Nachos and Hockey

Thursday night I watched the season opener game between the Lightning and the Thrashers. Tampa’s new goalie, Marc Denis, was great in net even though he didn’t face many shots on goal. Ultimately, the Lightning rallied from a two point deficit and came back to tie it, forcing the game into overtime then into a shootout. Vinny Lecavalier won the game for Tampa when he was the only scorer in the final shootout.

On getting all riled up over the Lightning’s win on Thursday, Shauna and I decided to get tickets for the game on Saturday. I ordered them Friday afternoon, and got the nosebleed seats (which we happen to enjoy a lot). The game on Thursday was Tampa’s first of the season, but was an away game in Atlanta. Saturday would be their first game at home against the Bruins. On top of that, the St. Pete Times Forum was celebrating their 10th anniversary. So, we knew it’d be a special night.

Thursday and Friday nights I ate tons of nachos. Anyone that’s ever been fortunate enough to be at my place when Shauna and I make nachos knows that this is a big deal. We usually have a huge batch of food cooked up with all the fixin’s: refried beans, melted cheese, shredded cheese, seasoned ground beef, diced tomatoes, salsa, hot sauce, jalapenos, shredded lettuce, olives, guacamole, and this time we did steak and onions and peppers, and also cooked up some black beans with corn. All this plus chips and tortilla shells.

After my bout with all the nachos (usually two huge plates each night), I had trouble getting to sleep Friday night. My stomach ended up being quite upset (surprise!), but I wasn’t on the shitter at all yet. I finally make it to bed around 1:30am. I toss and turn in my sleep. Around 4:00am, I wake up with a feeling that can only be described as some 300 pound man standing on my stomach and intestines with army boots on. Not wanting to have an accident in bed, I promptly stand up (although hunched over from the poop-pain) and hobble into the bathroom, trying not to step on cats or run into anything in the dark. I enunciate each thing in my head, trying to make sure I don’t mess this procedure up:

Close door.
Turn on light.
Squint (from brightness).
Drop trou.
Flip lid.
Hunker down.
Release (explosively).
Grope sore stomach.
Squint (from pain).
Grope stomach.
Grab Wizard magazine.
Sweat profusely.
Wrinkle nose from smell.
Flush again.

Mission accomplished! Man, I felt giddy after that. By the time I got out of there it was almost 5:00am. I was amazed that I had been grunting for an entire hour. I think I remember seeing a lot of corn in the toilet out of the corner of my eye. Of course.

So, anyway, there was a bit of a sleeping problem Friday night which resulted in me getting up around 11:30am on Saturday. Shauna and I batted around the idea of going out to run errands and then going to a restaurant in Tampa before the game. We ended up deciding on just staying at home and watching the Star Trek:TOS marathon on G4. We then got ready and headed up there around 5:00pm. I stopped for gas and we hit the highway. We got there, paid the parking attendant the $10 fee, and walked to the Forum. We went in and walked around for a bit. It was about 6:15pm when we walked through the doors, and the game was to start at about 7:15pm so we had time to kill.

We walked around then eventually went to our seats. Not kidding about the nosebleed comment earlier. These seats were in section 327, row R. Row R is the last row at the top. Shauna is afraid of heights (although she’s been getting a lot better about it over the past few years). We emerge from the tunnel, past the usher, and out into the stadium and it immediately starts bothering her. We make it up to our seats and decided to wait there until the game begins. She had gotten a brewsky and hotdog, and I had a diet Coke and a hotdog. After about 10 minutes being totally weirded out (there were very few people in the stadium at that point, making it feel higher than it was for some reason), Shauna got used to everything. When the people flooded in, it made it even better.

Attached to each seat was a bag with several opening-day goodies in it including a 2006-2007 program and roster book, a large magnetic schedule for the season, boom sticks (for the uninitiated, these are long plastic tubes you blow up and bang together to make noise), and finally a necklace with a “Hockeytown USA” logo pendant and, when the button is pressed, it blinks via a healthy LED light in the pendant. Shauna and I put our necklaces on and began to blink profusely.

So, the lights go down, they do all the opening night ceremonies, and I look around the arena and see thousands of blue and white lights blinking everywhere. It was really cool to see that in the dark. It worked really well, as the Forum was shining all these white and blue spot lights all over the place as they called out the players names. Ultimately, that all stopped after the national anthem and the game got underway. After the first period, I went out to the commissary and got us more drinks then Shauna and I sat and watched that rest of the game. The Lightning eventually lost 3 to 2 to Boston.

To top the evening off, we drove home, got some Taco Bell and watched Scary Movie 4 on InDemand.

Sick Thought of the Day: Grab the squirrel. Grab his balls. Massage. Massage more. Place squirrel’s wiener near mouth. Wait for creamy surprise.

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