Monday, September 24, 2012

Full Circle

Many years ago, when the world and I were young, I used to skate very, very early in the morning. I began skating during the last years of figures and would get up to practice. Back then, I lived in what was called a "two-fare" zone; meaning, you had to take a bus to get to the closest subway. So, I did. I awoke at 3:30am to get ready to go to the rink. I would catch a bus at 4:15am to the subway, then travel on the E train to 34th Street and walk 3 NYC blocks to the rink for a 5:45 patch session. Afterwards, I either went to school or work or sometimes both. I did this three times a week for about four years. Then I had a fight with my then coach (she called me a talentless, hopeless case) and I started skating in Long Island. That brought with it a whole different group of travel problems which included taking the Long Island Railroad, taking a cab from the station and getting mugged. I mention this because I now skate on Saturday mornings at 7:00am. That means, thanks to NYC MTA, in order to arrive at the rink on time, I have to leave home at 5:30. There goes my Friday night social life. Oh wait, I didn't have a social life. I had been skating the 10:00 session, but it was cancelled. Last week, I tried the 9:00 session. I swear there were 40 skaters on the ice and then coaches. It was a zoo and that's an insult to the local zoos! So, this morning, still half asleep and dealing wih early morning coughing jags, there I was, back on the ice at an un-holy hour. I must love this sport to take the subway at 6:00am and have to stand up and then run 4 blocks from to subway to the rink because the crosstown bus wasn't coming. Highlight of the trip? The homeless man who did a strip for no partcular reason. Highlight of the skate? Moves in the Field are moving along nicely. Slowly, but nicely. Now, I have 4 hours to kill before class. Oh well... I initially began this posting while killing time. Now, in the light of day and after several cups of coffee AND a nap, I will continue. I was hoping there would be some place to take a quiet nap. Apparently, I had forgotten about one very important feature in all skating rinks: hockey parents. Wow, are they loud. One man keep trying to pump up his sleepy daughter and his reluctant son to "go out there and kick some butt". The daughter was maybe nine and the reluctant son (who kept saying "I wanna go home!") was maybe six. And I thought skating parents were nuts.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

US Open, Hackers and Schedule Changes

Funny how something you don't expect to concern or involve you does just the opposite. A few weeks ago, NYC, Flushing Queens, actually, was the host (as it is every year) to the US Open Tennis Tournament. No big deal for me since I gave up tennis years ago. The tennis stadium is in the same park as World Ice Arena. Still, no big deal for me. Or so I thought... For reasons I still can't comprehend, all of the parking areas in the park were on lock-down. If you didn't have a season pass to the tennis matches, you were not permitted to park in the park. As I drove through the park to the rink, I watched several motorcades fly past (the speed limit on the park drive is 15 miles per hour, so doing 30 seemed like speeding) I wondered what was going on, thinking it couldn't possibly be because of the tennis. WRONG! As I drove to my usual parking spot, a man asked me for my pass. I was reminded of being in high school and being asked for the same thing by the Hall Monitor. I think I got through HS without EVER having a hall pass. When I told him I was going to the rink, he said "Oh no you're not." Huh? He informed me that to park there, I would need a pass and suggested I try further down the park drive. Off I went. I passed a cop who asked where I was going. To the rink, I replied. She shook her head and told me it had been torn down. "That's the old rink. There's a new one." Nope, she was positive. I pointed to her left, to the big silver/gray building NEXT to her. "That's the rink." She told me that it was a swimming pool. "It's BOTH!" It didn't matter; I couldn't park there anyway. When I thought I had found a parking spot, a different cop told me no and suggested that I just go home. I decided to go home, but couldn't leave the park my usual way. I only know ONE way to exit the park. Thirty minutes, two highways I had never been on in my life and didn't know they were that close to the park and one trip on a highway I did know, but headed in the wrong direction later, I was on my way home without skating. For two weeks! Of course this brings me to my issue with AOL and my email getting hacked twice in less than six weeks. Dear AOL: You suck. I am dropping you and your terrible service. I will find someone else, who has (hopefully) a Help Desk in the US so the Representative will STOP calling me MISTER. As it turns out, World Ice Arena has eliminated ALL of their evening sessions, as has their sister rink City Ice Pavilion. Dear Rink Manager: Thank you so much for hating figure skaters. Your schedule sucks. With that, I bid you all good night; unless you're reading this in the morning. If so; good morning.