Question is, which sort of person are you?

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Last night, The Good Man and I went to the home opener for the San Jose Giants single A baseball team.

I do love minor league baseball. Just thought I’d throw that in.

We got to our seats, got settled in and soon heard, “ladies and gentleman, please rise and remove your caps as we present our national anthem.”

It’s how every baseball game begins. It is ritual.

So quickly this adorable young lady (maybe all of fourteen years old) came out of the home dugout and hit her mark and dived right into the oh-say-can-you-see part of our show.

As she does, I notice that three rows ahead, a gruff man with a gray beard, a Bud in hand, and a mustard stained sweatshirt is singing along. The years of cigarette smoking have made his voice less than melodic, but he doesn’t lack enthusiasm.

Fair enough. He’s the kind of guy who likes to sing along.

At the seventh inning stretch, Colonel Mustard with a Budweiser also belted out a hearty rendition of “God Bless America” which then let him straight to an even more enthusiastic singing of, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”

Hey, you know, it’s all a part of the experience.

Some guys like to sing along. Some guys don’t.

Me, I usually let the Star Spangled go by. I can’t hit those notes. Sometimes, if I’m feeling especially patriotic, I’ll get into a version of “God Bless America”.

But I always, always sing “Take Me Out…” For me, it’s mandatory.

No, I don’t understand that logic either.

Anyhow, so last night as I sang along, out of tune, I got to thinking about folks at the yard. Seems to me, there are two kinds. Them that sing along, and them that don’t.

Question is…which sort of person are you?

I guess I’d be called a partial singer-alonger.

Anyhoo, when all was said and done last night, after battling from an 8-0 deficit, the hometown nine still lost 9-7. Boo. Go get ’em next time, boys.

As an aside: This year we sat in a different section than usual. In our regular seats, there is a gentleman we know well who also likes to sing along to the Star Spangled. The thing is, he’s part of a local men’s choir and has the voice of an angel. It’s always rather nice to hear him sing. And I’m rather intimidated to try to sing along with him, to be honest.

I felt much better harmonizing with the guy who was six beers and four hotdogs into the night.

(Man, I couldn’t be more excited to use this photo again.)



Image is of Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and a pretty extensive web search could not net me the attribution on this photo. I found photos from that same event on the European Commission page which allows for the use of photos with attribution.



My diphenhydramine reality

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Whoa, man.

I mean, really.

Whoa.

So I’ve been having trouble sleeping. Don’t know why. I got stuff on my mind, but no more than the usual suspects.

It’s not waking up and worrying or thinking or whatever.

It’s just waking up. And then not going back to sleep.

Exhausted, looking for some help, I decided I’d try some of that over the counter Tylenol PM.

Well, The Good Man astutely pointed out that Tylenol PM is just a mix of Tylenol and diphenhydramine, you know…Benedryl?

I already have Tylenol, so I bought a generic bottle of Benedryl.

Hoping for some quality rest, I followed the exact same doses from the Tylenol PM bottle, mixed up the recipe, swallowed it, then lay down in my bed.

It didn’t take long before my head felt kind of thick and my eyes got heavy.

Awesome! Sleep is on the way!

Did I sleep? Yes, actually pretty well.

But the dreams. Oh the dreams!

Wild, vivid, lucid, long involved dreams.

In one dream, a carload of my friends and I drove over the Golden Gate Bride, but on the OUTSIDE of the asphalt roadway. We sort of floated alongside the bridge, over the water, as we cruised. I was in the passenger seat and I could see the bridge up close. It was the most amazing way to see the entire bridge.

In another I shook hands with Jesse Jackson because he saw me across the room and rushed over to meet me. Said he was a big fan. (not sure what corner of my psyche that came from. I’m not much of a Jesse Jackson person, but ok.)

In several I could run really fast and it felt so good.

In the best dream, turns out The Good Man could fly. If I held tight to his hand, I could fly too. He flew *fast*, we zipped all over, and the wind tugged at my shoes! It was awesome!

Wowowowowow maaaaaaahn. That is some freaky sh–! I had good sleep! Fabulous dreams! And clear sinuses!

Diphenhydramine! You can’t beat this stuff!

So you know what I did, right?

I took it again the next night.

More wild, fabulous and fun dreams. Vivid, happy, trippy stuff.

Once again, I woke up feeling great. No residual antihistamine hangover, just calm and happy and best of all, rested.

So then, of course, owing to my Catholic upbringing or something, I realized that anything that feels that good can’t possibly be good for me, right?

So I put the happy dreams away and tried to sleep on my own last night.

It worked. I actually slept pretty well.

You know, I had a few dreams. Nothing special. Very dull. No flying or anything.

*sigh*

Messin’ with mah mind

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This is false spring. I *know* this is false spring. Mother Nature has yanked my chain like this before.

Every year, in fact.

When I first moved here in 1997, it was a bad El Niño year, and I’d never seen so much rain in my life. Just when I thought I’d never see the sun again, the clouds parted and the temps warmed and flowers started to bloom. I was so relieved.

As I frolicked in my first false spring, a friend and lifetime Bay Area resident told me, “it always rains for Easter.”

I gave her a “feh!” and kept dancing in the cherry and almond blossoms, thrilled with the sun on my face.

Then, when Easter rolled around, dark and gray and cold, my kind, forgiving friend took a long drag off her cigarette and caustically said, “told you so.”

Yeah. And she’s been right every year since.

But I can’t help it. I hate the dark damp winter. It’s cold. It rains. It’s perpetually damp. I’m a desert rat! I am not built for rain!

So when, in February, the clouds part and the temps get up into the sixties and the first blossoms come on, the California poppies burst through the cracks in the pavement and tulips and irises find their way upward, I can’t help but be overjoyed!

In news from the east, I see feet and feet of snow, but for me, I’m digging out my favorite pair of flip-flops and trying to find my flowing skirts. I hate jackets! No more wellies!

Yes!

The temps are well into the sixties. My yard has exploded with clover and dandelion and all manner of life!

I love it! And every year I imagine it will stay like this.

I sing, I dance, and I frolic!

And as I do, a longtime Bay Area resident reminds me that there is more rain to come.

There always has to be a dream killer practical person, who is, of course, always right.

But forget about rains yet to come. I’m all about sun that is here TODAY!

Look at that, inn’it that purty? 67! Today! Yes!

I’m not ashamed to admit it

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I love the Olympics.

I really, really adore watching the Olympic games, both summer and winter.

I can’t explain why, but I’ve always been a fan of the Olympic games. I used to lament that it took SO long between games (back with both summer and winter games were done in the same year).

It probably harkens back to my youth. I’m of the era that watched the U.S. Men’s hockey team do the impossible (the so called “Miracle on Ice“) in 1980.

I am also of the Mary Lou Retton generation. Watching that tiny girl full of courage stick the landing on a flip over the vault and land squarely on a bad knee to win the gold. Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.

I’m also of the Dorothy Hamill era (tho I never had the haircut), the Kristi Yamaguchi era and while we’re at it, I’m of the Carl Lewis flying through air with the greatest of ease era.

Man. Am I ever excited for the games to start tonight!

And hey, this time around, I’m not so many time zones away from the games, so no events that I might want to see that are scheduled for 3:30am. Yes!

I’m fired up to watch Apollo Ohno skate again this year. I have a big fondness for men’s speed skating (and it’s not just the tight body stockings, but that sure doesn’t hurt!).

I’m also ready to see who emerges from these games as the athlete with heart, crazy endurance, or able to pull a feat of magic out of the Olympics. Michael Phelps did that for the summer games last year.

I wonder who will we be talking about long after the winter games are over?

The show begins tonight. I’m ready!

Forty is the new seven

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Sometimes in this crazy mixed up life, you find a friend that becomes such a good friend, they actually become family. And that is a beautiful gift, truly.

And then sometimes you have a blood relative who, over time, becomes one of your very best friends.

I’m referring to a cousin on my mom’s side of the family. We met when I was seven and I think he was ten. We were simpatico from the start, sharing a similar outlook on the world.

Back then without the benefit of the internet, we were steadfast pen pals, writing pages and pages to each other about our thoughts, our dreams and of course our drama.

Over time, we graduated to email. Buckets and buckets of bits flying back and forth over the internet, keeping us connected, providing laughs, and that invaluable sort of knowledge that someone out there in the world understands.

He was there at my wedding. A year later, I was there when he staged the musical he’d written (both book and music) and produced.

We’d both helped each other get to our own day of celebration, and it was unthinkable to not be there for the other.

Anyhow, it’s a very cool friendship. Over the weekend, we got to spend some time as my cousin is paying a visit to the Bay Area.

We took off on Friday headed for the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

My mom was raised in Oregon, so once a year or so, she’d take us to visit family in Oregon, and that always included a trip to the Oregon coast.

My cousin and I bonded over years of trips to the beach, so going to the aquarium seemed utterly natural.

One of my favorite exhibits at the aquarium is the otters. I adore the otters and could stand at their tank for *hours*.

What I love is that around my cousin I can be totally ridiculous and immature. In fact, I can even revert to childhood.

So as we stood there watching an otter zip around the tank, every time the rambunctious otter swam right in front of the glass, just inches away from me, I’d utter a childlike “hi!”

Round and round. “Hi!” and “hi!”

And my cousin laughed every time.

I didn’t even feel self-conscious.

Then we got to the huge tank in the Outer Bay exhibit. When I dropped to the floor on my knees (like all the other little kids) to watch the show, he plunked down next to me with a “wooooow” (it really is a spectacular sight).

We giggled at seahorses, we petted bat rays in the touching tank (the bat rays loved my cousin), and we wooowed at the giant jellies.

Man it was a great day!

Ah to be a kid again. There are only a few people in the world who can make that feel safe for me (The Good Man is one of them).

And that just might be the meaning of life.

(loved the seahorses!)

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