mellicious: Astros' very colorful uniforms of the 70s-80s (Astros' rainbow uni)
2017-12-03 06:37 am

In which I tackle a difficult subject

 OK, I'm going to try to talk about baseball, but it's difficult because I have SO MANY FEELS about it and they all try to come out at once. Luckily for you guys, I remembered that I actually wrote something down a few weeks ago, and it's much more coherent than I manage to be most of the time. So that's what's below, pretty much verbatim.

Here's the thing - the Astros have been losing as long as I've been alive. Or not quite - I'm 57 and the Astros are 56. But that bit of nitpicking aside, I have to admit that I didn't really grow up an Astros fan, because the Astros were so terrible I couldn't get interested. We went to the occasional game - supposedly I was taken to some Colt .45s games when I was 3 or 4 years old, but I wouldn't have known it from a little league game at the time. Once they moved into the Astrodome, the building itself was at least impressive to a child.

Later on, they started giving out free Astros tickets if you made the honor roll or something like that, and those are the first games I actually remember going to. The Astros almost always lost when I went. In those days you played your own division far more than they do now, and the Astros were in the NL West, along with Cincinnati, don't ask me why. Those were the days when the Reds were known as the Big Red Machine, and I can say very definitely that I saw Pete Rose and Johnny Bench and those guys play, a number of times - which I guess is why the Astros always always lost, come to think of it.

The Astros didn't finally make the playoffs until 1980, but I was in college then and I mostly wasn't paying any attention to what went on in Houston. I did gradually start paying more attention, though, and by the time I moved back to Houston in 1986, the Astros were much improved. So that's when I actually really became a baseball fan. We went to a few games in 1986 - I particularly remember the one the night before the Astros clinched the division, in which Nolan Ryan pitched and struck out 12. The next day Mike Scott threw his no-hitter. Then the Astros proceeded to get eliminated by the Mets, pretty spectacularly. That was the way it always went, for a long time. I've talked to a number of long-time Astros fans who say the same thing - it's just almost inconceivable that they actually won the World Series. Right up until the last out, we all just sat there and waited for the big heartbreak. You can tell yourself all day that this team was different - and clearly it was true, and there was a part of me that really knew that and believed it the whole time, but it still doesn't stop you from believing that something bad is going to happen. When they actually won, both in the NLCS and in the World Series, I wasn't jumping up and down and screaming. I just sat there and literally said, "Oh my god. Oh my god" over and over.

I'm sure this is true of other baseball teams - the Red Sox and the Cubs come to mind. We're not the only team that ever had this problem, I know, but at least the Red Sox and the Cubs had won a World Series in their history, even if that was a long, long time ago. I think there was something especially sort of pathological about the way that Astros fans felt about it. We just waited and waited for the blow to fall, you know? and when it didn't come, we didn't quite know what to do for a while.

(I'll write something else and talk about Altuve and Springer and all that later. This certainly isn't all I have to say on the subject!)
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
2017-04-17 07:59 pm

Baseball, MST3K, Dr Who

It's baseball season! I don't know if people who know me online necessarily know what a big baseball fan I am, because the "peak" of my baseball fandom happened before I even had a computer at home. (I think I inherited my dad's old Compaq in the fall of 1999, that was my first home computer. Little did he know what he was letting loose there.) I used to go to about half of the Astros home games in the last four years they were in the Astrodome; I probably went to about 200 baseball games total between 1996 and 2000. (Often with Rob or with friends, but also often alone.) Once they moved to the "new" park in 2000 it became a much more expensive hobby - I can't imagine any circumstances other than, y'know, winning the lottery under which I would see live baseball that much again. (If I was rich I would buy a townhouse near the ballpark and season tickets.) So I gradually went to fewer and fewer games, but we still watch a lot on TV. That's partly because it's just so much more expensive to go to games now, but it's also just life circumstances. In those years I had a day job and Rob had a night job, so I partly went to the games rather than sit at home alone. In the late 90s you could walk up on game day, especially on weekdays, and usually get a single in the field boxes behind the plate - it was $25, which is what an upper deck seat costs now. (Or if I was feeling broke, the good upper deck seats were only $7.) Rob started out not a baseball fan at all and I would drag him along some of the time, and he would eat his way through the games, pretty much, but he gradually got more interested. (I realized this was happening when he started asking me questions about double-plays and such.) By the time the Astros traded for Randy Johnson in the second half of 1998 he was really into it, too.

I'm partly thinking about baseball because I made a comment on Twitter over the weekend that baseball is one of the few things tying us to an actual TV any more. You can get but it still blacks out home games. We haven't figured out a way around that one yet.

(Rob also watches that goofy channel that shows all-old-TV-all-the-time, but there's bound to be some sort of substitute for that.)

Let's see, we watched a couple of episodes of MST3K, and I think that was the only thing I watched on Netflix over the weekend. MST3K was pretty good. Rob used to watch the old MST3K a lot more than I did, so he said it was taking him a while to adjust to the new robot voices, especially. I thought the skit parts of it hadn't quite jelled, maybe, but the jokes during the bad movies seemed just as funny to me as ever. (The first movie is a 1961 Danish (Danish?!?) monster movie called Reptilicus and it is just the most MST3K movie you can imagine.)

And in the middle of the night last night I watched the new Doctor Who. (U-verse was down all night Saturday night, which is the kind of time when I start thinking about whether we get our money's worth out of old-school television.) I liked "The Pilot" a lot. I liked Bill and I liked Nardole and I liked the Doctor more than I have a lot of the time in recent seasons. (I love Peter Capaldi but I think his doctor is either harder to write for or the scripts have just gone down in quality generally. Or maybe both, but I don't have the sort of DEFINITE OPINIONS on this question that a lot of people do.) This episode managed to be simultaneously very creepy and quite funny. Also, while I pretty much expected to like Pearl Mackie as Bill, I really liked her much more than I thought. And I liked the way Bill was clearly gay without anybody ever having to label her as such. SO refreshing. (Admittedly, that might have been why they announced it quite loudly ahead of time, so not too many people were surprised. I only float around on the edge of Doctor Who fandom, though, so I don't know how much flouncing around about it is going on over there.)

I feel like I'm forgetting something else that I watched that was worth noting. If I remember I'll come back and talk about it later!
mellicious: pink manicure (baseball - holy toledo)
2014-12-03 03:21 pm


I now have "Deep in the Heart of Texas" stuck in my head - see the last entry for why. We used to sing that song in choir when I was a kid and I always hated it. But they play it at Astros games (after "Take Me Out to the Ballgame") and I don't know who the singer is, but it's full-out country with fiddles and such, and uptempo, and I find that version much more tolerable. I think it's because it's so repetitive - it just works better if you do it fast.

Music Advent is really conducive to earworms, anyway - especially if you watch the videos most people are posting. I've been switching from one to another all week.
mellicious: pink manicure (Texans)
2012-12-03 11:26 pm

Local again

(Look! Texans icon! I made it myself!)

More Houston-Galveston stuff, some of which refers to yesterday's entry:
  • Aw man, I knew it was probably coming, but Jim Deshaies is leaving us for the Cubs. I adore that man. (But I'm not sure I adore him enough that I'll go watch Cubs games just for him. Of course, if the Astros are bad enough this next year, that may start to look like a more attractive option.)
  • In other (ex-)Astros news, Brad Lidge is probably retiring. Also, bonus footage there of the Astros clinching in 2005. (Rob and I were watching the faces and in some cases the jerseys during the scrum, and going, "Berkman! Biggio! Clemens!" Damn, that was a good team, even if they couldn't win a WS game.)
  • I had to go to Galveston today for a doctor's appointment, and the other Carnival ship was in today. I got out of my appointment right at 4:30, which I have learned over the past couple of years is about the time that the ships usually depart. You could tell that anyway, because when I got back downtown, half the passengers were lined up looking over the railings. To me this always brings to mind old black-and-white movies where the passengers line up to wave at their loved ones who are waving back from below. But nobody is going to stand around to watch you leave when you're just going sailing around the Gulf of Mexico for five days or whatever it is. Plus most of the passengers arrive on buses or park remotely, so there's nobody to watch, in any case. (I'm sure the passengers aren't really lining up for that at all, they're just watching the ship pull out. Still amuses me just the same.)
  • I said confidently yesterday that the Texans game was taping (by which I actually meant DV-R'ing, of course, but that just doesn't have the same ring to it) so of course when I got home it hadn't worked properly, and I only got the last hour or so. I didn't really care that much, anyway, but I really should probably investigate what happened there. It seems to have switched on at three o'clock or something, and our games are nearly always at noon. Honestly, U-verse, you're supposed to just read my mind! (And often it seems to. I'm terribly spoiled, really.)
  • Also, the Texans have serious injury problems. They coped with it pretty well, yesterday, but that was just the Titans. New England may be another story.
Note to self: 45 minutes is too long of a drive for a routine doctor appointment. (As the university knows full well, it's why they have about a zillion clinics scattered all over the north half of the county.)

(I was going to add a picture of the rather excessive holiday decorations around our apartment complex, but my phone isn't cooperating. Sorry.)
mellicious: Retro Houston Astros logo (Astros - retro)
2004-10-03 02:08 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

Apparently I was wrong the other day when I said the Astros were in first place by a full game. At the time, they weren't. (I still haven't figured out where I got confused about that.) But anyway, it doesn't matter, because they are now. Today is the last day of the season, and if the Astros win, they're in the playoffs!! And right now they are winning 4-0, although it's only the 3rd inning and it's a little early to be gloating. Still, looks like I might just get to use those playoff tickets after all!

I can't think of much else that's interesting to report otherwise. I've actually spent a good bit of my weekend either having sex or talking about sex, which is not a bad thing. But I don't think I want to go into too much detail about either one of those! Other than sex and baseball, I've eaten mexican food and sewed a little and shopped a little and slept quite a lot - and none of that is too terribly fascinating to hear about. (Although I'll probably go write a little bit in the quilt weblog, so if the sewing part interests you, that link is in my profile.)