Friday: (January 08th)
There is a phenomenon in Baltimore known as “Fridays After 5” in which the city’s two biggest tourist attractions offer discounted admission price and extended hours at the stated day/time. I’m not sure of the details about the Aquarium (and am too lazy to look), but at the Science Center they offer “free IMAX movie with admission” (the catch is waiting for the film you want to see rotate through the FA5 schedule).
Thursday was when the snow storm hit so I was a bit anxious about attending the show on Friday evening. Would the roads be clear? Would the sidewalks be ice ranks? How much time should I give myself to get there?
I gave myself just over an hour to get to the Science Center , and I still only barely made it to the movie on time. In fact, I almost didn’t make it at all! I was going by the assumption of having to wait ten minutes for the light rail to arrive (forgetting that I was riding at an “off-peak” hour). So after debating with myself whether I should use what was left of my MTA money for a fare, I ultimately decided not to risk it and after rejecting several dollars the machine finally spit out a somewhat faded but still readable pass. I was then able to cross the tracks to wait for the train to arrive, and when it did it let the passengers off and immediately shut the doors in my face.
I hurriedly pressed the open button several times until the operator finally relented and reopened the doors. I was not about to wait another 15 minutes in that kind of cold for a train I was early for just because the driver was late.
Anyway, I grab a seat far enough from the door to hopefully not feel the cold air rush in whenever the doors opened. As the train starts moving, I noticed a woman walking through the car ahead of me – a fare inspector. My ticket wasn’t wasted after all! After she gives it back to me, and I’m left wondering what the fuck I’m supposed to do with my newly inspected ticket.
The train stops at the convention center, and I get off heading toward the Science Center with less then 15 minutes until the movie starts! I rush along Pratt street , past the convention center, around the promenade and finally make it to the doors with only a five minutes to spare! Unfortunately, the ticket machine is jammed, but they finally get it working with less than a minute until the show is scheduled to start.
I won’t get into details about the film in this post, but the movie Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets (1989), like most IMAX films, was visually stunning if a bit padded in spots. The acting was okay for what it was, but sometimes the drama of the rapids overtook the beauty of the canyon.
I left the theater, and began the journey back to my apartment in peace (or frostbite, it was kind of hard to tell).
Saturday: (January 09th)
Ever have one of those days where you get halfway through it and realize you forgot what day it was? Saturday was one of those days. It wasn’t until I got my mail, and made my way to bank in the freezing cold temperatures that I remembered the bank was closed on weekends (etched right on the door). I did pick up the new issues of Urbanite and Gay Life so it wasn’t a completely wasted trip.
I needed to do something for the rest of the day, so I decided to try an experiment: every time my character found a “special stash of loot” and wanted to post something to my wall about it I’d simply say yes just to see what would happen by the end of the weekend. Not the most exciting experiment, but those damn things pop up every other mission and I wanted to know if it was REALLY as bad as it seemed. It didn’t disappoint either, but I had other plans for the night as well – I was going to have a Blast!
The sun was out for most of the afternoon, giving the ice\snow on the ground a chance to melt (though the temperature never got above freezing) so my commute to 1 st Mariner Arena was a lot smoother. In fact, there wasn’t even a line at the ticket booth (which meant the 20 minutes I allotted for that were wasted).
The Baltimore Blast is a minor league soccer team which plays out of 1 st Mariner Arena here in downtown Baltimore . They have won 5 league championships over the past 7 years, and are currently the only professional sports team in Baltimore that doesn’t suck.
The score was relatively steady for most first half of the game with both teams scoring two goals each. There was a short exhibition match between local youth soccer clubs at halftime. However, things did not heat up on field until I ducked in to use the restroom at the start fourth quarter where the blast managed to score another two goals and the Wave scored one. Sadly, that wasn’t the visitors’ last goal of the period as the Blast lost with a final score of 11-9.
Sunday: (January 10th)
Facebook experiment ends (Mafia Wars-4; Pirates-6)