29 October 2007

The All-American Weekend

So this weekend, Andrew and I celebrated Halloween and had an All-American Weekend. Our annual visitors Kip and Erica Copeland were in Birmingham (England) for training sessions before they head back to Bosnia for their missionary work. Friday night, Andrew and I had really been looking forward to taking it very low-key – renting movies, carving pumpkins, and having dinner delivered – we were happy to hear that the Copelands were quite tired from all their training courses and were happy to do the same. We decided on Chinese and finally found a take-out place with which we’re happy (in the past our Chinese delivery places have been fair at best). Andrew, Erica, and I went to Blockbuster and, finding no movies that we wanted to rent, bought eight off the cheap racks. We bought 13 Going on 30, The Goonies, Billy Madison, Almost Famous, Casino, The Godfather, and Donnie Brasko. That night we watched Monster House while we carved pumpkins and then followed it up with Donnie Brasko because Erica and I had never seen it. We ended the night by finding the giant octopus scene in The Goonies and watching the Cindy Lauper video that went with the movie (“Good Enough”).

Saturday morning we got up and went down to Clapham to a Halloween costume shop there. We were trying to find costumes for the four of us because we were planning on going to the Texas Exes (the University of Texas Alumni Association) Annual Halloween Party later that night. The costume shops were insane, though. There were so many people piled in there that we could hardly find anything. Erica bought a mask, and Kip decided to just wear his Cowboys football jersey and put the black football makeup underneath his eyes. Andrew and I had decided the night before that we would go as Brittany Spears and Kevin Federline. I went as Crazy-Shaved-Headed-Brittany-Bashing-the-SUV-with-an-Umbrella, and Andrew was K-Fed-to-the-Max.Our costumes got some laughs at the party, as you can imagine; we looked ridiculous. We met lots of nice new people and had a great time at the party. It was great actually being around all American accents for a while!

I’m going to pass the buck to Andrew now, and let him tell you about our experiences on Sunday…On Sunday, Andrew had gotten us tickets to the first American NFL game to be played on international soil – the New York Giants battling the Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium here in London. Andrew was so excited! We went early to beat the tube traffic there and to “tailgate” with our friends before the game.
(Tailgating here consists of meeting at pub for ciders.) Several of Andrew’s friends from PwC had managed to get tickets, as well, and so we met them at a pub near the stadium.
Our seats were really good as they were in the end zone in the upper deck but on the front row. It was terribly cold and rainy (shocking!) for the game and the players on the field were kicking up huge chunks of sod every time they hit the ground.
England still hasn’t gotten over the damage done to the pitch. The game itself might have been one of the most boring games we have ever watched.The final was 13-10 but it was 13-0 when we left at the conclusion of the third quarter. The highlight of the game was the streaker that acted as though he was about to kick-off the second half with both teams ready to start before settling for push-ups at midfield.In addition we saw John Cusack walking around the field and waiving to fans. I’m a big fan of his so that was pretty cool. As I noted, we left at the end of the third quarter. We decided that we did not want to fight the crowd to get home so we went ahead and made to commute early. We were very glad we did as they were closing the tube station at the moment we entered. I have no idea how so many others got home that evening. I talked to one of my colleagues and he told me it took over an hour and a half to get home. It took us 40 minutes. As soon as we got in we cooked tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. That seemed a perfect way to thaw out from the cold, rainy weather and it was. In all we were really glad we got to experience the event but I hope the NFL sends a better team than the Dolphins next time. The Dolphins are embarrassing to the NFL and an even worse representative of one of our favourite sports.

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