Sunday, September 30, 2007

it's over

the Phillies beat the Nationals 6-1 and the Mets lose to the Marlins 8-1 to complete the greatest collapse in major league baseball history.

but Auburn STILL beat the previously #4 ranked and defending national champion Florida Gators(for the second year in a row) in the Swamp 20-17.

and while the Mets blowing a 7-game lead with only 17 to play is a real shocker, and Auburn beating Florida (an 18-point favorite) for Urban Meyer's first loss at home, the true holy shite moment of the early fall is Kentucky (not South Florida; Kentucky) ranked in the top ten in football (#8 in both major polls).
I love me some underdogs, but this will never (ever) last. three of their five wins have come against Eastern Kentucky, Kent State and Florida Atlantic (not exactly football powerhouses) and neither Arkansas nor Louisville, even excepting their respective losses to the Wildcats, are playing like folks thought they should.
though the 'Cats have a very favorable schedule (only one away game thus far), it's nothing but SEC opponents, including LSU and Florida in successive weeks(though both games are at home), left on the schedule.
I think they'll be doing well to finish the year at 8-4 (and they're 5-0 now).

but returning to a more pleasant note, all hail freshman kicker Wes Byrum.
and War Eagle.

a recap

I've never written for Pitchfork (and that's okay).

I don't believe I've ever received a SubPop promo (less okay, esp. now when there's new Iron & Wine and Band of Horses I'd like to hear (though, boy, Sam could be the double for Will Forte as "The Falconer" in this promo for his video on Amazon)).

the Mets, after a soon-to-be legendary September swoon (something like 11 losses in the last 15 games, most of them at home and most against cellar dwellers), finally came around yesterday and kicked butt, both literally and figuratively. a bench-clearing brawl in the fifth, John Maine takes a no-hitter into the eighth and the Mets take the Marlins 13-0. and with the Phillies' loss to the Nationals (the true NL East cellar dweller, and also a Phillies home game), the Mets crawled (too on the nose?) back into a tie for the division lead, a place they'd been (until Friday night) since April.

enter Tom Glavine, winner of 303 major league games and near certain Hall of Fame selection (since no 300+ game winner has ever been denied the Hall of Fame).
then exit Tom Glavine, 303 game winner, in what has to be the worst (and possibly last) outing of that Hall of Fame career.
the Marlins go through the order against Glavine who records but one out before being pulled and after a mere half inning Florida leads the Mets (in the Mets' most important regular season game in, well, the history of the franchise) 7-0.

something stinks in here, and it's not the Camembert.

(above photo: Mr. Met, in happier days)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

happymabirthday mr. faulkner

William Faulkner, approximately half the reason that the South gets credit for producing exceptional writers and athletes (though precious little else, thank you very much), is/was/would've been 110 today.

though not the majority choice, I still prefer Light in August.

Monday, September 24, 2007

homer simpson, smiling politely

actually, of course, it's Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins (and not the greatest likeness either).

but quite surely I am feeling poorly.

I had my daytime e-mail access removed (without anesthesia (could you have spelled it without looking it up?)) and it dearly, dearly hurts.

last movie I ever saw: Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

last book I ever read: Underground Harmonies: Music and Politics in the Subways of New York (a bit too sociological for my tastes, though I wouldn't mind an update)

Monday, September 17, 2007

sometimes just what anymore to know I don't even think

there's still no joy in Auburnville (seriously. Mississippi State?)

last piece I ever published: a short little preview on Oakley Hall for Phoenix New Times (pay attention. something close to it will make another appearance soon enough).

last book I ever read: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (I liked the first one better)

last movie I ever saw: Woody Allen's Scoop (not good. and I'm a Woody Allen fan. further evidence that Scarlett Johansson was carried by Bill Murray in Lost in Translation)

the one before that: The X-Files (even worse. I could rant for longer than the movie ran about the all the stuff wrong with this one (what? people don't need gloves in Antarctica? (what? people go to Antarctica?)))

last concert I ever saw (and didn't take photos): Wild Carnation, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3 and Glenn Mercer (here's a link to the Voice piece I wrote about Glenn last summer) at the Mercury Lounge last Thursday night (finally some redemption. and though I've been a fan for more years than I care to count, the set by Steve's group was so surprisingly strong I think it'd be safe to call it stunning. really wish someone had recorded)

and in other news, I was also in the audience for the preview of Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten that Tom Breihan blogged about the following day (Thursday). and though I like both Tom and Tom's writing, I thought he was off base on this one.
personally I found much more than the final twenty minutes "heartwarming" (Mick and Joe reuniting for "White Riot," a song that had previously started arguments, at a benefit for striking firemen when they could've made beaucoup cash almost anywhere else? come on, give us a hug).
yeah, we've had enough of Bono testimonials and goatee-braided Johnny Depp and Courtney Love in any guise. and sure, Joe acted like an ass to his former hippie squatter friends, but we're trying to tell a truthful story here, not apply varnish to a saint.
and the whole comparison/contrast thing between Julien Temple (I thought the repetitive footage of belly dancers and camels to signify Strummer's time in Turkey was pretty damn funny) and Martin Scorsese is pretty much a stacked deck.
I mean, if all singer-songwriters were compared to Bob Dylan, then everybody but John Prine would pretty much suck belly dancers and camels, you know?
which I guess they do.

"and I thought, God he's sensitive."
- Topper Headon

Thursday, September 13, 2007

even sometimes to think what I just don't know anymore

an addendum to Tuesday's post:

I ran across a Times' article from September 20, 2001 entitled "Novelists Reassess Their Subject Matter" that kind of touched home. I'm not, even wasn't, a novelist, but I do hold the aptly monikered terminal degree in Creative Writing-Fiction from a not disrespected university program and wrote a bunch of fiction before and after moving to New York (some of which I'm thinking of posting here; I mean, it's far enough away from now that it doesn't seem like it could hurt anything), including a novella entitled "Utah" that was written during a creatively timed leave of absence from a different day job way back when.
anyway, I empathize with the subject matter, if not the execution as I haven't written a single piece of fiction since the planes hit. and, in fact, was full bore into the book that became Cup of Coffee within a month after. it just didn't seem to me that made up stuff was all that important anymore when there were so, so many stories of living, breathing people who would not be living and breathing forever.

I don't mean that as morbid, callous or unfeeling as it sounds. but anyone who's the least bit familiar with Cup of Coffee can see the similarity between the men I spoke with and the Moonlight Graham character from the movie Field of Dreams.
and, of course, when Ray Kinsella and Terence Mann drive to Minnesota to speak with Moonlight Graham, he'd already passed away.
and I didn't want that to happen to me.
I didn't want to miss an important, all-too-human story just because I hadn't moved quickly enough.
so I got started.
I had to wait for a while to begin making phone calls to the men I would later interview because it was a strange, strange time. people everywhere were nervous, jittery. and I didn't think that right after was a good time to be cold calling strangers.
but soon enough I did. and I got started in earnest.
the first flight I took after 9/11 was in service of Cup of Coffee, and it was well, well worth it.
I doubt that I'll ever work on a book that will provide me with such a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
and though nearly all the questions were mine in these interactions with short-term major leaguers, I can't think, offhand, of a single man who didn't ask me what it was like to be in New York on 9/11.

enough already.
there's a wonderful article in New York magazine this week on Emma Rathkey, a determined young woman just now entering college, whose father died in the Trade Center attack.
the line that got me?
"Emma’s teammates were there, in uniform."

in the meantime, Springsteen's Rising still plays ("You're Missing"):

"Shirts in the closet, shoes in the hall
Mama's in the kitchen, baby and all
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Coffee cups on the counter, jackets on the chair
Papers on the doorstep, but you're not there
Everything is everything
Everything is everything
But you're missing

Pictures on the nightstand, TV's on in the den
Your house is waiting, your house is waiting
For you to walk in, for you to walk in
But you're missing, you're missing
You're missing, when I shut out the lights
You're missing, when I close my eyes
You're missing, when I see the sun rise
You're missing

Children are asking if it's alright
Will you be in our arms tonight?

Morning is morning, the evening falls,
I got too much room in my bed, too many phone calls
How's everything, everything?
Everything, everything
But you're missing, you're missing

God's drifting in heaven,
Devil's in the mailbox,
I got dust on my shoes,
Nothing but teardrops."