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Last night, two days after her eleventh birthday, Reese and her pal Sammie and their moms hit the Taylor Swift concert at Century Link Field.  Mercifully I was not there, but I enjoy the photos:

 

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Last night Reese, Finn and I joined several of Reese’s Seattle Spice teammates for a night out at Safeco Field.  The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the Mariners 5-0 in the M’s first home game without Ichiro.  It was a historic night, too: future first ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols picked up his 3,000th hit.

A few photos:

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One of the most memorable nights out of 2017 was our trip down Montlake to watch a Huskies softball practice.

Last night we did it again.  Not the same — it was a game and our group was much larger — but it was every bit the fun.

Our collection of Laurelhurst Lionettes arrived at the stadium about forty minutes early to watch practice from our infield seats.  That turned out to be fortuitous.  The crowd was so scant that the Husky marketing crew picked Reese and her teammates McKenna Couch and Sadie Howard to be the Foul Ball Crew.  They also randomly picked Finn to be the Guest Junior Announcer.

Finn did an excellent job as Vin Scully in his PA debut (he mucked up one name, but I digress).  The Huskies won 2-1 (more) on an eighth inning home run by Julia DePonte.  It came none too soon.  It was freezing cold, and had the game gone on any longer I suspect we would have left.

Afterwards our crew of sixteen hit UVillage for dinner.  Half our crew dined at The Ram.  The rest of us bared the hour wait and repeated last year’s trip to Din Tai Fung.

All and all a fantastic night out.

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On Thursday night they saw The Nutcracker.  Tonight Reese and Rhonda saw violinist extraordinaire Lindsey Stirling.  I understand it was a fantastic time.

 

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This morning the family and I ventured south to Seward Park for the kids’ third Seafair Kids Triathlon.

It was a memorable morning, but not necessarily for the best reasons.

Things got off on the wrong foot.  No sooner had we parked at Seward Park than I realized I had forgotten the kids’ bike helmets.  I raced back to Laurelhurst, found the helmets and raced back.  I got there just in the knick of time and I didn’t have the presence of mind to inspect the kids’ transition areas.

Big problem.

The kids left the water just fine.  Finn was in roughly 7th place and Reese was a few spots behind him.  But things went downhill from there — for Reese.  While Finn had a fairly slow transition, he recovered to finish 10th overall out of 99 and no. 1 among eight- and under competitors.

For Reese it was quite another story.  First she couldn’t get her shoes on properly — my mistake for not opening them wide enough to slip in.  Worse, though, was her bike.  It turns out when they laid it down they twisted the front wheel, and no one — including me — noticed.  That caused the brakes to lock, which made the bike barely rideable.   So unrideable was it that Reese went from middle of the pack after the transition (slow because of the shoes) to dead last in the entire field — by about fifteen minutes.  I was very proud of her for doing the 1/2 run in tears — quite a showing of resolve.

Lesson learned: failing to prepare is preparing to fail.  I should have packed the kids’ gear yesterday.  Had I have done so, I would likely not have forgotten the helmets, and had I not forgotten the helmets, I would have had time to properly set up their transition areas.  Instead I played golf.

Reese’s resulting disaster is on my hands.  I put golf over the kids’ preparation.

It will not happen again.

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As far as weekends at the ballparks go, this one was pretty good.

On Thursday I met Taran Alvelo, the Huskies’ star softball pitcher, at Evergreens in UVillage.  After a brief chat she gave me three of her tickets for Friday night’s game against Montana in the NCAA Regionals.

On Friday the kids and I went to the game.  The Huskies won 8-0 and Taran threw a no-hitter.

We sat in the second row, right above the Huskies’ dugout:

A view from our seats, courtesy of Husky pitcher Taran Alvelo.

On Sunday, Reese and I went to the Mariners-White Sox game at Safeco Field.  The result wasn’t quite as good — after losing 16-1 the day before, the M’s lost 8-1 today — but the seats were every bit as good — second row, right behind the home team dugout:

A view from our seats at The Safe.

 

For a baseball/softball fan, life could be a lot worse.

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Last night was one of those nights that was just — well, cool.

On Monday morning I received an email about some sort of open Husky softball practice around of this weekend’s NCAA regionals.  It included a t-shirt giveaway.  Sounded pretty cool, Reese can always use a free t-shirt, so I sent out an email to the Models parents and by yesterday afternoon I had five players and my assistant coach, HT, committed to join us.

A signature pyramid attempt before practice began. (Clockwise from the top: Maddie, Emerson, Gracie, Emily, Sammie and Reese.)

We headed to the softball stadium in the early evening.   I was expecting to see fans by the hundreds.  To my surprise and dismay, there weren’t any more than a dozen more.  (I’ll leave my rant about the short shrift women’s sports get for another post.)  Because of this, our access was front row — literally.  When the Huskies concluded their stretching routine inside Dempsey Indoor — a routine we copied (I’m still sore) — they invited the girls over for some high fives and gave them a cheer.

In the middle of those Huskies are our Models, including Reese.

It got better from there.

The Huskies then moved over to the softball stadium.  We joined — and literally sat in the front row.  Like fifteen feet from the players, if the crow flew through the net.  And as we were pretty much the only ones in the building, we weren’t unnoticed.  Perhaps most noticed was Finn’s Panther teammate Isaac Couch.  At one point he was dancing in the outfield bleachers, and shaking her groove thing with him from a distance was none other than Husky 3B Taylor Van Zee.

World class athletes, all.

It gets even better.

After a few hours of watching practice, we decided to call it a night.  It turned out that in the course of their evening shenanigans, all the girls got balls.

All but one.

Emily.

We started to walk home on that back east road, near the lake.  Everyone was happy as clams but there was a tinge of melancholy because one of our Models hadn’t collected a ball.

The Models with their souvenirs.

For some reason Reese looked back south.  Just then — and I am not making this up — someone at Husky batting practice laced one clear out of the stadium.  “Look!” she yelled.  The ball was headed for its permanent resting place in Lake Washington, took a huge hop — and hit the guard rail between the road and the lake.  It bounced back in and stopped in the road. Reese chased it down and VOILE! — Emily had her ball.
We continued our walk back, with me and HT commenting on what had just happened.  “Dude, that was WEIRD!” was the general gist of it.
Reese opined “that was karma.”
She was right.
Either Emily had something good coming to her from the universe, or the Huskies have something good coming to them (NCAA championship?) or a little of both.  But it was a pretty darn cool moment and one I won’t soon forget.

Post-practice we did dinner at Din Tai Fung — and got out of there for $90.

The girls were so wound up from their experience that they refused to go home.  We ended up eating dinner at Din Tai Fung, where we escaped for $90, and then grabbed a quick dessert at Menchies.
Home by 10:30, on a school night.
Pretty sure a few of the Models were tired at school today.
I’m certain of this because from all the texts I received from parents, their Models couldn’t stop talking about what a great night they had.
They weren’t the only ones.

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