Ahhh, baseball. Last night, Hubby-head took me to the Diamondbacks/Rockies game in celebration of my pending *coughcough*35th*coughcough* birthday. Aside from the 4-3 win, it was great being there. I haven't felt like bothering to spend the money to sit there and watch our D'backs in a while, but these last few weeks they've been spectacular. We're a half game out of first, and the playoffs look to be in reach (which is why the Luis Gonzalez trade rumors make abso-freakin-lutely no sense and... please don't do this to me guys).
One of the things that makes baseball games so fun for me, at least at Chase Field (whyyyyyyy did you have to rename the BOB, really?) is the little traditions we've built up over the last several years. For one thing, our ballpark organist, Bobby Freeman, continually stops short on any crowd-participation chant or cheer. You know that classic "da-da-da-DA-da-DA - CHARGE!"? It's immensely satisfying when repeated three times. Bobby Freeman almost always stops after one. So whenever the organ starts that "da-da-da-DA-da-DA" riff, I wait for it... wait for it... and when he lets me down, I yell up to the organist's booth. "BOBBY FREEMAN, YOU'RE A TEASE!"
Sure, everyone around me looks at me like I'm a freak from the planet Getalife, but hey, I'm having fun.
Another of our classic ballpark traditions, which began around 2001 or so, revolves around that old standard "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". It was during a Cubs game where it really became cemented. You see, Cubs games in Arizona are... well... full of Cubs fans. There's a reason they refer to our ballpark as Wrigley West. There are scads of 'em here.
On this particular day we were surrounded by Cubs fanatics in their red and blue jerseys, and couldn't take it anymore, especially their bandwagon devotion to Sammy Sosa. Sosa himself hadn't been any great shakes in this game, if I recall correctly, so when the 7th Inning Stretch came around, we decided to make a statement to all the Cubbie-nuts around us. On the line of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" where everyone else was singing "it's one, two, three strikes, you're out", we sang - screamed, rather - "it's one, two, three strikes SIT DOWN SAMMY, YOU SUCK!"
It was cathartic.
Since then, every game we attend at our home ballpark, we pick a victim for our "Take Me Out" parody. Usually, it's the big star of the opposing team, especially if he's an arrogant nincompoop like Barry Bonds. Even better if he's had a bad game. Last night's victim was Todd Helton, who at the time of the 7th Inning Stretch, had done diddly-squat. Of course we got the usual confused looks from those sitting around us.
I suppose if we went to more games and talked more to the D'backs fans sitting around us, our little diversion might become known among Arizona baseball fans. It would be fun to get to the point that others were shouting along with us. We could bring a posterboard sign saying "Tonight's victim is..." and get complete strangers to pick on the opposing team's sucker-du-jour along with us. How fun would that be?
So, have any fun sports traditions you'd like to share?
Man, I'm all over the place this morning... certainly not able to concentrate on work, so I decided to use a few spare minutes and get some of this stuff written down and blogged.
First, I know some of you are wondering why I've been so quiet lately when I was just starting to post fairly regularly again. Well, that's for two reasons: first, I've been a little too busy at work to do much writing, and second, my home computer has been broken for the past 4 weeks. Tonight or tomorrow we will make another attempt to fix it, and then hopefully I'll be up and running and blogging as time permits. At least I'll be able to keep up on other blogs - I can't do it from work (Internet filtering, bah) and I don't have enough time at home.
The big thing that's on my mind today is... if all goes as planned, next Monday I'm going to take a leap of faith and do it. I'm going to submit my resignation effective March 31st, and stop working full-time. Depending on how things go financially, I may take a part-time job somewhere to supplement the budget, but as of right now the plan is to avoid that if at all possible, to give me time to be a housewife (like the lovely and talented sarahk) and pursue some craft and photography projects that have been lurking in the back of my mind for years. I'll have time to blog. I'll have time to read, exercise, groom my cats, keep the house clean, cook dinner for my hubby, practice the piano, write songs, spend time in Bible study and prayer, and enjoy the evenings and weekends when Hubby-head is home. I don't think I'll be bored - this is what I've been looking forward to most of my adult life.
CoWorkerB and CoWorkerK are going to flip. They're going to try to talk me into staying until the summer, when the first phase of my project is supposed to be done. But I'm way past ready for this, and they will be better off replacing me with a full-time administrative assistant anyway. They can spend less money and get someone who they can expect to do all the filing and set meetings and such, which is what they really need. I think 4 weeks notice is sufficient, and when it comes down to it there's alway something that they would want me to "stay until..." for the next 3 years, so why prolong it any further?
So yeah, that's definitely distracting me today. That and all the other little things bouncing around in my head.
Baseball is back - spring training games began yesterday. I've been less of a fanatic in recent years, but spring training always gives me hope, and if the season starts out well I could easily be back in "baseball coma" mode by mid-summer.
Speaking of sports, how 'bout them Suns, eh? And along those lines of thought, Hubby-head and I were downtown last night meeting with our tax guy, and decided to check out Amare Stoudamire's new restaurant (Stoudamire's Downtown with Chef Eddie Matney)... Pretty darn good. They have some great-looking happy hour appetizer items that we're going to have to go back and try.
Tax returns are done and filed, and it looks like our tax guy may buy our condo when it's ready to sell, saving us some of the commission money and possibly some of the repair costs since he has contacts that may be able to save him money on the things that need to be done. We'd have to wait until after April though, since he won't have time to deal with it during tax season. I think that will work out fine for us. I'll probably give him and his business partner first crack at the condo instead of approaching a real estate agent.
Last weekend Hubby and I were out in SoCal for the 30th anniversary reunion at the church where he grew up. I finally got to meet some of his old friends, including a couple who live about 10 miles from us but we've never managed to hook up with in Phoenix, and Hubby's cousin Sandy. Hubby was overwhelmed, seeing people he hadn't seen in twenty years or more... I was a bit overwhelmed also, since I knew very few of the hundreds of people we saw over the 3-day event. It was a good weekend, and we didn't want to come back (especially as it was raining fairly heavily on Monday and we were enjoying the moisture - Phoenix hasn't had a drop of rain in 136 days, at least not where they measure it).
The saga of BoyCat continues... I have photos to post soon of his continuing adventures in his new home. He has taken to stalking Katie (our 4-year-old kitty), usually in the middle of the night when her yowls of terror are sure to cause maximum panic and near heart failure. We've got to figure out how to deal with that pronto. Last night he spent closed up in the upstairs bathroom again so we'd have peace and quiet. Squirting him with the water bottle works only sometimes, he's very focused when he's in stalker mode. I've considered letting him outside to prowl every now and then when he gets rambunctious, but I hate the thought of him getting fleas, ticks, or some communicable cat disease and then passing them on to our inside kitties. Other than the tormenting of Kate, he's a delightful cat - very affectionate, with a penchant for exfoliating the tip of your nose if you get close enough to reach with his tongue. He also spends a lot of time looking at you with his head cocked, as if something you have said or done is puzzling him.
So, any cat behavior-modification suggestions for us? What's on your mind today?
(Because I'm getting tired of titling nearly every post "Everything That's On My Mind", even when it's going to be another rambling post about... well... everything that's on my mind.)
Two blocks from work this morning I remembered that I need to go into the home office this morning. I have about 10 CD's that I burned of files for the job I just finished a few weeks ago, and I have to go on a wild goose chase searching through those 10 CD's of files for one specific spreadsheet that I did not create and never personally saw (either electronically or printed).
BossMan created this spreadsheet to track items that the CityOfWhatever needed to have done under another contract once the HardHatGuys were off the job... and now, the head Whatever wants it. Unfortunately, BossMan never got a chance to show me where it was - he had intended to turn over maintenance of this list to me, but he was busy, then he was sick, then he was on vacation, then we lost our internet access at the jobsite, then I was getting ready to pack up the site office, and then he got canned.
So I must go through the exercise of scouring these 10 CD's worth of files and looking through every Excel file that looks remotely like a possibility, in order to locate this particular file by noon. Obviously I haven't left yet. I am giving myself two hours for this task, and if I can't find it within those two hours it's not going to be found.
Anywho. Yesterday was my grandmother's 80th birthday. She's just learning how to use e-mail and the Internet. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? Oh, and now I'm in trouble for calling her an old dog. Yikes. As soon as she figures out how to leave a comment here, I'm going to get an earful.
Also yesterday: Our first 100-degree temperature of the year in Phoenix. *Sigh* Summer has begun.
Speaking of summer, specifically the boys of summer, my Arizona Diamondbacks are in first place in the NL West today. Of course the Padres and the Dodgers are nipping at our heels, but it is nice to know that our team is improved to the point that we can even GET here. Muuuuuch better than last year.
Speaking of muuuuuuch better than last year, how about them Suns? OK, so last night's game was not pretty. You should have heard Hubby grousing about the horrible officiating. He had to change the channel a couple of minutes into the second quarter. Here's hoping they can come back and put a hurting on the Mavericks. It's nice to have a winner in town again.
Well, I didn't get either my promised blogroll roundup or my catblogging done over the weekend. I know you're ever-so-disappointed. It won't happen tonight either, we have praise team practice at the church. So, what I'm saying is, don't hold your breath. That particular shade of blue isn't becoming on you, sweetie.
I suppose you're wondering where I've been... Sometimes I wonder the same thing, actually. I'm here, just quiet.
If you're curious about the job situation, I'm still here also. The project I'd been working on for the last 3+ years has finished, or at least our involvement in it has ended, and I've been assigned full-time to another job. There are up sides and down sides to the new assignment.
On the down side, primarily it's that there is nobody else here to do the clerical work, so I get stuck with the "here, transmit this" and "here, copy that"... Thankfully there is very little filing space and the client has a good usable electronic document filing system, so when someone says "here, this needs to be filed" it usually means it goes in the stack of stuff to send in for scanning, but there are some things we keep on hand for quick reference.
On the up side, being full-time at a job site gets me out of the office politics, which just got more difficult to ignore a couple of weeks ago. This assignment also puts me back in downtown Phoenix, which makes me a happy camper. I worked for the City of Phoenix at the convention center for 4-1/2 years before I left to start work for my company. Most of the old gang is still there, and so every few days I run across someone I know. In fact, the other day I ran into Former CoWorkerA (you know, the one who quit with no notice last year). It was very strange. Going out for lunch is an adventure, you never know who you're going to see. Or whether you're going to be approached by raving lunatics, for that matter. (Steph, if you're still working downtown, we should do lunch!)
I can't decide whether this is a good thing or a not-so-good thing - our computer system is provided by the client, who has stripped off the games that come with Windows and has locked down access to several categories of websites... So I can't blog from work, I can't read my Bloglines subscriptions, and I can't take a solitaire break. I suppose that means I'm more productive during work hours, although there are some times when I run out of work and my project manager is in a meeting so I can't check with her to get another pile of assignments. I can e-mail myself text files to post on the blog from home... And I usually just check out the latest news on azcentral.com and Yahoo when I need a break. I've also been surfing the websites on the Fractal Artist's Ring and changing my wallpaper every few days. Heh.
Anyway, my blogging, blog-reading and commenting are limited to my home hours, which is also when I have to do dishes, laundry, eat dinner, and everything else that is not work-related. I'm also busy with church activities, especially this week, so posting and commenting has been even more limited.
Let's see... what else... So how 'bout them Suns, eh? We swept the Grizzlies in round 1, way to go fellas. My Diamondbacks are 1/2 game out of first place in the NL West - also very cool. It's early yet, but so far the season is shaping up to be muuuuuuch better than last year. Our pitching has improved more than I'd expected, frankly. I still miss Randy Johnson, but as evidenced by the Yankees' record so far, he alone cannot carry a team. Hubby-head is just about ready to take back all the criticism of Joe Garagiola Junior, but I'm reserving judgment a bit longer. He's got a long way to go to make up for some of his previous trades. Can we say Albie Lopez?
I'm still watching The Apprentice, I just haven't been writing about it. TNT is probably happy to see that Tana is still in the mix - although she made some mistakes last week, and has been pulling some attitude lately, she's definitely worthy of being in the final two. I think she and Kendra will fight it out. Craig has been really obnoxious lately, and I think his team has been winning in spite of him most of the time these last few tasks. Probably because of Kendra. Can't wait to see what Trump does with them tonight. Oh, yeah. Tonight we're supposed to be going to National Day of Prayer, but it's been such a long and exhausting week, I'm thinking a night in would be good for a change. Dinner at home, a little TV, and bed by 10. Sounds fabulous.
On the blog front, I've got a blogroll roundup coming... and then if I can get the graphic design juices flowing, a special surprise. No, I won't give you a hint. Except the "graphic design" part. But it's not what you think. OK, part of it is what you think. But there's more. Really. Oooh, I just got a fabulous idea. You're going to dig it.
(Hat tip to Ken at Mel-Anon for this wonderful sentiment.)
In the big inning, God created
Heaven on Earth. And it was without form, and void. God separated the
dirt from the grass. He called the grass Outfield and the dirt He
called Infield. God made the Infield a 90-foot square and the Outfield
not less than 400 feet to center and 320 feet down the lines. He
declared this Fair Territory. All other territory, God then declared,
And God divided the
players into two teams of nine players each, under direction of a
manager, to play The Game on His field. God called some of these
players Pitchers and some of them Hitters. He placed a Pitcher
precisely 60 feet 6 inches from a Hitter. Then God commanded that it's
one, two, three strikes you're out at the ol' Ballgame.
Hee. There's more to this gem at the site where Ken got it from originally, click here to read the rest... it just gets better and better as you keep reading.
Now that's more like it. A decent outing from Russ Ortiz (one really bad pitch ruined it for him), and a good offensive effort as well. Craig Counsell just continues to remind us why we missed him so much last year... Two homers from Luis Gonzalez... and Brandon Lyons gets his first save as a Diamondback. I had forgotten he was part of the Curt Schilling trade, since he'd been injured ever since we got him. He might just turn out to make the loss of Schilling more palatable.
Note to Greg Maddux: We pwn j00. (There's that darn leet speak again, sorry.) Maddux's lifetime record against the Diamondbacks is 1-6. Come back soon, we'd love to face you again.
And now, on to Webby and the rubber game. It sure would be nice to start the season with a series win.
Let me focus for a moment on the bright spots. Our offense is much improved - as evidenced by the fact that we were able to score 6 runs at all... and the fact that we made Carlos Zambrano (who is a very good pitcher) work hard and chased him before the end of the 5th inning. Shawn Green did well. Chad Tracy did well. Craig Counsell - LORDY, it's nice to have him back.
But then, there's the glaring stain on the day - the pitching. Pretty much all of it sucked. Javier Vazquez just melted down, much like his last Spring Training start. All of the bullpen pitchers (including our closer) save one came in and got rocked.
Halfway through the second inning, I turned to my computer (yeah, I was talking to my computer) and said "this does not bode well for Señor Vazquez". Compare that with Randy Johnson's opening day start. Despite the promise of good things from Shawn Green, I'm still thinking that we got the short end of the deal in that Yankees trade. Joe Garagiola, Junior has not yet convinced me that he deserves to keep his job as General Manager of the D'backs.
One down, 161 to go. I'm thinking that it can only get better from here. I hope.