Sunday, May 01, 2016

Somebody to Shove

I'm sure the hubs would disagree, but I'm a pretty patient person.  For **certain** matters, that is.   (that's where he might give me some leeway...usually when he sees me getting bent out of shape it's because the MTA decided to fuck me in the ass that day).

One thing I absolutely cannot stand and won't do even for Shake Shack is stand in line for hours.  I've never been to a general admission area of a stadium concert (even for a band I like) because I hate waiting in queue.  Impatience, sure.  But it's mostly the people.

Sure, I'll walk around the ballpark to get my food, stand up eating at a table for an inning or two and not get to our seats till like the 4th inning.  I'm at least watching the game.  But standing in line.  Ugh.  Makes my skin crawl.

So while I thought the Noah SyndergaardenGnome giveaway was pretty fantastic, being that the giveaways are now limited to 15,000 people, getting to the park three-four hours before first pitch is well...let's just say, I can think of a million other things I'd rather do.  Like pass a kidney stone.  Because at least then there's a guarantee I'd have something tangible afterwards.  (And by the time the game is done, and I factor in travel time, it's an eight hour day.  No bueno).

Plus, it's not even so much the waiting that gets to me.  It's the fucking people.  MADON, just if they SHUT THE FUCK UP and talked about anything else besides the goddamn line, the fuckin ticket plans, the people getting in before us, criticizing the staff, being hungry, having to pee (okay, that might've been me, but in my defense I had two glasses of water, a coffee and a gatorade AND I peed twice before going to the park, but still had the urge)...if there's anything an introvert hates, it's fucking small talk.  Talking about the line will not make it go any fuckin faster.  And talking about the ticket takers and CitiField employees won't make you a better person than anyone.

Please.  For the love of all that is good in this world (and Zeus), SHUT THE FUCK UP.

But what an introvert does love, is deep talk.  I realized something as I saw impatient people waiting in line, shifting weight from one leg to the other, standing with a partner, shutting the fuck up (because if my better half knows what's good for him, it's don't talk while I'm there), but of course counting the minutes till the park opens...anyway, I was brought back to Shea once again.

Picture it!  Shea Stadium, 2007.  Warmer month, like June, could've been late May.  I forget who the Mets were playing, but I was working a charity event at the Picnic Area.  As a result I got a game ticket, but was there in a "helper" capacity.  The foundation we worked with provided better quality of life for children with chronic or terminal illnesses.  As a result, there were not only lots of kids there (both healthy or managing their illnesses just fine), but parents who...well, I'm sure you know parents are protective of their kids.  If they're sick, though, helicopter and mama-bear parenting is a totally different level.

I am not a parent.  I can't blame a parent if they're just trying to make sure their kid is protected or not being trampled or whatever.  But this is a charity event.  There's a time and place for everything...

What I found though is that a lot of the folks there were not just protecting their kids, they were letting their kids be kids.  Which, hey, is all fine and dandy.

Till you make them wait in line for a fucking face painter or caricature.

Then all hell breaks loose.

Bonus points: it's a really hot day and no one has any patience whatsoever.  Including the mean lady bouncer, who I had quickly become.

So what happens is this.  There were three separate lines for face painters, caricatures and fake tattoos.  For some reason, they put two volunteers on this detail.  (I told them the next year they needed at least four and some guys, so I wasn't labeled the crazy screaming bitch alone).  Three lines, two people directing, and letting people do the honor system of waiting just wasn't fucking working.

To some of the parents' credit, they made their kids wait patiently.  Meanwhile, I'm sure some parents reading this knows the joys in that.  It's hot, it's miserable, they want their picture, but they also want to run the fuck around and be kids.  So they start shifting their weight to another leg. They're hungry, they're cranky (hey, sounds like me 99% of the time).  It's a recipe for fucking disaster.

I had worked with several charities before that had Mets games as the event.  But I had worked with adult charities, and we had NONE of this happen.  Once parents bring their fuckin kids in there, and their kids aren't happy, it becomes the volunteers' faults.  Then they don't realize that I'm not drawing the fucking caricatures and can only move people as fast as the artist goes.  It sucked.

But then the piece de resistance was some lady with her child, who was clearly one of the ill children, started yelling at the volunteers when her kid was left alone in the line.  I saw the kid.  She was fine, a tough little cookie who was standing by herself.  It was mommy who was yelling at everyone, like not only were we volunteers, we were fucking baby sitters too. 

So now *I'm* hot and fucking cranky.  But I noticed an interesting little thing.  Some parents were standing in line, minding their own business, and then it was time for them to be next in the queue, it was like, "Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike!  It's almost time."  So I'm sorry, that's not fucking fair, and the parent fucking knows better.  Holding a place for one person, whatever.  I let that shit slide.  But for five people, it's unfair and holds up the line even more.

So then I snap.  I start losing it on people when I saw it happen for the fourth or fifth time.  When I saw kids get bored and their tired (and probably hot and cranky parents who have to listen to them complain) parents let them run around and then come back when it's their time, I said, "I'm sorry but to speed up the line, we would ask that you all wait together, so as it's fair to other people who decide to wait in the line."  I mean, if I was in the back of a line of five people, and think, oh this isn't so bad.  Then a family of four cuts in because Dad decided he'd take the fall for the family, that means it's more like 10 people in front of me.  Maybe I'd have gone someplace else (of course, I'm thinking about the children too...but mostly me).

I literally yelled at the same little girl THREE TIMES because she kept sneaking under the table to get her caricature done because she didn't want to wait in line or because she got bored and didn't want to wait.

I told her to take a hike.

Yes, I'm a big mean bitch.  I embrace that shit.  I blame a lot of things on my bitchiness, but the truth is, I come from a long line of big bitches.  It's most likely in my DNA, a part of me.  But not to say I didn't feel bad about ruining a kid's time.  But to be fair, that's bad fucking parenting, and probably why I wouldn't make it as one myself.

So this is why I hate lines and people (and I can blame a lot of my attitude on my years in retail, which hoo boy...I'm sure I have some doozies to tell you).

But fast forward to 2008, the same foundation and charity, same event, last year at Shea.  It was also my last year at this employer, so I was like, "Yeah, I'll do it."  In fact, the charity people even reached out to me.  Which was cool because a baseball game was always high demand.

Except I requested -- do not put me in the caricature line.  Fair enough.

So they put me next door with another volunteer...the tattoos.


It's the same goddamn thing.  When I explained, this is what happens when you don't put enough volunteers over (I told the organizers, the charity and the team captains).  I was like, "I cannot be held responsible if I snap and start yelling at people."  Yes, I'm a bitch.  But I do try to be nice.  Sometimes.

So long story short, I got two extra volunteers -- one of whom caught people (mostly unsupervised kids) who went snuck into the back, and cut the lines.  Another was a guy, who was like me the year before.  "Hey! This event is a cakewalk.  Little kids and face painting...what's better?"  I'm like, "Dude, you literally have no clue when you put parents, kids, hot weather and waiting in line together. will you?"

Ten minutes into the event, I have him yelling at people too.

So when you think of stupid giveaways that are only for the first 15,000 fans, when you think of cynical and exploitative marketing ploys to get 30,000 people in the park (50% of whom won't be happy for getting to the park that early and missing out on a cool giveaway) and then really give them no better reason for being there but buying food and extra drinks because FUCK ELSE YOU GONNA DO AMIRITE?

When you think of all that, ask yourself the question...



Think about the people who are actually doing it, waiting in line.  Think about the kid who wanted it, or the adult who wants it for their collection or to give to their sick kid. 

Or think about my husband, who was smart enough to leave me the fuck alone until we got in, and he asked me what I wanted to eat.

Oh, and the Mets won. Figuratively (like, the team won), and the Mets, the team, for getting people early into the ballpark to spend more money.   GO TEAM. 

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Shea-est Citi Has Been Yet

This is a very odd situation for me, right this very moment.

It's one o'clock in the morning.  I'm wide awake at the computer, typing this very post, while my husband sleeps.  He has to get up super early, as he has to work a few hours (life of a bookkeeper, end of month stuff).  But it was tough to go to sleep after the game tonight.  We were still buzzing with...I don't know...something that wouldn't stop even after we made it home under an hour after the last out.  What's more?  I decided to do some laundry because I knew I wouldn't be able to go to sleep right away.  See, this is what happens when I start blogging again (on multiple things -- whether it's Gal For All Seasons or Fear the Walking Dead, my newest television obsession).  Creativity starts flowing.  And I start nesting in the house, of all thing. 
Anyway, it's mighty fitting that I'm buzzing, because there is a buzz around CitiField in 2016, a buzz I have not felt since Shea.

In fact, when Yoenis Cespedes hit a grand slam in an inning where the Mets scored 12 runs.  Yes, that's right TWELVE GODDAMN RUNS, people pretty much lost their fuckin minds.

For me, though, there were some uniquely CitiField things that made this night a whole new experience for the ballpark.  

One was, the hubs and I were trying to test out new (and old) food stands.  The new Fuku spicy chicken sandwich was on our list of things to try.  But a line rivaling that of Shake Shack deterred me from it (it better be the best damn fried chicken I've ever had in my life at that point, if I'm waiting that friggin long). 

In the meantime, we managed to do a walk around the stadium.  We made a random observation that since CitiField opened, we never sat in the Coca-Cola Corner area (the artist formerly known as Pepsi Porch) together.  I sat there once without him, he sat there once without me.  We scored tickets to what a random start by Steven Matz (whom we also never saw pitch live until tonight, if you can believe it) against Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants. 

Tickets were unbelievably hard to come by. 

Especially tickets with some kind of shelter or club access, since it was supposed to rain.

So we got a good deal on tickets.  But of course, as the fates would have it, once we were done eating (we stood in the Excelsior Level and in the standing room area), the rain had come down pretty hard.  So we decided to keep walking.   So hubs could get a drink (now that Coke is the soda vendor in the park, he can get his favorite Vanilla Coke, but only in bottle form at the World's Fare Market).

Deep fried cheesecake. Nuff said.
We also tried some new desserts at the fried food stand.  If heart attack on a plate is what you desire, try the deep fried cheesecake.  When the woman at the counter asked me if I would like whipped cream, strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce on it, I said, "Yes."  JUST TRY AND STOP ME!

We stopped to eat again as the Mets had an amazing 3rd inning.  By the time we were done with our desserts, the Mets provided us with an after-dinner aperatif to top things off. 

Both were most delicious.

Though the vibe was very much "Classic Shea" tonight, many of the things that made the experience distinctly Citi could've never happened at Shea.  I doubt Shake Shack or Fuku or deep fried cheesecake could have EVER worked at the old gray mare.  Basically because you'd literally miss an entire game waiting in line.  The beauty part of waiting in line at any of these stands, if you wish to do so, is that you can still get the vibe of the game and not miss a pitch due to the beauty of technology or 360 degree views. 

After so many years of uninspiring baseball, we can surely find poetry in a relatively chilly evening in Willets Point.  Poking fun at the enemy, who have won three World Series titles since I last regularly wrote here.  Actually having to decide and look for seats on the secondary market instead of just deciding last minute to go to a game, because it may be sold out.  Sold out.  Okay, those words were barely uttered except at maybe Opening Days since 2009. 

The only thing that was remotely reminiscent of the early days at Citi was that it emptied out early, and the empty seats in the field level reminded us of a mid-September week night game, circa 2014.  Those weren't fun times to be a season ticket holder.  We had to either eat a lot of those tickets or opt to go to a lot of those games.  My work schedule can kind of allow it now.  Back then, not so much.

We noticed on Monday night, there was a logjam getting out of the park to the train.  Since many people left early due to the cold weather and the blow out, we easily had seats on the super express going back.  Oh, and I don't remember if a "super express" train even ran when I last wrote here.  I know they started running express trains, but the super skips stops.  Now, neither one of those things happened in Shea's era.  The super express I'd say started in 2010?  Maybe? 

Someone once told me he missed Shea because it had a noise, it had a song.  I think the song was even without a good team, we could still go to games and take in the surroundings.  They would remind us of a better time, a happier time, and maybe made the present time more palatable, like that deep fried cheesecake I had tonight (I will seriously never get it again -- so bad in a goooooood way). 

A night like tonight made the lean and less fun years of CitiField more meaningful, which we can then look back at our time at Shea and our time at Citi, and forge forward with newer and happier memories. 

Tonight reminded me of Shea.  I hadn't gotten many of those nights at Citi yet.  But it was nice to be reminded of those times when you knew the Mets would win.  And win big. 

And I guess the household will be happy that we are no longer naked, since my last load of laundry is drying as I write.  Huzzah!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hitting Bombs While Dropping Them

The last time the Coop was actively posting on MSF, she was a full season ticket holder.

For the 2015 season, she and now-husband, Studious Metsimus, decided to downgrade for a few reasons.  One was, Coop was very exhausted, trying to get rid of tickets (usually under cost) for highly undesirable games.  The other was that we had agreed to go on more road trips for our sports teams.  This meant not only the Mets, but for the Seattle Seahawks, whom Coop has taken a liking to in the past four years.  (Of course Studi_Metsimus has been a fan over 30 years).  

(You can read about Coop's other sports fandoms and other non topical stories over at Gal For All Seasons.)

Sometimes, we need to prioritize ourselves over season tickets.  But now, if we want to go to a game during the week, we are buying them.

Oh and downgrading last year?  We took a long anticipated road trip to Cincinnati, that happened to be when the Mets clinched the NL East.  We also got a full playoff option, which would have been the major reason we would've kept the full seasons.  But we got them anyway.  So it all worked out in the end. 

Moving right along, we realized that outside of Opening Day, we didn't go to any other games the first homestand due to crazy schedules.  We also realized that in the next homestand, we didn't have a game on our calendar until April 30th.  When we realized we both had a relatively light Monday, plus Noah Syndergaard was starting, we had to go. 

And old friend CoreyNYC from the old BMF crew and now twitter personality came through with tickets for the game.  Thanks Cor!

Oh, and I stopped talking about myself in the third person.  My blog, my rules.

We usually have seats in the lower bowl, now in the right field reserve, which I call "Grandy Land" due to Curtis Granderson being stationed out there.  Tonight, though, since our tickets were hand me downs, we sat in the promenade.  It had been a while. 

CitiField has grown on me in the last few years.  I didn't care for it at first, but if you are a Mets fan, you certainly know that Shea was a special place, not the prettiest but unique.  CitiField had tough shoes to fill (or seats...whatever).  Then the Mets were horrible and hard to watch and a shiny new stadium couldn't distract us from the shittiness on the field. 

So each year, the food options kept us coming back, when the team wasn't so great.  Each year, though, we had club access to the majority of our games.  We would test the new foods or wing buckets or whatever in the Promenade and Caesars (now Foxwoods) Club.  And rarely did we watch games.  No, seriously.  Mets were hard to watch. 

Now, they're all we want to watch.  No one wants to miss anything, or get up from their seats. 

Except when we arrived, early or so we thought, the lines were out the wazoo at each entrance.  We made it in just in time for first pitch.  But it meant we would have to find food during the game.  Since we were sitting up in Promenade for the first time in awhile, plus with it being a Monday night (and potentially many folks still outside the gates), we were able to find a picnic table to relax and eat.

On the agenda tonight was to try one of the new options.  Pat LaFrieda has a steak sandwich stand that is the bomb.  The sandwiches are way too big for me, and Studious Metsimus doesn't care for it.  So I often pass on it (I think they're like $16 or $17 now...I'll opt for something else since I know I can't finish it myself).  But I heard they now have a steak frites, which is a waffle fry basket with the Pat LaFrieda steak and a mozzarella cream sauce and the famous caramelized onions.

GET.  IN.  MAH.  BELLAH!!!!!!!!  At $9.50, it's very economical.  You can share with two people, but it's enough for one.  Plus, with the hubs not being crazy about the steak itself, it was MINE MINE MINE!! ALL MINE!

(I'm an only child - I'm not keen on sharing so....)

So time goes on, and the game was pretty slow.  Noah Syndergaard was having a good start with a shitload of strikeouts and no walks.  The Reds starters though had a rough outing, and barely made it through five, but did anyway.

While it's not out of the realm of normality to walk around the stadium during a game, or hang on the Shea Bridge, we stayed in our seats.  Till the hubs decided he wanted a cannoli from Mama's of Corona's.  But we made the mistake of getting up to use the restroom, then the game got interesting...then Antonio Bastardo (a Philly bum) gave up the tying run, and we waited till mid inning to get his cannoli.

But surprise! The Promenade stand was closed.  So we head down to the World's Fare Market, which had the cannolis available there.  I even picked up a red velvet cupcake just for me.

However, we used the restroom upstairs...I felt the need to go again.  Except this time...the steak frites were, uh, trying to make their way out.  I said, wait right here.  I need to go to the bathroom again.  He says, why? 

Well, my tum tum isn't cooperating now.  I knew to wait would be a bad idea.

So I make it to the ladies room, and the game is tied, and the line was short so I got into a stall pretty quickly.  However, I hear the tail end of Neil Walker's at bat, and the radio call comes over the speaker.

See, Walker was hitting a bomb.  I was dropping one at the same time.  I guess we are now kindred spirits.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I loved Jonathon Niese as a pitcher and probably was his biggest apologist when I should not have been.  He's been doing well for Pittsburgh, and the man he was traded for hit the home run that put the Mets ahead tonight.  Neil Walker is achieving cult like status for some folks (but it's still April, I tell myself...we've had a lot of good Mr. Aprils only to fall fucking apart come, say, May).  

When I returned from my trip to the rest room, now in a comfortable spot (and one friend asking me after I posted a selfie on Facebook if I was standing near a camera during Walker's which I was like, nope, definitely NOT ME).  I arrive though finding my normally antisocial hubby chatting up someone I recognized, but couldn't place.  Turns out it was a buddy of ours, PDubs, whom we had met in person last year at a viewing party at Citi for the road opener. 

Tonight was a fun night.  It combined aspects of Shea, with the can't miss baseball, but also the fun stuff we do that is totally Citi unique, like stand around in the 360 views and chat in real time about the games. 

Guess this joint is growing on me.  And hey, I must be pretty fucking comfortable, if I can shit in the restrooms at ease. 

(and PS I will have to quality assurance test the steak frites again, make sure the poopage is a fluke and all...take one for the team)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beating the Bad Teams

When I started My Summer Family in the offseason of 2007, the Mets were the team to beat.  In my opinion, anyway.  Unfortunately, Jimmy Rollins thought the same about his Phillies that year, and they were in the NL East, that year at least.  In fact, those simple words propelled them to successive NL East titles until 2012, when the Nationals started to become good.

The undoing of that team, I remember saying in multiple boards and comments sections, is that they didn't beat the teams they needed to beat.  Back in 2007, sure losing to the Phillies 12 times over the course of the year didn't help.  But neither did losing critical games down the stretch to the weaker teams like the Nationals and the Marlins.  Especially the last week of the season.

I warned people back then, and I was told I was crazy, they're in first place for a reason, blah blah blah.  Enter: post-traumatic Mets disorder.

Which leads me to today.  After the first full week of games, the first opening road trip and then the home week, the off day was a podcast with the Rising Apple crew.  The Mets had lost games to the Phillies and Marlins.  Now, in 2016, they are two of the worst teams in the NL East.  (Hard to believe that now, given when this site started, they along with the Mets were the three strongest.  Go figure).

Losing to those teams is always going to bite.  As Mike at the Rising Apple Report said, "You know why we're upset? It's because we lost to those teams!!"

I didn't agree with him, at the time at least.  The angst I felt was more related to losing the World Series, losing the first game of the year against the very team that beat us there, and then not putting on a strong show at home for the first homestand.

Looking back though, I think he was onto something.

These are two teams that are renowned to be some of the weakest in the division. In the great game of baseball, you have 162 regular games per year.  You will win some, you will lose some.  The fun you have, is how you do either.  You will win 50, lose 50, and what you do with the remaining 62 is how you get to the postseason or not.

All those cliches, yes.  But I realized that in 2007, I would've been apoplectic about losing two home series like that so early in the season, and having a losing record.  I mean, I would've been SOOOO pissed off.  Mostly because of my expectations for that year.

After the last six years of not writing here actively, but dealing with my other sports distractions and mostly how bad the Mets were playing, I realized that a slow start might have been good for me.  Hot out of the gate is overrated.  I've seen that play out before.  Shit, I've seen that with my hockey team, dominating all around, only to disappoint in the postseason.

The team is gonna win some games, they're gonna lose some games.  At the beginning of the road trip, Ed said he'd be disappointed if they lost more than one game.  I joked that today, they'd lose because they were facing a S.U.C.K. M.E. pitcher (Shaky Unknown Chuckers Kill Mets Everytime - h/t to the old crew at toasty Joe for that one).  But they didn't.  They went 5-1 on the trip.  They come back home strong.

Until May 4th, they are facing the Reds, the Giants, and the Braves.  Three of the weaker teams in baseball right now.

When the Mets started this road trip, they were two games under .500.  Now they are three games over, 10-7.

This was the difference between the team now and how they were in 2007.  They are beating the teams they need to beat.

I can handle losing a game or two to the Nationals every now and then (even though they have not faced them yet this season).  Because they play to their level.  Beating the bad teams though, that's what a good team is supposed to do.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Getting the Band Back Together

No.  You are not seeing things.

This is the first published post for My Summer Family since 2011, when I had a final goodbye post for the site.

And this is the Coop.  The Whole Coop and nothing but The Coop.

So help me, Bart Giamatti (inside joke).

Since 2011, much has happened in Metsopotamia (thanks, Greg) that it's tough to believe the last time I wrote for this site, I had an entirely different career.  Many of you may remember, I worked on Wall Street.  Since my last job ended in 2011, I've had several career changes.  Now I have several business lines. 

In my sports life though, the Mets were next to unwatchable. 

Terry Collins was brand new as Mets manager.

Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo were still getting paid, but no longer on the Mets. 

Jose Reyes hadn't yet signed with the Marlins.

R.A. Dickey hadn't yet won a Cy Young.

Jacob deGrom had short hair...and he hadn't been named Rookie of the Year.

Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard were still in the minors, but for a Canadian team.

Daniel Murphy hadn't yet been an NLCS folk hero.

And Johan Santana hadn't yet pitched the first Mets no hitter.

Today, the Mets look to at the very least keep things interesting, after a phenomenal 2015 where they came out of nowhere and knocked the Washington Nationals out of the NL East race.

And...I got to see many more friends to talk Mets.

Namely, my old crew from Brooklyn Met Fan

BMF, at the urging of several mutual Facebook friends, created a group that made me remember that, yes, blogging about the Mets used to be fun.  Whether they won or lost.

It was no longer fun when Twitter was telling us HOW to have fun, how you couldn't be critical without taking personal offense about a certain player, or hell, even your own personal take on the team. 

But I was exhausted.  I'm not a statistician.  I hate numbers.  The only way I could make arguments about the team now was if I brought a pie chart or something to back up my gut feelings.  Explaining my positions made this a chore.  I don't care about disagreeing with an opinion.  But when all I was doing is engage with self-serving assholes, well, I get enough of that on Twitter.  I didn't need it on my own site.

When the Mets were hard to watch, I could only pull certain emotions out of my ass every once and a while.   The 2015 run made me remember that I could actually still love baseball.  I could share my opinions.  I didn't have to be right.

The last time I wrote here, the sister and successor site of MSF, Gal For All Seasons, hadn't yet seen three Rangers ECF visits, one SCF visit (and subsequent loss), and I hadn't even yet been to Seattle that had changed my outlook on sports forever.

But I also said that blogging was a dying art form.  Which was why I had taken the site down.  I wanted a website.  Not just a blog

The fun part though, was engaging with fans after games or after significant happenings.  With the advent of Twitter and real-time reactions, not to mention podcasts, I felt as though I didn't need this as a tool to express my Mets fandom. 

Till I realized that I missed it.  I missed all of you.  All two of you. 

So expect to see some updates from My Summer Family from now on.

For those of you who follow Gal For All Seasons, fret not.  I will still continue to write there.  The three of you that read that one.

But I'll be here, bitching about the Mets.  Even when they're playing well.  Because I don't give a flying fuck anymore.

The Coop is back.

Friday, September 09, 2011

One More Time For the Promenade Seats!

This aint no mistake! This aint not typo! This aint no party, nor is it a disco!

This is The Coop, all Coop, and nothing but The Coop who is making a very special announcement!!

First off, thank you to EVERYONE who came out to send their well-wishes and warm intentions about the next chapter in my life regarding being a blogging fan. Or a fan blogger. However you'd want to call it. Everyone came out to wish me good luck, in any endeavor.

Of course, I didn't stay idle for too long. After all, I retired "the blog" My Summer Family, and not from blogging. Just wanted to make that clear. In a year's time, I am writing now for three Mets websites: Metsmerized Online, Daily Stache and Kiner's Korner. Kiner's Korner also launched the Kult of Mets Personalities podcast that has a nice following with some really great guests in our panel, including former Mets executives, players and coaches, even beat writers and other bloggers. There are also rumors of an all-women's baseball site where I will not only be a contributor, but be a voice of their podcast as well. That will remain to be seen.

In the meantime, what else? Oh, yeah...I took some time off from having my own site to focus on what I wanted to do next. I started this site back in 2007 as a way to keep in touch with fellow fans, meet new people and write about my love affair with the New York Mets. Then I started to get involved with other parts of the blogging world and it got to be too much. I lost my focus. I stopped having fun with it. I wasn't myself.

So I have a soft-launch of my new site...(drum roll, please....)

The name actually came to me when I was describing myself to someone. I am not only a baseball chick, but I am a hockey fan and a football fan. I like talking about those sports and go to and watch enough of those games that I want to speak to that experience. I am a season ticket holder with the Mets, but I also attend several other sporting events that I want to cover that I didn't feel comfortable doing at just a Mets-focused site. This was just the beginning. Now I am evolving not only as a fan but as a writer too. I hope so, for the latter part.

Plus, like I said, I wasn't having fun with it anymore. It became a chore, updating this site. I wanted to make my writing tasks more fun again by including things and stories of my experiences and what I thought of things surrounding them. I feel like I became too censored because I was tired of pissing people off. Well, to hell with that! I was happier when I didn't give a shit. (Yes, I use bad words still)

Being a sports fan has shaped a lot of my personality. Some people don't get it, but those of you who do, I salute you here and at the new site!!

One last time for the Promenade...One last time for the Upper Deck...One last time for the cheap seats. You all ROCK!!!

So gracias, grazie, merci beaucoup, in any language...Thank you to everyone for your support over the last year, I really appreciate it!

Onward and upward!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roll Call 2010: A Very Special Post

So family, it is time. It is time for the final post of the year, the one you've been waiting for...the roll call! In case this is your first year, I started this in 2007, as a way of giving a shout out to those who make my existence of being a Mets fan special. Sure, the team and the laundry has a way of doing it...but the people around me make it all better to root for the home team.

This year is also unique for a reason. I am making a very special announcement that this particular Roll Call is my final one. Yes, I have decided that after four seasons of blogging, that I am officially hanging up my cleats and this will be my last post on My Summer Family.

When I started this site back in 2007, I had a unique voice. I talked like a truck driver, but could provide a "softer" (if you can believe it) view of baseball and of my team. In some respects, though I am a grown woman, I still view the sport through the eyes of a child. Though my cynicism with being an adult does cloud my vision for some, it has occurred to me recently that my "potty mouth" as some have taken to call it bothers some people. To them I give them a big middle finger.

This in no means reflects my status as a Mets fan. I've been around for a long time, I'm not leaving any time soon. In some respects, though, I feel like blogging as an art form is dying off. Not that they still can't be relevant. But in the vein that any schmoe like you and me can just open a account and start writing and consider themselves a "blogger." I mean, you are, but I had no idea that I would become "credible" when I started something for fun a few years ago (as an example, being one of the featured blogs in the Maple Street Press in 2010 - how'd the heck did that happen??? Or being asked to participate in an Amazin' Tuesday, an accomplishment I will always be proud of).

Once I believed that I wasn't doing much that was compelling, I refused to go out with a whimper and not with a bang instead.

In the meantime, enjoy my final post of the year.

In no particular order I would like to thank the following folks for a good year and great friendship, all stemming from the fact that we root for the same team!

Baseball chicks were in the forefront this year, and we certainly rocked the house.

Thank you to Chap for a memorable drive-by of Port St. Lucie. I hope that not only we won't have the timing constraints next year, but that it won't be blizzard conditions when we take off. "Everybody ON THE PLANE!!!"

To the PAC Lady, who brings baseball (as a Mets fan) and rocking (as a music fan) to a new level. We should all be as devoted as you.

To Julie at Chicago Met Fan, I really wished we could have had that game this year! Here's to hockey...and football...and everything in between.

To Miss Dee Wrighter, for making a baseball chick into a baseball sister.

To Rainiedazze, Carlos Beltran fans pale in comparison to you. (PS I usually reserve these posts to people I've physically met, but we already know our trip is to Arlington next year!)

To Jessica_Teresa, whom I had the opportunity to meet at Telecom-Conglomerate-Name-Here Park back in July, I hope to see you on the Shea Bridge next June!

To kBoTTi, she who laughs last laughs hardest. So I hope you are having a good guffaw over that Biscuits-and-gravy type on that team in Arlington right now. (PS Hockey chicks rock too)

To LadyMets, for making a minor league game fun as all anything and for being the baseball chick (emphasis chick) you are.

I went on many road trips this year. Five road stadiums and I had been to four of them already. I had a partner in crime this year for all of them, but I had the opportunity to meet with Team Doster at CitiField and at PNC Park. Hopefully, I can return the favor at your home next year (Great American Ballpark!).

My counterparts on the west coast: the Sollies! I do love them so. Y'all gotta come out here next here though, ya dig? RAWHIDE!!

The guys from Metszilla, namely Vinny whom I had the opportunity to meet with on the bridge. Love these new sites that keep making the Mets community a rich one.

To Rich S, thanks for the beer you would have bought me, but I'm sure the one we will meet up for in 2011 will be just as tasty!

To John Delcos, whom I always admired from a journalistic standpoint. Keep fighting the good fight and I'm very happy to know ya!

I know I'm forgetting someone. Oh right.

This guy.

If someone had told me that if I started blogging, I would get a husband out of it, I would have told them to get lost.

We met on Facebook in 2009, and became friends. We met face-to-face at CitiField on Build-A-Bear Night in 2009, and our the spring of our relationship's seeds were planted in the winter. I managed to get married without telling many people until a month afterwards. Folks, I am living proof that your dreams can come true. And every day, I have a man who wakes up in the morning just to cherish me. And he's a Mets fan to boot!!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank my blog-spirations. I often say if not for my haters, I wouldn't have a site but that's not entirely true. If not for finding some of these folks in as early as 2004, I'd have never had a "forum" voice (meaning: I was once a blog groupie) and therefore, would have not opened my own account four seasons ago.

To Metsgrrl and Faith and Fear in Flushing, I aspire to be like these writers every day. And every day, I fail so miserably at it.

To Mets Today and the brains behind it, Joe Janish. I thank him for always being at the ready when I need a quick stat or need to defend the ghost of Aaron Heilman.

To the Kranepool Society, this is the yin to my yang. Look no further than this site for the Godfather of shooting from the hip. I'd like to think that My Summer Family was the long lost two-headed love child of this site, as we both never gave a flying fuck what others thought of us.

THE Metstradamus, who can always make us laugh, even when there really isn't much to laugh about. Metstradamus makes hate the backup National Pastime.

To Metsblog and Metsmerized Online (where I will still be contributing) for linking to me and taking me seriously when no one else would! Thank you for all the support in the past.

My family over at Brooklyn Met Fan. There's "My Summer Family" and there's the true value of a baseball community that is a family in and of itself. From BMF himself, to Blondie's Jake, Matt the Met Fan, Irish Mike, Joey Brooklyn, Fort Greene Met Fan, El Duderino and countless others, these guys make me so happy to be alive and that I am proud to call them my friends. Hope to see you at the next Jake-a-Palooza!

Some of them have gone...Toasty Joe, Ed in Westchester and You Can't Script Baseball. We really had a great bunch of writers back in the day.

And lastly...has anyone kept in touch with the motley crew over at the old The Metropolitans? This was authored by a fellow named Mike Oliver, and had such loudmouths in there such as Benny Blanco from da Bronx and the old Chuck Norris League. This was really the reason I started blogging and was the first community I found myself involved in. I really modeled my blogging style after this site.

Well, folks, there you have it. This is in no means "Goodbye." The Coop is taking some time off to reinvent herself. In the meantime, please follow My Summer Family's fan page on Facebook where I will still have a presence and be posting some random tidbits and wise-ass remarks intermittently. I will post updates on where to find me and my writing, and on Twitter, where you can certainly see me screaming about the Jets and the Rangers in the offseason. I have a small presence on Tumblr as well, that I am hoping to build up over the course of next months.