Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Last weekend the girls and I were invited to see the Rangers play the Devils at the Rock. At one time hockey was a popular sport, particularly in the late 80s and early 90s. Today, it's on nobody's radar. If hockey were a celebrity, it would be Ian Ziering. Yes, I know, who indeed.

Anyway, hockey is still a great sport to see live, the tickets were free, and Jess was happy to be going with one of her friends. The last time I went to a hockey game the girls weren't even born, and Ian Ziering was enjoying a comfortable career on 90210. It's been so long that I forgot about the atmosphere associated with a hockey game, namely:

1) The fighting: There were at least five fights during the game, including one in which a Ranger player ducked and covered his head to avoid a further beatdown. During the first fight, I glanced at Steffi, who looked like someone witnessing the ice turning into a burning ring of fire. I told her that hockey is one of the few endeavors, other than boxing, mixed martial arts, or being a Real World cast member, where fighting is condoned, if not encouraged. By the end of the third fight, Jess and her friend were slow motion fighting with each other.

2) The Cursing: In 1979, when I was a hockey fanatic, Denis Potvin of the Islanders broke Ranger Ulf Nilsson's ankle with a hip check. To this day, when a fan finishes whistling a short tune, the crowd will chant "POTVIN SUCKS!!!" What does this have to do with last Saturday's game? Well, the Devils fans have taken over that chant by following the whistling tune with "RANGERS SUCK!!!" Stef was intrigued by the clear, distinct whistling preceding this fairly frequent chant.

3) The Scoring (and Cursing): Since the mid-90s, scoring has been way down in hockey. On the positive side, Saturday's game had lots of scoring, with the Rangers winning 5-4 in OT. On the negative side, each Devils score was followed by Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll" playing full blast, which included the fans chanting, "HEY...YOU SUCK" after every goal. I assumed this was aimed at the Rangers, not Gary Glitter.

4) The Chanting (and Cursing): I loved going to hockey games when I was younger. Ranger fans would yell "Let's go Rangers", which in turn led Islander fans to yell "1940" (which prior to 1994 was the last Ranger's Stanley Cup win). Since "1940" is no longer in play, the Devils fans reacted to each "Let's Go Rangers" chant with, "RANGERS SUCK!!" It should be noted here that the Devils play a very predictable, vanilla form of hockey. Evidently their fans use the same approach to berating an opponent.

All in all, the girls had a blast and are interested in going to another game. I'm not sure if they could understand what was happening down on the ice, but I had no doubt by the end of the night they knew who sucked.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Question

Last night Jessica wanted to have a friend over for a sleepover. Below are excerpts of the conversation

Jess: "Where is Mommy?"

Me: "She's out. Why?"

Jess: "I want to invite (redacted) over for a sleepover, but Mommy's not here."

Me: "Well, I'm an adult too (sometimes), and I'm okay with it. Why don't you call your friend and invite her over?"

Jess on phone to friend: "Do you want to come over for a sleep over? Great! Ummm, hold on."

Jess to me: "Daddy, where is Mommy?"

Me: "She's out, what's your question?"

Jess: "What time can she come over?"

Me: "Whenever she wants to."

Jess (after hanging up phone) "Um, I need to call Mommy and tell her. What should I say?"

Me: "Tell Mommy that the Man of the House decided it was okay for your friend to sleep over."

Jess on phone (I overheard from another room): "Mommy, (redacted) can sleep over. I'm so excited. What? Ummm, Daddy wanted me to tell you something. The Man of the House said it was okay."

Full disclosure: I was told ahead of time that the sleepover might happen. Without that knowledge, this would have been the conversation:

Jess: "I want to invite (redacted) over for a sleepover."

Me: "Where's Mommy?"

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Half, Full Day

One of the things I try to do with the girls is to have them look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. Stef has started playing a guitar, basically strumming chords herself to see if she likes it. This morning she told me she started writing a song, but it only has two chords in it. I told her that was twice as many chords as a John Lee Hooker song, and he was one of the greatest blues artists of all time. I think she thinks I'm making these things up...but so far I haven't had to do so.

Later on this morning, Stef told me she'd rather play offense on her soccer team, but she didn't win the tryout for offense so instead she's a midfielder. I told her that Franz Beckenbauer was one of the most famous soccer players of all time, and he was a midfielder. In fact, midfielders are considered the field general of the entire soccer team.

But the last glass is half-full moment of the day came not from me, but from Jessica. She had her first two games of the year in travel soccer. In the first game, her team looked a little overwhelmed. The team is all new, they've only practiced once, and the field is 4 times bigger than the field they played on last year. The other team had what looked like future World Cup stars, kept the ball on offense the entire time, and scored 5 goals while taking about 84 shots. Jess barely touched the ball at all.

During the game, I thought maybe it was a mistake to sign her up for travel soccer. She went from scoring 8-10 goals a game to trying without success to chase Pele Patty sprinting down the field with the ball on a string.

After the game, when I asked her what she thought, she said "It was awesome. I love soccer!" And in the second game, the team played much better, Jesse had a few shots on goal, and she scored right before the end of the game.

The day was only half over, but it was definitely half-full.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I was watching a Today Show segment yesterday morning on Barack Obama and his kids. He is amazed at how fast his kids are growing up, and can't believe that his oldest daughter has gone from infant to near-teen in the blink of an eye.

The story reminded me that this is the first President that I share even a little bit of a lifestage with, since our kids are roughly the same age. It must be similar to the feeling the Boomers had when Clinton was elected, or the fake cowboys had when W. was elected.

This might be the first time I actually agreed with Obama on something. Frankly, I'd rather find agreement with him on his approach to fixing the financial collpase, his health care policy, his military strategy...I could go on. While not even the leader of the free world can stop the march of time, hopefully the President will realize that everything else is within his power to change for the better.