26 April 2008

And Don't Even Get Me Started on the Bottled Water

Hello, all. We had a very nice day today at the ballpark watching the Tigers play the Angels, and while I have approximately the energy of a geriatric cat on Ambien (my friend Jon wrote something like that once, and I frequently imagine myself as that cat--go figure), I figured I'd better write something about it while it's still fresh. And this might take me a while, because apparently, when I'm tired, my fingers don't type very well.

Okay. So, the kids are with others--Charis is chillin' with Katie and Travis, and Judah is hangin' with Gideon and Elise, which means me and the old man have the whole house to ourselves this weekend. Woo Hoo! That might mean something, except for the fact that we have no opportunity whatsoever to sleep in, so the whole no-kids-in-the-morning thing is pretty much wasted. Back to my original point, about the nice day. Are you still with me? 'Cause I'm not sure I am. We got up stinkin' early this morning so's we could get on the road to go spend the day at the ballpark. There was a special program today, see, where Christian speakers get up and share their testimonies and things, and it was pretty cool. So we had to be there at 11 or so for the special program, a mere FIVE hours before the game was to start. We stopped for breakfast beforehand at a local joint called Cracker Barrel--if you're ever in our neck of the woods, you should stop in. You know, they really ought to franchise it or something.

But I digress.

Not that I currently have a train of thought anyway.

It was supposed to be overcast today, with a high of 56 or so, except that NOT SO MUCH. It was sunny and about 95 degrees down near the field, so good thing I wore jeans and a sweatshirt! And not so good about the fact that we wore no sunscreen, because Abe and I both got a little pinker than we would have liked. After the speakers were all done, we had an opportunity to go stand on the field for a "baseball clinic," which, when 5,000 people are in attendance, pretty much amounts to, "Some man is talking about base running--or it may be outfielding. One can't be sure." All the same, it was really cool to stand in the middle of the outfield whilst someone who may or may not be a major league ball player talks about pitching and/or sliding and imagine what it must be like to play a professional sport where 43,000 people come to your house and stare at you while you play.

Really, paragraphs are a lost cause here. I'm just giving you these spaces so you'll have a chance to come up for air.

We still had an hour to kill before kickoff--I mean, before the first two ceremonial pitches were thrown out by some dude named Brandon, and some other dude named, oh, I don't know--we'll say Chris. Who knows. It was not very ceremonial, and do we really need two non-ceremonial pitches? Don't they just cheapen the real ceremonial first pitches? Anyway, to kill some of the time, we thought we'd go find our seats. We had been told they were really good seats in Row 17. And when we heard that, we were all like, WOW! Row 17!! Well, those seats are humdinger! And they were indeed in Row 17, but in Section 329 in the upper-upper deck. And for those of you scoring at home, there are only approximately 21 rows in the upper upper deck, which means we were pert near the top. We so enjoyed the climbing of the stairs that we decided to kill some more time and go back down to the main level for some overpriced treats and then come climb back up the stairs to our version of Row 17--which, if there were any truth in it, they'd call Row 96.

Which brings me to the real travesty of major league ball parks: the overpriced treats.

When we were sitting in the first portion of the program, baking in the sub-Saharan heat (isn't it still April? Isn't it?), I sent the hubby to get us a refreshing beverage. He returned some minutes later with a 32-oz. pop, $4.75 poorer. $4.75. FOR ONE POP. Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever heard? I just spent $5.00 this week on a 24-pack of Coke in cans. And while those cans don't hold quite half of the 32 oz. that were in our cup, I was still bitter when I did the mental math and realized they'd marked up my canned pop by about 4,000,000 percent. And don't even get me started on the bottled water; you're not allowed to bring in your own containers of anything, which is presumably so you won't have a choice but to fork out $3.75 for a cheap plastic bottle full of water that likely came from a large faucet in a warehouse somewhere. During the seventh-inning stretch, we were singing about peanuts and cracker jack, and I couldn't help but think that peanuts and cracker jack would set us back about $10. Ah, the ballpark. Where else on the planet would people stand in line to spend $14.50 on a Little Caesar's pizza that they could purchase hot-and-ready a block away for a third of the price?

Moving on from the travesty portion of the program... We went to sit in our nosebleed seats (Wait a minute--my ears just popped from the altitude change--that may still be a travesty) and discovered that the sweltering heat we had experienced only, well, an hour before--heat that made us seriously contemplate spending $5.00 on an icee (AN ICEE!)--had given way to a bone-chilling, Arctic temperature that had us switching our order to the $3.75 hot chocolate. I zipped up my sweatshirt, tugged my hood up over my head, and wrapped myself in my gore-tex to fight off the wind.

Nine innings, a popcorn, nachos, Italian sausage, five waves, and a second mortgage later, we won the game.

Then we walked the block to our parking spot, where we waited for half an hour to move, and then inched along for another half hour until we were shuffled with the rest of the traffic onto the highway to head home. Start to finish, driveway to driveway, we were gone for fifteen hours. We are poorer, bloated, and sunburned. We're stiff from sitting and sore from climbing.

But, you know, it was still a good day.

Go figure.

Now I'm off to curl into a ball, groom my paws, take some Ambien, and go to bed.

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