Sunday, April 29, 2012

O Say Can You See?

I got another opportunity to sing the National Anthem at a Cleveland Indians game this past Saturday, April 28th.  This was my 3rd time performing at Progressive Field, and really, it was just as exciting as the first time I did it last year on April 5.  What was interesting is that the weather was somewhat similar to my performance last April in that it was cold (43 degrees when I sang).  What made this one quite different was that I had to wait over two and a half hours for a rain delay.  As a result, what was already a pretty small crowd got even smaller as many left before the rain delay ended.

Because of the delay, I actually waited inside Progressive Field in the lower levels with the team's marketing intern in areas that most fans don't ever see unless you take the tour (which I will be doing this season!).  At first I was right inside the grounds crew entrance behind home plate, which is also where the umpires enter the field and where the mascot room is.  We waited there for maybe 20 minutes before moving to a slightly warmer and more comfortable area.  Where we ended up waiting most of the delay was right at the entrance to the Indians' clubhouse, which is right next to the entrance to the dugout suites.  There was a security station there and a TV, so it made it a tad more interesting.  Being outside the clubhouse was interesting, mostly because of who came in and out.  Not too much activity, but I did see pitcher Joe Smith, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, and team president (and former general manager) Mark Shapiro.  I'm really not someone who gets starstruck anymore (we're all human beings in the end), but still interesting to see people like that up close.  The staff for the Indians were all very nice people too.  I really enjoyed getting to interact with them just a bit like that.

Inside Progressive Field's lower levels.  The entrance to the Indians' clubhouse is the white wall on the far left.  The ramp just beyond that is the entrance to the dugout suites and to the grounds crew area behind home plate.
Waiting to go on, about 20 minutes before I sang.  It really didn't stop raining until just a few minutes before I sang

Asdrubal Cabrera receiving his 2nd award of the day, the Silver Slugger Award.  Just before that he got an award from

The rain finally moved off just after 3 PM.  I sang at 3:19, just after Asdrubal Cabrera was presented with two awards behind home plate.  As you can see from the pictures below, there wasn't exactly a huge crowd around me while I sang (announced attendance was just over 11,000, though many left before the game even started).  Even so, I got a nice ovation and it's always cool to see my name on all the scoreboards!  

Last year I had the opportunity to do a 2nd game at Progressive Field, most likely because the original person scheduled wasn't able to come back when his or her game got canceled (the game I did was part of a doubleheader and was a make-up game from earlier in the season).  I'm definitely hoping I can do a second game this season too.  Now that I've sung there 3 times, all that's missing is singing when the place is full or close to full.  Two of the games so far have had very cold weather, and the game I did last September had AWESOME weather, but the Indians had fallen out of contention by then, so there was a small crowd there too (announced attendance was like 25,000 for that game, but there weren't 25,000 people there...maybe 12,000).  
There I am, just to the left of center!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Why Hello There April!

Hard to believe it's April already.  Seems like the year just started and here is is already a fourth of the way over.  I've also noticed that I haven't blogged here since early January.  Kind of like the last time I mentioned this ("Blogging Decline"), it's a combination of motivation and probably more importantly related to the fact that I have been writing in my journal a lot more these days.

Beginning on my mission, I started writing in my journal on a daily basis.  That continued through my 2-year mission and on for a few more years, finally running out in 2007.  From then I stopped writing and would sporadically write here and there, so I have these random entries for 2008-2011, sometimes just one day and other times I'd string a few days together.  Despite that I would carry my journal with me in my backpack with the intention of writing, but never did most times.  Well, during my Christmas break in Utah, I decided to try once again to get back in the habit of writing every day or at least close to that as a New Year's resolution.  So far so good.  I'm 4 months in (officially re-started on New Year's Eve) and have written pretty regularly.  The most days I've missed have been 3 in a row and then it's usually followed by a long entry summarizing what I've missed.  In March I finally bought my first new journals since 2007.  When I was writing regularly before, I would buy 2 new journals about once a year or so (when I write every day, the 204-page journal usually lasts about 2/3 of the year)

The downside of my journal writing is that it tends to suck my desire to do any other kind of writing for the day, so my blogs have largely gone neglected, mostly because I don't have much else to share or I just completely lack the desire to write.  Plus I have my history blog (which I updated recently) and my private blog (which I also updated recently).  My poor Kent Patch blog hasn't been updated in awhile too.  I have good intentions (I start blog posts and get pretty far with them), but I never seem to have the desire to finish them.  That said, I do have some plans for some new posts here, including a review of the book and movie The Blind Side that I recently saw and read (loved it!).  Downtown Kent continues to evolve as well, so I need to post some updated pictures.  I'm also hopeful to finally make this web address a central website and have the blog be its own separate page instead of the main page.

In the meantime, I'm still subbing in Kent and at Maplewood.  The school year is starting to wind down, so I am looking for work to replace subbing, and not just "summer" work either.  Of course full-time teaching is high on the list, but it is by no means exclusive.  I have applied at a few places locally and am still looking while I wait for formal replies.  I have posted my extended resume here on the site ("Resume" tab at top).  I'm looking forward to tryouts for This is Kirtland! coming up and getting started on that, plus I will be singing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Indians again on April 28 against the Angels.