Finally Opening Day is close, at least closer than it’s been all year.
Below you’ll find some Washington Nationals’ games at which you can join me or go with someone else. See each game for what’s available, conditions, costs, etc. Most of the games are in Section 127, Row Z, Seats #1, #2, #3., just 20 rows off the field, between home plate and first base.
UPDATED – 4/4- Several additions and a few subtractions:
Sunday, April 8, 8:08 PM vs Mets – Three free tickets available. I can’t attend this game.
Monday, April 9, 7:05 vs Braves – Two or three tickets available. I can attend, and you can get two tickets for the price on one ($50).
Thursday, April 12, 7:05 vs Rockies – Three free tickets available. I can’t attend this game.
Friday, April 13, 7:05 vs Rockies – Two or three tickets available. I can attend, and you can get two tickets for the price on one ($50).
Thurs. May 3, 1:05 vs Pirates – One free ticket in Section 127. I’m in Sec. 117 then.
Wednesday, May 16, 7:05 vs Yankees – Two tickets for sale in Section 114, Row T, Seats 15 & 16 @ $88 each (cost to me).
Friday, May 18, 7:05, vs Dodgers – Two tickets for sale in Section 115, Row V, Seats 15 & 16 @ $80 each (cost to me).
Monday, May 21, 7:05 vs San Diego – One or two tickets available to join me. No cost to you.
Tuesday, May 22, 7:05 vs San Diego – One ticket available to join me. No cost to you.
Wednesday, May 23, 4:05 vs San Diego – One free ticket available in Section 127. I can’t attend.
I’ll have lots more seats available in June, July, and August and will post those some time in May. If you have interest in a particular game or team for the summer, let me know now (Samesty84@gmail.com).
** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
PS – If you haven’t sent in your predictions for the 2018 MillersTime Baseball Contests, you need to do so soon as the deadline is Opening Day, this Thursday, March 29.
"Foreign Land", "Gladesmen: The Last of the Sawgrass Cowboys", "In Love and In Hate", "La Cordillera", "My Love or My Passion", "Sergio & Sergei", "The Future Ahead", "The Journey", "The Summit", "Tully", #MiamiFF, 35th Miami Film Festival, Alejando Maci, Charlize Theron, Constanza Novick, David Abel, Dolores Fonzi, Ernesto Daranas Serrano, Florida Everglades, Gassan Abbas, Jason Reitman, Knight Foundation, Marcos Carnevale, Miami Film Festival, Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, Pila Gamboa, Santiago Mitre, Shlomi Eldar, Zahara Ghandour
Ellen Miller, MillersTime Movie Reviewer:
Attending the Miami Film Festival is always a treat for us. We’re now in the third or fourth year of making this a “spring break” activity. The weather is always (at least) 30 degrees warmer than Washington and good friends host us. We see movies, we dissect them, we eat, we laugh, we sleep, and the next day we do it all over again, for three or four days. I should also note that we even “train” for our typical three films a day: long morning walks on Miami Beach or through beautiful residential neighborhoods. Sustenance involves everything from the best ice cream in Miami, the unbelievably delicious frita cubana to be had in Little Havana, a return visit to our most favorite Miami restaurant (River Seafood Oyster Bar), and our first but not last visit to Michael Schwartz’s new, wonderful Amara at Paraiso.
The Miami Film Festival (#MiamiFF) focuses on offering a great array of Latin American and Miami-made movies, and this year they clearly have made an effort to increase diversity in film directors and to expand to films that would appeal to a younger audience. There are over 150 (168 or 195, depending upon which of our memories is more accurate) screenings shown over 10 days, and choosing the films is not easy.
This year we found more of a variation in the films we saw than in previous years. (In total we saw nine films in three and a half days.) A few I will rate with five stars — by my standards a ‘you must see this one.’ Others, including some that were widely heralded, just didn’t work for us. And of course, there were a number in between those poles: films that were great (generally because of the subject) but fundamentally flawed in the execution.
The views in these reviews are my own. (Note that Richard and I do not always agree in our ratings.)
I’ll start with the best of what we saw.
Gladesman: The Last of the Sawgrass Cowboys (Director: American David Abel, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and film maker)
Ellen ***** Richard ****
This film is a superb documentary that tells the story of Florida’s Everglades airboaters –- the men and women who for generations have lived, fished and hunted freely in one of the most environmentally threatened – and beautiful — areas of the US. The film is populated with these wonderful characters (a number of whom were in the audience) along with environmentalists and water engineers who also make their case eloquently. It presents both sides of the contentious issues that arise in trying to find the right balance in the area to protect it as a water source for millions of Floridians and preserve a way of life for a small group of people.
The filming is elegant, the scenery magnificent, and the complex story simply told. I wound up cheering for everyone.
(Ed. Note: Gladesmen won the Knight Foundation award for the Best Film Made in Miami.)
Can you remember the first time you experienced the joy of having bubbles blown at you from a wand dipped into a little plastic bottle?
Did it seem like magic?
Even when the bubbles burst?
Did you ask for more and more?
Imagine that instead of bubbles, these were orange and black butterflies. Monarch butterflies. Ones you could almost touch. Or ones that landed on you and remained for many minutes.
Now, multiply the number of bubbles/butterflies and that sense of wonder and delight by many hundreds or thousands, and you get just a sense of what Ellen and I experienced on a recent trip to Mexico to see where the Monarch butterflies migrate and winter.
As you may know, many of the beautiful Monarchs travel south to winter in Mexico where they live for five or six months. Then, in the early spring they mate, go north from Mexico, lay their eggs on milkweed plants, and then die. This process repeats itself as three generations of Monarchs work their way north, often as far as the Great Lakes or Canada. Each of these generations lasts about two months.
Then the great migration begins again. Despite never having been to the mountains in Mexico, these now fourth generation Monarchs set out on a mass migration of two to three thousand miles to a place they’ve never been and arrive at the exact locations and specific trees where their ancestors wintered the previous year.
There are 14 Monarch sanctuaries, protected areas, in Mexico, and you can go to a number of them to experience what it is like for several million Monarchs to gather in one place. Under the auspices of Natural Habitat Adventures and the World Wildlife Fund, we joined with ten others and two wonderful guides to spend five days in mid-February chasing butterflies.
We flew to Mexico City, went four hours due west by bus to the town of Angangueo where we stayed for three days. We went by open flat bed truck another 45 minutes where we then went by horseback another 45 minutes up into the mountains. Finally, we hiked for another 45 minutes or so to one of the Monarch sanctuaries, El Rosario.
As we didn’t arrive until late afternoon the first day, most of the thousands and thousands (millions?) of Monarchs were huddled together on a few dozen trees, giving and getting warmth from each other. But there were some brave butterflies who left their perches and came near, some landing on us or simply hanging out on the ground or bushes nearby. The only noise we heard were our cameras taking hundreds and hundreds of photos, ‘up close and personal’ (and often just inches away). The most stunning aspect, for me, of this first encounter, however, was to see the trees laden with these marvelous butterflies.
The next day we set out early to a second reserve, this one at Chincua. Again we went by truck, horseback, and hiking, and what a reward. As we were the first to arrive and because the day warmed and the sun came out, we were able to virtually be in the midst of the Monarchs flying about. When a cloud would pass, the Monarchs would rush to find a place to retreat from the ‘cold,’ and we were then in the midst of thousands and thousands of butterflies (or as Ellen said, “It was as if we were inside a snow globe of butterflies”).
On our third day, we returned to El Rosario, and for some reason the butterflies had moved from what just a day or two previously had been their ‘trees of choice’ to different trees, new micro climates. And most exciting, these trees were next to the path where we were able to look with wonder at how they clustered together, hanging on the pine or fir trees, waiting for the sun. As the sun came from behind the clouds, they began to open their wings and the trees seemed to magically transform in color. As long as the sun stayed out, the Monarchs left their trees and flew in front of us (to search for nectar?). Then, during a passing cloud, there would be a ‘mad scramble’ as they flew about, trying to decide where to go to sit out through the modest change in temperature.
We couldn’t get enough of them.
When our three days of ‘chasing’ the Monarchs concluded, I was left with three images and one question. First, even one Monarch resting on a bush, the ground, or on one of us, just inches way was thrilling. Second, an entire tree covered with thousands and thousands and thousands of Monarchs ‘hanging out’ and occasionally spreading their wings and, as a result, changing the color of the tree was mesmerizing. And particularly exciting was seeing a burst or flurry of uncountable numbers flying around, either enjoying the warmth or looking for a place to land.
The one question, yet to be answered for me, is how do these Monarchs know where exactly to go on their great migration, given that they are at least four generations removed from having been to a specific area two or three thousand miles away?
Below are a dozen of Ellen’s most favorite shots of the butterflies. Then, if you want to see more of her photos of our Mexico trip, there is a slide show which includes more pictures from our butterfly adventure and photos from our four days in Mexico City.
If you would like to see more photos, click on this link: Monarchs & Mexico: Thru Ellen’s Lens. Then, for the best viewing, click on the tiny, tiny arrow in the very small rectangular box at the top right of the opening page of the link to start the slide show.
I’d highly recommend that you view all the photos in the largest size possible (full screen format) on a laptop or desktop computer.
Americanisms, Charlton Laird, David P. Stang, Etymology, James Boswell, Language and the Dictionary, Lexicographic Gratification, Lexicography, Mitford M. Mathews, Samuel Johnson, Thomas Jefferson, Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, William E. Umbach
(Ed. note: My friend Dave chose to entitle this essay ‘Lexicographic Gratification’ and somewhat reluctantly agreed to my adding ‘Confessions of an Introvert’ to his title. I think he prefers to think of himself as an ambivert.)
By David Stang
Fred Scharf, the husband of my second cousin Anne Phillips and the only lawyer and intellectual in my whole extended family, gave me a Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary bearing the same copyright date, 1957, as my graduation from high school. Bookish Uncle Fred told me to “treasure it by reading its definitions for the pure pleasure of learning new words, including synonyms, antonyms and etymology – meaning the study of word origins. Besides that,” he said, “you’ll find tons of amazing information up front before the dictionary section begins and at the end after the last word beginning with the letter Z.”
This was an entirely new way of viewing dictionaries, in fact, nearly the opposite of how I felt about them, particularly, when as a schoolboy, I would ask my mother what is the meaning of ‘X word’? And she would say,”Go look it up and that way you’ll remember it better than if I tell you.” I would usually answer her by saying, “Mom, it’s a complete waste of time to go look it up in the dictionary when you already know the answer and can tell me now.” Sometimes I could browbeat her into giving me the answer, but usually she sternly pointed to the big unabridged dictionary resting atop its own four foot high podium. As soon as she would walk out of the room, I would whisper to myself, “The hell with it. I’m not looking it up.”
But that night back in 1957 I sat on the edge of my bed near the reading lamp, opened my new dictionary and discovered that Uncle Fred was right. There was an amazing amount of essays and commentary on the history of lexicography, etymology, the beauty and depth of the English language, and on and on. And at the back of the dictionary there were tables of all kinds: names and addresses of all the colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, symbols, abbreviations, proper forms of address, and a load of other miscellaneous information. I said to myself, “Maybe Uncle Fred is right. I ought to start reading this stuff. Maybe I should become a word junkie.” But would I ever really be able to convince myself that looking up words in the dictionary is more fun than a barrel of monkeys?
Anyway, I started to read the first article in my new dictionary which was about the history of the English language and the history of lexicography. I got about as far as the author’s discourse on the linguistic influence on the English language contributed by the Angles, Jutes and Saxons. In less than a minute I concluded that ‘All this crap is complicated and boring. I’m not going to waste another minute reading it.’ Then I reflected for a moment and realized I would seriously need this dictionary when I started college at the end of the summer because if I were doing some kind of course assignment and spotted a word I didn’t know I’d be better off looking it up than faking it.
While studying to earn my B.A., J.D. and M.T.S. degrees, I relied upon that dictionary quite a bit. Even more so years later when I was reading for pleasure and didn’t know the meaning of a word or when I was researching and writing a number of articles and a few books. By my recent off the cuff estimate, I must have used that dictionary at least 25,000 times. But rarely – in fact never – did I dare take the time to wallow extensively in all that good stuff printed before and after the dictionary part of the book.