It’s here: Opening Day. The day that assures you summer will eventually come. That days of humidity and sweat are just around the corner. And I for one love it. Baseball games have been there during Sunday morning nap times and for father/daughter bonding moments. But I cannot lie, I love seeing baseball on the big screen. From Bull Durham and A League of Their Own to The Natural and Eight Men Out, I cannot get enough.
We’re heading to the Cubs/Brewers game next Tuesday. I’m sure it will be a bit chilly, but I just cannot wait to hear the crack of bats and cheers of the crowd. And that damn Cubs song. I may loathe the Cubs, but nothing compares to a game at Wrigley when they sing that song. And then in a few weeks, Tim and I will make our way down to The Cell for the White Sox/Red Sox series to celebrate him getting into a little place called Harvard.
Regardless if I’m watching professionals play or just throwing a ball around down at North Ave., baseball brings a simple joy. And if you need a reminder of that joy:
First off, I know the typical back-to-school season is in August, but this Saturday, I’m returning to school. GREER, my favorite store in all this land, will host The Letter Writers Alliance and create homemade Valentines for Monday.
Let me say that again, we’ll make vintage, homemade, handmade Valentines. I’m so ecstatic for this that I’m missing the Kansas game against Iowa State. I mean, how many chances does a gal get to create things with her hands in her favorite paper store along side some fantastic ladies?
I’m sure I’ll sing the praises of this activity after it happens; after all, The Letter Writers Alliance is write up my alley (see what I did there?). They promote the skill of handwritten letters and postage. I cannot tell you the thrill I get when I receive an unexpected envelope in the mail with “KIMMIE” written in the return address box (that’s Kelly, after seeing My Best Friend’s Wedding, we thought the scene from the White Sox bathroom was hysterical). And it’s no secret my happiness level after spending a few hours in the card shop and picking out some favorites to send to people.
I did have a goal in life to create a greeting card…
Let me preface by saying, for what seems like eons, our family packed up the Nissan Altima and the Acura Legend to venture to Chicago for a summer outing. Our destination was always the same: The Westin. And we rarely wandered off the Michigan Avenue path. We took public transportation once to my recollection (down to the White Sox game) and rarely crossed south of the river (just for the aquarium). I also love traveling and being a tourist in others’ cities.
Tourists drive me up the wall. I’m not sure if it’s the visors, the high socks, the gum smacking, the poor clothing choices made for the day (they never seem to dress appropriately for the Chicago weather), the loud way they scream at each other or their need to say over and over “We’re visiting.” Either way, I can’t stand ’em (say it in the Lena Lamont voice à la Singing in the Rain).
Por ejemplo: After hopping on the 151, I descended into the city with one mission: Trader Joe’s. While driving past the Lincoln Park Zoo, the inevitable happened: tourists. After they finally figure out that after boarding a bus you’re supposed to walk to the back, the bus ride begins, as does the gum smacking and loud shouting to various party members.
“KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM, What’s the stop?!” “Ontario!” “Ontario? We’re not going to Canada!” “I meant Ohio not Canada.”
Promptly pull out my book and begin reading, which only invites my nearby tourist to begin a conversation.
Deranged Tourist: “Oooo with this tote bag, you must live here right?” Hanna: “It’s a market tote and yes. I’m going grocery shopping.” DT: “Kiiiiiiim. This gal’s going grocery shopping IN THE CITY. Can you believe it?! So what kind of things do you buy there?” Hanna: “Ummm food.” DT: “Heavens. That’s crazy.” Hanna: (inside the mind: what a concept, buying food at a grocery store) DT: “We’re not from here. We’re visiting from Nebraska.” Note: I usually would pipe up with “I went to Kansas”, but I didn’t want to instigate this any further. Hanna: “Oh nice, well enjoy your time, this is my stop: Canada!”
I get that tourists are good for our squandering economy and that because of them I get to enjoy “Chicago Resident” admission prices at museums, but gosh is it quite the price to pay. I wish everyone stuck to the “Single-Mom-Does-Chicago-With-Two-Kids” trip itinerary my mom used.