Monday, September 21, 2009

Goin' Back to Cali

Joyce Huang is a German-and-Chinese-speaking native of the planet Mars (or the state of California...I always get them confused) who loves math, knows nothing about pop-culture from 1970-2004, has a tapeworm named Frederick that causes her to eat 15 times a day, thinks Step Up 2: The Streets deserves an Oscar, and occasionally smartens up the blog with actual intelligent posts from time to time. Oh...and she is also a flat-leaving traitor who is pulling an L.L./Brooklyn Dodgers on us (not that we're bitter or anything):

Sadly, I recently gave my two weeks’ notice to the Cyclones, and I'll be leaving Brooklyn to return to my native California. It has been an eventful three years in New York, and naturally, the less time I have here, the more I appreciate what I’m going to miss.

Normally, I wouldn’t think to write a farewell blog (because let’s face it, we don’t want to throw my many personal fans, who definitely know who I am, into a deep abyss of depression), but...
1. Dave asked if I wanted to, and when Dave asks you something, you don’t say no (unless you simply don’t feel like it)

2. The season is over, and I’m about to leave for good, so there’s not much to do except blog
3. I like making lists, which I will be doing here as I recount what I will miss most about working in Brooklyn with the Cyclones:
  • I will never pick up a ringing phone in California and hear “How you doin’?”
  • In Cali, they don’t greet you with that warm, heartfelt kiss on the cheek the way they do in Brooklyn, so that you feel like you can always come over for milk and cookies. Where I’m from, they greet you with the Oprah/pregnant lady hug, where you stand an arm’s length from each other and pat each other faux-enthusiastically on the shoulder. When I inevitably forget, and lean in for the kiss, I am going to end up getting a lot of harassment complaints from Californians.
  • There can never be a duplicate of Ricky Viola. Though that’s probably a good thing for concerned parents everywhere, I will miss him, his disturbing personality, and his “that has GOT to be fake” Brooklyn accent.
  • I will never again have Dave summon me to his office to debrief me on proper behavioral protocol before my first trip to John’s Deli (“Know exactly what you want when you get in there; don’t react to the vulgar stuff they have playing on the TV in the corner; don’t be offended by the guy they call Pancho…or the other guy they call Pancho; and for the love of God, don’t get out of line!”)
  • I will never again be able to listen to the ticket office’s phenomenal ability to argue a topic endlessly (after work hours, Steve), while throwing in references to Ivy League schools, the birth date of America, someone’s sister, and New Hampshire. In one conversation. The View has nothing on John, Pat, Katie, and Adam.
  • I will never work with another ticket manager with the same combination of quiet good-naturedness and devastating one-liners as Chris.
  • I will never again be able to experience the lunchtime improv that is KJ and Ricky.
  • If I ever get into a fight at a bar, my most helpful ally, Elizabeth Lombardi, will be on the other side of the country.
  • I will never be able to joke to Nino of Gargiulo’s that I would appreciate a tray of meatballs the next time he came to the stadium, only to have him actually show up at a game with a tray of meatballs for me. As everyone who knows me can tell you, food is the fastest way to my heart, and my love for Nino is now forever.
  • I doubt I will find another Lisa Gavaletz among the more relaxed California sports fans…she has cheered us on through thick and thin, sat through 24 Hours of Baseball, and best of all (for me), brought the front office lollipops on the last game of the season. I’ll miss you, Lisa! And thank you Simos Xenakis, for the pastries you dropped off for Pat (which I neglected to tell him about until after I took my share of cream puffs).
  • I will never again, on a road trip, be able to listen to Dave ask Kevin Mahoney (a country music fan): “What would you like to listen to? Brooks and Garth? Swift Taylor?” And then see the look on Kevin’s face that makes me a little afraid for Dave’s life.
  • The next Gary I work with probably won’t tolerate me calling him “Gare-Bear.”
  • The first wave I ever caught surfing was not in CA, but in Long Island (thanks Shawn, for being my teacher and doing all the work for me while I just lay on the board and got a push).
  • I’ll never again be able to watch Brian The Intern (BTI) struggle to speak Spanish (inadvertently mixed with French) to a customer at the ticket window, only to see Miguel The Intern (MTI), who is fluent, sitting to the side, leaning back with arms folded and observing in silent, unhelpful amusement. And then have Steve Cohen walk in on the scene and try to come to Brian’s aid by exercising his entire Spanish vocabulary: “Dos! Dos tickets! DONDE ESTA LA BIBLIOTECA?!”
  • Speaking of Miguel, I will miss the most powerful marketing tool we have ever placed at our selling window. When girls see him there, they automatically want to buy tickets. When guys see him there, they are automatically intimidated into buying tickets.
  • I will never be able to watch a girl from Commack, Long Island (that’s you, Alexa) rap Lil’ Wayne for three minutes straight in the back seat of a van on the way back from Aberdeen.
  • Since there is no snow in California, I will never again be able to experience a snowball fight on our field with our front office in the winter.
  • The next accounting dept. I encounter will not allow me to steal their chocolate and cookies the way Tatiana and Olena have.
  • I will likely never again hear more than ten New Hampshire references a day (Pat and Brandy)…or for that matter, hear a man from New Hampshire rap Lil’ Wayne as well (that’s you, Pat).
  • I will never again have a boss like Steve Cohen. No one who will remind his staff on a daily basis that he is a handsome man; who will play third base during a front office vs. interns game while pulling a sandwich out of his pocket; who will take us out to a relaxing, bonding evening in a restaurant and pull out pocket schedules for the hostess; who will ask during a drizzly game over the walkie-talkie, as we’re waiting at the end of the third baseline to pull tarp, “Is it raining in Section 21 yet? Because it’s starting to in Section 5;” or when I hint a month and a half in advance that I might be leaving, immediately comes in and starts taking measurements on my cubicle.
Front office and Brooklyn fans alike, I will miss you dearly. There is no one else like you.

-- Joyce


Lisa Gav said...

You will be so missed at the Ballpark!
It has been great getting to know you over the past few years. Thanks for always having a minute to say "Hi", even when running around the concourse a few minutes before the start of a game. And who's going to tell next year's new employees that I'm one of the less crazy of the crazy fans?

Everyone who reads the Blog will miss your contributions - as much as we love Dave, it's nice to mix it up every once in a while.

Brooklyn's loss is California's gain. May you enjoy many lollipops there!
:) Lisa

Simos Xenakis said...

It was our pleasure to provide pastries to a great staff at Keyspan Park. All of you have been wonderful to my family and I during the 2009 season. We wish you all the best in California and you'll be missed here in Brooklyn!