Posts Tagged ‘Baseball’

In Bears We Trust

And, of course, dogs.  So, Gentle Reader, even though I’m walking around like something from the zombie apocalypse, one arm in muscle spasm, one raked with excited dog greeting claw marks, I went and voted.  It went better than at the Primary, and more on all that later.  Perhaps.  Personally I think the claw marks helped- made me look serious and like I fit in around here.

But the important thing on some level is: THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES.  This started a huge thought train on the topic of what else did I not know about myself, because it was revealed that I am a rabid, die hard Cubs fan.  I mean, I knew I liked the Cubs- any team that has a bear as its logo is going to get my serious consideration, after all- but I had no idea how much.  I sort of thought I was more an American league fan, and the Indians really were great….but I was putty in the Cubbies paws, in the end.  The Partner used this opportunity to comment that he thought I’d been so, essentially, alienated all my life, that I’d never had that communal fan experience.  Or many others.  So how would I know what teams I really liked given that it was all, always at a very long arm’s length and seemed like something from another galaxy.  When I found, however, myself roaring MORON at the tv when calls went wrong, it was quite a feeling….like being part of something BIG.  Not to mention the thrill of seeing a curse lifted.  It took a few days to get over the whole thing of course because all those games were virtual torture.  Ups, downs, rain delays.  It was dizzying and I may have had one too many cocktails in an effort to settle frizzled nerve endings.

Bucked up by that success, anyway,  I joined a world wide project where you give out cards that say: You Matter, to people you encounter on your travels.  The cards duly arrived and I’ve begun handing them out, and the really amazing thing about it has been how often the recipient struggles to hold back tears.  I’ve gotten hugged and kissed more lately than I can remember ever happening before. ESPECIALLY AROUND HERE, where it is more common for me to hear people telling me to go back where I came from.   Random little kids run up  and throw their arms around me and the whole thing is quite astonishing, especially insofar as it shows how deeply we all want to connect and be SEEN as who we are.  (Even me, especially given that there appear to be huge swathes of “self” that are terra incognita.  Viz, Cubbies.)

Then.  The Election.  While I have dreaded this, in the sense of which will be worse? The run up or the actual situation? I am really, really glad that at least PART of it will be “over”.  The divisiveness, nastiness, ignorance? has been amazing.  Our local ABC affiliate actually aired some Buck McMr.Outdorsman show where he sat spouting nastiness about Muslim immigrants and conveniently omitting anything close to the truth, with no disclaimers, or even the usual helpful fishing tips.  The whole thing has had the effect of separating us all from each other in a BIG way, generating fear and anxiety- and I have to say in my opinion Trump has been largely responsible for that.  Saying things that negatively incite people without any basis in truth, complaining and offering no solutions,  and the non stop amplified basic HATE, this guy really blows me away.  I realized the other day that when he complained about the election being rigged, it was because it wasn’t going to be rigged at the top for him the way it was for Bush when Gore was the Democratic candidate.  Yet and still, a choice between two icky things is not exactly a choice, is it?  And don’t get me started about the Marijuana Proposition.  Or plastic bags, either.

So.  When I took my scarred and gimpy self to the voting place, it was with some trepidation.  Last time people were actually in there yelling at each other.  I almost wore my camo pants but decided that was just over the top, even if it might have been helpful in a disguise sort of way. Once inside, it was a hive of chaos.  There were more people “working” than I’ve ever seen here, there were lots of questions about whether I’d voted here before (??).  There were cries of dismay as people saw their ballots read on the computerized thingy and realized they’d filled in the wrong bubbles.  It took forever to get ticked off the list and then another aeon to get the poor girl responsible for it to give me my ballot.   I got through the whole thing, nonetheless, and did not get a sticker.  Choking back a sob I took my ballot stub and tootsie roll and went out into the day, which is, it turns out, spectacularly beautiful.  That doesn’t happen all that much around here so I was determined to enjoy it.  The bluebirds are back, the leaves are turning, and the rain has made grass grow revealing verdant swaths beneath gold-leafed trees, with almost violet tones at the edges of leaves against the sky, and grass against the road. I was able to pick up dropped keys for people on crutches, open doors for people in walkers, get dog food, and remember the basic Thing.

LOVE EACH OTHER.  At times, quite the endeavor.  But always well worth it.

Thank you!

 

Of birds and baking

The tides of the internet were not flowing our way for a few days- a major diversion up river required other focus, and since I had allowed all my new notebooks to get mildewed, the words, for a time, retreated into the paper and byte-less ethers.

This is not to say a lot didn’t happen.  One friend’s vet said the family dog needed a dozen enemas. This news came at a rather high stress point and reduced me to hiccups, especially after seeing the dog in question scrooched up into a furry,  inverted V shape, post enema the tenth.  (Which turned out to not be enough, but there it is.  Diagnosis is difficult.)  In another state,  a battery of pills were prescribed for the squadron of diarrhea-and-barf-ridden canines there.  People were breaking their legs, falling down, nails were rising up out of the dirt here as if they were zombies bent on devouring everything in sight -especially tires. Verbal fisticuffs abounded.  On the positive side, the rabbits, deer, and turkeys came back at long last, which has been quite wonderful.  There’s also a nesting pair of falcons!  I had the usual moment of cognitive dissonance on the way to an appointment this morning, too.  Passing the gentlemanly black hound up the road who no longer barks at our car but, rather, magisterially nods his head as we pass, and reveling in the spectacular green wall that is the oak leaves here for a short time in spring, I was rudely interrupted by the site of a man with a bulldozer mowing down said trees.  I mean, REALLY GENTLE READER.  We should all be planting trees in truth, not mowing them down.   It looked like, essentially, senseless destruction.  He was so lucky, that guy! Because I was late and thus didn’t feel the time was available to pull over and ask him what the _ _ _ he was doing, leaving a swath of ugliness with no apparent utility.

All the myriad other things, too, of course.  Plus it was my birthday which was an odd combination of grateful elation and dead bang panic.  But that’s normal on some level.   Among all the other pressing matters of late, the unsettling experience of seeing myself as I apparently am has been happening, and I realized that quite often I embark on things with no sense that I will succeed. (Probably no one else has this issue, right??)  I also realized that was pretty silly.  So it was that yesterday when the sourdough bread came out more or less perfectly, and I was shocked, the Partner sighed and looked at me as if to say: ?????.  But this recipe is kind of intimidating- from the TARTINE book, it is a high ratio of liquid to dry ingredients and one mixes an inchoate seeming mass which, over the next several hours, turns into the singing, crusty brown and lacy interiored bread of our dreams.  It is total alchemy. There is always reassurance in the world, somehow, and it does seem easy to overlook at times.  But you can be saved by bread.

And also by hummingbirds.  Being frozen, the feeder in our garden was out of commission over the winter.  We hadn’t seen Tyrant for a few weeks and were both a bit concerned about his irritating little bossman self.  So it was that as I was out mentally preparing witty ripostes while pulling weeds and dead branches into piles in the back, I heard a particular TWCHERPT!  I didn’t look up, heard another, louder TWCHERPT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!  and then a third which clearly said LOOK UP HERE NOW!!!!.  Which I did, and saw Tyrant, inches from my head.  He then did that huge upward zoom hummies do in display, and flew around as if in a cartoon all over the garden at top speed and volume.  He then pulled up right in front of me and we were eye to eye.   I was overjoyed, of course, and also amazed by the fact that this tiny creature and I have an actual relationship.  Magic really is afoot- a hummingbird remembered me.   I’m surer than ever that if you start from a basis of love, you will see things that feed your heart and soul and make your life full.   Sometimes it is hard to know what the truly loving thing to do is, but it must always start from a place of respect and honesty.

SO, even though I really did intend to bite the bullet today and do my taxes online which still makes my hackles go a bit sideways security-issue-wise, I found that I was missing a crucial piece of information (about last year’s taxes which I have blanked out because- well, because ARGH! to last year’s taxes) and thus could not proceed.  There’s still two weeks of high test procrastination possible!  And also? Today is the official start of baseball season.  What could possibly go wrong?

Just A Dream……

When I found myself pulling out  Dante and striding around the yurt with my ancient paperback copy of THE INFERNO, declaiming what a wood this has been and how its very memory gives a shape to fear….well, let’s just say I knew I was in for a prolonged period of shoveling self out of a deep hole.

Yes, yes, we know we have to change the state of play when things get muddled and stuck like this.  But that gets to be hard to figure out at times, and one must then cling to the Churchillian notion of never giving up.  Thus, I’m willing to bet that I know more about internet in this place than…well, than I ever wanted to, for sure.  Net net, however? THERE ISN’T ANY.  Unless you pay for a satellite.  Which is what I was doing before, shelling out the large for what turned out to be about 1/3 of a gig at a time if I was lucky and no one was home next door at the “shared” satellite spot.  I thought about getting my OWN satellite service, as previously discussed.  Non starter.  Then, having thought that Verizon had a 3G service for the new Ipad, and a friend’s Iphone worked right in the yurt! I thought…OK! solution! Get an Ipad and your troubles are over.  It’ll work, you can create what they call a “mobile hotspot” where the Ipad functions like a router….Oh, my goodness. I was over the moon thinking about how CONVENIENT it’d be to actually…well.  Let’s not go there, shall we?  Because a few hours of my time and beaucoup bucks into it,  it was more than evident that this was Solution Not.  So, back to town, return Ipad, pay the Apple know-me fee, and just accept the fact that…the state of play has to be changed, period.

Having decided that the only sensible course is to focus on the work itself, I’m resigned now to having no fixed spot to work IN.  It presents complexities of course, but then again I’m imagining that we won’t be in this particular place FOREVER.  There will be a there, there, somewhere.  Some day.  Until then, there’s The Bean.

But THANK HEAVENS there is a bright spot!!!!! The Oakland A’s clinched their division.  We both, the Partner and I, feel quite hopeful and bucked up because after all.  They were 13 games back at the All Star Break.  If they can win, we can too, sort of thing.  So the happiness I felt at their win allowed me to watch Presidential Debate the First without feeling I had to throw things to get Romney to stop interrupting.  We’re hoping he’ll at least hire a fact checker, but seriously.  I really, simply,  cannot believe the state we’re in.  Where a person can get up, tell untruths and be rude, not offer any actual information but just a series of declamatory statements, over and over and over, and be taken seriously.  I’m mystified at how anyone can think that a return to the (obviously, by any measure except a very, very rich person’s and even then…) failed, unfair, and totally non-dynamic policies of the past can do anything except hasten a very unpleasant denouement.    We don’t have time for this, we really don’t.  But, at least there’s baseball.  Running the bases while Rome burns, anyone?

What Year Is It On Your Planet?

Good lord, Gentle Reader.  GOOD LORD.  The Romney today discussed his energy plans if “elected”- essentially, they are to drill the patoot out of every thing in sight, national forests and parks, off shore, in the Arctic, you name it.  Then we won’t have to buy oil from “anyone we don’t want to.”    We’ll all be total crispy critters by this time, not too far hence, even though of course climate change isn’t REALLY REAL (or it might be, just like dinosaurs), but by cracky we won’t have to buy oil from…well, from Those People.  Win win, I guess.  You think?

Then there’s major league baseball.  It’s hard to tell if their drug testing program is designed for the good of the players and the game, or if it’s just a thinly disguised and heavily applied witch hunt.  Everybody at that table has relatively grimy hands, and my thought? Start over.  Make clear guidelines and stick with them, and have those guidelines stem from actual fact about the substances in question.    Right now the rules for everything in baseball seem pretty byzantine and that isn’t a good thing.  You really ought not interrupt a Zen place with politics and plotting that makes the average opera look tame.

THEN? There’s the fact that all these corporate interests who supposedly sell us “natural” foods are giving tons of cash to the political effort to prevent proper ingredient and GMO labeling from becoming required by law here in California.  When you see who owns what, it’s not a happy moment.

And speaking of elections, I am completely confused by the rash of voter qualifying ID malarkey being pushed on the public here.  Suddenly there is massive concern about people voting who shouldn’t be- aren’t citizens, or may just be the wrong size, color, or age.  Funny, but my memory of the election that was dishonest and stolen?  when Al Gore actually did win the election, and not Bush et al? Didn’t involve the citizenry, particularly.  It involved big political groups pulling dirty tricks.  Interesting how this misdirection has surfaced, don’t you think?  But again.  We simply cannot have a bunch of ringers voting in an election that’s already been bought and paid for by our newly defined “individuals”- the corporate and lobbying interests.  Just think what could happen.

So as usual, dystopia rears its ugly head.  Still.  There really is pretty conclusive evidence that we, as humans, emit energy that has an effect on everything around us (and this is just the energy of our thoughts and bodies, not our “actions”!).  Our thoughts are indeed things.  Our hearts resonate a long, long way.  Time to get busy on that positive vibration, one love, think about what we WANT instead of fearing we will be destroyed by what we don’t.  I just can’t believe that such intensive ignorance, such downright stupidity as we are being deluged with daily, can prevail.  I do cherish the notion, however, of a tipping point of sorts.  We don’t all have to totally agree on every single detail about the world.  But the broad strokes of food, water, medicine, shelter, education, human rights, environmental action?  It seems we could get our heads together on that and work together, both those who are inside the system and those who are not.  Call me crazy.

On Freedom

The Partner and I were talking about this topic earlier, as it happened.  It seems that freedom has a rather loose definition these days, perhaps meaning actually just that one is not actually incarcerated at the present time.  We were thinking about friends we know, and ourselves as well, who basically played by all the rules only to find that not only weren’t we playing by the Rules, but there really AREN’T any rules, and the ones there seem to be can be changed at the drop of a hat by….well, you know who, Gentle Reader, right?  Suddenly people who thought they were a part of All This, thought they had an actual future, realize they’re one cough away from the junk heap.  This is extraordinarily frightening for a lot of people, and it is real.  We’re fed untruth after untruth in the form of “news”; laws get passed none of us has any idea about or would approve if we did; values become entrenched that are wholly based on who is dominating who.  If you are one of the lucky individuals who still are swimming along in this slipstream, still have money, still think you have a viable future within this construct and apparatus, I wish you the best of luck.  I listen to people now who believe that part of what’s going on now with the 2012 Thing is that many will be taken off earth, put someplace else, and the remaining few will be marching forward in Ascended Dimensional Form, making earth safe for……I don’t know, I usually am holding my breath and counting to 75 by the time we get to that point.  Really.  We don’t have much time and this stuff, all of it across the continuum,  is starting to be beyond wasteful: It’s idiotic.  We are destroying the planet, our food sources are unsafe, the public water supplies are dwindling and also not what you might think they are, there’s radioactive material afoot in the broad seas, trees are dying, people are dying- and holy mother of whatsit, people are still worried about their frigging apps and shoes and God knows what,  along with who has said something they disagree with and what horrible fate should thus befall said person.  Never mind the fact that post-Occupy several laws have been passed that should make the next round of protest quite a bit different.  Just think.  You could be classified as a danger to society for expressing your opinion peacefully.  You could be arrested and jailed, indefinitely.  Remember, habeas corpus disappeared last year.

Which is why, when I read this article in Common Dreams today, www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/10-3, about the Miami Marlins and how new Manager Ozzie Guillen (who I really like) said he admired Castro, essentially for his toughness and longevity, the right wing old guard Cubans in town wanted his head torn from his body and used for a dart board.  Exeunt severally the Marlins.  SO.  What kind of freedom is that, Gentle Reader?  An American expresses an opinion about something which is not new- Castro hasn’t just shown up this week in Cuba, seriously- and other Americans (also transplanted) want HIS freedom of expression curtailed, terminated, and they want him to lose his job, along with probably a lot of other people.  Because why? Because their draconian idea of what freedom is means it is just for THEM, not for anyone who might disagree with them.  (OH! and in somewhat related and fun news? did you know that police anywhere in the U.S. can STRIP SEARCH YOU if they think they have a reason to? How about those apples?) And since in this great country of ours things are about money?  This ridiculous thing has snowballed into a life threatening experience for an entire baseball team.  Instead of standing up for one’s supposed rights and supposed freedom including of speech, everyone is rushing to punish Guillen for expressing what is on some level a simple statement of fact.  And this tempest in a teacup turns into national news, big stuff, supposedly about the Cuban community- but what it is really about is the continuing flow out and down the tubes, of freedom.  Castro is far from perfect and he’s done awful things.  It’s just that unlike Bautista, he isn’t OUR imperfect guy doing awful things.  My heart is in wriggling pieces, looking at all this stuff all the time and seeing the lies pile up higher and deeper, yet knowing that we are here to help each other and do no harm, what choice is there but to carry on?  Anyway, my vote is for Ozzie.  Everybody else in Miami needs to wake up, realize they aren’t alone on earth, and get over it.  There’s baseball to play if these dinosaurs would get out of the way.  And Ozzie Guillen may be a wild and crazy guy, but he’s a great baseball guy too.   Pay attention to what’s in front of your nose, and quit expecting others to hold the mirror for you non-stop.

I Should Be…..

Washing the dishes.  Watering the garden. Any number of things.  Instead, I’m thinking about how Pedro Martinez reminded me of Yojimbo last night. ( One of my all time favorite movies, that and Sanjuro, of course.)  But:  That merest flick of a backward glance while walking off the mound.  And since Matsui was the only one who, initially at  least, seemed to figure out what was going on, the–er–motif got firmly fixed in my pliable little brain.  Oh, baseball.  As long as I can watch it, just watch the game, watch the people moving, and not think about all the money and owner weirdnesses and all, I am happy.  There is a kind of discipline to the game that is like a martial art, in the way one has to devote oneself to the skills and techniques until they become second nature.  And nature always has the last word: Luck, chance, weather, so many things enter into what happens in a baseball game.  It is really like life.  In that, you never know, sort of way.

And indeed, one never DOES know.  I went to see my client in the nursing home today and everyone was dressed for Halloween.  I didn’t recognize anybody, they’d costumed and switched up wheelchairs and all sorts of things.  Werewolves! Goddesses! Border Patrol Agents! And everyone was having a fantastic time of it as a result.  Slipping off their identities and entering into the spirit of the holiday- which, being about the bridge between the worlds of “life” and “death”, is actually appropriate for such a locale- with great humor and joy.  The ability to be anonymous lent everyone an energy and …an abandon.  A freedom.  Which is precisely the point of it all, really.  Entering into life with one’s heart.  No guarantee of a win or a good ERA or success OR failure.  It just IS and you might as well jump.  So it was pretty amazing to see all these people, who live lives many  would consider totally impossible, being collectively happy and, actually,  powerful, in a funny way.  The werewolf scared the hell out of me, to be honest.  It turned out he’s one of the people who don’t speak, but I finally recognized him from his particular laugh.  Oh, he thought it was hilarious sneaking up on me in that infernal wheelchair!  I of course, being the mature person I am, laughed so hard I got the hiccups, which made everyone else giggle even more.  Dude.  Always a source of entertainment, we are.  At least I didn’t fall down.

There is a kind of piercing, yet suspended, sense to things today.  Maybe it’s the weather- warm, actually, blindingly clear.  The intensity of the colors of things against the sky.  We’re on the Pacific Flyway so there is always something amazing flying around–I saw a flock of small birds wheeling through the air earlier, watched them in a clustered group, then a circle, then a long line, constantly forming and reforming.  Sometimes you could see them and sometimes the sun hit their wings and turned them so white they disappeared.  Finally they expanded from the clump to the long sinuous line and all of a sudden: They were gone.   It’s really all quite something, isn’t it.

Bird Day

Something kind of amazing happened this afternoon.

We have a hummingbird feeder in the back yard and a full complement of hummies to go with it.  Often when we’re outside, if there is an Issue with the feeder, a hummingbird will come right up nose to nose and squeak a certain way.  OK, we’re trainable, we know what to do. So, today, we were inside, and heard this enormously loud chirp sound, such as they make when they’re doing mating displays or just goofing around.  The Partner responded to this call , opened the back door, and was greeted by the sight of the hummingbird right outside our kitchen door, zooming straight up and down, chirping- because the feeder needed to be filled.  He led the Partner straight to the feeder, made eye contact, and flew off to allow the needed repairs to be completed. ( This plunged Boozilla and Co. into total jealous rage of course which required mollification with popcorn.)  I’ve had hummingbird feeders for a long time, and I have never had a bird knock on my door when it was empty before.  Amazing.

And, so.  Like I said: Phillies.  Don’t you think?  Even taking A-rod into consideration.