Monday, June 13, 2011

How 'bout dem O's, Hon?

This weekend, Shane and I got to experience two staples of Baltimorean Orioles game and HONFest.

Shane has been to an Orioles game before, but this was my very first time at a real life, actual baseball game. I don't really know much about baseball either. The game we went to was the second in the three game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. That was something I just learned about when I moved up here...I never realized just how many games a MLB team plays in a regular season! Each team plays 162 games, and the games run in series (like for example, this weekend the O's played the Rays on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday).

**Sidenote: isn't it grammatically incorrect to write "O's?" Shouldn't it be "Os?" I know they do it the first way for aesthetics, but now it's really going to bother me. I don't know how I *just now* noticed that. **

We went with Shane's company, and got to go to the Bullpen Picnic before the game, where they had hot dogs, barbecue, chips and cookies, etc., plus all the soda and beer you could drink. That part was actually a hassle because so many people were rushing the bar for beer, it took me nearly 15 minutes just to get a Sprite.

Anyways, at the picnic, we got to meet the Oriole bird (honestly I think that's really it's name, you would think they could come up with something a little more creative)
You might ask yourself..."what is up with that dude on her shirt?" Well, friends, that is none other than "Steady" Eddie Murray, #33, 1977 Rookie of the Year, All Star player, Golden Glove and Silver Slugger Winner, and Member of the Nat'l Baseball Hall of Fame, regarded as one of the best switch hitters of all time.

Now you're probably wondering how I know all that...well I saw the shirt at the mall, thought it was cool, and figured if I was going to wear some guy's face to the game, I might as well Wikipedia him so I could sound halfway knowledgeable ;)

Jared and Shane

 Shane with a coworker's son. Shane caught a baseball for him during batting practice.

 It  is still so amazing to me that we live in a city like Baltimore. Sitting there in the stands, the skyline almost looked fake.

Bases loaded! Let's Go O's (or Os, whatever)!

I'll admit, I was really looking forward to the baseball game (my mom asked me on the phone what Shane had to do to make me go haha) but it was a little less, exciting I guess, than I had expected. The thing about baseball seems to be that you're sitting there, talking or whatever, and the team just so happens to be playing baseball down on the field. It's not like football or basketball where there are buzzers and announcers to grab your attention. You really have to pay attention to what's going on, or you don't know what's going on. It's hard to explain, and maybe it's just me, but it was really hard for me to hold interest in the game.

The Rays ended up beating the Orioles 7-5, which was disappointing but unfortunately kinda expected. At press time (which is as soon as I hit "publish"), the Orioles have 30 wins and 33 losses. I don't know what happened, they started out the season really strong, but have lost it somewhere along the way. 

Now HONFest, that's a whole 'nother story (lucky for you, this is a two-in-one post!) "Hon" is the nickname given to the working women of the 1950s-70s (not the hooker sort of working women, but secretaries, teachers, etc.) who wore colorful clothes, cat's eye glasses, beehive hairdos, etc., and speak with a very distinctive accent. "Baltimore" sounds like "Baldimore" or "Bawlmer" and "Maryland" becomes "Merlin." Think of John Travolta's character in "Hairspray" and that will give you a good idea of what they were like. In fact, HONFest opened with a rendition of "Good Morning Baltimore."

HONFest, which is in it's 18th year this year, is a street festival whose purpose is to celebrate that part of Baltimore culture and heritage. (There is a bit of controversy surrounding this year's festival, since the owner of Cafe Hon trademarked the word "hon" last year, if you're interested, click here to read more about it).

HONFest. It's kind of a big deal. 

Many HONFest visitors dress up in outfits, and hairdos!, reminiscent of the Hons.

Elvis serenading this year's Best Hon.

 The Hon Boutique, where you can buy your beehive wigs and cat's eye glasses (also part of the controversy).

a group of Hons

 You could even get your hair done like a Hon!

I have probably said this a million times, but I am so glad that Shane and I get to experience so many cool things while we are living up here in Baltimore. It seems like there is always something going on, especially now that the weather is so nice. I guess you could say we never get bored, and if we do, we're doing something wrong, and probably missing something cool downtown!

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