Archive for May, 2008

The New Toy!

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

MacBook Pro

Happy Memorial Day

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Hope everyone has a relaxin’ day off. Ours will be spent with some grilled Viennas and 312s. Speaking of taking it easy, here’s a photo of Eva enjoying the new blanky Apryl knitted for her:

Wrigley vs. The Cell

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

Wrigley Field

Wrigley Field

The Cell

U.S. Cellular Field

Attending the Sox vs. Angels game yesterday (the Good Guys lost) after last visiting Wrigley Field made it quite clear that tearing down Old Comiskey Park was a mistake. Well, perhaps not a mistake, since it seems if the Sox hadn’t made way for a new stadium the Sox would have been moved to St. Petersburg, FL. Yes, you read that correctly! And even when the Sox were saved from leaving the city, there was still the fight of keeping their stadium in the city instead of the suburbs. So, I would say a victory was had at least in keeping the team IN Chicago.

At first, U.S. Cellular was also called Comiskey Park (or New Comiskey Park) until U.S. Cellular paid for naming rights at the price of $68 million dollars. The Sox spent a portion of that on a state of the art Jumbotron that now allows the fans to enjoy such entertainment as SmoochCam and cartoon pizza pies racing for a free mini pizza with the purchase of a pizza at any Connie’s. Not a fair trade, in my opinion.

The best part of U.S. Cellular is the Lower Deck which is very open and reminds me of the Redbirds stadium back in Memphis. However, if you don’t have a 100 level ticket, than you are denied access to this part of the stadium. You can’t even get a Chicago style hot dog since they don’t sell those in the upper decks. Are you kidding me?

The Nose Bleed

Yesterday, I was high up in the nose bleed section. The section still gives you a nice view of the action, even though I was situated by one of the few obstructions (steel support beam to the left) in the park. And if you turn around, there is a nice view of the Chicago skyline.

Which begs the question, why in the heck didn’t they build the stadium so that the skyline was the backdrop view behind the outfield?

Why?!?!

Empty Seats

Okay, enough complaining. Yes, Wrigley Field is the better ballpark but the Good Guys are still #1 to me!

Check out this great tribute to Old Comiskey.

My trip to the Friendly Confines…

Sunday, May 18th, 2008

Wrigley Field

…AKA Wrigley Field. On Friday, I decided to grab some tickets off of Craigslist for the Cubs’ afternoon game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Apryl needed to work at home on school, and since I wasn’t working and the weather was actually nice, it seemed like a great way to spend the day as well as give Apryl her space. So, I took Lady Blue over to pick up my ticket and trek over to the Fullerton Red Line, making my way over to the infamous Addison stop.

Wrigley Field Sign

This would be my first game at Wrigley. Sure, I’m a Sox fan, but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t excited about entering one of the most famous ballparks in the world. Heck, my whole childhood was split between watching the Cubs on WGN and the Atlanta Braves on TBS (speaking of which, how come the Braves are never on TBS anymore?). After getting off the train, I bravely made my way through the tangled mob of Cubs fans, the vocal ticket scalpers, and persistent street merchants to the park’s entrance. I enter:

Pro’s:

1) Wrigley Field is a national treasure and deserves to be protected as such. Will this happen? Let me just say, that if the House that Ruth Built (AKA Yankee Stadium) can be torn down, no stadium is safe from a similar fate. Which is a shame, because I would hate to imagine a Chicago without Wrigley Field. Sure, the paint is crumbling off at parts and sections seem to be in desperate need of repair, but there is no denying its charm. Once you step inside, you are immediately taken back into time. Cliché, I know, but it’s true. I mean we’re talking about the place where Babe Ruth called that shot to centerfield!

Some photos from the ballpark:

Score Board

2) Even on an afternoon game during the work week (granted, it was Friday), there was still a crowd close to 45,000! That’s more than 12,000 more people than the average Sox attendance.

3) My great seats!

My Great Seats

4) Wrigley Dog. This was one good hot dog! The best part is that you could get it extra charred! See below:

Wrigley Dog

Con’s:

1) To get one of those tasty dogs, you had to walk all the way down to the lower level. The only vendors that aren’t on the lower levels are those selling beer. Of course, there were vendors that walked around to your seats, but I didn’t feel like leaving a tip on a hot dog that was already priced at $3.75. I didn’t even pull out my wallet for the $6.25 Old Style.

2) The bathrooms are a bit scary. The urinals are a long metal trough that extended from one side of the wall to the other. Forget privacy here.

3) The fans. Okay, I’m not going to really bash Cubs fans here. In fact, everyone around me seemed quite nice. However, I will say that the game was too much of a social event. Sound travels oddly in the park, so while you are watching the game, you hear a constant rumble of people’s conversation. Most of the people around me were texting on their phones or carrying out long conversations rather than watching the game.

Another observation is that I only saw one non white fan in all of my section. Which made this article even funnier. Typically, the fans around me were young, wearing shorts and sandals, and recalling stories that revolved around drinking. Still, no one near me was obnoxious, and I appreciated that. Of course, perhaps I might have a different story if I had decided to wear my Sox cap. I decided that I didn’t want to find out. However, I did see a young kid all dressed up in a Sox uniform and cap, and I had to commend his boldness.

4) The uneasiness of being a Sox fan in Wrigley Field made me feel like a spy in enemy territory. On top of that, these weren’t the players I knew and loved. Being from Memphis, I feel more comfortable being the underdog. And even with the worst Cubs’ season, a Cubbies fan is never the underdog in Chicago.

A far way from the South Side.

Still, I had a great time at Wrigley Field. I doubt I will be attending another game this season, but I certainly wouldn’t be turning down a free ticket. The stadium is really something, and I would urge any baseball fan to make the trip before all these classic stadiums are gone forever.

Ground Out

A base hit for Geovany Soto in the 8th.

Boston and Charleston and New York, Oh My!

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

In the last three days, I have been on seven flights that took me to video shoots in Boston, Charleston and New York. This was my first time in Boston and New York, though there wasn’t much time to go sight seeing. Most of the trip was spent at the airport or in the air, though there were some highlights.

After our shoot in Boston, I walked around downtown for a few hours, taking in a city that I have been wanting to visit for years. Below are a few photos I took:

Boston Hotel Room

Boston from my hotel room.

Boston Public Library

The first public library in the United States.

Boston Church

Church across from the Boston Public Library.

Boston Public Toliet

I know I probably looked silly taking this picture, but I was fascinated by a public restroom that takes credit cards.

Public Garden

As soon as I got to Public Garden Park, I knew I was close to the Cheers bar. The park, which overlooks the business district, was shown a lot during the series to transition from scene to scene. I took a few photos, but none of them do justice to the park’s beauty.

Boston Public Park Photo

Another section of Boston’s Public Garden Park.

Cheers

The Bull & Finch Pub, better know worldwide as the Cheers bar, is located just outside of the Public Garden. Sure it might be a tourist trap, but being a huge fan of the television show, I have been wanting to see it for myself for some time. Of course, the exterior was the only part of the bar used for the show, though it did claim to be the original inspiration for Cheers. I bought a T-shirt for myself and a postcard for Apryl.

That night, Mike (the camerman) and I ate at a sports bar near our hotel. While eating New England clam chowder, we watched as both the Boston Red Sox and the Boston Celtics lost their games.

After our work was done in Charleston, we attended a baseball game of the River Dogs, a minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees. That night, they were taking on the Greenville Drive, affiliates of the Boston Red Sox. Our front row box sets cost a whopping ten bucks! The Drive won 3-2 in 11 innings. The best part? The ball park was two blocks from our hotel!

Charleston River Dogs

I never even had the time to take out my camera for the New York part of the trip. We got into New York around noon and headed straight to the location for the shoot. When we were done around six o’clock, we headed straight to LaGuardia for our flight. The best part of the trip in NY, other than the fact that I can now say I’ve actually been to the city, was that our shoot was in the Chrysler Building. I’m looking forward to the day when I get to go back and visit for real.

Next week, we head out to Tulsa.

Dolly in the Windy City

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Chicago Theatre

On Friday, Apryl and I went to see Dolly Parton at the Chicago Theatre, which was one of Apryl’s Christmas presents. Dolly had to cancel the original date for the show, so Friday was a long time a coming. Anyway, the Chicago Theatre was quite amazing. It reminded both of us of the Orpheum back home, only twice as big. The first part of the concert contained a lot of her country numbers and stories of her childhood. After a short intermission, the second part was filled with more of her poppy type of hits. Even though I enjoyed the country side of the concert the best, it can be said that Dolly never failed to entertain. And if she hadn’t made it as a musician, I believe she sure would have made it as a comedian. I’ll let Apryl tell you more if she likes, but I will recall several of the songs Dolly performed:

Jolene, Coat of Many Colors, Two Doors Down, Why’d You Come In Here Lookin’ Like That, Thank God I’m A Country “Girl,” 9 to 5, Theme for Steel Magnolias (rejected by the producers), Backwoods Barbie, Jesus & Gravity, Better Get To Livin’, Islands in the Stream, and I Will Always Love You.

Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Birthday Cake

Thanks everyone for all the cards and birthday wishes this week. Apryl and I had a fun yet odd time celebrating on Monday with a White Sox game against the Orioles that had a two hour rain delay followed by an up and down score that continued until the game was finally suspended in the 11th inning. The game is going to be resumed in Baltimore in August.

Some photos from the game:

Grounds Crew lifting up tarp

There was a loud applause for the grounds crew as they removed the tarp after a two hour rain delay to start the game.

Small crowd

Since the rain never stopped there were very few people in the lower decks. Luckily, our seats were the first in the lower deck to have a cover over them. So, we stayed relatively dry during the entire game.

Crede at bat

My favorite, Joe Crede, at bat right before being hit by the pitch. Walk it off Joe!

Hayden's Sign

My birthday sign got me and Apryl on the Jumbotron. And it only took 7 innings!

Hayden happy

Just happy to be at the ball park!

Apryl sad face

Apryl is probably wondering when this game is going to ever end!

So the Orioles score in the 11th inning which makes me think we surely have lost this game. I mean by the game’s end we left 14 batters on plate. However, Juan Uribe, who hasn’t played the entire day, comes into the game and hits a home run to tie up the score. Unfortunately, the Sox couldn’t score anymore and the game was finally called off due to an excessively muddy field and the continuing down pour.

Suspended play.

That night we got some tasty sushi from Coast and enjoyed some of Apryl’s wonderful chocolate pie!

The rest of the week was spent working (including a segment for the Ellen show at our favorite pizza joint Giordano’s) and taking Eva for her follow up. Another thank you to everyone that’s been asking about Eva Cat. She is doing well and we were told there is “no evidence of recurrent disease”. On Monday we will find the results of her blood work. Since we’re talking about Eva, I’ll finish this post with an Eva photo:

Eva on Records

Eva ready to listen to some records!