Funny the World...


April 3, 2000

With the opening of the new Pac Bell park in San Francisco and the Giants’ exhibition games, we have had baseball on around here at least part of the time. Having sat and watched the games a bit, I have been asking myself one question: why is it that baseball people (players, coaches, umpires) spit? Especially on camera? What is there about the game of baseball that makes a grown man feel that he can send a big wad of spittle flying out into space with every third breath? Do we see accountants spit? "Here, Mr. Jones. I’ve gone over your tax forms and...ptui!...this is what you owe the IRS." Do we see surgeons spitting into their masks during tense moments in the OR? "Nurse! Scalpel! Spittoon!" Does Jose Carreras let fly a big one between arias? Or does Scott Hamilton decorate the ice before doing a double axel? And yet 9 times out of ten every time the camera pulls in for a tight close-up on the baseball field, there it goes--PTUI!--right there for God and everyone to see. Don’t they show these guys on the big screen in the park? Can’t they see how disgusting they look? I’ve also wondered about the growing use of astroturf on the playing fields. With artificial substances and no real "dirt" under your feet, what is it like to slide across a green synthetic carpet dotted with the spittal of a 9 inning ball game?

Just a few odd thoughts from my fevered brain.

I’ll tell ya this journal stuff is certainly big on the Internet. I remember Steve told me he was among the first diarists on the Internet (in fact, he’s considered one of the "grand old men" of on-line diaries and has been invited to speak to the first ever convention of on-line diarists in October). But until I decided to start my own and begin looking around at others I had no idea there were so many and that each journal is in itself a unique work of art, with some of the best web programming I’ve seen, and fascinating content, far beyond "what I did on my summer vacation." My little tour through an infinitesimally small corner of this new world was a humbling experience.

We received word yesterday that Char’s brother Walt died suddenly. Sixty-three years old, and suffering from leukemia, though nobody knew it. One day he was here, one day he was not. We will be attending his funeral tomorrow. My world seems filled with death--ours, other people’s. Nobody I know seems to grow old and die any more. They all die either suddenly or of horrible lingering diseases (like dear Dickie, who died of AIDS in January). When I was at the cemetery with my friend the other day I was telling her about Christmas eve, when a group of us went to the cemetery at midnight and stood around Paul’s and David’s graves, drinking Jim Beam and reminiscing about the kids (sharing the Jim Beam with them, of course). There was a full moon that night and, in contrast to the previous Christmas eve, we had no difficulty finding our way without flashlights. After we’d had our toast, the other kids in the group went wandering off to look at headstones and find the graves of their friends who died. I’m still appalled by that. The first "peer" I’d ever known who died was my sister. I was 28 and she 24 at the time of her death. Yet our kids and their friends have lost so many peers, starting from Katie Sallee, who died not long after we moved here, when she was only 8. That was 24 years ago. At David’s funeral, a parent came up to me and told me that he’d done some calculating and realized that our children had experienced the death of at least 30 of their peers since Katie’s death. All sorts of reasons -- illness, a skateboard accident, a murder, too many auto crashes, a train accident, at least one death from AIDS. I don’t know if this is a function of living in a fairly small town or if it really is that more kids are dying these days.

Why is it that everything I write eventually ends up talking about death....?

But in the midst of all this real life death, there is always television for comic relief. Right now there is a Chuck Norris movie on and the dialog consists of a lot of "oofs" and the sound of punching, interspersed with "important music." I wonder if my friend Pat did the music for this movie. She’s the music editor for Walker, Texas Ranger and we’ve talked a lot about the kinds of things she’s been doing for the past several years. Chuck wants so much to be "meaningful." As background noise, it’s just silly.


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created 4/3/00 by Bev Sykes