Monday, July 25, 2011

peace out

Ahhh, my annual summer vacay to So. Cal has arrived. On the agenda for the week:

* spend lots of time with the BFF Elissa (and her hubby Mike) and Melanie, my roomie from college (who is flying out from Texas)

* see my favorite musical, Les Miserables (it's touring for its 25th anniversary and currently in LA)

* celebrate E's 34th birthday

* read by the pool

* get massages and/or facials

* sleep. a lot.

* go to San Diego and go fishing with E's dad

* Disneyland to go on the new Star Tours ride AND finally see World of Color

Be back August 2nd. Peace out.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

play ball!

This will be my last blog about softball. Because I realized this week that Tuesday was my last game! *sob* I am going on vacation next week and will miss the next 4 games and then our team is not scheduled to play the last week of the league. So I REALLY wanted to play well on Tuesday's game so I could go out on a high note.

Unfortunately, one of the girls on our team was not there, so Coach Doug had to rearrange our line-up. And he sent me to center field. Noooo. Please no. Put me in right field because people don't usually hit there. Or put me as catcher, which I love. No dice. So center field I went.

We did not play very well. The other team was really good. The first two times I was up at bat, I hit right to the pitcher who threw it to first and got me out. Boo. My third time up at bat, I got on base but the person after me struck out and that was the end of our inning.

Outfield was scary. I was freaking that any minute a ball would come hurtling toward me. Thankfully I had two great people on either side of me that told me where to stand and what to do. In the third inning, someone hit a ball that bounced my way. I thought I had it but missed and it went right past me to the fence. The guy playing left field had to grab it and throw it in. I was a bit embarrassed.

Our whole team seemed to struggle. People were dropping balls, not hitting well, getting injured, etc. We ended up losing 15-6. As we went back to our bench area, I overheard some of the older guys asking each other what they were doing that night. One guy named Tom said in a sing-song voice, "I smell ibuprofen..." That gave a me a good laugh. It's true. We all seemed to hobble to our cars after this hard game.

So anyway, I wish I could have finished out on a high note, but oh well. I hope my team wins the next (and last) 4 games they play! I'm sad I won't be there. As nervous as I was to join a softball league, I'm really glad I did. I learned a lot, made some new friends, and have some good stories to share with people. I'll definitely do this again next summer.

P.S. One more thing. I forgot to mention one of my favorite people. Dale was the referee at all our games. He is probably in his late 70's/early 80's and one of the sweetest people I've ever met. He always called me "Sarah Jane" (even though that's not my middle name) and encouraged me when I was at bat. It was like having a kind grandpa on your side. He loved to share stories of previous games he's reffed where he threw players out for talking back to him or horror stories of players getting hit by the ball. My favorite Dale quote came on Tuesday. I asked him how he was doing. He looked me, smiled, and said, "Well, just as Lucille Ball used to say, 'Any day I'm above ground is a good day'."

My second baseball event of the week was a Giants game! Wooohoo!

On Wednesday, our whole church staff went up to SF to watch the Giants play the Dodgers at AT&T Park. We had a ball (pun intended). It was a beautiful day, Timmy Lincecum (my fav) was pitching, and I ate garlic fries. We sadly lost 1-0 because the Dodgers got a homerun, but it was still fun to be there. I wish I lived closer to the city. I would go to so many more games!!

Anyway, if you've been bored with baseball/softball stuff in the blog, no worries! It's done for now. I'll be blogging on other fun stuff in the future like a trivia night I went to, how much I am loving the Glee Project, and how weird it was to go to a wedding for two of my 20 year college students.

Love you all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Harry Potter

I went to the midnight showing of the LAST Harry Potter movie.

Thursday July 14, 2011. Twelve college students, Intern Scott, and myself drove to a theater 45 minutes away that had a 3D IMAX screen. We plopped ourselves in (the already long) line at 6:30 pm. 5 and a half hours till the final movie of the Harry Potter world.

Waiting in lines for stuff like this is always fun. So many people were dressed up. We saw Rita Skeeter, patronuses, Hedwig, a golden snitch, Dobby, lots of Hogwarts students (wearing their colored ties or scarves, depending on what house they were representing), lots of people with wands, robes, lightning scars, Harry glasses, etc.

As we waited in line, you could feel the energy. Everyone was so excited! People brought chairs, blankets, pillows, books, cards, laptops, games. It was a party. We went and got In-N-Out and brought it back in line with us.

Around 10 pm, they let us into the theater. Wheeeee! We found seats and settled down for some more waiting.

I had brought a bunch of glow bracelets for our group. As I was passing them out, I was struck with an idea. "Hey guys. Let's go down there and do some Harry Potter trivia with everyone!" Two girls jumped on that. "YEAH! And let's give the glow sticks as prizes!"

The next thing I knew I was in front of the movie theater, shouting.

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please!! Welcome to the midnight showing of Harry Potter 7 part two! We thought it would be fun to do some Harry Potter trivia before the movie begins. We will ask questions and if you think you know the answer, raise your hand and yell 'EXPECTO PATRONUM!' If you are correct, we have these glow sticks as prizes!"

People went nuts. They were SO into it. And everyone thought we worked at the movie theater. Like this was planned. haha!

Here are some questions we asked:

* Name all 7 Weasley children.
* List at least 4 ways wizards and witches can travel.
* What is Dumbledore's full name?
* What is written on top of the Mirror or Erised?
* List at least 4 animals that have been under Hagrid's care.
* Name all 7 horcruxes.

(Can you answer these? If so, congratulations! You're a Harry Potter fan!)

Anyway, we asked questions until all the glow bracelets had been given away. Then we thanked everyone for their time and told them to enjoy the movie.

As for the movie itself? What can I say. I loved it. It was wonderful. Full of action but also heart. The audience was awesome. We all laughed together, cheered and clapped together, and we even all cried together. There were two spots in the movie where myself and everyone around me was sniffling. Awwwww...

After the movie, I was sad. I can't believe there are no more. The books are done. And now the movies are done.

I do have something to look forward to, though. I'm going to the Harry Potter theme park (in Orlando, FL) in October. My love for this little wizard will never die.

J.K. Rowling, I love you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ball-cap #3

Double-header Tuesday!

I am exhausted but it was such a great evening. You guys, I feel like I'm getting better! I am feeling a bit more confident. I am catching, hitting, and talking like I know what I'm saying.

Ok, first game. This team was GOOD. We were neck-and-neck most of the time. My two highlights of the game were:

1) I hit a line-drive (see, don't I sound official?) down center field and got to first base. Can I just say I am absolutely addicted to the feeling I get when my bat makes contact with the ball?! It is electrifying. It feels so amazing. And then other teammates hit really well and brought me home so I got to score for my team. Another great feeling. To score for your team as they cheer you on.

2) I was catching in our last inning, we were tied, and we couldn't let them score (or they'd win) and someone in the outfield threw the ball right to my glove JUST as someone tried to run home. I caught it! Whoosh! I was so happy and shocked that I caught it, I did a little dance of joy. What I didn't realize is that the game doesn't stop just because the catcher caught the ball. So during my spastic dance number, two other runners got to their next base. Whoops. But let's just focus on the fact that my glove caught the ball. Yeah.

We were tied after 7 innings (that's all you play in softball) so we went to an extra inning and sadly we lost 11-13. It was a good, close game.

And then the next team was there so we just jumped right into our second game. Oh man, that team was baaaaaad. Like, really bad. For the first 5 innings we were winning 19-0. I think it helped that we were all warmed up and on fire from already playing a game, but still.

A couple things to note from this game.

* I pretended to be Peter (Banning) Pan from the movie "Hook". The scene where he's pretending to be a pirate so he can watch his son Jack play baseball near Captain Hook. Whenever someone on my team swung and missed, I'd close one eye and out of the corner of my mouth say, "Wait for the good pitches!" in a pirate voice. (Sometimes followed by "Run Home Jack!")

* A girl from the other team got hit (hard!) in the side by a ball as she ran to her next base. I don't remember much of internal organs, but it probably hit her in the kidney. It looked painful. Suddenly my left calf bruise didn't seem like such a big deal. This sport is dangerous.

* In one inning while catching, the pitcher threw a great strike at me. I picked it up and yelled "Hey, Jeff! Good serve!" Um, I forget. What sport are we playing? Not tennis?

We won our second game 24-5.

P.S. - This has nothing to do with softball, but it's worth noting: Afterwards we went to Chili's for celebratory chocolate milkshakes. You know which ones I'm talking about, right? So thick you can't even drink them with a straw? And covered with chocolate sprinkles? That sounded so ridiculously good after playing softball for 2 and a half hours. To say I was looking forward to it was an understatement.

We got there and the waiter informed me that Chili's does not serve milkshakes anymore. I looked at him and said, "You're kidding, right?" He assured me he wasn't. They stopped serving them three months ago.

I didn't know how to respond.

I had my heart set on one.

When I realized I wouldn't be drinking one that night, I started getting teary.

Something is seriously wrong with me.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Great Mer-ca

There is an amusement park about an hour away called "Great America". There's only 4 or 5 roller coasters and the rest is kiddie rides and boardwalk-type games. Even though it's on the smaller side, I thought it would be fun to take some students. So a group of us went yesterday and had a good time.

One of my favorite parts of the day was getting drenched on Rip Roaring Rapids. There's a section where people can pay 25 cents and splash the riders as they go by. I thought if I had my camera out, the people would see that and not get us (ie. "Don't get her camera wet!")

I was wrong.

Friday, July 08, 2011

softball game #2

My sister said my last softball re-cap was like my GLEE-caps during the school year. And if I can entertain you all with softball stories, I'll do it! So, without further ado, here's this week's "Ball-cap" (that's what I'll call them - short for "softball re-cap")

It was definitely not as eventful as my first game. As in, I didn't have any injuries or snot issues.

I DID hit the worst traffic on the way to the game. Let's talk about THAT for a moment. It normally takes me 15 minutes to get from my house to the field. It took me an HOUR. It was ridic. I don't get angry very often, but I was pissed. I'm trying to make a good impression on my teammates and after showing up late last week (by going to the wrong park) I wanted to be early this week.

I sat in my car, fuming. I cussed several times. (At first in my head. Then under my breath. Then out loud.) I got to the game 20 minutes late and apologized profusely. But here's the thing - it might have actually helped me. My first time up at bat, I will still so mad about the traffic, I swung all my anger into the ball and HIT IT. And got on base! And the other runners at base got to their next base. No outs! From then on, I started feeling much better.

Not much happened to write about. We played a LOT better than last week. Or maybe the other team was bad. I'm not sure.

The only fun thing that happened was my second time up at bat. The pitcher was reeeeally bad so I got to walk to first base. One of my teammates, Mike, was there to coach runners. I said, "Okay Mike, just tell me what to do. I'm sort of new to all this."

Well he took that and RAN with it. Suddenly he's telling me all the rules of softball and I'm realizing I can't listen to him talk AND focus on the game at the same time. So I keep my eyes on the next hitter while smiling and nodding so he thinks I'm listening.

The next guy hits the ball so I book it to second base. However, Mike decides he STILL needs to be telling me what to do. So he's literally shouting at me while I'm at second base.


I see everyone on the other team looking at me and I was so embarrassed. Mike is basically announcing my rookie status to the whole field, when I'm trying so hard to seem like I know exactly what I'm doing.

I forced a fake smile and gave Mike a thumbs-up to shut him up. But he kept shouting.


Good lord.

Not much else to report. I struck out my third time at bat. I switched off playing catcher with another girl and found out I really like that position. I slapped a girl's butt on my team when she gave us a run, just like the Giants do. We won 17-7. All in all, it was a MUCH better experience than last week's.

Stay tuned for next week's "ball-cap". We have a double-header on Tuesday. Which Mike told me means we'll be playing 2 games back-to-back. Thanks, Mike.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


Ok, this is my new favorite thing. Instead of saying "America", Imma say it shortened and with a bit of a southern twang. "Mer-ca!!"

I invited the college students over to my house yesterday for a 4th of July BBQ and we said it as much as we could.

We hung up patriotic decorations.


Intern Scott grilled tons o' meat.


We ate until we were stuffed. And then we ate some more.


We watched the sun set.


We played games, talked, laughed, and broke a bench in my backyard.


When it got dark, we could see the city's fireworks from our front porch. They lasted a good 25 minutes. At the finale, guess what we all yelled?


Saturday, July 02, 2011

oh yeahhhh

Look at that beautiful softball-shaped bruise.