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Sunday 1/6/19

Big week. Works to write that will live forever. Many. And, I'm afraid, things are going to start getting ugly on here. I will preface this by saying that the last thing I wanted to have to do was to have to expose people and venues for everyone to see. But it has come to this. What else? 959 days without a drink. As with yesterday, I ran six miles today. Feel fit, thin, strong. Read a Nancy Drew mystery, The Secret of the Old Clock.

I like the Bonita Granville Nancy Drew films but they are a lot different from the books. I described today in detail the plot of "Pillow Drift," the last story I finished in 2018, and they said the same thing that everyone says to me about it--it needs to be a film. Not only could I write the screenplay easily, I could direct this film. I've been preparing for that for most of my life. Most writers just write. If that. They very write very little. Most of the so-called writers won't write as much as I already have on this blog by the summer. I'm just starting to find my rhythm this year, after these early entries and the composition of the new story, "Mission Brick Candy." We'll really get it rolling now. But I was always preparing myself to be able to make films. All of these years of studying cinema, coming to see it like I see it. It was never "oooo I like movies let's write about movies." I should go out and get some nonfat milk for my blood pressure. I don't feel like going to CVS in the mist to get cranberry juice. They jacked the price. It's nearly seven bucks a bottle now. That's a problem. Got my last two NFL predictions correct. This Bears-Eagles game could go either way. I don't like this Chargers match-up for the Patriots. They are as good on the road as the Patriots are at home. Pretty much. So that's a wash. They are going to be a tough out. I hope I'm wrong, but I like the Chargers or the Colts to go to the Super Bowl. I think Andrew Luck has been a lot closer to Matt Ryan--though arguably not as good--than the best of the best, but he's put something together recently. I think they beat the Chiefs.

Sat in Anthony's today after my run, drinking a coffee, composing in my head. Usually I just get coffee, sometimes orange juice for the potassium for my heart rate, or water if it's hot. I realize when I say things like that and about the blood pressure that it can sound like my heart rate is an issue or I have high blood pressure. I don't. I am very tip-top at this point. But I had issues in the past. I have, too, an inordinate amount of stress, as anyone who reads this journal would understand and appreciate. Seeing what I am facing, what I am trying to do. I am trying to change the world to the good more than anyone ever has. And I can. And if I get past these people, I will. Or at least I'm going to have a real shot. What has happened in my personal life is its own separate hell. Not that it was separate. It doesn't measure up, though, to the other situation. Which is one of the most remarkable statements I could ever make, as you know if you know about what happened to me on the personal side, as everyone will know when that memoir comes out, but which you can also know from here, in pieces, and in various other things I've written in my career over the past few years. But to handle this stress, I have to control what I can control. To offset it, I mean. That's why I gave up drinking, that's why the crazy fitness routine came into being, that's why I gave up most sodium. Well, anything like a potato chip, or anything containing over X amount of sodium. (Actually, potato chips aren't very high in sodium. Isn't that surprising? But I gave them up. Gave up taco chips. Salsa. Goldfish crackers. Anything like that.) I ordered some breakfast sandwiches and some muffins to tide me over for the week. I don't know why my hair grew so fast since my last haircut. It's long now. All curled in the back. I walked past Durgin Park last night--it was packed! People getting in their last meal there, I guess. Had I placed Musings with Franklin by now, I probably would have stopped in to get a T-shirt, just tuck it away somewhere, a souvenir of a place that, I believe, will have made a real contribution to the history of literature, in indirect way, but I find it just too depressing at the moment.

There is this guy at the Starbucks who is in jail a lot. How do I know he's in jail a lot? Because he's often on his phone--he conducts a strange series of business calls at the Starbucks, in his sweatpants and work boots--and he'll tell the various people he talks to--many of whom are not people he knows, but clearly lawyers and bank people (he'll ask their name, then repeat that name a lot, "So that's all I need, Karen? You'll send that in the mail? Thanks for your help, Karen" etc.)--that he doesn't intend to go back to jail again. That seems like a good plan. Anyway, whenever this guy sees me--and he doesn't seem to do this with anyone else--he gives me this kind of salute. It is, I imagine, the kind of salute you'd give a fellow former inmate when you saw them on the street later. At least, that's what I imagine. Every time in the Starbucks, he gives me this salute. He gives it to me when I see him on the street. I don't know, man. Am I being afforded the respect of one who tore it up in the joint? Hmmm. I don't think that's likely, though. I once worked at a hardware story--not the one where I met my friend Hardware John (to whom two of my three books are at least in part dedicated to)--and this Puerto Rican guy who had murdered someone--Benny Blanco from the Bronx (for that is how he always billed himself)--told me that in prison, I would be "one of the womens." Womens. He said this a bunch. So, that was a little concerning. And I can't shave with a real razor, because I'm scared of sharp things. If I was going to go to the joint, I'd have to learn to shave first, because you can't be in there with your electric razor--if you're even allowed to have an electric razor--because that's not going to get you respect, and this dude didn't even know about my razor situation/fears and he was already sure I'd be one of the womens. I'm into some stuff, and I had a grandmother named Peg...o dear, sir. Even for you, that pun-joke is's just beyond the pale. Anyway, the Starbucks guy. I haven't acknowledged this salute--kind of a knuckle against the forehead, then an outward arm motion--yet, because I don't want to encourage Connection? Union? But I might do it. He's starting a business. This interests me, because he's always at this Starbucks in those sweatpants and work boots. What could this business be? Is he an artisan? He's in his fifties. I looked at his hands, and I think he works with them. They're not like Brooklyn hipster hands. Some hot women--in a group of three--started talking about him today, so I went to shoot the one of them who was facing me a look as if to say, "Hey! That's my prison buddy!" but when I went to do this, she smiled at me, and, like I said, she was hot, so I smiled back. I felt a little disloyal.

Also, I made my Red Sox list! In an earlier entry, I had mentioned that a baseball history discussion forum I follow was having everyone compile a list of each team's ten best players. Meaning, while with that team. (Also: I have looked at more numbers, and much as I liked him, Dwight Evans is no Hall of Famer. Harold Baines was much more deserving. If we're going by offense. The only way Evans deserves to be in is if you highly value his defense. Which I get. I'm okay with that. But on mostly offense, at a position supposed to produce offense, he's not even really close. His career 162 game average was 24 home runs and 86 RBI. As a corner outfielder. To give you some perspective: that's the exact same 162 game average as Carlton Fisk, a catcher. That's not good enough for a corner outfielder.)

Here is my Red Sox top ten. This could be a good radio segment.

1. Ted Williams

2. David Ortiz

3. Roger Clemens

4. Carl Yastrzemski

5. Wade Boggs

6. Jimmie Foxx

7. Manny Ramirez

8. Tris Speaker

9. Pedro Martinez

10. Cy Young

Look who gets left out: Jim Rice, Carlton Fisk, Bobby Doerr, Lefty Grove, Dustin Pedroia, Babe Ruth, Reggie Smith, Mo Vaughan, Dwight Evans, Joe Cronin, Nomar Garciaparra, Fred Lynn, Mookie Betts.

What does this tell me? The Red Sox underachieved to historic levels for most of their history. You can make the case that this Red Sox list is harder to make than a Yankees one.

Some other interesting ideas: the Red Sox had two guys in Clemens and Grove who you could make a case for as the best pitcher of all-time. You'd have to use the rest of their careers, obviously, but I think only four pitchers are in that conversation, and they had two of them, the other two being Christy Mathewson (whose book, Pitching in a Pinch, is excellent; I should write on it someday) and Walter Johnson. Also: Garciaparra is much closer to being a Hall of Famer than you might think. I hated watching him in the field--he was awful. But look at his numbers--he seemed to be every bit the future Hall of Famer that Trout appears to be now. Except Garciaparra was a better hitter, I could care less what your WAR says. He was a much better hitter. I'd put Ted Williams as the third best player in baseball history. But David Ortiz is the most transcendent Red Sox player.

Good football game. My predictions weren't that terrible--got 3 of the 4 games correctly. Nice to see a low-scoring, hard-fought, old school game. I was pulling for the Eagles, just because I find Nick Foles a fascinating player.


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