May 30, 2011
May 29, 2011
Just a few shots from our Saturday. We decided to drop our usual stop into the Big XXII baseball tournament, so it was a pretty laid back day, just hanging out at the rodeo most of the day, plus a new discovery for dinner. We lucked into a place called the Republic Gastropub that not only had a great beer selection (and not 3.2 beer!), but also great food in even better architecture. It may not have been Simmzy's, but it's definitely a new favorite in Oklahoma City. And then of course we topped the night off with a few beers out with friends and the rodeo crowd. Today holds a bit more of the same in store, so off to get going on that: the traditional rodeo, rinse, repeat.
Posted by Jon Berry at 9:39 AM
May 28, 2011
I'm on my Memorial Day Weekend ritual road trip. I flew to Dallas on Thursday and roadtripped with my pal Myron (and his dog Earnest) yesterday up to Oklahoma City for the Great Plains Regional Rodeo. I think this is my 16th year making the trip. We took a little detour this year to discover the village of Muenster, Texas - a little town in the middle of nowhere with a bit of a German theme going on, it made for a fun (and tasty) stop. We ventured on and made another stop that has become tradition - the Fried Pies place at exit 51 in Oklahoma. I still think they're the best fried pies I've had anywhere. Then finally we made it into Oklahoma City and went out for a few beers and run-ins with old friends later that night to kick off the rodeo. Before coming I was starting to think this trip was becoming a bit of a rut; now I think I'm glad I'm in it.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:20 AM
May 23, 2011
If you're sick of all the soccer game posts, you can take heart in the news that there is a big break coming soon in home games. But first you have to deal with a couple more posts about em. Saturday was the SuperClasico - a first for me, and something hard to even explain. ChivasUSA is another team that also plays at the Home Depot Center (we call em the renters) and that feeds into a rivalry with the LA Galaxy that I can't come up with an equivalent to. (Maybe imagine the Cubs and Sox playing in the same stadium? And yes, chivas means goats. Really.) The strangest thing about it is that we were the "away" team, meaning we were watching others in our normal seats or tailgate sections; someone else was in our home even though we were still allowed in. It felt weird. Years past have apparently not been the most friendly of rivalries, we had lots of warnings and safety tips to be aware of, and it really made you wonder what to expect. Luckily, as far as I know, it has at least moved to a respectful rivalry and none of those warnings were necessary. But also because of that, the SuperClasico is also the rare time when Angel City Brigade and the LA Riot Squad (the other Galaxy Supporters Group) join forces and tailgate together, march into the stadium together (escorted), and sit together inside. The game was a blast. LA won. One of my favorite players scored and continued to grow into his role on the team. And the team cemented 3 more points in the standings. But best of all, despite just being a small corner of the stadium, our impact was loud and unavoidable. Being a part of the Brigade has turned out to be far more fun and addicting that I ever expected. It's the fan experience I always hoped for in following different sports teams, but only could find in playoff and championship games, but with an added sense of family. That means the connection doesn't end when the game does. I finally found it. I love my ACB.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:10 PM
May 22, 2011
A gallery of a few shots from Long Beach today... And with the gallery, like today, I'm coming out of hibernation a bit. That cold/flu stuff I mentioned a couple weeks ago never completely went away. The past week it was mostly just a cough, but it really wasn't going away. At the same time, I've been in crunch mode for one of the fastest turnaround projects I've done in a long time, so all my time and energy was devoted to that. Between that and being sick, I didn't leave the house a lot. By Friday, the project was almost wrapped, and I also finally went to the doctor, so the cough is nearly gone and I'm coming out of my hibernation cloud now. I'm not going to apologize for not posting for so long (only because I've made that apology too many times before), but I figure its time for a note about the evolution of the blog. The short of it is that I'm not planning to end it, though it often crosses my mind. When I started it 5 1/2 years ago, I originally thought it would be occasional updates and project news. It soon evolved into a mix that was more of a personal diary and travelog, especially while working on the Olympics in Torino and touring Europe afterward. At that point I tried to always keep it updated close to daily. I knew how checking blogs like those of my friends Rusty and Bill, who both tended to post daily, had become a morning routine for me every day. And it was a nice way to share with family and friends what I was up to. But this was before social media like Facebook and Twitter were factors. Today those are easier and quicker ways to share interesting bits and stay up to date, as well as ways to pass on a new blog post. But that has also made it harder to come up with content for the blog that I haven't already shared there. So I'll still try to keep updating a few times a week, but I'm easing up on my goal of posting daily. Gaps of several days like the last week hopefully won't happen, but if they do, you can always find out what I'm up to by checking my Twitter feed. That more than anything is always active and up to date. And of course, as always, thanks for coming along on my adventures and letting me share. Plenty more to come.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:19 PM
May 15, 2011
Another Saturday Gameday with the LA Galaxy and Angel City Brigade... My friends Andrew and Michele joined me for this one, along with Michele's friend Kimmie and daughter Chloe. Its the biggest group I've had join in so far this year, which made it all the more fun. As usual, I was worried about everyone joining in with the chants or it not being fun for them (especially a kid), but also as usual, everyone joined right in and had a good time. I don't know what happened in the locker room at halftime, but the second half of the game saw the team playing masterfully together with everything clicking and everyone having great games. The cherry on top was a ridiculously perfect goal off a free kick by David Beckham. It's textbook and worth a view (video below.) And always one of my favorite highlights of a game is the salute the players give the Angel City Brigade at the end. Our next game is the Super Classico - an "away" game in our own stadium against rivals Chivas USA, who also play there. I have no idea what to expect from that. At least the pics won't look exactly the same next time!
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:35 PM
May 13, 2011
Sorry for the radio silence for so long. That sick stuff from the weekend has lingered all week, gradually better each day at least, finally now getting almost back to 100%. So for the most part, I hibernated most of the week and didn't do much outside of work and rest. One thing that did keep me company that may not have been on your radar is the Eurovision Song Contest. Eurovision has been around for more than 50 years, and is an annual contest televised across Europe (and beyond) and voted on by the viewers in the participating countries. Every country decides how their country's entry is chosen - some are chosen by tv networks, others by committees, and many by televised competitions within the country. Eurovision launched ABBA's career with their winning entry, Waterloo, for Sweden in 1974. Some of you know of my love for Schlager, a type of music I could best describe as European folk music that tends to be cheesy upbeat danceable singable pop - its what they sing in the tents at Oktoberfest and Apres-ski gatherings. Though many entries don't, its common to find songs in Eurovision that fit or come close to schlager, and the spectacle of the performances is often pure schlager, thus my love for Eurovision. Today, so many countries participate that they have to have two semi-final competitions, and 10 entries from each move on to the finals, along with 5 countries that are grandfathered into every finals. So those kept me company on Tuesday and Thursday, and the finals are Saturday. You can watch them at the link below, either live at Noon Pacific time, or afterward as a replay (click on past events.) I was glad to discover that this years competition is much better than last years, enough so that there are several I would be happy to see win. The staging and tv direction of Eurovision is always impressive, and this years hosts, Germany, have not disappointed in that aspect. If you can let go and enjoy it for what it is, you might just love it too.
Posted by Jon Berry at 11:47 PM
May 8, 2011
I'm gonna have to find something different to shoot at Galaxy games, otherwise the posts from gamedays are going to start looking the same every time. I woke up the day of the game with a cold and only half a voice, and all I could think was it was the worst day of all for that to happen. Sitting in section 121 as part of the Angel City Brigade means shouting, singing, chanting during the whole game. I expect to be hoarse the next day, but not beforehand! It didn't matter, nothing was going to keep me from the game, so I powered through (the beers from the tailgate helped too, of course). My pal Andrew came along this time, and he was amused by my sad excuse of a voice by the second half. I'm just glad I only have to wait one week for the next game; sure hope this cold doesn't hang on that long.
Posted by Jon Berry at 10:08 PM
May 5, 2011
With the climate wackiness and inverted seasons we've had for a few months, its hard to know what season it is anymore. While the last week seems to have felt like the start of Summer, we did have a few weeks of Spring before that, sorta. Either way, things are definitely blooming everywhere around LA.
Posted by Jon Berry at 7:18 PM