Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year's in OKC and Staying Warm By Not Ice Skating

Happy New Year!!! I went grocery shopping today and that was the only time I left my apartment. I was thinking about going ice skating today since it was the last day that the downtown outdoor rink is going to be open until next December however when I went outside today at about 11:00 this morning and it was about 28 degrees and the wind chill made it feel about 10-15 degrees cooler. It did warm up later on in the day but I figured watching playoff football in my warm apartment sounded better than skating in the wind.

I am a little bummed though as I think outdoor ice skating would have been fun. The only place I have ever ice skated was inside the Key Arena and I think each time I was doing mascot work. I've seen outdoor rinks on TV in New York's Rockefeller Center, Chicago and other large cities with cold climates and always thought it would be fun.

New Year's Eve was a fun night. Worked the Thunder game where we got to wear New Year's hats and beads (didn't think to get my picture taken until I was leaving so it is kind of dark out in the concourse) and had a number of fans compliment me on my plastic hat. I got out of the Ford Center after working the game (the Thunder's 4th victory of the year) at around 11:00 pm and headed over to Mickey Mantle's to meet up with some co-workers. I really wanted to walk into the middle of downtown and watch the ball go up as they do the opposite of New York's Time Square.

My buddy JB also said he would go check out the raising of the ball but he wanted to stick around Mantle's for a while. We kept arguing over what time to leave and finally walked out at 11:52. Neither of us were sure which street we needed to walk to or exactly how far away it was, we just followed the large group of people quickly heading toward the middle of downtown. Got way up the street and walked around the corner to where we could see the ball about 2 or 3 seconds before the crane raised it to the very top which signified 2009. I'm guessing the ball was about 10 stories in the air but since we just saw the finale, I'm not sure how low the ball was when it started going up. We were probably about a half mile from the ball (posted a picture on here which didn't come out very well) and could hear the fireworks show going off but were on the wrong side of the ball to see them other than the reflections. We started yelling and chanting Happy New Year for about 5 minutes while high fiving people walking by and then went back down the street.

JB was having a great time at a Blues bar in Bricktown called the Biting Sow (same place I saw country music star John Rich in November) but I was hungry and ready to leave at 1:30 so I went solo. OKC is not a very good town to be hungry about 90 minutes into January 1st. IHOP was the only thing that was open and they had over an hour wait. I hopped into my car and headed toward home as I knew of a Sonic that was 24 hours and on the way home. Got to the parking lot and THEY WERE CLOSED!! I couldn't believe it as I know they could have cashed in that night. I then started heading toward the IHOP near my apartment as I figured it was far enough away from downtown to be busy......WRONG. They had about a 45 minute wait so I went to WalMart and bought myself a DeGiorno's pizza. Nothing like cooking a pizza at 3am. Happy New Year.

Almost had our first 2 game winning streak on January 2nd as Kevin Durant put us ahead of the Denver Nuggets with 2.7 seconds left on an amazing turnaround 3 point shoot. We thought we had it won however the Nuggets passed the ball into All Star Carmelo Anthony who hit a 3 point game winner at the buzzer and we lost 122-120. Tough loss but 2 months ago we probably wouldn't have had a lead that late in the game. The team is getting better so the next 4 months could be fun.

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