Take me out to the ball game!

In today’s tutorial, we will cover everything I know about baseball (and softball) based on my personal observations. These personal observations are the direct result of watching tedious HOURS of the sport(s) interspersed by watching ADDITIONAL tedious hours of the sport(s).

But the one thing I DO love about baseball/softball? Is the simplicity of the terms used. Anyone can figure them out! [Side note: Plate and base are used interchangeably to describe a weirdly shaped, constantly dusty thing where a lot of action happens. The originating plate or base which births of all the action is called “Home.” Carry on.]

The person who’s throwing the ball over home plate? Pitch.

The person catching the ball that’s being thrown over home plate? Catch.

The person standing behind home plate who happens to be wearing a blue shirt over top of a flak jacket and who’s being all judge-y about what Pitch is doing? Blue.

There’s even a person who sits on the sidelines and does math problems in a spiral-bound book. The book has pictures of a baseball diamond in it, and prescribed lines. There’s a lot of intent, heads-down writing this person does in the book which makes the role seem like the worst role in the world.  Like, why would you make baseball even more unbearable by doing math problems during it?! Nonetheless, there’s always at least one person on each side who’s doing the math problems in the book. Imagine that! These people we call ‘Book.’

See? It’s not complicated at all. And I can even use terms like ‘Blue’ and ‘Book’ in a sentence:

  • When the Coach isn’t sure what day it is, he’ll say to the judge-y fella: “Blue, what’s the count?” Whereupon Blue will hold both his left and right hands up by his ears and flash some complicated gang signs.
  • When Blue needs a refresher course on math, he’ll sometimes say, “Book, whatcha got?” And Book will yell out the answers to his math problems, or a coupla numbers at least.  Then all within hearing nod sagely.  Afterwards one Book takes a field trip to visit the other team’s Book so they can congratulate each other on doing good math.

Perhaps this is why I don’t like baseball/softball that much: there seems to be a lot of counting and math involved.

The other thing I know about the sport(s) I’ve gotten from the one movie I’ve seen about baseball, “Bull Durham.” Coincidentally, the way Ebby Nuke LaLoosh pitches in that movie is exactly the way Sonny pitches. (Minus the sexpot redhead, ya creep. Gaah. Why do you always have to be creepy about stuff?) Sonny will blaze three strikes down the line to get the first batter out asap. Then he’ll send a pitch sailing 5 feet over Blue’s head before thumping the next two batters on the back with a ball. Eventually he gets sent, crying at having hurt others, to the outfield. (And YES! Now would be a perfect time to mention that Josie’s on a vacation far away! Come around and talk it over. So many things that I want to say…)

And that? Was a slight twist on the “80’s song for every moment in life” game we play. Those were lyrics from a song called “Your Love” released in 1985 on the debut studio album Play Deep by a group called…what else…THE OUTFIELD. Boo-yah! Variations on a theme.

Also? Everyone knows there’s no crying in baseball! So I lied. In addition to all the hours of real life baseball/softball I’ve watched, there are actually THREE movies I gotten my knowledge-of-the-sport(s) from: “Bull Durham,” which I’ve just mentioned; “A League of Their Own,” thus the ‘no crying in baseball’ quote; and “Stealing Home.” Full disclosure on that last movie: I only watched it because it had Mark Harmon in it. I thought it was about a guy who had a falling out with his family but ended up coming back to make amends by slipping in the back door of his childhood house – in effect, stealing home. I had NO IDEA it was about baseball until years later when my college baseball playing boyfriend (now husband – Hi, Hubby! Isn’t my witty, insightful blog on baseball FUN?!) explained how a person at third base can actually run home when it’s not really his turn and while everyone is looking the other way and in effect “steal” home plate, base for a score, point, whatever.

Ok, enough of all the baseball talk. The thing I find most perplexing about all of this is that a country that coined such simple and innocent terms for its national pastime also came up with phrases like ‘Eminent Domain’ and ‘Manifest Destiny.’

So, there you have it: Everything I know about baseball (and softball)…and also everything I know about America’s land expansion in the mid-1800’s.

You’re welcome.

Epic Fail Elevator Prank

Hey, speaking of trips to California!  It’s time to share another anecdote from our recent trip there, this one starring Sister of Gumbutt, better known for blog purposes as Sissy.

But first, to set the stage, you need to understand that Hubby is some sort of Hyatt Regency Overlord and whenever he stays at their manor house, they show him their fealty and obeisance by locking him in an ivory tower on the FIFTEENTH floor which can only be accessed by a special key card. They then store the high-end Overlord snackypoos and free breakfast on the top secret SIXTEENTH floor which can also only be accessed by that same special key card.

Now you have that important backstory we can move on to Sissy’s super amusing elevator prank…

One morning during our trip, Sissy, Sonny and I headed up to the 16th floor for breakfast while Hubby stayed in the room getting ready for a business meeting. Sissy ran ahead to scare us. This is what the rest of the world does on vacation, isn’t it? Run around hotel hallways POPPING out at each other and shouting “BOO!,” right?? Except when Sonny and I came around the corner to the elevator bank, there was no Sissy. Odd. Thinking perhaps she had met another Overlord and hitched a ride to the 16th floor, we proceeded up there to the lock-down breakfast area to investigate.

Still no Sissy.

So I left Sonny noshing on some wasabi peas whilst swilling Pepsi and went back to the 15th floor thinking we had simply missed Sissy; Maybe she had run further ahead than we thought and when she backtracked to the elevator bank, we were gone. In which case surely she was now back in our room without having ever left the 15th floor.

Hubby, still in the room, confirmed there was no Sissy there. He further confirmed that since she had left with me, she hadn’t taken a key card. So now we weren’t sure WHERE she could be.

And this, My Friends, is where she was…

When she had run ahead of us, she had quickly called up, then hidden IN, the elevator – all the way around the corner of the elevator where the buttons were – ducked down so we wouldn’t see her until we were right inside the elevator! Yikes! Wouldn’t that be a surprise and regular laugh riot?!?

While she was hiding and giggling to herself like a loon, tee hee hee I’m gonna get ’em good and it’s gonna be a GAS! the elevator doors slid shut. And stayed shut. And without a key card, she couldn’t get back to the 15th floor where she was, nor to the 16th floor where she wanted to go. It gets funnier and funnier…

So she went to the 14th floor and got into the stairwell to walk back up to the 15th floor.

Locked. The Hyatt isn’t stupid.

She walked to the 16th floor.

Locked. They protect their Overlords from the common rabble.

So she walked BACK to the 14th floor.

Now locked. This is frickin’ hilarious…

She kept trying all the stairway doors on all the floors until the one on the 10th floor opened. So she walked to the elevator bank and got into the elevator on the 10th floor with a surprised-seeming English Gent. How would YOU react if a leggy teen dressed in beach wear walked out of the stairwell and followed you down the hall and into the elevator? When Sissy explained to said Gent that she had “gotten separated from her mother” (her words, not mine), he indeed expressed surprise, then dismay, then quickly got off the elevator at the Upper Lobby.  Sissy followed him out. I mean, come on! He must’ve been feeling like some weird Cal-i-for-nye-yay grift was underway.

But after watching unhelpful English Gent hustle off without a backward glance, Sissy got back into the elevator and went to the Lower Lobby. As she was coming out of one elevator, I was coming out of another elevator looking for her. Reunited!  And what a COMPLETE waste of time the whole thing was.

And THAT, Boys and Girls, is how to conduct an uproarious, SIDE-SPLITTING Elevator Prank. Of the Epic Fail variety.

Thank you and good day.

All Gummed Up

The rest of the world may think that the Gumshoe Detectives of yore got their moniker from their rubber-soled shoes.  But the mothers of the world know differently.  We know that those private eye types got gum all over the bottom of their shoes when visiting the gritty underbelly of the city, then tracked said gum into the house when they got home, thus completely exasperating their mothers who in turn called then Gumshoe Detectives.

This reminds of a certain someone who also exasperates his mother because of his penchant for ill-placed gum.  This certain someone we’ll call Gumbutt.  And on our recent plane trip to California, Gumbutt…er…Sonny was chewing some bright blue peppermint-y gum on takeoff because that’s more manly than sucking on lollipops to even out his ears.  But soon enough, lovely Southwest people began offering us an amazing array of snacks, so he slipped his worn out gum into an old wet wipe he found in his seatback pocket.  (Relax, relax. It wasn’t a random wet wipe left by the previous passenger.  Sonny, voted “the most likely to HAVE sticky hands for no reason” travels with his own container of wet wipes because he was also voted “the most likely to HATE having sticky hands.”  The wet wipe was his from earlier in the trip.)

Now, pretty much the first rule of wet wipes is: you don’t talk about wet wipes.  Or maybe I’m getting that confused with Fight Club. Regardless, everyone knows you only use wet wipes to wipe stuff OFF.  Never, EVER put stuff IN wet wipes. Because they are wet and made out of material that’s really slithery. So whatever you put in them will just slither out.  Eventually.  Everyone knows this; so no one should be doing this, except for the star of today’s show, who tucked his chewed gum into the wet wipe, then randomly tucked the wet wipe behind him on the seat, right about where the belt buckle comes out of the seat proper. Don’t ask. Who knows. This clearly is not going to be Sonny’s finest hour.

However, I was not sitting next to Sonny when all the wet wipe/gum stowing machinations went down, otherwise I would have politely (yes, politely, we were on an airplane) cautioned against that course of action.  So I was completely mystified when I glanced across the aisle at the end of the trip to see Sonny standing up getting ready to de-plane, with a bunch of weird blue strings hanging from the front of his shorts. It was almost like someone had silly-stringed his zipper area mid-flight.

Sonny seemed completely stumped by the appearance of the blue string too. So while we’re both puzzling over the Mystery of the Blue String duhn, duhn, duuuuuuhn Sonny puts his travel backpack on his seat, then rests back on top of it to wait his turn. When he finally precedes me down the aisle, discreetly picking blue strings off the front of his shorts with a wet wipe, I notice more blue strings festooned on the seat of his shorts and hanging from his backpack and even hanging from the HAT hanging from the backpack.

So yes. Yes. That’s why we now call him Gumbutt. Variations might include: Gumbutt Front, Gumbutt Back, also, Gum Backpack and Gum Hat-hanging-from-the-backpack.

Career Advice

Wha’ up, wha’ up?!  Home Mom in the house, keepin’ it real, YO!  Just lookin’ to share some career advice given in my usual style.  Funny, pretty, you know the drill…

Check out my recently published article at the Indie Chicks Magazine: http://theindiechicks.com/get-high-paying-job-without-degree/.

Side Note: The Indie Chicks Magazine is a “place for Badass Millennial Women.”  You know that describes me to a ‘T’.  (Except they left out that part about knowing all the words to the 80’s songs, which is puzzling, but pay that no never mind.)  So bring your badass self on over and meet me there.  You’re buying the first round.  Whoop, whoop!

Good Boy!

Our dog came from the factory pre-programmed with a couple of suh-weet features.

The first feature is something we like to call the “scare the crap out of the family” feature.  This feature is usually only activated when Hubby is out of town on business.  It works a little something like this: it’s nighttime and I’m in the computer room when I hear the dog barking in a weird way upstairs.  Thinking the kids are teasing him, I call up to them and ask them to stop.  (Ok, it might be a little more yell-y than I’m implying here.  Sue me.)

At which point both kids – all big eyed – come in from the family room which is right beside the computer room.  The dog is by himself upstairs in master bathroom barking his fool head off.

Ruh-roh Raggy.

This can only mean one thing…that all the bad guys and burglars who Sonny suspects mill around our yard waiting for nightfall have somehow gained access to the house.  They are now, naturally, all in the master bathroom, crammed into the shower clown-car style, waiting, waiting to POP! out at me when I get all nakey.

But we’re on to them!  No nakey this time because our fierce and loyal dog has tipped us off to the danger that lurks above. Thank heaven for the dog! WHAT A GOOD BOY!!!

So the kids and I, armed with Hubby’s antique baseball bat collectible, head upstairs.  There we find the dog standing in the middle of the bathroom, growling at a black shirt and pair of shorts Hubby left draped over the far side of the bathtub.  Oy vey.

As for the second feature, we call it the “scare the crap out of himself” feature and it only activates when the dog is on a walk.  He freaks out every time we come to a storm drain. And unless we’re quick enough and pick him up once the freak out starts, he’ll slip his collar and be halfway down the block, headed the other way before we even realize what’s going on. And if he happens to be wearing an un-slippable harness because we’ve finally gotten hip to his jive?  Then he’ll lay flat on his belly while we drag him along, just like Duke the dead dog from In Living Color. (Kidding, kidding, we don’t pull him around and road rash his belly.  That gets us dirty looks from passersby.  Instead we just whisper furiously into his ear about what a wingnut he is while attempting to pick up his floppy, dead weight.  And the Oscar goes to….TEDDY!  For his heart-warming portrayal of a road-kill victim.)

But this second feature?  We’ve come to realize that this second feature is actually a safety feature.  Because as everyone who has ever read a Stephen King novel knows, the storm sewer is where that clown-that-kills-townspeople lives.  So the dog is really just saving us from the clown, from looking into the clown’s deadlights, every time we walk past.

Thank heaven for the dog!  WHAT A GOOD BOY!!!