Now that we've seen the team from Texas (the Sugarland Skeeters), the remaining competitions will be more local -- teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland. Which means it's possible for the visiting team's fans to come to our park to see a game. Truthfully, the only time I've actually seen it was during the playoff games.
Last night's schedule brought us the Lancaster Barnstormers, with fireworks after the game. In fact, w got a bit of a sneak preview during the National Anthem ("the rockets' red glare") and again during "God Bless America" in the middle of the 7th inning.
The starting pitcher for Lancaster was a guy named Shunsuke Watanabe. Very unusual style, Drew told me he's a "submarine pitcher". I had to take some video.
And the game? Lancaster took an early lead, scoring in the top of the first inning. Bottom of the 8th, Lancaster was ahead 5-3. The Ducks loaded the bases but failed to score. Top of the 9th and Lancaster added a run to their lead,
Were it not for the fireworks, I think most people would have left the ballpark at that point.
And they would have missed a spectacular ending.
The Ducks' bats come alive. They score two runs. It's now 6-5.
Two outs, the bases are loaded...and it starts to rain.
The batter pops it up. It looks like an easy play for the catcher, He makes a diving catch...and drops the ball. A run scores.
7,000 people start screaming.
A walk-off single wins the game.
7,000 people go crazy.
And then we all stood in the rain to watch the fireworks.
Nostalgia time. We recently went to see the "Happy Together" Tour. This is a show featuring a lot of retro bands, acts form the 1960's and early 1970's.
Back in the 60's, Howard Kaylen and Mark Volman were vocalists with a band called The Turtles. Later, Kaylen and Volman would perform as Flo and Eddie. The Turtles' biggest hit was "Happy Together". Hence the name of their nostalgia tour.
This year the show featured The Buckinghams, The Cowsills, The Grass Roots, The Association, Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and , of course, The Turtles. We saw the show at Westbury Music Fair (or whatever it is they're calling the place these days) on June 27.
With so many acts in this year's tour, each band did only a short set featuring their top 3-4 hits. Which was fine for The Cowsills, who only had four hits. But for an act like Flo and Eddie, not so fine -- in previous years, their comedy could easily fill up 45 minutes of the show; though I did enjoy their "Frozen" parody. And I felt sad seeing The Grass Roots, they're just not the same without Rob Grill -- we saw Grill perform just a few months before he died.
My favorite DJ, Scott Shannon, was there to start the evening. Later, during intermission, Drew ran into him in the lobby and asked to shake his hand.
And because the theater is now sponsored by a local bank -- I hate calling it the NYCB Theater at Westbury -- we got a swag bag from the bank. Inside the tote bag I found an ice cream scoop, pencils, a chip clip, a rubber jar gripper and a fold-up Frisbee with the bank's logo.
Overall, a fun evening. Good to hear the old songs again.
The NaBloPoMo theme for July is "connections". Not really grabbing me.
So I guess I'm going to do 31 blog posts this month and (after this post) not refer back to the month's theme. I've gotten used to planning my posts, making sure I come here at least once a day.
It's how I stay "connected".
So it's July, it's summer, and I'm loving it.
And one of the ways I "connect" is through music.
To celebrate the season, one of my favorite songs:
I don't know how Drew's sister ever thought she was actually capable of taking care of Marvin anymore.
He was back in the hospital again, this time for a scheduled procedure. He had to stay an extra day due to complications. Now he's back at the nursing facility. The facility is working on this Medicaid issue -- he was receiving one form of Medicaid, but needs a different program in order to be a permanent resident of a nursing facility. Because yes, he is now officially a resident of the facility.
Drew and I aren't crazy about the facility, we think there are other nursing homes where he'd be happier. So we're doing a little research, to determine if he can be transferred to a different facility.
So I came across the Facebook page of the facility where Marvin currently resides. And there was a post from Drew's sister, moaning and groaning that the nurses had Marvin in a wheelchair and that he wasn't getting his physical therapy. The post was from March. You know, back when he was confined to his room because he had nothing to wear except a hospital gown, back when she refused to bring him clean clothes and Drew and I had to go to her house to get some of Marvin's things.
What she wrote made me very angry. I wanted to post a reply, but didn't see how that would accomplish anything.
Drew is planning to visit Marvin tomorrow. He wanted to get a day pass for Marvin on Saturday, so that Marvin could come to the barbecue, but that doesn't seem feasible in light of Marvin's current condition.
I tend to keep my politics out of this blog. I don't know why, since I tend to wear my political heart on my sleeve, in real life and in many other Internet forums.
But I could not let this month come to a close without discussing the two stories that have dominated our news. Two stories of love and hate, of our bitter past and our bright future, of flags and symbols ...
The first was the horrific shooting in the Mother Emmanuel Church. When I heard the story, I could not help but wonder if we had stepped back in time to 1965 - a white supremacist killing 9 African Americans in a church. It shocked me, it horrified me.
And yet, the grace of the families of the victims, the strength of that community in the face of such tragedy, is something to be admired.
And then, out of such sadness...we are looking, really looking, at race relations in this country. Ferguson, Baltimore and now Charleston have made us aware that even with an African-American POTUS, we do not live in a post-racist society. We can do better. We must do better.
But at least the flag of the Confederacy is coming down. Yes, I know, for some people, that flag is merely a symbol of Southern pride. But for far too many, it symbolizes racial hatred and oppression. As the president said, it belongs in a museum, not flying over the South Carolina Statehouse.
But rainbow flags abound. My Facebook feed is dripping with happy rainbows.
This weekend we observed the anniversary of Stonewall. On 6/28/1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn merely because it was a "gay bar". In 1969, homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder and homosexual acts were classified as crimes. But as of 6/26/2015, marriage equality is the law of the land. #LoveWins
I've been lately thinking About my life's time All the things I've done And how its been And I can't help believing In my own mind I know I'm gonna hate to see it end -- John Denver
There are places I'll remember All my life, though some have changed Some forever, not for better Some have gone and some remain All these places have their moments With lovers and friends I still can recall Some are dead and some are living In my life, I've loved them all -- Lennon-McCartney
We dated, we broke up. We tried it again, we broke up. Third time around, we got married. Had two children. Got divorced. Dated other people. Got back together.
28 years ago today, Drew and I got married. The anniversary always puts me in a contemplative mood. The choices I've made over the course of my life. How things might have turned out if I'd made other decisions.
Last week Jen asked me some very probing questions about the divorce. She was just shy of her 4th birthday when we split up, she has very little memory, if any, of that time.
You cannot go back and change the past (except in science fiction, of course). The decisions you made yesterday shape who you are, who you have become, and how you approach your future. I read a lot of science fiction, so I can't help but wonder what, if given the chance, I would change about my past, and what effect it would have on the present and on my future.
The reality is, I cannot go back, I cannot undo what has been done. I own every decision I made, for good or for bad.