Tag Archives: California

Taking The Granddaddy For Granted

Five to six days a week I find myself standing in the shadow of the Rose Bowl and I stare blankly at its pillars and columns as I stretch my muscles before and after I run. It’s “America’s Stadium” yet feeling numb to the history and legacy that is The Rose Bowl almost makes me feel un-American.

Every new year brings on the Rose Bowl Game and it’s something that I have always looked forward to. I went because I enjoy watching football and going to the game. I never truly cared who was playing. This feeling enhanced once I got to college and discovered that my school cut football in 1992, long before I got there, even though they had won an Orange Bowl (1950) and two Sugar Bowls (1937,1938)…but that’s another story for another time.

IMG_2938

If I couldn’t find someone who had tickets I would end up going down to the stadium, cash in hand, and procure my tickets through another vendor – aka scalp. I was always successful. Up until yesterday’s game I had only missed one Rose Bowl game since 1999 and that was the 2006 USC v. Texas BCS National Championship. I chose not to go this year because I financially couldn’t. Not having a real full-time job doesn’t help.

But it was also due to game fatigue.

I decided I would rather spend the day in my pajamas, where the line for the concessions and restroom were much shorter and I didn’t have to spend any money. As it turns out, I missed witnessing a blow out. That made me feel better about my decision to stay home.

IMG_1226

New Year’s Day was all about the Game for me. I couldn’t care less about the Rose Parade. I wanted to watch football. Every year people flock to Pasadena from all over the country and world for this game. They come to see their teams compete in one of the greatest venues in all of sports. Throughout the years I have seen Michigan and Wisconsin lose multiple Rose Bowl’s in a row, Hall of Fame coaches, blow outs (Oklahoma-Washington St) and close games (Oregon-Wisconsin), a parade of Heisman Trophy winners, and a National Champion crowned in The University of Miami.

But it doesn’t mean much to me.

I first noticed this apathy after Ohio St beat Oregon in 2010. I was standing out in front of the stadium in my green Nike sweatshirt and apparently I looked sad enough to be consoled by a few Buckeye fans. I smiled politely, but didn’t tell them I have only been to the state of Oregon once. I then overheard a pair of them say to one another “We just won the Rose Bowl!” It was then that I looked up at the neon “Rose Bowl” sign, lit up in the twilight of that January 1st, and reflected that this place, this game, meant so much more than the value I placed on it. Maybe this can be traced to the fact that my university doesn’t have a football team so I am forced to look elsewhere to get my pigskin fix. Or maybe I have been exposed to the Rose Bowl Game for so long that it has lost it’s meaning.

I honestly don’t know.

IMG_2945

To some it’s their Mecca. To me it is just a stadium that I run around to stay fit and train for races.

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Into the Southern Hemisphere

As I stood in the line for Qantas (keep in mind this was 2007, so I remember the gist of everything but not certain details) , I remember thinking “this is going to be a very long flight”. Certainly the longest flight I had ever been on up to that point in my life. Up until that roughly 15-hour flight the longest flight I had ever been on was an 8-hour ride to Spain in the Summer of 2004, it was also the only other time I had left the United States and here I was about to venture off to the other side of the world, literally, and be the farthest away from home I had ever been. Luckily, the flights to Australia generally take off at midnight from Los Angeles which can allow an easier transition to the time change because by the time you land you’ve lost two days. I remember trying to stay awake as long as I could then just passing out and, when I woke up, watching some movies and TV shows until we landed.

Now being a California guy I enjoy wearing shorts year round but the cold doesn’t get to me like most Californians. When it dips below 60 I see people bring out their scarves and mittens and beanies. I just wear my shorts, a sweatshirt and most likely sandals. This happens other places I go too. If I can wear shorts, I will. The cold doesn’t really bother me. I bring this up because I left the USA in July and this being the Southern Hemisphere, it was winter so it was cooler/cold but not to the point where I needed to layer up. It was a bit of a shock stepping out onto the cool street and knowing that it was July but I acclimated quickly.

I should note that one of my companions, who turned out to be one my good friends on this trip – I called him “T” on account of our affinity for the movie Men In Black, lost his luggage – rather the airline lost his luggage and sent it to Tahiti or someplace so he was stuck wearing the same clothes for what I think amounted to a week and a half, maybe two weeks. He had a good sense of humour about it and, still, seven years later I still bring it up and laugh about it. He literally washed his socks, boxers, and shirt every night in the sink with soap & water. It also taught me to always travel with a spare change of socks, shirt and boxers in my carry-on. So for that T, I thank you.

To help all of us newcomers to the country get acclimated to the time change we stayed out in the small beach resort town of Sorrento which is about and hour and a half south of Melbourne. Why did we stay out here? I have no idea, but I was not going to complain given the scenery. One of the first things I remember doing after putting down my bags was heading down to the beach and exploring the area.

IMG_0149

IMG_0148

After exploring the coast for a bit and examining the tide pools and watching the crashing waves for a while I believe it was time to head back and partake in the boring part of why we were all there: orientation. What a great way to end the day huh? Sitting down… hearing about acceptable behaviour, social customs, pronunciation of words and things of a similar nature being discussed in great detail…Oh, and advice/guidelines for us so that we would not end up in jail or worse, deported. Don’t worry, that didn’t happen. It was boring and informative, but it sure put me in the mood to sleep, that’s for sure. It made for an easy transition into Australian life.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,