29 November 2007

Blackman Has The Puck!

I skated team practice tonight! I almost made it the entire hour and a half but decided to err on the side of caution and sat out the last ten minutes or so when I got to the far side of discomfort. An hour later, there isn't much swelling and I'm medicating with a beer so I think I've got some hockey feet again!

Question: The spider web I've just noticed in the top corner of my den window has an impressive collection of little gnats trapped in it. Should I let the spider stay? She hasn't been there very long - I actually vacuumed in here (I hope you were sitting down, Mom...) last weekend.

19 November 2007

Youth is...

Youth is snapping your fingers at a red light 32 times and still being delighted when it turns green with snap 33.

18 November 2007

Banner Day

I skated today! The cobbler put extra grommets in the back of my skate boot, so the tie doesn't land right across the break anymore and I grabbed a few minutes of ice time before the kids got on this morning to test the modification. Happily, I think it'll work and I'm going to see if I can start skating practice after Thanksgiving!

17 November 2007

9:00am...Time for Lunch

We're seeing a lot of early weekend mornings this year because we have to get the kids to their hockey games which, at Mites level, usually start around 7:00am. Our club usually has an away game on Saturday, so we have to get an extra early start for the travel.

We've been trying to find ways to make these early morning hours more palatable but 5:30am is difficult to combat
on any day and Saturday is worst. Last night, Chris had the idea to call our Starbucks and put in our order so it could be ready first thing and we could just grab it. Staying in town until 6am for the pick-up would put us just on the edge of late but we figured having coffee would be better than not, so I called.

Nicole gladly took our order but then called me back, really apologetic because they don't open until 7:00am on weekends and I'd asked for the order at 6:00am. She'd checked with the opening staff and they could get in early to do our order but it wouldn't be ready until 6:15. I was touched that she'd gone to the trouble of asking the guys to come in early and even more that they were willing to come in for us...but 6:15 would have made us really late for the game, so I had to just cancel the order. I'm not sure which one of us was sorrier!

We were unquestionably on-time for the game and the kids played well despite their parents' slightly groggy overcast. We stopped for coffee on the way home, which worked out fine as it was still only 8:45am. We got bagles, too, since the kids were asking for lunch and going home for bologna just seemed wrong at that hour.

15 November 2007

Room Perimeters

The third grade is learning about personal measurement references. One of the homework assignments this week was to pace out the perimeter of your bedroom and some other room in your house, which you were to draw on the back of the paper. Ross picked my and Chris' bedroom as his other room and very carefully drew a floor plan on the back. He paced around our bedroom and bathroom, very carefully drawing his paces in little circles around his floor plan. He also drew in the toilet at the far end of our bathroom and our bed, neatly made (as if...), with Chris lounging atop it, his feet toward the pillows and a Pilgrim-buckled hat on his head. I'm hoping the absurd hat didn't call into question the (equally absurd) neatness of our bed covers!

12 November 2007

Your Cadaver, Sir

Driving to an away game, Chris and I were discussing whether organ doners can become research cadavers. Attempting to argue for the contrary, I proposed the scavenged bodies could be handed to prospective dissectors with an immediate pop quiz, "Here's your cadaver, what's missing?"

Over Chris' derisive snort, Lars called from the back, "Abra!"

11 November 2007

Mites & Midgets

Today was Mites & Midgets Day, an annual torch-passing ceremony for the kids' hockey club, celebrated with the youngest team at the last home game of the oldest team. The Mites (youngest kids) have a game in the morning, then get breakfast in the rink's banquet room. After breakfast, they go into the locker room with the Midgets (oldest kids) and hang out. The Midgets come out to help with Mite practices, sometimes, so the kids aren't strangers to each other. The two teams also have the same head coach this year, so he knows all the kids quite well and had a good time pairing them up.

After the locker room pow-wow, the Mites got on the ice to participate in the game introductions and a ceremonial puck drop to commemorate the last time these older kids will play on home ice for the Bears. Here's a video of the game intro:

The ceremonial puck was dropped by a Mite (name picked from a hat):

After the opening ceremony, the little kids went back up to the banquet room for a hockey-puck pinata and got commemorative T-shirts from the Midget Moms. It was a sweet day. As I stood watching the puck drop, Mites between Midgets twice their size, I sighed and said, "Tomorrow." The mother next to me chuckled, "Yesterday," in response and I knew she knew exactly what I meant.

08 November 2007

Would You Move Your Bag?

I sank into a seat on a train from the Lower East Side to Columbus Circle today, grateful for the rest especially since my phone can't ring in the subway. I had my briefcase across my lap - it's exactly the width of the subway seat divisions, so I don't seep into the next chair but the train wasn't crowded and there was an empty chair between me and the next guy. A stop after I got on, a large woman boarded, surveyed the train and decided to sit in the empty chair beside me. The problem was that she was considerably wider than a single chair. She MUST know this, yet she still sat down...half of her right on top of me! I figured she'd get right up but no - she glared at me instead and said nastily, "Would you move your bag?"

07 November 2007

Wordless Wednesday

None of the things I can think of to write about just now are very nice...so I'm not going to write them. Hope your day was better!

06 November 2007

Exercising My Right

Voting scares me - it feels like a test I've had a year (or four) to prepare for and yet, every time I get into the little booth, I feel like I haven't studied. I'm generally aware of the candidates for major positions but some of the minor lines throw me. County Clerk? I have to vote for that person? What sort of platform should I expect, "I will faithfully record County real estate transactions and will do my best to ensure name changes are filed with the State in timely manner?" How might the platform differ from party to party? No matter how much research I do ahead of the vote, I always feel unqualified to choose.

This year, I had a personal chat with one of the newcomer candidates for town council. He seemed like a nice guy and I agreed with the things he had to say about our town. He was also genuinely interested in my concerns - he even sent me a follow-up letter addressing one point on which he did some research after we talked. I did my own follow-up research and found that, while I liked that guy, I wasn't keen on some of the things his party's been up to.

On the heels of more research than I've done before an election in quite a while, I turned up to vote with a measure of confidence I'm not used to. Still, I found myself torn in the voting booth - would my newcomer be able to change the direction of his party in the ways he talked about? Or would it be better to vote for him but then vote for people from the other parties - people with platforms I also agree with - for surrounding positions? Splitting the ticket is always awful, right? Nobody agrees? Ack! I jabbed some choices, left some blank, and exited the booth feeling the same sort of turmoil as always. Maybe next year I'll get the right answers?

05 November 2007

1010 to 814

I just purged 196 contacts from my Outlook address book - people who or companies that no longer exist or for whom I couldn't gather up a single memory. I kept about 25 entries that I can still "remember" based on notes but, harsh as it may seem, if I can't remember you and the note I put in your entry doesn't help, you're no longer in my address book. I also ditched three entries for people whom I hope to never hear from again...which pretty much means they will call this week. Actually, I sort of hope they do - one of them owes me money.

04 November 2007

It's 10pm - Do You Know Where Your Cousins Are?

Nothing gets a house clean faster than a 10:00pm call from German cousins saying they're stranded at Newark - is that close to your house? We spent the day at a funeral out of state and have to get the kids to a hockey game at 7:25am so, realistically, my house was otherwise not going to get cleaned this weekend. It's pretty shiny now, though, in an I hope they're travel-weary and will be thankful for a warm bed and clean bathroom sort of way. Ah, but who am I kidding? Lately, that's the best anyone's likely to get. The beer's cold and the door's open - come on over!

03 November 2007

Water Protection Improvements, cont.

First, there was the Dry Basement Dance....

As fall first tried to approach this year, Chris and I discussed shelling out the bucks to have our fireplace fixed so we could use it. "Working Fireplace" was one of the reasons we chose this house but, as with many other parts of our house, the fireplace endured an upgrade by the Drunk Uncle and is currently too shallow to use. I fear that human bones will be found behind the false rear wall but our chimney sweep has said he's willing to take that risk - he's brave like that.

Then, fall stalled. Absurdly warm weather returned and we got some torrential rains, which reminded us that our extension ladder is just short of useful for cleaning out the gutters along our top roof. With water pouring out over the edges of our clogged gutters, Chris arranged a visit from one of those maintenance-free gutter companies. I briefly mourned the postponement of the fireplace repair but it poured again that very night and I forgot to be sad. There's always next year, right?

Now, they're threatening us with rain from Hurricane Noel. We're eager to see how our new gutters will perform. Anxious for the leaves to fall and for the gutters to still drain the rain down the appointed spouts rather than spilling over like a waterfall outside my den window and the front door.
It was supposed to start raining today but instead we had one of those gorgeous autumn days they always show in movies. Considering how much we just spent on gutters, Murphy's Law will probably kick into action and save our entire neighborhood from rain for the next six weeks. When it does rain - and you know it will - we'll be ready, complete with several interpretive dances to honor our impressive water management systems and a really, really, awful kitchen.

02 November 2007

A Post-Halloween Observation

Halloween candy wrappers should not say, "It's not a mix up...You're my Valentine!"

01 November 2007

Hope and Healing at Ground Zero

Friends who should be relatives came to town last weekend to sing in a memorial tribute at the WTC site and we took the kids in to hear the part at St. Paul's Chapel on Saturday afternoon.

Ross viewed the memorial displays in the chapel with interest. He was a few months shy of three when the towers came down but has memories of the event. He was dozing on my lap at the end of the day and, thinking he was asleep, I'd tuned in to the news coverage. Suddenly, a matter of fact voice piped up, "Why did the airplane fly into the building? Airplanes don't fly into buildings." I switched off the TV right away but the image had already solidified for him.

After looking at the chapel displays and hearing the concert, Ross wanted to walk over to see the new construction going on where the towers were. We ambled across to see the new site plan and peeked through the fences on our way over to the World Financial Center towers, from which you can get a nice view of the site from above. As we gazed out over the work, Lars found THE BIGGEST PIPE EVER (must be about 15' in diameter) and we hypothesized that it might be the main sewer feed. As most of our party started off down the passage toward lunch, Ross commented in awe, "Wow...that's for a LOT of sh*t."


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