Last week when i went to see the Indigo Girls at the fair, i left an hour or so ahead of time, and seeing as how the fair is only five miles away from where i work, got there in about fifteen minutes, including the finding parking (which was really easy, since they have big signs pointing you to parking as soon as you get off the freeway :)
Note however that that was on a tuesday or wednesday i believe.
This friday i wanted to go to the Werid Al concert. However we'd just heard back from Sony that they'd found some bugs that they wanted us to fix. None of the bugs were mine, but i still felt a little guilty about leaving. I'd asked my boss earlier about it, and he said we'd figure it out after we got info on the bugs. We got that, and i asked him about 7:10 if it looked okay for me to head out for two or so hours, and if it would be better for me to go to the 8:00 showing or the 9:45 showing. He said it looked like there was nothing specific for me to work on, so i should probably go to the earlier showing.
So i left just before 7:15, figuring there wouldn't be much of a problem. Well apparently i wasn't the only one thinking of going to the fair on a friday night. As we neared the exit there were about four lanes trying to squeeze into the two lane exit. It was slow. Dead slow. After sitting in that mess for about five or ten minutes, moving ahead three or four car lenghts (and seeing four or five cars cut in a fair ways in front of me, *growl*) i decided to give up, get out of the mess, and get off at the next exit.
I wasn't actually intending to cut in ahead, but as i drove past all the jammed cars, i saw that it was actually a _three_ lane exit, but all the cars were trying to get into the right two lanes, because that's where the parking for the fair was. I took the far left lane of the exit, passed everyone up with a minimum of slowing down, and went a (very long) block past the fair before turning right. I then went two streets down (which turned out to be a mistake) and turned right and started looking for parking. After clearly going past where the fair was and seeing nothing, i turned right again, and eventually came to the street that i should have turned on in the first place, and turned back towards the fair.
I pretty quickly saw a guy waving people into a side street, with a big sign that said fair parking. There was no huge line waiting to get in (there were a lot of other cars, but they were flowing pretty smoothly) and after i pulled in, no one asked me for any money, which made me wonder what was up. Well what was up was that it was a college of some kind that was donating it's parking to the fair for use after hours. Maybe they were just being nice, or maybe they realized they wouldn't have been able to convince people to use the parking lot if they had to walk as far as i did _and_ pay for the privilege :)
After five or ten minutes of walking i, and a large group of other people, arrived at the entrance to the fair. There was a _huge_ line, and someone had apparently talked to one of the staff, becuase i heard someone telling their friends who had just showed up that it was an hour wait to get tickets and get in.
Okay, looking at my watch, concert was just about to start, it would practically be over if i had to wait an hour to get in, if that were the case i might as well turn around and go home now. However, this was not the entrance i got in last time. The entrance i got in last time had been a _very_ short wait. True, it was now friday, and things seemed much more crowded, however when driving past that parking lot, it looked like it was already full (the big jam of cars had been driving past it had all turned down the next street to look for other parking as best as i could tell)
So i started walking around the fair, and after another five minutes of walking i got to the other entrance, and there were virtually no lines. I'm suprised no one had mentioned this to the hordes of people waiting at the other entrance. Took me two or three minutes to get in.
By this point it was five or ten minutes after eight, so i jogged over to the concert area, only to find that all the seats were full. At this point i was getting _really_ annoyed and frustrated, but also getting more stubborn. I could half hear the concert where i was right outside the entrance, but there was a bar thing right next to it that was playing it's own music, plus general fair noise, so i started walking around the edge of the concert thing.
It was basically a open air stage, with seating in front of it, and bleachers/stands behind the open ground seating, and then a big fence behind the stands. There was a big BBG returant/gril behind the bar, so i kept walking around that, and behind that was a street/alley that led to one of the exits. Walking down that, i got to a place past where the central bleachers ended, and there was a small (two or three inch wide) section where there was no boarding along the fence, and it was just chain link. Actually, you could see fairly well between the boards too, but the chain link only part made it particularly easy, and from there you could see one of the two big monitors and the edge of the stage. Later on i moved over a bit to peer between the boards, because although it was a little more difficult, you could see almost half the stage from there.
Several other people were looking there too, but they left, and new people showed up, and i was the only one who stayed there. About halfway through, i got a call on my cell phone. This is where i figure the family gremlins come in. If i hadn't got caught in traffic and/or i had found closer parking, i might have made it into the show, in which case i probably wouldn't have answered the phone. However since i was outside anyways, i answered it, and it was boston girl! :)
I talked with her for about fifteen minutes, which was nice. And in doing so i backed away from the fence a little so i could hear her better, and in the process discovered that if i stood on the curb on the other side of the street i could actually see _over_ the fence, and get a really good view :) So after i finished talking to boston girl i was actually better off than i was before.
After the concert finished (and the encore :) it was almost 10:00 (guy at the front had originally said the shows had been running long, and the 9:45 show would probably actually start about 10:15)
I wandered around the fair, and spent way too much money on overpriced fair food. I got a chocolate covered slice of pineapple ($1) a brockwurst with sourkraut ($5.75) a funnel cake ($2.50 i think) a cup of lemonade ($2.50) and a deep fried snickers bar ($3)
The snickers bar was interesting, but i'd already eaten a fair amount, and it was kind of weird, so i finished about half of it and threw the rest away.
On my way out i stopped by the arena again, but i'd spent too much time buying food, and he had just started the second song i'd heard on arriving (Leper's College) so i never did get to hear the first ten minutes or so of the act.
Went back to work, and stayed there till a little past 2am, working on PAL stuff, and fixing one minor bug for the new Sony submission.
When i got home i got online for a little bit, and at 4:00, shortly before i was thinking of going to sleep, boston girl showed up online again, so i got to chat for her a little before she left for the thing she'd gotten up damn early in the morning for.