Fridays at Safeco – A Bit of A Memorial

This week has been a bad one for me, to put it lightly.  I won’t go into any personal details here, but I have had a death within my non-baseball group of friends, the collection of people that I consider family outside blood relatives, and it has thrown my week and life into a bit of chaos. As one often does when confronted with hardship or tragedy, I attempted to maintain a semblance of normalcy in my day-to-day life since Tuesday, when this occurred. Some of what I have been doing has worked. Some has not. But really, what else is one supposed to do? Grief is an individual venture, and mine is to grasp to the way I am feeling at any given moment, living in the minutes and the spaces between, and endeavoring as much as possible to keep my stress levels at bay. You turn to what you know; and what I know as a normal part of everyday life is baseball. Hilariously, I have even turned to reading blog articles and stuff from The Times, which is something I haven’t done in ages; it helped focus my brain in the mornings on something other than tragedy. Late yesterday, I went to Slave to the Needle and got a tattoo which, oddly enough, has context within this situation; just not the context I had hoped for (I will gladly tell you the story behind it, if you ask me whenever we see each other).

So you go on, and you do what you do, and you hope that your chest stops feeling hollow and your brain starts to focus again, and the sun outside takes on the bright, summery atmosphere that you’d been hoping to enjoy before your friend died. And you hope that you are not judged too harshly for wanting everything to be back to normal as hard as possible, while knowing that they can never quite be. I am working on maintaining a mental status quo. Out of many things he was, my friend was a metalworker. We had once discussed him making me a sort of steampunk-style copper baseball, with a cross section, displayed as if it was in a museum, in a case and everything. His main issue was that he couldn’t figure out exactly how to make the pill and layers out of the materials he normally preferred to work with. But I loved that he thought enough of me to even debate such a project; he was not a sports guy, so the fact that he even expressed an interest in spending any amount of time on such a piece was an honor. He was a ridiculously talented artist. If you stuck him in a room with a bunch of metals, leather, feathers, and wood, you’d get a wonderful framed, shadowboxed, or sculpted piece of art. Stick me in that same room? A tantrum and a trip to the ER. I was looking forward to the day he finally figured out the materials issue and created what he once described to me.

So while I could just ignore this feature for a while, or withdraw into my head entirely (though I’ve been doing my fair share of that as well), I don’t know if he’d want me to do that. Clearly I can’t speak for him, and he might never have cared for my blogging, but I know he enjoyed knowing that his friends had hobbies and loves and lives that made them happy. So with that in mind, here are some photos from part of my life this week.

A few Fridays ago, my friends Cynthia, Su and I went to the first Mariners Fireworks Night against the Cleveland Indians. Cynthia’s father is an Indians fan, and she had a short-lived fascination with Shin Soo Choo from his stint there a few years back. So every year we go to a Cleveland game together, and every year, she brings Stadium Mustard, finds a hapless hot dog or pretzel to slather it on, and enjoys the game. This was this year’s doughy victim…

IMG_2162She even bought a new shirt for the occasion, though the pretzel is blocking the logo in this shot.

And these guys were sitting in front of us, up in the last row of section 185 (I think that was the one, that or 184 – we bought them at the window the night of the game, and I can’t quite remember). I’m no scientist, but I think they all shop at the same place:

IMG_2163And then of course, things went boom, after the Mariners beat Cleveland 3-2, and we moved up to the 300 level so we wouldn’t get set on fire. It was a great show, as always, and I have more photos of it on my camera that I haven’t gotten around to downloading just yet. These photos were all taken with my phone. What an age we live in.

IMG_2177And here’s an obligatory shot of TravelTiger. Or FingerTiger. I haven’t decided yet.

IMG_2170That is just an awful shot. There is no excuse for my shoddy phone camera work. OK, maybe margaritas. Maybe.

I want to wish everyone a happy 4th of July today. And please, take a minute to hug a friend, tell a family member how important they are to you, and maybe put your cell phone down for an hour or so and just enjoy the time you are spending with your own circle of friends and family. You never know when that will be gone, and it can be gone, in a matter of days, hours, minutes, seconds. And those of us who are left behind will have a really hard time dealing with the fact that you’re gone, and that you never got a chance to start on that awesome copper baseball you wanted to make for us, or the coffee you were planning on roasting, or the party you wanted to host, or the fun we were supposed to have at another friend’s house today while enjoying good food and company. Take care of yourself and those you love, my friends. Everything is so fleeting, and we’re not going to be around forever. Cheers.


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