Thursday, October 01, 2015

Of course my beaver is angry

The Angry Beaver in Seattle, WA on September 29, 2015
Last night I went to Seattle's only hockey bar, The Angry Beaver. It happened to be the night of the "Save The Angry Beaver" gathering (the off-season was not kind to them), and a Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks preseason game at the Staples Center in L.A. Also, the L.A. Dodgers won the National League West, so it was an eventful night. I'm not going to lie- this was the first time I've watched a Kings game since I moved, and especially because the game was at the Staples Center where I've been to at least a hundred Kings games, it made me miss L.A. a lot. If for nothing else, it is so damn cold in Seattle. The second I got here, it was, hello, I know you've been in a place with no seasons for eight years, but it's autumn not summer anymore! It really doesn't get freezing cold that often in Seattle, but the damp chilliness here is a typical weather feature. I'm wearing a hoodie plus gloves or a hat almost every waking hour, except for the brief but much appreciated mid-afternoon sun most days because it is still September. I did miss my hoodies and wearing actual clothes, and the heat in L.A. was driving me bonkers. This is certainly closer to hockey weather than L.A. I'm not constantly worrying about my tattoos getting too much sun, and then grudgingly smearing "healthy" (not full of dangerous chemicals with a shockingly bad Environmental Working Group rating) sunscreen all over, leaving a sunscreen film everywhere I go and grease stains on my skimpy L.A. clothes.

The bar was pretty great. It was dive-y, but not too much so (like you're afraid someone will be beaten up by a biker or some coked-up weirdo will attempt to express his interest in you using physical assault) and there was Canadian-appropriate food, that was both good and plentiful (if a tad slow to come out.) Of course I got poutine, with curry gravy which was completely awesome. I did get a stomachache, but that was probably the four glasses of Coca-Cola I drank while watching the entire game with laser focus. A friend met me there, and lasted a little bit into the second period before she had to go home. Even though she is not a hockey fan, she listened politely as I tried to explain the rules, how to watch without trying to follow the puck which is tempting but nearly impossible and you miss a lot of the good stuff, and various factoids about the Kings players. I am very nerdy in my own ways, primarily about accounting and hockey. It's always nice when people don't get bored and visibly annoyed when you talk about your passions. Yes, people have come up to me at parties and asked, "What do you do?" and when I tell them I'm an accountant, just turn around and walk away. For real.

When I lived in Seattle before, I never found my hockey people. Most people I knew didn't even like sports, so I was the lone hockey obsessive. One of the coolest things that happened last night is that the owner of the bar came over to talk to me within five minutes of me sitting down. He was so enthusiastic that I was a hockey fan, and there. Just being in a bar full of hockey fans warmed my heart. Everyone was friendly and lots of people smiled at me. I didn't get a single scowl, except when one of the only people I know in Seattle who plays hockey showed up. He's an acquaintance who is from L.A., who I unfriended a couple months ago when he posted an article about an NHL player who has been accused of rape (not going to say his name, but you probably know who I'm talking about), did the, "I'm reserving judgement until the facts come out" thing, followed by what people usually mean when they say something like that- "I'm trying to sound reasonable and fair just before I shit on every rape victim who reads this by speculating, speculating without any factual evidence, that the woman deserved it, deserved to be raped, for drinking and going somewhere with a man." Because that's a completely reasonable expectation, that a woman can never be alone with a man that she doesn't know really, really well, like a family member. No, not even a family member and certainly not an internationally known father-figure. I can only conclude that men who say these things want every woman to regard him as a potential rapist and refuse to spend time alone with him or have a drink around him, because according to his moral compass, if he drugs your drink, you get drunk, or you go home with him with some naive idea that you'd talk, get to know each other, maybe kiss or make-out instead of him holding you down and forcing himself in you, he regards it as your responsibility. Message received. So yeah, he saw me, said hello and then scowled at me.

I kind of took that as a positive, as I knew I would run into him at some point because it is a small hockey community and why not the first time I ventured in? I was just happy to be there, watching the Kings game, talking hockey with various people I just met, basking in the good hockey feelings I'd been missing. The Kings ended up losing in overtime, and a handful of people cheered at the bar. The owner had warned me ahead of time that Kings fans hang out there but there is good-natured ribbing directed at them in particular. Can't say I'm surprised. Lots of people hate L.A., but I totally don't care. I still love the Kings. I even feel some love for the Dodgers, even though I'm not much of a baseball fan. I did go to a Dodgers game right before I left L.A. It was Kings night. I got a t-shirt, and talked to various people we just met because we changed seats about eight times and made new friends every time. The world feels like a much friendlier place when you find your people.

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