Thursday, April 19, 2007


Knightstar won tickets to today's Iowa Cubs day game, so I took the afternoon off and we went to the ballpark.

The forecast was for sunny and mid-60s. When I left work, it was cloudy, windy, and 49. And me in short sleeves, with no coat. Once at the stadium, my first stop was at the gift shop, where I bought a stadium blanket. It was easily the best purchase I have ever made at a game. It cost $30, but it was made out of heavy sweatshirt fleece, and covered us both comfortably. It appears to be about the size of a twin bed blanket.

We got to our seats just in time for the national anthem. You may not suspect this about me, particularly if you've ever heard me on a political rant, but I am a real softy for the national anthem. Singing it gives me a lump in my throat, and I like hearing it performed well - which, as we all know, is not so easy.

When I saw eight elderly people gathered around the mic, I got a little nervous. It was a group from a retirement home, and most of them looked old enough to have been on the business end of WWII. They jumped into the song with reverent gusto - no Metropolitan Opera chorus, but plenty good enough.

Then it happened: And the rocket's red glare...

Every person was singing a different note. I bit my lip. It's a hard note to hit, and they were just enthusiastic amateurs, but it tickled me. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw Knightstar, looking at me expectantly, wondering if I was going to react. I clenched my mouth shut to keep from laughing, but my shoulders were shaking and tears were running down my face from the effort.

It turned out to be a good game. The Cubs defeated the Albuquerque Isotopes, which has to be the best name for a sports team EVER. The sun came out. We went for a late lunch at a real restaurant. There was still time for a nap when we got home.

It was a pretty good day.

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