Apr
11
2012

My Baseball Bucket List(In No Particular Order)

bya Gabrielle at 7:40 PM

Today, I taught my business English students about baseball, which is no easy feat when you only have an hour and a half to cover everything from 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey to the Atlanta Braves stumbling out of the gates like fools in 2012. I covered as much as I could, but I clearly could see they were a little confused when I asked if they had any questions when I was finished.

To me, baseball makes perfect sense, but I’m a second generation (Atlanta Braves) baseball fan, and the knowledge and know-how comes rather natural to me. Teaching a sport to a nation versed mainly in basketball(thank you, Yao Ming) and soccer(football – thank you FIFA) is kinda like teaching a young child how to tie his shoe. You understand the motions and the outcome and why it happened the way it did, but the description of how it all happens turns the pretty bow into a jumbled disaster of ugly knots . . . if you are even that lucky.

Hopefully, I taught them more than I confused them, but god only knows. Their brains are probably knotted spaghetti strings.

Next week, I am going to teach them “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, which is always fun. Maybe I will record them and post it for you guys to enjoy! Also, I downloaded the “Who’s on First” skit by Abbott and Costello. I hope that they will understand the humor. I’ve printed out the script to help them understand what is being said because let’s be honest, it can be confusing, especially to ESL learners. And finally, I have nine clips of “Field of Dreams” for them to watch. I love that movie!!

If they can describe in a nutshell what baseball is and tell me sorta how it is played by the end of next Wednesday, I’ll be a happy teacher.

I start off each class with what I call “Gabe’s Random Thoughts of the Day”. These thoughts are truly random and can be spurred by the weather, a song, an expression, a sport, a random news article or even by one of the random thoughts I just wrote on the white board. I usually have no idea what my random thought of the day will be until I start writing it. Some of my thoughts are pretty awesome, and I really should have taken a picture of some of them, but oh well. I think my random thoughts engage the students and make them think and ask questions because usually my random thoughts are about stuff they have never heard of before.

Today’s random thought was titled, “My Baseball Bucket List” and this is how it went.

1. Attend a World Series game, more specifically an Atlanta Braves vs ??? World Series game, preferably with my father.
2. Own the Atlanta Braves(Highly unlikely, but hey, I can dream, right?)
3. Get remarried to Phil on home plate at Turner Field(Again with the dreaming)
4. Sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at a MLB game(Not as part of the crowd, but the person leading it)
5. Have a son who grows up to be the best baseball player EVER(first I need to have children)
6. Convince Phil to allow me to name a daughter Atlanta(Probably no amount of begging will make this happen)
7. Watch all 162 games(plus post season games) in person(I’ll need to win or inherit a lot of money first)
8. Own season tickets to the Atlanta Braves(probably the most likely of all to actually happen)
9. Catch a foul ball or home run(the batting practice homer that hit me in the head does not count)

I am sure there are more, but that is all I can think of right now.

Do you have a baseball bucket list?

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Jul
15
2008

Trip to Atlanta

bya Gabrielle at 10:32 PM

My trip to Atlanta was a good one. Everything went pretty much as planned.  We had good weather despite the threat of showers pretty much all weekend.  It rained once for about 20 minutes right before we went to Stone Mountain, but then the skies cleared up.  An hour later, you never would have known that it had rained. The temperatures were even reasonable for July.  Well, at least for me.  Sometimes I think 100 degrees is cold.  Yeah, I’m crazy, I know.

The only slight downside of our entire trip was the Econo Lodge we stayed at for two nights.  It wasn’t anything fancy, but I didn’t expect it to be, so I wasn’t disappointed that our room felt like a shoe box and looked 30 years old.  Yeah, I know, I’m livin’ large.  Next time though, Phil and I are going to upgrade our hotel and stay at one that is right by the stadium so we don’t have to deal with the rotten traffic after the game.  I think the extra 50 or so bucks a night that we’ll spend will be worth it.

The best thing all weekend besides watching the Braves beat the Astros was finding thinly sliced lamb at the Super H Mart.  It’s an Asian grocery store that Phil and I go to everytime we go to Atlanta.  We never thought we would ever find lamb like that in America after we left China, so you can imagine our surprise.  I think we may have done a dance of joy.  :)  It was fairly priced, too – $5.99 a pound.  We were so excited about our find that we bought about 6 meals worth and put it in a cooler to take home with us.

Okay, and now some pictures.

Pigeon

Odd picture, I know, but I really like it.  I think it would look really good in black and white for some reason. Welcome to Atlanta

Driving 75 mph made it a bit difficult to snap this picture.  The first one I took was even worse, though.  That one had a big, stupid speed limit sign smack dab in the center of the shot.

You are Here

There was nothing else to take a picture of at the rest stop, so I figured I would make use of my macro setting.

Mr. Baseball

I think they call this character Homer or something like that.  I’ve never walked on stilts.  I imagine that I would fall flat on my face if I tried.  I mean, I can barely walk down the hall in my bare feet without banging into the wall or door frame.  I’m such a klutz.

Blue

Hey, check it out, Bloo is an Atlanta Braves fan! Sweet!

American Flag

I must say, this is the biggest American flag I have ever seen.  I wonder how many shirts you could make out of it?

Houston Astros

I thought this was pretty funny.  The Astros were portrayed as British soldiers.  I guess they were doing this because it was 4th of July.

Chipper Jones

And here is Chipper Jones defending his country with his bat.

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Here we have the Chic-fil-a cow doing the chop.  How cute.

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Jul
03
2008

Going to Atlanta

bya Gabrielle at 4:47 PM

Finally, a little vacation. I haven’t been anywhere really since I got back from China.

As long as the weather gods are nice to us, Phil and I should enjoy a lovely weekend.  First we are going to take in a long over due Atlanta Braves game.  I haven’t been to one since Mother’s Day 2005.  At least, I think that was the last time I was able to go.  Since the game is on July 4th, we will get treated to fireworks after the game.  I know it won’t even hold a flame to the fireworks I saw in Hangzhou, but I’m sure they will be pretty nonetheless.  You can click here if you want to see what I am talking about.  Even that video doesn’t do the display justice.  I wish those buildings hadn’t been in the way, though.

I really hope the Braves can pull off a win for me. They haven’t had the best season so far, so I am not going to hold my breath or anything.  There is still a chance that they could go on an impressive winning streak and take back their division.  That would be nice. Perhaps my presence will spark a season turn around or something.  :)

On Saturday, we are going to head over to Stone Mountain.  We are going to get the Adventure Pass for $25 bucks.  It will allow us to do just about everything that the park offers. I’ve been to Stone Mountain several times, but the only thing I can remember doing is taking the tram, climbing the mountain, and watching the laser light show. There is a lot more to do now, inculding this thing called Sky Hike.  It looks like a lot of fun.

On Sunday, we are going to China Town.  There are a lot of China shops in Columbia, but not like there is in Atlanta.  We’ll stock up on all the goodies we haven’t had in a long time, and then come back home.  I’m really excited.  This weekend should be fun.

I was looking through some of the videos of my past visits to Turner Field, and I found this one.  90 feet is a lot longer than it looks like on TV.  And yes, I was the only one over 10 participating.  :)

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