Friday, April 17, 2009

Baseball and Multi-colored Fun

Well.... the baseball season is now in full swing, giving me the opportunity to enjoy three of my favorite pastimes at the same time. I love to watch the Red Sox, followed closely by the Orioles (I grew up in Baltimore). I truly enjoy doing various kinds of needlework, and always have two or three projects going at any one time. And as has become obvious, I am never far from a book. During baseball season I can do all three at once, and really feel like I'm accomplishing something. Before he died, my dad was famous for cross-stitching and watching 3 different TVs (3 different stations) at the same time--must be genetic.

While the game is on, I won't try any really intricate stitching that requires a lot of counting, but most pieces have large sections that are just 'fill-ins'. Right now I'm filling in the sky on a harbor scene I've been working on for more than a year. Last night while I watched the Orioles go down to ignominious defeat (I gave up when the score reached 17-4), I was able to stitch, and listen to a great semi-cozy mystery by Earlene Fowler called Delectable Mountains.

I only put them all down when my mom calls to 'watch' the ball games with me. At 84, she is a bigger baseball nut than any of us, and can quote statistics, tell you where new players were last year, give the entire schedule for the upcoming month, and generally make up great non-cuss words to express her displeasure when her O's go down the -----er. (her quote not mine) So we 'watch' at least 3 or 4 innings together on the phone almost every evening.

However, it becomes quite brain taxing (and here I have difficulty multi-tasking) if she is watching the Orioles and I'm watching the Red Sox --particularly if they're not playing each other!--with two games to keep track of, and Mom's comments on life in general--and the neighbors and relatives in particular-- I find it almost impossible to sew, and obviously since I only have one set of ears, audio books are out of the question at that point.

Listening to audio books has become a great pleasure and almost an addiction. Particularly with the advent of public libraries offering downloadable audio books, my MP3 player is always well-stocked. I listen while I cook, while I drive (no earphones- I use the car's CD player), while I sew, while I walk, and whenever I want to drown out carnage being spewed from the TV (my other half is a crime TV junkie). It's a great way to enjoy an added dimension to words that authors put on paper. Those words are not always as forceful, or inspiring, or entertaining if your brain is only interpreting them through your eyes. When you have another reader's intonations, and oral interpretations, there's an added bonus.

So take a try at the multi life. It really is fun. Just don't try to take any of it too seriously. Life's too short. So what if you have to re-wind, or put down the sewing, or take off the earphones, or curse the umpire. Just step back, get up, get some popcorn, have a beer. It's life, it's a ballgame and the book, the sewing, and the lousy ump will be there when you get back, Pappelbon will soon be coming in from the bullpen and you won't have had to spend $15 to enjoy your timeout.

You can even watch in your 'jammies!


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