Now though, I'm in Raleigh to watch this beep baseball tournament. What is beep baseball, you ask? Well, read my post on that subject in the Accessibility and Technology Geek blog, where much of my writing energy has been devoted these days. I and a couple of other folks living with disabilities write about our experiences working, playing, and navigating around the communities in which we reside. We talk about some of the technologies that have been developed that make participation in these activities easier for us all.
Today I've been out and about pretty much since having set foot on the floor. I'd already known that my cousin's girlfriend would be by to pick me up some time in the early noon, so I briskly showered, popped some pancakes into the microwave, and settled in to listen to NPR. Only as soon as the timer went off signifying that the pancakes were done, I received a text asking if I would like to join my cousin and his girlfriend for breakfast. What did I do about the pancakes? Ate them bad boys, of course!
Her apartment is bigger and more comfortable than mine, and is also quite far downstairs. I joked that it felt as if I were walking into a subway station. After having whipped up a great meal of baked salmon, potatoes, salad, biscuits, and banana pudding the night before, she prepared grits, eggs, liver mush, buttered toast and coffee this morning. Man, I can't even say when the last time was I'd eaten a breakfast like that. I was full and definitely ready to roll, even as my cousin dragged himself grumpily toward a state of wakefulness.
Off to Raleigh we went, with coolers, collapsable chairs, suitcases and food packed into the trunk. My cousin was dj-ing with his iPod plugged into the car's system and broadcasting on a clear radio station. This works relatively well, except that when we pass through an area where that frequency is crowded out it kind of sounds like when you're reaching the edge of a station's coverage area. I loved some of the songs he had on there though: One Night of Love by After Seven, I Swear by All 4 One, and of course some Tupac.
Upon arriving in Raleigh, we came in on a game that was in approximately the second inning. Because we sat kind of far away from the field during that one, it was a little more difficult for me to make heads or tails of what exactly was going on. That game was between Raleigh and Spartanburg SC, getting the somewhat abbreviated tournament underway. Raleigh won easily, though their style of play has caused a lot of controversy. Usually persons hit the ball and run themselves, but Raleigh had two of its fastest runners running for every hitter in the lineup. I guess this isn't in violation of the rules, but it strikes me as a somewhat underhanded way to play the game. Typically, runners are only used in situations where a hitter is clearly immobilized, for example due to advanced age.
Anyway, there was a small break between that game and the next, which was between Raleigh and Charlotte. If you recall any of my previous posts on these tournaments from ages ago, you'll know that these two teams are always intense rivals. This time was no exception. Many an angry word was said as close call after close call was passed down, most of them going against Charlotte. One thing I did like about the Charlotte team was that they were honest about if they thought that one of their players had indeed been given a correct, if unfavorable, call. Of course I am biased toward Charlotte, but I still think that being able to admit shortcomings is always a good thing. In the end, Charlotte went down by what I think was a final score of 12-8. We'd spent a portion of the game hiking to the restroom in a fairly nice recreational center to relieve ourselves of the copious amounts of fluid we'd consumed, and so I never got caught back up on game action.
After play had concluded, we trekked over to the picnic shelter for barbecue chicken. We found out though that there had already been a preassembled list of guests who would eat, not including us because we'd not informed them of our plans to attend, so we opted to depart and find food somewhere else. Other Charlotte players later informed us that we could have gotten plates anyway, but we didn't want to impose. So after an unsuccessful attempt to collect one of my cousin's friends, we headed over to the Holiday Inn where we would be staying the night. My cousin's girlfriend had gotten the room under her name, so she went to the front desk and obtained keys for each of us and we headed on up. Our room is 324. There are two beds, and I am about to climb into mine and under those warm covers in a minute. We all agreed that it is easier to sleep in a cold room than a hot one, so the air conditioner has been set accordingly. And I think they are already quite out of it as I type this.
Before we got to this point though, dinner had to be eaten. Some of our long-time friends tagged along behind us in their car as we searched somewhat in vain for an open place to eat. We'd located a "restaurant" called Capital Creations Pizza online, but on arriving there we discovered that it was only delivery or carry-out. Reading the ad on their website had not made this abundantly clear, apparently. So we continued on, at first nearly deciding to eat at a Japanese grill but finally settling into Bahama Breeze. I'd been to this restaurant with my classmates back in 2010, after visiting the Governor Moorehead School with them earlier in the day. This time, it was so much louder in there! I really couldn't hear anything, and the waitress had to make contact with my shoulder in order for me to know that she was attempting to take my order. I also ended up sitting between my cousin and his girlfriend so that I could hear her read the menu, which made me feel kind of bad. Everyone talked to me though, and so I still managed to have a pretty good time. I had a huge cheese burger with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and just about every onion they had in the building. "I don't think I'd want to eat this sandwich if I were on a date," I quipped to my cousin. I also had seasoned fries and a cup of high c. I'd thought about purchasing an alcoholic beverage but decided against it, as I am trying to budget for next month's trip to the ACB Convention.
And that brings me to this chair where I now sit. This will be the first blog entry I have ever posted from a hotel room. Yay for portability! If Charlotte is to win the championship this season, they must first defeat Spartanburg, and then take down Raleigh twice. Because of the runner issue discussed earlier, I think their odds of besting Raleigh are slim. I certainly hope they are able to do so though. Hopefully I will feel up to reporting those happenings, whatever they end up looking like. For now, goodnight.