26 August 2007

New Low

We got rained out today. It was ironic, since it was 80 and sunny without a cloud in the sky, but the approximately 10 inches of rain we got last week rendered the fields unplayable. Bummer.

Since everyone was obviously free, we decided to throw a practice together. Attendance (remember, unexpected free day and perfect weather) out of 40-50 who had planned to play today: six people. Six.

I'm beginning to have to face it - this may not be something I can work with.

23 August 2007

Hey, They're Legal (Barely)

I’ve never been too into Disney stuff (undeniable heyday in the late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s excepted of course). In fact, I’d probably be first in line to say that the shows on the Disney channel actually verge on disoncerting. Memo to the Sprouse twins: you had a very auspicious start as the baby on Grace under Fire and then the absolutely adorable kid in Big Daddy, so I’m kind of sad to be totally creeped out by The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.

Anyway though, I would be remiss not to admit that I watched High School Musical from beginning to end last spring. And not only did I watch it, I enjoyed it so much that I just sat and watched the entire sequel (worse. not surprisingly). And yes, it’s been documented that I love musicals, so that’s part of it, but I have to admit that I have a litte high school crush on this Zac Efron character. Even though I just looked it up and apparently, he’s 19. And approximately my size. But the boy can dance! And I once dated a…not very bright…guy for almost a month because he was a great singer (I mean *fantastic*. The karaoke alone was priceless.) I guess talent is a draw.

Maybe it would be more appropriate were I in high school (or a…shudder…tween), but I’m not the only one with the younger man (barely) thing. I know quite a few women over the age of 25 who are planning to see Superbad simply on the grounds that it features Michael Cera, he of Arrested Development fame. His birth year? 1988. There are dogs older than that.

I guess younger men really are in.

19 August 2007

Three Cheers for Weather Volatility!

I like to talk about the weather. A lot. And I find it...pesky...that we're all supposed to pretend that hot and humid is nice weather. But it seems that perhaps two and a half weeks of hot weather hits the limit for other people as well. After nearly unremitting 90 degree days since July 31, this weekend was cold and rainy (well, 70 or so - it feels cold). And you know what? Despite the fact that I played a baseball game, watched a baseball game, played about half an hour of soccer in the rain, and went to not one, but TWO barbecues that were forced indoors, I didn't hear one word of complaint about the temperature (though a few about the rain). And I heard three people (well, two and me) say that they were sort of enjoying the cool, grey days. It's nice not to be the only person looking forward to fall!

13 August 2007

Can You Be Misguided Even If You're Right?

One of the biggest divides we have in our baseball league is between those who played (and enjoyed) high school sports and those who didn’t. The former group is mostly delighted to have found an outlet for that competitive spirit and the chance to pour effort into an activity and see results. The latter enjoys playing (well, sometimes…but that’s neither here nor there), but sticks around primarily for the social aspect (I think). Occasionally (though not as often as I would have guessed, actually), a conflict arises between the two groups.

This is a particular problem for me, I think because of my ability to focus and…okay, honestly, I’m just kind of an intense person. Always have been in fact (it used to be worse…I was a weird kid…). And up through college, participating in a focused, competitive team sport gave me a place to channel that intensity.

Since then, it’s been kind of a struggle (and probably has quite a bit to do with the existence of this blog). I can’t really put that kind of energy into work, maybe because of the job itself (don’t worry, I still like the job just fine, but who could get REALLY excited about maintaining a database or staring at a computer all day long?) or maybe because I’m just more motivated by physical activity. And to the extent that it can be poured into a relationship, the right guy (i.e. one who wouldn’t be crushed) hasn’t come along.

As a result, I’m driving everyone on my baseball team nuts. And they, in turn, are driving me nuts. I’ve been playing baseball or softball since I was ten and that experience coupled with my ability to think ahead and the relative glut of downtime built into baseball allows me to effectively keep track of three or four positions simultaneously. This causes me to do things like remind the second basemen four or five times in the same game to back up the pitcher when there’s a runner on third. She feels like I don’t trust her (which is 100% true) and that she’s being singled out (more debatable) while I feel like if she really wanted me to shut up, she’d back up the damn pitcher without a reminder from me.

Anyway though, they’re all sick of my voice and I’m beginning to feel like I could be wrong (which, again honestly, I rarely do). Maybe I’m missing the tone of the league. In the end, it's an academic discussion, because I can't seem to change my behavior...

11 August 2007

Now That's Customer Service!

So I bought a new box of Bounce™ fabric softener (what an exciting life I do lead) and there was a little white envelope inside resting comfortably on top of the first sheet. I pulled off the orange Bounce sticker seal and pulled out the note inside:

Dear Friend,
At Bounce, we believe even the little things should brighten your day. So on our 35th U.S. and 31st Canadian anniversaries, we’d simply like to thank you for choosing Bounce. Thank You! Everyone at Bounce

I don’t suppose I’d really consider buying a different fabric softener anyway (it’s one of those things, like peanut butter, where brand loyalty is established as a child), but that certainly sealed the deal. Here’s to Bounce!

08 August 2007

On Names

I listen to the morning show on 101.9. Actually, I have since it started in the mid-nineties, which is remarkable because I've stuck with it even as I've drifted away from pop/rock. There's something about familiarity, I guess...

Anyway, this morning, they related the results of a survey in which 5,000 men were asked for the first name of girl most likely to sleep with them on the first date. Just in case you're curious, the results were, in order, Niki, Erin, Kristy, Jenny, Lindsay.

The point though (and of course they didn't discuss this...I guess it's a morning radio show, not a psych class) for me, is how much information people can infer from your name. And yes, this study probably isn't one to take too seriously (though 5,000 men, jeez), but it happens all the time. I went to college with a girl named Echo Love*...think she's a math professor?

There is, of course, the argument that anyone whose parents would name her Echo Love isn't too likely to become a math professor anyway. True enough. But wouldn't you want to give her a fair chance? I'll tell you - it will be a goal if and when I name children to pick names that I like, sure, but also that don't unnecessarily give undue impressions.

*I have no idea what happened to Echo Love and I'd be mildly surprised if she even knew who I was, so I hope she doesn't google herself too intently. That would be awkward...

05 August 2007

Dear New Guy At Work

Dear New Guy at Work-

You're very cute. I suspect you know that. I think you said your name was Dave and that you just graduated from Michigan, but I may have just made that up because you look exactly like a frat boy from the U of M named Dave. So I'm going to call you Dave.

Dave, you would not be good for me. In fact, you would make me crazy. You look like your mother dresses you, what with your striped polos with the little alligator tucked into your khakis (never mind the fact that you look great in this...beside the point). I cleverly pounced on an uneven patio tile right in front of you so you would talk to me, but you made approximately seven jokes about alcohol and started half your sentences with "dude" despite the fact that neither I nor my friend was actually a dude. Then you proceeded to talk about your apartment and three roommates in Wrigleyville at which point I stopped paying attention and gazed adoringly at your little frat boy spiked haircut. I'd like to kiss you, but I'd also like to...co-sign your lease or make sure you're eating vegetables.

Again though, you are so, so cute, and reasonably bright too. So if and when you grow up, give me a call!


02 August 2007

Does This Mean The Quarterlife Crisis Is Over?

People always say that birthdays are just another day. I wholeheartedly disagree with that. Without a doubt, I actually feel different on my birthday and often even the day or two leading up to it.

Top five ways to make sure your birthday really is special:

5) Don't put too much pressure on it. Things that go wrong (like...say...hypothetically...you have to wait 45 minutes for the bus in 92 degree heat or the cat throws up) are still going to go wrong. It's a special day, but it's not that special...

4) Proactively ("isn't that just a word dumb people use to sound smart?") manage your expectations. If it's important to you that people remember it and make a semi-big deal of it, set them up for it by telling them in advance. A lot. (It is also advisable to have friends that are in a bunch of social networking sites, leading to several emails along the following lines: "Jeez, I just got like ten reminders that it is your birthday. It's possible I belong to too many online communities")

3) Do something on the actual day even if it isn't a weekend. I've done dinner with a smallish group the last three years and I highly recommend it. Even if you do have real plans for the weekend, there's something lonely about sitting alone on your actual Bday.

2) Know what time you were born (2:31, baby!) and watch for it. It's somehow satisfying to know when you are REALLY 25 years old.

1) Make sure to talk to your parents. Your friends will humor you (see #4), but your parents are the only other people for whom the day really holds any significance. It was a special day for them too!

(It was yesterday, by the way - I can now rent a car without paying the extra fee!)