Combo platter today. The sports stuff:
1. A consolation--well, if you are a Red Sox fan--is that my predictions lately have been dire (I disgraced myself on the radio with my NHL playoff predictions in the spring, where I got absolutely everything wrong), but watching some of the Yankees v. A's game last night I became worried for the Red Sox. And I was already worried. The Yankees look strong, and, what's more, healthy at the right time. They have who they need back, and those guys look rounded into form. David Price is the worst postseason performer in North American sports history, but he becomes worse yet when the Yankees are involved. The Sox better win Game 1, and the bats better put up 7 or 8, because I don't think anyone is realistically counting on greatness from Chris Sale. The first few pitches of that game--and what his velocity is--will say much about the Sox' postseason chances.
2. Those two tie-breaker games in the NL were a problem. They dickered with optics. That Cubs v. Rockies Wild Card game had less juice because it was as if the Cubs had two chances to avoid a single game elimination, if that makes sense. Thus, the actual Wild Card game felt like this redux kind of deal, and, by definition, less urgent. Though it was a great game. But it almost felt like it was Take 2, rather than the end-all, be-all Take 1.
3. Jon Lester should be a Hall of Famer. In large part because of his postseason dominance, clutchness, stones. As I said to a friend the other night, he is the anti-Price. He's been in 26 postseason games, having started 22. His ERA is 2.51. He is an awesome postseason pitcher, one of the best ever. In 2013, he had one of those runs like Schilling in 2001, Koufax in 1965, Beckett in '03 (and, actually, '07), and Bumgarner in 2014. There are years where there is a pitcher whom you just know is going to give up zilch. Every time out. Automatic. A given. Pre-ordained by the heavens. Baseball's mound-based Calvinism.
4. Well, Bruins, that was nice of you to help the Capitals have fun last night with that 7-0 drubbing after Ovechkin took one final twirl around the ice with the Cup, and then everyone on the Capitals got to enjoy themselves by scoring some nice goals. Happy happy. Is there a goalie who sickens me as much as Tuukka Rask? Let me think...there is not. He has a little David Price in him. Like, a torso's worth, or a leg's worth. Not a full helping of Price. But enough is more than enough.
Now we move on. Giles Martin, someone I think of as a lucky sperm--that is, because of your family name, you just do what your parent did before you, and you have it served up to you, without having to earn it, it's just given to you--clearly fancies himself not just the keeper of the Beatles' legacy, but a celebrity-in-the-making. I don't think he knows jack about the band, really. Today I'm reading an interview with him where he says that until recently he didn't know the Esher demos, which are on the upcoming box set. Really? That's as basic as Beatles bootleg stuff gets. I was pounding my way through those demos aged 17. That was a pre-internet world. You had to work to find things.
Today I sent a letter to the editor of the BC alumni magazine about running an excerpt about my upcoming book, Buried on the Beaches: Cape Stories for Hooked Hearts and Driftwood Souls, in the spring or summer. The book was pushed back to spring 2019. I need to have that updated on the front page of this site. The sign-up issues with this blog have finally, I believe, been resolved. What was happening before was that people were not getting notices that new blogs--that is, new posts/entries--had gone up. For the seven of you out there in the world who might see this--for such are the numbers now; someday, people will say that they read it all along, right from the get-go--that's sorted.
A friend inquired as to why people cannot comment on the individual blogs. That's quite simple, really. When I undertook this series of writings, I did so with the mindset that I was composing a journal. That mindset was that the journal would be what I would write to and for me, as one does with a journal, but also with the understanding of what journals can be, with an artist--that is, they can books, can't they? And vital ones at that. In my mind was Pepys, Thoreau, Delacroix, Kafka, and their journals/diaries. Mine just happened to be, for the time being, only on a screen. But no different, really. And someone, later--and hopefully it's me--can round it all up and organize it to go between hardcovers. But with a journal, you are not there to have back-and-forth. It's not a dialogue. Well, it is a dialogue of the self, is it not? Selves. Those parts within the writer. I am constantly in dialogue with my many facets of self, within the larger entity that is me, where my heart/head/soul serve as a kind of ruling triumvirate, and one that has its differences, at times, from member to member.
Plus, if someone wishes to get in touch with me, there's the Contact tab for that.
Last night I was re-reading that New York Review of Books piece, "Confessions from a Hashtag," which I had read over and over again was terribly written. It wasn't terribly written. It might have been a bunch of other things, and a bunch of bad things, but at the level of the sentence it was not this shit stain version of prose, which I was repeatedly told it was. I have a long and very frustrating history with that venue. To say the least. Do you want specifics? They're grisly enough. But, people move on, and I'd not want to rule out moving forward with others. So I'm going to be tight-lipped about that for now. While I was reading the piece in this hovel, after dusk had come on, an editor at The Atlantic phoned and we talked for seventy minutes about various things, including what, for me, was most pressing business. It was a conversation that needed to be had going back to early March.
One of my two new story collections, If You [ ]: Fantasy, Fabula, Fuckery, Hope, acquired a new title, which is Push, She Said: The Love Lives of Stories.
I have the Esher demo of "Cry Baby Cry" in my head. All of these years, and I've only just now realized it is one of my favorite songs. One of the tracks I am most looking forward to on the upcoming White Album box is an outtake of "Julia." Is not one of rock's greatest lines, "Half of what I say is meaningless/But I say it just to reach you"? I think that yes, it definitely is. My phone conversation led me to contact someone at The Wall Street Journal I'd not interacted with before, and I had some ideas I felt were strong for the weekend arts Review pages. The material covered is quite catholic. I enjoyed a piece on Jean Vigo recently, and one on the early days of Ben Franklin--someone whom SJWs would try to murder via doxing today--and James Panero writes art criticism for them. I think Panero is one of the best writers in the world, never mind that he will not write me back at all for some reasons, something that has gone on for years, after I wrote numerous pieces for him at The New Criterion. But he's smart, and he writes well. Legitimately well.
Read a James Wood piece on Orson Welles in The New Yorker. There was absolutely nothing new or of value, from a thinking standpoint, in this Welles piece, and the prose was ho-hum/yawn as is what you always get with Wood. I don't think Welles would have thought much of someone like him.
I have a radical Welles essay to write if someone would assign it. A difference-maker piece.
I need to get to Charlestown and get up the Monument. After being a lazy pig for too long, I fell back to scratch with my Monument fitness. The last two days, I've gone up it once each day. Yesterday I ran the first 150 steps. I have a month until I see the cardiologist. The plan is, within that time, to be doing five straight climbs a day regularly, with a high mark of ten straight climbs. My personal best is eight straight climbs. When you do five straight climbs, you're in Zulu warrior territory. At eight, that's Zulu chief stuff. Ten? Zulu king? Ten will be pretty good. I would assume you must be in pretty good heart health if that's what you're doing.
I had a dream the other night that I had drunk alcohol, thus ending my alcohol-free streak. Strange nightmare to have.
I will be going to some Bergman films at the Brattle, most likely, in the next few days. I'm not hugely into Bergman. I denote little warmth from humanity's spring; I need that warmth. Now, I don't mean happiness. But the human blood. Which has a certain temperature. I feel the same way, more or less, with Truffaut and Kubrick. I'm little interested in them as filmmakers. The MFA has a screening of The Innocents (1961) upcoming. That I will definitely go to.
Pitched the director of these things at the Coolidge on doing a five-part seminar on the great cinematographers. Mentioned doing so the other day, finally did it. I have two pairs of sneakers I've been wearing. There are holes in the sides of each pair, and the backs are largely ripped out of one of them. Managed to find another pair in the closet that is piled to the ceiling with books and records and Blu-rays, as is everything in this hell-space. So out go the ripped ones. Curiously, two people I know and interact with quite a bit failed to recognize me the other day. One was this nice woman at the post office. When my life first fell apart over six years ago, and an evil person was doing what she was doing to me, and taking all from me, and before we really understood the intricate plan of destruction and lies she had put in motion, I used to have to go to the post office a lot. Commonly to receive things from lawyers. Life is actually a lot worse now, because of how hard I've fought and how much I've created and achieved in those six years since (but at the time, it was hard to imagine how anything can be as bad as what was happening). The industry doubles down in hate and envy when someone who is not one of them achieves things. For now. They can flip later. But this woman at the post office was the lone person I ever saw for a time who'd smile at me. It was the lone kind of niceness I knew in my life for a while. Small thing, right? But it wasn't. It helped me. And God I must have looked like a wreck when I came in and she was nice enough to make sure to smile at me. Then there is one of the managers at the Starbucks, whom I see every day. And he didn't recognize me. The woman at the post office attributed this to my hat. You know what I thought? I worried that maybe I had another stroke, and my face had become all rearranged, and I didn't know it yet, because I hadn't seen myself in a mirror. That wasn't it. Who knows. Do I look very different? And yes, I know that I'm color-outfitted like I'm doing my best to represent Christmas.