Beyond the Ivy (and the Pale)
I am not a morning person. Never have been. All my life, I've been the last one up. My college-era roommates used to give me oodles of shit about it, mostly complaining about how THEY were always the ones who had to go to 7-11 for the morning hangover helpers, whether it be Gatorade or a Super Big Gulp (seriously, I used to start my day with 44 oz. of Pepsi; the very thought of it makes me ill).
It's no different now. I was last up both days in Chicago. On Sunday, I slept so late, everyone else had left already. Just me, DP, his wife and the Irish Kid alone in the house. I had to put on pants. But on Saturday, the casa was still a flurry of activity as I aroused my blurry self from the floor of the Irish Kid's room with hardwood-influenced impingements in both shoulders. I had come awake a few times already, of course. It's impossible not to be dislodged from sleep when the so aptly-named Rooster is about. He was up at the crack of dawn, wandering through the halls, talking to the dog, imaginary friends and the ghosts of women past. But he is not a selfish man. Oh no. Before he set off to Dunkin' Donuts, he took my order.
Anyways, everyone was feeling a little under the weather and it was too early for that. We had to make Favre-ian comebacks, minus the dickheadedness. Gatorade. Check. DP had stocked the fridge with G2, which tastes like an oil slick, but does the hydrating job. Advil? Check. Not quite as pain-numbing as Favre's drugs of choice, but solid nonetheless. And coffee and donuts courtesy of The Rooster.
Cagey. AND a giver.
The shower parade began, slowly at first, while DP serenaded us on the piano and told us all we were beautiful. And it was off to the rooftops.
I don't think my limited vocabulary (and I never really thought it was limited until I got hooked on Scramble on Facebook; for instance, what the fuck are "jatos?") can describe the Level 12 Awesomeness of the rooftops beyond Wrigley. We did the bleacher thing last year, which ruled, but is crowded and there's all the up and down to get beers at the concession stands, which eventually led me, Iggy, Daddy and The Hashman to spend the final few innings on the balcony behind the centerfield scoreboard where we couldn't even see the game (and were surprised when it was over since we never heard/saw anybody score).
No such issues on the rooftops. Our tickets paid for all the beer and food. I forgot about the latter for the most part, grubbing one measly (but long and spicy) Italian sausage and completely whiffing on the ribs and burgers. You could sit in the steep bleachers. You could move around on the lower balcony, in the bar, up top in front of the seats. It was like being at a party, which it is. The view of the field was nearly 100%, losing only a bit of left field. The skyline rose beyond the rooftops. The weather was perfect.
I suppose the only drawback was the fear of heights. Three in our party have this issue, in varying degrees. DP and The Rooster were never without a tight grip of something. By my fourth beer, I'd forgotten about the vertigo I first experienced when I'd gotten up there (I stacked my cups all game long to keep track of my imbibement, ending with 9, not bad for 7 innings).
The Rooster got over his mild aversion and worked the entire crowd, or at least the female portion. At one point, some ladies walked by and he called out to them, "Hey! Hey! Stop!" and one of them turned around and sighed, "What, Joaquin?"
I was rocking my new-ish Fernando Torres jersey (Liverpool away, not Spain), which always leads me into conversations with proper football fans, which is a good way to meet fellow fans of the beautiful game, since I hate people. Had several entertaining conversations, including a wide-ranging one with DP's buddy Zach.
The Cubbies (and Marmol, and some sketchy fielding) blew a lead--and our hope for a 7-2 final score--in the 9th, which flattened the atmosphere everywhere but in StB's pants. A couple haters took off before the conclusion (because beer wasn't served on the rooftops after the 7th), but the rest of us stayed until the gripping conclusion (wasn't gripping, more relieving).
Thenceforth, shenanigans (and dancing and worming and something resembling a Russian jig and pizza) ensued.
Speaking of pizza, among things that were "eaten" this weekend, included The Rooster downing 5 oz. of A1 Steak Sauce for $60 and April and Grubby doing Butter Shots. For free.
I leave you now to contemplate that. Look how the sodium-y thickness clings to the side of the glass like shit in a sewer pipe.