Saturday, March 18, 2006

Craggy snaggle-toothed guy number 164

It's been a relatively sucky week what with the poison gas and the bullets (automatic weapon from a gun running deal gone bad, apparently) and the illness. But it's also had a bunch of bright spots. Felix's brunch and a great night out with Spectrum Girl seeing Heaterly's dance concert and a number of e-mails from Mrs. X telling me about this seal that has taken up residence in my hometown's river.

The combination has made me fairly giddy.

Tonight Mike and I went to see a Rangers' game. As usual we had a great time, laughed and joked and screamed at the top of our lungs. We really "took the bull by the ears". Best moment of the evening, though, moment that still has me laughing was very early on.

The craggy gentleman pictured above is my Rangers boyfriend, Darius Kaspairitis. He's an accomplished defenseman, captain of his team, born and raised in Lithuania while it was part of the USSR so holds Russian citizenship and played for that team in last months' Olympics. He's been in the US for many years now, he's fairly well-spoken on camera and even displays a sense of humor. When asked how he can be such a great hockey player and still shoot the puck so poorly he said, "I grew up in Lithuania, we played out on a river and we only had one puck. I didn't get to shoot it until I was 14. If I missed we'd lose the puck." He is also, incidentally, known for his questionable and violent tactics on the ice. His trademark is due to his being somewhat shorter than your average hockey player, so he'll wait for his moment, bend over at the waist and throw a hip, effectively upending his chosen victim. This has been known to result in unpleasant injuries and, while not strictly legal, is fairly easy to conceal as an accident of play. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that this contributes to my attraction, but I promise that feel bad about it.

Anyway, tonight Kaspar was unusally not in the starting line, which means that he was not on the ice during the singing of the anthems. It was an anthem double-shot since we had a Canadian team visiting, too. I love the double shot. Much lusty singing of weird songs. Little did I know how much lusty singing.

Our seats are 2 rows up from the ice directly across from the Rangers bench. I looked across to check out the team and I noticed my boy. He's singing. Both anthems. Every. Single. Word. Out loud and proud, too. You know how a lot of athletes will sort of half heartedly mumble along out of some misguided sense of duty? No, not this guy. My high school chorus teacher could have put him up in front of the group as an example - jaw veritably unhinged as he belted out the dramatic key change to close O Canada and segued seamlessly into the Star Spangled Banner.

How can you not love a guy or a moment like that?


  1. Funny story about O Canada:

    One Saturday morning, many years ago, I got out of bed to work at the bank, leaving Husband (though technically still "fiance" at the time) in bed.

    When I returned around noontime, Fiance turns to me and says, quite out of the blue, "Bear's Canadian."

    Bear is a cat, for those of you who don't know: one of the litter of four who were born under our bed the year before, which makes them all very much U.S. critters. I explained this to him, but he stood by his assertion that Bear was, in fact, a Canadian.

    To prove his point, he asked me where she was. I found her in the downstairs bedroom and was told not to disturb her. Fiance took my hand and led me upstairs to our room, where he left me by the door while he climbed into bed, covered his head with the blankets and started singing "O Canada!" at the TOP of his lungs.

    Mere moments later, Bear came flying up the stairs, mewing all the way, lept on to the bed and began clawing at the covers. I was doubled over, crying with laughter and trying not to wet myself.

    It wasn't so much that the cat came when he sang; it was HOW he figured out this little trick in the first place. I imagined him earlier that morning, alone in the house, singing national anthems in bed.

    I married him anyway....

  2. Indeed, shorter-than-average players need to develop a robust repertoire of questionable tactics. I know that my hip is always locked and loaded.~,:^)