fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,

Mostly Miami

Celebrity Death Watch: I have three celebrity deaths to mention. The least famous is Dora Saint, better known as Miss Read. She wrote several novels of English village life. I admit that I haven’t read any of them, but the descriptions I’ve seen suggest I would like them and I’ve made a note to check for them the next time I’m at the library.

Second is Jonathan Frid, who played the vampire Barnabas Collins on Dark Shadows. This was the only soap opera I ever really got into. One does have to wonder if they might stake him just to be safe.

The most publicized death was that of Dick Clark. Some of my friends may recall that I was on a current events trivia game show he hosted in 1991. Those things go by in a blur but the two things I remember saying about him at the time were: 1) he was much much more personable than Alex Trebek and 2) he wore about 2 inches of pancake makeup. (By the way, I came in second and won $1400, having missed a question about Woodrow Wilson’s second wife’s maiden name. Or maybe it was his first wife. I would not have known either at the time.)

Cool Washington Moment: The space shuttle Discovery was ferried to the Udvar-Hazy Center (the branch of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum out by Dulles Airport) on Tuesday morning on the back of a 747. They did a fly-over around the National Mall and up and down the Potomac. I (and everyone else in my office) watched the passes up and down the Potomac. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me so I can’t add to the plethora of photos on-line. You will have to trust my word that it was awesome.

Miami Baseball Trip: Having been to a game at every major league ballpark requires maintenance. It was easy enough to fly down to Miami to catch a game at the new Marlin’s ballpark. The actual travel down had all the routine annoyances – the inevitable hour delay for my American Airlines flight (though I did miraculously end up with an empty middle seat next to me), the bland (but cheap) rental car complete with poor ergonomics, and an Alamo clerk who was entirely unfamiliar with the local area and gave me directions that led to it taking me 30 minutes to get to my hotel 10 minutes away. A good night’s sleep at an above average Hampton Inn refreshed me and I set out to do some sightseeing.

I’d been to Fort Lauderdale a couple of times and changed planes at MIA several times, but had never actually gone to Miami. The obvious thing to do was to walk around the Art Deco District in Miami Beach and I had downloaded this walking tour from National Geographic, which proved to provide a good overview. My taste in architecture is more subdued, but I do think the style suits the climate and I understand why people like it. And, of course, I am all in favor of historic preservation. It was a bit windy and drizzly, which also cut down on crowds. The rain ended by the time I had lunch and I walked a bit more along the beach before leaving the area.

That left me time for a bit of random driving around downtown Miami before going over to Marlins Park. I prepaid for parking, which made it reasonably simple. I’ll have to rate it in the same group as the better modern ballparks, probably a bit below PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The retractable roof and retractable wall of windows with views of downtown are nice features. The home run sculpture thingy is horrible and wonderful in equal measures but qualifies as local character. I also liked the Bobblehead Museum except for them having Yaz in the top row where he was hard to see. There was a “taste of Miami” food court, though I am still unsure about the idea of ceviche at a ballpark. They get downgraded for having cheerleaders and for a lack of fan enthusiasm, which extended to about half the crowd not even bothering to get up for the seventh inning stretch. Admittedly, the team did not give them a lot to be enthusiastic about, with Carlos Zambrano walking three batters in the first and Heath Bell blowing a 4-1 lead in the ninth, aided and abetted by Logan Morrison’s fumbling of a fly ball. The only Marlins player who I was favorably impressed by was Emilio Bonifacio. Not that I was really all that impressed by the Astros, either. This was a game that fell into the “I don’t really care who wins” category, allowing me to focus on the quality of the play, which was barely up to major league level.

I also want to comment briefly on people watching, which is always entertaining. There was a woman a few seats away from me who appeared to be a poster child for bulimia. She was quite thin but ate three entire pizzas and some sort of chicken nuggets and fries. It was fascinating to watch in a bizarre and disturbing way. Another woman, sitting more or less in front of me, spent the entire game alternating between reapplying makeup and what I can only describe as attempting to arrange her boobs inside the very short dress she was wearing. I can only imagine what the (male) partners of these two women were thinking.

By the way, my flight home was oversold and I thought about volunteering to get bumped. But I had gotten up at 4 a.m. to get to the airport and getting home for a nap was a higher priority than a $300 voucher. I consider this a sure sign that I am getting old.

Knitting Activism: I did not actually take that nap (except for a brief one on the plane) because there was knitting group to go to. I finished the body of the amigurumi uterus and crocheted one fallopian tube, inserting a pipe cleaner for shaping. I figure there is about another hour or so of work until it is done. The idea is, of course, to send it to a male politician on the grounds that if he had a womb of his own, he might stay out of mine.
Tags: baseball, celebrity death watch, crafts, crochet, travel, washington d.c.

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