Friday, August 28, 2009

There's always time for stick time!

I was supposed to have an afternoon-long meeting in Pacoima today, but it got canceled at the last minute. Since I had put in a hard 20 minutes of work Twittering and Facebooking this morning and my Thomas Guide was open to the northeast Valley page anyway, I decided to reward myself by attending stick time at the Valley Ice Center in the quaint outpost known as Panorama City.

Besides, I reasoned, stick time would be good for me. It's stinking hot here in Pasadena and there are a slew of wildfires raging in the area, including one up the road in La Canada. As a result, we have the kind of air quality you might find in a West Virgina coal mine circa 1889. The only healthy thing to do was stay inside in a sealed environment. Such as an ice rink! 

I had never been to the Valley Ice Center. But I like their priorities. The facility has two sheets of ice, so it offers stick time each and every day -- including four hours on most weekdays. By contrast, the Pasadena rink has one measly hour of stick time each week, which is not helpful for those of us still trying to teach our brains to skate and do something interesting with the puck at the same time.

Needless to say, a few minutes after I stepped on the ice, seven guys started a pickup game which I joined. After about 15 seconds of play, I ranked myself as the eighth best player on the ice -- very exciting! -- and settled into a comfortable role of trying not to get killed and sitting outside the crease, waiting for a loose puck I could shove into the goal.

It proved a winning strategy. I managed to score three times (with no goalie, mind you) and remain intact. One guy got the puck airborne enough to shatter a light hanging over the rink -- the sound of breaking glass falling on the ice pleased my juvenile self greatly. After the game, another guy -- a stuntman doubling for Seth Rogen in the Green Hornet movie -- stuck around and worked with me on my shot.

Then he had to split to get fitted for a wig to look more like Rogen. Seriously. How can one not love living in L.A.?

At the very end, I had the ice to myself for a few minutes and spent some time working on rolling my wrist when taking shots. My shot actually has a little oomph to it, the problem is that where-it-goes-no- one-knows, including yours truly. Using the Green Hornet's advice, my final shot achieved some air and made a perfect sounding "ping" when it beaned the goal post that I actually was trying to hit.

And with that, I headed home and decided it was too late in the afternoon to mentally cope with doing any more work.

ADDENDUM TO POST: I don't mean to sound like a slacker. In addition to my 20 minutes of Twittering and Facebooking this morning, I also had a 30-minute phone conversation with my hockey buddy Scott in which we discussed his over-40 league, the Korean girl he wants to date and the Kings prospects this year. I don't want readers thinking I spent the morning doing nothing.

--Steve Hymon

1 comment:

  1. Hah! We're going to have to stop canceling on you ... you just get up to no good! ... Congrats on upping your game in the Northeast SFV!