a vague collection of daily struggles, hourly arguments, minute concerns, and secondary impulses.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

go devils.

in January, the New Jersey Devils were 19 points behind the division-leading Philadelphia Flyers and had an interim head coach.

last night, those same New Jersey Devils won their season-high 11th straight game to clinch the Atlantic Division crown, with team boss Lou Lamoriello (CEO, President, General Manager) behind the bench, Brian Gionta (47th and 48th goals, setting a new team record) lighting the lamp, and Martin Brodeur (43rd win, leading the league) between the pipes.

(in fairness, it must be noted that the 11-game streak came in a year where ties were removed and the must-win shootout was introduced. then again, it must also be mentioned that only the first game of the streak, a 3-2 victory at Ottawa on March 28, came via the shootout; two others came in overtime, and the rest were won in the comfort of regulation.)

entering the Stanley Cup playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, the Devils' first round opponent will be the surprising, though recently-disappointing, New York Rangers. picked to finish dead last, or close enought, by most major sports publications, the Rangers surprised everyone behind the return to MVP form of Jaromir Jagr and the emergence of rookies Petr Prucha and Henrik Lundqvist. Scott Burnside of even went so far as to say the Rangers will prevail.

yeah, well, "that's why they play the games."

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

olie's all-stars.

the Capitals' season is grinding to a halt, just as the team appears to be gelling and scoring, albeit against dead-end teams that had no business having playoff aspirations. cliched phrases aside, next season is bubbling with promise; the arrival of Alexander Ovechkin went nicely with career years from Dainius Zubrus, Chris Clark, and Matt Pettinger, and the usual near-Vezinicty of Olaf Kolzig. late season addition Rico Fata showed signs of life that may make him worthy of his high draft position a few years ago. (contrast him to the skating toolbox known as Patrik Stefan, on display for Atlanta last night.) hopefully the Capitals will shake off some dead weight (Matthieu Biron, your brother you are not) and sign another mid-to-low-range free agent to go with Alexander "I'll Come Back This Time, I Swear" Semin.

last night's game (WAPost) (WATimes), their last of the season at the Verizon Center, was Fan Appreciation Night. those in attendance were treated to goals, saves, pulled groins, a few scrums, and random prizes, as well as a Capitals practice jersey. T and I attended this game separately, which bugged me out for no fewer than the first 20 minutes.

this night marked my seventh Capitals game of the year, and sixth in the warm confines of Chinatown. Zubrus had managed to score a goal in each of the previous six games, so after managing to steal back my Lithuania flag from my brother, and squeezing myself into a small tie-dyed shirt circa the 2000 Olympic games, I was ready for some magic from number 9. there were a few scuffles, penalties, and shots, but Zubie finished the night with "just" another assist to bring his career year's totals to 23/33/56. the OV/Zubie chemistry is amazing to see on the ice; they remind me slightly of those spike and chester cartoons with the two dogs: zubrus is the large, quiet, immovable spike, nearly impossible to knock down, whereas ovechkin is the smaller, animated chester, bouncing back from every knockdown and setback, hungry for more.

the fact remains that, standings-wise, the Capitals were awful, but there are two silver linings to that conclusion: first, Glen Hanlon guessed a statistic whereby the Capitals had lost about 30 one-goal games, and two, their placement will again result in a good draft position, no lower than fourth, and with about the same chance of winning the #1 spot in the lottery as they had the year they nabbed Ovechkin. had Semin actually shown up this year (or, had his replacement, Jeff Friesen, worked out for 20 goals like the team had hoped), we could have been looking forward to the first round of the playoffs in the petty Southleast. a quick exit at the hands of Ottawa, maybe, but at least two home games' worth! there has to be at least one decent winger who would take a paycut (and ego check) to try and round out the Ovechkin-Zubrus line.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

rusting me.

after being doused with a good amount of holy water during easter mass:
age: man, he got me good.
k: yeah, he did.
age: maybe I really needed it.
k: may-be.
age: must be all that heavy metal.

Friday, April 14, 2006


email from H:
I can't find your most recent message telling me to watch 'Lost', but I just realized why i have such an aversion to doing so. that show is one of [crazy lady from work]'s favorite talking points. "YOU HAVE TO WATCH LOST!!"
to which I replied:
haha ... don't judge a show by its fans ... call it the Dave Matthews Corollary.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


today my father and brother drove down to meet me at arlington national cemetery to visit george's grave. today was the 100th anniversary of his heroic actions on board USS Kearsarge (BB-5), for which he was awarded the medal of honor a month later. they arrived a little after noon, and without flowers, so we spent the next hour or two driving around washington, d.c. and arlington county, looking for a flower shop, before finally finding one on lee highway, barely a few miles from T's place.

all in all, we ended up driving on many different roads in the area, passing the pentagon about 15 times ("look kids, big ben!") before finding ourselves back at the cemetery, cold drinks and flowers and cameras ready. a short hike from the visitor center found us in section 6 of the cemetery, facing the stone. a few minutes passed as we just stood and thought about the man who was buried there, and what he had accomplished. dad had a lot of new information that I had never heard: that george was nothing more than a seaman when he was awarded the medal, and that he ended up leaving the navy for a few years shortly thereafter before re-enlisting and ultimately retiring with the rank of chief turret captain. we took some pictures, and I took out my book and read a short verse I had found on another arlington dedication site.

after fighting traffic, we made it back to baltimore for some dinner at koopers. I guess I still use T's name too much in conversation, because dad kept qualifying me with a slightly sarcastic, "but she's not your girlfriend, right?" (not sure how much of my thoughts on the overall subject of T that I want to share with this blog, so I'll leave things there for now.)

we drove back to lucy and sat and rested and watched the news. at some point the discussion turned to God, religion, and science, and a spirited, heated, respectful debate was had. it grew out of my casual mention of the sopranos and the ridiculous comments made by christopher regarding dinosaurs and adam & eve. I managed to make some good points (with a few more drops of T) and it made me feel proud and content to have the words and points come out of me without much thought or effort. these past few months have really awakened me to what is out there, what isn't out there, and how to rectify those two into a hopeful future and acceptable reality. it's funny how this all came up the same day I re-stumbled across ram's site, where I hadn't been in years (not that it appears to have changed much in that time), and sifting through his explanation of why he's an atheist.

they hit the road around seven-thirty, right around the time ovechkin was scoring his 50th goal of his rookie season, which I managed to miss. I felt a little ponyish, righted myself, and took to the gym, especially since I skipped rowing practice today to hang out with these two. (workout: free bar, goblin, fly, pull, legs up, legs down, roman chair, hanging abs) need to do some cardio again, it's been almost a week. enough with the weights already! hehe

Monday, April 03, 2006

the sopranos.

I'm not sure I can even find the words to describe this gem from christoper:
Christopher: What's he saying? There were dinosaurs back with Adam and Eve?
Tony: I guess ...
Christopher: No way. T-Rex in the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve would be running all the time, scared shitless ... but the Bible says it was paradise.
nevermind the actual argument at hand; if you've ever watched the sopranos, then you can easily fill in christopher's voice and mannerisms. (and if not, that link has a short video of the scene.)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

down the shore.

another backdated entry.

this trip to jersey, though short, has been highly productive. in the scant 24 hours I've been in town, I've ... been out to dinner with K, walked a bit through "downtown" toms river, visited the folks, watched divinity play (including a brief passout by mark), kvetched with jim & jill, slept on a couch, attended mass, visited guns at his store (where I bought an ipod), sucked down three brothers pizza and kohr's frozen custard, and watched the waves crash. now here I sit, resting, biding time until dinner, after which I'll probably swing by rick's house before heading back for good.

one of the first visits in a long time where I was glad to be here, but also glad to be heading back. after the sopranos, of course.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

april fool.

a new blog ... to track fun things like diet, gym habits, the woods, the water, music, films, and scripture. maybe this one'll stick longer than my last stab or two.

guns managed to grab two extra tickets for the nine inch nails show at the arts center in june. I gladly accepted them on behalf of KLB and me. it's been almost fifteen years, I can't believe I still haven't seen this band live; nails are one of those bands that has grafted to my skin from time and spinnage. I haven't been to the arts center in ages, either, maybe since ozzfest '99 with skatt.

I can't wait for this show; when I think about the time it'll be, I have trouble breathing. drive up thursday, all day friday at the beach, and the night full of music bringing me back to where I used to be.