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6/29/11- This NHL Fan’s Off-season Gets Musical and Hopeful Thanks to Twitter, a Dog and Patricia Pratt’s Warrior Son

June 29, 2011


How’s it going out there? The time has come for SFTC to start getting all twelve or so of you readers accustomed to some changes. Most of you regular readers are already aware that Sara and I are slowly working to combine this hockey blog with my other blog, Mia’s Musical Musings. There are numerous reasons I feel this is the right thing to do, but for clarification if you’re at all interested, you can read the post on my other blog. I am completely aware that the best way to have both blogs on one site is to have a web site that will give me the necessary freedom to give my two loves, music and hockey, equal attention while keeping them on different pages so the hockey lovers can get mostly hockey and the music lovers can get mostly music.

My actual devious, Stewie Griffin-like, master plan to control the Universe is to get you all combining the hockey with the music and the music with the hockey like a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup (my most favorite and yummiest analogy). Dastardly plans take time and patience, so mwahahahaha, I am gradually lulling you into it. 🙂 I am also so poor that most of my clothes don’t fit and even a $20 hair cut in a mall seems like an expensive, luxurious spa day to me. Should I even have the funds to buy space, I do not have it in me to mess with the actual HTML/XML and other fun design specifics. For now, SFTC on will have to be the reality. This may cause Singing From the Crease to become awkward. Anyone who reads this and may have ideas or suggestions to make it less awkward are very welcome to contact me at I will be thrilled to get some input.

Archives from previous incarnations of my former musical-goalie-hockey love from 2001-2005 are soon to be posted as well. Sara did a great job of editing all of my “Mia” errors, but I have to re-read them all to be sure the context remained the same and I’m trying very hard to remove the blatant foul language I’ve typed. I do care that kids can get access to the internet and believe that typing “The Washington Capitals still have not won a “F’ing” Stanley Cup” doesn’t take away from my self-expression. If you spot the “potty-type”, please don’t hesitate to point it out to me.

Speaking of the Washington Capitals, I am also slowly getting my fellow Red Rockin’ fans of the Caps Nation used to the fact that next NHL season, I may sometimes also be wearing BLUE. By “blue” I mean my new-style Tampa Bay Lightning Martin St. Louis t-shirt. I must very clearly remind all my passionate Capitals fan-friends that I LOVE the Capitals and I have been a committed, dedicated fan since I was a young kid. That’s more than 30 years of full-on fandom. I BELIEVE THE WASHINGTON CAPITALS WILL WIN THE STANLEY CUP. I am not jumping off the CAPS “bandwagon” DC hockey fans. I am not jumping on the Bolts “bandwagon” Lightning fans. I have been on the NHL BANDWAGON FOR AS LONG AS I REMEMBER BEING ALIVE. I love hockey. It’s just that simple.

I truly hope that the Bolts Nation will accept my pixels about the Lightning as a positive. I have found a page on that has a list of all the Tampa Bay blogs and sites, so in time, I will have them all linked here. I also truly hope that my CAPS blog friends will continue to keep me linked on their great blogs as well. I will root for both teams. When they play each other, I WILL BE WEARING BLUE. Now Washington hockey-lovers, don’t hate me for that. I will still be watching  , the defensive Bromance known as “Karlzner” and all the other great players wearing red. Tampa Bay Lightning fans, please be understanding of me if I wear my Capitals Jersey with the #37 on it (You hockey-lovers in and around Tampa Bay are also familiar with Olie Kolzig who wore #37) and the word “BELIEVE” stitched on it if it comes to pass that the Bolts face-off against the CAPS in a playoff series. I love hockey so much that I want as many little kids to have the resources to get on ice and play. That requires a strong hockey culture and from that, ice rinks and equipment and so on. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a better foundation in that regard because Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup in 2004. Your geographic region has a bit of a leg-up in my mind. I know, it’s very, very hard to see and I’ll take your best shot if you think I’m a complete delusional nut-case. The BOLTS and the CAPS can never compete against each other in a Stanley Cup Final series, so ONE of these TWO GREAT will have this hockey-loving, passionate, fan riding the support train all the way to the CUP when either gets to the finals.

Seriously, for those who read this who just plain love hockey, it’s hard not to appreciate these two Southeast Division teams. Despite what many Capital’s fans feel was a bad year for Alexander Ovechkin, he’s still Ovie and he’s a great player. Who on Earth who is still breathing CAN’T appreciate Martin St. Louis? The CAPS Nation is going strong and I’m proud as can be to see that “LOUDER THAN MSG” sea of red after years of the opposite. I’m also proud of Tampa Bay for being one of two teams in the Southeast which has won the Stanley Cup in its relatively short existence and in doing so is a part of why people call our division the “SouthBeast” nowadays (I know “Caniacs”, your hockey-love and Stanley Cup is also partly responsible too). Our division was often referred to as the “weakest” division in the NHL. Tampa Bay has survived and can thrive in a place that many doubters and purists feel is NOT worthy or fit for hockey. I’d say the Tampa Bay Lightning and I disagree with that sentiment with vengeance, wouldn’t you? HOCKEY IS FOR EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE AND IF YOU LOVE THE SPORT, YOU SHOULD WANT TO SHARE IT AND GROW IT SO THAT EVERY KID, EVERYWHERE HAS THE CHANCE TO BE EXPOSED TO IT AND LOVE IT! I’ve got a bunch of posts waiting in the wings that will further address my very unfiltered thoughts on this subject, but they will be posted as I am able to find time.

So why did I make you read all that before I got to main point indicated in the title? It’s all apart of my evil-genius plan to get the hockey and the music together as one. Hopefully, I will last long enough to give you proof. Right now, I’ll move on to the reason I am thanking a dog. Given the circumstances of my life, (I don’t like sending you to the “Get to Know Mia” page to catch-up if you aren’t already familiar, but it’s been a long, complicated, full and interesting 39 years) I can only do so much and be as “social” and “interactive” as my personal “Miaverse” will allow. Hence, I did not get a Twitter account until a few months ago. I love to tweet and am glad I have the ability to do so right now. It seems, my tweets and/or my blog may have drawn attention to my “Miaverse” as described in one or both of my blogs.

I have been contacted by several nice people who have been kind enough to e-mail nice thoughts and encouraging words. I have also been contacted by someone from @MandisHeroes and from that contact, something I believe to be truly fun and wonderful could be on the verge of creating some “trash talk” (which to hockey fans can also be called “chirping”) to do good things in the world. Hopefully, you’ll get more specifics sometime very soon. If you are not familiar with the story of Mandi Schwartz and her great, hockey-loving spirit, you can find out all about it here at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. I also received another e-mail recently. It was a bit odd, but I entertained the request for my mailing address. First, however, I googled the e-mail address. Interestingly, I found that the e-mail address was associated with at least one Twitter account. The account was @SweeneysTweeter and it is the Twitter account of a very fluffy, white dog who needs glasses named Sweeney Groban. I wonder if Sweeney is far or near-sighted? Hmmm. Anyway,  before I read anything else, the last name stuck-out to me and I immediately thought of the man who sings with pipes of beauty, Josh Groban. I read a bit more, but had very little energy that day, so couldn’t spend a lot of time investigating. I was unsure why a dog (and logic dictates a human is also involved) would want to send me a card, because this dog somehow discovered that I’ve had a tough time lately. I did supply my mailing address (and to Sara’s credit she was also contacted, but did not give out my personal address, so I give her a “Head-butt of Goalie Mask” for doing the right thing for me).

Here’s why I didn’t really wonder how a dog or anything related to Josh Groban, such as a dog who shares the same last name, e-mailed me to get my mailing address. In the last month or so, I’ve found and read my earlier blogs’ archives so they can be put here, under one “roof”, so to speak. I had just, and by “just” I mean about 30 minutes before I read the e-mail from Sweeney, read a blog post from 2001 where I raved liked a maniac about the singing of Josh Groban. That archive year is not yet available here, but it will be this summer. In my world, “coincidences” like this are not exactly uncommon, so I just, well, went with the flow and supplied my mailing address to Sweeney without obsessing about why a dog knows of me or would like to send me a card to cheer me up. Truthfully, I was just happy that when I googled the e-mail address, I was then alerted to the fact that Josh Groban had a Twitter account and I then became a “follower”. That made me happy.

Due to the nature of my life as of the last few years, I was two Josh Groban albums behind (there is just sooooo much music in the Universe and I may have trouble keeping up with it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way), so I was thinking maybe the Universe was reminding me I need to catch-up on some music. Truthfully, the reminder that stemmed from an e-mail sent by a dog was all the boost I really needed, because if you have heard Josh sing and seen a live show, you know exactly why I would be happy the Universe let me know I can follow him on Twitter and had two albums to enjoy (I’m only one behind now and so far, my favorite from Illuminations is “Hidden Away”). I had thought after I replied to Sweeney that the fact I had reviewed a blog post from 2001 containing nothing but me pimping the pipes of Josh Groban like a Sugar-daddy running 12 city blocks and the “out of the blue” e-mail from a dog named Sweeney Groban was not really “coincidence”, but a Universal vibe telling me I shouldn’t neglect the musical part of the “Miaverse.”

On Monday, I got a USPS envelope from @SweeneysTweeter in the mail and inside that envelope was a blue envelope with my name written on it. Inside that envelope was a card letting me know I’m awesome. Inside that card was a folded sheet of paper that revealed to me upon unfolding it that Sweeney’s birthday is on July 2nd. To celebrate, Sweeney has decided to do six acts of kindness. It seems I somehow got on the list of six. There was some cash and a CVS gift card inside the card signed by Sweeney as well. I really don’t know how I made it on Sweeney’s list, but I’m obviously quite humbled by this random help and outreach by a dog (and the human who helped Sweeney seal the envelope 🙂 ).

As I stated in my sincere “thanks for being such a cool dog and letting me share your birthday happiness with you Sweeney” e-mail, I believe and practice the “Pay it forward” mentality, so when I get the guitar properly tuned that was given to me in not-so-great shape and have sporadically worked to fix so I can finally get a playable guitar back in my life, I will give that guitar to a blind child who is friends with Taylor who I have been teaching to ice skate. Taylor is also blind, but he can skate and he brings me a lot of happiness. Even though as some of my “Twitter-buddies” now know, he can be as typical as any sighted kid by pouting and being obstinate about how “uncool” he feels having to wear a lid (or helmet). I don’t care if one can see or not, any person who goes on ice and is still learning, must wear a lid as far as I’m concerned. I’ve hit my head on the ice without protection and that, my friends, is “uncool”. One of his (Taylor’s) friends from school has been taking guitar lessons before school from a musical-type who has some free time, but Taylor’s friend has had to borrow her practice guitar. There is only one extra guitar and there are two students who get lessons, one before and one after school. That guitar is a pile of poo and she (the young lady who ‘s about to get her own guitar – I will not use her name because I have not asked permission) practices with a full-size guitar, but can only practice when she is at school. The other student can only use that guitar at school as well. They are forced to share that way. Now, she (Taylor’s friend) will have her own to practice and play whenever she wants. It won’t sound like screeching cats and will keep tune far better. The other student is now able to use the practice guitar all the time and will be allowed to take it home to practice. Two kids, one guitar = BOOO. Two kids, two guitars = balance and kids playing guitar – now that’s AWESOME!

I dug a “First Act” beginner, half-size guitar, out of a pile of stuff at a Goodwill store a few weeks ago and got it for five bucks. When my camera battery charges, I’ll be able to share a photo of this little treasure. This will now become my guitar for now. I’m okay with that, because I have had years to play some nice guitars, unlike the girl who will get the restored Seagull acoustic I give her. I’ve even found an old hard-case for it on Craigslist that was sold to me for three bucks, so the Seagull will be properly protected. My “new” guitar will cause all of you to be envious beyond all belief. When you see it, you will all want to find out how you too can get you some rockin’ plastic silver wings as your pick guard too! You’ll see!

I still have to explore Sweeney’s World a bit more and I am not at all sure what Sweeney’s up to, but I’ll find out. Until then, I did need a card that reminds me I’m awesome, because it’s just nice to be reminded of that every once in a while. I also need cash to keep me fed and can fill my next 90-day prescription that’s a bit overdue for a medication I cannot function without. I can get staple things every person needs from CVS, so I did need all of those things and I am in awe of the fact that I was a recipient of an act of kindness. I like to think of myself as “Hockey Tough”, but even I need help sometimes (in more recent years, it seems I need a lot of help, but you did not read that here, because I am “Hockey Tough” after all – I’m also very silly sometimes 🙂 ).

Now I can get to Patricia Pratt and her son Danny Pratt who until very recently was under the Twitter account @DannyPratt23. His account has been suspended, because he has been a true champion in every sense of the word by tweeting requests to as many people as he can to get help and raise funds to help his mom Patricia who is a Cancer Fighter. They need as much help and support as they can get, so please click here to learn about the Warrior Danny and his mom the Battler. It IS NOT JUST THE CANCER AND ASSOCIATED MEDICAL BILLS THAT MAKE THE FIGHT SO HARD. There are everyday expenses and needs for this family. I “met” Danny on Twitter, where his NEW account is @DanPratt23 and I read about his mom on the fundraising page he created on, which is an awesome site to help those who need support to raise funds for things like the Pratt Family Cancer Battle. It struck me that I should retweet Danny’s site and plea for help raising funds for many reasons. The main reason I feel it my duty as a human to help Danny get the word out and give him an encouraging “tweet” as much as I am able, is because I would hope that if my twin boys were still alive, they would be the kind of young men who do what Danny Pratt is doing to help his mother. He’s a good son and I feel for him, so I want to help him. I want him to know that people care. I understand that he is up against some misery, worry, anguish and all sorts of things many people could never even imagine. I have felt alone for a long time and that is one of the hardest things to combat when the life and family you know and love is facing a horrendous crisis. In my case, that crisis continued for years after there was no more family, and life has often been a second by second hell. He deserves my attention and I need not in anyway be thanked for it, nor do I think if I can help him in any small way at all I should be considered as doing anything out of the ordinary. IT SHOULD BE ORDINARY TO HELP YOUR FELLOW HUMAN. Thanks to Twitter, a dog, and a human who must logically be associated with the dog, I not only got a reminder that I need to catch-up on some music, but that it seems I am not as alone as I have been feeling for a very long time.

Anyone who has read this far, please take just a moment to read about the Patricia Pratt and if you can spare any amount of money please help the Pratt Family fight, because they are humans just like you and me. Danny is a SUPER HERO and even a Super Hero needs help every once in a while. Please also take just a brief moment to save the link and if you have a Twitter account, blog, e-mail, or voice (Patricia has lost her natural voice), sharing this link can be your random act of kindness for the day. I do believe that anything is possible and I’m one grateful hockey-loving, musical human no matter how long I may live or how utterly craptastic any particular day, week, month or year may be. It makes no difference if I personally know Danny Pratt, he should never feel alone and he should always know he can get through it no matter how the minutes of life in efforts to save his mom may seem dark and hopeless at any given time.


If you believe that the hockey-love, the music-love, the acts of kindness and the sharing of hope in different ways described in this post are not relative to each other and should be posted under separate categories with different titles, perhaps you stopped reading long before now. I have plenty of hockey-love to support TWO NHL teams for an entire season. I know what I want to share, so I do, and it’s simple:  LOVE. EVERYTHING IS RELATIVE TO LOVE.

Also thanks to Sweeney Groban, Sara’s parents, who had tried to figure out how they could help me and show me appreciation for being supportive of Sara’s facial reconstruction surgeries and her recovery(which have all gone well and before Sara knows it, she’ll be cuter than the button she was before the damage happened), helped me get a ticket to see Guster at Pier 6 Concert Pavillion on August 7th. (I couldn’t get transportation the last time they were in Baltimore, so I sadly missed out. But now I can see them at an outdoor venue next to water (a combination that SINGS “Miaverse” -me likey)) PLUS, the Gusters have also a included a “ride share” feature on the tour page, so NO ONE ELSE will have to miss out because they can’t get a ride!! HALLELUJAH!  Here’s the best news of all, I also now have a ticket to see Josh Groban at the Verizon Center on July 27th. To me, these things are priceless. You’ve now been officially warned Section 403 – here I come!

Here’s to love and hope – IT ROCKS! (just like GOALIES AND UNIVERSAL COINCIDENCES) peace – mia – and Twitter @creasesinger


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