Tuesday, May 05, 2009

what a trip

We’ve got a pile of stuff to cover today and a good bit of it revolves around the Capitals’ game last night. Not necessarily directly related to the game, just the doings to and from, and while at, Verizon.

The most interesting piece was the last part of my commute home (and by ‘last part’ I mean it will become clear when you finish.) was a young lady who got on the Metro in D.C. as I was heading back to Virginia on the Orange Line. She had about six stops – I now know this because she got off at Clarendon – and immediately after sitting down, and taking a look around, and apparently deciding we were all cool enough, she did her entire make-up routine: base, blush, eyes, lips…everything. Obviously, she’s comfortable enough doing her work en route to the club at 10:30pm and, more power to her. I did think she might pull out some Nair and get her legs in order but she simply ran out of time and possibly towels.

I decided to try to catch a cab home from the game last night so I walked up to 6th St. and Massachusetts Ave NW . This was a grand idea on my part. Traffic in the blocks around Verizon Center after an event is always questionable (police blockades) but after a playoff game versus Pittsburgh it’s even worse. The first cab I corralled told me he didn’t want to go to Falls Church because he was hungry. As I sat in his cab, with the door open, I passed along two helpful tips: first, we have food in Virginia . Second, if he’s hungry and is going to pick-and-choose his fares, which he’s not suppose to do, then he needs to turn off his vacant light and go get some food. I finally get a second ride and he decides, after I tell him I want to go to East Falls on I-66, to head south down 9 St. NW to Constitution Ave. NW. From there he’s ‘planning’ on heading west along Constitution and (I’m guessing) to 14th St. before eventually crossing the river on 395 and heading back north to I-66. What the hell? Now, I don’t think the guy was taking me for a ride I just think he only knows one way in and out of D.C. I, unfortunately,  didn’t pay enough attention until I realized that the traffic was bumper-to-bumper all the way south to Constitution and just as packed heading west. By the time I got to the Ronald Reagan building on Constitution Ave. – after about 25 minutes and six blocks – I just pulled the rip cord, gave the guy the $7 I owed him, and hopped out into stopped traffic. I knew I could trundle over to the Federal Triangle Metro about 100 metres away and catch the Orange Line home. The greater issue is why he would go that direction in the first place; with the other 17,000 people leaving the game? We were about two blocks from K St. NW (to our north) when he picked me up and we could have shot west on K St. to the Whitehurst Freeway passed Georgetown and straight onto I-66. (I know, I’m boring you. Go to Google maps, find the Verizon Center, and if you’d like, play along.) The lesser issue is that I really had to use the bathroom and I foolhardily imagined I’d be home in about 20 minutes when I got into the cab – after 10pm at night it should only be 20 minutes to get home. Great. I wasted that 20 minutes sitting in traffic on 9th St. By the time I got out of the cab and was heading into the Metro I knew there was no way I was going to wait fifteen minutes for a train, ride 30 minutes to West Falls, and another 10 or so to get home. For those non-D.C.ists out there, when you're near the Mall at night there is nothing open: nothing. IF I were lesser man I would have just pissed all over the EPA building right above the Federal Triangle Metro. IF, I were a lesser man.

As for the game, it was something special on a Monday night. Both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby had hat tricks and the Caps won 4-3. For the second time in as many games in the series, the Caps came from behind (twice this time) and stretched the series lead to 2-0. Games three and four are in Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Friday. These two players are the faces of the NHL and the league couldn’t have asked for more. Crosby ’s goals were all from two or three feet – banging in rebounds, real grinder work – and Ovechkin’s were beautiful slap shots and wristers from open ice. His final two came within about a two minutes of each other in the third period when the game was still tied at 2-2. I’ll wager you’ve rarely heard the kind of eruption from a crowd that came when he broke the tie and made it 3-2. No one had even settled back into their seats from that score before he took a pass at center ice, powered into the zone, moved left in front of the covering defenseman in order to set him up as a screen, and ripped a devastating wrister into the upper corner. I thought Ovechkin, someone who plays the game with pure and reckless joy, might explode. Needless to say, the roof came off the arena and hundreds of hats rained down on the rink. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. If you want to see all three goals in a short video, you can see them here. Considering that the core of this team falls between 21- and 25-years-old, there is a very bright future beyond even these playoffs.

My last scene for today takes place in our bathroom at work. Suddenly this morning we’ve found a huge bottle of Purell and boxes of tissues at our sinks. I’m a tad confused because we have really nice sinks, plenty of soap dispensers that are always full, and loads of paper towels. The last place you’d think of the need for Purell would be in our corporate bathroom. Are people more likely to wash their hands because of the Purell? Aren’t they already at the sink if they are heading for the Purell? Are we in some sort of new FLUCON?


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