Category Archives: Baseball

Two old English ladies get to meet

OK, so lets catch up on things so far. Not that there was really much to report for the first couple of days, but after today, there’s more than enough lol.

Wednesday: Flights were smooth enough, the bit in between was entertaining though. Now I knew that when I got to Atlanta, I could go to the automated machines to pass through Immigration, and that was the plan. Only…I ran into Miss Jobsworth, who insisted I had to go join the lengthy queue to go through Immigration in the old fashioned way. So, 15 minutes took an hour and a half, only to be told by the guy on the desk that I neednt be doing this. When I told him I knew that, and told him what had happened, his comment was something akin to “You must have run into…”, and he passed me through very quickly. Then when I finally got to security, something set the machine off (I have no idea what?), which slowed me even more. Eventually a 2.5 hour gap before boarding for the LA plan, ended up being just under 20 minutes!

Oh, and the shuttle. Now, whether the guy had given the right address or not (I think we ended up dropping him at the East address, and he’d given it as West), but the sat-nav didnt want to go in the right direction. Eventually the guy sorted out where he wanted to be, and we dropped him off. Finally (3rd drop in van), we got to me, but despite telling her we were at the right place, she sailed by, and in a narrow road, it took her a while to find somewhere to turn round. But finally, about 9.30, I arrived.

The apartment is cute, and I love it, but the bed really is something else. I knew I had to climb up (literally) to get into it, but its even better than the picture suggested. I will have to move the cases, and take a picture sometime! That was it, grabbed nightwear, and to bed. Bed is very comfortable, btw.

Yesterday, really little happened.I got unpacked, and settled in. Did some shopping, caught up on the net, and…not a lot else. I did go down to the Boulevard in the afternoon, but principally for a very nice ice cream, and that was it. I did go and visit Jean’s prints at the Chinese Theatre, and her star across the road, but that really was it.

So to today. The one main place I wanted to visit last time, and didnt get to, was Long Beach. Mainly to see the Queen Mary, but it looked an interesting trip anyway. Oh, right, for those with a memory, the metro line goes through Watts, and Compton. Made for an interesting crowd on the train, shall we say? Yes, I survived, and got to see an English lady, far older than me, the Queen Mary! No, I didnt go on board, I am trying to be sensible with money, and $27 minimum to get on board (for not that long) seemed a bit daft to me. But I paid my respects.

The weekend should be relatively calm, though I will have to go shopping for bread, if nothing else tomorrow. Beyond that, a little college football on TV is quite likely. Hopefully, my team (Kansas State) against Kate’s team (Oklahoma State), but not sure if I will get that here? Sunday, a mix of NFL on TV (there is a game in London, which kicks off 6.30 am, my time), and meeting up with someone I met in April early afternoon, is promising me a tour, which I suspect is either going to be going up near the sign, or more likely something Jean related. More on that on Monday or Tuesday, I’m sure. I may, or may not get to the Dodgers baseball tomorrow night, we shall see.

Fine, the video. Well, I could cheekily say this is about me!

Changing of the seasons

So, lets get away from me, for one blog at least, and look at the change of the sporting seasons, both sides of the Atlantic.

Starting over here, the cricket season is nearly over, and though I dont like to brag too much, it looks like Yorkshire are going to win the County Championship again this season. They might also win the 50 over tournament, but as the semi finals for that only take place over the next couple of days, lets not tempt fate yet. Also, similarly (though less immediately) the Rugby League season is nearly done, which still amuses me, as I’m old enough to remember it being a winter sport! Personally, I think it works better as a summer event, but I’m sure there are some who prefer tradition.

That means the football (soccer, for my US readers) season is already under way, and all those overpaid, overhyped footballers who think they are so wonderful. International games this weekend, and it was a comment made by an ex workmate (we’ve both left Hills, him before me) about the team England are playing tonight, that probably led me to writing this. Yes, San Marino, that mighty footballing nation. But on a night, 22 years ago, after a mere 8 seconds, they scored against England. Fine, England won in the end, 7-1, but it was funny at the time, at least.

Rugby Union is also getting under way, and this year, very soon, is a World Cup event, being held over here, in England. It starts just before I get back from New England, and ends just after I get back from Hollywood, so I wont see a lot. I’m not a big follower of the sport domestically, but show a bit more interest in the international game, but not sure if I will see much, if any of it this time around. Being honest, I havent even checked which TV company has the rights! Fine, its ITV over here. Some coverage in the US of their games, and the last few matches, but thats it. Funny to say, given I will be 8 hours behind, they might be on at unsuitable times for me lol.

On the other side of ‘The Pond’, its also a changing of the guards. Technically, the baseball season is drawing to a close. Well, the first weekend in October is the end of the regular season, but some issues are beginning to get settled already. Mind, the play offs will stretch to the beginning of November! For me, Kansas City, and the LA Dodgers have performed well, Seattle (to the so called experts at least), and Boston have under performed. Personally, I think Seattle were over rated, so not as surprised as the experts are, by their demise.
At present, I plan to get to a Dodgers game, that last season of the weekend, with luck.

The sport starting up, is what the American’s call football, both in the NFL, and the college game. College season has already started, though the serious conference matches generally dont start for a few more weeks. The NFL starts next Thursday. The one thing that has pleasantly surprised me, is how fresh I found the CFL, the Canadian version, seemingly more action than the NFL provides, maybe the different rules work? And very soon, about a month or so, basketball, and ice hockey will start up over there too.

But in all honesty, apart from the American football, its the summer sports I prefer, so…

Right, video time. One thing about US Sports, especially Football, is the cheerleaders. This song is probably the most apt for them. Mind, this isnt the cheerleader loaded version, but what I assume is the original demo one, though the other isnt hard to find. Oh, its the extended version too.

Looking forward, into the past

So, yes, fine, its time to stop concerning myself with job hunting, and the like, for a couple of weeks, and look forward to what happens on Wednesday, the flight to Los Angeles, and even more so for me, the stay in Hollywood. Yes, I know, Jean preferred to live in Beverly Hills, but anyway…

Strictly, there is one more job thing before then, got a phone interview at some point tomorrow, but that will be it. One face to face interview on the 30th, after I get back, hopefully after tomorrow, that will be 2!

But yes, when most tourists fly into L.A for a movie related holiday, they are thinking Disneyland, and Universal Studios, and I have no great plans to visit either, far too modern for me. Now, if I could visit MGM, in the 1930’s lol!

So yes, as things stand, with the exception of the baseball game (and Vin Scully is pretty vintage there!), I will be looking back into the past on my trip. The walk of fame stars, the most modern one I’ll be looking for, is Doris Day! The oldest, Mary Pickford, and Clara Bow, I should think. Yes, one or two in between, especially Jean’s!

The Hollywood Museum, as things stand, with a Twitter friend, who knows my love of Harlow, and wants to be there when I see all her stuff, and swoon probably. April is wonderful, and why I already have a picture of Jean’s star, but want to see it for myself. Jean was tiny though, couldnt get into her stuff, even if I was allowed, or tried!

I also plan to get up to Forest Lawns, where she is buried, and pay my respects, though by all accounts I’m unlikely to get that close to her last resting place.

There is one more golden moment I’m looking forward to, a chance to meet the actor, Bruce Glover while out there. Yes, anyone who remembers ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ has seen Bruce, plus lots of other work too, but thats probably the most famous one. I was going to go to one of the acting classes he runs, but have got invited to a private meet instead, which is just a total wow moment for me. The idea I’m going to ring, speak to, and meet a movie star, as I say, just wow!

But no disrespect to anyone (unless Jean’s spirit wants to arrange a meet), the thing that has me most excited, is a party next Saturday, this one.

http://noircityparty2015.brownpapertickets.com/

Yes, that amazing birthday present from James, and Kate. Feel free to say hi, if you are there, and see me.

I have the dress, or I will have, assuming I can be zipped into it, at least. Its a back zip, and with my hands, there is no way I can fully pull up a zip behind my back. So, when she returns tomorrow, I’m going to see if Nicole can zip me into it, and if so, I’ll rig something so I can zip it up myself. Fingers are ‘so’ crossed that works. My plan is to go for the Mae West look (not far off Harlow, only fuller figured, like myself) for the evening, hair, and make up, care of a local salon that has good reports.

One last thing, where the movie is old, but the surroundings are modern, that I’ve been invited to

Celebrate! One Year of SoS w/ Nibbles, Networking, and Dance, Girl, Dance!

Friday, Apr 24, 2015, 6:00 PM

MiMoDa STUDIO @ Paper or Plastik Café
5772 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019 Los Angeles, CA

22 LAFREEBEES Attending

6:00pm Nibbles and unofficial networking.7 – 8pm Networking: We’ll be doing above and below the line introductions and wants/needs/projects (such as “I’m a director looking for a script supervisor”, or “I’m a script supervisor looking for work”). It’s a great way to meet people looking for crew, let people know you’re available, or tell folks abou…

Check out this Meetup →

Yes, it will be last, its the evening before I fly back! Well, unless I make the right contacts, and then…lol! I guess, Jean Harlow, or Mae West mark 2 might happen, but seriously? But look how Jean got her big break, so…!

The video, great artist, and summing up how I plan to see LA, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood

Spring is here (supposedly), and that means…

…that the Baseball season is back!

Strictly, depending on your time zone, it started last night, though here in the UK, it was actually 1.00 this morning. But anyway…And no, I didnt stay up to watch it!

But today is the first full day of baseball, and as I type this, I’m having the pleasure of watching the New York Yankees getting thumped by Toronto, oh heaven. After this, I’ll take in a little of the other New York team, the Mets, playing in Washington. There will be more, but given my time zone, that will do for me tonight!

The strangest thing though with watching the Yankees tonight, is after all these years, no Derek Jeter. Hey, if anyone is a certainty for the Hall of Fame, first time around, its him!

As for me, I keep hearing tales that the Seattle Mariners are going to do really well this year, but I’ll believe it when I see it, been supporting them far too long for that!

Me, I’m planning on watching the Dodgers play the weekend after next (17th, or 19th) which will be great fun, and my 9th Stadium I will have seen baseball at. I have already visited 9, having done the tour of Seattle, but not having seen a game there yet. If I can find a way, as a non driver to get to Anaheim for an Angels game, then I will, but not sure how easy that would be?

September? Depends where I end up. New England, then maybe. Idaho, then no!

But care of ESPN, and BT Sport, I suspect I will get a decent fix of baseball this year, all the same.

Well actually, it finally felt like spring today, and if its the same tomorrow, I might go over to Leeds, and take in some cricket. Just a friendly, between Yorkshire, and the local university team, but if its a day out in the sun, watching cricket, I’ll take it!

Regardless, I’m looking forward to the warmth of California, for sure!

The video, a piece of baseball history. Yes, the obvious song, but a far longer version than what is sung at games. This recording is incredibly from 1908, hows that!

A little bit of fun

With many thanks to my friend, Kris, for these two marvellous, err, photographs of Jean, clearly a big Royals fan

JeanHarlow-RoyalsCap

JeanHarlow-RoyalsShirt

The video, well, what can I say. Both teams seem to adore this song, so wonderfully apt, for what should be a great series.

Yes, I want the Royals to win, but the Giants are probably my favourite NL side, so…I’d live lol!

The climax of the baseball season

Yes, tomorrow night, in Kansas City, the culmination of the baseball season begins. Given that the game will actually start at 1.00 am in the UK, on Wednesday morning, I wont be watching. But in spirit, albeit a sleeping spirit, I will be there.

Its a rare treat, in that I have actually been to both stadiums where the games will take place, and actually enjoyed visiting both of them. The last time there was a World Series when that happened, 1993 when Toronto took on Philadelphia. The Toronto stadium at that time, was the once I visited, but the Philadelphia one wasnt, having being demolished in 2004, and replaced by a very modern stadium that well, I didnt fall in love with!
The last Series between 2 teams I have seen play is far more recent, just 2 years ago, when San Francisco played Detroit. I saw Detroit play, in the now demolished Metrodome in Minneapolis.

But these two…

So lets start with where people leave their heart, San Francisco. AT&T Park is probably one of my all time favourites, probably helped by the fact that the first time I went there (have been twice), I went to an evening game, and not only did I get to watch the baseball, in a wonderful setting, I got to see the sunset over San Francisco Bay, and that was worth the money in itself.
But all in all, its a wonderful setting to see baseball played, though sadly, no one hit a home run into the water while I was there. Have seen it on TV a couple of times, but…

So yes, ironically, under any other circumstances, I would happily support them against most teams, but not this time around.

Because they are playing Kansas City!

So far, I’ve only had the one visit to Kaufman Stadium, about a month ago, when they lost to Boston. As was mentioned in the blog at the time, the service that Kate and I got from the staff, was truly amazing. And seeing those famous fountains, at the other end of the stadium…really good!

I must admit, there are 2 ladies who are the reason I follow Kansas City, Brooks and Harlow. One came from the city, one came from the state of Kansas, so all in all…a big soft spot for me. Neither of course saw the Royals play, they only started playing in 1969. Lets face it, pre war, travel made it impossible for teams to play that far west. And when teams started moving west, California became the big target, so…

And before you ask, I have absolutely no evidence that either lady ever saw a baseball match anywhere!

Given that San Francisco have won it all twice in the last 4 years, Kansas hadnt even made the play offs since 1985, when they actually won the World Series themselves, I might have supported KC anyway. But now, probably the first time I’ve really rooted against SF in all honesty.

Hopefully KC will win, as that would be perfect for me. But at the same time, if a National League team has to win it, well, San Francisco might be my call. But even so, I have to say it, go Royals!

The video, well its about KC, and produced in Cherryvale, surely the perfect combination? I have to thank my friend, Tina for posting it on Facebook in the first place.

Oh, and if any manip/photoshop experts out there want to send me a picture of Jean Harlow, in either a Royals top, or cap, I would so love it, and would post it up. I know, wherever she is watching it from, she’ll be rooting for her home town team

An early shift isn’t always bad?

I’ll be honest with you. Normally, when I get an 8.00 start to a shift at work, I groan, inwardly sigh, and simply get on with it. Why, because I have to be up about 4.45 in the morning, for one of those, that’s why!

Fine, I had one yesterday morning, and to say I wasnt full of joy when I switched the TV on, about 5.00, would be putting it mildly, to say the least. But you see, the thing is, the previous night, it had been on ESPN (UK), so thats what comes on first. And what do I get, baseball! Opens a sleepy eye, and yes, its live, and yes, its the Kansas City Royals, somewhere in the 10th innings, in the Wild Card match against Oakland.

For the next hour, or so (just under, in fact), I sat engrossed, as first, in the top of the 12th innings, Oakland scored a run, and that would seemingly be the end of the Royals interest in the play offs. Oh no, in the bottom of the 12th, first they tie the game, and then they get one more run, and win the game. Even in Kansas, that was nearly midnight! To say the stadium erupted would be to put it mildly.

And yes, fine, I was pretty happy too. It was pretty special being there, 17 days before, but seeing them win, in the play offs, at 6.00 in the morning, as they said in the ads, priceless!

Regardless of the level of my support (and yes, its principally because of Harlow, and Brooks birthplaces), they get my strong vote of support because of the wonderful service that Kate and I got, when we visited the stadium. My mobility isnt perfect, Kate’s even less so, and they looked after us wonderfully. So yes, even though she’s a passionate Boston fan, its fair to say she’s rooting for the Royals at this moment.

To quote her, and I’m sure she wont mind

All that being said, I can actually forgive most of that because the staff of the Royals and Kauffman Stadium are probably some of the best I have ever encountered in any stadium. They are all pleasant, polite and beyond helpful.

To illustrate: some of you here know that I do have a few medical challenges that prevent me from a lot of physical activity. Even with the premium seats we got, I was having difficulty navigating the stairs and seats. One of the Royals staff came running down, and said “You are not going to be comfortable here. Let me see what I can do to find you better seats.” (and keep in mind, the original ones were fabulous…)

Long story short, she was back in minutes with seats that were better than the ones we had originally, and did not require me to navigate the steps. Other staff also came to check on us to make sure we were fine, and the young man who was bringing drink and food out to the section gave us better service than some that I have gotten in supposedly fine dining establishments.

I saw the staff assisting people with various physical issues in various ways, even running carts from the stadium to take people to their cars (and I’ve been in larger parks where they don’t do that.). The care they were taking with anyone who had any kind of challenges was impressive.

Don’t get me wrong…you know I loves me my Fenway Park. But, EVERYONE, from the ticket people at the gate to the concession stand workers to the stadium staff to the people manning the elevators simply could not have been more courteous and pleasant. Even the Royals fans were polite to the throngs of Red Sox fans that decended upon the K, (despite losing three out of four games-heeheehee).

I strongly recommend that, if your team ever plays in KC and you get the opportunity, you go to the K to watch a game. You won’t regret it.

So yes, not only the players are great, the backroom staff are even more amazing.

Tonight, the divisional series starts in Anaheim, and if the game hits 4 hours (average is about 3), I will catch the end in the morning.

So, from myself, ‘Jean’, and probably Kate, I wish them all the best, for the rest of the play offs and hope someone from the club gets to see this.

The video, I heard this at Kauffman Stadium, and I gather its one of the team songs. And hey, I love it anyway

Even a Red Sox fan has to mention this.

Yes, we’ve come to that time of year when summer sports come to an end. The last rites of the cricket season are being played out over here, and in the US, the last week of the regular baseball season is doing the same thing. And yes, this blog is more related to the latter, shall we say.

Tomorrow, for the last time in Yankees Stadium, Derek Jeter will play for the New York Yankees at home. Seriously, in these days of free agency, and transfers, he has played for the Yankees, his only team, since 1995, quite a record. Ironically, given the rivalry between the 2 teams, its ironic that his career will end with 3 games at Fenway Park, against the Boston Red Sox. Even more remarkably, given the history of the 2 teams, they are likely to be 3 meaningless games, unless the Yankees win both their last 2 games at home, and Kansas lose both of theirs!

Yes, to a degree myself (I follow Boston), and my friend Kate (passionate fan) hate the Yankees for all the obvious reasons. But one person, the thoroughly likeable Derek Jeter almost transcends all this.

My biggest Jeter memory, would be his 3,000th hit for the Yankees. I knew he’d been creeping up to the landmark, and by sheer luck, the magical moment occurred on a game being carried by ESPN over here. Within a few minutes of getting home from work, and switching on the TV, Jeter came to bat, and proceeded to hit the ball out of the park, and make a mark on history. Thats right, not just a hit, but a home run!

I’ve never seen him play live, only on TV, so I was denied that pleasure. But all in all, I’m delighted to have seen him play many times, and even more delighted when the Yankees lost, sorry, Derek. To say he’s a Hall of Fame certainty, is to put it mildly, the only talk seems to be whether he will get the highest percentage of votes ever, quite likely, I suspect. Lets just say that next season, it will be funny watching the Yankees play, and not seeing Jeter there, ever again.

Thanks for many memories, all the same

The video, a very late Monkees number

Take me out to the ballpark

Yes, today, one passionate Red Sox fan, and one less passionate follower of both the Royals, and the Red Sox headed out to Kaufman Stadium for a game between those 2 teams.

Not many stadiums have fountains, even fewer have as many as this place does, but it does make a spectacular sight. Oh, and to show how things are, fans from each team sit together at the stadium, and WW3 doesnt break out. Soccer fans, please note!

Me, I got a t-shirt very cheaply before we entered the stadium, a small charitable donation, and I’m the proud owner of a ‘Be Royal’ shirt. I also own a neat little batters type helmet, though not of a material that would be used on the mound!

The match was fun, and ended with Kate happier than me, as the Red Sox won. Before you say anything about neutrality, the Royals are in play off contention, the Red Sox arent! Not that they didnt try at the end to let Kansas back into it, but anyway…

A wonderful day out, wonderful service by Royals staff in so many ways, including a young man, who washed out the helmet for me, so I could take it as a souvenir. Why it needed that, It had contained Nacho’s, and sauces, and was so full of food, that even between us, we couldnt finish it, on top of hot dogs.

A good game, great company, and wonderful weather, what more could I ask?

No video, I’ve done most of the neat baseball ones before, more than once.

Oh, be proud of him

Yesterday evening, I was watching the baseball, on ESPN, over here in the UK. I know, no shock there, I guess. Anyway, the early game for us, was the bore fest between Detroit, and Cleveland, which was all but settled very early on, in Detroit’s favour. But, as is the way with these things, they stuck with it until the end, before moving over to the late afternoon game, between Los Angeles Dodgers, and San Diego.

The thing is, they dont really pick a moment to go over, they just switch as soon as the game is over, whatever the situation may be. What we switched over to, was not the ball game at all, but the commentators, talking to a guy, who had clearly served in the military, about his life, and his injuries. Unfortunately, due to the timing of things, I missed out on the tale of how he got his injuries, where he got them, and everything else. One thing I did learn, his name, Corporal Kyle Carpenter. Yes, an amusing note for me there, the same surname as Jean was born with!

Thankfully, later on, they showed a picture of this man, sat in the crowd, and fortunately for me, they repeated the story of what had happened. It seems that several years ago, in Afghanistan, this man was serving in the Marines, and a grenade was thrown at them, landing very close to one of his companions. What Carpenter did, was shield the other man from the explosion, by basically smothering the grenade with his body. How he survived, I have no idea! Yes, he lost an eye, suffered some other pretty traumatic injuries, from which it took him about 3 years to recover, but he did. The other guy, seems he was fine!

Oh, the critical factor, Carpenter was awarded some high military honour for his bravery, well deserved, I just cant remember exactly what, so go Google it, if you need to know.

I know, the Marines are amazing, both sides of the Atlantic, but this guy just had me in total awe for what he did.

So yes, as the song says (and the blog title), be proud of him, because, after all, he’s just a man. Superman maybe, but all the same, just a man.

I’m not American, but if by chance, anyone reading this knows Corporal Kyle Carpenter, just tell him there’s a Brit who thinks what he did, was truly amazing. I’m just glad the Cleveland game ended when it did, so I got to know what this amazing man did.

Yes, you’ve guessed the video, surely? Tammy Wynette, suspiciously looks like live, not a tape?