Fall Classic

Monday, September 29, 2008

We've entered the off-season here at the Seattle Mariners. It's kind of quiet around the office today, but there is quite a buzz going around about the Fall Classic. What is the Fall Classic you ask? Well...

Surprising to most, the very first Mariners Fall Classic was actually held in October 1828, nearly 18 years before the 1st recorded baseball game. The perennial Front Office grudge match lasted 7 seasons before having to be terminated due to budget cuts in 1835. The early star of the Fall Classic was Moose Clausen; winning 3 titles include a 7 for 7 performances in the 1830 contest.

The modern day Marines Fall Classic was reborn in 2004. Team Parson took home the title that year, followed by Team Weir the following season. In 2006, Team Munro-Orwiler aka the Sand People, ran the table to claim their first championship

The 2007 Mariners Fall Classic was a memorable one. Controversy, Inspiration and Outstanding play was on the menu that fateful day last October. When it was all said and done, Cole Parsons became the first 2-time General Manager winner of the Classic, as his Blue Crush rolled to the Championship. What's in store for Classic # 5... Who knows? With 3 rookie GMs and 3 seeking their first title as well as 2 former Champions, the Moose Clausen Cup is certainly up for grabs.


So it's really just a softball tournament the Front Office does in October. Today the teams were announced and I'm on the "Pink Elephants" team. I must say, I'm very happy to have been chosen for such a great team. Thanks! Below is our team philosophy from one of our Team Captains, Nick Pope:

"First and foremost, I like to think of myself as a "player's manager." That basically means that I talk a lot of smack, don't hold rigorous practices, then hope to hell my players back me up on the field. My team will bring alot of swagger with them -- and they'll have to -- because, seriously, you have to be a little bit cocky if you're going to kick somebody's butt wearing a pink shirt.”

I'm excited to go out and buy some nice pink sports socks, a sweet headband and some rockin armbands for Fall Classic mania!!!!!

Daily Struggles #1

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Okay, so when I am down on the field with clients sometimes I get the urge to dance. Sounds strange you might say? Maybe. Before the game starts there is always music playing in the ballpark. Usually it's some kind of rap/dance something or other. Pop, let's call it pop music.

Take today for example. I was down with 4 guests and they were chattin away with eachother (I was keeping the watchful eye to make sure they didn't run off in another direction, eh, to run after Ichiro or into the Dugout) when the music started blasting. Instant Dance Party! Although I was probably the only one thinking that.

Sometimes I have to hold back a little, because I just might look like a fool out there. Lame, I know.

AND here it is... The JAX blog

Monday, September 22, 2008

OKAY, I'm a week and a day late... better late than never though, right? First and foremost, I would like to thank Southwest Airlines for overbooking a flight that I was taking back from Phoenix in February. I was one of the lucky passengers to get kicked off (for arriving 5 minutes before it was about to leave, oops!) and get a free travel voucher to be used within the year. I did have to stay in Phoenix an extra night because that was the last flight out... Luckily my bitches are there and put me up for an extra night (and more wine and girl talk, of course).

Fast-forward a few months to April. My dear friend and fellow Blazer twin, Lauren Beyer (AKA L-Boogie - thanks C-Bowles!), got offered the job of a lifetime with the PGA Tour; re-locating her to Jacksonville, Florida. Sad to see her go, so happy for her to follow her dreams! Now I'm thinking... What a perfect way for me to use my free ticket!

This Northwest girl traveled to JAX on Sept. 12-15. I didn't really know what to expect from Florida. I've been to Orlando before (once) and it was in-between hurricanes, so it was deserted and there was a lot of destruction. I guess I was expecting JAX to be just like Orlando (because I didn't really know any better). But it wasn't ;-) It was better! Here is how it all went down:

FRIDAY:
L-Boogie picked me up from the airport and after a big, long hug and lots of smiles we got Starbucks and headed to her house. We got all cute in our little purple dresses and headed out to dinner and to meet up with some of her friends. We had a great meal (I had mussels and crab chowder) Lauren had something chicken? (sorry dear, I can't remember)... and of course a few rum drinks :-) After dinner we headed over to an outdoor bar on the beach (Lemon Bar, I think), met up with Tuna and Amanda and drank Corona out of a can (who knew?) After that we made our way over to Lynchs (where we got blessed with free parking because we were just too cute). Drank a few more beers, learned that Tuna likes to dance party too, so I made myself a new friend! At about 2am we drove to Sonic and I accidentally ordered a burger but I don't remember eating it, oh well. Went back to Lauren's, crawled into bed and thought that was a good first night.


SATURDAY:
Woke up, Lauren made pancakes. Yummy. Went to the beach for a little while. Drove back to Lauren's place and jumped in the pool instead of taking a shower, awesome idea! :-) Decided to head to St. Augustine for the day. Had frozen yogurt with berries on the way (brilliant idea!) Made our way to St. Augustine with no idea or insight as what to do there, just going to see where the day takes us. Found a pretty sweet little carousel to ride for $1; we had to do it! So we did. It was fun and quick. We then made our way over to the Great Cross in a lovely little park and walked about and enjoyed the scenery. Stopped in a little chapel, then we left to see more of St. Augustine. Found the cutest little cupcake shop and a clothing boutique (bought something at each place). Drove on to see more... ended up parking near their little downtown area and started to walk around. WOW, what an adorable town we stumbled across! There were amazing buildings, little bed and breakfasts, shops and restaurants everywhere! There was so much history in this town (oldest city in the U.S.) Every time we turned the corner we saw something even more cute and amazing! I had a permanent smile on my face. It was one of those days that just kept getting better and better. There was live music all over the city (people on the streets playing the harmonica and performers at outdoor restaurants, so coooool) We just enjoyed our time, taking it all in and seeing as much as we could. We ate dinner at Crabbers (hehe) dined on shrimp, crab cakes and some ice-cold beers (can you say best dinner ever!). Our waiter was really nice and kept bringing me crab dip samples because I said I really liked it. Talked to him about Seattle because his friend just moved out there and he is considering it too, wouldn't be a bad move. It was now time to leave this amazing town and head back north on the A1A (props to Vanilla Ice) to JAX. Rocked out to some G. Love in the car and thought about what we were going to do when we got back home. Decided on a Piano Bar (Tuna met us there) got a drink and wouldn't you know it, I was the only one there that wanted to have a dance party (story of my life) Had some fun listening to some good music and then called it a night and went home to sleep; another amazing day/night in JAX.


SUNDAY:
Woke up, got ready, headed out to the PGA Tour Headquarters to see where my girl L works. Had brunch at the Clubhouse and it was the best brunch I had ever had in my life! Seriously, grits, a croissant, cheesy potatoes, shrimp, caprese salad, bacon... fucking amazing is what I'll call that. Finished up with a huge slice of delicious chocolate cake and felt quite satisfied. Did I mention that we ate outside on the patio in cushy chairs that overlooked Sawgrass? AMAZING view! Then took a golf cart around the course to see the 17th hole... again, amazing! L got a text from her boyfriend that he was back in town so we headed back home to get ready for our beach party! Got ready, arrived at Garrett’s (L's boyfriend) house. Met DJ, Jon and Tuna (whom I'd met earlier and formed a quick friendship over dance parties and Boston sports and just Boston in general). Piled in cars and headed to the beach! We hung out for a few hours on JAX beach; drinking beers, playing some beanbag toss game, throwing the football, playing a quick game of volleyball and splashing around in the water. Great times! Rushed Lauren to her soccer game then went home to relax before going out for sushi dinner with the whole group. Dinner was good (thanks, Garrett!) then it was off to Alex and Amanda’s house for a few friendly games of beer pong (which turned into lots of beer pong, flip cup, dancing in the garage and boys wrestling in the living room). Oh wait, it's Monday now...




MONDAY:
Okay, final stop was back to Garrett and DJ's place to play some Rock Band. On the way back I rode in the back of Jon's car and DJ drove. Nice sound system. Jon also mooned Lauren and Garrrett in the car to the right of us, Thanks for that Jon. Lauren and Garrett made an unannounced detour/stop (thanks for that by the way!) and we all kept drinkin and rockin out. I got to unleash my inner rockstar and let me tell you, I wasn't all that good. The night went on... went to sleep at about 5am, woke up at 6am because all the boys had to leave for work, lame. Everyone should be on vacation like me! ;-) Went back to Lauren's, we both crashed until 8am, then it was off to Amelia Island for a few hours until I had to go to the airport. We walked on the beach and talked about a great weekend, had shrimp and beer for lunch, took a cute little ferry ride and walked around a fun little pirate town (Fernandina Beach). Then she dropped me off at the airport and I spent a total of 5 hours on two different planes, took the bus home and went to bed.


It was a GREAT/AMAZING/WONDERFUL/AWESOME words-can't-describe-how-much-fun-I-had vacation! It was grrrrrrreat to see my girl, meet her boyfriend and their friends and explore different lifestyles in Florida (Lauren's life is my vacation). Because JAX is in northern Florida, there was more of a southern hospitality than I had thought there to be (especially in St. Augustine... felt like I was back in New Orleans or South Carolina a few times). All in all, it was an amazing weekend and I'm already looking forward to going back for a second visit! :-)

Love you Lauren!

Why I'm taking this Europe trip

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Okay, so I have a schedule (semi-tentative) Munich--> Vienna--> Prague --> Berlin --> Amsterdam --> Brussels --> Cologne --> back to Munich.

I have two weeks off around the holidays (thanks MLB!), so it's perfect timing and I'm in a good place financially to make this all work out. I know what inspired me to take this trip, but I knew that I would never make it happen unless I JUST DID IT.

Here's where it all comes from:
I have about 100 postcards that belonged to my grandmother in a box under my bed. I've had them for years. When I'm feeling like I need to get out and explore and see new things, or just get inspired, I look at her postcards and wish so much I could go to all of the places that she's traveled to. Her late husband (my grandfather, whom I never had the chance to meet) worked in the Airline Industry for over 25 years and when he passed away my grandmother had the opportunity to travel all over the world at no cost. She traveled alone and with travel buddies as well. She used to tell me stories growing up about all of the places that she frequently visited. Some of her favorites were Germany (she's been to every little town in this country) Belgium, the Netherlands and more importantly Ireland. (I'm saving Ireland for a trip all it's own. She loved this place dearly.)

I'm choosing to go to some of her favorite places on my trip. Brussels being at the VERY top of my list. Ever since I was a little girl I've wanted to go to Brussels and when I was in college, I was so amazed and inspired by all of my Art History courses and the amazing art nouveau in this city. I always knew that when I make it there someday, it is going to be amazing. I'm choosing to spend my last day of 2008 and first day of 2009 in the city of Brussels. I always try to do something great and amazing on New Years Day to start off the year right. Which is something that I think she would really love :-)

When my grandmother passed away back in July, I received a very long letter from my Great Uncle Ed (her younger brother). This letter will later change my life forever. Ed details all about her and memories of growing up with this amazing woman. He told stories of her exact seat at the dinner table, her boyfriend that left for the war and how she bonded with her future husband over baseball (which is when Ed knew he was the one for her). Here is something from his letter that really stands out in my mind from her childhood...

"Her capabilities were demonstrated one day while playing a game with the boys on Trafalgar Street in front of our house. One Sunday afternoon while batting opposite our front door (home plate), she hooked a long drive three houses down the street through a glass enclosed front porch. None of the boys could hit the ball that far. Hearing the crash, my father came running out of the house with wallet in hand to meet and pacify the approaching excited home owner. Those are things that create legends."

I never knew my grandmother to play sports; to me she was always a very classy lady born and raised in upstate New York. To learn this and many other wonderful things about her, has helped me to realize so much about myself and give me great confidence in myself. I read his letter about a hundred times, cried a lot and called my dad a few times in Boston. I finally got the confirmation that I needed. For the first time in a long time I knew for certain that I am right where I am supposed to be and the world is unfolding just as it's meant to be, whether I understand it or not. Although I was sad she was gone, I was happy to feel like I am doing exactly what I am meant to be doing.

It's very hard for me to explain this... She was so ill from Alzheimer’s for nearly 9 years, but a week after she passed away and I got that letter, I had never felt closer to her than I had at this moment. Maybe it's because she raised such an amazing man who is my father, whom I'm very much alike and talk to on a near daily basis. I don't know. But for whatever reason, I am grateful for my family. AND I'm so very grateful for my Great Uncle Ed, because he knows so much family history of everyone growing up on the East Coast and happily shares with me everything that I want to know (and if I want to have a conversation about sports, he pretty much knows more than ANYONE I have ever met!) He's amazing!

Being connected to all of these great people (past and present) shows me exactly where I come from and why my interests are what they are. How can I be so girly and artsy, but sports is so important and such a defining factor in my life? I know that if my grandmother were still alive and well she would be so proud of me and all my accomplishments. She too would know that I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing. It's been a strange path to get to this point (so many twists and turns). I'll never look back and say "what if this, or what if that..." because I know it's all happening as it should and I should never question it.

WOW, I was talking about my Europe trip, right? Well those are all my reasons for taking my trip to non-western cultures. I hope you've enjoyed this post. It's not really easy for me to talk about this yet... but I will say that I am a much better person for having her in my life. She's an incredible woman and I miss her everyday :-)

Back in Sea-Town

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I'm back in Seattle after a great weekend in JAX, FL (look for a post about my weekend very soon!) It feels like I've been outta town on mini-vacations every free weekend I can get out! This summer has gone by so fast I've hardly had time to breathe! My life has been consumed with working (when the team is in town it usually eats up my weekends - not a bad thing at all by the way!) So far I've done a few trips to see the friends in Portland, a trip to Phoenix in July (made it twice this year, woo hoo!), Whidbey Island a few weeks ago and JAX, Florida last weekend.

I'll be in the NW until another vacation in December. Most likely will make a trip or two to Portland (going to need some time with my girlies!) and a Leavenworth trip with Erica (got to visit that funky little Baravian village!). I'm definately looking forward to staying in Seattle for the next few months and getting to know even more about the city and my little neighborhood. The Fremont Oktoberfest is this weekend (going on Friday with some work friends and volunteering on Saturday), next weekend the parents are in town for the Seafood Feast and it's my final Hometand of the season, which is a little bittersweet for me. Lots of changes coming up in the next few weeks --> months.

When I was out in JAX, I didn't want to leave because it was so hot and tropical (so different from the NW, it was great to experience a different lifestyle for a long weekend). I was with one of my best friends and met some other great people along the way. After a long day of traveling on Monday (thank God the time change was in my favor this time around) I was actually very happy to be back in the NW. I took the bus from the airport --> Safeco --> Home. The bus is a long ride home, but takes you through the busiest and greatest little places through Seattle; places that I hope to get to know even better here. It's a very eclectic city with very interesting people (even more so when you ride the bus). It's all these little things about Seattle that have made me fall in love with it here :-) I've been meeting lots of cool people (here and all over the world) those that live elsewhere, I'm glad there are sites like Facebook and Couch Surfing to help keep in touch, which I've been really good at lately! I wish all these people lived closer, but happy their doing their own things! :-)

It's a great feeling when everything seems to be falling right into place. When you can look around with a smile on your face and know that you are in the right place and look forward to the unexpected. I'm so happy I'm here :-)

Loves,
Holls

Florida Bound

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I leave for Jacksonville, FL tomorrow morning at 7am! I'm going to visit one of my bestest friends, my dear Lauren (aka L-Boogie). She moved there in April to work for the PGA Tour and is lovin it there. I miss her dearly and look forward to our crazy reunion, along with some beach fun, beer drinking and of course some good ole sunshine (hello I live in Seattle and my days of sun are few and far between)! Cross your fingers for NO hurricanes!

Be back in the NW on Monday evening!

Loves,
Holls

Looking Back

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

As I go through and read the old posts on my blog it has made me realize how much I have changed and grown in the past year - year and a half. Over that time I have seen things for what they really are and have learned to appreciate people for who they truly are. I don't dwell on things that I cannot change and accept things for what they are. Those who know me well, know exactly what I am talking about (there might be two things here) and that needs no further explanation :-)

I had this phone conversation the other day with an old friend. All was going well until the near end and some things were said that shouldn't have been said. It made me realize that some people will never change and you just have to let it go. I know that I am in a better place, being the better person. It just makes me angry when someone sees how well you are doing and try to bring you down because things aren't goin well in their life. The decisions that I have made over the past year and half have been soley for me and my well being. I am not about to let someone have such force over me that forbides me from talking to my old friends and saying what I can or cannot do. My independence is far to strong for that. That is not something that I should feel bad about, it's a wonderful thing. I would rather someone love me for everything in my life than try to change everything that they do not like about me.

People back in my very small hometown ask the parents why I'm not married yet or why I don't have a boyfriend (like it's a bad thing?) Being single is not tragic. I have learned over the past few years that I don't need a boyfriend to make me happy. I've seen people stay in un-healthy relationships because they are scared to be alone, to me that is tragic. I would rather wait and find the right person than try to make it work with the wrong one. I see my friends doing this and it makes me sad.

When people see pictures of my friends and I out every weekend and ask why I am not settling down yet, I say because I am too young. This baffles people from my hometown (and what I'm realizing, a lot of people in general). When people start feeling sorry for me or asking why my boyfriend and I broke up and "what are you going to do now?" I say whatever the hell I want to do. I will find what makes me happy and just go with it, rock out and have the time of my life. Everything else will eventually fall into place. I am college educated, have a great career and wonderful friends on the same page as myself. I am not done doing what I am doing. I am confident with where my life is going and enjoy all of the surprises that come along with the unexpected along the way. Who knows where I'll end up... I'll just enjoy everything and see where life takes me :-)

Let me just leave you with one thing; in the words of Anandamama...
"and it's been a BLAST!" :-)

G. Love and Special Sauce (click for pix)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

G. Love was last night. So, it was pretty much the concert (and Dance Party, of course) of the summer, or celebrating the nearing of the end of the summer. Either way. Awesome. My Gina friend went with me and we've been known to get a little crazy when we get together, like more crazy than normal! Lets just say that we caused many o shenanigans last night:-) The music was amazing (Tristan Prettyman and the John Butler Trio make an appearance). With our beers in hand, we danced barefoot on the grass and took over 100 pictures (you better believe we were having the best of times and had to document that :-) Then the dance party was over and these two drunk girls couldn't find the parking lot (trust me, was confusing with all the grass hills and trees). I got really scared and freaked out about getting lost in Europre (in December, yay!) and how am I going to make it in Europe when I can't find my way out of a G. Love concert. Then when I woke up this morning I wasn't worried about it anymore, I knew it ;-)