Memory, games, WMDs

I have always named my computers after weapons of mass destruction, or general devices of warfare. I named my new machine 245t. Look it up.

My memory is still not here. Today, allegedly. I have 1 gig in now, and I will swap the 2×512 for 1×1 and 1×2 gig, so 3. Fun.

I am partially sick (probably from the rain, although everyone says getting sick from the rain is a wives’ tale, but it always happens to me) and it looks partially sick outside, so that’s not good. I’m also still mis-typing every third word on this damn keyboard. I should give up and go back to the old MS ergo.

I lied about only two more games this season – there are now 8. I bought one of the mini-series 6-pack deals. The new games are:

  • Milwaukee Brewers – 06 AUG 2007 at 07:05pm
  • Chicago Cubs – 09 AUG 2007 at 07:05pm
  • Chicago Cubs – 12 AUG 2007 at 01:05pm
  • San Diego Padres -07 SEP 2007 at 07:05pm
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – 19 SEP 2007 at 06:35pm
  • Washington Nationals – 24 AUG 2007 at 07:05pm

Those are all sets of tickets in the infield upper reserved. So right behind home plate, but up high. It was insanely cheap though – twelve total tickets for $216. I also have single day game tickets for the Brewers and Giants. And of course I’ll be buying those Rockies postseason playoff tickets when they go on sale. (Well, maybe not this year.)

Okay I am going to rewire the universe and get this keyboard figured out.


Rockies – Phillies

I know I said my next baseball game was the Brewers next month, but Sarah had to work today, and I thought it would be a good idea to see the last game in the Rockies-Phillies series. Pictures are here. Here’s the commentary:

  • My seat was in Lower Reserved Infield, section 329, 6th row. If you know where the press box is behind home plate, there’s a set of corporate boxes above it, and then this section above that. The topmost concourse has two sets of seats, a handful lower, and a bunch upper, and these were the lower. These were actually really good seats, especially for $30, because you look right down at the entire field and can see everything.
  • I got another Papa John’s rubber pizza kit, and it wasn’t as great as last time.
  • It was 90 degrees out, and there was a chance of thunderstorms. I didn’t really think this would matter much.
  • The balcony up on the 300-level has a really kick-ass view of downtown.
  • The national anthem was sung by some paramilitary jesus-freak organization and they sang so bad, it was hilarious. Back when I worked in a theater and the first-graders would sing “Here Comes Santa Claus” for the christmas show, they would be more in tune.
  • The game was a game, and a few things went on, but I won’t get into it. It was a game.
  • I had my new AM/FM/TV radio, which made it a lot more interesting, except for when they went on endless commercial breaks.
  • So in the 5th or 6th inning, it starts to get dark. There are lightning strikes in the distance, and thunder booms across the stadium. They turn on the stadium lights. Big clouds start rolling in. The guys on the radio say a huge storm is going to hit just after three. I look at my watch: 2:55.
  • It starts raining. People freak out and start leaving. I don’t care too much. Remember the part about it being 90? I’m surprised they aren’t charging people for the rain.
  • Then it starts really raining. The groundskeeper dudes are trying to roll the huge tarp over the field. Right after they open it up, these huge bursts of gale-force winds hit the field, and some of the groundskeepers hanging onto the tarp GO AIRBORNE. Half of the tarp flips inside-out.
  • The Rockies have already retreated to the clubhouse. The Phillies are all on the bench, getting drenched. They see these dudes flying in the air, and the entire 40-man roster plus coaches and trainers runs out to the field and tries to hold down the tarp.
  • I’m in the tunnel approaching my section, trying to take pictures. It is raining 90 miles an hour sideways into the tunnel. I’m about as wet as you would be if you stood in a shower for five minutes in your street clothes. It is pitch black outside, except for the stadium lights and the lightning.
  • Outside of the section, there’s a narrow section where the roof sticks out about ten feet where it is more or less dry. About 20,000 people are in that section. It looks like a disaster movie, except they’re still selling beer.
  • The radio station has used the rain delay as an opportunity to run back-to-back commercials constantly, except to come on every 20 minutes and say “still raining!”
  • About an hour later, the rain stops. Half of the people have left, the rest are trying to dry off their seats with Papa John’s napkins.
  • The tarp rolls off, and they quickly rake stuff and chalk down lines.
  • Ten minutes later, it is blue skies and 90.
  • The Rockies lose, 8-4.

Anyway, weird experience. And now I must go caption photos. Or not.



Our fourth of July was spent watching the Rockies destroy the Mets, and then a fireworks show. Pictures are here. The summary:

  • Our seats were in section 222, 3rd row. That’s just in from first base, on the first deck club level.
  • I wore the Brad Hawpe t-shirt I got for free a couple of games ago, not because I am a big fan, but because it was about 100 out, and wearing a black t-shirt didn’t seem like a good idea.
  • LOTS of people there. The last two games were sold out, and this looked like it was too.
  • It was very nice to go from the outdoors to the air-conditioned concourse behind the club seats. I thought more than once that we should just not sit down and watch the game from the bar.
  • I got a Papa John’s prefab rubber pizza, which wasn’t bad. It’s still weird that I remember when there were about four Papa John’s locations in the world, and one was a block from 414 S. Mitchell and I always went there when I had a buck or two for a slice, and now they have kiosks at ball parks and airports everywhere.
  • We got to our seats, and not only was the heat unbearable, but the sun was coming right at us as it set. I had no sunglasses, and was wearing jeans, further proving that I am a genius.
  • The national anthem was sung by a woman from the Air Force Academy, and was actually not bad. We also got a quartet of F-15s making a high speed pass over the stadium, which I thought was cool.
  • First pitch was thrown in by this old WW2 vet, which I thought was nice. He barely got it in from the front of the mound, but he saluted the crowd and waved to everyone, and that was cool.
  • The Mets drove in three runs in the first inning. Sarah thought it would go downhill, but I said, “don’t worry, the Rockies will probably score ten runs in the next two innings, like the last two games.”
  • I should mention that there aren’t as many Mets fans, but some. They, however, are not total pieces of shit like Yankees fans, and manage to shut up for most of the game.
  • At the first Rockies at-bat, Cory Sullivan splinters his bat and a huge chunk flies at the pitcher. I didn’t see if it actually hit or not, but he kept pitching. First time I’ve seen that happen, but I guess it happened at a Brewers-Cubs game recently and the pitcher had to leave the game.
  • Second inning: Brad Hawpe hits a home run with Atkins on base, and the crowd goes nuts. I don’t feel as stupid wearing his shirt anymore.
  • Third inning: I am completely overheated. Retreat to the AC, drink a gallon of Powerade, I feel much better. Cory Sullivan steals two bases, then gets in on a Todd Helton sacrifice fly.
  • I swear, Todd Helton looks more and more like pro wrestler Mick Foley every time I see him. He really needs to shave off that 1997 goatee.
  • Fourth inning: three runs. Fifth inning: six runs. I don’t mean the score was six, I mean a home run, a double with bases loaded, and three more in. Oh, the Mets got one in. 12-4. There are two Mets pitcher changes in the fifth.
  • Sixth inning: three more for the Rockies, one for the Mets. 15-5. This is ridiculous. If it weren’t for the fireworks, we’d probably leave.
  • Someone’s kid right behind me WILL. NOT. SHUT. THE. FUCK. UP! He he doing all of these sound effects and singing the Vonnage theme song over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and if it was souvenir bat night, I would be in jail right now for smashing his fucking skull in, and then beating his dad’s testicles so he could never breed again.
  • The sun starts to go down, and we get a bit of a breeze.
  • 7th inning: Rockies score two more. I am 50% certain they will win with a 20-point lead.
  • They do the kiss-cam, where the jumbo screen camera zooms in on a couple and they are supposed to kiss. This one guy kisses his girlfriend, and then grabs her tit while on camera. They quickly go to the next shot.
  • (BTW I always think it would be great if they zoomed in on two guys and they kissed, like maybe during pride week or something. The Jesus folk here could use a good kick in the ass.)
  • For the 7th inning stretch, a guy on the trumpet plays God Bless America.
  • They got the biggest wave going I’d ever seen. It was HUGE and went around time after time. Each time it was approaching, it sounded like you were on a beach when a Tsunami was coming in.
  • A scoreless 8th inning drags on. A massive wind is blowing in, and every hit pops up and behind. The kid behind me is still singing the Vonnage song, and asking his dad 200,000 times what a wave is.
  • After the 8th, it starts raining. This makes me wonder if they would call the game, and if they would cancel the fireworks.
  • Top of the 9th, 16-6, the Mets need to get in 11 to keep it alive. They get in one. Game over.
  • This is the first time a team has swept both the Mets and the Yankees in regular season play. And even if some other team beats that, the Rockies hold some kind of record for sweeping both and for losing 12 games in between.
  • This is the 4th time I have seen the Rockies, and the 4th time I’ve seen them win. They’ve lost many games when I wasn’t around, though. Maybe they should slip me some season tickets, right?
  • They open up the field so all of the people in the bleachers and facing away from the fireworks can get on the field. They’ve roped off the infield, so you can just go and stand there.
  • Some kids run out there and are holding up brooms (i.e. sweep) and running laps around the outfield.
  • I’m jealous that we don’t get to go on the field, until I realize that it’s going to be as packed as a Who concert in Cincinnati
  • The Barney purple dinosaur and a few others are using a slingshot to throw rolled-up t-shirts into the crowd. The kid behind me is yelling “MEMEMEMEMEMEMEMEHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHEREHERE” and I seriously want to beat him to death.
  • The dinosaur shoots a shirt, and it is going right into our section, and I’m watching it arc, and it goes right toward us, and I watch it go right in and HIT ME IN THE FUCKING KNEE. I wonder if the kid would shut up if I gave him the shirt, and then I keep it.
  • It is, BTW, the shittiest shirt ever. I could make a better shirt with a magic marker and a grocery bag.
  • The lights go off, and they show one of those “season sofar” highlight videos. It has stopped raining.
  • As far as the fireworks go: the fireworks themselves were pretty damn good. We were close, and there were a lot of specialty shells.
  • You could see a sea of 10,000 camera phones trying to get pictures, and I knew every single one of them would produce nothing.
  • The music really sucked. It was all of this jingoistic country music, and they played the Neil Diamond song “Coming to America”, which I can’t listen to with a straight face because of that Will Ferrell skit where he’s ND and says “I wrote this song because of my extreme hatred for minorities and immigrants…”
  • Overall though, the fireworks show was good. Loud, bright, and very good.

So, a good 4th. Next game is against the Brewers, I will be at the day game for that one.

My computer just shipped from China. Apple, can’t you get a warehouse in Reno or something? Christ. And now, I must pack up a million things for eBay.


Baseball, Die Hard

First, the baseball update. I now have tickets for the following games:

  • 4th of July vs. the Mets, club box seats on the first base side of the press box. This is also a fireworks game, so there will be many explosions and flares and whatnot.
  • Aug. 8th, Rockies vs. Brewers. Afternoon game, I have an infield box seat between third and home, below the club seats we had for the Devil Rays. I took a seat like 20 rows back, to avoid the sun.
  • Sept 3rd, Rockies vs. Giants. I have a seat in the second row of the rightfield box. Unfortunately, this is too far for me to throw D-cell batteries at Barry Bonds’ giant mongoloid head. (Also, I’m sure if I did, he would keep them for the Barry Bonds Hall of Fame.)

I also bought a cheap AM/FM/TV radio to bring so I can hear the announcers during the game. I can’t believe I could not find one lying around the house. We got this free shit MP3 player from Qwest, and it has a radio, but it is FM only, and the games are only broadcast on AM in Denver. (They are on FM pretty much everywhere else in the state. I heard this was because the Broncos preseason was more important than the Rockies, so they pushed them to AM. And with the way the Rockies have been playing lately, I’m not surprised they got bumped for news coverage of local junior-level amateur womens’ golf.)

eBay is slowly paying off. I have made about $1100 since I started about a week ago, so I can get a new laptop. I have a bunch of other sales pending, then I will get all of my money out of PayPal and/or get a debit card from them and go to the Apple Store and try to beat down all of the idiots drooling over the iPhone. They might as well call that thing the iScratchAndSmudge, because I don’t see how that thing doesn’t turn into a giant smear of grease and abrasion. I look at my iPod, which I treat fairly well, and then imagine that it would be pressed up against my face, and also that it would cost at least three times as much. I’ll stick to my Sidekick, especially since it now looks like a huge bargain.

I’m going to the gym now, so the foot is pretty much better. I’m not, and the treadmill is killing me, but hopefully that will go away soon.

We saw the new Die Hard movie this weekend, so I feel obligated to mention that in the context of some kind of review. First of all, I’ll say that Bruce Willis may be horrible in about 90% of the movies he tries to make, but this franchise is the one kind of role he can really pull off. I think the first two Die Hards were decent, above average but nothing that made you think or had a really intricate plot. The third one, with Samuel Jackson, was excellent. The chemistry between the two of them balanced it out. And even though the plot was over-the-top stupid (who the fuck can get from Wall Street to Central Park in like three minutes?) I still liked it.

This one was not as good as the third, but it wasn’t bad. The parts where the “I’m a Mac” kid joked around were pretty good. The computer stuff: 100% fake. 200% fake. Kevin Smith: stick to directing. The dialogue in the serious parts: corny to the point of laughter. But the action scenes? Jesus fucking christ they really tried to outdo themselves. Crashing a car into a helicopter? Taking out an F-35 jet? This stuff was awesome beyond belief. The plot in general was about the same as any of the other Die Hards. The one thing missing was that the bad guy wasn’t related to those Nazi fucks that were in all of the first three films. I guess they ran out of brothers.

This film fits in well with the whole summer blockbuster lineup, and is probably the one I wanted to see most. I have no desire to see the Transformers movie; I was too old to play with Transformers as a kid, so I never got into them in the first place. I’m sure the film will be 90% inside references to the original toys or comics or cartoons or whatever. I’ve sworn to never, ever see a movie based on a comic book again, so that cuts out like a third of the lineup. I would like to see the Simpsons movie, although I think there’s about a 50% chance it will bomb. Rush Hour 3 might be decent. The Bourne Ultimatim might not be too bad either. Now that movie tickets cost less than Rolling Stones reunion tickets, I can justify seeing some not-top-tier movies.

Okay, got a whole stack of crap to go to the PO, so I better get to that.


Rockies – Yankees

Yes, another baseball game report, but this is the big one: Yankees versus Rockies. Another annoying bulleted list:

  • This game was HUGE. I got there about an hour early, and it was roughly three times more crowded than last Friday’s game. (The Yankees are a bit more popular than the Devil Rays.)
  • The ten dollar lot across the street was charging $30.
  • There were an insane number of Yankees fans. There were more Yankees jersies and hats than you’d see at Yankee stadium for a home game.
  • Also present: lots of large bald men with no necks acting like assholes. Also lots of loud-mouthed women with orange tans, frizzed-out frosted white hair, and pure black eyebrows. It was like being back in Astoria.
  • For $60 each, our seats were shit. Section 149, row 20 – that’s straight back from first base. It’s the worst of both worlds: you can’t see the scoreboard, and you can’t really get a good look at the field. They’re also uncovered, and not near any food.
  • Sarah had to meet me there a half hour late from work, so I had to fend for myself. See above about no food – it was a real struggle just to get a hot dog and a water. The lines at everything were completely insane. Every hot dog stand was like a confessional at the rapture.
  • There was a guy sitting in front of me that looked just like James Cromwell (aka George Sibley from Six Feet Under). He had on the old-timey hat and the nerdy dress-casual clothes and the whole deal. While I was sitting there, about three dozen people tried to cut through his row, and he got more and more pissed, which was both funny and annoying.
  • The stadium SOLD OUT. It was probably twice as full as Friday’s game. Even the nosebleed seats were sold out. (And nosebleed might be a literal term, given anything above the 20th row in the top deck is above 5280 feet.)
  • I don’t think I’ve seen a single Asian person since I moved to Colorado, which is somewhat amusing considering I used to live in a neighborhood where I was the only person not born in China. Well, over from us was a whole gaggle of Japanese, all holding up giant posterboard letter-per-person signs spelling out MATSUI.
  • Sarah pointed out later that each team had a player named Matsui. They were probably rooting for Hideki, but maybe they support their country and not just one team.
  • I mentioned that maybe if they wanted him to pay attention, they could have at least spelled out the sign in Japanese.
  • The lady next to me was this typical Long Island piece of shit that had the “New York is the best city in the world and we’re so much better than anything else, although I don’t actually live IN the city, just way the fuck out in Long Island” thing going on. Which brings me to my next point.
  • I don’t know if I am a Yankees fan or not. When I was in New York, I was a Yankees fan, because so many of my coworkers were Red Sox fans, and I was sick of hearing about it. And there, a Yankees game had a lot of tradition to it, and it was a nice little thing. It was like going to Coney Island and getting a hot dog at Nathan’s, or going to Times Square and beating a homeless man with a lead pipe: good fun for the whole family, in the spirit of the Big Apple. But I’ve found that when you leave New York, the kind of people who still associate themselves with New York are the pathetic, soulless assholes who are trying to cling onto this fake ideal as a way to define themselves. And part of that fake ideal is being a total prick. Yankees fans HATE it when people come to Yankee Stadium and cheer on the other team. Why is inundating the Rockies’ stadium and acting like an innsuferable prick any better? It isn’t.
  • I suddenly found myself surrounded by 40,000 of these assholes. I also found I was suddenly the biggest Rockies fan in the universe. I wanted them to win the World Series at this point. Hell, I wanted them to win the Superbowl, the Masters, and the 08 presidental election.
  • Jeter got the kind of response that George Bush would get at a conservative christian gun show. If you remember that Being John Malkovitch movie where he crawled into his own head and only saw John Malkovitches, if Derek Jeter did that, it’s pretty much what it looked like, with all of the Jeter jerseys out there.
  • You can get a Yankees fan very pissed by loudly saying “Now A-Rod, is he the one that admitted he used steroids, or is he still denying it?”
  • It’s also funny because I don’t think any of the Rockies players except maybe Helton could actually afford to buy steroids.
  • The game started really fast – pitch, out; pitch, out; pitch, out. I thought we’d get to the 8th inning at 0-0 in 20 minutes.
  • Pretty much every Yankees pop to the outfield was effortlessly caught, which became more and more hilarious as the game progressed.
  • The Yankees were having real first-base problems due to a lack of a certain someone who is injured right now. They called in so many people to play first base, I seriously thought maybe I had a chance to get down there for an inning or two.
  • To me, the only thing funnier than watching an NL pitcher with a batting average of like .130 come up to bat is watching an AL pitcher with a .000 have to bat at an NL stadium. I swear Mussina was going to start crying every time he got to the plate.
  • It was sort of pissing me off that Jeter could get to first base and the crowd pop was bigger than the first Beatles concert at Shea Stadium, but when the Rockies scored, people were largely like “yeah, whatever.”
  • Torrealba hit a home run, and I thought the Dina Lohan clone next to me was going to have an aneurysm.
  • The biggest tension of the game was in the 8th, when the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs, and Posada came up to bat. This was right after Hawkins came in to pitch, relieving Fogg, who had a good seven innings. Anyway, every Yankees fan in the place was absolutely, positively certain that Posada was going to hit in a grand slam and end the game. Strike, strike, strike. Much mullet hair pulled and obscenities shouted. First the Sopranos go off the air, then this. These people had nothing to live for, except maybe the hopes that Billy Joel would do a summer tour.
  • Some Rockies fans started getting more vocal about things toward the end. The George guy in front of me kept shouting stuff, like yelling “postseason!” when A-rod was at bat.
  • Also, it appeared that the rockpile (i.e. bleacher) seats were all bought out by drunken Red Sox fans, who started chanting “Yankees suck” and questioning if Johnny Damon’s mother was in fact married when he was conceived.
  • I gimped up at the end of the 8th to try and get closer to the doors, which was a bad idea, because the entire deck was filled with people, and I had to struggle to see the last of the game. Then Mr. Damon struck out, and it basically became Kent State. The team with the highest payroll was beaten by the team with the third-lowest payroll, and to a contrarian like me, that’s good baseball.

Photos here, although they aren’t that groundbreaking if you saw the last two sets.


Rockies – Devil Rays

You’re probably sick of seeing pictures of Coors Field, but we went to the game last night, and my photos are here. Here’s another bulleted list of the details:

  • This game was against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which happens to be John Sheppard’s most favorite subject in the world to talk about that doesn’t have to do with book publishing.
  • While I don’t find this story about Rays’ Elijah Dukes threatening his wife by sending a picture of a gun with his cell phone that hilarious, I do find it hilarious that all of the “targeted” ads on the web page are all ads for cell phones. It’s like they’re saying “and if you want to threaten your wife like Dukes, buy a Blackberry from Verizon!!
  • This was a Friday night game, which meant high energy levels, aka high blood alcohol content.
  • We got there early, partially because of my gimpdom, partially to get a bite to eat first, and partially because the first 5000 fans got a free Brad Hawpe jersey t-shirt. I was thinking that would be handy if I ever had to paint a room or something, but they didn’t give out Barney-purple shirts, just white, so maybe I will keep it in reserve for some future game. (I mean, provided I don’t wash it once and it turns into a GI Joe doll outfit.)
  • We ate at the chophouse place on the northeast corner of the field again. I had a buffalo cheese bratwurst again. I still liked it, but I’m becoming less enthused by that restaurant, because the line and how they put together the food is totally fucked up, and if even three people are ahead of you, it’s like a 20 minute wait. But still, it was good.
  • Sarah got club box seats from work. I thought this just meant we would be sitting in the first deck, case closed. But really, when you get to that level, it has a sealed-in, air-conditioned concourse with fancier food and drinks, nice furniture to sit at, access to the outside patios that circle the outer part of the stadium, and they only let you in if you have club tickets. So that was really nice, especially the air conditioning part, because it was like 90.
  • Our seats were in the second row, section 238. That’s right between third and home. I thought the tickets might not be as good as sitting in the 100-sections, but since we were right up front, they were pretty decent. You also get a little bit of a lift in elevation that makes it easier to see everything.
  • We also had food and drink service from our seats, which was new to me. Some dude ran around and took your orders. I got some pretzel bites, but they were borderline horrible. I should have stuck to nachos, or maybe cracker jack.
  • I saw someone splinter a bat in the first couple of innings, which was neat to see up close. No bat to the beer guy’s head, though. There were still many fly balls in odd places. There was also a fan interference fuckup when someone hit to the right wall, the Rays first base ran to get it, he pretty much had it, and some dumbfuck reached out over the wall to catch it and dropped it. People weren’t happy about that, but at least it wasn’t at Wrigley Field.
  • I forget who pitched for the Rays, but late in the game, ther were some very colossal fielding fuckups by their pitcher. Once something really stupid happened, like someone hit a line drive that bounced in front of the mound, hit the pitcher’s arm, and then dropped to the ground, and it took him like 45 minutes to figure it out and get the ball to first base.
  • Both Atkins and Hawpe hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning. They were both the typical 5280-foot-altered hits where the ball went way the hell up, then picked up additional lift like the second stage of a rocket, and floated out. With four runs in the first inning, it got really lopsided really fast.
  • They did this thing for Frontier airlines between innings, where they use a bungee to shoot a fly ball out and some fan has to catch two of three to get a free ticket to fly anywhere on Frontier (which is probably a lower value than the aforementioned super-shrink t-shirt.) Anyway, they have the dude go back like 100 yards, and the cheerleader types fuck up the bungee and the ball goes like ten yards, three times in a row. So they just gave him the ticket anyway.
  • This drunken whore chick sat right behind us and would not shut the fuck up. She sortof looked like a trashier Mischa Barton type, and had to mention every alcoholic drink she’s ever drank, every female friend she had a major falling out with because guy friends are so much better, and every guy she’s ever fucked. Why does this happen at every game I go to?
  • In the 7th inning, there was this huge chain where all of the bases got loaded, and then people kept hitting in single-base runs, pushing the score up to 9-2.
  • At the top of the 8th, I needed to gimp up the stairs, and the bugs were starting to come out, so we decided it would be nice to watch the game from inside, and slowly work our way toward the exit. We did duck back in at the bottom of the 8th, when there was another three runs.
  • In the top of the ninth, the Rays needed to hit in ten runs to tie it up. That didn’t happen.

Overall, not a bad game. Lopsided, but the Rockies are slowly growing on me, at least while they’re winning a few games. I’m sure that will change when we see them play the Yankees on Tuesday.


Rockies – Astros

So I just got back to seeing the Rockies-Astros game. Rather than try to write this up in any cohesive way, you get a bulleted list:

  • Coors Field is really nice. It does remind me a lot of Miller Stadium in Milwaukee, except if you’re sitting right of the plate, you see a giant mountain range on the horizon.
  • The stadium is literally one block from my apartment. I cross one street, cross another, walk a block, cross a street, there’s the north entrance.
  • I had to gimp in on the cane, but for whatever reason, that meant I did not get searched, while I watched a group of schoolchildren getting wanded.
  • Aside from the typical hot dogs and cracker jack, there’s a microbrew attached to a semi-nice restaurant. I went there (because buying a bunch of to-go carryable food and a gallon of Coke in a giant bucket is a lot less fun when you have to carry it all in one hand) and I got a spicy buffalo and cheddar bratwurst. It wasn’t bad.
  • My seats: extend the line from third to home in that direction, and I was 15 rows up from the wall. If you’re sitting down, the dugout is immediately to your right (I mean right across the aisle immediately) and half of your field of vision (to the left) is the net, but everything to the right is a really good view of the field.
  • Walking down all of the steps to my seat was absolute murder. I knew two things: I could not under any circumstances go to the bathroom, and I would most likely be killed when trying to get out if I stayed the entire nine innings.
  • Over half of the attendees were either geriatric or pediatric.
  • I left the house and it was 60, so I wore a jacket. When I got to my seat, it was very hot and sunny, so I dropped the jacket and cursed the fact that I would be getting horribly sunburned. Seven minutes later, a cloud rolled in, it looked moments from a t-storm, and it was 60. Repeat this 297 more times.
  • The game starts. I am amazed at how young NL players look. When I was a kid, the Astros looked like giants. Now they look like scrawny punks you’d see loitering outside of a 7-Eleven.
  • They seem to change the ball out an insane number of times. I read somewhere it’s because of the humidity. They keep the fresh balls in a humidor.
  • One of the first Colorado hits is a massive home run. Based on what John Sheppard has told me, I assume there will be about 28 more home runs this game, due to the altitude.
  • …Well, except there is a freakish windstorm, and there are bursts of 20-25 mph winds going right at home plate. Hank Aaron could hit a full-on slam to the back wall and have it end up behind the umpire.
  • Because of said winds, at least ten pop fly balls go up, behind the batter, over the net, and land within 20 rows of me. In good health, I probably can’t catch a pop fly if the ball’s painted orange, so I’m somewhat scared shitless since I can’t walk or run, I don’t have a glove, and it’s cloudy out. And given my luck, I absolutely know I will get beaned, and some other fuck will take the ball away from me.
  • Of the women from age 20-40 ate the game, 95% of them have the same exact haircut.
  • There’s a group of grumpy old men a few rows in front of me, all of them taking score on paper. At least one of the vendors knows them on a first-name basis.
  • I really want to root for the Rockies, but they’re fairly pathetic. Houston scores four runs in two innings; the Rockies can’t even hit the ball, and it’s their stadium.
  • A group of women in their early twenties sit a few rows behind me, at about the 5th inning, and they will not shut up. Their overly loud conversations were about the most inane things, and they were so stupid I don’t even remember. But when certain Rockies players came to bat, they would SCREAM AND SCREAM their names. Their first names, only. It was not based on most popular players – I think it was largely based on who they wanted to fuck. I would have assumed they worked at a tanning salon or something. But later I deduce from their excessively loud conversation that they are third-year medical students.
  • The game got worse and worse, and I promised myself that if the Astros got ten points ahead, I would leave.
  • Here’s where it gets interesting – Lance Berkman is at bat for the Astros. He swings, and loses his bat which HITS A BEER GUY IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. Beer guy hits the deck, Coors is everywhere, and the crew of white-haired old ladies that check your ticket stubs freak the fuck out. They try to stop the game; cops are all over; paramedics jump out of nowhere; everyone is standing up to see if there’s anything cool to see. (The game does not stop, BTW.) One of the old ladies took the bat, and everyone in the section starts chanting “GIVE HIM THE BAT! GIVE HIM THE BAT!” I mean, if you get clocked in the head with a bat, you might as well get to take it home and put it on the bookshelf as a conversation piece, right? Also, everyone in the section started chanting for Berkman to apologize to the guy, and he didn’t. So everyone booed, and only because of the fact that nobody outside of our section could figure out what the fuck was going on, there was no riot.
  • I decide maybe I should root for the Rockies.
  • It looks like it’s about to pour rain, and I feel a drop or two. I also realize that it will take me 45 minutes to climb the stairs to the main level. See above comment about being trampled.
  • Top of the 8th. 6-4 Astros. There’s no way they’re going to pull out of this one. I get up and leave.
  • From now on, I am not leaving a baseball game, even if it’s 28-1 at the bottom of the ninth and the stadium is on fire.

Pom nastygram

Just got back from the dentist. I’ve been having some fillings redone, and today was stuff on the back side of my top teeth. I’m totally numbed out, and can’t feel my top lip or the bottom of my nose. It’s very weird. This is a new dentist, which is actually in the building next to ours, which saves a lot of time. He’s also a pretty nice guy, and best of all, he’s in-network for my insurance, so everything is cheaper. While I do not love dentists, this one has been pretty good. My last dentist was a total shithole, and cost me a lot of time and money. Then when I moved and changed dentists, he still called me every day for a month trying to get me to come in for an appointment.

So here I am, a dreary Saturday afternoon, where the sky can’t decide on whether or not to start pouring. I haven’t eaten all day, and I’d love to now, but I’m afraid of chewing off my upper lip and not realizing it. Both Sarah and I have been low-level sick since we got back, probably a cold that was recycled in the plane’s air system, via the 28 unruly toddlers on the flight. I think I’m pulling out of it, though. Maybe I’d drink another orange juice if I wasn’t afraid of spilling it all over my shirt from the lack of drinking skills the novocaine brought on.

Oh yeah, and last night, I woke up at like four in the morning to get a drink. And we have one of those huge family-size jugs of PoM juice, the pomegrante juice that is supposed to miraculously cure your heart, and is overpriced accordingly. So I decide to drink a glass of that in my half-asleep state. And when I try to turn off the factory-sealed cap, my thumb goes through the outside of the shitty plastic jug, and bright red-purple juice explodes everywhere. And my first reaction was ‘duct tape’, but I couldn’t find any, and I also worried that the adhesive would contaminate the juice. So I got a giant glass and poured off the remaining stuff, so the liquid level was below the hole, and then I spent forever wiping up juice from everywhere in the kitchen. So the PoM corporation is getting a nastygram, when I get around to it. I hope at the very least they will send me a coupon, because that shit is expensive. I think it costs ten times as much as gasoline in Manhattan.

I have tickets to two baseball games in the near future. One is the Yankees-Twins game next weekend, and the other is a Mets game about two weeks later, and I forget who they are playing. (Wait, I just looked it up, and it’s the DC Nationals, aka the Montreal Expos revisited.) I don’t know why I’m suddenly so interested in baseball, other than that I enjoyed going to the game last week. I guess I also want to see a game in both stadiums before they get imploded and turned into parking lots for the new billion-dollar stadiums. It’s on the ever-growing-but-it-should-be-shrinking master list of shit we want to do in this city that we never do, even though we’ve lived here howevermany years. Yes, New Yorkers gag and retch at the idea of seeing the statue of liberty, but I don’t want to move away from here someday and never have seen it. There are a lot of things I wish I would have seen in Seattle before I left: a Mariners game in the Kingdome (RIP), the underground tour, about a million restaurants, the Boeing junkyard, and a bunch of other stuff. I can go back to do that, but why didn’t I do it when I lived there, and save me a thousand-dollar trip? So, it’s up to the Bronx to see the bombers, and out to Shea to see the blue, orange, and black.

(BTW, Jesus Christ, tickets are expensive, especially for the Yankees games. You can’t even get seats to the upcoming Red Sox series, unless you want to pay like a grand. The Twins tickets are in the second-to-top tier, and cost $126 for 2, courtesy of an online scalper. I’m fully expecting ten dollar cokes and 12.50 hotdogs when we get there.)

Okay, I need to look into some applesauce or something I can eat, because I’m starving.


Back from Milwaukee

[Before I begin, does anyone know anything about WiFi? I have a router next to my Mac, and when I’m in the next room on my laptop, I’m lucky to have it work for five minutes before the signal drops. When I have a signal, it’s 100% excellent, no problem, but then BAM it’s gone. This happens even if the laptop is physically touching the router. There are a lot of other routers in the building, and I’ve tried fucking with the channel settings a bit, but to no avail. This is extremely frustrating, because every page I’ve found on google says “well, have you tried moving into a cabin in the woods with no walls?” as like step one. I also don’t want to dump a lot of cash into repeaters or antennae just to find out it’s a fundamental problem of living in NYC with too many hotspots. Oh, and I mention all of this because I already wrote this entire entry, and on like the last word, the connection dropped, and then when I went to the other computer to fix it, it overwrote the backup file with a blank file. I was seriously on the verge of smashing my laptop into little tiny pieces with a hammer. I still might. Anyway.]

So I’m back from Milwaukee, and the trip went well. We spent a lot of time with Sarah’s family, and that was all good. We also went to the art museum (where Sarah’s dad works), Irish Fest, the public museum, a Brewers game, and did a lot of driving around and seeing all of the places where Sarah grew up. We also drove down to Kenosha to meet up with John Sheppard and his better half. It was a pretty packed 4-day weekend.

Milwaukee, to me, seems like a Chicago-lite. It’s smaller, and doesn’t have as many of the big things, but it’s also easier to get around, it’s cleaner, maybe a bit quieter, and more relaxed. But a lot of things remind me of the Chicago I knew as the kid, like the little corner bars with the giant Old Style signs out front, the giant, old brick factories and chimneys from the breweries, and the general feel of the place, the way houses are built and how stores are laid out. It really made me think back to my grandparents’ old neighborhood (which is Larry’s current neighborhood.)

The only time I’ve been to Milwaukee was for the metalfest, in ’93. We drove by the big Eagles lodge that was the venue for that show, and I saw the only things I experienced on that trip: the hall, the street where Ray parked and we tried to sleep, the McDonald’s next door, and the quick pick minimart across the street. The other indelible event that I associate with Milwaukee is Jeffrey Dahmer’s capture. I remember in 1991, reading all of the news magazines in the Osco drug at Concord Mall, going over all of the facts of the butchery that he ran in his apartment. Turns out his lair at the Oxford Apartments on 25th and Kilborn was maybe three blocks from the metalfest. Oddly enough, when Sarah was born, her parents lived in a house just a couple of blocks down Kilborn. When we were driving around one night, we tried to locate the spot of his old apartment, but they tore it down years ago, and now it’s just a vacant lot with some old chainlink around it. Driving in the neighborhood was weird though, because I always pictured the area as an ultra-urban slum, like maybe where I lived in Washington Heights. But the neighborhood looked more like the rougher parts of Elkhart, by the projects.

The other big surprise was that I really enjoyed the Brewers game. I haven’t followed baseball since I was a kid, and even then it was only half-heartedly. I’ve never seen a professional game before, and this was my first. It was against the Astros, which is funny because my peewee league team was the Astrobowl Astros, and because of that, I was vaguely an Astros fan when they had the stupid-looking bright orange jerseys, the AstroDome (with AstroTurf), and Nolan Ryan on the mound. Now that all of that has changed, not really a fan, for whatever stupid reason.

We went with Sarah’s sister, and her boyfriend and group of friends that all had season tickets. We first went to their place and did some indoor tailgating, and they had some bratwurst grilling away in a soup of onions and peppers. Those were pretty much the best damn brats I’ve ever had, especially with some sauerkraut and a good bun. We ended up eating and listening to everyone’s bitchfest about the Brewers, and before long, we were into the first inning, but not yet at the stadium. We took off in different cars, and we paid the $12 for “preferred” parking. Dan and the others parked illegally at the back of the VA hospital for free, and we ended up walking up to the gate at the same exact time.

Miller Park is a pretty decent place to see a game. It has a retractable roof, modern seats and shops and all of that (no pee trough in the bathroom), and they have a lot of new LCD screens and score things everywhere, so you can always see all of the stats, and also keep up on other MLB games in progress. Lots of people were there. Lots of mullets. Lots of beer. I think I was the only sober person there, but that only added to the energy. I was surprised at how close we were for $38 seats, and watching a game in person is nothing like TV. In fact, watching on TV really sucks in comparison.

The game itself was sedate – it got tied at 2 by the second inning, and went on scoreless until the bottom of the 9th, when the Brewers got one in. But all of the little stuff made it interesting. Bernie Brewer, the mascot, slides down this huge slide whenever there’s a run. He used to slide into a giant beer mug, but I’m sure some parental nazi group got that taken out. There’s also the sausage race, where a group of people dressed as various kinds of sausages race across the field. (Italian sausage won.) The place went nuts when the first home run went over the wall. And at the very end, when they were getting everyone really riled up, they did this whole “more cowbell” thing on the video screen, playing the SNL sketch intercut with various home runs hit during the season, which was pretty hilarious. There were only 30,000 there, with a lot of empty seats at the top, but the crowd had a lot of energy (and a lot of beer), so it was a lot of fun.

Coincidentally, we were shopping at Target (so good to be out of NYC…) and I found a “more cowbell” CD, which has a dozen or so tracks featuring cowbell. It was a good buy at $8.99, although I’m a little don’t-fear-the-reapered-out for now.

Irishfest was also a blast. It’s the biggest one in the country, and it’s held at these fest grounds that are used for a lot of other festivals. So there were the same food courts and concert venues and all, but also a ton of tents selling Irish crafts and shirts and whatnot. I’d like to say I got some incredible food, but the lines were so long, I used the shortest-wait approach and grabbed a hotdog and fries. We saw two musical groups, one that was more drum-oriented, and we had a front-row seat for the Billy Mitchell Scottish group. They were bagpipes and drums, plus some dancing too. The whole thing reminded me of Simms and all of the times we watched So I Married an Axe Murderer. This alumnus of the group, who was 150% Scottish, was sitting behind us and making comments to a friend in his thick-as-hell accent, and it greatly tempted me to ask him to call Simms on the phone and leave a message on his machine, like “if it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!”

In Kenosha, we met with John and Helen at The Brat Stop, which was also had a pretty good bratwurst. I also had some fried cheese curds, and I’m glad they aren’t available here, or I’d be pricing out bypass surgery by now. It was good to see John again, and also good to see tons of cheese and Green Bay Packers stuff available. We also stopped at the Mars Cheese Castle. Unfortunately, this was not a castle made out of cheese, but rather a store that sells a ton of cheese. Fortunately, there were free samples. We also stopped at the largest grocery store I’ve ever seen in my life. It had a beverage section bigger than most groceries in New York. And if you have been to a super-huge Kroger in the Midwest, well this place’s freezer section was bigger than this. It was truly awesome, except I couldn’t bring any of it back on the plane, so it wasn’t.

And that’s all. Well, we went to the museums, and the art museum has a pretty funky building, with these big spines that open and close, and no right angles in sight. And we had a lot of food, which was good. And now I’m back to the daily grind. And no, we’re not moving to Wisconsin. (I still can’t believe I can’t write about anything without someone mis-reading an ulterior motive into it.)

Anyway, pictures on flickr. Back to work.