Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Terence Mann Quote

Here is the quote from Field of Dreams I referred to in my previous post:

Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

- James Earl Jones as Terence Mann in Field of Dreams
In other news, E has her first tooth (finally). She beat her first birthday by 9 days.

Red Sox Win!

J and I went to his first big league game yesterday at Fenway Park. He was really excited about the trip and was telling everyone he saw that he was "going to see the Red Sox play". We left home around 8:30am for Boston, which is about a three hour drive. With a little traffic and some difficulty finding parking ($40!), we arrived about at Fenway about 35 minutes before the first pitch at 1:05pm. Plenty of time to get some food and find our seats.

The photo is of Tim Wakefield facing (I think) Aaron Boone. For those that follow the Red Sox, you might remember that Wakefield gave up the home run to Boone to send the Yankees to the 2003 World Series. Boone, who now plays for the Cleveland Indians, was soundly booed every at-bat, which was sorta funny. No grudge there or anything. Boone went 0-3 against Wakefield yesterday

J, who is only 5, did a decent job of following the game. He asked tons of questions (no surprise there, the kid is a sponge). He thought the foul balls were really funny and kept yelling "You're hitting it the wrong way!". J has a little trouble with the rules of baseball, but watching the game in person seemed to help. When we watch on TV, he sorta comes and goes, asking for updates on the score, etc. Actually, games usually finish after his bed time, so he makes me put his Red Sox hat at the foot of his bed when they win. This is a tradition that started during the Tar Heels run to the NCAA Championship this year, and continued into baseball season.

J also enjoyed the Wave when it made it's way around during the seventh inning. The wave is funny in Fenway, since it gets really anemic across the Green Monster, but manages to continue.

So this whole post brings up a good question: Why the hell am I watching baseball? Well, I don't have a simple answer, unfortunately. I played baseball as a kid, and had friends who where huge fans. I also enjoy baseball movies (baseball and boxing seem to make good movies. Must be something about the compartmentalized action). I also have childhood memories of my Grandparent's house in Montana. There was always a game on when we visited in the summer. I can't remember what team(s) they rooted for, but the sound of the announcers in the background was a constant. TV, radio if we where outside. So there is the nostalia factor (which I always think about during Field of Dreams when James Earl Jones gives his little speech about baseball being a constant toward the end - love that part).

M's brother is a huge Mets fan, too. And her parent's watch the Yankees. So there is usually baseball there, too. When we lived in Athens, we went to a couple of Braves games, so I followed them a bit. Mostly because I liked Greg Maddux, though. Not the Braves so much.

So, we moved to Massachusetts in 2001. The Red Sox are everywhere here, and it's hard not to notice. Osmosis I guess. I really started paying attention in 2003, which was a typically crushing "what-if" year for the Red Sox I guess. What if Grady Little had taken Pedro out earlier? What if Aaron Boone hadn't earned a new middle name (Aaron F******* Boone)?

So the answer? I'm just a sports nut. Don't know where it came from, nor when it started. M is at least partly responsible. It was latent (other than cycling) when we first started dating, but she brought it out. College Basketball, Tennis, Baseball, Cycling.

Ok, that was long. J and I had a great time though. Fenway is fun, we will be back. I'm not sure if you can tell from the photo, but the seats were great. Too bad the zoom on my camera sucks. I'll have to do something about that before we go back.

Hey, they sound like...

I had a short conversation with a friend who asked my opinion of Coldplay (I don't have one). He said they sorta annoyed him since they seemed like a U2/Radiohead ripoff. I had never heard anyone described as being derivative of U2, which is interesting. This got me thinking about bands that seem to be able to define themselves musically in a way that limits the bandwagon effect.

Pearl Jam and (to a lesser extent) Nirvana seem to be the poster children for that problem. Vocal immitators of Eddie Vedder are all too common.

So, who would be on that list? Dave Matthews Band jumps to mind. Unique musical style, unique vocal style. The Who is another. You never hear anyone saying "Hey, they sound like the Who". I would add U2 to that list (Coldplay comparison not withstanding). And Phish. If you think they were just a Grateful Dead ripoff jam band, you weren't listening very closely.

Radiohead seems to have forged their own way.

Ok, surely there are others. I'm talking about bands with staying power here, too. Someone who was able to build a distinctive career.

Anyone? Bueller?

Vacation Time

We packed up and headed to the South Jersey shore for a short vacation at the beginning of June. I didn't have any internet access while there and lost momentum on the blog, so I will try again now. I actually paid $17 for internet access while in Cape May (at a coffee shop). There was an emergency with one of my projects. $17 for wireless internet access. Vacation towns will sell anything and everything. When I was in Athens, GA, I could just open my laptop anywhere downtown and get a free signal. Nice.

So, Cape May was fun. Standard sort of family beach vacation in the East. We rented a house with some friends from college. Spent several days on the beach, including one where the sunscreen washed off my feet and lower legs. Not re-applying turned out to be a painful mistake, but I lived. We also went to a Zoo, and most importantly, a Water Park. J had a blast there, as did E, who insisted on walking around in the kiddy area without anyone holder her hand. She was surprised when she fell over and got a mouth full of water. Stubborn kid, wonder where that comes from? Nobody caught ebola or spinal menigitis either, so we have that going for us.

Funny Cape May side note. Upon returning home, I was watching the backlog of Daily Show episodes on our Tivo. While we were gone, they had a feature with Ed Helms in Cape May, talking about the lifting of a 30 year ban on Speedo swimsuits (on men). Helms is walking around Cape May and the beach asking people about skimpy swimsuits, while wearing nothing but a speedo and his glasses. Hilarious. The episode therefore earned the coveted "Save until I delete" status.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Kissing, Walking and Computers. In that order.

E, who is eleven months old yesterday, has a new trick. If you ask her for a kiss, she will put her lips up against yours. Very cute. My hope, though, is that this particular trick goes away well before adolescence.

She's also walking. Well, practically running. J didn't really get moving until about 13 months. E has been walking since a little over 10. She's pretty in to it as well. Just walks around in circles, or back and forth over the small step up into our bathroom.

Since this isn't a blog about babies, I will also add that I downloaded the new White Stripes album via iTunes and its great. I will report in more detail after listening a few more times.

One more thing. I'm posting this using M's computer, which is a Gateway laptop. I've been using Safari on my Mac previously. I just noticed that the window is a WYWIWYG editor, instead of a standard textarea. I'll have to try this in Firefox on my machine next time. If this is a good editor, I might need to try it out in Class Drive.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Mowing the Lawn

There is a small field behind our house with 10-15 large embedded rocks that eat lawn mower blades. I hate mowing it. But if I don't keep it under control, I end up with a day like today. Since I'm leaving town for about 10 days the lawn would be totally out of control if I didn't get it all done today (field included). But since I've been avoiding that part of the lawn, it's already out of control. So, as punishment, I had to mow it twice. Once to cut it down to a manageable level. And a second time to make it look sorta nice. It looked pretty mangy after just one mowing. By the time I was done, the blades were about as sharp as a wooden salad spoon.

At least I have a lawn. And woods. But I frequently think a "meadow" would maybe be less maintenance. Or maybe more woods.

I look at the nice, even, manicured grass around town and wonder what else they are neglecting in life to get such nice lawns.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Politically Incorrect

I'm pretty sure the blog band wagon has a little room left, so here I am. I keep thinking about things I would like to write down, so now I've gone through the task creating a blog (easy), and naming it (not as easy). On some level, the name bugs me a little. That part of me deep down that is also irriated by the Florida Seminoles, the Washington Redskins and the William & Mary Tribe. The Seminoles and Redskins are irritating for other reasons as well, but I'm sure you can guess the reason. It's not a big deal really, just wanted to get off on the right foot.

This is a nickname of mine. And like all good nicknames, it was given to me by someone else. You can't pick your own nickname. Not if you want it to stick anyway. I seem to acquire them easily, too. Empire Street Fleer is another favorite. Since I grew up in a small town devoid of things to do, making up funny names for things was something we did to keep the boredom at bay. Sometimes sucessfully. Everything had a name. My crappy little Corolla (1980, with sunroof and hatchback) was the UAV. Named after the RV in Stripes I guess. Plus, it was frequently used as an Assualt vehicle - eggs, water baloons, etc. Another car name: The Dent. A Buick Skylark (I think) that visited a tree in a pasture one morning. It was never quite the same after that, but the nickname stuck.

At this point, I'm trying to remember the source of "Chief Running Miles". Seems like it was high school. But if so, that means it pre-dates "Dances With Wolves" by a few years. Which is good. Always nice to be ahead of the curve.

So, not the most inciteful blog entry ever. But it's a start.

In other news, we finished E's bedroom today. She is 11 months old now, and had been sleeping in our room (and not sleeping, which is more the problem) since she was born. Tonight is the first night in the new digs. So far so good.