A Matched Set

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Two years ago as a long suffering San Francisco Giants fan, I reaped my reward in 2010 when the Giants (finally!) won the world series and Bug Selig handed over this:





Tonight, the Giants won it all again.

And Mr. Selig, who is no fan of the Giants, had to hand over another trophy. Heh.

Now we got a matched set! Like salt and pepper shakers.

Reunited and it feels so good!




Well Knock Me Over

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I’ve been a San Francisco Giants baseball fan for a long time.

And in my many years, I’ve learned this: Nothing is ever easy with this team.

Nothing.

My gut was in a clinch all day as my Giants faced a Game 5, do or die, win or go home game against the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Division Series.

When Buster Posey hit a grand slam in the 5th inning against the very tough Mat Latos I jumped up and down in my office and clapped and shouted and whooped and hollered.

Then I remembered that I sit next door to the Vice President and he was on a con call being all VP-ish and important at that same moment.

I later apologized to him and he grinned. “You must have been listening to the radio because I was watching online and I heard you celebrating about five seconds ahead of seeing it online. You only get away with that for the Giants!”

Rock on.

In the nail tearing bottom of the 9th my boss was in my office drawing something Very Important on my marker board and I was trying desperately to pay attention and answer his questions while checking my phone every two seconds and…good lord how long was that at bat with Romo pitching and Bruce at the plate…? And all the while The Good Man is sending me texts and my boss is blah blah blahing because he’s a damn European and what does he care?

I reminded The Boss that I had to endure the Euro 2012 football championships while I was in the UK in June and he could bloody well deal with this today. Seeing his boss (the VP next door) running into my office shouting “THEY WON THEY WON!” certainly helped pipe him down.

This was a tough day at work because of work stuff. This was a stressful day at work because of those damn Giants and their special brand of delicious torture.

And then I saw an image online from today’s game that just perfectly summed up how it all makes me feel.

A little blown back by it all, really.




Just a leeeeetle inside for Pablo Sandoval. Photo by Michael Macor for The Chronicle



Image by Michael Macor for The Chronicle and published in SFGate.



Goodbye Old Friend

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This morning I had a doctors appointment at 9:30, which was the same time the Space Shuttle Endeavor was due to fly over the Bay Area.

This made me very cranky. It’s so hard to get in to see this specialist, so I simply accepted my fate.

Today is one of the few days I’ve been grateful for the Bay Area’s marine layer. The fog delayed the takeoff and am I ever glad it did.

After finishing my appointment, I climbed up in the Jeep and listened close to the radio. I chose a course on southbound 101 hoping to catch a glimpse.

I turned off at the exit for my mid-peninsula place of employment, and on the radio they said “Endeavor has just left Oakland and is making it’s way to the Golden Gate.”

That meant I had maybe 15 minutes. I saw a few people milling around in a grassy public space so I turned quick into the parking lot, tugged the parking brake, and joined them.

“Do you think it will come by here?” I asked the older couple already there, setting up their camera gear.

The man who so profoundly resembled my dad talked me through his reasoning as to why where we were standing would be a good viewing spot. His logic was spot on.

I teared up a little. How cool it would have been to share this with my dad. He used to take me to all the air shows at Kirtland Air Force base as I grew up. It’s probably his fault I’ve always been fascinated by fighter jets and the Space Shuttle. He would have dug this flyby a lot.

As the time passed, more people started showing up, all asking the same thing “do you think this will be a good spot?”

Then suddenly, “There it is!!”

And there it was.

The plane carrying the shuttle moved so slow, seemingly impossible to stay aloft moving that slow, and at a pretty low flight deck too.

I tried to take photos but the haze was no photographer’s friend. So instead I put my camera down and just watched. As I said to a friend on FB, it was like a slow funeral procession for a much beloved icon.

I teared up a lot. I’m not even embarrassed to say it.

The shuttle was a big part of my growing up and for me its retirement is met with sadness and a bit of frustration at how, over time, NASA mishandled the program.

Onward to the next adventures, old friend!

Hey, you know what? The next step in space travel may just hit a little close to where I come from.

Here’s a few photos of today’s flyover from the local paper:



Two icons together, Endeavor and the Golden Gate Bridge




Endeavor and its fighter jet escort near one tower of the Bay Bridge





Images from SFGate.com



I Got Some Thinking To Do

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Do you know who this guy is (the one in the middle)?

Don’t worry if you don’t, because I didn’t know who he was either before this past Wednesday.



Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth

His name is Raphael Jacquelin and he’s a pro golfer.

I took this snap while wandering the course during the last practice day before the start of the US Open.

To be perfectly honest with you, I was heading back to the fancy tent (seen in the background) where I had a fancy pass to enter and drink not really fancy, but totally free, beer. I came across this guy and another golfer, Anders Hansen, teeing off on what I think was the 18th hole at The Olympic Club.

Now, I don’t present this photo to you to show off my brand new golf knowledge.

Nope.

I display this photo and ask you to take a look at the complete sh– eating grin on this guy’s face. To be honest with you, that is not just a one-moment-in-time kind of a smile. I have a series of photos and this guy had this grin on his face from start to finish.

A little research tells me that ol’ Raphael is a good enough golfer to qualify for things like the US Open, but perhaps not a good enough golfer to win any of the majors. He’s picked up a few tournaments in Europe, but basically he plays well enough to stay in the top 150 or so golfers in the world (which, let’s be fair, is pretty damn good).

Here’s my point.

There has never been a single day on the job, whether at age sixteen, my hardworking late twenties or sitting here at my desk today where I have worn a sh– eating grin that big while I did the work that got me paid.

My job does not give me a smile that wraps around the back of my head.

Go ahead, click that photo to see. In the larger version you can inspect not only the man himself but the guy standing behind him. Grin city.

I want a gig that pays pretty well (let’s be honest, he gets cash just for finishing the event), doesn’t really stress me out and makes me smile like everything is always gonna be really all right.

I want a job like that.

How do I get a job like that?

I’ve got some thinking to do.

I’ll be in the courtesy tent quaffing Stellas until I find the answer.

Or until they kick me out.

Whichever comes first.
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By the way, I just checked the leader board for day 2 of the Open and Mr. Jacqelin is in 13th place. Not bad.



Photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license in the far right column of this page.



The Proudest Nina In The Whole Wide World

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Being a Nina (godmother) is an interesting thing. It’s become an unexpected but fantastically fulfilling part of my life.

I’m up to five godkids now…and sometimes that makes me want to pour a cool beverage, sit a spell, and think.

Mostly about the sanity of these friends who have invited me to have something of an impact on the lives of their children.

I mean really? Me?

But they said, “yeah, you” and so I stepped up. I take godparenting very seriously. This isn’t just some “in name only” kind of deal.

These five kids are my kids. I laugh with them and cry with them and by god my heart breaks for them.

Whew. It’s a lot.

On Sunday, The Good Man and I found ourselves in our Sunday go-to-meetin’ clothes inside the insanely gorgeous Grace Cathedral at the tippy top of Nob Hill in San Francisco.

It was baptism day for the two girls that belong to one of The Good Man’s oldest and dearest friends and his lovely wife.

We’re the head godfolks over their oldest child who is nearly three and is beautiful and smarter than a whip. We’re the backup godfolks for the younger girl who is creeping up on six months and is adorable as the day is long.

I always did enjoy a good baby dunking. This church is just so beyond spectacular that it made the day that much more special.

I’m not going to lie, I misted up a little bit when they splashed that holy water up on the noggins of my pretty girls. I don’t know, it just got to my little Nina soul to see them up there being brave and taking on this sacred ceremony in their lives.

It’s a good thing I had the hand of The Good Man to hang onto for strength.

Later that evening, I got a call from my oldest godchild, the twelve year old daughter of my best friend back in New Mexico. I’d sent both her and her sister a little box of fun stuff from my recent international travels, and she wanted to talk about it.

She had just gotten home from a 4H shooting competition up Raton where she had taken eleventh place and her little sister (the ten year old) had done good too. The younger girl had done a respectable sixth place shooting a .25 rifle with scope. It was her first time in competition and she wiped up the floor with the other sixty kids in the race.

My girls!

And then came the part where I had to lay down because I was weak in the knees with pride.

My goddaughter told me how when they were up in Raton, she learned a new song on her violin.

Now, let me back up here and fill in some story so we’re on the same page. There is a gentleman named Mr. Joe Delk who is a New Mexico legend. He leads the Delk band with his three sons and is one hell of a musician.

He plays a fiddle like it oughta be played. He learned it from his daddy.

Mr. Delk and his band played many of the dances I went to back at NMSU. I’ve met Mr. Delk several times and found him to be a kind man with a quick wit.

Before my godkids went up to Raton, they heard that Mr. Delk was going to be there too since his grandson was in the shooting competition. My baby girl’s dad told her this fact and said she might take her violin along and see if she could talk to Mr. Delk about playing.

So, she did. She took her instrument and she got up all her courage and walked over to a living legend of New Mexico (by herself, her mom wasn’t there at the time) and asked Mr. Delk about playing the violin.

Mr. Delk told my girl to go get her instrument and then he taught her how to play “Faded Love“.

Oh lordy, I’m tearing up again.

I’m the proudest Nina in the whole wide world. My girl! Such a brave one. I’m in awe of her!

I talked about her and her sister taking their seat at the table with a long line of proud agricultural New Mexicans when they raised and sold their pigs at last year’s fair.

And now, my oldest girl steps into some really hallowed territory. She can play a song that is a bedrock of both our American and our Southern New Mexico culture all thanks to a man who is himself part of that bedrock.

Whew. I didn’t know it was possible to feel this proud.

What an awesome day to be a Nina.

And god kid #5? Well, I finally got a boy in my clan. What in the heck am I going to do about a boy? He’s just a few weeks old, so I have time to sort it out. He’s already one of the calmest babies I’ve ever known in my life. I know both he and his big brother are destined to be amazing men.

Just. Whew.

I need to go dab my eyes a little and hug the infinitely huggable Good Man and thank whichever entity seems to fit into my dogma and catma today for the chance to be a part of it all.

I gotta heart full of proud.



Heart Full of Stars



Image found on Silverbeam’s Deviant Art page and used under Fair Use.