Yes, I Very Much Do Want Sprinkles on That

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“Practice makes perfect,” they say and, “If you do something for 10,000 hours then you will be a master.”

Well, horse hockey is my answer to that.

If the delineator for adulthood is the age of 18, then I have put in a solid 236,682 hours at this craft, and I still haven’t figure out how to be a master.

In fact, I may be worse at it than ever.

Sure, I get up in the morning and I go to work and I make a paycheck and I pay my taxes and I usually vote and I have insurance and a 401k and even a will. All the trappings of being a grown up.

But I still would rather have cookies for dinner and silly cereal for breakfast. I still throw little tantrums when things don’t go my way. I still need naps and need to believe in Santa and I still want to play with toys and fly kites and occasionally I just need to melt down.

I can pay my taxes but the very thought of buying a house terrifies me. I can make decisions that impact millions of dollars at my job and then sometimes can’t decide if I want orange or lime flavored candy at the store. Then I buy and eat both and cry because my tummy hurts.

This thing, this adulthood, it doesn’t get easier.

And hell, I don’t even know where the border lies, the place I can cross safely and know for sure I have arrived into adulthood.

Some might say it happens when you have kids. Fair play, I guess. But I have a lot of friends with kids that I wouldn’t call the model citizens for grownup-itude.

When my dad died, that probably was the closest for me in knowing what it means to be an adult. I grew up pretty fast when, for better or worse, that was thrust upon me.

But even that wasn’t enough to be the final frontier for me. (mmm, Frontier. I could go for a cinnamon roll right about now)

This past month some things happened with my “lady guts” that signaled the beginning of a long journey. When a woman’s life turns from the dog days of summer into Autumn.

Discretion keeps me from going through all of the gory details, no one needs all of that. While I’m far too young for the “main event,” my body has let me know that the pre-game show has started and the players are starting to take the field. (nothing like a sports metaphor to describe a lady issue….)

I’m not ready for this. I’m not grown up enough for this. I’m not an adult! I have put in the hours, many hours of long grueling practice and still…still I find myself at this age and at this earthly turning of a season far from being an expert at adulthood. I am jack of many aspects and master of none.

Maybe that is okay. Maybe that is what being an adult is about, the continually wondering if you are “grown upping” correctly. Paying taxes and eating ice cream sundaes with reckless abandon (while popping Lactaid, because that’s a mature thing to do).

And on my next bubblegum ice cream sundae, I will be decisive enough to get both nuts AND sprinkles on top.

Because I’m young enough to want them both and old enough to pay for it.

So there. Take that! This is how I’m doing grown up and no one can make me do it differently!

Nanny nanny boo boo on you!

Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas.

— Paula Poundstone








Image found here.




From A Goat to A Hero in 148 Pitches

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“Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”

— Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame Broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers

As a longtime baseball fan, I’ve often spent time pondering this very notion, that baseball is an awful lot like life. I have even written yards of stories and words on this very topic. After watching thousands of games, I personally believe that across the nature of nine innings of baseball, in each and every game, a story is told.

One of the most curiously fascinating concepts to me is that a player can make a terrible error in one inning (thus making him the goat) and then be the hero of the game in the very next inning.

Local broadcaster Mike Krukow has often commented that it’s just an unwritten fact of baseball, the guy who bobbles the ball in one inning is going to be at bat the next inning. Or, the guy who made a spectacular catch will also be up in the next inning.

It’s an odd philosophy but I’ve observed that it is pretty spot on. Baseball with all of its flaws and issues is an awfully democratic game. Second chances are given. Third, fourth and fifth chances too. The player who is a super star can slip into an 0 for 42 slump. That guy who can’t seem to hit a damn thing can suddenly make a key play that propels him to a 40 for 42 streak.

You just never know. And that is pretty much like life.

It was with this in mind that I joyfully watched a guy on a real bad downswing named Tim Lincecum, who plays for the San Francisco Giants, complete a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

Tim burst on the baseball scene in 2007 as a first round draft pick. Everything about him does not scream baseball. He is a very small person, running about 5’11” on a day he’s standing up very straight and clocking in at maybe 170 pound soaking wet. He is an unlikely pitcher compared to the usual broad shouldered and well over six-footers that dominate the mound.

In addition, Tim’s delivery style is rather unique and eyebrow raising among followers of Major League Baseball. In order to get speed from his small frame, he contorts and twists his body back and delivers a pitch with a whipsaw motion. This delivery and his ability to baffle quality hitters has earned him the nickname “The Freak.”

As no major league batter had ever seen this kind of delivery, Lincecum dominated MLB for his first several seasons, racking up two Cy Young awards, several trips to the All Star Game, and much respect.

But as baseball is the great equalizer, major league hitters began to get used to how Tim pitched. They watched hours of tape and they started to work him out. Suddenly the phenom fell to earth and his pitching was not so freakish anymore. He was, as they say, getting “touched up” pretty regularly.

Over about three years, Lincecum has struggled mightily, and last year in the post season leading to the World Series, he was taken out of the starting rotation and placed in the bullpen. This is an ego bruiser for even the most easygoing of pitcher.

But Tim took it in stride, pitched well in relief and helped the team win the 2012 World Series.

This season, Lincecum has been showing marked improvement, but his teammates are batting so poorly in support of his outings that his record looks dismal. His quality outings have been a bright spot in a pretty terrible season for the San Francisco Giants.

Recently everyone (especially this Giants fan) has been wondering if this is the end of the era of Tim Lincecum.

So it was unlikely to see our small Mr. Lincecum on the mound pitching for his life on Saturday night. He worked his way through all nine innings and threw 148 pitches to close out his first no-hitter.

To be honest, I felt certain he’d throw a no-hitter in the first few years of his career, his stuff was that baffling. But in many ways, it has to be almost more satisfying to have been a phenom, then struggle, then battle back to show Major League Baseball that maybe the era isn’t ending, but simply starting a new chapter.

What a great story. What an amazing game. What an accomplishment.

Lately I have been wavering a little in my allegiance to the San Francisco Giants, as they have been playing sloppy baseball and embarrassing themselves left and right. I was becoming bored with this season’s story. Saturday night I turned the page and a new chapter filled with twists and turns greeted me. I’m now back in the game.

Thank you, Mr. Lincecum, for winning back my heart and mind and for telling me, a storyteller in my own right, one hell of a tale.

Much deserved.








Bonus!

Another priceless moment from that no hitter game: A pitch accidentally hits the umpire in the gut, right at the bottom of his chest protector. Ow. Watch Lincecum’s reaction. Awesome.








Image from Wikipedia and used under a Creative Commons 2.0 licensing agreement with attribution.

Footage belongs to MLB, .gif was found here.




Well That’s Sort Of Epic

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Yesterday was a pretty monumental day for me. So much important stuff happening on just one little ol’ Wednesday in October.

First off, it was Halloween. All Hallows Eve. The day of costumes and candy and belly aches and trick or treat. For many people, Halloween is their Christmas.

Being the old scrooge that I am, there was no costuming going on for me (or for The Good Man).





But that’s ok, I celebrated by watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and eating dried cherries instead of candy since we don’t get any trick or treaters. How grown up of me to make that choice. How unlike me to make that choice! Sugar is *awesome*.

But pumpkins and goblins were but one of the big events of the day.

Yesterday was also the big huge spectacular parade down Market Street in San Francisco to celebrate the World Series winning San Francisco Giants.

Rock oooon!

I wasn’t able to attend in person, but I was able to watch it all live on TV and on the ‘net and wow, what a fun day!!





And THEN when all of that crazy happy fun celebration was done, The Good Man and I went to visit our local County Elections Office. Such a solemn follow up to a happy confetti party! But here’s the thing, when we moved this year, I changed all of my address info with the DMV and nicely asked the DMV to update my voter records.

As we got closer to the election, I noticed that I didn’t get my sample ballot in the mail and I didn’t get my vote-by-mail ballot either.

So we dropped by the busy office and got that all sorted out. Turns out they had my new address properly entered, but for some reason I wasn’t listed as “active”. So she ticked the box, clicked save and I was good.

Then we figured, hey, while we’re here, let’s go ahead and vote.





I felt sort of weirdly proud and a bit patriotic and awfully grown up to be standing there in a polling booth with The Good Man right next door as we cast our respective ballots. There were a few of the crazy California propositions that I could have gone either way on and heading into the polls, The Good Man joked about us voting exact opposite of each other to simply net-net our votes.

Ok, ok, we didn’t do that but it certainly seemed like a good solution. Voting in California is a strange, wacky and time consuming process. Anyhow, we used the electronic voting machines and made our selections and I cast my ballot.

Now that it’s done, I think from here on out I shouldn’t have to see any more political ads, be subjected to any more smarmy politician faces on the local, state or national level and I shouldn’t have to read any more politically driven internet crap.

Am I right? I think I am.

In other words: I’m out! : brush hands together :

Or in the immortal words of Doris Day, whatever will be will be.

But hey, what a day. Celebrated America’s pastime, voted in America’s big election and then danced around by the light of the almost full moon on all hallows eve.

Wait…I chose fruit over candy and I voted? What the hell is happening to me!?!?!




_____________________

Costume photo found at Sanitaryum.com.

San Francisco Giants parade photos from the SFGiants Instagram stream.

Voting sticker photo Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page, and taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.




When They Finally Let Me Into the Dugout

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In honor of the postseason baseball and because my beloved San Francisco Giants are profoundly sucking this year, I happened to stumble across an old post I wrote over two years ago and was compelled to post it again.

I totally forgot about this post but upon a re-read I was like “My god, I am a genius.”

Behold blogging perfection, laid out before you.

___________________________

Originally published March 7, 2010

Getting My Geek On

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. The 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….




Meanwhile….

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After spending a mind boggling sixteen days in another country working her arse off and also having a little fun, our Superhero returns to home base, Casa de Enchilada, for rest, relaxation and to plan her next move.

Lacking a blog post for the last week, it’s time to take action. However, jet lag, life lag and a lack of ideas has caused our superhero to be stumped.

“To the Random Word Generator!” she cried out. And thus it was so.

——-

In one of those cosmic kinda “whoooah, I’m not drunk enough to understand the meaning of this” moments, I sauntered over to my favorite Random Word Generator this morning while looking for inspiration.

A kick start and kick in the butt for the Muse.

Upon click, this is what the generator replied:

“Your random word is: Changeover”

Well shut my mouth. That about sums it up, doesn’t it?

The changeover. From GMT to PST. From rainy ol’ England to sunny ol’ Northern California.

From maudlin faces over England’s poor showing in Euro2012 and Andy Murray‘s loss at Wimbledon to holy hell YES the Giants put on a clinic at the 2012 All Star Game and then swept the Astros.

From the barking mad Mayor Boris Johnson to the stoic and reserved Mayor Ed Lee.

From London Bridge to Golden Gate Bridge.

From cold sandwiches alone in a hotel room to vibrant dinners with The Good Man with The Feline trying to sit on my lap.

From a little lost American in London to a New Mexican in California.

Ah yes. The changeover is really a changeback. Back to where I belong.

Reunited and it feels so good.







Photo from SFGate.