Monday, June 8, 2009

What's Wrong With Baseball These Days?

I'll make a list:

1) I am in 10th place in my league in the ESPN Baseball Challenge. While tenth sounds good when there are dozens of people in the league, in this case, I'm tenth out of twelve. And I am actually trying, whereas the guys currently in the eleven and twelve slots gave up. Or else they are sitting back to see if they can beat me without changing a single player all season. (Give it up, Geralyn Dawson. It won't work.)

I cannot choose a pitching staff to save my soul. What was with the Twins last night? And how did I get so lucky as to pick the Giants on the one night Tim Lincecum blows it big? Apparently, I have a knack for these picks. If the Tigers' pitching staff flails in both games of their doubleheader today, you'll know you should take me to Vegas with you and bet the opposite of everything I do.

2) The Texas Rangers took two out of three from the Red Sox this weekend. I had to sit in the rain to watch the first loss, and man, was it painful. (Geralyn is now laughing at me, as she is also a Rangers fan.)

3) The Colorado Rockies were so stupid as to fire one of my all-time fave managers, Clint Hurdle. I guess the guys who fired him forgot that, OH YEAH, they traded away Matt Holliday. And OH YEAH, Jeff Francis has been hurt all year. Maybe, just maybe, the Rockies will have trouble winning games in that situation. (Geralyn is not to blame for any of this. I don't think Hurdle should be blamed, either.)

Do the guys who fired Hurdle remember this?

That would be the World Series. And that would be Clint Hurdle on the right, leading the team. Yes, the Rockies lost to the Red Sox (I was screwed on that of my fave teams was going to lose either way!) But the fact the Rockies made it at all was due in large part to...well, you know who. The Rockies were suckin' wind that year, but came back to win 20 of their last 21 games.

I'll feel better about baseball tomorrow. (Especially if the Tigers' pitching staff does well, or if someone hires Hurdle.) In the meantime, I think I'll console myself by reading a good book.

Maybe I'll make it one of Geralyn's. At least I know it'll be good!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Happiest Place On Earth, Part V (The Conclusion!)

Was so, so sad to leave the Disney Magic, as I blogged about earlier (just click on the labels for "Disney Cruise" at the bottom of this post if you'd like to read Parts I - IV and to see the accompanying photos of alligator heads. Or Stitch.) But when the ship docks, you're outta luck. If you refuse to disembark because you're having too much fun, you deal with the port authority, and that's not my idea of a good time.

I headed home--briefly!--because I had Red Sox tickets. (And really, isn't THIS in the running for the Happiest Place on Earth? I think so! Especially when Josh Beckett's pitching.)

After the game, however, I headed right back to Logan Airport and made nice with the folks from JetBlue, who took me back to Orlando, where author Elizabeth Boyle and I spoke to librarians at the annual Florida Library Association conference. Even though we had an early-morning time slot, our room was PACKED. (Not only because we are us, and naturally entertaining, but because we primed everyone with coffee and distributed massive goody bags. We never assume our witty banter is enough to rouse folks from their comfy beds at 8AM.)

We had a load of fun discussing low-cost strategies for making their libraries teen-friendly, ways to use their romance novel collections to draw in readers, and gave them info on attracting fantastic speakers. We also did a lot of Q & A about writing (and the life of writers) in general. If you're a librarian and would be interested in a copy of my handout on Five Ways to Encourage Teen Patronage, just e-mail me. I'm happy to send it along. (And by all means, if you organize library conferences and are interested in having us speak, ask! We love meeting librarians.)

After our talk, Elizabeth and I drove all over the Orlando area signing books. If you'd like an autographed book, check at any of the following stores (call first, just to be sure they're still in stock):

Winter Park, FL

600 North Orlando Ave

Orlando, FL

5498 Touchstone Dr

Barnes & Noble
Colonial Plaza Market Center
2418 E Colonial Drive

Barnes & Noble
Waterford Lakes Town Center
481 N Alafaya Trail

Barnes & Noble
Florida Mall
8358 S Orange Blossom Trail

Altamonte Springs, FL

Barnes & Noble
Altamonte Mall
451 Altamonte Drive

880 W State Road 436

Casselberry, FL

S Hwy 17/92

I'm now home from Florida for awhile. Tonight, I'm heading back to Fenway to catch the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers. Brad Penny's on the mound for the Sox, so it should be a great game.