OK. THAT SOUNDS A LITTLE CYNICAL, I SUPPOSE. I’m not against Halloween or anything like that. It’s just that it paints me into a corner every year. What kind of costume should I have? Should I buy something or make it myself? Should it be in good taste or just the usual?
When I first saw the list of girl’s names I was struck by how “traditional” and even 19th century many of them seemed.
When I stumbled up to get a refill I stopped by his table and we chatted about that remarkable part of the country. As we spoke I saw the sparks light up in his eyes. He was like me – a man who breathes better on the road.
If there is a diet out there to try, I have tried it. Some were better than others. Some were easier than others. Some made more sense than others. You can say the same thing about people too, I guess.
And some people are just plain fattening.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING this blog for very long you would have picked up that I am a BIG fan of San Francisco Giants baseball. I lived there for 25 years and it gets into your blood stream. I’ve infected my wife, the lovely and articulate Dawn, with Giants Fever and we both stay up much too late when the Giants are at home on the west coast.
Last Tuesday night they were playing in New York against the Mets. It was not a good day for the Mets.
Giants rookie starter Chris Heston (no relation to Charlton Heston, the famous actor in many over-wrought, epic, budget-busting, biblical and quasi-biblical Hollywood movie spectaculars.) threw a beautiful, complete game, No-Hitter against the Mets.
Heston gave up no hits and no walks. The defense behind him played flawlessly, committing no errors. Three Mets did get on base when Heston had a pitch or three wander off track and hit the batters. That was it.
We watched the entire game and it was a thing of beauty indeed. Young Heston (27 years old) showed poise, self-control, and laserlike concentration. He completed the game averaging just a hair over 12 pitches per inning. Very economical.
I know, I know. Some of you are going, “Here he goes again on his baseball kick.”
I do admit that, on occasion, I do wax rhapsodic about The Game and talk about it as if it was the most important thing in the world. I know that it isn’t. Coffee is the most important thing, with baseball executing a hook slide into second place.
How does a thing like this happen to an otherwise rational adult? I don’t know. All I know is that it happened to me and I make limited pretense to being a rational adult anyway.
Baseball is a child’s game played at breakneck speed, even though some people complain that it moves at a snail’s pace. It is the only major team sport played without the tyranny of the clock. It is the only team sport where it is the players on defense that control the possession of the ball.
It is the only sport that, as a child, I could play with any degree of success.
Growing up with full use of only one arm and one leg I was no threat in basketball, football, tennis, hockey (Gimme a break), track and field, golf, or swimming.
My skills in the pool are close to that of a blacksmith’s anvil.
Those other sports were beyond my abilities, but in baseball I could make a reasonable effort and get reasonable results.
I couldn’t run worth a damn, but if you hit the ball far enough you don’t have to. Even so, my hitting was marginal, but I was a good pitcher. My one good arm was strong enough for me to scare other kids my age.
My career was limited to games with and against other neighborhood kids. I wanted to play on a “real” team, but that required getting a doctor to sign a form saying that I was physically able – and that was never going to happen. I guess they felt that having me running around the field while wearing steel braces on my leg was not a good idea.
Oh, well. Time passes.
Since those days I have remained an avid fan of The Game, transferring my loyalties from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Cleveland Indians and onto the San Francisco Giants.
When you finally find the treasure the twisting route on the map becomes unimportant.
I love the game for its complexity as well as its simplicity; for its quick as a rabbit speed as well as its 19th century leisurely pace; for its hammering brute force as well as its almost balletic delicacy.
Watching a cleanly executed 6 to 4 to 3 double play is sharing in a filigree of speed, timing, prowess and unerring accuracy – all while avoiding the spikes of a charging runner.
Yeah, so I do get excited by things like Chris Heston’s No-Hitter the other night. I enjoy watching it and appreciate the skill and hard work it takes to make it look so easy.
On an evening like last Tuesday it was all so beautiful.
TODAY IS MONDAY, but it is more than Monday. Yesterday was Easter, but it was more than Easter.
Today is the first full day of Baseball Season. Yesterday was the celebration of the traditional Opening Day of the season. The sun is shining and I can smell horsehide and pine tar in the air.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? Quite a bit actually. The names we have can go a long way to deciding our direction in life. If a name wasn’t all that important you wouldn’t see actors and actresses changing their names as they enter the business. Example: Famous actress and comedian Whoopi Goldberg came into this world as Caryn Johnson.
Today’s posting is a short story I wrote about ten years ago
“Lightning bolts are all around, but don’t worry folks. I’ll land this plane. I can’t see because of the clouds and one engine is about to breakdown, but I’ll get us home.
Co-Pilot Smitty – radio my Mom and tell her I might be late for supper.”
Co-Pilot Smitty barked in acknowledgement and wagged his tail as the jetliner disappeared into a froth of dark clouds.
Danger was everywhere and only the best and most courageous pilot could get them down safely before Daddy got home.
Boy, there is a real hoo-haw going on about whether or not kids should be immunized against a number of diseases.
It appears to me that the bulk of the screaming and pontificating about “freedom” is coming from the arugula and quinoa crowd, aka the parents who were themselves immunized as children, but who now think that risking their children is a good way of showing the world their Haight-Ashbury free-spiritedness while thumbing their nose at “The Man.”
I JUST LOVE BLOGGING on holidays and today is no exception.
Today is Groundhog Day 2015!! Let the hoopla begin!!
Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania I was taught, early on, that Groundhog Day was a Big Deal. It was right up there with July 4th, Labor Day, and the day that the new car models were unveiled by Detroit. Groundhog Day had implications for the rhythm of daily life, with just a spoonful of local mysticism thrown in. And the town of Punxsutawney was a combination of Stonehenge and Jerusalem – the nexus of everything Groundhoggish.
WHILE YOU ARE READING THIS on Tuesday the 27th of January, I am typing it on the previous Saturday, the 24th. I mention this just to avoid confusion.
I was looking at Facebook earlier this morning and I saw that today, January 24th, is the anniversary of the death of Larry Fine of The Three Stooges. Larry was the Stooge in the middle – the man with the impossibly frizzy hair who was a trained violinist, but made his living being slapped, poked, and cream-pied. He was the outsider in what was a family act that ran for decades, from burlesque, to vaudeville, the movies and into a renaissance on television.
I’VE BEEN CREATING STORIES since I was a kid. I remember writing a cowboys and Indians epic and showing it to my teacher, Sister Mary Something-or-Other. She was not impressed.
When I got to high school I signed up for all of the creative writing and journalism classes I could. My teachers told me that I could really spin a yarn, but…
No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I studied The Greats, no matter how much I practiced – I just couldn’t write poetry worth a damn.
I LIKE SNOW LESS than I like going up and down flights of stairs. I like snow less than I like going up and down flights of stairs that don’t have handrails on both sides.
I like snow less than I like Jeff Bridges movies – and that is saying something.
But why do I feel this way? Is there some deep, dark, pseudo-psychological, brain cell tweak memory that has made me feel this way? Could be.