June 26th, 2008
My landlord is a jazz drummer. For eight years I've been parking my car behind his, but it's only been for the last year that I've understood that the drums in his car actually *come out and he plays them*.
I can be that dense.
Tonight Mike and his group played a street fair in Menlo Park. Two of the songs on their setlists were from Pat Metheny's late '70s albums. It's always odd to listen to another guitarist play Metheny's tunes because none of them can capture a distinctive sound that's peculiar to him. (I read an explanation that a boyhood trauma to his right hand caused Metheny to adapt by hitting the frets hard with his left while kinda gently swooshing the strings with his right. I don't think anyone ever *bought* that explanation -- because why can't other guitarists emulate that?)
I saw a woman wearing a Stanford visor plus a cardinal red 2008 Final Four T-shirt. "How good is that team gonna be without Candice Wiggins?" I said.
To her credit, the woman gave the only truly correct answer: "I don't know. I guess we'll see during the season." Then she said, "But it always seems we're better after we lose someone than people think we'll be."
"That's true. I thought we were doomed for losing Brooke Smith," I said.
She laughed, which meant either "I agree" or "Jeez, are you insane?! Did you notice we reached the championship game after graduating that bum, you dork? And I bet you think she could help a professional team, too, dumbass."
I met my friend Jamie for dinner. Jamie is an Olympic hopeful wrestler at Menlo College sidelined by a broken clavicle. Perhaps she'll come back this year.
In Jamie's company was a handsome, tall, blond fellow. He seemed to have some air of "why am I out for the evening with this beautiful girl and *her dad*?"
I had to run to catch the 10:04 train back home, and boarded without a ticket, which is punishable by fine. I didn't know what to do if the conductor came to ask for a ticket, because surely these guys hear lame excuses all day, and might go nuts unless they adopted a zero tolerance policy. So I rode a couple stations, and jumped off the train with a few miles left to walk.
But by getting off then, I saw a guy approaching the vestibule who wore a hat and shirt with tiger logos. It wasn't a Pacific tiger, or an Auburn tiger, or a Detroit tiger, or an LSU tiger. It was a Cincinnati bengal tiger.
"Who's playing for the Bengals these days?" I said.
I recognized the name Carson Palmer from USC at the time Auburn faithful hated him (and at that time, I was going to marry into the Auburn family, which sounds like science fiction now).
"They any good?"
The guy said not really, but they were bad enough to get a #9 draft pick -- a linebacker who might help, and they might improve.
"That's what being a sports fan's all about," I said. "A constant cycle of watching our teams building up and tearing down."
"You a Niners fan?" he said.
"Nah. I hate football."
Then he seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to talk about his football team.
The WNBA schedule on Thursday includes:
#1 Connecticut at #2 Detroit, separated by one game at the top of the East;
#3 Indiana at #4 New York, separated by half a game in the East;
#5 Sacramento at #3 Minnesota, separated by one game in the West.
I just love that.
The San Jose Mercury News announced its softball players of the year. I browsed the article so I could make the obvious joke that some of these kids could help the San Francisco Giants right now.
Jane Alexander, a shortstop from Castilleja HS, wasn't named player of the year in spite of hitting .782 with 6 HR and 21 RBI in 18 games.
Seven eighty-two. If this kid went three-for-bloody-four, her average *dropped*.
Pitcher Keilani Ricketts from basketball powerhouse Archbishop Mitty was named player of the year for going 11-1 with a 0.16 ERA, striking out 172 and walking 14 in 87 innings pitched, while hitting .525.