carl-hagelin-fall-wipeout

Why Do I Even Have This Thing?

Seriously.

Fun stuff is happening all over the damned place. In fact, I’ve been writing my ass off lately with some pretty cool assignments. I interviewed some 90s legends for an upcoming Metal Hammer feature, followed by another piece on one of California’s most successful new metal exports in the past decade, fresh off of some rather dramatic upheaval. Was supposed to go meet that band on the road, along with another considerably bigger one – the aul “two birds/one stone” deal – but the latter backed out and so my delightful photographer partner flew out to meet the band on her own while I did the interview from the comfort of my kitchen. All in all though, extra time at home with the dogs is never time wasted. Looking forward to seeing how the pieces come together in the magazine.

IMG_0583 6In bigger news (for me, anyway), 2016 marked twenty-six years since the last time I played ice hockey. Shut up. Stop trying to date me. Anyway, I’d played intramural hockey all during college and then in the months following graduation, my buddies and I would rent the ice on Thursday or Friday nights and play for an hour or two, while demolishing the case of whatever beer we picked up along the way. Because that’s what you do in New England in the fall – you play hockey and drink. Or actually, you do whatever and drink – cook, watch TV, mow the lawn, read a book, etc. I probably skated one final time around November, 1990, and then I moved to Chicago in January, never to skate again. There was rugby, then law school, travel, partying (which, to be fair, played a prominent role in the prior three), dating, friends and all that fun stuff. Plus, none of the guys I ran with there skated. Dislocating my ankle in 2002 after returning to Boston sealed the deal for me – there would be no more skating for this guy. I’d always used my right leg to accelerate and my left leg to stop. The thought of coming in hard and having to stick my left leg out to stop, followed by my ankle popping out and folding under my leg again (yes, it was that stomach-turningly gross), instilled enough fear that I’d written off skating as a thing of the past, along with drinking, Santa Claus and listening to my Milli Vanilli singles on cassettes.

founders day 2But then last month the San Diego Gulls held an event for we season ticket holders down at the rink, which included the opportunity to skate on the ice of the Valley View Casino Center. My buddy/season ticket partner and I decided it was too sweet an opportunity to pass up. Like me, he’d taken many years off from skating, but he’d jumped back in a year or so ago and was quite handy on his blades. I wasn’t so confident, not only due to the unknown fitness of my left ankle but due to the whole general deal of not being on skates for a quarter fucking century. Ugh. But I went out and bought some new blades and the first thing I noticed was that, go figure, the skates are different now. Back then they were sturdier than the ones I’d grown up with, but they weren’t anything like skates now, which wrap around your ankle with thick, comforting rigidity. We hit the ice and while I looked like a guy who hadn’t skated in a quarter century, I also had a blast. Way more fun than I’d thought it would be. The next day I ran back out to the sporting goods store and bought the rest of the hockey equipment I’d needed. By the end of the week, I’d had four skate sessions under my belt, including a hockey training clinic one night, which was way advanced for me, but which was nonetheless a lot of fun. My buddy and I signed up for a summer adult league and later this morning I’m heading up to an open skate session. Because that’s what all-or-nothing people do.

Closing out, here’s what I’ve been listening to lately. Some amazing stuff here. Get on it!