Today was a good (and cheap) day. Technically, yesterday was a good (and cheap) day, but daylogging in the past is too difficult for my addled brain to comprehend.
It being my day off, I slept in until elevenish, up until my wife dragged me out of bed to check the movie listings. Ever since we saw the trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl months ago, we'd been looking forward to seeing the movie. Plus, I've been cultivating a dangerous crush on Keira Knightley lately, so I had to go. Of course, we went to the 1:00 p.m. matinée showing, thereby avoiding the expensive ticket prices.
The film turned out to be pretty decent, with Knightley looking sufficiently luminous (and eerily like my beloved Natalie Portman). Without going into too much detail, let me say that Geoffrey Rush = excellent undead pirate, Johnny Depp = outstanding pirate and Orlando Bloom = passable, scrawny blacksmith.
After the movie, we adjourned to Cici's Pizza, a DFW-area pizza buffet chain. Short on cash and having left the checkbook back at the apartment, Caramelhead and I crossed our fingers that this Cici's accepted debit cards. They didn't... but as we did an about face and headed to the door, the manager called back to us: You guys can eat on me today. Thankfully, Cici's had some decent pizzas to offer, which helped placate my wife. To paraphrase a good friend: "It's the best pizza in the world; it's the best 'cause it's free." Amen to that, brother.
With a bellyfull of greasewheel, we headed back home for a chance to freshen up prior to the ballgame. Even though I've lived in Texas for two years -- almost to the day -- I had yet to go to a Major League Baseball game. It's not like I hadn't asked, but baseball isn't the wife's favorite pasttime. Finally, with the help of a coworker and friend of hers who's a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, she was persuaded to go.
It was a magnificent day for baseball. The temperature hovered around a bearable 91 degrees, dropping to the mid-80s by game's end. The sun was shining and the sky was dotted by a few inoffensive clouds. As the three of us (me, the wife and her friend Natalie) are between paychecks, we were doing the game on the cheap. We parked beside a warehouse for free, but less than half a block from the $5 parking lots. ("It's the best parking spot in the world; it's the best..." Oh, you get the idea.) We bought $5 grandstand tickets -- the cheapest offered -- but wound up sitting on the 3rd base line because the Texas Rangers haven't played competitive baseball for two years and rarely fill the Ballpark. It was "Dollar Hot Dog Night". Aside from being pillaged for $7.50 for two 20 fl. oz. Diet Dr. Peppers, the game was an economical success.
I was struck by how small a major league stadium looks once you get inside. On TV, they appear expansive, but in reality are much more intimate. In the end, the Rangers rode a strong pitching performance from Joaquin Benoit and a two-run Alex Rodriguez homer to a 4-1 victory over the flagging Minnesota Twins.
And I rode home contented by a good movie, decent food, good baseball and good company. All of it was cheap, save for the company. I had to say that, lest Caramelhead turn into her evil, crabby alter ego "Fungushead" and pummel me.