Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I don't care if I never get back

"I've always liked Atlanta. And not just for the strip clubs." - Jon Stewart

I woke up Sunday morning around 6:00, to the world's loudest alarm clock. So I've been told by others who have heard it. And since it normally takes me a good ten minutes to even hear the alarm, I'm sure my neighbors love me. I had almost forgotten there even was a 6 AM. Been awhile since I'd seen it.

It's quite remarkable how much easier it is to wake up for a road trip than it is to wake up for work. I was excited. A trip to Atlanta to see my beloved Reds. A nice drive. A city I don't visit very often anymore. And baseball. Axl arrived shortly after 7. We were on the road by 7:30.

I wore a Reds t-shirt and cap, cargo shorts, and flip-flops. I put an extra pair of flip-flops in the back of the car, because I'm always afraid of blowing out a pair and having to walk barefooted thru a restaurant in some sort of Mentos commercial gone bad. Or worse, what if I had to pee? Public restroom. Me with only one shoe? That is a germophobic nightmare. I'd have to lop off my foot.

We made it to Atlanta in about three hours. Highlights of the drive included a train of five or six police cars lined up single file along an interstate on-ramp, taking off one-by-one like airplanes on a runway to chase down speeding cars. Because we all know, one of the most serious threats to society today is speeding. And besides that, the best time to catch someone speeding or drinking and driving would be Sunday morning around 10:00 AM.

Another highlight was when we reached the part of I-20 that is so bumpy and in such bad condition, it was making the CD player in my car skip unrelentingly. That's a fun ten miles.

Upon arriving, I paid $12 to park. It was around this time that I decided an excellent investment for my retirement would be to purchase a large parking lot. We walked to the stadium and purchased tickets. Our seats were down the left field line, fourteen rows up. Not bad. And we wound up sitting around a lot of Reds fans.

To me, Turner Field is rather boring. There's no view of the city skyline beyond the outfield wall. No view of anything really. It's fairly symmetric. Not a lot of history. Nothing distinguishing about it. It was part of the Olympic stadium built for the '96 Summer Games. The rest of the Olympic stadium was torn down and turned into parking.

Still, there's nothing like a day at the ballpark. College football is, and will probably always be, my favorite sport. But there's something about a summer day or night at the old ballgame. Eating a hot dog. Hoping to catch a homerun or foul ball. The seventh inning stretch. Seeing kids standing by the fence, hoping to get an autograph from some big league player. A game seemingly as old as time.

The Reds lost the game 8-3. Our best chance came when we put two runners on, down 6-3, bringing the tying run to the plate, and Griffey pinch hitting. But alas, there was no joy in Boneville, as mighty Griffey struck out. That's OK. Another great thing about baseball, there's almost always tomorrow. 162 games a year.

After the game, we headed downtown. We ate and watched the end of the World Cup at some Irish pub. A waitress with cute glasses and a tongue ring gave me excellent directions back to the interstate. She had a sort of a if-we-were-in-college-and-studying-late-at-night-we'd-probably-end-up-making-out vibe.

We got home a little after 8:00. The drive home was nice. I didn't even mind the ten miles of bumpiness on the way back. As we were about four songs into Axl's Steve Winwood greatest hits CD, and I was well past my Winwood limit, when the player started skipping.

As Axl took out the CD, I was certain there must indeed be higher love.

"Some people call me Maurice, cos I speak the pompatus of love..."


  1. Yay! Another Reds fan. I caught that game on TBS. The Reds have a legitimate shot this year, but their relief pitching needs to improve.

    I like your attidtude and love for the game.

    In case you're wondering, I came via Mayden's Voyage.

  2. Did you go to Fado in Buckhead?
    Sounds like a fun day. My roomie and her boyfriend enjoyed it as well. She more than he (wiht the result). Why the Reds for you, Bone? Are you a Yankee at heart? Yankee lover! (as in North of the Mason Dixon, not the team).

  3. You know Pamela Anderson was discovered at a football game...

    Who knows... maybe you and Axl were moments away from being discovered at a baseball game...

  4. Oh WOW! you watched the red's game! AWESOME! :)

  5. You'll probably boo me for saying this, but the only redeeming quality of baseball, is, indeed, a live game at the ball park. Something about the smell, the crowd, the crack of the bat, the cheesy scoreboard stuff, etc.

    Glad you had fun

  6. Xdell: Definitely. It's a disaster almost every night from starter to Guardado. Not that he's pitched more than once so far :)

    Tenacious T: Wow, I think that is where we went. Couldn't remember the name of it. But I went to the website and that looks like it. TV's in every booth. Pretty cool.

    Haha. No, it's from my Mom. She always liked Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, the Big Red Machine.

    OCG: Haha. I forgot I had called him Axl in that one post. Crap. OK, I'm changing it now. Axl is much funnier. To me, anyway.

    VanillaSkies: Uh, yeah. It was fun :)

    Carmen: Nah. You're entitled to your opinion. I agree, baseball is definitely more entertaining in person. It has a more relaxed feel than football.

  7. Sounds fun! You paid $12 to park! WOW that's crazy!

  8. ygI agree with Carmen. I don't really like baseball, unless I'm there in person. Of course, I end up watching the mascots, the fans, the team warming up, everything except the game! I like to go, if just for the atmosphere. Glad you had a good trip!
    *You always take the best pics on your trips!!

  9. Gotta like chicks with tongue rings;)
    Really,Steve Winwood? I haven't heard that name in awhile. Although I shouldn't talk,I regularly listen to 80's hair metal,heh.
    Glad your trip was a good one!

  10. Sounds like a great weekend! Having the luxury of having so much so close has taken some of the "road trip" aspect out of my life I think.

    I think you should have brought the chick with the tongue ring back with you.

  11. What a great post!! I don't love baseball...I DO love football...but you are right, there is something about being at a park in the middle of the summer that is nostalgic. And I had to laugh at the cops on the interstate at 10:00 on Sunday morning...cause that's when ours are out in FULL FORCE as well.

    It sounds like you had a great time.

  12. Wow, that's weird. I could have sworn I posted my reply for the correct blog entry, but I did not...that's really weird. So my comment in your previous post was for this post.

    Don't mind me and my weird moment.

  13. Lindsy: Yeah. Well, I don't have connections like you do ;-)

    Groovie: Thanks. I didn't think these pics were anything special. My secret is not including myself in the pictures :)

    Ms.L: Not sure how I feel about chicks with tongue rings. But it definitely arouses some male curiosity.

    Lass: You seem to go on plenty of trips out there. I'd like to live in a major league baseball city. However, I can't get too far away from Tuscaloosa.

    LforL: Really? Sunday mornings there, too? I wonder why that is.

    Chickadee: Haha. Yeah, I noticed that. That's OK.

  14. Have you ever actually needed the emergency pair of flip flops? I ask because unfortunately the tragedy of the blown out flip flop befell me and I became the star of a mentos commercial. Small World huh.

    Sara - Braves Fan!

  15. Turner Field is nice, but you're right. It is rather boring. Downtown ATL is nice to walk around. Lot of cool nooks.

    C'mon man, you were a stranger in a strange town. You should have gone for it with the waitress!

  16. I love, love road trips, especially when they are on the way back home.

    ...oh and $12.00 to park is cheap, try $30.00 to park at Fenway Park.

    OUCH !

  17. Sara: No. The only flip-flop blow-outs I've had have occurred near home.

    Big Man: Yeah, it's like I see all these stadiums on TV with cityscapes beyond the outfield wall, bridges, rivers, etc.

    Stranger in a strange land. Isn't that a book or something?

    M: I think I would have had to search for some cheaper/free parking if it had been that much. No matter how far I had to walk.

  18. I'm so glad you got to see a Reds game!! Now I want to get myself to a game. I'm not by any means a baseball fan, but you are so right. There's nothing like being at a live game. Camden Yards, here I come!!!

  19. Synopsis for Stranger in a Strange Land:

    The synopsis makes it sound like it's a better book than it really is. However, it did bring about the geek word "grok" which means to understand.

    I find baseball to be a somewhat boring game (although not as boring as soccer) even being at the game. I've been to 2 Dodger games since I've been in L.A. and I read a book during the games. Of course, maybe that's simply because it was the Dodgers but who knows.

    When I was at USC, I used to go to all the baseball games because the tickets were free as part of my activity pass (one set fee and you get into all the home games for every sport). It was always nice weather and it was an excuse to get out of the apartment for a while.

  20. Sounds like a good day!

    You don't normally see early morning? That's the only time I see outdoors during the week, early, and late ;-)

    I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker....Sure don't wanna hurt no one

  21. Carnealian: The park in Pittsburgh looked really cool on the All-Star game.

    Xinh: Baseball is a lot more relaxed than football. It's more of a social event to me. Lots of good conversation during long at-bats, breaks between innings, etc.

    JustB: No. Not 6 AM. Although yeah, this time of year, about the only time I can stand to go running is morning or near sundown.