Category Archives: California

Giants 4, Athletics 2

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Giants 4, Athletics 2

And so it begins…

Okay, not actually the regular season yet, but the pre-season Bay Bridge Exhibition series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics got me out to the ballpark for the first time this year.  I wasn’t sure if I was rooting for the A’s or the Giants, but I wore an A’s jersey that was a free giveaway from last season, and I’m kind of an American League gal, so if forced, I guess I was leaning A’s.  On other hand, I actually live in San Francisco so…

Keeping score at a spring training game in a National League (i.e. no DH) park is quite a challenge.  I utilized my new-ish smart phone more than once to keep track of all the crazy substitutions.  I also used it to tweet in the middle of the game… yeah, I’m kind of ashamed of myself.

The game itself was pretty exciting.  Madison Bumgarner was much more solid than the last time I saw him pitch for the Giants when he gave up 8 straight hits to the Twins to start the game.  However, in the third he gave up a single to Jemile Weeks, followed immediately by a homerun to Eric Sogard to put the A’s up 2-0.  Sogard was an early substitute for Cliff “ought to play cricket” Pennington.  Quick show, Pennington! (That’s for you, you-know-who-you-are.)

It looked for awhile like the underdog A’s might pull it off against the much more beloved Giants, but then Jordan Norberto gave up a solo homerun to Melky Cabrera in the 6th to bring the Giants within one.  A disastrous outing by Fautino DeLosSantos in the seventh led to three Giants runs on one hit: a walk to Ryan Theriot, a hit-by-pitch to Nate Schierholtz, an error by Josh Donaldson at third that allowed Theriot to score, a fielders choice by Angel Pagan that scored Schierholtz, and finally a solid single by Melky Cabrera to score Emmanuel Burriss.

Brian “Fear the Beard” Wilson came out in the 9th with three quick strikeouts to get the save and end the game.  Within about five minutes, seagulls descended out of nowhere onto the stands, eating all the leftover food and beer.  I have no idea where they came from or why they didn’t show up earlier.  I took a bunch of pictures, including one of the seagulls… they’re all below.  Baseball — it’s back!

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Ocean fun: Tidepooling

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This past week I have twice taken advantage of the fact that I live very near the Pacific coast.  Saturday I went hiking in Point Reyes on what turned out to be a cloudy morning and today, in much better weather, I helped chaperone a field trip organized by my teacher friend Amber to take her students tidepooling at Half Moon Bay.

For the coastally challenged, “tidepooling” essentially means walking along the coast during low tide and looking at all the lifeforms that are underwater during high tide.  For Amber’s students, they had to take a two foot square of the tide pools and record all the lifeforms they saw, including sea stars, anemones, urchins, mussels, algae, and barnacles.  Because this beach is not a protected area, the students’ data is actually used (along with data collected from lots of field trips) to determine if it should be protected in the future.

I think it’s awesome that the kids get this opportunity.  Growing up in the middle of the country, a field trip to the ocean wasn’t ever on the radar for me.  Before we left, some of the kids were actually complaining about having to go — one even remarked that she thought a trip to the science museum would be more fun.  Science museums are great, but I’d rather see marine biology in its actual native habitat over a science museum aquarium.  At the end of the trip, I caught up with the same student and she agreed that the beach was pretty cool and much more fun than she expected.

As I often do, I toted along the camera and took a bunch of pictures…

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Cheating California Weather

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Since the snow isn’t coming to me, I decided this past weekend to go to the snow.  Lake Tahoe got it’s first snow last Friday and the forecast called for more over the weekend, so I booked a cheap room on Expedia and got in the car and headed east.  After walking around town Saturday just being pleased to be around snow, Sunday morning I woke up and remembered the downsides when I had to scrape two inches of the white stuff off my car.  But it was worth it.

I spent most of Sunday hiking around Fallen Leaf Lake, which is less developed than Lake Tahoe itself.  I found some waterfalls, kind of by accident — sometimes taking a wrong turn is actually taking the right turn.  Later I walked across a dam and discovered hundreds of salmon just sitting in a pool.  I knew from reading James Michener’s Alaska that salmon will always return to the pond where they were born to spawn the next generation.   It seemed these guys were trying to get into the lake, but had run into the dam and didn’t know what to do next.  A local resident came by and we started chatting.  She explained that they had installed “fish ladders,” but that it appeared the salmon didn’t know how to use them.  I hope they figure it out…

Once again, using the slideshow feature, here are a sample of pictures I took from the weekend.

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More earthquakes!

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At about 5:36 AM this morning, I was awoken by another small earthquake (3.6).  The bed shook back and forth a bit and my dream was disrupted by a sensation that I was falling.  But the best part was that I was positioned just so on my side so that when I opened my eyes, I saw the silhouettes of the bobbleheads bouncing up and down in the dark.  It was an appropriately creepy image, given that Halloween is coming up.

(Oh, and speaking of Halloween, I’m laming out this year and just repeating last year’s costume.  Pippi Longstocking rides again!)

My first earthquake… and my second earthquake: Now with bobbleheads

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After coming back from lunch yesterday and sitting back down at my desk, I heard a loud boom and felt myself jolted forward and then back again.  After I yelled a loud “What the fu… dge?” (really, it was fudge *whistles innocently*), Dave looked at me calmly and said, “Earthquake.”  Dave can always be counted on as the sane one in the office.  I did a quick Twitter search (which I figured out is the best real time earthquake tracker even before XKCD told everyone) and confirmed that it wasn’t just someone dropping something really heavy upstairs.  And thus, I felt my first earthquake… a 4.0.

A few hours later, I was at home, watching the World Series.  Five minutes after the final out, everything started shaking again… but this time it lasted much longer and was more of a slow rolling rumble.  Whereas the first earthquake was too short for me to get nervous, this one was long enough to give me time to think and start to worry.  And then the cable went out briefly, making me really worry.  According to the USGS, this one was only a 3.8 but it certainly felt bigger to me.  When the cable did come back, the station cut immediately to a special report about the quake.  Even they thought it was bigger than it turned out to be.  But everything was fine.  After a quick survey of the apartment, I figured out that an empty milk crate had fallen off a closet shelf and my calendar was no longer level, and that was it for damage.

So, now for the fun part.  My dad would like credit for the idea, and he can have it.  For those who have never experienced an earthquake, I give you a re-enactment done with bobblehead dolls.  I would once again like to bemoan the fact that my good camera is still in Minnesota, because the video quality is subpar on my other camera.

(Oh, and thank you to Anand for talking to me while I calmed myself down from the second earthquake.  That kept me sane.)

California Weather

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I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about the weather in California, or lack thereof as it were.  It’s not really a secret that the first snow of the season is somewhat of an event for me.  As we get towards the end of October and I’ve not once thought about even wearing a sweater, it’s starting to hit home that there will be no first snow for me this year.  Oh sure, I will go home to Minnesota for the holidays and there will be snow on the ground or I could drive to Tahoe, but that’s not the same.  The first snow comes with a smell in the air the day before that puts me in a mood to bake cookies and drink cocoa.  It’s how I mark the passage of another year.  (It is probably not a coincidence that it tends to happen shortly in advance of my birthday.)

But this year…

This weather thing has already screwed me up a few times.  I nearly forgot to plan my trip home for the fair and other Minnesota summer things because it never stopped feeling like spring in San Francisco.  Baseball season is ending in a week, and I am not prepared because I see no leaves turning colors.  My roommate reminded me about Halloween and I realized that I haven’t even thought about it once… partly because we were talking about it while swimming in an outdoor pool.  Last weekend, I caught the intro to the local news and the weather promo was “Later we’ll tell you about how the temperature might change by as much as five to ten degrees next week.”  And that was said without irony.

Harvey once told me that he didn’t understand why people from Minnesota complained about the lack of weather.  His metaphor was something akin to why a person would ever want to eat a glass sandwich when they could eat steak all the time.  Well, Harvey, if all you ever eat is steak, it gets boring.  I need my seasons to remind me that life isn’t permanently on pause.

That concert atmosphere

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While I was home, my dad and I went to see Stevie Nicks live at Mystic Lake in their outdoor amphitheater.  (Incidentally, my ticket was supposed to be for my mom, but I took when my mother failed to name three Stevie Nicks songs… actually, she failed to name even one.)  Before the concert started, when we were sitting in our seats, my dad announced that he knew his youth was over.  “How?” I asked.

He took a big inhale through his nose.  “Smell that?” he asked.

I smelled the air.  “No… I don’t smell anything but maybe a freshly mowed lawn.”

“Exactly,” he said, “I’m at an outdoor Stevie Nicks concert and the only grass I smell is the lawn.  My youth is over.”

Now, fast forward to tonight…

Brandi Carlile was opening for Ray LaMontagne at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, an outdoor amphitheater.  I wasn’t originally going to go, because while I’m a fan of Brandi’s, I’d only heard two Ray LaMontagne songs and all the good seats were sold out anyhow.  But this afternoon I found a seat dead center in the fourth row for face value on craigslist, so at the list minute I arranged to meet some strangers from LA whose friend had canceled on them and buy their spare ticket.

Brandi was great… played some new stuff which seems to be leaning more country than her old stuff.  Then Ray came on… and well, things got aromatic.  And it wasn’t just me who started smelling things.  After two or three songs, Ray started to talk and introduce the band, but quickly just started laughing, “Sorry, Berkeley, but all I can smell is your pot.”

So there you are, Dad.  Your youth might be over, but it’s alive and kicking in Berkeley.

And despite not knowing much about him past the two songs Pandora keeps playing for me, I’m now a definite fan of Ray LaMontagne.  In particular, I have new favorite song of the moment: Like Rock and Roll & Radio.  He played it as his final encore and I liked it so much I bought his new album.

A New Beginning

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Not that anyone really reads this anymore, but it seems worth mentioning that I now live in San Francisco, working for Amal Dorai and Dave Nelson.
If you had told me 10 years ago that one day Amal was going to be my employer, I probably would have laughed at you.
But… the movers are here, my stuff is slowly appearing in this apartment, and my address has been changed with the bank, so it’s pretty official.
I have plans already to see the Twins play the Giants — the stadium is walking distance from my apartment! I also have plays to see them in Oakland, just across the Bay, and in Phoenix when I visit my aunt and uncle. So stay tuned, this blog will pick up again soon. Like the Twins, we’re just having a slow start.

Things I have been too lazy to post about

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In the past three days I have seen two baseball games at two stadiums I had never been to before, SBC Park in San Francisco and the Coliseum across the bay in Oakland. San Francisco lost their game to the Cleveland Indians and Oakland won their game against Doug Mientkiewicz and the New York Mets. I scored both games and I have every intention of getting around to a full post about each one. But while I leave Breath’s apartment for the day and thus have no access to my computer or the Internet until I return sometime in the late evening, you may entertain yourselves by reading what Anand had to say about the A’s game.