Sunday, September 17, 2006

My Weekend in New York, or If I Remember Correctly, I Think I May Have Serenaded Darren with "Faithfully" by Journey Within An Hour of Meeting Him

Did I tell you guys that this trip that my dad and I took was actually a bus tour? Or, no, not a bus tour. I'm not the Grateful Dead. What's the word I'm looking for? It was one of those travel club trips on a chartered bus. Yeah. That sounds a little bit less like a roof seat on a red sightseeing bus, right?

Honestly, I didn't think it would be corny at all. I didn't even think about it. As far as I was concerned, it was a reasonably priced opportunity for my dad and I to have the baseball weekend in New York that we've wanted to have for years... just a four-hour ride to and from the hotel and tickets to the games. And that's what it was, but at the same time... ha, all of a sudden I'm realizing that I'm writing this much more dramatically than I intended to: "And it was... it really was... until everything went horribly wrong..."

It started when we met up to catch the bus on Friday morning. Instead of it just being a group of people taking a bus to the same destination, it became like summer camp. It didn't help that I was the only one under fifty years old. There was a guy from the company who organized the trip (let's call him John) who came with us. He was probably a couple years younger than me and just the quintessential Boston guy. There's a million others around here just like him who tell stories like how they were "out the othah night with my buddies Matty and Sully and we weh sayin' that yeah Willy Mo's a wicked powah hittah but at the same time it's like, you know..." (And yes I'm painfully aware that I rock "wicked" and "like" a bit excessively myself.) If he'd only had scraggly hair, he would've had to play for the Sox himself or be Jim's new pal on The Office. He was nice enough, but damn if I didn't want to kick him in the neck by the end of the weekend. By the end of the first day, actually.

John walked that fine line between trying to entertain senior citizens and being a little bit too condescending. He'd get on his bus microphone (that's right) and give us itinerary information (ugh, and it was always crap like, "Okay, gang! Bathroom break, let's all meet back here in twenty minutes!") and then ask if anyone had questions. If no one did, he'd say with unbelievably irritating exuberance, "Great, you're ALL my favorite!" I swear, he came thisclose to just looking around at everyone, smiling and saying, "Damn, old people can be CUTE!"

Since I was the only one close to him in age, he tried to take me under his wing and get me to go out with him and his friends in Times Square (where else, right?). Thank God I could honestly say, "Oh, thanks, but I have plans." (My favorite John moment was after the game on Saturday when he blatantly picked up two female Yankees fans and brought them back to the hotel. On the bus! I was trying to imagine his pick-up line: "Hey girls, I don't mean to brag, but see that bus full of the cast from Cocoon? Yeah, I'm kind of like their leader. And you're BOTH my favorite!")

Baseball, okay, let's talk baseball. Friday night's game was rained out, which was karma for having called in sick to work that day, I'm convinced. The weather might have had something to do with it, too. We spent more than an hour in stop-and-go traffic to the Bronx on Friday night during rush hour, just in time to hear that the game had been called and then have to schlep back to Manhattan. It ended up working out okay, though, because my dad and I had a chance to go out to dinner instead of eating ballpark food, and I was able to meet up with Darren earlier than planned. Oh, did you want to hear about that?

The verdict is in, at least on my end: I liked both Darren and Miss Peach even more than I thought I would, which really isn't how meeting people from the internet is supposed to go, right? You always sort of think that they're going to wind up having a snaggletooth or a staring problem. So lucky me! In all seriousness, there's really no false advertising with the two of them... they're both that rare blend of blogarific AND so very funny, warm, and likeable in person. For all Darren's bemoaning about how awkward he is, he really isn't at all, so don't listen to him. I had a great time and was just thrilled to meet both of them.

Oh, and you know how I told Darren that I was guaranteed to vomit spontaneously or fall into a pile of raw sewage? I didn't, BUT while in his and Peach's company I did have a woman spill tequila on my head (oh yes, on my HEAD) and guess what else? I dropped my purse in a toilet. So, yeah. No false advertising with me either, folks. What you see is what you get, and what you get is someone doused in Jose Cuervo and, well, other people's pee, I'm sorry to have to complete that sentence. What can I say? I always try to bring my A game.

Back to baseball, for those of you who care, which is probably none of you: Saturday was sunny and warm, thankfully. My dad got to go back to Yankee Stadium for the first time in twenty years, and me for the first time ever. It was a fantastic game, and not just because THE SOX WON (!!!). There were so many Boston fans that a few times there was actually a Sox cheer going for awhile, until a deafening roar of rebuttal came up from the New Yorkers. Talk about waking the beast.

After we won the Saturday afternoon game (before we went on to lose that night), we were walking back to The Lame Bus and passed by a bunch of cocky drunken frat boy Sox fans spilling out of bars right near the stadium. Dear God, I hope they're all still alive! Don't be stupid, boys, we need you around to keep selling out our bleacher seats. I mean, I hear you, yay Sox, but New Yorkers have guns and shit!

Man, I'm watching the last game of the series as I'm writing this. Lots of good stuff going on (it's like Crisp just grew a bionic arm!), but where the hell was it in August, when it could've meant something? This is exactly why the Sox are the ultimate mindfuck... the season's all but over and they're back to being rock stars. (And ha, I can hear "let's go Red Sox" coming from the stands.)

One funny thing is how articulate the New York t-shirts are compared to Boston's baseball attire. The New York shirts would have columns showing the number of their world series wins compared to Boston, with the slogan "Do the Math." Another one said, "It's Called the World Series But It's Usually Played Here." Contrast this to the fact that down the street from Fenway, there are vendors with shirts that say "Posada is a Little Bitch" and "Damon Throws Like a Girl." Why are we responding to things like "Well, Statistically Speaking, New York is Quite Simply Just a Better Team" with "Ha Ha All the Yankees Are Gay"? That's the best we've got? (Granted, I don't own any of those ghetto shirts myself, which I hope goes without saying.)

Okay, what else? I saw Dave on Saturday night after seven years of radio silence. Well, not total silence, but still. He was even more cool and funny than I remembered. It was so much fun to see him that I didn't let him go home until the next day.

And Kate! Man, I'm telling you, Kate was my rock. Not only did she come out on Friday night to hang with my blogfriends (and she enjoyed them as much as I did), but she also came out the next night to have dinner with my dad and I, and then came to a bar with us to watch that night's game. And when she saw me walking toward her on the street with a Sox hat on, she didn't shield her face and walk in the opposite direction; she calmly retrieved a Yankees hat from her bag. She shared in my horror slash fascination with the new Hilary Duff perfume. And when some woman asked me what the "B" on my hat stood for, Kate was quick to provide her with the information that I was too stunned to supply.

I'm not just complimenting these people because they read my blog, I swear! I just felt so fortunate to have been surrounded by awesomeness all weekend. I mean, really, what are the odds? And even the rained out game ended up having a silver lining: They postponed the game to Sunday and Kate graciously agreed to get rid of our tickets for us, since my dad and I had to be getting home (darn those jobs of ours). She ended up giving the tickets to a dad who had brought the wrong day's tickets for him and his little heartbroken, glove-toting son. Oh my, that just made my day (and made the endless ride to and from the Bronx on Friday seem a little more bearable in retrospect).

And rounding out the awesomeness? I went to Chipotle! I now officially pray at the altar of chips, guac, and green pepper Tabasco sauce. Nabbalicious, I got your exact order, and I feel like everything in the world makes so much more sense now.

At one point on Saturday night, I texted Carly and told her I was having so much fun but that I missed my BFCs (our nickname for her, Melissa, and myself). She texted me some love back. Who else but me would get a tiny bit homesick after a day and a half?

Anyway, I had an absolute blast this weekend. I can't believe that Darren and Miss Peach and Chipotle all lived up to the hype. I love Kate and Dave as much as ever. And, as always, I'm glad to be home, where the ballpark isn't quite as pretty, the t-shirts aren't nearly as articulate, and the burritos are woefully sub par.


Anonymous said...

I saw a famous Japanese man with a HONKIN' HUGE afro and enjoyed, among numerous things, grilled cheese...

Unknown said...

Just a random person who actually cares about the baseball stuff...I was also bitten by the rainout curse at Yankee Stadium last month but unfortunately I didn't get to go to a game the next day - and I drove 24 hours roundtrip. Always glad to see the Red Sox beat the Yankees - the Sox (only of the Red variety, of course) are one of my reserve favorites after my 1st love, the Detroit Tigers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the Journey, the only difference between my night with you and prom was elk antlers fashioned into overhead lighting.

Whee! That was so much fun! Let's do it again!

Anonymous said...

Well, it was the least I could do after you turned me on to Aquaphor. That stuff RULES! I'm glad you finally had the Chipotle experience!

Melissa said...


No. Just... no, Red. I can't allow this. Fenway rules and you know it.

Red said...

Dave, I know, who was he? I can't venture any guesses without being very un-PC, let's face it. Maybe a, uh... world-renowned sushi chef? Anime star come to life?

Zorak, that SUCKS. I might have extra tickets to tomorrow night's game at Fenway, incidentally, if you feel like making the drive again. :)

Darren, I know! Hopefully when I go back to NYC (before the holidays, I'd imagine) you'll still be there.

Nabbalicious, oh you liked the Aquaphor? Nice. It doesn't taste as good as the guac that you recommended, though.

FlyingJ, I meant "pretty" in a dismissive, bitter, around-here-we-know-there's-more-to-playin'-ball-that-a-big-shiny-stadium kinda way. But I have to say that the hot dogs there are better than Fenway franks. And, well, they sell GIANT BEERS! In the stands! I'm hanging my head in shame, believe you me.

-R- said...

Who knew a tour bus full of old people = way to pick up chicks?

Stefanie said...

My favorite line: "Hey girls, I don't mean to brag, but see that bus full of the cast from Cocoon? Yeah, I'm kind of like their leader." Awesome.

I suspected Darren wasn't the social incompetent around new people that he repeatedly claims to be, so I'm glad to hear you confirm it. Also I'm glad you finally got to experience the wonder that is Chipotle. I figured that would probably be on your list for the weekend.

Miss Peach said...

MUCH fun to meet, and we definitely need to do it again. So glad you wound up going to the game!

And really, Cowgirl normally doesn't play that music. I've heard only like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash in the past. The music they were playing... well, it just wasn't right!

don't call me MA'AM said...

Sounds like you had a really good time... and old people on busses just makes for good posts!

SO glad you were able to become a Chipotle addict. Who knows. Maybe you can order them online and have them shipped to you.