That’s Still Me

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Recently a long time reader of this blog added a comment to one of my posts about being in London.

It went something like this, “Awhile back you were whining because you don’t get paid to play golf. Would it help if we all let you know how much we envy you?”

I know when I’m being gigged between the ribs, and I didn’t take it bad. In fact I dug the comment because it not only made me smile but also think a bit.

There have been a couple other much less nice notes sent my way via email that implied that I’m bragging too much on my blog.

Here’s the thing, in my mind, I’m still this girl.




In cuts offs and a tshirt, leaning against a chicken coop in Logan, New Mexico. Brown from the New Mexico sun and days spent swimming in Ute Lake.

I can guarantee you the little girl in that photo never thought for a million years she’d ever leave New Mexico, much less visit Singapore, Costa Rica and London. Or attend a US Open Golf Tournament. Or meet the legendary Willie McCovey.

Ya gotta know, when I pipe up here and talk about what I’m doing, it’s because I’m still genuinely in shock and awe that I’m doing it.

This throwaway comment on Facebook about sums it up:




That was the most genuine and true sentiment I had in that moment. I was so in awe at the fulfillment of a dream that I was rendered mostly speechless. Not many words were needed to convey the truth of it all.

Maybe I do brag to much and I’m just too insecure to write it in a more humble way. But to be honest, I’m pretty freaking proud.

This past year has been nothing short of epic for me.

That the little girl at Ute Lake and this little girl in London ARE THE SAME GIRL boggles my tiny mind, still.




Of course, I’m also this girl. But then I’ve always been like that.




To sum it all up, if you think I’m bragging too much on my blog, you are probably right. I should warn you it ain’t a’gonna stop anytime soon, either.

And so that means it’s truly time to say:

Thanks for dropping by today, dear reader. For putting up with my random thoughts, disjointed posts and all around bad behavior. I owe you a deep debt of gratitude for reading my words.

I sure am having fun on this blog. It’s a party in 1,476 posts and 469,239 words!




Ute Lake photo from my family’s collection, Copyright Karen Fayeth. No use or reproduction without prior written consent. Taken with a Kodak Instamatic and no need for the flip-flash.

Photo from London’s Tower Bridge is Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license on the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone 4s and the Camera+ app.


Whoooah, Geek Out! Le Geek, c’est Chic. Geek Out!

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On Friday, through a series of rather wonderfully fortunate events, The Good Man and I were invited to attend a San Francisco Giants baseball game as guests in one of the luxury boxes at AT&T Park.

I’ve had a chance to frolic on the luxury level before, and I know how good it can be, so I was more than happy to accept this opportunity.

It was a beautiful September night at the yard and the Giants were playing the Dodgers.

From where we sat, it looked a little like this:





Enjoy this truly rare photo, as it shows the Giants have a runner on first base. They only managed to score one run the entire night. These days Giants baserunners are on the endangered species list. (grr!)

The reason for admittance to the luxury suite was a corporate event, so there was much gabbing and hand shaking and business talking going on. The Good Man and I got there early enough to quickly get through the gauntlet of hand shaking, then we went outside and found nice seats.

A (free) cold beer, some (free) good food, and two fantastic seats later, we were feeling pretty darn happy.

It hardly gets any better than that.

But it did. It got better than that.

A lot better.

In the third inning, one of the sales guys I knew came over and said, “hey guys, I think Willie McCovey is here.”

Um.

What?

We’d been told there was a chance he’d make an appearance, but I certainly didn’t believe it would happen.

It happened.

This is a TERRIBLE photograph, but under the auspices of “pictures or it didn’t happen” meme on the internet, I figured I’d own up to it.

Some things to know about this photo:

1) It was taken with a cell phone camera and the photo is fantastically noisy
2) the lighting in the room was TERRIBLE for even the best of cameras
3) It was Friday at the end of a very long week and I was beat down tired
4) I was EXTRAORDINARILY geeked out to be meeting Mr. McCovey

So add all that up and please excuse the terrible photo. Mr. McCovey looks fine. I look like something the cat dragged in.





Mr. McCovey signed a baseball for me. Right there. As I watched. He took a baseball, signed it, and handed it. To me.

Oh my dear heavens!

Here, see!!!





I was utterly stunned. Profoundly stunned. Mr. McCovey is a very calm, quiet guy. He speaks with a slight Alabama accent and is quite humble. I thanked him for being with us on that night and he said it was his pleasure.

We had a chance for a quick question and answer session and he was very generous with his time.

During the moments while they were setting up the event for Mr. McCovey to sign baseballs, I said to The Good Man, “Hey, look! That guy over there is wearing a World Series ring! I’m going in to take a closer look.”

The Good Man said, “Well I’m going too!”

So I approached the man and said, “Excuse me, is that a World Series ring?”

He said yes.

I said, “May I see it? I’ve only seen photos.”

The guy said “sure” and then he TOOK THE RING OFF and handed it to me.

I said, “whoa, I didn’t think you’d actually take it off.”

He laughed and said, “well, I don’t think you’re going anywhere.”

So I looked at the ring. It’s really beautiful. Classic diamonds and a deep carved Golden Gate Bridge. So stunning. And to me, so meaningful.

I turned the ring over in my hand and looked at the side. There I saw the name Alioto engraved.

Oh shit. I’d just accosted Giants Vice President Mario Alioto, member of the most powerful family in San Francisco.

Um. Oops. He was quite nice about it, but I quickly handed it back, commenting “it’s really heavy!” and he laughed and joked about it being gaudy (it’s not).

But then the rest of the night I kept saying to The Good Man, “oh god…what was I thinking….oh lord…..what WAS I THINKING?”

I comforted myself by looking at my signed baseball, still so totally in awe.

For goodness sakes, I’d just met Willie McCovey face to face. I spoke to him! I shook his hand!

Gah!!!

Geek out! Double Geek out!!

Needless to say, I had more than a little bit of trouble getting to sleep that night.



I bet I think this blog post is about me….

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On this happy, happy oh-holy-sheet-that-was-a-long-week Friday, I’m going to ask you, my dear readers, to head on over to a different blog.

Check out my buddy Alan Macfarlane’s blog Air Balls and Air Guitar.

He’s posted his next in a series of interviews called “Who are the people in your Twitterhood?”

This week, Alan and I sit down for a chat. His questions are great. My answers are long winded.

That tends to happen when two writers get together: A preponderance of words.

And by that I mean, I had A LOT of fun.

Thank you Alan! And have a great weekend.


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.



Getting My Geek On

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Earlier in the week, a local sports radio guy posed the question to his callers:

“Star Wars Character draft, who’s your no. 1?” (this from the @DamonBruce Twitter feed)

Well, I was so geeked out over the start of Spring Training, I thought he meant baseball players. Turns out he meant basketball.

No matter, I brought up the question to The Good Man over lunch, which led to a rousing conversation about our all-Star Wars character baseball team.

The Good Man and I parted ways on a lot of the position players, but that’s ok. Debate is the heart of baseball.

Herewith are my starting nine (you’ll note I’m sticking to Episode 4,5 and 6 characters. I’m old fashioned that way):

First Base (and batting switch): Luke Skywalker. They guy can do yoga and is bendy. I need a guy who can stretch it out to grab the ball. He can “use the force” to figure out when a ball is coming hot down the line. Gotta keep it from rattling around in that weird right field corner at AT&T Park.

Second Base: Boba Fett. Solid hands. Decent footwork. Backed up by Yoda at short. Yeah, I’m ok with this choice. (yes, I know Fett is a bad guy. Go with me on this.)

Short: Yoda. Who else do you know that could pick it from the shoelaces and do a 360 to first for a double play? Gotta be Yoda.

Third: Obi Wan. Solid hands but an old guy. Too much action at first, third is his spot. I need him to nail down the hot corner and keep runners from scoring. I think an Obi to Yoda to Luke double play combination is *hot*. Keeps runners off balance. Yeah.

Left Field: Lando Calrissian. Look, Billie Dee is the MAN. He’s gotta bat clean up, can take it over the wall and look good doing it. Yup.

Center: Wedge Antilles. The guy’s an ace pilot. He’s lean. He can run. He’s got a good eye. I’ll bet he knows how to take a good route to the ball and can dominate that deep outfield at AT&T Park.

Right Field: Han Solo. Ok, the guy’s kind of a bumbler. I want him where he can do the least damage. I’m betting he can bat ok (but probably slump-y like Aaron Rowand) and can probably handle right (except I worry about him at AT&T Park). He’ll sometimes take a crappy route to the ball and you’ll want to put your head through the television. But mostly solid. The Good Man has Han Solo in left on his lineup card. I may agree with him…don’t know.

Catcher: Chewbacca. Furry Man has got the plate *sealed off*. Plus I bet he’s got a cannon on him. I see NO ONE stealing second with Chewy behind the plate. The Good Man has Chewbacca at third, and there is a good case to be made for that. I’m sticking with catcher. He’s a little tall for the job, but I think his knees can take it.

Pitcher: Well Darth Vader of course. Look, who else do you know in the Galaxy that has the control to throw a nasty 68 mph sinker followed by a 98 mph right up broadway and keep the batters off balance? He’s as ugly as Eric Gagne and twice as mean. You need a pitcher who can play mind games with the batters and Darth is your guy.

Here’s the lineup card I’m exchanging at the plate:

CF Wedge Antilles. Leadin’ us off with speed on the base paths.
1B Luke Skywalker. The guy can get on base and load ’em up for the 3 and 4 hitters.
C Chewbacca takin’ it deep or at least moving the runners.
LF Lando Calrissian batting cleanup. Might switch with Chewy if he’s on a streak.
3B Obi Wan
2B Boba Fett
S Yoda. Not a power hitter but he gets on base.
RF Han Solo. Where he can do the least damage.
P Darth Vader

Because where I come from, the pitcher has to bat. No designated hitter in my galactic ballgame.

I invite your own thoughts on the lineup. I can be persuaded….