Monday, September 10, 2007
I got home from Baltimore at around midnight last night, and slept, to put it kindly, like crap. After working in the office for most of the day, I took a quick power nap so I could be ready for the Schilling/Kazmir match up tonight.
Matt and Ted's excellent adventure went well, and we got to Baltimore relatively unscathed: the only blip on the trip up was that we somehow ended up at the downtown Washington D.C. bus station. Don't ask me: HE was driving. All I know is we nervously cracked "Vacation" jokes until we found our way back to I295N.
We pulled up to the Sheraton downtown about 2, where Mattie dropped me off to meet up with some of the other commenter's at the SG board for a get together at Shula's Grille, with the reservations having been secured by citizenhbg.
You know how you get nervous meeting someone you've talked to for a long time, but have never met in person? Now, multiply that by a dozen and you sort of get how I felt as I walked in the door. Beating me to the table were the aforementioned citizen, Kelly, Cyn, kdb, and of course, Tex.
After about 3 minutes my nerves faded and I spent the next few hours getting to meet some really great people. Citizen is one of the elder statesman at SG, but you'd never know it: truly a gentleman if I've ever met one. Kelly was exactly as she'd been described: funny, engaging, and within 5 minutes made me feel like I'd known her for the past 20 years. Other than being jealous of her camera, I can't think of a negative thing about her.
Cyn was quiet at first, and I was hesitant initially to strike up a conversation. I'm glad we did though, as we had a great talk about Dads and daughters, blogs (thanks for the help, Cyn) and baseball. KDB is actually Kurt Busiek, who has written comic books all his adult life: I hunted through some of ours that Mom had saved over the years, and sure enough, there he was, listed as "head writer" in several of them. Other than skipping out without paying his bill, he was great! He'd actually brought copies of his graphic novels for all of us, and graciously signed books for each of us.
What can I say about my adopted sister Tex? Well, for one, if you can't laugh in the presence of this woman, you've got serious issues. An infectious laugh, a sweet Texas drawl, and enough personality to light up a room, it was an honor to finally get to meet her.
Arriving a little later were BB, his wife DB, and brother AB: I didn't get to talk much with them, but came away feeling here are 3 people who enjoy life, don't sweat the small stuff, and especially in BB's case, the kind of guy I'd want to walk into a dark alley with on MY side. Also getting there a bit late were Rob and JD: a nicer couple you couldn't hope to meet. To have never met them, they made me feel like I'd known them for years in a matter of minutes. They also sent me multiple text messages during the game, including the one at 8:30 Saturday night:
GET IN THE CAR!
Last, but not least, are candaon and hayes: hayes immediately came in, gave hugs all around, and started rearranging all the glasses, silverware, and napkins on our end of the table while candaon made the rounds. As much as Tex may be my adopted sister, candaon could very well be my brother from another mother: don't know if I've made a friend as quick as I made one with him. Another plus is we had a contest to see who was the taller lil' fella: and I'm happy to announce I won! Together, hayes and c make the world a brighter place.
I have no clue what they thought of me: all I know is I've never been more happy to have been so wrong. There was no way, in my mind, that all these people would be like they are online: no way they could be that nice, funny, or welcoming. And they weren't.
They were even better.
In addition to the meet up, Matt and I spent Saturday night with my buddy Randy and his great family: thanks to Wendy for the Sunday morning breakfast, and to both of them for the free place to stay. And as far as our trips to Baltimore have gone, this one was the best of so far: we got to see Daisuke pitch (not well, but we saw him) on Sat. night, and we saw Beckett win number 18 on Sunday, with Pap getting the save.
I'm already looking forward to next year little brother.