So: hotdogs and peanuts

There will be no peach picking or harvesting or composting this evening. Bruce and I are  joining his coworkers for a company event at the Rangers Ballpark, home of such delicacies as a giant hot dog:

courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

Everything’s bigger in Texas, right?

And the team they’re playing? Why none other than:


Caveat: I’m not a huge sports fan. But I do like going to see a baseball game live every now and then. Unlike the dome where the Blue Jays play, Rangers ballpark is open air and styled like an old-fashioned ballpark. It is however, pretty new. And while it’s going to be a hot night (probably 100°F at 5 pm) there’s something magical about hunkering down with a program, a cold beer, a hot dog (something I rarely eat), and a bag of peanuts.

It takes me back to my childhood of course. My dad is to this day a guy who really enjoys a day at the ballpark (we took him to Rangers ballpark last time he visited Texas) even though it is definitely not my mom’s favorite way to spend an afternoon/evening. He knows how to keep score and even if he’s unfamiliar with the particular team, he can size up the players quickly.

The first baseball games I remember going to were Savannah Braves games. They were the minor league team for the Atlanta Braves. So much fun! Every time we went, there were giveaways and special activities for the kids. And apparently it was a rather inexpensive night out for a family of four. We’d get bags of peanuts and make a big mess. When we moved to Southern California, we went to Angels games in Anaheim (can’t remember what they’re currently called, something like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). We’d get bags of peanuts and make a big mess. Then when we moved to Northern California, we’d hop on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) and head up to Oakland for the Oakland As games. We’d get bags of peanuts and make a big mess—can you see the pattern? My mom hated the chaos and debris, but it was how it’s done. As a college student and young adult I also went to San Francisco Giants games with friends.

But ask me about the inner working of the game and you won’t get much. I read the program because I like the articles about the players and the teams. I like being outside (no surprise there). I like being able to snack on peanuts and throw the shells on the ground, just like I did when I was a kid.

But most of all, I love the people watching. Always have. It’s like being in the airport, except better. Sporting events bring uninhibited yelling. Crazy fashions. Drunken behavior. Rudeness. Kindness. It’s all out there at the same time. And when combined with the game, it’s visually overwhelming. At least for me.

Once or twice a year I love it. But since this is Friday night after a long and busy work week, I’ll probably be ready to head home after two hours or so, sleepy from the heat and overloaded by the visual stimulation. Gotta get up early Saturday. Peaches are calling.


So: middle seat view

I travel a bit for my job. I love traveling and airports and have since I was a little girl. When I was a kid going to the airport meant either than someone was visiting us (like Grandma and Grandpa) or that we were visiting someone (like Grandma and Grandpa). Or we were moving to somewhere far a way and much more interesting than where we were living.

Airports for me, even with their security checkpoints, expensive food and drink prices, and often grouchy flight attendants (at least on American Airlines which is based in Dallas), are a place of excitement and anticipation. And people watching. Nothing I like better than to observe what’s going on around me.

One business trip last fall, I saw Santa Claus at DFW. No joke. He was in “civilian” clothes: a Christmas themed dress shirt and red tie with a jingle bell necklace for good measure. Not being quick enough on the iphone camera’s draw cost me a shot that would have made many children’s day. Hell, it made me believe too. It makes a good story though.

This trip had no Santa sightings, just very little sleep, lots of delays, a death-defying taxi ride, and very crowded flights. But what days like these teach business travelers is to be grateful for the good things that come to them. Even if they’re little things.

So while I write at 10,000 feet I am grateful for the following:

1. Wifi so I can catch up on work (and today’s post).

2. Being in the middle seat between a snoozing relatively handsome (that’s for you, Kate), reasonably sized man and my snoozing coworker LIsa rather than two large business men that have been working hard all day and are in need of a shower.

3. Getting on the earlier flight and beating the snow storm that is apparently hitting the east coast sometime tonight.

4. Tracy for watching the 3G Network so I didn’t need to worry about them.

5. Not having to be awake from 5 am CT until 1:30 am ET like yesterday.

6. A very hot shower to wake me up this morning after 5 hours of sleep.

7. A fantastic training session complete with a funny attorney.

8. Finishing up the training session early.

9  Being small enough to actually think the middle seat is fine for 3 hours.

10. The improvements made to the Philadelphia airport including the nice little wine bar where we killed a bit of time before the flight.

There’s something magical and transformative about travel. For me it always has the promise of excitement or a funny story to tell afterwards. People to see. New places to explore.

Even last nigh’s “death cab” adds a bit of novelty to this trip. A cab driver who was not only out of touch with his customers (he got out of the cab at one point to talk to his pals), didn’t know where he was going, and drove like a bat out of hell, makes for a tale that can be scaled up or down depending upon your audience.

On Saturday morning I get to do it all over again. But this time, my excitement wil be the excitement i felt as a kid going to visit my grandparents. Except now, I’m the attraction. Oh, and so is Uncle Bruce. We’re going to visit our twin nieces who just turned 3. They just got big girl beds and had a birthday party. They are ready to play Barbies with Uncle Bruce and have a tea party with their company. Maybe they’ll wear princess dresses. Or dig in the dirt. I can’t wait to see their little faces and hear about what’s going on at school.

Oh and it will be nice to see my brother and sister-in-law too.