One Year: We’re Gonna Win!

Last year on this day, I spent most of the afternoon texting my friends in the City, trying to make plans for where to watch Game Five of the World Series. The San Francisco Giants had a chance to win it all in Texas that night. If they lost, they’d come back to AT&T Park and (we were sure) win in front of the home crowd. I was torn because I wanted my boys to win on their home turf, but more than that, I just wanted them to WIN! The San Francisco Giants had never won a World Series (the franchise had last won in 1954 when the team was in New York) and I desperately wanted it to happen during my first season back in San Francisco.

Late that afternoon, it was announced that the game would be broadcast on a jumbo screen outside City Hall. I planned to meet up with my friends G and A to watch the game in Civic Center plaza with thousands of our closest friends. After work, I hopped a bus downtown and the crowd was already pretty large. I was able to find A on a small blanket with two of her friends and I squeezed into the small spaced the saved for me. The plaza continued to fill up, watching every pitch with held breath and chanting during every commercial break. When the sun finally went down and cooled things off, City Hall was lit up orange, the way it had been every day since the Giants had made the playoffs.

Even a year later, I can still remember Edgar Renteria’s three-run home run in the top of the seventh. The crowd went crazy and as we settled down to continue watching the game, I whispered to myself “We’re gonna win!” My stomach was in knots as the outs kept coming and the Giants stayed in the lead. Tim Lincecum pitched through 8 beautiful innings and Brian Wilson was up to close in the bottom of the ninth. I think we ended up standing through the entire bottom of the inning, counting every strike, cheering each out.

There were about 10,000 people in Civic Center Plaza and when the last out came, the place just erupted. As Buster Posey jumped on Brian Wilson and the entire dugout emptied onto the field, I was jumping around, hugging A, crying, and high-fiving everyone around me. It seemed too good to be true, but there we were – the San Francisco Giants were World Champions and the City was ecstatic!

The Giants twitter feed today had a lot of videos and memories from a year ago, stirring up all kinds of emotions. As I tried to get my thoughts together for this post, I wanted to capture the excitement, shock and delight that exited with that final out. However, unless you were there, on the grass in the dark as the jumbo screen provided the only light, it’s difficult to describe what that moment felt like. So I leave you with my favorite video of that night. I still get chills as I watch it get darker and know what happens next.

Together, we are Giant.

9/11: Ten Years Later, I Can Still Feel It

As we approach the 10-year anniversary of 9/11/01, everyone is telling their story of where they were, who they were with and what they went through that day. It’s something I’ve reflected on in the past, but with the round number anniversary, I feel compelled to share my day as well. I wasn’t there, I didn’t lose anyone and nothing happened to me. But at the same time, like many people that day, my whole world changed.

In September 2001, I was 20 years old and I had just moved into my first “real” apartment in Santa Monica, CA. I was still looking for a part-time job, having made the decision to permanently relocate to Los Angeles from DC after concluding my summer internship at The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn. And I was taking 12 units at Santa Monica College, scheduling my classes for Monday, Wednesday, Friday, so I would have two whole days to work as well as Wednesday and Friday afternoons. I was primarily hanging out with my friend KB (name changed for use on the Internet), who was working at hotel in Beverly Hills. We had met at Kilborn and we were both looking for that next entertainment job.

On September 9th, he returned from a week-long trip to New York, job hunting, and we both experienced our first California earthquake. On September 10th, I spent the day in classes and KB worked the day shift at the hotel. On Tuesday, September 11th, I didn’t have class and I didn’t have a job yet, so I had planned to sleep in before tackling some homework and looking for more jobs to apply for.

Around 6am, my house phone rang. I muttered about the phone waking me up on a day I could sleep in, especially when the caller ID said “Unknown Caller.” It was my dad, calling from his business trip in the Dominican Republic, and he sounded like he had been crying. Continue reading

I blame the head injury

Yesterday, I was all set to write a long post about my terrible experience at Wednesday night’s Giants game. Unfortunately, combining Firefighter Appreciation Night and Singles Night didn’t actually work as well as I’d thought. Turns out drunk idiots are drunk idiots whether they are firefighters from Redding or just spectacular human beings from Chico. And though I appreciated that at times there were upwards of six firefighters dealing with the spectacular drunk idiot from Chico, I did NOT appreciate when one of their helmets fell off and hit me in the head.

But then this morning, I read this story about the fan who died last night after falling while trying to catch a practice ball. And suddenly the lump on the top of my head didn’t seem so bad. That fan was just trying to watch a baseball game last night too and he lost his life.

So, sitting in the bleachers goes on the Murtaugh list and I live to buy tickets to my next game – LGTB night! Can’t wait for my LGTB Giants hat (fingers crossed for rainbow glitter to be involved somehow!) and a much more civilized evening. In View Reserve.