Friday, September 3, 2010

The Triumphant Return From the West

If any of you spoke to me in my zombie ramblings yesterday and thought I seemed a bit out of it, that probably has something to do with me having gotten very few hours of sleep thanks to two insufferable crying children on my redeye back from Los Angeles Wednesday night. The true shame of this comes from Virgin America's low mood music and deep, soft purple lighting, which should knock anyone on the plane out in fairly short order. But they simply didn't account for parents who are disinterested in calming down their children now did they?

Of course not.

Well, it's a day later, I'm refreshed, and there's much to discuss over here in Kalanville. Perhaps it would seem prescient to start with the obvious, which is that the1920s gold prospector from Chicago you see in the top right corner smoking a cigar with me got married this past weekend.

It really just looks like a standard tuxedo until you include the pocket watches. They take them to a whole new level.

So, I suppose my brother's wedding was probably the most important thing I did in my third trip to the west coast in the past five weeks, but don't worry, there's actually plenty that was relevant to this blog that happened, too. My sister and I decided that following this wedding would be a perfect time to make a drive down the coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles, which for her purposes meant beautiful scenery and the chance to see her friend Lily. For mine it meant the chance to visit one of my favorite Stadiums -- AT&T Park -- and the chance to see a new one -- Dodger Stadium.

Some of you may recall my brutal near-miss in my attempt to see Dodger Stadium in July following my weekend trip to the San Diego Comic-Con. This time no force on heaven or Earth was going to stop me, which I'm sure caused my sister more than a little anxiety as I sped wrecklessly on I-10 East in Los Angeles.

I would have been on time for the game, too, were it not for the obnoxiously long line to pay for parking.

No matter. We got the game in and despite the lack of excitement from the action on the field Wednesday as the Phillies knocked off the Dodgers, it was still a lot of fun to see a new building, which, while not my favorite, has a lot to like about it nonetheless, namely it's color scheme which looks just how you'd expect a building from 1962 to look, and the beautiful view in the outfield. When I give this jaunt the full written rundown I'll give much more insight into its delightful antiquated charm, and moreover, despite the claims of one Evan Hung, the Dodger dogs are actually pretty decent.

Don't worry, Evan. San Francisco still has its superior garlic fries.

In fact, the garlic fries are extremely necessary since San Francisco, for some reason I can't possibly explain, irrationally relishes the fact that it is always mid-fall and chilly in that city. Aside from being a kind of bizarre place, I'd actually rather like the City by the Bay were it not for every day feeling like October 24th there. Monday night when we attended a Giants-Rockies game that had me frustrated for not starting Jonathan Sanchez on my fantasy team the same night I saw him throw eight-plus shutout innings in person until the Giants lost in spectacular fashion in the ninth inning, it was somewhere between cool and freezing. My sister was prepared with a scarf and later bought a knit hat for the occasion, I came with a long-sleeved shirt and jacket, and all of my Bay Area cohorts came layered, including Stacy who had gloves with her just in case it was particularly nippy.

It was August. Late August is still August.

In any event, the trip was a good one had by all, and I now get to enjoy a whole 12 days in New York before I head to Boston on Sept. 14 and then go to my next new sporting venue, Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, for the Manning Bowl on Sept. 19.


Speaking of the Giants, with the season getting underway for Big Blue on Sept. 12, I made sure to have my tickets earlier today for the first regular season game ever held at the Giants and Jets brand-spankin'-new and totally necessary Meadowlands Stadium. I won't know for sure until they arrive, but I'm hopeful the tickets will be the fancy shmancy laminated commemorative ones that most season ticket holders are getting.

Getting those tickets was a nice uplift after seeing (Warning: Dave is about to talk Aussie Rules Football) Geelong play well beneath its abilities for most of Friday's Qualifying Final with last year's Grand Final opponent St. Kilda. The loss was a particularly brutal one as a questionable foul with 61 seconds left nullified what would have been a game-winning goal by captain Cameron Ling, the huffing-puffing fire-headed chap you see to the left.

This doesn't end the Cats' hunt for a fourth Grand Final trip in as many seasons and a third premiership in that span, but it doesn't make it easier. With a win Geelong would have gotten two weeks off until a win-or-go home Preliminary Final with a berth in the big game at the end on the line. Instead the Cats will have to win a match this weekend against either Fremantle or Hawthorn (which famously upset Geelong in the 2008 Grand Final) to reach the semis.

Then again, as a fan of the Mets (who have to deal with being attached to Snooki), the Giants (who never make it easy), the Devils (who apparently need six weeks to sign a free agent), Northwestern (which wears purple), Southampton FC (relegated twice this decade) and the Knicks (Do I need to explain this one?), I'm used to taking the long road to victory. And with Northwestern opening its season tomorrow night against Vanderbilt, I'll get a quick reminder on how long a season can be if the Wildcats get upset by the 'Dores.

But since I don't cross the Mississippi again for two and a half months, at least I won't have to deal with jetlag by the time I experience that collapse.


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