Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Serenity now

I'm finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. All the stuff that's been running me ragged and keeping me up at night is starting to settle down or go away and it's all been so worth it.

Camp Brusty has 2 more days left. I've been out on the ice for one of the days (and have the sore glutes to prove it) and plan to be out the final two. First night, I just needed to not have anything else to worry about other than making sure everything was running okay. Last night, I had to pick Mr.C up from the airport and have a heart to heart about whether or not we were going to buy the house we have an option on.

Which is the other thing that's been weighing heavily on me. Really heavily. And it's been taking up a lot of energy and time doing research and due diligence to make sure we're not running into any big surprises.

Aaaaanyway, it's a huge relief to have made that decision and I'm so excited to close on the house make it our own. The room that's supposed to be the formal dining room is going to be my "hockey room." :) Big TV, comfy seats. That'll be my nest for 8 months of the year and I can't wait.

Pretty sure I need an end table made out of old hockey sticks, just to stay on theme, right?

So, that's been pretty agonizing, but I think it's a good move for us.

Back to camp, it's been fun, though I can't imagine how sore and rubber-legged my peers are after 3 days. I'm sorry I missed last night because Brusty was coaching at our end (the beginner-intermediate end) and I really would have like to do the drill he was running, and not even just because of him! No really! It was just a shooting scenario I have trouble with sometimes.

My mission for the upcoming year is to get my skating better. I can t-push to the right, but I can't to the left because, basically, I can't stop to my left. So, I'm gonna have to sort that out because I'm seeing how important t-pushes are for recovery as I'm following rebounds that go into the corners (hopefully). It's the next "step up" for me to improve my game.

Anyway, the students* and parents seem pretty happy with how camp is going and I'm hearing lots of compliments for how knowledgeable our handsome and talented coaches are.

*Except for the one adult student who mouthed at me, "I HATE YOU" through the glass during drills yesterday. Haha!

My favorite, though, is one of the other adults who's had to listen to me swoon leading up to camp. During the first day of camp, he pulls me aside and whispers, "He's much better looking in person!" LOL Then last night, he goes, "I had a 'Brusty Moment'. We were talking and he looked at me and his eyes TWINKLED!"

I'm still laughing about that. Brusty Fever is contagious. There is no known cure cuz nobody wants one.

Ahhh, it's all fun. And it's neat to just see goalies all in one big bunch. Though I do admit to having to leave the room during dryland. Too many wiggly children and it makes me claustrophobic. #lemmeout

Tonight, I need to take pictures for the camp website in the midst of doing the ice time. Not sure how that will work with my chesty on, but I'll find a way. Might just leave it off, do some shots early, and then take it off again at the end and get some shots during drills. And if I screw it up somehow, I'll have Thursday to try again. :)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Roaches from heaven...

Here's a list of stuff:

  • House buying is a real ass pounding. House buying in a flood plain with plans to build an addition is an ass pounding with your head against a wall. Sorry for the disturbing visual but that pretty much explains my last 3 or 4 days. And it's only just begun.
  • I suck at goaltending. But I had fun tonight. Made some big stops. Let in some stinkers. I like when the skaters are tired and impatient. I don't like when skaters put pity shots on me because they're so convinced they'll score if they put a real shot on me. Screw you.
  • The ice was AWFUL tonight. I pushed over to make a save and ended up halfway to the boards, the ice was so wet 10 minutes into the game. Goal.
  • A roach fell on to the ice from the ceiling while we were playing. Can you imagine if that thing fell down and into your gear? Don't imagine it. I just did and it was a nightmarish and embarrassing scene. But that's hockey in Houston, baby! Skating in puddles and big ol' roaches out on the ice with you.
  • Camp Brusty starts SUNDAY! I'm very excited. Not only to see Brusty, though I won't lie, that's most of it. But to see the camp come to fruition after months of working toward it. Looking forward to turning it over to Sean and Brusty and enjoying the sight of all those goalies bouncing around the ice. :)
  • Camp is pretty much full. We exceeded my expectations for registrations, so I'm pleased about that. But that means I'm probably not going to get on the ice unless the herd thins a bit. I don't want to take away instruction time from paying students. Maybe I'll hop on later in the week.
  • But frankly, I'm not in shape for it. I've played about 4x in the last 6 weeks and that's just an hour drop-in. Goaltending and training just haven't been a high priority between playoffs and house hunting and work. And with women's league not starting until July, there hasn't been much opportunity.
  • Did I mention Brusty will be in town? :D Yaaaay! I'm fond of him.
  • Channeled him a bit tonight. Big Bird came in on a breakaway but he got a little too close, took a little too long, so I jumped out there and jabbed the puck away from him as he was skating across the slot. His teammate gathered it up and I had to dive back and try to get my stick on it. I'm actually not sure if I did or if he hit the crossbar or what. Sounded like my stick but I was in flight and didn't entirely see where the puck went. But it didn't go in the net, so suck on that, boys!
  • My elbow really hurts. I hate to get a doctor involved and I keep hoping massage will work it out, but I dunno. My whole forearm is jacked up. Bet I can still pick up a pint of beer though. #playinghurt
  • Vicodin. Yay!
  • Guy at the rink tonight appeared to be wearing a set of Brusty's old gear. TPS pads, Vaughn blocker and glove. Green, gold and cream from 2008. Rec goalies don't wear TPS pads, so it caught my eye. And then I stared at him a lot. I so associate TPS pads with Brusty that pretty much any goalie in them, I'm salivating. Though this guy actually was pretty good, and really bailed his crappy team out a lot. Good work, Not-Brusty!
Okay, that is all.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Aimless, but that's okay...

How have I not written here since the season ended? Shell shock, I guess, even though I saw it coming.

Honestly, you could feel it in the building Tuesday night. It didn't feel like magic was about to happen.

I guess it's one of the hazards of trading your sports soul for a press pass, you are obligated to identify and accept as reality things that you might not as a pure fan.

As a fan, I would have ignored that feeling in my gut and thrown myself into it. I would have cried (really cried, not choked back a few tears like I did) in my seat. I would have hit the bar after and drowned my sorrows until I could laugh again.

Alas, I had something of a job to do. Admittedly, I didn't do it well. Maybe it gets easier to swallow the emotion the more years you do this, but my game story was shit and I didn't do justice to Binghamton's season.

In my heart of hearts, I knew Binghamton had to win. The story was just too good, too special. It meant so much to that city. Signs in yards and in store window, writing on car windows as you drive around town.

In a city that's been beaten economically for so long, I couldn't help but feel like it would mean more to them than it would to Houston.

And it obviously did. 5000 people turned out for the parade, and the boys rewarded them by making sure Roman Wick had his shirt off a lot. Oh my God, yes, please.

I'm glad the series is over though. My divided loyalties weren't really that divided and I certainly identified with Bingo fans to a large degree. I liked the team all season, too (except when they played like shit in front of Brusty).

To suddenly find myself arguing with them on whether the fans were taunting Hackett while Spurgeon was on the ice injured, or whether they cheered when he was helped off the ice, just felt wrong.

I wanted to say, "I'm on your side!" Er, except for the part where you actually win. I really did want the Aeros to win.

But I feel lucky to have been able to smile through my tears watching Brusty take a running leap into his happy pile of celebrating teammates. To not feel cranky when Lehner tossed his gloves and jumped in the air and raced to his teammates at the final buzzer.

They earned it and I'm happy for them. More happy for them than sad for the Aeros, at least in hindsight. That said, and I hope this doesn't come across wrong, but I think the Aeros would have won if they'd had the same amount of rest as Bingo had gotten before the series. If I leave the playoffs with any bitterness, it's toward Hamilton. That series was hell and it cost the Aeros the Cup, IMO.

Since Tuesday, it's been that weird end of hockey season grief process. Wednesday, I cried at the drop of a hat. Thursday, I was numb and on auto-pilot. Friday, I was sorta grateful to have this thing off my plate. Yesterday, I started to miss hockey again.

Of course, the great part of going so deep is not having to wait through everybody else's playoff fun before the draft and free agency swooped in to give us something new to chew on.

And luckily, I suppose, I still have this endless house hunting process and Camp Brusty to keep me busy for a bit longer.

Unfortunately, even with camp coming up, my own goaltending is about as far from my mind as it could be right now. I even had to borrow a fellow goalie's stick last Monday because I left mine at home. Head = not together. Loved that stick though. Need to give it back to him before I keep it forever.

Boy, rambling post and I think I contradicted myself about 3 times, but whatever. That's how I'm rolling these days. Thanks for hanging in there with me.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

XM Home Ice Tuesday night

Home. Have been since 2:30 a.m. Saturday night. Pretty amazing to leave Binghamton at 9:30 and be home to Houston by 2:30. Charter is THE way to fly. I'm spoiled forever and ever now. Guys should get paid LESS to play in the NHL since they get to fly that way all the time.

Had a good time in Bingo, as I've written. My liver was really glad I came home. I sweated out some seriously weird stuff at hockey last night.

For some reason I had in my head that things were going to settle down when I got home, but of course, they're only busier.

The big deal is that I'm going to be on XM Home Ice radio at 6:05 CT before the game Tuesday night talking the series and the Aeros and whatnot. I know the subject well, but I just pray to god a) they don't ask me a bunch of stats stuff, and b) I don't get brainlock and forget everything I know.

I can quickly dissolve into Simple Brain where I can only think about how adorable Colton Gillies is and how I wish Brusty were playing. Here's to keeping my wits about me.


Had drop-in tonight and felt like myself for the first time in a long time. Empty head, just stopping pucks. Felt really good to kick the voices out of my noggin again. Nothing ruins a night in goal like voices talking to you while you play.

For some reason, my team quit playing at the end and the guy who can pretty much score on me at will started just getting breakaway after breakaway.

I had an awesome, sexy stop on him though that I'll smile warmly about for a while. He was trying to do that "drag across the top of the crease hoping I'd go down early and then get me around the other side" thing. But I saw it coming, loaded my left leg, and slid across to made a pad save.

Another one, I came WAY out and challenged. As usual, I went down too early, but I hooked him around the shin and it threw him off just enough that his shot toward the far post went into the corner instead. Phew. Illegal, but it's all I had. Just glad something worked.

Anyway, nice to have fun in goal again. Been way too long.

Now to figure out how to get coaching without sending my brain into overdrive and screwing up my game completely. May need Sean and Brusty to just mime everything at me during camp. I honestly think that's the only way to not irritate me or get in my head too much. Words are so pointy. 


Sorry the blog's been so boring. I'm a little (or maybe a lot) burned out, as much as I love this playoff run. It's exhausting, even for the writers, to go this deep in the post-season. Totally worth it though. If I didn't have house shopping and Camp Brusty preparations going on, it would be another story.

But it's good to stay busy. I can rest when I'm dead, right? zzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Looking for the silver lining...

Aw shit. Pretty bummed about the Aeros loss tonight. It's one thing for the other goalie to get a shutout, but it was a pretty lackluster shutout. Not many good chances on him to at least give me the satisfaction of having seen a great goaltending performance.

Oh well.

It's my fault because I wrote glowing things about them today, which is a surefire way to make them suck. Plus I didn't wear green. I'm sorry boys. I got cocky there...

Anyway, it's been a crazy week of working two jobs, basically, and moonlighting as a lush. Gone to bed sober one night this week and it turns out I still felt like shit the next day, so... why bother?

Good things about today though:

  1. I had some mac and cheese at lunch
  2. I got to ask BEAUTIFUL Cody Bass a (dumb) question at the post game presser. He smiled real big when he answered me. I blushed. He's really pretty and I'm looking forward to him shaving that Yosemite Sam beard off.
  3. Lehner walked up some stairs next to me at morning skate and I got to ogle his ginormous thigh muscles. (Seriously, the boy is walking on redwoods. Not the usual goalie birdlegs.)
  4. Didn't get completely hammered at Dill's tonight, so maybe I won't feel like puking during morning skate interviews tomorrow.
  5. My first round of picks for my Five Hole Fantasy team came out today. It's basically a fantasy hockey league for next season where we don't really care who wins as long as our team is drop-dead gorgeous. NHL and AHL boys in the mix, plus one "Ice Man," who is basically a non-hockey hottie cheerleader guy. Mainly it was an excuse to wax poetic about Brusty to a new audience.
So, other than meeting a few Twitter gals and the above items, the day kinda sucked. Even my nap was full of nightmares I couldn't seem to wake up from.

And it's my last night in Binghamton. Back to real life earrrrrly Sunday morning when we land back in Houston. It's been a great experience here and I've actually gained some good confidence at this beat writer thing. Tonight, when Yeo's press conference started, he looked at ME for the first question. It's a small thing but it meant a lot to me.

Anyway, I'm exhausted and surprised I haven't started getting sick yet. Always do when I burn the candle at both ends like this. Maybe the alcohol is killing the germs. :P


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