Dear Cubbies Fans,
So that was pretty exciting, huh?! Congratulations on seeing a century of loyalty and enthusiasm finally pay off. This was a really fun team to watch, and you all should be very proud of them, your season and your fans!
Before last year, I was a Kansas City girl who was just a toddler the last time the Royals took the World Series championship in 1985. The unthinkable happened in 2014 when we seemingly fluked our way through the playoffs and into the Fall Classic. We found ourselves inexplicably evenly matched with the Giants and our young team fought hard through game 7.
Do you remember how you felt last night in the bottom of the 5th when Hendricks was pulled out in favor of Lester and things got a little scary? Or worse, when Lester was pulled in favor of Chapman and the game tied and things got a lot scary? That gut-wrenching feeling of having victory so very close only to have it snatched away… that’s how Royals fans felt when we lost game 7 in 2014.
I’m so glad that feeling was fleeting for you. By forcing extra innings (and apparently having a “come to Jesus” moment of pulling themselves back together during the rain delay), your boys got the job done! The thrill of that moment simply can’t be matched.
The Royals came back in 2015 to settle unfinished business and hammered the final nail into the Mets’ coffin in game 5 of the series. Your own Ben Zobrist was our own Ben Zobrist then; it’s like the guy is good luck or something. Now I know 30 years is a far cry from 108, but the overwhelming elation we felt was like yours. So having been there fairly recently, I have a little advice for you…
• Accept that bleary eyes and pinch marks are part of your existence for the next week or so. Whether from physical and mental exhaustion or sheer bliss, you’ll probably have shed some tears and lost some sleep. That beautiful, delusional state will make you wonder if this is real life. It is!
• Realize that the crash is inevitable and it will burn a little. Adequate rest is essential to the next 24-48 hours of celebration. Power naps will help tame the cranky little bear inside of you. And for Pete’s sake, eat a Snickers or something.
• Learn to be okay with wearing the same thing as everyone else. You’re all rocking virtually identical WS gear right now, own it. Odds are you’ll be standing in line at the supermarket behind someone sporting the exact same shirt at least a dozen times over the next year.
• Finally, enjoy every single moment of this. Take pictures of parades and parties, but get out from behind the screen or viewfinder and capture mental images too. The sense of community and pride amongst your fellow fans is intoxicating; drink it in.
The Cubs might roar next season for back-to-back appearances (maybe even against the Royals), or they might decide to hibernate a little sometime next summer and blame it on a shortened off-season. You never know when you’ll see your boys in the World Series again, so savor it!
Congrats, Cubbies! Thanks for letting us celebrate history with you. Oh, and somebody hug Bob Newhart for me if you see him around town!
I’ve heard it said that time moves in one direction and memory in the other. I would argue there should be an asterisk following that phrase, an asterisk which leads to a very large disclaimer stating both accelerate exponentially with age.
Most days pass without my feeling much like a full-fledged adult. I’m at the teetering point between early-30s and mid-30s, married with a mortgage, car payment, full-time job and 3 little mouths to feed (ok, so they belong to dogs and a cat)…but it seems all that does not an adult make.
What does make me feel very adult-ish is the shift in how I perceive the workings of the world. The statement above about time and memories moving rapidly in opposite directions—that’s new for me. I used to scoff at those who claimed life seemed to speed by after a certain point; now I believe them. Not only do I believe them, I can personally attest to feeling that way.
Last Saturday morning, the start of Labor Day weekend, should have been one for the memory banks. Just after 7am, I awoke from a sound sleep to the sensation of the house shaking. I didn’t think our washing machine was on a spin cycle and the dogs weren’t scratching up against the bed, so my mind jumped to “earthquake.” When the shaking lasted for the better part of a minute, I slid out of bed and peeked into the tall foyer to find the pendant light swaying. The evidence stacked up, but an earthquake in Kansas City?! Tornados are prevalent, flooding and droughts alternate with relative frequency and we get an ice storm that devastates the region every 20 years or so. There’s a reason midwesterners are considered hardy stock!
Earthquakes, though, are something of a head-scratcher even with our proximity to the New Madrid fault (which has been eerily quiet for as long as anyone I know has been alive). But an earthquake it was—5.8 centered in north-central Oklahoma.
The quake was all anyone on local news outlets and social media could talk about… For a couple of hours at least. Without any damage to remind us, the morning’s confusion and subsequent excitement faded. By day’s end it was nothing more than a brief topic of conversation at family gatherings, a cursory impression.
We are a people of short memory. It’s an element of the human condition that is both perpetuated and intensified by the digital age in which we live. Fads explode across our tethered screens and then fizzle like a fleeting shock of static-electricity. I can’t fathom what warp speed time will be when I finally feel like an established adult some day, and I can only hope my aging mind keeps up with the amount of energy it will take to maintain any sort of lasting memories.
We added a new member to our little family last month! It’s my pleasure to introduce Rue.
This gal is such a ray of sunshine and impossibly sweet. We considered names like Pippa and Katniss but ultimately settled on Rue since she is small, gentle and excellent at hiding—just like her namesake from The Hunger Games.
In adopting Rue, we learned that Another Chance Cat Rescue (Kansas City, MO) houses 200+ kitties who have been rescued from the streets or off of other shelters’ “death row.” ACCR desperately needed help taking photos to post on Petfinder.com, so I volunteered. Spending a day with so many cats is overwhelming in such a good way; and the results didn’t turn out too shabby either 🙂
My 9 favorite shots are below; full album at my share site.
If you’re looking to adopt a feline friend in the Kansas City area, please visit
Another Chance Cat Rescue (Saturdays 11-2)
7205 Central Street
Kansas City, MO 64114 US
Good day, fellow web-surfing henchpersons! I’m sure you’ve been quivering with anticipation for my reappearance here. Would’ve posted sooner but life has been strange and busy of late.
First topic of business—a smattering of updates from Howdy, Strangers!. My MacBook is back up and running with a new hard drive. Even so, I’ve grown somewhat accustomed to my new ‘weaned’ state so I’m not online quite as frequently as before The Great Hard-Drive Crash of 2014. As such I have managed to edit only about 1/3 of my September vacation photos.
Vampire Kitty, aka Storm, continues to face a health crisis. She refuses to eat and, as I type this, is at the veterinarian’s office for colon troubles and extraction of a (likely) cancerous tumor on her leg. Prayers and good vibes are still very much appreciated.
But something else has been keeping me preoccupied. Something wondrous and rare and magical. Something so remarkable that I wouldn’t have believed you even a month ago had you told me it would come to fruition… My Kansas City Royals are playing post-season baseball!
Every time I think it’s safe to go back to enjoying unplanned evenings, they win again and add more games. The end is near, of course, but the excitement can’t be denied. Even with the Giants leading the World Series 3 games to 2, we are thrilled to cheer on our boys in blue.
If you’re watching the World Series on Fox, you’ve probably seen some commercials for the MasterCard Priceless Surprises campaign with Apple Pay. If you’ve seen said commercials, you’ve probably seen me and Severus! That’s right, we’re on national TV with big, cheesy smiles—in not just one ad but TWO.
We’re the giddy fans holding tickets at the 13-second mark here: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7u1n/mastercard-priceless-surprises-george-brett
And the ones holding up the framed jersey in this one: http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7uBq/mastercard-2014-world-series-feat-george-brett
“So how did this all happen?” you ask. Well, let me tell you.
During the ALCS clincher game, MasterCard promoted a tweet (on Twitter) soliciting #PricelessBaseball memories. I replied with “Waiting 29 years to see your team play October postseason #PricelessBaseball” and before long got a direct message about having won a $25 gift card. Great surprise!
And then the phone calls started.
I assumed the good people at MC saw that I hadn’t carried a balance in years and wanted me to transfer one to my account or upgrade services. Eventually, though, I answered and found that it was much, much more interesting.
After answering some routine questions confirming my information, the conversation went something like this:
“Do you have an iPhone 6?”
<strange question> “Yeah, actually, I do.”
“Great! Then I have even more surprises for you. Are you available to attend an event at Kauffman Stadium on Monday, October 20?”
“Well, I have a couple of meetings that day; do you know what time?”
“We don’t have those details yet. This is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I’d hate for you to miss it.”<at this point the gears in my head start cranking to think of ways I can have coworkers cover my meetings>
“Sign me up.”
I received an email attachment of waivers and forms that I had to return before learning any event details. Either I agreed not to talk to the media or I signed my life away; it was all very hush-hush.
And so we arrived at the K around 11:30 Monday morning to face our destiny…which included a dozen or so more waivers and forms, including what might or might not have been an application for the Screen Actors Guild. That was explained away by the fact that it was media day at the stadium and we “might end up in the background of somebody’s video.” For the record, we did actually end up in some news footage on our local ABC affiliate.
Once the formalities were done, our group of 30 or so was escorted to a suite for lunch with a view of the ballpark and a crash-course in downloading the latest iOS to use Apple Pay. Yep, it was Apple Pay launch day.
We were surprised by a visit from Royals veteran all-star Willie Wilson. His engagement with our group was unwavering, his storytelling wholly entertaining. The experience—just the beginning.
Next we joined dozens of photographers and media correspondents down on the field for batting practice. We stood literally on the warning track behind home plate and watched the Royals warm up. Several of the players acknowledged us, though we weren’t really able to interact with them.
After BP, we toured the Royals Hall of Fame. This is open to the public, and I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself in the Kansas City area.
From there we were split into a couple of groups; our gang headed for the concession stands to experience Apple Pay firsthand. I will be completely honest and admit that my initial thoughts on said payment method were almost unanimously negative. Paying with nothing more than your cell phone and fingerprint seemed like a really terrible idea. Until I tried it.
You guys, it’s cool!! Like, ‘I want to only shop at places that have the technology in place because it’s a really satisfying experience’ cool.
It was then that we definitively learned they were filming a MasterCard Apple Pay commercial. There were extras, wardrobe racks, lights and cameramen galore. Severus and I were asked to approach the register and order something, paying with Apple Pay. So we did (while trying not to appear as nervous as we felt) only to have the cashier step aside to have a MasterCard representative hand us tickets to World Series Game 1!!!!! What you see in the first commercial is our genuinely thrilled reaction in that moment.
Just after that, we were treated to a little meet-and-greet with Royals legend George Brett. That time was a little rushed, but it was unforgettable.
Finally, we filmed another Priceless Surprises promotional clip with a signed George Brett jersey (which made it into the second commercial). While we didn’t get to keep the jersey, we will hold onto the memories forever.
More pictures posted over on my gallery page (link).
Living in the Kansas City area isn’t always the epitome of cool…I know you are all shocked by this revelation. Think about your own mental image of KC, or even Missouri/Kansas in general.
We’re mostly known for our barbeque, which is amazing. Truly, deeply a-maz-ing.
Many are familiar with our professional sports teams that tend not to win championships (Sporting KC notwithstanding), though the MLB Royals do have a current chart-topper as a sort of anthem.
We’ve been somewhat infamous recently thanks to a nutjob who decided it would be fun to shoot at other cars on the highway—a suspect was just apprehended yesterday.
We can’t boast breathtaking natural surroundings or the best-maintained infrastructure. And if we’re being honest, middle-of-the-map folks aren’t traditionally known to be the trendiest, though there are some very hip and stylish people if you know where to look (I’m not one of them).
There is one surprisingly cool thing, however, that Kansas City can claim… its mayor.
I’m a professional commuter—I don’t live in this municipality or even this county—so my vote did not help elect Mayor Sly James. In fact, there’s a good chance I wouldn’t have voted for him even if I were in the voting district. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a pretty rockin’ guy.
Exhibit B: His ‘state of the city’ address last year was interrupted by a very angry dude. His unflappable response, “Well, that was unfortunate.”
Exhibit C: Miley Cyrus. Ms. Cyrus is making an extended stop at one of the hospitals here after an apparent allergic reaction to antibiotics on Tuesday. But what does Miley have to do with Mayor James?
Sly conducted an (unrelated) interview on a local radio morning show today. At the conclusion, one of the hosts asked if Miley was really sick.
Without skipping a beat, Sly replied “You mean physically?”
My respect = earned.
**UPDATE: Mayor James is now following me on Twitter. You should, too!**