Monday, August 29, 2011

The Old Ball Game

On August 23, Scott and I drove to Arlington with our friends, Bill and Susan. We had tickets for that night's game at the Ranger's Ballpark where Texas was hosting the Boston Red Sox. Now let me say that at the time I bought these tickets, early in June, I did not know that we would be in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave when August rolled around. 

Even though the Ballpark at Arlington is known for having good food, we decided to eat before we went to the stadium and chose Pappadeaux Restaurant. I'm glad we did because they had Alaskan Halibut on the menu, a fish that is very seasonal and one I love but hardly ever get to eat. It was pan-seared and served with a piccata sauce (lemon/butter sauce with capers) and lump crab meat on top. Yum! I should have taken a photo but it was all gone before I thought about it.

We pre-paid for parking so we cruised through the gate and into a good spot. Bill has a bad leg, so one of the attendants put him and Susan in a golf cart and whizzed them up to the stadium. Scott and I hoofed it, but we needed the walk after that dinner. 

 As we walked, we looked to the right and there it was ...

... Cowboy Stadium. Or as I like to call it, the High Cathedral of Football Worship.

Our seats were good, along the third base line and shaded by an overhang. It was 104º when we sat down. 

The Ballpark is beautiful and we were there early enough to see some of the players warming up. 

I love baseball. I am not a fanatic, watching every game and memorizing stats, but I do love the game. I love that I can understand the rules and that the players don't try to hurt each other. I love that an individual who trains hard and puts all he has into the game will usually do well. And I love that the goal is to "come home;" there's a certain grace to that. 

I wore a Ranger jersey to the game (another poor choice; polyester does not breathe at 104º) but there are several teams I like, including the Red Sox and NY Yankees. So I intended to enjoy the game, no matter who won.

The Red Sox scored in the first inning and set the pace for the night; the Rangers never caught up. Although "my boy," Ian Kinsler, made a good showing. 

Here he is at bat . . . 

Holding at third . . .

And coming home.

Bill enjoyed the game.

And so did Rangers coach Ron Washington . . .

... and Mr. and Mrs. Nolan Ryan. (Their seats look a lot more comfortable than ours, but I guess that's what you get for millions of dollars.)

I can't say that the heat didn't matter. It did. It was really hot. But after the game started and some of the seats around us did not fill, we moved around. There was a nice breeze blowing so that helped make it tolerable. It was after 9:00pm before the temperature went below 100º. 

The game was good, but at the end of the 8th inning, with a score of Boston 7, Texas 4, we decided to beat the crowd and head out. I seriously needed a cold shower and some air conditioning. By the time we got to the hotel a few blocks away, Boston had scored four more runs. My boy, Ian Kinsler, hit a solo home run, but still the game ended 11-5.
Not the Rangers' best showing, but we had a great time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Maureen

Today is Maureen's birthday. If you know me or have read this blog, you know that Maureen is my best friend. We have known each other since we were 24. We are older than that now and she will be older than me until October 5. I am not going to tell you everything about Maureen and why we are friends, but I will give you a random list of things that are true.

1.  We know all the same songs. This was one of the first things that bound us together. In fact, we made a challenge game of it. Someone would give us a word or subject and we would sing the first song that came into our head. It was always the same song.

2.  We each think the other is hilarious. She gets all my jokes and I get hers.

3.  Maureen has been with me through almost every major tragedy in my life and somewhere, in the midst of sorrow, exhaustion and agony, she makes me laugh. It may be the laughter heard from insane residents of a mental institutition, but it is laughter nonetheless.

4.  Maureen has a great spirit of adventure and is an intrepid traveler. She just returned from three weeks in Cambodia, where for the first two weeks she participated workshops for college students studying science using a curriculum she had helped to write. Then she set out on her own to visit Angor Wat and the other ancient temples of Cambodia. For our 50th birthday we went to Iceland, saw volcanos and geyers and walked on glaciers. Did I say we went in December? Cold and dark but a great adventure. This photo shows Maureen swimming in the Blue Lagoon, one of Iceland's most incredible natural wonders.

5.  I can't imagine my life without her; she has become my sister. Thank you, Donna, the mutual friend who introduced us because, "y'all are so much alike I know you'll be friends." She was right. 

Stonehenge, 1992
 Happy birthday, Maureen.