Take Me Out To The Ball Game...

Today, summer arrived in Chicago, not only due to our notoriously capricious weather going from 0 to 60 in characteristic style, breaking a 115 year-old record for heat with 90 degree temperatures, but because I went to my first Cubs game of the season. Don't get me wrong, I still think baseball is the second most boring sport after golf, but on a nice day, you could do a lot worse in terms of ways to spend time outdoors. Bring along some good company, enjoy the people watching, and eat a hot dog -- what more could you ask for?

Besides, tonight I was able to indulge in a little Midwest rivalry between my beloved hometown, and my former temporarily adopted city of residence -- St. Louis. As part of his season ticket sharing deal with his buddies, Dad always requests tickets to the Cubs vs. Cardinals games so he can bribe our relatives into coming to visit us (the chance to see us usually doesn't cut it unless we can sweeten the deal, go figure), but since this series fell in the middle of the week, and May is usually still a miserable month for weather in Chicago, he had no takers for the game tonight. It wasn't difficult to persuade Cubs super-fan Mireya to go with me, and it was surprisingly easy to talk Justin into coming too, even though sporting events aren't really his thing either.

Justin and I, before the game.

This year, Dad's tickets moved from the outfield along the third base line, to the infield along the first base line, and I'd have to say they were a marked improvement. It's easier to see who's at bat without relying on the Jumbotron, and it was cool to watch the pitcher head-on. We could also see into the Cubs dugout, and watch the reaction of the coach. It was a little strange getting used to seeing the game from a whole new angle, but definitely worth it.

Tonight's featured match-up included Carlos Zambrano, and was supposed to be a pitching battle. I have no idea whether that came to pass. Mostly, I thought it was cool to try out the continuous sports shooting mode on my camera, from which I got this neat shot of the ball hurtling towards the home plate.

Our new seats were also close to the television cameras. Check out how big those things are!

Mireya and I, sometime after the midpoint of the game -- I wasn't really paying attention.

Sadly, the Cubs endured a defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals, but I think I actually had the most fun of any baseball game I've ever been to, definitively proving my hypothesis that I could have fun doing anything, as long as I'm with Justin. He spent most of the game happily snapping away with his camera, testing different modes and functions and trying to capture various shots. Even if he doesn't particularly like baseball, he was at least able to seize on the game as an interesting photography opportunity. As for me, I spent most of the evening people watching and making fun of the older, married gentleman in front of me who was blatantly checking out the breasts of the young, attractive stranger sitting next to him. His lechery was way more entertaining than the game, if you ask me.

Most of all though, my evening at Wrigley filled me with hope for the summer ahead. With Justin by my side, and all the amazing friends I have in my life, I feel like the next few months are going to be filled with fun times, and I'm getting excited to see what the summer will bring. Stay tuned to find out!

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