Tag Archives: hockey

Sandbox List Adventures: Guatemalan Wayne Gretzky to The Rescue

16 Dec

So after a tough week and a disappointing business meeting … I’m gonna  take a bit of my own advice in order to turn a corner. I’m gonna have to open up that Blessed Project to change perspective.

And so … here I am reigning in my disappointment with chocolate and thinking about this Bucket List fail that just happened to me. Trying not to think about it and learn the lesson, actually, which is a little difficult during the chocolate-eating stages.

But even though my Bucket List Adventure didn’t pan out, thinking about my son’s brings a sense of pride and warmth to my heart and a smile to my face. Remembering that he got a chance to do something big, helps this defeat.

Looking at pictures and watching video helps me focus on something positive.

You see this one is every sports enthusiast dream.

This one fell under the highlight reel… and it ended up being a great outing. You see, I’ve mentioned this before, but just in case you’ve missed it … This is a House of Sports! We enjoy playing and watching them. And when the Olympics comes every four years … forget about it! All day every day. I guess it stems from the time I towered at 5-foot-3, tallest Guatemalan in the houuuuuse, and I swore I was a baller who was gonna make it big time. Showtime at The Forum. However injuries and reality being what they are and all … my balloon deflated and that never came to pass.

However my son … he made it. Guatemalan Wayne Gretzky got a chance to skate at The Staples Center during a L.A. Kings game and everyone was flipping out. Getting there early to check in our bags, watching the players warm-up, seeing my son walk down the tunnel and hit the ice, seeing him takes his first steps and then find his groove, all of that made everyone’s Bucket List.

I felt so happy that he was able to get this opportunity and even more proud that he didn’t waste it. He appreciated all the pregame routines and when he got on the ice … he went for it. While some kids didn’t even get a chance to touch the puck, my son went all out. Clear eyes, full hearts.

He hustled, took the puck away, then went left,  right then left again. He went around and through a couple of players made it to his goal, slapped that puck with an awesome swing, it skidded through a diving player …

And then …

Then by the hair on the chinny-chin-chin the goalie narrowly blocked that shot. My son put his hands up in the air, he couldn’t believe it. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up. Even though the puck didn’t find the back of the net, watching that move, seeing him go all out made my day, week, month.

That right there … that was a bottle-me-up memory which I uncorked today. Sandbox List Adventures working it’s magic. It brought a smile to my face, when I felt disappointment, warmed my heart when it was feeling cold, made me smile when I was sad, and changed my perspective when I needed to find a new one.

Guatemalan Wayne Gretzky to the rescue on a Friday night.








Sandbox List Adventures 31: Never Give Up on Your Kings

3 Jan

I don’t know how it happened but it did.

I dropped the ball on this one.

We’ve been checking things off our list the last couple of months but for some reason I forgot to share … probably weak from all those sleepless nights hopped up on 5-Hour Energy and the will of Jack Bauer pushing me to finish a writing project.

That sort of writing marathon tends to slow you down a bit and you forget to share some cool adventures in the process. I realized we’ve had couple of Sandbox List Adventures since our epic hike to the Batcave and I have yet to post them. But I thought I’d mention this epic experience as it became both a lesson and an adventure rolled up into one, for both my kids.

And the best part?

The lesson and adventure came through sports.

As you all know I’m a Kings fan, always have been since the days of Wayne Gretsky and Luc Robitaille, and I’ve always shared the love for this game with my kids as we cheer them on from the comfort of our couch.

However, even though television is an amazing technological advancement the in-person experience tends to be better, at least with sports. You got the crowd, the vibe, the excitement of seeing players, the game, the organ lady, the team merchandise, the mascot, and the high-fiving with complete strangers when the moment is so spectacular that you bond.

That is sports.

It’s a great thing to experience in person at least once in your life.

And seeing how we had family here from out of town it all seemed to come together.

My kids were going to chant Go Kings Go!

And cheer with intensity and excitement after seeing their first goal.

It would be great. And it was … until it happened.

In the second period.

It seems that The Kings began to trail, and I could see the worry on the face of my kids, my son more so. I could see the doubt and then the sadness begin to creep in. Toward the end of the third period they were trailing  3-6. People started getting up out of their seats and leaving.

“I think The Kings are going to lose,” he said.

“Oh you never know. You gotta wait until the end. Always wait until the end.” I said.

As the two-minute mark hit it happened.


It was 4-6.

The clock kept ticking … and then again.


It was 5-6.

The crowd was going crazy, everyone was screaming and jumping. And you can only imagine what I was looking like.

Hope was in the air, and my son was breathing it in.

Then with less than 30 second left …


The place exploded.

I looked over to my son.

“Never give up, never give up.”

He high-fived me and we cheered with the rest of the fans as we headed into overtime.

In the end The Kings lost 6-7, and the cheers deflated, but that wild comeback was amazing and it was something I hope my son and daughter never forget. He witnessed a Clear Eyes, Full Hearts moment in those last two minutes and it was definitely a Sandbox List Adventure I’d like both of them to remember.



Sports, Family, and Heart Attacks

13 Jun

Chest pains.



Rapid and irregular heartbeats.

Shortness of breath.

Tingling in the right arm.

High blood pressure.




Dude. I exercise on a daily basis. I take a Vitamin B Complex and that CoQ10 from the Costco. It’s supposed to be good for your heart. But in truth I don’t know if it was working. I didn’t think I was gonna make it tonight. I’ve never needed an EKG or CPR before. I was really freaking out.

And then it happened …


Holy Crap!

Holy Crap!




Go Kings Go!

Go Kings Go!


Instantly … the blood rushed back into my veins and pumped life back into my heart. I took deep breaths and felt the muscles in my face relax. The tension melted away and the pounding in my chest subsided. But in truth there was nothing I could do about the ten new gray hairs that sprouted during this episode.

Those would stay with me.

I earned those. As a sports fan they’re my badge of honor. As a L.A. Kings’ fan I acquired my first series of gray during the first round of playoffs and by the end of this double overtime winning streak, I must have aged at least 15 years. I should have gotten used to all that stress by now … the world of sports does that to you. I should have known better.

However, The Quest for the Stanley Cup is a whole new level of danger. And nothing can prepare you for it, although they try. The PSA announcement before the game warned me that watching the Kings could be hazardous to my health … and if I ate red meat, drank excessively, or smoked the risk would be three times greater. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink excessively, but I’m a Tyrannosaurus Rex kind of carnivore. So I knew I’d be in trouble.

But it was something I was willing to risk.





My Dad would want me to … he was a big fan. Loved those Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille days. And it was fitting that I’d be watching the L.A. Kings beat the New York Rangers to win the Stanley Cup wearing my Dad’s hockey cap. Father’s Day is coming up and I’ve been feeling his presence all week long. Thinking of things we’d be doing together and of the cake I’d be baking in his honor.  Yeah … I was thinking and I was grateful for his Kings’ hat. I had a piece of him with me still. And we were  high-fiving each other, screaming, and nearly passing out from all that intense excitement. He was a great couch sidekick and I was definitely missing him this evening.

Yeah … sports and family. They both give you heart attacks but you love them for it.