Monday, October 08, 2007

Cheers, jeers, & people-watching

Maggie says:
After a veritable entertainment bonanza of a weekend, my office feels suspiciously quiet this morning. Here's the run-down:

Friday Night: Bugs and Blasts

Conveniently, there is a sports bar located on the street level of my office building, and with Game 2 of the Yankees-Indians series starting at 4 pm our time and Game 2 of the Sox-Angels series starting at 7:30, the commute between my desk and the bar was mercifully short. In the meantime, Dallas had been transformed into a sea of burnt orange v. red for the annual Texas-Oklahoma football game, so prioritizing baseball in that context made me a fish out of water here for sure. We met up with a wildly fun Oklahoma-Texas emigree who's spent the last 17 years in Massachusetts developing an affinity for the Red Sox, and was in Dallas for Saturday's big game. Within five minutes of sitting down, this longtime crazy friend of my crazy friend presented me with my very own Red Sox jersey, led very loud Sooners chants throughout the bar, and began a long night of charming/repelling our waitress. It was beautiful. So was the first game: a barrage of bugs invaded Jacobs Field (seriously) and perhaps helped ensure the Indians victory over the Yankees. It definitely helped ensure my night of laughing at the Yankees. The Sox game had started shakily before the Yankees game got a chance to finish, so we were watching both at once (the beauty/danger of the sports bar, I suppose) and I was getting nervous. After extra-innings in the Yankees game, the slow Sox game wasn't helping matters, so after many beers and many chicken wings, we determined that my nerves were better suited to our couch than the loud bar. Actually, we may have decided to take leave of the bar after the tenth half-naked beer rep of the night offered me a Budweiser hat because it "matched my jersey." Rather than pouncing her, we took leave of our grand TX-OK-MA companion so that I could watch the rest of the game in peace, but not before he presented us with tickets to the next day's Texas-Oklahoma game. Uh-oh. Back home in recovery, the night was saved by Manny, who homered (a true monstah) to win the game and give a much-needed happy ending to what amounted to a nerve-wracking baseball marathon. Whew!

Saturday: Football fans are crazy!

Enter Saturday morning, as gray as could be with all the makings of a wet, muddy day. We dutifully suited up in rain-appropriate, color-neutral clothes: jeans, white t-shirts, and windbreakers. No orange or red in this pairing! I had been briefed on the storied Texas-Oklahoma rivalry, but not being a huge college football fan and not having an affiliation with either school (I'm not sure almost going to UT for grad school counts), the day was all about people-watching and tradition for me. Which is to say, it was all about the outfits. There were tiny orange and red dresses with boots, full-on red or orange cowboy outfits, t-shirts of every possible design and rude expression, and as the sky dried up and the sun came out and out and out, two very overdressed, overly neutral spectators. It was HOT. The game is at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas every year, smack in the middle of the Texas State Fair. The place is split into two camps of fans, literally orange v. red, and the visual impact is pretty remarkable. In our white t-shirts, it was like we'd unintentionally stumbled upon some bizarre orange and red race war. I definitely appreciate rivalries, and this one surely ranks among the most heated I've seen. (From someone who's had her share of Sox-Yankees experiences, that's saying a lot.) Our favorite shirt of the day was genius, modeled by a random dude in shorts with dark curly hair. My crush on him grew the minute I tried to find his shirt online and couldn't, which leads me to believe he made it himself. It was royal blue and in white lettering proclaimed: "Very Much Neutral." Neutrality has never felt more subversive.

Saturday night: More cowbell! Please yes more cowbell!

We had tickets to see Rilo Kiley at The Palladium Saturday night, and I can't brag enough about the gumption it took to get home from our day of craziness, peel off our sweat-soaked neutral clothes, nap, and gear up for a show. But we did it, thanks to our love for live music and Red Bull vodkas. This show was outrageously, yummily good. First of all, frontwoman Jenny Lewis is the hottest thing to hold a guitar and mesmerize an audience that I've ever seen. She walked out in this crazy vintage-majorette-uniform-on-acid outfit that highlighted her ghostly white skin, flaming red hair, and tiny, perfect limbs. And girl can rock. Her on-stage nerdy sidekick, whose name I should know but who instead I'll just call the Jason Schwartzman-esque guy who rocks the mandolin, was also fun eye-candy. The crowd was young and full of energy and knew every word to every song, from her bad girl anthem ("...I'm bad news... Baby I'm bad news...") to her ironic ditties ("Any idiot can play Greek for a day... Join a sorority or write a tragedy..."). The best moment of the night came with her new song "Breakin' Up," in which Jenny busted out the cowbell, of all absurdly awesome stage instruments, got her hips going in an exceedingly dangerous manner, and led the audience in a chant of "Oooh, it feels good to be free!" Damn. The best thing about the experience was watching this woman make every single jaded hipster in the house fall in love with her: man, woman, whatever. We all wanted her. Sigh...

Sunday: We're in!

For the first morning in ages, I sleeeeeeeeeeeeeept in, and it was delicious. There was a full weekend to recover from and a full day of baseball to gear up for, and that requires lots of REM-mode. I will cut to the chase here and say that by day's end, the Sox did it - they swept the Angels and are moving on to face the winner of the Yankees' series (just like 2004... hmmmm.....). Glorious. Less glorious is the fact that the Yanks pulled out a win over the Indians last night and viewers were forced to hear the same regurgitation of Yankees lore and legend and bullshit from the announcers, who have been jumping at the chance the whole series to be able to play their Derek Jeter-led celebration of Yankee Stadium and their fans, etc. Get over it. I so hope the Indians kick their ass tonight, because I want them to lose at home in front of those same fans with their arrogance and their bad attitudes. Man I can't stand that team. (I do, however, still love Trot Nixon, who now plays for the Indians but played for the Sox for ages and is from the same part of eastern North Carolina that my family's from, despite his error in the game that is perpetuating my forced Yankees viewing.)