Friday, November 13, 2009


Being placed on waivers was a pretty shitty feeling. It was like a father who didn’t want you anymore and wanted to send you away. An orphanage for hockey players, batting their eyelashes hoping someone would adopt them. That’s exactly what happened to me, luckily I ended up with a dysfunctional family that loved each other very much. The Pittsburgh Penguins. What was there to say about the team? A bunch of rambunctious kids who kicked their own father to the curb a few weeks before, and brought in a new one. A younger one. Now all of a sudden they were a family again, a more functional one, and they plucked me out of the NHL waivers orphanage.

I threw my whole life into the back of a U-Haul truck and set out from Chicago to Pittsburgh. My agent found me a condo close to the city, with what he described was a beautiful view of the city. I’d have to see it for my own eyes to believe it. No skyline compared to Chicago’s. I left Chicago around 4 AM, hoping to make it to Pittsburgh before noon to get as much unpacked as I possibly could.

I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I sang along with Johnny Cash. “When I breeze into that city, people gonna stoop and bow. All them women gonna make me, teach ‘em what they don’t know how. I’m goin’ to Jackson, you turn-a loose-a my coat. Cause I’m goin’ to Jackson.” I pause to allow June Carter to sing her part. I suddenly wanted to pull over and find a nice glass of whiskey, but I looked at the GPS to discover I only had twenty more minutes till I arrived at my new home. I guess I could wait just a little bit longer.

I finally pulled up in front of my duplex, and could see a hint of skyline behind the house. “Eh.” I shrugged my shoulders, still not convinced yet. My eyes drifted to the house and it looked like a big ass black line split the duplex straight down the middle, right through the driveway. It looked like if I climbed on the roof and hammered a nail into the middle, the house would split and fall apart. Strange. I backed the U-Haul onto my side of the driveway and headed inside the house to check it out.

Holy crap was that a view. The city almost looked fake as I stepped out onto the balcony off the master bedroom. It looked like a gigantic cardboard cutout of a bunch of buildings placed on a triangle piece of land surrounded by water. It was surreal. It was no Chicago, but it was something. It had personality, an attitude almost. I could only hope my laid back style would fit into not only the cities personality, but the teams as well.

I was coming into the team at 31 years of age, and as single as they come. I fell into the unknown category. The category the younger single guys and the older married guys didn’t know what to do with. Do they invite him to a family BBQ with all the other married couples? Or do they invite him out to a night club with a bunch of young people and terrible music? How does one avoid the awkwardness in this? At least in Chicago I had Burish, but even that was detrimental to my health. Who did Pittsburgh have that I could hang out with? Talbot? Fleury? Oh good Lord. The season was almost over anyways, I didn’t need friends.

I took a deep breath of fresh air before heading back out to the truck to unload it. I already knew my condo was going to be pretty bare, after all I was fitting a seven hundred square foot apartment into a fifteen hundred square foot condo. It was going to look like an art gallery, just . . . no art. The only art I needed was the beautiful bottles that were going to be placed in a cabinet. I’m not an alcoholic, far from it, I just enjoy the taste and beauty of alcohol. I don’t get trashed, or even buzzed. A glass to relax after a grueling game is all I need. After all, I’m a man.

Packing up in Chicago felt like a piece of cake compared to unpacking in Pittsburgh. There were lots of stairs, and lots of small doorways. I hauled my black leather couch up to the living room and pulled it through the doorway, bring the doorway with me. Fucking fantastic. Luckily it was just the frame that came down, and none of the drywall. The last thing I needed was a full blown repair 30 minutes within arriving at my new home.

I unpacked the rest of the furniture before I started repairing the door frame. Nothing a hammer and a few nails couldn’t fix. I grabbed all the nails I had out of my tool box, which wasn’t a whole lot. I figured if I just pounding on the thing for a bit, maybe it would just stay in place. So that’s what I did. I pounded and pounded until it wasn’t moving. Almost sounds like the last date I had.

I headed back out to the truck to grab the rest of my boxes. I piled a few high on the dollie U-Haul gladly rented out to me, and headed back into the house. Damn doorframe fell out. I groaned and ignored the wood laying on the ground and continued to unpack my things. The quicker I got done, the sooner I could have that drink. Once my clothes were neatly folded in the corner of the room, and a white sheet was thrown over my mattress I headed back to the doorframe. I grabbed the hammer and nails and went to work.

I stood back and admired my somewhat decent job, but a smile appeared when I knew it wasn’t going anywhere. That fucker wasn’t budging. Obviously most women are wrong about me, I am good for more than just hockey, I’m a handyman too. A knocking on my door brought me out of my confidence boost and I headed toward the door figuring it was my agent welcoming me to the city. I swung the door open and was greeted by a gorgeous woman. My eyes traveled down her body and I tried to suppress the frown. She looked like an hourglass, large chest, plump ass, tiny waist. Just how I like them, unfortunately, her clothes made her look like she was an 80-year-old grandma.

“Hi,” I smiled just as she shoved a basket out at me.

“Hi, I’m Madison, I live next door, I just thought I would bring you a home welcoming gift and ask you what in the world that pounding is?”

Oh hell no. Really? Already she was bitching about something? It’s not like I was pounding away for a hour or two. It was ten minutes here and maybe five minutes there. It was no big deal. I took the basket from her hands, it looked like she just grabbed whatever she had and tossed it inside. “Sorry about the pounding, I accidentally tore out a door frame, so I’m just putting it back up. I’m Craig by the way.” I hold my hand out for her to shake and she places her hand in mine, almost as if she’s afraid I’ll break some bones. “I’ll try and keep it down.”

She nodded her head then turned and walked away. So my neighbor is smoking hot, needs a new wardrobe, and is a little bit on the loopy side. I watched her carefully as she jiggled the handle of her door. Was she having a problem? The door swung open and she wiped her feet numerous times before disappearing into her home. Interesting. I wonder what she looks like naked. I hope she doesn’t wear granny panties. Those things cause erectile dysfunction.

I looked around my house, having everything unpacked in less than a hour and a half. It sure was empty. Hopefully Pittsburgh won’t dump me the way Chicago did, and I’ll stick around for a few years, give me time to fill the condo up. My phone vibrated on the kitchen counter and I snatched it up before making my way up to my bedroom. “Hello?”

“Hey Craig, Sidney Crosby here. Just calling to see if you got settled in?”

“Sure did, enjoying the view right now.” I opened the sliding glass door and stepped out onto the balcony.

“That’s great. Look some of the guys and I want to take you out for dinner tonight. Show you around a bit, you down for that?” I nodded my head as I heard something to my right, I looked over and saw Madison smoking something out of a bong.

“Hey Sid, hold on a second.” I pulled the phone away from ear and looked harder at her. “Are you smoking pot?” I shouted her direction.


“I’ve never seen anything like that before, sure as hell looks like a bong to me!”

“If I was smoking pot, do you honestly think I would do it out in the open?” She had a point, but I still starred at her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was a pot head, she at least looked like one. A hot one. Maybe she was stoned when she put her clothes on. Smoke drifted over to me and it suddenly smelt like Sunday mornings back at my mom’s house.

“Is that . . . strawberries?”

“It is, it’s a hookah, and I’m smoking sisha. It’s flavored tobacco.”

“Oh. Okay.” I nodded my head, realizing I probably looked like an ass. But what if it was strawberry flavored pot? Don’t potheads have the technology now to make that? Aren’t there thousands of different kinds of pot? I pulled my eyes away from her and her bong and headed back inside, placing the phone back on my ear. “Sorry about that Sid, just having a friendly conversation with my neighbor.”

“If accusing your neighbor of illegal activity friendly, sure, no problem. So I heard you live up on Mt. Washington? I’ll come pick you up around six, sound good?”

“Yeah perfect, see you soon.” I snapped my phone shut and stuck my head out the door one last time to look at her. She was gone. Great, I really was an ass to her.


  1. o0o0o0o0o night out with the boys!!!!!

    This was awesome! Craig Adams is sort of boss... not gonna lie! I'm really excited for the next update =D

    Soooo good K!

  2. Ooooh my goodness. How is it possible for you to make me like Craig even more than I already do? (probably b/c yours is single, buahaha.) Oh my. I laughed so many times that I can't even pick out any one instance more so than the others.


  3. HHAHAHAHAH!!! Oh Craig... Screwin' up on the first day in a new place.


  4. Kristina, this chapter made me laugh so hard. Just so many quirky funny bits to it and it's so original that I can't help but be hooked.

    “Hey Craig, Sidney Crosby here. Just calling to see if you got settled in?” < Hilarious.

    Great update!!! But can you please update your Max story soon. puhllleaaaseeeee????? I miss it so much!

  5. Great post!

    Don't listen to Tillie. You need to tell us who said the last line of Chapter 24. Don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about. :)

  6. The one liners in this chapter are awesome and thanks for throwing Johnny and June's "Jackson" in there. Fabulous, as always, girlfriend!

  7. This is so interesting! I can't wait for the next update!!
    Love it!!

  8. great post...and story i just now found it...cant wait for another upudate