Archives – November 2007

Capitals fans aren’t on a bandwagon and Mariachi the Moose

Wednesday, November 28, 2007, 4:11:00 PM

I’ll tell ya, I’ve gotten phone calls for help with all sorts of animals, but living in Maryland, I never expected to get a phone call about a moose. I’ve gotten calls for lizards, birds, racoons, possums, cats, dogs, snakes, cows, deer and even bears – but this is a first for me. I was napping in preparation for the Capitals game and I was awakened by an emergency phone call. The person who called me was frantic. I heard “moose” a few times and I heard “lost” a couple of times, so I crawled out of bed and headed out into the great beyond – to look for a moose? As I drove to my destination, I remembered the time I was at a party and went into the downstairs bathroom. I had been warned not to go into that bathroom, but I was drinking a good bit at the time and I forgot the warning as the drinks were poured. When the “seal broke”, I shuffled myself to the downstairs bathroom, sat down on the toilet and from out of the bathtub right next to me came a hiss and set of very sharp teeth. The owner of the house was inolved with animal rescue and she had two young Caymans in her bathtub. Cayman are similar to crocs and gators, but these two were young and small, so they could not climb completely out of the tub. My sluggish drunken butt moved off that seat very quickly considering my condition, but I couldn’t go too far with my pants around my ankles. Those two little beauties almost scared the 1 and 2 right out of me. Now, whenever I’m in a “new” house, I always check the bathtub before I drop my pants to let my body do what it does.

Anyway, I got to my destination and was immediately greeted by an upset woman who has had a moose as a pet for almost three years. A pet moose – in Maryland – hmmmm. Well, she did have a set-up for the moose, who I started calling M.D. Moosey-moose because walking around in the dark looking for a moose named “Mariachi” just wasn’t working for me. Mariachi has been trying to get out of her enclosure for a long-while, I was told. She finally made it! Except that she’s in the wrong geographical area and she’s never been in any sort of “wild” before. She needed to be found for her own good. People asked me several times how we’d actually be successful in catching a moose. I’m not sure who slapped the “moose expert” tag on my forehead, but I’ve never had to wrangle a moose. I do have well honed problem solving skills though. So I started getting some info. on Mariachi, who was a very big moose. Eventually, after several close calls and a face full of dirt and moose, seven of us located Mariachi and scared her as close to her enclosure as we could. When I got close to her, I confirmed with myself that she was definitely the biggest animal I’ve ever had to catch. Big-very, very big!

She didn’t want to go back in there. She wanted to go anywhere but in her enclosure. It took about an hour after that for us to gather some old barn doors and rush Mariachi like we were all playing American Football. All of us have experience with horses who have gotten out of control, so we all just used what we knew to force Mariachi back into her pen. Two of us were just short enough in stature to have our faces dropped in the dirt when we made good on a push. Someone got stepped on a few times by Mariachi and went to the hospital. On the final push, I got tripped-up by another person and ended up with my face plastered right in Mariachi’s side. I can tell you that moose stink, but you’ll never know how bad a moose can stink until you’ve had your nose rubbed in her hair. I can still smell it! It’s somewhat like musty, sweaty, fermented feet that have spent years tromping in poo.

Mariachi’s keeper doesn’t have permits and she can’t afford to fix the enclosure properly, so we are all now making calls to find Mariachi a place to live up North. She’ll be okay. She didn’t look in poor health, but I’m not really practiced in checking out the health of a moose. She was sturdy with clear eyes, and she was well filled-out. One of the people I know to call in Canada is working hard on finding M.D. Moosey-moose a new home – where other moose live as well.

Now, here’s the part I feel should be included, just to cover my back-side. I am a trained Animal Behavior Specialist. I have experience with many types of animals. If for some reason anyone reads this and decides that Moose Wrangling seems like a fun thing to do, well, IT’S NOT! The one and only reason the seven of us decided to try was because we could not find a moose specialist in enough time to ensure that Mariachi was found and rounded-up. Not very many Moose specialist in Maryland. Someone was injured and we could have injured Mariachi in our efforts. MOOSE WRANGLING IS NOT FOR YOU! Neither is MOOSE-TIPPING!

The Washington Capitals have won two of their last three games. We’ll see how they do this evening. I was sad to miss such a good game agains the Canes Saturday night, but I caught the game on television. I also missed Monday nights CAPS game at the Verizon Center. I planned a two-day stint in the hospital this week, so I was bundled in my sterile sheets by the time the puck dropped Monday evening at 7pm. So many people in and around the game of NHL hockey have already gone through all the motions with regard to expressing their lament over the firing of former Head Coach, Glen Hanlon. Well, it’s now time for me to chime in with a slightly different perspective.

Former Hershey Bears Head Coach, Bruce Boudreau, was named the Washington Capitals Interim Head Coach on Thanksgiving Day. Glen Hanlon was officially let-go the same day. Since I don’t currently have the information to make statements about Boudreau, I will stick with Glen Hanlon for today’s entry. Hanlon took over after a different Bruce seemed to be pissing-off players by making comments about their families. The Bruce Cassidy years were just as confusing as the last three, for me, as a Capitals Fan.

I think the general thought in the NHL is that the team let Hanlon down in a very big way. This is not a new situation. The team has been letting coaches down and performing poorly for many years now. Some of us remember Ron Wilson and his unique ways. Some of us remember Bruce Cassidy, who, by all accounts, probably shouldn’t have been put in a head coach position in the first place. We fans have been looking in, watching, hoping, expressing, and feeling our disappointment through all of these years. The team has not only let Glen Hanlon down, but more importantly, they have left we fans lingering in some strange limbo-land of repeated disappointment. We fans know how Hanlon feels. We know how hard it is to commit all that we have as fans, and still find we are rewarded with under-performing players and flat play. The thing of it is, Glen Hanlon will be fine. He gets to breathe for a short while. He doesn’t have to worry and stress over the Capitals any longer.

The fans, especially those of us who have been hanging on for more than 15 years, still want to see the Capitals rise above it all. We still put on our jerseys and CAPS hats and forget about everything else but the game. Game after game after game we watch. It isn’t any wonder that some fans have been so noticeably “vocal” on the blogosphere. It’s almost like we are reaching out for a collective answer. Some bloggers are more frank than others. Some bloggers are more focused on stats and everyday Capitals news. Me, I stick to my own feelings, for the most part. What can we fans do to impress upon the team that we BELIEVE. It would be nice if the entire organization could stop thinking of the fans as “bandwagon” hoppers, and start thinking of us as the core of believers who will keep pushing for better play. Start thinking of us as the people who haven’t let go. There are many, many of us out here – even way out here in the GHV.

So now there’s a new head coach. Okay, now we the fans, the organization and the media can move forward – together. If the players, coaches, managers and owners want to know what inspiration is – all they have to do is look into the crowd during the last minutes of a home game. They won’t see a completely empty Verizon Center. They’ll see us, the fans who stay until the very end and wait for the three stars to be named. Win or lose, we keep our end of the bargain. It doesn’t matter if there are 12 of us or 12,000 of us – WE are in love with our team and we have suffered and agonized with the team through every game. All the players need to know is that we have never stopped believing that they will emerge from the locker room and find the power within themselves to get that puck into the net. It may just be that Washington DC is not your “typical” hockey town. Who cares! Get over that. Change the mentality from within. It will eventually shine out into the rest of hockey world like a brilliant beacon of actual love for the sport.

If there are more Pengiuns fans in the seats during a Washington Capitals home game, ignore them. They don’t count. They mean nothing. The team is not there to worry about the Pittsburgh fans. They are there to play hockey. The are there to win hockey games. They are there to elevate themselves to greatness. If the seats are empty – the team should simply imagine that we believers are in those seats. They should visualize themselves as a force to be reckoned with – because they are. The team’s confidence should not be an issue. We fans may not always be in the seats, because we work, or because we live far from DC, or because we have no disposable income to bring our families and friends to games often. We ARE out here, in the world, sending the team our best. Each team member should find a fan in the crowd at the start of each game and remember that face. That fan is there because of YOU. That fan is all you need to have confidence through every game. Remove the media from your thoughts. Remove the troubles of regular life. Remove all previous losses. Remove the higher-ups. Let the marketing people see the empty seats and do their jobs. Let the management make their decisions and do their jobs. When the puck drops, the only thing each player has to do is remember that face in the crowd and play NHL hockey. 

I’m all about hockey. It’s a great sport. As a fan of the Washington Capitals, I’m tired of being put into a general catagory. I don’t like the fact that Olie Kolzig has publically generalized DC as a “bandwagon” city. We fans are not on a “bandwagon”. We are on a MISSION. We are on a hard ride. While it is true that some people get on and off the Washington Capitals hockey as the team wins or loses, Washington DC is not alone in this by any means. Certain media outlets have sent out the notion that Ted Leonsis, Majority Owner, is allowing the fans to influence the organiztion’s major decision making through blogs and e-mails, as if we were management. Well, Ted Leonsis is accessible and we fans are not unwise to the ways of winning hockey. I personally have all sorts of ideas I’d like to share that could turn the entire organization in a new and hopeful direction, but it is a silly notion that me, as a fan, can have that sort of open access to the organization. What is the actual problem with being in touch with the fans whose loyalty, financial backing and hockey smarts are readily available? I’m not sure I see a problem.

So now onto something completely different. I’ve started getting some songs together (originals and a few covers) and asked a few guitar players I know if they are in the mood to start doing some acoustical gigs in Baltimore, DC, Philly, Annapolis and the surrounding areas. For me, performing live is a mixture of fright, flight, joy and sadness. I used to remove my glasses when in front of a live crowd so that I couldn’t actually see the crowd. I’ve since had Lasik eye surgery, so I can see just fine without glasses. As Michael Stipe from R.E.M. has mentioned in an interview or two, he misses his hair because he could hide behind it. I’m lucky enough at the moment to have enough hair to hide behind. There’s an interesting phenomenon that happens when someone gets up on a stage and performs for others. I have sat in bars waiting to sing and people walk by me, bump into me, hit on me, give me crap, or simply pay absolutely no attention to me at all. The second I get up on stage and sing, everything changes in an instant. Some of the people who could have cared less about the lady sitting at the bar drinking water before I go on stage, suddenly feel it’s very important to become my friend and become familiar with me the moment I finish a set and step off the stage. Even in the smallest of venues, there is always at least one person who becomes enthralled then wants to come up to me after a set and in a very familiar way begins to interact with me as though we know each other well. I have difficulty with that every single time I sing and play live.

I do understand the draw, but I don’t understand the reactions. I sometimes think it would be easier to perform in a huge venue, with thousands of people, because in a large venue, I can walk backstage and just be me without having to run across someone who really wants to be around me and get into my business. To me, all the tabloids are scarey. What would be the result if I somehow managed to “make it”. Would people be taking pictures of me and then plastering the worst picture they can find on the front of something that is sold in stores all over the place. Would they claim that the photo is a result of some sort of drug bender or relationship trauma? I’m already extremely private and extraordinarily sensitive. As wise and experienced as I may be, I don’t know if I could ever survive all of that. Regardless, I’ve got the music itch and I need money, so a-gigging I will go.

I will once again miss the live action this evening as the Washington Capitals play the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center. It took five tries to get a meeting scheduled with possible First Love Board members. You can bet that I tried to get it scheduled in the afternoon, so I could go to the game afterward. I did not manage that, but I did get as far as having the meeting in DC. I’ve got minor surgery scheduled tomorrow morning anyway, so I should be to bed early anyway. Knowing me, I’ll be in the meeting continuously checking the score on my phone! The Capitals should be in good shape to take on the Panthers. Go check out the game – you might get a pleasant surprise.

Have a great hump day readers (which I thank you for humbley) – sing to your plants – play hockey on the street – peace – mia

Good Luck to Hanlon and Hello Boudreau and R.E.M. has what I need

Saturday, November 24, 2007, 8:55:00 AM

It’s a musical day out here in the GHV! I’ve got a lot of musical things going on at the moment. Before I get that though, I suppose I have no choice but to bring up the Washington Capitals. NHL hockey holds an assortment of wonderments for the avid hockey fan. I’m very close to stunned as to the Gerber improvements. I honestly didn’t think he had it in him. Okay, so he’s my top 30 now. Keep it up! At this point, The Washington Capitals have become more press worthy as they continue to lose, game after game. We fans of the Capitals are experiencing an intersting test in our faith, it seems.

As some of you may know, Glen Hanlon was replaced with Interem Head Coach Bruce Boudreau. Most people I’ve heard speak about the change agree that it’s unfair to Glen, but also that he’ll be working soon enough. My take, as usual, comes from the top, down. Let’s just say that for about 10 years, the Washington Capitals have continued on a downward slide that has since, put them at the bottom of more than just a few standings lists – as a collective unit. In general, the team has had good players for most of those years. They’ve had players that work well together. They’ve had a goalie who has been there for them for all of those years. They’ve had fans hoping and praying that they can help spark some sort of special ju-ju that will put that puck in the back of the net – just one more time.

Over those ten years, the skaters have all changed, most of the coaching staff has changed and some of them, more than once. If the performance continues to stay, “confusingly disappointing”, as I like to call it, and those things have changed – what has sayed the same? Olie Kolzig has stayed. Is Olie the problem? As I always maintain, I don’t know any of these guys personally, so I’m always coming from the outside looking in kind of perspective. I can’t really answer that question objectively anyway. Everyone knows that Goalies Rock! George McPhee has been along for the ride as well. I am not even sure I am fully aware of his duties as General Manager, so I can’t answer that either? What else has remain unchanged?

I’m a pain in the ass, so just try to get rid off me. Lose all you want, I’m just going to become more inspired to ride your assess via this blog a little more often. No matter what’s going on within the organization, I am hoping for the sake of hockey, that the main goal is to win games. Someone must know the trick. It’s not magic, it’s chemistry. Ach, what do I know? I share in the collective frustration, but I’m not ready to count the guys out just yet. So keep your blades sharp, ice-up good and get your magnificent hockey asses on the ice. Think faster and feel your games. GO CAPS DAMMIT!

I am planning to make the trip to DC today to see the CAPS play North Carolina. After my sleep-study on Monday night, my whole sleep problem reversed gears and now I have a different sleep problem. As in, I can’t sleep. This is normal cycle for me, unfortunately. The good thing is that is coincides with the NHL hockey season, for the most part. Now, as I think about it, maybe I’ve watched so much hockey that I sleep an awful lot during the NHL off-season and then totally use all that energy staying awake during the hockey season? Geez, I hope not. What sort of cure is there for that? Wait – I know, more hockey! Well, it’s worth a shot right? Or maybe that’s just me being an addict and saying “it’s all good, I’m just going to watch this game and then I’ll go to sleep.” ? Actually, these are all things one or two docs have been asking me recently. We’ve all concluded that school schedules also somewhat coincide with the NHL hockey season, so for my particular situation, it’s just a super-great bonus for me. I’ve had certain sleep and weight gain patterns for a long time, once viewed in hindsight.

Although, just for fun, I wonder what it would be like at a Hockey-aholics Anonymous meetings? “Oh, hey, I’m from Manitoba and I lost my job because I had second row seats when Detroit won the CUP – again. I am powerless.” I’m just being silly. Since I’m having some fun, I also wonder what one would call a sleep disorder based on the NHL hockey season? Let’s see – “Mullet Disease”, “Cyclical NHL Sleep Syndrome”, “No tuck-ins if no puck-ins disorder” (I know – cheezy), “GHV Disease”. Maybe I’m an NHL goalie-aholic. What would an Goalie-aholics meeting be like? “so, what, Goalies keep the puck out of the net don’t they? Every team needs a goalie don’t they? I mean a hockey game without goalies is like a cross-bar without a net. It just doesn’t work does it? No, and why? – because there was no goalie. You see the beauty of the goalie is that most good ones have an understanding of balance. Goalies are the last ine of defense man . . . ” And what could one call the sleep-disorder “Can’t stop all the pucks, Can’t stop all the pucks, Can’t stop all the pucks Disorder”, “NHL Network Figured Out My Weakness Sleep Paranoia Syndrome”, “One Too Many to the Head”.

Well, it’s only 7:35am, but I’ve been up for a long time. I think I should get myself showered and dressed for the game now, while I have energy. I’m anticipating a “crash”, so off I go – right after I play my guitar. I get to sing the National Anthem tomorrow – in front of people – gulp. That’s the reason things have been so musical out here in the GHV. That, plus R.E.M. Those guys are right where it’s at for me. They always are. I saw a recorded and edited live R.E.M show and it just confirms what I’ve known all along. Definitely right where I’m at, as it were. I can here it just as clearly now as I did before. That’s some fantatically ambiguous beauty of truth those R.E.M. guys give ya! And as for Mr. Stipe, well, he’s a part of the reason I keep singing. I don’t sing like him, but I “feel” like him. It’s hard to explain, but I don’t think it’s really important anyway. He sings like I like it! YAY R.E.M.

So today, the Capitals will eat the Hurricane and my voice will be like velvety smoothness tomorrow – go to it – peace – mia

TURDUCKEN! Part Deux

Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 7:34:00 PM

Well, I get to miss out on Wednesday Night Hockey in Washington DC this evening. The best way for me to make sure I can make it to more and more games is to resist the temptation to “push” myself when it comes to driving a vehicle in heavy traffic. I can safely stay home and watch the game, in my living room with my cats. Today is the first day I will have no obligations, other than my own. Whew! I think my puffy couch, laptop and my mashed sweet potatos are what’s in store for me. That means someone lucky might figure out that I’m not there and get my seat. Although, that seat is right next to several fit and able men who’s job it is to make sure things go smoothly. Be a good sport. Go CAPS!

I’m going to hang out in my living room and watch the game. Maybe I’ll blog more then – There’s a musical fire in your pants guys – puck it – peace mia

TURDUCKEN! Sounds like a set-up for the “meat sweats”!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007, 4:52:00 PM

It’s 3:24 out here in the GHV. I’m waiting to borrow a vehicle. I’ve got all my medications all straight. I drank two of my yogurt smoothie yummies. I’ve had my afternoon cup of coffee. I’m wearing my Kolzig jersey. I’m ready to trek on down to Washington DC and watch the Capitals WIN! Two problems exist. One, I don’t think I have gas money to make it to and from DC. And number two is a problem I’m not sure I can make a deal to rectify. I’ve asked the Hockey Gods, just to be sure, but I have a feeling I’m not going to make it to tonights game at the Verizon Center against Altanta. I believe that my right foot/ankle is unhappy with the amount of weight and movement of that weight it is asked to carry around. Yetserday basically, I think I lifted something a little too heavy for me at the moment and pulled two different things in my canklefoot and I have to do some test driving now. I may discover that my driving foot doesn’t want to cooperate with my evening goal.

Stupid canklefoot.

I’m still giving myself a 87% chance of hanging out in section 118 tonight. I’m feeling a bit of empathy for Alex Semin. I am not 100% sure what happened to his ankle/foot, but I am doing much better walking on my bad foot. The problem is when I try to do things that require the stressful use of my damaged right “paw”, as some might say. I think I can do something and find out the painful way that I was incorrect. Well, one must try before knowing – right?

I’m sending some “kick ass” the CAPS and with all things right, I’ll be there to make sure they get it. – peace – try different music at the Verizon Center – mia

Washington DC Hockey – Hey the BoSox made it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 9:26:00 AM

Good morning from the GHV.

I have returned from my sleep-study. I actually slept this time. I watched the 1st period of the Capitals – Panthers game at the Verizon Center in DC last night at home. I started watching again around 13 minute mark of the 3rd when I got to the Sleep Center. As soon as I found the game, I had to go into the next room to get the electrodes stuck on me. I was listening to the game and heard the last two goals via Joe B. play-by-play. I have now seen the game in its entirety. There was some good stuff in there. Vokoun was not all there in the 1st period and couldn’t keep up in the 3rd. All-in-all, the Capitals showed well – again – but did not win – again.

I’m certain that I’m not the only one scratching my head in bewilderment. Where does the biggest push need to happen to get the Capitals over the edge, into the winning column. Or perhaps it’s not where; it might be when. I’m glad Semin seemed okay on his skates last night. Maybe upon his return, will come a catalyst for “the push”? It’s difficult to type about the games. I try to maintain a positive perspective, so I’ve been keeping them brief. I get the feeling, the organization is already aware there’s a bit of an issue – holding them back. As a fan, I’d just want the team to know that it doesn’t matter how many people are in the seats, or for which team they cheer, there are many, many, many fans who have not lost faith. We know you can do it! Hey – the Red Sox did it!

I almost chickened-out of my sleep-study last night. Or at least I tried to find an excuse not to go to the Sleep Center. My energy level has slipped a bit, and I was not really in any mood to drive. Still, I went and this time I did sleep. I was awakened so that I could get a breathing “snout” fitted on my face. I was told that I fell right back to sleep after my “snout” was placed on me. I find that hard to believe. I remember waking up trying to scratch my nose and getting ticked-off at the plastic blockage. I remember waking up and being tangled in my air and electrical leads, which also bugged me. Oh well, maybe this time they got something useful and I won’t have to do that test again.

Pawn shops are fun, aren’t they. I visited a pawn shop about a week ago or so and it was not productive, but it was fantastically funny. What a set of characters in that place. I found out all sorts of off-the-wall things and had a great talk about NHL hockey. This guy had a super sense of humor. I talked and laughed with those guys for at least a half an hour. They gave me some options for unloading my jewelry, but I decided to check out another option or two. I left that store with laughing tears all in my eyes. Those guys should have their own show. I’m sure they are just full of good laughs.

I’m hoping my home will sell sometime soon. I’ve heard people comment that the market is in a buying slump. Yes, perhaps that is true. I don’t think that not a single home has been sold. There fewer buyers and more competition. I’m in a very rare market, so I’m not particularly concerned about my competition. Also, I have no other alternative that makes sense. It’s interesting what people will ask about a property. I have nibbles, but no bites. Hopefully, I’ve managed the step-up in advertisement properly. Fingers crossed.

My poor guitar has been sitting, unplayed, for entirely too long. I think I can bend my wrist and fingers enough to get them on the frets again. Yay! a.h’pIed The previous nonsense statement was typed by Emma the cat, who is riled up and decided to jump onto the keyboard for just a brief second. What the heck, might as well leave it in the entry.

I’ll be in Washington DC on Wednesday for a game. Okay, or I should probably mention that I have a vehicle and my plans are to see the CAPS at the Verizon Center. 97% chance. Then, if all goes well, I’ll have a quiet Thursday, all to myself. I have some turkey and fixin’s, so I may cook myself some yummies, but most likely, I’ll do what I normally do during a day. Sounds good to me!

Don’t pull a “Mia” and leave your guitar sitting still for a long time – Do watch some hockey – peace – mia

What will the Capitals do tonight?

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 12:59:00 AM

Hello, hello out there from the GHV! I took a hiatus from hockey for a few days. Well, okay – I took a break from watching hockey for a couple of days. I’ve been doing more reading about hockey than I normally have the chance to do during the regular NHL season. No matter what my health may be on any given day, I still have that little kid hockey fan in me that gets giddy with the thought that I have time to simply take in the game. Truly, I think I’m just a little relieved in the sense that I have “an excuse” to be a full-time hockey lover right now. As odd as it may be to some, my poor health has allowed me to enjoy hockey without the stress of working a full week and trying to participate in the world in that sort of manner.

Until just recently, I’ve been unable to simply immerse myself in the game I’ve loved since I was a small child. It is a small gift having this opportunity. As most learned people know; a gift usually comes at a price. My price happens to be my health. I’m perfectly okay with the price I’m paying. Especially considering that I have the freedom to really explore hockey in ways I could not prior to the 2007-08 season. When one earns a living in a “hockeyless” city and in a non-hockey related profession, there simply aren’t enough hours in a day to totally let one’s hockey-self out to play. As much as I like to plan and be prepared for as many contingencies as possible, I also find that going with the flow, so to speak, is also a well-advised strategy in life sometimes. 

This entry has taken at least four days to write. I keep losing my internet connection. That slows things down more than not. It would be bad form for me to complain about the internet connection, because I’m “borrowing” a neighbors wireless connection. I would have labeled it “hijacking”, but my neighbor knows and we share. Although, I’m pretty sure that one or two others “borrow” at certain times of the day as well. It’s coming down to the wire, as it were, in terms of chosing where I will move. I added another possible location to the list, but removed VA. I’m still looking in DC but there are some crucial benefits to moving just over the MD line in PA as well. I don’t have a clue how to decide. I’d prefer not to live in AA or PG counties in MD. But, there are benefits to living in both. All sorts of considerations…

I was supposed to go look at an all-cedar house for rent in the middle of nowhere this morning, but I can’t drive right now and my “driver” is still sleeping one off from last evening. I have to make my place look a little better for “show” anyway. I won’t be going anywhere until I sell. I’ve got other concerns as well.

I can’t quite send out an entry without getting into the two Washington Capitals games of Thurdsay and Friday. Anyone who’s been watching the Capitals has to be confused and left a little empty. It’s a rough go for the organization right now, it seems. Almost everything is there, but something isn’t. I hope the Capitals start winning – a lot.

I won’t be at the Verizon Center this evening to watch the CAPS play. I’ll at the Sleep Center getting conductive gel squished in my hair so the electrodes can be attached. This time around they are making take a sleeping pill, but I’ll try to stall that until the end of the game. I think I can watch the game in my “room”. If I do sleep this time, I’m curious to find out what I do in my sleep. I wonder if they’ll show me the video. The last time I tried this study, I barely slept. The first time I tried, I kept pulling on the electrical wires and yanking them out of my hair. I have to do at least one more for this series and then I have to start the neurological tests. I hear I’m supposed to look forward to more goop in my hair and maybe even the shaving of a bunch of my hairs. Oh glory.

I think I finally understand why it’s so difficult for me to explain myself to other people. I won’t get all into that lengthy diatribe this time around. But I will touch on it very lightly. According to what I have been told by certain doctors, I’ve most likely been narcoleptic since birth. According to most modern medicine, Fibromyalgia is most likely genetic. So, in a sense, I’ve had these two conditions since I was born. Who the heck knows what those two things have done to me physically and mentally. Looking back, I can now say that my moods had and have more to do with my “sleepiness” level. Plus, I’ve been injured in numerous ways. Some of that can be contributed to narcolepsy. Some of that can be contributed to me just plowing on as I do. And a bit of that can be contributed to not-so-fun things that can happen in life. I don’t get what’s going on, but it is going on and that’s all I care about at this point.

I get tired of explaining myself to others anyway. I’m not even sure that’s possible. I do know that I am tired of explaining what happens to a person with a tiny-little heart malformity, Lyme Disease, narcolepsy, Fibromyalgia who has been stressed since the age of 2. This – this is what happens. All of that, plus who knows what else is jerking me around in grand frickin fashion. I can feel just great one day and be able to stretch and move around. No sick belly. No right-eye flutters or flashing lights. Aside the still healing ankle/foot of mine, I have actually had good, good days. Most of the time though, I get ready to do something, drag around slowly and eventually have to stop because I either can’t stand-up anymore or I feel like I go out in traffic and play at night. Sometimes, I’ll get a break for about an hour a day or so and feel good, but I never know when anything will happen. No plans. No way to tell. Not my best year – at all. Generally, I’m sick all the time, but the degrees vary wildly. Can’t say I haven’t learned a lot about all of my health problems.

I became a sleep advocate for the National Sleep Foundation. Sen. Barbara Mukulski is my point of focus at the moment. Pres. G. W. Bush vetoed funding for sleep research and now it’s up to the Senate to do the right things. Since I decided to become a sleep advocate, I’ve been taking some time to e-mail and phone my Congressional representatives. Now I hear that the Senate can still make a move. All humans sleep. Any research for the study of sleep is good research. Sleep problems, kill relationships, kill people driving in cars, kill careers, kill thousands of people in ways no one even knows. Sleep is a vital part of every single person’s life.

Time to head-off toward my induced slumber – GO CAPS – peace – mia

Net Officials? Capitals Hockey, Board Meeting slippers and Dirty Harry

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, 1:04:00 PM

Well, I did manage to suck-it up and get to the Verizon Center in DC, on time and with no problems. Once again, I was in the enthusiastic section with some very vocal ladies. I love those gals. The “dad” felt the need to warn me and tell me it wouldn’t be so bad this time because one of them had a cold. I don’t think she was affected by her cold. Their spirit is great and “dad” shouldn’t have to worry. I’m a fan of loud, young, hockey fans. The 1st period held no penalties and the Capitals out-shot the Lightning. It was looking like a good game. Of course, that changed for the Capitals after the 2nd period began. The Lightning out-worked the Capitals and it paid off for them in a big way. Once Tampa Bay got a 4 minute PP on a double minor, everything went south for Washington. Within seconds of the face-off the puck went behind Olie. The CAPS came back in the same form in the 3rd period and the Lightning took full advantage.

I realize that it’s a standard in the NHL to pull the goalie during the last minutes when a team is behind. For every game that I’ve seen in the NHL over the last three years, I have wondered why the goalie gets pulled when the score is more than one point up for the other team. But more importantly, why would a goalie get pulled when the team he’s on can’t make good on a PP most of the time. Having an extra attacker rarely ever helps and usually ends up allowing an empty-netter for the other team. I strongly feel it’s a bad idea to pull a goalie unless there is ONE point at stake and the game has been fairly even throughout. Last night, Olie went to the bench in the last minute and a half or so and it didn’t take long for Tampa Bay to score another point. It just makes no sense to me in those kinds of sitations. Seriously, think about it.

The frustration must be wearing on the Capitals by now. The fans are frustrated – for sure. I had a nice conversation on the Green line to the Greenbelt Metro station on the way home from the game. A couple of guys from PA bought one of the 6-pack plans to see the CAPS and one of them has season tickets for the Hershey Bears (AHL). The three of us agreed that there needs to be some kind of shake-up within the Washington organization. We talked about coaching, George McPhee, Ovechkin, Sutherby and all sorts of good stuff. It was almost a thrill for me to have a real conversation about hockey and the Washington Capitals. It’s too bad we all drove for more than an hour each way just to have some great hockey talk, because the game made as all wonder if our drives’ are worth it. The game was enough to sprout a couple more gray hairs on my head. >From what I’ve seen, read and heard, some of the Capitals players and coaching staff are just as bewildered about the poor play as we fans are.

Before I get off the topic, I want to mention that in some psychological circles, the Capitals may be seen as having some key “self defeaters”. All it takes is one or two of those and the whole team goes down. I don’t get a chance to have a chat with the players, so I can only say from what I’ve seen of game-play and what I’ve read and heard, I am fairly certain I can identify one of those players. The 3rd period gave me a good chance to watch this particular player. I don’t follow the standard “clinical” view of psychology. I am a fan the entire picture, so there could be something going on that I am totally unaware of within this palyer’s life or within the organization. I can’t make any sort of real “picture” of the player’s view. I can address the play. I went back and watched a few of the most recent Capital’s games and this particular player does have a pattern concerning on-ice behavior. Maybe when I am more able to get to some practices, I might run across a chance to talk to a player or two and I’ll havd a better idea of what’s going on with the team. We’ll see. Until then, I can say that I do know the game of hockey very well and I am well studied in human behavior. When putting those two things together, I strongly believe that at least one player could use some “behavioral conditioning”. Frankly, what could it hurt. Hey Ted – I’m available at a very low cost!!!!!

To get into a more broad hockey thought, I will bring back the last DC game one more time and then I promise – I’ll let it go! Some of the fans were not pleased with the officials and their calls during the game Saturday night. Yes, it’s true – officials make mistakes and miss calls all the time. I know I watched a few blatant penalties missed during the Flyers-CAPS game at home a week or so ago. It was almost amazing to me that those penalties were missed and/or not called. I’m not an official and I don’t know any NHL officials, so judging them isn’t something I’m really comfortable doing. It’s a fast-paced game and there are more players than officials. Now, I know that Goal Judges still sit in the “judge box” behind each net, and I know that they are a tradition in the NHL. The current technological advancements have pretty much made these guys obsolete. I’m sure the word “obsolete” is almost crushing to a few long-time NHL traditionalists. Sorry to say though, it is true. But why not give the “Goal Judges” a slightly different title.

Let’s call them something like “Goal-side Judges” or “Net Officials”. Sure, they can still light the red when a goal is scored, but they can also be an extra set of eyes for the on-ice officials. Let’s say a penalty is called by an on-ice official, but the “Net Official” saw that the other team’s player should also get a penalty – things would be a tad bit more even. Or, perhaps, as was the case in the Flyers game at the Verizon Center against the Capitals, the “Goal-side Judge” saw a blatant penalty that wasn’t called by the on-ice officials. Bang – the officials aren’t booed constantly and the game becomes less about which team can get away with more missed-penalties, and more about actually playing the game. Plus, I’m sure there will be fewer divers. I dislike divers – a lot. The “War Room” in Toronto can take care of the questionable goals, but the guys in the judge box have a vantage point that the on-ice officials may not have in fast-paced, physical games. Why remove a tradition, when you can make an adjustment, which is what hockey’s all about anyway, and still have the guys in the box behind the net?

Actually, I’ll admit “out-loud” on the blogosphere, that I would still drive at least and hour and take a 20 minute Metro ride even if the Washington Capitals were dead-last in the NHL standings and lost every single game in horrible fashion. I’m a little bit of a fanatic. Gotta have my CAPS hockey!

I don’t usually spend time checking out You Tube, but here are some links that I just love. This one is fun, but it also features a dog that I helped rescue about a year ago. Look for the stubby-tailed dog who ’says’, “I want it.” This one is my buddy from far away who has got an intersting skill-set. He’s famous now! And this last one is actually my cat Dirty Harry recorded by my Latvian cat-sitter while Harry was begging for food in the morning. I call this his “morning voice”. I never would have thought that 400-some people would find this amusing!!! It’s not the best digital quality, but I think it gets Harry’s enthusiasm for food just right! Turn up the volume for this one. Harry has a bunch of nicknames – Bilbo Boogins, Hover-puss, Big’Un, Mamma Stomper, Dingle Berry and several others. He’s my lover boy. I didn’t rescue him, he rescued me!

I’m on the Board for the Harford Community College Alumni Association. I have had trouble getting to meetings this year, so we all tried the video-conference route this time. The tele-conference avenue didn’t work out very well the last time for a variety reasons, so I spent some extra time getting resources together and Viola – a Video Board Meeting is born (now dubbed the VBM). I must have spent too much time on getting everything coordinated, because I completely forgot about the meeting until the Secretary called me just prior to the meeting. I grabbed my paperwork and joined-in. Only two of us have the equipment to do the video-conference from home. That fact became obvious pretty quickly, because we looked like we had just popped out of bed. Essentially, that’s exactly what happened. While it was one of the most productive meetings we’ve ever had, I couldn’t help but feel a little silly in my pink house slippers and with a cat who kept trying to nap on my paperwork. I felt a little “unprofessional’, but no one seemed to mind one bit and we got through the agenda in record time, so perhaps I’m just not adjusting to the times?! Hey, what the heck, at least no one had to worry about my morning breath!

Off to the doctor I go – much music to ya – and even more hockey – peace – mia

Bad week for me, hopefully better for the CAPS!

Saturday, November 10, 2007, 12:59:00 AM

The Washington Capitals bested the Ottawa Senators Thursday night and it was a great game. It felt good to see – finally. Backstrom got his first NHL goal and the pace was good. The Senators creamed the Maple Leafs that night before. I think if Gerber didn’t have the night off, things would have been a little different, but the Capitals looked much better on the ice than they have for several games. Gerber has been stepping-up and is proving me wrong about my thoughts on his netminding prowess. I’ve always maintained that I am not always right. Let’s see how Gerber progresses. He’s a goalie, so deep down and seperate from any analytical thoughts I might have, I’m happy to see a goalie go!

It’s been a tough week for me in general. I haven’t had a lot of time or even the want to blog, so this entry will not be lenghty. I can say that I managed to catch a bit of a cold or something, and the last three days have drained almost to the point of stupidity. I’m not sure I even have the inclination to be annoyed about that right now. I have managed to generate interest in my home for sale, but still have a ton of things to do in order to be moved to a new place by November 1st. I also spent a good couple of hours with my mother’s lawyers. In the end, most of what was said on their part was highly educated BS. It all seems like a huge waste of time to me. I have the upper-hand and everyone knows it, but everyone involved wants to dance around the issue and pull “parlor tricks”, so to speak, so I have to ride the legal wave patiently.

I haven’t got a lot of energy, so I’ll conserve what I do have for the Capitals game against the Tampa Bay Lightning this evening at the Verizon Center. I have a vehicle I can use today, so all I have to do is muster up my hockey enthusiasm and put one foot in front of the other. GO CAPS.

peace, music and hockey – very nice – mia

Goalies Gone Good!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007, 1:37:00 PM

Straight off the mark, I’ll fix a boo-boo that I should have noticed before now. I wondered why I couldn’t send an e-mail to “Jasper’s Rink.” I finally noticed that the name of this VERY informative Washington Capitals fan-blog site is Japer’s Rink and not Jasper’s Rink. um-duh! I have no idea why, but I saw it as Japser’s for some reason. I have seen the title quite often and even checked the e-mail three frickin’ times and I still did not pick-up the fact that I had added an “S”. I also couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get the link to work unless I cut and pasted. Well, it all makes sense now. My apologizies to the Japer’s Rink crew. This place is a great place for information about the Capitals and all sorts of other goodies. They’ve recently added some great links to other hockey-related blogs. What can I say – I totally dropped the “detail” ball on that one didn’t I!

I listened to the Capitals – Thrash game last night via my laptop. Two things stand-out to me as very memorable. First, Steve Kolbe is an ace at his job and I could visualize really well with his fast and informative radio commentary. Second – what do I want on the end of my fork? PORK! I cannot get that commercial out of my head. I loved it. I knew the song by the second run of that Chiplotle commercial and sang right along. As for the game – it sounded like Poti has recovered and yet once again, the Capitals faced a goalie on a REALLY good night. I think last night, the Captials were playing hard and it was a sure thing that they had total control of the 1st period. I also think the Thrashers back-up, Pavelec, was so on his game last night, it would have been hard for any team in the NHL to score. That guy had his chance to prove something and he did it with flying colors. It’s a very interesting time for NHL goalies. I could get all into that right now, but I’ll stick to the game for now.

One of the reasons I’m an Olie Kolzig fan, other than I tend toward goal as well, is that he has had to play entire games over the course of his tenure in DC so many times just like the last two and he’s still on his game and seemingly positive, for the most part. It was obvious he wasn’t a happy camper toward the middle of Monday night’s game. I have a very, very similar temperment, from what I’ve read and heard, and I know I was feeling “disturbed” by the D and the game in general. It might be easier for me to understand since I’m of similar temperment, but just imagine going through years of that. Especialy when several of those years, DC was loaded with high-priced, HNL greats. Goaltenders generally internalize bad feelings about pucks getting past them, so they contend with themselves very often as well. He and his coach, Dave Prior, have come a long way. In my view, it’s absolutely amazing.

Nylander helped the CAPS get on the board last night. Have I mentioned that I am so glad Nylander is back. I just want to give him a big-old kiss in his bald Swedish head! Jurcina was a healthy scratch and young Borgue got to play. While I didn’t see the game, I could tell it was a good show by the Capitals. One day soon, the pucks will start getting past even the “hot” goalies. It’s just a matter of a few little tweeks at this point. Having Semin and Clark on the ice will help – a lot. I also hope that the Carolina-Capitals game of two nights ago gets shown in the new theatre style video room at the Kettler IcePlex. The defensemen should take some notes on that one. I don’t usually finger-point, because there are many factors that can lead to a bad game. In this case though, I’m pointing right at the defense. My finger is locked on the defensemen for this particular game. There was so much sloppy play going on, I’ve now had to watch the game a fifth time just to get a good understanding of the sloppiness. The D was dealing with the Canes on their game and Brind’Amour is one of the best players in the NHL as far as I’m concerned, so there were some pretty big hurdles for the D to overcome. The D just stunk it up. Sorry to be so blunt, and if you disagree after watching that game five times, we’ll discuss. Until then, I’m not changing my perspctive.

Okay, so onto the next game. Today is a bad day for me, so I’ll be forced to spend most of my day very inactive. It seems I’m still stuck in the one-good-day-leads-to-another-bad-day phase. I don’t like it one little bit! Thankfully, I’ve got the Leafs – Senators game from last night recorded. I haven’t checked any scores, so I’ll see who wins. But most importantly, I’ll see a bit of what the Capitals will be up agaist on Thursday in Ottowa at 7:30pm. I have dissed Gerber openly several times. I’m not sure what sort of “goalie ants” got into his pants, but he’s certainly proving me a bad judge of goalies right now. I’ll have to watch him in action more closely.

The Capitals will be at home on Saturday to play Tampa Bay at 7pm. I am 95% certain that I’ll be there to see all the great hockey action. I want to stick with Thursday’s game, so I’ll check out the Sens and Leafs today. Wow – the Leaf’s bench boss looks a lot older every season.

As much as I am really just annoyed about moving, I can say that moving helps organize one’s belongings and prevents the “pack-rat” mentality. I do have some security in knowing my place will be sold and I will make a little money, but I have no idea where I will be moving and I’m tired of being sick. The need to sell and move is there. It all makes sense financially and in several other ways. It’s too bad my body doesn’t agree all the time. Well, day by day and all that. Oh and if there’s a reader out there who will let me borrow 3K for about a month with interest collected at a pre-Christmas 2007 payback, that’d be really awsome and would be quite a big boost for me personally. You’ll make a little extra holiday spending cash and do a good thing all at once. Also, if anyone has a working, tagged vehicle I can rent for about a month, that’d be like putting that yummy cherry on top of peanut butter and fudge sundae!

I have tried to pretend that the NHL Network does not exist. I tried – but I finally started watching a few days ago. It must be a Universal plot to keep me attached to my TV. It’s working as planned! I’m sure I’ll get my fill soon and tune in for only specific things eventually, but for now I think I’ve been checking it out everyday. I like On The Fly and I saw a good portion of a documentary about hockey players and other world-wide vounteers in Africa. Classic games-hockey on TV all the time – I could squeel like a little kid opening presents on Christmas morning. Yup, I’m finding that I have firmly planted myself in the Land of Hockey and I love it in the Land of Hockey. I just can’t get enough. GO HOCKEY!!!!

Musically speaking, have a Gmaj kind of day and don’t forget to “hockey” for a while – it might make you smile – peace – mia

Back to the good old radio days for Capitals and Thrashers fans

Tuesday, November 06, 2007, 6:27:00 PM

I like to keep a steady, positive attitude as a Washington Capitals fan. Sometimes though, my tempermental side takes over and I just get pissed. I know it’s difficult for the team to adjust with their captain and other scoring players off the ice with injuries. I can’t help but be disappointed at the trend that has instilled itself in the Capitals play of late. It is early in the season and November is a heavy month, but there needs to be a serious look at what’s happening with the team on ice. Since I tend to be goalie-centric, I have to say that the D failed to do their job. I have watched last night’s game three times now and I am very certain that for every goal scored by the Canes, their were at least two Capitals players who just couldn’t keep up. I doubt I’ll run across too many people who don’t think that Kolzig was left high and dry in terms of his defenders last night. If I had a stick, I’d have broken it long before the 3rd period even started.

In terms of the three netminders who played last night, Cam Ward could not have played better. I think the weight loss has really made a difference for Ward. I watched the games in which he’s played thus far this season before last night’s game agains the Capitals. Ward was having difficulty and his play wasn’t so great. Whatever situation(s) created such fantastic mojo for Ward paid-off last night. He’s got to be one of the fastest side-to-side guys I’ve seen in the while. Kolzig made some great saves as well. Stillman and Staal were on their toes and the Canes worked fast. Add that to the, shall I say – slow, Capitals D and Kolzig had no chance. Johnson showed why he’s a good choice for Washington’s back-up goalie. Despite the poor defense, he managed to keep the puck out of the net well.

As for the O, well things looked good several times throughout the game. After the 1st period, it became very clear to me that the only way to get the puck past Ward was to just get up in his space and wait for a bounce or rebound. He just wasn’t going to relent, so confusion and net-crowding was the only hope. Washington got shots off and the game was not one-sided, but I think I can use this game as an example of what I meant in a previous entry by the Capitals “being taken by surprise”. I have been focusing on the face-offs and originally thought that maybe things go wrong because the Capitals aren’t winning enough draws. The stats don’t show evidence of that. However, there IS a BIG problem with the face-offs. I went back and checked out some draws from previous CAPS games. It definitely happened last night in Carolina. There are numerous instances when the puck is dropped and no matter who wins the draw, the Capitals just don’t catch-up, or engage straight from the get-go. It happened last night. It happened against the Rangers last week. It happened against Philly. It has happened a lot. It’s like there’s a few very important seconds between the face-off and the focused play that seem to elude the Capitals. Maybe it’s because the Capitals haven’t anticipated certain plays. Maybe it’s because almost all the teams they’ve played so far this season are just that fast. Maybe some of the Capitals have not seen the boards as another player in the sense that a person can pass to themseves and in angles to other players.

Bounces can work for and against a team. Some are just a part of the game and happen when they happen. Others are more deliberate. I have also not been impressed with the passing in general. Bounces are one thing, but passing accuracy through traffic is something that is always deliberate. In others words, it can be better controlled. I’m not out there playing and I haven’t had a chance to see very many practices, so all I can do is remark on what I see during gameplay. Many teams have slumps and many of those teams are working hard, but still can’t get it done. The Washington Capitals are not the first, nor will they be the last. I watch enough of the other 29 teams to see that the Capitals have what it takes to get to the Playoffs. Clark, Poti and Semin won’t be out all season, I hope, and the guys have played hard overall. They’ll get there. GO CAPS!

My last subject is my own personal favorite goalie – Olie Kolzig. Sice the season began, I have heard and read a bit of Kolzig bashing. Like me, those people are entitled to their opinions. I do not agree. He’s been working on his craft for a long time and he knows what he’s doing. He’s fast and makes great saves. He’s been with the Capitals through all sorts of changes. I am a little biased because I’m in with the goalie club, but he’s been making great saves for the Capitals for a long time. He continues to do so to this day. There may have been and still are better NHL netminders, but I continue to believe that he’s the best goaltender for the Washington Capitals. No other goalie could have hacked it. YAY ZILLA!

I’m off to pack some more – watch the Washington Capitals – make up a song – peace – mia

Yes, yes – I was aware it reads “Olie the Goalie”!

Monday, November 05, 2007, 11:37:00 PM

The Carolina Hurricanes just wiped the floor with the Washington Capitals. If I actually take the time right now to really get into the game, I might type things that people just will not like. It just figures that Cam Ward just had the game of the frickin’ season.

Instead, I’ll just send out all the good vibes I can muster for the Washington Capitals. The Thrashers are next.

Lastly, for this very short entry – I do know that it reads “Olie the Goalie” on the back of his mask. I was just having a little fun because of someone else who insisted that it read “for old goalies” which makes me laugh – a lot. Hey ya know, there are some old goalies in the NHL, maybe Olie was just admitting he was in the old goalie club!! I just think it’s funny!

Send your music to the Capitals – they could use it – GO CAPS – peace- mia

My afternoon behind bars

Monday, November 05, 2007, 6:20:00 PM

Good morning again from the GHV. I don’t adjust to the change in time twice a year very well. I’m not sure why, but every year it always seems to take me at least two weeks to feel normal after the change in clocks. I woke up at 4:15am this morning and in my sleepy condition, I thought it was 4:15pm. This lead to a tired session of light grumbling and cussing, because I thought I had slept through an entire day. Now that I know what’s up, I feel like a big dumbass.

I’ve received a rather large amount of e-mail over the last three weeks, so I spent some time in the wee hours of the early morning reading them all very carefully. I responded to as many as I could, but a few were chosen to feature out here on the blogosphere. I did respond to certain e-mails and ask permission to include the senders’ names/e-mail identities on this blog, but I did not get any responses, so I’ll just consider them all anonymous. I’ll also mention-again-that there is a way to comment publically on this blog. In my eyes, all of your points would be better understood and read by others if those of you who e-mailed would use the comment path instead. Regardless, I’ll begin with an e-mail I received shortly after I blogged about my thoughts on Washington Capital’s bloggers, the Washington Times and Ted Leonsis.

I admit that I was fully prepared for a pile of people sending me some not-so-nice comments/e-mails, but much to my surprise – I only received one e-mail. It’s possible there are other comments regarding my entry elsewhere on the internet, but I only received one e-mail. I’ll paraphrase the e-mail, because it was lenghty and some of it touched on different subjects. Basically, an individual who spends a great deal of time on the Capitals discussion boards wanted to remind me that most Capitals fans want stats, injury reports, player and team info. and so on. My blog does not have what most Capitals fans really want to read and that’s why other blogs are “favored” over mine. I actually enjoyed the e-mail and I do agree with this particular portion, especially. Well Mr. Discussion Board, you are absolutely correct. Capitals fans don’t typically want to read about the assorted life happenings of another fan. The fans want other things that I do not usually provide. I don’t have the type of information that other blogs like “On Frozen Blog” and “Jasper’s Rink” offer the average Capitals fan. I check out both of those two blogs on a regular basis. I also don’t hold anything against the creators and contributors of those blogs. They’re pretty great actually.

I think my main point in that particular rant-entry was simply that there are hundreds of Washington Capitals fans who blog on their own terms. I am one of those people. There are so many aspects of the blogosphere and just as many aspects of the game of hockey that many of us have been touting our Washington Capitals via the blogosphere for years in our own ways. If every single Washington Capitals fan had a blog that featured the same types of information as every other fan blog, things would get a little boring and one-sided, wouldn’t it? My perspective usually comes from what is going on in my life and how it relates to my Washington Capitals fandom. I have an unusual situation, so I share what it’s like out here in the GHV where ice hockey is almost the last thing on the minds of my community. I share what it’s like to be in poor health and some of the struggles that go along with that in terms of my ability to get to games in Washington DC. There are so many places where stats and game numbers are displayed, that it doesn’t seem entirely necessary for me to push that information.

I started “web journaling” in 1999 on a website that was created for an entertainment group that I started in the same year. Three of us were hockey fans, so there was a lot of hockey related information on the site. The group failed miserably, but I had the space and I decided to use it for something. Hence, my original web log called “Daily Ruminations” was the main reason for the web space. Eventually, I had to change the name to fit the amount of web journaling I was doing to “Almost Daily Ruminations”. I decided not to renew my site and by that time, blogging was just taking off, so I chose a blog hosting site and started “Music Head Central”. From there I had a blog under a different title and then I found Blog-City. I am still deciding if I will continue on Blog-City or use web space I already have set aside for something else. The reason most of my blog titles have been music related is because I really like music – an awful lot. And, I am very musical by nature. At some point in the last three years, my blogging has become more and more hockey related. Musically speaking, I’ll still be a music pimp, but I finally have everything I need to make and distribute my own music. It’s not as much of an anxiety producer as it once was, so I don’t have it on my every moment of every day.

Nowadays, my entries focus on what’s going on in my life, things I found out that others might like to know and hockey. I don’t use anywhere near the kind of technical hoopla that is available to me in the presentation of this blog. There are a few reasons for that and the biggest reason at the moment is just plain time. As in I don’t have much of it. Also, I have had the crappiest year of my life so far. This blog title will change, as will the format. Archives from previous incarnations of my web log won’t go up until I have a more permanent situation. I can tell you that there will be a major change in the appearance and some of the content. The title of my web log will change as well. I have finally come to the inner conclusion that I can’t put deadines on myself (something I just love to do). My health pretty much sucks and I can plan all I want, but my body is the final dictator of what gets accompished in a day. Deadlines have ended-up making me feel very, very guilty and sad. On that note – I have no idea when anything will happen at all.

I think I’ve addressed most of Mr. Discussion Boards comments/concerns at this point. As much as I would like to continue with my notes back to e-mailers, I have to switch gears. I went to a local store about 4 hours ago to run a quick errand and managed to land myself in the slammer. Yup, that’s right – I spent two hours in “jail” today. Technically it was a holding cell, but still lacking freedom, nonetheless. There was no way I even sensed that I’d spend this afternoon in the clink with some lady named “Guterinias”. Well, I would do it again and again and again.

In some instances, I will become the biggest asshole walking the face of this great Earth. In this particular instance, it was because of a child. I could hear a loud woman reprimanding her child for several minutes, at least three isles away. I then heard her smack the child and the child reacted with tears. As I turned into the isle with the woman and child, I caught a nice, big eye-full of the woman punching the child (that’s right – punch) and then grabbing the little girl’s arm and dragging her down the isle. The little girl hit her head on several sharp parts of the shelving and then fell and hit her head. It was right at that moment that I also noticed that the little girl clearly had Down Syndrome. From here, I can only tell you that I left my cart, with my purse in it, and headed straight for that woman as if I was going to seriously put a hurting on her. I was so pissed off, I didn’t even hesitate one single second. Immediately I started with the “big voice”, which as a singer, is quite BIG. I know I said something about how she might feel if I punched her and dragged her down the isle. I know I said many bad words. I stood right in her face and told her to let go of the little girl. So mad – so very, very mad! She refused.

At this point a crowd had started to gather and I was seeing red to the point where I just didn’t care about anything else – at all. I then told her that she was not going anywhere and she would have to go through me to take that child anywhere. The manager then came on sight and told us both to leave. I said “no” and the woman said that I would not let her leave. I remember saying at some point that someone should look at the child, who was bleeding and crying. The woman tried to move, but I had a hold of her so hard, that she wasn’t going anywhere. The manager said he was calling the police and I was more than fine with that. At some point another person had gotten the little girl out of the fray and took her to the bathroom with an employee to check her bloody little head. The woman than attempted to run. Oh, now that was a big mistake.

She managed to get away from my grip, but she didn’t get away with a full-on tackle. Once I had her on the ground, I sat on her until the police arrived. She cried “assault” and the police tried to remove me. As I said, I didn’t really care about anything else, so I refused to get off of the woman. An onlooker told the police that they should not let the woman I was sitting on loose, because she was abusing her child. Once I was sure they had the woman, I backed-off. A very honest person had pushed my cart up front and handed me my purse. The police took us to seperate areas and questioned us. It was obvious the child was cut and bruised, but I had to go to the station anyway to have some paperwork filed on the incident. The woman wanted to press charges, and legally she could, so the police had no choice but to put me in holding. A Social Services employee came and after a lot of screeching by the woman I sat on, I was let go with no consequences. One of the officers heard me ask if someone could call me a cab and offered me a ride back to the store. On the ride back, I asked the officer about the little girl and what would happen to her.

It turns out that the little girl was in the care of a neighbor who claimed that child was trying to steal from the store and the woman wanted to teach her a lesson. The little girl, named Katie, went to the hospital where her mother was going to meet her. I cannot put into words how badly I just wanted to beat that woman to within an inch of her life. Anger doesn’t even cover what I was feeling this afternoon. Pure and total livid, fury boiled out of me and if the child had not been right there when I approached the woman, I probably would have had charges pressed against me, because I would have plowed her down and put on a major display of raw rage. So mad – so very, very mad. One thing that’ll get me that plain out furious is a scene like the one I witnessed. It is extremely unwise to punch a child in front of me. What kind of bullshit is that! NO WAY should that ever happen, to any child.

I’m still not over it, but at least I know Katie was seen by a doctor and was reunited with her mother who probably feels just horrible that her little girl had to go through something like that. I have difficulty with a world where things like that happen. It’s hard to be an optimist when shit like that happens. Very hard.

But, as I’ve said, amidst all the BS and crappy people, there is good stuff and good people. I don’t run across them often, but they’re out there so I’ll maintain my general optimistic view of things. Speaking of optimism, I am thinking that the Washington Capitals have had a chance to take a look at the PP and getting more shots into the back of the net. With the injuried, missing offensemen, things have taken a bit of a bad turn for the Capitals. I have seen some very good play, and I know this team is filled with good hockey players, so perhaps things will change for the better as they work it out together. GO CAPS GO!!

I’ll be back a bit later. Go get yourself some hockey – goalies do it all three periods!-peace-mia

Those aren’t black-eyes and Peter Bondra retires

Sunday, November 04, 2007, 8:54:00 PM

…Above the roar, just after your tour – imagine next time you’ll will do more. For every smile, just wait a while – you’ll know what it means to bequile. From now until then, and no one knows quite when, the love that you don’t know, will stand-up and show. As sleepy eyes shut, closed for the night – someone else will know if you’ve done right…

Hey there everyone. It’s a chilly day out here in the GHV. I seem to do better with much less humidity. I’m not sure how to deal with that right now. Anyone who lives in MD has experienced the “weather”, and can’t deny that it gets humid. MD weather is not my favorite. Anyway, there are plenty of things on my mind, as per my usual, so I will get right to it this morning.

Peter Bondra retired from the NHL this year. I don’t think I was surprised by that and I am glad that he played for the Washington Capitals. He’s got some other things to do, so he won’t be far from hockey. There are all sorts of links to which I could direct you about Bondra, but at the moment, I feel as though I should just go with my rememberances of Bondra. One of them allows me to mention Robert Lang, who I referenced in my last entry.

When Jagr, Bondra, Nylander and Lang were playing together as Capitals, I cannot tell you how many times I was thrilled that Bondra was there. He had a knack for saving play, more often than was necessary. I used to try to get people to come to games to see Bondra, not Jagr. Plus, he has this intersting hockey smile. It’s something you can’t forget. I clearly remember going to skate lessons and then rushing home to watch the Capitals play. At that time in my life I drank alcohol, so I would get my offical Guiness pint glass, thank the genius who came up with the Guiness “bottle rocket” that made the bottled Guiness taste like it came from the tap, and settle in for some Washington hockey. Some of those games were not only hard to watch sometimes, but lasted long enough to get me a bit drunk. One particular game made me want to drive to DC, work my way onto the ice and just out-right tackle Robert Lang. That guy is the most inconsistent player’s I’ve ever seen. This particular game was so crappy for Lang that it just amazed me he was able to even stand-up straight. It was almost as if he didn’t know where he was! I remember typing the term, “glue on his skates” in my blog entry for that day. But I also noticed that no matter how bad things got on the ice that night, Bondra managed to pull-out a couple of fantastic slap-shots and drew a penalty at exactly the right time. All three of which lead the CAPS to a win. Between Kolzig and Bondra, many Washington Capital’s games have been saved over the years. He’s got “mad skills” as my friend Brian would say. YAY PETER BONDRA! Go Hockey-dudes!

I’m sure I could fill pages with a general rant about Robert Lang, but I’ve got more important things to do today. One of those things is a mention that I have to get out, onto the internet that I DO NOT have a black-eye, or even two black-eyes. Over the last four years or so, I’ve picked-up on a pattern and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I’ve been in a few emergency rooms over the years and almost every time someone will come in and ask me questions about my home life to find out if I’m being beaten-up. Nope, that’s not it. Just recently Leif’s cousin Tucker (who DID text me when Drury scored for the Rangers last Thursday) asked Leif why I had a black-eye. I’ve had random people mention my “shiner” as well. That all just makes me feel all sorts of attractive! (not). I do have sun-damage on my left upper-cheek (on my face). It’s basically a big freckle that also sits right atop a portion of my left orbital bone where there is a small break. The bone and tissue has pushed up my skin just a little bit, and that gives the illusion of a “swell” under my left eye. I also have dark circles under my eyes. No black-eyes, just years of messed-up sleep, sun-damage and a tiny, little break in a bone. Since I’m unlikey to use make-up on a regular basis to cover my “black-eyes”, the best I can do is try to get better sleep and reduce the sun-damage spot.

My ankle/foot seems better. I am not wearing Das Boot on a regular basis any more. My favorite Orthopedist is sem-retired and is no longer able to take my insurance plan. He’s been good to me about giving me advice for my right foot and it’s Labor Day trauma. He agrees that there is damage beyond a sprain and agreed that I was to use Das Boot for a certain period of time. Now he agrees that I have to start walking on it and exercising it to get the movement back. I still have some problems bearing weight and there’s still pain every-so-often, but a few good cracks and some stretching seem to have assisted with those two things. I don’t have much choice but to be as active as I possibly can, so I’m taking a risk, but my former doc seems to feel that I just need to be extra careful on steps and keep doing what I’m doing. I can’t say I’m comfortable doing the necessary home improvement to get my place sold fast, but I’m being as nice to my right foot/ankle as I know how. Foot/ankle injuries suck!

I’m still undecided as to where I might move. Moving seems to be a constant in my life. I’m so tired of moving. So very tired. This time, I need to be absolutely sure I move as strategically as is possible to pull-off in the time and with the financial resources I have available to me. At this point, I think I’ve narrowed down three areas in which to focus, and I know for sure that I need a vehicle for at least three months. I am waiting for a call to find out how much money I need to buy one of the ugliest vehicles I’ve seen in a while. Personally, I could care less what it looks like. As long as it’s safe on the road and gets me from A to B for at least three months, I would drive a bathtub on wheels. To put it mildly, I loathe moving, so I’m still a little stuck on that. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

I’ve been trying to figure out what the back-bottom of Olie Kolzig’s goalie mask reads. I haven’t been able to get a clear look yet. Someone at the game last Friday said that it reads “for old goalies”, but I don’t think that’s right. I tried to pause a game and take a look, but I couldn’t get a clear look that way. I thought is might have read “for our goals”. Just curious I guess.

I’ve had a tough time today. I still don’t have two good days in a row yet. It’s hard to get things accomplished when my health doesn’t want to cooperate. I’m also feeling lonely and wish I had another person around to get me things and pat my head and tell me things’ll be alright. I suppose it’s a baby day for me. Waaaaa.

I can’t type anymore, so go hockey people and music it up out there – peace – mia

CAPS at Rangers and Flyers at CAPS

Friday, November 02, 2007, 12:59:00 AM

The first period has begun and I see the same three missing – Poti, Clark and Semin. Lundqvist and Kolzig have both seen action in the first three minutes. I mentioned this in a previous entry and I think I’ll focus on the draws this evening. I have had to stop and start too many time to keep up with the game via “on the fly” typing, so I am actually finishing this entry in the third period. I’ve found through watching only the draws in this hockey game that my entire view of the game is very different. I’m not sure I saw many parts of the game that I am used to seeing each and every game.

First, the Rangers have not had an easy game. The Capitals have been playing hard and there have been very few penalties on either side. Kolzig and Lundqvist have been right on all night. Without Semin in the line-up, Kozlov, Gordon and Ovechkin have been working well together. Green and Pothier have been anticipating well and Bakstrom has been showing his gameplay well. I was concerned when Olie went down after a rush to the CAPS net. As much as I am usually one of the first people to call “goalie interference”, I honestly can’t say that Olie was a victim of such a thing. I think Kolzig got taken down by hard playing members of both teams. It was hard to tell what type of body contact brought him down. He was entagled with a Rangers player and was bumped by at least one CAPS player. Being such a ‘Zilla fan, I was nervous for him until he was up and seemed to be okay to play.

I spent most of the game paying very close attention to which team won each draw. Well, the Rangers won many, many more than the CAPS. I have suspected for a while that the Capitals lose more draws than they win. I suppose I’ll check the stats, but from this game, I can at least be safe in saying that it couldn’t hurt to work on winning more draws. Let’s face it, all play begins with a draw. So, at this point in the game, Washington just got two in the box, so the Rangers have an excellent opportunity to score with a two-man advantage. And yes, there it is – the score is now 2-0 Rangers. Aside from the draws, I have tried to keep my eye on Nylander specifically. I just can’t say this enough – I am so glad he’s back!

When Jagr was with the CAPS, Lang and Nylader where brought in to boost his play. At the moment, I’ll save my thoughts on Lang. Except to say – sometimes I wonder if he even knows he’s actually on ice, playing hockey? I think Nylander impressed me from the get-go. Nylander just gets out there and plays every shift, every time, with everything he’s got. I think one of the things that puts Nylander in the sin bin more often than not, is simply that he’s playing in such a focused way, he’ll hook, trip and check with such vigor, that a penalty is far out of his mind. He’s just playing hockey. Now as I’ve just seen in the 3rd period, he’s in the bad-boy box. Personally, I think the Ranger’s probably miss Nylander – especially Jagr. Again – I am so glad he’s back in Washington. I have yet to find a player who can set-up shot passes like Nylander. You go ya wirey Swedish assist king – you go!

Well, it’s now November 3 and I couldn’t get back to this entry until around 12:45am. I was in attendance at the Verizon Center to see the Washington Capitals play the Philadelphia Flyers. Again, the Capitals end up on the losing end. I have to say that the second period was not the best I’ve seen the CAPS by far. Although, Kolzig got caught, he did manage to make a sly trip, very nonchalantly. It was so slick, it almost wasn’t a trip at all. The 3rd period was much better, but it just didn’t happen for the CAPS. Ovechkin, with an assist by the wirey Swede, put one in quickly on a PP. I watched as many draws as I could and I can pretty much say that most of them appeared to me to be won by the Flyers. Several of them lead directly to heavy traffic and numerous shots on Olie’s space. Brashear has a certain role and I respect and understand that role, but if one were to go back and watch the last two Flyer’s goals, you’ll notice something when Brashear was on the ice.

There’s a lot I could type about at the moment, but for now I will leave it with my hope that Clark, Semin and Poti get well enough to play again soon. Olie did a great job, as did Backstrom. Green’s a good defenseman and of course, Nylander is a key to shot-chances. It’s all good. I thought the CAPS could pretty much shut-out the Flyers, but hey – can’t win’em all can ya?

The Kings just closed down the Sharks in San Jose, but the Sharks have a chance at the Kings tomorrow in LA. I’m a fan of Ron Wilson, but I’m hoping the Kings pull out another win tomorrow. That Labarbera is really, really good. He wasn’t in goal this evening, but I think he’s in tomorrow. He’s got “Super Goalie” written all over him!

Okay -I’m off to do my stretches – hockey is really good exercise, everyone should do it! Sing out – peace – mia

Ovechkin has the “stuff”, can gays get the job done and where will I live?

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 11:59:00 AM

There seems to me to be a need to address a written comment I made in a previous entry. I think at some point over the last week I mentioned that I think Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals is a great player, but something seemed “off” with respect to the young star. I didn’t go back to find the exact written comment in my blog, but I remember mentioning something like that in a prior entry. I would like to be more specific at this point. I was not making a comment on his play. I was making a comment on his behavioral patterns. I’ve had extensive training in behavioral patterns and it is a part of my “world view”, so when I make comments there are always bits of my perspective on behavior within those comments. If I put on the “perfectionist shoes”, I could make all sorts of points about Alex’s play thus far this season. However, because he is not alone on the ice and he is fairly new to the NHL, it would be an incorrect assessment if I simply considered what Alex has been doing. I saw him play after the lock-out and just knew he’d be making a big splash in the NHL. He’s got skills that work well with the post lock-out NHL. He really is a good reason, on his own, to go and see Washington Capitals hockey.

I have recently had the chance to see him play a few games from a perspective where I can see his facial expressions and watch his play very closely. What I meant by my previous comment was behavior based and had very little to do with his play on the ice. Little kids at skate rinks across several continents want to be Alex Ovechkin when they grow up. I have heard a few of those children say exactly that myself. From my perspective, however, I think he’s frustrated and adjusting on a game-by-game basis. I’m a very competative person when it comes to team sports, so it is easy for me to see how he could be frustrated. I’m sure most of the team is frustrated. That is part of the game. I think he may try a little too hard during play. I think he may feel the ups and downs a little more than say, Boyd Gordon, because he’ been expected to be great every single game he plays. He’s still young and attention and pressure can provoke greatness in experienced players, but in general, my feeling is that he displays facial expressions and game-play behaviors that he did not prior to this season. It’s hard to remove Alex from the game, but I have had a lot of practice and training, so I am able to see beyond the play. My previous comment was not meant as a one about his play, but rather, I was more concentrating on something more “personality” based. I believe that I may have been a little too non-specific in my previous entry and for that I apologize. I’ll try to be more aware of how a reader may perceive my blog entries. OVECHKIN ROCKS!!!

This evening the Capitals play the Rangers at home. I can’t imagine it’s easy to be any opposing team at MSG. I also know I’ll probably hear something from Tucker eventually. I have the general attitude every game day that the CAPS are going to kick some hockey butt. One advantage of a being a fan of one team for so long is learning to maintain a positive game-by-game outlook. I have to thank the entire Capitals organization for that. I think during the 2000-2001 season I started realizing that I was becoming more and more discouraged as a Washington hockey fan. In the two seasons before the lock-out, I was really a frustrated fan. The year of the lock-out, I had a chance to find out what it’s like without NHL hockey. At the time, the Hershey Bears were not the Washington AHL affiliate, so I went to some Philadelphia Phantoms AHL games and followed them for that year. After getting a much better grip on AHL hockey, I was more willing to be a “patient” Capitals fan the year after the lockout. I know I made comments in my blog about the state of the CAPS after the lockout. As more and more familiar Washington Capitals faces left the team, I had an inclination to be discouraged yet once again. But instead, I started simply sticking with a “they’ll win this game” mantra. As a fan, I still get frustrated and curse and all thst stuff, but I don’t let go of the game until the game is actually over. Then I move my head to the next game. I have found that the lock-out allowed me to appreciate my team in a completely different way. ROCK ON WASHINGTON CAPITALS! More about the game later.

Those of us who live in and around the Baltimore, MD area, have been deluged with news stories about the Church and its congregation who has just lost a suit against a family for something like 11.5 million dollars. The suit was over the fact that the Church and some of its congregation stood outside of a funeral for a killed-in-battle veteran and held signs and shouted in protest. The protests were very blatant and involved the congregation’s thoughts about gays in the military. One of the protest signs read, “GOD Hates your TEARS”. From what I can gather thus far, the congregation feels that mourning the loss of a loved-one who may or may not be gay is an abomination in the eyes of God and therefore “America is Doomed”, as another protest sign read. It hasn’t been made very clear to me whether or not the fallen soldier was gay, but as one who has served in the military (NAVY), I do have an opinion about gays in the military.

Frankly, if there is a funeral for someone – anyone – it should be respected. That’s about all I have to say about that. But, as for gays in the military, I can safely say that there have been gays in the military for centuries. I took a lot of crap as a female in the military. The one things I knew, however, was that I could do my job and I could take on the responsibility of someone else’s life if the “shitstorm” came. When you have to operate in tandum with others and your life could be at stake, the only real thing that should be of concern is whether or not someone can literally carry you out of a “shitstorm” if necessary. Police, military, firefighters and others of the same ilk have to rely on each other for their own lives sometimes. All Americans rely on those who are in those categories – including the members of the congregation who stood outside the funeral and protested. Peronally, I could care less if a male, female, African, a ghost, a child, a hardened criminal or a gay person gets me out of danger. I can assure you that never once did I ever consider any of that when it was time to just get the job done. I am even willing to bet that most of the members of that sued congregation would not ask someone who was saving their lives whether or not that person was gay. Most likely, the person getting saved will not ask any questions at all while being saved, and most certainly would not ask NOT to be saved if the person saving them were not “acceptable in the eyes of God.”

When I served, the entire scenario was a surprise to me. I expected to be an Air Traffic Controller. I ended-up flying a helicopter. I expected to be in the reserves. I ended-up on a medical ship in the middle of a full-time major conflict. The female to male ratio on that ship was something like 25 to 1. Medical ships, no matter from which branch of the US Armed Services, usually carry members from all the branches. The “jarheads” worked with the “squids” and the males worked with the females. The Asian-Americans worked with the African-Americans and so on. To say that eveyone was confident in my ability to do my job would be very wrong. In the end though, I did my job. I did it responsibly and well. I saved some asses and I had my ass saved. I met females who I thought were quite unprepared to do the jobs they had been assigned. I also met males I thought were quite unprepared to do the jobs they had been assigned as well. I know there were gays serving on the same ship as me and the only time I gave a crap about what those people were doing was if they were under my direct command or if they were engaged in an operation that required them to do their jobs properly. That’s it. That’s all. Almost all of the males I worked with eventually became abundantly aware of the fact that I could do my job and I could save their asses if necessary. That’s all. That’s it. At the end of any day, when all the dust has cleared, the people who stood strong with you have no gender or skin color – they are simply your brothers and sisters.

So, it’s time now to research some more places to live in MD, DC and VA. I think I’ve decided that it’ll probably be Arlington, VA, downtown DC or maybe Vienna, VA. I haven’t visited certain neighborhoods yet, so things may change. Plus, I am not sure if I will purchase a vehicle or rely on public transportation yet. I’m trying to find a place that has the following things, preferably within walking distance:  an indoor swimming pool, an exercise facility, an ice rink, a Whole Foods, a Donna’s and a Metro or Metrobus. I have found a place, across from Ballston Commons that has an indoor pool, exercise facilty and allows cats. The Kettler Iceplex is within walking distance and the Metro is very close by. I’m probably going to have to wander around a bit to see what the resaurants and food shopping is like around there. I have an extreme dislike for anything but “whole” foods nowadays, so I need a place where I can find a good assortment of “whole” foods. I also found a place in downtown DC that is close to a variety of places, has an outdoor pool and is close to a Metro. There’s also a place close to an ice-rink and a really good whole-food market in MD that’s also close to a YMCA, but I would definitely need a vehicle. This has become quite a challenge. I need a pool that is available to me year-round. I need to have easy access to certain foods. I need to make sure I’m able to get to the Washington Capitals games. I need to be sure I can bring my cats to live with me. I’m still checking out the tax and business aspects of living and operating in one location over another, but in the end, the decision needs to be made by the end of next week. Whatever appears most beneficial at that time will end up being where I go. I may find out I’ve made a bad choice, but I’ll do my best to get the info. I need to make a fairly good decision. We’ll see.

I’ll be back soon – peace – mia

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