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March, 2009

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Game Day #6 – Coyotes @ Devils: Newark (Day 11)

The following events took place on March 12th, 2009

This entry concludes the coverage of my mystical six game road trip. Non-crazy entries to resume immediately.

I’ve always been spontaneous, but I’ve never been one to live my life on a whim. I’ve always noticed the “signs,” but I’ve never felt the pull so strongly that I completely turned my life around and traveled four thousand miles in pursuit of the unknown. Just so we’re clear; this isn’t my normal degree of crazy. I woke up Wednesday having dreamt that I was in New Jersey. So, I decided that I might as well go with it and complete the road trip. I was really hesitant about going there. I had packed originally to travel there from Detroit, but I changed my mind and left my suitcase at home. Then I was going to travel the day before the game, but I felt lazy and decided to spend the night in my own bed.

I also had to make a decision on Phoenix. When was I going to go? My initial instinct told me to go for the last game of the season, but I still looked at all the possibilities. The last game had the cheapest flight, and classes were over, so I wasn’t being irresponsible anymore than necessary. The final game of the season is against Anaheim, which I didn’t realize at the time, but it coincides with part of the prediction. I was told something about birds and Capistrano Beach (in California). Out of curiosity, I looked up Capistrano Beach. It’s apparently twenty minutes away from Anaheim, and, well, Ducks are birds, aren’t they. The plot was thickening. I will definitely be watching the Anaheim/Phoenix game on Center Ice Thursday night!

I set out early in the morning on game-day. I went the long way over Thousand Islands to avoid Buffalo abuse. My car was still effed from Detroit, so I stopped at a Canadian Tire in Napanee to have it fixed. While I was there I met a diehard Leafs fan who was also having his car fixed. He told me all about taking his sons to their first NHL games at the Air Canada Centre.

About an hour later I was back on the road. I knew an eight hour trek would completely destroy my hair so I decided to drive with some curlers to try and preserve some of the oomph. At first I would take them out when I needed to get out of the car, but as I got to the border (AND WAS FULLY SEARCHED AGAIN), I became irate. I mentioned before that nothing boils my blood quite like something that stands in the way of me and a hockey game. When I was searched in Buffalo, I was nice about it. I was catching a flight, and there was no chance of me missing the game. This time they were cutting into my already tight travel time, so I became quite vicious. They are never going to find anything in my car, so they are really just pissing me off – sexist assholes! Anyway, I drove off down the I-81 like lightning. I was driving while putting the curlers back in my hair! Even when I got out of the car I kept them in to save time! I basically just started shushing the people I saw gawking at me!

I need to take a moment to rave about the Prudential Center! Wow! Almost as good as the Air Canada Centre! Apparently, my entire section was a VIP section, which in Newark means you have access to a swanky lounge and all you can eat FREE food. I think I ate thirty pieces of sushi or something crazy like that. Not to mention the cookies, fruit, etc. Why doesn’t Toronto give anything away??? You’re paying enough! The sad thing is the Devils don’t sell out! They have an incredible facility, an amazing team, and, since last night, the “winningest” goaltender of all time! What more could you ask for? Come on, New Jersey!

My seats were RIGHT on the glass behind the penalty box – a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to sit there, but I’ve never found the tickets! I asked the Devils fans sitting around me if it would bother them if I shimmied and said, “You’ve been a baaaaaaaaaad boooooooy” every time a penalty was called. They said it wouldn’t and, so, I sure did….every time!

The Coyotes lost their fourth and final game of the road trip that night. I drove all the way home. I managed to do a round trip (and a game) to Newark in twenty-one hours. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “hit and run!” It was difficult for me to pull away as we went our separate ways that night. I felt like I hadn’t made much progress toward finding out what I needed to find out on this trip. All I had discovered was that I needed to go to Phoenix, and I had already booked that flight. I was excited about that.

Sunday night, and after the insanity that became my Boston trip, I was inspired to go with my friend to the best psychic in Toronto. This woman is intense! She is dead on about everything, she even names names! My friend saw her first (it was her first time). She was completely floored. The psychic had named her ex-boyfriend, the guy she is currently seeing, and a guy she has been set up with for next week!

Anyway, when it was my turn I didn’t want to tell her anything, I just wanted to see what she would say. She started off telling me that a massive change was happening and not to look back. I decided to tell her my crazy story over the last week. I said to her,

“I booked this flight to Phoenix and I don’t know what I’m doing! A normal, sane, practical person wouldn’t have done all the things that I’ve done over the last two weeks!”

“I would have” she said.

“Yes, but you’re psychic. I’m just a girl who can’t tell if it’s her intuition talking or a mental disorder!” She told me to shuffle the deck and we’d ask the cards what was going to happen in Phoenix. I told her to feel free to tell me I was crazy and I would be more than happy to turn back.

“Oh my god!” she kept saying as she laid the cards out. “Your instincts are dead on. I have never seen the cards come out like this! There is someone waiting for you there. That is what this is all about. You are meant to go. You need to go. You have to go. You have to, you have to, you have to, you have to.”

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Game Day #5 – Coyotes @ Red Wings: Detroit (Day 9)

The following events took place on March 10th, 2009

No, you’re not crazy; there isn’t a Day 8 entry. I spent my off day at home: sleeping, studying, and visiting with my baby cousins. I decided to go to Detroit anyway. I wanted to visit with my friend, Jason. I hadn’t seen him since the last time I went to Milwaukee, which was December 2005! I got my ticket right through the arena box office, so it was nice to only have to buy one seat for a change. The ticket agent asked me which team my “favourite guy” played for! Women always know.

Doing a game-day commute to Detroit was really tight this time around. I had to be in court downtown Toronto at 1:30PM for a speeding ticket I got last season (the most recent installment of the Curse of Grand Rapids). Luckily, I had the points removed and the fine was reduced to $30! I was one of the first to go, so I was able to get out of there around 2PM. I celebrated my speeding ticket victory by speeding all the way to Detroit!

I managed to avoid the GTA rush hour traffic (just barely), and I pulled up at the Ambassador Bridge three hours later (I know, great time!). I was in the longest line waiting to go through customs. You know that line. The line that holds everyone at the booth as long as possible because the security officer in charge is a raging asshole and takes his job way too seriously; yeah, that line. I was starting to panic. The guy in Buffalo was the same way, he was just looking for a bitch slapping. He started yelling at me when I said I was going to Boston for a hockey game! I knew it would look suspicious trying to cross for a hockey game, especially when I just crossed back into Canada the previous morning. They always try to quiz you on the team as well, even though I’m sure they don’t know the answers. When I had crossed the previous Monday, they quizzed me on the Flyers. I knew that stuff inside and out, but I realized as I waited in line that I probably couldn’t answer any specific questions about the Coyotes. Oh no! However, after all that waiting and worrying, I pulled up to the booth, told the guy I was going to the Red Wings game, and that was all he needed to hear. Phew!

I hadn’t been to Joe Louis arena in two and a half years! The building was the site of my first ever NHL road trip taken on my own. It almost felt like I had come full circle, and returned back to where I had started at the beginning of the 2006-07 season. So much had changed. I had changed team alliances, what now appears to be, four times. Though, I don’t really feel like a Coyotes fan. I feel more like a crazy girl that has watched Serendipity too many times. I was missing the Flyers. That game in Boston seven days earlier felt like years ago now. I missed coach, the team, the staff, and the fans!

The arena was empty! It’s crazy what effect the recession has had on an NHL super power like Detroit. The last time I was there, you couldn’t get tickets. Now they were giving them away, and no one was taking them! I finally had one of those frozen drinks from the cocktail wall! Last time I had to pass because I was en route to Nashville later that night. Also, I sat across the ice this time, so the wives didn’t see me and stalk me. Mind you, I’m not blonde anymore, so I probably look like less of a mule-whore, and, thus, less threatening.

There was a glimmer of hope. The Coyotes pushed the game to overtime, but ended up losing their third straight. At least they got a point! I haven’t seen Detroit play live since October, when they came to Toronto for a pre-season game. They are like this big red machine. They look almost impossible to beat! Maybe that’s why they are always leading the league!

I met up with my friend briefly. Nothing was open! And APPARENTLY Detroit is stuck in the ‘70s and there isn’t a smoking by-law. Smoking makes me vicious. It ruins clothes and HAIR and LUNGS! This old smokey bastard was blowing his smoke directly into the face of a baby that couldn’t have been more than a month old. Oh dear! I was vocal. I couldn’t help it! Yes, I publically referred to him as “Smokey Bastard” for all to hear – and they did hear.

There was torrential rain all night long. Entire ramps on the I-75 were flooded. The puddles wrecked my car! I decided to take the tunnel back to Canada to try something new. The Canadian border guard was trying to ask me a lot of questions, but after the smokey bastard, and my tiredness, I was in no mood. I just kept saying, “yeah.” Finally, he gave up.

I drove through the rain the whole way home. I stopped only once to grab an Iced Capp from Tim’s. That used to be my all-nighter drink back in high school. Every morning we’d get off the bus and grab a large one to get through the day. I don’t know how we managed to go to school for 8AM for so many years. I find it a struggle to get to my 10AM classes.

I got home around 4:30AM. I was deliberating the action I needed to take. When was I going to go to Phoenix and was I going to continue on and complete the road trip in New Jersey on Thursday? I had the cards done the day before on New Jersey. I was told to follow my dreams. I eagerly went to bed that night (morning), hoping I would find the answer.

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