Tuesday, October 11, 2022


WWW. WEDNESDAY asks three questions to prompt you to speak bookishly. To participate, and to see how other book lovers responded, click here

1. What are you currently reading? The Book of Joe by Joe Maddon and Tom Verducci. Joe Maddon is the manager who guided the Cubs to their first World Series Championship in 108 years. Before that, he took Tampa Bay from worst-to-first. Yet he never once played major league baseball. How did he build this Hall of Fame resume, how has earned the respect of multi-million dollar superstars, without ever having taken the field as an MLB player?

Because he is a true original, a creative thinker, a voracious reader who applies what he learned from Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway to winning games. He may not have been a great ballplayer, but he's a great lover of baseball and he's done every job in the game -- minor league player, scout, hitting coach. He was 62 years old when he finally hoisted the World Series trophy. His journey delights and inspires me.
I began this book Tuesday, which was the first day AL and NL division play offs. I am thinking of baseball, baseball, baseball, and this is the perfect book for me right now.

2. What did you recently finish reading? The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. Four third year law school students -- Todd, Gordon, Mark and Zola -- finally get it: All their super-expensive education will get them is a pile of debt. They were lured to a for-profit diploma mill that churned out graduates unprepared to even pass the bar, much less get a fabulous job at a prestigious law firm.

Tragedy strikes and despair mingles with their disillusionment. They decide to become hustlers themselves. They drop out of school to hide from their student loans and begin practicing law under assumed names. They hustle clients from traffic court and give them completely adequate representation, in exchange for cash, by day. By night, they take turns tending bar at The Rooster Bar. They are nowhere near as clever as they think they are and soon the authorities are looking for them -- everyone from the police to the FBI.

This is the first Grisham I've read in a while and for a time, I enjoyed it. It was kind of fun to watch these ordinary kids go rogue and become outlaws. Then it got too complex for this simple reader. Too many aliases! Too many double crosses and criss crosses! Also, while I understood the law students and their motivations, the only one I really liked was Zola.
3. What will read next? I don't know.

Just what I needed

Usually Monday I get together with my online movie group. But this week I took Nancy and her husband Paul up on their invitation to meet for dinner. I'm so glad I did.

First of all, I'd just come out of a rough weekend. At the hospital Thursday, they installed a 10" ureteral stent. I experienced what the materials euphemistically called "stent bother." I was miserable. It was literally all I could think about for three days. I was bleeding, cramping, leaking, stinging ... the pain pills didn't erase the pain, they just made me care about it a little less. Monday morning was the first one in days where I woke up feeling human. 

Then there was the work thing. I understand and accept that this chapter of my work life is over, and I'm good with it. After all, I need to get healthy and I'm grateful severance affords me to do it without the stress of work deadlines. But I received some financial statements over the weekend and just got around to looking at them on Monday. Like everyone else invested in the stock market, the news was not good. So while I'm relieved about the time off, I'm less sanguine about no more salary after 10/27.

I hadn't been outdoors all day. Autumn is my favorite time of year, too! So it did me good to put on make up, get dressed, and walk up my neighborhood's main drag. The trees are still full and starting to change color. The sky was cloudless and a beautiful pale blue. It touched my heart.

This is just past the main library

I'm so comfortable with Nancy and Paul. They were amused yet shocked that I was, effectively, let go while on a gurney in the Recovery Room of Rush University Hospital. That kinda set the mood. Paul told the story of how he divorced Wife #1 shortly after their 25th anniversary and the judge made a joke about how instead of being printed on paper the decree should be engraved on silver. Nancy was telling a story about how messed up her work place is, and Paul was teasing her that she sounded like Columbo: "Wait! Here's another thing ..." I enjoyed this because you know how usually when you hang with a couple, you like one more than the other? While I'm closer to Nancy, it's so relaxing to be with a couple where you get along with them both.