Sunday, June 12, 2005

Quit hasseling me, I've been busy

The title is a bit misleading as no one has been hasseling me about writing in the old blog, but I like the inflation of the ego. During the last two weeks, things have actually picked up to the point that I am actually starting to get a life. I'll let you know about what's been going on as well as a nice essay on the greatest player to ever wear the number eight.

I'm going to go in reverse chronological order.

* Last night we went to Jim and Sarah's housewarming party. And the emphesis was on warm. It had to be about 90 degrees yesterday (and today) and tomorrow is supposed to be 95. Thanks for spring, Mother Nature. Seriously, it went from 40 degrees to 85 in about three days. What the fuck?

In any instance, it was fun over Jim and Sarah's. They have a really awesome house, one that they can stay in for the rest of their lives. Three bedrooms, in a nice town, pretty sizable back yard. They're lucky. Aly and I saw Reddish, Julie, Tom and their baby Katherine. It's been a long time since I saw the last two, so it was cool to catch up. We hung out there for a bit, ate a lot of crackers and cheese, nachos and drank some beer.

On the way home, I didn't really feel very well. I felt like the point I get when I get really drunk and I'm about to pass out. This was odd because I had literally one beer. I think the lack of food (it was about 9:00 and all I had was the cheese, nachos and a salad for lunch) and the heat. I parked the car and walked the mile home, but I am really surprised at how I got there. I was dripping in sweat and it felt like I was sleep walking.

I laid down for a bit, drank a gallon of water and ate some food and felt better. But this had never happened to me before.

* Saturday morning, Aly and I cleared one of the last wedding hurdles: precana. This actually wasn't too bad. We had to go to the Paul Center near the Boston Common. According to the flyer we were originally given class started at 9:30 and we were to get out at 4:00 and they invited us to stick around for Mass at 6:00. So, we thought that we'd be there until 7:00 or so.

Because the T was closed, we had to drive. The normal way we'd go (Storrow Dr.) was closed as well, so we had to go this circuitous route that took about 45 minutes, so we got in there about 20 minutes late. The good thing is that a bunch of other people were all messed up too, so everything started around 10:00. Then the married couple told everyone that they had to leave at 12:30, so the program was being shortened to 2:00. And we had an hour for lunch.

Basically it was three hours. Not too bad. The overall program was cool, it was all talk about finances, sex, kids, shit like that. Aly and I were able to do pretty well on our sheets because we've talked about this stuff ad nauseum. I wouldn't call it a waste of time, but these are all things that you should talk about when you think about getting married.

* Friday I got into a brawl with my landlord. Actually, I should ammend that, our apartment manager. Thursday night we got a letter saying that our rent is being raised $200 per month. I was livid. Here are the reasons why I'm pissed (besides the money):

- She told us in February, when we wanted to sign a year and a half lease, that she wasn't going to raise the rent.
- We saved her $1,000 in April. Basically, she sent us a signed contract that said we didn't have to pay our April rent. When I brought that to her attention, she was telling us how she made a huge mistake, blah, blah. Naturally we didn't want to screw her, so we told her to send us a new contract.
- The Brookline Board of Health has been here three times because of trash.
- There is mold on bedroom ceiling.
- She promised to fix the closet door, she hasn't.
- The grounds in front of our door are a mess.

I told her all of this and she was like, "Well, it's not my fault. I don't control the rent." So I asked her how she could promise us not to increase the rent in February and then tell us in June that she has no control over anything. I was pissed, I really went at her with everything I had: anger, disappointment, everything. She said that she'd call me back, and she did on Saturday. I'm not going to call her until Monday.

* Thursday I went into Boston for the American Physical Therapy Association conference. Pretty standard stuff. The one bummer was that the Scientology people weren't around. I really wanted a stress test.

* I started my first classes on Tuesday. It was just a review of Mac computing. Pretty easy stuff. We also started going over Photoshop. I think I'm really going to love doing this stuff. Also, my work is giving me $2,000 towards school instead of $1,000. I'm really pumped about that, HCPro isn't that bad of a place to work. I'm going to try and incorporate

* This man was elected to Hockey Hall of Fame on Wednesday:

When I began my formative sports years, there were three all-time Kings of Sport for me: Bo Jackson, Michael Jordan and Cam Neely. Bo and Jordan were superb athletes who played in other towns far away from Amesbury. I was lucky if I got to see them 10 times a year, mostly I read about them in Sports Illustrated.

But Cam Neely played in Boston, I was able to watch him every other day from October through May, and sometimes into June. Unlike the previous two athletes, Cam wasn't born with athleticism, he worked very hard at everything. When the Bruins stole him and a draft pick (which turned out to be Glen Wesley) from the Vancouver Canucks for Barry Pederson, everyone said that he was nothing but a bruiser, and they were right.

Neely loved to muck it up. No one was too tough for Cam, and I don't remember him every losing a fight. And he wouldn't just beat people up, he'd kick the shit out of them, and he'd take all the pieces of crap like Claude Lemiuex and just destroy them. Then one off-season Neely decided to work his ass off and turn himself into a goal scorer.

And what a goal sniper he was, in 1994 he scored 50 goals in 49 games and was the first true hockey power forward hanging out at the crease, getting his ass kicked by goalies and defenseman before banging home a rebound (usually a Ray Bourque slapper). He wasn't all brute strength either. I can remember one game against the Ottawa Senators when he was on a break away and did a 360 faking the goalie out of his jock and nailing a top shelfer.

He was magic on skates. He really was.

Then in 1990, Penguins goon Ulf Samuelson cheap shotted Neely messing up his hip. Countless months of therapy were done so Neely could step on the ice and play, but he was never up to his original level and retired in 1986 after 13 seasons. Here's a cool picture (thanks Dirt Dogs) of Neely beating the crap out of Ulf.

In his retirement he has worked tirelessly to battle cancer, but to me he will always be the greatest hockey player I've ever seen. Some will have more talent, but never more tenacity and a will to win. Ask any 30-year-old Massachusetts guy their favorite hockey player and most of them will say Cam Neely.

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