Some nights you just ain’t got it. Last night I played hockey and I knew it was going to be a bad night even before I stepped on the ice. Stephanie took my car yesterday and about 5 minutes before I left the house, I realized that my hockey stick was in my car. Not a huge problem, really, I figured. You can always use another stick and they have a pro shop at the rink, so I just bought another one and figured while I was there I might as well get my skates sharpened. More on the stick and the skates later.

Upon returning from the pro shop, I started to put my equipment on and was about halfway through that process and putting on my skates when the lace on my left skate snapped. Back to the pro shop. Buy laces. Back to the locker room.

I stepped onto the ice and I knew right away I was in for it. Quick and easy hockey lesson – there’s people who know how to sharpen skates and there’s people who don’t. I’ll give you a guess as to which version I got. You see, if your skates aren’t sharpened correctly, you can’t turn the way you want, you can’t stop the way you want, you can’t pivot the way you want. It’s kind of like someone giving you a brand new car with a manual transmission and you’ve haven’t driven a stick in 15 years. Awkward.

As if that weren’t enough, about halfway through, some dude comes up to me after a whistle blows and accuses me of maliciously slashing him in the chest and that I had better watch it because “he remembers those things.” Great. Fabulous. First of all, you can probably ask anyone on the ice about the kind of person I am and the way I play – to a man they well tell you that if something like that happened, it was most certainly an accident. Frankly, I don’t even remember getting a stick up on the guy, but if I did it wasn’t intentional and I told him so.

Finally, the stick. The stick is a touchy subject. Sticks are kind of like old pairs of jeans sometimes – once you get used to one, much like skates or girlfriends, it takes a while to get accustomed to another one. Another little ditty – sticks need to be cut to a fairly precise size in order to be suitable for use. It’s based on your height. Since I didn’t have much time, I eyeballed it. Of course, I cut the stick way too small and about 5 passes went right under my stick because I was used to the length of my old one. I know – this is all incredibly fascinating.

That pretty much threw me off the rest of the night. Bad skates, angry at being accused and a short stick translated into a frustrating evening. That’s the way it goes. Get ’em next time.

In other news, I never thought of this, but it sure is a unique way to go out, isn’t it? I wonder if they can pack me into a puck and fire slapshots? Or into a baseball and hit me over the Green Monster?

Speaking of which, I’ll be attending my first Red Sox game of the season tonight and I’ll be sitting (or standing?) in that new area on the roof of right field. Should be cool. Maybe I’ll snap some pics. Finally, word has it that Manny Ramirez, the now affable, happy, goofy slugger for the Red Sox unveiled his new website this morning. I’ve yet to really dig deep, but I will at some point. Manny Ramirez and website – those two words just don’t mix.

Song now playing: Bruce Springsteen – “Darkness on the Edge of Town”