Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Do Declare

My extensive readership is calling for me to regale them with the news of my life. And when they want blog, I give them blog.

Impressive hailstorm on Tuesday here in the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Since it was finally cool enough to go outside, I was enjoying my luncheon on the veranda when I do declare, such a conflagration of breeze and rain presented itself without the briefest warning so that I was forced to scurry back inside the protection of structure while clutching my picnic basket tight to my bosom. (It’s a somewhat oxymoronic unwritten writing rule that any mention of a veranda requires the author to write the entire sentence as though he or she were a Southern belle in the 19th Century. If patio is used, the writing can continue normally, however, any mention of the v-word requires gentility and an immediate case of the vapors)

So anyway, I had to run inside before I was finished with my lunch. That particular squall, however, was not the one that really did the damage here. Later that afternoon it turned quite black and the hail was impressive. There are few more discordant sights than a cactus covered with hailstones, and I saw this sight many times!

The commute home was quite long but uneventful. While Midwesterners tend to drive too fast in poor weather – I can recall many times I have driven or ridden through borderline apocalyptic blizzards only to be passed at an alarmingly high rate of speed by a Chevy Tahoe with Colorado license plates. These neighbors to the west (now northeast!) always appeared to believe it sensible to drive as though on the Autobahn on a clear summer day because “I’ve lived my whole life in the snow, brah!” – the people of Phoenix seem to drive far too slow for far too long after the danger has passed. Admittedly, Phoenix streets do not drain too well since this is a desert, but I do not know that some water on the street requires quite the concern that was raised. Nevertheless, as a law school graduate and noted pansy, I appreciate the abundance of caution in place of recklessness.

There was no damage at our house, although rain storms always mean muddy dog feet and a dirty house. There were a lot of tree limbs, signs, and power lines knocked down, but they were not near us. Basically, what I used to sleep through in the summer in Nebraska is a cause of great consternation here. Ah well, the only constant is change.

In other news, I am traveling on a secret mission to our nation’s capitol later this month. Details are sketchy and current operations are need to know.

In other “secret meeting” news happening in October – this of much greater interest and importance – one week from today Kat and I are going to see The National at Tempe’s Marquee Theatre. Will it be awesome? Yes. Will it be transformative? Likely not. But the awesomeness is a definite. I promise a full report afterward.

As for sports news, Joe Buck’s involvement in playoff baseball and the fact that I can’t sit still long enough to actually watch an entire game tempers my interest in the October excitement. As for football, well, I am not super excited about either college or pro at the current time, although I keep watching both anyway. Our own Arizona Cardinals are looking much like the Cardinals of the past. Last Sunday, I went to the gym during the Cardinals game because I figured it would be less busy and because I could not watch a better game. As I was ellipticaling – that’s a thing, right? – this dude walked up to glance at the score just as Antonio Gates caught his eleventh touchdown pass (I’m guesstimating) of the game. The dude let out a long sigh born of years as a Cardinals fan. A sigh that said, “Oh, Buzzsaw, is it back to mediocrity then, back to whence you came?” To that dude I say, I’m afraid it is.

Also football-related, the AP poll has Nebraska at number seven and Arizona at number nine. I think that probably guarantees that of all the poodles in this country that have two sports snuggies in their crates (an extensive list, I promise you), no poodle other than our little Lily has Snuggies for two teams so highly rated. If I’m wrong, I will provide a mea culpa, but you must provide photographic evidence!

Nebraska does look pretty good, although some of the teams - most notably those with a large amount of purple in their particular color schemes - may just be terrible. Still, a defense like that and a quarterback like that are good steps toward a successful team.

But all of this sports talk was really so I could get to what I’m excited about: the NBA. I’ve already been watching preseason highlights, which probably says something about the depth of my mental illness. But nevertheless, I think it will be an exciting season. One sad note is perfectly encapsulated here. That is both sadly awesome and all too true. Agent Zero is no more. His depression, scraggly beard and hobo tendencies are making me depressed. In happier Wizards news, John Wall seems pretty awesome and incredibly fast. However, this Wall quote about Arenas confused me:

"You never can judge nobody off something that happened. Everybody makes mistakes. ... He's a great guy to me. I can't control what happened last year."

What do you mean you can’t judge someone by something that happened? I think it is wrong to judge someone by something that did not happen, but I think our system of justice is premised on finding facts so that we can judge people based on things that happened. Regardless, I let it slide because of things like this.

In other NBA news, the Big Shaqrock looks like a giant fridge Oprah would give away for free. In some highlights I saw, Shaq had two plays where he made soft little lay-ins. At 7’1” and 470 pounds, I’m not sure that he can still dunk. But I like seeing him in green because, well, it’s something. And, oh yeah, Delonte!

In sum, I guess, Ball!

(I know this deteriorated quickly. My NBA talk is not particularly coherent, or, I guess, is any of this. Right now, I’m reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. It is quite good so far. I am very impressed by how he can include so many seeming unrelated digressions and yet maintain such an excellent flow in the writing. I do not have this ability. That is why he is paid to write things and I blog for free. Well, I guess that’s life in a meritocracy. OK, good night and good luck.)