Sunday, May 06, 2012

Go, Cubs, Go!

Now today, THIS was a good game! The rain delay ran more than two hours. The pitcher originally pegged to start was battling the flu so a new puppy pitcher, Travis Wood, took the mound. He only allowed three hits in six innings and got a double.

These are new summer heroes for me -- Travis Wood, Darwin Barney, Bryan LaHair, Ian Stewart and David DeJesus, who got a walk in the 11th to force the winning run.

It's a new chapter. While April was really, well, difficult for Cub fans, I'm starting to feel the energy that comes in with the new regime.

Damn you, John Steinbeck!

It's a rainy Sunday and I was about to settle in and improve my mind. The film version of the Steppenwolf Production of Of Mice and Men starring Gary Sinise and John Malkovich is on. It's a beautiful play, and this production is like a unicorn. It theoretically made theater history here in Chicago in the 1980s, but I've yet to meet anyone who actually saw it. We were all too broke back then. So here's my chance, right?


I can't.

It's because of Candy's dog. I know it's coming and I cannot bear to watch. Candy's dog used to herd sheep but now he's old and he farts and he doesn't see well and he can no longer enjoy his food because his teeth are so bad. But he's all Candy has in the world and he and that dog are inseparable. They love each other. One of the other farm hands convinces Candy that the dog is an eyesore and probably in pain and the only humane thing to do is put it out of its misery. At least then his old, useless life will be painlessly, quickly over. Offstage, he shoots the dog in the back of the head. Candy is filled with remorse because he betrayed his old and true friend and because now he's alone.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I was awake in English class. I know Candy's dog foreshadows the fates of Lennie and George. But I never got as worked up about Lennie as I did Candy's dog.

But what makes Steinbeck's original work so great is that it's filled with characters bound to burrow into the reader's/viewer's consciousness: slow-witted Lennie, responsible and resentful George, the outwardly flirtatious but deeply disappointed ranch wife … for me it was Candy and his dog. Breaks my heart. Thanks a lot, Steinbeck, you fucking genius.

Sunday Stealing

Sunday Stealing: The Get Out of Jail Free Meme, Part One

1. When you're home alone, do you still close the door when you use the restroom? No.

2. If you have to go grocery shopping, would you rather go alone or with someone? By myself. It goes faster.
3. It's your best friends' birthday, would you buy them a gift even though they didn't buy you one for yours. Yes. I love celebrating birthdays.

4. You win the lottery. Lump sum or small payments over a period of time? Why? If I win $5 million, after taxes my lump sum would be $3 million. Or I could receive $6000/month (after taxes) every month for the next 26 years. Because I'm an old broad, I might entertain the "small" payments. It would be a sure thing to carry me through retirement. I'm not sure I'd invest the $3 million wisely enough to last 26 years. (As you can see, I have given this a lot of thought.)

5. Do you like your music loud or at a reasonable level? Naturally I think I'm listening at a reasonable level. I'm not sure everyone else agrees.

6. Are you a beach person or a snowy mountain person? Beach, I suppose, since I don't ski. But I'm not a big lover of heat and especially not boiling sun. (I'm very pale.)
7. When do you brush your teeth? Morning and lunchtime.

8. Can you watch scary movies alone? Sure. I just don't like gore, whether I'm alone or with someone.

9. Soft bed or firm? And in fantasy land, who's in it with you? Firm. Bruce Springsteen.
10. Would you rather stay home all day, or be out and about? Yes. (The perfect day would be a combination of both.)

11. What's one of your worst memories (that you are comfortable sharing)? I worked very hard on Senator Kerry's 2004 Presidential campaign. It did not end well and it broke my heart. And continues to do so. A genuine hero's war record was successfully slimed on behalf of a man who assiduously avoided combat. How did that happen? Then there was waging two wars without the tax increases required to pay for them. And the escalation of the war in Iraq at the expense of Afghanistan. And Katrina. We're still paying for George W. Bush's second term. 
12. Do you like to keep the peace or be confrontational? Depends.

13. Are you more likely to be with a large group of people or a few close friends? Close friends.

14. What are your plans for October? I don't have any right now.

15. If money were not a problem, where would you like to live? Here. Chicago is a joyous, liveable place. I'd just like to enjoy it from a much nicer place. With a view like this. Which I'd be lucky to get for (gulp) $4 million.

16. What is your ideal profession? I like what I do (advertising writing). I just wish I could afford to it to promote not-for-profits and causes I believe in.

17. Are you (or were you) close to your Mom and Dad? I'm close to my mom. My dad died in the 1990s, and our relationship was more than a little complicated.

18. What is one fear that you can't seem to overcome? Air travel. I'm terrified the whole time.

19. Are you good at math? Not remotely. All those calculations on the lottery win? Stolen from a website.

20. Editor's note. There is no question 20. It is sort of like getting a "Get out of Jail Free" card. We will do 21 to 40 next time. Peace & love!