Archive for June, 2009

Giants 6, Ports 5, Fat guys 0!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

This last weekend there was a baseball inspired roadtrip to lovely Stockton.

Stockton, for those not in the know, is a industrial central valley town just east of San Francisco. It’s a little like Bakersfield*. Stockton has to its credit a Single A baseball team called “The Ports”** which are part of the Oakland A’s minor league system. Scott, Barbara, The Joffes and Cowey and I all headed over to Stockton for a game between the Ports and the San Jose Giants.

Since this was a baseball themed roadtrip, we started our adventure at the Appleby’s in Livermore where we basked in the 5 x 6 foot ego wall for the Giant’s storied new left hander, Randy Johnson. Randy hails from Livermore***, and therefore is celebrated by the local restaurants****, in absence of actual local restaurants…Appleby’s.  On the wall in the Appleby’s were a glove which had been screwed into place, a couple articles about when he was with the Mariners (1989-1998) and a shirt from the local high school baseball team, which presumably was worn by him.  We ordered the appetizer sampler***** and some burgers, which was later roundly regretted by all.

Undaunted by rumbly guts, we proceeded to the Residence Inn in Stockton, a Joffe recommendation, which was a delight. We had a sweet suite with two bedrooms and a pull out couch for only $180. The hotel was pretty nice as hotels go and served as a great home base for our trip to the game.

When we left to come to Stockton, I think all of us expected standard central valley weather, i.e. 95 degrees with -30% humidity. What we got instead was a day at ATT&T Park junior with high 50’s low 60’s and a nasty wind in from the west. Tammy was betting any takers that the fog would make it to Stockton that night.

However, despite chilly conditions we had a lovely time. There’s a certain magic to single A ball, where the game is only marginally interesting so the stadium does something wacky in between each inning which is hosted by Ryan Seacreast wanna be “Zack”. The things I remember brought to us by “The Zack Attack”:  Asparagus race, Ports Trivia to children,  some type of Bungee event that involved a lot of falling down, Fat guys Dancing******,  small children running in a giant uniforms, strike out/ home run food or beer benefits, and of course all of this was punctuated by the magic of single A baseball. Single A: where the play you think is a lock is only a slim chance i.e. four guys converge on a ball and it drops between them, second base throwing to third on a fielder’s choice between 1st and home, and so much more.

Oh it was delight and sometime later this summer if I get my way, we’ll repeat in the heat…although Scott wants to go to Modesto.

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*If Bakersfield had a year round river (it does not). Actually Bakersfield’s lack of year round river means that for 8 months out of the year there’s a sandy stretch of ground that has bridges over it and on the bridges are posted signs which say “No swimming or diving”, as if one might dive into the sand.

**Because Stockton has a year round river (the San Joaquin) which flows into the San Francisco bay, it’s actually possible to navigate all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Sacramento via a complete marine route. Thusly, “The Port City of Stockton”, despite the fact that it basically looks like every high desert town in the central valley. 

***Livermore: smaller Bakersfield, no river.

**** So storied and celebrated is Randy, a 300+ game and multiple Cy Young award winner that when we told our server why we had come she exalted Mr. Johnson to his worthy status by saying “Who?”. To which we responded by pointing to the wall at the restaurant where she worked

*****boneless buffalo wings (?), fried cheese, some kind of spinach goo, fried cheese sticks and a bacon(?) quesadilla

****** Actually just one fat guy, the fat guy closet to us pussed out and was replaced by Alex the drunken 20 year old whose abilities were outshone by his enthusiasm and possibly drunkeness.

Give your post a friendly name, like Pete

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Sean and Anneke are getting married tomorrow (holy crap!)*

Anneke sent out a invite to the Apres-vow and she used a Q & A style that amused me, so I will use the same style to explain the following nothing:

Q. Why does the bathroom at your office smell like onion rings and popcorn?

A. Good question. I know it’s totally gross, because not on does the bathroom smell like, well, a bathroom, it also smells like food. It’s very confusing to a number of deep evolutionary concepts from within our lizard brain. So as near as I can tell, the reason is that the bathrooms share the same exhaust/ ventilation system with the food court on the first floor. I can only hope that the ventilation only goes 1 way.

Q. What’s wrong with the Penguins?

A. There are a lot of differing opinions on this one. The most commonly held belief is that Marc Andre Fluery needs to make some key saves and basically bring his game to a better place. Hopefully this will happen as the series moves back to Pittsburgh, since as we’re continually reminded, only 1 team in the past 32 games has ever gotten out of a 2 game hole.

Q. What’s the matter with Kemp?

A. He’s a bum

Q. What’s with all the sports stuff?

A. You know, I haven’t the faintest. I guess I’m just feeling particularly sporty today with Hockey finals on and such.

Q. Mayo or Miracle whip?

A. I’d say they both have their place. I like Miracle Whip on egg and tuna salad but for a turkey sandwich mayo with a touch of Dijon is the way to go.

Q. What’s the deal with the free bacon?

A. Apparently there was some kind of special Microsoft Advertising function on the 7th floor and we were not informed. By the time anyone let us know, there wasn’t anything left but a few mangy croissants and a huge pile of bacon. Not being one to look a gift pig in the mouth, I grabbed a bunch of Bacon. It’s nice, it means that my sandwich which I brought for lunch went from being a standard turkey sandwich to a club.

Q. How can  croissant be ‘mangy’?

A. You kinda have to see these croissants. They were sitting out, cut in half, since like 7:30 AM by the time I caught wind of their existence  around 11:30, by that time they had seen far better days.

Q. Why less footnotes?

Well, basically the Q & A format means that you don’t need as many simply by design of the idiom. Since all the responses are quick, there’s not really much need for an aside**

 

*Which I think means that we are all adults now, thinking back on my longest running friends in the city that I still speak with which as far as I can tell is just really comedy related we have now 4 marriages, 1 real divorce, 1 fake divorce, 1 kid and 2 property ownerships. Crazy huh? I’ve been to like 50 40th birthday parties in the last year. We’re old. Nirvana and Mudhoney are now ‘Classic rock’. (Pearl Jam always was classic rock – even when it was new)

** Which is the whole reason why the foot notes came into existence. I just didn’t like including huge parenthetical statements in the center of the main narrative. I thought the public was better served by having the parenthetical stuff thrown in at the bottom and it sometimes work well for comic effect.