Hazards Of Hockey

Oh the hazards of hockey. For us hockey parents we’re acutely aware of these hazards, but for the uninitiated it can be a bit scary. There are, of course, several different types of hazards ranging from financial to physical. It definitely takes a little bit of courage and craziness to be a hockey parent.

Unfortunately, today we were again reminded of the hazards of hockey. Late in the third period, Goalielocks was plowed into by one of their players. I’ve seen a lot of collisions in the crease, but this one was especially nasty. I knew immediately his game was over and probably his tournament.

Both boys were having trouble sitting up, so Coach P was supporting Goalielocks, while the ref supported the other player. From my vantage point, I could tell both players were completely out of it. Consequently, the coaches helped both players off the ice to the bench.

Once on the bench, they decided to send Goalielocks off as he was dizzy. When he got off the ice, he was out of it. Even though he was out of it, he was disappointed his game was over. Fortunately, he passed the baseline concussion tests. His pupils looked good, he knew where he was, where he’s from and the day of the week, so I was encouraged.

Post-game the coach at Merrimack College gave the boys a tour of their facilities. Our boys, Goalielocks included, really enjoyed the tour. Meanwhile, the parents appreciated how the coach explained the academic requirements for a division one athlete. Hopefully, this will motivate our boys to focus on their studies.

As we left the rink, I had planned to take a wait and see approach to the head injury. However, after our trip to Chic Fil-A, I knew I’d have to get him checked out. He placed his order, I paid and then ran to the restroom while they made our food. When I got back to the counter, he asked me if I had ordered the drink. He had completely forgotten that he ordered himself a Dr. Pepper.

Consequently, we ended up in an urgent care center. Goalielocks was reticent to go as he didn’t want to be told he couldn’t play. In the end, it was, as I thought, a minor concussion. He’ll be out for at least a week, but we’ll need to follow up with his pediatrician once back in Florida. He’s pretty bummed as he played well this morning and was looking forward to his next game.

Nonetheless, it could have been much worse given the severity of the collision. So tonight instead of heading to the rink, we’re chilling in the room enjoying our room service.

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New England Weekend

We left balmy, beautiful South Florida for a New England weekend full of hockey. After yesterday’s events this is the perfect distraction for our boys. Fortunately, we had several of Goalielocks’ teammates on our flight into Boston.

I seem to remember the flight being shorter, but it seemed quite long. Consequently, I made good use of my time by watching Bad Moms 2 and Loving Vincent. Bad Moms 2 wasn’t nearly as good as the first one, but it was still funny.

On the other hand, Loving Vincent was absolutely masterful. It tells the story of the aftermath of Van Gogh’s life and death via the characters in his paintings through the paintings. Not only does it tell the story brilliantly, but it does so by animating his paintings in glorious fashion. I was completely transfixed on the film and can’t recommend it ugly enough.

Unfortunately, once we landed in Boston the hard work started for me. There’s a lot of freaking traffic from Boston all the way to New Hampshire! Whiskey tango foxtrot! We spent an hour and a half driving from the airport to the hotel. We’re entirely and completely exhausted!

Before settling in for the night we enjoyed a great dinner at the Pig’s Tail. We split poutine and eggplant with our friends. For the main course, we enjoyed flat iron steak and pizza. Now we’re off the bed as we are beyond tired.

Hockey Weekend in Georgia

My Mayor and the Hubby got back today from their magical hockey weekend in Georgia. While I usually go on the out of state tournaments, since I’m going to Boston this week, I had to pass up on the trip.  Fortunately, it was a great opportunity for the Hubby and My Mayor to spend some quality time together.  And by quality time I do mean a 9.5 hour commute each way.  At least, they had Coach P and the Mayor’s teammate Nino to keep them company on the drive.

The actual tournament was outdoors on the University of Georgia campus in Athen, Georgia.  Yes you read that right it was an outdoor tournament in Athens, GA.  The rink itself is covered with a roof, but is otherwise in the elements.  I watched some of the games via Facebook live when it didn’t conflict with Goalielocks’ game.

Fortunately, I was able to catch the entirety of their Saturday night game via Facebook live.  Well sort of….  Unfortunately, the fog was unbelievably thick.  You couldn’t see anything outside of the neutral zone.  In fact, I’m not even sure that there were goalies out there.   As I watched the game unfold my imagination was running wild with the silliest ideas one could conjure.   The fog was so thick aliens or swamp monster could have kidnapped either goalie and nobody would have been the wiser.

Truly, it was an incredible sight.  Since they don’t check at peewee, the risk for injury was small.  If it was Goalielocks’ team in a hitting league, the game would not have gone forward.  It simply would have been too dangerous.   Amazingly, the fog made for some incredibly cool photos, which I’ll share here.

I just asked the Mayor was his favorite part of the trip was, aside from their visit to a strip club, and his response was priceless.  He responded “I don’t remember yet what my favorite part was.”  As soon as he remember his favorite parts of the trip, I’ll certainly share them with you. Meanwhile, the Hubby’s favorite part was seeing the state of Georgia, exploring Athens and the UGA campus.

Tonight’s song performed by one of Athens, Georgia’s own R.E.M is “Man On The Moon.”

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Friday Eve

It’s Friday eve to a weekend full of hockey.  My Mayor and the hubby are headed to Georgia for an outdoor tournament.  Yes, you read that right.  They’ll be playing on an outdoor rink in Georgia.  In fact, I’m a little bummed that I won’t be able to see how the organizers pull this off.  Meanwhile in Florida, Goalielocks’ (my tendy) team will be playing Saturday.  If we happen to lose the first game Saturday, we’ll be playing an additional game on Sunday morning.  Here’s hoping we win, so I don’t miss aerial yoga.

 

In honor of our impending hockey weekend, I’d thought I’d share some links to my favorite hockey related posts:

  1. Love They Tendy
  2. Skol Vikings!!!
  3. My Favorite Night
  4. Hockey Culture
  5. Split Saturday
  6. Hockey Mom Wisdom
  7. Hockey Season is in Full Swing
  8. Saturday Night in Tampa
  9. Split Saturday
  10. Wheels up
  11. Wheels Up Pt. 2
  12. Wheels Up Pt. 3
  13. The Trouble With Travel

After this weekend and next, I’ll have some great stories to share.  Goalielocks and I are headed to Boston next week for a tournament with his team.  It will be our third time to Boston for hockey.  Thankfully, I really enjoy the city and the surrounding area.  Lastly, I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with my Goalielocks.

Tonight’s song performed by the B-52s is “Roam.”

 

Life In The Box

It was back to a life in the box for me as we headed to Coral Springs for the Mayor’s two games.  It’s never dull in the sin bin that is for darn sure.  I wasn’t that too busy in the first game, but the second game was different.  The first game we got off to a bit of a slow start and ended up losing 5-3.  Certainly, it would have been nice to win that one as it would have sealed a state tournament berth.

While the Hubby headed back north to take Goalielocks to his practed, I stayed in Springs with my Mayor.  We grabbed a quick bite in between games at McDonald’s for him and Dunkin for me.  I needed to ensure I had my pre-game coffee, so I wouldn’t mess up the mojo.  I had drunk my morning coffee at home instead of the rink per usual, so naturally that’s probably what messed up the morning game.  It’s a good thing us hockey moms aren’t superstitious or anything.

I grabbed my coffee and some oatmeal.  It was my first time trying Dunkin’s oatmeal and I have to say it was pretty darn good.  Fortunately, both McDonald’s and Dunkin are close to the rink, so we had no trouble getting back to the rink in time. As we waited around for the game to start, we were discussing our path to the state tournament. If we had won in the morning, we would have qualified.  Since we lost however, our team’s fate was in the hands of another team.  Needless to say, it is always better to be in control of your own destiny.

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As the zambonis took to the ice, I headed over to my place in the sin bin.  As they finished cleaning the ice, both teams and referees were ready to start the game.  I looked around and there was no score keeper to be seen.  Both referees tried to reach someone unsuccessfully to find a score keeper.  Consequently, yours truly ended up being the scorekeeper.

I have to say, I truly sympathize with the scorekeepers now. There’s a lot going on and the whole thing isn’t setup for a lefty.  The refs said I would start the game and not to worry about the penalties and such, but that wasn’t exactly accurate.  If you didn’t put the penalties up, you had to do the backwards math yourself.  No thank you!  Additionally, ladies there’s a reason men don’t like to read instructions.  Most of the time the instructions are poorly written or leave out key steps – as was the case with adding penalties to the clock.

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Fortunately, I had mostly figured it out (penalties included) by the end of the first period.  I am pretty sure, however, that the score sheets are made for people with 20/20 vision and super small and perfect writing.  Sadly, I fall into neither of those categories, which made filling out the score sheet quite the adventure.  By the third period, we were on run time, which made my life a bit easier.  Meanwhile, the Hubby is texting for updates and getting radio silence.   There was no way I could text and score keep all at once.

We ended up winning the game 9-1, but we lost one of our players in the process.  Late in the first, one of our D-men was checked and flew head first into the boards.  Can I tell you how scary that was?  From where we were sitting in the box, we could tell he was out cold.   Unfortunately, he ended up having to be transported to the hospital with a concussion.  It was certainly a very scary situation.  Thankfully, his mom just updated all of us and let us know that he’s home and will be okay.  Thank goodness!

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Post game, we ended up watching another U-12 A game as it would decide our fate.  Like I said, it is always better to decide your own fate than to leave it in somebody else’s hands.  It was nerve wracking and up to 23.7 seconds left in the 3rd it looked like our season would end early.  Only at 23.6 seconds, the Panthers scored a goal and sealed our fate.  Our squad is going to SAHOF!!!!  I couldn’t be happier for this team.  They work so hard and play so hard for each other that it is fun to watch.  Even on their worst days, they have each others’ backs.  I freaking love these kids and families.

Anyway, we’ve been home for almost 3 hours and my toes are still frozen.  Once that cold gets in your bones, it sure does not want to leave.  I’ll be making myself some nice chamomile tea to try and warm myself up.  Tonight’s song performed by PitBull, JLo and Claudia Leitte is “We Are One.”  The Mayor and I listened to this song as we drove back to the rink and it is the perfect song for him and his team.  Plus the hockey dads will like the samba dancers.

 

Can I Be Candid?

Can I be candid for a moment? Yeah, it was a rhetorical question.  You actually don’t have a choice.  Most of us are on social media, with the exception of my parents, and see the daily shit show that is social media.  Two of my favorite groups to follow on Facebook are our neighborhood groups and the state’s hockey forum.  The groups are filled to the brim with people who are completely unglued.  Consequently, some days its more entertaining than Netflix.

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We’ve actually nicknamed our neighborhood as the restaurant killers.  No matter which restaurant they try it’s either: not as good as it was in New York, crappy service, too expensive, decor bland, etc.. I could go on for days.  As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to open a restaurant near our neighborhood.   We recently have a restaurant open up near us and lots of our neighbors went to the soft opening.  Oh the diatribes that followed about all the glitches they encountered.  Apparently, they completely missing the fact that it was “soft opening.”

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From time to time people will make ad hominem attacks on HOA board members, which are unfounded given their volunteers. There’s one guy in our neighborhood that blasts the board on the page if the pool deck is dirtier than he’d like or the plants are overgrown.  Fortunately, he’s kind enough to post photos.  I guess people who aren’t hockey moms have a lot more time on their hands.  I can’t comprehend how he has time to do these things, but whatever.  They also like to blame renters for property damage or stolen property.   Oftentimes, their kids caused the damage  or the “stolen” property was misplaced.  What makes these pages so puzzling is that our neighbors are incredible, so confusing.

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On to the hockey forum, it is a complete and utter gong show at times.  Again people go on the page and call out organizations or worse people by name.  If you have a problem with someone, why wouldn’t you address it to them instead of blasting them on a Facebook page?  It’s fucking cowardly.   As for calling out organizations, it’s not always uncalled for, but seriously have your facts together first.  Lastly, if you don’t like the rules of the league, take it up with the league.  After all, the organizations do not own the rules and regulations, the league does.  Tonight’s I’ll be toggling back between NetFlix and the utter disaster that is the hockey forum.  It should be a night full of laughs.

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Tonight’s song, very apropos that the disaster that is the hockey forum, performed by the 4 Non Blondes is “What’s Going On?”  I’m really stuck in the 90s this month… I remember this song fondly as I would watch the video at my great uncle’s house in California.  The song always reminds me of that wonderful trip. 

 

Choking

Well, it was a day full of choking.  When I say choking, I don’t mean the kinky 50 Shades stuff, I mean sports teams utterly out performing.  Once could say shitty decision leads to shitty outcomes, but that seems a bit obvious.  As a hardened Vikings fan, I knew tonight would be disappointing.  Consequently, I spent the first half of the game working out.  Fortunately, while they gave up touchdown after touchdown, I burned 632 calories.  (At least there was some winning today!)

 

My kids, however, have not yet accepted what it truly means to be a Minnesota fan.  You know, the team will build up your hope only to choke in dramatic and devastating fashion.  Come to think about it, I probably should have used disappointment or today’s title, however, that would be redundant.  Nevertheless as a consequence of the Vikes’ epic collapse, I have one kid in a full on melt down.  Truly, I think he thought the world was truly ending.  Like many fans, I would have loved for my team to win, but hey reality is reality.  I simply don’t get my hopes up anymore.

Despite their epic loss, I love my Vikings and fellow fans.  How many organizations have a fan base that would raise well over $200,000 for an opponents charity? Not many.  At least the Vikes are honorable, which is more than I can say about many people.  I actually had some tell me today that they have a sliding scale of accountability and were proud of it.  Things to keep to yourself..  If you are in charge of anyone and have a sliding scale of accountability, you should probably quit your job.

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Unfortunately, the highlight of my day was the awesome chili I enjoyed at Culver’s between games.  When the chili was the highlight of the day, you know it was a bad sports day.  Additionally, I started reading Sun Tzu’s TheArt of War, which was quite enjoyable.   If you lead people, in any capacity or environment, you need to read this book on military strategy.  While this book was written with a military audience in mind, its principals are applicable across all industries and all leaders. In fact, I’m pretty sure its the first time in recorded history that a leader referred to a style akin to servant leadership.

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Ultimately, win, lose or draw, I love spending time with my family.  In that regard, today was a total win.  The Vikings’ season may be over, but I still have my Wild and soon the Twinkies will start spring training.  In short, soon the other sports teams from Minnesota can break my heart.   Lastly, if you’re looking for a good book to read on strategy, pick up a copy of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

Tonight’s song performed by Minnesota’s own Soul Asylum is “Runaway Train.  I know, I know it is a bit melancholy, but after the drubbing my Vikes endured it seems apropos.  Of course, it also happens to be a great song and a great video.

Disappointment

Disappointment is such a heavy word as it coveys all the feelings that come along with it.  The pit in your stomach, the sadness, that gnawing feeling that you should have listened to your gut, etc.   I don’t like being being disappointed, but it is a part of life.   I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this feeling.   Moreover, nobody likes to be disappointed by their leadership.  This is something I take very seriously in my role.

 

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I’ve lead teams at major corporations for the last eleven years.  When you talk about leadership, two important tenets are equality and fairness.   If you hold your people to different standards, you will falter as a leader. Actually, you will fail as a leader.  Nobody will have respect for you and ultimately your results will reflect the inequity and unfair practices.  For me policies and procedures are agnostic to performance or tenure.  While this is common sense it isn’t always widely practiced.

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While these tenets apply to leadership in a corporate environment, they also apply to schools, sports organizations, organizations like the boy scouts.  A lack of equity or fairness in leadership is much more insidious when it impacts our kids.  While life is certainly unfair, it emboldens bad behavior.  Unfortunately, due to poor leadership, some kids or players think that they are above the rules.  As a result, they are woefully disrespectful to everyone.  This isn’t a recipe for success.

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Ultimately, these types of leaders create an environment that lacks accountability and respect.  They may enjoy short term success, but ultimately the culture will lead them to failure.  This type of leadership creates an unsustainable environment.  In addition,  people that are treated unfairly learn to be honorable in the face of dishonor.  Moreover, they learn resilience.  Ultimately, they move on to new organizations.  

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As I said above, life isn’t fair, but that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about leading a team or an organization honorably, which creates a high producing environment.  I witnessed a lack of leadership this evening that was  disappointing.  Truly, it was the same story last weekend.   However, change is always on the horizon.  Don’t be the type of leader that creates misanthropic kids or employees or an atmosphere rife with disrespect.

Tonight’s song performed by Offspring is “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”  Offspring’s debut CD was also one of the first CDs I bought.  Moreover, this is one of my favorite songs from the late 90’s.  It is also one of my kids’ favorite songs.  The Mayor had two hockey games at home today.  I was able to play the music today, so I chose a 90’s theme in honor of Delores O’Riordan.  What’s your favorite song from the 90’s?

 

We Made It

After two flights and a pit stop at MacDonald’s in Detroit, we finally made it to Chicago! This was my first time back in O’Hare since middle school. I remember the terminal walkways looked much bigger and much newer back then. Now it’s not so big and fancy compared to some of the newly remodeled airports.

Admittedly, I don’t eat MacDonald’s often. If I’m eating MacDonald’s, it’s either a desperation play or vodka made me do it. Today it was a desperation play as we didn’t have too much time between flights.

What a freaking mistake that was! I’m still feeling it! I ordered the artisan grilled chicken sandwich because calorie wise it was semi reasonable and it looked more gratifying than a single cheese burger. Wrong!

I was so hungry having totally forgotten to eat breakfast as we rushed to the airport. Despite this crazy level of hungry bordering on hangry, I couldn’t finish the sandwich. It was truly the one of the most vile things I have ever eaten.

Honestly, I would have been better off eating the soles of my shoes because they would have been less rubbery. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure they stole the rubber chicken from Carrot Top’s prop box and made into my sandwich. If I were him, I’d be mad that his prop was sacrificed for a subpar imitation chicken sandwich.

Now here we are in the Marriott seven hours later and my stomach is still angry with that sandwich. This is why I’m not going to be eating at Macdonald’s again sober. My sandwich today evoked memories of the horrific school lunches they served in elementary.

Meanwhile, my boys feel that the current Chicago weather is nice and comfortable. It’s been a battle since we landed to get them to put on jackets, pants, gloves, etc. “It’s not cold mom.” Yeah, my arse it isn’t cold. I’m looking forward to rehashing this argument tomorrow as we leave for the rink bright and early.

Tomorrow will be a busy day with three games and two team functions. Fortunately, the games are all at the same arena tomorrow. Sunday on the other hand will be a complete disaster. It should be an interesting day as I attempt to make all games in different arenas across town! I’m heading to bed hoping that the nausea caused by that blasted rubber chicken sandwich will be gone tomorrow. Over and out from Chicago!

Back To School

Last week it was back to reality for us adults, but this week it is back to school for the kids in Palm Beach County.  It feels like they’ve been off from school forever even though its only been a couple of weeks.  With the kids heading back to school, life will truly feel like its back to normal.  Well, back to normal or a couple of days until we head to Chicago for a tournament.

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As a kid, the harbinger that school was near was always the Minnesota State Fair.  If you’re looking for great fried food on a stick of all varieties, this is the place for you.  One of our last trips to the fair, we enjoyed a fried candy bar on a stick.  Albeit it may have had at least a million calories, it was worth every one of them.  Other great eats include the Sweet Martha’s Cookies, cheese curds, funnel cake and Fresh French Fries.  They too are worth every calories.

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In contrast, for our kids, a return to the rink is the forerunner to school’s imminent return.  In fact, it serves as the signal both in August and in January.  Nonetheless, it doesn’t make it easier for the kids to get back into their school routines.  Who wants to get up early and go to bed earlier? None of the children in my house that’s who.

Speaking of hockey, the Mayor and Hubby headed over to Estero (west coast) for two games today.  Since we all went yesterday, I stayed home to finish the grocery shopping and wrap up preparations for our forthcoming Chicago trip.  Over the years, we’ve amassed quite of bit of winter wear, however, these pesky kids keep growing.  Now I’m trying to figure out what I need to buy for each.  Thankfully, Amazon Prime will have them here by Wednesday!

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I cannot wait to go to Chicago!  We used to go there several times a year when we were still living in Minneapolis.  The Hubby’s grandfather used to live in Oaklawn while my Aunt and Uncle lived in Northbrook.  Moreover, my bestie from high school now lives in suburban Chicago, which means I get to see her and her family this weekend.  Did I mention I can’t wait?

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As for the Mayor’s games today…  Unfortunately, the highlight of their day was lunch at Twin Peaks which says it all.   There’s no doubt my Mayor had to be tired as he had a pretty quick turn around from our Orlando trip.  While we got home at 10:45 pm last night, he had to leave again for the west coast at 6:45 am.  You’ll be shocked to know he fell asleep on the couch a good fifty minutes ago.

Tonight’s song performed by Dropkick Murphy’s is one of the Mayor’s favorite hockey songs.  The song of the evening is “I’m Shipping Up To Boston.”