Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Let's Go to the Constitution

My Man James Madison and Me at the National Consitution Center, Winter 2010

I have watched a lot of sports in my day (pause for a reaction of shock and awe), and for some reason, a line that has always stuck with me is, "let's go to the videotape." The second chapter of the with the same title by Warner Wolf with Larry Weisman asks what we could learn had there been videotape in the early 20th Century. If we were able to review play-by-play would it help determine with certainty that the 1919 Chicago White Sox (called the Black Sox World Series) did actually throw games? 

"If they really were taking a dive, why did the White Sox bother to win Games 6 and 7 of the best-of-nine-Series?"

Cue the Field of Dreams reference...

"Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa!"

 Maybe in heaven, I will get to ask Shoeless Joe Jackson who hit .375 and made no errors throughout the whole series if he really did take money to throw the Series. In the meantime, I need to stop digressing after I say that I think I need to go home and watch Field of Dreams.

All this is a lead up to saying, let's go to the Constitution and more specifically, the Bill of Rights to get a better sense of the 2nd Amendment as that has become a hotly debated issue around the rash of violence in this country. 

Disclaimer: This is not directed at P Trump as this issue is a bipartisan one as neither party has done enough to take action against the ease of access to guns.

One of the best classes that I took at Indiana University, Bloomington in the pursuit of my Bachelors' in Secondary Education, Social Studies was Constitutional Interpretation. The crux of the course was looking at the different ways in which the Constitution is analyzed for legal purposes. An interesting article from the Huffington Post outlines 14 ways to interpret the Constitution, 14! 

Within those methods, I believe the focus for the sake of a discussion around the 2nd Amendment is Textualism (Literalism, or Plain Meaning), which is what I think is being utilized and Living Document (Aspirational) the technique that would allow for conversation and perhaps even change. In other words, this is the approach that I utilize and my studies of American History lead me to believe the framers - specifically my man James Madison, intended.

One of my favorite episodes of The West Wing is called "The Supremes" in which the staff is charged with helping President Bartlet name a nominee to the Supreme Court following the death of a very conservative justice. In comes Evelyn Baker Lang (Glenn Close), a brilliant and wildly liberal appellate judge and Christopher Mulready (William Fichtner) a staunch conservative...

Evelyn Baker LangI am not... No, I am not rewriting Article I. I am saying that a gun free school zone...
Christopher Mulready[Cutting her off]  Is not a federal issue. In Lopez
Evelyn Baker Lang : [Cutting him off]  Lopez overturned 50 years of precedent.
Christopher Mulready: No, it stated that a plain text reading of the Commerce Clause does not allow Congress to
Evelyn Baker Lang : [Cutting him off again]  A plain text reading of the Constitution values a negro at 3/5 of a man.
Christopher Mulready: Hence the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
Evelyn Baker Lang: Oh, how generous. Thank you

This exchange serves to articulate the fact that a textualism (plain text reading) of the Constitution does not take into account the time and space in which it was written. The Bill of Rights (the first 10 Amendments of the Constitution) also "shows its age" in the Third Amendment: "No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law." Other than the Revolutionary War or perhaps the Civil War, what other time in history would this rule apply?

A textualism (plain text) reading of the second amendment does not acknowledge that much has changed since 1787. The framers of the Constitution could not have fathomed automatic assault weapons used in battle, let alone used against their own children or friends or neighbors in an educational or entertainment environment. The framers of the Constitution were some of the most educated men of their day, I have to believe they would have valued safety in schools.  

Instead, I believe that the forward-thinking framers of the Constitution would have expected their successors to employ a Living Document (Aspirational) viewpoint of this document. As a student of history I have stood in awe on more than one occasion at the fact that there have only been amended (updated) 27 times, and two of those have to do with alcohol! In 231 years, lawmakers have only made 27 changes to this document that shapes the law of the United States of America. An aspirational view of the 2nd Amendment would allow lawmakers to allow for people who wish to arm themselves to do so, but within some level of rational thought, that would limit access to assault weapons or other firearms that your average citizen does not need to carry. 

Each time the news reports that another crime has been committed with a gun, I think of the word beget. Not the reproduction definition... Rather the thought that violence begets more violence. If people think the way to protect themselves is to carry a gun, does that not encourage other people to arm themselves? It feels like such a vicious cycle.

Until someone breaks the cycle, I am going to continue to vote carefully and consider each candidate's record on accepting donations from special interest groups especially the NRA. I will also make a donation to Every Town for Gun Safety. The irony of these plans is that the framers of the Constitution did not even allow me to take these actions as women were not given the right to vote until 1920 with the ratification of the 19th Amendment of the Constitution. What do you think my man James Madison and his compatriots would have to say about that one? Or perhaps I should say, "how do you like them apples?"

I will leave you with this striking quote from Supreme Court Cheif Justice Warren Burger (Conservative - appointed by P Richard Nixon), "The Gun Lobby's interpretation of the Second Amendment is one of the greatest pieces of fraud - one of the American people by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime. The real purpose of the Second Amendment was to ensure that state armies - the militia - would be maintained for the defense of the state. The language of the Second Amendment refutes any argument that it was intended to guarantee every citizen an unfettered right to any kind of weapon he or she desires."

Proof that a Textualism interpretation can work too...

Saturday, January 13, 2018

One Final Broadcast: The Love and Kindness of Mister Rogers and Grandparents

Last year for the April meeting of the board, I was asked to give the opening devotion. I get terribly nervous in these instances where I am surrounded by highly educated (many of them theologically trained) people, but for this one, the timing was well suited in that I truly had been thinking a lot about my grandparents. Today would have been my Grandpop's 88th birthday, so I again find myself thinking about him more than usual. While there are days marked on a calendar where I can anticipate that I will be thinking about my grandparents, but truth be told not a day really goes by where they don't float across my thoughts. It may be something sensical like my sister taking me to see The King and I  stage play as we grew up watching all the Rodgers and Hammerstein movies (except South Pacific which was a one-time showing). Or it could be something more random like a visit to the grocery store's deli department and thinking how Grandpop would have approved of their selection and the person who cut the meat (or disapprove as the case may be). It is in these moments of grief that I am reminded of the fragility of life, and try to tell myself not to squander time or opportunities. We can give ourselves a lot of things, but more time is not always one of them.

One Final Broadcast

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about grandparents, mine specifically. On Easter Sunday my grandmother turned 90, and this past Tuesday was the third anniversary of my grandfather’s death. Many people knew my grandfather as Alice Killmer’s husband of 64 years, father of two, a veteran of the Korean War, an employee of Acme markets for over 40 years, a life-long Episcopalian (let it be known, however, that he had Presbyterian leanings), but to his five grandchildren he was Grandpop.

My Grandpop retired at 55 and has encouraged us all to do the same. Since most of us will not be lucky enough to follow that lead, the life lesson regardless is that he knew how to live life to the fullest. Even in his last years when dementia took his mind, he was always in good spirits. There are times when the grief washes over me, and my only solution is to put on one of his shirts. He had a quality collection of flannel shirts, and everyone in the family went home with one. I also have a terribly scratchy wool sweater that I wear at times when I miss him an extra lot. In fact, I am wearing it today. I am convinced it is real love if you are willing to wear an itchy wool sweater that also gives off a Mr. Rogers vibe (a direct quote from my youngest sister).

I see a lot of similarities between my Grandpop and Mister Rogers, each with their own gentle spirit that the world needs more of. I would now like to read a short section from the book, The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers: Spiritual Insights from the World’s Most Beloved Neighbor by Amy Hollingsworth.

"The very last time I saw Fred in person, I asked him a question for no apparent reason, except perhaps out of idle curiosity. It didn't fit with the rest of the interview or even the context of what we were talking about at the moment. In fact, I didn't even remember asking it until I looked back the interview tape years later. Hearing his answer again, after his death, I found that his words had a 'quality of eternity' about them, as if they were spoken from eternity and not from the conversation we happened to be having that day.

'If you had one final broadcast,' I asked, 'one final opportunity to address your television neighbors, and you could tell them the single most important lesson of your life, what would you say?'

He paused a moment and then said, ever so slowly:  

Well, I would want [those] who were listening somehow to know that they had unique value, that there isn't anybody in the whole world exactly like them and that there never has been and there never will be.

And that they are loved by the Person who created them, in a unique way.

If they could know that and really know it and have that behind their eyes, they could look with those eyes on their neighbor and realize, "My neighbor has unique value too; there's never been anybody in the whole world like my neighbor, and there never will be." If they could value that person -- if they could love that person -- in ways that we know that the Eternal loves us, then I would be very grateful.

"And I think that from where he sits in his new neighborhood, Mister Rogers is just that, eternally gratefully."

Eternally grateful. I am eternally grateful for my grandparents, as well as many people. I truly hope you have someone (or someones) that you too are eternally grateful for having in your life.

Monday, March 6, 2017

This "Toupee" Shall Pass: Diversion Technique #2

President Trump has been our reality for six weeks. Somehow it feels longer, but it also serves as another reminder of how quickly time goes by. It is now March, which means that I have not yet been successful at slowing down time. That concept, however, is a whole separate tangent. Still the focus of this edition of diversion technique or "This 'Toupee' Shall Pass" is: Exploration.

One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin, recently reminded me that "...people who do new things -- learn a game, travel to unfamiliar places -- are happier than people who stick to familiar activities that they already do well." I think it is easy to believe that the only way to accomplish this goal is by planning a trip to some new destination; but there are so many other ways to find joy right in your own area.

This point was reinforced of by someone I have known since elementary school whom I live vicariously through on Facebook as she is quite the globe trotter. She has spent much of 2017 in Tokyo with a few side trips to other Asian countries. A number of people started messaging her after the election about how much they enjoy her travel posts/photos because they are a nice distraction (diversion!). She went onto remind us all that we can post non-political things too, including something like finding joy in a cup of coffee and sharing it through social media. We don't need to be on the other side of the Pacific Ocean to do that. Thanks, Valerie!

While I do revel in having someone ask me, "where are you going now?" after posting some silly airport experience (usually a result of morning brain) because I do enjoy traveling. Yet, I  also take great pleasure in being a tourist in Denver. I have lived here for almost 10 years (in May), and I am still finding new and interesting things to do. For instance, so far this year Danny and I have tried: the National Western Stock Show; a Monster Jam truck rally; and "Thank you for being a friend. In drag," The Golden Girls (now that was a hoot, especially the guy who played Dorothy). This weekend, the docket includes Frozen Dead Guy Days.  Please note that most of these things are done using some kind of discount offering - Groupon, Goldstar, etc. are worth subscribing to, or at least checking before you buy full priced tickets.

Yet, I also like to be a tourist in other places whenever possible. Working for a national organization means that I travel for work with some regularity. I often go sight-seeing on my own dime, even if it means coming in a day early. An example would be my side trips in Boston last week - Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum and the JFK Presidential Library and Museum were crammed in before my meetings started on Sunday. It was fun to see that my parents took advantage of the opportunity to come into Cleveland a day early to visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as they were picking up my sister and her boyfriend en route to visit our family in Baltimore for Christmas. My in-laws also jumped at the chance to continue on to Quebec City after joining Danny and me on our Cleveland leg of our east coast baseball adventures of 2016. As an aside, the four of us all enjoyed Cleveland more than we would initially thought. A lot can be done in 36 hours visiting, "the mistake on the lake."

It's always fun to think about what's possible. In fact, I have read that adventures create a trifecta of happiness: the planning/anticipation, the doing, and the memories after the fact. Let's be honest, I may take more pleasure in the first part (the planning) than most; but this may prove that others enjoy it too. 

I hope you will think about living out the quote from the Dalai Lama: "Once a year, go someplace you've never been before." I used this quote on the back of our photo book for 2016 because I took pride that Danny and I had accomplished it. And if you do it, I would encourage you to send yourself a postcard about it; in an effort not to forget what all went into this year, we made a conscious effort to document our fun through postcards.

Have fun, the year is still young!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Why I Chose to March

It is estimated that 3.2 million people joined in Women's Marches around the United States, with more than a quarter million participating in solidarity around the world. Even though we will never know the actual figure, there were a lot of people troubled by the current state of our government. Two weekends later, I am still thinking about why I decided to participate. So here goes...
  • As a woman of faith I take Luke 12:48 very seriously: "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." I have worked hard as an adult to put a roof over my own head, provide for my family, and go to graduate school. I would be terribly remiss, however, in not acknowledging all that I have been blessed with and the riches that have been shared with me to provide me so many opportunities. My parents and extended family ensured that I never went without, was provided a quality education including a bachelor's Degree, and even straight teeth (braces are not cheap). Plus as a woman especially, I am grateful that I live in a country where I can do what I want, when I want. Not everyone in this world can say that, even in 2017. All this is to say not everyone, even someone born in this country, is as fortunate. I feel a sense of responsibility to help those around me, due in large part to what has been given to me. Is this system perfect? Absolutely not; but it is the system we have and we must work within it to help those in need.
  • I have availed myself of the many services that Planned Parenthood has to offer women. I went to a clinic in college when I was trying to figure out "how to be an adult;" but I did not understand health insurance nor did I have a gynecologist to help diagnose what was causing problems below the waist. Sadly this organization has become predominately associated with providing abortions, but let's be clear that only  3% of their overall services are abortions.
  • I think Betsy DeVos is wildly unqualified to be the Secretary of Education. Even though I may no longer be a teacher, I still have serious concerns about the education system in this country. I truly believe we are falling short of preparing our future generations, and the appointment of such an inappropriate candidate shows that President Trump is not attuned to the need for education reform. 
  • After graduating from college I was having trouble finding employment that provided me with access to or enough compensation to afford health insurance. I went nearly two years without health insurance. I was very fortunate that I did not require any serious medical care, or have a pre-existing condition that would require on-going care. The Affordable Care Act allowed minors to stay on their parents' insurance up until age 26. If this had been an option for me, it would have sustained me until my current position that provided benefits. The repeal of the ACA without a viable replacement is unconscionable. 
  • I believe that global warming is a real phenomenon that requires the full attention of the EPA among other organizations, as well as the full attention of each person. I have serious concerns about the world we will be leaving for future generations if we continue to ignore the impact of our dependence on fossil fuels, and our consumptive nature as a society.
  • Finally, I believe that the millions of people around the country who participated in marches in their respected locations were availing themselves of the right given all Americans by the First Amendment to the Constitution, which allows for peaceable assembly and free speech (along with airing our grievances, freedom of RELIGION - all religions, and freedom of the press). I fear many have lost sight of the fact that the Bill of Rights is comprised of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, not just the second one that allows people to bear arms.
Even though I have more personal reasons why I chose to participate, this is all that I feel is fit to print. As it is I  I cannot speak for anyone else who participated in a march, nor do I think that everyone who opposes them feels the same way. At the end of the day, I hope we can remember in tense situations such as this that neither side is all about "you" nor "me."

Friday, January 27, 2017

This "Toupee" Shall Pass: Diversion Technique #1


Today, a week after the inauguration of this country's 45th President, Donald J. Trump, I find myself anxious, pissed off, scared, and really all the negative feels. I cannot possibly stay in this mental state for four years, so I need to work on a diversion technique. More than one really, but in the short-term this is what I have come up: "This 'Toupee' Shall Pass" blog series. Every couple weeks or so, I hope to provide myself, and possibly others if you have read this far, an idea of how to take your mind off the current political landscape.

Before I explain my first idea, I want to explain the overarching concept of this series. Last weekend, my sister and I joined more than 200,000 of our closest friends in the Women's March on Denver. One of many marches that took place across the country and around the world. More on that event later; but the phrase, "This 'Toupee' Shall Pass" came from a sign that I saw at the March. The expression really struck me, I think due to a combination of my faith, as well as my love of history. After I stopped laughing at the play on words, I felt a strange sense of momentary peace. I need to believe that the framer's of the Constitution, especially perhaps my man James Madison built a system of checks and balances intended to safeguard the people from a single leader. The Executive Branch (the President) is actually the weakest branch of the three by design. I can only hope that the Legislative (Congress) Branch does their job by holding the President in check and meeting the needs of their constituency, many of which did not vote for President Trump.

Now where did my diversion idea for this week (and this whole series, really) comes from? It actually goes back to the fact that I am continuing a New Year's Resolution that I started in 2016 (and actually kept), which is to explore one new restaurant and one new activity/place per month for the whole year. Since I enjoyed it so much, I continued into 2017. The new activity for this month was to finally attend the National Western Stock Show as it is a HUGE deal here in Denver. Groupon provided cheap tickets for Thursday night's rodeo, so we decided to give it a try. After eating wildly unhealthy food: a bacon wrapped hot dog, a deep fried Twinkie (!!), and s'more flavored mini-donuts, we took our seats for the main event. After being totally confused watching cowboys compete in bareback riding and saddle bronc riding, out came a little kid riding a sheep also known as Mutton Bustin' . And then it happened again and again... as there were many little kids who had won their age specific tournament. At the end of the event they were each given a trophy that was definitely taller than most of those kids, and probably taller than me. I truly laughed so hard that I was crying. After seeing how much fun I was having, Danny told me I needed to document this on the blog. He believed that I could come up with a bunch of ideas to help me think about something else. Secretly, I think he just wanted to get me to start blogging again - be careful what you wish for, JDP!

If you find yourself frustrated, scared, etc. I highly recommend watching YouTube videos on Mutton Bustin' - just avoid the ones that talk about the bad things that can happen when you mix a kid under 55 pounds and a sheep. Nobody wants to see that - it won't help.

Until next week, let's keep our chins up, and if you feel so inclined write your representatives to share how you feel (support or dissenting opinions). Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and feelings, but expressing those opinions in a constructive, non-judgmental manner is the only way the American Democracy can work and thrive.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Keep Calm and Carry On OR In Which We Explore the Utterly Perplexing Art of Decluttering With Joy

I have a lot of ordained and theologically trained colleagues, which is a wonderful blessing. Our staff and board functions tend to start with a meditation/devotion/prayer, and in the "old days" when I first started I was part of a rotation, so I only had to prepare one or two per year. A combination of a smaller staff and my role as a Vice President means I can't really duck the responsibility any longer. This past weekend the staff came together, and I was asked to give one of the closing devotions. When it came time I thought my boss had forgotten, but no... So I gave the caveat that I was nervous mainly because I had combined two very separate resources into one devotion (when really I was freaked out because the people around the table are MUCH MORE qualified) to speak on such topics. Since it was well-received and because perhaps other people need help in keeping calm, I share my devotion with you:

Excerpts from Kristin van Ogtrop’s article which appears in the April 04, 2016 issue of TIME and Max Lucado, God Will Carry YouThrough

In the days leading up to the war with Germany, the British government commissioned a series of posters. The idea was to capture encouraging slogans on paper and distribute them about the country. Capital letters in a distinct typeface were used, and a simple two-color format was selected. The only graphic was the crown of King George VI.

The first poster was distributed in September of 1939:

Soon thereafter a second poster was produced:
These two posters appeared up and down the British countryside. On railroad platforms and in pubs, stores, and restaurants. They were everywhere. A third poster was created yet never distributed. More than 2.5 million copies were printed yet never seen until sixty years later when a bookstore owner in Northeast England discovered one in a box of old books he had purchased at an auction. It read:
The poster bore the same crown and style of the first two posters. It was never released to the public, however, but was held in reserve for an extreme crisis, such as invasion by Germany. The bookstore owner framed it and hung it on the wall.  It became so popular that the bookstore began producing identical images of the original design on coffee mugs, postcards, and posters.

[Personally I am having trouble keeping calm. I have also been trying] to understand Japanese supernova Marie Kondo, who approaches organizing as a painstaking, solemn process of finding joy in every corner of your house.

I am the editor of a magazine with organizing at its core, and I happen to know that many Americans, in fact many of you reading this column, are complete slobs. The best part of it is that you don’t really care that much; your slobby nature bothers you the way your hair bothers you. As in: Eh, that’s just the way it is. And this is fantastic, because it means you have a sense of humor.
You know that mess is just mess, not a metaphor for the lack of control you have over your mental health, intelligence level or chances of getting into heaven.

Kondo recently published a new book, her second, called Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up. Even though the book has charming little illustrations, this is a very serious volume for very serious people who don’t think it’s weird to throw out a screwdriver because it doesn’t spark joy and then try to use a ruler to tighten a screw instead. That’s what Marie Kondo did, and the ruler broke. And then Kondo was really sad, not because she recognized the stupidity of trying to tighten a screw with a ruler, but because the ruler had sparked joy.

Does anyone besides me think this is completely bananas?

Trying to follow Kondo’s advice is like, oh, I don’t know, listening to dolphins communicate or watching Star Wars in Farsi. I know something extremely important is happening, and I can almost understand it. But just almost. And it makes me wonder: Are all the people buying her best-selling books doing it … ironically? It reminds me of watching the March presidential debate when Donald Trump crowed about his manhood. I kept waiting to hear a voice say, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday night!”

I’ve been to Japan only once, and one of my favorite things about the trip was going into a store to buy a little inexpensive something and watching the clerk take 15 minutes to wrap it, like it cost $3,000. It was amazing, magical, perfect. I mean, I don’t take that kind of care in wrapping Christmas presents, even the expensive ones. So maybe the difference between me and Kondo is the difference between a slobby American with mediocre gift presentation and an elegant Japanese shopkeeper who will wrap any item carefully, even if it’s worth only $7.50.

Although I do spend much of my work life thinking about organizing, I am never ever everevereverever going to fold my underwear like origami, as Kondo instructs. I am also not going through my house (don’t even get me started on the garage) to hold each object firmly in both hands and wait to see if it sparks joy. Needless to say, Kondo did that, and now she uses a skillet to pound in nails (picture it, people) because she threw out her un-joyful hammer.

However, Kondo has given me an idea. Any organizing expert–including Kondo–knows the goal is not managing physical stuff but managing the stuff swirling around inside your head.

And so I’ve decided to eliminate a few things from my head that don’t spark joy.

[Or perhaps you can appreciate] the reminder from another generation to keep calm and carry on. You can do the same. You can’t control the weather. You aren’t in charge of the economy [or the upcoming Presidential election, which] I have started to think is just one long Kabuki performance, and I can no longer muster any joy. You can’t undo the tsunami [or the inexplicable bombings in Brussels or Pakistan] or un-wreck the car, but you can map out a strategy.

Remember, God is in this crisis [and the clutter]. Ask Him to give you an index card-sized plan, two or three steps you can take today.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

My Letter to the Orioles

Yesterday on Facebook, I put Joyce of the Baltimore Orioles ticket office on notice that if she is that unhappy with her job that I would be glad to take over. Well today, I wrote my first ever complaint letter. I really wish I had followed up with the Mariners after my experience that I entitled, "Fear the Beard" aka The Seattle Mariners Ticket Office. Still, this exchange with the Orioles stung even more because of my life-long history with the team. 

I am working on a list of "Thing I Think, I Think" about baseball in general - so more to come. In the meantime, here's my best attempt at an effective letter...

March 10, 2016

Scott Rosier
Manager, Season Plan Sales
Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
333 West Camden Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Dear Mr. Rosier:

I am writing this letter to you in response to a most unpleasant exchange that I had with Season Plan Sales Representative, Joyce Noto on March 9, 2016. The reason for my call was to purchase tickets for an upcoming Orioles Game.

As a life-long baseball fan, with many fond memories of the Orioles this interaction was especially disappointing to me. Even though I was raised in Philadelphia, Chicago, and now live in Denver, my family roots are in Baltimore; so I have always kept a close eye on the Orioles. Like so many children of the 1980s, I grew up admiring Cal Ripken, Jr. I had a crush on Brady Anderson in my teen years, I was angered by the fan interference play of the 1996 ALCS, and I will never forget watching, on TV, the numbers on the warehouse change to 2,131 when Ripken broke Lou Gehrig’s record. The Orioles ascent from the lower ranks of the ardent AL East to be more competitive gives me hopes for both the White Sox and the Rockies to figure things out one day.

As an adult I have become a ballpark chaser. To date, I have been to 18 stadiums, and my upcoming road trip of five stadiums in nine days will get me closer to completing the goal. Camden Yards may not have been my first baseball experience (Veterans Stadium), but it is the ballpark that made the biggest impact. Each stadium I go to is compared to Camden Yards. I have seen delightful parallels in use at Comerica Park and Coors Field, which is also where I was married; but they’re not quite the same.
While I am a Millennial, I am rather “old-school” in that part of the ballpark chasing experience is talking with locals in the ticket office. The enthusiasm and pride that many of the ticket agents display for their home ballparks is contagious. Plus I get the inside track on the best place to catch a game. I recognize that there is a mixture across Major League Baseball as to whether teams sell lower quantities of tickets for individual games. In an effort to be prepared, I made an inquiry back in February to find out the stance of the Orioles. I spoke to a very pleasant man who said that the ticket office would be glad to assist me once the tickets went on sale.

Based on this information, I trust you can understand why I was shocked to have been immediately transferred to Tickets.com. So I called back, and had my regrettable exchange with Ms. Noto. She did not understand why I would want to speak to someone in the ticket office who, in her words “could see the green grasses of Camden Yards, rather than ‘Hazel’ at Tickets.com.” After I explained my reasoning a second time, she tersely stated that this has been the practice of the Orioles for 27 years. She went on to say that unless I wanted to be a season-ticket holder there was nothing she could do for me. Even though there are teams that will not sell individual game tickets, this is the first time I did not even have the opportunity to converse with an agent about the nuances of a ballpark.

I proceeded to purchase my six tickets for a game in May through Tickets.com. Please understand that I refuse to let this impact my experience at Camden Yards, especially since this will be my husband’s first trip, but the whole incident left a bad taste in my mouth.

For those of us on the outside the opportunity to go to the ballpark every day for one’s job feels like a privilege that should be treated with respect. I trust that this is not the way that the Orioles do business; so I wanted to make you aware of your employee’s actions.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Go Orioles!

© Sheer Ridiculousness. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.