Taking your family to a baseball game is like the quintessential American activity. Throw in some 4th of July fireworks and you have Independence Day perfection. EXCEPT…except that my kids are young and impatient and wiggly…except that baseball games are entirely too long and
entirely too boring not entirely engaging from the tippy-top of
the nosebleed section…except that the aforementioned impatient, wiggly beings
want to go to the bathroom or get water or whatever every five freaking minutes
and it is an unpleasant undertaking to awkwardly maneuver by all the people
from the very middle of the very top row and down the stairs…and back. Except
that the fireworks, which were being asked after relentlessly from 6pm on, didn’t
start until 10:30pm. Except that by the time we fought the crowds and traffic
going out and drove all the way home, it was almost 1am.
I need to take a moment to point out that complaining makes a more entertaining read. While the things I’m discussing are all true, I will say that overall it was a good time. However, talking about what a great experience we had is boring. Negativity is generally funnier to write about, but I’ll try to strike a balance.
To begin, in the spirit of negativity, let’s discuss the crowd. The swarming masses of humanity. 50,445 of them to be precise, since the game was sold out and that’s the capacity of Coors Field. Or 50,200, depending on your innerweb source. Either way, that’s a crapton of people. Incidentally, I always wondered why the Rockies mascot was a triceratops, and just stumbled across its origin on good ol’ Wikipedia: during construction, they unearthed a triceratops skull. Neat. Still don't know why the fork his name is Dinger though.
The Negative: Parking downtown is always a great source or anxiety for myself and my husband, and any lot remotely near the stadium charged upwards of $40 to park. To. Freaking. Park. We were lucky enough to score $25 parking and still felt horribly ripped off.
The Positive: Getting in to the game was alright though; the crowds were meandering in politely and we got in fairly quickly. Come to find out, only 1/3 of the people actually came at the beginning of the game. (Next time I’m not showing up until at least the 6th inning either.)
The Negative: By the time the excruciatingly long four hour game ended and the 50,000-head herd of drunken cattle began spilling out, it was another story. Painstakingly slow itty-bitty steps aaaaalllll the way out, mashed against swaying fans who thought their loud, slurred jokes were much funnier than they actually were. They even caused Dooley, who was sober, to question his own past inebriated charm and hilarity.
The Positive: The kids were wide-eyed but patient, and shockingly well-behaved considering it was several hours past their bedtime. The fireworks show was worth it, too. Dirt grinned through the whole thing, his eyes filled with wonder. Tuesday covered her ears and looked concerned. Or terrified, depending on when you looked at her. “To loud for mine ears!”
The Negative: My only complaint was the cheesy rednecky music they blasted the whole time, which ruined any sense of reverence one might feel while enjoying Independence Day fireworks.
The Positive: They did play Louis Armstrong “Wonderful World” and Ray Charles “America the Beautiful”, which I feel is the appropriate vibe.
Moving on. That was our July 3rd. Our actual July 4th didn’t involve the children (*gasp*). The very next night we attended a Blues Traveler concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater by ourselves and got to see even more fireworks. For anyone unfamiliar with this famous venue, it’s super cool and you should go there. Or at least google it. The seats are built into giant rock formations, angled up along the incline of the seats on each side, so you’re pretty much surrounded by them. You can see most of Denver from the higher bits of the stadium, so we could view at least 6 far-off fireworks displays from different parts of the city, plus there was one show right behind the stage.
That’s the positive. See how boring that was to read about? Don’t fret.
The Negative: I, like most regular folk who aren’t necessarily die-hard fans, only knew the songs from Blues Traveler’s hit 1994 album “Four”. It never crossed my mind that they’d even consider playing other songs. Yeah, I’m an idiot. Not only did they exclusively play newish music unfamiliar to myself, they were waaaaayyyyyy more jam-bandy than anticipated. The Blues Traveler I knew had distinct 2 ½- minute songs, with recognizable structure including verse, chorus, bridge, etc., and well-defined endings so you knew when the song was over. What was this endless, formless, lyric-less nonsense? Again, I’m an idiot. Evidently Blues Traveler was “a key part of the re-emerging jam band scene”. I suppose the tie-dyed merchandise and incredibly strong smell of pot emanating from the stadium could have given it away too, but at that point there was no turning back.
The Positive: Still a fun experience. Awesome venue. It was windy but there was no rain or lightning. We got a night out by ourselves for once. That guy is incredible on the harmonica. Pretty good music, although I was quite sad not to be able sing along. And oh, the people watching. The fact that concert-goers take it as an excuse to put on outlandish costumes is a mystery to me, but continually entertaining. And the dance moves that accompany the outfits…! If only I could have taken a video to post for you.
The Negative: We felt super duper old. It was another night neither of us was drinking, so instead we were judging. Naturally. All the “kids” surrounding us seemed waaaayyyy to young to be drinking, and yet, they were. When you find yourself looking at the youths and imagining how you’d feel if your own children turned out that way, you feel old. When you spot the young mother who brought her 2-year-old along and you want to wrap the little person in a blanket and snuggle her because she is obviously exhausted and cold and overwhelmed by the surrounding chaos, you feel old. When you find yourself scolding the young mother in your head, you feel old. When you find yourself wondering how someone’s parents let them out of the house dressed like that, you feel old. Nevermind that I had to pull out three tinsel-rific gray hairs the other day and am really bad at staying up past 1am two nights in a row, come to find out.
The Positive: When the teenager next to you offers to share his weed, suddenly you’re young again. (You politely decline.) He then refers to you as your husband’s “girlfriend” instead of “wife” and that takes a few years off too.
So that show ended close to midnight and then I ate leftover lemon cake in the car with my hands before we were even out of the parking lot. On the way home Dooley had to stop at Wendy’s for a burger, so I also got a small frosty and some fries, because damn if that isn’t the best midnight combo ever. Obviously we needed sustenance for the hour-long journey home from anywhere; the night before, on the way home from the Rockies game, Dooley had to stop for Arizona iced tea and gummy bears. Go figure.
The Positive: Which reminds me, for those of you who are wondering about the surrogacy, I am indeed growing a little gummy bear human myself. The second transfer worked, and at the 8 week ultrasound it really looked just like a gummy bear. I’m presently between 11 and 12 weeks along, and only want to eat cereal. I actually ate an entire box of Special K (the kind with strawberries) in a single day, wolfing it down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Negative: I can’t bear the smell of cooking chicken and really don’t care for cooked food in general. My pants are all too tight, mostly because I gained ten pounds just from the meds, but soon I’ll be able to blame it on pregnancy belly instead, which I look forward to.
The Positive: I got all the way done with all the fertility shots, patches, and pills a couple weeks ago (thank God), and am feeling pretty normal now. Tired, but that’s not unusual anyhow. At least now that I’m off meds I’m not crying at every ridiculous freaking thing. I was getting choked up watching Disney movies, and even this wildlife clip “the Battle at Kruger”, which involves a bunch of lions fighting over a buffalo calf with some crocodiles, but then the buffalo herd comes back chases them away and the calf actually survives. I also teared up in the checkout line in the grocery store when the checker was talking about her grandkids overseas. I was even so moved singing along with “Devil Went Down to Georgia” on the radio, when Johnny beats the devil in a fiddle duel, that I was too choked up to keep singing. Hormones will do crazy things, especially that unnatural amount of hormones.
So that’s that.