Because 1 April fell on a Saturday, there were no workplace pranks to deal with. I've never been much for them; they're kinda Amateur Hour for humour, and there's too much real news that seems like such a thing anyway. Including the pro-Cheeto Rally that took place downtown here on the very day yesterday, complete with Confederate flag-wavers, SS references on a sign about a Jewish politician, and a member of the "Aryan Renaissance Society" passing out applications.
Not an April Fool- although that's from an alt-weekly, which depicted or at least reported on all of said occurrences. The daily paper and tv stations scrubbed these from their "fair and balanced" coverage, likely so as not to offend their readers and viewers who buy into this shit.
The weekend of activity and days of travel surrounding it finally caught up with me. I slept past 10 a.m. yesterday for the first time in forever, only left the house once briefly, and spent much of the afternoon watching hockey. Not the Sabres, nor even any particular men, but our Women's National Team, which went 2-0 in the World Championships which began this weekend. These heroines of their country only got there, though, by claiming an even bigger victory earlier in the week over the suits at the corporate hockey entity in charge of their scheduling and compensation. Led by 2014 Olympic medalist Hilary Knight, the final score was USA! 1, USA Hockey 0:
Knight and other members of the U.S. women’s national team reached their breaking point. If the women didn’t get a better deal from USA Hockey, the players planned to boycott the World Championships kicking off today in Plymouth, Michigan. They stared down the U.S. hockey powers-that-be with a fierceness and determination born of years of second-class citizenry. Tuesday night, they won.
Tonight, the U.S. faces team Team Canada at the World Championships. And the women do so with a new, four-year deal that guarantees a major raise plus insurance and travel accommodations equal to what the men receive. No more coach class to international tournaments when the men fly business class. No more $15 per diem on the road. It’s now $50.
Making their fight even more righteous was just how low the suits were willing to go to save themselves a few hundred bucks:
With the World Championships looming and the women intent on a boycott, USA Hockey asked junior players, pro league players, college players and rec league players to play as replacements.
And they did so loudly, defiantly and fearlessly, talking — and tweeting — about how USA Hockey’s recruitment of potential replacement players was desperate and embarrassing. Many responded with the same tweet: "Today I will do what others won't do so tomorrow I can do what others can't. I said no to USAH & will not play in the 2017WC #BeBoldForChange."
Other athletes from their and other sports, men and women alike, joined their cause, as did numerous politicians- and with their first World Championships on US soil looming, the suits forfeited and the jerseys won. Despite little preparation, the women knocked off Canada on Friday and, in the one I watched, annihilated Russia 7-0 yesterday. They are guaranteed a place in the medal round and are likely to bring home gold. I'm sure the Cheeto is upset that Putin's team lost, though, so don't expect to see them at the Orange House.
Today dawned finally a little warmer. The dog park remains closed for at least three more weekends, and our substitute venue was quite flooded, so we wound up even closer to home: an abandoned rail line whch long ago ran parallel to the 290, veered behind our neighborhood and went through the nearby village. It was near that end at 8 this morning that Dave, Ann and I, along with Da Goilz, set out to tread the trail left where the trains had gone.
It's amazing that, despite knowing full well this existed, and passing an obvious entrance to it on Park Club Lane close to a dozen times a week, I'd never set foot on it. That will likely change. It's rocky at points underfoot, mostly just a straight line, and probably slightly illegal, but the dogs seemed to enjoy it.
Here are the two of us from Ann's POV:
And a somewhat crappier photo of Ebony and Ann as they checked out the early signs of spring in the ditch which runs alongside the path:
Quite a few back yards have little bridges going across the culvert, gates to access it, or both. That second picture was probably taken right behind the circle of three streets we live on, which I'd never seen from that angle in all these years we've been here.
After dropping off the dog and working out, I came home to find the windows open and Eleanor in her element: arranging things in the greenhouse so she could try painting out there. I helped bring out cleaning equipment and, eventually, the easel. While I sorted two weeks of Sunday newspapers and, yes, slept some more, she was out there creating:
Well, at that moment, she was checking out the photos I took on her phone from the same angle.
The next five workdays will bring at least two on the road, and possibly one late one: numerous indie cinemas are screening the John Hurt adaptation of 1984 on Tuesday night, and no theater here is showing it, but the Little in Rochester is- so that might happen. Also, Roxanne Gay is next on the UB Speakers Series the following night; Emily had wanted to go, but she doesn't think that will happen:( And hopefully, the US women will snag a gold medal by the end of the week.