Sunday, May 31, 2009

Coach Stalin Out-Stalined Herself

So, I'm not sure I've blogged about this yet, but there's a conspiracy going on between Scott TFCG and Coach Stalin to get me to be not quite such a sucky goalie.

I love them both for it. I'm certainly not one of those "self-starters" who gets off on torturing myself with exercise, so I need someone to push the buttons and get me going. In fact, apparently, I need TWO people.

Coach Stalin is in charge of off-ice training. And she has started me on a running program 3 times a week, and on non-running days, she's got me doing ab work. Yay.

We had our first ab session yesterday and while it was strenuous at points, I thought, "Oh, it won't be so bad tomorrow."

Well, 8 a.m. arrived today (after an evening of swilling beer and beer-related concoctions) and I knew before I even got out of bed that I was Oh So Wrong. And I've been grunting around all day as a result. My back hurts, my neck hurts, my abs hurt in places I didn't know I had abs, my goddamn armpits hurt... And I have Scott coming to torture my lower half tonight at hockey practice.

So, it's all good, but man am I in a world of hurt today. I just hope I can balance on my skates with every last one of my core muscles in revolt. At least my legs feel good. For now.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Aeros Equipment Sale

Well, that was fun and enlightening. I went to the sale basically just wanting one of the goalie cut practice jerseys to have a little variety in my game night wardrobe. And maybe if the sticks were a decent price and the right size, I'd grab one of those.

Mission accomplished on both fronts, though now that I get the jersey home, I realize it's a little more beat up than I noticed (you know, in the throes of "OMGBARRYWORETHIS!" like you all know I totally was). The logo on the front is practically falling off and has been re-stitched several times. I'll have to get the ol' needle and thread out to keep the big hole from getting worse.

Also, it's red. And I play for the green team. Against the red team. Suppose it will confuse them into not shooting on me? Red's so pretty... and doesn't show the blood of ones enemies.

Other than that, it's pretty beat up with puck marks and wear, so naturally it's gorgeous and I love it. It wasn't worth the money but I'm a sucker.

Also, after perusing the sticks (and may I just say... I love you, Nolan, but I wish you were right-handed because those Montreal sticks are just f**king gorgeous, but totally useless to me), I settled on one of Dimples' sticks. I happened to have my stick in the car and they match up really well, though his shaft is longer. Heh. No really, it is. Like by a couple of inches.

And the stick was actually a pretty good deal considering what they cost from a pro shop or online.

Got to meet a couple of T3I readers, which was awesome. Shout out to Joy, Josh, and Ann. Thanks for the kind words about the site. :)

The hightlight... well, one of several, was while I was waiting in line to pay, the goalie gear was next to me, so I investigated Brusty's old pads a bit. I was driving home and trying to think of how to compare a pro's pads to mine.

The best I can think of is this:

  • Barry's pads are like the cushiest mattress, with a down pillowtop, 5 blankets, and a down comforter.
  • My pads are like a cot and a beach towel.
Of course, I don't need nice pads for the once or twice a week of beer league I play, so it's no big deal, but living in Houston where I can't just walk into a store and play around with goalie gear, it was kind of amazing to see how snazzy the high-end pads are. I could have spent another 20 minutes just looking at all the flaps and layers and stuff.

The gloves and blockers are SO light, too. And they don't stink. And don't have holes. *sigh* It's like a fantasy land.

Schultzie was there, lurking in the hallway. Nice to see a player, though it must be weird seeing people pawing through their stinky old torn-up shit.

The other highlight, besides all things goalie (and I think every kid goalie in Houston was there, plus some adult ones), was the room they were using for the used sticks was the hot tub room. I'll admit, I spent a quiet moment pondering that scene in-season. Yes ma'am.......

Anyway, it was well-organized affair and I'm happy with my haul. I've got a stick to tape and sewing to do.


Monday, May 25, 2009


That whole "never too high, never too low" stuff you hear from the pros? That can bite me. You wanna know how much that can bite me?

I got in my car after hockey, put ALL the windows down, blasted my radio, and screamed, "WOOOOOOO!!!! F**K YEAH!!!!!!" my entire 30 minute drive home. Oh, and I can't leave out the fist pumps. Lots of fist pumping.

Why the big high?

2 goals. That's it. 2 piddly shit goals. (I believe my best game was 6 goals until tonight... BIG difference.)

Moreover, for the first time since I started playing, I felt like I contributed positively to my team's success. I helped them win, rather than them winning in spite of me. I stopped breakaways, I stopped close-in shots, I stopped the slow shit, I stopped the fast shit from the point.

I should have stopped the two I didn't. The first was one that Peed skated in on me and I was on the post and didn't go down and he just found a hole and popped it in. Shoulda had it. Hell, he was close enough, I shoulda nutted him. (KIDDING!!!! Though I was watching Flyers v. Oilers from 87 before I left the house tonight... Hextall... man, he let in a lot of goals with that stand-up style. That's hard to watch now. I would be lying to say that didn't influence me tonight. It was like looking in a safety orange mirror...)

The second, I was screened by two of my own players, and seeing that, I should have gone down immediately, but didn't. I was pissed about that one, more because I knew better and just didn't react, than I was about the screens. But that still kinda pissed me off, too. I mean, if you're gonna stand in front of me, get a stick or a skate on the son of a bitch.

But the green team was otherwise awesome in front of me. Mitch rocks!!! So much hustle! I'm a fan, buddy. Thank you!

Anyway, the final score was 5-2, though whoever was running the scoreboard put 5 goals up against me as the game was ending. Meh, whatever. I know the truth.

What's more, I had a shutout for the first 35:45. And luckily the team was good about not being too "rah rah" at me about it. I think they were thinking, "About fucking time she plays some real goal." Whatever. I'm just glad they kept away from me. And I kept talking to myself: "Stay focused. Just be in front of the puck. Don't think. Just stop pucks. Stay focused."

Admittedly, the red team didn't look all that good and the posts saved me a few times. A few unlucky bounces and the score could have easily been tied. But that's always how it is and I still get scored on a bunch, so whatever. I'll take the gift and count my blessings.

I came home and thank goodness Mr. C was still awake. I was bouncing off the walls and he was hiding under the covers. He doesn't see me this jacked very often. The last time I felt like this was the evening after we flipped our car way up in Canada and I was just so incredibly happy to be alive, I was as full of unbridled joy as I've ever been. Quite literally high on life.

One of the saves, I dunno even how it did this, but somehow it was all the way down in my leg pad. That was kinda weird but I finally managed to shake it out. My favorite, though, was a shot from the point, which I almost never see in novice. I was already down and felt like the current level of threat warranted that I stay down, so I did. I watched that thing come all the way in and covered it. It was a beauty.

My goal for tonight was just to forget all the angst and moping and feeling like shit that I've felt for the last few weeks and go back to the basics: Stop. The. Puck. I tried not to talk much before the game. Kinda just got in a pissed off mode (genuine, unfortunately, as it really feels pretty fucking awful when you get the sense that your team is giving up on you) and stayed there.

Also, chicken pot pie from Boston Market is my official pre-game meal now. I've already informed Mr.C that he better get to loving the BoMa because it's now a Sunday evening staple.

Uh, what else? I dunno. I'm just really happy. I know it won't always be this good, but I'll be honest: Tonight was the first night I've dreaded coming to the rink in the same way I used to dread it as a skater. And I really didn't want to feel that way about playing goal. I needed a personal victory very badly and I got it.

Just gotta keep building on this, keep pressing, remember that it's not easy and it's not safe and that's okay.

Meanwhile, I'm living with an ice pack strapped to my right groin. I pulled it while stretching during warm-ups and it just got worse and worse with each fly save and reach-out of my leg. We'll see what other interesting places I'm sore tomorrow once the adrenaline wears off and I've slept on it (though I'm not sure how much sleep I'll get tonight. I've been home for 2 hours and I'm still WIDE awake).

Off to the lake tomorrow to hang with Coach Stalin. Then Aeros game tomorrow night. Christ, I hope I didn't just use up all my good hockey mojo on myself. There's enough to go around, eh, hockey gods? Pretty please with a donut on top? *MWAH*


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Just heard on XM Radio

Hopped in my car to pick up some breakfast and heard an analyst say that ever since John Tavares lost Cal Clutterbuck as a linemate, his play has diminished significantly.

Oh snap.

Cal is the key, bitches. I've been saying...


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Porn for Ms. Conduct

Brusty + Goalie Equipment = Joe O'Donnell is my hero

Check it out:

Part 1
Part 2

First of all, it appears I'm putting all my gear on correctly. Though I start with my right side on the skates and pads.

Second, that glove and blocker look so much more comfortable than my piece of shit set that smells like ass. (Though I did catch a puck at stick and puck today. I made everybody stop what they were doing and admire it.... okay, I didn't really, but I wanted to. It's like finding a unicorn in your backyard when I manage to catch one.)

Third, while that part of the video was certainly the most gripping, my very least favorite part of my goalie gear is my jock. I hate that thing.

(Favorite piece of gear: the terry cloth sweat band that velcros into the front of the mask over the eyebrows. I always hated getting sweat in my eyes when I skated out. I don't understand why player helmets don't have this feature. It's brilliant.)

Anyway, that was thoroughly delightful and informative, especially if you aren't familiar with goalie gear. And I'm awarding myself a gold star for getting through this post without saying any of the completely inappropriate things I'm thinking.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Equipment Manager for Hire

I'm assuming part of the job of an equipment manager is to understand how stuff like goalie knee pads work upon opening the package, because us players are too dumb to figure it out.

In which case, an equipment manager might have saved me 15 minutes of trying put my new knee pads on backwards. Now before you think I'm THAT stupid, no, I wasn't trying to put them on the backs of my knees.

They've got a garter belt they're attached to and I had that going front to back instead of back to front. It was clearly wrong but I was having a spatial meltdown trying to figure out what was right. In my defense, I'm terminally sleep-deprived until the Aeros season is over. Then I'm sleeping for 3 days straight. Do not call unless you have a paying hockey-writing gig for me.

Meanwhile, these bad boys have FOUR straps that go around the leg. It's too many once you add the knee lock from the pads to the scenario, so I've already rigged it so that there's only 3 and it seems pretty stable. Did a few drops in them on carpet and it seems pretty good. I'll probably need to take one of the knee stacks off my pads to deal with the bulk, but I'll try the whole bottom half on tomorrow at public skate and see what adjustments I need to make, then try them out for real at the stick and puck after (which I hope is lightly attended so I don't have to fuck with a scrimmage).

The hips/groin are still a bit tender doing certain things after Sunday's workout. I think it will feel good to get on the ice again and stretch that stuff out.


For once, I'll spare T3I my slobbering, but this is too good to not re-post for the ladies in the house. Dane "Mr." Crowley talking about being on the Black Ace squad during playoffs and what his days are like as a perma-scratch. Sweet baby Jesus... what a hunk.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Verbeauty and what's left of the playoffs

I feel like a shark without an ocean in the NHL right now as I don't really give a rat's ass about any of the teams left in the playoffs. I've watched a few games but have been pretty consumed with the Aeros and haven't found a team worth adopting for the playoffs.

I don't even care about any of the goalies, which is pretty amazing considering it doesn't take a whole hell of a lot for a goalie to turn me on. I guess Ozzie's kinda got an Opie-like charm and a little leather-flashing razzle-dazzle, but he plays for Detroit, who are just too perfect for me to find lovable.

In fact, I think I only like him because he seems like their weakest link at times, but then overcomes it when he needs to. I guess I like my goalies a bit flawed.

There are a lot of people on the Chicago bandwagon for a variety of reasons that I totally get, but I'm not on it myself. They're too Jonas Brothers, young and sweet. But my exception to the rule is the boy-bandiest of them all, Kris Versteeg, who is so adorable he got his very own category in my rookie rankings earlier this year.

Here's a great article about him, and about the chemistry in the Hawks room, and his part in it. We're not really hearing much about chemistry from any team but this one. Seems like when you've gone further than anybody expected, people want to credit chemistry rather than talent. And maybe that's fair. I think that's at least partly the case here with the Aeros.

Anyway, I'm always fascinated by the whole team chemistry thing, so that was a good read. But it also makes you realize how easily a douchebag or two could really fuck it up and wonder how many teams out there are pretty dysfunctional. Sounds like the Wild were getting to be that way this season.

Then I wonder, is it harder to build good chemistry in the NHL than in the lower leagues where guys are younger and don't have kids and wives distracting them? But then the roster changes so frequently with call ups and fill ins, there's that kind of instability... Things I Ponder About Hockey for $100, Alex.

Back to the playoffs and on to the Pens... I just can't deal with Fleury. And in fact, I just don't really care for the Pens at all. And it's not even a Crosby thing. In fact, he's about the only one on the team I *DO* like, mostly because he's so vilified, which just makes him more appealing. I'm contrary like that.

And finally Carolina... I kinda pull for them because my pal Schultzie loves 'em for some reason (why is that? I've never asked).

I've never seen a whole game of theirs, I don't think. I don't really enjoy hurricanes, so they kinda dredge up bad feelings with that name of theirs... both in the "hey, where'd my roof go?" and the "one blurry, vomity weekend in New Orleans" sense.

So, I dunno. I hate being "homeless" at playoff time. Usually there's ONE team in it that I love or hate or just has a goalie I like. Not so much right now.

Hey, maybe I could sell my fandom on Craig's List and make a little dough? For $200 I'll cheer for your NHL team like they were my own, superstitions and all.

Any takers out there?


Shout out to Ritch at for pimping Ms. Conduct on his blog today. He's bringing the Bruins-funny over there. Go check it out. I love finding a new blog that's funny and not afraid to drop some strategic f-bombs. That makes my fucking day.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Random thoughts

Dear Costco Shoppers,

Are you people the f**king laziest SOBs to ever shop at any store anywhere? What the ever-living hell is up with not walking 10 feet to put that giant shopping cart in a corral?

I mean, I know there are circumstances people might be in where they're too tired or whatever (age, illness) and it's a big store and even an athlete such as myself (I'll pause for a second while we all have a good laugh) is just ready to get home after an hour in there.

But seriously, there's no place I shop regularly where the parking lot is so littered with carts. When I went the other day, I had to jump out of my car while I was looking for a spot, and run and stop a rolling cart before it careened into another car. Parking Lot Superhero, I am. I think I ended up putting away 5 carts apart from my own because they were either in the way of parking my car, rolling around the lot, or were just randomly strewn around my path to taking the other carts to the corral.

And seriously, there are huge cart corrals all over the parking lot. It's 1 extra minute of your life that spares everyone a ton of hassle. Please, I beg of you. If you are able-bodied, please put your cart up. If this nut-busting bitch can do it, so can you.

Ms. Conduct


I took a nap over lunch because I was up until 3:30 trying to forget that I suck at goaltending. Just a 30 minute cat nap since I've got an Aeros game tonight (we're squeezing this season 'til it screams).

I dreamed that my dog got excited about something in the neighbor's yard and launched himself off our 2nd floor deck and into their yard. It was weird. I was so upset, I woke up out of breath from trying to rescue him.

Does that make it a dog nap?


So, the texting Brusty feature kinda fizzled over at T3I, but one of the questions I had was something like, "Is Kiss Me Through the Phone the worst modern song ever? If not, what song drives you up the wall?"

Never got an answer to that, but I still really hate that song. I really hate it. And since I never got a chance to express that hate, I'm doing it now.

Here, hate it with me.

See? Man, just... ugh. Hate it.


I washed my chest protector this morning. The water in the bathtub was this color. I think I could have washed it twice and gotten just a slightly lighter shade of that color the second time, but I didn't.

I wonder if it's ever been washed. I know all that isn't just me. It's at least Scott and one other person's stank soaked in there.


Okay, that's enough. Here's wishing the best to the boys in the bombers tonight.


Miley Cyrus and the Emo Goalie

So, you know I'm just really fucking tired and not feeling at all good about the state of Ms. Conduct when I'm driving home from hockey at midnight and Miley Cyrus comes on the radio and gets me bawling.

What am I? 12 years old? God.

To my credit, it was a really tough night at the rink and for the first time, I thought, "Maybe I'm being a fool with this." So, the lyrics really did hit home.

Still, as justifiable as I'm trying to make it seem, I totally disgust myself with my own emo-ness. Yuck. Pile that on to my frustration with just being a craptastic goalie and getting in trouble from the boys for nutting a guy (I sent him an email apologizing just now) and being a little bitch to Scott TFCG... I'm just feeling like a heel. This second childhood thing is going a little too literally for my taste.

But there's nothing I can do now but do better next time.

So, let me celebrate a few little victories.

  • We were on the ice for close to 3 hours and I held up. I was BEGGING for Jiri to open the fucking bay door and run the Zamboni by the end, but I did what I was told to do, mostly.(Scott's gonna argue with me on this point tomorrow, I guarantee it.)
  • My blocker glove no longer smells like ass. I ran ripping hot water through it for a while yesterday, and then dried it off with a little fan blowing in it and a couple of dryer sheets stuffed inside. My hand smells like Bounce. This is infinitely better than ass.
  • I caught a puck, but it was on a drill and Scott told him to shoot at my glove, so I can't get excited about it as much as Scott wanted me to.
  • My knees are bruised. My groin muscles are sore. I'm deliriously tired. I feel like shit mentally. But I'll be ready to go again next week.

May try to hit a Space City stick and puck this week rather than Willowbrook. I'd like more time to just work on some of the lateral movement we worked on this week and I can do that at a quieter stick and puck. Need to see when schools are letting out around there.

Seems like I have bad hockey nights when I wear my Clutterbuck shirt. I'm not doing that again. Though I did get to have a Clutter lovefest with a guy who was watching the game before ours. Man, I miss watching that guy play hockey.

I came home to a lovely email from a fellow editor for In Goal Magazine with nice things to say about my writing. Thank god, at the end of the day, I do something well. I mean really. Thank you, sweet-smelling Baby Jesus, for giving me something that comes naturally. Because it's not goaltending.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Stick and puck, the kinder, gentler version

Went to another stick and puck yesterday, but it couldn't have been more different from the one I usually go to up at Willowbrook.

This was out at Space City and the timing is such that it's not conducive to the high school crowd popping in, at least during the school year. So, as it turned out, it was just me, two other guys, and a couple of rink employees.

But it was good to finally have some true stick and puck time rather than a drop-in, so I could work on my own things a bit, play around in the crease. That's really fun time for me because I get that chance so rarely. I even got to practice moving the puck a bit. (I still suck at it.)

Also helpful was that one of the guys was a true novice player, having just started last week, so his shots were very similar to what I see on Sunday nights. And the other guy has been playing since he was a kid, has coached at all sorts of levels, and now plays for the Maple Leaf Pub team. So he was great about putting the novice guy through some really valuable drills (including one I wish they'd do here for our novice league practices, which is learning to stop pucks with your skates when it's rimmed around the boards).

He also gave me a few pointers and helped me work on some lateral movement, which was awesome. I didn't catch either guy's name but a hearty shout-out to both of you for making that a positive experience that I got a lot out of.


Here's kind of a funny thing. The two guys are leaving the ice at the end of the session and they introduce themselves to each other. I'm leaving through another door so I don't get involved in the introductions, but as I'm heading off, the Leaf guy says, "See you at the pub sometime, goalie?"

Goalie. I laughed to myself a little because I'm finding that rather often, in these sort of anonymous stick and puck environments, we're just called, "Goalie." Like on Wednesday, when I let the first shot on goal in and Green Hottie says, "Come on, goalie!"

All throughout my adult life, I've found it interesting to ponder my "identity" as it's perceived by the rest of the world. I'm my husband's wife, especially to his coworkers. I'm NOT anybody's mother, but because I'm of a certain age and female, people assume I have kids (I am my own kid, TYVM, and loving it).

I guess the only label I've ever really been okay with was "writer." Because, yeah, there's no denying that's The Thing I Do Best. Maybe it's not always all that good, but I am comfortable with "writer" as a key piece of my identity.

But now I'm being called "goalie" and again my name, or my individual identity is kind of irrelevant to a certain population. It's almost like being a department store Santa. Yeah, there's a bunch of us, but we're all just Santa when we're in our costumes. And we inspire awe and, sometimes fear, in little children. (Lemme tell ya... if you ever want to get stared at like a super hero by little kids, put on goalie gear.)

Anyway, I just thought that was a kind of funny phenomenon that I started picking up on this week. It doesn't bother me. I love being "goalie" but maybe I need to start telling people my name. "That's Ms.Goalie to you."


Wednesday, May 13, 2009


You couldn't wipe the shock OR the smile off my face if you tried.

The Aeros are headed to Manitoba!



I need goalie therapy. Or maybe just therapy.

Another tough day at stick and puck, but they didn't hold back this time, so that was good. It was an honest beating.

The good looking one in green with a bit of a Scandinavian look and accent... we'll call him Green Hottie... finally was like, "Why aren't you dropping? You're so much better when you butterfly."

Green Hottie wants me to go down. Heh.

Anyway, yeah, so, it was another one of those days, and I'm getting so frustrated with myself. It's like, "Here's what you need to do to improve." and my instinct is all, "No thanks, I'll stand." Augh! Why?

Lemme tell ya though, if there was some kinda hockey where goals that went in on the ice didn't count, I'd be the fucking Martin Brodeur of that kinda hockey. Warm-ups were great. I heart my blocker side so much. That thing just knows where to be. So I'm all jazzed when we start and then, boom. Suck. Everything is on the ice. Every deke gets around me. Every back door pass is in the net.

I dunno what it's going to take to stop being so stubborn about this. I've got to sort myself out.

This was almost as bad as that really awful novice game a while back that I spent the whole next day beating myself up over. Not gonna let it go that long this time. Coach Stalin and some coworkers are going skating at Space City on Friday and she invited me. There's a stick and puck after, so I'll hit that, too.

I try to think of something I did well each time I have games like this. Some glimmer of growth. There's just not much today. Other than wanting to have babies with my blocker side. You rock, blocker! I did try to challenge shooters more aggressively, but usually it backfired into a pass to the backdoor and a goal. F**k those brats.

Oh, here's an amazing thing: I haven't gotten a single hard shot in the boob since I started until today. And today I got hit in the knockers twice. That shit hurts! How some woman goalie hasn't invented an armored bra, I just don't understand. I may have to get on that.

Oh oh! (Mr. Kotter!) I did get to whack and shove a few guys! A couple of times, the boys would park at my door step and I had time to give two of them a good hard jab in the back with my glove or stick. One I hit extra hard because he was a major douchebag (we'll call him Douchebag). Douchebag came in on me and deked at the last second to score. I put my stick around his ankles but he's a big boy and managed to stay up. Damn. A faceplant would have made me awfully happy.

And Canada just lit me the fuck up. I dunno. He just finds the holes. And then when we switched ends and he's on my side, he's calling every goal lucky. I can't decide whether I like that or it irritates me. Both at once. No, it was bad goaltending, but thanks for not just grumbling at me after it.

Also, on the way home, I was following a big gasoline truck and it hit a bird. Feathers went everywhere. I see that as a bad omen for the Aeros tonight.

Sorry, that was a rambling mess. Kinda like my game today.


Schadenfreude at its very finest...

Thanks to Wysh for that find. I haven't laughed that hard in a while.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pain is funny

At least, that's all I can figure about why it's so much more fun to write about colossal failures than it is to write about colossal success.

Seems like my best post-game write-ups are after a particularly disappointing loss. Not sure what that says of me, but I'm okay with whatever it is.

So, I rather enjoyed tonight's post-gamer on the Aeros 7-0 loss. Didn't enjoy the game so much, and absolutely would have shut 'er down in the second period if I hadn't had to write about it for PHN.

But you gotta make lemons out of lemonade. Wait, no they already did that to get the series to 3-3. No, you gotta make lemonade out of lemons. Here's hoping the boys brought enough sugar.

Anyway, just a reminder that if you're looking for Aeros coverage, 99% of it is over at The Third Intermission, which you may now conveniently locate by going to or or to the original Blogspot address,


Monday, May 11, 2009

Life Alert won't help you in the crease

So, whenever you start a new venture that's kinda complicated, there's always some aspect of it that leaves you scratching your head that you never expected would leave you scratching your head.

For me and goaltending, it's how to gracefully recover from my ass. Real goalies make this look so easy. Nobody appreciates how hard the dumb little shit like this is to figure out.

And the thing is, practicing it on carpet at home doesn't work. You aren't slipping and sliding, so it's not the same challenge.

Anyway, this was the theme of the night, as I made one save on my ass (well, multiple if you count the rebounds until I froze it) and struggled to get up. And then as the red team was entering the zone, I was just setting up for them and my balance shifted backward juuuuust a little too much and I did that whole cartoony thing where I'm trying to stay up, but my skates are just kicking out from under me, and BOOM, on my ass.

Luckily my team corralled the puck back to the other end, but I honestly thought for a moment I was gonna have to play the rest of the game on my ass and then just grab on to the Zamboni to let it drag me to the exit. It was about as brutal and embarrassing a display as I've ever been involved in. It was the hockey gods saying, CORE WORK, BITCH!!!!

And the red team is just sitting on their bench watching the show. I skated over after and said, "If anybody would like to get out here in these pads and try to get up off your ass, you're welcome to them!" Needless to say, I got no takers. They're probably all thinking, "Yeah, this why we were smart enough not to be goalies." Touché.

Anyway, as for the goals, there were 8 and I'm too tired to process them all right now. 5 in the first period alone, none in the second (which was the Flopping Period) and 3 in the third.

I was too deep and knew it immediately on at least 4 of them, probably more. Augh. Then, while I'm telling myself to stay out of the paint, I got beat on a nutty play from behind the net that I was to far out for and couldn't get back. Then one went in off the inside of my leg pad. Too deep and just totally wrong on that one, too.

Here, I'll just say it for the hockey gods so they can rest their voices: GET OUT OF THE F**KING PAINT!!!

I did have a few nice saves where I was in the right position, and the green team killed their first penalty with me in goal. Normally the PP is a surefire goal for the red team, but we stopped 'em this time, so that was great. Hey, our PK was better than Milwaukee's tonight! Ha! PP was better, too, as the green team DID score on a man advantage opportunity.

Anyway, feeling blah about the whole thing. Don't feel like I'm making any progress, but I'm hoping once the Aeros playoffs are over, I can get back to focusing on my own game. I've just been too busy the last few weeks to give it the appropriate attention.

I feel like I need a jersey that just says, "I'm trying, I promise" on the front.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Jason Shaver and how things come full circle

I finally had the pleasure of meeting Jason Shaver last night, former Aeros broadcaster and now broadcaster for the hated Chicago Wolves, though he still lives in Houston. I really enjoyed his game calls last season when all I had was radio. I could just close my eyes and watch the game in my head, which, I believe is more than B2 subscribers could see actually watching the game online.

Anyway, it was great, I learned a lot listening to him, and he's just a total pro. The games he broadcast with Schaefer and/or Brusty when they were out with injuries were the absolute best. It was like the Aeros Hockey Comedy Hour. Really great stuff. But also insightful, because goalies see the whole game unfold in front of them.

But seeing Jason reminded me of one game when Schaef was on and Shaver was taking emails with questions for him, and I was still toying with this "being a goalie" idea.

So, I emailed and explained that I'm 32 and, suddenly, I've decided that I MUST become a goalie, and did he have any tips for me.

Nolan, in his usual no-nonsense way, basically said, 'Good luck with that, crazy lady.' (Okay, that isn't an exact quote but that was the gist.) His tip was to get VERY good gear.

It told me two things:

  • Never ask Nolan if these pants make your ass look big, because he's gonna tell you the truth.
  • Goaltending is going to be harder that I think it is. (And it is... but it's also more fun than I thought it would be.)
I'll be honest, it was a little discouraging. In fact, a lot of feedback I got along the way was discouraging, so I learned to blow it off, but this one, from a goalie for whom I have tremendous respect, stuck with me. Kind of in a "I'll show you, Mr. Goalie Man" way. So, I chalk that up as a good thing.

But beyond playing goal, I'm doing lots of things now that I kinda shake my head at with wonder. Talking to people whose names I only used to read in the paper, who are the source of so much speculation among fans. So much "big stuff" is placed on their shoulders, they seem like they should be taller or more imposing, but they're just regular humans.

So, meeting Jason last night kinda felt like things coming full circle, at least in my hockey life (which, let's get real, is really kinda my whole life now). Especially in light of some other big life decisions Mr. C and I have going on.

Lots to ponder, but for now, I'm just enjoying the ride... even the bumpy parts. (Fred's totally making a dirty joke out of that. Aren't you, Fred?)


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ah, shit. Sorry Lammers.

I know you're John and not Jason. Even as I typed it, it thought, "That doesn't feel quite right." But I was minutes from my deadline, Chronicle calling me going, "Hey, it's 10:25." Yeah, no shit. Leave me alone so I can press Send.

So, I'm sorry. I suck. Every copy of the Chron that I see tomorrow, I'll take a pen and fix that. Or you could change your name to Jason real quick. Or maybe next time I'll just call Jason Ryznar "John Ryznar" and we'll all be square.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Hockey Poem


I miss my goalie.

I mean, I knew this.

But had a glimmer of hope.

You know?

October is an eternity away.

No offense, Dimples.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Practice? We're talking about practice.

Well, I'm tired and sore. I guess that's something, but practice was pretty unsatisfying from a goalie perspective tonight. (But still more fun than anything else I do all week.)

No Scotty to abuse me (I'll admit to being relieved just a little). Not even Luther to at least get me out of the board-to-board skating drill with a few shots.

Drills went on forever and ever. First a forechecking drill that was actually pretty fun for me since it was mostly just breakaway-type shots, which I enjoy. Looked like a lot of damn work for the skaters though. Glad to be a goalie on that one.

Then a breakout drill that, like last time, bored me right outta my jill. Okay, it's wasn't that bad but it went on for like 20 minutes, the same thing. Ugh. I should have worked harder on that one, or even just kinda done my own thing working on some lateral movement stuff and if I stopped it, fine. But I was thinking I needed to keep something in the tank for the scrimmage.

I was wrong. The scrimmage was only 20 minutes and I only saw 3 shots, of which I let in one. It was an extremely stupid one where I didn't fly properly and the puck just skirted past the outside of my pad. If my pad had flipped out, it would have almost assuredly deflected into the corner off my toe. Also, I think Dan called offside about 8 times in 20 minutes. Let 'em play, man! :)

I really don't have time for stick and puck this week, but after such a ho-hum practice tonight and after my shellacking at stick and puck last week, I feel compelled to try and make that right. But then again, my wrist is really bothering me, so letting that rest wouldn't be an entirely bad thing. I dunno. I'll play it by ear, I guess.

I'm due for a good outing sometime, right?

Now I've stayed up too late and gotten hungry. Crap. We got nothing. Not even milk. Knew I should have stopped and gotten some chocolate milk on the way home.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jacking Hammer's Style

Totally ripping this from Schultzie. Sorry girl, but this blog has gotten so boring without Aeros coverage. Also, Mr. C has a bunch of friends over playing video games and I'm looking for ways to basically just avoid that whole scene.

One of them is singing You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrisette (they're playing Rock Band right now). Seriously, I may just have to leave the house.

1) What's (Who's?) your favorite team?
Aeros and Wild

2) What's your least favorite team?
Ducks, Habs, Rockford

3) Who's your favorite player?
Cal Clutterbuck, Barry Brust

4) Who's your least favorite player?
Darcy "Mother" Tucker, Chris Pronger "is a pussy"

5) Favorite American team?
See #1

6) Favorite Canadian team?

7) Favorite International team?

8) Who's your favorite goalie?
Brusty, in the minors. Turco, Thomas, and Brodeur in the NHL.

9) Least favorite goalie?
Kipper, but just because he fucked up my fantasy hockey this season. I really don't have it in me to dislike a goalie.

10) Favorite fighter?
Who else but Mitch Love?

11) Least favorite fighter?
Anybody beating up one of MY boys.

12) Favorite jersey/uniform/outfit/sweater?

Love the Kings new third. Love the Wild red (but hate the uniform all together). Love seeing the Aeros in their darks.

13) Least favorite jersey/uniform/outfit/sweater?

Florida, Atlanta's and Sen's thirds

14) Do you like home, away, or "third" jerseys best?
Tend to like the thirds just because they're different. Though only in the NHL. Alternate sweaters in the AHL are usually pretty fug.

15) Who do you want to win the Cup?
Anybody but the Ducks

17) Which player would you most like to sit and have coffee with?
Any goalie.

18) What about a beer?
Chris Holt!

19) How about just watch the game with?
I've enjoyed JBourne's bloggeration of the playoffs... I suspect he'd be pretty fun to watch a few frames with.

20) Have an in-depth hockey conversation with?
Again, any goalie. Or really, any bum off the street. I just love to talk hockey, but if I can learn something, the more the better.

21) Do you collect hockey cards, memorabilia, etc?
No. More to dust. Just my Legace stick and a few Aeros bobbles.

22) If so, what's your favorite card?

23) Which is worth the most, and what's it worth?
How much will you give me for the Curtis Murphy bobble I've got? It's a big one! But it's very dusty.

24) Do you live by any hockey players?
Not as far as I know, unless you count Coach Stalin. Now, if I lived in Sugarland...

26) Do you play hockey?

27) What do you wear to hockey games?
Gotta go biz-caz for my writing gig, so it's slacks, a nice t-shirt, and my light jacket with lots of pockets for my writerly things.

28) Do you have any "watching hockey rituals" or anything anyone might consider weird?
Not really, no.

29) What's your favorite hockey memory (as a fan?)
The Cal for Calder thing was pretty fun.

30) What's your favorite hockey commercial?

31) Who's the nicest player you've met?
Haven't actually met too many. Hard to say.

32) Rudest/meanest/most annoying, etc?
Same answer. Of course, there are guys I don't like but they're probably pretty nice off the ice.

33) Who's the best looking (AKA 'off ice favourite')
Mikko Koivu. Dane Crowley. Both make me catch my breath a little. Okay, a lot.

34) Other off-handed/off-ice comments?
None that I'm okay with putting here.

35) Why do you really like hockey?
The grace and skill contrasted/combined with the speed and violence. There's just nothing else like it. That these guys who are so easy going off the ice are such warriors on it. It never gets old for me. My happy place is sitting up at the top of 108 watching the boys do their thing. I'd rather be there more than any other place.

But on the flip side, I'm equally amazed that *I* can play this game, in my own assbackward way, a couple of times a week and am ALMOST as happy as when I'm covering a game. I dunno. Hockey has been completely transformative for me. I owe it a lot.


Friday, May 1, 2009


You'd think I'd be steppin' on leprechauns today after the Aeros surprising win last night, but apparently even a playoff win can't quell the tide of irritation I'm feeling today.

Not one thing in particular, just a host of small stuff that I'm trying not to sweat but am failing in varying degrees. Maybe I should just take a nap and STFU, but I don't have time for that. So I'll just ramble here a bit. It's how I roll. (After the fact, I can tell you, as long as it took me to write this, I could have taken a pretty nice nap.)

Goalie Demo Day... in Dallas

So, I'm banging around Facebook and, what's this? An ad in the sidebar that actually interests me? WTF? Is this some kind of Bizarro Facebook?

Anyway, it was for the Goalie Demo day that they're doing at the Player's Bench in Grapevine (Dallas), where you can try on gear and get out on the ice and have people shoot at you in the gear you're thinking of buying.

But what gripes me is that Texas goalies ALL have to go to Big D to actually try on gear before they buy it. It sucks. I really have no need for anything. My skates are fitting nicely now, I'm working a local glove and blocker angle (and don't really mind buying them online if it comes to that).

All I really would like after that is a new chest protector that doesn't leave my biceps so vulnerable but other than that, I like my c/a just fine. Honestly, the smell of it eases me in hockey mode (whereas the smell of my glove and blocker catapults me into "AUGH, my hands smell like ASS!!" mode).

Still wouldn't it be nice to just go to a big store and wallow in a selection of goalie gear? Man. I'm so jealous.

Hockey Vacation

So, my pal Nick does this thing where he plays goal for an adult hockey camp. It's not a goalie camp but they like to have students shooting on a moving target. That sounds like a helluva a way to spend a week, but I'm not ready for several hours a day for a week on the ice. However, it is my goal to attend next year.

But I was thinking... since it's pretty unlikely we'll get a vacation this year and I've got lots of vacation saved up, maybe I'll just take 4 afternoons a week for a couple of weeks to go to stick and pucks. Sort of a hockey half-vacation. Only burn 2 vacation days a week doing it and still get a day off after novice.

I dunno. Something to ponder. I need to see if goalies tend to show up more while school is out. I don't want to show up and they've already got 2 goalies. Too much hassle to not get to play the full hour.

Kurtis Foster

I was already really pissed that Fozzie didn't get at least among the finalists for the Masterton. Then I read in Russo today that the voting process was extremely squirrely. It's bullshit.

Not to diminish the accomplishments of the guys who were named finalists, but come on. If you followed what Foster went through and his incredible work ethic and positive attitude in coming back. I just don't see another story out that rates. Not even close.


My quad muscles are getting big. Cool. They're still sore after Wednesday's game. Must have been doing something different, as that's a new place to be sore. All that up and down, I guess. Go figure.

Coach Stalin and I are getting together Saturday do some hockey things. Just banging around like old times. Should be fun, and Scott TFCG is gonna be all on my ass Sunday night so I better have my fun while I can. :)

The 'rents are traveling through Houston and will come out Sunday night, so maybe I'll equip them with the video camera so I can face the harsh reality. Ugh. Not sure I'm ready for that.


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