Monday, December 08, 2008

Darkness on the Edge of Town

It is 8:10 PM as I type this (though you’ll read it much later) on the old (read: 2002) laptop that my mother bought, decided she didn’t liked, and gave it to me.

In short, this thing is awful.

Anyway, why am I writing from such a prehistoric machine? Because at this moment, it’s running on batteries.

We have no power.

So I guess this allows me to play some catch-up; just not with links to fancy yet pithy sites.

Let’s start with yesterday, or even Friday at 5:01 PM. Because that, dear friends, is exactly when this cold that I had been suppressing somehow finally exploded, with a vengeance. Enough so that on Saturday, Sean (yes, “The Son”) and I spent the majority of the afternoon here so that I could convalesce.

Of course then again, that could have all been brought on by the way I felt while Sean and I were at a birthday party for a classmate of his. Twenty six- and seven-year-olds screaming and running around a small room in the basement of a church?

Oh for the love of DayQuil!

The way I felt had me worried that I wouldn’t make it to Sunday night’s Rangers/Flames tilt at The Garden. Yet never fear (as I knew I’d make it). The chance to go see some hockey and hang out with fellow Yankee fan Kelly was enough for me to suck up the misery and hop the 4:13 our of Southeast.

In typical Rob style, I didn’t really prepare for the cold of New York on an early December’s night. For one thing, I’ll be damned if I’m going to take a cab from Grand Central to MSG. I think the last time I was in a taxi in New York, Ed Koch was mayor, hookers still ruled Times Square, and the Yankees were the defending World Champions.

Memories…like the corner of my mind…

So with no hat and not even my trusty “180’s” (ya know, those things that fit over your ears and stretch around the back of your head), I hoofed it quickly from 42nd and Madison to Seventh and 33rd.

The walk gave me lots of time to think, and not ponder the fact that my ears and head were freezing in the roughly 15-degree chill (without the wind chill factor). I had time to consider a lot. I took note of the people walking; how fashionable New York is. Sure there are plenty of folks in jeans, but there are just as many looking straight out of a fashion mag. Then there are those who meet in the middle.

My kinds of folks.

In some ways the walk to (and subsequently from) The World’s Most Famous Arena was great. I’m not sure I’ve ever walked alone in Manhattan at night and yet, here was the hick, keeping to himself, thinking about stores and computers, and friendships and marriages, and missing Sean, and the total awesomeness that is New York City.

It was not quite cathartic, but it was a typical “me” moment – the kind where I wished I had a computer at my fingertips so I could type away with the thoughts that are nowhere near me now.

Frankly I gave very little thought to the game itself. I’m a Rangers fan but I’m not a diehard. I grew up with the Islander teams that won four cups and I liked them but didn’t worship them. I still feel affection for the Isles, as I do for the Devils. Yet I just like the Rangers, and their fans. I love my fellow Yankees fans but I think we can settle for no better than second place in true die-hard New York fans. I think we can tie and sometimes surpass the Giants fans, but there’s just no way that we can top the loyalty of Rangers fans.

By the way, I also like the Boston Bruins. I’m very strange when it comes to hockey.

I do not, however, care all that much about the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. Don’t ask why I’m bringing that up.

One other thing I never considered on my walk was tiaras. What, you say? Yeah, the kind of thing a vapid, “look it’s all about me and now I’m going to get totally trashed” kind of girl wears on her birthday in public. Say, at Madison Square Garden.

You know, the kind of girl that screams ONE NIGHT STAND.

Like the one who sat a few rows above me, and could barely get down the stairs in her heels.

Not that I have anything against an attractive gal wearing heels to a hockey game. It's just that you might not want to do that if you're going to get hammered.

I met a girl like that in 1991 at a bar in Syracuse. Now, keep in mind that I was 22 and had never ordered a beer in a bar before. Yet here I was, attending a sportscasters camp (!) and when it came time for me to order, I said “I’ll have what he’s having” following the guy that I was hanging out with.


And I have no idea what it was that drank. Genny, perhaps?

Anyway, there was a fairly attractive young lady celebrating her birthday, and for whatever reason, she was interested in me. And her friend, who was sober, was essentially encouraging me to have a one-nighter. The birthday girl kissed me and I slammed on the breaks.

I’ll pause now while you all tell me what an ass I am.

Did I tell you the power is out here in Carmel? Did I also mention it’s 18 degrees outside and the prison cell…I mean, the office that I currently occupy is getting colder by the second.

Oh, so the hockey game. Well first of all, have I also mentioned that I’m a freaking fool? Last year, I worked a couple of hockey games on WGCH with Dave Maloney, son of the former Ranger by the same now who now serves as a Blueshirt broadcaster. Well Dave the Younger was at MSG last night and with a simple phone call, I probably could have visited the booth.

Oh well.

Our seats were great – Section 310, right at center ice, and literally three rows in front of the TV booth. Kenny Albert, ready to call the game, had made his way over from Giants Stadium, where he had called the Giants/Eagles game on FOX. The Rangers know how to show off their tradition and history, and the presentation was fine.

It’s just that their effort was awful. They lost 3-0.

But hey! At least I had a good time, right?

The power is still out, and it seems the ol’ laptop is beginning to lose steam. Then again, so am I.

When time allows, I will tell you all about today, when I drove roughly 250 miles, for over six hours, touched three states, and took 175 pictures.

For the hell of it.

UPDATE...the lights came back on just after 9:00 PM...then went back out about two minutes later. Another 10 minutes or so went by before they came back. I hope for good.

UPDATE AGAIN...well maybe not. We lost power once more for about 10 more minutes or so, so I'm going to hit "publish post" now before we lose it again...

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