owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
Earlier this week, the always-marvelous [twitter.com profile] readingtheend aka Jenny proposed a simple idea to promote more community and sharing on blogs: "Something on Sunday"

The only guidelines are that you write about something that kept you on your feet that week, whether that’s a person that inspired you, an action you took that you’re proud of, a book or movie or TV show that nourished your heart, a self-care strategy that worked for you, a goofy event or moment that brought you joy. Whatever it is, every Sunday, I want you to tell me something that matters to you.


I think this is brilliant. And I'm always looking for routes back into long-form blogging, because I love it, and I miss it, and although my track record with keeping up on projects like this is poor, I'm going to at least give it a try. Sunday afternoons and evenings are often a good opportunity for me to plan writing time -- it's usually when I do my [community profile] ladybusiness work for the week -- so I can be hopeful!

There is no question what I will pick as my inspiration this week: baseball. The San Francisco Giants had a truly wretched season this year -- they lost almost 100 games and ended up with their second-worst record in the last century -- and I admit I didn't follow quite as closely as usual because it was so frustrating. But last week, Matt Cain announced in a team meeting that this season would be his last. He was scheduled to start yesterday, and within a few minutes of hearing the news, it occurred to me to check for tickets. I got lucky: two excellent seats for a very reasonable price. Since T is still out of town, I asked around friends and family, and my cousin L was able to join me. We went to the game, and even though the Giants lost, it was an excellent and memorable experience.

Matt Cain has been one of my most beloved baseball players for many years, since he came up in 2004, only 20 years old, and developed into the brightest spot on a mediocre team -- Barry Bonds was on his way out, Buster Posey was still a few years away, and the team couldn't score a run to save their life. But Cain kept plugging away, putting in solid-to-brilliant starts and taking losses for his trouble (his final win-loss record, just a hair below .500, is not at all representative of his talent). And he never complained: not to the media, not within the baseball community, and by all accounts not in private either. His nickname was The Horse, because he took the heavy load and kept on going. And then, suddenly, a few years before anyone was really expecting it, the rest of the team around him caught fire and kept going, winning three World Series in five years. Cain was a big part of the 2010 team's success, but 2012 was his year: that was the year of the perfect game, and he started the All-Star Game, and put some brilliant playoff performances, and if he hadn't already been beloved, this was the year that would cement him as a legend in franchise history.

But no sports career lasts forever, and Cain's downhill slide began not long after. He missed much of 2014, including all of the playoffs, due to injury; he had elbow surgery that offseason and was never quite the same pitcher again. His contract is up this year, and rather than try to pull it back together with another team, he's decided to call it a career, and retire a life-long Giant. And who can blame him? It's hard work, and he has young kids, and although sometimes older players get lucky when they try to reinvent themselves, the odds are long. I'm so glad that it worked out for him to pitch one last time in front of the home fans. He made it through the fifth inning, and when he walked off the mound for the last time, met manager Bruce Bochy at the top of the stairs, and shook his hand, then hugged him, the wave of love and support and appreciation was so amazing. It even comes through on the video, how much Matt Cain means not only to the fans but to his teammates. The San Jose Mercury News has a good story about the game itself, and Grant Brisbee of McCovey Chronicles (my favorite Giants blog) does a better job than me of explaining why Matt Cain means so much to the Giants fandom. I'm so fortunate that I was able to be there, and that my cousin was there to share the moment with me.
owlmoose: (ffix - garnet)
This past weekend was super and fabulous. I was fortunate enough to be able to snag four tickets to Hamilton for this past Friday, and I invited [personal profile] justira and [twitter.com profile] kaytaylorrea to join me. They both came into town, [personal profile] justira with their partner in tow, and the four of us had a great time not just at the show, but hanging out in SF.

Friday's show was a matinee, so we grabbed a quick lunch beforehand, then an early dinner after. The show was just as wonderful the second time, and in some ways I feel like it was better -- when I went in April, this particular troupe had been together for less than a month. Now that they've had two more months to work together, the ensemble gelled more, and I saw more nuances in some of the performances. I also saw a couple of different actors, in particular a different Angelica, and although her voice wasn't quite as powerful, I loved the acting choices she brought to the role. Another thing I noticed overall is just how funny this performance was -- this particular cast plays up the humorous moments in the songs and the choreography in a way I found really effective.

All three of my co-attendees loved the show as well, despite bringing very different levels of familiarity with it (one who has listened to the album a million times, one who'd never heard the music but read all the lyrics in advance, and one coming in almost completely cold), and it was fun to talk about how their various expectations colored their watching experience.

On Saturday, [personal profile] justira and I met up with [personal profile] forestofglory to wander the Ferry Building and Farmers Market. We noshed our way through, one of my favorite ways to eat breakfast in the city, including some breakfast ice cream at Humphry Slocombe (taking advantage of the lack of line). After that I met Kay for a Giants game; our boys lost (not unsurprisingly; the team is TERRIBLE this year), but we still had fun. Then we all (minus [personal profile] forestofglory, who had a prior engagement) gathered at my place for more chatting and hanging out until far too late, chattering about fandom and everything else under the sun, driving poor T to distraction I'm sure. I was particularly happy to see how well everyone clicked, considering that my two guests didn't really know each other before the weekend. There's nothing better than introducing two friends and watching them develop a quick rapport. :)

As Kay said a couple of times over the weekend, our parents were wrong: always make friends with strangers on the Internet. Sure, there's a risk, as people are always a risk, but the rewards are one thousand percent worth it.

Holy cow!

Nov. 2nd, 2016 10:19 pm
owlmoose: Picture of Tim Lincecum admiring the World Series trophy with the text "Shiny" (baseball - shiny)
To think that I lived to see the Chicago Cubs -- perennial underdogs to the point that sci-fi authors often use their losing ways as a punchline or a sign that you're in an alternate universe -- win a World Series.

I don't believe in fate and I don't believe in curses, but I do believe that was a hell of a game. I've mostly been dipping in and out of the playoffs since the Giants lost in the quarterfinals, but I was pulling for the Cubs to go all the way, for a number of reasons: their legendary underdog status, fond memories of the team from my Midwestern childhood, discomfort with Cleveland's mascot, and last but probably not least my tendency to root for the National League, all other things being equal. But once this series got to Game Seven, I knew I had to watch. And it was worth it: the timely hitting, the thrilling comebacks, the dramatic rain delay, and finally the win in extra innings. You couldn't have written a better story, and in a way that's what I like about sports -- the unpredictability, the sense that literally anything can happen.

Big big love and congrats to all my Cubs fan friends -- enjoy this feeling, it's pretty damn awesome. Love and hugs to my Cleveland fan friends, too; it's tough to lose, especially in such dramatic fashion (believe me, I know the feeling *thinks not-so-fondly of 2002*).

And now, the long dark of the offseason begins. Is it spring training yet?
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
Another even year, another improbable San Francisco Giants playoff run? So it would seem.

I'm having a harder time getting excited about the post-season than usual. I suppose familiarity might be the culprit -- I've seen several great articles (here's my favorite, from Claire McNear at The Ringer) about why even Giants fans might be feeling a little sheepish about rooting for their guys to take it all yet again, especially when teams with long droughts are in the mix. Under any other circumstances, I'd be rooting for the Cubs to take it all the way, and hell, maybe a part of me still even is (shhhh no no baseball gods if you're listening i'm sorry i promise i didn't say it out loud).

But probably more importantly, this season has been a freaking roller coaster, and not in the fun and exciting way. I've wondered how I would feel about this playoff run if the first and second halves of the season had been flipped. Imagine a team that struggled to score runs and suffered a severe bullpen meltdown near the beginning of the season, putting up the worst record in the major leagues before the All-Star Break, and then came roaring back to have the best second-half record in baseball and eke out the last playoff spot in the final moments of the season by sweeping their oldest and most bitter rival. (Well, I say "imagine", but I don't have to imagine -- that scenario isn't too different from what actually happened in 2010.) Instead, it happened the other way around: the Giants contended with the Cubs to be the most unstoppable team, piling up a 10-game lead in the division at the break, with the collapse to follow. First team in history to have the best recording in baseball before the break, and the worst record in baseball after. It was frustrating, especially to see so many late inning leads pissed away by the relievers and not regained by batters who looked helpless at the plate. It got to the point where I avoided watching games, even if the Giants were leading late, because there was such a high chance of walking away frustrated.

And yet, somehow, in the end, it was just enough. The Giants got into the Wild Card game, and they set up the rotation such that Madison Bumgarner would be able to pitch, and he did his unstoppable playoff thing (the man has a 0.50 ERA in road playoff games, do I need to tell you how ridiculous this is), and a hitter that no one outside of San Francisco and barely anyone IN San Francisco has ever heard of got a home run, and the Giants beat the Mets, and here we go again, up against an unstoppable playoff juggernaut that no one expects them to beat (the Phillies, the Cardinals, the Nationals, now the Cubs), and if it's all feeling very familiar I have a hard time blaming anyone outside of San Francisco for rolling their eyes and saying "really?" But here's the thing about a sports dynasty: you never know when it's going to end, but someday it will end, and there's no guarantee it will ever come back. And so you have to grab on to it, enjoy it while it lasts.

So that's why I'm here, dressed in the orange and black, arranging my schedule to be home to watch the first game of the NLDS tonight, and once the boys are out there, I will get excited and ready for a win. Because you never know what's going to happen. I'm ready to enjoy the ride.
owlmoose: Picture of Tim Lincecum admiring the World Series trophy with the text "Shiny" (baseball - shiny)
I really did not think they would pull this off. But they did. Yay, Giants! Yay, Madison Bumgarner!

Parade Friday, I hope I can go.
owlmoose: Picture of Tim Lincecum admiring the World Series trophy with the text "Shiny" (baseball - shiny)
1. THE GIANTS WON THE WORLD SERIES OHHHHH YEAH. After two of the most stressful and exciting playoff series I can possibly imagine -- you should have seen me jumping up and down on the couch when they came back from 0-2 to beat the Reds in the NLDS, and Barry Zito's start in Game 5 of the NLCS to shift the momentum against the Cardinals was a thing of beauty -- the sweep of Detroit was almost anti-climactic, but I will take it. :D :D :D The parade is tomorrow and I am really excited to go.

2. My road trip was awesome, even though I did get rained on for most of it. The California and Oregon coasts are outrageously beautiful, the drive went well, and I really enjoyed getting to sit down with fandom people and college friends and hang out. Pictures and daily check-ins can be found on Tumblr; unfortunately I didn't get many nature photographs because it was too cold and rainy to stop much along the drive. Still worth it, though.

3. November is coming! After some hemming and hawing, and encouragement from [personal profile] seimaisin, I've decided to do NaBloWriMo yet again, because anything that gets me writing in my journal is a good thing. Also on her suggestion, I've signed up for [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu, which commits me to writing at least 10 minutes every day next month. Good encouragement both for the journaling and for [livejournal.com profile] dragonagebb, for which I have a rough draft due at the beginning of December, eek!

That's about it for me. How are you?

GIANTS

Oct. 22nd, 2012 08:59 pm
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
Once again, I wasn't sure if they could do it, although given that they managed it last time, this time I had a little more faith. I missed the game, sadly, because this hotel room has no television, so I don't have quite the sense of reality I would if I'd seen the boys jumping up and down on the pitchers mound and spraying champagne on each other. Next time I have a good enough Internet connection, I am so watching some celebrations.

World Series starts on Wednesday.

Ack!

Oct. 6th, 2012 02:06 pm
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
The first game of the Giants vs. Reds playoff series is today. T was curious about how much tickets were going for, so we checked StubHub for the heck of it, and there were still seats available, and they weren't nearly as expensive as we thought they would be... so we jumped on it.

I'm going to a playoff game!!! I'm going to watch Matt Cain pitch a playoff game!!!!

This is ridiculously exciting. You have no idea.

October?

Sep. 21st, 2012 12:21 am
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
With everything else going on, I keep neglecting to mention another thing that has a good foothold on my attention: baseball. The Giants are on a roll, while the Dodgers (sorry, [personal profile] sepdet) seem to have gone into free fall. Ten games up with almost two weeks to play. Like with elections, I hate to jinx these things, but I have to say it's looking pretty good right now.

The magic number is three.
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
Matt Cain -- cornerstone pitcher for the SF Giants, my favorite player of all time, and all-around great guy -- just threw the first perfect game in Giants baseball history, and only the 22nd one in Major League Baseball.... ever.

I literally cannot think of anyone more deserving.

We turned on the game in the 7th inning, and I was on the edge of my seat for the rest of the night. It was beautiful, it was brilliant, the crowd was on fire.

T had almost gotten tickets at the last minute, too, but then it didn't work out. Curses!

Still, I am thrilled just to have seen it real-time on TV. I had long expected that Cain would throw a no-hitter someday, and I feel fortunate to have even been in proximity.
owlmoose: (Default)
Not ganked from anyone this year; I just felt like doing it.

Take the first line from the first post of each month, and that's your Year in Review.*

January: Drove up north today to have lunch and exchange gifts with my parents and brother.

February: I regret to report that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter.

March: Days written: 21/28 (ick)

April: Clearly, I underestimated the havoc that Final Fantasy XIII was going to wreak on my writing schedule.

May: Sigourney Weaver says that Avatar lost to The Hurt Locker because the Academy wanted to give the award to a woman.

June: Regarding my flight east, I got into JFK Airport at 4am. We will say nothing more about that.

July: It's the final day of my second four-day weekend in a row. I just can't tell you how happy I was to be able to arrange this.

August: Thanks largely to the 30 Days of Writing project, not only did I catch up on the [livejournal.com profile] getyourwordsout pace, I'm now ahead by over a thousand words.

September: A little song and dance from Captain Picard...

October: Yay Giants!!!

November: So I am totally cheating here and choosing my own topic to kick off daily posting in November -- I'll get started on other people's topics tomorrow, promise -- because THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS JUST WON THE FREAKING WORLD SERIES.

December: My brother is out from Nashville for a few days, family in tow.

Opening and closing with family, lots of writing in between, and a two-month interruption by the baseball post-season. Yeah, that's a pretty fair representation of my 2010.

*I skipped a few writing goals posts, to get a little variety in the comments. Otherwise half of these would have started with "Days Written:..."

OMG OMG OMG

Nov. 1st, 2010 11:43 pm
owlmoose: photo of MLB shortstop Omar Vizquel (baseball - omar high-five)
So I am totally cheating here and choosing my own topic to kick off daily posting in November -- I'll get started on other people's topics tomorrow, promise -- because THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS JUST WON THE FREAKING WORLD SERIES.

Cut for excessive fangirly joy )

The city is still partying; I hear chanting and cheering and the occasional fireworks, not to mention the helicopters keeping an eye over it all. It's a glow that will last us a long time, I think, and already I can't wait for the home opener of the 2011 season, sometime in April, when announcer Renel Moon presents to us, for the first time "your World Champion San Fran-cisco GIANTS!" I can already feel the shivers traveling down my back, and I love every minute of it.
owlmoose: (stonehenge)
OMG. What a game. What a series. I keep hearing random shouts of joy from outside. Who cares if it's pouring rain? The baseball fans are coming out to party.

I will probably have more to say later but for now all I can manage is "Woooooooooo!!!!"

World Series starts Wednesday.
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
I forget, every year, how many things will come along in October to occupy my headspace. The start of a new quarter, chorus coming back again, planning for Halloween (which is, no lie, the biggest event on my school's social calendar, even bigger than the fashion show),the best weather of the year, and, if I'm lucky, the baseball playoffs. Add to that my frantic work on my [community profile] megaflare_ff (not nearly enough) and my flirtation with the Final Fantasy anon fic meme up to three stories! but I think I'm done, for now and it's no wonder if I've been a bit scarce lately.

It could have been even worse, due to certain influences trying to get me to the Stewart/Colbert rally at the end of the month, but it conflicts with the Halloween costume contest, and, well, see above. So I will stay home, and watch on TV, or maybe find a local satellite rally to attend, and cheer them on from afar.

Speaking of cheering people on...



Even San Francisco City Hall has gotten into cheering on the Giants. NLCS, baby! Bring on the Phillies.
owlmoose: Picture of MLB pitchers Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain (baseball - pitchers)
Yay Giants!!!
owlmoose: A photo of a Highway 1 roadsign, with the California Coast in the background (california - sign)
1. Day Five of actual summer weather, arriving at the end of September as per usual. Especially well timed because I had yesterday off work, and then today I had an offsite staff meeting that ended with delicious ice cream. Mmm, delicious ice cream. It's supposed to cool off tomorrow, but I have enjoyed it so far.

2. The magic number is four.

3. A brand new Final Fantasy Anonymeme! Already eyeing more than one prompt...
owlmoose: (Default)
I've done this before, and now I'm doing it again. This iteration is from [livejournal.com profile] auronlu.

Comment with the word "ICONS" and I'll select six of yours for you to talk about in your journal.

Auronlu's choices and my explanations behind the cut. )

In other news, I have an [livejournal.com profile] amybang all week, so if I'm a little scarce the next few days, that would be why.
owlmoose: (Default)
I saw Dennis Haysbert in a restaurant this afternoon! He was just walking by my table, calm and cool as could be. I didn't say anything, I just sat and stared, unable to take my eyes off of him until he was out of sight, hopefully not too embarrassingly open-mouthed. This is not quite as exciting as it would have been 7 years ago when I was a full-blown "24" fangirl, but it was still really, really cool.

He was a lot taller than I imagined he would be, and his smile is even bigger in person.

In other news, I went to a baseball game tonight, and although no one threw a no hitter this time (curse my luck for picking a game one day too late!), it was still an enjoyable outing. Even though it rained on us a little bit. Rain? In San Francisco? In July? What is this world coming to? On the upside, I saw one of the most spectacular rainbows of my life, springing out of the scoreboard and covering the sky. T took some pictures, and if he decides any are worthy of posting, I will definitely link.

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