Monday, January 25, 2010

The Middle Ice Mafia

IMG_2357So I ice skate on Sundays with the kids.  We skate, as I’ve mentioned before, where Tonya ‘Sweep the Leg’ Harding used to skate – so it’s a rough group at times.  Both the girls are in figure skates despite my vocal and clearly ignored pleas for hockey skates.  It’s pretty much against most religions to skate with figure skates and hockey sticks – so I sort of lost my defensive line to ‘equipment issues’. 

I have 2 kinds of skaters – Sada, who can balance but doesn’t really want to skate right now and Piper who can go about 32mph on the ice, so long as you don’t have to make her do anything – she stands stiff-legged and sturdy.  Sada can balance and stand there but her eyes well up with tears and she’ll just look at you until you have your heart broken and go get her.  Piper, if you let go, enjoys screaming to God and all of Jesus disciples and everyone in the netherworlds at the top of her lungs and then falls down spectacularly in a heap without having moved a single millimeter.  

So I spend a lot of time going backwards while holding the hands of skater A or B.  Piper likes to look anywhere but where she’s going and Sada is supposed to look behind me but forgets and that is why she has a cut up head. 

Now ice skating is different.  There are clearly ranks of skating and I’m sort of figuring it out. 

Some basic rules:

go in one direction (counter clockwise)

There you go.  That’s it. 

Some people, like a goofy kid a week ago, can’t follow that rule.  He skated around and around and around going the wrong way.  Even when they played Journey ‘Open Arms’. 

Skating as a kid was fun, skating as an adult is mostly terrifying because ice is really freaking hard when you hit it.  Plus you can’t skate with a stick, which would be more fun. This is pretty much my sister’s revenge for making her skate around pick-up hockey games for 10 years on the pond behind our house.  Now I have to skate around pixies spinning and parents sprawling on the ice with their uncoordinated pipsqueaks. 

I didn’t mention the ghetto skates.  They’re about 302 kg and I don’t think they’ve ever sharpened the blades.  In the photo above I broken my own law of never doing anything mildly athletic in jeans, I think I forgot.  It’s ok, because the ice rink is basically a teleportation device straight to New Jersey, where all things athletic are done in denim.   Most people skate in the ghetto generic figure skates – but I’d rather walk 300 miles than wear skates with that toe thingy.  It’s like riding a girl’s bike as a kid – no way, no how I don’t even care if it means I can’t ride bikes with you.  I AM NOT RIDING YOUR SISTER’S BIKE WITHOUT A CROSSBAR.  Sorry, that was sort of a tangent and I didn’t ride a girl’s bike.  But I did have a bike that you could take the cross bar off which is sort of like probably not something I want to talk about.

Here are some shots of the rink and the characters you get each week:

It’s sort of hard to take photos of people and not use a flash and not let them see you taking the photo or else you’ll get beat up or thrown out.  So here’s a stealthy and quite blurry image of what I might consider YOUR TYPICAL NORTH SEATTLE tough guy.  Who needs even short sleeves when you’re sporting gold and the same mustache you had when you were 12. I took this one and pretended I was looking the other way and THEN had to pretend I broken the camera and looked at it all funny while I readjusted the focus which didn’t work so well. 

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Here’s my favorite kid.  I thought he was Indian but once he delaminated his equipment off of himself, he wasn’t.  He’s Ethiopian because I spoke to his mom who got all dressed up in the same sort of attire and stood inside saying it was too slippery on the ice.  He wore: ski suit, helmet, elbow, wrist, knee and SHIN pads.  Good reason, he’d yell ‘i’m out of control’ and then hit the ground pretty hard just about every lap. 

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Next up – the token lovebird couple.  There’s always 1 pair who are clearly on a date.  Try skating behind them, focusing a camera and not getting caught.  None of these couples skate well, they like to make out in the hockey box when the Zamboni is out clearing the ice off.  Again, the denim is a no-no but love is blind.  In the photo with Piper, the couple of the week 2 weeks ago was making out just before I took this picture. 

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Here are some nordic beauties, Greta didn’t get the no jean memo.  But she does get points for coordinated skate/coat combination.  You can see Sada’s ghetto skates and cougar pants – the perfect combination for late nights in north seattle. 

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Here is Sada and Piper demoing their skating skillz – note the pulling efforts of both parties.  I’ll have to video Piper’s scream of death next time. 

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And here my friends are the Middle Ice Mafia.  I’m taking about the ones in white skates and skirts standing there pretending they’re not super intimidating.  They do twirls and spins and some low level Brian Boitanno leaps and lutzes. They look at you with all sorts of distain and they’re probably mocking right here in the photo I took while pretending to NOT BE taking their photo because that would be creepy.  They skate in circles in the middle of the ice.  THE WHOLE TIME.  No Skirt – No Skate basically.  There’s this sort of creepy older guy who wears figure skates (creepy just for the skates!) and he practices going around the center circle for a long time – going around these girls.  I’m sure they’ll take him out.  I got taken out yesterday by one in purple who was spinning just as I hit about 14mph going backwards pulling Sada.  I flipped, Sada flipped and the chick skated away – sort of like a cat who gets hit by a car.  DId I say that I got BRAND NEW CCM Skates and I broke them.  Sort of a fluke, but yeah.  Broken.  Apparently the people in the skate shop there are unable to make decisions, they had to have someone ‘look at them’ before taking action. 

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And that was that.

Just to keep things awesome, here are my Under Armour Recharge socks:

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