Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A Winter Mix

Here are several things, some of which, as we shall see, having nothing to do with winter itself, but what happened during it.

First, I tried to watch the Super Bowl. Normally we watch little or no TV on Sunday, but the "sinister force" Al Haig referred to during his Nixon days sometimes flicks the set on. After awhile I realized something. What I was watching was actually a TV commercial fest with irregular football interruptions. I turned it off. Someone later said it was a close game, but the NFL has those every single week from August through January. Anybody know who won?

I recall the days when scholars and novelists walked the earth. That kind of died when people found ways to pass classes without actually doing the reading. Anyway, another heavyweight novelist, John Updike, died last week, joining Norman Mailer and Alexander Solzhenitsyn on the other side. Now we've got what they call "best selling authors", but almost no bigger-than-life novelists, probably because there are so many other easier ways to make ridiculous amounts of money, or at least there were. Maybe the novel will come back if the recession lasts long enough.

I was playing tennis with the guys today. From different directions a young man and woman both came near the courts, cursing at each other in the way people do on certain low-grade TV shows, only without the "beeps". This went on awhile, all during a game in which I served about 20 points. The woman of this pair was naturally easier to hear than the guy. She yelled the same two-word phrase at least a dozen times before they finally went their separate ways - "Restraining order!" I felt I could have used one myself.

I did a little informal wrap up of the year just past in regard to the family. Among our seven offspring and their families some years have been good for graduations, others for new babies. This one had a little of everything: one baby, one graduation, one (sigh) divorce, one marriage and a couple of career moves. But if anything stood out, it was the travel. Between them we had trips to England, the Netherlands, Italy, Puerto Rico and within shouting distance of both Mexico and Canada, along with a return trip from Baghdad. Two relocated to the same place, but from about 1200 and 2400 miles away, respectively. More is planned. Growing up I thought it was a big deal to drive the 20 miles "up" the Mississippi River, which actually was east, to Davenport. Now I can't think of a reason to go there at all.


Blogger allison said...

oh I like the tennis story. I can just imagine a person on each side of the court screaming past you old guys. And you trying to ignore politely, all the while wincing at every curse word. It's a funny mix of people you run with down there.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You forgot about Herman's 5 weeks in Spain.

4:25 PM  

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