na foine ting

Monday, November 29, 2004
Later I'll set up a baby blog, following Brian's lead.

But here's a couple of the best:


We came home from the hospital yesterday to a house with no heat. Not that it's as huge as it could have been; this is California. But cold enough that when our furnace repair place was closed, I went to a different HVAC company to come do the repairs right away.

Then I called my landlord.

"No," he said, "that furnace is under warranty. You have to go through the regular furnace place. Wait until Monday."

"Louis," I said, "the house is 48 degrees and I just brought home a newborn baby."

"Oh, well, but still you have to wait until Monday. You can't just call another place."

"It's forty eight degrees in the house and we have a newborn here!"

"Well, I can bring you over a portable heater."

"You've got to be joking."

"Well, I'm not going to pay for some other company to fix it. You don't expect me to pay for that, do you?"

I hadn't had much sleep. "You know, considering I just told you we have a new daughter and all you can say is how you won't arrange for her to be warm, no, I don't expect you to do anything human or decent, no."

"Oh, well, congratulations. But I'm only going to pay for half."

The repairman, on the other hand, dropped everything he was doing when he found out we had an infant and no heat, and got to our place in under half an hour. He had the heat fixed in less than twenty minutes, and showed me how to use the vaccuum cleaner to clean the filter. He congratulated us all heartily and declared Lillian to be "very very beautiful."

Then he explained how we could go back to the other repair guys and make a claim for the amount of the repaired, warrantied part.

So for every jerk in the world, there's an angel.

Or two, counting the new kid.

Saturday, November 27, 2004
Lillian Monroe B-P

7 pounds 1 oz
20 inches

Born 11/27/04

Both mom and baby are perfect and gorgeous, and the labor went very very smoothly. Will update more when we're back at home again, hopefully including a few pictures.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Yeah. So.

Soon I'll be a mom again. Like probably this week, soon.

Bec's been making a scrapbook of all the stuff from Gavin's babyhood, and doing a gorgeous job of it. It seems like a nice thing to do, while she waits for the other kid to come around and make his or her debut.

I've been reading all the stuff I wrote back then, about the process. Poetry and essays, just a general lot of stuff. Pondering why there's less this time, if I've really gotten that blase.

I don't think so, though. I think there's just a lot less speculating. A lot more "hurry up and get here."

I have a feeling the writing will come when the baby's here, and there will be so much to express, to tell.


I read this last night between bites of Safeway sushi and adored it. I love White's essays anyway, but this one's a real gem.


I put my turnouts in the car to return to the fire department, last week. Then I found a reason to take them back out again. I've mentioned testing a few times recently. Hoping someone will talk me out of it.

Tomorrow I'm officially too old for federal law enforcement, all agencies. USSS, CIA, FBI.

It's the end of an era.

I'm sad, in some ways. But mostly, it's a relief.


Monday, November 15, 2004
I got my first real penalty last night.

#7 and I have been warming up to it for a while. A little jostle here, a little elbow there, slightly more pressure than is warranted fighting for the puck along the boards.

I play left wing and he plays right D, so it happens fairly frequently that we bang up against each other.

Now, I've had penalties before of course but it's been too many men on the ice or a tripping I didn't intend, or a high stick that wasn't aiming for someone, just thoughtless flailing.

Last night I found myself behind the net with him, and a push turned into a cross check turned into a cross check back turned into a shove turned into another shove turned into me on my ass hooking his feet out from under him with my stick.

And not really satisfied, a little too close to the ref for safety's sake continuing to yap at him, frustrated at his turned back. Stupid shit. There's more where that came from, asshole. Want to go? Want to go?

Then McGowan grabs my jersey and sets me on my ass.

"Get in the box."

In the box, roughing penalty.

Caught between being delighted and chagrined.

Only to hear the ref say to Brian how I'd been about to charge #7 and how he didn't grab me at all, that the only reason I went down was I was a poor skater and couldn't keep my feet.


It's isolating and inclusive at the same time.

I wonder if it feels like this to guys. All the time.

Thursdays no one asks me things like "are you okay" anymore. Last week I wiped out spectacularly, caught my edge and just sailed into the air and bit it hard, and no one offered me a hand up. Some laughter and ribbing, a glove pounded on my helmet as I limped back into line.

It's started to feel like firefighting again in some ways.

Like them, also not like them. Trying to push the boundary of something that by physical definition I'm not.

Only this time, maybe they're all starting to believe it.

Maybe I'm starting to believe it.

That I measure up, that I can operate at that set of standards.

It's new.

And in some ways frightening.


For there being no hockey season, I'm managing to spend a lot of time at the Tank. A game played there last weekend, the Barons game on Tuesday with Gavin and I up in the cheap seats hollering and hooting. Then the free skate for season ticketholders. Then Brian's game there Sunday morning.

Strange to be there for all these other reasons. Not the all important main. But it's still hockey, still good.

The game versus the Hawks was a travesty, mostly because really they're just that much better than we are. I felt like my own game was on, sharp, and every once and a while I'd look up and think 'fuck, here we are,' and none of it would matter. Playing at the Tank. Under the jumbotron. If you squint hard you can briefly pretend the seats are all filled and you're pulling down a paycheck in the seven figures. Hell, if the rooks can pretend, so can I.

I tuned out the discontent in the locker room. Blaming each other, blaming lack of practice, grousing. I'd had a great time. 11-1 wasn't going to start to touch that much fun.

And yeah, I admit I teared up watching the players skate out at the Barons game. Cried a bit at the lack of anything that looked like reasonable offense, but it was the same thing in the end. Hockey's good. Good to see it, good to play, and in the end I really couldn't pretend. Even Gavin agreed it was a good time.

The free skate just more time on Tank ice, checking out the new lines, distances where on Saturday I hadn't even noticed the difference.

Skating around and around and I kept thinking to myself how I really ought to go over and say hello and introduce myself to Coach Hunter. How great he was with everyone--especially the kids--and how after all that time watching him coach at practices that at least not saying hello was just kind of creepy.

Last night in the locker room Brian gave me shit for chickening out and not talking to him. "You're right there and you didn't even go up to him. How many chances are you going to get to be on the same ice as him?" Shaking his head.

Yeah, I know. I'll sit in a little piece of folded up tinfoil and let eight feet of solid fire rage over me in a searing whoosh of consumed wildland, but I won't go talk to Hunter. I know. Shut up.

I stayed out there for a long time, though. Ice is always good.


What gets me is the dichotomy.

After the game #7 and I shook hands and I'm pretty sure neither of us took what happened at all personally. At Luke's suggestion long ago I learned how to leave what happens on the ice, on the ice.

McGowan on the other hand looked away when I skated up, barely let our hands connect.

Either I'm here enough, tough enough to get into it with a guy and take a penalty... or I'm not.

I don't think you can have it both ways.


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