Aghast and Amused

I need to blog more.  So I shall.  Beginning now.

I recently read this article and am both aghast and amused.  Here’s the kicker quote: “Jolly was sentenced to six years in prison last November by State District Judge Denise Bradley. Jolly applied for ‘shock probation,’ which allows convicts to ask to be released early on probation after experiencing the shock or trauma of being in jail.”  Umm . . . who does not experience ‘shock or trauma’ the first time they go to jail?  It’s a wonder this loophole isn’t used more often.  Then again: it’s Texas.  So perhaps this shouldn’t even come as a surprise.  It’s a different world down there. . . .

Has there ever been a more blatant run for the vice presidency than the current campaign run by Virginia governor Robert McDonnell?  He is tacking—others less kind would use words such as ‘pandering’ or ‘lying’ to explain his sudden embrace of common-sense issues—to the center on issues as varied as abortion and gay rights.  Although not as conservative as Virginia’s blowhard attorney general, McDonnell is also not nearly as moderate as he’s trying to make himself seem as the veepstakes rev up.  It is equally parts amusing and embarrassing to watch. . . .

For those of you who know me personally or have read my articles throughout the years have probably figured out: I don’t like the Chicago Cubs.  Actually that’s not harsh enough.  I hate them.  They are the most overhyped, overvalued, and biggest underachievers in the history of professional sports.  The attention they consistently garner year-after-year for abject futility is absolutely mindboggling.  There is nothing loveable about a loser.  Which brings me to Kerry Wood.  When he debuted in 1998, he quickly earned my ire.  Maybe it was the (inaccurate) Roger Clemens’ comparisons.  Or the unfortunate coincidence of us having the same surname.  Mostly, though, my enmity towards him came from his role as the perceived savior of the Chicago Cubs.  So when he retired on Saturday, I fondly recalled the bold prediction I made halfway through his dominant rookie season: Kerry Wood would never win 15 games in a season.  And he didn’t.  He won 14 in 2003, but that was the closest he ever got.  Fifteen wins is not a lot.  Many journeymen hurlers have won that many games in a season—a fair amount multiple times.  But he never did.  He won 86 career games and in his 14 years in the big leagues he was on the disabled list 14 times.  Some might find that sad.  I find it fitting.  Ditto for his final game: after already announcing his retirement, he fanned the only batter he faced on the minimum amount of pitches, walking off the field to a standing ovation on a beautiful, warm day at Wrigley Field.  It was a wonderful moment.  And oh yeah: the Cubs lost the game.

On Literature

Reading Now: The Presidents Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity; Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption; Catching Fire

Immersed but On Hold: A World Undone: The Story of the Great War; Theodore Rex; Walking the Bible: A Journey By Land Through the Five Books of Moses; and Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln’s Corpse.

Recently Finished: Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero; The Hunger Games; The Girl Who Played with Fire; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Moneyball: The Act of Winning An Unfair Game.

Up Next: The final Hunger Games book, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and rereading John Keegan’s seminal treatise The Second World War.

Overheard . . .

“Look for me; I’ll be the one with the lady with the oxygen tank.”

“Oh I love ice cream.  I’m good.  I’m set for life.”

“So if you had a dog do it, it’s really not comfortable.”

(After Safe House in Georgetown): “’Is Ryan Reynolds related to Burt Reynolds?”

“Oh boy!  So you fought off this cat?  This wild campus cat?”

“She married the guy I had a crush on . . . then he got on marijuana.”

“I need to leave D.C. so I can be a rapper. . . .  What rhymes with Salt Lake City?”

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