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Detroit and before that

It is colder here. I think it might be colder here than it was in the Voorhees practice rink, but there is not an aluminum bench in sight, thank god.

They took my car away from me. That’s what valets do, they take your car away just when you’ve gotten to know it a little, have even started nesting as some people do in their cars.  I don’t know where they put it.

Before I talk about Detroit, I should back up a little.  There really isn’t much to say about Detroit yet except that I did find my way from the airport without crashing while driving and tweeting and emailing and texting… As if to reward me for this accomplishment, when I arrived, they gave me a cookie.  I would share a picture of said cookie but I ate it.


The cookie came in a bag. There's the bag. It says "The Cookie." Also shown, the Flyers pillow pet.

So, before today, before those awful games came to pass, I got a walking tour of Philly Flyers’ neighborhoods.  DGS walked me through Carter’s known party grounds, some nice neighborhoods where Leino used to live, and then back to where coaching staff and older married players might be spotted shopping.  I did not see any such, though my hotel was in that area.

We did not get to Temple.  I don’t pay much attention to scurrilous tales of adventuring hockey players, but it now seems unfair to have used Temple against Ritchie. If nothing else, chasing college girls ought to be applauded.  After all, they’re educated.

I liked that part of town which I will  call Olde Carter Town since the right name escapes me. The building height restrictions let in the light, and allowed the little buildings to shine.  They reminded me of movie sets, so easy they are to frame in your eye.  Inside them were risque clothing stores, ethnic fast foods, tattoo parlors (I think, seems like one should have been there) nail salons, bookstores, bars.  It was a little like the Castro or the Mission District.  It was right by the river with a view of Camden,New Jersey, a place that DGS says he avoids going at all costs.   Evidently they have a wonderful car accident trauma center in the hospital there.  That’s good to know, in case you get hit by a car in Philly.

It was a very pleasant afternoon after which I had to go buy shoes because my feet were in dire need of pressure on different points.  Some day I will learn, but if hobbling pain doesn’t teach me, what will?  In the mean time, I have a nice  new pair of boots to go with my nice new used wool coat I picked up for just under $18.

It is a hassle to meet people when they come to your town.  It’s easy when you’re the visitor, you don’t have anything else to do, you are in an adventuresome state of mind.  But when you are at home in work and routine mode, it is hard to break free and go meet someone, total stranger or not.  So I appreciate that most of the people I asked said yes.  I also have to note that the ones who did are Libras.  Maybe it’s a Libra thing to be curious about rovers and such.  I could be wrong about that.  @activestick44 may not be a Libra.

Of course they were much younger than me.  I say of course because as we get older our social circle shrinks, our datebook gets full, we don’t “meet” people online unless it is in a professional capacity.  Unless you’re like me, and I don’t think I’m that unusual.  Still, it seems that being married with children tends to interfere with your freedom to go exploring, in person or online.  That is too bad.

So it isn’t really age I’m talking about, just life stages and circumstances, but it feels like I’m talking about age.  This is probably because I’m a little obsessed with it lately, like that woman who accosted me in the hotel lobby, asking me to guess her age and the age of her companions.  I answered honestly, that she looked my age, which of course was the wrong answer.  I don’t know what the hell you are supposed to tell people when they ask you that.  Serves them right if they don’t like the answer.

Still, I do dwell on age lately.  At what age are we supposed to stop playing?  That comes up as a literal question a lot in hockey.  As a more general psychological query, I think we are sort of expected to stop playing much much earlier than professional athletes do.  We are supposed to get very serious and have important things to do which should take up all our time and keep our lives on a very rigid, sometimes grim schedule.

And yet we are not supposed to do any of that.  If you have children, you get to start playing all over again, you just have the excuse that it is for the children, not for you.  You are too old to play, even if you do benefit immensely from it.  So perhaps it is only the bachelors and spinsters who are supposed to not play.  Of course, they have no children, they are no fun.

Like CS Lewis.  So much crap he took for writing children’s books  without having children.  I think it’s funny, this cult of limited playing time for those without children.  Funny and also a load of bs.

Anyway, Philly is now on my list of favorite cities to visit.  It might be up there with Paris.  I might even go back, though I have resolved to never plan for a return.  If you want to do it, do it now.  So, I didn’t walk up the Rocky steps.  That wasn’t my idea anyway.  The only things on my list were to meet Twitter peeps, see the Flyers in their home rink, and look at the Liberty Bell.  I did all that and more.  No regrets.  Well, there’s one but I won’t complain about that here.

I also wanted to get a scarf (check) and a pillow pet for the unborn nephew Jack.  I could not find a pillow pet, had resolved I’d have to order one online, and then at the airport, there it was at Lids.  It was the last one in the store.  This a sign that Jack will be lucky, I think.  At least he will be lucky enough to get any fangear I decide he should have.

I thought a jersey would be of little interest to a tiny child, but a big soft pillow pet, now that would train the kid to associate the color orange and flying Ps with warm fuzzy feelings.  I will have to find a teal one before Jack is born, to give both teams equal time.

Yes, it is a brainwashing experiment.  Don’t tell my brother.

It’s snowing now.  I find that amazing.  It’s been a very very long time since I saw snow.  It brings back memories of Semily and people I won’t see again.  Strange how something like the weather can make you happy and deeply sad at the same time.


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