Monday, August 29, 2005

Something New

I have decided to start a new blog. A niche blog!

I present to you:

Illegal Screen.

This is where I'll put the officiating-related posts that littered this blog last season. For reasons I discuss over there, I've decided they need a home of their own.

It will only be updated sporadically until November, but still, check it out if

1. you're into that kind of thing, or
2. you just can't get enough of the T.R.P.

Something old...

I didn't even notice it, but while I was away in Boston, I passed my one-year blogiversary.

Thanks, y'all, for reading, commenting, linking, and caring. 'Preesh.

Katrina coverage

I woke up early this morning to see if New Orleans was going to get the nightmare scenario that was predicted. It looks like it won't. This, of course, it not good news for the folks in Biloxi. So our attention shifts from my junior high buddy reporting in New Orleans to Jay Gray reporting in Biloxi. The concern! The horror!

The reporter kicks it to Jay:

"Jay Gray is in Biloxi, Mississippi right now. Jay, I hear you're having a hard time with your hat."

Yes. In the face of massive personal and property damage, she really said that.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I can adjust my positions...

Last May, I became upset when Mike Malloy called Pat Robertson a potential Jesus-murderer. I said he can't go name-calling without evidence.

Since then, Robertson has actually lived down to Malloy's rhetoric.

I stand by the gist of my point from May...that what I heard of Malloy that day exemplifies all that is wrong in our discourse.

But damn if he didn't turn out to be eerily prescient on that point. I realized that today, and as I believe it is a strength to point out when you've been proven off-base, I'm bringing it up again today.

On the issue of would Pat Robertson would be able to murder Jesus if he came back today...

I was wrong. Joe was right.

What our debate should be.

Anybody catch Jon Stewart interviewing Christopher Hitchens the other night? You can look at it here.

Dammit, this is what debate should be in this country. Intense, respectful, unscripted, thoughtful. No political candidate of either party has done anything of this quality in my lifetime. Talking points and sound bites have ruined us. Posturing has ruined us. This didn't feel like people taking a side because it was their scripted side (a la news talk programs)...Hitchens was hardly pro-Bush, and Stewart gave in on several points. It was two smart people, passionate believers, going toe-to-toe, actually listening to each other but giving no quarter for BS.

I'd like more of this. Our political discussions look too much like sports talk in a bar. "You suck!...No, you suck!" More of this would improve our country.

I won't hold my breath.

There is excitement in my life...

Last night, I actually saw a good Mariner game. They lost, as they do in my presence, but Felix Hernandez pitched. He was spot-on, except some dude I've never heard of named Brian Anderson hit two homers off of him. The M's clawed back to tie the score and prevent Felix from losing, but then lost it in the 12th inning.

That was fun. Wednesday will be more fun.

I may be watching Felix pitch for the next 20 years (if the M's can keep him, if he doesn't leave for Boston or New York...). And he's AMAZING. My second time seeing him will be Wednesday night.

Why?

Because he's facing my favorite pitcher of all time.

Randy Johnson.

42-year-old Randy Johnson against 19-year-old Felix Hernandez. My favorite pitcher of the '90s and '00s against the early favorite to be my favorite pitcher of the '10s and possibly '20s.

A span of maybe 35 years of amazing pitching coming together for this one moment.

And I'll be there with my nephew.

I'm totally blown away at this confluence of events.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Milk and baseball part two

Throwing up milk: it's not just for the minor leagues anymore.

A Florida Marlin batboy has been suspended for drinking a gallon of milk on a dare, then throwing up.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Boston Observation

We visited the Irish Potato Famine Memorial. It is a stirring sculpture just off the freedom trail. Half of it consists of starving, gaunt, half-naked people, screaming and desperate. I assume this was to represent the Irish before coming to America. The other half is a few feet away, and consists of well-dressed, calm-looking, healthy people. I assume this represents the Irish after emigrating to America...as historically inaccurate as this might be.

Here's a look at that sculpture:



Here's what was disturbing. The Irish Potato Famine Memorial looked to be a popular outdoor spot for the good people and tourists of Boston to eat their lunches.

The diners only ate on the post-emigration side of the sculpture. It could be out of some microscopic trace of respect...or it could be because there was a band busking and selling CDs behind the starving pre-emigration side.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Off to Boston

for a wedding, where I'll get mondo opportunities to say: "This is my...[pause, adjust]...wife, Swankette."

Boston is my favorite Eastern city. And this will be my fifth visit to Massachusetts, which will enable me to promote it on The Big State Matrix.

Hang loose. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Mariner Fever! Catch it!

The M's sometime Designated "Hitter [sic]" Scott Spiezio is doing something very exciting these days. His current average of .043 (that's 2-for-46) would hold up for the lowest non-zero batting average for any position player IN HISTORY. Seriously...check it out here.

Yesterday, every Mariner was smacking around the Royals. Spiezio got up with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and an 11-1 lead...and grounded into a double play on the first pitch.

I'm with Derek Zumsteg, the author of the article. I want Spiezio in there...curious to see how low this can get. He's not likely to reach Charlie McCullough's or Dean Chance's mark for pitchers, but I'd love to see how low this number can get.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Even though it's free, I feel so dirty taking them

There's an afternoon Mariner game, in which the Kansas City Royals will try to end their 17-game losing streak. Yucky Mariners. Historically yucky Royals.

My baby calls and says one of her co-workers has two free tickets to the game.

I can't find anyone who can make it with me on such short notice. Still, I'm gonna go.

These are two horrible teams, but if the Mariners can sneak by Kansas City today and get the sweep, their next three games are in Oakland and the three after that at home against Boston. This may be the Royals' best chance to avoid the record of 21 straight losses. It's a good historic moment in kind of a sick way.

Plus, seeing Kansas City at a historically bad time is a good way to test if I am, in fact, the cause of the M's losses in my presence. If KC breaks its streak today, it's officially because of me.

For the record, I would NOT be going to this game if it weren't free.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Let's see if there's a God after all.

If he stays on track, 19-year-old stud, phenom, walking-on-water-dude Felix "The Only Worthwhile Thing About M's Baseball" Hernandez will pitch in Minnesota this Saturday, then next Friday the 26th at home against Chicago, then on Wednesday the 31st at home against the Yankees.

My 16-game M's plan happens to have tickets for both of those games.

Suddenly, I'm feeling pretty good about my baseball investment. (Unless gets the flu and gets knocked back a day or two. That'd SUCK.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Gotta love the minors.

Three grounds crew members engaged in a sponsored competition between innings at today's Everett AquaSox game to see who was the manliest man.

Contestant A was to attempt to drink a gallon of milk in two minutes.

Contestant B had to eat as many hot dogs as he could in ninety seconds.

Contestant C had to wow us by dancing to the Presidents of the USA's "Peaches."

At the end of the allotted time (staggered so everyone ended simultaneously):

Contestant C had done very little to impress. Quoth my wife: "That's not dancing. It's more like walking."

Contestant B was on hot dog #3.

Contestant A had gotten about halfway through his gallon of milk, and was violently puking it into a bucket.

The winner (by applause) for the manliest of the three: Contestant A.

Remember, kids: puking frothy white stuff in public is masculine.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Nadir

I am tired of depressing, despiriting baseball. Every time I go to Safeco Field, yuck. It's not just that I'm a statistially significant impact in causing the Mariners to lose this year. It's that they're losing in a terrible, boring, life-denying way. They're like this Icelandic movie a woman took me to on a first date once--no real purpose, and then at the end you just want to slash your wrists and do a favor to a few strangers by taking them with you.

And yesterday's game was the worst of them all. Evidence:

--The starting pitcher gave up 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings.
--The starting pitcher had just returned from a suspension for steroids.
--Four hits, one run for the Mariners.
--The only run came on an Ichiro Suzuki home run.
--That home run should not have been a home run...it bounced off Vladimir Guerrero's glove and over the wall. We'd have been shut out were it not for that gift.
--The Stupid Name Angels of Anaheim scored five runs in the fifth inning. Two of those were helped along by outfielder errors.
--When the M's are down by even one run, it's like the whole game is over. There's no energy in the crowd at all, and I can't blame them.
--Our third-base coach is out for the season with a knee injury. That's third-base coach. How he hurt himself I'll never know...there are never any runners to wave home.
--Our designated hitter is now hitting .047. That's the lowest non-zero batting average I can remember seeing in my life. I challenge anyone to come up with a non-pitcher with a lower batting average in history.
--In case you missed it, that's our DESIGNATED HITTER.
--Even when the M's lost, it used to be that Safeco had some energy and excitment about it. Now it has all the energy and excitement of a spelling pre-test.
--On the post-mortem (oops, I mean post-game show), two different callers called to say the afternoon--a gorgeous day--was a "waste of $200. I'm not taking my family back there." That's on the flagship station, for goodness sakes!
--After the game, I actually uttered this sentence: "Well, I only have to sit through three more of these damn things this year."
--I might switch one or two of the remaining games to be sure I can catch Felix Hernandez pitching. He's the only thing worth watching anymore.

Today, my wife and I are headed up to Everett for a short-season single-A game.

Thank God! Maybe we can catch some quality baseball.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Speaking very generally...

What if...

You are a member in a group, club, or occupation which includes an elected or voluntary subset...let's call them a "cabal"...who can make decisions that impact you.

This group deals with you in a way you don't like. They make a decision you passionately disagree with, and later, you find out that they didn't give you the cabal's true reasoning for that decision.

OPTION A: Dammit, I'm gonna join the cabal! They need the change!
OPTION B: Screw 'em! I can continue to enjoy this group, club, or occupation even if I don't like the decisions of the cabal. I've got other ways to spend my time.

Which do you choose?

Frustrating...

I've almost fully decided the world needs an officiating blog. A Google search on "officiating blog" reveals about a million billion sports blogs, all of whom are insisting officials suck. And I'd like to use the blog as a game log/journal, to keep myself working forward and to recall what I'm doing well and what needs improvement. This morning, I felt particularly motivated and thought of trying to contact NASO to get football, baseball, softball, and soccer refs to join me. I don't want pros...just regular folk working high school ball like me who are good writers and might be able to answer a question or two. But I might not do that...I might just do it on my own.

Here's the frustration. Here on blogspot, refblog, referee, stripes, zebra, zebrablog, are all taken. Now, it's not that they're taken that bugs me. It's that they're taken by people who have done a maximum of two posts and stopped two years ago or more.

Can I have a crack at it?

By the way: threeblindmice.blogspot.com is available. (I'll pass.)

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My favorite word to sing

I love singing the word "crying" when it comes up in songs.

In Jules Shear's "If She Knew What She Wants," there's a wonderful stretch where he sings:

But one day she says she's fine and
The next I'll find her cryin'
And it's nothing she can explain


When I sing this, I give the word "crying" just a tiny little bump--it's a turning point there. And the word provides me with that hard "k" sound to kick just a little bit...and the "r" sound to ease us out so the subsequent "ah" vowel isn't too violent or jarring.

Less good, but still wonderful, is "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling":

It makes me just feel like crying
'Cos baby, something beautiful's dying


I usually extend the word just a hair beyond what the singers do, playing with the dipthong. (Wait, isn't it a tripthong? ah-ee-ih??? or a quadrithong??? ah-ee-ih-ee???) This stretching teases the listener (okay, so there usually isn't a listener) who might think the word is ending. Am I weird because I prefer the Hall and Oates version of this song to the Righteous Brothers'?

Let's not forget "Crying in the Rain." I prefer the Everly Brothers' version. On the line

I'll do my cryin' in the raaaain...

I cut off the word "my" just a hair to get a good, hard "k" sound, and bump up the dynamic on "crying" just a touch. It's not exactly subtle, but those of you who have heard me sing know that...um...if I can be less subtle and pull it off, to hell with subtlety.

Amazingly, I don't like singing Roy Orbison's "Crying." The whole song, I'm just worried whether I can hit the higher octave in the final chorus. And...well...I usually can't. Hard to hit a hard note that starts with "K"...although this tenor would likely fall short regardless of the starting sound.

I can't even think what word is in second. "Crying." It's easily the best.

Wild Card Fever!

The headline: "A's defeat Angels; AL West All Even"

There's no reason to GIVE A SHIT about the tied division because BOTH TEAMS ARE IN A STRONG POSITION TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS ANYWAY.

So the four game A's/Angels series in late September that should be two excellent teams duking it out for the championship? No excitement possible. It'll be two teams trying to set up pitching rotations, etc.

It is now literally impossible to have two great teams duking it out for one playoff spot.

Instead, we'll have either two mediocre-or-worse teams trying to suck less (like this year's NL West) or several sort-of-good teams in a clusterfuck for a playoff spot--teams that have faced different schedules, and are therefore not comparing apples to apples with their records.

The wild card sucks.

Something I want to do that I haven't yet...

Last week, pankleb announced that he'd caught a foul ball at a Portland Beavers' game.

Last night, my brother got one at the very exciting (!) Mariners' game. (Felix Hernandez is a STUD!!!).

My response: bitter, angry jealousy.

I've been to 200-plus major and minor-league games and haven't yet gotten a foul ball. I dropped one in Batavia, New York last year...in and out of my glove...and was mercilessly booed. The player who retrieved it gave it to the guy next to me.

In the ninth inning of a 2000 Mariner blowout in April, I moved to the front row. I was all alone there for a while until lame-o college-aged drunks moved down next to me. Within minutes, the guy next to me leaned over the railing to get a foul. If they'd been calling a taxi, I'd have had it.

I'm damn sick of waiting. It's time for me to get a foul ball.

It's the sports version of The Onion.

So you just have to visit The Brushback.

Some highlights:

"Sheepish Terrell Owens Returns for his Car Keys"
"Native American Nickname Ban Totally Makes Up for Genocide"

and this wonderful story:

Marino Rips Teammates, Family In Hall Of Fame Speech
MIAMI --Former Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino used his hall of fame enshrinement speech to viciously rip his friends and family on Sunday. As the audience watched in horror, Marino berated his wife and son, and called his teammates “useless.”
“I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I hate everyone I’ve ever played with,” Marino said during his speech Sunday. “It’s been a nightmare having to carry all of you for my entire career. I hope you appreciate it. And to my family, thank you soooo much for supporting me. You really did a great job of spending my money while I risked my life on the football field. Thanks for nothing. God, how did I become a hall of famer surrounded by such a sorry bunch of losers?”


Thanks to pankleb for calling my attention to this.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Update

Just as I was writing the previous post, KNBR fired Larry Krueger.

(The rest of this post will make more sense if you read my previous post first.)

It looks like they fired him after other KNBR sports-talk DJs played some of Felipe Alou's appearance on ESPN's Outside The Lines, specifically the part where Alou called Krueger a "messenger of Satan." KNBR's dimwitted sports-talk guys yukked it up by juxtaposing that sound bite with bits of South Park that referred to Satan. That was the final straw.

I do find Krueger's remarks inaccurate and distasteful. But I think Satan can and would send far, far worse messages than the inaccurate suggestion that Latin ballplayers swing at too many balls out of the strike zone. Krueger was misguided and incorrect; not Satanic and evil.

I'm disappointed that Krueger was fired. If people get fired for saying stupid, inaccurate things about race, than nobody will ever talk about race at all, and we as a society will stop making progress on these issues. How do I know this? Because until tonight, I bought into the stereotype of the free-swinging Latino ballplayer. I didn't know Latino ballplayers were actually better at plate discipline until I looked it up a couple hours ago. I never would have looked it up if Krueger hadn't said his stupid statement and started this whole controversy. I've learned something because of what he said.

Unfortunately, it appears we live in a country where we can no longer say anything at all about race. Case in point: on KNBR's audio download of Krueger's rant, the word "Caribbean" has been edited out. The station's reasoning (and this is an exact quote): "It was offensive and we took it out."

The word "Caribbean" is offensive? The word???

A similar thing happened in Denver a few years back, when my childhood hero Dan Issel fell from grace.

Issel was the Denver Nuggets' center when I was a kid, and is now a Hall of Famer. I got his autograph three times. He was rightly suspended (and then, I think thankfully for the team, quit in humiliation) after saying to a heckling fan: "Have another beer, you Mexican piece of..."

TV stations deleted the word that followed from videotapes of Issel's awful verbal attack. That's not surprising. But they also deleted the word "Mexican," which I find quite silly.

Issel's entrenched message, that "Mexican" is an epithet, was deplorable. His further stereotyping, that Mexicans drink a lot of beer, was also terrible, and I'm glad he didn't coach again after saying that. (But I refuse to judge Dan Issel the man based on his worst moment, just as I don't want people judging me on my worst moment. Those without sin can cast stones. Remember that, fellow liberals.)

But how can we have any of our much-needed discussions about race if we can't even use the words "Caribbean" or "Mexican" on TV? If we can't even quote these words' misuse, and then teach and learn from it, and even rebuke the speaker?

Who can be courageous enough to talk about race when "Mexican" and "Caribbean" have, in some contexts, quite literally become dirty words?

Fight offensive speech--even racial speech like Krueger's, even racist speech like Issel's--with speech, friends. Not with muzzles.

I attempt to wade through the SF sports-talk flap

I've been thinking about the furor over San Francisco sports-talk radio host Larry Krueger's comments and manager Felipe Alou (and other people's) reaction to it.

In order to discuss this properly, we need to look at the quote. Here are the relevant parts of Krueger's rant about the subpar play of the San Francisco Giants, taken from the ESPN article:

"I just cannot watch this brand of baseball any longer," Krueger said. "A truly awful, pathetic, old team that only promises to be worse two years from now. It's just awful. It really is bad to watch. Brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly." Later, he said, "You have a manager in Felipe [Alou] whose mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."

The row focuses on the word "Caribbean." Alou has stated he will not accept the apology Krueger has offered; in effect, he's calling this an unforgivable sin.

Let's back up a second.

Latino ballplayers have had a reputation for being free-swingers. The saying is "you can't walk off the island": i.e., a scout won't notice you drawing a walk and invite you to the US to play ball, so a Latin player had better swing away to impress the scouts. Ergo, the stereotype has grown that Latino ballplayers have poor plate discipline. Krueger has apparently bought into that stereotype. But is the stereotype true? And how can I find out at 12:30 AM using my internet connection?

This 1998 Rob Neyer article was a start. It was most helpful in providing a reminder that the word "Latino" can't be used as a racial term, so I, like Neyer, will define "Latino" as "born in South America, Central America, Mexico, or the Caribbean." This isn't a perfect definition, of course: to use one of Neyer's examples, Edgar Martinez would not be considered "Latino" since he was born in New York before growing up in Puerto Rico. But it's the best I can do under these circumstances.

So how do we investigate the stereotype?

I decided to limit myself to active players. I went with the assumption that a finicky player would walk a lot, so I looked at the active leaders in career walks. Nine of the top 30 were Latino. While I don't currently have a breakdown of where active players are born, 30% feels like it would fall within a standard deviation of the mean when compared to all current Latino ballplayers.

But active leaders in career walks doesn't feel like an accurate measuring stick. I mean, Julio Franco is on the list just by virtue of being nearly 50 years old, and Sammy Sosa strikes out so often that he can hardly be considered a master of plate discipline. Indeed, 6 of the 9 Latino players on the list for most active career walks also appear on the list of most active career strikeouts (which, incidentally, has 8 of the 30 Latino...again, surely within a standard deviation of the mean).

So I looked at active leaders in at-bats per strikeout. Since this is a ratio, it won't reward longevity, and is probably the best measure of plate discipline I'm going to find on the internet without too much effort. The results there: 13 of the top 30 are Latin-born. Again, it's not perfect...it could just be that these are free-swingers who are good at fouling a lot of pitches off. But notoriously-selective Scott Hatteberg is on the list (at #29), so I'm fine using this to reach the tentative conclusion that Latino ballplayers are not free-swingers. The stereotype does not hold true. If anything, the fact that nearly half of the active leaders in being tough to strike out were born in Latin America shows that the opposite is true.

Further, let's take a look at the swinging-at-slop crew Krueger is complaining about. Here is a list of the San Francisco Giants who have struck out the most this season as of this writing:

1. Pedro Feliz. Born in Azua, Dominican Republic.
2. Mike Matheny. Born in Reynoldsburg, Ohio.
3. Jason Ellison. Born in Quincy, California.
4. Michael Tucker. Born in South Boston, Virginia.
5. J. T. Snow. Born in Long Beach, California.

Krueger, then, when he used the word "Caribbean," was advancing a stereotype that simply isn't accurate. (Perhaps he misspoke and meant to say "Californian.")

But still, I think the rhetoric from the other side is starting to get out of control.

Omar Vizquel, who I feel is a class act, compared Krueger's comments to John Rocker's 1999 Sports Illustrated interview.

Easy, Omar.

John Rocker attacked almost everyone in the world in his Sports Illustrated interview. It was one of the most offensive things I've ever read. He attacked "foreigners" simply for speaking foreign tongues, and talked about sharing the 7 train with "queers with AIDS," purple-haired kids, and "20-year-old mothers with four kids." He suggested that all of New York was like that. In short, Rocker's words were hateful beyond any belief or explanation.

Krueger's crime, stating that Caribbean ballplayers have poor plate discipline, certainly looks tame by comparison.

Which brings me to Felipe Alou.

Alou has publicly stated that he refuses to accept the apology Krueger has offered him for his statements.

I certainly can understand Alou's anger and mistrust. I can hardly lecture Alou, who had to endure segregated Southern minor-league towns of the 1950s, on racism.

But I would ask him to compare Krueger's sins to those faced by his contemporary, Roberto Clemente.

Reporters ridiculed Clemente. They refused to call him Roberto for years, substituting the Americanized "Bobby." When reporters quoted him, they would write his words phonetically (stuff like "I heet the boll"), ridiculing him for speaking his second language with an accent. This goes beyond stereotyping. It's simply cruelty.

So when Alou suggests that racism is coming back, I just don't buy it. Krueger's comments were distasteful, but not awful. The fact that he immediately offered an apology is a sign of progress...the media sure never offered to apologize to Clemente.

But apologies can only bring us forward if they are accepted.

Alou's seen and taken a lot of racist crap in his years, and I respect that. Nonetheless, shaking Krueger's hand, accepting his apology, and getting some dialogue going to combat those stereotypes, in the tradition of Harry Edwards' reinstatement of Al Campanis, will be better for baseball and for American race relations.

We've gone from the media's relentless abuse of Clemente to "Caribbeans don't have plate discipline" in 40 years. That's cause for celebration, not sadness.

Imagine where we'll be in another 40 years.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I love ESPN Classic.

They're showing the Cubs and Mets from August 9, 1988...the first night game at Wrigley Field. (They started the first night game on 8/8/88, but an angry and vengeful God rained it out to make a point.)

It's the top of the seventh inning. Wally Backman is at the plate. He grounds deep to the hole at shortstop. Shawon Dunston makes a hell of a good stop, and Mark Grace makes a nice play to gather in a high throw and get to the bag to get Backman. Joe Garagiola says this:

"That's why the Cubs are on the right track, man. It's not going to be too much longer. Young ballplayers who can make the plays!"

How'd that turn out?

Monday, August 08, 2005

Hawaii

LOVED it. Will go back.

Some observations:

--If I lived in Kauai...man, if I didn't have family and friends here on the mainland, it'd be wonderful. I'd teach English at Waimea High School and kayak around to the Napali Coast, and hike frequently from Waimea Canyon. Sweetie and I would eat regularly at the Waimea Brewpub ("The Westernmost Brewpub In the World"); delicious food, terrible service, but still a cool place to have open-air fish, nachos, whatever.

--I LOVE eating in the open air.

--We were extravagant...the best restaurants, money-is-no-object tours, etc. How the hell else can you honeymoon?

--When we're out for dinner or whatever, and people find out we're honeymooning, they tended to tell us the same joke: "And you got out of your hotel room? Yuk, yuk...")

--When you're flying to Hawaii on Hawaiian Air, they show Hawaii-related pieces on the movie screens, they say, "to start your Hawaii experience right away." It feels good...nudging my baby and saying "Hey, we oughta try that!," or just watching the beaches without the headphones in, thinking "Just a few more hours, and I'll be there."

--However, for reasons I don't understand, on the way home, they show all that too. They say it's "to give you one last taste of the islands." I view it as taunting. I mean, Swankette had to be at work 9 hours after we landed...isn't it a bit mean to show the paradise we're leaving?

--When we landed in Seattle, the Hawaiian Air person said this over the PA: "Welcome to Seattle! Hawaii starts here!" My response: what? I love Seattle and all, and the weather is gorgeous...80 degrees and sunny, a typically gorgeous Pacific Northwest summer...but lady, either you're continuing the taunting, or you think I'm stupid. I can tell the difference between Kauai and SeaTac.

--Wanna know about the wedding? Then go to the wedding blog. We'll post a few more times there before we put it to bed.