Tag: baseball

Wedding showers, parking tickets, baseball, oh my

Despite being up so late last night, Kelly and I were up before 8 AM. Everyone else was up shortly thereafter. I decided to cook breakfast for everyone. stubiebrother helped. I made two batches of pancakes, and Jason made a whole bunch of scrambled eggs (with an without cheese). People said it turned out pretty good, and there were plenty of pancakes and eggs to go around.

Various people had to run errands. Around 11 AM, Kelly and I headed over to Union Station to pick up Ian and Jan. We saw them over by the outer curb, and I pulled over to pick them up. I was stopped there for 12 seconds, but nevertheless, I think I got a parking ticket. At least, a women was taking down my (new) plate in a hand-held computer and I suspect I’ll be getting something in the mail. Since I’ve never had a ticket of any kind, it will officially break my streak, but I imagine the streak would have to be broken at some point.

Back to the house and more introductions. Various people ran errands. When Jason got back, he and I headed across the street to the courtyard and threw a ball around for a little while. My arm felt great until the end, when it was, once again,killing me.

Around 12:30 we were all ready to head over to Sarah’s for the shower. Kelly took her parents, Ian and Jan and headed over. I took Jen, Jason and Mom. We stopped at Giant for 5 bags of ice (80 lbs of ice!), and then we headed to Sarah’s. We were there right on time. Kelly and company had already arrived. The place looked great inside (and Sarah was all dressed up, which I had never seen before). Carmen and Leanna were already in the back, and Sarah’s parents (who I’ve met once before) were there too. The shower was a lot of fun. Lots of people showed up, including AJ and Denisse. We spent a lot of time out back, in the hot sun. There was all kinds of delicious food: fruits, bruchetta, mushroom dips. It was great. Eventually we all made our way inside. Sarah and company did a wonderful job setting up and decorating for lunch. Lunch itself was delicious with pastas, and chicken, and other delicious goodies. After lunch Kelly and I opened gifts. We have generous friends and family and we both had a lot of fun opening gifts. Then there was cake, and shortly thereafter, it was time to go. I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye to Sarah and thank her for the incredible job she did on the event. We had a terrific time. We were delighted by the fact that so many of our friends and family came so far for the event and we were really glad to get to be able to see all of them.

AJ and Denisse came back to the house with us. Various people napped and rested and prepared for the evening events. Around 6:30 PM, we all headed out again: the girls to the dinner, and the guys to the Rockies/Nationals game. AJ, Jason, Kelly’s dad and I took the metro to Nationals Park. It was the first time I’d ever been there. We had seats way up the first base line in right field. The weather was gorgeous and there was a nice breeze up there. We got to the game in the top of the first inning. It was a lot of fun, the four of us hanging out, watching the Rockies rout the Nationals (6 runs in the 5th inning!) We ate hot dogs and drank beer and ate peanuts and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. I was a little anxious about the metro ride home, but it wasn’t crowded and we lucked out by walking onto trains. The game was over around 10:10 PM and we were home before 11 PM.

Mom, Kelly’s mom, and Jen were back. Kelly was off at the bachelorette party. We got home just in time to watch the edge-of-your-seat final relay race where Michael Phelps won his 8th gold medal. Everyone in the room was on their feet and cheering when he won. Slowly, everyone went to bed. Kelly got home (safe and sound, and mostly sober) around 1 AM and after that, I ran AJ over to the metro station so that he could head home.

It was a long day, but a great one, spending time with friends and family, celebrating. Kelly especially seemed to really have an especially good time today.

Busy Sunday

Up before 8 AM, had breakfast and got ready for the day. We dressed up nice because we had our engagement photo re-shoot this morning up in Columbia, Maryland. We left here around 8:30 and arrived at the lake shortly before our photographer. It was really pretty there at that time of the morning. The only problem was that I was feeling a little nauseous on the drive up and I wasn’t sure how photogenic I’d be. Kelly managed to catch my cold but she very photogenic, as usual. As photo were taken, however, I began to feel better, and by the time the shoot was over, I felt perfectly fine.

That was a good thing because our next stop was nearby in Laurel, Maryland in order to do a wedding cake tasting. We tasted vanilla and chocolate cakes and they were delicious! We decided on a 3-tiered cake with both vanilla and chocolate. There will be chocolate mouse mousse filling and other flourishes that we chose to make it look just perfect. We were decisive and knew what we wanted and so when we were asked for our deposit, we simply asked in return if we could pay for the whole thing now to get it over with. With that done, they gave us a half dozen of the “sample” cupcakes to take with us. We were in and out of there in 20 minutes.

Then we headed up to Camden Yards for the Orioles game. We were there when the gates opened and stayed until the middle of the fifth inning. The game was close–a real back and forth effort–up to that point. Then, in the top of the 6th inning, Texas scored six runs. Kelly wasn’t feeling great and I had a pretty bad headache and we decided to call it a day. It was just as well. The Orioles lost 15-7.

Back home, I made Kelly french bread pizza for dinner, while I had teriyaki chicken and a baked potato. It was drizzling here a little while ago, but there is more rain in the forecast.

Busy week coming up. Monday is clear, but Tuesday we’re listening to some violin play after work–the person who will be playing at our ceremony is demonstrating for us. Wednesday I have a softball game. Thursday we are having some friends over after work. Friday, everyone arrives for the wedding shower weekend.

Going to do some reading this evening. Maybe get to bed a little early.


We were up sometime around 8 AM yesterday. Kelly finished up some laundry and then at 9 AM, Kelly, Dad and I headed up to IHOP for breakfast. Kelly was going to a play this afternoon and at about 11 AM she headed off. Dad and I left for Baltimore a short time later. We were up at Camden Yards just before noon.

The Orioles have had a terrible Sunday losing streak going. Today, the team was offering two free tickets to each fan who held a ticket, if the Orioles won today. They didn’t win. It was a fun game, however, and a quicker game than some I’ve been to, lasting about 2:30.

After the game, Dad and I headed out to Annapolis to have dinner at Rockfish, the restaurant at which we will be holding our rehearsal dinner for the wedding. It’s a very nice restaurant, within walking distance (~1.5 miles) from the inn. We had excellent service and the food was very good, too (I tried their signature seafood dish, the Rockfish, and it was pretty good. I am not a huge fan of that particular type of fish meat, but the sauce that was in certainly added to it, and I’m sure that for anyone who enjoys rockfish, they’d enjoy this fish. The chocolate mousse they had for dessert was to die for! While there, I signed the contract for the rehearsal dinner and put down the deposit.

We were back home around 7 PM and after some cleaning up, I was ready to relax for a while. I watched a few episodes of M*A*S*H before going to sleep some time before 10 PM.

I’m just about 500 pages through The Count of Monte Cristo and that means less than 1,000 pages to go.

Yankee stadium, here we come!

We have a road-trip planned to Yankee stadium this September. Thanks to the efforts of Sarah, four of us have tickets to the Orioles/Yankees game on Saturday, September 20 at Yankee stadium, the last time we will get to go to the old ball park. We are planning on making a road-trip weekend of it and it should be a lot of fun. From what I understand, we are in Tier 25, row C on the first base line, way up.

Baseball and writing

Kelly couldn’t go to the Orioles game today because she had other stuff she had to work on, so I left her at my house around 11 AM and headed up to Camden Yards. The Orioles have lost something like 8 of their last 9 home games and the team was offering a special today. If they won, each ticket-holder could get an equivalent ticket to another Orioles game for free. So there was incentive to root for the O’s over the Texas Rangers.

I was most disappointed by the fact that our usher, Bill, who has been usher for our section for at least as long as I have had my season tickets (5 years now) moved to another section. It wasn’t clear whether this was permanent or not, but I hope not. The section is not the same without him.

The game was a slow one, but ultimately a close one as the Orioles lost 11-10, but hit 2 home runs in the bottom of the 9th in an effort at a comeback.

I stopped at Boston Market on the way home to grab some dinner.

I submitted my story, “The Golden Watch” to Strange Horizons, and got the auto-response from them so I know that it was submitted successfully. I had planned to do more work on another story last night but ended up watching episodes of M*A*S*H instead.


FYI, I backdated yesterday’s post because I was way too busy to blog yesterday. Those of you who normally read this on your friends page will need to use the above link to see just how productive we were yesterday.

Kelly and I were up pretty early today, having gone to bed relatively early last night. We had breakfast and watched TV for a little while. I was pleased to see that all the local news stations were setting aside their network bias and leading with stories on the premature death of Tim Russert.

We headed up to Greenbelt lake for a walk, and since it was actually a little cooler today, it was very pleasant out and the walk was great.

We came back home, packed ourselves some lunch and then headed up to Baltimore for the O’s/Pittsburgh game. The game was a lot of fun. In fact, it got exciting at the end when Brian Roberts hit a 2-run homerun with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game and send it into extra innings. The O’s ended up losing in the 10th, but Kelly and I had a great time.

As I said, we packed lunch. We brought with us sandwiches, fruit, water, cookies. And we ate at our seats in the ballpark and it was great. We ate healthy stuff and saved a little money too. vickyandnorm would be proud.

I called Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s day.

Back home and I whipped us up a nice pasta dinner. We had salad and bread, along with ravioli and sauce and it turned out pretty good. After dinner, I hauled half a ton of trash to the front of the house. Kelly loaded up her car with laundry and headed home.

It was a productive weekend and a fun one too. The only downside has been that my legs are incredibly sore from Friday’s workout. But 2-days after are always the worst on the first workout back, so things should be much better tomorrow.

June? Already?

June 1 falls at the beginning of the week (a Sunday) which means that next Friday will be Friday the Thirteenth. Can you believe it’s already June? Mom’s birthday was yesterday and that means that Doug’s birthday is just a few days away.

Dad and I went to the Orioles/Red Sox game today. Dad’s streak is in tact. No rain. The stadium was packed with Red Sox fans, as usual. The Red Sox had something like 9 hits in the first three innings, and made some terrific defensive plays. I saw Manny hit home run #501 (#500 was last night). It was a fun game.

After the game, we came back home, Dad got some dinner at Boston Market, and then I headed over to Kelly’s friend Sarah’s house to meet Sarah’s parents, who are like a second family to Kelly. They had barbecued and the ribs were outstanding! It was a lot of fun, and I would have stayed longer, but I had to run down to my office to pick up my laptop so that I can work from home in the morning. That took half an hour to do and I was home around 9:40 PM.

I finished up what work I had to do this evening and I’m getting ready for bed. I’m about 110 pages through The Cosmic Connection and I’m really enjoying it. May get a little reading in before turning out the light tonight.

Birdhouse in your soul

I worked late. I spent the last 2-1/2 hours of the day getting the application we’ve been developing for the last year to compile on my machine. Microsoft tends to make these things a lot more complicated than they have to be. I tried it one way and it didn’t work, so I tried it another way and it finally did work. The trick was that this had to sync with the code in our revision control system, and as it turns out, we use the opprobriously awful Microsoft Visual Source Safe. I have yet to have a positive experience with that piece of software.

Home around 6:30 and I immediately headed out to the side of the house to pull a bird’s nest out of the exhaust vent for the dryer. It’s a fire hazard for both the birds and me, and I don’t think either of us want to go through that particular insurance claim. The nest, by the way, was a Rube Goldberg contraption made of all kinds of things: leaves, feathers, twigs, newspaper, plastic, you name it.

A club sandwich for dinner and I’m heading off to bed as soon as the laundry is done drying. I need my gym clothes for tomorrow.

Junk mail today, except for the credit card bill.

Dad gets into town around 5 PM tomorrow. He’ll be here for the weekend.

And now for the remark that will likely garner the most attention: I checked the baseball standings today. I haven’t been paying close attention this season. I saw that the Rays were in first place in the AL east and that the Yankees still suck. They are still in last place. It’s a bitter disappointment. Ugh!

Rain — out?

As nice at it was on Saturday, it rained just about all day on Sunday. I had tickets to the Orioles/Nationals game today. It was the second game I went to this season, and the second time it rained, which is a first in the 5 years I’ve had these seats. Kelly and I headed up to Camden Yards in the rain at around 12:30. We arrived in the rain around 1 PM. When we got to our seats, we found out that the start of the game was delayed due to rain. I had a hot dog and fries. And we waited.

And waited. And waited.

We both had a lot of things to do this afternoon. As time went on and the weather didn’t look like is was getting any better, we grew concerned that even if they started the game, we wouldn’t be able to stay for much of it.

Finally, at about 3 PM, I called it quits. The game was more than 1-1/2 hours late and we really couldn’t hold out any longer. So we left.

The game started about 30 minutes later.

Oh well. Turns out there was another 30 minutes rain delay in the 8th inning, but we wouldn’t have been able to stay for more than 1/2 hour of the game or so, had we stuck it out.

I did some grocery shopping and then Kelly finished up her laundry. I made us pasta for dinner, and after dinner, with the laundry all done, Kelly headed home.

My first Yankees game of the season

With how much it rained last night and this morning, I never would have believed that the Yanks and O’s would have played today–but they did. I left for the game just after 11 AM and hit torrential downpours on the way up to Baltimore. But then, as if a faucet was turned, the rain stopped and the game started on time. Andy Pettitte pitched a brilliant 4+ perfect innings, throwing as few as 6 pitches and averaging around 8 or so for the first four innings. The rain started up again in the 7th and it began to pour in the bottom of the 8th. I decided to leave at that point because (a) the Yankees were winning 4-0 and (b) I have to get up very early tomorrow to fly to L.A. for work, and I still had a lot to do. Then Yankees ended up winning 7-1.

I’m just about all set to go, except that I have to pack, but that won’t take long. The towncar to the airport picks me up at 4:30 AM. My flight to L.A. is at 6:40 AM, and if everything is on time, I’m hoping to be in our Santa Monica office by about 10 AM Pacific time.

Superstituous baseball

I love baseball. I think it’s the greatest sport ever invented. It has such a rich and varied history, and even so there is an intricacy to the game itself that makes it fascinating. And then there is the ability of the athletes to play the game! Amazing!

One thing that has always bothered me about baseball is that it is such a superstitious sport. Perhaps other sports are equally superstitious and I am simply unaware of them (for all other sports are inferior in my mind, next to baseball). Nevertheless it has been difficult for me, integrating my love of baseball and my denial of all things superstitious.

In the past, when I have mentioned this dichotomy, someone almost always points out that, belief system to one side, you never, ever mess with a streak. I understand this perfectly, and in fact, a streak has little to do with superstition. There are good reasons for going through the motions in order to preserve a streak. For one thing, baseball is repetitious and by repeating the same motions again and again, one would suppose improvements would be made over time. For another, the line between good and bad in baseball is sometimes extraordinarily thin. One extra good swing per at bat can make the difference. Thus, repetition, as far as it gets someone into the mindset to keep doing whatever it is they are doing, makes sense when it comes to a good streak. Of course, the counter argument is: what about a bad streak, such as a hitting slump. I’d argue that even here, the approach should be the same. People fall into slumps because they change things up and then end up chasing the hit–or whatever it might be, digging themselves deeper and deeper into despair.

But again, none of this is superstitious. I don’t believe that stepping over the foul line when leaving the baseball field has any positive or negative effect on the outcome of the game. And I certainly don’t believe in curses.

Which makes me question what, exactly, was going through the mind of the person who attempted to thwart the Yankees by burying a Red Sox jersey within the new Yankee Stadium.

Set aside all superstition for the moment. This action, taken by a Red Sox fan, speaks of desperation. I may be reading too much into this, but it seems to me that any fan that would attempt to “curse” another team into losing games has so little faith in the abilities of the players of his own team as to make me wonder how the person can be a fan in the first place. To me it seems equivalent to admitting that your team cannot win without the intervention of supernatural powers.

But now let’s look at the superstitious elements. What on earth makes someone think that secretly burying a jersey inside Yankee stadium (or any stadium for that matter), would have any impact whatsoever on a team? The principle of “no necessary connection” comes to mind, but even setting that aside, I think it is possible to devise a test to see if buried shirts have such a magical effect.

For the test to be fair, you’d need a few teams to track throughout the season, and at least one “control team. For the purposes of my experiment, let’s use the Yankees and Red Sox as the experimental teams, and the St. Louis Cardinals as the control team. For both the Yankees and Red Sox, a computer would generate a schedule of their home games and randomly pick one-third of the home games in which the rival’s jersey would be buried in the home stadium; one-third of the home games in which their own jersey is buried in the home stadium; and one third of the home games in which no jersey is buried. On those games day, experimenters would then bury the appropriate jerseys for the appropriate teams. Of course, St. Louis, being the control team, would never have a jersey buried. The key is that the only people who would know which jersey was buried when would be the experimenters themselves.

Given this, the Yankees, for example, would play 27 home games with a Red Sox jersey buried in their stadium, 27 home games with a Yankees jersey buried in their stadium, and 27 home games with no jersey at all. Ditto the Red Sox.

The idea, of course, is to see if the Yankees happen to play better when a Yankees jersey is buried in the stadium, or worse when a Red Sox jersey is buried. Furthermore, we can also look at how the Red Sox play when they are at Yankee stadium and a Red Sox jersey happens to be buried there; or when the Yankees are at Fenway when a Red Sox jersey is buried there.

When all is said and done, the main question would be: did the presence of an enemy shirt cause a team to play worse than usual? Did the presence of a friendly shirt cause a team to play better than usual? And the Cardinals, with no shirt, would be expected to play however they play without “supernatural” influence.

Looked at this way, I highly suspect that a buried jersey would have no influence on a team that knew nothing about it. There would probably be games where a Yankees jersey would be buried at Yankees stadium and the Yanks would play terribly. There would probably be games at Fenway where a Red Sox jersey was buried and which the Red Sox would win handily. And vice versa. Of course, a variant (and perhaps even more interesting version of the experiment) would be to “hint” to the players that a particular jersey is buried at the stadium on a given game, always hinting the opposite of what is really buried. In this case, one would be looking to see if the mystical power of the buried jersey could overcome the knowledge the players have that a jersey is buried in their stadium, either as help or hindrance.

When all is said and done, I think we’d find that the buried jersey has more value as foundation material than it does as a mystical cursing device.