Sunday, October 28, 2018

10-27 evolution

On Saturday October 27, 1962 I had my bar mitzvah.  Strange weekend. On the day before it snowed. Pretty heavily and quite atypically for October in suburban New York City.   Next day, the Saturday, it was warm and all vestiges of the storm were gone.  My clan came out.  Peripheral family members who I really did not even know, congratulated me.  Afterwards we went back to the house and had a feast.  Friends and family came to visit in waves. A bunch on Saturday afternoon. Another army on Saturday night.  A story for another day is that it was not a particularly enjoyable day for me, but it was busy. Lots of people at the synagogue. Seventeen years after the end of a genocide fueled by the rhetoric of a selfish megalomaniac.

On Saturday October 27, 2018, at a synagogue in Pittsburgh a shooter, came into the temple and started shooting. Eleven are dead.

Oh, how we have evolved.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Late Night

I cannot recall the last time I stayed up until 4 in the morning. Usually at 4 in the morning I am stumbling to the bathroom for my second nocturnal visit.

Last night I was up until 3:30 watching the Red Sox, and then could not get to sleep until after 4.

This morning when I went to the bank, a woman who has to be pushing 80, and her husband were on line saying repeatedly "I'm not watching tonight's game.  Can't take it."  There were several nodding heads on that line agreeing with the general sentiment.

I often fall asleep during late night sporting events.  I rarely stay up after 1, and usually I am snoozing before the midnight hour. I was wide awake, doing my superstitious dance steps until 330. When Ian Kinsler made the fourth of his poor plays of the night, I shouted profanely and loudly.  It was good then that I live in a single family home that is detached from my neighbor to the south, and that I have no neighbors on the north or west.  Too far for those across the street to hear me, though it is not impossible.

Some points.

  • Kinsler was apologetic, but he should not see the field again in the World Series. His four poor plays do not even include several terrible at-bats. 
  • Nathan Eovaldi deserved better.  As did every single pitcher for the Red Sox who came out of the bullpen.  And except for Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz, every single pitcher on the team pitched last night.
  • It is a tribute to the nature of sports that an event can be so riveting. Few in Red Sox nation stayed up until 4 in the morning because of money they had on a bet.  
  • The sadness and vitriol that poured out on the internet at 4 am, and continues on talk-radio today (and at lines at the bank) are because sport is engaging like few other phenomena in our lives.
  • The weather today is akin to the weather the day after Bill Buckner, in 1986, let the ball roll through his legs.  Just saying. Thirty two years after Buckner, Kinsler's half assed, half stupid, play at second (not to mention his three running gaffes earlier in the game) may go down in Red Sox lore the same way as Buckner's play.
  • My new cat is afraid of me. We have only been together about a month.  After he heard me bellow last night he has been steering clear.
  • It will be interesting to see who is available to pitch tonight.  In the newspaper Eovaldi is listed but that is out now that he had to throw nearly 100 pitches last night.  Maybe I should loosen up.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Random Crap

The stretch from the Prudential Exit off the Mass Pike to Mass Avenue may be less than a mile, but it can take as long to get to the spot where I need to make my left, as it has taken me to drive from
Waltham to the Prudential exit. For this reason I have ample time to watch the pedestrians as I creep along Huntington Avenue.

Yesterday I spotted a woman who, from the back, looked like a colleague of mine. As I crawled closer I saw it was not she, but I did notice her back pack.  The letters on the backpack caught my attention.  They read, "Random Crap."

Random Crap seems like a suitable name for a backpack. Therein lies random crap. A great metaphor there don't you think? Someone walking along the street carrying the weight of random crap on their back.

How much of our random crap is of our manufacturing? And how much has found its way into the backpack because of poor choices we've made. How much was just stuffed in there by inconsiderate others.

This brings me to the Kavanaugh case. There is a connection. Having watched his opening statement it seemed clear to me that this guy should never have become a judge let alone be considered for the supreme court.  Then his testimony followed which solidified my position. The calendar. Really.  The comments about how he played sports in high school. Highly relevant both.

I have taught on the college level since 1973. Ninety per cent of my students do their assignments--not all as well as the assignments could be done--but 9 out of 10 do the work.  About ten percent come in with excuses.  I have heard many. Only a traffic cop listens to more nonsense.  But nobody has ever tried to explain away irresponsible behavior by trotting out a calendar on which they placed nonsense to indicate that they could not possibly have done something.  "Hmm I see Mr. X that you plagiarized this paper." "No Dr. Z, just look at my calendar.  I practiced the trombone on Wednesday, did wind sprints so I could be the point guard on the basketball team on Tuesday, practiced singing the star spangled banner on Wednesday--see--when would I have had time to plagiarize?"

This guy is walking around with a bag full of random crap and has no clue that he is hauling these bricks around. And so, are the senators--ostensibly vetting a person to see if he will be a dispassionate arbiter when, in fact, they--both dems and republicans- are only trying to assess whether a jurist will vote their way.

The key to managing the random crap in your backpack is acknowledging what is in there and, periodically, getting rid of what can be eliminated.  But if you become a whore, no matter how much money you earn, or titles you accrue, you are going to have a heavy load of random crap that weighs you down.