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7/31/08
I'm not sure if I love the new glasses yet. I think they're going to just take some getting used to. And I'll have to get used to them fast, since I donated my old frames when I picked these ones up.

One thing I do know - I LOVE the prescription sunglasses. They're terrific. I really love how they look. And new, un-scratched lenses! What a change.

Manny to the Dodgers. Poor Joe Torre - first Nomar, now Manny. But good news for the Yankees (and for the Red Sox, who I'm sure didn't want to put up with his "they don't deserve me" attitude for the rest of the season) with him gone to the NL. And Ken Griffey Jr. was traded from the Reds to the White Sox, which is disappointing because I was looking forward to seeing him at the Pirates/Reds game that we're going to in August. Oh well. I'll see him when the Sox come back to the Stadium in September.

7/30/08
Oh my god! Kyle Farnsworth - traded to the Tigers for Pudge Rodriguez! That might be the happiest deal ever. I love Pudge, and now I won't have to cringe every time Kyle comes out in the eighth inning.

We heard that news in the car after the game, and just kind of sat there in shock. Well, we were kind of sitting there in traffic, too, but shock.

I went to the afternoon game with my friend Brian - who I met because he has the season tickets directly behind mine. I thought I left the house early enough to avoid the traffic, but ended up stuck on the Deegan waiting for the cars to move. So I was a little late in getting there, but we made it in on time. We spanked the Orioles 13-3, and I'm worried that we used up our quota of runs for the rest of the week.

But yes - the trade news is excellent. And now they're talking about the Red Sox maybe trading Manny to the Marlins. Oh, the Yankees would love him to go to the National League.

It's super hot out - when I got home, I fell asleep on the couch. Which kind of ruined my plans to go see The Dark Knight or Mamma Mia. Next day off, I guess.

7/29/08
Happy birthday, Kati!

Today was hot hot hot. We had our annual barbeque for the residents at work today. They did hot dogs and hamburgers outside on the grill, had a rockabilly singer, and set up all these tables and tents outside for the residents. It looked like everyone had a good time. Plus there were ices from Rita's, and that was perfect with this hot weather.

7/28/08
My check cleared - I took it to the bank it's drawn on, and cashed it on the spot. But on Thursday I'm going to tell them that if mine ever bounces, I'm no longer coming in.

Yankees lose. Red Sox lose. Tampa loses. So the standings stay the same.

7/27/08
I hate to admit it, but I really thought I was going to fall asleep last night at work. I was just plain beat. I don't know if it was just the entire week catching up with me, or being out in the sun in Philly on Friday, but I was having trouble keeping my eyes open for the whole first shift. But I made it.

One of the other nurses at the per diem said her paycheck bounced on Friday. I didn't pick mine up until yesterday, so I can't try to cash it until tomorrow. If it bounces, I am outta there. That's not cool.

later on 7/25/08
It only takes 90 minutes to get to Philly. That is, if you don't go sailing past the exit for the Walt Whitman bridge and end up in Delaware. Then it takes 3 hours.

Good thing we left early enough to get there in plenty of time for the game. The Braves kicked Philly's butt, 8-2 (capped off with a 7-run ninth inning and a grand slam by Brian McCann). Then we drove home to watch the Yankees beat the Red Sox (I set the VCR for it) 1-0. A good night all around.

And the cheesesteaks in Philly are number one. The ballpark is a treat, too - I really love watching games there. Today was the "Christmas in July" promotion, so the entire place was decked out in wreaths and decorations. The Phanatic (world's best mascot, if you have to have one at all) came out in a Santa suit. Too funny.

7/25/08
Tired, me? Yes, but I survived the week. The paycheck(s) should be fantastic this next time around. They asked again at the per diem job if I wanted to come over fulltime. I politely declined, saying, "It's not entirely about the money." And as someone at work said, "money can't buy you happiness, but it can buy you marshmallows, which is close enough." Substitute "bacon" for "marshmallows" and you've got yourself a deal.

Off to Philly tonight for the Philles/Braves game (go Braves!). And maybe a cheesesteak.

7/22/08
I know this is a stupid thing to be sad over, but I'm sad about getting new glasses. Probably because I've worn the ones I have now for close to 8 or 9 years, and I really like the frames. And I could've just had them do new lenses for the frames I have. But I decided to bite the bullet and get new frames as well as the new lenses, and I'm also getting a pair of prescription sunglasses that are much cooler than the clip-on ones I have now. So that's a plus. Remembering to bring them with me will be the hard part.

The new eye doctor (as covered by insurance) was very cool. I ran through my history and he took the time to ask questions. And he said that they could surgically correct my left eye, which turns in towards the center. I said thanks, but no thanks. It's corrected enough with the glasses, and I do not want needles or lasers near my eyes. I've lived with it for 34 years, and despite my recent surgical history, I am not that vain.

7/21/08
I honestly don't remember signing up to work the 11-7 shift tomorrow night, but I guess I did, since my name is on the schedule. It's going to be a long day - I have to go to the eye doctor in the morning (I actually had to set my alarm clock for a number ending in "AM"), and then do the double shift. My name, however, was not on the schedule for Thursday afternoon, which I swear I signed up for. I left a note for the staffing coordinator that I'm available, but if I can't do it, no worries - there are a couple of movies I want to catch.

7/20/08
Oh, it was the best feeling in the world to come home from work (after yesterday's double and today's 3-11 shift) and soak in the nice, cool tub. I will now go collapse into bed.

later on 7/18/08
I don't think it dipped below 90 degrees all evening. It definitely wasn't a good day to be outside, so what did I do? Put air in my bike tires and did the eight-mile loop on the paved trail, and then sat outside for four hours watching the Yankees whip the A's into submission. Can't think of a better way to spend a day off.

7/18/08
I worked at the per diem job yesterday, and I don't think I sat down once during the shift. I really earned the paycheck this week.

Today is hot and sticky - weather.com shows a gametime starting temp of 90 degrees and 60% humidity (with no chance of rain), and it's supposed to be like that all weekend. Thankfully I'll be inside for most of tomorrow and Sunday.

Yesterday, I took my camera memory card to Walgreens, since they say you can order prints right from the memory card (instead of transferring them to the computer and then to a CD). Well, it almost worked. I didn't know that you needed an adaptor for the card before you stick it into the input slot (since the card is the right size for the slot to begin with). So the card got jammed in there, and of course I'm trying to just drop it off and go to work yesterday, and the woman who can fix it is on break... so anyway, I told them I would call later on and check in - and when I called back last night around 7pm, they had gotten it out, and I picked it up today and ordered my prints. But now I know that it's easy to do, and I just need to ask for the adaptor! I can pick them up before I leave for tonight's game, which is good timing so I can show the pics to my seatmates.

7/16/08
That might have been the best All Star Game ever - and yes, I stayed for all 15 innings! I got home just before 3am.

I thought about taking the train into the city, but I'm glad I didn't, because the game didn't end until 1.37am, and I would have been stuck in the city. I drove in - left at 3pm - and since there was absolutely no traffic at the bridge or on the Deegan, I chanced driving right to the Stadium, and was able to park in my usual garage. I thought it was going to be packed or sold out, but I was early enough that I didn't even have to go all the way up to the roof. They did raise the price from the usual $17 to $30, but whatever.

So since it was only 4pm, and they weren't opening the gates til 5pm, I went over to Billy's, had two drinks, and marveled at the wide assortment of fans from all over the country. Usually it's just a sea of pinstripes, but there were Cardinals fans, Cubs fans, Rockies fans and Rays fans (I know, the Rays have fans?). Pretty special. Then I walked around outside for a bit. There were people giving away free Baby Ruth candy bars, free bottles of Vitamin Water, lots of additional souvenir stands set up (no, I did not buy a Jeter jersey, much as I had admired the bedazzled one).

When I went inside, the first thing I noticed was the huge media presence - the foul territory was covered with cameras and media while BP was going on. When I got there, the American League was taking BP, and - as usual - they let you stay down on the first level behind the field boxes, but no closer. But it was close enough to see all of the players take their swings. I turned and asked the guys behind me if they could take my picture, and one of them said, "Hey, I saw you in Spring Training!" And he was right! It was a guy we ran into at the airport, and then at the Boston game. Now that's a small world moment!

I didn't see anyone else I knew there, and wound up sitting next to these two annoying guys in suits from Cleveland. They left in the ninth. Apart from that, my seat was fantastic - just to the third base side of home plate, in the tier box. State Farm provided seat cushions with the All Star logo for everyone, which was a nice touch, considering the game went nearly five hours and my butt was getting sore by the end.

Highlights of the game? Booing all of the Red Sox players. Especially their closer, Papelbon. When he game out, the crowd just chanted "MAR-I-AN-O" and "OVER-RATED" so loudly. And when JD Drew hit a two-run homer, no one knew what to do. Do we boo him because he's a Boston player, or cheer because he just tied the game for us? Ah, decisions! Manny Ramirez got soundly booed every time he came up. The "collection" of Hall of Fame players before the game was astonishing - I'm not the only one who got choked up. And between innings - they didn't show this on TV - they had a video tribute to Bobby Murcer. They also had the 14th inning stretch.

I have to say it again, this might have been the best send off the Stadium could ask for. I called Mom around the 11th inning when I realized that the DVD I stuck in the recorder (to begin taping at the pre-game, which was at 6.30pm) was about to run out of time. I don't think anyone thought the game would go so long!.

After it was finally over, enough of the crowd had left, so there was no line at all getting out of the parking garage, and no traffic, either. I was home in less than an hour.

As an aside, I can't believe there's going to be an MLB Network on TV, starting in January. Like I needed another reason to stay on the couch with the hi-def.

later on 7/14/08
I love watching the Home Run Derby, because the players finally look like they're having fun. Regardless of what team they play for, they all stick together here (tho David Ortiz did get booed loudly as he made his way across the field). Josh Hamilton - he just blew the crowd away. I know enough has been said about his past - drug addition, being kicked out of MLB, finding religion and getting clean and coming back - he was truly amazing. He hit 28 dingers in the first round, didn't even have to play the second round since no one else came close, and then was so tired that he lost in the final round. It seemed like Justin Morneau (and this is no insult to Justin!) won by default. It was spectacular to watch.

Tomorrow is the game! Can't wait!

7/14/08
FanFest at the Javits Center was amazingly cool. There were lots of exhibits and things to do (and things to take pictures with and of, like the World Series trophy). And there was the mascot Home Run Derby, which was won by the Mariner Moose. But the highlight was seeing the kids' baseball clinics, with special guest instructors - Bernie Williams and then Derek Jeter! That made my day. Oh, and there were free tacos from Taco Bell. Always a plus.

They had things for sale that I wanted - like the Thomas Kinkaid print of his Stadium painting, but I wasn't paying the outrageous sum they were asking, so I came home without any major purchases. I did pick up the ASG program, so I don't have to buy it tomorrow, and a couple of postcards. And yes, brother Peter, I bought you a program, I will put it in the mail this week.

I was tempted to buy a bedazzled American League Derek Jeter shirt, because it was sexy and would look good on me, but I did not, because it was $75 and really, when else would I wear it? I may change my mind tomorrow if I'm feeling rich, but right now I'm planning, as always, to wear my Tanyon Sturtze jersey to the Stadium.

Off to veg on the couch and watch the Home Run Derby.

7/11/08
I worked my first 11-7 shift at the per diem job this week, and it was a blast. Same as with the evening shift - the work is the same. I worked with an excellent nurse, and it was really enjoyable. I'm working one more evening shift this month, and one more night shift. August - I'm only able to work three shifts so far, because of all of the travel plans.

At my fulltime job, I was looking at my paycheck, and I have seven more vacation days to use up before my anniversary in October. Plus one personal day and three sick days. The sick time I'll save, because I can roll that over to next year, but the vacation and personal days I have to use. I'd already asked for this coming Mon and Tues off (one P-day, and one vacation day for the FanFest/Home Run Derby and the All Star Game), and I'm going to use the other six days to take off the last two weekends in September (last home game of the season, may as well take the weekend off, and the last weekend of the season, which is against Boston and I still haven't decided if I want to go up there or not). I didn't realize I had so much time left to use!

I have already purchased a bit of All Star Game memorabilia. And I'm sure there will be more goodies purchased at FanFest.

7/9/08
Still hot and humid.

And the baseball roadtrip portion of the summer is about to begin: July means Philly, for a game against the Braves. August is Scranton for a AAA game, then Pittsburgh for a game against the Reds (from luxury seats, nonetheless!), and finally Baltimore for a game against the Sox (must wear Yankees jersey). Oh, and my ticket for the All Star Game came today - now it's official.

7/8/08
I was supposed to work a double shift last night, but there were too many nurses on (don't get me started about asking me to work overtime and then having too many nurses on), so I came home and vegged out with a fantastic birthday present: Yankee Stadium: Baseball's Cathedral. The first disc is two hours of history about the Stadium, with commentary by everyone from George Bush to Aaron Boone (LOVE Aaron Boone!). Oddly missing from the commentary: George Steinbrenner. It's so well-made, and with the Gladiator-esque music pumping through the background, it makes you appreciate the building and the history and the team even more. I was more disappointed in the second disc, of "bonus features," which had things like Lou Gehrig's speech and Aaron Boone's home run. But they only showed about three lines of the speech - and I know there exists more newsreel footage than that of the ceremony, and they didn't use Michael Kay's commentary on Aaron Boone, and I know they had the rights to use it, because they showed earlier clips on the first disc using it. But apart from those glaring omissions, I loved every minute of the discs.

In honor of Troy Tulowitzki's absolutely idiotic injury last week, here are the dumbest injuries in sports.

Waterford: For the Yankee fan who has everything.

7/7/08
I'm home - tired and sweaty - but delighted at the split of the series with Boston - and the two that we won were real nail-biters!

Most importantly, my thoughts go out to Missy and her grandmother - and I hope she makes a full recovery.

So - the weekend. Thursday, I hopped the train to the city and dropped my things off at Dad's before heading to the Stadium. I met my friend Gina, her brother and her seven year old nephew up at the game. It was a complete game shutout - not in our favor - but we had fun teaching her nephew to taunt the Boston players. I think he'll grow into a fine fan.

Friday - another brutal loss. And it started raining in the middle of the game - hard. I stayed until they actually came out to put the tarp on, even with an umbrella I was getting soaked. So I took the train down to Dad's (the same building where some supermodel jumped to her death on Saturday, for those who read the Post), and changed into dry clothes (scrubs, which made several people at the deli and in the subway ask if I were a doctor). Watched the resumed game (we lost, surprise) on TV. Then I went to Times Sq, ate at Dallas BBQ, and went to see WALL-E. Made me glad that musical theatre will be alive and well in the future. And then, despite the fact that I would be going there on Saturday, I went by Marie's, ran into Jess, heard Dexter, met Duncan's friend Tall Straight James, and came home for sleep.

Saturday, I went over to the Sports Museum, and even with the discount code, I have to say it wasn't worth the admission cost. I mean, they do have some great exhibits, culled from Halls of Fame around the country, but I guess I'm just not a die-hard NASCAR or Olympic skating fan, so I walked right through those bits. It was nice to get out of the rain for a bit tho. The rain held off for the game on Saturday afternoon. Dad and I went, and stayed til the bitter end. It ended up being not-so-bitter tho, even with Mariano loading the bases in the ninth, with no one out. But he managed to get out of it, and we finally won a game!

After the game, I hopped the train down to the West Village, did some bookstore browsing, got sushi, and went to Marie's. Michael was already there, and then Duncan and Tesse joined us. I had meant to stop over at a bar on 10th Street to see Ngoc (my birthday twin), but never managed to leave my corner at Marie's. So it was a nice surprise to see DMT and Meesh stick their heads in at Marie's to say hi!

Sunday, I had brunch downtown with Dad and Ann, and then schlepped my bag up to meet Tesse in midtown for In The Heights. As much as it's in need of some tightening-up, I completely loved it. We really had a terrific time. We went to Becco afterwards for dinner, because I love their all-you-can-eat pasta special, and then took the train up to the Stadium for the last game of the weekend.

That game was the real nail-biter. First we were winning, then it was tied, then Boston took the lead, then we tied it up again. Finally, in the 10th inning, we got a base-runner at second base, and the rookie Brett Gardner (who I saw in Scranton!) hit a blooper through the infield, that all of the Red Sox missed, and we scored the winning run. Great way to end the series (and I am infinitely glad, being a Sunday night game, that it did not go to seventeen innings, like the Braves/Astros game today did). Plus, A-Rod hit another homer, right below us, to tie Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list. And Joe Girardi was ejected in the sixth inning. And - in a not-to-be-missed photo op, when Manny Ramirez came in to pinch hit for their catcher, Kevin Cash, the scoreboard flashed a notice saying, "Ramirez batting for Cash." I had to snap a picture.

I collected my bag at the bag-check in the bowling alley, fought the crowds on the downtown subway, and caught the 12.37am train back home. It was a blast.

7/3/08
How better to spend my day off? Shopping, of course. I picked up tickets for the Fan Fest (at the Javits Center, on All-Star weekend), and then called work to arrange for taking off on the 14th (Monday) as well as the 15th. I'm going to use my 4th of July holiday on the 14th, instead of taking the pay. So the 14th will be the Fan Fest (and home in time to watch the Home Run Derby) and Tuesday the All-Star Game!

Speaking of the ASG, not only are those atrocious replica Statues of Liberty on display all over the city (they really are ugly), but you can bid on them at auction. Yes, you too can own ugly art for your yard. There are mini-versions for sale, too, but lord, why would you want one?

Then I went to the mall. I found two scrub tops on sale (I was looking for more scrub dresses like the two I have, but they didn't have them in stock in the store), two books for the weekend, and jeans at Old Navy. Their sizing is odd. I usually wear a 6 - when I was a little heavier during school I wore an 8. And lately the 6 has been baggy, so I wanted to see if a smaller size would fit better (with the 6, I could have them buttoned and zipped and still slide them over my non-existant hips). So I tried on a 4, and they were a little better. For kicks, I tried on a 2, and since they're stretch-y, they fit like a glove. So now I have new jeans.

And then I bought the most mundane thing of all - an oil change and fuel-injection service at Mr. Good Lube for the car. Then went to BJ's to stock up on water, Diet Coke and juice.

Came home to watch the Yankees POUND the Rangers, 18-7 - the Sox also lost, which puts both teams in the right frame of mind for this series, as far as I'm concerned.

Off to the city now - back Sunday! I want to visit the new Sports Museum of America downtown by Dad's - the admission price is $27! That's outrageous. It would almost be cheaper to get in the car and go to Cooperstown (an idea that is tempting). Crazy museum people. So I'm still deciding if I want to go or not. I also want to get in some shopping in Chinatown while I'm in the city. And maybe go see WALL-E or however you spell the movie's name.

I packed my sunscreen and my new battery-operated fan that squirts water - and some rotten tomatoes, since for three of the four games, I'm in prime Manny-taunting territory. Bring it on.

7/2/08
Happy birthday, Miss Dona!

I can't believe Tampa Bay is in first place. I can't believe the Yankees cannot score a run to save their lives. Well, maybe we can make up for lost time - this weekend is four games with Boston (and I will be at all four!) and then two games against the Rays.

My friend Karri in LA works for whatever film company is going to record the last performance of Rent - they're going to broadcast it in HD in movie theatres, like the Met does. No clue if it's going to be live (and I hate to say this, I have no idea when the last performance is). She emailed me and asked if I had pics from the Rent line that they could consider using in whatever they're doing (like the DVD), so I scanned in a bunch of them and emailed them over to her today.

Look for me on the big screen.

This coming weekend is the first time I'll have an entire weekend off since my vacation in March. I am too excited. I worked seven shifts in the past five days, with two doubles in there, and I'm ready for a break. I don't go back to work til Monday. I don't know what I'm going to do with the day off today, but tomorrow I'm packing to head to Dad's for the weekend.

-catherine

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