Thursday, February 01, 2007

February 11, 2004


I had this great idea going through my head almost all day for a journal entry here in the style of a Henry Rollins journal readings , like the ones he has done during his spoken word shows. Unfortunately I don't know if I could pull it off for a couple reasons. First off, anyone coming through here unfamiliar with the style might not get it which would cause much confusion, and the worse part is anyone who does know the style would realize that I'm not as funny and colorful as Henry. We will see what happens though.

Monday February 9, 2004,

2:05 P.M. I get dropped off at the Max (local light rail public transport) station closest to the house, it's not that far from home I could have walked but it was cold to walk in, plus I have some long times ahead and I know it. So I opted for a quick ride and drop off, as we pull pull up I notice that the train has just left, great 15 minutes of standing around trying to not look lame even though I have nothing to do but just sit. I don't mind though, after all I am headed to the first ever WWE televised even from Portland ever. Being a lifelong fan of the WWF/E and also being a lifelong Oregonian are two things that for the longest time just did not mix, Oregon had a really bogus boxing/wrestling commission for most of my conscious years but last year that all changed making this night totally possible, I'm headed to RAW and for once as sad as it might sound something finally put a smile on my face.

I exit the car, the sound of the last train moving out can still be heard.. as can the sound of the railroad crossing's opening back up to let traffic through. I step up to the ticket machine to make my purchase. I stand there looking over the price listing even though I am already aware of exactly what I need and exactly what it costs, I find the button required and I push it.... nothing.. I push it again.... nothing. I step back and pay more attention to the machine. It seems that these ticket machines have a defect in them. To the simple minds of the simple minded people that roam the streets mostly at night one would presume, these machines must take on characteristics that make them appear as nothing more than bit targets marked with a bullseye and everything. At least that is the feeling I was left with after giving this poor machine a look over. "No big deal" I think to myself, there are still 3 other ticket machines here, and hey I have to get over to the other tracks anyway unless I want to travel quite a long way in the wrong direction. I make my way to the machine on the other side of the tracks, I notice that this one seems to be in nearly pristine condition. I glare back at back side of the busted up machine, then I glance down the line a bit to the other machine on the opposite side of the track as me that machine also appears to be messed up. Just to make sure my already forming theory was correct as soon as I got my own ticket I walked down to check the other machine on my side and realized it too was working fine and did not appear to be abused in any way other than the rain and wind that you just cannot stop. This is when I finally realize that when I got out of the car I was actually on the wrong side of the tracks .. all those after school specials don't really train you for the real thing, but when it hits you it's like a ton of bricks.

After reeling over the subject for a good 45 seconds I move back to a covered area to wait for the train. As I'm waiting for the train to show up 4 thoughts kept racing through my mine; #1. Why didn't I plan ahead and bring a book or something to read I have plenty of pockets to hide a book in, #2. I wonder what that woman over there is reading and how come it appears as if she didn't even get up for the last train?, #3. Wouldn't it be great to not be hanging out alone right now?, and #4. if I cross my right foot over my left foot, lean against this beam just right with my hands in my coat pockets I believe I can successfully pull off a Mark Paul Gosselaar/Zach Morris standing around pose. Finally the train is coming, I am approached by a guy who has been working with the machine trying to get himself a ticket, he asks if I can trade him a dollar for a dollar as his is a little to folded for the machine to accept I hurry and get a dollar out to trade him and warn him to hurry or he won't have time to validate his ticket he does so as I'm getting on. He barely makes it but he does make it, I find myself a seat in the front section of the front car. A nice window seat where I can relax and try to occupy my mind as I seem to have forgotten to bring reading material. My friend from the ticket machine takes a seat a couple rows in front of me, he found a newspaper to where he sat... some people have all the luck.

I sit alone in thought, mostly still thinking about how lame I was to forget to bring reading material or a discman or anything. Sitting behind me are two women who seemed to be easy on the eyes. They seemed to be speaking Russian, after a few minutes I realized they were mixing their russion in with a very little bit of English. I am intrigued, but not enough to overcome my social anxiety so I continue facing forward trying my best to not listen to the two behind me. Two stops after I got on the train started filling out, two guys entered the very front to find their seats, one sat in the very front at an empty seat and his friend sat in the third row back. This was not an issue for anyone until they decided to talk very loudly, it started out innocently enough just regular back and forth, eventually they talked about what they were doing.. heading down to the arena to make money "Hussling" tickets.. not scalping because well... that is illegal, what they do is sell the tickets for under their regular value. My mind wonders where the tickets came from.. I decided not to think about it too much. The guys are joking back and forth, most of it is pretty funny, they seem like nice enough people. A little of what they say is racially motivated, not necessarily racist ... they are black men... but just racially charged, the woman sitting inbetween them looks uncomfortable, she gets up and heads to the door obviously to escape them. I choose to hope it was their volume that scared her away more than anything. They made a few comments about her leaving but I let that pass. They talk for the rest of the trip as I watch out the window impatiently.

3:15. I've exited the train and made my way to the Rose Garden. The building has always been a nicely designed one in my eyes, what with the fountain and the lights, at night it is nearly spectacular. Right now there are scattered people all around. You never feel more alone then when you are in a crowded area with no friends with you. Not that the crowd is unfriendly, going to a wrestling event is a very weird thing, I've never had a bad experience with people and crowds at one .. well other than the crowds getting in the way of the ring and better seats and the bathrooms etc... but never one on one.

The event starts at 5:30, the doors will open at just about 5:00. I'm already later than I wanted to be, but I decided to walk around the building once because it's tradition to see what is going on. After an uneventful walk (the loading docks were full of people but all the crew and everything had already arrived so there wasn't much to see there) I made my way back to get in line and wait for the doors to open. Great, I had a choice to make, get a drink now out here for the line.. or get one during the event. I decided to wait. I get in line, almost immediately behind me the line grew and grew, thank goodness for my waiting or I could have been at the end. The wait was wretched, 2 hours of standing nearly still in the sun with no one really to talk to. Not a whole lot happened, there were comments o'plenty from other waiters, some people chatted away, some even slept, I just stood. Patience is not one of my normal virtues but being bored is something I am good at ... so I did it.

Finally the doors open. We all thought the wait was over, WRONG. after they opened it took me 15 minutes to get into the arena and past the ticket check. Now it is 5:15 and I still need to get a drink and find my seat. I decide to find my entrance then backtrack to the nearest stand rather than lug a drink all around the arena. I see the escalator that says it is to my floor, as I stand at the bottom and look up I realize I might have wanted to pack an oxygen tank. I step up and wait.. I could have walked up and made it quicker but I hate walking up escalators. I walk halfway around the building (remember it's an arena so that is plenty of walking) and finally find my entrance, oh happy day right outside directly is a drink stand. I walk up and order a large 4 freakin' dollars and it's not even Pepsi, it pains me to pay that much for Coke but I do.

I enter my section and look for my row, P .. little did I know P was the last row, I was at the highest point in the arena that paying customers could get to. at least I was centered with the right, yeah but then as it turns out I was facing the camera side. What does that mean you ask? During any interview segments or any time someone is on a microphone I get to see the back of their heads. Still I had a beautiful view of the entrance way and a damn good view of the ring. Well I had a beautiful view of the ring until the guy 3 rows ahead of me decided he needed to jump up every few minutes with his fist in the air... a victory stance that did nothing but block my view of almost the entire ring. Mere minutes after the actual event started he realized the error of his ways, and picked up his kid.... now when he jumps up he and his kid block out my entire view. Luckily it's not just me it's others too so he gets yelled at every time he pops up.

The event is good, nothing mindblowing or spectacular but a fun show that held it's own and sits as a very decent edition of RAW. The performers really did seem to be trying to put on a good show seeing as this is Portlands very first televised event ever.

As far as highlight performances go, for me there weren't a ton, mainly because I have travelled with friends before and seen almost everyone. But, no matter how many times I see him live I never get over the rush of seeing Ric Flair live, it's just one of those lifelong fan mark out moments. Also, the hint at the Undertaker, the lights the music the feeling of the crowd that is great also. Since I mentioned the crowd I should mention one thing. There is a feeling you get, it is described as an electricity or vibe .. you can really feel it from the crowd it completely changes the experience of watching and it is the reason we all go. Remember it's all in fun and it's all for entertainment. I have gone with people who were not anywhere near fans of WWE or any wrestling events before and they had a total blast at the events, the crow is contagious.

The show ends, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, RVD, and Booker T stay out to do one of those after the televised event play to the crowd things that they do that is just funny. Mick retires early but Lillian Garcia is quickly called in the ring to join them.. They joke around back and forth for nearly a full hour, almost nobody left the arena until it was over, I certainly didn't.

Outside, I head back to the Max station, I'm lucky I got there just in time, I get on the train, I opt to stand, there is an empty seat I could have taken but there was a girl standing and of course I was obligated by anything decent to offer it to her, she thanked me and sat down. Three very short stops later she left the train thanking me again, nobody else was around, I took the bench seat putting my leg up to rest my knee that was starting to feel the pain. Leaning against the window stuck in legitimate thought reflecting on the evening I realized that I was actually happy for once, I mean really happy about doing something, it was only then that I decided the money I wasted was worth it.

I get home, I grab some food, I rest a little and then I sit down at my TiVo to rewatch the even that I was just at. Partly because I am indeed a sick sick degenerate fan, and partly because the sound at the Rose Garden does not carry well into the top seats and I needed to know half of what was said. Again I remarked how fun the show was, then I took a quick shower and hit bed knowing that I had done something that a great portion of the people I know would not understand and would possibly ridicule me for if they knew I went.. that is the exact moment I decided to write down an entry as proof that I went.

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