Archive for June, 2008
Well, I’m writing it at the end of this weekend, but here’s what captured my attention this week:
- Fittingly, since we’re in the middle of the Wimbledon fortnight, a NYT article looked at all those strange on-the-court habits of the top tennis players. Novak Djokovic bounces the ball up to 25 times before the ball toss, and Maria Sharapova tucks hair behind each of her ears. But my favorite? The way Rafael Nadal obsessively towels off between each point. And, then, of course, there’s the way he’s always digging his clam diggers out of his, er, butt crack.
- When I was a kid, I resisted—fiercely—the afternoon nap. I didn’t understand why grown-ups wanted to waste any part of the day. Now, I’m downright grateful for this advice from the Boston Globe on the art of napping. (Link via SteveP)
- Before Bloomsday gets too far away from us, this accurate, but oh-so-brief summary of the plot of Ulysses sure made me smile. (Link via Prettier than Napoleon, who wonders why Joyce captivates some of us so)
- Speaking of little obsessions, this NYT article on casino chip collecting was sort of fun. But I don’t really need one more excuse to love Las Vegas. That place has gotten under my skin.
- Dustin Fenstermacher is a talented photographer. Be sure to check out his gallery of images from the cat show. Highly recommended! (And I’m allergic to cats.)
My buddy and I hit the ballpark last night for some more interleague action (that still sounds dirty to me), this time involving the California Anaheim Los Angeles (insert eye roll here) Angels of, ahem, Anaheim. The Phillies had almost no offense. Manager Charlie Manuel finally gave the apparently exhausted Chase Utley a night off, and the rest of the Phillies line-up seemed to have nothing to offer. The Phils lost, 6-2.
In the seventh inning, when there were already two outs, the Phils did manage to score two runs to tie the game. Jayson Werth hit a solo homer. A few minutes later, Pedro Feliz doubled, sending Chris Coste—who had walked—home. Eric Bruntlett, who was subbing for Utley, ended the rally with a baserunning mistake, but it wouldn’t have mattered. The Angels roughed up Phillies starter Brett Myers, as well as reliever Chad Durbin, in the eighth. The fans, disgusted at the fourth straight loss, streamed out. Not me, though! I hung tough, until the final out.
Myers, by the way, pitched fairly well for most of the game. He gave up two solo homers to Vladimir Guerrero early in the game, and I guess I wasn’t absolutely shocked that Manuel sent him out to pitch the eighth. In retrospect, though, that was a mistake. Myers got two outs and then gave up a two-run homer to Erick Aybar (who?). Myers is a real puzzle this season. He’ll be pitching really, really well, and then, suddenly, he gives up a home run. Then he’s back to pitching well…and then, suddenly, well, you know. He’s given up a league-leading 23 homers already this season. Ouch. And that’s our opening day starter, you know? Ouch, again.
But I have to put the blame here pretty squarely on Manuel. With the game tied in the eighth, Myers—whose pitch count was nearing three digits—should’ve come out.
But on to more important things. I got to the game extra early so I could stand in the long, long, long line at Tony Luke’s for a roast pork sandwich. Damn, it was delicious—all moist and meaty. It might’ve been the best thing I’ve eaten all year. It’s certainly the best thing I’ve eaten at the ballpark this year, and that’s high praise because I love those crab fries from Chickie’s and Pete’s.
I don’t have time to do it justice right now, but remind me to go on a real tear sometime about baseball teams that change their names to something silly. Yup, I’m thinking about the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But I’m also thinking of you, too, Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Bay Rays? That is so dumb.
I think I need another roast pork sandwich right about now.
This week’s collection of what interested me:
- It’s not clear who the author is, but this long essay dissecting the last episode of The Sopranos is pretty darn impressive. Are you persuaded? (Link via Kottke)
- This NYT article explains where you can find some Gaelic football and hurling in the NYC area. I’m keeping that in mind. By the way, if anybody knows of any hurling or Gaelic football action in the Philly area, let me know.
- Also in NYT‘s “sports” coverage: hunting feral hogs. Really. (Note to Yankees: Not many Southerners actually spend their time doing something like this. I swear.)
- At FILE Magazine, you can—and should—see a gallery of photographs by Massimo Cristaldi. “Refinery Flock” consists of some amazing images of a flock of birds converging on a refinery. If you like “Refinery Flock,” and you will, you’ll want to check out Cristaldi’s online portfolio, too.
- R. Pollack, a (soon-to-be-ex) teacher in Jackson, Mississippi, tells how the student body collectively reacted to the administration’s undue concern about what a group of boys wore one day. “[I]t’s symbolic middle fingers all around,” Pollack writes. Power to the people, you know?