• A young lady at the register– young enough to be able to hang out with either of my nieces– who tells me she has not used the interweb in at least a dozen years. Doesn’t miss it, doesn’t believe in MySpace, seems reasonably well-adjusted. I think to myself, where would I, a fringe member of the technorati, and an unemployed one at that, find my next job or contract if it were not for the net? Was pre-Internet America my own version of The Good Old Days?
  • A middle-aged lady in a denim mini-skirt, cellulite fairly dripping from her legs like wax down the side of a candle. It’s in the high 30s Fahrenheit, girlfriend, and unless you’re headed to the weight loss center down the strip mall from this restaurant, you really shouldn’t ever be wearing something that calls attention to those gams.
  • A Bose speaker directly overhead, playing a Brubeck quartet track with which I am not familiar. My laptop battery runs down inexorably as I listen, drinking in Paul Desmond’s martini alto, grooving with the pianist’s block chords.
  • Then I recall all the friendships I’ve made over the Net, and the folks I’ve met from all over the world, and wonder which of us, me or the sweet young thing at the register, is missing out on what.

One month after my last post, and with the holiday season finally behind us all, here’s a little something for the Ides of January.

See how the various presidential candidates match up with you.

As if they’d listen to you to begin with.

The headline at MLB.com:

Pettitte says he used HGH for injury recovery

I suppose you could be forgiven for thinking that according to the Mitchell report, New York is the center of the steroid-ingesting, HGH-injecting, in-general-cheating universe. The report makes passing mention to San Francisco and Oakland, but only by way of referencing the ongoing BALCO investigation being conducted under a separate jurisdiction from that of Mitchell.

Me, I find it extremely difficult to believe that for twenty months, the MLB Players’ Association was able to successfully stonewall Mitchell in all of the various locations in which they play Major League Baseball, except for New York City. As far as I’m concerned, Mitchell just didn’t try very hard at all, and satisfied himself with New York (after all, to a member of the Red Sox Board of Directors, who’s the Evil Empire?) and all of two witnesses.

The report does not meet the larger goal: a comprehensive overview of doping in baseball. The report soundly accomplishes little more than a personal vendetta against one team.

Notwithstanding all of that, there is considerable doubt now about the makeup of the post-2000 Yankee lineups, as I am certain there would be about the other 29 Major League teams, had Mitchell’s report shown enough due diligence to include them. As has been written elsewhere, you could field an entire nine-man team, just about, with the names mentioned in the report, and if you opted for one starter over another, there were three or four others from which to choose mentioned therein.

I don’t think it’s hit me yet that Andy Pettitte is trying now to rationalize his way out of having used HGH, and that he is in the end a human being, who does anything other than succeed. That may not crystallize until the first time I see him take the mound at the Stadium.

The stated goal, from the upper echelon on down to the players on the team and on the bench and in the bullpen, is a World Series championship. The win-at-all-costs attitude is one that has permeated American business and caused men to do very bad things to other men in the pursuit of dollars and the high life.

I’ve been able to dismiss all that as a fan; if the Yankees don’t make the Series, I’ve still had six months of very good baseball watching, so I don’t take it as personally as the players, managers, and executives might– I couldn’t, really. To now, I have tried not to allow the attitude of Yankees’ brass to affect my enjoyment of the team they field year in and year out. And it hasn’t.

Going forward… it may.

That said… hurry on pitchers and catchers.

The video played in a postage-stamp sized box that I had to lean in to understand. It showed Tim Wakefield delivering his first pitch to Aaron Boone and Boone crushing it to left, well inside the foul pole, to win Game 7 of the 2003 American League Championship Series for the Yankees. The Fox cameras shaking on their supports in all the pandemonium; Paul O’Neill hugging and congratulating everyone on the team; Boone leaping into Bernie Williams’ bear hug the way Yogi Berra wrapped himself around Don Larsen at the conclusion of his perfect game in 1956; on the radio, John Sterling and Charley Steiner making the “Yankees win! The…… Yankees win!” call together, for a change.

http://thenewcube.blogspot.com/2007/05/cake-or-death.html

Jem Godfrey, driving force behind Frost* (the album Milliontown is perhaps my favorite 2006 release, maybe even of the last five years) holds forth on music, piracy, prog rock, and treading water. As always when he gets his mad on, his thoughts are trenchant and the beginnings of a discussion that should take place somewhere but likely won’t.

http://journal.nonesuch.com/journal/2007/10/pat-metheny-has.html

In which one of my musical heroes gives a rare annotation of his own work, in the context of (perhaps) his most personal album (and by his own estimation, his most successful one). I say “perhaps” as we don’t know for sure the extent to which it’s autobiographical, and Metheny is generally rather coy about these things– which is his prerogative.

It is worth getting to, once you can get to it; nonesuch.com played the first podcast with no worries, but refused to stream the longer second one. So, at their suggestion, I headed for Metheny’s own web site (under Firefox 2.0.0.9), which led to some foolishness regarding phantom carriage returns being inserted in each line of the table. The end result being that trying to click on the link was like shooting tin ducks in a carnival midway. Caveat auditor.

Sitting here at a public terminal at the Southington library, I am confronted with a new non-fiction book facing me in a rack directly opposite.

The book is by comedian (or is it comedienne) Paula Poundstone, and is called There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say.

And here I thought they  published authors who deliberated over their words. Silly me.

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