With Family…

The annual family holiday of ThanksGiving has just come, and gone.  The holiday season is every month, all year long but ThanksGiving is one of the big ones.  Today, most Americans give thanks a back seat relative to using it as the day to bring the family together to share a meal (for 1 day at least) & watch football games. And now with some retailers opening on Thanksgiving, to get a headstart on Black Friday for buying & consuming even more material things!

Last weekend I got a headstart on some of those traditions – football, and coming together to share a meal with the  USC Alumni (and future alum’s) Association (USCAA) family.  The San Gabriel Valley (SGV) chapter to be exact. Ok, it’s an extended family but we’re like-minded people, the allies, wearers of the white-hats, from the same cardinal & gold blood, those who root for the home/family team!

Alumni associations do many things for their alums in exchange for their membership dues!  Holding football game watching parties where the family/alums meet to eat, drink, and root our team onto victory against the bad guys is only one thing USC AA does. The SGV chapter usually gathers at El Cholo, a spanish/mexican cafe here in Pasadena.  Listen, I don’t eat often at El Cholo, but when I do, it’s always with the SGV USC AA!

As in any family there are bumps in the road and last weekend didn’t go as planned for your poor Dog. I thought it would simply be a nite with family, food, fun, football, and then catch up on sleep deprivation.

Our game watch gatherings always bring in a good crowd, yet for some reason (no sleep?) I convinced myself that this would be less crowded than normal.  For one, we’re only playing Colorado!   The first change in my simple plan: upon arrival at kick-off this is the 1st scene I saw…IMG_8615

The Main Bar. This is just a snapshot of the Trojans in the bar! And believe me – just a tiny portion of the USC alumni in the SGV. The bar was SRO and the walking aisle was a bumper to bumper lane of traffic. 



Ok, no problem. Most of the dining space at El Cholo is reserved for our game watching events – and besides, it’s the bar – so I’m sure there’s some empty seats elsewhere.  I visited the dining room overlooking Colorado Blvd and took a look…

IMG_8626 Also packed in.  Later, I would come back to this dining room to tell an alumna, “Heard the bad news? ucla won.”  She replied, “No they didn’t. They lost!”  I went back & forth with her trying to convince her I was right & she was wrong!  Fortunately I woke-up to tell her: “You’re right! I’m wrong.”  Blame it on the margarita I downed I told her.  (We were rooting for ucla to defeat the sun devils!  ucla was no help. What else is new.)


Next, I checked out the dining room on the other side of the bar… 


Again, beyond capacity. Busier than I anticipated alright. In fact, it was the biggest turnout of the 3 game watches  I’ve attended this season.


Nevertheless, seating would not be the main problem.  There was still one area with some seats available and 2 big wide screen TV’s: the Al Fresco outdoor dining area!

And it’s where I met the problem!  Q: Why were these Trojans watching a game with Baylor  playing?? A: Cuz these 2 TV’s literally not connected to the Pac 12 cable network!   Seats, but without our USC game on these same 2 TVs which have had our games before??  So much for my simple plan for the nite.

So the game was on – but not on our sets!  I was scrambling around to make sure the organizers and El Cholo knew the problem and reassuring the alums that a solution was coming.


Another thing that didn’t go according to my plans: I did not eat, besides settling for the chips/salsa of the alumni from South Pasadena at our table! However, I made sure to shoot some porn from my friends at the next table!  Food porn. It was that kind of a busy night for me.IMG_8632 


But I did have a nice drink to celebrate & toast our victory over Colorado last Saturday nite!





Oh yeah, we finally got the Al Fresco TV’s correctly connected to our game on the Pac12 channel… in the 2nd quarter. I watched most of the game here…



In addition to my main seat on the patio Al Fresco, I got around to view the game from each of our reserved areas I previously showed, even though it usually meant standing or sitting with a view, and, an angle…





Now it’s a new weekend, with new threats to the family. Tonite it’s those growlin’ animals the ucla bruins who feed off your trash-cans/dumpsters, the bad guys from across town.  They’ll again try to disrupt the peace & love of our family, especially with our injuries and manpower shortage. And once again we’ll have to rally behind Tommy Trojan & Traveler to protect all that is good & peaceful in the family. Time to spoil the bruin plan.


On days like Thanksgiving, if it doesn’t stress you out!, it’s good to eat at the family table, at least once a year.  But on days/weeks like the last it’s even better if you have another family, an extended family, that bleeds your own cardinal & gold.  Btw, the USC AA holds raffles at halftime.  No-Luck me actually had my name called & won something!  That wasn’t in my plans either – it was that kind of a nite.


Gotta fight off bruins tonite. Stay Thirsty My Friends, and, Fight On!



6 responses to “With Family…