Where to begin? It is hard to say because I crammed a lot into a very short period of time. In honor of my self-diagnosed ADD...here is a completely random recap of the weekend.
Let's start with the Hartford Airport...which totally suuuucks! It might be my least favorite airport ever. It wasn't too bad when I got there but leaving was a damn nightmare. From my battle with the ticket counter lady over my departure ticket. She seemed to think that I hadn't paid for my ticket and when I asked how I got to CT in the 1st place if I hadn't paid for my ticket her response was..."Umm that is weird huh?" It eventually got sorted out. Then there was the search that TSA conducted right outside of the gate. Yep that is right...I made it through the 1st security check point with no problems but then had to get searched at the gate....patted down and everything. I am all for security...but this seemed like some serious overkill. Either they don't trust their agents at the first gate or they think that the average traveler can channel Macgyver and make something evil out of novelties sold in the Hudson News Gift Shop. Whatever. Minor inconvenience really except for trying to cram all of my Yankee stuff back into my seriously overstuffed bag.
The actual goal of the trip was easily accomplished. (No not the Jeter the thing...more on him later.) I now have a place to live when I move out to CT so that is one major victory in the world of Millie.
WTF is wrong with this Elmo? Well...I discovered the answer to this question after Elmo agreed to pose for a picture with MC. As I reached to take the picture back, Elmo grabbed me by the wrist and informed me that he was "fucking homeless" and wanted a dollar. In true Millie the Tourist form...I honestly had no cash on me as I had spent most of it on cab fare. Elmo seemed to have no intention of letting go of me and I could already imagine the headlines..."Coastie Tourist beaten by Elmo on Broadway over a buck!" Then I got a bright idea and settled my picture-taking tab with Elmo by giving him my Metrocard. The damn thing wasn't getting me where I wanted anyway so it was no real loss.
Ahhh the Subway...I got lost twice riding it but by the end...I think I finally got the hang of it. In fact...I think that I would have been a pro if I had one more day. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Considering that I watch an obscene amount of the various Law and Order series...I think the fact that I even got on the damn thing is a pretty major accomplishment in itself. I did have a brief moment of panic when some guy wouldn't stop talking to me about why I was in the city and where I was headed via what route...etc....so I jumped off at the next stop and waited for the next one to come along. I am sure that he was probably just being friendly but I had no intention of finding out if I was being paranoid or smart. Good times.
Meeting Andrew...which was awesome. He was very bit as brilliant as I expected him to be and incredibly nice...which I also expected but was pleased to be proven right about. I think that it went well because thanks to blogging, Facebook, and email...we had already gotten the basic stuff out of the way to keep the first face-to-face from being awkward. It was awesome and exciting to talk to someone who speaks "pop culture geek speak" so well. By all rights...Andrew has every right to be cocky considering that he is the greatest mind in pop culture...yet he wasn't. He is probably one of the nicest guys I've met in a long time...and he doesn't flaunt the fact that he is a pop culture genius. In fact...he is quite humble about the whole thing and didn't even mention the WSOPC thing and refused to spend more than a few minutes talking about it after I brought it up. The highlight was when he was getting ready to take his pic with MC and asked which smile I preferred. I can't remember what the 1st option was...but the 2nd choice was "Painfully white geek trying to look cool"...which is most often the look I go for when taking pictures. (In fact...there is only one person who has ever seen the other Millie look used in pictures and has already deleted them.) But I digress...I enjoyed meeting Andrew and I am even more of the guy now that I have meet him in person. Birds of feather indeed.
The train to NYC...what an experience that was. Every now and then I have a completely boneheaded moment and make an outright foolish choice that I should have known better than to do. In this case...it was deviating from the plan. My plan was to take the damn train from New Haven to Grand Central Station and then take the Subway to Yankee Stadium. But no...I had to be a dumb ass and get off at the 1st stop. For the record...it was the 100 or so other fans who got off at that stop that convinced me that it was a good idea. It wasn't and I ended up wandering the streets of Harlem by myself. The upside of this situation was that I was able to make good on my promise to OSCS S and hail a cab and tell the driver to get me somewhere quick. He got me to Yankee Stadium in like 5 mins which was awesome! Granted I was only there for all of three minutes but Harlem wasn't nearly as scary as I had expected.
Yankee Stadium...it is hard to put the experience into words. I have seen it at least a half dozen times before but something about this time made it special. Probably because I doubt that I will see it again. But as I walked up and saw those blue letters...I had my 1st emotional moment of the day as I paused for a moment in awe. I quickly regained my composure and snapped the 1st picture of MC at Yankee Stadium.
I was actually the 3rd person in my line to get into the game which was kind of cool...or kind of lame depending on who you ask. The awesome part of it was that it was umbrella day at the stadium and got a cool "Final Season" umbrella. I booked it over to Monument Park but was not able to get in because so many other people had the same idea and they closed the line. Oh well. So I went to field for Yankee batting practice. I talked my way down to the front row seats in order to get some good pictures....and it was absolutely overwhelming.
I did make my second marriage proposal to Derek Jeter. Once again...he didn't say yes but he didn't say no...so I consider it to be a victory. Never mind that unlike the 1st time I asked him...I am not certain that he heard me this time. Either way...the important thing is that he still hasn't said no which means there is a still a chance! Let there be no doubt that Derek was painfully good looking in person. I was maybe ten feet away from him and the only thing that stopped me from well...you know...was the extremely large security guard who was eyeing all of us fans very closely.
Then came A-Rod. It is no secret that I have had my issues with A-Rod in the past...and I never expected that I would ever make my peace with him. Yet as he walked over to start signing autographs...something changed. A-Rod was standing directly in front of me...if I would have reached up...I could have touched him...yet I couldn't move. I couldn't move to get my camera or pen...all I could was stare at him. I am not sure what it was...but I was star-struck. (Before you judge...consider that he is the greatest player in baseball at the moment...standing there in pinstripes.) Then he smiled and suddenly everything was different. It wasn't even like he smiled at me...he just smiled at his fans...and they were smiling back. I stood there like a dumb ass for the next few minutes as he signed baseballs and programs...and kept staring at him as he walked back to his teammates. As I saw him start joking with Robinson Cano...I realized that my hatred for him died the moment I saw him smile. Sure he makes more money than any man should...and all of the things that made me hate him some much before are still real reasons for concern...but the hatred is gone. In spite of everything...that smile healed all. I saw him as man who loves what he does and God bless him...he is damn good at it. The smile was genuine and something about that melted my heart for the guy. By the time I left the stadium...I walked out with A-Rod baseball bracelet among my tons of Yankee merchandise. It wasn't until the train ride home that I realized that I should have gotten a picture of him with the MC pic. Damn it all. But just to be clear...In spite of my forgiveness of A-Rod...my love for Jeter is as strong as ever. He is damn amazing!
Finally...the last thing part of the trip that is worth mentioning is my issue with McDonalds. By in all...McDonald's sucks. Yet I found myself eating it 3 times during the weekend for one reason...McD's Sweet Tea. I LOVE sweet tea and it is damn impossible to find in Seattle...yet on the east coast you can get at the McDonald's drive-thru. How unfair is that??? And that is just one of the many reasons why I cannot wait until I move either permanently!