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Archive for the category “Gratitude Month”

Thanks for the Many Championships

November is Gratitude Month on the Guitar Train.  Quirky T has so many things to be thankful for in her life.  Going back to last month’s Happy Month on the Guitar Train, I believe that concentrating on what you have in life instead of dwelling on what you don’t have is one of the keys to happiness.  On that track, I want to start Gratitude Month by thanking the New York Giants and New York Yankees for many seasons of amazing games and world championships.

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte signed photo

The last week in September this year was the worst I’ve ever witnessed as a New Jersey sports fan.  On Sunday, September 22, the Giants lost their third straight game to start the season.  Meanwhile, the Yankees retired closer Mariano Rivera’s number 42 while pitcher Andy Pettitte started his last game at Yankee Stadium.  They are my two favorite Yankees pitchers.

New York Yankees logo

The ceremony for Mariano was amazing as all Yankees ceremonies are.  It’s sad that after Derek Jeter retires, there’s no one else on the team to honor.  There’s nothing to look forward to.  I went to a Yankees game in April of this year.  Second baseman, Robinson Cano, was the only returning starter from last year playing because of the huge amount of player injuries.  It was like watching a whole new team.  The season ended basically the same way with many of the starters not returning from injury.  There are so many questions surrounding this team for next season.  Will Alex Rodriquez play again?  Will Derek Jeter be healthy?  Who will the starting pitchers be?  Who will be the closer, not to replace Mariano because that is impossible, but just to close games?  Will Alfonso Soriano continue to play as well as he surprisingly played?  At least, Joe Girardi will still be the manager.

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI Champions

That worst week in September continued as the Giants lost their fourth straight game the following Sunday.  At least with the Yankees, they know what they have to do to improve and which positions they need to fill.  With the Giants, the answers are not coming.  They have had injuries, too, but it is more than that.  It’s surprising that this franchise could start the season playing that badly but it shouldn’t be totally shocking considering how badly they played at the end of last season.  The other times I’ve been through losing streaks with this team, the talent wasn’t there.  I would never think that a team that has two time Super Bowl MVP QB Eli Manning and great receivers could be playing so badly.

The only way I can survive this horrible time is to remember all the great seasons in the past.  The five World Series I have seen the Yankees win.  The four Super Bowls I have seen the Giants win.  Some fans never see their teams get to the playoffs, let alone win a championship.  So I am very grateful to have seen my two favorite sports teams not only win but win repeatedly.  I guess because of these big victories, my expectations have been raised.  I have to step back and be happy for the many past seasons of glory and amazing games.

1998 World Series Ticket

I am also tremendously thankful that I was able to see my favorite teams play in a World Series game and a Super Bowl in person.  I went to Game One of the 1998 World Series when the Yankees played the San Diego Padres.  Not only did the Yankees win that game but my favorite player, first baseman Tino Martinez, hit a grand slam.

Super Bowl 35 pins

I went to Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa, FL where the Giants played the Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, the Giants lost that game.  It was the worst feeling in the world at that time.

To get on the music track, here are some songs that remind me of the Yankees.  Mariano Rivera entered all his home games to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”.   I probably wouldn’t have ever heard that song if it wasn’t for watching Yankees games.  I thought it was great that the band performed that song live on the field at Yankee Stadium during the retirement ceremony for Mariano.  The other song that reminds me of the Yankees is Queen’s “We Are The Champions.”  

That song was played frequently in reference to the Yankees World Series Championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009.

For the Giants, the songs that remind me of them have nothing to do with the games on the field.  In 1990, I was lucky enough to be able to tour the Giants locker room as part of an event held at Giants Stadium.  While fans walked around the locker room, the Wilson Phillips song, “Impulsive” was playing in the background.  I was already a fan of the group so it really added to the fun of the moment to hear this song playing.  Years later, when I was leaving a Giants game, on the car radio the Green Day song, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”   was playing.  I remember looking back at Giants Stadium lit up beautifully in the night and taking a mental picture of it.  Watching the Giants win the Super Bowl in 1986, 1990, 2007, and 2011 really was the time of my life.

Guitar Train passengers, what sports teams are you grateful for?  How do you get through the bad times with these teams?

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Thanksgiving

NFL Shield

Thanksgiving is one of Quirky T’s favorite holidays because it contains three of her favorite things – food, family, and football.  It has all of the fun, family, and food of Christmas without the gift giving anxiety.  Any holiday centered on an abundance of food has to be good.  I love that the NFL has added a third football game at night so there’s even more football to watch.  The only anxiety I have is if the New York Giants are playing that day.  If they lose, it ruins the holiday a little for me.

Thanksgiving has been increasingly skipped over in recent years.  It seems that stores go from having Halloween candy on their shelves right to Christmas decorations without anything for Thanksgiving.  Now on Thanksgiving Day itself, stores are open to start Christmas shopping.  I can’t believe that even after a man actually died in the chaos of shoppers rushing into a store, they still have door buster specials that caused such fatal insanity.  Why can’t people just relax and enjoy Thanksgiving at home, at their families’ or friends’ house, or at a restaurant?  The consumer products will still be there the next day.  And if they aren’t, were they really necessary for your life?  Would they really bring you happiness and everything you desire?

So this Thanksgiving, Guitar Train passengers, let’s relax, eat much great food, enjoy our family and friends, watch football, listen to music, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Next month, the Guitar Train presents Christmas Songs.

Ode to My iPod

Walkman and batteries

Musically speaking, the one invention I am really grateful for is my iPod.  It freed me from carrying around a clunky Walkman and about ten cassette tapes.  I loved my Walkman but it was bulky and the batteries never lasted long.  I learned the hard way not to leave the batteries in the Walkman when traveling.  One time the Walkman rewind button was pushed into the on position while in my suitcase and the batteries were used up.  So from then on, I carried an extra two AA batteries with me (as well as leaving only one battery in the Walkman while traveling).  All that added to the Walkman’s large entourage.

iPod Shuffle and batteries

I was skeptical about the iPod because I thought I would be forced to buy again from iTunes music I had already bought on CD.  When I discovered I could import my own CDs onto the iPod, I bought an iPod Shuffle.  What astonished me the most about the Shuffle was the fact that it is smaller than the two AA batteries I used in my Walkman.  I couldn’t believe that something that small could hold all that music.  Even the iPod earphones were an improvement over all the earphones I had before.  I don’t know how people can jog wearing non iPod earphones; I couldn’t even walk without them falling out.

iPod Nano

A few years later, I upgraded to the iPod Nano which allows me to see which songs are playing. I can now make playlists and organize songs by artists and theme.  It’s a much easier way to make a “mixed tape” of my favorites.  I’m so happy with my Nano that I haven’t thought about upgrading it.  The only complaint I have is that every time my non-Apple computer crashed and eventually died, I had to re-import the whole contents of my iTunes playlists on my computer.  I wish I could just synch everything from my iPod back to my laptop.

Excluding my favorites (Gloria Estefan and Huey Lewis), here is a list of my Party songs playlist.

  1. “Walking on Sunshine” – Katrina and the Waves  
  2. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham! 
  3. “Copacabana” – Barry Manilow
  4. “Neutron Dance” – The Pointer Sisters
  5. “Pump Up the Jam” – Technotronic  http://youtu.be/9EcjWd-O4jI
  6. “Roam” – The B-52’s
  7. “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins
  8. “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
  9. “La Bamba” – Los Lobos
  10. “Walk Like an Egyptian” – The Bangles 
  11. “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds 
  12. “Gimme Some Lovin’” – Spencer Davis Group
  13. “While You See a Chance” – Steve Winwood
  14. “Back in the High Life Again” – Steve Winwood 

It’s pretty much an 80’s party mix.  I have yet to play it at an actual party.  That is a dream of mine.

Guitar Train passengers, what songs are on your favorite iPod playlist?

Gratitude Month – Quick Station Stop

Veterans' Monument in Guttenberg, New Jersey

Veterans’ Monument in Guttenberg, New Jersey

Thank you.

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