Friday, August 31, 2012

What Year is It?

For some reason my bank decided to change its routing number. That means I had to change it with every institution I have linked to my bank account for automatic payment and my employer for direct deposit. But it took one pay period for my employer to catch up, so I was sent a paycheck in the mail. An actual paycheck, on actual paper that I had to endorse and bring to the actual bank branch for deposit. At least I could use the ATM machine (that's for Razor) and marvel at the way it knows what amount the check is for. But when I got to the bank I saw that the ATM was out of order. So there I was, in 2012, bringing my paycheck to the bank, and waiting for a teller to help me deposit it. I thought for sure I had entered a time warp back to 1967.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giant Vaginas Invade the RNC

I'm trying to stay out of the political debate this season but as I promised Damino, I would post absurdities from the campaign trail. So enjoy this picture of Code Pink members dressed as Giant Vaginas (Va-giants) to protest the GOP's supposed "war on women."

I'd point out that these vaginas don't look anatomically correct. Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of the vagina emblazoned with the words "read my lips..."

This reminds of a classic post in Poop history.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Song of the Week

"I'm Going Down" - Bruce Springsteen
I am not a big Springsteen fan but if I had to choose one song, I actually kind of like this one.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I'm a Douche

I was so excited to finally take Chase to his first Mets game that I bought them the first day individual game tickets went on sale. I also immediately e-mailed my request to have a birthday message to Chase shown on the scoreboard.
I was very excited for this too, but my excitement turned to dread when I got an e-mail Friday night saying my message would be displayed at Saturday's game.
In my original e-mail, dated March 1, I requested the message be shown on "Sunday August 25th." Problem is, Sunday was the 26th.
After resigning myself to the fact that I would just have to buy the Fan Photo ($15 for a 4x6 picture with a Mets border) of the scoreboard, the Mets responded to my plea for leniency and said my message would instead be shown on Sunday, the correct game. And it was:

Douchey or no harm, foul?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chase's First Mets Game: In Words

One of the biggest responsibilities of fatherhood is teaching your son about baseball. Baseball is very important to me and I want it to be important to my son (now sons). I think every young boy cherishes the memories of his first game, and I wanted it to be special for Chase as well. I decided I would wait until he was 5 years old to take him. Many people questioned my methods, and every time I saw a picture of another youngster at his or her first game I even doubted myself. But I wanted his first game to come when he could really appreciate it. When he could sit and watch without going to the bathroom or begging for ice cream every 5 minutes. I wanted him to be able to understand the game a little. I wanted him to be able to stay the whole game. And I wanted him to be old enough so that the things he saw that day would stay with him forever.
I made the right decision.
We got there early because I wanted to have plenty of time to walk around and to allow for traffic. We arrived at about 11:30. We walked into the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, the Mets Museum and the team store. At this point, slightly after noon, Chase decided he wanted to go to our seats. I wanted to take him to the Shea Bridge, but didn’t want to force him, because it was a lot of walking from where our seats were.
We sat down with 43 minutes to go until game time. I thought this was a recipe for disaster, but two things kept his attention: the planes and the groundskeepers. Every time a plane went by, he nudged me said “another plane, it’s kind of insane.” This wore off by about the 5th inning, after the 80th plane.
He loved the grounds crew. They were chalking lines, then loading the equipment onto a flatbed pulled by a little cart, which was driven around the warning track then through a gate in the outfield fence. Chase decided when he grows up he doesn’t want to be a player, “who bat and pitch,” he wants to be on the grounds crew, but “at Chase Field, because that’s my name.”
Before the game the home run apple is out of its hat and I explained that it would go down when the game starts and only come back up if a Met hits a home run. Right around the time he insisted the apple would never come back up, Ike Davis hit his first home run.
Luckily it was a very fast game, he wasn’t constantly begging for food. We got hot dogs in the 2nd (I brought a juicebox from home), and we missed the top of the 6th while we went to the concourse to pee and get ice cream (we got a cheap dippin dots imitation, which he loved). He really enjoyed the 7th inning stretch and singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
The game was just about 2 hours old when the Mets took a 1-0 lead into the top of the 9th. Of course they blew the game thanks to some typically horrible defense by Lucas Duda. But he redeemed himself by throwing a runner out at the plate to preserve the tie. I had to explain how you can throw a runner out. Then I had to explain what the Mets would have to do to get a run and win the game (I really thought we’d been over all this stuff).
It was around this time that Chase was starting to get antsy, with two pitching changes and a run scored the top of the 9th took quite a while. Chase was fidgeting with his hat, and his sunglasses, he climbed into the row behind us, then down into the row in front of us. He was actually in the row in front of me when Davis homered again to give the Mets the win. I scooped him up and gave him the biggest hug ever. Then we watched as Davis jumped into the crowd of his teammates at home plate. The entire section of excited Mets fans gave Chase high-fives, he loved it.
Now it was time for the Mr. Met Dash. The thing Chase was looking forward to most, the thing that likely prevented him from requesting an early departure. So we made our way down to the bullpen area, exited the ballpark and lined up by the chop shops on 126th Street.

The line wrapped all the way around the parking lot, under the subway tracks. I overheard a security person say it would take about an hour, then we walked another half a block. I was determined to stay and so was Chase. An industrious vendor with a cooler on wheels had Italian ices, only $2, since we were now outside the stadium area. That kept Chase busy for a while, and thankfully the line moved fairly quickly. Once you go to the stadium you entered by the bullpen, then snaked through hallways under the field. You come out in right field and walk down the warning track. The runners enter the field at first base and run the bases from there, stopping to high-five Mr. Met (or doing it in full stride like Chase).

Then they round third and head for home where they meet up with their parents and walk through some more corridors revealing nothing more exciting than the loading docks. I’m pretty sure I saw a chalkboard sign saying “8 days without an accident.” What kind of accident did they have 9 days ago?
By this time it was a little more than an hour after the game had ended and there was no parking lot traffic. Which was nice, but I would recommend any other two-parent families wishing to do the Mr. Met Dash send an emissary outside in the 8th.
But I am glad we didn’t do that, I’m glad we stayed until the bottom of the 9th to see a walk-off home run (and the apple again), I’m glad the Mets won, I’m glad Chase got to run the bases. And I’m glad I waited 5 years for this very special event, because it made it even more special.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Chase's First Mets Game -- In Pictures

Outside with the old apple.

The 1986 Mets World Series trophy.

Jackie Robinson Rotunda

Chase was obsessed with the planes flying overhead. Everytime one flew by, he hit me and said "Dad, look there's a plane, it's kind of insane, it's giving me a pain." I got tired of it by the first inning. He gave up by the 5th.

He loved the grounds crew and decided he'd rather to grow up to be one of them, than to be one of the players. Except he wants to go to Arizona and work at Chase Field.

A hot dog at the game beats roast beef at the Ritz.

Name on the scoreboard.

Mets win, Mets win!

A winning smile.

Mr. Met's dash, high-fiving Mr. Met at second base.

Stepping on home plate.