Monday, July 21, 2008

"I've changed my mind about them...I don't think they're going to be historically bad anymore."

...says an AL executive about the Baltimore Orioles, during an interview on "The Colbert Report".

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Another year, another MKS, Inc. I/O Kick-off Event at Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD.
This year, I brought along "The Nicks" (later to be accidentally - in a drunken outburst, or maybe not - changed to "The Dicks") - Nick Haynor and Nick "Kittens" Smith came along to keep me company and enjoy the day with me and my dad and employees of the InterOperability division of MKS. We boarded the bus at about 12 o'clock in the afternoon to head up to Baltimore's gorgeous inner harbor for lunch and to hang out until the game, which began at 7:05 that evening. The bus ride included two coolers full of cold sodas, water and beer, a cardboard box full of individual packages of chips, and 20 soon-to-be-rowdy, excited to have the day off work employees of my dad, my dad, myself, "the Nicks", and Caitlin (GMU student, daughter of Rick - friend and co-worker of Dad).

When we arrived at the inner harbor, the four of us (myself, Caitlin, and "the Nicks") strolled around a bit along the water, siked ourselves up to get a dragon-shaped paddleboat after lunch to spend our afternoon in, and found our way to the M&S Grill for lunch with the MKS crew. After a delicious, yet hot, outdoor lunch with friendly conversation going around the table, we headed out to fetch our dragon boat. When we got to the boathouse, we read the disappointing news: Dragon boats, 3 Adults, 1 Child max. Seeing as how there were 4 of us adults, we skipped the dragon boat and headed for ESPN Zone, where we'd hang for the majority of our down-time prior to the game.

We bought a card to play games with, and Nick and I left Kittens and Caitlin at the air hockey table to go find some beer. When we had finally navigated past the 3 closed bars to find the only one that was open, we learned that they had a very nice beer selection. We each ordered a 25 oz. mug of Magic Hat #9, and headed proudly back upstairs, with our heavy, 6 lb glass mugs of beer. Kittens and Caitlin had strayed from the air hockey table, so we had to search for them a little. We played all sorts of games, from the wave-runner (4-person) race to virtual ping-pong, to hockey, to white water rafting, to basketball. When we'd run out of points on the card (used to play the games), we moved to the bar to finish those beers, and on to the next activity.

We didn't have much time left before our suite opened at the stadium, so we walked across the street to do some shopping, and in the meantime, got assaulted by an "almost homeless" couple. They asked us to buy them a soda and sandwich to share from the McDonald's around the corner. We walked and talked with them for a while, and then realizing that there was no McDonald's in sight, I gave them $8 and said "good luck".
We did our shopping at Filene's Basement and headed back towards the harbor to meet up with Rick and Wendy, to walk to the stadium.

The Orioles played the Detroit Tigers at 7:05. We got to the suite at about 5:45, and watched the Tigers warm up, much to Kittens' delight (he is a big Detroit fan). The suite was packed with appetizers and drinks when we got there, later to be replaced by a buffet dinner including crabcakes, sliders, and shrimp (which weren't discovered until we were leaving). In the box to the right of us, there was a group of people (probably in their 30s) who dared their friend Dave to walk down through the stands to an older (as in 70's or 80's maybe) woman who was sitting alone and keeping score. When he went down and starting talking to her, Dave's friends in the suite beside us began heckling: "Gimme a D - D!, Gimme an A - A!, Gimme a V - V!, Gimme an E- E! What's that spell? Dave!" Dave won the bet...I think. The team's mascot, Oriole bird made an appearance in the next box over; the box with Dave and his friends. It was a great game which ended poorly for the O's, as the Tigers took the lead in the 6th and the Orioles just couldn't make it back. Final score 6-5, Detroit. Towards the end of the game, in a nice touch, a tray of chocolates was brought to our seats to give us a sweet ending to our meal and day.

We boarded the bus again post game, to head back to the office, and the Hyatt hotel, where Wendy was having a slumber party in her room for all the girls at the game. The Nicks and I went home.

It was a great day, a fun escape from the monotony of the middle of the week, and a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and new.

No comments: