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Rainy day odds and ends in between other things

Tuesday 8/8/23

Paul Lewis is performing with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in October. I'd like to get a ticket to that Friday matinee.

A lot of writing getting done as always. Saturday was a key day in nearly determining (fully) something I was thinking I might do--which I've alluded to--that I think I am going to do at this point. Will recount writing things soon enough. But damn has much been created. All kinds of things.

The Red Sox required a lucky call and a walk-off home run to beat Kansas City last night at Fenway. Embarrassing.

Chris Sale is coming back this week, so having to watch him gets added to this mess if you're going to watch at all.

Heard some remarks from Trevor Story last night. He's returning tonight, if they don't get rained out. He sounded to me like a guy who is scared. I could see him getting hurt and then being out for a long time. I'm talking Tommy John surgery and being gone for more than a year. Reminded me some of Dustin Pedroia the last time he came back and once he was in there you felt like it might not be for long.

Red Sox catcher Connor Wong has an OBP under .300. I'm worried about you when you dip below that mark. That's bad. It's hard to stay in the majors if that's who you are or become.

Found myself looking at the college football TV schedule the other day. I lament what college football is becoming. Conglomerated. Over-shiny big business without nuance.

College football is best when it feels like it is happening in pockets, in conferences with their own identities, and when you get a sense of something localized, not nationalized. That on-campus feel of that thing that is happening right there in that college community. College football can feel walled in, but in the good way. A part of place. Region. That very spot with that architecture and those dormitories.

You lose that with mega-conferences and corporate homogenization. College football was individualistic in one regard. Full of regional personality. (Also, different styles of play, which you don't get in the NFL.) But now it's trending to sameness and the absence of that cultivated--or at least encouraged--identity. William Sloane's To Walk the Night captures that feel marvelously.

Yes, the novel is from 1937, but that college football feeling is still around, and ten years ago you still got it mostly everywhere in particular and as a general, nuanced feeling across the sport; that is, if you went to a game at Army or at Oklahoma or at Alabama or at Harvard or Clemson you got it. And I think that's depreciating. College football is becoming more and more like a pro league. The de-conferencing and subsequent mega-conferencing is going to change the whole deal, the whole sport, and what makes it special and really creates a personal connection. Then it's just un-nuanced Twitter fodder.

The way college football should work is you're watching a game and the scores flash across the TV and you see that two rivals across the country are facing each other and it's a close game and you think, "Oh, that's cool." That game means something, even if it doesn't mean something in the national big picture sense, necessarily. And it's that former kind of meaning more than the latter form of meaning that makes college football great. It's not that that there won't be games between those two teams (though there are less likely to be, too); it's that the tenor has changed, and not for the better.

You can still get that feeling, but less and less with the big programs. The big programs set the tone for the sport, and then everything else sort of trickles down. You need conferences with their own special aspects and for conferences to mean something, and for that to be the case, you can't have less conferences made up of more teams. It's sad.

There's a surrounding innocence to college football. I'm not saying the product or the players are innocent. All kinds of bad stuff is going on. I mean the accompanying communal aspect. But everything in life is trending to the clones and becoming less nuanced, less human. Everything and everyone is becoming one piece of polished metal, whereas in the past it was like people and things were more like plants and trees growing in the forest.

Ran 3000 stairs at City Hall yesterday and today. It's been pouring. Brutal 91% humidity when doing them this afternoon. The worst time for stairs: summer, humidity over 90. A guy said to me, "Keep it up! You look great!" Well--heartfelt encouragement and positive evaluation.

Felt a little feverish last night so did a scurvy-in-reverse and that worked. Drink your way to health, baby.

Got a bunch of new kinds of tea the other day: blueberry, cherry, cranberry.

Listened to a two-part podcast all about M.R. James's "Oh, Whistle, and I'll Come to You, My Lad." Wanted to hear what a couple of other people thought after having spent so much time with the story of late. Also listened to the Tallis Scholars' 1989 set of Josquin masses and Green Day's 1994 BBC session.

I will see the kids tomorrow. My mom actually asked me if I'd tell her all about it, like I wasn't going to let her know. It's obviously very important to her, so out of curiosity I asked her why the other day, and she said "Because I want them to know you."


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