Friday, October 29, 2010

Grandpa's Birthday

We spent almost the entirety of Grandpa's birthday at the kids' school...walking and walking and walking. But that didn't mean we didn't have a little celebrating to do too. Of course, we'd already taken Grandpa to the baseball playoffs with us and that was a pretty nice little present. But I thought it would be equally as nice to save him from canned cream cheese frosting. Really? Duncan Hines makes something sort of resembling cream cheese frosting? I looked at the ingredients. Didn't recognize anything. So I purchased...some cream cheese. Gram had been kind enough to bake a cake for me to frost.Yum. It was still a nice little evening, with super tired kids and good cake. Hope there are lots more of these to come!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Something is seriously wrong when your kid thinks seeing a file called WSG1 on your computer means that you have tickets to the first game of the World Series.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday Night Lights

A coworker of mine was once floored that a mutual coworker of ours never went to concerts. "That's what life is all about," she said in disbelief. I thought the disbelief was a little funny. To each her own, I thought. I'd been to plenty of concerts, but never thought they made my life worthwhile...although maybe that one I saw in LA last spring came close.

But nothing I've been to really compares to the National League Division Series Game Daddy got tickets for - the first game of the postseason, against the Atlanta Braves.I know it's just a cheesy marketing slogan, but it really was magic inside. I swear.

I succeeded in swapping Mam for my dad...which was a great move and made the whole thing more fun. Mam was not there whining and I got to give my dad a birthday present he really enjoyed.

I made Smunch a poster he could hold up.Daddy came home early, we dropped Mam with Gram and picked up Grandpa, then we waited with a whole lot of other orange and black clad people at the train station. We hopped on the train and we were off. There was so much anticipation and it was so much fun!The park was packed, we were all issued orange "rally rags" and the place literally rocked.And out came this guy...the Giants' ace, Tim Lincecum. And this guy...the Giants' rookie catcher, Buster Posey.

There was a lackluster performance of the national anthem before the game, but the game itself made up for it. Oh, there was torture. There was plenty of torture. But Lincecum struck out 14, a new franchise record for the postseason.I know there are only 12 Ks in this picture. I'm not sure they ever got around to putting the other two up.

The Giants' snagged a 1-run lead somewhere around the 6th inning. And that's all the scoring there was. Timmy pitched the entire game, giving up only two hits.The rally rags spun, the sound was deafening, the place went wild. If I thought Smunch's reaction to getting tickets was worth the money, the experience was a gigantic bonus!It was a late night on a school night for Smunch and I woke up with a splitting headache and ringing ears. I'm not sure how I would've felt about paying for those tickets if the team had lost, but as it was, I was thrilled we had them.

Since that night, the Giants have gone on to defeat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 in a best-of-five series. They'll be playing for the National League pennant starting this weekend, against the Philadelphia Phillies. No tickets this time, but I'm O.K. with that. Not sure we could improve on the first experience. Go Giants!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Worth Every Penny

A couple of weeks ago, I got a bee in my bonnet about the potential of the Giants making the playoffs. There was significant potential that they were going to make it, but "Torture" has been the theme of their year, this year. It was hard to tell.

They were selling tickets for the playoffs long before there was any certainty. And not knowing any better, we didn't enter the lottery to buy tickets. Instead, I asked Daddy to get online the minute they went on sale and see if he couldn't get us a few at something less than a fortune. I figured our chances of getting tickets were about as good as the chances of the Giants making the playoffs.

But Daddy got tickets, even though they sold out in seconds...and they were not at the wife-approved price. They would be refunded when the Giants didn't have any playoff games to play and I'd feel that much richer, I figured.

We didn't tell Smunch. I figured it'd be a fun surprise if it actually happened. And, of course, we couldn't quite choose what day we bought tickets for. We had tickets for their first home game of the playoffs. I carefully calculated that assuming they didn't get home field advantage, that should be on a Sunday...perfect.

After the win on Thursday, the Giants were three games ahead of the second-place San Diego Padres, with only one win needed to clinch the National League West and go to the playoffs. How could they fail? But wait, this is the team with torture as a tagline.

The final series of the season arrived on Friday...against the Padres. The Giants put one of their ace pitchers, Matt Cain, on the mound to wrap things up... It was his 26th birthday. He got pasted by the Padres, giving up 6 runs in only five innings. A fizzling rally near the end made the final score 6-4.

Arguably the Giants' worst pitcher was on the mound on Saturday...proving yet again, that he's arguably the Giants' worst pitcher. The Giants lost again 4-2.

Today is Sunday and we watched the entirety of the Giants' 162nd game of the season. If they won, it would be their last. If they lost, they'd be tied, not only with the Padres, but also with the Atlanta Braves who had been in the lead for the NL Wildcard. And if they were tied, they'd have to play a tiebreaker in San Diego tomorrow. If they lost that, they'd have to play another tiebreaker in Atlanta to try and qualify for the playoffs as the Wildcard team.

Today, Jonathan Sanchez was on the mound. He's done well against the Padres, although he's a little inconsistent on the whole. Today, however, he was excellent. He even hit a triple...and scored when the other Sanchez, Freddy, made a tidy little base hit. Aubrey Huff even got in on the action, scoring Freddy Sanchez with a double. The game was fun and the end was exciting ...although thankfully not as "exciting" as Brian Wilson is often capable of making things. Brian "Fear the Beard" Wilson even tied a franchise record for saves with 48 for the season.

And later, Daddy printed out some papers, which he asked Smuch to recycle: (Note: NLDS=National League Division Series)

The Giants' have home field advantage against the Atlanta Braves for the NLDS...on Thursday, a school night. And, yes, I'll be the bad mommy who takes my son to the game anyway.

Giants and Monkeys and Bears...oh, my!

Oh, so many other things, really. I have things I meant to blog about...weeks ago. But I dunno. Things have been getting away with me fairly often lately. I forgot about the appointment to get the kids' flu shots last week. Totally forgot until the next day. Ugh. I suspect it's a sure sign that, once again, I'm in over my head. Soccer, speech, soccer, chess, Daisies, soccer, soccer, soccer, rest, repeat. Forget the volunteering at school. And totally forget working...that doesn't even make it onto the calendar.

I helped put together a teddy bear factory for the first graders a week or so ago. I'd neglected to tell Mam that I was helping out with her class that day. She was ridiculously thrilled to see me.It's such a cute little event...very much like Build-A-Bear at the mall, but in our multipurpose room...and Mam loves her new bear, who she named Corduroy.

Meanwhile, the kids are still playing soccer weekly. Mam seems to have regained last year's form in large part.Although the other girls are much, much better than the girls were at this time last year, she's back to being her feisty ol' self, scoring goals, hugging her teammates and squealing Orange Super Monkey.And, really I just mention that because it made for a cute title.

Daddy had a birthday.I made another yummy cake...same one as last year and the year before. With all the balls I've got in the air, it was hard to shop for fun birthday gifts. I ended up purchasing Jon Stewart's new book, Earth - A Visitor's Guide to the Human Race, which came out on Daddy's birthday, so didn't arrive 'til the next day. Funny book, but I had to have Daddy take it directly to work. Definitely not kid appropriate! Still, it was more exciting than the couple of shirts I'd bought him.

Any of you who have been reading my blog for awhile probably know that I'm a barely closeted baseball fanatic. A couple of weeks ago, I got a phone call during the day...for Smunch. Turns out it was a store where we went last year so Smunch could meet Pablo Sandoval and get an autograph. They just wanted to let him know that they'd lined up a new signing event with both the Panda and Aubrey of the Giants' most popular new players this year.

I spend a lot of time at home alone these days. So you can imagine how delighted I was to find a baseball fan on the other end of my phone. Not only someone to talk to, but someone to talk baseball to. He almost talked me into going to meet Will of my own baseball heroes. But we had a wedding to go to and I finally let that one go. But I quickly signed Smunch up to go meet Aubrey Huff. So, Thursday, Daddy came home early and I picked the kids up from school and drove them directly to the train station. This signing was at AT&T Park, rather than "a nearby city". Smunch (mostly) happily did his homework on the way there.We got there about half an hour before the signing was set to start. The daytime game had just ended. The team won. The postgame show was being taped right in front of the park, so we got to see some TV personalities, including Rich Aurilia, who just retired from the team last year.The fog was rolling in. How long have a lived here now? Why didn't I bring sweaters for everyone? I know better than to go to The City without sweaters. No matter. The Giants Dugout store was right there, not 50 feet from where we stood in line. Daddy went and bought a blanket.And the shivery wait was worth it when both Aubrey Huff, aka Huff Daddy, and Pablo "The Panda" Sandoval walked out and sat down to sign autographs.I even had a funny little conversation with Mr. Huff...starting with telling him how much fun it's been watching him have fun playing and ending with him picking on his teammate down the table for swinging at too many bad pitches. Of course, the Panda hit one out of the park that afternoon, so I'd say they were equally well loved that night!