Back to Normalcy

After a 3-month break, the EPL & SPL seasons have started. Finally, I can get back to my normal routine of getting up ridiculously early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to catch games almost half a world away.

I did get to take a little vacation this summer in mid-July. I first went to Denver on the 18th for the MLS All-Star game vs. Celtic, staying at a lovely hostel (though had zero air circulation.. very humid indeed), and finding people to chat with both at the hostel & at the match. It didn’t start until 7pm on the 19th, so I spent much of the day walking around Denver. I ate breakfast at a nearby diner, read the NY Times at Starbucks, tried to visit the US Mint (all tours were unfortunately booked already), and relaxed in another independent coffeehouse with free wifi. The game was really fun, despite alittle rain during the first half. I sat next to two friendly gentleman (possibly an uncle-nephew duo?) who were rooting for both teams (more MLS than Celtic, but like me, a fan of both). Celtic really didn’t play their best (were they trying very hard? I don’t think so), and I was more impressed with the MLS side. David Beckham was there, and he seemed to make a big splash during his halftime interview. I caught him as he was leaving and snapped a few photos while he was signing autographs.

The next day, after spending an hour walking/waiting/riding the bus in the wrong direction (ugh), I finally just called a taxi, and made my flight out to Los Angeles. My long-time friend Matt picked me up from LAX, and I recanted my slightly creepy fight experience, sitting across from a woman who spent most of the flight doing what could only be described as counting the hairs on my head. (Yeah, I don’t know.) After showing me the wonder of LA transportation (aka sitting in traffic for an hour & a half), we went to dinner with Matt’s lovely girlfriend Elle, and just hung around for the night (aka Matt kicked my ass at FIFA ’06).

After some touring of the Hollywood area (Amoeba, Arc Light, etc), and running back to Matt’s work to reprint the tickets (forgot them at the apartment.. I’m a moron), we sat through the traffic to get to the Home Depot Center. Now, I was there to see my beloved Chelsea, but having Beckham there was nice treat. Especially because of the chaos he created. During the second half, you hear screams over on the side of the pitch, and its Becks simply stretching – his butt just happens to be in the air. It was like that all night – anything he did created a moment. When he finally entered the pitch, he was on for about two minutes when he started to limp alittle. Cue me going, “ahhh get ’em off, get ’em off!” and Matt says, “He’s grimacing.” Yeah, he really shouldn’t have played. And as much as ESPN, the MLS, silly Alexei Lalas wanna say they didn’t pressure him to play, you can’t deny that they did. (Hello, who banks on a debut date thats not guarenteed? ESPN, that was your own fault.)

Matt suggested I switch my flight to the one down the road (Burbank), which turned out to be brilliant. I had a great time out there visiting Matt & hanging out with Elle. Definitely still not a fan of the city of Los Angeles. Just not my cup o’ tea, I guess.

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