Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

Archive for the tag “Athletes”

Today Is Tuesday, Isn’t It?

days of the week

TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE and belief today is Tuesday. Yesterday was Monday and all signs indicate that tomorrow will be Wednesday. OK, I think I’m getting down with this seven days in a week business.

Now, I understand that having trouble with the whole concept of “week” might be of concern and indicative of a more serious and underlying condition, but not with me and not now.

Let me explain.

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Vin Scully: The Man, The Legend, The X-File


ACCORDING TO MY CALENDAR, the Julian calendar, the Aztec calendar, the Hebrew and the Chinese calendars it is not long until Baseball Spring Training begins. It will be a time of magic, creation and resurrection. The rhythmic smack of horsehide on leather will begin and of beautifully lathed Ash and Maple bats diving through the warm air and lifting the ball into the clouds. And Vin Scully will be taken from his hermetically sealed vault, rethatched his personal shade of orange, and propped up before a live microphone.

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Is My Chained Being Yanked or Is My Leg Being Pulled?


AS I’VE STATED BEFORE – I am a baseball fan – and I have just a passing interest in football (no pun intended. Well, yes it is intended, kinda.) but with all of the hoo-haw of the last week I just can’t ignore it.

Because I live in Indiana, about an hour outside of Indianapolis, most people will assume that what I say is flavored with sour grapes.

It ain’t so.

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Comedy and Steroids Don’t Mix

John Matuszak


THE WORLD OF STAND-UP COMEDY can take you to places and situations you never would have dreamed of – while sober.

In the late 1980s I was doing a lot of performing in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was not unusual to be able to get stage time in four or five places a night. Some of those venues were very nice, others were not. Some places paid performers in cash while others…ahem…did not. I preferred cash. Some performers accepted drugs, a place to sleep, food or even close personal, albeit temporary, relationships in payment.

I always sought out those places that paid in American legal tender – cash – preferably in small, unmarked bills. Never take a check. I’m still owed money by some producers who have since died. I think some of them kicked the bucket to just avoid paying the comedians.

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I’m No Longer Ready For Some Football

football muddy


I ADMIT IT – I’M A BASEBALL FAN, but this weekend was all football, all the time. There were four NFL Playoff games on the tube and, given the crappy weather, I sat there and watched most of them. My brain is now feeling like a clump of trodden sod.

The first game was the Baltimore Ravens vs. the New England Patriots. I was nominally rooting for Baltimore for two reasons: The Ravens used to be the Cleveland Browns and, by winning, the Ravens’ victory might remotely rub off on the Browns memory. Nah, not really, but the last time a Cleveland sports team won a championship was in 1964, I think. They must feel bad.

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Fight Night in Omaha

boxing in OmahaTHIS PAST JUNE we had the opportunity to spend a week in Omaha. While there we found ourselves caught up in one heck of a fight on a Saturday night. It was a bigger deal than I had anticipated and noisier than I could comfortably tolerate.

It was a World Championship Title fight for the Lightweight crown and it took place at the Century Link Center, just across the street from where we were staying at the Hilton hotel. 

I should have become suspicious when the Baseball College World Series crowd moved out on Saturday morning and several hundred trainers, boxers, fans and hangers-on from all over the western hemisphere moved into the hotel. I haven’t seen that much scar tissue since I performed at a California biker bar in the mid 1980s.

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Morning Becomes Eclectic

Baeslers Sign

The photograph that is attached to this posting is from a nearby market. According to their marquee sign they were having a sale on sweet potatoes, celery, and biscuits. They were also telling me that the current temperature was minus 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The time portion of the sign would only tell me that it was 22 minutes after the hour, but refused to tell me which hour. For that I was on my own.

It’s been pretty much that kind of morning.

My coffee run to St. Arbucks was met with another crowd of collegiate runners in town for the NCAA Championship Meet.

I think that tomorrow I will go to St. Arbucks wearing my sweatshirt that proclaims me as an alumnus of “Very Expensive College.” I had that printed up just for such occasions.

Looking at those young athletes made me feel seriously out of shape. No, actually, just looking in the mirror made me feel that way. All those runners just rubbed my nose in it. I left feeling inadequate, but still better educated than them.

After checking the time and temperature at the supermarket I went home and was reassured that we now have partial heat at our church. This is a big deal because my wife is the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Terre Haute and, apparently, it is minus 104 degrees outside.

The church, erected in 1903, has been laboring with a furnace just a bit younger and that monster completely died a few weeks ago. Getting a new one has taken longer than expected. For a couple of weeks we held Sunday services huddled up to portable heaters, swaddled in blankets, and praying for a warm front to pass through town.

Now that all of the parts have arrived and the workers are putting in very long days to install everything, we can proudly announce that part of the building has heat. We stopped by yesterday and, for the first time in too long I did not feel like a frozen fish stick. Tomorrow I believe that we will all be able to worship without looking like a lost polar expedition.

This morning continued to jump around like a goldfish on a hotplate when I learned that, while one family member is recovering nicely from getting her tonsils out, another has had a mild stroke. The prognosis is good for both of them, but it is turning this Saturday morning into something resembling an emotional Pachinko machine.

I lift my cup in hopes that the rest of today will be less stressful for my wife and I, warmer than minus 104 degrees F, and relaxing enough that we will be able to flop into our comfy chairs to turn on the TV and continue binge watching “Foyle’s War” on Netflix.

Morning With Some Very Thin People

My morning started out with my usual pilgrimage to the chapel at St. Arbucks for coffee and fellowship with the usual suspects seated in the corner. The place was quite busy when I got there and became even more so when a couple of vans pulled into the parking lot.

I have to admit that I was impressed when the group of young and extremely fit people came into the Chapel. Most days the attendees bear a stronger resemblance to the waiting room at the Geriatric Clinic. Then the memory bank kicked in with an explanation: This weekend Terre Haute is hosting the NCAA National Cross Country Running Finals. There are teams of collegiate runners from all over the nation here to run in the sub-freezing temperatures, just for the glory of the sport.

Of course, that’s not anything I would ever do. In fact, I have held true to my conviction that the only way to make me run is to chase me while brandishing a weapon. Personally, I see no glory in breathing frigid air, while sweating like a nun in a whorehouse – in my shorts – in a crowd of strangers – when I could be somewhere warm – with a hot cup of coffee in my hand.

After taking a sip of my coffee I walked over to a table of young athletes whose clothing identified them as being from the University of Oregon.

I asked them if they were here for the NCAA Thingy. They sure were they said with a smile. Being an unofficial one-man welcome on-the-wagon I welcomed them to Terre Haute and wished them all good luck. Again they all smiled. I went back to my seat.

Being that physically fit must help to induce all that smiling. I also noticed that all of these youngsters were very slim. No, that’s not accurate. I have more fat in my left thumb than they all had collectively. They were skinny, but I’d wager that you could bounce a quarter off of their stomachs, not that I would ever suggest actually doing that. Let’s just say that they were all well prepared for this weekend’s competition and that they were all thin enough that they could have been sent to Terre Haute in a good sized Express Mail envelope.

I wish them all good luck and I hope they all celebrate with an actual meal.Woodlawn Varsity Cross Country Runners

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