There’s a lot to like

Bob seems to have been spending all day reading this blog from beginning to end. He left a comment related to the very first entry which I might as well address. I listed the four potential itineraries and said, “I actually have reasons for liking all four of these itineraries, so I don’t really care which one eventually gets chosen.” Bob wondered what those reasons were.

All four included at least nine games in nine different ballparks, including the places I specifically wanted to go, Montreal and Pittsburgh, and the place Levi specifically wanted to go, Boston. And then there were also more specific areas of interest for each of the four.

Itinerary #1 was the earliest in the year, so I wouldn’t have to deal with feelings of anticipation as long. It also included a scheduled day with no game, neatly placed on the itinerary between Boston and Philadelphia, which could have been used to see Stephanie D’Abruzzo in “Avenue Q,” or go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, or see the Red Sox twice, assuming we could afford the tickets. It also went across Memorial Day, so I’d save a vacation day from my job.

Itinerary #2 was the only one to include all four of last season’s League Championship Series participants, plus featured two games in the same city on consecutive days, which is neat even if one of the teams is the Yankees. And it was the only one with the Devil Rays, and the travel would be in the reverse direction of the other three.

Itinerary #3 included the Cardinals, which I knew would make Levi giddy with glee, as well as the only stadium that probably won’t be around anymore within the next three years, Busch Stadium (unless they tear Olympic Stadium down the instant the Expos leave Montreal).

Itinerary #4 was the only one to include a game in Baltimore, in the first of the new retro ballparks, and it would probably have allowed us to economize by staying with my aunt and uncle in the Philadelphia suburbs for a full three days. It also was the only one to include a minor-league game as originally drawn up, although we ended up adding one to the beginning of Itinerary #3. It also went across Labor Day, so it was another potential vacation day saving.

It’s probably a little late to be thinking about the alternate itineraries now, since we’ve been seriously committed to Itinerary #3 since February, when we got the Red Sox and Phillies tickets. I’m probably going to revisit them once the dates roll around and the games are played, and we’ll have some “we could have been there!” hindsight.

Original comments…

thatbob: Perhaps I’m building you a cumulative index (hottt!!!).

One more musical note

A while back, Stacey had suggested the song “Piazza New York Catcher” by Belle & Sebastian to me. I almost got it with the code she gave me, but I instead decided to purchase the entire “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” album at some point in the future. I’m sure I’ll make it to Amoeba Music at least once before the trip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a used copy or two (of course, the problem with going to Amoeba Music is that I can’t get out of there without spending at least $40 on used CDs).

Original comments…

Levi: If you’re feeling sinister . . . we have the disc and I could make sure the song is on my iPod . . . and yours.

More ice cream, more songs

After that last rant, let’s just say it’s a good thing the other book of old Charles Schulz cartoons that just came out, “Li’l Beginnings,” did fit into the package lockers.

Now, then: Stacey also pledged to vote at Ben & Jerry’s, and also got a free song from iTunes, and passed the code along to me. I already have three different versions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” but figured one more couldn’t hurt, so I downloaded a 2003 version by someone named Kathleen Holeman, who is not listed in the All-Music Guide. Turns out it’s a neat rendition, including an additional verse with some ranting against the current state of Major League Baseball.

The three versions I already had were a 37-second-long instrumental version of the chorus only, a version credited to “Bruce Springstone” parodying a certain New Jersey-based singer (both from the “Baseball’s Greatest Hits” CD), and a 1909 version by a singer named Edward Meeker that I downloaded from the “public domain 78s” collection on a few years ago.

By the way, if anybody feels like opening up iTunes and rating an iMix or two, why not try this one or perhaps this one? Sorry, no “Mix American Style” yet…that’s going to be a big job, to try to substitute songs according to what’s available in the iTunes Music Store. Actually, someone else has already done an iMix containing songs related to all 50 states, but they’ve got them in the order each state entered the union (a neat idea), and their first two songs are suspect because they’re about a river that shares a name with a state (“Down Across the Delaware,” James McMurtry) and a phone number in New York City that happens to have the name of a state in it (“Pennsylvania 6-5000”).

Original comments…

thatbob: Along that vein, Oregon Hill is set in the deep south, Virginia is merely the girl’s name, and of course Kansas City is in Missouri. But who am I to judge? My playlist “I Love to Count!” couldn’t get past twelve.

Kathleen Holeman: Thanks for listening. I don’t know if it told you when you downloaded it, but I wrote the commentary at the end of the song. The front part was the original verse. I am a jazz artist in the Kansas City MO area. My husband and I have started collecting pictures of us with various minor league (or less-than)mascots. Fun! Write back to me if you want to.