Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I heard from a few trying to spot me at the Red Sox/Rangers game July 4th and, from all reports, there was no j3 to be found. I'll have to review the tape. I was there, but it appears that, as I had eluded to, the camera angle was just slightly off. Regardless, here's the lowdown on my trip.

Travelled down to Lubbock, Friday, to celebrate a birthday and late father's day with my Grandfather and Dad. Departed Lubbock for Dallas at 9:00pm. Took off on 114 outta Lubbock full-steam ahead for the east and as the sun disappeared behind charging storm cells behind me, I thought I was out scott-free, however, what I had no idea what I was speeding into. In front of me, the dark night sky on an abandoned and sleepy highway lit up with the most extraordinary lightning storm I have ever witnessed. Let's analyze what's wrong with this situation, or rather, what could've been better:

1) Companionship--someone to tell me when to pull over and take a break and let the storm pass.

2) An up-to-date weather forecast. The best I could get on AM radio was a tomorrow's forecast which called for sunny skies and a slight breeze.

3) An open business in one of the few towns I passed through so I could inquire about the severity of the storm. There could've been a tornado out there with me and I'd have no way of telling except for the lightning illuminating low hanging wall cloud.

4) Some traffic. Not only did I feel completely alone, but when I reached the rain, there were small ponds of collected rainfall on the roadway which almost caused me to hydroplane multiple times.

5) A place to pee--preferably with a roof.

6) A selection of talk shows to choose from. All I could get out there in the middle of nowhere was "Stories of the Unknown and Paranormal." Not really suitable for nightdriving. I shuttered at the man's story of looking in the mirror in a dressing room as a child and seeing a small boy in the mirror with him. Or the lady that kicked the head of the "old hag" off the end of her bed. Yeah, you start seeing stuff after listening to this crap for over an hour.

7) A good night sleep the night before driving across the second largest state in the union.

Yeah, it was hell trip. Got into the greater DFW metroplex about 3:30am, tired, ragged and aching from all the sunflower seeds I had eaten and cola I had drank. Stayed with the father-in-law who had the couch ready for me. Got up the next morning drove up to Flower Mound for my cousin's little league game. It was a valiant effort, however, they fell under the pressure of a 13-run inning by their opponents. Lots of passed balls and stolen bases which led me to the following conclusion: if you could get a catcher in this league with decent skills, you could rule this league. However, that was not the case. Went back to D-Town for lunch with the father-in-law at the awesome Jake's Burgers where I had my standard double meat, double cheese. It was quite lovely and upon returning back to my couch, it put me out for about two hours. A good burger puts you in a sleeper hold and knocks you out like an Evander uppercut.

The rest of my day, I lazily watched television and pooted the rest of the day away.

Sunday, I awoke and caught up with David and Chrissy to go cd shopping (the last thing I need to do) and then ate at the wonderful Desperado's Mexican Kitchen on Greenville. It was delicious.

(just a note, someone needs to tell these Rangers announcers that the Rangers are not World Champions and, additionally, have never been and, if the baseball gods have their way, will never be--I hate these guys)

Spent the rest of the day cruising around the delightful DFW metroplex and went out with the father-in-law to Fox and Hound to enjoy a couple of brews and a Red Sox victory on the big screen. Oh yeah, and a big ups to Fox and Hound for their reuben sandwich. Arguably one of the best reubens I've had in quite a while.

Monday, we had the boys (my brothers-in-law) over for grilled chicken, sausage and even steak. I contributed my yummy grilled garlic corn which was out-of-sight. Cleaned up and then made way for Flower Mound again (Sox just take the lead in the sixth in Arlington--let's kill these guys) to visit my uncle. Schooled my cousin on the N64 at both basketball and baseball. And I left him with some cool pointers. I showed him how you can pitch up and in on Derek Jeter and watch him take one to the noggin. Kinda cool. He stands there for a second and shakes his head in confusion and unquestionable pain. Animated violence is acceptable to me. Especially when it's a Captain Spankee on the other end. My uncle did not appreciate the valuable lesson I had passed on, but as Mr. Harold Reynolds says, "It's part of the game." But I digress.

Speaking of "the game," I made way for the lovely and "friendly" confines of Ameriquest Ballpark in Arlington (just doesn't have the same ring as Fenway, but, eh, that's a much longer drive). Arrived in time for batting practice and, in fact, took my spot in line for autographs just before the Sox made way out onto the field. The Sox came out to a low thunder of cheers. In short, I scored zero autographs but came close to seizing a Johnny Damon signature if it weren't for the mob that suddenly appeared when he came within ten feet of the stands. Waited it out, but managed to come away empty handed. Found my seet, planted my butt and awaited the first pitch.

The crowd made it's way in casually as the game began. Damon led it off and as I cheered following his base hit, I drew the attention of a few aggravated Ranger fans. One woman sitting next to me whispered loudly to her husband, "Check out this guy," pointing over to me. I acted like I didn't hear it, but I'm afraid had I had a beer or two I probably would've spoken up. Lucky for her. My cheering loudly and proudly for the Sox led the Ranger fans around me cheer even louder after every solitary out. (side note: Johnny Nitro just extended his hitting streak to 22 games with that base hit--atta boy) They'd turn to me after every Red Sox out and clap saying, "Yea! Yea!". At this point, I looked at one of the locals and said, "It's a nine inning game. Better conserve your energy." They didn't listen. Sox tied it up after surrendering three early runs and the locals began to get even more furious than before.

Trot heaves a long fly ball to right field and it's caught by just another nameless Ranger on the warning track and, again, the Rangers fans made sure I knew that Trot was out by cheering in my direction (self talk: "Wow, a routine fly ball. The Rangers are so good."). As the cheers died off, I hear this booming angelic voice from behind me: "Whaddya cheer after every out down here?!" I turn around smirking to see a gruffy older man decked out in Sox gear from head to toe. He winks at me. I knew this guy had my back.

Ranger fans were so limp the whole game that it took help from the Sox fans to get the cheers going. You'd hear a thousand Red Sox fans rallying "Let's go, Red Sox!" and then there'd be a sea of boos followed a roar of "Let's go, Rangers!" Man, we even gotta start the chants around here!

We take a small one-run lead into the ninth and in comes Foulke to close it out. I knew this was going to be interesting. I turn to my comrade and say, "Buckle up, buddy. This is gonna get rough." Sure enough, against the top of the lineup, he managed to load the bases and blow the game and send the home crowd up into a ferocious fury of fanfare.

I turn around to find my buddy amidst the pandomonium and he's nowhere to be found. He left me high and dry to endure the jeers on the way out. I'm walking out and the loudmouth next to me says, "Not tonight," to which I thought of replying "Not in this century," but just politely smiled and made way for the hike outta the stadium. I dodge as many snide remarks as I could on way outta there. "Red Sox suck!" and my favorite, "Go back to Boston!" to which I replied frankly, "I'm from Amarillo (moron)."

Anyhow, I left the ballpark at about 11:00pm and made way for Amarillo. Yeah, I was in for another long night. By the time I made it to Wichita Falls, about 2:00am. I questioned making the long stretch to Amarillo, but I filled 'er up, bought a gallon of water, a 44oz cola, a sack of sunflower seeds and retrieved some untouched Krispy Kremes from the trunk and barrelled ahead towards Amarillo. Lonely road. Actually downright depressing. Again, threaded the needle between two thunderstorms on the way. Arrived in Amarillo around 4:45am, got some shuteye and then headed to work.

I came to many different, varied conclusions of which most are detailed below.

--While amazing, eating 48 hot dogs in twelve minutes does not beat the record.

--You might be a redneck if you're a Texas Rangers fan.

--To disagree is reasonable, but hate cannot be rationally defended.

--Johnny Damon is a sex symbol. Four outta five females agree.

--Foulke is not the closer he was before. They took him out because of an injured knee, but I think it's more his bruised pride.

--Glazed chocolate day-old Krispy Kremes are twice as nice at 3:00am at 70mph.

--The Wal Mart smile represents millions of employees with inadequate health insurance who just won a law suit.

--$10 is simply too much for parking when there's no shortage of parking. Of course, $10 is too much to spend when there's a shortage of parking. In fact, it should be considered unlawful to charge to park your automobile.

--Animated violence is okay under certain circumstances.

--There's less Ranger fans as people who like to show up and boo the visiting team.

--To see the Sox win the series brings happiness. To see them blow a win brings understanding.

I'm going to review the tape and see if I can locate my ugly mug on the television. If I can, I'll provide an image. Thanks to all that watched. My apologies for misleading you all.

Take care and have a happy Thursday.


sarahsmile3 said...

I loved the aside about the walmart smiley face…brilliant.
Also, I have a friend that is a Bostonian. He is moving back there soon. He has a friend or family member that works for the organization that you so love. He told me that he could hook us up with tickets. Dale is ready to go. Think about it, we could have a kick ass time!

j3 said...

kick ass doesn't quite fully communicate how amazing that would would be like visiting the taj mahal.

sarahsmile3 said...

I'll look into this possibility further. Maybe we could take a lil trip sometime.

Chrissy said...

God bless Reubens, Damon and late-night Krispy Kremes.