Michael Sullivan Online


Week 23: Mike's Birthday and Opening Day

CANBERRA AUSTRALIA - 11 October 2000 - This was the week of Mike's 28th birthday. To celebrate, Mike rounded up eight friends to go out on Friday night. Stacey, Steve, Dave, and Mike sat on the patio outside the University Bar and had a jug. From there, they wandered inside to shoot some pool. Kirsten, a teacher with Steve, met them after a few games followed by Danne, Nelly, and Dylan, a new person at the supercomputer facility. When Tatia and Andrew, Steve and Stacey's housemate, they met at an Italian restaurant that happened to be closed. From there, they went over to nice place that had chicken, steak and other hearty meals. While there, Mike made a fool of himself as always opening his mouth at in opportune times to spew some language that the Aussies interpretted differently than Mike had intended. In the end though, Mike just dealt with it. After dinner, the group went over to a pub for an after dinner drink. As Mike is getting older and hanging around older people, everyone headed for home after about a half hour there (it was about 11:30pm). Everyone seemed to have a good time and Mike definately enjoyed his night out.

On Saturday, Mike got ready for the baseball season by going out to the mall to pick up a couple items. Namely, he got a couple undershirts, undershorts, a baseball, and a baseball bag. He had to get ready because he was starting for the A team of the Ainslie Bears Baseball Club; this is their top grade. The game was at 9am on Sunday so Mike couldn't get into too much trouble on Saturday night.

In the big game, Mike started in left field. He played there for two innings before moving to third base to relieve the club president who had a very sore back. After committing an error on a pick-off throw from the catcher that allowed the opposition's only run to score, Mike was moved to second base. In the Bears next at bat, Mike made good contact with the ball and hit it up the middle. The second baseman fielded it but pulled the first baseman off the bag allowing Mike to be safe. Mike was getting a big lead as there were runners in front of him. It was almost too big as the first baseman snuck behind him. Luckily, the ball wasn't thrown and Mike breathed a sigh of relief. On the next pitch, the ball was bunted and a throw was made to second base to get Mike out. However, the ball was overthrown and Mike raced for third. On a close play, Mike slid head first into the base JUST in front of the throw. In the process, Mike had a bunch of dirt fly in his face. This caused a contact to fall out. Mike kneeled down looking at the ground a bit about ready to give up on the old contact but when he mentioned it to the coach, the coach immediately spotted it. On the next batter, Mike scored. In between innings, Mike wasn't able to get the contact in and so was replaced in the field. They'd won the game 11-1. This was the first game of the year and all the games for all the teams were played at one field. Mike watched the next A grade game then went down to see the Ainslie B grade team play. The starting pitcher for the Bears didn't last too long as he threw a couple straight to the backstop or on the hop. The next pitcher didn't have so much trouble and took care of business. The opposition had trouble finding good pitching and in the end, Ainslie won 31-2. At the end of the day, Mike was pretty sore for only playing a half a game but it was a good day.

Monday was officially Mike's birthday and he didn't do anything to celebrate. In fact, when he first woke up, he was almost too sore and tired to realize it was his birthday. During the week he got some great care packages. The Menke's, Mike's aunt and uncle, sent him a package with things you'd take to a baseball game. This included peanuts, licorice, an Baltimore Orioles schedule and a pin from Camden Yards. In addition, Mike got a whole bunch of American Smarties. Everyone was interested in these candies and thought they tasted great. In addition, Mike made a lot of friends at the baseball game with his licorice. He will definately scour the stores to see if they carry it here in Australia. On top of that wonderful care package, Mike's very own mom sent him some delicious cookies made just the way Mike likes them as well as some Minneapolis papers that covered the Olympics. Lastly, his mom sent him some Halloween candy and party favors. Mike would like to thank all those people that sent him cards and birthday greetings. It was good to hear from you.

Here ends Mike's twenty third week in Australia.

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