Random musings on a writer's life & times, with occasional input from acquaintances


Sunday, February 13, 2005

Since I missed last week, today’s Sunday 7 will have to be twice as good. Right? Right. Cross your fingers.

1) What are you wearing?

Black, white and red plaid flannel pajama pants (it was COLD when I staggered out of bed at 6 o’clock this morning and began to dress, so I put the flannel back on), white t-shirt with Missouri Review magazine covers printed across the front (a freebie for subscribing; I finally got something from that rag other than rejection slips for my stories); white Nike sox; stained sweatboots (the suede of my slippers seems to have been trashed by something that looks suspiciously like tobacco juice, although I moved away from Bend years ago).

2) What are you reading?

“Summerland,” a juvenile novel by Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon (“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay”). I recently zipped through Chabon’s short story collection “Werewolves In Their Youth,” noting his sophisticated sense of language, which at times reminded me of John Updike’s. I wondered how Chabon adjusted to write kiddie lit, so I borrowed my son Andy’s copy of “Summerland.” Chabon does manage to tone down his language, although the fantasy tale he tells strikes me as overly complex. J.K. Rowling need not fear.

3) What’s for dinner?

Fried chicken, as requested by Andy.

4) What’s the best thing that happened this week?

I reckon it’s Andy’s seventeenth birthday, which is today. (Hence, the fried chicken.) The family -- Mom, Dad, older brothers Joe and Mickey and the Droidman himself -- will gather for dinner this evening, and a fine time will be had by all, I’m sure, unless Andy and Mickey have another shouting match and Dad has to break it up and Joe gets mad because of all the uproar and Mom has to plead for everyone to just calm down and eat the damn chicken.

5) What’s bugging you?

I’m feeling time-haunted. At 3 o’clock this afternoon, an official from the Mount Hood Little League will stop by and pick up the big collection of kid baseball gear that has gathered dust in my garage for the last five years. I managed Little League baseball teams for fourteen years, starting with Joe and carrying on through Mickey and Andy. By the time Andy finished at age 12, we had accumulated all kinds of balls, bats, catcher’s mitts, shin guards and what-have-you. I couldn’t bring myself to part with the stuff, which seemed to symbolize lots of shared father-and-son times, both good and bad. Now that Andy’s voice is deeper than mine and Joe and Mickey both live away from home, though, it seems a bit silly to keep a quarter of the garage filled with junior baseball gear no one ever touches. So I’m giving it away. Most of it, anyway. Maybe I’ll keep that orange and black catcher’s mitt. And the red, twenty-ounce, 29-inch metal bat. And a few of the less-scuffed balls. And . . .

6) Where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

Vero Beach, Florida, preparing for spring training with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A centerfielder, she switch hits with gap power and has good speed but a weak arm.

7) What’s it all about, Dave?

Since sport seems to be in the air (at least at my house), let us ponder these words -- penned by Times of London scribe Simon Barnes -- I keep tacked to my office billboard:

“Sport is a conduit for trivial dislikes, capricious hatreds and the heady pleasures of a not-quite-innocent gloating at another’s misfortune.”

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