Monday, April 22, 2013

My Unsolicited Advice to Other Baseball Fans

My brother Charles, son Jason and I had a great time up in the Bay Area at an A's game.  Since I can't afford (or...won't pay for) seats right behind home plate, I like to sit in the left field bleachers to maybe catch a home run ball (on this day, Torii Hunter hit one about ten rows behind us).  The Oakland bleachers are a fantastic place to watch a game, because the fans really get into it.  The 'flag wavers' sit there, as do the drummers, the vuvuzela blowers, and the guy with the bell.  No kidding, he brings a boat's bell and bungee cords the thing to the front of the bleachers.  He even warned everyone around, "I'm gonna be ringin' this thing a lot!"  There was a cute family in front of us with a baby appropriately decked out in A's booties and a matching hat which fell down over its eyes (but I don't think it was watching the game that much anyway).
And then....there was this guy, two rows down.  Green-Suit Guy.  I have seen these in blue (at an away high school football game) and in orange (at a home high school basketball game), but I've never been this close to one.  Obviously, it takes a certain amount of commitment and loyalty (and guts!) to don this spandex suit, which I respect.  I also greatly appreciate that he wore A's pajama bottoms over the spandex pants.  And he was really entertaining, especially when he looked up the stats of the other team's left fielder on his smart phone in order to better heckle the poor guy.  But I would like to give him just a couple of handy tips, and let this also be a lesson to any of you who might at some point wear one of these things at some other sporting event.
First, be sure to mind the weather, because although these things look really cool from afar, if it's, say, sunny and 80 degrees, just know that you are going to start to sweat - probably behind your ears and around your neck - and people around you could be totally grossed out.  Especially if they are also observant enough to notice the tiny little hairs that poke through the fabric all over your head and neck.  Consider sitting AWAY from everyone else, because this is a sight truly better enjoyed from a distance.
Second, if you are billing yourself as a 'superfan', as I would assume from your attire that you are, it's probably not the best idea to actually take a nap in your seat in the 7th inning, OR to leave in the 8th, when your team is down.  In my opinion, real fans just don't do that. I myself saw an Indians game in 2001 when the Indians were down by 12 runs and came back in the last two innings to win!  And 5 of those runs came with two out in the ninth!!  (Don't ask why I was watching an Indians game....I have no idea.  It just happens - watching random baseball games is a recurring problem for me).  Unless, of course, you are struggling with heat stroke because you sat out in the blazing sun for a few hours.  Then maybe it's okay.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Birthdays and Growing Up

In the past few weeks, we hosted grandparents (all of them!), celebrated Easter, Jason turned 16, and Grace turned 19.  Jason got to celebrate his birthday by getting his driver's license, going on a camping and fishing trip with his dad and some of his closest friends, and going to an Oakland A's game with his mom and uncle (yes, my brother flew down from Portland to go with us to the A's-Tigers game, so it was as much a gift to me as it was to Jason.  He's my hero, even though he was bad luck for the A's).  Then we were able to met Grace at a Cal Poly baseball game the next day (he was bad luck for them, too - they lost the game as well!) and take her out for breakfast on her birthday before I had to drive Uncle Charles back to the airport in San Jose.

A friend of mine asked me if I now "mourn and cry" on my kids' birthdays for the passing of time, and confessed to me that she has cried on every one of her childrens' birthdays since the oldest one turned ten.  This seems a little wacky to me.  I actually think it's quite fantastic that my kids are growing up.  They are such AMAZING people and I totally enjoy hanging out with them!  Grace is always available to text me 
fashion or decorating advice when I need it, and now that she is 'away' at college, she will have lunch or coffee out with me whenever I want.  And Jason is just hilarious and keeps me chuckling all the time (I will actually miss driving him and his friends around and listening to their conversations.)  It is so fun to have kids who grow up to be people you actually like!