Take Me Out to the Ballgame! (with an interlude at the Musical Instrument Museum)

 

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People seem surprised to find out I like going to baseball games. I wouldn’t say I am necessarily a baseball fan. I don’t really watch games on television or follow scores or statistics. But I love to go to the ballpark to see a game. There is something special about it that’s hard to describe.

 

 

Plus I love a good costume, and now I have a whole collection of Giants attire. Because I do root for the San Francisco Giants (and sometimes the Atlanta Braves, if they aren’t playing the Giants).

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game day ready
I got game! Well, I got a baseball cap, anyway.

 

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If this bag was vegan and less expensive, I’d buy it.

 

And I get an excuse to sing the Journey song Don’t Stop Believin’ at the top of my lungs without people thinking I am crazy.

 

For the third time since Bob and I have been together, we made it to the San Francisco Giants spring training in Scottsdale, Arizona this year. It was a short trip–we flew to Phoenix Monday morning, went to an afternoon game, out to dinner, Tuesday morning at the Musical Instrument Museum, an afternoon game, and home Tuesday night. But what it lacked in time it made up for in fun and sun.

 

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training games

 

Our day 1 game was at Camelback Ranch, ballpark for the Chicago White Sox. Who actually wear black socks. I felt cheated. (Which leads to the question, are you a fan of high socks with the uniform? I am.)

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Giants Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey show their socks style.

 

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At the Giants v White Sox. Giants win!

 

It’s really hot in March in Arizona. Really hot. Siri said so.

 

93 degrees

 

 

 

Belt
The closest I managed to get to a well-known player was when Brandon Belt was at bat.

 

Vegans and teetotalers can have a hard time at the ballpark. In the heat, while most everyone else was drinking beer, I really wanted a shaved ice. This is what I ended up with. I realize it is not a color known in nature. It was supposed to be cherry. I think it was sugar and red dye number whatever. But it was cold and I ate it anyway.

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After the game, we checked into the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas, a splurge but oh so nice! Thank you Bob for the indulgence!

The first thing I saw in the lobby when we checked in was the ice-cold fruit-infused water. This is one of my new obsessions. I drank about 4 glasses of the concoction while we checked in. Baseball is thirsty work.

 

Our villa suite was amazing. There was even a washer/dryer and a dishwasher! We didn’t stay long enough to enjoy all of the amenities, but it was quite relaxing and comfortable, to say the least.

 

Next day, we hit the Musical Instrument Museum before settling in for the Giants v Padres at the Scottsdale Stadium. As I might have said, when a museum nerd (me) and a music nerd (Bob) travel together, this is where they go.

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I was thinking it would be a small, homey, do-it-yourself place. One of those old-guy-with-a-collection opens his garage kind of things. Was I wrong! This is a beautiful, world-class museum and collection. It is well worth a day or two of wandering and wondering. Athough I was a bit alarmed and amused at the no weapons sign. I’ve never been to a museum that specified this. I didn’t think they needed to.

 

Just a few highlights:

Danish design
One more example of the superior lines of Danish design.

 

The Johnny Cash tribute.

 

One day, I will be that lady banjo player.

 

The 60s. Suit worn by Roger Daltry of The Who. Jimi Hendrix on the monitor.

 

glass orchestra

 

 

Just another visitor trying out the piano in the lobby.

 

 

Apollonia
The Apollonia, in the Mechanical Music Gallery, a 2-ton dance organ.

 

 

I have a whole novel centered around the Apollonia worked up in my head, and it would make a great movie, too. I’ll fill you in in a future blogpost.

Don’t forget to exit through the gift shop!

exit through the gift shop

 

Back to baseball! On to the Scottsdale Stadium, where our seats were a little more in the shade but a lot more behind really tall people. It Genevieve’s Law: the tallest adults at the ballpark (movie, concert, whatever), will have tickets for the seats directly in front of the shortest adult at the ballpark (movie, concert, whatever).

 

tall people
My view.

 

souvenir cup
New souvenir cup to add to my collection.

 

The Giants win again! Then a short trip into old town Scottsdale before heading to the airport.

 

 

I bought a beautiful ring at one of the nicer stores there on a previous visit. But I am clumsy and sometimes forgetful, so I managed to lose the ring. I was hoping to find the same store; they have less-touristy merchandise and less, shall we say, ostentatious designs. Bob was on the case, and lo and behold, the first store he suggested turned out to be the right one! If you are in Scottsdale, check out Scottsdale Jewels on N. Brown Avenue. Don’t be alarmed by the taxidermied bear (okay, be alarmed, but it’s still a nice jewelry store and they aren’t pushy like in the other stores).

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I wish someone had thought of the Don’t Touch idea before killing and stuffing the bear.

A quick flight home, and back to life as usual. Which is a good life all in all.

Baseball season 2017 opening day is Sunday, April 2. I’m not sure when I will get to a game, but I hope to see you there! Go Giants! Peace and hugs from this Giants Girl.

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Giants girl

 

 

P.S. Another obsession: I saw this dress in the Southwest Airline inflight magazine. I want it. I must have it. I can’t afford it, but maybe I can put my sewing skills to the test and make my own knock-off. Fashion detectives, if you can lead me to any information about this dress, I will  be forever indebted.

the dress

Leading Today, Building Tomorrow: 20th Annual Women in Leadership

This is the second year I have attended the Women in Leadership conference at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. It seems especially relevant this year in light of my changing jobs to one with more responsibilities, challenges, and calls upon my management skills. Even though I am not on the Berkeley campus anymore, I decided to visit the old neighborhood for the conference and mingle among inspiring women, find examples of how I want to lead, and get feedback from other women in similar situations.

Women in Leadership 2016

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It was a rainy day, bad for a conference setting that includes an outdoor courtyard but good for our California drought. I had to stop on the way from the parking lot and revisit a few of my favorite outdoor sculptures in the area, including, of course, some fierce, and not-so-fierce, California bears.

 

I made sure to arrive early in order to register and check out the networking breakfast. Is it my imagination, or is the food just nicer at women’s events? Plus there are all the touches like flowers that add to a pleasant atmosphere.

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Student volunteers at registration.
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Breakfast buffet.
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Attendees making new friends over breakfast and coffee/tea.

 

Lululemon provided the bags for the swag, which included a lot of snacks. Women in Leadership have to keep their strength up!

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Leading today, building tomorrow.

 

your correspondent
Your correspondent gets a good seat.
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Gathering for the opening keynote speaker.

The conference is student organized, and I am impressed at the job they do.

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Co-chairs Morgana Davids and Sydney Thomas welcome the attendees.

 

Keynote 1 Staci Slaughter
In conversation with Staci Slaughter (left), Executive Vice-President, Communications, and Senior Advisor to the CEO, San Francisco Giants.

Staci Slaughter got us started with her view of what makes a good leader:

  • Be a mentor and allow others to fluorish
  • Get out of the way; support others to grow professionally
  • Make time for yourself
  • Remember the importance of kindness
  • You have to be willing to leave to move up; if you don’t feel professionally fulfilled in your job, move on.
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Coffee break and networking time.

Coffee break was followed by the Story Salon, something the organizers added to this year’s program. Hearing other women tell their stories is an empowering and meaningful experience.

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Kelly Deutermann, military officer and pilot in the US Coast Guard, uses a story of a harrowing Coast Guard rescue to deliver her points: own your own decisions, don’t live an unexamined life, check your assumptions at the door, and find ways to make what you want to have happen, happen.
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Margo Hasselman, founding partner of Renaker Hasselman, a law firm specializing in employment law. Competitive Ultimate Frisbee led her to examine her definition of success and prestige as opposed to the conventional definition and measures.
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Ayesha Wagle on the importance of being able to ask for and receive help as well as being supportive of those around you, recurring themes of the day.

Lunchtime! Catering by Gregoire Restaurant, one of the Bay Area’s most popular takeout options, offering beautiful French food and box lunches.

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Thank you for the vegan lunch option!
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Even a woman in leadership can have a sweet tooth.

 

The afternoon started off with our dynamic keynote speaker: entrepreneur, media executive and business author (Naked in the Boardroom: A CEO Bares Her Secrets So You Can Transform Your Career) Robin Wolaner.

Naked

Her funny, engaging, and thought-provoking talk included advising women that success isn’t about luck but about being smart and authentic. She quoted Madeleine Albright, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.” If Wolaner were to run for political office, I would vote for her! But she’s too smart to do that to herself.

After another coffee and networking break, there were six break-out sessions to choose from:

  • Be Your Authentic Self: Developing a Personal Brand That Matters
  • Intersectionality of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Workplace
  • Pivoting Toward Growth: Successfully Navigating Your Career Path
  • Power and Influence Strategies
  • Salary Negotiation Workshop: Strategies and Skills for Successful Negotiation
  • Unconscious Bias in the Workplace: What It Looks Like, and What to Do About It

It was a tough choice! They all sound valuable. I went to Pivoting Toward Growth with career coach Michelle Florendo, founder of the company What If You Could.

What If You Could

Pivoting Toward Growth 1

Pivoting Toward Growth 2
Yes, my path has been like the one on the right. Makes me dizzy!

Then on to the evening keynote talk by entrepreneur, activist and leader Freada Kapor Klein, Ph.D. Among her many accomplishments, she is the founder of the Level Playing Field Institute and a partner in Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center for Social Impact.

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The theme of the closing keynote.

Her focus was on women, especially women of color, in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. There was definitely a heavy emphasis throughout the day on women in tech. I am not one in any on the STEM group, but I still found valuable gems and eye-opening information.

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Do you know who these women are?

 

badass women scientists

And a reminder that while the day was about all women, women of color face greater obstacles.

women aren't just white

coder not custodian
Obstacles include being misidentifed as custodial staff.

My favorite quote: “Empathy counteracts bias.”

The companies that Kapor Capital supports commit to GIVE:

GIVE

Time to end the day with a closing reception; more beautiful food and sweets, Proseco for those who wanted to imbibe, and San Pellegrino sparkling water for rest of us. It was a day of support, networking, and reminders that we, as women, bring something unique to the table that we should hold onto: empathy, willingness to support each other, and a desire for balance in our lives no matter what our career fields.