I had packed up my smaller camera bag (fits one camera, flash, Steve, misc stuff) for the day, but when I picked it up, some small bit went flying. Afraid it had been a buckle or fastener, I grabbed it--about the size of a coffee bean--and tried to figure out what it was... until I suddenly realized, in horror, that it was Steve's nose. Fortunately the bleeding was minimal and he didn't show any signs of pain, so I simply had to add a quick stop at CVS for surgical supplies (Krazy glue) to the agenda!
Cyn [finally in her rightful place at WEEI.com! Wooooooooo!] and I hopped on Amtrak, only to fall prey immediately to two mini-disasters: a creepy guy who sat next to his unsuspecting victim a few rows behind us and proceeded to talk to her non-stop and very loudly about everything under the sun, and, at Route 128, a pungent smell of burning rubber, followed by a delay for a safety inspection, followed by the least reassuring explanation I've ever heard from an Amtrak employee ("Dispatch has instructed us to cut out the brake cylinder, and then we should be good to go!"). We wondered if we would in fact stop in Providence, or perhaps roll to a halt some miles beyond, but we were able to wave a happy goodbye to the faulty train in RI with just enough time to get to McCoy for the gates-opening. (I did manage somewhere along the way to lose Steve's fleecy hat. That's three hats I've lost for him...)
The event was a lot of fun, but it was packed. I couldn't really tell whether there were many more people than last year or whether the lines weren't as well organized, but it did seem a lot more hectic and congested. In addition, they canceled the Q&A, which I had really enjoyed, in favor of getting more folks through the autograph lines. We went through the line for Zach Daeges, RJ and Mark Wagner first.
(He's adorable. There. I said it. I can't help it.)
And then the real trouble started. We couldn't even get out of the clubhouse. Had to ford the throngs to get to the end of the other line, thereby blocking one of the major hot dog arteries (and making me wonder if Steve would survive sans ketchup all day). We enjoyed chatting with cool folks in the line, but I think it was about an hour and a half before we reached the next table, which was about ten minutes after Lars Anderson had to leave to get his flight. But it was all right--because my primary target was Kris Johnson. He'd already signed a regular pitching shot for me... and I was rather taken with the bowling shot from last weekend. Hence, that's the photo I put in front of him. And he was appropriately awed. ^_~
Thanks to Cyn!
It was worth the wait just for that. ("Bard! Look at this!") He even added an X to his signature: "for a strike!"
Major, major props to the guys for being in good humor after a long couple of weeks and a long day today, and thanks to the PawSox staff for putting the event on!