A bit of BIG advice when attending a Dodger game…

By: Staff Reporter Richard Castañeda

Regardless of any students’ schedules, Saturday is a day to be revered. It’s the day to sleep in, get homework done or finally see friends that the weekday won’t allow.

Today’s sacrifice can’t only be quantified into the confines of either of those reasons. Today was an investment into a future which boundaries cannot be defined by those values. Today was meant for knowledge and nothing else.

Alonso Tacanga and I attended a sports writing/editing workshop which aim is solely to improve the quality and relevance of our sports section. One day, in the name of quality, hardly like seems enough sacrifice. Still, we decided to invest our collective restless hours into a day comprised of lectures and life lessons from veterans who have been through the trenches of the newspaper industry.

Sometimes truth is a welcome gift and sometimes it’s a pill to hard to swallow, yet the knowledge gained today surpassed any expectation I had before entering our conference hall at Loyola Marymount University.

Our three guest speakers and our networking with various students from as far as Chico and as close as Long Beach created a creative and ambitious atmosphere that any aspiring journalist wishes to be enveloped within.

Our seven-hour conference concluded with a trip to Dodger Stadium. We were given permission to tour the premises and the press box. A geek’s affair indeed.

All the exhilaration of attending a crucial Dodger game (we’re now closer to the playoffs), coupled with the opportunity to breathe the same air as Vin Scully seemingly diminishes the relevance of any other opportunity a Saturday has to offer.

The fight for parking was next-to-non-existent. In fact, I had a better time parking at Dodger Stadium, rather than any other day on campus.

Witnessing Manny Ramirez come up to bat and run up to base in the 1st inning almost nullifies any mediocre memory that comes up in a conversation with a fellow sports fan.

He may not be a Joe DiMaggio, but he’s still nonetheless spectacular to witness. Whatever he brings to the Dodgers should still be respected or at least acknowledged by any baseball fan.

The exhilaration of attending an important game, such as this game, somehow diluted my usual practice of noting my surroundings. Sure, it’s a weird thing to do, but it’s the difference between searching aimlessly for your car and finding it quickly.

I just parked and walked into the Dodger Pressbox without thinking twice about my parking spot.

Half an hour after Tacanga and I decided to bail and find my car, we found ourselves in a mousetrap with no cheese. We scoured that dreaded parking lot more than the lady who collects all the beer bottles from various Dodger tailgating parties.

We were thorough. Regretablly, we searched the hell out of the wrong parking section. Once we were pointed in the right direction, we jogged off the Dodger Dog from earlier in the day.

With patience worn thin and restlessness at an all-time high, we found my car perchance and made our way out of Elysian Park. Knowledge serves its best purpose when we learn from our own mistakes.

Had I taken the time to notice my surroundings, maybe that half hour Tacanga and I spent running around the Dodger parking lot, would have been better spent on another Dodger Dog or a horrifically overpriced beer.

I didn’t. I ran up to the gate in a hurry to eat a Dodger Dog, see the press box and catch a good game. I ran up to feel a part of a journalistic team I wish to become a part of. I hurried without considering the consequences.

Although I paid the price, I still feel the experience gained from this mishap is at least worthwhile. This blog wouldn’t exist. You would still be napping around campus instead of studying for the next test, preparing for the next lecture or infusing any type of productivity into your day.

So let my low-calorie burning exercise serve a somewhat relevant purpose in your life: notice where you park. Take a picture with your cell phone camera. Write it down on a piece of paper. Text it to a friend. Record it in a voice memo on your phone. Do whatever is necessary to avoid spending a half hour (or more) running up and down searching for your car. Especially if your ride doesn’t have that nifty remote control where you’re able to easily locate it.

While you’re at it, bring some peanuts to the game. It beats the $5.25 burger, the $5 Dodger Dog and the $9.95 imitation CPK pizza. Invest that money into better avenues.

Learn from me. I, unbeknownst to myself at the time, suffered for you, the reader, to gain some amount of knowledge. Of course if you already possess the memory of an elephant, disregard this blog. Move about your day.

For those who struggle to remember a conversation that occurred a day or so ago, do all that’s in your power to remember small details like your parking section…Even if it means appearing neurotic in front of other friends who will reluctantly help you find your car after the game. Don’t let those people dictate the amount of time you spend walking up and down the aisles appearing to be “that guy” or “that girl” who other fans think might be trying to break into their car. I got a bunch of those looks. Learn from me.