October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
Bark in the Park is quite possibly the coolest dog-related activity in the Atlanta area. Especially considering the fact that my own pet is named after a Braves player. Patrick and I got to experience the fun day with Murphy for the first time on Day One Hundred Eighty.
I was more excited about the prospect of taking Murph to a Braves game than Patrick. You would think that combining two of his favorite things (a ballgame, Murphy, and maybe me as well to make three) would send him into super elation. I think perhaps he was more worried about the dog going hyperactive-crazy around the other pups and us missing the game. But Murphy behaved exceptionally well.
The Braves have two dog-friendly games a year, in the spring and fall. There’s a limit of one dog per person and you have to buy a ticket for your pooch as well. The pass is general admission and attendees with pets are ushered through a specific entrance and the animals are only allowed in certain sections. There are also several sponsors with tents set up either giving out information or free dog-related products.
To balance out the possibility of our dog going nutso around all the other canines (he loves other dogs), Murphy spent the day and evening before Bark in the Park at doggie daycare. It seemed to work extremely well and he passed the majority of the game calmly sitting or laying on one of our laps. There was even a bit of a nap in the fourth inning. He was well-rewarded for good behavior with some doggie ice cream. Talk about a pampered pooch.
Besides sharing one of our favorite activities with our dog (and we really aren’t usually those kind of people), the Braves won, so we figured it would be safe to bring Murphy back next year. I know he’ll be looking forward to the ice cream.
October 4, 2011 § 1 Comment
I was at Turner Field all day for the Braves game portion of the commercial on which I was a Production Assistant. Unlike the tech scout day, there were actually ball players in the stadium. And for the first time I saw at least three of them, up close and personal, as I was running around.
The first player interaction was with Freddie Freeman, the Atlanta Braves rookie first baseman. I was running at a quick clip through the bowels of Turner Field to deliver a script to the field. Freddie was coming in to work for the day. All red faced and out of breath I hollered “Hey Freddie Freeman!” with glee as I jogged past. He returned the favor with a confused wave. I texted Patrick in excitement.
A few minutes later I crossed paths with Tommy Hanson as he walked in from the parking lot. I grinned stupidly as I scooched out of his way. I texted Patrick again.
Finally, at the end of the evening, I walked into Tim Hudson and his family. I was looking down at my phone and speed walking back to the production office, and he was leaving for the evening. I looked up just in time to avoid a collision, another silly grin plastered across my face in recognition. I texted Patrick for a third time, about a third Brave, because I knew he would be pleased. Or just jealous.
I also got locked in the stadium, but meeting those three ball players was far more exciting.
October 4, 2011 § 2 Comments
Day One-Hundred Seventy-Five found me working on another freelance job, this one for a Comcast commercial, shooting at the Georgia Dome and Turner Field. The shoot days weren’t until later in the week, but being the person that gets to drive a minivan of people around the city paid off. I was able to go on the location scout and get a real behind-the-scenes feel for the sports facilities. I walked on Turner Field and on the turf of the Georgia Dome, the same footsteps that the professional athletes take.
And after a lunch with the scouting crew I headed over to the Dome and got a first-hand look at the bright green astro turf.
I didn’t see any of the professional athletes whose footsteps I imagined I was following, but the whole behind-the-scenes experience was cool enough.
May 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
On Day Forty-Three, Patrick and I headed to Los Angeles to visit his sister, Shelley, and her husband, Kenley. They had moved to LA from Columbia, SC earlier this year, so we were excited about seeing them again and having a mini vacation on the sunny left coast. Though I did many new new things on this day, the “official new thing” for Day Forty-Three was to visit Dodger Stadium.
Before we headed out to the ballpark, Shelley picked us up from the airport and we visited In-N-Out burger for some yummy, psuedo-healthy fast food. We went “animal style“, but the food didn’t seem to be as amazing as I remembered from our last California visit several years ago. Perhaps the glow fades a little with each subsequent meal. Maybe I had just eaten too many burgers so far this year.
Our trip was timed to see the hometown Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves. On our way to Dodger Stadium, Shelley made like a long time resident and avoided the highway. We arrived in with plenty of time to spare and were able to take in the atmosphere of Major League Baseball’s third oldest park. The stadium felt very dated (it opened in 1962) or, as Patrick said, “futuristic, but Jetson’s style.” We wondered if the blue seats were the original shade of blue or if they had been muted by 50 years of sun.
It should be noted that every single usher, security guard, and vendor was super nice to us, making sure the out-of-towners in Braves hats felt safe and welcomed. At the Dodger’s home opener earlier in the year a few rowdy home team fans beat a visiting San Francisco Giants fan into a coma. Since then, security has really stepped up at the stadium. It was almost laughable how welcoming the stadium personnel were.
We ate our Dodger Dogs (more than a bit overrated) and watched the Braves get pummeled 6-1 by the home team. So far, Patrick and I had seen the Braves play on the road three times, for three losses. Maybe we should just watch them from Turner Field from now on.
As we walked back to the car, we lost our way a little, or a lot. We were in the correct parking area, or so we assumed, but the beige Toyota Solara was doing well hiding between the rows of vehicles. We wandered amongst cars and other lost pedestrians for about twenty minutes before finding the beloved ride.
Once buckled up, we headed out to grab a drink at a Tudor looking German bar. We drank German beer and questioned the validity of our waitress’s accent. Was it fake? It certainly sounded put-on. Kenley heard her tell another table that she was Irish, but that too was questionable. She definitely sounded American as she stood up to karaoke some Carpenters’ tune with the craggy old German keyboardist.
We ate some German pretzels and potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream (surprisingly tasty combination) and drank a German lager. By this time, it was about two am on the East Coast, so getting back to the Young’s apartment and falling asleep was welcome. It was a very productive and new first day in Los Angeles, but we knew there would be much more in store over the course of the next several days.
April 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
On Day Thirty-One, I went to the 2011 Braves home opening game. I’ve done this plenty before, like every year since I’ve been with Patrick, so I had to think of something new to do at the game. Besides wearing a home made tee of course. I decided I would get a cute little “Braves” or “A” logo airbrushed on my cheek. Marc Crifasi had other ideas and proposed that he would pay to have my face airbrushed, but it would have to be the entire face, and he would get to choose the symbols on each cheek. I thought it could be fun.
Marc originally chose a cheerleader and a USA logo, neither of which I have a problem with, but neither of which really represents going to see an Atlanta Braves baseball to me (sorry, America). So he compromised and turned one into an A for the Atlanta Braves logo.
Patrick was not too thrilled with the whole idea. Actually, he was even slightly opposed to me even getting a small airbrushed token of my fan-ness. I figured he would find the whole episode amusing in a “laugh at Laura” way, but I kind of think he was genuinely embarrassed.
Walking around Turner Field as an adult with your entire face covered in airbrushed red and blue paint is strange. You don’t want to make eye contact with anyone, children or adults, but especially adults. You get comments like, “You must be a real fan” to “A little old for that, eh?” and looks that range from amusement to pity, and even fright. One mother brought her three year old daughter over to me as I sat in my seat and exclaimed, “Oh, look at her face!” I felt like a Circus Freak, here for your entertainment. As the girl turned her head toward me I stuck out my tongue and crossed my eyes, trying to make her laugh. I guess with the face paint she had quite a different reaction and turned back into her mother’s legs in fright. Patrick and Marc rolled out of their chairs with laughter. I had quite possibly made a small child cry.
In the end, the mocking and pity looks didn’t matter. The Braves won. Marc joked that I would have to get my face painted at every game I attended to continue the streak. I hope not. Besides, it was actually the home made fan shirt that gave them the luck.
April 13, 2011 § Leave a comment
I’ve always wanted to wear a snazzy home made tee to a sporting event, as if it would visually represent both my support of a team and my craftiness. So on Day Twenty-Eight, I painted a t-shirt to wear to the Braves 2011 home opener.
I had stored up a few foam tomahawks we had gotten for attending the last regular season home stand. I had thought about using them for some sort of craft project. Maybe in the back of my mind I imagined Patrick and I attending a game in matching crafted tees like a couple of dorks. Actually, I think the whole manually keeping score probably has us covered on the nerd front.
Originally I planned to print a couple of crossing tomahawk silhouettes across the front of the shirt. I quickly altered my plan when I realized that the size of the foam hatchets would probably cause them to lay right across my bosom, one on each boob. Instead I opted for the bottom/side positioning so as not to draw attention to my chest. And instead of stamping the paint on the shirt, I ended up creating a stencil of the outline and spray painting the positive space onto a t-shirt. It was much faster and less messy.
I decided to keep the design simple, just a couple of tomahawks, doing a chop. I did pimp it out with some t-shirt puff paint though. Don’t ask why I had it. Some sort of craft store impulse buy that made me nostalgic for the “#1 Dad sweatshirt” I had made twenty years ago.
So trying not to inhale too many harmful toxins, I brought the tee inside to dry (where there is no pollen), and got pumped about baseball season.