Friday, August 26, 2011

Fake Out Ep. 1 - The Converse Mall Star

We called them Chucks - The Converse Mall Star!
In honor of the global chatter about the shocking existence of "fake"
Apple stores in China, I am beginning a photo installment series
highlighting the most entertaining fakes that I have come accross
while shopping the stores and markets around Beiijng. I wish I had a
pic of my all time favorite, and in retrospect I should have just
returned the favor of random photography and asked the girl wearing
the shirt to pose with me for a picture, but it snuck up on me. I
read the shirt as she walked by and did a double take while snort
laughing at the Kew York Yankees name emblazoned accross the shirt.
The kicker though...I was so busy laughing pointing and telling Joanne
about it that I almost failed to notice that the logo under the name
was and interlocking L and A - Go Dodgers!

Big Rain On the Way to School

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The First Day of Kindergarten

...and 3rd Grade, and 5th Grade...but a big time for Benne!

America's Pastime

Everyday from early March until the leaves fall off the trees covering the fields, groups of all ages gather at diamond shaped baseball parks across the countryside of the USA. Kids play tee ball, hitting a stationary ball until they are ready to have their coaches toss to them; older boys and girls play for their local schools or neighborhood teams; colleges field high profile and high budget teams competing for the National Championship; and of course, national heroes put on their uniforms to entertain packed stadiums and wide ranging TV audiences.

The fields are green and finely manicured, some are made from artificial turf, some have lights to allow for night games. Fans of all ages sit in bleacher seats and grandstands watching, snacking on hot dogs and peanuts, wearing their team's colors and cheering for their boys to be victorious. Everyone is in uniform. Kids wear baseball pants, usually with dirty knees from previous games played, caps, spiked shoes, eye black for the sun, and solid colored shirts with numbers on the back and local business advertisements emblazoned along the top. The coaches wear the uniform too, just as their players do.

Nine players sprint from their respective dugout, leaving the protection from the summer sun, taking their defensive positions. The pitcher stands alone, 60 feet and 6 inches away from the opposing team's hitters and tries to induce three outs, bringing his team to bat. He hurls the white ball. The hitter takes a hack at the pitch. The hitter's goal? To bring himself or his teammates around the bases - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, then Home, scoring a run for his team, before the defenders can catch the ball recording the out.

Fans cheer for the long ball, the bomb, the round tripper, the home run. The batter swings his bat, launching the ball over the fence and out of the field of play. The pitcher hangs his head having offered up an easy one. A lucky fan catches the ball - a souvenir. The crowd roars as the heroic hitter jogs around the bases, touching each bag with swagger, at last setting a foot on home plate; the scoreboard flashes the updated tally.

Nine times the teams exchange sides - outs and runs, pitches and hits. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but as I always tell my players, "win or lose, one great thing about baseball is that you get to play again tomorrow."

Analysts and statisticians pore over the numbers, documenting the best and the worst, analyzing trends and predicting outcomes of future matchups, and it is reported in newspapers and on television in grand fashion. But baseball is much more than what you see on TV. Baseball is America's Pastime. Everyday from Spring to Fall, on ball fields in every corner of America, players shake hands after a game, the American flag flying in Centerfield is lowered, the bright lights of the game are dimmed and the uniforms are washed of dirt and grass. Youngsters close their eyes for bed, dreaming of being like the great ones, and tomorrow, they will go out to the ball park and play again.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Parker's Swim Meet

The boys and I watched Parker in his season ending swim meet today at
the Paralympic Facility. Parks did a great job swimming PRs in all
three events.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Devo's Pizzaria

Devon said, "I want to open a pizza restaurant when I grow up," so we
got a jump on it.

Devon, Ayi and I crafted the dough and sauce from scratch and Devon
made all of the decisions. Whiile Parker and Bennett gobbled down the
slices, Devon suggested that next we should move to Italy next so
that he can practice his craft in proper surroundings. Parker said
he was fine with that too;) Ciao!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Water Cube Take 2

I made good on my promise to take the boys back to the water park
prior to the start of school. We got up, rode to the subway and then
three train transfers later, we were back at the Olympic Green. As
ususal, the boys were the subject of much attention, and we had a
great time.

This train is mobbed!