Sunday, April 8, 2012

Must Be in the Front Row

We've been in the new house for over three months, and if you were to visit and see our home, you would probably say to yourself, "these guys are pretty settled for having just moved halfway around the world." That would be because we wouldn't have let you look into any drawers, closets, or cabinets. It's true, we look very settled on the outside, but part of moving from India and Chicago to Orlando on a very compressed schedule meant we didn't get a chance to "clean house" before we got to Florida. As a result, it's clean on the outside but not on the inside.

Today, in the few spare hours I had on Easter Sunday before plopping myself on the couch (or outside next to the pool) to watch The Masters, I finally started to clean out the home office. One item I found was a completion certificate for "System Basics" that I received on October 14, 1998 and will most definitely be making a reappearance at work tomorrow (yes, I'm one of approximately 67 Americans that graduated in college in 1998 and still work for the same employer). The other item of note was a ticket stub to a Cubs game that my buddy Matt had scored tickets to through a member at the golf club where he was an assistant pro. As a result, he, his dad, myself, and my roommate Jimmy had some good seats for a random Monday in September:

A couple things stick about the ticket. First, if you don't remember, Kerry Wood was scary good back in those days before he blew our his elbow or whatever it was. Second, for those unfamiliar with Wrigley Field, Aisle 22 is directly behind home plate. Seat 102 is one of the four seats really directly behind home plate, and Row 1 is pretty self explanatory. Easily the best seat I've ever had for any sporting event. The good Reverend Jesse Jackson was in our section behind us. Jerry Krause and Tim Floyd were in our section behind us (a bigger deal in Chicago in 1999 than it is in Orlando in 2012). What else sticks out? In 1999 you could sit directly behind home plate at Wrigley Field for $25. Granted, these were someone's season tickets, but even for 1999 this seems ridiculously cheap.

Highlights from the game included:
  • My dad watching on television while counting the number of beers I consumed
  • Jon Lieber taking a no-hitter through 6 2/3 innings
  • Mark McGwire breaking up that no-hitter with a solo home run
  • Jon Lieber proceeding to give up five more earned runs before mercifully getting pulled (still with two outs in the seventh inning
  • My buddy Jimmy playing a more prominent role than anyone I've ever known on Sportscenter by being the first to stand just after Sammy "Screech" Sosa made contact on what at first appeared to be home run but turned into a routine fly ball (yep, he was that guy) during a highlight
With any move comes a time for reflection; however, as I looked at this stub nearly thirteen years later, all I fully place the blame on Mark McGwire's steroid abuse for stealing the opportunity to see a major league no-hitter from from the front row behind home plate. Bastard.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Meet the Neighbors

We've decided to officially declare ourselves "settled" and determined the best way to meet the neighbors in bulk would be to host an open house. Tonight, right around sunset, we took a little stroll around the neighborhood to put invitations in peoples' mailboxes. One would think something so innocuous would be less than noteworthy. Fortunately, when Lindsay is involved, material is never an issue.

While making the rounds we were able to meet a couple neighbors that we hadn't previously. Both sets were a father out playing some sort of sport with a kid. The first was a father and son hitting a baseball into a net in the driveway. We stopped for a brief chat, introduced ourselves, and learned about their favorite BBQ joint and that they had recommendations for doctors and dentists. Important, pertinent things about moving to a new city.

As we approached the end of the second culdesac we noticed a father playing some sort of paddle ball game with his daughter. We deposited the invitations in the mailboxes and stopped to introduce ourselves. We had a pleasant conversation and then Lindsay made some comment about the daughter, who was fourteen, looking like Katniss from The Hunger Games. I found this odd for a number of reasons not the least of which was Lindsay comparing a new neighbor's daughter to a cold-blooded killer. Thankfully, the daughter was a Hunger Games fanatic and wasn't the least bit concerned. In fact, she had read the books, seen the movie, and considered herself a bit of a mix of Rue, Katniss, and Prim. First crisis averted.

But here's where it got interesting. Any time Lindsay has asked anyone if they've read The Hunger Games trilogy, her follow-up question is always (and I mean ALWAYS) asking whether they've read the other hot trilogy of the past couple years, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. No different this time; she was on autopilot. So yes, she asked a fourteen year old whether she had read Steig Larsson's masterpiece (coincidentally also about a female killer but aimed at a slightly different demographic than the young adult crowd in The Hunger Games).

All I could muster was, "yeah, you can probably tell we don't have kids."

It feels nice to make a good first impression.