A bit of hockey gloating

He was open between the circles, and when his teammate put the puck on his stick, it was over. Bang. Pardubice was up 1-0 at the first intermission. They should have been up by much more. They had something like seventeen shots on goal, compared to one by the other team. It was like the ice was tilted.

The goalkeeper for K pulled off about four miracle saves in the first period. I take that back. You do it once it’s a miracle, four times is brilliance. fuego and I imagined the locker room. Coach: If we dont skate better, I’ll hold your hands to the table while goalie cuts off your fingers.”

The contest ended 6-3, supergoalie miraculously the winner. Crazy stuff going back an forth. A great game to watch. It’s a speed game here, all about skating and passing, and I miss watching people being forcibly removed from the puck. Still, it’s hockey. They have to take the puck with them as they skate across the vast arctic tundra. When they cross the blue line between the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the rubber disk has to go first, and the passage is fiercely contested. That’s not a metaphor—the ice is that much bigger here.

It’s funny how many of the players I see in the penalty box are NHLers. The game is different here, Honestly, I like the small-ice, high-contact version of hockey they play in North America, but dang. I could be watching soccer.

Never mind.

So I’m sitting here in the nice little cafĂ© an easy stagger from where I live. The bartender strikes me as having gypsy blood – raven hair and striking blue eyes. It’s a good look. I could be wrong about the gypsy thing. I don’t even know how to ask. At the table next to mine is a blonde, taller than I am, I suspect, watching me write as she drinks her wine. Even though she can’t see the screen and even if she could she wouldn’t understand the words, I am self-conscious.

I think she knows I am alone, the same way I know she is alone. As long as the laptop is open, that’s all it will ever be.

Closing up the laptop now; maybe there’ll be another episode later. (Yeah. Right.)

Er, even as I typed the above she packed up and left. Timing, man, timing.

Skip forward. I’m still here in this bar, and there’s a german shepherd at my feet. His mistress is yet another beautiful woman, who is smoking right behind me. I have thoroughly won the dog over. I’m good with dogs. They rarely smoke. Owner of big dog attempted to speak with me when I had moved big dog to heights of ecstasy, but I just wimped out and talked to the pup. Lame. She knows now I don’t speak czech worth a crap, but I closed the door on any attempt to communicate. I’m such a dork.

It’s funny. I can ignore almost any human distraction in a bar, but when it’s dogs I’m sucked in. Another dog has arrived and that dog is barking love sonnets to my new best friend. Best friend’s owner has made it clear that she doesn’t want new dog anywhere close. “Let them play,” I thought. It seemed to me the iron-discipline chick was being a hardass, but then it dawned on me. The bitch is in heat. I’m referring to the dog, of course. When I wrote ‘he’ above I was mistaken. Never was too good at that stuff.

So the evening rolled on and I actually did talk to the girl and her friends more, but a lot of the time I was just smiling and nodding. I’ve never seen the little place so busy – it was still jumping at closing time. They have an outlet so I can plug in while I work there, so there’s not much reason for me to leave. All told I was there for almost twelve hours, working for about ten of them.

Spring is coming!

It wasn’t so long ago I was talking to a Praguista and noting that it was still light at 4:30 – a notable improvement. Spring was right around the corner, we agreed. Dang! Now it’s light until after six p.m. Spring really is coming.

Today the temperature was above freezing for a sustained period. I imagine the snowman on the front of tram seven has finally met its demise. He was riding up there for several days, on the car painted bule to sell Japanese electronics or some shit like that. When I first saw the tram heading my way I thought there was some sort of effigy on the front, but when it got close I saw a meter-tall snowman mushed onto the hooking-up-thing that jutted from the tram car, its little snow arms spread in joy. “I’m the king of the world!!!!” the snowman proclaimed.

Days later I saw the same tram car, and the bowsprit was still there, spindly arms and all. And why not? Nothing had happened in the meantime that would cause snow to melt.

Today, I suspect, the snowman tipped off his precarious balance and was crushed beneath the wheels of the tram.

Spring is coming, and I’m ready for it. As much as I whine about it I really do enjoy the cold, but spring brings more than just warmth. It brings miniskirts. There are a few women who wear them even in the dead of winter, and I love those girls for suffering so my life can be a little better, but even now, as the days get longer, the skirts get smaller.

In San Diego, working a couple hundred meters from the beach, I had ample opportunity to appraise the female form, but for all I like the bikini, I like the miniskirt more. A little more mystery, a lot more swish. There are miniskirts burned into my memory the way no bikini ever could be. Some are recent – watching the girl with bare legs walking down Vinohradska as I huddle in my coat. Some are ancient – watching the walk of a San Diego bartender who shall go unnamed but who is neither Amy nor Rose as she nearly drove me to madness.

Good times. Fond memories. I hope I die before the miniskirt goes out of style.