1. What's your favorite baseball memory? It can be you playing little league, a game you went to, something you read about, watching Lou Gehrig's farewell -- anything is game (no pun intended).
It's hard to choose. Baseball has been bery, bery, good to me. I think I could do a whole (very long) post just on my favorite memories. I think I may do that once spring training rolls around.
However, to answer your question, I'll go with the final out of the first championship game I was ever in. It was with our departmental softball team in grad school, and we'd never made it to a final game before. We had a great team that year, the best I've ever played on. We were 20-1 and had outscored our opponents 300-99 over the season. The thing was, because of some rain outs, we'd never played the second place team until that final game, so we had no idea what to expect.
It was a pretty good game, and we led comfortably through most of it. We were up about five runs with two outs and a couple of men on base in the top of the last inning, when their third baseman hit a long ball to right that got by our right fielder. I was playing second, and I had to run deeper and deeper into the outfield to get into position for the relay while our right fielder was tracking down the ball. Meanwhile, the batter was cruising around the bases. When the right fielder finally did pick up the ball, he managed to give me a perfect throw to handle, and I made one of my two or three best throws ever. It was a perfect strike to the catcher from deep in the outfield, and the batter was out by ten feet. Game over, and then the adrenaline rush hit. There is nothing quite like the rush one experiences in that moment when you win a championship game. We were all jumping up and down in the infield, hugging each other, just going nuts. After that there was champagne and way too much beer. It was a pretty good night.
2. How's your asthma? Better controlled? (Actually, was it diagnosed as asthma? Or am I misremembering?) Does it affect your volleyball?
The asthma has been better, and it's been better without any controls. It may just be a matter of my lungs finally recovering from the rototilling they got from the respiratory infections I had last winter. It also seemed to get better after I went on meds for my BP, so that may be a factor. As far as the diagnosis, the pulmonary function test I took just before the last F2F was unable to confirm asthma. If I have it, it's very mild. I don't get the kind of incidents where I need an inhaler just to breathe. It's just that I occasionally have discomfort breathing, and it seems to be worse in allergy season. I don't seem to have any of the other usual triggers for this kind of thing, like dust mites or reflux. The primary problem lately has been that I have a chronic build up of phlegm so that I still have to cough a couple of times a day to clear my lungs (and that's what's been getting better). More annoying than threatening, which is fine.
It hasn't bothered me at volleyball at all this year, although last year it was so bad it completely kept me from playing. It did occasionally cause hack attacks when I was biking last summer, so I'm looking forward to the spring to see if there's any improvement in that.
3. I only know the Kinks' songs that get a lot of airplay. What one album would you recommend, and why?
The Kink Kronikles, which is a compilation of tracks from the late sixties. It's not really a greatest hits collection, but rather an overview of their music. There are copious liner notes about both the songs and the band that are wonderful to read. (A friend of mine bought this album while we were on a road trip, a few hours before our car broke down. I read the liner notes while we were waiting for rescue. It's what first got me interested in the Kinks.) There are a lot of great songs on the album.
After that, you could progress to Muswell Hillbillies and Misfits.
FWIW, Hayden would suggest Village Green Preservation Society as the starter album of choice, and you really couldn't go wrong with that, either.
4. You lost a beautiful tree (or was it 2?) to a storm last year. Do you have any re-landscaping plans? (I hope that doesn't seem a lame question, because I really want to know.)
Not lame at all, because it's a question that needs to be answered, and I've been avoiding it. The tree is actually still standing, because the town decided not to cut down what was left of it. I need to decide whether to cut it down on my own, or just prune it as best I can and live with the fact that from one particular angle it looks like a football goalpost. I definitely need to lop the lower branches off the other tree to keep the same thing from happening to it.
Besides that problem, I also want to remove the junipers that sit at the two corners of my house. They've gotten way too big, and I don't especially like junipers anyway. I'm also mildly allergic to them. I'm thinking about replacing them with forsythia. (Actually, looking at the picture makes me want to replace the shrubs on the side of the house, too.) I also want to plant a couple of dwarf apples somewhere on the property, but I have no idea where yet. I have this conflict. I like open areas, but I also like trees. I'd love to have a big maple in the back yard.
There are also a couple of other things I want to do. There is no walk to my front door, I want to put in some flagstones. There are some dwarf junipers next to my side door that look really crappy that I want to remove. They used to run along the back of the house, too, but I dug those up a couple of years ago and replaced them with turf. Plus, the evil thicket is beginning to encroach again, so the chain saw will be coming out again in the spring.
5. What would you like to do, just so that you know you can?
Coincidently, I'd like to try fencing. When I was twelve my parents packed my brothers and I off to summer camp for a couple of weeks. One of the activities offered was fencing, and both of my brothers got to do it and liked it. I was in a different cabin, and for whatever reason we never got to try it, even though my cabin's counsellor was the fencing instructor. This bugged me a lot the time. I love reading gchick's posts about it. It looks like great fun.
The other thing, which is way less likely to ever happen, would be to fly an airplane. My father taught me some when I was in high school, and actually let me fly a Cessna off a runway (he was handling the throttle). The problem with this desire is that it clashes muchly with my fear of falling. I've gotten better about flying commercially, and after years of playing Flight Simulator I'm fairly confident of my ability to get a plane into the air. I just doubt that I would ever have the confidence to get it safely back down again.
Bonus question: Can I go take a nap?
Sure. Knock yourself out. :)
Now to come up with some answers for flea.
You know the drill. If you'd like to be interviewed by me, just ask in a comment, and I'll come up with five questions for you.