Archive for March, 2010

The World’s Worst Singalong

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

About a year ago I pitched the idea for an essay to St. Louis Magazine. The thought was to look at the baseball rivalry between St. Louis and Chicago, addressing it as a lifelong Cardinals fan living among Cubs faithful. There was a bit of back and forth and a long stretch of time between when we agreed on the fact of essay and the time when the essay would eventually come out, which was in time for Opening Day of the 2010 season. During that time I read a bunch of baseball materials, took silly-copious (I realize now) notes about the Cubs 2009 season, failure, the comedy of Milton Bradley, the fact of the Cardinals acquisition of Matt Holliday, and so damn much more. I’ve written about baseball before, both in The Slide and elsewhere (0ne or two of you might recall my previous stint as a baseball blogger along with the unfortunate end to that career), but addressing the Cubs / Cards rivalry was about as fun as I’ve ever had with a writing project. And so it makes me immensely happy to share it now.

Subtitled, “Contemplating rivalry — and envy and schadenfreude and life itself — amid the world’s worst singalong,” the essay is available in St. Louis Magazine’s April 2010 issue. Please enjoy: A Cardinals Fan in Cub Land.

A Place Where Abba Plays and Brothers and Sisters Reunite, Dance, and Sing

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

Today the world lost a precious, beautiful woman. Lost a laugh and voice it will miss. So please turn on Abba and feel free to cry along with we who were lucky enough to know and love her (there was no knowing without loving, that much I promise). Love you, Violet. You were a miracle in every way.

Sometimes I think of my grandmother’s hands, and the way a teacup shakes, now, when she carries it from the kitchen to her chair. Because these days my grandmother is growing older in a way you can see it happening. I see her and think of a very big number, and my reflex pulls me backward into history, hers. I hear air raid sirens and smell black-market tobacco and fried eggs, then I see a great expanse of Indianan field and the smell of hamburgers, then think of that moment when I was a kid standing with my grandmother in Spicer’s 5 & 10, and I asked her to buy me a toy, and she said she didn’t have money for the toy, and I said, then can’t you just write a check? And she looked at me as if I was some alien boy who lived on a planet vastly different from her own, but now my planet was hers, too, and since it was a planet on which she could knit, and brew tea, and laugh uproariously and dance and drink shandy, she decided to stay.