CornBelters vs. Otters 7/20/13

Normal CornBelters

I don’t know how you work your girls nights, but ours have a tendency to involve baseball. This time we went to see the CornBelters play the Evansville Otters.

Despite Mike Mobbs losing the battle with the sun early in the game (he dropped two catches), some hits, and a few walks, the only run the Otters scored was on a home run that tipped off the glove of Keoni Manago. The CornBelters managed to come from behind, manufacturing a couple of runs to win the game.

The Otters manager got ejected at one point. I’m pretty sure it was for commenting loudly on balls and strikes since the ump’s zone was rather inconsistent. After he got the boot, he came out to let the ump know exactly how he felt. His feelings were long-winded and he took his sweet time walking back to the clubhouse. We were all disappointed when he didn’t stop at the corn they have planted on the berm to grab an ear and chuck it out on the field in protest.

The pitching was pretty stellar on both sides despite the ump. Aside from that home run and a few walks and hits, Ryan Demmin was on it. Jose Trinidad and Alan Oaks were fabulous in relief. It was a really great game.

I’m happy to see Mike Mobbs  back with the Belters. He was a favorite during the 2011 season and I missed his face last year. He also has the best walk-up music, Tom Petty’s “Last Dance with Mary Jane”. You can’t beat that, though I wish some of the guys would try.

It was a gorgeous night for baseball and our seats were superb. The win was just the icing on the cake. We couldn’t ask for a better girls night, really.

Let’s go Corn!

I Tried to Read a Romance Novel

English: Romance icon

Picture this: a selfish woman with a grating personality meets a man pining for his dead wife and spoiling his little daughter to the point that she’s passed unbearable and on her way to loathsome. And somehow the woman and the man fall in love and they all live happily ever after.

I’m guessing that’s what happened. I don’t know.

When I was in high school my friends and I would read during lunch (if we didn’t have homework to do or tests to study for). While I was reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King (or whatever was due for Sci-Fi class), my friends were reading and swapping romance novels. I didn’t partake because they didn’t interest me. I’d read the backs of them and raise an eyebrow and pass them back. I couldn’t understand then how they could read them, but I didn’t say much about it. To each their own and such.

However, in my latest quest to read outside of my comfort zone, I decided to try reading a romance novel for the first time. I was dedicated, determined, and ready to accept the challenge. Who knows? I thought. Maybe I’ll like it.

Yeah, a lot of things have changed since I was in high school. I’ve changed a bit since high school.

My ability to enjoy romance novels is not one of those changes. I made it like five chapters and went…yeah, no. If I don’t care about two people with unlikable personalities and whether or not they get together as it’s acted out on Facebook, I’m not going to want to read about it in novel form.

And so, I abandoned my attempt, wiser, but a little disappointed with myself that I didn’t have the fortitude to finish it.

So, thanks anyway, romance genre, but I’ll leave you to the folks that love you.

Five Weird Searches That Led Here

English: Helm of Awe (ægishjálmr) - magical sy...

I’ll be honest. If it weren’t for Starsky and Hutch fans, Randolph Mantooth stalkers, and folks in need of fat girl nudie pics, my blog wouldn’t get much action.

A lot of the searches that lead here are pretty run of the mill and make sense. As a Rerun Junkie I write about old TV shows, so searches, weird or not, relating to them make sense (hence all of the Starsky and Hutch/Randolph Mantooth folks ending up here). I write about being a fat girl (sorry, no nude pics), belly dancing, being tactless, breast reduction, the Cubs, the CornBelters, writing, bisexuality, etc. and getting tangent searches related to those keywords make sense.

Even so, some searches make me raise an eyebrow.

Here are five of the weirdest searches that led people here (and probably disappointed the hell out of them):

1. “magical plants to deter unwanted visitors”–I can understand the deterring unwanted visitors part, but I’m not exactly sure what’s intended by “magical”. Like Harry Potter magical or pagan magical or “Hey, my mother-in-law hates azaleas! Plant them everywhere!” magical?

2. “huge titties weightless enviorment”/”boobs in weightless environment”–Either the space station is cashing in on a very specific porn market or they’re missing out on one.

3. “stuff i just figured out about scooby doo”–More questions than answers here, folks.

4. “burnt popcorn smoke inhalation”–If this is a medical emergency, you should really contact a physician. Also, give up cooking for life.

5. “jesus zombie chocolate fertility bunny”–This sounds like the best Easter mash-up celebration ever and the only thing that makes it better is that this exact search hit my blog twice.

The Internet is an interesting place.

Pictures: CornBelters Game 6/7/13

What follows is photographic evidence that I had a good time at the CornBelters game last week, even if they did lose.

A corn dog at the Corn Crib for the CornBelters game. I'm sensing a theme.
A corn dog at the Corn Crib for the CornBelters game. I’m sensing a theme.

The starting line-ups.
The starting line-ups.

It was a nice night for baseball.
It was a nice night for baseball.

First pitch of the game. It was a ball.
First pitch of the game. It was a ball.

Hit it hard somewhere, McKenna!
Hit it hard somewhere, McKenna!

First place feels pretty spiffy.
First place feels pretty spiffy.

My First CornBelters Game of 2013

Normal CornBelters

Things are a little different this season. Yeah, there was again a significant roster turnover in the off-season (I recognize a couple of names, though!) and we’ve got a new manager again, but this team came out of the gate winning. Winning so much that they’ve got one of the best records in the Frontier League and were in first place in the division by the time I went to this game. That’s pretty spiffy for a team that couldn’t buy a win last year.

Of course, they didn’t win at the game I went to. In fact, the first two innings, they looked a lot like the team I watched last season. Three errors and nine runs in the first two innings; six of those runs scored on two outs. I thought I was looking at another blowout (I watched them challenge the need for a mercy rule last year in one of their games). But, they managed to shore it up and didn’t allow another run for the next seven innings. In fact, they played pretty good ball after that.

Except for the scoring part. Three runs was all they could manage despite some pretty nice offensive numbers from several of their players.

Ah, well. It was a good time anyway. I took my three nieces to the game. For three girls that aren’t really that much into baseball, they love the Corn Crib. And it’s not even the distractions like the video board, face painting, kid zone, Corny, and/or food that get them going (especially since the only running around they’re allowed to do once the game starts is to go to the bathroom). It’s just the whole ballpark experience. They really enjoy themselves. Particularly when they’re able to make up dances to the walk-up music. Romulo Ruiz and David Medina are now their two favorite players because of this.

The after-game fireworks set to classic rock is a big winner, too.

The one drawback was a guy sitting near us who felt that it was his duty to yell encouragement to every ‘Belter that came up the plate. For every pitch.

Folks, I cannot stress enough that you should not be this guy. This is not little league and you are not their parent (even if it was little league and you were their parent it would still be annoying, but at least understandable and you’d only be doing it for your kid, not every player). It’s cool to applaud and whoop when the guy comes up to bat, but he doesn’t need your extra loud words for every pitch. And if at any time your unnecessarily loud voice is used to say, “Kill the umpire!” or call the umpire a ref when you’re heckling him, then you need to find a well to throw yourself down. Because you’re not cool. You’re an asshole.

Rule of thumb: When an eight year old wants to fight you, you’re being obnoxious.

But never mind the jerks.

Let’s go Corn!

The Boat

Riverboat‘Round these parts, folks go to the boat for a good time. For those of you not familiar with the Cornfield and its vernacular, “going to the boat” means going to the riverboat casino in Peoria.

This past Saturday was my roommate Carrie’s birthday. Since it was a milestone birthday (I won’t say what stone that mile marks), she wanted to do something big. Our original plan was to go to Chicago, but since she hurt her knee and wouldn’t be able to do that much walking, she decided that going to the boat would be a good alternative.

Riverboat ViewWe stayed at the hotel. Our room was fabulous with a lovely view of the parking lot and the river beyond. I’m not joking. For a parking lot view, it was still really nice. I could write lyrical poems about the bathroom. The shower was divine. You can’t say that about most hotel showers.

We hit up the buffet that night for dinner. It was a seafood special, perfect for Carrie’s birthday as she is a big lover of seafood. It was a pretty nice spread and the food was pretty good. I’ve never had seafood lasagna before and wasn’t sure I’d like it, but it was some tasty, tasty stuff.

I was probably the youngest person at the buffet and frankly, I didn’t mind it. It made for a quiet meal. The guy sitting next to us was getting his prime rib on. Meanwhile, another lady went back to her table with a plate of mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Carrie looked horrified. “Is she being punished?”

Riverboat dinnerConsidering the dessert spread, maybe she thought she needed to earn that German chocolate cake. Laws knows that if salad didn’t count as a vegetable then I wouldn’t have eaten one all weekend.

The casino was loud and bright and crowded, but we managed to find our way to the lowest floor (deck?) and the slots. The dress code was quite loose as we saw some people dressed to the nines and other folks that didn’t seem to own any shirts with sleeves. A few people were in their pajamas.

The first night I won about forty dollars and Carrie won about fifty. The second night, we wore more on the losing end, but we still managed to come out ahead.

I spent my winnings on Steak n Shake.

We both had a lot of fun, but we both realized that we’re not casino people. We found the prime rib guy working two slots at once and he had at least 200 bucks in one of them. Another guy was sliding into Carrie’s seat as soon as she got out of it because he thought her machine was hot. We might have spent an hour or an hour and a half at most in the casino each night. It was fun while we were winning, not as fun when we were losing, and there were a whole lot of people that resembled zombies in there.

Definitely a fun once-in-a-while weekend thing, but we couldn’t make a job of it.

MayDays

MayDays CarnivalWhen I was in junior high, 7th or 8th grade, a new tradition began in my little town in the middle of the cornfield and it was called MayDays. Now you have to understand how exciting this was to the kids my age because back then we didn’t have much in the way to do around town. Our movie theater had collapsed, our drive-in movie theater had blown away, and our underage clubs didn’t have much staying power.

MayDays was going to be set up on the Square and on the streets and parking lots just north of it. There would be a carnival with rides and games and food. There would be vendors and bands and contest and sports competitions and a MayDays Queen pageant and such. The junior high at the time was north of the square and I remember walking past all of that stuff being set up on my way to school. Tantalizing and exciting. Living four blocks away from the fun guaranteed that I was up there every day if possible.

MayDays RidesThe rides were my main thing when I was a kid. They had the usual sort of stuff: ferris wheel, The Octopus, bumper cars, The Pharaoh, merry-go-round, giant slide, haunted house, The Scrambler, and the rides that challenged your ability to keep down your funnel cake like The Zipper, The Gravitron, and The Stormtrooper. The idea that I could just walk uptown to make myself dizzy was fabulous.

The big thing back in the day, aside from the rides, was playing this one carnival game in order to win beta fish. The fish usually died after a couple of days as carnival fish tend to have rough lives, but my sister won a beta that we had for over four years. His name was Herman and he liked to be pet. He was kind of a weirdo.

MayDays SquareOver the years, MayDays has kinda died out. There’s still bands and the pageant, still a carnival and food, still some competitions and fundraisers, and this year there’s pro wrestling, but it’s shrunk over the years. Not as many rides or games or vendors.  The crowd has gotten smaller from when I was in school and it was almost impossible to walk around.

I still go up for my lemon shake-up and to have a look around, but I don’t linger long and I usually only go up one day. I don’t ride the rides anymore and stick around for any of the entertainment.

I can’t help but notice when I’m up there, though, that the kids are still having a great time, running from ride to ride, sticky with funnel cake and drunk on lemon shake-ups, trying to win those elusive grand prizes and getting stuck with a half-dead fish.

At least the core audience is still loyal.

Mystery Solved! “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)”

Meatloaf

Meatloaf’s rock opera “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” is a great song, one that got a lot of airplay when I was younger. And the one thing that people always brought up (aside from the epic rock opera-ness of the song and the Beauty and the Beast theme of the video) and still bring up to this day is that Meatloaf never said what he wouldn’t do for love.

Except he did.

This is something that has bugged me since this song has come out because even as a kid I knew exactly what he wouldn’t do. If you’re not familiar with the song or you need to refresh your memory, check it out. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Did you hear it? It’s right there, plain as day.

No?

Listen closer.

When the pretty lady is singing and flying around on the couch, she sings, “Sooner or later you’ll be screwing around”.

And Meatloaf replies…

“But, I won’t do that.”

THAT IS WHAT HE WILL NOT DO FOR LOVE. HE WILL NOT SCREW AROUND.

Mystery solved!

You’re welcome.

Book: Charlie by Shana Hammaker

Charlie by Shana HammakerShana Hammaker and I have been mutually following each other on Twitter for a while now. It’s a consensual stalking based on the fact that we’re both writers, we both like scary things, and we both write scary things. (Yes, this is totally a namedrop. Eat your hearts out.)

Charlie is book one of Twelve Terrifying Tales for 2011. I like starting at the beginning, you know. I also wanted to read this one because it’s about a body that keeps popping up which reminds me of The Trouble With Harry.

However, a problem body is where the similarities end as Charlie is much more sinister than Harry.

Alex’s life is going along swimmingly. She’s got a job, a fiance, and a new house. It’s all peachy keen. And then a body turns up in her basement. A persistent little corpse she calls Charlie, it just will not stay buried.

This is a twisted little story that unearths more than just a corpse. It’s a tight, quick read that’ll have you double checking your basement.

And yourself.

Okay, maybe that’s just me. I’m easily influenced sometimes.

Still, if you’re looking for a short, creepy read, I highly recommend this one.