Monday, September 24, 2012

The Commoner and the Bus Ride Part 2

Photo: Where's the busI told you about part one of my trip.  You know the bus, the raffles, the appearance of the Giants in the ninth inning and the M&Ms.  But wait there's more.

One thing about taking the bus -there was no reason to leave before the game was over to beat the traffic.  This worked out given the 9th inning and all the players that woke up late and got there for the end of the game.

So we drifted out of the building-all 8 of us stayed together and made it down.  We walked past the muni we always take and got to the buses.

We all wondered did anyone notice what our bus even looked like?  As we passed bus after bus we were sure it wasn't that one, or the wine country one, or the one with the lady driver, or the one with a person in a wheel chair, or....wait there were no more, but there were the Hollister people all gathered on the corner.

The raffle, donut, DVD, lady was walking by and says, "oh our bus got caught behind a barricade, he'll be here in a little while."  Of course it was me who said, "A barricade?  After a Giants Game?  We'll be here for hours!."  I didn't  yell, or curse, or use my NY accent-I just stated it.

She told me I was cold and should probably stand in the sun.....

Wow, was I out of line?  Come on they were all thinking that.  How come all the other bus drivers got through the barricade.  But I was quiet and stood in the sun because I didn't have another ride home.

We waited and waited and waited.  Little bus lady was on her phone and her smile was gone.  She kept turning her back to us and covering the phone with her hand.  You know that thing you do when you are talking about the person standing next to you?

Finally she tells us we have to walk up the block a little and turn left.  Some of us turned left some of us went straight.  It was like that scene in The Poseidon Adventure..follow Gene Hackeman I said.

We turned, we walked, no bus, more phone calls, and a crankier bus lady.  She had us going up and down the block-this way, the other back out on to the street.  JUST WAIT she kept saying.

Finally we saw the bus coming down that main street -if you've been to the games you know which one I mean. The bus pulls over right where it says NO STANDING-opens the door and every one says go, go, go!  I'm the George Castanza in the crowd knocking over the old people to get to my seat.

My friend's son -you know the one the Giants could have used-and his friend wanted to sit in the back of the bus.  They got yelled at by some lady with a baby and a cooler of jello.  They planted in front of us and everyone shifted seats.

That was not okay, as the two ladies who sat in front of us the whole game listening to every word we were saying-insisted on having their seat back.  Their seat was taken by the people who's seats the 12 year olds were sitting in and they weren't giving up.

Finally we were off.  I thought it was strange that the Bus lady never took role to see if we were all there.  I don't think she was even thinking about this.  But after the scuffle of the seats she had the bus pull over and said,  "WHAT IS GOING ON BACK THERE, I WANT DETAILS."

I'm glad it wasn't my kid that caused that confusion as Beth had to confess-she was the mother of the seat stealer.

Finally we were off, we drove around the block a few times and took off.  There were cake pops, and pretzels, and sugar free cookies.  The ride home was quiet and quick.

All in all it was a great day....I know as a commoner I won't get to go to any playoff games, but I'll be sitting in my house or with friends cheering on the Giants and hoping they can repeat -sort of -and win the series.  


Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Commoner and the Bus Ride

PhotoI think I've told you many time of my love of baseball and especially of the San Francisco GiantsThere are so many reasons that I love both of these things-you know the fabulous ball park, the view of the city, the sell outs, the food and a great team who like me-lived in New York before coming to the Bay Area-I identify with them.

I had the opportunity last spring to buy tickets from a fellow teacher who runs a bus tour company to go to the game and not have to drive.  Myself and some friends from work decided then to buy these tickets and go to the game.  We paid our deposit and pretty much forgot about the whole thing.

I've been lucky enough to go to three games this year, usually it's only one.  But this is one of my favorite places anywhere and when I can sit in the sunshine and watch this team with 40000 of my closest friends (they sell out every game) I'm there and happy.

I usually avoid group anythings-it brings out the rebel in me but I was going to a game with my husband and friends and I was opened minded.  We got to the bus early, got our seats, and our snacks of little packaged donuts and apples and off we went.

The people on the bus were a lot of fun.  They joked and laughed and even shared jello with us.  That was so fun.  We didn't win any of the raffle prizes which included DVDs of Yogi Berra and some horror movie but that's okay -we were going to see our National League Champion Giants. 

We get there three hours early and get to go to Momos.  That great restaurant /bar across from the park.  You can NEVER get in that place, but it was 10AM and hey who doesn't want a sandwich and a beer at 10AM?  We were at Momos.

We got to the game an hour early which I always do.  I have to walk the park and scope out the snacks, look at the water, watch the batting practice and enjoy the feeling of the park.  I bought a 35 dollar tshirt because they just won the title last night and 5 dollar bag of M&Ms.  Ball park money is like Vegas money-it doesn't feel real.  We got a poster because it was Fan Appreciation day!

September baseball is a crap shoot.  Your team could be in a pennant race or they could be done or....they could have clinched the title the night before and given the ENTIRE team the day off.  None of the players who took the field today were even on the poster they gave us at the door.

That's right-no Panda, no Pagan, no Posey, no Lincecum -who was scheduled to pitch, no nothing.  We got Blanco and a bunch of players who they just bussed in from Fresno-most of whom had a batting average of 0.   I'm not kidding.

It was 8 innings of painful boring baseball with missed opportunities and blunders.  I was sure they were going to call up my friends 12 year old to play-it was that bad.

Then they said Brandon Belt was going to hit.  He's had a tough year but we were so happy to see him the crowd gave him a standing ovation. No one gives Belt a standing ovation ever.

 Well that must have moved the manager Bruce Bochy to remember to appreciate the fans because at the ninth inning everybody pinched hit.  We had Pablo, Crawford, and yes everyone's favorite player Buster Posey.  We were so excited us commoner fans who missed the big night by one game.

Do you think that is all that happened to the Commoners?  Oh no my friends if it did it would not be my story.  But just like my trip on South West-you will have to wait for the rest of that story....until then you can sing Don't Stop Believing to your self a few dozen times.  I'm sure tomorrow the real Giants will be back in the lineup.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Commoner and Number 11

Some of you may know that I have been training for my first half marathon.  I'm pretty sure that's not such a common thing to do but sometimes I stray.

You are thinking what does number 11 and Mark Messier have to do with a half marathon.  I know-it's 13 miles not 11 but 11 was a big and important step for me.

Every week I have to add a mile to my distance run and this week it was 11.  We don't do these runs around Hollister, I can't do that many laps of my 2 1/2 mile loop and I won't go in the hills with the bulls, spiders, squirrels, and snakes-plus no one is out there.  We go to Morgan Hill to the Coyote Creek trail which is amazing.

It goes for 18 miles -I've seen 5 1/2 ( I go out and back)-every week I discover another half mile of it.  On Sunday mornings its a buzz of cyclists, strollers, dog walkers, walkers, and runners.  Just the right amount of nature for a nature-phobe like me.

We started going at 7 miles, I don't even remember it, I remember 9 because it almost killed me, 10 was good but 11 was great.
The trail was quieter than usual and for the first 3 miles my legs were literally numb-but then something happened.  I stopped -stretched-and said let's keep going.

The pain went away-my mind drifted. The more I ran the stronger I became. I started planning my birthday party, I started listening to the songs and saying 2 -5 1/2 mile runs this is nothing.  I started going faster and faster and at the 5 mile mark I was singing along out loud with Jay Z and Heart of the City.  (I don't rap I'm the chorus).

I started thinking of the number 11-I started thinking about 9/11, and 11/11 which was lucky and Mark Messier the most famous number 11-and how he ran the New York City marathon and he's a big guy! And he's older than me!

  I started thinking about Eminem and 8 mile road and I was going a little further-all these things went through my head.

The last 2 miles of this course are the hardest weather you are going 6 or going 11 it's the way the course goes. At 2 1/2 I stopped-ate some goop, took a drink, cranked up the music and hit it.  I finished and I felt great AND my pace was fastest ever on the course.

Although when I was younger I was a pretty good athlete, I've never pushed this hard.  Every run I finish, no matter how short or the circumstances I always say-Thanks God for not letting me die or get hurt-Gratitude  I think buys me some insurance.

So commoners this week is 12 and I don't mind-I want to see what's 1/2 mile past that golf course!  I want to see that eagle again, dodge the dragonflies, see the horses and nail those hills. Plus every mile is 100 calories-do the math!  It's a lot

I'm contemplating a marathon in the spring--When I asked a friend what he thought about running the marathon he said-can you run for 5 hours?  You know-Sunday I could have.

but for now commoners the uncommon task of 13.1-I'll be so happy to finish it and look forward to the next challenge.  But for now 1 more weekend run on my favorite path.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Commoner Welcomes A New Televison Season

I was an only child raised in a house full of adults so you have to know TV was my sibling growing up and still is.  I remember when television had 1 season followed by a summer of reruns.

  No more.  The word season is no longer your standard 9 months followed by a summer of the best reruns.  Seasons start and finish at all different times of the year and last for a couple of months.  Its hard to keep up and sometimes you think you may miss the season all together without ever really knowing it started.

But September still hosts the return of a lot of shows already programmed into my DVR and some new ones I hope to make room for.

A funny thing happens at the end of one of these cable seasons, you can't WAIT for the new season to come-even if it's in September and back to school, but you can't wait.  One of my favorites is Sons Of Anarchy.

I was always indifferent to motorcyclists especially since I live in Hollister California home of the movie Wild Ones-and even though SOA is based in a central California town which looks a lot like Hollister -it is at it's very heart a show closer to The Sopranos than Easy Rider.

I've been raised on The Godfather and reared on anything Martin Scorsese.  I can recite Goodfellas by heart.  Sons of Anarchy is the commoner's Sopranos.

Working class by nature and even though they earn probably millions  in the money laundering or international gun deals they have going- none of them have spent a dime on beauty supplies or wardrobes.  Nor have they traded their small run down ranch houses for McMansions of any type.

But this show goes beyond the working class nature of these gangsters.  Nope the acting and writing on this show is among the best.  The plot lines as unbelievable as they are are still some how made believable and are among the best in television in a long time.  Edge of your seat, can't believe that just happened, did you see that-television.

Where else can you see Peg Bundy and The Beast from the 80s play characters so dislikeable and beyond reproach that you never remember them as the loveable blokes they used to be.  That's acting.

In a few weeks we will have Boardwalk Empire, American Horror Story,  Homeland, and Dexter returning to our homes.  But for this week the commoner is still saying -this season of Son's is going to be unreal and I'm sure give me nightmares. You have to watch it.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Commoner Adjusts to Going Back to Work

It's not easy to go from the lazy, lazy days of summer to the busy hopping 12 hour days of work.  But the life of a commoner dictates that that is what must be.  So I've had to make some adjustments to my commoner life.  It takes awhile to break into this return to life and at week 3-I'm starting to find it.

The first adjustment is my running schedule.  I could no longer leisurely run at 8:30 AM when the temperature reached my favorite 57 degrees.  Nope I had two choices-before dawn or after work. 

I tried after work, but it was usually too hot, I was tired from walking around my classroom all day and not properly hydrated-thus I would feel like I was going to pass out.  

So the moon became my running partner.  I'm an early riser so no problem.  The stars are out, the commuters are up and the air is cool and your done.  And the moon is awesome usually.

Another thing that had to be adjusted to my work schedule is my DVR list.  I was only half way through getting through Breaking Bad-the series, and Days of Our Lives is still in June-which is nice actually.  But overall my DVR has learned to manage itself and drop stuff off and keep things on that I'm not even aware of.  If I'm watching TV-its my DVR. It's quite a commitment.

The last category of adjustments is house work.  Dinner and laundry mostly.  I don't even eat dinner.  But my husband insist on it.  Well he doesn't really insist on it -but if it's not ready when he gets home he starts behaving badly.  Eating potato chips, eating cookies.  Thus he has to have dinner.

So that's a challenge, sometimes Danny cooks for him, sometimes I cook two days at a time, sometimes he gets frozen pizza.  Not sure why he thinks dinner is so important but he does.

Finally the laundry-all I can say about the laundry is this.  If you ever can't find me-come to my house and look for me under a pile of clean laundry-it's not doing the laundry it's the sorting and putting away that get me.