28 October 2011

Why I Love Baseball

Moments ago my favorite team lost the World Series for the second year in a row. Last year Rangers fans were all just so happy that the Rangers made it to the playoffs that we accepted our loss at our first World Series appearance in franchise history. We made history. That was enough. But losing for the second year in a row was a heart-breaker. We were one strike away. Twice. This time, the other team made history and we were on the losing end of more than one stat.

But come April it will be a new year, a fresh start, and a renewed chance to make history. In a sport of 162 regular season games, it may seem to some that the baseball season drags on and that each game doesn’t matter. Tell that to the St. Louis Cardinals. They won the wild card in the very last game of the season. Every win mattered for them. That one win won them the championship. The true mettle of each team is tried and proven with each game.

But baseball is more than just a series of games played through six months of the year. It’s a culture. When you go to a baseball game, you’re getting more than a game. You’re getting a world-class hot dog, a fireworks show, lasting memories, and a taste of America. It’s not just a game, it’s an experience. It’s the smell of beer, the cheesy messages across the big screen pressuring couples to kiss, the vendors’ calls, the sound of the bat hitting the ball. To rile up the fans you don’t get half-dressed women or ear-splitting music--you get an organ. Instead of a half-time show, you get a rendition of “God Bless America” or “Take Me out to the Ballgame.” Instead of cheerleaders, there’s the Wave.

In crucial games fans watch in uneasy anticipation from the moment the first pitch is thrown across home plate until the last out of the ninth inning, because in a game like baseball you never know when the game is going to change. A game is never over until the last out of the game. If you don’t believe me, just ask the the Cardinals. Each pitch and subsequent play has a specific strategy. It’s not just a bunch of guys standing around, aging and filling out. It’s nine innings (or more) of strategy and skill. Good players don’t burn out in a few years, they burn out in a few decades. The rookie becomes the mentor and ushers in a new generation to carry on the tradition.

Baseball is ruled by tradition, not instant replay. The umpire has final say. Yes, they get the call wrong sometimes, but that’s baseball. What the umpire says, goes. This tradition extends to those that came before. They aren’t just remembered; they’re revered, being hailed as the Greats. No player can compete with the memory of Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, or Mickey Mantle. (Please forgive the Yankee reference.)

I don’t know when I fell in love with baseball, but I think maybe I’ve loved it my whole life. It was sitting in the dugout waiting to get back on the field, bonding with my teammates, hoping that coach would put me back on third or catcher. It was the evening practices out in a neglected field. It was learning how to switch hit and watching the other team’s coach silently implode when suddenly I went lefty on him. It was my dad practicing with me in the backyard and then sharing a bag of peanuts with him when we went to watch the pros. It was watching the Royals and the Rangers lose season after season: and still showing up the next year in the hope that they would win. Loyalty runs deep in this game. Just look at the Cubs; their fans still believe in them.

So for the rest of my life, I will don my Rangers cap and hope patiently for them to make history and win their first World Series. I’ve waited this long. I can wait as long as it takes. Because baseball is so much more than just a game. It's a way of life.

26 October 2011

Dear Space Heater,

I still love you. People may accuse you of sucking up too much power and shorting a circuit, but I know you would never do that. You love to keep me warm. You're not vindictive. Thank you for your constant support and love in the form of warmth. We will be bonding a lot more in the next few months.

You're the best.

A warm and happy Laura

18 October 2011

Silently Laughing Out Loud

I stumbled across this little gem today. Watch it please. And beware that you may laugh out loud.

Thank you Flight of the Conchords for making it hard for me to remain silent in my laughter. I haven't laughed that hard without making noise in a long time.

Also, I hear the remake of Footloose is fantastic. Can't wait to check it out.

13 October 2011

Please Behave

Dear InDesign,

I love you. You're great software. But enough with the crashing all the time on me. I understand it's not your fault, but the fault of the servers here at work. But you're an easy scapegoat. And I'm sorry for that.

So seriously, please stop crashing on me.


10 October 2011


So I'm a jumpy person. I mean, a really jumpy person. This extends to all aspects of my interactions with people: home life, church life, and at work--especially at work. I sit at a cubicle and often I'm listening to something. (I find that I get extremely bored/distracted if I don't have something I'm listening to. I sit in the middle of our little cube farm. People get chatty.) Often I'll be engrossed in something and will lose my sense of what is going on around me. This leaves me vulnerable to the attacks of my coworkers. Those poor souls that just want to talk to me. They make me jump out of my skin.

My cube neighbor, Spencer, often has questions. He's tried everything to not make me jump. He does the polite "Laura" over the cube wall, which is effective some of the time. He's also tried standing up and trying to get my attention. Almost always, I jump out of my seat. Once, he even tried a loud whisper. That had catastrophic results.

Last week a new guy here, Jay, came by my desk to see me. I have a little false wall that gives me a little bit of privacy. It's great, but it also blocks some of my peripheral vision. Well, I was rocking out to something (I've noticed that my volume goes up throughout the day...) and Jay tried to get my attention. I caught sight of him out of the corner of my eye and I had a sharp intake of breath and cowered in the corner of my desk. (Yes. It's true.) Well, apparently Jay is skittish as well and his scaring me scared him. Poor Jay.

Just now my page refreshed and it made me jump. Ridiculous.

This has got to stop.

07 October 2011

Best Idea I've Had Yet

Listening to Billy Joel at work? Genius.

03 October 2011

The Name

Well. I named my computer Celsius, after this guy.

Thank you for your suggestions. I loved all of them. Celsius just felt right. He was an astronomer after all. And all Macs welcome you with a view of the cosmos.

So there you have it.