Where was I? Ah. Getting lost and separated and all that. All righty.
We met up at the hotel again and divided into groups of seven- which was perfect, because the group of seven I started off in at the museum grouped up again and that just worked out really well. To recap- the Seven were Becca, Rose, Mancub, Elise, Renee, SongWeaver, and me. All people I know pretty well (except Mancub, I guess, but what can you do) and am comfortable around (once again...Mancub's hanging around the edge of comfort but he's a Safe Person so it works. I'm learning that there's a big difference between Safe and Comfortable and they don't necessarily coincide.).
Because seven is the magic number, obviously. Music Man explained that we needed to be in groups of seven because our next project was Taking the Subway To A Baseball Game.
I listened and balanced a copy of Les Miserables (by Victor Hugo) on my head because I'm not hugely into sports. I can follow baseball better than football, but it's still kind of a take it or leave it thing for me.
The Cubs were playing the Rockies at 1:20, so we had some time to get organized. One person from each group held the subway card, which was like a voucher that we each had to swipe in order to get down into the terminal. Elise held the card and we swiped our way through, and just as we got down the steps a train (subway? bus? is it all interchangeable?) pulled in and stopped.
Apparently we got on at a really full stop.
The group of us stood there for a second on the platform because obviously it was too full for all of us to squeeze on there at once, so the question was do we get on or not.
Leave it to Becca to make a split-second decision. It took all of three seconds for her to latch on to my arm and haul me into the car on SW's heels.
It took me all of a minute to realize we'd left some of our people behind.
And I didn't know which stop we needed.
I'd never been on public transportation before, let alone a subway, and I was terrified. My brain kicked into overdrive, demanding information like what stop do we need, how far is it, what if we get lost, where is everybody else, and the ever-common (in my mind at least) will there be food when we get there?
I didn't have any answers. And the guy next to me was wearing a little too much cologne and standing a little too close to me and he looked like a Ten Man from The Mysterious Benedict Society, what with his briefcase and suit and mustache. Visions of razor-sharp pencils danced behind my eyes and I clung to my pole a little tighter.
Turns out there's a reason why you hang on in the subway. Those rubber straps and metal poles? They're there for a reason. About two minutes after we boarded, the crazy contraption acted like we were under fire, twisting and jolting and rocking most deviously. I'm pretty sure the driver was trying to terrify us right out of the car.
But all the jolting did us some good- I turned my head just in time to spot a friendly face- Mrs Wood, who was with us because her son was just in a car accident and suffered some pretty severe injuries that made bus trips a bad idea. She drove him up separately and then followed us all over Chicago and was generally awesome.
And she had answers. She knew how many stops we needed and what it was called and as long as she was there, a real bona-fide grownup, we couldn't get lost. Not too lost, anyway.
All in all we rode the subway for...oh I don't know. Fifteen, twenty minutes? It was a blast once I found Mrs Wood and SW. Even Mr Ten Man seemed friendlier, smiling faintly as he got off at his stop.
Upon arriving at the field, SW was in a bit of a frenzy, informing us that Mancub and Elise and Renee had been texting her and they were lost or some such rot. We disembarked in panic mode, ready to tear the city apart to find them...and they waved and smiled from the platform.
Stinkers. They'd known where they were all the time and just taken the opportunity to mess with us.
It seemed, however, that they'd sort of lost me, or thought they had. I'd been with Mrs Wood and SW the whole time, but Mancub and Elise didn't know that, and they're sort of the parent figures in our group. Well, Elise is like the mom, and Mancub has dubbed himself "the crazy uncle that takes care of you all" so I guess they sort of wanted to know where all the rest of us were all the time. It was determined that Elise would walk in front and Mancub in back, and no one, particularly me, was allowed behind him or in front of Elise.
They said that I don't handle well if there's a possibility of getting lost.
I say hey, y'all want to take care of me you can just go right ahead and do it. I'm one of those needy kids that likes to be looked after and taken care of and stuff. I don't mind being told what to do if it's because somebody's taking care of me.
So I stayed in the middle of them.
Except a couple of times, when I got distracted looking at something else and started walking slower. Then a slight shove between my shoulder blades or direction from Mancub reminded me to pay more attention to the people and less to the goings-on. But I didn't get lost, and I have friends that made sure of that, and it was really pretty okay. At that point I sort of switched into 'hey I know you, you're my friend, I feel safe with you' mode.
We straggled along through security and the crowds of people into the stadium and up to our seats. We were waaaay back by right field and pretty high up so to my inexperienced eye it seemed like pretty good seats. We all squeezed in together- SW at the end of the back row, then maybe Renee and Rose and Becca, I think, and then Elise, and me, and Mancub, with Becca and Rose in front of us, if I remember properly. If that's not the right order I'm sorry but it probably isn't super important.
|There's us, or some of us, anyway. I actually really like this. Except I forgot to wave, because I'm awesome and awkward like that.|
|This was my view of the field. It's big!!|
|SW snapped this... I don't even know. I just don't know. I don't want to know.|
So there's the game and some silly people.
Apparently following baseball at home on the telly and following baseball live at Wrigley Field are two different things. I can track with ya just fine at home, when the lovely cameramen are carefully directing my glance and showing me where to look.
Not so much in real life. I'm too easily distracted. Example:
Me: (watching the outfielders shift feet and adjust their hats)
Me: wait what?
Mancub: A run, they got a run!!
Me: oh. crap. I missed it.
Over and over and over and over. I can't seem to keep my focus on the little white blur for very long, especially after the hit. Then I'm just totally lost.
But Mancub reminds me in many ways of Captain Dad. One of those ways is his ability to explain everything down to a science to anyone who asks. I got more baseball information poured into my right ear than I have in all the rest of my life. Outfield, center field, right field, left field, infield, pitch. Batter's box. (I still struggle with that. There is no freaking box!!) Et cetera.
I also learned about why the Windy City is called the Windy City: because it's actually windy.
Probably rivals Nowhere windy.
At first I wasn't cold up there, so Elise wrapped up in my coat and the flag blanket that Squirt sewed for me. The sun occasionally bounced off my back and my sweater was warm, and hello, I'm from Nowhere so honestly I can handle wind.
Then it got cold.
It seems that being from Nowhere does not exempt you from being affected by the wind.
And when I get cold, it's violent.
Full-body shakes and teeth clacking and all that jazz.
"Are you cold?" Elise asked.
"I'm fine, it'll warm up when the wind dies down."
"The wind doesn't die down here," Mancub butted in. "That's why it's called the Windy City."
"It has to die down eventually, it can't keep blowing forever. Besides, we're from Nowhere; we can handle the wind."
"Yeah, if you're smart about it. Do you want your coat back?" (Elise again)
"Nah, I'm okay. You keep it."
Two minutes later, Mancub is stripping his coat off and handing it to Elise, who's handing me my coat, because I declined Mancub's (on principle of... I don't know. Borrowing coats from guys is... I don't know. More friendly than I thought we were at the time. Feeling a tad guilty writing this though because dang that was actually a really sweet thing to do...ah well. Moving on.). So she's wearing his coat and I'm wearing mine and we're starting to get warm and now it's his turn to shiver.
Fortunately, the girl next to him had brought a big blanket, so they shared.
It was also a Disney princess blanket.
Mancub, squirreled up under a princess blanket. Now there's a sight. Kudos to SW for snapping a picture or I don't think I could convince you all that it really happened. She texted it to me with the caption: Mancub wants you to be a Disney princess!
I replied, "Mancub wants my fist in his windpipe." Apparently I was aggravated or uncomfortable at the time but I don't remember why.
We left the game at the bottom of the eighth, Rockies up 4-1. I think. Or maybe 5-2. They were ahead. I know that for sure because Mancub is a Rockies dude and every time they scored he would whoop and holler and shout like it was the apocalypse or something.
That happened a lot. I got a pretty even mixture of wild, frenzied rejoicing and frustrated swearing. Could have lived without the latter half, but what can you do? I didn't have any duct tape.
All I can say is, it was fun. It was really fun. I barely even touched my book the whole time (though I heard that Dar'win barely looked up from his...way to put me to shame there, Dar).
We ate supper...somewhere... I think... I don't remember where. I'll double check with my sources and edit this bit. After supper it was off to rehearsal again for another night of Stroope, which was equally fantastic as the first. This time he was speeching at us about all the famous people who have performed at the Chicago Symphonic Hall, rattling off a bunch of composers and conductors and performers that I've never heard of when all of a sudden he's saying, "And then tomorrow, you- yes, you, tomorrow, on April 16th- is it really tax day? What even- you, tomorrow, you get to make history and sing in the Chicago Symphonic Hall and it's going to be great! No really, is it actually tax day?"
We all just about busted a gut laughing. And he laughed too! His sense of humor is the best.
We got back to the hotel and headed for bed...but first, a little fun. While we were at the tower, Mancub had requested that Renee hang onto his phone since she had a purse and he didn't. So she's hanging on to it for him most dutifully, and then she's deciding to put my number in there, why I don't know but she did. Then that got her thinking and she and Elise thought it would be fun if we all just alternately called him that night, like all in a row. Just for kicks, I guess.
So we're in the hotel and Renee calls him.
It goes to voicemail.
Wise move, Mancub.
His voicemail sounds like a four year old girl. Legit.
So SW calls him.
He answers. Maybe because he figured if Renee called him at ten thirty PM it might be a prank but if she called him and then ten seconds later, SongWeaver called him, something might be wrong. And he showed us (or at least me) repeatedly that we're his people and if anybody's going to mess with us they're going to fight him (no offense, Mancub, but that wouldn't be a very long fight. It's the thought that counts.) so I'm just going to roll with that because it sounds all warm and fuzzy and gentlemanly and I'm all for that.
Anyway. He answered.
"Who's on your voicemail?"
"I'm not telling you."
"Please? Who's on your voicemail?"
"I said I'm not telling you."
Then Becca showed up and started chatting about girl stuff (I don't know if she just didn't know he was on speaker or if she really didn't care...knowing Becca I'd put my money on the latter) and it got really quiet on his end. "Okay I'm just going to hang up now," he interrupted finally.
And he did.
Another wise move, Mancub.
We all just kind of burst out laughing, them probably because he'd had to listen to all that and me because what the heck we just called a random guy twice in a row for no reason and that might be the weirdest thing I've ever done.
And it was late.
And we were tired.
And breakfast was at 6:30 the next morning, and then we were going to perform!!!
So sleep sounded good.
Not so much snuggling, but when your best friend is a snuggler, you do your best.
I tried, SW. I really tried. I love you.
And then sleep happened...for a little too long...
But we'll discuss that tomorrow. Day 2 complete.
I have a little editing to do on this one yet, so bear with me. Hitting publish in 5...4...3...2...