Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Obama at the All-Star Game

Reports came out today announcing that President Obama would be throwing out the first pitch at the 2009 All-Star Game in St. Louis, MO. The President will be the fourth president to have the honor, joining John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford in the baseball history books.

I am also scheduled to be at the 2009 All-Star Game. The St. Louis Cardinals who are serving as this year's hosts for the Mid Summer Classic mistakenly forgot to invite me to sing the National Anthem. So I will be sitting in my seats in the bleachers. If I can get in the door...

I have been in this very place once before, my friends. The excitement of a new day had been building for quite some time. A St. Louis Cardinals opening day, in fact... I had placed my ticket under my keys by the door the night before, ironed my shiny white jersey with the birds on the bat across the front and barely slept a wink in anticipation for said day. FINALLY! The sun rose and the hours passed and, along with my bleacher buddies, I hurried to the stadium... TO WAIT IN LINE. For three hours.

You see, it was 2004 and now, former President George W. Bush tossed out the ceremonial first pitch for the St. Louis Cardinals home opener. It was a security nightmare. The snipers on the roof were fascinating but the lines to get inside were ridiculous. I don't remember when I actually got to my seat but I can tell you that I never saw that first pitch and I certainly didn't hear the National Anthem.

St. Louis Cardinal history is filled with Hall of Famers who are worthy of the first pitch honor. Why not give it to one of them? Why not Lou Brock who was an all star himself 6 times or Bob Gibson, the 8-time all star? How about Red Schoendist, the 10-time all star or Ozzie Smith who was selected for 15 all star teams? There are plenty of other viable options for the duty. And they are options that will not require the city to turn upside down completely in the name of safety and security.

The last time St. Louis hosted the All Star Game was 1966. It was reportedly 105 degrees that day and spectators were passing out in the stands. The game went 10 innings and the National League won, 2-1. Brooks Robinson was the MVP. I have no idea who threw out the first pitch.

Monday, June 22, 2009


A man with integrity is a man who is incorruptible. He is a man who does the right thing simply because it is the right thing and not because he will gain from it.

A man with integrity is an honest man. He is a man who lives by a valiant set of values or rules without wavering.

A man with integrity stands up for the truth and those that represent it even in the moments when it may not benefit him.

And I believe a man with integrity is often a generous and considerate and caring man. For these things go hand in hand.

When a man lacks integrity in any part of his life, the fallout spills over into every nook and cranny. The outcome effects not only him but also his family, his friends, and the people who surround him on a daily basis.

Eudora Welty, a short story writer, once said, "Integrity can be neither lost nor concealed nor faked nor quenched nor artificially come by nor outlived, nor, I believe, in the long run, denied." I believe what she means by this is that integrity is something that comes from within and while it may not be recognized immediately, the actions of a man who possesses it will be recognized eventually. And she makes it seem like integrity is a rare find. I might agree with that.

Some days, it may not seem worth the risk, to act with integrity. As a people, we are far more concerned with advancement and success, with money and material items, and with fame and notoriety than we are with being truthful and honest and doing the right things.

Integrity is the little voice in your head, the angel on your shoulder, the feeling in your gut that lets you know you're on track. It's a knowing deep inside of you.

Alan Simpson once said, "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don't have integrity, nothing else matters."

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tavern on the Green

Recently, I was notified that one of my photos of Tavern on the Green had been chosen for the New York guide by schmap.com. Here is the photo and the link to schmap.com!


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Repost: "You Mustn't Mess Me About..."

This was originally written and posted in October of 2005. I am reposting it for three reasons. One, I don't have the energy right now to think up another witty but impactful blog. Two, this will sadly always be relevant. And three, until men stop thinking it's funny to pick on the fat girl or to make a joke of her, I will stand up, fight back and, dammit, I'll be heard.

Being a big girl isn't easy. Any big girl can tell you that. Usually you don't come to the realization of your bigness on your own. Someone else or maybe a group of others helps you along. And for many girls of the FAT persuasion, that reality is soon followed by a diligent effort to build up a fort of trustlessness. Walls designed to keep out the evil fat-girl-haters and that can only be penetrated by a handful of family members or friends who love you EVEN THOUGH.

34 years into my big fat life, comments about my size still hurt my feelings. Even implications that I am large is a pretty big blow. Recently, I got into an argument with a guy because he said, "You could probably kick my ass." I lost it. Why would he say something like that? Perhaps he said it because he could see the muscles in my arms bulging through my shirt or because I appear to be athletic and agile. No, no... He said it because I am a big girl and as you know ALL big girls can kick ass... Right?

In another recent incident, a co-worker of mine commented that I "look better when [I] wear [my] clothes looser." As opposed to when they are just too damn tight? I am sure she had the best of intentions. She just wanted me to know I looked nice that day... Right?

Dispelling common beliefs about big girls could be a lifelong campaign. And I don't know that I'll ever reach enough people to [make waging that war worth it.] But right here, in my small corner of the world, I will say this: Having more of one thing doesn't mean you have less of anything else. The extra weight has not taken the place of feelings and sensitivities. And contrary to what you may have heard, the added pounds are not accompanied by thicker skin.

Although for years we big girls have laughed it off, looked the other way, pretended like it doesn't really matter... It is not funny. We look the other way because it's too painful to listen. And yes, it REALLY DOES matter.

I think Bennie in the movie CIRCLE OF FRIENDS said it best when she said, "You mustn't mess me about. I know I may look like a rhinoceros but I've got quite a thin skin really."