bintlog v2.0
Tuesday, October 28, 2003
Just a quick note to say I went to a book signing tonight at B&N and got to meet Sara Paretsky! She's very cool, all slim and elegant and brilliant. She couldn't resist some baseball-related comments (she and V.I. are of course big Cubs fans) and explained her difficulty in dealing with the inevitable consequences of allowing characters to age. Luckily, time progresses more slowly for Mr. Contreras than for the younger folks. Some sort of fictional age asymptote, I guess.

We're in Week 10 of the semester, and things are starting to get more stressful. I may have to just tell myself that volunteering has to be set aside for the remainder of the semester. I mean to be a good volunteer, really, but between illnesses and emergencies and school, I need that Wednesday morning each week. I can return in December, and hopefully they won't think I'm incredibly lame in the meantime. Fretting about not being able to go each week is really not very healthy. Better to just accept that it's out of the question for a while.

Oh - the Marlins won the WS in 6 games. I am actually really happy for them. They're scrappy, and I like scrappy teams. Plus, the Yankees lost, and that's always cause for celebration!

Sunday, October 19, 2003
We got our donuts. Also more apples than I know what to do with. Visited the goats. Love the goats!!! One cheery little guy climbed partway up the fence and attempted to eat my bag of donuts, and if he'd succeeded, things might have gone *very* badly for him. I saved the donuts but ended up getting my hair nibbled on. That may actually be a good thing, because it gives me another excuse for why my hair is so f***ed up. "Your hair looks like a goat chewed on it!" "Funny you should say that..."

Finished my morphology critique a few minutes ago. Baffling but fascinating phylogeny of early land plants. I need to discover something so I can squeeze my name into faux-Latin like Cookson did with his Cooksonia, Leclercq did with his Leclercqia, etc. So... Mccarthia?

Thursday, October 16, 2003
The world continues to turn, life goes on, and the Thursday sun rises on a Marlins team that is headed for the World Series. And you know what? It's okay. The Cubs were outplayed in the last three games, pure and simple. We can bitch all we want about "The Fan" who got in the way of Alou catching a foul ball over the left field wall, but as much as it pains me to criticize my darling Alex Gonzalez, if he hadn't bobbled that DP ball, the inning would have gone much differently in Game 6. And if I think hard enough, I'll find a dozen other key moments that would have turned each loss into a win. Remember we lost Game 1 by only one run in the 11th! I was pretty despondent last night, needing some cuddle-time with the dogs (who were baffled and perhaps not as sympathetic as I'd like - I think Jazz is a KC fan), but soon after I actually felt a huge weight lifted from me. I've been a distracted mess for the past 2 or 3 weeks, putting off homework and laundry until the last minute, letting the cupboards get totally empty (we had toast and oatmeal and Ruffles for dinner last night), coming down with some bizarre cold that I couldn't shake, not sleeping well, and generally feeling like I do just before I have to give a presentation. Within an hour of the last out, I myself again. I'm actually really annoyed at myself for getting so stressed about what is, in fact, just a game, but I guess that's the price I pay for being an F instead of the T that I wanted to be. Now I see the glorious months stretch out from now until March, inviting me to get back in my own game, study hard, play with my dogs, clean up the garden, and otherwise be a productive part of society again. I'll even have the energy to plan our Spring Training trip!

As for the Cubs... I think the reason that I feel pretty good now is that it was a hell of a season, a hell of a post-season (let us not forget the humbling of Atlanta and their fans!), and for maybe the first time in most people's memories, we believe that we have a team that need not be written off before each season even starts. We believe that the Cubs are ongoing contenders. Dare I say it's the beginning of a dynasty? I'm not saying we'll win a WS anytime soon. That's a lot to ask. But at least we won't be camping out in the basement anymore. That's the Brewers' job. :P

So, what I hope happens in the off-season:
-Patterson returns and is 100% (or more) recovered. We keep Lofton as backup and trade O'Leary or Goodwin or both.
-Ramirez works on hitting the 1st baseman's glove for several hours a day. He's so great at stopping the ball, but his throws, and his decisions on where to throw, are too error-prone. I'd like to see him around for a long time.
-I think Grudzielanek and Karros were on one-year contracts. Would like Grudz to stay; Karros I can take or leave. Gonzalez *must* stay. You can't give up defense like that.
-Hee Seop will work and work and get back in the lineup. Simon should stay and be our great lefty on the bench. I admit, my opinion on Simon has totally changed from that day we sat near 1st during a Cubs-Pirates game and Simon seemed to devote all his energy to being pissed off. Some people just don't flourish under certain management, I guess.
-Paul Bako can probably go - I'd like a better batting catcher to back up Miller. I definitely think Miller should stay, because he's so good at catching Prior and Wood, and at calling games.
-And finally, the pitching. Keep the four together - Prior, Wood, Zambrano, Clement. Estes needs to either put up or go; we need a starting lefty. Keep Remlinger, Farnsworth, and Borowski, and the rest are trading material. I like to think that the team's success this year gives us a lot of bargaining power. Hey Redman and Beckett, need a job? :)

Enough about that.

We got to take Jazzy to his first-ever emergency room visit on Monday night. Strangest thing: he had round, mostly bloodless holes in the skin of both front legs (one about the size of a penny), and ripped the webbing between two toes rather dramatically. I saw tendon, bone, muscle inside... it was like he had a flesh-eating bacteria, or was attacked with a hole-punch. I searched everywhere, could not figure out how it happened. He had to actually be put under so they could stitch everything up. Now he has a drainage tube in the big hole (looks vaguely like mostaccioli) and two big round bandaged club feet. Tomorrow we'll go to our regular vet and hopefully he can take the tube out. I don't see any infection or swelling, which was the major concern. We tried the e-collar on him, but that just didn't go very well. We're doing the taped-on socks instead, calling him our sock monkey as he pads around amusingly.

We're going to Edward's Apple Orchard this weekend. I can't wait!! For the uninitiated, Edward's is an orchard in Poplar Grove, IL, and has the BEST donuts on the planet. Krispy Kreme would kill for donuts this good. They give them to you hot from the fryer, and by the time you get to the checkout table, your first dozen is gone and you end up paying for an empty bag. This is why it's important to get two dozen. Or more.

Monday, October 13, 2003
Haven't figured out yet how to get the archives to actually work. Having a hard time caring just yet. Since I'm the only person who reads this log, I doubt if I'll get much angry email :)

So, Homecoming at Alma was fun but much more low-key than last year. Shannon didn't show up, which was too bad. Caught a glimpse of my old roommate. If she recognized me, she didn't say anything, which is just as well b/c towards the end of that year, we were *not* getting along. We took over the TV in the Sinfonia room and watched Game 4, much to the annoyance of a few people who wanted to hang out (hey, if they had a better idea, they were free to suggest something!). Ramirez hit a first-inning grand slam, which I missed b/c I was out with Heather. Was feeling a little shell-shocked later in the evening, when it hit me - we're going to the World Series!!!

Poor Alma (the town, not the school) seems to have regressed. There was a time when we were a little worried about it growing, getting more crowded and less homey, but that doesn't seem to be a concern anymore. Vacant commercial buildings, an oil refinery that they were actually taking apart when we drove by, and no food (other than fast food) after 11 pm on a Saturday night. Even Petticoat was closed! What is this world coming to?! But Pizza Sam's is still the same old Pizza Sam's. Their pizza is actually really good. Shaved ham and crispy pepperoni... yum! It was at Alma that I learned that many foods benefit from being dipped in ranch dressing, including pizza and grilled cheeses.

The colors were gorgeous in Michigan, and the weather was perfect yet again. I am afraid we're due for another Homecoming snowstorm like the one we had my senior year.

Tuesday, Game 6, Cubs up 3-2, and Prior is pitching. Must try to finish my paper tonight so I don't have any distractions. :)

Thursday, October 09, 2003
Forgot to look this up earlier, but here's the text of the Goat Curse Reversal. Because I'm sure I'll forget this story in a few months, here it is: Three Cubs fans went to Houston in September, bought a goat (very cute, btw), bought it a ticket, and tried to get it into the park. Houston said no way can you bring a goat in here! Which set the scene for a bizarre voodoo dance, and this:

Two years shy of 60 cursed,
For all this time, the Cubs were worst.

Armed with goat and mystic verse,
We hereby Reverse The Curse!

You had your chance to let him in,
But now no more will the Astros win.

We'll take our goat and leave this place,
Along with your hopes in this pennant race!

Houston lost that game (to SF, if I remember right), and went on to take 2nd in the division.

No word on where the goat is now. I hope they're treating it well. :)

Last night's game rocked - totally one-sided! Sammy smacked a home run that I believe is still in orbit somewhere. We're tied 1-1, headed to Florida. Kerry's pitching Friday. We'll be trapped in The Bubble all weekend and may not know what happens until Sunday evening. On the plus side, there may be an orchard trip in our future. Donuts!!!!!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003
A friend sent me this:

Free Press cartoon

Last night's game was a real aerobic workout for fans! I was completely exhausted by the end. We lost in 11, 9-8, but it was a fun game, a real yo-yo all the way. Can we rely on Prior and Wood to pull off the four wins we need? Boy, I sure hope so! But at least we know that our offense hasn't curled up and died. The Atlanta series made me wonder about that sometimes.

I'm finally getting over this cold or whatever it is that has plagued me for over a week. Then again, maybe I shouldn't jinx it. Am missing my volunteer work for the third week in a row, just in case. We're going to Homecoming this weekend and I don't want to ruin that by being sick. So, I'll spend the morning doing some much-needed laundry and some much-needed homework, and pondering whether I feel up to giving the dogs a quick bath before they go to the sitter's. It's supposed to be warm out, and they're kinda stinky :P

Buying tickets to see The Producers in New York! Woo!

Monday, October 06, 2003

CUBS WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bring on the Marlins!

Sunday, October 05, 2003
Cubs lost yesterday, Fick (the stunt-double for the banjo kid in Deliverance) tried to break Karros' arm, and the fifth and deciding game is in less than two hours. Am I tense? Oh yeah. But even if they lose, I think I and all Cub fans should rest assured that we are a different team now, and that "wait till next year" actually *means* something this time. With this pitching, this management, and this front office, I truly believe that the Cubs have become a real team with a real chance of winning each year, just like everyone else. The changes made in the off-season last year were the catalyst that lowered the activation energy (sorry, was studying for a cell bio test last week).

My beautiful cousin Jessica got married yesterday. Congratulations to her and to Paul!

White Stripes have chosen to do a show at the Aragon on New Years Eve. I MUST have tickets!!!!! We'll have to figure out where we're going to be for the holidays. I'm guessing we'll be in Michigan for Christmas, and since Christmas is a Thursday, we'll be gone all weekend and a Wednesday night NYE show is no problem. Speaking of Christmas...time to make the Christmas lists again. The older I get, the less I care about giving and getting gifts for Christmas. Sometimes I think I'd rather just bake some cookies and go to Grandma's (or in-laws') and rent movies and hang out, no obligations or stress.

Hubby and I have both been sick for about a week. I think I'm getting better, then I get worse. Today I feel like I've been in a car accident, just achy all over. Maybe it's West Nile!

"What emptiness the musical ignorant, and what godliness of the minstrel lass." --Jack White III

Friday, October 03, 2003
The thrill of victory! The agony of defeat! Then the thrill of victory again! Cubs are up 2-1 in the series with two games to go, one of which is at home and the other of which Kerry is pitching! We're unstoppable!! I think I hear the devil putting on his ice skates!

Good thing: Mark Prior. He pitches like poetry. Bad thing: The pointless ESPN commentators in their expensive suits and loud ties. Thank god (and WGN) for Pat and Ron! Ron Santo may have no clue what he's talking about half the time, but he's fun, and Pat Hughes is an encyclopedia of baseball lore. And a little biased coverage never hurts. :)

In other news, it was bugging me all day where the "Man, that thing's huuuuuge!" quote comes from. My darling hubby managed to remember that it had something to do with a tiny Elvis guy, and I dug it up on-line. Tiny Elvis!! How could I forget Tiny Elvis?!

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