23 March 2010

"We're gonna win TWINS, we're gonna score..."

I arrived home from work today, just another day, and checked the mail as usual. What I didn't realize is that today would be a really exciting day for me, mail-wise. Mostly, I was excited about this:

My tickets to the Twins game on my birthday! Yay! And with an official return address from Target Field! Pretty soon outdoor baseball will be a reality. And it's going to be damn cold in the beginning - Andy and I went to an open house at the new field on Friday and it was chilly, to say the least. Here's the view I'll have from those seats:

It's the last row of the sections on the main level and it's still pretty damn good. Better than it would have been in the Metrodome, that's for sure. It's a beautiful stadium with great sightlines and a real respect for the history of the team. Plus, did I mention that it's outdoors? :-) Here are some more photos that I took during the open house:

The entrance off of 6th Street, just behind Target Center. It's called Target Plaza and is seriously impressive. It's also not out of the question that a home run hit deep into right field could clear this gate. Note the number - the gates are numbered for famous players in Twins history.

The new, super fancy scoreboard. It's massive and the picture is amazingly clear. They were replaying the epic game 163 from last season all throughout the evening. It was great to relive it, although nothing will ever be the same as actually being there. Still one of the greatest sporting events of my lifetime. So far, at least. And I just went back to look for my blog about that game and I realized that I didn't blog about it! What was I thinking?!? Anyway, moving on...

The open house was really, really cool and I am really looking forward to the start of the season. Only 20 or so days until the home opener on April 12th! Did I mention it's going to be cold? I'm going on April 17th and I think I'll need to invest in a MN Twins sweatshirt before that game otherwise I may freeze. Yay!

Note: The title of this post comes from the MN Twins theme song. If anyone can find a link to audio/video, I will be grateful.

01 March 2010

Olympics Withdrawal

For the past few weeks, the first thing I've done upon arriving home from work and putting my stuff away is go to the TV and turn on whatever Olympics coverage happened to be on at that very moment. Today, I find myself at a loss. I guess I could read? Or something?

As you can tell from the above, I got completely 100% sucked in to the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. I watched the opening ceremonies while I was still in Miami, even. That's commitment. So here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite moments from these games:
  • Johan Olsson from Sweden leads most of the Nordic 30km pursuit by a huge (relatively) margin only to be overtaken by one of his countrymen and a German within sight of the finish. Amazingly, he still got the bronze. It was riveting, especially for cross-country skiing.
  • Evan Lysacek having the skate of his LIFE in the long program to beat out the pompous and over-confident Evegeni Plushenko in men's figure skating. Evan was so excited and it was amazing to watch. Plus, I've always had a soft spot for Evan's coach, Frank Caroll. He coached Michelle Kwan and she will always be my favorite figure skater.
  • Joannie Rochette. Enough said.
  • Kim Yu-Na's triumphant, beautiful and powerful free skate. Long live the Queen. (I seem to have a figure skating theme going here).
  • Curling. All of it. But particulary, the Norwegian team's pants. Those things are awesome and I think I may buy them as a Halloween costume. It would be epic. (P.S. - There is a fansite on Facebook). Also, the Canadian men's gold medal victory. I've never seen curlers be so excited!
  • The Men's Hockey gold medal game. As many before me have said, it may be the best hockey game ever played. Certainly, it's the best one I've ever seen. In the end, I'm glad Canada won because the reaction of everyone in that arena was priceless. Even I sang along to "Oh, Canada."
In other, sadder news, there was a giant storm that swept through western Europe over the weekend, wrecking havoc on the west coasts of France, Portugal, and Spain. One of the hardest hit regions was the Vendee which is where I lived while I was teaching in France. Here are some photos from my town, Les Sables d'Olonne. The port where the Vendee Globe begins may never be the same. It's devastating. Here also is a story from Le Monde, if anyone feels like practicing their French. Please keep the people I know there in your thoughts. I'm sure they are managing but it's still pretty shocking.