Hartford isnít the same thing as East Hartford. In the words of Paula, F! But I jump ahead. My weekend, later coined as "Boobapalooza 2002" began at about 1pm on Thursday, when I began my trek up to Hartford, Connecticut. Traffic in the NY/NJ area was UNBELIEVABLE! Iíve never gotten through the NYC area and not sat in traffic, but that day, I did. I thought to myself, "Wow, I got through the worst, I should be up at the park by 4pm tops!" Ha. Enter Zool in the form of a traffic jam, from the CT border onward, about 20-25 miles. It ends up taking me until about 4:30 or 5 PM to get out of the heavy traffic. OK, thatís fine, its only 5pm, I can get to the venue (park) by 6pm, no problem!
Sometime during my sitting in trafficness, Amy called me and said she was there at the park, and told me to get off at exit 53 for the park. Wow, cool, thatís the same exit as my hotel. This will be great. I tell Amy "Iím getting onto 84 now" and I look around, the numbers are going the WRONG WAY! So, I have to get off the highway, and turn around, which ended up taking 5 minutes. Then I get all turned around and happy, and realize THEREíS NO EXIT 53!!!!!!!! WTF!!! So, I get off at exit 50, which was on my directions on how to get to the park. I drive around and find a park Ė a bunch of runners are there and I was like, hmm this canít be it. So, I kept looking. I drove around downtown and Amy called me once again. "Where are you??" she said, and I said, "well Iím on Main Street but I canít find you." Amy says "Iím near the Dunkiní Donuts" and I said "Oh, ok I just went by one of those" (actually there were 2 in downtown Hartford) then I say "well, I donít SEE you!" and Amy was like, "Iím here!" We were clearly in two different places.
Finally, I see a hotel and was gonna ask for directions inside. There were 2 driveways, one was gated and the other was closed off, so I had to BACK UP on a curved driveway. I was less than amused at this point. Finally, a nice man was walking towards the booth thing for parking and I said "where is the East Hartford town green" and he informed me that I had to get back onto 84 and take the governor street exit. So, I get back onto 84 for the 15,000th time, and I donít know where governors street exit was, but I found exit 53 so I was all Ė hey Ė this is supposed to be it, and my hotel. So, finally at about 6pm, I find my hotel. At that point, I know the show had already started (because it had started while I was still in downtown Hartford on the cell phone with Amy). I was on the verge of tears, because well Iíve never been that late to a show while alone. Amy and I were late for the 1st CT show, but at least we were together. Finally, by some stroke of luck, because I really have NO IDEA how I actually found it, I found the park. I go to park in their lot and a cop stops me at the driveway. "This lot is full, you have to go around the corner and park on the grass." Ugh, could this GET any more difficult???? I backed out of the driveway, parked the car on the grass, left EVERYTHING in the car (camera, money, everything) and headed towards the sound of Elliottís voice singing "No Doubt At All." Ahh. Iím close.
I follow the sweet sounds of Rockapella, and am lead to this mob of people. Of course I know all of my friends will be up in the front, so I go around the large mass, on the right side (Jeff side) figuring Iíll be inconspicuous. As I near the front, I see Louise jump up from where she was sitting (front, Elliott side Ė left). She runs across the entire front row and jumps on top of me. I kid you not. She nearly tackled me. It was awesome to feel so loved. After Louise happened, then almost everyone else happened. Amy, Rachel, Rachel, (yes there were two) and Stef. (there could be more but my mind escapes me) Rockapella looked over like "What is happening that is more exciting than the fact that we are happening?" saw it was just us, and kept going. They know better. Silly cute men. As I walked to where Louise was sitting, Scott looked at me and I said, "Iím sorry Iím late!" and he just smiled. I love that they know me.
So, finally Iím there. All is good. And, oh yeah, thereís a new guy! There he was. George W. Baldi III in all his basso glory. No more Barry, sad, but YAY George. I canít even begin to explain how at home he looked on stage, as if heíd known them for a long time. I was pleasantly surprised, though I really donít know why, as anyone Rockapella would accept, to fill the shoes of Barry Carl, would have to be awesome. And awesome he is.
Not too long after I got there, George decided to tell a story about his audition. He said he flew in from Osaka, Japan, and was there for the audition hours early. He said they made him tell a few jokes (what is it about telling jokes to audition for Rockapella? Kevin did it tooÖanyway) and that Elliott looked him up and down and said "That's right homeboy, I hope you got the juice" which I find to be hysterically funny. Try picturing Elliott saying that. Elliott retorted with "I figured if I was mean on the first day, it was all uphill from there." Why are they so cute?
During the show I made A LOT of eye contact with George, which totally surprised me. I assumed that heíd be timid about the "stage love" at first, not knowing where he stood with the diehards, but to my surprise he was like "Love me!" He gives AWESOME stage love. The man has a smile to die for. It was so cute. During "Change in My Life" where RP starts swaying, I caught George realizing he had to sway. It was the cutest thing. He just smiled at me. Later on in the evening, during Smiliní, he was lookiní dead at me as he did the other sway that they do (you know the one in Smiliní) and then he started doiní the snake (well thatís what I call it, the head thing that was big in the 80ís). But I jumped ahead. During Dance With Me, the cutest thing happened. As most of you know, during the dance break, Scott strikes the Saturday Night Fever pose, and then does some strange dancing. Well that night, he decided to do the Electric Slide. George noticed, and joined in, then Kevin joined in. Iím not sure if Jeff ever joined in, but Elliott looked at them all like "What is that you are doing with your feet?" it was SOOOO cute. I loved it.
Ooooooooooo I forgot something hehe. Not sure at what point this occurred, well I know it was during the "Girly man" portion of the show, but I canít remember what songs were done around it. Scott started on with "You know, with Barry leaving the group, I thought I might have a chance at not being the girly man of Rockapella, but George, well, heís George Baldi the THIRD!" Me, in my ever so infinite wisdom, say "Scott, you are the FOURTH (C. Scott Leonard IV)" and he goes "Youíre right! I am! Thereís hope for me after all!!" Sigh. I love them.
I canít remember anything else (wow Iím surprised I remembered that much since I saw 2.5 shows last weekend Ė yes .5 Ė youíll see why laterÖ). The meet and greet occurred as usual, until the rain decided to fall. In their quick thinking, they moved the M&G table onto the stage and we all walked up there Ė however we were already quite wet from the downpour. I got RP to sign the poster I bought from the park (with Barry on it Ė ugh Ė George signed the hand with the flower saying "thatís MY hand." Why is he so cute? He signs everything GWBIII Ė how awesome is that.)
So, I leave, in the rain, and look for my car. I had to go to my hotel and check in, because I hadnít before the show, and I didnít want to lose my room. I get there, check in, and Amy calls saying they are at Kahoots and to meet them there. So, I donít even bring anything upstairs, I just turn around and go on my way. The desk clerk looked at me and said "youíre going to Kahoots?" and seemed surprised, and I said "I guess so!" all excitedly and left. About 2 minutes later, Iím in the car Ĺ way to Kahoots and Amy calls. "We arenít eating at Kahoots" and I say "Why not?". "Itís a strip club" she says. Oops. So I wait in the parking lot of Kahoots with Amy, Louise, and Stef, until we decide on a new place to go. Rachel then called, and said there was a diner called Triple A Diner right down the street from the park, so we all trekked there. We all had fun, sharing phone numbers, stories, whatever. We had fun.
Many of us parted ways there at the diner, but we knew weíd see eachother the next day in Peekskill. Coleen, Rachel, Jessy and I were all down the street at the Sheraton. So we went back to our hotel, and talked for a few hours, before heading off to bed at about 1:30am. We were going to meet the next morning at 11am (well it was noon til Coleen called me that morning and changed it to 11am) to go to Peekskill in a caravanÖ