Gr8chefmb's Blog

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Wait Til Next Year! October 19, 2010

One of my favourite books is Doris Kearns Goodwin’s memoir Wait Til Next Year. She talks about growing up in the 50s and 60s as a Catholic girl rooting for the perpetual underdog Brooklyn Dodgers. I discovered Ms. Goodwin while watching Ken Burns’ epic Baseball miniseries, as well as other baseball writers. I was excited when Ms. Goodwin published her memoir for two reasons. I love reading biographies and I love reading about history. This one book hit both of these points, and I could kind of sort of relate, having been born and raised Catholic.

It was interesting reading about the trials and tribulations of the Brooklyn Dodgers, especially agains the backstory of the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. I could so relate to the author’s feelings about the Brooklyn Dodgers because I have felt the exact same way about my beloved Texas Rangers. Every year, when the Dodgers failed to win playoffs, let alone the World Series, the rallying cry was ‘Wait until next year!’

I have been a lifelong fan of the Texas Rangers, even when I was really too young to understand the game. I have stood by them in good times and bad; commiserated with other fans over bad pitching staffs and silent bats; and gotten disgusted with bad signings (Chan Ho Park comes to mind!). Every year, I anticipate the start of the new season in the hopes that this will be our year, only to be disappointed again. My hopes were raised in 1996 when the Rangers reached the playoffs for the first time only to fall out of the first round. My own personal rallying cry has been ‘Wait until next year!’

The playoffs this year have been amazing, nail-bitingly close, and mind-blowing. I really hope and pray it continues for the Rangers all the way to end with them winning the pennant. This could be our ‘netxt year.’ Go Rangers!

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How did you get that gig, anyway? August 2, 2009

Have you ever wondered how certain individuals get certain gigs? I certainly have…This morning, I woke up, grabbed a cup of coffee and turned on one of my all-time favourite programs, Texas Country Reporter. In Dallas, it comes on at 10:00a on Channel 27, and nationally, reruns are aired on RFD TV (‘Rural America’s most important network’) at 10:30a (and other times, too). I have been watching Mr. Phillips when his program started out as 4-Country Reporter, I think, around 1972 or 1973. He travels around Texas to do profiles on various people, events, etc. that are interesting, weird, heart-touching, thoughtful, unusual, or all of the above.

 

Sorry, I digress…I was watching his show this morning, which featured a guy who restores old license plates, a bait-seller (on the Lake O’ the Pines in East Texas)/poet, a band director who plays songs on a turkey baster (yes, you have read that correctly – a turkey baster) and a couple of other stories…As I was watching, a thought popped into my head – “How did he get a gig like that?” Another thought popped in after that one, “Where does he find these people?” Actually, I have wondered this about Mr. Phillips for a long time. His is quite an interesting job. He has definitely talked to some seriously unusual people!

 

As I am a big fan of NASCAR, after Texas Country Reporter, I flipped the station to Speed Channel. I had seen on ESPN a day or two ago that qualifying had been rained out, so I was hoping the race at Pocono would not be rained out as well. I love watching John Roberts, Jimmy Spencer, Kenny Wallace, Hermie Sadler and Wendy Venturini on Speed Channel’s NASCAR RaceDay. I have often wondered how Wendy got her gig as pit reporter. Unfortunately, it is still somewhat rare to see a female sportscaster or reporter. Ms. Venturini has been doing an excellent job for the past several years, and man, would I LOVE to trade jobs with her! I have loved car racing since I was old enough to watch the Indy 500 every year. I have been a fan of NASCAR for the past 20 years or so…ever since I watched Dale Earnhardt, Sr. bump and grind his way to all his Cup championships.

 

I would have loved to have been a sports jounalist/on-air personality like Wendy Venturini, Susie Kolber from ESPN or Jillian Barbieri. How in the world did they end up doing what they do?? I love sports in general, and particular ones, hockey, auto racing, baseball, especially. I like to think that I could have been a good sportscaster even though I am a woman. I also like to think that I could have Bob Phillips’ job in a heartbeat if I could operate a camera…I can certainly talk with people and take notes.

 

These are only a couple of examples; the world is filled with even more. How do taste-testers get started, or recipe testers? How do you get a gig as a traffic reporter? Who do you have to know to become a sports arena broadcaster? I guess it’s just one of those quirky things that occupy my mind sometimes. Perhaps, one day I will have some answers.

 

The Joy of Facebook! July 31, 2009

Social networking….is that something that strikes fear into your very heart? I used to be fearful…worried about pervs trying to get to me; annoying people who think they know all; etc., etc. I grudgingly set up a MySpace page and a Facebook page…not too sure about the other social networking sites.

 

Since I have set up my Facebook page, I have been seriously amazed at all the old (not age old…okay, maybe so…LOL) classmates I have found…some of them going all the way back to kindergarten. It is just hysterical. I have even been brave enough and bold enough to tell several high school classmates that I had crushes in high school. Holy cow! Of course, I am not sure I would have been bold enough to do so in person…maybe, maybe not.

 

The thing about technology is that despite its seeming impersonalness (is that even a word?), it allows everyone to connect with everyone else, even when they are miles apart. Keeping in touch can be done at our convenience without regard to time zones, schedules, postage rates, etc. We can laugh at ourselves and our contacts, but no one is the wiser. We can share memories and lives, bad times and good, inane and important events, etc. Sure, a lot of the comments are silly, but it breaks the monotony of our existence. It also crosses the boundaries of break-ups, bad feelings, or whatever because you can choose who you want as your ‘friend’ and how much you want to stay in contact with your ‘friends.’

 

I have actually found people that were extremely important in my life that I thought had been lost forever. How cool is that? It is also seriously cool that I can remember certain things, all because someone made me their ‘friend.’ It may be something I hadn’t thought about for years and years, but a glimpse of a face brings it back just like it happened yesterday.

 

I think the jury might still be out on social networking sites, but in my humble opinion, they are a good thing. It is all about freedom of choice, and like the song says, ‘You can choose not to decide, but you still have made a choice.’ Happy Posting! 🙂