Tag: baseball

A book in a day

I was up at 7 AM and shortly thereafter, headed to breakfast at IHOP, taking along Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Affair At Styles, the first of the Hercule Peroit mysteries. (I’ve read two other, years ago.) I started reading at breakfast, came home, read for a short time longer, and then decided that I was still tired, so went back to bed for a few hours.

Thereafter, throughout the course of the day, I read. I sat in the backyard for several hours, working to even our my farmers tan, while reading. I read between the depressing innings of the Yankees/Mets game this evening. And after the game, I continued to read and in fact, just now finished the book. It’s the first time in a while that read an entire book in one day.

Incidentally, with respect to the Yankees/Mets game, I had a bet with the Vicky half of vickyandnorm on the series. If the Yankees won the series, they would treat me to dinner next time I visited. If the Mets won the series, I would treat them to dinner. Well, with the Yankees loss tonight, the Mets have won the series, regardless of what happens tomorrow. So I owe them a dinner the next time that I see them.


I was up around 8:30 AM yesterday morning. I walked into the office to check email and news, and saw, sitting on my bookshelf, where it has been sitting for months and months, Arthur C. Clarke’s Imperial Earth. For some reason, I was unable to resist it, so I took it with me to IHOP and started reading it while there.

After breakfast, I headed over to Greenbelt and Buddy Attick lake. I sat down by the lakeside and read for close to an hour. It was actually very peaceful. There were not large crowds of people around, the sounds of birds and insects filled the air. Every few pages I would take a break and watch the birds swoop down in the lake to make their graceful landings.

I headed back home after an hour or so and decided to read some more, but I quickly became tired so I got into bed and napped until almost 12:45 PM. I read for another hour thereafter and then headed over to Silver Spring to take in the 2:45 PM showing of Spiderman 3, which wasn’t as good as I’d hope, but wasn’t too bad either. After the movie, I treated myself to an early dinner at the Austin Grill before heading home for the evening.

I kept checking online throughout the evening to see if the Nebula Award winners had been announced. Finally, shortly before going to bed, the winners were posted. I was sorry to see that neither mabfan nor shunn won in the novella category. The one story in that category that I didn’t read, “Burn”, by James Patrick Kelly won.

But at least the Yankees beat Seattle so there was some good news at the end of the day.

Unsettled dreams

I was in bed just before 8 PM last night. It was still light out, but I am trying desperately to get onto a consistent schedule and I figured if I got into bed, I wouldn’t be distracted by TV; I could sit quietly and read for 30 minutes or so, which is exactly what I did.

It has been getting pretty cool at night–the temperature last night dipped to 37 degrees. I had the central heat turned off in the house, but turned on my trusty space-heater in the bedroom. I woke up at about 2:30 AM and it was cold in the room. My trusty space-heater of nearly 5 years had apparently died. (Fortunately, I have a newer space-heater that I keep as a backup in the closet and was able to pull it out on a moments notice and before long, the room had warmed up again.)

Thereafter, my night was thrown into unsettled dreams. Not nightmares, you understand, just short, strange dreams:

Earlier in the day, I sent mabfan an email asking him for some advice on author bios. I had a dream last night that he wrote me back an email message which I was certain contained the key to the perfect author bio, but whose letters were so garbled that no matter how I tried, I couldn’t read the message. (Fortunately, this morning, while brushing my teeth, I found a reply from mabfan with simple and excellent advice on this subject.

I turned on the Yankee game at 7 PM, having discovered it was on ESPN and watched the first three innings before deciding to call it quits and head off to bed. Shortly before or after (I can’t remember), I caught a few minutes of Mr. & Mrs Smith on HBO. I had another dream last night that Angelina Jolie and I had some kind of fight in a parking garage stairwell. I have no idea what the fight was about, or why we were in the parking garage stairwell in the first place (though I’m sure that strausmouse will have ideas enough for both of us). The dream lasted five minutes and was unusual in the sense that I almost never dream about movie stars.

When I turned out the light to go to sleep last night, I knew only that the Yankees and Mariners were tied. Just before going to bed, however, I got a text message from jkashlock telling me he was attending his first Yankees game (he’s a Mariner’s fan). I had a short dream last night that both jkashlock and strausmouse were spamming me with email about how “their team” won, neener-neener-nee-ner. When I woke up this morning I had no idea whether or not the Yanks had won or lost. I forgot to check before leaving the house, but discovered a short time ago that they lost 3-2 in a blown save by Kyle Farnsworth.

Those are the unsettled dreams that I remember. There may have been more that I don’t. Needless to say, I got 8 hours of sleep and when my alarm went off at 4:25 AM, I decided to take another hour or so, and skip the gym. It was a bad decision on my part, but something that I’ve been doing all too frequently. Sigh!

A (windy) day at the Yard

Dad and I headed to Camden Yards at about 11 AM, getting to the ball park just after 11:30 AM. It was sunny but cool and very windy, and Dad was not dressed for the occasion. Our seats, which are usually perfect because they are in the shade, were much cooler and very windy; so much so that Dad really couldn’t sit still and had to spend a good portion of the game wandering around the stadium, looking for splashes of sunshine in which he could stand.

The highlight of the game for me came at 3:15 PM, when I received a text message from Doug that read: “The Yankees just announced they signed Clemen’s.” At first, I thought Doug might be having some fun with me. They was nothing about it on any of the boards at the stadium. But then I thought that he wouldn’t text me about it if he was joking (he would have called). And sure enough, when I got home, we discovered it was true.

It was a fun game. In the 7th inning, Bill, the usher for our section told us we could move down behind home plate and we sat in the sun for the rest of the game, which was nice. I kept score throughout the game. And although the Oriole’s lost, we had a good time.

Saturday morning

I got a pretty good night’s sleep last night and I was up at about 7:30 this morning, and spent some time browsing online. In noticed that Tangent Online recently reviewed issue #4 of Intergalactic Medicine Show, touching briefly on each story in the issue. (In fact, the magazine has reviewed all of the first 4 issues of IGMS.)

Jen’s train looks like it will be arriving 5 minutes early; she’s scheduled to get in at 10:15. We plan on heading to Georgetown for brunch, and then up to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor later this afternoon. (And we have dinner reservations at Ruth’s Chris up in the Inner Harbor; I am craving their steak!)

I’m about 500 pages through In Joy Still Felt. I probably won’t quite finish it by the 30th, but it will be close. I’m taking a break from it today in order to catch up on magazines. I’m trying to read through the magazines that I receive as close to the day that I receive them as I can. I have two on which to go through today, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and mental_floss. Rather than lug my big book downtown with me, I’m taking the magazines and see how much I can get through.

It’s overcast right now, but it should be comfortable today, with highs reaching near 70 degrees. I noted that on Tuesday, the highs here in the Metro, D.C. area will hit 91 degrees! (And less than a month earlier, it was still freezing and snowing!)

Yanks dropped their 7th in a row, giving them the dubious honor of having the 2nd worst record in all of baseball (Kansas City is still the worse, but perhaps not for long). I love my Yankees, but I am simply not as emotionally attached this year because I can’t afford to invest the time watching every game as I did last year. Still, I have every confidence that they will turn things around and sports writers will be talking about their incredible comeback after such an abysmal start to the season.

Yes, I heard about the back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs

Do you really think any friend or family member would fail to inform me of such an event, knowing that I was not going to be able to stay up to watch the game? Doug was the first to text me and all his text said was, “Wow, back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs,” which left me guessing as to who might have hit them, although I suspected it was not the Yankees.

But as if you needed further proof of how awesome my experience on Saturday was, I was (and am) still on a high from it and the home runs and even the Red Sox sweep did not bother me in the least (although, I’ll admit that if it were closer to the post season, it might have).

First Orioles game of the season

I’m just back from my first Orioles game of the season. They played (and beat) the Toronto Blue Jays in a mostly one-sided game. You couldn’t have asked for better weather. Game time temperature was 85 degrees and there was a nice breeze blowing. (My seats are in the shade, so it was very comfortable.) It was by no means a sellout, with a tad over 27,000 people attending the game. But it was fun, nevertheless. I saw Bill, the usher for our section, the last 3 years we’ve had tickets. He asked when Dad was coming and I told him he’d be here for our next game, two weeks from today against Cleveland.

Our seats (in section 29) are really perfect in my opinion. It has been virtually impossible to get a fly ball in that section (even though when I tell people this, they don’t believe me) because of the angle we are at behind home plate and because of the overhand. This year, it got even more impossible (if that’s possible) because they raised the netting behind home plate by 9 feet.

I had my traditional baseball ribs for lunch–the best ribs I’ve ever had are from right out there on Eutaw Street at Camden Yards. I also had some fries later in the game.

Before the game started, various little leagues were parading around the field, which was fun for the kids, I imagine. I used that time to work on outlining the expanded version of “Graveyard Shift” and made pretty good progress. I spent about an hour and a half at it and have a couple pages of notes. Multitasking!

Yanks and Red Sox play tonight and I’d love to watch the game but I’m back to the gym tomorrow morning and I have to be up at 4:20 AM.

Happy Hour

I drank more than I intended at happy hour last night, knowing I had to get up early this morning to head down to Richmond for Ravencon. However, I drank ten or fifteen times as much water as anything else which minimized the damage. In fact, the 2 beers and 4 shots I had was quite a lot for me. But I from about 8 PM until I left sometime close to 10 PM, I had nothing but water. And I had an additional 1.5 liters of water when I got home to be safe. I woke up at 5 AM with a little bit of that funny feeling, but I had more water (and Advil) and it passed, and now, at 7 AM, I’m ready to get started on the day.

Regardless, it was a fun time last night. Another is being planned in 2 weeks, but I think I’m going to skip that one. Dad will be coming into town.

I watched A-Rod hit 2 more home runs last night, but when I got home, I was disappointed to see that the Yankees lost after the Red Sox rallied. Ah, well…


I hope that people will finally shutup about A-Rod’s performance now that he has his 10th homerun in 20 days and his 2nd walk-off homerun this season. (And there are still 10 days left in April.)

Even The Post is giving A-Rod good press. (Which is more than they are doing for the likes of Alec Baldwin. (Be sure to listen to the voicemail message he left for his daughter which has gotten him into some hot water.)

Go A-Rod!

Go A-Rod!

I watched portions of the Yankees game today, but since I was reading, I didn’t watch the whole thing. I checked the score late in the game and saw that the Orioles were winning 7-6 in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs, bases loaded and A-Rod up to the plate, so I turned the TV on just in time see A-Rod, on a 1-2 pitch, take a ball deep, into the black seats in center field for a walk off grand slam home run, and his second home run of the game. Yankees win 10-7. It looked to me like A-Rod had tears in his eyes when he crossed the plate. It was awesome!

God Bless America

I may have mentioned this before, but seeing the Yankees season-opener yesterday reminded me of it so forgive me if I am being repetitive. It’s time to stir the controversy once again.

I am sick and tired of baseball games that play the god-awful song, “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch, instead of the more traditional, and in every way superior song, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. “God Bless America” used to just annoy me, but in the last five years, I’ve grown to hate it with a passion. It seems to me that the playing of “God Bless America” at baseball games began shortly after 9/11. Americans were frightened and the singing of a seemingly patriotic song made people feel somehow safer. Of course, the actual singing of a song makes no one safer but I will allow for it during times of grief. But the grief is long over and the fact that baseball games are still being played nearly six years after 9/11 should be a testimony to the ability of people to overcome their fears.

I don’t mean to sound unpatriotic. In fact, I love “The Star-Spangled Banner” which is our national anthem and which is infinitely more complex in both music and lyrics than “God Bless America”. The latter is, in my opinion, just terrible. Have you ever actually listened to the lyrics? They were written, I believe, by Irving Berlin, but they must represent a kind of low for him–the kind of thing he would stoop to today if he were trying to make it on American Idol I imagine. Whereas “The Star-Spangled Banner” can be emotionally moving, the only emotion that “God Bless America” stirs within me is nausea.

Why is this? It’s not even that the song is melodramatic. It’s just plain silly. It’s a song that presumes to tell God to bless our country (I don’t hear an appeal in there, just a statement). And what reason is given for deserving said blessing? As far as I can tell it’s because “it’s the land that I love.” God is also told to “stand beside her” and “guide her”. It seems to me that God is then truly insulted. He is supposed to be omnipotent and omniscient, and yet Berlin had to go and describe America to God just in case He was unable to recognize it Himself, or in case it had slipped His mind: “From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam.” The funny thing is this is a terrible description and if God had forgotten exactly where America was, He was liable to accidentally bless Argentina, Australia, China, or some other country that has mountains, prairies, and oceans.

What annoys me most about the song is people’s reaction to it, especially at baseball games. Men remove their hats and put their hands over their hearts as if it is the national anthem, which it is not. I respect and enjoy “The Star Spangled Banner” but I grow annoyed when I hear “God Bless America” played during the 7th inning. If I happen to be at game, I will stand, but I spend that time doing what the 7th inning was actually designed for–stretching my legs–while at the same time, doing my level best to tune out the terrible song.

Mowing the lawn and MOwing them down!

I got home from work and pulled the lawn mower out of the garage for the first time this year. The lawn was in pretty bad shape–meaning the grass was pretty tall, especially in the back. It took about an hour, but I got it all mowed. There’s something about a freshly mowed lawn that reminds me of a brand new haircut. It just looks good!

I then settled down to watch the opening day Yankees game, which I had TiVo’d earlier today. I went through the whole day not looking at the scores. And then, going up to the parking lot at the metro station, I saw another Yankee fan who said to me that A-Rod had just hit a homerun. So I knew that about 3 hours into the game, A-Rod hit one out. Actually, I’m glad I TiVo’d it because I was able to watch a 3 hour game in about 90 minutes. The Yanks won 9-5. Good game. I say “MOwing” them down because, even though it wasn’t a save situation, Mariano Rivera was brought in for the 9th and struck out all three batters he faced. How’s that for a season debut.

(And to make matters even better, the Red Sox are losing to Kansas City 6-1 in the 8th!)

POST SCRIPT: I didn’t wear gloves when mowing the lawn as I usually do and I’ve got a big-ass blister on the middle of my right hand. That’s going to make the chest press tomorrow a little uncomfortable.