Ballpark

Growing up watching baseball games with my dad was fantastic fun. I knew all the players well then; I collected their cards. We groaned at all the mistakes they made on the field, cheered at all their successes, and chewed over ideas on what they needed to do to go all the way.

Those rare occasions when we actually got to go to the ballpark to watch a game together were among the absolute greatest memories I have as a child. Even in the inexpensive seats, there is an excitement that just doesn’t translate to TV. The cheers, the smell of the food, the fabulous fountains and scoreboard – very few experiences can compare. Transistor radio in my ear, I was an expert with inside knowledge of the game that I periodically shared with my dad. Of course, he would tell me something every bit as profound and relevant, without the radio in his ear.

Everything I’ve done with baseball, from my card collection as a child to my sim league team that I still manage today, is a direct result of this shared enjoyment of a father and son.

Now, of course, I’m married and I’m taking my wife to a Sunday afternoon game. As is often is the case, she’s being quite troublesome. First of all, she’s wearing the colors of our rival team. And she’s cheering them on. At least there are no boos. I hate boos – on both sides.

But after that jarring beginning, we settle into a kind of groove. We savor some nachos, and some chips, fried on the spot, with bleu cheese, bacon, and I’m not sure what else. Delicious! We watch the game. We talk about the plays. We are surprised by the number of foul balls that sail into the stands close to us. We smile at the new and improved scoreboard as it does amazing things. We appreciate nice weather and the cool afternoon breeze blowing in our face. We have a ball together!

We took some pictures, panoramas of the new stadium renovations, the new plaza areas in the outfield (that we explored until they kicked us out), and pictures of the statues of the players my dad and I used to watch play,

I can’t wait to show the pictures to Dad and tell him all about the game!

Facebook groups

Facebook is many things all at the same time: fun, controversial, insecure, synergistic, social, and risky. Friends I haven’t seen in years are now my Facebook friends, and it’s the quickest way to get in touch with some people, replacing email and phone calls.

There are all sorts of little groups you can join in Facebook. For example, I’m a big fan of Fun House Pizza on Noland Road in Independence. Whenever I’m there, I have to get one of their house combos. They have a Facebook group, and you can hit the “like” button. Instantly on your wall, it announces that Todd like’s Fun House Pizza.

There also happen to be other groups to “like” in Facebook. Many of them are humorous. I don’t join groups like that because I like to keep my Facebook relatively lean and mean, but here are a few of those groups I’ve granted a chuckle of recognition to.

  • I stay up late every night, and realize it’s a bad idea every morning.
  • I redo high fives if they weren’t good enough the first time.
  • I daydream while I’m reading so I have to read parts over again.
  • I don’t need anger management. You just need to stop pissing me off.
  • I only check my voicemail to get rid of the little icon on the screen.
  • Accomplishing something before the microwave reaches :00
  • Hates the cold feeling you get when you step out of the shower.
  • 63 notifications later, I regret liking your status
  • I type “lol” and I have a blank expression on my face.
  • Driving in the summer with the windows down and the music turned up.
  • I never go to bed angry. I stay up and plot my revenge.
  • Officer, I did see the speed limit sign. I just didn’t see you.
  • I don’t feel like folding my laundry so I just restart the dryer.
  • Hey, Cupid. Can you shoot both of us next time? Thanks.
  • I hate when you put something in a safe spot so you don’t lose it, and then you can’t find it.
  • I will carry 20 grocery bags into the house at a time to avoid making a second trip.

All of these are real Facebook groups you can join. Which strike a chord with you? Found any others worth a comment here?