Five Things – 14 October 2015

1.

October.

As I was on my way to the library, Edwin Encarnacion hit a 443-foot shot to tie the Rangers-Blue Jays game 5 in the bottom of the 6th.  By the time I got in and unpacked and plugged in, the Rangers had taken the lead again.  The online box score says Rougned Odor stole home to put them back up.  If they hold on and win this game, Cole Hamels might end up becoming a Texas hero as his fellow Phillies cast away, Chase Utley, creates one of the most controversial plays in recent memory and turns himself into public enemy #1 in Queens.

October.

The other day while I was at work, I listened online while the Royals strung together a series of hits and runs to come back from 4 down to go up 1, then get 2 more insurance runs in the 9th and force a game 5.

October.

The Cubs beat the Pirates in the Wild Card game to get the right to play the Cardinals, the best team in baseball this year.  They run into this year’s playoff buzzsaw, Jake Arrieta, who pitched out of his mind all during the regular season and now in the playoffs.  Toss in a few home runs and the Cubs have a chance to end the curse.

I wish the O’s were in it, taking another run at the Royals, but the Mets are still going, facing down Zack Greinke tomorrow.  At least the Dodgers will have to get through Jacob deGrom to make it to Saturday.  It’s still great baseball.  Definitely takes the edge off what’s been a disaster of a football season so far (see: Ravens 1-4; Ravens IR list).

(Blue Jays tied the game on a bases loaded bloop single and then Jose Bautista hit a 3 run home run to put them ahead 3.  He also flipped his bat like no one ever before and maybe since.  October.)

2.

It stormed here last night.  It was partly sunny when I walked in to check on my computer (more on that later) but 20 minutes later, it had already rained and left puddles.  Lots of lightning with these storms; to the south, cloud to cloud and ground.  If it’s raining hard enough when I’m at work, I go stand outside of the front door and take video with my phone.  The street there is a broken, pitted mix of brick and asphalt, partly resembling a series of horizontal waves, and in some places, the water runs and in others, it pools.  You could slip and slide down one side, splish and splash down the other.

I keep track of this sort of thing in my journal, as well as Nor’easters during the fall and winter months, blizzards, regular snowstorms, hurricanes, all of it.

3.

I wanted to be a meteorologist when I was younger.  Atmospheric phenomena both thrilled and scared me.  Like that time we had thundersnow.

I was out with my mother and trying to rush her back home, as I’d heard that the oncoming snowstorm might produce such an event.  Thunder with snow?  I’d faithfully watched the morning and 11 PM weather reports faithfully for years (I had to sneak to watch the latter) and I didn’t recall any meteorologists ever mentioning even the possibility of something like that.  It sounded fantastical, like time travel and magic and faster-than-light travel, all the imaginative things in all those children’s novels at school that I refused to read.  My mind raced.  I wanted to believe it was all bullshit, but still, what if it could thunder during a snowstorm?  What couldn’t the weather do?

(Years later, the question would be answered by tornadoes wiping out entire towns, Hurricane Katrina nearly taking New Orleans off the map, and Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy flooding what seemed like the entire Jersey Shore.)

We were just outside the house when the storm blew in.  One moment, nothing, the next, a wall of snow and wind pushing us back down the street.  After we fought our way inside, I decided I wanted to see.  I was hoping for enough snow for school to be closed the next day.  The window in my room was small, but there was a huge window in the kitchen.  I went downstairs and stood right by it.

The snow was coming down so fast, I just knew school would be closed the next day.  The school system had no choice, I thought.  It would take a lot for them to make the decision, but this one was looking bad.  And the best part?  No thunder, just snow.  I knew they were bullshitting on TV.  There wasn’t any such thing as thunder and snow in the same storm.  And as I was just about to celebrate my rightness and the desires of children all over the city over the powers that be …

-BAM-

The whole kitchen lit up.

No.

I stood there frozen.

All I could think of was how wrong this was.  Later in life, I’d learn the term for how I was feeling: cognitive dissonance.  All of my watching of the skies and of the news and waiting for severe storm watches, had taught me that lightning and thunder were summertime affairs and here we were in the middle of a snowstorm, and …

-BAM-

The kitchen lit up again.

As soon as I could move my feet, I backed away, far away from the window, past the table in the middle of the floor.  I crept away from the kitchen entirely, my mind jumping back to all the stories and explanations I’d been told growing up, of God sending things like lightning and unexpected weather events like this to punish people.

On one hand, I didn’t think God would be punishing me for damn near dancing for celebrating a day out of school; surely, God had to have more on the agenda than that.  On the other hand, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I sprinted back upstairs to my room and put out my clothes for school the next day.  Surely, this had to be enough penance.

The weather people were right.  As the terror subsided, I thought about how cool it was that you could even forecast whether a snowstorm would make lightning.  Even though this storm had scared the hell out of me, it made me want that kind of power more and more.

4.

I love question lists;  I’ve pretty much always answered them when sent in email.  I was looking up some things I might want to talk about in these 5 things posts, and came across this list, answered by Ashley Ford.

1. The meaning behind my URL

It’s my name.

2. A picture of me

Not now, maybe later.

3. Tattoos I have

None.  Not one.

4. Last time I cried and why

When my father passed away.  It was because my father had passed away.

5. Piercings I have

None.  Not one.

6. Favorite Band

Incognito.

7. Biggest turn off(s)

Misused apostrophe’s, spoken word, crazy sports fans.

8. Top 5 (gelato flavors)

Strawberry, mango, Granny Smith apple, mango, and strawberry.

9. Tattoos I want

None, not one.

10. Biggest turn on(s)

Someone who knows when I want to be bothered and when I want to be left alone.

11. Age

38

12. Ideas of a perfect date

A Ravens night game in September before it gets too cold.

13. Life goal(s)

Write. Make theatre.  Marry and love this woman.  Spend as much time as I can with my family.  Root for these teams.

14. Piercings I want

No piercings.  Ever

15. Relationship status

See number 13.

16. Favorite movie

“Contact.”  The interplay of skepticism and spirituality has been a theme throughout my life.

17. A fact about my life

I’m afraid of lightning.

18. Phobia

Lightning.

19. Middle name

Alexander

20. Anything you want to ask

Why do I like doing these?

(Blue Jays won.  Royals won after I finished writing this.  October.)

5.

Another huge turnoff: business jargon.  I’ll have to talk about this at length in the future.

Writer, et. al.