!!! Oh well, I didn’t fuck it all up and I had some fun, so go Anthem Idol contestants!

If only I had an “in” with the sort of people who could “loan” me a couple of guys named something like “Vinnie” or “Uri the Crusher” to pay a visit to the business that is responsible for holding the money for the sale of my home for this long. The acuality of the situation is that the lending bank is going to keep the money for as long as it legally can. It makes sense to do that from the lender’s perspective, but at the cost of people who need to move and who liquidated their home to fund a non-profit. Somehow I feel hallow and sad to know that I join the millions of others whose money makes money for others and no one even gives a shit about the affect that has on the other parties involved. It should be every businesses responsibility to have every single employee read the closest dictionary’s definitions of “Customer” and “Service”. That’s what I think anyway. I’m a pain in the ass, so I WILL get my money. It doesn’t have to be this hard – does it?

Eventually, I will be moved and living somewhere. From there I hope to get a better handle on how to get money coming in and working on getting a job, while still working at getting myself feeling much, much better. I may not know what it is, specificly that I am recovering from; I just know I’m recovering from something. It would be nice to be done with all the tests and questions. It would be good to know what the heck is going on and move from there. Until then, life goes on in time, with or without you. I do what I can to keep up. This week will most likely consist of making appointments to get more tests, some involving a hopital stay. This stuff gets “old” quickly.

While driving Brandon to the closest Metro station, he and I had a conversation about foul language. My language can be quite “colorful” at times. I’m sure I have offended certain types of people with my “dirty” mouth. I grew up with really angry people who talked dirty in several different languages. My dad used to tell me that I had a “mouth that would make a sailor blush”. Well, if ya hang around a bunch of sailors – sooner or later it becomes second nature. I try to keep my mouth in check more often than not, but if an opportune time appears, like Saturday’s Capitals game against the Bruins; I can say some nasty, bad words – very loudly. It happens.

Brandon started making a list of bad words that he likes to use. He came up with some good combinations that I hadn’t heard before. It was impressive. For me, I came down to “Balls!” I think it’s one of my most used single word expression. It isn’t a “bad” word necessarily. There are soccer balls and even those little rubber bouncy balls purchased from a quarter taking dispencer in the front of many stores. Now, I do actually go the gutter and mean “balls” as in testicles, but who needs to know that? I can apologize for my very foul mouth all day long, but it’s always there anyway. Brandon said that he won’t say certain words that I will say, but he will say at least one thing that I know will never, ever come out of my mouth. It was an interesting conversation. They Rock Too!

I think I’ll hang it up for now and go see if it’s really true that Fortunato Brother’s are really hooked up with the mob! Music goes great with breakfast cereal. Add a large helping of ice hockey. It’s important to start your day with a good breakfast. Here’s to smooth transactions – peace – mia


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