Tag Archives: Houston

October Baseball

Like any consummate baseball fan, I’m super superstitious. Just like baseball players who jump over rather than stepping on the chalked baseline, won’t speak the words “no hitter” during a game that could potentially prove to be one, and Houston Astro’s pitcher Justin Verlander eating three crunchy taco supremes (no tomato), a cheesy gordita crunch and a Mexican pizza (no tomato) from Taco Bell before every start. Which seems strange, a guy who doesn’t want runs eating at Taco Bell.

 I haven’t written about baseball at all this season, so I’m nervous about doing it now, particularly with my Astros in the playoffs. But there are regular season rituals and playoff rituals. With that said, understand that until the Astros once again hoist that World Series trophy, I’ll be wearing my lucky pink socks inside out, only watching the games from my favorite chair with two table lamps on (even for day games), and, of course, not washing my favorite lucky Astros shirt. Small things, I know, but this is October baseball and every little bit matters.

If you doubt the strength of the baseball superstitions, check out Hall of Famer Craig Biggio’s batting helmet: he practically wore a hole in it from the millions of times he adjusted it exactly the same way every at bat. And it worked. Three thousand and sixty hits don’t lie. Even today’s team understands. When in September Josh Reddick hadn’t taken a pitch out of the park since the All-star break, he wore an injured George Springer’s pants to the plate. I’m not sure exactly how that conversation went, maybe, “Hey, I left my pants at home and since you’re not wearing those…” Whatever, he hit a homer in the next two games. Face it, Springer, you’re not getting your pants back.

Before Roger Clemens started a game, he had a trainer rub the hottest possible liniment on his testicles. Between Roger and the trainer, I’m not sure who had the worse end of that deal. But if that’s not gross enough, Moises Alou, who hit .355 with 30 HRs for the Astros in 2000, never wore batting gloves. Instead, to toughen up his hands, he urinated on them. Knowing this kind of stuff happens makes you seriously rethink asking for that autograph.

Now grab your cheesy gordita crunch, your lucky socks and GO ‘STROS!

3 Comments

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Willis Carrier: Man-God

Willis_Carrier_1915The City of Houston paid a sculptor to create this massive, 32-foot tall, weird, reflective bean thing then proudly planted it near the Museum of Fine Art. I’m not sure why that much metal was wasted on such a thing when there is a real hero desperately in need of recognition and adoration, a true man among men: Willis Carrier. This man should be elevated to saint status, have elementary schools named in his honor, and every July there should be an official holiday complete with parades. Willis Carrier invented the air conditioner.

Where would we be, oh sweltering Gulf Coast of Texas, without this man? Houston wouldn’t be the fourth largest city in the US, that’s for sure. Instead the entire area would be populated by drunk, divorced, chaffed, irritable isolationists and boasting the highest homicide rate on the entire planet. Satan himself would sell his luxury condo for pennies and leave town grumbling about intolerable conditions.

Willis Carrier isn’t just cool, he’s the King of Cool. I suppose when one of your relatives is burned at the stake as part of the Salem Witch Hunts, you become a little hyper-sensitive to being hot under the collar and embody a new motivation for redeeming your family’s name and reputation. Talk about a Phoenix rising from the ashes!

Certainly there needs to be a distinctive tip of the hat to the Egyptians for figuring out how to make clothing out of cotton. Without them, we’d still be wearing wool all summer, which a large majority of people were through the 1800’s. Even swimsuits were made out of wool until the 1930’s! Just the thought of it makes me scratchy, chaffed and irritable.

Without Mr. Carrier, we’d be facing a world without leather car seats, ice cream trucks, and Slurpees®. Humidity would be an unstoppable, mold-growing, hairdo-killing scourge. We’d have no safe retreat from mosquitoes, sunburn, or the neighbors. To be honest, without Willis Carrier’s air conditioners, we’d have long since given the lower half of the Louisiana Purchase back to France and thrown in pretty much every other state south of St. Louis.

So today when you crank that thermostat down to single digits and your house is like a frosty beer mug, stop and send up a prayer of thanksgiving to Willis Carrier. Oh yes! Thank you!

4 Comments

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing

Cold = Texas Kryptonite

u-s-weather-be-like_o_4157581Texans are good at a lot of things, and, as a result, we have an impressive ego about how universally awesome we are, especially around Houston. However, we as Texans do have one weakness: the cold. We don’t do cold or ice or sleet well at all. A few hours of fluffy snow that melts within a few hours so we can go back to our shorts and sandals is okay every nine years, but not the hard core stuff. Cold is our kryptonite.

During this recent freeze, all Texans were like stunned sea turtles. Even the sea turtles were stunned sea turtles. Poor things had to be thawed out in warm water which probably gave them turtle soup nightmares. My nightmares, however, were caused by all the weather warnings and frenzied news channel weather people triggering off my Post Traumatic Storm Disorder. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one.

I noticed at least two of my neighbors had their windows open, which I thought unusual considering the sub-freezing temperatures. Then I realized they were airing out the wood smoke that had filled their houses. Don’t judge, we don’t use our fireplaces much around here, so I suppose it’s easy to forget to open the flue.

Personally, I spent the Ice-pocolypse binge watching Netflix. It was that show ‘The Crown’ about Queen Elizabeth so I rationalized that it was sort of educational and therefore not a complete waste of a day. And a night. And maybe part of the next day but whatever. It’s too cold to do anything else so, again, don’t judge.

To people living in colder climes, we just ask that you don’t laugh at us when we try to make sleet angels or google the difference between sleet and snow. Yes, we used the Whataburger gift card we got for Christmas to scrape our windows. What else do we have? Besides, Whataburger is Texas. They understand and will still accept it. And there’s no reason to smirk behind your mittens because we took three boredom naps, stress baked all the frozen fundraiser cookie dough, and cycled through all five stages of grief and loss during our one day at home for weather.

Face it, we don’t do cold, but, thankfully, winter is now probably over since it’s now 70 degrees outside again.

(thanks memecenter.com for the visual chuckle!)

1 Comment

Filed under Much Ado About Nothing