ITZ BENNA WILE Since I WP postid anything. We’ll start with a possibly “historic first” for me. Wish I could say/write something actually historic (e.g., a perfect game? So far I haven’t had a perfect period!) happened in/at hockey – but (!) the incident was related. I don’t think that ever before a hockey game (or anything requiring contact lenses) I was able to put in each contact ON THE FIRST TRY! This occurred a couple o’ weeks back, before the latest-in-January game. If ever THAT had happened before, I don’t remember. And the subsequent game was … okay. The usual lotta fun, actually.
And for the second time, Fry-day Feb 11, again the “perfect” contact insertion prior to yet another typical game. Historic deuce. But I had a lot of fun – would have been a bunch less fun had I NOT stopped more shots than went in. Kinda wee-urd, seems NO-1 questions nor intimates the seasoning (so 2 speak) of a particular goalie. And, I’m sum-whut ashamed to say, I was by far the less-competent goalie, but the other goalie was getting hammered a lot more than I was, my team “won” – and so during the after-game hand-shaking, etc. I felt a little bit embarrassed that I was getting a bunch more accolades than I really did deserve.
“X marx the spot”
Recently (Feb 4), another fun game. John, thinking he was “old” (izzat a relative or absolute determination?) walked into our locker room, and pronounced this was “the “old person’s locker room”. I didn’t (nor won’t) say anything to him about this, but he is a mere twenty-years younger than me … and calling everyone present “old.” Hmmm. Mike – “a lineman for the county” from Montrose is “up there.” Hal, who wandered soon after that pronouncement is just a bit into the aged category (Hal is doing very well, especially hockey-wise, to hide that he is mid-60). And good ol’ Leroy is a poster child for the over-60’s. It’s been a while since ANYONE asked me to quantify my seasoned-status.
John bantered on (locker-rooms are usually much better and fun when a lot of bantering is ensuing) –saying that he’d been encouraged to “move up” in the official hockey-league ability level, from “C” to “B”, and, apparently, was improving – though the uptick in speed and such was especially tiring due to his (almost) senior-citizen status. Hal and I didn’t say anything. I looked around the room at everybody, then stated that everyone here can still IMPROVE – whereas I was at the age where all one can do is try to hold on to what little ability one has left. And, I announced “All of you here are hoping and trying to get better. I hope to improve to mediocrity.”
My sister left this realm last Dec. 1 — crossed the reign-bow bridge, or whatever — below, my daughter eulogizes at the service two weeks later, before my turn to do the same.
Feces – itz been 6 years (almost) since I segued from full-time employment to, basically, none at all.* I have almost forgotten what it was I used to do (something to do with petroleum-engineering, and, being “the governmental regulatory person”, having to rubber-stamp (sometimes I’d ask questions and/or ask for more data) and passing judgment on industrial representative’s plans and requests and such in regards oil/gas extraction matters). Most (possibly all) of those of whom I reviewed their proposals were invariably much more knowledgeable than I about pertinent matters, but I HAD TO PRETEND I WAS THE EXPERT, AND (in a sense) THEIR BOSS.
I haven’t been doing that, as stated before, for a while. I still have occasional nightmares which incorporate this phase of my life, usually mingled with other phases, in which (1) I can’t find my office, (2) I try to drive impossible-to-operate vehicles, (3) there is either babysitting and/or lots of house- (office) cleaning involved. A dream-interpretation expert might recommend I proceed to the State Mental Health Hospital. No need to, I feel I’m already there.
Below: in early January Annie spent a half-hour playing with that attractive interesting other cat in the puddle.
*Okay – there are still three “responsible” tasks I continue to, if not actually “do”, go through the motions of. (1): I am the local “running club”s secretary and newsletter-editor. This task I have either been actually trying to do a good job of, or, (prawbubbly more often than knot) go through the motions of. This task (or “job”, or “position”, or “obligation”, or … I’m not sure what this really is, or isn’t) befell me (I think) in 1995. The outgoing President of the organization
(‘organization’ might be a bit loose of a term – maybe we’re an autonomous collective (don’t ask me to define THAT! But that’s a line/lying I’ve forever me(s)morized since wartching Monty Python & the Holy Grail))
stood up at a meeting – announced his retirement as President – and (without the detriment of elexions and such) told those at the meeting who was going to do what after he left. Mark Reece had excused himself to go to the restroom. Soon-to-be-ex-President Bruce Ricks announced that Mark was the new President of the group. Everyone present learned that we should never be out of the room when business was being conducted, unless one was prepared for something unexpected upon returning. Bruce looked around the room. His eyes fastened on Conrad. “Conrad will be the new treasurer.” Good choice, Conrad had been in banking for many years and had a knack for addition and subtraction and, bottom line, balances. Larry was appointed a position he already had – race director consultant and assembler of the annual calendar. Tom had already proven to be more than adequate at planning and membership communications – facilitator of communications to and with the membership. A few more appointments, then … Bruce turned to look at me. We had just “lost” (I think she just up and quit) a very capable newsletter compiler and editor. “I hope you don’t mind,” Bruce said, continuing his gaze my direction, “filling in as the secretary and editor until we get someone really capable.” I was not offended. I would try to fill in the shoes of the just-departed editor, and would endeavor to do so until “that person who could really do the job well” would be found and persuaded to come on board. HERE IT IS, SOME 25 YEARS LATER, AND THE MESA-MONUMENT STRIDERS IS/ARE STILL LOOKING FOR THAT PERSON. Until that happens, I am the interim-temporary-acting Secretary and Newsletter Editor. Possibly forever.
(2) I will try to minimize the boring story and haphazard sequence of events (some were “non-events”) about how I have become the local ice-arena’s #1 goalie for pick-up hockey games. It is NOT because I’m good at being at that. It’s because I make every effort to show up. (Didn’t Woody Allen proclaim in more than one of his movies that “99% of life is just simply showing up”?) I actually played as goalie in regular league games (2006 – 2008 or so), but as more and more players signed on, teams could actually get GOOD goalies, and I don’t exactly know why, but teams in the leagues actually wanted to WIN GAMES – and thereafter if I was to play, I had to play “out”. This was sort of fun, and I played “out” for a few years until the arena went out of business. But, a couple or so years before the previous arena-incarnation went out of business, I received a phone call (don’t know why, but I do recall it was in December). Dave Ash – who was the facilitator/main guy of the Wednesday night pick-up “Dave Ash League” – it might have been 2012, maybe a year or two later – said that the D A League had consistently been getting a lot of players, but goalies had been getting scarce. He guaranteed I would be the “main” and regular goalie if I simply showed up. And so I did – for a few more years I played in each and every D-A-L pick-up game I could, and also most of the Friday noon pick-ups.
The present incarnation of the local ice arena, now known as the RiverCity SportsPlex (they plan on more sports and activities besides having ice) has been operating for 4 or 5 months now. And, like the D A League, I’ve become the most-regular/dependable goalie for the “Friday Noon Lunchtime League.” As circumstances permit, perhaps I’ll find a second game each week.
Below: wish the photo was CLEARer — a Halloween bunch of winter-time activity skeletons on a roof in Steamboat Springs ~
*(3) Roadie (or Toadie) AND “part of the band” – the C. Dwellington’s Tuesday Night Jam band.
This (sort of) qualifies as some sort of “employment”. On a good night, I might make more than $8 an hour! This surprisingly long-lived event has been occurring nearly every Tuesday nite at the present location for about 7 or so years. And also Toozdaze at other nearby locations for a few years before that. So? — Oh yeah, I had been dropping in (more than half the time playing with the band) once or twice per month for a few years until a year ago. Last April (2021), was just about the weirdest vibe I’d ever encountered at this gig. For starters, the three guys on stage all were glad to see me, or pretending very convincingly. (THAT had never happened before). I have not put the proverbial dos & deux together – but I suspect the guy who puts this on, the same guy who has been facilitating this since quasi-pre-modernhistoric time, had a falling out with his regular band. He fired them or they fired him. Or both.
After a “oh-well let’s just start out with an instrumental jam” – I could tell right away that as soon as the keyboard player started playing and I joined in, jamming in & out of his rifts, he got noticeably (to me) less anxious — I felt he knew he had compatible company. Not too long after, the tardy bass-player showed up. Danny Davis. He had actually played with Merle Haggard some time ago – and the keyboard player divulged that he had toured with Waylon Jennings. The “Toosday Bloosday Jam” took on a decidedly country twist. And I was fairly certain that Danny liked my company, calling for a harp solo (or two) every song he led. And because Danny (I’d like to think) appreciated my musical presence, the keyboard player (I think, though he didn’t show it, nor admit to it) was somewhat under the influence of Danny – and what was right with Danny, was right with him. Wish that sentiment was the case at present.
Playing with (and I KNOW I was “fitting in”) with these seasoned players every Tuesday was a whole bunch of fun, borderline exhilarating, for many weeks. I even played with Danny and his former band from Denver at a venue in Fruita when the ‘former band’ was passing through town.
Danny died as a result of a motorcycle accident not too long after.
Itz mid-February (2022) and I’m not very comfortable nor secure with respect my position in “the band” – but being (and having been so for a few months now) the only dependable “roadie” to set-up all the equipment and (more importantly, since this involves working from 10 p.m. and hopefully finishing by midnight) taking everything down and ensuring that the equipment is loaded into the van – it might be that the “roadie” aspect is why I’m “in the band” more so than my musical aptitude. I digress, a little: during the Danny Davis period, I was and felt definitely part of the collective. There seemed to be no question. Since Danny’s demise, there have been frequent times I’ve felt that I’m not an integral part of the collective.
Feces! A couple weeks back I played beyond my expectations (and surprised even myself in regards the possibility of brilliance @ the jam), and nobody in the banned sez anything. Four people out in the audience came up to me and said that my solos were the best they’d heard that particular night. More impressive than Kellen’s … and Eric’s … and the sax players … and even John Brown the bassist’s solos. Well, maybe not the bass soloes …
I guess I’ll continue to “toy” along with this ‘gig’ for as long as …
Above: Rachel and her sons (Eddie, Henry) pose for their “Moody Music Album Cover” while we were hiking last year. Below, “catzawncouch.”
& … finally ~