Flew back to Florida after a week of vacation in NY on Wednesday night. Always a good time seeing the family and the state of my birth. A few random ruminations:
— Drove in Manhattan a few days ago. Remembered why I, and most other sane people, hate it so much. It’s like being in a video game, driving in the city. Everybody is intense, nobody lets you change lanes, and hesitation for even one second brings horns aplenty. Also people like to make their own lanes just because they feel like it. It’s sort of a right, just like the right of way: Right to squeeze in wherever you want.
I don’t know how people who drive in Manhattan do it. I’d go nuts after doing it every day for a few months.
— Speaking of things that annoy me, this has nothing to do with New York, but I have a quick rant. Every day I was home I noticed more and more gray hairs on my head. I am THIRTY-FREAKING-FIVE years old, I’m already balding quite noticeably, and now I’m getting gray hairs, too? I mean, isn’t it bad enough I’m losing my hair, now the ones I have are going gray? Come on follicle Gods, give a guy a break here!
— Got to go through one of those fancy new full body scanners at the Orlando airport on my way here. I know I’m strange for saying so, but it was cool! I felt like I was being screened for something really important, like a job with the CIA or something. The whole thing took 15 seconds. Sadly, I didn’t get the full-body pat down. Was hoping to get the whole invasive TSA experience all at once.
— Overheard in the supermarket Wed. morning: Kid, to Mom: “Don’t tell me to go away, because one day I will and you’ll be sad!”
**OK, so this is a Polish gymnast named Jozef Wadecki. Apparently it is real, and it is spectacular. He’s like a human pogo stick or something:
**Finally, the Stanley Cup playoffs (that’s hockey for you non-puck people) began Wednesday night, and I love it. Definitely an awesome time of year, when for a few hours a night I plant myself in front of the plasma and watch the best playoff tournament in all of sports.
I used to do an annual playoff predictions page in my newspaper, but alas, hockey’s not a priority for us anymore. (People in Florida just don’t love the sport like they should. I proselytize, but it falls on deaf ears).
But I wanted to make some quick predictions anyway, so here goes: In the East, I think the Caps win in 6 (though my Rangers have a definite shot), Flyers in 7, Bruins in 5 (Habs just can’t score), and Lightning in 6 (no Crosby, no Malkin, no Cup for Pens).
Out West, I love Chicago to upset Vancouver in 6 (Robert Luongo is not a money goalie, and the Canucks will choke in epic fashion), San Jose over L.A. in 5, Phoenix over Detroit in 6 (just a hunch), and Nashville to beat Anaheim (two huge hockey cities!) in 6.
In the Cup finals, man, I just don’t have a strong feeling this year. I guess I’ll go with the Caps (Flyers goaltending still scares me), and the Sharks out West. Two underachievers finally reaching the Finals. Would be a hell of an exciting series between those two. And I’ll take the Caps and my man Alex Ovechkin to win it all.