Monday, August 28, 2006

Transformation into an Adult (Possibly)

So I actually did find the post office, got everything retrieved, and only had a minor heart attack when my third box wasn't originally in. I probably harassed the post office people too much, but at least I know where it is, and I figured out how to open my mailbox. This is a big achievement. Yeah, yeah, you can stop clapping, thankya, thankya verra much.

I also got my first piece of collegiately themed gear, or two if you count the planner, but I'm sure they won't be the last. A T-shirt and a daybook, the first time in my life that I've kept one, but I'll need it to keep track of reading assignments, papers, conference projects, time priority and on and on.

Today, I met my don (Joan Silber) and the rest of my First-Year Studies class. Looks like fun. It was also really cool - it just felt more like actual college rather than a 400-person frosh party. I even got my first assignment, due next Tuesday, when we have our first actual college class. I'm also going to start signing up for interviews tomorrow. SLC registration is a bit different - you get to interview your professors before you sign up for their courses, asking about expectations, conference work, etc., etc.

So I'm interviewing five professors for two course spots.The two courses I really REALLY want to take:

The Medieval Foundations of English Art & History: An Interdisciplinary Workshop.
- Why? I love England and Scotland, probably because I'm mostly Scots/English (clan MacAllister... yay) and I want to do my junior year in Oxford, so this would be a great prerequisite.

Elections, Campaigns, and Political Parties in the United States: Democracy and Disenchantment
- Why? Because I'm pretty liberal, hold the opinion that Bush stole the 2000 election, and am curious to see why this might be and the rationale behind the giant "screw the government" mentality. Not that I disagree, but it would be a really interesting exploration.

Now, if I could just find those signup sheets...

- I got some great new headphones that have awesome sound.
- I love my bike.
- I am NOT the only baseball freak who brought her mitt and ball to SLC! Kate, who lives down the hall, did the same thing, and we're totally going to play catch.
- I'm going to play for the SLC Gryphons (softball).
- Facebook is totally addicting.
- is really useful for people like me, who have to rely on the NYC train/buses to get to LaGuardia Airport so I can fly home for Christmas.

More later....

Relocation of an A's Fan: Or, The Hunt For Baseball In Your Dorm

As you may or may not know, I recently departed home (Colorado) for college in New York, just outside the city. Well, here I am now (and entirely too excited) and preparing to start registering for classes. 1600 miles appears to be a non-issue, as I love it here and I am seriously ready for classes to actually start. But as happy as I am to be at my first-choice school, several nagging questions remained. Such as: Is there anyone else in this entire school with whom I can talk baseball?

So, I began my hunt. As soon as I got my laptop set up and connected to the campus network, I opened to check on the prognosis of my beloved A's and Cards. My RA came in, took one look, and said, "Baseball fan?" I said, "Yeah!" She laughed and said, "The homepage was a giveaway."

But I still had not found that elusive someone. My roommate liked baseball, but didn't really follow it or have a team to support. So, although it would be nice to have a baseball fan in residence, it was not to be. Onwards rolled the mighty search.

While walking to an orientation meeting, I spotted someone in a Giants shirt. I pounced, figuring that a Giants fan was better than no fan at all. Turns out, the guy wasn't even a Giants fan; he just wore the shirt since he was from San Francisco. Crap... denied.

So, it happened by accident. I was asking someone in a Cubs shirt if they were a baseball person (they weren't, but they had lived in Chicago and liked the Cubs) when someone overheard me and said, "BASEBALL! Yeah, I'm a total baseball person!"

She's from Oregon, so she supports the Mariners and the Giants, but she lives two doors down the hall in my dorm and we are already plotting to hijack someone's TV when the postseason rolls around. Having baseball on my laptop makes me feel quite comfortable, at home, and now I've posted all my pictures from a summer of attending games over my bunk.

There's me and Gillian, me and Swish, Coors Field, the Cardinals bullpen... on and on and on. My autographed A's hat is dangling from my bunk post, my jersey is in the closet, and you can bet that when the A's make the postseason, I will be strutting around campus like a lunatic, proudly sporting the green and gold, and pissing off all the New Yorkers who wear their logo-emblazoned hats with a flat brim, rapper-style. (I personally think that style is entirely stupid. ;)

I'm really happy to be where I am. I signed up for a theatre group, will be taking a full courseload (writing, and hopefully history and politics as well) and the best part - I am planning to play softball for the Gryphons, my college's team. I know how to hit and I know how to throw (that's why I'm in right field just watching the dandelions grow) and whenever I play a game, I will ALWAYS wear the high socks. :D

Let's go OAKLAND!!!! :D :D :D

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Indoctrination of an Ingenue

It's definitely interesting. Everyone's still in the upheaval period, still figuring out how to do the rudimentary stuff like feeding and clothing oneself before moving onto the heavier stuff like academics and - gasp - laundry. There have been a shitload of events to date, with seemingly every minute of time ruthlessly monopolized while we, the helpless frosh, are inundated with everything we'll need to know in four years at SLC. It feels like a lot to absorb, but as everyone's adjusting to life on their own, it's getting better.

Personally, I'm looking forward to things settling down into smaller niches. Big group events are all well and good, but they're not why I came to SLC - if I wanted that, plus a raging party scene, I could have gone to hometown CU Boulder for considerably less money. I came to SLC because I wanted the privacy and the personalized educational experience, and although the various parties and seminars are fun (and it's wonderful to finally have a social life!) what I really like right now are the quiet moments when I can just chill out in my dorm and kabitz about the Internet. I still need some time to get acclimated and adjusted, which will come. This is going to be pretty awesome.

Things I Need To Do:

1) Find the damn post office and pick up my printer and books before they get mailed back home again, as the cost of postage to send them back would undoubtedly irritate my parents.

2) Finish reading the course catalog.

3) Stop stressing so much.

I'll just work on it, shall I....

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Special Summer with the Rockies

Something funny happened this summer. It wasn't just my rabid anticipation to quit the modest foothills of Evergreen, Colorado, and jet cross-country to New York, where I'm starting my freshman year in college this fall. It was something a little different, something which made this summer one of the best in recent memory.

I discovered the Rockies.

Well, it wasn't as if I'd been unaware of them before. Born in Denver, and having lived in Colorado for the greater part of my formative years with the exception of a four-year detour out East, I did at least have a working knowledge of the boys in purple and silver. However, my family moved back in 1997, and by then, the Rockies' brief flirtation with success - the 1995 Wild Card and the Blake Street Bombers - had already evanesced into distant memory. Larry Walker, Todd Helton, Vinny Castilla - they were all still around - or in Helton's case, just starting on the way up - but the Rockies began their fade right around then, vanishing into ignominy permanently in the NL West cellar.

I'm a girl who honestly, truly, and completely loves baseball. During the aforementioned detour to the East, my family lived in Columbus, Ohio, and we got to 10-15 games a year (all with dugout seats) for the Columbus Clippers, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees. My two sisters and I would play "baseball" with our dad in the backyard, using the balls that the players would roll to us over the dugout, taking our gloves along wherever we went, telling stories about the players, and more. Ah, the glory days of youth.

Naturally, we were Yankees fans for quite a while, but eventually started to drift off them, and the acquisition of A-Rod just killed the franchise for us. My younger sister, who's also my best friend, and I had already moved onto our current #1 - the Oakland Athletics - and eventually, the St. Louis Cardinals joined the ranks as well. But not the Rockies. Not yet.

There is something of a tradition in our house of following the Rockies, if only to groan at all the bad decisions made by Dan O'Dowd, Clint Hurdle, and Co. We didn't pay much attention to them in the grand scheme of things, and generally expected them to inhabit the cellar. They never disappointed us in this regard.

That changed this summer. It started when my dad bought tickets to all three of the Rockies/Athletics games for my high school graduation gift. And, well, the A's are my favorite, so I couldn't exactly root against them, and I wasn't yet a Rockies believer. So I was there for all three games - the first two were a disappointment, the third was awesome - and managed to snag a Ladies Night voucher on Wednesday.

This introduced my sister and I to the lovely concept of free tickets, which we took full advantage of. All three of us - my two sisters and I - went to the July 5th game against the Giants and freely rooted for the Rockies, partly because we dislike the Giants and Barroids Bonds intensely. But something happened. We didn't root for the Rockies just because we had to. The Rockies were fun. They played hard. They actually ran out ground balls, unlike the old, slow, lazy farts with San Francisco across their chests. There was a spark among the fans. Even in Denver, notoriously known as Broncos country, people cared about their baseball.

My other favorite team, the Cardinals, hit town for a July 25th and 26th pair of games, both of which a combination of sisters and I attended (myself and younger for the first, myself and both for the second) and, well, I can't root against the Cards either. But this time, even though I (admittedly) cheered the Cards on to victory in both games, I felt a little bad for having to root against the Rockies to do so.

Somewhere along the line, the conversion, or addition, had taken place. We were Rockies fans (and when I say "we," I mean my younger sister and myself -- my older sister likes baseball, but isn't particularly passionate about any team). Coors Field is a beautiful ballpark, the Wednesday night free tickets are a blast, and the Rockies are a young, passionate team that is just a lot of fun to watch. (Management incompetence aside, but that's a topic for another diary). Also, I have a sneaking suspicion that Brad Hawpe may just be the reason that we got so interested in the first place. He's a good player, fun to watch, and it does not hurt that the view of him from behind is, er, extremely aesthetically pleasing. :D

The last game that my younger sister and I could get to was August 2, against the Brewers - she had two weeks of the Aerial Dance Festival up in Boulder and I was leaving for college after that. Oddly enough, this turned out to be quite possibly the best game of the lot. More free tickets landed us in the first row of the second deck - perfect seats - and we sat there throughout batting practice, making jokes about how little we knew about the Brewers and refusing to budge even when a brief and intense pregame rainstorm swept through and splattered us.

The game started, and we rooted for the Rockies. We rooted our hearts out. We wore purple, black, and white to the game, and we took every opportunity to cheer for the hometown nine.
The game started - the outcome was never really in doubt, as the Rockies plated four in the first and four thereafter, to end up with a final score of 8-1. But the game itself was just a thing of beauty. We weren't really stressing over how things were going to turn out, it was a beautiful night, and it was our last game together for the summer. We were almost wishing that that the Brewers would mount a big rally just so it didn't have to end.

At one point, I said, "Rockies, hit a home run. I want an excuse to stand up and scream." Perhaps an inning later, Todd Helton took a Brewers reliever downtown, and I did just that. It was transcendent.

During the seventh inning, we got ice cream, then stood by the outfield boxes, gazing out over the field and just drinking in how beautiful it was. We were already planning to buy tickets there next year when I got home from college - we'd go on Wednesdays and free-ticket our way through the season. During the eighth inning, as the game was drawing to a close, we both got a little choked up because of how supremely special it had been to spend the summer with the Rockies. We weren't always rooting for them, but in the end, we had become believers in purple and silver.

The Rockies weren't just the Rockies, the rather useless and overlooked hometown team that occasionally cropped up in local sports pages and snide commentaries. They were ours. We had grown to care for them, to honestly cheer for them and want them to win on their own merits. We wanted them to do well, to keep on trucking, and to, hopefully, shock the world by pulling out the NL West title.

As far as they go, I'll be cheering for them, even though I'll be in New York instead of Colorado and won't be able to be there in person for them. So do it, Rockies. You can. And thanks for an absolutely terrific, unbelievably awesome summer that we got to spend with you guys over at 20th and Blake.