The Marinerds Introduction

Who are you?

Hi, I'm Deanna. I live in the north end of Tokyo, in a neighborhood that most people usually forget is actually in the city and think is part of Saitama. I work in the northeast part of the city, in Arakawa-ku, as your average unassuming junior high school English teacher. On weekends and some weeknights I magically transform into a nutcase baseball fanatic and go yell and sing my lungs out at baseball games, preferably sitting in the outfield section at a Fighters game. My brain is way too full of random baseball data. And kanji. Lots of kanji.

You like baseball, huh?

I don't really remember a time in my life when there wasn't baseball. My grandfather had season tickets to the Phillies, and then my mom did, and so I started going to games pretty much before I could walk, or talk. For my entire childhood, every Sunday when the Phillies were in town, my mom and brother and I were at Veterans Stadium, amassing a gigantic pile of giveaways for kids 14-and-under. As a left-handed kid, I wanted to be Steve Carlton when I grew up. Imagine how devastated I was when my mom told me girls weren't allowed to be professional baseball players.

I went off to Carnegie Mellon in 1994, and the NL East champion Pirates celebrated my arrival in the city of Pittsburgh by immediately starting to suck.

Eventually I moved to Seattle in 2002, and naturally the record-breaking 116-win Mariners decided to celebrate my arrival by ALSO starting to suck. I became a Mariners season ticket holder in 2004, and I'd like to believe that spending my formative years as a Phillies fan gave me the ability to enjoy baseball no matter how much the home team sucks.

In 2004, I started reading the USS Mariner blog as a coping mechanism, and at the end of that year got up the courage to go to one of their pizza feeds, where I was one of about 4 women in a room of 100 guys. It reminded me of my engineering classes in college. But, David Cameron uttered the words, "Boy, it'd be nice if we had some female Mariners bloggers around."

At the start of the 2005 season, I decided that he was right.

So what on earth is a Marinerd, anyway?

Well, when I started the blog, I was working as a Perl programmer for a medical software company in downtown Seattle, about a 10-minute walk from Safeco Field. Since I was a nerd, and I liked the Mariners, therefore, the blog became "Seattle MariNERDs".

Wait a minute. How'd Japan factor into this?

Yeah, so see, I studied Japanese in college for a few years, and needed a way to keep up with my studies. My first trip to Japan was in 2001 during Ichiromania, and that's when I realized it was a really special thing for everyone here. When I came back in 2003, I was determined to see a baseball game. A friend and I found these coupons to see a game at the Tokyo Dome for like 900 yen in the outfield. I found out later that it was because the Fighters got as many fans in one month as the Giants got in one night, but still. We went in, accidentally sat in the middle of the Nippon Ham Fighters cheering section, and from the minute people started singing and banging sticks and waving flags, I realized, "This is how it should be." It was my kind of crazy.

So I had a team to follow, and I had an internet connection, which is a decent formula for good excuses to read/hear Japanese. It's always easier to study a language when you're studying something you love.

I came back in 2004 to see the Fighters again, then in 2006 for a trip to almost every stadium in the country, and then I decided one day that in order to really understand what it's like to live in Japan, I needed to just go ahead and, well, live in Japan. I quit my cushy engineering job in Seattle and took an English teaching job here, and ended up in my current digs in Tokyo/Saitama.

Saitama? But aren't the Fighters in Sapporo?

Yeah, that's a slight problem, I admit. I've got my local Kanto-area boyfriends in the form of the Chiba Lotte Marines, but my heart will always belong to the Fighters first and always. I do go to see them as often as I can, whenever they're in town, and the rest of the time I just have to deal with being in a long-distance relationship.

You go to games pretty often, don't you?

Not really. I guess it depends on how you define "pretty often". I pretty much go to at least one game per weekend, but sometimes that's it. I used to work from 1pm to 10pm every day, which made it rather difficult to go to games, but now I work an 8am-5pm job every day, and can get to Jingu and the Tokyo Dome in time for first pitch of a 6pm game. I went to 77 games in 2008 and am shooting to go to over 100 in 2009...

...okay, yeah, I guess you could say I go pretty often.

Hi, my name is Deanna and I have a slight baseball addiction.

What kind of camera do you use?

I had a point-and-click until August 2006, when I got my first digital SLR camera, a Nikon D50. In December 2007 a friend sold me his used Nikon D200 for an offer-you-can't-refuse price, so I upgraded.

My one and only zoom lens is still a 70-300 f/4-5.6G, which is pretty much the cheapest, slowest zoom lens on the market. I've had it for over two years and I basically have figured out ways to work around it, but one of these days I'm seriously going to drop some money on a 18-200 VR or something... as soon as I can justify spending more money on a camera lens than on a month's rent. It's more economical for me to figure out better ways to talk myself into good photo-shooting locations.

Last updated: May 25, 2009