Not that this is something that you, The Reader, really care much about, but I have been One Busy Dude lately. Ever since my TA work for the semester ended, I've been working pretty much non-stop to get ready for a talk I'm giving at a conference at the end of the month. MLB.tv has been my savior, because I can come home, grab some food, and head back into lab to finish up the day's work with baseball on the computer. I wouldn't say that I do this every night, but it's definitely a couple of night's a week from now until I give this talk.
The Nationals always throw a wrench into things, because I'm blacked out from Nats games here in Chapel Hill due to a stupid petty fight between MASN and Time Warner. This is pretty frustrating because the Nats are one of baseball's more exciting young teams, but that's neither here nor there. What's important to the story I'm telling here is that I'm blacked out of Nats games from MLB.tv and that I'm a busy person (and also a verbose person that took 200 words to get those points across).
So tonight, I worked until around 6:30 and hopped a bus home, knowing that I had somewhere in the ballpark of an hour's work left for the night. I got home at 7:00, and immediately went out for a run. I don't ever put the Pirates on the headphones when I'm running, because it messes me up and I'm slow enough without Tim Neverett's Depth Perception to slow me down even more. As soon as I finished running, I switched Pandora off and put the Pirates on. James McDonald was about to start the bottom of the third, and he already had five strikeouts. I noted the Nationals' hit column. I got home, cooled down, ate dinner, and showered. By the time I was ready to go back into lab, it was 8:15 or so and James McDonald was putting the finishing touches on his 9th strikeout in the bottom of the fourthand I started getting legitimately freaked out.
"How long will it take me to get into lab?"
"Ten minutes or so."
"OR SO? You've lived in the same apartment for five years! How do you not know how long it takes to get into lab?"
"I dunno ... I just get there when I get there, you know?"
"Sigh. Yes. I know. OK, so ten minutes for the drive. How long for the transfection."
"Seven minutes for the liposomes to form, then 25 minutes to fuse the DNA into the liposomes."
"You're being an idiot. How many samples do you have? Do you know where the siRNA is in the loaner freezer? Don't you want to hit that Western blot with ECL again?"
"OK, so 45 minutes."
"OK, so an hour in lab. Plus ten minutes to get to lab either way. Better bank on an hour and a half total."
"That brings you to 9:45."
"Baseball games are three hours. I'll be home just in time for ESPN or MLBN to flip over to J-Mac if he's finishing up the you know what."
"Do no-hitters last three hours?"
"DON'T SAY IT!"
"You'd better get in the car."
So I grabbed my computer so that I could listen in lab and hopped into my car. I got halfway down the street before I realized that I'd forgotten to grab the homebrews (Hopburst-style IPA and Kiwit, for the interested) that I was supposed to bring in for Friday's Happy Hour. Over the course of a tenth of a mile, I had a second full debate with myself over the merits of going back for the beer.
I went back for the beer.
As I ran up to my apartment, phone dinged. "We're playing pool tonight at Tyler's in a bit if you'd like to join us." This was not a text message I was particularly interested in ignoring. My brain went into overdrive. "James McDonald is going to strikeout 17 guys and throw a no-hitter and you're going to miss every pitch because you're going to go into lab and then out to the bar and 20 years from now the only thing you're going to remember about this night is that you missed the whole no hitter." I tried to sort out a plan of attack for my night in my head and I debated the parking garage (a sure space, but a long walk to lab) vs. trying to find a spot in front of the building, which required an extra loop around the block and was far from a sure thing. I decided to risk it. I made a right onto the road where my lab building is and saw plenty of spots. I did a mental fist pump. Jesus Flores singled.
Before I even parked, Steve Lombardozzi followed with a double. I parked, grabbed my bag and the beer, and headed into the building. No longer in a hurry, I took my time walking across the building and down the stairs to my lab. I put the beer in the cold room, got my computer out, and loaded the game up. Adam LaRoche tripled in a run and brought the Nats to within two runs. I threw my hands up and thought, "Honestly, I bet they blow it now." And went about my work. I was pleasantly surprised every time I checked in on my computer that the Pirates were managing to maintain their lead. Joel Hanrahan closed out the 5-3 win, just as I finished up my work for the night.
And so that's the story of how I got myself worked up over a no-hitter that didn't even come close to happening. In it's actual form, this game was the sort of game I'd like to see the Pirates play all the time: James McDonald had an amazing start until the bottom fell out, Andrew McCutchen mashed baseballs all over Nationals' Park, and that was enough for the Pirates to get a win. If only this was a more regular occurance.
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