Once I could have told you ALL the guys with 500+ homers.
Geez, I forgot to mention that I got together with some former JEOPARDY! contestants on the first Friday in May at a bar in Albany. I remember that because I had to rush from the First Friday event at my church. Anyway, nice people. Yes, and smart.
Mark Evanier writes about being The Advocate — “the functional person who handles everything for the sick person. I had to watch over their needs, get them whatever they required, intervene with the hospital and caregivers when necessary and run the aspects of their lives they could no longer handle, including personal finances. In simpler terms, I had to just be there for them.” Maybe I got a little teary.
Chuck Miller, my former Times Union blogger buddy – we’re still buds, but he’s not with the TU blogs anymore, explained in these pages in early April. Anyway, he is doing a new thing, and I am mentioned. The only problem is that he didn’t link to a certain song, so I did, below.
Chuck also writes about Teri Conroy, who also used to be in the TU blog farm. I’ve met her and she really IS a saint.
Su-sieee! Mac, one our ABC Wednesday participants: “Am I allowed to say I’m a cancer survivor when I didn’t know I had cancer?”
My local library branch (Pine Hills in Albany) gets a new art installation every few months. Among the artists this go round is Peach Tao, whose dinosaur woodcuts are really cool. I went to the opening on June 2. The art will be there until October 28.
Albert Pujols became the ninth hitter in Major League Baseball to hit 600 or more home runs. Once I could have told you ALL the guys with 500+ homers, which used to be a lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame*. But as a result of the era of performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds and Sosa, for two, have not yet made it.
1 Barry Bonds 762
2 Hank Aaron * 755
3 Babe Ruth * 714
4 Alex Rodriguez 696
5 Willie Mays * 660
6 Ken Griffey, Jr.* 630
7 Jim Thome 612
8 Sammy Sosa 609
“I know my Jonathan Swift well enough to understand the creative and moral imperatives of political satire: To call out the horrors of a failed system with blackened, ridiculous overstatement. Swift challenged heartless British policies toward the starving with a ‘modest proposal’ to sell and cook Irish babies ‘in a fricassee, or a ragout’ — a ghastly piece of irony that he knew enough to publish anonymously.
“But the ghastliness was born of compassion. It didn’t target ACTUAL BABIES; it took aim instead at the ruthlessness of the system. Had Griffin taken a more Swiftian tack on Trump, his head would have stuck to his body and polished off a large plate of authentic-Mexican food.”
Interestingly, when David Larson, like Amy, working for a Hearst newspaper, proposed, with a nod to the great 18th century Irish satirist, “that San Francisco’s housing crisis be solved by dumping the elderly on the streets and letting nature take its course,” it received more than its fair share of backlash.
For the record, I found Griffin’s artistic statement, among other things, too unsubtle and strategically problematic. “See what kind of people you have on the left?!” Though it’s true that I’ve long ceased to think of Orangeism as a left-right, or even Republican-Democratic schism. It’s a whole different animal.
When another person and I, separately, posted on Facebook from The New Yorker, The News Reshuffled what was clearly a piece of satire, Emotional Obama Tearfully Thanks Trump for Granting Him Citizenship, a few people thought it was unfunny. One, on my feed, said it was a “lie” that I was sharing FOX News garbage, and that the New Yorker is a terrible magazine.
Trying to explain that it was meant as humor did not help. However, when I posted, from the same source, that Obama had paid Mexico $5 million to keep Trump, now THAT was considered funny.
Are there any events in your life that you feel make good parables that you want to share one day with your daughter?
I was 51 when she was born, so there is a lot of my life to draw from. Huge parts of it she doesn’t know, significant events, and I’m not sure exactly when/if to tell her. Maybe if she asks. She DOES know about JEOPARDY!
I remember looking at photos of my mother with some guy she went out with before she dated my father, and initially, it was kind of weird, but hey, that was rather natural. When she would talk about it- I was at least in my 20s by then – and say, “Oh, I could have married” so-and-so, it was rather disconcerting. I mean, I wouldn’t have been me!
My daughter is ALWAYS asking me to tell her stories, and I always struggle to tell her some. I know I’ve not wanted to poison her with some of the racism that I’ve experienced, yet at the same, try to subtly let her know – and some of it she’s figured out on her own – that it’s not all in the past.
I suppose I could tell her about being a conscious objector during the Vietnam war or going to various demonstrations for peace and justice. Not sure I want to tell her how I quit a job without having one to go to, more than once.
Really struggling with this one.
If you could go back in time and talk to yourself at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50, what would you say?
At 10, I was feeling pretty good about things. Got 100 in the spelling final. I started becoming real friends with the girls in my class. Maybe I’d say that I needed to develop more male friends, because, even to this day, I have a dearth of them. I’ve usually preferred the company of women, and not just in romantic settings. I have some great male friends, but they are in the clear minority.
At 20, I was married to the Okie. I’d tell myself to press her about what was going on with her that would lead to her leaving the next year. Maybe I would have gone to the Philadelphia folk festival (which we couldn’t afford) if it was THAT important to her. (Ah, something the Daughter does not know about yet.)
At 30, I had a good friend die and got my heart broken in a fairly short period of time. I’d tell myself to avoid a certain emotional entanglement the following year, though it felt so good at the moment.
At 40, I had just started my current job the year before. I would have suggested taking a temporary position when it became available because the whole path of my employment could have changed.
At 50, Carol was pregnant with Lydia. Actually, there’s very little I would have said at that point because it’s impossible to understand parenthood without experiencing it.
What do you think you didn’t study enough in high school and college?
In high school, it was French, though I DID put in the effort, I just didn’t GET it, past the first year or so. Wish I had had the chance to have taken it earlier. In college, I’m surprised, in retrospect, that I took exactly one course in music, which I aced, and didn’t participate at all in a choral group, at college, or a church or something.
Did you have to write a thesis for your graduate program?
It was not a thesis as such, but it was a long paper, close to 50 pages. I couldn’t tell you what it was about if you paid me. It was torture when I wrote it.
What’s your favorite subject to study in-depth? What is your least favorite subject?
I don’t like studying anything in-depth; I get bored. I like to know a little about a lot of things. Recently, I HAVE become more expert in START-UP NY (an attempt at an economic stimulus in the state) and NYS sales tax law than anyone ought to be, and still, I have to look up. I suppose I’ve picked up some knowledge of The Beatles and other musical entities of the 1960s and 1970s.
My eyes glaze over when listening to talk about cars; I couldn’t tell you a type of Chevy that doesn’t start with C (Corvette, Corvair).
If you could give one piece of advice to a college student today, what would it be?
Resist learning about job skills that you can go into today; the field could be gone tomorrow. DO learn about all sorts of stuff, and know-how to think, not just regurgitate back the facts. In other words, in spite of the great affection for STEM education in the country these days, and I’m not against it, I still believe in the value of a liberal arts education. Do you read the funnies? What’s your favorite internet comic?
I seldom read the comics on the Internet, more as a matter of time. I’ve seen stuff I like online, such as XKCD, but it’s not part of the routine. (Here is a special version of the strip.) I read Pearls Before Swine, Luann, Zits, Doonesbury (when there’s new daily stuff) and Blondie, because it has evolved somewhat. Having said this, I did support the Kickstarter for the movie STRIPPED, about the history of the genre, so I am interested in the topic.
What types of jokes or humor make you laugh the hardest?
It’s language: clever puns, things that evolve from double meanings of words. Can’t give you an example, because, as I have often said, I can’t REMEMBER a joke I’ve heard since the age of about 12, even with fiscal incentive. But the visuals on the page, while not the best examples (but they are the last two on my Facebook feed) at least suggest the genre of humor.
I HATE, BTW, America’s Funniest Home Videos; the bits usually involve physical pain and embarrassment. I was at an urgent care place with Lydia a couple of years ago, and it was on the TV; my loathing was confirmed.
Music: The Barber Adagio I have almost a dozen versions of. Lenten music in general. But a great final movement of a classical piece will do it too, especially with organ power chord endings. I’ve mentioned some sad songs, associated with romance, in the past. Music evokes some very specific memories. Sometimes, songs, songs I associate with my former church in Albany make me very sad. Know what song used to make me weepy? Captain Jack by Billy Joel. Movies: the first one was West Side Story when Maria yells “Don’t you touch him!” over the dead Tony, but there have been several since. An occasional television show will do this as well, but it’s been a while, mostly because I’m not watching much TV. Other people being sad: I remember when Bobby Kennedy died and people were all sad. I wasn’t, but their tears became mine because THEY were hurting. That Kickstarter/Veronica Mars thing that you experienced made me sad for you, almost to tears, and surprisingly angry. My melancholia: More now than in quite a while. Sometimes, even in the midst of a crowd, I can feel quite alone. And I cry and/or I get angry. My daughter in pain, my wife in pain: the worst pain I ever saw my wife endure was after some surgery involving her jaw. MUCH worse than childbirth.