Saturday, December 5, 2009

The LIRR Has Made a Habit Out of Inconveniencing My Life.

Today, for the second time in 2 years, my life was inconvenienced by the Long Island Railroad. Last year, I was trying to get to the city from Bayside to see a Knicks game. I got to the Bayside station only to find it closed because some genius realized he wanted to go west not east and instead of climbing the steps to cross the tracks, decided he could made it faster by jumping into the tracks and running across to hop onto the other platform. In a shocking turn of events, he didn't make it. I had to get a ride to Jamaica and take the train to Penn from there. But at least then I had options.

This evening was a different story. I had to get to Washington Square by 8:00 to see my boyfriend's trio perform. I didn't want to cut it too close so I chose to take the 6:52 train from Bayside to Penn, which was an express so it would get me to the city by 7:15, allowing me plenty of time to take the subway downtown. The train was on time; actually, shockingly, it was 2 minutes early. So I get on the train which is for some reason all retro-looking and makes me feel like I'm lost in the '70s.

We stop at Flushing-Main Street and are on our way to the next station, Woodside, when the conductor comes on the speaker to tell us that there is an obstruction on the tracks in between where we were and Woodside and we'd have to stop for a while and wait for it to be cleared. When he stopped the train, we were "conveniently" at Mets-Willets Point station, which automatically made me think that this was going to be a lot longer of a delay than he was making it out to be. After about five minutes of sitting at the station in silence, he comes back on the speaker and announces that he will opening the doors so we could have "some fresh air" while we wait; the police had the track ahead closed looking for a trespasser. At that moment I was deciding whether my best bet was to wait out this indeterminate delay, or to hop on the 7 train. After a series of phone calls to my dad & boyfriend, I came to the conclusion that I should just wait.

Ten minutes after the doors open, the conductor returns to the speaker once again, mumbles something that no one in my car heard, and that was it. So I asked around to see if anyone had picked up anything to no avail. Then I look out the door and I see the conductor leaving. Great. So we all go outside and someone asks him what he said, to which he replies, "The train in front of ours hit and killed someone in between here and Woodside. We'll be here for at least an hour, probably longer. I'd suggest taking the 7 to the city or calling a cab."

So I'm now thinking, fantastic. I'm stranded at Citi Field because the trains running back east don't stop at this station during the off season, and if I take the subway I'll get to the city far too late to catch the performance and will have wasted my time. Thankfully, my dad volunteered to come get me and drive into Manhattan. Of course, now I'm standing out in the middle of a dark Corona, alone with the except of some creepy Spanish circus going on in the corner of the parking lot off of Roosevelt Avenue.

When I called my dad to ask him to pick me up, he jokingly told me, "don't stand in the shadows." I laughed until I realized how shady it is there at night when there's no game or anything going on. I was originally standing across the street from Citi Field, until I noticed a scary-looking guy there, so I crossed the street and waited inside the gates of the stadium area.

I got bored after a while and decided to just go stand out by the bus stop and wait for my dad. No one was around so I was just leaning on a light pole. I see my dad coming from down the block after about 15 minutes, and I get into the car, glad that I'm not stranded anymore. When I get in, my dad says, "What was up with that guy standing behind you?" I was confused for a minute until I looked up at where I was just standing to see a random Hispanic dude. Needless to say I was sufficiently freaked out and I never want to be in Corona at night ever again.

So my dad is nice enough to drive me to where I needed to go, but of course by the time I had gotten there the concert had already started and they wouldn't let me in until intermission, and I totally missed it.

Figures. Like my life.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Blast From the Past

I wrote this toward the end of the 2008 season, and I think it's funny how it's become completely irrelevant now...

"In the three Yankee games I went to during this past homestand, I was DISGUSTED at the behavior of fans in attendance. From constant boos every time A-Rod came up to bat, to the guy behind me incessantly chanting "I give up on baseball this season. Let's go Giants," the fan support (or lack thereof) was just disgusting.

"First of all, if you're so goddamn fed up with the team, then leave. There's no point in going to a game with the sole intention of hating on the players that you ordinarily call your favorites. If your whole argument is "These guys are all making 20 million dollars a year to hit the ball, they should do it better," then by all means, STOP coming to the games and paying their salaries with your ticket prices. Real fans like me and most of the other season ticket holders don't want you there screaming your nonsense. You're not contributing anything to the atmosphere of the game. You're ruining something that for millions of people a year is supposed to be special. Especially now, with only ten games remaining at the House That Ruth Built. By booing, all you're doing is disrespecting the players who kept that place running for over 85 years. No wonder everyone from out of town is under the impression that New Yorkers are rude and have bad attitudes. From what I can see, they're damn right.

"Second of all, you're all hypocrites. Of course everyone is entitled to his opinion, so if you don't like A-Rod or you're not a Yankee fan, then go ahead and boo. I mean, isn't that what booing is supposed to be reserved for? But if you're a Yankee fan, and last year, when A-Rod was having the best season of his life and tearing the cover off the ball on his way to his third career Most Valuable Player award, you were cheering him on and were captivated by his every move, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING BOOING HIM NOW?! He's still the same person. This man basically single-handedly CARRIED the Yankees on his back last season, and this is how he's repaid? With boos the minute things start to look bad? Did you all honestly expect him to repeat last season this season? That's impossible.

"And one last thing: if 50-60 years from now, if you're sitting around talking to your grandkids about baseball "back in the day," and you're one of these so-called "fans" who has been booing A-Rod lately, don't you DARE have the nerve to tell them about how you witnessed one of the greatest players of all time shatter every offensive record in the book. If you can't support him and the team in this time when things aren't at their best, you don't deserve to have the right to call yourself a fan.

"So go ahead assholes, continue booing your supposed favorite team and favorite players in the most historically significant venue in the history of baseball. Just know that by doing so, you're making yourselves look like arrogant, classless, brainless IDIOTS."

All it took was one month's time - the 2009 postseason - for every single Yankees fan to change his opinion on Alex Rodriguez. From the game-tying home runs, to the out-of-this-world overall batting average, what he did was silence the critics and made everyone forget how much he had struggled in past Octobers. He'll tell you that the World Series Championship was a team effort but anyone who follows the team will tell you that the Yankees couldn't have done it without him. ALDS Game 2, when he hit the game-tying, 2-run home run off of Joe Nathan in the bottom of the ninth inning? The Yankees surely would have lost that game. ALDS Game 3, when he tied the game in Minnesota off of Cliff Lee with a home run off The Baggie? Well, it would have been a lot harder to win that one without him. ALCS Game 2 - bottom of the 10th, game-tying home run off of Angels' closer Brian Fuentes? Yankees were dead in the water before that, looking at a 1-1 series tie and knowing they had to win at least one game in Anaheim to make it back home. How different would the postseason have looked without him? I don't know that the Yankees would have made it out of the first round.