Monday, September 27, 2010

The Philadelphia Phillies are Effin My World Up

Now that it's getting down to the nitty-gritty in the baseball season, more and more of the Phillies games are showing up on channels that even those of us who live in the NYC-controlled areas of Joisey1 can view. And when I can actually watch a Phillies game on TV, instead of on my computer (where it looks like this), you can bet I do it.

But that means I'm staying up later than I usually do (sometimes till as late as 10:30, 11:00 p.m, on a school night!), which leaves my flat Irish @$$ tired of a morning; and worse still, it leaves me little spare time to do anything else. And the Phillies-related infringement on my spare time is even worse because Ian is excited that the Phillies are doing well, too, and so when I get home from work, he's like, "Dad, let's go out back in the field and you hit me pop-ups." And I'm like, "Have you done your homework?" And he's like, "Way to suck, Dad!"

So then I have to help him with his homework and then maybe we'll eat dinner and then I'll say, "Okay, Ian, we can play, but only twenty minutes, because I'm tired!" And then we'll play for an hour. Then come in and it's nearly 7:00 p.m. or maybe already past and then the Phils are on, and even if they're not on TV, I'll "watch" them downstairs on my Mac and Ian will join me.

And so like two weeks ago, while working the Reference Desk, I got into a discussion with one of the other Reference Librarians here and the library had just received the new Jonathan Franzen book, Freedom, and this other librarians was singing the praises of The Corrections and I said, "Yeah, I've never read any Franzen, but I always meant to." And of course, as always happens when a popular author releases a new book, all copies of Freedom in the library system are checked out and they have like a bajillion holds on them. So people start checking out the author's older titles; and so of course all of our copies of The Corrections are out and have many holds on them now too.

But so like this other librarian brings in her personal copy of The Corrections and lends it to me. And soon after that, we (me; Ian; Teh 'Bride) went on our weekend vacation to the shore and I started reading The Corrections late on Saturday afternoon and by the time we came home on Sunday evening, I had read about 110 pages of it because it's really good.

Well, thanks to the Phillies, I'm still reading it (I'm about 380 pages in now; it's over 550 pages in length). And in the meantime, I have like 7 other books, mostly novels, sitting on my night table, mocking me. Will you ever get to us, you luuuuuzer? And I'm like, I swear, once the Phillies win the World Series, I will read ALL of you!

Because like a month ago, jiif recommended The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave, and I took it out and was going to read it after I finished The Kraken, but started The Corrections instead, and now Bunny has come due and I tried to renew it but someone fucking has a hold on it so I have to return it tomorrow. And today I just got in The Thousand, which I don't even remember putting a hold on, and I already have out The Help, Broom of the System, and Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light; plus about three other books that I own that I have been trying to get to but that I keep having to shift to the bottom of the pile.

I'm also like two weeks behind on my Daily Shows and Colbert Reports.

And it's all because of the Phillies.

Who haven't even clinched the division yet.
As I'm running the last part of my 8-mile run on Saturday, Ian joins me for the last loop back to our house because he just got this new Phillies jersey and these new cleats:

He and Teh 'Bride found that Ryan Howard jersey at some store for TEN BUCKS!1! Stupid luuzer store-owner was selling Mets and Yankees stuff  for real money, but the Phillies stuff? Pffft! TEN BUCKS!1! So Now Ian has a Howard, Halladay AND Utley jersey. He's going to be a Phillie for Halloween, but it remains to be seen just which one.
I managed to run 7.11 miles in the rain today, so if I can manage another 12 miles between now and the 30th, I'll make it to 100 for the month.
1 By this I merely mean that we get New York's stupid fucking channels, which means I could watch Mets games all seasons; and/or Yankees games, but I, being a Philly boy, dislike the former and actually kinda hate the latter because the latter - i.e., the Yankees - are kinda the Darth Vaders of baseball and I've never understood why anyone who doesn't live in the Bronx would like them or root for them. I understand why Bronxers root for them; it's their team, based where they live. But I am always genuinely surprised when I learn of someone from, say, Idaho or Iowa coming out and admitting to being a Yankees fans: "The Yankees are in the World Series this year and MAN I really hope they win, not because I hate the other team, but because I really like the Yankees!1!" To me, this is the baseball equivalent of learning that a little child has been abducted and choosing to root for the abductor. There is just something fundamentally wrong with liking the Yankees (unless you're from the Bronx).

Plus, the Yankees play in the American League, aka, the girl league, where pitchers don't have to bat because they're pussies and so they go and get their bigger bodyguard boyfriends to bat for them. And so it's a good thing for American League players that, in baseball, you get to grab a bat every once in a while because that probably makes up for the fact that these guys just don't have dicks.


  1. FIRST!!!

    RE: The first chapter of Footnote 1 - I feel the same way about Oakland/LA/Oakland Raider's Fans. The whole team is a bunch of thugs and honestly their fans are pretty sketch as well.

    Way to make me feel like a real luuuzer. I have been trying to plow my way through Rick Hanson's, Spare Parts for a month now. It is not exactly high literature and I could give 2 shits about the Phillies, so I have no excuse.

    Ian pictures always make my day. Thank you.

  2. gavin, shoot me your snail mail address and i'll send you my copy of bunny.

    also, watched "it might get loud" last night. jimmy page, jack white and the edge all talking about their styles and musical influences. good and quite interesting stuff.

  3. Who is the author of "The Kraken"? What a great title. Though I have to say I hesitated about opening this post given the title, but you redeemed yourself.

    Out of all of what you're doing now, work, running (such as it is), watching the Phillies (a bigger waste of time than watching it snow in Kanadia if you ask me) what you're going to remember are those times playing with Ian.

  4. I don't doubt I'll be able to get a Jerry Manual jersey for less that the $10 that you invested in that Howard jersey, or is it Joisey?

  5. at least you get to watch the mets games! We get nothing NY here in the deep south. And I'm still a huge Mets fan.

    Still, got to give my props to the Phils this year. they are going to clinch it tonight I bet.

  6. The Padres are just killing me out here...

    I read The Corrections and thought "MEH!" I mean, it was mostly entertaining and all, but I thought it was just OK. And then I couldn't for the life of me understand why Franzen was so "I'm too good to be chosen for Oprah's book club because I write LITERATURE!!!" But now, I guess, he's decided that selling a buttload of books is not a bad thing.

  7. @AQA ALEECE - My understanding is it went down thus:

    In September 2001, The Corrections was selected for Oprah Winfrey's book club. Franzen initially participated in the selection, sitting down for a lengthy interview with Oprah and appearing in B-roll footage in his hometown of St. Louis ... . In October 2001, however, The Oregonian printed an article in which Franzen expressed unease with the selection. In an interview on National Public Radio's Fresh Air, he expressed his worry that the Oprah logo on the cover dissuaded men from reading the book:

    'So much of reading is sustained in this country, I think, by the fact that women read while men are off golfing or watching football on TV or playing with their flight simulator or whatever. I worry — I'm sorry that it's, uh — I had some hope of actually reaching a male audience and I've heard more than one reader in signing lines now at bookstores say "If I hadn't heard you, I would have been put off by the fact that it is an Oprah pick. I figure those books are for women. I would never touch it." Those are male readers speaking. I see this as my book, my creation.'

    Soon afterward, Franzen's invitation to appear on Oprah's show was rescinded. Winfrey announced, "Jonathan Franzen will not be on the Oprah Winfrey show because he is seemingly uncomfortable and conflicted about being chosen as a book club selection. It is never my intention to make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone conflict. We have decided to skip the dinner and we're moving on to the next book."

    Assuming that's an accurate description of the chain of events, it seems to me that the passive-aggressive dickwad in this interchange was Oprah, which should surprise no one at this point, I think. Franzen was worried about scaring away male readers; Oprah imperiously takes offense, but, typically, couches that offense in far-be-it-from-little-old-me-to-make-anyone-uncomfortable language - obviously a lie, because she then rescinded her invitation. He didn't drop out.

    I'm not saying Franzen isn't a dick. He may well be. I don't know. It's just that in any encounter between Titanic Dicks in which one of the Dicks is Oprah, the smart money is on Oprah's being the Bigger, More Self-Important Dick. Which I think is obviously the case here.

  8. And now I realize I can come to you for book recommendations?? Damn, wish I'd known that before I picked up "I'm Down". I must have been desperate the day I bought that one.

    I need books for all of my upcoming travels. Will investigate what you have here and see if I have the required number of brain cells to process.

    You should start a GQH Book Club.

    PS. I dont know jack about baseball, but I'll cheer for whoever you think is best. Go Cocks. I mean Go Phillies.

  9. @Meat-eating, 'Cocks-loving Cavewoman B'Ogg -

    Of the titles mentioned above, the only one I personally can recommend is The Corrections, because I'm actually 2/3 of the way through it; whereas the others? Still sitting there unread, at this point. (Today, I brought back to the library, and placed on hold again, Bunny Munro and The Help. They both had holds so I couldn't renew. Actually, as a library staff, ahem, "member" (Go Cocks!), I could have overridden the holds and kept the books.

    (But I don't do that. I plays fair.)

    I and the Phillies appreciate your tepid support, born of baseball ignorance. We'll take whatever we can get.

  10. Good lord, going through the load of old posts in my reader's getting tiresome. I liked "The Corrections." I met Franzen; didn't like him - but liked him a WHOLE lot more than Oprah.

    My hatred for Oprah's Book Club knows no bounds. Literally. (and that involves a joke O wouldn't get)

  11. OK, I'm picking up The Corrections this weekend. Read reviews on Amazon and it looks good / like something my pea brain can handle. I'm 50-50 on Bunny Munro and the living breathing tattoo thingamajig is too far out in sci-fi land for me.

    I read The Help and so did Scott. We couldn't put it down, but we're hillbillies and maybe some of that shit resonated. I dunno. All I know is that I want some more of that 2-slice Hilly!!! (you'll see when you get to that part)