Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Peanuts and crackerjacks!

I'm really much more of a football-and-hockey kinda gal and will tell you, whether I'm asked or not, that I hate baseball. I don't mind going to the occasional game because there's lots to look at while not watching a bunch of chewing-and-spitting men scratch themselves and run in circles. Plus? The number of non-hits in a game? Booooooooooooooring. I want action! I want hitting! I want the satisfaction of a well-aimed pass landing in the outstretched arms (or stick) of a receiving teammate and the resulting points to go up on the board as the crowd goes wild. If you catch a ball in baseball? That's usually an out.

So, I hate baseball, but I secretly love (and by love, I mean "if I have to") the Phillies. As a young girl, summer weekends always had the game as background noise, whether it was static-y on the TV or buzzing from the AM dial. I don't remember the 1980 season or victory, but I'm sure I listened to the game from somewhere in the house. I do remember team members, household names then and now: Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Tug McGraw, Garry Maddox, Larry Bowa. These names are so vivid that just thinking of them brings up still-images of televised game coverage, the colors of the away uniforms seemingly remembered as a much more pleasant combination...

The Phillies became the team to love/hate and my only connection to baseball. I didn't care a lick about the Yankees, the Sox (White or Red), the Dodgers, the Royals, the Orioles, the Mets, or any of 'em. I avoided the Little League games of my siblings and wouldn't date a ball player in high school just so I didn't have game obligations. I mean, come on - the only thing stupider than baseball was tennis. (Except I've also seemed to develop a serious interest in tennis lately)

But, despite this aversion to baseball, I always knew where the Phils were in the standings, maybe not exactly, but relative. Winning? Losing? Middle of the road? If confronted in a sports bar, I could have held my ground enough so that I wouldn't be mistaken for a fan of the other team (and beaten to a pulp, some might say).

But recently, all of this has changed, and it's not just because we're the mother-effing 2008 World Series champions. No, not really, because I would have gone back to secretly enjoying my Phils if we'd stretched it out to 7 games and given up the go ahead run in the 9th of the final game. I do the same for the Eagles every year they disappoint. It's not a bandwagon'ing type of affection - it's more like the rocky relationship of two people forced together and maybe, just maybe 20 years after having to listen to the same thing again and again and again, until finally one or both give in and say, FINE, we're not getting any better or any worse, this is just how it is.

Anyway, maybe it's a sign of aging, maybe I've accepted that if I've liked (relatively) a team for this long (more than 30 years), it's ok to go public. Maybe it's something else, but over the last few years (since Bowa's last season in '04, for no particular reason), I've followed the Phils a little more closely and cheered a little less privately, and refrained from calling the Boys the Sillies, and instead have sought out 950 AM and have not argued when the TV's been tuned to the game. I've root, root, rooted for the home team, damn it, and I'm so proud of our Phillies that I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat last night.

We did it, now let's have a parade!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Goats go to hell

If nothing else, climbing on my second mountain has enabled me to discover something about myself: I do not like climbing mountains! I like hiking with mild elevation changes (say, 100-500 feet, spread over the length of the hike), I enjoy nature, and I really love spending time with Mike.

nor making lovers

We'd planned to climb Hunter Mountain, the second highest peak in the Catskills, via an old fire tower access road. But, we ended up taking the wrong trail. Twice.


Once we got on the right trail, we faced a fairly strenuous climb along a narrow, rocky, and leaf-covered trail.

narrow trail

I twisted both of my ankles at least twice each, Mike got bit by a snake (thank goodness for high-top boots!), and I pulled a gecko move when I laid flat on an overlook and hung the camera over the edge to snap a picture, scaring Mike more than I'd anticipated.

i like laying on a rock in the sun

And while we hiked the mountain via two wrong trails and never summited Hunter Mountain and spent 10 hours (including travel time to the trail head) away from flush toilets (not that I needed them because whatever I drank, I sweated out and whatever I ate, I burned up), I wouldn't say the hike was a complete waste.

final view from the wrong trail

sky through leaves

Mike, descending

red leaves in water, 2

All told, we hiked about 10 miles, had an ascent of about 1500 feet, and peaked just below 3700 feet. As we were leaving the trailhead, we passed the trail we'd intended to take, the signs nestled among the trees. And for whatever reason (let's call it pride), I vowed to return next year and climb the right damn trail. Of course, Mike didn't argue.

i haz a stick

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Just checked the Rhinebeck forecast (for the Nth time today, bringing the total times checked since the 10-day included Saturday up to 11,000) and it looks like we're going to be sunny and brisk! Who can't wait? I CAN'T WAIT. I am so glad that Mike is willing to go with me this year - we're surely going to have a special 12th anniversary celebration.

Here're our plans so far:
  • Get up early Friday and drive an hour and a half to the trail head for climbing Hunter Mountain. At just over 4,000 feet, it's the second tallest peak in the Catskills. Mike's treating it as a piece of cake, but I think summiting a mountain is a big deal. It's not like we're strolling up a hill.
  • Spend Saturday strolling the festival. I've already looked at the event schedule and have marked off anything that is strictly non-fiber for Mike's enjoyment. This includes: canine Frisbee demonstration, pumpkin chucking, and a hand-drawn map of the wine and cheese barn. I expect I'll have to text him hourly just to make sure he's not trying to catch a Frisbee in his mouth or in a cheese coma.
  • Have a lovely dinner that may or may not involve banana ketchup outside of the house. If you're not familiar with banana ketchup, get some at your local international supermarket.
  • Play some disc golf as we make our way home.
Now, if you're keeping score, you'll see there are THREE THINGS on that list that are basically all for the benefit of Mike - mountains, cheese comas, and banana ketchup. And I only have the one measly day at the festival as my prize. I'll just muddle through, though. The things I do for that man!

Say hey if you see me! I'll be toting this bag again:

you will know me by the squirrels on my bag

And, if all goes well, I'll be wearing a modified version of this sweater:

anastasia sleeve block
(Apparently I don't have any finished pictures of this sweater?
Anyway, I'm taking off the sleeves and seeing what happens...)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

0-60, sometime in the future

Parked at the Library!

I'm exercising my right to be Bad Ass (it's in the Constitution!). Rode my motorcycle to work for first time on Saturday and consider the trip to and from an overall success - no crashes, no problems, and it was FUN!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

True or False

It is better to have knit and frogged than to have never knit at all.

My Hey Teach didn't make it - but not for my usual reasons! This time I knit it entirely way too big. Here's hoping I can churn out a vest using bulky yarn and US 9s. If not, I'll just have to be content with strolling the barns at Rhinebeck. Darn.