Wednesday, September 29, 2010

rams and packers and bears..Oh My

I make this world a place for you and me
I make your happiness my responsibility
To make this world the world you want to see
I'll do anything

When i see the light upon your upturned face
I can hear the angels sing
To see that no one ever takes my place
I'll do anything

To make you see what I'm imagining
To know the pleasure your smile can bring
To keep the light from vanishing
I'll do anything
Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne was simply amazing. I really wasted a huge chunk of my life being best friends with my TV and refrigerator and pizza delivery guy. I'm not sure that when he was 21 in '69 he really thought he'd still be running on empty at 61 in '10. He put on a great show. 1/3 acoustic 2/3 with the full band. Close to 3 hours of music with no opener. Played everything you would want to hear, plus dug deep into many albums for some obscure material and even dropped a few covers in the mix. A really special fun night for me and the start of a long 4 day weekend.

Picked up Jacky at the airport Saturday night at 5 pm following her week in Malibu at the soft opening for the new fitness ridge. I will give a better report on Malibu in the next blog. Hit the road heading south at 7 pm and stopped in Bloomington, Illinois for the night. Was back on the road at 9 am and into St Louis at 12 noon and waiting for my good friend Eric Jackson at the airport. Scooped him up , met my brother Jay and headed down to the Edward Jones Dome to watch the Redskins and the Rams. My family had season tickets to the skins games when I was growing up. I would see a few games every year. And I always got to go to the game where Santa Claus would make his appearance with my grandfather. Lots of wonderful memories. My last NFL game? The NFC Championship game on January 17th 1988. Not quite the gap that befell Jackson Browne but a significant chunk of my adult life.

There are two ways to see a game at today's stadiums and in two days I saw them both. Sunday's game thanks to my brother, Jay, we spent the game in the Clarkson Jeweler's box. Tv's everywhere, an open bar and buffet, waiter service throughout the game, spread out seats, no lines in clean bathrooms, close up parking, and a private entrance with an elevator.

Certainly about as cush and comfortable as a gameday experience can be.

As to be
expected, I was the normal in person jinx that I normally am and the Redskins played terrible and lost. Just for the record though a fan of the team, the name is way offensive and needs to go. After the game thanked my bro and started heading north for the next kickoff. Without tickets for the game.

Now I have been slinging tickets since I was a kid. Making a quick buck when available. You can always get tickets to a game. But the ticket business has changed because of the internet and counterfeit tickets are everywhere. So i bit the bullet and bought through and got two tickets to the Bears Packers game for a lot more than I thought I would ever pay for a football game.

Chicago has been the wrath of many of my previous posts because of their traffic issues. This trip no problem. No traffic. I think travelling with a Mormon in the car may have its benefit. We saw Soldier field the oldest stadium in the league. However the did some renovations that have changed the look of the stadium. It's sort of like a spaceship landed on the Acropolis but it works. The closest parking to the stadium at about 3/4 of a mile was $46 bucks. Ugh we set out in search of a new plan.

I remembered my friend, Greg Ryan, lived in Chicago. Hadn't seen him in over a decade but figured a call might be helpful. Turns out he lived in a high rise overlooking Millennium Park and Navy Pier about a half mile from where I was calling and there was a shuttle that left to the game in front of his building all night for free. Spent a couple hours catching up, checking out the building magnificent health club, and admiring an amazing view of the city. When you see the prototypical skyline shot of Chicago Greg's building is right there staring back at you.

The shuttle to the game was just a school bus. Can someone tell me when the decided to put the seats so close together on a school bus. Those poor six foot four plus kids must not enjoy there rides all that much. After what is now a fairly short walk, but one that would have had me bent over a few years ago we arrived in section 318 for the game. Exactly none of the amenities of the previous day. Instead we got two 40 year olds with blue and orange face paint, beer vendors in constant rotation, and lots of people happy to buy the $8 beers, seats that hugged my ass, and a slightly worse view. I got the seat on the end of the row of 16 people. The other end of the row abutted the wall so there was only one way out of the row. And what happens when grown men drink a lot of beer?? They have to piss every 15 minutes. I spent half the night getting up to let people out of the row. 50 times easy. But hey I'm counting it as a squats workout. The game was close the whole way. The home team made the home fans and the visitor from Utah very happy. Apparently even though I don't actually root for them my jinx ability extended to my home state Packers who played poorly and made a ridiculous amount of mistakes and penalties and still should have won.

So which day did I enjoy more? It's not even close. Given the chance to do it again I'm choosing in the stands with the commoners every time. The atmosphere and passion makes the lack of amenities moot. It's a football game, you don't need to feel like you're in your living room. I'm not ready to sign up for season tickets and make it a weekly trip but every now and then sure. Hey look in the picture One of the 5 packers isn't holding can you point him out :)

So my weekend driving was like this: Friday 4 hours, Saturday 3 hours, Sunday 6 hours, Monday 6 hours, Tuesday 4 hours. A couple hours short of the drive to Utah, which thankfully this time will only be the two hours north from Vegas as I am flying into the dessert. And as the GM and I enjoyed some of what Chicago is deep dishly famous for I realized I have a lot of work to do to get ready for my return in less than 4 weeks. I need to start running again which I haven't done in 6 weeks and I sure need to know the knee is going to not be more sore than normal. Two weeks of volleyball, some walking, lots of swimming have gotten it back to pretty good but I'm not sure that equates to scaling Camelbak or Stop Sign or doing another triathlon. We shall see. It was an amazing fun weekend. Made better by good friends, and great tunes on my new itrip which made listening to music so much easier. No more dragging bags of cd's every place I go :) More fun to come WICKED tonight and Volleyball on Thursday and Farm Aid on Saturday. Because I can :) Peace and Love, Jim


Sabine said...

so happy to read your blog again. Glad you had such a good time. That's a lot of travelling. I am looking forward to what Jacky has to say about Malibu.
I will probably never go there, my heart is in Utah!
Although Cardio Disco Jam withJihn would be the ONE temptation to change my mind. And I don't even dance or like to dance! Be good to yourself.

Lisa said...

You may have "wasted" some years... but look where you are at now... living life to the fullest, enjoying every moment... not letting one moment pass you by!