Friday, October 28, 2011

when i was traveling i was always impressed by the reach of the baseball cardinals' fan base. i'd find cardinal fans in places like arizona or new mexico and i'd ask, how come you're living way out here and still pulling for the cardinals? in kansas there were a lot of cards fans, and especially in oklahoma and arkansas. one guy in oklahoma said, well, when the texas teams moved in, we didn't switch to them, because we don't like texas. besides, the cards have good radio announcers.

this was especially true in kansas, where they had the royals, but royals games were a little wooden, empty, not as good on radio as cards games. one thing you could say about the cards: they made it into the series every once in a while. they have a long history of colorful players: the deans, brock, flood, gibson, musial (he was from pittsburgh, it was always pointed out- but, he was before my time, in in my era, it was hard to conceive of a true homerun hitter on the cards; they were all base-stealers)...with such a colorful history, and teams that were always in the race, it was just better pulling for the cards.

lots of arkansas and oklahoma are wild mountains - in oklahoma they're called the ouachitas, and they are in the southeast corner, wild in the sense that outlaws used to hide out there, sometimes for years, and nobody would even come looking for them. it really felt like the west, but the mountains themselves, kind of like the ozarks, were wild and deep and it was hundreds of miles to anywhere. i loved this country, and would try to imagine living there, but couldn't. how would you make a living? it seemed like the land was very inhospitable; even the farmers weren't doing all that well. but it sure was beautiful, especially when the sunset or sunrise would pick the fog out of the mountains.

last night's game was wild, texas would score, and the cards would come back and tie it, and this happened twice, and finally in the eleventh, or something, the cards just popped ahead and won. i'll get some pop art up if possible, but it was like midnight when i got to bed and i was excited; it was fun to come into work because there are so many cards fans around. my friend the cub fan, boy was he kind of ornery, though; that's one of the things i never did like, it always seemed to me you could like them both, if it got right down to it. maybe that's not possible though. maybe seeing all those happy card fans was just too much for him to bear; i'm not sure. one secretary wore the red cards stuff as a halloween costume and i almost said, that's not even a costume; you wear that stuff all the time. birds on the front, pujols' name on the back, a rally squirrel on her shoulder. but all those cards fans brought smiles to work. they're living for the series, just like me; it's a good year. yes, it's gone a little too far, mixing baseball and halloween costumes, baseball and cold wet fall weather; it's already the 28th; we carved pumpkins today and will probably take our costumes on the road to tomorrow's party, which fortunately, does not cross-schedule with tonight's final game.

pressure on because of the strike, everyone has pretty much taken sides and there are a lot of things going on around town related to it; it's my job to figure out what exactly they are striking over, if in fact it actually comes to pass. so many people are what i'd call spoiling for a fight; it's kind of like a wartime mentality. but, as i told my wife, i've got my head in the sand, my nose to the grindstone, and the radio on tonight, where it's once again a close game but the cards appear to be hitting well, as they do when i'm listening. these days they aren't so much of a base-stealing team, but they're still plenty exciting and i've been enjoying listening a lot. i wear an old mariners hat to work and finally today took to saying, this is actually an anti-texas hat. told one secretary, actually i've hated texas longer than i've liked the cards. but of course, it's only hate in a baseball kind of way, we don't actually know these guys from anyone, some of them are no doubt former indians. that one secretary says, we don't hate texas, we just want them to lose, in this case, because we love the cards.

i'm driving around a lot these days, around town, and i notice we've got two things from canada, the geese, and the trains. the trains will occasionally speak french to you, if you happen to see the canadian national words spelled in french, and i imagine the geese are bilingual too, but they're mostly just arguing when they get around here, because we have a lot of juicy looking fresh-water lakes and they try to figure out whether to stick around, for how long, when to take off, which direction, etc. they get a little disoriented, because the lakes are all over the place, and the weather is a little topsy turvy, wind could be coming from anywhere, you can't even tell what's north. or maybe they're like the birds in our yard; they find the juicy berries; they get drunk, then they don't know what to do. the birds in our yard were smashing into our window, and i was convinced it was because they were drunk, but my wife wrote on the window with highlighter and that seemed to ease the problem. the reason i mention canada is that i heard a good story from canada, actually it's on a blog i've linked to for many years, and it told about how the #occupyvancouver folks were cooperating with the police, and they thought they'd help the police keep costs down, so they got the police to train their security volunteers in cpr, so the police wouldn't have to hang around with their expensive patrolling way, and could go mind their own business somewhere else. this remarkable degree of cooperation made me jealous, it's as if canada just figured out a better way to live, so that they wouldn't have to have all this conflict all the time, they could be all polite and civilized and all. it could be related to the fact that hockey is the national game, and hockey lets everyone get out their yayas, or their aggression, if they have it, so they can be civilized in the rest of their lives.

then they talk about these occupy folks with hashtags, as if they all live on twitter and that's their address, all mail goes here. each community has its own hashtag, all mail goes there, all messages delivered to that hashtag, you can see everyone and everything with that handle alone. it's the name of the community; it's also the address, in an online kind of way, for all comments. those hashtags (pound signs) are back.

back to the series. i'm working on laundry, and dishes, and want to get something done before i literally keel over. it's the seventh? time for a stretch.


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