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« August 2003 | Main | October 2003 »

September 29, 2003

I spent about an hour tonight looking for photographs of the first event I can remember: watching an Eagles football practice at Veteran's Stadium in January 1980. I had just passed my second birthday. Ten months later, the Phillies would win their only World Series here. I would sit in my dad's lap in front of the televsion and cheer for Manny Trillo and Bob Boone and Tug McGraw. This victory, unfortunately, I do not remember.

I remember the brown seats and men in white running around far below us at the Vet. I remember being confused by what was going on. I'm not even sure why we were allowed to watch; no one else was there but my grandmother, aunt, father, and cousin Liam, who had just turned one.

I found one photo from it, but I'm not in it. (When I find the photo I want to find, I'll add it to the post.) In the process of looking I discovered a number of embarrassing pictures of myself, and at some point before I move, I will have to make a History of Beth Photo Extravaganza.

Yesterday was the last time fans would be allowed to enter Veteran's Stadium. My father and I made the treacherous trek from our far-away parking spot through the construction site, skidding down small rocky hills and cutting between thin splits in fences, to make the final walk into the park. (I'm exaggerating, but it's remarkable how inaccessible the stadium became in its last months.)

It's strange to know that the place where my first memory was formed — or at least, the first memory I still remember — is going to implode.

Veteran's Stadium was always ugly, even after they swapped out the fast-food hued brown, orange and yellow seats for royal blue ones. Food selections were laughably limited and expensive. The beer, if you didn't hunt for a stand selling lager, was cold, tasteless water. For many seasons, painted-over lines for the football field were visible in the astroturf during baseball games. The concrete ramps were puddled and oily. The ceiling occasionally dripped. Philadelphians are accustomed to all of these things, to homeliness and imperfection. It fits their teams, and it's lovable. It almost doesn't seem right to build something fresh and modern and nice. But newness will do the city good.

Fittingly, and obviously, memory was yesterday's theme. It isn't about the building, we were told, it's about the the memories. So I sat in the shade of row 322 and remembered, feeling nostalgic for times I hadn't known.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

September 17, 2003
john ritter

When I was four years old, I had a recurring dream in which John Ritter swooped down from the ceiling of my kitchen on a rope and kidnapped me and made me his wife. I suppose I was sort of afraid of and attracted to him at the same time.

Last night my mom got a call from the University of Pittsburgh. I answered and took the phone down to where she sat watching television. "Mom, it's Pitt," I shouted to her from the stairs. As I headed toward her with the phone, she said loudly, "Did you tell them I wasn't here?" Then she saw the phone was in my hand, and we both laughed. She picked it up and told the girl, "You can send me whatever you want, but I'm watching this thing about John Ritter's life and I'm really interested in it and I'd prefer not to be interrupted by your phone call." Then she hung up and we laughed again, hard.

I didn't watch much of the thing about John Ritter's life, though it is weird that he was around my parents' age, and that he's dead, and that I used to dream about him. And it's horribly sad that he died on his daughter's fifth birthday. She'll probably have dreams about him now; hopefully they will be comforting and sweet.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM

September 07, 2003
update from suburbia
  • Living with my parents isn't too bad. My new room is pretty big and comfortable, and I have the world wide web and the internet in my computer all the time!
  • I bought a suit and some grown-up shoes this weekend for when I go on interviews. Man, those things were expensive.
  • I have an interview on Tuesday in New York, but I'm not really interested in the job, so I may cancel. Yes, it would be good to have a practice interview, but I can't afford to go up there just for that experience. Maybe if I hadn't bought that suit...
  • I keep thinking about money. Will I get any of my security deposit back from my apartment? I spent 6 hours cleaning it last Saturday, but I'm not sure if the bathroom paint job was good enough, and my roommate may not have come back to pick up her final things or turn in her keys. I ought at least to get something, though. I'm also worried that my roommate will decide not to pay me the final month's rent and expenses. And then there's the lovely job. As of this Friday, they will owe us 4 paychecks.
  • So, I've been playing with my hair a lot. When I'm nervous or stressed or tired or distracted, I twist my hair. Usually I am one or more of the above. When I'm on vacation, I tend not to play with my hair, but I was definitely twisting in Texas. My boss had promised to deposit some money for me and then didn't, so I ended up with nothing left in my account and a week's worth of vacation to go. (When I returned to work, I was asked to apologize to our accountant for the "tone" of the email I sent to her that politely explained that this was rather upsetting.) Fortunately, the Yeagers were extremely generous and hospitable.
  • Here are more photos than you probably care to see from the trip.

File under DAILY. Posted at 12:00 AM