My dear cousin, Margaret Faulkner, pointed out there is an error below. The Vandy boys swept Ole Miss in their SEC opening series, not Mississippi State who was being swept by Kentucky. Thanks, Margaret.
i have a bunch of stuff i promised myself to post on a regular basis that are woefully behind. i have a lot of tasks to carry out undone.
But after today, i am veering off as only i can veer. i am going to write what i feel like writing. i’m sure i won’t finish tonight. i don’t plug ahead like i used to pulling my all nighters, sleeping for a couple of hours, and starting all over again — oh, those incredible ship at sea days where such a routine was a norm and it seemed like Maslow’s level of self-actualization was the norm. So this is likely to be finished tomorrow…or later. i now have a proclivity for procrastination, which has proceeded to epic proportions since i’ve attained an older age, and, guess what, i don’t have to do things on time if i don’t want to. Hah. My excuse is this winter in the Southwest corner.
You see this has been one of the dreariest winters i can recall happening here — and i shamefully call it bad when it’s rained more than usual (but much less nasty than any place back east) and our highs have reached the low 60’s and a on a few days actually not reached that mark. But yesterday. Ah, yesterday.
It began with problems. Vanderbilt was playing Michigan in the National Invitational Tournament. San Diego State was playing Furman in the NCAA tournament, and Vanderbilt was playing last year’s College World Series champion, Mississippi State, in the opening of the SEC baseball season. All were at 9:00 a.m. PDT. To further complicate matters for the reemerging sports writer in me. The Padres, back to full strength and the usual adoring local press announcing they could win it all, were playing a Cactus League game at noon, and there were several other college basketball games.
And magic rolled into the day like a happy puppy. The new world of taping allowed me to watch them all. The Commodores took down the Wolverines, once again calling on the magic of Memorial Gymnasium to come from behind in the last minute. The Aztecs blew out Furman to advance to the “Sweet 16.” The Vandy Boys swept the Bulldogs in impressive fashion. And the Padres showed the potential by blowing past a big Brewer lead to win going away. i must confess a couple of friends gave away the Vandy Boys victory so i only watched the really good innings of that contest. It was a glorious day for the old sports writer.
It got better.
Southwest corner weather as i know it rolled in between the drear and we had a 67 degree, cloudless wonder day like what i like. Perfect. Even with my full dance card of athletics and my old sports writer frothing at the mouth, when Maureen suggested we go to La Mesa, to La Mesa we did go. We hit the old section, which is unique shopping and good eating. We spent a long time poring through the used book store, Maxwell’s House of Books, discovering old classics with the smell of books, real books without a kindle in sight, a delight. We checked out Re-Antimated Records, old LPs, CD’s, cassettes even, but no 45 RPMs. We investigated a local mattress store because our mattress is beginning to sag a bit. And we had an afternoon snack at the new Casa Gabriella restaurant, partaking of the Jalapeño-Cilantro Tempura Cauliflower along with a a tequila, mezcal thing with cilantro and other things (Maureen), and i, against my normal operating procedure had a tequila old fashioned, unusual but surprisingly good.
It was a spectacular day for us.
And somewhere in the middle of all this, i had snippets of good things past popping into my head:
The feel of my bat’s sweet spot cracking a fast ball and already knowing it would be for extra bases.
The pleasure of making an open field tackle, popping the runner in the midsection with my shoulder and carrying him backwards to the ground.
Letting go what is now a three-point shot from the corner and watching it sail through the goal without touching only the net, or better yet, driving through the lane against taller folks and rolling one off the backboard for a layup.
Finally figuring out i could ski better by pretending i was going to my right and reaching across to back hand a grounder at shortstop and then shifting to the left and picking up a grounder on my left side, and finding i could nail the double-blue diamond slopes with this maneuver.
Eating the homemade peach ice cream in the backyard on a late summer afternoon after grinding away on the old ice cream bucket wrapped with piles of dry ice and covered with blankets.
Kissing a girl for the first time at her door when we said good-night.
Driving up the switchbacks of California 74 from Palm Desert to the Paradise Valley Cafe, turning left through the farming land on the high mesa and then hitting the switchbacks again en route to Temicula on CA 79S.
Those snippets keep on coming, almost non-stop, but that’s enough for now. You see, i did take another day to finish this. It’s Sunday afternoon, and being Sunday afternoon, i must take a nap…oh, wait a minute, i say that every day.