The Best of the Phillies, the Worst of the Phillies

My dad was in town visiting this last weekend, and I took showing him the town very seriously. NO SLOW WALKING ALLOWED (I may have kept us on a pretty tight schedule; sorry, Dad). We toured Independence Hall, visited the Liberty Bell, explored the pretty streets of Old City and Center City, ate at hip brunch places where we clearly didn’t belong, walked the University of Pennsylvania campus, and, perhaps most importantly, attended a Phillies game.

It was a Sunday afternoon game, on a day when the weather report correctly predicted “abundant sunshine.” Our seats were up high with other father-kid duos and some of the less die-hard (read: cheap) fans. We drank sodas and ate popcorn as we laughed and cheered at the bongo cam, the kiss cam (sponsored by PhilliesSingles.com), and the Phillies Phanatic dancing with some teachers to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Be True to Your School.” In the eighth inning we were ahead by three runs, and everyone was happy. I kept reminding my dad, who, as you may recall, lives overseas, that this was the best of America.

And then the Phillies pulled in a closing pitcher for the last inning, and it all went to crap. He gave up four runs in the top of the ninth, and the Phillies fans turned on him with a vengeance. The pitcher, Jonathan Papelbon, lost his cool (which is, apparently, not unusual), made a lewd gesture at the crowd which involved his swimsuit area and then got in a fight with the umpire. The next day the Phillies announced that he would be suspended for seven games. The umpire was suspended for one.

It started all joyous and family-friendly, and it ended with Papelbon in disgrace and Chase Utley striking out while looking, leaving two batters stranded on base with no where to go. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

P.S. I only got one picture from the weekend, this one from Saturday when we went up to New York.

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Lorde

Last week, even with Labor Day off, was a long one. No one would have held it against us if we had chosen to spend our Friday evening at home with a Netflix marathon and some mediocre take-out. But sometime on Friday afternoon, DH, traveling back from New York, sent me a text saying he had found a good deal on Lorde tickets. Did I want to go to her concert that night?

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Sure!

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The Mann Center is such a great venue, it’s hard to turn down a show there. It’s easy to get there via public transport, tailgating is permitted, and the view is lovely once you are inside.

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This time was especially fun, due in part to the great weather and the relaxed end-of-summer vibes. But also because I like being spontaneous with DH and he’s pleasant to be around.

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Our tickets were for the lawn, but we weren’t in a hurry. First, a beer and some people-watching.

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Then, as the sun set, we settled in on a blanket and took in the show. Sitting on the lawn is the absolute best because it is quiet enough that DH and I can give play-by-play comments to one another and then laugh and laugh!

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Lorde had at least three costume changes and they all involved bold capes of various colors. One reason she’s so great is that few teens have the confidence to pull off capes, and yet she does it well. When I was in my teens I hoped I would just blend in to the crowd in my ill-fitting flare jeans and gross oversized sweatshirt. That’s why Lorde became a star and I didn’t: capes.

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Lorde put on a great performance. And since she only has one album out it meant that her set was fairly short. So it was a fun concert, plus we got home at a reasonable hour!

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All American

We spent Labor Day weekend in the most American way possible: at a lake house with family, new friends, three dogs, and a fully stocked fridge. Late night conversations on the deck included all American topics like football and the Kardashians, and we played games that involved trying and failing to mime the name “Donald Sutherland” (Celebrity is DH’s go-to party game). Like so many of our vacations, this one was made possible by very hospitable family members. What a perfect way to spend the last weekend of summer 2014.

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Falls Bridge

Here are some pictures of another weekend hike. We walked up the Schuylkill to Falls Bridge and then back again. If a person hikes twelve miles every weekend and is basically sedentary for the rest of the week, can she still maintain her overall youthful health and good looks? Just wondering, of course.

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Fly Like an Iggle!

Here’s a tip from me to you: pre-season NFL games are so much cheaper than regular season games.

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I know NOTHING about football, despite watching all five seasons of Friday Night Lights (twice). So of all the things to spend money on, regular season NFL games don’t make the cut. I’m literally not worthy.

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But pre-season games are doable. We paid $29 per ticket to see the Eagles play the Steelers, and that felt like a steal compared to the $100 per person (for nosebleed seats!) we might pay during the regular season.

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The Eagles and the Steelers have a long-standing intra-state rivalry. This felt like the perfect game to see as a newbie.

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First, I learned that whenever the Eagles score a touchdown, there are fireworks set off from the stadium. What could be more American than that?

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I also learned that cheap seats up in the nosebleeds offer a birds-eye view of the field that is pretty helpful for a novice like me.

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I kind of sort of came to understand the very basics of the game. When the Eagles made a play, I could maybe see what they were doing. Kind of. Don’t ask me to explain anything.

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But when things went wrong, I understood nothing. Plus, the referees threw so many confusing flags during this game. Almost every play was reversed or contested for various sketchy reasons like “unlawful formation,” “inappropriate touching,” or “having shoes that don’t match your belt.”

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But we had such a fun time. The feeling from the crowd was totally different from a Phillies game, and even the stadium music had more energy.

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We were high-energy and stayed until the very end. I had so much more fun than I even thought I would – I guess professional sports games are just our thing, whether I understand what’s going on or not.

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Fly like an eagle!

P.S. My Eagles shirt cost $3 dollars (thanks, Modell’s!) and was clearly made for an obese child.

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The Van Pelt Library

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Back in July, DH used his academic connections to get a tour of the rare book room in the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania.

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I got to tag along for the tour, which included specific old books laid out for us to touch and feel (after a thorough hand washing).

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It was a great enough experience that I want to document it here, but I definitely don’t remember specific details about each book we carefully caressed.

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And looking into it would require precious time and research, and instead of researching I prefer watching Bob’s Burgers.

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So, basically, I want to show you pictures of super old books without having to explain them individually.

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But you can start a blog all about incunables if you want, with details and facts and dates, and all sorts of proof that you are better than me.

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I don’t know what the rules are for touring Van Pelt if you’re not a student, affiliate, or married to someone with a PhD, but if you can swing it, definitely stop by.

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One fact I do remember is that the below-pictured book once belonged to Isaac Newton. Some of the dog ears in the book may even have been his. Newton was a dog-earer!

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So anyway, another summer highlight.

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On a Weeknight

Sometimes we go to Monday night ball games. We are young and carefree.

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