Sunday, May 3, 2009

"You Can't be Serious"

MAY 3, 2009

So, did you have a weekend where you were really pumped would start, that ended up being insane in a no fg way, you cannot be serious (quote to Johnny Mac) kind of way? Well that was this weekend. It was to be fun and action packed -- Basketball AAU game Friday night for Brett, Hoops Saturday, parental visit, lunch, West Side story, more hoops, first game for me at new Yankee Stadium. But nothing ever comes easy. Call it Advertures in Kornfeld Land. Call it are you fg kidding me? Call it a day in the life/weekend.


So on Saturday Dawn and I get date night. West Side story on Broadway. Cool you say? Me too. Or so I thought.

We drive into the city. Brett has a 520 game in Bridgeport at the U of B Rec center. Game 2 of the weekend tournament. Brett's team blew out its Game 1 opponent Friday night. Brett's team is deep, athletic, committed defensively and on the glass. And Brett is the smallest kid on the sqaud. By a lot. Anyway, my parents are up to visit and watch him play. We grab a big lunch at Southport brewing where the food was solid and excellent service so the day seems so far so good. I had sncuk in my tivo of Rescue Me, am riveted by how cousin Jimmy really died (now that he shows up in video after Tower One falls and the psychic says he wants Tommy, DEnnis Leary to know how he died).

Of course the plan is for my dad to follow me in his car to U of B, we drop the kids off and then head to the city so he can then bring my youngest Dylan home after the first game. Brett had a late game but we do not want my dad, the single worst driver in the world when it comes to sense of direction (yes he passed it down to me) to have to drive in the dark.

My dad is also the single worst drivollwer (new word alert -- driving follower) in the world. He cannot keep up, is always 1000 yards behind. And I am doing under the speed limit. The subtle beginning of the aggravation!! I am cursing him out i nthe car every time I have to pull over to make sure he has re-located us!

Next up, Brett's game is delayed. The 15 year old women's game is long. Tons of whistles. And incredible. I have no rooting interest in either team but this one young woman keeps draining threes like she is JJ Reddick and so I start rooting for them. They are behind whole game and finally after some missed foul shots, her team actually ties the score at the buzzer on a controversial shot. It looked untimely but the refs counted the basket. So, in the meantime my impatient parents, sitting in uncomfortable seats are getting irritated. So too Dawn. As if it is a grand conspiracy of sorts! As a result Dawn and I do not get to see even a second of Brett's game.

But I digress. Dawn and I drive to the city. We find parking around 645. Small garage on 47th, which is fortuitous because the theatre is right near there. Or so we think. Plus we have a compact car and that's all they want so in theory no SUVs or biggies to worry about later. The cost is hit or miss but we are in good spirits.

The show starts at 8. We go to get the tickets. Aggravation Number 2. We go inside to "will call" to get the reserved seats but some obnoxious power tripping dude re-routes us, saying "the line to pick up tickets starts here." Of course what makes this great is that WE WERE ALREADY AT THE FG WINDOW AND THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE WAITING!!!!! I kid you not -- and this leads me to a recent rant -- "the power crazy." People who know you are waiting to get into an event but who keep the doors closed an extra few seconds or minutes to make you wait. Happened recently at our visit to WWE event. Show started at 81`5 but people want to get food, sounvenirs, situated and they say doors open at 715. But of course they didn't. They opened at 7:23. But I digress again.

So now we have our tickets and we do the NYC thing. As an aside there really is nothing like NYC. Last week on way to lunch about 3000 people were protesting budget cuts on 3rd Avenue. Broadway has a buzz around it like no other place. So we walk around a little, get the Big NYC Pretzel (we buy it thinking it is healthy, in actuality 660 calories). We kill time till 730. Now line is massive.

Aggravation Number 3 -- the Palace Theatre must be 150 years old. It is ancient. Cramped. The bar with snacks on the right, the hawking of stuff on the left. Patrons come down the middle. The theatre is 200 degrees. We grab a water for the show. And when we get to the front in typical Kornfeld fashion, the people in front of cause the ticket scanning maching to stop working, delaying our line. 2 other lines move fine.

Dawn is annoyed we are center but Row Y. Last row downstairs. She proceeds to lose her water. She is battling some sort of asthmatic brinchitis which she valiantly battles only to cough during the pauses where people are applauding. She is on inhaler thing 6 weeks after first going to doctors to find out what the h was wrong. This continues to bother me. Its no ones fault but she is suffering and it is painful and lousy.

We get in theatre. Poor couple on the aisle is married 60 years plus. Dawn is like my mom now and makes friends with strangers, seat nieghbors, food neighbors on the cruise etc.!! Sweet couple but the lady cannot move well due to a leg injury. Sweet as can be. But people could not move in and out.

Aggravation 4 -- THE SEATS!! Ok, the tie-in to obnesity is here. These seats were narrow. I mean crazy narrow. I mean like think of the worst seat on a dollar aiorplane and then multiple it by like a million. So getting in and out is nuts. I am overweight. But I have been fatter. And these seats were about as tight and uncomfrotable as it gets. The nice German couple next to me, of course bought 4 seats thinking they were all togehter. Seats 108-111. But of course they are not., In our section, odd numbers. To the right, even. Thus their kids sit on other side. Normally Dawn and I would have swapped to be good folk but by time these folks arrived and I understood what was happening show was about to start, I did not want to make the 60 years married couple move, and plus, the people i nfront of us were small so no obstructed views, whereas the kid seats across the way -- tall people!!

So, we have tight tight tight seats, very warm theatre, Dawn cough, unhappy neighbors to my left, chatty neighbors to Dawn's right. The show starts 4 minutes late. Why???

Aggravation 5 -- the Show. One of the greatest movies/shows ever, it simply doesn;t work in this day and age. Modern efforts to upgrade it, to put own unique spin, creation on it, lots of extra singning and dialogue in Spanish, people singing songs they didn;t sing, songs coming out of order, a song that has to be in English being solely in Spanish, and by and large a weak male cast, left me feeling that it was sweet, good, but ultimately unsatisying. I mean I dont want to spilt it for others but there are too many changes and at times it seemd like a college production. The woman who plays Anita is great, and Maria is talented too. But I found it choppy, haphazard and ultimately with the theatre sucking, the heat, etc, not great. Now of course this may also have been because I was preoccupied because while Bretts team won in front of my parents he only played 2 minutes. A disappointment for him and them, but part of Team and experience.

Aggravation 6 -- The parking garage. People i nfront of us cannot get service. No one speaks English and something that takes 3 minutes in theory takes 20 or so -- we cannot get someone to process our ticket.

Aggravation 7 -- So we are on west side, and we decide to connect to 95. I knew I should stay on Henry Hudson where there is nice scenery smooth ride. Instead, listening to my idiot GPS I connct to 95 which is insane traffic even at 11 pm. In meantime, I hear Brett got good minutes and his team won the third game of tournament.

Brett is now officially a man -- my dad, who used to wait for me in his robe or pajamas (usually downstairs in front of building till I had a chat with him, then on couch) to make sure I arrived home, did the same thing for Brett (coach had taken him out to celebrate with his son, one of Brett's buddies). Brett's team in the tournament finals Sunday.

The trip home takes an hour and 40 minutes, I am crabby and cranky and Dawn and I fight as I am an idiot for not trusting myself but instead listening to the annoying little voicebox from GPS which I want to strangle. We fight about height, doctors. her asthma, the traffic, high school basketball, shutting off the map on the car, shutting off the GPS, and pretty much everything else!!! I am insufferable due to traffic.

"Prepare to turn left." This is at 48th street when she wants me to turn left at 57th stret. Prepare to turn left 9 blocks early?? Huh?

All in all, the West Side Story date night was less than stellar. And what Dawn and I were wondering was how people go see this show i nwinter? Where to put your coats exactly in the Palace? I mean in the 16th centure when this theatre was built it must have been comfy because people way 125 pounds soaking wet. Now in our obesity-riddled nation, that theatre needs a renovation!!

Aggravation 8 -- I forgot to mention -- I turn on Celts-Bulls Game 7, which I miss, along with the Derby and the Paquio fight, in time to hear Stephon Marbury, a/k/a Starbury ice the game with two free throws. Proving there is no god in Kornfled-land.


So Friday was the vile scallops, being green, barely making Brett's game. Saturday was bad travel, traffic, overrated show, and everything else.

Today Brett is in the tournament finals. There is a noonish game. Dylan and I have Yankee tickets. Cap day. My first trip to the new Stadium. We decide to dial car it in. As we approach the highway Dylan remembers he has forgotten his camera. We decide to go without it. Its rainy, drizzly,. I am listening o weather and sports hoping for update. None. Dylan in his Johhny Damon jersey me in my Cooperstown legends Mantle one. Its cap day. We are pumped. Soon to change.

As we approach Exit 2 on the Deegen, early at 1030 (IM envisioning a sit down lunch at Hard Rock Cafe right there, cathing some infield, some batting practice and walking the new stadium) two cars have a spill or skirkimsh and our guy apparently couldn't stop and plows the car in front of him. Loud crash. Seatbelts around so no one gets hurt. But it is a "crunch" of sorts. The two woen jump out of car not mad at our guy but the other car who caused the first accident, Anyway, out guy's front is totalled. Literally. Hood destroyed.

Now what? Hang out for new car? Our guy gets his car to the right, no shoulder, and Dylan and I safely get out and get off the ramp/exit to 138th and Willis. And yes, then journey on foot to the new Stadium. 23 plus blocks and long long long streets to Grand Concourse. Dylan a warrior, My back/knee sore. And its raining. Nothing like a good car accident and a 2 and a ahlf mile walk to get you ready for a game!

And the Yankees string you along waiting to call the game. While at Stadium, Johnny Rockets, Borhter Jimmy's BBQ, hush puppies, brisket, waters, soads, CLub store for jeter jersey for Brett, burnett for dylan, a dimaggio legend for dawn and a hooded swetshirt for me. Plus of course the Garlic Fry spot. At 2 pm, the Yanks rai nthe game out. So yes, we drove from CT, got into a car accident, walked 2 plus miles to the Stadium, spent a zillion dollars, stuffed our faces. And didn;t get to see baseball. Oh, but for effect DYlan made me sit in our seats in the puring rain figuring maybe if we sat there the rain would stop!

In the meantime, Brett's team has won game 4 and I have been getting text update. He got major contribution minutes in this game and helped his team come from down 8 to up 6 in first half. They in a tight game by 6 and are i nthe championship game.

Dylan my warrior and overall great kid. Keeps optimism, says let;s rush home to Brett's game.

So we call for a car. Not the same service. Takes 35 minutes to get one (they said 15). BUT we dont get into any accident, the guy navigates the traffic, takes the sprain to 287 to 95 and its smooth nap inducing ride. We get to Brett's game in time for tip-off. And they WIN THE TITLE. His team is awesome. They run the table and go 5-0 in three days and we celebrate at Unos. I am fat and full and exhausted. (Brett of course per custom woke me this am an hour early for no reason b/c he was wired)

Traffic, a car acccident, excessive eating and spending, adventures, highs and lows, parental challenges (supporting brett and his team knowing he wishes he was playing more), Yankess, basketball, parents, and all that makes our lives, well us.

We are all ok. Crazy weekend. They give you caloric intake on food at Stadium which random public service annoncement.

More later! ("Am I the Only One . . . -- tomorrow)