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May 25, 2006

Signature Songs

Instead of staring at my cubicle and laptop yesterday, this is what I spent most of the day looking at:

Cardinals at Giants, AT&T Park in San Francisco, on a beautiful 70 degree day. Afternoons don’t get much better than this.

I have this on again/off again fascination with baseball, which is currently in the “on” phase. It’s such a simple game in its fundamentals: you throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball, etc. Yet the more you study or practice it, you see the rich complexity in considerations and calculations that take place at any given moment, with every pitch.

An activity that looks simple, but has inner complexity. Hmmm…sound familiar?

Actually, I’m keeping the running portion of this post relatively minor. There are a few other items I want to touch on beforehand:

1) Good dad/bad dad: It occurred to me when I posted yesterday that some people might wonder whether my son was supposed to be in school. Yes, he was. So was I a cool dad for taking him to a ball game, or a bad role model for escorting him on his own Ferris Bueller day?

Here was my rationale: if he weren’t a good student, didn’t take school seriously, or had missed several days already, I probably would have waited until his summer break. But he is, he does, and he hasn’t, so I felt OK about it. I think some experiences like this are more valuable than a day in the classroom.

(And just for good measure, my wife had him do a full day’s worth of schoolwork in the evenings before the day he missed. At least the kid has one responsible parent.)

2) Barry Bonds: He didn’t play. We were glad. When we picked this date on the calendar six weeks ago, we thought it would be a great day to go when the stadium wouldn’t be too crowded. Then the whole Bonds/Babe Ruth situation reached a crescendo, and we were looking at the possibility of being there on a historic day.

I wasn’t looking for historic. I was looking for mellow. Plus, I dislike Bonds in too many ways to discuss here. So I may have been the only person at AT&T Park who was happy he wasn’t playing.

3) Gilroy fries: It’s impossible to walk around the stadium without smelling the Gilroy garlic fries that are served throughout the park. Gilroy fries have become San Francisco’s equivalent of Dodger Dogs. I’m a garlic fanatic, so I knew there was no way I could pass these up (Angie and Olga, maybe you better not look):

Yes, they were as greasy as they appear. And they were absolutely delicious. And they may or may not have explained the following exchange when I returned home:

Me: (walking over to wife): Hi sweetie, we’re home. (leaning over to kiss her)

Wife: (pulling away, making a face) Wow...you stink. Go take a shower.

(Ah, marriage...it gives you such a soft place to fall at the end of the day.)

4) Intro songs: Here’s the part that had me thinking about runners. Each player has his own song played when they come up to bat. Usually it’s just a 10-second snippet, but it’s the same song each time. Same thing for the relief pitchers – when they are warming up on the mound, the PA system blasts their “signature song”.

A lot of the players chose rock/metal tunes. One Giants reliever selected “Mother” by Danzig. Some of the batters had Metallica, AC/DC, and Rush.

It got me to wonder: if I could pick a signature song, what would it be? If I could choose a song when I’m warming up for a road race, or if I was ever introduced at a track meet, what song would I select?

I’ve never really had a “favorite” song, but here’s the short list I came up with:

1) Lose Yourself, by Eninem. A song about rising to the occasion for a major event. Pretty self-explanatory.
2) Best of You, by the Foo Fighters. This is a bit confusing. I think the lyrics are intended to be about being abused, but I always hear the chorus question “Is someone getting the best of you?” as a self-analysis, asking myself if I’m doing the best job I can at something. Like I’m reminded to give the best of myself to what I’m doing. Am I wrong in this interpretation?
3) Higher Ground, by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Kickin’ it old school here. If there were just a 10-second snippet, the lyric “I’m gonna keep on trying, ‘til I reach my highest ground” set over a funky bass line is a tough one to beat.

The most likely scenario, I concluded, was that I would be one of those neurotic players who drive the PA people insane by asking them to change my song every week. Maybe it’s a good thing we don’t do this in running.

Anyway, that was my day, and those are my song choices. What would your song be?


backofpack 5/25/06, 11:00 AM  

I can't answer your question. I'm drawing a blank. The only thing I can think of is the very old, very cheesy, "Dream the Impossible Dream". I don't even know if that is it's real name and I think I'm risking my blog rep by mentioning it!

matt 5/25/06, 12:00 PM  

here is my question for you, donald...

what bank did you have to rob to afford taking your son to a baseball game. you probably can't get out of there under $60 for the two of you...am i right? i miss the days of sitting in cheap seats with my dad 30 years ago and probably spending 10 to 15 bucks (including parking).

still, the experience is timeless and priceless.

my song..."fanfare for the common man" by aaron copland.

jeff 5/25/06, 1:40 PM  

oh man...there are so many songs floating around in there, but i think i'd like to have "my hero" played by foo fighters.

"...there goes my hero, he's ordinary..."

that's always been a song i've associated with the people i look up to.

and your thursday post is about baseball and not the cross breeding mishap between jay leno and michael mcdonald that won last night? you're losing your edge, donald.

robtherunner 5/25/06, 1:42 PM  

Lose Yourself would be my song as well. And Amen to disliking Barry Bonds.

susie 5/25/06, 2:33 PM  

It's got to be my new favorite by Rascal Flatts, Stand (thanks to Rae):
"Every time you get up and get back in the race
One more small piece of you starts to fall into place – yeah"

Anne 5/25/06, 5:37 PM  

I suppose "We Will Rock You" by Queen might make it look like I'm trying too hard. So, I'll go with "Running Up that Hill" by Kate Bush.

Fe-lady 5/25/06, 6:12 PM  

I think " one on one time with dad" is way more important thank missing a day of school.
After all, school will be only 7% of your son's life between the ages of five and 18. The other 93% of the time he is influenced and taught by you and others in his life!
Sounds as if you had a great time!
Song...? Wow, I will truly have to think about this one! :-)

olga 5/25/06, 7:17 PM  

I am lost with songs, but hope you stuffed yourself with those fries for me and Ang! I was tortured today with liters of liquid and Iodine IV (makes you hot and itchy from inside) after 6 hrs fasting!

craig 5/25/06, 9:09 PM  

For what it's worth I think you did right by your son where the game is concerned, for all the reasons you mentioned. And maybe you should remind your wife that she promised to love you "for better or worse." On second thought, maybe not.

Robb 5/26/06, 9:57 AM  

First, I laughed out loud at your wife's comment. That happens buddy.

Your question about favourite songs is funny too. I could easily list the songs I hate. I spent many years on the radio and consequently learned to despise a lot of music. There are, however, a few favourites including U2's "It's a Beautiful Day" There is no distinct message about 'running' in the song but I dig the ref. to Noah's Ark and clearing sky, etc. It's beautiful.

Anyhow, a second song with a 'running' ref. is Lenny Kravitz, "Where Are We Runnin'". Cool lyric - The road is paved but narrow. I hope we all get home. Where are we runnin'? We need some time to clear our heads
Where are we runnin'? Keep on working 'til we're dead. Where are we runnin'? Oo wee oo wee oo
Where are we runnin' now?

angie's pink fuzzy 5/29/06, 4:02 PM  

oh, donald, those fries are incredible! with gilroy garlic, no less!

signature song? i don't know...let me ponder that one.

Darrell 5/29/06, 7:35 PM  

Dang, now all I can hear in my head is Higher Ground. I'll have to think of my own song after I can clear that one out of my brain. I do like that one though. I would definitely not pick the Foo Fighters song. It makes me think of an aftershave jingle during NFL football in the 70's.

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