Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A picture's worth 1000 words....

There's been several things to update you all on, so I'm going to do one monster post and be done with it. Most events were captured on my digital camera. I'll let the pictures do the talking, although God knows I'll have a few things to say here and there. I always do.

Let's back up to St. Paddy's Day weekend. That Saturday, I started out the day coordinating a wedding. The weather was nothing short of the absolute WORST case scenario...VERY long story short, it rained and hailed for what seemed like an eternity on impeccably set tables with satin linens...everything was ruined. I'd give more detail, but I still don't like thinking about it, much less writing about it. The upside was that my amazing crew was able to pull everything off and move it inside, the guests had a great time, and most importantly, the bride and groom were happy. But at the end of a night like that, I was beyond happy that I'd arranged to leave early for a St. Paddy's party at a co-workers house in Long Beach (which is ALWAYS an event). Needless to say, I did the healthy thing, and drank my troubles away. A couple shots:

My first keg stand:
The obligatory drunk photo with Bill (our host, and school superintendent) and Lancie. At that moment, this pose seemed as dignified as posing for an oil painting:
And some people wonder why I work at a lower paying job instead of making the big bucks somewhere else. It's because I work with these crazies, and there's a guaranteed company kegger on St. Patrick's Day. Find THAT in a benefits package with a Fortune 500 company. You can keep your damn stock options, we've got Harp on tap.

Now, fast forward from there to this past weekend...Saturday, 3/29. Any baseball fan heard about the big exhibition game at the LA Coliseum between the Dodgers and the Red Sox. Dodger owner Frank McCourt wanted to hold an exhibition game to celebrate the Dodgers move to LA 50 years ago, launch his new charity, and break the record for most people attending a baseball game. We had to be there. But Marin and I took our lives in our hands by attending this event of total disorganization and mayhem. Yes, MAYHEM. Our first mistake was arriving to the shuttle at Dodger Stadium late ("late" was arriving an hour before game time). Marin is currently training for a triathlon, and between training and fundraising, her afternoon was packed. As for me, my day was going to be clear until my car battery decided to die on me. I ended up taking my car to the dealer to be fixed, and in exchange, they rented me a Ford Focus for the weekend. Another rental car? AGAIN? And it was a Ford Focus? Really, I would have been happier if they gave me a bus pass. I would have taken a picture of the car, but my camera flatly refused to do it. It actually gave me the finger. Back to the game....

So that was our Saturday before the game...needless to say, when we rolled up to Dodger Stadium for the "fast, easy, convenient, FREE" shuttle to the coliseum (that we had no choice but to take because the parking at the game was full), we were none too pleased by what we saw: the line from hell. It was EASILY a mile long, maybe more...pics are below, but it was impossible to capture the entire line in one shot, or convey the overwhelming amount of people that were there. The Dodgers were expecting 5,000 to take the shuttles, and 35,000 showed up. You can guess what happened...total overload. We spent the first 3 innings of the game in the Dodgers parking lot.

The view when we first got in line. You know you're in for a long line when there seems to be a vanishing point. With the number of times this thing wound back and forth through the lot, we literally couldn't figure out where it ended.
Another view of the line. The buses/shuttles are at the center-right of the picture. It gives you a perspective of how tiny they were, and the huge volume of people waiting for a ride. Notice that it's bright and sunny outside. When we finally got to the front of the line, it was completely dark. When we arrived, it was an inundation on the senses. Being loyal Dodger fans, we were not about to miss being a part of history, but I know I don't just speak for myself when I say I wanted to leave about 10 minutes after we arrived. All we could think about was the potential shuttle line at the end of the game. It was fun to see the crowd, cool to see the Dodgers back in their first Los Angeles home field, interesting to see how they dealt with having only a 200 foot left field with the 'mesh monster', but beyond that, it was just too much. There were people everywhere. When you shove 115,300 fans into an 85 year-old facility built for 95,000 people, you're bound to feel a bit crowded. Did LAFD just turn a blind eye to the fire code/max capacity violations for one night for the sake of a world record? Well, apparently.
The best part of our odyssey to the coliseum was that they were selling these babies, which I can only assume are the South Central LA version of Dodger dogs: The weird part was that in a crowd that huge, we actually ran into my brother, who was standing in line for one of Derrick's Big Sausages. Bubba, I'm not judging your choice of ghetto phallic food. Ok, I totally am.

We made it to the end of the 6th inning before we were ready to jump out of our skins. We saw people starting to leave at that point, and we thought that we'd better high tail it for the shuttle line that would soon have 35K people in it. We were not getting stuck in that. And yet we still were. We waited for an hour and a half for a bus. When we finally boarded, I'd never been so happy to be on a shuttle bus full of strangers rolling through South Central, listening to La Raza at high volume.

But there is a silver lining...Jeff and I went to Disneyland on Sunday! It was a beautiful day!
We got to go on all the rides we wanted to, and also went to things we don't normally do. For instance, we went over to Tom Sawyer's island (which has now been renamed "Pirate's Lair"). Jeff had NEVER been there, and it had been at least 10 years since I boarded the motorized raft to cross the 'river'. This picture was taken on Pirate's Lair. I think this is the closest I'll get to sitting on the piles of gold on Pirates of the Caribbean (what kid DIDN'T dream of jumping off the ride to swim through that gold like Scrooge McDuck?) Wow, I need to have my roots done.I think you're now sufficiently caught up on what's going on in my world. If you've made it this far, I suppose I'll share with you all that I have a date tomorrow night with a guy from Match. I'll let you all know how it goes! But now, I'm off to watch Muppet Show reruns (thanks Jeff!) and fall asleep.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

... all that, and not a mention of the fact that it must have been so great to see the Red Sox again, and playing the Dodgers of all teams. *sigh* GO SOX! And go Dodgers too. :-) (P.S. Chris totally texted me a picture of the game from the coliseum and I thought it was YOU sending me the pic, so I write back- "Take a picture of Varitek's ass for me!" Yeah, never got a response. Oops. Wrong sibling. HHAAA.) (And P.P.S. I WANNA GO TO DISNEYLAND TOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! I just bought 10 Disney classics, and you'll never guess how much I paid... Dumbo's peanuts, that's how much. I've been watching Sleeping Beauty and Dumbo and Peter Pan for days now... love it.)