Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baseball, Flowers, Gardens, Life, Boredom

A beautiful Sunday afternoon, sitting at the computer, waiting for Monkeyboy's Sunday ball to begin. Another great, relaxing weekend.
Well, kind of. Cleaned out the closet. Since my lifestyle will be changing very shortly, I have to go through all clothes and shoes and decide which to save and which to disperse. Business attire. Never to be used again. So, I make piles. Pile one is clothes to be donated. Pile two is clothes I will never, ever, in a million years, fit into ever again. Pile three is clothes I probably will never wear again, but can't part with. Pile four is the "keeper" pile. And then there are the shoes. Sometimes I wonder why I ever bought plaid shoes. And how about the strappy black silk shoes? There are pairs of shoes I have never worn. And there are sneakers that are oh, so comfortable. I have not yet begun to go through t-shirts. Mippy and I used to enter races all of the time, and we always got t-shirts. Three drawers worth of t-shirts. I don't wear t-shirts much anymore, nor do I run races much. I have lots of piles on the floor of the bedroom.
Monkeyboy played under the lights on Friday night. Perhaps "played" is too strong a word. His team does this once a year (plays under the lights), and it is something we all look forward to. Until the game begins. Monkeyboy's team was one man (or boy) short. Perhaps that had some impact. Perhaps not. The scorekeeper quit registering the score once the other team hit 18 runs in three innings. Such a wild cheer, and of course, the "wave", when Monkeyboy's team scored one run in the third inning. Soon to be followed by six more, but alas, they lost. Parents on the other team began to cheer when we got a hit. I don't even know the score, and that really doesn't matter, because in the end, the kids were thrilled to be playing under the lights, and the parents were thrilled that we scored. That 18-0 did not look so good on the board however.
The Pens played last night, kind of. The Redwings looked very good. I'm not sure why hockey players just hit the puc, not to anyone in particular, they just slam it down the ice. I'm sure Ben and Bill will explain it to those of us who are clueless.
They began the landscaping on Friday. I watched some, between lunch with friends and Judge Judy (one of my favorite shows, you know). I am always amazed when professionals seem to know exactly what to do and how to get it done. I don't know why I am amazed, but I am. I lost the plan they drew for me, so this is all quite a surprise, and a pleasant one at that. I didn't know they were going to put in a path, and it looks wonderful. They will hopefully finish it on Tuesday.
The front "garden" is one that I undertake each year, and it looks awful as usual, but at least there is something there.
I watched Susan Boyle sing again last night, and she has an amazing voice. I also watched "Diversity", the dance team that won. How innovative! I don't watch the talent shows, but these two were amazing.
Since I was sitting at my computer, waiting for baseball, I decided to start goggling (is that a word?) different words and phrases. I found out how to fix my front walk, how to find cat safe plants, how to get rust stains from concrete. It's amazing, you just put a word or phrase in the box and get all kinds of answers.
There will be no snack bar at the baseball game, so I had better get some lunch. Oh, by the way, don't try to reheat a bloomin' onion or Texas know one of those deep-fried onions that you get in restaurants. What a mess, and it was awful! Tried to do it for the hockey game last night, and it just did not work at all. Big, blob of a mess.
GO PENS!!!! Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend....So Far

I was going to wait to post, but I have been getting pressure from SOME for a new post, so here we go.
What a beautiful weekend it has been! Sunny, hot and a great beginning to summer. Baseball tournaments, the Pens winning, some gardening and, of course, dinner out on a Saturday night.
It's been a fast week. Training at work that is very tiresome, except for CC in my unit, who entertains us as we go. Two more days this week. You know, this may be the best system that has been introduced in years, but my gosh, the training is awful! And everyone is mandated for this three day training. With the holiday and all of the trainings, people aren't around much, and it make for a very interesting day at the office.
Springsteen on Tuesday with Monkeyboy. I love Springsteen, but when a concert is due to start at 7:30 and doesn't start until after 8:30, I get a little angry. I mean, if there is a problem with something, let us know. But the E Street Band came on stage and gave a wonderful concert. Unfortunately, after an hour, Monkeyboy sat down during a slower set and fell sound asleep.
Had dinner with a friend of mine that I haven't seen in sometime, like 10 years or so. She made me laugh so hard remembering things and telling stories of her life now. It is so nice to reconnect. She was such a good friend and we lost contact. I don't know how that happens. She is back in my life now and we have pledged to meet every month for dinner. It was odd how we reconnected. I got one of those emails from another friend, and on the forward list was her name. So I clicked on it and sent her an email, and I am glad I did.
MJE is in NYC this weekend. Wonder if she made it to GCS to dance. Perhaps she will see Tim, or perhaps she can make arrangements to assist him should he need it.
The Pens are up three games over North Carolina. They play again on Tuesday, and we will all be watching here in the 'burg...well, all except Kitty, who doesn't follow sports much and only this year knew anything about the Steelers. I don't like it when the Pens are only up by one point, I close my eyes a lot at that point. Malkin got a hat trick the other night, and that was certainly a great thing to see. I thought he might get one last night, but he only got two scores.
Tournament for little league baseball. I believe this was only the first of Monkeyboy's tournaments. I do love to watch these games.
This one was quite a distance away, probably about 25-30 miles from the city. It was in a rural community and it was a beautiful drive. We saw one house and Mippy yelled..."Did you see that? Elvis forever". I thought that she had seen the same thing that I saw. I saw...on the a different color shingle....ELVIS. It was actually on the roof. I believe she saw it on a painted rock. This brings to mind some odd customs we have in Pittsburgh. We put chairs in parking spots to save them. And no one moves them. They wouldn't dare. People spend hours cleaning snow from a parking spot, then they put their chair there. They even do it in the summer. Not clean the snow, but put chairs to save parking spots. But I digress.
Tournament day number one. Everyone piles into the park and sets up their chairs. We all plop down and await the start of the game. Kids on the team are throwing balls to one another while parents watch with pride. Anticipation builds. Bean and Bird are practicing lacrosse while they wait. The teams take the field. Batters hit their spikes, hats are adjusted. Mitts are pounded, swings are practiced. And then the magic words. PLAY BALL.
"Little league ready" is called for the fielders, cheers for the batter. These parents are good, they cheer when someone hits the ball, they cheer when someone catches the ball, the cheer just to cheer. Coaches show respect for each other and for the teams. It is a good game and Monkeyboy's team wins. Hot dogs all around and off to the next game.
This coach is an idiot. Yells at his team, throws his mitt after each inning and tries to change the batting order, which I am told is not allowed. He is called on it and gets cranky. His wife does some crazy hoots and hollers while waving her arms furiously and screeching at the top of her lungs. Someone said she fell off the top of the bleachers after getting extremely wild on one play, but I think they were kidding, weren't they? Monkeyboy's team could do nothing, but, hey...they tried.
Home yesterday and up early this morning for another round. Bean and friends took younger kids to the playground, while Bird put up a canopy for some much needed shade. All of a sudden, our spot became the spot of the day. Made one feel popular.
Same routine pre-game. Team just couldn't get it together, but had a rally at the end. Not quite enough though and they lost. Hot dogs all around then off to the next game. The team could do no wrong in this game. Hit all the balls, got runs and fielded the ball beautifully. Game was called a win after four innings due to rain on the way and the uneven score...I believe 12-2.
It has been a great weekend. Tomorrow we go to the cemetery for a memorial service.
I hope your summer is off to a good start, and please remember those who served our country and are currently serving. Happy Sunday.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Where Was Everyone?

We are home.

We had the most wonderful trip. The drive up was a bit dicey. Fog and rain. And the windshield wipers were not so good....and there was this driver who almost cut us off, but Mippy took care of it.

Garmin doesn't work in NYC. It said to turn right onto W42nd, then immediately said to turn left onto 10th Ave. It was very confused. We were tired. Got cranky. Mippy kept saying "Don't yell"....does she know the meaning of the word yell?

Got to the hotel and checked in...thanks to Ralph. He was wonderful, just what we needed. Got to our room and off to Toy R Us. Rode on the darn ferris wheel. I hate ferris wheels, scare the heck out of me. Kids laughed. They thought it was cool that I went on. I didn't.

Went to pool. Watched them swim. Monkeyboy is doing well. They got a bit wild. Well, actually they were wild with anticipation. I thought to myself that they would medicate Monkeyboy if they saw him, but I thought it is just excitement. Anticipation.

Woke up and had breakfast before leaving for Statue. It worked perfectly. Got on the boat, went to see Statue. Had beautiful weather. Mippy wanted to take subway...we took cab. She is such an adventurist, but Hotel said....get there early. Trip over, Bean started to feel sick from fumes from boat. We all did, just didn't want to talk about it. Made it to the island, and what a sight. I was impressed. We had lots of fun, just exploring.

Came back on boat. Woman heaved overboard and hit the deck below. Lots of "ewwwwww" from deck below. Felt badly for the woman who heaved, not thinking about the people to whom she heaved. We all got a little nauseous from watching heaving.

Arrived at hotel after eating dogs on the street. More swimming.

Went to see Wicked. What a wonderful show! Laughed, laughed some more. Left theater feeling very good, heading back to hotel. Eating cookies.

Shopping day and Monkeyboy and Mippy went to GCT. Did not see Tim. Waited for many, many hours for song and dance, but nothing.

Met back at hotel for swimming. Tried to do dance and song in pool, did not work.

Went to dinner and off to Gazillion Bubble Show. Was wonderful. Monkeyboy went up on stage to participate and was great! He was part of foursome that went inside bubble. Anna, the bubble person, was born in 1965 in Vietnam. She told her story, and Monkeyboy knew it all to convey to his father.

Trip back.

Awoke early, went to deli to get breakfast. Deli man remembered me and gave me the order. Wished me a safe journey home and wished the Pens good luck. Went back to hotel and packed to leave. Got car, porter, and were on our way. Did I mention....Garmin doesn't work in the city? Thanks to Mippy got out of city and on our way.

Through the Lincoln Tunnel and a sigh of relief. No traffic to speak of, on the road and clear sailing. Well, maybe not. Bean said she had to stop. We were just outside the city. It sounded rather urgent, so we pull off and find this gas station. Bean gets out of the car and heads to the ladies room. It's quite windy and somewhat cold. We wait in the car. And wait. And wait. Bean finally comes out, looking a bit green. She asks if we can sit for a while, she doesn't feel well. Nope. We can't. Get out the plastic bags and head back onto the freeway.

I should mention that this happens when we are on the road. Kids get nauseous It generally passes rather quickly.

We drive on for an hour or so, checking with Bean who says to continue. Monkeyboy wakes up and says he needs a restroom. Bean concurs and says she does also. We get off at one stop and no restroom. On to the next stop. We see a sign for a motel and for a Home Depot. We figure there must be a restroom in the motel.

The motel is boarded up. Things are getting urgent. We head for Home Depot at top speed. We pull into the parking spot and get out of the car. Mippy is hiding the Garmin (it's finally working) and tells the kids to hide things. I say let's just get going here. She says to quit yelling.

We race into Home Depot, four of us running madly. We ask the greeter who tells us that the rest rooms are at the other end of the store in the back. We run. And make it. WHEW.

Everyone feels much better, and the rest of the trip goes without any problems. We arrive home to be greeted by Oscar, Flurrie and MR, the next door neighbor.

It's great to go away, and the trip was wonderful, but boy, my bed felt great last night.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Think I Am Ready

The Pens lost...but we have a chance tomorrow night.

So much excitement.

Monkeyboy played so well in baseball Monday night. Boy, can that boy run. And he can hit. He made Sunday ball.

Bean turned 13 on Monday. Bird always cuts their age into the grass. She is a teenager. How scary is that?

OM gosh, I am so excited to get on the road. I packed, and re-packed tonight.

I hope Mippy doesn't take her blackberry...those are so very annoying.

We are renting a van and packing food. So much better than flying, though I have three tickets on airlines from fiasco in June.

We are seeing "Wicked" and I can't wait.

I wish we could meet in Grand Central Station and dance to the music.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Ready

We leave for New York City on Thursday, and we are counting the days. We are a group of singers, we are. Each person has their own part to a song. Monkeyboy beats out the song with drumsticks on the back of the seat and also chimes in on the singing. MY goal is to learn the words to this song. Mippy and I attempted to sing it and yelled to Bean "Hit it" for the chorus. Bean is too young to remember this song, but perhaps she will read the blog and she and Monkeyboy can practice it.

Michele is photographing a wedding tomorrow, her first I think. She told a co-worker about it and he was very mean about it. She takes wonderful pictures, but she is nervous, so keep your fingers crossed that she doesn't trip the bride!

Kitty SOLD one of her beautiful bags yesterday. They are truly unique and eye catching. I am thinking she has a second career here.

Know this is short, but Pens are playing, so gotta run. Have a good one.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Last night Monkeyboy and I went to a Pittsburgh Pirate game. What an experience! Bean was having a birthday party and I offered to spend the evening with Monkeyboy. I wanted to make it a good time for him, so for a child that said at the beginning of baseball season "This is the best time of my life", I thought the game would be a good choice.
We left in plenty of time, 5:00 for a 7:00 game. Monkeyboy directed me to the parking lot and we walked the two blocks to the ballpark. Since his father had told me where they usually sat, Monkeyboy took me to the seats, pointing out sights along the way.
The Reds were warming up, and apparently, the center field bleachers are the place to sit to catch balls. The Reds threw them into the crowd on occasion, and as you can see, Monkeyboy was right there, ready to catch them.
It was umbrella night, as well as dollar dog night (limit, four to a person). Monkeyboy explained the game to me in detail and was impressing those around us with his knowledge. I had one highlight, when I told him why players used to tuck their pants into their was so the umpire could see the strike zone more clearly.
They have questions throughout the game on the jumbotron, and one of them was asking the players which birthday they thought was the most fun for them. The one player said that when he was a kid, he got lots of presents, had a big party, was very special for the day, but now he got a card and a happy birthday. Sometimes, growing up isn't fun.
The rain began in the seventh inning, and it came down hard. We had ponchos, so we kept fairly dry. The nachos got soggy, though. My favorite part of going to a ballgame is the nachos and beer. I had no beer. Just pepsi. But it still was a wonderful evening. The Pirates lost, but I got to know quite a bit about their team, thanks to Monkeyboy.
Now to get ready to watch the Pens....GO PENS.
Do you remember your favorite birthday? Mine was when papap and mime came to Pittsburgh and we went to the Point to see the fireworks.